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I started as a paperboy, nine years old. The Sun was an afternoon paper then, except on the weekends, when I had to get up before dawn. Usually my step-father drove our old Chevy up and down the street as we threw the rubber-banded paper to the doorstep, letting it spin in the air like a Frisbee. Most of our income came from the bottles we spotted in the bushes and turned in for the 3-cent deposit. Collecting money was the most onerous part of it. You had to knock on doors and announce your intention. "Paperboy, here to collect." All manner of beings answered those knocks -- it could get a little creepy. And at the end of the month, you turned in the takings, except for the paperboy's cut, a nickel per paper per day as I recall. It was an odd business model, but it seemed to work, and newspapers managed to be an integral part of daily life while minting money for their owners.

Here's Saul Bellow in The Adventures of Augie March:

he loved to get out of the houses and have the coffee before him and the bulldog edition under his arm.

We would go back to the shed to meet the paper trucks that came booming down the alley, tearing off leaves, with punks on the tail gate (to be on newspaper trucks was as sure a stage in their advancement to hoodlums as a hitch in Bridewell or joy-riding in stolen cars), booting off bundles of Tribunes and Examiners. Then the crew of delivery boys showed up on bicycles and coasters, and the route was covered by eight o'clock, Coblin and his older hands taking the steep back porches where you needed the knack of pitching the paper up to the third floor over the beams and clotheslines.

The other day I was talking to a bartender near 14th and U, a young guy, 25, fairly new in town. He subscribes to no newspaper. He reads some of The Post online, but his homepage is that of The New York Times. And he's happy with that arrangement, even though, as I tried to explain, it's not a sustainable model.

The latest circulation numbers are dismaying. News organizations and readers have to come together to figure out a way to support, with actual money, the creation of content, because freeloading and parasitism aren't going to sustain the business of serious news gathering. You want to read a really important, in-depth story on Afghanistan, reported and written by a veteran journalist with great sources? Producing that costs a lot of money. A reporter doesn't knock out a story like that in an afternoon.

I wish I had answers. There is some talk (ill-informed) about how the "objective" model of journalism is the problem, that there's too much he-said, she-said, etc. (see this Calderone piece at Politico), but the business problems come from the decline of classified ads in print and a broad change in the way people consume news. Some mornings, my paper sits out there in the rain the sidewalk while I peruse its contents on the laptop (which nicely doubles as a content creator).

Sure, I might be able to guilt-trip that bartender into subscribing. But he said he can't imagine reading such a thing. It would just sit in the corner, piling up, he said, making him feel bad about the wasted resources.

Times change. He's never going to be a guy who loves "to get out of the house with the coffee before him and the bulldog edition under his arm."

By Joel Achenbach  |  October 28, 2009; 10:35 AM ET
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Two minutes to launch of the Ares 1-X just fyi...

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

Launch in one minute.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 28, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Ares is up, up and away...

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 28, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Uh-oh, that separation looked a little hinky...

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 28, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Was it supposed to tumble like that?

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 28, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

If I could afford it, I would absolutely subscribe to the Observer down here. I'm glad we still get the Post back home.

Thank goodness for, though, because as far as I'm concerned, the Post will always be *my* paper, no matter where I live.

Posted by: SonofG | October 28, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Certainly Bellow's fictional Augie March knew the origin of the word shed? Dowd does, as she explains in her op-ed today:

Oval man cave from Dowd. A stab at the difference between the sexes from the Washington Post's Ruth Marcus today.

And a fascinating look at another bastion of male exclusivity--besides Sunday morning network talk shows, the miniscule, if nonexistent, number of women writing for late-night comedy shows. A really revealing piece this morning at the NYT about Nell Scovell, ex-Letterman comedy writer, and her feelings about the hostile work environment in the funnyman's man cave.

Interestingly enough, one of Letterman's comedy writers, Bill Scheft, will be in Austin Saturday afternoon, from 2:30 to 3:15 in Capitol Extension Room E2.026, to talk about his recent book, "Everything Hurts." Seems that should be the title of a book Scovell should write.

If the business problems come from the decline in the amount of revenue generated from classified ads, then why pester the bartender? What percentage of circulation revenues contribute to the Washington Post's bottom line? Now, that would be an interesting figure.

