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A Smashing Super Bowl

The problem with the Super Bowl is that's it's just too violent. Not the game, mind you - that was filled with athletic grace, with courage and pluck, with wowzer plays and a final fingertip-and-tippy-toe catch in the corner of the end zone in the final minute to seal the deal. That was a great game. But the advertisements left the viewer battered and bruised.

By the time, late in the game, that the stuffed koala bear with reading glasses got punched in the face, we were no longer capable of being surprised by any gesture of gratuitous mayhem. Why else would you have a stuffed koala bear with reading glasses on the screen, if not to smash it right in the kisser?

A snow globe thrown into a vending machine to render all the junk food free, that's funny. A snow globe then thrown into someone's crotch: Har! Funnier yet!

We are, to judge by the Super Bowl commercials, a nation made up entirely of 13-year-old boys. And this is not all bad. It's fun to be male and 13, except for feeling as though you're about to go supernova with sexual frustration. The world seems like such a funny place, so jammed with irony. And there are literally billions of women walking around, each one carrying beneath her garments an astonishing array of biology. Your brain feels massively engorged, powered by billions of newly connected neurons, and yet it is utterly ungovernable, untrained in the rules of decency, and generating spontaneously all manner of ideas and images that society would never condone. Indeed you are almost incapable of having an "appropriate" thought. To be 13 and male is to be a stick of dynamite at the tea party.

If you can maintain that sensibility into your adult life, you can get a job at an ad agency.

One of the Doritos ads directly played off the boy-man psyche. A guy takes a bite of a Dorito and suddenly the attractive woman walking toward him is rendered naked but for her undergarments. Cool, he thinks. He looks at an ATM, takes another bite, and money flies out like confetti. He sees a cop, takes a bite, and the cop dissolves into a tiny primate. But then he runs out of Doritos - and is hit by a bus. Flattened! [Shales liked it, fyi.]

There was much cleverness in the mix, to be sure. The grease monkeys. PepSuber. Super Bowl commercials love animal acts. But it's the violence that forms the backbeat. Even the Audi commercial, for a new, classy sportscar, seemed desperate to communicate in car-chase language.

There were lots of movie promos, and they all seem to involve superheroes, explosions, monsters, dinosaurs and aliens from space. I guess when you're a big studio and you want to run an ad during the Super Bowl, you don't decide to do a 60-second spot for "Doubt."

Paul Farhi had a fine piece in The Post the other day about women sports reporters being shut out of the announcer's booth. Here's a question: How many women are allowed to work on the big accounts for ads that'll play in the Super Bowl?

Shales summed it up nicely at the end of his column: The Super Bowl is "the very essence and definition of a quintessential national event -- and a crash course in national habits, morals and values." So what I learned is: we like violence, sex, explosions, anthropomorphized animals, cars and beer. (What was I expecting, Masterpiece Theatre?)


Ron Cook of the Post-Gazette says the James Harrison 100-yard interception return is the greatest play in NFL history. Nope. I'll concede that it belongs in the conversation, but the best single play still has to be Franco Harris and the I.R. -- because it turned a playoff defeat to victory on 4th and 10 and was so freaky and improbable that even the network cameras missed it.

By Joel Achenbach  |  February 2, 2009; 9:35 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Super Bowl XLIII
Next: Inventing the Future



And reposting:

"As far as the BPH goes, did we agree to postpone a week?"

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

So, were there any plays or commercials *better* than the goal line interception and 100yd touchdown run? We are not a sports-watching family, but the ScienceSpouse and I were blown away not merely by the individual player's athleticism, but by the way that his team-mates put together his protection to make that run over the length of the whole field. And somebody *else* got the MVP award?

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 2, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Drive by...

Yes, we are rescheduling the BPH for NEXT Monday; and...

I scored EXCELLENT tickets for Bruce Springsteen at the Verizon Center. It appears that it was sold out in about 4 minutes.

I am Spartacus!

Posted by: -TBG- | February 2, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Running immediately off-topic! Here's a toy that I want:

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 2, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

No, EYE am Spartacus!!

*hoping the ticket delivery service gets confoozed* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Hi, Joel.

I agree as I thought the commercials were horrendous. There are women and children in the audience and if one is averting one's eyes, it would seem you've lost your audience. I can't even tell you what the koala bear commercial was selling, that's how effective it was. If they weren't violent, they were demeaning women. Sometimes they were both.

Posted by: SarahBB | February 2, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

TBG - I just scored pretty good seats for Springsteen at Charlottesville. I was on at 10:00 but still couldn't get floor tickets...I think they all went very quickly. I'm still happy. I love Charlottesville and in early May! What a treat.

Posted by: Kim1 | February 2, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

on kit, I loved the line, "to be 13 and male is to be a stick of dynamite at the tea party". Parenting one of those sticks of dynamite is a thrill a minute, that's for sure.

Posted by: Kim1 | February 2, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I liked the Clydesdale ads, a little overanthromorphized, but then, didn't stay to watch all the ads.

The grease monkey ad bothered me. Sure, those young chimps are cute, but I'm not a fan of using endangered species for TV work.

Otherwise, you hit the basic theme of it all, Joel. I'm surprised they didn't have "I can f*rt bigger than you" jokes for Doritos.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 2, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Our National Anthem is....a NATIONAL ANTHEM. It should be sung with pride and dignity. It is not a torch song. It is not rhythm and blues. It is not jazz. It is not a spiritual. I am so tired of professional singers adding their own 'style' to the anthem. I did not watch the ball game but heard the Jennifer Hudson rendition of the anthem this morning on the radio. Disgusted. I guess if we want pride and dignity in our anthem they'll have to get a military band to play it. You certainly don't get it in the moaning and warbles of a female singer from Motown.

Posted by: Baltimore11 | February 2, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Front Page Alert, BTW...

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning Boodle
Happy Groundhogs day and Happy Birthday to you dad.I hope everyone in heaven enjoyed last nights game as much as we did down here.

From Harrison's record setting interception return,to Fitzgerald's break away Holmes game winning catch.I really though at the end we were headed to Overtime and the first super bowl to do so.It seemed only fitting for it to go to into OT.

Much cooler in west by god today and we are expecting rain and snow tonight. Yipee

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 2, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Granted, it has been a goodly number of years since I was 13, but I don't recall that having my *brain* engorged was ever truly the problem.

But back to the adverts. My guess is that the violence is inserted simply to make the ads more memorable. You might not recall, say, the subtle word play and humorous juxtapositions of a light-hearted spoof, but dang it, seeing a cuddly marsupial get its clock cleaned sticks with you. The same, of course, goes for sex.

What exactly does "Godaddy" sell again anyway?

Now, despite still being in touch with my inner teen, the more gratuitous shock ads have always left me a little cold. I felt sorry for that poor guy who got stomped on by the dinosaur in that old FedEx ad.

That said, I kinda liked the Doritos bit with the glass globe smashing the vending machine. If only they had had the sense to stop there. That was memorable enough for me. But by showing the boss getting hit in the crotch I am left with nothing but the concept of a painful groin.

Hmm. So it really does all come back to being 13.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

The tune of "The Star Spangled Banner" is from a british drinking song. You want that they should sing it with booze in their hands?

Military bands do "Stars and Stripes forever" not the Star Spangled banner. Get your patriotic music right. I'm deaf and even I know that.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 2, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Hey all...

Just a quick drive-by to say "hello".

So, "Hello!"

My home internet connection is down, so having to rely on the local library. In other words, I'm not dead, just disconnected.

Peace out :-)

Posted by: martooni | February 2, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

We can have a quintessential national event with less than 1/3 of the American population watching?

Count me in the majority, except I did see Jennifer Hudson, who was great.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 2, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

"Your brain feels massively engorged....."

Without going into details, I don't think that's necessarily the item.... I suspect we don't get input from women in the commercials or in the announcing because the game is perceived as being totally male, without the need for a lady's touch. I disagree. As for the commercials, why should they be any different from the movies we watch? We've been raised on violence and blood, would we be caught dead in a theatre that actually shows a movie without that deluge?

Great kit, JA.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 2, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Oh come on now Baltimore11. I thought Hudson did a wonderful job. Yes, some individuals have pushed their musical stylings of the National Anthem to unseemly limits, but I didn't think this was one of those cases.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

***You certainly don't get it in the moaning and warbles of a female singer from Motown.

Posted by: Baltimore11***

uh, genius, she's from chicago, not detroit.

Posted by: mycomment | February 2, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

"Our National Anthem is....a NATIONAL ANTHEM. It should be sung with pride and dignity. It is not a torch song. It is not rhythm and blues. It is not jazz. It is not a spiritual."

Bad news, Baltimore11: The music for 'The Star Spangled Banner' is actually ripped off wholesale (the kids today would say 'sampled') from the tune of what was a popular British drinking song of the time.

Of course, my favourite rendition of the song was Roseanne Barr's at that baseball game, so what do I know?

Posted by: byoolin1 | February 2, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Well, there was an interesting documentary about The Crash of 1929 on PBS, and there weren't any incidents of koala violence there.

I don't have tv access, but a friend mentioned this special, my husband was interested, and we found it on the internet. I didn't watch it all but probably will today.

- - -

What are the chances that being at war increases the level of violence on the home front? Especially since we collectively suppress the reality of the pain and death being daily doled out courtesy of our tax dollars--of course we don't want to think about it, but we can't forget it altogether, so it has to affect us.

Nomination for word of the day: mayhem

Posted by: kbertocci | February 2, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

My favourite national anthem singing is from "The naked gun" Leslie Nielson version is simply priceless.

