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The blizzard of '09

The big one.

These things usually miss, don't they? Veering at the last second? The massive storm turning into a light dusting? Not this time. Already got at least 8 inches here in NW DC and it's going to snow all day.

Gentlemen, start your shovels.

(And yes, it pays to start shoveling even when it's still coming down. Discuss.)


In the meantime, here's my story on the craziness in the U.S. Senate:

Midnight sessions. Testiness. Rancor. Collegial courtesies obliterated. Clerks forced to read gobbledygook legislation for hours on end as the clock ticks toward Christmas.

So goes the debate on health-care reform in an institution that boasts of being the world's greatest deliberative body. Certainly it's one of the quirkiest, governed by rules and procedures of antediluvian vintage.

The Democrats had long dreamed of having a filibuster-proof "supermajority" of 60 votes. Under Senate rules, 60 votes will be needed to close debate and then have a final yea or nay on the health-care reform bill. There are currently 58 Democrats and two independents who caucus with them.

But life at 60 has been awkward for the Democrats. The supermajority is super-fragile. That number 60 keeps toggling toward 59 as individual senators threaten to go rogue unless their demands are met.

When there's no margin of error, any senator can be king.

Republicans, meanwhile, have done everything they can, short of pulling the fire alarm, to stall what they consider to be a disastrous government intervention in the nation's health-care system. They're refusing to waive cumbersome parliamentary processes that are rarely required. Thus the Senate will convene early Saturday during what is expected to be the biggest snowstorm in years. Democrats envisage spending much of the day listening to clerks read a 500-page amendment to the health-care package.

Democrats anticipate that the GOP will insist that the full 2,000-page bill be read as well in days to come. Sessions are likely to go round-the-clock.

"I've never seen anything like this," said Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.). "They've got a strategy here -- they just want to bollix everything up. They're overplaying their hand. This is heading into the theater of the absurd."

Click here to keep reading.

By Joel Achenbach  |  December 19, 2009; 9:39 AM ET
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Next: Blizzard of 2009 Photos


Reposted from previous kit:

Good morning, you all!

Over a foot, so far, but no wind, a blessing. We are about 20 minutes or so from Dulles Airport, by our backroad route. We've cleared the deck once, the birds were waiting for me to unlock the feeder at first light light. The eastern bluebirds join the regulars to munch on hulled sunflower seeds.

A Christmas Card picture is outside my kitchen window. Tall, fat pine boughs absolutely covered in globs in snow frosting with Madame Cardinal placidly viewing all from inside deep, covered interior of the tree.

Because we still have power, I am baking the tole house cookies from the dough I mixed last night. About 120 cookies. Thanks be for my mixmaster (Kitchen Aid), as my hands and arms no longer care for the manual labor.

Next up for baking: Pecan Pumpkin Butter Dessert Squares, made with Muirhead pumpkin butter. Then some oatmeal raisin cookies.

Posted by: VintageLady | December 19, 2009 9:45 AM

Posted by: VintageLady | December 19, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

My wife just forced me to do a quality control test on one of the Snickerdoodles that just came out of the oven.

Life is hard.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | December 19, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Joel, as I mentioned near the end of the last boodle, I am an enthusiastic advocate of continually shoveling. Letting the problem build up just makes it all the more difficult to solve. It's sort of like with leaves. Or the deficit.

The problem with keeping after the snow is that the longer you shovel the greater the chance of wrenching your back. Because it isn't necessarily the weight of the snow that does it, but using poor technique.

Of course, a popular approach to this and other such chores is to beget strapping lads. (Or to produce winsome youths who can attract strapping lads. Because, as we all know, young men will preform Herculean Feats to impress a young lady.)

The point is, one of the miracles of heavy snow is that it makes you appreciate that there really are advantages to having teenagers. Assuming, of course, you can get them out of bed in the morning.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 19, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I am disgusted with the rogues. I am disgusted with fat and skinny old men who are filled with their own self-importance. I don't believe they give squat for the seriously ill who cannot afford adequate health care coverage.

I shall not forget. Do you hear me Webb & Warner? Do your duty and do all that you can to get adequate coverage for the constituency who brought you to the dance.

Posted by: VintageLady | December 19, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Great article about the Senate. Excellent and truly unbiased reporting, which is all- too-rare in this super-heated environment.