I noticed something interesting at our paper's website last night: the Express-News is now carrying Twitter feeds on its home page from local media, both television and radio. San Antonio's "express news" now comes from broadcast media as the source, not print. I found Schroder's Kit interesting the other day, but I found his business model extremely weak and him to be about 15 years behind the time in comparison to Silicon Valley in terms of establishing himself electronically.

Posted by: laloomis | October 28, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Looked like an excellent launch. Here's the play by play from a blog:

Posted by: joelache | October 28, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

The upper stage was a dummy -- and i think the odd way it tumbled away may have had something to do with that.

Posted by: joelache | October 28, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Stupid upper stage... D'oh! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 28, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

*waving hello to sonofg*

joel, i feel exactly the way that bartender feels - i honestly don't like reading paper newspapers. however, i could be persuaded to pay a subscription for the online version.

Posted by: LALurker | October 28, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Joel must have been at the tail-end of the paper delivery business. I remember when I was a kid (that's about 15 years earlier than Joel) I sometimes helped a friend deliver the Washington Daily News, which was a p.m. rag. But I don't remember such deliveries for a LONG time. One thing I did think was neat was the wooden wagon with the spoked wheels that the paper provided to the kid to lug them around in.

Any more, it's some guy from Mt. Airy with an SUV load tossing them out the window, and getting invoiced by mail once a month.

Posted by: ebtnut | October 28, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I too started out tossing newspapers onto porches. Collecting was the worst. One old man used to call me the paper doll, and made creepy references to playing with dolls.

laloomis, I didn't get pestering, I got intelligent discussion. And if more people got the print edition, more businesses might find it cost effective to toss their advertising money in that direction. Subscription income matters to trade mags like The Cook Political Report, not daily newspapers like The Washington Post. (Sorry if this is too much detail; I sort of thought maybe you went to journalism school and knew these things, but based on your post, that might be wrong.)

Have a happy day all.

Posted by: LostInThought | October 28, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Video of Ares test

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 28, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Joel, I'm sure glad you didn't advance to a hoodlum.

Hey, when I wrote that I noticed that the sentence structure is grammatically incorrect. How come Bellow gets away with it!

Hi, SonofG!

Posted by: kbertocci | October 28, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I have had two paper routes in my life. When I was twelve I began to deliver the Atlanta Journal Constitution. I had a huge basket in front of my five-speed bicycle, and two more baskets astride the rear wheel. Sundays were a bear. I may have had to ride back for a second load on Sundays; I can barely remember. The hills in Atlanta made it tough. I don't even remember the route very well. One weekend I got caught in a gasoline fire and had to go into the hospital for weeks which put an end to my newspaper career for a while.

During the '80s I had a brief stint as a pressman for the Bryan - College Station Eagle. I liked the work quite a lot but the personnel environment was the most toxic I have ever seen. And believe me, I've seen some doozies. I only lasted about three weeks before I decided I couldn't suffer through likely at least a decade of misery from the poor excuses for human beings who were in the pressroom.

Revolted by the corpocracy in the mid '90s, I dropped out of engineering for a while and lived on tree work and another paper route. I delivered to a public-housing neighborhood no one else would touch. It was the height of the crack wildfire epidemic there. It was considered dangerous, although I learned that most crackheads would quickly sell a gun for cash, and weren't very threatening overall anyway. Much of the neighborhood was solid middle-class; some was poverty. And the local newspaper had decided to have distribution managers do the collecting, so I didn't have to collect! I got paid cash. Sweet. That route I threw out of my old '86 Nissan truck. I was too lazy to always bag my papers; it USUALLY didn't start unforcasted raining. I could almost live off the paper route (I had very cheap rent at the time)

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 28, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Put the content online for free. Charge a fee for the right to comment. Problem solved.

Posted by: kguy1 | October 28, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

My latest obsessions about newspapers are that they need to sell them in the grocery checkout lanes, and also get rid of the delivery people and have the post office do it. Since they are coming around anyway... save a trip, you know.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 28, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

There was a time when I not only freelanced for my local paper, I also delivered it! Cradle-to-grave journalism, you might say.

Once the editor noticed this situation, however, I soon found myself a full-time member of the newsroom.

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 28, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I would happily pay for an online subscription to the WaPo and the NYT - in fact, for a while, I *did* pay for the Times "Select" service. But don't ask me to buy dead trees with ink all over them, because I hate hate hate having that ink get everywhere. To say nothing of the loss of the trees.

