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No thanks, I'll stay at the Super 8

I had to stay a night in New York and somehow got booked by the travel agent into a hotel too cool to have a sign. This was ominous. When traveling I usually stay in places that have signs that can be seen from two exits away. My hotels tend to be visible to truckers who are legally blind. But this time I found myself in a fashionable "boutique" hotel, a striking place, very modern, a steel-and-glass tower rising above the Lower East Side.

Walking in, there's no sign of a lobby per se. No Registration Desk. A snappy dresser tells me to follow him. Suddenly I'm introduced to a sharp-looking woman who is, apparently -- maybe -- a concierge of sorts, and is somehow associated with the task of giving me a room. It's like we're going to have a conversation first.

I'm a little thrown off by the whole thing. I need a room, a phone, electricity. I want a KEY. But perhaps that's me being really old-fashioned.

In the absence of a Registration Desk, the concierge-type person operates out of what appears to be a small conference room, as if I'm going to sign refinancing papers. Alas, there is no room yet available, it being merely 1 in the afternoon. You know that even at $270 a night you can't expect a hotel to have a room ready this early in the day.

So I wait for 90 minutes -- stylishly, hanging out amid the groovy furniture, ducking out briefly for a slice of pizza at Ray's.

They're all very nice. They offer me a drink! But no: At this point I am starting to crave a Motel 6.

Finally get the room. It's about the size of a large bed. Everything is so gleaming that I worry I'm going to leave fingerprints everywhere.

Off to the interviews. Back at the end of the day, I pop into the bar, which almost resembles a sit-down restaurant. A man with dyed blond hair shows two young, fashionable people to two empty bar chairs. There's no room for me. I am not sure what to do with myself. There are no empty seats, and it doesn't look like a Belly Up To The Bar kind of place. I am feeling conspicuously uncool. I am feeling like my suit should be black instead of a Navy pinstripe. I am worried that the concierge-woman is going to ask me if I can change into clothes that they helpfully keep on hand for just such emergencies. Like at a fancy steakhouse where they keep a jacket in back for the slobby guy who shows up in a sweater.

Here's the sad fact: I can't stay in trendy, Studio 54 hotels anymore. I'm too old. Consider the very fact that I would use a Studio 54 reference.

I'm too fundamentally beige.

It's hard on a middle-age man's ego to realize that he's being totally outcooled by everyone on the hotel staff. The guy fetching the taxi probably pities me. Because he knows he still has a future. He says to himself: Thank God I'm not him. How does he face the morning???

Nice hotel, but it made me feel like Willy Loman.

By Joel Achenbach  |  February 18, 2010; 9:47 AM ET
 
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reposting:

I think my own electrical circuits are starting to fry. My husband has resumed a noctural work schedule this week--with a reasonable set of total hours--and my schedule has been following his. So, last night, as I was attemting to drift off to sleep after midnight, these following events or individuals were firmly lodged in my brain, in no particular order: movies and the upcoming Academy Awards, the three-day water seminar at Trinity, Tom Friedman at Trinity, Roman Polanski and Gstaad, Brit Robert Harris' fiction "The Gift."

Are water wars anything new in dry climates?

http://www.wildsound-filmmaking-feedback-events.com/chinatown.html

Excerpt:
The water heist [in Polanski's film "Chinatown"] is inspired by true events that took place in the Owens Valley in the early part of the twentieth century. Valley owners were duped into selling land for a reclamation project that was actually a viaduct while land owners in the arid San Fernando Valley sold out for chump-change to insiders who knew where the water was going – the S.F. Valley. The Owens Valley subsequently dried up and is still a source of dispute. The genius of Townes script is how beautifully the personal story of Evelyn Mulwray mirrors the water plot and the doomed valley – Townes plot has the power of archetype. How unusual then to discover he was not pleased with the ending, that he and Polanski fought over it. Towne saw a happier ending. Polanski pushed for the tragic ending the film has today. He wrote it himself a day before shooting. Since then Towne has applauded the decision.
***

The fierce competition for oil--when it was plentiful or when it isn't so much any more?

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

Excerpt:
Originally, Paul Thomas Anderson had been working on a screenplay about two fighting families. He struggled with the script and soon realized it just was not working. Homesick [for his childhood home of Southern California], he purchased a copy of Upton Sinclair's "Oil!" in London [Oh. My. Goodness.], drawn to its cover illustration of a California oilfield. As he read, Anderson became even more fascinated with the novel and adapted the first 150 pages to a screenplay. He began to get a real sense of where his script was going after making many trips to museums dedicated to early oilmen in Bakersfield.[Oh. My. Goodness.] He changed the title from "Oil!" to "There Will Be Blood" because, "there's not enough of the book to feel like it's a proper adaptation." He wrote the original screenplay with Daniel Day-Lewis in mind and approached the actor when the script was nearly complete.
***

And for the current subject of "The Missing Seven Paragraphs," well, there's always Harris's "The Ghost" and Polanski's movie based on this book. *w*

http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/02/17/cia-torture-case-entangles-british-government-prompts-charges-o?icid=sphere_blogsmith_inpage_poldaily

Posted by: laloomis | February 18, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I think in the past, they'd leave a light on for you at Motel 6. In the new green revolution, it's turn off all the lights that you don't need to use.

Unlike Willy, you're not a salesman, or are you?

Posted by: laloomis | February 18, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I've stayed at a couple of those types of hotels. The Paramount near Times Square is nearly invisible. The only sign is for the coffee shop in the lobby and the doorman wears black denim and tight black tee shirt with no logo. Inside, it gets really weird. The beds are only a foot off the floor. The whole decor is Lewis Carroll meets Ken Kesey. Nice place but too cool for me.

The most recent odd experience was The Standard in the Meatpacking District. Same 'if you need to see the name you don't belong' vibe. It's key design feature is that there is a glass wall between the bed and the shower. Not a place for people traveling with their kids.

The shower:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/yellojkt/4002308171/in/set-72157622565054722/

The bathroom in the lounge:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/yellojkt/4002311969/in/set-72157622565054722/

The house brand condoms with some intriguing how-to-use pictograms (maybe NSFW):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/yellojkt/4003103952/in/set-72157622565054722/

Posted by: yellojkt | February 18, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Suit? You were wearing a suit?

Posted by: MsJS | February 18, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

What a delightful kit, Joel.

And, man, do I ever relate to the sense of being out-cooled.

For me the great insight was a few years ago now when we were on vacation in Florida. My wife and I ventured into this "retro" dance club at the hotel. This was populated with impossibly beautiful people none of whom were out of diapers when the music being played was released. You know, music like English Beat and the Tom Tom Club. The classics. Music *I* listened to when I was their age.

