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Falling behind on self-loathing

It was nearly noon when I slapped my head and thought, "Damn, I haven't done my self-loathing yet." The feeling of being behind, constantly, has become oppressive.

At some point in life you seek controlled discombobulation. If unable to prevent chaos, you at least want to have it channeled, so that its debris fills just a few sectors of your life rather than turning the whole thing into a landfill. In that same way, one wants to contain self-loathing to a certain portion of the day, ideally the morning, to get it out of the way. A question for the experts is: If you forget, all day long, to loathe yourself, does that mean you double-up the next day or just stick to the single dose? There was a time when I was smart enough to figure that out.

People say the darkness of this time of year makes them depressed. If you're a sensitive person, you can detect this in your friends and acquaintances, because they're less talkative, and are wearing strange visors with flashing lights and lasers that beam radiation directly into their eyeballs.

I need to Christmas shop, but the malls have too many stores and the stores have too many objects for sale. What a person really wants is a single, obvious choice, like fake-leather thigh-high boots with rhinestones. Right? Something that never goes out of style. Instead we bombarded with multiple floors of excruciatingly nuanced consumer options.

Consumer: "I'd like to buy toenail clippers."

Sales clerk: "Well, we've got the one gigabyte clippers, the two gigabyte, the four gigabyte, the four gigabyte with the wireless feature, plus you have the voice-recognition option and the fingerprint sign-on, plus we have some with magnifying glasses, corkscrews, blade and Phillips-head screwdrivers, socket wrenches and of course a belt holster and the GPS."

We're exiting a decade that never really had a name. Some news articles refer to it as the Aughts. I never heard anyone use that term in the wild. I guess you could call it the Two Thousands. But really it was The Decade When You Could No Longer Simply Buy A Phone.

By Joel Achenbach  |  December 14, 2009; 1:17 PM ET
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Next: Google and the Aughts


I am loath to comment.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 14, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I aught to self-loaf more creatively...

But there's just too much to do!

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 14, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Well, not THAT loath.

For the woman who has everything: Swiss Army toenail clippers. (Hint to Joel: you can save money on the four-pak.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 14, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Not that great with the loathing, but loafing I am an expert.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 14, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I want to be rich enough to hire people to do my loathing for me. Do I do my own dentistry? Of course not. Do I bake my own bread? No. Do I sew my own clothes? Don't be absurd.

No, if you want something done right, hire an expert, a trained professional. That's why EYE get all my loathing done at Parkhurst and Wainright LLC, Loathers to the Stars. Parkhurst and Wainright will send one of their highly skilled loathers right to the comfort and privacy of your home, where you will be loathed, have invective and vitriol hurled upon you, he heaped with scorn and ridicule, just like Tiger Woods, Dick Cheney, and Tonya Harding.

Parkhurst and Wainright. Where contempt is more than just another curled lip.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 14, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

After years of trying to work in my self-loathing (called autoloathation in the Commonwealth) before or after work, or quickly during lunch, I finally came to terms with the fact that it is better to just view it as part of one's lifestyle.

Posted by: engelmann | December 14, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes a half-loathe is better than no loathe at all.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 14, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Joel, buy yourself and everyone on your gift list one of those lighted magnifying makeup mirrors, the kind that turn every little nose zit into a smoldering scarlet Vesuvius. This solves both the gift giving and self loathing problems in one fell swoop.

Posted by: kguy1 | December 14, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Joel, what are you going to get the Boodle this year?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 14, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I give up loathing COMMA self for Lent. Tis the only way I keep from this observance.

And, have you noticed that the people who, mind you, might NEED to loath the self a bit, never do?

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 14, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

"fake-leather thigh-high boots with rhinestones."
Let us know how that gift for Mrs. A works out for you.

Posted by: wiredog | December 14, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I think he's going to get us all a pair of plush loathers each...

So we can be comfortably uncomfortable.

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 14, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I lobbied hard to call the last decade "the hundreds," but, for some reason, it never really caught on.

