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Feeling Browsey

I sent some links over to The Post's Political Browser. I like politics, but I confess: Right now I want to read about gardening. What's the latest from Adrian Higgins?

Anywhere, here are some of the linky bits I sent to the browser, plus some extra stuff I've been reading online. (Okay, I sometimes peek at the paper version too -- though haven't yet waded through yesterday's WSJ, which I paid two bucks for last night at Safeway).

From the New Yorker's Jane Mayer: British barrister says six former Bush officials at risk of arrest if they leave U.S.

Jeff Jarvis says news execs blew it. Had a chance to adapt to new media and didn't. Are stupid, bitter, kinda pathetic. But Jeff: How many hundreds of millions of dollars did these same ding-dong execs pump into the Web, only to discover that Web advertising wasn't materializing in any sufficient degree? It would also strike me as a weird coincidence if all these execs happened to be idjits. I know a couple who aren't, actually. The fact is, no one has figured out how to make money creating content in the Web era.

Stevens case overturned, prosecutors under fire: Next we will learn that Ted Stevens is as saintly as Mother Teresa.

Smithsonian article says Robert Peary didn't discover North Pole. History is bunk.

Chris Buckley ponders the college rejections process (remind me to add him to my long-hypothesized blogroll). [By the way: I really am not crazy about the name "The Daily Beast." Too cute, doesn't wear well. I guess it's probably too late to change it. "Grist" is better, methinks.]

A.A. Gill on Obama's touchy-feely political tour of the Old World: "Mr. Obama is the only popular politician left in the world." [Via Arts & Letters Daily.]

More on newspapers: Here's the Google CEO giving his take.

Phil Kennicott on Thomas Jefferson's secret house (I need one of those).

[More to come]

By Joel Achenbach  |  April 8, 2009; 8:01 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Commuting by PUMA
Next: Somali Pirates vs. U.S. Navy


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

Morning,friends. Got the g-girl to school, and took my neighbor to the hospital. It has been a busy morning. Now to start the busy day. Have a great one, all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | April 8, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Dang it Al, I leave work early for Happy Hour, and discover the next AM I am two Kit&Boodles behind.

Posted by: omnigood | April 8, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

PSA-Martooni posted a longish comment at the tail end of the last boodle. Good to see him back around.

Seriously surprised I'm one of the few people who saw that PUMA and thought "want one!" However, I fear its main utility is in situations where people who can really ought to be walking or biking. A transportation system that is PUMA friendly would be bike friendly. My judgment cannot be trusted on this-I happily drive a Miata in DC area traffic.

More proof I'd never make it in the newspaper/magazine business. I thought everyone already knew about Poplar Forest. The group that saved it made quite a splash back in the 80s, covered by Preservation mag IIRC. You know, real mass circulation.

I like the result in the Stevens case. If nothing else it calls out the folks who would rush to call the constitution a "technicality" when they get a result they don't favor, and are all about "justice" being served when it suits 'em.

If the preceding was somewhat coherent, I must be feeling better. Still oozing green crud from the old nasal passages but reached for coffee over theraflu this morning.

Slyness-muffins AND scones with fruity bits. I'll assume you didn't think I'd make it out of bed today. What next, pistachios?

Posted by: frostbitten1 | April 8, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I'm browsy, too this morning. Read Dowd's NYT op-ed to learn that she's in Jamestown, not far from Modesto, learning to pan for gold.

This interesting tidbit from a news source, that adds to her story:

"And if you want proof for the new gold rush in California, just check the details of newly-registered mining claims. In each of the last two years mining claims in California have grown by more than 3,000. In the first three months of 2009, 1,173 more claims were filed. As of the end of March there were 24,583 active gold-mining claims in the state."

This story is one that keeps on giving, the story line just recycles itself in California with each large economic downturn over the decades.

Unfortunately, Maureen isn't too accurate about the extent of California's placer fields.

Perhaps she should stop in and see my old beau Mike Raffety, editor of the Placerville Mountain Democrat, California's oldest newspaper. He could fill her in.

On our way to Tahoe early lsst September, we stopped in at a nice looking restaurant with the name sounding something like Buttercip Pantry, right off Highway 50. The griddle-greased cheicken and avocado sandwich that I ordered had me running for the restroom the next two mornings at the lake--not a good trip outcome considering the time and expense of travel--to be brought down by lunch in P-ville.