I despise the extortion, by members of both parties, inherent in the process. What happened to considering a bill as an end in itself and not as a bargaining chip?

I know, of course, that many Senators do not view this bill as simply a way to influence Clout. But those who do really ought to be ashamed of themselves. And those constituents who applaud exploiting the system for pork and partisan talking points ought to be ashamed. We deserve better.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 19, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

BBC4 Pink Stinks interview with history of clothing expert Jo Paoletti: brief history of gendered-color children's clothing

Worth a listen: hey, pink did not always signify femininity.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 19, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse


Pictures and video from the G house...

It has just picked up tremendously here. I'll post more later.


Posted by: -TBG- | December 19, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Sampling of the yard in College Park, MD yields:

9 inches
9 1/2 inches
10 inches
10 1/4 inches

and a modest swirl of a drift at 12 inches.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 19, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

A question -- can the Health Care Legislation Cold War/Siege engulfing the Hill possibly end well?

I suppose it will have to change somewhat in order to end at all, and in that end, *somebody's* not going to be happy.

The political games are running thick and deep, and even the parts of the iceberg we *can* see are not pretty.

The optimism shown by the Democrats is admirable and the gamesmanship and strategy deployed by the GOP is effective if ruthless.

Still, public enthusiasm for this legislation is being worn away by the length of the siege and the constant deployment of fear to support one side or the other.

Now, off into the snow for work and play, and some hot chocolate later.


Posted by: -bc- | December 19, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

It's good to see that Joel isn't spending the weekend covering the Senate. Or at least is managing to be away from the Capitol. Come to think of it, does the Metro run during a big snowstorm?

Sen. Nelson's offer to vote for the health care bill included so many escape clauses that it seemed a statement that he'll find something wrong with the final bill that will emerge from conference, and so will vote against it. , and so will sink it, perhaps on Christmas Eve.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 19, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Great pics TBG, now I know what to expect here. Stay safe all you DC area boodlers.

Every time I see certain senators on TV I am amazed by their stunning lack of moral character and the obvious lack of brains (or maybe they just pretend to be stupid?). How do these doofuses get elected? And the representatives are even worse. It's all, what can I get or how can I screw the other side. Oh how I wish for some statesmen/women - just people who want to do right by the country as a whole.

Off to deliver cookies. I look forward to this as a time to visit with my oldest friend. Part of my Christmas tradition.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 19, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

DoftheC - but why would Nelson do that? That would just end up selling out everyone.

Of course, I worry too. It's sort of like being in the last quarter of a Redskins game when they have a narrow lead.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 19, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

It's good to see that Joel isn't spending the weekend covering the Senate. Or at least is managing to be away from the Capitol. Come to think of it, does the Metro run during a big snowstorm?

Sen. Nelson's offer to vote for the Senate health care bill seems to be paired with gobs of reasons to vote against whatever final bill emerges from conference with the House.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 19, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Round One of the Blizzard has me triumphant. I did even rouse the sleeping teenager. Gotta keep your powder dry and save your biggest weapons for when you need it.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 19, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Read the Senate story on my Nook e-reader. Very nice.

Posted by: wiredog | December 19, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Hi wiredog!

Posted by: -TBG- | December 19, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Time to make cookies.




Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 19, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Morning y'all.

Yikes! That be some snow storm. All of you with small pets keep an eye out lest they get lost.

I was living in Malden, MA during the blizzard of 1978. An incredible experience. I wish I still had the photos. The Chicago blizzard in January of 1967 was pretty incredible too.

Origami folding is DONE! Added a snake, heart, and long-haired sheep to the collection this morning. Will post photos eventually, but have to recharge camera battery first.

Posted by: MsJS | December 19, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I'm in the doghouse
Helped myself to pie on floor;
(I put it there... so?)


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 19, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Friend and neighbor (and once-in-a-blue-moon Boodler) Bailey decided to head for DC, yesterday. Shaking head. Here in Charlotte, I see ice in the very tip ends of the tree tops, nothing more. Wet ground and cold air, granted. But we are thankfully unscathed. No word yet from the sinking dock people.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 19, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

More pictures...

