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Guest Kit: Today in Mounties History

By W.C. Swanson (aka Curmudgeon)

Good Morning, Boodle.

Getting warmer today, approaching "proper" July weather. Before we proceed further into the day, we've some business to attend to:

July 8, 2009: Today in Mounties-Always-Get-Their-Man History

1497: Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama sets sail aboard the São Gabriel on the first European voyage to India. He'll have to get around Africa to do it. He takes three other ships and a total of 170 men. He made it to Calicut and back, with half the ships and only 60 men. Some years later, in 1958, the Brooklyn-born 17th Count Vasco da Gama was a guest on What's My Line? His occupation: pool table sales and repairman.

1680: The first confirmed tornado in America kills a servant at Cambridge, Mass.

1758: Some 16,000 British soldiers and Colonial militia fail to capture "impregnable" Fort Carillion at the south end of Lake Champlain, N.Y., during the French and Indian War. The French had spent three years building the fort and its commander, Louis-Joseph, Marquis de Montcalm, only needed 4,000 defenders to hold off the British. The Brits came back a year later and scared off a French garrison simply by occupying the high ground above the fort; so much for impregnability when "Boo!" will do the job. When the Brits marched in, they renamed it Fort Ticonderoga. Montcalm got his later at Quebec, though he was a pretty good general.

1776: According to legend, the bell at the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia is rung to summon townsfolk to hear the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. It becomes known as the Liberty Bell, and the building becomes Independence Hall. [See the Nicholas Cage movie "National Treasure." My great aunt Tacey was organist at the church next to the cemetery Cage ran through, and she's buried there.]

1853: Commodore Matthew Perry and four black-hulled warships sail into Tokyo Bay, hoping to open Japan to trade and relations with the West. He is met by representatives of the Tokugawa Shogunate, who told him to go to Nagasaki, the only Japanese port open to foreigners. Perry refused and demanded -- basically at gunpoint -- permission to present a letter from President Millard Fillmore. Outgunned, the Shogunate had no choice. Ever since, the phrase "black ships" has come to mean a threat to Japanese culture imposed by Western technology. When he got home, Congress awarded Perry $20,000 for a job well done.

1874: A force of 22 officers and 287 "constables" of the newly formed North-West Mounted Police under Col. George Arthur French depart Fort Dufferin, Manitoba, on what became known as "the March West." Seems there was trouble between American moonshiners and Canadian wolf hunters at Fort Whoop-Up (near Lethbridge), culminating in the Cypress Hills Massacre. The solution was to create a mounted police force to help settle the western plains and bring a little Royal law and order to the Wild West. Having the newly minted Mounties settle down the prairie in that part of the world led the Canadian Pacific Railway to choose a route that resulted in the creation of towns such as Moose Jaw, Medicine Hat, Regina and Calgary. And hey, the red coats were just so cool.

1948: The Air Force accepts its first female recruit, Sgt. Esther Blake, into a new program called Women in the Air Force (WAF).

Happy Birthday:

1838: Ferdinand von Zeppelin, German inventor of the dirigible (for SciTim and me).

1918: Peter Gunn (Craig Stevens, d. 2000) under the name Gail Shikles, Jr. Just the coolest PI ever, once he changed the moniker. He was married to Canadian actress Alexis Smith for 50 years, until her death. Blake Edwards wrote and directed, and Henry Mancini did the music; how could Peter Gunn not be cool?

1933: Igor (pronounced, of course, as Eye-gore): Marty Feldman (d. 1982).

1970: Beck, who has a couple of other regular names as well, but they are even more boring than Beck.


1822: Percy Bysshe Shelley

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 8, 2009; 11:10 AM ET
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Next: Guest Kit: Happy Caprotinia


So should we start referring to SyTim??

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 8, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, Mudge. Don't think the Liberty Bell rang in 1776. It cracked 30 years before (it had been a symbol mainly of the Abolitionist movement and named the Liberty Bell by them).

Here's one account I've read...

"In 1847, George Lippard wrote a fictional story for The Saturday Currier which told of an elderly bellman waiting in the State House steeple for the word that Congress had declared Independence. The story continues that privately he began to doubt Congress's resolve. Suddenly the bellman's grandson, who was eavesdropping on the doors of Congress, yelled to him, 'Ring, Grandfather! Ring!'

"This story so captured the imagination of people throughout the land that the Liberty Bell was forever associated with the Declaration of Independence.

"The truth is that the steeple was in bad condition and historians today highly doubt that the Bell actually rang in 1776. However, its association with the Declaration of Independence was fixed in the collective mythology."

Posted by: -TBG- | July 8, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Don't you mean SyTym?

Posted by: -TBG- | July 8, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Or SyTm?

