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Guest Kit: Happy Caprotinia

By W.C. Swanson (aka Curmudgeon)

'Morning, Boodle. Getting hotter and hotter here in D.C.

For those of us who happen to be traveling in Italy (you know who you are), it's worth mentioning that today is Caprotinia, aka the feasts of Juno Caprotina, which is an ancient Roman festival celebrating, well, female slaves. The legend isn't quite clear, but it appears there was a large assembly going on when a big storm blew into town and everyone fled. After the storm cleared, Romulus, the founder of Rome, was missing. So the female slaves celebrated, I guess.

Maybe it loses something in translation, I dunno. Joel, stay out of Rome today.

You will, however, be quite pleased with today's first item in...

Today in George-Washington-Type-as-Well-as-Bodice-Ripper History: July 9, 2009

1755: Some 1,300 British troops and colonial militiamen under Gen. Edward Braddock suffer a devastating defeat by French and Native American forces near Fort Duquesne (now, basically, Pittsburgh, Pa.). Known as the Battle of Monongahela, it is practically a Who's Who of great Americans. After Braddock was wounded, 23-year-old volunteer George Washington, having no authority to do so, took over command and managed to extricate the column from the battle. Among the other survivors were the great pioneer Daniel Boone, Daniel Morgan (perhaps the finest fighting tactician of the Revolutionary War), Charles Scott (later GW's intelligence chief and governor of Kentucky), Thomas Gage (later GW's opponent in the Siege of Boston), and William Crawford, a fellow surveyor who crossed the Delaware with GW and was captured and burned at the stake by Indians near the end of the Revolutionary War.

1793: Upper Canada bans slavery, the first part of the British Empire to do so, and the importation of slaves into Lower Canada is prohibited. Nevertheless some slaves remained until 1834, when the entire British Empire banned the practice.

1868: The 14th Amendment is ratified, giving African Americans full citizenship and extending due process of law to everyone in the United States.

1918: The deadliest train wreck in U.S. history occurs in Nashville, Tenn., when an inbound local train collides with an outbound express, killing 101 and injuring 171.

Happy Birthday:

1901: Dame Barbara Cartland (d. 2000), who in her 98 years managed to turn out a staggering 723 bodice-rippers, selling more than a billion copies (that's "billion" with a "b").

1928: Vince Edwards (d. 1996). "Man. Woman. Birth. Death. Infinity." So began the opening of "Ben Casey," the first great "realistic" hour-long medical drama, the granddaddy of ER and all that followed. The stone-faced Edwards, never a serious threat for an Emmy or an Oscar, was also a director, doing a number of episodes of "Battlestar Galactica." Which might explain the Cylons.


2002: Rod Steiger (b. 1925), one of the greatest American actors of his era.

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 9, 2009; 7:30 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Guest Kit: Today in Mounties History
Next: Michelangelo: Renaissance Man?


The Romans had all the cool holidays like Saturnalia and Lupercalia.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 9, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Not to mention her connection to Lady Di. No wonder the poor child saw herself as a figure of romance.

Posted by: Yoki | July 9, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Braddock Heights...

Braddock Road...

Braddock curry?


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 9, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. Today's leg of the Tour de France starts in Girona, Spain and ends in Barcelona, Spain. Seriously.
So we may call it the Tour of Catalonia today.
I now have serious Costa Brava envy.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 9, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Just a note the Upper Canada act did not free those already serving as slaves, that had to wait until 1833.

I also question the term 'haven' for slaves, even after slavery was abolished, racisim, inequality existed.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 9, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Dame Barbara was Princess Di's stepmother, right?

If we are also discussing roads and Revolutionary history, I must note that Charlotte's main north-south artery is named for William Tryon, who was the next-to-last royal governor of the colony of North Carolina. He left NC to be governor of New York during the Revolution. Amazing how the name has endured over two centuries.

Posted by: slyness | July 9, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Step-grandmother, I think, slyness.

Posted by: Yoki | July 9, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

The US Constitution set a sunset clause on the importation of slaves that went into effect in 1808. So while Canada beat the US to banning the importation, the founding fathers anticipated the action.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 9, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

I wanna do a major shout-out thank you to Joel's blog editor, Marisa, and her team, for putting those hot links in my guest kit, above. Those weren't my links, but they're quite good. So thanks, Marisa. The train crash was especially good, I thought.

