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Dreaming of a White Christmas


Poe is me.


The big woods at Great Falls, Md.


Watch for snow trolls under footbridge.


View from the strangely named Burma Road.

By Joel Achenbach  |  December 24, 2009; 6:19 PM ET
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Next: The 2000s: Don't try this at home


The pictures are beautiful, Mr. A. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Posted by: MsJS | December 24, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Gorgeous. Merry Christmas, Joel and A.-family, and many thanks for hosting this happy fellowship.

Posted by: Yoki | December 24, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Everyone should be so lucky as to have a boodle to visit with. thank you Joel, for having us visit the porch. May your Christmas be filled with special blessings.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 24, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

There is perhaps a mad woman in Christmas Eve Rome
Who, in the Vatican's St. Peter's Basilica, near the Dome,
Jumped over the red velvet rope
And knocked down the old Pope.
A plot device in writer Dan Brown's next blockbuster tome?

Posted by: laloomis | December 24, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Many thanks, JA. For everything. Peace be upon you and yours, now and in the future. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 24, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Beautiful pictures Joel! A lovely contrast to the weather down here in South Carolina.

Hard to believe Christmas is here again. Although without wee children about it is sometimes hard to recapture that Christmas magic.

Although the dogs seem suitably psyched.

Anyway, I hope that everyone finds at least a modicum of the universal sense of joy and happiness that I associate with Christmas.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 24, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Joel, such a beautiful white Christmas.

If y'all wanna get a glimpse of our Christmas Eve weather, check out the Hawaii Bowl on ESPN in about 10 minutes. Sadly, UH is not playing but our former coach, June Jones, has brought the SMU team to play. Should be interesting.

Sending some sunshine to you guys in the cold place. Happy Christmas Eve!

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 24, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

And, wanna say that I'm so grateful for the Boodle (and the Kit of course) and all it's wonderful information, camaraderie, recipes, humor, and just all around fun. And while I don't contribute much, I am a daily lurker who feels like I've known all of for years (well, I guess I kinda have). Thank you Boodlers and Joel. As we say out here, you da bes!

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 24, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and the Obamas have arrived!

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 24, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

What wonderful pictures. Snow is so idyllic but so treacherous. There is a metaphor there trying to get out.

I love the wonderful community we have built here and I cherish each and everyone of you. This is a wonderful place full of fun and frivolity. It is so intimidating keeping up with all you people so much funnier, smarter, wiser and better grammarians than me (I?). I look forward to another wonderful year together.

As part of our 'green' (read 'lazy') Christmas, we sent out an e-Christmas card. Let me know somehow if you would like your own copy. (Hint: I have a gmail account, you're on your own to figure out the account name).

Posted by: yellojkt | December 24, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

I wish everyone reading this a very happy Christmas. I'm working on having a calm, relaxing one.

This afternoon I had a car full of teen girls when, after lunch out, my battery was dead. I have been too cheap to give up on this battery, which was a mistake. I stood in the pouring rain with my umbrella and jumper cables in a busy parking lot, hood up. I approached two people who pretended not to see me. I began to think "what the heck, this is Christmas Eve!" Many cars zipped away without helping. But finally an older man helped me and we were on our way. But during the 1/2 hour (!) it took before I was helped, I actually got past the irony and annoyance and self-pity and really thought, out there in the rain. I realized that I was not in any dire predicament, as we had four cell phones amongst us and could easily call for help. It was not freezing cold. I am not poor (just cheap). People may be more afraid these days, as there have been many hold-ups and bank robberies in these parts lately. I ended up feeling rather sorry for those people who didn't help, as they are probably feeling rather crummy and stingy, which isn't nice on Christmas Eve. I hope they get over it.

Because I'm home and dry and done with Christmas work and ready to enjoy the good parts. Hope all of you enjoy your holiday.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | December 24, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Have a nice rest-of-afternoon, Middle.

The Obamas obviously didn't have to change planes in the stormy Midwest.

I quickly manicured the yard earlier, filling a big container with leaves.

Another feather-leaf palm has a big new leaf, Easter lilies have begun to sprout. It's been known to get ten degrees below freezing here, once in a long while. If only the plants could be told to suspend growth activities for the next month.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 24, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Mr. T is tracking Santa on NORAD, he's in South America and Mr. T says he has some a$$ to haul. But we know he'll make it!

We have had communion in a lovely service, ending with the sanctuary lit solely by the candle each person held. We were invited to a birthday party for Jesus and sang Happy Birthday and enjoyed cake. Now we are home and the presents are in their appointed places.

Merry Christmas to my friends far and wide! Thank you, Joel, for lovely pictures and writing that makes me laugh and cry, and for this unique community. May you all have a peaceful, blessed, and joyous Christmas!

Posted by: slyness | December 24, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

And to celebrate the season, a little inspirational music from North Korea:

Posted by: yellojkt | December 24, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Wheezy, a little story for you.

For my youngest sister, the world is a very black and white place. No grey. Either you're over-the-top smart, or you've got your head halfway up your butt. Either you do the right thing every single time, or you're a poor excuse for a human and going to Hell without the handbasket accessory. Anyway, she was trying to park at the mall, and someone walked right out in front of her. She steamed a bit, thinking what kind of a bozo doesn't pay attention in a mall parking lot during the holiday season? Can't they see she's driving a big ole SUV, and any confrontation between said SUV and goofball pedestrian would be won by the SUV? Seething, she parked, and went into the mall.

In Macy's, she saw a woman who had the same general figure of our (deceased) mother, the same mannerisms. Same old lady hairstyle. Tears sprang to her eyes, and she couldn't seem to breathe right, so she grabbed her child by the hand and walked at a steady clip out of the mall and headed to the SUV for a good cry (because a proper lady never loses it in public). And walked right in front of another SUV (whose driver braked in time). She was the goofball pedestrian not paying attention, and dragging a toddler with her to boot.

I'm thinking at least one or two of those who drove on past you were lost in thought, missing someone. They didn't mean to not help out; the thought just wasn't strong enough to overpower the other thoughts in their head. This time of year has a way of making loss downright palpable.

(I, on the other hand, tell myself that those who don't stop obviously have a bleeding and screaming child in the back seat and are high-tailing it to the nearest emergency room. But I tell myself lots of stories to make mankind seem a tad more human.)

I'm glad someone stopped to help, and if it was an older guy, goofy golf shirt, pants with cuffs (??), kinda handsome because of the smile, it was my Dad. He's that kind of guy. And that's how he deals with his loss.

Happy Holidays.

Posted by: LostInThought | December 24, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Why, yello, why?

Posted by: Wheezy1 | December 24, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Joel what lovely pictures, no snow here so it is nice to have those to gaze upon.

It is a unique community that has grown here, a tribute to Joel, who inspires such wit, wisdom and humanity.

Turkey was cooked and consumed, and may have been a little overdone perhaps because I discovered I cooked it upside down - oops. Videos of Christmas past have been viewed and laughed over, younger two tucked in bed dreaming of Santa, eldest and I watching A Wonderful Life. A truly memorable night. Almost forgot fresh baked cookies for Santa are ready, carrots have been tossed on the roof for the reindeers.

Enjoy your evenings and your families everyone.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 24, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Best holiday wishes to the Boodle, whatever your holiday of choice may be. May you be filled with peace and joy. Thanks to all the Boodlers and to Joel for the things expressed already so eloquently by others.

It is still snowing a little here. Snowed in, indeed.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 24, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

I love your Dad, LiT. He's helped me other times, too. He's a sweetie.

Loved your sister's story, too. Life's funny sometimes. So sorry about your Mom.

Posted by: Wheezy1 | December 24, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Boy, LostinThought, today it seems like your every post brightens my day or gives me food for thought, or both. Thanks.

In the past I've recommended to the Boodle the work of my friend Jim Chastain. It is with great sadness that I must report Jim died last night, at home, after valiantly fighting his battle with cancer longer than anyone expected it could be fought. It is a loss to his friends but we are relieved that he is at peace.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 24, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

The Boodle is a lovely place, just as real as my house. To everyone who visits here, wonderful holidays. To Joel, thank you.

Posted by: nellie4 | December 24, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Merry Christmas to all the Boodle and especially to Joel and four ladies--hope everyone has a nice day tomorrow.

My condolences, Ivansmom.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | December 24, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 24, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Whose words these are I think I know.
His blog is in the Post although;
He will often see me boodling here,
Now watch his blog fill up with snow.