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 8, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Re-posted from last Boodle:

I think Jumper has pretty much covered the issues surrounding the wretchedness that is the phrase "sci-fi." I understand that I, and my ilk, have lost this battle -- even folks at the Balticon, normally the most obsessive of weenies, seem to feel comfortable with the term -- but I consider this to be a Noble (Albeit Lost) Cause, and I shall maintain my genre-terminology tetchiness to my last breath.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 8, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 8, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

It's always fun to look backwards in time for a given date. Go back far enough and there will always be something interesting. On some level all days are special. just like all locations.

Of course, take this notion too far and you end up wanting to make all dates a holiday and all locations a memorial.

And then there are the numerical oddities like today's "12:34:56 7/8/9" bit. I remember the first one of those I was ever made aware of, back on May 6, 1978 (5/6/78).

I know some people have always attributed mystical powers to such "interesting" dates. You know, like the way the world is supposed to end in 2012 because of something to do with the Mayan calendar. This is balderdash of course. Everyone knows the world is supposed to end in the year 2000.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 8, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

TBG, I said "according to legend..." I didn't say it actually rang.

Wiki also says: "The bell had also been rung to announce the opening of the First Continental Congress in 1774 and after the Battle of Lexington and Concord in 1775." Note that it apparently was rung despite the crack.

Wiki adds: "During the 19th century, the bell tolled at the death of Alexander Hamilton (1804), Lafayette's return to Philadelphia (1824), the deaths of Adams and Jefferson (1826), Washington's 100th birthday celebration (1832) and the deaths of Lafayette (1834), John Marshall (1835) and William Henry Harrison (1841)." Again, even with the crack."

It adds: "On February 22, 1846, the bell was tolled for several hours in the tower of Independence Hall in honor of George Washington's birthday.[8] When the bell was rung, the crack grew from the top of the repaired crack to the crown of the bell, rendering the bell unusable. Contrary to appearances, the large crevice that currently exists in the Liberty Bell is a repair from the expansions, and not the crack itself."

Now, if you're asking me if I *personally* heard it ring on the morning of July 8th, I regret to say I can neither confirm nor deny. I had writer's cramp pretty bad from all that scribbling and note-taking I did during all that yak-yak-yaking all that May and June, and by the time they signed the darn thing I was right tuckered out. I dimmly recollect on the night of the 7th (or hell, it might even have been the 5th or 6th) I attempted to assuage my pain with spirits, and believe I spent the night of the 7th and most of the 8th sleeping it off in a stall in Tasker's Livery Stable at 3rd and Spring Garden. So if they rang the damn thing on the 8th, I never heard it.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 8, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse


SciFi Channel has become SyFy in order to break with their past as the favored genre of pimply boys in the basement (and to obtain a name they could make a registered trademark). Similarly, sort of, Esso changed its name in the 70's to the modernistic and undefinable Exxon, in order to break with their past as a mere fragment of the once-mighty monopoly, Standard Oil. After the Exxon Valdez "incident" I wonder why they didn't change the name again, to something more environmentally friendly and socially acceptable. For example, Nixxon. Or Pukes-On (think of the advertising value they could have gotten from clips of George H. W. Bush!). Or, maybe, Death-to-Amerixxon.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 8, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 8, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I once wrote a paper on the March West. In my most stunning (OK, *only*) academic coup, I had exclusive access to primary documents from the RCMP's non-public archive. This came about because a former Commissioner was a friend of a friend of my family, and he got me the coveted 'red pass' into the private library. It was way cool.

It must also be said, however, that Fort Calgary is perhaps the most boring historical site ever. It just sort of sits there.

Posted by: Yoki | July 8, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

That Millard Fillmore. What a hard-case. Until recently, the President with the biggest fixation on compensating for his name.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 8, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Well.. that's what I was asking, Mudge... if you'd heard it. I understand the insulation at Tasker's is quite good and with all the hay you were sleeping under it's no wonder you didn't hear the dam thing ring.

But I think I see you in this 1819 picture. Isn't that you in the back holding the bottle?

Posted by: -TBG- | July 8, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Hmm. I may disappear for a while soon. I see in all the political excitement last summer, I forgot to purchase The Years Best Science Fiction volume 25. (editor Gardner Dozois) And since I note it was released July 8 2008, I assume the volume 26 is out. (yes it is!) This means about 1600 pages of prime fiction is in store for me. Drool. Amazon, here I come.

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 8, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

If you must disappear, do so safely, Jumper!!

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 8, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Yup, that's me (toward the left, at the front of the tent, under the poster of the two ships). I've put on a little weight since then. (But who hasn't?)