I saw in last September's paper that Raffety was still with the Mountain Democrat, as editor. He's been with the paper, what, since at least 1979, when I met him. Anyhoo, that Monday's paper I borrowed from the cook in the kitchen to read had a front page feature story about a local woman who had just won the 2008 California Gold Panning Championship--can't recall if it's the team or woman's event where she took top honors, perhaps both. Googling at, I believe the woman to be Hollie Watson, according to the goldhounds' September 2008 newsletter.

If Dowd was taking a gold panning lesson last week in California's El Dorado, Watson would have made the ideal teacher.

Posted by: laloomis | April 8, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Really like the A.A. Gill piece, saw a link to it the other day from a Canadian piece.

Posted by: dmd2 | April 8, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I love that article about Jefferson and Poplar Forest. Or, as I assume it was known at the time, his Undisclosed Location.

Not only do I find Poplar Forest beautiful and architecturally interesting, I, like, so totally get the concept. Let's face it. This was Tom's Man Cave. I'm sure that if you scrape the paint away carefully you can still see the remnants of the Led Zeppelin posters.

More realistically, of course, you can see the geometric perfection that characterizes so many of Jefferson's designs. Monticello, as well as so many of his other buildings all feature elements of elegant symmetry. Jefferson clearly loved the octagon, so octagons within an octagon is a logical ultimate expression of this fondness.

Although it must have been real tricky figuring out where to put the flat-screen television.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 8, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I'm here to serve, Frosti. The cranberry scones actually have pecans in them too, I hope that works for you. Glad to hear that you're feeling better!

I read the Smithsonian article in the rag. Actually I heard that story years ago, from Charles Kuralt. He covered the story of the guy who really did make it to the North Pole, sometime in the middle 80's, IIRC.

Posted by: slyness | April 8, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I am laughing to discover that my "This Week in Mudge History" was dead right about Peary and Henson not getting to the North Pole. Some days ya just take a shot in the dark, yanno? I really had no idea...

I found the link to the Eric Schmidt (Google CEO) transcript interesting. Turns out what I suspected: he knows nothing about newspapers after all (and why should he? He's never been in that business). Which is not to say he didn't have a few interesting notions, one of which echoes my own prejudices: the Internet is a "sewer" (his words). Also, he points out another of my long-held, oft-ignored rants: it is harder to read stuff on a monitor (i.e. the Internet) than it is to read a dead-tree version. I saw a study a few years ago that said reading speed on a monitor is one-fourth what it is holding a newspaper/magazine/book. (One can get lost arguing the precise ratio of slowness of Interbet/monitor versus dead-tree, but to do so would be to miss the point: there is no need to quantify the difference. Sufficient to say merely that it is "significant.")

Also, there is the "serendipity" factor, which no online experience can recreate, any more than wandering into a bookstore and browsing at random can be replaced by anything Amazon can do. They just don't get it. In fact, the Internet simply doesn't understand "shopping" (and can never "understand" it). It understands "buying," which is different. But not "shopping."

Jeff Jarvis is a maroon. He always has been, always will be. He surpasses Gerson, and approaches the Wagnerian heights of Krauthammer, himself the Odin of maroonity.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 8, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse


OK, Schmidt makes part of his living ripping off newspaper web sites, yet has the temerity to say:

"Schmidt commended newspapers for staking claim on the Internet in the 1990s but said there wasn't a second act. He says news Web sites take too long to read, even slower than flipping through a newspaper or magazine, a shortcoming that can be addressed by improving technology.

"At Google we're working hard to address the technological questions," he said at the Newspaper Association of America's annual convention. "We don't have any answers here."

My question is, was this dude wearing a flack jacket? No doubt some journalists in the audience were looking at their pencils and considering doing a Senate v. Ceasar re-enactment.


Posted by: jp1954 | April 8, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Adrian Higgins is a real asset to the Washington Post. His is the kind of trusted expertise that justifies purchasing a newspaper. He has always answered my questions on gardening with great patience and without suggesting psychological counseling.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 8, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Cowtown, you can't stab a man to death with a Blackberry or a mini tape recorder. This is why old farts like me are in favor of returning to the old tried-and-true tools of the trade.

