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Elevators Without Buttons

They've re-invented the elevator, which is probably a good idea, but my initial encounter today did not go smoothly. It was in the lobby of a polished downtown office building. You don't hit the "up" arrow or the "down" arrow but rather punch in the number of the floor to which you'd like to elevate. A digital screen then flashes a letter, such as "E," with a little arrow pointing one way or another. But what does "E" mean? East? Empty? Elevation? Exit? Extrude? No, it means Elevator E, as opposed to Elevator D. I'm thinking: I miss "Up" and unlettered elevators.

Anyway, the doors of Elevator E open up and I get inside and reach for the button corresponding to the floor I'm going to and -- oh no -- there are no buttons. Except a couple that aren't clearly labeled. I hit one. ALARM!!! Big mistake.

But I want to hit something, you know? When I get on an elevator, I want to take action, I don't want to be spam in a can. Unfortunately, you aren't supposed to hit a button, you're just supposed to let the elevator take you where you earlier told it to go when you keyed in the number outside. How do you know, though, that this is the right elevator and not one that opened up for some other number-keying elevator rider? What if it goes to the wrong floor? Well, at least you know where the alarm is.

Now, you may be thinking: Is Joel on cold medicine and now befuddled and consternated by a freakin' elevator? What's next: He has a breakdown at the photocopy machine when he can't change it from legal to letter? Is he heading for an ATM meltdown?

No, but I may be teetering on some kind of transition to a new state of life in which I am permanently irritated by all things modern, particularly anything technological. My cell phone won't text right: It wants to guess what I want to say. Stop that!

I'm not against change. I just would like change to be accompanied by a Personal Technology Assistant. Who doesn't try to explain anything to me. Just make it happen, okay?

I thought "up" was a perfectly good command to give to an elevator, have I mentioned that yet?

You need the internal buttons. Something to press, compulsively, even when it's already lit. That's how we survive awkward elevator rides. Next thing you know we'll all be bar-coded and the elevator will introduce us to our elevator-mates and try to get us to bond.

Here's the worse thing: This morning I heard that Leno is desperate to do well in the 18-to-49 demographic. And I thought: I got about another year before I'm so old that even Leno isn't interested in me anymore. Too old for Leno! That's as bad as it gets.

By Joel Achenbach  |  September 25, 2009; 11:40 AM ET
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Next: Afghanistan and Zorn


Get a tent? I understand from broadcast media that Khaddafi doesn't like elevators either. Maybe The Donald has some nice yard space in Bedford, New York that he'd be willing to rent to you?

Posted by: laloomis | September 25, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I was once stuck in an elevator for several hours,But I was getting back from the liquor store and another person was stuck with me.We had a nice time and a very nice night after they finally got us out.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 25, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Actually, "too old for Leno" is one of the very few advantages of being a geezer. I think it's even listed on my AARP membership ID card.

I'm also happy (even "deliriously happy") to report I'm too old for facebook, too old for MySpace, too old to Twitter/Tweet/Twent, too old for the Jonas Brothers, too old for Spongebob Whatshisname, and (much, much) too old for "sexting."

Joel, you've got a lot to look forward to.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 25, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Besides the point entirely, but what freaking good is an alarm button that isn't clearly labelled?

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | September 25, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Dr G tells me about the rural family he saw in a NC hospital lobby in the late 1970s arguing about whether they wanted to push the UP arrow because they wanted to go UP, or the DOWN button to get the elevator to come DOWN to them.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 25, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Wednesday night The Leno Show, which is a stage and a pair of chairs, got 6.4 million viewers while Glee with an enormously talented cast and great production numbers had 6.6 million viewers.

The only advantage Glee had was a 3.0 share in 18-49 versus Jay's 2.0. Bad money drives out good.

Become a Glee-vangelical:

Posted by: yellojkt | September 25, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

My name is TBG and I am a Gleek.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 25, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Those were the ratings. The 18-49 shares were 8 for Glee and 5 for Jay, but Modern Family and Cougar Town had the highest 18-49 highest ratings for the night. But all these were trounced in the total viewers by Dancing With The Stars, Criminal Minds, and CSI:NY.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 25, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Leno is a geezer trying for the 18-49 demographic. Letterman is a geezer who could care less what demographic he gets, and in that he is acting like a geezer. Switch to Letterman. He doesn't care if you watch.

Haven't seen Glee yet. I'm light headed from not watching Lost for 5 months and just stare at a cold TV.

Posted by: Fate1 | September 25, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Razors and toothbrushes, by the mighty laws of marketing, are required to be reinvented annually. Elevator interfaces were perfected a very long time ago. I think this elevator was designed by an out-of-work toothbrush designer.

I personally prefer the scissor-door elevator with the clock-hand floor indicator. They kind of make you feel like you're piloting the elevator.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | September 25, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of 'change', at one time I was living in an apartment building, and the management decided to turn the visitor parking lot outside over to a private company. We received a notice introducing us to 'Park Talk' which required visitors to 'pay for visitor parking' which is ridiculous.

So, my room mate and I, created a fake notice called 'Elevator Talk' and pinned it up in all the elevators. 'Now you will be required to pay 25 cents per ride and you need to use a special 'key' to ride the elevator.

Hilarious!!! Management was getting calls at 1AM from distraught tenants calculating up how many times a day they used the elevator and how much their costs would increase.

At the next floor party, it provided great conversation!!!

Posted by: MissToronto | September 25, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

We were at the Ambassador Hotel in Milwaukee which is a historic Art Deco hotel near Marquette. The elevator doors between the shaft and the lobbies were standard swinging doors with big 'Push Hard' signs on the inside. It was a little unnerving at first, but we got used to them.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 25, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

These darned kids with their darned hippitty hoppitty music and their unlettered elevators and copiers that you need a degree to operate and jeans hanging below their hips and electric cars and what's the point I know I had a point I had a point when I came in here and oh yeah GERROFF MY LAWN!

Posted by: wiredog | September 25, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I suspect the reason for the elevator re-design is to save money by not having to manufacture button-panels especially for each building's elevators. I bet it saves, what, maybe $100? How much does an elevator cost? I'm gonna boldly guess that the elevator and its installation costs on the order of $10K, so that button plate is no more than 1% of the installations cost and probably much less than that.

This interface is a terrible idea. (a) If you inadvertently enter the wrong number, you'll be stuck with it. (b) If you change your mind about what floor you want to go to, you can't correct it. (c) If you find you've gone to the floor that isn't what you want, you'll need to get off the elevator and make a new call for an elevator in order to tell it the floor you want. (d) If there's more than one elevator in the bank, you have to figure out which elevator is yours (this is already a problem with the current interface, but easily correctable because the rest of the control system is flexible). (e) If you get on the wrong elevator, you will (once again) have to disembark and make a new elevator call in order to get one that will release you where you want to go.

Unless you have an RFID chip, so it knows which floor number goes with which person, regardless of which elevator you board. And I sure love the idea of the stupid elevator tracking my every movement so that it's possible to reconstruct all my movements around the interior of the building. I'll just bet this is one of the buildings where it is not possible to exit the stairwell inside the building, so that you are required to use elevators to change floors.

The whole thing sounds utterly hateful. I recommend you prop open the stairwell doors and use the stairs to go everywhere. Also good for your fitness. In order to apply wear and tear to the elevators (because management will be very pleased with longevity if no one ever uses the elevators), you should send the elevator to at least 10 destination floors every time you pass the control panel.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 25, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm still amazed that it took VCR manufacturers ten years before they realized that it made more sense to calibrate the tape counters in minutes rather than inches. Or that it took twenty years to realize that a blank counter is much less annoying than a flashing "12:00" when the power goes out. It sometimes seems like the people who design these kind of interfaces are the idiot children of industrial design.

Posted by: rashomon | September 25, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

The Philadelphia Inquirer building is 18 stories tall (IIRC), and when I worked there in the 1960s the elevators had actual human operators. There was a bank of four of them off the main lobby, and usually at least two of them were operating all day long and into the early evening. And it doesn't take long before you know all their names and they know yours, and what floor you work on, and is your cold getting better, and when its your birthday, and when their oldest daughter is graduating from high school, and all that. And it was nice. Human contact is nice. I understand it costs way more than push-button elevators, just as switchboards with live human operators cost way more than those *&^%$#@*&^%#$#&^%$ automated answering systems, but I. Simply. Don't. Care. I want humans back running elevators, and when I call up a giant corporation I still want to be greeted and talk to a human who can direct me to the right department or person would driving myself nuts for 20 minutes. Have you ever tried to call Verizon?

Bring back people. Automation sucks.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 25, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Joel I suggest you watch the first 15 minutes of "Speed" and then start using the stairs.

I will never forget the scene from "All in the Family" when Archie got caught in an elevator stopped between floors with a black guy, dulcet toned Roscoe Lee Brown in a bespoke three piece suit. Archie started into his rap about all his taxes going to "you people" and Brown gave him the fisheye and sneered, "I hand out more in tips than you pay in taxes." Priceless.

Posted by: kguy1 | September 25, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

For years the elevator manufacturers have been 'smartening' their elevators so that travel time is decreased. A computer coordinates the routes of all the calls so that people wait the least amount of time for the elevator to arrive. 30 seconds is the optimal max wait time.

