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Make Room on Mt. Rushmore!

I'm not one of those journalists so gaga over President Obama that I'm going to abandon all objectivity and write some slobbering hagiographical mash note declaring that he's the greatest leader since Moses. No: We must wait the Judgment of History (for competitive reasons I've signed up to get the judgment via Twitter). That said, I do think it would be prudent to ponder the obvious question: Do we need to make room for Obama on Mt. Rushmore?

If you haven't read the text of Obama's speech at Notre Dame, check it out. The controversy proved to be a fat pitch for this guy. A bitterly contentious, ultimately irreconcilable (as he noted) moral and ethical and legal and political conflict that has divided the country for decades? That's in his wheelhouse. Long ball.

Big moments like that make for great presidencies. Do that kind of thing for another seven-plus years, revive the economy, somehow avoid the looming fiscal disaster, beat back the Taliban in Afghanistan....and do a bunch of other good stuff ... and pretty soon we're going to have to start drawing up blueprints for the O-monument. Which brings me to Rushmore and the even more obvious question: If there's currently no room for Obama on the mountain, can he replace one of the existing faces?

And if so, which one?

I've been laboring over this for hours now and my vote is to get rid of Jefferson.

Why? Because I think saying so will drive blog traffic.

Also, leadership requires that we make the tough decisions, and if we have to jettison a face on Mt. Rushmore, then by definition it's going to be someone well-credentialed. The Rushmore people set the bar really high, which I think is the basic concept of the mountain. The lesser presidents, like Millard Fillmore, have their faces chiseled on a small hill nearby. Harding's face is on a mere knoll. But you know all this. The simple fact is that, when trying to edit Rushmore, you can't just excise one of the lesser, mediocre, stumblebum faces. I can't say: Let's get rid of what's-his-face, the loser.

The only face on Rushmore that conceivably doesn't entirely belong is that of Teddy Roosevelt. Maybe if he had won in 1912 on the Bull Moose ticket he'd have cemented his place as being worthy of the company of Lincoln. He was elected president precisely once, let us recall (he assumed office upon McKinley's assassination). But I have a special fondness for Teddy because of all his extra-curricular achievements, not least of which was his prodigious output as a historian. Plus, he was a great conservationist and trust-buster.

Lincoln you can't touch. Or George Washington. Do I have to discuss this at all? One saved the union that the other created.

Which leaves Jefferson. Sigh. A problematic figure after all these years. Yes, he wrote the Declaration and penned the lines that stand as the nation's creed (but didn't he crib some lines from George Mason and benefit from Franklin's editing?). He brought tremendous intellectual firepower to the founding of the republic. As president, he doubled the size of the country. No one articulated better the principles of small government, religious liberty, personal freedom and all that jazz. At his best, he produced many words worthy of being chiseled in stone. But he was also a hypocrite and, at times, a hysteric (remember all that firebell-in-the-night states-rights alarmism?). Washington freed his slaves in his will; Jefferson freed only a handful. He was a profligate spender who left his estate bankrupt, with tragic consequences for the people in his "family" (as he put it) who wound up sold off at auction like so much furniture.

So Jefferson is out. My suggestion, which admittedly is Obamaesque, is that the transition be handled very delicately and slowly. Rather than simply dynamiting Jefferson and starting from scratch, Jefferson can be altered. Gradually -- almost imperceptibly at first -- his face can be transformed into that of Obama's.

No, wait, I've got it: With enough craft, the stoneworkers can create a face that looks like Obama's from the left but still looks like Jefferson's from the right.

Genius.

--

Here's the final installment (I think) of the Hubble series. Really an impressive feat of derring-do and ingenuity. Inspirational, even. Indeed, I have been inspired to take my car to the shop.

Can someone explain to my why this story says The Associated Press under my byline? And this one too? Did I get traded overnight for two draft picks to be named later?

By Joel Achenbach  |  May 19, 2009; 6:39 AM ET
 
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Comments

"slobbering hagiographical mash note"

Arguably this should go straight to Barlett's.

Morning, Al. Cassandra, check in please.

Posted by: Yoki | May 19, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

This entertaining kit will certainly drive blog traffic. Can I get in on the pool for how long it takes for someone stumbling in to agree with the "two faced" solution because it accurately portrays the current prez?

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 19, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Front Page Alert, of course... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 19, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Gutzon Borglum.

I think immediately of Texan and former News week editor John Taliaferro's book "Great White Fathers: The Story of the Obsessive Quest to create Mt. Rushmore." No room on this mountain.

But there's another butte not far down the road in South Dakota where Crazy Horse is being scuplted from the rock by artist Ziolkowski.

http://travel.latimes.com/articles/la-trw-dakota12aug12

For the time being, since we're only about 107 days in Obama's presidency, may I suggest a small bust made out of styrofoam, like those styrofoam Greek columns that Obama used in Denver for his own stagecraft? I'm sure the bust of the presidential likeness can be either stored or displayed somewhere in Chicago? Or Honolulu--perhaps down on the beach or on a bluff, like the stone heads of Aku-Aku?

Posted by: laloomis | May 19, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Sounds to me like you already said it, frosti. :-)

Yeah, this kit is a classic.

Yoki, Cassandra said good morning on the last boodle just about the time you were asking for her.

Posted by: slyness | May 19, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Are you kidding?

Obama's going to get his own mountain.

Especuially if he manages to lead this country over the one we're climbing now, and into the promised Tomorrowland.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | May 19, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Ok, so you're acidicly funny, and this will drive traffic- (I live for the crazed outrage of the usual suspects)

But an addition to Rushmore? Stranger things have happened, to wit: the last election.

I think it shoud be on a new imposing mountain, looking down on some state capital, south of the mason-dixon, or north of Vancouver Canada.

Posted by: interactidiomas | May 19, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Passing over the conceit of replacing Jefferson, I do want to speak up with greater fervor for Teddy Roosevelt.

The deep wisdom of putting a genuine Conservative, a man who believed passionately - and lived his belief - about preserving our natural legacy; a man who knew that to preserve capitalism and the miracle of the free market, regulation and opposition to the power of big money was essential, is only now truly coming into focus.

When the Conservative movement in the United States, whether it is in the form of the Republican Party, or some other vehicle that replaces it, again looks to Teddy Roosevelt for inspiration only then will it have returned to its honest roots and become relevant to the America of the 21st Century.

Posted by: careysub | May 19, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of faces--some more well-known than others, the very last thing we did on my long birthday weekend, after returning from an incredibly pleasant weekend in the Texas Hill Country was to go, on my birthday on Sunday, at 7 p.m. to the local multiplex to see Dan Brown's "Angels and Demons."

My husband was grabbed by it and I had read the book. We had watched the interviews with Howard, Hanks, and the leading lady Friday night on Larry King.

That said, the movie just stopped in its tracks for me when I saw the long face of Rance Howard, father of director Ron Howard, figure prominently in the cardinals' conclave. It was during the close up of Rance's mug, shot behind the mug of Armin Mueller-Stahl, when I recognized Howard's own flesh-and-blood padre.

I know it's a favorite gimmick of Ron Howard to put his own papa or bro in cameos with his high-grossing movies, but at this point in time, I am really, really tired of this particular trick within Howard's visual bag of treats.

Posted by: laloomis | May 19, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, everyone.

Joel, there's a typo -- extra comma -- in the Teddy paragraph: "he'd, have."

Great kit.

Posted by: -bia- | May 19, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

IIRC, Doug Brinkey said that his book about Teddy Roosevelt would be issued in April, but the latest advance word that I received from one of my favorite booksellers was that the book would be available in June.

From Vanity Fair, a lede graf and an excerpt from Brinkley's lastest literary effort, titled by Vanity Fair, "How the West Was Saved.":

http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2009/05/teddy-roosevelt-excerpt200905

Already a noted outdoorsman, naturalist, explorer, and hunter, in April 1903 President Theodore Roosevelt embarked on a cross-country trek, to be joined by pioneering conservationists John Burroughs and John Muir. It would take him deep into the glories of Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, and Yosemite, inspiring his greatest legacy—and challenging one of his greatest obsessions. In an excerpt from his new book, Douglas Brinkley traces Roosevelt’s mark on environmental history: the preservation of some 230 million acres of forest and wilderness.

Posted by: laloomis | May 19, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Thanks bia, I will get out the stray-comma-zapper.

Posted by: joelache | May 19, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of Millard Fillmore, did anyone hear Obama's speeach at ASU? He said that the presidencies of Lincoln and Fillmore couldn't be compared. Well, they can...

But the point last week about Obama's appearance in "The Grand Canyon State" is that ASU wouldn't give Obama an honorary degree because he hadn't completed the body of his life's work. Well, it's well-known that Lincoln was assassinated while in office. But as I mentioned long ago on the Achenblog when the subject of Jimmy Carter came up, Carter's post-presidency was much like Fillmore's, full of selfless activities and charitable works.

As Obama thinks about whether he truly deserves at this point in time, so new and fresh into his young presidency, honorary degrees, and as Obama ponders his post-presidency, he could do well to look at the life of Millard Fillmore.

In the interim, Obama should pick up and read more presidential biographies. Then the words in his commencement speeches wouldn't boomerang back on him in embarrassing ways.

Posted by: laloomis | May 19, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Great idea! I agree that Teddy is the face to erase... but I think we should wait until after the next presidential election to decide whose face should replace Teddy's. I suggest that Sarah Palen, representing the first female president, would look much better up there than Obama. And it wouldn't be hard to revamp Teddy into Sarah, since he is already wearing glasses.

Posted by: DiogenesQQ | May 19, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

We may have to throw open the bunker doors for this one. So far so good, but I just know someone somewhere is gonna miss the 927 clues that Joel has his tongue...somewhere.

And please, Joel, do not ask me to comment upon why someone thinks you work for AP. My views on the this subject are well known. Count yourself lucky you aren't credited as working for the Tombstone Epitaph.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | May 19, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to hear you've been traded to AP. I understand the Post got 2 Metro reporters, an intern, some guy named Klein, and the new webmonkeys who broke the front page in exchange. Seems fair to me.

Posted by: wiredog | May 19, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and what the heck, let's note this one without comment:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30814287/

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | May 19, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

P.S.: There was a Loomis on Muir's climb of Mt. Rainier in 1888.

http://content.lib.washington.edu/warnerweb/essay.html

Posted by: laloomis | May 19, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Gee, where ya been? That Red House Furniture store ad's been around for a week or better?

Posted by: laloomis | May 19, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

DiogenesQQ, you made me laugh.

Bunker's open, Mudge. I checked the fridge. It's full of our favorite beverages and snacks. The TP stock is good, AND the bathrooms are clean. We're good to go.

Posted by: slyness | May 19, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Gee, what does it take to get the john birch society lunatics riled up these days? Are they THAT demoralized??

Posted by: joelache | May 19, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Still grading papers. Nigella rioting all over the front plot with a brave few of feverfew poking up.

I adore Teddy Roosevelt. My dad could play him in the biopic and not act much at all.

Glories! The purple jackmanii clematis is also a-rioting all over the typical 50s azalea. What does 50s azalea mean? The certain pepto bismol pink that the "better" garden people eschew.

I like all flowers: zany and vulgar to delicate and subtle.

Such a day; enjoy, all.

And JA, a stray comma is nothing. 'Tis the apostrophe abomination that really rankles.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | May 19, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Excuse the following anti Pawlenty diatribe.

Stressful political days ahead in MN. Sure, we've been in the news for a while, but when your senior and junior senator are the same person the delegation seems to get along pretty well. No, I'm talking about the just-in-time passage of a budget, with tax increases included, that T-Paw has promised to "fix" on his own without calling a special session.

I see even darker days ahead for the Republican party if T-Paw continues to gain traction as a a national candidate. His main proposals for balancing Minnesota's biennial budget include -

-major cuts to health and human services (throwing 30,000 Minnesotans out of the state health insurance program for adults on general aid. There's a long term money saver. But, increases in insurance premiums that will surely come to cover services to the uninsured aren't a tax increase.)

-a flat budget for k-12 ed, but delaying state payments to schools (a budget shift, which will require schools to draw down reserves or borrow $, that will make for property tax increases to cover interest losses/costs. But, that's not a state tax increase it's just a good way to [excretory expletive] people off even more about how inefficient schools are.)

-major cuts to LGA (local government aid. Self interest alert: LGA makes up 50% of Our Fair City's budget. We could lay off our paid employee, and have all elected officials donate their salaries back and we'd still have to raise property taxes. T-Paw recommends drawing down reserves but we had our $4,000 reserve fund set aside to cover emergencies like a flooded out culvert or the deductible on our insurance if the community center burns down. But the gov says we should borrow if tragedy strikes.)

