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Middleburg

IMG_4362.jpg

[A Middleburg farm. Photo by J.A.]

[ Here's my Style story on the Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg.]


Picture in your mind a luxury resort -- no, "ultraluxury" -- in the heart of horse country. The winding driveway is lined with London plane trees. There's a stallion barn off to the right. Paddock fences gallop across the Piedmont.

The hotel is compact, with a stone facade. There's a library, a wine bar, a billiard room and a barnlike restaurant framed in vintage timbers. A standard room goes for $600 in season. Even the loo has a flat-screen TV, and the shower appears to be big enough for a polo match.

This is Salamander Resort & Spa, sprouting in a pasture a short walk from the center of Middleburg. It's still a construction site, with scraps of insulation littering bare concrete surfaces, but by summer the exterior will be finished, and from a distance it will resemble the five-star resort it aspires to be.

Except it will be empty. No guests. No furniture, even. The resort -- the ambitious, controversial enterprise of tycoon Sheila Johnson -- will go into a state of hibernation, the interiors unfinished, and the scheduled 2010 opening pushed off at least a year.

With construction already underway, Salamander ran into a cultural buzz saw: Luxury fell into societal disfavor. In our current economic environment, luxury has become almost obscene.

The tale of Salamander poses a question: When will luxury make a comeback? When will that whole panoply of indulgences and extravagances of the bubble years once again dare to show themselves in public?

Salamander's business strategy counts on corporations holding meetings and retreats, but that element of high-flying corporate life has taken on a bad odor since taxpayers began bailing out the financial sector. Congress has put limits on luxury travel in bailout legislation. In the travel industry, there are tales of nervous executives asking hotels to delete the words "resort" or "spa" from booking contracts.

Click here to keep reading.

By Joel Achenbach  |  April 1, 2009; 5:42 PM ET
 
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Next: Guiding Light Fans Riot at G-20 Summit

Comments

Pit pitit pat pit pat pitit
*rain falling softly on the roof*
*Blond girl with an austere expression looking through window streaked with rain. The rest of the house is dark, barren*

Ooooooh
Shoo Shoo Shoo
*Show back of a young man or big teenager walking away in the narrow dirt road covered with rotten leaves. Dark barren trees are arching over the road, buffeted by the wind and rain. The man/child has an axe in one hand and a coil of rope in the other*

Creeeeek
Shufff creek shuffff bang
*blond teenager girl rummaging in the 2 cupboards of the cottage’s kitchen*
*not finding any slices of knäckebröd, lefse or tunnbröd
*but there is a half box of graham crackers!*

*Close-up on a bulging tin can, deformed by internal pressure. *
Phiiiiissshhhh!
*the bulging can of Surströmming is opened by the blond girl.*
Aaaaaaaack!
*girl cringes as the smell reminds her of the prohibition against eating Surströmming inside*

*Blond girl outside, over garbage bin used as table*
Ummm, aaah, snort.
*soft crying sound*

Herring between two graham crackers, served cold, in the rain, in despair.
Posted by: engelmann | March 31, 2009 1:40 PM

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 1, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Ooops. Only the last line is Engelman's!

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 1, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

The rest is mine, mine!

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 1, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

I love it, Shrieking. Like some sort of fun English Comp assignment. Ya done good.

The good thing in my new "career" is that luxury is OK as long as you stay near home.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 1, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Engleman, will you marry me and have my babies? This is the complement of the youngens......please interpret this correctly as

booYAH

on what you did, and echoed by your wingman SD.

Now, will you both please, please, please explain Jimmy Webb's masterwork of
MacArthur Park

Richard Harris -- courtesy of YouTUBE, and plays in steroe this version.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHS8hj4TdT8

SD and Engelman win today! Handsdown.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | April 1, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Love the photo Joel - just wandering around that farm would be spa retreat enough for me.

Posted by: dmd2 | April 1, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

CqP, thank you for telling me about Erika Peters' funeral. I'm glad so many could come.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 1, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps they can move the whole resort to a country in Europe only rich people know about.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 1, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Pretty picture, Joel.

Posted by: Windy3 | April 1, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm dazzled!

