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The outsider

After work last night I walked up 14th Street to find a place to type. I wanted to check out the new wine bar, Cork, but, tragically, it was closed (either because it was a Monday night or because they knew I was coming). I crossed the street to a brand new joint called Masa 14, but it had some kind of private party going on. Through the large glass windows I could see thin women dressed in black. No exaggeration: It was black and more black, with maybe a little white as an accent. I'd put the average heel at four inches, but that's just a guess since I wasn't wearing my tool belt with the measuring tape.

In one corner stood a table drizzled with copies of a book titled, "The Sartorialist." Ah: So it was a book party. For the fabulously sartorial. A young man in a suit looked out the window and saw me staring from the street. He had huge hair. His expression was not inviting.

I really wanted to go in. I thought: I can play the press pass. Flash the trusty ID that opens doors everywhere. Dude, I'm a blogger! I can live-blog your fancy party!

But no: Look at yourself, sez the little voice in the skull. Years ago you skewed brown. Somewhere along the way the earth tones took over and there's been no going back. Plus you're about two decades too old, and the goofy-boyish shtick won't work with this crowd. Walk in this place and every head will turn with the same implicit question: Who let in the vagrant???

I wanted to pound on the glass and scream: I was young once, too! With giant hair! My hair was the size of a zeppelin!!

Dude, I coulda written a book called "The Tonsorialist."

This feeling of being an outsider has haunted me throughout my life. Particularly when I'm literally outside something. That's the extra level of alienation -- the extra burn to the psyche when you realize that you're talking to yourself on the sidewalk.

Eventually I wandered up the street to Marvin, where there was a pleasant seat at the bar and an air of conviviality. I wouldn't say I blended in, but neither did I feel like my presence was innately appalling. And, thus, I survived the social whirl of the after-work scene, and lived to type another day.


So great to see Curt Suplee back in the paper with a column in the new Health & Science section. He writes about batteries today and explains how they work and why they haven't gotten dramatically better over time in the same manner as microchips:

The second and most important reason that battery tech may seem to be lagging is that beyond a certain point you can't shrink chemistry. Digital data are almost infinitely compressible because the information is not a physical object. It can be embodied in the smallest difference between any two conditions -- on or off, 0 or 1 -- way down to subatomic scale.

But batteries aren't digital. "Energy is stored on stuff -- atoms, ions and so forth," says MIT professor Gerbrand Ceder. "This is done by transferring electrons from one atom to another. Their energy difference is the energy stored. That's why batteries will never scale in performance the way, say, semiconductors have done."


Dana Milbank's column details the Chamber of Commerce hoax and puts it in the context of other recent media misapprehensions. But here's the thing about hoaxes: They will usually work at least briefly. Bigger hoaxes work better, because the competitive pressure lowers the standard for pre-publication research. Yeah, it would be nice if we had time to run a full FBI background check on every person we interview, but this is the news biz and it's never going to be an exact science.

By Joel Achenbach  |  October 20, 2009; 7:10 AM ET
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who, what, me first?

Posted by: Braguine | October 20, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

The excellent Mr. Suplee writes for several UMCP climate-focused groups.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 20, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Joel, it's okay to be an outsider. There are some groups you just don't want to be a part of.

Yeah, I was *young* once. But I don't want to go back there; the great thing about age is experience. I wouldn't trade youth for experience. There is always something to look forward to.

Besides, age has power youth can only dream of.

Posted by: slyness | October 20, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

That Chamber of Commerce hoax was pretty elaborate.

Portland, Oregon was a good place for looking into big windows. Despite the city's considerable collective self-esteem, it was difficult to pretend that the place was in any way the Center of the Universe, except possibly for running shoes, which were in suburban Beaverton, anyway. To some extent, we were the city that Seattle came to for tax-free shopping. I once checked out of a local nursery just ahead of what seemed an entire garden, headed to Seattle.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 20, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Thinking of college athletics, Fred Grimm at the Miami Herald looks at records from the NCAA investigation of Florida State. They were private, but a Florida court ruled that the state constitution's open-records provisions trumped the NCAA's secrecy rules.

FSU's football team might be academically competent compared to some of the newer football programs at younger state universities, which have caught the football bug, big-time.

I don't see how the legislature can come up with confidentiality cover for the NCAA.

I wonder how elite liberal arts colleges manage to find athletes for their football teams and myriad other sports while ensuring that average SATs of incoming students are impressively high.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 20, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

An on kit tune:

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 20, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I spend time every day now listening to British radio. I learn new words and phrases all the time. [Did you know "marrow" can be a vegetable?] Just yesterday I learned the phrase, "no brown in town." So, presumably, Joel would be an outsider in more ways than one if he visited London.


I wish you had gone into that party, Joel. It would probably have been an amusing story and no doubt you would have helped those poor, insulated individuals by bringing them a hint of real life. An honest, outside approach can be highly edifying, like if you met Paris Hilton and said to her, "So, what do you do?" It might make her stop and think, "What DO I do?"

Also, next time you are cruising sartorial events, take Science Tim with you. He's never without measuring devices. He could tell you the atmospheric pressure and the humidity, as well as the average heel height and hair density.

Posted by: kbertocci | October 20, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

The effort required to be included in the "in" group is something that could be put to better use. Live in your skin, your clothes and within your pocketbook and be happy.

The drink at Marvin tasted just as good and the conversation was at least as satisfying.

Posted by: edbyronadams | October 20, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

The Joel Achenbach Girls:

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 20, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure Joel has a fair idea of what Paris Hilton does.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 20, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Damn you, Jumper.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 20, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

LOL! Does Dallas really care? Some do, I suppose. I say, send the photog to Austin's 6th Street! Or San Antonio's South Side! Perhaps a Salvation Army? He ought to get eyefuls there.

Thanks to everyone in DC for the great turnout last night!

I expected great things in cities like London and Paris, but DC was a total surprise. [What a pretentious SOB. Isn't D.C. the place where lawmakers are supposed to care about the common folk? Or were the partygoers the wives of well-heeled (four inches or higher) lobbyists?]

I was signing until 12:30 am!

And what a great looking and diverse crowd (not to put any pressure on you Dallas!)

Thanks again guys and yes, I will be back in DC soon!

We're under the cloud bands of Hurricane Rick off the Baja this morning. We've had 14.4 inches of rain since Sept. 1. Weird, actually, since we set records this summer--59 days of temps of more than 100 degrees, absolutely shattering the previous summer record of--what was it, 36 or 38--days of 100 degrees heat set in 1998, was it? And scant rain for the first eight months of the year. Who needs clothes when every green leaf and blade of turf is drying up and dying in all directions?