This device seems to take the next step and includes the destination in the algorithm. The snafus I see are when lots of people on the same floor want to go to lots of different floors, some up and some down. I assume the elevators still have the little arrows showing which way they are headed.

A few placebo buttons would help. It's been long rumored that while Hold Open buttons do re-open the door, the Close Door button is strictly a dummy to give impatient people something to do.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 25, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

My mom lives in a 9 story seniors community with dozens of folks in chairs and on walkers. If you don't hold in the Close Door button, the doors never ever close.

Posted by: kguy1 | September 25, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

The smart elevator is designed to save you time and building's energy use. It is probably overkill in DC area as buildings are about than 10-story high. Imagine if the building is 50 story high?

Embrace it, people! Technology is the driving force of our daily life.

For people who want to read more about Smart elevator:

Posted by: lalapopo | September 25, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who suspects that when Joel retires, I think he's chucking technology aside completely and retiring to that Earthhaven place (I know, not a 'commune')in North Carolina.

His position at the Post will be taken by a smart Elevator with text capability, just as Gene Weingarten's was previously taken by an auto-flush toilet.


Posted by: -bc- | September 25, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "...retiring to that Earthhaven place (I know, not a 'commune') in North Carolina?"


I was hoping my place would be taken by a clapped-out '66 Alfa Romeo with an AM radio, but I suspect it will simply be taken by a mortar and pestle.


Posted by: -bc- | September 25, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt got it. The trick is to have passengers pick a floor, then be assigned an elevator. More efficient. A corollary is that the elevators will follow rules that minimize overall travel time for passengers, even if some of those passengers have to ride right past their floors, or if elevators will go past floors with people waiting.

I once figured that Steve Reich's "Music for 18 Musicians" would be perfect elevator music for a movie involving several people stuck on an elevator.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 25, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Our building has elevators with distributed ranges, say 1-10th floor, 10-20 and 20 to 30th.
So it's always fun to look at the frenzied poking finger and panic in the eyes of the uninitiated when they realize the floor they want to go to is NOT available on the inside panel.
Those smart elevators would probably be faster but I suspect our cheapo landlord isn't going for a new set anytime soon. They got a facelift a couple of years ago, new lights, carpet and shiny stainless steel panelling. It beats the '70s era faux-wood that was there before.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 25, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Hey, bc, over on "The Fix" chat, Cilizza is complaing that this morning somebody stole his Macchiato. I'm not too familiar with them; can you fill me in? 4 cyliner? 6 cylinder? dual OHC, fuel injection, what? does he have the rag top or the hard top? And what's a brand new one cost these days? Can he afford one on his WaPo wages? (Is it true the Macchiato is basically a "chick" car?) Where do they make them? Turin? And didn't Fangio win the Mille Miglia in a Macchiato one year?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 25, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

A moment's thought has just given me an alternative concept for a 'smart' elevator -- not as time-efficient as this digital doodad is supposed to be, but should be very nearly as energy-efficient. The main use of energy is in accelerating and decelerating the motion of the system, and overcoming the force of gravity in the imbalance between the weight of the loaded or unloaded car and its counterweight. I propose that there be a reserve supply of counterweights on each floor. When the elevator is loaded, the elevator will weight the passenger supply, quickly on-load or off-load the necessary counter-weights to balance the system, and off it goes. A hybrid system using regenerative braking will recover most of the energy lost in braking in order to accelerate the car for the next load. In extended idle periods, or when the supply of counter-balance weights gets low on some floor, the elevator will re-allocate its counter-weights as necessary.

Complex? Yes. But at least we don't need to learn a new interface, dang it.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 25, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm frostbitten and I'm a Gleek.

One of the larger condo buildings in downtown St. Paul is about halfway through a conversion to smart elevators. Even though they have had 1/3 of their elevator bank out of service for months during the switch, the new ones are getting rave reviews.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 25, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Future Kit Titles:

Doctors Without Borders
Games Without Frontiers
Men Without Hats
Fish Without Bicycles

Posted by: yellojkt | September 25, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I too neither tweet nor text and I'm not comfortable with a lot of the other new technology either. I'm still getting used to this laptop (I love it but typing on this keyboard has been a trip).

I did something to my hip last night - moved the wrong way. The ligaments or tendons in my leg are strained and according to the doctor, I need to just rest and ice it. This is not making me happy, there's too much I was planning to do. I won't be able to see the doctor until Wednesday and I'm hopeful that by then I'll be more mobile!

Posted by: badsneakers | September 25, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

My mother's church had an elevator installed and it cost $100K. Chances are very good that they got ripped off. Of course, that included completely from scratch installation, tearing out existing structures.

For the aging church guys who no longer have to help carry people and/or wheelchairs up and down the stairs: priceless.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | September 25, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Back boodling revealed this gem of a link from DNAgirl. I repost for those who overlooked it-

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 25, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Badsneakers, I've been putzing around with a minor injury all week, too, and it IS frustrating. In my case, I think I bruised a rib. No big deal, but you'd be amazed how many movements involve that rib! Hope your hip is better soon.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | September 25, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Wheezy, I hope you feel better soon too. It is amazing to be reminded that any motion sideways on your leg involves muscles and ligaments and such that right now just scream at me if I forget to only walk slowly forward. I am hoping for a miraculously quick recovery!

Posted by: badsneakers | September 25, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I, too am a Gleek. I admit it. Loved the song the other week, "I Bust Out Your Windshield." Hilarious. And it's almost redundant to say it, but Jane Lynch is just superb, as she always is. Rest of the cast is great, too. And great writing. The other week they slipped in a pretty racy joke that went by so fast it took me a minute to think, "Wait; did she just say what I thought she said?"

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 25, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I spend way too much time chasing elevators as it is, and to make matters worse, the dingers in my building often don't ding correctly and sometimes not at all. (For those that never took notice, - 1 for up, 2 for down.) Then when a few elevators arrive simultaneously, it's ding, ding-ding, ding... That's when I take a pass for the next round. The last thing hurried office types want is to meet some blind guy swinging a cane at their feet when they rush for the doors. But hey, I've gotten better over the years as I only trip about 1 person a month instead of 1 person a week like I used to. Frustrating. On particular bad days, I'll step inside, and if there is nobody in the car that offers help, I'll push all the buttons. This has a way of irritating the other passengers, but I only get a few seconds to scan the buttons for braille, and if I'm not quick enough, the car takes off and I'm left trying to subtract the number of dings that went by before I could press the correct button.

I'm hoping here that smart elevators will make elevators easier, faster and safer. In my experience, new technology will often make things more difficult for me, but in the smart elevator case, I'm pretty confident that the ADA laws governing public access will ensure that the new elevators will be a major improvement for the handicapped.

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | September 25, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

My work building put in this kind of elevator system about 2 years ago, and everyone is delighted. With the old system, you often had to wait long times to get an elevator, ended up in a crowded elevator only to get to the first floor to have a second elevator with one passenger open next to yours, and lots of other inefficiencies. With the system, the elevators are computer-optimized, give you a lot less wait time, and get you to your floor faster. Joel should think about the times he gets on a crowded elevator and has to get someone to press the right button. Or the times he presses two or three buttons before getting the right one. We should stay young at heart and in mind, and not too stuck in our ways to deal with something newer and actually better.

Posted by: lmbell | September 25, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Am heading out shortly (got a little comp time), so everyone who is leaving the Boodle for a while have a good weekend.

80% chance of rain here tomorrow. (Tiny whisper: Hoooray!!!!)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 25, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

DNA Girl, Frosti... thanks for that Maira Kalman link. The previous post was wonderful, too, and made me think especially of DNA Girl...

It even mentions Uncle Schlomo.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 25, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Imbell: Good point. But what happens when the elevators get TOO smart? We both know the answer: Homicidal 'vators. Intentional free-falling. Or maybe a free-fall that stops just in time -- to see what kind of reaction the elevator can get out of the passengers. What I like about the dumb elevators is there's no chance they'll try to kill me intentionally.

Posted by: joelache | September 25, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Wheezy I used to work in a department that was in charge of overseeing elevation installation/retrofits when necessary - i.e. expansion to the stores etc.

The church costs seem reasonable, even though the buildings we were expanding were roughed in for the elevators and future expansion the costs to do so were still pretty high.

One problem with aging you think back at all the places you have worked - really adds up over time if you have been at one place for a long time.

And yes I too am a Gleek.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 25, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

mudge-that would probably be the "when you're older you'll be happy to have no gag reflex" gag. Had to hear that one twice myself.

TBG-thanks for pointing out the other Kalman post. I keep meaning to seek out her work more often, thank goodness for boodlers.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 25, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

An elevator named Hal?

Posted by: Windy3 | September 25, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, Facebook is fun and easy to learn--makes connecting and keeping up with friends and family so much easier.

I refuse to refuse change. Change is good. An opportunity (OK, usually) to advance civilization.

I'm back in Colorado. The weather has improved immensely. Have a great weekend al.

Posted by: Windy3 | September 25, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

"Twelfth floor, please"

"I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."

Posted by: yellojkt | September 25, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Greatest elevator shaft sequence ever filmed: Dark Star (the John Carpenter movie, not the Grateful Dead song)

Posted by: yellojkt | September 25, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that when "smart" machines are discussed it is often posited that they will become so smart they will want to kill us? Is that a sign that deep down we think we deserve it?

