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Conan O'Brien: Don't be cynical

From Hank Stuever's wrap-up:

"All I ask of you, especially young people...is one thing. Please don't be cynical," O'Brien said. "I hate cynicism -- it's my least favorite quality and it doesn't lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you, amazing things will happen."

Right on.

--

Really sharp piece by Chris Cillizza on myths about the Massachusetts senate race -- and methinks one could mine this same vein to find myths all over this town. No one really knows anything. The state of the union is confused. (Uttered without a trace of cynicism, mind you.)

--

Wow, there is some serious blogworld self-examination in the Times magazine -- a long story on Charles Johnson and his blog Little Green Footballs. [Johnson's response is here.] The Times story talks a lot about the management of a blog "community," and the testy relationship between Johnson and some of his commenters:

Even longtime commenters have been disappeared for one wrong remark, or one too many, and when it comes to wondering where they went or why, a kind of fearful self-censorship obtains. He has banned readers because he has seen them commenting on other sites of which he does not approve. He is, as he reminds them, always watching. L.G.F. still has more than 34,000 registered users, but the comment threads are dominated by the same two dozen or so names. And a handful of those have been empowered by Johnson sub rosa to watch as well -- to delete critical comments and, if necessary, to recommend the offenders for banishment. It is a cult of personality -- not that there's any compelling reason, really, that it or any blog should be presumed to be anything else.

Needless to say, the A-blog is also a cult of personality.

My long-term ambition is to change that.

I want to make it about me.



By Joel Achenbach  |  January 23, 2010; 8:29 AM ET
 
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Comments

I was lucky enough to be raised by a father who believed and lived exactly as Conan says. It makes a huge difference in life to live that way.

Being kind is not only easier, but a heck of a lot more fun. And it's true... amazing things DO happen.

But the funny thing is that having a positive attitude, and sharing it, makes most things appear amazing... and that makes life beautiful.

Thanks for sharing the bit about Charles Johnson's blog. I still think there's no place like the Achenblog. Thanks for that, too, Joel!

Posted by: -TBG- | January 23, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Here's to a cynicism-free Mr. A and the AllAboutMeBlog, or A-blog for short. I recall him saying during the pundit contest that one of the primary rules about blogging is that it isn't about the author, but that was last decade and the times they are a-changin'.

Where do you want to start, Mr. A?

Posted by: MsJS | January 23, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I have heard of Charles Johnson and LGF mostly via Andrew Sullivan over at The Daily Dish. He seems to represent, much like Sullivan himself, what happens when allegiance to an abstract ideology is overtaken by revulsion for its practitioners. And I can relate. When I was younger I certainly considered myself much more politically conservative than I am now. And I don't know if I have really changed so much, as the definition of conservatism has changed.

As for the relationship between a blog and the comments, well, that's tricky. Certainly I hope that nobody ever thinks that we in the boodle represent an extension of Joel.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 23, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I thought this blog already was all about me.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 23, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I like that Cilliza piece as well. Isn't that the way it always is? A meme gets started somewhere and then repeated endlessly until it becomes conventional wisdom. That isn't analysis. That's a viral infection.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 23, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I dunno about Cilliza's comment on health care. As best I can tell, House Democrats euthanized reform and Republicans are building a funeral pyre for its corpse.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 23, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Here's my take on cynicism. Cynicism is seductive because they are absolutist philosophies that thrive on imperfection. And, guess what, nothing is perfect.

In other words, if you are an idealist and assume that something is without flaw, you are bound to be disappointed. But if you celebrate the flaws of something, you will never be disappointed because you will always be proven right. It's a cheap way of never being wrong. And some people are simply too insecure and narcissistic to handle being wrong.

The downside to such a negative mindset, of course, is that without idealism nothing good will ever happen. It becomes a self defeating spiral in which failure is celebrated and ambition met with disdain. One is left with nothing but bitterness, and the joyless certainty of despair.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 23, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I especially like Conan's "work really hard." It moves the "amazing things" away from an Ophrah-ish mysticism to something created and earned.

Posted by: Yoki | January 23, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

SCC: I meant cynisicm *is.* This is what happens when you revise on the fly.

Oh, the irony.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 23, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Exactly, Yoki.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 23, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, your 11:34 goes into my Boodle Hall O' Fame.

Posted by: nellie4 | January 23, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Right on, Yoki! Without real hard work, nothing worthwhile ever is accomplished.

Posted by: slyness | January 23, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Wait a minute. I thought the A-blog was all about fatuous garden posts, and bears. Ok, the bear part was wishful thinking.

Hello boodle. Did the frozen 5k this morning and feeling good. Frost-son-in-law did the half marathon, by mistake. How someone lines up with the half marathoners, then once the mistake is realized decides to do 13+ miles instead of the 3.1 intended, is a mystery to me. But, I wouldn't mind being young enough to be able to adjust that way.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 23, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I find it curious that Cilliza's comments about the future of healthcare directly contradict Paul Kane's predictions.

Oh and to nitpick a bit, myths are not lies. That is a myth. ;)

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | January 23, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

"The state of the union is confused." I've been amusing myself imagining what Obama and his speechwriters are coming up with for the state of the union speech. Wild, man. All screwed up. Like, bizarre. (Sorry, I seem to be channeling George Carlin this morning.)

Posted by: seasea1 | January 23, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Good cynicism analysis, RD. Come on everybody, sing along:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtnbsnHyZNw

litm, no big surprise -- they're predictions. Where's their crystal ball? Someone in one of the chats recently expressed dislike for our obsession with predictions in all commentary and quoted Yogi Berra: "It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future." I like it.

(I'm finding variants of the quotation; I wonder what he actually said.)

Posted by: -bia- | January 23, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

mmm. Paul Kane's news story describes various scenarios for continuing to work on health care, even as polling suggests that while voters like the various features of the defunct bill, they detest "health care reform" as a whole. This fall, Republicans will win on having saved the country from this terrible ogre.

Having made this cynical comment, I should note that we're on the front page.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 23, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

So if they're going to win on saving the country from the ogre if it doesn't pass, why not pass it and let them win on having fought the good fight against the ogre that was foisted upon the poor public? Same election results either way, but only one way saves lives and prevents bankruptcies. And then once the law goes into effect and people realize that their lives are better for it, in the next election we can all vote out the fools who tried to keep the friendly giant away by making him look like an ogre.

Posted by: -bia- | January 23, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

You're channeling David Plouffe, bia:
"Americans' health and our nation's long-term fiscal health depend on it. I know that the short-term politics are bad. It's a good plan that's become a demonized caricature. But politically speaking, if we do not pass it, the GOP will continue attacking the plan as if we did anyway, and voters will have no ability to measure its upside"

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/white-house/plouffe-joining-white-house.html?hpid=topnews
Good news that he's coming on board.

Posted by: seasea1 | January 23, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I was referring to Paul Kane's chat which, it turns out, I was misreading. He wasn't saying there is no way hcr will go forward, he was saying there's no way it would go forward before Brown is seated in the Senate. My mistake. We will now return to your reguarly scheduled boodle...

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | January 23, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

lostinthemiddle, you are now on the record.

This may be the only forum where posters often say, "Oops... got it wrong."

Posted by: -TBG- | January 23, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Hiya --

I agree seasea, it's good that Plouffe is back. Other than that, I refuse to pay any attention to the "news" (*snort*) of the moment.

Saw a bit of last night's telethon, but mainly watched the first episode of The #1 Ladies' Detective Agency on DVD. While I was a little skeptical that the books could be filmed well enough to make them worthwhile to see, I was pleasantly surprised. Apparently, much of it was filmed in Botswana (don't hold me to that, tho). I do miss being over there, I must say.

Listening to Eva Cassidy right now, as I'm "doing stuff" in my office. Mainly listening to Eva Cassidy.

OKAY, FTB, that's enough loafing about. DO SUMPIN!

(*yes boss*)

Posted by: -ftb- | January 23, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

TBG, That is just one of many reasons this place rocks.


For penance I've created Paul Kane as played by Nic Cage. Someone stop me before I cut and paste again!
http://i47.tinypic.com/izok1v.jpg

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | January 23, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

ftb-I was pleasantly surprised by the #1 LDA TV treatment and thought episode 2 was even better than 1. Waiting for the next DVD, but Mr. F has some thrillers in the queue ahead of my choices.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 23, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm not going to stop you, lostinthemiddle... your Nic Cage art is exceptional! Keep it up!

Posted by: -TBG- | January 23, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

frosti -- I think Jill Scott does an excellent job as Precious Ramotswe. Everyone does.

Sad about Jean Simmons. Had no idea she was 80. Maybe I thought she should have been older or younger. Or something.

Posted by: -ftb- | January 23, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Joel gets his blog back
by cunning brib'ry, maybe:
Trade for tennis balls?

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 23, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Great Kit Joel. I like Conan abstractly but I never watched his Tonight show until last night. I fell asleep before the end but I kept imagining how he must be feeling and it made me feel bad for him. I'm sure he'll end up somewhere and be better off in the long run but gee did NBC come off as the ultimate bad guy in this thing (Leno a distant second).

Just finished a shopping trip for things #2 needs and can't find in Costa Rica. Hope I still have room for my clothes!

Posted by: badsneakers | January 23, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't really see Leno as a distant second, sneaks. I don't think anyone was forcing him to take his old job back.

The funny thing is that NBC thinks Conan is too young and edgy and the guy is 46 years old! Doing this with Leno is just proving the we baby boomers are refusing to move along gracefully.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 23, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I really was with Team Conan on this one. Leno's trademark segments of Jaywalking and Headlines range from mean-spirited to being just as dumb as the people he is making fun of. Irrespective of the legal merits of their contracts, I didn't want to see Jay back and thought it was classless for him to keep lurking about (and it isn't about Boomer vs. X -- I'm much closer to Leno's age). I think Conan has snark and wit and style, whereas Leno shows more of a real mean streak and also a lesser level of respect for his audience. Just my opinion.

Posted by: woofin | January 23, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Count me with woofin as a Boomer who has no time for Leno. I haven't seen his show often, but he strikes me as strictly middle-of-the-road smarmy, not funny.

Posted by: Yoki | January 23, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I miss Steve Allen, Jack Paar and, of course, Dick Cavett. But, I suppose, that ages me dreadfully. And, it *must* make me sound terribly elitist, to which I can only say:

*SNORT* *SNORT* *SNORT*

While there was a lot about Johnny Carson I found funny, after the other three, it was a bit of a let-down, which also meant that I could never watch Leno or Letterman without feeling a bit distracted and finding what they did totally not funny. I think Letterman is a bit (well, a bit more) of a bully. Nope, not enjoyable.

Besides, I can't stay up that late, which ages me dreadfully.

I think that's where I came in.

Sneaks -- when do you leave on your fantastic trip? I'm faxing you as many "bon voyage" banners as I can find hereabouts. Do enjoy both family and surroundings.

Posted by: -ftb- | January 23, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Just came across some old pictures from friends, from their trip to China to meet their baby girl and take her home, 7 years ago. Awfully cute. The level of effort involved, and the gestation period (several years) makes it look like we got the ScienceKids the easy way.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 23, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Would anyone like some chocolate oatmeal cookies? Got 8 dozen, nice and chewy, fresh out of the oven.

I don't watch that much TV, but I do prefer Conan over Leno. Leno laughs at his own jokes a bit too much.

Is Leno a good example of the Dunning-Kruger effect?

Posted by: abeac1 | January 23, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Here's the weirdest thing. I was out in my little workshop sanding something and suddenly, through some mysterious mechanism, I knew that somewhere, close by, there were warm cookies.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 23, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

ftb, not for a few weeks yet but I hope I don't get any more requests from #2 for items to bring cause I really am trying to do just a carry on bag.

Okay, I might have been too kind to Leno - because I used to like him, I've been cutting him more slack than he deserves. I agree that Paar, Allen and especially Cavett were far superior to any of the network guys now. I've watched some Letterman lately. I used to find him arrogantly snarky, now he seems to be getting more corny and irritating. I prefer Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to all of them.

Posted by: badsneakers | January 23, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I used to like Mike Douglas.

Damn I'm old...

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 23, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Cilizza's first "myth" was completely, totally, utterly inexorably, 100% indisoputably wrong wrong wrong. There, duid I register my dissent strongly enough? Not only was he wrong, he even directly contradicts himself in myth #5, which says: "She lost because she was an insider in an outsider environment. Because she made a series of verbal flubs that made her look out of touch. Because the lines of communication between Coakley's campaign and Democrats were, at best, shaky. Was Coakley's gender an asset for her, as it was in her convincing primary victory? No. But a man running the same poor campaign in an even poorer national environment almost certainly comes up short, too."

Now, having said all that, how the [expletive] can he say Coakley didn't lose the campaign, Brown won it?

There's story after story documenting how badly Coakley did. It was a five-week campaign, and she took one of those weeks off to go on vacation. How freaking dumb is that? How can the Post and other stories run piece after piece about how the seat "belonged" to the Dems, and then Cilizza turns around and defies all that and sees an ideological victory.

Did you guys see a couple of those Redskins games this year? Fer cryin' out loud, this is like saying the Redskins didn't lose some of those games, Detroit and Kansas City won them. In a damn pig's eye.

Ask yourself this: what is the last time you saw a political story that said X was simply a lousy candidate and ran a lousy, thoughtless, half-assed campaign, and that if he or she simply got out and did the work, they'd have won like they should have?

Answer: you have never seen that story. Because it has no pizazz.

What's the last time you saw someone from a sports team say, "Yeah, we won today because the other team just sucked. I don't know what they we're thinking. They were flat and listless, they made a bunch of stupid plays, and even though we're not very good, we still beat them anyway, even though we shouldn't have."

You have never in your life heard a quarterback or a winning pitcher say anything like that. Because people often don't speak the plain emporer-is-naked truth.

Coakley screwed that pooch right into the ground.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 23, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

*waiting expectantly by the fax machine for abeac's nice warm cookies*

Posted by: -ftb- | January 23, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Hey! Bestial posts
Shock too much the tender eyes
Of virtuous pooches..

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 23, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Thanks a lot Mudge.

I just had to stop Wilbrodog from Googling "chastity belts for dogs" and sex offender registries before he found out that anal gland checks against his will could technically qualify as sexual assault.

I don't need his vet in jail.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 23, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

A nomination for the boodle's 2010 theme song.

Ok Go and This Too Shall Pass
Band geeks and bg parents will appreciate-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJKythlXAIY

Lyrics-

You know you can't keep letting it get you down
And you can't keep dragging that dead weight around
Is it really all that much to lug around
Better run like hell when you hit the ground

When the morning comes, When the morning comes
Can't stop those kids from dancing - but why would you want to?
Especially when you are already cutting loose

cause if your mind don't move and your knees don't bend
But don't go blaming the kids again
When the morning comes, When the morning comes
When the morning comes, When the morning comes
When the morning comes, When the morning comes
Let it go, This too shall pass
Let it go, This too shall pass
You know you can't keep letting it get you down, no you can't keep letting it get you down
Oh Is it really all that much to lug around, and you can't keep letting it get you down
When the morning comes
...oh you can't keep letting it get you down, no you can't keep letting it get you down..."

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 23, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Wilbrodog; it was only a figure of speech. See "The Right Stuff" re: Gus Grissom and Liberty Bell 7.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 23, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Keep figures of speech
Out of my posterior
Yours shall have no teeth--

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 23, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

We've been watching ice skating. Dick Button looks so old. This makes me sad.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 23, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Listening to the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's "Live" CD (a gift from a friend), currently on the track "Weapon of Choice."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlaW7p-u5ds

OK, and "Ain't no Easy Way Out" [Caution: rock band playing slide guitars and doing some foot stompin'.]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6s4Wn7yTA88&feature=related

FWIW.

Taking a break from a busy day -- nice weather here to get a few outdoor items taken care of.

I've always had a bit of a soft spot for Conan, though he can get a bit sharp towards people, too. Can't help but wonder if O'Brian left us with a bit of a meta-joke with the cyncism commentary after negotiating that $45M buyout from NBC.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 23, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

When did the late night shows stop being talk shows with witty guests and start being long form movie/tv/music promos? That's when I stopped watching, which was probably still in the days frostsis #1 and I would sneak down stairs to the last step and try to watch TV undetected over the frostrents' shoulders. Give me The Daily Show and the Colbert Report any night I'm up that late.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 23, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Achenblog has, bar none, the coolest blog logo, and so far as I know, the only blog logo the color of Conan O'Brien's hair. Asking for more than this might be tempting fate.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | January 23, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Word.

