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Bulletin From the Corn Patch

So pathetic: My corn is as high as an aardvark's eye. Maybe a tad higher, but it is certainly a sad little corn patch, barely more impressive than a clump of crab grass. It radiates none of that "amber waves of grain" stuff. It's more like a wrist-flick of grain. My corn patch this year is another in a long line of air-quotes corn patches. It's not corn, you see, it's just "corn." It's an homage to corn as a concept. It's campy corn. Artists who visit the house will find my corn to be clever. They don't realize how desperate I am to be taken seriously as a farmer.

My tomatoes, meanwhile, are flamboyantly disappointing. Some of the plants produce nothing, and the rest produce only green tomatoes. You say: But they'll ripen! Yeah? Like in 2017? I was hoping for ripe tomatoes at some point during the Obama years. I've never seen such resolutely green mayters. They're stuck on green. Does my soil lack a chemical? And if so, would that not be a frightening metaphor for my entire existence?

Whenever I feel myself on the verge of hopelessness, I always tell myself: don't despair. Just be profoundly discouraged. Despair is for the weak of heart, whereas intense and debilitating discouragement is for the rational of mind. There's a reason these things happen, and the reason is that you aim too high, dream too big. Delusions of grandeur are not the same thing as a strategy. Hope is not a plan, as they say.

Still, you have to wonder -- as the years stack up behind you -- how many more tricks you'll master. How many more acts in your personal drama. The easy path is to be a creature of habit. To know, today, exactly what you'll be doing on a Tuesday next March. To stick with what has always worked. But then even some of the old magic fades, and things you could count on let you down. Your favorite dish doesn't taste quite as good as you remember it. A favorite movie now seems plodding.

Your tomatoes don't turn red.

But all you can do is fight it. I'm going online to research tall corn and ripe tomatoes. I'm going to figure this out yet -- being as how I'm man of the soil and all that.

By Joel Achenbach  |  August 7, 2009; 7:49 AM ET
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Next: Having That Third Kid


Have you tried PEDs (Produce Enhancing Drugs)?

Posted by: Southwester | August 7, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

First? First?

Jeezey-peezy, it's a sad state of affairs when a decrepit 900+-year-old codger is first. I have the reflexes of stalagtite. C'mon, people, let's see a little action here.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 7, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Joel, why are you trying to grow corn on a city lot? To be successful with that crop, you need to plant at least three acres. If you don't have the room, well, that's why we have farmers markets.

Posted by: slyness | August 7, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Was about to be on-kit for yesterday's demi-particle item. Bc writes often about the endurance of change. So, I wanted to say that Delta might be god-ish as in eternal, omnipresent, and immutable...mysterious too.

TEST (paste of delta symbol)

TEST (html trick of delta symbol)

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | August 7, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Trick works! So if you need a delta simple in html, type


Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | August 7, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Green tomatoes all around. We can pretend we live in England. And, vacation in Italy, in part, to secure the blessings of ruddy and ripe love apples.

Tomatoes have been called love apples and golden apples.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | August 7, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

This is almost on kit, cute story of a 92 year old woman, and her tomatoes. 92 and no glasses I am in awe.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 7, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

I should add I have three small green tomatoes, they have been green quite a while, I hope they turn red but I am not hold my breath.

I do have quite a number of moon flower buds now though - crossing my fingers they make it to the flower stage.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 7, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

I assume this is in anticipation of a few proofs of the fundamental theorem of calculus you want to share. I await eagerly.

The only δ I know is δ Dawn and I want to know what that faded flower she's got on. Could it be a faded rose from days gone by?

Posted by: yellojkt | August 7, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

δ ! Thanks, YJ. Mrs. YJ is now fully aware of the imaginary universe.

And, not sure this public venue is the place for my fundamental theorem lesson about Delta is All.

Now, I am thinking of Delta Burke AND that song....double cooties.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | August 7, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

OK, so I'm second. Still...

Got an e-mail a few minutes ago that the man who was my boss when I was a newspaper editor down at Pax River Naval Air Station died last night. He'd had lung cancer for a year or more, and it was kind of expected. I got an e-mail yesterday morning saying the family had been called.

His name was John, and he was a feisty newspaper type from way back (yes, strange that I'd be friendly with such a person, I know). He was a civilian PAO for the Navy and part of his job was to be the boss and publisher of the base newspaper. He and I saw eye-to-eye, and fought many a battle together, and he stuck up for me when I got into deep, deep trouble for sending an e-mail to the Chief of Naval Operations. (Long story.)

John and I ate lunch together about three days out of five at the Pax enlisted personnel's restaurant, Pax Landing, and there his favorite occupation was tormenting the waitresses, especially one who was an ardent Dallas Cowboys fan (John was, of course, a true-blue Redskins fan). Oh, the battles they had during football season.

For the last five years, John always talked about "going to see the Old Man" (whoever the base captain was at the time) and "putting in his papers" to retire, and every year said he was going to quit "next year," but he never did. It was just part of his bluster. So far as I'm aware, he was still on the books as a Navy PAO, and I think he kind of wanted it that way. He died with his boots on, as it were.

John was a good, practicing Catholic, and of Polish descent, and proud of it. Every once in a while I'd hear a string of Polish obscenities (at least I assume) coming from his office, and it made me smile. He said things in Polish he'd never have said in English.

Truth be told, John could be a pain-in-the-butt to some people, and there were those who didn't like him, especially in the politics-riddled heirarchies of the Pax NAS PAO shops (there were three, so turf wars were the order of the day, and John's shop was at the bottom of the pecking order, although that never deterred him for a moment). But once I got to know him and understand he meant well, I never took offense at John's bluntness and bluster; that was just John being John. I never once had a problem with him; there are damn few bosses I've ever had I can say that about. He never once said a harsh word to me, nor anything even close. Because we were similiar in age, newspaper background, general outlook (read: cynicism), and overall cantankerousness, we got along very well and respected each other.

He was a great newspaperman, he was my friend, and I'll miss him.

RIP, John Romer, 1943-2009.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 7, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Joel I feel your pain but have patience. My tomatoes are also green (there was one small red one but when I picked it, it had a rotten spot - from all the rain I assume). I was very upset last week about my corn as it was tall, but had no ears forming at all. Two days ago “S” came in from garden inspection to tell me that there were now some silks showing and, sure enough, the ears are coming. Everything is late this year, except green beans, which don’t seem to care about weather. As I mentioned last night, even the nightly cricket serenade hasn’t happened yet this year. You do know that you need to plant at least three rows of corn for pollination, right?

Events of the past few weeks have shown me that life is unpredictable and that I have no idea where I’ll be next spring on a Tuesday (except it won’t be as a greeter at Wal-Mart!!). It’s scary but liberating too, getting too much into a rut isn’t good for me because as I age, I find ruts to be comfortable, but not stimulating. If I don’t mix it up sometimes, I’ll end up as one of those little old ladies who refuses invitations because it’s her day to water the plants.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 7, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, that was a lovely tribute to your friend. I am sorry for your loss.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 7, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

See, Joel, this is what happens when you trash the fly-over states. The crops pre-emptivley have sensed your antipathy and have decided to treat you accordingly. You must now take a sojourn to Des Moines and reflect on your sins while counting each corn stalk you see from the Mississippi on.

Posted by: ebtnut | August 7, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Just heard from a friend that John had accrued 1,250 hours of sick leave, and had only used 80 hours of it these past two weeks (he was working as recently as two weeks ago). That was typical John.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 7, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

And why did my Δs come out as δs?

Posted by: yellojkt | August 7, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

weird weather here isn't helping my tomatoes to turn red. a little over a week ago the high temp was 109. yesterday it only got up 77. the next week's forecast doesn't break 90.

Posted by: bh72 | August 7, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

A really nice afternoon and BPH, and an enjoyable view of the waning moon in conjunction with Jupiter in the Northeastern sky for the ride home.

Back to the previous Kit for a moment, it is an interesting irony to me that we aspire to find the "god particle" with human constructs. We're human - wonderful and smart and clever - but imperfect. Given the mind-boggling complexity of our scientific tools such as the LHC, the Space Shuttle, etc., we're bound to run into difficulties from limitiations of our own humanity. (Remember Pirsig's thoughts on getting the best tools and caring for them? I don't know if leaving stuff outside for a year is good practice, but sometimes there aren't any options...) We'll most likely overcome these problems because we're clever, stubborn, smart and focused. Having said that, if I'm looking for god particles, I'm going to use something simple.

Like a Divining Rod.

Now onto this Kit - I'm not raising corn this year, but and my tomato plants aren't prodcing a lot yet, but they *are* producing one or two here and there - it requires some patience on my part. But those vine-ripened beauties are well worth the wait -- *delicious.*

Care and patience is working for me - but then, that's about all I've got at the moment.


Posted by: -bc- | August 7, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

So sorry about your former boss, Mudge.

Joel, I feel your pain about the 'maters. My cherry tomatoes are going great guns. But the larger ones are just green lurkers. And don't get me started about the yellow squash. Blooms galore, but only 2 squash so far. Bet the right wingers would blame it on Obama.

Posted by: Raysmom | August 7, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Is it too late to inquire of the boodle what a group of hadrons might be called? A clutch? A scheme? A smash?

Posted by: russianthistle | August 7, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

A perfectly ripe tomato will last for up to six days without spoiling, buy under-ripe tomatoes for later in the week. Place them in a paper bag, where the tomatoes’ natural emission of ethylene, a ripening hormone, will turn them red.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | August 7, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Hadrons come in prides - it is a pun of sorts.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | August 7, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, you should send that eulogy to the base's rag if it's still published, even if it's on-line only.

You are lucky to have green tomatoes. My tomato plants are dying faster than the tomatoes are ripening. They can't survive being wet all the time. Yesterday was a semi-fine day, today is a fine day and yet we had a downpoor sometimes late last night. It's been like that since June, we can't buy a three-day without rain.
Pointy-head scientists need to develop an algae/tomato hybrid that can survive that. It would be useful for the Pacific Northwest as well.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 7, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, thanks for sharing John with us. It's another testament to this wonderful venue that we can mourn someone we didn't know personally because he meant something to an "imaginary" friend.

My mother was a ΔΔΔ and a friend of mine helped form the chapter at UVa back in the olden days. The expression, of course, was... "can't find a date? Tri-Delt!" You gotta say it out loud.

Aha! So... upper case Delta makes Δ and lower case delta makes δ.


Posted by: -TBG- | August 7, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

A snordah of hadrons.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 7, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Your buddy sounded like a great guy and a hard worker. Us taxpayers should be proud to have such a dedicated public servant. My condolences on the loss of your friend.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 7, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I guess that hadrons can't look at themselves in the mirror because they have no pride.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 7, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I always heard the official phone answering method at a ΔΔΔ house was "Delta Delta Delta. Which delt would you like to tri?"

And Octavia Butler said "God is Δ" (slightly paraphrased).

Posted by: yellojkt | August 7, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

No! Tis a wall of Hadrons!

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | August 7, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

There are fewer and fewer like John, 'Mudge. I'll miss him from afar, as it were. *moment of silence*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 7, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

mudge, a very sad loss.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 7, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Octavia Butler.

God is Δ

but God is also Love
and the Unmoved Mover
and the Ground of Being
...and other ways we with language try to capture this.

That who cannot be named....but benevolent, unlike Voldemort.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | August 7, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, thank you for the story. And, sad that he is gone.

Do we think that the tomater-pie recipes can be adapted for green tomatoes?

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | August 7, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

This cracks me up. Look like Slyness will have to visit Orlando to check these out, too...

"By analyzing the crude markings above the doorway to the tomb, we've concluded that it was likely constructed during the Pre-Eisnerian period, one of the bloodiest and most chaotic eras in the history of the Magic Kingdom."

Posted by: -TBG- | August 7, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Yanno, CqP, it took me about five minutes to get "a wall of Hadrons." And now I'm giving you a standing ovation.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 7, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

@mudge: I'm sorry for your loss. I haven't gotten any word on the status of on old boss of mine in over a year and I hope she's still around. She was (and remains, I hope) a feisty old lady, a veteran red who could name drop everyone from Timothy Leary to Elijah Mohammad, but she was almost 80 when I last saw her and in poor health. Reading your appreciation of John made me think of her again and I can only hope I don't need to start composing something similar myself.

I am not, however, sorry I beat you to first comment.

Posted by: Southwester | August 7, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, you made my week with that praise.
Works well for the history nerds. And, that is a good thing.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | August 7, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

So, Raysmom (and others who might have watched SYTYCD last night) -- what did you think of the winner? As I posted last night, while I do think that Brandon (the "forgotten man" to the WaPo) is a superb dancer and one whom I could watch dance forever, I also think that Jeanine also deserved to win. She danced her brains out throughout the season (as did Janette, whom I also liked to watch dance) and did so well at everything.

*putting imaginary toe shoes on ("yeah, right," quoth the knees) and pirouetting ever so elegantly . . . .*

Gotta get buried in work now, so toodles for now.