My reindeer team must think it queer
To stop read some postings here
Between the woods and frozen lake
On Christmas evening of this year.

They give their harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of stinging wind and sodden flake.

The Boodle's lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to myself to keep,
And poems to write before I sleep,
And words to write before I sleep.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | December 24, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to hear that, Ivansmom.

Posted by: seasea1 | December 24, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Splendid, Mudge.
Thanks for the kind thoughts.

I bid you all fare well until the happy morrow, O happy morn.

Or, as we sing in the Ivanshouse, O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree O Christmas Tree.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 24, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, Ivansmom. It's such a hard time to lose a friend. May his family be comforted by support at this time.

I did get his book, by the way.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 24, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

My condolences on the loss of your friend, I-mom. He goes well remembered.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 24, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Someone please tell me that this is a joke, this third graf, in the story on the homepage about the U.S. now willing to provide unlimited financial assistance to the GSEs (government-sponsored entities), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?:

But even as the administration [Treasury Department] was making this open-ended financial commitment, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac disclosed that they had received approval from their federal regulator to pay $42 million in Wall Street-style compensation packages to 12 top executives for 2009.

Is this just more business as usual, or Washington as usual? And putting the news out on the eve of a big national holiday? Same old bag of political tricks.

Posted by: laloomis | December 24, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Contrast the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bonuses with the ho-ho-ho memo from Santa, also on the homepage. This part is about staff cuts:

The Workshop: About 20 percent of the elf workforce will be taking early retirement. Half of the elves left on staff will remain on the payroll but will work out of their homes, using their own machinery. The other toymaker positions will be eliminated. Elves whose jobs have been eliminated will receive generous severance packages. They will also be eligible for a free training program designed to help them transition into new careers, including but not limited to custom shoe repair, mascot work and sales assistance at roadside Christmas Villages. Elves who wish to remain at the North Pole are welcome to apply for positions in our Santa Goes Green Foundation's "Teach a Polar Bear to Swim" initiative.

If you haven't seen the George Clooney movie released in the last week or so, "Up in the Air," I highly recommend it. I liked it better than "Avatar," the updated intergalactic "Dances with Wolves." Cameron's "Avatar" is sure to sweep the technical awards, perhaps even getting the makeup Oscar as well. Best picture for "Avatar"? I myself wouldn't bet on it.

Posted by: laloomis | December 24, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Merry Christmas, all.


Posted by: -bc- | December 25, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Merry Christmas, bc.

Posted by: nellie4 | December 25, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Hey, LiT, don't forget to get your picks in. First game's tomorrow night.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | December 25, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

So sorry, Ivansmom. I know this feeling of bereavement. My heart goes to yours.

Posted by: Yoki | December 25, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Yoki. You have a good day tomorrow, hear?

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | December 25, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I will!

Posted by: Yoki | December 25, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

I am off to bed, stockings are filled, Santa has left one present under the tree for each child. It seemed easier for us to always state Santa only brought one unwrapped gift as he had way to much to do to wrap the gifts and bring multiple gifts for children. Now we will just have to have a good reason why Santa did not bring the flat screen TV for younger child as per her request, I some how don't believe the reply to her letter stating she is now the proud owner of the kitchen TV/computer is going to be an acceptable substitute. But at just turned 9 it is about the time she discovers, on her own, who Santa is - I will start saving for the therapy for this life lesson now.

Have a great day tomorrow everyone.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 25, 2009 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Reviellon with ham
candy, cheese spreads leads to gifts:
My own squeaky duck!


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 25, 2009 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Just going on eleven of the clock here and I'm to bed. #2 is spending the night (makes me happy!) so that she can get to her stocking early and often. Christmas really is about family and friends, isn't it? Tomorrow will bring both. I am blessed.

Posted by: Yoki | December 25, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

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

It was my desire to be here earlier, but I'm just waking up after the dance with medications. It seems my life has taken on more pills, and the pills dictate the day or night. It's not a complaint, for I am alive and get to talk to my friends here on Joel's porch. I have not been a good friend this year, I don't think. I've failed many times to show up and when showing up, did not have good words or witty things to say. I feel as if I've been a burden on good people and have not pulled my weight. I am overwhelmed by your kindness to me, and it makes me cry so much of the time. Not tears of sadness, but tears of knowledge. The knowledge of how frail we are in this world, and how much we need each other. Your kindness to me has been and will always be, a blessing, a gift that makes me humble and inspires me to do even better.

Joel, may God bless and keep you, and your family. May His light shine on you, and his blessings keep and make you rich in the things of heart.

I, along with my family, wish all the best Christmas, and may the New Year bring joy, laughter, and peace. And please know, because of good friends like you, this heart will dance and sing, and hold all of you in that special place. Love to all, Cassandra

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 25, 2009 6:41 AM | Report abuse

Alo ye Boodlers!

Have a happy Christmas.

Posted by: Braguine | December 25, 2009 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Merry Christmas everyone. Enjoy the day.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 25, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. There is stuff under the three and the Christmas socks hung under the (false) mantle look mighty plump. Back when the kids were small they were already shaking the boxes at 05:30; now they just got out of bed and they are trying the Stollen. I had to make do with dog companionship for my breakfast.

We'll have some snow later but nothing like waht Ivansmom i going through.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 25, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Good morning and a merry Christmas to all. It feels weird to be sleeping in on Christmas morning. No lights, no wrapped presents. A little tabletop tree shorter than the fern next to it. Last night about midnight my wife and I went to bed after spending the evening planning our next vacation.

Our son was still playing some game that required him to curse at other players across the internet through a microphone. We chided him for failing to leave milk and cookies out for Santa. Then we tossed him a Greek sailors cap we had bought for him in Tarpon Springs and wished him Merry Christmas. We told him to be up by noon since his uncle and his pregnant wife were joining us for Christmas dinner.

This morning outside the window there is still snow on the ground and gray winter storm clouds are in the air. But I have my family around me and I have my health. My wife and I both have jobs we love despite terrible frustrations. We have a son who, while he doesn't study as hard as he plays, is determined to meet the (too lofty in his mind) expectations we have set for him.

So despite a bare tree I have lots of gifts. Gifts all around me that make me happy and proud. Today, on this, the arbitrary birthday of an apocryphal religious leader, I have nothing to ask of anybody else because I have been too blessed already.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 25, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Merry Morning, folks.

I would grouse about the snow that was knocked off of my roof onto my deck and the B & E in my home while I slept -- someone left wet bootprints on my rug, ate my homemade cookies and rumaged through the fridge and took celery and carrots, then, of all things, threw a big pile of stuff under my Christmas Tree.

I think he threw pepper in my eyes, too.

Sheesh. I'd report this to the local constabulary, but I'm in too good of a mood.


P.S. I think there's some excrement mixed up in that snow off my roof. Gonna have to deal with that ASAP -- I don't live on a houseboat and don't need a p00p deck.

Posted by: -bc- | December 25, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all. Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate.

DC was up bright and early. The way she shot down the stairs scared way I was going to catch up, let alone get ahead of her to catch her should she fall (she didn't). She was allowed to open two gifts before her siblings get here, and was thrilled to pieces that Santa brought her two presents (a goldfish she asked the hotel Santa for had been added to the tank...can you believe that guy? Two presents! He broke a rule for her!). But when counting gifts, she got this uh-oh look on her face and said 'Mom, I think you're on Santa's Naughty List,' gave me a big hug, and told me she thinks I'm awesome. What a great present.

A fair amount of cooking yet to do, but in a few hours, I'll have all three kids with me, and the day will be perfect.

Have a very happy day all.

Posted by: LostInThought | December 25, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

A Merry Christmas to all celebrating it, and blessings from the residual goodwill of the day for those otherwise inclined. The Boy woke us up by 7:30, not too bad. Everyone had at least one surprise under the tree. The rabbit watched the paper-ripping very closely. I'm sure she wonders why she couldn't rip that paper open, since we did.

No midnight Mass or Christmas Day service, both cancelled. The highways are still closed. As the news guy said, they won't stop you from getting on one, because they're busy, but if you have problems don't expect a lot of emergency help. The Boy and cousins are frolicking and I think I'll have to wander out and supervise.

Thanks to all of you here on the Boodle. Each of you enriches my life in different ways, through good times and bad. I am glad we can all meet here together.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 25, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Merry Christmas, Boodlers.

