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Remind Me Why I'm Not Here More


A recent sunrise at Assateague. I used to be a sunset guy, but now I live for the dawn.


I know most people are "civil twilight" junkies, but I'm also a fan of the nautical twilight (the astronomical twilight I can take or leave). In this shot we're well into the civil, though I didn't have my watch or almanac on me so we'll call that a conjecture.

The real question is, why don't we all spend more time in beautiful places? Why do we see so few sunrises and sunsets? What are we doing that prevents us from savoring the glories of nature?

Oh, wait, now I remember.


[Beach photos by J.A.; bottom photo by Robert O'Harrow.]

By Joel Achenbach  |  October 24, 2009; 8:12 AM ET
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Next: Planning My Day


Mudged: repost


What happened to George Will?

I guess he can't write about David Brooks, but what the heck is this?

In his "opinion piece," Georgie writes about Michele Bachmann ...

"After six years in the state Legislature, she ran for Congress and now, in her second term, has become such a burr under Democrats' saddles that recently the New York Times profiled her beneath a Page One headline: "GOP Has a Lightning Rod, and Her Name Is Not Palin." She is, however, a petite pistol that occasionally goes off half-cocked."


***Which planet are you on ... or, at best, orbiting?

If Bachmann is a burr under any a saddle, it is that of the political right. She opened her mouth too many times and almost lost to a guy who looked AND sounded like a bee keeper in a Republican district.

And it keeps getting worse!

There seems to be a cottage industry that has grown up where women like Liz Cheney, Michele Bachmann, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Sarah Palin, and Michelle Malkin get monetary support from wealthy industrial and real estate tycoons to spout nonsense.

Rachel Maddow does a very credible job in outting the source of funds and support for these folks. As Maddow says, there isn't a law against it, and they can go right ahead, but it is always good to know who might be profiting.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 24, 2009 8:27 AM

Posted by: russianthistle | October 24, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Joel ... what a great series of photos!

You are certainly the 21st century Cube-man.

Here's for mornings. I have been working for 3 hours already.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 24, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Is that the modern "Thinker Pose" Joel? Love the pictures.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 24, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Which empty desk is Bernstein's?

Posted by: yellojkt | October 24, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Morpheus: I've been looking for you, Joel. I don't know if you're ready to see what I want to show you, but unfortunately you and I have run out of time. They're coming for you, Joel, and I don't know what they're going to do.
Joel: Who's coming for me?
Morpheus: Stand up and see for yourself.
Joel: What, right now?
Morpheus: Yes, now. Do it slowly. The elevator.
Joel: Oh @#$!.
Morpheus: Yes.
Joel: What the @#!$ do they want from me?
Morpheus: I don't know, but if you don't want to find out I suggest you get out of there.
Joel: How?
Morpheus: I can guide you but you must do exactly as I say.
Joel: Ok.
Morpheus: The cubicle across from you is empty.
Joel: What if they...
Morpheus: Go, now...Stay here for just a moment. When I tell you, go to the end of the row, to the office at the end of the hall. Stay as low as you can.... Go, now.... Good. Now, outside there is a scaffold.
Joel: How do you know all this?
Morpheus: We don't have time, Joel. To your left there's a window. Go to it.... Open it. You can use the scaffold to get to the roof.
Joel: No way. No way. This is crazy.
Morpheus: There are two ways out of this building. One is that scaffold, the other is in their custody. You take a chance either way. I leave it to you.
Joel: This is insane. Why is this happening to me? What did I do? I'm nobody.... I can't do this.....

Take the red pill Joel!

Posted by: DNA_Girl | October 24, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I live for the dawn, too, Joel. Can't wait to find out what's gonna happen today.

Love Assateague, their mosquitoes, not so much.

Just now dawn in my backyard is beautiful with all the colors of the leaves.

Posted by: VintageLady | October 24, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

I see what you mean about living for the dawn, Boss. That shot of you in the cubicle looks like it was taken at 6 a.m.

I know how it is - you want to get to the coffee machine before anyone else takes the last cup and leaves you with the last 1/16th of an inch boiling off into a crust.

Posted by: byoolin1 | October 24, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

That is not to say that it is dawn right now; what I am trying to say is Fall's leaves are beautiful at dawn in my own backyard.

Posted by: VintageLady | October 24, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, there's no one else in that newsroom shot. O'Harrow took it one day after we'd all been exiled to other parts of the building so that they could rebuild the newsroom. A couple of days after this was taken, they obliterated the place pretty much. The "All the President's Men" newsroom is now gone.

Posted by: joelache | October 24, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

What's worse than a cube farm? A cube farm with low walls. I imagine there are days when one imagines hurdling over them all in a dash for freedom.

The only things I miss from my old job are (1) the ice machine in the hall and (2) my large window cube.

My cousin just called as I was ready to pull out the driveway to visit her upstate. She's almost sure it's just food poisoning, but it might be the flu. I'll check back later and possibly go tomorrow, but today . . . FREEDOM!

Posted by: -dbG- | October 24, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes I'm jealous of you, Joel. The talent for writing, and the fabulous photos, I wish I could do half as well. Not that I will ever stop reading and enjoying!

Warm and rainy in the Carolinas. It's carnival day at church, and we're doing the bouncy rides inside because it will be too wet outside. Yikes.

Onward into the day. I got a phone call yesterday afternoon to hear that we have a borrowed barbeque chopper so we don't have to chop 80 pounds of barbeque by hand. I was so thrilled, I would have kissed the caller through the phone if I could have... The food will be good and I'll fax to whomever would like some.

Posted by: slyness | October 24, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Beautiful shots Joel, and, of course, that last one is intriguing because of the many stories that it could tell. Without context one could apply all sorts of interesting narratives. Who is this pensive man in the shades? And what happened to all his stuff?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 24, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

I am hopeful that the newsroom you will be moving into will be the scene of as much journalistic excellence as was the one it replaced. Of course, with that whole internet connectivity thing I wonder if the physical newsroom is still as important as it once was. A topic that I am sure has been much discussed amongst journalism types.

I guess it comes down to how important the informal communication between working journalists actually is. Is the ability to saunter over to a coworker for an informal chat an asset, or a distraction?

Although I imagine it depends on who is doing the sauntering.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 24, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Joel, I hope you saved your push pins. You must be LEED qualified.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 24, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

The biggest difference between the 1975 and 2009 versions of any newsroom is the noise. Or lack of.

Thank back to "All the President's Men" and remember the constant clacking of the typewriters. Nowadays it's pretty darn quiet.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 24, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

When we go to Sanibel we make it a point to be walking on the beach at sunrise and sunset, every day. In the nature of things, the walks tend to devolve into competitive shell-gathering missions, but we can't help soaking up some beauty as well--plus, no sunburn at those hours.

Posted by: kbertocci | October 24, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Great pics Joel. Glad that the cubicle isn't actually yours. I love sunsets, still not enough of a morning person to like sunrises - someday perhaps.

It's #2's wedding anniversary (!) this weekend so I'm going to stay at her house tonight and dogsit so they can have a one-night vacation. "S" has decided to stay home as there isn't room in the bed for the two of us and two dogs. He'll come down tomorrow and help me walk them. There are great trails around her house through cranberry bogs and woods.

Posted by: badsneakers | October 24, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

TBG, what about the sound of teletype machines? People shouting across newsrooms instead of email or IMs? People scampering around the newsroom with paper in hand, trying to get it to editors or to paste-up.

Had to laugh about the sunglasses in the office, Joel. This is usually indicative of a little too much Night Before.

I drive south east every morning, so I see the dawn through my windshield most mornings. I suppose I should appreciate it more, but when I'm in traffic at 6:30 AM and there's nothing but 50 miles of brake lights between where I am and my desk, perhaps I have a little too long to ponder my existence.

And the sunrise through a stone chipped windshield.


Posted by: -bc- | October 24, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

As I have a small-ish child, I see the sunrise each morning. But what stops me in my tracks is the six pm bells that play at a local church...a different song every time. I stop what I'm doing, open the door and just listen. Grateful for the beauty of the day, the love in my home, the kindnesses afforded me. When the song's over, DC gets hugs and kisses.

The last pic...I can't help but think...what happened to Michael?

Posted by: LostInThought | October 24, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

That was beautiful LiT.

Whenever I can I will stop and watch the sunrise or sunset, neither are that visible from my house for most of the year, winter being the time when we can view both.

The other day I was up in time to watch the sunrise on the local waterfront webcam, it was lovely.

Just as lovely as a sunrise is a full moon rising over the water, still remember the full moon rising over the ocean when we were vacationing in Cocoa Beach one time, took my breath away, moon rises over the lake here are beautiful but just short of that stunning moonrise. I also love a full moon in the depth of winter when the light shines on the snow covered ground - it is magical.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 24, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Joel, you have just made me glad I'm unemployed. Now if I only got my butt up to see more sunrises, not just sunsets...

I did a 110 mile drive yesterday, cloudy day, but the golden-mustard tamaracks looked great against the sky.
The early frost has made much of the fall color browns, greens, yellows, with only faint touches of reds. New England it ain't, but then New England doesn't have birch and tamaracks.