Posted by: Yoki | April 1, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Shameless Suck-up Alert

This site was mentioned on TV.
http://www.mrs-o.org/

Posted by: Boko999 | April 1, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

When I first saw the picture (quite nice Joel), I thought the little farm house was the resort, a sort of really upscale B&B, which would excite me more than some huge luxury hotel. In my previous life I went on a few exclusive type vacations with the ex’s company. The resorts were great, with multiple pools, famously designed golf courses and super tennis courts. Of course the resorts today are even more plush and boast more amenities but I’d still rather stay in a B&B. But that’s just me and I’m not the market they’re building those places to attract. I’ve been researching places to stay in Nova Scotia for the past week - it’s a tedious job. I’ve chosen B&Bs for all stays longer than one night with plain old hotels for the one nighters. I’m sure we’ll be perfectly happy as long as the lodgings are clean and have a private bath.

Posted by: badsneakers | April 1, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

My first thought was that that was a picture of the resort as well, certainly would be a beautiful place for a small B&B or Country Inn.

Bad Sneaks I trust you will have a great time in Nova Scotia, Nova Scotians are very welcoming.

Posted by: dmd2 | April 1, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Joel, I liked the piece, and not just because of the words "loo," "panapoly," "sumptuous," and "Antebellum."

For me, luxury can be as simple as a bathtub and a glass of inexpensive port.

Though this Gladiatoral Lion in Late Summer is willing to step up to pedicures when given the opportunity. My gladiator sandals are rough on my feet after a 5 mile quick march and I want them to look my best when I'm in my Dress Tunic.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 1, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

When I was in high school, I subscribed to The Chronicle of the Horse, a weekly magazine published in Middleburg (still is, I believe). When I got to see Middleburg many years later, I was a bit disappointed, because there's not much to the town. But it's in the middle of horse country, which is heaven for me.

The executives at my very large corporation go off for a retreat every year...usually in "the desert", meaning Palm Springs, but more recently they've gone to Orlando. It always stuck in my craw, given the things that the worker bees have to economize on. I can understand rewarding people, keeping morale up, but they need to adjust their expectations. Especially since most of them probably live in houses that are quite luxorious and resort-like.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 1, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

I liked how JA worked in "umbrage". One nagging question remains: how does a person get a nickname like "Bundles"?

SD, you added just the right amount of je ne sais quoi to the s'morefish.

CqP, thank you for that.

Posted by: engelmann | April 1, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

The Chronicle is online now:
http://www.chronofhorse.com/index.php?cat=40311032977488
But you have to subscribe to read the current articles...the older ones are free. Not quite sure if they still have the hard copy - it was very plain in the 60s, no color, no glossy paper, just lots of info about horses and shows, etc. And, wow, they seem to have an all-female staff these days.

Lots of stories out here about horses being sold or abandoned. Not a good time for that industry, or for horses and their owners.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 1, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

This is so last boodle, but I can't resist. The playlist that the Prez put on the iPod he gave the Queen:

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/04/01/obama-gives-queen-an-ipod/#more-46206

Posted by: slyness | April 1, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Ha, engelmann, I wondered about "Bundles" too!

Posted by: seasea1 | April 1, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

I think it is a southern thing, engelmann. No Canadian would ever have the moniker "Bundles." Have you noticed how allusive and laden Southern language is? I love it.

No, we have really clever stuff like "Stretch" for a tall person, and "Shorty" for (well, you know).

Posted by: Yoki | April 1, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

CBC-TV is showing Leonard Cohen: Live in London.
Cool hat.

Posted by: Boko999 | April 1, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Although I see how luxurious retreats by bail-out companies create righteous umbrage, I don't see the problem when hosted by successful firms. I mean, a successful company owes its success to its people, so why not reward those people with a little pampering?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 1, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Cool guy. Always has been, always has been.

Posted by: Yoki | April 1, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

I think people get upset at the `pamering their employees` designation - do they pamper all employees or selected employees.

I think I somehow switched to a french keyboard, don`t know how I did it now need to try and figure out how to switch it back.

Posted by: dmd2 | April 1, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

SCC pampering

Keyboard back to normal, wish my typing/editing skills were so easily fixed.