The Wikipedia entry on Cartland also includes some stuff about her great friendship (with, perhaps, a few winks and nudges) with Lord Louis Mountbatten, who happens to be a great hero of mine. I thought about mentioning this, but decided against it because it would take too long to explain who Mountbatten was, and why he's one of my heroes. But he was. Anyway, the item belonged to Cartland, not Louis. But one day he'll get a write-up, too.

What is Braddock curry?

While we're talking about missing keyboard characters, there's an up carat (^), a left carat (). So where's the down carat?

(N.B., the carat is also spelled caret, and is also sometimes known as the circumflex accent.)

Trivia contest: (I didn't know some of this stuff until two minutes ago)

(1) What's the name of the backward capital P symbol that indicates a new paragraph (and in Word shows hidden typography stuff)?

(2) There are four different kinds of brackets on a keyboard. What are they and what (if any) is their proper nested sequence? (TBG will know this one.)

(3) What are these two symbols called? | ¦

(4) Betcha never heard of this one: ؟ (Me, neither.) So what is it?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 9, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Darn. The left and right carats showed up in the Preview pane, but disappered in the post above. Dunno why.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 9, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Number 4 is obviously a confused question mark.

Good morning Al.

Posted by: --dr-- | July 9, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everyone. Thanks so much for the good wishes and pointers to pain relievement, or whatever one might call it/them. And thanks to you, Maggie, for the email which TBG sent over to me about your Johns Hopkins orthopod who did your knees.

Actually, I like my orthopod a lot and I know he reconstructed an earlier knee replacement on the husband of a good friend of mine whose said earlier knee replacement (done at Johns Hopkins, I might add) was really messed up. My guy was miraculous at saving my friend's husband's knee. Gonna stay with him. But he doesn't do backs, so I'm checking with others and I think I've got a good one to go to. Unfortunately, I can't quite afford it right now -- the back needs help first, and I'm going to have to wait for either Obama's new health plan or Medicare, whichever comes first.

As for the arthritis, understand that -- counterintuitively -- I have no (*no*) pain from it. I take no antiinflammatories and don't need them. The back twinges now and again, but not enough to keep me from generally going through the day. It's just misaligned and causes my thighs to go numb when I stand or walk for, say, more than 5 minutes or so.

I suppose that in some ways I'm lucky. But in anticipation of surgery -- *major* surgery and several of them -- I admit that I'm scared s**tless.

As for SYTYCD, I don't think the judges like Evan very much (he's the cute Broadway dancer who has been dancing with Randi, who the judges love). I think he's good, but, of course, Brandon is the one who is the clear leader of the boys, and with good reason. Wonder who's gonna go home tonight, though.

Posted by: -ftb- | July 9, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

( ) [ ] { } are the four. I confess, not entirely sure about the sequence.

Posted by: Yoki | July 9, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, I assume your fourth pair were the left and right carats, which didn't print. And yes, that's the proper nested sequence: parens, brackets, braces {the squiggly ones} and carats. Though anybody who writes a sentences with more than two nested pairs needs to be shot.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 9, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

ftb, I was a big Evan fan early on, but I'm beginning to think that all of his dances look the same. It's going to be interesting (if he stays) to see who they partner him with. I'm pretty sure everyone except Randi is taller than he.

OTOH, I wasn't a big fan of Janette at first, but it seems like whatever dance they throw at her, she knocks it out of the park.

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

morning, boodle.

are these <> brackets, too?

ftb, sorry to hear about your medical issues. i really hope they get health care reform right this time around.

mudge, great guest kits!

Posted by: LALurker | July 9, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

oops, too slow in the morning.

time for coffee!

Posted by: LALurker | July 9, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

The "alpha" NukeFeline is a very strange creature. Yesterday she was hiding in the spare room with her sister while all the sawing and hammering and drilling was underway. Today, she's sitting next to us totally unfazed by it all. Not even a twitch when a circular saw fires up right outside the window...

Sorry, 'Mudge, I was attempting a Python reference with the curry.


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 9, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

1) Pilcrow
2) ([{}])
3) Vertical line, broken bar
4) Irony mark


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

Correct, DLD. The vertical line and broken line are also called a "pipe" and a "broken pipe." Also verti-bar, vbar, stick, vertical slash, think colon, or divider line.

(Just what I needed: a thinking colon. Insert Mianus joke here.)

