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Views of Rome


A fab view from the rooftop cafe of the Capitoline Museum. But 8 Euros for a beer??


Ruins are so cool you have to wonder why more people don't build ruins from scratch.


The Forum, through a narrow declevity.


When I get home I'll plant an umbrella pine.


You could pretty much fit Chicago inside St. Peter's.


Very hard to capture the humongousness of the place.


The statues are great, but so is the color of the buildings. What do you call that color? Burnt umber? Do we have burnt umber in America? [Or just burnt umbrage?]

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 19, 2009; 2:25 PM ET
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When I Paint My Masterpiece
Oh, the streets of Rome are filled with rubble,
Ancient footprints are everywhere.
You can almost think that you're seein' double
On a cold, dark night on the Spanish Stairs.
Got to hurry on back to my hotel room,
Where I've got me a date with Botticelli's niece.*
She promised that she'd be right there with me
When I paint my masterpiece.

Oh, the hours I've spent inside the Coliseum,
Dodging lions and wastin' time.
Oh, those mighty kings of the jungle, I could hardly stand to see 'em,
Yes, it sure has been a long, hard climb.
Train wheels runnin' through the back of my memory,
When I ran on the hilltop following a pack of wild geese.
Someday, everything is gonna be smooth like a rhapsody
When I paint my masterpiece.

Sailin' 'round the world in a dirty gondola.
Oh, to be back in the land of Coca-Cola!

I left Rome and landed in Brussels,
On a plane ride so bumpy that I almost cried.
Clergymen in uniform and young girls pullin' muscles,
Everyone was there to greet me when I stepped inside.
Newspapermen eating candy
Had to be held down by big police.
Someday, everything is gonna be diff'rent
When I paint my masterpiece.

Copyright ©1971 Big Sky Music

*In The Band's version, the singer has a date with a pretty little girl from Greece. I prefer to think Dylan sang "Botticelli's Venus."

Posted by: -pj- | July 19, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I believe that those walls are "red ochre" a pigment made with iron oxide, or rust. It is pretty isn't it?

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

Those pictures are very good, Joel.

Aw, too bad about Tom Watson. I watched him choke on 18 in regular play and thought I saw the wind go out of his sails then. It was as if he could no longer focus on his game. But huge huzzahs to him anyway. He played very, very well. And congrats to Cinc on his first major victory. Considering the wind gusts, anyone still standing should have gotten a prize.

And, yes, I was actually thinking "burnt umbrage" at the exact same time Joel wrote it. Great minds think alike, and all that stuff, eh?

Posted by: -ftb- | July 19, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

The extended frostfam gathered breathlessly around the television, with threats of bodily harm to anyone who used a computer to find out the results of the tape delayed Open Championship. A small cousin whined, "but we're not doing anything," at least six hushed voices replied "we are doing something, we're watching golf."

Gorgeous day. Caught and released a little northern pike this morning and just saw Mr. F off to another week toiling in defense of democracy. MN lost 3 NG MPs in Iraq this week. So young. It's a wonder humans can cope at all. Life so full and perfect in one moment, then.

Which should I do first, get a better camera or learn to take better pictures with the one I've got?

Posted by: frostbitten1 | July 19, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Did you mean "declivity?"

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 19, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Watson had it in his hands and he let it slip away. He left several puts just short earlier in the round that could have made a difference. His victory would have been one hell of a great story.

Posted by: -pj- | July 19, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Actually, many of my attempts at home improvement are essentially ready-made ruins. So if we could manage to get this whole "ruin chic" trend to really take off it surely would help the value of my house.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 19, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

In today's historical highlights, Mudge posted that the Rosetta Stone was discovered by French soldiers in Egypt on this day in 1799. It's currently held in the British Museum in London. How did a major Egyptian artifact discovered by the French end up in England, you ask? Well, when you lose a war all kinds of funky things can happen. "The Writer's Almanac" today has much more detail:

Posted by: -pj- | July 19, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

We had a Prime Minister who was very interested in ruins and began to collect them - perhaps not quite what Joel ment but it is interesting - spent a day wandering through them with an old boyfriend when I was in university.

