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Blizzard of 2009 Photos III


The life of the middle-aged man. Buried in work. Just smile and keep shoveling.


Action shot! Note excellent form. Later: Lots of Advil. [Above two photos by Shane Achenbach.]


This is the way the world ends. Not with fire, but ice. And then the slush coda.




My kingdom for a snowplow.


The official neighborhood Currier & Ives vintage schoolhouse.

By Joel Achenbach  |  December 20, 2009; 6:29 PM ET
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Next: The loveliest of blizzards


Yeah, it's sad, believe me Missy
When you're born to be a sissy
Without the vim and verve
But I could show my prowess
Be a lion, not a mowess
If I only had the nerve

I'm afraid there's no denyin'
I'm just a dandylion
A fate I don't deserve
I'd be brave as a blizzard

(Tin Man)
I'd be gentle as a lizard

I'd be clever as a gizzard

If the Wizard is a wizard who will serve

Then I'm sure to get a brain

(Tin Man)
A heart

A home

(Cowardly Lion)
The nerve

Pronouced Neuoyve.

And now, OMG we fear the POPPIES....Somebody, come and hold my hand.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 20, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

*Squeezing CquaP's freakishly small hand in my monstrously-large, Bavarian-bar-maid-red one*

Posted by: Yoki | December 20, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

More great pics. Not so sure about your choice of headwear, Joel. You need a toque or a chullo. But then, you do work up a lot of heat shoveling snow.

Posted by: seasea1 | December 20, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

I love that shot of the street, effectively an *allee* (my kingdom for an accent egule) of classical gardening.

Posted by: Yoki | December 20, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Yoki, of the patrician hand.

Surrender DOROTHY!!!

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 20, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse


Read this about the Surrender Dorothy graffito in DC. I miss seeing this. Wish it were there always.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 20, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Misty Mist
Muskrat guard his musk?


Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 20, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Sunday evening: sipping tea, listen to a superb recording of Handel's Messiah (I know, I know... it is really Easter music, but who am I to buck popular culture?), reading "Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters" and having a fine time in my wee nest.

Posted by: Yoki | December 20, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Oh my! CquaP, I think SURRENDER DOROTHY is right up there with Banksy's work for forgivable and amazingly creative/ironic public art. How is it I have never heard of this 'til now??

Posted by: Yoki | December 20, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

great pics, joel.

love the wizard of oz live blogging, too.

i'm off to my starbucks for some dissertating, and by "my starbucks," i mean the one in downtown culver city, just down the street from (former) mgm studies, and about a block away from the culver hotel, where the munchkins actors stayed during the filming of the wizard of oz.


Posted by: LALurker | December 20, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Nice snow pix. On our block, two physicists and myself confirm 23 inches. We took seven samples between us between 8 and 10 last night.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 20, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Nice pictures Joel, all three Kits-worth. But I. agree with seasea, the headgear is just wrong. You need something that's knit. I hate wearing hats and even I wear a knit hat when I shovel.

Can't add to Wizard discussion as I've never been a fan of that movie (I'm probably the only person in the world who feels that way, sorry).

Posted by: badsneakers | December 20, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

We have the same amount here, CP.

I hate the flying monkies.


Posted by: Moose13 | December 20, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Now sneaks, tell how you really feel.

I think I said earlier I am no fan either.

It is *creepy* more than scary, to my sensibility.

Posted by: Yoki | December 20, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

And, the Winged Monkey seen is underway. Poor dissembling Scarecrow...and thanks Yoki for that.

The Surrender D near the Mormon Temple is astonishing....with apologies to Mormons....I was in a meeting one with the Chairman of CSX (old CHessie railroad) who said that they would leave it but the local and national church elders complained...

and oh no! Threatening the dog. and the evil sands of time. I am afraid of a kitchen egg timer now and forever....and Auntie Em...we all have one who loves us, lives in modesty, and wants us to come HOME>>>>>>> Now.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 20, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Yea, verily, in a RInTinTin move, ToTo finds the others and alerts them to DORO'S plight. Again, the plot device of dog saves!

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 20, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Yo He Ho
Ye HO Yo

The Klans-like Winkies who serve she who should be broom=wacked in the bottom.

And, the sound effects are perfectly horrendous!

Moose, see, we are right. College Park was in a thick band of snow.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 20, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

OK, please don't talk about the little dog. I'll have to move back in time to defend the innocent, and I haven't the technology for it.

Posted by: Yoki | December 20, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Now, music from Mussorski...Night on Bald MOuntain? Now, the muted trumpet of fear...and the reunion of the band of rings bearers (oops wrong film) and now Margaret Hamilton
s trademarked cackle.

She threatens torture. Higher up the staircase of doom.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 20, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Little dog is in Doro's arms. In the tower, more torture. "mangy little dog too,"

(Rds doggie is very ToTo-escue.)

Now the water and the melting of evil. Sigh we are all safe. So, will stop now.

Thank you all for being my therapy friends and all.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 20, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Love the Fantasia/Wizard conflation, CqP. Yup.

Posted by: Yoki | December 20, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Obelix is piling up crocodiles as one of the 10 Labours of Asterix. I love these old cartoons.

Joel is shoveling snow wearing sneakers and a cowboy hat, how....American.

The amount of fallen snow has nothing to do with the thickness of the snow deposit on your grill, deck, car or table. It's the normalized amount of water obtained from the total precipitations multiplied by ten. If the system catches 2 in. of water you just had 20 in. of snow, whether the deck is covered by 12 of wet snow or 24 in. of dry snow.

The osso bucco was a rare delight. I should do that more often.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 20, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

This Steelers-Packers ending is a barnburner.

Remember, White House show at 8 (nuthin' else good on anyway.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | December 20, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse


Glad your osso bucco (aka veal shanks) was tenderly delicious.

Posted by: Yoki | December 20, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Mr. A,

At the risk of offending you, I think you're using too much back and not enough legs in your shoveling stance. The knees are a tad too straight for me to award you maximum points.

Posted by: MsJS | December 20, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Sd, thanks.

MsJS -- funny, you.

Moose and others; BE COUNTED and report your totals here.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 20, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

OMG. Steelers win Ben throws a TD w/ 3 seconds left to tie, and extra point kick wins. Roeth has 503 yards passing on the day.

And Scotty widens his lead. Well done, sir.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | December 20, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Heart-broken me goes. Look after each other, Boodle-people. You are just, the best ever.

Posted by: Yoki | December 20, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, some of us too. We love you. We are together even if we are not. Verily! Word.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 20, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

eh, there is a "La petite vie" 90 minutes special at 20:00. The osso bucco was melting in the mouth.
Veal and marrow in a rich tomato sauce with pasta, is there something better in life?

Scoops are back-saving devices. Just saying.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 20, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

There's is no place like home (3times)
(Vertigo sequence)

And, think lovely thoughts (P Pan)

The message is the same.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 20, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

I was going to comment on Joel's choice of footwear but I see Shriek beat me to it, you need a pair of Sorels Joel.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 20, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I was going to comment on Joel's choice of footwear but I see Shriek beat me to it, you need a pair of Sorels Joel.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 20, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Joel, do you own a pair of snow boots? This would be a good time to break them out. Now I *like* the hat, but that's just me.

Posted by: slyness | December 20, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

The wikipedia entry on "Surrender Dorothy" isn't quite accurate. I lived in Kensington in the '70s, and the very first version was done with wadded up newspaper stuck in the chain-link fencing on the Linden Lane overpass, which was taken down and replaced numerous times. The painted version on the railroad bridge showed up later.

Posted by: rashomon | December 20, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Horrible news about Brittany Murphy... Ridiculously tragic. :-(

19" on the NukeAbode snowmeter... I'd have posted pics already if a certain massively popular social media site had its photo uploaders working properly. And I think my back is still intact -- many thanks to the neighbors for helping protect a lovingly shoveled-out parking space this afternoon. JA, you've got to work on the "manly grimace" look when shoveling, else everyone will realize we were dealing with champagne powder for the most part.

And, um...


exactly how does one wear a tiara again? Like Geordi's visor, right?

I guess all the mexican wedding cake cookies scattered around the kitchen must have distracted the gremlins and kept them from switching my pics. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 20, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

SCC: my picks... darn gremlins!

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 20, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Rash -- edit it. Are you still around?

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 20, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Those are beautiful pictures Joel. Especially the first two. Because I know how it is when you are sweet on the photographer.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 20, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

There IS no place like home.

Just walked the neighborhood with Son of G. Cold but beautiful. The stars are simply beautiful and the low-in-the-sky crescent moon has a yellow tinge to it.

A couple more random pics of the season...

Posted by: -TBG- | December 20, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Also, dang it, I want a cool hat like Joels.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 20, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

I don't recall the "Surrender Dorothy" graffiti, but can appreciate the concept. The Mormon Temple certainly leaps out at you as you drive along the freeway. And green lights would suggest nothing else.

And yes, I lobbied hard for a Cairn Terrier *specifically* because of the Wizard of Ox.