Posted by: laloomis | October 20, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

It shows the depth of my intellect that I read this name as Carl Slurpee.

Posted by: Yoki | October 20, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Joel, bang on the glass with both hands and holler "Elaine!" repeatedly.

As far as Ms. Hilton's doings, I thought that was a "who" rather than a "what" question.

Posted by: kguy1 | October 20, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

The reference to four inch heels....I don't get it. What's the big deal about heel height? They weren't hiking Everest; they were standing around making small talk with drinks in their recently-manicured hands.

On the same note, laloomis, not all lobbyists are men, and wives, whether of lobbyists or lawyers or construction workers, do stuff other than be wives. I mean, really, who makes reservations or calls the caterer?

About being an outsider...sometimes, that's the best view. You get to see things for what they are, and not miss that which has become commonplace to those within the group.

Posted by: LostInThought | October 20, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

It was an old Robert Palmer music video. With the "Robert Palmer Girls." It was depending on the humor of juxtaposing Joel's sort of fame with that of Robert Palmer, against his own post today which suggested to me that he might not consider himself as belonging to that entourage. All that's assuming I'm being cursed for your lack of Youtube? Which is okay, I shouldn't be rude.

I see Facebook seems to erase all my links to YouTube as fast as I can post them.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 20, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

And in the "What Were They Thinking" Dept. --

I just saw an online ad for a new drugmaker: "Cubist Pharmaceuticals."

Picasso in a pill? What???

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 20, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

No, no, jumper, I was just teasing because you made watch that darned thing 27 times. And then I watched "Doctor, Doctor" a dozen times, too. It was just a very, very bad case of acute, chronic tune cootie infection, compounded by my appreciation for the woman on the far right.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 20, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Ann Coulter was in the video???

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 20, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Maybe those pills are made in Havana, Scotty.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 20, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Not surprisingly, Cork has a very good wine selection. You can easily spend as much on the vino as you do on the food. Anyone care to vouch for that?

Posted by: yellojkt | October 20, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I haven't been there, yello, but I'm sure it's true. As long as it's not something I can easily find at Safeway (and thus don't know the markup) I'm kinda OK with that.

Posted by: Raysmom | October 20, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Well, here's a nice, closely reasoned and moderate column. My favorite graf (Ivansmom, Padouk, please avert your eyes. Salacious lupine sexual activity is mentioned):

"The culture war is up for grabs. The good news is that religious conservatives continue to breed like rabbits, while secular saboteurs have shut down: they're too busy walking their dogs, going to bathhouses and aborting their kids. Time, it seems, is on the side of the angels."

I hope people who walk their dogs aren't unduly offended.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 20, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I may need to play that "Addicted to Love" clip one more time.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 20, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Mudge. They have a "Report offensive comment" button but not a "Report offensive column" one.

The commenters are saying he's a fringe (throwback) Catholic. The Catholic League website even says: "We don't receive a dime from the Church. Nor should we: we are a lay organization. Sure, we have many clergy who are members and all are welcome to join – but our financial base comes from individuals, not the Church."

It irritates me when the Post/Newsweek give these fringe groups an air of authenticity.

I like one of the comments...

"If I weren't already aware of Donohue's existence I would think that this was a piece of performance art aimed at exaggerating and lampooning religious conservatives' arguments and paranoia."

Posted by: -TBG- | October 20, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Yep, I've been known to feel like that. Looking inside and seeing nothing but your aging reflection. Feeling like the party is going on and your invitation clearly got lost in the mail.

Of course, go too far down this line of thought and you end up like Woody Allen in "Stardust Memories" gazing at Sharon Stone in the other train. And no good can come of that.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 20, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks goodness they're called fringe groups for a reason. I actually snorted out loud when I read the quotation 'mudge posted. I love it when people unintentionally satirize their own extreme views.

I'm kind of ashamed to say that I kinda like Addicted to Love myself. Pleeeeese nobody tell #2, or all my musical cred (currently quite high) with her will be destroyed.

Posted by: Yoki | October 20, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Religious conservatives most emphatically do not breed like rabbits! Why do they think it's called the "missionary position"?

Posted by: kguy1 | October 20, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

On the spot, as always...

Posted by: -TBG- | October 20, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

After that Donahue crapaluzza, I've had to use this Earth, Wind & Fire classic to get my head back into something like reasonable position. I don't know how Maurice White draws this thing out to more than 6 minutes, but he does -- which is fine by me.

Nothing wrong with admitting you like Robert Palmer, Yoki. I actually liked AtL long before I ever saw the video of it. (Just tell #2 you never saw the video.)

My son thinks my music cred is pretty good (but not great) because he and I both agree Kashmir is the best Led Zep. Then one day he said, "You gotta hear this one." I said "What is it?" He said "It's the new Guns & Roses." It turned out to be Knockin' on Heaven's Door. I said, "Dave, you're not gonna believe this, but..."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 20, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

And about batteries. These are considered a critical technology by those who worry about such things. That is, if you want to really want to make a mark on the world, invent a better battery. From this many great things would flow.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 20, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

That's just the thing, though 'mudge. I don't like Robert Palmer, I only like that song. We used to dance to it, before the deluge.

Posted by: Yoki | October 20, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

In the article that Mudge linked at 1:51, comments seem to have been disabled. So, I thought I might comment upon it here:

"multiculturalism is used as a club to beat down Western civilization in the classroom" -- actualy, I believe the effort is to eliminate the conflation between "Western culture" and "human culture".

"sexual libertines seek to upend the cultural order by attacking religion" -- who are these wild folks? Later, he gets around to saying it's "radical gays", which is clearly intended to be read as "gays". I believe what they are attacking is pinheads who use religion as a crutch and excuse for bigotry. I have known quite a few gays with deeply-held religious beliefs and devotion.

"artists use their artistic freedoms to mock Christianity" -- actually, I believe they are mocking Christians rather than Christianity

"Hollywood relentlessly insults people of faith" -- I'll grant him this one -- but publicly loud "people of faith" like the ones this author means, make themselves so darned easy to insult. People that I have known and know who are quietly firm about their faith, rather than aggressively pushy about it, are not the ones being insulted.

"activist left-wing legal groups try to scrub society free of the public expression of religion" -- he is quite wrong here. What they/we are trying to do is to scrub society free of involuntarily tax-funded and government-endorsed expressions of religion. You are pretty much free to do what you want and express what you want with your own freely-given funds. You are even free to take a tax write-off for donations to religious institutions that do such things.