Posted by: -ftb- | August 7, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Nice tribute, Mudge.

Posted by: engelmann | August 7, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Sorry for the loss of your friend, Mudge. I had a "boss" like that once, a retired diesel submariner chief sonarman. And proud of his Italian heritage.

Don't understand your problem with the CNO though. I thought you outranked a CNO?

Scott - I believe your SCC in the last kit was in error, "...bc and I..." is correct. Anyone else?


Posted by: DLDx | August 7, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I got CqP's wall right away and applauded her mentally because I was thinking of suggesting "Memoirs" of Hadron.
Then I thought better, but "Mémoires d'Hadrien" is a wonderful book. Maybe Youcenar's best althought L'oeuvre au Noir/The Abyss is great too.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 7, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

SCC Yourcenar. I'll go to mount Desert Island ME one day.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 7, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I'm sure John's smiling at your representation of him here. Thanks for sharing your memories of him, and I'm sorry for your loss.


Posted by: -bc- | August 7, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Might I recommend some high quality organic bunny poo? I might be able to hook you up with some. This pungent substance has been known to produce prodigious amounts of fruit. (A sentence that I think is very fun to say.)

Of course, even the most lovingly maintained garden is no guarantee of success. This is especially true for corn, which I tried to grow many years ago. That is, until the great weevil attack of '96. (But of this we shall speak no more.)

I think in the end you need to accept that home gardening is pretty much akin to performance art. It must be viewed as kinda Zen-ish. To base one's happiness on a quantitative reward can lead to folly. The act of tilling, planting, weeding, and tending crops must be viewed as an end in itself.

Kind of like life. But with more nitrogen.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 7, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

SD praise too, with French in it. Like Gomez Addams, I am undone and shall sink to my knees weak with happiness.

RD's punny boo is really strong stuff. And, works miracles.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | August 7, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

From E-post:

The Labor Department said the U.S. economy lost 247,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate declined to 9.4% from 9.5% in June. See more on jobs report.

Economists surveyed by MarketWatch predicted payrolls would fall by 275,000 and they expected a 9.7% unemployment rate. Also, payrolls for May and June were revised to reflect less negative numbers.

"Bottom line is the data is good in detail as well as headline, and revisions are in the right direction," said Marc Chandler, a strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman. "This will likely strengthen the green-shoots story."

The market is rallying on this news. The beyond that fact that possibly falling of the back end of the Unemployment count because they have used up their benefits, the return on Treasurys jumped 10 basis points(one and two years).

As stupid as it sounds, our best way out of this credit crunch is a couple good years of inflation. Real estate has to go up in value. Republicans congressmen are screaming about inflation, but in actuality, it works to our long term benefit ... even though, many of us may suffer the affects of the price increase/fixed income squeeze.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 7, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I have lots of green jewels that look doomed never to ripen as long as we have the cloud cover of Seattle out here.

I got up late because I was shivering in my bed. August. Gotta love this state.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 7, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Well... gardening brings tomatoes and cucumbers and onions, which makes the perfect Greek salad, so this is kind of on Kit, no?

From the Facebook Greek Food group comes...

Our GFWOTM ("Greek Food Word of the Month") is:

"cinnamon", from Gk. 'kinnamomon' as first mentioned in Herodotus' 'Histories'. If you don't already know, cinnamon is very high in antioxidants and is good for your heart, so sprinkle a little cinnamon on fruits, desserts, and specialty coffees, it's good for you. Greeks like to cook with cinnamon as well, for a tasty pasta meat sauce recipe with cinnamon, see:

Posted by: -TBG- | August 7, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

My mother, raised in Manhattan, disliked San Francisco for its lack of summer warmth. Looks like Washington has been given Bay weather this year. Or maybe the Scottish version. Thompson & Morgan were big on sub-Arctic tomatoes, Norwegian watermellons and mini-corn that could make the short season.

Climate even made a difference in Wyoming. Towns at the bottom of the Bighorn Basin were good for corn and tomatoes (if you didn't have salinity problems), but Cody was more limiting. Very good for radishes, though.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 7, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Ha, Dave! Sounds nice, but I don't think I want to live in a place described as "very good for radishes."


Posted by: -TBG- | August 7, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Mel Martinez is resigning. I guess he was known to be unhappy as a Senator, and maybe his vote for Sotamayor was an indicator...

So now we'll have a place-holder in the Senate for a year, until Gov. Crist takes the seat.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 7, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, sorry to hear about your friend.

I mentioned this before, but will repeat since it's on Kit. Casa Blanca and other lilies are blooming, zinnias are finally flowering, and I picked a very small red tomato! Lots of light green tomatoes - this will be our best tomato and pepper season ever, although we had to start over with the tomatoes in June. Last week we had record heat - now it seems like fall is coming on.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 7, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Is there any chance that Joel will get the appointment?

Posted by: russianthistle | August 7, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

And in the "What was that other-shoe-dropping noise?" department:

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 7, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Hey Scotty, that was ‘so’ not a shock!

It is a perfect summer day here sunny, dry and warm. I am taking advantage of this by picking up where I left off in May with the staining of the deck. I don’t know why this makes me so happy, but it does!

Posted by: badsneakers | August 7, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Scotty. I had to dust off No Duh News for that hot tip.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 7, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I would recommend a young man by the name of Jefferson Smith to finish out Sen. Martinez's term. I think he has some previous legislative experience.

Posted by: kguy1 | August 7, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

AstroTurfer of the year award:

The video is of Tim Phillips' visit to the Rachel Maddow show yesterday.

Join me in a big fat steaming bowl of "Why am I not surprised!?"

Posted by: russianthistle | August 7, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I'm sorry to hear about your friend. It's hard to let go of folks who are good like that.

TBG, I laughed out loud at the terracotta Mouseketeers and sent the link to my buddy who went with me to the exhibit. Have you seen the soldiers at the Smithsonian yet? It's definitely worth the time.

Anybody who needs tomatoes, just let me know. I'll fax all you need. This is August in the South, the tomatoes are ripening fast.

Posted by: slyness | August 7, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Since I had the Blogger account open, I found this story as well:

Posted by: yellojkt | August 7, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I just found out that Roger Federer and his wife had twin girls in July:

Posted by: seasea1 | August 7, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

slyness, how about a an email attachment. I have a piece of paper jammed in my printer/fax.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 7, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

@kguy: I'm sure he'll be a perfect patsy for the political machine in that state of his.

Posted by: Southwester | August 7, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Okay, Weed, a dozen Romas emailed your way!

Posted by: slyness | August 7, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

The fly-over states need to be driven-through to be truly appreciated. Joel, your detractors need to understand where your roots arise. Although you may need a few lessons from them on city farming.

Nice eulogy, Mudge.

I am on the egde of employment. The thin green line you might say...a good thing since my green bank account is shrinking.

Posted by: Windy3 | August 7, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Just back from a lovely walk with my girls.

Mudge beautiful tribute.

Good luck Windy.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 7, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Isn't this a great day? Our office is closing in 2 minutes, I'm going to see Romeo & Juliet tonight, and the sun is shining for the first time all week.

If anybody needs cheering, just send them my way; I've got chipper to spare.

Posted by: Yoki | August 7, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, nice memorial to your old boss.

If he never gave you any problems, you either didn't get much red ink, or you've forgotten all that pain, because it was some real good red ink, man.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 7, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm in a pretty good mood too. It's sunny, albeit cool at 68F/20C, and I'm leaving the office in 56.5 minutes for 2 weeks of vacation.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 7, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Mojo headed your way, Windy. Glad to hear it.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 7, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Pretty chipper here as well, temps in the mid 70's, kids in the pool (pool temp 83)and I am using my laptop at the outdoor table, dmdspouse began his new job and is now home at noon on Fridays, off to a friends cottage tomorrow.

Shriek going away for you vacation?

Posted by: dmd3 | August 7, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Beautiful August day in your nation's capital - 84 degrees F, few passing fair weather cumulus, just a touch of a breeze. However, it may get close to 100 by Sunday, which is more like what we expect in the second week of August.

Posted by: ebtnut | August 7, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

No corn,no mators,just beans and they are going slowly,but hopefully soon they will produce some produce!!

Speaking of nice days,I had one of those days yesterday,that if I live to be 100,I will look back upon it and say "Now that was a great day to alive and in tune with the world"

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 7, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Gwe that sounds great.

I'm enjoying my Friday off at the mall with Daughter. Currently in the HUGE two-floor Forever XXI. They finally got smart and set ip a couch for the moms.


Posted by: -TBG- | August 7, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

@TBG: I went to Forever XXI with Southwestress once and while she was exploring, I discovered that tucked into one corner (well, half a corner, really) was a men's section. The selection was quite limited, but everything was on sale and I picked up a nice pair of jeans for $15.

Posted by: Southwester | August 7, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Do you have to have a teen-aged daughter or are creepy older guys allowed to just chill on the couch?

Posted by: yellojkt | August 7, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

One of the malls in town just opened a Forever XXI store, there was a sign out front marking the opening - I was confused and thought it was the mall's anniversary.

I am hopelessly out of date with the times.

I am sure I will get caught up when back to school shopping starts in a month.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 7, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I was once in a store and my girlfriend was shopping.I had been in the electronics section watching the game. How I agreed to go shopping during the game is beyond my comprehension.Well it was halftime and I went and sat next to the Ronald McDonald statue that looks like a chair. A mother and her little girl came in and the little girl was misbehaving and her mother said "do you want to sit on Ronald McDonalds lap". She said "no,i want to sit on that man's lap". the mother asked me and i said sure.

Her name was Jennifer,she was 7 years old and she was mad that she had to go shopping when the Ravens game was on. I told her "me too" and we all laughed.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 7, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

gwe, that story is priceless.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 7, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I initially read that as Forever XXL, which seemed to be an unusual name for a clothing store.

In other news, red heads feel more pain:

Posted by: engelmann | August 7, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

*Busily widening the fax machine to receive a bushelful of Southern maters...*

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 7, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

@e-mann: Forever XXL is a specialty boutique for the hopelessly obese. It has locations in Ashland Kentucky, Yuma Arizona, Jackson Mississippi, San Antonio Texas, Aususta Georgia, and Apia, Samoa.

Posted by: Southwester | August 7, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Hi everyone! I just wrote my senator asking for her to please arrange for security screenings (metal detectors) at her townhall meetings this month. The wingnuts are threatening to bring guns now:

I am signed up to go to one next Tuesday, with my teenaged daughters. We have made signs. And now it appears that if people supporting Obama's healthcare initiative show up that's "disruption" - free speech is only for Republicans.

I think not. My senator (Claire McCaskill) is a Democrat and will probably arrange for security. Which means we'll have to go an hour earlier.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | August 7, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I've never heard of either Forever XXI or XXL.

"Forever 21" sounds like a nice name for a store set in fanastyland.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 7, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Many carrot-topped men assure me they were continually beat up as kids, tough or not, for the crime of being red-headed.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 7, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Lousy gingers!

Posted by: Southwester | August 7, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I never liked a bunch of hollering protests in which the goal is to stop someone from speaking. I remember Nguyen Cao Ky came to speak at UF and I went. The rowdy students shouted him offstage and he fled, with protesters rocking his car as it pulled away. As much as I knew about him and doubted his good intentions, to say the least, I was still against this sort of thing. But I understood. So if right wing crazies want to show up to shout, I have to cede a certain leeway. Then again, protesters of principle are supposed to be willing to get arrested. Ahem.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 7, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the well-wishes everybody. Have a beautiful weekend as I intend to do!

Posted by: Windy3 | August 7, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

The wife of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford moved out of the official governor's residence, with their four sons today.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 7, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Shouting I can understand, Jumper. Guns, no.

Although from the videos I've been watching of these scuffles at town hall meetings, it appears that someone being attacked with a cane or walker is more likely.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | August 7, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

And while I'm boodle-hogging, Ben Stein is out at the NYTimes:

(because of those free credit score ads he did)

Posted by: Wheezy11 | August 7, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

We not only feel pain, we're vengeful. Don't abuse the gingers.

Posted by: Yoki | August 7, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I'm with the gingers! Such a great spice!

Although it's more accurate to say I resigned this afternoon because I did give 2 weeks notice, I QUIT! I QUIT! I QUIT!

Full report from home later, but mgt looked like they'd been hit by a shovel. My colleagues' response was exemplified by the one who lurched into my cube and said, "I hate you. I have never felt such envy." :-)

Posted by: -dbG- | August 7, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

And the 2 who asked if there was a recruiter I liked and what was his number.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 7, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Altogether, an extremely satisfying afternoon. I'm hard pressed to think of a better one.

I'll stop Boodle-hogging now. /resumes tossing every paper on my desk into the air/

Posted by: -dbG- | August 7, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

If it's Friday, this must be Vienna...

Posted by: DNA_Girl | August 7, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I think Ben Stein is a bright, passionate guy. but I loathe much of his politics and philosophy.