Note that one of Wilbrodog's ancestors is prominently featured in the foreground. The woman at the very far right sitting at the table is selling "Mega-Hundreds" lottery tickets.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 8, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Harding, of course, was trying to fulfill his name, as often as possible.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 8, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

TBG, I've just been handed a rush job to edit. In the header it says it is a "pre-decisional" document. *sigh*

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 8, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that's Umpteen-Times
Great-Uncle Ralph! "Pull my paw."
Funny pup, he was.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 8, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Mudge-Would you please lead the campaign against Interagency as a noun?

Posted by: frostbitten1 | July 8, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Is that what would perhaps be known as a Preliminary draft, Mudge?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 8, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I think it's a pre-decisional, post-conceptualized preliminary draft concept paper (PDPCPDCP).

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 8, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I have never teleported into (inside) a solid object yet. But thanks for the caution, Scotty!

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 8, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

You mean you've been tasked with editing the pre-decisional document?

Posted by: -TBG- | July 8, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

That's a funny coincidence this reference to the March West. I'm planning a Drive West in August. Regina to Maple Creek, just north of the Cypress Hills. It will be my first drive through rural Saskatchewan. I've been to Saskatoon (nice) and Regina (horrid, -42C with a wind coming straight from the North Pole) but I'm really looking forward to my first Open Skies Saskatchewani experience.

Some people of Liberal leaning will be happy to note that Mikhail Ignatiev finished second in today's leg of the TdF.
No change for Armstrong, Cancellara, Contador and cie, all the leaders finished in the same peloton.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 8, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I believe that would be "tasked with applying edits to the pre-decisional document." In the voice that is passive, we must express ourselves.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 8, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I no longer edit anything. I apply post-written situational grammar enhancements.

Only when tasked to do so, of course.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 8, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

It must be expressed in a passive voice that the task involve edits to the pre-decisional document.

Posted by: Raysmom | July 8, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Value-added post-written situational grammar enhancements are applied by me.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 8, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

In a maximized expedited timeframe.

With which paradigm it is hoped I induce optimized reader coherence and informational uptake.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 8, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

The Peter Gunn theme is the coolest soundtrack music ever.

That is all.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 8, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

The horror of it all is that I am certain that "maximized informational uptake" is in a strategy document somewhere, in a non-ironic usage (utilization that is not expressive of irony).

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 8, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I swear I am not making this up:

"The initial requirements were developed through an iterative process based on the results of a progressive series of pilot sessions."

Posted by: Raysmom | July 8, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I wish you were, Raysmom. Wordiness happens to us all, but that is befuddlement with malice aforethought.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 8, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I think I left out the word "transformative" somewhere, but I don't quite know where...or what it means. I think it might have something to do with what we called "change" back in the good old days.

Alls I knows is, nowadays everything is transformative. Perhaps is a movie tie-in, I'm not sure.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 8, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Probably "formative" as done by transsexuals.

"My transgender friend was transformative for my sense of gender-bender humor."

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 8, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Jeff Beck is playing the Ottawa BluesFest to-night.

Posted by: Boko999 | July 8, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Did someone link to the NYT gallery of unfinished homes the other day?

It seems there is some controversy over them.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 8, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Did you knew that guy Mudge?

An obit of the NYT: "Robert E. Lee Taylor Jr., who was the publisher of The Philadelphia Bulletin..."

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 8, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Uh...Yoki...I think you may have a problem...

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 8, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

RIP Oscar Mayer III, 95.

"Oh, I wish..."


Posted by: DLDx | July 8, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

That the $20 view, Moraine Lake. It's been in the back of Canadian 20s for many years.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 8, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

maybe not. Yoki?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 8, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I didn't "know" him, shriek, but I met him once or twice at various events. I could pick him out of a line-up, I guess, but that's about all. 35 years ago, anyway.

I worked at the Inquirer, knew most of its people. I would see (owner/publisher/big shot) Walter Annenberg in the elevator once in a while, and took stuff to his office three or four times. Not a nice man.

The Bulletin was across town, and although I knew a handful of its city hall reporters, I didn't know their brass.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 8, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Al Kamen's stoy says it is Lake Louise.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 8, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I found that picture on my clip art/photo service site. The keyword tags are: outdoor, nobody, natural, park, daylight, copy, day, peaks, mountains, canada, valley, sunny, snow-capped, louise, outside, lake, negative, rockies, alberta, wilderness, blue, scenic, daytime, turquoise, water, space, nature, landscape

Posted by: -TBG- | July 8, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

In other words, it clearly says it's Canada.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 8, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Geez, Louise.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 8, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

It is Lake Louise, NOT Moraine Lake. It's still in Canada though.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 8, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

You worked for the competition then.

I've been to both lakes on the same day, many years ago, in late June. It snowed lightly at one point in the afternoon to the dismay of Japanese tourists in shorts and flip-flops. It's a beautiful place.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 8, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Definitely Lake Louise, the classic view.

