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Samuel Huntington

The conservative scholar Samuel Huntington has passed away, and even if you didn't agree with him (he was the author of "Clash of Civilizations," most famously, but wrote many other provocative books), you had to acknowledge that he was a major voice in the field of political science (see the Fukuyama piece below and the tributes from colleagues at Harvard, where he taught for more than half a century). I interviewed Huntington in 2001, not long after 9/11, and wrote a story for the magazine. An excerpt:

'Seventy-four years old, tenured, Huntington is a mild-mannered, balding man who, on this day, was wearing a regulation herringbone tweed jacket. I had imagined him as an Old Testament figure, maybe with a bushy white beard, definitely a severe countenance, but in fact he's strikingly bland and bookwormish, a bit reticent, someone who'd rather be reading and writing than giving an interview. (His friend Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the scholarly former senator, says, 'I don't use a word like this often, but he's gentle.')'...

'... In the summer of 1993, Huntington published in the journal Foreign Affairs his new and alarming thesis.

' 'It is my hypothesis,' he wrote, 'that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural.'

'This was a stunning article. Culture barely registered on anyone's radar in political science departments. Most people were focused on nation states, the 'Great Powers,' the quest for a 'balance of power,' and so on. The typical professor didn't talk about religion or culture, he just spent a lot of time using the word 'hegemony.' It was a shock to hear Huntington de-emphasize the nation state and elevate the tribe....

' ... Muslims felt stereotyped and homogenized by Huntington. There are more than a billion Muslims on the planet and they don't think and act alike. 'For Huntington to say that there is an Islamic civilization, he has to impose an unbelievable uniformity on the world of Islam, all the way from Morocco in the west to Indonesia,' says Johns Hopkins political scientist Fouad Ajami. Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, points out that millions of Muslims live in the West. If Huntington's thesis is true, he says, 'what are we doing here, then?'

'When I mentioned to Huntington that Roy Mottahedeh, a Harvard colleague, wrote a piece saying that Clash of Civilizations seemed to treat Islam like a monolithic entity, Huntington erupted.

' 'He is totally wrong!' he said.

'Maybe I'm misparaphrasing the article, I started to say, but Huntington was now agitated, and began railing about a recent magazine article.

' 'They are totally wrong!'

'(Earlier he'd told me, 'I can't deal with irrational people.') '


Francis Fukuyama, often his intellectual rival, and once his student, has written an appreciation. From Fukuyama's conclusion:

'While I fully appreciate the power and durability of culture, and the way that modern liberal democracy was rooted in Christian cultural values, it has always seemed to me that culture was more useful in explaining the provenance than the durability of democracy as a political system. Sam, in my view, underrated the universalism of the appeal of living in modern, free societies with accountable governments. His argument rests heavily on the view that modernization and Westernization are two completely separate processes, something which I rather doubt. The gloomy picture he paints of a world riven by cultural conflict is one favored by the Islamists and Russian nationalists, but is less helpful in explaining contemporary China or India, or indeed in explaining the motives of people in the Muslim world or Russia who are not Islamists or nationalists. Nation-states and not civilizations remain the primary actors in world politics, and they are motivated by a host of interests and incentives that often override inherited cultural predispositions.

'Be that as it may, Sam's arguments were always made with great force, erudition, and persuasiveness. Even if one disagreed with him, it was impossible to not take his arguments with the greatest seriousness. They provided vocabulary and structure to all subsequent discussions of the topic, whether latter was American politics, defense policy, democratic transition, or American identity. In addition to his written work, he was a great teacher, and produced an entire generation of students who have reshaped virtually all of the sub-fields of political science. From his earliest writings to his last works, he has drawn vociferous critics, but that is the mark of a scholar who has important and fundamental things to say.'

By Joel Achenbach  |  January 2, 2009; 2:49 PM ET
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Next: Beyond the Edge of the Universe


Another new kit! Setting the bar pretty high for '09 Joel.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 2, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Hope Joel's not resolving to do his entire 2009 kit quota by January 30...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 2, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I heard Margaritaville on my way to work,made me think of the Florida Keys and summers at MPP....ahhhhh and warmth

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 2, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Well, blogging beats working.

FYI for those still hung up on the nanodiamonds thing, I added to the last kit a skeptical view from NASA scientist David Morrison.

Posted by: joelache | January 2, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Would a world afflicted by culture clashes be said to have Huntington's disease?

I hadn't heard of him before, but he sounds like he was an interesting interview and an influential polysci thinker. Thanks for the memorial kit.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 2, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Good commentary from David Morrison.

The "evidence" most certainly should involve whatever he said about ice cores and layers and such.

If I remember correctly, the dino-killer comet hypothesis was based in part on an abnormal spike in iridium levels in a very thin layer, like the earth got hit by a really thin, wide mist of iridium paint.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 2, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Blogging isn't work? Who knew?

I suppose even great scholars are bound by their world views, as well as by their time and place. That's why truth is so hard, and so elusive. And why scholars build on each other's work as time goes on.

But it's no excuse for not trying to find it. And great teachers are among the wonders of the world. (Including you in that, CqP.)

Posted by: slyness | January 2, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

There is a big difference between conservative philosophy and the Republican party. Conservatism is a rational belief system that can contribute to an ongoing debate about the future. It isn't all nut cases. We forget this some time.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 2, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I thought all the future wars would be fought over water rights like in a post-apocalyptic Kevin Costner movie.

Tin Cup, for example.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 2, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Howdy. I'm glad to know more about Huntington, even if it is after the fact, so to speak.

Thanks to ScienceTim for that boffo explanation in the last Boodle, and to Joel for putting it On High.

Joel, in the "what's news" category I second frostbitten, though perhaps without such gloom. There are several stories to be had from Indian Country. Just among the 39 tribes in Oklahoma alone, we have examples of tribal strife and corruption as well as good governance, economic diversification and good business practices. A couple of the tribes even have their own highly successful health care systems. There are also stories of attempted energy self-sufficiency and resource control, sometimes colliding with US interests.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 2, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I was so bored at work this morning that I started a whole new blog. I'm not going to pimp it yet until I know it's going to stick around for awhile. Besides it's all reworked boodle items I don't want anyone at WaPo to know that I've been flagrantly violating Rule 7.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 2, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Dave Morrison is one of the big guys in Near-Earth object research, by the way, and is famous for his vast collection of photos of planetary scientists, which was bequeathed some years ago to our professional organization. However, I have to disagree with his probability argument. Singular events are rare, but they *do* happen, and they have to happen sometime. The same argument was made about Shoemaker-Levy 9, but it didn't stop the comet from hitting Jupiter on our watch. The main value of that counter-argument is that it demands that the rest of your case had better be darned persuasive. The best argument he states is related to the lateral spread -- it's very difficult to conceive a mechanism to spread the impact enough, but not so much that the effects would be global. A single local Tunguska-like event wouldn't create continent-wide effects, whereas a bigger event would create a substantial hole in the ground, shocked quartz, tektites, concentric ripples, and otehr such fun phenomena. In short, hard to miss. A marine impact would be harder to track down, but then you have a hard time explaining why it affected North American so much more than then rest of the planet.

Meanwhile, on culture -- One can certainly see cultural affinities that act across national boundaries, but use nations as their actors. NATO and the EU, for instance, are culturally-affiliated nations, but the nations act somewhat independently. Nevertheless, they share sensibilities and political formulations.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 2, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I still say Fred Flintstone ate all the megafauna. The diamond dust is from the worn out beaks of his mega-fowl operated turntables. Once the Clovis civilization collapsed, all the evidence of it such as the wood cars with stone wheels just vanished as debris.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 2, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Sciencedaily has some more details on this nanodiamond deal.

Those nanodiamonds are fairly widely distributed, and I'd like to see more samplings in between. Six samples that widely spaced is suggestive but hardly conclusive, especially where it's possible that humans or other organisms may have transported those samples from their origin. If I recall, the Clovis were quite fond of red ochre (aka hematite) for decorating. Hematite is not from meteorites, but the rocks can be mistook for meteorites.

It's not impossible these people might have attributed some importance to sacred dirt extracted from a meteorite impact.

Just look at the kabla (black stone) of Medina which is the subject of pilgrimmages. Even now, you can buy crater dust from Meteor Crater.

(There's probably dust from Meteor Crater in China right now.)

Brief dossier on Clovis (not best out there):

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 2, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

THIS article from 18 months ago or mentions 50 sites, but no nanodiamonds, just the usual soot and other stuff suggestive of an impact. The idea it hit ice sheets which absorbed the impact is suggestive.

If such a giant impact in the Great Lakes region is ever proven, I suggest the moniker "Babe's hoofprint" for it.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 2, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

There is also an issue with the extinctions themselves; the Pleistocene extinctions were global, not regional. You need to wipe out large numbers of species, all over the world, in just a few thousand years.

The authors suggest that the impact could have caused a cascade of environmental changes, but whether or not these changes would have actually occurred is not well documented.

The global nature of the extinctions is the reason overhunting (with which I mostly disagree) and climate changes are the prevalent hypotheses for the Pleistocene extinctions. These both attempt to explain the global, short-duration but non-simultaneous nature of the extinctions.

Even large impacts, such as the Chesapeake Bay impact at the end of the Eocene, leave relatively easily detectable evidence and don't necessarily cause global extinctions. Which also raises the point that showing that an impact happened is not the same thing as showing that an impact caused an extinction event (and in this case it's not even clear that an impact happened).

Nevertheless, _something_ caused the diamond dust described in the paper. There's clearly something interesting going on here, it's just not clear exactly what that interesting thing is.

Posted by: Hopeful_Monster | January 2, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

S'Tim, I know you'll understand...I am just tickled with my own darn self that I followed along all the way through your posts, onto the Morrison stuff and back again. And here I just wanted to make sure I understood the basic know...the part that was going to be on the test. Well, that and get class participation credit.

Posted by: LostInThought | January 2, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

how come everyone was bored and i was busy as he77???


Posted by: mortii | January 2, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Ivansmom | January 2, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

You're obviously not as good at procrastination as I am.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 2, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Computer folks toil
While others doze watching them
mend broken PCs...


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 2, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Back from shopping, managed a very pretty wrap dress and a suit for work; the silver ankle boots eluded me, but I was glad not to miss the sales entirely.

Now I'm exhausted, but coffee is being drunk and Boodle being backed, so all is right with the world.

What shall we have for dinner? I have no idea. 'Mudge? Jumper? All you other fine cooks? Any ideas for me?

Posted by: Yoki | January 2, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

The nanodiamond/YD Impact/Clovis extinction confulence *is* an interesting thread of thought and hypothesis.

I'm surprised that no one (Mudge) mentioned the idea that a meteor hit in the Canadian north - 'mongst glaicers and tundra and such - might have released a titanic cloud of methane previously locked up in that icy substrate, and that some Clovis type went to start a campfire that went Ba-WOOMP! when the methane ignited. Not much of a crater, but a heckofa concussion.

Or something.


Posted by: -bc- | January 2, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

You mean the Yukon Gas Yuk-Yuks, bc?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 2, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Skipping the monthly downtown get together at the wonderful pub next door in favor of delivery pizza topped with Buffalo Chicken Dip. Will fax some to Yoki, be prepared with celery and a cool beverage.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 2, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Donald Westlake has passed away:
I read a lot of his mysteries/spy novels when I was a kid, kind of lost track of him later.

Posted by: seasea | January 2, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Celery we have, frosti, and why, I do believe, cool beverages too!

Many thanks.

Posted by: Yoki | January 2, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, Yoki; tonight is Leftover and Refrigerator Night at the Ivansclan's. The Boy is having pasta with some bacon (must be cooked); Ivansdad is having leftover piccadillo from yesterday; I may have some of that (very tasty) or some leftover chicken and rice. I'm also having leftover Beaujolais Nouveau and munching on roasted peanuts (need to be eaten or tossed to wildlife). Big wildlife toss for bread and nuts tomorrow, well outside the interior fence perimeter ("curtilage" for firsttimeblogger, engelmann & other lawyers).

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 2, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad to see you Ivansmom. I was getting frenvious thinking everybody was out with their real friends, being all, you know, social.

Posted by: Yoki | January 2, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

This is the boodle you're talking about, Yoki.

RD is probably just being held hostage by bunnies or teenagers (or both).

Same goes for other boodlers (for bunnies, substitute being on-call, cats, dogs, rampaging moose, etc.)

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 2, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Happy new year, Boodlers!