Posted by: -TBG- | December 19, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

That definitely looks like snow, TBG. Pretty! We don't have as much here; clearly somebody's been carpetbagging our snow.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 19, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

checking back in on you snowbirds. looks like fun, but it would have been better on a school day, right? with school called off that is.

faxing some mexican hot chocolate for the snow shovelers...

Posted by: LALurker | December 19, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Suburban snow--nature's sabbath--
Nothing to do but shovel
As if there's nothing else left to do in the world.

Posted by: woofin | December 19, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I doubt there'll be school all next week. The kids get off early on Wed anyway, so I think it'll be an easy call.

I mean, they have to plow all the parking lots, sidewalks and entryways for all 197 schools in the county. And make sure there are places on the side of the roads for the kids to wait for the bus.

Nope... I don't think the kids'll be going back to school this year.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 19, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

At our Jewpardy Party last night, the vice principal left saying "See you next year."

Posted by: yellojkt | December 19, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I must say that it's really pretty out there. The storm even found its way into the Swedish papers. I guess there just isn't enough information about the Tiger Woods scandal to justify the space anymore.

Just finished scooting out the holiday emails. This afternoon I need to do the crafting of presents for friends and colleagues and a client. *Hoping the power stays on*

Definitely need some lunch and some of RDP's and Sneaks' cookies.

I've been invited to a lunch on Xmas eve downtown. Wonder if the streets will be plowed by then. Um, my feeling is a resounding NO. Yet still hoping.

This is a gas! Reminds me of my younger days in Michigan and Sweden. SNOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!

Posted by: -ftb- | December 19, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Inspired by TBG, I am also live-blogging the blizzard.

And some pumpkin spice bread is in the oven.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 19, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

For anyone who needs to practice before the next party:

Posted by: bobsewell | December 19, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Heavy snow now and wind picking up in balmer,just watched some neighborhood kids running and jumping into the street.As kids we used to just sled and use anything we could to slide down our street hill.unfortunately all my sleds are in west by god.

i am out to shovel job #1 with what i think will be several times today and tonight.

it sure is pretty,but i do miss west virginia and snow in the mountains.

more later

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 19, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Snowing and gorgeous outside.

I took a few pictures, but I don't know how to link them here.

Mexican chocolate cookie dough is chilling in the refrigerator.

I feel like I need to cook and bake more.

Maybe maple walnut bread? Mmmmm. Yes, indeed.

Posted by: Moose13 | December 19, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Love all the pics. Thank you for braving the elements avec camera.

Here are photos of the 2009 Holiday Money Origami collection. I think. Not as dramatic or newsworthy as a blizzard. But they were great fun to fold.

Posted by: MsJS | December 19, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Neat, JS!

Posted by: bobsewell | December 19, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, I managed to post an unfinished draft, from a stage when I was trying to make sense of Sen. Nelson's own description of his position(s) on the health care bill. Then the finished version. I'm not sure what I did wrong. Apologies.

Anyway, Ezra Klein is sounding optimistic about Sen. Nelson voting for the final health care bill.

Does Bailey have a four wheel drive with lots of ground clearance, snow tires, a winch, and plenty of blankets and chocolate in case of a stranding? Did he take Amtrak? An attempt to drive to DC seems more of an exuse to have an adventure than an expression of an intention to actually complete the trip. That makes me wonder whether there's a literary classic about a pilgrim who never really intended to make it all the way to the shrine?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 19, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Good work, MsJS!

Posted by: Moose13 | December 19, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

That's a literary classic I'd read, DotC.

Nephew's girlfriend drove more than 9 1/2 hours from Chapel Hill and only reached as far as my sister's house in Fredericksburg (GF's "inlaws") at 3:30 am. I guess there'll be a "getting to know you" weekend down there. Nice.

Extended Family Christmas has officially been postponed until Jan 2.

More pictures...

Posted by: -TBG- | December 19, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Aaargh! This sort of thing irks me.

"King: Cut D.C.'s party hardy bus" (This is the teaser on the link from the website home page. I don't know whether I received a newspaper today or not. It might be out there somewhere!)

"... D.C. taxpayer-financed nightly bus service that is free to patrons who want to party hardy and do high-end dining in a resurgent neighborhood. ..."

Ummm, dudes, it's party HEARTY, man! (Although I suppose if you keep at it all night long, you're also partying hardy.)

Posted by: bobsewell | December 19, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Backboodling, I've felt just as if I've been on a wonderful progressive dinner with a bunch of friends. Which we are.