First our mountains, then the oil sands?

Posted by: Yoki | July 8, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

First try with Google:

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 8, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry, Yoki. We Americans will treat you newcomers pretty tolerantly. You'll be sent to relocation/re-education camps for a short period while we check your backgrounds, then you'll be issued identity cards and allowed to circulate more-or-less freely. A good many of you will be allowed to eventually move back into your homes, possibly as quickly as within a year or two.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 8, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Whaddayamean re-education?

Posted by: Boko999 | July 8, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

You know...transition from Canadian football to the NFL, spelling honor and color without the "u," no more "eh," drinking Bud instead of Molson's, that kind of thing.

No talking French, except if you re-settle to Louisiana.

Nothing major.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 8, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | July 8, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

According to my French colleagues, they don't speak French in Louisiana, either.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 8, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

They probably also claim they don't even speak French in Quebec, SciTim.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 8, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Fun fact: Quebec was settled while Shakespeare was still alive.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 8, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

You mean "gay-ROAN-teed" isn't French?

Didn't we buy the damn place from Napoleon?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 8, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Back off or we let Him have it.

Posted by: Boko999 | July 8, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

So was Jamestown. And Jamestown had blue crabs.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 8, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Peter Gunn: Good times. It was my college's de facto school song. It was played at all the hockey games. I don't think I knew we had a school (dept?) of music until a cousin of mine went there.

Posted by: rickoshea0 | July 8, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... I think the folks in Jamestown were perfectly happy and perfectly nice (well... those who survived).

Posted by: -TBG- | July 8, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

You just have to love Harper, don't you? He's so perfectly Albertan and gauche and has an amusing sense of fashion. Great stuff.

Posted by: Yoki | July 8, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Afternoon all,back in west by god for a few days......

Boko,if you have a chance to attend the Jeff Beck concert I would highly recommend it.I saw Jeff and Stevie ray Vaughn when they toured together and it was one of the best shows I ever saw.

Of course I stopped and picked up my import from Canada on my way up.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 8, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Alert -- Alert -- Alert

ftb needs a ginormous Boodle hug. *sigh*

Just got back from the Orthopod, who advised me that my knee will absolutely not get better without a total knee replacement, although I really shouldn't have one now. I asked him if I could wait for 2 years, 1 month and 11 days, when I get to go on Medicare, and he said "sure, that's fine." The other bad news is that I definitely have spinal stenosis (which makes my thighs go numb when I'm standing or walking for a few minutes), and that I will likely need surgery for that, too.

I'm feeling a bit sorry for myself, and hoping that my back, at least can last until Medicare comes through, although I suspect that it won't, since it's getting worser and worser all the time.

*expletive* and *sigh* and *expletive* and *sigh*

And there's arthritis in the back, too. So, I'll connect with the physical therapist at the gym and try to lose as much weight as I can to ease the joints until I can afford all this carp.

BTW, FWIW, I love the Peter Gunn music. That was Henry Mancini, wasn't it? And the TV series was cool, too.

*hobbling off for the moment, reassuring my Boodle friends that I will likely be in a much better mood on the morrow, as nothing keeps ftb down for long*

Posted by: -ftb- | July 8, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

*faxing hugs and bottle of Bombay Sapphire to ftb*

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 8, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Quebec is still inhabited. Jamestown is not.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 8, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Besides, Mudge, that doesn't invalidate my point.
I'm fairly sure there are some British who would say that us Yanks don't know the Queen's English.

After all, we can't even spell colour honourably.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 8, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | July 8, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

*faxing a giant hug to ftb*

Ray has offered to send a face-lick, too, if that will help.

Posted by: Raysmom | July 8, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Peter Gunn rocked. I especially liked the new-wave version popular when I was in school.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 8, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Send a big wv bear hug to ftb(bear not included)

Have you ever tried accupuncture ftb? It did wonders for my back and joint pain,although I am due for a followup visit.I am getting one on friday.

I enjoyed ELP's version of Peter Gunn!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 8, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

((((( SUPER HUG TO FTB! )))))

Posted by: -TBG- | July 8, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Summer school ended. Now waiting for the papers to arrive. In the meantime, I look at flowers:

Petals unfurling: magenta zinnia, lime sorbet sunflower, green-with-envy zinnia....I love the clash and reverb of lurid colors.

Higglety Pigglety, my garden pen
My plants channel a zany zen
Hummingbirds come every day
To sup what nectar that they may
Sometimes zipping, other times sipping
Higglety Pigglety, my garden pen.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | July 8, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse


Your garden sounds so inviting.

Posted by: Raysmom | July 8, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

FTB -- teleporting an Arthritis-be-Gone switch, with feverfew blooms and cornsilk tassels....