Shriek not far from you?

Posted by: dmd3 | July 19, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Links to pictures of the King ruins,

Posted by: dmd3 | July 19, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

ItS a 7-8 minutes drive or 30 minutes by bicycle dmd. Great spot for a pic-nic. The Giant Black Lab, he wasn't ancient back then, and myself came face to face with an adult bear (a sow, I think) at the edge of that brand new ruin collection. The bear backed off quickly but even our smallish black bears look big from 30-35 feet.
WL McK K was batsh1t crazy but a good PM. Go figure.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 19, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Old boyfriends are the best kind, dmd. Them young ones ain't worth a damn.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | July 19, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

SCC It's

If you doubt that MacKensie King was crazy please note that in addition to collecting ruins he was, as a prime minister, taking advice from his dead mother through seances. He also kept on having Irish terriers all his life to channel the thoughts of the first one he got which he thought was a very wise dog. As I said, batsh1t crazy.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 19, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Landscape gardeners certainly *used* to build ruins to order, as early as Inigo Jones (1600 - 1650, roughly) but most often during the neo-Gothic craze (c. 1740).

The irony is that many still exist and are falling into disrepair :)

I don't believe Jones ever warned anyone to prepare to die, though.

Posted by: Yoki | July 19, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh, 'mudge! Soaked and grilled in the husk. About 20 minutes. Best durn corn I ever ate.

Posted by: Yoki | July 19, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

SCC I give up MacKenzie. Another proper Scot.

How come you have corn? it's still 7-10 days off here. The garden is a disaster zome. All the hot weather stuff is struggling.

There were old friends of my sister at her 50th bash yesterday. It was fun to meet them again, 30 years later or so for me. Her flaming marxist friend is still working for the People with community groups and activist, although for the gunmint side. And she has trophy kids as well, if there are such things.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 19, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

It was imported. We won't have any really local corn until at least mid-August.

Posted by: Yoki | July 19, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

*faxing Yoki a couple of Goliath tomatoes from our garden. Yoki, set your fax to "Receive Mommajomma Size"*

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | July 19, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Great pics again. Seems like I was coveting an umbrella pine a few years ago, not quite sure why. Or maybe it was the one we used as a Christmas tree...

TM Shine column!

Posted by: seasea1 | July 19, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Ah Ah. I was developing serious fresh corn envy. All we have from the garden is lettuce and snap peas right now. I bought tunnel-raised cauliflower and broccoli and yellow wax beans at the market. We should have miniature tomatoes from the garden at this time but we do not because of the cold weather. So we have to do with local hothouse tomatoes, which is not that bad, really.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 19, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse


I think instant ruins are easy - witness Rod Blagojevich and Mark Sanford's careers.

Sarah Palin's showing signs that she's fully capable of doing just that, too.

Speaking of ruins, I'm Italian-American, and someone told me recently that I had a Roman nose - "Sure," I said pulling out an old punch line, "It's Roamin' all over my face."

That statue's great, and answers the question "When is a guy willing to wield a large pointy object near his Nether Regions?" The answer is, of course, when there's a Sea Monster already there.

I think this statue is a metaphor of some sort for the modern world, with some application to the current American and Global Economic situations. Or possibly Internet dating.

But it might just be the pigeons making me say that.


Posted by: -bc- | July 19, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Only the most expert of gardeners have knee-high corn hereabouts, mine would not come above a nice pair of rootin-tootin boots. Hope we get some sort of local harvest this year.

seasea-thanks for the heads up on the TM Shine piece. Hard to make investing a laugh riot, but he did.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | July 19, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

A funny thing happened in a narrow declivity... No, wait...

Whew! If my back weren't killing me this would have been a great weekend, apart from NukeSpawn heading home...

And there were those grilling misadventures...

Oh, and suffering through the "Transformers" sequel...

Should I start over?

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 19, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Great pictures from Rome (kit) and Canada (Boodle).

Busy day. 2 large chickens in a stockpot for a few hours (chicken for the dogz, soup for me), riffed on TBG's crockpot pork by adding marinara ingredients instead of BBQ sauce. Yum. Plenty to pass around, set your faxes to receive.