Would I pay for online subscription service in a smaller town? Maybe. It would depend on how much actual reporting the paper did (and on their website); if it was just clips from AP and Reuters, with only a local HS sports summary and the obits, no.

I think that daily papers are going to go the way of the dinosaur, sad to say. But they're going to have to start charging for content, and people get much of their day-to-day news from TV now. The in-depth reporting and especially analysis that good papers provide might survive in an online (subscription) magazine format, but the days of having one entity provide all of a consumer's news and analysis on all subjects, local, national and global, are numbered.

Posted by: northgs | October 28, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Item 1: I don't think it would work to charge for the right to comment. The truth is that on the many web sites that require even free registration in order to comment, I generally elect not to comment at all, rather than go through another tiresome registration exercise.

Item 2: How do you know that Joel did not advance to hoodlum? Perhaps he went through a brief hoodlum phase after high school and before Princeton, recounted in his forthcoming mini-memoir: "I Clocked an Orange: a month spent on the mean streets of Gainesville, FL". Everything is research, everything is a source of material.

Item 3: Joel, I note that the very first person to ignore the Kit and go rampantly off topic, was you.

Item 4: I was startled by the upper stage separation. I have not been diligently reading the endless stream of tiresome press releases, so I didn't realize that the upper stage had no propulsion. I had been assuming it would proceed to orbit -- which surprised me a little, but not enough to do any background reading, because I didn't think the crew capsule was ready enough to do a re-entry test. All paradoxes now have been resolved and everything makes sense.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 28, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I must admit that I first signed up for WP delivery to get the Sunday paper (and thus, the coupons and ads). Now it's part of my daily routine, and on days where my paper is nowhere to be found when I leave for work, it really puts me in a bad mood. There's just something to reading the paper, getting the ink on your hands, ripping out a recipe or article you want to keep. I'm 26, and I'll subscribe to the WP as long as I live in the area.

Posted by: mermaid5 | October 28, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Didn't you folks read Joel's book, "I Was a Rewrite Guy on a Georgia Chaingang"?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 28, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

They forgot to put an engine on the upper stage? How the hell are we gonna get to the planet LEO if they forget to stick the %$#&^ motors on some of the stages?

I'm not riding in that damned thing.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 28, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Why, hello, 26-year-old Mermaid. Welcome to the Boodle. Have I mentioned that I am often mistaken for a young Robert Redford?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 28, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Don't ask him about the Sonic Disruptor, mermaid... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 28, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Lost in Thought,
Your harassing posts remind me of a little yapping chihuahua.

I'm still trying to get my mind around you assuming that you were sitting at a table at Dirty Annie's in Wyoming, knowing what was quoted or not quoted, or if something were paraphased--and apparantly not knowing a piece of paleo lingo. Expanding upon the stalking meme introduced by another Boodler and calling me out as a stalker went beyond what is appropriate. I've considered taking your libel up with Hal Strauss more than once--as I took up Yoki's libelous posts with the ombudsman, with very inadequate feedback, I might add.

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


Posted by: ScienceTim | October 28, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm 39 and have never subscribed to a newspaper. But I've always worked in libraries so the papers have always been around if I wanted to peruse (which I do on Thursdays- when my favorite sections of the NY Times are printed).

So maybe libraries are newspapers best friends?

Posted by: mfigiel-krueger | October 28, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I see LiT, much more as a beautiful Collie.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 28, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Libraries ought to be everyone's best friends, m-k, but unfortunately they are becoming like newspapers: underfunded, understaffed, under-used, and nobody misses them when they are declining, but it will be a much darker world when they are gone.

I have an idea. If we can't afford to put a real rocket engine on that Ares upper stage, maybe we should make it like those toys we had as kids: fill the tank with water, and pump lots of air into it, and then when you release the trigger, the air pressure launches it.

OK, it was just a preliminary idea. It probably needs tweaking.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 28, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Or the crew could all jump and fart together simulatenously, Mudge.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 28, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I gots wiggle-worms on my plots! Wiggle-worms, I tells ya!

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 28, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

*faxing SciTim a quart of weapons-grade wiggle-wormicide and two cloves of garlic to wear around his neck*

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 28, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Not two cloves. I meant two heads.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 28, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Wiggle worms would make me plotz, I can tellya...