I'm also tired of the sanctimonious gasbags who kept carping about Milbank & Cillizza's "Mouthpiece Theater". OK, it wasn't high comedy, but I got a kick out of it, and their needling of powers-that-be (Hillary Clinton included) was pretty gentle. I'll miss it, and am grateful to Jack Shafer at Slate for his (in my opinion) well-justified slapping-around of Marcus Brauchli.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 7, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm home enjoying a cool beverage, not that it is that hot anyway but I chill.

dmd, we will likely head for a recently degarbaged big city in the second week. Mrs. D and the witches have some museums and expositions in mind. I'll follow along, I'm an easily entertained fellow. I like Chinese food too and that place is famous for it.
Next week there's talk of going climbing some huge piles of rock in NY state. I'm not into climbing a mountain just because it's there so I'm probably going East to visit the aging, and ailing in the case of my father, parents. There will be a bit of fishing along the way as well, of course.

'tis for Curmudgeon. The 10 most historically inaccurate movies of all time. U-571 wins the crown but Mel Gibson is involved with 4 of the 10 and that doesn't include his JC movie.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 7, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I didn't realize that J Freedom du Lac has moved on...

Posted by: seasea1 | August 7, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I always hate to see a ginger snap.

I dunno, shriek. I don't think I can remotely agree with that list (but thanks for bringing it up). It's waaaaay too anti-Mel Gibson, and way too modern; you wouldn't know they made movies back before 1990.

Criticizing "10,000 BC" is surely a joke; you might as well criticize King Kong because, yanno, gorillas don't really get all that big. Criticizing "Gladiator" but letting a couple dozen other gladiator movies go unmolested is just wrong on many levels. Jeez, Louise.

Where was "The Ten Commandments"? Where was "Richard III"? Any of the pre-Tombstone/pre-Costner Wyatt Earp movies about the OK Corral? Where was Blazing Saddles? C'mon. That's list was written by a 19-year Brit who was pissed about U-571 because McConaghy didn't take off his shirt even once.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 7, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I was always bummed when Ginger snapped at Mary Ann.

Posted by: -pj- | August 7, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Englemann! Thank you. Copied and will take to my dentist. Just last month, I winced and groaned. "You have plenty of juice. Relax."

Relax my ginger-coated, cherry-cockled, strawberryed, freckled....!

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | August 7, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I agree Mudge. Movies last at least 50 years, any list spanning a shorter span than that is suspect.
This was the snark that I found funny. Mel's not one of my favorite either I have to say.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 7, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Good luck Windy, hope all goes well! I'm glad others here had a great day too. I finished the first coat of stain on the deck, it looks good. My arms are so tired they are shaking. Good thing dinner is leftovers thrown into a salad as I couldn't manage more than that.

dbG, can't wait to hear more about your resignation!

Posted by: badsneakers | August 7, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Being pointy-sciency may have its perks.

Hypothesis: redheads are also have lower thresholds for pleasure responses.

Posted by: engelmann | August 7, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

That needs testing.

Posted by: Yoki | August 7, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Mudge and SD, interesting. Clearly the largest gripe should be with those movies that pass themselves off as history (or are accepted as such) but have significant distortions or untruths. Nominations are now open. Let's leave religion out of it.

Posted by: engelmann | August 7, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

There are just so many ways that movies can be bad, I can't imagine there ever being a definitive list.

I've been seduced by reviews into thinking I'd like to see Julie & Julia. #2 judges it a movie best on DVD, but I might go to the cinema anyway.

But now, it is off to a picnic supper on the river and then Shakespeare. I say yes to that.

Posted by: Yoki | August 7, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Glands of steel, dbG, in this economy. I'd like to have seen the look on boss's face too.

I'd also like to see Colbert trounce Ben Stein on Jeopardy.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 7, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

This just in: Billy Mayes was a coke head.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 7, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

That explains a lot, doesn't it?

Posted by: Yoki | August 7, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Hehehe. I'd love to have been a fly on the wall, dbG! And I'm looking forward to hearing about it.

There's still some Moet in the back of the fridge in the bunker kitchen. I put it behind the beer so we'd have it for a celebration such as this! Help yourself; the flutes should be on the top shelf above the sink.

Posted by: slyness | August 7, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations, dbG! Yes, it will be great to hear more of your tale.

Posted by: -pj- | August 7, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Just set off the confetti cannon in your honour dbG.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 7, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

*runs after dbG with the 'ol Globetrotters water-basket-full-of-confetti gag* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 7, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

SCC: water BUCKET... *RME*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 7, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

A musical video response to the Jupiter impact of July 18:

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 7, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

JA thinks he has corn trouble, my patch looks like the comb over of corn patches.

Off to back boodle, vicodin working fine and the dental assistant loved my frostiboots.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 7, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

That's a very righteous video Tim. You were around in 1994 as well we see. How come Jupiter got all the action? Every 15 years, whammm!

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 7, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Somehow this is very funny to me;

The dental assistants love frostiboots.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | August 7, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

That's lovely, Tim. Very cool that you observed the '94 comet!

I'm quite happy with Jupiter getting this kind of astral attention instead of Earth.

Posted by: -pj- | August 7, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Test post (thinking of TBG's mad skilz)

dental assistants who ♥ frostiboots

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | August 7, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

or you could say...

sʇooqıʇsoɹɟ ♥ oɥʍ sʇuɐʇsıssɐ lɐʇuǝp

Posted by: -TBG- | August 7, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Good night Al!

Posted by: -TBG- | August 7, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

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

Good evening, friends. JA, I don't mean to laugh, but, I just cannot help it. You and the "maters". And the corn. I suspect your space for the corn could be the problem. And as for the "maters", all I've seen so far are green. You just sound so disappointed, and I know that's not to be laughed at, but, hon, I can't help it. I mean it sounds as if you might want to go into therapy over that small space. You've really tied yourself up over that. Imagine if the family had to be fed from that garden. I suspect you would need anti-depressants. I needed to laugh, and boy, did you provide it in this kit.

Have a great weekend, everyone. I have a washing machine, but cannot use it, and the laundry room is closed for repairs. Pretty soon I will not be able to socialize without someone saying, what's that smell.

JA, if the "maters" don't turn red, fried green tomates are just the cat's meow. I'm seriously considering borrowing a few of my neighbors because theirs are green too.

Hang in there, JA. Pretty soon folks will email and seek your expertise on all things garden. Hey, we might forget you even have a blog, and start calling you Farmer Joel. We'll seek your input before we even turn the ground for planting. Everyone will want to know what does Joel thinks about this. Should we use this plant food or something else. Even the companies that make garden stuff will want your picture on their products. The Achenblog will be a thing of the past, it will be the Farmer's blog. And you, JA, will be sporting a bad farmer's hat and the attire to match. And the ladies will name their babies after you. And your trademark vegetables will be bright red "maters" on one side, and beautiful yellow and white corn on the other. It just doesn't get any better. Doncha you think?

Hey, Loomis, where are you? I didn't read all the comments, and if you in there, forgive the shout out. Hope all is well with you, and family.

Posted by: cmyth4u | August 7, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

The big irony is, on May 14 this year I used Shoemaker-Levy as an example of a 'once in a lifetime' event, and felt myself to be somewhat clever in doing so.

Tim, how many shots of the 2009 impact has Hubble acquired? I've only seen the one from the 23rd. And a lot from the amateur sites, but nothing beats the big boys when it comes to detail. This event seemed more oblique of an impact. Is that right?

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 7, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Joel, you've been farming since YOU were tall as an aardvark's eye. I have a certain feeling you know more about corn than I do. I can't grow the stuff to save my life. I'm awash in tomatoes, poblanos, figs, pecans, asparagus; I can grow strawberries and melons to beat the band, NO ONE beats my garlic harvest, but I can't grow corn.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 7, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Mr. Achenbach, you have no idea the goodness produced by your writing. I'm here in Oklahoma with my dad, we're taking turns spending time with my mom in the convalescent center where she is trying to recover from a broken leg; this is complicated by her ongoing struggles with Alzheimer's. The point being, when Dad came in from his after-dinner walk, I told him, "Joel's got something for you that will make you laugh." and I read him that hopelessness quote. He did laugh and so did I, again.

I'm sure your garden is lovely. I hope you continue to enjoy the blessings of growing produce for many, many more years.

We have a couple of watermelons that we're watching with crossed fingers. We had some eggplants and some collard greens this summer. The tomatoes were neglected this year and didn't produce much. I hope to do better next season--if I plant in October and pay attention to them this time, I should be harvesting in January and February.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 7, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

kb-I like that about JA's writing. It often spurs cross generational conversation, and laughter, in the frostfam as well-going in both directions.

mudge-we should all have such tributes written for us, and should write them for our friends.

ftb-I would probably have been just as happy if Brandon had won SYTCD, but Jeanine was my favorite.

dbG-how lovely to have both the new job, and the opportunity to enjoy the reactions at the old. Not gloating exactly, more like glow-ting.

CqP-I think you would like the frostiboots. Orange "Terrain Janes." Wall of Hadrons, good one.

Now on to the previous two or three kits and boodles, then to sleep. It's supposed to hit 90 here in St. Paul tomorrow, perhaps the high 70s up north. We may have a ripe tomato or two before frost. I only planted cherry tomatoes this year so no fried green ones for the frostfam. Those suckers would just be too much trouble to slice.

Toodles boodle, sleep tight.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 7, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

You wrote a wonderful tribute for your former boss, 'Mudge. I pass along my condolences.

Posted by: -jack- | August 7, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

kb ... best wishes with your mom!!!!

As they say, been there, done that. I found that the Alzheimers added a dimension to the care that it seemed nurses and doctors did what they thought would make their lives easier causing all sorts of pain and frustration with my father.

I think about the restraints... awful. When Medicare is paying thousands of dollars a day, you think 20 an hour for someone to stay and attend to someone might be in order. I guess that certain medications are also hard on Alzheimers patients.

Well, again, best wishes. My thoughts are with you and your family. Really your number one job is keeping everyone's spirits up and relaxed as best as possible.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 7, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

slyness! thanks for the tomatoes! Funny. I didn't know what kind you were emailing me, so guess what I decided to grab at the store today? Romas. I am going to make myself a roma tomato, red leaf lettuce and cucumber salad with a bit of Greek feta and a Parmesan vinaigrette dressing.

It is 11:30 plus and I am just regrouping from work and about to cut up some leg of lamb into kabob cubes and marinate in a garlic yogurt sauce.

They should be perfect by tomorrow evening. I have enough for guests. Anyone want to drop by tomorrow?

Posted by: russianthistle | August 7, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

for you, dbG

boodle mojo your way, kb...

Posted by: -jack- | August 7, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, I really don't know how much Hubble has actually done. The images were acquired while the instruments are still undergoing on-orbit verification from the last servicing mission, so it was not easy for my esteemed colleagues to get the time that they got. I'm sure there's more than what has been released, but probably only a factor of 5 or 6 more -- not hundreds. But I'm guessing.

No one has any idea of the angle at which the impactor arrived. Atmospheres, even Jupiter's, are relatively thin compared to the bulk of the planet, so an oblique impact wouldn't make much difference in the effects.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 7, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

It's funny - I was thinking about the impact when I was looking at Jupiter last night...

And as far as obliques go, well, crunches and other sit-up variations helped my situation significantly.

Congrats, dbg. Hey, your co-workers may not be the only ones envying you your employment status/situation....



Posted by: -bc- | August 8, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

What time should I arrive, RT? And what can I contribute? I've got a lovely bottle of Retsina, so that's a given, but anything else?

Posted by: Yoki | August 8, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Boy, I am pretty good with a knife! Now that I am done, I can have a sip of wine. Safety first. About to marinate in a ziplock bag til tomorrow. How about a late meal? Since I work til 8, that's our choice. Some rice pilaf would be nice.

Yoki, how about an appetizer of super jumbo shrimp in a garlic, lemon and oil dressing.

It could be simple. an olive dish, maybe some sliced tomatoes? What would make you happy?

Posted by: russianthistle | August 8, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I have a fabulous new thing. Shrimp, seared, dressed with garlic, ginger, Pernod and a splash of heavy cream. Seasoned, of course. Served in a ramekin with a bit of toasted homemade pita. Would that suit?

Posted by: Yoki | August 8, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

I'm thinking that we could sautee the shrimp in a nice olive oil and then put that oil over some bread. Here comes the feta on the bread as well.

I need to get some fresh parsley.

Have you ever grilled spring onions and put those on the bread too?

Ah, yes, a simple little Sonoma Sauv. Blanc will have to do tonite. A glass will be just wonderful.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 8, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

I like yours better. Yes. It's one am eastern and a few people are probably getting a bit hungry.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 8, 2009 1:01 AM | Report abuse

I am *devoted* to grilled spring onions and, if we want to get all fancy-schmancy, grilled leeks dressed in a bit of lemon vinaigrette.

Posted by: Yoki | August 8, 2009 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Yeah. Agreed .... but, the biggest loser around here when it comes to large chain store produce is the mighty spring onion.

