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Free Tiger Woods

Whatever transgressions Tiger Woods may be guilty of, they weren't as bad as Phil Mickelson pulling out his driver on the 72nd hole at Winged Foot when he only needed par to win. Folks, you gotta keep this stuff in perspective.

Paul Farhi reports today on the factual flimsiness of the Tiger saga. He could have extended his remarks to some of the brain-dead analysis. We're told, for example, that Tiger might be a sex addict because he has had so many relationships and once apparently had sex in a car. No one has ever had sex in a car before. I just hope, for the sake of Tiger and his million-dollar endorsement deals, that the car in question was a Buick.

Here's some classic journalism:

The jury is still out on whether Woods is addicted to sex, psychologists told ABC, explaining that such a diagnosis requires several criteria, including determining if he can control his urges, and whether not having sex makes him anxious.

Also it would require talking to Woods, unless you're an expert who can diagnose psychological ailments by remote mental telepathy.

Another revelation: When he was 21 years old, Tiger was randy as all get-out: "Back in 1997, one of the worst-kept secrets on the PGA Tour was that Tiger was something of a hound." Because what most 21-year-olds like to do is repair to the wing chair after cocktails and read Consumer Reports.

Seems like there's a lot of piling on out there and old scores being settled as one man's disgrace becomes an industry for gleeful opportunists.

Captain Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

Croupier: Your winnings, sir.


You wanna see a golfer committing an unforgiveable sin?

Warning, NSFW!!


Back to narrative writing for a minute [here's the latest installment of my ramblings at Story Lab]. I've been studying the Meyer Berger piece. You know the Meyer Berger piece, right? On the Howard Unruh mass murders in Camden, N.J. in 1949?

Mr. Berger was assigned to the story by The Times City Desk shortly before 11 A.M. He caught the first available train to Camden; personally covered the story and filed approximately 4,000 words. The last of his copy reached The Times office
at 9:20 P.M., about one hour before the first edition closing.

I'm trying to figure out how he did it -- how in the span of a few hours he reported and wrote the story. What I don't remember is how such things were filed back then. I'm assuming he wrote on a manual typewriter. How was copy transmitted back to NYC? I should know this.


Kevin Huffman did a bang-up job on this column. Shockingly, even some of the online commenters agree!

By Joel Achenbach  |  December 11, 2009; 9:09 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Obama on war, peace, the spark of the divine
Next: Christmas at the White House


Mr. A,

I suspect it was a combination of phone, smoke signals, carrier pigeon, and drums.

Posted by: MsJS | December 11, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Joel, I remember my dad having some kind of early fascimile machine to file his copy from City Hall to the editors in the newsroom at the Charlotte News. It had a drum the size of an 8.5 by 11 sheet of paper and he rolled each sheet on it and sent it off. This was in the late 50's, when I was a small child, so that's all I recall. I don't remember the name of the machine, although I'd bet Mudge would know.

Posted by: slyness | December 11, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Slyness, a belinograph maybe?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 11, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Joel, I have located actual historical footage of mid 20th century reportage and news transmission. Start viewing at the 70 minute mark-

Posted by: kguy1 | December 11, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and the wire services might have been used. I always preferred drums, but they can be a problem if your editor is hard of hearing.

Posted by: MsJS | December 11, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

But Joel, at least Phil owned that decision (i.e., "I am such an idiot").

That said, I'm hoping the latest rumor isn't true--that Tiger's going to quit golf to save his marriage.

Posted by: Raysmom | December 11, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

As long as the media is playing amateur psychologist, I'll join in. Maybe Tiger didn't socialize much during his preteen and teen years, honing his golf skills instead of pursuing girls. So when he became famous, he became drunk with power and thought he could have any woman he wanted. But he may have never acquired the guile to spot the women who may have wanted to take advantage of his fame, like some of the Barbie dolls whose names have become public in this scandal. Eugene Robinson's idea of Tiger as insecure and image-conscious would fit my theory.

Posted by: Carstonio | December 11, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Right when we get a burning question about antique news gathering technology, mudge goes on leave. The b@st@rd!

Big NPR story a few days ago talking about which celebrities were harder to keep in line, actors or sports stars. The consensus was sports stars since nearly all actors were 'starving' at one point or another while most jocks have been pampered and privileged since middle school.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 11, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I find the sex addict concept questionable. To me addiction is when you develop a physical dependence on some chemical or activity that is not intrinsic to being human. You become addicted to alcohol, you don't become addicted to food.

Since sex is, in theory, an intrinsic part of of human experience, I don't see a healthy young man craving it being an especially disturbing psychological trait. So, yes, you can criticize Tiger for yielding to those temptations, but to castigate him as being psychologically suspect because he has a healthy libido seems a corruption of the concept.

Let's face it, most all healthy young men are sexaholics. Many just live in a dry county.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 11, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I've seen a lots of old movies in which a reporter phones in the story to a stenographer.

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I also think Joel has hit on something very insightful. Well before this whole sordid business was unveiled, Tiger had a rep for being a testy character. And, let's face it, anyone who so dominates a sport is going to generate a lot of resentment among the other players. These are hyper-competitive individuals, so there really might be a whole lot of competitive rage being uncorked here.

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

I agree with Yoki. The scene where the phalanx of reporters rush to a row of telephones is a cinematic classic.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 11, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

That article bespeakes the somewhat florid writing style that seemed to typify a lot of news writing from the mid-19th century into the early part of the 20th century. I guess I'm a bit surprised that it was still current that late in the game. All that speculation about what Unruh and his victims were thinking would never be tolerated today. And facsimile machings have been around in one form or another since the late 19th Century.

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

But was the car moving? See that's the old joke. Is sex possible over 70? Sure, but it is safer to pull over.

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

Well, if Tiger's mistresses take to the airwaves as Jamie Jungers did this morning on the Today show, the truth will out.

One of the most stupid articles I read was by Terence Moore saying that blacks weren't closing ranks about Tiger because of Tiger's remarks on an old Oprah segment that he was Cablinasian. Let's see, blacks are supposed to close ranks on the basis of race? Heaven help us! Or men in general? Or just the men who golf and held Woods up as their macho idol? Or maybe the Cheetahs should just close ranks--and isn't it ironic that Cheetah Letterman is having such a field day with Cheetah Woods? Or maybe just Tiger Woods' sponsors will close ranks?

But these small groups come up against the larger group of women, far more demographically significant in terms of sheer numbers, the Cheetahed Upon--women. Glad to hear the Jenney Sanford news this morning! Oh, we know cheating in our family. Maternal grandfather Swanson was a Cheetah. My own father was a Cheetah!

So let Tiger step up to the mike, or have a seat on Oprah's couch, and have a swing at the truth. I'm rooting for wife Elin to leave him. Elin may herself have been the product of divorce, but why stay in a marriage that is such a charade--other than for the money and kids? What happened to the notions of personal dignity and self-respect after Tiger's romp, a group-pluck (to use an old Molly Ivins' term)?

I also think that reports such as those as John Berman's on ABC evening news about Tiger's redemption are more of the silly season--a premature evaluation.

The sordid Tiger story, I'll venture a guess, will be like a leaky faucet--a slow drip, drip, drip of truth over time.

As for Eugene Rosinson, he might be well-advised to go read the immersion journalism of Steinem and her reporting of what it was like to be a Playboy bunny--a high-end service worker, or Barbara Ehrenreich's book "Nickled and Dimed"--required reading at 600 colleges across the country--about the plight of low-end service workers.

It hurt me to listen to Jaime Jungers use such bad grammar this morning, but as another opinion writer has pointed out, the Tiger story--as well as others of single or repeated marital infidelity that occured this past year--aren't about intellect. Far from it.

Posted by: laloomis | December 11, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Who, again, was that former Senator from Tennessee who was also a physician ("famous surgeon" I think (and a real glassbowl, according to my own internist who knew him))? I simply can't remember his name right now.

Anyhow, he was the one who *knew* -- merely by viewing a video tape -- that Terri Shaivo was not in a vegetative state.

Joel, you must remember his name (because you're younger than I am by miles) -- call him and ask him to review the Tiger situation telepathically. He certainly has the experience. . . .

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

SCC: facsimile machines. More Irish Breakfast, please!

Posted by: ebtnut | December 11, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

SCC: Here's the link to the Terence Moore article:

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

Anyone who thinks sex in a car is a sign of sex addiction is clearly not getting any. They need to read this:

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

The link doesn't even have the term right--it's Cablinasian--a truncation or mishmash of Caucasion, Black, Indian and Asian.

Bill Frist

Jamie Jungers interview:

Posted by: laloomis | December 11, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Will "The Best of Mudge" contain a chapter on rants? If so, I nominate his 11/30/09 TW rant.