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 28, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Call greenworthy

Posted by: bh72 | October 28, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I think that having a conversation with a bartender about one's work isn't "pestering," loomis. If that person working the bar has intelligent perspective and insight about what I do for a living, I'd consider that useful information. But, that's just me -- and apparently others.

A follow-up thought: Do you really want to draw further attention to yourself from the WaPo folks aside from the Ombudsman?

On to the Ares 1-X - *Tim, I think Joel covered the fact that the flight was a suborbital test of the booster flight systems and that the upper stage would be an Ocean Jart somewhere downrange.

And yeah, that unpowered stage sep looked really ungainly, like a Bad Estes Moment. Like someone starting a game of Pick-up Stix 28 miles up.


Posted by: -bc- | October 28, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I can work myself up to a good depression thinking about the decline in newspaper readership in this country. I have subscribed to the San Francisco Chronicle for 35 years. There was recently a big price hike. Not only did I pay it gladly, I paid for a longer period of time to give them more cash up front. I am of the opinion that our democracy would suffer if everything were on line. As Joel said, who's going to visit those countries and do first-hand reporting of foreign policy issues that matter to us? Who's going to watchdog politicians if there are no investigative reporters, with budgets to do the investigating.

I do some online reading as well, obviously the WP. I read my very local town weekly online and the NY Times online. I paid for Times Select until they discontinued it. The only reason I don't get The Times delivered as a subscriber is that two papers per day would be just too much for me to get to.

Posted by: novelera | October 28, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

So, the AP article from the WaPo front page says that the upper stage did not parachute, it simply fell. I hope somebody was recording the event! A supersonic impact into water would make a dandy cratering experiment.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 28, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Was a paper girl sorta. Girls could not be such, then, but could substitute for a brother-paper boy. I did.

Great Falls Tribune.

But the afternoon paper had another model: newsboys standing near traffic lights and shopping centers:
LEE-DAH." pause "GET YAR"


The afternoon sheet was the
Great Falls Leader.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 28, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. It is so nice to see the new and occasional posters coming out to talk about newspapers. Welcome back, novelera. Howdy, mermaid5, mfigiel-kruger, northgs. And it is always splendid to see SonofG.

Although I'm a fan of newspapers I don't subscribe to any. The WSJ priced me out of its market. There's no point in having a home subscription to any paper here anyway, since they won't deliver it to my door. They won't even deliver it to the driveway. We have to go to the gate at the top of the road, where animals, passersby or weather may have wreaked havoc. When I was a girl they drove all the way down, tossed the paper somewhere near the house, and drove back out. Hmmph.

Someone called me a poodle once. I laughed and said I'm pretty short but had never before been mistaken for a dog.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 28, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

We still subscribe to the Boston Globe but if it wasn't for "S" liking the deadtree crossword rather than the one online, I think I would stop subscribing and just buy the Sunday Globe. I like the idea of a real paper newspaper but the Globe is a shadow of its former self - something that became even more apparent when we were in DC last year and had the opportunity to read the WaPo.

Nostalgia for 'paperboys' aside, at least the grown up who delivers our paper gets it close to the door, which a series of paperboys through the years hardly ever managed to do.

Posted by: badsneakers | October 28, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

In hair, I am a reddish golden retriever. In attitude, most faithful and hard working, so let that be a lab or other working dog. I tend to need exercise and purposefulness so, say, that makes me a cattle dog. I grew up around Norwegian elkhounds who served as pen dogs helping bring dairy cows into the milking parlour. Let me be that, rather than the frantic nippers like corgies and Aussie sheps.

I do have a small mini poodle. Do not resemble this in coloration (smokey black) or etc. But, I do walk with a jaunt in my step. As does she.

Yoki, am thinking of you as magnicently shaped and leggy like a dark haired collie. Your nose, however, is not so shaped. More modest and celtic rather than Gaellic or Aquiline.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 28, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Bummer, Ivansmom!

I literally do not remember a time I didn't read at least one newspaper a day. You all will recall that my dad covered city hall for the afternoon daily, The Charlotte News, of blessed memory. I would come home from school and spread the paper out on the living room carpet so I could plop down to read it.

Elderdottir, age 27, has a weekend subsription to the Charlotte Observer. She talks about cancelling, but the last time she said something, it was that she had gotten enough coupons out of a Sunday paper to justify keeping the subscription.