Posted by: dmd2 | April 1, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Engelmann, as a kid one of my nieces was nicknamed "Bunches" which was short for "Honeybunches." I don't recall how she earned that, but we called her that for years. My brother's nickname is "Bo," short for "Bozo" (as in the clown). I am the only person left, now that our mother is dead, who can get away with calling him that.

Posted by: slyness | April 1, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

The Breakers in Palm Beach may have too familiar a name; they need a Riviera Beach mailling address and an undercover name. Maybe Marriott something or other.

Orlando's so middlebrow that a luxury resort can hide in plain sight. I need to get a peek at the Portofino Bay Hotel. Its service entrance on Vineland Road is so spiffy, the hotel itself must be sensational.

Daytona Beach is sufficiently downtrodden that a hotel can have a spa and no one will think it's anything special. You could do stealth luxury here. The Shores Resort, formerly a Hilton, is a mere convention hotel, but the bar and pool area can feel worthy of a Bond movie.

Right now is prime time for Floridians to migrate around their own state while the weather's nice.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 1, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm still trying to figure out just how much of this is an April Fools joke, but the combination of seafood and legumes seems right up the boodle's alley:

http://copyranter.blogspot.com/2009/04/couple-of-10-year-olds-open-ad-agency.html

John West Tuna In Three Bean Salad is a real product. I'm just having a hard time buying the ad.

http://www.john-west.co.uk/our-products/tuna/all/tuna-in-three-bean-salad/#product_24

Posted by: yellojkt | April 1, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Here's a better picture of the gassy tuna:

http://bestadsontv.com/files/print/2009/Mar/20627_JohnWest_Tuna_Beans.jpg

Posted by: yellojkt | April 1, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

But RD, at my not-bailed-out-yet very large corporation, the executives are rewarded, much less pampered, very well, all the time. Big salaries, stock options (oops), company cars, golden parachutes - heaven knows what all. While we at the bottom get questioned for travelling somewhere to take a class, or attend a conference. And then we get laid off, to control costs. Why does their compensation have to be so out of proportion to ours? It's not right!

Posted by: seasea1 | April 1, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Waaaaaah, I was already so envious of Mr. F's temporary duty in DC. Joel's picture has me reduced to a sniveling heap.

Day 3 of a 3 day conference tomorrow-nice venue, but no overnight stays (daily commute from home).

Off to back boodle then to bed.
Toodles and sweet dreams.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | April 1, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Now this is cool:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/01/AR2009040100795.html?hpid=entnews
Maybe this is the stimulus plan for the Post Office.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 1, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if one of us has already said it, but Joel's photo of the farm is wonderful, It somehow looks like a 19th century painting of landscape. I appreciate it.

Posted by: Yoki | April 2, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

George Will is attacking compact fluorescent light bulbs. Someone's careful calculation figured that incandescents make good sense in places with cheap hydropower (such as Portland, Oregon). In Florida, you're crazy to use incandescents because their heat has to be handled by the air conditioner. I've installed warm-white LEDs under the kitchen cabinets, but that's a special case where the directionality of the LED light is an advantage.

Rosetta Stone going public is interesting. Should I take up Japanese or Mandarin?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 2, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Evening all
Very foogy ride home tonight,but through the fog I saw some type of big cat,not mountain lion big,more like bobcat big or lynx.It had something in it's mouth,but was in a place where stopping to investigate was out of the question.

I agree Yoki,that picture is simply gorgeous,it needs to go in a contest somewhere.The contrast between red and green ,orange and grey is wonderful. the blue of the sky and grey of the trees is very good too.I want to walk in those fields,spread out a blanket,open a picnic basket and share a bottle of wine with someone......very very nice.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | April 2, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Virginia is one of my favourite places.NC, SC, and Georgia are right up there too. How many places are here where one can traverse four of the five major physiographic features in the Northern hemisphere, including: the Southern extension of the boreal forest, the eastern continental divide and the Allegheny plateau, the mixed mesophytic forests of the eastern seaboard, the shale barrens, prairie remnants, and lowland coniferous forests of the piedmont, the sandhills of the coastal plain and the barrier islands and beaches of the coast, all in a five hour drive? Virginia is the best spot to execute this travel treat, particularly from the Shenandoah Valley. Magnificent, particularly the view from the top of Dolly Sods in West By-God. On a clear day one can see the ridges of all five ridge/valley features that separate the Plateau from the Shendanoah valley. And to think that those mountains were once as tall as the Himalayas. Old rocks are *very* cool. And Shenandoah means Daughter of the Stars.