T-Paw asked the legislature to approve borrowing against future tobacco settlement $ to balance this year's budget and not make any structural changes,saying "If we tax the wealthiest Minnesotans they'll continue to move to Arizona and Florida." What will we borrow against in the next budget cycle? And, does anyone truly believe that if our tax structures were equal Florida and Arizona wouldn't gain any Minnesota wealth? [expletive] in January, Cancun is Minnesota's second largest city-it's not the taxes.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 19, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

To save some federal funds, instead of physically modifying Mt. Rushmore, how 'bout getting some PhotoShop genius to just whip up some new postcards?

*plumping pillows and checking whether the wine fridge is adequately stocked*

Posted by: Raysmom | May 19, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Keep trying, Joel. Perhaps they're just on coffee break, fueling up for the offensive.

I like the idea of half-Jefferson, half-Obama. I wonder, though, if we can't combine the Space and Mt. Rushmore parts of the Kit. OBama In Space! Carve his likeness on the moon, or Mars or something. If we can bring mechanics up, surely we can send stonemasons (moonmasons?). Mayabe we could put a big Obama monolith in Space, slowly revolving around end over end as it watches over Earth, to a background of weirdly inspiring classical music.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 19, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

The stock market is down 30% since Obama got the nomination, but he did convince a few Catholics that it is OK to kill babies "just a little."

Posted by: pkhenry | May 19, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Hey, I like that thought, Ivansmom. The man in the moon is so boring, let's replace it with Obama in the moon!

Posted by: slyness | May 19, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Now, finally!

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 19, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

We've already got the rovers on Mars, they could start modifying that face next to the pyramids...

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 19, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

What an a** hole.

Posted by: FridayKnight | May 19, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

SCC: "Especially"
Feel free to hate me as much as I do.

In following up with my previous comment, perhaps Joel's inadvertently hit on the correct mountain for the O-face [those of you who've seen "Office Space," that was for you]:

Mt. McKinley.
The Mount Olympus of the US (and incidentally, the tallest peak), and an excellent place to Oversee Everything, albeit reluctantly.

Having said that, I think that someone's slowly working that Face on Mars into Geo. W. Bush's likeness.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | May 19, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

The more I think about it, the more the half-and-half face makes sense as a general rule. Icons tend to lose their iconicness, or X factor if you will, with time anyway. So we could just make a general plan to replace half the face of all old memorial sculptures. Aren't they out of room in statuary hall? Problem solved.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 19, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I whipping up some saffron shrimp and crab, in a parmesean cream sauce, over farfalle noodles. It's lunch. Red pepper flakes are on the coffee table.

Posted by: -jack- | May 19, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of Mother Nature, the wilderness, conservation, and whatnot, this is hysterical: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XsaCuGFy9M&NR=1

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | May 19, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

North Dakota was thinking about changing its name to "Dakota" so that people didn't associate the state with cold Northern lands. They were complaining that South Dakota was taking all the Dakota tourism business. I'm sure they would be happy to carve a mountain for second stringers. You know; Wilson, F.D.R., Reagan and the like.

Bush43 and Cheney already have their alpine tribute; the blown mountaintops and filled valleys of Appalachia. They do not deserve more and W's stupid grin would look scary on the big scale of a mountainside.

Brag, I didn't see any exotic parakeet flying in front of our kitchen window but we had another Spontaneous Bird Explosion (SBE) over the weekend. It manifests itself by the sudden appearance of a large puff of feathers up in the air without any bird in sight. It's the second time we've seen one in our backyard. This latest SBE was from the Spontaneous Explosion of a mourning dove; the earlier one was either a white-crowned or a white-throated sparrow.
Mrs. D believes there is a raptor strike involved in the sudden appearance of this ball of feathers, most likely from a sharp-shinned hawk, but I believe in the simpler explanation of the SBE.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 19, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

CqP-apostrophe abominations were the harbinger of our current decline as an economic power. If we cannot devise a universal educational system that can at the very least achieve in the populace a basic level of understanding re: possessives and contractions, what makes us think jobs shouldn't go off shore?

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 19, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

You haven't been putting out Pepto-Bismol for the birds again, have ya Shriek?

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 19, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

sd wrote "...and W's stupid grin would look scary on the big scale of a mountainside." Agreed. I thought it looked pretty scary on the small scale of his face.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 19, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I like Jefferson AND TR. But if a meteor hit Jefferson's visage, well, that would just be an act of an ironic God.

(“I would sooner believe that two Yankee professors lied, than that stones
fell from the sky” - Thomas Jefferson, 1807 on hearing an eyewitness
report of falling meteorites.)

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 19, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

SCC: Alka-Seltzer for the birds...

*SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 19, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree that I'm just not ready for Obama to be on Mt Rushmore yet -- after all, we haven't yet given any serious thought to what pose to use. Plus, how come South Dakota gets to hog all the interest -- I mean, c'mon: South Dakota? What's the motto, "Head for Canada, then turn South, it's the one right after North Dakota!"? "South Dakota -- the state with good heads"? Inspirational.

I favor, instead, a series of annual sand castle-building contests, stimulating the tourist economy of our beleaguered coastal resorts, and enabling the field of Obama-related hagiographic sculpture to be renewed and revitalized every year until the triumphal conclusion of his Presidency, when we can once more turn over to the hacks the helm of the ship of state, for another century. We can then begin a 50-State Plus the Territories Sand Castle Construction Program, reproducing the best of the sand castle designs in giant monumental sculptures of sand and epoxy in each state, so that all can partake of the glory. Visit each Head of Barack and get your picture taken, learn the trivia and local lore, tell midnight stories of the ghosts of tired political philosophies howling fruitlessly in the night after the polls close each election day. Pilgrims will pilgrimate, commemorating the dawning of the Age of Obama. Supplicants will lay wreaths and packs of low-tar cigarettes before the heads, pleading their wretched causes -- each sculpture will be the patron head of some category of human woe and redemption. The truly faithful will seek to walk to each head in turn and offer obeisance. Hawaii will be tough to get to, that way, but such is the price of devotion.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 19, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Simply brilliant, SciTim...

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 19, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

As minor a president as Teddy was, he is a hometown boy in Big Sky country. About every other gopher hill in those states is named after the guy. You gotta placate the locals.

As luck would have it, I am planning on visiting Mt. Rushmore to complete my American icon terrorist target bingo board (I covered the Alamo and the Grand Canyon two years ago) this summer. For a small stipend I would be glad to do some upfront work on the surveying. Maybe take a few pictures as long as I can get Associated Press credit for them.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 19, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

The part of Obama’s Notre Dame speech that impressed me the most was the humility of doubt. This is a profound and difficult concept. The notion that one must be willing to admit the theoretical possibility of philosophical error is blasphemous to some and challenging to most. But I think it is at the core of true tolerance.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 19, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

SCC: My husband WASN'T grabbed by the movie "Angels and Demons"...

Posted by: laloomis | May 19, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I thought the designated hitter rule was the harbinger of our current decline as an economic power.

What makes us think jobs shouldn't go off-shore? They don't know how to use them either? :-)


Posted by: -dbG- | May 19, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

The true greatness of Obama, I believe, is his ability to separate that which is important from that which is salient. He is able to move beyond the frequently-petty "issue of the day" and focus, or at least attempt to focus, on the big stuff. The Presidential stuff. This, to me, is his key skill.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 19, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I am in favor of anything that promotes the construction of sand castles.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 19, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I rarely write about my own recipes, but this one tasted real good. Doesn't look like much. But for those who like this sort of thing (like me)
http://jumpersbloghouse.blogspot.com/2009/05/butternut-corn-pudding.html

This space mission has helped restore my faith in my country. I am very proud of it.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 19, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

CqP -- you have THIS in your front yard?

http://images.google.com/images?gbv=2&hl=en&q=Nigella&sa=N&start=80&ndsp=20

Posted by: nellie4 | May 19, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

This whole discussion is leading to a dangerous "slippery slope" argument, which is that if we mess with Mt. Rushmore, some Hollywood genius (ironic use of word, that one) will insist upon remaking "North by Northwest," with, say, Jim Carrey or Steve Martin in the Cary Grant role. Or, god forbid, Pauly Shore. Possibly directed by Quentin Tarantino.

I don't think the world is ready for that. Please reconsider this entire idea immediately.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | May 19, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Or, even more horrifying, a remake of "Team America: World Police."

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 19, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra,

About all you really need to know about Maureen Dowd And The Case Of The Unattributed TPM Paragraph is here:

http://dowdreport.blogspot.com/2009/05/maureen-mimics-marshall.html

As far as tempests go, it's definitely teapot sized. Not that you would think so if you had as finely tuned a GoogleAlert as I do.

Posted by: Mo_MoDo | May 19, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

What I came away with, particularly after seeing the filmed version Sunday night of "Angels and Demons," is that the young warrior (Il Camerlengo) needs a war--even if he has to invent one. Sound familiar?

Ross Douthat captured it in his op-ed at the NYT this morning. Douthat was a memeber of a panel of authors at last year's Texas Book Festival--the same event where I thought I heard from Doug Brinkley's own lips, since I asked Brinkley about it during Brinkey's panel, that his Teddy Roosevelt book would be out this past April. From Douthat's op-ed about Dan Brown, Brown's novels, and America's religious:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/19/opinion/19douthat.html

This explains why both “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels and Demons” end with a big anti-Catholic reveal (Jesus had kids with Mary Magdalene! That terrorist plot against the Vatican was actually launched by an archconservative priest!) followed by a big cover-up. A small elect (Tom Hanks and company, in the movies) gets to know what really happened, but the mass of believers remain in the dark, lest their spiritual questing be derailed by disillusionment and scandal. Having dismissed Catholicism’s truth claims and demonized its most sincere defenders, Brown pats believers on the head and bids them go on fingering their rosary beads.

In the Brownian worldview, all religions — even Roman Catholicism — have the potential to be wonderful, so long as we can get over the idea that any one of them might be particularly true. It’s a message perfectly tailored for 21st-century America, where the most important religious trend is neither swelling unbelief nor rising fundamentalism, but the emergence of a generalized “religiousness” detached from the claims of any specific faith tradition.

Posted by: laloomis | May 19, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I still think there is some wiggle room with replacing TR. I mean, he already has that Island with the big kinda scary statue.


http://www.teddyroosevelt.com/TRPicsimags/theodore-roosevelt-island.jpeg

And come on. Trust buster big-time conservationist or not, I still think his inability to win a single race is jinxin' the Nats.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 19, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Or quite possibly the remake of the 1974 of Taking Pelham 123" to better fit 2009?

Travolta's a long way from the BeeGee's here Denzel's a long way from Pelican Brief.

Posted by: laloomis | May 19, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

And if you were to carve Obama into the mountain, you'd have to use the Shepard Fairey image as a model which would then require credit to the original AP photographer. Plus, I'm not in favor of all that pastel blue and red paint it would take to get the proper effect.

Jumper,
Can you mock-up what Obama might look like 60 feet tall and made of rock?

Posted by: yellojkt | May 19, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

jack, lunch sounds great.

Can I bring a big salad with homemade vinaigrette and organic nasturtium blossoms on the side?

Posted by: -dbG- | May 19, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Dang. It's been done:

http://my.qoop.com/store/S-M--Winterbog-5502654363250465/OBAMA-Mt--Rushmore-Master-qpps_628585117648703/

and:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5c/1024_Mt_Rushmore.jpg/800px-1024_Mt_Rushmore.jpg

Joel,
You gotta jump on these ideas faster.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 19, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Obama deserves to be in the Black Hills.

Posted by: russianthistle | May 19, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

How utterly ridiculous can a person get. Oh wait of course, it's a ditzy WP writer that's how.

Posted by: candyzky | May 19, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Rushing out some DD lattes for the humor impaired.

Posted by: -dbG- | May 19, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

As well as a bunch for those who aren't. Fair is fair.

Posted by: -dbG- | May 19, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Padouk, is your 11:14 meant to suggest that it is a statue of Teddy Roosevelt that is on the beach on "Lost"? If so, does Liz know about this? You may have cracked the mystery of that series.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | May 19, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Mudge's comment has made me try to recall all the movies in which Mt. Rushmore has played a part. In addition to North by Northwest, and Team America, off the top of my head I also remember "National Treasure 2" and "Superman 2." But surely there must be many more.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 19, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm. Mudge. I gotta admit that makes a lotta sense.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 19, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Ditzy? Sure...but in a cute, lovable, Goldie Hawn kinda way. In fact, Joel has often been lauded as the Goldie Hawn of NASA reporters. (Us old farts like to think of him as the Jean Hagen of political correspondents.)