My opinion is that the online aggregators who are making a killing should have to pay something to the content generators to whom they are linking. Hellooo? That said, I'd pay for a subscription to

Posted by: slyness | October 28, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I still get the impulse, once in a blue moon, to go outside and see if the Evening Star has been delivered yet.

In this day of 24-hour news, it's hard to explain how wonderful that new infusion of information was every day. Besides... they had great comics, too. And Dear Abby.

I think of LiT as more of a Spaniel. Not sure why, but it's a good thing. I am so NOT a dog person that I can't even imagine what kind I'd be.

I believe it's the Dalmatian that tends to have a sensitive temperament because of its long, pure lineage, isn't it?

Posted by: -TBG- | October 28, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

laloomis, how very... cogent.

Posted by: bobsewell | October 28, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm just glad we're talking about female dogs in conjunction with this.

Posted by: SonofG | October 28, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I am allergic to petrol or soy-based newspaper ink, so never have had the habit of subscribing (some newspapers are better than others).

I would get the Washington Post in MN if I could, though.

I must say my ink allergies probably developed when I stuffed and helped my siblings with their Washington Post paper route.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 28, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I was going to shout "catfight" but something tells me not to.

I would like a dead tree edition which does not use inks so toxic and mysterious they caution people not only to not eat off of it (like, don't put your fried eggplant on it to drain - the ink may kill you) but they say don't even compost it - if you put the COMPOST on your vegetables, the ink may kill you. That's some dubious ink, boy... and the reeking stuff that comes in the Sunday edition advertisements would change the gender of a full-grown polar bear... before giving it six kinds of cancer, and then liver failure...

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 28, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Son of G, you better subscribe to the paper or my family will DIE OF STARVATION.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 28, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Definitely not allergic to WashPost ink. Most days, after I finish reading the paper, I eat it. Usually with barbecue sauce. I find it's tastiest after being warmed in a 350-400 degree F oven for about fifteen minutes.

Posted by: bobsewell | October 28, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Nothing like a high fibre meal bob.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 28, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Of course, the Food section is the tastiest.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 28, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

You know what they say of the dogs and their masters.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 28, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

In was just thinking how much like my dog I am, passable looking, a mutt, all bark no bite and a little think at times, not to mention stubborn. I also respond well to treats.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 28, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Yeah dmd, I just realized I've got crooked teeth, short legs and a massive upper body, just like the VLP.

I'm not the dummest person I know though. The poor VLP is not improving in the brains department, oh man, that dog is stoopid.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 28, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

At least I do not make typos,

Sincerely, dmddog.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 28, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Oh my god! You look like an older Elvis, SD.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 28, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Four handsome paws, check;
Fur still black, thick, short, greying.
I'm not gnomish-- phew!


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 28, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Most people say I look like Dan Aykroyd Wilbrod but thanks anyway.
I feel like I could go for a couple of cheeseburgers, a fifth of bourbon and a handful of darvons suddenly.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 28, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Well VLP ain't nothing but a hound dog, he shouldn't tread on your blue suede shoes.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 28, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

i see LiT more as a Weimaraner - elegant, sleek, beautiful and mysterious with the beautiful eyes that give it a regal appearance. i think i would be more of a yappy chihuahua... but then i like chihuahuas - yappy or otherwise. it's the insufferable bores i can't stand.


Posted by: mortii | October 28, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

and SonofG!!! *hugs*

i don't subscribe to the dead tree version anymore - i used to subscribe to the sunday - usually just for the tv guide, the travel section and the comics - but it would end up piling up in my living room with me vowing to read it and never doing so...


Posted by: mortii | October 28, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Those terrorists in Peshawar are horrible, horrible creatures.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 28, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse


I used to have two cocker spaniels who aparently shared one brain - and a small one, at that. They were littermates and completely incorrigible. Of course, it was the labs we acquired later who ate the exterior siding off the dog room. Who knew thick fiberboard was an essential part of a canine diet? I replaced it with concrete siding, which they did not seem to view as food (making it about the only substance in that category).

To lok at, I like giant poodles. When they don't have silly haircuts, they look very dignified. When they do, look out: I think they know how silly they look and are very bad-tempered.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 28, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Here's an interesting article.

Joe "stealth republican" Lieberman's wife works for that outfit.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 28, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Dude. Wow. Just got back in, and look what I missed! It is so not fair.

laloomis wrote:

Lost in Thought,
Your harassing posts remind me of a little yapping chihuahua.