(The Sumerians had it right: use a maul and chisel to write with. You can do some serious editing with a 10-pound hammer in your hand. Good cardio, too.) (Admittedly not so good for the reader, or for the news boys who delivered the slabs all over town. But the Sumerians had a much stronger do-it-right-the-first-time ethos back then.)

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 8, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

[secret message]

My email is not working today. So all those important dignitaries trying to reach me, please be patient.

This means you Mr. President.

[end of secret message]

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 8, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Great garden writing, like the best sports writing, can make the heart ache or the spirit soar. It is not the same on a screen as it is in your hand, and if it places me among the lunatic fringe to say so, so be it-it never will be as good.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | April 8, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Frosty, your application to join the lunatic fringe was rejected for lack of bona fides and qualifications a long time ago. Sorry.

Perhaps, like Charles Manson, they'll let you re-apply every few years, but like Manson, I suspect they're going to turn you down pretty much routinely.

I fear you must remain among the sane. Hope you aren't too badly disappointed with this rejection.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 8, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Little bird, linky linky. Makes my head thinky thinky.

I quoted Joel today in my Federal Jurisdiction class. I've been trying to give my students a sense of the conditions surrounding the beginnings of the country, the trade-offs of state sovereignty to federal government, and the conditions under which federal courts began. I read a couple of paragraphs from "The Great Idea" describing the organizational state of the new country (no organized strong central government, no standard currency) and its physical state (few roads, no bridges, trackless wilderness). I properly attributed the whole thing, put his name and the book title up on the board and everything, and highly recommended his other books too. They liked it - heck, they like anything where I put off beginning the lecture.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 8, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

What a neat thing, Ivansmom. Perfectly suited to the purpose.

I guess they'll have to get along without your wise counsel today, RD_Padouk. I dislike it intensely when my email or intertubes don't work. Feel all cut off.

Love the very linky Kit, though it cut into my working time this morning :)

Have a good day, everybody.

Posted by: Yoki | April 8, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Since my memory tends to be sketchy - I do not remember the actual words that I have previously read - but I do remember how those words made me feel.

One of the strongest lasting impressions of something I read was a description of the wild flowers in the Mountain meadows around Banff. It was a small pamphlet detailing the need to stay on trails but from there went on to describe the process it took for the wild flowers to grow - it was a formed in the manner of a battle of the seeds/plants vs all the forces against it - I am not doing it justice but it was wonderful.

Posted by: dmd2 | April 8, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, it's always a good thing for lawyers to know Why Things Are (volumes I, II), Why Things Are & Why Things Aren't, and even what happens when people are Captured by Aliens.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 8, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

One of my points in using Joel's words to describe the state of the country was that communication and travel availability affected how the country was formed and how people thought about it. In fact, I asserted confidently, the pace and mechanism of communication, temporal differences and difficulty of face-to-face or quick interaction, actually made people think differently than we do when it comes to decision-making and consultation. I suggested it was a rare luxury for the entire Supreme Court to be able to gather in the same building and discuss a case together before making a decision; I pointed out that you have so many things like the Federalist Papers because people had to write private letters or publish opinions, which then had to be distributed before they could be read and responded to. No phone calls, no email, no quick meetings.

I know all this is obvious but I've discovered that the students often don't have this sense of the difference physical conditions can make in history. I try to do something of the same thing for Reconstruction, and last class I found myself explaining the tumult surrounding the Vietnam War protests and civil rights movement.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 8, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

On the one hand I'm very pleased you are explaining this kind of stuff to your students, Ivansmom...but on the other hand I am a bit disturbed to see that someone can get as far as law school without knowing anything about history, be it Washington and the founding of the country, or Vietnam and the civil rights movement. *sigh*

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 8, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for that PSA Frosti. It never fails that when I get around to posting something, Joel posts a new Kit.

The egocentric part of me knows he does that on purpose. The rational part of me is just suspicious.

btw... regarding gardening... instead of tomatoes and veggies, we've decided to plant tobacco this year. Just got the seeds yesterday -- strains that are supposedly "Northern friendly" (we'll see). That new tobacco tax decided it for us. A 6oz. bag that went for $8 a week ago is now $24. Each plant should yield 4 to 5 pounds of leaf and we're hoping to end up with 9 plants, so that's 36 to 45 pounds. If it works out, we'll have more than enough tobacco for ourselves for an entire year.

I may have to get a guard dog and some barbed wire, though, to keep thieves out. The way things are going, tobacco may soon be worth its weight in gold.