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | May 19, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

rd,
That statue on TR Island is not so much a monument as the prize in a scavenger hunt. I tricked my family into hiking entirely around the island before "stumbling upon" the actual grotto with the plaza.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 19, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Nigella-the-plant.
http://gardening.about.com/od/plantprofiles/p/Nigella.htm

Posted by: nellie4 | May 19, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

The IMDB bio on Mount Rushmore is pretty thin.

http://www.imdb.com/List?endings=on&&locations=Mount%20Rushmore%20National%20Memorial%20-%20Highway%20244,%20Keystone,%20South%20Dakota,%20USA&&heading=18;with+locations+including;Mount%20Rushmore%20National%20Memorial%20-%20Highway%20244,%20Keystone,%20South%20Dakota,%20USA

It even omits Team America. I guess because it was just a puppet mountain in that movie.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 19, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

RD - I'm pretty sure Rushmore shows up in "Mars Attacks".

Posted by: bobsewell | May 19, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Great. Caffeine for rage-oholics. No, I recommend chocolates. Here, righty righty... have some delicious chocolates. There! Don't we-ums feel better now?

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 19, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Do I not recall Rushmore also makes a split-second appearance in "The Day the Earth Stood Still"? (Old original, of course.)

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | May 19, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Brilliant, ScienceTim. Your sand-castle solution combines hagiography with economic development, education and community-building. In addition the first (non-concrete) stage is eco-friendly and promotes local tourism.

This also avoids the danger noted in Mudge's warning post: remakes of old Mount Rushmore movies, only worse. Okay y'all, what are the sandcastle movies?

Yello, apparently if you want AP credit, just tell them you're with Joel.

RD, I applaus your very sensible comments about Obama's skills. I just wonder how we're going to memorialize these properly in sand or moon rock?

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 19, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse


To call you an idiot for writing this fluff would be an insult to idiots who are doing their best.

But WHEN the Post needs their next round of staff cuts, at least you have provided them with a head start.

Posted by: amt4321 | May 19, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

dbG wrote: "What makes us think jobs shouldn't go off-shore? They don't know how to use them either? :-)" But we pay them less to get 'em wrong. Also, I contend the designated hitter rule is a harbinger of the end times, not just the economic decline of the US.

Thanks for the DD latte!

Obama's face sculpted 60 feet tall? Hmmm, a little artful posing would be required or we'd need to redo all 4 faces just to manage the ears.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 19, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Now THAT'S more like it. (signed, Goldie)

Posted by: joelache | May 19, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

It is worth noting that here we have Loomis' rendering of her feelings about the RCs; the very recent revelation that Donald R. was covering his daily briefings as war approached with quotes from the bible; and RD's mention of the doubt discourse in Obama's Notre Dame address.

When you have the especially ridiculous attacks on Speaker Pelosi in light of the news that our past President was, as expected, violating the Third Commandment in the lead-up to war, both privately and in public announcements, one has to wonder where our collective minds are.

Taken in context with the fact that we just had our National Day of Prayer pass with controversy, as well... what is the big deal with the fact that many Americans are searching and finding their ethics and moral center?

Loomis, many people like myself, left the Roman Catholic church during the Vietnam War era when the church struggled with the Third Commandment. Obama, as he mentioned in his address at ND, like many young people who have a strong moral upbringing, but lacked an organized structure will search out that structure as they decide to start a family.

Heck, there is a standing joke that, if you want to find a good Roman Catholic, just head to your local Episcopal church.

Of course, I am indeed joking, but there is a shred of truth to that... just look and see who is running the American Episcopal Church--Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

Obama spoke of his attraction to an organized church. It was rooting in the charity and compassion for his fellow man--the team that worked together to support the faltering communities in which he was serving as a community organizer.

We all see folks do and why they do it. We see motivations. We look to those who are, by their nature, unselfish and giving. This also goes hand in hand with folks who can find a common ground on which to work and improve our lot in life.

I am most excited that, in this day and age, our young are seeing this and taking it to heart. At the same time, and maybe the cause to the affect of the youth today turning to a more shared community spirit, I see that our President had wallowed in his personal guidance from the Lord to attack Iraq. The Lord may work in strange ways, but he certainly wasn't working over at the CIA providing good intel.

Which brings me back to Pelosi... why are they attacking Pelosi? I guess that they have to show that they had the tacit apprroval of Nancy Pelosi because, sometimes, it isn't enough to have God on your side.

Posted by: russianthistle | May 19, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I've been wondering that too, russianthistle. Apparently, if you can show that someone not a decisionmaker (and from the opposing political party) knew you were committing a wrong act, it either (a) obviates the wrongness of your action, making it okay after all, or (b) is more important than the fact that you acted wrongly, so should become the focus of attention.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 19, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, it isn't mt rushmore, it will be eBay. When folks start selling 1 month old cheese toast with a likeness of Obama on eBay, then he has arrived.

Posted by: russianthistle | May 19, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

C'mon, get serious, people. Everyone knows it wasn't JUST the designated hitter rule that was the harbinger of the End Times. It was the DH rule AND astroturf. Jeez, do I have to do all the deep thinking around here?

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | May 19, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe no one mentioned that in the aftermath of Ronald Reagan's death, that when the Congress and others couldn't name enough things after the former president, that there was talk (serious talk, including by several Congressmen) to have Mr. Reagan added to the carvings on Mt. Rushmore. At least one Congressman went so far as to say that there was no reason why we shouldn't fund (at taxpayer expense, of course) a group to see what would be needed to add the former president to the monument and, thus, ensure that America remembers what a great president Mr. Reagan was.

Dungarees@gmail.com

Posted by: Dungarees | May 19, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

frosti: //But we pay them less to get 'em wrong.//

The dogz came into the room to see why I was laughing so hard.

Posted by: -dbG- | May 19, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Well, there's plenty of room at Rushmore for several more carvings.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/53/Mount_rushmore.jpg

Posted by: bobsewell | May 19, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Hey, this isn't exactly like retiring a guy's number at the arena. Could we put up those new electronic jumbotrons there instead? Whoever gets the most votes gets the facetime. So if Obama, say, gets caught with his campaign video girl or something, we could just vote to see who's next, and really keep changing everytime someone new gets really popular.

Posted by: kls1 | May 19, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I thought domed stadia played a role.

Posted by: LostInThought | May 19, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Dungarees and kls1-good points both.

I see a real need to step up development of holograms into volumetric display (or whatever the real scientists/sf enthusiasts are calling it these days).

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 19, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Dungarees, we were waiting for you to say it for us. I do remember that.

I like the hologram idea too.

Perhaps what we need is the hi-tech Jumbotron hologram for Mt. Rushmore and similar hard-to-change locations, plus the yearly sandcastle competition. THis would allow a quick turnaround on the Jumbotron, with an annual review.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 19, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Although I'm very pleased with many of the things Obama is doing so far--and more importantly, his wit and wisdom in handling all issues--I have to say, the following post from earlier was hilarious and worth repeating: thanks!
-------------------
...For the time being, since we're only about 107 days in Obama's presidency, may I suggest a small bust made out of styrofoam, like those styrofoam Greek columns that Obama used in Denver for his own stagecraft? I'm sure the bust of the presidential likeness can be either stored or displayed somewhere in Chicago? Or Honolulu--perhaps down on the beach or on a bluff, like the stone heads of Aku-Aku?

Posted by: laloomis | May 19, 2009 9:25 AM

Posted by: abqcleve | May 19, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget the THEME PARK; Obamaland.

Complete with:

Stock Market Roller Coaster
ObamaMama's deep fried turkey legs

etc

Posted by: Heerman532 | May 19, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I'd be far more impressed if they carved Obama into Stone Mountain.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 19, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Not only does Joel post a complete flamebait article, but he gets upset it's not drawing enough looney wingnuttery. He's finally a real blogger.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 19, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse


Obama deserves to be in the Black Hills.

Posted by: russianthistle | May 19, 2009 11:28 AM
************************

Gro-o-o-o-o-an!!! Does that mean the other four should be transported to the White Mountains in AZ, maybe as part of the Apache casino complex there? Nice handle, too, tumbleweed.

Posted by: abqcleve | May 19, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Dungarees & kls1 welcome. Don't be strangers.

Posted by: -dbG- | May 19, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Joel... I don't want you to be disappointed, so.....

The next great American face that should be carved into Mt. Rushmore should obviously be the great El Rushmo... for whom Mt. Rushmore was named.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0803/Okie1/Rushmore.jpg

Posted by: okiesplace | May 19, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Howdy abqcleve, weren't you here once before? I bet AbQ is lovely this time of year.

Weed didn't say the other 4 had to be exiled! Though the White Mountains are also a nice place.

I'll just note that astroturf may have played its part, but the designated hitter rule began our moral ruination which set us on the road to global economic collapse and the End Times. I dunno, this may be a subset Boodle theology - or would that be teleology?

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 19, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

dbG- shout out to the dogZ from the frostcats! (who have finally torn themselves away from Maru)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfGOlEizUUs

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 19, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom-I rarely attribute much moral standing to children, worthy of our protection yes, but innately moral-dream on. However, I do think things like the dh should have to pass the 3rd grader test. In my experience they barely tolerate a "pinch runner" in kickball, the kicker must have a "really, really good reason" and the new runner cannot be any better than the kicker would be if she didn't have that "really, really good reason." To suggest that someone can have part of his role in a sport taken over by someone else, much less by someone who is known to be better at that role, is beyond anything they would accept as right. It is cheating, and that it should be approved by rule just turns them too early into cynics.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 19, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Stone Mountain might take a bit of extra, that's for sure.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 19, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Obama sandcastle? Already done*, and it only took me a whole lunch hour. (For the interested, I was consuming a Reuben at the time.)

http://www.teamsandtastic.com/Presidential-Debates/INDEX.HTM

*Disclaimer: only the Reuben portion of this comment is true.

Posted by: schala1 | May 19, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Since we have established Obama is an Alien, should his sculpture be in the Green Mountains instead?
He could take Mount Cleveland, not much competition there. He could also see the Socialist Confederation of Upper Maine from there.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 19, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Of course I'm preaching to the choir here. My 1:02 was more for the newbies who may not have followed previous Boodle baseball teleology.

Time to get outside and water some plants in the park, then run a few errands. Have a decided craving for a chili dog with onions and cheese. Must be because the hot dog guy on the corner is back in operation for the season, or because we're going to St. Paul Saints game tonight. Missing out on the recount bobble heads though. That's tomorrow night I think.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 19, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Shrieking denizen, if we're going to acknowledge that Obama is an Alien, then clearly his statue must be in Roswell.

But we'll never admit it is there.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 19, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

As further evidence of the DH rule being the beginning of our moral decline, it was followed by the flaming purple hockey puck on Fox.

No, I don't mean Bill O'Reilly.

Posted by: Raysmom | May 19, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I am sure this was meant as a joke .. because it is ... and so is our new President. The only thing President Obama has in common with those truely great men on the mountian is he was elected.
Just because American was stupid enough to elect it's first Marxsist doesnt mean he is a good President. He will do more to lower our standard of living that anything that has happened in our history to date .. including the great depression but cause we had a chance of overcoming that. I don't think we will ever overcome the loss of freedoms and wealth that this President is bringing us. His monument should be in the former Soviet Union. It would fit well there.

Posted by: markandbeth | May 19, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom-you're in the clear. When they do my autopsy they'll think it was a chunk of hot dog in the airway not your 1:17.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 19, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

O'Reilly IS a flaming purple hockey puck a lot of the time, however.

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 19, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Awww mandb! That was so sweet of you to make Joel's day like that!

Posted by: Raysmom | May 19, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

If you want to drive blog traffic you would do better to do any of the following:

-Call contractors in Iraq "mercenaries".
-Say evolution is science and creationism is religion.
-Say global warming is due to you keeping the thermostat above 65 degrees in winter and daring to use an air conditioner before it hits 98 degrees in summer.
-A 5 page report on why keeping your tires inflated will eliminate our dependence on foreign oil.
-Suggest renaming the USS Ronald Reagan the USS Burack Hussien Obama.

And if you want to really generate some hits forget putting Omaba where Jefferson is at Rushmore, suggest putting Obama's likeness on the Crazy Horse monument down the road. Yea, that ought to stir up a few blog posts. And while you're at it, how about a GWB monument on the shores of the Potomac at Blue Plains. I can just imagine the deafening noise of bloggers who should be working instead.

Posted by: bevjims1 | May 19, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Regrettably, I guess, Mt. McKinley still hasn't officially been renamed Denali (which is the name of the National Park).

