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Moon Thud a Dud

The next time we decide to blow up the moon, let's do it right. I want to see nothing but smithereens, ya dig? I want moon ejecta lighting up the sky at night with meteors. For this I woke up early??? Okay, okay, I know: It's science. (Yawn.)

Seriously, at the very least NASA could have done what it did with Apollo 11, which is fake the whole thing. You know, hire James Cameron, get some good CGI, show boulders spewing everywhere, fireballs billowing (as if there was oxygen and atmosphere etc. -- who keeps track of that technical stuff???), and of course a roar that makes the hair on your ears stand up. Hire a really good play-by-play announcer -- maybe the guy who covers soccer for Univision.

NASA needs to remember that what Americans like to do, more than anything else, is blow things up. We like to blow things up even more than we like to eat, which is saying something. Blowing things up and making loud noises is what we have here on this continent instead of boring stuff like "culture." That's for the French.

You know those paranoid Internet rumors that this was a military exercise? Nah-uh. Our military would have VAPORIZED the moon. AND probably a few of the more useless planets, like Neptune and Mercury, as collateral damage. Clearly this was a civilian op all the way.


Here's my brief write-up for the news side:

For those wanting something flashy, the moon thud was a dud.

NASA's LCROSS mission Friday morning was a scientific success, according one of the agency's top officials, but it was anti-climactic for those watching the Internet feed or attending a special viewing on the big screen at the Newseum in downtown Washington. The moon didn't blow up - or even flinch, as far as anyone could see.

The mission sent a rocket booster crashing into a shadowy crater at the moon's south pole. A shepherding spacecraft obtained images of the impact and then, as planned, crashed near the same spot.

NASA's black-and-white imagery showed the crater looming larger and larger as the spacecraft descended. But when the booster slammed into the moon, in the darkness of the crater, there was no obvious sign of a plume of dust - or pulverized water ice, which is what NASA was hoping to find. Instead, the video feed went completely white.

That wasn't a malfunction, said Benjamin Neumann, director of NASA's Advanced Capabilities Division. It was more like a blinding flash.

"It was so bright, we saw white," Neumann said. "The instruments will have this data. It's a lot of energy, so it turns it to heat."

NASA scientists have said it will take a couple of weeks to analyze the data and determine if the crater harbored ice. The LCROSS spacecraft was equipped with nine instruments; another seven instruments are on board a NASA spacecraft in lunar orbit. The impacts were also observed by telescopes on Earth and in space, including the Hubble Space Telescope.

The mission was dedicated to the late broadcaster Walter Cronkite. His son, Chip, spoke at the Newseum event, where the impact was shown on a 40-foot screen. Referring to NASA's hope of finding water ice in the lunar crater, the younger Cronkite said, "We hope this is just the first of many oases we find on our march through the stars." .

By Joel Achenbach  |  October 9, 2009; 8:41 AM ET
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Posted by: Scottynuke | October 9, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse


Thanks Joel and Scotty. I watched it and I think the expectations were set by the animation released by NASA. Was there also an attempt to change the telemetry at the collision time to reserve bandwidth for equipment other than the black and white camera?

Also a question for the experts here... at what point did the booster get dropped by the shepherding section? And I presume that the reason that we didn't do a soft landing on the 2nd segment was that such an effort might affect the readings from the scientific equipment?

Or, did they just want to let us watch a second impact?

Is there a site where you can watch telescopic recordings of the impacts?

Posted by: russianthistle | October 9, 2009 9:56 AM

Posted by: russianthistle | October 9, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

My God, it's full of Ice-9...

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 9, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Well if the moon thud was a dud, the Nobel surprise will keep it from getting too much attention. Cannot imagine that many people will be too upset outside of those very close to the project.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 9, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | October 9, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I really do wonder why it will take so long to analyze the data. Look, the spectral analysis should be straight forward. I mean, they pretty much know what it is they are looking for.

I dunno. Maybe they are trying to be extremely conservative and couch the technical results in a comprehensive report.

Here's the thing though. Even if we find evidence of water, I think the lunar oasis imagery is a bit of a stretch. I believe the expected concentration is more like a terrestrial desert. Sure, in theory one could extract such water, but is this really practical?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 9, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I was just looking for sites where telescope hounds post pics and "talk." They all got "nothing." (so far)

Posted by: russianthistle | October 9, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I am so relieved. I worried that, in blowing up the moon, we'd hit something - maybe punch a hole through to a hitherto unexpected hollow interior? - which affected the moon's equilibrium, destabilizing Earth's axial tilt and ending Life As We Know It. Perhaps I've just payed too much attention to the Large Hadron Collider rumors. At any rate, I'm glad it didn't happen.

Unless, of course, it did and they're just waiting to tell us until the signs are unmistakeable. Seeing as they can't fix that kind of mistake. They can't, can they?

Congratulations to Obama. What a nice surprise for him. I never though of the Nobel as essentially an expression of international approval for future actions, but hey, it's their prize. I did like Joel's suggestion that he offset the implications that he may now never wage war by quickly loosing a military strike on some other country. Probably it shouldn't be Sweden.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 9, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I was at this event as well and a little disappointed. I was reminded, though, of my father's impressions of the moon landing. He said he was bored. There was so much time and such poor images it was hard to match to his imagination.

And yet, it was also very, very important. I wonder if the most important, world-changing events aren't often this subtle.

Posted by: Section506 | October 9, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Sweden would be fine for Obama's preemptive de-empathetic strike. Norway awards the prize, because Alfred Nobel thought Sweden would be too political (they ran Norway's foreign policy at the time).

Posted by: Section506 | October 9, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

RD, Weed, you're making me nervous. Could it be that they're stalling? They have no intention of analyzing the data, and can't provide pictures, because they know Earth will be wobbling or spinning uncontrollably or weaving in space like a drunken sailor at any moment - and rather than tell us, they'll just let that moment pass. After that we won't care about the data.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 9, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

This really is too much, the headline for Joel's story
says the "Visuals were Anti-climatic." In which style book is this proposed as a suitable alternative to anticlimactic?

Woke up to the radio alarm and the first thing I heard was about Obama's Nobel. Only caught the tail end and was sure I had misheard, was only having some extra sweet REM sleep. I will avoid listening to right wing nuts for a few hours in order to enjoy the moment a little while.

Thoroughly backboodled to the fine corn bread recipes, will have to try them all.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 9, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

NASA is never going to win any Peace Prizes if it continues to go around bombing innocent sub-planetal objects willy-nilly. I've gotten bombed a couple of times myself, and I can tell you from first-hand experience it isn't very pleasant, especially the next day.

Free the Apollo 13!!!

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 9, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I am sure, frosti, that they are first running through the data streams and pulling out the data from the military explosion.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 9, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I hope this link isn't a policy violation as it is a television commercial. But it seems so appropriate. And it featured George Takei.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 9, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Echoing Ivan's Mom's congratulations to Barack Obama. He's a good man, I am so pleased that others recognize this. Looking forward to his acceptance speech. Thank you citizens of the world for your respect for our new President. Praise be.

Posted by: VintageLady | October 9, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Ignatius has a plausible explanation for Obama's Nobel: it's a "welcome back America" from the Nobel committee.

And of course Gore's Nobel was Norwegian-Moe doing a double eye poke to W-Curly.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 9, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: russianthistle | October 9, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Wishing science would just leave our beautiful moon alone, at least until after The Harvest.

"Shine on,
Shine on Harvest Moon,
For me and my guy"

Posted by: VintageLady | October 9, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Love the ad, RD_P. And how nice to see you back in the fellowship.

Posted by: Yoki | October 9, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I thought this was a good perspective on Obama's Nobel - from an international view.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 9, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Interesting commentary at the start of the first hour of the Diane Rehm show this morning (Friday News Roundup, Susan Page as host) about the Obama Peace Nobel.

As one of the panelists on the NPR program pointed out, the nomination for the peace award closes in February. This particular guest on the DR show observed that Obama's name was placed in nomination after Obama had been in office only 12 days. One of the panelists guessed that France's Sarkozy may have been on the selection committee. I'm extremely curious who the other nominees were for the 2009 award?

This nomination (I wonder who did the nominating?) seems entirely premature back in February--as the award itself does now. TWELVE DAYS! Nutz, I tell ya!

Posted by: laloomis | October 9, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

The nominating may have closed out in February, but I think everyone is overlooking when the actual voting might have occurred. I'm pretty certain the Nobel committee hasn't been sitting on this award for the last 7 or so months.

Yes, being nominated after only 12 days in office was indeed silly. But let's not make it even sillier than it already is. We need to know when they voted, not when they nominated. One might reasonably assume they voted *after* the Muslim speech and after the anti-nuke activity, no? Since that's what they cited as the reason. So at least they had something tenuous, not just nothing.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 9, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Previously in the $15 challenge- I was at $6.96 for the week but that skips a restaurant lunch with the dott and subsequent leftovers used for one meal (I have decided to count the leftovers as free, unless Yoki tells me to do otherwise).

Yesterday's lunch was also free-leftover angelhair pasta with pesto, and butternut squash with a drizzle of sage butter (butter browned with a sprinkle of minced sage from Mr. F's balcony garden). For travel snackage I had the last of the garden carrots and cucumber. Arrived Chez Frostbitten with just a few minutes to release the frostcats from their carriers and eat some Progresso brand Italian wedding soup before going to a meeting ($1.50 on sale). Meatless Thursday ruined for some canned meatball soup.

Before departing the hip urban loft I calculated milk, olive oil, and butter usage-
Milk 1.50
Olive oil .50
Butter .40

Today's breakfast-coffee and toast (from bread baked at the Hip Urban Loft) .22

New total: $11.08

That's $3.92 for the rest of today, all of tomorrow and lunch on Sunday.

It's supposed to snow tonight and tomorrow. Time to make some comfort food polenta. I'll be using the pork stock I made from a chop bone earlier this week (free) instead of canned chicken stock (don't have any home made). Oh to have a whole chicken- I could make it last the week and eat like royalty.

Toodles boodle.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 9, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I'm kind of surprised more people aren't excited about the prize. I mean, this is a good thing for the U.S., right? Is there any way this is a bad thing for the United States?

Posted by: Section506 | October 9, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I really like that Ignatius article, but he typically impresses me.

Look, a truly objective assessment of who has most contributed to "Peace" is, by its nature impossible. Maybe it belongs to some faceless bureaucrat somewhere in the State Department or some other part of the government. Who really knows.

But sometimes we 'mericans really do forget the impact that Obama has had on millions of people around the world. These people aren't fussing about the little minutia that seems to fascinate his critics. They aren't marinating in sour resentment. They are recognizing, and celebrating, the fact that we Americans are not quite as insane as they feared.

I just read a quote from the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy. He called the decision to grant Obama the Peace Prize the embodiment of the "return of America into the hearts of the people of the world."

And this was accomplished, I assert, the day Obama took office.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 9, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Life was not breathed into Obama (Give my creature LIFE!!!!) on 1/20/09...he actually did stuff before that.

Foreign nations play a part in the US electoral process. Barack was the first US presidential candidate to openly embrace the fact and take his show on the road. At the time, there was a lot of hand-wringing going on about his foreign travel/speechs while a candidate, and what kind of message he was sending to the rest of the world. Turns out it was a pretty positive message. I would imagine the Prize was based on those actions, not on the actions of 12 days.

Posted by: LostInThought | October 9, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Well said LiT.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 9, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I think the Obama Peace Prize award is a little (ok, a lot) silly, but as someone said previously, "it's their prize...." I hope he and his people have the common sense to say that they're going to "hold it in escrow" for a few years and try to do a few things that are truly deserving between now and then.

Equally silly will be the Limbaughs of the world twisting themselves up in furious knots about it.