Posted by: martooni | April 8, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I've suggested that exclusive colleges (in the sense of favoring insiders) and colleges with truly competitive admissions might set up "early rejection" programs for students who aren't legacies or athletic recruits. Walk-ons, as it were.

Applicant submits application for a quick screening, college agrees to do a quick assessment as to whether admission is likely (maybe in a one-out-of three sense) or less-likely. An applicant who gets the latter appraisal need not withdraw the application and may actually get admitted.

Applicants gain by being disabused of notions of their own personal greatness while colleges sacrifice a few admissions but have fewer anguished phone calls in April.

Wendy Wasserstein's last play, "Third" has a funny take on the exclusivity bit, featuring a student named Woodson Bull III.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 8, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Oh, they may have learned it before, Mudge. My theory is that all law students live in a bubble. They are encouraged to set their general knowledge aside while they learn all this very specific legal stuff. I see it as part of my teaching mission to bring historical perspective, among other things, back into discussion of legal doctrines and issues. As I'm always telling them, a lot of this makes sense if you look at underlying policy implications, and those are almost always affected by historical time, place and circumstances.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 8, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps another cash crop may be in order too, but just grow that one in someone else's yard.

Glad to have you back!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | April 8, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

martooni, if the Stompin' Tom Connors song "Tilsonburg" is accurate, tobacco can be commercially grown even further north.

Cigarettes here, FYI, work out in price to about $0.50 per cigarette ($12 per 25 pack), from what I've heard.

Posted by: engelmann | April 8, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

My grandfather was part owner of a Tobacco farm in Tilsonburg back in the 30's, we drove through Tobacco country when I was young to his home. A lot of those fields have switched to other crops now - at the time tobacco was considered one of the few things that would grow in the sandy soil. Now ginseng, asparagus, soy beans are common.

Posted by: dmd2 | April 8, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Just checked the USDA Hardiness map, Tilsonburg and Ohio are in the same Zone 5b, with parts of Ohio being a half zone colder 5a.

Posted by: dmd2 | April 8, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Joliette QC used to be tobacco country as well. It's got to be a 4b zone, no more. The tobacco was grown for the US market though, this wasn't a kind needed for Canadian cigarettes. It's mostly potato and soya now. Cigs in Ontario seem to be about $10 for a 20-pack, so it's about the same 50 cents per unit.
No need to say I'm glad I stopped smoking 6 years ago.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 8, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

GWE... trust me. I thought of growing a little wacky tobaccy in between the regular stuff, but that idea got shot down before I even got it out of my mouth. Mrs. M and I may not like or talk to each other much these days, but she knows me like a book.

"But honest occifer... I was just growing it to make really strong rope!"

Posted by: martooni | April 8, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to hear about the rocky patch in your marriage, Tooni. But I agree with Mrs. M. Some ideas are just not worth it.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 8, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Holy carp! $10 to $12 per pack!?

And I was all mad about paying $4+ a pack for generic brands here (one of the reasons we switched to "rolling our own" -- $12/carton vs. $40-$50).

I know it's a terrible habit and that many here have very strong opinions about why everyone should quit, but smoking happens to be one of those few pleasures/luxuries that I get to enjoy (aside from a bottle of hootch).

Posted by: martooni | April 8, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

Huh. I've heard persistent suggestions that Peary and Henson didn't make it all the way to the pole for the past 15 years or so. I guess I've been ignoring it lately, since it seemed like old news to me.

After reading the Jarvis and Google/Schmidt pieces, I kinda get the feeling that the two sides aren't really going to make a marriage that lasts.

Another feeling I had was that I was in an echo chamber with both of them, as I've been saying some of those things for years.

And the problems aren't much closer to being solved.

And I'm sorry to say that I only made it through half of my WaPo Sunday paper; it still resides, forlorn and yellowing, on my pathetic little bachelor kitchen island.

And frosti - I've seriously considered a Miata as a daily driver/commuter car. They're wonderful - as I've often said, a Lotus Elan made by Mazda. Also, the best-shifting factory-spec manual trans I've ever driven, better even than the overrated gated Ferrari shifters I've had the good fortune to exercise. [Though a Miata just cannot provide the glorious mechanical ripping aria of a Ferrari or even a Lambo at full song right behind your head.]

[I'm welling up here. Verklempt.]