It is nice to see some of you at my other hangout. Of course, the more interesting reading is here, but the viewing on the iPhone is easier over there.

Lots of food for thought about explosions and culture. Kinda go hand in hand, no?

Posted by: abeac1 | January 2, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Hah! Out? Social? I'm just trying to see that everyone gets fed. Apparently my big night is going to be watching the Flaming Lips's new movie, "Christmas on Mars", DVR'd from the Sundance channel.

Actually, when I think about it, I've done a lot worse.

I'll be dropping in.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 2, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

I have too, Ivansmom, done worse that seeing Boodle-friends and in my case listening to that Magic Flute I mentioned this morning. This is actually pretty close to my perfect Friday evening, AND we solved the supper question, settling on an omelette and a salad and a glass of Gewurtztraminer. Living with girls is *way* easy, food-wise.

Posted by: Yoki | January 2, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to hear about Donald Westlake. I also read a lot of his stuff in my teen years, especially the Dortmunder books. I saw The Hot Rock with Robert Redford and realized that they ruined it. The Sundance Kid did some awful movies in his early career.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 2, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Hi Yoki!

Magic Flute and Gewurtztraminer are a good combination. Today we're settling for soup out of a can, Wallace and Grommit and hot chocolate.

Posted by: abeac1 | January 2, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Yours is a very fine combination also, abeac.

"What's wrong with Wendsleydale?"

Posted by: Yoki | January 2, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Hey Yoki, I'm back from dinner. Mr. T and I went to one place we liked, only to find it closed and out of business. So we went a little further and tried a Cajun restaurant we had been meaning to visit. I had shrimp bisque and seafood etouffee, yum. (Please pretend the diacritical marks are in the correct places.)

Posted by: slyness | January 2, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Gewurtztraminer is my favorite white wine. I used to buy large quantities of it wholesale from the Chateau St Michelle winery in Woodbridge Washington when I lived out there. It is a wine that makes its presence known. Much like all things Mozart.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 2, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Just so, RD! I like to know that I've really *got* something, when I have something, whether it be food or drink or music or winter weather or laughter or sorrow.

Posted by: Yoki | January 2, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Woodinville, RD - Woodbridge is in VA (Mr seasea's niece just bought a house there). Woodinville still looks like the North Pole with all the snow.

I watched Wallace and Gromit's Curse of the Wererabbit last night - so silly, with all the bunnies running rampant. I stopped by the video store today and rented In Bruges, The Dark Knight, Wall-E, and Burn After Reading. Not sure what I want to watch tonight.

Posted by: seasea | January 2, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Okay. I think the Flaming Lips are a great band. They put on a truly stunning concert. Their showmanship is epic. "Christmas on Mars" is - well. The Boy, with little experience, was immediately underwhelmed. Ivansdad and I, with decades of movie watching, viewed the whole thing. It is not the most terrible movie either of us have ever seen. I believe it is the weirdest movie I have ever seen (using, as always, "Liquid Sky" as a benchmark). Ivansdad insists he has seen weirder but won't name any. At any rate, if you're a Flaming Lips fan, jump right in. An adult beverage can't hurt, and definitely go for affection and low expectations. If you're not, go out and buy one of their albums instead.

I'll just remark that Beatrice the rabbit likes it when I work from home. She gets let out of her cage a lot more.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 2, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

I've seen them all except Dark Knight, and I'm pretty sure only Wall-E is the only one I would consider to be a light Friday Night Movie. In Bruges is a wonderful movie, but quite dark (and hilarious, in parts). Maybe you prefer drama of a Friday?

Posted by: Yoki | January 2, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

"And yet his theory still seems to require that civilizations behave like organisms."

I just keep thinking about how people say things like "France wants" and "China thinks" and how completely wrong it is to try to cast large groups into clones of individual minds. The structures are like, duh, different. So many do it, though...

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 2, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

My father has left the building. Thanks for all your thoughts. Big, huge funeral at Arlington Cemetary but not for a month or two(!) because of the backlog, organization necessary and looming inauguration.

He will be dearly missed. But he lived well. Long, long sigh.

Posted by: Windy3 | January 2, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

My condolences Windy. To have lived well is a great achievement.

Posted by: dmd2 | January 2, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Bless you, Windy. I'm so sorry. Indeed, to have lived well is a great thing.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 2, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

You have my sympathy, Windy.

Posted by: seasea | January 2, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

I am so sorry Windy, it is very hard to lose a parent, you have my prayers and thoughts.

Posted by: badsneakers | January 2, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Lived well, did good work, served his country, his family, loved well, and was well loved.

My heartfelt condolences, and celebrations, my friend.

Posted by: Yoki | January 2, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

My condolences too, Windy.

Posted by: nellie4 | January 2, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

wow, it's hard to keep up around here.

i was introduced to huntington by a russian nationalist, so i can confirm that observation.

huntington made some generalizations, but i think his premises are pretty sound. while liberal democracies may be strengthening in some places, but they are weakening in others, so i think the jury is still *way* out on fukuyama's perspective.

Posted by: LALurker | January 2, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

windy, my condolences to you and your family.

Posted by: LALurker | January 2, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

It's the coal we have. That's the thing. Big huge heaps of coal. Power.

Windy, I know how it is.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 2, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

My condolences too Windy.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | January 2, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

My condolences, Windy.

Seasea, we also watched Wererabbit tonight. My favorite W&G is the one with Preston and the sheep. The car/airplane sequence has great music.

Posted by: abeac1 | January 2, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

My brother and I are becoming sausage makers. Grinding, buying spices, researching. He made some pretty good hot Italian style the other day; fennel and hot peppers and who knows what. Any sausage makers out there?

This shows, as usual, that there's a learning curve:

This came up; it's incidental and off the beaten path, but

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 2, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

I have made sausage. It was so awful, I stopped.

Posted by: Yoki | January 2, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Windy-so sorry.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 2, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Windy - I'm sorry for your loss. I remember that long, suspended-in-time wait for the end of a parent's life all too well. I feel certain that he knew you were there all along and that your presence eased his journey. I hope you find comfort in your happy memories.

Posted by: Kim1 | January 2, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

windy, I am sorry; I know how hard it is.

Posted by: rickoshea0 | January 2, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

I am so sorry, Windy.

Yoki, sorry I abandoned you earlier, in your hour of culinary need. I was then driving home, then had dinner (leftover night here at Chez Curmudgeon, and for at least three more nights: got ham, chili and chicken suisse enchiladas to account for). Then after dinner took No. 3 dottir to run some errands while I went to Borders and spent some of my gift card. Got Geraldine Brook's much acclaimed "People of the Boo." Hope it's as good as its reviews.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 2, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Hi, abeac! Yes, the W&G with the sheep is my favorite too. I haven't watched it for awhile.

I love Geraldine Brooks - I only made it halfway through People of the Book before it had to go back to the library. Must get it again.

Posted by: seasea | January 2, 2009 11:36 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Book. Book, dammit. People of the Book. Book. Jeez.

People of the Boo is the story of Fuldullfya sports franchises over the years.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 2, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

T think it was Neil Cassady who said he once threw a tennis ball up in the air and it never came down.

We don't want that sort of thing happening here.

Wilbrod, if it's a puzzle of normal difficulty, it's a conundrum. It it's a puzzle of extreme difficulty, a real hard puzzle, then it's a carborundum conundrum.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 2, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Windy, I am so sorry to hear of your loss, my condolences to you and your family.


Posted by: -bc- | January 2, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Windy, my condolences. Funerals are hard, might as well make sure they are done right, at least.

My uncle, as a Korean War veteran, was buried with military honors at a local cemetary near his home.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 3, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Or, the title of your future book, Mudge--

People of the Boo: Umpires Tell All (without balking).

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 3, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

I picked up Brooks The Year of Wonder, and if I could focus I would still be reading. Very very good. So good, I did not knit till I could no longer focus on tiny letters. And yes I can and do knit without looking at the knitting, which explains some of my knitting.

And I am going to get back to People of the Book. I got busy somewhere along the way and didn't finish it. Now I have to start from the beginning again, dagnabit.

Posted by: --dr-- | January 3, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

windy, so sorry to read about your dad. My condolences.

Posted by: --dr-- | January 3, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Evening all,it was and still is for that matter a lovely star field tonight,I saw one brief shooting star in my 10 minutes of gazing.When is the meteor event bc?

So sorry to hear of your loss windy,i thought about it while gazing the the heavens.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 3, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

A clarification for Lost in Thought in the previous kit.

I see there is an assumption that the remedial courses count towards the coursework required for a degree.

They don't. The credit-hours are purely for CHARGING the students for the classes, and also making sure they don't take more classes than they can handle (some remedial students are banned from taking more than 12 credit hours until they meet their conditions).

I would agree that it would be unfair for a student to take 2 years of remedial courses and qualify for a degree, but that's not how things actually work.

Those remedial students pay full price of tuition to pass their remedial coursework BEFORE they can do higher-level college work.

And um, I can't hear or speak English, so getting a little tactless there.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 3, 2009 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Best wishes for the ceremony at Arlington.

My father's ashes are there. It's a cemetery like no other.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 3, 2009 4:36 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends. Windy, I am so sorry to hear that your father passed. May the love of Christ send you and family peace and comfort.

The g-girl spent the day with me while I paid bills. We were out most of the day, then I picked up her mom, and the rest of the gang. When I got back here, I was so tired, just fell asleep. This apartment looks the same way it looked before the holidays. The little I've done, has to be redone. I'm grabbing the bull by the horns today, and will not stop until I see light at the end of the tunnel. *sigh*

Mudge, Slyness, Martooni, Scotty, Yoki, and all the gang, have a great weekend.*waving*

Did any of you read the story about the fragmentation of the USA on the front page of the WashPost? Interesting reading, although I'm not sure about the truth in those assumptions. Sounds like the author may be projecting his insecurities on the American people? I think it was written by a Russian author.

I don't walk on the weekend, but walking just might be a good start for what I have to do this morning.

Time for the broom. To work, not to ride.(smile)

Posted by: cmyth4u | January 3, 2009 5:26 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to read about your Dad, Windy.
Morning All.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 3, 2009 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Windy, I am so sorry to read of your Father's passing. It's hard, I know, to let go of the ones we love. Blessings for you and your family.


Posted by: VintageLady | January 3, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

'morning all.
You obviously survived the night Boko, good. Now go shovel your driveway.

Windy3, sincere condolences.

Nice Boodle-by by Dooley. It reminded me of his comment a couple of years back about Clovis people running a herd of Giant Beavers around in Nebraska, looking for a cliff to hurl them from.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 3, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, all. Today is Put-the-Christmas-Decorations-Back-in-the-Attic Day. Ugh.

Later, 'gators.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 3, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

My condolences to you and your family.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 3, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

We took the tree down last night and put it in a bag for next year. This morning after my run/walk I'll take down the lights that didn't blow down in the wind storm the other day.

And let's not talk about getting chased by giant beavers. I've had that dream. Or was it a film I saw freshman year in the dorms? Either way, very frightening.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 3, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

I believe the big meteor shower is supposed to be tonight, gwe. I saw a few late last night (really, this morning), but nothing truly spectacular.

Read about John Travolta and Kelly Preston's son, and am feeling for their family today as well.

Now, Cassandra, I'm going to read that piece about the disintegration of America, and about a few things regarding a possible proposal by the Obama administration to merge some military and NASA space programs...


Posted by: -bc- | January 3, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Windy, my deep condolences to you and your family. Long goodbyes are the hardest, but take comfort in his having lived an excellent life. *salute*

*off-to-run-errands-and-prepare-for-some-playoff-(PLAYOFFS???)-watching Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 3, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Windy, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. This is such a holy and intense time for you.

Quiet and lazy morning in the mountains. After the holidays, it's exactly what I need. I think I'll go get dressed now.

Posted by: slyness | January 3, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Wendy, three posts of sympathy eaten by the comment-guardian. Here's hoping this simpler message goes through. Take care.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | January 3, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Windy, so sorry for your loss. I'm glad you had the chance to say goodbye.

Wilbrod, in my experience, auditing a class costs less. As does CLEP-ing out. The comment about not knowing Spanish was not about you, it was about getting credit for something you don't know. My comment about self-educated people was to point out that not all successful people went to college at all.

And there was plenty of opportunity to clarify credit vs auditing, and thereby avoiding much of this discussion.

Have a happy day all.

Posted by: LostInThought | January 3, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle!

Windy, please accept my condolences.