The irony mark, believe it or not, is also called a snark or a zing. (In French: point d’ironie.)

According to Wiki: "This mark ؟ was proposed by the French poet Alcanter de Brahm (alias Marcel Bernhardt) at the end of the 19th century. It was in turn taken by Hervé Bazin in his book Plumons l’Oiseau (1966), in which the author proposes several other innovative punctuation marks, such as the doubt point, certitude point, acclamation point, authority point, indignation point, and love point.

"Its form is essentially the same as the late medieval [nonprinting mark], a percontation point (punctus percontativus), which was used to mark rhetorical questions.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 9, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Yep, the html parser ate my angle brackets also. That or I can't count to four.

If one goes to Wikipedia and enters Pilcrow, you will also see a gaggle of other usual and unusual characters and punctuation.


Posted by: DLDx | July 9, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Now there was a smooth-talking pragmatist who knew how to implement an exit strategy.
Also quite a dish. Friendship with him would have been "great" indeed.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | July 9, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

One of my favorites is the interrobang. ‽


Posted by: DLDx | July 9, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Oooooooooo, DNA_Girl is crushin' my hero!

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 9, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Mountbatten was definitely an interesting character, as was his wife. I remember reading a memoir about him written by his valet, and the valet was in awe of him as much as the rest of us. Sad that he died the victim of a terrorist attack.

Posted by: slyness | July 9, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Um, isn't Romulus on the other side of the Neutral Zone?

Granted, that does not mean that much these days - North Korea's on the other side of the DMZ, and that Ill-led government's still a pain in the @ss, too. [Anyone else notice the Innertubes being slow again today?]

I wonder if they're going to be cited by the EPA for dumping junk into the Pacific when they shot their 4th of July fireworks off. They should at least get a ticket from the local constabulary.


Posted by: -bc- | July 9, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of crushin', Roger Cohen's man crush on Federer continues:

Posted by: DNA_Girl | July 9, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

bc, heard on the radio this morning there was another massive cyber attack under way. The same suspects, too. S. Korea is getting hit bad.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 9, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Mountbatten the Butcher of Dieppe?
Not the most popular Royal in Canada when he was alive. But that doesn't excuse the cowards who murdered him.

The good news bc is that the Dear Leader seems seriously sick. Mind you, the favourite son may be as nuts as his father and grand father were.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 9, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Bazin's concept of using punctuation to denote the connotation of the sentence seems to have been superseded by the emoticon. 8-)

- greater than sign
=/= - not equal sign
<> - HTML tag (if you want one to show in editors that parse html, it's helpful to know '< ;' and '< ;' (without the quote marks or the space between the number and the semi-colon))
| - pipe (my keyboard shows a broken one, but it prints as a solid one)
I tend to use the term brackets and braces interchangeably.
[] - braces
{} - brackets
~ - tilde
` - back accent?

I just nest parentheses four or five deep like I used to in BASIC coding.

The interobang is still frequently seen in comics either at the end of sentence or as a stand-alone thought bubble to indicate astonished puzzlement.

And smart quotes seem to be the bane of Liz Kelly in the Weingarten chat since they don't translate through her chat word processing engine.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 9, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Ha! The translator still parsed the greater than and less than. Let's try again:

& # 6 0 ; (without spaces) = <
& # 6 2 ; (without spaces) = >

I also find these useful:

& # 1 7 4 ; = ®
& # 8 4 8 2 ; = ™

Posted by: yellojkt | July 9, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning
Wasn't Braddock buried in the middle of the road so his grave wouldn't be found?

Who is the same suspect in the cyber attack?I thought it was North Korea,is that what they are thinking too?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 9, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse


Any discussion of Romulus gets spoilerific real quick if-ay ou-yay ow-knay at-whay -I-ay ean-may.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 9, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Remember when there was no numeral 1 on the keyboard and we had to use the lower-case L as a 1?

The ¢ is easy on a Mac: Option-4. In fact, the Option key is pretty handy...


I won't even go into Shift-Option.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 9, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

¡ʇı dılɟ oʇ ʇǝƃɹoɟ ʇ,uop puɐ

Posted by: -TBG- | July 9, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

So (without looking it up) how did the terms 'upper case' and 'lower case' come to be used for characters?


Posted by: DLDx | July 9, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to assume it's where the letters were stored, DLD.