What I was surprised about the LCROSS is that I never saw anything other than NASA's official feed from the satellite itself. Ostensibly, it was visible from a moderately powered home telescope. I would have thought that some news organization would have gotten someone with a big 25" Dobsonian (which is a high-powered home telescope, but common enough) to put a camera on it and try to see what happened. Did anyone here try to view it for themselves?

Posted by: Awal | October 9, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Good thoughts, Section506, RD, LiT, Awal.

Wouldn't it be refreshing if, for once, whether we think he deserved the Nobel for peace or not, our nation stood behind our President? Shouldn't we be proud of him, and by extension of ourselves? Shouldn't we all be congratulating one another on having a President the Nobel committee thought worthy of their prize? Should we not celebrate? I think we should. I also think it is very sad that, apparently, people cannot let go of division and rancor long enough to take this at face value and treat it as a compliment and accomplishment for Obama and the nation. It is as gloomy an example of our country's dysfunction as I have seen.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 9, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Reminds me of the old SCTV routine...

"That blowed up real good."

Posted by: -TBG- | October 9, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, LiT...

aw heck, the whole Boodle...

One can stand behind the President and be proud of him and still think it's entirely hinky for the President to be enmeshed in a situation where the Nobel committee handed out the award for efforts that have barely begun, let alone bear any fruit.

From the WaPo reportage: "His predecessors won during their second White House terms, however, and after significant diplomatic achievements. Woodrow Wilson was awarded the prize in 1919, after helping to found the League of Nations and shaping the Treaty of Versailles; and Theodore Roosevelt was the recipient in 1906 for his work to negotiate an end to the Russo-Japanese war."

Quite honestly, I think it would be tremendously human of the President to reply, "While it is a great honor, my efforts to date do not rise to the level of previous recipients. I respectfully request the committee select another honoree."

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 9, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Woodrow Wilson failed to bring the U.S. into the League, thus dooming it to irrelevance and Roosevelt's negotiation of the Russo-Japanese War actually strengthened Japan's territorial ambitions and power, paving the road to the rape of Nanking and Pearl Harbor.

So we can be picky, if we want, about this award, but let's do it honestly.

My point is really that regardless of deserving, this helps America and Obama in international diplomacy. Pragmatically, this is all good.

Posted by: Section506 | October 9, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I think a lot of people don't understand you don't just point the Hubble and shoot and see pictures. You have to send the film in to Eckerds Drug Store and wait for them to process it, THEN you have to go there and GO IN THE STORE - the drive-through window is just for prescriptions - and get your pictures. And the process is complicated by factors they barely understand - such as, Rite-Aid bought out the company long ago!

But the stupid public does not understand this! They think it's just a matter of a few minutes of processing the data electronically!

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 9, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I don't disagree, Scottynuke. However, if one thinks he doesn't deserve the prize, that quarrel is with the Nobel Committee. My concern is that the excess of virulent and free-roaming Obama hatred apparently leads some people to believe it is logical to blame Obama for receiving the prize, and use it as another opportunity to denigrate and vilify him. This makes no logical sense, and it deprives the country of a chance to accept international acclaim (whatever we might think of it). What happened to a simple gracious expression of congratulations, perhaps qualified with a doubt as to the Committee's selection process or criteria?

This is just unpleasant invective, and silly too. If these people get a gift they don't like from a relative, do they say, "It's ugly, and so are you"? If someone they don't like does something nice for their kid, do they yell at the kid and the giver?

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 9, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

More accurate to say that Congress failed to bring the U.S. into Wilson's League of Nations.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 9, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Sure hasn't been a good week for the Nobel Prizes, has it? And I really have to feel sorry for this woman, Herta Mueller. Take a look at the "Frau Blucher" photo the WaPo is running of her.

Could they have chosen one deliberately any less flattering? Scroll through the slideshow and look at the third photo of her, the one where she's standing in front of some sort of stone wall. A much better photo, I think (though of course much less controversial and demeaning). Now, I certainly don't advocate trying to make somebody look "better"-- but neither do I like trying to make somebody look as bad as possible. Jeeze, Louise.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 9, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Jumper. I did forget about developing the Hubble film. My fears are assuaged. I'm sure this will explain RD's data analysis time lag too.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 9, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I feel like the Nobel committee really awarded the prize to the American people for ELECTING Barack Obama.

I'll be happy to attend the ceremony and take my share of the prize money, thank you very much.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 9, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Oh, now THAT should have been the award, TBG!!! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 9, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Too much news today. Chinese curse.

Loved it, Scotty (my god it's full of ice-9!)

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 9, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Ivansmom, my quarrel is with the committee, absolutely.

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 9, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I think the Lymbaughs of the world will treat Obama's newest award as a joke and thereby cheapen the meaning of the Nobel Peace Prize and what it represents.

Delighting in the assumption that the award of a peace prize will tick a lot of people off just doesn't make any sense to me. I don't think it will do Obama any good as the backlash from his political adversaries will continue to cast him as a fraud.

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | October 9, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Awwwwww, cheeze-wizzzzzz! ANOTHER friend of mine has been diagnosed with breast cancer -- and she has to wait until Tuesday to get the complete lab results from the biopsy. At least the lump was tiny, tiny. And, at least she just signed up for Medicare. That will make things a bit easier. In the meantime, however, her concentration level is nil, and the terror level is incomparably high. I'll see her over the weekend.

TBG, I do like your take on the Prize, immensely. And as I put it a couple of rapid fire kits ago, awarding the prize to Obama has completely sanitized it (at least in my mind) from when the prize was awarded to Kissinger. Got all those cooties off it.

Posted by: -ftb- | October 9, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

When you receive a compliment you say "Thank you." (The curtsy is optional.) But you don't argue. To argue is a profound insult to the person who offered the praise as it implies that he or she is either foolish or disingenuous.

That the assessment proffered might exceed your self assessment is typically understood. That's why you say "Thank you" instead of "Damn Straight."

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 9, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Well said, RD.

Yes, WhackyWeasel. As a rule I'm not fond of the folks who are blazing mad at the Prize announcement (as distinguished from folks who, like Scottynuke, question its appropriateness at this time), and part of me wants to welcome their discomfiture. Now, though, I find I can't delight in my assumption that this award of the peace prize will make them mad. I just think it is sad.

So sorry, ftb! Good wishes to your friend.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 9, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I think Ralph Bunche is smiling down on Barack Obama.

I think I'll get hold of my friend in Oslo this weekend, just to dish on all the white noise emanating from the award. I suspect that he'll agree with the decision.

Posted by: -ftb- | October 9, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Best wishes to your friend, ftb.

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 9, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

My deepest regret is that we can't get Limbaugh, Coulter, Beck, Hannity, Princess Sparkle Pony, Beck, Dobbs, Malkin (the list goes on) all together on the Mall Saturday night. The gummint could hire one of those experts who do the 4th of July fireworks extravangas, and with a little judicious wiring all their heads could explode in a nicely choreographed display of colors and patterns -- crysanthemums, rings, double rings, "reports" [bangers], triples, the whole megillah. It could be pretty spectacular if done right.

And all the shards littering the Mall would be biodegradeable.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 9, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

That is beautifully put, RD.

"Thank you, I'm humbled at such a honor."

Whackyweasel, I agree that Obama has an entire term to finish first. I don't think this was intended to help Obama at home, but aboard-- which is a significant difference.

In the War on Terror, as W and his cohort liked to call it, we do need ALL the help we can get out there.

That war is best fought through killing hate itself-- not by killing every foreigner that may hate America.

Let's hope it works. Right now I'm more worried about home-grown terrorism than imported terrorism-- and we all should be, that is the most common variety.

Today's xkcd reads like this:

Panel 1-- two stick figures sitting on the ground.

Grown-up stick figure, holding a flashlight to his face.
"But they never found the ghost's head!!"

Kid stick figure: "Lame story, Uncle Rob."
Uncle Rob: "And you could do better?"
"Sure." the kid says.

Panel 2:
"Try me." Uncle Rob says.
"9/11 happened before I was born, yet I'm old enough to have this conversation with you."
Panel 3. Silence. Uncle Rob has dropped his flashlight. The kid has not moved.
Panel 4: Silence. Uncle Rob is now hugging his knees.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 9, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Some boodlers may remember that one of my heroes is Jane Addams, co-winner of the 1931 peace prize. To boil down Addams' accomplishments into a blurb-she was an at times controversial pacifist, internationally popular speaker and a Chicago social worker. If Obama had stayed in Chicago I would say waiting until he was 70ish and had slogged away trying to influence the world by speaking to organizations promoting peace and social justice, while making a difference for his neighbors, was in order. But he didn't stay in Chicago, and while he may not have had a chance to do much yet when measured against two term presidents, he certainly has done as much or more than other Nobel Peace Prize winners at the time they won their awards.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 9, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

ftb, so sorry about your friend, good wishes coming her way.

Mudge, I love your idea, I bet the TV ratings would be astronomical!

Posted by: badsneakers | October 9, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Obama's words, S'nuke.

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

Wilbrod... you forgot to add the mouseover Alt-text on the XKCD comic...

"I'm teaching every 8-year-old relative to say this, and every 14-year-old to do the same thing with Toy Story. Also, Pokemon hit the US over a decade ago and kids born after Aladdin came out will turn 18 next year."

Posted by: -TBG- | October 9, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Frostbitten, she helped found social work, and also wrote books.

I liked reading her book "Hull House," even though I know nearly nothing of social work.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 9, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

MLK, too, ftb.

Here are Obama's remarks this morning, which as always, are spot on. He speaks to every criticism I've heard so far.

Posted by: seasea1 | October 9, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

The day the Nobel committee factors their decisions on the beliefs of Limbaugh and co, is the day they should stop awarding the prizes.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 9, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm waiting for the remarks from Dick Cheney, saying something about how the groundwork for such an award was laid during the previous administration.

Posted by: nellie4 | October 9, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm waiting for Kanye West to try and grab the mike...

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 9, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

the nobel peace prize decision really surprised me, but i don't give a flip what the repugs think. they're going to have a fit because the message of the award is not just the desire to support (and influence) obama's international efforts, but it is a fundamental rebuke to the international efforts of the bush presidency and the republicans of recent years. and for that message, i am grateful.

Posted by: LALurker | October 9, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Arrg. I'm pretty sure observatories all over the world were looking at the Lcross impacts, and doing close to realtime spectrographic analysis. Here's a site but I'm befuddled by the horrible "quicktime will never, ever install correctly on my computer" problem.
Which may not even have anything.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 9, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Wow... 2300+ coments on the main article in about 7 hours.

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 9, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

This is all part of an international conspiracy to deflect attention from the announcement that golf will be an Olympic event.

Posted by: engelmann | October 9, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: dmd3 | October 9, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, ROTFL. Beyonce was the favorite for the Peace Prize, you know.

Posted by: engelmann | October 9, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Anyone want to bet SNL will use the Obama/Kanye motif this weekend?

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 9, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to think the prize was not irretrievably cheapened by its awarding to Kissinger. But I'd be lying to myself.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 9, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Having just looked at the list of past recipients, I think it's a good pick. It is no small matter for the U.S. to have returned to multi-lateralism, particularly given the UN's limitations apparent in the last 20 years.

Also, he can't refuse it or he would join Kissinger's North Vietnamese counterpart as the only recipients to decline.

One other candidate could have been somebody from India for not responding with war to the outrageous provocation of the Mumbai attacks.

Posted by: engelmann | October 9, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

To be fair to Henry Kissinger, he did realize his plan to firebomb, massacre, and destroy Vietnam wasn't working and changed strategy!