When I look at all the craters on the moon it makes me wonder how many times Earth was hit and the traces of these catastrophic events eroded.

Posted by: Braguine | January 3, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle! Headed to breakfast out with Frostdottir and bf. He's going back to basic training at Ft. Knox this evening, and she might be wearing an engagement ring. It's amazing how unconcerned one can be about two 19 year olds contemplating marriage when you compare it to true nightmare scenarios. I always thought the dott would celebrate her 18th birthday by abandoning us and going off in search of her birth mother. At some point the tide turned though and she threatened to "run away to Auntie Frostbitten#2's house."

I see from Colbert King's column today that even Michelle Rhee's supporters are getting impatient. Here's a story idea for WaPo, really just a new angle. "A year in the life of a school rest room. Pick one in the DC public school system that's in disrepair, but not the worst, and follow it for a school year." (Easy to do-they don't move very fast.) Then talk about all the money sucking things schools must do, but that don't add anything easily quantifiable to children's test scores.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 3, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

SCC-closing " should be after-school rest room."

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 3, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Parenting (young adults) is not for wimps. Ah Frosti, we really need a St. Paul wander along one of the waterways to swap some stories. Tip my mommy hat to you and to also Mr.F.

Brag's post reminds me to Yeats and Ray Bradbury, so I am boodle-on, if not quite kit:

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

Wm. B. Yeats, stanza from the Wandering Aegis. Bradbury's Golden Apples of the Sun short story collection was published in 1953.

YJ posted the Frost prediction of earthly catastrophe; some worthy boodler responded with Yeat's eerie gyre....and I knit back with this.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | January 3, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

wandring AENGUS or Angus....sheesh, just strap in the stocks and let the pillorying begin...

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | January 3, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

LostInThought, auditing is completely different from taking remedial credit classes.

You don't get graded at all if you audit, which is why it's cheaper. I agree that it would be nice if people would just audit English 101 and use writing centers for help, that'd be cheaper than remedial English. But for many, it would NOT be enough at all.

There are students attending college with learning disabilities. They need to get those diagnosed, documented, and learn how to work with their learning style and work out what services they need to succeed with as little help as possible.

Could you have done that when you were 18? How about in high school? Age 12? Age 10?

Now think about the fact that a student with an undiagnosed learning disability who has gotten to college regardless (even with conditions in specific areas) may be quite intelligent, and just needing the tools to remove some barriers.

Those students have already done a lot of self-study, modifying stuff for their own needs. But maybe what they really want to do absolutely requires a college degree, no matter how brilliant they have been in that field.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 3, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

morning all
Sunny in west by god this morning.I am thinking of heading to Baltimore this weekend.I love it here in the mountains,but it does get lonely at times.Plus it is always better watching the game with wild screaming fans.

bc,thanks for the update about the meteor shower,if i remain here I will check it out.

well have a good day everyone

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 3, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Forgot to mention earlier...

As this is one of the rare days where NukeSpouse and I both have the day off, we started with coffee in bed, looking out the window at the glorious sunrise and the awakening birds (including a pileated woodpecker that was quite interested in the tree across the street). The cats soon joined us, with Midnight (our troublesome black male) plopping right in front of us and demanding scritches. NukeSpouse and I were happy to oblige, and he tailed off to sleep, head propped against her arm and stretched out towards me.

I went back to enjoying the view, but a few minutes later I was hit with a wall of...


No warning whatsoever -- he'd cut loose with a SBE. Not silent but deadly; Silent But EVIL!!! He didn't even stir when I reacted, loudly.

Darn cats... *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 3, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

The lights and tree are all boxed and put back under the stairs for another year. Took less than an hour. The advantages of a middle group townhouse. Just not a lot of frontage to light.

I threw away one string of rope lights because there were too many shorts in it.

My wife has running battles with her ESL students when they need LD services. A lot of problems are dismissed as language issues when they really go deeper than that.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 3, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, if I have a heart attack I'm going to lay the blame squarely on your shoulders. Here I am trying to finish the cleaning, and I read your comment about the cat. I simply cannot stop laughing. Everything hurts this morning, and the fumes from the cleaning stuff don't help, but man, your post about that cat, I just can't stop laughing. What did you do? Throw him outdoors? If you didn't I'm sure you wanted to. I'll bet that room is so sweet. I love cats, but me and male cats have had our ups and downs. And to think he ignored you big time.

Posted by: cmyth4u | January 3, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Yikes Scotty, that’s the one thing I don’t miss about being petless. I do love pileated woodpeckers, had them at the old house but not here. #2 is in the hospital with Tom Brady’s knee - not really just the infection part. Their trip to Costa Rica is off although SIL will be heading down in a week or two. I was hoping that the new year would bring a change of luck for them but alas.

Beautiful sunny day here, off to run errands and get the makings of beef stew for the SIL, poor guy, tomorrow is his birthday and it won’t be at all what he had planned.

Posted by: badsneakers | January 3, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

F**ting in the breeze
Is much cleaner than in bed
Teach kitty that joy.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 3, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

If I was in bed
With you and spouse, no farting
from me-- just drooling.
And I like a healthy share
of the bed, so no kicking!


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 3, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I was wrong. It wasn't Put-the-Christmas-Decorations-Back-in-the-Attic Day after all. It was Clean-Up-and-Straighten-Out-the-Garage-After-the-Master-Bathroom-Makeover Day instead. So far. Perhaps it will be Put-the-Christmas-Decorations-Back-in-the-Attic Day after lunch, I dunno. I'm afraid to ask.

I was kinda hoping it would be Let-Mudge-Nurse-His-Cold,-Read-His-Book,-and Vegetate-in-Front-of-the-TV-Watching-Wildcard-Playoffs Day, but I gotta hunch that's not gonna happen.

Well, a guy can dream. Besides, as Browning said, "A man's reach should exceed his sloth, or what's a recliner for?"

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 3, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, interesting perspective, but all of that is irrelevant to what I was talking credit for less than college level courses. We've already cleared that one up.

I never said/implied/insinuated learning disability was in any way equated to unintelligent.

Finally, lots and lots of young people (too many) make it through all sorts of difficult situations on their own. I suspect you'd be surprised what I did at 18. Or 12. Or 10.

We all have our crosses to bear, our circumstances to overcome. Regardless of appearances, no one gets off light.

Posted by: LostInThought | January 3, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Joel, we really need to have a serious talk about the WaPo Online's Stylebook -- or rather lack of it. At the moment, the lede hed uses "Impact" as a verb. If they'd used the right verb, "Affect," it would have been one count shorter.

Also, whoever wrote the Obama pix caption did so without seeing the photo.

I know the dead-tree copy editors groan at the Online copy people. I don't blame them.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 3, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I have to disagree with LiT's last sentiment. My life has been charmed. I find money in the street whenever I'm a little short. Beautiful wife, splendid children, superhero physique; these things all come to me naturally. Of course, as we know, with great power comes great responsibility. I have been considering the abandonment of my street-level crime-fighting so that I can more fully serve this great nation by advising the new Pres. and conducting covert operations against villainous overseas drug cartels. Still, I do enjoy swinging on my silken cord amongst the towering rowhouses of downtown DC, finding street criminals and "recommending" them for reconstructive dental surgery at Lorton. I'll miss it.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 3, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse


What moron decided that the "early" football game today would come on at 4:30, and the late game at 8? Whatever happened to 1 p.m. and 4 p,.m. starts? This has the stamp of the Honey-Do List Lobby all over it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 3, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

True enough, LiT; many people endure difficult family situations and other distractions.

But I'm still feeling you sounded awfully judgmental about the potential of remedial students and that they should just go off and learn enough and come back when they're good and ready.

I'll say this: a friend of mine didn't know how to write when he went to community college. He'd write one-sentence answers when he was supposed to write an essay. He had gotten through HS with a D average and with frequent thoughts of suicide. His family celebrated his high school graduation big-time. There was real doubt he'd do so.

A history professor at a community college took the time to explain what an essay WAS. He caught on. A few years later, he transferred and wound up being put in the Honors program at that college.

In that case, the barrier was not his ability, but lack of appropriate instruction. He is completely self-taught in computer programming and languages, and he learned sign language at that college.

And the sign language courses were why he went, basically. Not because he thought he was college material, but because that was where he could learn what he wanted to learn.

And that's why a lot of students go to college even when they don't have the "academic chops" to do so. They may not want the degree, but they want the knowledge.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 3, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Mudge that is tomorrow when my beloved birds get to eat some fresh fish.

I have been enjoying the college football games for the past 2 weeks.They sure string this post season out.A few observations from the bowls.

1 For utah to go undefeated and really whip up on a quality opponent,shouldn't they even be considered the #1 team in the land?

2.Nice to see Mississippi really take it to Texas Tech yesterday,perhaps the Big 12 isn't as big as we had thought.

3.Penn State vs USC looked like a professional team playing a college team and we aint talking about the Detroit Lions as the pro team.

4. Nice to see a few acc teams at least win a few games,the much maligned acc football prowless,well they aint a football powerhouse conference.Everyone knows the ACC is all about Hoops.
Go Turtles!!!

5.With the National Championship game pushed back to Jan. 8th,how over prepared do you think Oklahoma and Florida will be?

6.I really enjoyed watching division II and division III football playoffs.See they have a playoff system and it seems to work fine for them.Each year the last team to win is the National Champion.Kind of makes sense to me,but what do I know.I am just a stupid fan.

Today's game Buffalo vs conneticutt in the international bowl

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 3, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

GWE, tomorrow your beloved birds get to eat fish, while *my* beloved birds get to eat Vikings (same difference; I've always considered my Viking ancestors to be a form of seafood).

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 3, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I have no idea where you got the idea that I think remedial students don't have potential. No one is smart in every subject. We're all rememdial at something.

Some circumstances and obstacles are bigger than "distractions." Please don't downplay our struggles or our accomplishments.

By the by, auditing a class doesn't *require* a student to do assignments, take tests or meet attendance requirements. Most who audit show up, do the assignments, take the tests. (Why you would bother to take a class without getting all the learning you can out of it, and some indication of how you're doing in it, is beyond me.) The class is cheaper because you don't get credits toward a degree.

You continue to refer to remedial classes as remedial credit classes. Either you get credit or you don't. My whole point was that you shouldn't get credit for less than college-level courses. I've had enough of debating this with you. It's a beautiful day and I plan on getting out there and soaking up some of that glorious sun. I hope you enjoy your day too.

Posted by: LostInThought | January 3, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Mudge a ravens/eagles rematch would be dandy to me.....

If I were a sea creature I guess I would be a crab or a squid,so many possibilities though,hmmmmm may have to think on that one.

Hitting the road.

Have a Great day everyone

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 3, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm looking for a Ravens-Giants rematch. Tampa has been good for the purple.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 3, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

"Either you get credit or you don't."'

And my entire point is that you completely misunderstood the remedial coursework credit system.

You assumed instead of asking for clarification.

College make huge distinctions between credits TAKEN and credits that COUNT towards a given degree, as every transfer student knows.

I could never take undergraduate coursework and have that count towards a Ph.D. degree.

I might be expected to take some undergraduate coursework, though, if I enrolled in a graduate program without having the full undergraduate credit requirements for the field-- as often happens when you switch majors from undergraduate to graduate school. I would pay full price for those undergraduate courses, but it wouldn't count towards my GRADUATE degree.

And that is exactly how remedial courses work. They don't count towards a BA, or even an AAS, but they are still classes that should have been taken by that student to prepare for college.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 3, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Please stop accusing me of not doing enough to clarify my thoughts, and attributing things to me that I didn't say/write/imply/blah blah blah.

From me yesterday....

'I'm stuck on six college credits for a course that isn't college level. Why not just knock the six credits off of what's necessary to graduate? Same dif, no?'


'It's not the remedial classes that I object to. It's the college level credit for classes that aren't college level.'

There were two opportunities there for you to clarify, rather than fighting me down at every turn, accusing me of being judgmental, and then going off on tangents.

Enough already!

Posted by: LostInThought | January 3, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Good day, Boodle. Hope you are all enjoying your Saturday.

Chez Yoki we are putting away the last of the Christmas decorations and generally puttering about. I am also trying, quite unsuccessfully, to plan meals for the next week so that I am equipped to do the grocery shopping. Most likely we will scrounge meal to meal, until routine is actually reestablished.

A measure of my failure is attributable to the weather, very cold at -23 (-10F) and with a stiff wind, though with bright sunshine. Nothing in that draws me outdoors.

Onward to laundry.