I was indignant that this music had been copped by these whippersnappers what with their shiny pants and spiky hair. So I did the only reasonable thing and shook my cane at them until my wife gently led me away.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 18, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Joel, you must attend one of those fashionable *w* warehouse parties in Brooklyn. Details please.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/18/garden/18party.html

Just don't take the train home or show up on your own icy doorstep swathed in red satin or velvet. *w*

Posted by: laloomis | February 18, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

All I can say is...

I ♥ New York!

Posted by: -TBG- | February 18, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Next time Joel,stay at a Marriott.I work for Marriott,most of their hotels are nice and plain and clean.

They have a friends and family rate,I consider everyone on this boodle to be a friend of mine.It would be no sweat to me to fax a form to any hotel,anywhere.I just wish more of my friends and family would use it.Lord knows I can't afford to go away anywhere.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 18, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

If the staff were all in black suits, are you sure it wasn't a funeral parlor?

That might explain the lack of signage.

Posted by: MsJS | February 18, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Once, many years ago, I ended up being bumped into first-class on a nonstop flight to the West coast. (I never really understood how this happened, but I was cool with it.) At first I felt an awful lot like the way Joel describes. Vaguely uncomfortable and deeply worried that at any moment I would to be pointed out and dragged from my uncommonly comfy seat.

I felt shame as the coach passengers filed by. Passengers who, I suspected, could easily see the truth about me. As could the other first class passengers who, clearly, belonged there.

But a funny thing happens when you are put in such an environment. After a while you start to mentally adapt. The submerged portions of your mind begin to conclude that since you are being treated like an important person, what with the food you need not unwrap and all, then you clearly must truly be an important person.

I think this phenomenon is called believing your own press releases.

The thing is, at the end of that flight part of me started to believe that I *belonged* in first class. That I really was a first-class type of fellow in contrast to the unwashed heathens desperately flipping through the in-flight magazines back in coach.

Of course, this sensation could have been caused by the complimentary Shiraz.

But in any case, it was curling-like in its seductive appeal. I could honestly understand that people continuously subjected to such posh treatment could easily get a warped view of reality and their place in it. Luxury, more so than even power, I began to suspect, was a profoundly corrupting influence. At least to simple folk like me.

Fortunately, it passed quickly. And I have seldom been subjected to such dangerous treatment since.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 18, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I feel your pain Joel only more so being that much older. If you want to go somewhere that doesn't care about appearances, try Costa Rica. I looked and was dressed like carp the whole time and it didn't matter.

I have so much to catch up on but need to compose some sort of summary of our trip before I forget. So much to tell.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 18, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Mr. T has a trade show to attend in Germany this summer, so I'm tagging along. We're going to stop in London on the way and got reservations at a Very Nice Hotel in a Highly Fashionable Area with points. I told him this trip would spoil me for staying at lesser places. Now I realize I'm also going to have to seriously upgrade my wardrobe; CqP, are you available for consulting?

It pays to use a knowledgeable travel agent for putting these trips together.

Posted by: slyness | February 18, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Try the Excelsior Hotel directly across the street from the Museum of Natural History on W 81st Street. It's quite nice, has a great location, and rooms are generally in the $150-200 range. If you have business at the museum (Dr. K does research there from time to time) they'll get you a better rate. Just around the corner is a great little shop-

http://maxillaandmandible.com/

Posted by: kguy1 | February 18, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

The first time Daughter and I stayed in one of those chi-chi boutique Manhattan hotels, we quickly discovered that those cool-looking young'ens in all black are really very sweet kids from Queens. All it takes is a big smile and a friendly greeting to bring out the real person behind the black.

On another note, Son of G sent me this hilarious link this morning...

http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2010/02/obama_being_forced_to_look_at.html#

Posted by: -TBG- | February 18, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

TBG: I -love- factory tours! I would -never- tire of the cornucopia of how stuff is made.

Mr. A, consider how all the chi-chi folks would function in your environment. Unless they really are sweet kids from Queens, as TBG mentioned, they would squirm big time.

Posted by: MsJS | February 18, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Ya know, sneaks, you're right. We did see a lot of folks dressed like carp in Costa Rica and nobody seemed to take any notice. Now the guys got up as salmon did cause comment, but that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish.

Posted by: kguy1 | February 18, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Joel, I can relate. I can't stand bed and breakfasts either with the host's false sense of bonhomie. As for the too cool bar, you had it easy. I am the slobby guy that shows up in the sweater.

On another note, I am delighted with this item. http://www.aolnews.com/world/article/french-winemakers-convicted-for-duping-e-j-gallo/19361466?hpid=moreheadlines

As a wine drinker, it has always been my contention that even experienced drinkers would have a hard time identifying grape varieties in a blind test. This proves that bottom feeders (The slobby guy is one.) are no different.

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 18, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

No Super 8's in Manhattan. The closest is in Long Island City (aka west Queens) but only a short walk to the Broadway stop on the M and W line. Rooms there range from $90-$163 with a AAA discount.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 18, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I like staying in good hotels. The home-grown Germain line is fabulously boutique-y, all smooth wood and brushed nickel.

Fairmont is about service as much as fluffy towels.

Marriott operates like a luxury-factory but is really all business efficiency decked out in smooth white linens and marble countertops.

In India, the Taj Group does upscale but authentically Indian, while the Sheratons can give an exhausted discombobulated, culture-shocked traveler a psychic break by presenting "a business class hotel anywhere" vibe.

It isn't so much that I feel that I belong in those surroundings, or that I am entitled to them, but that so much of my travel is business-related, especially negotiations. I want to know that no matter what time I arrive they can give me a decent room-service meal, that the air-conditioning will work, that the bed will not be a rack in disguise. I simply can't travel long distances and get no rest or safe food, and perform as I need to.

And if that isn't a fine rationalization, I've never heard one.

Posted by: Yoki | February 18, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I can't relate, but I enjoyed the read very much. AND the boodle. Just sayin' hey to all.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 18, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

If you are ever in Hanoi, stay at the Metropole (part of the Sofitel chain, don't be tricked into the Sofitel Plaza in the business district) for true colonial splendor at less than Manhattan prices. I went for a dip and swam a few laps in the courtyard pool and the attendants had fresh towels and a glass of kiwi juice waiting for me when I got out. It doesn't take long to get spoiled by that.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 18, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Joel, you know you are cool. But thanks for channeling your inner beige guy; it makes for entertaining reading.

RDP, I know what you are talking about. My previous job was with a luxury resort, not a cool boutique experience but a place that really hits you over the head with upscale amenities--marble staircases, sheets of Egyptian cotton woven by nuns in Italy, that type of thing. I stayed overnight there once a year almost the whole time I worked there. At first I was uncomfortable and really didn't like it--but after a few times I adjusted and started to feel like I could at least act like I belonged.