Posted by: Yoki | January 23, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

I just love this very *passionate* bit. Now, I am far too old and far too large (did I tell you about walking into a Paris boutique at the age of 23 [5'9" - 116] and greeted by a salesperson with, "But, Mademoiselle is enormous!") to be troubled by fashion, but wow, I love the writing.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/jan/22/i-hate-fashion-tanya-gold

Posted by: Yoki | January 23, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Just read the strangest story in the NYT about a Knoxville woman on trial for murdering her husband. There's a shooting, a fatal car crash, a missing will, there's even a cattle stampede! Kind of hard to parse, but I don't really consider it the writer's fault - this woman has just had a complicated life.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/24/us/24knoxville.html?hp

Posted by: Wheezy11 | January 23, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Oh, sorry, two shootings. And a love child.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | January 23, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Yoki. I'm 5'9", too. But I think I last weighed 119 when I was in 7th grade. I have a niece who's 5'11" and weighed 120 until her first pregnancy, though. Now, after two kids, she's a whopping 130.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | January 23, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

And I have 20 pounds on her!

Posted by: Yoki | January 23, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

I have a lot more than 20 pounds on her, Yoki. One doesn't want to be too thin, you know, despite what the fashion mavens say. I had a friend once who complained that most fashions were designed for size 5, and when they cut them down to her size (1) they just didn't look right. We're not friends anymore.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | January 23, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

That other blog is not green, isn't little, and is not about footballs.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 23, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Oh, my! I envy you tall women.

Posted by: Manon1 | January 23, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

I, too, would cut her dead, Wheezy! I'm about an 8-10, and am made to feel fat far too often.

Manon1, I love being tall (and wear 2 to 3 inch heels most days and if I had hair would wear it up -- my ideal stretch is about 6'1") but don't recommend it for everyone. Very hard on the dating scene. Thank goodness I'm done with that!

Posted by: Yoki | January 23, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Why, exactly, Manon? I have always enjoyed being tall, but I've always secretly envied the petite, never having been so. Of course, to read that story Yoki linked to, this is all part of fashion's evil plan - make us all so insecure and fretful with ourselves that we'll go spend large amounts of our money to try to correct the "problem."

Posted by: Wheezy11 | January 23, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

My kids both wear size 8, Yoki. One was calling herself fat the other day and I told her I had never been small enough to wear an 8, since puberty. She looked at me for a while, then pointed out that she now weighs more than I did when I went to college. And she's shorter. Guess what has changed - I was a size 11 when I went to college. Guess now that would be a 6?

Posted by: Wheezy11 | January 23, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

seasea1, you there? You can confirm that we were hilarious, walking around Seattle together.

Only, Boodle, seasea is a much nicer person than I am, really lovely. *So* smart and loving.

Posted by: Yoki | January 23, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

I don't mind being short nearly as much as I mind being wide. I'm 5 feet on my tall days, and we don't discuss it on the short days.

Posted by: slyness | January 23, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Wheezy, because i'm so short...I used to be 5'4", but I've shrunk to 5'2". All my slacks are too long now and beg to be hemmed up.

And, tall women are so elegant and regal.

Posted by: Manon1 | January 23, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

'zackly, Wheezy. Off-the-rack gets smaller and smaller, in tune with fashion journalism.

Remember all those pictures from the mid-last-century of the "great hostesses?" They were middle-aged women who look as though they were. And designers made them not pret-a-porter, but couture. *Sigh*

Posted by: Yoki | January 23, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I feel sorry for tall people. They can't stay limber by climbing up on counters to reach the top cabinets. They don't have yards of fabric scraps cut off the bottoms of pants stashed away in a plastic bag. They don't add hundreds of steps to their daily aerobic total trying to locate the petite department. They have to actually wash the roof of their cars. Poor things, what a life they have. ;-)

Posted by: badsneakers | January 23, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

LOL! badsneakers, you should write for a satirical-type late night.

Posted by: Yoki | January 23, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

I've never had anything long sleeved with long enough sleeves in my life unless I sewed it myself until recently. When men's oxford cloth button-down collars were an acceptable work top for women (think mid-80's), I used to go to the men's department to get mine. Now there are young Amazons all around, so I can buy things that fit.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | January 23, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

My eldest is a size 1 or 2, but she is 14, I cannot imagine an adult that size.

Good point about the change in sizes Wheezy, I do not recall sizes 1 or 2 when I was young, not that they would have fit me anyways :-).

Posted by: dmd3 | January 23, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

With all this discussion of dress sizes, an occasional visitor from The Fix could be excused for suspecting that Joel Achenbach had somehow captured David Letterman's harem.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | January 23, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

"Young Amazons"

My great disappointment in my girls is that they are *tiny.* I imagined they would take after their mother, but they haven't.

#1 is 5'5" and slim. #2 is 5'4" and curvy but slender. Both of them have freakishly small hands and slim fingers.

So I am all alone here, tall and rangy, no curves to speak of and with giant red peasant hands.

Oh well. They're still nice people.

Posted by: Yoki | January 23, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

My girls are both 5'6", Yoki. They didn't get the freakishly long arms, either. You know that idea that your outspread arm span, from fingertip to fingertip, should equal your height? Mine is 6'2". I don't think most people notice, luckily.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | January 23, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

douglaslbarber, this is the charm of the Boodle. We are all different and all nearly perfect.

Wheezy1, I need to measure... But it explains why when I stole #1's wool pea coat this winter (since she's in Australia) it fit big around the waist but really short in the arms.

Posted by: Yoki | January 23, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Yes, eldest is quite disallusioned that she has not yet reached my height (5'6"), and has been told she probably never will. Not sure where she comes from our background is full of healthy sized women, tall to very tall. I would have killed to have been her size when I was that age, goes to show you are never happy. I spent years crouching down to hide my height, the platform shoes that were all the rage when I was her age looked like boats on my feet and made me tower over my friends - I completely lacked the confidence then to pull it off.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 23, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

dmd, does Canada have a lot of *really* tall young women now, too? I participated in a focus group of mothers a few years back and some of the younger ones were over six feet tall. No one is embarrassed by height now, luckily. I can't imagine your thinking 5'6" was too tall, though. Why do we let society make us think there's something wrong with us?

Posted by: Wheezy11 | January 23, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I wish I could bottle my mentor for your #1, dmd.

This was the wife (Elinor) of my mother's supervisor (Phil) when my Mum did her master's (which was when I was an old teen-ager).

So, Elinor was six-foot, beautiful, blonde, and wore heels and a tall chignon. And the day I showed up at my mum's house when Elinor was there, she drew me down on to the hearth and held my hand and said, "Never apologize. Be beautiful."

It was great. I was, I think, about 17, and never since have I felt bad for being tall. Au contraire.

Posted by: Yoki | January 23, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I was hopeful that my girls would be quite a bit taller than I am, but they're both about 5'4". They inherited their body types from their father's side tho', so they are more buxom. The good part of this is that they haven't been able to borrow my clothes since they were each about 14.

Posted by: badsneakers | January 23, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

doug-just wait until talk turns to fripperies and furbelows.

Great linkiness boodle women!

Ah, if life were fair I'd be tall like my sisters, who are 5'3" and change. I am 5'2" when I inhale. After the $15 challenge I continued in the same vein, eating almost all from scratch primarily veggie meals, and find myself at a lower weight than I've seen in 18 years. "Vanity sizing" has me wearing a lower numbered size than I imagined when I finally broke down and bought new clothes.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 23, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

But here's the thing. Men women children mothers fathers sons daughters.

We are just, us. Lovely just as we are.

Posted by: Yoki | January 23, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

I think so Wheezy, certainly for those of European descent. Two nieces are close to 6'. The girls in my daughters grade have always been tall, many my height or more.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 23, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Hey you ladies. Let me tell you a secret.

Men like women who like men.

All else is noise.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 23, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

And you know that all of us women who stay here, like men.

Posted by: Yoki | January 23, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

RD-you're so cute.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 23, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

RD, that's what I've always banked on.

Wheezy, such arm spans are perfect for rock climbing.

Just measured and yep, my arm span is very close to my height (within an inch or so). Nice to know I have some "normal" proportions.

Love Badsneakers' "sympathy" post. Speak it, gal!

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 23, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

How boring it would be if everyone had normal proportions!

My issue was not really how tall I was, but how tall I was at a very young age - for me twelve - took years for my peers to catch up.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 23, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, thank you - but I don't know how I could be nicer than you.

I'm so used to being the shortest one - I make short people feel tall - slyness, sneaks, I'm talking about you. Mr seasea is about 6'1" and big, so I'm oblivious to getting strange looks. I worked with a woman years ago who was close to 6 feet tall, thin as a model, and gorgeous, but very insecure about her height. Made me realize that no one is happy with their looks. I'm resigned to being short - what can you do - but need to work on dropping some weight. Sneaks, I haven't tried to wash the car roof in years, it's true! No dusting the top of the refrigerator, either. If I can't see it, I don't clean it.

Posted by: seasea1 | January 23, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. I've never seen Conan O'Brien, but I sure do like his "don't be cynical". When I was younger and really smart and knew everything and understood how the world worked I was cynical. As I age I find myself much less cynical, more open to hope and joy and confusion and wonder. I suspect I'm just as smart as I was then, but I'm happier and more comfortable now, and I'm probably a lot easier to be around.

I don't have anything against O'Brien. I didn't much like Leno, preferring Letterman, but the fact is I don't watch him either. If at all possible I'm asleep by then. I'll watch John Stewart or Colbert off TIVO.

Short alert here too. I'm a nice even five feet. The Boy is now taller than me. Ivansdad is about 6'3". I used to wear high heels a lot but seldom do now, since even in high heels I'm still short. It seems like I'm always looking up; consequently, really tall people don't seem that tall to me. After all, I look up for everyone. I pointed this out to a tall woman I know recently and she looked a little startled. She has the opposite experience, of course, always looking down.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 23, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I love that you, Ivansmom, say, "I look up for everyone." Not to. I think you look out for us.

Posted by: Yoki | January 23, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Ah, dottirs. Elderdottir is 5'7", but she reached puberty late. Geekdottir is 5'3" or thereabouts, she can wear petites when it suits her. They both have my curvy build and look fabulous in the right clothes. Elderdottir, a managerial type for Victoria's Secret, loves dressing up. Geekdottir would never wear anything but jeans and tees if she could get away with it.

Even though I'm short, I can't deny either one of them.

Posted by: slyness | January 23, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Seasea, are you outting yourself as a gnome, too?

Badsneakers-- if you think "petites" have it tough... I have to cut excess fabric off /petites./

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 23, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Why thank you, Yoki!

I find it interesting that my being short never stops me from exerting authority (whether I actually have it or not) and, most odd, never stops people from accepting my authority (legitimate or not). I'm so used to being short that I don't notice it, unless of course I can use it to my advantage, and perhaps this helps people to overlook it themselves. So to speak.

True story: in middle school once a teacher wrote a math problem on the chalkboard and called on me to come solve it. I apologized because I was too short to reach it, and he bought it. Even then I wondered why he didn't just tell me to recopy it lower down.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 23, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

I spent most of today at a fencing tournament with the Boy. He did well and fun was had by all - and he got a nice spectacular foil-shaped series of bruises after a rogue hit. At 13 he is old enough to fence Division III, which goes up into unranked adults as well. He may be taller than me but he's still shorter than the big guys. He beat one today who was much closer to my age. That man had trouble fencing the teenagers because they present such small targets (chest and abdomen area); he said when they turn sideways they just disappeared.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 23, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

RD, my friend, what about men who like women who like women and women who like men who like men? I don't see any reason to make distinctions about such things, but that's just me.

I think the important thing is to be yourself.

In my case, that's not saying much, but there it is.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 23, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm 4'10" - when I stretch really tall. So I'm definitely on the border of gnomehood. I was hoping my kid would get his dad's height, but no. At 5'8" though, he seems tall to me, and has long arms so he can reach the high shelves. As Ivanmom says, everyone is tall to me. And yes, petite lengths are too long for me, which really irks me.

Posted by: seasea1 | January 23, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Seasea, I'm right there with you. I'm almost 4'11".

I must say I was thrilled when the cropped and capri styles came back in to fashion. It meant I didn't have to alter my pants!

Posted by: Moose13 | January 23, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

I've been following tonight's thread with great amusement.

This is a blog, folks. We are what we type. Yes, we have insecurities, likes, dislikes, and lives, but physical appearance is not what draws us here.

Short, tall, young, old, man, woman, dog, able, disabled, heavyset, slender, whatever. It's how we relate to each other and the ideas we share that matter.

I celebrate each of you as you are. The physical you to be sure, but especially that part of you that isn't physical.

Posted by: MsJS | January 23, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Moose I like capri for the opposite reason, for once my pants are not too short,

Thank you MsJS, so glad you have joined us here, you are a great addition.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 23, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, I never realized...most of the Boodle (including me) isn't tall enough to ride the big coaster at DisneyWorld.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 23, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Seasea, you can be a gnome if your fancy leaps that way.

But it is a heavy burden; not only must you learn how to be gnomic now and then,
you must always have more attitude than altitude, more spirit than height, experience fantastic adventures, and enjoy odd companions.

Being petite is easier.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 23, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

It's a conspiracy against the boodle, Mudge.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 23, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

oOps I accidently hit report abuse on Mudge when I meant to click sign in

Now I forget what I wanted to post.

OoPs

Posted by: omnigood | January 23, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

I usually hit "full rules" instead of "sign in."

Went to see Kathy Griffin tonight at Constitution Hall. So very funny. Very, very funny.

I am 5'10" and have been since I was about 12 years old. That was tough, but after high school I was happy with my height.

Dr G is 6'3" and was the first man taller than me that I ever dated. Son of G is about 6', maybe a little taller. Daughter is now at 5'6" and I expect will be taller when she's done. She has very long arms and fingers and carries herself like a tall person.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 23, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

As a wheelie, I'm effectively about four-foot-one-inch tall. Definitely more attitude than altitude and more spirit than height.

Posted by: MsJS | January 23, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Daughter reblogged this wallpaper image on her tumblr...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/claylarsen/4298627661/

Posted by: -TBG- | January 23, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

No law against gnomes on wheels... although some claim there should be.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 23, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Nice, Dot of G.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 23, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Surrounded by gnomes!
It's a real service dog's life
No rest for the furry...

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 24, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

I'm one of the short clan, too. Now about 5 foot, down an inch and a half from my youth. What annoys me more than clothing (have you looked at Lee jeans?) is the grocery store. While I have been getting shorter, the have added extra height to the shelves. I have to go find an employee to "reach me those canned onions on the top row, please Sonny!"

Posted by: nellie4 | January 24, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

I was 5'1" once. It was a great day.

Last fall, we had an instructor at the store, who held a Flatter and Fit workshop for clients. One of the things we had to do was to take a photo of ourselves to make a silhouette of our shapes. It didn't matter what size, how short, how tall, how round, how slender, how young, how old. We feared it equally. I was surprised at that. Just part of the human condition, i suppose.

Sort of like fly-away hair, only worse.

Posted by: --dr-- | January 24, 2010 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Ha - somehow I imagined most of you taller. And a very nice bunch of folks, I must say. nellie, I know, I hate those high shelves.

Rachel Flatt won the figure skating. I thought Mirai Nagasu was better, but then she skated to Carmen, so maybe that was worth putting her in 2nd place. Sasha Cohen once again did not live up to her potential - too bad, but I expected that. On to Vancouver.

Posted by: seasea1 | January 24, 2010 2:04 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. Just wanted to stop by and say hello. I'm up and moving about, but still kinda sleepy. If I go back to bed, I will certainly oversleep, so best to stay up. I made the test Friday, and didn't have to take the drugs. I'm such a baby when it comes to test, but while sitting there waiting to go back, an aide pushed an elderly gentleman in, and just left the man sitting there. He had lost a leg, and no one was with him. They took him ahead of me, and he stayed back there a long time, but he did not make one sound.He was so brave, and it made me feel like such a coward. I was still afraid, but I prayed and sang hymns, just hung in there. Oh, if we would just look around sometimes, and come out of self, the things we would see!

I will go back Tuesday, and get the results of those tests, and hopefully, some help for whatever is causing the pain.