Hey.. i have a question for Slyness... Dr G and I realized the other day we have no idea what the "hook" is/does in a hook and ladder. Can you fill us in?

Posted by: -TBG- | July 9, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Show-off... *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 9, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I mean... I could look it up, but it's so much more fun to ask for Boodle Wisdom.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 9, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Yes, N. Korea.

Yes, Braddock was indeed buried in the middle of a road, and then they rolled wagons over the site to disguise everything. The purpose was to prevent the enemy from descrating his body (scalping, etc.). The chaplain had been wounded in the fighting, so Washington himself presided at the funeral.

In 1804, a roadbuilding crew discovered the garve, dug up Braddock and re-buried him. His regiment, the famed Coldstream Guards, built a big monument over his new grave, the plot of which is considred to be British territory. Photo of the monument here:

So yes, there are not one but two corners of foreign fields that are forever England: one in Flanders, and one in Pittsburgh.

It seems pretty apparent that Braddock and Washington were very found and respectful of each other. Just before he died, Braddock gave GW his ceremonial sash, which GW reported never went anywhere without, even during his presidency.

Also, during the enquiry into whose fault the disaster was, a lot of the heat fell on Braddock. But GW, in particular defended Braddock's decisions and behavior, and said the fault laid with many of the regular British troops.

The dispute generally seems to center around the business about British troops standing in ranks and firing that way, versus the "American/Colonial" way of fighting individually, hiding behind trees, etc., rather than in ranks. The convential wisdom for years was that fighting in ranks was a bad idea, and this was reinforced by the British disasterous retreat from Lexington and Concord.

However, some recent scholarship now suggests that the British practice of fighting in ranks really *was* the proper form of defense at the Battle of Monongahela and elsewhere.

I have not seen it discussed anywhere, but consider the following idea: GW was at Monongahela, and observed the tactics first-hand. Given the opportunity to testify, he defended those tactics. Later, as commander of the Continental Army, he generally continued to espouse those very same tactics, when he every opportunity to abandon them if he wished. Yet he never did. And by and large, the entire Revolutionary War was fought with both sides using the same general tactical system.

Even the Continentals best tactician, Dan Morgan, fought and won Cowpens using conventional formations and the famous pincer attack used by Alexander at Hyaspades River and Hannibal at Cannae.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 9, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Hey all,

1. Great guest kits (and linked on the home page [I wonder if that's a first {recalling the summer of guest kits} for the Boodle?]!)

2. Montana was good. They apparently had a wet spring and everything is surprisingly green.

3. Frenvy on Joel's Italian adventure.

4. Good wishes to ftb.

Posted by: engelmann | July 9, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Woke up this morning feeling like I'd been hit in the back of the head with a baseball bat. In this extreme heat, it's easy to slip into being a house hermit, which mean (too) many hours spent reading. Eye strain or neck strain, no doubt, or possibly coming down with a summer cold.

So these links are placeholders for the story about Kirby Siber. The first is a link to the latest news story about sentencing, in Billings, Montana, of a for-profit dinosaur hunter who removed bones from private land.

This second link is a press release, in German. Perhaps only Snuke and I can read it. Siber, in 1992, set up a small dinosaur museum in a former textile factory in Aathal, Switzerland, near Zurich, extremely close to the German border. I've seen the name of the town as Frick, since Aathal, when translated, means Aa Valley. Very recently, there has been a dinosaur find very close to this area. Siber is a bona fide paleontologist, but his Swiss outfit is one of the largest commercial fossil enterprises in Europe.

What's interesting about the release, a purely promotional write-up about the conference, is that Brent Breithaupt, who was let go as curator of the Geology Museum on the University of Wyoming, Laramie campus while in Switzerland, attended, along with 17 other scientists. What's very strange about the release is that the 18 prominent guests aren't named, and the highly unusual crop of the photo shows only 11 of them. Note that conference attendees was served specially created dinosaur partybread.

If I'm feeling better tomorrow, I hope to backfill on the story of Siber, since the time he spent during 1989-1991 and later into the 1990s in Shell, Wyoming are important.

Posted by: laloomis | July 9, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

We passed Fort Necessity on a G family road trip and stopped in for the tour. It was fascinating--and interesting to discover that GW probably should have died there. Talk about alternate history.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 9, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

*waving hand in air* I know the answer to the hook-and-ladder question, but I'll defer to Her Slyness.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 9, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Gotta do a conference call, will answer when done...

