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My Office, Which Is Mine

As you know, while they're blowing up the Post newsroom I've been sent to a Siberian redoubt in an adjacent building, a bunker of sorts that I will not disparage other than to note factually that it is devoid of light, joy, or hope, being little more than a storage space with a window that carries the eye outward and slams it into a brick wall shrouded in perpetual gloom.

But -- but! -- when I pull a weekend shift there is no one else around, and it is my office, mine alone, my space, my world, my universe. Anyone sane is elsewhere, in the inhabited parts of the building. In my realm I can play music. Just now I put on a delightful ditty from NPR, Bernstein conducting Shostakovich in a bombastic sort of thing that the NPR website describes thusly:

In the remarkable finale, Shostakovich achieves one of the greatest coups of his symphonic career: a "victorious" closer that drives home the expected message and at the same time makes an entirely different point -- the real one. The resounding march that ends the movement represents the triumph of evil over good. The apparent optimism of the concluding pages is, as one colleague of the composer put it, no more than the forced smile of a torture victim as he is being stretched on the rack.

Perfect for the bunker! (Decorating brainstorm: A gibbet for the south wall.)

Now let's see what's in the news.

From NPR, a story about that "superfood" you love to eat to stay young forever: blueberries. Turns out the migrants picking the berries in Michigan are as young as six. Child labor violations, etc.

From EurekAlert we see this bulletin saying that lots of dinosaur species are just baby versions of other species.

Horner suggests that one-third of all named dinosaur species may never have existed, but are merely different stages in the growth of other known dinosaurs. "What we are seeing in the Hell Creek Formation in Montana suggests that we may be overextended by a third," Horner said...

Hard to see how anything can be scarier than "The Exorcist". But "The Omen" is close. The movie that gave me nightmares as a little kid was "House On Haunted Hill." But apparently it was supposed to be campy.

Email tip: Don't hit Reply All.

Via Arts & Letters Daily, here's a blog I may have to start reading regularly.

James Grady has written a serial thriller for Politics Daily, check it out.

[More to come...]

By Joel Achenbach  |  October 31, 2009; 12:02 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Booze Or Alien Abduction?
Next: The commies


Wowie-Zowie, Joel! You're making me dizzy with all these kits.

Oh, so proud to be FIRST!

Posted by: -ftb- | October 31, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

All work and no play makes Joel a dull boy.

Posted by: joelache | October 31, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Joel, you're not dull -- perhaps you're just an acquired taste.

Lord knows I am.

Enjoy your afternoon in News Station Zebra, sir.


Posted by: -bc- | October 31, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

But I thought the Boodle was all play -- with minor exceptions for serious moments.

Posted by: -ftb- | October 31, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, you are pretty spoiled, to have an actual office. What you really need is to be in one of several hundred cubicles, with low wall panels, with no windows within 100 feet.

Posted by: evelyn911 | October 31, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I think having a window that looks out at a brick wall is worse than not having a window at all.

Nice kit, don't have time to read the links now as I'm trying to bake cookies and get ready to go to #1's for a Halloween party. #2 and SIL are coming which is unusual but nice. Leaving the usual bowl of candy on the front steps - we never get any trick or treaters -a mostly retired neighborhood.

Posted by: badsneakers | October 31, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

May I just say that technology is great...

Except when the "experts" who promised to only "repair" my desktop's OS ended up wiping the whole HDD for a complete restore, without calling me first to ask if I wanted to back anything up...

*ratzinfratzinconsarnedbushwackin &@%&#@@#$%^(^%$@#*#^*#*!!!!!!!!!!*

Nothing vital there (that I knew of), but still... *SIGHHHHHHHHHHHHH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 31, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

And of course, I can only see JA uttering the title of this Kit in the guise of everyone's favorite brontosaurus expert, Anne Elk.


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 31, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Yep, Snukie -- I know zactly what you mean. BTW, how are you feeling? I've missed doing some serious (and nonserious) back-boodling this week, so I don't know if you disclosed anything. I mean you don't *have* to disclose anything, but, well, you know.

It looks mighty gloomy outside, and I'm glad I'm inside. Not getting a whole lot done, though. Laundry tomorrow and plant watering, too. And the Lions are slated to win tomorrow. Yeah, well. . . .

And tomorrow, somehow, it shall be November FCOL! How on earth did that happen?

Posted by: -ftb- | October 31, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Yes Snuke, how are you? ftb, I'll send our weather to you - bright blue skis, 70's and windy. Sorta too warm for Halloween but I won't complain. Cookies made, other stuff made, #1 has left a message with two requests - yarn and heavy cream. Assume they are for two separate purposes.

Posted by: badsneakers | October 31, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Scotty! Will you be attending the techie's funeral? In cases like this, the police always watch the folks showing up.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 31, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

This is a small quiet Boodle, isn't it?

I am in the awful process of cutting off a friendship of some months standing. Out of the blue I have received two very hostile telephone calls and emails, all of them surface-polite but angry. I have no idea why, but don't feel it necessary to put myself in the way of being beaten-up. So there you have it.

On the bright side, there was a fabulous cake recipe in the Times this morning, and it sure smells good in the oven.

Enjoy the lovely weather, you all who are having it. We got a bit of a Chinook so it is pleasantly fall-like and breezy here.

Posted by: Yoki | October 31, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm feeling curmudgeonly today. Shall I turn off all the lights in the front end of the house and hide the pumpkins, or shall I answer the door and face all the trick or treaters who don't say 'trick or treat' or thanks.?

Posted by: rickoshea1 | October 31, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Let me know when you fax the cake over here, Yoki, so I can run up and grab it! That would make two desserts in one day... I'm being bad now, I guess. Better get some type of exercise in.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 31, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Weed, come for a walk along the river with me before we have tea and cake. A *brisk* walk.

Posted by: Yoki | October 31, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I would if I could fax myself there, But I can't figure out how to both lie on the glass and then push the button. I could try zipping myself up and then attaching myself to an email.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 31, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

rickoshea, I have two thoughts about "trick or treat."

1. The element of surprise, or "trick," if you prefer.
2. Squirt guns.


Posted by: -bc- | October 31, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

A brisk walk.... sounds like that Canadian guy doing the "bouncy C" ... Irving Cohen?!

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

I have Halloween anxiety. I'm always afraid we won't have enough candy to give out, although in recent years we've had very few trick or treaters. I don't like having to jump up and answer the door, and I hate when older kids come who aren't even in costumes. Mr seasea, OTOH, loves Halloween and is trying to put together some sort of scary mask right now.

I think The Shining is the scariest movie I've seen. The book even spooked me. Such a sense of dread throughout. Psycho is another one that scares the bejeebers out of me, and has the after effect of making a shower scary.

But hope everyone has a fun Halloween!

Posted by: seasea1 | October 31, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse


how about burying some small theatrical charges in the lawn next to the side walk.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 31, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I've never liked scary movies. Somehow feeling scared never felt like fun to me. I'll watch anything, so long as it isn't a scary movie. Books too. The only Stephen King book I read was the Stand and that, only after watching the miniseries on tv (there were parts of that I had to leave the room for) Big chicken is me.

I'm kind hoping that no one comes by tonite. And they may not. Mrdr is moving old cars and the driveway is sort of blocked. If he leaves things there, no one can come up.

Posted by: --dr-- | October 31, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

RT, the charges are a good idea, but you can only use 'em once in my 'hood.