Tamarack pines are one of the few (or only) pines that actually change color and shed their needles in the fall, so you have to visualize golden christmas trees contrasting with the evergreen foliage, the rust-brown leaves, and glowing against the light grey silver sky.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 24, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod there are both Tamaracks and Chinese Redwood in my neighbourhood, the redwood is now just starting to turn gold/bronze before for sheds it's needles, it is a large spectacular tree.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 24, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Thanks dmd. As a somewhat recent transplant, I appreciate things about the town that locals may miss (or dismiss).(Sort of like living in DC but not taking the ride to the top of the Washington Monument.)

Posted by: LostInThought | October 24, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I love tamarack (larch). Didn't see any near Mt Rainier the other day, but have heard they're turning in the North Cascades. Here's a pic from my favorite Montana blog:

Posted by: seasea1 | October 24, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

LiT, I have never gone up to the top of the Washington monument. It was closed for a few years when I'd likely have gone, and then the lines were always too long and I opted for other things instead.

However I can say the view from the National Cathedral is stunning.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 24, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Ages ago, when I still had knees but, alas, not as much sense as I have now (mostly) -- and when it was still allowed -- I walked up the Washington Monument. Yep, climbed the stairs all the way up to the top, and took the stairs back down again.

And if *that* weren't enough, a few years later, I did it again.

IIRC, it took maybe 1/2 hour to get out of bed the next morning each time, and I was purty sore for a few days. But the view was terrific. Ahhhhhh, the idiocy of youth. I tell ya.

I'm still waiting for the promised cold front to come through so I can finally close my windows. But the errands are done, so I am in for the duration.

Hope all is well with all (or at the very least, Al). And a belated HBTY to Daughter of G.

Posted by: -ftb- | October 24, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

But Joel -- in that last picture, we see you, the consummate journalist, the pacemaker cell in the throbbing heart of the world's greatest newspaper. Yeah, sure, all the actual throbbing had already relocated to an undisclosed location. That left you, lone sentinel for the people of the nation's capital, you alone to stem the tide of corruption and general unpleasantness threatening to overwhelm the leading nation of the world.

Heady stuff, dude. Just remember: with great responsibility comes great power. You could be Spiderman!

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 24, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I just got one of those helpful little "change of policy" letters from my credit card bank a few days ago. One of those now-mandated letters, such that credit-card companies still can ream you as viciously as they want, but now they're required to tell you in advance. So you may have the joy of anticipation.

Anyway, they let me know that they have now increased their rate for unpaid balances to 29.99% APR. I believe that this is, in fact, one of those situations in which they demand a rate that would make a loan-shark blush.

As it happens, I *almost always* pay my full balance every month, unless I fail to get the check sent in time. This change in policy offends me on general principle, more than practical monetary cost.

Any Boodle suggestions for a credit card that is somewhat less usurious than most? Because I travel a lot for business but have nothing like a company credit card, I don't really have the option of living a credit card-free existence. I prefer to have just one card, so it needs to be widely accepted.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 24, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Refuse the terms and phone them to keep the old terms. That's one option.

But yeah, I agree, that is offensive just on general principles.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 24, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I am allowed to refuse the new terms, but then I have to drop the card at the end of the current term, or accept the new terms anyway. I'd rather give them the finger and switch to something else right away, if possible.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 24, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Nice pics of Assateague,I remember those sunrises quite well.Usually they came after a night of fishing and carrying on. A person can fish all night on Assateague,but the rangers frown upon you sleeping on the beach.

Mile marker 7 in the 4 wheel drive area was always my best spot.

So Joel, did you catch any fish that morning?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 24, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

I knew an old Italian guy, a retired New York City cop, who walked the beach down in Florida every day at dawn. With him he carried a knife, a rake, and a bottle of hot sauce. He'd take his breakfast of freshly caught clams then, around sunrise, as he walked, dug a bit, and ate.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 24, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I am trying to come up with a plan for some chicken. I have boneless breasts. I am thinking of butterflying them and pounding them out, then rolling up some scallion slices, sour cream and mozzarella, herbs, salt and pepper inside. Possibly cooking in a cassarrole dish with white wine. Any thoughts? I was going to top with some nice red sauce and serve with either rice or pasta.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 24, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Any thoughts, weed? ANY THOUGHTS, you ask?

I can bring my sparkling personality. Will that do?

(sounds yummers)

Posted by: -ftb- | October 24, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

There he goes again, pounding his boneless breast.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 24, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like your thoughts are more than sufficient, rt. I found myself with no one but myself to cook for tonight, so am dining on a hash-y omelette-y thing with two slices of ham, half an onion, one potato and two eggs. Delicious.

Sci-Tim, I think I posted back in March when my credit card company did that to me - I called them in a huff and canceled, and lined up another card with Chase. If you Google a bit, you can find comparisons of different companies' terms and conditions for different plans. I'm happy with Chase, so far.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | October 24, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Weed, when you are done with the chicken but before you add the red sauce, deglaze the pan with 1 /4 cup of marsala. Then add the deglaze stuff (fond) and the marsala into the sauce.

Just before serving, top with a spoonful of mango-peach salsa on each serving.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | October 24, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Mudge. I will rush to the mango-peach store and make the purchase. HA HA HA!!!!

I think I only have an 1/8th of a cup of Marsala.

I am fond of fond.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 24, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Tim, I will also do a tarzan call, if it will help.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 24, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

ftb, please come by and join in!

Posted by: russianthistle | October 24, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

You sleep in a cubicle? Dang!

Posted by: dschalton | October 24, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Actually, SciTim, if you want to do any of your bill-paying online, you'd better not go with Chase. I was trying to set that up and found out they were going to charge me $10 a month to do that, and it didn't even warn me in normal-sized type about that - it was just going to appear on my card every month. I pay with a stamp every month and save the $9.50.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | October 24, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... I went with a mish-mash recipe. It is a bit Chicken Parma on the outside but stuffed as mentioned, with the sour cream/herb combo along with salt and pepper and crushed red pepper. I tossed in green onions, thinly sliced mushrooms and some pepperoni slices.

The stuffed chicken was in the oven for about 15 minutes in olive oil and some wine before I put the red sauce and grated cheeses on top to finish off. I think I have about 5 mo' minutes.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 24, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh, fine:

Posted by: seasea1 | October 24, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

I think it was the first time I flew to London, that the flight from Florida to Kennedy took the plane over the Virginia coast near sunset. I couldn't believe that such a vacant, beautiful landscape could still exist on the East Coast, at least in such quantity--I'd visited Georgia's Cumberland Island, after all.

When my own office in a fairly big building in Portland, Oregon was torn apart, I was lucky to be holding a temporary assignment and taking a break from my regular job. It was wonderful to have two offices, with one guaranteed to be in working order.

Today was an excuse to play with palms and cycads in Melbourne. I came back with a big bag of very expensive fertilizer intended to make my cycads grow super-fast. No less than 3 distinct kinds of nitrogen. It's from a guy who counts Disney World as a major customer. Disney has huge numbers of cycads, so management must have figured out that they're extremely easy to maintain as well as exotic-looking.

Also stopped by Tom Neilson's little surf shop at Cocoa Beach, a modest building with a sliver of natural dune vegetation for a back yard, beyond which several surfers were enjoying the nice waves.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 24, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Come to think of it, Florida International University in Miami is holding an international symposium on rip currents in February, with their own "Dr. Beach", Stephen Leatherman being an organizer.

This is a sufficiently serious subject to deserve media coverage, even if the meeting's during avalanche season.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 24, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

I have just arrived home after an afternoon of hard graft (final cleaning of the rental apartment -- the property manager actually found a tenant for November 1, so won't penalize me for breaking the least -- great rejoicing Chez Yoki), and pulled a chicken breast from the freezer. Now russianthistle has me thinking what I can do with it that will be interesting and delicious. I go back and forth between Thai and classic French. Hmmmm.

Posted by: Yoki | October 24, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

SCC: lease. Still, somehow, least makes me laugh.

Posted by: Yoki | October 24, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Mrdr felt just like that, seasea.

On the upside, he did get to watch those magic prairie boys, the Saskatchewan Roughriders win a squeaker.

Posted by: --dr-- | October 24, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Yoki | October 24, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Bettered only by:

Posted by: Yoki | October 24, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry. It's all I got.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | October 24, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Yoki, I have been amusing myself with that sight, couldn't find the cflsongs page though was hoping for a Ti-Cat theme!

Posted by: dmd3 | October 24, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

I’m not a morning person. Nowadays, I give a pass to any optional outdoor activity that requires me to wake up earlier than 6:30am. Don’t get to watch sunset because the sun gets blocked by buildings and trees. Sunset is the time I’m busy so I can’t go to the beach and watch it.

One of ear is closed and it’s driving me crazy.

Posted by: rainforest1 | October 24, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Knock and the door shall be opened:

Posted by: Yoki | October 24, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

hmm, that Hamilton march is quite bad, cetainly no Oski WeeWee!

Posted by: dmd3 | October 24, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

They're all bad! That is what is so fabulous about them.