I'm still trying to get my mind around you assuming that you were sitting at a table at Dirty Annie's in Wyoming, knowing what was quoted or not quoted, or if something were paraphased--and apparantly (sic) not knowing a piece of paleo lingo. Expanding upon the stalking meme introduced by another Boodler and calling me out as a stalker went beyond what is appropriate. I've considered taking your libel up with Hal Strauss more than once--as I took up Yoki's libelous posts with the ombudsman, with very inadequate feedback, I might add.

Me again. Wow. You really had a whole drama going on in your head about this, didn't you? Maybe too much Dan Brown? You sounded worried. Don't be. You can let your mind rest. I didn't learn of the info through pillow talk, and I'm not having a cyber-affair with your dream date...I merely gleaned from what you've posted. Really, I'm surprised that you made such a grand leap, considering you've posted pretty much everything about yourself *and* your husband *and* his employer *and* your sister. Shoot, you've posted the personal info of some stray person who ended up standing next to you in line. Besides, 1/the man loves his wife, 2/the Spouse isn't likely to put up with that kind of carp, and 3/he's not my type. Mudge is.

Paleo language? Huh?

About the dog thing....Jumper, you make me laugh. Thanks. And I like the way you write. The mental snaps are great. Mo, thank you so very much. SoG, you know I love you more and more each day. I keep my personal info off the boodle (which must drive some types wild); for all they know I'm some pitbull type--I have been called Cruella, doncha know. Picture it...I could be some tatted out biker babe, ready to kick butt and ask questions later. Or I could be a wealthy woman who wouldn't mind taking a little ride down to the land of big hair and drawn-on eyebrows to have a little come-to-Jesus (sorry to the non-Christians) with a one-eyed torn-eared half-tailed porch blitch with fleas. Or I could be Lassie. Sweet and tame, but will bite the robber where it counts when needed.

I had to deal with an unpleasant person this morning, then saw your post ragging on JA, and posted what might be considered a snippy post to you (so hard to hear inflection on the boodle, no?). Funny how you think I'm harassing you, when I thought you were harassing JA. I actually felt bad about it, until now. Go ahead and report me. He'll laugh. I didn't post anything actionable. Besides, we both have our bodies of work to speak for us, and while mine might not be stellar, it ain't yours.

Posted by: LostInThought | October 28, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Retweeting @FakeAPStylebook: To make extra money, subtly insert paid advertisements into your work and always drink Pepsi.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 28, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

I am listening to Ella Fitzgerald and plotting the course of the planets (and a tiny spacecraft). All is swell.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 28, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

tatted out biker babe = TOBB. Hey, LiT, let's start a club however, I go for temptatoos. Henna ones for special occasions.

TOBB forever. Word.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 28, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

This is a clever kit. It really speaks to the intimate relationship between newspapers and culture. And I know the decline must be terrifying for those in the industry, but I believe that talent will always find a way because of the reasons Joel stated. There will always be a desire for serious in-depth professional reporting.

Oh, and what LiT said.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 28, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse


You will always be an elegant greyhound in my Boodle recasting of Lady and The Tramp. I would hope to be a springer spaniel, but am probably only a beagle/poodle mix.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 28, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

TBG, a Golden-doodle, I think. SoG!!! Definitely a lab.

dmd, maybe a Toller?

I myself would be a lab/German Shepherd mix.

Not that *Tim asked, but I'd say purebred Border Collie. :-)

Posted by: -dbG- | October 28, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm... could this be our LiT?

Posted by: -TBG- | October 28, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

LiT, we know one personal thing: you have excellent taste in shoes. I was taught that a lady always is well shod, no matter the rest of her attire.

I singularly fail to live up to that stricture. I do, however, always carry a handkerchief.

yello, you're much smarter than a springer spaniel.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 28, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | October 28, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I am flattered dbG, my old boss had three tollers, lovely dogs but hyper, I am many things but hyper not a all much more slug like, more like a Golden after the puppy stage.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 28, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Shrieking, I loved the Very Large Couch Potato picture. What kind of creature is that again? I know you say it is canine, and I'll accept that, but what's the breed?

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 28, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, dmd, I wasn't thinking hyper, just a lively intelligence. I can see Golden!