Posted by: -jack- | April 2, 2009 12:46 AM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmzAGoKHs44

Posted by: Yoki | April 2, 2009 12:52 AM | Report abuse

That is so cool Jack. Also from what I understand,there used to be a sea here too.I often find shell fossils at the river and in some of the rock outcropping....so neat.....

Posted by: greenwithenvy | April 2, 2009 12:52 AM | Report abuse

The marl formations at the beach are amazing to me. Fossil remains of sea creatures from tens of thousands of years past. Nice touch, Yoki. check this one out. Sometimes this just makes me cry, along with the theme music from Burns' Civil War. I guess because it reminds me of my Mom.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZRvbU5nMeI

Posted by: -jack- | April 2, 2009 1:00 AM | Report abuse

I never meant to make you cry, jack.

Posted by: Yoki | April 2, 2009 1:05 AM | Report abuse

A small reconciliation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxXry6H12Cs

Posted by: Yoki | April 2, 2009 1:13 AM | Report abuse

jack, that is neat. I lived in VA for many years, and never knew that, and never knew the meaning of "shenandoah".

gwe, are you fooling again? (You got me too, last night!)

And yes, Joel's photo is so good - lovely colors and composition. Something I cannot master for the life of me.

Many trees - redbud, plum, cherry - are flowering here, despite the cold. I am so ready for spring.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 2, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

that is a really nice photo. taken recently? late fall?

on a topic related to the kit, the boutique wineries in california wine country are in similar financial straights.

enjoyed the shenandoah link. haven't heard the song since singing it as a kid. one of the staples of our elementary music education.

Posted by: LALurker | April 2, 2009 1:24 AM | Report abuse

No sea sea, I usually like to extend the April fools fun well into April,but I did see a good size cat tonight and the cool part about it was that his or her eyes are what alerted me to him.

And it is funny,cause normally when i see something I haven't before,I stop and talk to them/it.Well I just talk to all the animals and creatures I meet.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | April 2, 2009 1:25 AM | Report abuse

April fool hijinks
marauding black bears or lynx;
gorgeous pictures all

Posted by: DNA_Girl | April 2, 2009 4:51 AM | Report abuse

Better (b)eat that joke,
mum always said, to the end;
Brazilian kids,
starving, and by borders bound,
don't need haircuts on humor.

Posted by: Achaiku | April 2, 2009 4:52 AM | Report abuse

G'night.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | April 2, 2009 4:53 AM | Report abuse

Great vids, Yoki.

Nothing like a little Boss (the other one) to make my morning.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 2, 2009 5:42 AM | Report abuse

And the Broooce videos led me to this one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpsOJbMCVwA&NR=1

An apt song for these troubled economic times.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 2, 2009 5:59 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all.

I remember reading about the small saga of tycoon Sheila Johnson vs some of Middleburg, but had not kept up with the actual development of the spa. Middleburg is just as lovely as JA's photo, and so close to our neighborhood that it takes less than an hour on Rt. 50 to get to The British Pantry, a favorite place to stop for a cream tea, a few miles this side of the town proper. They also serve foods like sausages & mash (hotdogs & baked beans) and pasties, meat & vegetable. But their scones and clotted cream and jams are wonderful, so I stick to the cream tea.

Two of my favorite places in downtown Middleburg are really mundane: Safeway because of their parking lot, which is convenient to all the shops and Southern States Coop because the one in Vienna closed down several years ago and I dearly miss it. A nifty local restaurant, The Red Fox Inn, is a favorite, too. It is in an old building close to xuthe corner, but then again, much is old in Middleburg, and quaint and neat & tidy and pleasant and solid. Solid is a good word for Middleburg. Although Middleburg is wealthy, luxury does not appear to be promoted "in town", at least not in my mind. Some antique shops are very pricy, but then, again, some are not. I suppose the most visible luxurous indulgence are their beautiful horses.