I came from work with some very sad onions, but I just had to have some.

I love them along with olives, crumbled feta or blue cheese on a salad. Toss in some nice pepper and that's all you need.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 8, 2009 1:17 AM | Report abuse

Yo, RT! Here is a salad that you might become addictive about. I think. Maybe.

Thinly slice (a Japanese mandolin is perfect) either a red onion or a sweet white onion - I prefer the sweet) and two fennel bulbs, fronds removed, washed and cored. Knife-peel a tart orange (or two) so that all pith and membranes are removed, thinly slice the orange with a knife, and toss them together with the fennel and onion along with the juice of the orange that has run on the cutting-board.

Clean the board, and then chop, oh, about a tablespoon (a palm's worth of leaves and tender stems) of fresh mint and put it in the salad bowl.

Add to the salad about 1/2 t. of ground coriander, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Dress with a bit of olive oil (not too much) and some Sherry vinegar.

If this isn't the freshest, most exotic-tasting salad you've ever served, don't tell me about it.

Posted by: Yoki | August 8, 2009 1:28 AM | Report abuse


I was also thinking that we could just throw caution to the wind and just make our own Boquerones. Maybe a martini or a glass of sherry. Then you pop back with your recipe.

That's great.

Funny how we don't talk about what we don't commit to the boodle. I was going to add that I like spring onions because I hate large rings of raw onion on a salad. Why don't you just spray me in the face form 3 feet with a fire hose. Anyway, I was going to say that I like very thinly sliced onions. OR, I also like onions that have been marinated just a bit to release the bitterness.

Oh yeah, the only b1tching I have done at work is that I made the produce guy carry Fennel all the time. Grilled fennel with fish is without compare. Tilapia is available at a great price and fennel is a perfect grilling partner. Add in a small butter and fish stock reduction with herbs and you have a huge meal.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 8, 2009 1:45 AM | Report abuse

See, the thing about fennel treated with respect is, it goes with everything. Or almost.

Grilled, alongside a nice piece of fish.

Raw, in a salad.

Braised (sometimes with Belgian endive) and some veg stock, white wine and garlic, it makes a nice sauce for roasted pork loin or chicken.

It supports most lentil dishes, so long as the starting-point is European (here pronounced "French") rather than Indian or Mediterranean.

Of course, you need to like a hint of licorice in your food, to take this stand. A mild, mere, hint. I, clearly, do.

So probably it is best adapted to Dutch cuisine. Whatever that is.

Posted by: Yoki | August 8, 2009 1:58 AM | Report abuse

RT said "reduction." I am very happy about that.

Good night, Boodle.

Posted by: Yoki | August 8, 2009 2:05 AM | Report abuse

"That needs testing."
Posted by: Yoki | August 7, 2009 6:15 PM |

Duly noted!

:- )

Posted by: bobsewell | August 8, 2009 2:59 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. There were hungry people on the boodle last night. Fennel/finocchio is great braised in olive oil too.

Yep, we are back to single digit temperatures in the morning, 8C/47F this morning. This has been a very short summer.

We're going to a large nursery to pick a couple of daylilies a little later, followed by a visit to a quilting exposition in a nearby small town village. Both places have lots of history and charm. I expect it's going to be a pleasant day.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 8, 2009 6:27 AM | Report abuse

Why am I always so darned hungry after backBoodling?? :-)

Off to the auto shop this morning, then to tackle the unruly mob that's taken over the lawn whilst my back's been on the fritz...

*not-looking-foward-to-the-forecasted-near-record-heat-next-week Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 8, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

I have fennel in my garden. Faxed bulbs and fronds to RT and Yoki this am.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | August 8, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Great video, Tim. You guys are going to make Letterman someday. Or at least Jon Stewart.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Appears to be muggy and overcast here.

I concur with Scotty: backboodling has made me famished. What a night to go to bed early and miss the recipifying.

Today in Naval History

Aug. 8, 1942: Shortly before midnight on the second day of the Guadalcanal Campaign, Japanese Adm. Gunichi Mikawa’s fleet spots a picket ship of Adm. Richmond Kelly Turner’s fleet off Savo island, and deals the U.S. Navy its worst ocean defeat, sinking four American cruisers versus no Japanese losses. It was also the first American fleet action since 1898.

Gathering up a ton of our tomatoes today and making spaghetti sauce and also chow-chow, to be put into mason jars.

And we've got a ton of onions with lots of spring onion tops, too.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 8, 2009 8:15 AM | Report abuse

SCC: Three American cruisers and a British cruiser.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 8, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse

There are bagels, cream cheese and lox in the ready room next to the coffee urn. Enjoy.

Posted by: -jack- | August 8, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

I like cold cereal with fresh fruit. Of course, the %*%## squirrels have been eating the peaches off my peach tree. Dang varmints.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 8, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Hummus. Is it supposed to come out like crunchy peanut butter? Oh well. It tasted good. My first attempt. Maybe the last.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 8, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

The Hon. Judge Sotomayor will be sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice today, and I'm sure some celebration is in order.

A thought though - we have formal swearing-in ceremonies, but no swearing-out ceremonies? I suppose retirement parties count, but it's not the same thing, is it?
I'm not sure what Justice Souter deserves for his service to our country - should the other Justices pick him and the new Justice up in their chairs and dance them around the Supreme Courtroom to live music, like a Chair Dance at a traditional Jewish wedding? (Also: Do they hold hands with a copy of the Constitution printed on a cloth napkin? Also, also: Have EMTs on stand by and bring in the Federal Judges to help...)

I dunno, seems there ought to be some sort of formal decomissioning cermony, or handover of some sort, to honor not only the new, but the old - but I don't know what this is.

It seems that SCJs retire as often as not, so I think it's worth honoring someone's service - with them in attendance - when we can.


Posted by: -bc- | August 8, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I am really upset that I can't share some of your bounty. I'm here for you if you need help.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 8, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Do NOT tell the dog-lovers among us this:

Gathering up a ton of our tomatoes today and making spaghetti sauce and also chow-chow, to be put into mason jars.

Mudge! Mudge! Don't do it. Besides, while you gather the chows you may be bitten. The only breed I am very wary of: College Barkian was bit very badly by a chow too, same event.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | August 8, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

If any boodlers have a Digg account, bump up Tim's video:

I want to see him on The Daily Show.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Burger baby bounced

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 8, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

In Jobless Rate Dip, a Partial Picture

Unemployment Figure Sparks Recovery Hopes;
Other Data Show Sector Still Ailing

By Neil Irwin and Annys Shin


I would like to say that I rarely see such helpful and correct writing on economic and labor issues. Kudos to the WP writers. They made the point that those MarketWatch writers don't bother with: this past set of employment numbers showed that more Americans are giving up the ghost on the job search. In fact, we have to add, on average, 150K jobs to our employment picture or we are losing ground on full employment.

To lose an estimate of 250K jobs is, in actuality a "real terms" loss of 400K.

As someone point out so rightly, the news is good news at the second derivative. It's the rate.

To Neil Irwin and Annys Shin, THANKS!!! It sometimes is a bit dry, but it is so important for Americans to really understand the stress that is being placed on our people. If you are working and making good money, count your blessing.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 8, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Washington "town" inside sad news... Post reports passing of Anne Wexler.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 8, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Where there's corn there's hope. I grew a nice love apple, which looks like a heart. The newspaper mulch zucchini produced an orange zuc. Maybe the ink in the soil or something else. I don't know. The purple morning glory has spread out all over the garden and is climbing the English Ivy up towards the bird nesting under the overhang. I'm not hungover this morning. Life is good.

Posted by: Dermitt | August 8, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

No canines of any sort will be harmed in the making of the chow-chow. Don't let the fact that I have Korean children distress you. Only one is at home, and he's asleep. (Although he is, actually, a working sous chef. And he really *does* like dogs, it's just platonic and not culinary.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 8, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

James Fellows of The Atlantic has been in China for three years. This is one of the things he has noticed since he left:

"The NYT, for all its travails, is a recognizable version of the publication I'd previously known. Personality, depth, world-view, tone. The poor Washington Post is not. Laying off -- that is, buying out -- so many reporters who knew so much about their topics has had a more profound effect than I would have guessed. (Locus classicus: Tom Ricks on defense.) And the resulting paper seem more obviously desperate to try anything that will draw attention in this new age...I've thought of the Post as my hometown paper for years and feel as if I've come back to see a family member looking suddenly very ill. I still have good friends doing good work there."

(h/t to Andrew Sullivan)

All I can say is that he should be grateful he's not a Baltimore Sun reader.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Fantastic news about your local sous chef!!!!
I have been "weakly" approached to do similar work with a friend. Mudge-kins have the age advantage. That is rough work. Mental toughness needed as well. I am sure that you set a very fine example.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 8, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Well hello Dermitt! *Grover waves*

Amazing what one can accomplish in a car service waiting room these days... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 8, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Last week, Ezra Klein had a music video set in the Gulf at Galveston; this week, a big splash from Germany mit Spezial-Neopren, Wasser, und Spezial-Plane ---> Kinetische Energie!

Today is (delayed) avocado harvest.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 8, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Justice Sotomayor is getting her money's worth with that white suit! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 8, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

And the swearing-in got a small cheer here in the waiting room. :-)))

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 8, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I need to summon some of that Kinetische Energie.

That was beautiful, Dermitt.

Wow, russianthistle. Mental toughness, organizational genius, the management skills of Welch, financial acumen... you'll be a great sous.

All-French, all-Julia dinner tonight. Which is why I need to summon...

Posted by: Yoki | August 8, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

This has been a lesson in politics from the two Republican Women... Sarah Palin and Susan Collins.

One pushes for a living will component and "respect" in the new legislation (somewhat missing in the Medicare guidelines) and the other compares it to government authorized extermination.

Why are they yelling at Democrats?

I am really warming to the new Republican term limits. I think it should be incorporated into the law. "or, if a member of the Republican party, until they don't want to anymore."

Posted by: russianthistle | August 8, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, I'm just saying that sous chef often has everything on the burner (high) and, at the same time, everyone yelling at them. Your work expectations are to be perfect.

Do overs are never satisfactory.

BTW, restaurants rarely have enough staffing to get time off. Meet a line cook after a busy Friday and they are usually ready to pop. That's why I say that it is a young person's game.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 8, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all.

The past few nights there's been something of a chill in the air. Not cold, mind you, just the breeze isn't hot or even warm anymore, but a thin airstream just below room temperature woven into the night. I've also spotted a few red leaves grouped together on an otherwise still summery-green tree, hanging out on the edges like stoner kids in high school. The crowds of fire flies are thinning, and only the most die-hard mosquitoes remain. The sadness of another summer coming to an end. And yet, these slow subtle changes from summer into autumn bring with them a sense of renewal, a certain excitement, because of what it portends: FOOTBALL!

Posted by: LostInThought | August 8, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Is it still morning?

Mr. T and I have been at the danged ligustrum since about 7:30, and we're both pooped. The bad part is that we only cut one side. No energy for the other side today!

Yes, LiT, summer is coming to an end. It is August, and our less-than-healthy willow oak has begun to drop its leaves. The tree looks much better this year and put out lots more leaves than in the past, but still it has started.

In the meantime, I still have tomatoes.

Posted by: slyness | August 8, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Under cuddly fur
Chow chows are half-blind, and their
joints ache. Leave alone.


(Feels bad about chow hate;
Loves being part chow-chow in tongue,
from big head to tail.)


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 8, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Excellent Kit! This is why I became a fan of yours Joel, many moons ago. I love your sense of humor. Always brings a smile and I share your blogs and columns with my family and friends.

Posted by: jlessl | August 8, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

With Southwestress and Lil' SW doing advanced scouting in Chi-town, there is nothing to temper my urges. This morning, I breakfasted on eggs and scrapple. Far too much scrapple. I quite regret it now ...

Posted by: Southwester | August 8, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Hello boodle!

Pro-Obama health care organizers on the street corner across from the farmer's market this morning. Not sure where the organizing is heading, but I'm hoping the rep crowd seeding at town hall meetings will not go unanswered.

Recuperating quite nicely from step 1 of the big dental project, which will ultimately end in an implant with crown on a molar. Paid $3 for a prescription yesterday-no complaint there. Military dental insurance for family members is not as generous as the medical benefits (and we do pay a monthly premium). On the other hand I have yet to find a plan that covers more for comparable out of pocket costs.

Have some pork for chili verde in the crock pot. I'm thinking I'll add a bit of corn, onions, and assorted peppers. A rustic pie crust on top with a touch of corn meal should finish it off nicely.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 8, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Ack! I just typed in a description of my resignation, it's being held. And there weren't any wirty dords! And it wasn't even that long!

I'll have to get up some energy again. I knew I should have copied it first.

Short version: Thanks to the Boodle for mojo, kind words and congratulations. Couldn't have done it without you. :-)

Posted by: -dbG- | August 8, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

SW, you know that concept of an inner child? You missing the inner adult who says scrapple should be consumed only in moderation? What with that little bundle of joy you've got now, you're going to have to pay closer attention to the ole ticker. Even if, as rumor has it, you're just a babe in the woods (by boodle standards) your own darn self.