Posted by: Section506 | October 9, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

On a non-Nobellian note, the wife and I went up to Boulder to see John Hiatt and Lyle Lovett last night. It was just the two of them on stage with a guitar per. They took turns playing songs, trying to extend on a theme present in the other's previous choice. They spent a lot of time talking. Lovett is very witty in an almost-laconic fashion.

The music was fantastic with the caveat that Hiatt's voice is getting a little ragged. It was never wholly melodic, but it's rapidly approaching Tom Waits/spoken-word territory. I didn't realize that he's getting close to 60.

The other big news in Denver is the first measurable snow fall happened yesterday. We have a brief interlude of reasonable weather today, but you baseball fans might be interested to note that the forecast for gametime tomorrow is 28 degrees with possible light snow.

Posted by: Awal | October 9, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

"The observatories that were able to image the event ranged from Arizona and New Mexico (Apache Point, Magdalena Ridge, and the Vatican Observatory), through California's Mount Wilson and Palomar sites, and included a lot of the best hardware in Hawaii, such as the Keck, Gemini, and Subaru telescopes. Watching from space were the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which was launched with LCROSS, and the newly refurbished Hubble Space Telescope. A few private satellites that normally do Earth imaging, IKONOS and GeoEye-1, were also redirected to the Moon for the event. "

But, we are not allowed to see it now. Have to wait. Maybe a month.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 9, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Snow! Awal, you're swiftly gaining on Yoki's exalted position as Scottynuke's Official Boodle Tormentor... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 9, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Yep, baseball season should be over by now - too dang cold. Or they should hold the playoffs and Series in warmer climes.

Posted by: seasea1 | October 9, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Well, we've had Rovestorms before. I wonder if 2,300 comments in 7 hours doesn't warrant the name Nobelizzard.

Any kind of baseball below 55 degrees F should be banned.

I once umpired a double-header at St. Mary-Ryken H.S. in Leonardtown in March on a drizzly, windy 38-degree day. Possibly the single most miserable day of my life. I had more fun during my quad bypass. Yuck.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 9, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

While I was watching MSNBC and waiting for the president's speech, I heard the young woman newscaster refer to Ralph Bunchee.

Cheese. Kids today...

Posted by: rickoshea1 | October 9, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

It's very kind of the Natinals (59-103) not to submit you to the hardship of late season baseball.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 9, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

The plot thickens

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 9, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

DC, who is such a rule-follower (again, that skip-a-generation gene), decided to go to school late this morning so she could watch the impact. She was somewhat underwhelmed.

Posted by: LostInThought | October 9, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

CSMonitor reports elemental evidence of...sodium?! in plume.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 9, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

The Boodle is nicer than the real world. I had lunch with some real smart folks today. One was talking about blowing up the moon and I mentioned my worry that we might inadvertently affect its equilibrium, destabilizing Earth's axial tilt and ending Life as We Know It. He gave me a long look and told me to go have a drink. I pointed out the possibility that this had actually happened and they just aren't telling us, and he said I should have two drinks.

Baseball below freezing?? That's just wrong.

Thanks for the concert description, awal. That sounds like a fine evening.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 9, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Sodium? Very interesting. Did the CSJ say what kind? Dr. Pepperium? Pepsium? MountainDewium?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 9, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

RT@KipEsquire: "Kanye West furious that Beyonce didn't win Nobel Peace Prize"

Posted by: kbertocci | October 9, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, I may need some assistance taking on RT@KipEsquire for infringing my copyright... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 9, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I may have to refer your copyright case to ftb or engelmann, though I'll be glad to take the referral fee. Should you be so incensed you indulge in some physical altercation, or electronic or written threats, in protection of your copyright, I'll be pleased to advise you. My first advice: don't do that.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 9, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, two stunning developments from the World of Smut, proving that the Endtimes Are getting Near:

(1) the cover girl for the November issue of Playboy is ... [wait for it] ... Marge Simpson. (She's partially behind a chair, so you won't see the naughty parts.)

(2) Rick Springfield, who is almost as old as I am (he once sang "Methusaleh's Girl") will appear naked in Joel's former next-door-neighbor-doormate David Duchovney's "Californication."

No word yet on whether Homer Simpson will appear in Playgirl.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 9, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

yello, don't go there. I know what you're thinking. Don't do it.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 9, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I actually watched Obama's acceptance speech, and it was vintage him. It was really very good, I thought. But, well, most people won't listen, I suspect. Even if most others don't, he certainly understands why the Nobel Committee did what they did. He's the adult we always wanted our presidents to be.

I don't think I'll read all those thousands of posts about the awardee. . . .

And, now, off to physical therapy. Gotta go saddle up the horse first (after visiting the *euphemism* of course).

Posted by: -ftb- | October 9, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I don't get it. When you look at the ratios between the earth and the moon (mass, density, gravity, escape velocity, etc.), and keeping in mind that the earthquake/tsunami of 2004 gave Earth's axis a good rattle, is it really that much of a stretch to think that maybe something bad could have happened? I think not, but then again, science isn't one of my strong suits. Maybe I should have a drink w/I'mom. Should we go with a nice Sonoma Cutrer, or marguaritas?

Posted by: LostInThought | October 9, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I may require ftb's assistance to protect my brand as Scottynuke's Official Boodle Tormentor.

Posted by: Yoki | October 9, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Tormenting is fine, Yoki, but please don't start branding... I don't have that much aloe vera available.

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 9, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Party at Ivansmom's! I'll bringing the chips.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 9, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

i propose happy hour right her on the boodle. i have fancy green and kalamata olives from the farmer's market to share.

Posted by: LALurker | October 9, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I've got some love Blue Ermite and the rarely available Vacherin Mont D'Or for the table. I'll pick up some baguette on my way.

Posted by: Yoki | October 9, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I bet NASA knows with 95% certainty if there is or is not water in that plume right now. It is annoying to me when they sit on this knowledge for too long.

In more universal news, I explored homemade panko and shockingly unorthodox breading dip.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 9, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for the Bill Cosby tune cootie, Jumper... :-)

In Los Angeles, who puts up put the "Dip" signs? They put ths sign two inches before you get to the dip! You're driving the car, you see the sign, you say, "What's the sign say?" Sign says "Dip." POW!!

You wanna help somebody, put it AFTER you hit the dip!

"You've just hit a dip."


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 9, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Who amongst us has not at least once asked ourselves:

Who puts the dip in the dipa-dipa-dip signs?
Who put the bop in the shu-bop-bop?
Who put the ram in the rama-lama-ding-dong?

Questions we all need to ponder.

With that, I am abandoning my post here as guardian of the nation's transportation punctuation, and heading down to Virginia beach to console my ovarian-leaking daughter (Ewwwwww. Dads aren't supposed to think about this sort of creepy stuff. I don't wanna know about her plumbing. If it was up to me, she wouldn't have had any.).

Everybody have a good three-day weekend. Those of you of a Canuckian persuasion, have a nice T-day, or whatever it is you do up there. Any leftover turkey (hah! Like I had a chance!) can be faxed to me in a zip-locked bag or other airtight container. (Special hint to Yoki: whaddaya gonna do with that leftover stuffing? Who's yer buddy? Huh? Huh?)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 9, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

i'm laughing sn, cuz there's one of those signs on my route home from work. it certainly isn't a helpful reminder the first time you encounter it. it's a good reminder after you've scraped bottom a time or two.

Posted by: LALurker | October 9, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Not getting the Cosby tune reference. I'm so tuned out... I was fan enough to buy this record once: "Silver Throat: Bill Cosby Sings"

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 9, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

hey - obama - i'ma let you finish but i just gotta say...


Posted by: mortii | October 9, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I see. It's a cootie, but not a tune. Sorry.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 9, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 9, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Scotty - Forget about signs for speed bumps and dips. They are to a Speed Table what a soap box derby is to Nascar. We were trying to find our way back to the interstate in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, after broken up our trip the in-laws by going to the children's museum there (when the Boy was much younger). We weren't having much luck finding the interstate, but were pressing forward at probably 40 to 45 mph when we saw the sign. While we were wondering just what a Speed Table was, we drove onto and over it. It turned out that it was a speed bump with a good solid top for the take-off, which made the experience really memorable, once we had landed.

Posted by: km2bar | October 9, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Great! Boodle happy hour! Margarites for me & LiT and anyone else worried about blowing up the moon. Wine is available too - it is cold and chilly here so I'm offering red. [I know, it thins the blood and actually makes you colder but you feel warmer, right?] Chips, cheese, bread, olives: life is good. The moon didn't kill us. All is well!

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 9, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I've got corn chips and salsa, and a spinach dip I bought for the first time today, thinking it might be sort of healthy. Also Asian pears. And I'll crack open the bottle of pinot grigio to celebrate the Nobel (or anything else that there is to celebrate).

Posted by: seasea1 | October 9, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Great, seasea! I myself am celebrating the lack of destabilization of the Earth's axial tilt, but I expect that's a pretty scarce crowd. The Nobel is also an excellent reason for a party.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 9, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

If we blow up the moon,

What happens to the werewolves?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 9, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

We'll worry about them later. I want to know, what happens to high tide? When am I supposed to go surf casting?

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 9, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

I was at Staples buying toner for my printer. They have a deal where you go on line and fill out a survey about your shopping experience. (That seems to be quite the trend these days.)

Cashier: "If you go on line and fill out the survey, there's a chance you'll win a $5,000.00 gift certificate."

Me: "There's a chance a massive asteroid will hit the Earth in April of 2036."

(I actually did say that, but not loud enough for her to hear me. I might be a smart-aleck but I'm not rude! I'm like, non-aspergers but with autistic tendencies, or something.)

Posted by: kbertocci | October 9, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Avoid Cohen at all cost, he makes an a$$ of himself trying to be funny about the O man's Nobel. He ain't.

I picked up Witch no.2 at the school, on her return from the big trip. She is speaking a mile a minute. On the other hand some of the parent/teachers looked like they were being dragged behind a horse for the last part of the trip. Ah, the resilience of youth.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 9, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Ah, kbertocci, you made me laugh out loud. Scared the rabbit.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 9, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Eric Zorn at the Chicago Tribune has posted the entire transcript of Olbermann's moving account of his father's illness and health care reform.

As I said, very moving.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | October 9, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Scotty... uh oh...

Posted by: -TBG- | October 9, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Definitely a case of 'great minds.'

Posted by: Yoki | October 9, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

I was obviously too late filing my trademark, TBG... *SIGH* :-)

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

But your brand is still strong, Scotty.

Posted by: Yoki | October 9, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Hey everybody! Sorry I'm late to the party. Are there any olives left?

Busy day, but I'm getting used to the idea of Obama getting the peace prize. Yeah, I'm okay with it. Look forward to seeing where the money goes, that will tell us a lot, all positive.

I normally wouldn't bring something like this up, but today I went to the funeral of a black minister who was a member of my church. Folks, there is hope for us. A white woman minister presiding, two black ministers reading scripture and giving the eulogy, an hour of music and memories and love, capped by Amazing Grace. It was a wonderful sendoff for a sweet and strong man who survived the Jim Crow South with integrity intact and positively touched lives in three states. I am honored for having known him.

Posted by: slyness | October 9, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Olives, cheese, bread, chips, dips *and* wine, slyness. Help yourself.

He sounds like a pioneer and a gentleman.

Posted by: Yoki | October 9, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Yum! Thanks, Yoki!

Yes, a true Christian gentleman.

Posted by: slyness | October 9, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Haven't done today's ciphering, or uploaded my dinner pic, but today had some real highs and lows in the $15 challenge. The low had to be running behind schedule and having "cup noodles" for lunch before I dashed out the door. Slightly better than plain old ramen, at least I got 2 of the little dehydrated shrimp type chunks, but still not in the "eating well" category. The high was dinner of polenta with carmelized onion and mushrooms. I'll be eating polenta again tomorrow, perhaps even twice-but that is no hardship. Considering going fishing tomorrow morning, if the snow is not too bad. Frostdaddy arrives tomorrow for a visit and I can feed him pretty well without breaking the budget if I can manage to catch a couple fish. Perch would be nice. This afternoon one of my young robotics friends offered me a duck he shot this morning before school, and it was mighty tempting, but I'm really not much for duck so I declined.