I have made an origami heart in honor of all of you who lurk and/or post here.

It now sits atop our tree.

Posted by: MsJS | December 25, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Merry Christmas to all my friends at Achenblog!

It's so dark from the rain that the outside lights have come on again, but it's Christmas day, so we're okay with it!

Much mirth at the Yness house with the dottirs and Elderdottir's SO opening gifts. Now, off we go to my brother's for Christmas dinner. It's a two-hour trip so we need to get moving.

A special Christmas greeting to you, Cassandra. You are in my prayers, and I wish you a happy new year and only good events!

Posted by: slyness | December 25, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Merry Christmas to you all who observe it, and happy midwinter feasting time to all.

Not a creature is yet stirring, so I'm being good and waiting for some companions before unpacking my stocking. But not waiting on the coffee!

Then on to the celebratory breakfast; vegetarian strata, crispy bacon, cinnamon buns.

Posted by: Yoki | December 25, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I made a big bunch of sausage, egg and cheese biscuits and have left a platter in the ready room for all here to enjoy.

A nice, lazy Christmas morning in the G house. Son of G has gone back to bed and Daughter is getting ready to enjoy her new Mario Bros for the Wii. Dr. G pulled in the most gifts this year, having given me a list of desired books.

We'll be going to the afternoon showing of Fantastic Mr. Fox and then our traditional Christmas (and sister's birthday) dinner at a local Chinese restaurant. We always run into our Jewish friends and acquaintances and can only imagine the whispered, "I didn't know the G's are Jewish!" (We're not.)

I'd like to add my words of gratitude for the people and space we have found here. Thanks to Joel for making it possible and thanks to all of you for making it a wonderful place to hang out.

Merry Christmas to all of you, no matter your persuation or lack thereof.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 25, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Merry Christmas morning to all. Great pictures Joel, I especially like the last one. Wonderful time last night with the family. Funny how the best time is sometimes had with the smallest thing. Inside one of the Christmas crackers was a small red cellophane fish that was a 'fortune teller.' We each held it between our hands to warm it, then opened the hand and waited to see what the fish would do. With some it curled its tail (jealousy), or curled its sides (fickleness), etc. As it went around the table the hilarity grew. I think you had to be there, but it was truly fun.

#2 has already emailed photos of the dogs ripping their new stuffed toy lobsters to shreds. We're planning a quiet day, may go to the movies later. Have a great day everyone!

Posted by: badsneakers | December 25, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Merry Christmas to all Boodledom!!! :-)

I'm happy to report that the foretold freezing precip has held off, and that we're almost at freezing anyway. Not that the Nukes were traveling today, but it's always good to have passable roads, right Imom? :-) And my condolences on your friend; I'm thinking George Michael gave him a proper big-voiced welcome upstairs.

bc, I do believe time (and some forecast rain) will take care of that roof snow all by issef, so stay warm and dry as you celebrate, hm? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 25, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I love how Christmas morning morphs and changes through your life. When you are small its so exciting and full of wonder, when you are a teen it is all about sleeping in and no one is going to wake you up at at all. When you have wee ones, it is about recreating magic and when your own kids are grown it is about the wonder of getting first crack at the splendor of the turkey and dressing bun. With coffee and a cookie or perhaps a wee chocolate, nothing is finer.

Merry Christmas.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 25, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Merry Christmas all, very nice morning here, we were allowed to sleep in until 7:30 continuing the tradition of my children not getting up too early. This surprised me, I was expecting early, and had programmed the coffee maker for 6:30!

Children are happy, new WII games, and a very cool fort building kit - like a big mechano that for the foundation for forts you can design.

I got the book I asked for and a new coffee maker - life is great.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 25, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Wilbon's memorial to GM is quite wonderful:

This attempt at humor, not so much:

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 25, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

A big rawhide bone!
My stuffed duck's still around!
Merry Christmas, Me!


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 25, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I dunno Scotty, I like my Christmas humor like my stocking stuffers, dark and hard.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 25, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Scottynuke - Wilbon did his old friend proud. And I love the way Wilbon stressed that Michaels was both trusted and respected. It's hard to think of two more valuable characteristics in a journalist.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 25, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

SCC: Michael. George Michael.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 25, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Hey everyone! Don't panic!!!

Princess Peach will be OK! Mario is on the case!

Posted by: -TBG- | December 25, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

The Fungi is under attack from hordes of zombies. Pus and rotten flesh are flying. Apparently, Left 4 dead II is pretty gory.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 25, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

So we find ourselves in the Christmas Day doldrums. You know, the presents have been unwrapped, the carbohydrate-intensive breakfast consumed, and everything cleaned up.

In years past there was much more to do. There were many, many, real little stickers to be attached to the extruded plastic playthings. After, of course, they had been extricated from their boxes. Especially the dolls, and doll accessories, which were held in place with hundreds of intricate wires and fasteners. (I still cannot get the phrase "Bondage Barbie" out of my head. Lord knows I have tried.)

Batteries were installed and things snapped together. And there were always instructions to be carefully translated into standard English.

With teenagers things are a lot easier. Books and music and video games and soft fuzzy slippers require little assistance. (Although there is always the vexing issue of shrink wrap.) My role as Prime Enabler has been greatly diminished. Instead of clustering around their father, the offspring retreat to their private sanctums and plug themselves in.

And then there really isn't much to do until it's time to watch the annual Christmas Message from The Queen.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 25, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Joel, the road in the C&O Park is called Berma Road, with an 'e'. There are one or more signs, and the name is spelled out on one map at this link:

Merry Christmas!

Posted by: jworthey | December 25, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

RD, we're in downtime too. The Boy is trying out his virtual skateboard (very convenient, given the weather). In a real break from tradition, he undid the packaging and prepared it himself; even had to use a screwdriver. I remember the "bondage Barbie" days, only ours were all action figures - never call them dolls. I so don't miss that.

I am revelling in the unaccustomed luxury of a Christmas morning at home, rather than at church. I'm testing my surprise present, a Japanese cast iron tea kettle and cup, with some amazing lemon tea. It is (new word, thanks to the Boy) awesomesauce.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 25, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

"Awesomesauce" is, indeed, a wonderful word.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 25, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

To bc, from the last Boodle. IIRC, the Times Square ball is a vestigial example of a formerly common timekeeping device. These were positioned near harbors so that ships' navigators could synchronize their chronometers. Since this is a totally useless piece of arcana, there is some chance that I've remembered it essentially correctly, unlike actual useful information, which I forget, like, all the time, or reliable practical judgment, which I utterly lack.

Merry Christmas, all.

Posted by: woofin | December 25, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Was The Boy ever into Power Rangers, as was my son? Or had that fad passed by the time he was of the prime age for Megazords. They were the worst when it came to stickers. And if you got a single one on wrong.... well, let's just say I am proud that my son was able to overcome his trauma.

That tea kettle sounds wonderful. And lemon tea is one of my favs. Almost as much as Sleepytime tea. But without the carziness...

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 25, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

This comic from yesterday will explain the mystery of the roof dung:

Posted by: yellojkt | December 25, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

SCC craziness....

Maybe I need a nice Christmas nap..

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 25, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

The style section has a delightful selection of holiday memories. Monica Hesse's is particularly sweet:

And the accompanying illustration is delightful.

But the sweetest story in the entire paper today is buried in the Metro section.

It will bring a tear to your eye.

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

We keep two vintage Zords from the first year they were ever available. The things we did to snag those things. Inconceivable!

Posted by: yellojkt | December 25, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

yello.. thanks for pointing out those stories.

My mom's Christmas/Santa present story was a simple one: She saw her father bringing a doll's bed into the house one Christmas Eve. He looked at her and declared, "Look what I found on the front porch! Santa must have brought it early!"

Posted by: -TBG- | December 25, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

By the time the Boy was two, he could say "Shameless Marketing Tool" and "Violent Shameless Marketing Tool". We were Power Rangers-free. Also Barney-free. We did succumb to the Pokemon craze and, later, Digimon. We still have hundreds of small action figures of each in a cabinet somewhere. To my delight, one episode of Digimon consisted of a purely metaphysical conversation between two of the monsters, representing good & evil.

The Boy's mastery of these phrases could be embarrassing. We'd go to a playground, some kid would have a Power Rangers toy, and the Boy would run up and shout (with mingled worry and disapproval), "Look! He has a Violent Shameless Marketing Tool!"