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | July 8, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

So much for missing a busy day. Joel's road sign saying "Cassia" must refer to a big genus of yellow legumes, everything from weeds to trees. Partridge pea, the favored food of southern quail (bobwhites to northerners) got transplanted to the genus Chamecrista, but there's still lots of cassia left.

That expressway sign reminds me of one north of Tokyo saying "Tsuga". That's the scientific name for hemlock, the big conifer tree. It's "Latin" name was swiped directly from the Japanese.

Along those lines, I drove up to a community college north of us to see if I could sign up for this fall's introductory Japanese class. No such luck. Evidently Air Force and perhaps some NASA types crowd the class. Those Japanese sections of the International Space Station must be popular.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | July 8, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I wondered about Tsuga. A lovely name anyway, I'm sure the Romans would have used it if they had the tree and that Tsu sound.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 8, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I think it was "The War that Made America: A Short History of the French and Indian War" by
Fred Anderson that detailed the British attack on Carillon (later Ticonderoga) in unremitting detail. The British artillery guy was too lazy to set up a bombardment and the British commander (named Abercromby) relied on a 26 year old officer to assure him that an infantry assault would be easy. He neglected the mass of cut, sharpened tree branches and such blocking the way. The Black Watch was slaughtered. Even with that calamity, the Brits could have turned on the artillery and chased off the French.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | July 8, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Awwwww, thanks ever so for the hugs, and the face licks (from Ray, of course) and CqP's lovely floral arrangement. Makes one feel all happy, in spite of the decisions to make facing one.

I've never tried acupuncture -- but I don't think it would help to realign my lower spine.

What I want to know is why, oh WHY, can't I have my soon-to-be 63 year old wisdom in a 20 year old body? Am I asking too much? I mean, AM I ASKING ENTIRELY TOO MUCH???

There now. A good rant does make one feel better. Sorta.

Posted by: -ftb- | July 8, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

FTB, I feel for you. Along with weight loss and (a little) exercise, I'd apply ice (and gin) liberally.

Also, if you live in a multi-floor dwelling, think carefully before you go up or down. Don't do that too many times a day.

When I was going through your troubles, I stopped going to giant shopping places (Costco, Safeway etc) in favor of smaller places like Trader Joe's.

Finally, don't forget to apply the (gin) and ice! (Oh, and drugs too, but be careful with those. They do take away some of the pain, but they cause other problems that you don't want.)

Posted by: rickoshea0 | July 8, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

ftb, I hung out with the Sweet Ole Coot (Dad) through spinal stenosis/arthritis issues last year. He put off surgery for a long time (fear) using ole fashion medicine...martinis. The day after surgery, all better.

There's light at the end of that thar tunnel, and it's not a bear holding the last hiker's flashlight. Keep plodding along. With boodle mojo, you'll make it no problem.

Posted by: LostInThought | July 8, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Big hugs from me as well.

My boss just had her full knee replaced and she is only in her late 40s. Be glad you got an extra 15 years or so out of yours.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 8, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Thanx again all. Maggie, I'm thankfully on one level, so there is no up-and-down stairs issue. A colleague of mine has recommended a really good neurosurgeon for the back. I'm in the process of vetting him.

I haven't had major surgery since 1950 when I had my tonsils out at the ripe young age of 4 years old. I remember absolutely everything, including the ether mask and the ice cream. The nurse tried to feed me oatmeal the morning after, which I recall flinging back at her, as I really disliked (and still do) cooked cereal.

So, needless to say, I ain't too keen on getting cut, nor staying in a hospital at all, considering all the MRSA staph infections afoot.

LiT, the former SO of a friend of mine had surgery for stenosis (and he's a couple of years older than I am) and it worked very well for him, too. Good to know there's a goodly sampling (well, two so far) of good results.

Gonna go fix some dinner and settle in for a spectacular evening of SYTYCD. I get some sort of symbiotic pleasure from watching talented people executing their talent so well. Of course, watching those guys dance with their shirts off doesn't hurt, either. Even if they *are* jail bait, relatively speaking.

Posted by: -ftb- | July 8, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse


Your 1:57 comment turned the burqa of bureaucratic language from mudge, raysmom, TBG, et al. into a translucent, shimmering gown that provides abundant information to the eye and even more to the imagination. Thank you.

Posted by: -pj- | July 8, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Another big hug to you, ftb! That's a bunch to get hit with at one time. The folks here can give you both support and good advice at the same time.

Posted by: -pj- | July 8, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

FTB, I recommend the man who did my total knees at Johns Hopkins. I'll send his name to TBG whom I believe has your email.

Posted by: rickoshea0 | July 8, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

FTB, sending along my hugs as well.