"elements in the Democratic party demonstrate an animus against Catholicism" -- I'm fairly certain he has this one backwards. Ask devout Catholic Democrats who have been threatened with religious sanctions and refused communion.

"secular-minded malcontents within Catholicism and Protestantism seek to sabotage their religion from the inside" -- is it actually possible to sabotage your own faith? Isn't "the faith" really defined by what the majority of adherents are faithful to? Doesn't he really mean that he fears that THEY want to sabotage HIS religion?

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 20, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I started to read that column but knowing his viewpoint I just couldn't make it thru'. If there is an afterlife (and I hope there is), I expect there is a 'special' section for people like him where he can look into Paradise and see all the people he hates enjoying themselves.

I love Robert Palmer (RIP), some of his songs are wonderful. I love the way he used Carribean rhythms and instruments, he also used a lot of syncopated rhythms, which I especially love.

When I was younger and in a different life, I spent a bit of time in that rarified atmosphere of glamour, it was fun then but it would be way too much work to pull off now! Quite happy in my jeans with low-maintenance hair.

Posted by: badsneakers | October 20, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

This was pretty good, too, TBG.

Another nice golden oldie tune cootie to mellow me out:

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 20, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

And then there's this:
Henry must be spinning in his grave.

This is my favorite Robert Palmer song:

Posted by: seasea1 | October 20, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I agree seasea, along with 'Sneakin Sally Through the Alley'. EW&F were one of my favorite groups back in the day. Great music. By the way, I didn't mean that my jeans had low-maintenance hair, but I assume you all figured it out.

Posted by: badsneakers | October 20, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm laughing at myself. I've always loved E,W&F's "September" best of them all, but I could never understand about half the lyrics, especially the way they are singling the chorus in falsetto. But I just figured that was me and my whitebread upbringing. Well, a little while I decided to look up the lyrics to figure out what they were saying. Here's the problematic parts I couldn't understand:

Ba de ya - say do you remember
Ba de ya - dancing in September
Ba de ya - never was a cloudy day

Ba duda, ba duda, ba duda, badu
Ba duda, badu, ba duda, badu
Ba duda, badu, ba duda

and of course the ending:

Ba de ya - say do you remember
Ba de ya - dancing in September
Ba de ya - never was a cloudy day.......there was a
Ba de ya - say do you remember
Ba de ya - dancing in September
Ba de ya - golden dreams were shiny days

Ba de ya de ya de ya
Ba de ya de ya de ya
Ba de ya de ya de ya - De ya

(I got the "say do you remember" parts; it was the "ba de ya" that threw me.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 20, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Can't see the YouTube videos from here, but I definitely dig Robert Palmer, even that 'Heavy Nova' phase, and even Powerstation to some degree.

Still, 'Clues remains my favorite RP album - the song "Johnny and Mary" still knocks me out.

I've seen him a few times, I saw him do a cover of Motorhead's "Ace of Spades" during one of those Nova tours - pretty remarkable to see a band in double-breasted suits, starched shirts and silk ties rip through *that* one.

Ah, the '80s...

More on heels and being the Other later.


Posted by: -bc- | October 20, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Of course "September" is my favorite EW&F tune, for obvious reasons.

But "Sing a Song" is a pretty darn close second, with "Got To Get You Into My Life" in third by mere percentage points.

It's too soon for the Other, bc... Full moon's not for a couple weeks, anyway.

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 20, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

There are some highly industrious ladybugs around here... Just saw a couple of them climbing up the window -- on the 16th floor. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 20, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

"Heavy Nova" is the only music by Robert Palmer I own. Wasn't he in some kind of musical ensemble before then? Palmer's version of "It Could Happen to You" always helps me chill out (Do people still say "chill out") when feeling too stressed.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 20, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Joel should write The Sartorial Washington.
Mudge and BC should do The Sartorial Baja Jalopeno (or whatever it was) Rally.
I'll write the Sartorial Spy.

We'll have a party, lock the doors and keep snotty reviewers OUT!

Posted by: Braguine | October 20, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

And about hoaxes. I think Milbank is being a bit harsh. Hoaxes are nothing new and, as Joel points out, have a very short half-life.

What worries me more than falling for a hoax, which can be defended as an honest mistake, is disingenuous gullibility driven by partisanship.

Malkin repeated the ludicrously inflated attendance figure for that anti-Obama rally.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 20, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Ooh, here's a list of hoaxes.

I'm always amazed at how often people take "The Onion" seriously.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 20, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

The Asian Ladybugs have arrived!

Another sign of Fall.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 20, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Mudge-- you missed a SCC opportunity with

"Salacious lupine sexual activity is mentioned."

That's what bc HOPES happens during his full moons.

I think the word you meant would be "lapin" as in Flopsy, Peter Cottontail, etc. (also lapine).

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 20, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse




Posted by: Scottynuke | October 20, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Dennis Moore, who stole lupins from the rich to give to the poor?

Poor Remus Lupin was rather surprised that night when Moore carried him off.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 20, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

The hoax site is great, RD. Thanks for the link.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 20, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

RIP Joseph Wiseman 1918-2009

Dr. No is no more.

Posted by: kguy1 | October 20, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Stand and deliver??? Why, have at you, sir!!

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 20, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Meant to write lagomorphs, anyway, not lapins nor lupines.

For CqP, the Luke Kelly version (methinks she would approve):

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 20, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

That book signing was actually free and open to the public. Don't you think you were being just as judgmental about the people who were at that book signing as you assumed that they would have been of you? The crowd was more interesting than anything I'd seen in DC before and also extremely refreshing to see in this town; they were not all dressed in high fashion (nor black, nor heels) and you didn't have to be. Schuman's about self expression through fashion, not exclusivity through couture clothing. You probably wouldn't have gotten any typing done but you missed out by not giving the event a try.

Posted by: yhan | October 20, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I loved that Donahue article. It is rare to read such an unadulterated string of logical fallacies, one after another after another. But the Catholic school that my kids go to (wife's choice) probably wouldn't appreciate me using it as a teaching tool.

They're all there: straw man (again and again), non sequiters, ad hominem attacks, circular reasoning, cherry picking examples, confusing causation with correlation.... I could go on forever.

Don't get me wrong; Hollywood is populated disproportionately by idiots. The ACLU has been know to "miss the forest for the trees." There is much about the far left that is as despicable as its counterpart on the far right.

But don't let that distract from the wonderful, marvelous, sanctimonious, condescending, epic screed that was this column. Four stars.

