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Two Guys With Much in Common

It occurs to me that Barack Obama and I have a lot in common. We're both 48. We both live in Washington, D.C. We both have school-age daughters. And we both have lots of things to worry about.

Like, I need to get the firepit ready for the winter season. I need to chop some wood. I need to get the bikes tuned up. I need to wash my car. I probably need to do some "work" at my "job," but obviously that's in the Optional category. I need a haircut.

So already you see it's a full plate by any measure, bordering on the undoable. But a man must have strength. Shoulder the burden, keep marching ahead. Gut-check time.

Obama, meanwhile, has to focus on Afghanistan, where our troops are facing increasingly deadly attacks even as we prop up an obviously corrupt government. He has to do something about Iran, which is trying to go nuclear. He has to deal with Iraq, which could descend into chaos again as the troops withdraw. He has North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba and various other dyspeptic regimes led by dictators doing whatever they can to resemble lunatics. He has to figure out how to save the planet from global warming. He has to guide a health-care bill into law through a gauntlet of conservative fury and liberal dissatisfaction. He must run a government that is, let's see, about $11 trillion in debt, give or take a trillion. He has to worry about an economy in which the unemployment rate is 9.8 percent. Plus, he has to be concerned about all the secret stuff that the scary briefers tell him every morning, like wire intercepts suggesting that the bad guys are developing airborne pathogens that can give everyone the hiccups (hypothetical -- do not panic).

So, you see, there's just a lot we have in common.

Wait, did I mention the weeding I need to do? The mere thought of it nearly crushes my spirit. This is why I need staffers!

By Joel Achenbach  |  October 5, 2009; 8:13 AM ET
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Next: My Afghanistan Advice



Frosti! I have a very close friend who is a musician who raves about a very similar breakfast. It is his religious moment in the day. He will not answer the phone until he is done.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 5, 2009 9:06 AM

Posted by: russianthistle | October 5, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Joel. Are you surrounded by idiots who question everything you do, even if, trading places they would do the same thing, but in a less effective manner?

After all, the worst thing Obama did since becoming President was to actually count the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan operations in the budget of the United States.

There is absolutely no place for accuracy in the administration of our government.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 5, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

RD is already off somewhere addressing that hiccup thing. ... free coffee, too.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 5, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Hi, russianthistle!

Ivansmom, hope the Boy is back to normal by now.

Tempted to make bread today because it's chilly, but will probably make pumpkin pie. It has been requested. Repeatedly.

I'm not too fond of pumpkin pie, which is a good thing. I can make it and not want to eat it.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | October 5, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

'Mudge, if you're really cutting back, you could try trimming one H off of your water and sending it to LAlurker...


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 5, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

But Obama has 'people' to handle all the day to day stuff like buying his kids a swing set. If a water pipe breaks at my house, I'm the one calling a plumber.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 5, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

'mudge said dissipated. Great word.

I too need staffers, or at least a personal assistant. I am terrible at organizing my own life. I have a little bit of a Weingarten thing happening.

Posted by: Yoki | October 5, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Is there a political-science theory for why presidents-for-life go bonkers? Monarchs seem to have been a bit more resistant to the problem, even if Louis XIV went overboard with that chateau.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 5, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

rt-you are so right about broth. If I were going to go down this path for very long I'd work out a deal with my friend who raises chickens.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 5, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Has BOO ever been more obvious?

dissipated is a good word. JA used dyspeptic, that's another good one.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 5, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Here's a link to the basic bread recipe that is used in the video I linked to when mudged on the last boodle

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 5, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

First time TWO women have been awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine. Perhaps some day in the not too distant future there will be a woman president with whom a common woman will have something in common?

Posted by: laloomis | October 5, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Beans and broth...

That sounds like the start of a tune cootie involving dal and dhotis, butchers and pigs and such, all served up in a hot pot.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 5, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning y'all. I too would like minions to clear away the mundane chores, so I can concentrate on the really important stuff, like clearing out the remnants of my garden which were left by marauding squirrels.

To address Mudge's question from the last Boodle, yes, some oil companies are behind the current publicity campaign in favor of CO2. They've decided to attack the energy bill, I think basically on the grounds that it might cost them money. I don't know that the Big Oil guys are in this but medium and small size companies certainly are. One flew a bunch of employees to a rally in DC. This was on our front page yesterday morning, not necessarily reported in a negative light.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 5, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

frosti, yes, that chicken you can't seem to finish goes into the pot. I was looking at this bottle of wine that I got a week ago and haven't bothered to consume. (not up to mudgian standards)

I was trying to read up on making vinegar. Somewhat interesting. Seems you need a vinegar starter which I guess I can make out of my bottle.

I know these people who make vinegar and sell it at farmers markets. I would love to be able to make my own. Their price, btw, was absolutely silly, but people were paying $15 for a wine bottle of vinegar.

That could ruin your weekly food budget!

Posted by: russianthistle | October 5, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Rice vinegar and red wine vinegar are worth cooking (or dressing salads) with, but yeah, that's steep.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 5, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Both are highly intelligent and able to translate complex ideas into language the general public can understand.

Both are reputed to be liberal leaning but harbor secret conservative tendencies (not the bad kind, though).

Both are tolerant of people who have a different opinion, and able to engage in civil discourse with them.

Both are justifiably proud of their athletic abilities (respectively, basketball and wiffleball).

Really, check that birth certificate again. Possible separated-at-birth scenario here?

