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[Your blogger is still on vacation in Italy. Doing a little driving around -- which would be easier if everyone else wasn't going 140 km an hour. Have abandoned the use of desperation Spanish and now communicate entirely with arm gestures, grunting and wailing.]


Orvieto, which turns out to be a hill town with a fort and lots of excruciatingly quaint shops, wine bars, medieval arches and a very scary Harry Potterish well that's 16 stories deep.


The well I mentioned. Practically bottomless. What some people will do for water! (Why not just buy it bottled???).


The Duomo. But you can't get in wearing shorts (dagnabbit!).


Dome of big church seen from the public garden on the summit of Montefiascone, another hill town that for some reason doesn't get its due in the guide books.


From the restaurant Miralago, a view of Lake Bolsena.


Orvieto cat sleeping off a hangover.

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 15, 2009; 2:09 PM ET
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Ahoyhoy! Wonderful photographs as always. The well is spellbinding.

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 15, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I don't think I'd want to go to a town named Monte Fiasco.

I hope that flower pot doesn't burst into spontaneous combustion underneath that cat.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 15, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Capital of Alberta Boodlers! Any chance of a northern BPH on Friday evening, the 17th?

Posted by: Yoki | July 15, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

No wonder Pellegrino is so expensive.


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

That Orvieto cat will burst in flame anytime soon. Pots aren't safe these days.

I'm thirsty for a cool, dry, light golden alcoholic beverage suddenly. I wonder why?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 15, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Interesting new factoid: at any given time, about 11 percent of all motorists are talking on a cellphone of one kind or another.

Don't ask me how I know this.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 15, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Joel for the brief respite in the never ending Kabuki of senate confirmation hearings. Irrelevant gotcha question followed by evasive non-responsive answer, lather-rinse-repeat. The characters remain the same and only the masks change. No, wait. Calling this Kabuki is an insult to Kabuki. Dumb show is more like it.

Posted by: kguy1 | July 15, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

When we went to Italy for our daughter's wedding, she told us to stop at Orvieto as it was a "typical Italian town on a hill." So we drove into town. This was sensible, but quite wrong. You park OUTSIDE the town and walk in.

My husband, however, was sure there was a big parking lot right around the next bend, and he drove. Up. Up. And more Up.

The streets became narrower and narrower until we feared we would disappear as a sort of oil slick between the last two walls. Luckily we saw a sign saying "Roma", and found a downhill street that led us back to the autostrada.

So, never having seen Ovieto, it is wonderful to see Joel's photos.

Posted by: nellie4 | July 15, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Howdy and thanks for sharing, Joel. You don't really need much language. Just carry an empty wine bottle, or even a glass, wave it around, and maybe say "Vino? Vino!" Then open and close your mouth and say "Mangia!" Just be sure that you don't say "Manga" because Italians might be confused by a request for Japanese graphic literature. Unless you'd all had enough vino.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 15, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

If you're talking Spanish over there, Joel, be careful about saying "buenos noches." You'll wind up with some bonus gnocchis.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 15, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

kguy... the Republicans are turning it into Noh Theatre.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 15, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Potted plants and potted cats. I must go to Italy sometime!

Posted by: -pj- | July 15, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Before I read the new kit or the comments,

Several possible answers to the Canadians in the ISS.

1. Is the beer cold?

2. Is the hockey game on?

3. and most likely, look we can see Toronto's temp garbage dumps from here, even in space Canadians can't resist taking a shot a TO.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 15, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Where's the rimshot for TBG?

Posted by: kguy1 | July 15, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

And to think I thought I was having a good time in beautiful downtown Hartford last week. Only time I set foot in Italy was during a layover at the train station in Tirano, for about 90 minutes. Then had to board the return train to St. Moritz. Those were happier times.

Posted by: ebtnut | July 15, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Is that better than D'oh theater?

Posted by: Moose13 | July 15, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

1. My routine when traveling is to master the accent in one word phrases (in Italy: "prego" and "grazie") so as to appear fluent. Then I stare blankly when the inevitable question in the local language follows.

2. ISS. ...and one turned to the other and said "well, this is pretty impressive, but it's no Avro Arrow".

3. BPH. Until about 6.

Posted by: engelmann | July 15, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

engelmann, great! We'll just have to start a bit earlier :)

TBG gets my comment of the day award.

Posted by: Yoki | July 15, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

That's my kind of place! Gorgeous, sun-drenched, wine-abundant. And what a cute kitty!

And I will re-post my link to Dana Milbank's column, which has the hilarious questioning by Tom Coburn (Ivansmom, I'm sure you're proud):

Posted by: seasea1 | July 15, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Lindemans raspberry Frambois, and a number of fine wheat beers, blend together well on hot summer days.

That moment where I pull the universe in through the hole is here; my two editions of The Year's Best Science Fiction having arrived. Every year Dozois summarizes the entire year's events of the Realm, with particular attention to horrors befalling the world of publishing, but also to rumors of upcoming events that make our mouths water. Some of these are:
The Forever War, Joe Haldeman's prize winning novel, is going to be made into a film. Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars to be an AMC miniseries, and similarly George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones from HBO. Terry Pratchett's UK miniseries The Colour of Magic was released there but has not been seen in the US.

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 15, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

@Jumper: I think you can get CoM on netflix.

Posted by: Southwester | July 15, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Seasea, I'm cringing on behalf of my state. Understand that Tom Coburn is a smart fellow. I'm guessing he knew perfectly well that neither Sotomayor nor any other judge could answer his abstract questions, and I'm sure he didn't expect an answer. He wasn't even talking to her. He was talking to the folks back home who care, the whole handful of them. They probably don't understand what being a judge means, and will accept the obvious inference that Sotomayor was just trying to weasel out of Coburn's questions and thus is probably suspect. Of course, had she answered his abstract questions with specific opinions, that would show she didn't have the temperament to be a judge (or else didn't understand the job), but that's not the take-away he's looking for. This is a good example of why I think the hearing structure should be changed.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 15, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Kabuki in Tokyo provides in-your-ear translation and commentary, something that should be done for opera. Highly intelligible. Beside, Kabuki is strictly a commercial venture. No government aid, no Kabuki Foundation with an endowment the size of the Met. Kabuki thrives because it has paying customers.

One old Kabuki theater is a wooden structure from the late 1800s in a mining town. The facade looks like something out of the American West, but the inside, especially the huge turntable under the stage, is thoroughly Japanese.

The Senate hearings aren't worthy of comparison.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | July 15, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Did Coburn really say this?

"You'll have lots of 'splainin' to do," replied Coburn, channeling Ricky Ricardo as he addressed the first Hispanic nominee to the Supreme Court.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 15, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

My goodness, the first photo easily looks like Napa/Sonoma. And the Bay Area was home to George Moscone, rather than Italy's Montefiascone. Luckily, no Danny Bianco and a Twinkie defense in Italia.

Posted by: laloomis | July 15, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

TBG, I read the transcript of Coburn's questioning, and that's what it says -
COBURN: You'll have lots of 'splainin' to do.


Posted by: seasea1 | July 15, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Well, if your gonna put in a well you may as well do it right.

Nice to know Italian cats love wine as much as this old Italian cat.It after all is Italy and everything drinks wine!!!

I think after I leave this world I would like to be reincarnated as a cat and lay around in a pot.Or maybe a fish,a big bad fish,a shark.I can swim and eat and mate and eat some more....

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 15, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Reposted from Previous Boodling:

Mudge, the term "punch line" typically indicates a joke.

However, humor, of course, is relative.
Even the Three Stooges.

My punch line for the joke:

"... and after it's all over, with lord only knows what floating around the ISS main module, mission control quietly says, 'and what do you call that manuver? Please advise. Over.'

And the Canastronauts say, 'The Aristocrats!'"

Someone please tell me that their names aren't Terrance and Phillip.


Posted by: -bc- | July 15, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: -bc- | July 15, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Ok, to more current items -

I see the Canastronaut bearing-Shuttle has lifted into orbit successfully. Yay. Hopefully none of their stage props were damaged in the boost.

Jumper, "The Forever War" is one of my favorite novels - I've probably read it twenty times, the first before Haldeman was awarded a Hugo for it. Therefore, I'm as conflicted about it being made into a film as I am about "Ender's Game." Maybe Ridley Scott can pull it off, though I'm afraid it could end up as "Starship Troopers."

Oy vey.


Posted by: -bc- | July 15, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh, heck - shooting in downtown DC.

Looks like a traffic stop near the Capital gone terribly wrong.


Posted by: -bc- | July 15, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

breaking news on twitter (summary of earliest tweets about the shooting

scroll down for real time (and mostly worthless) tweets

Posted by: frostbitten1 | July 15, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

... back to the lolling cat in the pot... great photos Joel... you are becoming quite skilled... keep them coming... we can all dream of being somewhere where there is actually a summer happening... we are having sunny but cold weather up here in Toronto and another lousy weekend for cottaging!!! arghhhhhhhhhhhh

Posted by: MissToronto | July 15, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

That bottomless well makes me a wee bit woozy just from the picture. I imagine seeing it in real life might make even the staunchest souls discover their inner acrophobia.

But Joel, really. To suggest that that Italian cat is sleeping off a hangover implies that those of us who are of Italian descent might be known to drink too much and then sleep in late. This is absurd. My dog never lets me sleep in late.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 15, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Let me second Miss Toronto's comment that Joel is becoming quite the photojournalist. (Why isn't anyone ever a Journophotographer? Just askin')

What I love about these pics is that they capture something, to my eye, wonderfully foreign. And, heck, isn't this sense of otherness why we travel abroad to begin with? Even the sky looks Italian. These pictures, to me, radiate some exotic essence that I find intoxicating.

I would look at them more but I have to get up really, really early tomorrow morning.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 15, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

I cannot show these pictures to my wife because she is already convinced that the Umbrian hills are the perfect summer get away. And I would miss her if she had further incentive.

Calling something 'The Duomo' does not narrow it down much since every medieval Italian town has a duomo. Here is Pisa's (which would be a destination in and of itself if it didn't have the listing thing behind it.

And the big church in the middle of Firenze (aka The City Of Many Names) is also a duomo.

Sante Croce in Florence also has that gorgeous combo of white and green marble.

If only there were name for it.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 15, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

I didn't watch the hearing. Someone(maybe here) noted that it was just a bunch of white guys asking the nominee if they will get a fair shake in the off chance they stand before her. Probably more like venting, and not to much good. Grand standing is a better description. Talking a lot but not really saying anything?

Well, it's time to fold the cards. Been a long day, and the feet agree.

The pictures are beautiful as always, JA. Hope you're enjoying your vacation.

Have a good evening, folks. Night, boodle.

Posted by: cmyth4u | July 15, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Wait a minute... "lolling cat," Miss Toronto? That's pretty good! Sly one, you.

Cassandra's comment is straight-up funny. "off chance they stand before her." Indeed.

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 15, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Have we noted that the space shuttle is taking a porch to the space station?
"the shuttle astronauts will help install the third and final piece of the Japanese space station lab, a porch for outdoor experiments."
Maybe they've been talking to Joel.

Yes, I'm about to try one of those experiments, seeing how long it takes me to down a glass of wine on a fine summer evening...

Posted by: seasea1 | July 15, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Maybe a catfish,the best of both worlds!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 15, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Hee hee, gwe. Clever and too funny.

Posted by: Yoki | July 15, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Yoki,I thought I done killed it

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 15, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

No. It's alive!

Posted by: Yoki | July 15, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry, greenie, you didn't cause a Boodle catastrophe.

Speaking of which, I hope that drunk cat didn't, er, *use* the flowerpot before he passed out in it.

Sometimes that good old school home-brewed limoncello can hit you like a ton of bricks - I bet that cat's got a story to tell. If he can remember anything after the Vespa Incident, that is.


Posted by: -bc- | July 15, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

That well would hold more water if someone plugged those holes.

Posted by: Buddy999 | July 15, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Recent news stories report research showing that purring by cats is similar to human baby sounds, so humans can't turn down whatever request a purring cat is making. So cats control us.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | July 15, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

The Popeye comic strip is onto us.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 15, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

I have to ask, especially since no one gets my jokes... but, is Kim Jong Ill?

Posted by: russianthistle | July 15, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse


I get your jokes, Weed. But, you know? Need to to be a bit careful about that.

I even got the geologist thing.

So sorry.

Posted by: Yoki | July 15, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: seasea1 | July 16, 2009 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, yes, yes and yes. I am off on Friday and am available for porching from whenever till whenever. Or I will be, unless mrdr escapes his filial obligation and we go to the lake. (I don't see much chance of that)

Posted by: --dr-- | July 16, 2009 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link, Nellie. The people living in the Geysers can breathe a sigh of relief now.

Nice pictures, Joel. That cat looks so comfortable. Makes me feel like taking a siesta.

Posted by: rainforest1 | July 16, 2009 2:55 AM | Report abuse

I don’t anyone who had mumps before. I didn’t know it could be that damaging.

Posted by: rainforest1 | July 16, 2009 3:26 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everybody!

One of the things that always amazes me about old stone structures is their simple existence.

I mean, people needed to work out the stresses and loads through experience and intuition, and construction equipment was limited to wooden scaffolding, pulleys and ropes.

Now, I realize that these structures typically took decades to construct, and that there were some pretty spectacular failures. Still, I wonder how well modern architects and builders could do under similar constraints.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 16, 2009 6:01 AM | Report abuse

Well, I'm off on vacation. Next stop the Mall of America. I should be passing through Shell sometime Tuesday if anybody just in the neighborhood wants to drop in while I'm eating.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 16, 2009 6:03 AM | Report abuse

morning, peeps.

happy vacay, yelloj,

joel, great picks. what a well, and ... well, what a cat!

am feeling punchy at this ungodly hour i find myself awake at. (she says in her best palinese)

Posted by: LALurker | July 16, 2009 6:23 AM | Report abuse

RD, Sci Tim and Mudge, amongst other fine Boodlers...

Just got this link from Eric Brace ...

Tranquility Base, a new song from the long-time Washington Post weekend and entertainment writer turned (or transitioned completely) to musician.

Hey, Eric is great to see and I highly encourage everyone to check out the IOTA schedule, as he returns frequently.

He puts on a great show ...

Here is one of my favorites!

"Last Good Kiss" recorded live at IOTA(*), with the extended band.

*weed plays a cameo performance of fan

Posted by: russianthistle | July 16, 2009 6:33 AM | Report abuse

LALurker, we can create our own boodle joke...

What is a dish that is made with cornmeal that quits before the dish is served?


Posted by: russianthistle | July 16, 2009 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all. Mr. T and I made the quick trip up the mountain yesterday. Of course it rained just after we arrived, but fortunately not enough to keep the exterminator from spraying for the carpenter ants. He sprayed *everything*, the perimeter of the house, the railroad ties, under the steps, and all. I hope it will work.

The things we do for family! I think I'll skip the morning walk, because I'm on notice to go to Elderdottir's condo to let the electrical inspector in, to check the work on the new HVAC unit. I'll do a quick session on the exercycle instead.

Yeah, rainforest, mumps can be very bad for adult men. One of my uncles lost his fertility that way. I remember having the mumps and chicken pox one right after the other, as a kid. I was confined to home for a looong time. Was I three, or four? That I don't recall, but I was a preschooler at the time.

Posted by: slyness | July 16, 2009 7:13 AM | Report abuse

BTW, possibly, Joel dined on Polenta Con Pancetta E Piccione yesterday evening.