One of my co-workers was from a more privileged socio-economic class. She had occasion to stay overnight at the resort because she was attending a late night event nearby. She checked in to her room but after trying out the beds decided that the bedding, and specifically the pillows, were not up to the standard of what she had at home. So she checked out and went home. When she told me about it, I was incredulous, thinking of some of the places I've stayed overnight, and for that matter, the pillows I use at home (WalMart, $4.99). I made a note never to invite her to my house; she would doubtless be miserable there.

But the point is, yes, we do tend to become accustomed to luxury, and I will do my best not to allow that curse to fall upon me.

P.S. TBG, I didn't mean to ignore your inquiry, so long ago that you probably forgot--the new job is going swimmingly, thanks for asking. Back to it, right now!

Posted by: kbertocci | February 18, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Joel, you know you are cool. But thanks for channeling your inner beige guy; it makes for entertaining reading.

RDP, I know what you are talking about. My previous job was with a luxury resort, not a cool boutique experience but a place that really hits you over the head with upscale amenities--marble staircases, sheets of Egyptian cotton woven by nuns in Italy, that type of thing. I stayed overnight there once a year almost the whole time I worked there. At first I was uncomfortable and really didn't like it--but after a few times I adjusted and started to feel like I could at least act like I belonged.

One of my co-workers was from a more privileged socio-economic class. She had occasion to stay overnight at the resort because she was attending a late night event nearby. She checked in to her room but after trying out the beds decided that the bedding, and specifically the pillows, were not up to the standard of what she had at home. So she checked out and went home. When she told me about it, I was incredulous, thinking of some of the places I've stayed overnight, and for that matter, the pillows I use at home (WalMart, $4.99). I made a note never to invite her to my house; she would doubtless be miserable there.

But the point is, yes, we do tend to become accustomed to luxury, and I will do my best not to allow that curse to fall upon me.

P.S. TBG, I didn't mean to ignore your inquiry, so long ago that you probably forgot--the new job is going swimmingly, thanks for asking. Back to it, right now!

Posted by: kbertocci | February 18, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Small rooms are not limited to boutique hotels. I once stay in a room in Easton, PA that was taller than it was wide. There was barely room for the bed and space to get around it. I think it cost me $14 a night. Now granted, that was about 45 years ago, but still...

Posted by: ebtnut | February 18, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I got over the cool thing when the cocaine people tried to take over. I was so like "been there, done that" and unimpressed, yet they failed to cede the mantle of über-coolness to me! So then I had to make nasty, but true, insinuations to them about their total pea-brainedness, and that their fancy clothes and ill-found money couldn't hide their basic illiteracy, etc, blah blah, woof woof.

Suffice it to say, in the long run I was proved correct, but I still have not received any apologies.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 18, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

On the subject of bedding, I once spent a nice weekend (at someone else's expense, thank-you) at the Greenbrier. Another couple in our party got checked into a room that had two beds in it. They wanted to share a bed, so they moved the night stand and pushed them togeter. While everyone was at dinner, housekeeping came around to turn down the beds and leave the requisite candy on the pillow. Well, housekeeping noticed the beds, took them out of the room and replaced them with a king size bed, all before our friends returned to the room. Wonder if they still have that level of service today after all their financial difficulties?

Posted by: ebtnut | February 18, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Two words: government rate.
I'm not likely to see the inside of a boutique hotel short of splurging for a Living-in-Sin anniversary.

There is a fantastic Germain hotel here in Ottawa BTW. It looks gorgeous.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 18, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

here is another travel tip,when staying at any hotel,go to the local gas station,7-11 ask the clerk what is the largest business in the area,then tell the hotel employee you work for them.They rarely check ID's.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 18, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Ummm, Joel, since you're in NYC, maybe you could do me a favor?

Maybe you could hook up with Brit Nick Wade, science writer at the NYT? Perhaps you two could steal away to one of those red-satin-and-velvet garden parties in Brooklyn? Just don't go in humming this, since it might date you a little bit. *old tune cootie alert*

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

Or maybe you two sciencey guys might head to a beige-on-beige bar. Or maybe Nick knows of a quiet British pub tucked away in the heart of the Big Apple?

I'm asking for this favor because I'd like you to ask him for me about a story that he wrote that appears in today's NYT. It's a question of pronunciation. I'd like to know how one pronounces the following in Bushman?:

!
/
#

First graf:
The complete genomes of five southern Africans have been decoded, almost doubling the number of published human DNA sequences. The Africans include four Bushmen hunter-gatherers, known as !Gubi, G/aq’o, D#kgao and !Ai, the odd symbols representing different clicking sounds in Bushmen languages. The fifth person, a Bantu, is none other than Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/18/science/18genome.html?hpw

It's been about 30 years since my husband and I saw "The Gods Must Be Crazy" (about 5 years earlier than that ancient tune cootie song I just linked to). I mentioned Nick's article to my husband very late last night after we had just gone to bed (some pillow talk, huh?) and now we're both curious about how to pronounce or click our tongues to make those upper QWERTY symbols?

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

Thanks!/# *l*


Posted by: laloomis | February 18, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Alas, I am afraid that I too am too old for a hip boutique hotel. I occasionally may stay in an old-fashioned boutique hotel, and do okay. These days if I'm going anywhere moderately fancy (and I do mean moderately), I look for a front desk which can quickly adapt to rearranged plans, a concierge who can give me directions and suggestions and get reservations, parking, comfy beds, a separate bed area with a television for the Boy, pool and workout room ditto. Those comfy terrycloth robes are nice too. You notice "comfy" has appeared twice so far. Not very hip.

There's a motel we love in Santa Fe purely for the excellent complimentary breakfast (kashi and granola, eggs and tea, etc etc) and the great greenhouse-enclosed pool area surrounded by giant plants. Not very hip.

THe smallest fancy room I ever had was in one of the grand old hotels in Santa Fe. It was barely big enough for the bed and wardrobe. The sink was in the room itself. I couldn't complain, though, because the bathroom space was filled with a great claw-foot tub, and the place had plenty of hot water. Still, alas, not very hip.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 18, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Pluto is 80 years old today. Shame it's not a planet anymore.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 18, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Good day all.

I didn't realize any of the branches of the military wore pinstripes. Cool. Also, can't see JA as a Willy Loman; WL didn't know himself. Tom Rath, maybe? But then JA'd need a new suit.

I love staying in high-end hotels, especially when visiting a big city or a small island, but I also like staying with DC at a particular hole in the wall on the boards in Ocean City. Location, location, location. That, and sometimes, it's not all about me.

Have a happy day all.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 18, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Nick Wade gives a fascinating look into Tutu's mtDNA, BTW.

Gates' program--or immigration series-- really good last night on PBS.

Heading to Trinity again tonight...zombies (also known as reanimates).

http://www.mysanantonio.com/entertainment/books/New_Dead_scares_up_fans_of_the_undead.html

Tim Egan has a good write-up of the Canadian Olympics this morning at the NYT *Egan always elicits a smile or a chuckle from me*:

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/17/allez-canada/

Later, gators.