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 25, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Sure are a lot of Japanese Greeks on this place.

This post reminds me of the neat Food Lion grocery store that was once nearby. They were the research and development store. Every innovation was tried out first in that store. I don't know how many other R&D stores there were.

They tested a system where you park your cart in one line and the next available teller would check you out. This was to save you from getting behind the customer who had to run for a forgotten item, and then whose card doesn't work, and who then writes a check, and then flashes an expired license as ID., etc. And is 95 and moves like a glacier.

Didn't work. But the store was briefly heroic because they tried, dang it, they tried.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 25, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

frosti, there was a discussion on another site recently about artificial intelligences and how much to worry about them turning bad. The site owner said something to this effect: If you are scared that one day there will be artificial, intelligent entities that are completely sociopathic, we already have them and they are called "corporations."

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 25, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Another sign that Rapture is near:
"Get the grime off your car in just 10 minutes"

Yes, a how-to article on car washing.
Next week installment: How to chew gum.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 25, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

In the words of Clint Eastwood in "Unforgiven," frosty, "Deserve's got nothing to do with it." The idea that the machines will turn on us has more to do with our sense that any purely logical intelligence would find our species hopelessly subject to its emotions. This idea has been a frequent subject in one form or another in countless books and films- "Forbidden Planet" "2001 A Space Odyssey" "I, Robot" "Blade Runner" "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and on and on. It's interesting in this context to consider the similarities and differences between the Star Trek characters of Spock and Data, the humanoid Vulcan culturally conditioned to respect only logic and reject emotion, and the android, a true artificial intelligence.

Posted by: kguy1 | September 25, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Joel. Smart machines - particularly ones to which I entrust my safety - make me very nervous. I don't think, frostbitten, it is because I think I deserve violence at the hands of machines (speaking metaphorically there). It is much more likely that I don't trust the specter of an intelligence unfettered by ethical or moral concerns ("hey, what would happen if I dropped this elevator really fast before I stop it?").

This phenomenon makes me uneasy with my iPhone. It has truly improved my quality of life and I'm glad it consents to work with me, but the thing Learns. And Thinks. As Joel says, it suggests words for me. After one upgrade it thoughtfully recategorized many of my calendar events - and its choices were so good I didn't want to change them. Even if I could have.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 25, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

On a different topic, perhaps I should again mention that Maira Kalman writes excellent children's books. They are intelligently written, interestingly plotted, and full of Good Art (vital in a children's book, this requirement has disqualified a good many popular candidates). I recommend the Max the Dog series. We still read them. It was so refreshing, during the Boy's infancy, to find books we could read aloud which did not encourage our sad tendency to minds of mush.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 25, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

But the big question -- in a one-on-one battle to deactivation, who wins: Spock (when he was young) or Data?

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 25, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

You should definitely take the stairs.

And write notes with pencil and paper.

And talk to people in person.

All these things are good.

Also, remember to breathe.

This has been your moment of Zen.


Posted by: kbertocci | September 25, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Well Ivansmom, if your phome really is that smart it will gradually gain a sense of the rate of change with which you are most comfortable and accommodate itself to you. After all, you keep its battery charged, ergo you are god.

Posted by: kguy1 | September 25, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

At Kmart, years ago, one never, ever got in line behind a woman buying clothing because the lady from ladies' wear had to be summoned; once arrived, she'd probably have to stroll back and forth to confirm prices.

My voice is similar to HAL, probably due a preschool year in California, followed by vigorous speech therapy halfway up the Lower Peninsula of Michigan.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 25, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, kguy. That is certainly the most comforting thing I've heard today.

I only hope the iPhone doesn't evolve to the point it aspires to overthrow its gods.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 25, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Laughing. Yes, frosty, that was *exactly* the line. And they cut away from it and moved on so fast no one had time to react to it.

Windy, I already have enough bad addictions (like Boodling), and I already keep in touch with ALL the people I need/want to. If anything, I'd like to cut back a little. So Facebook would do me no good whatsoever. I spend too much time on the Internet (and the computer in general) as it is.

Here's an interesting general purpose question: think of your own collection of friends and relatives you keep in touch with routinely. Of that list, how many times are *you* the one who initiates the contact, and how many times are *they* the one who initiates the contact/call/visit.


In my case, I am overwhelmingly the one who initiates. Like maybe a factor of 10-to-1. Ditto my wife.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | September 25, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

LA Times review of Brinkley's Roosevelt persuaded me to buy it. The reviewer is a biographer of Audubon:,0,4151962.story

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 25, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Nick over at The Paupered Chef
was my inspiration to make rib bacon. (two lbs. ribs cured in salt, maple syryp, nitrite salt, etc. for 5 days, then cold smoked at 100 to 115 F. with hickory for a bit over three hours) So I have cut off one rib from my cured and smoked ribs and fried it and carried it back here to the Boodle to taste. OMG! Delicious. It is a bit salty. I need to learn how to alleviate that.

Now I have confidence. I will acquire some pork belly at the Asian market soon and make some bacon.

The funny part is, I had told Son of G to join me for some fish tacos up at the local joint, and then completely forgot. I had to tend my smoking. We did meet up today at Zada Jane's for lunch.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 25, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Kguy: Couldn't resist your reference to that "All in the Family" epispode. Some more quotes to enjoy:

Mike: I'd better go over to the Friedman building and try to find him at the insurance office. Ma, can you remember the name?

Edith: Archie Bunker.
Archie: (trapped in an elevator; trying the elevator phone) Hello? Operator?

Carlos: (to Archie) Señor?

Archie: Operator?

Carlos: Señor?

Archie: Would somebody translate for this Spic here and tell him I'm trying to use the phone?

Carlos: Is no need; this… uh… "Spic" speak English.

Archie: Well, then you oughta know that I'm trying to call for help.

Carlos: I try to tell you, the phone only rings in the janitor's office.

Archie: Well, then, that's who I'm trying to call.

Carlos: I am the janitor.

Mike: Ma, can you remember the name of the insurance guy?

Edith: Um... It's a German name... Hinklemeyer. That's it.

Archie: Hinklemeyer, okay.


Gloria: Ma, are you sure that's the name?

Edith: Yeah. Hinklemeyer, that's it... Or Swanson.

Carlos: Let me expplain something to you, Mister. 1: How many children we have is 'cause we love each other very much. 2: You talk very intelligent, Mister, but you're not so smart. edit »
Archie: I saw a lot of action in the war.

Hugh Victor Thompson III: During KP or latrine duty?

Archie: As a soldier in the Army Air Corp, that's the only place we'd see you people.

Hugh Victor Thompson III: As an officer in the Intelligence Division, I would never have seen you.

Archie: Good going there, Pedro.

Carlos: My name is Carlos.

Archie: Carlos it is, Pedro.

Posted by: skiohio | September 25, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse


Great going. Try canadian bacon with a half of a pork loin. Don't forget to rinse before smoking to get rid of salt.

Now, on topic, I have been in speaking elevators, but not listening. I guess the ones I have been in have evolved to the level of a wife.

(I apologize to the boodle)

Posted by: russianthistle | September 25, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if I'm headed for the 34th floor and the brain sends me to elevator C and there are two soccer teams, one on the 5th floor and one on the 8th and they want to go to the 34th floor and the 2nd floor respectively, and the brain routs them to elevator A and C respectively, then realizes it's sent me to the elevator that is NO LONGER OPTIMUM, if it gives a hoot?

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 25, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

p.s. Joel: when we get too old for the advertising demographics, it means we finally got so smart we no longer fall for advertising. It means we have achieved wisdom. It's a good thing.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 25, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Whenever I get on an elevator I get an urge to hit Buzz the elevator boy from The Hudsucker Proxy.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 25, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

This looks intriguing. McCleod is very good. I have not read this yet.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 25, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

After 10 or 15 years I still haven't been able to quickly figure out which button to push when the door is closing and someone is rushing to get on the elevator. Trying to decipher the various >, < or whatever symbols when all I need to see is "CLOSE" or "OPEN" to let the poor schmuck on.

Posted by: capsfan77 | September 25, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse


After a very long day, actually after many long days, your 2:20 today was simply wonderful.

Thank you, my friend.

Posted by: -pj- | September 25, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

TBG, this was sitting forgotten on my desktop...

Don't know about you,
but I loved those fall days when
mom got all crabby.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | September 25, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

My earliest memory of an operating elevator was when I was 4 years old. My older brother, or Brudder as I called him, was in the hospital overnight and had his tonsils taken out. My parents took me along with them to visit.

I wasn't allowed to see Brudder because I wasn't old enough, so my Mom and Dad sat me in a lobby sofa, told me not to get up, and they would be back.

I watched them as they waited for the elevator. The doors opened and they went inside, then they turned around and waved at me. The doors closed.

I watched the elevator doors and waited.

When the doors opened, the elevator was empty. Oh my God! My mom and dad were gone! The elevator ate my parents.

I freaked.

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | September 25, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for that story WhackyWeasel, needed the laugh.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 25, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

That is a *fabulous* story, WackyWeasel! So sad, too.

Posted by: Yoki | September 25, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

It's a relief to know there is still a host of things to learn that don't have anything to do with electronic technology.

Slyness, thank you, thank you. The book is better than you said. Really lovely. Reminds me how long it has been since I wrote a hand written letter and how very special it is to recieve one.