Sorry I missed happy hour, but if anyone wants to join me in a glass of shiraz and some apple slices the fax is ready.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 9, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

I am in awe, frostbitten. I can already tell I'm not going to make it.

Bring the Shiraz over here, and we'll turn on the fire. I wouldn't dare invite anyone else, since it is now -18 with wind chill, and getting out of the car and waiting for the intercom buzz is painful for anyone not aclimatized.

Posted by: Yoki | October 9, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Yoki-I'm sure you can do it, you can cook so many more edible things from scratch than I can.

It was really quite pleasant for most of the day here-then the cold front swooped in, with a 15 degree (F) drop in about 30 minutes and the wind picked up. Snow expected tonight, perhaps as much as an inch-but it won't stick.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 9, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Just looking at our forecast and it appears the cold in the west is moving our way, rain/snow mix by the end of next week with temps possible near freezing. And we have not had a frost here yet - will be quite the shock to the system.

Off to bed have a pleasant evening all.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 9, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

I’m glad NASA didn’t vaporized the moon. Otherwise Chang’e won’t have a place to live. I hope they didn’t crash her home.

Posted by: rainforest1 | October 10, 2009 3:14 AM | Report abuse

shrieking_denizen - While I'll concede that it might be somewhat kind of the Natinals (59-103) not to submit us to the hardship of late season baseball, I feel compelled to remind the patient fans that they ended the season with the longest active winning streak in the Majors! [Hey, we takes our little victories where we finds 'em :-}]

Posted by: bobsewell | October 10, 2009 3:37 AM | Report abuse

Been trying to stay awake this evening... (night) ... not feeling well. I keep watching MSNBC segments online and the ads that run before each segment are for a Sunday 9 pm show on Discovery Channel about Ardi. The promo includes a quote from "SOME AUTHOR" at the Washington Post. "Primate bridges evolutionary gap."

Who wrote that?

8 pm on MSNBC Sunday, there will be a special by Richard Engel on Afghanistan.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 10, 2009 3:40 AM | Report abuse

By the way... Howdy, Rainy! I think you & I are holding down the fort at the moment.

Posted by: bobsewell | October 10, 2009 3:41 AM | Report abuse

Spoke too soon, eh? Hiya, T-Weed!

Posted by: bobsewell | October 10, 2009 3:42 AM | Report abuse

A few more random thoughts: The software that controls the shipment system at work assures me each day that, amongst other things, "The color brown" is trademarked by UPS. Any chance that I can still get "the color gray"? [And yes, dammit, I think that question mark sits properly outside the quotes.] I like gray! [Or grey.]
- - -
Love is the answer. The application of the tool requires some subtlety, but that doesn't change the answer.
- - -
Jane Addams had plenty of obstacles of her own, but Obama didn't quite have Jane Addams' support system or inheritance. I'd say the guy's done OK.

Posted by: bobsewell | October 10, 2009 5:31 AM | Report abuse

Impossible to sleep very well. I think I might have had a good couple of hours. This is awful.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 10, 2009 6:19 AM | Report abuse

BobS, I am in agreement with all your random thoughts of the morning, except I'd say "gray," and "grey".

Posted by: kbertocci | October 10, 2009 6:58 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. Bad flue Weed? I've heard it's 7-10 days of misery...

Wow Yoki, that's a rather steep introduction to the cold season. We've flirted with the freezing point last night and the weather man ensures us we'll be well below zero next week. The cold's coming from Alberta or something.

Lentil soup
Here is my cheapest soup Frosti, a family favourite. I've paid $3.33 per 10 lbs of onions and carrots and lentils in bulk are dirt cheap. The best colour and quickest cooking is obtained with red split lentils. From Claudia Rodden (Arabesque, Tamarind and Saffron).

Soften one large chopped onion in olive oil. Add 3 crushed garlic cloves, 1-2 teaspoon cumin, some coriander, some chili powder if you want some kick.
When it starts to smell heavenly add 1-2 diced carrots, maybe some chopped celery leaves, 375-400g (13-15 oz or 1 3/4-2cups) split red lentils and 2litres/quarts of chicken stock. Water works too. Simmer 30-40 minutes, until the lentils turn into a puree. Add water as necessary during the simmering but not too much; it's a hearty soup, a meal really. Add salt and pepper at the end.

While the soup simmer fry up 2-3 sliced onions in olive oil until crisp and brown. It does take 30-40 minutes.

Serve the soup with a small heap of onion on top (optional: offer some lemon wedges as well)

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 10, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

A serving of lentils is about 60g/2oz, so the Egyptian soup recipe above is giving 6-8 medium bowls of soup. That's a lot for one person.

It should be safe to halve the recipe with a pot of the right size. Half the recipe wouln't be excessive for two persons.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 10, 2009 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Lentil soup, yum! Another cool recipe to add to my collection, thanks, SD!

57 and rainy here. It's homecoming for Appalachian State, so Elderdottir and SO and Third Dottir and husband are in the area. They decided to come to breakfast, but I told them to bring eggs because I only have 5. I will make biscuits from scratch. The weather is supposed to improve by the afternoon so watching the game in the stadium should be bearable.

Posted by: slyness | October 10, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning Everyone.

Rainforest - thanks so much for that link! So much great stuff to learn about. So little time. And I really liked the bit about the rabbits.

Jumper - Elemental sodium on the moon? Well, if that be the case let us hope there isn't too much water or there really will be a boom.

'cause I have a story to tell about that...but first let me check the statutes of limitations.

Now for coffee and an investigation into who put all these wet soggy leaves on my lawn.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 10, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

RD, I suspect that they came from the Moon. We weren't looking for wet leaves. That's why we saw nothing.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 10, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

What a great start to my day, sun is shinning through the leaves on the trees highlighting the fall colours and when I took the dog outside I saw two hummingbirds feeding on my sage flowers - the birds did not seem to mind that the dog and I where only 10 feet away - if only I had had my camera near by.

Happy day to everyone.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 10, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

SD, thanks for the concern. I sort of stuck on going to work today to clean. Hopefully other work will be minimal.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 10, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Cloudy and windy here... Almost perfect for a day of sealing up and insulating a house, no? *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 10, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, I thought you had pulled out your skin boat and your clubs.... I see. I had you figured more as a whale guy.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 10, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

BTW, that was a tasteless joke. Easy for me since, with the flu, I have no sense of taste. Scottynuke is a fantastic guy.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 10, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Saw Anthony Bourdain and David Chang last night give a foodie talk. Coming out of the lecture there were some people complaining about the language. The title of the lecture was called "That's Bullsh1t!" (unbowdlerized) so I'm not sure what they were expecting.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 10, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

T'weed - Usually they leave the tasteless clunkers to me, but feel free to take over for a while!


Posted by: bobsewell | October 10, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Good morning y'all! It is a beautiful, clear, sunny morning, and 41 degrees (F). I'm sure my family will be distressed when they notice that I've been opening windows. I say fresh air is good for you.

The Boy goes to his first college football game today. OU and somebody, I don't pay attention. It is only recently that the Boy has payed attention to football at all (what with Ivansdad being a Cowboys fan, and thus routinely using language not suitable for small children when watching the games), but of course a college football game is also about the spectacle and spirit.

I have to get around and to the farmers' market before the fresh-roasted green chilies are all gone. I missed them last week.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 10, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse


Yeah, folks just don't know what people are like int he kitchen and in the restaurant business--behind the scenes.

I get it that Chang thinks that is normal language or acceptable. I think that he is pretty successful now, but maybe in the upcoming years, he may rue (roux) his language choice.

As a member of the crowd, if you read (ANYTHING) you would know that there is a high likelihood of salty words... or word. Like one word. It seems that the few interviews that I have read, the writer just keeps track as sport.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 10, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle! Fried polenta with a bit of maple syrup for breakfast, yummy and free. Total for the week so far $13.02. But, I decided not to fish this morning so dinner with Frostdaddy may end up being a restaurant meal-thus pushing the challenge into dinner tomorrow night. Feeling some wild rice soup coming on. There's plenty of free wild rice in the cabinet (the good stuff too, lake grown, hand harvested, and hand parched. I won't eat that paddy grown carp.) Note to Yoki-start the week with plenty of chicken stock.

Woke up to an inch of snow on the ground and after a break it is snowing again. Even for here this is a bit much.

Later gators, have to remove the veneer of papers, dust and cat hair from Chez Frostbitten's interior before Frostdaddy arrives.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 10, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Frosty! Very impressive (I won't even add the "non-the-less." AND very healthy.

I haven't prepared but 2 meals in 5 days. Not counting cheese and bread. (and not pizza on bread).

I was going to make grilled Vietnamese Pork, but didn't buy a shoulder of pork (no way, it would get eaten). I had a couple of NY Strips out of the freezer and cut those into strips and used the same marinade. Had it with rice. Still some left for later.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 10, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Morning all.... I see this subhead on the WaPo front page article about the Nobel Peace Prize...

"Questions arise as to whether award has become largely a European political seal of approval."

Uh... yeah. Has it ever been anything else?

Posted by: -TBG- | October 10, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Faxing Yoki & frostbitten frozen chicken stock. I have plenty, mostly frozen into ice cubes. I also have egg yolk cubes. I try not to confuse the two.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 10, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom-many thanks. After the experiment is done I will bore the boodle with a list of lessons learned, but it should be obvious that #1 will be about chicken stock.

Fatuous garden comment-Can't believe I didn't get my gladiolus pulled out yesterday when we had shirt sleeve weather. They will be fine through today's temps but I'll have to get them in the next day or two and it doesn't look like conditions will be much better. Also didn't get them ID'd by color so once again it will be higgledy piggledy when I really wanted to put the yellows with the blue salvia and Russian sage in a more sophisticated composition. Ah well.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 10, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I've got tickets to hear Bourdain when he comes in January, and I will be most disappointed if there is *not* coarse language. I mean, it's Bourdain. He even swears in his cookbook, not just in his standard prose works.

I've got gallons of good chicken stock on hand, so I'm good for the challenge.

Posted by: Yoki | October 10, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

About ten years ago I had to last two weeks (before I got my first paycheck at a new job) on $22.50, and I had to spend fifty cents per workday on the bus. It was a very tightly managed affair. Dried beans and rice were my constant companions.

Posted by: bobsewell | October 10, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Well, I cooked the beans before I ate them, but you get the idea.

Posted by: bobsewell | October 10, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

We're all really doing this to collect New Depression stories for our kids and grandkids, right?

"You young'uns don't know how hard it was, why..."

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 10, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I remember the days of beans 'n' bread. Who needs actual hotdogs to put in those buns?

Posted by: -TBG- | October 10, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Have you writers seen this site? You set the amount of time you want to write, and off you go. If you stop for any reason, it erases what you've written.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | October 10, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Happy weekend, Boodle!

I'm joining the soup brigade again this weekend. Beef vegetable this time, I think. Slightly more trouble because I have to do upgrades tonight at work (8:30 PM - ~ 4 AM) but at least there's comp time. Gotta take some of that soon!

The last 2 weekends' souping have used all my freezer containers, so I made a quick trip to the restaurant supply store nearby. $16 bought me 50 16 oz and 25 qt. multi-use plastic containers with lids--you know, the kind Chinese restaurants use for takeout soup? Perfect.

Off to the library. Wonderful day, Al.