So, dunno when luxury will return to spas and resorts and such. The Homestead and The Greenbrier are having their problems. Maybe it is a blessing that the Salamander has to wait a couple of years to open.

Posted by: VintageLady | April 2, 2009 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Good rainy morning, all. Starting with music, that's nice. It's a nice contrast to the economic news. Heard yesterday on NPR that unemployment in Catawba and Caldwell Counties, NC is the second worst in the nation. I see it's not good here, either, and unlikely to improve any time soon. Yikes.

Interesting op-eds this morning. I was beginning to think that WaPo's editorial page was going the way of the dinosaur, with nothing interesting or important to say. Glad that Ignatius and Broder are back in the groove.

Mudge, are you there? The country ham biscuits are hot on the table in the ready room. Time to move on!

Posted by: slyness | April 2, 2009 7:11 AM | Report abuse

Hola Boodlers!

You may all relax a bit. Brag is Dawn Patroling and watching the Boodle's six o'clock.

Now, what's going on behind the scenes?

After hosting the Summit of Progressive Economies last weekend, President Bachellet hopped on an airplane and headed for Qatar for a meeting of Arab and Latin American nations. She is now in Saint Petersburg while Medvedev is in London.

Bachellet's entourage for the Russia visit is large, mostly economists and business people. Due to an engine malfunction, the entourage got stuck in the Canary Islands But will be arriving in time for the scheduled activities and meetings.

It would be interesting to know what has encouraged Bachellet's tight budgeted gummint to cough up all this travel money in the perifery of the G-20 summit.

Still summery here.

Brag

Posted by: Braguine | April 2, 2009 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Morning all!

It's now official -- a screen door is more airtight that the NukeAbode... *SIGH*

Apart from that, it's a lovely fog-filled morning. But on the bright side, it's less than 24 hours until I introduce NukeSpuse to NYC.

*wiping-off-the-flight-goggles-following-a-misty-Dawn-Patrol-and-where's-the-dang-coffee Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 2, 2009 7:37 AM | Report abuse

NukeSPOUSE, NukeSPOUSE...

*mutter mutter mutter*

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 2, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Sorry mudge, but your Aunt Barbara has nothing on my late grandmother in the Queen Liz Look Alike Contest.

http://livebythefoma.blogspot.com/2009/04/queen-grandma.html

Posted by: yellojkt | April 2, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Scotty,

So what are you and NukeSpouse up to in NYC? Sounds exciting.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 2, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

My position that retreats are a legitimate reward for hard-working employees assumes that these retreats are just that. Basically, what I am saying is that if a corporation has had a very good year and finds itself flush with funds, I don't see any problem with distributing some these funds to a worthy workforce via a nice retreat.

Note that there are operative words here, like "flush," "worthy," and "workforce." It is the definition and applicability of these key terms that I view as the source of the problem.

Otherwise I view the situation as something akin to a husband (or wife) who has brought in a lot of money and chooses to take his wife (or husband) to a nice resort as recognition that the two are a team. To me it seems petty to deny that pleasure either because it will look bad to the neighbors, or because it is not needed because they already live in a nice house and eat good food.

So I really don't burn with moral indignation over the existence of a luxury industry. Although I do think it would be nice to take part for once.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 2, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

It's the lady's perogative, yello. Although I DO have one thing lined up... ;-)

We'll take the train up in the morning and come back Sunday afternoon. It's her first trip, so seeing pretty much any sight will be in order.

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 2, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. It's a beautiful but cool morning here although it may get up to 13C/55F this afternoon. I can't wait to feel the warmth.

The Obamas get all kind of privileges, it's so unfair. When my distant cousin touched the Queen a few years back (he put a hand on her shoulder) it caused a general Off with his head! cry. Michele puts her arm around the Queen's back and suddenly they are bosom buddies. Sheeesh.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/G20/article6018322.ece

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 2, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

And in the That's REALLY Chutzpah Department:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/02/us/politics/02scott.html

*rolling my eyes*

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 2, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

The resemblance is uncanny, Yello. The Queen's a lucky lady to look like your grandma, who I'm sure was a wonderful person.