Posted by: Awal | October 20, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

SCC: I wrote "this" column, but I really meant "that" column. To further clarify, I didn't mean Joel's column; I meant the article for which Curmudgeon posted the earlier link.

Posted by: Awal | October 20, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

It is almost like performance art, isn't it Awal?

Posted by: -TBG- | October 20, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of performance art, I'm off to the movies and dinner.

Posted by: Yoki | October 20, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

So 'ol Donny is actually one of the artists he despises? Ah, self-loathing, that explains a lot.

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 20, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Getting your wee offspring a fuzzy lagomorph to hug is good.

Getting them a fuzzy lupine to hug is more problematic.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 20, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm Canis lupus
Made tame, floppy, curly and


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 20, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Really enjoyed this kit Joel.

Had a little scare (due to my paranoia) this afternoon, I was outside working and I felt something twing my right arm just above my wrist, after a minute or so I determined that something had bit/stung me. Looked at my arm and noticed about five bumps on my skin and saw that it was red all around, it hurt and my arm began to tingle. I was alone where I was working, no one knew where I was and all I could think of was the local woman who was bitten by a black widow while working in the garden, since I had just finished seeing an ugly spider where I was working I began to panic a little. Called my husbands cell and left a message for him to check on me and make sure I was still alive, also emailed him the address where I was just in case. For the next couple of hours he would call every half hour to make sure I was OK.

Not sure what bit me but my arm still feels tingly/numb where I got bit - weird but since I am still breathing guess all is good.

Other than that lovely day here, high sixties - great for working outside, especially when you make sure nothing can crawl up your arms!

Posted by: dmd3 | October 20, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

I defnitely know what it's like to be adjudged - or at least feel - to be too [pick an adjective] or not [pick another] to fit into social situations. I never let it stop me, with the exception of the informal Facebook Ban that my daughters placed upon me when I mused out loud that I should look into it.

My daughters aside, somtimes I relish being the Outsider: Sometimes observing quietly, other times engaging people who are unlike me (say, men in their 20s or women in black dresses and 4" heels). I can always learn something from people, even if it's delivered with an open-handed slap or an overhand right, or a well-shaped stiletto heel driven into my big toe. Being the target for rotten fruit and vegetable throwing is good exercise for me, too -- I'm still pretty quick on my feet.

Wilbrod wrote: "Mudge-- you missed a SCC opportunity with

"Salacious lupine sexual activity is mentioned."

That's what bc HOPES happens during his full moons."

Bah, no problems with *that* for me during full moons, even when there aren't any likley legs around -- being a lycanthrope has it's advantages (Mudge and Scottynuke know why - "Because he *can.*").

And thanks for not mentioning my blimpesque hair, even now.

Don't forget to stay up late - or wake early - and check out the Orionid meteor showers (Halley's comet fragments, I believe) between 1 AM and dawn.


Posted by: -bc- | October 20, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

dmd, glad you're feeling okay, please be more careful (long sleeves and gloves perhaps?). I was once bitten/stung by something that didn't hurt much at first but turned into a big round circle later. A few people who saw it thought it looked like a spider bite.

Posted by: badsneakers | October 20, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

I did learn my lesson badsneaks, I had gloves and long sleeves but the sleeves were not tight to my wrist, switched jackets after to one I could snug to my wrist.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 20, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

All that Robert Palmer with women in black...

He was such a great singer.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 20, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Enjoyed the Robert Palmer links, great voice, and so d*mn good looking, sigh.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 20, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Joel, for the love of pete, man, don't perm your hair again.

Posted by: --dr-- | October 20, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm enjoying the Monty Python series. After last night's episode, they showed MP and the Holy Grail. Tonight they're showing The Life of Brian which I haven't seen in years.

Posted by: badsneakers | October 20, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

I saw Richard Palmer live back in the late 80s and he is simply irresistible.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 20, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Robert Palmer. Not his much more obscure imaginary brother.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 20, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

And now for something completely different:

A song featuring Carl Sagan.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 20, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Quite a few lupines (the legume genus Lupinus) have quite fuzzy leaves, including the couple of species in peninsular Florida. Western North America is awash in lupines, most of them blue. Texas bluebonnet is the most celebrated of the bunch.

The European dogtooth violet is Erythronium dens-canis. And Aloe canis is from southern Africa.

On the other side, there's an orchid named Lepanthes felis, from Colombia.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 20, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | October 20, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

The Loner.

hey, yoki. just back from a night of big time wrestling in columbia. it's going to air friday night on this side of the border. the overall experience fell somewhere between a tractor pull and an infomercial with bad background music, amplified to be nearly white noise. my ears are ringing, but the undertaker is still champ.

Posted by: -jack- | October 21, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Hee hee jack. I am living in the hometown of the legendary Harts of Stampede Wrestling! Stan's boys didn't do well in the world ('roid rage).

I'm *so* not into professional wrestling.

Posted by: Yoki | October 21, 2009 1:19 AM | Report abuse

An NYT op-ed piece prompted me to check a Perspective in Science magazine on a fresh report (published online but not yet in the paper version of Science) that implicates a retrovirus as a cause of what's been called 'chronic fatigue syndrome'.

This was missed by a story in New Scientist on claims that bacteria or viruses could be responsible for obesity, diabetes, and four other conditions.

Bugs, bugs everywhere.

On the side, I got to watch "Arsenic and Old Lace" at film class tonight. I'd never seen it and was surprised at Cary Grant overacting in a comic role. Production began Oct 20, 1941, ended Dec 7.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 21, 2009 2:27 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | October 21, 2009 2:32 AM | Report abuse

Hey Yoki... if you stay up late you can't get up early enough to get the worm.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 21, 2009 4:26 AM | Report abuse

Morning all, where is everybody?

My routine was upset this morning by having to take Mr. T to work. I have to leave Bible study early to take him to the airport and then make a mad dash halfway across the county to reach the doctor's office in time for my appointment. The things I do for that man!

Posted by: slyness | October 21, 2009 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Mo MoDo, you've got some 'splainin' to do -- She done lost her mind...

*no-time-to-lose-lots-on-the-agenda Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 21, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Morning all. Today's my mom's birthday. She would have been 82. She's been gone for five years now, which sounds really crazy when I realize that I haven't talked with my mother for five years.

But today's the day to celebrate her birth and remember the wonderful 47 years I did have with her.

One of the things you have to do when you've lost your parents is to actually plan get-togethers with your siblings. (Funny how parents have a way of keeping the family together just by being there--especially moms.)