Posted by: MsJS | December 11, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Now on to my day to deal with the nasty fallout of pine mouth--the situation posted at the end of the last Boodle.

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

Evolutionary psychology tells us that men are programmed to spread their seed as wildly and possible and women are drawn to alpha males who can provide the greatest succor for any offspring. Tiger was acting as programmed by his genes and so were his paramours. That is not surprising.

What would be surprising is to find alpha males that put oath giving and principle above those randy impulses. I would certainly like to see more of those extolled as true role models for our society because the big head must rule the little head if we are to give up our other genetic impulses like killing the "other" that our tribe defines, ab evolutionary strategy that our technology has rendered obsolete if our chlidren and grandchildren are to survive.

Posted by: edbyronadams | December 11, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Final SCC: gang-pluck, not group-pluck

And also included in Bill Minutaglio's Molly Ivins/Rebel book...:

Was fired from the New York Times in 1982 for calling a community chicken-killing festival a "gang-pluck"

Posted by: laloomis | December 11, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

At this point the only things that are clear are:
1. he had/has awful taste in girl friends.
2. he is not going to play any serious money sponsored golf in quite awhile.
3. this deal is costing him an estimated $10-50 million dollars a day/week take your pick.
4. the cadillac SUV cannot sustain any serious impact damage.
5. all across America men and women are rechecking their cell phones. e-mails etc and ensuring that no 6 or 9 irons are in the golf bag.
Tiger you smuck!~

Posted by: KBlit | December 11, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

A running joke from that Kevin Smith comedy classic, Mallrats:

Shannon Hamilton (played by Ben Affleck): You see, Bruce, I like to pick up girls on the rebound from a disappointing relationship. They're much more in need of solace and they're fairly open to suggestion. And, I use that to [have sex with] them some place very uncomfortable.

Brodie: What, like the back of a Volkswagen?

Posted by: yellojkt | December 11, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: yellojkt | December 11, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Done. And done.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 11, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

"Mallrats" is a comedy classic?

Well, to each his own. But, personally, I think Kevin should stuck with black and white.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 11, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, yellojkt.

I'm off to indulge my cookie-baking addiction. And my chocolate addiction.

Posted by: MsJS | December 11, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

While how Berger got the story back to the office is an interesting speculation I wonder how he interviewed so many in so short a time and retained all their info. Because of the time limitations I suspect he had studied shorthand.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 11, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

The collected works of Kevin Smith were the only R-rated movies my son was allowed to watch as a kid. Mallrats made for a wonderful evening of awkward family viewing one post-Thanksgiving weekend when my parents were in town.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 11, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse


Sen. Bill Frist, IIRC...

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 11, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I find I have five full pages of Mudgisms, some funny, some about real historical events.

Posted by: nellie4 | December 11, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I guess I shouldn't be too harshly critical of Kevin Smith. Because of him I once won a free cookie at our local cinema. I recognized the quote "I'm not even supposed to be here today."

The cookie was very tasty.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 11, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

See? He's a pop culture icon. That and "Snootchie Bootchies!"

I've kinda given up on the No Duh News blog, but this would definitely qualify.,2933,579898,00.html

Posted by: yellojkt | December 11, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Front Page Alert...

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 11, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Tiger Woods made his bed and now he has to lie in it. He has ruined himself and nobody in the media or anywhere else is to blame.
He will be shunned by many of those whose fortunes he helped build. His income will drop and his peace of mind may be so irreparably damaged that he may no longer be able to concentrate and play golf as he once did. This is a lesson that has not been absorbed over the years by athletes and politicians and just plain people. The straight and narrow path is harder to follow than a 64 in the U.S. Open.
Judge not lest ye be judged and remove the beam from thine eyes hypocrites said Jesus as well as narrow is the gate, as reported by Matt: 7
Good advise.

Posted by: mharwick | December 11, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

You got dates for those? We can add them to the Master Archive. Facebook or e-mail me.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 11, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

One of the implications of Tigergate I haven't yet seen discussed is the impact it's going to have on other golfers' incomes. The purses for golf tournaments dramatically increased due to the popularity and sponsorships from Tiger's participation. It would follow that they will now decrease. Before you cry "boo hoo for those guys making $6M per year" it will also impact guys just scraping by in the lower reaches of the Nationwide tour and the minitours.

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

Had a post "held for review" yeah right. I am so tired of Tiger "news." Young, cute, in great shape and except for the potty mouth doesn't seem to have any social problems that would keep him from being acceptable to a wide swath of female humans. Heck, in the real world where most 20 somethings exist it wouldn't even take wealth to end up in a car. Bill Cosby used to do a great routine about people looking like the cars in which they were conceived.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 11, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Pine nuts, huh? Who woulda thunk it? I always figured the bitterness was caused by the 2008 Iowa Caucus.

Posted by: kguy1 | December 11, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh, Only 29 this morning in the banana belt and the frost is gone. First time able to see the lawn grass in 10 days. Boy is it ever dry. At last the blessed rain that has failed the forecast for a week now is beginning to fall.

Posted by: bh72 | December 11, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

You are my hero. But no love for Kevin Smith?

Posted by: yellojkt | December 11, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse


kguy owes me a new coffee and some monitor/keyboard wipes.

Posted by: martooni | December 11, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 11, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

kguy, you might as well buy a case of those keyboards--you're going to need them.

Posted by: Raysmom | December 11, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

yello -- Facebook

(I think, never been there before.)

Posted by: nellie4 | December 11, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm wondering if there might be a connection between pine-mouth and that eternally smoldering mulch fire in Heloise or Hades or whatever-the-heck they call it.

Posted by: martooni | December 11, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

All those women....
Seems Tiger never considered some having AIDS.

Posted by: angie12106 | December 11, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

frostbitten, I'm with you. That Cosby routine sounds funny, but I frankly can't imagine people looking like cars-- probably because I'm not fully conversant with cars made in the 70's, 60's, and before.

Also by that logic all bulldogs were bred in volkswagens.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 11, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

If Tiger Woods is role model for rich, middle-age men, I don't see why his sponsors are going to punish him.

Posted by: Ferrelocha | December 11, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

What Tiger Woods did was irresponsible, but it really is something for his wife and himself to deal with. If she could forgive him and continue in their marriage, then it would (if Tiger changes for the better) be better for the children and their entire family.

I do not know when Tiger might have begun on this course of action, but if it all happened after his father died, it could be a delayed reaction to the strict military like discipline that he had to commit to while being groomed for his place in the golfing annals. This combined with his "rock star" status and his finances would naturally draw many women to him despite his marital status.

Obviously, he made some bad choices, but the actions of the women who now seek to cash in on events they participated in for their own selfish reasons is also something that the media should be discussing.

In the end, Golf needs a "Tiger Woods" type golfing prodigy more than Tiger Woods needs golf at this stage of his life. He could retire as a player and continue as a course designer, but the best place for golf would be for a chastened, but still competent Tiger to return to the fold in due time.

Posted by: CalP | December 11, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

As an army brat I take great umbrage at the presumption that we must wait until our fathers are dead to have a series of torrid affairs.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 11, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Hmm. My post's been held for approval by the blog owner. That's ominous.

Short version: "Invictus", a successful American invasion of South Africa. Oscar for Eastwood. Maybe Freeman.

Tiger, nothing. Nothing at all.

Government science policy. NIH requires that published results NIH-funded research made available at no charge within 12 months of publication. The White House is considering extending this policy to other agencies. Comments are being solicited. (This won't get much public attention, but in the world of those affected, it'll be like that final rugby match in the Eastwood movie).

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 11, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Hey Martooni, good to see you in such fine form.

I've got nothing useful to add to the TW subject. I feel for his wife and children and hope she considers very carefully the benefits and risks of staying with him.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 11, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

The media - the news "industry" blew the Woods "saga" out of control. As is typically the case, they invented a narrative and repeated it over and over to the point of lunacy. The only part of Woods' situation that was noteworthy was that the #1 golfer in the world had an accident in his car and refused to talk to law enforcement about it. That's it.

Everything else has been BLOVIATING about things that, in the long run, really won't matter, mainly because they want to hear the sounds of their own voices. (Don't even get me started on so-called moralists who love to trot out the "role model" question - they're the biggest hypocrites of all.)

If television news and its not-so-nice brethren marketing gossip to the entertainment industry want to regain credibility and stop losing (smart) viewers, they can start focusing on stuff that really matters again and leave this little stuff for the little minds that want to peddle it as important information.

Tiger Woods is the #1 golfer in the world, is handsome, has a beautiful smile and a steady, professional personality. He's a human being. Let's stop putting public figures on pedestals!

Posted by: wpreader2007 | December 11, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

According to the pr0n star that made a video back in May claiming to have had sex with Tiger Woods, he used a condom. She had very flattering things to say about his overall deportment and manners.

