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The Astronaut's Dilemma

If you're an astronaut, you may occasionally face a dilemma that does not affect other Americans. It comes into play in situations such as the one that unfolded today, when Drew Feustel and John Grunsfeld attempted to remove the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 from the Hubble Space Telescope. As I detail in a story for The Post, the camera was held in place by a single bolt -- and it wouldn't budge. The astronauts used their best tools on it, changed bits, ran down a list of contingencies, fetched a new tool from the airlock, and kept fussing and badgering and wrenching and twisting and shaking that bolt for the better part of half an hour.

Back in Houston, the scientists who had spent a decade of their lives building the replacement camera -- and keep in mind these things are huge, inevitably compared to baby grand pianos -- were apparently about to lose their minds with tension. If the astronauts couldn't remove the bolt, the old camera would stay in, doing its 8-track cassette version of astronomy.

And so the astronauts kept turning and twisting and kvetching and grunting -- and still the bolt wouldn't move.

It was at this moment that the core dilemma of being an American astronaut reared its gnarly head: Unlike other people, astronauts can't swear.

Maybe they could back in the days of The Right Stuff. But those guys weren't miked all the time. These astronauts are so wired they're actually tweeting the mission.

I'm not saying I'm in favor of bad language. Indeed, I'm very conservative on this score, in general. But it is a time-honored technique of mechanical engineering to lubricate a recalcitrate bolt, screw, nut or nail with prodigious amounts of vulgarity.

Certain words act like WD-40. I cannot specify them in a family blog.

But astronauts, being heroes, are merely permitted to use incomprehensible jargon and astronaut-words like "egress." They are not allowed to utter the very easily understood words that are deemed to be obscenities.

If those astronauts on Thursday had not been miked and live-streamed on NASA TV, I guarantee you the dialogue out there in the payload bay would have been something like this:

Grunsfeld: Give the little piece of [vulgarity] a really hard shove.

Feustel: I already gave the [vulgarity] a turn so [expletive] hard I can't believe the[vulgarity] is still [expletive] stuck.

Grunsfeld: [Expletive.]

Feustel: [Expletive] A.

Grunsfeld: OK, Here's the plan: Together, with all our strength, let's just heave the [vulgarity] to the left and hope for the [expletive] best.

Feustel. Great idea. Here we go.

Grunsfeld and Feustel (in unison): [EXPLETIVE!!!!!]

Grunsfeld and Feustel: It's loose!

Mission Control: We copy that. Superior work, gentlemen. Now lets move on to the next [extremely offensive expletive] task.

By Joel Achenbach  |  May 14, 2009; 8:14 PM ET
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Next: Astronauts At Safeway Self-Checkout


That is more or less how I assembled an enormous wardrobe from Ikea in a smallish bedroom without stripping any of the cam bolts or whatever you call those pieces of metal. There seems to be a certain tai chi to muscling large objects around slowly, gracefully, and non-disintegratingly.

Good to know that the old camera is coming down to join the Smithsonian's collection.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | May 14, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

WD-40,duct tape and a few bungie cords save the hubble.

Evening everyone,raining here in west balmer,work has been busy,learning something new everyday,the folks I work with are great.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | May 14, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

So [expletive] true JA.

DotC-I know those wardrobes, a list of Nordic expletives should be inserted in the instructions.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 14, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

I got a laugh about how, after all the work of trying to get the bolt off the nice way, Mission Control essentially ended up throwing their hands in the air and telling the astronauts to "screw it, just pull the thing as hard as you can." I imagine pulling the thing as hard as you can is a crazy hard thing to do up there, even if (m/b)illions of dollars weren't at stake.

Posted by: tidalwv | May 14, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

I don't have the internet speed to p[lay you tube videos,but that doesn't mean the rest of you can't enjoy this

Posted by: greenwithenvy | May 14, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it fabulous when JA nails a situation like this? I don't know which is better, the humor or the writing. I laughed out loud at the whole scenario.

Perfect, just perfect.

Posted by: slyness | May 14, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

WOO-HOO!!! The Red Wings beat the Ducks 4-3! YAYYYYYYYYYYY!!!

Sorry for shouting. We play Chicago next, which is mercifully only one time zone (and only one state) away instead of three (and myriad states).

You may now return to your regularly scheduled boodling.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | May 14, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Its obvious what was wrong, Joel. They had a bunch of doctors working the repair,the DIY crew.

Posted by: --dr-- | May 14, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Not a chance FTB. Ths household was cheering the Red Wings on. And they need to go to the finals. Tus speaketh mrdr.

Posted by: --dr-- | May 14, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

dr -- I'm just thinking that in at the most 14 games, the Wings win Stanley again. And at the least only 8. Hey, ya gotta believe, eh?

It really was a good, nail-biting game. And I was impressed (albeit pi$$ed) that the Ducks didn't back down.

Soooooo Happyyyyyyyyyyy. Will be happier when we have the Stanley Cup in our arms.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | May 14, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

thus, thus, thus

Posted by: --dr-- | May 14, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

mrdr's nefarious plan is that the Wings will take it in 4 in the next round. Or else he won't beat his brother.

Posted by: --dr-- | May 14, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

JA, that might be a man thing. In my experince, a woman can cuss like nobody's business, scare the begeezus out of everyone and everything within hearing distance, and get exactly what she wants without using a single expletive.* You gotta get the tone, the stance, and the ability to immediately get what I like to call "crazy eyes" down to a science, and then you're home free. You'll never have to worry about a nearby microphone/child/clergy member again.

* Techincally, flipping is not a curse word. No matter how you use it.

Posted by: LostInThought | May 14, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

LOL, Joel nailed it. Except it they had twisted off the head of that bolt that would have been "Expletives" until they were back on earth, and then some.

My inner marine engineer shudders at all those little bolts in blind holes. I kind of understand that corrosion isn't a big issue in space but the prospect of undoing all those connections from one side only terrifies me.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 14, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Have we a new boodler in the house, or someone delurking? Welcome tidalwv.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 14, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Glad you're going to be able to join us in Wyoming next month, ScienceTim!

Posted by: Hopeful_Monster | May 14, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

One good thing about a little Minnesota snow on May 14, it makes you forget about spring and how we should have a second senator by now.

If Mr. F hadn't already bought tickets for the St. Paul Saints game on the 19th we'd be up for this-
St. Paul, Minn. (May 12, 2009) – Dean Barkley, Independence Party candidate for U.S Senate, will throw out the first pitch at the St. Paul Saints game on May 23rd. The former U.S. Senator will participate in what the St. Paul Saints are calling “Re”Count Night in honor of the 2008 U.S. Senate recount. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in many recount themed activities including a “color inside the oval” contest. The first 2,500 fans through the gate will receive a Count Von "Re"Count doll. The doll will feature the likeness of Coleman on one side and Franken on the other. The bobble head spins over a body dressed like the Sesame Street's Count von Count.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 14, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

I learned many of my more colorful expressions as a child from helping my father with car repairs. I also learned of his disdain of engineers as he explained the idiocy of putting parts requiring servicing in inaccessible locations. A sentiment it seems the NASA repair crew could appreciate. While I will never be as automotively inclined as he is, I recall his frequently profane observation whenever I have to remove the battery to change the headlight bulb (a task for which I became moderately proficient at through repeated practice).

Posted by: yellojkt | May 14, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

I land in Cody on Saturday evening, June 20. I would suggest a Wyoming BPH, but the ScienceKid doesn't partake of such things, and we will need to switch our sleep schedules and get toughened up for hard days of dino-wrangling. Learning to rope'em won't be so bad, but I'm a bit concerned about riding the bucking sauropod.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 14, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

NASA should pirate engineers from Apple to design the configuration of the next man-serviceable spacecraft. One of the inarguably distinctive traits of desktop Macs (NOT the laptops) is that in each generation it gets easier and easier to safely open the case, swap memory modules or accessory cards or what have you, and seal that puppy up again, solidly and with a minimum of fasteners. The laptops, on the other hand, are terrifying just because everything has to be so small and closely packed and impact-resistant. I am reasonably competent at swapping laptop disk drives, but the parts are very small and delicate and oddly located.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 14, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

You should hear engineers and naval architects talk about pilots or ship captains yello, ouch.

The most popular minivan of the Genius Motor company for the past few years actually requires to undo the engine mounts to tilt the engine forward to change the spark plugs of the cylinders in the aft row. They are 100 000 km spark plugs but that's silly. Dealers do it with a long-limbed mechanic without touching the mounts and charge you the whole thing but still.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 14, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

As a person with a zombie ACL, I empathize with the pain associated with knee problems. I never used many of the pain pills they gave me (oxytocin, IIRC) but the bliss of the outpatient anesthesia was exquisite. I have no recollection whatsoever of a long detailed discussion that occurred after said drugs were administered.

I would suggest putting off the peg leg as long as possible. The current model year is always heavily discounted once the new editions are out.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 14, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

wtf? Okay, I got that from my rainbow age range of facebook friends. But so apprapoe in this case. The unwritten can be so funny. Sometimes ya just gotta do it.

Good one, Joel.

Posted by: Windy3 | May 14, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Space is filthy, but astronauts can't be filthy-mouthed?

Truly a conundrum, Joel.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | May 14, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

I had a head-slap worthy 'idiot client' conversation today, the details of which are too arcane to detail, but said client has a pattern of instinctively doing the very exact thing most likely to exacerbate, instead of solving, problems of their own creation and then blaming poor engineering as this negative feedback loop spirals out of control.

The problem of trying to make things idiot-proof is that most people grossly underestimate the ingenuity of idiots.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 14, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Besides the muttering of an expletive is a well-known enchantment that summons additional reservoirs of strength.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 14, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt--yeah, it means "I'm REALLY mad!"

Posted by: Windy3 | May 14, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

I too will be in Wyoming this summer albeit on a far more conventional tourism agenda that probably won't include prehistoric femurs of astounding proportions. We will also be separated temporally by about a month. It is part of our goal to scratch four or five more states off our never-visited list. I'm also trying to get my family more enthused about our itinerary which takes us in close proximity to the Laura Ingalls Wilder festival.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 14, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Mitchell Wiener's (sorry for the inverted vowels in my last post) underlying chronic medical condition was diabetes--now hospitalized and in critical condition in Queens. NYT reporting that he walked with a cane, is in his 50s, and was taken by ambulance to a local hospital on Tuesday night.

CDC does have a website that discusses diabetes and A(H1N1)

and the only other mention by a govermental agency that I can find on the web tonight about people with diabetes being a special risk group for A(H1N1) is a guide for clinicians in Texas.

Glad I captured the early reporting at the NYT because the grafs about the communication problems in Queens to parents of school children have now been deleted.

LL: The virus is certainly turning out to be quite Darwinian--survival of the fittest. The man who died after contracting swine flu in Snohomish County in Washington state, it's reported, weighed almost 400 pounds, stood 5'6", and was in his 30s.

Posted by: laloomis | May 14, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Hopeful Monster knows or knows of Charlie Love of Rock Springs, a geologist, one of two, who followed in his father's well-known footsteps?

Posted by: laloomis | May 14, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Yellojkt, the Wyoming Dinosaur Center in Thermopolis is excellent. And SciTim, most of the sauropods have been babies, so they're easy to rope (as long as mamma doesn't show up).

Posted by: Hopeful_Monster | May 14, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Here is to our merchant seaman of the day.

Why do they have to wait 60+ years to be honoured?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 14, 2009 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I've been saying all week that these astronauts aren't the Geek Squad techs, they're mechanics.

Joel's Kit reminds me of hundreds of conversations I've had in garages, driveways, pit stalls, parking lots, racetrack paddocks, and even on the sides of streets and roads. But we don't say "heave," "shove," and "turn" when attempting to break a bolt loose (say, a headbolt from an ancient cast-iron small-block Chevy V-8), we say, "push" and/or "pull," and there's always a countdown to the joint application of torque to the tool. Don't have to say how much strength to apply, either - if you have to resort to multi-person operation of hand tools, "give it everything you've got" is implied. Grunting and other noises are part of the operation, as it is in weightlifting. Also, there would have been at least one frustration-fueled argument between the astronauts about how to do this (one example being, "We can do it my way or we can do it the wrong way," despite both courses of action being equally effective.), and a lively yet salty debate of the pros and cons of using various anti-seize and threadlocking compounds on the fastener threads during reassembly, as well as adjustments to torque values for tightening said fasteners.

I suspect that the tool the astromechanics pulled out of the airlock was simply a length of pipe to use as a breaker bar (as an extension to the tool handle for leverage and additional hand grip area, if you're unfamilar with the term).

In some cases, this results in completely shearing a bolthead right off, even grade 8.8 bolts.

More tomorrow, but a final comment: I think I've seen LiT's crazy eye, and I believe her implication that she can simply scare nuts right off.


Posted by: -bc- | May 14, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Hi all. It's been a while, eh?