I've never watched Conan or Leno. It's expensive talk. I don't get it, and don't really want to get it. I'm five three, a short person, and much too wide. To say I need to lose weight is an understatement.

Have a wonderful day, folks, and give God some of your time. Martooni, Mudge, Scotty, Slyness, Yoki, Lindaloo, and everyone here, bless you and your lovely families.

Posted by: cmyth4u | January 24, 2010 5:13 AM | Report abuse

Good morning Cassandra. Here is hoping the results will find solutions for you. Heaven and the boodle are powerful mojo to help you through.

It was beautiful here yesterday. New fallen snow clung thickly to the trees. What the snow couldn't cling to, the frost did. Everything was covered in a mystical light in the gray backdrop of the sky. Eerily beautiful.

Posted by: --dr-- | January 24, 2010 7:07 AM | Report abuse

For them what needs it, the coffee is on, strong and hot. Today we breakfast on good old fashioned oatmeal porridge. Brown sugar, maple syrup and fresh cream on the side.

Posted by: --dr-- | January 24, 2010 7:16 AM | Report abuse

You know, one starts to feel very powerful when one is alone on the boodle.

And very small.

Posted by: --dr-- | January 24, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Its the oatmeal isn't it?

Posted by: --dr-- | January 24, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

So long as there are some raisins for the oatmeal, dr. Or maybe those little dehydrated cranberry things.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 24, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Hello Cassandra! I hope your Sunday weather is nice. It will be raining here. Best to you!!!!

Posted by: russianthistle | January 24, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra!! *HUGSSSS* I do hope Tuesday is successful this time! :-)

Hey, we're all the same height when we nap or otherwise get horizontal, so what's the diff??? :-)

And is anyone else as bothered by Weingarten's piece as I am?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/22/AR2010012202273.html

*looking-forward-to-two-excellent-playoff-games Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 24, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Good morning!

I joke often that my one regret in life is being short. I could have been tall, maybe. I just refused to eat as a child. At age 12, I was still wearing size 6X. When I turned 14, I suddenly grew and caught up with my classmates, then stopped. My siblings are MUCH taller than my 5"1'.

My husband is 6"2'. So far it looks like my kids will be taller than I am.

Today on the agenda we have the making of a costume. My daughter will be Athena at a school event on Friday.

Have a relaxing Sunday, everyone.

Posted by: abeac1 | January 24, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Good rainy Sunday morning, all! We are on schedule to have the weather that Ivansmom chatted about earlier in the week. Flood warnings abound...

Cassandra, I look forward with you to hear about the outcome of your tests. Yes, it's such a pain to deal with the medical profession. As always, you're in my prayers.

I was tall for a sixth grade girl, but I stopped there and everybody else passed me. That's what happens when a person reaches puberty early, as I did.

Time to head out for church, we may have to find a rowboat to come home.

Posted by: slyness | January 24, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

I am TBG's Mel.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 24, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

I'll join you for breakfast, dr, thanks.

I see it's going to be damn near impossible raising a boodle basketball team. How come we're all descended from Mayans? Sheesh. We should start calling this place the Jockey Club.

If I am not mistaken, there is football on today, yes? Another chance for bc and me to humiliate ourselves with our picks.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 24, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, when I nap that's the only time I'm taller than you.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 24, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Cranberries? Check
Raisins? Check.

for the really adventurous, dried Blueberries.

Posted by: --dr-- | January 24, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. Thanks for the oatmeal!

Scottynuke, I found the Weingarten article fascinating. I'm always interested in jury stories, since they won't let me on one. I think this piece is a great affirmation of the jury system, and confirms my own professional observation: most of the time, juries get it right.

It is unusual but not unheard of for law enforcement officers, with the best of intentions, to shade their testimony to make a good case better; you very seldom see officers lie where there is no case, but they may feel justified (not condoning this, just saying) where they know the basic evidence is there. I will note that most prosecutors do not encourage this and don't like it. It screws up their cases. If law enforcement is proved to have done it, automatically every undercover case those officers worked is suspect.

The defense attorney there did a good job in providing evidence suggesting the officer could not have seen what he said he saw, and implying that the confirming officers were lying about what they heard. Usually that kind of evidence isn't available or isn't shown. The result shows that the jurors listened to this evidence and considered it, and the testimony backfired. That's how it is supposed to work.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 24, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

The case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission keeps getting more interesting as people react to the decision by the Supreme Court this past week. After both basking in the so-called glory of the Brown win in Mass and then supporting the activist court ruling that overturned a century of settled law, the Republicans are facing their most stunning challenge as they probably will become unhinged from their TeaParty allies.

It is just a matter of time before we see the reality set in. In many circles, this is a huge deal and one that frustrated Americans are going to latch onto. In addition, Obama has another horse to ride with the Banking Rules and restraints that are working their way to the floor. While tossing gas on the fire of public outrage, the Republicans are fighting the rules in the back room for their patrons.

Taking both issues together the wolf is being exposed as one would hope. This isn't getting much open coverage by folks at many news organizations, but all over the activist channels. This is something that Republicans have hailed as a breakthrough, but they need to be scared into a proper perspective. Only someone like Gates can compare and threaten to "buy" every election he can until the interpretation (incorrect) is corrected.

Posted by: russianthistle | January 24, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

A couple of Weingarten's comments caught my eye. First, I don't share his concern that the State spent a lot of effort on a $10 drug deal. If that dealer had several runners, which they usually do, he was probably clearing at least $500 that night, possibly $1000 or more. On the street level, drug enforcement is often painfully incremental. One point of the $10 bust is to get the dealer to give up the bigger fish - his supplier - and thus up the chain. If he won't, and usually he won't because those consequences are worse than mere prison, the case is prosecuted.

Second, I really hope that Weingarten and his wife did their experiment after his involvement in the case was over. Otherwise he was breaking his oath as a juror. Jurors everywhere in the U.S. are always instructed to consider only the evidence from the stand. They are not to read about the case, Google it or use any other form of technology to get information, go to the scene for a look, or experiment themselves to see if they can recreate evidence described in testimony. If Weingarten had stayed on the jury and it had convicted, and his experiment had come out, that would have resulted in a mistrial or the case being thrown out on appeal. Nothing frustrates judges and lawyers like a juror deciding to create his own evidence in order to make his decision. That's not how the system is supposed to work.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 24, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Got two kinds of muffins to accompany the oatmeal: goat cheese/spinach and bran. Nicely warmed. Butter and jam also available.

Scottynuke, I admit laughing over the Weingarten piece. Jury-experience op/ed columns are right up there with ask-a-cabbie columns on the list of topics to avoid. I was also tickled at his shock that some of the testimony was fuzzy or downright inaccurate. The guy's been watching too many cop shows and courtroom dramas.

No rest for the furry, indeed, Wilbrodog. We are grateful you are up to the task.

Posted by: MsJS | January 24, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

What woke me up this morning about 6:40 a.m. was the sound of breaking glass.

What caused the the sound of shattering glass was that my husband's coffee cup had hit the tiled kitchen floor and exploded. He explained that the edge of the microwave door had hit his oversized mug on the side opposite the door, and he dropped the mug of hot coffee.

This is the old Montgomery Ward microwave that he gave me before we got married, so I'd estimate it's about 27 years old. It's the one we've moved around from pillar to post. We resorted to using the old MG microwave because the built-in microwave lost its timer this week and doesn't work, so we made two stops on a round of errands yesterday pricing a new microwave and the kit needed to put the microwave in the hole in the wall, to replace the one that's kaput.

Add to this the fact that the heating element on the dryer also went out about Thursday. The timer on the dryer died about a year ago, and lately I haven't noticed much difference in the heat the dryer gives out, regardless of the
heat setting.

The coffee my husband spilled occurred shortly after he got off working this morning, about 6:30 a.m., after starting work last night from our home office at 8 p.m. This is the pattern of our lives lately, and Saturday nights.

The coffee that my husband dropped was without doubt the result of fatigue, not the old microwave door. The coffee splashed across several of my cooking and nutrition books on the bottom of the shelving unit that holds the ancient microwave.

The book that was most saturated with coffee was an older one, Eldon Haas's "Staying Healthy with Nutrition." Would it be better rewritten as "Staying Healthy with Adequate Rest and Relaxation and Time Away from the Job"?

The loss of the coffee cup is a nit of concern, we have a number of others--gifts over the years to us--that can replace it. The book will dry and forever be stained. What my 65-year-old husband cannot afford to do is speak up to management on his own behalf for fear of losong his job. He must remain the happy, ultimate team player--and mask his deep fatigue.

I'm sick of the entire situation. I'm tired of taking up his slack around the house and yard. I'm sick of looking daily into his big blue bleery, blurry eyes. I hate Wells Fargo, the hairy internal politics of the merger played out weekly for those in the know, and the inability of management to see my husband's work situation--that he must work each week the number of hours that approximate his age.

I'd hate it more if my husband were laid off, but my husband's near-constant deep exhaustion is certainly putting major strains in our state of the union.

Posted by: laloomis | January 24, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom
I'm curious about how someone with Weingarten's past intravenous drug use could have ended up on that jury. I would have thought the prosecution and the defense would have both had good reason to excuse him from the jury. That is assuming they asked if any potential jurors were former herion users.

"Gene Weingarten: Yes, in college I was what Lenny Bruce called a "chipper" -- a weekend heroin user. I wasn't actually an addict, but I don't recommend the habit. For one thing, I wound up with liver disease. "

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | January 24, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

MsJS's 10:17:
No rest for the furry, indeed, Wilbrodog.
***

Not much rest for the working weary either, I'm afraid.

Posted by: laloomis | January 24, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

lostinthemiddle, that's not something one would usually ask during jury selection. Jurors may be asked about arrests or convictions. Jurors are often asked about how alcohol or drug abuse has affected their experiences with friends or family, but their past drug abuse (status, as opposed to involvement with law enforcement) doesn't often come up.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 24, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Loomis, good luck relaxing your husband. I am sure that he feels terrible about the cookbook and the cup. The book is certainly usable and your understanding can go a long way to making his world a better one. AND, what goes around, comes around.

Posted by: russianthistle | January 24, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I saw a promo on ABC's This Week, with Terry Moran as host this Sunday morning, that Teresa Heinz Kerry, will be on ABC's Good Morning America this week, talking with Robin Roberts about her, Heinz Kerry's, recent experience with breast cancer.

I expended a lot of journalistic shoe leather on Friday on the phone, calling Turlock, Calif., and being directed by the Jr. (a lucky find, but I didn't know there was a Jr. when I phoned) to the Sr., who was the husband of my female cousin Shirley. Shirley and her (third, IIRC) husband had moved a handful of years ago to a different home in the same Sun City subdivision in Roseville, which explains why my seasonal Christmas card bounced back to me shortly after they had relocated, so I never bothered sending subsequent cards on the following Christmases.

I sadly learned in the phone call to Roseville, Calif, that cousin Shirley died of breast cancer On Jan. 19, 2008 at the age of 72 (a 15-year age gap between us), pretty much the very same age that my mother was when she was diagnosed with it.

I so much like my cousin's husband. He was kind enough to give me all the contact information for Shirley's two daughters, and truly-long-long cousin Bev, Shirley's younger sister. Bev and her husband had moved some years ago from the their home in La Crescenta (as listed in my address book...we are far from close knit) to a Sun City subdivision in Palm Desert.

I called Bev in Palm Desert on Friday afternoon. I learned that Bev, who is not only religious (I didn't know that. It was difficult to discuss the possibility of our Swanson-family, male-gene heritability for female breast cancer with Bev), but Bev religiously gets major testing for breast cancer including MRIs and dyes. Her mother (my aunt, not a Swanson) Virginia and sister (my cousin) Shirley died of breast cancer, but thankfully, cousin Bev remains cancer free.

Bev and I had a short conversation, since she was on her way to a doctor's appointment; however, we did discuss environmental factors in relation to breast cancer, specifically alcohol intake and obesity, both of which play one role or another in the Swanson-family story of those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

* On a side note for those not in the know, doctor-scientists have been probing for about 10 years now the highly probable link between excessive alcohol consumption and psoriasis. It would be interesting (for me) to learn more about alcohol's impact on the immune system.

Posted by: laloomis | January 24, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I understand your point, LitM. But, as I-mom states, if the lawyers feel one could form an unbiased opinion about guilt or innocence based on the merits of their arguments, one is not likely to get bumped off a jury.

Posted by: MsJS | January 24, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Thistle, what hurts the most--forget the book and cup, in that order--is that he is worn out, not some of the time lately, but pretty much all of the time, and there's not a lot I can do about it. Should I be the happy, ultimate team player and wihout concern? I think the opposite and am not willing to compartmentalize.

Really, does love mean never having to say I worry about you, about how you're really being worn down to a frazzle by your job?

Where, oh where, is Eric Segal when I need him the most?

Posted by: laloomis | January 24, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I-mom and LitM have elucidated my points quite well. One would hope that Weingarten would have realized his internal conflict of interest (however subtle it might be) and done what he could to be excluded from the jury in any capacity. I-mom's point about not considering anything from outside the courtroom was the bigger issue in my eyes; I too hope he held off on his "experiment" until the conclusion of the trial.

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 24, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I can see how Weingarten's history of drug use would not come out during jury selection. I wonder about how as a first person narrator he did not deem that an important detail to disclose. It definitely would have added some context to his belief that penny ante drug dealing is a crime not worth prosecuting.

My one jury duty experience was over twenty years ago.

http://livebythefoma.blogspot.com/2006/10/guilty-guilty-guilty.html

The trial took two days. At the end of the day we were given the no-outside-investigation lecture. I knew that the clothing store where the victim of the crime worked and where the crime occurred catered to gay men. I also recognized the name of the bar where the victim spotted the robber as a gay bar.

None of that information was presented in court as it was irrelevant to the crime. Nonetheless I often wonder if that would have prejudiced any of the jurors.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 24, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I conducted a similar experiment years ago the night before I went to court to fight a ticket I'd gotten in Fairfax City.

I had been pulled over for running a red light. The policeman told me that he'd been at a cross street further up the road and had seen me run the light.

There was no way he was right, since I'd been STOPPED AT THE LIGHT, so I went and looked from every angle and realized that from where he said he'd been, he couldn't even see the intersection or light in question.

So I told him this in the courtroom in the morning, and he took me over to the city attorney and told him to drop the case.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 24, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Oh also... thanks, yello.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 24, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Sunday mornings during the past six months or more are an exercise in padding around the house as quietly as I possibly can. But our local Trinity University and the San Antonio Express-News have made my morning--as I sat down to pore over the paper moments ago--given me a ray of sunshine, provided some elation.

In the Bookmarks sections, a small corner of the Sunday's edition's two pages devoted to books in our local paper is the following announcement, the first on the list for the Bookmarks section:

Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Jared Diamond ("Guns, Germs, and Steel") presents the DeCoursey Lecture [at Trinity University] on Feb. 1. His topic is "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed."

Funny, though, how Diamond's prize-winning book is called out, with no mention that "Collapse" is his most recent book, nor the mention of his earlier work, "The Third Chimpanzee."

I know Dennis McCarthy of the 2009 book "Here Be Dragons" would be enthusiastically clapping his hands at Trinity's choice of lecturer. McCarthy calls out Diamond, in various spots throughout his smart book "Dragons" as certainly the most well-known biogeographer.

Yipee! Something to truly look foward to! Even caregivers need a little break now and then.

Posted by: laloomis | January 24, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

It has come to my attention that gorillas in living rooms are always 800 lbs. They are not 700 lbs., not 900 lbs. It's 800 and that's that.

There is no requirement that they, or Geithner, be 8 ft. tall. This is in fact traditionally undefined.

They are, however, never in the kitchen, bathroom, or god forbid, the bedroom. It's the living room or nowhere.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 24, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Loomis, I don't pretend to know much of the situation, just to suggest that part of our caring for one another is to make relaxation possible. I just say that from my own experience. One of the calming influences I have is when I am exercising such as long bike rides. It helps me get the rejuvenating sleep that I need.

It sounds like your other half is going through what many folks are going through around here. Mergers are just instant trouble for staff who have to go through months of changes while never knowing quite for sure what might end up being the final outcome.

Best wishes to you both. I am sure that it isn't easy.

Posted by: russianthistle | January 24, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/800_lb_gorilla_in_the_room

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elephant_in_the_room

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 24, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Jumper, gorillas can't "hold a candle" to a two year old with access to all the liquid soap in the bathroom.