I was going to the country for the weekend, but decided to stay home. I've spent the morning packing boxes to ship to the country, about 10# of chocolate babka, Polish candy, crystal votives, St. Jude's ornaments and (of course) jewelry. I'm going to say I made the cards myself because I took the pictures and placed them in the photo cards. Now to brave the snow and Post Office lines, then pick up some, um, milk and bread.

Cutter, the black BMD/collie mix, is never happier than when plowing through deep snow. He comes back flocked with snow; just as the lab never seems wet, the snow merely decorates his coat. He's so old and I'm grateful to share his joy one more time.

RD, would a bale of straw, spread heavily, help?

Will fax cookies later. Hope everybody is as warm as they wish to be.

Posted by: -dbG- | December 19, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Copy Edit Alert! *maybe someonee already caught this*

Mr. A writes: "Gentleman, start your shovels."

Probably should be "gentlemen." Or in this gender-enlightened boodle, perhaps a plural noun that encompasses both sexes. After all at the Indy 500, the term used since the Janet Guthrie days is "racers."

Maybe Homebodies? Or Suckers? Any other ideas to help Mr. A out?

Posted by: MsJS | December 19, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

MsJS... I like to think there's one man out there with loads of shovels, visiting folks and clearing driveways all over town.

I'm hoping he shows up here because that's the only way my driveways going to be cleared.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 19, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

well, here's hoping that both kids and adults get a couple of snow days out of the blizzard. a fun way to start the holiday break! just hope that snow doesn't interfere too much with travel and fun holiday events.

Posted by: LALurker | December 19, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Those questions were a lot harder than ours. We tend towards the pop cultural.

There is no trace that I even shoveled, so it's time for Round 2. Teenage son still fast asleep. Or just plain hiding.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 19, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

This headline makes me laugh:
"Bears having trouble getting to Baltimore"

That's a good thing, no? Or maybe it has something to do with football...

Posted by: seasea1 | December 19, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

DC and I are snowed in, and she's really enjoying it. We have the stereo cranked, and are dancing around the kitchen getting some baking done.

Mudge, thanks for the head's-up. I got my picks in, but will probably change one or two (I've got one pick that's waaay out there that I might decide to re-think).

Have a very happy day all.

Posted by: LostInThought | December 19, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

seasea - That was *exactly* my first thought when I saw that. Is there some sort of annual ursine migration of which I was unaware, hon?

Posted by: bobsewell | December 19, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

George Borrow's "The Bible in Spain" isn't a pilgrimage (he was selling New Testaments for a British Bible Society). His Spain must have been a wildly exotic place for his 19th century readers. Maybe a bit like reading of Rory Stewart's walk across Afghanistan?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 19, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Black bears can move substantial distances. I can imagine them migrating to food supplies during the pre-European era. It was a different world.

A recent study of streams in southeastern Pennsylvania showed that they were kept dammed by beavers, so water moved by sheet flow, the same way it does in the Everglades. There was very little erosion, so the stream valleys accumulated organic sediments, also like the Everglades.

English farmers quickly killed the beavers and caused massive erosion by creating bare fields. The streams cut themselves new beds far below their old levels. No more beaver meadows. Lots of sediments to Delaware and Chesapeake Bays.

I suppose the Washington area might also have had beaver meadows.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 19, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

We're at 17.25 inches on my deck.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 19, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Interesting TBG - we're about 14 around here, but that's taken well away from the house. Because of the snow banding, we were told that there were variations possible.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 19, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Latest news from da Bears' lair is that they are scheduled for an 8:00pm CST departure.

Ursine migration goes airborne. They hope.

Posted by: MsJS | December 19, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

A friend of the family is stranded in L.A. (she was supposed to fly in today) and says it feels funny to be snowed in when it's 80 degrees outside.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 19, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I've shoveled another six inches. The teenager woke up long enough to move down to the living room and fall back asleep while I was out shoveling.

We did have a Bobcat plowing our circle but it broke down and had to be towed away.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 19, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I just saw the best screen crawl ever on the local news here, can't recall the Alberta city but, they are reporting that a deer is responsible for a break in, deer tracks found at the scene.