The video is item 3 in the following Gawker entry:

WARNING: This video has extremely graphic language and black-barred nudity (but no explicit sexual content).

Posted by: yellojkt | December 11, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Sneaks. Must be that sobriety thing.

btw... today marks one month, one day at a time. :-D

Posted by: martooni | December 11, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Awesome Martooni! Good to see you back.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 11, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Yay Martooni, good for you!

Posted by: badsneakers | December 11, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Cookies, anyone?

With sensitivity to today's topic, the nuts are optional.

Chocolate Temptation Cookies

4 egg whites
2-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp powdered instant coffee
1 tbsp water
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts (opt.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet wit parchment. Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites in a bowl until frothy. Add in sugar, cocoa, flour, coffee, and water, beating slowly at first, then at a higher speed for 2-3 minutes or until mixture thickens. Fold in the walnuts.

Place tablespoons of the mixture onto the prepared cookie sheet spaced 1 inch apart. Bake for 15 minutes. Cookies should be slightly firm and cracked on the outside, but soft inside. When done, remove cookies from the baking sheet and place on a wire rack to cool.

Posted by: MsJS | December 11, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Toon! :-) Keep up the good work!

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 11, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Thanks MsJS, was just considering whether or not I want to bake holiday cookies this year. The answer is now a firm "Yes. What was I thinking?" Found the cookie press, will have to make cheese straws too.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 11, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Folks, just go read Howie's column today. It about says it all on Tiger.

Posted by: ebtnut | December 11, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse


Good to hear you are doing well. Stay dry and warm through the holiday season.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 11, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

And I thought Retsina was a shock.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 11, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Glad to hear it. I haven't lurked or boodled much for a while, but I want you to know that I think and wonder about you sometimes. Keep it up!

Posted by: Gomer144 | December 11, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Local TV news in Orlando consists of ghoulish crime stories interspersed with expressway crashes, local or from South Florida (the kid set on fire was, regrettably, fairly typical). In such an atmosphere, Tiger Woods didn't have a chance.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 11, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Our atmosphere comes from outer space?
This seems poorly reported. Certainly hastily reported. Capitalized "Krypton?"
Still the "late bombardment" seems to be the interesting part.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 11, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Teeth bleaching! The secrets that online advertisers don't want revealed! Here! Now!
Apply a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to the teeth. Let it sit as long as you can stand it. Five or ten minutes. Three minutes. Whatever. Don't swallow. Rinse well. Repeat as needed. Cost: maybe 20 cents per session.

That's it. Information wants to be free.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 11, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

SCC: ...the pr0n star WHO made a video...

If mudge were here, he'd castigate me severely for being so disrespectful to sex workers.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 11, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I just got done making chocolate chip cookies - recipe on the package. Very good, if I do say so myself. In a few days - sugar cookies. Willing to fax.

Posted by: seasea1 | December 11, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. I still refuse to acknowledge the Tiger "story". Not news, not any more.

Many congratulations to Martooni, and I'm glad you're dropping in. Missed you. One day at a time.


I got a new oven. It has push buttons and LED displays, not knobs. I'm afraid of it.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 11, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Don't be afraid of it.

That the oven keeps moving about or opening without anybody touching it is purely your imagination, Ivansmom.

But I would still keep anybody under 10 away from it, just in case.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 11, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Don't let that new oven intimidate you, Ivansmom. You are smarter than it is.

Posted by: Manon1 | December 11, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of new ovens, Himself is doing a full kitchen reno in his new house and he's putting in gas for the range, something I wanted for years. If I didn't have my elegant new kitchen too (even sans gas cooktop) I would be jealous. As it is, it is fun to see samples for the floors and countertops and backsplash, knowing that I don't have to live in the mess for months and months.

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Gas can be fun, Yoki, especially for smoking eggplant in a hurry.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 11, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I wish I could be sure of that, Manon. I may try and turn it on tonight. Or perhaps tomorrow. I don't think it will bite me, much. I'm afraid it may giggle.

Really I'm delighted to have it - my old one was 39 years old. Something with a working light, and broiler, and temperature, will be a nice change. I just wish I could bring myself to use it.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 11, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Mr. A,

OK, I played along and read Kevin Huffman's column. And the comments (67 at the time of my reading).

I must disagree with your assessment that he did a bang-up job. I tripped over so many cliches that I briefly considered legal action. And it ran about 100 words too long. I shudder to think what it looked like before editing.

As for the comments, maybe one in six was complimentary. That technically qualifies as "some", but your use of the exclamation point at the end of the final sentence was a bit much.

Posted by: MsJS | December 11, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

"even some", MsJS. My guess is that Hoffman routinely gets trolled.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 11, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I turned it on. All seems okay so far. Big news - I can turn on an oven light and look through the window! I don't have to open it up and pull out the food to check for rising and brownness (cooking rolls)! Ain't technology wonderful?

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 11, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I had to get a new stove not long ago. I got one with the flat glass top. Now, that delights easy to keep clean.

Posted by: Manon1 | December 11, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Well, I *knew* this would happen . . .

I may not be able to attend Monday's BPH -- don't know for sure yet, but I just got something to do which is going to take up my weekend (along with everything else which is going to take up my weekend). I'll try with all my might to show up. If not, you have the following instructions:

(1) Do *NOT* under any circumstances nominate me to anything; and
(2) Say *ONLY* good things about me.

That's really all I ask. And that's not too much, is it? Well, *is it*???

Toons -- great to hear from you. Glad you're doing so well. How's the Bean?

Posted by: -ftb- | December 11, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

You're going to get the upper hand with that new oven. I just know you will.

And, yes, technology is wonderful. I never appreciated it so much as when I had to do without it for a week last Feb. when we had a severe ice-storm that knocked out the power to run all those things.

Posted by: Manon1 | December 11, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Our landlord provided us with those pretty class top stoves. Three actually in the past seven years. Well actually two whole stoves. The top cracked on the first one which had to be replaced. Then twice the controls had to be replaced because every time we ran the oven clean cycle it would began a really loud beeeeping saying that the power had failed. The only way to stop the beeping was to cut the power to the stove. After the third time and the manufacturer refused to pay for replacing the control she changed brands.
The glass tops are pretty and easy to clean but a pain in the a&s to cook on. If a recipe calls for bringing the pot to boil and then turn down to simmer, it don't. First it takes for ever to bring any size pot to boil. While you are waiting and you turn your back on it it boils over. Then when the power is turned down to low to simmer, the top stays boiling hot for a long time. One has to preheat another burner to low to shift the pot over to simmer.
The landlord her self shifted herself to a combination electric/gas combination.

These stoves are nationally know brands with the initials M & A costing in the $900+ range.
The ovens are nice, self cleaning and all.

Posted by: bh72 | December 11, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

bh72, I actually like my glass-top cook top, since it is separate from the self-cleaning wall oven. Himself and I had three glass-top ranges, and ran into trouble with the self-cleaning thing you describe. I don't think one of them lasted more than 3 or 4 years.

Major appliances turn my crank. If anybody would like to talk about the relative merits of top-loading and front-loading laundry white-goods, I'm there.

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Yep, those new-fangled ovens can be confusing. Fortunately we have an older one. It actually has pictures to remind the user which burner is being turned on. As a result I end up risking grievous bodily damage much less often than might otherwise be the case. (I never have gotten that whole "left right" thing properly internalized.)

Still, the trickiest thing about our oven is when we wish to bake something. We store snack foods in the oven. And, well, sometimes we forget to take them out.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 11, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

"My guess is that Hoffman routinely gets trolled," spake Wilbrod.

Today was Huffman's 1st official column, so there's no routine yet. The trolls were definitely in evidence, but less than I expected.

The contest pulled in relatively few commenters, almost no trolls.

We'll see how he fares trollwise as his tenure progresses.

Posted by: MsJS | December 11, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

I-mom: Enjoy the new stove. I'm sure it will be trif.

Posted by: MsJS | December 11, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I spake thus, prophetically if inaccurately ;).

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 11, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

LOL, RD_Padouk. That smell of melting packaging is just so disturbing, isn't it?

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

We store baked goods - breadsticks, etc - in the microwave. Fortunately, one doesn't normally turn that appliance on until one has opened the door and put in the food.

Our range top has four burners. Two are usually covered by a removable chopping block. It has a burn on the bottom, on one side, of lovely concentric rings. Oops.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 11, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

I think that's what the Beverly Hillbillies called "The Fancy Breadbox," Imom.

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, I can relate. When we remodeled the kitchen in 2000, we replaced the original cooktop and oven, installed in 1963. They were pink. We went with the smooth glass top and I've been okay with it, though I think the big burner in front may be getting testy and not quite reliable after nine hard years.