Posted by: -bc- | April 8, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

And it'll be all the more pleasurable once you've done the hard work of growing, drying, rolling, etc.

Maybe you'll even come up with 'Baccy fairy doors, who knows?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 8, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Mr seasea is trying to quit smoking - again - he's using the nicotine patches and has gone about 10 days now.

When I was a teenager, there was an opportunity to go to Connecticut in the summer to work in the tobacco fields there. My best friend and I went to the presentation - luckily my mom must have talked me out of it - can't imagine it would have been a good way to spend a summer. I can't remember what it was we actually would have been doing...I have a vague memory of tobacco fields in North Carolina, in the heat of the summer, while our car's radiator boiled over...

Posted by: seasea1 | April 8, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

bc... I miss my Fiero and it's mid-engine goodness. That little bugger rocked and rolled (before it exploded in a mushroom cloud just outside of Atlanta). Being of gnomish stature, it was the only car I've ever owned that fit me like a glove.

Posted by: martooni | April 8, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

seasea, I went to school with someone who worked on a relatives tobacco farm in the summers - definitely hard work - but at the time paid very well.

Good article on the decline of the tobacco industry in Ontario.

Posted by: dmd2 | April 8, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

And now, the Centerpiece...

Dinner and a Show! Actually, it was A Show and Dinner, since we saw a matinee of "Avenue Q." A delightful show, my-side-hurts-from-laughing kinda funny! And I did my good deed of the day while we were waiting for the doors to open: The ladies in front of us had tickets for the show ONE THEATER OVER! *L*

Exiting the show, we briefly considered the restaurant flyers thrust at us and weaved our way through the bicycle cabs back to the street. Since we’re both Bobby Flay fans, I guided NukeSpouse over to Bar Americain. I hadn’t made reservations, but we slipped in just before they began seating people for dinner. The maitre d’ graciously agreed to squeeze us into a table that would be open for an hour, but while we were waiting at the bar the staff reminded us the full menu was available there, so we were able to relax and enjoy the ambiance. We both highly recommend everything we tried. The “bread bowl” included a spoonbread variation with cornmeal and a hint of jalapeno that seemed almost deep-fried. The gulf shrimp and grits needed more cheese (a joke, we’re joking I swear!), the grilled pizza with double-smoked bacon was heavenly, the fries americain with smoked red pepper mayonnaise were addictive, and the Philadelphia style strip steak with provolone cheese sauce was hearty and delightful. We toyed with the idea of dessert, but settled for coffee and called it a night after an uneventful subway ride back to Brooklyn. NukeSpouse was quite satisfied with her birthday festivities.

*wondering-how-I-found-time-to-type-this-during-another-hectic-workday-and-still-have-to-find-time-to-type-the-finale Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 8, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Tooni the risk is never worth it.

Our local newspaper always had an article in it every week to "Turn In Your Neighbor"

How is that for neighborly love?

Snuke you are "Da Man" when it comes to showering Nuke spouse with love and adventure.

Well off to work

Have a Great day everyone!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | April 8, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

seasea--My mr. is in that same club, "It's easy to quit smoking; I've done it hundreds of times!" He's on the patches right now too, and has a phone counselor to help him. I told him about a hundred times that it was WRONG of him to smoke and use the patches at the same time [just one cigarette a day, instead of the usual 20+], but he waved me off, it just went in one ear and out the other, as my mother used to say. But yesterday the counselor told him in no uncertain terms that he MUST NOT DO THAT. He was nonplussed and chastened. He said, "She was very severe about it." I hope he will be obedient to her where he was heedless of my advice.

Posted by: kbertocci | April 8, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Yes, kb, Mr seasea knows that he can't smoke with the patch - very bad consequences (heart attack). He still would do it if he could find a cigarette, I think. I have suggested the phone counselor or even hypnosis to help him quit, but so far he's going it alone. Good luck to your mr.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 8, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I was never, ever tempted to even try smoking, and I have compassion for those who are trying to stop. May Mr. seasea and Mr. kber be successful!

I did something courageous a little while ago: I opened and LOOKED at the statement from my financial advisors. It was up for March, but still is less than I orginally put in the account, and about a third less than it was a year ago.

Posted by: slyness | April 8, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

"An American crew has seized back control of a container ship that was commandeered by pirates in the Indian Ocean today, according to the Pentagon.