Posted by: kbertocci | October 5, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I love that the French refer to vinegar starter as the "mother."

Posted by: Yoki | October 5, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Weed, if you think there are "mudgian standards" when it comes to wine, you have been deeply, deeply misled.

Well, yes, let me contradict myself. I do indeed have standards when it comes to wine.

(1) It must be liquid. Call me finicky, but I will have no truck with wine in either gaseous or solid form. Not even those pesky little just-add-water crystals. It's liquid or nothing, as far as I'm concerned.

(2) It must be contained in a vessel of some sort. Other than the vessel be reasonably clean and uncontaminated, I am not picky. Bottle, glass, paper cup, cardboard box, goatskin, flagon, canteen, fluted glass, unfluted mason jar, galvanized bucket, scupper, skuttle, tun, barrel, wheelbarrow (clean), capped PVC pipe (capped, so that the wine does not fall out the bottom of the pipe, a common hazard with pipe open at both ends) -- hell, I'm easy.

(3) Most people accept wine in one of three basic colors, red, white, or pink (blush, etc.). I not only endorse these colors of wine, I'm open to fuscia, periwinkle, burnt umber, sienna, mauve, menthol, peridot, international orange, whatever. I think wine that is bioluminescent and glows in the dark might be interesting (and would save me the trouble of turning on the light when I need to crawl out from under some piece of furniture in order to go refill my flagon).

(4) I will drink no wine before its time. Its time was about 20 minutes ago.

Those are my exacting standards. (True story: one of my wife and my favorite wines is that Arbor Mist white zin, which costs about $4 a 55-gallon drum. The stuff is like Kool-Aid, which is in fact our nickname for it. We don't sip it, we slurp it down, almost chug the stuff. It is a dandy way to get very silly in under five minutes. No self-respecting grapenut would ever drink the stuff, but we love it.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 5, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, OF COURSE! it is mother... if it were father, then you could never get any vinegar during football season.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 5, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

my point, Mudge.... straight to the vinegar experiment. I would cook with it, but it doesn't meet my standards there. ... that was very funny--what you wrote. Much appreciated the chuckle.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 5, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse


JA was born in Kenya?? What???


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 5, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

s'nuke-didn't you know that already? Clearly all that back story about Florida was just part of the conspiracy to put JA at the top of the journalistic heap just in time to pave the way for his twin. Which one is the evil twin is hotly debated.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 5, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I just spammed myself again. It was very thoughtful of myself to thank myself for order number 475456. I am so impressing myself with my ability to work, boodle, and send myself courteous emails from servers in China.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 5, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I saw headlines last week about Ahmadinejad having Jewish roots - I ignored it because it seemed like one of those boring made-up stories, sort of like the birthers. But I just read this:

and it appears that he was really, probably, born Jewish and his family converted when he was 4, for whatever reason. How bizarre.

Then again, it may just be a birther-type story anyway.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | October 5, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Hidey-ho everyone. Well, the big news of yesterday was that the Lions lost.


Hey -- there's value in consistency, right?

Just got off the phone with a colleague in Toronto. She told me that she was watching Michael Moore's film Sicko and said she felt like crying. I told her I need a knee replacement and the surgery for spinal stenosis, but was gonna wait until Medicare. She said I could come up to Canada for it, and get it in less time it will take me to age up to Medicare. She says, and of course I agree, that we are all completely NUTZ down here. Well, with minor boodling exception, of course.

Say, how are we all feeling about those ads that CO2 is really good for us? You know, sponsored by the Petroleum Industry.

Posted by: -ftb- | October 5, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I need minions at home too. This child labour thing isn't working out after all.

Absolutely right Yoki, Acetobacter Aceti is one of the very few bacteria with a poetic name, mère du vinaigre. (mother of the sour wine)

Part of the high price of homemade vinegars is probably the price of the wine used to make it. Serious vinegar connoisseurs say you shouldn't make vinegar with a wine you wouln't drink. The one exception is wine that is past its prime, a wine that was kept too long in the cellar (something that doesn't happen much in the denizen's casa...) Such wine may not be an interesting drink anymore but it's reputed to make good vinegar.
Me, I'm not a vinegar snob. If it's in a bottle marked Wine or Cider Vinegar that's enough qualification.
We use the stuff coming from the chemical synthesis industry (motto: Chemicals for a better life) for cleaning purposes. I find the smell of acetic acid too strong in that stuff for culinary purposes other than pickling.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 5, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

This morning, on and off, I have been looking through recipes for Grillades. The process and preparations methods and even the ingredients are all over the place. I'm just thinking that it would be a great comfort food over rice.

Trying to put a variant together that would use a few of the ingredients that I have on hand from a friend's garden. (hot peppers, spring onions)...

I have a feeling that I am going to go pick up some additional herbs, as well.

I also got some green peppers from my friend's garden, but those will definitely get into a salad. I love a fresh green pepper with a cracked pepper/mustard vinaigrette dressing.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 5, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Isn't it odd? Green bell peppers are one of only two vegetables that I really don't like. And I ate them all the time as a kid.

I guess the duck breast that is in my freezer is off-limits during the challenge. As will be the port and blackberry sauce I am thinking of for it.

Posted by: Yoki | October 5, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, forget that duck breast AND the port reduction, as well. In fact, to play it safe, I'll be by and make sure... do you mind awfully if I borrow your kitchen for an hour to prepare the removal mechanism?

Posted by: russianthistle | October 5, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Yoki-did someone give you that duck breast? I could have a couple year's worth of duck breast, and the rest of the duck too, if I accepted every offer of wild game that came my way this time of year. Remember, gift food is free!