Posted by: russianthistle | July 16, 2009 7:15 AM | Report abuse

slyness, I remember my mother, a nurse, dragging me over to someone's house during the summer to expose me to both mumps and chicken pox, one after the other, when I was about 7.

That was my first experience with something that you only get once, but it is a pain while it lasts, (and much easier to deal with when you are much younger) .... sort of like my marriage.

Posted by: russianthistle | July 16, 2009 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Now THAT's a vaccination program, weed! :-O

Even though criminals aren't known for their common sense, one might think twice before fleeing into one of the most fortified sections of the city...

Our cats haven't figured out the purring thing -- they just yowl at us to get fed. :-)

Hey Miss Toronto!! *long-overdue-but-I've-been-busy-and-what's-holding-up-the-weekend-anyway Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 16, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

OK, now THIS is odd...

Four knuckleheads try to shake down an alleged marijuana dealer and the victim gets shot but lives.

What are the four charged with?

"conspiracy to interfere with commerce by means of robbery" and "attempting to interfere with commerce by means of robbery," among other things...

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 16, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Am I having refresh problems again, or did I kill it? :-O

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 16, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. A wet but warm morning in the other capital.
Joel is helping the Italian economy in many ways; I bought 2 bottles of Orvieto Classico last night.

The Tour de France has its last plain leg today before hitting the Alps. The leg is from Tonnerre in the Burgundy to Vittel in the Vosges. No bonus point for guessing which brand of bottled water will be served at the arrival.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 16, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Poland Spring?

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 16, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

I was going to guess Aquafina or as Lewis Black translates, "the end of water, as we know it."

Posted by: russianthistle | July 16, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I didn't get a chance to get back yesterday, but Joel's cat could be our cat's twin, in both appearance and angle of repose. Ours will assume the same posture in one of our potted arbor vitaes. And no, he doesn't "go" there first!

Posted by: ebtnut | July 16, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

The race goes through Colombey-les-Deux-Églises, where Charles de Gaulle lived and died. His tomb is still a big tourist draw. I can't think of Colombey without remembering what happened when le Grand Charles died. The (leftist) satirical weekly Hara-kiri made its headline "Bal tragique à Colombey: un mort/ Tragic Dance in Colombey: one dead"
The French censorship of the Gaullist government of the time closed them down for weeks.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 16, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning, Boodle!

I don't know how Joel manages to make me turn different envy colors.

Maybe because he's in Italy?

Today it's a holiday here.


Posted by: Braguine | July 16, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Plunging in ever so briefly still in the midst of brief-drafting --

So, did any of us besides moi watch SYTYCD last night? I agreed with the judges that the Passo Doble wasn't too good (I lost interest in it quickly), but I do like Randi. She and/or her partner (Kupono?) might be in trouble tonight. I do think Brandon and Ade are the best of the boys, and the "J" girls are fabulous and so is Kayla. I also think Melissa (the ballerina) is very talented, but I don't think she'll reach the finals. I don't think Evan (Broadway Boy) will, either, but I think he's cute as a button (well *some* buttons are cute) and will do well in the future. He's very talented and appealing, even though Brandon and Ade are stronger dancers.

What I like about this program is that it is very entrepreneurial in regard to its dancers, no matter who wins. It's pretty serious, and very enjoyable to watch.

Back to the mines, my dears.

Posted by: -ftb1- | July 16, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

"Ptang! Ptang! Come in, Buzz Aldrin!"


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 16, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I'm sorry... but since no one has yet said it, I've got to...


Posted by: -TBG- | July 16, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Joel, it's your cat now.

I never get anyone's jokes. But no one gets mine either. When I was told to pee on my insect stings I noted it was the #1 suggestion. But did anyone laugh?

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 16, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse


I seem to make that reference yearly right around now... *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 16, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Morning Boodle,
So the tallest building in America is no longer the Sears Tower. It is now the Willis Tower. As a one-time Chicagoan (and likely to be again it seems), I am deeply offended by this.

Posted by: Southwester | July 16, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Bruce got a really big mohawk??? What???

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 16, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how much toadying by the press reinforces this "naming rights" thing. I suppose if AIG bought Mt. Rushmore and changed the signs to "Mt. AIG" they'd try to stop people from calling it Mt. Rushmore. The Powers that Be might even try to fire reporters who didn't submit! But what if everyone refused to go along with the plan?

What if we rebel, and refuse to ever once call it anything but "The Sears Tower?"

(Reported to you live from the home of Panther Stadium.)

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 16, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

@ S'Nuke:,CST-NWS-willis16.article

Posted by: Southwester | July 16, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in a rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master – that's all."

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 16, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Well, for those passing through Shell, two parcels of the Anderson/Red Canyon Ranch are for sale (part of the Siber story) and since we didn't get to the dig (ahem), there is a small museum in Greybull (we passed), along with a nationally known (among quilters) quilt shop in Greybull (we stopped). The prices for the Wyoming-handmade quilts aren't cheap, but the quality is superb, say, compared to quilts from India or China.

For museums, I'd put all my coin on the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in nearby Cody. Today and tomorrow, they're featuring Cowboy Celtic in Concert, and Saturday, July 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., they're observing the National Day of the American Cowboy, with lots of activities.

The late Senator Craig Thomas (R-Wyoming) sponsored Senate Resolution 130 to name the fourth Saturday of every July as the "National Day of the American Cowboy." Set aside as an official day "to honor and remember the contributions of the cowboy into the history of the American West, and to encourage Americans to live the values and the code of the cowboy."

That same Saturday, July 25, from 8:30 p.m. to midnight, the BBHC is throwing, at $45 per nonmember, a South Fork Star Party--to view Mercury, Saturn, a crescent moon, and the Milky Way. An event more in line for Science Tim?

Posted by: laloomis | July 16, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Since I'm "on hold" I might as well post.

Jumper-- I still call "Reagan National Airport" National Airport and I call Westfield at Montgomery Mall (down the street from me) "Montgomery Mall". Any legal action to compel me to say otherwise would also compel me to learn Korean as it's spoken in the North and/or other languages related to the issue.

To which I can only reply: TOUGH COOKIES!

Too bad about the Sears Tower.

Back to current biz now. Toodles till next time.

Posted by: -ftb- | July 16, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Put a nice model of Taipei 101 on your Chicago desk. It seems mostly to be a shopping mall and food court with an attention-getting piece of architecture attached, but the tall building's super-fast elevators and Damper Baby (a huge ball-shaped damper against sway) are impressive.

NY Times has a review of a new stadium in Taiwan, for the World Games, a sort of antechamber to the Olympics. The President of Taiwan will officially open the games. I assume the Chinese athletes will scream FAKE in unison.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | July 16, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Morning all,hot but breezy here in west by god.

Have you ever watched a Bruce Willis "Die Hard" movie on a station with a dirty word filter? It just isn't the same.

I forgot to ask,So how did the Stampede go this year Yoki?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 16, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Howdy. Slyness, I also got mumps and chicken pox in quick succession back in second grade. I think it was about 2 weeks for each disease. I tell the Boy he should be thankful for vaccinations.

The bicyclists are having Vittles Water? Eau l'Vittles? How rustic. Probably squirrel-flavored.

Scottynuke, that odd charging (conspiracy to etc) was because the charges were brought in federal court. Where drugs are concerned federal and state jurisdictions may overlap. Usually states take the proseuction, but the feds may do it. Here, chances are good that the potential sentences (up to life) are greater in federal court. The number of defendants and implied connection to drugs also suggests this may help other federal cases. Aren't you glad you asked?

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 16, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Called in sick today--got some sort of summer cold or light flu--headache, aches, congestion, fever, excess gastrointestinal liquidity where there ought to be solidity, and general all-around feeling crappy, etc. It'll pass.

Today in...whatever...

July 16, 1862: David Farragut becomes the Navy’s first rear admiral. He later becomes its first vice admiral, and then its first full admiral. At the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864, he becomes famous for exclaiming, “Damn the torpedoes [mines]! Full speed ahead!”
1957: Marine Maj. John Glenn flies an F8U Crusader jet from California to New York in 3 hours, 23 minutes, 8 seconds, setting a new transcontinental speed record and winning his fifth Distinguished Flying Cross. (During the Korean War, Glenn’s nickname was “Magnet Ass” because of his ability to attract enemy flak.)
1969: At 9:32 a.m. local time, NASA launches Apollo XI with astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin aboard. Their mission: to boldly go where no man has gone before. They do.
1994: Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 collides with Jupiter. But it wasn't just a one-night stand: Pieces of comet kept on hitting six more days.
1999: John F. Kennedy, Jr., his wife Carolyn, and sister-in-law Lauren are killed in a plane crash on the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Martha's Vineyard. The Piper Saratoga aircraft was piloted by Kennedy. The National Transportation Safety Board ruled pilot error as the cause. A wrongful death lawsuit brought by relatives of his wife and sister-in-law was reportedly settled out of court for $50 million.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | July 16, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Don't worry about not going in the Orvieto Duomo. It's basically empty, although there are some very nice frescos in one side chapel. We only spent 20 minutes in there, preferring instead the amazing outside swirl of figures.

You know, it's the first time I've commented on your column and the subject matter of comments here are all over the map. Is this normal?

Posted by: Letterpress | July 16, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Normal? Perhaps. Common, yes.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 16, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Normal is such a relative word....and my guess is no one has ever accused us of being normal. But welcome aboard, stick around. I'm sure you'll get some laughs out of the deal.

Posted by: LostInThought | July 16, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

And just because I've got time on my hands:

1769: Father Junipero Serra founds Mission San Diego de Alcalá, the first mission in California. The mission later evolves into the city of San Diego.
1790: Today is DC's birthday!! The District of Columbia is established as the capital of the United States after the signing of the Residence Act. It did not evolve in San Diego, unfortunately.
1945: Manhattan Project: The Atomic Age begins when the United States successfully detonates a plutonium-based test nuclear weapon at the Trinity site near Alamogordo, New Mexico.
1973: Former White House aide Alexander P. Butterfield tells the Watergate Committee that President Richard Nixon had secretly recorded potentially incriminating conversations. Oh, boy, does the you-know-what hit the ventilation system after that.

Happy Birthday:
1606: Rembrandt (d. 1669)
1779: Clement Clarke Moore (d. 1863), generally thought to be the author of the poem incorrectly known as “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” although a minority view holds that it was written by Maj. Henry Livingston Jr.
1914: Hammond Innes (d. 1998), author of many thrillers including The Wreck of the Mary Deare, The Land God Gave to Cain, The Doomed Oasis, Atlantic Fury, and The Strode Venturer. He was the Alistair McLean of his day, before there was Alistair Mclean.
1935: Alex Karras, football player and star of the “Blazing Saddles” campfire baked-bean-eating scene.
1946: Linda Ronstadt
1952: Terry O'Quinn (John Locke on “Lost”)

1521: Juan Ponce de León (b. 1458)
1940: Robert Pershing Wadlow, American—at 8 ft. 11.1 in, the tallest human ever known (b. 1918)
1948: Gen. John J. “Black Jack” Pershing (b. 1860)

For those of you traveling in Italy, today is the Festival of Castor and Pollux, in case you want to send Joel a Hallmark Castor and Pollux card.

In fact, here's today's Boodle Challenge: create your own Castor and Pollux greeting card text.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | July 16, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Letterpress: You betcha!

Posted by: nellie4 | July 16, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Hey Letterpress!

There is nothing *normal* about Achenblog. We often have several threads of comments posting at the same time so that it sounds chaotic. It isn't. Please stick around, you'll catch on quickly. If something puzzles you, just ask.

Posted by: slyness | July 16, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

CNN headline:

"Aging athletes whoopin' youngins"

Do they mean "Whomp"?

Posted by: nellie4 | July 16, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Howdy Letterpress. Nice handle. As others have said, "normal" is a deeply variable term when applied to the Boodle (this thing here to which you posted, as opposed to the Kit, which is up top and currently contains the splendid photos to which your comment referred).

Please contribute more on-Kit (that is, pertaining to the column subject) comments regarding travel in Italy, for those of us who live vicariously. It is always nice to see through another pair of eyes, hear through someone else's ears, etc.

Speaking of Watergate (thanks for the lead-in, Mudge), did you notice the hotel is going up for auction? Ha. Ha ha. There's one historical landmark I'd love to see fade into obscurity.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 16, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, I was just surprised the Feds would call drug trafficing "commerce," that's all... *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 16, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

The Boy has relayed to me a Boodle query regarding an automotive myth. If you hold down the car horn (prolonged honking) long enough, will it break? He apparently got this from a video game so I believe it to be unlikely. However, I've never engaged in prolonged horn-honking myself so don't know. I told him the Boodle would have an informed opinion.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 16, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Ponce de León had "Juan" for a first name? I always thought his first name was "Ponce."

Posted by: nellie4 | July 16, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm wondering about that myself, Scottynuke. I trust there's something in there they didn't bother to report. Although maybe. . .

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 16, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Should change my handle to "Late to the Party" (LttP!)

Re: Buzz'ez article: What he said.

Wow, Linda is order than I am?

Double WOW! Terry is YOUNGER than I am??? Maybe it is the long days in Hawaii, exposed to all that sand, surf, sun, and sea air that make him look 20 years older than me? Hhmmm, nah.

@Letterpress: If *Normal* is what is found on other blogs, then, No, the Boodle is not normal. Thank goodness! They even tolerate my posting here!


Posted by: DLDx | July 16, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

@Mudge: How does one traditionally celebrate the Festival of Castor and Pollux? Instead of Christmas cards, Southwestress and I like to send out Saturnalia cards featuring the phrase "may your loins be fertile and your slaves enjoy their respite".

Posted by: Southwester | July 16, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Call me Even Later to the Party, DLD. Been trying to clear my desk so I can get out of Dodge.

Belatedly to ftb, I watched SYTYCD last night. Of the girls, I think Randi was the weakest. I hate to say it 'cuz he is adorable, but Evan was the weakest of the guys. I'm with you on the Js, and Brandon; still not sure about Ade.

Posted by: Raysmom | July 16, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, regarding the continual horn honking. I suspect that the horn will indeed break when crazed bystanders flip the automobile over and ignite it. But that is just a guess.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 16, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Well, you showed up just in time to miss the boat.
You slept right through a rendezvous with fate.
And, though we're gettin' old and gray,
you know, we still can vote.
Must be a thorn to have been born a little late.

- "Born a Little Late (The Baby Boomer Song)", Susan Werner

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 16, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

@Ivansmom: A good Car Talk question, I should think, but I'm more interested in why he wants to know. Is he planning something?

Posted by: Southwester | July 16, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Now, Ivansmom. I hate to disagree with you, but you've lived here in DC... you know that it's a city, with residents and people and stuff who have nothing really to do with the workings of "Washington."

That said, there's nothing wrong with the Watergate buildings, per se. The scandal just hijacked the name.

Actually, the buildings hijacked the name: when I was a kid we used to go to the "Watergate" to see concerts... it was a band shell in the water below the Lincoln Memorial, down the steps and across the roadway that's now the GW parkway.

The break-in didn't even occur in the hotel; it was in the office building portion. And the burglars were staying in the HoJo across the street, I believe.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 16, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I get jokes, Jumper. (You, too, Mudgey-poo.)

I have a thing about laughing too loud IRL, so I'm quiet about it online.

Ivansmom, re. the myth: no.
I wish, though.

I've dealt with enough stuck horn buttons in my life to know that car horns can stay on for at least 60 minutes without breaking. Or getting under the hood and disconnecting it by hand (Even with the blinding headache, I was nice and didn't just clip the wires or yank them with Extreme Prejudice [and some degree of flair]).