Houses are too close together, and people talk, y'know?

OK, here come the first bunch of trick-or-treaters - gotta go.


Posted by: -bc- | October 31, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Happy Halloween everyone! Just took a pan of pumpkin chocolate chip squares out of the oven and will be making FTB's spinach and tomato casserole for a Halloween party tonight. Going over to a friend's house in Manoa Valley to help send 25 trick or treaters off with their dads and then field about 300 trick or treaters who come to her house for glow sticks, tatoos and spooky shave ice. It's a blast every year with escalating spookiness and numbers of trick or treaters. Yes, we're crazy parents, yes we are.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | October 31, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Didn't check the NPR link to Shostakovich, but that must be the grand finale of his 5th symphony, the one written to make nice to the authorities after the 4th had been quick-cancelled while in rehearsal (it's amazing, at least with Gergiev conducting. I was lucky). Anyhoo, the 5th ends with the timpani being beaten to death. The pacing of The End is variable. Memory says Shostakovich wanted the ending played slowly, to make it sound stupid. Supposedly Leonard Bernstein asked Shostakovich about that, wanting to play it faster. Shostakovich supposedly didn't object.

Saturday in the office would seem to call for Darius Milhaud and Hector Villa-Lobos. Or Aaron Jay Kernis's Symphony in Waves.

By the way, I've been zapped by a very nice magazine for making an uncivil comment about Ayn Rand. Good.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 31, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Back for a second - between watching Florida against FL, and some cute kids at the door, I had a couple of seconds to dig up my favorite Halloween tune:

This video is so tragically '80s it makes me giggle.

Yes, that's Robert Downey, Jr., Rodney Dangerfield, and others from "Back to School" spliced in there (where's Vonnegut?).

Enjoy, all.


Posted by: -bc- | October 31, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Oops, that was the trick.

Here's the treat.


Posted by: -bc- | October 31, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

MidPac!!! Where in Manoa Valley? I was all the way up on Anoai off of Woodlawn, then Paty.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 31, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Hi Thistle, we're going to be at a beautiful old house on Kahawai Street. Ooo, Paty and Anoai are way up there on the side of the hill. You must have had an amazing view from there!

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | October 31, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, very difficult to do that kind of thing. Good for you.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 31, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

A fresh Post story on the states' role in health care reform leads me to suppose that a swath of states from Kentucky to Texas will enact health care reform the way Prince Edward County in Virginia implemented school integration. May Providence help poor people in those states.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 31, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

We are being whatever the Halloween equivalent of the Grinch is. We didn't buy any candy and have turned off the porch light. I have the lights off in the den with my computer meaning I have to touch type everything tonight.

Love the Oingo Boingo video. How did I miss this band the first time around? I know I say Back To School in the theater. Mostly because of Vonnegut.

Call me sometime when you have no class.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 31, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Hello to all Boodlers. I have (to my shame) a grammar question. I should already know the answer, and am shamed that I don't.

Should the wording be "she looks like one of those rich ladies who don't eat" or "she looks like one of those rich ladies who doesn't eat"?

And should that question mark be inside the quotes?

Happy Halloween to all!

Posted by: Wheezy11 | October 31, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse


My sisters and I had a wonderful overnight together. We stayed in National Harbor and at a delicious "Mexican" dinner at one of the many chain restaurants there. Quite the "fake downtown."

Today we drove out to the Chesapeake Bay resort where our grandparents had a house; we spent a lot of childhood summer days there. After driving through the town twice and calling an 87-year-old uncle for better directions, we found the house and all the memories can flowing back. Lots of fun.

We were talking about scary or suspenseful movies last night and decided it would be more fun (to us) to watch if all the suspense was over in the first half hour and the rest of the movie showed the characters, safe and sound, talking about all the adventures.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 31, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

SCC: we ATE at a Mexican restaurant. We stayed AT a hotel.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 31, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I am convinced that it is "doesn't eat" because the antecedent to "who" is the singular "one of those", not the plural "rich ladies".

The first beggar has come and gone. Previously, we have found that our house location does not lend itself to spooky visitations. I have 5 carved pumpkins outside: one giant one, with the eyes and mouth shaved but not cut, two little ones each carved to look like a single goofy eye, and two modest-size ones stacked up to form a single tall face. Now I am working on a modest-size pumpkin, to which I will give a tiny little face.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 31, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

TBG, how does National Harbor strike you as a place to hold a conference for, say, 700 attendees? Are there conference rooms, a ball room, and places to go off-site?

After my recent conference experience, I am wondering if it is time to step up to a more active role in my professional organization.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 31, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Tim, what? are the conferences turning into 8 hours of folks doing impressions of Ben Stein on the Visene commercials?

Posted by: russianthistle | October 31, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Having been to the Nashville Gaylord Center aka Opryland, I would say that a meeting of 700 would be a medium sized group for National Harbor. I haven't been inside the hotel, but the fake downtown is very nice. Plus it has the hand reaching out of the ground statue that use to be on Haines Point.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 31, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Try Baltimore Harbor, SciTim.

Or if you want more exotic locales with water, may I suggest Bemidji? Right on a lake, lots of national forests, and the river Mississippi, too.

Just schedule it midsummer.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 31, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

ftb, please promise to be kind after tonight's game, OK?

Posted by: Yoki | October 31, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Well, parents always knew kids were a separate species...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 31, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Has anybody seen the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode called "Hush"? The ScienceSpouse is made-up as one of the Gentlemen. She is very, very, scary.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 31, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Oh, sure, Yoki -- of course!!! And the other way around if you guys beat us. I think we're getting off to a slow start, my Wings. Not just because the leaders are now older than God (as am I), but maybe they're just trying to pace themselves. Swedes tend to take their time on things. . .

BTW, Yoki, I have been in that situation -- on both ends, I might add -- and I think you are doing exactly the right thing. As time goes on, one realizes that life's entirely too short to f@rt around. I have let go of people under circumstances where the relationships were doing me more harm than good. As for the time when I was let go, I do completely understand it. My mother had Alzheimers for at least 10 years and I was completely wrapped up in it, along with all sorts of other things. The saying "A friend in need is a friend, indeed" is incredibly true. I remain friends with those who stood by me during that horrible time, as I have stood by them during their own horrible times. Friendship is as delicate as it is strong, and it is the true friend who does not attempt to control another. A true friend shares joys, sorrows, triumphs and losses with shared laughter and delight and shared tears.

Hey Aloha (I'm gonna use your prior handle if you don't mind) -- I'm glad you're using the recipe! That's my ticket into Thanksgiving and I have to bring two of them every year, or they won't let me in. Enjoy! Say, do you think you can fax me some of those pumpkin-chocolate chip squares? Sounds yummy. Besides, if nobody sees you eat it, it has no calories. . . . .

Michigan lost big to whoever it was they were playing. I'm barely following them anymore. Lions are favored tomorrow. Who knew????

Yoki, if we beat you tonight, put on the tea and I'll be over with condolences and something with calories. And vice versa. BTW, at the grocery store earlier today, I saw tea bags with coconut-cocoa flavoring. Man, was I tempted! But, it was too expensive, and I have so much tea in my cabinet, it'll take millennia to go through it all. But I was indeed tempted.

Cya all!

Posted by: -ftb- | October 31, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt - glad you liked the old Oingo Boingo video. Been a Boingo fan since back in the day and dig Elfman's film score work, too, including a movie I've been watching as the trick-or-treaters come through - Tim Burton's "A Nightmare Before Christmas."