Egyptian pharaohs were big on recarving monuments so as to obliterate predecessors. To act in that tradition, Mt Rushmore should have Reagan and Obama. Obama's bust could look a bit like the New Yorker's inaugural cover, with the new president looking like Washington.

Thinking of recarving, Atlanta's Stone Mountain has some huge relief carvings memorializing the Lost Cause. These could be redone, perhaps with Ronald Reagan on horseback.

The Confederacy seems to have fallen on hard times. The [nonironically] excellent Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond seemed about to go under.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | May 19, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, I am so loving your flaming purple hockey puck/Bill O'Reilly line.

You realize, people, that if Hillary had been elected we wouldn't be having a discussion about where to put her bust.

Just thought that needed to be acknowledged.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | May 19, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

"The only thing President Obama has in common with those truely great men on the mountian is he was elected."

Unlike some...

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 19, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

This is a really great idea, Joel, and I agree with it completely. Obama is so clearly the greatest thing to ever have happened to this country, I would consider changing our name to The Uninted States of Obama.

I would also like to take the chance to say that I really think you deserve a Pulitzer for any of your great articles - just pick one, send it in, and you should win.


And P.S. not to sound gay or anything but I have seen you in person and you are an extremely handsome man.

Posted by: David90 | May 19, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

My own personal Flaming Sword of the End Times - as I've mentioned previously - would be the introduction of low-cost personal computing devices that spread around the world, a network to connect them all, allowing anyone to put whatever they want on that network for any other user to access, and to have the general public comment comment directly back to news sources, governments, whoever.

So far, so good.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | May 19, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Hey, what am I? Chopped liver?

Sheesh. Joel gets all the groupies.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | May 19, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Did they call him "Crazy Horse" to his face. I'm just wondering. Because I'd check before calling someone that, on the off chance he took offense.

Posted by: joelache | May 19, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Add Martin Luther King, Jr., instead, but make sure that a check is sent to the King children first.

Posted by: alithere | May 19, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Zackly. It's "Mister Horse" to you, buddy.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | May 19, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

bevjims1, those are good ideas, but other people are already blogging constantly about many of those suggestions. Why repeat old news? I think Joel is right in trying to break new ground in the blogosphere.

I wonder, though, about that idea that any particular post will set off bloggers "who should be working instead". Isn't blogging work? Seems like a lot of blogs are in some way sanctioned if not renumerated by a workplace. Of course, it is also true that I don't get around the blogosphere much. Maybe they're all (but Joel) blogging instead of whatever they're paid to do.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 19, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Check out the front page. Somebody liked the E-mail Ruling story so much they put it in twice.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | May 19, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, honestly! Can't you remember that I AM your groupie! Now I feel like Honey Huan.

Still laughing from Joel's 12:10.

Posted by: slyness | May 19, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

David90, don't forget the flyaway hair.

Crazy Horse to his friends, Mr. Unpredictable Mounted Conveyance to everyone else.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 19, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

We haavve a winnnnah! @12:04!

Posted by: rickoshea0 | May 19, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Nellie, if THAT Nigella were on my lawn, so too would be

Mudge
and assorted other boodler-boys who adore Ms. Lawson's ways with melons and prosciutto and other sensuous foods.

Thanks for lunch, Jumper and dbG; Here is a tray of fresh washed grapes; long fingers of Thompson seedless and some velvety Concords. The Concords are well worth the seeds. I positioned the spittoons so that you may eat and shoot, albeit with true aim. Otherwise, the Shamwow wipers are in the cleaning closet.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | May 19, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

frosti, I've totally converted over to your point of view.

1:19 could use SO much help with spelling, punctuation, etc. Why pay m&b more when we could pay some foreign poster less for the same drivel?

Posted by: -dbG- | May 19, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

H^ck with the Shamwow wipers, CqP. The dogz are domestic animals and will be happy to clean up.

Posted by: -dbG- | May 19, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

CqP, surely you aren't suggesting I watch some cooking shows just to stare at and admire handsome persons of the feminine persuasion. I assure you I only watch for the intellectual and culinary craftsmanship.

Unless of course Giada is leaning forward.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | May 19, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Can we put Bush's fact on Yucca Mountain?

;)

Posted by: theobserver4 | May 19, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I meant Bush's face....stupid typos

Posted by: theobserver4 | May 19, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of food, perhaps some of the more culinarily-inclined boodlers could help me figure out what to with the ricotta cheese I bought (it was *on sale*). The only thing I know to do with it is lasagna, which is too labor intensive for a weeknight. Ideas?

Posted by: Raysmom | May 19, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, treat yourself to some cannolis:

ITALIAN PASTRY CANNOLI SHELLS
Printed from COOKS.COM

2 c. flour
2 tbsp. shortening
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. Marsala, Burgundy or Chablis wine

Combine flour, shortening, sugar and salt and wet gradually with the wine. Knead together with fingers until a hard dough is formed. Form into a ball, cover with a cloth and let stand for about an hour. Cut dough in half and roll 1/2 of the dough into a thin sheet about 1/4 inch thick or less and cut into a 4 inch square. Place a metal tube diagonally across each square from one point to another, wrapping dough around by overlapping the other two points, sealing the overlapping points with a little egg white. Meanwhile heat vegetable oil in a large deep pan for deep frying. Drop 1 or 2 tubes at a time into the hot oil and fry gently on all sides until dough acquires a golden brown color.

CANNOLI FILLING: #1 Easy way out!:

2 lbs. of Ricotta (must be dry)
2 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese
1 c. confectioners sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2 oz. of miniature bittersweet chocolate morsels
Dash of orange flavoring

Beat cream cheese until very creamy. Beat Ricotta vigorously for 2 minutes. Blend the cheeses together and add sugar, cinnamon oil, vanilla and flavoring plus chocolate morsels. Cover and refrigerate for 1/2 hour at least before filling shells. Filling will keep at least 3 days in refrigerator.

CANNOLI FILLING: #2 more difficult, but the real thing!:

2 lbs. Impastata
1 lb. confectioners sugar
2 drops cinnamon oil
1/2 c. chocolate chips
3 tbsp. chopped hazelnuts
2 tsp. vanilla

Blend and beat until creamy and fill your cannoli shells.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | May 19, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

(Buy the cannoli shells pre-made. Melt some semi-sweet chocolate and dip one end in it. Then fill them.)

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | May 19, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Mudge. Got any ideas for entree-type uses?

Posted by: Raysmom | May 19, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Shrieking denizen, if we're going to acknowledge that Obama is an Alien, then clearly his statue must be in Roswell.

But we'll never admit it is there.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 19, 2009 1:17 PM
********************

Ah, but there are no mountains in Roswell (Sacramentos are maybe 100 miles to west), so we'll have to do a relief impression in the ground, next to the alien landing pad.

Posted by: abqcleve | May 19, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

dbG-makes you miss Buckley doesn't it.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 19, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Why are we so insistent on putting faces on mountains and so forth? I mean, sure, faces are recognizable; but, on the other hand, faces that are distorted by a relatively small amount can become unrecognizable. For instance, on the sand castles that someone linked up above I honestly couldn't be sure whether that was supposed to be Obama or some CNN talking head, and was the woman supposed to be Michelle or was it Hillary? It wasn't a bad sculpture, but the lack of context made it uncertain.

Given these issues, I propose that we move to a different body part and carve the butts of famous personages onto mountain tops and mountainsides. Firstly, it will dramatically decrease the cost of production due to the minimal detail necessary for an accurate portrayal. Secondly, the accuracy of the portrayal is a negotiable feature. Maybe there are some presidents, y'know, who might be better served by directing some funds to the sculptor than by building a presidential library that would annually receive 100 copies of "My Pet Goat" in the mail plus a copy of Scott McClellan's self-exculpatory memoir. Lastly, it would permit us to express the American ethos by placing giant naked butts around the borders, directed towards the world. Sarah Palin, I feel certain, would like for Alaska to be graced by several, aimed towards Russia. After all, if she can see Russia from there, then they should be able to see the Giant Butts of America from Siberia. It's only fair. It also would furnish the American people with another feature on which to vote, besides a handsome face and height. Who would want Rush Limbaugh on a mountain? Nobody! That's why I'm voting for Teri Hatcher.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 19, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Oh Mudge, eye candy, naturally; we do not begrudge youse guys this, as long as you are subtle. And, if you respond to the kaleidoscope of wonders, we will not cringe.

dbG, perfect. The matched set of Boston terriers in the commodious and pastoral kennel out back can take up the slobber-slack.

Did somebody say cannolis? Field trip to Vaccaros of Balto.
http://www.vaccarospastry.com/history.jsp

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | May 19, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Not that Limbaugh has a handsome face or exceptional height. But I still wouldn't want his giant cheeks adorning public lands.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 19, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom:

Lawry's Mexican Lasagna

1 1/4 lb. ground turkey or lean ground beef
1 (1 oz.) package Lawry's taco seasoning
1/2 to 1 tsp. salt
1 (15 oz.) can. diced tomatoes
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies
1 C. ricotta cheese
1 large egg, beaten
6 corn tortillas
1 1/2 C. (10 oz.) shredded Jack cheese

Cook meat and drain off fat. Add taco seasoning mix, salt, tomatoes, tomato sauce and chilies. Mix well, bring to a boil, and then simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes while you beat the egg and ricotta together.

Combine ricotta and egg in bowl.
Spread 1/2 meat mixture in 11 x 8 baking dish. Place 3 tortillas over meat mixture. Spread 1/2 ricotta over tortillas, sprinkle with 1/2 the Jack cheese. Repeat.

Bake uncovered until cheese is melted and lightly browned, 20 to 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into squares. 6 - 8 servings

The Los Angeles Times, August 1998

This looks more complex than it is ---

Posted by: nellie4 | May 19, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

And, yes, Ivansmom, a fairly frequent visitor to Joel's space, though I tend to enjoy fighting things out more in the other boards here. This is a lovely respite. Seriously though, we need a law preventing any contemporaneous acknowledgments of politicians. In my state, you can't go ten feet without running into some building or monument isn't named after either Pete Domenici or Manny Aragon. Well, I guess the Aragon monuments are getting scrubbed, but it's a joke. Some wag is now suggesting the off-leash areas should all be named after Gov. Richardson.....

Posted by: abqcleve | May 19, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Ooh, nellie! Sounds like a Mexican lasagna. And I've got everything on hand, except the tortillas. Thanks.

Posted by: Raysmom | May 19, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Ricotta Chez Frostbitten

pasta (whatever is on hand)
olive oil (just a smidge)
ricotta cheese
red pasta sauce (can, jar, home made)
ham or meatballs if you have them

cook pasta in boiling water and smidge of olive oil, drain but do not rinse

warm a blob or two or ricotta (per person) in microwave (50% power is pretty good)

put warmed ricotta blob on bed of pasta, sprinkle with ham bits or meatballs, garnish with a mini blob of ricotta

serve with fresh grated parmesan

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 19, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Get some of those crispy little pastry shells sold in every supermarket, mix up the ricotta with a clove of roasted garlic mashed to a pulp and some fresh chopped basil, fill the shells, and open a bottle of red wine.

Posted by: Yoki | May 19, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

These ones: http://www.siljanscrispycup.com/

Posted by: Yoki | May 19, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

No no, 'Mudge, you're at least braunschwieger...

Foie gras, even.

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 19, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Spinach and Ricotta-Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Lemony White Wine Sauce

Recipe courtesy Scott McGowan and Kim Keegan

Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
Stuffing:
• 1 cup cooked, chopped, and drained fresh spinach
• 1/2 cup ricotta
• 1/2 cup Gorgonzola
• 4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 large egg
Sauce:
• 1/2 cup dry white wine
• 1/2 cup homemade chicken stock
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 1 lemon, juiced
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Chopped parsley leaves, for garnish
Chicken:
• 2 (8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Directions
Make the stuffing: In a bowl, combine the spinach, ricotta, Gorgonzola, and bacon and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Add the egg, mix well, and set aside.
Make the Sauce: Combine the wine and stock in a non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a sauce-like consistency. Whisk in the mustard, lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
Make the Chicken: Place each chicken breast between 2 doubled-up sheets of plastic wrap, and pound to an even 1/4-inch thickness with a meat-pounder or rolling pin. Divide the stuffing between the breasts, mounding it along the center of each. Fold the bottom edge of each breast over the stuffing, fold in the sides, and roll forward until completely wrapped, to form a tight rolled package. Secure each flap with a toothpick. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper, to taste.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Cover the skillet, turn the heat down to low, and cook until just cooked through, about 5 minutes more.
Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, pour the sauce into the skillet over high heat and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon. Slice the chicken into medallions, divide among plates, and spoon some of the sauce over each. Garnish with parsley and erve immediately.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | May 19, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt, I saw your question yesterday and I can't remember the source of that Vonnegut reference; sorry. Here's an easier one for you, I thought it was from Cat's Cradle but can't find it there today: one of Vonnegut's social utopia rules was that there should never be a portrait of a political leader larger than a postage stamp--the Mt. Rushmore discussion reminded me of that.