Posted by: -bc- | July 16, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Well, of course if you blow the horn long enough (and the torch-bearers can be held at bay) the horn will eventually stop when the battery runs down.

Posted by: ebtnut | July 16, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Terry O'Quinn. He played Howard Hughes in a kguy fav, The Rocketeer, with Bill Campbell, Alan Arkin, Timothy Dalton in a thinly disguised Errol Flynn role, Paul Sorvino, and (yum) Jennifer Connelly. This is an entertaining homage to 30's serials with gangsters, Nazis, dirigibles, fifth columnists, biplanes, jetpacks, FBI agents, and a guy wearing Rondo Hatton makeup. Unfortunately it opened in the summer of '91 against Ahnold in Terminator 2 (he did say he'd be back) and no one but K-chick and I seems to have seen it in the theater.

Posted by: kguy1 | July 16, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I found this funny comment on the Consumerist blog posting about the cities in America with the most-affordable housing...

"Davenport, IA isn't a bad place at all. Also very close to the World's Largest Truck stop!! Not only do you save on housing costs, but you never need to pay to take the kids to Disney World!!!"

Posted by: -TBG- | July 16, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I've had the measles, mumps, and chicken pox. Measles were hell, however the time off from school was worth it for the latters.

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | July 16, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the horn answers, y'all. I knew you would know. I think RD's scenario the most likely. Southwester, I don't want to know why the Boy asked. I've learned that there are some questions a parent asks, and some we just don't need to explore.

I know the Watergate hotel isn't really to blame, TBG. Just my Watergate paranoia showing.

Interesting Lunch Discovery: looking at leftovers this morning, instead of chicken salad I made "salad" with cut-up pork tenderloin, plain Greek yogurt, cut-up apples, lemon juice and lemon pepper. It is pretty good. The tenderloin was originally browned whole and then as medallions in butter and olive oil.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 16, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

How can a person die and their body not emit an odor? Special embalming fluid in the 1400s? And a person can cure an epidemic by making signs of the cross? Call Sanjay Gupta!

And you can thank the Russians for the "la madre" of the missions in San Diego. Politics masking as religion, pure and simple.

Posted by: laloomis | July 16, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, if you honk a car hornm for a long time, it won't necessarily "break." But when a car horn does "break," most often is because of a burned-out fuse. So I suppose it is possible if one holds down the horn long enough, it may eventually cause the fuse to heat up and pop. Of course, one wouldn't know it was just a fuse that broke, not the horn itself, until one checked the fuse panel.

The question also assumes one isn't really beating on the horn button in such a way as to break it.

But basically, no-- a horn won't break just from being blown a long time, all else being equal.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | July 16, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

As for St. Patrick's Well in Orvieto, of course it must be dug that deep if one is burrowing into volcanic tuff.

Posted by: laloomis | July 16, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I can confirm that a standard North-American car horn ('79 Aspen) can work up to 20 minutes without failing. 20 minutes is the time it takes to fidget around trying to pull the horn wire, fail at that, get inside the house to fetch some tools, disperse the crowd around the car and disconnect the battery. I replaced it with a nice-sounding Eyetalian unit.
I should do the same for the Subie, it has a squeky feeble little horn. Very meep-meepy.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 16, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Volcanic tuff makes for Rome's excellent water and for its vast underground.

Rome's rise and incredible persistence may have had a lot to do with clean drinking water.

Downside is that the Alban Hills, whence the tuff came, are a bit like the Yellowstone volcano.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | July 16, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

SD, great post!

Posted by: russianthistle | July 16, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Haven’t been around because I had an ingrown toenail removed. I think that this sounds so, well, wimpy. Like I am some kind of wus for even complaining about it. I tell you, though, my open heart surgery wasn't that uncomfortable. Wanna hear what happened? This isn’t for the squeamish.

The doc put me in a special treatment room, already prepared with a special chair and enough tools to amputate the legs of an entire confederate battalion. As he closed the door, he said, "The walls for this room are extra thick, so the other patients won't hear you screaming…feel free." I sear, I’m not making this up. He jabbed me three times with anesthetic; right straight into the big toe. Then he took a tiny, powerful scissors and cut straight into the nail. He cut ALL THE WAY back to the quick, and even a little bit into it.

Before he started, he had asked if I had any feeling in my toe, and I said, “no”. I didn’t realize that the lack of feeling was only skin deep. I was grabbing the arm rests so hard that left fingerprints in the naugahide. With a pair of pliers he yanked the offending piece of nail out all the way to the root. Blood began to dribble out from the hole he had just made. The doctor examined the bloody, oozing piece of nail that he had just ripped from it's mooring, and then glanced at me, "You OK?"

"Well, the anesthetic could be working a bit better." I gulped, trying to appear stoic. My foot felt like I just stepped into a puddle of molten lava. No reply from the doc. The nurse gazed at me pityingly, like I was frightened small child. I was OK with that, for now.

"Last thing" the doc says, as he dripped tiny droplets of an extremely concentrated acid into the hole in the newly exposed flesh. "This'll keep the nail from growing back. Once in a while, though, some grow back anyway." I could hear the acid sizzling on the flesh, eating it up like I was in a Hollywood horror movie. A faint whiff of putrid vapor curled up from the site. A few deft wraps of gauze, and he was done. I hobbled out of the office, grateful that the ordeal was over. It occurred to me then that the anesthetic was just beginning to kick in.

Posted by: Don_from_I270 | July 16, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Curmudgeon- | July 16, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

@Don: Which toe was it?

Posted by: Southwester | July 16, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Don. Ouch!

My mom has has that procedure on both of her big toes more than once.

I've had a partial removal done. There is nothing worse than shots in the toe. I had 8 (count 'em, 8!) shots in my toe during the procedure, and I don't think it ever fully numbed the pain. The shots themselves were awful.

In my opinion, it was worse than labor. I must inform you that I experienced a drug-free delivery with a breach baby facing the wrong way (back labor).

Sorry about the details. But it's important to qualify the pain.

You are not a wuss, Don.

Posted by: Moose13 | July 16, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I once had an ingrown fingernail removed. It was quite... unpleasant.

But, in a different event, I have found that there are worse places to have medical equipment jabbed.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 16, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Thanks RT.
Good post too Don. They are in a hurry aren't they?

The urologist who's done my vasectomy liked to line up his cases on the same day. So you're with 6-7 other guys waiting in the pre-op room, wearing the dignity removing garment. The doc gets in the groove. When I winced at the first cut we had this exchange.
Him: "I didn't do the anesthesia did I?"
me: "No"
Him, with a smile: "Sorry, I'll do it and wait 5 minutes. That's 2 more that I usually give"

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 16, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

It was the right big one, SW. I was thinking that I'd just trim it up a bit myself, but my wife insisted that a doc do it up right. That's because I'm a diabetic, and things could've gotten icky.

I dunno nuttin 'bout birthin' babies, essept that if men had to alternate having babies with women, there might be a third baby in a family, but NEVER a fourth.

Posted by: Don_from_I270 | July 16, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Moose, any woman who's delivered a baby probably knows more about pain than I ever will.

A breach delivery w/o anaesthetic?

Like, *OW*.


Posted by: -bc- | July 16, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I surprised myself, bc.

Luckily, it was fairly quick.

Posted by: Moose13 | July 16, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Moose. My husband was breech, weighed ten pounds, and was born at home. I have always had great respect for my mother-in-law, God rest her soul.

Demerol did nothing, absolutely NOTHING for the pain when the Elderdottir was born; it just put me to sleep and prolonged the agony. So when I had the Geekdottir, I specified no anathesia. When her dad told the nurse, she said, good thing, 'cause it's too late. She came amazingly fast.

Posted by: slyness | July 16, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

@Don: My right big toe is the toughest of my toes. The nail has been broken three times and twice the incident broke the toe bone as well. But it always healed fine. The left big toe has never been injured, but gets an ingrown nail every three or four years. I used to take care of it myself to make me feel macho, but the Southwestress makes me go to the doc now, too.

Posted by: Southwester | July 16, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I've had several eye operations done where I watched the surgeon stick a needle in my eye.

OK yeah, I have used that promise line, "Cross my heart, hope to die...", but I never broke it. At least I don't remember breaking it.

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | July 16, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Some remastered moonwalk footage was released by NASA today. That's cool.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 16, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Ewwwwwwww. Anyhow, I've always found novacaine injections in the gums to be particularly painful. When I had caps put on the top front teeth (4 of 'em) it took such a long time, the dentist had to give me another dose. IIRC, I bit him. Just desserts, eh?

Posted by: -ftb1- | July 16, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Are we still on-kit?

Posted by: -ftb1- | July 16, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

*reaching up from the floor to try and find the smelling salts* :-O

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 16, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I developed a theory of pain after experiencing childbirth (no drugs). Once the Boy slid squidlike into the world, my body largely forgot the pain of only moments before. My brain knows it hurt, but there is no reliable muscle memory. I have only a vague sense of comparison (broken foot? childbirth was worse). My theory is that this is common, and explains why it is possible for women to have more than one child.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 16, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for that informative post Don, I will now give extra pampering to my toes as your procedure did not sound pleasant at all - hope you are feeling much better now.

Moose - great admiration.

I would like to add that whoever came up with the idea that laughing gas helps during labour/delivery should be lied, I amused the medical staff by kicking my feet (flutter kick) during labour pains - nurse looked at me and asked if I had been a swimmer - Yup I replied - they giggled - I did not.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 16, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Who got the laughing gas, dmd? You or the nurses?

Posted by: -TBG- | July 16, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

You're so cute ftb.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 16, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Also... I love the name Southwestress. Makes me giggle for some reason. So glad you're here now, Southwester.

Did Letterpress stick around? Hope so.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 16, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Laughing gas (plus Novocaine) was effective when I had my wisdom teeth taken out. It took the edge off the disconcerting sounds at least. And made me joke with the dentist.

Posted by: Raysmom | July 16, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Aw, C'mon, everybody knows it's worse for us guys to helplessly stand by and watch are lovers suffer through labor. It's not the physical, but the emotional pain that hurts the most. :-)

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | July 16, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

@TBG: We aim to please ;)

Posted by: Southwester | July 16, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm tempted to start using "Sou'wester" for our new Boodler...

Anyone else get a "Laugh-In" video cootie from that idea? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 16, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

ftb & Raysmom, I watched SYTYCD, too. Well, I missed a lot of it (last cleaning of the old house yesterday evening, woo hoo!), but caught up online this morning. I agree that Randi is likely in danger, but I've never been all that impressed with her dancing, so that's OK with me. The other four girls are all so good!

I agree that Evan has trouble switching characters and styles, but I wouldn't call him the weakest of the guys. For me his solo was one of the best last night -- I was really disappointed it had to be so short. (Jeanine's was the other best solo, I thought.) And his Viennese Waltz with Kayla wasn't bad at all. The choreographers actually gave them a good number of real waltz figures in closed hold (unusual for this show), and they looked good -- nice frame, no huge gaps between them. Plus the lifts were pretty and looked oh-so-easy for him. And he's so gosh darn likable that I bet he'll be around for a while yet (it was probably his fans keeping him and Randi out of the bottom 3 until now). He definitely shouldn't outlast Brandon, but I like his chances against the other guys.

Posted by: -bia- | July 16, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

@S'Nuke: That's one of those boodlish terms I'm still unfamiliar with. Pardon my ignorance, but what are cooties, either the video or tune (toon?) variety?

Posted by: Southwester | July 16, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

A tune cootie is a song that once heard, is hard to get out of your head.

eg Southwester, wester, wester, bo bester, bing bang mo mester, Southwester.

Posted by: engelmann | July 16, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

@Southwester: A tune cootie is that song you can't get out of your head. A video cootie (the man on the tricycle wearing a sou'wester in this case) would be the visual version.

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

@Southwester: also known as an earworm.

Posted by: Raysmom | July 16, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I've got two words for you, Don. Prostate biopsy. It's a community theater production of "Moby Dick" and you've landed the title role. Captain Ahab uses 12-16 harpoons. It's tons o' fun!

Posted by: kguy1 | July 16, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse


Did you post pics of the BPH yet?

Posted by: Don_from_I270 | July 16, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Thank you everybody. That makes a lot more sense. Is there a word cootie? For example, every time I see or hear mention of "Saving Private Ryan" my mind invariably thinks "Shaving Ryan's Privates" the joke porno name my friends and I made up when the movie premiered (though for all I know somebody actually made such a film).

Posted by: Southwester | July 16, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Been there, done that.

Posted by: Don_from_I270 | July 16, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Was planning to soon, Don. Next day or two, hopefully. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 16, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

"... suppose you're thinkin' about a plate o' shrimp. Suddenly someone'll say, like, "plate," or "shrimp," or "plate o' shrimp" out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconsciousness."

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 16, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

My big (ingrown) toenails were partially removed under local anesthesia with anole lizards looking on from the window screens, then entirely removed in expectation of regrowing correctly, then one or two other procedures, then removed with prejudice in a general-anesthesia operation at an impressive military hospital in the Washington area. After that, limped around for what felt like several months. Yes, a sliver or two of new nail had to be pulled.

More recently, I've had a couple of gout attacks. Who woulda thought a big toe could be so painful? I would have welcomed immediate amputation, with or without anesthesia.

This comment section is for the attention-disordered.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | July 16, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you K-guy. Third time around I insisted on full knock-out.

Posted by: ebtnut | July 16, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

There's a whole book written on prostate cancer diagnostic and treatment.

"Assume the position"

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 16, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

DotC, "This comment section is for the attention-disordered" - LOL and so very true, on the days when the the intellectual level of the discourse here hurts my brain I can almost always count on a topic change to make me feel somewhat more capable of intelligent dicussion.

TBG, the laughing gas probably worked as I do remember joking with the nurses, although #2 was induced, when she decided to actually be born it was very rapid, much like her character when she puts her mind to it she moves with rapid speed. After an entire of day of waiting for something to happen, it all happened in twenty minutes - nurses running to get the doctor (in a snow storm) and all - so while no meds it was quick.

And to switch topics again, went to work early today and got back, kids wanted to swim, after a while in the pool we heard the unmistakable sounds of the ice cream truck - there are some very happy children in my home right now - and I must say I enjoyed my ice cream as well.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 16, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Yellowjkt is right!!!

Not only Popeye is onto the Boodle secrets but Olive has da book.

We need Chenney to form an assassination squad.

Posted by: Braguine | July 16, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

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

Howdy, friends. Slyness, it rained here so fast and hard, I thought I would have to swim to get back to the apartment. I was in the laundry room. And I dont't know how to swim. Water everywhere.

Don, you did great. I had the nail removed from my big toe some years ago. I need to do the other one too, just dread the ordeal.

Thanks, Ivansmom. Got the books. I haven't opened the box yet.

Welcome, letterpress. One cannot use the word "normal" in reference to the boodle, and keep a straight face. Just doesn't work. This group, "normal"? I don't think so. Ha, I'm still laughing.

Mudge, hope you feel better. Martooni, Yoki, Scotty, and everyone, hope the rest of the day is good. *waving*

Posted by: cmyth4u | July 16, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Several times I've gone under the knife where local anesthesia with some sedation was administered. Periodically, the anesthesiologist would notice that I was suffering from discomfort, look at his chart, and juice me up with more of the feel good stuff.

Once, after the surgeon was done stitching me up, I made the mistake of asking him for "one for the road". I noticed the prescription for the post-op pain meds contained only 10 pills instead of the usual 20 that time...