It's interesting to compare the public and private sectors in how each recompenses the high executives. I think we all agree that private sector CEO salaries are way out of kilter. Maybe we should have a rule that no CEO should make more than POTUS. That would rein in a lot of the excesses.

I could check, because the information is public, but I think the City Manager, the County Manager, and the School Superintendent here all make less than $200,000. Given the size of the organizations and the importance of the services provided, that's reasonable.

Posted by: slyness | April 2, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

What kind of twisted mind would try to substitute franks and beans for bangers and mash. In the first place a frank, or weiner, contains far more meaty bits and associated animal/insect material than the English banger (sausage]) which is made from the sweepings off the butcher shop floor lovingly jammed up a pigs intestine in the presence of a nice chop. Secondly, beans ain't potatos.

Posted by: Boko999 | April 2, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

The style section has an article on Jock Friedly WHO data mines government documents for the salaries of congressional staffers.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/01/AR2009040104020.html

As you can imagine, he is not a popular person on The Hill.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 2, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

The G19 photo - should be the G20 but apparently our PM was missing in action d'oh.

http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/04/02/harper-g20-photo358.html?ref=rss

Posted by: dmd2 | April 2, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Foggy again in this region this morning, so flight operations are delayed, except for Brag, who is already up and scouring the Andes and the Southern Approaches. There will be a Met Office briefing at 0945, and we'll re-evaluate flight conditions at 1000 hours.

This may be a bit harsh, but regarding today's op-eds:
Broder: don't care
Will: don't care
Ignatius: don't care
Kagan: really don't care
Milbank: don't care
Knauer: don't care
Sally Quinn: don't care
Religion panel: don't care
Worst draft pick of all time: don't care
(meaning don't care to read, not don't necessarily care about the topic. Although "The worst draft pick of all times" is a really stoopid topic.)

'Morning, Yoki. Let's get them 600 lawyers whipped into shape.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 2, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Ooops. Forgot to thank slyness for the biscuits and ham this morning. As always, slyness, you are a pearl among the BBs of life.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 2, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Why thank you, slyness. My grandmother was a wonderful woman. A true loving and giving matriarch. That picture was taken on the occasion of her 80th birthday and the Queen turns 83 this month, so that helps the resemblance. My grandmother passed away just over a year ago shy of her ninetieth birthday. Some say that Liz will outlive Chuck, but I doubt it.

Scotty,
On our first trip to New York we strolled down Fifth Avenue from Central Park (60th St) to about 45th Street. It's some of the best shopping in the world, including THE place to get that little blue box (not that I have done that, but I hear it's a very romantic gesture).

Posted by: yellojkt | April 2, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

SCC: "shy of her ninety-fourth birthday"

I can't even do the math on my own blog.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 2, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Yes, dmd, the morning yak shows in Canada are all chattering about how the PM missed the G20 group photo. Canadian officials explained that Harper was in a briefing while the English say he was in the washroom.
All I want to know is why the perfidious Limeys made us Canucks hold our briefings in a toilet.

Posted by: Boko999 | April 2, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Crazy like a fox, octomom apparently has a deal for a series:

'The magazine quotes an insider who says a deal is in place for her to be filmed 24/7. “It’s about Nadya trying to raise 14 children while looking for love,” the insider explains.'

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/29981526/

I wouldn't be surprised to read that Child Welfare gets many, many calls about this.

Posted by: -dbG- | April 2, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Michelle's Faux Paw:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20090402.G20QUEEN02/TPStory/International

Protocol abandoned:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/G20/article6018322.ece

From James Delingpole's March 5 blog entry at the U.K.'s Telegrah:

"We may just LURVE Michelle's fashion sense. But Michelle doesn't reciprocate our affection, one bit. Her broad-brush view of history associates Brits with the wicked white global hegemony responsible for the slave trade. Never mind that a white, Tory Englishman - William Wilberforce - brought the slave trade to an end. Judging by her record, Michelle does not make room for such subtle nuance."
***

Let's hope that if the leaders of Portugal or Egypt for that matter--former slave nations--ever visit the White House, they get treated better than Gordon Brown did.

Posted by: laloomis | April 2, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

yello, I have a feeling 5th Ave will be on the agenda. I'll have the smelling salts ready in case Stacy and Clinton walk past...