Posted by: laloomis | February 18, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

RD, I had a similar experience on a coast-to-coast flight, being bumped to a later flight but to first class accomodations.

Found that my very minimal sense of discomfort evaporated almost as fast as that second complimentary gin and tonic.

Fortunately, in many cases, people who don't know me think I'm reasonably cool. Or at least, not uncool.

However, my children see through the facade, or at least try to act like there is one, even though they still depend on me for new music recommendations.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | February 18, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Repost from about a week ago:


Henry Louis Gates, Jr has a new show where he obsessively traces the genealogy of celebrities and discovers that they have famous and not-so-famous ancestors.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/10/arts/television/10faces.html

The NYT review calls it 'wearisome' and 'tedious' with 'moments of pomposity.'

Posted by: yellojkt | February 18, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

hey boss: green is the new black. and it's hip to be square. always was, always will be. so put on your olive dockers and walk on with your hip/cool sqaured-away self.

Posted by: butlerguy | February 18, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Was that Famous Ray's?

Posted by: teddymzuri | February 18, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Okay, to change the subject from luxury (which I might comment on later if I’m still awake) to living like natives, here’s the first installment of my trip diary: We did and saw so many things in CR that it’s hard to briefly describe them all. The first time we rode up the mountain where #2 and SIL live we saw a troop of Howler Monkeys. The sound they make: http://www.junglewalk.com/popup.asp?type=a&AnimalAudioID=9991 is truly beautiful and a great alarm clock at 5 am. They also howl at noon and just before dark. They are calling their troop together for meals and also warning other troops to stay away from their area.

A word about the ‘roads’ in CR. The main routes are two lane paved roads in generally good condition. The secondary roads are of dirt which consists mainly of red clay and these roads vary wildly in passability. The road up to #2’s house is 3 miles from sea level to 1200 feet and has a series of S curves which reach 40 to 45 degrees at a few points. Riding up and down is an adventure in dry daylight conditions, at night after a tropical downpour it was almost heartstopping. At one point we were sliding a bit sideways while going no more than 5 mph in first gear very close to a 20 foot drop. Altho’ the 4X4 they drive is very good on the road and SIL is a skilled driver, they are planning to buy an ‘ATV quad’ to use when the rain makes more than the usual mess of the road surface.

Other ‘firsts’ were tasting all sorts of exotic fruits at a tropical garden: http://paradise-garden.tripod.com/index.htm. The fellow who owns it is from Maine and has been in CR since 1964. A very interesting man and a gorgeous property of 125 acres (which he bought back then for less than $50!) filled with every imaginable tropical tree and plant. He showed us a lot of plants that can be used for medicinal purposes and experiments with them on himself. We also tasted milk fresh from a cow about which more later, coconut milk fresh from the tree, and lots of bananas from #2’s own tree.

We saw our first toucans, leaf bugs, stick bugs, giant grasshopper, iguanas (not really a first but there were so many!), coatis, and geckos (not really a first either but closer encounters).

Things we did not see and for which I am forever grateful: tarantulas, snakes and scorpions.

more

Posted by: badsneakers | February 18, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Toucans! Glad you had a great trip.

Posted by: seasea1 | February 18, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Everybody I know that has been to Costa Rica has loved it. Sounds like you had a great time, washtub roads and all.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 18, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

sneaks... can't wait to hear about the trip and to see the pictures! You should set up a blog to showcase your adventures. If you need help, ask me or yellojkt. We create blogs like other people create, er... somethings.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 18, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Ah, good one, LiT.

The Man in the Navy Pinstripe Suit.

(What's the button count on that jacket, anyway?)

Seriously, I'm OK with hip; it's ephemeral, like a soap bubble. Fine for making memories, like Johnny Weir's Flock of Seagulls hair, or Elvis' black leather suit, but not real long-lasting classic styles that never go out of fashion.

Y'know, like marble construction, or formal togas and Gladiator sandals.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | February 18, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

everyone...that? Holy Cannoli, just when you think you've got it down cold....

I guess no matter where you go, there you are.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 18, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

We went snorkeling off an island near the coast and saw beautiful fish, drove into the mountains to San Isidro to pick up some furniture and see the mountainous areas, went horseback riding through a secondary growth forest filled with amazing trees with unusually shaped trunks and one tree that has thorns all over its trunk. This ride led to a small waterfall where we swam.

We spent a morning at the beautiful beach we could see from their house. It’s called the Whale’s tail and consists of a sandbar and volcanic rocks that form a very large shape that looks just like the tail of a whale - duh! The water was very warm, there were porpoises playing off to one side and people were snorkeling on the other side. The water must have been close to 90 degrees!

Living in #2 and SIL’s house is like living outside. They have huge windows with just screens, no glass and the front opens to a large covered deck (the roof overhangs around the house is about 3 feet all around so rain doesn’t come inside). We spent most of our time on the front deck just watching the ocean and clouds and weather in general. Toucans flew up into the trees right in front of us. The cicadas were out and active, it’s like having tinitus all day long. At night, if you turn on a light without closing the doors, they fly right inside and bump into you. #2 kept catching them and cupping them in her hands where they made a noise like a wind-up toy. She liked to torment me by pretending to throw them at me - ugh. They saved a few for fish bait (SIL used them but didn’t catch anything).

Posted by: badsneakers | February 18, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Pluto's only 80 years old, yello? Are you sure? I'd have thought it was as old as the rest of the solar system, about 6,000 years, more or less.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 18, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

SCC: WHO WHO WHO.
And I had been doing so well.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 18, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Okay, last part of my 'diary' got held for review so I'll split it and repost. Sorry in advance if it shows up twice!

Posted by: badsneakers | February 18, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

he best of the best was our trip to a Tico farm and on to a waterfall. #2 and SIL have befriended an amazing Tico named Marvin. Within a few minutes of meeting him I felt like I’d known him forever, I sense that he has a beautiful soul. He is the crew boss for workers who do road drainage installation and repair, gardening and almost anything else you can think of on their mountain. The Ticos are jacks of all trades. We went with Marvin to his family farm of about 100 acres. The ‘road’ to the farm is probably 5 miles long and altho’ it starts as a smoothly graded dirt road, it twists and turns and becomes more rutted and narrow as it meanders over the hills and cow pastures. There is a suspension bridge that was just wide enough for SIL’s truck to fit on. The farmhouse is probably 40 to 50 years old, three or four rooms built on stilts with a tin roof (the majority of roofs in CR are tin). Marvin’s parents are in their 80’s and don’t live there anymore but they still have cows which the neighbors help care for. As we drove up, and I mean ‘up’, the ‘driveway’ towards the house, we had to shoo the cows out of the way. The house is surrounded by starfruit, coconut and other trees. There are outbuildings, one had a three day old cow in it and when we went to see her, the mother came up on the outside and made it quite clear that she would rather we weren’t there.