Posted by: Yoki | January 3, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Mr. T decided this was the day to get gravel to cover places that needed it in the driveway. The local landscaping business - we can see it from the porch, it's maybe half a mile away - was closed, naturally. So we had to go to the next closest place.

Getting there wasn't a problem. He purchased 4460 pounds of gravel (unwashed, but that's what rain is for) for the princely sum of $28.87. Getting back was somewhat of an issue. We went the back way, because he didn't have a tarp to cover the product and didn't want to go via the highway. There is a quarter mile on the way that encompasses a steep hill and an S curve. The little red truck managed to surmount that stretch of road, but it took all the engine and transmission could do. Whew!

Mr. T then shoveled the gravel in the places where it was needed. He is tired, but all is well.

This is a lesson in why I don't ever do honey-do lists. He keeps himself busy, and what I can't do myself, just doesn't get done.


Posted by: slyness | January 3, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

It is a most delightful day around here. The sky is clear and brilliant blue. Yes, it is a bit chilly, but still an excellent day to air out the miasma lurking indoors.

Today, I have taken down many Christmas decorations, including the tree. These have all been stored in the secret space beneath the stairs. You know, where we used to hide the children's gifts. Nowadays, the gifts tend to be much smaller, although, oddly, no less costly.

Going to make myself a bracing mug of Earl Grey tea so as to become invigorated for the next task. The Garage.

Have a great day everyone.

Oh, and please keep that "secret space" business to yourself.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 3, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and seasea, thanks for that catch yesterday about Woodinville. I fear my memories are being corrupted by time. And then there is the scourge of acclimation. Next thing you know I will be saying "soda" instead of "pop."


Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 3, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Article about West Side Story, with the Sharks' parts in Spanish:

Interesting part to me was Sondheim's insistence that the interior rhymes had to be ported to Spanish. Generally positive article, unlike the boodler reviews. They decided to drop the subtitles.

Posted by: seasea | January 3, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

That's ok, RD. I knew it was just a slip. I can hardly keep the WV Charles Town and Charleston straight anymore.

Huzzah - I hear the sounds of garbage being picked up!

Posted by: seasea | January 3, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

And nowhere did I say anything counted towards a degree, but that those courses counted as per semester credit for financial reasons.

I didn't think you had any call to be argumentative based on something I didn't say, either.

My comment was that remedial coursework is fairer to the student than making them take courses that they are unprepared to take.

There are two reasons: one, give them more time to learn what they need to learn in order to succeed; two, make sure they can afford to do so.

And that's the real reason for making them credit, but non-degree courses-- money.

Most colleges have limited financial aid for those who are not full-time students.

Unfortunately students enrolled with conditions are often limited in what they CAN take until their conditions are removed.

If they didn't get credit at all for their remedial courses, they couldn't get any financial aid.

Likewise, students who fail courses tend not to qualify for financial aid (let alone scholarships).

Audited courses do not qualify either towards full-time courseloads.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 3, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Hope this clarifies things.

I'm ill so I'm going off to bed for a rest. Too much to do before we fly home.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 3, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

RD, you may come to my house anytime after the 6th, for a tree-down event.

Burned my thumb on teapot steam, making tea. Aiy Carummbaaaaa: hurts like a witch's business.

In the bad food report, CPboy scooped up Kraft macaroni and cheese into tortilla chips, sprinkling them with Frank's hot sauce. I, dumbfounded. He quickly said, "I am tired of all the fancy and special food." AND "J_ _ _ _ _ C _ _ _ _ _ _ _ gave me the box of mac and cheese for Xmas."

JC is the mother of the neighbor dude next door.

Perhaps only SD's fungi-boy eats such comestibles. And, even worse, I see that the box of of Kraft Velveeta Shells. Wow. In my house growing up we kept month's old velveta in the garage fridge for fishing (crawdads 'specially like 'Veeta) and baiting marmot traps.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | January 3, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Congrats on the Riffy Award, yellojkt. My umbrage is feigned, of course.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 3, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Highly amused by the fake umbrage, jumper. Poor Cavna is trying to make headway in a market that already has a clear winner. I'm a near charter reader of Comics Curmudgeon, but it's firewalled at work while WaPo is in the clear.

I actually have an e-mail relationship with Ces, the Sally Forth writer. I have no idea whether my blog post influenced the storyline or not. I don't have that Weingarten sense of self-importance to claim that it did.

For the boodlers that have no idea what we're talking about, read this:

Then this:

Posted by: yellojkt | January 3, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I would never forgive myself if my silliness caused you any harm. I'll post appropriate warnings next time. :-)

And no, I didn't throw him outside. Why, I don't know.

Well, the Xmas tree is put away in any case, so seeing how much they enjoyed it perhaps he'll take its absence as a rebuke.

Right. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 3, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Hide the meatloaf? Er... well-imagined, yellojkt. You truly grok Ted.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 3, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

so far behind...

I'm gonna tell you some more Karma/PiF stories soon

(PiF is Pay it Forward

The New Year is looking good so far

Posted by: omnigood | January 3, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. It is a beautiful day here. We have been hither, yon and hither again. The Boy has a science project to start and complete - including a PowerPoint explanation, arrrggghh - by Tuesday morning. ["Is it due on Tuesday?" "Maybe; he said it was due when we came back."] We have a wedding to attend this afternoon and thus a present to wrap. My syllabus for my law school course is due Monday.

The groceries are bought and almost put away, and the laundry is getting done. Yoki, I'm impressed with your pre-shopping menu planning. Usually I plan when I'm at the store, based primarily on what's on sale. I sympathize, collegeparkian, but must admit we use Kraft boxes for mac 'n cheese. I finally got the family to take the one where you add milk and butter to powdered cheese, rather than squeezing the plastic cheese packet. However, things like Lunchables are not, in our house, food.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 3, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

How do you know CquaP? The Fungi eats that stuff by the case. A serving is one box. I buy it by the case; one white cheddar and one regular. Lasts about 6 weeks.

Weren't supposed to have some game of football on the tube?

Speaking of tube, I shop for a new one and can't get Mrs. D interested in the process, as she finds the 12 years old 24" cheap CRT fine for her needs. *sigh*

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 3, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Squeezable cheese for KD? The colour must be interesting, considering the powder is safety orange.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 3, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm exhausted just reading about your day, Ivansmom.

Confession: I have found evidence, from time to time, of boxed mac-n-cheese, when young people have been at the house for lunch. To #2's credit, she is just as likely to whip up a from-scratch leek and potato soup as to turn to such fare.

Posted by: Yoki | January 3, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, Boodle...

Today really *must* be Put-Away-the-Tree-and-Stuff day. That's what we did today, too. Mrs. M puts all the little baubles and stuff away and my job is to figure out how to stuff the tree parts back into the box and haul it up to the attic. I prefer the hauling part because I have no idea what bauble goes into which box and I'm sure I'd break half of them trying. Square peg, round hole, right?

Otherwise, I've been out in the shop working like a mad little gnome trying to get things caught up. Got 8 little doors cut, rough sanded, fine sanded and prepped for paint/stain/lacquer. And the day is still young.

Windy... sorry to hear about your Dad. Well wishes to you and yours.

I'm off for a beer run. Mrs. M says no more whiskey in the house (but she said nothing about the workshop). To keep the fragile peace I'm not going to push it though... yet.

Peace out :-)

Posted by: martooni | January 3, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I think I am a bit reticent, too--is there a cure?

Posted by: russianthistle | January 3, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse


I have been switching from wine to Eau de la Cite. It's not much, but I think if I hold it for maybe 5 years, it should be very presentable.

Posted by: russianthistle | January 3, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Shriek,both games are on NBC,first Falcons vs Cardinals@4:30 then Colts vs Bolts @ 8.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 3, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I am taking down the Christmas decorations today and tomorrow, tree I will leave until tomorrow as I had to go to the older daughters hockey game at noon and the other ones in a few minutes. Then home to watch the World Jr game.

Kids are a little testy today as the end of the two week break comes to a close. My kids love KD, I tried to sneak in the whole wheat version but the younger one complained about the specks in the pasta. Managed to pass off some fake ground beef (soy/beef mixture) the other night - baby steps are required in this household towards healthy eating.

Posted by: dmd2 | January 3, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Thanks gwe, I found it switching around. We are multitasking between the junior hockey (Sweden-Slovakia) and the Wild Cards.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 3, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

My offspring adore macaroni and cheese, as did I. The only thing they like more is Ellios Frozen Pizza, or as we have long referred to it "Messy Pizza." These things define comfort food for my children.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 3, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse


I was just teasing you about the heart attack. Just trying to let you know how hard I was laughing at your comment. If I have a heart attack, and God forbid, it won't be from anything anyone else did, it will be from years of bad habits on my part.

I've finally pushed everything to the front, just one room. I'm making progress, albeit, slow progress. At the rate I'm going, the inspection folks will show up as I'm tossing the garbage.

Have a good evening, folks.

Posted by: cmyth4u | January 3, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Many school lunchs already have soy added in... something I found out the hard way after eating a chicken patty in a school cafeteria.

Soy can be very allergenic and is hormone-altering, so it's not that great to overexpose anybody to it.

The effects of soy are often hard to identify and can be confused with other things. The less traditional the form of soy, the higher the risk.

I say this as somebody who used to love and cook tofu, mind you.

First, I found I couldn't handle textured soy protein, then trying soy milk was a complete mistake.

Now I just have to avoid all forms of soy protein and hope I don't start getting reactive to soy sauce, which would mean I could never eat asian food from a restaurant ever again. I already have allergies to soy-based ink, which means I can't read newspapers.

I wish soy wasn't so prevalent or touted as so healthy. I bought into that too. Ugh.

I think we're headed for the next mass allergy epidemic. We went through that with mass-manufacture of latex gloves in the 80's.

Worse, soy can also cause feminine problems and mood swings thanks to its hormonal and antinutrient effects, too.

I saw major personality changes in my friends when they were consuming a lot of soy (and peanuts too).

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 3, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Windy -- allow me to join in the condolences on the loss of your father. The anniversary of my own dad's death is tomorrow (24 years, which seems entirely too long and too short for some reason). My warm wishes are on their way to you.

As for you Snuke -- if I had still been drinking my soothing hot tea when I read your post about, well, *you know*, it would still be dripping down my monitor and the walls. I simply exploded in laughter, and even began squeaking, so you know absolutely how funny I found that.

It was, indeed, just the outlet I needed after spending the afternoon revising a software licensing agreement. Bless you!

What law school course are you teaching, Ivansmom? Please help those law students learn how to write (pleeeze).

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | January 3, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I hope you weren't lolling around nekkid when Santa Claus was there:-0

Posted by: Boko999 | January 3, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Read this for antinutrient information. Plants naturally prefer not to be eaten and produce toxins that interfere with their being completely delicious and healthy. Proper selection, breeding, and cooking is essential for food safety.

Soybean have antinutrients that can cause:

Intestinal inflammation; decreased nutrient uptake/absorption; Goiter; impaired metabolism; reduced iodine uptake; decreased protein digestion, and phenols that destroys thiamine; raises cholesterol; estrogen-mimic.

They need to be prepared properly to minimize those antinutrients.

I don't normally recommend sites like Mercola which tend to be biased, but he has a good explanation of the downsides of soy compared to other beans, and how soy protein isolate is really prepared.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 3, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Don't have any paint to watch dry? Never fear, they're counting ballots in Minnesota.
watch it live here-

(at least until they're done with the 900 odd absentee ballots both campaigns agree need to be counted)

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 3, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

It takes a surprisingly long time to count ballots. They're just about at 300, and Franken is widening his lead. This is going to be a contested election folks (duh).

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 3, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Lol, exciting times up north. Can't wait to get back, Frostbitten.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 3, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

JA-Here's a story idea for you, - the little blog that could. People all over the world watching the MN recount live.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 3, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Franken up by 225 (unofficial)-could cause the MN SC to reject Coleman's current challenge as there are fewer ballots disputed than Franken gained today. Coleman's attorney did not challenge any of the ballots counted today, and Franken's withdrew one that was initially put in the challenge pile.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 3, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Disregard my 7:09, in addition to the 110 "double counted" ballots claimed by the Coleman campaign they are saying 650 absentee ballots were wrongfully rejected (ballots they didn't want counted last month BTW). Now I'll quit boodle hogging.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 3, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

So I lied about not boodle hogging.