Yep, feature creep is a fact of life nowadays. I think having a lot of extra features provides a competitive edge. That nobody might know what the extra features do seems irrelevant.

Software is the worse, of course. For many years I had an antiquated computer that I used just to write letters to my friends and family. This computer had dual floppy disks and used something called WordStar. This was a simple and elegant program that did what I wanted and nothing more. I was happy.

Then, one dark day, the computer died. The system drive froze up. I had to shoot it. There were many tears. But I got a fancy new machine with Microsoft Word. This one had lots of New Features whose primary purpose was to force me to expand my mastery of profanity.

And it has just gotten worse. I recently was forced to learn the latest version of Word. The one where they decided to hide all the useful functions and instead feature obscure formatting tools which seem only to be useful if you are typing in Farsi.

And then, purely for spite, things I write will spontaneously change size and indenting because, I guess, the program is trying to be my Special Psychic Friend and read my mind.

All of which makes me want to reach into the cyber guts of the program and disable every last stinking line of code not strictly necessary to create prose. You know, do the equivalent of stripping down an automotive engine like that dude in "The Italian Job."

The goal would be to transform the bloated inefficient software into something lean, focused, and smokin' hot.

Like WordStar.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 14, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I think Joel is going to re-gift that famous statue back to the Boodle --

Posted by: nellie4 | December 14, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Better than self-lathing, I must say.

Son of G and I are off to the BPH! We will be hugging proxies for anyone and everyone. As Mudge says, "Again with the hugging..."

Posted by: -TBG- | December 14, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Also off to the BPH!! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 14, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

*Sigh* Have a good time, TBG. And pictures, don't forget to take LOTS of pictures!

Posted by: slyness | December 14, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Mr. A,

If you are able to prevent chaos, then it isn't really chaos you're preventing.

So what is it you're actually preventing when you think you're preventing chaos?

Is it possible you're actually creating something instead of preventing something when you think you're preventing chaos?

And would you prevent yourself from creating it if you understood what it was you were creating when you thought you were preventing?

As to self-loathing, I used up my initial allotment a few years back. I'll get more, but only if it's on sale with free delivery and set-up included.

Busy day. Loads of errands in the morning drizzle, much money folding to make a frisbee (8 bills, flies very well) and star (5 bills) for a friend's teenage kids, followed by more baking.

This time it's the brownie version of toll house cookies w/ macarena nuts. A treat for all Boodlers so those not going to the BPH don't feel left out.

Posted by: MsJS | December 14, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon was on the right track, but behind the times. I can get whole armies of workers to loathe me for $2/day or less, in China.

I just have a regular wood stove, but I knew there was at least one vendor of the corn/pellet stoves in the area. And of course they are hooked up with the ultra-cheapest corn supply around. I hope it isn't that REAL inexpensive stuff imported from Chernobyl. Since I plan to eat it. The lady at the corn store has never researched hominy or masa, btw.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 14, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

It's not self-loathing, but in a similar vein: the story is that my great-grandfather scheduled his worrying for a chunk of time every morning. Once done, he was through with it for the day. I suggested this plan to my husband, who's more of an all-waking-hours worrying type, but he decided that the scheduling was too much trouble.

I need to ask my father whether this was the same great-grandfather who swam in the ocean just north of Boston every day of the year. And if so, whether the worrying came before or after the swim. Before seems to make more sense -- then the swim could wash any leftover worries away. Except for the frostbite worry, I suppose.

Happy BPHing to the BPHers!

Posted by: -bia- | December 14, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Is self-loathing the opposite of self-loving? And what would that involve as far as accessories go? Sandpaper and a tube of industrial solvent?

Posted by: yellojkt | December 14, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Leave it to jumper to outsource his loathing to third-world countries. I want my loathing done by people who speak good English and aren't named kumar or zhiong. That's what's wrong with this country: no one wants to do an honest day's worth of loathing any more. We let some child do it in a sweatshop somewhere in Indonesia.