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | July 16, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

All the discussion of prostate surgery sure doesn't make it sound tempting (I'm still a few years off), but I'll never be able to complain. Southwestress had to have a C-section after 26 hours of labor (she just didn't want to come out!). She remembers it alright!

Posted by: Southwester | July 16, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I think it was the movie Life of Brian where he was speaking to a LARGE crowd, and mentioned that "NONE of us is 'normal'" and as the effect of that statement took effect there was only one lone voice out of the crowd saying "er... I am."

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 16, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Jumper1 | July 16, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

@Jumper: Almost. He said "You're all individuals" and the crowd responded in unison "We're all individuals". Then one guy said "I'm not" and was beaten mercilessly.

Posted by: Southwester | July 16, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I blame ApoE4

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 16, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Calling Mudge! Caption on a photo on the WaPo home page: "Afghani's turn up regularly at the base seeking care for wounds."

Ack! I'm not a grammar maven or anything, but that's like fingernails on a chalkboard for me.

Posted by: Raysmom | July 16, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Curmudgeon- | July 16, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

@Mudge: I really like the anticlimactic punctuation you used.

Posted by: Southwester | July 16, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Mudge hate's those kind of mistake's.


Posted by: -TBG- | July 16, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

You're right about that, Raysmom and Mudge (or are you now to be addressed as "Mudgey-Poo" as in a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta?). The WaPo appears to have deep-sixed all the copy editors. Those persons who remain tend not to have homonym-sensibility, nor sensitivity to any kind of spelling or grammar. Drives me NUTZ!

And, say, thanks SD, for thinking I'm cute. Cool compliment for an old f@rt like me. But, Mudge is older (thankfully) -- actually dearest Mudgekins, I'm just spurring you to be well ASAP.

Now, let's get down to some serious bizniss here -- has there been a Martooni-sighting recently? I simply can't remember when he last posted. This Boodler is tapping her foot (the "good" right foot, because the left foot is attached to whatever is attached to the "bad" left knee) in pique and/or worry. Or something. . . .

*sigh* -- back to the brief. *knocking sand outta my ear and hoping it's not brain matter"

Posted by: -ftb- | July 16, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Love the pictures and love the commentary almost more! Great stuff, Joel. Don't be stingy, keep 'em coming.

Posted by: jlessl | July 16, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

*blushing, while contemplating ways to murder bc for this turn of events*

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | July 16, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: rickoshea0 | July 16, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

You should be, Mudgey-Poo.

This song is so you.

A wandering minstrel I —
A thing of shreds and patches,
Of ballads, songs and snatches,
And dreamy lullaby!
My catalogue is long,
Through every passion ranging,
And to your humours changing
I tune my supple song!
I tune my supple song!


(no parody needed. Rest is at: )

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 16, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Mudgey-Poo: Just like Mudge, only cuter and cuddlier.

Posted by: Southwester | July 16, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Well, 'mudge *is* adorable.

Posted by: Yoki | July 16, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

And durn perky.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 16, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

That's too bad about McCourt. Thanks for sharing, RickOShea.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 16, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

On the first day of vacation we made three laps of the Mall of America. Rode all the roller coasters. Had some sushi and happy hour appetizers. Bought assorted apparel and sundries. My son found a vintage clothing store and loaded up on black tee shirts. We are ready to hit the road. According to my itinerary we have to hit someplace called De Smet tomorrow.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 16, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Sounds great, yello... just my kind of road trip. Have a great time and drive safely. Tell your son NO TICKETS this time!

Posted by: -TBG- | July 16, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

As requested...

Remember, it's not the quantity, it's the quality! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 16, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Watched most of Pres Obama's speech - another great one. I love when he talks about his mother. Couldn't find a video clip or transcript yet - his prepared remarks are available, but it seems to me he elaborated quite a bit on them, and his delivery was outstanding.

Posted by: seasea1 | July 16, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

I always thought Mudgey-poo was one of the lesser known creations of Sid and Marty Krofft.

But I could be wrong.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 16, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Tomorrow night on "Bill Moyers Journal" on PBS, he is interviewing Robert Wright about his book "The Evolution of God." That should be fun to watch.

Posted by: -pj- | July 16, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I have a theory that no doctor has ever heard of the following ingrown toenail remedy.

It involves NOT cutting the toenail shorter. I have done this all my life for the occasional ingrown toenail. It works. The idea is to get the toenail to grow out PAST the sore spot. The other method, cutting it, seems to me to be like backing up the car repeatedly to run over a stump. No, the answer is to lift the wheel gently OVER the stump and then go forwards. For those who won't follow the link, a piece of cotton is gently placed under the nail at the sore spot. Relief is almost instantaneous and the nail (the flesh that has been gouged, actually) is well on its way to healing within a day.

And Cruel Shoes don't help any either. And toenails should be trimmed correctly, not too far back.

My family is constantly amazed how few people know about this. The alternatives are so awful!

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

I would have photographed Mudgey-poo as well, but the camera doesn't work underwater...

Electric, doncha know.

*humming the "Banana Splits" theme song*


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 16, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 16, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

It's not our fault Mudge it's genetic.

"The evolutionary secret of how the dachshund got its short legs has been uncovered by scientists with the discovery of a gene that explains the diminutive stature of at least 19 breeds."

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 16, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

C-SPAN has video of the NAACP speech:

Politico has the transcript:

Posted by: seasea1 | July 16, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

My son is not on the rental car list, so no driving for him. Which is fine by him. He prefers being in the back and waxing sarcastic.

In the Sid and Marty Kroft show Boodlesville, Mudgie-poo, who was played by Charles Nelson Reilly, was a crusty old sea dog (literally on both the dog part and the crusty - the barnacles on his blue bottom could talk) that always had a long-winded tall tale whenever Jimmy and Sigmund were trying to hatch a plan to keep the evil singing witch doctor from stealing the Boodle Book.

While Mudgie-poo's rambling stories always seemed off-topic, some part of the shaggy dog story had a wise idea that saved the day. These usually included eating some mushrooms that had special magical powers.

To this day, the producers insist there were no psychedelic drug allusions in the show despite the trippy spiral mandela images and sitar music used for all the scene transitions.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 16, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

yello-are you going to visit the Ingalls homestead while you're in De Smet?

Much family in town for the annual "cousins weekend." Frostdaddy made his traditional spaghetti supper with lemon chess pie for dessert. I am so thankful to have been born into a pie baking family.

Welcome Letterpress. Do you garden by any chance?

Yes, where is Martooni?

I think Lindsey Graham is going to vote for Sotomayor's confirmation.

Toodles boodle and goodnight.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | July 16, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Charles Nelson Reilly. *giggle*

If you ever want to see acting at its finest...

Posted by: -TBG- | July 16, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone mention Sotomayor's awesome pink suit today?

CquP... your analysis, please.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 16, 2009 11:27 PM | Report abuse

I had to Google "lemon chess pie" as I had never heard of that.
Is it just about the same as lemon meringue pie? I nearly killed myself trying to make meringue once - now I buy those pies. Nothing better in the summer.

Posted by: seasea1 | July 16, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

yello, doesn't Mudgey-poo fly through the sky on his Flop-Mop, a somewhat unrelaible aeronautical conveyance that leaves a vapor trail of brackish deck wash?

Yes, I'm chortling at this turn of events.

Feel free to contemplate my murder, Mudgey-poo. If I die now, I'll be a fairly decent-looking corpse for the Viking funeral and all that stuff.

Plus, I'll be dead, and you'll never live it down.

Oh, yes, I'm chortling.


Posted by: -bc- | July 16, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

None of the Mudgie-poo video is available because of copyright problems. But the show before that is on YouTube.

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 17, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Earthly particles
orbiting nuclear sun;

Posted by: DNA_Girl | July 17, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

More on Copernicium:

Posted by: DNA_Girl | July 17, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Good morning you all, and to all on vacations, whereveryoumaybe!

It seems to me that I should share a recent experience I had of what I consider to be quite negative. Probably nothing new to many of you, but definitely new to me.

Recently I was in hospital for a couple of nights and the doctor felt I should have oxygen with me (take it home) when I was discharged. Well, in order for medicare to cover it, my blood oxygen levels had to be below 88 on average, which they were.

My discharge nurse (should have been the case manager, but she disappeared somewhere) demonstrated to us how to use the little two hour tank in the cute little blue canvas bag and told me to call the medical supply company that I had chosen when I got home to let them know I had the oxygen. WELL, turns out that what the disappearing case manager didn't tell me was very important. When I called the company I was informed that since I qualified I needed continuing oxygen and that they needed to come out, deliver it in the form of an oxygen making machine and emergency tanks and charge medicare for the equipment monthly and charge me $40. monthly for my 20% co pay.

Well, I didn't need all that stuff, the cute little 2 hours worth tank would probably have lasted me a lifetime, but that's not how it works. It is true that I do have diminished lung capacity, but I get along fine most of the time. It's just too bad that it took me so long to quit smoking, and I hope somebody reading this will quit while they are still young and healthy.

So all that oxygen is stashed and after a few months I will ask my doctor to recommend that I don't need it in the home anymore and after he tests me, maybe we can get rid of it.

One more reason for Obama's & Co.'s review of our healthcare system. There are thousands of people to do need continuing oxygen at home and for them, I think the system works, but for me it's mostly a waste of my money and your money, you all who pay with your tax dollars.

Anyway, I feel fine now and first light is comin', soon....

Posted by: VintageLady | July 17, 2009 5:18 AM | Report abuse

SCC: "there are thousands of people WHO do need continuing oxygen"

other typos as well.

Posted by: VintageLady | July 17, 2009 5:26 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

We had a power outage last night at 9:40 -- apparently too many people using air conditioners, and it knocked out our whole neighborhood. So, with no light and no TV and no computer, I went to bed early.

Today in Nautical and Aviation History

July 17, 1812: Frigate USS Constitution (Capt. Isaac Hull) is sighted by no less than five British warships off Sandy Hook, N.J., in extremely light air, beginning a three-day “chase” at drifting speed down the Jersey coast, until Old Ironsides eventually escapes.
1938: Unemployed aircraft mechanic Douglas Corrigan lands in Dublin, Ireland, after an trans-Atlantic flight from Brooklyn, N.Y., in a Curtiss Robin. Since he’d been unable to obtain a permit to fly to Europe, Corrigan claims he meant to fly to California, but got lost. This earns him the nickname “Wrong-Way Corrigan.”
1944: A P-38 Lightning fighter-bomber attacks a fuel depot at Coutance, France, using a newly invented type of bomb containing gelled gasoline called napalm.

Good news: the GOP has caved on Sotomayor and isn't going to try to block her (not that they could). She's a shoo-in now. I think the over/under will be about 80 votes.

OK, it is TGIF for those of you so inclined. Today's breakfast in the Ready room is my all-time fav, bagels (from Einstein Bros.), novi lox, cream cheese, tomato slices (Early Girl, right out of my garden), onion slices (ditto),
and capers. I tend toward the "everything" bagel myself, but there are plain, wheat, onion, sesame seed and poppy seed bagels available as well. Mazel tov.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | July 17, 2009 5:49 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. Wet and muggy morning in the other capital. That's good, Summer is on its way.

The stuff of movie in Montreal. A piece of a building comes loose, crashes through a glass ceiling and kills a diner.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 17, 2009 6:20 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. Howdy, Vintage Lady.

You know it's a tough world we live in when a woman screaming for help while four men put her in a car, and no one answers. She is later found fifty miles from her home with two bullets in her head, dead. Such was the case for the human rights worker in Chechnya. And we live in this world, but, oh, I belive we can do better. We can and we should. What will our children think?

Mudge, still hoping you're feeling better. Scotty, Yoki, Slyness, Martooni, and everybody, have a fantastic day. *waving*

It's so muggy and warm here. It's like walking in a sauna(?). Probably more rain in the picture. Time to move.

Posted by: cmyth4u | July 17, 2009 6:46 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all. Despite the doctor's ban on wheat for me, Mudge, I'm going to have half a bagel, all the way. Thanks!

Much to do today, especially this morning, so I'll get a move on. Gotta cut flowers, visit the sick, and go to craft class. And that's just before lunch!

Glad you got your power back, Mudge. What a pain, to be without electricity and all the wondrous things it brings.

Posted by: slyness | July 17, 2009 6:51 AM | Report abuse

Vintage Lady, I read your post after saying good morning, and I'm happy you're doing better. Oh, the price we pay later for those cigarettes. I have asthma, and need to carry the little inhaler with me at all times. I simply hate to use it, and so much of the time need it. My neighbor has the oxygen at home. The huge tank. With my income, if I need the tank, I will surely suffer. One of my grandsons has asthma too, but he seems to be outgrowing it.

Posted by: cmyth4u | July 17, 2009 6:53 AM | Report abuse

Morning Al... took Dr G to work this morning and I knew full well I wouldn't climb back in bed when I got home, despite my plans to do just that. Today's my day off, so I guess I still have time if I need a nap later.

Shriek... that story about the concrete chunk was really something. When it's your time, it's your time, isn't it?

My sister was walking into her office building many years ago in Georgetown when a chunk of the building fell about a foot from her, crashing down onto the sidewalk. She actually felt it swish by her head. We never know how many times we come that close, do we?

Posted by: -TBG- | July 17, 2009 7:10 AM | Report abuse

TGIF all!!!

I gave NukeSpawn some coffee this morning so she'd be able to get moving and accompany NukeSpouse to work. I fear I shall reap the whirlwind when I get home... :-)

*off-to-find-some-extra-caffeine-to-replace-what-I-would-otherwise-have-but-it's-TGIF-so-it's-all-good Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 17, 2009 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Shriek, that's a really tragic article. *bowing head*

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 17, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

VL, I'm glad you've quit smoking, and yes, your tale is a great example of the need for health care reform.

*thinking I really DO need more caffeine* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 17, 2009 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle. A lovely morning here.

Off on a weekend road trip. Many treats in store, including the first Northern BPH this afternoon.

Cassandra, Chechnya is like a wild frontier town out of the movies, or a cross between that and the Chicago of Al Capone. It is not surprising that people try to keep strictly away from anything that looks threatening. It isn't right, of course, but understandable.

Have a great Friday, Al.

Posted by: Yoki | July 17, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everyone.

Yoki have fun on the road trip and at the Northern BPH - hugs to all. Is poutine on the northern BPH menu :-).

Spent the evening browsing an online catalgue at a nursery where I recently set up a trade account - this could be dangerous - like LiT with the ability to purchase shoes wholesale (unless that is already possible).

Posted by: dmd3 | July 17, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse

I don't foresee any occasion to eat poutine :)

Posted by: Yoki | July 17, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

back from a visit to the beach to see my sister. shrimp and grits in the bunker. go nuts.

Posted by: -jack- | July 17, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Today's Tour de France is not going toward the Alps as I thought yesterday but toward Vosges region and its namesake mountains. The destination is Colmar in Alsace. Colmar is where sculptor Frédéric Bartholdi lived and died. There is a Bartholdi museum in Colmar but his most famous sculpture, "La liberté éclairant le monde" a.k.a. the Statue of Liberty, isn't on site.

I have a special affinity with Alsatian cuisine and wines. A flûte a dry Pinot Gris or Riesling goes so well with a meal of potatoes, smoked pork, sausage and braised cabbage.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 17, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Soundtrack to accompany the shrimp and grits. Thanks, jack!

Posted by: Yoki | July 17, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

SCC the Vosges, of dry Pinot Gris.

I love the dry Alsace wine unfortunately they are getting sweeter to match the taste of the more popular wines made on the other side of the Rhine with the same varietal grapes. Variety seems to become a crime.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 17, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

have fun at that nbph!

good morning, boodle. up early but not too early like yesterday. off to fetch some coffee.