This just made my day.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 19, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Bobcats in suburbia, Bears in the airports... I tell you: The end times are upon us.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 19, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Oh, yello -- you *know* I read Bobcat as a real bobcat (with the pointy ears (or is that a lynx?)). What? A bobcat breaks down and has to be towed?

Poor, poor kitty . . . .

It's still coming down in absolute torrents here in Bethesda. Gorgeous, simply gorgeous!

Posted by: -ftb- | December 19, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

my car is quickly disappearing under the snow,18 inches on my back porch,but i could barely get the door open.

i am hoping Da Bears can make it for the game tomorrow,should be a cold blast of fun

anyone up for a snowball fight?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 19, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

So Metro's shut down. Even in the tunnels.

Sounds more orderly than the situation in the Channel Tunnel between France and England, where passenger trains sat out a snow storm underground, apparently without electricity or toilets. Yuck.

Simultaneous weekend messes in the Northeast and Europe must be creating fears for retail sales and for box-office take of 'Avatar'.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 19, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Isn't the game on Monday night and not tomorrow?

Posted by: -ftb- | December 19, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Giants @ Skins Monday. Bears @ Ravens tomorrow.

Posted by: LostInThought | December 19, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Ah -- ok.

Posted by: -ftb- | December 19, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Well, I shoveled out most of the car -- I left the street side alone, since it would get plowed in anyway. It was easily 15" when I was out there, and that was awhile ago.

NukeSpouse has been doing the cookie thing, so it smells goooooooooooood in here. :-))))

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 19, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Mrs. D. has done some more cookies (boring : caocolate chip cookies, but they are pure butter and 70% cocoa) and is now doing some fancy shortbread out of one of Martha's periodical.

The pictures of Washington by TBG & al seem oddly familiar. I don't why though, just can't put my finger on it.

I've got a 350lbs, 11 HP, 30in. wide snowblower to fax for the needy.
But the skinny amazingly strong young man with huge shoveling skills is gone with his friend on a beer drinking expedition. He won't be available for shovelling, or scooping, until kick-off time tomorrow.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 19, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Murphy's Law has hit. And it's not the snowstorm. This is a perfect day for printing my calendars (with select pictures from Africa) which I do every year for my friends. I have to set them out on all available furniture to cure for 24 hours, which means, well, that all available furniture is then taken up. Snowstorms outside help with time management, you see.

I've got a Canon color photo printer (which has actually come in handy when a laser printer needs toner or has otherwise gone kablooey). So I go and print one of the first picture for January. And it comes out in black-and-white. Canon doesn't have tech support on the telephone until Monday. Just sent them an email. I have this sense that nobody's going to get a calendar this year OR they will get them late (like June, perhaps?).


Still snowing and still looking beautiful. Even though a friend of mine in Potomac received mail today, I'm not so sure I will. Nothing's been plowed over here yet (apart from (I'm assuming) Democracy Blvd., since it's a main drag). I'll also probably not get a dead tree edition of the paper tomorrow, either. That one comes with a TV program listing. So, it looks like I'll get all my info online.

Say, how *modern* is that?


Suddenly feeling enormously isolated. Would anyone like to share some cookies?

Posted by: -ftb- | December 19, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 19, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Tree's now decorated w/ origami.

Batter for sneaks' white choc cookies is now chilling in fridge. Couldn't get white choc chips from my grocer, so I'm using swirl chips (semisweet swirled w/ white chocolate).

Will bake tomorrow morn prior to BroJS inviting himself and his fam over for lunch.

Posted by: MsJS | December 19, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

A bobcat and a caterpillar share a shed on a friend's property.

Posted by: Boko999 | December 19, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

It was the blizzard of '96 that drove us out of the DC area. We had damage from an ice dam, wallpaper that had to be replaced, ceiling that had to be painted. After we did all that -- we decided to go home to California!

My notes say that storm was 17" at National, 26" at Dulles.

Posted by: nellie4 | December 19, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Does the bobcat eat the caterpillar?

Posted by: -ftb- | December 19, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Caterpillars are much bigger than bobcats here.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 19, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

My neighbor is amused. He just realized that I've been slow-cooking/smoking a hunk of pork for the past several hours. My path to the grill is hacked through almost two feet of snow.