Worst of all, when you throw your loathing in the washer, all the colors run.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 14, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, I think you're being over-charged. Your passport should entitle you to free loathing in most places. I would try to find you a supplier, but we only export smug self-righteousness and passive-aggressiveness.

Posted by: engelmann | December 14, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I hear KitchenAid is coming out with a self-loathing dishwasher next year.

Posted by: MsJS | December 14, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Bob S. wrote: "Sometimes a half-loathe is better than no loathe at all."

Since we buy our bread at Whole Foods' bakery, the bread is shaped naturally--rounds and longs, essentially--with the slices getting progressively smaller toward the ends. So what do you do when you want to make toast out of the loathe ends?

Unfortunately, the toaster corrals or holsters those little loafers, so that once they're toasted, they're hard to fetch from the slots.

My husband, left on his own in Williams Sonoma for a half-hour in mid-November, surely bought one of the world's simplest and most innovative tools. No instructions nor assembly required. Eliminates burned digits and prevents electrocution. No options nor upgrades.

Wooden toaster tongs.

I have appreciated them each time I've raised some small toast since he surprised me with them a month ago. Should have owned them--if they existed--years ago. $6. For those with Sasquatch socks hung from the mantle with care, a great stocking stuff-fer-her.

Posted by: laloomis | December 14, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

MsJS, I guess we'll still get spots on the glasses, but at least the dishwasher will feel bad about it.

Posted by: engelmann | December 14, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

engelmann: As it should!

Posted by: MsJS | December 14, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

What is worse than dental surgery one is dreading? Dental surgery delayed, leading to a further 4 days of dread. Ack!

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Y'all are way too quick for me. Splendid all.

I hope those BPHers are having a great time. Yoki, you have my sympathy. Let's have a virtual drink (or a real drink, together, in separate time zones) in honor of the BPH and delayed dental surgery. Anyone care to join us?

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 14, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

I am in, and have a good supply of wine for the non BPHer's, left overs from the party, also non alcoholic drinks for those who prefer that.

Sorry about the delay Yoki.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 14, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

I will! Ack, indeed, Yoki. I was hoping the dread was behind you. Anyone want a sugar cookie?

Posted by: seasea1 | December 14, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

I will have a sugar cookie.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 14, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

seasea! You must eat your dinner before you can have a cookie.

Posted by: nellie4 | December 14, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh,dear,Yoki. How awful for you.

Posted by: Manon1 | December 14, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Ladyfinger dough made and chilling in the fridge. If I make spiced pecans to share tonight, may I have a glass of chardonney with you and Yoki, Ivansmom?

Self-loathing makes me cold. It leaves me cold too. I prefer to feel the luv.

Posted by: slyness | December 14, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm just about to head home, and I'd love to join in the virtual BPH once I get there. I had run out of wine at home (horrors!), but J just promised to pick up a bottle of something up on his way home, so I'm all set. No cookies for me, thanks -- the huge fudgy brownie I had this afternoon should hold me for a good long time.

Posted by: -bia- | December 14, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Isn't this nice? Now I feel a bit sorry for the BPHers. I think wine and sugar cookies go splendidly together.

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Cheers, everyone! Thank you all for such fun on the Boodle. Here's to a healthful, prosperous, joyous, self-loathless next decade!

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

I'll join the party with a glass of che-- er, inexpensive cabernet from Trader Joe's. Not the 2buck Chuck, but the Black Mountain.

Posted by: nellie4 | December 14, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

I'll have a sip of Kool-Aid* with you all, while I work (the dreaded Xmas Letter). Pass the sugar cookies.

* Kool-Aid: Arbor Mists's white zinfandel. Great for when you're not remotely serious about fine wine, and just want to get a nice quick, smooth buzz going.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | December 14, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

That smooth buzz is pretty much required to compose a Christmas letter, isn't it?

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, it is. I hate these things.

How you feeling?

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | December 14, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

"fake-leather thigh-high boots with rhinestones. Right?"

sounds good to me JA... time to shop!