Posted by: slyness | July 9, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Yep, that's it TBG. When typesetters were men instead of machines, individual characters cast from lead were stored in two large wooden cases. Each case had wide flat drawers divided into sections that held the sorted characters. The smaller upper case held the capitol letters and probably the punctuation and numbers. The large lower case held the uh, lower case letters. Why two cases? My guess is the characters, made of lead, were quite heavy when cumulatively stored in the cases. Having two heavy cases was easier to move than one VERY heavy case. Either that or they esthetically preferred the look of the smaller case on top of the larger case.

Mudge, what did Gutenberg have to say about this? Also meant to say I've enjoyed your kits the last few days.


Posted by: DLDx | July 9, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Here's the link to the 2007 dinosaur find in Switzerland.

Not so different from the work of von Huene in Trossingen, Germany (Schwabian region--since Nestle was mentioned recently) about a 100 years ago:

Europe's premier vertebrate paleontologist at that time was Friedrich Freiherr von Huene...Huene was a nobleman-with the time and means to pursue a university education. At the University of Tübingen, he began his long career with a study of the Triassic dinosaurs of Germany. When workers found dinosaur bones at Trossingen, Huene investigated. The excavations uncovered an enormous bed of Plateosaurus bones. This animal lived during the Late Triassic.

Posted by: laloomis | July 9, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

The festival of Juno Caprotina was on the 'nones' (i.e. the seventh of July) ...

Posted by: rogueclassicist | July 9, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Hook and ladder truck is an obsolete term, but it refers to a piece of fire apparatus that carried extendable ladders, to reach high places, and poles with hooks on them, used to grapple.

Nowadays, ladder companies fall into two categories, straight sticks and articulating booms. Straight sticks are extendable pneumatic-powered ladders mounted on truck chassis; articulating booms are lifts mounted on truck chassis with platforms on the end.

Hooks evolved into pike poles, which are used to pull sheetrock and other surfaces to expose fire underneath.

I hope this isn't TMI.

Posted by: slyness | July 9, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Slyness... just perfect! That's what we were thinking, but we laughed when we realized neither of us had ever really wondered before.

Don't you have the strangest conversations when you've been married 26 years?

Posted by: -TBG- | July 9, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

String theory is finally undergoing hypothesis testing:

Personally, I prefer testing string cheese.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 9, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

One hour. Does that mean it's summertime? Or are people actually working?

Posted by: -TBG- | July 9, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm still drinking coffee...then out to the yard to water. We haven't had any rainfall to speak of for about a month and a half. I'm pretending I'm in Italy!

Posted by: seasea1 | July 9, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

@TBG: Yes, to both. But I also just took my lunch hour to buy Mrs SW a really super present for lucky anniversary number 7 on Monday.

Posted by: Southwester | July 9, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Can you tell us about it Southwester, or is Mrs SW a sometime lurker here?

Posted by: Raysmom | July 9, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

By the way, isn't the Caprotinia a favorite cocktail of curmudgeon?

Posted by: nellie4 | July 9, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I am sitting in the Calgary airport, having decided late last night to take a spur-of-the-moment trip to Vancouver to visit friends. I won't be online much until Sunday evening. This is a good thing :-)

Hope everybody has a great end-of and weekend.

Posted by: Yoki | July 9, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

There are apparently U.S. cyber-war games going on. Whether this is a coincidence with the supposed N.Korean shenanigans or whether that is merely the cover story is unclear.

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 9, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

@Raysmom: No, she doesn't lurk, but I can't say 'til Monday. Every present I've ever gotten her she either guessed ahead of time or worked me over until I spilled the beans. This time I am determined to keep it secret. She's been trying to guess for a week straight (or to trick me into giving her a hint), so it's entirely possible she'd search the boodle for a clue.

Posted by: Southwester | July 9, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Howdy and a big bouquet to Mudge for the fine guest kits.

Or perhaps he'd prefer a capybara, the US version of the Latin (caprotinia) version of the Brazilican Portuguese cocktail of which he's fond.

Mudge, I would certainly shoot anyone who wrote a sentence with as many as two nested pairs. Or pears. Of course, I've been editing student work lately. My constant refrain: more sentences, fewer commas, less passive voice.

I think carat is also spelled "carrot".