Posted by: Yoki | October 24, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh, 'mudge. You just transported me to Grad from Grade 13 in '76 (Thirteenth Grade -- oh, you don't have that? We don't either, any longer). But also, I think, Grade 8 or 9 or 10 (can't quite triangulate when Yellow Brick Road first came out) and I'm *so* there. I remember when Candle in the Wind was about Munroe, not HRH Diana, Princess of Wales.

Posted by: Yoki | October 24, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

rainforest, I have had a bad migraine headache all week (whew!) and have had for the first time, a terrible earache with it.

I feel for you. Ear pain is intense, and *sucks.* And deafness sucks twice. Huh? Hmm? Pardon me? Please to repeat? (I sound like an ejit.)

Posted by: Yoki | October 24, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Grade 8 memories for me, going skating on Saturday nights, they always played lots of Elton John, remember the particular boy I had a crush on at the time, and the pizza place we would go to after skating - best pizza I ever had (it is long gone).

Posted by: dmd3 | October 24, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Grade 8 must be a sort of divide between childhood and teen-ness. My real Grade 8 memories are skating on the pond at Mayfair Park (now Horuluk) in Edmonton, cold winter nights, or sailing a perfectly-rigged sloop miniature in summer -- and little kids were amazed at the accuracy of the toy) . Either with my older brother P and his friend (and now mine) M, or with my girlfriends prior to a sleepover (only with the girlfriends, not the boys).

It was really really cold, we skated around and around, music (Wild Thing) was broadcast, it was lovely to go back to someone's house for hot chocolate and popcorn and music (before movies-at-home had been invented, we listened to "albums") and I still remember looking around the room and seeing all our cheeks *flaming* with appleness. Cold works for me.

Posted by: Yoki | October 24, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, cold is not that good.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 24, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Au contraire, Weed. Cold is really wonderful. Really. Wonderful.

Posted by: Yoki | October 24, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I'm nothing if not all about the transportation business. Metaphorically speaking.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | October 24, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Jaysus Gawd! I am really a Canadian.

Posted by: Yoki | October 24, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Of course. If you weren't, you wouldn't be a novelist.

Posted by: Yoki | October 24, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

What did all the aspiring writers do at the retreat? Sit around contemplating their novels.

Posted by: Yoki | October 24, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

When I was a kid my brother made a pretty good igloo in the back yard. I slept in it one night. I froze my tail off and gave up at about 2:30 a.m. I didn't know about, or own, a caribou skin. But if there is some vigorous physical activity going on, I like the cold pretty much.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 25, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

I had some strange headaches this summer, and my left ear felt stopped up at times. Then my balance went all kerflooey - luckily, when I was lying down. I couldn't lie on my left side without the room spinning. That went on for a month, now it's ok. I'll see what my doctor says next week. I love getting old(er).

I loved the cold when I was a kid, but no more.

Posted by: seasea1 | October 25, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

When I lived in Wyoming, Williston in North Dakota and the High Line communities along the railroad in northern Montana seemed amazingly cold. It was a bit scary to think that there was a huge place called Alberta extending far to the north.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 25, 2009 12:20 AM | Report abuse

*Snort* DotC.

Posted by: Yoki | October 25, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Just got back from watching a high school band competition just for old times sake. The best band IMHO did a James Bond medley. Our son's alma mater was doing a Billy Joel tribute. The Towson University band did an exhibition including their Hairspray number for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade next month.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Seasea, those symptoms match what my eldest and many in her school have now. Add in lack of appetite and crabbiness and you have a perfect match. Some in the school have a sore throat and a bad cough, often at the end of the headache/ear pain/dizziness days. It's being called swine flu, rightly or wrongly. It's mild for my kid.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | October 25, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, I’m more fortunately. I don’t have migraine headaches. Mine is just tension headaches that hadn’t stopped since I was around 10 years old (I think it is tension headaches because it hits me particularly hard when I’m angry). Earlier than 10, I used to suffer from dizziness quite often. The dizziness went away after I was 10, but was replaced by headaches. Doctors were no help.

Seasea, I don’t know how you can stand having the room spun on you for a month. I had one of my ears stopped up a couple of years ago. After a week, the room started spinning. I had to call a friend to bring me to the doctor.

Posted by: rainforest1 | October 25, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, sorry, missed your reported illness also. Hope you're better this week.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | October 25, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

SCC : The "ly" that is attached to "fortunate" is there without my permission.

Posted by: rainforest1 | October 25, 2009 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Understood and noted.

Posted by: Yoki | October 25, 2009 1:10 AM | Report abuse

Well, luckily, the only time the room spun was when I was lying down, on my left side. So I didn't do that, except now and then to see if it was still happening. When it first started, I was very careful when I changed position - there were times when I would get a bit dizzy. I looked on the web and found the symptoms and saw where sometimes this fixes itself, which I think it has. Otherwise I would have called the doctor. When I first started having the weird headaches, I did see the doctor, and she assured me it wasn't a brain tumor. And I didn't have a fever or anything like flu symptoms, although at first I thought that I might be coming down with something. Very odd.

Posted by: seasea1 | October 25, 2009 1:58 AM | Report abuse

I don't imagine you're still here, Rainforest, but I couldn't sleep and saw your comment about the tension headaches. Sympathies are extended. (Wait - that doesn't work either. I've tried several formulations to indicate sympathy without offending by hinting at pity. After three tries at wording something I usually give up and cancel a post.) Do you have other tension problems like teeth grinding?

I think I may just stay up all night and try for a nap this afternoon. Yaay - now I can go make some coffee!

Posted by: Wheezy11 | October 25, 2009 4:30 AM | Report abuse

yoki, you crack me up. glad you got out of your lease.

seasea, i get symptoms like that during allergy seasons (for me spring and fall). i believe that congestion affecting sinuses and/or the inner ear is what does it for me. it gives me major head spins primarily when i lie on my left side, and sometimes i have vertigo when i get up as well.

rainforest, i hope you feel better.

Posted by: LALurker | October 25, 2009 4:59 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all! Hope all who have headaches, dizziness, flu, fevers and other aches and pains wake up to wellness.

How many mudges do we have? I have definitely seen mudge 1 and mudge 6, and maybe even a double digit mudge, but not lately. Is it a mudge at home vs mudge at work kind of thing?

What's for Sunday brunch? Fresh coffee, green tea, apples, blueberries and shelled almonds with yogurt, I can offer. Maybe someone can offer the good, colestrol laden delights.

Posted by: VintageLady | October 25, 2009 5:59 AM | Report abuse

Hi, Vintage Lady! So glad to see someone else up. I can offer homemade granola with dried cranberries, pecans and walnuts, made with almond butter and real maple syrup. It's quite good, and probably very fattening. But it's healthy.

Posted by: Wheezy1 | October 25, 2009 6:11 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Wheezy1, your granola sounds fantastic. Yes, we are the dawn patrollers of the day! All others must be warm and snug and asleep.

Posted by: VintageLady | October 25, 2009 6:33 AM | Report abuse

Hey LALurker, you were here

Posted by: VintageLady | October 25, 2009 6:37 AM | Report abuse

VL, I think LALurker's post was at about 1 a.m. his time - he's probably been in bed for a while now.

Hope you're feeling well today.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | October 25, 2009 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Morning all.

Don’t worry about it, Wheezy. I use to grind my teeth. It woke me up a couple of times. I haven’t been awoken by my teeth grinding for a long time now so I’m not sure if I still grind. But my headache wakes me up sometimes.

LALurker, thanks. Looks like you’re going to be suffering now that fall is here.

Posted by: rainforest1 | October 25, 2009 7:14 AM | Report abuse

When I wake up with headaches, dizziness, and nausea, the flu is usually a pretty low priority suspect. My surefire never-fail flu symptom is an ache in my knee and elbow joints. Despite my wishful thinking otherwise, if I get those indications I will have the full flu within 24 hours.

For the past week I have been fighting a general malaise that I am blaming on a mild cold brought on by exhaustion from my busy professional and personal travel schedule and my having spent an afternoon in the waiting room of a student health clinic.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

jkt, just don't get a rash.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 25, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

For fear of being a blog hog:

Interesting article on Book price slashing at the box stores and its impact on the publishing industry... also some talk of tactics.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 25, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. Joel, those are nice pictures of sunsets with detectable suns.

Yes VL, it's a Mudge at home/work thing.

Interesting factoid: 300cm/120in. of rain falls on the West coast of Vancouver Island every year. Now that the 2-day family vacation is over there is only 290cm/116in. more to fall for this year. Long Beach in a state of storm (surfing was forbidden, not that it made any difference for me) is an interesting sight. Staying inside a little more lead to a couple of interesting meals. I was amazed at the choice of oysters available. One lunch was a mollusk-fest.

Speaking of which I spied giant yellow and black gastropods in the rain forest. Pictures may follow.

What is the superior game today? I know we'll probably get the Detroit Loins at primetime but I may be able to catch real football later.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 25, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Shriek, decided to take a look at your local paper last night (online), and noted one of the big stories of the day in my nations capital - Pam Anderson visits - Oh My!