Oh and tbg and Kim, can I be your best friend now?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 2, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I, for one, would love to listen to a football game broadcast from a female voice. From the conversations I hear at the office, I can attest that Girls can toss around the BS as well as any man, so put them in the booth and let's hear their perspective.

Posted by: Mako2 | February 2, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

There was no better football analyst than my mother. She would have been fabulous in the booth doing "color."

I hope some brave network gives it a try. They may be surprised. I LOVE football and would love to hear a woman in the booth. It bothers me that they only get to ask the coach what happened in the locker room and stuff like that.

Was Phyllis George ever in the booth, or was she the first of many sideline babes?

Posted by: -TBG- | February 2, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

No matter where the tune comes from, it should still be done in a dignified manner. I know all about the history of it and a distant relative wrote the words on the back of an envelope. And yes, military bands do play the national anthem. I've heard the Marine Corps band playing it.

I recall an incident years ago who Jose Feliciano did his own version of the anthem for the World Series and patients at a veterans hospital threw objects at the TV screen. I'm sure they did the same thing yesterday.

Posted by: Baltimore11 | February 2, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Baltimore11 no argument it should be respectful. And I have heard some that clearly are not.

But I still cannot, for the life of me, see why Ms. Hudson's was not considered respectful. Because it had a "soulful" sound? Remember this sound originated in church. Hard to get more respectful than that.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

A woman in the the booth. Isn't that what I was saying half the night? OK, only a quarter of the night

Posted by: omnigood | February 2, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Baltimore 11, are you saying it has to be your way or no way? I think the national anthem is a moving experience for all that sing it. We just have different ways of expressing those feelings. You make it sound as if it only belongs to a selected few.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 2, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Yes, just to add one more voice, I'd have loved to see the game, but skipped it because I'd have had to expose my young kid to all the ads. Probably the game by itself would be OK for them, I figure, as it's done in what is clearly a context of sport. But the ads are often just atrocious. Oh, well - I heard it was a good one.

Posted by: eyeswideopen2 | February 2, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, Baltimore11, I disagree. I thought it showed the passion of the song more than most singers (or not) bring to it. After all, if one listens to the lyrics, those are passionate lyrics and refer to *war* for goodness sakes. The last time I checked, war wasn't dignified. . . .

I'm with you TBG (no, not about the Springsteen tickets, although I'm frenvious) -- I also read the article about women sportscasters, and I'd love to hear a woman's voice on the broadcast for play-by-plays.

I spoke with a guy this morning who around my ancient age -- he thought that the commercials were horrendous. But then again, he said -- "I'm not a 13 year-old boy anymore." Yeah, the Bud horses were what they were. Ya gotta advance the story line year after year. We all know it's about selling beer. But don't they know that it's girls and women who are fond of horses? To whom do they think they're selling?

I think I'm leaving the sports arenas completely for awhile. First my dear beaten up and injured Red Wings fall to the Wizards, but the Pistons had an 8-point lead on LeBron James and the Cavaliers and simply caved. There is no point, I tell ya! No point at all!


Okay, now I feel better.

Hey, Yoki -- how ya doing? All settled in yet?

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | February 2, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Couple of quick items:

*Tim, what you witnessed on that 100-yard interception return for a TD was a well-executed blocking wedge as typically set up for on kickoff and punt returns. Usually, this does not result in returns for touchdowns as the teams are rushing towards each other 11 on 11, while in this case, many of the Cardinals were already behind Harrison as he got the jump on them and gathered steam - and a phalanx of blockers wearing the same uni - towards the Steeler end zone. For a DL, this was a dream come true - I did something similar in CYO football many years ago as a defensive end, read a screen pass, and timed my interception so that I caught it on a dead run heading the other way. Not being so fleet of foot, the other team's QB caught me and we exchanged words, stiff arms, and hand jive as he tried to drag me down and/or dislodge the ball before I crossed the goal line. We collapsed in a heap just over the goal line.

Of course, we were still down by 21 with a few minutes left to play, and the score didn't affect the outcome whatsoever. I seem to remember we didn't get the PAT, but I was trying to catch my breath to get out on the field to cover the ensuing kickoff.

I think Hudson did a nice job on the National Anthem, but I am fairly certain the version we heard before the Super Bowl had been recorded previously...

Joel, wasn't there a bit of a slapstick crotchical thread going there, with the other Boss' Extreme Close-Up (Scotty and I collectively winced and said "Ow!")and the snow-globe bit? [If you want to consider Mudge's Couch Incident, I'd say it Depends.]

Oh, yes, I think I can speak for many Amercians in that I do like slapstick comedy. Cheap laughs aren't necessarily bad ones, they're just not the *only* ones.

After all, isn't most laughter just crying without the tears? [And the most cathartic laughter *does* involve tears, IMO. Laughter and sadness sometimes seem to be very closely related...]


Posted by: -bc- | February 2, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I saw the end of that movie. I don't want any parts of being Spartacus.

(Although making love to Jean Simmons may temporarily change my point-of-view. Speaking of 13-year-old mindsets.)

I don't think anyone has yet picked up on the most curious (and I think nicest) aspect of all those Clydesdale commercials: they all have a very 19th/20th century sensibility, boy-horse-meets-girl-horse, boy-horse looses girl-horse, boy-horse rebels, breaks out of barn, tracks down girl-horse many miles away, fade-to-black before we see what comes next, etc. All very Romantic and "old school." Not at all hip, modern, fast, post-modernist, electronic, meta-ironic, whatever. I mean, they are all basically your grandfather's commercials. (I also like that you can almost forget entirely that they are selling beer. They are selling Black Beauty and Misty of Chincoteague, and Wilfire, etc. And to that extent, they are subtley pitched to women, I think, females being wildly horse-infatuated. Which is good; I'm not complaining. Just remarking.)

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 2, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

TBG, Phyllis George was quite a hero to me when I was younger - so wanted to have a job like her when I was a teen. Then however, the networks started to hire woman with what I viewed as looks over talent (and sports knowledge).

There was a time when I would have loved to have been a woman in the booth.

Posted by: dmd2 | February 2, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I tend to agree with Baltimore11 in general. (I did not catch it last night). I've heard some awful mutilations in the past. But I say this with a grain of salt attached, as I do love the Jimi Hendrix guitar version. It speaks to me.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 2, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I think Hendrix did a great job at desecrating the national anthem. I've only heard worse a half dozen times in my life.

I would say the he set the standard.

Posted by: Mako2 | February 2, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

ok, i'm over 40, female and enjoyed most of the ads....ok i admit to being a tomboy as a youngster and always getting a kick out of 'guy stuff' even as an adult.

Posted by: nall92 | February 2, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

What?! Gene Simmons? Oh, wait. Never mind.

RD, funny. I honestly have no idea what Go Daddy sells. I think maybe a body lotion.

Good thoughts to Yoki.

Posted by: engelmann | February 2, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Jumper - realize that B11 was attacking this specific rendition of the National Anthem as being "disgusting." That there have been interpretations of questionable taste seems pretty clear. But I would assert that *this* particular interpretation was nothing if not respectful.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I don't at all object to woman sportscasters, and I especially like our local NBC gal, Lindsey Czarniak (most especially because she's not the typical TV bimbo type, but a real person). The one possible trouble with asking for a female sportscaster is we might wind up with a Jillian Barbieri, whose trailer trash appeal I simply do not understand. She's about as far away from the much classier Phyllis George and Suzie Kolber schools as one can get.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 2, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

According to the article, the only women ever to be in the booth was Gayle Seares(sp?) who was and is a Tampa news personality. I would love to hear Suzy Kolber call a game. As long as Joe Namath was nowhere around.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

The Star-Spangled Banner, the national anthem (lack of capitals is intentional) is a piece of music, one that we happen to play on special occasions. It should be part of the living tradition of the country. When we decide that everything must be performed the way it was originally, interpreted the way it was originally, lived the way it was originally, then we are declaring that we want our country to be a dead museum piece. We want it exactly the way that it was in a largely-misremembered past. I, for one, would like to live in a country that has a future, and that means that traditions must suffer the experience of reinterpretation. Old traditions that cannot tolerate reinterpretation must be abandoned, and so on. In this way, we have abandoned the slavery that was enshrined in our Constitution originally, we have increasingly recognized and protected the civil rights of all citizens (not just the rich white male citizens), and we have reinterpreted what it means to be an American. Generally, I argue, for the better.

What do you know, Shales was right, the Superbowl *is* a national event that shows who and what we are -- or at least, that provokes debate on those ideas.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 2, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Joel, I am ashamed to admit that I had never before seen "The Immaculate Reception." Thanks for linking to that. And doncha just love the voice of the guy who does those NFL films?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I thought in general the ads were really second-rate. I agree with the boss that the tenor of most of them was right there in the teenage wasteland. The one that I got a chuckle out of, and I don't remember the sponsor, was the one where the moosehead was over the CEO type, and the minion on the other side of the wall was sitting under the moose's back end.

Posted by: ebtnut | February 2, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I sure don't get this channel:,0,6263203.story

Don't know if the url will make it.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

The most remarkable Super Bowl ad was just before kickoff: the one that solicited women to sell Avon products to ward off the effects of the recession.
That reflects a real change in who the advertisers think is watching, no?