It took me until the second occurrence to become aware of the great mystery of mankind that makes kids compelled to outline every fixture in the bathroom with soap or shampoo.

I had to laugh.

Posted by: russianthistle | January 24, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Jumper... poles must be 10 feet long, too.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 24, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Just backboodled from last night and into this morning. Don't know what to comment on first. Okay, how's this? I used to be 5'9" and I remember when I was a kid (mom said that I grew 12" a year for 3 years -- I was *tall* as a kid and towered over my classmates and a couple of teachers) that I really, really wanted to be 6' tall. Never quite made it, and I've been traveling the downward stretch in the last decade or so. I seem to have shrunk an inch and a quarter. I found it interesting to read what the shorter boodlers had to say about their experiences, as my parents were tiny (mom -- about 5' tall if she stretched -- and dad maybe 5'5" at his tallest) -- mom always called on me to take things down from the highest shelf in the kitchen.

Strangely enough -- and perhaps it's what I call "the luxury of being tall" -- I can never figure out how tall people are, as I *always* see people at eye-level. Always. Mom was tiny in body, too, and could bend herself in half like a paper clip. Not me -- I think I took after the more nefarious side of the family in that respect, although I don't think I look dramatically overweight for my height. I intend to take care of that issue after all my body-part surgeries in a couple of years.

*switching topics*

Ivansmom -- in Maryland (where I live) both lawyers and judges are able to be called to jury duty. I sat for a trial decades ago and was called again a couple of years ago, but not seated. I figure my number is gonna come up again within a year or two. I guess that's not the case in OK, eh?

Posted by: -ftb- | January 24, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

TBG, you speak of those poles that meet Natl Bureau of Standards specifications for touching, right?

Posted by: russianthistle | January 24, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

A good Sunday... listening to 99.5 Classical WGBH on the internet ... Sunday Baroque program from 11 to 2.

Posted by: russianthistle | January 24, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Yes, rt. Although I, personally, wouldn't touch one.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 24, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

You mean the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Weed? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 24, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

No, National Institute of Standards and Touchology. Yes, you are right, Scotty. TBG, so you aren't a touchee?

Posted by: russianthistle | January 24, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

TBG, I wouldn't touch that with a ten-foot pole.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 24, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

In The Wire, the cops used binoculars. The only time I have been on a jury, I was surprised that so many jurors were skeptical of the cop's testimony (in a DUI case).

Posted by: seasea1 | January 24, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Pshaw. They just located the image on a security camera and enhanced it. You know, like on television.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 24, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, hang in there, lady. There are a lot of us pullin' for ya. I hope you feel better soon.

As touchy a person as I am (growing up Italian, I come by it honestly), I'm not sure what to make of this issue of the Pole.

I'll just dance around it, I guess. (I think I'm pretty good at that, actually).

The Weingarten piece, whatever you may think of his tactics, is a good reminder that Law Enforcement and Judicial folks are human, just like the rest of us.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 24, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

My father was on the jury for a murder trial, and he came out of it having lost faith in the jury system. The guy had pled guilty to 2nd degree murder, and the question was whether it was actually 1st degree. About half the jury disbelieved everything the police said on principle -- they wanted to let the guy off altogether. The other half wanted to find him guilty of 1st degree because it had been a nasty murder, even though it wasn't consistent with the evidence or the law as presented in jury instructions (as interpreted by my father's very logical mind). He felt that they ended up with the right verdict -- 2nd degree -- because of a random combination of the jury's biases and illogicalities, not because of anything having to do with the law or the evidence. A very dispiriting experience for him.

I guess that means that jury selection matters more than evidence?

Posted by: -bia- | January 24, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

And Mudge - I do expect to continue my ohfer streak today, and that the ladies will end up with the Playoff Football Tiara this week, too.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 24, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

bc: What are your picks? For the record, I'm going w/ the Saints and Colts. Not that it matters in any way.

Posted by: MsJS | January 24, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

MsJS, bc picked the Denver Broncos and the Houston Oilers.

Very sad. Very sad.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 24, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I want the Vikings and the Colts.

I do think the V's will have a challenge in N'Awleans tonight. At least it's in the warm.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 24, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

For those of us who are not going to watch football (one of them has to be on this afternoon, right?), might I suggest on TCM at 4:00 p.m., one of my favorite movies of all time: "Breakfast at Tiffany's" with a gorgeous Audrey Hepburn and terrible actor George Peppard, and the adorable Mickey Rooney as Mr. Yunioshi ("Miss Gorirightry! I protest!!!!!"). Patricia Neal does a creditable job as Peppard's, *um*, "sponsor". I think it's the only movie I know of that treats being a call girl (or is that "society" girl) look responsible.

That being said, a client in Sweden a long time ago asked me what the weather forecast was here and I burst out laughing. Once I explained it to him, he laughed, too (luckily).

Posted by: -ftb- | January 24, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Never saw the movie, ftb. Why is the weather forecast funny?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 24, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

"Emma" is on PBS tonight - Masterpiece Theater - new production, apparently.

Posted by: seasea1 | January 24, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

seasea, that version of "Emma" got reviewed in the style section today at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/21/AR2010012105235.html

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 24, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

That review was... ambiguous.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 24, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't get the Post's lead story today: "GOP division may keep seat in Democrats' hands"

"Va. race is reminder of the dangerous undertow created by the intense passion that motivates Tea Party movement and other conservatives."

For the last two or three days, Dan Balz has been writing apocalyptic gloom-and-doom stories about the Dems because of the Massachusetts thing. Now all of a sudden it's the GOP that's in disarray (as in fact it has been all along).

I supposed day-to-day coherence is not especially on anybody's to-do list. Just the fright headline du jour.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 24, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

People ignore an elephant in the room even when they shouldn't. You can't ignore an 800-pound gorilla even if you want to. Plus the gorilla gets first pick on sleeping location.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 24, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

It's all in the banana breath, yellojkt.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 24, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

The Amy Gardner article uses the NY-23 special election where the Republican nominee withdrew and endorsed the Democrat to prevent the far more right-wing Conservative Party candidate from winning despite the extreme media attention he had drawn.

When your enemy is self-destructing, stand out of the way.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 24, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

In elementary school we were assigned to invent an fictitious device. Mine was the eleven foot pole for the things you wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 24, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

If a five foot Pole stands on top of another five foot Pole, would they be touchable?

Posted by: yellojkt | January 24, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

They would be the foundation of a human pyramid.

Posted by: Yoki | January 24, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

They would be bipolar, yello.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 24, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Game and match

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 24, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh, MY!!

CNN reports Johhny Depp died in a car accident. The picture is just awful.

http://www.angelfire.com/ab7/cnn_espn0808/hugecase.html

Posted by: abeac1 | January 24, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I thought the Johnny Depp news was a Twitter hoax.

Oh! The linked article is from March 2004.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 24, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm a six-foot Swede.

Posted by: -pj- | January 24, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

It sure is. I should have looked. The picture was very distracting.

Many apologies.

Posted by: abeac1 | January 24, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

No Mudge, I had the LA Rams and the Baltimore Colts.

Seriously, I have the Colts and the Vikes.
Still looking good for another ohfer weekend.

I'm enjoying the game with some chili dogs and the 'nukes, too.

We're still giggling over something, I'll let him' 'splain.

Take it, Scotty.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 24, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

So anyway...

Jim Nance mentions that Colts receiver Austin Collie completed his 2-year LDS mission prior to joining the NFL.

I ask bc if Jim McMahon (da Bears) completed his mission. We agreed that probably was not the case.

bc then asked, "Where did Steve Young go for his mission?" NukeSpouse (thinking I had mentioned former ESPN analyst Steve Phillips) said "To He11 in a handbasket."

bc wondered just how one gets to He11 in a handbasket...

And I said, "Obviously you have to pass through Mianus."

:-)

Posted by: -bc- | January 24, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Why would anyone bother to make a hoax like that? I could understand doing it if there were something funny in it -- say, "Johnny Depp dies in tragic boating accident: dinghy rammed and sunk while attempting to board oil tanker in a daring act of piracy." This thing, on the other hand, is simply sad. It explains why abeac fell for it -- no obvious alarm bells to warn her something is up -- but I fail to understand why it seemed interesting to someone to create the hoax.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 24, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmm

"Johnny Depp dies after fatal car crash
Alcohol is most likely involved.

Thursday, March 25, 2004 Posted: 8:21 PM EST (0121 GMT)"

Posted by: Boko999 | January 24, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

... and so I sez,

"Right. Find Mianus and head north."

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 24, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Whew, glad TBG and abeac set that one straight right away. No need for a run today, my heart rate was way up just from the thought. Anyone remember 21 Jump Street? I've had a mad crush on Depp since then.

At the end of the day the 10ft Pole doesn't matter because Lithuanians are better basketball players.

Kind of rooting for the Jets because I loathe Indianapolis in solidarity with Baltimore. That I want the Vikes in the second game goes without saying, almost. I had a thing for the Saints as a kid and if they beat the Vikes will be very happy to cheer them on in between commercials during the Super Bowl.

Mr. F is doing his part for the WaPo bottom line. He subscribed on his new Nook; am awaiting a review of the device and the paper.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 24, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

The trick, *Tim, is to influence the trending topics on Twitter. If you can get enough people to tweet and tag your subject, you'll make it at the top of the list.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 24, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Loved 21 Jump Street.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 24, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Oh, but death rumors have been around a long time. Remember when Bod Denver was supposed to have been electrocuted? I don't know how they get stared, but they spread like crazy.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 24, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Picking up on a comment from RD earlier about men loving women who love men, Steve Goodman wrote a song about this.

There are men who love women who love men,
Women who love women every now and then.
There are men who love men
because they can't pretend
They are men who love women who love men.

Posted by: -pj- | January 24, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Bob Denver... started.

Sheesh.


Anybody else watching the figure skating? (Not my idea.) I can't figure out where I have heard the music NBC is using before.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 24, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

pj - funny!

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 24, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure anyone called Gilligan "Bod."

Posted by: -pj- | January 24, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Meant to add that "RIP Johnny Depp" is number 8 on the list of trending topics.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 24, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Watching the game and unable to decide who I 'hate' most. I think it's the Jets but I guess I don't care who wins this one. For the next one I'll root for the Saints (sorry Frosti). Have to 'Skype' #2 at around 6 pm. Have I mentioned that I find Skype fascinating.

Posted by: badsneakers | January 24, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

RD, was this music that one of the staker's used in her program?

Posted by: -pj- | January 24, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

badsneaks,

My dad bought a camera for his computer and last weekend we had a delightful video talk with my brother in England using Skype. It was wonderful and free! With a good Internet connection Skype is great.

Posted by: -pj- | January 24, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

How and why celebrity death rumors start and spread:

http://gawker.com/5404764/killing-them-softly-the--______-is-dead-twitter-meme

For the record, Fonzie is still alive. That closes the rumor that spread like wildfire through my fifth grade class.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 24, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

The things dads suffer for their daughters, RD.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 24, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

pj, I just Skype to her cell phone as they don't have Internet at their house, just at the cafe in the village. So we don't get the fun of seeing her, but it's still a very cheap way to talk.

Posted by: badsneakers | January 24, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I remember that Fonzie death rumor too Yello!

pj - I am referring to the music NBC is using when they show their logo and in transitions. It is some sort of rousing fanfare that I am convinced is from a movie. Just not sure which one...

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 24, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Yes it is, badsneaks. A great way to stay in touch with loved ones.

You raise another good point, however. There are still lots of places that either don't get Internet access or who only have dial-up service. When businesses and governments say that they can refrain from providing certain services because "people can get it on the Web" there are still plenty of people who either can't get it or who can't get it very easily. Those folks are at a very serious disadvantage.

Posted by: -pj- | January 24, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Boy, you guys should have been around when we heard El Cid had bought the farm.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 24, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

pj, #2 is in Costa Rica so I find it amazing she has any sort of connection, (Internet, cell phone) at all. It is spotty, depending on where she is at a given time but their house is on a mountain so I guess that helps.

Posted by: badsneakers | January 24, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

RD,

I'm sure that's music NBC commissioned, probably to sound like it came from the movies. Maybe John Williams wrote it. I know he's written music for Olympic coverage.

Posted by: -pj- | January 24, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

That makes sense pj. It sure sounds like Williams.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 24, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Didn't the Skipper call Gilligan "Litte Body?"

Posted by: -TBG- | January 24, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

"Candy is dandy and liquor is quicker,
You can drink all the liquor down in Costa Rica,
Ain't nobody's business but my own."

Yeah, it is great that you can get with her at all, badsneaks!

Posted by: -pj- | January 24, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

You mean that Gilligan and Skipper were . . . . . . . lovers?!?!

Wait, what about Ginger and Mary Ann?

The mind boggles.

Posted by: -pj- | January 24, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Well pj, we'll be with her for real in a few weeks!!

Posted by: badsneakers | January 24, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Excellent, badsneaks! How long has she been down there?

Posted by: -pj- | January 24, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Hi all,

1. Defeating a bad opponent. I've found that whenever sports teams (or anyone else for that matter) wins on a mistake by the other, the comment by the winner is usually a somewhat legalistic "that's part of the game".

2. I think all provinces bar lawyers from sitting on juries, which are rarer here to begin with (esp civil). I received a jury notice (to my parents' address in BC, where I hadn't lived in 10 years) in first year of law school. I was sorely tempted to go but in the end called and said that I didn't live there anymore.

3. Love video Skype. It's no flying car, but the future is finally here. It turns out it's usually poorly lit and should have put something nice on, but it's here.

4. I-mom, did you know that Conan O'Brien wrote the monorail episode on the Simpsons?

Posted by: engelmann | January 24, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Votes please, on what dinner should be. I am unable to decide.

Prawn & snow pea stir-fry with crispy noodle cake
or
Butternut squash ravioli & green salad
or
Chicken schnitzel with spaezele and beet salad

Posted by: Yoki | January 24, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Butternut squash ravioli and green salad.

Posted by: -pj- | January 24, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

pj, they built a house there a few years ago and try to get down for a few months every winter. They've been there this time since the beginning of January. They come back sometime in March. If they could, they'd live there full time but it's hard to be a permanent resident there and they don't have real jobs there either, so...

Posted by: badsneakers | January 24, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Sold! to the pj at the back of the Boodle. Thanks, pj.

Posted by: Yoki | January 24, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, prawn stir fry.

Posted by: badsneakers | January 24, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Ramen, steamed veggies and grilled-cheese sandwiches.

Oh... you mean at your house? I'd go with the chicken schnitzel because it's just so much fun to say.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 24, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I vote for the butternut squash ravioli. I just finished potato and cheese pierogies with sauteed mushrooms and onions. Comfort food on a dreary day. Beer and ice cream during the next game for dessert.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 24, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

I can't help ya, Yoki; I just finished dinner -- herb-encrusted pork loin with roasted four-potato medley.

Yesterday we picked up two boxes of fantabulacious honeybell oranges that came up from Florida. I've gone through four of them since then, just had one for dessert watching the end of the Colts game.

Jeremy Shockey needs a haircut. Or something.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 24, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Well, this game look's like it's gonna be real interesting.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 24, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

I have to admit I haven't watched the Vikings lately, but when did they switch from purple to blue?

Posted by: -TBG- | January 24, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

They still do the purple uniforms, but their logo has deep royal blue on it, TBG.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 24, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Yeah. If the picture is not a hoax, too, someone definitely died in that car. Ghastly.

Dinner's on the grill. Surprise from Mr. C. He won't tell me what it is. Sides include quinoa and green beans.

Finished the Greek outfit for ancient civilization day at my daughter's school. I worked off the picture of a statue of Athena I saw on Flickr, so, aside from the funky seams, it is probably far off the mark culturally speaking. We had a blast selecting the fabric and she feels beeeeuteeful in it. That's all that counts.

We had hoped the Jets would win, simply because our friend who passed away in August was a huge fan. He would have enjoyed the season, I'm sure.

Posted by: abeac1 | January 24, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I had no idea there was a congressman from Arkansas with this name...

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/house/marion-berry-to-retire.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: -TBG- | January 24, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Back from book study, rain is starting in earnest. I'm glad this storm will come through overnight so I don't have to be out in it. It will be a muddy mess for the construction guys in the morning, but they are used to it. Our yard is Carolina red clay; one of the guys told me Friday he couldn't keep his foot on his clutch because the clay on it was so slippery. They are making good progress, and I have the funds in hand to pay for the next installment when it comes due.