Sorry I wasn't able to make it to the BPH. (I had an earlier commitment with a kayak a couple hours west of the city.) Best of luck in your new digs.

Posted by: LostInThought | August 8, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

@LiT: Can't we enjoy baseball a little while longer? I love the 'Skins terribly, but can't we wait to think about football until they are actually playing?

Posted by: Southwester | August 8, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

That nursery we went to this morning had spectacular display gardens. They mostly propagate daylilies and hostas but the display gardens also had all kinds of perennials. They have about 2 acres of daylilies, about 2/3 of it in bloom at this time. This was really spectacular (should have grought the camera). We came back with 3 hemerocallis/daylily and one tall monarda/bee balm. The deep purple monarda is a magnet for hummingbirds.

OK, got to finish that beer and plant those things now. I scored fresh corn for dinner on our way back as well.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 8, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

SW, they are playing! There's a scrimmage this very day, and the first pre-season game is Thursday (at the Ravens). Besides, 'wait to think about football' implies that there was some sort of lull in the thought process. Nope.

Posted by: LostInThought | August 8, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

My boss and her sister went to Rock Hall's Pirates and Wenches Fantacy Weekend:

I'd be a little frightened to show up. Arrrrgh!

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

@LiT: Very well, if it works for you. Until the games count, I try to ignore football as much as possible. It always leads me to start thinking the 'Skins are better than they probably are and then the disappointment strikes so much harder. Every year, they release the schedule and I look at it and I think: "Wow! We could go 14-2 and this year. Even if we catch a few bad breaks or some injuries, we should at least finish 11-5." And then I have to suppress that thinking or in completely takes over. So right now, the only sports I'm paying attention to is the Nats surprising win streak and the Chi-Sox back and forth tussle with Detroit for the AL central.

Posted by: Southwester | August 8, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

In the perennial department, could temperate-zone American gardens be over-reliant on plants from Europe and China that don't know how to deal with our (usually) hot and somewhat dry summer weather?

In the Midwest, prairie wildflowers and grasses are up and doing all summer while European roadside grasses and such are stressed out.

Nothing against hostas.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 8, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Anybody got a good recipe for fried green tomatoes they'd especially recommend

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 8, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I've always found Paula Deen to be an excellent resource. This doesn't look too difficult:

Posted by: slyness | August 8, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

DotC-to answer your 2:32, yes.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 8, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

There exists (haunting these virtual halls) a Post commenter whose handle is "Sargasm".

As a general rule, I don't do envy. But I really wish I'd thought of that one.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 8, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it appropriate (yet again!) that a Detroit team goes head-to-head with a Chicago team, eh SW? My poor Tigers. They're keeping their heads just above water.

Well, fellow boodlers, I've made a decision to postpone my back surgery to the winter (maybe). I've started physical therapy and by doing all the exercises, my knees and my back muscles will become stronger, which I will need anyway to cope with any eventual surgery. In the meantime, I plan to open a new acct at my bank and sock away a bit each month, which will eventually pay for an MRI and whatever else might come my way. If (let us hope) that a GOOD comprehensive health care bill gets passed by the end of the year, then maybe I won't need to suffer so much financially and can make better choices in the new year to take care of stuff.

Oh, and another terrific bit of news. I had a bone scan done a couple of weeks ago (first time in 10 years) and it showed absolutely *no* osteoporosis -- just a wee bit of osteopenia at L4, which is where the stenosis is. In fact, the bones look pretty darned good for someone my age and way past menopause. I'm thrilled no end.

I think the PT will be good for me, and I felt much better after yesterday's session (the first one), even though we didn't do too much.

On other news, a friend of mine has been invited to the Legg-Mason tennis tournament tomorrow (all day), when it will be at least a thousand-million degrees outside -- and she cannot (for various reasons) wear a hat, and she is very, very fair (Irish), so she will be bringing buckets of sun block. I'll watch it on television in the coolth.

Hope all are having a wonderful day in advance of the tropical heat wave.

Posted by: -ftb- | August 8, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

@ftb: Here's some mojo for your PT, but not for your Tigers!

Posted by: Southwester | August 8, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I better start looking for recipes of green ketchup, green tomato sauce and chow-chow. I've got maybe 3 tomatoes showing a blush of pink. Speaking of chow-chow I for one would pick a Shar-pei over the chow-chow if I were to have a dog as cattle instead of a cattle dog. To add insult to injury Martha Stewart has a couple of the blue-tongued beasts.

I've picked a couple of dozens of cukes and I stopped looking. I'm warming up the fax, send in the orders.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 8, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

It never occurred to me that someone might actually *have* a recipe for fried green tomatoes. Don't you just throw together some mixture of flour, salt, pepper, additional seasonings as the mood strikes, dredge 'em, and fry 'em?

Posted by: bobsewell | August 8, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

(Of course, I usually add a tiny bit each of corn starch, baking soda, and cornmeal to the mix. Don't tell anyone, though... it's my secret recipe!)

Posted by: bobsewell | August 8, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I know of four varieties of deep-fry preparations:
1)batter - an egg, flour, possibly cornmeal, liquified with with possibly buttermilk or milk like a crepe or pancake batter
2)cornmeal and flour
3)cracker crumb and flour

All are prepared and balanced with seasoning as desired such as salt, pepper, red pepper, oregano, garlic powder, etc. Methods 2 through 4 usually involve an egg and milk or milk alone dip prior to coating with dry ingredients. Some use baking powder to fluff up the coating.

This set of methods is good for eggplant, green tomatoes, okra, fancy fried potatoes, mushrooms, etc. Also good for fried chicken, chicken fried steak.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 8, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I'll take some cukes, SD (still waiting for that rain, BTW). I have some sweet banana peppers I can send.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 8, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

How do you fry them, Bob S.?

Deep-fryer? Stir-fry? Oven-fried?

Rub french fries over them and call it macaroni?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 8, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

I feel watched. Hmmmm.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 8, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Wow, just wow:

Posted by: slyness | August 8, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Put up five quarts of spaghetti sauce and seven quarts of a chopped vegetable product whose very name seem to cause umbrage mongst some of our four-legged friends and their admirers.

slyness, I think Sally Jankins completely missed the point about Voinovich's complant. He wasn't complaining about the *people* of the south, he was complaining about the types of senators a majority of them vote for. SJ goes into faux umbrage and begins to explain the wonderful diversity of "the south," all the while ignoring the fact she can't explain: that this "diverse" population STILL elects mental midgets and backwoods hicks like Dement and Coburn. She also seems unable to explain the rightness of Voinovich's chief complaint: the GOP is not the "party of the South" because it can't win anywhere else. So Jenkins has got to find some way of explaining this phenomenon, but of course she can't. So she never mentions it, and throws up a lot of flak: Clinton Portis and Jason Campbell come from the south. So what has that got to do with anything? I doubt either of them vote Republican, or ever would in a million years.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 8, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

I tried to make fried green tomatoes last fall with my many leftovers at the first frost. I had never had them before, but they sounded good. Don't know what I did wrong, but they were absolutely terrible. I mean, grab a napkin and spit, can't keep this food in my mouth terrible. Sour and mushy-liquid inside, though they looked so pretty and crispy on the outside.

Slyness, even the folks I know in Cleveland despise Voinovich.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | August 8, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Took longer than expected, but we now have photographic proof that Southwester exists!


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 8, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Odd. I'm from the South and have also lived in Ohio. I found many similarities.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 8, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Bill explains it All

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 8, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Well, Mudge, I think Sally has a point about the diversity in the South. After all, Kay Hagan beat Elizabeth Dole and Obama won North Carolina. The reason, of course, is that the newcomers tend not to be Republicans and now they outnumber the redneck good ole boys. I am profoundly grateful for that, having spent my entire life in the minority.

A perusal of the NC counties that went for Obama is instructive. Without fail, they were the ones where the population is urban, well-educated, and relatively affluent. They are also the most populous.

Posted by: slyness | August 8, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Talk about overkill, I can't figure how how this would be useful. And the price is, well, amazing:

Posted by: slyness | August 8, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse


Did you see this article about the mansion in DC that burned down last week? The firefighters were severely hindered by the low water pressure. There's a nice graphic showing the proximity of fire hydrants in the area.

Posted by: -pj- | August 8, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Some pictures of green tomatoes. Very on kit. I skipped the flooding pictures I've been hoarding in the past couple of weeks. Too depressing.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 8, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Yes indeed, pj, Mr. T and I had conversation about that fire and the water pressure problems. He found a story on one of the fire service websites that talked about a consultant's report about water availability in DC. That report was written in 2007, IIRC.

Mr. T has known Chief Rubin for 20 years or so and considers him one of the best fire chiefs in America. The District was fortunate to get him. Actually, they got him back, as he started his career there.

Posted by: slyness | August 8, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

North Carolinians long considered their state a vale of humility between two mountains of conceit.

North Carolina itself divides into east and west. Historically, the divide was reflected in the counties that had hunting for deer with dogs, and those that didn't. I haven't checked, but dog hunting has been on the wane for a long time, so that distinction no longer holds. There's still a linguistic boundary. I think the north-south divide in Georgia worked sort of the same way. Athenians seemed to think everything south of Macon was, um, sort of crude. Athens itself had the largest collection of pillared houses in the South, ranging from true mansions to some modest two-story homes that seemed smaller than their porches.

Then there's the contrast between New Orleans (before it was overrun with tourists) and the Atlantic ports of Charleston and Savannah. You'd think you were in different countries, as different as Marseilles and Edinburgh.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 8, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Great pics, Scotty. I just want to brag that the genuine authentic Tommy Bahama shirt I'm wearing cost me an entire ten dollars American in the silk market in Beijing. I've probably spent more cleaning it than buying it. Unless you prorate the travel costs it took to obtain it.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely true, Dave, about the vale of humility. That's interesting about hunting deer with dogs, I'd never heard about that. In one of our mountain rambles several years ago, Mr. T and I came across a bear hunt utilizing dogs. I'd never seen an animal move as fast as that bear, with the dogs on his heels.

Thanks for sharing the garden photos, SD, I have a serious case of frenvy for the squash and pumpkins. I get squash for about two weeks before the borers destroy the plants. Your hostas and daylilies are lovely.

Posted by: slyness | August 8, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Tornado sirens sounding here in St. Paul. Super cell developed out of nowhere and a tornado was spotted in the northwest metro. We are monitoring conditions, and being treated to quite a light show over the capitol dome.

Toodles boodle and sweet dreams.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 8, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Hey, that guy I paid to impersonate me at BPH sure is goodlookin'!

Posted by: Southwester | August 8, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Good night, all.

Just onto football for a moment - I was watching some CFL action last night (Montreal and -- I want to say Hamilton, but I could be wrong) in passing, and hey, the Hall of Fame pre-season game's tomorrow.

As much as I love summer - the food, the sun, the fun - fall's really my time of year. Baseball's fine and I enjoy just about any kind of athletics and competition, but I *love* NFL football. [Before you who know me ask - my feelings for the sport of auto racing is a different thing, as it's under my skin and in my blood. And I have the scars to prove it.]

And SW, I wish I'd shared some of that scrapple with ya, man. Love it. Eggs (just about any way anyone cares to make 'em), half a brick of thinly sliced Rapa fried to a crisp on the outside with a big mug of strong coffee, and I'm a pretty happy man at the breakfast table.

I don't know what to make of the whole Southern GOP thing that's got folks wrapped around the axle. Seems to me that things have been this way for decades, and now that the GOP is no longer in control of the federal legislatures or the executive branch, they now have to face some facts and make some decisions, just as the Dems did some years back. Granted, the GOP is trying to manufacture some of the grist for the faithful that the Bush WH managed to stream out for the Dems over GWB's entire second term.

Something tells me that Pres. Obama and his team are sharp enough to not make things as easy for the GOP, though the Republicans are very re$ourceful.


Posted by: -bc- | August 8, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

In so many states, dogs can be shot for chasing deer, particularly in winter.

In fact, I understand that hound hunting is on the decline because of less open country and lots of anti-dog hunting laws springing up. Hounds basically are bred to track, not much else.

They aren't multi-purpose nor do they make the most ideal pets (being bred to work independently), so hound breeding may go down as well.

North Carolina sounds like an interesting state, must have a lot of open country still out there. Nice.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 8, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

So funny. My first thought was FTB! -bc-! Don from I-something (not pod, I know)! And then I saw S'WbyS'W. Adorable.

@Southwester, did you know we're mostly Boomers? We did, of course. But you look comfortable, there. Being good to the olds. And you're getting out of town. Well done.

I'm lucky tonight. #2 and Himself came over for supper, about 2 hours after I chopped my thumb with a chef's knife. I patched myself as well as I could at the time (exclaimed, Oh, Shirt!, ran cold water, grabbed a paper-product, and then tried to bandage with one hand, pretty ineffectively); they waited until late when I'd washed my face and brushed my teeth, then Himself scrubbed, disinfected and bandaged me well and kindly so the wound would stay dry for some hours. An object lesson in why to stay friends with an Ex.