And bought some navy blue slacks to wear at interviews. Jacket's sitting in back of me, just waiting.

CqP, flock is winging its way to you 2moro.

Have a good day, all.

Posted by: -dbG- | July 19, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link to the Rosetta Stone story, pj. The ex and I saw it at the British Museum in 1993. Dunno how they have it displayed now, but then it was just out in the middle of the room, so you could go up and touch it. The ex walked past it and then realized that was it. It was the same deal with the Elgin Marbles.

Corn and green beans for supper, along with chicken slathered with mustard BBQ sauce. The corn's already shucked, so it will have to go in the microwave.

Posted by: slyness | July 19, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I saw an interesting sight yesterday.

#1 son, #1 by default since he is the only son, was bush hogging the field behind the house, and dozens and dozens of purple martins were swooping and darting low above the field, presumeably feasting on insects disturbed by the bush hogging.

Very strange weather here in western KY..Most of last week the temps were in the low 70s, very unusual for mid July. Normally it would be flirting with the 100s. I'm not complaining, though.

Posted by: Manon1 | July 19, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I bought orange-blossom honey today instead of clover honey (don't think I've ever noticed that choice before) and it's delish. Especially poured over the Greek yogurt.

Anyone have any ideas about these honey choices? Growing up, we used to get honey from the neighbor behind us because his bees used our yard's clover. That was always kind of cool to me.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 19, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Just spent the past hour on my deck reading in the sun. Ate a couple of my grape tomatoes fresh off the vine; hot from the sun, sweet, delicious.


Posted by: -bc- | July 19, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Hello Manon! *not-quite-Grover-waves-cuz-of-my-aching-back*

Yoki, in my backBoodling I believe I uncovered something... Didn't 'Mudge offer a 21-Century Canucki translation, instead of a 21-year-old Canucki? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 19, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Silly DC story....

Hard to know if it was the wind, the radio (which I had turned down but not off after her first statement), or if she was trying to figure out the initials....

So we're flying down the road, windows down, radio blasting (Sweet Child O' Mine).

DC: Mom, church is kind of boring.
Me: Well, honey, next year, you'll start CCD and then you'll understand a whole lot better what's going on.
DC: What's CCD?
Me: School you go to for one hour a week and they teach you about Jesus.
DC: (pause) (crinkled eyebrows) Like Brie?

I laughed so hard, that I couldn't answer 'what's so funny?' When I finally could speak and answered, she laughed even harder, then between gasps for air she yelled I GOTTA PEE!

That Sweet Child O' Mine can turn my whole mood around in an instant. Usually when I least expect it.

Posted by: LostInThought | July 19, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Manon1, I worked on a ranch/farm in southern Alberta as a summer job between first and second year university (we will not revisit the whole post-hole digger incident).

Best. Sight. Ever. A Golden Eagle walking in the path of the thresher clearing wheat and laying down rows of wheat-stalks to dry for straw.

'Twas a vole and blackbird-chick smorgasboard for raptors.

Posted by: Yoki | July 19, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Scotty: Oops!

Posted by: Yoki | July 19, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

TBG, I've had several of differnet kinds of honey; orange, apple blossom, lemon, lavender, cherry.


Posted by: -bc- | July 19, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

SCC: 21st-Century

I blame the naproxen.

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 19, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back Manon, what is bush hogging?

Posted by: dmd3 | July 19, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I have no such excuse, S'nuke.

Posted by: Yoki | July 19, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Holy Swiss, LiT, that's funny.


Posted by: -bc- | July 19, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

dmd, in my neck of the woods we called bush hogging "brushing out." But of course, we didn't have a bush hog. Only a spoon and determination.

Posted by: Yoki | July 19, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse


Bush hogging, in this case, was cutting an over-grown pasture. It's done with a tractor pulling a big rotary cutter(like a power mower on steriods) behind it.

Posted by: Manon1 | July 19, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, you forget I am the suburban girl so I cannot begin to tell you how confused I am trying to figure our how your brush bush, bush hog either some sort of swine or a cool farm implement - but the requirement for a spoon - I got nothing!