Posted by: -dbG- | October 10, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Faxing Dunkin Donuts coffee to frosti. It's a gift, so we're okay, right?

TBG, we need to plan that Philly BPH that's coming up. Come up Friday and stay an extra night?

Posted by: -dbG- | October 10, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I recently had a conversation with a very good friend who gardens and does other slow food/frugal living things. I reminisced about canning sucker (see the fish here to use like canned salmon when I was a poor married college student. She asked "how would you use canned salmon?" How do you explain avoiding the cost of cheap canned salmon to someone who has never had to eat cheap canned salmon.

Jumper-read your blog entry about dredging eggplant in bbq sauce. Reminded me that Grandma frostbitten would use plain old yellow mustard for fish filets to get the crumb mixture to stick. Particularly good for catfish.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 10, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

dbG-yes, gift food and beverages are free. You aren't just a dbG, you are a mind reader. A good DD latte is just what I was craving. Though the $30 espresso machine keeps chugging along, and along with the Internet makes life worth living in Our Fair City.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 10, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

TBG, terrible philosophy of writing therein, and nonstop typing is going to promote RSI.

Deadlines are not just about the punishment, it's also the pleasure.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 10, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

But if you can't focus on writing more than 2 minutes at a time, this is actually ideal, I suppose.

What was I saying?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 10, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

the write or die site is hilarious. i like the mode that plays annoying music when you stop for too long.

Posted by: LALurker | October 10, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

i just read the obama won the booker prize.

is this what "embarrassment of riches" is referring to?

these prizes have their pros and cons, but it's definitely fun to watch republican conniption fits.

Posted by: LALurker | October 10, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

No, that was given out in May and is for fiction:

Maybe someone is having a laugh - are they having a laugh?

Posted by: seasea1 | October 10, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Here's the Kinsley piece WaPo just published, note the tongue in cheek Mann-Booker (sic).

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 10, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Lentil soup and snow
over green and yellow leaves--
Time to hibernate.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 10, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

thanks for straightening me out! i read too fast sometimes...

Posted by: LALurker | October 10, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

or rather i see the headline and jump. a funny piece it is.

Posted by: LALurker | October 10, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Good article about a kid's book and the woods:
I had never heard of this book - My Side of the Mountain - by Jean Craighead George. The one that I remembered from 4th grade read aloud was White Saddle, about some kids and their Shetland pony. I tracked it down years ago through a used bookstore.

Posted by: seasea1 | October 10, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Oh, seasea, reading that article brought back memories - loved My Side of the Mountain! I wish the author hadn't teased us with just a little bit of information about his childhood and then never mentioned it again, though. Maybe he thought that the fact that he's a writer for WaPo now told us all we need to know about how he turned out. Maybe he's right about that.

Trying to get motivated to get something, anything, done today. Had some temp work this week, so the weekend seems like a weekend, but can't seem to find anything much to *do*. What's good to do with a bored teenager, boodlers? When there's no good movie to go see, nor any decent plays? We have "Midnight Cowboy" from Netflix, may just make a bowl of popcorn and settle in with it.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | October 10, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Wheezy... took my teenage Daughter to see the double-feature Toy Story and Toy Story 2 yesterday. What fun! She loved seeing it again as a teen and appreciated how funny it is to grownups as well as little kids.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 10, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Sounds good to me, TBG. But, since I last posted that, daughter came home from the library and arranged an impromptu party in the park with her friends. She will be leaving momentarily. Maybe I'll just settle down with a book.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | October 10, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

That sounds even better, Wheezy!

Posted by: -TBG- | October 10, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

frosti, I do feel it's important to note that although the inspiration was from barbecue sauce, what I dipped my eggplant in was SPAGHETTI SAUCE, for eggplant Parmesan.

The mustard inspiration is over the top! I'm adding to my article immediately!

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 10, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

The internet can fool us. I saw a rumor that the obnoxious "star" of a certain male enlargement scam commercial drowned off the coast of Martinique. Wishing it so led me to believe it. On further research, it seemed unreliable.

One assumes that everyone connected with this shady enterprise is frantically changing their names, faking their own deaths, hiding their companies in multiple shell corporations, building security fences around their compounds, dodging photographers, shielding their other investments from the internet, hiding their construction profits as "non profits," etc. etc.

Male enlargement scam pills seem a good way for Al Qaida to target foolish Americans. Or else serve an evolutionary purpose.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 10, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, I'm so glad I don't know what you're talking about.

*Tim, is there somewhere with some before and after snaps of the moon impact? Anything to see? Another question...the crater they dropped this did they know how deep it was? I mean, 2 feet and 2 miles would give really different results, right? And since nothing noticeable flew up into the air, is it possible that what we did was compact the crater tighter? Where'd the concussion go? Is a concussion possible in that atmosphere? And this brings up one other thing...if a missile drops onto the moon and no one was there to hear it, did it make a noise? A whisper or a bang?

Off to see about getting the house warm. Have a happy night...

Posted by: LostInThought | October 10, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Rave movie review: "The Informant!" Ivansdad & I went last night, and it is great. Matt Damon does a great job, and the whole thing is just a comic tour de force. Of course, as he said, this was made for me: Archer Daniels Midland, corporate malfeasance, business hijinks, crime, and all basically true. It is a serious subject, and the film doesn't belittle it, exactly, but they've understood the opportunity for wit and have a lot of fun with the material.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 10, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Love JCG's My Side of the Mountain! Also, her picture books about moons.

The Thirteen Moons- 13 volumes
The Moon of the Owls (1967, 1993)
The Moon of the Bears (1967, 1993)
The Moon of the Salamanders (1967, 1992)
The Moon of the Monarch Butterflies (1968, 1993)
The Moon of the Fox Pups (1968, 1992)
The Moon of the Wild Pigs (1968, 1992)
The Moon of the Mountain Lions (1968, 1991)
The Moon of the Chickarees (1969, 1992)
The Moon of the Deer (1969, 1992)
The Moon of the Alligators (1969, 1991)
The Moon of the Gray Wolves (1969, 1991)
The Moon of the Winter Bird (1969, 1992)
The Moon of the Moles (1969, 1992)

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 10, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Jumper-- Smiling Bob? I'd wish for his drowning, too.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 10, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

As I said to one of my colleagues (our organization's press officer) yesterday morning, in my best Marvin Martian voice: "Where's the kaboom? There's supposed to be a kaboom!"

The crater's properties are known by radar -- we have tools other than taking pictures. I don't know whether there has been radar from a lunar-orbiting vehicle, or only from locations on Earth. There were many candidate craters up until quite recently -- although I am not up-to-speed on the criteria used to select this target, I am confident that my esteemed colleagues did not decide how to fulfill years of work and the expenditure of millions of taxpayer dollars by flipping coins.

This is a crater big enough to be mapped and named -- it is a lot bigger than any dinky little crater that we can make with this kind of technology (although, there are ways...). We made a new dent in its floor. That's all.

Probably most of the tools aimed at the impact site were spectrometers from independent scientists. That means a few things:
(1) Our field strongly discourages "science by press release". You can't get an article into a prestigious journal like Nature or Science if you have already given away your central point in a press release.
(2) They are not part of the mission -- no pressure to release results in a hurry.
(3) Squiggly-line pictures. The public hates squiggly-line pictures (at least, that is the common wisdom). The public likes color photos, or at least black-and-white photos. Don't know whether there are any that show anything interpretable by eye.

I heard about the sodium "flash", but nothing beyond the rumor of its announcement. Sodium is not a big surprise to me -- there isn't all that much of it, but it happens to be really easy to observe because it has a characteristic pair of emission lines that provide unambiguous evidence, it is easily excited to emit light, and the light mostly comes out in just those two features. Observing sodium is a walk in the park. Sodium and potassium are commonly observed features in the "atmosphere" of the Moon and Mercury.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 10, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Why does the Post's editorial suggest a posthumous award for an Iranian? A critical central feature of the Nobel always has been the absolute requirement that the prize acknowledge a LIVING person -- a person whose work in this world is not yet done. There is little risk in lauding the dead. The Nobel Prize bequest demands that we make a statement about the living.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 10, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Hee hee. The only impression I can do perfectly is the original Marvin the Martian, not the post-Mel-Blanc one. It even impressed my brothers (and that's saying something.)

These earthlings just burn me up.

Posted by: Yoki | October 10, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

That editorial irked me too. Also, the nomination would have had to be in by Feb 1 - when no one knew who Neda was (outside of her family and friends), and well before the election and protests that cost her life.

Perhaps the WaPo editorial board should read this from the AP:

Posted by: seasea1 | October 10, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 10, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Last night's dinner added to the flickr set

There is no recipe for this family favorite. Just make polenta with whatever you have on hand. I had fairly coarse yellow corn meal and pork stock, but I cooked it pretty slowly-40 minutes total. The onions and mushrooms just get sprinkled with salt then sauteed in a little butter and olive oil until the mushrooms won't shrink any more and the onions are well carmelized. Then add a splash, or two or three, of whatever wine you're drinking. Then keep cooking until the flavor is dark, sweet, salty and sharp.

Lunch today- apple and string cheese, a bit light but not because of the budget. Frostdaddy and I always go to what I consider Bemidji's only consistently good non-chain restaurant and it pays to go hungry.

I forgot to count snack last night (apple slices) .40
Lunch- .80
total so far $14.22

I have one lunch and one dinner to do with the remaining $.78. The plan is to have a scrambled egg with a dusting of Parmesan for lunch and then send Frostdaddy off to eat with a relative for dinner while I have left over polenta. This is the only way I'll be able to afford milk in my coffee. I can drink it black, but a latte is almost like dessert (for someone who hasn't had any chocolate in a while, YMMMV).

Off to back boodle.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 10, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, I am in awe of how you have done food this week. You're going to make it!

It was our turn to have the neighbors in for a meal, so that was our afternoon and evening. Beef tenderloin on the grill and premium fingerling potatoes (both from Costco), green beans from yesterday's farmers market, the local baker's rolls, cookies and ice cream. One neighbor brought oatmeal raisin cookies, the other stuffed mushrooms for a lovely appetizer. A good time was had by all!

Edy's is on sale at Harris-Teeter, 2 for $6, I came home with six, all different flavors. This is what happens when Mr. T goes shopping with me. I had a scoop of pumpkin with my oatmeal raisin cookie. Yum.

Posted by: slyness | October 10, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Rather than take my word on it, here is a profanity riddled synopsis of the Bourdain-Chang talk:

I saw Bourdain again tonight being interviewed by Frank Bruni and he still had not much good to say about Alice Waters. He called her Pol Pot in Birkenstocks or something to that effect.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 10, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse


My favourite moment in Bourdain's Les Halles cookbook is when he talks about making stock. Roasting bones and vegetables (loosely quoted, even paraphrased, but you get the general idea),"What? You're afraid of bones? Don't be such a freakin' Pansy!" (Not freakin' in the the original text.)

Posted by: Yoki | October 10, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

One of the books my daughter brought home from the library was the Guernsey Literary Society, which I had been waiting for for over a month. I just read it in one sitting. Very satisfying. Minor quibbles with it, but major good feelings. Bought peace with the teenagers (crowd returned from the park) with delivered pizza, then buttered popcorn and ice cream sundaes, while I read.

Now that's a Saturday.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | October 11, 2009 12:20 AM | Report abuse

"Although the award of the Nobel peace prize to President Barack Obama was widely interpreted as a repudiation of the Republican era of George W Bush, the real snub may have been to Bill Clinton."

I hope Bill Clinton gets awarded next year. He sure deserves it after all he has done.

Posted by: rainforest1 | October 11, 2009 4:44 AM | Report abuse

“…scientist suspected of plotting terrorist attacks on nuclear sites in France is a brilliant, internationally known physicist who has worked on research projects in Britain and the US ….. Adlène Hicheur, 32, who currently works on the "Big Bang" Large Hadron Collider experiment on the Swiss-French border, was once a research fellow at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Chilton, Oxfordshire...”