My three sisters and I are planning an overnight this month at National Harbor, DC's newest attraction. Whenever we do this, there's always one sister who mentions getting two rooms, but the rest of us laugh and insist that climbing into bed together and talking half the night is the point.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 21, 2009 8:15 AM | Report abuse

I dunno, Scotty; I'm kinda liking that newspapers-as-portals-for-sports-gambling idea. I don't see that as being any worse than selling advertising. The only thing needed is to keep a firewall between the gambling side and the editorial side, which newspapers actually have a fairly good record of doing. And the gambling side needs to be policed properly, but it needs to be policed anyway no matter who "owns" the business. And goodness knows, some newspaper managements couldn't possibly be any more morally bankrupt than, say, Rupert Murdoch is now, or Annenberg in the old Philly Inquirer days when I worked there. Hell, if it brings in revenue that is used to support good journalism, I pretty much don't care what kind of business it is. Pornography already supports the phone companies and the Internet, and everyone closes their eyes to it.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 21, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Good explanation here of why Son of G is having a hard time finding a job in Charlotte. Also explains why the employer has the luxury of requiring one year of experience in that Craigslist ad for a janitor position there I found the other day...

Posted by: -TBG- | October 21, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

il est mort

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 21, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link TBG, I would have missed it. I shouldn't have read the comments, though. What a bunch of know-nothings. The new political party, I guess.

Every Friday almost every bank branch in town made about $2,000 an hour cashing paychecks for Mexican laborers. (These are paychecks drawn on BOFA accounts, for example, and at BOFA branches, but they still take $5 per.) Talk about exploitation. I always saw it as lawbreaking, as the checks say "pay exactly" not "pay face value minus $5". As I recall California tried to stop it but some Federal judge in the pocket of the banks said states no longer have much of a say in anything a bank does.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 21, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. dmd, the wine festival was Oct 1-14 in the Okanagan. Still, I did a lightning quick tour of local grape fermenting facilities; three wineries visited, 7 wines tasted and 4 bottles bought in about 40 minutes. I wanted to go on a hike on the Kettle Valley Railway, Myra canyon so I kind of rushed things. Pictures of trestles, tunnels and very, very, small striped bear may follow.

If you feel like you are ready for velcro-strapped sneakers think about Kelowna. Retirement is the local growth industry.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 21, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

The home page kerfuffle is back... *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 21, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I'm peeved... I want the news home page, and the site is not cooperating.

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 21, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

A good example of "thinking outside the box." Obvious once it's done.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 21, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh, that's SO very helpful... The home page is now UNDER the danged "menu," and if you don't scroll at least a full screen's worth you won't find the news... *fuming*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 21, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Re. Home Page shenannigans - Scottynuke, perhaps now is the time for you to finally use the "Report abuse" link.


Posted by: -bc- | October 21, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I take it you guys are referring to the home page now having about a one-inch border around it, making it smaller? It's making me furious. What ARE these people thinking? [string of expletives]

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 21, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Just threaded 30 needles in preparation for a 'show and tell' at my granddaughter's school this afternoon. This is an encore presentation based on one I did for the other granddaughter two years ago. I'm going to teach them how to sew on a button. I should have invited both daughters to come - sort of like the shoemaker's children thing.

As I am going to the cape, I hope to take a walk along the canal afterwards and enjoy the much better weather here.

Posted by: badsneakers | October 21, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

OMG, the home page is horrible. Whoever came up with/approved that deserves to be fired. Maybe we should hack in and make it better.

Posted by: seasea1 | October 21, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

That "front page" that isn't a front page is painfully awful. What or who at the Post thought this clever thing up? Where can I write? Who can I write to?

The Washington Post has been my Home Page for years, but if this continues I am going to change to something else. Anything else!

Posted by: nellie4 | October 21, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I suppose the home page could be a mistake - maybe someone left out a "close left bracket" or something. Mudge, what Scotty, nellie and I are referring to is the misaligned "menu" that now takes up the entire screen. Awful, awful,awful. Don't they test changes?

Posted by: seasea1 | October 21, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

WaPo's Appelbaum who reports today on Banktown's woes, used to work for the Charlotte Observer and contributed to this great series which began March 2007, showing what was going on in the mortgage hustle.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 21, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I don't have any mis-aligned menu. What I have is basically the old front page, but with a Siemans ad surrounding it on top and both sides, with the ad being about one inch wide, kind of framing it. It's a completely re-designed front, though, a bit cleaner. But nothing is mis-aligned.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 21, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Yes, seasea, exactly. 'Mudge, the "frame" is filled with what looks like a text-only version of the menu bar, and that takes up an entire screen's worth of space. *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 21, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

The menu is misaligned for me too-- I'm viewing it in Internet Explorer, Mudge.

Definitely looks like somebody made a major oops in making the re-design fully compatible for all browser views.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 21, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"It shows the depth of my intellect that I read this name as Carl Slurpee."

Ah ha HA! I did, too!

Posted by: KBoom | October 21, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

The hypertext transfer protocol on that area of the webpage is marked "not available," instead of a gif image or HTML document for the top click menu.

I hope the webheads fix this for IE pretty quickly.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 21, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and 'Mudge... Has anyone called to see if you're available to fill in for the remaining ALCS games??? *facepalm*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 21, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

The new homepage looks fine to me. Granted, the "wraparound advert" is a bit obnoxious, but come on, they gotta pay the bills somehow.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 21, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

RD, the top banner is missing for me and a few others. Instead there's a half page of hyperlinks dumped in a vertical column.

It's a compatibility error; IE cannot load the menu HTML properly.

All subpages look fine, like this-- the submenus are not affected.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 21, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

It looks like this:

Today's Paper Subscribe Post Points Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Hello Wilbrod_GnomeChange preferencesSign Out
The Washington Post
Make National your Post home page »
Washington, DCCustomize
A Few Clouds
Weather Gang blog
Weather District Columns & Blogs Local Tools
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Crime Virginia Commuting Classifieds
Investigations Photos & Videos Discussions
Education Entertainment Corrections
Health Columns & Blogs Innovations
Middle East
Politics Blogs House/Senate Votes White House
Congress Political Browser In Depth
Polls The Fed Page DC | MD | VA
Opinions Home Local Opinions
Toles Cartoons Outlook
Telnaes Animations Discussions
Business and Policy Local Business Entrepreneurship
Economy Watch Technology Columns & Blogs
Global Economy Personal Finance On Leadership
Redskins Mystics/WNBA Colleges Columnists
Capitals/NHL United/Soccer High Schools Blogs
Nationals/MLB Wizards/NBA Leagues & Sports Wires
Arts & Living
Style Entertainment News Museums Column & Blogs Comics
Pets Food & Dining Fashion & Beauty KidsPost Crosswords
Movies Travel Home & Garden Post Magazine Weddings
Television Books Theater & Dance Horoscopes Sudoku
Going Out Guide
Find Restaurants Visitors Guide
Find Movies Best Bets
Find Bars & Clubs Go Out Lists
Find Local Events Going Out Gurus
Find a Job Post a Job
Get Expert Advice Employer Login
Buy a Car Dealer Special
Sell a Car Used Car Specials
Expert & Advice Coupons
Real Estate
Buy a Home Tools and Calculators Rentals
Sell a Home Neighborhoods Find a Rental
Recent Home Sales Local Address Rent Your Place
Legal Notices Shopping Pets
Trustee Sales Deals & Discounts More Classifieds
Death Notices Used Stuff Place an Ad

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 21, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Hmm. I normally use Chrome, and it looks peachy in that. Also, my version of IE handles things well. But Firefox is totally Forded up. I am seeing the weird menu bit that others have described with text flowing over into the margins

So clearly it isn't a simple as one's choice of browser. My guess is that version and operating system all factor into it.

This is why it is handy to have more than one browser.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 21, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

What I see is all the words Wilbrod lists, but not in a vertical list. More of a half-assed full width listing, un-aligned.

Particularly enjoy "Death Notices Used Stuff."

Posted by: nellie4 | October 21, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm on IE at work. My border is filled with that Siemens ad, which is basically with a full-screen shot of somebody's field. On the left you can see one of those white wind turbines in the distance, and on the far left edge just a piece of another turbine blade. On the far right you see three turbines way in the distance, and in front of them a white pickup truck in the middle distance. The border across the top is about half the thickness of the sides, about 1/2 inch or a little more on my monitor, showing blue sky with the words "Somewhere in America, you'll find Siemens at work," and a pretty small Siemens logo.

I wonder if this is one of those multiple server problems, where I'm feeding off a "good" server and you guys are getting a bad one. Also, could you be seeing the "lovcal" page rather than the netional one?

What happened at the ALCS, Scotty? One of the blues get hurt?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 21, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Also, on my older 'puter, which doesn't have a wide-screen monitor, it looks great in Firefox as well.


Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 21, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I also loved Robert Palmer ... "Every Kind of People" and "I Woke Up Laughing" are personal faves.

Posted by: KBoom | October 21, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I use Firefox and I tried IE to see if the menu looks as bad there, and it does for me. My PC runs XP, but it seems like the browser would be the determining factor. Sigh.

Posted by: seasea1 | October 21, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Think the IT folks are aware of this?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 21, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Monitor size probably factors in too. I am only seeing the wraparound ads on a widescreen monitor, so clearly the HTML changes as a function of size. So many variables.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 21, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

You mean...size matters?

I keep hearing contradictory viewpoints on that. I wish someone would come up with a definitive answer.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 21, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Eye issues, 'Mudge... McClelland at 3rd royally forded a couple of calls, one cost NY a run (runner @ 3rd tagged appropriately, ump thought too early), the other cost the Angels a double play (two runners, neither standing on 3rd, Angels catcher tags both, only one called out).

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 21, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Almost glad I missed watching that one.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 21, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm good with Firefox 3.5.3 and also IE. Running 1280x1024 pixels. No problem viewing the front page.

Interestingly, I can read and post comments now with IE; I couldn't do so recently. Of course I don't use IE routinely.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 21, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I have no idea how to tell anyone about the home page problem. I tried emailing a comment to the "Help" page, but not sure it went through. I could upgrade Firefox, I guess.

Posted by: seasea1 | October 21, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

And then on my netbook with the widescreen both IA and Firefox looks great. So that leaves the question of operating system. Are the people having problems running Vista?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 21, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I mean, IE, of course.

Also, folks with problems who can't switch to a backup browser can also try mucking with font size and the like. You know, kicking the boiler a bit.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 21, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

seasea - the problem is that IE works on my system and Firefox doesn't.

Dark forces.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 21, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, my homepage looks fine. I hope WaPo gets everything straightened out quickly for the folks who are having issues. I'm using IE.

Posted by: slyness | October 21, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I upgraded Firefox, WaPo still hideous. My OS is XP. Tried changing monitor resolution, still the same. Oh well, I'll get used to scrolling.

Posted by: seasea1 | October 21, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

And I see you use XP, seasea, so that shoots down the Vista theory.

Which again leaves the dark forces.

Does anyone have any sacrificial chickens?
I'm all out.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 21, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

You can try Google Chrome. That is very robust, if lacking in many features.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 21, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Maybe now y'all understand my crack last week about telling Son of G that the WaPo front page was sitting on a splash of Seimens. As I said this over the phone, I could hear his spit-take.

I suppose you just thought I was being crude, but now I guess... if you get it, you get it.

Har har har.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 21, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I have XP, IE, and a large (19") monitor but not widescreen.

OH! I think it is fixed!

Posted by: nellie4 | October 21, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Either IT fixed the problem, or it is cured because I clicked on "National" edition.

Posted by: nellie4 | October 21, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Yep, fixed now, as if by magic. Looks fine on IE now too. Menu is redesigned, but looks like menu buttons again. Sheesh.

TBG, have fun with your sisters! Great day to celebrate.

Posted by: seasea1 | October 21, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Home page on my browser's still a cluster... *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 21, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I have a feeling Eugene Robinson is still not going to be able to read my pithy yet refreshingly good-natured comments.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 21, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Just got in and while backboodling noticed someone asked how the home page looks when running IE7 and Vista, pretty much as Wilbrod described, it is like the very early internet days, i.e. Google News is its early days. The other day the WaPo home page for me had an annoying purple border around it, like an old wallpaper.

I also had to log into WaPo for the first time in a very long time, usually I just stay connected.

Managed to stay bug bite free today, my arm is better although did feel like something was crawling under my skin, near where I was bit, last night before I was going to sleep - not a pleasant feeling.

Shriek, my sister lives on Van Island, in one of the other spots where retirees like to gather, laughed at your velcro shoe comment, lots of retirees in my town as well.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 21, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

The sacrificial chickens must be quite relieved.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 21, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Been listening to "trance music" RD?

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 21, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Trance music: (thanks, omni).

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 21, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Hi Al!