Because, sadly, there were no Flying Monkeys to be had.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 20, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

RDP get thee to Carol's Western Wear in Laurel. Tis cowboy hat dear tenderfoot

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 20, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Very pretty house TBG and your little elf is cute. After seeing the last half of the White House Christmas show, I've decided that we are terribly under-decorated here ;-)

Posted by: badsneakers | December 20, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

The Surrender Dorothy was great graffiti. If I recall, it was removed several times before finally being left up for years. We were all sorry to see it go... my parents included.

I'm glad to hear that CSX was all for leaving it up. We've always pointed it out as the only really non-vandalism graffiti.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 20, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

ftb, I think it's nice that we don't all live in the same place--it would be awfully crowded. I think snow is lovely and really enjoy looking at pictures of it.

This picture, expressing a different sentiment, is from a friend in Key West:

Posted by: kbertocci | December 20, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Wizard of Oz just started for us here (we always get stuff late, sigh). Those flying monkeys still freak me out, even at this old age.

Love the shoveling pics Joel, now I know how it's done. Snow just makes everything look so much more beautiful. Raining off and on here in the MotP. Flash flood warnings on all islands. I think my Seattle friend brought the grayness with him.

Looking forward to the White House Christmas, been waiting for weeks to see the place all gussied up. One of the things on my bucket list, see the decorated home of the people before I kick it. That and watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade from a window in a nice warm (expensive) hotel room.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 20, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

"What would you do with a brain if you had one?" I ask myself that all the time.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 20, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm feeling sad about Brittany Murphy. If you haven't seen it, and you want to feel a little worse about her tragic death, watch "The Ramen Girl." I watched it twice, just a few weeks ago. I wouldn't have guessed she was 32.

Posted by: kbertocci | December 20, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

The Wizard of Oz is such a beautiful metaphor for so many things in life. It deals with the search for adventure, meaning, and acceptance. For in the end what does Dorothy really gain? Friendship. Victory over evil. A sense of personal validation.

And some really nice new shoes.

I mean, who could ask for more?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 20, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Without The Wizard of Oz we would never have had Wicked and the world of Gleeks would be that much poorer. Not to mention the irreparable damage to Pink Floyd's career.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 20, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

It has always bothered me that the Scarecrow gets the Pythagorean Theorem wrong. An unforgivable offense in my book.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 20, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

It's Hollywood, Yello. You can't expect them to understand mathematics.

Posted by: slyness | December 20, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

I always found WoO scary as a kid, the flying monkeys, the munchkins, even Dorothy's pals, it was just all sort of sinister... But I loved the Surrender Dorothy graffito. I like anything that shows that Washington and the people who live here are a real place. Too bad the old stores are gone, they were a big part of local identity, at least in the postwar inner suburbs...even Giant Foods is just an empty name now. (John Kelly is my favorite WaPo writer after JA, could you guess?)

Posted by: woofin | December 20, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm wondering if you know anyone or have heard of someone with the first name Fala.
I'm asking because, according to Google, Fatruk is and Indonesian name.

Posted by: Boko999 | December 20, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Send Joel to REI or Patagonia to become a proper snow dude. Woolrich, regrettably, no longer seems to be a supplier to the ordinary people of Pennsylvania.

I'm surprised that the snow looks throwable. I was thinking of material suitable for short-term architecture, maybe a backyard Emerald City, Inca temple, or vaulted roof.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 20, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if it helps, Boko, but "Fala" was the name of FDR's dog.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | December 20, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Maureen Dowd once casually mentioned the 'Surrender Dorothy' grafitti in her column and it caused no end of debate over her accuracy and veracity.

The Wizard Of Oz was also Hillary Clinton's favorite childhood movie, which opens her up to all sorts of metaphors.

Posted by: Mo_MoDo | December 20, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

My wife teases me for taking a picture of Fala every time we go to the FDR Memorial.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 20, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Mudge. The only other source I found was a baby name site that says Fala is First Nations name but not which one.

Fala Fatruk, the shady, dog-faced, American Indian/Indonesian trader.

No! Fela Fatruk is better. *check google*

Fela is a Polish girl's name meaning lucky.

And is a googlenope!

I'm so happy, thanks.

Posted by: Boko999 | December 20, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra's Panthers are putting decent numbers against the Old Man's team.
You go girl!

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 20, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

I would like to thank everyone who talked up the Guernsey Potato Peel book. I bought it for my mother on the Boodle's recommendation, and I read it yesterday. I had to make sure it was gift-worthy, right? Greatly enjoyed, went by too fast. I will always trust the Boodle's taste in books.

Posted by: -bia- | December 20, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

SCC Fela Fatruk is a googlenope.

(didn't make sense writing Fela is a googlenope when I'd just written that I'd looked it up on google. Silly.)

Posted by: Boko999 | December 20, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Joel would have trouble out here in Colorado. Snow boots and hiking boots are staples. But the hat works. It is amazing to see so much snow in DC in December! Hope some of you went sledding. I have fond memories sledding with my boys on a golf course hill in west Potomac near Poolesville. My older son was headed there today. Whoosh!

TBG--such a pretty and inviting home. Does look like marshmallow blankets outside.

Posted by: Windy3 | December 20, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Good night, all.

I miss the "Surrender Dorothy" on that train bridge over the Beltway - most effective on the outer loop, when the Temple looms over the horizon on the dowhill run between Georgia and Connecticut Avenues. When I drive my kids around that part of the Beltway, I point out the painted-over sections and note that even though it's covered up, *we* know it's there and has been for getting on 35 years now, IIRC.

Scotty, congrats on the Tiara, sir.

Joel, I know you're just posing for those snow removal shots, and that your actual steam-shovel technique is far more complex and effective than what you're letting on there. No comment on the shoes though.

I used to go sledding and bumper-riding in Chuck Taylors and two pairs of socks, so I have no room to talk.

A note on bumper-riding - current snow removal equipment, modern auto and truck design, and high-speed police communcations have pretty much wiped out that form of late-night teenage entertainment. It was good fun while it lasted, even if it was reckless and dangerous. Much like dirt bike races and car/truck hillclimbs or parking lot races in the snow, too.

Been there, did plenty of that, and lived to tell the tale. With a minimum of broken bones and machinery, I might add.


Posted by: -bc- | December 21, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Boko, I have heard the name Fala as a first name, usually of someone from Samoa. Other than that, I'm not familiar with any Indonesian version.

FDR's dog was named Fala? Don't know where Falahill is, someplace in Scotland? Interesting story about the dog.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 21, 2009 1:20 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: seasea1 | December 21, 2009 1:36 AM | Report abuse

1) Great, fun pics, Joel! I do plenty of lifting-of-boxes at work, so my arms/shoulders/chest scoff at some snow-shovelin'. My lower back, however, is letting me know that it takes a dimmer view of my antics this weekend. Which leads more-or-less into:

2) Apparently God really does look out for reckless fools! Not only did the Steelers somehow survive their incredibly foolish onside kick misadventure, but when I came home at (insert sometime after midnight) the parking spot which I'd shoveled out (the only remaining empty spot on the street) was waiting for me. I guess I owe the young neighborhoodlums a bonus.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 21, 2009 2:11 AM | Report abuse

The only references I've ever heard to "Fala" as a name (other than FDR's dog) were Scottish, Amerind, or Chinese.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 21, 2009 2:17 AM | Report abuse

Seasea, I'm with you. Yay!

I hope that in all the excitement of legislative give-and-take, and the thrill of power politics, that these folks understand that we (collectively as Americans) are guilty of a bad, bad thing if we don't figure out a way to give disenfranchised folks access to health care in some manner other than the old collapse-in-the-emergency-room gambit.

I understand that easier answers don't come easy, but that just cannot stand.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 21, 2009 2:26 AM | Report abuse

bc - And it shall be again! I know people who know people. Plans are afoot.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 21, 2009 2:31 AM | Report abuse

OK, at some point (and I've just about reached it) I get tired of my own commentary. I generally don't like to get all partisan & stuff, but for the potential voters in Virginia's 37th district on January 12th, I'll point out the following, and take a break:

Steve Hunt is an acquaintance of an acquaintance of mine. I've (briefly) met him. I'm not a huge fan.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 21, 2009 3:48 AM | Report abuse

How did all 100 members of the Senate manage to vote earlier this morning? Did they have staffers with 4x4 pickup trucks with tire chains? Were special snow plows dispatched? Did a bunch of Senators camp out on the Hill for the weekend? Was pizza delivered?

Cheers for Sen. Byrd and everyone who helped him along.

I trust that the roof of the Capitol visitor center didn't leak.

Thinking of Dorothy, Universal Studios is finally building a Harry Potter thing. I wonder whether the current crop of kids will be interested. Maybe Universal will follow up with an Avatar ride. The automated critters would be sort of expensive....

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 21, 2009 5:20 AM | Report abuse

Doncha just hate it when force of habit has you up at the normal hour, even with the office closed? Oh well, I'm gonna try and telecommute anyway, so...

And now for the latest failings of the WaPo copy desk, courtesy of the Salahi article:

"the exploits of two textbook cases in reality-TV exhibitionism ultimately weakened security around a president whose harm would cause national trauma and international crisis."

Aiiiieeeee... "a president whose being harmed," MAYBE, although I'd take a chainsaw to that grammar in any case.