Posted by: slyness | January 24, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

My daughter and I have been studying the Greek and Roman gods. Did you know that Apollo is Apollo all the world around?

Really, one of these days I must get myself educated.

Dinner is leftover pasta and ham. We are simple folk.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 24, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, he's been around for a few terms, TBG. He was kind of amused by the similar name when he first arrived in DC.

Posted by: -pj- | January 24, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

I got some honeybells from a local Lions Club yesterday, Mudge. They are very juicy!

Posted by: -pj- | January 24, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

The bear part may be real, frosti...

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=966_1264213759

Posted by: -TBG- | January 24, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

That's what I'm talking about TBG. It's the rare blog that couldn't use more bears.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 24, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Stephen Colbert might disagree, Frosty.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 24, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Ok, more bears.

http://www.sandiegozoo.org/pandacam/index.html

Posted by: -CB- | January 24, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

And why? Because he was (is?) so beautiful. A veritable Apollo. Poetic expression has its place. I've only met one man in my lifetime whom I would describe as an Apollo. I was overwhelmed. Or, at the very least, whelmed.

Posted by: Yoki | January 24, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Padouk, did you study Apollo Creed?

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 24, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

It just got very much more interesting.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 24, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

and more interesting still, but not in a good way this time.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 24, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, frosti. But it's a heckuva game.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 24, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

True Mudge.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 24, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Ok, my job search has not reached rock bottom but I did find this disconcerting nonetheless- Sam's Club is firing all the product demo people. What next? Wal-Mart greeters?

http://industry-news.org/2010/01/24/walmart-plans-to-cut-10000-sams-club-store-demo-jobs-in-u-s-memo-says/

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 24, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Just got a text message purporting to be a bank. I know no bank sends text messages. The funny thing is, I made an unusual action on a new account recently. So there really COULD have been a problem. But I know to avoid scams and schemes.

But anyhow. Curious, I called the number. Very convincing recorded voice. But somehow... not QUITE like other telephone recording voices (I know people in the voiceover biz, it's an art)But very pseudo-realistic. In any case, it asked for the last four digits of my SS #. I punched in some random fakery, but then my interest wore out and I realized I had already been partially phished, so I hung up, wrote down the exact message, and found the banks fraud reporting instructions online. Careful, folks.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 24, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Better now, Frosty. I'm actually watching... don't ever tell.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 24, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

But there's so much more to the Wal-Mart story that you didn't mention, frostbite.

The shift toward certain products and away from others and the fact that Wal-mart will outsource the demo jobs to another company in order to enhance the demo capabilities, not to save money, per se.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/01/24/business/AP-US-Wal-Mart-Sams-Club.html?_r=1

Posted by: laloomis | January 24, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Breakfast was at 3:30 p.m. My husband is now back in the salt mine and supposed to work only until midnight tonight. We'll see...

Posted by: laloomis | January 24, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

mudge: //What's the last time you saw someone from a sports team say, "Yeah, we won today because the other team just sucked. I don't know what they we're thinking. They were flat and listless, they made a bunch of stupid plays, and even though we're not very good, we still beat them anyway, even though we shouldn't have."//

Sounds like a mix of D-K and eImpostor Syndromes to me!

Dinner sounds great, Yoki!


Posted by: -dbG- | January 24, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

SCC: nix the e prior to the word "Imposter."

Posted by: -dbG- | January 24, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Wow... an exciting playoff game, I must say. I'm so glad I'm not emotionally invested in it.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 24, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Watching Emma on PBS -- mixed reaction to some of the subtle but modern overlay of speech and body movements.

The costumes and hair are quite good. Hair is realistic; in backlit situations, many stray hairs floating....realistic. They did not have hair product smoothifiers at this time. Male hair is scissor cut as would be the implement of the day...

Lovely cotton lawn prints in the empire and sack-back dresses...

Back to watching and hoping to like it more than I do at this moment.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 24, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

I am watching my first football game in quite a while, can someone explain the purpose of the black robot on the screen - WHY? so annoying.
Geat game though.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 24, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

dmd: There is no explanation for it, I'm afraid. The football geniuses at FOX believe it appeals to a particular demographic. Not mine, that's for sure.

Posted by: MsJS | January 24, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

For the life of my I cannot explain that black robot, dmd, but Fox has had it there for years now and the *&^%*$#@^% thing drives me to distraction.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 24, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

It's just a stupid purposeless Fox thingy, dmd-- like so many others.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 24, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Do these time outs really ice a professional kicker?

And what if he misses? Won't Minnesota want that time out?

Posted by: -TBG- | January 24, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Frosti and Wilbrod... I'm happy to see the Saints go to their first Super Bowl.

Besides, I love shiny headpieces.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 24, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Saints and Colts in the Super Bowl.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 24, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, it's okay. I always thought the Saints would be a tougher beat than whoever they'd play in the Superbowl.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 24, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Leaving out the modern world in a period piece is what divides good actors and TV personalities. Irritiating, Kills entire movies, such as that Pride and Prejudice disaster from a while ago.

Mrdr was rooting for the Vikings He is knee deep in sorrow.

Posted by: --dr-- | January 24, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

In other words, the Colts are likely to be trounced thoroughly.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 24, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Woohoo. I'm 1/4 of they way to my pre regular season prediction (Stupid ravens)

Posted by: omnigood | January 24, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

It was a very close game.
Favre just didn't want to run the ball and get the hit, and that may have lost it for the Vikings.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 24, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Well, that was a heckofa game.

Amazing that the Vikes were still in it after 4 turnovers.

Congrats, Saints fans.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 24, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Watching the end of Emma. Should have switched earlier to avoid jinxing the Vikings, but it is good that the Saints will have the opportunity to trounce the Colts.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 24, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

CqP, are you seeing the same thing I am seeing? That the men are leaking modern all over? Did Jane Austen use 'anyway' in her conversations?

Posted by: --dr-- | January 24, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Oh, puh-leeze.

Posted by: Yoki | January 24, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Fer shur they did, like, you know.

Posted by: MsJS | January 24, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Go, Mickey Loomis, go!

General manager Loomis patron Saint of ascension
Jan. 18, 2010, Houston Chronicle

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/justice/6821004.html

Posted by: laloomis | January 24, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

I watched the Emma on and off for the last hour. I'm debating if I should catch it on the Seattle feed in an hour, or if once was enough.

Meanwhile Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon beckons on Space. I think this is going to be the better bet. Or Saving Private Ryan on History.

Posted by: --dr-- | January 24, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness you'all did not put up any spoilers.

I am watching Emma on MT, now.

And quite like it.

Posted by: Yoki | January 24, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps better than bears, since Australia lacks bears: a big-wave bodysurfer swims 20 miles along the beach on a stormy day when the beaches are closed, just for the practice.

http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2008/01/04/6515_gold-coast-lead-story.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=idgIvwwN7YY

and (this is Australia, remember?) a math professor's take on bodysurfing. He's also published on balls in sports and water polo:

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/ockhamsrazor/stories/2007/2117842.htm

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 25, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

*sniffing to see if slyness's ham biscuits might be in the offing*

Pretty dull front page this morning. Howie Kurtz's Media Notes column is full of crap. He faults the media for failing to see something that wasn't there.

Haven't read Dionne yet.

*wandering off in search of coffee*

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 25, 2010 6:28 AM | Report abuse

All alone.

*sigh*

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 25, 2010 6:53 AM | Report abuse

Im here, I'm here. Though heaven knows why. It is muy early.

Posted by: --dr-- | January 25, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse

I'm finally here, Mudge! Yes, ham biscuits and coffee/tea/orange juice on the ready room table.

I woke up, fell back to sleep, and then didn't wake up again till after Mr. T had gone. Usually I open the door for him so he can get himself and all his stuff (briefcase, laptop, and lunchbox) out the door in one piece. Oh well.

It's wet out there...

Posted by: slyness | January 25, 2010 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Its not Ham but I got some Indians River grapefruit.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 25, 2010 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Psst, 'Mudge:

We need to tidy up the Ready Room and Bunker, pronto!!!

From today's front page:

"As for what Obama reads online, his advisers said he looks for offbeat blogs and news stories, tracking down firsthand reporting and seeking out writers with opinions about his policies. ... 'I don't think time permits him to be surfing all the time,' Axelrod said, adding that the president reads 'magazines like crazy,' including the New Yorker, the Economist, Sports Illustrated and Rolling Stone. 'There are some commentators whose views he's interested in, and he'll read blog items.' "

*straightening-my-tie-and-combing-my-hair Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 25, 2010 7:19 AM | Report abuse

Hey, 60 degree high today in DC. Of course, my run of luck for Saturdays may come to an end next Saturday .... 34 and snow. Oh, boy.

Posted by: russianthistle | January 25, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Scotty... I think he must read Achenblog. For all we know, he posts.

Posted by: russianthistle | January 25, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Sadly, rt, I think he must read Andrew Sullivan. The subtle right-tilt is showing.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | January 25, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. It's been a strange month of January, weather wise. We barely had any snow and now it is raining heavily. I sure hope it will dry a bit before all that water freezes solid.

Competitive football in January, who would have thunk! The way they disposed of the Jets the Indianapolis football team should be called the Sharks.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 25, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all! Yes and yes, rt, Obama reading and commenting on the A-Blog, couldn't hurt...... just like chicken soup

Thanks slyness.

I watched last half of Emma last night. I have read the book many times and so far believe the mini series is credible. The actors don't look like I see them in the book, tho, especially Emma's father. The character looks a little scruffy. I expected him to be elegant in his old age, but I don't see that in him. he, of course loves his daughters, worries for his and their health, a little bit of a selfish man, one of my favorite characters in the book.

Now must read Little Green Footballs and see what the general boodle consensus of opinion is.

Posted by: VintageLady | January 25, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Sullivan isn't the evil one in the "room." He tries to stay within his building blocks of core beliefs. As opposed to say, Joe L., who actually said that, if something makes the Democrats happy, he is against it, principles or no. EVEN if he had tried to push legislation through Congress to do the same thing. There are so many shades of wrong.

Posted by: russianthistle | January 25, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

I think what I find most disconcerting about Sullivan is the occasional mention of how he reveres Reagan and Thatcher and supported Bush and the Iraq War at first - it makes me wonder how I could even begin to trust him now. But the things he continually harps on (health care, torture, Iran, gay marriage) are things that must be brought up, and perhaps someone with a conservative bent doing it is for the best.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | January 25, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

If Obama read Sully, DADT would be gone by now.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 25, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Maybe he doesn't read him very carefully, Yello. I know I don't.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | January 25, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

yello, why do you assume that if someone reads Sully, they automatically run out and do whatever he says?

I think it would be cool if Mr. Obama, sir, read the Ablog and boodle. For one thing, he could hardly find a better place to hang out online, and find a generally more welcoming political environment, given our generally pro-Dem. quasi-liberal bent, plus our general friendly (i.e., non-typical Internet craziness) behavior. Plus there's the food. And the poetry. Canine haiku. DNA_girl's cartoon links. Nerdly science stuff. Legumes and lapins. Literary criticism and movie reviews. The odd bon mot. Why, we're just like an issue of a 1961 New Yorker.

Meanwhile, ftb, here's a disconcerting piece of news for you and other Detroit Lions fans that may explain your season:

"Bin Laden Claims Responsibility for Balloon Boy Hoax

CIA Analyzing Latest Terror Tape

(The Borowitz Report) One day after claiming responsibility for the Christmas Day underpants bomber, Osama bin Laden appeared in a new terror tape today in which he claimed responsibility for the Balloon Boy hoax that held the nation spellbound last year.

"The so-called Balloon Boy claimed that he ‘did it for the show,'" a stern-faced bin Laden says on the tape, which surfaced Sunday morning. "In point of fact, he did it for jihad!"

In the somewhat rambling tape, Mr. bin Laden spends 45 minutes claiming responsibility for other things, including the massive Tylenol recall, John Edwards' illegitimate baby, and the Detroit Lions' NFL season.

According to a CIA analyst familiar with the tape, a new characterization of Osama bin Laden may be beginning to emerge: "He's like a movie executive: no matter how little he was involved, he claims credit."


Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 25, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Electrification has been restored to the Vast Padouk Estate after vanishing early this morning. And not a moment too soon. I was almost out of votive candles to the Goddess of Backup Sump Pumps.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 25, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Interesting local news tidbit this morning, carried on two of the local news affiliate stations...

There is a slope failure in Helotes, the TV pictures showing homes and fencing sliding off a hillside. One picture also depicted a family carrying valuables--a TV, from their home, before what looks like the eventual collapse of their home into the deeply eroding hillside.

Let's see, what did John McPhee, on p. 207 of his essay, "Los Angeles against the Mountains," in his book, "The Control of Nature," say about the angle of repose and the angle of maximum slope?

I know his Helotes subdivision since it's near our outer loop freeway. River Mist, IIRC. But no river is nearby, it's one of those concocted nature marketing names for Texas scrub or chapparal. The scene is also about 1.5 miles, if that, from the scene of the infamous Helotes Mulch Fire.

I see a river of lawsuits and some misty-eyes from the developers of this patch of ground who'll probably eventually end up paying a pretty sum in compensation for those homes that are now pretty much worthless.

Cutt-throat William, this article about Phoebe Prince is for you this morning:

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/01/24/teens_suicide_prompts_a_look_at_bullying/

Did some Googling last night about the Castle estate in Kailua, Oahu. The Castles are the descendents of Samuel Northrup Castle (Cazenovia, NY), of Castle and Cooke fame. Castle and Cooke were the eighth wave of missionaries to Hawaii--late arrivals, but the seed stock of quite a financial enterprise (I already knew of their business endeavors).

Posted by: laloomis | January 25, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Well done Mudge!

I like Andrew Sullivan's blog. Granted he is, naturally, more occupied with Don't Ask Don't Tell and marijuana laws than am I. Also, he does get himself spun up sometimes (Bring me the Head of Janet Napolitano!) but then he usually spins himself down. He is profoundly rational and wicked smart.

Yes, he was much more politically Conservative as a younger man. But many of us born in the early 1960s were. The important thing is that he recognizes that ideologies have to give way to facts and not the other way around. He is a pragmatist. Plus, he dislikes Sarah Palin nearly as much as do I.

And speaking of dislike, as a search of the archives will confirm, my profound hostility for that stupid lil' football robot is a matter of public record.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 25, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

psssst Mudge-you forgot bears.

Speaking of bears, the bear center in Ely MN is looking for volunteers to take regular two hour shifts to log the activities of Lily and her cub. All the info you need to become an official bear watcher via web cam is at www.bear.org in the Jan. 24th entry.

Wilbrod-hope you are wherever you need to be today and don't need to travel in the cruddy weather.

Mr. President-about DADT. It's stupid, works against our national interest, and its end would save $-and who isn't looking for $ saving ideas these days? Hugs.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 25, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Husband got off work at 4:20 a.m. No way that he's heading to work on the Wells (formerly Wachovia formerly World) campus this morning. So he worked only 18 hours this weekend. I do think his female boss in North Carolina is absolutely clueless about the number of hours he puts in. How can a person manage by walking around (MBWA), when the team one manages is geographically scattered?

So, I'll be very quietly padding around the house this morning. Will put in an order later today at a very close-by big-box home improvement retailer for a new built-in microwave oven and trim kit.

I had a less than thumbs-up drop-in visit to the Sears appliance center near us yesterday afternoon. The store reeked of cigarette smoke, the source, I figure, was Walter, who had just come from his break in the store's backroom, the direction of the horrible cigarette smoke. I complained vociferously about the smoke to Walter, who I think gave me poor customer service because he was ticked off. I said that I suffer from allergies pretty badly this time of year, and that smoke of any sort is an additional irritant--as I learned from having lived through the Helotes Mulch Fire. Might as well call Sears corporate and complain. while I'm in the process of making calls. Lots of negative feedback from me, both to corporate and local management, hasn't done much to improve the service or food at our local Johnny Carino's restaurant, though I keep trying. We're ready to give up on this restaurant's Italian fare.

I'll make calls to find out if it'll be cheaper to repair our 17-year-old dryer or buy a new one. Should I be surprised that a Maytag lasted only 17 years...?

Posted by: laloomis | January 25, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Cynicism is an extrovert's paranoia: instead of everyone out to get you, everyone is out to get everyone else. Of course since someone is always out to get someone some of the time, both the cynic and paranoid are never completely wrong.