In the summer of 2004, we had a tree hit by lightning and that took out the oven's electronics. After everything was replaced, it works fine, although a little slow.

Believe me, it won't be 37 years till I replace them again, if I stay so long in the house.

Posted by: slyness | December 11, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Hey Yello, this link's for you:

(Others may also look, of course.)

Posted by: slyness | December 11, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Anyone wanting to read the NYT take on poutine?

Posted by: rickoshea1 | December 11, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

rickoshea, I posted that link when it was first published. I have all kinds of time for Trillin, since he lives in Canada half the year. Shriek and I had a geographical divide about the thesis, though. Funny conversation.

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Ah, mini Vegas in NC. Do they allow wagering?

Posted by: bh72 | December 11, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Very nice. Thank you, slyness. You made me cry.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 11, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm tired of cookies, and they tend to attract teabaggers, who regard them as vegetables.

So here's a nice, hot from the oven mincemeat pie. Real venison in there. Lard in the crust, yum, makes it flaky and vaguely savory.

Put some vanilla ice cream on it while it's still hot enough to begin melting it.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | December 11, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

My wife asked me what I was watching. I said, The lights in McAdenville"

She said, "You can find anything on the web, can't you?"

Posted by: yellojkt | December 11, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, douglaslbarber. Real mincemeat is a rare treat. But - wait a minute - you're saying cookies aren't vegetables??

The rest of the Ivansclan is busy tonight so I'm going to take advantage of the opportunity and go to sleep very early. Nighty-night all. Buenos gnocchis, vaya con queso, and fondue.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 11, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Venison and ice cream. Sounds odd, but I'm game.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 11, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

As long as you have friends to send you links, right, Yello? The video didn't do justice to the town, though. It's worth a trip from Charlotte and a stop if you're on I-85 passing through.

Posted by: slyness | December 11, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, bh72, gambling only if you purchase NC lottery tickets. I have no idea where in McAdenville you'd find them. There's not much there, there. Small place, a true mill town.

Posted by: slyness | December 11, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Congrats on the new oven Ivansmom. When we moved here there was an electric stove with a glass cooktop, I counted the days until the new kitchen was in and I had a gas stove. I was too cheap to spring for the gas top and electric oven. I love gas cooking even tho' the other day some butter I was melting spilled over and started a small fire right in the middle of the stove. All was well as I just threw baking soda on it, but a half cup of butter makes an awful mess!

Just had a nice dinner with friends and managed to skirt around politics without getting into anything deep. Tomorrow I roll out and bake all the gingerbread cookie shapes so when the granddaughters come on Sunday, we can decorate them and make little houses.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 11, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the Tiger Woods coverage... it is my understanding that there is some deeply controversial sweeping happening in Edmonton (Roar of the Rings = Olympic curling trials finals happening this weekend).

And that is as much coverage as that Tiger story deserves.

That Observer video must be overloaded with viewers, Slyness. It is taking forever to load on my evening sluggish internet. I will try it early in the morning, but it looks really spectacular.

Glass cooktops? Not again. EVER. If I had a gas cooktop, I'd hardly ever burn anything.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 11, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

To venture back on Kit for a moment:
Tom Shroder has a brief blog post about this:
I sure wouldn't call Tiger's PR team "genius" - to me, they've been the opposite from the start.

I'm reading Andre Agassi's book, in which he tells about his childhood and rise to the top in tennis. Very different from the image, that's for sure.

Posted by: seasea1 | December 11, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

I went bowling today for my organization's Christmas part. I am a consistant bowler, I had scores of 56, 56 and 56. Out of 300. Mediocre, but consistant.

This Huffman guy is growing into the job.

I shall be watching the Olympic doobie relaying by tomorrow morning, 9 thirtyish. I'll be the guy in the winter coat with a short but massive red haired dog. The Ancient Giant Black Lab may be with me too, depending on his fitness tomorrow. He is an older guy; some mornings are not kind to him.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 11, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

I'll be watching, shrieking_denizen; I'll probably recognize the VLP before I do you.

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I have to admit that in a week this has all been diluted to nothingness what with the endless public speculation, media attention and of course the countless incidents of adultery and sexual misconduct on the part of our leadership in the clergy, the government and the business community.

But I seriously wish that tiger would get his head out of his ascending colon (is it ascending in this case, or still descending? I don't know...more research needed :) and just go out and play golf. It sounds like what he needs to do at this point is treat the game like a game, to enjoy when times are troubled...which is why 99% of us play it...but no he's going to slip on a hairshirt and be yet another guy who can't go out and enjoy a round of golf when his lady is mad at him, and he might not get any that week. Big Mistake!

The issue here, Tiger, as I know that you're reading this searching for any clue to resolve this situation in your favor, is to put the past in the past and be the kind of man that you want to be and the kind of husband and father that you want to be. And the kind of man, husband and father that you want to be is the #1 golfer in the world who does NOT cheat on his wife.

Your problem is simple and easy to fix. Just don't cheat on your wife. All done. You are never going to wash away the sins of the past but don't wallow in them. Why do you think that all of sudden, not playing golf is a good idea? Really to me this speaks of far more serious issues than an affair, even a series of long-running affairs. It says to me that you think that if you can't wear the pants in your family the way that you want to wear them, then you refuse to wear them at all, and that's not being much of a husband or a father. It's time to man up and get back to living the way that you should be living and that is not being Mr. Mom.

Get with it, man.

Posted by: dubya1938 | December 11, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Um, dubya, you *do* know that TW is not actually here? You might want to go to his web site to give such wise advice?

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

ps Tiger I grant you that a series of skanky liasons with women like "Jamiee from"the Tool Factory" and "Rebecca Uchitel from Scores of Las Vegas" may not be impressive, but at least you weren't caught by the Feds ordering-up an underage trollop from Manhattan by way of New Jersey for sodomistic satisfaction one hour at a time, or exchanging hot emails with a teenage boy on a coworkers' staff after spending a week with him on a taxpayer-funded retreat and then getting yourself locked out of a male dormitory while in a drunken stupor. Thank you at least for that.

Posted by: dubya1938 | December 11, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

"Um, dubya, you *do* know that TW is not actually here? You might want to go to his web site to give such wise advice?"

LOL des he go to his website for advice? Might be a mistake. A wise man would come *here* for advice ;)

Posted by: dubya1938 | December 11, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Funny sock-puppet.

I think he des not.

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

SD, sounds like the scores I had the last time I bowled - no where to go (almost) but up.

I'll make a note to check on the doobie tomorrow am. Hope GBL feels well enough to go with you.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 11, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Yoki! any dessert cheese this evening?

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

Yes, Weed. A bit of Cambozola, some Oka, a piece of Brie, and a bit of aged Cheddar cheddar. A small fold of charcuterie. Some water-crackers, some rye-bread, toasted. A wedge of Bosc pear and a wee sip of red.

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Weed. A bit of Cambozola, some Oka, a piece of Brie, and a bit of aged Cheddar cheddar. A small fold of charcuterie. Some water-crackers, some rye-bread, toasted. A wedge of Bosc pear and a wee sip of red.

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the double post. Double-post?

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

Perhaps some ice-wine

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

And, of course, the heart, broken. With a bit of Bosc pear. And some ice wine.

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

I feel just a bit cheated that Yoki's comments seem to be arriving singly of late. I'd become accustomed to double-dosing.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 12, 2009 2:59 AM | Report abuse

I don't know much, but I know that Tiger will be comforted by Dubya's kind words & helpful advice.

And I am comforted by that knowledge.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 12, 2009 3:04 AM | Report abuse

Hey Martooni, so good to see you on the boodle.

Posted by: rainforest1 | December 12, 2009 4:14 AM | Report abuse

From Tom The Butcher's blog, Doc Ellis and the LSD No-No

I still hate Tom's windowing blog but his logo is cool.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 12, 2009 5:07 AM | Report abuse

Coffee is on in the ready room. Good and strong and hot.

Martooni, glad to see you.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 12, 2009 6:18 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of no-nos...

Energy is not always free for the taking, it seems, and apparently neither is "free" stuff in the District:

It'd be interesting to hear what the health care group thinks would be a reasonable charge for using the Armory.

And speaking of reasonable (NOT!):

*off-to-another-wonderful-weekend-apart-from-all-those-chores-n-stuff Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 12, 2009 6:20 AM | Report abuse

dr! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 12, 2009 6:31 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' Scotty.

Up and at em, sleepy heads. Its cold here,

You've got to get up, and do some jumping jacks to make sure you don't freeze up. Have your coffee and crawl back under the covers because it is too cold to do anyhting else. Unless you knit.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 12, 2009 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the AltaRock story Scotty. If they thought "just a few improvements" (in hard rock drilling) were right around the corner I'm pretty sure Exxon would be interested.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 12, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Cold here too, dr, but the sun's coming up, so that should improve.