Marvin went to find his horse, which was roaming around further up the hill from the house while we wandered around eating starfruit and drinking coconut milk. (SIL always carries his machete with him and it come in handy when opening a coconut!) We took off walking down a very rutted and muddy path which Marvin said had been a usable road up until about 10 or 15 years ago. Now it is barely negotiable by foot or horse. At the bottom of the road the path led into the woods which except for the heat and the types of trees, could have been any trail in any forested mountain. We continued down to an amazing waterfall called Nauyaca with Marvin leading the way and telling us how he used to go there every day after school to swim. This is a popular tourist attraction with other paths leading there from other areas but we were lucky to be there a bit later in the day after the main tours had left. There was a group of six people there who were from California but otherwise, it was just us, Marvin and two other Ticos, #2’s caretaker and his son who came along because they’d never been there before. Oh, by the way, we were in our hiking boots, they all wore flip flops !!!!!!! The water was wonderful and the falls were gorgeous. I was floating on my back watching toucans fly overhead. #2 climbed up the rocks under the falls and dove off a few times. On the way back to the farm I rode the horse for half of the ride which was fun and a nice break from all the walking. Marvin made me a walking stick which saved my knees on the way down to the falls.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 18, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

When we got back to the house, Marvin went to milk the mother of the new baby cow. He offered us all a taste, it was just like whipped cream without sugar - very tasty - but I only dipped my finger into the pail. Then Marvin invited us to see the inside of his farm house. It was an incredible mixture of past and present. There was a small bathroom with a shower (the shower curtain had a scallop shell design - similar to what you’d buy here at home). There was a wood burning cooking stove in the kitchen, white enamel with blue flowers, and a tiled sink next to it that was open to the outside. The living room had a TV (there was an antenna on the roof!! They’ve had electricity for about 10 years) and a stereo, a few upholstered chairs and lace curtains on the small windows. In the light fixture on the ceiling there was an energy saving bulb. The floors were wide wood planks that were dark and very shiny. We thought they had been varnished but Marvin said no, it was just naturally that way - I’m not sure what the wood was or how it got so beautiful, he said his mother just swept it constantly. There were four rooms total and all of them were no more than 12X12 feet. Marvin has six siblings so there were at some point nine people living in that house. No luxury there, but if Marvin is a model for the rest of his family, luxury wasn’t necessary to produce some pretty special people. We felt very honored that Marvin shared all of this with us. There is no way the ‘ordinary’ tourist could have experienced this. I feel blessed that my daughter and SIL have met and befriended these people and that they planned such a wonderful adventure for us.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 18, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I went to a concierge-lss hotel last year.
If the customer checks in after a certain hour there is nobody at the desk but by swiping the credit card used to make the reservation the machine on the counter spits out a validated card key and print-out with the room number, rates, etc. Or you can push a button and a "service specialist" will leave her/his post manning the phone and do an old-style check in. I did the machine thing and it worked fine.
The next morning I saw the 2 biggest rats I ever saw, a well assorted couple maybe, calmly exiting the hotel trash bin for a leasurly stroll to the parking lot on the other side of the street. Those 2 guys were the living proof of the quality of the trash at that hotel.

The Pants were curling against Germany.
http://www.ctvolympics.ca/curling/results-and-schedules/match=CUM400914/index.html

It's only on streaming, TV shows the Canada-Sweden game, I don't know why.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 18, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Howler monkeys! When the Boy was three he visited an exhibit in downtown Dallas with howler monkeys. He immediately figured out how to imitate the noise. It was funny and a little frightening to hear that sound coming from a little boy. I think he can still do it.

Thanks for sharing, badsneakers; what a wonderful time. Once again I enjoy living vicariously through the Boodle.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 18, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Memo
To: Y. JK, CME
From; CquP, science rhetorician
Re: Pluto's ongoing and continuous status

Pluto is a planet. Why? Culture counts. And, besides, I say so.

cc: Ass. of Astonomers

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

yello: You sound like an owl. A wise owl, though.

sneaks. I am in awe. This is wonderful material for a blog. I look forward to photos.

Maybe we could do a traveling boodlers blog or sumpin'. 'Course, I'm on record as not going anywhere, so I wouldn't be contributing much unless "MsJS at the USPS" counts.

Posted by: MsJS | February 18, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Hey bad, please edumacate me: what's a "Tico"?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 18, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

CqP, I read the last line of your 1:40pm as

A@@ off, Astronomers.

Posted by: MsJS | February 18, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Tico Taco -- a local chain in CA for good and fast teximexi fair.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I can't stand hotels, any hotels. I prefer to bring my tent traveling... come and go as I please... but I guess you can't easily do that in New York, as any visiting potentate knows! Guess that's why I stick to visiting national parks and avoid cities like the plague.

The irritating part about hotels? the windows that won't open, the white noise of air systems in the room. Stale air. And of course, the beeping garbage truck or delivery truck at 5AM that wakes you out of your five star slumber that tops it all off. Or the bizarre drum like vibrations from swimmers using the indoor luxury saltwater pool on floor 9, at ALL HOURS of the night. Or the crazy couple who decide to have a marital meltdown at 3AM. Fact, not fiction, and we're talking 5 star hotels.

These days, I just prefer the cottage. Simple, silent, total privacy. Can't buy that for any price.

Posted by: MissToronto | February 18, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I heart you, JS.

PLUTO IS A PLANET. WORD.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Swell spring/summer song from Nat King Cole

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTgDxR3AIg8&feature=player_embedded

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Great stories, sneaks. Glad you had such a good time.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 18, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

kguy, thanks for the link to Maxilla and Mandible, where I plan to do all my Christmas shopping! Really, it is on my list of favorites.

(Lots of grandchildren.)


Posted by: nellie4 | February 18, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Maxilla and Mandible has joined my list of places to go.

I refuse to get involved in the Pluto discussion. Really. I abstain.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 18, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

My neighbohood list serve is going bonkers about the dog business that is very visible against the dingy white background. SOmebody responded with this pome"

Cleaning up after the Dog by Jason Tandon

Pull plastic bag from pocket
and wave it like a flag

or diploma. Make sure many people
congratulate your care
for the community.

Check bag for holes.
Double check.

Inspect stool for odd hues.
Greens, blues, blood.

Evaluate consistency.

You don't want to leave smears
on the sidewalk or grass—no prints.

Getaway must be clean.

Prepare to go in for all of it.
Hold breath.
Grab, clamp, reverse bag, twist, knot, cinch.

Smell hands.

Hold loaded bag high in the air,
assure onlookers that Everything is Okay.

If a cop should cruise by,
his crew cut bristling
in the sun,

hold that bag higher,
so he, too, can salute
your contribution.

The bomb diffused,
the world a little safer, a little cleaner,

will not offend the deep treads
of someone's shoes.