Posted by: LALurker | July 17, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Awful about the woman killed when the concrete came loose. I blame building inspectors during its construction, or rather, the confluence of events involving crews who hurry, building inspectors overworked, and more water than recommended in the concrete when it was poured. It's also a good enough bet to make that some rebar was either missing or placed wrongly. I could write a book.

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 17, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Near our home is a new bridge that was built to alleviate traffic congestion on one of the main highways, with the new bridge complete the old one is being repaired/upgraded.

Yesterday I drove on the road that goes under the bridge, the old bridge in that area now has steel i-beams, reinforcing it and the old concrete has been chipped away exposing the old re-bar. It is a little unsettling to go under the bridge that looks at the moment like it could crumple at any time.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 17, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

I don't know the configuration of the concrete block but I've also seen 2 cases of problems with brackets retaining facia or structural part. A guy was killed by a piece of granit facia about 10 years ago in Ottawa: corroded brackets. The Olympic Stadium in Montreal lost a 55 tons piece of structure a few years back due to improper installation of brackets. In addition the brackets that were supposed to be Q&T were just plain hot-rolled and had started to sag seriously under the mass of the pre-stressed beam they were supposed to support.
Nobody got this one on the nogging though.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 17, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning, Boodle!

For your info, Brag relentlesly continues to watch the Boodle's six o'clock.

AFGHANISTAN is the sneakiest problem where major disaster awaits.

While researching latest developments there, ran into info over a documentary. Unfortunately the DVD is not available in Chile.

Aparently, THE FIXER is a hard hitting film about gathering news in Afghanistan and how a fixer who arranged meetings for a journalist ends up beheaded.

The film gathered a number of prizes at film festivals.

Posted by: Braguine | July 17, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I came for the headline and stayed for the story.

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 17, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning to the Boodle!

Just about to head out to pick up a prescription refill (for my hypothyroid meds) and then back to continue on the killer brief so I can finish it by COB today.

Shouting out to the SYTYCD fans within the Boodledom here -- as predicted, both Randi and Kupono went home last night. I wasn't surprised. But what did surprise me was that Ade was in the final 2. I think he's very good -- not quite so good as Brandon, but still ... I also think that Evan's cuteness is keeping him in, as the 13 & 14 year old fans are totally in love with him, you know. . .

Gotta go. I might pop in later.

Posted by: -ftb- | July 17, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Is there any other reason to go to DeSmet? The predicted weather there today is a high of 72 and a low of 45. It could be a little chilly at the the outdoor Wilder pageant.

I may have a tough sell getting the rest of the family to go. My son wouldn't even set foot in the American Girl store.

The Flop-Mop was methane powered IIRC. The smell-o-vision DVD special edition is quite collectible.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 17, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Okay, now I'm catching on. It's a dialogue, however rambling, graciously hosted by Achenblog.

I had to do some work (imagine!) so didn't stick around too much. This morning I'm enjoying all the comments now that I've been clued in. As far as gardening, I'm not sure that's what you might call what I do in the yard (which is as little as possible) although I do appreciate a good garden.

As far as my handle, I'd typed in about three permutations of my given name in the "sign-in" box, all which the Post rejected, so went with an oldie--glad it met with favor.

Will check back--off for a walk around the block.

Posted by: Letterpress | July 17, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I'm saddened by the news of death of the women due to the block of falling concrete. It's already been mentioned that there are many other instances of this kind of failure; I fear that many, many more such catastrophes will come. Our modern buildings and infrastructure weren't meant to last as long as we are forcing them to.

Posted by: Don_from_I270 | July 17, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Welcome, Letterpress. You'll find more than just dialog here. With very rare exception, you'll find a gracious, caring, community.

Posted by: Don_from_I270 | July 17, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

A gracious, caring community specializing in desultory dialogue! And alliteration, apparently.

Posted by: Yoki | July 17, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Indeed, yello. How could I have forgotten the episode where Mudgy-poo went Green?

Enjoy your day at the Maul of America.

That is a tragic story, sd. When I was young, my school took a field trip to Gettysburg and after a quick trip up the old observation tower, I was milling around the base when I heard a whistling/whooshing sound, getting louder. I looked up and saw the bottom of a soda can, heading my way. Before I could move (much less run like hell), it smacked the concrete about five feet away from me, dousing me with Orange Fanta. The can was flattened.

I still shudder when I think about it, considering f=ma for a 12oz can of soda falling 300+ feet. Even as dense as I am, that woulda hurt. As Maxwell Smart would say, "Missed it by *that* much."

Such is life.
Sometimes I wonder if the near misses aren't worse than not.

If you know what I mean.


PS I wasn't sorry to hear that the tower was demolished by the Feds some years back.

Posted by: -bc- | July 17, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Krauthammer's column today is startling -- it's reasonably good. Sure, he still takes his licks at Obama (for instance, Obama supposedly defining himself as "not George Bush" when it's more like Bush defining himself as "the opposite of a competent and involved President"). He manages to praise Kennedy for visionary thinking, while dumping on subsequent Presidents for not being so wonderful, pretty much indicating that who he really means is Obama. Of course, he manages to contort this, by implication, into implying that GWB was the next visionary who would have us look outward, while Obama and his self-focused ilk (that's us) would have us while away our lives by listening to our iPods and modifying our Facebook pages (even though there's so much Boodling to be done!). He conveniently overlooks the fact that it was his party's President (Nixon) who canceled the last 3 Apollo missions, and his party's President (Reagan) who committed us to the stupid space station. Still, not bad, overall:

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 17, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

A priceless trinket
crafted by a goldsmith who
mastered his letters

Posted by: DNA_Girl | July 17, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I see. It was Reagan's NASA and the cancellation of the Orbital Transfer Vehicle which was to work hand-in-hand with the Shuttle to provide routine lunar transfer.

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 17, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Letterpress. Perhaps the best way to think of the Boodle is the analogy we sometimes use: this is like a neighborhood corner bar, where most of the denizens (sorry, Shriek) generally know each other to some degree, know each other's names, foibles, personalities, quirks, occasional sore points, etc. "Strangers" are welcome to come in at any time, as in any bar or tavern; however, the same rules of decorum would apply here as in your local taproom. For instance, in Dallas, during football season, one wouldn't waltz into a local bar ans immediately start spouting violent anti-Cowboys opinions. Likewise, one wouldn't wonder into a bar in the Bronze and begin bad-mouthing Derek Jeter.

So yes, feel free to express your opinions as you wish; however, be advised that this particular neighborhood bar is full of somewhat like-minded people. You are more than welcome to join in; just don't start trashinging our favorite local icons and ideas.

We have been accused of being "clubby," which we are, since over time most of us know each other. Also, many of us "know" each other not only here in cyberspace and by our avatars and monikers, but also in actual person, and many of us have attended events with each other, of one kind or another. So, yes, we are clubby, but we don't apologize for it.

Simply as a matter of identity, it may help to know that we tend to skew older (probably unusual for the Internet), in the 50s to 60s age range, with a handful of 40s and younger, and that we also skew very decidedly liberal and or Democrat. This is decidedly NOT a good place to start trashing Obama, flaming commie/pinko liberals, Democrats in general, lefties, effing furriners (we got a handful of 'em here, and we likes 'em).

Yes indeedy, you will find a great deal of off-topic chatter, of all kinds, and much of it seemingly tedious or at least myterious to outsiders. We talk a lot about gardening, knitting, movies and music, TV stuff, and so on. I would guess about half of us are non-religious, and about half of us are religious to one degree or another. And although we oft times discuss religious stuff, we are pretty meticulous about observing respect and propriety regarding our religious discussions. We are intolerent of intolerance: no gay-bashing, no race bashing, no Archie Bunkerisms (unless ironic and intended for humor), etc. We will tease each other from time to time, as long as it is reasonably gentle and within parameters.

As CqP often points out, a large portion of what happens on the Boodle is a mass-created fantasy world: we have the Bunker, the Shop Steward's Office (and related appurtenances), the Ready Room and the Dawn Patrol, etc. We frequently "fax" phsyical and emotional items to each other through our own proprietary fax machines, chicken soup and hugs being the two most-often faxed items.

That being said, welcome aboard.

Curmudgeon, Shop Steward

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 17, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the "Mad Max" visual cootie, 'Mudge...


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 17, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

P.S. Letterpress, the bill for your annual dues is in the mail.

One assumes from your moniker that you have some affiliation with the small press industry? Perhaps a brief paragraph describing yourself might be in order? Gender, age, general part of the country, general occupation, marital and parental status, if any?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 17, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Oh, BTW, LP, it may also help you to know that Scotty is deputy shop steward, in case you need anything in my absence. He handles most of the registration of Boodle monikers, and becomes acting shop steward when I'm on vacation. He is not exactly fond of this chore, since one time when I was away the rest of the Boodle duct-taped him to his chair, including taping his arms down and covering most of his face, leaving two little holes for him to breath through. So you might want to be just a little bit careful about the Boodle: they *will* turn prankish on you without any warning.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 17, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

They DID leave the unibrow alone, 'Mudge, for which I am grateful.

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 17, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

True. I never said they lacked compassion.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 17, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

EYE had other plans for the duct tape, S'Nuke:

Posted by: DNA_Girl | July 17, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

But, speaking of intolerance, I think if I click on another WaPo page and get that damned Cisco woman twirling and singing "I will survive" I will strangle her, rendering her song prophetically inaccurate.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 17, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Safety first, DNA_Girl, always... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 17, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

yello-if De Smet is not on already on your life list of literary pilgrimages a stop would be wasted. Shame.

Another cold rainy day in our fair city. I best get moving-a day off from the summer youth program, but a full day of cleaning and company prep. Have exactly 2 blossoms on my pea plants but Ma Frostbitten has changed her funeral menu so I am much relieved. She had requested fresh peas but since we know her funeral, like all in the frostfam, will be on the 3rd Sat. in July (just don't know the year) I have been trying to figure out how to have my garden timed for reliable harvests. This was to be my first full practice season-but obviously have no peas yet. I was about to start looking at hoop house horticulture when she let me off the hook. Now I have at least a year to figure out if she really meant it, or if foregoing peas is just Minnesota nice (aka passive aggression).

seasea-lemon chess pie is in the same general family as lemon meringue but so much better it just has to be experienced. Tarter, more sophisticated texture, no sticky pointless topping.

Later boodle.

Letterpress-if you are of a more conservative persuasion don't let Mudge scare you off. Listening to the same old perspectives all the time wouldn't be good.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | July 17, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Dave Barry's tweet today: "I'll tell you exactly when it all started to go wrong: When they decided to put a sticker on EVERY FREAKING PIECE OF FRUIT."

Posted by: -TBG- | July 17, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

But, but...

How else shall we tell the Vidalia from the Spanish onions, TBG???

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 17, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Now this is just piling on...

Very appropriate, but still piling on.

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 17, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Letterpress... let me add that what I love about this place (I call it our "salon") is that we can disagree on things (and often do), but the discourse is lively, interesting, respectful and has actually led to changes in opinion around here.

Also... Mudge mentioned that we know each other in real life... that's because we met each other HERE, not vice versa. Some of my friends here have become incredibly important to me. We call each other "imaginary friends" but there's nothing imaginary about the genuine feelings we have for each other.

So.. welcome aboard!

Posted by: -TBG- | July 17, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

And what was that noise??;_ylt=AjRavqAztNFQv7MtWwhLs9JpaP0E

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 17, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

(*&^%$#@ brown shoe showoffs!! frightening the neighbors like that. Kids these days.....

Posted by: Don_from_I270 | July 17, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Laughing, Don. (Do we need to explain "brown shoes"...?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 17, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

letterpress, another metaphor used around here is the porch, as in the neighborhood hanging out on someone's front porch. if you're in the d.c. area, you might attend an actual "boodle porching hour" (bph for short). you will also see photographic evidence of one when scottynuke posts the photos.

which reminds me, any chance of photos of the northern (canadian) bph?

Posted by: LALurker | July 17, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

The "Free" section of Craigslist has a listing right now for an "HP all in one Printer and gold chandelier."

Now, that's one heck of a printer, but how do you reach it if it's hanging from the ceiling?

Posted by: -TBG- | July 17, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Jumper - Good turtle article. I just finished Neil Shubin's "Your Inner Fish", which is a great overview of the sorts of anatomical evolution discussed in the article.

Posted by: bobsewell | July 17, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I can't get Copernicium out of my mind (~ 12.30 am post)

Maybe because it's amazing to watch Sigurd Hofmann shrug off the chance to immortalize his name.

Hm. Same goes for Gutenberg. Or we might be welcoming gutenpress to the boodle.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | July 17, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. I hope you feel better today, Mudge. We lost power for a few hours last night too, the result of a surprise vicious thunderstorm which roared through town at rush hour. Very poky traffic afterwards. Fortunately our power returned during the evening, since of course without electricity we have no water. No fun.

Hey again, Letterpress. You've about got us, though as Don & Yoki say the Boodle is also a tangible and caring community. Don, by the way, hails from the DC area, as do many Boodlers, while Yoki is from Canada, along with quite a few others. This also makes her a Haute Mainer, or Canuckistani, sometimes.

I agree with Mudge about the corner bar theory but I don't think we're really quite that homogenous. Feel free to express a different view on any point. The big Boodle distinction from some other Internet communities is, as Mudge says, our combined intolerance for incivility, rudeness and personal attacks. Even on topics like gender relations, religion and politics we try hard to keep the conversation respectful.

Also, there's a lot of them sciencey pointy-heads. This makes for big fun for the rest of us.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 17, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

My goodness that is what a title for the race (2009 Chrysler Jeep Superstores APBA Detroit Gold Cup race)- did know they had military plane races, or that Jeep manufactured planes and sold them in superstores - are there bluelight specials?

Very confused.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 17, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

DNA_Girl - Well they did point out that elements aren't named after living people. Although I suppose if he really, really wanted it named after himself...

Posted by: bobsewell | July 17, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

...he would've named it after his grandfather?

Posted by: DNA_Girl | July 17, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Also, the Boodle likes to talk about itself this way. We like to analyze stuff, us included.

In other news, I am pleased to inform you that it is no longer over 100 degrees here. Today, and through the weekend, we expect temperatures no greater than the low '90s. Nobody is complaining much about the thunderstorm because it carried in a fine cold front. I'm sure you'll all be happy not to hear me complain about the heat the next few days.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 17, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

No elements named after living people? There's goes my shot at Curmudgium, an unstable heavy metal that is hydrophilic, glows in the dark, has an amorphous rather than crystaline structure, is highly soluble in alcohol, is intermittently magnetic and is attracted to cherry pie, Evangeline Lilly, Cape Cod, steak tartare and mystery novels.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 17, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget the blue bottom, Mudge. And the symbol would be BPh I guess.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 17, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

And Curmudgium is very very rare...

It's only found in Mianus.

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 17, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: -TBG- | July 17, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Element 108 hassium, is also getting into dangerous territory.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 17, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

*snort snort*

Curmudgium has an atomic number of 42, by the way. Unless you dial it all the way up to 11.

If you look for it on the periodic table, you won't find it easily. You have to turn the table over, and look on the underside, where it is attached with a piece of chewing gum.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 17, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse


Apollo landing sites imaged by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). You can see the LM and its shadow, plus some of the instruments outlying from the Apollo 14 site:

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 17, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I'm pretty sure that the Boodle already knows that "brown shoes" are Navy aviators. So called, because they wear those silly lookinig flight suits, aka "fag bags". Oh, yeah, and their distinctive footwear. Given half a chance, they'd commandeer -bc-'s strappy sandals for themselves.