Posted by: --dr-- | September 25, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

It also makes me wish I'd have paid better attention when they were teaching penmanship.

Posted by: --dr-- | September 25, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

I had, when a school-girl in Switzerland, a beautiful "hand." Now lost forever to carpel-tunnel disease and laziness. Thanks, computers.

Great article about just this.

I love Yoffe in both her Dear Prudence and other guise. She's harsh and kind.

Posted by: Yoki | September 25, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

pj, you're so welcome, bud.
I know you're working hard these days.

Mudge, Clizza's Macchiato is a rare vintage beast, a variant on the Italian Iso Isetta (later licensed to BMW and others) microcar:

The Macchiato chassis was constructed entirely from a paper/wax and cardboard composite with heavy-gauge cellophane windows, and the little scooter-sized two-stroke 200 cc engine runs entirely on espresso (and lubricated by the expresso oils, so no need to further add oil to the fuel).

I'm not surprised to hear that someone took his -- people mistakenly grab someone else's all the time, especially if they don't pay much attention to where they park 'em in the first place.

They do have a bit of a racing history in the long distance endurance events. It wasn't uncommon for a single driver to hammer Macchiatos for 24 hours straight, just as fast as they could go. And in a pinch, they would dip into the fuel tank for an extra boost to the next pit stop.

Macchiatos aren't for everyone; some love them, some just don't get it and would rather stick to more conventional means of motivation.


Posted by: -bc- | September 25, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

hahahahaha! bc, you told!

Posted by: Yoki | September 25, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Wow! That Isetta brought back memories. My across-the-street neighbor had one in the late 50's-early-60's. He was one of five brothers who all went to Harvard. (They all played hockey.) And, I'm reminded of my dear friend, Lois, whose uncle worked for Ferrari in Italy. He went out on his own, and his company produced the Lamborghini. He was the name behind the brand.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | September 26, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

bc and others, have you ever seen this site?

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 26, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse

You'll get somewhere faster on that site if you click on the "A - Z Tour"

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 26, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Chick magnet:

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 26, 2009 12:50 AM | Report abuse

Nowadays, most things are already programmed for us. We don’t need to use our brains much. If we don’t use our brains, nature will take it away.

Posted by: rainforest1 | September 26, 2009 2:49 AM | Report abuse

Off to NYC. We have tickets for some play with Wolverine and James Bond in it. I don't even know what it's called and my wife doesn't care.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 26, 2009 5:21 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all, hey Cassandra. I hope the weather's better where you are. Grey and dreary in the mountains today; it won't be fun to watch or play football this afternoon.

dr, I'm glad you enjoyed Guernsey. Great little book, I think it will last. Unlike, say, The Bridges of Madison County. Remember that one?

Yoki, I am on a committee with the 83-year-old mother of a couple of my friends and had the opportunity recently to work with a document she had written. What gorgeous, clear handwriting she has. Mine was pretty good at one time but now has degenerated seriously. Remedial work would be a good thing.

Have a lovely Saturday, everybody!

Posted by: slyness | September 26, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Rickoshea1, I understand a lot of folks migrated from Ferrari to Lambo back in the day, when agruicultural equipment magnate Feruccio L. decided that he'd had enough of Ferrari products and service (apparrently he drove everything hard, and Ferraris were never known for being rugged), and that he would make strong, sophisticated cars alongside his tractors and such.

In it's own way, it worked out, I suppose. Even when Audi/VW bought the company back in the '90s. *Tim would never have seen that Audi R8 if it weren't for Lambo (IIRC, it's based on the small Lamborghini chassis).


Posted by: -bc- | September 26, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I ordered the Guernsey book from Amazon along with the book written by Joel's friend that will not be out until spring. I was wondering why I hadn't received the book and an additional book so I checked 'where's my stuff' and discovered that, having chosen the ship it all together option, I wasn't going to get anything until March 2010! I changed the option and am now awaiting the books. I need to be more careful when ordering.

I am amazed that I feel so much better today. Goes to show that rest and ice and advil can actually help. One more day of rest today, even tho' I'd rather be painting or something.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 26, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

*briefly-glancing-up-from-the-photo-cropping-software-and-yes-we-had-a-great-time-BBL Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 26, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Dark and dreary here too, supposed to rain this afternoon. Just picked 2/3 of a bucket of tomatoes, and now have to go pick the grape tomatoes, probably got at least a quart or more of them. The plan for this batch is to make our own tomato soup or tomato bisque.

Cassandra!!!! *tapping my foot*

Boy, the WaPo editorial folks really eviscerate McDonnell's awful "Transportation Plan six ways from Sunday--and good thing, too. The almost accuse him of flat-out lying.

This morning read a very funny letter in the Guernsey book, about one-third in. It's from a simple farmer named Clovis Fossey, who was trying to woo the widow Hurlbert in competition with another man. Clovis discovers the widow likes poetry, so he sets out to find and memorize some to impress her. All the bookseller has left is a collection by Catullus. In one poem the speaker -- presumably Catallus -- has an affair with some woman named Lesbia, but it doesn't5 seem to work out. Then he gets riled by about some prostitute with a deformed nose who charges him too much money. Clovis believes neither of these "love" poems is going to be much help.

Then a friend gives him "The Oxford Book of Modern Verse, 1832-1935," edited by some guy named Yeats. Clovis doesn't like this guy Yeats' idea of poetry, because Yeats, whoever he is, deliberately omits all war poetry, especially Wilfred owen and Sassoon. Clovis was at Passchendaele, and thinks this guy Yeats is a moron. What does he know about poetry, anyway? Harrumph.

But it works out OK for Clovis; he talks the widow into going for a walk by the cliffs, and he quotes a piece of Wordsworth to her. It seems to do the job OK, and now the widow Hurlbert is his wife.

Yeats. What the hell does he know?

Onwrd and upward.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | September 26, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Mudge-that part of the book was where I went from "this is pretty interesting" to being totally drawn in.

Dark and dreary here today too. So dark I have a weather system headache. Time to mainline some caffeine I guess.

Princess Sparkle Pony and Ron Paul held a joint rally in Minneapolis yesterday. There's an odd couple. A protest theater troupe demonstrated (performed?) across the street with material lifted directly from from Will Ferrell's Protect Insurance Companies PSA

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 26, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

rainforest, I've always said that my brain would make for a fine doorstop.

Jumper, I checked out that 3wheeler site, though I think that at some point Isettas (and Macchiatos?) were actually 4 wheelers, in an attempt to allieviate their tippy tendancies.

Never been much of a fan of three wheelers, though I don't mind old bikes with side cars or '60s-era trikes with VW or Porsche drivetrains out back, or better yet, a good ol' American V8 mounted midship. Always thought of the latter as the Big Wheel from H3ll.

I imagine that would be fun for short distances, anyway.

A guy I know offered me an old Formula Ford race car this week - get thee behind me, Satan!


Posted by: -bc- | September 26, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Didn't have to deal with any elevators in northern Vt., but we missed y'all, really a lot!!

OK, first round of photos for your viewing pleasure... More to come. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 26, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Love the pictures, Scotty!

WB Yeats is apparently controversial. I posted a poem and it was 'held for review.' Nice to know that literature still causes consternation.

Posted by: Yoki | September 26, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Great pics Scotty. I love VT. #2 went to college up there.

You all must be having the weather we are promised for tomorrow. Today is perfect early fall, sunny and in the 60's. "S" is putting up three new outside laterns on the house. I think he's going to do some painting after that.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 26, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

SCC: #1 went to college in VT, #2 went to UNH.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 26, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

#2 is obviously the more discerning of the two, Sneaks... ;-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 26, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

capsfan77... your 9:03 pm could have been written by me. That's exactly how I feel in an elevator, struggling to figure out which one means OPEN.

Morning all... we're waiting for laundry to be finished and then we're heading off to the Virginia Peanut Festival in Emporia. Fun!

Posted by: -TBG- | September 26, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm missing the Peanut Festival!

Posted by: Yoki | September 26, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I still love going up to Portsmouth, Scotty. Pretty city and Nubble Light in ME isn't much of a drive from there.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 26, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

It won't be the same without you, Yoki. :-(

Posted by: -TBG- | September 26, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, if wisdom means watching shows that have around 10-1 advertising for depends, scooters, male enhancement and other items that portray old people as having nothing working right below the waist...

I think I'll go for the greater wisdom-- turning the TV off.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 26, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Back home from the usual Saturday morning errands. My farmers market had both fresh kale and fresh spinach. Great fall veggies, like broccoli and cauliflower (looking forward to the purple kind) and Brussels sprouts. I declined the sprouts, as I'm not really in the mood for them just yet. The Honeycrisp apples are still around. I almost choke on the juice -- and they are extremely crispy (just the way I like them!).

I'm putting off another couple of errands until tomorrow after the predicted rain stops. Then I think I'll sit back and watch the Lions beat the Redskins. *hahahaha*

Posted by: -ftb- | September 26, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Their demographics powers are frightening but not omniscient. Turning off the tube is pretty much a brilliant idea at almost any time.

So far, The Time Traveler's Wife is a good read.

I feel biscuits coming on. I will make it so. It is a gloomy and drizzly day in Charlotte NC

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 26, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Michigan won (36-33) in the last couple of minutes!