Exactly so, Jumper...

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 12, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Ron Paul's book "End the Fed" came over the transom yesterday (because it's owner didn't want to touch it) and looking at it sent me into a reverie contemplating a libertarian dystopia I had not previously considered: when all public property reverts to the private, no one will have the right to tread on another's property without a grant of free access based on either the goodness of the owner's heart, or toll. In other words, every man will be a convict, a prisoner on his own acre.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 12, 2009 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all!

Hey, martooni, good to see you.

wpreader2007, enjoyed your 2:56 PM.

My spicy cheese cookies to the ready room for your consumption this cold, cold morning along with your coffee. Just hot out of the oven, shaped like a cookie, with pecan half in the middle. Don't have a straws press, this has always worked quite well. Maybe later in the week will bake bourbon balls, haven't done those for years. Usually a hit.

Posted by: VintageLady | December 12, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

My mother used to make great but rather strong bourbon balls when I was a kid. What great memories.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 12, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all!

Yoki, thanks for the wonderful cheese dish last night! I was stretching my back and just feel asleep. Thanks for putting the covered dish into the fridge. Turned into a wonderful breakfast.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 12, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Alas, William and Mary 13, Villanova 14.

Bitter, bitter are the pine nuts of defeat.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 12, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

The Post is running an interesting story on hunger and children in America. With the structure of the Post these days, and, as mentioned in the Boodle, the comments are almost as interesting as the story.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 12, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

My condolences, RD.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 12, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Doubly so, RD, considering that Nova gave up football 6 years ago.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 12, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of R AND D...

and marketing and reSEARCH. I say reSEARCH since in private indrustry, you get paid at least $15 an hour more doing that than REsearch.

Here is an interesting article in a paper that shall not be named home-based in the north:

As you know when I get my undies in a bunch for one reason or another, I whine about how America aides and abets large corporations crunch small little businesses... I am spending a couple of months working in a small capacity with a group mentioned in the piece and, being a web content person, am enjoying talking about the possible future (under attack as always).

The article has caused a corporate scurry as orders are flowing in. Funny!

It's amazing what bright (local) engineering minds and whacko market soothsayers can come up with.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 12, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Interesting article. My son is a Hulu addict. Maybe we'll try the stand-alone app this break. We have a Roku that I am very happy with since it has Netflix online and now works with Amazon On-Demand. I understand it now also has lots of video podcasts as well. In a pinch, I will download something from iTunes if I missed an episode of something not available for free.

Haven't tried Boxee yet although the TWiT crowd seems to love it. I'm not ready to go cable free quite yet. As the article confesses, live sports in HD on a nice screen is a killer app for FiOS and I like my Weeds just a little too much to cancel Showtime.

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

Good morning, everybody! Hi Cassandra!

The temp is up to freezing now, we had a cold night. Mr. T and I slept in till 7:30, that's almost unheard-of late for us. Luxurious!

Yum, spicy cheese cookies! Bourbon balls! My mom used to make creme de menthe balls, VL. I wonder if I could find the recipe? She used crushed vanilla wafers, I do remember that.

Tonight is the big party amongst our friends. This is the highlight of our social year - we don't get out much. I'll be making a brownie trifle and green beans and need to get on with the program, so I'll check in here periodically.

Posted by: slyness | December 12, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Latest of the last sad goodbye articles:

This one certainly points out how our world and our entertainment has changed.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 12, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I don't know about that funky remote mouse. A hundred bucks is a little pricey. I use a $15 wireless desktop mouse on a TV tray table but it doesn't always work quite right. Maybe The Loop is worth a try.

All my coworkers have standardized on the Logitech Harmony universal remote. It truly does work with everything (except a PC). Avoid the feature poor 510 model and get one of the discontinued but still available 550's. It doesn't have the full color screen of the more expensive ones, but it does nearly everything at a very good price.

I'm in the office this morning to catch up and I'm playing Pandora through my computer speakers over the Droid. Sounds great. I could be doing it through the computer browser, but I wanted to do a proof of concept test.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 12, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everyone beautiful sunny but cold morning here.

Spent yesterday prepping for our annual Christmas get together, tiring but a lot of fun.

Went to check the torch relay this morning but it seems the network forgot something very important when visiting Shriek's area, you MUST plug in the vehicles at night otherwise they freeze and drain the batteries. Truck that has the webcam had it's generator freeze - so not pictures of Shriek and the dogs :-(. Hopefully next Saturday when it is my area won't be so cold. To the north of us some areas (Huntsville where the G8 will be in June) received 50cm of snow, even for that area that is one large snow dump. We have no snow.

Now to get more coffee and put my brain in logical order.

Martooni - great news!

Posted by: dmd3 | December 12, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. Beautiful clear, cold morning here in the other federal capital.
I went to look at the Olympic Doobie relay with both dogs. There was a relay right in front of us. I may post pictures later. The CTV doobie-cam wasn't broadcasting because they couldn't start their generator...

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 12, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

So that explains why when I tried to view the torch relay, it said "check back tomorrow." I was looking forward to seeing SD and his dog(s). Ah well.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 12, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Aloha boodle! We experienced a warming trend overnight and it's almost up to 0. If we hit the predicted positive double digits this afternoon I will spend some time organizing the garage. The garage is heated, but organizing always involves lots of trudging outdoors with the trash/recycling/donations.

later gators

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 12, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Tom Shales is on thin ice here:

///...there is singing by {snip) Bruce Springsteen, who desecrates Woody Guthrie's American anthem "This Land Is Your Land."

What Springsteen does to that song shouldn't be done to a goose at Christmastime. ///


Posted by: yellojkt | December 12, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Judge for yourself, since I'm clearly not impartial.

And nothing is more moving than Bruce and Pete Seegar doing it together on Inauguration Eve:

Posted by: yellojkt | December 12, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Good to hear from all our Frozen North boodlers. Too bad about the doobie relay. They couldn't use the torch to warm up fule lines?

Posted by: yellojkt | December 12, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Hey jkt!

Sorry for the delay getting back. I was cleaning up from yesterday's pizza making adventure to return kitchen to some semblance of order. HA HA HA!!!

(I got a taste of the pizza for breakfast and it was well worth it!

Just wanted to respond to your neat review of the geekie and near-geekie household. I am working with the company that has the "doughnut thing" and can tell you that there is no in-between on the reactions as we preview the product. The majority of folks don't have a clue what they are looking at--no concept that you can plug a laptop into a HDTV and watch the internet in HD.

Most just walk by or know what we are doing. (I try to make it clear by putting up a window with stock market info and charts and then a netflix movie or ESPN360)... and then flip around--multi-tasking.

The minority but not uncommon response is a guy making sounds. I would say it is a bit of the male version of the Sally scene in Katz's Deli. Jkt, the device is motion driven, not directional and has a legit range of over 30 feet (RF). A little research will show you why some of the companies who "Pitch" motion handhelds are in trouble.

Yes, you can get rid of the tray.

On the cable/FIOS thing. I have business-grade FIOS and wouldn't give it up.... similar issues for those in the house. Channels still control much of the content that reaches us. Oddly, many of the gadgets are used by internationals to reach back from one country to the other. As you know, radio is far from dead. Audio feeds are very common, but having a bridge to equipment other than a laptop or desk top is nice. You can watch many movies on YouTube. I am even threatening to watch up to 50 episodes of Doogie Howser in the next two weeks.

The trick for the content providers such as Discovery to figure out how to monetize the products. ESPN and MSNBC are all over the space while units like CBS are still out to lunch at some posh NY eatery.

So the point that I am making is that the article focuses on dropping your channel provider, but in actuality, there is a far larger space to have both and you will find that interface boxes are wrestling for that hybrid space.

Finally, I hope that Joel writes something about Angus and the back-story.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 12, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

G'day y'all.

I ceremoniously wave an orange over the cookie dough bowl before I start baking. Therefore, my cookies qualify as fruits.

Posted by: MsJS | December 12, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Torch relay cam has been thawed,currently in Hull, QC across the river from Ottawa.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 12, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Welcome to grumpy Saturday. -35C (windchill, which is what counts), snowing for the 10th day in a row, the city is incapable of clearing the roads, the Flames lost last night, and I broke two fingernails.

Posted by: Yoki | December 12, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

*joining RD_P in the Cursing Villanova Club*

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 12, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Our rain yesterday turned into freezing rain yesterday at sundown, ie friday afternoon commute, and everyone promptly slid into the ditch.

Went out for a birthday treat and the bistro had the W&M - Nova game on. seems every time I checked the play way under review.