Also, we watched a most wonderful movie on DVD. English. Happy-Go-Lucky. Rent it. Watch it.

Posted by: Yoki | August 9, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Hope you are okay, Yoki.

Posted by: Moose13 | August 9, 2009 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Yikes, Yoki, please be careful! You were never "all thumbs" to begin with, so cutting one off would be highly counterproductive.

*faxing some butterfly stitches, in case they are needed*

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 9, 2009 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Yello, a comment you made on Friday makes much more sense to me after I saw the BPH pictures.

You had mentioned Uncle Jesse in reference to Southwester. I was thinking you meant Uncle Jesse from The Dukes of Hazzard. I didn't think that was a very nice comparison. :o)

As soon as I saw the pics, I realized you meant Uncle Jesse from Full House.

Sorry Southwester! :o)

Posted by: Moose13 | August 9, 2009 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Meh. In playing wide and long in the happy fields of la cuisine, one burns and cuts, frequently.

Zen question: What is the sound of one hand bandaging?

Not one bit ashamed of the scars.

Posted by: Yoki | August 9, 2009 1:04 AM | Report abuse

Meh. In playing wide and long in the happy fields of la cuisine, one burns and cuts, frequently.

Zen question: What is the sound of one hand bandaging?

Not one bit ashamed of the scars.

Posted by: Yoki | August 9, 2009 1:04 AM | Report abuse

Happy Go Lucky is a good movie. The lead actress, whose name I forget, was nominated for an Oscar, so it was on my list to see. I liked it a lot, although I can't remember all the details. She had quite a sense of style - loved her boots which she insisted on wearing to learn to drive.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 9, 2009 1:16 AM | Report abuse

Hey, seasea1.

I'm going to be in the urban NW in late October (I think) and would love to have lunch or something (coffee, whatever), with you. Write to me at if you respond.

Posted by: Yoki | August 9, 2009 1:21 AM | Report abuse

Yikes, Yoki. I always keep my knife relatively blunt. If I haven’t, I would have lost all my fingers by now.

There’s forest fire in many parts of the island. It has been very hazy for over a week now.

There are no drive-thru car wash joints here. Nor are there any coin operated ones. It’s either full services or you do it yourself. With ashes flying everywhere, I have a perfect excuse for not washing my car.

Posted by: rainforest1 | August 9, 2009 4:19 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. Yoki, my first aid kit is organized and prepared for one-handed bandaging. Just sayin'.

Looks like it might rain. *sigh* It will be good for the new daylilies, I guess.

The Birds beat the Toronto Argonauts bc. 25-0, the Alouettes first defensive blank score since 1976. Back then, Junior Ah You was their defensive star and Marc Levy was the coach. Levy left a year or two later for the Bills.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 9, 2009 7:33 AM | Report abuse


I had forgotten that Bo and Luke had an Uncle Jessie as well.

The follow-up Blackie remark should have cleared up the confusion. And I didn't get any takers to guess how and where I have seen John Stamos's tushie (and it's a very cute one).

Posted by: yellojkt | August 9, 2009 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Last night, my wife and I went to see Julie and Julia and then had crepes for dinner at Cafe de Paris. I am so susceptible to the power of suggestion.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 9, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Strong earthquake shakes Tokyo...

Posted by: rainforest1 | August 9, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

In that case, yello, I sure hope you guys saw Babette's Feast. . . .every time I watch it, I feel absolutely starved.

*waiting until the washing machine finishes so I can stuff it all in the dryer*

One of those "errand" days. Now, let us all locals gear ourselves up for three or four days of tropical weather without the attendant tigers and elephants to keep us company.

Yoki -- may your blood continue to run blue, just not too often outside of its natural borders. If you know what I mean, Ma'am. . .

Posted by: -ftb1- | August 9, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

So on kit:

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 9, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all!! *faxin' a little extra plasma to Yoki* :-O

Either the critters along the C&O towpath are totally used to humans, or I've discovered the secret to stealth jogging. I literally said "Hello," at normal speaking volume and distance, to a bunny, a squirrel and a raven that looked like it was about to lay an egg on the trail. :-)

OK mo, you can gloat now... I guess the Yankees had to win a couple at some point. *SIGH* ;-)

*setting-the-A/C-on-"Arctic"-and-hoping-all-the-Boodle-stays-cool-and-safe Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 9, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

from sd's link-
"There’s another lesson here for the home gardener. When you start a garden, no matter how small, you become part of an agricultural network that binds you to other farmers and gardeners...we must reacquaint ourselves with plant pathology and understand that what we grow, and how we grow it, affects everyone else." Amen.

Mr. F is taking me to Cirque du Soleil this afternoon. A reward for being a good dental patient. The basil from the balcony plants is all cut back, yielding enough leaves for pesto for dinner, and I don't have to head back to the frozen north until tomorrow afternoon. Hope everyone else has a delightful day as well.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 9, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

sd, thanks for the CFL update.

Scottynuke, I knew what the weather was supposed to be like today and tomorrow, which is why I went for my run yesterday. Still, I'll probably get outside to play football with my youngest later. May set my a/c on "stun" - it looks to be one of those steamy mid-Atlantic days that sap the energy right out of ya.

Enjoying some blueberry buttermilk (well, milk and vinegar and a drop of vanilla extract, anyway) pancakes for breakfast at the moment. No scrapple, but I'll survive.


Posted by: -bc- | August 9, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

After grumbling to my doctor about coming in for another uninsured blood work for old thyroid condition ("Unchanged in 10 years!" I noted to him - wanting him to just re-up the scrip for another year) they saw my BP low, temperature low, and when results came back, and probably going by this:

they decided to increase it. I'm a new man, supposedly. My typing rate is double today, i.e., back to normal. Now I have chores to do. 3 years of chores!

I am frenvious of the cukes, shriek. Mine never even got started. I must say the large wasp nest near my tomatoes seems to be connected with the total lack of pests on my tomatos, peppers, and potatoes. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 9, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Yoki, hope you've stopped hemorrhaging. Rainforest, it is commonly held that sharp knives and tools are *safer* than dull ones.

Aug. 9, 1896: Otto Lilienthal, 48, perhaps the world’s foremost aeronautical expert prior to the Wright Brothers—and a major influence on their work –is killed when his glider stalls at an altitude of about 50 feet. A veteran of more than 2,000 such flights, Lilienthal was working on a motor-powered aircraft that might have been the first to fly when he died.
1941: RAF ace Douglas Bader’s plane collides with a German Bf-109 behind enemy lines; Bader bails out and spends the rest of the war in Stalag Luft III, the German POW camp used as the model for the movie The Great Escape. Bader had lost both legs in a plane crash in 1931, and racked up his 22 1/2 victories flying with artificial limbs. [Personal note: when I was in England in 1982, I met Bader at an air show at RAF Henley (nicknamed "Crazies Hill") and got his autograph. Helluva guy.]
1945: Maj. Charles Sweeny’s B-29, Bock’s Car, drops the second operational atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan.
1965: A Titan missile explodes inside its silo at Searcy, Ark., killing 53 Air Force crew, the worst of three such missile silo explosions.

Off to run an errand. Everyone have a pleasant Sunday.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 9, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

If it's still the dog days, we have this for excitement. My left eye says it's a big deal, my right eye says it may be overblown.

(Sibel Edmonds testimony on congressional corruption.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 9, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Pleasant Sunday? I've been awake for nearly 20 hours at this point. Our instrument has not been behaving terribly well, and it seems like maybe we are getting blasted by radio traffic from goodness-knows-where.

I am looking forward to sleeping most of Sunday.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 9, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle. I have regained my customary sanguinity.

Now that we know how suggestible yello is, it opens up all sorts of possibilities.

Have a great Sunday.

Posted by: Yoki | August 9, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

@Yoki: I had already surmised that I was on the younger end of the boodle age spectrum, but that didn't deter me. I grew up with much older siblings, so I've often ended up the youngest in social groups. Fortunately my favorite movies were all made 50+ years ago, so I have some old fogie street cred ;)

Posted by: Southwester | August 9, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

@SciTim: I'm sure you're exhausted, but I'm envious. In recent memory, the only times I've been up 20+ hours have involved a screaming infant. While I don't resent the responsibility, I think it'd be cooler to be staying up late doin' science stuff.

Posted by: Southwester | August 9, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I myself knew it was John Stamos Yello was talking about.

The BPHs do welcome twenty and thirtysomethings, they just don't show up that often.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 9, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Bocks Car and a replica of the FatMan bomb are in the Air Force Museum in Dayton.

Let us pray that that will be the last nuclear weapon ever used in war.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 9, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Possibly due to the screaming infants, etc. I'm glad you could hire a convincing body double for the cameras, S'wester.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 9, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, thanks, but I'd reached the point where I just couldn't take it anymore.

sneaks, haven't forgotten you. Look for e-mail in the next day or two.

Part 1:
Okay--they were supposed to have sent an offer letter by Wed., I called on Friday. They'd sent it, but I hadn't received it. They re-sent, I read it, typed out a 2 sentence resignation and took it in to my boss. I asked if he had a minute, he said "barely." He's always said if it's not fun it's not worth doing, so I walked in, said "It's not fun anymore," and put the sheet down so he could read it. He was stunned. As I've said, he looked like I'd hit him in the head with a shovel.

He asked if I had another job already, I said, "Yes." He said, "Okay." I said, "Okay," and hearing him say nothing else, left. I heard him close his door close behind me.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 9, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Lovely parting summary, and no bridges burned, per se.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 9, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Part 2:
Quick cut to my cube, cue wild celebration. The inmates had heard of an escape and gathered to confidentially confide their own outside negotiations and inquire about the blueprints I'd followed (wishing to construct their own tunnel). There's one leaving within a month (still secret), another who's in secret, serious negotiation with the recruiter who brought many of us in. Three asked for the website of the recruiter I liked (who did not get me this job, but he has jobs).

My boss called about 5 minutes later, saying that he now had time. He offered more money, changing my schedule immediately, talking with the corporate dba group to see if I could transfer there so I'd have backup. Um, no. I like my current boss, but I've talked to him at least 6 times in the past year about the impossibility of the schedule and lack of backup. They knew exactly what the problem was. And I knew they (secretly) were planning to lay me off as soon as 2 big projects were completed.

He expressed regret for not listening, said he knew I wasn't like him and his boss who just want to work all the time and for whom putting their personal lives aside isn't a problem (slightly snide) and also that his boss wanted to talk to me after he finished. Said he'd be setting up a schedule for me to train people and asked if I'd be available in the future if they had questions. I said I didn't know.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 9, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"I said I didn't know." Good answer, dbG. I'm sure it was said with a concerned smile, too.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 9, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Part 3:
Return to wild celebration, lots of laughter and envy. Ditched all plans of working during the afternoon.

Got called into the boss' boss, who had known of every conversation I'd had with the boss, and was playing stupid. Her policies were a major reason for my resignation.

She offered more money, better schedule twice during the conversation. Each time I answered that it wasn't about money, it was about a different life.

She blames my resignation on me and my boss. He, for not realizing how serious I was when I complained, me for not making him realize how serious I was and for not telling *her* that I was ready to leave. She was hurt that after all this time I didn't feel I could come to her. . . (do I look stupid?)

I left and ran around the business side, where her office is, telling my friends. High fives and plans for a happy hour next week. Truly, their schedules aren't much better than mine and they don't have the outside job ops because they're in finance, not technology.

Returned to my cube where my kitty-corner cube mate said, "She was hurt, right? How could you do this to her after all she's done for you? I shoulda started a pool."

So, that's it. Positive, no bridges burned, noncommital about them being able to call me for solutions months down the road. They're dumping my job on 3 people who are already slammed and who have no dba experience--2 developers and a programmer. My guess is they'll hand over the new projects to the dba group (already knowing they won't get the service they got from an in-house one) and hope 2 h311 my colleagues don't leave and can keep things running for 6+ months.

I predict chaos. Nice as that is to know, I really am leaving for a better life. It's scary in this economy, but you reach a point where you realize you deserve better and if you continue taking less you're killing yourself bit by bit. Can't do it. I hadn't expected the new job to be there as soon as I started looking, but bad times require bold actions, right?

As Yoki would say, "No shirt."

Posted by: -dbG- | August 9, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Very concerned smile, TBG.

Traditionally, you help out your friends when they call after you leave. If they're smart enough to have my kitty-corner cube mate (programmer) or one, specific developer call and it's not going to take a lot of time, I'll help. Otherwise, well, . . .

I know they're wondering if anyone else has plans they don't know about. The defection that's coming is going to shake them big.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 9, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

dbG, sounds like you handled the situation perfectly! I'm looking forward to hearing about the new job when you start!