Posted by: MissToronto | December 14, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Getting to the store is half the fun. The winter visitors are now busily driving the one-way streets in the wrong direction. And doing forbidden turns and ignoring stop signs. A bit of snow might actually calm things down.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 14, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Snow in the coonties?

Posted by: bh72 | December 14, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Well, I must say that the BPH was spectacular. In fact, I laughed most of the way home (the other time was spent trying to work out the headlights issues of cars coming towards me. I've come to really dislike driving at night.

A good time was had by all. A big group, too. Snuke took an abundance of pictures, too.

Posted by: -ftb- | December 14, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Oh darn, I hate myself for being late to the virtual party! I'll just have tea, my tummy is a bit off today. We've bought each other a small HDTV for Christmas and "S" made a shelf for it as it has to be high on a wall so we can see it from the kitchen island where we eat. He painted it the wrong color. There's so many cans of paint in the cellar that it was easy to do that. So now we're repainting it and the new TV debut is scheduled for tomorrow night. It will be nice to be able to see what's on as the little 19" we were using was way too small to be anything but a radio with a picture.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 14, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

The chili been simmering a while and the charcoal is getting red almost ready to put on the babyback ribs so everything will be ready for halftime tailgate durning the 49ers game.
All cloudy here so no meteor sighting tonight.
We're having fun even if we can't be at the BPH.

Posted by: bh72 | December 14, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

I feel justified in my self loathing. I mean, most people would hate to be me.

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | December 14, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm actually having a very Canuckstani drinks, rye whisky & diet Canada dry, with some nuts after an hour of snowblowing and shoveling. The nuts are of the shelled variety, I'm not related to them.
I think I'll have another drink and I'll be just in the mood for MNF.
I'm braising a beef cross rib roast with onions, this is the smell that made me look for snacks. Food is one of the very few good things about winter, that and having no mosquitoes.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 14, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Amen on the lack of mosquitoes, SD. And the virtual smell of dinner is fab, please fax me a small portion when it's done.

Whacky, that's not a nice thing to say about yourself. You are a very nice person.

Cinnamon spiced pecans, anyone? They're still warm.

Scotty, I hope you have time to upload pictures when you get home. Some of us are loathe to wait till tomorrow to enjoy the BPH vicariously.

Posted by: slyness | December 14, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh yes. Braised meats and roasted roots rawk winter.

I had a little nip of Irish whisky as I finished the family dinner of French Onion Soup, green salad, and brownies. #1 landed at 4:30, her Dad picked her up at the airport, they went to his house to feed the dogs, then picked up #2; they'll be here in about 20 minutes! All of us together, eating soup!

And, #1 plans to stay with me for at least a week. This is the first time I've been glad to be on hiatus ("resting").

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Did you make the Onion Soup Yoki, that is the only soup my mom ever made from scratch, used to love to wrap the cheese around my spoon as I ate the soup.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 14, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Hello everyone.

I had a very nice time at the extremely well-attended BPH. There was Moose, Maggie O'D, ScottyNuke and his wife, LiT, ftb, Don from I-270, bc, Yello, Mrs. Yello, Son-Of-Yello, Raysmom and Raysdad, TBG, Son-of-G and their guest, bobsewell, and, of course, Mo.

A good time was had by all.

Although I hate M&S's new happy hour menu.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 14, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

my wife once again found boodlers to be a congenial, friendly and intellectual stimulating lot. Boy, do we have her fooled. My son was occasionally sociable between hamburgers, which is about the best that can be expected.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 14, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Re the decade, the brits have settled on "noughties".

Posted by: DNA_Girl | December 14, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Glad to hear that the BPH was well attended and a good time was had by all. I agree with Slyness, let's see those pictures!

Yummm, all this talk of food is making my tummy rumble. You all have such good eatin' lives. I am resigned to cold cuts for dinner. But, then again, it is 81 degrees outside so soup isn't probably the best choice. Was watching "White Christmas" on tv and sweltering. Kinda envious of you guys with your snow and all.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 14, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

It is raining here MotP, does that make you feel any better.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 14, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

MotP, you are just cruel. 81 degrees, we rarely reached that temp last summer here. Geez. Of course you know it's just the jealousy talking, right?