Time to fix some very simple tzatsiki before I head to Ikea. It will be easier to resist buying food while out with a great lunch waiting at home. Hmmm, there's a lesson in there.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 5, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Gosh, thanks Weed, that's awfully good of you. But with the packers here I fear I must hold on to the duck.

frosti, I know no-one who is in a position to offer wild food. I would certainly eat it if I were given some.

Posted by: Yoki | October 5, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Neither my wife nor I like green bell peppers, either, Yoki -- except to cook with. I always saute them along with onion for my spaghetti sauce, swiss steak, etc.--but don't like to eat them, especially not raw in a salad.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 5, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I miss my garden! A little garden grown green pepper and a small tomato a bit larger than a golf ball made for a great snack.


Yoki, the green peppers that you get in the store these days are big and pretty bitter to the taste. I can see where you are coming from. I have long since stopped including these monsters in my salads.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 5, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Very nice, kbertocci. Don't let the wingnuts know or the AchenBoodle will be inundated. In fact, if we're not careful, word will get around and everyone and his dog will want the Boss to drop a word in Obama's ear. Joel won't even have time to direct his minions.

I once had a really good bottle of wine sit on the counter too long. I couldn't stand to throw it out, so I put it in a clean corked fancy bottle, added some existing vinegar, and it turned into pretty decent red wine vinegar. Something in a cookbook I consulted suggested this might work; I had and still have no actual idea how to make wine vinegar, except by accident.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 5, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you, Yoki and Weed, about green peppers. That being said, I love red peppers and even the yellows and oranges, as they are all much sweeter.

I am pigging out on Honey Crisp apples right now. Even thinking about them makes the saliva run. They are so crisp and juicy, it's easy to choke on all that juice. Too bad the season for them is so short.

Hmmm. Seems to be time for lunch in these parts. Ought to give in to it, I think.

Posted by: -ftb- | October 5, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

This is so cool! The packers arrived, and it is the same two guys who packed and moved me into the apartment; very nice guys who are easy to have in the house. What were the odds?

Posted by: Yoki | October 5, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, you're close but--
"Dog and his everygnome"
is more apropos...


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 5, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Ah, russianthistle has perhaps solved the puzzle of why I have been substituting red peppers for green in all my recipes for the past couple of years. Green peppers have changed!

Posted by: nellie4 | October 5, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Chairman! Mr. Chairman, I rise to request a point of order (uncharacteristically on-tpoic, at that). In Joel's kit, he mentions the "corrupt government" in Afghanistan that either he or Obama (I can't remember which one) has to deal with. I wish to issue a brief meditation upon the concept of the "corrupt {foreign] government" theme. I'm not [picking on Joal at all; this notion of "corrupt foreign governments had been a theme for well over a hundred years in U.S. foreign policy considerations, and most notably reared its ugly head during Vietnam. The U.S. has been accused (correctly) of propping up various and sundry corrupt governments all over the place.

But has this idea not become a pretty silly cliche? It is defective on several levels.

First, the notion that the corrupt Karzai government (or any corrupt government we've back: Diem, Shah of Iran, Guatamala, New Jersey, you name it) is a problem to the good citizens of those countries is a joke. Those countries have always had corrupt governments throughout their entire histories; they've never had one that WASN'T corrupt, and wouldn't recognize a clean government if it walked down the street. We're talking about countries where all sorts of institutionalized bribery is a way of life, about countries with little or no real sense of Western democracy and ethical standards.

To complain about a corrupt Afghan government implies that what the good folk of Afghanistan year for is a non-corrupt government, an honest, impartial, efficient government based on high ideals. Okay, we done laughing now? C'mon. Let's get real here.

Who in Afghanistant is complaining about Karzai being corrupt? Warlords? Okay, we done laughing now? I think we all know the high moral standards your average tribal warlord adheres to. Are we atlking about al Qaeda or the Taliban? IOndeed, these groups do possess a certain moral "purity," of a sort. But are these the champions of non-corrupt government?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 5, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

We don't don't get many varieties of apple in our groceries here; it is a shame to see the same old Galas and Delicious (which aren't, to my pallate).

Posted by: Yoki | October 5, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, better make sure those packers get plenty of rest this afternoon. They're playing the Vikings tonight.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 5, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Psst Joel, you know Bo?
Get me some of his b.o.;
I have e-bay bids...


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 5, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge, you have a fault in your argument, and it is just this; the people in countries with corrupt governments are that regime's first victims. They *do* long for something better. They are bled daily just to get by in the world. Imagine having to pay bribes just to get policing, a telephone line, a delivery of clean water. Just because they are used to corruption does *not* make it OK with them. Go to any reasonably young African country and talk to the people; talk to an Indian slum dweller; talk to an Afghan woman.

It is terrible for them.

Posted by: Yoki | October 5, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | October 5, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I reminded me of my mom's best side dish with a pork roast. Baked Apples. Oh, baby!

Posted by: russianthistle | October 5, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I am feeling really Jamaican today. Is weed a rasta boy?

Posted by: russianthistle | October 5, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

A baked apple is pretty good with most anything, in my book

Posted by: Yoki | October 5, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

It's those dreads you sport, Weed.