For those who may read about MN SC Justice Alan Page and his dissent in the last recount decision and wonder, he is indeed "that" Alan Page. He went to law school while an active NFL player and makes every list of Minnesota's top ten most respected people.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 3, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Hog away, frosti... you're up there where the action is.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 3, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, if Joel was on the dry paint beat, he'd be up there in a trice for such a juicy story.

Update away!

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 3, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Hey TBG, I hope you've told Son of G that his buddy Al has taken a big lead (big for such a close race anyway).

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 3, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse


'Tis a rare TBG sighting, everybody!

Posted by: Yoki | January 3, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

He's pretty happy about that, frosti. Me too.

And speaking of Son of G... he left today for the first half of the big continental crossing. He's near Oak Ridge, Tenn., tonight and heading down toward New Orleans tomorrow.

He should be in NOLA on Monday night, staying with some family friends down there. I think he and his friend have figured they've got friends or family to stay with almost every night along their way to L.A. I'm flying out there next Tuesday (the 13th) to meet him for the drive back.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 3, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Great to see you TBG! I was starting to worry I would have to start stalking the Safeway you shop at just so I could say hello.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 3, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Firsttimeblogger, I'm teaching Federal Jurisdiction. I taught essentially the same course a few years back, so I'm not flying completely blind this time. I hope they can write, since they'll be taking a written exam at the end of the course. I'm not going to give them any assignments in the interim. I suppose I might give them a pop quiz at some point, but probably not.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 3, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

So, I checked out the Hay Adams Hotel that the Obamas will be staying in until the Blair House is ready for them. I'm shocked at the prices of this hotel (even in non-inauguration times) and how much the food is at their restaurant. Whew, this must be one high falutin' place. Anybody ever stay or eat there? Just curious to know if it's worth the money, in case someday I can get the Alohaspouse to splurge on me. Ha!

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | January 3, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Aloha, MotP!

When I worked for my previous firm, it insisted we stay at the Hays-Adams when in DC.

I think I once got upgraded to the Vince Foster Suite.

I was having breakfast once with a colleague when there was a fuss at the front hostess-desk, and then an entourage was shepherded through, all the while the wait-staff saying,

"Right this way, Mr. Bernstein. May I take your coat Mr. Bernstein?

It is a great, great, great hotel. But not on your own nickel.

The best thing *ever* was that I could pop in around 09:30, ask the concierge to make a luncheon reservation at any restaurant my heart desired, and when I got there, the reservation was made and good.

I realized then that rich people really are different. And I'm not.

Posted by: Yoki | January 3, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Hey where is everybody?

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | January 3, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Hi Yoki! I was beginning to wonder if it was just me and the crickets tonight.

Yoki, you may not be rich but you definitely are different. And I mean that in a very good way! I have known some rich people in my life, one in particular was a close friend. They belonged to the Outrigger Club, shopped at Neiman's for baby shower gifts, summered on Martha's Vineyard and just lived a very different lifestyle than I've ever known. But, they had the same problems as everyone else.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | January 3, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

And wealth also brings a few new problems, too, MotP.

I should start chirping along with the rest of them crickets now.

*chirp chirp chirp*

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 3, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Hi MotP!

Nope, no crickets here.

Move along, people.

Posted by: Yoki | January 3, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Yes Wilbrod, it's true, new and different problems come with money. I also learned that my lifestyle is far different than those with beautiful homes and high end lifestyles. I don't think I'll ever give up entertaining with paper plates and plastic forks. Just couldn't do it.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | January 3, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, do you have those wild wind chills or is that a little further east? Stay warm.

MotP - I am with you on the paper plates and plastic forks, although I once splurged on rented dishes, glasses and cutlery for a large family event - felt quite decadent to just return the dishes with out having to wash them - my one and only taste of a pampered life.

Posted by: dmd2 | January 3, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Awright awready, I'm moving, I'm moving. Sheesh. Can't take a moment to stop and smell the roses...

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 3, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | January 3, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Gather ye rosebuds whlie you may

Posted by: Yoki | January 3, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

'cause you're wily, ken ye?

Posted by: Yoki | January 3, 2009 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Aye, lass, a wily coyote I am I am.

But this raises the question: what am I gonna do with a bunch of rosebuds?

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 3, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Why, present them to your beloved, of course. Doh!

Posted by: Yoki | January 3, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

But wouldn't she rather have the actual roses, bloomed?

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 3, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

No, because the buds will bloom. The darlin' buds of May, and all that.

A full blossom fades too fast. As we know.

Posted by: Yoki | January 3, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

You refer, methinks, to this same flower that smiles today, tomorrow will be dying.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 3, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Gallant sir. This self-same verse, well-said and well-posted.

Posted by: Yoki | January 3, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

This bloom, when off the dewy rose,
Has't spoken the truth and with
it's speaking heart has said all
that that be can said, and
so, full knowing, is now to bed.

Posted by: Yoki | January 4, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

I make a great rich homemade macaroni and cheese, but my family prefers the Kraft stuff. I've even tried the Trader Joes boxed versions, but Kraft is it. The only problem is keeping milk on hand for it.

The "hide the meatloaf" line was Cavna's, but it's too good not to steal.

I've had roadside stand roses bloom beautifully and flower shop bouquets never open at all. The difference is that the flower shop will make good on them.

Keep us up to date on the SoG expedition.

My wife and I watched 'The Jane Austen Book Club' tonight. The DVD has a very good mini-bio extra feature on Austen that is one of the best I've ever seen. Worth the movie just for that. Makes me want to read either Persuasion or Sense and Sensibility.

I told my wife that if she ever leaves I am sooooo joining a chick lit book club.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 4, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

B@stards at YouTube have taken down my Going to Graceland video because I am somehow depriving Paul Simon of his rightful wealth. Let's hope they don't go after my Hot Blooded karaoke.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 4, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

I enjoyed tonight's games and am looking forward to tomorrow's even more.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 4, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

To bed, to bed,
Says Sleepy-head.
Tarry a while, says Slow.
Put on the pan,
Says greedy Nan,
We'll sup before we go.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 4, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

We'll sup from lip to lip
and having supp't
as bees do, and birds,
move on, to dreams.

Posted by: Yoki | January 4, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Oh you poets, you! Wish I were as literate in poetry as you all.

Don't like the Kraft version of mac and cheese but the Alohakids love it. I prefer the Trader Joe's version myself. I think no food should be that day-glo orange color.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | January 4, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt, I watched the Jane Austen Book Club sometime last year - not sure I saw the bio. I tried reading the book, and really disliked it. I'm going to Half Price Books tomorrow for calendars and will look for Sense and Sensibility - it's the only Austen I don't have.

Last night I watched a movie I got from the library - Wool 100%. It's a very strange Japanese movie - a fantasy with some animation - involving 2 sisters who live in a mansion and scavenge a nearby town for things they collect. One day they find some red yarn, and then the trouble begins...It's very good, but mysterious.

Tonight I watched Wall-E. I thought it was ok - sometimes animation, especially involving robots, doesn't touch me. Probably didn't help that I heard Steve Squyres today on NPR talking about how he disliked hearing the Mars Rovers characterized as plucky or determined - they're robots!

Posted by: seasea | January 4, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

SCC: sipp't

Posted by: Yoki | January 4, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Well, "adaptable" might be the proper robot rover bon mot, but that word is so vague.

"The Energizer Bunny of Mars" would probably involve some copyright issues, though.

I do remember that Martian on Looney Tunes being rather stubborn... maybe he was a robot?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 4, 2009 12:47 AM | Report abuse

Just backboodled and read you kind words about my father's passing. Thank you so much. It helps to know so many others understand the pain of permanent change.

But as has been said my dad lived a long exciting life and died fairly peacefully knowing his family loved him. Couldn't ask for much more, really. It's the rest of us that must carry on. And we will.

Night all.

Posted by: Windy3 | January 4, 2009 1:06 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. Much love and peace, Windy.

Ah, the poets among us. It is marvelous.

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

I think out of all the people I've met, some married people seem to be the most unhappy. And I wonder if that is because they're married or something else? I know marriage isn't necessarily a blueprint for happiness, but the basis of it should bring a certain amount of happiness, don't you think? I can't talk about marriage with any superior knowledge, both of mine were disasters on a big scale. It just makes me sad when I see unhappiness in an institution that should bring happiness in some degree. Instead of praying and asking God to help me with my marriage, I wanted to run. And that is exactly what I did. I ran into another marriage. Same results. Perhaps if I had given both a little time and thought, the outcome would have been different.

Happiness, that elusive commodity. Only found when accepting God and Christ.

The weather here is wet, and they're talking more water. I don't think it will be frozen, just wet. Have a great day, folks. I want to go to Sunday school, and church this morning. Hope you can do the same.

Time to swim.

Posted by: cmyth4u | January 4, 2009 6:27 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Cassandra! I understand your thoughts on marriage. I went through one like that. Leaving it was the smartest thing I ever did, for everyone involved. Hindsight is 20-20, isn't it? I did everything I knew to do, but I couldn't make him happy. Family members have said that I kept him sane, but the price for me was way, way too high.

Yello, what do you mean, you haven't read Sense and Sensibility or Persuasion? You aren't educated, for heavens sake! Persuasion is my all-time favorite novel. I just have always identified with Anne Elliot.

Mudge, I hope you and your rosebuds rested well this night.

Posted by: slyness | January 4, 2009 6:50 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all.

Slyness, I have yet to be able to identify with any of Jane Austin's characters, but my favorite, I must confess is Emma. Such a silly, sweet girl she was.

Posted by: VintageLady | January 4, 2009 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Interesting games last night, although I'm really not invested in any of them. I AM rooting for the Ravens, tho.

And I have to say, the normally very astute Chris Collingsworth wandered into Wackyland during the ATL-ARI game. To condense things greatly, he feels Pat Tillman's sacrifice as an Army Ranger is automatic qualification for the Football Hall of Fame.

Tillman's gallantry and selfless service to his nation, and the horrible tragedy of his death, are undeniable. Those things took place off the football field, and therefore play no role in a HoF discussion. *shrug*

*avoiding-Stinky-the-Cat-and-preparing-for-another-football-filled-funday-complete-with-a-morning-jog Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 4, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and John Pike is off his rocker...

Don't know why people keep going to him for "analysis." *shrug*

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 4, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

John Pike is itching for Skynet to become operational.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 4, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

But I have seen all the filmed adaptations and most of derivative works as well (Clueless, Bridget Jones, et. al., ad imfinitum). Just last night I programmed a show starting next week on the Ovation Network (whatever that is, but I seem to get it) called 'Lost in Austen'. A modern woman finds a way to time travel back into Elizabeth Bennet's body and complications ensue.

I know, I need to enjoy the witty prose of the original. Trust me, I will get to them. Except maybe Northanger Abbey. I have to draw the line somewhere.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 4, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Happy Sunday ye Boodlers. Beautiful sunsrise this morning and not too cold.

The invasion of Gaza has my six o'clock alert buzzers going off the Richter scale.

Posted by: Braguine | January 4, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

About to leave to meet friends in Princeton, but want to shout out to the most excellent Yoki. Thanks for taking us to Banff last Spring.

Don't miss the slideshow. :-)

Posted by: -dbG- | January 4, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

morning all
Scotty,I agree with you that the talk about Pat Tillman being in the HoF just seemed strange.

Yesterday was Edgar Allen Poe's 200th birthday,here in Baltimore they held some reading of some of Poe's better known works.....including "the Raven"

Today's game is in Miami,with gametime Temps in the 80's,I hope all the ravens fans that made the trek enjoy the weather and bring us home a win.It is always tough to beat a team twice in the same year,but I am confident we can win.

Go Ravens


Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 4, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

A nice article about Raven's quarterback
Joe Flacco,I have been truly amazed by his maturity and poise.This is the NFL and every game seems bigger then the next.,0,198011.story


Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 4, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle, Cassandra.

Thanks for that link, dbG, funny to see a place that is really our own backyard treated as a 'destination.' But poor me, no time or money to go skiing :(

This is a busy day chez Yoki, the day everything that didn't get done in the past two weeks must be dealt with.

Have a great day, everyone.

Posted by: Yoki | January 4, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Mostly sunny and 43 degrees here at the moment; it could be a lot worse for this time of year.

Jeez, Scotty, you're right. Pike really is an idiot. I made it about two-thirds the way through the first page and gave up in disgust. I'm not sure which was more amazing: the number of plain factual errors, or the bizarre conclusions he sometimes draws. This guy is supposed to be a military expert? I'd never heard of him before (although I've visited his Web site). No wonder.