Posted by: badsneakers | December 14, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Proof that cell phone cameras are still a couple of generations away from replacing pocket cameras:

Scotty and omni cackle maniacally:

ftb and moose engrossed in coversation:

Or just wait for Snuke to post decent pictures.

TBG and son in the great outdoors:

Posted by: yellojkt | December 14, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

The Brits always settle on naughty.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 14, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Aww Sneaks, didn't mean to make you jealous, but really, it's December! It should at least be in the 70s. I'd fax you some sunshine if I had your number.

DMD, we could use the rain here, it's been dry for weeks and it's not even a "green" Christmas for us so far.

Wait, did I just complain that my weather is too good? Man, something is really whacky with me! Must be the self-loathing projected on my environment.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 14, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Shout-out to mo and our shared hatred of the Evil Volt.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 14, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Nice pics yello, thanks for sharing!

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 14, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Does Moose have a new hairstyle? I seem to recall her hair being longer, when I met her at the IBPH last year.

So glad everyone had a good time.

What's not to love about the new happy hour menu, RD?

Posted by: slyness | December 14, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Here are some good pictures:

Just not taken by me.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 14, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Kinda of an interesting first half. like sandlot football. Yellow flags then some red flags then more yellow flags. then a lot of take/giveaways. 49ers leading at the half. Time to bring in the ribs.

Posted by: bh72 | December 14, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt, your bad pictures are way better than my good ones. How's that for self-loathing? Looks like a good time was had by all. Great that so many Boodlers were there.

Posted by: seasea1 | December 14, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm watching Johnny Cash's Christmas special. Roy Orbison was weird but he had a sweet voice.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 14, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is coming to town, part of the National Conservative Symposium to be held Jan. 22-24 at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort (just a stone's throw from my husband's work campus).

When I told my husband, he said, "Oh boy, hope I'll be able to sleep tonight!"

Posted by: laloomis | December 14, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

SCC Johnny Cash's 1977 Christmas special.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 14, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey Shriek!

Your mention of Roy Orbison is funny, since I watch whacky stuff when I am working on the Internets to show of our tech gear and HDTV/Loop...

Watched some guys I know including Bill Kirchen doing his HotRod Lincoln with a bunch of guitar impressions... at least 30 or 40 in one song. Orbison is, of course, in there.

Check it out with some good sound. I have just small speakers plugged in, but it's good live.

The poster listed most of the names (I think he left out Billie Jean King in all the Kings)

Bill Kirchen 5/12/07 Cadie Cadillac semi truck VW bus Hippes Yuppies Plymouth Grand Voyager artist students Hummer Hum V Edmund Fitzgerald Chuck Berry, Elmore James, Freddie King, Deep Purple, The Monkees and Jimmi Hendrix Johnny Cash Duane Eddy Roy Orbison Johnny Rivers Muddy Waters Buck Owens Kenny Burrell Travis Tritt Merle Haggard Lester Claypool Earl Scruggs Ventures The Loving Spoonful Bo Diddley Martha Ray Stevie Ray Vaughan The King Family Albert King BB King Ben E King Don Billie Jean Elvis Presley Bobby Riggs Rolling Stones Fab 4 Four Sex Pistols Chuck Barry Harlan Wolf Telecaster. I missed some names write them in the comments please.Maybe Hubert Sumlin, Link Wray, Alvino Rey,
longtallsallyb Um, I'm thinking, m'dear, that "The King Family" was in reference to the folks named "King" (id est, BB, Albert, Freddie and Ben E.) and not a particularly named group.

After the fab 4 were the pre-fab four (monkees)

Posted by: russianthistle | December 14, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

A south Florida nursery that caters to backyard fruit growers is now selling the Tebow mango. The new variety was released by University of Florida breeders who thought it was somewhat like the Gator quarterback; quality and quantity.