I've just been reading the Bloggingheads 'boodle -- can't believe I missed it. I hope to get a chance to watch the video over the weekend. Apart from my strong interest in the topic, I always enjoy Bob and Achenbach's banter -- it's a bit like watching Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis (no prizes for guessing which blogginghead is Martin and which is Lewis).

So, I'm back from Hong Kong, living in Oz. Got an editing job with the gummint. Probably shouldn't be 'boodling right now . . . catch yous later.


P.S. TBG, your 'Mianus IS code for something' comment made me snort.

Posted by: -Dreamer- | May 14, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Ah, people's sensitivity in the face of death never ceases to amaze me.

It's really wonderful when people remember the rule of not speaking ill of the dead, and extend that even to strangers they have never met.

Such things restore my faith in the decency of human nature, and make me remember that humanity is far more than being merely human-shaped.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | May 14, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

I know of David Love, but not personally.

Posted by: Hopeful_Monster | May 14, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Dreamer! You have no idea how badly you are missed. Stick around some.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 14, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 14, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

You just love walking into danger, don't you?

Posted by: yellojkt | May 14, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

I just spent a few moments daydreaming about what the handle Hopeful_Monster could signify. Why, oh why couldn't I think up something like that?

SciTim - Weeks in Wyoming, wonderful...what a priceless experience with #1.

On kit - very funny kit. I loved "8-track cassette version of astronomy". Just cracked me up.

LiT made me laugh with her 10:10 - my son frequently exclaims in mock alarm, "oh no, Mom's giving me the crazy eye!" I'm telling you, MY mother could give a crazy eye like nobody's business, we did NOT joke about the crazy eye (although we didn't have a name for it, just a primal fear) but my crazy eye seems doesn't seem to inspire the same emotion in my kids. They usually end up doing the right thing, but they don't seem to GET the whole crazy eye thing.

gwe -glad your new employment is working out so well.

ttfn boodle.

Posted by: Kim1 | May 14, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised nobody has yet to mention the passing of person that named the erstwhile planet of Pluto:

Posted by: yellojkt | May 14, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Shriek!!!! Yello!

Posted by: -Dreamer- | May 14, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

A Dreamer sighting! I've been boodling just long enough to know that's a good thing!

Posted by: Kim1 | May 14, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

That honor goes to you, then, Yello.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | May 14, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see you back Dreamer.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 14, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

The kit is making me think of Cartman. And the hazards of busting a knuckle during a space walk. When I get really mad during a mechanical foray, my limbic response compels me to occasionally launch a tool Earthward. Astronauts have ice water circulating in their veins, and must have had a limbicectomy or something like that. Patience beyond description.

Posted by: -jack- | May 15, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Dreamer. Good to have you back. One of my best friend's sons is somewhere in China, involved with one of many start up companies. I'll have to find out where he is.

Posted by: -jack- | May 15, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Science Tim,
I never ran into a dinosaur in the Big Horn Basin, but did run a field trip for visiting remote-sensing types. I had them stop at a pair of tastelessly-named hills at the headwaters of Fifteenmile Creek where the very-last-Cretaceous Lance formation supported some plants that were out of place in the rather dry terrain. One of the remote sensing guys spotted a little white carrot plant, which I said might be new to science. Turned out, it was. A new little Cymopterus. It was duly named for a remarkable guy who had found every other "new" plant in the neighborhood, and who quickly found the mother lode of this plant up in the Absarokas.

By now, Cody may possibly have been spoiled by vacation homes, but back then it was a really nice place to live. You're early to visit the rock gardens atop Rattlesnake Mountain (west of town), with a tiny columbine with full-sized flowers and spectacular mats of yellow-flowered Shoshonea pulvinata (unknown to science until about 1982, when that remarkable guy spotted it there in plain sight).

Heart Mountain dominates the view from Cody to the north. It's a mini-mountain within the basin that illustrates weird local geology: gravity faults. Horizontal strata, given a bit of a tilt, slid great distances like layer cake layers separated by slippery frosting.

In the local art department, ask about Olive Fell, who supported herself by making etchings that sold reasonably well in the tourist trade. I'm happy to have a bear, deer, elk, and Heart Mountain.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | May 15, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

For what it's worth, Australian Livistona palms live happily in Florida, if given some micronutrients to improve our "soil". They even turn out to have excellently-design leaves for surviving cyclones. My own gummint editing stint was in Oregon.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | May 15, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

ftb, as a life long Blackhawks fan, I must take issue with your prediction. I favour the Hawks. *arming myself with an anti-octopus shield* I'll wager you a sixer of frosty Old Style. If I win, you have to gun at least two in a row.

Posted by: -jack- | May 15, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Shriek!!!! Yello!

Posted by: -Dreamer-

Good to see you too. Some of my favorite imaginary friends are in Oz.

{{much hopping, hugging, and air-kissing ensues}}

Posted by: yellojkt | May 15, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Yo, Dreamer. What the [suggestive or obscene word] do you know?

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 15, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

wow, a dreamer sighting!

this kit cracks me up. i wonder if not swearing is part of their training.

Posted by: LALurker | May 15, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Dreamer! So good to see you again. And of course, you figured out the elegant dashes for your new, improved Boodle handle.

(formerly known as mostlylurking)

Posted by: seasea1 | May 15, 2009 1:28 AM | Report abuse

A Dreamer sighting!

Funny, funny kit, Joel. And great article, too.

Posted by: rainforest1 | May 15, 2009 3:31 AM | Report abuse

LALurker, thanks for the Russian/Ukrainian explanation.

Sorry about your uncle, TGB. Rickoshea0, hope you get well soon.

Ouch! very painful, Mudge. Hope you recover quickly.

Posted by: rainforest1 | May 15, 2009 3:36 AM | Report abuse

Be careful what you cuss for:

Posted by: DNA_Girl | May 15, 2009 6:52 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. Ishida is obviously reading the Kit!
It looks like it's going to be a lovely day in the other capital!

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 15, 2009 6:59 AM | Report abuse

Happy Friday, all!

Wow, what an overnight boodle we had!

Hey Dreamer! Long time no hear from, good to have you back!

Love the Hopeful Monster handle, and hope SciTim and Sciencekid have a great time working their backsides off.

DNA Girl, I don't usually laugh out loud this early in the morning, but that strip is hilarious. I may have to print it out and put it up like the Easter one.

Today's craft will be basket weaving. I've never done that so I'm looking forward to it.

Posted by: slyness | May 15, 2009 7:13 AM | Report abuse

That made me laugh. This kid isn't going to live that down anytime soon.
"Zachary Boyd, 19, was sleeping when the ambush occurred and only had time to put on his helmet and body armour before grabbing his gun and rushing into action, leaving his "I love New York" pink boxers on full display."

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 15, 2009 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Beautiful morning here, trees so bright green with their new leaves, brilliant sunshine and clear, blue skies.

Needed that little moment of Zen after reading Krauthammer's column this morning - saw the headline and thought I shouldn't read that but curiosity got the best of me - when will I ever learn.

Loved the cartoon DNA_girl and Shrieks link to the pink boxers.

Noted the passing of the photographer who took the famous shot of the evacuation of Saigon - one of the few parts of the Vietnam war I remember.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 15, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

DREAMER!!! *Grover cartwheels* :-)

Oddly enough, I have the feeling you'd hear plenty of [expletive] in the Post newsroom close to deadline.

Particularly from Weingarten's cube.

Shriek, even better -- that photo was FRONT PAGE, ABOVE THE FOLD on the NEW YORK TIMES yesterday!!! *L*

*studiously-avoiding-the-sports-page-this-TGIF-morning Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 15, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

I measure it a successful kit indeed if it somehow lures Dreamer out of hiding! Great to hear your voice, D.

I'm on shuttle duty again today. Check out the "solar transit" photo of the shuttle at the NASA site:

Very Star Trekky.

Somewhere on our website there should be Jahi Chikwendiu's great photo of Chrysler employees getting the news about their jobs yesterday. We have some really great photogs at this paper.

Posted by: joelache | May 15, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Very nice to see Dreamer here. Dreary morning that promises to improve. But it's Friday so nothing can upset me. Congratulations to Tim and the Science Kid. TBG, belated condolences on your uncle's passing.

I'm hoping the local garden shop is open tonight so I don't have to fight the crowds tomorrow. Happy Friday.

Posted by: badsneakers | May 15, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

Speaking of tools and profanity, when I wrenched my knee yesterday my exact words were, "Oh, my goodness, what an extraordinary amount of pain is rocketing through my body. Gee willikers, this is distressing." Well, maybe not *exact.* I'd have to check the transcript to see exactly what it was I screamed. But that was sorta the gist of it.

And once again, speaking of tools and profanity, I didn't read Krauthammer's piece, but I read the front page teaser, and my only thoughts are quite profane.

Hey, Dreamer, welcome back. *scrambling through the files in the shop steward's office to see if Dreamer's paperwork is still current*

Today in Nautical, Aviation, and Extreme Weather Down Under in Dreamer's Honor History

May 15, 1602: Capt. Bartholomew Gosnold, captain of the Concord, becomes the first Englishman to land in New England when he sails into what is now New Bedford harbor. On the way he discovered and named Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard.
May 16, 1811: British sloop HMS Little Belt is captured by the frigate USS President (Commodore John Rodgers) after a fight off the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. Each captain claims the other fired first, and the incident is a major irritant leading toward the War of 1812.
1898: The highest recorded waterspout, 5,014 feet high by about 10 feet in diameter, is seen off Eden, Australia.
1930: Registered nurse Ellen Church becomes the world’s first airline stewardess (much, much later called a flight attendant), flying the San Francisco-to-Cheyenne, Wyoming, route of the Boeing Air Transport Co. (later part of United Airlines). A degree in nursing was then a job requirement.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | May 15, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Here's the pic I believe Joel was referring to:

Dreamer!! Delighted to see you. How's the tea?

Busy busy day today. [expletive deleted] work.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 15, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Morning Al... Hi Dreamer!

Son of G sold cars (well.. sold car) last year at one of those about-to-be-closed Chrysler dealerships.

I went car shopping last night (not there!) and when I told the salesmen about my son having been a salesman there, they all told me about that dealership closing in kind of hushed voices. No gloating when you know your job could be next.

It seems to be just the right time to buy a car. It's nice that I don't have to actually trade mine in. I'm getting a pretty OK settlement from my insurance company... far more than I could have gotten on a trade-in.

Posted by: TBG- | May 15, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle. 'mudge, hope you are feeling a little better today. You *sound* better.

RD, I know just what you mean.

Quite a night, lots of turmoil. I have hopes that all will resolve happily. Being an optimist can really take it out of you.

Have a good Friday everyone.

Posted by: Yoki | May 15, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Oh how could I have forgotten to say that I love this Kit and the article. Stuck tight screws, bolts, jar tops and whatever, who can't relate to that. And swears are the magic words.

Posted by: badsneakers | May 15, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, you made me laugh out loud too!

TBG, I loved the Christos Anesti, what beautiful music. I'm glad to hear it was a good funeral and a pleasant visit with the extended family, despite the sad occasion.

Good luck with the new car search. Are you in the market for another minivan? I liked the one you had, what a shame to lose it like that.

Posted by: slyness | May 15, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Geez, I watch a couple of hockey games (and crud, the Bruins lost!) and miss a Dreamer sighting.

I looked over the list of dealership closings, and it appears that every single one within a 50-mile radius of my hometown is closing. In addition to the pain of the layoffs, it's going to mean folks are going to have to go to the ends of the earth to get their vehicles serviced.

TBG, when you show up at a dealership ready to buy are you given the red carpet treatment? Or at least a foot massage?

Posted by: Raysmom | May 15, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

WOW!!! Dreamer -- you're back! No lie -- I was actually thinking about you at the beginning of the week ("I wonder what happened to Dreamer..."). And now you show up. *note to self -- go buy that lottery ticket today*

Jack -- I think it's pretty cool that two teams from the Original 6 will be deking it out against each other. Would that mrdr will be right and we clean your clock in 4, but I will be satisfied to having cleaned your clock in as many games as it takes. Man, I just *luv* hockey!

Mudge -- how's the knee? Karma still being sent by my dysfunctional guys (the cartilage almost popped me awake last night by trying ever so hard to get caught between the bones -- but I shifted my position quickly enough to keep that bugger at bay).

Gotta prepare for a conference call. Cya later.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | May 15, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

To follow up on bh72's post (San Joaquin Valley) about California's water woes, news that San Diego's regional water authorities will spend $320 million to build the hemisphere's largest desalination plant in Carlsbad, Calif:

David Love, geologist, died in 2002. I'm going to have to make a phone call or two today to Wyoming. If the link or connection pans out (I'm being mysterious here), I would be interesting in visiting Dooley's dinosaur excavation site in Wyoming, and visting relatives in Cheyenne, visiting a couple of places in the state we didn't see in 2000. Husband says "Let's go!" So, how far is the site from Cody?

Posted by: laloomis | May 15, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all. Another day, another 50 cents.

YJ, bc...don't worry. I doubt either of you will ever be the cause of my crazy eye look. (bc, you've seen it? Hmmm. Okay. Bet you couldn't hear what I was saying though.)