Elfman's vocals for Jack's songs are pretty darn good, too.

"What's this?"


Posted by: -bc- | October 31, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

No point in me doing it in Minnesota -- it needs to be local to my institution.

Baltimore is worthy of consideration, but I would like to move it away from the established (and very expensive) urban centers. The downside is that National Harbor is not particularly close to either BWI or Dulles. Annapolis is WAAAAAAY too expensive, so that leaves Columbia in central Maryland. All the beauty, cachet, and quaint charm of suburbia without the bothersome walkability and vivacity of urban life. Maybe Chestertown...

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 31, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I love A Nightmare Before Christmas - it's been a long time since I have seen it. Will have to check the TV listings.

I was thinking about Beetlejuice yesterday - one of my favorite movies. I couldn't quite remember who plays Geena Davis' husband - Alec Baldwin - always surprises me.

Posted by: seasea1 | October 31, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Detroit can lose; they're playing the *Flames,* for pity's sake.

Posted by: Yoki | October 31, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Here's "Jack's Lament."


Posted by: -bc- | October 31, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Tim.. National Harbor IS a Convention Center. Each hotel has Departure/Arrival boards for every local airport and there are shuttles galore. The Gaylord has the convention center, but there are other hotels, including a Hampton Inn at the bottom of the price chain.

There is a water taxi service to Old Town Alexandria, too, so you can walk real streets as well as the fake ones at NH.

If I were planning a conference, I would most definitely give it a chance. Even if it were just to see this fountain show we stumbled on in the hotel's atrium last night (video courtesy of my iPhone)...

Posted by: -TBG- | October 31, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

And yeah - "What's This?"

Still makes me chuckle.


Posted by: -bc- | October 31, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

The Elfmans were in the most amazing film I have seen "Hot Tomorrows" ... They were totally Bauhaus as the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo. It was a first film for a great director and lots of first films for many actors.

It had the great line:

(friend rushes desk at a hospital emergency room)

"I'm looking for my friend, he may have come in here carrying a midget."

Posted by: russianthistle | October 31, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

r_t, I've been meaning to see that. Gotta be at least 30 years old, isn't it?

Never gotten around to it.


Posted by: -bc- | October 31, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

I love that movie!

Posted by: Yoki | October 31, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

I spent the day at the Towson Tigers - Richmond Spiders game today because some friends have a daughter in the marching band (which will be in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade next month). I took a bunch of pictures and have posted a few online.

Warning to the easily offended: There are LOTS of pictures of cheerleaders and some of a guy in a gladiator outfit. Oddly, none of actual football players.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 31, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Just got back home and finally have a chance to post about how delightful it was to meet sneaks for lunch, a really wonderful time. I was completely thrilled with my special gift, homemade snickerdoodles and hermits both of which are by far the best I have ever had. Without knowing sneaks prepared the hermits which remind me of my mom as she always had a jar full at her house (but they were no comparison to sneaks homemade delights). Thank you so much.

Saw a wonderful sunset as we approached Buffalo, the skies had been mostly overcast on the drive home with sporadic monsoons, but as we got close to Buffalo the skies began to clear, looking west over a turbulent Lake Erie were so big grey clouds on the horizon with just a small patch of clear pink sky where the water met the sky really lovely.

We amused ourselves with a last minute change of border crossings which sent our GPS lady in a tizzy for several minutes.

Now to backboodle.

Happy halloween.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 31, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

BC, I've definitely been living in a parallel universe. I've never heard of half the things you mention: rock bands, movies, TV shows and so on. I have such a lot to catch up on. So thank you, and Jack, Jumper, Yello, Seasea, Yoki, and many others.

I'm not happy about Halloween this year. Only 6 or so trick or treat groups so far, and I have so much candy to dispose of. I'm thinking that at 8:30, I'll put it on the porch and turn off the lights at the front of the house.

I think that the trick or treat tradition is dieing out and being replaced with house parties, which is a result of general paranoia, the Christian right, and modern life in general, with families being too busy to be creative in costumes and, if Halloween falls on a work day, mothers and fathers being unable to get home on time.

I did not see a single home made or 'found' costume tonight: that makes me sad.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | October 31, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

I feel you will have to deal with this matter in the harshest possible way, Mr. Achenbach.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 31, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Fear not, rickoshea! My #2 is indeed doing a house party (but then again, 20-year-olds don't trick or treat), but she is wearing a "found" costume. And she'll look great.

#1 and Physics-boy, now being mature householders, are giving out candy, instead of receiving it, at their apartment building. Very nice.

But yes, Halloween is entirely different than it was when we were kids. I don't think the world is any more dangerous, but there is just no way that a group of 9 or 10 seven-year-olds would be allowed to roam their neighbourhood for hours in the dark. Of course, there *were* 9 or 10 seven-year-olds (baby boom) and we knew our neighbours for blocks around. Neither of those conditions obtain, usually, now.

The world is different. *Sigh* and *Cheer!*

Posted by: Yoki | October 31, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

I think the steam coming out of my ears and the orange light shining from my empty eyesockets (side effects of rebuilding the desktop, doncha know) have kept the ToTers at bay.

And thanks for asking, ftb and Sneaks... No revelations to share at this juncture, but I'll keep everyone informed, never fear. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 31, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

They didn't by any chance put you in room 237, did they Joel?

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 31, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

SciTim-- you may want to rethink your premise that an urban center and proximity to a major airport are necessarily two separate things.

Also, how long is the conference? that is a significant cost factor; shorter would make being in-city worth it for the travel issues.

Longer-- cheaper, more remote locales are worth it. Let others take off for their own tourism plans for a full day or two if they really must taste city life.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 31, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh. Just stepped outside. It's raining.


Posted by: rickoshea1 | October 31, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Trick or Treaters are just about finished here - maybe 60 in total, just about everyone said Trick or Treat and Thank you, the woman who stayed with our kids commented on how polite the children in our neighbourhood are.

Came home to see a notice from the Police sent out from the school reminding us that although we live in a safe area - there are those that will attempt to hurt children - in this case by trying to lure them by asking the child to look for Lady Bugs, fortunately the child was too smart for said individual.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 31, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

*clank clank jingle jangle*

*cough hack sneeze*

Posted by: Boko999 | October 31, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Boko! The Ghost of Boodles Past!

Posted by: -TBG- | October 31, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

We have had 2 groups so far. Two groups of appropriately aged trick or treaters!!!!! We haven't had any appropriately aged groups for years. It must be the children of the children of the neighborhood by now.

The funny thing about our immediate area is that a lot of the same people still live here. There seem to be several houses that are routinely up for sale, but the rest of us came and stayed. We could be a retirement community.

Posted by: --dr-- | October 31, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse


Even with the pig nose, you are welcomed home.

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

The prodigal Boko has come home. Let us kill the fatted calf.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 31, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Helloooooo Boko!

Posted by: dmd3 | October 31, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

How is Buddy999?

Posted by: Yoki | October 31, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Does that mean that pretty soon you and mrdr will be shouting at the neighbours' grandchildren... Get the heck off my lawn, you darn kids!"?

Posted by: Yoki | October 31, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

I can't picture dr shouting at anyone. The idea makes me giggle.

We were going to turn off the lights and hide in the dark family room, but Daughter and her friend decided to stay home and hand out candy. I believe we've had about 6 groups of appropriately aged and costumed kids tonight.