Posted by: keng | February 2, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I disagree pretty firmly with Shales on that point, that the SB -- or any other event -- shows "who we are." I really hate those sweeping generalizations in part because they are overly simple-minded. Not to attack Shales alone; lots of people do it. I always hated the "America turns to the Right" or "America turns to the Left," whenever a Repub or a Dem wins an election. No, morons, America does not sweepingly turn this way or that, en masse. And to apply such as standard to a 50.1 versus 49.9 vote, or even a 53-47 vote, has always struck me as the height of absurdity.

It's a variation of the especially irritating noption that the Dallas Cowboys are "America's Team." That one has always fried my behind seriously. I hate "America's Team," America's Soft Drink, America's Suppository, the Officials Paper Towel of the Winter Olympics, and all that nonsense.

And, the SB doesn't tell us squat about who we are, any more than NASCAR does, or Masteropiece Theater does(n't), or whatever glittering generality or mass stereotype somebody wants to trot out in lieue of actual thinking. We are not all Archie Bunker, we are not all Jessica Simpson, we are not all Everyman. I have never seen the utility in creating such generalizations; I don't see how they are useful, and I don't understand why supposedly thoughtful people continue to trot them out. Shales, in particular, ought to know better. I cede nothing to Madison Avenue, I cede nothing to Hollywood, and I cede nothing to corporate America. Eff 'em all. We are complex, complicated, and diverse. Jennifer Anniston is not all our sweethearts. (It's clearly Evangeline Lilly, anyway, you morons.)

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 2, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Gayle Sierens:

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm a woman who loves sports and thought the game itself was terrific. But thank you for your comments about the ads. I commented several times to our friends, that the ads were directed at 14 year old boys. They were mostly awful. It might make more sense if the ads were directed at those of us who have money and buy things.

Posted by: Rozy1 | February 2, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

How is it that the Ledger (from Lakeland) seems one of Florida's better papers?

The commercial stuff reminded me of Volkswagen's "Pink Moon" commercial, which is still around, thanks to YouTube.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 2, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Sounds to me like it's only football fans, not Americans in general, who have not grown up much past early adolescence. Or at least, advertisers seem to think so.

Posted by: jamshark70 | February 2, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Padouk, you are coming very (very) late to the dance. The "Voice of God" behind the NFL films was the legendary late, great John Facenda, who was a newscaster/anchor in Philadelphia all through my childhood and college years. The people who started the NFL films, the Sabol family, were from Philly, too, and started on a shoestring budget, kinda working out of their kitchen, almost. And that being so, they just hired one of the local TV anchor guys, who was Facenda, from WCAU out on City Line Ave. They heard him in a bar, doing a voice-over, and auditioned him on the spot. And then of course the thing snowballed, and they used Facenda's voice until the day he died in 1984.

Facenda was popular in the region, and would often speak at various local events and almost any Catholic event, such as a spaghetti dinner at St. Aloyius School for Whatever could count on Facenda to be the dinner speaker. My father heard him half a dozen times over the years at various events. Facenda was a local Philly boy, and was a Villanova U. drop-out. Everybody in Philly loved him.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 2, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Amen, Joel. And to think that NBC wouldn't accept the PETA commercial while allowing all of these PG-13 (or worse) paeans to violence. I guess the Super Bowl is no longer intended as family viewing -- and I was just watching with my wife!

Posted by: eomcmars | February 2, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

RD, you're shaking my faith in humanity.

You've never seen the Immaculate Reception before and don't know the late great John Facenda (the voice of NFL Films for many years) by *name*?

Facenda today narrates in all those who ascend to the home of the Football gods on Mount Lombardi, as they jog out of the tunnel into the light of the Final Gridiron.

Mudge, I'm not a fan of sweeping generalizations either and they seem to me to only be helpful to people trying to establish "us and them" paradigms.


Posted by: -bc- | February 2, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

i have had the great good fortune of seeing all six of the steelers super bowl victories, and unfortunately i go all the way back to the time when they had bobby layne playing QB.

the interception return for a TD by james harrison is probably the greatest single play in the history of the franchise. even more improbable than franco's immaculate reception, because it was a 100 yard play.

the most interesting non-football moment of the game was just before kickoff, when the crew from the usair in the hudson plane was introduced. it was apparent that the players on the sidelines were showing genuine respect and appreciation for the courage of that crew. (it should be noted at this point that one of the women from the crew had her terrible towel with her.)

as for the ads, they are so far beside the point as to be meaningless, but i did detect that there was a generally mean-spirited, even vicious tone to them.

it is a good day to be a pittsburgher today. you may have heard that the town has temporarily been renamed--sixburgh.

Posted by: butlerguy | February 2, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. Lovely live Boodling last night. I actually watched some of the football, for a change. Extended family was there and we all agreed that the ads were overall lame - we'd watch an ad, then decide it should have been better. It was indeed the teen factor. I understand the idea that they want ads to be memorable, but I would think they'd also like you to want to buy the product afterwards. That part wasn't working for me.

I'd like to say that Joel did an alarmingly fine, even frighteningly fine, job of evoking the probable mindset of the ads' targets. As a parent of a soon-to-be teen Boy I found his description very disturbing.

About that national anthem - ScienceTim is right. It is a living artifact. I agree that some artist, in an attempt to make it their own, just mess it up. More often a singer merely employs a certain style or phrasing to set herself apart. I thought Hudson did that well. The key thing here is not the style, it is the time it adds to the song. As one who sings the Anthem at sporting events, I can tell you it is all about the game. Ballplayers like me because I sing the thing (wonderfully, I might add) and get out. I know that no matter how good I am, nobody is actually there to hear me. It is, sadly, easy for a singer to forget this.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 2, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Add "Who is John Facenda?" to the list of things I don't know which includes "Who plays in the Seattle Kingdome?" and at least a dozen things on the Jeopardy on-line contestant quiz.

But I can do a pretty decent "...frozen tundra of Lambeau Field."

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

The only thing I can say about Steeler fans is they aren't quite as obnoxious as Cowboy, Raider, or Eagle fans.

Very close though.

Posted by: Mako2 | February 2, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

...which Facenda never actually said, yello, just as Bogart never actually said "Play it again, Sam."

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 2, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I was a big fan of NFL films and the voice behind it.

Posted by: dmd2 | February 2, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, some boys are indeed horse-crazy.
Did you notice that emphasis was put on the Clydesdale's strength as well as romantic yearnings?

That works with the steriod-enhanced main act. (I liked the horse picking up the log bit-- obviously CGI but still funny).

I'll just say that as long as it's good enough to put your hand over your heart to, it works for me.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 2, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

And Cary Grant never said "Judy, Judy, Judy."

The list is nearly endless.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

My favorite commercial was the "show off" commercial with the Clydesdale and the Dalmatian. I just really like that Budweiser team.

The commercials, however, just left me confused. Not in an "I don't understand..." kind of way, but in a "what the hell does that have to do with anything?" kind of way.

Posted by: Sara54 | February 2, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

The "ain't no mountain high enough" romantic Clydesdale commercial didn't really float my boat, though. So they were 1 for 2 this year in my opinion.

Posted by: Sara54 | February 2, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

The group I was with liked the sweet Coke ad best. Or at least, that was the one that we spontaneously stopped our chitchatting for and watched. We commented on the poor koala, too, but couldn't figure out what he had to do with anything.

Mudge is right, I always love seeing the horsies.

Posted by: -bia- | February 2, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Look, bc, I said I was ashamed about that whole Immaculate Reception thing. Maybe this is, in part, because I lacked a local pro football team until I was in high school.

Nah, I'm just a freak.

Mudge - I admit the John Facenda ignorance is simply indefensible. I didn't even realize he had passed away.

A few years ago NFL Films teamed up with Nickelodeon to do some clever spoofs for kids. The narration sounded just like Facenda. So whoever is doing the voice for NFL films now has the "Voice of God" sound down pretty well.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Ha!!! Weingarten's Gene Pool thang today is about what I Boodled about yesterday: that nonsense about Michael Phelps apologizing for getting caught taking a hit off a bong at a college party. (A bong at a college party? How bizarre...) Apparently the Gene Pool is getting a massive amount of comments, sprinkled all over the map, as far as i can see.

Feinstein has an interesting piece about the stupidity of Phelps' handlers, who apparently tried to cover it alo up by bribing the rag that printed the phot. Are they out of their freakin' minds? Trying to bribe a newspaper, even a rag at that? These handlers ought to be facing some serious unemployment issues at this point.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 2, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Watched the game. For a long time boring. What with all the penalties? These guys are supposed to be the best. The guy with the most unsportsmanlike conduct gets penaltized a half yard. The game ended almost like a hollywood scripted movie. Fitzgearld gets only one pass 3/4 through the game. then they show his father in the stands and suddenly he makes two touchdowns. The underdog comes from behind for the biggest comeback in history. The steelers are almost crying on the sidelines. Then Homes gets fives passes in a row going down the field in the last minute. Where was the defensive adjustment to guard him? And the good guys win with the 'most spectacular catch in SB history' Give me a break. That catch seems to be made every saturday and sunday in football TV. After the guy seems so hot coming down the field, again where was the defensive adjustment?

Posted by: bh71 | February 2, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Ah, I see the current voice of the NFL is Earl Mann.

So keep that in mind yello.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

For the past 3 years I've let the game buffer in Tivo for 45 minutes after announced kickoff. Skip the pre-game. Skip the National Anthem (why do Black performers take 5 minutes to sing this???)
Skip the commericals, skip the halftime, skip almost all the commericials in the 2nd half and you are in real time just as the game ends.

Posted by: ImpeachObama | February 2, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Today's excellent Borowitz Report... Super Bowl Shocker...