Posted by: Don_from_I270 | July 17, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

And of course, if you properly process Curmudgium, you get a semi-solid...


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 17, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

And yet, Snuke, EYE think that properly processed Curmudgium could *only* be classified as a gas. . . .

Posted by: -ftb- | July 17, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

That's the by-product, ftb... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 17, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Apollo! Apollo! Apollo!

There will be a presentation on Sunday at the Air and Space Museum, featuring all three of the Apollo 11 astronauts. No, you can't get in. All theatre tickets have been given away. If you CAN get in, and have tickets, give them to me and let me go instead of you. Please?

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 17, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I need three tickets -- my Dad and step-mother want to go, too.

Pretty please?

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 17, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Mudgey-poo is the ore from which Curmudgium is assayed. (Assayed? Get it? Continuing the Mianus theme, see.) It is kind of what yellowcake is to uranium. So I guess it might be known as chocolatecake.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 17, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Of course, 'Mudge, of course... I was reading the silly chemical equation backwards.

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 17, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Don't know if this will help, Tim:

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 17, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

SciTim, I'm confused about the pictures you linked to in your 1:29 post. Are the round objects in the pictures craters or mounds? If they are mounds, then the sun is shineing from the right side of the surface, casting shadows to the left side. Yet, the shadow of the landing vehicle casts to the right.

If these are craters, then it all makes sense. The sun is on the left, catching the upper rim of the crater, leaving the rest in shadow. I just didn't think there were so many craters there. But, what do I know?

Posted by: Don_from_I270 | July 17, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

ftb, if Curmudgium is a gas, can it at least be a noble one?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 17, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

They are craters, the most common surface feature in the solar system. There are few mechanisms that create gently-sloping mounds, but many mechanisms that will knock a dent into a surface.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 17, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

So Tom Watson and a local guy (Steve Marino from Fairfax) lead the Open, and Tiger may not make the cut. Wow!

Posted by: bobsewell | July 17, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Tim, you think we have a better chance at tickets than you do? The best I can offer is a broadcast here at Seattle's Museum of Flight of a panel discussion on July 20, with Aldrin, Alan Bean, etc. It's at the Newseum - might be easier for DC locals to see that in person.

I would suggest C-SPAN for the presentation, although I don't see it listed on the schedule. Or youtube.

Posted by: seasea1 | July 17, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Silicone implants, for one.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 17, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Here's a blog post which lists a number of athletes born the same year as Tom Watson. None of them are currently tied for the lead for a major title!

Posted by: bobsewell | July 17, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Which is why some people debate whether golf is an actual sport. (Just kidding!)

Posted by: seasea1 | July 17, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

bob, nice to see Watson up on the leaderboard, with the weather conditions .today his years of experience must have been a great advantage.

On a sad note, received my new driver's licence in the mail, seriously does it need to be a close up, a close up, in tight, facial expression neutral black and white, might as well be a mug shot. To add insult to injury there is now so many enhanced features and information on the card that the print is so tiny in places that even with my reading glasses I cannot read the fine print - hope it is not important!

Posted by: dmd3 | July 17, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

By my count today only 5 (of 154)players shot rounds under par today at The Open Championship, a quick look at the scores reveals what must have been just brutal conditions - would normally have watched but been in and out all day.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 17, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm not actually much of a golf fan. But I can sure appreciate it when a grizzled old veteran of near-legendary status shares the lead with a virtual unknown, while many of the best-known golfers in the world struggle in their wake.

Posted by: bobsewell | July 17, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Bob, as I age those so called grizzled veterans become so much more meaningful, Calcavecchia (sp) is also up there at 49 considered old at three years my senior I am appreciating the "old" moniker given to him.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 17, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

SCC, not appreciating

Posted by: dmd3 | July 17, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, I will be tres busy on Monday and can't just blow off work to go to the Newseum. In a glaring injustice, the moderator of that program on Monday will be our Center's assistant director, who is 10 years younger than me and thus was born post-Apollo. She is, however, a planetary geologist and eminently qualified to handle the issue of the scientific significance of the samples returned by Apollo and how the sites were selected, etc.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 17, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Happy Friday everyone!

I'm taking a bit of comp time this humid afternoon to do some Home Improvement. I have decided to convert our underutilized shed into a sort of workshop. This way I can make my little wooden boxes without either inducing my wife to mutter at me because of the mahogany dusk, or my daughter to shriek at me because of the noise.

Of course, this workshop will, as is traditional, be broiling in the summer and freezing in the winter. But I am hopeful that through suffering I shall achieve Great Art.

Or at least avoid mutters and shrieks, which is almost as good.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 17, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Hi all,
I just got back from an two hour lunch with coworkers to give a nice send off to a former colleague. She was fired Wednesday afternoon (yes, after she had worked the whole day). All the employees, except for those who were directly involved in firing her and those too afraid of the big boss to cross him, were shocked by this as she was the hardest working person here. I won't go through all the details and office politics, but she had an argument with a new member of the management team and got offended by his rude behavior (including calling her "girl" and putting his hand in her face and saying he wasn't talking to her). No violence, no threats, no cursing. She just told him how rude he was being and that she would not put up with being treated that way. At our office (it's pretty small, under 20 people), there is a quarterly vote by the whole company for the employee who is setting the best example for everyone. The next vote is due Tuesday. At the lunch today, we all decided to vote for our now departed colleague (and we represented a clear majority of the office). Good idea, or are we spitting in the wind?

Posted by: Southwester | July 17, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I am much distressed by something I just now learned, and which I bring to the Boodle's attention, fully aware that some of you may have already heard about this (and have kept it from me, in kind consideration of my feelings upon the matter): it appears there is a new movie opening on Christmas, called "Sherlock Holmes, and starring...yes...Robert Downey Jr. as SH. Even worse, Jude Law as Watson. Even much, much worse, Rachel McAdams as...Irene Adler?????

Are they out of their cotton-pickin' minds????

Yes, apparently they are ("they" being director Guy Ritchie, who has apparently inhaled waaaay too many Madoona fumes).

Now, I *like* RD Jr. I like Jude Law OK, I guess. And I like Rachel McAdams, a delectable little morsel if ever there was one. But...Irene Adler? "The Woman" of Holmes' fame? The only woman ever to best him? The one who not only stole his heart but got away? Cunning, calculating ... Rachel McAdams?

Except for their common heroin addiction, I see no connection between RD Jr. and Holmes whatsoever.

This is appalling. Even worse...the trailer looks pretty good. (See Liz Kelly's Celebritology column, which has it.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 17, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

SCC: spitting into the wind.

Posted by: Southwester | July 17, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Cocaine, Mudge, it was cocaine Holmes was addicted to. Quite legal at them time, of course, he didn't even have to get a prescription, IIRC.

Posted by: slyness | July 17, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Cocaine, heroin, whatever. I was going for the hyperbole.

SW, go for it.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 17, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

SW, I would say go for it, if the vote is anonymous. Of course, it won't do any good. Seems like management types have lost their brains, along with their good manners. Which I'm starting to think is why the "recovery" ain't happening.

Posted by: seasea1 | July 17, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Note to self. Take camera to northern BPH.

Posted by: --dr-- | July 17, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Afternnon all
Finally some rain here in west by god,hoping it heads east.A steady gentle rain which was needed badly.

A few first's for me on this trip.

I was on the river fishing the other night and it got dark,but the ammount of fireflies was incredible.Something I didn't know,fish jump out of the water to snag any fireflies that swim to close to the water.

Another first,I was on a kids swing that's bolt pulled out of the wood and I went crashing to the ground.Talk about a shock,thankfully I was low in the swing when it went down,I only cut my pinky and my back is a little sore.Thank goodness I wasn't way up in the air.

I have had a couple of viewings of the house,but no offers so far.

Well back to the city and work.

Everyone have a Great weekend and enjoy the rain if ya get it.

I guess my rain dance finally worked!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 17, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

SW, assuming that this is a truly annonymous vote, by all means do it. I take it that the guy in question needs to be sent a message, but any individual messenger who confronts him will be shot on the spot, to use the metaphor. This is a good way to do that. It would be best if you get a really high percentage of folks who will indeed follow through with the plan. Hopefully, the big boss gets the message, as well.

Posted by: Don_from_I270 | July 17, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Indeed, Mudgekins (my own special name for you) -- you are the noblest of them all, the rarest of the rare. But, um, and correct me if I'm wrong, you science-types, does that necessarily mean that you're, well, um, er, . . . . *inert*?

We simply *can't* have that, can we???

@SW -- what idiots! If you are indeed the majority, I suggest going for it! See, this is also why I work for myself (mostly). I wonder if she might have a wrongful dismissal claim. And was the initially offending idiot the typical 12-year-old white guy? Rethug, maybe? (although, I must reluctantly admit that there are plenty of the same on the Democratic side, alas -- just, perhaps, not so many (I hope)).

The sky here is a mixture of yellow and gray (or is that grey?). Looks pretty bleak, I think. Hope the power stays on. I have too much work to do.

*reminder to self to save that file!!!*

Posted by: -ftb- | July 17, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

If you asked my wife, ftb, she'd probably say I'm about as inert as one can get. It is something I usually strive for, at least on weekends. I seldom attain it...but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, right?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 17, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Even inert gas is spectacular at fusion.

Okay RD Padouk, you have referenced these little boxes often enough: we need photos. I am interested. Begging will commence, followed by tears, prostration, etc.

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 17, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Oh dear. Don't work yourself up too much, Jumper, or you'll need a prostrate exam. You don't want that.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 17, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

BBC bio of Holmes says he injected cocaine, also took morphine, and smoked opium. Why is Jude Law Watson? He would have been a good fit for Holmes, I think.

SW, I would say it depends on what you hope to accomplish. In the circumstances it may be taken as merely indicating you all liked her. If you're actually trying to get her reinstated, have the new member disciplined or otherwise send a clear message that most people think the firing was outrageous, you have to do it in the open.

Posted by: engelmann | July 17, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I appreciate the support everybody. The vote is anonymous, but I believe the main reason is that management wants to rig it. The last vote was won by the new production manager, but at least 50% of the votes were cast for the guy who had been here for years and was passed over for the job.

Partly why I pose the question is that I'll be giving my notice next week. I expect to get official confirmation of my new job Monday (we're moving back to Chicago!), so I don't have anything to lose and it was my idea. I don't see how they could penalize everybody, or even just one individual for showing loyalty to a friend.

@ftb: she is considering a lawsuit. I don't think it's a good idea, though. The president of the company is a very litigious guy.

Posted by: Southwester | July 17, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

@engelmann: I don't know if there's a clear goal, other than to send the message that we all think she was the best employee at the company and we all think if anyone had to get fired it should have been the new guy. Also, it would be clear that the vote was a coordinated effort, since they prepare ballots off nominations and we'll all have to write her in. The votes are counted during the meeting and the announcement is made at the end of the meeting, so the managers will discover this situation and scramble to deal with it at the same time, probably right in front everyone. I figure it's worth the show.

Posted by: Southwester | July 17, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Two thoughts, SW.

First, if you're quitting anyway, you'd be the ideal person to launch a petition drive to get her reinstated, and also possibly ask mgmt. to sanction the bad guy, and/or express a vote of "no confidence" in him. (If you weren't leaving, this could still be done, but you'd have to direct the petition drive anonymously, which I could tell you how to do.) So, it's a question of how much you want to do and how to get it done.

Second, if she's thinking about a lawsuit, that still might be worthwhile despite your boss being litigious himself. She seems to have plausible grounds, and that being so, she could file suit merely in hopes of a modest out-of-court settlement. In other words, your company's lawyers might offer her $50,000 or whatever just to make the case go away, avoiding the embarrassment, etc. $50k is better than nothing. The better her case, the higher the "pay-to-make-it-go-away" fee will be.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 17, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

SW, hope you get your confirmation soon, I love Chicago.

Must say felt icky reading how the boss called the woman 'girl' and touched her face - so inappropriate in my view - not sure how I would react in that situation.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 17, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

*faxin' Southwester some green magic markers and green armbands for the meeting* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 17, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

That does sound like a good show, Southwester. It sounds like your managers don't quite understand the concepts of "best employee" or boosting morale.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 17, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I don't think anyone is looking to try and force them to reinstate her. She wouldn't want to anyway (her husband has been urging her to quit for years, but she didn't out of loyalty to her coworkers; he wants her to start working for his company). Outside of me, everybody needs his or her job and even though we don't like the new manager who had the fight with her, we don't really want to see anybody get fired in this economy.

There are a lot more details and office politics involved (we think certain people in the office didn't like her assertiveness and were looking for an excuse to fire her), but I think the main motivation is send the message that they can't expect the employees to feel loyal to the company and put in overtime and come in on weekends if they're going to keep playing games like this.

@Mudge: I'll tell her what you said about the lawsuit. She has lawyer friends in her church who'll consult her for free, and your argument makes a lot of sense.

@dmd: He didn't actually touch her face. He just held his hand about two inches from her face and petulantly said "I'm not talking to YOU" after she answered a question he asked someone else, a question she had been asked and answered 15 minutes before.

Posted by: Southwester | July 17, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

@S'nuke: maybe I should hide some speakers in the conference room and have the International start playing during the meeting.

Posted by: Southwester | July 17, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

@Southwester: Not "la Marsailles?" Or whatever it was they sang in "Casablanca?" :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 17, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Ducking out early. Everybody have a good weekend.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 17, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

And in the Daily Illogic Dept.:

Yesterday -- 90-some-odd degrees, sunny, no train delays

Today -- 75-80 degrees, rain all afternoon, heat restrictions on the trains.

*gently slamming head against desk, since I don't want to break the desk* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 17, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

@S'Nuke: They were French, though. It's gotta be an anthem of workers' solidarity.

Posted by: Southwester | July 17, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

She should contact an EEOC rep, SWer. Not sure who you work for but it seems pretty clear that she's got a serious EEO complaint. Companies take that pretty seriously, litigious boss or not.

Good luck with the new job! I sure hope we can get you to a DC BPH before you go back to the Windy City.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 17, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

In this economy, the employers hold all the cards. Unfortunately.

Posted by: seasea1 | July 17, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

sw, sounds like a good show, especially if it's low risk. messages need to be sent at any rate, and after you give notice, you'll be in a better position, as mudge said, to send a more public message and take the fall if there are any repercussions for your rigged vote.

i'll be heading up to the bay area for a couple of days. have a most excellent weekend, y'all!

Posted by: LALurker | July 17, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

@TBG: I was just going to say ... assuming all goes as expected I'll be leaving August 15th. I'd love to kick it BPH style with you guys before the move. While I've only been Boodling a few weeks, I lurked on and off since the Rough Draft days. I sure would like to meet you guys.

Posted by: Southwester | July 17, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Also... I vote for voting for the fired woman. Yay SWer and coworkers!

Posted by: -TBG- | July 17, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

@TBG: I don't really know anything about employment law, but it probably wouldn't hurt the case that my friend is black and everyone in management is white.

Posted by: Southwester | July 17, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

We should have all been singing La Marseillaise 3 days ago ScottyN. Off with their heads, darn aristocrats. Le Peuple vaincra.

I'm off to my OLDER sister 50th birthday's bash tomorrow. She's a full 13 months older than me so I'm not there yet. My father and mother won't be there, my father having been out of the hospital only yesterday, but that should be fun anyway.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 17, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

@shriek: Fifty's the new thirty, yo.