It's a little rainy out (misty) and we live a few houses away from the townhouse part of our neighborhood. That's where all the kids go for a bigger bang for their buck.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 31, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

No trick or treaters here tonight. We had rain starting just at dark, and I was gone anyway. We were out to dinner with the folks who are judging the fire station design entries. There are some really kewl fire stations in North America. (We always have folks from Haute Maine, so I have to acknowledge them!)

The judges are all firefighters/fire department employees with architecture degrees. This is the eighth conference we've done since 2000. One of the judges remarked at dinner that they are starting to see some of the ideas from the conference showing up in designs. Nice to know we're actually having an impact.

Tomorrow I will get out and listen to John Rutter's Requiem, a beautiful piece of music and perfect for All Saints Day.

But it's Halloween. Carry on.

Posted by: slyness | October 31, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

All is and are well here. I hope the same is is true for y'all (handy contraction that).

Posted by: Boko999 | October 31, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Home from #1's Halloween party to find the candy I left on the front step all gone. This has never happened before and I suspect one group may have taken it all. Not that I care - just surprised that there are any children in the neighborhood.

The Trick or Treaters at daughter's house were numerous but not overwhelming. They started coming around 6 and were done by 8. I'd say half of the costumes were home-made. All of the costumes were well done, I was impressed with the quality. One boy was wearing his grandfather's army dress uniform and looked amazing.

#2 and husband came dressed as Tom Brady and Giselle (can't spell last name). Daughter had stuffed a blanket under her sweatshirt and looked 9 1/2 months pregnant - it was hilarious, especially since this is as close to motherhood as she will ever get - she does not want children at all, ever, in any form, period. I was Mother Nature and "S" was a leaf blower (he wore a straw hat with a leaf attached to the front brim which he blew at every now and then and a t-shirt that said "Toro." #1 daughter was a pumpkin and SIL was a microwave (both store bought costumes). Their friend wore his Boy Scout leader clothes. It was a fun night. I guess attitudes towards "T or T" depend a lot on where you live in terms of the type of beggars you get and how they dress. #1 is in a very child filled area with parents who tag along to keep watch. I've lived places where the beggars were older, not costumed and didn't say thanks, so I understand the aversion many have to this night.

Posted by: badsneakers | October 31, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Public Service Announcement:

The Monty Python documentary is now on at IFC.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | October 31, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Sneaks, forgot to post how much hubby enjoyed "S" costume idea, it may be borrowed in the future.

Younger child is home now after for Trick or Treating with friends and their parents, a friend of hers is sleeping over, to say they are full of energy is a bit of an understatement.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 31, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

dmd, glad he enjoyed the idea. Also pleased that you liked the cookies and how nice about the hermits - serendipity.

I know just how your younger daughter is acting. My granddaughters, especially the younger one, were completely nuts all night and their frenzy was no where near abating when we left. They had started to watch a 'scary' DVD and were screaming at the opening credits, which weren't in the least bit frightening. Just winding themselves up tighter and tighter. I'm getting old 'cause I'm glad to be home where it's quiet!

Posted by: badsneakers | October 31, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Sneaks, need you to email that Hermit recipe, love the strong gingerbread flavour.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 31, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

No no! Post the recipe.

Posted by: Yoki | October 31, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Boko was here! Hi Yoki, hi all! Please do post the recipe, Badsneakers, I had never heard of hermits and just read a variety of recipes for them. I would like to try yours.

Done with handing out candy - for the first time in recent memory I ran out and had to start handing out the lunchbag desserts - wrapped little cake/cookie things. The bowl is huge, it was full to overflowing. I must have been too generous early on.

Now just have to wait for the text to come pick up the youngest, and see the eldest's guests out the door, and I'm ready to rest.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | October 31, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Ooh, ooh, I just thought of a metaphor for my new job. It's like musical chairs. The music stopped, and I managed to find a chair. It's weatherbeaten and wobbly and quite uncomfortable. It is, however, a chair.

My window looks out on a fenced yard filled with old wooden flats, the kind they use in warehouses. Stacked high. With trash and weeds in amongst them. The fence is topped with barbed wire.

The last paragraph was not metaphor.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | October 31, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Howdy and Public Service Announcement: CHANGE YOUR CLOCKS BACK. NOW.

The Boy went to a friend's neighborhood, old-fashioned although very near downtown, with lots of groups of costumed kids, with and without parents, roaming everywhere. Many of the houses are decorated too. Tonight he was Darth Vader Chicken, added a Darth Vader helmet and light saber to the chicken suit. Now both boys are here, resting and playing a football video game.

Our record is unbroken: no trick or treaters again this year. We've never had any in this house, even when I was a kid. Even if anyone lived out here, there's something intimidating about leaving the poorly lit road to go down an unlit gravel drive with trees menacing you from all sides, with no lit house visible at the end. We were home with lights on, of course; you just can't tell from the road.

I'm going to set all my clocks back now, and luxuriate in going to bed really early.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 31, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Hi Wheezy! Gosh, mothers of teenagers do fine, don't they?

Not me, I was always a slacker-mom, but you all work so hard.

Posted by: Yoki | October 31, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

>>..there's something intimidating about leaving the poorly lit road to go down an unlit gravel drive with trees menacing you from all sides, with no lit house visible at the end.<<

Yes. There is.

Posted by: Yoki | October 31, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Hee hee. I'm so used to it, the whole place seems familiar and comforting. The moon tonight is almost bright enough to read by and I walked up to the road to take up the trash. It was very pleasant. Of course, I'm lucky because the giant spiders weren't out. Usually they live in the autumn trees. I will think twice about a night-time stroll with giant spiders lurking.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 31, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Giant *jumping* spiders?!

Posted by: Yoki | October 31, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

This recipe is from Baking Illustrated, a Cook’s Illustrated publication. It’s slightly more cakey and much more spicy than the old hermit recipe I used to use.

Hermit recipe:

2 C all purpose flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t cinnamon, (rounded)
1/2 t cloves, (rounded)
1/4 t allspice, (rounded)
1/4 t ginger (rounded)
1/8 t black pepper
1/2 t salt
8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 C packed light brown sugar
1 egg plus 1 yolk, lightly beaten - reserve egg white
1/2 C molasses
1 1/2 C raisins

Whisk together dry ingredients and set aside. In another bowl, whisk the melted butter with sugar then add the egg and egg yolk and molasses and whisk until thoroughly blended. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the mixture until blended then stir in the raisins. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for one hour or more.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Divide dough in half and shape each into a log about 14” long by 2” wide. Brush tops with slightly beaten egg white. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until top springs back when touched, turning cookie sheet once half way thru baking time. Cool cookie sheet on a rack until cookies are cool. Then carefully move cookie logs to cutting board. With serrated knife, slice into 2” strips.

Notes: I forgot to brush the cookies with the egg white - no big deal - I usually forget this step. I always heap up the spices just a bit. I think I overbaked this batch by about 3 minutes. You could add some chopped nuts to this mixture as well if you like nuts. These improve in flavor over a day or two or three.

Posted by: badsneakers | October 31, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | October 31, 2009 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Objectively I think my articles are useful and educational. Subjectively I feel stupid taking pictures of my dinner.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 31, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Boko! Hope y'all are ok.

We had quite a few trick or treaters - more than in many a year, all polite. The first was Luke Skywalker with light saber. There were 2 groups of older, but not scary, girls with no apparent costumes, but everyone else was appropriately dressed. I have 4 candy bars left.