Posted by: -ftb- | September 26, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Busy morning working came home once it started raining to discover 'Rattle and Hum' is on one of the movie channels, now have a fresh coffee and am enjoying the show. Did not make it to the U2 tour this time but this will suffice - sort of.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 26, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Watching the National Book Festival on C-Span, envying all the soggy umbrella toting book fans. Ken Burns up next.

Must head up to the office loft to finish the organization push. Time to let go of many old files and publications. Probably no need to keep medical records of long dead pets.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 26, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Ken Burns needs a grown up haircut.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 26, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Aaaaaaand more foliage pictures:


Posted by: Scottynuke | September 26, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Fabulous pics Scotty. What great weather you had too!

Posted by: badsneakers | September 26, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, which WB Yeats poem was that?

Maybe you could link to it on poemhunter instead?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 26, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Whoa! Hope Dooley can comment on this story, but I'm struck how this sketched protowhale looks like a mammalian gator.

Definitely not as cute as Flipper.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 26, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

WB -- Perhaps this will come through:

A Crazed Girl
THAT crazed girl improvising her music.
Her poetry, dancing upon the shore,

Her soul in division from itself
Climbing, falling She knew not where,
Hiding amid the cargo of a steamship,
Her knee-cap broken, that girl I declare
A beautiful lofty thing, or a thing
Heroically lost, heroically found.

No matter what disaster occurred
She stood in desperate music wound,
Wound, wound, and she made in her triumph
Where the bales and the baskets lay
No common intelligible sound
But sang, 'O sea-starved, hungry sea.'

Not sure this is Yoki's pome but like it anyway for a chilly and raining evening.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 26, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Is the bird in Scotty's photo a Canada Jay?

Posted by: nellie4 | September 26, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I sort of don't think so, since it doesn't seem to have the black nape or eye-stripe.

Posted by: Yoki | September 26, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I like it too, CqP. I haven't seen that one before.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 26, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Did any of you birders see that "Canada Jay" is not a recognized bird name? It is "Grey Jay" in both my bird books, but I knew the bird as "Canada Jay" back when we lived in Washington State. Long ago, I guess!

Posted by: nellie4 | September 26, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

I've heard Canada Jay and Whiskey Jack, too. One once stole a piece of bacon off my fork when I was camping in the mountains.

Posted by: Yoki | September 26, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

I think I see your problem, Yoki. One does not use a fork for bacon. Unless one is a pinko, Canadian-type socialist, that is.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | September 26, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, I hope you're in St. Paul so you can boogie on down to the street dance following the premiere of the Prairie Home Companion. It sounds like fun.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | September 26, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Dave of the Coonties,

Thanks for your 5:32 p.m. from yesterday, the link. No surprise (on my part) that a man who wrote about Audubon is writing the review of Brinkley's latest, a presidential biography that calls to me, appeals to me much more than Taylor Branch's about Bill Clinton.

In my opinion, there's only one way to approach the Brinkley biography about TR, which is to read Michael Punke's book about George Bird Grinnell first.

My "dream team" of panelists at the upcoming Texas Book Festival would be Punke (note: interesting work done by Punke during the Clinton administration), Brinkley and NYT's Tim Egan, whose book about TR and "the big fire" will be issued in October. But Punke's book, alas, came out about two years ago, and I believe Stephen Rinella, who'll be at the Texas Book fest promoting his book about the American buffalo, won't hold a candle to Punke.

Dinner is imminent, so let me just say that Grinnell, as I learned from Punke's book, was definitely in Othniel Marsh's Yale orbit, as the Roosevelts were in Henry Fairfield Osborne's AMNH orbit. No wonder they became soulmates of a sort?

Posted by: laloomis | September 26, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

The local PBS station here is playing the 2-hour Peter, Paul and Mary documentary "Carry It Forward." Needless to say, I am all goose-bumpy and verklempty (even though I already own it on the DVD/4-CD set that comes with an actual hardbound book).

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | September 26, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Hi Mudge. Watching the Brit Wit Coms instead. Too sad for me, really, but glad that you watch for me.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 26, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Mudge, for a little local religious color, enjoy this Klezmer interlude. I know the clarinetist.
I know that the solemn days are soon upon you (us) but here is some folly and whimsy.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 26, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Hey, CP.

Just watching Mary is mesmerizing. She was just such an imposing creature, an animal (in the best sense of the word), a valkyrie. And Paul just sang the Wedding Song.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | September 26, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Mudge. And, that song was part of my wedding, so rather hard to hear it.

I am remembering the Cruel War is Raging and how my parents argued mightily over what was happening in Vietnam. They only voted in unison once: Kennedy.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 26, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Jonah's Kolomeyka! That's a fun piece. And you know the clarinet player? Cool.

PPM just did "Light One Candle," and in a few minutes are going to do "This Land Is Your land."

I was never much for Yom Kippur--much too grim for me, and I was never much for group atonement. Rosh Shashanah and Succoth are much better.

How's Telemachus?

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | September 26, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

I think I swooned when I read Clovis' letter though Eben has my heart.

Posted by: --dr-- | September 26, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, Catholics feel very connected to Jewish antecedents especially at YK. Very much like our bookended days of humility in Lent; Ash W. and Good F.

I love sukkot...have not been to one since neighbors moved to HoCo, likely near YJ. Have half a mind to build a booth myself and do this in a semblance of a way.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 26, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Hi DR,
Mudge, now Watching! Pass the tissues please and some libation.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 26, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the period between RS and YK are the "Days of Awe," the "Dies Irae," which also sounded to me so much better, so much more fearsome and majestic, in the Latin than the Hebrew (Yamim Nora'im). "Dies Irae" has power, maybe it's the two long "e" sounds and then the long "a."

Watching Peter singing "The Great Mandela" with Richie Havens reminds me I have to get a Richie Havens greatest hits CD some day. He was terrific, don't know why he ever faded away like he did. What a tremendous voice.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | September 26, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Dies Irae contains more the Wrath rather than Awe, as in God is a fearsome and awe-filled entity, as is a hurricane compared to a Zephyr.

Liber scriptus proferetur,
in quo totum continetur,
unde mundus judicetur.

Lo! the book, exactly worded,
wherein all hath been recorded:
thence shall judgment be awarded.

The notion of looking upon the face of God and living, rather then being smote. Smitten? Good word.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 26, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

From the book of
the Vulgate translation of Zephaniah 1:15–16:

Dies iræ, dies illa, dies tribulationis et angustiæ, dies calamitatis et miseriæ, dies tenebrarum et caliginis, dies nebulæ et turbinis, dies tubæ et clangoris super civitates munitas et super angulos excelsos.

That day is a day of wrath, a day of tribulation and distress, a day of calamity and misery, a day of darkness and obscurity, a day of clouds and whirlwinds, a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high bulwarks. (Douai Bible)

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 26, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

CpQ, I have libation at hand. Cannot see tv. I should be thankful.

Posted by: --dr-- | September 26, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, DR. Sharing the cup is quite nice.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 26, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, he fell out of fashion, like hand written letters, and elevators with buttons and home made ice cream.

Mrdr, Kerric and I were talking about books last night and the possibility that they will go out of fashion to be replaced by electronic gizmos. Fie on such a thought. (Not sure if this is proper usage of 'fie', but it felt right.

Posted by: --dr-- | September 26, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Faxing DR and CP a nice cup of hot tea with lemon and honey.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | September 26, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Thank you. I needed that. Faxing Mudge a sip of some nice rich port. Good for the soul so my poppa says.

Posted by: --dr-- | September 26, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Have we heard from Cassandra? I'm wondering if her computer has given up. Maybe we should all write her some of those old fashioned hand written letters?

I ought to pop in 84 Charing Cross Road in the dvd player, since I am so captivated by the idea of letters these days.

Posted by: --dr-- | September 26, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

All those people fell out of fashion, DR, all of them. The people and the ideas both, as well as the songs.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | September 26, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

84 Charing Cross Road is a movie very much in the spirit of the Guernsey book, isn't it?

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | September 26, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Its a sad thing when people fall out of fashion. There are some, like James Taylor, I think seasea mentioned him the other day, who fell out of fashion, but stayed, still always in our hearts and in our heads, close by, like a favourite that we wrap around ourselves for comfort.

Posted by: --dr-- | September 26, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

And I will punish the men
Who rest untroubled on their lees,
Who say to themselves,
"The LORD will do nothing, good or bad"
Their wealth shall be plundered
And their homes laid waste.
They shall build houses and not dwell in them,
Plant vineyards and not drink their wine.
The great day of the LORD is approaching,
Approaching most swiftly.
The day of the LORD is faster than a runner
Fleeter than a warrior.
That day shall be a day of wrath,
A day of trouble and distress,
A day of calamity and desolation,
A day of darkness and deep gloom,
A day of densest clouds,
A day of horn blasts and alarms--
Against the fortified towns
And the lofty corner towers.

(Jewish Publication Society)

We have a lot of empty new houses and abandoned citrus groves. But as of now, no one expects the Venezuelan Navy to attack Miami.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 26, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

From long ago. The movie stars a much younger but ever elegant Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins. A classic, quiet movie.