If I weren't already using the chainsaw on a certian set of inoperable photo uploaders... *mumblegrumbleratzinfratzin*

*off-to-another-cuppa-coffee-and-contemplating-proper-technique-for-shoveling-with-the-tiara Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 21, 2009 5:53 AM | Report abuse

Looking out my window, I don't see a paper yet. Not a good harbinger for somebody that put a self-addressed Christmas card in the bag last week.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 21, 2009 6:09 AM | Report abuse

OK, I went back to the 'ol reliable photo site...

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 21, 2009 6:29 AM | Report abuse

And here's one Fed who'll be "working" today:

She has a very good idea, BTW...

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 21, 2009 6:32 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure this will so totally not surprise a certain southern MD. Boodler...

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 21, 2009 6:38 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodlers!

Joel is right, snow looks better from a warm place. Like the Southern Hemisphere. Today we're having our longest day. I can see snow in the pretty pitchahs. If I look out of my window I can also see real snow on the distant peaks of the high Andes.

Have a happy Monday, you lot.


Posted by: Braguine | December 21, 2009 6:50 AM | Report abuse

It is indeed the last day of Fall. Winter starts around 17:30 today. Yes!

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 21, 2009 7:12 AM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Good, good, morning, friends. It is so good to get to the computer at last, and it's working better. The last time I tried it was totally black. I need an update, but that will have to wait until later.

JA, the snow pictures are marvelous, but that outfit makes me think you need to be on a horse, not shoveling snow. Could be I'm not a fan of snow. I like looking at it in pictures, but the real deal, no way. Y'all are in serious need of sunshine!

We had a full day yesterday. The church had its annual Christmas Dinner and gift giving. It was nice, but sunny and cold outside. I gave the Sunday school lesson review, and got the opportunity to wish everyone a good Christmas and an even better new year. And to remind folks not to overlook the blessing of family, something I needed to hear also. I did see my dad yesterday. I took him his dinner and his gifts from the church. It was good to see him, and I believe the feeling was mutual.

My daughter went to work this morning, so the g-girl is here, knocked out. When she wakes up, the silence will leave, the sounds of Spongebob and other cartoon characters will fill the quiet. And of course, all she can add for the want of any lack. Good times ahead!

Mudge, Yoki, Martooni, Scotty, Lindaloo, and all the gang, have a wonderful day. I hope all the shopping has been done, and everything ready for the big day.

Slyness, missed the game, but saw some of the highlights. Where was this quarterback at the beginning of the year? Great game.

May God bless and keep you and yours.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 21, 2009 7:18 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Scottynuke | December 21, 2009 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Brag! I hope you have a pleasant day. Hi Cassandra!

26 this morning, and no heat. We're on the third new thermostat, so that obviously is NOT the problem. I don't think I'll let the technician in the house, he can go straight to the unit and work from there.

Posted by: slyness | December 21, 2009 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning Everyone.

'tis nice to have a snow day. Although I would be staying put in any case as my street has yet to be plowed. And although most of the shoveling has been done, this morning brings a new threat. Icicles. They can take an eye out, you know.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 21, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

slyness, I feel for you and your lack of heat, not a good thing this time of year. While waiting for the repairman, could you bake something to take the chill out of the kitchen?

RD, two days after the storm and you aren't plowed out? Have you called your town to see if they forgot you or is this normal for the DC area?

Sun is out and everything looks very pretty. I'll be going out later and assume our roads are fine. Also wondering if SIL made it home from Costa Rica, he was supposed to get in around midnight.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 21, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

No heat is no fun. Is it a furnace or a heat pump? At one place, our heat pump t'stat was mis-wired and when it when to emergency (electric) heat, the whole thing cr@pped out. Of course, it only goes to emergency heat in real cold weather. The house got down to 55 before the repair guy showed up. All told, not a disaster, but a bad way to learn those things.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 21, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Asley Dupre, ex-gubberner Spitzer' for-hire girlfriend, has her own sex&relationship colunm in the NY Post.

What's next? The WaPo rounds up the girlfriend & boyfriends of cheating congressmen for a contest to win a relationship pundit internship?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 21, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

badsneakers says ' this normal for the DC area?'


Posted by: LostInThought | December 21, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Reading the local paper is interesting. There was a tea party gathering on Saturday -- gotta watch that runaway government spending and hold elected officials accountable. Boo for redistribution of wealth! Okay. Next story: officials welcome federal funds. Federal money coming in to pay for airport expansion, road repairs, building at the university, defense contracts at local plants. Thanks to our rep for getting us the money! Next story: it was a bad year for agriculture because all the rain delayed planting and then came back to ruin much of the harvest. So federal farm subsidies will be bigger this year than last.

Nothing I didn't already know about the mindset, but it's striking to see the stories right next to each other.

Posted by: -bia- | December 21, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

The newspaper did arrive safely behind my car. Two hit pieces in the dead trees. The front page one describes how TPOY Bernanke was either asleep at the wheel or stoking the coal box as the credit crisis erupted.

The other on the Salahis gets nearly as many column inches. While Desiree Rogers only gets mentioned a few times, it's clear that she is being painted as the villain. A few sample quotes:

///That initial rejection should have triggered phone calls and set off security alarm bells, said Cathy Hargraves, a former White House staffer and George W. Bush-era hire who resigned in June after Rogers, the current social secretary, stripped her of most of her responsibilities supervising guest lists.///

Good quote by a disgruntled former employee.

///The Salahis had gained entrance to the White House, and not a single staffer from the social secretary's office had laid eyes on them.///

///And so former Secret Service officials were bewildered, several said, that the social secretary's office failed to do the minimum by stationing its own staff at the entrances.///

But there was enough blame to go around. Two low level Secret Service agents were thrown under the bus once again and the bus was thrown into reverse a few times.

This whole tempest is reaching teapot proportions, but it's good to see three pages dedicated to setting the record straight on a minute by minute basis. I also think it set a new record for anonymous sources used in a Style section piece.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 21, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Jkt, same experience here. That is the "Achilles heal" of the heat pump installation. Moron installers never know that they have erred until it's too late... for the consumer.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 21, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Joel, your road is ALL downhill to the main street, except for that portion which is uphill. Just pick up speed and hope.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 21, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Yello, I have no idea what's going on with the HVAC system, the technician just left after his fifth visit. It's a gaspack, five years old. We're now on our third thermostat since December 1. The heat's on, and he said to leave it at 68. Something in the programming, he thinks, because the unit checks out fine. Frustrating!

Posted by: slyness | December 21, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Like the doughty Robert Byrd, I rise from my sick-bed, ready to clean some house!

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 21, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Slyness, I'm glad to hear you've got the heat back. Crossing fingers that it keeps working for a while.

Posted by: -bia- | December 21, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Slyness, may the heat in your house match the warmth in your house for this holiday season.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 21, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

*staggering-back-into-the-house-after-a-couple-more-hours-of-icebreaking-and-shoveling-where-is-the-consarned-Aleve-already Grover pinky waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 21, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps you snowbounders could try placing a "Free Unassembled Snowmen" sign in your driveways.

Posted by: Boko999 | December 21, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

The most difficult shoveling for us is after the plow goes by and deposit a small mountain of heavy, icy snow at the end of the driveway. It is possible to drive through this pile, as we often do if it is small enough, but in bigger storms that pile must be cleared, Since we are on the lowest priority for having our street plowed this generally occurs at least 24 hours after the storm and about 1/2 hour before we need to get the car out of the driveway for work, nothing like starting your day with killer snowshoveling in a rush. Shortly after which the sidewalk snowplow will come by and add some more piles on either side of the driveway that may need clearing.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 21, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

'Sneaks... in Virginia the state does the plowing and because we don't get much real snow, the budgets are pretty weak.

And like bia points out, it's mostly my Republican friends who complain that their streets aren't done yet.

Our community found out a few years ago that the state will reimburse your HOA to contract out the plowing. Because we have townhouses with parking lots and single family houses on state roads--and we were smart enough to contract with the same company who does the shopping center up the street--we get plowed early and often, even though we're on a dead-end street.

This was a lesson we learned after the Blizzard of '96, when we didn't get out of our street for about a week.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 21, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad I don't have to get out there and shovel snow, even if my knees were to let me. When I was growing up, the entire family would get out with shovels and spades to crack up the ice (a couple of jokes would get it started . . . (get it?)) and we'd get it done in no time. Hot chocolate would ensue afterwards.

I've gotten a lot of emails from my Swedish friends wondering how we are dealing with the snow here. They've just gotten another blast of snow themselves with apparently a great deal in the southern regions of the country. It may very well be a white Xmas for them, too, which is unusual in the Stockholm area.

It all remains very pretty, though.

I agree, bia, that the Guernsey/Potato book was very sweet. I finished it last night. Now, I think, I'm going back to Steig Larsson and Lisbeth Salander and see what's going on in the second book. Or, I finally got "Three Cups of Tea" and it might be time to dive into some nonfiction again. Choices, choices . . .

Posted by: -ftb- | December 21, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all.

Please don sunglasses before viewing photo:

I haven't owned something this mod since mod was mod.

What shade of orange would you call that?