Posted by: Southwester | July 17, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

This is great news! Now there is a chance of a midwest BPH, in a great city. Thanks for moving, Southwester.

dr, please do bring your camera. I forgot mine!

Posted by: Yoki | July 17, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Okay, Southwester, this lawyer doesn't do employment law but I'll admit I'm beginning to drool.

Y'all have fun. I'm off to the gym for the 4th day in a row. I am wholly unjustifiably proud of this.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 17, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Jean-Pierre is in the Midwest too.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 17, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

@Yoki: If it's a Chicago BPH, we gotta go to Giordano's (the best pizza in Chicago, if not the world, IMO).

Posted by: Southwester | July 17, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm having tortilla chips with mango peach salsa. Anybody want some? Mr seasea bought a pint of this salsa when he saw someone at the grocery store loading up on it, then didn't like it himself. It's surprisingly good, but a lot for me to use up. (Disclaimer - my favorite pizza is Hawaiian.)

Posted by: seasea1 | July 17, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

@Southwester: say the word.

Posted by: Yoki | July 17, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

It's in the bag, Yoki.

Note to self. Remember Bag.

Posted by: --dr-- | July 17, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Dang! S'wester, why did you have to mention Giordano's? Now I'm jonesing. And 12 hours away from Chicago. Next thing you know, I'll be dreaming of Al's Italian Beef!!!

Posted by: rickoshea0 | July 17, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I'm drooling, too, Ivansmom. Oh, wait -- I'm hungry for dinner. Never mind. . .

@SW-er. Geez, it's like you just got here, and now you're moving. Just keep boodling, though, because we need your presence, wherever you might be. I do like Chicago, as I'm a big fan of art deco. But, well, being from Detroit, there's this visceral thing about our respective sports teams. You know how it is. . . .

My colleague (and dear friend) in Oklahoma City is -- YES HE IS -- going to join us here on the boodle. I've been after him for quite some time, and finally broke that bronco. That doesn't sound right. But anyway, I tried to tell him that his handle should be "Okie-Dokie" but he passed. Ah, well.

Ivansmom, he said he can spit almost as far from his office to yours (when you're not working at home).

Gotta go see what's left in the fridge or freezer. Farmers market tomorrow, with an extended look at what might be available at Whole Foods. Then get the hair done in the afternoon and start on the dinner for the second dinner party -- two weekends in a row -- this is gonna be it for the year, I suspect, with the *expletive* prospective surgery and all. Hope someone will cook for me for a change while I'm recovering.

Have a great weekend, everyone! May pass by this boodle zone now and again during it.

Posted by: -ftb- | July 17, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, nobody ever said Irene Adler wasn't an eyeful.

Haven't seen McAdams act, but I admit she'll have to do a really good job to overcome that ingenue look.

By the way, Curmudgeium cannot be element 42.

That's already Element Mo.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 17, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Ah, that explains the BPH business. I lived in DC for one year, while my husband (a UC professor, who is a dept. chair over here and watching his back while he helps figure out who should be fired, courtesy of the California legislature) worked at Dept of State. See? That proves it--we actually lived and worked there, otherwise we'd say, State Department like the rest of the world.

I LOVED DC, and miss it a lot, but sabbaticals do end.

I don't know if I can keep up with all of you, but my sketch would have to include: adjunct professor at a local community college (that's another reason why I voted for Obama--because of Jill Biden's job), hit my speed limit birthday (55), four children, 8 grandchildren, I trend politically moderate, am religious but not pious, run 8 blogs (it's a sickness--here's my travel blog for you armchair travelers:, love my camera way too much, and am on the other side of the country. Yes, I live in Southern California and did stream the MJackson extravaganza (thinking it a piece of American kitsch not to be missed), but am far enough out that even Los Angelenos won't visit us without considerable grousing. That's okay, I hardly visit them either. It's the traffic, you know.

I plant a vegetable garden once a year, do yard work year round (which does slow down when it's a bazillion degress outside, like now), and pick fresh lemons off the tree when I need one.

You seem to have a great community here. I may have to assemble a scorecard to keep you all straight, but hope to make some salient remarks here and there.

Thanks for the great welcome.

Posted by: Letterpress | July 17, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

So the new manager guy asked me if I could go over this project with him before I left. I usually leave around 5 on Fridays (they let me have a pretty flexible schedule; they're not total monsters), but I said OK, thinking it would take five or ten minutes. It takes an hour, most of which is a review of a meeting we had on the same project this morning, and I spent the entire time silently brainstorming for an insulting nickname to leave him before I depart (I actually have a talent for this, though I usually use it for evil, I'm sorry to say). I settled on Cap'n. In and of itself, it's not insulting, but everyone who has the sense not to spill the beans to anyone who'd care will know that Cap'n stands for Captain ... well I won't say, other than that it's something no one would want to command. He might even grow to like it.

I just want to say thanks to everybody for indulging me in my ranting and plotting today. I already knew I was headed out the door when my friend stopped by my desk, visibly upset, and said "See ya, later. They just fired me" leaving me slackjawed for five minutes straight, but it was totally the nail in the coffin. After the lunch today I really wanted to talk to someone, but I didn't think it was prudent to talk to anyone on the phone and the Boodle was such an inviting and responsive forum. I'm so glad I stepped out of the shadows to join. And, yes, I certainly do intend to stick with the Boodle after the move.

Posted by: Southwester | July 17, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Boodle Mojo saves the day again!

Posted by: -TBG- | July 17, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Please accept my apologies, Curmudgeon.

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 17, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Okay, folks, what's the URL for Mo's Boodle definitions? I know I should have it saved, but I don't. It will help Southwester and Letterpress.

Now I *do* have the URL for the pictures of the First Annual International BPH last October.

Posted by: slyness | July 17, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Mo's definitions

Posted by: nellie4 | July 17, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Hi Al, Been really busy 'grounds keeping' at the in the 90 plus weather and running back and forth to Grants Pass to follow up in my needle aponeurotomy surgery. Pleased to report the repair of the dupuytrens contracture to my left ring finger was 100% successful. Got the cast off the fourth day and was just down to a band-aid in seven, yesterday. Really nice to be able to wash my hand again.
Note grounds keeper duties including cleaning seventeen toilets, seven sinks and five urinals plus hauling two to five pickup loads of trash and garbage to to the top of the hill and hoisting dem bags up over the five foot edge of a twelve yard dumpster. Pretty good for a 72er. The dock wasn't too pleased that I didn't take a few days off. What will all that bad bacteria around.

Posted by: bh72 | July 17, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

What do two Canucks do when they meet in space - HUG!

Posted by: dmd3 | July 17, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Somehow I missed the news that Paul McCartney was on the Letterman show last night. Here's a link:
Not sure why Letterman stuck with the Beatles stuff...

And this is a link to Paul and his band performing (haven't watched it all yet):

Posted by: seasea1 | July 17, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Nellie! I knew somebody would have it.

Posted by: slyness | July 17, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Methinks I smell a Not-Really-A-Farewell BPH around Aug. 4 or 5... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 17, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Welcome letterpress! We are always glad to expand the boodle!

Jumper - I certainly have a few pics sitting around, but have to figure out how to get them posted.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 17, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

I have very, very sad news. Walter Cronkite has died, at 92.

There are no words.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | July 17, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Walter is gone. He truly stood alone.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 17, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

*hand on heart* for Walter Cronkite. He was a newsmans newsman, and perhaps the last one (or maybe the *only* one) who was trustworthy. At least we were around to have him in our lives. He will be remembered as one of the greats.

Posted by: -ftb- | July 17, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Just back from the Northern BPH. It was *awesome.* We even had the proper accoutrements; engelmann brought a BPH sticker and dr had knitting and Canadian Tire money. One of the two brought a table flag. Isn't that fantastic.

Those of you who have met her know that dr is a gem, and engelmann is just as quick and funny in person as is writing, though perhaps warmer than his writing would have you know.

EYE had a great time. dr has a few pictures. She remembered both the camera and the bag.

Posted by: Yoki | July 17, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

In my salad days we rented a house for two weeks every summer on Martha's Vineyard, sharing a lawn and a dock with Walter Cronkite and his family. He was a lovely man, very cordial but a little aloof, which was okay with us. After all, a celebrity like him had to be careful. We never really got to know him or his wife Besty, but his mother and cook and I got along very well. They would often store party food in our refrigerator for special events. And every evening at 6 pm, he would shoot off a small cannon on the lawn to announce the beginning of cocktail hour. It always surprised me.

Both my children learned to walk at that house. It holds special memories.

RIP Walter.

Posted by: rickoshea0 | July 17, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Sad news on Cronkite -- and right on the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11, one of the stories he most cherished. I'm not sure if there's ever been anyone in the broadcasting business who seemed more trustworthy. Maybe some of it was his style, just the voice, the calm demeanor. Certainly some of it was the era -- today, in more polarized times, I bet he would be considered too much of a centrist.

When he said Vietnam was a quagmire in 1968 it turned the tide on that war more than any of the protests or casualty figures.

It's late here in Rome -- almost 3 in the morning -- but we'll spend a while pondering how much we appreciate the life of Walter Cronkite.

Posted by: joelache | July 17, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

My oh my oh my...

Let's hope Walter gets the credit and memorials he deserves.


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 17, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Cronkite was the voice of Apollo for me. The Kennedy Assassination, his indictment of the Vietnam War, and his other iconic moments all occurred before I was aware of him as anything more that that voice that my father listened to after dinner. A voice that we on the playground enjoyed mimicking because it was so easy to do. A distinctive voice that seemed genetically ordained to instill trust. Perhaps the last voice that everyone was willing to listen to.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 17, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Hey (thanks to pj for the heads up), Bob Wright's on Moyers on WETA *right now.*

And he's wearing a suit!

More on Cronkite and Apollo 11 later.


Posted by: -bc- | July 17, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

I grew up watching Walter Cronkite. Was there any other news show? I wasn't aware. The ritual at my house was supper in front of the TV with the local CBS affiliate and then Walter.

My dad the retired reporter came and got me out of school on the afternoon of November 22, 1963 so I could come home and watch Walter. For any major event, we were glued to CBS News. He was the standard, the giant, against whom everyone else will always be judged.

Posted by: slyness | July 17, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

I do not have any specific memories of Walter Cronkite, but had great admiration for his work. Makes me wish for the days when people would watch the news to hear the important events of the day - not for the infotainment.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 17, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

"The basic illusion that natural selection builds into us is that we're special."

This is good stuff.


Posted by: -bc- | July 17, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

No other newsman was even considered in my childhood home. Here is Walter Cronkite on escalation in Viet Nam '68.

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 17, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 17, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Maggie, those are great memories. Cronkite seemed so genuine to me. I didn't think it was right when he was forced to retire. Lots of prerecorded tributes, I suppose because his health had been failing. Wonder if Joel got woken up in the middle of the night for the news?

Yoki, thanks for the BPH report. Bet you all had a time.

Posted by: seasea1 | July 17, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Golly. What a lot of news in a few hours. Congratulations to the North Boodle BPH. Engelmann had a BPH Sticker??? Wow. That's a prepared tasty treat. So to speak.
I look forward to pictures.

Glad for the information, Letterpress, thanks for sharing. At least two regular Boodlers are out LA way, and there's a few to your north as well. Ivansdad and I lived in Santa Barbara for a while and used to drive down to LA for food and theater. We decided the best time to go to Disneyland is Super Bowl Sunday, when everyone else is watching the game.

Hey Southwester. Back in the dark ages when I was a public defender there was a DA we used to call Captain Justice. Unlike the other DAs, he was too thickheaded to know it wasn't a compliment.

And finally, Uncle Walter is dead. I remember when Reagan was shot - and I didn't even like Reagan - the sense of complete reassurance I had when they dragged out Uncle Walter to tell us it was alright. He was, as others have better said, the voice of trust. Do you think we'll ever trust a media presence like that again? [current blog writer excepted, of course]

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 17, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

I, too, wonder what's cycled with the Universe that Unka Walter's gone to the Big Newsroom in the Sky as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11.

He was the go-to guy in the House of c for those Apollo broadcasts back in the day; his passion and care for the stories of the space program manifested itself in many ways. When Unka Walter took his glasses off on camera during those unbelieveably tense moments during the Apollo 11 and 13 missions, with that barely audible warble that crept into his voice when he tried to hold back emotions; it was almost enough to make me weep.

Stoic and calm, reasonable and trustworthy, proud of his country at its best, and facing facts when it was at its worst.

We loved that man.

Something tells me he'll be having a drink and a toast with Jules Bergman somewhere, somewhen this weekend as they celebrate the 40th anniversary of Armstrong and Aldrin's Grand Day Out.


Posted by: -bc- | July 17, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Meant to add - I'm glad to have Letterpress and SWester aboard.

And I'm glad to hear that everyone enjoyed the Northern BPH.


Posted by: -bc- | July 17, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

NASA has issued a press release on the occasion of Cronkite's passing, commemorating his role as the man who really brought home to Americans the historic and extraordinary nature of the accomplishments of the space program, and especially Apollo 11.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 17, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

And Neil Armstrong just issued a NASA press release of his own.

Cronkite was perhaps the second most important non-NASA person after Kennedy in rallying the American public behind the space program. His death hits NASA pretty hard.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 18, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Oh my, such sad news. Walter Cronkite was the original voice. Even now, thinking of all those liftoffs, splash downs, and everything in between, he is the voice in my head. Fare thee well, sir and we thank you.

Yes we have BPH photos! It was a lovely time, but way too short.

Posted by: --dr-- | July 18, 2009 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning
Awesome pictures dr, and I may say you folks look like a Motley Crue. and the nature photos are awesome too.

Now if one of us Mericans ventured up north of the border,that would be an international BPH eh?

I remember when Neil was about to step on the moon and the whole world was watching,my old neighbor was banging her pots and pans to get her cats home.That is my vivid memory of "one small step for man,one giant leap for mankind"

Awesome pics!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 18, 2009 6:39 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all.

Not enough can be said about the trust that Walter Cronkite and some of his peers, like Huntley and Brinkley had of my generation and my parents. It seems like more and more the news turns to memories of honest men like him and to our icons of my young adulthood JFK, King and RFK and the early space program, I remember them all, tho sometimes not so well, still wistfully and perhaps too grandly, but I don't think so.

Casandra, I hope you can do your walking and your exercises and stay well.

Welcome to our porch, Southwester and Letter press. Pull up a rocker, sit a spell.

Loved the pictures, you all; will be going on a little one week cruise to Canada in September, leaving from NYC, will end up in Nova Scotia, then turn around and come back. :-)

Scotty, what is the occasion for the Aug. 4-5 bph?

Posted by: VintageLady | July 18, 2009 7:14 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. It rained all night and still does. *sigh* My sister's shingdingwill be a wet one.

Good pics from the west.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 18, 2009 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Too much to backboodle all at once.

if you are ever going to De Smet, South Dakota, you must do it on one of the weekends of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant.

Today's itinerary includes the Corn Palace and Wall Drugs.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 18, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all, and happy weekend. Mr. T is on a run to Lowe's aready, I didn't get up in time to go with him.

Today is the birthday of my brother's twins. They are nine, amazing how the time has flown since they were adopted in Russia in 2003. Both are accomplished swimmers, my niece especially, so they are having their birthday party with friends next weekend as the all-stars swim meet is this weekend.

Life has had some difficult moments for them both but they are great and resiliant kids. With great support from my brother and sister-in-law, they are getting past emotional problems and dyslexia.