Phelps Congratulates Cardinals on Super Bowl Win
Olympic Champ Praises Doritos Ad

Olympic champion Michael Phelps weighed in today on last night's Super Bowl, congratulating the Arizona Cardinals on their "awesome victory."

"The Cardinals really tore it up last night," said Mr. Phelps, who said he saw almost the entire game until he got "a wicked attack of the munchies" late in the fourth quarter.

"Maybe it was the Doritos commercial, I don't know, but suddenly I got unbelievably hungry," said Mr. Phelps, giggling uncontrollably. "I was like, man, I have got to get me some Doritos, stat!"

Mr. Phelps said that once he got to his kitchen, he became distracted when he noticed that his hand appeared to be growing.

"I must have been staring at my hand for an hour," he said. "It was kind of fascinating."

The Olympian said that by the time he returned from the kitchen, the game was already over, "so I didn't get to see the awesome moment when the Cardinals actually won, but I'm sure that was bodacious."

Mr. Phelps said he celebrated the Cardinals' victory by eating four bags of Doritos and swimming a victory lap on his living room rug.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 2, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Like I said yesterday, the only thing Phelps has that can be sold for big money is his sponsor-friendly image. But bribing a paper is just plain dumb.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

OK, I'm trying to be good here. Never mind that my hair is on fire and my head's about to explode.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 2, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

So, ImpeachObama at 1:28PM (and *that* handle sure makes me think that this is a person who enjoys logical discourse) came right out and said, more or less, that he identifies race with singing the Star-Spangled Banner in a way that he doesn't like. I'm just wondering how many of the other folks who expressed a dislike today for Jennifer Hudson's performance are willing to go on record as *not* endorsing this viewpoint.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 2, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

1:28 is zapworthy, I believe.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 2, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

OH.. I forgot! Hi butlerguy!

Posted by: -TBG- | February 2, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom's 12:52 said it well. I like Ms. Hudson's voice well enough; the song just went on a little too long for my taste. But compared with the waste of time represented by most of the commercials, it wasn't a big deal.

Ice and Motrin seem to be working. I am still (painfully) mobile.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 2, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

good afternoon boodle! Mr. F headed for St. Paul this morning and I have decided to deal with it by wallowing in self pity while I work. Amazingly productive with Eva Cassidy in the background covering Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine."

I don't think the commercials were any worse than usual, they just suffered in comparison to a great game. It's the first SB I've ever seen with edge of the seat excitement for a viewer without strong loyalty toward either team.

The creative stylings of pop singers are not what I typically look for in the Star Spangled Banner. However, I thought Ms. Hudson sounded and looked spectacular. While watching her I couldn't help but feel she was actually thinking about the words.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 2, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

the phelps thing is all about endorsement money and nothing else.

godaddy sells websites, website hosting services, etc. (in case no one mentioned it so far).

ivansmom, i liked your perspective on the national anthem since you actually perform it.

Posted by: LALurker | February 2, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

It would have been a lot better if she cut out the moaning and just sang the song.

Posted by: Mako2 | February 2, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, I appreciate why you would like to see the 1:28 zapped, but it does have the helpful effect of shining light on a subtext in some of today's comments that otherwise could hide behind cryptic coded phrasing.

Own up, guys -- are you really unhappy with how the woman sang, or are you, like "ImpeachObama", unhappy with how a *black* woman sang? And, if you're uncomfortable coming right out and saying such a thing, then maybe you might like to re-examine some of your musical opinions from earlier today and decide whether you were really being honest with us and with yourself.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 2, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Jennifer Hudson is a pop cultural hero who has a lot of well-publicized drama in her life. I can't think of a more fitting or qualified person to sing it.

They did have Faith Hill out there to sing some other patriotic song for the pointy white hood crowd. But some people just have to complain. And I'm not sure who looks worse in hi-def, Faith Hill or Al Michaels.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Went for a walk, had an insight flash.

[reminded me of the New Yorker cartoon, two scientists in lab coats, one says to the other, "What's the opposite of 'eureka!'?"]

Here it is: Those commercials were not created for the /Super Bowl/ audience. They were aimed at the /YouTube/ audience. Ah. Mystery solved.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 2, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure it is fair to accuse anyone who objects to overly "soulful" renditions of the National Anthem as being racist. Nor do I think it fair to characterize all black singers as being, by definition, languid singers.

I do think there is a legitimate debate over what is, and is not, a "respectful" interpretation of the National Anthem. I think that Hudson's was fine. I have heard some, by both black and white singers, that I was less comfortable with.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Brilliant observation, kb. NBC was pitching that all the commercials were available on Hulu as well. 14-year-olds on the web are the target demo. And I refused to go to the GoDaddy site out of general principle and self-respect.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Frosti that Hudson looked like she was thinking about the words.. She was *there.*

Here's a site where you can compare Hudson's rendition to Whitney Houston's in Tampa at Superbowl XXV in 1991 (during the Gulf War). Keep in mind that it was revealed later that Houston's version was pre-recorded and she lip synced it. That may contribute to my opinion that Hudson's was superior.,,20256269,00.html

Posted by: -TBG- | February 2, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse


White women sing like that, too. It's just the style that gets tiring. So for me, it's not how a "black" woman sang it. It's just that I get tired at the end of any song sung by any person in that style. I don't think it was bad, though.

Even some men sing like that. David Archuleta for example. Good, clear voice and good at all the runs and all that. But. Sometimes it just needs to be scaled back.

I generally like Jennifer Hudson. She has an amazing voice.

My uncle (great great great) wrote that song, by the way. Go Francis. My estranged father made that very clear on my blog one day (he's very proud of it) in a very creepy anonymous way, thinking that my mother wouldn't have told me in my 24 years of life. He was, of course, wrong. I used it for show and tell in the first grade.

Posted by: Sara54 | February 2, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I think the Koala bear deserved to be punched in the face.

It had glasses. And a foreign accent. That's reason enough for me!

Posted by: Skeptic1 | February 2, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I remember "The Simpsons" once spoofing a mythical black male soul singer who stretched the Anthem out for 20 minutes. So yes, there is something to the idea that renditions can become self-indulgent by some singers. But not all such renditions are by black singers. I have heard a couple of Celine Dione wannabes stretch the limits of patience and good taste as well.

Like many things, it isn't fair to paint with such a broad brush.

And I agree with TBG that Hudson's was way better than Whitney's

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Let me amend:
"It's just that I get tired at the end of any song sung by any person in that style."

That is to say, "if it goes one for too long."

I have nothing against that style.

Posted by: Sara54 | February 2, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Your position is perfectly reasonable, Padouk. But a person whose handle is "Impeach Obama" and who is so woefully ignorant of the very broad range of black music to lump all of it into one (stoopid) stereotype does raise pretty strong prima facie evidence for racial...insensitivity.

Nah, screw the euphemism. Let's just call it what it is: racism.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 2, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Best sung national anthem (IMHO) is here:

I can't think of anything else I like by this singer. Except this.

Posted by: Steve-2 | February 2, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I liked them both, but thought Whitney's was better. Perhaps it was because Whitney's was tied to the return of troops from the Gulf War, but that was the first an *only* time I've ever gotten verklempt at that song. I seem to remember either a Gladys Knight or Aretha version that was also spectacularly good and bluesy, yet sung in the singer's own distinctive way that some of these purists would object to.

I don't care at all for the Hendrix version, simply because I know Hendrix didn't give a crap about the song and was only using it to show off his own playing and riffing. It was all about him, and he was almost mocking it by saying "Look what I can do. We're here at Woodstock and so I can torture the livin' hell out of this thing." And so he did. But then, I'm not much of a Hendrix fan anyway. I understand and appreciate his skills; I just get bored pretty quickly with his stuff.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 2, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad I missed the whole thing. I saw Frost/Nixon (pretty good, but seeing Nixon on a big screen after all these years made me twitch). I got home just in time to see Broooce. Good score on the tickets, TBG and Kim.

Breaking news:

Posted by: seasea | February 2, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Stupid groundhog.

Posted by: Sara54 | February 2, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Our land ain't done yet
Put your hands up and shut up
When good ladies sing
Oh say can you see by the dawn
We're one nation together?


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 2, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Group howls unite hearts
Let us sing to the cold moon
Without snaps and howls


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 2, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if the CEO of Doritos was watching the commercials with his adolecent grandchildren (if he/she has any). Fine example to set for the young.
Rather sophmoric.

Posted by: robw1 | February 2, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I find myself strangely disappointed by the Whitney version, particularly since I tend to like my national symbols rather stale and etched in stone, and have claimed to be a traditionalist in the Star Spangled Banner wars. Whew, I better sit down for a while to get used to the ground shifting under my feet.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 2, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I would suggest ignoring trolls as a general rule. Engaging in any way just encourages them.

Posted by: joelache | February 2, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon dear Boodle. Slowly slowly with baby steps I am settling in. Kitchen is pretty well organized, bedrooms ditto, bathrooms (well, the less said about those the better) and the pile of empty boxes is larger than the pile of full ones. The major grocery shop has been shopped, wine has been laid in, so that's pretty good for the first twenty-four hours. Have heard from many friends with strengthening words, and that's the best.

A nap is, I believe, in order, before the books get put on the shelves.

Hope you are having a splendid Monday.

Posted by: Yoki | February 2, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Tongue bath for the boss
Music's so dull to discuss
--when not Steppenwolf.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 2, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Sorry incorrectly spelled sophomoric. Haven't been exposed to that immaturity for awhile.

Posted by: robw1 | February 2, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like you're having a splendid Monday, Yoki.