Now I can't figure out if I'm being cynical, paranoid or just plain silly. Is it too late to lobby for symbolic logic courses in kindergarten?

Posted by: qgaliana | January 25, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

DotC, late last night:
Perhaps better than bears, since Australia lacks bears
***

DotC, The [Alfred Russel] Wallace Line and the [Max] Weber Line are pretty interesting, no?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wallace_Line

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Carl_Wilhelm_Weber

And those mutant polar bears?

And that stoopid Coca Cola Classic advertisement showing emperor penguins and polar bears together. The even stoopider concept but together for Coke by the by Portland, Ore.-based Wieden and Kennedy advertising agency. No wonder kids today don't know anything.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wieden%2BKennedy

Posted by: laloomis | January 25, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, you're killing me.

You're right, though -- none of that typical Internet stuff here.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 25, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I think the President would be more likely to read the blogs in smaller papers, outside the Beltway. Like the opinions of folks in Denver, St. Louis or Milwaukee, as recorded in the forums of their local newspapers. After all, he can get inside the Beltway opinions by talking to his butler or his security team.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | January 25, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Is it too late to lobby for some basic biology or geobiography in kindergarten?

Posted by: laloomis | January 25, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

How about manners and consideration for others in Kindergarten.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 25, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of typical Internet stuff, this is noted without comment (write your own punchlines): http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,583539,00.html

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 25, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Wheezy, re: your 9:59:
Disgree, having read comments by local citizens to some of the blogs put forth by our local paper. Perhaps San Antonio Express-News editor Robert Rivard put it best in his column this weekend, in which he takes a long, hard look at one of San Antonio's biggest problems:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/columnists/robert_rivard/SA_needs_business_leaders_to_see_city_clearly.html

In a nutshell:
Dr. William Henrich, president of the University of Texas Health Science Center, was on the panel [Chamber's economic outlook gathering]. He cut right to the chase and said the remarkable growth at the South Texas Medical Center is undercut by the city's disheartening 39 percent dropout rate.
**

Obama, being a literate guy, will look for a high degree of literacy. Of course, until we know what blogs he reads--from Gibbs, Ohama himself, or another Oval Office spokesperson, we are all only guessing, no?

Posted by: laloomis | January 25, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

This is where socialysed medicine will lead, surely. Look what happen in France (6900 years ago).
"The surgeon was dressed in a goat or sheep skin and used a sharpened stone to amputate the arm of his patient."

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/biology_evolution/article7000810.ece

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 25, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Wheezy, the A-blog is a stealth blog.

It LOOKS like a Beltway blog, what with the mild-mannered Joel at the helm, but IN FACT it's an international repository of brilliant minds capable of resolving the health care reform stalemate, designing coherent energy and environmental policies, jumpstarting the economy, educating our kids, creating incredible culinary delights, telling witty jokes, and writing sublime poetry.

I'm sure I left something out, but you get the idea.

Posted by: MsJS | January 25, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

It is a dull grey, rainy morning here a little levity is required.

This is a story about one of the stops on the torch relay, the last line is fantastic.

Start your week with a smile.

http://www.ctvolympics.ca/torch/news/newsid=26792.html#the+story+behind+strangest+stop+torch+relay

Posted by: dmd3 | January 25, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. I missed the live-blogging football yesterday; I figured y'all were watching at least the Vikings. Wotta game. I saw a little bit of it. It looked to me like some Saints were told to hit Favre hard and take him out, and they tried.

Our house wireless un-wired for me yesterday afternoon. This is the second time recently; it looks like a new modem may be in our future.

Aha. Monorail, monorail, monorail! I'd forgotten Conan O'Brien wrote for The Simpsons.

Hi CB.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 25, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Mudge: As Roseanne Rosannadanna used to say, "There's always something."

dmd: Oh great! One more thing for us all to look out for when we venture outdoors.

Thanks, both!

Posted by: MsJS | January 25, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

dmd, great story. I will try to remember the wisdom of that last line - you never know...

Posted by: badsneakers | January 25, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I-mom... are you on the modem right now?

Is it secured or open?

Posted by: russianthistle | January 25, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Frightened by rumors that 82 year old George Blanda might try to come out of retirement (it could happen) and challenge his career interception record, Brett Favre added two more to his total last night and stretched his already considerable lead over the venerable Hall of Famer to forty (317-277). Blanda still leads in: years played- 26, teams played for- 5, points scored- 3,418, and was the oldest player ever to play in the NFL at 48. If he can retire and unretire a couple more times and hang on for 7 or 8 more years, Favre will be in a position to challenge at least three of those records.

Posted by: kguy1 | January 25, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

TBG - that Conan thing your daughter posted over the weekend - did she create it? Because Andrew Sullivan is using it:

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/01/conans-farewell.html

Speak of the Devil?

Posted by: Wheezy11 | January 25, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I did an interesting Google search last night. Is there a Googlenope for "eye patch Cutt-throat bada$$"? It's not a Googlenope. Interesting cached material at a site called the xdproject.

Just sayin...

Posted by: laloomis | January 25, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

kguy, records are meant to be broken, except if owned by George Blanda.

Posted by: russianthistle | January 25, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

No she didn't, Wheezy, she reblogged it on her tumblr. It's great, though, isn't it? I love that she loves it, too.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 25, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I don't think that word means what you think it means.

- Inigo Montoya

Posted by: Wheezy11 | January 25, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Oops, Boodled Out of Order

Posted by: Wheezy11 | January 25, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I can't follow a bouncing ball today. Can I buy a vowel?

Posted by: LostInThought | January 25, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Barry Manilow records are made to be broken, and I fervently hope that they all soon will be. George Blanda is a different story.

Posted by: kguy1 | January 25, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

No, Weed, I'm at work piggybacking on a state wireless network (not my agency's, it is for the building).

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 25, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Why don't people have sex in public? Heck, why are women's ovaries U-shaped?

Bet many people don't know that Pulitzer-Prize winning author Jared Diamond has the answer. (I supose the 72-year-old will get all sorts of questions next Monday night at our local Trinity University):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Why_Is_Sex_Fun%3F

Posted by: laloomis | January 25, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Intriguing headline on the homepage, reported by Joby Warrick.

Faux botox labs new terror threat

I'm sorry to be laughing, but the thought of well-to-do women have their faces frozen in time--or worse. I'm all in favor of a Bo-Tax, but a terrorist threat? Wonder if Intuit will be issuing software for Bo-Tax anytime soon? Returning to the home page to read the story and learn more about how terrorists might manipulate the bacterial botulinum toxin for anything other than pumping up skin and erasing wrinkles.

Posted by: laloomis | January 25, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

MsJs, Gene Weingarten agrees with you about Avatar:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/15/AR2010011503042.html

I liked it and I'm female. I find it annoying to be told that something I liked was cliched - movies are pretty much all about cliche, and if it's done right they're fun to watch. Avatar was excellent.

Off to take a scabtaculous cat to the vet for her umpteenth cortisone shot. Poor kitty.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | January 25, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Our WiFi at home has been getting touchy as well, Ivansmom. I have found that many, many problems can be solved by unplugging the wireless router, singing the alphabet song, and then plugging it back in.


That's, technically, called a power-down reset and is a wonderful thing.

Although the alphabet song bit is optional.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 25, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

By the way, Bette White is still crazy (and classy) after all these years.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/24/betty-whites-sag-tribute_n_434616.html

Posted by: badsneakers | January 25, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Don't discount the power of the alphabet song RD. It's not just for flu prevention you know.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 25, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

My husband's now up and around, and he suggested that Intuit call its newest software for skin-enhancing incomes, Tur Bo-Tax.

Posted by: laloomis | January 25, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Wheezy: Yoiks, Gene is on a rant today.

It's one thing to not like a film, but to take it out on various subgroups of humanity, sweet cheeses.

And it's not even that good a rant. I can tell he didn't pass it by Mudge first.

Posted by: MsJS | January 25, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Betty White is an amazing woman with such a rich and fascinating history. (Including something about a deck of cards? Or so I've heard.)


But to me she will always be Sue Ann Nivens.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 25, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Au contraire. Mudge approves heartily of Gene's rant. I'm with him all the way on that one.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 25, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

RD, we've done the alphabet song router appeasement ritual. No luck. If the powerful charm of the alphabet song - also known as the Baby National Anthem[*] - doesn't work, you know there's serious trouble.

[*] Alphabet Song, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Baa Baa Black Sheep. For years the Boy knew only this tune and the Ode to Joy, played on a toy xylophone.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 25, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

For Mudge -- TBG also.

http://wpcomics.washingtonpost.com/client/wpc/nq/

Posted by: nellie4 | January 25, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom have you reset the modem? We have some wireless issues, normally if rebooting the router doesn't work we need to reset the modem - which involves sticking a pin in the reset but for about 30 seconds. Our modem controls the cable, phone and internet and the internet portion seems to shut down periodically.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 25, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Well, heck, if the alphabet song doesn't work you got bad mojo going on indeed.

Has there ever been any tune that has carried more weight than the alphabet song? Even Mozart is known to have been a fan.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 25, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Glad you enjoy the rant, Mudge. It's not up to your quality, though.

Posted by: MsJS | January 25, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I would agree completely with Gene Weingarten about CGI except for one thing. I have seen "Pan's Labyrinth."

Posted by: kguy1 | January 25, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

That bear center in Minnesota is a great idea. Black bears are wonderful animals, but most people will never see one in the wild. I was fortunate to have participated in a bit of bear research long ago, back in the stone age of wildlife observation techniques.

The International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin is quite an old outfit. Whooping cranes get a lot of attention, but the Foundation helped encourage the spectacular resurgence of Florida's sandhill cranes. Wetland restoration brings rewards.

Special effects: the explosions and napalm of "Apocalypse Now Redux" were impressive. It was great that the local theater gave its biggest screen to the restored marvel a few years ago. They did it in collaboration with the local art museum, whose movie classes have grown and thrived since then.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 25, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

kguy1,
you're right about "Pan's Labyrinth". Amazingly, it's both an artistic success and seemingly a wildly popular DVD/Blu-Ray. Its stately Spanish must have encouraged students who wondered about actually ever comprehending the language.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 25, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with kguy1. CGIs doesn't have to detract from the movie - it's the director's problem to integrate the tools at hand, the producer's to provide them. James Cameron is getting a lot of deserved praise for coming up with a new technique for the moviemaking toolbox.

Avatar is just one of those movies which is worth seeing on the big screen. Film is after all a visual medium. It's stunning enough to see twice, although I haven't been back. It may be 5 years or more before I rent it and see it again, but in that time I'll have re-watched dozens of better movies which are still fascinating (Kurosawa and Leone, most anything with Bogart, etc).

Accept it for what it is and Avatar is a very entertaining movie. Not sure why Gene Weingarten is ranting - bad directors would still have continued to barf out horrible movies whether Cameron made this one or not.

Posted by: qgaliana | January 25, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

James Cameron the director would be well served to sever his commitment to James Cameron the writer and start collaborating with someone else, almost anyone else. Try this experiment- watch "Titanic" on a really small screen or better yet with the sound up and the picture off. Much of the plot is absurd and most of the dialogue is dreadful. Only the visuals give it a claim on one's attention.

Posted by: kguy1 | January 25, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, Bubble Wrap!
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/24/AR2010012401627.html?hpid=sec-business
*pop pop pop pop pop*

Posted by: seasea1 | January 25, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Ohhhhh, do I need some bubble wrap therapy right about now...

*poppoppoppitypoppopinfreshpoppoppopontoppoppoppop* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 25, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Black bears in the wild may be wonderful but I swear that if that bozo with the white tag on its ear destroy one more birdfeeder I'm taking up archery, nay, crossbow. We'll re-enact Azincourt with the bear in the role of the English Rabble.

What,s up with bears lately? Even Ezra Klein has a bear on his blog (a big cub really).

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 25, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"..."Titanic" on a really small screen or better yet with the sound up..."

Are you nuts kguy? Don't you remember THAT SONG?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 25, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Where is Weingarten doing his ranting?

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 25, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

SciTim - it was in the "WP" Sunday magazine.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 25, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

sd-considering your many trials with bear and bird feeder I realize this is a bit insensitive, and I am at least a wee bit sorry, but the answer to "what's up with bears lately?" is "Because most blogs need more bears."

DotC-I am glad to read you favor the bear center's work (assumed you would).

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 25, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

bear.should.be.hybernating.now, sd. I recently saw a pbs program on luxury tourist lodges in Canada and one of the lodges featured a guided tour to see rare white (black bears). Seems to be a recessive gene. They were pretty, had sort of golden heads, looked just like black bears do.

Also, if salmon cannot get back to their spawning streams, the eagle and the bear will leave and look elsewhere.

Posted by: VintageLady | January 25, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I guess, just his column from the mag, not on-line continuous ranting. That's OK, then.

I've been recommending to folks that they see Avatar now, in the theatre, and then never see it again. The 3D effect is spectacular and totally immersive and the only thing in the movie that has any value. I don't mind that the movie is cliché, although there certainly were opportunities to deviate from cliché. What bothers me is the pervasive racism *among the GOOD guys*. How come the Na'vi, once they are alerted to the matter at hand, require the trans-bodied white guy to save them? They could have told basically the same story, but with a subtly different interpretation, if the tough-guy leader among the Na'vi had remained as the leader and used Sully and his knowledge as strategic assets, instead of deferring to Sully. It was childish and racist.

But beautiful.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 25, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Hello all!

A little bubble wrap fun below. Happy Popping!
http://www.sealedair.com/products/protective/bubble/funstuff/game/default.htm

A warm fuzzy (I love the picture, with the little girls waiting by the finish line):
http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/01/25/uk.boy.charity.haiti/index.html?eref=rss_world&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fcnn_world+%28RSS%3A+World%29&utm_content=Google+Feedfetcher

Posted by: MoftheMountain | January 25, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Annnd IIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII willllll allllways luv yewww? That the one? You're making my point for me. The visuals are the sole attraction.

Posted by: kguy1 | January 25, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Just down the hallway from me is an enormous roll of bubblewrap. It's, like epic.

But it holds no power over me. Really. My poppin' days are over. Never again shall I succumb to the seductive charms of those hundreds of perfect little air-filled chambers.

I am no longer tormented by memories of the rapture that comes from twisting a delicate sheet of shiny, shiny bubble wrap until it explodes with a cacophony of delicious staccato eruptions.

The glorious sensation of popopopopopopopopopopopopopop
opopopopopopopopopopopopoppppppppppopppppohgodthepopopopop


No.

It holds no thrill at all.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 25, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Ah, but Tim, if the indigs had saved themselves, what would we do with all the leftover cliches? "Dances With Navi"? "Planet of the Navi"? You've got to have the "Magic Caucasian" dude.

Posted by: kguy1 | January 25, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Tim, W rants here:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/15/AR2010011503042.html

Yep, that one. Two talented canuckis combined their effort to make the inhabitants of the world completely lose their sanity over a song.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 25, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

No, kguy, that's Whitney from The Bodyguard (Dolly Parton song). Celine did the Titanic theme song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmbw8OycJrE
(I have my sound turned off.)

Posted by: seasea1 | January 25, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

shriek, it's my belief that the English rabble won at Agincourt. Don't you mean you want the bear in the role of the french knights? It was the English rabble who possessed the bows and arrows.

(OK, I admit, I told Henry this was a terrible idea, and that the French were gonna slaughter us. But Henry, he wouldn't listen. Muttered something about wishing I was abed in England, crunching his bones, happy couple, something something crispy, something like that. And something about a band. I dunno, I was toward the back of the crowd and it was hard to hear. And it was raining. Filthy, miserable day.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 25, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I thought maybe Weingarten might be ranting in the Biergarten.

Yes, Avatar seems to have no useful life beyond big-screen 3D. Maybe someone will set up an all-Avatar all the time Imax theater in Orlando. The lobby could have mockups of those oddball plants and megafauna.

Maybe Universal could have an enhanced-reality Avatar ride. Maybe not--they might have spent all their available resources on Harry Potter. Disney is counterpunching with massive revisions to Fantasyland.

Unrelated but interesting, the New Yorker has a story featuring a super-tall condo in Chicago named Aqua. It uses simple-to-build curvy balconies to domesticate the wind, making an expensive conventional wind damper unnecessary (the massive one in the Taipei 101 tower is a tourist attraction. Damper Baby!)