Posted by: kbertocci | May 19, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm also thinking about a Steak Diane substituting ricotta for the mascarpone. Hmmmm.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | May 19, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I made this recently:
Heat spaghetti sauce
boil macaroni, drain
stir in spaghetti sauce and ricotta
serve.
A little low-rent, but very fast and tastes great.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 19, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for all the ideas!

Posted by: Raysmom | May 19, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Yais, frosti.

Posted by: -dbG- | May 19, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, I'd give you my cheesecake recipe, but then I'd have to shoot you.

Mudge...*buy* the shells? I had no idea such a thing was possible. But then again, people buy rice krispie treats already made, so I guess it wasn't that big of a leap.

And what's with adding cream cheese to ricotta dishes? (My SIL thinks a cheesecake is made with cream cheese, but she's Irish, so we make allowances.)

JA, I think every fan of Roosevelt should use the name he went by..Teedie, with Roosevelt pronounced rews-velt. No -ah- squished in the middle. But that's just me. (Teddy was the name his beloved called him, and after her untimely/tragic death, it was fingernails on a chalkboard to him.)

A beautiful day here. Hope it's bright and sunny in every boodler's town, unless it's supposed to be night where you are.

Posted by: LostInThought | May 19, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Great kit Joel.

Gorgeous day here as well, giggling at the comments as I get caught up.

Mudge thought of you yesterday as I sat inside a domed stadium (that should have had the roof open!), and looked over the "new" turf. It is the latest generation of astroturf, designed to imitate the cross patterns mowed into natural grass outfields. It is a dismal failure - eldest daughter commented on how awful it looked.

Which brings me to the question, I so would loved to be able to mow my lawn so that it has those cross patterns - is that possible?

Forgive me I have been out in the sun for the past few hours and may have fried my brain.

Raysmom - the flaming streak after the puck comment made me laugh - still shudder when I think about that. Popular comment up here when Fox tried that experiment - the ice is white, puck is black - how is that difficult to see?

Posted by: dmd2 | May 19, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Have you clicked on an advertisement today?

Achenblog's gotta pay the bills somehow, you know?

Posted by: bobsewell | May 19, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Dmd -- I achieve that pattern simply by moving on the diagonal. Stays put for two or three days. I have 75% zoysia grass and 25% rye and bluegrass stray grasslings.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | May 19, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a rare politician . On the one hand he seems able to have compromise defined as allowing his adversaries to move toward his position so the press can report he has brought the sides closer together . At the very same time it is also hard for the repugnicans to get him in their sights , politically speaking , when he flips to one Bush position after another . Maybe the rats got Arlen and the repugnicans got Barack .

Posted by: borntoraisehogs | May 19, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I’ll be the very first to admit that was one pretty paltry “Today in Yadda Yadda” this morning. Here are a couple more items I have to slip into it:

1535 – French explorer Jacques Cartier sets sail on his second voyage to North America with three ships, 110 men, and Chief Donnacona's two sons (whom Cartier kidnapped during his first voyage).
Now, this is a *very* big day for WWI flyboys, with two birthdays and a deathday. Birthdays first:
1891 – Oswald Boelcke, German World War I pilot (d. 1916) who is considered the father of the German air corps as well as the father of fighter aircraft tactics. Boelcke was the first to create and promulgate a manual of tactics and the first to pioneer formation combat flying and fighting, rather than the one-on-one dogfighting of the era. Along with Kurt Wintgens and Max Immelman (for whom the Immelman Turn is named), he was one of the first three German fighter pilots. An ace with 40 kills and the famous Manfred von Richtofen as his wingman, Boelcke was killed while breaking one of his own rules when he and another fighter flown by Erwin Bohme both attacked a British plane. There was a minor aerial fenderbender with Bohme’s plane hitting Boelcke’s top wing. The collision seemed survivable, but after a few minutes Boelcke wing began to come apart. Boelcke was perhaps the most personally beloved and admired pilot on the German side, and Bohme, who blamed himself, was so disconsolate and bereaved he had to be restrained from committing suicide.
1897 – Frank Luke, American World War I pilot (d. 1918), generally but perhaps erroneously credited as the No. 2 ranking American ace of WWI, behind Eddy Rickenbacker, with 18 kills.

More

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | May 19, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Not that Limbaugh has a handsome face or exceptional height. But I still wouldn't want his giant cheeks adorning public lands.
Posted by: ScienceTim
---------------------------

Don't worry, there isn't enough granite in South Dakota to carve that man's mug.

Here's an idea ... put Obama's face on the moon! That way when there is a full moon we'd have an "Obama-in-the-moon" to look at. And everyone around the world would see it an be inspired. Lets see, about $3 trillion ought to do it. Any of that stimulus money left?

Posted by: bevjims1 | May 19, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

2

And, sadly, the deathday of a great American flyer:
1918 – Raoul Lufbery, French-American World War I fighter pilot and flying ace (b. 1885), born to an American father and French mother, the family moved to Connecticut. Ever the Romantic, Lufberry joined the French Foreign Legion when WWI broke out, and transferred from its infantry section to its flying service. Unlike most pilots, Lufberry liked to work with the mechanics who serviced his plane, and inspected and polished each individual bullet loaded into his Lewis gun ammo supply in order to reduce jamming. It was this meticulous attention to detail that earned him an eventual 17 kills, rather than any particular flying skill. When the Lafayette Escadrille was formed, Lufberry, by this time an American citizen, transferred into it and became its CO. When the 94th Aero Squadron was formed, he was transferred into it, and became flight instructor for Eddie Rickenbacker and Douglas Campbell, two veterans of a later war. Lufberry was famous for the opet he kept in his quarters: a lion cub named Whiskey (yes, if you saw “Flyboys,” that guy was based on Lufberry). At that time planes landed any old which way, and it was Lufberry who created the systematic method of the landing pattern of circling the field that is still used today. On a mission over his own field Lufberry’s plane was hit by enemy machine gun fire from a German recon aircraft. What then happened is subject to much debate. With his plane on fire and at a low altitude, Lufberry either fell out of his plane or else jumped to avoid burning to death, and/or jumped hoping to land in a nearby river. He missed, and landed on a fence.
1939 – Birthday of Dick Scobee, American astronaut, who died in 1986 as commander of the Challenger space shuttle
1961 – Venera program: Venera 1 becomes the first man-made object to fly-by another planet by passing Venus (the probe had lost contact with Earth a month earlier and did not send back any data).

Meanwhile:
1536 – Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII of England, is beheaded for adultery, treason, and incest.
1568 –Mary Queen of Scots is arrested on orders of QE1. This didn’t turn out well for Mary.
1848 – Mexican-American War: Mexico ratifies the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo thus ending the war and ceding California, Nevada, Utah and parts of four other modern-day U.S. states to the United States for $15 million.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | May 19, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

SHould have said, DMD, that the reel mower makes the pattern more "set" because of the rollers. So, tis the push mower that the diagonal or checkerboard pattern makes.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | May 19, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

As blog traffic grabber this kit is doinmg ok.Inspired by it, I stood and faced, the mighty but faceless Andes.

We have a remarkably warm and clear day a maple tree is doing its autumn folliage thing. It is funny to see bouganvillia blooming 50 meters away.

With maples, boogies, and Andes in sight I am inspired to wonder who was the brilliant instigator to carve graffity on an otherwise beautiful mountain?

I think Teddy, the great conservationist, would be outraged at having his mug defile Mount Rushmore, which probably has a better indian name.

Brag

Posted by: Braguine | May 19, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

3 and finally:

More birthdays
One for bc: 1928 – Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus Cars (d. 1982)
This one’s for Cassandra: 1930 – Lorraine Hansberry, American playwright (d. 1965)
1934 – Jim Lehrer, American television journalist and mystery novelist
1945 – Pete Townshend, English musician (The Who) and lead singer of the group Four Inch Nails. OK, I made part of this one up.
For you wrasslin’ fans: 1946 – André the Giant, French professional wrestler (d. 1993) but more importantly he was Fezzik, the star of the Boodle’s favorite movie, The Princess Bride.

Deaths:
1864 – Nathaniel Hawthorne (b. 1804)
1935 – T. E. Lawrence, the great Lawrence of Arabia, in a motorcycle crash. You all saw the movie. (b. 1888)
For me and the Boodle pomistry luvvers: 1971 – Ogden Nash, beloved American poet (b. 1902). Although born in Rye (appropriately enough), NY, he lived most of his life in Balmer and thought of it as his home. Nash loved to put puns in his poems, a practice I personally abwh0re (sic).
For all the Boodle sci-fi buffs: 1987: James Tiptree, Jr. (born on my birthday in 1915), which was the pen name of American science fiction author Alice Bradley Sheldon, used from 1967 to her death. She also occasionally wrote under the pseudonym Raccoona Sheldon (1974–77). Tiptree/Sheldon was most notable for breaking down the barriers between writing perceived as inherently "male" or "female" — it was not publicly known until 1977 that James Tiptree, Jr. was a woman.
1994 – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (b. 1929), until recently the unparalleled most elegant First Lady ever. Now she's finally got some competition.
2002 – Walter Lord, a great "pop" historian(b. 1917) who wrote “the” book on the Titanic, “A Night to Remember.” He was born in Balmer and his grandfather was president of the Baltimore Steam Packet Company, better known as “The Old Bay Line,” probably unknown to you outliers but very well known to those of us who inhabit the Chesapeake Bay. He died of Parkinson’s and is buried in Green Mount Cemetery in Balmer.

In Memoriam of O. Nash:

"A girl who is bespectacled
She may not get her nectacled
But safety pins and bassinets
Await the girl who fassinets."

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | May 19, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Kansas City Star reports eighth swine flu death in the U.S. Is the reporter counting the New York baby, whose test results are pending, as the seventh? The 44-year-old from St. Louis County had traveled to Mexico in April and went to urgent care on May 9.

http://www.kansascity.com/116/story/1205608.html?storylink=omni_popular

Posted by: laloomis | May 19, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Here's another O. Nash I like:

A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of.

and

To keep your marriage brimming,
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you're wrong, admit it;
Whenever you're right, shut up.

Posted by: Raysmom | May 19, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Let me rise in defense of carving mountains into monumental things. Petra, for instance, is well worth a visit. Without the carvings, Mt. Hor would not be much of a reason to visit that part of Jordan-better to stay in Aqaba and hang out with the Finns on vacation.

I'd have to give another thumbs up to the Buddhas of Bamyan, even without reconstruction.

Would Rushmore be more beautiful without Obamerson? Perhaps, but we have relatively few monumental carvings, and a lot of mountains.

Presidents Park in Williamsburg, with 18ft busts of all the presidents, conveniently located on the same I-64 exit as Busch Gardens and Water Country USA, just isn't as, well, monumental.
http://www.presidentspark.org/index.html

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 19, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

A simple ricotta recioe, from a French website but with some modifications. Évidemment.

Ricotta&Cherry Tomato Quiche

One (savoury) large pie crust, your favourite recipe or brand

250g/8oz ricotta
20 very small cherry tomatoes, less if they are any bigger than very small as it will get the preparation too watery.
200g/6-7oz lardons (smoked lean lard)/good not too salty bacon/combo bacon-ham
100g/4 oz shredded gruyère/swiss cheese
4 eggs (beaten) (could be 3 eggs and 2 yolks)
250 ml/1 cup milk (could be cream)
Pepper and a large pinch of turmeric/curcuma

Mix ricotta, milk and eggs in a mixing bowl
Fry up the cubed smoked lard or substitute. Add to the mixture.
Season the mixture with pepper, turmeric (add salt only if the lardon/bacon/ham is really low in salt).
Option: smear the pie crust with Dijon mustard
Lay the gruyere/swiss cheese on the pie crust
Poor mixture carefully.
Artistically add the cherry tomatoes cut in half (or smaller if bigger ones).
Put in the oven for 45 min at 180C/350F.
Eat with a salad, green beans vinaigrette, etc

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 19, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

nope. obama deserves his very own mount. change Mt. McKinley to Mt. Obama! and while we are at it, let's rename Reagan National airport to Obama Nationalized Airport.

being elected merits such adoration. a record of any accomplishments be dammed. we love him now and forever.

mount obams

Posted by: jrzshor | May 19, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Spelling and coherency: affectations of limp-wristed liberals.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 19, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Ya know, the San Antonio Express-News had an interesting article by reporter Elizabeth Allen as the lede story in its Metro section Saturday morning. No use linking to it since several key paragraphs have subsequently been scrubbed.