Sunlight is beautiful on the leaves this morning, tried to take pictures but they do not quite capture the beauty of the light on the trees. The birch in the picture was absolutely glowing and caught my attention as I glanced out the backdoor.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 25, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

What a beautiful clear morning. I could look at that sky all day. Especially since doing so would distract me from the many leaves littering my yard.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 25, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

My WTH (I decided to go with sacrilegious instead of obscene for a reason) moment in the WaPo this morning was the contrarian argument that Pope Ratzi's pandering to reactionaries and homophobes was a liberalizing of church doctrine.

The argument goes that by passing edicts that assuage Trentians and appeal to ultra-conservative Anglicans, he is paving the road for broader reforms in the future. If that happens it can be attributed to the law of unintended consequences and not any broadmindedness on the part of the current Pope.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I am only part way through leaf clean up RD, I can sympathize. Still many leaves to fall. Thank goodness I only have to get the leaves to the street, city cleans up from there. A little sore from the clean up I did on the front and side lawn yesterday and still did not finish about 1/4 left to go, then have to do the pool area but waiting for the leaves to dry so I can use my leave vacuum there - love that tool.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 25, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Running a distant second on my Umbragemeter, but which is still highly offensive on an absolute scale, is Kathleen Parker's nose-holding defense of Halliburton in the Jamie Leigh Jones rape incident.

She claims that Republicans who oppose Al Franken's legislation are acting on the highest principle rather than kow-towing to their corporate masters.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I do not understand how an employer could include clauses that prevent/interfere a person from proceeding with criminal charges.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 25, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Compare David Gibson's fantasy world with the far more perceptive analysis (I know, I'm as shocked as you are) from Maureen Dowd.

Dowd correctly pinpoints the overtures to Anglicans as part of a broader ant-feminist paternalism on the part of The Church:

///In 2004, the cardinal who would become Pope Benedict XVI wrote a Vatican document urging women to be submissive partners, resisting any adversarial roles with men and cultivating “feminine values” like “listening, welcoming, humility, faithfulness, praise and waiting.”

Nuns need to be even more sepia-toned for the über-conservative pope, who was christened “God’s Rottweiler” for his enforcement of orthodoxy.
The church enabled rampant pedophilia, but nuns who live in apartments and do social work with ailing gays? Sacrilegious! The pope can wear Serengeti sunglasses and expensive red loafers, but shorter hems for nuns? Disgraceful!///

I've made the prediction many times before. We will see married Catholic priests long before ordained women. Draw your own conclusions about the pope's priorities.

Posted by: Mo_MoDo | October 25, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Why, thankee, Yoki.

Yes, VL, home versus work, as shriek said.

'Morning, Boodle.

We are red-doing our hardwood kitchen floor, which is about 10 years old. Doing it in halves. Got the one half sandeded down to removes scratches and scuff marks, put one coat of clear polyurethane on it last evening, but it'll will need one more.

Not that I don't have enough honey-do's in my life, my wife decided that the kitchen needs an 18-bottle wine cooler in it, which she says will make the house a bit more sellable when we get around to retiring and moving (I'll be dead by then, of course). We have an 18-inch base cabinet outboard of our stove between it and the sliding glass doors to the deck. My wife, the TV design show addict, decided that if we remove the 18-inch base and replace it with a 12-inch, there will be enough room to put in the wine cooler, which is tall and narrow.

At first, she just wanted me to build the new 12-ionch base cabinet from scratch (I am often required to be a magician). I said I no longer have the skills nor the legs nor the heart to do any fine cabinetry work (if I ever did; I was always a rough carpenter at best). She didn't want to spend the money (thank goodness) to just buy a 12-inch (on top of the money for the wine cooler, $179). So we went to our local Habitat for Humanity store (yes, we have one), and there she found an old, beat-up, cream-color-painted 12-inch base cabinet for $20.

"What do you think?" she asked. Having been married 27 years to this person, I knew never to respond to that question. She said all we had to do was remove the door and the drawer, put new oak ones on (made out of some spare ones I actually already had in the garage), sand off all the bad paint, and if the underlying wood wasn't oak, then I could just put some oak veneer on it. All this, she opined, would save money. Plus my labor.


Well, guess what. The damned thing turned out to be oak, at least on the front face. After sanding, all it took was a little stain and it looked like an oak cabinet. And I had some oak door and drawer fronts, cut them down a bit, routed them, and son of a gun, we have a 12-inch matching base cabinet. (She made me scrounge some sliders, and I built in two slide-out shelves.)

So for $20 and a full day of my labor, we now have what looks like a new $80 base cabinet next to the stove, and next to that an 18-bottle wine cooler.

Which the next owner of the house can enjoy.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | October 25, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

In my rage, I started imagining Maureen Dowd as Ingrid Bergman in a habit.

I know that I am sick and twisted, I don't need the constant reminders.

Posted by: Mo_MoDo | October 25, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

HOwdy y'all. I have no time to read yesterday and today so far but wanted to thank Joel for the lovely pictures.

I try, particularly since WhackyWeasel impressed on me the importance of Sky Report, to pay attention to the beauty around me every day. With daylight savings time so dad-gum extended I have plenty of opportunity to appreciate sunrise these days, if only I leave for work late enough.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 25, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

That sounds like quite the successful home improvement project. You skilz with the woodworkery never cease to amaze me. Pics, please.

Our local winestore (well, one of them, I easily have a half dozen liquor stores within two miles of me) has Friday night wine tastings. This Friday my wife picked out a nice Santa Barbara shiraz while I grabbed a six pack of Mike's Hard Pink Lemonade (hey, it's for breast cancer research, I'm just trying to do my part).

I opined that we need to do more wine drinking instead of wine buying since our meager rack is already full with no place to even contemplate a wine cooler unless we remodel the abandoned basement.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle.

Good flag, yello. I imagine Ratzinger rubbing his hands and chuckling, "I knew they'd be back if we just waited long enough."

Posted by: Yoki | October 25, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Funny Yello, but really isn't it time for the stereotype of nuns in habits to end, how many still wear them? None that I have seen in 30 years.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 25, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Hey Shriek -- the Detroit Lions have a "bye" this week (which means a "win" for me).

The Detroit Loins, on the other hand . . . . . . .

Posted by: -ftb- | October 25, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

A friend of mine (also from the same area outside of Detroit -- we went to rival high schools) and I had a long conversation yesterday about the demise of Soupy Sales and growing up in the '50s. It was a pretty funny conversation, fit indeed for paying tribute to the Soupster.

Ahhh, to be of the certain age in which some of us here find ourselves. Lotsa memories.

Posted by: -ftb- | October 25, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Yellojkt, married catholic priests have been around a while, so that wasn't a prediction.

1) Eastern Rite priests which nod to the Pope but are closer to the Orthodoxy in tradition.

2) priests who were married as Anglicans or Lutheran priests but then moved into the Catholic church

3) Married men who chose to undergo the call.

Priestly celibacy is a matter of discipline, set up to avoid political and inheritance messes back in the Middle Ages, not a matter of doctrine, so it is likely this will change.

As for women priests, there's always the Anglican church. They do have nuns, too.

This is a biased website, but they have the essential facts right.

And hence, I disagree with Dowd about the "dogma" she rants about. She may have attended Catholic school, but that does not make her an authority on the Church.

I don't think Pope Benedict is liberalizing the church; he's continuing a policy that John Paul II had of healing schisms with Protestants whenever there is no actual doctrinal belief as a barrier.

The Anglican church is being torn apart at the poles. This solution is going to be very attractive to many churches, including some right around here, I believe.

I'm sure the Anglican church will then be able to liberalize to their hearts' wish without the extreme conservative wing still yelling at them.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 25, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Since I brought up religion, this is a pretty funny guide to the beliefs:

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

dmd3, I've seen habits a-plenty in the last 30 years. Just not the full penguin outfit of movie fame.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 25, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps the most horrific terrifying video I have ever seen:

I dare you to watch it all the way through.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what to make of the Spanish Council of Elvira.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

That's not the real Jan. I'm just sayin'.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 25, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

A Million Men March against Snyder?

The Liverpool fans have had enough of the Reds' American owners.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 25, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link Yello, I'm blind now.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 25, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

For a video of real life modern nuns playing soccer in full habits go to 3:08 in this video:

I'm sure they didn't intentionally mean for it to be so erotic.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

You were warned. I absolve myself of all responsibility for any opthamological treatment required.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

A Bee-utiful day here. Just popping in quickly.

YJ, is knowing you're sick and twisted better than not? I guess it would depend on the day....

Wilbrod, the practice started before that, and has changed, both in it's practice and in the reasoning behind it. I wouldn't look for grand sweeping changes, but gradual ones.

Off to yell at the tv. Have a happy day all.

Posted by: LostInThought | October 25, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Hey yello... may be time for a bike ride, my friend. :-)

Off to work to help with Halloween celebrations there. Daughter is coming too to take pictures. I'm in my fallback costume, all black, pointy hat, cape. She's dressed like Hermione, wearing one of her dad's old-school ties to complete the outfit.

She looks cute, but everyone can't be dressed like an editor like I am.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 25, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

But Cindy sure filled out nicely.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

The Poor Clares are still rather partial to the penguin outfits.