I met a series of 83 year old women today, three remarkable women, one of them still works part-time for her son (bookkeeping), helps with grandchilren, mows the law, tends to the garden.

She did say that she is getting tired now!

One of the ladies is recovering from valve replacement, her husband is in care (Parkinson's) and she is suffering from Post Op depression. It was just a pleasure to meet her, a delightful sense of humour despite the depression, she is overwhelmed and not sleeping much so it isn't surprising that she is depressed.

I imagine should I live that long I will be like them so wanting to keep looking after their gardens but physical ailments preventing doing that alone anymore.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 8, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Enjoy Jeff Beck if you are attending Boko - is they any fuss over the Fed Money for that festival? Shaking head.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 8, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

*faxin' more face licks to ftb*

*from the NukeFelines, of course*

And the NYT has capitulated on those photos, big time:
Editors' Note: July 8, 2009

A picture essay in The Times Magazine on Sunday and an expanded slide show on entitled "Ruins of the Second Gilded Age" showed large housing construction projects across the United States that came to a halt, often half-finished, when the housing market collapsed. The introduction said that the photographer, a freelancer based in Bedford, England, "creates his images with long exposures but without digital manipulation."

A reader, however, discovered on close examination that one of the pictures was digitally altered, apparently for aesthetic reasons. Editors later confronted the photographer and determined that most of the images did not wholly reflect the reality they purported to show. Had the editors known that the photographs had been digitally manipulated, they would not have published the picture essay, which has been removed from

I'm about to capitulate too, at least as far as having a real vacation goes... Contractors couldn't quite wrap up the job today. Here's hoping they only need a couple hours tomorrow. *SIGHHH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 8, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

There's one photographer who will never again get a contract with the NYT.

My French colleagues assure me that they *do* speak French in Québec, albeit with a ludicrous provincial accent.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 8, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

ftb, I am so sorry about your knee and back. But I’m sure if you follow the advice you’ve already received here about doctors, hospitals, weight, pills and gin - you’ll be fine. I remember being mad as heck when I learned that I needed a new hip, I felt that my body had betrayed me, but I’m fine now so it was worth it. Did anyone mention doing tai chi for your knees? I just read somewhere that it is good exercise for arthritic knees (I think it was a Tufts study). Not that it would cure you, but if it could help a bit until you’re ready for the surgery, it’s worth asking the doc.

Scotty, sorry your vacation is less than fun, hope the end of the week improves. Furiously packing and checking off stuff from my list. If I don’t chime in again, behave yourselves while I’m gone.

Posted by: badsneakers | July 8, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Oui, go mock the yokels still speaking the French of the pre-Revolutionary peasantry.

The new linguistic aristocracy will get their own Bastille one day with that attitude, non?

By the way, I have reliable information from a francophone that they DO speak French in Louisana.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 8, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, we need to invoke some powers to break your series of vacations-that-don't-work-out-quite-as-hoped. A few incantations and joss-sticks should do it.

Posted by: Yoki | July 8, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Oh, yeah? My Francophone verifies that Louisiana has doggerel while Quebec, although barely, passes muster.

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 8, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

ftb, I'm sending you the Geekdottir for therapy. Her shoulder and backrubs are to die for. I second the suggestion that you should investigate acupuncture.

I have a good friend who has had both her knees replaced. She and I went to Atlanta in March and took in the terracotta soldiers and the King Tut exhibits. She didn't have a bit of trouble navigating either one. We weren't in a hurry and we sat down when it suited us. I am impressed with how well she has done. You will do at least that well!

CqP, my purple coneflowers are on the wane, but the lantana looks good, and I planted a couple of new ones around the birdbath today. Shasta daisies are done and cut back. There are still some daylilies but they also are on the wane. The moonflowers haven't bloomed but at least the vines aren't dead.

In the next couple of weeks I'm going to be inundated with tomatoes; Mudge needs to make sure the fax is working so I can distribute them efficiently. The pole bean vines are huge but only a few beans so far. I think I'm going to see about replanting squash. They suffered in the heat last week when I wasn't here to water them and I think they're terminal.

Posted by: slyness | July 8, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Kitty lovin's to ftb.

The frostcats.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | July 8, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Yoki's sending Joss Stone over?!!?!?!?!?!

Only if she's doing more duets with Jeff Beck...


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 8, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Hee hee.

Posted by: Yoki | July 8, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

O's get 5 in the ninth after being blanked all game and win 5-3.I was really cussing up a storm in the 7th.Bases loaded nobody out and they don't score.....geesh!!!

I sure love baseball,even if my team is in last place........back to the shed and all that accumulated junk.Does anybody want any of this great stuff?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 8, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Don't confuse creole with cajun french, Jumper.