Have spent the better part of the day robbing Peter/paying Paul to find funding for someone. Then finding that the would-be recipient had misled me about a few key facts. I so want to go down to his office and do a "Liar, Lair, Pants on Fire" dance on his head. But I know it will be ever so much more satisfying to sit back and watch events unfold as his mistruths emerge on their own.

Scotty, I'm with you on the umpiring in the ALCS last night. The only thing I could figure was that the "runner left 3rd early" call was to cancel out the missed call when the same guy was thrown out at 2nd.

Posted by: Raysmom | October 21, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

That too, Raysmom...

I miss mo. *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 21, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

In light of recent boodle discussion of Facebook, this from the Charlotte Observer is interesting:

Posted by: slyness | October 21, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I miss me some mo too.

Some more trance music.

Leaving early-- #3 dottir is buying us a belated (by 19 days) anniversary dinner at the restaurant where my son works. And today is #1 granddaughter's 19th birthday. *sigh* I'm way too young to have a 19-year-old granddaughter. (e'en tho' she's the aple orchard of my eye).

Later, dudes.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 21, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Happy belated anniversary Mudge & Mrs. Mudge. Well, there are now 22 third grades who can sew on a button. The boys were really into it which made me very happy. A fun time followed by a nice walk watching birds and boats along the canal.

Posted by: badsneakers | October 21, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Hi, y'all--here's an easy way to show support for health care reform:

Posted by: kbertocci | October 21, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Vic Muzzy died today:
he gave us the Addams theme

Green Acres
The Ghost and Mr. Chicken music

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 21, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Size does seem to matter. On my 1920 x 1200 monitor (a cheap one), the Post's front page is surrounded by a big wallpaper ad. The two-tone purple stripes are blessedly gone.

Happy 'mudgiversary!

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 21, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Props to all the Minnesotans who gave us Senator Franken:

Posted by: DNA_Girl | October 21, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

A very quick drive-by to thank DNA_Girl for that link. And, now it's official:

I *HEART* AL FRANKEN!!!!!!!!!!!

Dang -- that guy is goooooood. . . .

I'm up to my veritables in pleading stuff, so I may re-emerge late Friday or sometime over the weekend or next week. Save a place at the table for me, eh?

Posted by: -ftb- | October 21, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Great Kit. I had many admiring and pithy observations re:outsiderdom but no time, no time. I did like the high heels mention - to me, 4-inch heels are special occasion shoes, dress-up, I-don't-need-to-walk shoes. Kinda like the old-time 4-inch Chinese aristocracy fingernails. Of course I know this isn't true for everyone but I felt I knew just what Joel meant. Of course, I wore flat Toms for ten weeks this summer. When I put on moderate heels this fall I had to learn to walk all over again.

Love the Franken clip. It almost makes me want to live in Minnesota. Then I remember the winters which, as I understand it, have begun. Here it is firmly autumn. Cool and rainy, but I have yet to bring in the outside "house" plants (which never see the inside of the actual house).

The kitchen calls. Carry on!

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 21, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

And of course, now the home page works for me. I'm @ home, so I guess that makes sense.

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 21, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

So I walk in the house from yoga class telling "S" how mellow I'm feeling and I catch the side of my shoe somehow, roll my ankle and fall to the floor. Ankle hurts but have it elevated and will ice it. So much for mellow! Hope it's okay by tomorrow night for dancing class. :-(

Posted by: badsneakers | October 21, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Loved the Franken clip...thanks for sharing DNA_Girl!

Posted by: slyness | October 21, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

RDP: (Waaaay back-boodling.) Robert Palmer's band days were spent with Power Station which included former members of Duran Duran, some of whom stayed with Palmer when he went solo. You may remember their hit "Get It On, Bang a Gong"--source of many a toon cootie.

Posted by: skiohio | October 21, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Good Franken link.

I realized today I know zip, really, about pumpkins. I had a hard time learning, too. I finally found this:

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 21, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Hope you ankle is better tomorrow badsneaks.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 21, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Hi, all. The new job is giving me a major headache, but at least it will give me a paycheck.

Badsneakers, I remember about 5 years ago I volunteered to teach my oldest daughter's brownie group how to sew. I made them thread the needles, but I pre-hemmed the pieces they were going to assemble into little drawstring bags. What amazed me was that the group leaders didn't know how to help with this simple hand sewing. The kids all finished and had a presentable "creation" at the end, though.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | October 21, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Sneaks, I know how easy it is to roll an ankle. Hope yours isn't too bad.

For me, the WaPo home page has gone back to the old style. Not sure if they're experimenting or clueless or what.

skiohio, I did not need to know that. Ha!

Posted by: seasea1 | October 21, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Just watching Glee with my daughter, while I was laughing at the Princess Di dress, my daughter asks "Who is Princess Di", I feel old.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 21, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

I am sooooo laughing at "Glee." And "Sweet Caroline"???? Who would have thought? Brilliant. Just simply brilliant.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | October 21, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

O.M.G. Ivansmom, Radouk....I'm reeeeely sorry to be the one to bring this to your attention, but...

Anybody got 9-1-1 on speed dial? They may need it.

Gives whole new meaning to the phrase, "Hey, it's chilly in here, somebody throw another lag on the fire."

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | October 21, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Batteries don't scale? Not the way we do them now, but a nanotechnology may sort out electrons like atoms in a matrix and give some reduction in size to the energy held. Or some cooling technology may apply the world of superconductivity to energy storage to allow electrons to sit really close to each other. My physics is not so advanced, but I see hope for the future.

Posted by: gary4books | October 21, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Nothing quite like faith-based electricity generation.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | October 21, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

skohio, the PS cover of "Bang a Gong" was pretty cool, but I always liked the orginal T. Rex version better.

Wish I had some time to watch TV tonight, but I had some paperwork to do, then some writing, and now I'm going to relax and read a bit.

I think that the Augustine Commitee's recommendations to the President for NASA's manned space flight programs are due to be released soon - tomorrow, maybe?

Saw that the first Ares I test flight is being rolled out to the launch site down at KFC this week - I wonder if that bird will become obsolete (Flying Dutchman, or is that a Flying Roman?) in the time it took to go from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the launch pad?



Posted by: -bc- | October 21, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I wish I could remember to watch Glee. Of course this week I've devoted myself to the Pythons.

Wheezy, I was surprised that two of the girls actually knew how to sew. The teacher, who was a sub, and older than me, seemed to know her way around a needle and thread too, which was good.

My ankle doesn't hurt to walk on but I'll bet it's a bit swollen (haven't looked yet). I tend to do this to one or the other ankle from time to time and end up just walking on it and ignoring it until it goes away. Probably not the best treatment but I hate giving in to ailments until or unless I have no choice.