"Cleaning up after the Dog" by Jason Tandon, from Give Over the Heckler and Everyone Gets Hurt.

Black Lawrence Press, 2009.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Sneaks -- what an adventure you had. You will be dreaming about this for a long time to come.

About the Henry Louis Gates program (which I missed last night, but hope to watch off the web site) -- I think it's very interesting, despite the snotty pretentiousness of the NYT reviewer.

*did I just say that?*

He started off doing that particular show a number of years ago as part of Black History Month. His guests were African Americans keen to trace their roots back to the home continent. I found it fascinating then and fascinating now.

As for hotels, I always have mixed feelings about them, whether they be large or small. Sometimes I do like the intimacy of smaller hotels and I have my favorites. And other times, the larger ones suit my purpose. Frankly, I do enjoy staying with my friends, and open my home to them when they visit.

And, now, off to make some money.

Posted by: -ftb- | February 18, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

DC takes the whole Pluto thing personally. Actually gets teary-eyed. She sees it as discrimination against small.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 18, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Hey, RD! Have you heard about this?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/misc-events/usa-curling-expo,1161258.html

Posted by: Raysmom | February 18, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Miss Toronto, I'm with you on the background hotel noise. Worst experience ever: checked into a fancy downtown Dallas hotel, West End or East End or Back End or whatever that fashionable area is, with post-surgery husband, Bad Machine (physical therapy) and very small Boy. Probly was a boutique hotel, I blocked the memory. Window on street area, pedestrian traffic, high buildings. Surprise: echo chamber! More surprise: Saturday night live music, outside stage, well past midnight! Too late to up and move rooms. Watched cartoons, trying to block out noise for sleep, very very late. Finally all asleep, woke up about 5, creeping about, ran into very sharp room corner. Scalp wound. Much blood. All worked out, hotel sent up a bandaid. Probably threw out the towel, but didn't bill us for it.

This summer, we were in a Gaylord Extravaganza Small City near Dallas. Amazing place. Great trepidation, noticed were right above very active pool with bar. Good news: closed down & noise ceased about ten pm. Possibly first time I've ever said anything good about Gaylordiana.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 18, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Tico is the self descriptive term of Costa Ricans. Sort of like "Yanks" or "Mainers" or "Sooners."

Posted by: kguy1 | February 18, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... http://lmgtfy.com/?q=tico

Posted by: -TBG- | February 18, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Ah, LiT that's poignant and so sweet. I think CP's right. It's much like the definition of "sport." Them science types can call Pluto something different, but the notion of 9 planets is too ingrained to go quietly.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 18, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Hee hee, I guess this is good news even though I would not say that Rocha is necessarily representative:

http://www.calgaryherald.com/life/Canadians+10th+best+looking+people+planet+Poll/2578073/story.html

Posted by: Yoki | February 18, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Ooh Raysmom. How cool is that? I wish I had known about it earlier.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 18, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Oh Yoki, we all know Canadians are brimming with pulchritude.

Who is this Rocha person you mention? I guess I should click on that link.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 18, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

mercy...

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 18, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I think you should.

Posted by: Yoki | February 18, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

yello... don't bang your head on the keys like that.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 18, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I see Kguy educated you Mudge about the word Tico. I did forget one fascinating thing (at least to me). Everything down there grows like a weed. SIL had planted a row of some sort of greenery along the driveway last year. The Ticos had told him just to take cuttings from other plants and stick them in the ground, so that's what he did. When he came down this year all but two were doing well so he showed the caretaker and he told SIL, those two were planted upside down. So SIL pulls them out, turns them around and plants them and voila, they're growing! They pretty much just stick anything in the ground, the tops of pineapples, cuttings from the surrounding area and it all just grows like crazy.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 18, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

R.I.P. Gordon Lightfoot has died.

Posted by: Yoki | February 18, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

In reference to Ivansmom's comment this morning about "wacky cake," my mother also called those egg- and butterless cakes "depression cake," and still had some recipes that she had learned from my grandmother.

My favorite, written down decades ago, was for a cherry cake. In the list of ingredients, it called for "10 cents worth of cherries." I think that would be about one cherry today...

Posted by: rashomon | February 18, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

"An Austin, Texas, resident with an apparent grudge against the Internal Revenue Service set his house on fire Thursday and then crashed a small plane into a building housing an IRS office.."

Those crazy Texans. Got to love them. What was wrong with the old barging-in firing away with 2 pistols? Security got too good at Federal buildings after OK City?

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/02/18/texas.plane.crash/index.html?hpt=T1

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 18, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Sad about RIPGLightfoot. That is a fine name.

A Danish curler sports frosted tips, gelled, on his punk inspired but now mainstream coif.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

If You Could Read My Mind, ©1969 by Gordon Lightfoot

If you could read my mind, love,
What a tale my thoughts could tell.
Just like an old time movie,
'Bout a ghost from a wishing well.
In a castle dark or a fortress strong,
With chains upon my feet.
You know that ghost is me.
And I will never be set free
As long as I'm a ghost that you can't see.

If I could read your mind, love,
What a tale your thoughts could tell.
Just like a paperback novel,
The kind the drugstores sell.
Then you reached the part where the heartaches come,
The hero would be me.
But heroes often fail,
And you won't read that book again
Because the ending's just too hard to take!

I'd walk away like a movie star
Who gets burned in a three way script.
Enter number two:
A movie queen to play the scene
Of bringing all the good things out in me.
But for now, love, let's be real;
I never thought I could feel this way
And I've got to say that I just don't get it.
I don't know where we went wrong,
But the feeling's gone
And I just can't get it back.

If you could read my mind, love,
What a tale my thoughts could tell.
Just like an old time movie,
'Bout a ghost from a wishing well.
In a castle dark or a fortress strong.
With chains upon my feet.
But stories always end,
And if you read between the lines,
You'd know that I'm just tryin' to understand
The feelin's that you lack.
I never thought I could feel this way
And I've got to say that I just don't get it.
I don't know where we went wrong,
But the feelin's gone
And I just can't get it back!

Posted by: kguy1 | February 18, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Yoki, that makes me very sad. I love GL's music.

Posted by: Manon1 | February 18, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Or, maybe not. That story has been taken off the Herald web site, and I don't see anything confirming the death in any other reputable Canadian source...

I'm going to email my Herald-editor friend and see what's up.

Posted by: Yoki | February 18, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/Singer+songwriter+Gordon+Lightfoot+dead/2582222/story.html

Posted by: kguy1 | February 18, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to hear about Gordon Lightfoot - I'm not seeing any articles about his death yet. I saw him perform a few years ago, and he was great. So many good songs.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP_MDIYhPH0

Posted by: seasea1 | February 18, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

The story has now disappeared from the Vancouver Sun web site as well. Myteriouser and mysteriouser.