Wheezy, that's a good metaphor. Sorry about the view. My timing seems to be off, which is nothing new.

Posted by: seasea1 | November 1, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Hey, seasea. Shall we start the Western late night conversation and make all those easterners jealous or at least envious?

Posted by: Yoki | November 1, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Yoki! What scintillating subject should we talk about?

AMC is showing Night of the Living Dead, so that's what I watched during the trick or treating. It's set and filmed near my hometown in western Pennsylvania, so it's never been scary to me. Hadn't seen it in a long time - it's better in some ways than I had remembered. Now I'm watching the horror of baseball in the cold rain (not a bad game, actually, but the Yankees are ahead).

Posted by: seasea1 | November 1, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

We could talk about Wilkie Collins, or Night of the Living Dead (hehe) or Poe.

Posted by: Yoki | November 1, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Looks like one of (those ladies who don't eat).

Posted by: Jim19 | November 1, 2009 1:05 AM | Report abuse

hehe, ftb. What'd I say?

Posted by: Yoki | November 1, 2009 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Or the time change. This is my favorite - the 25 hour day. I could use more of those.

Posted by: seasea1 | November 1, 2009 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Maybe if we shortened the cycle, we could get some 26-hour days?

Posted by: Yoki | November 1, 2009 1:17 AM | Report abuse

The dead man's son plays as they sing to ghosts.

Posted by: Jumper1 | November 1, 2009 1:21 AM | Report abuse

Yep, or a whole extra day. Wouldn't that be great? Well, unless you were stuck doing something like working (ha ha).

I had never heard of Wilkie Collins - will have to read his books.

I usually watch Austin City Limits on Saturday night, and yellojkt had me thinking about Austin earlier, and that leads me to this:
I wanna go home with the armadillo
Good country music from Amarillo and Abilene
The friendliest people and the prettiest women you've ever seen.

Posted by: seasea1 | November 1, 2009 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Oh my. Zappa (the elder) brings me right back to Error Flynn. Happy memories and sad feelings of loss.

Thanks Jumper. Really. It makes me glad to remember him.

Posted by: Yoki | November 1, 2009 1:29 AM | Report abuse

Nice, Jumper. I don't listen to Zappa enough these days. And yes, it's good to think of Error.

Posted by: seasea1 | November 1, 2009 1:40 AM | Report abuse

'night seasea1. 'night jumper. 'night Boodle.

Posted by: Yoki | November 1, 2009 1:43 AM | Report abuse

I found the first four minutes of this Coundown clip very moving.

The rest of it is merely infuriating.

Posted by: Mo_MoDo | November 1, 2009 7:25 AM | Report abuse

I got up this morning at my usual time, and because it is a weekend and my day off, put on the cofee, and turned on the news. Not that I really watch the news, but I digress. I sat down with my coffee to knit for a couple of hours in peace and quiet before mrdr got up to begin our day. I was getting tired of news, when I realized my clock (self setting) said 5 a.m. Rastafratch. Time change.

I made coffee at 3. Anybody want some stale coffee? Cause I have knit for 2 hours now and it still isn't 6, so I am going back to bed.

Posted by: --dr-- | November 1, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

It was a quaint Halloween for the Whacky's. Despite the drizzle and the fact that it got darker an hour later than normal, We had about 50 trick or treaters, which is average, and as usual, some of the parents were more lit up than the houses they visited with their kids. Around here, halloween is almost just as much for the adults as for kids, - it's the designated evening once a year to get together and catch up and do a little partying/socializing with the neighbors.

When I moved in 10 years ago, it was a pre-school neighborhood, but now it has changed to a teenager haven. Baby sightings are rare. Later in the evening, a lot of teenagers were out in groups wearing their glow sticks as they walked about. We waved them over and tried to push our candy on them. Most refused the treats, but they were all polite as they didn't deny us conversation.

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | November 1, 2009 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Great song, seasea. Thanks for clueing me into an artist I hadn't heard of before. The song reminds me of one of the songs that first taught me an appreciation of country music:

Waylie and Willon and the boys.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 1, 2009 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Sadly Yoki, the answer to your question is yes. We shall be crotchety. We have decided this. We thought it better to have made a clear decision than just let it happen naturally.

Our only problem is that the front lawn is a long way from the house and till we get down the stairs on the middle lawn to get to the front lawn to wave our canes and shout, the little buggers have run off. It just plain takes all the fun out of it.

Con sarn it.

Posted by: --dr-- | November 1, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

What happens when you take kids trick or treating to arguably the countries wealthiest neighbourhood? Funny article.

Posted by: dmd3 | November 1, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

dr, perhaps with a minor alteration this is what you can use to chase those kids away, a gift given at our friends 50th,

Posted by: dmd3 | November 1, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

You were indeed right, Yoki! Yay to my team! Even the Swedish newspapers carried a headline about Holmström's goal which clinched the win.

Nice that the Red Wings won, 'cause the Pistons lost. Ah, well. It's hard being a fan, eh?

Gonna take the wet clothes outta the washers and stick 'em in the dryers.

Cya later

Posted by: -ftb- | November 1, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. Beautiful sunny day, finally. The leaves will dry a bit.
No trick or treaters came to us for the second year in a row. Even the kid living on the other side of the street didn't visit. That's what you get on streets with a house every 250ft and no street lightning.

103kg of fuel for Alonzo? He's practicing for next year's no-refueling stops, surely. Beautiful track out there in Abu Dhabi.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | November 1, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

On the drive home last night after we crossed the border we switched the radio to the Leafs pre-game show, the announcers were actually finding hope in the Leafs near wins in the last few games, it was very sad really them spending time pointing out how the Leafs have progressed to almost not losing anymore.

To those of you with losing sports franchises, trust me it could be worse, a lot worse.

Posted by: dmd3 | November 1, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Morning all... the Boodle seems to be handling the time change well. This is the first time in, what?.... four years?

What's going on today? Who's got fun plans?

Posted by: -TBG- | November 1, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

dmd... making the rounds these days via email is a funeral program for the Deadskins. I got it twice at work on Friday from two different people.

Today I got this...

"Justice in Washington, DC (AP) - A seven-year old boy was at the center of a courtroom drama yesterday when he challenged a court ruling over who should have custody of him. The boy has a history of being beaten by his parents and the judge initially awarded custody to his aunt, in keeping with child custody law and regulation requiring that family unity be maintained to the highest degree possible..

"The boy surprised the court when he proclaimed that his aunt beat him more than his parents and he adamantly refused to live with her. When the judge then suggested that he live with his grandparents, the boy cried and said that they also beat him.

"After considering the remainder of the immediate family and learning that domestic violence was apparently a way of life among them, the judge took the unprecedented step of allowing the boy to propose who should have custody of him.

"After two recesses to check legal references and confer with the child welfare officials, the judge granted temporary custody to the Washington Redskins Football Team, whom the boy firmly believes are not capable of beating anyone."

Posted by: -TBG- | November 1, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

That is funny TBG, one paper in Toronto is currently running a contest for the best Leaf jokes (naming the starting line up I do not believe counts but it should).

Posted by: dmd3 | November 1, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

dmd, the Canadiens did what they could to let the Maple Leafs win last night, but to avail. They got a single point though.