Here's an interesting graf:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had been recommending that U.S. travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Mexico. But on Friday the advisory was loosened to include only those at high risk of developing complications if they become infected with the virus, said Dr. Cetron, who directs the CDC's global migration and quarantine system.

LL: So...

Don't go to Mexico is you're an infant.
Dont't go to Mexico is you're pregnant or think you're pregnant.
Don't go to Mexico if you believe you may have an enlarged heart.
Don't go to Mexico if you have gout.
Don't go to Mexico if you have asthma or emphysema, or any lung problem whatsoever.
Don't go to Mexico if you have psoriasis.
Don't go to Mexico of you have rheumatoid arthritis.
Don't go to Mexico if you're morbidly obese. You may rethink the trip if you're mildly obese.
Don't go to Mexico if you have sleep apnea.
Don't travel to Mexico if you've had a recent cold or any other infectious benign virus.

But it's O.K. to travel to Queens, New York, where dozens of schools have closed in the last day or so, since assistant principal Mitchell Wiener's tragic death from swine flu. Or do come to Texas where hundreds of schools have shut down and reopened in the past month--despite whatever underlying medical condition you may have that can possibly be "linked" to swine flu [as news reports now constantly intone--"linked"].

The two grafs that follow the one above from Saturday's Express-News:

Nearby in Nueces County, health officials there cited the virus as the cause of death for Carlos Garnica, 33, who died May 6 of viral pneumonia caused [!] by the swine flu.

A single father of two, Garnica, of Corpus Christi, has serious underlying medical conditions, Dr. William Burgin Jr., health authority for the Corpus Christi-Nueces County Health District said Friday. But it was the flu that killed him, he added.

LL: Nothing more admirable than a straight-shootin', truth-talkin' Texan.

The article also mentions that once local officials tested the backlog of swine flu samples from our county, the number of confirmed cases almost doubled from 57 to 91.

Posted by: laloomis | May 19, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

*Making imaginary mark in the air*

One for SciTim!

Posted by: slyness | May 19, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

The half-and-half face, Joel-- would that face be nicknamed Long Tom Obama?

Oh, a minor interruption--

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | May 19, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Butts carved over buttes
Just for dogs to smell true fame...
You think like me, Tim.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | May 19, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Reporting by Brown/Shulman at washingtonpost.com at the top of the hour about swine flu in California:

"In all, about two-thirds of the patients had some underlying medical condition, according to a report today in the weekly bulletin of he Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

And of the 1/3 who don't have underlying conditions, including a young adult from Humboldt County who was hospitalized for three days in early May?

http://www.contracostatimes.com/california/ci_12404248?nclick_check=1

Lumberjacks try to decide whether to go or cancel their summer study program in Mexico:

http://www.thejackonline.org/news/swine-flu-triggers-global-traveling-scare-1.1745936

Posted by: laloomis | May 19, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrodog-long time no read, good one.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 19, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Great 'Tim! Now 'rushed bill',
half-assed effluvium, has
a whole new meaning

Posted by: DNA_Girl | May 19, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I feel a Monty Python song coming on!

Posted by: Yoki | May 19, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Yoki! Rain in spring,
rising flowers and fragrance
in your direction


Posted by: DNA_Girl | May 19, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I cannot wax poetic, but I am sending westward the lovely scent of my Heavenly Scent Jacobs ladder, that is now a riot of blue/violet bloom. At the same time a big thank you to dr/seasea/CP and Frosti all whom I believe mentioned the merits of these plants. With their inspiration I planted them and am thrilled, thrilled with the results. I had tried various types before but wasn't impressed.

My Korean lilacs will bloom any day breath deep on the weekend and you might be able to catch the scent (lilac and rose coloured blooms).

Hope you get some spring/summer weather soon - collective you for all the AB boodlers.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 19, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

You rawk, DNA_Girl.

Posted by: Yoki | May 19, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

dmd, we had blue Jacob's Ladder in the garden of the last house my parents owned together, and the last before I moved out permanently. I have never forgotten. It is a kindness that you reminded me of this.

Posted by: Yoki | May 19, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

More about Brooooce:
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/sleuth/2009/05/obamaites_turn_out_for_real_bo.html?hpid=news-col-blog

Posted by: seasea1 | May 19, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link, seasea. It also linked to the full WaPo review:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postrock/2009/05/bruce_springsteens_salvation_l.html

A pretty accurate if slightly harsh summary of the show.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 19, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

hey yj, do you have a suggestion for a nice restaurant in downtown Baltimore? thx

Posted by: -CB- | May 19, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

"Don't go to Mexico if you have psoriasis."
WT?

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 19, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

For Yoki - the blue of my Jacobs Ladder, and a bonus, another baby Dove in our yard, this time still in the nest with Mom.

http://picasaweb.google.ca/dmd2921/BluesAndBabyBirds?authkey=Gv1sRgCLD_tuT_1eXQXA&feat=directlink

Posted by: dmd2 | May 19, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Many won't want to miss this multi-part slideshow narrated by a very candid Story Musgrave, astronaut.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26906074/displaymode/1107/s/2/

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 19, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

In the interest of fairness, I propose this: if Obama ever gets on Rushmore, the man who made him possible should also be honored in kind. The question is where, and the answer is obvious. The Taliban blew up the giant Buddha carvings a few years back... so there is the canvas. Obama gets Rushmore, Bush gets that cliff in Afghanistan.

Posted by: steveboyington | May 19, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

And then we get to blow him off the cliff with high brisance explosives, right?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 19, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

I love all the Cindy Wolfe restaurants in Baltimore. Pazo is my favorite. It's Spanish style with good tapas. For really high end tasting menu style stuff, Charleston is great. A little off the beaten path in Roland Park is Petit Louis which is French bistro style.

For casual dining there are a ton of nice places in Fells Point. I like Koopers Tavern, but Berthas (and her mussels) is more famous. But for the best crab cakes you have to stay on the south side and go to G&Ms. They've remodeling so it looks a lot classier than it used to be.

If you have to be in the Inner Harbor with all the tacky tourist places, the McCormick and Schmicks has a great view and the famous happy hours. A little less fishy and more in the thick of the tourist stuff is M&S Grille.

Let me know if you need more choices or more information.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 19, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Howdy & goodnight. I didn't forget you, abqcleve, I just dropped out of the Boodle for a few hours. Thanks for all the excellent ricotta ideas, large & small. I just realized my refrigerator ricotta expired last February so I might get some new before making anything (that's the problem with perishable "staples").

Dog update: the new old lab looks like she'll work out, despite the fact that her previous owners lied to us when they said she was primarily an outdoor dog. She seems very happy. I know you asked for pictures but that is beyond my technical capacity at this time. About 50-60 pounds, yellow-white, very nice. She looks very small next to our other lab, who is younger, male and about 90 pounds. Very handsome, if the quintessential omega dog.

My duties as Drone of Transportation are over; dogs fed, watered & frolicked; rabbit fed & cage cleaned, and frolicked; people fed; dishes done; forms filled out & envelopes stamped. Me too. Stamped right out. See y'all tomorry.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 19, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Just testing.

Posted by: Yoki | May 19, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

While the blog has been down low these many hours, I've been researching Baltimore restaurants for PJ(?) PB(?) (Too tired to go back and check his/her name.)

My favorite foodie blog is http://www.skilletdoux.com/ written by someone I've known since he was a little boy. He writes extensively and enthusiastically about Baltimore restaurants. You must search through various links to find restaurant reviews by city.

And, I was surprised to find that the Baltimore Sun has a food critic named Elizabeth Large who writes a delightful blog called Dining@Large.

(I say that I was surprised because I'm not a regular reader of the B. Sun, and I've heard that it's merely a shadow of its former self. I know that because many of my neighbors subscribe, and they bemoan what it has become.)

Posted by: rickoshea0 | May 20, 2009 12:13 AM | Report abuse

we're a bunch of geniuses over here in state of california.

we'll be bankrupt in a few months, but by god, at least our elected officials probably won't get another raise this century.

Posted by: LALurker | May 20, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

evening all
settling in here in Balmer,job is going good,but next is the late night shift,so who knows when I will be able to boodle,or sleep or whatever.

Maggie,I need to get resfreshed with all of the Baltimore area restaurants,so please keep passing on all the good spots.
There is a seafood place near where I work,called G&M,a fairly good seafood restaurant.Although I figured out their secret to their crabcakes years ago.

Also I am always on the lookout for the best reuben I can find and will travel a long way for a good suggestion.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | May 20, 2009 1:08 AM | Report abuse

That would be the Famous 4th Street Deli in Philadelphia, gwe, at the start of Fabric Row. Glad to hear you're settling in.

Congratulations again, Ivansmom. She sounds lovely & 2 labs together is a beautiful thing.

Posted by: -dbG- | May 20, 2009 1:38 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. What a topic! President Obama's face on Rushmore. And the hate continues. How does the President lower your standard of living? If memory serves me right, the country was bankrupt when he took office?

Yoki, you missed me, and I got in late yesterday. Hope all is well with you.

Mudge, Slyness, Martooni, Scotty, and all, hope the day is just great for everyone. *waving*

Wednesday, the busy day, and the bath water is getting cold. Time to start.

Posted by: cmyth4u | May 20, 2009 6:18 AM | Report abuse

Personally, I believe we can forget Mt. Rushmore for Obama. In fact, at the rate he is breaking campaign promises - he may be a one term President. I wrote an open Letter to President Obama and it has turned out to be quite popular; the crux of the issue was Obama's support of Corporate America and his refusal to do anything meaningful to bring back our manufacturing sector(s) which is the only way we can successfully save the American economy. The United States cannot exist as a "service based economy" - and if we did, our general standard of living would be that of a Third World Nation. Please read "An Open Letter to President Obama; Why Is Corporate America Destroying Our Economy?"
http://justanothercoverup.com/?p=618

Posted by: wjcormier | May 20, 2009 6:42 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all. You too, Al!

Still cool in the Carolinas. I'm ready for summer.

Busy day for me too, Cassandra, starting with a meeting at church at 9 ayem. The things I do for my friends! The request for the early start came from my IRS audit buddy, so she wouldn't have to take so much time off. She seriously needs to retire...

My favorite twin boys are coming to supper. They're bringing their mom, who's almost stir crazy because dad's out of town. I hadn't had a baby fix in a couple of weeks, as Mr. T puts it, so I went out and had lunch with them yesterday and discovered her distress. We'll play in the backyard and have a good time.

No walk this morning, I'll try to do that later in the day, when it's warmer.

Posted by: slyness | May 20, 2009 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning everyone!

I see there is some lovely scones, lemon tarts, and a big pile of tasty bagels waiting in the ready room. Not to mention lots of good hot coffee and a good selection of teas and other herbal infusions. Might I recommend the yerba maté?

I must admit that I am a tad disappointed in the results of this kit. Back in my day the right wing fringe knew how to work itself up into a proper froth of indignation and self righteousness.

Well, off to plot world domination.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 20, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

*an-extra-spring-in-my-step-after-looking-at-the-home-page-contribution-from-the-Fed-Eye-folks-even-though-they-need-a-refresher-on-agency-names Grover waves*

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 20, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Or is it "there *are* some lovely scones..." Does "is" refer to the collective singular presence or the multiple individual edibles? Hmm. Probably the latter.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 20, 2009 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Scottynuke. Now, don't get too smug. GAO is making a run for it and looks strong coming down the stretch.

Besides, these polls always focus of boring stuff like "Quality of Management." Sheesh. No mention at all of access to alien technology.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 20, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, ye Boodlers.
For the past week it has been warming up every day. It feels more like spring than autumn. Very pleasant but weird weather.

Finished sipping my mate, off for a laye dawn patrol.

Brag

Posted by: Braguine | May 20, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Pearlstein does it again: "In all of history, no revolution was ever made by budget analysts."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/19/AR2009051903633.html

Posted by: slyness | May 20, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

I wonder what free coffee would do to the rankings?

Good morning, Boodle. Cassandra, glad to see you.

Posted by: Yoki | May 20, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Morning Al!

After all the helpful ricotta suggestions, I feel I must report back. I ended up doing a mash-up of several of the recipes. Rotini pasta mixed with chunks of chicken, sauteed proscuitto, and wilted spinach, with a sauce of warmed ricotta mixed with mashed roasted garlic. Was yummy and very filling.