Posted by: --dr-- | September 26, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Maggie-the dott was at the Prairie Home street party since it includes a free meal and her apartment building is right next door to Minnesota Public Radio and 1/2 a block from the Fitzgerald Theatre. I on the other hand was the lone representative of the frostfam at a wedding reception and dance in Our Fair City.

I have a box with every letter Mr. F has ever written to me, and there are many. Several are ersatz postcards torn from MRE boxes, no postage required, mailed from Somalia. We still write real letters at least once a week when apart, even with a couple phone calls a day and frequent e-mail. Digital communication will never beat the thrill of receiving a handwritten letter.

One glass of champagne and I'm ready to snooze. Toodles boodle and sweet dreams.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 26, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

When he was unstylish, I got to listen to James Taylor from 3rd row center. I lost any embarrassment at going to hear a leftover Boomer.

Oxford University Press has a new book on Pete Seeger, complete with CD.

[note to last post: the Zephaniah quote includes a pair of emended lines from the translators' footnotes]

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 26, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

That is so sweet, frosty.

Just so you know, our summer heat has left us. We are having a rather violent windstorm today. Thursday it was 30 C and tonight the forecast is this:

See those little white flaky things? We hope they are kidding.

Mrdr was at the football game tonight. In the wind. He just got home and says to batten down your hatches, frosty. You have a day or so before till it get to you. You to Wilbrod. Stay warm.

Posted by: --dr-- | September 26, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

The old words pack so much power.

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.

Roberta Flack. Now there was a voice, the one that was on the PA system in the cafeteria just about every day, the semesters I lived in the dorms.

I actually wrote a note and mailed it to Cassandra earlier in the week. There will be 3 days worth of mail when we get home tomorrow, I hope it will include an answer from her.

Posted by: slyness | September 26, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Time to put this little r to bed.

It is early, but we decided to see how long we can go without turning the furnace on. Its chilly in the house and snuggling under the blankets sounds like a good idea. I'm going to go heat my wheat bag to warm the spot for my toes.

Don't let the bedbugs bite.

Posted by: --dr-- | September 26, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

I'll stay warm, but I have to do a long drive on Monday, dr. No tiny cars, at least.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 26, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

dr-- after trying such experiments, I now always insist on heat when I sleep.

Turns out the throat relaxes in sleep and does not warm air to protect the bronchial tubes as well, and there's actually a stage where your body temperature drops as well.

I've gotten bronchitis from such chilly nights indoors. I wish I had never tried sleeping in rooms that chilled below 50 degrees just to save on heat --especially not with thyroid disease.

Just a consideration.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 26, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Tom Rush talks about how folk music fell out of fashion, but he and many others just kept on playing. James Taylor - oh my. He was wonderful, sounds so good, plays songs he loves and songs he'd probably rather not, but knows we want to hear. He introduced "You've Got a Friend" by Carole King by saying he remembers the first time he heard it, and learned the chords so he could play it - not realising he would be singing it every. day. of. his. life. from then on.

I'm watching the first season of Mad Men. It's very good, but not much happens. Brings back bad memories of how women were treated, but quite authentic.

Posted by: seasea1 | September 26, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

In my mind I'm goin' to Carolina
Can't you see the sunshine
Can't you just feel the moonshine
Ain't it just like a friend of mine
To hit me from behind
Yes I'm goin' to Carolina in my mind

Cassandra! Cassandra! Cassandra!

Posted by: seasea1 | September 26, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Wow, now that's what I call a cold front. The temperature dropped 20 C degrees in just over an hour, and now it is downright chilly. dr, please keep those white things up north for a few more weeks.

Flames lost again, I think it might be a wash of a season, though the folks leaving the Saddledome sound pretty, um, happy.

I had great fun at the theatre tonight, the play both funny and touching, extremely strong acting.

Good night Boodle.

Posted by: Yoki | September 27, 2009 12:45 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. It's raining here and the much welcome rain will last a few more days.

Mrs. D is heading toward the land of exploding pipeline again. *sign* This line has become an experiment in low cycle fatigue. So I'll be manning the apple sauce factory later as we have bought a bushel of McIntosh at the farmer's market.

Off to Singapore for the GP...

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 27, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

You bought McIntoshes, SD? We bought Fujis, but only enough to eat.

Morning, all, hey, Cassandra. Still cloudy in the high country, but the wind has kicked up. Now there are leaves everywhere. That, of course, will be the normal course for the next 3 or 4 weeks. Mr. T poured 1.5 inches out of the rain gauge, which was less than we expected. That's okay, since the gauge was full when we got here Thursday.

We're having a very lazy morning, I better get my act in gear.

Posted by: slyness | September 27, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

McIntoshes are good for apple sauce. I got a basket of Prime Golds and a basket of Spartans for snacks. The Prime Gold is a new apple for these parts. Someone found a sport of Golden Delicious that works outside the Northwest and propagated it, for our great pleasure. Out in our cool climate the fruit has rosy cheeks. It's a very good and very good looking apple.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 27, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Whew, looks like the truly cold weather is going to be held up at the border (like everything else these days). Our highs are going to be down in the upper 50s, from the upper 70s, but 50s are more normal for this time of year. If we can dodge a hard freeze for another 10 days or so we'll have a bumper crop of pumpkins at the after-school garden. Carving pumpkins with other people's children is one of the most rewarding things I do every year, that and flying kites and baking cookies. No kid should enter middle school without having done these things many times.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 27, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

I should say we'll move on to Cortlands for the next batch of sauce. They weren't ripe enough this week.

Ah, the safety car is coming in.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 27, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Shriek you have me missing my mom, we would always get a bushel of Northern Spy apples and she would bake her apple pie and apple crumbles. I still love a good Northern Spy apple - so tart and crisp.

Fresh apples one of the many splendors of fall.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 27, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

See, now, this is the sort of thing that happens if you don't talk to your kids about physics:

- - - -
"Two students aged between 13 and 15 from a northside Brisbane state high school performed the sex acts in the toilets during school hours several months ago.

Sources have told The Courier-Mail the incident occurred after the launch of the particle accelerator ring, the Hadron Collider which some dubbed a "doomsday device".

It is understood the girl wanted to lose her virginity to the boy – believing that the world was about to end.",23739,26014554-3102,00.html

Posted by: bobsewell | September 27, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Sopping up tea from the keyboard....

And for the pointyheads and pointyheadyphiles here, an essay by David Mitchell:

Posted by: DNA_Girl | September 27, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

"Kiss me honey, the world is about to end".
That's a line I regret not to have used back in 1976 when CERN fired-up its Super Proton Synchrotron...

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 27, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

DNA_Girl - That is indeed a very fine & funny essay. Thanks!

Posted by: bobsewell | September 27, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

DNA_Girl, loved the link - thanks.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 27, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

DNA Girl-love it when you get linky.

Clouds rolling in, perfect for keeping focus on house cleaning when I'd rather be on the lawn tractor. The refrigerator is up next, yuck.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 27, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

The Post has posted a Reuters story about Roman Polanski's arrest in Zurich and his possible extradition to California. I bet the authorities in California are busy explaining to whoever will listen in Switzerland that they don't need any more prisoners. Having to live in France for all those years seems punishment enough; it would be better to leave Polanski unattended for a few moments so he can sneak across the border. Or catch a ride in a fast wheelchair. He's 76, after all.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 27, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

First batch of apple sauce is cooling off. 8 litres of quartered apples gives about 4 litres of sauce. Oh well.
The local paper has a spread on how to accessorized the Ektorp sofa.
They missed the most important accessory though.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 27, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Back in *my* day in the 1950s, when they scared the bejaysus out of us and we really *did* think the world was gonna blow up any minute, all we ever did was drawl under our desks.


Although now that I think of it, Susie Hawthorne and Rob Timmons always managed to find themselves in the coat locker during bomb drills...

Just helped my wife make two gallons of tomato soup using the Panera's restaurant recipe. Yum.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | September 27, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

countdown ... 3,2,1


Posted by: russianthistle | September 27, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, although I was always surprised when the little boy charged with protecting me under that desk started to "drawl", Mudge. . . .


And the boys really didn't like having to protect the girls, and the girls didn't like it much, either. Ah, those halcyon days, eh?

Posted by: -ftb- | September 27, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Just happened to take a picture of our sofa accessory yesterday, Wilbrodog may want to avert your eyes - no self respecting dog should be subject to this. All tucked in courtesy of an 8 year old.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 27, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Is widdle puppy
All illsy-flusy and cold?
Blankets heal that fast...


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 27, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Cute picture dmd. Somewhere I have a photo of my childhood dog and best friend dressed in my pajamas. His expression is one of deep embarrassment. I have been my own sofa accessory these past three days. The pain is gone but I'm now just spooked about what happened and am being super careful until I see the doc on Wednesday. Five years of no real problems with my hip and now this odd occurrence have left me apprehensive and scared - not emotions I want to have.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 27, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Memo to my gnome:
No candid pictures of me
in you-know-what. Grr.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 27, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Hope you feel better soon badsneaks.

Have a bit of a cold myself, struggling to find some energy but getting there.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 27, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

What if Goldman Sachs had a huge payoff if lots and lots of old folks died?

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 27, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

What if it was actually made illegal and the whole firm had to hock itself to pay all the penalties involved?

Brr, Jumper. People really will find a way to gamble on anything.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 27, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

*mumbling and grumbling many expletives*

If you don't know, don't ask.


Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | September 27, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

I have no idea what Washingtong coach Zorn is doing.

I was yelling at him to kick the field goal at 4th and 1, and yelling to decline the penalty and make Detroit kick the FG on 4th and 3.

Instead, Detroit marches 99 yards for a TD. I can easily see the Lions winning, and Zorn unemployed by Thanksgiving (if not Halloween). Oy.


Posted by: -bc- | September 27, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Werewolves in the Capitol?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 27, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

There's a play you don't see very often--throwing into triple coverage.

On the plus side, I don't think the defense was expecting it.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | September 27, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

A lion may not be expecting a goat to leap into its mouth, but he'll still chomp down, Mudge.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 27, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

And another stat you won't see very often: Skins have 108 inches rushing.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | September 27, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Uh oh. I got bad sound break-up on the Fox channel (Redskins game), but all other channels OK. Anybody else experiencing that?

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | September 27, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

We're being beaten by a 17-year-old quarterback who can't get a prom date.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | September 27, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse


Outwardly, I'm joining Mudge and bc and others being very, very concerned about the Redskins.

Inwardly, I'm jumping up and down with excitement.

Yep, I think I'm covered.

Posted by: -ftb- | September 27, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Time for Ring On It on 3 Mudge

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 27, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Isn't the Redskins defense supposed to be, y'know, good? They're getting chewed up.

Posted by: -pj- | September 27, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

So, could the Redskins be confident of a victory if they were playing the Nationals (in a football game) today, do you suppose?

Posted by: bobsewell | September 27, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Take the Nats and the spread, Bob.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | September 27, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

William Safire died:

Posted by: -pj- | September 27, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

The nattering nabob of Nixon, William Safire, is gone:

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 27, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

How sad. He may have worked for Nixon, but I really enjoyed his columns.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 27, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I always liked the "On Language" column he wrote for the Times Magazine. James J. Kilpatrick wrote a similar column for the Richmond Times-Dispatch for years and I enjoyed reading his musings on language as well.

Posted by: -pj- | September 27, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry about Safire. I too enjoyed "On Language."

Posted by: Yoki | September 27, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Adorable, dmd. I think many dogs would be very happy to be on a couch with pillows and a human who tucked them in!

Big cooking-in-quantity-to-freeze day here. 6 qts. of marinara, meatballs, sausage; 8 qts. of black bean soup started with dried beans; 4 (sigh) whole chickens to pressure cook for dbg's dogz and then Chicken orzo/vegetable soup to make with the broth. What can I say? Shop-Rite had a great sale on chickens and once the pressure cooker is used for the first one, why not keep going?

Although the cafeteria at work is pretty good and very reasonable, I'm trying to return to the days of bringing lunch in.

Next weekend is my first class in Reiki. The second is in December. Perhaps one day we'll be able to offer Boodle Reiki as well as Boodle Mojo as a service.

Posted by: -dbG- | September 27, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

For the one time I would like to have the frikking Lions game on TV it's blacked-out on the Detroits station.

I see that the Lion's second perfect season is in jeopardy.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 27, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Brett is having a good day in Minnisooti. 80 yards to go and no time outs. He delivers the goods.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 27, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I guess that qpeople are running down the street in Detroit yelling "THE LIONS HAVE WON A GAME!!!!".

It had to happen at one point.

Second batch of apple sauce is cooling off.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 27, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Stand back -----------


Finally! And I don't care that Detroit's win is against the Redskins, even though I live here now and even though I'm wearing a Redskins sweatshirt today. The Lions and the city of Detroit so deserved to win, and I'm so proud of the team, even if the quarterback looks like he's 12.

*doing Snoopy dances on a bum knee and with a bad back but with a huge smile*

I'll try to be back to myself tomorrow. In the meantime, I have to crank out two pleadings, so I will excuse myself now.

Posted by: -ftb- | September 27, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Detroit fans, congratulations. The Lions looked great, and with Smith and Stafford, I think they have Prospects for the future.

I also believe we Washington fans have just witnessed the passing of a torch. I wonder where we'll put it?

Or should we make more and march to the gates at Ashburn with pitchforks?



Posted by: -bc- | September 27, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

It's going to be a VERY grim week in your nation's capital.

Personally, I hold ftb responsible for this debacle.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | September 27, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

While I'm hogging the boodle I want to get this off my chest. I stopped at a Chrysler dealer this afternoon. A pity call, really. There were plenty of behemoths to have but note this: in this land of small car lover ,a.k.a. cheap people, there were so sample of their small SUV to see or try (the Astrolab or something.) Order one and get it in 12-15 weeks.
They had ONE small car to sell, their Gauge or something, and if this one didn't fit there was a 6-9 weeks waiting time.
One wonders why they were in bankrupty last summer.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 27, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

SCC worst one : no and not so.

ftb, do not get overexcited. This team has more holes than your average wheel of Emmenthal.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 27, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, you made me laugh. All that power . . . Now, what shall I do with it? Hmm. Would that I could use it to win the lottery and for world peace (in that order).

Thanks, Shriek, and, yes, I know. But we gotta take it one game at a time, just like life is taken one day at a time. And between the holes, Emmanthal cheese is dang good! 'Specially melted on dark bread with spicy kimchee on top.

Back to work, alas.

Posted by: -ftb- | September 27, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh my, the Lion'd QB doesn't need to shave.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 27, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Ah, I can see that Dan Snyder's doing his part to facilitate Washington's bailout of Detroit.


Posted by: -bc- | September 27, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

From the NYT obit on Safire - count the errors:

There were columns on blogosphere blargon, tarnation-heck euphamisms, dastardly subjunctives and even Barack and Michelle Obama’s fist bumps. And there were Safire “rules for writers”: Remember to never split an infinitive. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors. Proofread carefully to see if you words out. Avoid cliches like the plague. And don’t overuse exclamation marks!!

/end quote

I can see it's a joke, but I don't think the butt of the joke would have liked it.

Posted by: Wheezy1 | September 27, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I think Safire would have loved that part of the obit, Wheezy. I wouldn't be surprised if he wrote something like that himself. Personally, I always try to boldly split infinitives that have never been split before.

Posted by: -pj- | September 27, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

I love today's Doonesbury. So evil.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 27, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Frosti... yeah... I was hoping the Redskins had seen Glee last week.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 27, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I believe Safire was making the joke:

Posted by: seasea1 | September 27, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

TBG -- a student sent me to minute 42 of this director's cut of the pilot to Glee.

Very FUN. AND, strikes a Sopranos note. (PUN!).

Dare you to NOT sing along.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | September 27, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Grrrr, Hulu only streams in the US.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 27, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

cspan is running a Safire interview from May of last year.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 27, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

dmd-fox has full episodes on their site too if you can get that.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 27, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, seasea - at least I know the Gray Lady is not totally senile.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | September 27, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Just noticed, though, that the NYT has corrected the spelling of euphemism in that obit - so that, apparently, was a real error.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | September 27, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

DMD -- Here is the audio version from YouTube

And, a response video from some cute energetic kids.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | September 27, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

And, DMD, I served Steve Perry a chili burger floating on a bed of peppered fries, circa 1980.

Here he is singing live in NYC

(Goofiest mullet ever.)

This is the drive-in I waited on him at:

The owner refused to all filming of American Graffiti here.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | September 27, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Very cool CP, and that was an awful mullet - not that there are any nice mullets.

A nice breakthrough in Cancer diagnosis.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 27, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I seem to recall that we had a discussion recently about the state of civics education in Oklahoma high schools. Nate Silver is digging deeply into that survey and he's finding all sorts of interesting issues:

So good that we have around to do this kind of work.

BTW, nothing in my mail from Cassandra. Rats.

Posted by: slyness | September 27, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the Nate Silver take on the OCPA "student poll", slyness. As I've mentioned, OCPA is no friend of public education and has no particular interest in an objective poll. The worse it can make our students look the better for its arguments. As Silver and some commenters noted, a reasonable gauge of actual Oklahoma public school student achievement is the mandatory state and national testing. A much larger percentage of both fifth and eighth graders passed sections including the question topics than the OCPA "poll" numbers could support. I'm more inclined to trust the state test scores. OCPA doesn't get a lot of pushback here so it is nice to see fivethirtyeight take them on and do the math.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 27, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm back from my trip to New York and we had another very successful round of celebrity stalking. We bagged Hugh Jackman:

Daniel Craig:

And Jude Law (who is currently the melancholy Dane):

I also got hit by a piece of a flying prop in Next To Normal and got Alice Ripley to autograph it.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 27, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

A bunch of somebodies in charge have decided that end users of technology need no instructions on how to use their products. They'd rather not spend a bundle writing and publishing unread fat books that explain what they've provided to you, the pithy explanation of why they made do what it does the way it does it, and how you are expected to work it. The expectation is that you will learn through experimentation or perish. A pet peeve of mine is the transition to so-tiny-they-are-all-but-invisible icons that replace mnemonic English labels on things. This is a bow to the global marketplace where many potential buyers don't do English. They probably don't do icons either, but nevermind.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | September 28, 2009 2:02 AM | Report abuse

I've got plenty of vacation time, and enough money for a plane ticket... What time does the ticker-tape parade start in Detroit?

I was rooting for the 'Skins, but I'm plenty empathetic enough to be happy for the long-suffering Lions' fans. Nice that they got to see the guys win at home.