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 2, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Actually found Will a good read this morning, the most helpful his mention of a NYT story about inferior components in fluorescent light bulbs, and the fact that bulbs in recessed locations burn out faster because of lack of air flow. Our flourescent kitchen ceiling lights, recessed, certainly do konk out quickly. Now I know why.

Posted by: laloomis | April 2, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

We get no respect boko. They made an Aussie cameraman wait in the Corgy room. D@mn the colonials.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 2, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Florida's water conundrum is likely to get more complicated. The restoration of the Everglades has fallen victim to the economy.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/02/us/02everglades.html?hpw

Thus, spend less to conserve a valuable resource, or spend more, later, to supply the region with clean water via more water treatment plants? If I werre the Gov.,I'd be seeking some federal $ for this on the basis that people *need* water.

Posted by: -jack- | April 2, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Yes, but the photographer from the Sydney Daily Herald breached protocol and filmed the corgi's room...

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article6020077.ece

Anyone see Mark Haynes (sp?) on CNBC this morning. He said that banks, with marked-to-market rates for toxic assets now set lower, will want to hold on to these assests, rather than offer them up for sale to a fed-private investor partnership. Back to square one. Details here, plus:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/30009618

"...the House of Representatives, in a new display of moderation, passed another executive compensation bill yesterday, which drops the 90 percent tax on bonuses for people that make more than $250,000 at firms receiving TARP money, and gives Treasury more discretion in deciding which bonuses are excessive."

So what do you think the wiley Treasury jefe Geithner has in mind for executive compensation? Anyone want to venture a clue about what the meaning of "excessive" will be? While Americans ever be as upset about the American banking situation as Brits apparently were yesterday during the violent protests about the Royal Bank of Scotland?

Posted by: laloomis | April 2, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Wow that painting of the dogs is ugly - no wonder they were not supposed to take photos - wonder where they hid the dogs player poker painting.

Posted by: dmd2 | April 2, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Boko, after reading your description of the processing of the meat, I don't think I'd order either one of them. :-) I could be wrong about the beans vs potatoes, tho.

Scotty, the little blue box store (Tiffany's) also has a shop at Tyson's Corner just in case you run out of time in NYC....

Posted by: VintageLady | April 2, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

I've also had NYC suggestions regarding a meal at some sort of Green Tavern or something... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 2, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Seasea -- my horse Rappahannock and I got a mention in the Chronicle of the Horse once when we won the Training Level Championship for Area V. I was so thrilled ... the highlight of my competitive career!

Posted by: KBoom | April 2, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Morning Boodle! I'm so late this morning. Did I miss my call for Dawn Patrol?

Busy day for me, made complicated by other people's schedules. Isn't that alway the way?

Find something to enjoy, everybody.

Posted by: Yoki | April 2, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, if you should happen to wander into that Green Tavern greasy spoon, their Lemondrop Limonchello Martini as well as their Tavern Bellini are to die for. (Bring cash or negotiable securities, bearer bonds, Krugerrands, etc.)

Browsing over the menu (http://www.tavernonthegreen.com/pdfs/Spring%20Dinner%204-2-09.pdf) I recommend the lobster bisque or perhaps the jumbo lump and peekytoe crab cake for the appetizer. For the main course perhaps the roast dry-rub prime rib au jus (will make you weak in the knees). Also, the seafood linguine is very good.

Tell Brian (exec chef) and Jasmine (exec pastry chef) that Mudge said "Hey."

Then of course a carriage ride through the park. Aids digestion.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 2, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Every picture of Obama on this trip it looks like he's thinking, "This is *so* cool!"

Posted by: -TBG- | April 2, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Necessary footnote, courtesy of Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, About.com"

"Peekytoe crabs are a variety of Atlantic rock crab

"The peekytoe crab story is an interesting one. These are Maine rock or sand crabs which were pretty much a throwaway by-product of lobster fishing before a brilliant marketing move changed their name to "peekytoes" around 1997. They are classified as Cancer irroratus, also known as bay crab and rock crab.

"Nowadays this crab is highly sought by the most discriminating chefs around the world.