"By crossing an Edward with a Kent the late Dr. Carl Campbell created a fruit that has the production qualities of the Kent and the incredible eating qualities of the Edward."

Mango varieties developed in Florida are grown worldwide. In a few years, there might be Tebows all over the tropics.

Unfortunately, Tebow will grow into a large tree. My yard doesn't have that kind of space. "Condo" mangoes no more than ten feet tall are more appropriate.
I recall driving I-95 about midnight listening to a college radio station playing a freshly-issued "complete Roy Orbison" in its entirety.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 14, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

I really loved Roy Orbison. He was, well, odd. In a way that I cherished.

Posted by: Yoki | December 15, 2009 12:20 AM | Report abuse

I love the long version of "Hot Rod Lincoln" that Kirchen perform, rt. It's also on a live recording that he released about 10 years ago or so. I saw him do it at the Birchmere during one of the Danny Gatton tributes. It really is a hoot to hear him string together so many singular licks from from so many artists. Makes you think John Sebastian was right when he wrote about the "1,652 guitar pickers in Nashville" any one of whom "can play twice as better than I will."

And mentioning Billie Jean King and swinging the guitar as a tennis racket is a nice touch.

Posted by: -pj- | December 15, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like a great BPH! Sorry I missed it, but I didn't get out of the office until 9:30. I need to go to bed.

Posted by: -pj- | December 15, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Great clip, russianthistle. On the subject of licks off of records, I stumbled across this a couple of weeks ago.

Posted by: rashomon | December 15, 2009 1:31 AM | Report abuse

Hey tooni, listening to those Kirchen licks reminded me of the bit you posted a couple of years ago that you recorded on one cut when you forgot your pick and used a quarter. Could you please post that again? I would really like to bookmark it for evening listening.

Posted by: bh72 | December 15, 2009 2:06 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

Really awful Anne Applebaum column this morning, made worse by an atrocious headline. I'm just shaking my head.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | December 15, 2009 6:24 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. We got a little bit, maybe 5cm/2in., of pretty snow. The dogs were happy to have fresh snow to eat.

No fog, like like we got yesterday, resulting in a 70 car pile-up. Amazingly, there were only a few minor medical case.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 15, 2009 6:38 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all. Still foggy in the Carolinas, but at last we are as warm here in the Piedmont as they are in the mountains. Something's wrong with this state of affairs.

Posted by: slyness | December 15, 2009 6:56 AM | Report abuse

Hey all!! Pictures are coming, never fear, but I had to get some beauty rest once NukeSpouse and I got home -- heading to the Hill today with some senior folks. :-O

*gulping-coffee-and-hoping-I-don't-get-any-on-my-tie-how's-my-hair-look Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 15, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Looking at yello's 10:07 post of the link to photos of 2009, there are many beautiful and moving pictures. For sheer technical miraculousness, however, I think that the most extraordinary is the one with the perfectly-focused baseball caught in midflight against the defocused pitcher still in his follow-through in the background. What a shot!

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 15, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, your hair always looks boyishly charming.

Good morning, you all. Dear Joel, this link

will take you to a wonderful indoor farmer's market which we visited last week. Just from one shop The Canner, w came home with 4 large jars of pickled watermelon rind, 4 large jars of very sweet pickles, sliced, 4 large jars of green tomato relish and 2 small jars of fig jam, to be used as small gifts and for us, as well.

It is a small, warm mall with happy people employed there and a little country restaurant which we hope to try when we have more time. Some of the vendors are Mennonites, I believe, or maybe Amish, but, with a Mennonite school nearby, I tend to think my first pick is correct. A lovely drive this time of year, as all the students who use I81 are probably home by now, so the winter scenes are not obscured by cars & trucks, wizzing about.

There is a shop with beautiful needlework, can hardly wait to go back!

Posted by: VintageLady | December 15, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

I just stared at that baseball picture trying to figure out how the photographer set up that shot. I imagine he prefocused on a spot halfway between the mound and the plate and did a rapid set of shots to insure he could 'catch' the ball. Amazing.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 15, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

VL, I wish we had a place like that around here, it sounds lovely.