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

Happy birthday, Amazon River.

You don't look like you were born 11 MYA, dear.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 8, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Hey, tell it the the Parisians. I don't have a dog in this fight. I just go by what they tell me. ;)

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 8, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

The SYTYCD producers must want Philip and Jeanine to get eliminated. Russian folk dance?! Yipes, I am glad they get another dance.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | July 8, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Any American who says that Québecois don't speak French will have to admit he/she doesn't speak English. Same thing for New Brunswick Acadians. It's old French with its own idiosyncrasis.
The situation gets murkier with Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia Acadians' "chiac" and Louisiana Cajun's cajun. I didn't have have any problem with cajun when I visited Lafayette a few years back. But then I'm bilingual. Chiac, I give up. Even New Brunswick Acadians don't understand it.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 8, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Son of G is here and sends his love to all.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 8, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Much love to SoG!

Posted by: rickoshea0 | July 8, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey Son of G! Why do I have to hear from you when you are with your mother?

Posted by: slyness | July 8, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Been a busy day today and I'm still tired from last night. Lycanthropy can be utterly beastly on one's body as well as one's carpeting.

Anyway, I'm catching up on the Boodle from the laptop, out on my westward-facing 2nd floor deck, watching the sunset. Lavender, royal purple, pink and orange brushed somewhat haphazardly in horzontal strokes across the darkening powder blue sky. Fireflies winking at me between the deck railings, taunting me to dance.

yello, I loved Vinge's 'Fire Upon the Deep,' and not just because of the wolves. Really good stuff.

Eh, IMO the Sci-Fi Channel's been all downhill since they stopped having Harlan Ellison do video commentaries.

ftb, so sorry to hear about your knee and your spine. Sounds like there's good advice here to tide you over until you're ready to have the knee redone. Though I wouldn't recommend driving while you're taking your medicine.

Ah, back to the paperwork... at least I had a little time to tend to the tomato plants.


Posted by: -bc- | July 8, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

The fireflies are amazing this year, aren't they? Is it because of all the rain we had?

Posted by: -TBG- | July 8, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Son of G.

I won that small battle today: got "pre-decisional" changed to "draft."

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | July 8, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

At Chez Frostbitten we get sunrise, sunset is reflected on the lake and river and the trees on the other side. Long green-gold twilight tonight.

Had to turn the ceiling fan off, made more sense than putting on a sweater. Love warm days with cool nights.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | July 8, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Pictures, Frosti? Sounds beautiful. Believe it or not, it's been very pleasant here, too... mid-80s, low humidity, cool nights.

Where are we, I wonder? What happened to summer in DC?

Posted by: -TBG- | July 8, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Yo! SonofG! Love you, baby.

Posted by: Yoki | July 8, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Yay, Mudge! It's the small victories that make life worth living. Or at least worth getting up in the morning.

TBG, it's only July. August is yet to come. Hot, humid weather and mildew on everything will arrive in their own sweet time.

Posted by: slyness | July 8, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Frostbitten, missed the first hour but saw a clip of that russian folk dance.

It looked fun, and their Wade whachamacallit jazz number was stupendous.

I think they're safe.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 8, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

@TBG-just for you
Taken at 9:05 PM, and it really is that bright in the distance.

@Wilbrod-I hope you're right.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | July 8, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Frosty, as a personal favor to me, could we dispense with the @ thing? Sorry. But it makes my left eyelid twitch.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | July 8, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Beautiful scenery Frosti.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 8, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Does that @ has a name in English? It's called arrobas (arrow-bass) in French. The first few times I was given an e-address with it I typed the arrobas thing in the line. I am that dumb.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 8, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh, com'on mudge, you can progress. Really!

Posted by: Yoki | July 8, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Very nice, frosti.

I've always called "@" the "at sign". It may have a fancier name from the typeset past, which I'm sure our copy editors know.

It's turned cloudy and cool here, the weather more typical for June. Hoping to break back into July by the weekend. And we don't have fireflies. I did see some once at a friend's house in the country, where they had a pasture. But none here in the city, or in the woods, that I've ever seen. We have quite a few dragon flies - saw half a dozen, all flitting around together, the evening of the the Fourth.

Posted by: seasea1 | July 8, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

The Klammeraffe!

Posted by: -TBG- | July 8, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

G'night Boodle. Don't let the Klammeraffe gitcha!

Posted by: -TBG- | July 8, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

I don't care what the name is, please make that @ go away!