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 25, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Very sweet indeed, yello, thanks for pointing that out. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 25, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I have found myself *deeply engrossed* in reading the Mary and Joseph story this past week. Of course, Joseph has a very secondary role. Brother Joseph is not a carpenter, but an upholster's apprentice, and becomes an upholsterer as he matures.

The father, Richard Anning, is a carpenter, however, and is even mentioned by writer Jane Austen in a letter to her sister Cassandra, dated Sept. 14, 1804. Austen explains that she and the carpenter father have haggled over the cost of fixing a box's broken lid.

And why the fascination on the Boodle with the first of Austen's published books, "Sense and Sensibility"? Why no mention of her last published work, "Persuasion," (part of the plot of the movie "Lake House" with Keanu Reaves and Sandra Bullock), set in Dorset's Lyme Regis? Think, too, of John Fowles "French Lieutenant's Woman," also set in Lyne Regis.

There is a real Dickensian mood to the book--but no "Christmas Carol" this. Shelley Emling's book, "The Fossilist" is about how such a low-ranking woman, with dirt under her fingernails, who knew hunger and deprivation, and who had a passion for reading what she could get her rough and ragged hands on, managed to make an indelible mark in the male-dominated field of palenotology.

In the many instances when she could have been given credit for her persistent efforts--unearthing finds in the Blue Lias cliffs of Lyme Regis as well as her precise illustrations, she was not--as the book makes clear on numerous instances, since intellectual women were treated with hostility in Georgian England. Dickens himself said of Mary Anning, "The carpenter's daughter has won a name for herself, and deserved to wine it."

It's terrific to read of unsung heroes. Stephen J. Gould remarked that Anning is "probably the most important unsung (or inadequately sung) collecting force in the history of paleontology. Mary Anning is immortalized in the tongue-twister "She Sells Sea Shells by the Seashore." But the important story of Lyme Regis is nothing that Austen penned, but the woman who attracted the attention of fossil collectors and eventually of the scientific world.


Posted by: laloomis | December 25, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

It was a nice accidental find about a week ago to stumble on a book devoted entirely to Anning's story. As the days are now short and cooler, it's marvelous to be well-stocked with good reads. I treated myself to Horner's "How to Build a Dinosuar" just this past week, and there'll be a second in this series in the spring, I've discovered. The third, the 1999 David Rains Wallace "Bonehunter's Revenge," arrived Wednesday from a bookseller near Buffalo, N.Y. through

Before year's end, I must return to address the hothead's rant on the Boodle--you know who you are. If the hothead had mentioned, in relation to Bezos, the maternal grandpappy Gise's Lazy G Ranch in Valley Wells, Texas, I would have been impressed. Bezos (kisses) to Bezos for amazon's ability to offer out-of-print books to the public.

For those who consider this day holy, I hope you enjoy it.

Posted by: laloomis | December 25, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Mele Kalikimaka! All the best on this Christmas day to the Boodlers and Boodle families.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 25, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

RD_P, sometimes the roles shift. I have today received a Very Large Box, which contains thousands and thousands of bits of hardware that will eventually be a natural gas barbeque. I am thrilled, having been grill-less for over a year. However, Himself will be fully occupied this afternoon building the thing. The girls received nothing requiring "Some Assembly."

Perhaps your time will come again.

Turkey just went into the oven. It is a monster.

Posted by: Yoki | December 25, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

My Christmas wish is for all of us to try and reduce the rancor. To keep the nastiness and righteous indignation to a minimum. And this, of course, includes me.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 25, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Oh Yoki. My goodness. I have done serious time assembling a gas grill.

There isn't anything in this world as complicated as a gas grill...

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 25, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Everybody check out this website sometime today:

Posted by: yellojkt | December 25, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, RD_P. There have always been gifts requiring a tad too much assembly.

When the BrothersJS and I were quite little, our pappy got us the Davy Crockett fort for Christmas (for parental ease and convenience I was generally dressed and otherwise treated as a son until about age four).

The assembly of said fort took the better part of two days, including a very late Christmas Eve.

It was a winner of a gift, though. We played in the thing for about three years until it fell apart.

Posted by: MsJS | December 25, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

LOL, yello! Thanks!

Posted by: MsJS | December 25, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Hah! Thanks, yellojkt. Also, I was very touched by your earlier Christmas post. Like you, I am surrounded by gifts. Thank you for inspiring me to recognize them.

The Christmas Feast has been consumed. For each, a beef filet, baked potato (suitably garnished or not), carrots cooked in butter and brown sugar, sliced fresh pear. Entertainment consisted of scintillating conversation, plus hearty amusement on the parts of the Ivansclan which find risible my pronunciation of IN-sur-ance and UM-brel-la. Always glad to be of service. Now we will enjoy a rest, before walking, thank goodness, to meet other family for more presents and dessert. Provided by me, dessert includes the Christmas cake, pecan bourbon pie and pumpkin pie.

I am so relieved there was nothing requiring assembly under our tree this year. Unless of course you count the assembled Ivansclan.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 25, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Time to feel old: The Boy got some Rock Band thing for Christmas and is rocking out to The GoGos "We Got the Beat". I remember when it came out.

I don't know whether any of you saw the story about the woman who jumped on the Pope before Christmas Eve Mass, apparently for the second year in a row. I'm surprised that the Vatican let her loose for a second time.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 25, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, I associate those pronunciations strongly with the old (Caucasian) urban dialect of inner DC (people who are now as absent from the city as Griffith Stadium). Somehow I thought you were a native Sooner, but perhaps not. Other featured pronunciations: Warshinton (the name of the city that occupies DC); amble-ants (a vehicle to transport injured people).

Posted by: woofin | December 25, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Bing Crosby sings Mele Kalikimaka

this video has a lovely slideshow

Posted by: omnigood | December 25, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Happy that the international Boodle clan has been pleased with all the celebrations of the day.

Today is the only day of the year when I answer the phone HO HO HO, and people invariably laugh. It's quiet here, but it's also been a nice day to put the last two hours into the part of the pleading I was working on, before shipping it over to my colleague who is doing the rest of it (also today -- we're such heathens (although "pagan" has a nice ring to it)).

Tomorrow is extensive grocery shopping day. I'll be dodging all those who are either returning gifts or looking for even deeper post-xmas sales.

Yoki, I can smell the dulcet aroma of the turkey emanating from your kitchen. And for putting together the grill, always remember that Tab A goes into Slot B.

Posted by: -ftb- | December 25, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Ah, and the Festivus gifts just keep on coming -- somtimes they're just in the form of inpenetrable text festooned with non sequiturs, unnecessary criticism, and even a promise of an argument later.

yellojkt, gird thyself for a Very Special New Year's Address.

I'll get popcorn.


Posted by: -bc- | December 25, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Now, I'm off to dinner with the family.

But I'm leaving the Christmas lights on.

Enjoy, y'all.


Posted by: -bc- | December 25, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Merry Christmas, everybody!!

We're back from a viewing of "Nine." My husband's trenchant comment: "Penelope Cruz certainly has a lot of...talent!"

Oh, yeah.

Seriously, the movie didn't get a good review in our paper but if you like watching scantily clad babes dancing to catchy music, you can't go wrong. My admiration for Marion Cotillard continues to grow, and I was impressed by Daniel Day-Lewis even though I'm not generally a big fan of his.

Posted by: kbertocci | December 25, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Kbert -- the movie got bad reviews up here, too. Don't know how that will affect the viewing public so much, though.

I might take a look tonight at the DVD I got of Julie and Julia. Meryl Streep is such a good actress.

Posted by: -ftb- | December 25, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Merry Christmas everyone!!!!!
I am working this christmas,but only 4 hours.I have had exactly 1 customer in the first 3 hours....whew......

Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 25, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

ftb, I just watched J&J yesterday, while I was resting and recovering from morning dental work. Ironic choice of viewing, all that food when I couldn't eat (applesauce for dinner...) but I thought it was a very good film. Meryl Streep made me cry twice. Amy Adams is luminous, even playing a regular person. Stanley Tucci is very watchable, too.

Posted by: kbertocci | December 25, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I grew up thinking PEN-ne-lope, not to mention POT-o-mack.