As much as I love my husband, my kids, my house and my life, I am really jealous of the idea of moving myself into a downtown apartment.

I know... be careful what you wish for. I don't really wish for it, I just dream about it sometimes.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 2, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Maybe you and your husband just need a get-away or a love nest, TBG.

Yoki, live your new freedoms up ;).

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

*faxin' a moving dolly and some leftover Advil to Yoki* :-)

seasea, bc and Nukespouse and I saw "Frost/Nixon" as well and we were all very much impressed with it, particularly Langella -- not just the impression, but the emotion.

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Violence and sports, no surprise.
Sports and sensationalism, no surprise.
Sports and beer, ditto.

Posted by: jama452 | February 2, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

With my luck, if I had a get-away love nest, it would be littered with molted feathers, baby chick puke, bird droppings, sticks and leaves, early-bird-worm detritus, no roof, and a precarious perch.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 2, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Actually, now that I think of it, I *do* have not one but two get-away love nests...and I'd sell both of 'em in a New Yrok second.

Irony bites, doesn't it?

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 2, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, feel free to fax me a Dolly from time to time, ya want.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 2, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

*faxin' Mudge a dozen gross of doilies*

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

OK, Scotty, I am ROTFLMAO. Nicely done.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 2, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

*making that long-overdue opthamologist appointment*

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Hellooooooo Dolly!

Posted by: -TBG- | February 2, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Ya know what? We haven't all had virtual lunch in quite a while. So whassup wid dat? Howsa 'bout tomorrow? It may be snowy and miserable again here, so I'm proposing comfort food. How about a nice big beef stew with a pastry top? I'll bring it. Who's in? Location: (?)

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 2, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Actually, tomorrow's lunch ought to be in honor of Richie Valens, the Big Bopper and Buddy Holly.

I propose we hold the lunch either at Mel's Drive-in or down at the Malt Shop.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 2, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Sara, if you are related to F.S. Key, then we are distantly related by marriage:

I am related to F.S.FitzGerald's mother, Mary McQuillan (Mollie) of Summit Ave, in beautiful down town St. Paul. We can be boodling cousins!

Frosti, if you see McQuillan plumbing vans tooling around town, well, they would be my relies too.

About the anthem, I am so with Ivansmom on the sing it fast and clearly, then vamoose. Every swim meet begins with such. Our team manages to get the "youth" to

sing in parts
play trumpet (two young souls)
guitar ala Hendrix one year (sorry Mudge)

Next summer, we have volunteers on recorder and violin. Long ago in another charming time, we had a bagpiper who used his chanter only. Apparently, a piper is not "cleared" for bags until three or four years of study. Parents and neighbors cheer this apprenticeship, I am sure.

In each case, I am the rehearsal mom and INSIST on a fast run through. One verse only.

Play ball! or Splash as the case may be.

Let's all head to Yoki's for housewarming. I will bring tiny crab cakes and baked hush puppies.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | February 2, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

50 years ago...

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 2, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge, wherever you have lunch should have Chantilly Lace somewhere in the decor...

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm in for lunch @ Yoki's. If she believes us trustworthy, we can unpack her books.

I'll bring a bag of Kona and shortbread triangles filled with raspberry jam, with a candied nut topping, all edges dipped in dark chocolate.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 2, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Hello Frostbitten...
Here is a bit of neat footage of Eva C. ... sitting with Maryann Redmond with Michael Ault on guitar.

This may very well be the first mention of Mike Ault on a boodle.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 2, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Oh yes! I was just going to volunteer my place, I would love to see you all here. I'll do a mixed green salad and I've got plenty of nice Shiraz to go with the beef.

I hope I will not need to put you to work; everything should be organized by the time you get here.

Posted by: Yoki | February 2, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Since it seems to be an occassion worthy of an expensive bottle of wine, I'll bring a bottle of Stag's Leap. (I haven't been able to come up with a good reason for buying one in a long time, and I like it.)

And a cheesecake (yes bc, the Eyetalian kind).

Posted by: LostInThought | February 2, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Well, EYE am in for an entree: my favorite baked spaghetti-like casserole with shells and cheese. We call it shipwreck. It's a crowd-pleaser.

Posted by: slyness | February 2, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

My hat's off to James Harrison for his interseption and 100 yard TD run. But in the next moment, I'd rip his head off for his unsportsmanlike conduct later in the game. *That* almost cost the Steelers the game. The camera kept watching him sweat. But the commentators seemed to tiptoe around that business.

If Joe Gibbs was his coach, he would have been yanked from the game right then, and severly disciplined afterwards.

Posted by: Don_from_I-270 | February 2, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Wow, just got an email invitation from Best Western
'Get special Internet Only Rates* when you book online now!'
Calgary, Alberta $101(Cn)
Highest price on the list. Things must be booming in Calgary.

Posted by: bh71 | February 2, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I'll bring broccoli salad and in the interest of truth in labeling should list the ingredients in order by volume- bacon, broccoli, cheese, dressing.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 2, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

bh71, things in Calgary come and go with the price of oil. That room was probably $180 last summer.
Beautiful winter day today in the other federal capital. It was the proverbial nice day after 2 crappy ones. Mondays, Mondays.

I can't comment on the adverts. CTV the Canadian network broadcasting the event treated us to the bud horse commercial and that was it. The rest was the usual drivel. Even Hulu restricts the viewing of the ads to US addresses. That is quite funny as us third-worlder have access to safety orange corn chips and sweetened caramel-coloured carbonated weak aqueous solutions of caffeine and phosphoric acid.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 2, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Housewarming! Great! I'll bring hummus, pita and olives to snack on whilst we admire the surroundings, and a nice bottle of Bonny Doon "Heart of Darkness" Cabernet (label by Ralph Steadman).

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 2, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I have made strides on the books. The problem is that it is easy just to take a wee peek, and then find that a half-hour has vanished. This just happened with Harold Bloom, and earlier with Darwin. They are no help at *all.*

Posted by: Yoki | February 2, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

It's comfort food season at the denizens, so I have a substantial leftover of "choucroute garnie" we had Saturday night. That is the French interpretation of the German beer garden classic. It includes slices of ham, sausages, grilled pork chops, boiled potatoes, carrots and chunks of leeks on a bed of sauerkraut.
Tonight it's Greenland turbot, Gaspesian fashion so no leftovers are expected. It's white fish baked in an onion béchamel under a cover of mashed potatoes. It's simple but pretty good stuff.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 2, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, you have my sympathy. I have this problem when moving books to different shelves in the same house, or when deciding whether we can give a book away. I open it just to check and I'm lost. Half a day can pass and I'll only be partway through a stack.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 2, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Yoki! I'll bring the tunes. I just got "The Marriage of Figaro" by that Mozart fellow. I'm listening to this here "sinfonia" thingy right now. I must say I like it quite a lot, although I fear it is hard not to think about television commercials so frequently has it been used for such purposes.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Lunch is sounding terrific. I'll bring a loaf of my beer bread.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 2, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm in for comfort food @ Yoki's - it all sounds delish, the beef, a mixed green salad, shiraz, and oh, my, Stag's Leap *and* that Eyetalian Cheesecake? With a nice fruit topping, LiT? Blackberries or blueberries?

Now, I could do a little more of the garlicky meatatrsophic chili that I shared with Scottynuke and Nukespouse last night (it *was* pretty good), but I'm thinking a little more upscale - perhaps my Famous Stuffed Mussels? It's comfort food to me, and to my family, too.

s_d, I sure wouldn't mind having dinner at your place, either. That sounds yummy (dinner *and* those leftovers), too.

Of course, the belief is long held by myself and other Boodlers that TBG's referigerator probably has the most wonderful array of leftovers on the planet.

And yeah, Frost/Nixon *was* pretty good, and Langella's performance... really excellent without relying on cliche.


Posted by: -bc- | February 2, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

RD, how splendid! This is one of my favourite things in the world, certainly in my top 5.

Posted by: Yoki | February 2, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

I'll bring the Wild turkey, a bottle and a couple of birds too.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 2, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Mudge, you must know the story behind this Victory...

... one that ends with a one of His Majesty's Ships, crewed by 1000 sailors, heading to to bottom with four tons of gold aboard.


Posted by: -bc- | February 2, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

bc, I'm totally with ya on the TBG fridge thing. (Topic being what it is, I was trying so hard not to think about what she's got in there, and now I find myself contemplating the contents of her freezer too.)

Posted by: LostInThought | February 2, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

I'll make some of DNA Girl's chai tea... nice and hot in the thermal carafe.

Looking forward to having lunch with y'all tomorrow. Yoki... should I bring some paper plates and cups or have you unpacked the dishes?

Posted by: -TBG- | February 2, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "to the bottom"

Oy, that's me - sinking myself with all hands on deck.

[Trying very hard to not make jokes worthy of 13-year-old boys]


Posted by: -bc- | February 2, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

I think we can surmise that Mudge wasn't an eyewitness to the sinking, unless he's a prodigious swimmer in stormy shark-infested waters.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 2, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Y'll realize that we did lunch housewarming tonight. Do we repeat tomorrow or revise the menu. I know it is text-based reality but we will really get lost if we are not linear in some way.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | February 2, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I've unpacked all the dishes, and I think I have enough plates and wine glasses for all. So long as you all don't get all fussy about using the same wine glass for different wines, we're set.

Posted by: Yoki | February 2, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

It'll be like Thanksgiving, CqP. Dinner housewarming tonight, leftovers tomorrow after we've all kicked back, laughed and recovered.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 2, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

CP, we're just having fun planning. You know how parties are, half the fun is in the getting ready.