Posted by: badsneakers | October 21, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

When electrons sit
too close together in ions--

(I know, it's the nucleus, not the electron cloud, but you figure out the quantum chemistry.)

Garybrooks, yes, you could pack electrons more densely... with radioactively unstable heavy elements.

That has its drawbacks: not only would a double D battery weigh a few pounds, it also could double as an atomic grenade.

(I thought I'd toss in my paranoia-based physics to go with the faith-based electricity generation, Mudge.)

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 21, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

"Any sufficiently advanced energy storage technology is indistinguishable from tragic"?

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 21, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

This is new

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 21, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Jumper I saw that video a while ago, it is incredible.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 21, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

For RD and Ivansmom...


Posted by: -TBG- | October 21, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

I just saw TBG's bunny!

Posted by: nellie4 | October 21, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse


Cow skull, plains of Montana where the white space is rather cloudy today

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 21, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

You got it, Jumper! I knew you studied Clarke and Dagger physics.

Thanks for the youtube link. Powerful use of sandpainting as performance art.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 22, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Hamlet says,

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 22, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

What bit dmd yesterday


Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 22, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Sleepy bunny

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 22, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

The Ghost and Mr. chicken was one of my favourite movies. Even now i hear his music, that lovely old organ music playing in my head. RIP, and au revoir.

The Franken clip is really very impressive. Do you think some people underestimate him because he has a background in comedy? Woe to them, methinks.

Posted by: --dr-- | October 22, 2009 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Hiya, Boodle Buds...

Trying to digest many days/weeks worth of missed kits ain't easy, but it's not an unpleasant task. That Joel guy can be entertaining -- and even informative -- when he wants to.

It's catching up on the Boodling that's kicking my butt, though. I'm sure many recipes have been posted and much banter about this, that and who-knows-what about volcanoes or comets or mulch fires...

In any case, I hope this post finds all of you well (and our host, too).

Peace out and do something fun and nice today :-)

Posted by: martooni | October 22, 2009 2:49 AM | Report abuse

Martooni!!! How are you?

Posted by: rainforest1 | October 22, 2009 3:18 AM | Report abuse

Martooni!!!! Yay, you're back! We missed you sir, missed you somethin' awful.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | October 22, 2009 4:00 AM | Report abuse

Martooni, you dang hippie! Welcome back!

Posted by: yellojkt | October 22, 2009 5:38 AM | Report abuse

mulch fires?!

Posted by: russianthistle | October 22, 2009 6:13 AM | Report abuse

Hey, here is a bit of fun!

Wake you up in a way that many might consider an audio cup of coffee from a '69 David Frost show

Duke Ellington, Billy Taylor and Willie the Lion Smith.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 22, 2009 6:25 AM | Report abuse

A Martooni sighting, yay! Keep in touch, big guy. I hope your health has improved significantly.

Morning, everybody else. I happily overslept. With Mr. T out of town, I don't have a reason to get up early. Now, on with the day!

Posted by: slyness | October 22, 2009 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Morning everyone!

I remember Power Station very well. I loved their cover of "Band a Gong," although several women of my acquaintance were profoundly offended by the video. And I could see their point.

Thanks for the bunny TBG!


Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 22, 2009 7:39 AM | Report abuse

'Toon!!! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 22, 2009 7:55 AM | Report abuse


Yet another case of just letting the story tell itself, unfortunately...

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 22, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse


I have *got* to get the wireless router working so I can Glee-boodle.

Posted by: Raysmom | October 22, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Hey Martooni, hope you're feeling better.

Posted by: badsneakers | October 22, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Toonsssssssssss! Yay!

Did anybody watch SYTYCD last night? There is a new top-20. Don't know enough about them, but I suspect that the admittedly weaker of the 20 will be gone by the time there are 10 (and not just because of the math, you smart-brains out there!). I think the producers deliberately bring in a number of weaker folks so that they can be eliminated early and let the cream rise to the top. Or something.

And Mia Michaels now has a buzz cut, and I think it looks awful on her. But that's just me, and you all know I have mixed feelings about her anyway.

Now, I gotta go until maybe late tomorrow afternoon or sometime on the weekend.

*take deep breath, hold nose, and go "glug, glug, glug")

Posted by: -ftb- | October 22, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

That was a nice piece of reporting on those sweat lodge deaths, Scotty; thanks for the link.

What's with the WaPo home page today? Looks like they went back to the old format while somebody either works out the kinks or looks for a new job. But that was a disaster yesterday. Just as a matter of intellectual curiosity, it would be nice to know what the problem was (meaning, why did some people's monitors/computers show the page OK, and why some didn't. Was it server issues? Glitches in the page format code? Enquiring minds want to know, but doubt we'll ever find out. I'm not interested in beating up on the IT people, but I really would like to be a fly on the wall during the post mortem.) I suspect at least one of the "lessons learned" is that any new format now has to be tested on a variety of browsers, not just IE. This may also apply to operating systems such as Linux and its Ubuntu system, too, since it is now competing with Microsoft as well as Apple. (And who knows if any of that was even what the problem was.)

Looking like dem Phillies is gonna kick some Yankee butt, methinks. (Hoping maybe that will bestir our mo.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 22, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Good morning and a big Howdy to Martooni!!

Thanks TGB for the bunny, and collegeparkian for all the critters. It must be nice to have mad skillz.

I've been following that sweat lodge story, Scotty. It just makes me mad. This New Age guru, it sounds like, has perverted the whole ethos and purpose of the sweat lodge. Most Indian rituals, including those in sweat lodges, are about living in harmony or restoring someone to harmony. Forcing people to stay for hours in an overcrowded, overheated lodge and "push throught it" until they pass out or die is far, far from harmony. I don't understand why people will pay thousands of dollars to be abused and put in danger in the name of spiritual growth, but he's certainly taking advantage of them.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 22, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all. Hey, martooni.

I see that the Human Space Flight Plans Committee (aka the Augustine Committee) is indeed releasing their Final Report this afternoon.

Should be an interesting presser, and frankly, I don't know what I hope I find in the report itself. Hopefully something smarter than anything I could have come up with.

Have a good day, all.

On a final note - and going back to the previous Kit - I *do* think there's a Tiki Bar amongst the stars. And I'd be willing to bet that Error Flynn's already there.


Posted by: -bc- | October 22, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Ya think, I-mom??? *SIGHHHHHH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 22, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

New kit, this time with a real kit!

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 22, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

NEW KIT!! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 22, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

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