Posted by: MsJS | December 21, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I love 'em, MsJS. Great gift. I may need to get those for my sister. :-)

Posted by: -TBG- | December 21, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

MsJs, all I can say is, "oh my." TBG, I guess I forgot that in states that don't routinely get snow in winter don't plan for it. (Seems silly to me, you do get some snow now and then?) Our town might have private contractors do some of the plowing but it's all taken care of thru the towns and cities so that usually all streets are done before the end of the storm. Some bigger cities, with on-street parking may have more trouble getting every street done, however.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 21, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

So you can get to the shopping center, TBG! That's nice.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 21, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

1. Great live-boodling of WoO. I can't say I ever found the flying monkeys to be intimidating. I remain impressed at the effects in the approaching tornado, however.

2. Now, on to the snow. I agree it is clear that JA is twisting too much. The proper technique should look like someone shooing children from a room. That "shovel" looks like a dustpan on a stick. The curved handle style is a good recent innovation, particularly for middle-aged men with a fondness for manfood. I'll give a pass on the hat, but proper boots are preferred.

Posted by: engelmann | December 21, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Good morning and Happy Solstice to all. I say those 12 days of Christmas start today. Merry Christmas and Festivus to all.

The power went out today, and the furnace with it. I got the woodstove going pronto. Decided I need a hat with a brim on it to keep the low sun out of my eyes. Finished the chainsawing of next year's firewood. Next step: tote the maul down there and have at it.

Power's back on now.

Our newspaper is full of sob stories about how wrong it would be to have the death tax. How unfair. Sounds like a plan.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 21, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Boko, loved your 10:55 AM comment.

Posted by: Windy3 | December 21, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Morning all, on-again-off-again lurker here. When I can get to read it, the Boodle always brightens my day, thank you!

I missed why you were asking about "Fala," Boko, but it remined me of a Brothers Grimm tale featuring a horse named "Falada." I could swear in the version that I have at home that the heroine refers to the horse as "Fala" for short, although it's not in the one online version I could find. Be forewarned, the tale is rather grim(m).

The name always struck me as odd as a kid because "Falada" didn't seem to jive with the rest of the German names the Grimm brothers used in their stories.

Anyway, have a good day, all!

Posted by: MoftheMountain | December 21, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

(What's left of it, anyway.)

I must congratulate the Frederick County MD snow removal folks -- they've done a great job making sure that the roads have remained clear and passable through the weekend.

I remember '96, TBG, and it was certainly not so then.

Now, off to run errands and whatnot.


Posted by: -bc- | December 21, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

After the big storms of December 2007 one guy ran out of place where to put the snow and so put his snow bank on e-bay. Sold it too.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 21, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, Weed! We can handle the minor aggravation of the thermostat. Christmas will indeed be merry.

It's wrapping day, and I'm glad to be getting that done, so I can reclaim my bedroom from the mess. However, I'm missing a gift for the Geekdottir and am afraid it got mixed in with Mr. T's gifts for his sister-in-law. If it did, I'm gonna be mad.

Posted by: slyness | December 21, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

sneaks: "Oh my" was my initial reaction, followed by "At some point in the past I must have hurt the gift giver very deeply."

The things elicit in everyone a visceral reaction that is so immediate and so ingrained that it can't be suppressed. The specifics of the reaction differ from one person to the next, but it's hard to be neutral about them in those first few seconds.

Posted by: MsJS | December 21, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

in 1996 we had only been in Maryland for a year and were still living in an apartment. We used an empty trash can to shovel out our cars.

Our first winter (94-95) had been pretty snow-free. If '96 had been our first winter, there might not have been a second winter.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 21, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I was at the Mall in Columbia to see Avatar last night and the mall was packed. At the end of one aisle was a car that had been left in the parking lot during the blizzard. Not only had it been snowed it, it had been plowed in. Three guys were trying to dig it out. An hour later, there was a tow truck trying to pull it out.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 21, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I remember '96, too, bc. 1896. 1796. 1496. 1296 (that one was a real s.o.b. Had to shovel the drawbridge over the moat THREE times. I told them they should just raise the damn thing before the snow started. But would the Sheriff of Nottingham listen? Noooooooooooooooooo. He had some tootsie down in the village and thought he could sneak out during the wassailing for a little slap-and-tickle. But Missus Sheriff kept him on a short leash all that holiday, so he never did get his stocking stuffer.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | December 21, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. Thanks for the splendid pictures and snow stories. I appreciate the vicarious living. I missed a lot while I was singing, shopping, baking, and etc. In no particular order:

Wonderful Wizard of Oz blogging. I'll have to get out the disc and watch it soon here. I too can recite and sing the whole darn thing, about, from memory.

Scottynuke, y'all had a Gravely! The most serious of mowers. My cousin found an old one last year, just like Grandpa's. There was much rejoicing.

Thanks, RD for the what-English-sounds-like. And bonus, on the same page was a link to Christopher Walken performing Lady Gaga's "Poker Face". Risible.

Boko - "unassembled snowmen". Hah!

MsJs, scary shoes. I'm afraid I would have shouted with laughter in the first seconds.

Howdy MoftheMountain. I remember the Falada story too.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 21, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't place where Joel's shoveling form struck a memory from my distant past. Then, I started to put the memories in order and have to say that the snow was what was throwing me off:

Joel, the knees are indeed a problem, but you do have lovely shovel hands.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 21, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

C'mon, snowbound folks, build us an authentic igloo!

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 21, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

A pickup truck with a shovel went through a few hours ago on the far side of the street, but that's it. My son and I tried to prevent the wall of snow that DMD mentions by shoveling out five feet from the sidewalk in front of the driveway. Should help, but I fear there will be much shoveling left. Assuming a *real* snowplow ever makes it through.

I am approaching annoyance.

In the meantime I have warm cookies to chase them naughty blues away.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 21, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Need Boodle help: is anyone familiar with a type of women's running/crosstraining sneaker called something like "Skeeters"? My wife wants a pair, but is unsure of the style name. Anybody know?

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | December 21, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Oh Dear Lord Mudge. Sketchers?

Posted by: LostInThought | December 21, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Sorry. Spelled wrong. Skechers.

Posted by: LostInThought | December 21, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

That must be it. Thanks, LiT.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | December 21, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

The Festivus chat with Dan O'Keefe was fun.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 21, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Hey there MotMtn! *Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 21, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Or this, Mudge:

Somehow I think LiT is um, more correct.

Posted by: engelmann | December 21, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

wow, great photos Joel... quite the dump you got there... none up here! boo hoo

Posted by: MissToronto | December 21, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

MsJS, the comments about your first reaction to your gift reminded me of a Christmas gift I received about 15 years ago. It was from my best friend, who said when she gave me the package, that when her husband saw the gift, he thought of me right away. Now he's known me forever, as has she, so I'm thinking, this will be interesting. On Christmas Eve my daughters and SIL were with me opening presents (this is before I knew "S"). We get to this package, which is a bit bigger all around than large toothpaste box, I tell them what my friend said and start to open the box. Inside is a red velvet bag, (now #2 makes a joke about it being perhaps a'gadget' that vibrates-causing some giggles), inside the bag is a pretty brass trimmed box. I open the box and say, "ooh, stones." It was about ten minutes before any of us could speak without convulsive laughter taking over. (The stones were those little things you throw on a fire to make pretty colors.) I still have the box and still smile every time I look at it.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 21, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

... like your hat... looks Aussie... mine has sea shells but I prefer wearing it with a bikini than a snow shovel. To each his own.

Posted by: MissToronto | December 21, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

*adding "sidewalk snowplow" to list of vehicles I wish my city had (in addition to street snowplows and leaf vacuum trucks)*

Posted by: seasea1 | December 21, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

MissToronto, thank you for that image of Joel in that hat, a bikini, and a shovel.

Can I bill my therapy to you?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 21, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

This was cute, from the tail end of the Tucker Carlson/Ana Marie Cox chat:

"I wish you all a happy holiday, whatever gods you look to these days. Try to be kind, do the right thing when you get a chance, listen to people who are trying to make sense even when they don't and, above all, snorgle with the ones you love because it always matters and always helps."

Posted by: bobsewell | December 21, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Joel at this point - Lots of Advil. Had to stock up on some more yesterday when we finally ventured out. I shoveled the driveway Saturday afternoon, which was a good thing. Though we got about 6 more inches, it made it a lot easier yesterday. We parked one car in the shopping center lot up the street on Friday night. They plow that lot quickly (as opposed to our street, which may take 3 or 4 days). We extricated the car with little fanfare, got some essentials, and left it there till today when we could get it back to the house. It will block the sidewalk for a while until they plow things out and we can get it back by the curb.

Posted by: ebtnut | December 21, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod-Gnome, would a Speedo help? I'm guessing... more therapy!

Posted by: MissToronto | December 21, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

"Snorgle." Ooh, that's a good word!

I hope all you folks will be plowed out by the time we get to NOVA Saturday afternoon. Yes, I'm planning to bring the snow boots (I have a new pair!), but really.

Thirddottir just commented on Facebook that she's got to go to Costco with the twins. Bless her soul, I hope she survives. If I had my car, I'd go and help her, but it's in the shop today and I don't care to try to drive Mr. T's truck in the Costco parking lot.