The military official said the crew was holding one pirate in custody while the others were reported to “be in the water”. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, would not confirm how the Somalis found their way into the ocean."

Gee, they were here a minute ago. I hope we didn't make them feel unwelcome.

Posted by: Boko999 | April 8, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Strange. Us American sailors are normally a pretty helpful, hospitable bunch. I'm guessing the Somalis tried to throw the rum ration overboard.

Some people never learn.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 8, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, we think along the same lines. I have some illegal tobacco seeds. They are illegal because they contain an unathorized gene-splice that helps them resist some infection or another. So a tobacco farmer gave them to me. However, if someone were to plant more than 50 of these, I bet the black helicopters would swoop down faster than if they had a whole field of marijuana.

In any case, I recommend praying mantises. I have cultivated them for years. They will clean the aphids off a garden plant in no time. When I find an egg case I will move it to a protected area where I need them for the next year.

Re.: the Google News, since it sends you right to the website of the news org featuring the story, I don't see how they can be sued. Teapot tempest.

Re.: the future of cars, I think Harley Davidson is dropping the ball here. They have everything lined up to make some awesome high-mileage three-wheelers; if they'd just put a roof on 'em they'd be good to go.

A link from the incomparable Bailey to a story in the Financial Times by Taleb

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 8, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Patience and fortitude to the Misters who are kicking tobacco to the curb.

Well, my goodness, the Nukes did NY right. Will smile at the next installment.

Pirates! Scary and real.

Gardening: sigh. But we must speak of the Patron Saint of Garden Writers, Mr. Henry Mitchell, sadly missed. And, Frosti is right: good garden writing is very much like sports writing. Mr. Boswell is still a good read most days.

Martooni, nice to see your typing here.

Chilly but beautiful out. The dogwoods are setting buds. I am heading into the high holy days of Eastertide. Tonight begins Passover. Good holidays to those celebrating. Fax me some food and I will return the favor. Pork tenderloin is likely (typed as tenderlion, which might be delish, too.)

Asparagus too; and strawberries, and expensive chocolate. (Will avoid the bunny shapes as RD and Ivansmom are sensitive about this cruel ritual.)

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | April 8, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Wilbrod? You there??


Posted by: Scottynuke | April 8, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

(Boodling Food Freaks alert)

Merken discovered.
(Accent on second syllable)

Merken is THE seasoning used by the Mapuche Indians in Chile’s Lakes Region. It’s a red powder made out of smoked Cacho de Cabra pepper and other spices. It is absolutely marvelous with meats, soup, on veggies. Just sprinkle on the food and it’s ready.
It can also be added to your favorite sauce.

In the past, each Mapuche family had their own Merken recipe. Now, several hundred Mapuche families prepare an organic and stable Merken that is marketed in Santiago and abroad.

In the US It is available from Whole Foods, Williams Sonoma and several online stores

Bon appetit,

Posted by: Braguine | April 8, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I will be at the Verizon Center tomorrow night, cheering on Bemidji State (in spite of the fact that they knocked my very own Cornell out of the running). As for BU and Vermont, I'll probably cheer for Vermont, as I'm a sucker for the underdog.

Posted by: Raysmom | April 8, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

CP makes a good point. If anyone receives offensive chocolate bunnies, please fax them to me and I will see to it they are disposed of properly.

Happy Passover to the ftb, a bea c and SciTim families, and any others of the tribe. (Greeting takes effect at sundown, which is 6:52 p.m. in these here parts, or after three stars are visible, for those without clocks. The stars can be pulsars, quesars, regular stars, binaries, etc. Please: no planets. And no, the sun doesn't count.)

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 8, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Ah, CP, ixnay on axing-fay the ork tenderloin-pay to any Jews, especially during Passover.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 8, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Just when they have perfected the re-attachment of fingers, Petaluma, CA high, is dropping wood shop and ag vocational courses. Victim of the Calif. budget woes. Think some stuff taught in these classes will be difficult to assimilate via the computer.

Petaluma was once the self proclaimed egg capitol of the world and place where the artificial egg hatcher was invented.

Posted by: bh72 | April 8, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Mr. F has been trying to work his schedule so he can be at the Bemidji game tomorrow night, without much success. Cheer all the harder Raysmom!