Posted by: Yoki | October 5, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse


Back to my rant. Since when is "corruption," per se, much of an issue of any kind, when it comes to foreign policy and foreign governments. Usually the issue is simply to replace one gang of cutthroats with another, i.e., our corrupt crooks instead of *their* corrupt crooks. The truth is that for all the various and sundry nations we have de-stabilized, knocked down, supplanted, etc., "corruption" and the honesty of their governments was never an issue, even remotely. Mainly, we were looking for stout anti-communists, as well as a certain core efficiency and competence without too much obvious brutality of innocents. Whether they skimmed some off the top was never an issue, except possibly with Noriega.

God knows, when we tried to prop up the regime in Baghdad after the fall of Saddam, we airlifted over there something like 125 pallets of money, billions of dollars, and we have no idea where it went. Corruption? You want to talk about corruption and bribery after that? Hell, a lot of it WAS bribe money, extortion payments to buy off this or that faction. Who the hell are we to complain about "corruption" in a foreign government?

It is probably quite true that the Karzai government isn't remotely close to getting the job done. But is corruption really the issue? If they were whipping the Taliban left and right, would we care a plugged nickel about their innate bureaucratic honesty?

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I relinquish the rest of my time.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 5, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I acknowledge how terrible it is for them, Yoki. But can we also acknowledge that "bakshish" [sp.?] is basically a way of life in much of the third world, and lots of parts of the 1st and 2nd? It is embedded in their cultures. Yes, it is awful, and worse for those at the bottom than the top.

When my wife and I were teaching the how-to-adopt classes, when we covered adoption from foreign countries, part of the curriculum covered the particular kinds of bribery one was expected to pay in which countries, how to do it, what words and kinds of phraseology to use to avoid insult, etc.

I'm not defending the system, by any means. I'm just saying "corruption" isn't really an issue in real-politik. Do the people of Afghanistan want something better? I suppose they do. But do they think they will get it by replacing Karzai with either the warlords or the Taliban? In Pakistan, which general or colonel is more likely to be "honest" than which other general or colonel, never mind which one is likely to be more pro-Western than the other.

What viable choices do they have? None that I can see.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 5, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Obama is shorn of his worries about weeds or haircuts.

Posted by: edbyronadams | October 5, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, the member's time has expired.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 5, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

R.I.P. Gourmet

I wasn't buying it every month but I certainly enjoyed Gourmet as an occasional source of food p0rn. The magazine often had good stuff on American cooking and their website was useful too.
Personally, I prefer Gourmet over Bon Appétit but the folks at C-N seem to think otherwise.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 5, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm not French and I say "mother of vinegar" for the stuff. Wikipedia may not have a good article on vinegar-making but this site is a start:

I'm making some now. It takes around 3 months, far longer than making a decent young wine. I found a mother in my wine vinegar and copped a half-bottle of bad leftover cabernet so I started some vinegar. I also made some rose style wine from some Chilean grapes and decided to make vinegar out of it, too. So I will have two kinds.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 5, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I am really distressed by the closing of Gourmet. I liked it for the articles, although the recipes were often overly-elaborate. With ninety percent of them, you'd have every pot in the house dirty if you followed their directions. I tended to use the recipes but not necessarily their techniques.

Posted by: Yoki | October 5, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

There were lots of magazines I used to read for the articles. That's my story and I'm sticking to it, so to speak.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 5, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

(cough) (cough)

Hi Mudge.

What constitutes corruption/graft in the US doesn't necessarily translate to other countries (try explaining lobbyists or the FCPA) and vice versa. Also, the US isn't exactly a pillar of virtue (see, e.g., Blagojevich, Traficant, Jefferson, et. al.) Finally, since the beginning of time, corruption and government go hand-in-hand.

Time to pick up DC. Will try to peek in later. Have a happy day.

Posted by: LostInThought | October 5, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

That also means I lost the Gawker Conde Nast death pool to pick the two magazines that would get the ax first. My money was on Lucky and Elegant Bride. I went one for two.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 5, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I would have gone the consolidation route... Gourmet Brides.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 5, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the figured having both Cookie and Gourmet was redundant.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 5, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

On the theme of evil:

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 5, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

*Performing CPR on the boodle. Breathe, man, breathe!*

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 5, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

Just popping in for a moment - for those of you that noticed, this harvest moon has been very difficult for lycanthropes like myself.

My house is a wreck, I'm physically exhausted and have all manner of cuts, contusions and bruises, and a very strange taste in my mouth (not to mention stuff between my teeth).

I have no idea where the time went (the moon didn't set until about 8:30 this morning), but apparently, it was a good weekend.


Posted by: -bc- | October 5, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you completely, LiT, but I cannot respond further; I've been told my time has expired.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 5, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

First Gourmet, then this...

"McDonald's (MCD) plans to open its 1,142nd outlet in France next month to celebrate its 30th anniversary in the Gallic country, according to the U.K. paper The Daily Telegraph, and the location is at the pinnacle of all things cultural and classy: the Louvre."

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 5, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Bravo. So few people are willing to take the pro-graft position since Plunkitt of Tammany Hall made his classic defense.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 5, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Wait until Dan Brown hears about this.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 5, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Having been released from the undisclosed location, I am delighted to read such an amusing kit. For I too, although being a year younger than Joel (Not that I am flaunting my extreme youth or anything) am often struck by the many disquieting analogies between myself the President Obama.

For example, we are both male. And we are married. And we both moved to Washington DC to take a new job.

Man, it gives me goosebumps sometimes.

But, more to the point, I understand well the phenomenon of small problems looming large. You know, things like finding the cover for the gas-grill. Or trying to remember if we need new clear Christmas lights so that I can go buy some before they are all sold out. Epic stuff like that.