The overgrown DVD collection just added "We Own the Night" which was very, very cheap and supposedly has a superlative car chase. The local art museum has a stupendous movie collection, so there's no point in buying mind-improving movies.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 25, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

All is well in The Windy City. We watched our White Christmas blanket gradually melt throughout the day. Not much left, but that's supposed to change over the next 48 hours.

Presents opened, wrapping cleared away, meat for tomorrow's fajita-fest is marinating. Christmas video for the nieces was finished 20 minutes ago (whew). Tonight's big meal is in the works.

All is calm.

All is bright.


Posted by: MsJS | December 25, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Back from our annual Christmas outing. The theater didn't actually HAVE a showing of Fantastic Mr. Fox, despite what their website claimed, so we ended up seeing It's Complicated. Cute, but nothing I'd have planned to see in a theater. The kids were kind of grossed out, to be honest, but they didn't squirm too much.

Now we're relaxing for real (it was cute to hear my 6-year-old nephew tonight exclaim, "Oh! No one has to get up in the morning!"), Daughter comfortable in her new Safari Slanketâ„¢ on the couch.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 25, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Merry Christmas everyone!

Posted by: engelmann | December 25, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

I hate power outages, especially since absolutely *none* of my myriad flashlights work. I think I'll put Strosneiders on my list for the weekend. But the power came back on about 10 minutes ago, I've reworked the digital clocks (except the microwave, which I just thought of) and I'm back to getting dinner ready.

At least I found both the candles and the matches.

More rain is falling -- wonder if the snow will be completely gone by Monday.

Posted by: -ftb- | December 25, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

DaveoftheCoonties -- I said Ad - IRON - dacks for way too many years. Dumb Californian!

Posted by: nellie4 | December 25, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Keep those movie reviews coming. I'm going to see some next week - Up in the Air and Invictus for sure. I loved Julie and Julia too.

I used to giggle when my boyfriend from Looziana said thee-AY-ter and IN-surance. I lived in DC long enough that I say AM-bu-lants.

Posted by: seasea1 | December 25, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

MsJS, your post reminded me of something that I observed this morning--making my rounds of the neighborhood just after sunrise, someone had his car radio on, really loud, in the driveway--certainly loud enough to bother the neighbors--so loud that it was distorted and I couldn't recognize the tune at first, but when I got closer and concentrated, I realized it was..."Silent Night." Really. People make me laugh.

Posted by: kbertocci | December 25, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

kbertocci: I guess people's ideas of 'calm' and 'peace' vary about as much as their ideas on just about everything else. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by: MsJS | December 25, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Merry Christmas and all the blessings of the season to you and all of yours.

I may not be able to post much, but I still do lurk, and enjoy reading about all of your exploits.

Best Greetings of the Season.

Posted by: Pacifica | December 25, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

It appears that most here are having a wonderful day. "S" and I napped the afternoon away. We meant to go to the movies, but just couldn't wake up. I've been battling some strange little nausea and headache thing for three days and wish it would either make me really sick so I could get over it, or just go away. We just had wonderful leftovers from last night and I am reading one of the books I gave "S" - George Carlin's Last Words. That's the great thing about giving someone more than one book, you get to read the other one first :-)

Posted by: badsneakers | December 25, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you on books, Sneaks. Hope you feel better soon. Try some ginger (either grated or in ground form) in boiling water (it's a ginger "tea") for the nausea.

Okay, so this guy on the flight from Amsterdam to Detroit today tries to blow up the plane (unsuccessfully, thankfully) -- and my question is -- WHERE THE *HE LL* WAS SECURITY??? I've been to Schiphol Airport too many times to count, and I've always gone through extensive security (without complaining). What the H happened???

Sorry for yelling, but this could have gone soooooo wrong.

Had a lovely supper and the dishwasher is churning. Have a great evening, all.

Posted by: -ftb- | December 25, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Fluff heaps upon fluff;
Soft blizzard mists forever
'Tis whiteout Christmas.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 25, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse


I had completely missed that veiled threat aimed my way, but I eagerly await my year-end tirade. It will be my penance for saying anything at all. I just apologize to all that must suffer through it with me. But new years are for tolerance, compassion, and forgiveness. In the coming year, I endeavor to be less argumentative, phlegmatic and prone to taking offense over inconsequential issues. Mark these resolutions and alert me when I have transgressed.

My brother-in-law and his pregnant wife came by for Christmas dinner and the Paula Dean recipe for macaroni cheese (which requires sour cream, eggs, milk, and of course, butter) was a big hit.

Much to my son's remorse, we polished off the imported bottle of Mirtillo as a pre-dinner aperitif, so now I must find a new source of blueberry liquors that does not require a trip to Umbria.

My BiL's mother-in-law is coming over from Japan to help with the new baby. She arrives at the end of March, just in time for the Cherry Blossom Festival. We tried to get a cross-cultural evaluation of the blossoms and the gist was that cherry blossoms in Japan are not such a big deal because they are so ubiquitous. I take pride in our American manner that asserts that anything worth doing is worth doing to excess.

Alas I have no new toys to assemble or even break (unless you count the new video card HP sent me as consolation for selling me such a noisy one in the first place) so I fear a long winter's nap is in my near future.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 25, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all, it sounds like everyone has had a merry Christmas.

We made the trip to my brother's in a heavy downpour, the creeks and rivers were almost at flood stage. Dinner was delightful: my brother fried a turkey and my sister-in-law roasted one. At a combined weight of 33 pounds, we had 3 pounds of turkey per person. (To be fair, her brother and family arrive tomorrow, so there will be need for copious leftovers.)

Many lovely gifts, including a beautiful nativity scene from Mr. T to me. Elderdottir is happy with her wine rack and Geekdottir got lots of clothes, which she needed. Mr. T was pleased with the sleds and the fancy air compressor/battery charger I gave him.

The only untold event of the day was that my brother started to feel bad after we ate, went upstairs and lost his dinner. We hope he's okay tomorrow, and nobody else gets sick.

Posted by: slyness | December 25, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Had a visit with my daughters and then a nice dinner with Mom that concluded with a little impromptu gutter repair in the rain. With my family, it wouldn't be the holidays if there weren't a home emergency to confront at some point.

Mom sent me home with an extra container of holiday cookies.

I'm home, mostly dried out and warmed up - helped along by a little mulled wine - and enjoying the San Diego v. Tennessee football game.

Merry Christmas, all.

I don't know what to make of the reports that a passenger on a Amsterdam/Detroit flight attempted to ignite an explosive device, but I'm very glad that no one was seriously hurt.



Posted by: -bc- | December 25, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

This may have been the best Christmas ever.

Good night, dear Boodle.

Posted by: Yoki | December 25, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Merry Christmas to all. time to rest. and to summon the battery fairy.

Posted by: -jack- | December 25, 2009 11:49 PM | Report abuse

'morning all. Oh man, that was a big dinner.
Ice pellets hitting the windows at high speed woke me up. It doesn't look good for today.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 26, 2009 3:59 AM | Report abuse

Some Christmas pics. Warning: high sugar content on a couple of them.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 26, 2009 4:28 AM | Report abuse

As luck would have it, a combination of NukeSpouse's work schedule and the need for regular car maintenance will have me in the midst of malls and other retail establishments today.

Please send a search party if I haven't Boodled by 10 a.m. That is all.

*packing-3-days'-worth-of-food-water-and-laptop-batteries Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 26, 2009 5:28 AM | Report abuse


The Santa hat on that puppy is adorable. Is he going to grow into that head? And the food is too delicious looking for words.


I hope you are getting combat pay. At least the ice seems to have ended.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 26, 2009 6:38 AM | Report abuse

The driveway and street are like skating rinks. This will be a slow boxing day in the stores today if that weather holds.

Yello, that head doesn't need to get any bigger, trust me. When he does that pleading dog head on the knee thing it hurts.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 26, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Happy Boxing Day!

There shall be shopping and, perhaps, a visit to the cinema today.

And leftovers. Can't let them go to waste, right?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 26, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, and Happy Boxing Day, indeed.

My day will also include a quick vigorous Malling and post-Christmas cleanup, probably punctuated by consumption of leftovers as well.

Though the day is young, and who knows what's in store for me?


Posted by: -bc- | December 26, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

I would add that it's been raining along the Mid-Atlantic, and that 19 or so inches of snow we had last weekend is melting fast and nearly gone.