Posted by: Yoki | February 2, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Can I have some of that wine now?

Up past my bedtime--Disaster Recovery re-test pre-test. The actual re-test with the auditors is Saturday morning, we just finished the pre-test (to make sure all kinks were worked out). I love my job.

Looking forward to seeing your new place, Yoki!

Posted by: -dbG- | February 2, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

I understand why they thought punching the koala would be funny. Yanking the balls off a bull would be funny too. And who can forget frog baseball? I expect such humor from adolescent males. I certainly don't expect such humor from a corporation. I did not like that ad at all. I like violence as much as the next guy, but not like that.

Posted by: martiniano | February 2, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

I'll bring the doilies.

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

But you won't really see it, dbG, not for a while. I left all the art at the big house so that it didn't look stripped when it's on the market, and I haven't painted or chosen drapes or anything! Come back in May (the traditional month for the Calgary BPH, don't you know) and I'll be in better condition.

But, it is stripped down and mine own, and this is a big thing. Such peace, you have no idea. Well, actually, you probably have exactly the idea.

Posted by: Yoki | February 2, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Yoki is stripped down??? WHAT????


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

No, no, Scotty, you need to pay attention! The APARTMENT is stripped down, not Yoki!

Posted by: slyness | February 2, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

In this, I do have exactly the idea.

If you haven't painted by May, we'll help. It's the one time I stay within the lines.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 2, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Oh, OK slyness... (dangit)

*putting away the emergency fax of extra doilies*


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 2, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

>Yoki: I left all the art at the big house

And you Merkins thought your correctional system was too soft.

Posted by: engelmann | February 2, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

LOL! Scotty and Slyness.

Posted by: Yoki | February 2, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

That was entirely intentional, engelmann. A luxury prison indeed.

Posted by: Yoki | February 2, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Flight after flight of Canada Geese are moving north using *my* Elbow River (surrounds my place on two sides) as their guide, calling out in their wild voices. How great is that? I'm both downtown and in the natural world.

Posted by: Yoki | February 2, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

>>>Phyllis George was quite a hero to me when I was younger - so wanted to have a job like her when I was a teen. Then however, the networks started to hire woman with what I viewed as looks over talent (and sports knowledge).>>Well, there was an interesting documentary about The Crash of 1929 on PBS, and there weren't any incidents of koala violence there.>>What are the chances that being at war increases the level of violence on the home front? Especially since we collectively suppress the reality of the pain and death being daily doled out courtesy of our tax dollars--of course we don't want to think about it, but we can't forget it altogether, so it has to affect us.<<<

It clearly has effected you. Did you ever think that we are at war with people that want to kill us for no other reason than we're us? Freedom has a taste....You need to seriously get off your moral hobbyhorse and have a drink...something strong and preferably on the rocks.

Posted by: PanhandleWilly | February 2, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 2, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Just another booze advertiser, SD.

Move on, nothing to see.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 2, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

On the rocks?
Freedom's all very fine but there's no reason to take liberties!

Posted by: Boko999 | February 2, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Boko!! *laughing*

Posted by: Yoki | February 2, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Too bad. I was dissapointed to see the almost hero of the game repeatedly punching a Cardinal player on the ground. Al Michaels and Madden spotted it. Doesn't seem to be remembered.

Posted by: tangledleader | February 2, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

A couple of quick comments that I didn't follow up on earlier -

The Audi commercial with Jason Statham was filmed as a tie-in to the recent release of the motion pictre "Transporter 3," in which Statham's character drives an - all together now - *Audi* sedan (sorry, boss -- *not* a sports car) as seen in the commerical.

The Pepsuber commericals didn't do it for me, even with Richard Dean Anderson and that lady whose name I can't remember from the old Angus MacGyver show. Probably because I was never a MacGyver fan. Dude was a ham-handed amateur, IMO.

Now, the Alec Baldwin Hulu "turn your brain to mush" commercial, that made me laugh.

Thankfully, the game was far better than the commercials. At least for me, anyway.


Posted by: -bc- | February 2, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Tangled, I keep thinking about it. Warriors and athletes must turn on and off the channeled energy that must have swatches of anger on it.

Perhaps others can explain more.

I ran NCAA track in the early days of Title IX. I understand intensity and focus, with self and team mates. I will allow that the anger layer might not be thick in track. Still...

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | February 2, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | February 2, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Bc, I agree re MacGyver (I liked it as a kid, but what did I know?)... but the reality show of you would involve too many ER visits to be safely shown on primetime.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 2, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the tip-off about the old Vic, bc. No, I surely wasn't aboard her. (You realize this HMS Victory was NOT Nelson's HMS Victory that I served on at the Battle of Trafalgar, right? This was the older predecessor Vic.)

No, this Victory went down in 1744, half a century and more earlier. She'd missed the Battle of Toulon in February of that year; I don't know why. Maybe she was on convoy duty, I don't know. But when the Brits got their asses kicked at Toulon, she was nowhere around. We always did wonder what happened to her. Now we know, more or less.

(1744 was the year poor Andy Celsisus died of the consumption, yanno. Helluva astronomer, and a nice guy. Only met him once, in an ale house in Uppsala.)

Oh, them was some confusing times back then, I must say. They had that War of Austrian Succession going on, and there was all them little wars going on all over the place--the War of Jenkins Ear, the third of them four French & Indians wars, other little pissant squabbles all over the place in some strange quarters, too, such as Sardinia. There was the War of Polish Sucession, too -- a right dodgy affair, that one. See, after the War of Spanish Succession, all these other fiefdoms got it in their heads they wanted to succede, to even if they didn't belong to nothing. It was a mess, I'm telling ya.

Me, I bagged the whole thing. Somethimes I feel a little sad I missed most of the action, but then again I had plenty of my own. I had shipped out in 1740 with the great Georgie Anson aboard HMS Centurion (60), thinking we was going for a nice leisurely cruise to the Club Med in the Caribbean. But no. Seems Anson (the greatest seafaring skipper I ever served under) had it in his head he wanted to sail all the way around the world, so he off and takes me and six ships full of unsuspecting swabbies, and around we go, all the way to Macau and Manila, where we bushwacked the Spanish treasure galleon and brought back 1.3 million pieces of eight, ha ha!! Largest treasure haul in history, that was!

part 2 be comin'

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 2, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

And it be here:

'Course, that viyidge took a pretty heavy toll on the lads. We started with almost a 1,000 men in six ships, and got back nearly five years later with just the old Centurion and a couple hundred boyos. "Twas the scurvy what done most of 'em in. If you wonders today why I'm such a fanatical person for the antiscorbutics, well, 'twas that journey with Anson and the five years of watching me mates peel off from scurvy wot diid it.

So, no, I tweren't around when the old Vic went under, poor lads.

Somday I'll have to tell ye all about the Spanish ladies -- not in mixed company, of course. I knows they be some wot likes their flamin' redheads, and some wot likes their blondies, but me, well, I likes them dusky complected roses with the black, black hair and the flashing eyes. There be a good reason we sailors sang all them songs to the Spanish Ladies, you best believe it, mate.

Reckon, I ought ter tell ya about Nelson and Trafalgar some day, too, but not tonight.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 2, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

On a somewhat more serious note, I think the WaPo story about the Victory and the front-page caption are still confused. They keep calling her one of the most important ships in British naval history. But this one wasn't. It was the other one. (Which is still aroubnd today, BTW.)

Yes, this one was a mystery -- but no, she wasn't one of the most important blah blah..

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 2, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Mudge! I just love your stories. I have what Byatt calls "narrative greed:" And you satisfy it. Most wonderful.

Thank you.

Posted by: Yoki | February 2, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Another satisfied dusky-hued maiden.

When ya got the knack, ya got the knack.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 2, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I knew that Victory wasn't Nelson's, but I figured there was a Tale involved with the one in the Post article.

They might mean it's important in the sense that it's a whale of a salvage find and recovery operation, even if the Odyessey folks don't get to keep the gold or cannons...

G'night, folks.


Posted by: -bc- | February 2, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Where's the night watch? Nobody's bought the donuts or set out the silverware or dished the foie gras or mixed the mimosas. This is intolerable, I can't fly under these conditions.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 3, 2009 5:37 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

I think the light snowfall and the recovery time needed after the Uber Bowl kept people in bed last night.

All right, clear!

Chocks away!
Let's get 'em flyin' folks!

[Where's my hot chocolate with Bailey's?]


Posted by: -bc- | February 3, 2009 6:14 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

I don't know what's going on with the 3rd shift, yello, but there does seem to be a morale problem. I may have to send someone to investigate (I'd do it myself, as behooves a sensitive, caring, hands-on executive of my stature, but I need my beauty rest).

Well, it's official: I am part of the 11th worst commute in the entire country (see page one story).

Only a light dusting of snow here so far.

Good Gene Robinson column this morning. I'm gonna submit a question to his chat; he used one of mine last week.

OK, looks like I gotta go make coffee and mix yello a mimosa eye-opener. And brag will be wanting his borscht-and-bagel, and Scotty his cream-of-wheat. *sigh* The things I do to get the Dawn Patrol into the air.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 3, 2009 6:15 AM | Report abuse

...and bc's hot-chocolate-with-Bailey's. *adding a wee extra tot to keep him happy*

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 3, 2009 6:16 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends. Just a drive by, I have the g-girl, and we're getting ready for school. All I have to do is drag her out of the tub.

Martooni(good to hear from you)Yoki, Scotty, Mudge, Slyness, and all, good morning.*waving*

I shall try to return later. I have a busy day. Sounds like a party was afoot yesterday, and I missed all that great food.