Mudge, I'm sure you'll remember the boodle discussion about how to properly dispose of unused narcotics...either put them aside for a rainy day, or hold on to them for a friend-in-need. Seriously, though, I hope the pain subsides, and that laying around like third base doesn't become too boring. (If the pain doesn't ease up, I find it helps to start head-bobbing to the beat of the throb...soon, a song will pop into your head that matches the beat, and then you'll be singing some silly song (something nautical? theme to Gilligan's Island?) Don't worry...everyone will think it's the drugs. And please give my best to your my experience, men can be just a tad crabby when ill/injured.

Off to deal with today's onslaught of contractors. Have a happy day.

Posted by: LostInThought | May 15, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

CDC to get new director Frieden to replace acting director Besser:

He's got a lot to work on or fix, according to the article:

Also facing Dr. Frieden will be a set of decisions about how to organize the agency. Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, who left in January as the agency’s director, undertook a reorganization that lasted years and has been widely criticized as overly bureaucratic and the cause of a raft of top staff departures. But still another administrative overhaul would create its own set of headaches.

“Morale is the weakest thing at the agency right now,” said Dr. James M. Hughes, former director of the C.D.C.’s National Center for Infectious Diseases. “He has to really listen to people, and I think there are too many bureaucratic layers.”

Like other federal agencies, the disease centers added thousands of contract employees during the Bush administration. Deciding which functions are best fulfilled by contractors and which should be brought back inside the agency is another delicate problem for Dr. Frieden.

LL: Did anyone believe New York Gov. David Paterson for a New York miunte when he said at last night's hastily called news conference about the latest cluster of cases of swine flu in Queesn's that local and state officials were being "transparent." Guess we could all see throught that big--not little--white lie. Video of Bloomberg and Paterson is on YouTube.

Posted by: laloomis | May 15, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse


Hope you're resting comfortably. And since you're likely viewing a good bit of TV, I'm wondering if you saw a couple of umpire-related things from earlier this week:

Whadda ya think of the MLB ump using a hand on the back to "encourage" Magglio Ordonez to head back to the dugout and stop arguing a called third strike?

And whadda ya think of the two schmucks who went to the Yanks-Blue Jays game and sat almost directly behind home plate, in umpire shirts and even a mask, doing their own little strike calls after the real ump was done? I thought it was hilarious!

Dreamer!!! (again) :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 15, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle!

Astranauts need to practice a new explective vocabulary internationaly not-understood and full of explectivation of equal force in any language.

Being one of those people who likes to see things done fast, here are some explectiventual words that spacemen of any nation can use.

Fenork -- I can't turn this fenorking bolt.

Nonschmopskapop --You are a nonschmops kapop.

Hoochie woochie-- This ain't no hoochie woochie you fenorking nonschmopskapop

Posted by: Braguine | May 15, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Scooped by DNA Girl. yello, I hope you were never prescribed oxytocin

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 15, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Gutter-mouth verbage does nothing to solve a problem. In fact, it actively gets in the way, by putting the mind on a lower intellectual and emotional level, along with, many times, dragging others down to that level, too, while repelling some fellow helpers.

Posted by: DoTheRightThing | May 15, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

DoThe is right. When I owned my company I would cuss like I always had. But I found my employees were constantly worried I was cussing at THEM somehow. They told me this.

I forgot this which explains some worries about the Google

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 15, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends. I enjoyed the kit, JA. I'm familiar with gutter-mouth, as that used to be me.

Dreamer, it's good to hear from you. I hope all is well with you.

Mudge, Slyness, Yoki, Scotty, Martooni, and all, have a great day, and a wonderful weekend. *waving*

Time to start.

Posted by: cmyth4u | May 15, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' everybody (long time no see!)...

This is a Kit after my own heart. I'm not constantly miked so I get away with all the cussing I want while Little Bean is in school -- you'd think my workshop was filled with a bunch of angry drunken pirates, but it's just me. Once she gets off the bus and is within earshot, though, I have to be creative.

I've invented so many swear words that Webster would need to send a whole linguistics team for weeks just to write them all down. The definitions would be easy since they usually come down to ways to say "Ow!", various degrees of "frustration" or (like the astronauts) "rage against the machine". Their biggest problem would be figuring out the spelling of my alternative cuss words, since many contain sounds that can only be described as "guttural" (pardon the pun).

Anyway... hope you're all [expletive] well. Gotta get my [expletive] [expletive] out to the [expletive] shop, but I'm hoping to catch up on some [expletive] back-Boodling this afternoon.

Peace the [expletive] out... :-)

Posted by: martooni | May 15, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

LiT, I think I've seen enough of that eye to know that if I'm finding it harder and harder to hear you and that you're becoming even more articulate, it would be prudent to slowly back away.

Dreamer, it's so nice to see you in here again!

Mudge, I move that if Dreamer's paperwork is not up to date, she be reenstated immediately and any waiting periods, fees, dues or paperwork of any kind be waived. Have a Vike on me.

Those are good pics, Joel. I'd intentionally not mentioned the tool-chucking part of the Orbital Mechanics experience, since it's tough to *really* bust your knuckles or take a suddenly de-torqued six-foot breaker bar directly to the face with a space helm and gloves on. But I will say that I've seen a two-foot steel cam timing wheel chucked across a shop, igniting a furious hand-tool throwing fight that they're still cleaning up after over a decade later.

I would be unforunate if some of the voluminious space junk in orbit were simply tools and fasteners that were tossed in frustration or spilled by accident. Think of all the computing power required to track a spilled box of roofing nails in orbit. Perhaps this is why orbital construction never really caught on.

As far as Chrysler dealerships having their francise revoked, that does not necessarily mean the businesses are closing, but that they just won't be an official part of the ChryCo dealer network. They may still sell cars (just not new ChryCo products), parts, and perform service.

And then again, they may not.


Posted by: -bc- | May 15, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

'Toon!!! *gnomish Grover waves*

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 15, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Hey, martooni. Good to hear from you. Be careful out in the shop. You can put an eye out, ya know?

aebleskivers and glogg: two things that I didn't know existed until now.,0,2265177.story

Posted by: -jack- | May 15, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

bc, considering the fact that we lost a "bunch" of jobs last week, some dealerships will close or cut people and that doesn't bode well.

Weren't dealerships just feeding the maintenance animal, anyway?

Posted by: russianthistle | May 15, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

It was oxy-something. Clearly I wasn't reading the label right in my drugged state. I'm an engineer not an amateur recreational pharmacist.

The Angels and Demons movie comes out today and I put together a dozen or so of my favorite pictures from Rome that are at or near places used in the book.

That post has some minor spoilers (if you can't figure out a Dan Brown plot, that is) and one cryptically worded major one, so if you just want to look at the pictures, they're here:

Posted by: yellojkt | May 15, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I never heard an expletive (other than an informal British term for botching things up) from my father, a dentist, who of course was a master of keeping cool. He was good at making things, including a telescope mirror when I was in junior high and we were living under spectacularly dark skies.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | May 15, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse
fans dressed as umpires

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 15, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Dave, I live under a dark cloud.

Posted by: russianthistle | May 15, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Dreamer, Its great to see you!

mrdr is dissappointed that Boston lost. Besides Detroit taking it in 4, he is going to need Pittsburgh to do it with high scoring games. As for the final round if its Detroit and Pittsburgh, he is going to have one heck of a tough time debating who to cheer for.

Any chemists out there? Make that any chemists with an agricultural backgorund? Looking to confirm a little something about ammonia and its enviromental friendliness when produced in the good old fashioned way.

Posted by: --dr-- | May 15, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Hello, Dreamer. I see that you're back on the Boodle and the boorish backBoodle. *sigh*

There's an Australian scientist in the news:

The swine flu virus did not result from a laboratory accident, the World Health Organization said Thursday, working to debunk rumors started by an Australian virologist and circulated by news outlets all over the world. ...

A woman in Arizona who was suffering from lung disease died last week from complications of swine flu, the Maricopa County Department of Public Health said late Thursday, Reuters reported. [So how many days elapsed between her death and the release of the news about her death?]

The virus rumor was started by Adrian J. Gibbs, a retired plant virologist from the Australian National University, who previously published work in the journal Science questioning the idea, now accepted, that the 1918 pandemic started as a bird flu.

Dr. Gibbs, who had studied the gene sequences of the swine flu virus posted on public data banks, argued that it must have been grown in eggs, the medium used in vaccine laboratories. He reached that conclusion, he said, because the new virus was not closely related to known ones and because it had more of the amino acid lysine and more mutations than typical strains of swine flu.

Also from Don McNeil's reporting:

Scientists have yet to pinpoint the origin of the swine flu virus, the earliest cases of which were found in Veracruz, Mexico.

LL: I'm puzzled. The Wall Street Journal, followed by the NYT, reported that there were two cases of the new swine flu in kids in both Imperial and San Diego counties in California at about the same time that the first cases appeared in Mexico. Which came first, the chicken or the that I mean which swine flu cases really did come first, those in Mexico or those in Califonia...and by how many hours or days?

Posted by: laloomis | May 15, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Oooooh, oooh....

Called Charlie's Love's office and left a message. When we get the opportunity to speak to each other, I think we're going to have a *really* GOOD time!

From the web:

Philosophically Charlie Love renamed mankind about 12 years ago for his students. Linnaeus called us Homo sapiens back in the 1700s, meaning in Latin, “Man, the wise”, and sadly, the name remains the same to this day. Charlie thought that “wise” was just a little bit premature, so he renamed him what he felt was more accurate: Homo creemythicus ritualensis hypocriticus – “Man, who believes in myths through rituals, and is a hypocrite about them”. These, he feels, are the only notions common to all mankind. Note “wise” is not one of them.

Posted by: laloomis | May 15, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Loomis... I only speak for myself, but I'd rather be boorish than snooty. Life is much more fun that way.

Posted by: martooni | May 15, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

martooni, have you began to build for Habit? There you can test your new vocabulary when you hit you thumb with the hammer.

Posted by: bh72 | May 15, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

When my Moose began to parrot my phrases, I found I had to be a bit more creative in expressing myself; unfortunately, the creativity expressed itself in authentic frontier gibberish. It is a bit amusing to hear the occasional *bang* *thump* "Consarn the dingdang thing!" coming out of the Moose's room these days.

Posted by: CentrevilleMom | May 15, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, wouldn't it be ironic if Detroit and Pittsburgh met again in the finals and Pittsburgh were to win *without* Marian Hossa, who basically hasn't shown up at all in the post-season for Detroit. And he's the guy who wanted to play for a team which won the Stanley Cup. Hossa, we did it without you, and we may have to do it again! Show up and play, yanno!?!?!?!?!

Other than that, we have to get through Chicago before we meet whichever team is left on the other side.

BTW, I am 100% behind Cleveland in basketball this year. I despise Kobe Bryant and I enjoy watching LeBron James play. Besides, James doesn't appear to be the total *expletive* jerk Bryant definitely is -- especially about women and his treatment thereof.

Whew! Gotta go find a pleading to write with all this energy!

Hey, Martooni. Just a drive-by "Hey" for ya. And say Hey to the Beanster, too.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | May 15, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

The ScienceSister's first word was learned from the ScienceGrandpa, who had a moment of high frustration while relaxing with the building of a model square-rigger. So I am told, as I was in utero at the time, I think. Reportedly, she experimented with this fine one-syllable word, uttered with various intonations, over a range of volume, and with musical warbling, while attending church in our mother's arms. There was much amusement. Hilarity ensued.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 15, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Relay for Life starts tonight. Error is duly remembered with a luminary.

Posted by: -jack- | May 15, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

C'Mom! "authentic frontier gibberish!" A woman after my own heart.

My favorite boodle expletive is "ratzinfratzin."

But as George Carlin said, "You can't fool me. Shoot is sh!t with two Os."

Posted by: Raysmom | May 15, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Front Page Alert, BTW...

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 15, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

At least we're not all political.

Posted by: Yoki | May 15, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, where did my dark cloud come from? Those darn politicians.

Posted by: russianthistle | May 15, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, saw the fans-dressed-as-umpires vid; thanks for the tip-off. On a somewhat serious note I'd be concerned that they would distract the pitcher (the ump, catcher and batter can't see them). I really liked the fact that the batter fouled one off right at them. The God of Baseball will not be mocked, and his vengence is neither subtle nor mysterious. He just drills one in your wheelhouse.

That's one of the things I like about the religion of Baseball: no messing about trying to figure out what it all means.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | May 15, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I agree the foul tip was coordinated and intentional, 'Mudge.

It did look like they took pains to do their act well AFTER the real call.


Posted by: Scottynuke | May 15, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Gosh Weed, I thought it was your naturally dark temperament. We talk about black Irish who have a "cloud on the brow." That's me, all gloomy and moody.

Posted by: Yoki | May 15, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

The solution - via Battlestar Galactica- is a simple one. The word 'frak' is incredibly useful, and PG-rated to boot.


Frak this! This frakkin' bolt won't frakkin' come off!