Posted by: slyness | December 21, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

My wife did her pre-blizzard shopping at Costco and Trader Joes (we have a strip mall with them both). If you couldn't get it there, she didn't get it.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 21, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I almost forgot: Happy Solstice!

If this is the shortest day of the year, is it time to go home yet?

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 21, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Very bad form to disparage a fellow guy on the size of his tool. Now, I have no less than three large snow shovels. The main one I used was a bent handle with a plastic scoop. The back-up shovel (for if and when the teenager helps) is a bent handle with a flat metal blade. And for emergencies only we have a straight handle with a plastic scoop.

For clearing the steps we have small scoop the is exactly the width of one step. One good shove clears the entire step into the next door neighbor's driveway.

In case anybody missed it, here is a video of my rather dandy-fied shoveling technique:

I'm practically auditioning for Snow Shoveling With The Stars.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 21, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Our company party was supposed to be Saturday, but we canceled on Friday and arranged for the caterer to bring the food by the office for the party to start at 4 pm. Since I was going to bring my whole family to the weekend one, I now have to smuggle food out for them when I go home.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 21, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I had to go shopping for a snow shovel on Friday after work. Traffic was a disaster in the Rockville Pike/Veirs Mill corridor. I had to stop first at Whole Foods from some fish, then get home. After the cod, wife of nut headed to the grocery store(s) while I went to Home Depot to get a shovel and some cleaning fluid. Guess what - no snow shovels left. Only convenient option was the Strosnider's in Silver Spring, which shares the parking lot with another Whole Foods. Took me probably 20 minutes and a couple of circuits to get a parking space. They only had maybe a dozen shovels of any kind left, and I wound up paying $40.00(!!!) for one with the auxiliary handle. But it does make the job a lot easier than the straight handled types. On this one the aux handle rotates, so that you can twist the shovel as you pitch the snow to direct it where you want it to go. A good tool, but still?

Posted by: ebtnut | December 21, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

SCC: stop at Whole Foods for some fish.

Posted by: ebtnut | December 21, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Boodle Solstice (writing) Challenge:

Take this clip from ebtnut.

After the cod, wife of nut

Make something of this. You may rearrange the word order, if you like. Haiku, Tanka, verse libre....and you may build a paragraph around this phrase. Outside limit: the 600 word five-para essay of course. Short story-ists? Deal with the 600/5 limit.

You may Contest closes at midnight, of your timezone.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 21, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

yello: About 3 years ago a GT alum friend was encouraging his high-school daughter to consider going there. "Only nerds go to Georgia Tech, Dad," she said pointedly.

She's now a college sophomore majoring in Nerd Studies and some sort of Engineering. Loves the place.

Posted by: MsJS | December 21, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Good luck with those Sketchers, Mudge.

There's only a few hundred styles of them.
I approach women's shoes with the utmost respect and thoughtfulness -- even the best get caught out sometimes.

Mudge, did the Sheriff need to keep the drawbridge down for the lady in the village, or so he could scamper off to visit those women in Canterbury? I understand he used to tell a lot of stories about them -- heck, how did he refer to them again...?

yellokjt, had to laugh at the bent-handle shovel. I haven't used one of those since I cleaned out a few stables as a young man.



Posted by: -bc- | December 21, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Where shovels are sold I think I know
As long as the roads are cleared of snow
There is a place in Silver Spring
It will all depend on traffic flow

Wife of nut must think it queer
That I find a shovel’s price so dear
For my part I regret not buying
Until the snowiest day of year

I give my weary head a shake
and ask the clerk if there’s mistake
No, forty dollars comes reply
I wonder if he’s on the take

My house looks pretty, an alpine hut
But I’ve a snowy path to cut
And cod to get, says wife of nut
and cod to get, says wife of nut

Posted by: engelmann | December 21, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

1) Wife of nut after the cod!!

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 21, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Well, CqP, this should be interesting. What else will tomorrow bring???

Posted by: ebtnut | December 21, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I took some liberties, what can I say.

Posted by: engelmann | December 21, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Splendid as always engelmann. You set the bar high. Fortunately, I will set the bar low at the opposite end. CqP needs us both to set the curve!

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 21, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Laugh all you want. All my soreness today is restricted to my triceps and deltoids. My back is feeling fine. I imagine not everybody can say so.

For many years I had to keep my Rambling Wreck affinity as under wraps as I could, lest I scare off the young lad. Now that he too is Yellow Jacket (and arguably a better one than I ever was), I can let my Tech flag fly.

Speaking of flags, since I have about one of every clothing style the bookstore sells, I strongly hinted that some nice window-held car flags would be a great present in anticipation of flying them en route to the Maryland game next fall.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 21, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

engelmann... that was splendid! Calls for a hot toddy and another log on the virtual fire.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 21, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Engelmann -- or should we say Jinglemann.? Bully there, poetry mann.

I-mom's koan is a nice little aperitif.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 21, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

TBG -- PG schools now the most unGrinch like in the area: SCHOOL IS CLOSED FOR THE YEAR. The holiday begins. The cheers on my street reverb with happiness.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 21, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

YAY! Fairfax granted the yearlong vacation yesterday to much delight on my street, too.

Too bad the kids (and teachers) didn't get to use the "see you next year" line this week. That always cracks me up.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 21, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I guess I better hitch up my codpiece lest my chestnuts get roasted by the open fire.

Posted by: ebtnut | December 21, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt: Got a banner to hang outside your hive during the Orange Bowl?

Posted by: MsJS | December 21, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

For our festive dinner, I’ll tell you what
I wore a leather jockstrap, with exposed butt
Wife of nut dropped her eggnog
Then said to me, with eyes agog
“I said a piece of cod you crazy nut”

Posted by: engelmann | December 21, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

mall. mobbed. took 25 minutes. to go 1/2 mile, park. found skechers at dicks sporting goods. hunnert bucks later. god theyre ugly. well. she can always. return them. bought. other. presents. inc. stuffed. reindeer. of course. (u didn't?)

went to borders. somebody on boodle reading "sense and sensibility and sea monsters." thought was joke. discovered it wasn't. found a second one now out, called "pride and prejudice and zombies." s'truth. word.

exhausted. legs hurt. must husband strength for skins. 2nite. son is going to game. be sure to wave. u can't miss him. he's crazed asian ninja sitting in end zone section. no not that 1. the other 1.

after the nut. wife of cod.
after the wife, nut of cod.
one of them. decisions. decisions. must postmark entry by midnight. else disqualified. else turn into bumpkin.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | December 21, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I finally had to go out this afternoon to replace the coffee pot I broke this afternoon. Wow! The streets here are just a mess still. Even the main drag was not totally plowed. It was everyman (woman) for him/herself.

At the hardware store the man is front of me was buying a long metal pole. "Is that for Festivus?" I asked him. It took him a minute. The my remark spread up and down the lines producing rounds of "Happy Festivus!"

Posted by: rickoshea1 | December 21, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Being a person of prose, I can only applaud the splendid efforts of englemann.
Well done, sir! I can only wish I could poetize half so well.

Mr. T won my heart this afternoon: He took my car and got it washed! Better yet, he got the tires rotated and the brakes were fine, so my Christmas present from the mechanic is an invoice showing a zero cost. Yay!

*Faxing Mudge an adult beverage of his choice, in reward for going to the mall on December 21.*

Posted by: slyness | December 21, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I have returned home with an eggplant in the shape of Jay Leno's head. How to use it? Discuss.

But Nut is a goddess. How, then, shall she have a wife? There were no gay women before Sappho and her gang on Lesbos, right?

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 21, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

After the cod, wife of nut wisely jumped on a horse instead and galloped off to in all directions to the grocery stores.

Posted by: Boko999 | December 21, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Just back from the Mall myself, not too bad there, Chapters Book store on the otherhand was packed.

Younger child's birthday today, but all is quiet here, she had friends sleepover most of the weekend and was asked to play at their house today, but now I am off to pick them up for yet another sleepover - can you tell school let out for the holidays last week :-).

Technically I am done shopping except I am worried that one child may be need one more gift to even things out - I have so become my mother it isn't funny.

RD, hope your plan works, try that myself many times, if no one drove on our road before the plow came it would be fine but that doesn't happen which only increases the weight and amount of ice the snow deposits.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 21, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Awarding Mudge Heroic Order of Shopping.

Mudge, rd P&P w/Z wth Boy. Vry clever. How else get preteen Boy to read Austen? Instanter, Sense & Sensblty w/SeaMnstrs. Also clever.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 21, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

We tried going to Target this afternoon but couldn't get into the parking lot.

My sister and her hubby are on their way to the Redskin game tonight. I understand the folks at FedEx Field had to get rid of 25 million pounds of snow. Where do they put it?

I mean... after cod, wife of nut?

Posted by: -TBG- | December 21, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Thank goodness for the extra day off this week -- more time for Christmas shopping.

Not sure I'm done until the Accounting/Wrapping sequence, but I'm close enough to declare a moral victory.

yello, my word for shoveling is "premedicate." Ya don't get sore -- the challenge is when you head back inside and can't find your keys or cell phone. Thank goodness I didn't lose the flask.


Posted by: -bc- | December 21, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Still no plow on my side of the street. A shame I don't live in some affluent area with a good tax base.