I am sitting at the computer with a celebratory glass of Chardonnay at my side. The church voted this morning to approve changes to our governance proposed by the team I've been on by a margin of 90 percent. We had no idea that we would get a vote today, and none whatsover that it would be so lopsided in our favor. And none of us said a thing! I am a happy camper.

Yoki, I hope the wound heals quickly and easily!

Posted by: slyness | August 9, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Great story, dbG.

Remember, it's their job to cope without you, not vice versa. They will muddle through and for your former coworkers it will either get better or get worse.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 9, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Dr G is heading to Vancouver on Tuesday. I just checked out a Vancouver webcam and it's either not working properly or it's really, really foggy there...

Whaddya think?

Posted by: -TBG- | August 9, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Looks like a lens cap to me, TBG.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 9, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

It looks like you played it perfectly, dbG. I haven't had to work with someone quite like your boss's boss, although a couple have come close. It sounds like she would take all the credit when things go well and shoulder none of the blame when things go badly.

Glad you are healing up, Yoki!

A dull knife is more dangerous to use than a sharp one in the kitchen. When the knife can't slice through the food easily and cleanly so that you have to fight your way through it, it's easy for the knife to slip and the slicer becomes the slicee.

Posted by: -pj- | August 9, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

For them that pays attention to such things, I'll note the the Nationals are currently the possessors of the longest winning streak in Major League Baseball, and (last I checked) are leading Arizona early in today's game.

No doubt I just jinxed them horribly.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 9, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Once the axe fell and I was alongside a woman who lost her job at the same time as I. Turns out she was pretty crucial to the office she worked in and they kept calling her for solutions. The nerve, I thought! And she'd walk 'em through the help. We had a jobloss grief meeting, and told her to send 'em a bill, for about $50/hr (in '93) consult fee.

The point is, there's a way to help out without being a sucker. "Fax me a consult contract and I'll help if I can." Then again, there is the new job. This advice may give others some ideas however.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 9, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Excellent work, dbG! You handled it beautifully! I hope your new job works out just as beautifully.

Tons of people around the pool right now (my condo looks out over it). Not me, man! I, like Snukums, have my A/C set to below meat locker level. If it's gonna be hot, I'd rather be in Africa. And it's still winter down sub-Sahara way. Suits me just fine.

Cya later.

Posted by: -ftb- | August 9, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, you should just tell your story "so the ex dropped by, yadda yadda yadda, and now I'm bandaging up the knife wound."

I was unaware of any Uncle Jesses other than Dukes of Hazzard.

Posted by: engelmann | August 9, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Very well-played, dbG!! *golf clap* :-)

In a similar vein, NukeSpouse has informed her boss she's done in her current job. Same story as dbG's, but in a different key -- too much to do, not enough people (or even competent help), and a perpetually screwed-up paycheck! Even though she doesn't have anything lined up (yet, he thinks with tightly crossed fingers), I'll be happy to see her stress level go WAY down in two weeks! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 9, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Oh, dear, Bob, I'm sure you just jinxed the bejaysus out of the Nats, now. *sigh* And suddenly they were doing so well. Almost...supernatural...given how bad they were all year.

Tim, when you mentioned the radio interference affecting your equipment, are we talking about the 100,oo watts booming out from KLEI, Wonderful Waikiki Playing All the Hits, or are we talking about the transmissions from the Grays coming in from Alpha Vitalis or wherever they hang out?

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 9, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

@S'Nuke: now she'll finally have time to work on a get rich quick scheme. How's she at making iPhone apps?

Posted by: Southwester | August 9, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Nats *were* up 4-1 in the 5th--and now the D-backs have runners on second and third with no outs. Bob, you've got a lot to answer for, my friend. *taking away your Budweiser*

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 9, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

OK, Bob, you can have your brewski back now.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 9, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Yup, they snuck through that one.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 9, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Scotty... not to mention the sleeping in!

Posted by: -TBG- | August 9, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I could be wrong (as I am so very often) but I gotta think that Colorado & Milwaukee (the Nationals' next two opponents at home) are not looking forward to the visit as much as they did a few weeks ago.

5-1 Nats. Silly jinx!

Posted by: bobsewell | August 9, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what happy tune Scotty and NukeSpouse might be whistling?

1) Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie
2) Croissant Over to the Sunny Side of the Street
3) The love theme from Bake to the Future
4) Goodbye, Crueller World
5) Pie, Pie, Blackbird
6) I Left My Tarte in San Francisco
7) When the Swallows Come Back to Cappachino
8) I Feel Like Baking Love
9) She'll Have Bub, Bun, Bun Till Her Daddy Takes her Teacake Away
10) Yeast Is Yeast and West Is West

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 9, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Yup, walked Guzman with the bases loaded, and nothing remotely close to hitable. Still a better option than giving him something to hot.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 9, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I kinda have a feeling she'll be focused on a certain Facebook app, Sou'wester... *LOL @ inside joke* :-)

When she wakes up, that is, TBG... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 9, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I want something to hot.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 9, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to NukeSpouse for taking leave of her job before she took leave of her senses. I can't believe they would have constant trouble with paychecks in a large corporation. That's something basic.

Posted by: -pj- | August 9, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge, she's gonna kiss you for those next time she sees you... *LOL*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 9, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if NukeSpouse had any mentors at her present job. If so, one might say she's taking leave of her senseis.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 9, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Happy dances for NukeSpouse!


Mixed baby greens; mustard vinaigrette; seared goat cheese; baguette crouton

Grilled flank steak marinated in balsamic vinegar and Merlot garlic, fresh ground pepper.
Local (!) corn on the cob roasted in chili/lime/cilantro butter.
Grilled tomatoes and peppers.

Nectarine/Blueberry Clafouti

Dark Chocolate Pearls
More coffee

I'm counting on it being a hot.

Posted by: Yoki | August 9, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Who ARE these people wearing Nats uniforms?

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 9, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone mention that Richard Cohen's column in yesterday's paper was pretty darned funny? If not, I will. It was a nice disparagement of umbrage.

"A Medal Not Worth AIPAC's Mettle"

Posted by: bobsewell | August 9, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

'mudge - Crazy, ain't it?

Posted by: bobsewell | August 9, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

The Diamondbacks might want to reconsider that whole "scoring runs" thing. Every time they score a run, the Nats score a couple.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 9, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

NINE to 2. I'm shakin' my head, Bob.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 9, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Vancouver looks about right to me now...we had a bit of drizzle overnight, now some blue sky and puffy white clouds.

Good luck to NukeSpouse. dbG, I agree, make them pay you if they need help. You don't owe them a thing.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 9, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Bob, I think Rich Cohen is different from Richard Cohen. But yes, good column.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 9, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I 'spect the Nats' beers will taste pretty good to them tonight!

Posted by: bobsewell | August 9, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Yep, seasea, you're absolutely right. Oops!

Posted by: bobsewell | August 9, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I think Richard Cohen started writing for the Post in 1968. Rich Cohen, on the other hand, was born in 1968.

I was born somewhere in between them.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 9, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

You are unwontedly sociable today, bobsewell. It is nice to see you here.

Posted by: Yoki | August 9, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Yoki -- I want to tell you *from the heart (truly)* the exact same thing that I would want to tell Jacques Pépin:


Something light this evening (musing all the while about what Yoki's having). . . . .

Time to read the paper and see what that old news is about.

Posted by: -ftb- | August 9, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

You are really really sweet, ftb! Thank you. I'm blushing with delight.

Posted by: Yoki | August 9, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Speaking (as I was) about who was born when, I just found out that my neighbor three doors down has a birthday coming up this week.

She'll be ninety.

I think I'm gonna buy her a card.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 9, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Aww, heck, Yoki, I'm almost always sociable. I'm just not always available!

Posted by: bobsewell | August 9, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

That'd be nice, Bob S. Glad you found out.

Normally, a lady doesn't like her age blabbed all over-- unless she's going for a century.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 9, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

I clearly am no lady. I'd be happy to get a card any time, from anyone.

Posted by: Yoki | August 9, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Al. Seriously, moving jobs right now has caused me to panic at certain times. This afternoon, for example! :-)

Many congratulations to Nuke Spouse! My vote goes for Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 9, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Afternoon all.
I am glad the Nationals(Natty Boh's) are doing so well lately.I really thought they might lose 100+ games this year.The Orioles on the other hand continue to lose pretty consistently.The only thing that keeps my interest is the many rookies that are with the O's.It sort of makes the future almost exciting.It seems like the Yankees picked the right time to start beating Boston this year.I think it is almost a must win scenario for Boston tonight.

I can't even imagine practicing in full pads during this heat wave,but each year the NFL does.I am excited about the upcoming season as bc and LiT are too.Tonight's game the Bills and the Titans starts 6 months of NFL games.Congrats to the HOF class of 2009.Nice to see players of my generation being rewarded for their play.

Guess what? Tiger Woods 3 back to start the day wins his 70th PGA tour tourney with a masterful shot on #16.I guess it is a given that Tiger will eventually pass Jack as the alltime pga winner.70 wins at age 33 is incredible.He is a pleasure to watch.

Also nice to see Juan Pablo Montoya is line to be in the race for the chase.Not bad for his second season.

Ok that is it for the sports report.

Don't panic dbG you will do fine in your new job and nice people always transition into the workplace very easily.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 9, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

envy - There's no good reason to doubt that the Nats can both surpass the Orioles AND lose 100 games. Plenty of crappiness available this year.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 9, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

No lady? Au contraire!

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 9, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Man oh man oh man, am I glad that I don't have to make a living beating Tiger Woods at golf. You gotta think that would be a hard job to look forward to each day.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 9, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Mudge - A similar thought crossed my mind.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 9, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

I have a couple nice ripe tomatoes. Small ones though, and the plants look awful what with burning up in the heat and the drowning episode, but they still seem to be capable of making nice little tomatoes. I bought more advanced plants this year and it has made a difference.

Psst, Joel, you really ought to be writing a gardening book.

Posted by: --dr-- | August 9, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I thunk it, but I don't think I said it...

This was one of my very favorite kits. I've bookmarked it, archived it, sent it to friends, and someday may very well claim to have authored it. Great stuff, JA!

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

Just back from a great weekend away at our friends cottage.

Funny thing happened while we were up north - summer arrived, came home and the temperature when up close to 10c in the two and a half our drive, currently 30c here with a humidex of 41c, for yellow dewpoint of 23c. Did here that DC was at 37c so not expecting any sympathy.

Still trying to get caught up on the backboodle, very busy for a summer weekend.

Friend asked me what if anything they should do to the land around their cottage, set in the woods, with some clearings near the water. It is full of birch, oak, pines, spruce, fir and native plants - my answer do not do anything but it you want to add some more native plants and grasses. Wonderful trails to walk through in the woods.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 9, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Football! They's playin' football! On the magic talkin' box!

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 9, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Hi Al.. just saw 500 Days of Summer, which is a very cute movie. Took two teen girls and they enjoyed it lots, too.

Sorry if this has already been posted or pointed to, but Son of G sent this along today and I thought I'd share...

"This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US department of energy. I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the municipal water utility. After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC regulated channels to see what the national weather service of the national oceanographic and atmospheric administration determined the weather was going to be like using satellites designed, built, and launched by the national aeronautics and space administration. I watched this while eating my breakfast of US department of agriculture inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the food and drug administration.

"At the appropriate time as regulated by the US congress and kept accurate by the national institute of standards and technology and the US naval observatory, I get into my national highway traffic safety administration approved automobile and set out to work on the roads build by the local, state, and federal departments of transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the environmental protection agency, using legal tender issed by the federal reserve bank. On the way out the door I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the US postal service and drop the kids off at the public school.

"After work, I drive my NHTSA car back home on the DOT roads, to my house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and fire marshal’s inspection, and which has not been plundered of all it’s valuables thanks to the local police department.

"I then log on to the internet which was developed by the defense advanced research projects administration and post on and fox news forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government can’t do anything right."

Posted by: -TBG- | August 9, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

'mudge - Just because they are silly enough to undertake this foolishness at this time of year does not mean that you should encourage them. Those of us who have reached (ahem) a "certain age" are supposed to know better.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 9, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Looks to have cleared a little in Vancouver, hope Dr. G enjoys his trip and the weather clears, when the sun is out it is a spectacular city and not bad even when the sun isn't out.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 9, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

dbG, great story, thanks for giving us the play-by-play. I don’t know how long you had been in that job, but I believe it’s normal to have moments of anxiety over a job change, just breath deeply and remind yourself of all the reasons you are leaving, you’ll be fine.

Scotty, congrats to NukeSpouse for having the guts to quit. Sounds like she’s making the right decision. I firmly believe that no job is worth one’s health and happiness. Of course it’s easy for me to say, being unencumbered by employment at the moment.

Back on Kit for a moment, was it SD who said his tomato plants were dying? I think some of ours are too, dam the wet early summer!

Mudge, "S" had a choice to watch the Sox get mauled again by the Yankees or watch a meaningless football game, he's opted for football.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 9, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Just tell me when, Yoki-- preferably a couple weeks in advance.