Posted by: rainforest1 | October 11, 2009 5:10 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. We flirted but did not consort with the freezing point again this morning. It will a nice clear day, perfect weather for leaf raking.

A favourite goat cheese has just won the title of best cheese in the world. Cendrillon is Cinderella, of course.

"Le Cendrillon is made by La Maison Alexis de Portneuf in Québec, Canada. The ash-covered cheese has a marble-textured rind, a smooth, ivory-coloured body and a fairly strong, acidic taste that becomes more pronounced as the cheese matures."

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 11, 2009 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Happy Weekend all! :-)

Yesterday's initial home improvement activities were briefly interrupted by the drone of what turned out to be three WWII-era fighters (they were too high for proper ID) flying a VERY loose formation. They were so loud I expected to see that B-17 again.

And in sport...

I have it on very reliable sources that our man bc's two-man team placed 2nd out of about 60 entrants at a rally in a place near and dear to JA. Another car bc helped out ended up 6th, and he expects to be Boodling again tomorrow.

*back-to-the-coffee-and-naproxen-in-preparation-for-yet-more-fun-with-fiberglass-wool Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 11, 2009 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Happy Thanksgiving to you Canada-type persons!

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 11, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle. Thanks, RD_Padouk! Cassandra, I'm thinking about you.

It is very cold and snowing, so I say it is a lovely day to roast a turkey and welcome my dear family to the table.

Have a great day, everybody.

Posted by: Yoki | October 11, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Thanks RD Padouk. I decided on what to do with the turkey. It will be the potato, apple and prune soaked in porto stuffing. The porto that is left goes in the gravy. This is an excellent dark gravy.
I'm thinking mashed butternut squash as a side dish. I found 6 of the things when I cleared up the garden yesterday.

Off to walk the dogs in the glorious fll colours.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 11, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning!!! To my Canuckistani friends, have a wonderful Thanksgiving (my absolutely favorite holiday *ever*!).

Since Friday was uncommonly warm for this time of year, and since the condo jockeys had turned off the A/C for the season (these are old buildings, and we cannot independently rule our utilities), I had all the windows open and one of the balcony doors open. Sleeping was sort of reasonable Friday night, but since I don't have cross-ventilation, I had to keep said windows and doors open last night, too. Meaning, of course, that I woke up feeling like an icicle. That is *great* sleeping weather, tho, so I've done my ablutions and I'm all buried in fleece and have closed the windows and doors. But I don't think I'm going to put on the heat. A just-shy-of-icicle feeling is good, especially since I have to do some work today.

So, um, does that make me "blue-blooded"?

And how about my Red Wings, eh? Yeah, I know. We beat the Caps. It's a long season.

Enjoy your day!

Posted by: -ftb- | October 11, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Happy Thanksgiving, Canadians! A hot oven cooking a large bird would be one way to warm the house today. It was 38 when "S" woke up this morning. We are trying not to turn on the heat until November, just on principal, but that may be unrealistic.

Posted by: badsneakers | October 11, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle! Happy Thanksgiving to our northern neighbors, even those who live south of Chez Frostbitten and didn't wake up to -4 (24F).

rainforest-thanks for your links. They're like receiving an intriguing letter overnight. Always interesting and leading into new territory.

Time for some coffee. Frostdaddy is staying in the vacation rental so I have a window before visiting begins. He is here to hunt grouse, but with this foul weather I doubt he will until later in the week.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 11, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everyone, we are having our Thanksgiving supper today, will be putting the turkey in the oven later after we go to a farm to collect pumpkins and fall decor.

Our elderly neighbour across the street paints watercolour paintings and he and my husband have arranged for this gentleman to paint a painting of our house. The neighbour is very excited about this project the other day I came home and he was taking photos and had some fall flower pots placed around the front door to add some colour. I promised to dress up the house and take pictures so he could use that for the painting.

It is a glorious fall day here, cloudless sky, temps a little chilly but the air is fresh and clean and the sun is shinning through the colour in the leaves, a take your breath away day.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 11, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Our local paper has a gallery up on its web site this morning called Alberta Fashion Week. Some editor over there has a sense of the absurd.

Posted by: Yoki | October 11, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Good morning and a Happy Thanksgiving, Canadians! Today is overcast and still. It stayed in the upper thirties last night, and I waited until it hit 40 degrees (F) to open any windows. Ivansdad was quite pointed yesterday on the subject. I picked and washed the last of the basil yesterday. I'm going to freeze the leaves. If it doesn't work I'm no worse off than if I'd left the plants alone. I expect this week the house plants, which have been thriving outside for months, will come in.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 11, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Let me join in the Happy Canurkey Day greetings.

And I just chased Guy Fieri through the hotel lobby. Anthony Bourdain says that he has nothing against Guy since he has to wake up every day and be Guy Fieri.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 11, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Gosh, I'd be running in the opposite direction as fast as my legs could carry me.

Posted by: Yoki | October 11, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Happy Canturkey day...hehehe, I love that, yello. Hope all the Haute Mainers have a lovely day!

50 and cloudy in the high country. Mr. T has placed his chute to get gravel in the backyard tomorrow and we will be off shortly to Octoberfest at Sugar Mountain. They promise free admission and good artisans so we thought we'd check it out.

Fall color is so-so, too much rain lately, but we'll survive. ASU won their homecoming game so all is well in the world.

I will be sure to remember to take pictures of the chute so everyone can giggle with me.

Posted by: slyness | October 11, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom- if you haven't already removed the leaves from the stems-don't. Place the basil, stems and all, in a gallon sized freezer bag, then freeze. Take the bag out of the freezer and run a rolling pin over it, or just crush the leaves with your hands. Open the bag and remove the stems, put the leaves back in the freezer.

The Hip Urban Loft has a nice window for plants, so we're wintering over a couple basil plants. They'll be pale, leggy things by December, but a leaf or two in the dead of winter promises summer like nothing else I know.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 11, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Oh, dear -- tune cootie alert. All morning long I've had running through my head the song from Les Miz of the chaps right before going into battle on the barricades where they all perished (except Marius) ("Drink to me, and days gone by ...."). It is such a poignant and haunting song. And, now, it is etched in my brain seemingly forever, just before I am going to do some work. Oh, goody!

Is it catching, perhaps???

Posted by: -ftb- | October 11, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Love that song ftb, as tune cooties go that is a good one to have stuck in your head.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 11, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, frostbitten. Right now they are drying stems and all. I'll follow your instructions. A lot of the tops are very seedy. Should I freeze that part too, or just let dry and save the seeds?

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 11, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom-I don't save basil seeds, too much bother unless you have a variety that is hard to find. If I were going to save them, I'd cut the seed heads off then put them in a dry spot until they are completely dry and the seeds just fall out when you rub the heads between your fingers. You could just skip freezing and dry the leaves too, but I find that even though they get black in the freezer frozen leaves are superior in cooking.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 11, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

frosti... I did not know that about freezing Basil. What a good idea. I wonder if it works with mint, too?

Posted by: -TBG- | October 11, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I freeze cilantro, too, since most bunches are too big for most of what I make, and it is so perishable. Just pull the leaves off the stems, through them in a freezer bag, and Bob's your uncle. Mint works too. As frosty says, the more tender herbs turn really dark, and a bit watery, but the flavour still comes out beautifully when they go into the pot.

Posted by: Yoki | October 11, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

TBG-I spent most of my time in NoVA trying to figure out how to get rid of mint. In mild winters it seemed invigorated and would leap into the lawn. It's a good thing it smells so good when mowed. A shame you don't have a sunny exposure southern exposure along a brick wall, you'd have all the fresh mint you could stand year round.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 11, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

SCC of course I meant "a sunny southern exposure"

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 11, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure mint even needs sun...I have some that grows in fairly shady areas here, and I do everything I can to discourage it. I've got chocolate mint that isn't nearly as invasive as regular mint. I'll have to try freezing basil and cilantro - I think I was put off by it turning black.

Posted by: seasea1 | October 11, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I grow my mint in a big pot on the deck. It's far enough away from anything to spread. But it comes back every spring, despite its zombie-like appearance in the winter. I'll pull it close to the house this year and see what it does.

A Greek household must have mint at all times, fresh or dried. And now frozen. You'd think my mom, who froze grape leaves, would have figured out freezing the mint, too.

She did freeze her Roma tomatoes. She'd drop some in freezer bags, washed and whole, and pull them out when needed all winter. Run 'em under cold water for a minute and the skin peels right off. They're great for cooking.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 11, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Wow... we're watching football in real time for the first time in a long time. I was getting tired of having to stay away from the Boodle or many of my regular stops.

Go Skins!

Posted by: -TBG- | October 11, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Love all the hot pink on the field today. I wonder what CqP's analysis would be?

Posted by: -TBG- | October 11, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Now don't be snarky towards Guy. He's a TV host. Popular, yeah, but don't blame him for that. I don't think the guy ever said "I am a great chef." Personally I think he understands television as much as he does food. It's not like he's got a pretentiously named show.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 11, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

The $15 is all but over. Dinner will be left over polenta with mushrooms and onion (free) and lunch, as planned, was a scrambled egg with parmesan.

Total for the week after accounting for milk for latte, and butter since I came back from St. Paul, $14.92. I lost 2.2 lbs but that was an unexpected benefit. Glutton that I am, I ate to the point of pain at a couple meals. The squash soup really should have been 2 meals, but I was weak and could not stop.

As promised, or threatened depending on your perspective-

Ten things I learned from the $15 challenge:

10. $15 buys more fresh ingredients than you think, but access to good produce is an absolute must to eat well.
9. You could spend less by eating more ramen, or frozen dinners on sale, but you would be hungry all the time.
8. It doesn’t hurt to reconsider foods you don’t remember fondly from your childhood. I am a newly converted squash lover. However, liver is still a bridge too far.
7. Jumper already proved life without cheese is possible, but it’s not desirable. A sprinkle of really flavorful cheese is worth the expense.
6. A sprinkle of cheese is enough.
5. The “artisan bread in 5 minutes a day” technique is worth the price of the equipment, 10X over.
4. Meat is over rated as a main course.
3. I’ve been cooking all wrong for one. Leftovers held at the minimal prep stage, like boiled potatoes, are better than eating the final product again.
2. A little time makes up for a whole lot of money-use it for cooking and planning.
1. Life without chicken stock is empty and devoid of meaning.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 11, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Good job, Frosti.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 11, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, congratulations on doing it and doing it well! Do you think it was easier for you, relatively, because hubby wasn't part of it? Anyway, I'm glad you did the experiment so I don't have to!

Just finished painting the last two downspouts. "S" is coming down the homestretch but it won't be done today. Alas, he has to work tomorrow so we have at least one more weekend of painting. I am so ready to be done with it so we can do something fun on a good weather day.

Posted by: badsneakers | October 11, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Excellent analysis, Frosti.

For chicken and turkey, I often cut up in single servings and bag them for quick thawing and prep, and make broth of the rest (bones etc.)

I have never cooked a full turkey in the oven and never plan to.

I'll cook lots of sphagetti sauce and freeze most of it while it's still fresh, things like that which I know will be good in a month or later on, but there are very few dishes that really merit this and also freeze well.

There are some dishes specifically designed to use up leftovers-- like twice-baked potatoes for baked potatoes; shepherd's pie for mashed potatoes, (mashed potatoes from boiled potatoes, too.)

So, planning for plain to fancy is also another way to exploit the "minimal prep" trick.

I hate beef liver, but I will eat chicken liver once in a long while. They're two very different things in smell and taste.