Posted by: dmd3 | July 19, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Around this neck of the woods, TBG, people swear that sourwood honey is the best.

dmd, a bushhog is a large mower towed behind a tractor, that has the ability to take down everything in its path, up to trees of say, four inches diameter at the base. Mr. T says bushhogs can vary in blade length from 3 to 7 feet. The size one buys depends on the horsepower of one's tractor.


Posted by: slyness | July 19, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse


I've never seen a golden eagle, but I've seen bald eagles at Kentucky Lake (west of me). They were reintroduced there a number of years ago and have thrived. They are a glory to see.

Posted by: Manon1 | July 19, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

I be slow tonight... Not gettin' the CCD hilarity onslaught. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 19, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse


That's how I remember the Rosetta Stone from my visit many years ago. I'm hoping to visit London again in the next month or so and I can verify this recollection. (I plan to do other things there as well!)

Posted by: -pj- | July 19, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the explanations.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 19, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Scotty: Confraternity of Christian Doctrine

Religious education in preparation for acceptance into the community as a practicing Catholic (and, sometimes, Anglican, if High Church).

Posted by: Yoki | July 19, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Scotty... Wegmans has a fine assortment of Jesus, including cheddar, brie and swiss.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 19, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

S'nuke, she thought I said they teach you about cheeses.

Posted by: LostInThought | July 19, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I like it that the great DC story is the Boodle appended to a Rome kit.

Posted by: Yoki | July 19, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Which, if you think about it, would explain the wine and crackers.

Posted by: LostInThought | July 19, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Sweet Cheeses! (I wasn't getting it either...sigh...but I do know what bush hogging is.)

Posted by: seasea1 | July 19, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: Scottynuke | July 19, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

"60 Minutes" is leading with a big piece on Walter Cronkite, with lots of celebrity reminiscences.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | July 19, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

LiT, that Dovetails nicely with Joel's possible visit to the Cheesecloth of Turin.


Posted by: -bc- | July 19, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Florida recently required that honey produced within the state consist of honey, and nothing but.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | July 19, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Right, Mudge, the entire hour is supposed to be about Cronkite.

Front page says Frank McCourt has died.

Posted by: seasea1 | July 19, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Raised a Catholic, attended church, Catholic school Kindergarten to end of High school, never heard of CCD - perhaps because it was taught in the schools? Then again I remember almost nothing from religion class, except being sent to the hall a few times.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 19, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Really, dmd? All my Catholic friends went to CCD every week... it was like Sunday school on a weeknight--often at the CCD teacher's house.

Come to think of it, they used to call it "Catechism." Then the term CCD came into use. Was this a result of Vatican II?

Posted by: -TBG- | July 19, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

CCD was, in my day, for kids who didn't attend Catholic schools. Ma Frostbitten claims she put us in Our Lady of Mr. Carmel so she could sleep in on Saturdays because we had religion classes at school.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | July 19, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinking it's what I knew as catechism...I think my protestant church had some sort of confirmation classes which we were supposed to go to before becoming a member of the church. I never took them - my parents were surprised, when I told them why I didn't take communion. I was the youngest kid, I guess they lost track.

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

dmd, CCD was for Catholic kids whose parents couldn't send them to Catholic school - usually held in the Catholic school facilites adjacent to the Church.

We saw those kids on the CYO teams and at first Communion and Confirmation.


Posted by: -bc- | July 19, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

That (burnt siena?) palazzo seems a bit too uniform. The older buildings at the University of North Carolina were given some sort of "wash" to make them look Italian a decade or so before the War. By the 1970s, there were patches, pinkish blooms, and other signs of real character. Highly atmospheric. Then someone decided the buildings needed attention and they were covered with off-white paint.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | July 19, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

That makes sense, here the Catholic system is publicly funded, (long constituational story).

Posted by: dmd3 | July 19, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

We’re home! What did I miss? I’m up on most of the newsy news, Cronkite’s death and world stuff but feel totally at a loss about everyone here. Hope all are well?

We had a wonderful time, Nova Scotia is just gorgeous and the people there are wonderful. Saw a moose, eagles, puffins and whales. Got eaten by black flies (they love me), must have taken 300 photos. I am so glad to be home, which must mean that the trip was just long enough. I have tomorrow off so I will tell more stories later.