Oh. Wait. I *doooooooo*

I went out there and shoveled a pathway to the semi-plowed side of the road myself. Fortunately, I have a little car.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 21, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I am reading Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters even as we speak. Some of it is funny, but overall I find it a bit tedious.

Posted by: Yoki | December 21, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

sea monster review

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 21, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

After cod, le deluge...

Posted by: seasea1 | December 21, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Sense and Sensibility and Nutty Cod

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 21, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Y'all might as well take the rest of the week off:

Posted by: seasea1 | December 21, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

tbg: Given that it's Washington, DC I can think of a dozen monuments that I'd prefer buried under several feet of snow for the foreseeable future.

I was golng to write a bit for the contest based loosely on The Gettysburg Address, but am being called away to festivities for the remainder of the evening. Be back in the morn.

Posted by: MsJS | December 21, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Mr. Rochester have a nut wife?

Posted by: -TBG- | December 21, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Good response by DC police chief...

Posted by: -TBG- | December 21, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm repeating myself but Reginald Hill's "A Cure for All Diseases" is probably a better Austen pastiche (for the 21st century, using e-mails instead of letters)) than most.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 21, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

I see seasea beat me, but here goes anyway

apres poi(sson) la folle

(no offense to Mrs. nut)

Posted by: DNA_Girl | December 21, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Another dose of cod with Frost:

Some say this week will end in rain
Some say in ice
Given last week's shoveling pain
ebtnut hopes for rain
Dinner was good, ('twas fish with rice)
After the cod, wife of nut
Dismissed at last the shovel's price
Not cheap, but
It moves snow nice

Posted by: rashomon | December 21, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

This has been flying out front since mid-September when I decided the neighborhood Hokie shouldn't have all the pride:

Posted by: yellojkt | December 21, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

I had better just document my dinner, like a geek.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 21, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

We're having a real gourmet dinner here tonight, jumper. I've got my sister's boys here (she's at the MNF game), so it's a special dinner:

Hebrew National hot dogs, steamed potato buns, tater tots, canned corn. What's not to love?

Posted by: -TBG- | December 21, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Since it is her birthday I let younger child pick the dinner menu - three guesses what we had - I am a baaad mother.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 21, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Kraft Dinner?

And none of this guff about bad mothers.

Posted by: Yoki | December 21, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

NukeSpawn had mentioned she was hoping to get "Pride and Prejudice" for Xmas, so I'm hoping she won't mind a few zombies thrown in for good measure, as I'd already given her her presents when she did the mentioning thing. :-)

As for ebtnut, all I can say is "Oh Cod."

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 21, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Not even as healthy as KD, McD's drive thru, lost my cook tonight dmdspouse is in the capital for meetings.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 21, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

cod with nuts, dmd?

Posted by: nellie4 | December 21, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Ha! dmd... that's what Son of G wanted to serve the boys tonight! We compromised on the hot dogs and tots. (And they did eat the canned corn.)

So cute to see Son of G and his young cousins walking down the street back to the boys' house where Son of G will stay until my sister gets home in the wee hours. I could hear them laughing and yelling as they trudged through the snow. So nice to have family so nearby.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 21, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Just had such a nice mental image of Son of G walking his cousins down a snow filled street.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 21, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

I figured it was Mickey D's. That's what my kid wanted at that age. Not sure what the appeal is - but they do outgrow it!

Posted by: seasea1 | December 21, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

i think engelmann has produced some tiara-worthy lyrics.

Posted by: LALurker | December 21, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Enjoy the game tonight, folks.

I'm going to try. Hopefully I won't be watching it through my fingers.


Posted by: -bc- | December 21, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

I made a crucial error this week: I actually picked the Redskins to win. Now I'll be doubly disappointed if they lose.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 21, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

How did I miss the WaPo NCAA Person of the Decade Tourney?

And now it is over.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 21, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

JK -- you are not too late for the

Challenge. Go to, young man, go to.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 21, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

School canceled for the second day in Howard County, MD (HoCo). Will they go for the threefer and cancel Wednesday? Will they tell us before 7:0PM on Tuesday? It's enough to make a fella go nuts and, you know, smack himself with a cod.

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 21, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

HoCo tends to dither. They seem to always be last to make the call. My wife doesn't see the point since half the kids are already traveling anyways.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 21, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

YJ -- See
HoCo tends to dither. They seem to always be last to make the call, BY COD. My wife THINKS THIS IS NUTS since half the kids are already traveling anyways.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 21, 2009 8:50 PM

You had "wife" and look now, the cod and nut(s) so neatly shoe-horned in. Very good!

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 21, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

So this is good old Rockville
The home of the nut and his wife
Where they may be out of snow shovels
But cod can be had for a price

Posted by: badsneakers | December 21, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

The school schedules in metro DC amaze me. Our kids were out last Friday and won't go back till January 4.

Of course, state law requires NC systems not to begin before August 25 (except for the mountain counties) and they are generally out by the end of the first week in June.

Although I have outgrown adherence to the school schedule (yay!), I always was for starting early and ending before June was out. Starting after Labor Day, meh.

Posted by: slyness | December 21, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

I see the OPM is indicating a "liberal leave" policy. Which is, alas, not special leave just for Obama supporters. All this means is that you are allowed to burn some of your annual leave without the management approval that is *supposed* to normally happen.

Since the world doesn't stop I am going to drive in tomorrow, at least for a bit.

Let's hope I don't get stuck and fall victim to marauding snow zombies.

Or punchy Senators. Which I hear are even worse.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 21, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

He left his snowy hovel
To get his wife some cod
But when he bought the shovel
He actually got scrod.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 21, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Here in HoCo
It's kinda loco
Wife is wrapping presents,
nuts and cod and pheasants,
for friends and coworkers
not seen since snow beserker
canceled school and class
before gifts were passed.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 21, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

I can understand residential streets still requiring plowing, but the main roads, highways, bus routes are not cleared?

Posted by: dmd3 | December 21, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Kinda creeped out that George Will is talking about simultaneous climaxes.

Brain bleach, please.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 21, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

The main roads and highways are cleared around here, dmd. Bus routes are kind of a joke out here. It would probably take RD about 4 hours to get to work by bus.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 21, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Ment the roads the buses take, I am just trying to get my head around closing the schools for three days, other than how close it is to Christmas. If roads are clear why the closures? Kids will miss being able to play on the big hills of snow, one of the best things to do in winter, or make snow forts.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 21, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

My hill is a sheet of ice. Must be treated early and often to salvage. Watched the plow start up and then slide down. Today and yesterday....we can snake around the back of the neighborhood carefully.

Oh nuts! The hill is iced.
Thaw the cod; foiled and spiced.
After eating, what else but wife
and husband each other. Ah,life!

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 21, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Too much ice on the sidewalks and no safe place to wait for the bus. Just throw in the towel. Down in Florida they get two weeks for Christmas anyways. MD seems pretty stingy with the break.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 21, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

DMD -- now, the parking lots are a huge problem. At my son's hs, no where for them to park. And, the huge piles of snow betwixt street and sidewalk mean no place to walk or wait for the bus.

We lack the know-how and the equipment to pull this off. And, would be foolish to buy equipment for the doozy that only occurs about once every three or four years.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 21, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Oh.. the school buses. The school buses around here go deep into the neighborhoods. And there are some very rural areas around here with narrow, winding, hilly roads that would be very dangerous for the buses AND for the kids to stand at bus stops, which are pretty much obliterated by the piles of plowed snow.

Plus... school buses start picking kids up in some places by 6:15 am or earlier. That means ice and darkness.

And the school calendar has several snow days built in.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 21, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what the school policies are in DC, but here in St. Louis when there's even a little snow on the ground, recess is in the gym, and kids are ushered in straight from the buses to the gym in the morning. So, no playing on mounds of snow here, unless it's done at home.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | December 21, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Think I just take crappy sidewalks, waiting for buses amongst piles of snow as a given. Because the temps in my area are usually close to freezing dipping up and down we have a lot of ice and ice patches in winter and are used to it and learn to live with it. The number of accidents we have whenever there is a storm are proof that we have not perfected the ability to cope with the weather or are smart enough to stay home when it is prudent.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 21, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

dmd, I guess those of us from more snowy areas just can't relate to the snow removal issues in DC. A lot of schools in this area were closed today (sidewalks not plowed), but almost all will be open tomorrow.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 21, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Why am I still watching this game?

Posted by: -TBG- | December 21, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Let us give into the snow
like fishers of cod.
Like squirrels and nuts.
And wives of yore,
submissive and etcetera.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 21, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

This wife must be nuts,
Watching this football contest.
Her team smells like cod.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 21, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Engelmann is the champion of the field of battle, as might be expected of one who relaxes with parody after writing cod-cils for nuts and their wives.

However, I offer this brief bawdy Carroll. Anybody enamoured of Lord Rochester please avert your eyes now.

After the cod, Lord Rochester sat:
"The time has come,' he brooding said;
"To think of many things:
Of love-- and wards -- and my wife the nut--
Of singers-- and flings --
Of why my nuts are boiling hot --
And whether Jane might swing.'

'But wait a bit,' his conscience cried,
'Before we have our plot;
For some of our secrets may breath,
Then all of us are caught!'
'No worry!' said Lord Rochester.
It gave up after that.