But here's the thing. This reaction is awfully hard to suppress. Anxiety about small, though salient, matters seems hardwired into my anatomy.

Of course, my anatomy is kinda stupid.

The point, of course, is that we all star in our own little personal dramas. We know (at least the sane among us do) that our little problems don't amount to that proverbial hill o' beans in the grand scheme of things, yet we have a hard time internalizing the freedom this knowledge implies. It's just the way people are.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 5, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

As LiT, Mudge, and others point out, the definitions of graft, corruption, taxes, fees, and a lot of other things having to do with the buisiness of government vary from place to place, from country to country.

As do the governments themselves, laws, and the definition of crimes and criminal behavior, and legal systems.

It is a very diffcult and complex thing to apply American Standards to foreign governments, flush with cash (or without), and sometimes with ourselves, as it were.


Posted by: -bc- | October 5, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I think I've got some time left on the clock. As such, I yield the floor to the gentleman from Boodleland.

Posted by: LostInThought | October 5, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

re, laloomis' 9:57 ... we came close with Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 5, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

This article on the International Anti-Bribery Act of 1998 made me sympathize with these folks:

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 5, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Thankee, LiT, but I think I have drifted away from whatever I was blathering about. Instead, I was going to point out to Padouk that I myself do NOT star in my own little personal drama. At best, I have a small walk-on part, a cameo, a minor supporting player role with a few brief lines of dialogue in which I appear on stage briefly in my Saturday grunge clothes, whereupon the lead actress hands me my honey-do list, and I exeunt stage left. I also appear in a couple of crowd scenes, and in "12 Angry Men" I am Juror Number 8 (where I am not so much "angry," per se, as merely my usual type-cast curmudgeonly self, and perhaps a bit disgruntled).

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 5, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Just got back in and am getting caught up when I noticed - Joel needs weeding - Joel I know a person, very good at weeding if I do so say myself :-). Travel costs would probably be a little stiff though.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 5, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, you're one up on me. Mine's not a drama, but a comedy. (I tried the dramady route, but without a laugh track, too many people look at me with that RCA dog head-tilt.)

In re: 12 angry men, were you sitting next to Jack Klugman or Lee Cobb?

Posted by: LostInThought | October 5, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Juror Number 8? That would be the Jack Warden role, the guy who has good tickets and just wants to get out in time to make it to the ball park. Once it starts to rain he doesn't much care about a quick verdict. Obvious type casting for curmudgeon.

Posted by: kguy1 | October 5, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Mine is based on a story by Ionesco with screenplay by John Hughes and directed by John Waters. With additional dialog by Italo Calvino.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 5, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

It has just occurred to me, this is the first week in October. Which is autumn. Fall. Last time I knew, it was, like, July. What happened to summer? When did it end? Did I step out of the room and missed its goodbye? I don't remember school starting (perhaps because I pretty much don't go any more, nor am I directly related to anyonme who does). I still have tomatoes growing.

Where did the time go?

Somebody give me a nudge when it's time to start shopping for Christmas. Dec. 20 or 21 oughta do.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 5, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, I find that in fact Jack Warden was Juror # 7. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Henry Fonda, the hero, was #8.

Posted by: kguy1 | October 5, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Her you go Mudge, just for you-

Posted by: kguy1 | October 5, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Juror #2 was the voice of Piglet, never knew that (or more likely have forgotten I knew it).

Posted by: dmd3 | October 5, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon boodle. I need to find a better background for picture taking, but here is today's lunch (and another lunch, and a snack).

Total cost for the boule and dip was $1.32. For lunch that set me back .44.

Today's total thus far- $1.54
This week's running total-$3.50

I need to come under the daily $2.14 to settle up on olive oil, butter, and milk at the end of the week so I guess it's time to use that free squash for dinner.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 5, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, the spelling is "backsheesh" and don't ask how I know that.

Posted by: nellie4 | October 5, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

kguy, I can't begin to tell you how verklempt that link made me. (That, plus ROTFLAMAO.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 5, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I thought the line readings were bang-on and I especially liked the way the knife was deposited in the "pocket" just like the original.

Posted by: kguy1 | October 5, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I liked the way all the jurors jumped to their feet when they thought #8 was really going to stab #1. I watched it several times. They jumped really well.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 5, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

As Lisa de Moraes would say, "But did you notice their shoes?"

Posted by: kguy1 | October 5, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, you KNOW one person doesn't exeunt! One person exits, you and bc and Joel and Scotty exeunt.

I'm surprised at you!

Posted by: slyness | October 5, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, no, I don't think so.

They had feet?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 5, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I know, slyness, but I just love the word "exeunt."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 5, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

You no speaka da de Moraes? "Shoes" is a euphemism for "upper frontals."

Posted by: kguy1 | October 5, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

No, I donna speaka de Moraes. I'ma no unnerstanna de code.

I feel lika I'ma in a de Marxa Brothers amovie.

Deer goesa da whistle and Ima outta hereah.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 5, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

"You know what they call a Quarter Pounder in the Louvre?"

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

No, I don't. What do you call a Quarter Pounder in the Louvre?


Posted by: DLDx | October 5, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Great, with that Piglet image I'm now thinking about the Disney sequel remake:

"Now we are six angry stuffed animals at the hundred acre woods"

(We need more honey!)

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

It was called the "Royale" (avec fromage of course) many moons ago. Not sure if that has changed since.