Missed you guys!

Posted by: badsneakers | July 19, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

TBG, I was going to say you aren't that old. Vatican II was 62 to 65, but I don't think it went to publication until 68. (Don't know why I think that, but I studied a bunch of religious stuff in college and the date jumped to mind. Too lazy to get up and look). But then I remembered...your area is the Arlington Diocese, considered one of the most (if not most) conservative in the nation. (Don't live there anymore, but I'm not sure they allow Alter Girls yet).

We always called it CCD. But my mother wore pants with Dad's shirts tied at the waist and put me in flowal-print jeans and tie-dye. And made sure I learned my catechism.

Posted by: LostInThought | July 19, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

OK.. here's Wikipedia's definitive paragragh about modern CCD. But it doesn't say anything about cheese.

Contemporary Usage

The Confraternity of Christian Doctrine is commonly referred to by its abbreviation, CCD, or simply as "Catechism," and provides religious education to Catholic children attending secular schools. Similar to children’s Sunday school in Protestant churches, CCD education is provided by both members of the clergy and lay staff, although unlike Sunday school it is often held after school on weekdays. CCD attendance is considered by Vatican officials to be vital to children’s development as Catholics. These classes not only educate children about Jesus and the Catholic faith but prepare children to receive the sacraments of Penance (confession), the Eucharist (Holy Communion), and Confirmation.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 19, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the explanation, LiT, but, geez, havarti. Not everyone knows the Lord cast Cain out to live east of Edam. But it's gouda learn about these things anywhere, even if you have to chevre it into an Achenblog discussion. I cheddar to think how many people aren't aware of Biblical allusions. Since you gruyere own dear child, this isn't be a problem. So don't be bleu that we didn't understand your story the first time around.

Posted by: -pj- | July 19, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm quite sure the day I got completely hooked on the boodle was one where Mudge wrote something about "sweet cheeses."

Posted by: frostbitten1 | July 19, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | July 19, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

How long after a field went fallow would you be willing to cut a field with a hay mower? How big a sapling would mess it up and make you use a bush hog instead to be safe?

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 19, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Glad you enjoyed your trip badsneakers.

Yoki, are you aware your favorite over the counter pain reliever is now available in Canada, just noticed it at the Drug store - the big national chain.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 19, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Fellow Americans, is CBS showing 60 Minutes right now? Because Uncle Walt is NOT on here.

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 19, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

pj, when reading the story, it's not as clear...I guess it sort of goes pasteurize. Even if the process is part of your culture. And I'm thoroughly im pressed with your thoughts. Definitely one of a rind.

Posted by: LostInThought | July 19, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I see that Joel is having a little "Dan Brown" fun at Rome's Piazza Navona. I would have appreciated a photo of the Bernini and the obelisk, but we got della Porta, Bitta and Zappala's Fontana di Nettuno with two pigeons--and no marine nymphs. Don't know if Joel is on one of the walking tours of the fountains of Rome or particpating in one of the Angels and Demons tours?

Wiki: The piazza is featured in Dan Brown's 2009 thriller Angels and Demons, in which the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi is listed as one of the Altars of Science. During June 2008, Ron Howard directed several scenes of the film adaptation of Angels and Demons on the southern section of the Piazza Navona, featuring Tom Hanks.

Posted by: laloomis | July 19, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Didn't you send Joel the list of photos you wanted him to take, loomis?

I personally requested a picture of either an armless, naked statue or an umbrella pine.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 19, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

This joke reminds me of Dear Child...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 19, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

When I was growing up in the Fifties, there was very little separation between church and state in my town. About 95% of the population was Catholic -- either Irish or Italian. In my parochial school, we had every Tuesday afternoon off so that the public school kids could attend "Release Time" -- they had permission from their parents to be marched up the hill to attend our school for Catholic education. We taunted them while we marched out of school and they marched in with cries of "Your mother doesn't love you enough to send you to Catholic school!"

Posted by: rickoshea0 | July 19, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

How about the street where they filmed that Chef Boyardee commercial of the kids running through Rome - now there is a little bit of cultural history!