Posted by: Yoki | February 18, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

↑↓ kguy, that story got yanked too.

↑↓ Apparently he's alive.
http://network.nationalpost.com/NP/blogs/theampersand/archive/2010/02/18/singer-gordon-lightfoot-alive-despite-internet-hoax.aspx

Wonder if sales of his music spiked for a sec there.

Posted by: MsJS | February 18, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

He's aliiiiiiivvvvvve...

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/gordon-lightfoot-very-much-alive/article1473102/

Posted by: -TBG- | February 18, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Apparently, it's a twitter hoax, and he's very much alive.

Posted by: rashomon | February 18, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

!#/

Posted by: -TBG- | February 18, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Gosh. Now I feel terrible for him and for me. Sorry, all.

Posted by: Yoki | February 18, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/gordon-lightfoot-very-much-alive/article1473102/

Hey, I still like his stuff even if he's not quite completely dead yet.

Posted by: kguy1 | February 18, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

GL has written some amazing ballads. i think that the Edmund Fitzgerald is right up there with If You Could Read My Mind.

big game tonight, Orange v. Hoyas at the Verizon Centre. i'd consider watching it, but that would sure;y cause the orangemen to be on the short side of the line score.

Posted by: -jack- | February 18, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

And I still love the Canadian Railroad Trilogy. Of course, I would.

Posted by: Yoki | February 18, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, you were the one who said wait-a-minute. Not your fault the news media jumped all over it without checking facts first.

Posted by: MsJS | February 18, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad I was editing photos so I only had to be sad about GL for the 60 seconds it took me to read that it was a hoax!!

Posted by: badsneakers | February 18, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing that Lightfoot's biggest hit was "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald". Even today, I can almost recite all the words.

Posted by: ebtnut | February 18, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

You're not fooling anyone, Gordon.

Posted by: engelmann | February 18, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

American Men's Curling. Another game. Another loss.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 18, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Yoki - I don't think I ever heard the Trilogy. You will now probably cause me to go look for the CD album to see what I've missed.

Posted by: ebtnut | February 18, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Re. Pluto:

A few items I posted some time back regarding the topic...

http://www.10thcircle.com/10/?p=68

http://www.10thcircle.com/10/?p=118

http://www.10thcircle.com/10/?p=117

Enjoy.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | February 18, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Well, that's a relief. I don't understand why people do stuff like that.

When I saw GL in concert, he played all my favorites - If You Could Read My Mind, Early Morning Rain, Edmund Fitzgerald, Canadian Railroad Trilogy. See him if you get a chance (he had a real health crisis several years ago).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yzo6Otpgj-E
(lyrics under "more info")

Posted by: seasea1 | February 18, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

ebtnut: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfM_cqOLnE8

Posted by: Yoki | February 18, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

ebtnut, the link I posted above is the C RR Trilogy. From The Way I Feel - probably on other CD compilations too. What I love about GL is how he can send chills down your back.

Posted by: seasea1 | February 18, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Hey SeaSea, did I tell you that I saw John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers the other night?

A living legend, a sold-out audience of all ages. A great night.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | February 18, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

No, ros, I didn't catch that. Great that Mayall's still out there.

Posted by: seasea1 | February 18, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

From bc's blog:

///Didn’t the Quantum Mechanics revolution of the early 20th century establish the importance of the Observer, of people, in determining the nature of reality?///

Exactly. Using my personal pan-solipsistic philosophy of personal observation (e.g. no, the tree does not make a sound if nobody was there, because a sound does not exist until it's heard), Pluto did not exist until somebody saw it. Only then did it become a Kuiper belt object/dwarf planet.

But in it's early days, Pluto was known to try to sneak into bars with a fake idea saying that it was as old as the Oort Cloud.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 18, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Well, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.

Inny?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 18, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Hey, NBC has US v. Norsk in hockey...is this a first?

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Super Combined- 1 Germany 2 USA 3 Sweden
Vonn wiped out and didn't medal. Mancuso gets second silver.

Posted by: kguy1 | February 18, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I think that's pronounced Generalissssssssssssssimo Francisco Franco. At least that's the way Chevy Chase used to say it. I thought Franco was pretty good in Spiderman II, for a dead guy.

Posted by: kguy1 | February 18, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Ooohhhh noooooo! Jack and ebt have launched the dreaded "Edmund Fitzgerald" tune cootie. Last time I had it, it lasted a week and was impervious to the Amazing Grace/Gilligan's Island trick.

Apparently the US curlers lost in the 11th end, last shot. Again.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 18, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Wow, the music being played in the background of hockey so far includes

Deliverance
Hava Nagila

some other familiar tunies...played by a fake baseball-like organ.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

That is a genuine hockey arena organ, CquaP. No debt to baseball. Truly. The organ has been a feature of rinks since my Dad was a little boy, at least.

Posted by: Yoki | February 18, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Did not know that. The hockey games in Great Falls were jr and sr high....and serious men playing in the manner of bowling leagues. No organ at our ball fields, either.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Yoki -- the odd sound, then, is the bouncing off the ice...so, my lack of experience. BOODLER-larned, again. You are the best teacher. Thanks.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

The Americans scored and now, the Chicken Dance is tinkling through the caverns....jots of joy in mud town and the Canadians are happy for us.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

And he was not just a General, Mudge. He was truly a Generalissimo.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 18, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Just saw a pic of the Norwegian curlers. Big Boy, anyone?

http://2.ly/mzv

Posted by: -TBG- | February 18, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Hi all, I'm in the DC/Maryland area for a short visit with my oldest son but I really feel like I'm in Bismark, North Dakota. The massive snow mounds everywhere are almost scary. Wow. And it's still pretty cold outside and inside. My son, who has just purchased his firt real home, keeps the temp at a chilly 63F. He takes keeping utility bills low very seriously.

I'll be back in late March--hopefully I can meet up with some of ya local boodlers.

Gonna make some hot tea now. Take care!

Posted by: Windy3 | February 18, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Hi Windy! Yeah... Son of G is on his way home right now. I think he just had to see all this snow for himself. You just can't describe it and pictures just don't do the 15-foot piles everywhere justice.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 18, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Sorry we missed you, Windy. It does look creepily Artic around here. If you were in the Ellicott City/Elkridge area I would have invited you to pizza/pasta night.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 18, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Joel really loved the kit, I never complain that a hotel is too cool/expensive.

Badsneaks glad you had such a wonderful adventure.

Another GOLD, got home just in time to see Christine Nesbitt win in the 1000 m speed skating, and promptly screamed so loud I hurt my voice. Patriotism is hard folks :-)

Posted by: dmd3 | February 18, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Especially since we're those adorable modest Canadians :-)

Posted by: Yoki | February 18, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

I think some one forgot to tell all the fans in Vancouver we are modest! I love it.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 18, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

A quick on-kit comment. In my past life I stayed in many luxury hotels and resorts both in the USA and the Caribbean and Hawaii. Some of them were listed among the top ten world-wide at the time I visited. They were all wonderful, the amenities were many and awesome and I'm glad I had those experiences. Maybe it's age or possibly just my attitude now, but I'd rather have had the trip we just returned from than any of those top notch ones from the past.