Yeah, bike-riding would be a much more wholesome alternative to surfing nun-sites.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Hermione costumes...

Definitely time for the bike ride.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Just back from watching my daughter and her high school choir sing the national anthems at a women's hockey game between a local AAA Midget Women's team vs the Chinese National Women's team. Not sure if that is an age group National Team for China or their actual nation team, will have to look it up.

Choir did OK on the Chinese anthem, considering they have only been practising for a couple of weeks, they did appear to bring in 2 ringers to help with the singing of it though, not sure if they are students or not.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 25, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Just looked it up it is indeed China's national team in pre-Olympic tune up games, they look very young and small - being about the same size as our Midget team 15-17 years or so.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 25, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Hello boodle, just a drive by. Have been reading from my blackberry but like dbG find not being able to comment supremely frustrating.

Deep into robotics season. (I swear this is my last year as regional tournament director.) Also seriously looking for employment-might have to pull a Palin just to have money for cat food.

Hugs to all.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 25, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Hi, frosti! I was wondering where you were - hoped your plane hadn't missed the airport or something. Good luck with the job hunt.

Posted by: seasea1 | October 25, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Frosti -- your Senator Franken is one tremendously good guy for women! Well worth the wait, eh?

Posted by: -ftb- | October 25, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, everybody. I'm sorry I missed breakfast, VintageLady's menu and Wheezy's granola, wow, it all looked sooo good.

Definition of being too involved: When someone comes up to you after a meeting and says, "I'm so proud of you for not volunteering to work on that project!" Yep, happened to me today, and she was right.

Thank heavens fall festival is over. We survived and even made some money, but yesterday was a long day. I oversaw kitchen operations for the barbeque, which was pretty good, not great (not enough spice in the sauce for my taste). The weather cleared up so the big bouncy rides could be outside and the kids had a good time. My term at this is over and I don't have to do it again. Thank God.

Now, on to the next project: Mr. T's conference on fire station design and construction a week from tomorrow. Normally this is a big deal, but with the recession and all, we scaled back. We've got 45 people signed up to come, compared to 180 last year. I hope the economy will be better next November when we are scheduled to do the full 2.5 days again.

Posted by: slyness | October 25, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

LiT, yes I agree. That's just one of the many political and economical reasons.

Ultimately, it comes down to having two masters-- God vs. the money needed to feed one's family. I would hate to raise a family on a priest's salary-- and I know quite a few protestant priests and their families.

I have a friend who is a female priest with a child, and she sometimes says the Catholic rule of celibacy sounds like a da*n good idea to her some days.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 25, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Two things:

(1) ScienceKid#2 forced me (FORCED me, I tell you!) to watch yellojkt's clip all the way to the end, and to explain the various characters who appeared in it. What show was Rerun on?

(2) I am busy downloading my disc of "The Moth presents Audience Favorites vol. 6". I am looking forward to hearing Mike Birbiglia's "Sleepwalk With Me" for the third time. I highly recommend that you seek out The Moth podcast and listen to it. It is truly excellent.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 25, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, perhaps it started like Ellen James's...emulate the details. Perhaps it had to do with the nomadic lifestyle required, and who you dragged along with you in that life. Perhaps it was a statement (the middle finger kind) toward government. Perhaps it was all about love ;) But becoming so because of money? Not so sure about that. And not so sure you could apply the 'it's about money' argument to either the continuing of the practice or the cessation of it. That particular religion (doctrines/practices may seem stagnant, but it isn't. It just evolves very slowly.

Thanks for the opportunity to have an intelligent's questions for me seem to be along the lines of how can one grape ice pop create so many sticky messes to clean up.

Posted by: LostInThought | October 25, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm baaack. Twenty-one miles. However I spent much of that time imagining Lindsay Lohan in a wimple. And a grown-up Cindy Brady playing soccer. And the two of them, well, nevermind... Let's just say that ninety minutes with my inner monologue is a long, long time.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"What's Happening!!" And yes, I believe both exclamation points are part of the official title.

That clip featured not only Rerun, but Raj, Dwayne and Dee. Gawd, did I hate Dee. Absent was Shirley Hemphill and Mabel King, both of whom died in 1999.

It's Rip Taylor dancing with Alice that I find most disturbing.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

TBG knows her Bradys. According to IMDB, that Jan is Geri Reischl, not Eve Plumb. Eve did return to the fold for The Brady Brides.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

And just how do you explain the popularity of 'Disco Duck' to a teenager without invoking a cautionary tale about the rampantness of recreational pharmaceuticals in the 70s?

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

OMG. I don't believe the shot Adrian Peterson put on that linebacker. Just like I couldn't believe that Sidney Rice catch a few minutes ago. Just like I can't believe that 82-yard interception runback TD just now. By the wrong team.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | October 25, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Recreational pharmaceuticals, bad dancing, and the desperate need to differentiate from the mainstream.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 25, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you, LiT. And yay for intellectual thinking :).

WikiAnswers says this: "A typical monetary compensation package for a parish priest in the U.S. might run somewhere between $15k-30k (before taxes) with health insurance and a pension included." This jibes with this estimate (in-kind salary included) here:

An episcopalian senior pastor may earn 110,000 dollars per annum.

"Married diocesan priests, of which there are a handful, receive a higher base pay."

This article shows that there are greater differences between how priests are treated between the churches than just in salary. To change that might be to change a lot.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 25, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

After watching the Brady Bunch clip for about the tenth time, I realize that I am at the stage in my life where I find Florence Henderson hotter than Maureen McCormick. Bring on the Wesson Oil (explain that one, SciTim).

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh. I was talking about the origins and underlying reasoning of the practice, not the difference between practices.

I think I've seen the last of that ice pop. Now, dinner.

Posted by: LostInThought | October 25, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I have to say the morality of the wild foxes in the woods has more impact on my life than the morality of the local Catholic portion of Charlotte's civic life. Seriously. The Pope's minions aren't in the woods waiting to kill my cats.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 25, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Florence Henderson. Man, she was hot. And the thought of Wesson Oil... excuse me, I'm getting all feverish. Perhaps it's merely the red peppers I just ate in my left-over Szechuan fried tofu with orange sauce.

The ScienceSpouse and -Kids and Kid-Friend are out preparing a Halloween Haunt, leaving me home alone to eat left-overs, make a vegetarian lasagne, drink beer, fold laundry, re-arrange bookcases, and unpack boxes. Possibly in an order resembling that recitation, possibly not.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 25, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

A busy weekend for me - a party Friday evening, shopping and then "Boo at the (National) Zoo" yesterday, laundry and football today (watched *and* played). The game played this afternoon in my front yard was as hard fought and featured as much dramatic back-and-forth as the Minnesota/Pittsburgh contest, but with fewer turnovers.

I've kept an eye on the reconciliations between the Anglican and Catholic Churches, and think it will be interesting to see how it all pans out. One thing I would add, Wilbrod, is the idea that any discusson of influences of Anglican practices to North American Catholicism are fine within that sphere, but that that both of those churches operate worldwide, and that the import of practices (compensation, for example) in North America may be not be very great in the worldwide context. A good friend of mine who is far smarter and more knowledgeable than I continues to remind me of this.

yellojkt, you have Wessonality, my man.


Posted by: -bc- | October 25, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

yello... my advice wasn't so much for the bike ride or the exercise but for the [cold] shower you'd take when you got home.


Posted by: -TBG- | October 25, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

I've had a fun day. I had breakfast with #2, and we did the traditional mother-daughter thing; shopped for beauty products and earrings. Then I finished up at the rental (the manager tells me that I left the suite "perfect" and that "it is the cleanest move-out I've ever seen) and am now considering chicken fried rice for later. And now it is time for a glass of wine.

Posted by: Yoki | October 25, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Lasagne prepped for later this week, leftovers eaten, one beer in me. Time to go move bookcases and do laundry. And, perhaps, have another beer.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 25, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse


As my wife will tell you, I don't do subtlety well and gentle hints tend to completely escape me.

While I was bike riding and contemplating the many beneficial effects of bicycle riding, I thought of one side effect I'm not too fond off. The fresh air and the cool breeze tends to clear my sinuses resulting in a runny nose. Nothing is more annoying than sticky bodily fluids you don't have a practical way of hygienically disposing off.

I don't know why I bring this up except as a warning to never shake my hand immediately after a bike ride. Have no fear, I took a good long cold shower before touching the keyboard again.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

My apologies for over-sharing. I'll try to behave. It's the Hard Pink Lemonade talking. It tastes just like the regular stuff but goes to a good cause.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

And my brain has been turned to mush by too much time at this site:

The horror. The horror.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I think the Episcopalians have been in bad decline for years. There just isn't a niche for an Unofficially Established Church anymore. Unless perhaps some sports-oriented megachuch eventually buys Verizon Center and turns it into a 21st century answer to the National Cathedral.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 25, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

That doesn't explain why my brain is mush most of the time.

Posted by: Yoki | October 25, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

I dunno. It all makes sense to me. My Grandma was a fervent Anglican, and she always struck me as a Catholic manque.