Posted by: tgoglia | May 15, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I laughed my a** off reading this. Bravo Joel on another great piece!

Posted by: USMCgirl | May 15, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. Boy, miss a couple of days. . . a big howdy to Dreamer. I've missed you. Also, good to see martooni back. And always nice to see Hopeful Monster in any incarnation.

This is a great Kit. I am among those who fling the well-chosen epithet from time to time to time. I did retire my favorite strong language (reserved for extreme moments) when the Boy was born. I didn't want the Boy to pick it up by accident. Although I try to watch myself, early on the Boy understood that there were some words he was not to repeat, and for which he should use substitutes. I, too, found myself reaching for frontier language (goldarn it). I also like Brag's new words.

From past days: yes, I did suggest Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court pick. Mudge, so sorry about your knee. Shrieking denizen, you said something about being like a cat, "watching other people work. I could do it all day." I laughed a lot.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 15, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget felgercarb. Pretty much left out of the revamped Battlestar Galactica except for near the end of the series, when "the last tube of Felgercarb toothpaste in the universe" was offered as a prize for the best combat piloting.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 15, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Herschel A-OK, size may matter

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 15, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Calling the imagery from WFPC-2 "8-track cassette astronomy" betrays the author's complete ignorance of the matter. Yes, WFPC-3 is a better instrument but had the older instrument been stuck in place the Hubble Space Telescope would not have been blinded by any means. It is too bad that Washington Post continues to publish Mr. Auchenbach's poorly researched pieces as if it were science reporting. It is not. The author does not appear to have the slightest clue about subjects he covers.

Posted by: Blue_Moose | May 15, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse


All the [expletive] expletives above should have been a [obscene gerund] clue that humor was afoot in this particular case. Thanks.

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 15, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Blue Moose, y'all are so cute. We had a cousin of yours - the Lone Mule - used to stop by. He was more pithy but otherwise much the same in attitude. I almost look forward to your reliable silly carping. Please, though, if you're gonna complain about someone by name, get the name right. Achenbach. Achenbach.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 15, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Yoki! As two of Achenbach's staff of 15 highly paid researchers, I think we should take serious umbrage at Blue Moose's words of disdain.

Now, back to the science of cow butchering.

Posted by: russianthistle | May 15, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Can we press the "report abuse" button to report stupidity?

Posted by: nellie4 | May 15, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

@frostbitten1: Delurking :)

Posted by: tidalwv | May 15, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Thistle, I was just thinking the same thing. I was about to really get my dander up, but then started to giggle and couldn't sustain it.

I'm weak, that way.

Posted by: Yoki | May 15, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Hey, tidalwv! Doesn't it feel good?

Posted by: Yoki | May 15, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

nellie, there is room in the world for umbrage. It takes all kinds... In fact, one would have to agree that somewhere in the country someone is sitting down to listen to their 8 track of the Starland Vocal Band's Greatest Hits.

I know that you agree with me that one should really prefer California Dreamin' to Afternoon Delight.

Posted by: russianthistle | May 15, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Blue Moose has provided a daily does of irony. No Geritoly needed here.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 15, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I believe Obscene Gerund is still available as a Boodle handle, BTW...

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 15, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

For all you angels & demons fans, we know one of the hands in the movie. Somewhere towards the end there is a scene where all the priests go into a big room (been awhile since I read the book). You see a closeup of at least one priest getting handed something, or something like that. I forget. Anyhoo, we know the actor playing the young priest whose hand does the handing. [Isn't English handy?] So when you reach that scene, look for the moment and wave at Jordan's hand.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 15, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, russianthistle, courtesy of my brother's vast selection of 8 track tapes, I was more of a Born To Be Wild sort of person.

Posted by: --dr-- | May 15, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

dr, how many speakers in the vehicle in which Born to be Wild was played? I can imagine being surrounded by that tune at high volume and high speed...

Posted by: slyness | May 15, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

From my big [expletive] collection of alternative expletives: Batsturd.


I think I'm going to have to rent "Johnny Dangerously" this weekend. That's where I learned the art of being foul-mouthed without upsetting censors. My favorite: "farging icehole bastages" (which I recently used after opening a love letter from the IRS with Little Bean present).

Posted by: martooni | May 15, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

The last thing I remember buying on 8-track was Barbra Streisand "Superman". And yes, I played it in the car, windows down.

Even then I was a geek.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 15, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

A girlfriend's father had an 8-track in his car. 1970? 1971? Coolest. Thing. Ever.

Of course, my family didn't get a colour TV until 1980, so most anything electronic I thought cool

Posted by: Yoki | May 15, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, this Kit put me in mind of "Johnny Dangerously," too. And the fargin' bastages.

And Mr. Moose, Mr. Achenbach does straight reporting, commentary and opinion as well as this here humoresqe blog. If you're familar with his journalism and found this blog, I can see how you may have mistaken it for an, um, *odd* news item.

Please come on back and enjoy the fun.



Posted by: -bc- | May 15, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Batsturd is exactly what I said I'd said to mother superior in school. Got my knuckles rapped anyway--extra for lying :-(

Posted by: DNA_Girl | May 15, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I Love this phrase:

8-track cassette version of astronomy

Thanks, Joel, for reminding me of 1977 and Dino S. and a white El Camino....

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | May 15, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Except KFC got in trouble for using 'frak' in one of their promotions, so the changed it to the 'you can't say that on TV' campaign.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 15, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Blasting the 8-track for me through the Jensen Coax speakers and 100-watt power booster in my friend's old Plymouth Duster Twister as we criused Rockville Pike (back when you *could* cruise the 'pike) -- Black Sabbath's "Paranoid," Springsteen's "Born to Run," AC/DC's "Let There Be Rock," but mostly Scorpions' "Lovedrive," his favorite.

And I dug it, too.


Posted by: -bc- | May 15, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I think we owe Blue Moose thanks. Until that post, we hadn't properly noted the Kit's "8-track cassette astronomy" reference. Blue Moose led us, perhaps inadvertently, both to express appreciation for the humor and to a nice little romp through memory lane.

I'm a little disturbed that, though I know I played other 8-tracks (even rock music) in my cool stereo, the only one I remember is the Barbra Streisand. I've never owned anything else she's done, I swear. Didn't even replace that when the technology changed.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 15, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

I blame the 8-track in the family RV for burning "Best of Bread" into my long-term memory...

"Truh-Truckin' down the highway
Get outta my way
Always in a hurry
Always in between"

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 15, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Oh lordy. My maternal grandfather had an 8-track in his big ol' Chrysler New Yorker. The only cassette I recall seeing was by Jim Neighbors. I believe I have suppressed all the others.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 15, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Jim *Nabors* of course.

Look, I said I was suppressing things.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 15, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Yes, RD, but Jim Nabors can't be suppressed. It was his gift.

I really enjoyed hearing him sing; I know he banked on the contrast between his persona and his voice, but it was fun.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 15, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Where's the truth? It was reported by the NYT last night that the assistant principal Mitchell Wiener, who has swine flu in Queens and is in critical condition, was diabetes?

Not so fast, says his family. Wife also takes a verbal jab at local health officials.,0,952146.story

Bonnie Wiener said her husband called the city Department of Health after meeting with four students at his school who reported feeling ill May 8 with flulike symptoms. He told the department he was concerned the students may have swine flu, she said.

"He was chastised by the [department] of health or someone higher that he was setting off a panic," Bonnie Wiener said. "The man said there is nothing to worry about." ...

Wiener's wife and son disputed Bloomberg's contention Thursday that Mitch Wiener may have had pre-existing health conditions.

"I don't know where people got that," Adam Wiener said Friday morning as he prepared to return to the hospital where the family was keeping vigil.

"The only pre-existing condition he has is gout, which is unrelated to complications he's experienced now."

Meanwhile, another death in Texas from swine flu:

Texas health officials confirmed that a 33-year-old single father of three from Corpus Christi died earlier this month from the H1N1 virus. One of the children is said to have contracted the virus, but is recovering. The man is said to have had preexisting medical conditions, including heart problems, that made it difficult for him to survive a virus such as this. This marks the third death from swine flu in Texas.

LL: Well, martooni, you put me in a quandry. You take a verbal jab at me. So do I reply in kind or remain silent and take it? Do I take the high road or the low road (your route)?

Posted by: laloomis | May 15, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

SCC: was diabetic

Posted by: laloomis | May 15, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

The news straight from Corpus Christi:'%20and%201=1%20and%20''='

KRIS 6 News has learned that a Corpus Christi man, 33-year-old Carlos Garnica, died on May 6 of viral pneumonia due to the H1N1 (swine) flu virus.

Texas State Lab has confirmed that Garnica had several contributing conditions, including sleep apnea and morbid obesity.

Posted by: laloomis | May 15, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

The entire Guess Who discography on 8 track
in this

Exotic Canadians and burning fossil fuels like there was no tomorrow. Excuse the nostalgia for a misspent youth.

Back at you tidalwv. (Who's in charge of welcome packets? CqP?)

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 15, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Turn your Ovaltine decoder rings to x and y, and set your phasers on stun. Mianus, I say again, Mianus. Out.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 15, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

SCC my 3:59-not exactly in that car, I would never have dated Mr. F #1 if his car had an automatic transmission.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 15, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Is that code for something?

Posted by: yellojkt | May 15, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon all I see I missed an eventful afternoon, nice to see Centreville Mom and Welcom to tidalwv.


Hope I didn't forget anyone.

Eight tracks - we had eight tracks - in the car and at home - older brother taught me to record tapes - eight tracks make me think of the Doobie brothers - my brothers favorite band, which was using being played, loudly as he would drive me somewhere.

Scotty sorry but so laughing at the Best of Bread - probably one of the first albums I bought - played it over and over. :-)

Posted by: dmd2 | May 15, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Yello, I think once we have the primary code we convert it to hexidecimal and then rot13 it.

Or it could be that Mianus is just Mianus.

Posted by: -dbG- | May 15, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

*sitting in desk with arm raised and squealing, "pick me, pick me!* -

I gave a shout out of appreciation for the 8-track cassette of astronomy line last night at 11:46 pm so the boodle was sleeping I guess. I was on my second glass of wine (I'm off for 5 lovely days and I was staying up way too late!) and it really made me chuckle.

Posted by: Kim1 | May 15, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Geez, I sound kind of needy there, don't I?

Best of Bread! It wasn't my favorite but it was my sister's fave and we shared a room and a record player. I bet I heard "Baby I'm a Want You" 8000 times.

Posted by: Kim1 | May 15, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

My older sister used to play Crimson and Clover, and You're So Vain, over and over - they were 45's, on one of those little portable record players.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 15, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

All work and no play makes LiT ready for shoe shopping.

laloomis, you have to know that "boorish" is a tad offensive. A verbal jab, if you must. Some might even say snooty. What you don't seem to realize is that backboodle means catching up on what's been posted since you last went online. So boorish backboodle would mean your posts, since you were hot and heavy that way the past couple o' days. You've been just a smidge focused on the flu thing, but you've been somewhat non-confrontational until this morning. Shoot, even I've engaged you on an intellectual level, and you responded without being offensive. Take a deep breath, let go of the need to swipe at people, and bring back that boorish laloomis we've come to expect.

Now...moving on. 8 track tapes? Who doesn't remember Smoke on The Water on 8 track...duh Duh DUH, duh Duh DUH Duh ("chk chk chk" as the track changes) duh Duh DUH Duh duh....'ve noticed that? hmmm. Have to give that some thought.

fb...I know exactly what you mean about automatic transmissions. If he can't switch a car's gears...well....

Hey look at the time....happy hour. Time to go get happy. Have a happy evening all.

Posted by: LostInThought | May 15, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

For Kim :-)

Posted by: DNA_Girl | May 15, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Good news for lovers of high heeled shoes:,2933,519364,00.html

Posted by: yellojkt | May 15, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

YJ...the mind-blowing part...does that refer to men or women?

High heels aren't bad for your feet, if you get 1/good shoes, and 2/a properly formed in-step (standard with a good shoe) and 3/a heel and platform combination. After that, style is like cake...a vehicle for icing.

Posted by: LostInThought | May 15, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

DNA girl - made me laugh!

Heavens to Murgatroyd - LiT is right, it's Happy Hour! My sister found my favorite Fess Parker chardonnay at her Costco for $11 dollars a bottle. It typically sells for around $16-17 in my favorite wine haunts and MY Costco doesn't sell it. I usually only buy it for special occasions because $16 a bottle is too rich for my blood. So, like the good sister she is (and she's also probably trying to make it up to me for playing "Precious and Few" 8000 times as well!) she bought me 6 bottles of it. Woohoo! I'm not sure having 6 bottles in the house is a good idea. I've got lots of projects lined up for the next 4 days. But I'm definitely pouring a glass in the very near future.

Happy Friday boodle!

Posted by: Kim1 | May 15, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Happy Friday evening, Boodle. Do you Americans get a long weekend like we do? I think you should. Feel free to take Monday off even if it isn't a holiday.