Posted by: dmd3 | July 19, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

I would think that 60 Minutes airs at 7 pm in NC - or maybe not at all, since it's one of those liberal news shows...90 minutes till it's on here...

Posted by: seasea1 | July 19, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

dmd, I cannot tell you how disappointed I am that Joel hasn't posted any photos of Spaghetti trees the Chef was growing in Italy.

Parmesan the digression, I rEATurn you to your naturally aged program, "Cheeses Just Allright."

I just couldn't curd my enthusiasm.


Posted by: -bc- | July 19, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

But rickoshea, that taunting was false on it's face. They *were* going to Catholic school. You watched them march in.

In our predominantly-Italian neighborhood, very few families could afford to send their children there. Those kids came from surrounding communities that didn't have a Catholic church/school. Besides, we didn't taunt each other....we got in trouble together at AGC and CYO.

Off to tuck in DC. Have a happy night all.

Posted by: LostInThought | July 19, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

made it back to socal.

lit, very funny story about dc. you need to write these down.

Posted by: LALurker | July 19, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Vel, veeta liked to see more pitchers from Rome, but beggers can't be chaources. I'm sure Joel cerney tried to get more pitchers, but he mozzarella been in a hurry to get something to drink (I heard he drank a queso fresco, tho' I didn't know they still made fresco).

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | July 19, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

With all the technical expertise that was required to build the ISS - still the toilet floods.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 19, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Howdy Manon.

pj, that was a fine tour de cheese and look what you started. Great fun.

Important regional language difference: here we say brush hog, not bush hog. To my regret, my mother sold our brush hog before I moved home. I miss it every year about this time, and again just before winter.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 19, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Greetings, Ivansmom.

Posted by: Manon1 | July 19, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Very funny about cheeses.

I thought those things only happened in Jewish households. My youngest asked a few years ago why daddy yelled "cheeses" when he was on the highway. I asked him to repeat the question about four times before I said, "OK, tell me exactly how daddy says it." He ran a hand through his hair in perfect imitation of daddy and yelled "Cheeses, lady!"

Posted by: abeac1 | July 19, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

I just showed the Boy the nintendo themes a capella video and now he insists on showing me what the games were. Whoops.

Vaya con queso,all, fondue, and a buenos gnocchis to Joel.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 19, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse


In the accent of Foghorn Leghorn...

"I see, I go."

Posted by: russianthistle | July 19, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Joel's top photo, from atop the Capitoline Museum features (left to right):
-facade of Santa Maria in Campitelli. Late baroque, 1667. Nice Corinthian columns (Roman Churches Wikia)

-dome behind it is the dome of the Church of San Carlo ai Catinari and Centro Studi Storici dei Padri Barnabiti. Consecrated 1722. (wikimapia)

-middle dome gotta be St. Peters

-right dome Church of Sant'Andrea della Valle. It's the result of a road-widening project of the construction-crazed Sixtus V. Tosca was there.

wikimapia has an amazing interactive map of Rome. The District deserves something similar. Including the site of Tiber Creek.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | July 19, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Nate Silver issues a climate change skeptic challenge, and mentions the idiocy of drawing climate conclusions from a few cool summer days in Minneapolis
I'm guessing we'll see fewer people step up on this one than we saw being water boarded and concluding it's not torture.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | July 19, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Yanno, Weed, I racked my brain for 10 minutes trying to come up with something printable for asiago. Couldn't do it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | July 19, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

The new Cowboys stadium looks as though it could hold Chicago and St. Louis.

Then there's the World Games, leftover sports the Olympics won't take. So they're in Taiwan, with a really neat stadium. Possibly better-looking than the Birds Nest and no doubt cheaper.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | July 19, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse


I think I will enjoy my southern exposure.

Posted by: russianthistle | July 19, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

New guest kit!

Posted by: frostbitten1 | July 19, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Beautiful pictures. I'd rather read Dan Froomkin though.

Posted by: SarahBB | July 20, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

that statue must be on steroids. those are some formidable guns.

Posted by: butlerguy | July 20, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

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