Am I the only one who hates doing Christmas cards? I have horrible handwriting and I write short notes on some of the cards just hoping people can read what I write. It's also that time of life when each year I cross off another name of someone who died. Sad.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 15, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

You are not alone badsneaks, I started my cards last night, after they have been sitting on the table beside my laptop for several weeks. At this point they may be closer to Valentine's cards than Christmas cards.

Am also realizing that I need to seriously update our address book of friends and relatives - as I have many email addresses, home address not so much. It would also help if family members would quit moving so often.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 15, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

I'm uncertain what the paralysis of too many choices has to do with self loathing. Perhaps it is the juxtaposition of the shelves of plenty with the knowledge of the empty shelves elsewhere on the planet.

Personally, I save the self loathing for the period when I ate that cookie that I shouldn't have or had that extra adult beverage that I should have forgone.

Posted by: edbyronadams | December 15, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Good morning! Thanks for the lovely virtual BPH last night, and for the reports from the "real" one. Thanks to yellojkt for the early pictures and I look forward to more.

Those are great end-of-year photos, yello. I agree about the technical feat involved in the baseball photo. Astonishing.

Whackyweasel, anyone considering being you would have to weigh physical disadvantages against your kindness, intelligence, and quirky sense of humor. I'm thinking that "not wanting to be you" would not be an easy call. Score - self-loathing, 0.

We could call this decade the "naughts" (naughties? very nice). Or the "fraughts".

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 15, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Memo to Mudge, re. Anne Applebaum column:

I'd say she is taking the self-loathing thing a bit too seriously. Like the 9-year-old's excuse for not doing homework. The kid has simply updated the old "my dog ate it" excuse for the new decade.

Applebaum's going for the pity-the-helpless-and-find-someone-to-blame crowd. I gave up Bob Herbert at the NYT because of this same habit.

Posted by: MsJS | December 15, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Bedazzled pleather boots only look good in pink and when worn with a football tiara.

Congrats Mudge.

Posted by: LostInThought | December 15, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Years go by, and still Washington Post can't fix it so my Very Popular Browser will display the comments to the main articles.

In any case Applebaum reaches the conclusion that the climate worriers are "anti-human." Which conclusion she reaches by, well, just saying it is so.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 15, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Oh, LiT, I *love* pleather boots. With pleather tassels.

Great seeing you last night.

Off to prepare for a meeting. Cyall later.

Posted by: -ftb- | December 15, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Bush emails suddenly found.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 15, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

A fab BPH last night, much laughter and conversation, with great company.

Mudge, enjoy the Tiara, sir, you earned it.

I'm not so much for self-loathing, but I'm all about the Self Castigation. In fact, I started a club about five years ago...


And if you want to save time shopping for stocking-stuffers, there's always the classic toe-stretching weights - a lump of coal, or a bad dessicated fruitcake that weighs as much an equivalently-sized loaf of tungsten.


Posted by: -bc- | December 15, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Interesting article by Adrian Higgins on the computer age:
Too early for me to tell if he makes any sense, but he mentions a book on gardening by Karel Capek which is funny and wonderful.

Also, the Golden Globe nominations are in and all the Gleeks will be happy.

Posted by: seasea1 | December 15, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Although I found Applebaum's column a little offensive, I think she has a point to make, not that's she's onto anything original here. I've been the target of disapproval from several self consciece environmentalist for having procreating more than my fair share and further adding to the future demise of our planet. When children, who have not yet established a spiritual foundation of the purpose of human life, get bombarded with the fear of overpopulation and the theories that there very existence will cause widespread suffering for others, they have a tendency to get depress.

I, on the other hand, am always delighted to hold a baby. The opportunities are rare for me nowadays since I'm no longer "in" with a new mother.

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | December 15, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

New Kit! (on Adrian's article)

Posted by: seasea1 | December 15, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Back to the decade: I've decided it should be the "oh-ohs". Seems appropriate.

Posted by: trustme4 | December 16, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

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