Posted by: Raysmom | May 20, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

*not-smug-at-all-and-any-resemblance-to-a-Cheshire-feline-is-purely-coincidental grin*

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

Scotty,
I knew you would be beaming with pride this morning. Those managers at the Department of Transportation on the other hand...

Posted by: yellojkt | May 20, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

This news item was the linked search on the Google homepage today:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/us_world/2009/05/19/2009-05-19_missing_link_found_fossil_of_47_millionyearold_primate_sheds_light_on_.html

Anybody we know?

Posted by: yellojkt | May 20, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

A beautiful day here in the DC area to consider the 400th anniversary of the first publicaton of Shakespeare's Love Sonnets.

Preferably not in front of a mirror.

Ricotta - anyone want some ricotta containers? I go through them regularly...

Hmmm. Is it cream cheese for Italians - I'm going to have to shmear some on a bagel and find out if I can do without Philly-style completely...

I'd have to suggest that Pearlstien might be partially right - no *national* revolution was ever made by budget analysts. Other revolutions may have been -- I'm thinking of the slow revolutions of international banking and trade, the results of which have sunk governments...

bc

Posted by: -bc- | May 20, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

jkt, bc, Good Morning!

Posted by: russianthistle | May 20, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

The C-130 crash in Indonesia.

As I read the headline, I told myself, I bet a wing fell off.

If you Google: C-130, Pelican 81, you will find a CAB accident report and a Utube video of either C-130 N131FF or N132FF loosing a wing and crashing.

What happens with ageing C-130s is a lethal combination 0f tiny fuel leaks and sparking electrical wires.

For me, the Utube video is disturbing as an aquaintance of mine (Buck) was in command.

A good friend of mine, Chappy Marston died in the late 60s when the wing of a civilian version of the C-130 fell off.

Posted by: Braguine | May 20, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Jumper, psoriasis.

You may recall that the Texas press reported more about the death of Judy Dominguez Trunnell of Harlingen, Texas--the first American to die from swine flu--than the East Coast, many papers here in this region listing her underlying medical conditions as "asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis." Her husband, who appeared on Larry King Live on Monday (we missed the broadcast) has said repeatedly that those conditions given (by whom?) were rubbish--that she was perfectly healthy and pregnant.

If, hypothetically, I were to contract swine flu and die from it AND have an ingrown toenail, I'm sure that some medical official would say and the press would repeat and report that my underlying medical condition was an ingrown toenail and my death was "linked" to swine flu.

If I had severe viral pneumonia when I died from swine flu, as was the case with the man from Corpus Christi and perhaps the other six individuals across the country who died from swine flu, trust me, it would be the viral phenumonia caused by swine flu that killed me, not my underlying condition of an ingrown toenail (as the health official from Nueces County correctly pointed out in the case of the man, Garnica, from Corpus).

The individual really doing a good job of reporting swine flu on cable in the last several days is CNN's Lou Dobbs.

more for Jumper

Posted by: laloomis | May 20, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Sorry I missed the Dawn Patrol this morning. Having my leg in the immobilizer has completely disrupted all out morning routines.

CB, if you like Italian food, in Baltimore I've always liked Germano's Trattoria (not to be confused with Sammy's Trattoria, which may also be good, but I don't know anything about it). Germano's is in the heart of Little Italy at 300 South High Street, 410-752-4515.

And now, a pair of biggies:

*********
Today in Nautical and Aviation History

May 20, 1506: Christopher Columbus, impoverished (most sources say), frustrated and suffering from arthritis and official rejection, dies of his wounds, at Valladolid, Spain, at the age of 55. R.I.P. to the Admiral of the Ocean Sea.
1927: Charles A. Lindbergh departs Roosevelt Field on Long Island, N.Y., in the Spirit of St. Louis, en route to becoming the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic. This becomes aviation’s most famous flight of all time, and Linbergh becomes, quite literally, the most well-known person in the world. Five years later, Amelia Earhart picks this date to become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.
1951: Air Force F-86 Sabre pilot Capt. James Jabara becomes the first American ace of the Korean War, shooting down his fifth MiG-15. When the war ends he remains the leading U.S. ace, with 15 kills.
***********

And this must be Cute Day at the WaPo, because it has a photo of a panda on the front page, and Ruth Marcus's dog column is 100 percent "awwwwwwwwww." Not that I have any objections to either, mind you.

The DOT came in 30th? Even worse than Homeland Security? Down a point and a half from last time? Hard to believe.

Bwahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | May 20, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Jumper, you mentioned the other day that you previously knew that Dick Cheney was from Wyoming, that he grew up there, after I had mentioned Lynne Cheney's appearance at the Texas Book Festival in 2007, where she promoted her memoir, "Blue Skies, No Fences: Blah-Blah-Blah." You then proceed to discuss well drilling and the incompetence of Halliburton crews, IIRC.

I read Maureen Dowd's op-ed this morning about the ongoing tete-a-tete between Cheney and Obama. What immediately sprung to mind after I read your comment last week--but I didn't mention it, probably because I had some task around the house that required my attention--was Kevin Phillips book, "The Cousins' Wars." The prolific author, who resides in West Goshen, Conn., has written a raft of titles, among them "American Theocracy," and "The Politics of Rich and Poor."

In Phillips' "The Cousins' Wars," he discusses religion, which played a bigger role in the past than now, but more important, and the focus of his effort, are the three civil wars of the English-speaking peoples: The English Civil War, the American Revolution, and the [American] Civil War.

It was Lynne Cheney, whom you may recall, unearthed the early colonial family ties between Obama and Cheney while she was doing research for her memoir "Blue Skies, No Fences." The American press loves to call Obama the first African-American president, when he should more appropriately be called the first biracial president.

The constant volleys between distant cousins Obama and Cheney are just the latest installment in the new "The Cousins' War."

Posted by: laloomis | May 20, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Loomis, how dare you not give credit to my tiny local neighborhood for Phillips who just recently ran away.

HA HA HA!!!!

It used to be fun around here, when you could trade comments w/ Kevin Phillips or discuss coaching firings with Red while standing in line for bread.

Posted by: russianthistle | May 20, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Bloomberg reported yesterday that the U.S. wants to give $100 million in humanitarian aid to Pakistan to help purchase tents, food, and clean water for the refugees. The LA Times reported the figure as $110 million. Charlie Gibson mentioned this news in one or two sentences on his broadcast last night.

What no one is pointing out is that WE Americans created this refugee problem. It was the Obama administration and the U.S. military that put tremendous pressure on the Pakistani military to rout the Taliban from the Swat Valley, Buner and the Lower Dir districts in Pakistan, thereby creating a flood of displaced refugees.

Does anyone recall the dicussion on Bill Maher's program several weeks ago between Maher, Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, and CNN's Fareed Zakaria--about how the Taliban wasn't a threat several years ago and how the U.S. was more than willing to work with and negotiate with the Taliban?

We create the wound and then we rush in with many taxpayers' dollars for the small Bandaid. The story that never gets tired of repeating itself--over and over and over. Heads up, it's Obama's war, folks.

I picked up an interesting title several weeks ago about Anderson Cooper's great-grandfather's war in Nicaragua, titled "Tycoon's War." I was lucky to find it, since it's not widely available around here. Cornelius Vanderbilt--youngest son and alcoholic Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt--Gloria Vanderbilt and her fourth husband Cooper--Anderson Cooper). I read the last several pages because I had always pondered how Vanderbilt University came to be located in Nashville.

I also saw, at the time I bought "Tycoon's War," a recent work that piqued my interest in the section of British titles, the book, "Londonstan." I think of Lou Dobbs clever reporting a week ago about Pelosi and the -stans. We go after the cells of al Qaeda in Afghanistan, and now in Pakistan--yet we let England take care of its own, sleeping and undetected for a long time right under Brit snouts.

Posted by: laloomis | May 20, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

So where is Phillips now?

Posted by: laloomis | May 20, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

DolphinMike, so sorry to hear you're in a bread line. Things must be tough in the Nutmegger State. *w*

Posted by: laloomis | May 20, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Loomis... very funny. Who is Red?

Posted by: russianthistle | May 20, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Good morning! Trying desperately to keep my eyes open -- was ready to go and energetic earlier, but now the eyes are tending towards half-mast and I've got entirely too much to do. Ah, well.

I am grinning from ear to ear, however, because my Red Wings won in overtime last night. We'll see how it goes in the Blackhawks' house for the next two games. I'm just glad they don't have to fly cross-country every couple of days.

So, Mudgie, how's the knee coming? I've not had time to back-boodle much, so I'm sure I've missed tons of news.

Gonna go and bury myself in the delectable drafting of interrogatories. Can't get more exciting than that, eh, Ivansmom?

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | May 20, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

ftb.

It would be nice to have an abridged version, wouldn't it?! I feel bad because, with my work schedule, I miss large stretches of posts.

AND, depending on what I am doing, I miss certain time-frames were I lose touch with certain people.

Ah, life is so rough....

Posted by: russianthistle | May 20, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

When the going gets tough, the tough get going...to the White House. The Terminator may get terminated in the next election (so who's on the Dem primary ticket besides SF Mayor Gavin Newsom?), and California finds itself in increasingly troubled waters.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/20/us/20vote.html?hp

B.J. McCombs, the billionaire car dealer from San Antonio is the only "Red" I know. Given that there are McCombs in West Goshen, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch...

Posted by: laloomis | May 20, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

It's doing OK, ftb, thanks for asking. I'm hobbling around in a leg immobilizer. Today I left the &^%$# crutches home because I was just waving them around and they were more hindrance than anything. The leg is fine and will support weight-- as long as I do NOT try to turn or swivel on it, hence the immobilizer. So I can pretty much go in a straight line, but, yanno, changing course is a bit problematic.

Instead of drafting interrogatories, have you given any thought to using waterboarding? Just a thought. (I suspect it may have crossed your mind more than once in moments of extreme frustration.)

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | May 20, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

News brief just in at the NYT:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Up to a quarter-million Pakistani civilians are expected to remain in refugee camps through the end of the year as a result of fighting between Pakistani forces [urged to conflict by the U.S. government] and insurgents that has forced them from their homes.

A top U.S. Navy official overseeing humanitarian aid to Pakistan estimates that militants are within 30 kilometers, or about 18 miles, of the refugee camps.

But Rear Adm. Michael A. LeFever said Wednesday that the Pakistani army has set up roadblocks and other barriers to prevent the Taliban or other extremists from threatening the camps in northwest Pakistan.

Posted by: laloomis | May 20, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

My e-mail is still acting up and won't go out properly. But I need to point out to Don from I-270 that in the press release about the new SecNav he just sent me, the Dept. of Defense just misspelled the first name of the President of the United States.

*sigh*

Scotty, we've got our work cut out for us.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | May 20, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I note that the President's last name, depending on the source, seems to be spelled "War."

How are you doing, btw?

Posted by: russianthistle | May 20, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Hanging in, Weed. Hanging in. You?

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | May 20, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, slow progress. Retooled business so there is some profitability, but it will take time and some negotiations. Also, more of the work that we discussed. I enjoy the food related work but it takes so much time and effort and is very tiring.

Just not enough time in the day. I spend 13 hours a day thinking about work of one kind or another. Talking with you is my little break.

Posted by: russianthistle | May 20, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Lovely day for an evacuation exercise, BTW...

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 20, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of food, maybe boodle wisdom will paint me to a supply of food-grade lime, AKA "pickling lime" that's not a buy-off-the-internet deal. Some common big-box store that I just am not thinking of? (I am craving homemade masa harina again.)

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 20, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I would like to add that one of the nicest joys that I have discovered about my various experiences is that I have met a number of people who actually seek me out to find "deals." They need help to eat on a budget. bc's comment about cheese reminded me that there are folks who just need a bit of advice on how to take advantage of this cut of meat or that cheese.

It's also remarkable that so many folks can't understand unit pricing and store brands, for that matter.

In our household, nothing is purchased at full price. I can usually prepare something in a couple of styles, as well, so it is fun to provide bits and pieces of advice, usually to younger folks.

Posted by: russianthistle | May 20, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

What is the role of the goyim in God's plan?