The rendering plant operation has resumed, I'm making my homemade suet blocks. Last year's were a success with the raisins in them. I'm repeating the recipe but I hope for a little firmer texture in mild weather. Less lard (1.8 kg vs 2) and more beef suet (2.3 kg vs 2) will be used. Peanut butter remains the same at 2kg. We'll see.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | November 1, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

dmd, we just need brakes for the steep downhill!

Posted by: --dr-- | November 1, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

You fans of FMPs need to read Robin Gihvan today.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 1, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

dmd, what a creative gift - wonderful!

I envy women who can wear those very high heels without falling over or screaming in pain with every step.

Posted by: badsneakers | November 1, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Another beautiful posting last week from Maira Kalman...

Posted by: -TBG- | November 1, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Good morning! It is a lovely autumn morning here. The skies are blue blue and there isn't even much wind.

This morning I mused on the essentially artificial nature of our construct of time. By the sun, I got up at about the same time as yesterday and took my walk. The rabbit was ready for her carrot and breakfast; the dogs wanted their bones; the birds were chirping about their business; although I didn't see them today I'm sure the deer were doing whatever they do in the woods all day. The only creature conscious of any difference- that it was "earlier" - was me, and I was wrong. By the physical clock it was just the same as yesterday.

Sure, the sun, moon, stars etc. move around and have different positions over span of a day and night, measured by sunrise. We're the ones who divided things up into hours and minutes, and then put such importance on those distinctions, and then decided we could fool with them. It is only earlier because we agreed to let our brains tell us so.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 1, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

That's a great Redskins story, TBG.

The Boy and I may be going to a Hallowe'en cookout and egg hunt today. It was too wet on Easter to hunt eggs, so the Easter host thought it would be fun to have hot dogs and an egg hunt for All Saints Day. After all, there's lots of candy around.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 1, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Well put, Ivansmom (about time and all that).

I'm trying to install (temporarily) an external hard drive to get things off of it. The sticky wicket seems to be getting the USB cable to insert in one of my many hubs. Doesn't seem to want to get in there. I think I'll take out one of the ones I've got in the back of my Mac and try that. Technology is having "issues" with me. Or the other way around.

Isn't the sun supposed to come out today? Maybe later. As we are wont to say.

Posted by: -ftb- | November 1, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Draw strength from remembering how difficult such operations were before there were USB cables.

Posted by: Yoki | November 1, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

We're making Tim Horton coffee this morning, dr, thanks.

Posted by: seasea1 | November 1, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

My latest conspiracy theory is that They are sneaking the caffeine out of our coffee. It's a plot to ruin the economy, or at least shift it away from us old-school types that guzzle coffee and not "energy drinks" which is where I suspect the hijacked caffeine is going. That, and overseas. A net loss for the economy, though, for sure. I mean where do they get all the caffeine for those energy drinks anyway? Answer: my coffee. It's lost its power. In fact, I'm fortunate I was able to reason all this out. What with the caffeine being hijacked from my coffee.

Posted by: Jumper1 | November 1, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

*We've secretly replaced Jumper's coffee this morning with Folger's Decaf. Let's see if he notices.*

Posted by: -TBG- | November 1, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

At this rate I will be forced to emulate John Adams and consume a tankard of hard cider with my breakfasts. That won't do the economy any good, I can tell you that.

Posted by: Jumper1 | November 1, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Happy DST!

Late Friday they finally came through with my new work laptop with air card. I logged on this morning at 1:55 AM and waited for the time change to check my servers. Made a few corrections and went back to bed. Today, however, I'm unable to VPN in. Looks like the person who handles the VPN server had some problems. Glad it's not me! Sometimes I think DST is just one more way to make tech peeps get up in the middle of the night.

I was at a going-away party last night, but it was raining so hard here that I don't think there were any trick-or-treaters. I was back by 8 and none were out. The party's host wore a grass skirt, coconut shell/cord bra top and flower leis around his neck and twined around his baseball cap. Loved it.

Now what to do with all this candy? What I don't fax to y'all is going into the trash. Milk duds, heath bars, anyone?

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

Daughter bought Mike 'n Ikes so we wouldn't be too tempted to eat the leftovers. She's a smart one, that girl.

Posted by: -TBG- | November 1, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Hello everyone. Wow, do I know all about the sense of ownership that comes from being in an office all by myself. Weird hour shifts are like that. Although, in all honesty, I never know that button would do that.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | November 1, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Mudge knows that his Iggles have landed all over the Giants (so far).

Posted by: -ftb- | November 1, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Those are some high quality leftovers, dbG -- you can fax a few to me. We ran out after a moderate number of trick or treaters, but I had only bought a little, not knowing what numbers we were likely to get in the new neighborhood. Certainly more than the old neighborhood, so that's nice. And only one pair had to be prompted with "what do you say?" Sorry, standing there silently with bag held out won't cut it.

We went to a party with my colleagues but didn't manage costumes. I ran out of costume ideas somewhere around age 12, which hasn't mostly been an issue, but it seems as if most of this crowd comes up with something new and clever every year. I don't know if I can handle the pressure. It was fun seeing everyone, though. The cast of Mad Men looked great -- they should keep the look for real life. And I was impressed with "peace and quiet": a couple made up of a UN peacekeeper and a mime.

Posted by: -bia- | November 1, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

My favorite costume: Dress normally, hang a "res ipsa loquitor" sign around my neck, and talk.

The thing speaks for itself.

It is probably best to confine this to lawyer parties.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 1, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I had to take a quick jaunt to town. Darn stores already have Christmas decorations out. They must have been up all night taking away the Halloween stuff.

Posted by: --dr-- | November 1, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I have noticed I need more coffee these days, now that you mention it, Jumper.

Posted by: --dr-- | November 1, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

The stores here have had Christmas stuff out since Labor Day (September). Desperation.

Posted by: seasea1 | November 1, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Happy Standard Time my time-changing-Boodlers! You on the East Coast are now only five (5) hours ahead of me, woo hoo! I feel like I'm no longer on another planet. Strange how one hour makes such a difference. I'm only 2 hours behind my employer in CA now, which means I can't go home as early as I used to...shucks.

FTB - the spinach tomato casserole I made using your recipe was a hit with the grown-up crowd! It had a wonderful flavor, I think that chili sauce does the trick. It will become one of my potluck recipes from now on. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | November 1, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Young and skillful meets old and treacherous:

Posted by: Jumper1 | November 1, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

You are only too welcome, MotP (a/k/a Aloha)! It was my mother's recipe and I don't know where she got it, but I've loved it forever. It also makes a great vegetarian main dish, if one bends that way.

Just checked the scores and Detroit evened up with St. Louis 10-10. I dare not check until tomorrow's Detroit Free Press (Freep). Thank goodness that there are other sports afoot (or a-skate) to agonize over. Ah, well, I'm such a fair weather fan.

I did note that Philadelphia is wailing on the Giants. Mudge is going to be soooooo happy.

Gonna go see what's what. Or sumpin'.

Posted by: -ftb- | November 1, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Wow, the boodle made it through the time change without transporter sickness. Will wonders never cease?

Jumper-fax me some of that malt glazed ham. You take such lovely food pictures. Thanks for the link re: Google Voice. Our Fair City benefits indirectly from those higher access fees. Without them Paul Bunyan Telephone Cooperative could never have brought such wonderful service to the area, and I would have driven off a bridge long ago.

Maira Kalman's work always takes my breath away. Thanks for linking TBG.