'To love thus plead,' he cunning said,
'Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper of truth in evasion
Is very good indeed --
Now, if you're ready, Conscience dear,
We can begin the deed.'

'But bigamy!' his conscience cried,
Turning a little blue,
'After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!'
'Jane's rear is fine,' he cooly said,
'Do you admire the view?

'It was unkind of you to lust!
And who'res are cheaper a vice!'
Lord Rochester said nothing but
'Celibacy's worse price:
I wish Bertha was never wif'd
I've suffered all-- twice!

'It seems a shame,' his conscience said,
"To play her such a trick,
After we've brought her out so far,
And made chat trot so quick!'
Lord Rochester said nothing but
"The plotting's spread too thick!'

'I weep for Jane,' his conscience said;
'I deeply sympathize.'
With sobs and tears it sorted out
Lies of the largest size,
Holding up Edward Rochester
Before its streaming eyes.

'O Conscience,' said Lord Rochester
'We've had a pleasant fun!
Shall we be trotting down the aisle?'
But answer came there none --
And this was scarcely odd, because
He'd lied and Jane was done.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 21, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

That is a little sad Wheezy, can't say I recall indoor recess as a child except for rain, now my kids are indoors for any manner of reasons, cold, wet, wind, wet grass. Not hard to understand why so many are hyper at school without any means to burn off energy.

My favorite day from grade school was playing in the lake formed between two piles of snow formed by the snow plow, an ice storm and then rain and melting created the lake complete with ice bottom. Playing in this was strictly off limits but the temptation was way too strong. I remember tying to negotiate that water without slipping.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 21, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

In parts of Boston people spend hours digging their cars out and save their parking spaces by leaving various items as place holders. Woe to any stranger who should be so bold as to park in a 'saved' space. Supposedly this practice is only legal for the first 48 hours after a storm, as the city comes by and removes the items, but I wouldn't park in those spaces anyway. Here's an example.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 21, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Yea Cods, WilBrod's
Stanzas give E-mann
Worthy nuts for tossing
to squirrels and their wives.

A Golden Acorn to each and all. Some hath earned more than one golden nut(meg)!

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 21, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

bc, hope you are squeezing your fingers tight together.

Posted by: bh72 | December 21, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Since most esteemed journals bear little trace of recorded failures, however interesting, I have bucked the trend with this little documentation of a good inspiration gone, not horribly, but indubitably, wrong.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 21, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 21, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

I don't mind loosing. But I mind being embarrassed while doing it. A lot. This thing is just awful.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | December 21, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh ho, Jumper! You lost me at the anchovies. Good effort, though. Mr seasea made ribs yesterday that he called a failure but I thought were delicious. The sauce was a bit hot, and he said the ribs weren't moist, which didn't bother me a bit.

Again with the sidewalk plowing! I've never heard of that. Shoveling and rock salt yes. And rules for snow! I guess that's what we lack out here - it's pure chaos, but usually not for too long. I've lost my nerve for driving in snow, and have no desire to get it back.

Posted by: seasea1 | December 21, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Sounds rather salty, Jumper, and you have mixed some very strong-tasting ingredients together-- arugula? capers? pepper? Onions? All with strong-tasting sardines?

Oh well, we cannot fail if we don't try. I've never tried to cook with sardines.

My favorite canned fish recipe is very simple-- canned corn in heated up and then canned fish (salmon or tuna) added to it; adjust pepper and salt to taste.

It can be made fancier, of course, but I've never tried. I prefer lighter soups anyway, and I was looking for a way to use canned fish in a quick soup.

For me this is a two-can meal you can do on a pot or in the microwave (without actually cooking the fish in the microwave, ugh). I usually have excess fish left over, which Wilbrodog gets.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 21, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone actually eat capers? I'm trying to recall whether they sell them at Walmart. That's a fairly good way to separate mass-market items from micro-market.

In time for the season, here's a diatribe against the financial/business types who saw social darwinism and thought it was evolution. The author is a psychologist at Emory who knows about chimps.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 21, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Mega-savant Kim Peek of Utah, the man who inspired the Rain Man movie, died this past weekend. And what, precisely, did NASA learn after doing scans of his brain? He came to NASA's attention when he spoke at a Rotary meeting in Monterey.

Posted by: laloomis | December 21, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, here is a pretty good fish soup.

Soup - Salmon Chowder

½ Cup each: chopped celery, onion and green pepper and 1 garlic clove, minced
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup uncooked diced, peeled potatoes
1 Cup shredded carrots
½ tsp. pepper
½ tsp. dill weed
1 can (14 oz.) cream style corn
2 cups half and half
2 cups cooked salmon, or 1 can (24 oz) red sockeye salmon, drained, flaked, with bones and skin removed.

In a large saucepan, sauté celery, onion, green pepper and garlic in butter until tender. Add broth, potatoes, carrots, salt and pepper and dill. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until carrots and potatoes are nearly tender. Stir in the corn, half and half and salmon. Simmer about 10 minutes, until heated through.

The Tribune, San Luis Obispo, 2004

(I usually use milk, not half-and-half, and the corn in my cupboard is Mexicorn.)

Posted by: nellie4 | December 21, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

I LOVE capers, Dave. #1 usage is on lox/bagel/cream cheese; I always ask for extra capers.

I also do a killer green bean recipe that uses capers, crumbled bacon and shallots in the crumble topping. (Beans done in white wine.) Will be having them on xmas day.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | December 21, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

You all should know I that I didn't watch the game through my fingers.

Decided to go with a blindfold and a cigarette.


Posted by: -bc- | December 21, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

No dill for me, thanks, but yes, that's a decent rich chowder base for any fish :).

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 21, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

On a side note, I really enjoy driving in the snow, especially when I'm the only one on the road. Or the parking lot.

Mudge, you're right -- losing is one thing, humiliation is another.

I imagine any consideration Snyder and Allen had for keeping Zorn around for next season had swirled down the 'ol American Standard by halftime. Oy.


Posted by: -bc- | December 21, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Capers? Oh yes! I adore capers. They are little nuggets of briny lemony goodness. And they're kind of cute, too.

I put a handful into a chicken casserole today; awesome.

Posted by: Yoki | December 21, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse

condolences to redskins fans. looks like the players took bc's approach as well.

wish i could weave together a tale of cods, nuts, and their spouses, but i'm really just a prosy gal. maybe i'll regain a few creative brain cells after my eternal studenthood has passed.

saw this in the nyt. a kind of susan-boyle-esque story about a painter who sold her first painting at age 89:

ok, got a plane to catch tomorrow morning. be good y'all.
merry christmas and happy new year!

Posted by: LALurker | December 22, 2009 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Rain is coming down in buckets right now. Weird weather, sunny during the day and torrential rain at night. Go figure.

Safe travels LAL!

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 22, 2009 1:43 AM | Report abuse

Clearly parents in your area are not as litigious as parents in the DC region when it comes to weather related mishaps on school grounds and in transit. Which is probably for the best.

TBG wins the wife-nuts-cod Brevity Award. Well done.

Baltimore also has a tradition of street parking space saving that some are trying to abolish at their peril.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 22, 2009 5:29 AM | Report abuse

Have fun storming the castle!

Posted by: yellojkt | December 22, 2009 5:43 AM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Good morning, friends. Yes, I am up and at it, whatever that means. Fingers looking like sausages, the fat ones, and every bone in the body wants to ache this morning, but I'm hanging in there.

Slyness, it is very cold here, and I'm happy you have heat. The weather person is promising warmth later in the day, hopefully that will be the case.

Nothing special on the agenda today. Yesterday the g-girl and I took two of our church family to breakfast. We enjoyed the food and the fellowship. A mother and daughter. The elderly lady has been sick most of the year, but seemed to enjoy herself yesterday.

Well, Christmas is almost here, and no baking, no thoughts of what the Xmas meal will be, none of that. Can't seem to move that way. Christmas is a loaded holiday for me, but I'm trying to work through it.

Mudge, Slyness, Martooni, Scotty, Yoki, Lindaloo, and everyone here, have a great day.

Has any of that snow melted in the DC area?

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 22, 2009 6:55 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all! Yep, Cassandra, it's cold here, but we have heat, so all is good. I have my bare feet on the footwarmer Mr. T gave me for Christmas last year, and it feels sooo good.

Today I get to visit the elderly lady to whom I am assigned as deacon. I've chatted with her a couple of times but haven't visited as I should have.

A couple more presents to wrap and then I'm done and ready for Christmas day! That is a good feeling.

Cassandra, it's good to know that you're okay. Don't worry about the baking, none of us need more cookies.

Posted by: slyness | December 22, 2009 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Gonna be one of those Tuesdays, it seems. Some idiot just HAD to run across two snow-covered sets of tracks directly in front of the approaching train this morning, since he obviously couldn't be bothered to walk around the front of the train once it stopped. Fools prosper, since he made it safely. *rolling my eyes*

And of course, some glassbowls have to screw up a good thing:


I'll do my best to keep the tiara out of the soup when I go to the office luncheon.