TBG, thank you for the tips on freezing tomatoes, mint, basil and cilantro.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 11, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Frosti... also... I was following your challenge, but if you still have all the details, a complete, daily report would be interesting.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 11, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I've cooked whole turkeys pretty much any way they can be cooked (ovens included), and fully intend to do so again.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

Posted by: bobsewell | October 11, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

TBG-the only place I kept track was on the boodle. In retrospect I should have made a note of how much time I spent as well as $. At first it seemed like it was way too much but then I started to think about it like gardening. There's as much enjoyment, or more, in the process as in the product.

sneaks-I think having Mr. F along for the ride would have made things a little easier. Instead of gorging on two servings of squash soup we each could have eaten one and had a wilted spinach salad with some bacon dressing to start. Just about every meal would have benefited from a small side of something I couldn't afford. Also, Mr. F is the bread baking expert so that's less time I would have had to spend. On the other hand, I think he can drink $15 a week in orange juice and would have put up quite a fight about giving it up. Salad dressing could have been an issue too.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 11, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I just saw a person mentioned in the dead-tree WaPo as "a personal branding consultant." Man, I'm not even ready to consider a tattoo, much less what she's offering.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 11, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

The torture by means of the smell of a cooking turkey and stuffing has started. I didn't have any porto so I used ice cider. The recipe contains apples, that should work.
I'll be awash in turkey broth soon, I see some great soups in my future.
The bleeping Lions are not blacked out so I have to suffer through their game before I could watch real football. They have improved a lot though, they are barely losing against the Steelers (28-19) at this point.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 11, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

frosti - Great point about the process! After all, when it comes down to it, the only thing that matters is eating, having kids, and raising those kids to the point that they can feed themselves and have more kids. Repeat cycle as needed.

Those of us not actively involved in the kid-having process help out by making it more pleasant for those who *are* involved, while having a little fun for ourselves.

Posted by: bobsewell | October 11, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Well, I actually put in about 2 hours on work-related matters. Will go at it full bore tomorrow (what holiday???), and hope to get it done -- at least this phase of it -- by tomorrow COB.

Great job, Frosti! Your efforts are causing me to rethink my meals. I have a lot of fish and chicken stuffed in my freezer, so it would be a good thing to thaw and use sooner rather than later.

And in case you were wondering (with bated breath) --- the Lions are losing.


Posted by: -ftb- | October 11, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Weep no more my lady
Oh weep no more today;
We will sing one song
For My Old Canturkey Home
For My Old Canturkey Home, far away

I was just pondering ice cider myself. I like the concept because it saves on firewood, which equals labor. I wonder if there is a decent corn liquor equivalent? I doubt it.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 11, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Jumper - I'm not sure that corn self-ferments as readily as apples & grapes, but you could always work around that by introducing the proper yeast, and more sugar as needed. Might need some acid also. If it hasn't already been done, it's only because corn hasn't traditionally been grown in colder climates. No reason not to start this winter!

Posted by: bobsewell | October 11, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

For those that don't mind burning a little firewood, here's a recipe for corn wine:

Posted by: bobsewell | October 11, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Isn't distilled corn wine that called Bourbon?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 11, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Well, well, the home team won a football game! Sorry about that, Redskins fans. The Panthers needed a win.

Mr. T and I have wandered all over two counties, checking out fall color. There is more than I thought, but it's not brilliant. We got some nice photos.

Mr. T can have leftover tenderloin for supper. I think I'll enjoy a pear, bleu cheese, and walnuts. Thanks to Yoki's suggestion, I have them all on hand.

Posted by: slyness | October 11, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I long ago decided that I'm not a big fan of boxing. Human dogfighting, and all that. But this excerpt from a book about Sugar Ray Robinson was rather compelling:

Posted by: bobsewell | October 11, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

"S" doesn't cook or bake, Frosti, and the fruit that goes into his cereal every morning would break the bank pretty quick. However, you have inspired me to use up all the odds and ends of food that sometimes become unrecognizable before I remember to use them. And I am more aware of what each meal costs (sort of).

Posted by: badsneakers | October 11, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

shriek - I was going to mention that one can't make corn mash into liquor without some heat, but since cider (which is a beer/wine equivalent) isn't distilled, I was pondering other possibilities.

Posted by: bobsewell | October 11, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

We aim to please, Slyness. We were kind to ftb a couple of weeks ago, too. There are boodlers everywhere looking for a win. Next week it looks like we'll be making CowTown happy.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 11, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.

We may still Schnitzel on the morrow but for today, we turk. An unforeseen happening means there is fresh meat in the garage, and mrdr is home which means, we doing turnkey today.

One of the pitfalls here on holidays and big family meals is desert. No one eats it anymore and it usually ends up being tossed out. I hate to do that. We are serving a pumpkin pie this evening and they all promised me they would eat some no matter how full they feel.

Posted by: --dr-- | October 11, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Redskins football: Share the pain.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 11, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Well, gee, don't the Rams & the Buccaneers feel a little silly now? I mean, if you can't beat the Redskins, who CAN you beat?

Posted by: bobsewell | October 11, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Freezing is free around here Jumper, at least during a few months each year. Ice cider is made in January-February.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 11, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

One can never be too full for pumpkin pie. It's like, implied in one of Maxwell's laws or something.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 11, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Paging FROSTI and kittylovies:,brum,detr,swann,look,gottscho,pan,horyd,genthe,var,cai,cd,hh,yan,lomax,ils,prok,brhc,nclc,matpc,iucpub,tgmi,lamb,hec,krb:74:./temp/~pp_LjtU::displayType=1:m856sd=cph:m856sf=3b39359:@@@mdb=fsaall,brum,detr,swann,look,gottscho,pan,horyd,genthe,var,cai,cd,hh,yan,lomax,ils,prok,brhc,nclc,matpc,iucpub,tgmi,lamb,hec,krb

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 11, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

On behalf of 'Mudge (although I'm more than doubling the volume for my own reasons):



Posted by: Scottynuke | October 11, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

CqP-that was disturbingly compelling. Photoshop and lol cats seem to have deprived us of such charmingly composed vignettes.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 11, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

WHOOPSIE, Frosti: Tis this the kitty-dolly-kitty one,brum,detr,swann,look,gottscho,pan,horyd,genthe,var,cai,cd,hh,yan,lomax,ils,prok,brhc,nclc,matpc,iucpub,tgmi,lamb,hec,krb:74:./temp/~pp_LjtU::displayType=1:m856sd=cph:m856sf=3b39359:@@@mdb=fsaall,brum,detr,swann,look,gottscho,pan,horyd,genthe,var,cai,cd,hh,yan,lomax,ils,prok,brhc,nclc,matpc,iucpub,tgmi,lamb,hec,krb

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 11, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Frostie, we have always had LoL kitty moments, just not a click away. The LoCongress Prints division is the best time-suck ever. Word.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 11, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Tis the same link CqP and you are right about the LoC time suck potential.

Wow, Triangle, VA getting some airplay on C-Span via an author at the National Museum of the Marine Corps. I guess I would have expected it to be identified by the nearest "large" city, you know, Dumfries.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 11, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

My new time suck is

What is the main URL for those pics, CqP?

Posted by: -TBG- | October 11, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Main url for LoC Prints and Photographs division

For the kitty silliness and other antique LoL cats, search on

Animals in human situations

One of the first image up is of Mudge, that old salty dog.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 11, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

TBG, if an jpeg is available of the selected images, the url is much shorter. For example, here is an image about the healing power of doggies from LoC:

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 11, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Paging TelescopeTIM! This underwater froggie astronomer is for you:,brum,detr,swann,look,gottscho,pan,horyd,genthe,var,cai,cd,hh,yan,lomax,ils,prok,brhc,nclc,matpc,iucpub,tgmi,lamb,hec,krb

The long url is worth the click, O AstroHoneymooningTim.

I shall restrain myself on the images. TBG, the shorby site is great.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 11, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

You have me doing cute animal pictures too!

Here's a bear doing yoga at the National Bear Center at Ely, MN.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 11, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, WB. Cute aminals, as we say, always welcome.

My food challenge this week, thanks to Frosti, will be guided this way:

save for milk and one loaf of bread, no purchases; AND

will eek two or three meals from each effort on the stove or in the oven (energy use)

Up tonight and into the morrow: three meals (carbo load fills up the hollow leg of CpBoy and Co)

1)spaghetti in huge bowl, reserve to be remade Soprano-style in a baked dish by Tuesday as boys salivate and request

2) roast pork tenderloin this evening about one quarter the length and served with roasted root veggies

3) Roasted rooties now in crock pot

Pork sandwiches for CpBoy lunch on the morrow.

Slivered pork into rootie soop of the evening, beautiful Monday evening.

Add pasta as, to look at fridge/freeze for Tuesday through Wednesday.

Cannot speak about the sunk costs but I nearly only buy things on sale that are in my, economical after a fashion.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 11, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

CqP-for me the challenge was really a way to try to extend the mindfulness of "meatless Thursday" to the rest of the week. Without an extreme restriction my lazy brain would have dodged the effort. If there had been no other benefits, I have this-Frostdaddy asked for my bread recipe.

TBG-that Shorpy site is addictive, but I can't say you didn't post a warning.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 11, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Here's a funny thing. HImself and #2 just left; we ate our Thankgiving dinner at about 4:00 pm.

#2 has a date tonight, so was anxious to go.

Himself has to still feed Yokisdogs.

So, an early night.

But, they wanted to clean up the kitchen (not accomplished) and I wanted them not to. Himself suggested he throw out the turkey carcass. Ummm, no. There is a lot of cheap nutrition still on those bones!

My new life, right there.

Posted by: Yoki | October 11, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

We had our turkey dinner tonight and all went well except for middle child who came down with the flu today, she made a brave attempt at energy for our outing to get pumpkins but has been lying down on the couch the rest of the day. Always know when she is really ill, can't even eat her favorite iced sugar cookie.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 11, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Oh my, dmd3. Poor girl.

Posted by: Yoki | October 11, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Ohdear dmd. To miss pumpkin pie for the flu. so sad. Hope she feels better soon.

Will anyone think me silly for wishing I get the flu this year, not next year? I keep thinking maybe if I get it this year, I'll be immune if its really bad next year. I tend not to get flus, but I do get colds often enough. I think it is a trade off.

The boys are fed and gone home for the evening. And there is only 1 piece of pie remaining, precious little turkey and just a small bit of corn. There are potatoes left, but no fear. Tomorrow I shall make mrdr's favourite winter food of heavy potato dumplings.

Posted by: --dr-- | October 11, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving, and those that aren't feeling well get better soon. dr, maybe you should get a flu shot or 2. I think I will this year even though I never have before.

Joel's been talking to that guy in his basement again:

Posted by: seasea1 | October 11, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, Boodle.

Home from Gainesville -- I'm really tired, but had a fun and successful weekend of racing.

More later.

On Kit for a moment, I think the US did a much better job pounding Tempel-1 a few years back. The sentient Sea Monkeys living there are still cleaning up that mess... and I think they're still pursuing a UN action for reparations.

I wonder how much we humans reveal about our nature by how we choose to learn about our world -- in many cases, we choose to take things apart and/or smash them to bits.

Understanding through destruction?


Posted by: -bc- | October 11, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

There is less than an hour left on the east coast for National Coming Out. Not that I am making any announcements.

Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 11, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Hat tip to kb for the Mighty Boosh clip I used in that post.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 11, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

And whatever your preference, enjoy my wife's pictures of Giada De Laurentiis

or Florence Tyler

Posted by: yellojkt | October 11, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

So, the 2 LA teams are through, and the Yankees too. Sorry Scotty, Sneaks, frosti, Ivansmom. I watched a little of the Yankees/Twins game. Was somewhat surprised that I recognized Andy Pettitt from the back, since I didn't even realize he still played, much less that he was playing for the Yankees. Ahem. I can't bring myself to watch the Rockies/Phillies game - looks like the players' breath will turn to icicles.