Posted by: Yoki | May 15, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

I think former FDA commissioner David Kessler said the other day on NPR that diabetes is code for the word "obese."

Or the one of the reporting duo of Woodward and Bernstein (I'll let you figure out which one) who informed us that the words VECTOR and VEIL were CIA code for the disinformation campaign waged agains Qaddafi. His book by the same name explored the story of the covert wars that were waged in a secretive atmosphere and became the centerpieces and eventual time bombs of American foreign policy in the 1980s.

I do hope a sweet little town in Connecticut is getting loads of free publicity and drawing in huge amounts of tourist dollars. So much better than the college dropout who comes to the Boodle and tries to peddle used cars--apparently he'd never enrolled in a marketing class in his extremely shrt college experience, let alone abide the rules of marketing goods or services here. Or the author who writes an article about food in a South American country and the link he provides leads to a site where he markets his book--too clever by half. Or the frequent links to jewelry that isn't very attractive. Or the all too frequent promotion for "sympathy" fairy doors.

Posted by: laloomis | May 15, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of vehicles, all of mine have manual transmissions - and I haven't had one with an automatic since 1983.

I'm sure the high heeled shoe exercise works as advertised above, and I would add that I think the dexterity and sensitivty required to execute smooth, precise heel-and-toe double-clutch downshifts as well as smart yet flowing upshifts - keeping the pot on the boil, as it were - can be quite beneficial in other areas as well. The best drivers always appear unhurried even when doing several things at once especially when they're going their fastest.

And [bc, scratching his fingertips on his shirt and looking at them], yeah, I got that.

Catching up at Happy Hour.


Posted by: -bc- | May 15, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

No, Yoki, we don't get a long weekend this weekend, but I think you give very good advice!

Posted by: Kim1 | May 15, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | May 15, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Linda, did you see my post? Pop another of the little yellow pills. Or maybe some Fess Parker Chardonnay. You're about a quart low.

Mianus is a silly thing we laugh about. Either join the fun, or ignore the laughter, but trying to take away others' fun is just boorish.

I don't recall seeing anyone hawking anything, let alone something ugly. Also, not wise to swing without thought as to who you're going to hit, whether intentional or not. Show you've got a mind that thinks beyond this second. that right? huh. Who knew?

Posted by: LostInThought | May 15, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Triple sigh.

I must have some wine around here somewhere.

This isn't a long weekend - ours is next weekend. Then again, I have no particular place to go, so they're all long weekends for me at the moment!

Posted by: seasea1 | May 15, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

seasea, I've got both a lovely cold Sauvignon and some Cabernet, just name your preference.

Posted by: Yoki | May 15, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Wait a we were discussing the occassions to lose it yet don't, and I went after a really nice man one time (hi Mudge) but yet I'm letting you off easy. Let me start again.

Who the heck do you think you are? You started things, and if you don't know that, you've got alzheimer's. It was TODAY. When Martooni spoke up, didn't let you get away with being a shrew, you then pretend he started it? And then you sweep another couple people into the mix? You better revisit some of those lecture halls and look for your mind, because honey you've clearly lost it somewhere.

Get a grip. And Apologize. Profusely. Every single cotton-pickin day, people give you a fresh start. And every single flippin day, you blow it. If you need pills, get 'em. If they don't work well enough, take them with the chardonnay. Sooner or later, karma's going to make its way around to Texas, and on that day you better keep your eyes on the sky: look for an anvil, or a farm house with a little girl and a dog inside.

Posted by: LostInThought | May 15, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

SeaSea, and that's a wonderful thing!

I read this New Yorker article about V. Ramachandra, the brilliant neurologist, last night in my continuing sleeplessness, and I think it fits right in with the boodle's interests.

(I'm feeling a little, tiny bit better but recovery is taking forever. I feel so bad for the real H1N1 sufferers because I know they're feeling even worse.)

Posted by: rickoshea0 | May 15, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

One bourbon, one scotch, one beer.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 15, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

SCC: As usual, I forgot to include the link. At least, I am consistent.

Posted by: rickoshea0 | May 15, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Really cool NASA photo of the space shuttle transitting the sun.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | May 15, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

The Sauvignon sounds great, thanks. Bee-yoo-ti-ful day here...supposed to be a nice weekend. Waiting for my kid to arrive.

LiT, good effort, but you might as well be talking about Uranus...

Posted by: seasea1 | May 15, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

loomis, stop being such a b!tch.

Posted by: LALurker | May 15, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

I just saw a hummingbird hovering around a hanging planter outside - I am so excited.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 15, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

ROTFL. FOMC. The next line from Glinda, and the look on Margaret Hamilton's face was priceless: "...somebody might drop a house on you..."

We're off to see the opening of Cheaper By The Dozen. Our son and #2 dott are in the cast. Off to the speedway tomorrow.

Posted by: -jack- | May 15, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Too far, LAL. Self-control.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 15, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

I feel like it should feel like I'm a Klingon cruiser decloaking for some surprise gunfighting.

Posted by: tidalwv | May 15, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

I sure hope you stick around, tidalwv.

Posted by: Yoki | May 15, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Nah tidalwv. If history is any indication, she's out of here for at least a few hours. That way she can pretend she didn't see any of this.'s almost like she needs a smack-down.

I hope you'll stick around.

Time for me to get my act together. Changing locales again this weekend. Have a happy night all. Will try to check in between loads of laundry, lugging stuff to the truck.

Posted by: LostInThought | May 15, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. This sounds like a nice town. I hear that teachers are paid well there.

Posted by: -jack- | May 15, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

My brother would dispute the 'well paid' allegation, but it's a great city, eh?

Posted by: Yoki | May 15, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Loomis... you really need to get [expletived] or find a hobby or something. I've never come across anyone so bitter, self-important, condescending and so full of herself yet has absolutely *nothing* to offer to *any* conversation except snide and snooty remarks and cut-and-pasted quotes from other authors.

Oh wait... how could I forget your hundreds of posts about a mulch fire nobody really gives a carp about except you?

I hope you're trying to be a comedian in the spirit of Stephen Colbert and just haven't let anyone know that everything you post is satirical. Otherwise, you're just a [expletived] (as has been noted above).

[And if this went too far, too bad. I call'em like I see'em and when I get punched, I punch back.]

Posted by: martooni | May 15, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Ah...what's for dinner, everyonr?

Posted by: Manon1 | May 15, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Manon1 | May 15, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking of defrosting some bakery coconut cake. Maybe with a beef barley vegetable soup chaser.

Posted by: -dbG- | May 15, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Or not.

Posted by: -dbG- | May 15, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Allo, Manon! I had some fresh baked Italian bread with a glass of Pinot Gris...not sure what else I'm having. It's a "fend" night here. There are fried chicken wings for the kiddo when he gets here, and a cake from the Italian bakery for later. It's a combination couple of birthdays/anniversary cake.

Posted by: seasea1 | May 15, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Here, supper included barbeque pork chops, fresh squash with onion, fresh cantalope, hearty multigrain bread, and chocolate ice cream. I cooked on a Friday night because Mr. T has been gone all week and we both needed a home-cooked meal.

Posted by: slyness | May 15, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

I have to admit that, if snide & snooty remarks are to be limited, I might not have a heck of a lot left to contribute.

Posted by: bobsewell | May 15, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Bob S, I can always hear the chuckle in your posts. Or I have no idea what you're on about - ha!

Posted by: seasea1 | May 15, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Manon! Long time no see! Also howdy to tidalwv, stick around. After long deliberation I have decided to associate your handle with the great state of West By God as opposed to a marine phenomenon.

We had pork chops too - browned in olive oil & butter then cooked until done - with mashed potatoes and a pan gravy made with cream & mustard. Also, separately, green leaf lettuce salad.

Now I'm about to go to a law school event. Graduation tomorrow for the little chickens whose grades I turned in today. Cluck cluck.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 15, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

It all sounds yummy!

Posted by: Manon1 | May 15, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

seasea - (Grinning here) Glad to hear it. I don't always do a very good job of amusing everyone else, but I sure amuse myself here pretty regularly!

[No, I did NOT say, "abuse myself", you filthy-minded *expletive*ers.]

Posted by: bobsewell | May 15, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

I remember seeing mute swans on the Potomac when I was very little, I think.

So that's where all the swans have gone...

I think it's the right move, though-- better 500 swans now than a few hundred every year after that, unless swan hunting licenses would be good money.

I just wish the National Zoo had a few mute swans.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | May 15, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

We had a quick and easy supper (too embarrassed to say what), one child away at a sleep over, husband flying home from a week visiting friends in sunny Florida and older child the fourth of five to fall victim to a cold.

For dessert we went to DQ for a sore throat soothing blizzard. Long weekend started early in this house as the kids had a day off from school, I moved soil at my project house. Much gardening to do this weekend, including a visit to the nursery to buy plant materials for said project house, have already scouted out the plants I want and am planning to go early tomorrow morning and battle the crowds. Not unlike Boxing Day sales - except without any real sale.

Then hopefully I will get around to doing some yard work at my own home- soil and mulch to spread, lawn to mow, plants to be planted - and I will enjoy every moment of it.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 15, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

I crank out a comment, post it, rush out to dinner with the kids, come back and -- wow.

Musta been a he!! of a party.

Self-control is important -- and so is defending when lines have been crossed, and letting people know in no uncertain terms when they have done so.


Posted by: -bc- | May 15, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

BTW, it's Friday, and for people like me, that means fish.

A nice lemongrass tilapia for me, I thought, but ended up with a spicy mahi-mahi.

'twas good.

And soon it'll be time for some port.


Posted by: -bc- | May 15, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse


Help me like Port more. Is my problem cheap port? Too sweet?

Contemplating a glass of vouvrey, but am so dehydrated that water with lemon squirt seems best.

"... good company, good wine, good welcome, can make good people.”
—William Shakespeare
Henry VIII (play)

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | May 15, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

No dinner but how about this:

fully bowl of semi-thawed frozen raspberries with one tablespoon of melted ice cream atop.

Still looking for rhubarb in the market. Eat some for me, oh northern denizens. I hate being a semi-Southrener only in spring when I cannot get my rhubarb or crab apple fix.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | May 15, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of fish - During one of my completely-famished/still-slightly-inebriated weekend-morning shopping extravaganzas, I decided that buying a large can of salmon was a good idea. Heck, it was on sale. What does one actually do with such a foodstuff? I know that I could make a tuna salad substitution, but are there better options?

Posted by: bobsewell | May 15, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Faxing CP big slice of left over Bumbleberry Crumble, the frozen raspberries would be perfect on top with the ice cream.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 15, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Bob remember when someone (forget who) used to put items in a hydraulic press? - my suggestion for the canned salmon.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 15, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like dinner to me, CqP. I ended up with raspberries myself.

I bought some NJ garden-fresh rhubarb this week at a stand that also sold plants (bought a flat of nasturtiums). And thought of you.

Posted by: -dbG- | May 15, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Gardening weekend ahead for me as well. I bought a bunch of plants, tomatoes, peppers and basil plus flowers for the window boxes and gardens on my lunch break. “S” and I have a ‘date’ tomorrow morning. I’m riding with him to the dump and we’ll stop at Lowe’s on the way home for more flowers and a cherry tomato plant. I’m going to have to get all the planting done tomorrow as Sunday doesn’t sound very good weather wise. It will be a long day for my back, but the PT seems to be working (she thinks it’s a nerve and I think I agree). I want to be done in time to watch the Preakness to see if the filly can win it.

Posted by: badsneakers | May 15, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

My one and only comment about mute swans is: The Saskatoon Restaurant has already covered this subject, pithily:

My one and only comment about what Nancy Pelosi knew (and when) is: I've seen her up close. She isn't going to stop a determined interrogator.
A bunch of us share this shame.

Posted by: bobsewell | May 15, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

dbG, that you found some makes my day. And nasturtiums are darling especially the one with white edges on the leaves. Even if they never bloom, the leaves are worthy, so very worthy.

Thanks, DMD for the crumble. Fruit supper, summer is nearly upon us.

Bob. Looking at tinned salmon recipes for you.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | May 15, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse


wild salmon?

in oil? or waterpack?


I am thinking fish tacos if not smoked. The salmon will taste better if rinsed in cold water two or three times, then flaked and seasoned lightly...

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | May 15, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

It is, and I quote, "100% Fancy fresh-caught Alaskan Salmon", containing only salmon & some salt. I'm gonna guess that precludes oil, but since I can feel it sloshing around a little, there's gotta be some water.

Posted by: bobsewell | May 15, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I didn't notice the little medallion proudly proclaiming that it's "Wild".

I'm not sure I want my dinner to be quite THAT exciting.