*at-least-it's-an-extremely-short-work-week Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 22, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra!!! *HUGSSSSSSSS* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 22, 2009 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Mudge... can you post your recipe for the green beans? Sounds like something I would like to try.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 22, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Slyness. So true about the cookies, although in my case, it would probably be cake. I used to bake cakes for Christmas all the time, but haven't done that in ages. And of course, I could pass on that too.

Well time to get started. Now where do I begin......oh, I know, getting dressed might be a good idea. You think?

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 22, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. Weed, Mudge already posted his green bean&capers recipe at one point, in the distant past. I made it at least once and it was very good.

It's still cold here. We need fresh snow, the old stuff is getting pretty grungy.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 22, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Hi Cassandra! You know, Christmas time is too loaded with 'shoulds' so don't feel bad. I think we'd all be better off if our expectations of the day were not so high. I bet no one's life looks like the ones in the ads on TV.

Very cold here, usually I would have the window blinds down in this weather, but the Christmas decorations make that impossible. It's amazing how much cold air comes thru the windows.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 22, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

We have a very light dusting of snow this morning, probably will not last the days sunshine but it looks nice.

You may be right Yello, but the children here are prevented from doing many things because of the fear of lawsuits. It may just be me who allows a little more freedom, that and the fact of being the parent of the child who singlehandedly used the schools supply of bandaids in a few short weeks. We recently went back to the school for a younger childs Christmas celebration when the Grade 6 teacher asked the eldest if she was still a "klutz" we laughed, he remembered the necessity of bandaids as well.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 22, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

While not fully recovered from last night's Waterloo in Washington (well, Landover, anyway), I have summoned the energy to note that I always have some capers around.

Ya never know when a friend will show up with an idea for an inside job.

Plus, they're fabulous with veal.


Posted by: -bc- | December 22, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

And Happy Birthday TBG.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 22, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday TBG!!! *confetti & party horns* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 22, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

I would like to thank my buddy Michael for a yearlong supply of honey from his Dancing Thunder Apiaries for my coffee and occasional use in dishes. Thanks Mike!

I don't honestly know why folks like chemically flavored coffee when there are so many natural ways of adding to the taste of a morning cup of coffee.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 22, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Thanks SD. Mudge, at some point, could you email that recipe to me? Somewhere you or someone on boodle has my email.

Thanks in advance, Mudge.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 22, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

I might as well forego my favourite potato salad if capers weren't available.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 22, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

T. happy birthday!!!! I would love a piece of baklava! Can I get a piece with a green frosting flower?

Posted by: russianthistle | December 22, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Ay, carrumba -- HJappy Birthday, ma'am.

A short note to Dan Snyder re. management:

Your team has it's most convincing win of the season, and things look like they're starting to gel.

So, you make a big deal of firing the VP of player personnel and bring in a new GM, make a big public show about it, letting the players and coaches know that you're blowing the team up after the season, and that everyone's auditioning for a job next season.

So in the very next game, there's no motiviation to play like a team and the players are playing like it's every man for himself. Ta-da! National humiliation.

Next time - and oh, yes, there *will* be a next time - don't pull the trigger on the PR until after week 17.

Not unless you don't mind being 4-12, anyway.


Posted by: -bc- | December 22, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

capers are like sour cream, toss them in a dish and they make things a bit special.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 22, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

bc, just think "boy wonder."

Posted by: russianthistle | December 22, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

bc is the Danny Ocean of the kitchen.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 22, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Joel, I for one do NOT "shun, deride, mock and fundamentally ignore" green beans (unlike, say, the way I shun, deride, mock, etc., the Achenblog, for instance and to name just one lowly example). No, I hold the green bean in great esteem. In fact, I have a recipe for green beans which I may have posted before, but which I shall post here again, for any newbies who might have missed it and who need to be brought to their knees with green bean lust:

Curmudgeon's killer skillet green beans

Serves 6
Prep time: 1 hour (faster if someone trims the beans for you)

1 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pats of butter, canola faux-butter or margarine
8 ounces sliced mushrooms (creminis or chopped portobellos preferred)
2 cloves garlic, chopped or minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup brandy or cognac
1/3 cup white zinfindel or similar blush wine
1/3 cup chicken broth/stock
Crunchy topping (recipe below)

(Continued )

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 22, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

TBG, happy happy birthday!!

Posted by: badsneakers | December 22, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse


Crunchy topping
It's best to make up the crunchy topping before the rest of the dish, and hold aside.
3-4 strips bacon (not turkey bacon; thick-sliced is best)
4-5 large shallots
2 tablespoons capers (include the vinegar they come in)
2 tablespoons olive oil

Peel and dice the shallots into smallest possible dice (but don't chop in an electric chopper--that's too small). In a large skillet or electric buffet pan/skillet, heat the olive oil and add the shallots and capers (including the caper vinegar). Stir frequently and cook until very well down; the shallots will be dark brown. Remove from pan and set aside in a small bowl. In the same pan, cook the bacon until well done, so it is entirely crispy. Put bacon on paper towel to drain; when dry and cool, crumble as small as possible into the bowl of shallots and capers; stir to mix, and hold aside.

Blanche green beans in boiling salted water until tender, about 3 or 4 minutes. Drain, shock with cold water, drain. Set aside.

In the same skillet or pan used for the shallots and bacon, wipe out the pan with paper towel to remove bacon fat, but don't wash the pan. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and two pats of butter over medium heat. Saute mushrooms until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste (3-5 turns with a grinder). Cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add brandy/cognac, wine and chicken broth, bring to a boil. Simmer to blend flavors and reduce sauce by half, about 10 minutes. Add green beans to mushroom sauce and toss thoroughly to coat. Sprinkle crunchy topping on beans; heat until beans are hot, about 2-3 minutes. Serve beans from pan or serve in large dish or bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, or allow guests to season.

We have a pretty large twisted hibiscus that we keep out on our deck during warm weather and inside during the winter. My wife, who is otherwise fairly sane [notwithstanding she married me, and has remained thus for nearly a quarter of a century] refers to it as "she" and talks to her. And she rewarded us, too, with a gient bloom just the other day. She and my wife had a nice chat, and my wife seems to think she (the hibiscus) will bloom again pretty soon.

I don't talk to the hibiscus myself. It's not that I'm snobby, or have anything against hibiscii or hibiscusae or whatever the plural is (hybiscum? hibusci?), it's just that we don't have a lot in common.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 10, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 22, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

With the wine and shallots and spices, I'm not sure you even need the green beans.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 22, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Twisted Hibiscus?

80's hair band?

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 22, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Twisted Hibiscus?

Your plant ran off to Berkeley in the mid 60's and never recovered?

Posted by: russianthistle | December 22, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Yup, that's the green bean recipe. Thanks for posting it, Shriek.

Tom Toles' cartoon is very good this morning:

'Morning, Boodle. Sorry I'm late getting here.

bc. that game wasn't anybody's Waterloo. Waterloo was a closely fought battle all the way to the end, with the outcome in doubt the whole time. Both sides had excellent generalship, as well as excellent subordinate generalship. Both sides fought hard and well. Both sides respected each other. Neither side was humiliated, or gave up until it was obviously over. Neither side tried some desperate half-assed, poorly executed, LSD-fueled miracle play.

No, what you saw last night was Bobby and Sally Put Dishwashing Detergent in the Clothes Washer. Only no hilarity ensued.

Scotty wears the tiara this week, although it was a shame the Skins marred his stunning victory this week.

BTW, bc, been meaning to ask: how does Yahoo decided who the favorites are? My god, this week they think San Diego is the underdog, and the Skins are favored over Dallas. Has Yahoo lost its mind?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 22, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

The reason our hibiscus is twisted is because it tends to vote Republican and wants all 12 million illegal aliens deported to Holland, where they came from. (It has a very poor sense of geography.)

And it thinks Michael Jackson is cute. Sends donations to Michelle Malkin. Likes Kinkades.

Why I don't stuff it into the trash masher I don't know.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 22, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I should add that in the above recipe, it is best to add the wine first, and use it to deglaze the bottom of the pan, but keeping everything in the pan. Just deglaze to get all the yummy bits loose and into the general sauce. Then add the cognac and chicken broth. Be careful adding the cognac or brandy; it can flare up on you if you aren't careful.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 22, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

The second fake punt was painful to look at. That punter will be cursing Zorn every time he wakes up from a nightmare in which he is alone in the backfield, facing a whole team of Giants descending on him like vengeful angels.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 22, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Question: Why oh why oh why is WaPo devoting still more resources to the gatecrashers? The only "news" now is what latest lie they've been caught in. I care less than an iota about their "before" status. *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 22, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

While I am not sure the Salahis merit the three page coverage they were given today, I do find them an interesting study in pathological delusional self-absorbed fame-wh0ring.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 22, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

One variety of hardy Hibiscus is "Lord Baltimore." So, not twisted, perhaps, but the aging old-world decadent, plant of yore....your wive is simply kind to the old codger who has such illusions of importance and especialiness, etc.

LB is here, with two other blooms, one named for Grappa:

TBG -- Hippo Birdies to you.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 22, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I'd like to ask you the same question I want to ask Jacques Pépin:

*May I eat at your house?*

And that goes for Yoki, too.

And a huge HBTY to TBG!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: -ftb- | December 22, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Horror alert: Pugs in Omaha "nibble" on deceased owner.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 22, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 22, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

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