Pulled pork sandwich, anyone? Should be ready in an hour or so.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 19, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like you're all weathering the storm without too much trouble. I had a nice time with my oldest friend this afternoon. I finally 'confessed' to her about my 'Boodle addiction.' She was very understanding and interested - that's why she's my best friend.

Waiting for "S" to return from helping his son fix some stairs, then we can prepare for the storm. (Bring the snowblower from the shed to the garage, make sure the camera is charged and ready, ditto for flashlights).

MsJs, liked your origami. Very original!

Posted by: badsneakers | December 19, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Bobcats and caterpillars living together? It's the end of the world.

Posted by: rashomon | December 19, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

we are getting thunder and lightning


Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 19, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Braved the cold to see the Olympic flame, these pictures taken at the very start of the relay through my town. Really impressed with the organization of the relay.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 19, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Here's a meditation on bears courtesy of Lyle Lovett:

And another by Randy Newman:

[Or by Alan Price, if you prefer someone who can carry a tune:]

"It's just amazing how fair people can be."

Posted by: -pj- | December 19, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Teenager is all surly because I made him quit his video game to help with the last shovel of the night. About and additional four inches. Only now the height of the snow in my yard is reaching five feet and getting taller than I can throw new snow on.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 19, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

My least favorite snowstorm was in January of 1987. I left Seattle early in the morning for an interview in Arlington the following day. I landed in Chicago only to learn that my connecting flight to DC had been cancelled because of snow. I was told to turn around and head back home. So, on that day, entirely for fun, I flew to and from Chicago.

But I eventually landed the job.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 19, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Hmm. We seem to be at 14 inches and holding. The snow appears to be settling at the same rate it is falling.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 19, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Hog killin' weather lasts for a while.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 19, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Front steps shoveled. Walkway shoveled. Cars swept (even the back of the mini-van, 8 feet back under the car-port roof). Parking area shoveled. Lollipop cleared, all the way up to the neighbors' driveways. All now under another inch or two of snow, and it's still falling.

Burrito-filling cooking on stove. Hot chocolate consumed. Refreshing malt beverage consumed.

It's all good.

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 19, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse


I thought I'd share... For the first time in my life, I shoveled snow. It was pretty much a dare from the hubby who complained, on Facebook, that he'd be taking care of the driveway all by himself while I watched through the window with hot chocolate in hand. I did more than half. I can barely move...

Posted by: abeac1 | December 19, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Snow shoveling is intense cardio and weight exercise. I've been going to the gym in the mornings this week and I'm sorer now than I have been after any work-out. You have to pace yourself and not be goaded by mean-spirited partners. Find some way to get revenge. Send him out for take-out.

My wife bought a rotisserie chicken yesterday and is now making soup out of it for our chewing challenged child. Smells delicious. If I knew wisdom teeth could get her into the kitchen, I'd have some pulled every week.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 19, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

New kit with photos.

And we don't have any snow yet :-( C'mon I've been waiting all day!

Posted by: DNA_Girl | December 19, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations, abeac! A couple of Advil should help. And sleep in tomorrow.

Posted by: -pj- | December 19, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget the refreshing malt beverage.

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 19, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I'm having a refreshing malt beverage. And he's on his way to pick up dinner...

Posted by: abeac1 | December 19, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

For anyone who hasn't already discovered this: More small (read: light) shovelsfull is generally preferable to fewer large/heavy shovelsfull, unless you're clearing a very short path. Might seem counter-intuitive, but it's the Word.

Speaking of the Word, I may have to re-think this whole theologically-skeptical thing. I feel silly saying this, because the pork is off the grill and ready for sandwiches, but I may have to "just say no" to the haram, and get down with the kashrut. There's something very appealing about the viewpoint that if God didn't have a very good reason for wanting two feet of snow on my sidewalk, It wouldn't have put it here, and I probably shouldn't mess with the Plan!

Posted by: bobsewell | December 19, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I would also add that the health powers-that-be in Canada recommend that, unless they regularly do hard cardiac work-outs, men over fifty should not manually shovel in heavy snow conditions. Literally hundreds of middle-aged men drop stone cold dead in their driveways in Canada every year; you don't hear that they are killed by snow, only by heart-attacks. But truly, they've studied this. It is often the only hard cardio such men do (some sort of pride thing, apparently) and it can be deadly.

Not that there are that many Boodle men over fifty :)

Posted by: Yoki | December 19, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

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