"There are a couple of theories on how it became known as "peekytoe crab." Peekytoe is the slang name for these crabs in the lobster fishing villages of Maine. Rod Mitchell, the owner of the Browne Trading Company, a seafood wholesaler in Portland, is credited with the marketing genius of calling them by their slang name.

"Peekytoe comes from "picked toe" -- '"picked'' pronounced as if it had two syllables (rhyming with picket) -- because the crab leg has a very sharp point that turns inward. ''Picked" is Maine slang for pointed. Others called them "picket toe." The Maine accent no doubt contributed to the resulting name of "peekytoe." You will even find them called "picky toe" on some menus.

"Other than being a specific type of Atlantic rock crab, the other thing that sets this crabmeat apart is the care with which they are handled, cooked, and picked. They cannot be shipped live. Picking over the meat to remove all bits of shell and strict adherence to freshness makes good pickers very much in demand by chefs.

"Peekytoes are caught in waters 20- to 40-feet deep, in traps baited with bits of fish. They are not to be confused with Jonah crabs. The meat is pink with a sweet, delicate flavor."

----

Now you know.

Still foggy here. All flight operations are cancelled for today. Go see a matinee.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 2, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning,friends. Just feel really bad this morning. I'm dealing with a headache and the rest of the body not doing so hot either.

The picture is beautiful, as always. Reminds of me of here in the northern part of the county.

Having met, Yoki, I can say she is a totally beautiful and loving person, and it was just a pleasure to meet her.

And as for yello, you my friend, I will always remember for your many kind deeds to me, as all here on the boodle have been loving and more than gracious to me and my family. I just love all you guys.

Scotty, Mudge, Slyness, Martooni, and everyone, have a great day. *waving*

Posted by: cmyth4u | April 2, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

We had some discount ticket coupons for that Green Tavern place so we took our kid along. He was about ten or twelve and had just graduated from the kids' menu. He didn't like any of the things on the menu so we told him to try the filet mignon. We said it might sound funny, but it tastes like hamburger, only better. Well, he took a liking to it and started ordering that every where we went.

Long term, that was the most expensive meal of my life.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 2, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

All I want to know is why the perfidious Limeys made us Canucks hold our briefings in a toilet.

Posted by: Boko999 | April 2, 2009 9:05 AM

******

Not "us Canucks," Boko: just Mr. Harper.

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

One nagging question remains: how does a person get a nickname like "Bundles"?

Posted by: engelmann | April 1, 2009 8:08 PM

******

I think it's actually a contraction of the exceedingly proper, but unfortunately equally impolite, name "I Was Born With Bundles Of Money."

Posted by: byoolin1 | April 2, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

*shaking my head*

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/02/business/global/02electric.html?hp

Yoki, I said sometimes. Those episodes occur at random, for little apparent reason, other than the confluence of thoughts and song, and just the right timing.

Posted by: -jack- | April 2, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra - I think we all agree with you about Yoki.


I'm heading down to beautiful Myrtle Beach for a few days. Although I will doubtless be boodling, I cannot vouch for my sobriety at such moments.


Not that my comments could ever be termed, technically, sober.

Cheers y'all.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 2, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Have a safe trip, RD! I hope the weather is a lot nicer down there.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 2, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Aw shucks, Cassandra, you're making me well up.

I'm nearly out of amaretto, so I'm going to hop out and pick some more up.

http://livebythefoma.blogspot.com/2009/04/three-dollar-amaretto.html

I'll be back in a week or so.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 2, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Headline at Huffpo:
"Sarkosy Wants "Global Regulator" To Reach Inside U.S. Boarders....

Posted by: Boko999 | April 2, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

*sigh* Well, they fixed it now, Boko. It says "Borders" now.

Why Sarkosy cares what happens in our bookstores is beyond me.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 2, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I'm not too concerned about Sarkozy and our bookstores, but I feel that the cavity searches of our nation's boarding-house residents is going over the line into being downright intrusive.

Posted by: ScienceTim | April 2, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Regarding those cavity searches, Tim, I *do* think good dental care is important. But you're quite right: that's the wrong way to go about it.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 2, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I was thinking it meant that this "Global Regulator" would be providing free colonscopies for boarding house residents.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 2, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

SCC: colonoscopies

Posted by: -TBG- | April 2, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 2, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

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