After Mr. T mows the lawn, we'll leave to drive to see and spend the afternoon with them. My sister-in-law's parents, whom I adore, are visitng and I look forward to seeing them too. (TBG, they both were born in Greece, were displaced by WWII, met in Australia, lived in Canada and South Dakota, and retired to Florida.)

Posted by: slyness | July 18, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

As our paper points out this morning, Cronkite dropped out of UT Austin after two years, because an instructor told him he'd never make it in radio.

Posted by: laloomis | July 18, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Great photos dr, the Canadian Tire money was a nice touch (Engelmann?).

Cool morning here I am going to try and get some work done as hot, humid weather moving in for the week.

Have a great day all

Posted by: dmd3 | July 18, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

I was surfing around the internet and found the link to this blogger over at The Daily Dish. Absurdly, I only discovered her as she posted her final entry. Yet what an entry it is.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 18, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Just picked our second huge Goliath tomato. Got six or eight Early Girls over the past week or two.

Today in Nautical and Aviation History

July 18, 1792: John Paul Jones, one of the greatest heroes in American naval history, dies in Paris, France, just 12 days short of his 45th birthday, of bronchial pneumonia, and jaundice and nephritis from kidney failure. He is buried in an obscure French cemetery, and his grave site becomes “lost” until President Teddy Roosevelt resurrects Jones’ reputation and fame, and has his body returned to the United States for reburial at the Naval Academy in Annapolis 114 years later.
1942: Messerschmitt test pilot Fritz Wendel makes the first test flight of the world’s first operational jet aircraft, the ME-262, which sets a new world’s speed record of 539 m.p.h. in its initial 12-minute flight. The plane takes two more years of work before entering combat, too late in the war to make any difference.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | July 18, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

From the CBC archives - a 1966 interview with Cronkite, a little long but interesting.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 18, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for that Obsidian Wings link, RD.

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 18, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Wow! No comments since 11:16 am. Is this a record? Or am I doing something wrong?

It's the most beautiful day here, and I am spending the day on the screened porch reading The Air We Breathe by Andrea Barrett. It's very good and beautifully written, but I don't know what it's about yet, and I'm on page 55. I refuse to read the back cover because they all say too much.

Life is good.

Posted by: rickoshea0 | July 18, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I think it's a sign of summer - and that's ok, good that we're not tied to the computer. Having another beautiful, dry day here. Watered the pots, battled the bamboo. Have some nice tomatoes on the vine, hope they turn red by September. Have a few gold zucchini fruits - keeping my eye on them so they don't get too big. The peppers in the greenhouse are fabulous - had one the other day in a salad. And the morning glories are a delight - the ones I kept in the greenhouse until last week are blooming every day - Heavenly Blue and Grandpa Ott.

Posted by: seasea1 | July 18, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, Boodle.

A good busy day, and I'm heading down into Baltimore to visit with friends and enjoy a little Cake.


Posted by: -bc- | July 18, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Beautiful day here as well, forcast rains have not materialized and we have a nice partly cloudy breezy day, temps just in the low 70's but I am enjoying it.

Trimmed some tree branches in my front garden and in the neighbours backyard where I am helping them with a garden.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 18, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

In other sad news the World's oldest man has passed, a WWI vet, you have to love someone who credits longevity to cigarettes, booze and wild women.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 18, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Gone swimmin'.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | July 18, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Hi, guys,

I'm mainly caught up backboodling, way too much to comment on, but I wish the best for everyone!

It's a gorgeous day here. Spent some time with the dogz in the backyard before coming into w3rk, brushing them out, running around. Life is good, to echo ro'shea.

Posted by: -dbG- | July 18, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

We're eatin' good here at the G house. We put a pork shoulder in the crock pot this morning and doused it with a bottle of Stubb's BBQ sauce.

Put it between some soft rolls and added some home made coleslaw and enjoyed a great pulled-pork sandwich for "linner." Or was it "dunch"... not quite sure. Either way it was delicious.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 18, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Question for statisticians: how often does the world's oldest person die? This seems a difficult question even before a drink.

Weather is quite good here in Carolina. Even the mosquitos outside have abated to about one per cubic meter.

I have bright yellow tomatoes alongside my Better Boys this year. I think they are called "Better Yellows" and not "Yellow Boy" but I could be mistaken. I am having a hard time telling when they are ripe! But it's discernible.

On a hunch I had late last night, I awoke today and made an 8 x 8 sudoku. Jigsaw style. Oh, heck, read all about it:

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 18, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'm not certain, but I would argue at least that there is a near-100% probability that it will happen.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 18, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

A geek-errific discussion of the role of the science advisor on Battlestar Galactica:

You may be amused if you read all the way down to the questions from the audience near the bottom.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 18, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Ya think Tim? I think in an all-other-things-being-equal kind of way, yeah. But that's taking into consideration only the risk factor of health, no? But taking in other numbers like randomness of death, risks other than condition of health, etc., and then tossing in the size of the prospectful pool of next-to-be-dead people, the gyrations of getting to that number will be such that you'll need a serious pointy-headed actuary to come up with it, but I'm guessing it's going to be lower than sounds right. (like steer into the skid...doesn't sound right, but it is.)

Posted by: LostInThought | July 18, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Joel writes again! A review of ROCKET MEN: The Epic Story Of the First Men On the Moon by Craig Nelson.

The boss is being more productive on vacation in Italy than I ever was at work.

From the reviews: "Our society, he argues, does not adequately appreciate the technological feats that make our culture possible..."

My first job out of college was to assess the mess created by a "technological feat" that was on hold at the time. The Cross-Florida Barge Canal was finally killed off because the "summit reach", the section of canal crossing Florida's backbone, would have to work on ground water of the Floridan Aquifer. That water's too valuable to float boats, possibly get polluted by fuel spills and such, and to expend on operating locks. Unfortunately, the Ocklawaha River remains dammed, blocking spawning runs of fish and preventing restoration of a wondrous floodplain forest.

I got to see several magnificent Apollo launches, but I'm part of a post-Apollo generation that reacted to damage caused by grand civil engineering projects, runamuck chemical companies, the energy industries, and efforts to destroy Vietnam with fire and herbicides.

Mess-making is still underway. In the 1970s, coal mines snaked around the perimeters of mountains; today, entire mountaintops are removed. Back then, no one thought something like the Great Barrier Reef, protected by an enlightened and wealthy nation, would be in danger of dying. No one realized Miami will be flooded out before the locals figure out what to do about it. It's just as well that the useful lives of basketball palaces and baseball fields are shrinking. The new Marlins Stadium will be able to live out its full life span. I don't know about the Frank Gehry-designed complex for the New World Symphony in Miami Beach. Maybe the auditorium could be reassembled in Indiantown, like the Egyptian temple at the Met.

Back to space, the earth-monitoring instrumentation now in orbit is astonishing, even if budgets have been far too tight.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | July 18, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

LiT... I'm chuckling here because I'm picturing you asking your Dear Child to come up with the statistic--and after squinching up her adorable face, she'll come up with the correct answer.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 18, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Jumper - the smartypants answer to the question "How often does the world's oldest person die?" would be "once." But I know what you mean.

I consulted my in-house statistician who informed me, as she often does, that she isn't sure if one can even ask this question. I pointed out that her assertion was invalidated by the fact that I was, in fact, asking it. Then she said something rather unladylike. Even for a mathematician.

But I digress.

The reason why this is a difficult question is that you are dealing with two complicated quantities. The first is the number of individuals in the very extreme tail of the age distribution. The second is the life expectancy of those very aged individuals.

These are complicated because they don't lend themselves to nice statistical models like the "normal" or "Bell Curve" distributions. Instead, because there are so few samples to work with, and the underlying mechanisms so erratic, they are modeled by something called the Poisson Distribution. Under such a distribution the uncertainty associated with statistical quantities is much larger than with the bell curve.

Which is a long-winded cop-out way of saying that while you can come up with a mean time between when one oldest person dies and the next oldest person dies, this value has very little predictive value.

That said, there have been calculations done that deal with this: (Warning. This contains gratuitous mathematics.)

Note that buried in these exchanges is an actual number of about a "year and five months," which seems reasonable.

But the point is, this value doesn't allow you to reliably predict anything except a likely range. When the next oldest person dies, the interval until the next one dies could be something like six months, or something like two years, or anything in between with almost equal probability.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 18, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

TBG, she'd follow it up with "duh Mom!" and the eye-roll/sigh combo signifying she can't believe her own mother can be so dense.

Posted by: LostInThought | July 18, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Why ScienceTim, you show up in the most amazing places.

Its hot here today. As cold as it was a week ago, it is hot. The air is very still and dry. It feels like it is sucking the moisture out of every living thing. My poor tomatoes don't know what to do. Last week they were turning yellow because they were drowing in wet cold, and now they are frying in hot dry.

I hold out little hope. On the upside, my peas look good.

Posted by: --dr-- | July 18, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

I was, quite unwillingly, forced to abandon our province's capital well before my pleasure. Having a nightmarish neighbour in the lodging-house (can it be necessary to make and receive no fewer than 19 telephone calls between 00:30 and 04:00 ?? Unless you are, like, the Prime Minister of a small but strategically-important island nation under security threat or the last Stasi undercover agent seeking asylum? He, on the other hand, was begging his lady-love's forgiveness for some transgression and doing it so loudly and with such shocking self-display [and, frankly, had that flood of self-justification and -pity come my way, all intercourse would have been terminated before the first conversation was tolerated for more than 5 breaths]) and, finding the weather uncharacteristically hot and not to my taste, hastened my departure.

I have taken refuge on Himself's modest but welcoming hearth, and when I next unclose my eyes, shall make for my personal desmaine.

I have been reading Bronte when not drawn unwillingly into the singular fascination of strangers' entanglements.

But you knew that.

Posted by: Yoki | July 18, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

'all intercourse would have been terminated before the first conversation'

Is that the def of a quicky?

Posted by: bh72 | July 18, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Yoki, how wonderful that you had Himself's hearth to retreat to!

We had a pleasant day with the family. The twins enjoyed their birthday cakes and tried to be patient in opening their presents. They appeared to be pleased with what they got. We ate barbeque for lunch and had supper at a cafe with good food and quick service, what's not to love? And we are safely home again. We will sleep well.

Good night, boodle.

Posted by: slyness | July 18, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

She's speaking Brontean, bh.

She'll do that, from time to time.

Feel free to ask for translation into 21st century Canucki, if you need it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | July 18, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, Ivansdad is playing Shaw the next fortnight - Misalliance - and could perchance match you phrase for phrase. We considered going to the show tonight but as it happens expect a large thunderstorm within the next half hour; just as well we stayed at home. I only hope we don't lose power this time, since the grandparents are here. With a tiny snack-like dog thing. Or perhaps it is a very alert short-tailed rat. I'm not sure.

At any rate I will be off-Boodle, just in case, but I leave you with this excellent and simple recipe I made for dessert - upside-down cobblers. I halved the recipe, for 12. 2 cups of self-rising flour and two cups of sugar, whisked with 2 sticks of melted butter and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. [If you don't have self-rising flour, which I didn't, add 1 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt for every cup of flour.] Drop by 1/4 cupfuls into greased muffing tins. Sprinkle fruit (I used blueberries) on top. Bake at 350 for 30 to 45 minutes, depending on your oven, until golden brown and edges are crispy. Invert onto tray. Fruit will stick to bottom, scoop it out and on top of cobbler. Sprinkle sugar on top. Excellent with vanilla ice cream. Makes 24. This courtesy of The Pioneer Woman (, who has some great recipes.

Astonishing clouds out there. Time to go.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 18, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Had a fine time at the Baltimore Artscape fesitival/whatever it was, and had a rather amusing moment while groovin' to Cake (Free Cake! What's not to like?) - the band launches into a tune, and the younger folks (college age) near me ask each other, "What's song is *that*?"

I look over and say "I know,"
"What is it?" they ask.

"That," I say with a chuckle, "is a cover of Black Sabbath's 'War Pigs.'" Not typically a danceable number or one accompanied by a trumpet, but the arrangement worked for me.


Posted by: -bc- | July 18, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Re. the Oldest Person question: I'm not sure I'd approach the queston with the exact same assumptions, but overall, I can't argue with the conclusion.

But don't ask me to check the math - if I have to count over 20 that typically requires that I disrobe.


Posted by: -bc- | July 18, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Oh, bc. So frenvious. Might use a small slice of Cake.

Posted by: Yoki | July 18, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

My reductio ad absurdum tells me it's not once a second nor as long as once a decade on average. (I wrote that several hours ago and forgot to hit "submit")

Nice research, RD! Shortly into the page you referenced, a writer restated my proposition as 'how often we should expect the record for Oldest Person in the World to change hands', and by expect of course I meant an average. I think at some point it helps to know the average age of "oldest people in the world" titleholders. Then, look up that death rate actuarially. (dadgum I overheat my spellchecker)

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 18, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Ya, eh? Brutal! So, it went like that. I was there, and there was this guy, right? And he was like really loud. Like, brutally loud. So I was all, like, dude! eh?

Then I was p1ssed. So I was all, don't! eh?

But he did. Brutal, eh?

And then, I was just ticked! Like, really ticked! But it didn't matter.

And so I was all, like, group together kids! And don't scatter. And I want no survivors.

But it didn't make no difference. And that was brutal, eh?

Posted by: Yoki | July 18, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

It's a little known fact, bc, but long ago that is how the legal drinking age was arrived at.

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 18, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh, that was wicked good, eh?

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 18, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

SCC: The horrific sentence construction employed in my 10:54 comment.

Jumper, I had no idea that the drinking age was established through clothing removal. Cheers!


Posted by: -bc- | July 18, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Even now, the ScienceSpouse and ScienceKids (and friends) are at Otakon in Baltimore. Every few minutes, the ScienceSpouse's phone gets a button jabbed and it calls me, but she doesn't know it. I can hear her talking to others in a crowded room. I try hanging up and calling back, but she doesn't notice the ring. Oy. Meanwhile, I am using my alone-time to reconfigure the closet and bedroom of Sciencekid#2 who is, like, a pig. Somewhat ironic in a Jewish household. Shelves, braces, new closet pole. What fun!

Any Boodlers who are attending Otakon, please go talk to the ScienceSpouse, in the LARP, and ask her to take better care of her danged phone.

Next step: the closet of ScienceKid#1.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 18, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Tim, you crack me up. I finally got the hang of a cell phone (there is a funny story when Mr seasea and I were out of town, separated by the continent, and neither one of us had figured out our cell phone voice mails). I frequently hit my car keys so the panic mode is set off (horn beeping, lights flashing).

A slice of Cake:

Posted by: seasea1 | July 19, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Slices of Cake are available on YouTube and iTunes - no need to wait.

Was having a conversation with a friend earlier this evening about being the oldest person in the world - and neither of us see ourselves as being that person.


Posted by: -bc- | July 19, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

HeHe, SciTim I receive those pocket phone calls from dmdspouse all the time, often from hockey arenas where I can hear him shouting instructions to the girls - if I can't be at the games in person at least I can hear them.

After all these years you would think that my repeated shouts of his name are meaningless but still I try, only once did he clue in but thought I hqd initiated the call.

Off to sleep after a party in the neighbourhood, parents of my childrens friends - much fun was had - too many Corono.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 19, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

SCC I should mention that dmdspouse coaches and does not randomly shout out instructions for no reason.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 19, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

I assumed it was the typical effort of a parent to remote-control the kids on the field. But, sure, you can call it "coaching" if that makes you happy.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 19, 2009 1:49 AM | Report abuse

New kit!

Posted by: slyness | July 19, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

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