Posted by: bh72 | December 12, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

scc, was under review

Posted by: bh72 | December 12, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

For Rainforest,

Posted by: bh72 | December 12, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Totally off topic, but beautiful if you have a clear eastward night view: The Geminid meteor showers will peak Sun. and Mon. night.

Posted by: MsJS | December 12, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt and rt, I understood almost nothing in your techie posts. I read the article, and I understand a little, but I can assure you I will never go there. My kid was telling me the other day that I've fallen behind the technology bar, TV-wise, and there is no hope.

Posted by: seasea1 | December 12, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the reminder MsJS

Posted by: DNA_Girl | December 12, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Here's the Olympic doobie coming to our little tow. (first 3 pics)

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 12, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

SCC town... *sigh*

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 12, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Great pics, SD. Sorry the cameras were frozen this morning, was looking forward to spotting you and the pups in the crowd.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 12, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Depends, Yoki. Were they your own fingernails?

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 12, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I just re-read the Kit title, with the predictable results - "Free Tiger Woods". I'll take one! Is there an item limit? It is so seldom one gets anything for free these days.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 12, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I was easy to spot badsneakers, we were alone with the one security guy for 300-400 meters on our side of the street...

Now I've got to go surfing for recipes of stuffed pork fillets. Mrs. D. is making a chocolate-ginger cake with bourbon sauce (it will be a brandy sauce, this house doesn't do sour mash) for Witch no.1's birthday. It will be stiff competition; I've got to come up with something good.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 12, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I think I just had my personal wow moment of the day.

The groom of the upcoming Kievan nuptials was to take off today from Yoki's fair city but his plane is delayed. The Bride got the message minutes after I posted on her wall. She talked to him, and all is well, just late. All for free over the internet.

Maybe this new fangled technology is something a person ought to keep up with. Not sure I have the heart though.

Less than 50 years ago such speedy communication would have been unheard of. It would have taken weeks.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 12, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

What about telegrams and phone calls, dr?

But then, Kiev would have been part of the USSR.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 12, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

dr, #2 pointed out to me that I can communicate with her for free when she goes to Costa Rica next month thru Facebook - sounds like a deal to me.

Just finished baking the gingerbread people and house parts. They will be naked until tomorrow when granddaughters will come and try to outdo each other with mounds of frosting. I can't do any more baking until I make some room in the freezer and it's too soon to make the fudge. I guess I can take a break!

Posted by: badsneakers | December 12, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Actually even only a few years ago, communication between Moscow and Washington DC was horrible concerning a delayed flight, largely due to language barriers.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 12, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

(No internet was available, either.)

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 12, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Must be rape day. All three columns on the opinion page (Colby King, Mary Lou Hartman, and Donna McAleer & Erin Solaro) mention rape at least in passing. Interesting.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 12, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod - You sure about that? I was using the internet occasionally in the late 80's (piggybacking on a connection through CSU-Sacramento) and regularly in the early-to-mid 1990's through Quantum-Link, later to become AOL. That's more than a few years ago.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 12, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Bob, I think WB meant not much internet in the USSR back then - it was developing here, though rather infantile, but was probably unheard of there, except maybe for academics. We always had a second phone line for the modem, until 2003, when it became unnecessary because of DSL.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | December 12, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure, Bob S. When I say no internet was available, I meant in Moscow itself to stranded travellers.

Early in 2002, I was stuck with my friends for 3 days in Moscow in a hotel I shall nickname Hotel Gulag, we were under armed guard in the transit zone-- no visas.

Our parents couldn't get any information from Aeroflot on when we would be flying in-- they called but nobody "knew" anything, and they had to camp out at Dulles for 2 days, hoping their daughters hadn't "disappeared" in Moscow.

To top that off, I got sick as a dog and had to engage in one of those farcial translator chains involving 2 of my friends, the airline agent, and the doctor.

It was so epically bad that it deserves more detail than I can afford it here.

I never flew aeroflot again, even though when we finally got on a flight, we were travelling back with a group of Gallaudet students who had travelled Russia performing and told us of their wonderful experiences.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 12, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Ah, point taken. Just because the internet was available doesn't mean it was useful!

Posted by: bobsewell | December 12, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Shall serve an early dinner for those wishing this. Inspired by this quote from Iris Murdoch's Booker-prize winning novel, _The Sea, The Sea_

"Felt a little depressed but was cheered up by supper: spaghetti with a little butter and dried basil. (Basil is of course the king of herbs.) Then spring cabbage cooked slowly with dill..." --Charles Arrowby.

So, you have your choice:

basil-buttered pasta or
cabbage steamed with dill.

I cooked them in separate kitchens, so the smells will not offend. Oh my! I have two kitchens in cyperspace. How fun.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 12, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

DR, Wb, and BS -- Iris Murdoch recommends this strategy for long distance communication:

From _The Book and the Brotherhood_ (1988):

"To send a message to someone at a distance, each of you has a snail, and you tell your snail what you want to say, and the person with the other snail gets the message. You have to put a spell on the snails of course." --Lily Boyne

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 12, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Well, you would, wouldn't you? Have to put a spell on the snails, I mean.

(Such an easy & obvious solution to communication problems. I'm surprised it's not employed more widely.)

Posted by: bobsewell | December 12, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Aaah, this is why snails have antennas.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 12, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Nice, shriek. Laughing out loud here.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 12, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Which, of course, reminds me of that wonderful New Yorker cartoon of one snail saying to another:

"I don't care if she is a tape dispenser. I love her."

Can't improve on that.

Posted by: -ftb- | December 12, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

A shame about W&M's loss last night, and well, I'm impressed that Army kept Navy close for most of that particular football game in Philly ths evening.

Looking forward to the meteor showers this weekend, though it looks like we have some weather moving in later tonight... bah!

Have a good evening, all.


Posted by: -bc- | December 12, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I don't think of snails as communication vehicles, though they are delicious vehicles for conveying butter and garlic to my taste buds.

Getting a few things done around the house with the NCAA Div 1 Semifinal football between App St. and Montana on in the background. App St.'s up 17-14 in the 3rd quarter with snow coming down on the field - I do like December football.


Posted by: -bc- | December 12, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Just on the off-chance that anybody has missed the cartoon ftb mentioned, here's a handy link. The New Yorker has even generously offered to part with one of their precious copies, for a small remittance!

Posted by: bobsewell | December 12, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, not to seem odd or anything, but 50 years ago, people just didn't do a lot of the things that we don't even think about today.

I'm fifty one. When I was small, we lived only 7 miles from town. My mom, and every other women only went to town once a week. Anbody who did more than that was subject to a lot of gossip about organization and such. She went to the city maybe 4 times a year. Her parents lived about 20 miles away but she only phoned them every couple of weeks. It was long distance and you didn't waste the money. In order to send a telegram, you would have gone to town, (though it may have had to go from the city) but you'd never send a telegram. A telegram would have signified a death.

Flying? ARE you kidding me? Only rich people flew. That was unthinkable. There was not a soul, not even the well to do people who went far enough to need flying. Vips and big shots might have flown, but not real people.

50 years ago, our town still had those big old battery on the bottom phones, and an operator who directed the calls. She was a nice lady, but your parents surely would hear about it, if any child was so brave as to pick up the phone and try to place a call on their own, and the talk would not have been kind. Stricly verbotten.

50 years ago, people still bathed once a week because somebody somewhere was carrying, pumping and otherwise managing water. It was unthinkable to waste more effort than once a week. You learned to wash really well though, with a face cloth and a basin of hot water, which you all shared, oldest to youngest. Where I ome from, wood stoves were still common. Power was to pricey for a lot of people, so they had wood stoves. Wood stoves and drop toilets and cisterns and cream cans and seperators and furnaces you toked with coal if you werelucky enough to have a furnace other than your stove. We were not at all backwards, just country. Things as septics systems and non party lines and driving whilly nilly all over the place were about 15 years away.

50 years ago, you listened to the radio in the morning. There wasn't anything on tv at all till 10 a.m. and then it was Chez Helene and the Friendly giant. the wolrd had not yet invented big bird, except perhaps as an egg in Jim Hensons fertile imagination.

50 years ago the world was just different. Newsies respected position enough that President Kennedy's assignations were kept out of the general news and we all still believed that teachers, priests and govenrments knew what was best for us.

Tenchnology was the fancy Gestetner that the school secretary had, and TV and that was pretty much it.

So here I sat this morning, conversing with my soon to be daughter-in-law in Kiev about a delayed flight and yeah. I went wow. In a lot of ways, now that I think about it, it blows my mind even more. Sends shivers right down my back.

Just wow.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 12, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Please forgive any mispellings, missing letters and bad grammar. The feeling was true and heartfelt and that is what I was trying to convey.