Posted by: bobsewell | May 15, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Bob, this is the gooder stuff. Salmon tacos would be lovely, including with a mango salsa.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | May 15, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse


20 Minute Meal

1 can (14.75 oz.) or 2 cans (7.5 oz. each) traditional pack Alaska salmon OR 2 cans or pouches (6 to 7.1 oz. each) skinless, boneless salmon, drained
2 cans (15 oz. each) vegetarian chili
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup (2 oz.) low-fat or fat-free shredded Cheddar cheese
2 Tablespoons diced onion
1/2 cup diced Roma tomatoes
1/4 cup low-fat or fat-free sour cream
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro, if desired

Remove skin and bones from salmon (if any); break into chunks. Add chili to saucepan; stir in salmon and cumin. Cook until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide chili among four bowls. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons cheese, 1/2 tablespoon onion, 2 tablespoons tomato, 1 tablespoon sour cream, and 1/2 tablespoon cilantro.

Makes 4 servings.


Other recipes too. I guess the Tex Mex approach is an antidote to blechy salmon loaves of yore.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | May 15, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Some canned salmon (take meat, leave the boney part), some canned corn, salt, pepper, and spices can make a fairly fast chowder-type soup for colder weather (creamed for thick, non-creamed for thin).

Beats salmon loaf to my tastebuds by a wide margin, although I'm sure there are many better uses of canned wild salmon.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | May 15, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

A too late dinner Chez Frostbitten, and not a great one. Things improved considerably once I determined there's no dishonor in just picking all the pepperoni off the girls' volleyball team fund raiser pizza and tossing the rest. Not bad for what it is, but what it is is never all that good. But, dessert of vanilla ice cream with some of last summer's raspberry preserves is just the thing. What's that? A bottle of shiraz seems to be demanding to be opened.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 15, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

You think there will be bony parts? Geez, what am I paying them for?

Good ideas. I'll be doing something over the weekend, I'll keep ya posted. (I'm sure that this will be really high on the list of news items with which you all feel compelled to keep abreast!)

Posted by: bobsewell | May 15, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Uh, Bob -- there will be bony parts, and skin, and some grey areas that are fat (I think.) Just pick out the salmon, throw out the odd bits.

You can make a lovely salmon salad --- good greens, salmon, hard boiled egg, capers or grated gherkins, chopped celery, maybe some chopped red and/or green pepper. Toss with salt, pepper, lemon juice and a little mayonaise.

Posted by: nellie4 | May 15, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

bob, this weekend my cousin made a "salmon hash". New potatoes sauteed, sauteed onions and red bell pepper, salmon mixed in, and hollandaise sauce over the top. It was great. Apparently it can also be served with poached eggs. I'd recommend it (of course, it is hard to go wrong with Hollandaise sauce).

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 15, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

geez. for the severalth night this week I've driven home into a thunderstorm. I got here before it hit but can hear the rain pounding down now. Y'all have a good night. Buenos gnocchis, vaya con queso and fondue.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 15, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

How did you know, CqP? I'll send you photos tomorrow to confirm. I hadn't seen the white veined ones before.

I want to like salmon. I really do, and used to like it a lot. Then there was the food poisoning incident during the Christmas holidays about 10 years ago. . . anyone else have problems eating something that once made you very sick?

Posted by: -dbG- | May 15, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

"Buenos gnocchis, vaya con queso and fondue."

Izzat good with salmon?

Posted by: bobsewell | May 15, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

DbG, this happens a lot. My sister had the same problem with pepper steak after being very sick after eating it (not food poisoning from it).

Different recipes and very small amounts might work for many foods, but salmon does have a distinctive taste, so I don't think it can be unlearned that easily.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | May 15, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse


You are one [expletive] good science writer. I'm an EE and you never over-simplify the technical stuff while getting the message across to the general public.

Thank you.

Posted by: mwarner002 | May 15, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

dbg - I'm pretty sure I've bored everyone with this story before, but when I was a fairly young US Air Force grunt, I stuck a couple of store-bought biscuit sandwiches in my duffle bag during a multi-day exercise. After forgetting them for a 12-hour work shift, and then a 12-hour rest shift, I remembered (and devoured) them during the next work shift. Very, very bad idea.

It was almost five years before I could even theoretically consider the idea of buying a sandwich of any sort from a business of any sort.

[And then there was the ill-considered tequila incident of my rash teen-aged years...]

Posted by: bobsewell | May 15, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to mwarner002 for reminding me what we're supposed to be discussing!

Posted by: bobsewell | May 15, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Dinner for me was a bag of popcorn followed by an order of satay after Angels and Demons. My wife had a beef with the set designer that created the Santa Maria della Vittoria set for the movie. They had the entrance to the church and the pew arrangements completely wrong.

She knows because she took this wonderful picture of the pipe organ over the entrance:

It's her current wallpaper on her computer.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 15, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

All this talk of fish has me thinking it's about time to blow the sawdust off my gear and head down to the creek. The yellow perch aren't very big this far south of Erie, but they are *delicious*. And then there's the trout (mostly brown trout, but there are a few rainbows swimming around).

I usually catch and release, even if they're big enough to keep (I hate cleaning them), but now yinz got me hungry.

btw... It's not quite official yet -- still many details to work out -- but the park that is home to my favorite fishing hole (Mill Creek) will be tentatively hosting a "fairy walk/scavenger hunt" July 11th, with yours truly providing a bit of commentary and a presentation on the Wee Folk with some tie-ins to local legends of the Western Reserve (I may have to invent a few). I'll also be providing the fairy doors the kids will have to find throughout the gardens and will be donating a door and a percentage of sales to a yet-to-be-named charity.

Should be much more fun and interesting than a never-ending mulch fire in Texas.

Posted by: martooni | May 15, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

That is a fantastic picture of the Atlantis. I wonder if it was set-up by the same guy that arranged the Air Force One - Statue of Liberty fly-by.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 15, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse


I had to break my "no boodling until SOL testing is over" rule to tell you how hard I laughed reading your very un-profane kit.

Hi everyone! Nice to know y'all are still here and being nice to each other, for the most part...

Posted by: abeac1 | May 15, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Dinner on the fly: spaghetti with soy, butter and romano cheese, then to the play. A fine performance, considering what we saw during rehearsals, opening night bouquets all around. Our son then took a dive off the stage. Landed without incident. Good sandwich story, Bob. When I celebrated a birthday many years ago, I treated myself to a salmon dinner. the night before I had something made from canned salmon. The day after the fete, saw the onset of dysentery. I wasn't the same for quite some time, and stayed away from salmon for years.

Posted by: -jack- | May 15, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Your salmon reaction sounds like something out of Lewis & Clark.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | May 15, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Yeah. I never had such cramping in my life. The MD wanted to hospitalize me, but I turned him down, went home, and subsisted on Gatorade and bananas until things settled down. I became good friends with the Porcelain God.

Posted by: -jack- | May 16, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

toodles boodle and sweet dreams.

I have not been able to eat cherries since an unfortunate episode when I was 4 years old. I do not have any recollection of the incident at all, and actually like cherry flavored stuff, but I cannot stomach the texture of cherries-raw, baked in a pie, or worst of all in black forest cake.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 16, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

That's OK, frosti. Actual botanical cherries are SO old-school (first & second millennium relics). It's M-3, baby - we make our stuff out of whatever chemicals happen to be handy.

Posted by: bobsewell | May 16, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I'm loving the fact that -dr- is working a little old-school ammonia. I'm just old enough to been around some folks who were just old enough to be using critter-based ammonia refrigeration systems.

To quote the great philosophers Edith & Archie Bunker: "Those were the days!"

Posted by: bobsewell | May 16, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

When I moved out here many years ago, a friend of mine made salmon dip, with canned salmon, cream cheese, liquid smoke. It was pretty good...but after I had made it a few times, the canned salmon complete with bones, etc really disgusted me. I love grilled salmon, but that's it.

I had an unfortunate incident with dried apricots as a kid, cannot eat them now. Got sick after eating scallops as an adult, have been scared to try them since (I had eaten them often before that). I think I've made myself sick just thinking about this. The only time I've had food poisoning was when Mr seasea and I had a picnic on a hot summer day, and the potato salad was not cool enough. Didn't turn me off potato salad, though.

Blech. Where's the Pepto Bismol? G'night.

Posted by: seasea1 | May 16, 2009 1:11 AM | Report abuse

I blame my parents and sisters for my inability to curse and swear. Growing up, our neighbours (from the father to the youngest child) on our right and left always start their sentences with vulgarity (the expletives were the same as English and worse.) My parents absolutely forbade my sisters to use expletives and my sisters enforced it on me. My sisters went further with me and told me that I wasn’t allowed to spend too much time playing with the neighbours’ kids.

Sometime in the last 10 years, I’ve started using the word “damn” a lot. I’m learning. I’ll be able to swear like a sailor in no time.

Posted by: rainforest1 | May 16, 2009 3:15 AM | Report abuse

Slow morning around here, but that's okay on Saturday. Hey everybody!

The last food-related illness around here involved bacon-wrapped oysters (broiled) and sauteed fresh spinach and garlic. Haven't done either since. I love a good piece of salmon, we do it on the grill every once in a while...

rainforest, you make me laugh. My use of expletives has waned considerably since I retired, but having been in public safety ensures that I have the appropriate vocabulary at hand when I need it.

Mr. T is already outside trimming the ligustrum. I should eat breakfast and go assist in picking up what he's cutting. Later, folks.

Posted by: slyness | May 16, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Morning, Al and Ali and Allies and Alley Cats and Alley Oopers...

Off to take CPboy to lifeguard training. Just think: TBGDot guards peeps on one side of the mighty Potomack and CPDude the other.

Thanks, always for the garden updates. DoC is a geologically inclined gardener and I love what he tells us.

And, BobS I should admit that I never eat fish. So, road test the recipes with others. I made the chili for my family and they liked it. I saw too many fish eviscerations in my young years. No thankee, too biological and the death struggle etc. I do eat crab MD-style, because I was formed to that at 22 not 2 1/2.

I wish for all soft air and spring sunlight. May and June, such a time each year for us.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | May 16, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Slyness, he is trimming the privet....that species name never rolls of my tongue lightly. :) Sounds almost lascivious, or very scientifically adroit.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | May 16, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Al.

Looks like rain, which means it's unlikely that I'll get to planting today, unfortunately.

Sounds like yesterday was another tough day at the Shuttle Garage, with a few new gyroscopes that wouldn't fit into the old Hubble, so they resorted to the spare remanufactured pieces they'd brought as contingencies (And are typically less expensive at Pep Boys anyway. I wonder what the core trade-in on those used gyros are...). I'm a big believer in having having backout plans for such work - to the extent that I have two cheap and ancient - but running - cars at my disposal. Sometimes unforseen things happen and I need to run to the store to fetch parts for the other car -- which might be in 1,000 pieces at that point...

At this point, the Shuttle guys don't have the option of making an emergency parts run, since the nearest NAPA is a minimum of 350 miles away and moving at 17,000 mph (relatively speaking), at the bottom of a substantial gravity well.

Have a good day, all.


Posted by: -bc- | May 16, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Yello saw your post about the set designed for Angels & Demons - which made me remember this story I saw yesterday - actually just viewed the headline.

Your wife might be interested, a story about the Vancouver company that worked on the set designs.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 16, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Morning all off to the nursery in the hopes of beating most of the crowd - wish me luck.

Husband returned safe and sound but delayed - did arrive home until four in the morning after a slight delay in Ft. Myers then a much longer delay in Charlotte, then a slow border crossing in Buffalo - at least there was no traffic on the highways once he cleared the border.

Have a great day all.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 16, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

I screwed up yesterday's "Today in Yadda Yadda" by combing two dates, so today's will be a repeat:

May 16, 1811: British sloop HMS Little Belt is captured by the frigate USS President (Commodore John Rodgers) after a fight off the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. Each captain claims the other fired first, and the incident is a major irritant leading toward the War of 1812.
1898: The highest recorded waterspout, 5,014 feet high by about 10 feet in diameter, is seen off Eden, Australia.

But to make up for it, there's more goodies to celebrate today (well, not all of them are celbratory, one supposes):

A couple of marriages:

1770 – 14-year old Marie Antoinette marries 15-year-old Louis-Auguste who later becomes king of France.
1836 – Edgar Allan Poe marries his 13-year-old cousin Virginia.

A duel and a duel of wits:
1777 – Lachlan McIntosh and Button Gwinnett shoot each other during a duel near Savannah, Georgia. Gwinnett, a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence, dies three days later.
1868 – President Andrew Johnson is acquitted in his impeachment trial by one vote in the United States Senate.

Some cool inventions:
1866 – Charles Elmer Hires invents root beer.
1866 – The U.S. Congress eliminates the half dime coin and replaces it with the five cent piece, or nickel.
1960 – Theodore Maiman operates the first optical laser, at Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, California.
1965 – The Campbell Soup Company introduces Spaghetti-Os under its Franco-American brand.