Posted by: -dbG- | October 28, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Gonna watch the Phillies, dbG?

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | October 28, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

I suspect I should not get credit for funny dog writings today. LIT, someone else, perhaps?

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 28, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Ivansmom | October 28, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Whatever happened to boko?

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 28, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Not a bunny. A French boodle.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | October 28, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

The Phillies-Yankees game has pre-empted tonight's "Glee." I feel I owe you all an apology.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | October 28, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Ai, chihuahua!

Posted by: seasea1 | October 28, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Boss, oh boss. PAPER GIRLS, CIRCA 1909, Hartford., CN

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 28, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

The VLP is a Dogue de Bordeaux, the breed's official name in both Canadian official languages. French Mastiff is used in the US as well. As a DdB he is a runt, 24" at the withers and just under 130lbs. His daddy was 26" at the withers and about 145lbs, that is more typical for a DdB. They are very good at scaring the living manure out of other dogs. Or Jehovah's witnesses (if you have the heart to laugh at 75 years old guys running for their lives). Dogue=mastiff, the great dane if a German dogue in French.

People friendly dogs with issues with other dogs is what DdB they are. The VLP is the unofficial mascot of the daycare down the street yet scares the heck out of all dogs he meets. A special breed. They are not biters though. The VLP would grab the other dog's shoulder in its outsized jaw and slam it into the ground, putting more than a little of its own shoulder into it. Rince, repeat. The other dogs can get a little frazzled and aggressive but there ain't much they can do. The DdB has it down to a science. This is the dog of the castle.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 28, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

No Glee!! it is going to get ugly in my house.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 28, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Great picture, shrieks!

Nah, mudge. Insofar as I'm a fan of the baseball, I root for the Red Sox.

Posted by: -dbG- | October 28, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmon, shriks is too modest to note that the VPL couch potato is a distant relative to the winner of the 'Ugliest Dog in the World' contest in Petaluma, Ca this year.
Some in his family took umbrage to that fact.

Posted by: bh72 | October 28, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

As much as I would like to be a Westie, I look more like a Neufie (with white hair).

Posted by: rickoshea1 | October 28, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmon, skip ahead to the 2;30 mark of the video to see the shireks' VPL famous relative. Previous to the 2:30 mark should not be shown to small children.

Posted by: bh72 | October 28, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

For what it's worth, I'm a lycanthrope and I swear I've never chased and caught any newspaper delivery persons. One muzzleful of pepper spray delivered a point-blank range with the dead-eye accuracy of a paper delivery person was enough for me.

Clearly, I'm not good enough of a dog or a person to remain either one full-time.

And I'm not plotting any planetary orbits or vehicle trajectories, but I am balancing my checkbook (Speaking of crash landings. Oy.).

I proabably should have stayed at a Holiday Inn.


Posted by: -bc- | October 28, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

That just show those 'Ugliest Dog in the World' contest folks were ignorant non-dogs persons. DdB have inner beauty. They are the best, if a bit heavy, lap dogs.
A three dogs night becomes a one puppy night with heat to spare.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 28, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

New Kit seems to be up. I can't join you over there tonight, though.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 28, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Apropos of nothing, a video by Augie March:

Posted by: yellojkt | October 28, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Drat, missed it, but a few short comments about the WP newspaper as I gave doorstep delivery to my customers for over a decade.

Awaking Past 6:00 am is what I consider "sleeping in"

Out of 100 subscribers in the neighborhood, 10 didn't get the daily, and 3 didn't get the Sunday.

The proceeds were enough to afford me a room in NOVA and pay college tuition.

It was the toughest job I ever had. During the fall promotion, stuffing 20 Sunday papers, (more than 100 pounds worth) into a double bag and riding a bicycle through a hilly neighborhood made for a strong boy.

I still meet my old customers in malls, stores, and local craft shows who recognise me and thank me for the doorstep service i provided them. That was 20 years ago, and the doorstep service hadn't come back since.

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | October 29, 2009 5:16 AM | Report abuse

New kit!

Posted by: slyness | October 29, 2009 6:39 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand why newspapers won't charge for online access to their stories. People seem to think that because we have the ability to access more in a digital world that everything online should be free. Ridiculous. I don't subscribe to a print paper, but I would happily pay for access to the online versions of the WaPo or the NY Times.

Posted by: archivist1 | October 29, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

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