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 9, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, that reference to N. Korea in my 10:27 was simply my stream of conssciousness/train of thought - Romulus-Neutral Zone-DMZ-N.Korea/KJIll-Cyber@ttacks-missile launches.

I've been aware of the DOS attacks since the weekend. They look to be large scale but not terribly sophisticated IMO.


Posted by: -bc- | July 9, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure yello and omni are always on the lookout for a nice nested pair.


Posted by: -bc- | July 9, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

They are bird watchers too?

Harper is late for the picture, again. At least this time he left his safari vest at home.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 9, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

If you don't get all your pairs nested right, you get some nasty runtime errors. That's if you can compile at all.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 9, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

| is a pipe to people who speak unix, where program1 | program2 tells the OS to take the output from program1 and send it to the input port of program2. The process is called a pipe or piping. I think vertical bar is better because it's more general.


Posted by: Jim19 | July 9, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Here's a place I found with all the scientific posters that teach.

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 9, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

DLD, old Johann (Gutenberg) and I had many a go-round in our time, let me say, tho' never too much about uppercase and lowercase.

The practice of using two cases even pre-dates me, believe it or not, and existed long before JG and the use of movable type. What JG and I usually bickered about was the common practice in Deutchland of capitalizing all nouns, no matter what, whereas I, with my general English orientation, just capitalized proper names and places, abbreviations, I and O, etc.

It was actually the Belgians who started putting the two cases into two separate boxes (the punctuations go with the lowercase, BTW, not the uppercase).

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 9, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon: I've been away for a few days and fell behind in my lurking. I just wanted to say you've been doing an excellent job as guest Kit Producer.

And sending electronic calla lilies to the loved ones of Rod Steiger...


Posted by: jp1954 | July 9, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Electronic calla lilies? Like a violin with a pick up? Cool.

More zinnia petals layering themselves into a mop top: hot magenta, regal lavendar, green-with-envy lime. And, I think I can solve the North American Pollinator Problem (NAPP). Plant Agastache -- hyssop. My small plant outside the windo is covered in bees: honey, bumble, carpenter, mason.....

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | July 9, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Agastache does very well here as well CqP, we have some in most of the flower beds. And the bees and butterflies love it of course.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 9, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

CqP, you and zinnas. What more could we ask?

Front page alert. Good job, mudge!

Posted by: -dbG- | July 9, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

And the Boodle is resting
Fish are jumping
And the zinnias are high
Your daddy's rich
And Joel is good looking
So hush, little Boodle,
Don't you cry

One of these mornings
You're going to rise up singing
Then you'll spread your wings
And you'll take to the sky

But till that morning
There's a'nothing can harm you
With daddy and mamma standing by

(a thousand apologies)

Posted by: seasea1 | July 9, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Brava, seasea, brava!

Posted by: slyness | July 9, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Since the boodle is snoozing I will share some pictures of my snapdragons. Mudge I know how you adore these plants :-). The plants seem to be doing particularly well this year, perhaps they like all the warm but not hot days we have been having.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 9, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Love your yard, dmd, you're doing great things with it!

We had some rain this afternoon (yay!) so I stood on the front porch and threw out handsful of fertilizer on the gumpo azaleas that need it. I gave them some after they attempted to bloom, but not enough.

Posted by: slyness | July 9, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Today's City Paper front reminds me why America is a great country, and Marion Barry is a... well, he's something!

And yes, that's exactly what the front page said. Tasteless, but hilarious.

Posted by: bobsewell | July 9, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Just to be clear - I don't find the header, or the story, to be hilarious. Pretty sad, actually. I find the fact that the Washington City Paper chose that quote to print in hugeface on their front page to be pretty amusing, though.

Posted by: bobsewell | July 9, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Hey... who's up for a BPH on Monday night?

Posted by: -TBG- | July 9, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Will Marion Barry be there? Man, that guy definitely still likes a good party!

Posted by: bobsewell | July 9, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

I *do* like snapdragons, dmd. Any plant that's a sneaky meat-eater is aces in my book.

I meant to ask earlier: Yoki and slyness, do i deduce you are both Princess Di fans?

Sen. Ensign's family (not the senator himself, mind) gave his mistress $96,000, which his lawyers say was all perfectly legal.