Posted by: bobsewell | September 28, 2009 2:42 AM | Report abuse

shrieking_denizen - I've done enough work in enough different places that I've got a good bit of sympathy for the poor saps who have to deal with unhappy (potential) customers when the stock runs short.

I've got not-so-much sympathy for the troubles of an organization that has several years of warning that customer preferences are shifting, and doesn't feel that any changes to the status quo might be warranted.

Oh, well. Darwin has already explained how this all works out.

Posted by: bobsewell | September 28, 2009 2:53 AM | Report abuse

When you're playing poker against Favre, how can you be sure that he's REALLY, FOR SURE, COMPLETELY, FOR THE VERY LAST TIME folded?

Posted by: bobsewell | September 28, 2009 2:57 AM | Report abuse

Happy Monday, Achenblog! You too, Cassandra. Oh, and please check in so we know you're okay!

I noticed, Yello, that all your NYC pictures are of male stars. Did your wife enjoy that?

Since nobody else seems to be up, looks like I'll have to eat all the ham biscuits in the ready room myself. What a shame, I got a new batch of ham on Friday.

Posted by: slyness | September 28, 2009 6:52 AM | Report abuse

*sniffing-@-the-ready-room-buffet-on-my-way-back-to-the-dreaded-"w"-word-and-an-extra-S&R-pass-for-Cassandra Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | September 28, 2009 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everyone!

I know I'm really late to the party, but I very much enjoyed this kit. Years ago I worked in a building with a talking elevator. Well, at least it was supposed to talk, but actually mostly grunted. Which leads to the natural concern that these new-fangled electrical lifts of which Joel speaks might suffer similar technical problems.

In a horrific homage to "2001" I can imagine people trapped inside such a machine desperately pleading with their cybernetic captor to open the pod doors and being stoically refused.

What's worse, perhaps such recalcitrant behavior might not be to a glitch at all, but instead a deliberate attempt at beneficent despotism. Perhaps our elevator overlords will refuse to allow us to reach the floor with the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet until we first spend serious time on the floor with the Pilate machines.

Fear may one day have a new face. One without up buttons.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 28, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all! Hey Slyness, Hey Scotty, diminished dawn patrol, these daze, good for you both for keeping the tradition.

Steve Perry's "Open Arms" is probably my top love song of all times, CqP. Watched three different utubes of him/it this morning.

I'll be glad when the VA Governor's race is over and done with. Defining moment in the campaign came last week when Deeds wrote his opinion piece for WaPo. Deeds would raise taxes (maybe gas tax) for Transportation Funds, McDonnell would not, instead, he would probably do nothing, as his transportation proposals are just plain goofy.

Posted by: VintageLady | September 28, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, RD, talking elevators probably would not like to be "back talked" to with a southern accent :-).

Posted by: VintageLady | September 28, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. slyness, many thanks for the ham biscuits. You are atreasure, as always.

Since football is an utterly verboten subject this morning (at least in our fair city, tho' YMMV in other bergs and burgs but probably not burghs), there are many other interesting numbers to discuss. From Kurtz's column this morning, I love these numbers:

In case you were spending a lot of time thinking about 2012, Public Policy Polling offers some general election matchups:

Obama 53/Palin 38
Obama 50/J. Bush 37
Obama 48/Huckabee 41
Obama 48/Romney 39

"The strongest GOP candidate at this ridiculously early juncture: Mike Huckabee. The lowest favorability rating: Jeb Bush (22 percent). The highest unfavorable rating: Sarah Palin (55 percent, compared to 37 percent favorable. Ouch)."

[Just exactly how delusional do you have to be to think Jeb Bush has a shot at anything? If his brother hasn't utterly ruined that "brand," then I', John Edwards. Speaking of people whose careers are so totally over it's not funny.]

And these:

"Drilling down into the latest NYT poll, Washington Monthly's Steve Benen says whatever the doubts about Obama, the figures aren't great for the GOP:

"While the numbers for Democrats aren't as strong as they were, Republicans haven't been able to capitalize at all. For example, most respondents maintain a favorable impression of Democrats (47% favorable, 41% unfavorable), while the GOP fares far worse (30% favorable, 57% unfavorable). Asked who can be trusted to make the right decisions, President Obama's lead over congressional Republicans is nearly two to one (53% to 27%).

"More than three out of four believe Republicans have not explained what they would do to improve the system, and while a clear majority believes President Obama has tried to work with the GOP, a clear majority believes the GOP has not done the same with the White House. What's more, 64% believe Republicans are fighting against health care reform for purely political reasons, not because of principle."

Them is some mighty nice numbers, methinks. I wonder if/when Michael Steelee and the GOP will ever figure out their message isn't penetrating, isn't working. Now, if the Dems would only grow some backbone.

Still worried about Cassandra.

Carry on.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 28, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

The whole point of the trip was to see the Jackman/Craig play, or as my wife called it "Hunks On Stage". And they were on stage. For ninety minutes it was the two actors, a pair of chairs and non-stop dialog. The play is called "A Steady Rain" and is about two cop buddies retelling Rashomon-style an incident that makes Training Day look like an episode of Adam-12.

I demanded equal time and since there weren't any productions of The Blue Room starring Scarlett Johannson (really the only possible equivalent I can think of), I settled for Next To Normal, a rock-opera about bipolar disorder. I like that happy uplifting toe-tapping stuff.

After the show, we got some pictures with the stars. Here is me with Tony Award winning Alice Ripley:

And here I am with posing with Jennifer Damiano who plays the daughter in the show.

She looks a lot like a cross between Natalie Portman and Keri Russell.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Those were great pictures of Stowe. On our honeymoon, my wife and I stoppped at a B&B there for a night on the way to Quebec. Gorgeous scenery out there. The B&B had no AC and it was still warm in early September, so we slept with the windows open and babbling brook in the background. Tres romantic.

The next morning made an impromptu stop at the Ben & Jerry's factory which has since moved. Last summer on our way back from Cape Cod we took the really long way around and revisited the B&J factory as well as the Cabot Cheese place with our son. It was a Sunday so neither place was in production, but it was just cool to see it and eat some souvenirs.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

What's the problem with talking football, mudge? The Ravens won.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

This column is pretty good, and worth reading:

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 28, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

bc, I really enjoyed the F1 race yesterday (??) under the lights. Great video!!!

Posted by: russianthistle | September 28, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

And the Alouettes humiliated the Striped Kittens.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 28, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

jkt, I had to be extra sharp to catch that post about Cabot

Posted by: russianthistle | September 28, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

I'm not the only one with a bear problem arund the birdfeeders. I prefer my 180-200lbs customer to the West's 400-500lbs bruisers though.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 28, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

New kit coming shortly...

Posted by: joelache | September 28, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Very funny.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 28, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

*referring to yello's 8:55, of course*

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 28, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Big article in the Post about fixies.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 28, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I don't 'get' fixies, but I guess I'm not meant to.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Me either.

Speaking of not getting it, and at the high probability of mudging myself, my wife e-mailed me the following. I don't understand much of it, but perhaps some of you will:

"National Girlfriend and Sister's Week

Motto: I am only as strong as the coffee I drink, the hairspray I use and the friends I have.

National Girlfriends Day

It is good to be a woman:

1. We got off the Titanic first.
2. We can scare male bosses with the mysterious gynecological disorder excuses.
3. Taxis stop for us.
4. We don't look like a frog in a blender when dancing.
5. No fashion faux pas we make could ever rival the Speedo.
6. We don't have to pass gas to amuse ourselves.
7. If we forget to shave, no one has to know.
8. We can congratulate our teammate without ever touching her rear end.
9. We never have to reach down every so often to make sure our privates are still there.
10. We have the ability to dress ourselves.
11. We can talk to the opposite sex without having to picture them naked.
12. If we marry someone 20 years younger, we are aware that we will look like an idiot.
13. We will never regret piercing our ears.
14. There are times when chocolate really can solve all your problems.
15. We can make comments about how silly men are in their presence because they aren't listening anyway."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 28, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Got some technical difficulties...honest there's gonna be a new kit...

Posted by: joelache | September 28, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

A new kit on Technical Difficulties, perhaps?

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 28, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Oh, Mudge -- that is funny.

I'm still in euphoric suspension (so to speak) about yesterday's game. It'll pass as soon as hockey season starts this weekend. The Red Wings will be playing at the Globe arena just outside of Stockholm. There are currently 5 or 6 Swedes on the team, so it'll be like going home. Apparently the tickets sold out within an hour for two games, back-to-back on the weekend.

Ah, hockey. . . . It's a great game, eh, Yoki?

I do hope that Cassandra is all right.

Posted by: -ftb- | September 28, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

fixies are fixed drive bikes... like the old days. Like track bikes. No coasting, no changing gears ... no gears, er, one gear.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 28, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

The new kit is here.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | September 28, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Joel must be having trouble with port blocking issues at his favorite coffee store.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 28, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

The new Kit is up, and sadly, I have nothing to say about it, so relinquish the chance to be first.

Posted by: Yoki | September 28, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Absolutely don't get fixies. Then again, I don't have an appropriate bicycle, anyway. We're melted-butter flat with two medium-high bridges. So high gears are good for the flat, low for the bridges. Arguably not much need for in-between.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 29, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

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