Well, about three-quarters of the Christmas stuff got put away yesterday, so the remainder goes this morning.

We four fearless football prognosticators -- and every other expert, be it Las Vegas gambler or TV talking head -- went 0 for 2 in yesterday's two Wildcard games. ALL of us got skunked not just bc, LiT, omni and me. Who'd a thunk it?

So we have two more games today. Surely we'll scratch our way back to 50-50 today, no? (And don't call me Shirley.) Will our beloved birds get cooked? as the creatures from the sea prevail? It's Icarus versus Poseidon in Round Two, ladies and gentlemen. Stay tuned...

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 4, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

...and all due respect to your Ravens, GWE, but I have trouble with a quarterback named Flacco. Yes, part of it sounds like Falco, Keanu reeves' name in "The Replacements," and part of it has to do with the utter banality of the name, "Joe Flacco." Just has no ring to it. To me it sounds like it ought to be the name of a third-rate Roman senator, like Vertiginus Publius Flacco.

Still, I hope he wins.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 4, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Well, of course, some people will have issues with Flacco or "flaco" which means "skinny" in Spanish, especially when food is their "flaco lado" (weakness).

Perhaps these same folks have issues with Flaco Jimenez, the accordionist? Here's Joe Madden (not John) on the button accordion--as close as I can come to caring about football this morning.

Here's Flaco:

Posted by: laloomis | January 4, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

g'morning boodle.

s'nuke-I don't know who is the bigger idiot, John Pike or the people who turn to him for "analysis."

The Strib's main travel feature this morning was about Honolulu. The writer had me with her opening graf about flying to Oahu and a fellow passenger saying she never stays there because it's too touristy "It's like going to France and avoiding Paris because it's too touristy."

The MN SC did not act on Coleman's motion for emergency order, asking for a count of rejected absentee ballots. These ballots have now been rejected twice, first by the counties on election day and again in the recount process. I have trouble with the SC's ruling of Dec. 24th, calling for the campaigns to have a role in deciding which ballots would be counted, as did Justice Page and Sec'y of State Ritchie. But, if the Coleman campaign thinks they can turn MN public opinion against the process they better tread carefully. Even a hint of comparison to Florida, which is invariably noted, raises bipartisan hackles like being equated with such bastions of clean elections as Zimbabwe.

Mr. F and I went for a walk in the snow yesterday evening and were greeted in a downtown park by neighbors with a very hearty "17 more days!" Kind of magical in a park festooned with lights (all winter, not just for the holidays).

Back to reality today, what to do first-seal grout or paint?

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 4, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I've got some grout that needs to be done. Come right over and I can get you started.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 4, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I beg to differ, Scotty.. I think Chris Collingsworth resides full time in Wackyland.

Just put on SNL from last night on the Tivo and caught the last few minutes of overtime in the Chargers/Colts game. Bonus!

Posted by: -TBG- | January 4, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Mudge,I was an extra in the movie the Replacements,along with 60,000 other folks.Now was that the year the Redskins won the Super Bowl? Because they fielded a more competitive team during the strike when other teams didn't care.

As for the name Flacco, let's just call him Joe Cool,or Smokin Joe,I don't care.He could be Joe Dirt or Joe Mama for that matter.But he has taken us to the playoffs as a rookie.Maybe King Joe.

Well off to watch the pregame hype,and the game.

Have a Great day Everyone!!!

Go Ravens!!!!


Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 4, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I made it down the mountain and even beat Mr. T home. He stopped for gas but caught up with me, but the way I went was a bit quicker. It helped, of course, that I ran a red light and got ahead of him. ;-)

Yello, Northanger Abbey is my least favorite, I suppose because I never read any of the gothic novels Austen was spoofing. VL, I'm such an Anglophile, I guess that's the reason I get into Austen so much. I have read enough about the times to understand the background to the novels.

Waiting for Third Dottir to arrive. She and the twin boyz are coming to lunch after church. We went to breakfast, so I didn't leave in time to make the service.

Posted by: slyness | January 4, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

A couple of quick comments -- I'm going to try to sit down later this evening and read the Outlook section on futurism and Science Fiction, topics near and dear to my hydrauilc oxygenation pump and logic circuitry (faulty as it is).

Mudge, in hindsight, we shouldn't be that surprised to be 0h-fer in the Wild Card round of the playoffs so far. We all picked the visiting teams, and while the home team typically wins 57% of the time in regular season NFL games, and I think the percentage is lower for the Wild Card round (probably still over 50% I think) as it pits potentially hot/strong Wild Card teams against the Division winners with the weakest records (see Arizona and San Diego), that home field counts for something...

gwe, the Washington NFL francise was far better prepared for the strike season (that "The Replacements" was based on) as compared to the other teams. Such is the kind of intangible but clear advantage that competent management can bring to any enterprise (see the Ravens drafting Flacco and following the Steelers/Roethlesburger model).

Games at 1 and 4:30 today, I believe.

The news of war and violence in Gaza strip continues unabated... could it have been timed timed to occur while the Bush Administration was still in place here in the US, versus the Obama Administration?
(If this has been suggested previously, please accept my apologies.)

Now to make lunch for the kids...


Posted by: -bc- | January 4, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, Persuasion is my favorite, mostly because I would be friends with Anne Elliot. I like all the others -- even the Abbey one because it is a spoofy novel. Jane tried her hand at a genre not well understood....the understated spoof. I like spoof. Let's start a spooferian studies program....

I think that Elizabeth was not happy over the long run with Mr. D'Arcy. i am someewhat alone in my take here. But the

Woman: Behold the Dark and Glowering Man as a Object of Desire and Transformation

Trite and unhappy, usually. Also, do not like Jerry Maguire for this reason.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | January 4, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

CqP, you could be right there.

However, the book said his employees rather liked him and they saw them day in and day out, and he has highly amiable friends.

So maybe he was dark and glowering due to celiac disease from having to eat inn food or his friends' cooking? Other than that, I concur that women shouldn't look at a beastly man and assume there's a prince underneath. The beast's still attached.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 4, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

CP, you are just brilliant. So glad to have you to express with I've always thought about Elizabeth and Darcy.

I was interested, yello, when you called Emma sweet and silly. I've always seen her quite differently, as a monstrous ego, as a dangerous destructive force. Only other characters' actions mitigate the potential ruin that would be the natural result of her behaviours.

Posted by: Yoki | January 4, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Meant to add, Darcy's packets and packets of money probably were an object of desire as well. Pemberley!

Posted by: Yoki | January 4, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I haven't read it in a long time, but my sense is that she had to have been bored out of her freakin skull.

Posted by: LostInThought | January 4, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I found her quite a narrow-minded snob too. But as she does change through the book and gains some humility, that makes her character more appealing.

And I think the book has a more active portrayal of the male romantic lead than the other books, actual conversations/friendships between men and women that doesn't center around flirting.

Emma may have a monstrous ego, or she is simply more accurately shown in her flaws and impulsive speech than the other leads.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 4, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Yes, she definitely needed a job or a course of hard study, or something.

Posted by: Yoki | January 4, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Wow, from football to Jane. Gotta love this place. Today was one of those mornings were I really did not want to get out of bed. I knew there were too many chores waiting. But I have now mastered the Garage (though I fear it shall rise again) gone on an expedition for groceries with the wife and daughter, and am now about to head out to BJ's to buy large manly sized containers of stuff. You know, like cotton balls.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 4, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Interesting. We are a fairly diverse group but we all agree Pike is an idiot. He should go watch Robocop again, just for starters.

I have ongoing discussions with my Gulf war vet friend about the Army and occupations. Granted, the morons in office and their brown-nosed fellow-travellers in media refused to even think about occupation of Iraq, and kept terming it "war" long after it became occupation. It seems that the concept of befriending the local populace was extremely foreign to the minds of most and came far too late. But enough of that.

The preference for the boxed mac&cheese is powerfully confusing to me. Boil the macaroni, add either real cheese (my method) or powdered cheese. The labor involved seems almost identical. There must be something in the powdered cheese that improves the flavor. Research time!

Speaking of cheese, anyone tried the blue cheddar? This strikes me as new. Also very delicious.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 4, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Jumper... explain blue cheddar please. Sounds either delicious--or the block no one will touch currently in the bottom fridge drawer.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 4, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I also routinely use butter, and milk or powdered milk in my macaroni & cheese.

Found a "vegetarian" recipe for mac & cheese, AKA "Kraft Dinner" or cheese & mac.
The lemon juice jumped out at me.

At Kraft, I saw no mystery spices or "flavoring" on the ingredients:
but the citric acid jumped out at me. This may be the difference.

I tried one of Justin Wilson's recipes once in which he assembled the thing in a dish, added sauturne wine, and baked it. It's delicious. (He used several kinds of cheese, including cheddar and swiss, which I like to do also.) For Justin's recipe, no milk, just the wine. Which adds tartness.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 4, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Is it possible I am actually on to a new trend? Me, who is hopelessly behind?

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 4, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

As she begins to breathe again, the Hillbilly walks slowly back to his table.
His partner says, 'Ya know, I'd heerd of that there 'Hind Lick Maneuver' but I
ain't niver seed nobody do it!'

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 4, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Edward Reed, late of the City of Baltimore in the Colonies, and who once courted Miss Jane upon the heath, hath just intercepted a pass from Mr. Pennington and which was intended for the hands of Mr. T. Ginn, Esquire. Howsomever, said Mr. Reed returneth the pass a goodly 64 yards and arriving successfully and virtually unscathed upon the far end zone, did truly and well spike the ball. The fortunes of Mr. reed and his confreres now exceedeth those of Mr. Pennington, 10eth to 3.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 4, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Major breaking news: N. Mex Gov. Bill Richardson has withdrawn his nomination as Commerce Secretary for Obama, pending a grand jury investigation of a state contract.

You may now return to your Austenpaloozafest.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 4, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Y'all made me re-read Persuasion on Project Gutenberg. Up to chapter 7.

Anne is certainly busy running interference in her family.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 4, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... 10eth... such a number cracketh me up.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 4, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Son of G's first fun adventure of his Great Continental Crossing... zorbing in the smoky mountains...

Posted by: -TBG- | January 4, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, I'm guessing the macaroni with wine would come out something like mac-n-cheese fondue. Which would be delicious. Grate a pinch of nutmeg in there, maybe?

Posted by: Yoki | January 4, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

That looks like a lot of fun, TBG.

Posted by: Yoki | January 4, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

If one added wine to it, I would think it needs to be renamed to sound a little classier. I suggest Maque et Fromage au Vin, which is kinda literal. Perhaps Noille Blanc et Fromage Jaune au Vin might be better.

One notes with some irony that there are several Op-Ed pieces predicting the future ("Fasten Your Seatbelts" and "Stone-Cold Killer Robots" by the aforementioned John Pike) followed by an Op-ed describing why predictions are so often wrong (and it makes a major mention of football prognostication), at

Meanwhile, Mr. McClain hath chanced his hand upon the gridiron, and hath completed an urgent perambulation into the nether regions of the oponent, with the consequent applause of the masses. He and his colleagues now are in the advance, 20eth to 3. Much distressed, Mr. Pennington hath chosen to abandon the conferences with his teammates prior to the release of the pigskin obloid, and hath thereby achieved seven consecutive passes, much advancing in a manner more pleasing to his friends than yet previously emcountered. But oh! Mr. Reed has yet again intervened with another interception, thwarting the wishes and desires of Mr. Pennington and his worthy cohort! There is woe upon the far sidelines, methinks, and much merriment upon the near.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 4, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Zorb, shmorb, you haven't known true excitement until you seal grout assisted by an eight month old kitten.

yello-re your 11:25. I will tell you the same thing I'm telling Mr. F from now on. "Seal your own $%#@ grout." I do have a well trained assistant I can dispatch to your home, if I don't dispatch her otherwise before the day is through.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 4, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

We have returned from BJ's Discount Warehouse store. The hunting was good. I snagged the largest bottle of maraschino cherries I have ever seen. We're talking a 4-pounder. I feel the testosterone surge. I believe I shall make myself a Seven and Seven with multiple cherries to celebrate.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 4, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

A nautical quote from Mrs. Croft in Persuasion regarding hardships:

"We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days."

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 4, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Well, what does one know? the seemingly hapless Mr. Pennington hath completed a transference of the obloid through the ether to Mr. Ronald Brown, leaping cavalierly into the the goal region and producing for his colleagues 6eth points. However, gien the opportunity to add another point upon the scoreboard with a stroke of the leg, the unfortunate Miamians have their intentions thwarted by a block, being the fforts of Mr. Frank Walker, and thus the Miamians are still two full scores in arrears.