Looking ahead, it doesn't look good for Bemidji to get into the WCHA. They could be a team without a league next year. I hope this appearance in the final four, which no WCHA team made, will shame them into a deal.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | April 8, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

That is why I offered the strawbees and asperaguys.....and I feel a deep twinge about the pork. Pigs are smarter than dogs; they look at you, when the deed is about to be done. And, the look is one of complete sorrow at the betrayal....

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | April 8, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Brisket of tender lion would be OK if it was properly made KP (kosher for pesach). But the same people whose delicate sensibilities won't let them eat chocolate bunnies would also likely object to a nice roast hakuna matata and slaw on pumpernickle with a big kosher pickle (known as "the Wimo-weck" in some delis).

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 8, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

That 's the conundrum. They are clever, but tasty.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 8, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

H-m-m-m. Another Fiero disaster. About 8 years ago my wife was driving her sister's Fiero in a.m. rush in DC when smoke started pouring out of the center console. She no more than got pulled off to the side and out of the car when it burst into flames. I later heard that they had a bit of a propensity for doing this. Martooni's tale backs it up. My Miata just turned over 230K miles. Takes a likin' and keeps on tickin'.

Posted by: ebtnut | April 8, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Cats are dumb and taste like s*, no problem there; it's a pet not food.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 8, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse


Traffic alert (in the DC area, anway): a colleague just phoned in to report a mjor, major snafu of some sort on the Wilson Bridge, at least 10 fire/rescue vehicles on the bridge including some rescue boats (??). All traffic on the beltway dead stopped, whole south of town tied up.

You may now return to your lives.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 8, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Tender lion? Seems like lion would be stringy and tough...

Posted by: seasea1 | April 8, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I would have thought so, too, seasea. perhaps they sprinkle it with Adolph's Predator tenderizer.

Or they could brine it and pound it out with a mallet. Leonine scallopini.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 8, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Now I feel terrible for the pigs. And bunnies, of course.

Posted by: Yoki | April 8, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Hey, no fair. Talk of: chocolate bunnies, "the other white meat", big Kosher pickles, et. al. this late in the afternoon is making my mouth water. Not that I've been behaving all that righteously in the dieting department. I fell off the wagon just this morning with a (one, just one) donut. The first one that I've had in a blue moon, and my weight shot up five pounds. grrr....

Posted by: Don_from_I-270 | April 8, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I can post again. One day, I'm hot, the next day, I'm not. Perfidious intertubes.

It's cage-door opening time, though. Later.

Posted by: Don_from_I-270 | April 8, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

And, well, since Brag's post on the spice and the rest of you on the various holiday eatings, I'm hungry as all get out.

As a strictly and pious non-observant J, I have been known to eat just about anything (except milk right outta the cow and blood (also just right outta the cow at a Masai camp in Tanzania -- I was kind in my demurral, tho) at any time . . . mostly. So, I shall avoid the matzoh and tonight treat myself to some whole wheat pasta with some shrimp. I mean, H e l l, as long as I'm already on the road to it, I might as well enjoy the meal, eh?

I did, however, have much the same reaction as Mudge to CP's pork tenderloin (although my stomach chose to growl anyway). Tender lion, on the other hand might be a bit tough. They have pretty much non-stop stress in their lives.

Hope all my fellow Js out there have a nice Seder (or two) and a delicious meal afterward. And for those who celebrate Easter, lamb sounds really good to me right now (just tugging on this mostly vegetarian's heart strings). You know, a little rosemary, some lemon, a whole lot of garlic and perhaps even some mint. . . .

Geez. This is *too* much!!!!

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | April 8, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Food? Why, in my day,
we got fed Jetson pellets
And were grateful, too.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 8, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

I have been known to dispatch a chocolate bunny or two in my time. But I try to do so with merciful swiftness. And then only to those whom I sense have committed grievous sins and are unrepentant.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 8, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

The Boy has already made short work of a pre-Easter chocolate bunny, and another will be waiting Easter morn. It is the real bunnies I won't eat. All the rest of this sounds good. I am roasting a chicken - cooking for the first time in two weeks. I hope the family is well enough to eat it. We always called Petaluma the chicken capital of the world.

Brag, that spice sounds similar to pimenton, a sort of smoky paprika. I put it on hardboiled eggs, hummus, in beef stew and deconstructed stroganoff - it improves many a dish.

Happy Passover y'all.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 8, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

New Kit! Aaaarrrgh!

Posted by: seasea1 | April 8, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

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