The delicate dance of networking with those who could steer me toward paid employment has begun. Yes, those public job posting resumes are still going out but enough people in town know I'm looking now that there's no sense avoiding the friend and professional acquaintance approach.

Yoki-Did you ever eat on $15 for a week? I haven't eaten a store bought piece of bread since the big experiment. Got too spoiled I guess.

Ivansmom-your post about time was a poem.

Off to read the WaPo thoroughly. Anything I shouldn't miss? (Read the FMP story, I don't care what Robin G. says, they don't look remotely wearable.)

Posted by: frostbitten1 | November 1, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

ftb, when you have time, could you post or email me that recipe. I'm always interested in meatless casseroles for times when I'm just plain tired of meat.

We have returned from a nice brisk-ish walk. The clouds are definitely saying 'November.'
We saw a beautifully restored 1960 red MG, it kept going around one of the blocks we were walking and the people had stopped to talk to someone so we admired and asked which is how I know the year. Now to watch football games I don't care about and wait for dinner to finish cooking.

Posted by: badsneakers | November 1, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Here you go Sneaks:


2 pkgs frozen chopped spinach, cooked & drained
1 can Stewed Tomatoes (I try to find the one that's low-salt)
1/4 cup Heinz chili sauce (the sweet kind -- not salsa)
1 cup Ritz cracker crumbs (Ritz tastes the best; I make crumbs in a blender or food processor)
1 Cracker Barrel cheddar, shredded (I like mine with the sharpest flavor, and I use the low-fat variety)

Mix all together and put in an oven-safe casserole dish. Bake at 350 or so for maybe 40 minutes. Of course, since I am known to nuke everything food-wise, I nuke it on a turntable for maybe 7 or so minutes. It will depend on how powerful your microwave is.

Hope you like it, Sneaks.

Posted by: -ftb- | November 1, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Oh, EXPLETIVE! Detroit lost to St. Louis 17-10. I suppose I could be gracious and congratulate St. Louis for not having a winless season, but MAN . . . . .

Posted by: -ftb- | November 1, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Cool to see an American win the NY Marathon. And he had so much energy at the end it looked like he could have kept going for a while.

Posted by: -TBG- | November 1, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

frostbitten, I strongly recommend Karen Houppert's articel from the Post magazine:

I have already exchanged some email with the author, asking if she could post the unpublished essay that she references within her article.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 1, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Thanks ftb, sounds yummy!

Posted by: badsneakers | November 1, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Saw Lieberman on TV this morning. Ultimately it's to his advantage that that stuff I saw coming out of his mouth is not normally accurately described, in polite society.

Posted by: Jumper1 | November 1, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Well, Jumper, it appears to be common knowledge that Lieberman is *ahem* in bed with the health insurance companies. We can't expect anything else from him, can we?

Cya on the morrow perhaps.

Posted by: -ftb- | November 1, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

You have a stronger stomach than I do Jumper. I left the room when he came on.

Posted by: badsneakers | November 1, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

SciTim-many thanks, a very good read in 4:00PM twilight. Let us know if you are successful in getting her to post the essay.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | November 1, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Evening all,beautiful moon rising up over the mountain.Yup back in west by god for a few days.Fishing season is over boooooo.I wonder if those Canadian night crawlers can stay in the frig all winter and be ready for the spring?

Finally the Ravens won Yaaaaaaaay!!!

Well,out to visit friends for dinner.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | November 1, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Afternoon, Boodle. The last ray of sunshine is just hitting the courtyard, and then we'll subside into dusk. It was a *beautfiul* brisk fall day.

I did some major shopping, including picking up two new CDs and a bunch of Indian food-stuffs. Looks like rice and dal and curried eggplant for dinner.

Frosti, I did the $15 challenge the week of the 19th. Need to write it up. I made it, but only because kind friends fed me twice during that week, one lunch and one dinner.

Hope everybody is enjoying the wind-down of Sunday.

Posted by: Yoki | November 1, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Yoki-just proof that when you have friends you are rich indeed.

Watching Green Bay and the Vikings for Mr. F who is en route to DC this evening. I told him it is not a good idea for me to watch the Vikes. They have plenty of time to blow a 24-13 lead.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | November 1, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Beautiful sunny day here. We had a walk at the lake, then I spent most of the day finishing a chullo hat for Mr seasea. One earflap to go. Here are some examples - his is just one color (blue), no pom-pom.

Posted by: seasea1 | November 1, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

I understand congratulations are due to Redskins fans. Ivansdad tells me that as they did not play this weekend, they did not lose. Baby steps, y'all, baby steps.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 1, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | November 1, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, "Res ipsa loquitor" cracked me up. Or you could do a Latin club party...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 1, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Very funny Ivansmom!

Posted by: dmd3 | November 1, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Please, DC-area Boodlers, tell me that at least one of you has tickets to see Kate Blanchett as Blanche Dubois in "Street Car." 'Cause I reely reely would like to see it, and if I can't live vicariously through you, through whom can I?

Posted by: Yoki | November 1, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

A good Halloween and a good day of football.

Oh, and s_d - all that fuel didn't do Alonso much good at Abu Dhabi, did it? The idea of running a long stint on the prime tires and a short run at the end on the options might have worked for him - if he weren't driving one of those Renault chassis. Vettel drove a great race for the win, though I think my guy Hamilton would have won if he hadn't had the brake problems.

Now to check out the Ghivan article...


Posted by: -bc- | November 1, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

The Queen City loses yet another piece of history:

This made me think of my childhood in Chicago. There was a Magikist carpets billboard posted somewhere along a major freeway on our way through the city to the outlying 'burbs where we lived. Landmark stuff. When I saw the sign, it always felt like home. Likewise for the JFG sign. *sigh*

Posted by: -jack- | November 1, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Hey, bc. What does that mean? What is it about the Renault chassis that contraindicates the strategy?

Posted by: Yoki | November 1, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

The very billboard I spoke of, torn down some five years ago. Scroll down through the posts, and you'll see it. Lips kind of like Jagger's. In lights.

Posted by: -jack- | November 1, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, everybody. Looks like you all had a pleasant day. I see that the Panthers beat Arizona, that's a good thing.

In spite of numerous glitches with exhibitors, fire station conference is going well. We had ten unregistered people show up, including three from D.C. who got up this morning and decided to drive down. Just tomorrow, and it will be over! And we won't have lost our shirts! (I'm pretty sure of that.)

Ivansmom, that costume was hilarious.

Posted by: slyness | November 1, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

BlatantKidBragging Alert:

Blink and you miss him, but my baby is marching in the saxophones (just behind the band section leader for that group) in this video:

Go Jackets!

Posted by: yellojkt | November 1, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Best view of him is at 1:16.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 1, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Ha, jack. That's great. Grand, really.

Posted by: Yoki | November 1, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Language mavens, this is for you. A spelling quiz, and it's hard!

As you might have guessed, I scored poorly, and I was a champion in elementary and high school.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | November 1, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand how to use that page, rickoshea. It doesn't want me to type directly on to it. Are we to use paper and keep track of the numbers?

Posted by: Yoki | November 1, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't make the page interactive either. I quarrel with some of the pronunciations given for "say and spell" - I know they were being phonetic and as exact as they could but some of them I had to figure out what the word was intended to be before I could spell it. I did know the spellings.