Meanwhile, I am amused by the new BurgerKing Whopper ads that have finally deep-sixed that loathesome king figure, and instead are focused upon feeding Eastern Europeans who have never experienced fast-food hamburgers their very first Whoppers. These persons are said in the ad to be "Whopper-Virgins," and the ad asks, "Was it good for you, too, Whopper-Virgin?" So far, the series of ads have not yet asked the benighted Transylvanian how it feels to have lost his Whopper-Cherry. But then, there's a whole 'nother game coming up.

BTW, for those of you copy editors keeping score at home, the WaPo desk has yet again erred: it is seat belt, two words, not seatbelt, one word ("Fasten Your Seatbelt" op-ed). I am intimately familiar with an entire gummint agency that says so.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 4, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm enjoying your commentary, 'Mudge.

Posted by: Yoki | January 4, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Emma is not suffering from massive ego, but from the massive ego of extreme youth, a very different thing. Even if it were simply massive ego, it would have been part and parcel with her station in life, as 'the leading young lady' of society. That she is guided ineffectively is also part and parcel of her station in life.

And Mr. Darcy, is not so dark and glowering as having difficulty among strangers of his same station. He is easier with people who are not of his station because he knows where he stands with them. He is the boss.

In modern times, Mr. Bingley would be the popular fellow, the affable jock, the guy who always has a girlfriend or is looking for a girlfriend, and Mr. Darcy would be the guy quiet but handomse friend who drove the car when Bingley had a date with a hot young thing.

Pennignton would be such a fitting name for an Austen character, though I confess, Mr. Brown sounds rather more Victorian to my unschooled ear. Perhaps more Vanity Fair. Is there a Mr. Brown in Vanity Fair?

Posted by: --dr-- | January 4, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. Many hearty thanks, kind Mudge, for the exceptional recounting of today's sportive pastime. Verily, it appears that the Bird hath eaten the Fish, or is well entrenched in the process thereof.

The Birthday Cake has been baked and may soon be frosted. I began this process early this morning and was delighted that both layers came out of their respective pans whole - possibly a first for me. I proceed apace with the creation of a syllabus and initial reading assignment. The Boy is deeply involved in his science project. I expect momentarily to be called in to act as lab assistant for the messy part.

Good hunting, RD! One can never have too many maraschino cherries - and if one can, you're in a position to make the discovery.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 4, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Snow Village is down and packed away. We have scooped up two gallons or so of plastic snow, which of course is all over the sunroom and den. Mr. T is using the vacuum, but he has a deadline: Carolina plays at 5:15.

dr, you are right about Emma's ego. I wonder what kind of man Mr. Woodhouse was in his youth, to have property to manage and to attract and marry Emma's mother. No wonder his daughter is such a silly snob! She is certainly a product of her time and place in society. I remember reading that Emma was Austen's favorite heroine.

Think of what Elizabeth Bennet could have accomplished if she lived today, instead of 200 years ago. She would be a Harvard grad, Harvard Law Review, and a partner in the firm within five years. She wouldn't need Darcy.

But in her day, a woman without an inheritance was penniless - like Austen, as a matter of fact. The wonderful thing about the plot is how Darcy goes from infatuation to humiliation to humility while Elizabeth also changes to see that he is the right man for her. I think they were happy together. He met his match in her, and was smart enough to appreciate that.

Pardon this interruption of sporting adventures.

Posted by: slyness | January 4, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

But you are speaking of the greatest sport of all, slyness!

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 4, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom-I feel guilty about my vicarious enjoyment of the boy's project. Was it just 5 years ago that Frostdottir announced on the eve of her return to school that she had a Science project to do, and it was already overdue? Camels pass through the eyes of needles more easily than the dott accomplished that project. Imagine Mr. F on one side of the needle's eye pulling, and me on the other pushing. After sending her back to school I felt as if I'd been dragged through a keyhole. Quite unfortunately she won a prize in the school science fair and advanced to the regional competition-where she was soundly and rightly trounced.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 4, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

My quest for a copy of Sense and Sensibility went asunder. Apparently the reason I don't have it already is because Half Price Books doesn't either. They had all the other Austen novels. When the clerk asked if I had found everything, I mentioned this lack to him, but he gave no sign that he actually cared (he was one of those dark, glowering types). Will have to check Amazon.

Posted by: seasea | January 4, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

No guilt necessary, frostbitten. Vicarious pleasure is always appropriate here. The Boy has actually accomplished quite a bit this afternoon. He's filled in the PowerPoint up to the experiment results itself. By actually reading his teacher's instructions (gasp!) he discovered he needed to include pictures, so we took some nifty pictures of him getting his final sample from the back yard and labeling the little bag of dirt, then holding up all six little bags. He has yet to actually write down the experiment protocol in the lab book (and PowerPoint), and I'll have him do that later today. He may not actually conduct the experiment until tomorrow. I think that would be great because Ivansdad can supervise while I'm at work. The experiment itself is easy: dirt in pot, check pH, check water pH, pour water through dirt, check runoff pH, measure difference. Discuss. Six times. Hee hee. No prize winners here, but we're going for the grade, not the fair.

The cake is frosted. Thank goodness for the Hershey Cocoa box recipe. Tasty and foolproof!

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 4, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Dark and glowering,
handsomeness included
For your desires...


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 4, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

bc's summary of the Philadelphia vs. Minnesota after the first quarter of play in Philadelphiaese:

Friggin' Iggles 3, Minnefrigginsoda, bupkus. FrIggles movin' da damn ball, mebbe dey'll get another $#!#y figgie on the &0^(&@g Vikes, da friggin losers. Yeah, I called 'em losers, ya wanta make something of it, @$$#0!&?! [belches loudly]


Posted by: -bc- | January 4, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Ah, so true, Wilbrod!

I greatly enjoyed rereading Wilbrodog's adventure with Spanx. A good thing to have in deep snow.

In my excitement over discussing Austen, I forgot to say that I got to feed boys a wedding cookie, crumb by crumb. They stood by my chair (holding on, of course) as I put some in their mouths. They have this feeding thing down pat. So fun, and so cute.

Posted by: slyness | January 4, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Why Mudge doesn't get invited to so many parties anymore...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 4, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

I am now much distressed to see that Mr. Adrian Peterson, being most adept afoot, hath perambulated but a short distance into the end zone, and brought his side to within two points of that accumulated by the bonny Laird McNabb and his fellow crofters, who enjoy (for the moment) a 16eth-14eth advantage.

Oh, dear, Mr. Curtis hath now launched himself into the air, whence the better to receive a passage from Laird McNabb, yet had his efforts o'erwhelmed by Cedric Griffin, a most villanous fellow who hath stolen that which rightfully should have conveyed to Mr. Curtis. However, it appears that time's winged chariot may soon intervene, to no one's advantage or distress, so the contestants may retire to their places of recuperation for a few moments, before resuming the contest.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 4, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

bc's second quarter summary, told in Philly-ese:

I! G! G! L! E! S! Iggles got two flippin' figgies, so I bought 6 beers. Den that %$@ddam Peterson ran for a friggin' Minniesoda TD, and I, uh, *spilled* a beer on the friggin' purple *@#%$$s in front of me, da bums. Ooops! _Sorry_ losers! Don't worry, I have more! Ha ha ha ha -- URP! [belches and staggers back in a recoil, leaning on his buddies, who shove him back upright] Woooo-hoooo! Yeah! Samuel picked on and ran the friggin' thing all the way emmeffing back! Where's that @()ddam beerman! 7 more emeffing beeaz ova here, d@mmit! [beerily waving sixty dollars in cash] What the frig? Peterson ran *another* in? And McEffingNabb threw a pick? EFF THAT! EFFING VIKINGS! Bench McNabb! Gimmie another flippin' beeah! [falls into his seat, looking out from under droopy eyelids for the Viking cheerleaders with eyes that have no white whatsoever]


Posted by: -bc- | January 4, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Why, it's just like being back in 1965 all over again!

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 4, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

(I refer, of course, to Mr. bc's amusing patois.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 4, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

In faith, I doth foresee a gentleman's quarrel over the fair honor of brotherly love astirring between Sir Curmudgeon and that knavelly bc.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 4, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

A quarrel? Think not!

More breaking news: in Minnesota, Al Franken will be named the winner of the senate seat tomorrow, by 225 votes. YEA!!!!!!!!!!! They'll be calling him Lanslide Al forever.

And Va. Gov. Tim Kaine will become DNC chairman.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 4, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about anybody else, but Mudge, I am almost getting interested in football with your Austenesque commentary.

Mrdr is cheering for Minnesoda and believe me, your commentary is all that is keeping me going.

Posted by: --dr-- | January 4, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Sure, Mudge?

"I love ya like a brother, man..."

"no, I love YA like a brother..."

Punctuate with beeaz and drunken wrasslin'.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 4, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

I suspect no one will know this except perhaps CqP, but Minnesota's head coach is a dead ringer for novelist John Barth.

Wilbrod, bc hath predicted Fulldullfya to win, as have I. There be no bad blood betwixt us.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 4, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

bc's third quarter summary, told in Fully-ese:

Yeeew wanta make sometin' of it, @$$#@!&? [Burps, reeling beerily]
[The rest of the summary is a nearly incomprehensible accumulation of such vile profanity and invective as to be completely unsuitable for reproduction in any form whatsoever. In FullyMan's esteemed (or is the esteamed?) opinion, essentially nothing happened in the football game.]


Posted by: -bc- | January 4, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Esteaming, I think, judging from that mist arising from that yellowish puddle around Fullyman's shoes.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 4, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

SCC: rising, not arising.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 4, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, verily, good sir; my reading of it, to the life!

And I am sore distressed upon the performance of Laird Westbrook, who hath been too well contained by the enemy, accumulating a mere two yards per effort, in something like 16eth attempts. Fortunately Laird McNabb seems to be performing much better and generating sufficient firsteth downs. And the defense of the Noble Fulldullfyans seems up to the challenge, methinks.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 4, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Well! Good Sir Brian (Westbrook) hath bestirred himself from his lethargy, and hath delivered the ball 71 yards into the far end zone. I am most pleased, most pleased.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 4, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Mudge -- I agree forsooth.

Verily, if Tavares Jackson is the answer written upon the stars, 'tis a question I would deem not worth imposition.


Posted by: -bc- | January 4, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

bc's fourth quarter summary as transcribed from FullyMan:

Ohhhhhh yeaaaahhhh! [Belches with Maximum Force, causing localized weather distubances within the Metrodomem, and speaks with a mouthful of bratwurst sandwich, lauching bits of meat and roll in all directions. ] Effin' I! Effin' G! Effin' G! Effin' L! Effin' E! Effin' S! Yeeeah! MceffingNabb to Westeffin'brook for seventywhatever yards, man! Effin' A! Eat that, emeffing Vikes! Eff youse! You got nothin', ya wanta make somethin' of it? Huh?! Fly, Iggles, fly! Hah! [FullyMan stands up with a half-eaten Bratwurst hanging out of his mouth, attempts several celebratory pelvic thrusts in the direction of the nearest Vikings fans, then passes out from the effort. The flock of four Eagles fans FullyMan travels with roll him onto his green Iggles coat face up, and, each grabbing a corner, pick him up by the four corners of the jacket and head for the exit.

The winged warrior is going home on his shield. Again.

Fortunately, next week's trip is only to New York. Burp.]


Posted by: -bc- | January 4, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "Metrodome"


Posted by: -bc- | January 4, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Nice commentary Gentleman,finally home after a long drive.I really enjoyed todays game and the hurting we put on the fish.5 turnovers usually gets you a win,and surprised by that many,after Miami set a record for fewest turnovers in a season. I just love seeing Ed Reed running wild with the ball,also a few crushing blocks by the ravens defenders during that return.

Something else I really like is the ravens running backs use of the stiff arm,just so nice when you can put a defender to the turf and finish off a big gain.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 4, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Methinks that Mr T, who has been seen of late with our own lady Slyness, is feeling very blue this ev'ning.

Dr G, of the Fairfax house of G, is steeped this night in sorrow.

Posted by: TBG- | January 4, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Glad I am to be preparing to take my leave and return to the country. To stay in the city with a gloom over the populace equaling the pall of winter is too much to endure. But, endure it I shall until Tuesday. Perhaps Monday's announcements from the sandstone edifice but a short distance from this spot will bring much joy.