*Somebody* has to buy retail.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 20, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Might be food for discussion threads in the following:

1497 – John Cabot (a.k.a. Giovanni Cabato) sets sail from Bristol, England, on his ship Matthew looking for a “northwest passage” route to the “Indies” (other documents give a May 2 date). Cabot had tried and failed to get Spain and Portugal interested in his trip, but they weren’t buying. England’s Henry VII finally decided to sponsor the trip in part because he was miffed at Pope Alexander VI’s division of the globe into two halves, one half belonging to Spain and one half to Portugal, which was certainly cheeky of him. Cabot is generally believed to have landed in Newfoundland, and is generally credited (after Leif Ericson) as being the second European to have discovered the North American land mass (no quibbling over the fact that Newfoundland is an island and not part of that land mass, please.) Upon his return, Cabot was generously rewarded with a prize of £10 and a £20 pension he had trouble collecting. The question of his retirement funding turned out to be moot; he set out on a return voyage and he and four ships were never heard from again. Not a bad deal for Henry VII.
Happy birthday, Dark Lady: 1609 – Shakespeare's Sonnets are first published in London, perhaps illicitly, by the publisher Thomas Thorpe. The collection suffered from a total lack of haiku written by service dogs, alas.
1873 – Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis receive a U.S. patent for blue jeans with copper rivets.
1883 – Krakatoa begins to erupt, a process that’s going to take several months.
1916 – The Saturday Evening Post publishes its first cover with a Norman Rockwell painting ("Boy with Baby Carriage").
1916 – Codell, Kansas, is struck by a tornado. The same town was also hit in 1917 and 1918 on exactly the same date.
1920 – Montreal, Quebec radio station XWA broadcasts the first regularly scheduled radio programming in North America.
1980 – In a referendum in Quebec, the population rejects by a 60% vote the proposal from its government to move towards independence from Canada.
1983 – First publications of the discovery of the HIV virus that causes AIDS in the journal Science by Luc Montagnier and Robert Gallo individually.
Happy birthday, Jimmie Stewart (1908), Joe Cocker (1944), and Cher (1946; my god, she’s older than me [by 3 months]!!! I never realized…).
RIP, Stephen Jay Gould (b. 1941) in 2002.

And for those of you who may be Germanic neopaganists (you know who you are), have a happy and prosperous Frigga Blót (don’t ask).


Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | May 20, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, only portions of Cher are older than you.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 20, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

rt - eating on a budget is an art form isn't it? Buying in bulk to get reduced unit price sure does help, but only if one's consumption doesn't increase as a result.

For example, I am ashamed to admit that ever since I bought that gallon jug of Maraschino cherries, I have been know to put two, and not one, in my 7&7s.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 20, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Buying in bulk is not a problem for me.

It's eating in bulk that I have trouble with.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | May 20, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Store brands are also great, if you are careful. Store brand Peanut Butter I can go for. Store brand Fruit Loops, though, typically don't cut it for me. I mean, a guy must maintain his standards.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 20, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Apparently over at MSNBC, they are letting the interns write headlines: "Officials Freak After Archives Data Is Lost." http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30843670/

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | May 20, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Tim, HA HA HA!!!

One would think that, but rarely for me. It almost becomes a habit, at this stage.

Just yesterday...

Corn Flakes, we have regularly priced at $2.99 a box. With a discount card, it's $2.00 per. Buy 5 at once and it is $1.00 a box. Often, people drag me over and ask if the pricing is correct. That's why we have baker's racks and two refrigerators at home. Tim, it is sort of the moral equivalent of the freezer-full of a 1/2 side of beef in the old days.

Posted by: russianthistle | May 20, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

rt - you called me Tim? While this is a compliment to me, SciTim is gonna, like, totally freak.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 20, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Oh sorry SciTim - I see you are with us!

I hang my head in shame.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 20, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, seriously, at our age, everyone seems like an intern.

Posted by: russianthistle | May 20, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I suppose I really shouldn't laugh, but why does this front page hed and teaser make me laugh in a "no sh--- Sherlock" kind of way?

"In Irish Reform Schools, Abuse"

"Investigation says priests and nuns terrorized thousands of boys and girls for decades."


Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | May 20, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Since we're still on presidents, I shall tell the story of my birthday weekend in the Texas Hill Country Benjamin Button-style: backwards.

I woke up in the Covent Gardens room of the bed and breakfast inn before shortly before 7 a.m., like I would time-wise at home. Since it was my birthday, I knew I'd get my way with things. I wanted to walk early while it was still overcast and very cool. My husband had read the afternoon before that the main lane led down to the Pedernales River and was but a mile. So we took an hour's walk to the same river that flows further downstream past the LBJ ranch, and arrived back at the inn just as breakfast was served. My husband, who needs to work on his artistic composition skills, had taken pictures with his new (used) digital camera.

I wouldn't blame anyone for not sitting with us at the morning meal since we were in the same clothes as the previous day and had worked up a small sweat during our walk. The relatively new inn is owned by the third set of owners, the youngest and oldest of Texas four sisters. The oldest is still quite young and got fed up with telecommunications after working in the industry for eight years. It was a Texas meal with too much sugar, fat, and salt--not entirely agreeable to me.

On our way to Fredericksburg, we'd seen a number of antique cars on the road from Johnson City leading into town. The previous night, we'd spied a marvelously restored '46 Ford in the parking lot of the nearby-to-the-inn restaurant where we ate. Bright canary yellow, yellow- and white-striped seats, a thin red line around the edge of the whitewalls. A real beauty.

I knew from reading in advance about the Fredericksburg weekend activities that there was a three-day classic car show. So, it would be possible to sneak in a little of George Lucas and "American Grafitti" into my central Texas weekend--or so I thought.

more

Posted by: laloomis | May 20, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

RD, storing bulk is the problem and not looking at it. We keep our little containers of everything and have those in the kitchen.

We also have to break up meats and fish to serving size. I also love salads, so I have to keep track of veggies and marinated items, so we don't get those nasty--back of the fridge--experiences.

Here's something funny... biggest savings per unit possible? probably the seasonings. Get that in bulk or cheaper and you save possibly 75%.

Also, we have a commercial grade 20 quart pot for chicken soups and red sauce. The sauce is made with 2 racks of ribs. Can you imagine opening 15 large cans of tomatoes? cooks for a day on low heat.

Sauce ends up in a number of dishes including my cheater Lomo Saltado.

Posted by: russianthistle | May 20, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Discussion about the new primate fossil announced yesterday: http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2009/05/darwinius-masil.html

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 20, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I had wanted a long soak in the oversized jacuzzi tub, using the milk and honey bubble bath that sat on the tub's side. My husband wandered down to the pool to read the book he brought about John Dillinger in advance of this summer's movie starring Johnny Depp.

We had to check out by 11 a.m. So, I hurredly checked the info about the car show, since it ran only until noon on Sunday as mwentioned in the Weekender guide I'd brought along from our local paper. But I made a big mistake. I didn't put on my magnifier reading glasses and rushed through the smal text. Ahh, Lady Bird Johnson Park.

As it turned out, Lady Bird Johnson Park was only .7 miles from our inn! Instead, I was thinking the LBJ ranch in neighboring Stonewall, about 17 miles distant. A Mr. Magoo error of classic proportions!

No classic cars were to be found at the Visitors Center for the LBJ ranch on the south side of the river. So we crossed the Pedernales, and went to the ranch to see if we could find any classy restored vehicles.

We ended up on the narrow lane that is a tour of much of the ranch. It was still cool and very overcast, while the sun was starting to break out of the clouds on the western side of Fredericksburg when we departed the inn. The LBJ spread is a gorgeous piece of property that extends for many grassy green acres up from the river. We bypassed the enclosed museum and instead stopped at the family graveyard with its towering, mammoth oaks across from the original and restored family homestead, with its huge pecan trees, originally built by Lyndon's grandfather.

We paid our respects to Lyndon on the 55th anniversary of Brown v. Board (not that LBJ had anything to do with it), the president who had so much to do with my advanced education. We saw the historical marker that explained that Lyndon earned the nickname "Mr. Jelly Bean," because of the candy he gave to local kids, spied the spire (easily visible from the graveyard) of the Lutheran church just across the river where the Johnsons used to worship, and read the explanation about the first Head Start building next to the church. We walked the old homestead and its grounds, heard the voice of Lady Bird providing some of the history.

We nibbled the last of our large lavender sugar cookies bought the day before and sipped an iced clementine Izze under the giant pecans between the restored ranch house and the family plot. By this late hour, the choices were between the remaining hours of Trade Days--a country craft show a handful of miles distant on the way back to Fredericksburg, or lunch at the Fredericksburg Herb Garden's restaurant. We chose well; we chose the latter.

more

Posted by: laloomis | May 20, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. Mudge, I expect the history report for the next few weeks to include a notation that Krakatoa is still erupting.

To answer RD's grammatical question, I fear, alas, that the proper phrasing at this point is "there were" scones in the Ready Room. I'm having a not-half-bad half taco salad, courtesy of our snack bar. Virtual lunch, now, would be something else again. I think it should involve some of Weed's red sauce.

I buy some things in bulk to store or freeze, and find most things on sale, but some bulk items just don't work when you cook for three people. I find the less processed food I buy, the lower my grocery bill goes. Of course, it means I have the opportunity to use far fewer coupons, which seem to be geared to prepared and processed stuff.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 20, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Tim, did you google today?

Posted by: russianthistle | May 20, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

The herb garden now has new owners, and the formerly lovely beds of a variety of herbs are now not particularly well-tended or planted. The gift shop, formerly at the entrance to the herb garden restaurant, is now housed in another building called the Poet's House. They no longer the lovely, arresting herbal fragrance in a lotion that I once loved. The complex is very much a mix: a large measure of Austin and a dash of Berkeley, Calif.

The restaurant is just as good as it ever was. We had the last two pieces of amberjack available, grilled, over a bed of butter lettuce and herbs, dressed in a light vinagrette. We both ordered an unusual and bright red herbal tea, and I was served a complimentary flute of champagne after I mentioned that it was my birthday. The carrot cake was gone, so we split a small hazelnut chocolate tart. The liquered chocolate ice cream that was to accompany the tart was also gone, so the kitchen placed a little bit of chocolate mousse alongside.

We still could have done the last hour of Trade Days, but there are only so many candles and Texas boot bird houses and ruffly pinafores and aprons that I can see before I tire of the whole genre. For that same reason, we skipped, for the entire weekend, all of Main Street Fredericksburg with all its quaint little tourist traps/souvenir shops.

I decided to turn the steering wheel for home, where we finished my birthday by seeing "Angels and Demons, as I mentioned. I heard yesterday that film director Steven Spielberg's new movie will be about MLK. I wonder if LBJ will have a cameo role and who'll play the former president?

If Sunday was good, Saturday was even better, much better.

Posted by: laloomis | May 20, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Yup, those Google folks jumped on Darwinius masillae pretty quickly.

Posted by: laloomis | May 20, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Ol' Bill tried to get my haikus in there, Mudge. But I refused after he ripped off my sonnets, like this one:

#1

From furriest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty's nose might never die,
But as the sniffer should by time decease,
His tender heir might roll in memory:
But thou, beseeching by thine own bright eyes,
Feed'st thy light's flame with soul-deceitful fuel,
Claiming a famine where abundance lies,
Thy self my foe, to my sweet self too cruel:
Thou that art now the lawn's fresh ornament,
And only herald to my gaudy spring,
Within thine own burp buriest thy content,
And, tender churl, mak'st waste in niggarding:
Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
To eat the world's due, by the grave and thee.

-Wilbrodog Shakesdinnerbowl

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | May 20, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, my original comment was on sale, not bulk, but both come into play. The hardest is to have fresh vegetables a plenty on a budget.

These days, there are always pretty good deals on meat and fish, but you really can't go in with a meal plan in mind.

The first step to saving money, and I think we are saying the same thing, is to learn to cook from scratch--especially making sauces.

Posted by: russianthistle | May 20, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, rt. Unfortunately, the largest pot that will fit on my store is 12 qts. :-) Coupled with a freezer, however, it works.

I'm within 2 miles of a Sam's and BJ's and usually run in for milk or fruit, at least. Every few weeks, a larger expedition, although I can't buy everything there.

There's an article on msn comparing the warehouse clubs. A 2 month free membership coupon for BJ's is linked. Let me know if anyone needs a link.

Posted by: -dbG- | May 20, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

stove, stove, stove.

Posted by: -dbG- | May 20, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I'mom, what I find is the telling difference with folks who are comfortable cooking and those who are struggling is their adaption of mise en place. Even with two or three, the solution is always prep. One of my favorite cookbooks is "The Classic Pasta Cookbook" by Giuliano Hazan which focuses on the prep and the ingredients along with pictures of many of the final dishes. Beyond the well described classic sauces, there are dozens of great recipes which call for a wide range of ingredients.

See you guys later!

Posted by: russianthistle | May 20, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

New kit!

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 20, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

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