One supposes one could fairly easily pro-rate episode...that Ensign had, and establish a price-per-flagwaving. We know that Eliot Spitzer was paying about four to five grand per rendezvous with what's-her-name. I suspect Ensign may have set the bar pretty high.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | July 9, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Well, not so much a Di fan as having a life-long interest in the Royal Family. This dates from seeing The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in Vernon, British Columbia, in July 1959. The Queen was wearing a little white hat and long white gloves. I was six, and it was 96 degrees that day. How the Mounties survived in their full dress uniforms I'll never know.

Posted by: slyness | July 9, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Apparently Marion Barry didn't get his money's worth.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 9, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Hello boodle! Just catching up before SYTYCD.

CBS says Burris will announce he won't run to keep Obama's senate seat

Posted by: frostbitten1 | July 9, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

In keeping with the gardening theme, my dog was barking like crazy and scatching out the front window, after thinking he was acting more peculiar than normal, this is what I saw when I look out the window.

I have met my garden enemy and they are soooo adorable, must keep reminding myself they ate my lillies.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 9, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: -TBG- | July 9, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the Boodle can help me with this poser: long ago I saw a movie that appeared to be in some ways a satire of North By Northwest. It starred someone much like Cary Grant or Gregory Peck. It is NOT Charade nor Mirage.

There is a long sequence where mysterious people are trying to kill him.

At the end of the film, a plane is strafing him and he says "What, me worry?"

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 9, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Those are mighty cute bunnies. Don't tell Farmer MacGregor where they are.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 9, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Baby bunnies are cute,but I caught something today that I thought was cute too.

well maybe not as cute as bunnies,but to me and fishing on the river,catching an eel is like hitting the lottery.I also hooked 2 catfish,some bass and plenty of little turds.

I went for an extended paddle on the river today,about 12 miles i guess,it was a blast.I got stuck in the rapids about a half dozen times ,but only once did i have to get out of the boat and drag it.But paddling, swimming and fishing sure was fun.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 9, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

I'll bet you'll sleep well tonight, too, GWE! That does sound like fun.

Posted by: slyness | July 9, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to bet it was Arabesque (the movie.) I will have to rent it. Still curious if anyone knows if the Alfred E. Neuman line was in it.

Every time I have eaten eel it has been right tasty, better than I initially thought. How about that one, GWE?

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 9, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Looks a little like the slug/bug that was on the plant in my last picture, my younger daughter noticed it and sure enough when I zoomed in there it was, my plant is not being attacked by two vermin!

Sounds like a great day GWE, I will sleep well tonight as well spent the after noon battling with juniper removal, I am scraped and poked everywhere from the knees down and elbows down, not pretty and quite sore. Add to that coming down with a cold/allergies or possible Strep throat what my husband was just diagnosed with.

Even sore though I spent the day gardening and I love it.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 9, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, could you have misremembered what you thought you remembered? I see that this line is in "Arabesque" --

David Pollock: Ask me later alligator.

Posted by: nellie4 | July 9, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

I am a little sore, but well worth it.I didn't keep the eel,just tried to get it's picture and tossed him back. They are some slimy devils and always put up a great fight.I guess it was 3-4 foot long and at first I thought I had caught a snake.From what I understand is they bite more often at night.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 9, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Misremembering is ALWAYS a possibility, unfortunately. But somehow I think I got it right... just can't find it.

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

Oh my. dmd you need a dose of VLP. He is the lagomorph scourge. He is also the flower border scourge as well.
GWE, eels are fun to fish but hell to catch. The slimy things will foul all your gear. But heck do they fight. I caught a 12 pounder way back when, probably the strongest fish I ever caught. Slime everywhere in my gear. Not a very good eat either.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 9, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

And in the "awwww" category - Happy Birthday, Tai Shan!
I have some bamboo I'd like to turn him loose on. Our neighbor is complaining that it's shooting in her yard...which gives Mr seasea the impetus to rip it out. I like bamboo a lot, but it is getting a bit out of hand. It's a clumping type bamboo, not supposed to run, but I think since we're not watering it or encouraging it, it's actually causing it to leap out in search of better conditions. I read that today on the Internet, but I had my suspicions.

dmd, those bunnies are so cute. What did they decimate?