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 25, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

But can the Boodle tell me what "j USB" is?

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 25, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

One of the things that Titanic and Avatar have in common is that you pretty much know how the story is going to turn out before you watch the movie.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 25, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Java USB

Why the j is lowercvase I can't tell you, But it appears to be that way. IT people seem to think it cool to use lowercase letters at the front of words.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 25, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

USB being universal serial bus.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 25, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Well, rdp, we all knew the Titanic was gonna sink, but I didn't know the old lady was going to throw her necklace in the ocean.

Posted by: VintageLady | January 25, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

And III knowwwww that my heart wiiiilllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll go onnnnnnnnnnnn. Yeah, that one. Thanks a lot for the link. I really really needed to hear that again. Now if only I don't die from hyperglycemia......

Posted by: kguy1 | January 25, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

The Rabble won but I'm sure a bolt or two found their mark. I don't have a lifetime to learn this long bow business.

That's correct seasea, and much safer with the mute button "on".

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 25, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Oh crap, Padouk, don't spoil the ending of "Titanic"! Maybe some people don't know the ship...


...um...

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 25, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Your 2:07 was classic RD, RD.

'mudge, the St. Crispin's Day speech is my favourite Shakespeare piece. You did a great job fudging it just now.

Come to think of it, that speech should be the Boodle's official banner.

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers...

And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,

Posted by: Yoki | January 25, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, how old are the modem and router at your house? I replaced both back in the summer and it made a heck of a difference. The modem is free from Time-Warner, I just had to take the old one in and they gave me a replacement. The router was 4 years old and worn out, I think. It helps to have Geekdottir around for advice.

Back from taking a good friend out to lunch for her birthday; we had a great time. Good food, too.

Garage now has a roof and shingles. I need to go take pictures.

Posted by: slyness | January 25, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

'Tis my favorite, too, Yoki.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 25, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

kguy, dotc, count me as another fan of "Pan." I don't own many movies on disc, but I do own that one.

Ofelia is a touching character - she's a reckless child, yet is willing to sacrifice her life for those she loves, and this sacrifice becomes an escape. Sadly, she is filtering her world (horrible and sad as it is) through a personal fantasy, a fairy tale of monsters and shadowy hidden worlds. Tragic.

But I would ask anyone who had thoughts of suicide to seek professional help immediately.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 25, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Oh man!

I never got around to seeing "Titanic". Guess there's no point now.

**checking off of personal bucket list**

Posted by: MsJS | January 25, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I love Shakespeare's Hank V St. Crispin's day speech.

And I like Belushi's sendup of it towards the end of "Animal House," too.

I wonder if Lombardi or Rockne ever cribbed that speech for a halftime pep talk?

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 25, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I found Cornwell did a fine job with his "Agincourt". I admit reading it before reading the Band of Brother speech (I had too after the book).
The depth of my lack of culture is unfathomable.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 25, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Agincourt, I found, much to my delight, that Bernard Cornwell's latest in the King Alfred series, this one titled "The Burning Land," was available this past weekend at our local big-box discount-club warehouse.

http://www.bernardcornwell.net/index2.cfm?page=3&BookId=50

The tale, I learned via Cornwell's website, moves, in this fifth book in the series, on to distant great-grandpappy Alfred's final days. More shield walls and sword song, I betcha.

That said, I bristled about 10 days ago when I heard, on a second hour of the Diane Rehm show, the author who wrote the historical fiction work about Mary Anning, "Remarkable Creatures." Having read Shelley Embling's historical account of Anning over Christmas. "The Fossil Hunter," I realized how Tracy Chevalier was manipulating the facts to suit the purpose of drama. I was gritting my teeth at times reading Embling for two reasons--Embling's often too breezy use of vocabulary throughout and her emphasis on women's looks and grooming at the time, coupled with the fact that Anning was too poor or uninterested to care. Anning had discovered what she loved and that was selling "seashells" by the seashore.

But I was actually grinding my teeth when I listened to Rehm interview Chevalier. However, if Chevalier's fiction is the only way a person will approach the Anning subject matter, then I'd say "Go for it."

http://www.amazon.com/Remarkable-Creatures-Tracy-Chevalier/dp/0525951458/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264448533&sr=1-1

I can't figure why I find Cornwell so appealing after reading four in the Alfred series, yet I'd offer a pass on Chevalier, based on what I heard on the radio? *drumming fingers below computer keyboard and wondering what the answer to this question is* *l*

Posted by: laloomis | January 25, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I didn't know Kay Scarpetta was at Agincourt.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 25, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Here's Branagh's version, complete with Patrick Doyle's lovely theme swelling up and making you want to just roll in the mud and hack some Frenchie's head off with a rusty halberd.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAvmLDkAgAM

Posted by: kguy1 | January 25, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

There was so much forensic work to do after the battle I'm not surprised she was there. It's not easy to identify someone whose face was maced to a pulp.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 25, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Scarpetta only showed up later to try to get a COD on the Duke of Brabant.

Posted by: kguy1 | January 25, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

On behalf of the philistine community, I make two points:

1. GW felt the need to define CGI. Writing to a specific audience? I wonder if "new fangled" is hyphenated or not.

2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_highest-grossing_films

Interestingly, Mamma Mia is the only one in the top 50 not animated or loaded with CGI and other effects. Sadly, technology has not advanced to the stage where it can improve Pierce Brosnan's singing.

Posted by: engelmann | January 25, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Momma Mia is in the top 50 grossing films?

Posted by: dmd3 | January 25, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Looking at that list of gross movies, I find that they continue to diligently avoid the most reasonable ways to evaluate useful qualities in describing the quantitative success of a film. They do make a point of discussing the effect of inflation, but my skimming of the page (maybe I missed something, what with it being totally unimportant to anyone outside the business, really) suggests that they don't really get down to essential points:

(1) Actual number of tickets sold in theaters (tells you about popularity), compared to global population.

(2) Ratio of earnings to investment

(3) Fraction of earnings post-theatrical.

Dimensionless numbers; it's the only way to do it.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 25, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

If Art Buchwald were alive he would look at that list and say, "The funny thing is, according to the studios, not a one of them has shown a profit yet!"

Posted by: kguy1 | January 25, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

personally i'm in the anti CGI group... and probably won't see avatar at all. for some reason james cameron just bugs the crap outta me... i DID see the blind side - it was awesome!!

mudge - i think you are actually a shade taller than i am - i'm also one of the vertically challenged boodlers 5'2 3/4" (i need that 3/4 of an inch!!) typical hispanic shortness gene - tho when i was in mexico i felt TALLLLLLL... i always feel short around ppl too - always looking up. and it doesn't help that i'm in a male dominated field - and for some reason they are always so tall! is that a geek thing?

mo

Posted by: mortii | January 25, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I agree with kguy on "Pan's Labyrinth," and I'd add "MirrorMask," "Wall•E," and the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, off the top of my head, as great movies that couldn't have been made without state-of-the-art CGI. I think that what drives Weingarten nuts is the fact that so many effects-driven movies aim for the lowest common denominator, in order to fill seats and justify the enormous cost of the CGI. I find that the best way to enjoy some of these is to think of them as being in the same category as George Pal's special effects movies of 40-50 years ago -- cheesy, corny and lots of fun. Of course, even this doesn't excuse crap like "Transformers 2."

Posted by: rashomon | January 25, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

So, is CGI just a different way of spelling HFCS ("high fructose corn syrup" for those who never shop in a grocery store).

Posted by: -ftb- | January 25, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Good CGI should be seamless. Titanic is full of it but much of it is not obvious, even with the sound off.

My friends are convincing me to see Avatar. I've been thirsting for 3D for a long time, the sappiness in certain SF blockbusters, eh, not so much.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 25, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I ran across this quote from the 1953 film "Houdini" with Tony Curtis-

Harry Houdini: I hadn't prepared anything for tonight, but perhaps I have something that will amuse you. So if you'll get a couple of broomsticks, I'll get my wife - and we'll see what we can do.

Posted by: kguy1 | January 25, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was telling that in the highest grossing movies by year one of them (1952's "This is Cinerama") didn't even have a plot, but is instead seems to have been just a collection of visuals.

Posted by: engelmann | January 25, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Number of executives at Wall Street banks so far who have been tried on criminal charges related to the financial crisis: 2
Number acquitted: 2

(Harper's Index)

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 25, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

On the other hand Jumper, Chemical Ali went back to where he came from, so the world is a little better for it. I'm against the death penalty in general but committing multiple genocides (Kurds, Koweitis, Shiite, march arabs, etc), even on behalf of a beloved cousin, is really pushing my ethical limits.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 25, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Tim, Avatar was an amazing visual feast but the science, military tactics and message was a muddled mess.

In science the biology of Pandora, six limbs was the dominant theme except for the four limbed exceptions. Unobtainium, this time as a room temperature superconductor, is a standard geek joke but its value was only mentioned in monetary terms, not the enormous value it would have. Other materials in the same column on the periodic chart, Handwavium and Geewhizium also have great value.

Military tactics. Landing a ground force on a bombing run is a questionable tactic. What keeps the "Sky People" from targeting the "touchy feelie" tree from orbit once they are put there.

The racial component seems a tertiary concern when there are basic problems with the plot. Furthermore, the evil corporation went to great expense in order to find an agreement with the Na'vi. While Cameron went out of his way to make the corporate decision makers stupid and venal, they were looking for a win-win and the Na'Vi were not.

I return to my "dying planet" now.

I did enjoy the visuals.

Posted by: edbyronadams | January 25, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Slim cheer on Ali. Prefer analog of Spandau prison. Recall Dresden. Shake head.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 25, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

SCC marsh Arabs... *sigh*

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 25, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Because I was bored and Gene twittered about it, I took his quiz this morning. I then immediately submitted a question to his chat. He added this question to the quiz:

"When I was in college in 1968-1970, I occasionally used heroin. I have written about this many times. Should I have included this fact in the story?"

The voting is running 24/69 yes/no but the sample size is still pretty small.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 25, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Wow, you -were- bored, yello.

Posted by: MsJS | January 25, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Any of the second/first Star Wars trilogy movies are watchable only with the center channel ripped out. Why these director-writers don't hire William Goldman for a dialog polish is beyond me. It's not like they can't afford a little tinkering with the script just because the CGI guys need more money to get the CGI mammaries just perfect.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 25, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I-Mom, regarding the router: it might need a firmware update. Printed somewhere on the device, there should be a series of numbers that say it is the "home address" for it. If you turn on the device and point your computer browser to that address, you will get to a page that gives you options for setting up the router. See if you can find a "check for upgrades" button on it. If the firmware is out of date and you have recently unplugged or lost power, the device may be having difficulties getting started.

I can't believe all of you had to bring up that Titanic song. Remember the version on the radio with lines from the movie interspersed throughout?

GAG!

Posted by: abeac1 | January 25, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

The problem with the Star Wars movies is as much bad acting as bad script, yello. The Fantastic Four movies are stinkers for the same reason -- mainly Jessica Alba's lack of any discernible talent. I've always thought that one of the biggest differences between good and bad actors is the ability to deliver bad dialog convincingly. Since SF movies, almost inevitably, have a pretty fair share of unrealistic dialog, it takes talent to make it work. Which is why Alec Guinness could pull off Obi Wan. Ewan MacGregor, not so much.

This is why I can't figure out why Keanu Reeves seems to have become the go-to guy for SF movies. He can't pull off over-the-top dialog to save his life. It always feels like I'm watching the guy who got the part after the director's first five choices turned him down.

Posted by: rashomon | January 25, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Yello: The last time we rented the original Star Wars movie (Episode IV), we watched it at double speed without sound. We rather enjoyed it.

Posted by: MsJS | January 25, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Ideally, CGI is a tool to help a filmmaker tell a story. The problem, as Gene quite correctly points out, is when the story becomes nothing more than a delivery system for the visual thrills.

In this way CGI is much like violence and sexuality in that care must be made to keep them in service of the story instead of the other way around.

I'm not sure, though, if Avatar is a good example of CGI abuse. I honestly thought that the special effects were pretty much in service of the story (as derivative and patronizing as that story might have been.) They weren't pushy or demanding.

So I don't wish this new CGI technology away. There are too many great stories out there that these effects can help tell.

I just don't think the Avatar story was one of them.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 25, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

MsJS,
You don't know the half of it. I spent three hours this afternoon on a trade show floor with my boss. I'm having steak tonight. I've earned it.

rashomon,
Excellent analysis. It doesn't quite explain how Natalie Portman has the worst dialog in the entire series since she is so good in other things.

"Hold me, like you did by the lake on Naboo; so long ago when there was nothing but our love. No politics, no plotting, no war." is pretty close to the worst live ever recorded.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 25, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Trade show? Bleck!

Yes, yello, you're entitled to eat whatever you want.

As for that line, to quote abeac, GAG!

Posted by: MsJS | January 25, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Is the closing song in Life of Brian and exhortation not to be cynical or the ultimate in cynicism?

Posted by: edbyronadams | January 25, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

That is an excellent question, edbyronadams. I think, perhaps, a little bit of both. That is, you could view it as a satire of optimism given how unpleasant things turned out, our you could view it as a paean to joyfulness despite the harsh realities of life.

These are the kinds of philosophical ambiguities that cause many to rank the works of Monty Python near the apex of 20th century cinema.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 25, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure Avatar is visually stunning, etc., but we have no interest in seeing it. If we did, we'd have to find a theater that has 3-D 'cause here in the boonies we just have old fashioned screens. When we rented Titanic, we fast forwarded to the sinking part. I've always been a contrarian about movies - didn't cry at Love Story, never saw The Sound of Music. I hate being manipulated by an inferior sappy plot line. Of course if the writing is good and the story is believable I'll cry, or if I need to cry over something else and the movie manages to set me off. I think this happened with Steel Magnolias and also the first time I saw It's a Wonderful Life.

Posted by: badsneakers | January 25, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Gee I can think of worse dialogue in Star Wars, much of it uttered by Princess Leia, but really, who watches Star Wars for the dialogue?

Posted by: --dr-- | January 25, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Our favorite dialog in Star Wars... "Don't know an Obiwan Kenobi, but there's an Old Ben Kenobi. Wonder if he knows him."

Ya think?

Posted by: -TBG- | January 25, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Ha, sneaks, you made me laugh out loud - fast forwarded to the sinking part! I've never seen Titanic, although I've seen plenty of clips over the years. I'm debating about Avatar - no real desire to see it, but there is a 3-D theater nearby showing it, and if it's up for awards, I feel like I should. Maybe I'll wait for the Oscar nominations.

Pan's Labyrinth is one of my favorite recent movies, but not for the CGI aspects. I think the ambiguity of it - whether the fantasies are a little girl's way of dealing with tragedy, or are real, is why I find it so compelling.

I always cry at Wonderful Life, at the same place - Zuzu's petals, Merry Christmas, Bedford Falls!

Posted by: seasea1 | January 25, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Gran Torino. Few CGI's, pretty decent movie. keep in mind that this is from one that is movie challenged. thank goodness that CD didn't sing the closing track. she grates on my last nerve. kind of like ethyl merman at the height of her disco days. too vegas.

Posted by: -jack- | January 25, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and I liked the new Emma. But then, I can watch any of the versions of Austen over and over - not sure why. Some is no doubt the pastoral locations, and the horses.I was cracking up at the snow hysteria - nothing has changed.

Posted by: seasea1 | January 25, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

CGI can be pretty subtle and incredibly useful. That's how they "amputated" Gary Sinise/Lt Dan's legs.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 25, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

seasea, we did try to watch the whole movie, but it was just so silly, we didn't want to waste the time, wasn't it about three hours long? We quit Netflix last year as we just aren't that disciplined about sitting down to watch something. I'd like to get back to doing that as there are movies I wish I'd seen.

Posted by: badsneakers | January 25, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

that movie never fails to bring a tear to my eye at the end, TBG. thanks for that bit of trivia. i feel less challenged.

Posted by: -jack- | January 25, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I think the only movie that I ever cried about in the actual theater was "The Joy Luck Club" -- only because my mother was dying at the time, and boy, did that set me off. I got the CD of the sound track, and whenever I felt like letting go at home after she died, I would put on the sound track and have a good blubber. Very useful, I must say. She's been gone for 15 years in May and I don't think I've listened to the sound track for about maybe 10 years. I wonder if I know where it is. I know where the Brandenburg Concerti are (I think) but not JLC. I guess I've moved on. Sorta.