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

Are they still playing baseball? Do they know it's October already?

Posted by: yellojkt | October 12, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

we have a certificate of occupancy, the monument display will, hopefully, be in place this week, and we'll have our first office hours this coming weekend. life is good, and especially so, as the Panthers found the win column. with all due respect to the Redskins fans, i remain, sincerely yours...

Posted by: -jack- | October 12, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

yellojkit, you make me laugh.

Posted by: Yoki | October 12, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

I'm thinking this is the shed?

Posted by: Yoki | October 12, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations, Frostbitten, for successfully completing the $15-week challenge.

Thanks for the freezing tips. When I buy a bunch of basil, I’m always in a hurry to finish them off before the leaves turn black so I “overdose” on it for a few days. I do the same with mint and cilantro.

Posted by: rainforest1 | October 12, 2009 3:57 AM | Report abuse

For Wilbrodog (take her easy, Dude)

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 12, 2009 4:34 AM | Report abuse

yes, the shed.

Posted by: -jack- | October 12, 2009 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations Jack, and to Frosti as well - very impressed.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 12, 2009 7:31 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. We finally had a hard frost.
The turkey and ice wine stuffing were a success but the star of the meal turned out to be the butternut squash. There are very few things crème fraîche would not improve.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 12, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Jack, I am totally clueless!

Frosti... a massive accomplishment. I, too, would like to read everything in one sitting.

AND, your list of points were priceless and the point about meat is so true.

Oh, and the thing about the weight? The reason we gain weight as we get older isn't as much about our metabolism as it is about the fact that we can. We drop sugar in our coffee and drink sodas. The words portion and control don't go together well.

Again, Frosti, very impressed.

(also, for those who said get better, I'm getting better now, thanks)

Posted by: russianthistle | October 12, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning Everyone.

I have been informed that there is an effort afoot to transform Columbus Day into a day devoted to the celebration of Italian Americans.

I am of mixed mind about this.

But speaking of historical-like figures, I really like Joel's story on George Washington.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 12, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all. This will be a flyby as Mr. T is back with the rented tractor and blade. He's going to smooth the driveway in anticipation of gravel being delivered around 9:30. There is rain in the forecast so I'm hoping everything goes well and quickly.

Congrats on getting the business up and running, Jack! I expect success for you!

(Weed - Jack and spouse are starting a monument business (think tombstones), because of their experience in trying to find something at a reasonable price for a family member...)

Posted by: slyness | October 12, 2009 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Headline in this morning's WaPo:

"California tests ignition devices for DUI drivers"

While I am very much against DUI, even I think this is a bit harsh. I suppose investing in personal fire extinguisher manufacturing might be a good idea.


Posted by: DLDx | October 12, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Morning all. JA's Washington's ledgers story is on the front page of thePhilly Inquirer today.

To anyone starting a monument business... I am a sculptor and seasoned, trained granite carver. I do the occasional custom monument carving. Will consult for food:)

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | October 12, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Wow, two gravestone dudes on the Boodle. We are set, then. The skill set here continues to astonish. Off to impart the goodness of COMMAS.


To my parents, Ayn Rand and God

Discuss the utility of punctuation here.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 12, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Too late. Since the 'discovery' of America and the subsequent genocide is politically correct, Columbus Day has devolved into either [Italian Ethnic Slur Of Your Choice] Pride Day or the Guilt Trip Over Treatment Of Native Americans Festival.

I can't recall ever getting Columbus Day off for any occasion, but the roads were plenty light this morning.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 12, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Outrage of the day:

Zero tolerance run amok.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 12, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

That is really sad Yello, too bad zero tolerance has eliminated allowing common sense into individual cases.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 12, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Since I'm link happy today, here is the New York Times Magazine food issue. Lots of good articles.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 12, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Similar goofiness in Toronto, where parents can say they do not want their child to read a particular item on the curriculum list.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 12, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Wow, CP. That revelation puts "Atlas Shrugged" in a whole new light.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 12, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Hey frosti (and Wilbrod, too, I think) -- don't you guys up in Minnesota celebrate "Leif Ericsson Day" today?

I recall getting very (*very*) nasty stares from an elementary school teacher when I was maybe 8 years old, when I piped up: "If Columbus discovered America, who were all those people on the beach waiting to greet him?"

Ah, yes ... always questioning authority. I started young. Haven't stopped.

Posted by: -ftb- | October 12, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

The construct I like is that Columbus was the LAST person to discover America.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 12, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Morning all... today is the first day of my new work schedule: from now on I'm working only Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week. My generous contribution to the company's budget struggles. I'm just glad they went along with the idea!

It's a nice coincidence that my first Monday off also happens to be a holiday for Daughter and Dr G.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 12, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, Can you send turkey stock through Fiber Optics?

Posted by: russianthistle | October 12, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I get a little testy, sometimes, with the excess scapegoating of Christopher Columbus. It seems a bit unfair to assign sole blame to him for all the bad things that were inflicted on the existing population over the next 500 years. I mean, it would be like assigning blame to Neil Armstrong for the subjugation of the Squid Creatures of Europa in 2078.

Granted, much of the heroic mythology surrounding Columbus is pretty weak. No educated person in the 15th century thought the world was flat, they just knew it was a lot larger than Columbus. (And they were right, of course.) Heck, Columbus himself went to the grave refusing to admit that he hadn't made it all the way to Asia. And even the irrational resolve to "Sail on" attributed to Columbus loses a bit of luster when one considers the implications of such an attitude in other venues.

I guess I prefer to look at Columbus day as a way of celebrating a certain type of idealism and ambition, well aware of the inherent risks of the same.

Plus, of course, it's another day to sleep in.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 12, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Strictly speaking, Columbus discovered the Carribean, not the mainland.

And ix-nay on the Leif Ericsson. We have a lot of Native Americans around here.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 12, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Columbus has a deservedly bad reputation for mismanagement of the Hispaniola colony including some acts of torture that were gruesome even by the standards of his day.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 12, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday, I used a web site that acts as a broker for "events" to start researching what it would take to have our planetary science meeting 'round here -- a place substantially less expensive than Puerto Rico. Only after the first page was completed and the form sent off, did it become clear that this web site envisions only one-day parties. I have just received my first reply, concerning event-facilities at the home of the Washington NFL Franchise. I expect that the next few days will be filled with emails and phone calls from people thinking that I am the kind of guy (aka, "wealthy moron") who is inclined to drop a quarter-million dollars on a one-day party for 700 of my closest friends. They will be extremely disappointed in my reply.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 12, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Yello - that may be. But that isn't what most people find repugnant about Columbus Day. They aren't fixated on Hispaniola. They are fixated, I assert, on Wounded Knee.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 12, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

In fairness to Columbus, yellojkt, Leif Ericsson's people were not much further advanced in their standards for jurisprudence and proportionate punishment. "Giving him wings" did not refer to handing over a can of Red Bull.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 12, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

RD's points about Columbus Day are well taken. That said, I have a Native American friend here who refers to it as Death and Deadly Diseases to Indigenous Peoples Day. He's normally not a militant.

We don't get Columbus Day off. Several years ago the State traded it, in our holiday list, for Martin Luther King Day. The kids don't get it off either.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 12, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

But Chris sure set some long lasting precedents: genocide, slavery, plantation farming. You can make the argument that if it weren't him one of the other conquistadors would have (and did, and in Mexico arguably much worse) done the same, but from the eyes of the people he 'discovered' he sure wasn't doing them any favors.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 12, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

*Faxing turkey stock to 'thistle*

*Faxing turkey, dressing and gravy to 'mudge*

Posted by: Yoki | October 12, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

My point is that blaming Columbus is a massive cop-out. It is a way of redirecting blame to one individual and by doing so indirectly absolving everyone else.

If it makes people somehow feel more virtuous to hold up Columbus as a uniquely damnable creature upon whom all the evils of European contact can be laid, so be it.

But I assert that the list of sinners is pretty long.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 12, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

And I have said it before, but the negotiations over the Treaty of Tordesillas would seem to suggest the Portuguese knew more about what lay to the west than they let on.

And it all comes back to the fact that Columbus's plan to find China was woefully wrong and doomed to failure except that he got lucky.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 12, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

And just how Italian was Columbus anyway? He was Genoese, but he did all his work for the Spanish. He was a hired flunky who got lost and ended up with a very good press agent (How many people get countries named after them that they have never even been to?).

Posted by: yellojkt | October 12, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

You traded Columbus Day for MLK Day, Ivansmom? That almost makes sense. My former employer traded Presidents Day for MLK Day, which means there is no day off between January and late March/early April. It's a looong time to face five-day weeks.

Crap, the rental tractor developed a flat tire. So I'm resting while Mr. T is waiting for the rental folks to show up and take care of the problem. We have 14 cubic yards of stone to get into place, and rain coming. This.Is.Not.Convenient.

Posted by: slyness | October 12, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Yep, RD. It is like blaming Custer for the failure of U.S. Indian policy. Or Brownie for the gummint's inability to deal with Katrina. We like to limit culpability to someone we can point a finger at. It lets everyone else off the hook.

Slyness, the first time we ordered gravel for our driveway they came and dumped a couple of tons in a pile. We'd forgotten to specify someone to bring a tractor and spread it. We got out the shovels; I lost four pounds that day. As a weight loss program, it wasn't worth repeating.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 12, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I would simply day that Columbus was likely no better and no worse than any other European businessman/adventurer of his time.

As an Italian-American, I would add -- please be careful how broadly one may brush certain things. I'm a very understanding man, but there are many in my Family that aren't. Capeesh?


Posted by: -bc- | October 12, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

So is all this umbrage just Eyetie pride? Makes me glad no Irishman has ever done anything noteworthy.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 12, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Yeah Yellojkt.

Irishmen just became presidents, saved western civilization, wrote great satire, poetry, and other literature, etc.

Ireland also served as a dress rehearsal for the English colonization of America.

Hence the troubles.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 12, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

But nobody gets St. Patrick's Day off without calling in sick from a hangover. Just what do you drink on Columbus Day?

Posted by: yellojkt | October 12, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

An unpretentious Entre-Deux-Mers leftover from last night goes down sweetly Yello.
Eh, the sun is over the yardarm when looking from a certain angle.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 12, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I blame St. Brendan, that rat b@st@rd!
(A note for the easily offended, and/or any who might be terribly prone to find hostility between science and religious creed: I am speaking satirically in my jape at the expense of St. Brendan. That is, I employ a deliberate fib in order to cast sharper relief upon the implications of certain casually-assumed notions concerning the "discovery" and exploitation of the Americas. Far be it from me to suggest that any revered religious personage might ever have engaged in any trumped-up holy war or hateful persecution of oppressed minorities. I would never do that. Certainly not at the expense of a fine sailing-man like St. Brendan.)

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 12, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Reading the posts that appeared while I was typing my little note: St. Brendan the Navigator, I feel I must note, was Irish.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 12, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Maybe you just call in lost, yellojkt?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 12, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

The cooking marathon of yesterday afternoon is paying off. The vegetable soup made from turkey broth is simmering, crème de pumpkin ramekins are cooling off in the fridge and mrs. D has made a pumpkin cake. I murdered, quartered, peeled and steamed a nice Rouge Vif d'Étampe to fuel that pumkin feeding frenzy.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 12, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: seasea1 | October 12, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Here's to Christoffa Corombo, the LAST one to discover Vespucciland.

Who can forget these words, inscribed deep in our souls?

"O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
Vespucciland! Vespucciland!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!"

I believe I'll have the wine.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 12, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

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