Hopefully, it is not finding its way into our basements (and giving local sump pumps some exercise) -- there are reports of washed out roads in the area...


Posted by: -bc- | December 26, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Don't remind me of sump pumps, bc. I just hope the incense and ritual sacrifices were enough.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 26, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

When I was a kid, Christmas Eve was our day at home, Christmas day was our day at my maternal grandparents and Boxing Day was our day at my paternal grandparents. This was tradition until the grandfolks passed and my mom has now taken up the Boxing Day tradition. 3 days of feasting. Don't shop. Eat.

This year, I'm with badsneaks. I held off getting sick till after the wedding, and now, I just wish this would go away. Not bedridden ill, just icky enough to not feel up to doing anything.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 26, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Good morning! We in the Ivansclan took advantage of the opportunity to sleep in. Some of us are still taking it.

Friends of ours hold a Boxing Day party, among the highlights of our social calendar. I assume it is still on, but don't know whether we'll get there or not. When the sun has worked on the snow a little longer we'll get out on the driveway and see whether we can tame what has become inches of ice-encrusted pack. All I need are a few ruts to get the cars turned around. This gives us traction to drive down the hill, make the 90-degree turn, and drive up another hill. A little shoveling at the top should get us out onto the road. The trick is not to stop - watch out, occasional oncoming traffic.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 26, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Sorry you feel icky, dr. I'm a bit better today after 3 days of icky. May be meeting #1 and granddaughters at the mall today for a 'girls day out.' Sorta not looking forward to crowds but need to give them the cookies I forgot on Christmas Eve. I always make way too many and as good as they are, they get tiresome eventually.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 26, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Happy Boxing Day!

For those who are interested, the fajita-fest starts around 1pm central time. Assuming that BroJS and his fam can navigate the 3" of snow that blanketed The Windy City this morning.

Posted by: MsJS | December 26, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Happy Boxing Day!

For those who are interested, the fajita-fest starts around 1pm central time. Assuming that BroJS and his fam can navigate the 3" of snow that blanketed The Windy City this morning.

Posted by: MsJS | December 26, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, I like your style of snow driving -- keep your right foot down and Manage the Momentum. Once you lose the big M, you might not get it back without a tow truck.

RD, my friend -- on a day like today I cannot help but think of sump pumps. Skipped the incense and sacrifices, and went straight to buckets, garden hose and oars.

Oh, and 100,000 packets of silica pellet dessicant. Used to go with a ton of rice, but I just couldn't eat all of it afterwards. Tried to give it away, but found that Basement-flavored rice (aka Basemati) isn't to everyone's taste.



Posted by: -bc- | December 26, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Shhh, the Boodlers are being very quiet today.

I was going to post a pic of my mod neon fajita-fest outfit, but it's waaaaaay too loud.
-tangerine slippers w/ aqua flowers (a 'gotcha' birthday present from early in the week)
-aqua socks
-violet slacks
-fuschia top

Posted by: MsJS | December 26, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Oh, MsJS, I want to see that. I do, I do. I'm looking forward to the fajitas. They'll be just right, since I'm about to head outside and shovel some snow. Also take the trash up to the can by the road, and generally see what's what in the World.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 26, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Early afternoon, all. Today, I was overjoyed to find that some cat had peed upon the flannel jammies that were to be exchanged for a more appropriate size for my mother. The ScienceSpouse and ScienceKid#2 headed out to the mall to Make Other Arrangements for jammies. Meanwhile, the house was a bit smokey from the work of the self-cleaning oven, after the vegetable pot-pie overflowed yesterday (I thought the smoke was supposed to be sealed inside), so ScienceKid#1 and I took the ScienceDog (Ming) out for a walk. Fog all about our nighborhood. The snow is disappearing fast and the creek is running high. A small flock of large, healthy white-tailed deer burst from cover and disappeared into the fog and mist.

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 26, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

msjs: having grown up in the nw 'burbs of the windy city, i remember a particularly heavy snow event early in '67. drifts nearly up the the eaves of our garage roof in Mt. Prospect. thankfully, we're *done* with 6 month winters.

Posted by: -jack- | December 26, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

MsJS, there's a minor league baseball team out here called the AquaSox.

We're heading out for dim sum in a bit - one of our Christmas traditions.

Posted by: seasea1 | December 26, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

The yellojkt family is off to the movies, probably Sherlock Holmes. Then we have to make the house presentable so that four or five of my son's fraternity brothers cand drop in for a few days. Shouldn't take much.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 26, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Rawhide and prime rib
For bones; duck toys, and snowstorms
For Christmas walks- Yay!


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 26, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, yellojkt. Just decorate with some six-packs, hang up a few Animal House posters, and you're done.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 26, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

My best friend from childhood was here this morning with her family. They arrived with bagels and cream cheese and we had a wonderful breakfast.

She and I lived next door to each other from when I was 2 years old until we each left home. We've been best friends ever since, even though we've lived a couple of hours apart for the past 30 years or so. Amazing to think I've had a friend for 50 years. Her mom still lives up here so we see each other about once a month.

The best part? Our kids are good friends, too. They consider themselves to be like cousins. Son of G went out last night to gather up her son from his grandmother's house and brought him back to spend the night. I heard them still laughing downstairs around 2 am.

Son of G becomes "legal" tomorrow. Since his buddies are all out of town (one is arriving tomorrow), he's asked me to go out with him for a drink at midnight tonight. If I can stay awake that long, I'm game!

Hope y'all have a great Boxing Day. Mario is still trying to get through the first castle here.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 26, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

*pant pant pant*




*cough cough*


*Sousa music starts but abruptly stops as the needle is scraped across the vinyl*

Roit! That's too silly. When a service facility says they have WiFi, they should be quite clear in explaining that it's a special WiFi that shows up on one's laptop but steadfastly refuses to provide a connection.

And much to my chagrin, I find that NukeSpouse's place of employ has perfectly good WiFi. *SIGHHHHHHHHHHH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 26, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

TBG, I'll toast you and SoG at midnight myself.

Happy Birthday, dude!


Posted by: -bc- | December 26, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Many (early) happy returns, SoG!!! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 26, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I wanna go!

SoG, I know you know the only difference is the legal aspect. But to reiterate for the record... drinking and driving; if you need a ride (we won't be mad);
..never drink anything crazy until you've seen someone else do it, preferably an hour earlier; is not a good color for a drink; before liquor never sicker, liquor before wine you'll be fine, beer after whiskey mighty risky blah blah blah are good ideas, but the best is stick to one.
..when trying something new, ask yourself 'would I be trying this if I weren't drinking?'
..Have fun, enjoy, and welcome to official adulthood. Next comes a mortgage.

Happy Birthday

Posted by: LostInThought | December 26, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

As a tiny addendum to LiT's excellent advice: Never buy a house when drunk.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 26, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Never make any significant life decision when drunk.

And, just to be safe, stay away from all computers, telephones, and fax machines.

I mean, this link refers to one of the *lesser* problems that such activities can cause:

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 26, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Hearty early congratulations to SonofG. In lieu of joining the party I'll raise a virtual toast in your honor. It will be earlier than midnight (your time) though, since I'm not staying up late tonight.

In addition to the excellent advice already proposed, former bartender Ivansdad adds to stick with straight liquor and avoid drinks made with sugar. I'd say adding water is okay. I particularly like LiT's suggestion to ask whether you'd do (x) if you weren't drinking. I also strongly concur with RD - make no significant life decisions while under the influence.

With the three of us working together, aided by the sun, the concrete slab was shoveled close to clear within three hours. A record! We tried to do something about the inches of snow piled up at the bottom of the slab, where we'll have to make that turn. I think we may not try it today.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 26, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

This is a sentence from the article on the resignation of Irish bishops, which should give the grammarians here a good case of the hives:

"Earlier this month two other bishops, Donal Murray of Limerick and Jim Moriarty of Kildare, quit following the Nov. 26 publication of a three-year investigation into why so many abusive Dublin priests escaped justice for so long."

Posted by: rashomon | December 26, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Hey everybody, I'm reporting from my brother in law's. We've had a lovely present opening - I got the Mitford sisters' letters and am looking forward to it. Now Mr. T is watching the Mieneke Bowl and bro-in-law has started a fire in the fireplace. We will have a nice visit.

Posted by: slyness | December 26, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, you will *love* the Mitford letters. They will probably irritate you as much as they will make you laugh. Enjoy!