Posted by: nellie4 | July 9, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Psst...anyone up? Still busting my butt on the office project. I cut an attic access yesterday and am still feeling the after effects of holding the circular saw upside down, being blinded by the swadust/fibrerboard dust from the beadboard and celotex panels, and inhaling the same along with years of pollen, coal dust, road grime, and whatever else lurks in old attics. Finished the peel/stick tile, and replaced the shoe moulding, and cleaned out paperwork dating back to the late 50's. Spent the majority of the day salvaging century old lumber from a warehouse that was razed two lots down from ours, and will use some of it on the office, and the remainder at our place, as the back porch on the back of the house needs to be rebuilt in it's entirety. thankfully, it's a 4x16, but it's eight feet off the ground. The stairway needs rebuilding as well. I may be concocting a pumpkin cake for the bake off, but am still open to suggestions from any benevolent boodler. Many thanks to SonofG for helping to paint and clean up the office. ftb, I hope your knee gets fixed soon. *HUG*

Posted by: -jack- | July 9, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

SCC: sawdust/fibreboard...see? The after effects include an inability to spell ever the simplest of words. My sister is headed to the beach this Saturday, and I think I'm off for more fun in the sun on tuesday. Hey, nellie! *waving* check this out. it rocks.

Posted by: -jack- | July 9, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse

This is why I listened to AM radio, even when it went disco:

Posted by: -jack- | July 9, 2009 12:52 AM | Report abuse

ftb, hyaluronic acid for the arthritis. Takes a few weeks to kick in, but then it's miraculous.

TBG, SoG, hey!

Jack, this would be my entry. I generally serve it with unsweetened whipped cream (in dollops around the top edge) and sprinkled with pecans.

Death by Chocolate

12 oz semisweet chocolate
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 lb unsalted butter
1 cup freshly brewed espresso or strong coffee, lukewarm
2 cups granulated sugar
8 large eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 250F; line bottom and sides of a 9" spring-form pan with non-stick foil or parchment paper.

In heavy saucepan melt butter, sugar, and espresso together, stirring to dissolve sugar; once melted and blended, add all chocolate over very low heat, stirring often while the chocolate melts. When it's about the temperature of hot bath water (130 degrees), remove from heat.

Beat eggs together, add egg mixture into the chocolate mixture in a thin stream, whisking constantly.

Pour batter into spring-form pan.

Bake for approximately one and a half hours. Chill for at least 8 hours (keeps for up to a week).

Posted by: -dbG- | July 9, 2009 1:52 AM | Report abuse

I have to wait till 7th August, 2009 for 7/8/9.

Posted by: rainforest1 | July 9, 2009 3:00 AM | Report abuse


Hmmmmmm... Peeps retail store at National Harbor??

Sounds like WaPo's annual Peep-o-ramas have done their job. :-)

I'm a-gonna keep mah big mouf shut regarding what may or may not get done today. Dun wanna jinx nuttin'!!

*just-trying-to-enjoy-this-marvelous weather-a-little-longer Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 9, 2009 6:52 AM | Report abuse

There ought to be a name for the phenomenon of symbols that disappear because they never made the cut to get on the keyboard. The "cent" sign almost died completely.

Here's an older one that is probably doomed: the "Each" symbol:

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 9, 2009 7:01 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. Same thing here rainforest. Even the Brits gave up on this month-day-year silly business.
Very nice day ahead after a few rainy days.
The klammeraffe eh?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 9, 2009 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Morning all. Cool and cloudy here, the sidewalk is a bit wet. Hopefully we'll get some rain and Cassandra will, too. The dreaded Bermuda High has kicked in and has been keeping us dry.

Real work ahead for me today: I'm going to start writing on the chapter of the book I've committed to revising, on fire department deployment. I hope I can make it interesting and informative.

Posted by: slyness | July 9, 2009 7:05 AM | Report abuse

I used to listen to Kasey Kasem on Armed Forces Radio in the mid-70s. I guess that makes me double corny.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 9, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all. Another glorious day in a string of warm dry daze, cool nights, best July I can remember.

Wonderful pictures, Joel, keep them comin'. Thanks for kit & kaboodle, mudge, not to mention all that history :-).

Does anyone else check the most recent boodle comment in the morning to see what day it is, as I do?

Posted by: VintageLady | July 9, 2009 7:33 AM | Report abuse

I note that we all missed the opportunity to post @ 12:34:56 7/8/9 and therefore have failed to postpone Ragnarok...

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 9, 2009 7:39 AM | Report abuse

I thought @ was "commercial at;" that is, apples @ $.75 a pound. No?

Posted by: Yoki | July 9, 2009 7:39 AM | Report abuse

You have it right Yoki. Although, I am used to per pound as opposed to a pound. So, in the southernspeak, it would be "peaches @ .75 per pound", b/c I have no cents symbol on the keyboard as noted earlier by a boodler I can no longer find.

Posted by: VintageLady | July 9, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

I haven't had any sense for the longest time.

Oh, wait...


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 9, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: yellojkt | July 9, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

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