And no, nobody I know would have 'toked' a furnace. They would have burned their lips and coal fumes wouldn't have done a lot for you anyway.

Stoked, dr, stoked.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 12, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Very nice, dr. Hope the Kiev trip goes well. Is your son on his way?

We're having a low-key turkey dinner in honor of my son being here in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. He leaves tomorrow, with his iPhone and laptop which keep him connected to his world.

Posted by: seasea1 | December 12, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

I think he is stuck in Calgary for a while longer. 12 hours till the next flight they booked for him. Cold and the storms in the east were slowing everything down.

Its a funny new world isn't it, seasea. I mean, here we are, far apart and yet, in a way, living in each others pockets. Amazing.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 12, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

My parents are older than you, dr-- nearly old enough to be your parents.

Although my mom grew up right in the middle of town, and my dad grew up in a small city, both in the Midwest.

My mom's mom didn't get a washing machine until she was nearly a teenager, so washed by hand, so she had to keep her clothes clean and get at least 3 days' wear out of them. My grandmother kept up a clothesline until she moved into a seniors' apartment.

I grew up with clotheslines until we moved out to the DC metro area-- too much rain for that to be viable.

You're right that flying would be out of reach financially for most back then, but that was about to change during the 60's.

I am glad you're thinking about the differences between now and then.

When I was little, there was nearly nothing captioned on TV except for ABC news, a little Sesame street. I had to watch my siblings laugh at shows I couldn't understand.

I absolutely could not make any kind of phone calls except to other deaf people via TTYs; I had to rely on my family to do that for me. It wasn't until high school that I was informed of phone relays.

Now it may soon be possible for me to call 911 directly from my phone relay account, with a permanent address.

I hope so because that isn't an amusing telecommunications gap to suffer from.

I'm hanging onto my old TTY (which cost more than my parents' washing machine at the time) until I'm sure I will never need it again for an emergency 911 call.

I'm glad not to have to care about gossip over my travel habits, either.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 12, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

bc, snails communicate best through butter and garlic. Mmaybe with a little bit of focaccia on the side to sop up all the juices.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 12, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

There are still some fairly "remote" places on this planet. Mr. F spent a good time at the Verizon store last night getting Ma Frost-in-law the best rate possible on her cell phone for calling Gambia. Our nephew is there with the Peace Corps and only has e-mail access once every couple of weeks. He has been calling her, then having her call him back because of the high cost of his cell phone minutes. Mr. F was able to get her cost down from $4+ a minute, but it's still over $2.

Personally, I think they should both attempt snail mail. Their calls are so short they can't possibly catch up on everything so what's the difference if news is a couple weeks old? For Ma Frost-in-law it would be a bit of warm nostalgia, the nephew could pick up a new skill.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 12, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

There were a lot of things that nobody would miss, Wilbrod, from those days. The technology that improves lives makes a real difference.

I have to think that the old honey pot days of my youth would rank really highly on my dad's list of things he absolutely doesn't miss. But there are lots of little things that are different, but not better today.

Like the paper that used to be wrapped around Christmas oranges. Used to be softer. That mattered, because the old Eaton's catalogues had a lot of clay in their shiny paper.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 12, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

frosty, I would take a guess that even snail mail isn't all that fast.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 12, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Oops. I must go. Curling is on. enough with the boodle hogging.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 12, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Snail mail, as I said, requires a spell.

SD's witchy progeny might be able to help us.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 12, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

frosti - It's not as handy as dialing directly, but Ma Frost-in-law really ought to explore the pre-paid calling cards. I'd be very, very surprised if you can't find one that will knock the price down to well under a thirty cents-per-minute (more likely, under ten or fifteen cents-per-minute) for Gambia.

Definitely worth the minor hassle of routing the call through a second phone number, I'd think.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 12, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: -jack- | December 12, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

interesting cover of Saturday Night's alright for Fighting. Looks as if it was shot a number of years ago during the Kennedy Center Awards. Lots of black ties. The formality contrasts with Kid Rock.

Posted by: -jack- | December 12, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Howdy. We weren't quite country 40 years ago, had a septic system and our own phone and all that (still do, though it is an updated septic system), but it was still a big deal to go into town (about 7 miles). I was thirteen years old before I knew you could go into a store and try clothes on without intending to buy anything.

Flying wasn't just limited by financial constraints; as dr says, people just didn't travel that far so didn't need to fly. Later, in the sixties, we did long long car trips. One would think I'd seen a lot of Middle America, but no. Motion sickness prompted frequent ingestions of dramamine, which meant mainly I got lots of sleep.

Today I had to take the Boy to a local large mall, to join a party seeing a movie. I told him this was a direct measure of my love for him, since going to a mall two weeks before Christmas is not on my activity list. They saw "2012" and had a great time, jeering and laughing. Sometimes a bad movie is the best to see with a group of good friends.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 12, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

frosti - While I'm hardly prepared to vouch for the accuracy of the information, or the reliability of the products, the pages below list oodles of options for calling cards to access cellphone numbers in Gambia. Even at the high end, they're under fifty cents-per-minute. Alternatively, just walk into any market patronized by recent immigrants and/or folks with kin in Africa and/or South America, and ask around. Trust me, somebody there knows where to get the good deals on calling cards:

Posted by: bobsewell | December 12, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Por Mudge

María Nieves Rebolledo Vila

as Bebe: Sings this song: "Malo"

Posted by: omnigood | December 12, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Taking a break from curling. Much yelling of 'Hurry. Hard.' Good Times.

That is exactly it, Ivansmom. It wasn't that you couldn't if you had the money, but rather that you wouldn't have thought of it. Unheard of. Only in dreams of movie stars.

And oh dear heavens, Mrdr just looked up our local forecast.

TonightClear. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 43. Extreme wind chill minus 46 this evening. SundaySunny. High minus 32. Sunday nightClear. Low minus 40.


Posted by: --dr-- | December 12, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Omniiiii! Ever good!

Posted by: --dr-- | December 12, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Isn't minus 40 the point where Mr. Fahrenheit and Mr. Celsius get together and, presumably, have a cup of hot tea?

Posted by: -pj- | December 12, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Call me mathematically inclined if you will, but isn't -40 Celsius the same as -40 Fahrenheit?

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

-40 Kelvin is just too darned cold to contemplate!


Posted by: bobsewell | December 12, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

That is cold dr, makes the -20 wind chills we had yesterday seem balmy. Nice day here, but I am sure your weather will be moving here before too long.

-40F/-40C are the same, and are best described (insert favorite curse here) COLD.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 12, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

I do believe you are correct. If Mr. Fahrenheit and Mr. Celsius are getting together to have a cup of tea, they are probably doing it on some beach in some warm country on the equator.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 12, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Come to think of it, heads up Frosty. Stoke the fires now while you still can!

Posted by: --dr-- | December 12, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

wow. I've been in -20F when I lived in Potsdam. Cars do strange things when it gets that cold. like snow inside the vehicle when the defroster is turned on. -43 is beyond comprehension. Down comforters.

Posted by: -jack- | December 12, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Ice lemon tea for Mr. Fahrenheit and Mr. Celsius coming up....

Posted by: rainforest1 | December 12, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

I spent a few weeks in Fairbanks (AK) in the mid-1980's in January-February. It hit about -50F (-45C) for a couple of days. Mind-bogglingly cold. The general expectation seemed to be that if you managed to get lost in the dark, they'd just write you off as dead, and try to find your body after the thaw.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 12, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

I remember that temps in the vicinity of -15F, give or take 5, would freeze your esophagus to about clavicle level. The first few breaths outdoors had to be made slowly, as to not leave you gasping. At first I grew my hair long because I could. then I moved to Potsdam. I continued to let my hair grow because it helped keep me warm.

Posted by: -jack- | December 12, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Thats why scarves, t-necks and coats that cover the neck help, Jack.

-13F thereabouts tonight, which is tropical in comparsion. -20 is tough but doable.

At -25 and below Wilbrodog wants a heater for his personal doings, though.

We have old snow, which doesn't help his paws either.

At this rate we will have a green Christmas just because it's been so cold all the snow evaporated off the ground.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 12, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Glad you didn't have to wait until the thaw to bob up, Bob S.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 12, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Hello everyone, back from Sunday School party. Great time was had by all, including our new pastor. I had enough white wine to tide me over till the new year. We have a new couple in the class, and the guy is a wine distributor. What he provided was excellent (we took up a collection to pay for it.)

The end of the Appalachian/Montana game was a disappointment for all in attendance, especially those in the group who are App grads. We understand the team will be back to Boone around 3 a.m. Eastern. The quarterback graduates tomorrow.