Posted by: -ftb- | December 26, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Rashomon - I can't figure out what's supposed to be wrong with that sentence. It's awkward, I'll agree, but it seems pretty clear. What am I missing?

I'm in that logy, calorie-filled blah frame of mind which hits every December 26. I know that now would be a good time to tackle dust bunnies under hard-to-move beds, but don't feel like doing it. Or much of anything else.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | December 26, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Hmm. Advice to the newly legal SoG...

I think LiT, RD, Wilbrod and Imom have already covered the majority of it for the evening.

For the Day After, I would add:
1. First things first. Find your pants, which hopefully retain your keys, wallet, and cell phone. Ya got those, you can get out of almost any situation. Also means you're not in jail, which is good to know. Pants are important in any situation.
2. Water and asprin are good, Alka-Seltzer's very helpful if you can tolerate the taste, but after you have a Bloody Mary on the Day After, you'll know why they were invented. And why you'll probably want a second.
3. If you feel nausea, do not pass go, do not stop and head for the bathroom. Ask for directions if you need them -- your pride is but a distant memory at this point. And it's unlikely to reappear in the next half hour. Take off your clothes (if you're wearing any), park in front of the commode, and let it all out, you'll feel better soon -- particularly after the next Bloody Mary. And be sure to clean up after yourself.
4. Be gracious to all you encounter during the Day After. If you are asked for compensation or information, render it to the best of your ability, though offer no concrete admissions of guilt -- "I don't remember," is an acceptable answer (they'll believe you). Under no circumstances should you look at your cell phone for pictures, call logs, or messages until you are in a secure area, preferably alone. The last thing you want is to get yelled at, thrown out the door, threatened with a lawsuit or otherwise treated roughly. Even if you deserve it.
5. Be sure to swear it off at some point and mean it.


Posted by: -bc- | December 26, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

6. If you wake to discover yourself incarcerated, attempt to determine which country you are in. If you are not in the country where you started your evening, do not panic and attempt to communicate your desire to someone in the nearest US Consulate as soon as possible. If at all possible, wearing pants is helpful and may be crucial to your credibility at this juncture.


Posted by: -bc- | December 26, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

That's normal. Eat some protein, sleep some more, and recuperate from the excitement and all will be well, Wheezy.

Dust bunnies can wait a few hours.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 26, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Also I would like to add,check your entire body for any "new" tattoo's,pen marks or lipstick writings.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 26, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Wheezy, you were so correct about the critters and suet. My reign as queen of the suet supply was short -- first night the whole suet holder was removed from tree and carried about 15 feet, second night the holder remained on the tree, but most of the suet was gone! I am back to suet cakes from the bird seed store.

Posted by: nellie4 | December 26, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Wheezy, aside from the awkward sentence structure, it seems to me that it needs (at the very least) a comma after the word "quit." That is, did the bishops quit, following the publication... (quit, after...), or did they quit following the publication... (quit paying attention to...)?

Posted by: rashomon | December 26, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Never drink with vets,
And check your nuts afterwards
if you do pass out.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 26, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

jack: I was living in Winnetka (northern suburb of T.W.C.) during the 1967 snow. Pretty incredible. We built a sort of igloo in the back yard.

I-mom: Both facebook and flickr rejected the requested photo due to high risk of viewer eye injury.

Fajita-fest was awesome. Perfect amount of leftovers for tomorrow, save for the guacamole. The nieces are all members of AA, Avocado Addicts, and indulged with gusto. They were pretty happy about the money origami, too.

Posted by: MsJS | December 26, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, I dare say that SofG might have used all this advice some years ago...

A lovely quiet Boxing Day of novel reading and crossword solving and turkey sandwiches here.

I might even watch television tonight!

And so, we begin looking forward to the New Year festivities.

Posted by: Yoki | December 26, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse


6. If you wake to discover yourself incarcerated, attempt to determine which country you are in. If you are not in the country where you started your evening, do not panic. Attempt to communicate with your jailers of your desire to talk with someone in the nearest US Consulate or Embassy as soon as possible. If at all possible, wearing pants is helpful and may be crucial to your credibility at this juncture."

Sheesh. This is important stuff -- you'd think I would remember it.


Posted by: -bc- | December 26, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Got "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" for my husband for Christmas. He read it right straight through and said to please thank the blog for the recommendation, it was great.

Posted by: nellie4 | December 26, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

After weeks of strange symptoms, Alohadaughter has been diagnosed with 5ths disease. First time I'd heard of it but apparently it's something outta the 50s or 60s. Now, at least, Alohaspouse and I know what the heck that weird looking rash was. All three of us have had it off and on for a couple of weeks and while we each had varying symptoms, it all adds up to this very common but now uncommon thing called 5ths disease. Something very mid-20th-century-Campbell-soup about this.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 26, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

small world, msjs. my grandparent's house was on Laurel Ave., right next door to Hubbard Woods Elementary. and my Dad and his sibs attended that school. we went by there a couple of years ago and I swear that the same playground equipment I played on as a child is still in the yard at HWE.

Posted by: -jack- | December 26, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Hope nobody's pregnant, middleofthepacific. Rashy illnesses tend to be bad news for fetuses for some reason.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 26, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and happy legal-turning Son of G!

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 26, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Nope Wilbrod, no chance of pregnancy here. Thanks for the concern though!

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 26, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

motp, I've never heard of Fifth disease (googled it just now). Apparently there's another rashy illness called Fourth disease, but which is uncommon. Hope you're all feeling better soon.

Here on the news they've been talking about someone with measles. I remember that being fairly common when I was a kid. I vaguely remember having mumps and chicken pox, not sure if I had measles.

Posted by: seasea1 | December 26, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Happy Boxing Day!

I've been running back and forth between different houses, preparing dishes and arranging presents, but now I'm all backboodled. I made my sister's recipes for meringue/cinnamon pecans and honey glazed almonds, people liked them both. Easier than cookies!

Ivansmom, my condolences and good wishes for his family and friends.

SoG, congratulations!

I appreciate the Boodle and all my friends here.

I further appreciate having no leftovers because no festivities were held at my house. Tonight I'm free to call for pizza, chinese, thai, anything. While living alone isn't always easy, it sometimes has its charms.

Have a wonderful night, all.

Posted by: -dbG- | December 26, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Hi Seasea, yup, I looked that up on google too. It's not a bad illness and it doesn't seem to have very severe symptoms. Alohadaughter didn't have any debilitating symptoms and managed to start her winter break without having to stay home. Just the odd bright red cheeks and the weird rash that didn't itch. She looked like she had been in the snow with those rosy cheeks, except that it's sunny and 80 degrees here. Haha! As for me and Alohaspouse, we never got the red cheeks but the weird body rash was kinda disconcerting. Looked like some kind of weird special effects from an alien movie.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 26, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Not much leftovers here as we didn't host (but did a lot of cooking support)-- we had mostly green beans with almonds left over, and some seafood.

We had seafood sphagetti tonight with leftover lobster, scallops, and some freshly thawed shrimp.

The biscotti I baked for reveillon are all gone as of this morning. I'll have to make lots more eventually-- and hide much of them.
(Olive oil biscotti for the win!)

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 26, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

thanks, Shrieking D, for those pictures. I have returned to Le Croc Veille throughout the day. There's just something about the VLP in the Santa hat.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 26, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, ftb! I asked for the Mitford book specifically because of the conversation about it here.

dbG, enjoy your evening.There is so much to be said for takeout.

Posted by: slyness | December 26, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

More hints at the riddle of smells and hunger.

And joy and hunger.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 26, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Had fun with the 'girls' at the mall, the oldest granddaughter returned one pair of boots and got two pairs of jeans and three tops - she's happy. "S" and I saw Up in the Air, the George Clooney movie. It was very good but the ending was surprising, it made the movie 'deeper' than I had imagined it would be.

Our snow is melting fast but the mountains of it in the mall parking lot will be there until at least April.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 26, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of getting some practice in before you are legal, there's nothing quite like appearing at breakfast in that condition where you can't quite grasp objects, and had to use two hands to turn the doorknob to get out of your bedroom, and there are both parents at the table calmly perusing the newspaper and sipping coffee and orange juice. There's nothing to do but suck it up and pretend that nobody can tell. After all, that's what THEY are doing.

All in all, I'm luckier than lucky not to have that alcohol gene. Because many years ago, it had every chance to wake up and express itself, if it were there...self-medication for the disease called adolescence.