Time to move.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 3, 2009 6:50 AM | Report abuse

The biscuits are in the oven, Mudge, and the country ham is frying. I'll be along shortly with them, so don't get in a hurry.

Good morning, Cassandra. I hope all is warm and clear in your part of the world. We had some rain, but not much. Did you see that Britain is wrestling with the worst snow storm in two decades? Sounds like they are down for the count, at least for this week.

Okay, the biscuits are ready. I'll be there in a minute, Mudge!

Posted by: slyness | February 3, 2009 6:59 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all. We have another election day right here in Fairfax County for our Chair. of BOS. Sure hope Raysmom, RD & TBG are voting today, with me. Anyone else, as well, whom I have missed.

Six am until 7 PM, they tell us, the polls will be open. Washington Post has had several articles and a couple of editorials, so I am sure all interested Faifax memebers of the boodle is up for today!

Me, I'm voting for Sharon Bulova, best of the two, by far. Over the years, Sharon has attended every county event/rally/meeting for our disabled that I have attended, and I'm sure many, many more that I did not.

Sorry I could not be part of the super bowl boodling, I really enjoyed reading all the comments.

Posted by: VintageLady | February 3, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

SCC: Whole sentence!!! "so I am sure all interested Faifax memebers of the boodle is up for today!" Please omit, ignore, erase...


Posted by: VintageLady | February 3, 2009 7:31 AM | Report abuse

VL - good for you for voting. I am going to do so after work, but I fear I will do nothing but cancel out my friend Steve's vote.

So I think you're the swing voter.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 3, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Great story Mudge! I agree with Yoki about the "narrative greed." (And I was delighted that I know who Byatt is.)

Between reading Updike and hanging out here, I'm a becomin' all literarified and all.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 3, 2009 7:55 AM | Report abuse

'Mudge --

Cream of Bacon Explosion, if you please.

Seems the post-game siesta took a little longer than usual to kick in. The hangar WAS rather cavernous today.

And MD isn't seeing the expected level of interest in slots licenses. Shocking.

*once-more-dear-friends-unto-the-coffeemaker Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and having Judd Gregg as Commerce Secretary is far better than another N.H. alternative -- former Rep. Richard (you know what the shortened version is) Swett.

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2009 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Last night, Yoki said "Harold Bloom," to which I always say, 'clinamen.'

Lucretius used the word to note the swerving (unexpected) motion of the tiniest particles. He meant atoms, but also may have been thinking too of dust motes.

Bloom uses the word to refer to writers when they veer away --- style and or content -- from their natural antecedent writers in the canon.

Very nice when science and literature use words in these specialized but also "same-ish" ways.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | February 3, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Well, RD has nailed me, I'm a swinger! :-)

Posted by: VintageLady | February 3, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Alright all you Washingtonian Weather Weenies. We'd better cancel last nights BPH cause it just started snowing...

I kid cause I love

Posted by: omnigood | February 3, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

There are three Bulova votes coming from our house and two from my sister down the street.

I wouldn't vote for Pat Herrity if he were the only person running, and it has nothing to do with the party he represents.

Sharon Bulova has been my Braddock District Supervisor for years and years. She has the BEST constituent services that ever existed.

The only reason I wouldn't vote for her would be to keep her our district's alone, but I can only imagine the wonderful service she'd do for Fairfax County as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors.

So... Fairfax residents... don't worry about the weather... get out and VOTE for Sharon Bulova.

Thanks for the pulpit, Joel. Hope you don't mind.

Posted by: TBG- | February 3, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

SCC: "two [votes] from my SISTER's HOUSE down the street."

PS... does anyone else ever click on "full rules" by mistake instead of "sign in."

Posted by: TBG- | February 3, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

I blame, omni... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Velly velly eeeeenteresting...

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Ooooooooh, THIS is gonna be an ugly border war. Would you agree, Sneaks??

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

I just watch that Eva & Mary Ann duet...

Tears on Earth too

She would have turned 45 yesterday

Rest in peace Eva

Anyone interested in seeing Mary Ann Redmond? Her band performs every Sunday evening at Flanagan's Harp & Fiddle in Bethesda. 4844 Cordell Ave.

Just tell her Eva sent you

Posted by: omnigood | February 3, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Good morning Boodle!

I'm glad I didn't miss the BPH.
getting ready to move it's not fun.

Presently fighting with new laptop. My old friend, the desktop went off to a new home in California.

At least I'm done with file transfers.

Posted by: Braguine | February 3, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Morning boodle, -3 when I got up a few hours ago, but down to -9 now. Since we had 14" of snow on April 26 last year I'd be very happy with the 6 more weeks of winter the groundhogs predicted yesterday.

For those who've wondered, Sen. Gregg does not do anything for the cabinet hotness factor (pic accompanies brief item)
but his nondescript look won't ruin the group photos either.

s'nuke-if I were in the newspaper biz a job in gummint would look pretty good right now.

I've fired up the espresso machine if anyone wants free coffee. RD?

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 3, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Where are my manners-thanks to russianthistle for posting that Eva link yesterday. I can't count the number of times I told Mr. F, we need to get out to see her-and then it was too late.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 3, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

In the late 80s and early 90s, I ran a coffeehouse in a church basement. Demo cassettes from Philly and Cally arrived along with many locally-produced labors of love.

When I popped in the Eva C. demo, I stood dumbstruck with wonder at the voice. I left several messages with her parents about "Yes. Please come and play." Famously shy and unsure of her prodigious talent, she did not return my calls.

She worked at Behnke's Nursery in Beltsville, propagating plants. I saw her there once.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | February 3, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Hooray! My internet connection is back up!

When you work alone and the only contact you have with adults is the clerks at the post office, home depot and the craft store a couple of times week... well, the internet kinda becomes a lifeline to maintaining any semblance of a social life.

It's also kind of important when 99% of your business is online.

And now that I'm online, the workshop beckons and I must be off (but with a light heart knowing that the tubes that connect me to the intarwebs are now unplugged).

Peace out :-)

Posted by: martooni | February 3, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

That NYT piece on journalists joining the administration was sooooooo bogus. They only gave three examples. One was an aide to Biden, one was an investigator for Sen. Kerry (is that "in the administration? Not in my book), and the third was Dr. Sanja Gupta, as surgeon general. Now, calling Gupta a journalist is a massive stretch in the first place. Whatever he did on TV hardly counts; he was a celeb/ex-doctor, fer cryin' out loud, doing medical stuff. It ain't like he was every remotely close to being an kind of "true" journalist, nor had any commentary in any way, shape or form on matters political. Bogus, bogus, bogus.

And against all this foofaraw, we have Tony Snow working for Bush. But that doesn't count, see, because it doesn't help advance the phoney-baloney journalists-in-the-tank-for-Obama meme. See, it's OK when Conservs do something, but not OK when Dems/liberals do the same thing.

Crapola, say I. 100% hypocritical gotta-fill-up-a-column crapola.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 3, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

TBG, that just happened to me yesterday! I thought I was being lectured or warned that I better shape up and start following the rules or I wouldn't be allowed to play anymore. But then I realized I must have clicked on the wrong blue words by mistake.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 3, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Hey, brag, where was it you're moving to? Santiago, was it? You still gonna be connected to the intertubes down there? You'll be our very first Boodler on that continent, I do believe.

Wish Eurotrash had stayed in contact; I liked him. Now, we need somebody in Africa. (I'm not holding out any hopes for Antarctica.)

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 3, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Oh, you guys keep us posted on that election please. Nothing I like more than a smooth-running Bulova watch.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 3, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Um, 'Mudge?

The NYT piece promiently mentioned Snow, and there's also Ms. Douglass at HHS (prospectively, anyway).

*slowly nudging a cuppa decaf into the fax*


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Oh man, Mudge. That pun's gonna leave a scar. Well done.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 3, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Yes, I know it mentioned Snow, Scotty. But how does that balance the meme? That was my point: Snow working for Bush is OK, but Gupta working for Obama is proof of all journalism being in the tank. It's crapola.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 3, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Crapola indeed, 'Mudge, but in the general sense as opposed to being partisan crapola.

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

this is for you, bc. go nuts.

Posted by: -jack- | February 3, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Cream of bacon explosion! Love it. Can't wait to see where it goes from here.

Too busy this morning to do morning patrol, but tomorrow I promise I'll have breakfast waiting.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 3, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

morning all
Sorry for no report on the 3rd shift last night yello,I had a rough last 20 mile commute.We ended up with another 3 inches last night and this morning every single twig is covered with snow,simply gorgeous.

I know it is late for breakfast,but I do recall during the super bowl, Denny's offering a free breakfast today from 6am -2pm.Me I can eat breakfast anytime, especially in the evening or late at night.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 3, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse


Seems there are widely varying definitions of "wasteful" out there:

*raised eyebrow*

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

And in the "whooops!" department:

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Luved your post, Mudge. And I totally agreed.

I'm gonna try again to get my African friends to start boodling. I've told them about it, and even showed it off to them when they were visiting. But I do know that, even though they are fun-loving cool guys, they are exceptionally serious about their work, and it's gonna be hard to get them to play with us. I will keep trying, tho.

It stopped snowing around here long ago. Too bad. I love to watch it coming down.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | February 3, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

They have a point. The need for a Coast Guard ice cutter will soon become moot.

On the other hand, cutting funds for DC's sewer system seems short-sighted at best.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 3, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

The Ronco Vegematic is back by popular demand!