Posted by: skiohio | October 5, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

...or is that avec de la fromage. My French went along with the rest of my memory.

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

I it called "A New Low" or "An Affront to Art Lovers Everywhere"?

Posted by: LostInThought | October 5, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Answer A:
"A Royale with cheese! You know why they call it that?"
"Because of the metric system?"
"Check out the big brain on Brett!"

Answer B:
A crying shame (not to be confused with The Crying Game)

Answer C:
Irony worthy of a Cargill ad in the New York Time:

Posted by: yellojkt | October 5, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

To make it even better, the McDonald's there will also feature a "McCafé". Reactions so far indicate that the latter, "An Affront to Art Lovers Everywhere" (especially in France), is probably the correct name.

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

Have you watched "On the waterfront"? Her 'I could have been a contender' almost drew tears from me. That is so cheezy it hurts.

skiohio (Got any slopes????), fromage is masculine, so it would be 'de le' if it weren't for the contractive 'du'.
'Royale avec du fromage' is my guess, although the last time I've been in a McDo in France was 15 years ago and my memory is probably worst than yours.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 5, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Bwa, ha ha ha ha
It's a Royal Cheese.

'il fait figure de king'
Man, they are pathetic.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 5, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

I like your answers too.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 5, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

I really have to wonder if "Chaunte LeBlanc" is that actress's real name.

I don't think it is.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | October 5, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Shriek, Thanks for the correction on the French. It's been way too long and I didn't have much in there to forget.

No mountain slopes in Ohio to speak of but several "ski areas" to choose from which do indeed have slopes.

Posted by: skiohio | October 5, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Unplowed steep streets don't count, skiohio... *LTNS Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 5, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Whaddaya talking about, Scotty? Most certainly they count!

Posted by: Yoki | October 5, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

If only X-country.

Posted by: Yoki | October 5, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Jim from LTLA? Makes me think that our cheap eats phase might also include items like:

cloth napkins, rather than paper


limit paper towel use.

I bought those goofy shamwow thingies. Cut them into small squares to use in down to one roll of paper towels per two to three months.

Launder the shamwow squares in a lingerie bag...also in the dishwasher...Just a thought.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 5, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

CqP-if the frostcats never had digestive issues I wouldn't need paper towels at all. As a kid I could never stand the feel of paper napkins so as soon as I ran my own household I bought cloth. It would be cool to know what the cost of 33 years of paper towels and napkins vs. cloth would be.

Added a terrible picture of a wonderful soup to my Challenge set-

Butternut squash soup- .24 (for diced onion and pepper, 1/4 cup of milk and 1/2 tsp brown sugar).

Cut squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds. Put cut side up on baking sheet, spread lightly with butter (probably 1/4 tsp) sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes or until cooked through.
Scoop out cooked squash and puree.
In the meantime sweat onions and peppers in a bit of olive oil and butter. I also browned the remaining half link of sausage and reserved the cooked sausage for use tomorrow but left the fat to flavor the soup since I don't have any stock. Add flour, cook until lightly brown, then add half of the squash puree, milk and some water. Leave on medium heat just until boiling, turn down and add salt, red pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Served with a sprinkle of Parmesan and two little crusty bread heels and it was my best meal to date. Only gluttony allowed me to eat it all.

I plan to use the remaining squash puree in ravioli.

Today's total $1.78
So far this week $3.74

Need to figure out how to work in dessert before I go bonkers. There's a small weekday farmer's market open a few blocks from here tomorrow. I'll have to see what I can find that doesn't have to be bought by the bushel. I could scrap the ravioli and make a custard of the squash puree...

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 5, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

A couple of comments:

yellojkt, I think it's the big brain on *Brad* (and later on a wall, IIRC).

A Quarter Pounder in the Lourve: Er, I don't know, but I guess that Venus de Milo ain't lovin' it -- she's all up in arms about it. Didn't Marie Antionette say, "Let them eat Mickey D's?"

Watching this Monday Night Football game; and sheesh, I wrote a note to myself in 1997 saying, "Don't bet against Brett Farve on Monday Night." Looks like that's still holding true.


Posted by: -bc- | October 5, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

The Faver is indeed amazing.

Frosti, does faxed dessert count? Witch no.1 and the Fungi report that the Eve/fruit pudding is an heavenly thing, in particular with when it's been warmed up and served with ice cream. There is one or two servings left, I can't take reservations past breakfast tomorrow.

The Fungi surprised me at dinner. He said he was hungry so I served him about one and a half big portion of shepherd's pie. He came back for a second large portion then had a good chunk of pudding an hour later when House got on. He then had a bag of pop corn in the first quarter of MNF. That's a lot of food for a 5ft10in 140lbs guy.
The pie was one of the best I've made; using fresh corn and superior ground beef was the key to this success.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 5, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

sd-faxed dessert is better than none. I'm leaning toward making custard of the squash. Mr. F left some eggs behind and they need to be used. I'm sure I can afford one and maple syrup could make a nice topping.

I should probably quit watching the game while the Vikes are ahead. I am a famously bad jinx for them, dating back to the Tarkenton era.

Toodles boodle and sweet dreams.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 5, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "Favre," of course.


Posted by: -bc- | October 5, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

It' not easy being a guy named Fran.

The Vikes are in good hands.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 5, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

SCC 's

Can't get two short lines right. *sigh*

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 5, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Your dinner sounds good, Frosti. Spare, but good. Maybe you could make some kind of candy (like peanut brittle?) in the microwave - cooked sugar is pretty cheap. My Mom sometimes would make pie crust, roll it out, and bake it with sugar and cinnamon on top - pretty good, too.