Posted by: Yoki | October 25, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

If I had remembered the airline security regulations on carry-on liquids when I was at the Byward Market, I would have bought the plastic bottle of genuine authentic Canadian maple syrup for my cat-sitting friends instead of the pretty glass one.

Posted by: -bia- | October 25, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

No doubt Henry VIII is spinning in his grave over the Catholic overtures to conservative Anglicans. I had to look it up: he's buried in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, next to Jane Seymour. (I should have remembered that!)

Posted by: slyness | October 25, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

I took my daughter to see "The Vampire's Assistant" this afternoon. She liked it because it had cute boys, fighting, cute boys, scary stuff, cute boys, and a monkey girl who gets to kiss one of the cute boys.

Alas, tragically, the weekend numbers for this flick have been poor. Which means a sequel is unlikely.

I'm trying really hard to feel badly about this.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 25, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

They took away your maple syrup bia?

Posted by: dmd3 | October 25, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I just spent a fun time troubleshooting some web hosting issues with my 11 year old nephew. We gave him his own domain and hosting services a couple of years ago for Christmas and continue to support his site.

Tonight was one of those cases where I assumed he knows more than me at this point because he's 11 years old and he figures I know more because I'm a grownup.

Turns out neither of us really knew but we had fun figuring it out and were both very excited when we got it working right.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 25, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, thank you so much for those awful songs. It explains a lot. What, I am not so sure of, but I am pretty sure it explains somethin'.

Posted by: --dr-- | October 25, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, no, I don't think so. Henry, for all that happened, was an ardent Catholic. He was quite simply torn by his need, both personal, and political for a male heir. Had he been able to accomplish the divorce any other way, he would have.

Posted by: --dr-- | October 25, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

That's just how I feel about fight songs, dr! Why do I know them? Why do I have a link? What does this say about me? Why are we here?

Posted by: Yoki | October 25, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, that is why I knit. Stops me from asking all the big questions.

Posted by: --dr-- | October 25, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, yes some Anglicans are very high-church. Most Anglican churches I attend are far more liberal, though.

I don't expect an overnight acceptance of this offer, though.

I would expect churches to push for greater say of the laity over the priests, and such subtle power-struggles before any church accepts this kind of sect-hopping.

Bc, I agree, but if you read the article, you'll see there's a fundamental difference in philosophy over employment-- free market vs tenure, I suppose, is the best way to put it, as well as the ideal of service, not wealth.

That's what interested me the most, not the petty details of American systems of compensation.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 25, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to post and run -- room service knocked.

No, dmd, we don't leave till the morning. I just remembered the rules when packing. The bottle is well wrapped in plastic bags and well cushioned in sweaters, so it should be fine, unless they see the suspicious outline in the x-ray and undo all my wrapping. I have visions of a suitcase full of syrup-covered clothes.

Posted by: -bia- | October 25, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Hope you have enjoyed your visit bia.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 25, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Tthe Church of England became the Episcopal Church in the US after the revolution. The more conservative parishes are now becoming Anglican to avoid ordaining women and gays. Are these the folks Rome is now reaching out to?

Posted by: -TBG- | October 25, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I enjoyed it very much. The conference was interesting, my talk went smoothly, and the sun finally came out today for my free afternoon, so we had a great walk all around Parliament Hill and along the river. And I got to hear lots of French, which is always fun. It was a bit strange to hear it around me but not be expected to speak it. Bilingual cities are cool.

Posted by: -bia- | October 25, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Anglican church in Canada and otherwise; Episcopalian church in the US, TBG. Same church, different names.

And you have it right, TBG. They're reaching out to the conservative Episcopalians who are uncomfortable with gay bishops, etc.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 25, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Yes that is who they are reaching out to TBG, so as not to offend anyone I will keep my thoughts about this private.

Just watching the finale of SYTYCDC, and they mentioned that Mia Michaels is in a Toronto hospital - hurt her back chorographing a routine for the show.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 25, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

I survived my dog sitting adventure. The weather was rainy and very windy and at #2’s house the wind always seems to blow harder than anywhere else. All was well, I was engrossed in a good book and decided to finish it in bed. Just as I was brushing my teeth the power went out. Have you ever been in a strange house with no electricity and no idea where the flashlight might be, if there is one at all? Went to bed, dog A climbs in with me and curls into a ball under the covers in the middle of the bed. I start hearing noises that may or may not be normal. Dog A decides to stretch out horizontally across the bed, now I’m leaning off the edge. Start to fall asleep only to be jolted awake by dog A burrowing out from under the covers and going to the living room. Try to fall asleep listening to creaks, thumps and something that sounds like chains rattling. Dog A comes back to bed jumps across my head and waits for me to lift up the covers. He curls up again, then repositions on his back with both rear legs in the air. I am not sleeping. Power comes back on eventually and I open my eyes to see the snake (yes, the snake cage is in the bedroom too) risen up like a cobra and brushing the chains which hold the cage door closed - at least now I know why I heard chains rattling! Now I’m watching the snake and telling myself that he can not get out of the cage, I know how it opens and he really can’t open it from inside. He starts slithering around and around inside the cage. I’ve never seen him move so much and so fast. Each time he gets to a corner, he rises up like a cobra until his head is at the top of the cage. I briefly wonder if I should call #2 and ask her why her snake is doing laps in the middle of the night but decide it’s not really important enough to wake her at 4 am. I think I got 3 or 4 hours sleep finally and this morning the dogs were well behaved and the snake was sleeping quietly. And #2 said snake was probably acting like that ‘cause he’s hungry.

Babysitting the granddaughters is easier and I don’t have to check myself for ticks when I get home!

Posted by: badsneakers | October 25, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

There is no limit on liquids in checked baggage. You may want to check a bag with the syrup in it and keep a smaller carry-on without the liquids. We have done this with wine before.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Slow day on the BlackBerry; obviously the Boodle and my e-mail friends took a good part of the day off. Yanno, there I was looking for a 5 minute excuse to stop cleaning, and it just didn't happen!

The powers at my new job have been very clear about how to deal with flu-like symptoms--#1, don't come in. I am experiencing some definite flu-like symptoms. Here's hoping it's just food poisoning.

Has anybody here ever bought themselves a very expensive birthday gift (barring a house or car)? I'm considering it, so voices of experience are welcome.

Posted by: -dbG- | October 25, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

I dunno, dr. He didn't mind the spoiling of ecclesiastical property, nor did he forbid priests to marry. The refusal of folks who gained that property and the resistence of the clergy were two of the reasons Mary's attempt to return to Catholicism failed 20 years later. Those were not the main reasons, but they were part.

When I glanced at the Wiki article on him, I was interested to see that the current thinking is that he died of complications from untreated type II diabetes. That makes sense.

Posted by: slyness | October 25, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

'Sneaks, that was hysterical. Or at least the part about the dog waiting for you to lift the covers was. The snake would have *made* me hysterical.

I don't really worry about noises in the night with the dogs here. I figure nobody's going to break in and/or the dogs would alert me in time to dial 911 if someone did.

Posted by: -dbG- | October 25, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

sneaks... did the snake rise up LIKE a cobra, or IS it a cobra? Sounds awful either way.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 25, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

OMG, Sneaks. You are a saint. I never would set foot in the house with the snake in it, but if I somehow spent a night like you did it would be my last!

I think Henry VIII is spinning in his grave (fine by me), and a columnist noted that Catherine of Aragon must be too.

Posted by: seasea1 | October 25, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

sneaks, you get mom of the year award for snake sitting. Mom had one steadfast rule in our house No Snakes! she could be a very flexible person, but that rule never waivered.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 25, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, yello, I'm checking the syrup in the suitcase. It should be fine. I'm just picturing the bottle breaking, but if wine bottles can make it, a syrup bottle can, too.

Posted by: -bia- | October 25, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Like Wow. Check out the juxtaposition of the moon and Venus. 'tis beautiful.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 25, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Howdy again. I wish I could check the Moon and Venus, but there are clouds. Clouds are hard.

People rake leaves?

I spent part of today trimming branches. I am too darn short to do this efficiently, even with a telescoping pole saw. The dogs appeared vastly amused.

Episcopalian here. The "traditional" US (that is, liberal, accepting-of-others) variety.

The Boy went to a Hallowe'en party last night resplendent in his full-legth chicken suit. He carried a light saber, of course, as all good Jedi Chicken do. I told him next year he can have a scythe and be the Chicken of Death. The year after, he can carry a KFC bucket and be Cannibal Chicken. It's a pretty big suit.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 25, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

I have a big tree covering the moon, but I can see it through the leaves, is venus up about 10:00, to me at the top of the tree.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 25, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I just learned that I am looking at Jupiter, not Venus. Even cooler.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 25, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Thanks all but my rule is that if I 'sit' for #1's kids, I have to do the 'same' for #2's dogs. Actually, it's #2's guilt trip rule for me. The snake is a red tailed boa. I've known him since he was a wee little foot long thing. He's about 8 to 10 feet now and the only reason I was concerned is that he is a boa 'constrictor' and could strangle me without really meaning to...

dbG, these dogs are not exactly watch dogs. I walked into the house yesterday and had to yell out 'hello' a bunch of times before either one of them woke up and came to greet me. I wasn't really worried about intruders, it was just the strange noises in the storm that had me spooked along with the lack of electricity, you know, perfect horror movie stuff. ;-)

Posted by: badsneakers | October 25, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

dbG, I did, once. Unsatisfying. I will do without, rather, and happily. But, I give myself small indulgences (on the theory that if I don't do it, no-one will). I treat myself with great respect. That is, I will never again buy myself diamonds (they weren't diamonds but my equivalent) but I *do* dress myself in good clothes and shoes, and feed myself good food, because nobody else is about to treat me as well as I do.