Posted by: russianthistle | February 3, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Gregg has accepted Obama's commerce secretary offer. (R-NH). The deal is that his aide will replace him in the senate.

Yesterday's news, I guess, but I missed this.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 3, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Jack, the 1972 DS21 is shown at the Mont-Royal belvedere with Montreal in the background. Things have changed quite a bit since.

Warshingtonian may be weather weanies but the Brits and the non-Alpian French have nothing on them. I must admit I wasted quite a bit of time last night looking at pitchers of London, Paris and other famous venues covered with snow.

Ut's another gorgeous winter day here. *sigh* What are the chances it's going to hold until the weekend?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 3, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle. And a fine morning it is, too. Cassandra, nice to see you start our day.

My SIL from Kenya sometimes reads the Boodle. Does that count? Even if she lives in Toronto now?

Posted by: Yoki | February 3, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

If I was Obama, I'd ask for a joint appearance before the House and Senate. And then I'd stand up there and go down this list (except for the film stuff, which I don't understand) and ask for a show of hands from Republicans (only), who don't want these items, such as a new location for the Dept. of Hiomeland Security. And then I'd say, "OK, you don't want DHS to have office space? Fine by me." And crumple up a piece of paper with that request on it. "You don't want an icebreaker? Fine." Crumple. "Don't want to fund the 2010 Census, contrary to law? Okey-dokey by me." Crumple. "Don't Want Dept. of Agriculture to have computers, which you guys have failed to update over the years? Hey ag is all GOP states anyway. No skin off me, dudes." Crumple. "You don't want the CDC to have lab facilities? Fine by me. Just don't come crying when there's a flu pandemic, or an anthrax attack." Crumple. "OK, lemme see which of you Republicans is all in favor of lead-based paint killing kids? Yeah, thought not." Doesn't crumple.

I'd make those *&^%$ sweat every last objection, and make them eat it.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 3, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, Yoki, Toronoto-based Kenyans don't count. We need a bone fided [sic] African.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 3, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I mostly agree with you, Mudge, on the value of those proposals. Thanks, Scotty, for the list. I don't think "wasteful" is the right term. However, I think it's fair to argue that not all of them fall under the category of "stimulus" (though some certainly do, and I'm open to enlightenment on how others fit). I know it's more efficient to pass everything in one fell swoop, but it seems more intellectually honest (and ultimately politically productive?) to deal with one thing (even one enormous thing, like "stimulus") at a time, and then move on to debate the next thing on its own merits. I know that's not how legislating works, but a girl can dream.

Posted by: -bia- | February 3, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Consider this an application to be your aide de camp, personal assistant, houseboy, or Magnum-stand-in, or whatever, Brag. I have yearned for Santiago but never been there. I'm a hell of a cook, also. And a decent proofreader. Nicht sprecht Deutch. Hablo Espanol.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 3, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Wirklich kann ich Deutsches buchstabieren.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 3, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Jumper wants to stab a working German book??? What???

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

What gets me about the things the Republicans are complaining about is that the money that would go to these disputed projects and agencies *would* be a stimulus to the economy. An immediate one, even.

Somebody gotta *build* that ice breaker. Somebody has to build and sell and set up all those computers. Heck... even the $200M for contraceptives would get spent in the *real* economy instead of festering in some bank just waiting to be pissed away on executive bonuses -- somebody gotta make all those condoms and print all the literature and pay the doctors and staff of clinics that provide birth control services and education. And there'd be a lot less unwanted pregnancies, which has very positive economic benefits by itself.

The 2010 Census puts a huge number of people to work doing canvassing, not to mention all the people who handle the data entry and number crunching. Are those people going to sit on the money they make? Nope. They're going to use it to buy groceries and houses and cars and all the other things that make our economy grow.

In other words, I think the Republicans' argument is full of crap.

Mudge... all I'd add to your scenario of Obama crumpling up those spending measures would be to have him also mention the number of jobs and estimated spending those jobs would generate that would be lost.

Unlike giving money to Wall Street, where money evaporates into the ether (or the deep pockets of the monkeys running it), money spent on *things* and *real services* stays right here on Planet Earth. Y'know... that place where most of us live.

Posted by: martooni | February 3, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

What the Republicans fundamentally don't understand (or if they do, don't agree with) is that Yes, it's a spending bill. That's how you get out of a recession. When people are'nt spending, and business isn't spending, then SOMEBODY's gotta spend, and the only chouice left is for the government to spend. So yes, the solution to the problem of a recession is to THROW MONEY AT IT.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 3, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

brag, you got your Sopwith all packed up? They gonna let you bring that thing aboard as carry-on luggage? Did you drain its fuel tank and remove the unspent ammo? I'd disconnect the magneto, if I was you. Make sure you pick up your personalized coffee mug from the Ready Room. Wouldn't want you to be cupless down there.

Say a big Hiya to all the Spanish Ladies from Mudge. (A few of 'em might remember...)

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 3, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

My brother in South Africa would be a poor candidate, the American Megacorporation he works for decided to cut his deployment short. The economy in the RSA is heading for the deep end of the tank so he'll bail out in two weeks and get back to his old duties.
He's decided he will endure the depth of a Parisian winter for a week with his wife though before getting back here in the real winter. The b@stard.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 3, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans consider $10 million to inspect canals in urban areas a waste.

They like leaky canals?

Posted by: Boko999 | February 3, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

As the Senate opened debate on a $900 billion stimulus bill, San Antonio leaders fanned out across Capitol Hill on Monday to lobby for pet projects that include the environmental restoration of the San Antonio River south of downtown.

And the stimulus bill contains $150 million for the Smithsonian (WSJ). Las Vegas wants a mob museum; Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell wants millions to restore the Lyric Theater in downtown Lexington.

Among museum-related requests:

$80 million for loading docks and other improvements at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

$70 million toward a 30-acre bayfront park in downtown Miami, which would ultimately be anchored by art and science museums.

$35 million for the Museum of the West in Scottsdale.

$20 million toward a civil rights museum on an island off the coast of Miami.

$4 million to help Baton Rouge create a town square from scratch, wrapped by cultural attractions, including an arts and science museum.

$1 million to install an alarm system and improve underground water system at the Kristina Dana Hendrickson Cultural Center, a 101-year-old building in Rialto, Calif.

$4.15 million for two museum-related projects in Bridgeport, Conn., including funding for the interior structural repair to the Barnum Museum, which honors circus magnate P.T. Barnum.

I'll tell you readily where the three-ring circus is: the big tent of the U.S. Congress in the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

Posted by: laloomis | February 3, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

EYE have been to Santiago, and think it is a fine metropolis. Very sophisticated and an interesting mix of ethnicities. Most excellent. And skiing is available nearby. Therefore I think I should be brag's cook and factotum, and Jumper can be the all-round interesting friend and put-his-hand-to-anything assistant author.

Posted by: Yoki | February 3, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

>Jumper wants to stab a working German book

Der Deutchesbuchzuntobepokedmitdiejumpergeshaft.

Posted by: engelmann | February 3, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

NYT, breaking news:

First two grafs:

Updated: President Obama’s choice for the position of chief White House performance officer has withdrawn from consideration for the post, an administration official said Tuesday, after coming forward with concerns about her tax returns.

Nancy Killefer, appointed by the president last month to a new position to scrutinize government spending, told the administration on Monday that she intended to step down from the position at the Office of Management and Budget. An administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the announcement was not finalized, confirmed that Ms. Killefer’s withdrawal came because of questions with her taxes. Update: In her resignation letter to Mr. Obama, she described the problem as a tax-related issue stemming from Washington, D.C. unemployment.

Posted by: laloomis | February 3, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Habitat for Humanity's co-founder Millard Fuller died last night.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 3, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Why thank you Yoki. Yes, I put my hand to about anything. As evidenced by my caption contest entry which sorely needs votes, as I am in third place. (Basquiat)

I have no idea what Babelfish REALLY says.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 3, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

The "s" is not missing, but has been resettled elsewhere.

Posted by: engelmann | February 3, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Canal inspector! My dream job. I wonder if Joel would recommend me.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 3, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

s'nuke directed us to the Killefer kerfluffle at 10:38.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 3, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Boko, what you don't understand about the objection to canal inspections lies in the phrase "urban areas." Urban = Democrat, quite possibly black/hispanic as well.

When you parse out a lot of the objections you begin to see the pattern: not a lot of stuff for rural, sparsely populated (southern and midwestern/western) Red states. Note, for instance, very little Amtrak running through Republican states. So screw Amtrak.

Museums? Urban and liberal/educational. Republicans don't do "uplifting" artsy-related things. If it was the Museum of S--kickers and Bandanas, they'd fund it, if it was located in Sweet Jesus, Texas.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 3, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Lunch is being served at the new kit.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 3, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

Only have a few minutes today, then back to the salt mines.

Oh, jack it is *so* tempting to take the time to sketch a Nouveaux DS - I was a huge car design buff as a kid. Harley Earl, Virgil Exner, John Herlitz, Gandini, Pininfarina - man, I loved those guys. Sketched cars all over my school books.

I actually just had a thought about the Nouveaux DS, I'll just have to see how I can draw and scan it...

One of these days, when I have time.

Gotta prep for a meeting.

Brag, please let me borrow the Sopwiths' magneto for a little while -- I'm going to take the cap off and give Scottynuke and Mudge a little wake-up jolt... or a least chase 'em around the Dawn Patrol hangar and the Bunker a bit.

And don't forget to bring a coat down there, Brag. I understand it's Chile in Santiago.


Posted by: -bc- | February 3, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 3, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

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