I'm about ready to pretend there was no time change and get to sleep early again.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 1, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I don't know the answer. I took the quiz on the dead tree edition. I think you can either print it out, or you can write on a sheet of paper and check the answers, which seems awkward. I do notice that there's a link to the answer sheet.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | November 1, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, I agree with you on the pronunciations, as a native Bostonian, they make no sense to me. I had to do as you did.

My take-away message was that my spelling discrimination has been severely altered.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | November 1, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

After spending the weekend with many native Bostonians, and residents of the Boston area - your comment made me giggle rickoshea.

Posted by: dmd3 | November 1, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Just fascinating:

So further research yields a whole box of treats in store

which I will leave for later.

Posted by: Jumper1 | November 1, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

The only word I couldn't get from the definition (the pronuncations are interesting, indeed) was... what I am guessing must be.. geodice?

Oh, geodesy. That is a new word for me.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 1, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Isn't that great? I'm *ancient* and have a huge vocabulary, and still find new words, here and there. Not geodesy, I already knew that one, but it happens, from time to time. It makes me happy.

Posted by: Yoki | November 1, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Oy kilt't.

Posted by: Yoki | November 1, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

It's just resting from your New Yorker Braveheart impression, Yoki.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 1, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Parnell, I think.

Posted by: Yoki | November 1, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

it's not quite dead yet

Posted by: -jack- | November 1, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Whew! Paroled.

Posted by: Yoki | November 1, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

I don't want to go on the cart.

Posted by: Yoki | November 1, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

heavens forbid. I just threw something askew in my lower back. considering that my youth is gone, I'm hopeful that the pain is temporary, perhaps the dreaded tetany associated with the temporary misuse of a muscle not used to contracting in such an unnatural manner. The only other way my back would behave in this way would be in an unlikely activity for me, like yoga.

Posted by: -jack- | November 1, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | November 1, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

spam and eggs, bacon, and spam, spam, eggs, bacon, and spam

Posted by: -jack- | November 1, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

and Spam and ham, also Spam and Spam.

Posted by: Yoki | November 1, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

this differentiates *us* from all other primates, because *we* get it. the spam vignette. laugh, because you can.

Posted by: -jack- | November 1, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Since we've understood that tool use doesn't distinguish us, laughter is the last best front. Though.... I did once take care of a bulldog who laughed and had a sense of humour, so maybe we're just animals.

Posted by: Yoki | November 2, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

yes, and this one needs to rest..good night, sleep tight...

Posted by: -jack- | November 2, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

I interrupt this program to say:


Posted by: rickoshea1 | November 2, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Yoki,speaking for us--
Fire, pets, buildings, writing?
You're some weird critters.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 2, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse


You have *no* idea.

Posted by: Yoki | November 2, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Middle of the Pacific! So sorry!

I completely skipped past your post. Just found it when I went back just now to see if you ever got back. STOOOPID me!

Wow, I think I used to go to church near there. Catholic church... open design. I also spent a lot of time playing sports at that park near there.

Yes, the house was way up. The front of the house was about 50 to 60 feet up and on stilts. We had a wonderful view of Waikiki all the way over to Tantalus. My father brought back large ferns from the big island. We had a massive mango tree next to my window. There was an awai babbling under my window. I remember the breezes that would blow and the sounds of the leaves rustling in the wind.

I am wondering, is Chinese New Year still the noisiest day of the year?

Posted by: russianthistle | November 2, 2009 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Now a sider and wiser Pooh goes to have my bath.

Posted by: Yoki | November 2, 2009 3:16 AM | Report abuse

Good morning.

Paul Hollander's piece on the "idealistic violence" of the Soviet Union makes me wonder. How did assorted Americans ever take the Soviets seriously, at least after the Great Depression? A regime that banned genetics and plant breeding couldn't be all that good at science. And also, how could anyone be unaware of the assorted state-sponsored purges, famines, and mass shipments of people to Siberia, often simply dumping them on a riverside?

Dionne's piece on health care looks impressive (gotta wait to see what the nice Mr. Ezra Klein says), but all day, I've been playing out in my mind a Michael Moore movie due to be made about five years from now.

A caravan of tour buses will be blocking the front entrance to a Famous Cancer Hospital in Houston. The buses will be stuffed with Texas residents, all US citizens, who are suffering from cancers and have been denied care anywhere in the state. After Moore makes a big, nasty scene, the buses depart to Minnesota, Massachusetts, and other states where resident status, health insurance, and treatment have already been lined up.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | November 2, 2009 3:38 AM | Report abuse

Baked beans are off...

*off-to-the-Dawn-Patrol-flight-line Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 2, 2009 5:26 AM | Report abuse

Good morninckzz ye Boodlers!

A simple message for Obama:

In Afghanistan this is the way things work.
When there is no king, tribal leaders and warlords get together, have a Loya Jirga near Kabul, eat lots of lamb, elect a king, give him a few gifts and go home.

Invaders have to pay a high price for lamb before they, too go home.


Posted by: Braguine | November 2, 2009 6:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all, and happy Monday. I hope everyone has a pleasant day. Off to get ready for today's conference. Enjoy the ham biscuits while they're warm!

Posted by: slyness | November 2, 2009 6:35 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. another glorious, cold day.

Good game for Favre last night. I hope he stays healthy enough to play January football, what a story he would make.

Yoki, bc just meant the Renault hasn't been competitive this year. Alonzo is one of the prime pilot of the series yet got very little out of this year's chassis. He typically started between the 5th and 10th position despite his strenght as a qualifyer and only managed to grab a few points here and there. The car had no speed as they say (despite going 300km/h in straightline, 180 in chicanes and 80 around an hairpin...) Renault really had an annus horribilis. Alonso will be in a Ferrari next year, with a new set of rules for the cars, including no in-race refueling.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | November 2, 2009 7:14 AM | Report abuse

I have never played a round of golf in my life, but if I am ever in Indonesia I may have to try a few holes.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 2, 2009 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Quite an achievement for my home state...

I think. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 2, 2009 7:34 AM | Report abuse

A surfing Olympic torchbearer

Posted by: dmd3 | November 2, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Scotty! how's the brand new computer feel?

Posted by: russianthistle | November 2, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Same as it ever was, Weed... *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 2, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, I will share my Beignets with you! May even break out some fruit. I had been saving the fruit for some Sabayon sauce.

Posted by: russianthistle | November 2, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Hope everyone had a nice weekend.

Read the two Pundit contestant pieces. Yeck to No. 1, and yawn to #2.

Howie Kurtz's column this morning is all about Doonesbury and Gary Trudeau vis a vis Twitter and tweetingm, and his great Roland Hedley character, and for nearly two full web pages. Then Kurtz discusses a new Web site for about a full page. Therefore, that being the case, the editors at the WaPo have illustrated that column with a head shot of Rush Limbaugh. Sure, why the hell not? After all, Kurtz mentions Limbaugh-- in the 34th paragraph.

I have no doubt that the WaPo will illustrate Warren Brown's car column with a photo of a pastrami sandwich, and will illustrate Samuelson's economics column with a photo of Bugs Bunny. After all, relevance is just sooooooooooo 20th century. "Linear" is out. "Edgy" is in. And you can always run a head shot of Rush Limbaugh whenever the mood strikes.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 2, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Why does "beignet" rhyme with Ben-Gay?

Just a thought. I have no work to do again this morning.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 2, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!

(Mudge's been Mudged!)

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | November 2, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

No. It doesn't count as being mudged until after the new kit announcement. (The next boodle post will be an official mudged.)

Posted by: yellojkt | November 2, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

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