Grateful to be here, grateful to be a (sort of) grown-up.

Posted by: woofin | December 26, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure what it was yesterday. It might have been my patented mirtello cocktail or the half a bottle of merlot with dinner or the five or six shots of limoncello with dessert, but I fell asleep in the couch at nine and crawled into bed at ten. I still woke up before the gym was open and killed a half hour moving all the used computer parts off the sofa in the basement.

Sixteen miles on the exercise bike got me tired out enough for a nap, and then I talked the family into a movie. BigSuburbanCineplex was a mob scene but were there just early enough to grab tickets. My family was berating me for not ordering them on the internet, but the pick-up kiosk line was actually longer than the ticket booth line, which was still out the door.

My wife has been wanting to see Fantastic Mr. Fox, but the only place still showing it was the Charles in Bawlmer. We trekked in and parked in our favorite garage. The movie was, well, interesting. But it is a Wes Anderson movie based on a Roald Dahl book and all the baggage that entails.

The unexpected delight of the evening was discovering a fantastic creperie next to the Charles. Crepes like parchment paper and ingredients so fresh they tasted fresh picked. All-in-all, a fantastic Boxing Day.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 26, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Some pictures of freezing rain and one more pic of the VLP with the hat for Ivansmom.

It's snowing heavily now. The weather guys were consistantly wrong for the past 48hrs. There was rain in the forecast for tonight whewn I watched the news at 18:00.

Witch no.1 went to her best highschool friend's wedding tonight. She went dress shopping at 14:00 for the 17:00 wedding and came back at 15:30 with... pants. I drove her to the marriage/party place. I should have tried to meet the bride, she was such a lovely girl. Lovely tall young woman now I guess. (She's a tad above 6ft tall and very good looking. Shopping or going out with her and witch no.1 provided much amusement for me in the form of guys snapping their neck or hitting furniture or structural elements trying to follow her)

I concur with bc's emphasis on keeping your pants on in most occasions. It helps on the credibility front when facing authorities and maximizes the chance of keeping keys, wallet and other personal items with self. Gawd knows you can survive without pants but it's more challenging.

So SoTBG is old enough to be back from his second tour in Irapakinistan? A certain irascible man will make the point, with support from stats, for not letting guys drink until they are 30 yo and gals 25 but I find the disconnect a bit unsettling. It also creates a culture of false IDs and teaches kids at an early age that the law is an a$$.

Boko, I owe you one. The Leafs deserved that one. That Halak is money in the bank.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 26, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

My modest proposal is that we have the drinking and driving ages backwards. We'd have far fewer teen deaths if the drinking age were 16 and the driving age were 21.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 26, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Wow Shriek, loved the pictures of the icicles on the bird feeders. Now that says winter! Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 26, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

sd, the dog is very cute, but the food is mouth watering. I had to look up croque en bouche - crunch in the mouth. And yellojkt, the crepes sound wonderful too. I must look for some here. Actually, we got a crepe pan as a wedding present, but I don't think we ever used it.

Posted by: seasea1 | December 26, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

You know you're getting old when you find that Fast Times at Ridgemont High is boring...

Son of G: Finally!!

Posted by: rickoshea1 | December 26, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

SD, loved the pictures, especially the expression on the face of the VLP in the Santa hat. One year, many many moons ago, I made a croque en bouche for Christmas. It was delicious but very labor-intensive and I burned my hand and #1's with the caramelized sugar - that stuff is hotter than hot. And oysters -yum. Now I'm planning a New Year's dinner in my head, must have oysters!

Posted by: badsneakers | December 26, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

I've always believed that if you're old enough to die for your country, you're old enough to drink to it. Make that age whatever we as a society deem to be appropriate - 17, 19, 21, whatever - but if someone can get shot halfway around the world on my behalf, I should be able to buy 'em a shot at the local bar. But that's just me.

yello, I love limoncella (naturally), but it can sneak up on ya. Particularly some of the home-brewed stuff you may find in unlabelled bottles in the back of freezers belonging to folks with last names that end in vowels. Like me.

s_d, thanks for the backup on the pants.


Posted by: -bc- | December 26, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

My BiL was saying he saw a Food Network show about how easy it is to homebrew limoncello. Mine has a fancy label but since I bought it at a furniture store outside of Sorrento, there is no telling whose bathtub it was brewed in.

This is making the thirsty. I think I'm going to have to toast SoG a little early.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 26, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "making ME thirsty"

I haven't even had any yet. Just wait an hour.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 26, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

A new seafood market in town is "She Sells He Shells." An inauspicious time to open, but at least they're next door to a fishing outfitter.

Florida is in shock:

A sudden resignation by the Governor would be trivia by comparison.

This creates the prospect of UF and FSU competing for new head coaches. Which might increase the stress level for FSU's incoming president, who's a climate scientist, of all things. He was a student-oriented dean at Penn State, so must have had some exposure to pressure-cooker college sports.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 26, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Considering that Roald Dahl gathered intelligence while assigned to Washington during WWII and that Wes Anderson directed the London-made Mr. Fox from Paris, there must be lots of issues of one sort or another.

I assume Anderson had an on-set intelligence agent.

Went to see Mr. Fox's alter ego, Mr. Clooney today. Up in the Air will not draw any teens.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 26, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

That is very surprising and sad about Meyer. I hope he recovers quickly. That said, for different reasons, I would love to see both of Florida's pro teams taken down a notch.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 26, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Shrieking D. Le Chapeau is a fine picture indeed. That could be some kinda Santa poster. Though it could be taken as a warning, rather than an enticement.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 26, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Up In The Air is a great meta-movie, both as an astoundingly prescient commentary on the economy and as a insight into Clooney's infamous swinging bachelor lifestyle. And Mr. Fox so delightfully skewers the Danny Ocean bravado.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 26, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, SoG!

Just remember, freedom is directly proportional to responsibility.

Freedom isn't free, but it is worth the price.

Congratulations on the attainment of your majority.

Posted by: kbertocci | December 27, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Good night, Boodle dear, on the last free night of "The Holidays." Just hold on to the thought that there is still New Year and Epiphany (the end of the traditional 12 Days of Christmas -- unless you are Orthodox, which is way cool!).

Posted by: Yoki | December 27, 2009 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Oh my! I just grilled on my own barbeque. And send thanks to Himself.

Posted by: Yoki | December 27, 2009 2:14 AM | Report abuse

That's not right. Even if you have to go back to work come Monday morning, and even if you're not RC or EO, shoot, even if you're not Christian, it's still the Christmas Season. And it really is a season, not a day. Let's not make it end prematurely.

Posted by: LostInThought | December 27, 2009 2:23 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully JA's been offline to properly enjoy these past couple of days, given last night's news.

And no, no bet on the next Kit topic.

Time to BackBoodle a bit, but not before wishing SoG a very Happy Birthday!!! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 27, 2009 6:33 AM | Report abuse

Good morninkzz, Boodlers!

Excellent feature article on the oast decade by JA.

This next decade is the one where the world will present the bills to the US, which is still driven under the influence of blind power.

Posted by: Braguine | December 27, 2009 6:40 AM | Report abuse

Here is Joel's summary of the decade:

Posted by: yellojkt | December 27, 2009 6:58 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Joel. The 2000s are a decade best viewed in the rear view mirror.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 27, 2009 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Best one-liner:

"Clinton had an excellent decade. So did her husband."

Posted by: yellojkt | December 27, 2009 7:12 AM | Report abuse

I disavow knowledge of any attempt to convince JA to note a certain sports teams' success in his excellent essay.

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 27, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

And I still expect the next Kit to be rather Florida-centric.

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 27, 2009 7:43 AM | Report abuse

And shocker of shockers, those commenting on the essay demonstrate a staggering lack of reading comprehension. *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 27, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. It is a good essay Joel.
He notes: "new security regime at home that requires grandmothers to take off their shoes and get wanded before they board a flight". That was after a single inept bomber failed to detonate a very small quantityy of explosives hidden in one shoe. I shudder at what will happen after another inept bomber failed to detonate a very small amount of explosives taped to the inside of his underwear.... Maybe that will provide the Very Large Puppy with employment at the goose'n sniff station.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 27, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

New kit. No mention of Florida (except vis a vis Bush v. Gore)

Posted by: yellojkt | December 27, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

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