Though I think it more likely events will resemble Dickens' Jamdyce and Jamdyce more than anything Austen.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 4, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

[Insert Marvin the Martian voice here] *You earthlings just crack me up!"

Posted by: Yoki | January 4, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Indeed, TBG, I am laying very low and not creating any disturbances. Mr. T is scanning the blogs, which are scathing, I'm sure. There had to be a loss, good thing it's over.

Posted by: slyness | January 4, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

The house of Padouk was split over the Iggle's game. My wife wanted Philadelphia to win because she comes from that area. My son wanted The Vikings to win because he has vowed allegiance to The Redskins and considers it a moral imperative to never cheer for another team.

I decided it was a good time to clean the rabbit cage.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 4, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Such a gnashing of teeth and renting of garments, I am sure to be saddened at the misfortune that wings itself, sorry, into my view. Oh dear, shall we ever feel joy rippling across the pebbles of our very inner springs?

To remedy this -- and more -- I shall commence the windings and unwindings of such gaily-colored silks. Neatening my handwork basket always soothes. And, I shall beg prettily that Emmeline Constanzia shall play pianoforte for us all.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | January 4, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

I mean my son has vowed to never cheer for another team in our division.

There. Glad I've cleared that up.

It has been an exhausting day. Although not one without moments of sublime diversion.

I mean, have you ever had a 7&7 with multiple cherries?

'tis good.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 4, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

"have you ever had a 7&7 with multiple cherries?" Yes, and if we weren't the closest of friends and I ever sure that you won't think me a complete scandal, I wouldn't divulge this secret. Lean a bit closer-I can tie a knot in the stems with my tongue. (One at a time that is, I think it beyond difficult to attempt it with multiple cherries in one's mouth)

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 4, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

And I'm heading to the Big Bathub with a big glass of port, the Sunday WaPo, a good book, and some glazed figs.

All things considered, this ain't bad.


Posted by: -bc- | January 4, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "Bathtub"

frosti, you are clearly a woman of many talents. And quite the imagination.


Posted by: -bc- | January 4, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't understand a word of either the Austenesque of the Filly-speek summaries. But then I don't know who plays in the Kingdome.

I did see the second half of the Poe-Birds game. Rookie coach and rookie quarteback tearing up the place.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 4, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Well, you know, no one plays in the Kingdome these days, because they blowed it up...or imploded it, to be more correct. Although it was years before they took all the signs down.

It's snowing again - and sticking. The weather people say it's supposed to warm up after midnight...I am dismayed.

Posted by: seasea | January 4, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't call Mudge's commentary Austenesque, Yello. More Chaucerian, IMHO.

Posted by: slyness | January 4, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Senor Tavarais Jackson was a young quarterback. A young quarterback playing the biggest game of his life. He applied the black grease on his cheeks like a scared young man who knew he would lose the biggest game of his life.

For he knew who wears the bull's horns, always loses in the gridded arena. It was only a matter of when the killing thrust would come...

I'm not a Hemingway fan. Does it show?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 4, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

I think so too Slyness. As the game wore on the forsooths got thicker. I suspect it was the sorrow and the joy that is football causing the stress.

Posted by: --dr-- | January 4, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Bill Richardson got a one-two punch (a left lead followed by a right cross) from 90212...he got 902-one-twoed.

CDR Financial Services
Ste 800
9777 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Little Green Footballs comments that Richardson threw himself under the bus.:

Posted by: laloomis | January 4, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Good points, slyness and dr. Anybody would regress to their native dialect in the heat of excitement.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 4, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Saw this nice story from the NY Times. I'm curious how much the haptic side of accessible technology will be developed.

If you go to visual OR verbal interfaces only-- no braille or other tactile input-- "accessibility" devices can be completely inaccessible to the deaf-blind.

That said, this guy sounds brilliant to me.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 4, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

The dinner is cooked and eaten, the dishes done, the cake lit, extinguished and consumed. I am assuming the football was watched though I did not partake. The syllabus is almost complete. The rabbit is in her cage; after attempting to eat today's newspaper she jumped on a table and broke a decorative bowl. I will see whether I can fix this. Poor rabbit.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 4, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

dr, is being most humble today - for someone celebrating a birthday and the joy of life!

Posted by: dmd2 | January 4, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ivansmom, a simple additional experiment for The Boy: dry his samples completely in metal cups (aluminum-foil cupcake cups work very well) after he has done his other stuff with them -- two hours in the oven at 200°F should do the trick. Weigh the samples. Return to the oven and run the self-clean cycle, or just cook for 3 hours at the oven's highest temperature. Cool the samples and weigh them again. Deduce the nature of the difference in the weight/mass of the samples.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 4, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

bc, bratwurst in Philly? I think not. Otherwise, . . .

Posted by: -dbG- | January 5, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse

scitim, i'm sure ivansmom would *love* to help with longer and more complicated science experiments, especially ones that involve baking mud.

i enjoyed the football commentaries, both highbrow and lowbrow.

cp: "renting garments"? you mean like a tux? ;-)

Posted by: LALurker | January 5, 2009 1:12 AM | Report abuse

For more fun, repeat the pH testing on the ashed soil.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 5, 2009 2:39 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends. Oh, the fun of science projects. My late sister decided she wanted to teach, and had to go back to school for some course work, science being one of them. She enlisted my son to do a science project for her. He was in high school at the time. It was a volcano with the fake mountain and the stuff that explodes. My son loved it, my sister also, but for different reasons.

Well, it is Monday morning, and everyone gets to go back to what they were doing before the holidays, including the kids. I know they're loving this.

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

Can someone tell me the job the elder Bush is touting for his son Jeb? Surely not president?

And why did Richardson accept the offer of Commerce secretary when he has to know that the light shines everywhere, even in New Mexico?

As bad as things are in America, we still have folks that are angry, and will have that anger addressed despite the consequences of such behavior. Some of that is why we're in this mess now. We can be a nation of change as history has shown, but it always come with a price.

We have very dense fog here. I'm going to wait for the walk. Just need a little bit of light. Have a good day, folks. It is the beginning of a new year. Off with the old, on with the new. If you can hug your love ones this morning, you are blessed in ways I cannot begin to say. Take advantage of the opportunity.

Time to swim.

Posted by: cmyth4u | January 5, 2009 5:20 AM | Report abuse

*finished-an-even-earlier-than-usual-Dawn-Patrol-but-for-the-usual-reasons Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 5, 2009 6:29 AM | Report abuse

That is what a Sensitive New Age Guy I am, I didn't even know there wasn't a Kingdome anymore.

And while I have never been quite sure what the allure of cherry stem twisting is, it does entrance the fellas at a bar.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 5, 2009 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Is it morning yet? There's no hint of light in the east; Aren't the days supposed to be getting longer now?

Oh yeah, it's foggy and supposed to rain. I won't complain about that - yet.

G'morning everybody. The sun will come up eventually, even though Carolina lost last night.

Cassandra, I hope you have a pleasant walk. I'll see about mine.

Posted by: slyness | January 5, 2009 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle!
Beautiful sunrise and mild temperature here.

Vroom, vroom, doing a high speed taxi.

Posted by: Braguine | January 5, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

I think Frosti and a couple other Boodlers will agree...

BAD idea. BAD BAD idea. The real "experience" will have people screaming "false advertising."

And 'Mudge -- since when does the NYT call young punks "Mr."???


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 5, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

I recall helping my son with his science experiments.

The hardest part was getting him to understand that not all good science experiments explode. (Although some do.)

And that experiments involving human subjects were forbidden by the school. So "the dynamics of allergic reaction" was right out. We weren't going to plot his sister's skin color as a function of time even if she *did* agree to eat that stuff.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 5, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

And goodnight, Commissioner...


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 5, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

We are in sciencefaireland, too. Acoustics and decibels. 'Tis my agenda, ya know, the musician and all. Needs to learn first-hand about ear drums and noise damage to hearing. Could be our last SF ever, for which I am glad. I had bad science more than no science.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | January 5, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Make that:

i HATE bad science more than no science. And Ivansmom, good for you to go for the learning. In elementary school scifaireland, I cringed at all the unlikely projects with parental fingerprints written all over them.

We worked with earthworms once, RD. Very carefully and very respectfully. We rescued them from a bait and tackle shop. The descendants live still in my plot. CPSCIBOY cleaned up at the elementary school faire, but at the next level we were disqualified for GASP, experimenting with animals. Oh, the horror....insert Edvard Munch Scream-Face.

Use the Scream face if you like for the Monday that is upon us.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | January 5, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

dBG, the Iggles game was in Minnesoda.

Bratwurst, indeed.


Posted by: -bc- | January 5, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

I was going to try to come up with some mock umbrage or a salacious double entendre for this sentence from Howie's Style section article on Liz Claman, but my meager talents can't do it justice:

"On a recent Monday, Claman -- a bright red dress offsetting her red hair, her leopard-print stilettos hidden under the anchor desk -- begins the 3 p.m. hour on a down note."

Alas, no photographic evidence of said ensemble.

Go to town folks.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 5, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Morning all! RD.. your son is correct... never root for another team in the division, unless that team can knock another division rival out of the playoffs as a spoiler.

Yello... I know as much about baseball teams as you do about football teams. I remember once saying to a young friend of the family, "There's a team called the Diamondbacks!?!"

To which he replied, aghast... "YES! And they won the World Series last year!"

Posted by: TBG- | January 5, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Science fairs are something I look at through the rear view mirror and bid good riddance. I even judged then one year. Some were very nice projects, but the scientific method approach was sorely lacking in most. Just made me cringe.

At the other extreme, it was very apparent which students had parents employed at NIH. Those projects were well beyond my undergraduate level science education to comprehend let alone judge.

My boyhood elementary school award-winning project involved parallel gerbil mazes, one with opaque dividers and the other with clear partitions. The maze was built to my specifications by my dad which caused some grumbling of excessive parental involvement amongst the sour grape losers. That maze then cluttered our garage for several years.

Since the maze experiment involved the use of family pets, it would be strictly forbidden nowadays.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 5, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

I'm baack, the walk was more of a swim.

Doncha just love the Obama Administration already? It's a shame that Richardson felt he had to withdraw, but it was the right thing to do, given the circumstances. Imagine a cabinet pick doing the ethically correct thing beforehand! Integrity, what a concept.

Posted by: slyness | January 5, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

A new Doctor Who:

Young and hunky and perhaps just a little goth/emo.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 5, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Something tells me that doing the ethically correct thing was not Richardson's call. And you have to suspect Blago's antics have cast in an unfavorable light activity that might not have otherwise attracted attention.

Yesterday's Doonesbury was sheer genius more or less on that topic.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 5, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Ah yes, science fair judging...

A reporter's background in asking questions (and being able to note responsive answers among the blowing smoke) sure came in handy, but I'm glad someone else is handling that task now.

And of course, my last experience in actually participating in a science fair was spring 1979, where I had the good fortune (sorta) to have made a nuclear reactor core mockup. I know, how out of character for me. I lost out to some schmuck whose model-railroad-obsessed dad built for him a detailed scale model that did NOTHING to explain how the reactor core works.

'Scuse me while I go rinse away the taste of decades-old bile... *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 5, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Integrity, what a concept. Yeah, right.

From what I've read and heard, the New Mexico papers began reporting the Richardson imbroglio last August. The Washington Post was late in picking up on this coverage when it ran a story on page A4 on December 14. Other media, including the Los Angeles Times, reported on it between these two time periods, the LAT certainly interested since Rubin's offices at CDR Financial are in nearby Beverly Hills--at Wilshire and Santa Monica Blvds. Certainly Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's recent "pay for play" scandal focused more attention on Richardson's troubles and similar situation.

The grand jury investigation in New Mexcio will ultimately decide how clean or dirty Richardson is in this situation. The question is how did Richardson make it through Obama's supposedly squeaky clean vetting process, again since the New Mexcio papers were on the story five months or so ago? Awaiting the grand jury's probe...

CDR has never been charged with a crime, but The New York Times and other newspapers have reported the company has been closely linked with legal "black box deals" used by AIG Insurance, J. P. Morgan Chase and other companies to sell municipal bonds that benefit the issuing companies, but rarely benefit the low-income people who are supposed to get help.

Posted by: laloomis | January 5, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

New kit.

Which means mudge is about to publish his three part magnum opus of the morning relating the NFL play-off picture to the social scene of early 19th century Bath.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 5, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

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