SD, I meant to tell you yesterday those dinners you prepared sounded wonderful. Did you cook the pork roast already, or just get it ready to cook?

We had our homemade pizza again tonight - still the kids' favorite. The thin, crunchy crust doesn't take 2 minutes to throw together (baking powder, no yeast) but you have to roll it out with a rolling pin. Luckily the offspring can do that now. The sauce is just a can of tomato paste, a can of diced tomatoes, some sugar, salt and spices. No stovetop cooking.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | October 5, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

New York computes firefighting needs

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 6, 2009 3:31 AM | Report abuse

Jeez, if you can't count on IMDB to get a movie quote right, where can you go?

Posted by: yellojkt | October 6, 2009 6:02 AM | Report abuse

Mmmm, liver with favre beans and a nice chianti....

Posted by: yellojkt | October 6, 2009 6:05 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. Look what the boss has in common with Eli Manning: plantar fasciatis.

The little pork roast is braised on top of the apple-cabbage mix. I'll slice the roast and re-heat it in the mixx.

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

Good morning, all. Cassandra, we're still missing you!

Jumper, don't get me started on the New York City Fire Department. They are *always* 15-20 years behind the curve. Using Deccan software to properly locate fire stations? Now you are into my specific area of expertise, I did the location studies on 19 of the Charlotte Fire Department's 39, soon to be 40, fire stations. Deccan is an okay start, but nothing to get excited about. The software was sloooww and based on info that was at least 3 months old. We always found that using our own GIS got much better results.

Posted by: slyness | October 6, 2009 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Corruption? What corruption? It’s commission! That what our politicians call it.

Posted by: rainforest1 | October 6, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Please, please, please...

Somebody stop me before I start ranting about why in the world any news organization, particularly WaPo, would consider the Queen "birther" as worthy of a profile?

*SIGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH-and-off-to-another-exciting-day-following-some-Dawn-Patrol-mechanical-difficulties Grover waves*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 6, 2009 7:53 AM | Report abuse

And I know a certain Boodler's father will be very pleased at this year's Nobel Prize for Physics...


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 6, 2009 7:55 AM | Report abuse

I saw the hede, Scotty, and wondered that myself. I am NOT going to read the story.

Posted by: slyness | October 6, 2009 7:55 AM | Report abuse

And I guess JA will have to start disclosing all that free Carbucks...


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 6, 2009 7:59 AM | Report abuse

With regards to the Nobel prizes, it's kind of funny to see the Bell Lab at Murray Hill keep on collecting Nobels 40 years after its heydays. A short write-up on the Canadian part of the CCD Nobel team:

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 6, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

The WaPo home page menu on chats lists all the chats coming up on ... Monday. Wonder who took the buyout now, the Web guy/gal? Perhaps they'll update the links before today's chats actually occur.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 6, 2009 8:15 AM | Report abuse

I saw that birther thing, too, Scotty, and was immediately disgusted. Treating a paranoid lunatic with the courtesy of treating her like a normal, sane person instead of a deranged wingnut. Made me furious.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 6, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Good morninckz, Boodle!

Been, busier than Joelobama trying to weed and save the world, except that I ain't got no weeds to weed.

Haff a good day, ye Boodlers.

Posted by: Braguine | October 6, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle. Brag!

Today is the big move, so I'd better get on that.

Posted by: Yoki | October 6, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

*faxing Yoki a large bottle of extra-strength Tylenol, a hand truck, a couple hundred feet of bubblewrap, a bunch of cardboard boxes, several cubic feet of packing peanuts, and my son and two sons-in-law*

*and a chilled bottle of Chateau Morisette's "My Dog Blue" for this evening*

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 6, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

The Orly Taitz profile is a companion to the puff-piece they did on Brian Brown, the head of National Organization for Marriage, an anti-gay marriage group that puts out some really despicable disinformation.

I guess every anti-Obama wingnut gets a turn in the spotlight so WaPo can claim they aren't part of the liberal media. Or maybe it's just a subtler version of DVD's give-em-enough-rope strategy of surgical disclosure.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 6, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I always miss my estimate of needed book size boxes by 50%. Hang in there Yoki.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 6, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle.

Brag!!-good to see your handle again. Please-an update on your adventures, and news of spring, when you have a moment.

Nice to have the Vikings off to a 4-0 start, though I thought it had been longer since the last time that happened ('03). Just felt longer I guess.

Found a pork chop in the freezer last night. Mr. F says it was left from a "family pack" purchased at $1.67lb. This piece was 6oz (.63) so the bone and some fatty bits are in a pot making stock the rest is going into a couple meals.

Breakfast: toast and coffee .28
Week: $4.02

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 6, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Yoki-good wishes as you move into your swanky new digs.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 6, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

This morning's sports section in the dead-trees edition page 2 had a headline of "Figure Skating" followed by result from local speed skating competitions. Sigh.

Posted by: Raysmom | October 6, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Good luck with the move, and many happy memories in your new home Yoki.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 6, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Howdy. It is good to hear from Brag, and I hope we hear from Cassandra soon. Yoki, enjoy the day. Take breaks. I always forgot to clean out my refrigerator and had to get rid of old condiment jars at the last minute.