I learned this one big thing (I am the hedgehog): if I long for anything, I'd better supply it. I am responsible only for me. And I am fully responsible for me.

Posted by: Yoki | October 25, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

nice photos Joel... 'specially you in the sun glasses... sexy.

Posted by: MissToronto | October 25, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

dbG, never bought myself anything super expensive but have from time to time indulged myself a bit and didn't regret it. I could rationalize for you that you've had quite a year, leaving a terrible job for one you are happy with and that you deserve to pat yourself on the back so to speak with a reward of some sort that will add to your happiness. Did that help?

Posted by: badsneakers | October 25, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

I have bought myself presents which cost more than I'd otherwise spend. My rules: Can you afford it (either at the moment, by saving on future expenses, or buying on time)? Will you wear it/ use it/ savor the experience? Do you believe you will regret it if you let this pass? If you can answer yes, to all, then go for it. If you let it go, don't look back. Don't listen to the advice or criticism of others - this is for you, not them.

Time to persuade the rabbit into her cage and the Boy to bed.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 25, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

'Sneaks, good thing you yelled out. Otherwise you might have tripped on them. Seems like dog2 really has fit in!

I'm all for rationalization, though. Yoki, how quickly you typed *diamonds*. :-)

I don't think I've ever regretted spending money like this once I've made it past a day of buyer's remorse. I have the cash, part of me says to invest it for retirement, the other part says how do I know I'll make it to retirement and I'd enjoy these every day. I had my last pair of diamond studs set (with an engagement diamond) into a necklace--I enjoy that every day.

And buying them would stop the daily fight with my inner teenager who really wants them.

Posted by: -dbG- | October 25, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod - which article are you referring to? I see you posted links to at least two, then there's all the Dowd stuff... Haven't had much time to read anything today.

But I will say this -- I hesitated in choosing the term "compensation" and further personally wouldn't use the word "employment" regarding those who are answering calls to Holy Orders, who are administering Sacraments, who have have taken vows, and living lives of devotion all over the world now, and as those who have done so for centuries.

But that's just me.


Posted by: -bc- | October 25, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and I do already invest for retirement.

This is more of a "I'm always so responsible and d@mn tired of it" thing.

Posted by: -dbG- | October 25, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Your last statement just convinced me dbG, YOU deserve to treat yourself, the reward for being responsible!

Posted by: dmd3 | October 25, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

bc, that was an excellant description of those who have chosen the religious life.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 25, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

I love my friends!

God knows the reward for being responsible is too often more responsibility.

Off to bed, but I think I'll run with scissors first.

Posted by: -dbG- | October 25, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

SCC excellent

Posted by: dmd3 | October 25, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, sorry for the misunderstanding! I was just amused that someone wrote "diamonds" immediately.

We all have different priorities. :-)

Posted by: -dbG- | October 25, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Our monsignor from the parish where I went to high school was from Seville, Spain (Florida is and was considered missionary territory by the church hierarchy, so we always had lots of foreign born priests with thick accents at out church) and his resemblance to Ricardo Montalbán was uncanny. He even drove a Chrysler Cordoba, complete with rich Corinthian leather and all. If he had taken any vows of poverty, it didn't show.

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

We do!

Mine is slubby cool raw silk clothing with no labels. I hate the way stiched labels itch and rub my skin painfully.

I may be a bit hyper-sensitive, dismorphic, ADD. Maybe. Possibly.

Posted by: Yoki | October 25, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

OK, this is funny, if maybe a little offensive. A new priest in the Deseronto parish married my much younger cousin, a couple of years ago. He was Polish.

I dee endo.

There is a dearth of native-born Catholic priests in North America.

And Paul was great. Just great. We smoked together on the deck at the reception, as he sipped his big glass of Scotch. And didn't want to save my soul, would much rather have talked about art and literature as we did. We were fine. Two wedding guests.

Posted by: Yoki | October 25, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

One week my dad kept trying to figure out what the Polish priest was saying about "lamps in walruses" until he figured out it was really "lambs and wolves".

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

See?! I love that.

Posted by: Yoki | October 25, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Wave at LALurker!

Posted by: seasea1 | October 25, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | October 25, 2009 11:36 PM | Report abuse

yello, any vows of celibacy are worth a bit of investigation as well. Any inclination toward adult (usually hetero, but that can vary), consensual, mutually fulfilling sexual satisfaction are welcome by the pew, but not the Church.

dBg, "big" birthday or Christmas buys could be useful if you live with, hummm, sensible persons. Mrs. D. would never have bought that 1000 bucks sewing machine that will probably come to an ominous end soon, after 15 years of loyal service. That pfaff thing sewed a 1000 miles of quilting, minimum. Yet, Mrs. D. was supposed to get by with her mother's kenmore, a cheap singer in disguise. Mrs. D's mother hasn't come over her own daughter dissing her own "good" machine for that German-made contraption yet.

JUst for illustration, I bought an expensive pair of binocular on my birthday last year. So now we can't go anywhere without them. They are great for people wearing glasses, a quality that is fairly expensive but necessary in this family of 4/5 peole wearing glasses with hugely different prescriptions. So the $90 decent binoculars never saw any action and the $600 ones can't have a decent night of sleep. What's the best deal?
The one that identified the fauve sparrow earlier today (because of that grey line through the eye).

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 25, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Those things, Henry did for political expediency. Since Henry had become the Head of the church in England and since he was always on the lookout for more money, he decided to act. Monasteries were vast storehouses of wealth, all of which was untaxable when the pope was the head of the church. With Henry as head of the church, the monasteries and their previously untouchable wealth, became his.

At Henry's death, England was still a catholic country, just one no longer under the auspices of Rome and Henry still a catholic, but an excommunicated one. (That too would have only been from the pope's perpective, not Henry's) Though the reformation did begin with the first Act of Supremacy, it was in Edward's reign that majority of the changes to the practise of the faith took place.

It is completely possible that I see this, this way, because this isn't about religion to me at all. It is about history and nothing is as good as the deep dark secret worlds in Tudor history. Except maybe Roman history.

Posted by: --dr-- | October 25, 2009 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Yankees facing the Phillies in the World Series.

Just beat LA Angels. But a mixed night for N'Yawkers.

'Night, Boodle.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | October 26, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

But isn't the superbowl in January? So how can the test-match be decided already? Or is it hockey?

Posted by: Yoki | October 26, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Re: Yankees vs. Angels

I don't think I ever saw such a bad, nay, horrifying throw from the pitcher to first as that one that went flying off into space. I cry "FIX!"

Posted by: nellie4 | October 26, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Joel, the first sunrise picture is so good I almost believe you brought that carefully carved seagull with you and planted it in the surf.

A perfect picture.

Posted by: nellie4 | October 26, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

World Series, Yoki. Starts Wed. Not sure I can bear to watch baseball in snow.

Posted by: seasea1 | October 26, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Ah, the baseball!

Posted by: Yoki | October 26, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Oh Seasea, you're the reason that I'm up so late. I'm watching the Youtube U2 concert. Thanks for letting us know about it.

Another reason I'm up so late is that my house guest and I spent the day in Charlotteville, VA to tour Monticello, followed by dinner at the Inn at Little Washington, a four-star restaurant as reviewed by Tom Sietsema. It was worth every penny that we paid for such a delicious dinner, and even though each course was perfect and not too much food, the overall amount was just short of gluttony on my part.

A truly fabulous day!

Posted by: rickoshea1 | October 26, 2009 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Holy carp... I just can't keep up with yinz guys (and gals, too).

I see more sunrises than sunsets, but the majesty of either really puts me back in place. Back in perspective, even. I'm just happy to see them.

Peace out and happy thoughts to all of you.

Posted by: martooni | October 26, 2009 1:26 AM | Report abuse


So far the U2ube thing is great - good pics and sound, no glitches. Pretty amazing. Glad you're watching too, rickoshea! And for those who missed it, it will be available on youtube for awhile.

Aan San Su Kyi...

Posted by: seasea1 | October 26, 2009 1:34 AM | Report abuse

What are you saying, 'toon?

Come sit a spell.

Posted by: Yoki | October 26, 2009 1:36 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. We have clear skies for the dawn patrol this morning. Don't forget your bomber jacket and scarf though, it's effing cold.
It's back-to-the-salt-mines day too. @$%!!

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 26, 2009 6:33 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all, hey SD. I'm still missing Cassandra, dadgumit.

Martooni! Good to hear from you, hope all is well.