A couple of departures:
1843 – The first major wagon train heading for the Pacific Northwest sets out on the Oregon Trail with 700 to 1,000 pioneers from Elm Grove, Missouri. Led by former Army captain John Gantt, the settlers paid him a dollar per person to lead the way. (Other, smaller trains had already gone out there.) The 2,000-mile trip took four to six months.
1919 – A Curtiss aircraft NC-4 commanded by Albert C. Read leaves Trepassey, Newfoundland, for Lisbon via the Azores on the first transatlantic flight.
1953 – Django Reinhardt, legendary Belgian guitarist (b. 1910)
1955 – James Agee, American writer (b. 1909)
1957 – Eliot Ness, Untouchable (b. 1903)


Posted by: Curmudgeon- | May 16, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse


1984 – Andy Kaufman, American comedian (b. 1949)
1984 – Irwin Shaw, American author (b. 1913)
1985 – Margaret Hamilton, Wizard of Oz wicked witch (b. 1902)
1990 – Sammy Davis, Jr., American entertainer (b. 1925)
1990 – Jim Henson, American puppeteer (b. 1936)

Some arrivals:
1969 – Venera program: Venera 5 becomes the second of an eventual ten Soviet spaceprobes to land on Venus
1992 – STS-49: Space Shuttle Endeavour (Cmdr. Daniel Brandenstein) lands safely after a successful maiden voyage. She was ordered up to replace the ill-fated Challenger, and is named after Capt. Cook's ship, which is why she uses the British spelling of Endeavour.
1905 – Henry Fonda, American actor (d. 1982), forever in my mind as Mister Roberts
1912 – Studs Terkel, American writer (d. 2008)
1921 – Harry Carey, Jr., American actor
1928 – Billy Martin, American baseball player and coach (d. 1989) (This one's for you, mo.)
1931 – Lowell P. Weicker, Jr., senator from Connecticutt during the Watergate hearings, one of the few Republicans I might have ever voted for
1953 – Pierce Brosnan, Irish actor, the third best James Bond
1966 – Janet Jackson, wardrobe malfunctionist

A pair of recognitions:
1920 – Somewhat belatedly, Pope Benedict XV canonizes Joan of Arc as a saint.
1929 – In Hollywood, the first Academy Awards are handed out. Tickets to the event were $5 and 250 people attended. The ceremonial part lasted only 15 minutes, and as all film buffs know, "Wings" won as the first best picture (and also took special effects Oscar).

And for you, CqP:

A feast day (if your are so inclined) for Saint Brendan the Navigator (going back to the nautical thing), patron saint of boatmen, mariners, sailors (don't ask me what the distinctions are between those three; I don't know, I'm only reporting here) travelers, and whales (c.q., not Wales but whales, you heard it here first). Some persons of the Irish persuasion believe St. Brendan may have discovered America during his famous, possibly allegorical seven-year voyage in an ox-leather curragh to "the Isle of the Blessed," circa 512 to 530 A.D.

OK, that ought to keep everyone busy and out of trouble for a while.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | May 16, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse


Got one estimate for the necessary NukeAbode work... I may have to get a second job! :-O Still waiting for a second estimate and a third company is visiting today to get the lay of the land. *fingers crossed* Apart from that, it's yard work and all that.

No salmon on today's menu (we're thinking of trying the new KFC "grilled" offering), but perhaps tomorrow... We've become aware of microwave "steaming" bags that cook a sauce at the same time -- quick, easy and tasty! (Hey, I never said I was a cordon bleu, yanno.)

*faxin'-'Mudge-a-hybrid-Barcalounger/golf cart-for-getting-through-the-day Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 16, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Morning, Al.

OK, here goes. I like salmon loaf. I like creamed salmon on toast, I like salmon salad sandwiches. I like a lovely fresh fillet grilled. I like it poached in court bouillon. I like smoked salmon with lemon and onions and capers (capers!!). I like salmon. There, I said it.

Fun day today (after the housework gets done); shopping and dining with #2. Possible addition of my friend A if he gets back to town in time for dinner. #2 may or may not spend the night at my place (I hope she does).

Perhaps it would be wise to buy some groceries so that the young lady has something to eat. She does not like salmon, so that's right out.

Have a good day, everyone.

Posted by: Yoki | May 16, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

For Yoki

Simple salmon

Place salmon filets on foil (put some oil on the foil if filets are skinless)
Sprinkle salt, red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric.
Place a flake of butter on each filet
Bake 350 oF for 15 min?
Broil 5 min

Shahi salmon

Season ~5 small salmon filets with salt and set aside on baking tray (oiled if filets are skinless)
Mix together 1/2 cup yoghurt, and a couple of tomatoes, a small onion, couple of garlic cloves all chopped finely, some grated ginger, bunch of chopped cilantro, 1 tsp of vinegar and/or lime juice, a tsp of garam masala, salt and red chili powder to taste.
Layer the mixture over the filets
Cover and refrigerate for a few hours (O/N ok)
Bake at 400 oF for 15-20 min?

Posted by: DNA_Girl | May 16, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. Thanks for that list, Mudge. I can help you out a little; I don't know the difference between boatmen and sailors, but mariners play baseball.

dbG asked if anyone had problems eating anything that made them sick once.

Does Scotch count?

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 16, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for that link dmd. It was fascinating. I had read but can't confirm that the movie had gotten one day of filming within the Vatican. Some of the footage of St Peters Square was clearly stock, but quite a bit looked real. Movie magic.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 16, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Both of those sound fantastic, DNA_Girl! Thanks.

One for you:

Yoki's Moroccan-style chicken

Joint a chicken into eight pieces, and lightly brown them in a medium hot skillet. Put the browned chicken into a casserole and keep warm.

In the same skillet, saute onions, garlic, 1/2 c. pitted green olives, the zest from preserved lemon, cut into thin strips. When the onions are soft and the mixture is fragrant, add, to taste, about 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 t. each of ginger and cinnamon (I use fresh ginger). When the spices are aromatic, pour in 1.5 to 2 cups of chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Pour the liquid over the chicken in the casserole and braise at 350 for about an hour.

Serve with rice.

Posted by: Yoki | May 16, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

It's OK to eat the flesh of the animal which hath the cloven hoof, as long as it cheweth the cud, right?

Posted by: bobsewell | May 16, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Salmon has hoofs?

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 16, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Survived the nursery, the early morning thunderstorms must have scared off the less hearty gardeners - was too crowed. Some women love to shop for clothes, purses, shoes - me it is plants - two hours in the nursery and I am all smiles.

Most of the plants are not for me but it was still fun, picked up a Carolina Allspice that looked so nice and unique (I tend to go for the more unique plants).

Purchased a tomato plant for my husband (Brandywine) and a selection of herbs to put together a herb planter to use in cooking. The chocolate Mint was too tempting not to pick - like the Pineapple sage I never quite know what to use it for but it is fun.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 16, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Cleaving from dogma,
fishes rose from ancient seas;
behooved to evolve

Posted by: DNA_Girl | May 16, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Very nice, DNA Girl.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 16, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

@#%*&!! I forgot to mention the atomic oxygen and the trouble it causes. OKOS - on kit obligation satisfied.

Ah, perch. I used to love ocean perch, apparently more than many, but I think it's fished out because I don't see it any more in stores. I haven't had freshwater perch in so long I forget what it tastes like. I may have to go questing.

BTW my former landlord had an ice plant and when CFCs got complicated he installed a brand new ammonia system to make his tons of daily ice. An advantage is he always knows when he needs to check for leaks.

I got to wondering how the old natural-gas or kerosene refrigerators work. Wikipedia and other places gave me some idea, but I'm still a bit unclear on how you get the stuff to move through the system in the right direction... anyway, this got me thinking about a solar-powered refrigeration system that does not use electricity, just focused sun rays on the heat side. There are some systems but they convert sun to photovoltaics to electrically powered compressors, surely not so theoretically as cheap or efficient.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 16, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Wikipedia says it's not perch, it's just called that in the U.S.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 16, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

But freshwater perch is still perch, right? 'cause if it isn't the whole foundation of my life will be unsettled.

Posted by: Yoki | May 16, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

When I was a kid, the children's meal at the local fish restaurants was always fried perch. I would gorge myself on it. And now you're telling me it's not perch?

Mr. T is now mowing the lawn, despite being rained on. We've had a couple of showers, just enough to get the yard (and him) good and wet.

We were dirty and hot and mostly finished on the shady side of the yard when TBG and Dr. G dropped by. It was good to see them! Mr. T and Dr. G talked Carolina basketball, of course. We were polite enough not to insist that they plunge into our activities, and they were polite enough not to volunteer. TBG said she and SonofG would be looking for a new vehicle for her. I wished her luck on that endeavor.

Posted by: slyness | May 16, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

It's a bit frustrating. I know so little about fish species and seems they are called something different everywhere. I remember eating freshwater perch, I just can't recall the taste of them. Freshwater perch are indeed perch. We should get some. And spend an hour or so over dinner. On a porch. You see where this is going?

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 16, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Jumper my parents used to eat Freshwater Perch from Lake Erie - apparently very good.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 16, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

We fished perch out of the Bay of Quinte on Lake Ontario all through my childhood. Fired up the pan right on the rocky shore. Amazingly good. Uncle L. always had a bag of flour and cornmeal and a filleting knife in his pocket.

Delicate, flaky, white. Awesome.

I'll join you, Jumper, for the fishing part, as well as the porching dinner.

Posted by: Yoki | May 16, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I've never been much of a fisherperson, but have always enjoyed it on the rare occasions that I get talked into it. I've eaten both salmon and trout that I personally caught from the American River in northern California. They tasted especially good.

Posted by: bobsewell | May 16, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

i love fish. this boodle is making me hungry.

Posted by: LALurker | May 16, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Since we're still talking about fish:
I've never had Copper River salmon, but it sounds tasty.

Joel's got a story on today's spacewalk on the front page.

Posted by: seasea1 | May 16, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure that I've been a good enough boy to deserve to eat Copper River salmon!

re: Hubble repair travails - I loved the quote in the Marcia Dunn piece: "After seven years of not having people around, Hubble has lost its accommodation to people," Leckrone said at a late Friday news conference. "It's gone wild again. So we have to tame it. That will happen I'm sure."

Posted by: bobsewell | May 16, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Well, I've HAD it! I called Computer Geeks this morning, and a guy is coming out in about 5 minutes to whup my computer upside the head -- and I get to pay him, too.

My Outlook went over the dark side this morning, and otherwise the computer is behaving poorly. Cranky is not the word I'd use right now to describe how I feel.

I'm soooooooo ready for a Mac, but I gotta scrape the dineros together first, and do a little triage on my economic wherewithall and wherewithall it's all going.

Bear with me.

I LOVE salmon. When I'm in Sweden, I eat it until I pass out.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | May 16, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

or here

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 16, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

dmd, it'll be interesting to hear if dmdspouse likes the Brandywine. It likes calcium, so if you have an eggshell or 2, throw it in.

I'm a big fan of chocolate mint and pineapple sage myself. I use both mixed in bouquets with flowers, gorgeous!

I've been working (work!) for hours, now I'm at the point where I mainly need to check in every 1-2 hours for the rest of my life. Time to go plant.

Posted by: -dbG- | May 16, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Hertzberg's bit on Texas Independence

brings questions to my mind. Will we admit Texas to NATO? Will Cape Canaveral - or San Diego or elsewhere - have enough room for the new Space Center to replace Houston? Of course there are the matters of the Border Wall, and the long wait to get a green card for Texans who want to work in the U.S. Hertzberg asks if Texas will get foreign aid. How many offshore rigs do they get to put in the Gulf? Where will they be allowed to fish?

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 16, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

If you had a solar boiler you could plug your fridge into a generator powered by one of these.


Posted by: Boomslang | May 16, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Faxing everyone some boiled crawfish courtesy of the LSU Alumni Association...

Posted by: abeac1 | May 16, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Well, the Geek guy just left, and nothing's been solved for approx. $100. But I think I know where to go next, albeit on Monday.

Boiled crawfish is exactly what I need, abeac1. The timing couldn't be better.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | May 16, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Jumper wants to perch with perch on a porch.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 16, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I do have some sympathy for the Geeks. At least as often as not, there's nothing physically wrong with the computer. Vast armies of software routines are constantly battling for resources (memory space, hard drive real estate, processor cycles, etc.) and they have not (generally) been designed to cooperate well. Chaos ensues, there's no easy fix. You've gotta be prepared to punt every now & then (wipe the drive clean, re-install the operating system, start from scratch), or be very conservative about how you introduce new software to the system.

Posted by: bobsewell | May 16, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

In other spacey news: ScienceKid#1 has successfully created a Pierson's Puppeteer in Spore.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 16, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Posting from my bro's house. Leaving for the speedway directly. Country style steak for dinner. Ramones on the stereo. Life is good.

Posted by: -jack- | May 16, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Hello Everyone. 'tis been a busy day around the Vast Padouk Estate. Flower beds cleaned, trees pruned, garden prepared, 'maters purchased and planted (with generous amounts of high quality bunny poo), mulch applied, and lawn thoroughly mowed.

Suburbia can be so much work.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 16, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Happy weekend, Boodle.

That's weird, I've been craving fish lately and here you all are talking about it.

I have a really great grilled/smoked salmon recipe from Cooking Light magazine. It was the first recipe I ever tried that looked exactly like the picture in the cookbook.