(And yes, ladies always know when to say when, unless they're having a truly good time...)

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 9, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

As they say in Holland, het is dood.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 9, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

I like it TBG. Far better than some of the silly stuff that comes over my electronic transom. So I sent it out! Minus the usual suggestion that it needs to be sent to 19 people or something awful will occur.. although maybe I should have.. nah.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 9, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Just resting.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 9, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

If we're going to start casually tossing Dutch around, I'll submit, "stroopwafel"



[Note on the recipe: "Caster sugar" is very finely granulated sugar often sold as "superfine", but regular old sugar will do OK. "Cane-sugar syrup" is nice, and you can make your own or buy any of several brands (Monin, Lyle's, DaVinci, etc.), but Karo or some other death-inducing corn-sugar syrup will work just fine. Even though the recipe doesn't make this clear, I always heat the syrup/butter mixture over a medium-high'ish burner, stirring constantly until it's starting to brown & thicken.]

Posted by: bobsewell | August 9, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Good night, all.

Congrats and best of luck to dbg and Nukespouse and all poindering job changes soon.

Enjoying the Hall of Fame Game, and hooted with glee at the punter's behind-the-back sleight-of-hand during the fake punt that went for a TD. Sweet, thought I suspect Titans coach Jeff Fisher will wish he'd have kept that one in his back pocket until the regular season. Zesty throwback unis for both teams as well as the refs.

Checking in from time to time on the Red Sox/Yankees tame

Made myself some fried green tomatoes with some fruit that was knocked off of the vine last week during the storms. I'd never had them before -- and me a Maryland guy. They were pretty good if I say so myself - dredged 'em through a mixture of eggs and Bisquick, salt & pepper, and decided to slow-fry them in a little butter so they'd soften on the inside while they crisped on the outside (hey, I'm reasonably useful around the kitchen). Yummy.

Huh - interesting that two ex-Washington QBs are playing for the opposing foorball teams at the moment (both competing for backup positions) - Gibran Hamdan for Buffalo and Patrick Ramsay for Tennessee. Good luck to both of 'em, I say.


Posted by: -bc- | August 9, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

TBG... thank you and your fine son of for the 8:30-ish socialism post.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 9, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Mostly, I've settled on a not-especially-becoming worldview wherein I'm usually right, and those who disagree with me are not trying hard enough. For instance, I've been convinced for many years that hate-crime legislation is unnecessary and potentially dangerous, and had never been able to imagine any reasons why it would be a good idea.

A letter to the editor in yesterday's paper has caused me to consider possibly beginning the process of rethinking my position. [Was that noncommittal enough for you?]

"Why a Hate-Crimes Law Matters"

Posted by: bobsewell | August 9, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse


Someone stole my bike, lock and all this evening. I was in a bad mood (not angry, but violated). Because last night, I didn't have the energy to make my kabobs after work, I did so this morning.

sometimes, as bc mentioned, you make good calls in the kitchen and sometimes, you are forced to second guess. Well, I could have done a better job of grilling (marinade management issues). Well, housemate just a few minutes ago came into the house exhausted from a "too long" drive down from upstate NY.

He was just going to grab a peanut butter sandwich and crash in bed, but he had the kabob option and I was pleased, with explanation of "over grilled" provided, he relished the choice. We dined on kabobs and pilaf along with a quick yogurt/feta/herb/lemon juice dressing that was a big hit.

The kabobs were actually very tasty, just could have been better. I am, however, greatly pleased that buddy enjoyed them.

fyi, I added to my lamb kabobs, Roma tomato quarters, Vidalia onion and red bell pepper. The tomatoes were great, especially with the yogurt sauce. I would be inclined to make a veggie Kabob with the yogurt sauce. There just is something very happy about that sauce. AND.... so simple.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 9, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

I think that worldview is rather commoner than we generally feel comfortable expressing.

My favourite story in today's paper was Hunter's laugh-out-loud funny reflection on flip-flops.

Dinner was as good at it promised to be and my friend D is a thoughtful and engaging conversationalist, so it was a good evening.

Have I lately expressed my affection for the members of the fellowship that is the Boodle? I felt it much today.

Good night.

Posted by: Yoki | August 9, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Happy sauce! What a felicitous image, russianthistle.

Posted by: Yoki | August 10, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

I posted a link the other day to Rachel Maddow's Friday show which had a segment that pretty much laid blame on "hatesters."

There is such a thing as provocative "free speech." Someone has to bare responsibility for those actions. (going beyond just hate crime territory)

Point being, if I paint a target on someone's back, do I hold any responsibility of some schmoe acts to hit the target?

I think yes, which may be beyond where you are, BOb.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 10, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

yoki, I am a veg right now. I have to love a simply wonderful sauce that you can make with a spoon and 20 or 30 seconds.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 10, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

I sometimes fear I am a veg *all* the time.

Posted by: Yoki | August 10, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Weed - At least you can be proud that you have (had? Sorry!) equipment for which someone was able to muster some covetousness. I once had the lock stolen from my bicycle, and they LEFT THE BIKE!

It really was a nice lock, though.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 10, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

glad your thumb is ok, yoki. My hands and left forearm bear the various scars and still healing nicks from weeks worth of work on the *shop*. Ran my 6-in1 into my left thumb, hit my right thumb with the 5#, jammed the cuticle below the nail on the same thumb, and acquired lauan splinters in both hands, on Friday and Saturday. Just got in from watering the plants. As I started this chore, I put my hand quite around a slug that had affixed itself to the hose pipe. Blech. Tomorrow is the last day of holiday, then off to a new building on Tuesday. I'm fortunate to have been offered a transfer. Some that had the same offer turned it down, and have yet to find a job...

Posted by: -jack- | August 10, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse

just heard this on one of the satellite music stations, an old, old, Lightnin' Hopkins ditty. Pretty decent cover, but it needs harmonica

Posted by: -jack- | August 10, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Rt, sorry about your bike.

I guess the reason why I haven’t stab myself with a blunt knife all these years it’s because I don’t cook with meat. I do on occasions cook fish, but it’s fish I don’t have to fight with. My knife is mostly for cutting veg and fruits. And being lazy and everything, my garlic and onions are never finely chopped. There are fruits that I do have to fight with, like the green guava. What I do is I change “weapon”. I use a spoon to scoop the seeds out instead of digging them out with the knife.

Posted by: rainforest1 | August 10, 2009 3:58 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

Yes, watched about a third of that game, and caught the trick punt play, and a few other touchdowns. I didn't especially care about the game ("It don't signify," as some of Patrick O'Brian's characters would opine), I was just happy the long drought had ended, and "true" NFL season will soon be upon us.

Today in Old Glory History

Aug. 10, 1831: Capt. William Driver of the brig Charles Doggett receives the gift of an American flag, which he christens “Old Glory” at its hoisting ceremony; the incident becomes famous and by 1850 “Old Glory” is the generic nickname of the flag.
1960: Discoverer 13 becomes the world’s first space vehicle to depart orbit and be recovered back on earth.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 10, 2009 5:39 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, everybody. It's almost midnight on the mountain of astronomy, and many photons to go before I sleep. Tomorrow: Tropical Storm Felicia arrives at the Big Island (maybe) and we get weathered out. Maybe.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 10, 2009 5:48 AM | Report abuse

It is supposed to be very hot and unhealthy today here in the east.If you have to go out keep hydrated and try and stay cool.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 10, 2009 5:58 AM | Report abuse

If it's Monday, this must be Bratislava...

Posted by: DNA_Girl | August 10, 2009 6:21 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all. GWE is right, it's going to be a blistering day in the South, so I'm going to do my outside work early and stay in the rest of the day. With no rain in the forecast, I figure it's the right day to put herbicide on the poison ivy and other weeds in the yard...

I need to finish my chapter this week and had asked the public info officer at the fire department for use of some photos. He emailed them to me using Winzip. I downloaded the software but could NOT get the files to open. Since the Geekdottir is in Alabama, I gave up and sent my thumb drive with Mr. T for him to put them on it. Does anybody here use Winzip? Any ideas on what I was doing wrong, besides using an evaluation copy of the software instead of purchasing it?

Posted by: slyness | August 10, 2009 7:00 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. Yes it's me of the dying tomato plants sneakers. And they keep at it too.
It hasn't rained despite the forecast for last last night but the humidity could be cut with a knife. And the mosquitoes, oh the mosquitoes. I won't be playing along the tree line today. We came back from the morning out with three clouds of a small but biting specie of mosquitoes.

Weed, bicycle thieves are scum. The amount of annoyance and damage they cause compared to their meager profit makes it the lamest of crime. I hate having to carry all that security gear around but the option of riding a heavy clunker doesn't appeal to me.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 10, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Pics or it didn't happen.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 10, 2009 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Sorry about the bike, Weed! :-O

NukeSpouse and I thank you all for the good thoughts and wishes. 'Mudge, she particularly liked "I Left My Tarte in San Francisco," but she was wondering why you left off "Moon Pie Over Miami?"

And from the front page:
"Did the founders mean for small states to wield so much power in the Senate?"
For about the gazillionth time... YES!!! Equal representation in the Senate balances out the mob rule of the House. Sheesh.

*heading-over-to-the-freezer-to-grab-an-ice-pack-no-not-for-my-back-but-to-keep-cool Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 10, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Think we took the rain for your Shriek, wild thunderstorms in this area from 9-11:00 pm last night younger child was terrified, and a few cracks of thunder had the dog wimpering and jumping on my lap. At 82 pounds (dog) not really a lap dog.

Close to an inch of rain, and I gather we had a hard rain earlier in the day with the first set of thunderstorms, we were not home at the time though.

Going to be very hot today - humidex close to 40.

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

Good morning everyone!

Yep. Looks to be a scorcher. Hope it doesn't do much damage to the 'maters.

Speaking of which, over the weekend we made some salsa with a bunch of Romas and a few of the frozen Jalapenos from last year's garden. It is one of nature's great spectacles the way those blanched tomato skins just slide off. Breathtaking in its majesty, really.

The salsa ended up quite tasty if a bit spicy. Fortunately I had some Tequilla about. So all was well.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 10, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

"wondering why you left off "Moon Pie Over Miami?"

Criminal negligence is the only explanation I can think of, Scotty.

I heard on the radio this morning that Tennessee's win over Buffalo last night in the very first pre-season games means that the Detroit Lions have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 10, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse


I grew up on Oahu. For an adventure, we would take a hike up the mountain behind our houses for about an hour where there were wild guava trees in a meadow. We would be armed with a salt shaker.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 10, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Yes Mudge. Any combination of a Tenn. win along with a Palin stupid comment would have eliminated Detroit. I think the only reason that Detroit is allowed to stay in the league is to give Dallas more first round draft choices.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 10, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Hawaiian lore has it that green guava will give you stomach aches. IMHO green is best, fully ripe and they are just sticky sweet without much complexity. Give me the tartness of green guava-particularly free from beach park trees between Laie and Hau'ula.

Good morning boodle. Dr. appointment this AM where I get to test how "Tricare remote" works. We usually go to a military treatment facility but there isn't one in MN so there we are. Thus far my brief forays into civilian medicine haven't been too bad, but I've had military coverage backing me up. I'm pretty skeptical about non-government run health care, but if this isn't too painful I might not go back to commuting to Tampa for routine care.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 10, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Good lord. It's really evident that there have been significant cuts in support personnel. Here it is, almost 9 ayem Monday and Friday's chats are still on the homepage. Jeez.

I survived the walk without melting down, now to do the outside work before the temps hit 90...

Posted by: slyness | August 10, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Laughing over "Any combination of a Tenn. win along with a Palin stupid comment would have eliminated Detroit," Weed. Very nice. And that's why I always look forward to Thanksgiving Day: the traditional Dakllas/Detroit game is always a barn-burner (not). After ranting about it for years [decades], I've finally decided it's a good thing: it means I don't have to watch football on T-Day. It's like my wife was in charge of NFL scheduling that day.

Yes, deterioration of the WaPo is evident all over the place. Very sad. And what's with Kurtz's column? They haven't been featuring it at all lately; it's like he's in the doghouse (beggin' yer pardon, Wilbrodog). This morning he touted a new (to me) site called Politics Daily, which I've been reading this morning. It's pretty good. I hate to say it, but it's what the WaPo ought to be.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 10, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Not fully ripe green guava gives me stomach ache because the fruit is hard. If it is the size of an orange, I can only eat half. If I’m greedy, I’ll regret later. Anything hard would give me stomach ache.

Posted by: rainforest1 | August 10, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

New kit coming momentarily...

Posted by: joelache | August 10, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

mudge, the problem with Dallas/Detroit game is that it has naturally occurring serotonin.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 10, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

New kit has arrived!

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 10, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

It's not the serotonin that bothers me, RT--it is my hatred of Dallas combined with my total disiniterest in Detroit. Together they produce some sort of naturally occuring brain chemical that cause schizophrenic dyspepsia: I just don't care, but I'm still upset about it.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 10, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

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