Posted by: -ftb- | January 25, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

...may Pernell Roberts rest in peace:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/afterword/2010/01/pernell-roberts-adam-cartwright-on-bonanza-dead-at-81.html

Posted by: -jack- | January 25, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Ha! When Titanic was out, #2 made us all laugh (she was about 8 years old at the time) by saying, "I didn't shed a tear" to anyone who asked.

Steel Magnolias got me. Terms of Endearment, not so much. Too manipulative by half, and clearly broadcast its intention to be so. Also, Ordinary People didn't pull at my heart.

Now, Hilary and Jackie? Let's not even go there. Though I maintain it was the Elgar and not the story that made me sob (and it still does).

Geez, I'm old.

Posted by: Yoki | January 25, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Seasea, I love Austen, too. It is entertaining. And it is so much fun to compare versions, too.

There is a Pride and Prejudice (kind of...) where a woman goes into the book from present-day London and trades places with Elizabeth Bennett. I laughed and laughed watching it. The title is Lost in Austen. I rented it from Netflix sometime last year. My mom has it on her list. We might watch together when she's here next week.

Pan's Labyrinth was beautiful, but tough to watch. I have a hard time with sad movies, in general. I can't just shut off the DVD player and leave it at that. They stay with me for days. The last sad movie I watched was Atonement, on a Friday night, and sniffled all weekend long.

Posted by: abeac1 | January 25, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

This is the Elgar, played by Jacqueline Dupres.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5C99JyP2ns

Posted by: Yoki | January 25, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Anybody remember Frank Serpico? Here's an article from today's New York Times about him. He's writing a book to tell what he's been up to since the book and film "Serpico" came out and he hangs out in an unnamed town in upstate New York. Still very smart and prickly. Man, Pacino was good in that film!

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/24/nyregion/24serpico.html?scp=1&sq=serpico&st=cse

Posted by: -pj- | January 25, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Remember way back when they spent a lot of money on dialogue and very little on special effects. Just the other day I had a chance to watch the first episode of the Flash Gordon series from 1939 ( i think). I was so distracted by the strings and candles for the rocket ships... what did they say, no really i missed it.

I wonder how the French would say "CGI improves, Dialogue stays crap"

But I do know of one SciFi Series/Movie with really good dialogue

Posted by: omnigood | January 25, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

What an extraordinary talent Jacqueline DuPre was and what a sad and tragic loss! Sigh. There's a box set of about 10 disks of her music that I picked up on e-bay for not a whole lot of money. Wonderful music!

Posted by: -pj- | January 25, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

abeac-Lost in Austen is great! I've seen it a couple times now.

Going to watch the entire Emma episode online as soon as House is over. Yes, a veritable TV watching marathon in the Hip Urban Loft. Bears aren't the only creatures hibernating around here.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 25, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't she? One of my earliest memories is hearing the record my Dad had of her playing Bach, while I was falling asleep.

Posted by: Yoki | January 25, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

I judge an Austen production by its fidelity to the novel. I loved the Emma Thompson Sense and Sensibility, the Keira Knightly Pride and Prejudice, not so much. Good to hear that folks like the PBS Emma, I may have to get it when it comes out on DVD. It's basketball season, I have no access to the TV even if I wanted to watch. Which I generally don't.

Is Pernell Roberts the last of the Bonanza cast to die? I loved that show when I was a kid. Visited Virginia City with the 'rents when I was six and we took the great western trip.

Posted by: slyness | January 25, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Les effets spéciaux s'améliorent; le dialogue est chié.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 25, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Can't get past Barenboim's hair. Yikes!! Have to listen with eyes closed.

I listened to beautiful music today at school. Here's one of the tracks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=py8LYITL3PQ

Posted by: abeac1 | January 25, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Je préfère toujours des films comme "L'Appartement".

Posted by: MsJS | January 25, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Of course in Australia, they say...

"dɐɹɔ sʎɐʇs ǝnbo1ɐıp 'sǝʌoɹdɯı ıbɔ"

Posted by: -TBG- | January 25, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

"L'appartement" était magnifique. Aimé Shirley McLaine dans celui-là. Également les paires de eux en La Douce d'Irma

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 25, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Je ne parle pas français.

Posted by: -pj- | January 25, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Je pense que Jack Lemmon était un acteur extraordinaire. J'ai admiré sa variété.

Posted by: MsJS | January 25, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Remember Day of the Tiger? A Lemmon tour-de-force.

Posted by: Yoki | January 25, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

I watched The Apartment a couple of weeks ago (again), great movie, and I love Jack Lemmon what a great actor he was.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 25, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Down in Australia they are enjoying some interesting tennis, too.

Justine Henin has emerged from retirement. Though unseeded, she may well reach the women's singles final. She leads in her quarterfinal match 7-6, 4-3 against Nadia Petrova. The winner of this match is guaranteed to face another unseeded player in the semis. Then it's on to the finals, where the opponent is likely to be surnamed Williams.

Posted by: MsJS | January 25, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Ask a silly question and the Boodle goes all out Francophile

Oh the pain

Posted by: omnigood | January 25, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Have a bagel, omni.

Posted by: -pj- | January 25, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Think of it as a feeble attempt to balance all that Henry V at Agincourt stuff from this afternoon.

Posted by: MsJS | January 25, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Aimé lui dans "Monsieur Roberts," aussi.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 25, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Il est manqué.

Posted by: MsJS | January 25, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what scares me more, TBG. That you can do that or that I can read it exactly as you've written it.

Posted by: -dbG- | January 25, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

This weekend my wife and I went to a pirate dinner theater show and the group next to us were all from Ottawa and Calgary. One little boy was about seven and was loving the show. My wife enjoyed watching him more than the pirates. He kept shouting in glee in English at the pirates and then talking French to his mother and than vice versa.

My wife was just delighted with this raw unfiltered bilingualism that just doesn't exist in the US. Which is my way of saying I have no way of knowing what you all are babbling about.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 25, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

It couldn't hurt

Posted by: Yoki | January 25, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

I am going to take a wild guess and say those were not the Calgary vistors. Now I am ducking from the Alberta boodlers :-)

Posted by: dmd3 | January 25, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

yello, I think Mudge went with standard France translation, the others I'm not sure about but I think they were Quebecois and French Guiana. Then there's TBG eating vegemite on pain.

Posted by: omnigood | January 25, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

And I've got both Emma and the SAG awards on DVR, so no spoilers.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 25, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

In a stunning upset, Emma Woodhouse wins the SAG Best Director award. Her grand-nephew, Pelham Grenville, helps her to the stage to accept the trophy.

Sorry, yello.

Posted by: -pj- | January 25, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

And this whole Jessica Alba can't act thing I don't get coming from you guys. I'm mean really. Just look at her and tell me how you can possibly notice acting or lack thereof. As for the dudes in the Fantastic Four only the Thing had a thing going for him.

Posted by: omnigood | January 25, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Holy carp!

Posted by: Yoki | January 25, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I've said it before and I'll say it again -- I think 'Avatar' in 3D was a stunning technical achievement.

As a story, I think it's serviceable, nothing more. FWIW, I think that's OK. Sink into Cameron's details and marvel at the heat plumes, shimmers and aerodynamic vortices from the CGI military equipment, the depth of the 3D renderings of completely computer-generated landscapes, life forms and biosphere, the thought that went into the language and the ecology of Pandora.

I think it's simply meant to entertain, suspension of disbelief paid for with enough cliches and modern and historic touchstones as to make us sympatheic to what we're seeing.

If you're looking for meaningful story that gives deep insight of and consideration to the human condition, this ain't the movie.

If you're looking for three hours of entertainment where you can set your brain on 'stun' and go for a rollercoaster ride without moving an inch, look no further.

I think Avatar has it's place in the pantheon of popcorn-munchin' matinees, just like the Star Wars films and Flash Gordon serials did before it.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 25, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Here's a thing. A gentleman caller just brought a dark-chocolate/bacon/chipotle truffle. Oh, yes!

Posted by: Yoki | January 25, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Lovely Yoki.

When I read "gentleman caller" the voice in my head automatically switches to a southern female voice, just not a term that sounds correct with a northern accent :-).

Posted by: dmd3 | January 25, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

I would add here that if the A-Blog and Boodle were in Cameron-level 3D, I'm sure I'd accidentally poke myself in the eye.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 25, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm Blanche!

Posted by: Yoki | January 25, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

hey, blanche.

Posted by: -jack- | January 25, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

kguy,
Thanks for the Henry V./Kenneth Branagh St. Crispin's Day clip on YouTube. What caught my eye on first viewing was the young lad whom Henry V gently cuffs about the neck and who appears in subsequent scenes. Thought I knew who it is (Batman *w*), and had to run it through a second time to be sure that it is a young CB, as Falstaff's boy.

Note that this date is also the day of the famous Battle of Baklava. *w* Also known as The Charge of the Heavy Brigade. *w*

Posted by: laloomis | January 25, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

-jack-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJg8U0QMXEQ

Posted by: Yoki | January 25, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERW8z8Y6MHk

the race is on.

Posted by: -jack- | January 25, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I62uwbyD2pU

Posted by: Yoki | January 25, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zzq5X-p2C0Y

Posted by: Yoki | January 25, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_21p14TAXM

a favourite

Posted by: -jack- | January 25, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Good country!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuZTk1hdpMs

Posted by: Yoki | January 25, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

LAR *really* belts it out.

Posted by: -jack- | January 25, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

I just spent the last three hours writing... 51 words.

Yes, it was poetry.

No, I didn't ask Wilbrodog for writing tips.

I think I'm all in and ready for bed on this cold night.

Thanks for the no-travel wishes, Frostbitten. Even walking isn't always a good thing in this frozen-over slush nicely filled over by ski-grade powder.

'Tis the weather to envy those with four-feet drive.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 26, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

And, just, this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENS4nD0vRKI

Posted by: Yoki | January 26, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

original crazy. willie.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMYH1KfYyuA&feature=related

Posted by: -jack- | January 26, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

interesting. the wildwood flower was one of the first songs i learned to pick on the acoustic guitar. still use it to warm up, and still keep in touch with the friend that taught it to me. jeez. that's over thirty years now that i think of it. age, or the tracings of tradition? just thinking aloud.

Posted by: -jack- | January 26, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

old age.

But, of course, the Carter family taught us all. How to pick that thing 'til it bleeds.

Posted by: Yoki | January 26, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

"All I ask of you, especially young people...is one thing. Please don't be cynical,"

Well, Mr. Letterman is not young. But I don't know if he is cynical or not. I just stay away from him.

Posted by: gary4books | January 26, 2010 5:46 AM | Report abuse

Sorry I'm late. Or is it early? Riffing on the blue and the country.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlI9ykOUmDw

Posted by: yellojkt | January 26, 2010 5:50 AM | Report abuse

According to this we have another 57 years of Celine Dion coming to us.

http://www.gocomics.com/features/9/feature_items/487529

Posted by: yellojkt | January 26, 2010 5:55 AM | Report abuse

YouTube led me to this medley.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_0VJ9LbWRo&NR=1

Cry all you want.

I saw Crystal Gayle at Rams Head a year or two ago. She still has the pipes and the hair.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 26, 2010 6:04 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all. Winter has returned in this neck of the woods. I suppose that's better than the flooding we had yesterday.

Scrambled eggs, bacon, a mixed fruit bowl with appropriate hot and cold beverages on the ready room table. I'm just not feeling original today.

Cassandra, I hope everything goes well for you today.

Posted by: slyness | January 26, 2010 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodlers,

Zooming off into warm summer day.
This is almost comical:
Hugo Chavez closed the signal of TVN in Venezuela. TVN is the Chilean government TV station.

The reason for closing the signal is that TVN did not include his speeches into its programs.

Bwa ha ha.

Everyone haff a good day.

Brag

Posted by: Braguine | January 26, 2010 7:11 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I am thinking only good thoughts for you. Also for my friend Jason.

Posted by: russianthistle | January 26, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Last night, I got around to reading Sunday's Style (now "Arts & Style"). More evidence that this once-great newspaper is on a steep slide into the grave: about half the bylined articles are from news services -- AP, Hollywood Reporter and one other (I forget). I can understand using news services for breaking news, but Arts & Style is for material that the writers have had time to work on. Using news services for the Sunday paper, the flagship, can only mean that the writers are not there at all. These practices are acceptable for the small-town newspapers that Mudge has told us about, but for the major paper of the Nation's Capital to go this route is as much as saying "our heart's not in it any more." It would be better to eliminate the section entirely than to keep its corpse as a zombie, still moving but lacking a soul.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 26, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

More good thoughts for Cassandra! *HUGS* :-)

Another stunning sunrise is no consolation for another Metro accident:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/26/AR2010012600582.html

*SIGHHHHHHHHH*

*I-got-nuttin-today Grover waves*

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 26, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Jkt... here is one for you

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBPTuAl2Qyk

May you never ... The late John Martyn, with Kathy Mattea, Danny Thompson (Pentangle and Richard Thompson accompanist among many other partnerships) and Jerry Douglas(The Whites, J. D. Crowe and the New South, the Country Gentlemen and now Allison Krauss).

... may you never make your bed out in the cold.

Friday marks the 1 year anniversary of Martyn's passing.

Posted by: russianthistle | January 26, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Good morning!

Yoki, how was the truffle? I love spicy dark chocolate. Someone here at school made chocolate chip and bacon cookies recently. They were really good.

Yes, Christian Bale was a cutie. He did a really good job in Henry V and Empire of the Sun. He's good now, but sometimes chooses to do really creepy movies.

Cassandra, I'm thinking of you today.

Posted by: abeac1 | January 26, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Geez, yello - that Argyle Sweater is alarming on so many levels:

1. That Ms. Dion will continue her caterwauling that long.
2. That even postmortem more than enough of her tissue will survive to permit cloning.
3. That Ms. Dion's death will occur during Canada's bicentennial year, thereby potentially ruining Canada Day with a medley of her greatest hits played as background music to the fireworks on Parliament Hill. (Personal nightmare: that she will have recorded a cover of The Poppy Family's "Seasons In The Sun" just for the occasion.)

Posted by: byoolin1 | January 26, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Wow, that was some YouTube slam that Blanche and Jack got into last night. (I felt sorry for poor Patsy Cline-- she did such an awful job lip-synching "Crazy" in that one clip.)

I just love this story. It's just so...so...Alice in Wonderland:

"Carlos the Jackal, imprisoned for life, looks in lawsuit to protect his image

By Edward Cody
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, January 26, 2010; A07

PARIS -- Long before Osama bin Laden, Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, a.k.a. Carlos the Jackal, was the most famous terrorist of his era, bursting onto the scene with a spectacular hostage-taking of 11 OPEC oil ministers in 1975 and feeding his fame with more bloody attacks in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Ramírez, described by the spy novelist Robert Ludlum as "the most dangerous man of all times," has been the subject of numerous books and films over the past two decades, not all of them flattering. But apparently determined to control his image even from his Paris prison cell, he has brought suit against a French production company shooting a documentary film on his life and legend, demanding a say on the final cut.

Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, the lawyer representing Ramírez, said that Ramírez is demanding that the Film in Stock production company hand over a master copy of the documentary as soon as it is finished and grant him three months to review the content and impose changes. Anything else, she said in an interview Monday, would violate his intellectual property rights to his name and "biographical image."

Coutant-Peyre, who is Ramírez's wife as well as his attorney, said the documentary, being shot for France's Canal Plus television network, would likely be a propaganda film unless she and her husband were granted a right to oversee its accuracy. She charged that statements by the producers indicate they plan to portray Ramírez as the instigator of terrorist attacks for which he has not been convicted, violating his right to presumption of innocence.

"It's extravagant," added Coutant-Peyre, who wedded Ramírez in a prison ceremony in 2001.

------------
I can't for the life of me imagine where the happy couple registered their wedding gift suggestions. Heckler and Koch?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 26, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Tim, I agree with your 7:54. I fear you and I are in the minority on this, however.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 26, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Good one, Mudge :)

Posted by: Braguine | January 26, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Good one, Mudge :)

Posted by: Braguine | January 26, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

I am SO buying this poster for my office.

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/semicolon

Posted by: abeac1 | January 26, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Just got an e-mail advising my group that we are all being transferred back to our old office space in downtown DC, on or before Feb. 12. I have mixed feelings about it -- although it will make attending BPHs feasible again.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 26, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

New Kit.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 26, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

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