The salmon is marinated in a mustard, rosemary and horseradish marinade then smoked on the grill. It sounds like a weird combination (at least to me), but it's divine.

I'll post it if anyone would like it.

Later, Boodle!

Posted by: Moose13 | May 16, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

I don’t pretend to be in dmd’s league when it comes to gardening, but I do love the results. We’ve been going since 9 am, buying flowers, veggies and seeds (all the stuff I forgot) and planting. My back held up well, I know it likes movement better than sitting. We go to Lowe’s for a lot of the ordinary flowers but the local garden center has better variety and quality for tomatoes and some flowers. I bought some beautiful African Daisys - purple flower with deep purple center surrounded by little tiny yellow dots. Also got a Marguerite Daisy called Courtyard Buttercream, very sweet and delicate looking. Anyway, everything is planted and “S” is on the roof applying some sort of plastic film to the porch skylights in an attempt to keep the sun from fading the heck out of everything. I’m not going out there until he’s done cause I get nervous when he’s on the roof.

I got the stomach flu when I was eleven just after making a cake I decorated with shredded coconut. It was 20 years before I could eat shredded coconut again and I never even ate any of the cake before I got sick. I don’t like salmon but we have it once in a while cause we know it’s good for us. I have to marinate it in teriyaki sauce to kill the taste. Tonight it’s broiled scallops and a salad. Not enough energy left to be fancy.

Posted by: badsneakers | May 16, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse


Make salmon cakes out of your canned salmon -- an oldie but a goodie. And with a nod to Mr. O., top it with a nice Dijon spread.


Food poisoning memories never leave. It's been 20 years, but I will never be able to eat my once-beloved butternut squash again. Ever. Funny how deeply ingrained the gustatory memory is. [Cue up Babs Streisand. . .)

Posted by: rangeragainstwar | May 16, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I found some ocean perch today. Price is higher than before; I didn't perchase any. But soon...

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 16, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Joel's article - posted this afternoon - re. the latest Hubble restoration project (don't ya just love it when they restore a classic rather than junk it? BTW, let's *not* turn the Hubble in on the Administration's "Clunkers for Cash" program.):

Good stuff.

Jumper, don't think I didn't notice your non-perchase.

Watched the Preakness between courses at dinner, a thrilling race -- Mine that Bird didn't win but proved he's no fluke with that spectacular last-to-second stretch run. Good to see a filly win, though.

Did some planting with Mom and the girls today, if it rains tonight, that'll help a lot. Looking forward to fresh summer tomatoes.

Jack, I'll be looking for you on TV tonight - when I can, that is.



Posted by: -bc- | May 16, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Rachel Alexandra by three lengths, first filly to win in 85 years. Second horse ever to win from the outside poll position.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | May 16, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Nice article by Joel! Loved the bit about fixing old cars being beneficial to an astronaut.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 16, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Hi Mudge.

I hope your knee is feeling better.

Posted by: Moose13 | May 16, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Sockeye salmon smoked over a low alderwood fire. The taste of home.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 16, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

That sounds wonderful, RD.

Posted by: Moose13 | May 16, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

moose, definitely post your salmon recipe. sounds interesting.

my mother roasts salmon in the oven with a sauce that contains mustard and dill. i should try to get her recipe.

Posted by: LALurker | May 16, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Hi, Moose. Yes, it's getting better. No pills needed since yesterday morning, just hobbling around the house with a single crutch. Went upstairs (our kitchen and living room are on the upper level) for the first time since Wednesday night for dinner, stairs weren't too bad at all. It's just an inconvenience at this point.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | May 16, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Re: Pierson's Puppeteers - is that difficult in Spore? I don't know the game but know of it. It sounds like a difficult task without cheats. Pierson's Puppeteers! That takes me back! Did he evolve it from the early phases?

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 16, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Here is that salmon recipe:

It is from "Cooking Light, Five-Star Recipes: The Best of 10 Years"

Smoked Rosemary-Scented Salmon

Hickory or alder wood chips
1 (3-lb. salmon fillet, halved crosswise)
¾ cup fresh lime juice
3 Tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1½ tsp. prepared horseradish
1½ tsp. cracked black pepper
¾ tsp. salt

Soak wood chips in water for at least 1 hour. Drain well.

Place fish in large, heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag. Combine lime juice and next 3 ingredients. Pour over fish; seal bag, and make sure fish is well coated. Marinate in refrigerator 3 hours, turning bag occasionally. Remove fish from bag, reserving the marinade. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper, set aside.

Set your grill up for the indirect cooking method. Add reserved marinade to the drip pane. Add hot tap water to the drip pan (maybe an inch). Oil the grill rack and arrange fish, skin side down, with enough room between the fish pieces for air to circulate. Close grill and cook 50 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.


I use a 1-lb. fillet of salmon when I make this, so I cut the marinade recipe into thirds.

I hope you enjoy it!

Posted by: Moose13 | May 16, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

That sounds good, Moose. We have an old-fashioned barbecue grill my dad made, brick exterior and fire pan with a grill suspended over it, and a big lid that lowers when needed. I think at one time the fire pan could be raised and lowered too. We can't use it right now. The last time I opened the lid, sometime in the winter, the grill was taken up by a very large squirrel nest, with resident squirrel. I think I won the surprise contest, and quickly shut the lid again. I know I have to clear that out but haven't gathered my resolve yet.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 16, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I'm glad your knee is better. Have some salmon - it's the Boodle dinner, apparently.

To celebrate our beautiful day I got out for a couple of hours. I dug up many large weeds in the dog yard, moved some branches, got things ready to mow now that it stopped raining. Also, finally, I removed the old plastic doghouse which had been sitting house-upside-down-over-top on the ground. The dog(s) outgrew it long ago and it was just a lawn ornament. I've been afraid something was living in it. As it turned out my fear was groundless, but understandable, given the squirrel in the barbecue grill.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 16, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Not only is the boodle all-knowing, it is all-powerful. Walked to a Greek restaurant in St. Paul that Mr. F and I have been meaning to try for months. I had salmon filet wrapped in phyllo pastry. Very tasty.

Yoki-do you also like creamed tuna on toast? I love that stuff.

Opted not to cover any plants before departing for St. Paul this morning. Hope I don't come to regret it. Spent some time this afternoon in the park garden plot we've adopted. Will plant tomorrow after I finish ridding it of the wild violets that threaten to choke everything-so hard to be ruthless when the wee things are looking their blue flowered best. Bleeding heart is blooming in its full shaded glory, lily-of-the-valley is all but done, and the variegated hosta glow. It will be hard not to over do it at the farmers' market tomorrow. So many plants, so little space.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 16, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Hey everybody
Just finishing up cleaning,no painting but got 2 rooms ready for viewing. A couple big thunderstorms rolled thru here tonight,look out east of west by god.

I heard the race was good but attendance was down,a shame since there is such turmoil in Maryland regarding the racing industry.It would be unheard of for Maryland to lose horse racing and the Preakness.Some billionare should do something.

I used to enjoy spending the afternoon and my paycheck at the track.I won big a couple of times playing numbers or betting on a hot jockey.But mostly lost,but a goodtime was always had.Nothing better then sitting in the clubhouse at Pilimco,having a cold natty boh and a crab cake or two,betting the ponies.

Time to open up a bottle of wine and relax!!!

Wildlife report: too dark to see anything

Posted by: greenwithenvy | May 16, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

gwe-some things you just assume will always be there, like all 3 races of the Triple Crown.

For those who might be interested, I've updated my seldom used hip urban loft blog with a "before" picture of the garden plot. Scroll down for a look at the Murphy Bed solution for not having any guest space.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 16, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

That is, you assume they'll be there until they're gone.

Toodles boodle and sweet dreams.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 16, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

You would mention violets Frosti. Our yard is overrun with them. The garden in the backyard with the birdbath is carpeted with them. The perennials there fight with them for space. I have dug them out only to watch them come back stronger than ever. They are also in the lawn and nearly impossible to kill according to our fertilizer guy.

I bought another hydrangea today, I am an addict. Of course there was a space in the hydrangea garden just crying out for one more. I planted light coral impatiens in the front of the bed and am very pleased with how it looks.

Mudge, very glad to hear that your knee is improving quickly. Just don’t push to fast like most guys do (sorry, but it’s generally true!).

Posted by: badsneakers | May 16, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

The mini-mango, one you can supposedly grown in a pot on a condo balcony, has abruptly put out a flush of new leaves and branches. How did it do that so quickly?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | May 16, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

The ScienceKid knows Spore, not me. The Puppeteer (and a Kzin) were assembled all at once, rather than 'evolved' in the Spore-way. Not as satisfying, I suppose, but I can see how sometimes you just want to make your danged monster.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 16, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Evening, Boodle. Such a day! #2 and I shopped and shopped and shopped and shopped. Got her the summer clothing of which she was in dire need and the cutest pair of sandals ever. Then dinner at a local Greek restaurant (very good, too).

Now she's gone out with friends and I am slowly trending toward the sleepy. Two glasses of Retsina may be contributing.

Moose, your salmon recipe looks amazing. I will try it.

"Night, Al.

Posted by: Yoki | May 16, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Back from the races. Just finished with the dogs. Being on kit, it was a great (extreme expletive) race. Busch and Kenseth were banging the (expletive) out of each other, got three wide in the trioval and caught Gordon on the right front quarter. Put him through the infield, and right into the (extreme expletive) wall. I was rooting for the 5, so this was (extreme expletive) great. The 14 was making a run, and with five laps to go, seemed like a winner. He pulled it down below the line in the first turn, pulled even, and made the pass exiting turn two. (extreme expletive) great move. Blew his (extreme expletive) doors off. Ate his lunch. Waxed him. Walked with a million (extreme expletive) dollars. And the obligatory riding lawn mower. Like he needs it.

Posted by: -jack- | May 17, 2009 2:20 AM | Report abuse

We call perch, red fish.

Posted by: rainforest1 | May 17, 2009 2:21 AM | Report abuse

The smallest mango tree I’ve seen is about 5’ tall grown on the ground. My sister has a mini-guava tree that is about 1.5’ tall. It already has fruits. I don’t think you can reduce a 10’ tree to 1.5’ without modifying its genes.

Posted by: rainforest1 | May 17, 2009 2:30 AM | Report abuse

One Fish,
Two Fish,
Red Fish,
Blue Fish ...

(Black Fish?)

Posted by: russianthistle | May 17, 2009 3:05 AM | Report abuse

Blackened salmon? What???

NukeSpouse and I give the Kentucky Grilled Chicken a thumbs-up! Tasty!

And NS would love to get flowers planted, but the upcoming construction would render that moot, so...

And it's obvious why Mine That Bird closed so fast -- he was trying to get to his proper jockey!!! Congrats to Rachel Alexandra!

Here's hoping the weather clears up in time for the Post Hunt!! It'd be nice to get a jog in, too, but oh well.

Good to hear you're on the mend, 'Mudge!!

*soggy-Sunday-but-the-chores-never-stop-do-they Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 17, 2009 6:57 AM | Report abuse

Ai chihuahua!!!


Posted by: Scottynuke | May 17, 2009 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Here is a great story about a 100 year old competitive swimmer - took up the sport at 80!

Posted by: dmd2 | May 17, 2009 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all. A cloudy day, we'll see if it leads to more rain. Not that we're complaining about rain. No sirree! The forecast calls for cooler temperatures tomorrow. It's supposed to go down to freezing in the mountains. And I planted dahlias, geraniums, petunias, and fuchsias last weekend.

Take it easy, Mudge. We want you back quickly, but not so fast that you don't heal properly.

Onward...gotta pick up one of the church's retired ministers who lives in assisted living nearby, to take him to service this morning.

Posted by: slyness | May 17, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Good morning!

After reading and watching demos for weeks, I finally got to use Wolfram Alpha.

Wolfram Alpha just told me no historically significant events occurred on my birthday, gave me my age in weeks, days, and I found out I was born on a Sunday...

Go play the searching game.

Posted by: abeac1 | May 17, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Morning Al... Waking up in the south, getting ready to pick up the kids (Daughter has been staying with Son of G; we are in a hotel, of course) and find a good hot breakfast with grits!

Before we hit the road again, let me share some more fine (im)mature musings from the G family...

We were driving down here to Charlotte and saw a BBQ place that we think was called B 'n R BBQ. When Dr G said heard me say the name, he said, "Ewwww.... B 'n R barbecue!"

Then we decided it would be worse to be called P 'n R BBQ and over the course of the weekend we came up with many more slogans for it... You've got to say them out loud...

P 'n R BBQ! You're in for a treat! Number one in town!

Posted by: TBG- | May 17, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

New kit coming soon to a blog near you!

Posted by: joelache | May 17, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: Yoki | May 17, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

What a cool way to use the game.You need to do a screen capture and post it. I would love to see another interpretation of a Pierson's Puppeteer. I have a book of illustrated interpretations of the aliens in the Brin Startide Universe and I have seen similar books for the Niven worlds as well.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 17, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

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