I remember life before dishwashers and dryers. My mother hung clothes outside in good weather, in the bathroom in bad weather. Winter was tough for her, because the skin on her hands would dry and crack to the point of bleeding, from having them in water so much. Periodically, she would slather vasoline on her hands at bedtime and sleep with cotton gloves on, to help them heal.

I am grateful for my very own problems. They are so minor, I have nothing that I can legitimately complain about.

Posted by: slyness | December 12, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Interesting article from across the pond regarding a founding member of Iran's Revolutionary Guar that is now using technology to guide students in the ways of a counter revolution.

and this, because it reminded me of the song. See how young they are...

Posted by: -jack- | December 12, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

I grew up in a suburb of Boston with a lot more modern conveniences, it seems, than many of you. We had sewers, good bus and train service. Going to Boston was no big deal. However, Mom didn't have a dryer until I was in high school and always hung clothes outside. We finally got an 'extension phone' -which was an extra charge on the bill, after the second or third time my Dad tripped over the long phone wire that used to snake through the house and into my room. My first plane ride was to California when I was 16 - people got dressed up to fly back then.

Slyness, I still use the vasoline and cotton gloves routine in winter sometimes. There are some things you can't improve on.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 12, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

dr -- I am about 20+ years older than you, and I agree with all you wrote. Particularly about the "wow" factor, I do that all the time -- stop and think about how amazingly different things are today.

Posted by: nellie4 | December 12, 2009 11:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm a just a couple of years younger (49 in April), not quite so "country". We had a dryer from pretty early on, but always hung the clothes when weather permitted. Always had at least one TV, and I'm pretty sure my folks had a second small one in their bedroom from pretty much the time that they had enough space to have a bedroom of their own. [I'm the oldest, so they were stuck with me in a one-bedroom apartment initially.] The first color TV was a neat change, didn't get that until I was about nine. Bonanza, Gilligan's Island & Star Trek were in color. Who knew?

I think my first real "WOW" moment was when I was driving across the country in the early 1980's, and realized that I could call a 1-800 telephone number, and someone would tell me where to find a nearby ATM which would dispense cash from my checking account. No need to try to find someplace that would accept a credit card (not nearly as many places did back then) or an out-of-town check. That was an exhilarating moment of liberation.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 13, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

I was amused when my dad remarked upon the fact that he had just paid more for a new car than he payed for the first house that he & mom bought. I'm guessing that's one of those things that makes you realize that you're getting a little long in the tooth. Or that your car budget has dramatically expanded.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 13, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

dr, you and I share, I think, a certain gratitude for today. I was talking about this with my family last September.

50 years ago, when I was but a babe, and got rheumatic fever, I was left with a heart murmur, because the only reliable antibiotic was Sulfa. Not good enough.

We had to send letters when we were in distress, which took time to deliver, and more to reply, and so we waited and waited for good news.

The great thing is, to be here, now. When life is better, objectively, than it was then. And to remember both times.

I am delighted to still be here, on the intertubes.

And I had a very happy evening with my family, tonight. We ate North African-style warm chicken stew and couscous and salad and flat bread and yogurt, watched on dvd the condensed Monty Python doc and all of "Up!" Which touched our hearts so deeply, and made us laugh and weep in equal parts. Amazing. I am sorry for every bad thing I ever said about CGI.

Posted by: Yoki | December 13, 2009 12:47 AM | Report abuse

Julie Ponzi still hasn't apologized for grossly misrepresenting Achenbach at NoLeftTurns, has she?

Don't bother asking why that happens to come up at the moment, but I don't intend to let her forget it until she chooses to admit that she was ignorant and/or intellectually dishonest.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 13, 2009 1:57 AM | Report abuse

Good for you, bobsewell! Stay true and honest (though I guess Julie Ponzie won't care).

Posted by: Yoki | December 13, 2009 2:23 AM | Report abuse

Good for you, bobsewell! Stay true and honest (though I guess Julie Ponzie won't care).

Posted by: Yoki | December 13, 2009 2:23 AM | Report abuse

Jaysus God! No wonder I am open to ridicule.

Posted by: Yoki | December 13, 2009 3:00 AM | Report abuse

My grandmother (rest her soul) was born just after the turn of the century. For her 80th birthday my dad gave a speech describing all the technological change she had seen in her lifetime. It was pretty amazing. I think people of her generation had the most adjustment to make. Changes in the past thirty years or so, except for the computer/internet revolution (which is a big one) have been in degree not kind.

My dad's speech stunned the crowd. Alas, there is no record of it, but I do have video of him balancing a spoon on his nose.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 13, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Oh, *help* --

I woke up with no water. None. Nobody in either building of the condominium has it. So, no breakfast (or any meal), no laundry, no watering of plants, and (presumably) no holiday party later today. And, yes, I could go out for breakfast (if there's no ice on the roads), but could not brush my teeth (I hate gamey teeth) afterwards. I would love a huge mug of tea, but where's the water gonna come from, eh?

I had absolutely no intention of feeling grumpy today, but, well, somehow, I *am*!

Anyone wanna fax me a reservoir?

Posted by: -ftb- | December 13, 2009 8:00 AM | Report abuse


I had never heard of Julie Ponzi before. Here is what she said about him in 2006. (Read the second item first.)

That all seems so long ago.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 13, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Here is a Canucki hipster indie rock remake of the Band-Aid "Feed The World" song. This version is to support Canadian domestic violence charities.

The band that spearheaded the project with their Polaris Award winnings has a very unfortunate boodle-unsafe word in their name. But it does feature my future girlfriends (either serially or ménage à) Tegan and Sara.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 13, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle! Thanks for the phone card tips bobs-will pass on to Mr. F.

A tropical -12F here this morning. The moon rose around 7:00 and is still bright in the sky ahead of the sun. Gorgeous.

ftb-nothing worse than losing water with no warning. Mr. F used to laugh at me for filling every available container with water ahead of storms. Then he realized just how nice it is to be able to brush teeth and have coffee when the pump can't run.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 13, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Ai chihuahua, ftb!!! Where shall I fax the plumber??? :-O

Ponzi obviously needs to stick to finding her next big scheme -- reading comprehension, in this case. *SIGH*

Looking like a wet wrapup to the weekend here... *more SIGHHHH*

Just heard about a litter of 20 (yes, two-zero) mastiff puppies in Ohio. Talk about a Xmas surprise! :-)

Negative Kelvin temperatures? Kinda imaginary, I'd say... *L*

*always-happy-to-have-a-nice-340-degree-kelvin-cuppa-coffee-in-the-morning Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 13, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Absolutely, Scotty.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 13, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning Everyone.

Oh ftb. I feel badly for you. Of all modern conveniences hot water is the one I cherish most.

Although high-speed internet is close.

Also, let it be known that this morning Gene Weingarten nearly prompted a personal injury lawsuit. His WP article made me laugh so hard I nearly spilled my hot coffee.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 13, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

An inspiring story to start the day, perhps ftb needs the ingenuity of this young man to tap a resevoir for her.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 13, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. ftb, you have my sympathy. When the power goes out or our water tank lines freeze we have no water. Usually we can find a bottle or glass of nightime water or something to brush teeth. In heavy rains we've collected rainwater (or sometimes melting ice runoff) to use to flush the toilet. I hope your water problems are fixed soon!

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 13, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse


Most factual piece Gene has ever written. I smell second Pulitzer.

And speaking of journalists that spend too much time on Twitter, methinks [poop_normal.jpg] doth protest too much.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 13, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

RD_P, not sure 'Mudge will share your enthusiasm for Gene's latest. Attributing the Bard to Dorothy Parker is giggle-worthy, of course.

And considering how AGW deniers feel Big Media is part of the conspiracy, I wonder how this article will go over:


Posted by: Scottynuke | December 13, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

A rare Sunday A-blog kit has just been posted...Hope everyone's having a great weekend.

Posted by: joelache | December 13, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Here in the building services industry we have a slightly corny saying that "The Plumber Protects The Health Of The Nation." We have too much infrastructure we take way too much for granted. Here is hoping that your water is restored quickly. Sponge bathing with bottle water is no fun.

This morning my front steps were suitable for the curling semi-finals. I had to go out through the garage. Lets hope things thaw a little before I head home. But no DC denizen will ever be able to trump the troubles of our Haute Maine (and Minnefrozen) neighbors. Keep warm folks.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 13, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

mudged by Joel. Dangit.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 13, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

dmd, I saw William on the Daily Show a few months ago but it was a treat to read the article. What a great story and what a charming young man.

ftb, I am so sorry to hear about your lack of water. I hope you get it back quickly. Amazing how much we take for granted every day!

Posted by: badsneakers | December 13, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, RD, for the Weingarten suggestion. I don't usually stumble upon him (looking for a particular columnist would be work) but that was risible indeed.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 13, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

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