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

Bunnies, earlier in the year ate my Stargazer lillies, tulips, Heuchera blooms, berginia blooms, some of the mums and assorted plants in my containers.

dmddog has already 'feasted' on one bunny litter this year - these bunnies are afraid of very little -- I chase the mom out of the garden often. Since the dog is usually in the pool area those gardens are safe.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 9, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

TBG, I'm up for a Monday Night BPH! (Tempting to add a "You betcha!" there, but didn't really want to go there.)

Not a huge fan of Eel myself though I do like the band Eels, and not just because Mark Everett is the son of Hugh Everett, who developed the Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.[Something I Guest Kitted about last year...]

Having said that, I do like Uni (sort of sea urchin Rocky Mountain oysters, I guess)... I think I've eaten eel, but it was not memorable (good *or* bad).


Posted by: -bc- | July 9, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Long day. It started off innocently enough, salvaging more lumber and dropping off our son for a day of skating. Then, off to Davidson to pick up some furniture that Santa will deliver in a few months. While in Davidson, we received word that our son had broken his arm. Picked him up, off to the orthopedist. Clemson orange cast. We had a choice of a local or a general anesthetic and chose the latter when the MD said that setting the bone would be rather traumatic using the local. Good thing, as he had to set the bone by replicating the position of the hand when the bone was broken, nearly full supination by my reckoning. Later I spoke to my brother, who recounted his day. His daughter dropped the left tire off the side of the road, attempting a pass where she probably shouldn't have, approx. 60 mph, *unbelted*, window down, over corrected, rolled the car. She walked away. Buckle up.

Posted by: -jack- | July 9, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Dude. Boards are breaking...

Posted by: -jack- | July 10, 2009 12:20 AM | Report abuse

...and to completely boodle hog, thanks for the recipe, dmd. I'll try it out directly.

Posted by: -jack- | July 10, 2009 12:31 AM | Report abuse

What a day, jack. Hope son makes speedy recovery.

Please tell me about your salvaging lumber.

I got into salvaging flooring for a while. I wonder if I should try to do more of it. I put in one recycled floor for some friends. Proud of it.

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 10, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Ouch! Jack, hope you son recovers quickly.

Lord Mountbatten! My late father had often talked about him with great admiration. My sisters drooled over his good looks.

During WWII, Lt Gen Arthur Percival commanded the forces of the British Commonwealth during the Battle of Malaya and the Battle of Singapore against the Japanese. Despite having to surrender to the Japanese, he was still a hero to my father so much so that my father named my sister, who was born around that time, the Chinese phonetic of “-cival,” part of the General’s last name. We all like my sister’s name except her. She said it sounds like a guy’s name. She can’t change it so she had her friends called her by a more feminine name.

Posted by: rainforest1 | July 10, 2009 2:05 AM | Report abuse

Whew! Also had a busy day, though not at jack's level -- Contractors FINALLY finished (thanks for the jossing, Yoki [waving in Vancouver's general direction {also wondering what 'Mudge would do with the world's largest rodent}]!!) around midday, which left enough time for an amusement park road trip! :-))))))

Hey Jim19!!! *warmup Grover waves*

bob S., that WAS a direct quote, so... *Spockian eyebrow*

Off to the Mall this morning, so everyone have a safe TGIF and a great weekend! *not-minding-a-vacation-day-Dawn-Patrol-sortie Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 10, 2009 6:50 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all. Anybody seen Al?

Ham biscuits this morning in the ready room. Enjoy, everybody!

Lots on the agenda this morning, so I'll go ahead and get started...

Posted by: slyness | July 10, 2009 6:54 AM | Report abuse

I see our wonderful Prime Minister finally made it to the front page of WaPo - I was raised Catholic and cannot believe the fuss over this issue.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 10, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

New Kit

Posted by: dmd3 | July 10, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Harper is such a twerp. He's evangelical yet he can't even go to church without goofing off.
However, I don't know why the hoopla either dmd. Eeven the priest who gave the host to Stevo says there is nothing to see, keep on walking.

Today's leg of Tour de France starts in Spain and ends in the principality of Andorra. And so I call it a Tour des Pyrénées today. I'm tired just looking at the profile of the race. The boys will climb over 3000m today, the final climb being almost 2000m.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 10, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Fine theological weigh-in by John Dominic Crossan:

In a nutshell, fury and hoopla over who take Eucharist is a red herring about the real meaning of communion, which concerns human community and the distributive justice of including all at our tables. In other words, food is the basis of life.

This commentary came after Tim Russert's funeral Mass.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | July 10, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

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