Another busy day ahead, I'm glad to have happy tasks to accomplish and more to look forward to.

Okay, I'm breaking down and making ham biscuits. They'll be on the ready room table in about 5 minutes. Enjoy, folks!

Posted by: slyness | October 26, 2009 6:55 AM | Report abuse

I spent my 19th anniversary getaway at VA beach earlier this month. My wife and I delayed dinner plans to observe full moon rising over the Atlantic at sunset from our beach front balcony. Apparently very beautiful. Romantic, as it was a spontaneous, 10 minut decision to ditch the kids and go. I calculated the odds of a full moon rising at sunset on one's anniversary is about 1 day in a few hundred years, not that I could convince her to spend the rest of the week because of it.

Forgive me for not posting a sky report through the eyes of my wife, but given the circumstances, I'm sure you all will understand.

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | October 26, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Can just see the colours of the sunrise filling the sky now, nice pink horizon.

My bad memory strikes again, forgot about the U2 concert, not sure I could have stayed awake for much of it - but prt of it would have been nice.

Off to gaze at the sunrise.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 26, 2009 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Happy Monday ye Boodlers!
Special greetz to Martooni!

Are they censoring Kabul anti American riot news from Kabul? Wapo and NYT don't show nuttin.

Yes. Massive anti American demos in Kabul,triggered by rumor of Americans burning a Koran. It made top news on BBC and Aljazeera.

Don't phoo-phoo Aljazeera. English Version is as good if not better than BBC. It certainly covers a wider range of world news than BBC. They have more camera people deployed and get lots of footage not available through older media orgs.

It is available on the Internet


Posted by: Braguine | October 26, 2009 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Good morning fellow boodlers!

If you are having a bad morning here is a chuckle or two:

Posted by: russianthistle | October 26, 2009 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Very commendable of Joel for using astronomical twilight. When moving, I donated my Almanac and sight reduction tables, my sextant is in storage. So I'm stuck with observing twilight like a beach tourist and oohing and aahing about the beautiful sunrise or sunset.

Posted by: Braguine | October 26, 2009 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Your Nautical History Moment:

125 years ago Greenwich was internationally recognized as the prime meridian.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 26, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Yello! Interesting little article.

Posted by: Braguine | October 26, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Brag, the story about anti-American riots was on page A2 in the Charlotte Observer this morning. Yeah, not good.

Posted by: slyness | October 26, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Buenos dias, Brag.

All that the local home page for WaPo shows on Afghanistan is related to the elections. Nothing about demonstrations.

The Diane Rehm Show on WAMU has lately had a correspondent for Al Jazeera on the world news hour of her Friday News Roundup. He's very good.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 26, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. Please indulge me as I spend a minute of sadness for the failure of the Angels to stop the Yankees from taking the pennant. Go, Fulldulphya.

Hey, Redskins fans. The Post is reporting people are Giving Up on The Team: not going to games, giving away tickets, choosing to do something else on Sundays. What about it? Is the Boodle that disgusted with Snyder?

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 26, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Can't speak for anyone else, IM, but yes, I am. Of course, I don't go to the games anyway, but I am quite disgusted. And yes, I blame Snyder, as micromanaging head of the organization. But I'm not prepared to stop watching, not yet, anyway.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 26, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

I fear that I have stopped watching the Redskins entirely. It just got too depressing. Instead, I have been hanging out in my little woodworking workshop - where the most painful thing that typically happens is a mangled knuckle.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 26, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

RD, thanks for the information about "Vampire's Assistant". The Boy wants to see it, so I wonder: are there cute teenage girls as well as cute teenage boys? I think he is counting on it. I'd hate for him to be disappointed.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 26, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

More on the Kabul demonstrations. Huge crowds took to the streets, yelling death to America. They burned Obama effigies. Riot police tried to break up the protests, without success.

To me, this indicates:
Afghans in Kabul are ready to believe the worst about Americans.

A large number of Kabulis don't support American presence.

If this is the situation in Kabul, it is much worse (stronger) in areas where Americans are fighting.

As far as I can tell, the war in Afghanistan was lost two years ago.

As far as elections that was and is the event that never wuz. To American ears, the word elections is like magic. In Afghanistan it means nothing.


Posted by: Braguine | October 26, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I've been bottling up a rant since yesterday. As you may or may not know, Georgia Tech had a big win over the Cavaliers in the rain. Since GT was ranked 11, a lot depends on how the teams higher than them fared.

I found the rather scanty college coverage in the WaPo and since it was a loss for a semi-local team it got a decent write-up. So far, so good. However, they also run a "How The Top 25 Fared" sidebar. Seven of the top ten schools had 'late' games with no score in the paper which made this feature less than useless. That didn't stop them from having a completely blathering write-up for each game they had no idea what the score was.

If I have to go to the web to get this information anyways, save the ink and don't bother printing it. Missing the deadline for 70% of the top 10 teams is just rubbing my nose in how futile it is to count on the dead trees for real news of any type.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 26, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

PS: GT moved not an inch in the standings which means there are no ACC teams in the Top 10.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 26, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Ivansmom, there is a very cute young lady in "Vampire's Assistant" who serves as the love interest. Granted, she has a monkey tail. But they just sort of, you know, go with that.

The bummer thing about this film (outside of a wildly uneven tone) is that much of it is spent laying the expositional groundwork for sequels that, based on the box office, will probably never occur.

I suspect the film will end up filed alongside "The Golden Compass" and "A Series of Unfortunate Events" as successful book series that failed to spawn movie franchises.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 26, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

The sky is beginning to lighten into blue with a few dirty pink clouds. Forecast is 90% probably for rain this morning but the sky doesn't look like it.
If it doesn't rain I;m going to have to water the lawns.

The three tomato five foot tall plants are still full of green tomatoes with about a dozen turning red a week. We covered them last month when we had frost so they are none the worst for wear. No frost predicted for a least a week but snow is forecast above 4000 feet. We are at 2500.

Posted by: bh72 | October 26, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Oh, made that NYT crusty bread last week. Thanks IM and yoki for the suggestion and link.
Came out almost perfect. Left it in the oven just a little too long.
Got some SF sour dough starter friday and got it going and tried the 1-2-3 variation for the sour dough version yesterday but it didn't raise very much. Got to get some more flour today and try it again tomorrow.

Posted by: bh72 | October 26, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

This guy's not getting out any time soon.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 26, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Brag, thanks for the update.

Farmer-soldiers killed this month--two from Texas--in October in Afghanistan. One, Chris Staats, is from neighboring Boerne, just a dozen or so miles up the road, which means this death from an IED hits very close to home.

Ar article about the farmer-soldiers from Texas's National Guard:

Yet another, with a weird graf near the end:

These Army Agribusiness Development Teams, or ADT's, are hoping to provide direct training and results to farmers willing to grow an alternative crop to poppies. The alternative crops include wheat, corn, pomegranate, and melons. However, many farmers who focused on poppy fields have not developed typical farming expertise due to the resilient nature of the poppy flower.

Who writes this bunk about the poppies' resilience? Afghan farms raise the poppies because they are the cash cow of their local crops, feeding the demand from the world's drug-addled. What BS from this particular writer!

Posted by: laloomis | October 26, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Hi all! I love my 3-day work weeks, which of course means I love my 4-day weekends. Another lazy Monday. I did work some on yesterday, so I figure I deserve it.

The Polish priest story reminded me of the Belgian priest who married my best friend and her husband, who is a III (third). The priest pronounced it "turd."

That was nearly 30 years ago; you'd think I'd have stopped kidding them about it by now.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 26, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

yello... thanks again for pointing out Fake AP Stylebook on Twitter. Already today...

@FakeAPStylebook: Always remember to close all parentheses. We're not paying to air condition the entire paragraph.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 26, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse
That's the one I crave. I found that looking at this odd article about crazy keyboards that never quite caught on.

In other business, did I post this link to Pomplamoose?

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 26, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Buenes Gnocchi becomes Blessed Gnocchi

Posted by: LostInThought | October 26, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for that story about the International Meridian Conference, yello. The ex and I went to Greenwich once upon a time and took pictures of ourselves straddling the line. Really neat place with the spectacular view. I'd go back, if for nothing else to see the maritime museum.

Posted by: slyness | October 26, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

xkcd is commemorating the closing of Geocities today with a hilarious redesign...

Posted by: -TBG- | October 26, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

laloomis, I think you are misinterpreting the plain meaning of the sentence about the resilience of the poppy plant. The point is not to explain WHY the farmers grow poppies, the point is that the poppy farmers have not developed or retained typical farming skills and knowledge because the nature of poppy-growing does not require them to have those skills. I infer that these farmers are unpromising material for success in growing food crops, increasing the likelihood that they will revert to poppy-growing because of its known success rate for them.

Whether this analysis is true, I do not know. I'm just clarifying the message of the text.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 26, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

That is awesome. You just don't see the blink tag done right anymore.

I have found and lost my Geocities page so many times I wouldn't even know where to start.

So it goes.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 26, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure I had registered for my Geocities page through my ix.netcom dial-up account.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 26, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: yellojkt | October 26, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

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