Frostbitten, I'm really enjoying your Food Challenge account. I have fixin's for ratatouille and sausage this week, but last night we fell back on Little Ceasar's pizza. I had a flat tire at work, and what with fixing that take-out was the option. Fortunately, without any prompting from me, Ivansdad and the Boy decided to go a month without Little Ceasar's. I think they've finally reached saturation point.

I read the NYT article on ground beef safety and told Ivansdad I'm only buying it from local butchers or my farmers market guys, who use a university-sponsored grinder and make it from pieces of the same cow. We don't use very much ground beef so it is worth paying a little more for the peace of mind. I'd go to Costco if we had one, but we don't.

In the "stupid politician speech" category I nominate a minion of Senator Coburn. He explained, apparently sincerely, that pornography is bad for boys because looking at it makes them gay. This is regular Hugh Hefner stuff, not Gay P0rn he's talking about. Sigh.He probably wouldn't approve of kguy & Mudge's movie clips either.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 6, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

The NYC fire dept. link was for you Slyness so I'm glad you found it. NY outdated? I'm shocked.

I wonder if that blogging disclosure thing affects Wikipedia.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 6, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I dunno. That "12 Angry Men" clip kguy made me watch turned me gay as all get out.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 6, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Imom, do you have a link to that Coburn aide speech? I want to e-mail it to a friend.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 6, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom-I don't think I'll set a particular $ goal after this week, but I'm really starting to appreciate the "slow food movement." Another side benefit-almost no packaging to dispose of.

Re pizza-when I visited the frostfam last month the last "home" meal I requested before leaving for the airport was Papa John's Pizza-delivered. The brand didn't matter as much as the delivery part. Our Fair County Seat is getting a Dominoes soon, remodeling of the space they've leased looks nearly complete. Pizza Hut has delivered there for many years without competition so it will be interesting to watch. Letters to the editor in the local paper will include mention of the relative merits I'm sure.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 6, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

I had missed this story about Nader, novelist:

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 6, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Jumper-Nader was interviewed on one of those longer segments C-span2 runs on its weekend Book TV. The interview was so boring it ended at some point after I was drooling asleep in my chair. If the publisher is smart he will make sure Nader does not do a book tour.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | October 6, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

If Playboy-style pr0n turns you gay, you're doing it wrong.

Wonkette had that story complete with video several days back. The gist of it was that ten-year-old boys think girls are icky and that if you tell them pr0n is gay, they'll stay away from it. I think that strategy only works for Republican senators from Idaho.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 6, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Here is the Wonkette item full of all sorts of wirty dirds.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 6, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse


I can deal with your pumpkin pie crisis.


Posted by: russianthistle | October 6, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad yello posted a link, Mudge, because I don't have one. A brief and amused article was in our local alternative weekly.

I really miss delivered food. Pizza delivery would be great but what I'd like is Chinese delivery. That was always a great comfort in winter, or on cold rainy days. Nobody delivers to our place here - too far out. Hah.

We're all waiting to see whether we have to leave the building soon. We were told there would be a surprise fire drill this morning and they're really serious about it this time - want us all to actually leave, check in to our assigned coordinator at our rendezvous, etc. I've worked here 14 years without one working yet.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 6, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, have a great move. Too bad the weather didn't hold for it.

Waving to everybody, gotta run.

Posted by: --dr-- | October 6, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Your topic leads to many hilarious reductio ad absurdem scenarios, yello.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 6, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

'Bout time you had a fire drill, Ivansmom. It IS Fire Prevention Week, and generally fire drills are required periodically by code. When I was in high school, they always occurred during homeroom. If there had been a fire any other time of the day, none of us would have known where to go.

Ha, Jumper! The larger the organization, the harder it is to lead, and the more hidebound it is. I'd never want to have an emergency in NY, SF, Houston, Boston, or Chicago. I leave DC off that list, despite their problems, because I know Chief Rubin is making changes as best he can. This is not an indictment of the firefighters in those cities, just recognition that management issues impact response readiness.

Posted by: slyness | October 6, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Our HQ in Alexandria just now had a fire drill, Imom. All my compadres are out wandering around the parking lot. All quiet here in my building in King George.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 6, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm. I think people may need to re-read that Wonkette transcript, because I don't think that's quite what the guy said. (What he said was almost equally stupid, but I don't think he really said hetero porn turns you gay. For one thing, he was talking mainly about 10/11-year-olds.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 6, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Yep, they had the fire drill. It was cold and windy but at least it stopped raining. I wonder whether the response time was affected since so many people in the building unofficially knew about the super-secret surprise and were just sitting there waiting for the alarm and announcement. Our agency did pretty well. One judge refused to leave - probably got us all a failing grade - and almost the entire first floor (a) went out an unauthorized "fire door" (that is, an actual fire door which was not a designated exit, go figure)and (b) didn't meet up with our coordinator on the opposite side of the building. She's going to report them all missing.

Mudge, all I know is the paper said Coburn's minion told an assemblage that p0rn makes you gay. His reasoning, according to the article, was that the resulting arousal turns a guy's focus on pleasure inward, and that will make him gay. Something about concentrating on himself. I don't want to know.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 6, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

It's going to be our turn to do the firedrill when it will be raining and cold this week or next. Our building is almost 30 floors high so it takes forever to evacuate and twice as long to go back up again. We do not have smart elevators, that's for sure. High heels should be barred from the building for those 2 weeks in October, that would save more than a few minutes on the total package.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 6, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Hey you guys! There's a new kit, and I've already posted twice on it! Gitcherselvesoverthere!!!

Mudge, you can bring your coffee with you.

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

New Kit!

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 6, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

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