I will say that flying first class is great and I wouldn't turn it down but I also wouldn't pay for it - unless I was flying to Australia or some such place.

I backboodled to the opening night of the Olympics, and I am sorry I missed it. Sounds like it was very well done and emotional. We are going to dancing lessons tonight, we will be stumbling all over ourselves I'm sure as we are beyond tired!

Posted by: badsneakers | February 18, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Yoki - you almost killed me by saying gordon lightfoot was dead!! believe it or not, he's one of my faves... my first favorite song in my life was edmund fitzgerald - i think i was like 5 and my mum's bf at the time had it on vinyl and used to play it all the time - but one of my fav GL songs is "I'm not supposed to care" - a heartwrenchingly beautiful song about unrequited love:

I think you have somebody waiting outside
In the rain to take you away
You got placed to go, you got people to see
Still I'm gonna miss you but anyway
I wish you good spaces
In the far away places you go
If it rains or it snows may you be safe and warm
And never grow old
And if you need somebody sometime
You know I will always be there
I'll do it although, I'm not supposed to care
I'll give you the keys
To my flying machine if you'd like
I will show you the light
And when you call I'm gonna come to you
And when you find someone who loves you
I'll know you would treat me the same
Just lie there, cause you're not supposed to care
I think you have somebody waiting outside in the rain
To take you away
That's some kind of a game
Still I'm glad it came down to the final round but anyway
If you think you need someone who needs you
You know i will always be there
I'll do it although I'm not supposed to care

Posted by: mortii | February 18, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

tho looking at the lyrics right now i'm not so sure it's about what i always thought it was about...

Posted by: mortii | February 18, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Fracture report on neighbor's food: spiral fractures on three of five metatarsals....and floating bone chips in her ankle. Surgery in the AM.

The daytime melt means that we have thin and deadly ice patches everywhere. BE CAREFUL.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Yeouch, CqP. I'm glad your neighbors have you to take care of them. This is beyond old already.

Posted by: slyness | February 18, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

That sounds awful CP, best wishes to your neighbour. Yes, watch for black ice, a springtime worry.

Note of caution to all, I am off til Thursday, I have a laptop, multiple Olympics channels to choose from - for the boodle hogging that will commence - I beg indulgence.

CP ready for the Men's free skate tonight?

Ice Dance starts tomorrow - warm up your snark everyone.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 18, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

CQP-- "be careful" for me means:
Rubber soled shoes or real winter boots with deep treads-- and go slowly. Stick to the snow or uniced spots whenever possible.
Sidewalks become major causalties in real deep snow because of the melt and lack of drains for sidewalks (streets are better, if not safer).
Rubber-tipped canes and walking sticks are also nice for the unsteady.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 18, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

On greatly exaggerated rumours of demise:


If you could take my pulse, love
You would find I’m alive and well
Still just an old time singer
Putting off that tour in Hell
Sure I’m not that well, but give me a break
There’s no tags upon my feet
On this we can agree
It won’t be easy to get me
I take my life just like a bending tree

Posted by: engelmann | February 18, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

woohooo- just finished the giant car slalom down wisconsin - took just under an hour to get home - that's a MAJOR improvement. witnessed some significant meltage. then cpq has to jinx us by mentioning freezing temps! hopefully we don't get freezing temps tonite! cpq - u seem to be in the danger zone... STAY SAFE!

Posted by: mortii | February 18, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

ebtnut - loved your 10:pm post: doubles to Kings

Posted by: omnigood | February 18, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

RIP and a big thank you, Canada's last WWI veteran has passed away.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/canadas-last-first-world-war-veteran-dies-at-109/article1473535/

Posted by: dmd3 | February 18, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

badsneaks, many people have your experience without knowing someone who knows someone. a friend has been to CR met someone was invited home to meet a very large family and had an experience very similar to yours. has been back twice since.

I think there might be something in the water. or maybe it is the soil.

Posted by: omnigood | February 18, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Timothy Ferris is talking at the Ripley center next week I think

Posted by: omnigood | February 18, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

SCC: supposed to be 12:00 PM post

Q; is it doubles or twins?

Posted by: omnigood | February 18, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Good, game between Canada and the Swiss, Swiss just tied it 2-2 with a few seconds left in the 2nd period.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 18, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

I've stayed in hotels one star thru four. I've stayed in motels that cater to train track maintenance workers. a bed and breakfast that was weird. I've stayed in many places in between. even a cabin for itinerant apple pickers for a week. to me, it's all just a bed in a room. with a shower and sink

Camp by a creek or river and I am a happy camper. near as I can tell, the difference in all this is $

But I did once get bumped to first class on a return trip from Brazil. my champagne glass was bottomless and the steak dinner was to much to finish and the seat was comfortable. sweet

Enough Boodle hogging. movie queue: 'The Good the Bad and the Ugly'; then ' The Man Who Knew Too Much' (1956 version)

Posted by: omnigood | February 18, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Was thinking about vacation sleeping accomodations, and that I've enjoyed nights in top-rated downtown hotels within walking distance of theater districts and 5-star resturants, and in mountainside tents with the only running water from springs or creeks, with campfires, fireflies, and the moon and stars overhead.

I find they both can be memorable and wonderful in their own ways.

And hey, grabbing a tree in the middle of the night can be a very educational experience. Some things are more important than indoor plumbing.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | February 18, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Okay, this is just plain creepy:

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9158818/Pennsylvania_schools_spying_on_students_using_laptop_Webcams_claims_lawsuit?taxonomyId=146

Posted by: rashomon | February 18, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Give all of yourselves a Bacon number of three. The nutjob who flew his plane into the building in Austin lived on the same street as my former principal.

Posted by: Gomer144 | February 18, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Shoot out - too nervous to watch, Swiss played with everything they had, credit to them.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 18, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

That's very creepy, Rashomon. They just forgot to mention they'd be spying on the students, huh? And the students' families and friends! Yikes.

I've started Facebook fairly recently and I want to know if anyone else is kind of creeped out by the "big group" aspect of Facebook? I mean, some of the most fraught times in a person's life are at weddings and funerals, when the people you choose to spend time with have to mingle with your hoosier relatives with the poor manners. So why do we choose to set up an aspect of our social lives so that that kind of inter-group mixing is going on 24/7?

Posted by: Wheezy11 | February 18, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

It is fun Wheezy?

Posted by: dmd3 | February 18, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Think I just sprained a vocal cord, eldest and I holding each other through the shoot out. Beauty goal Sid.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 18, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Jeremy Abbot wearing French blue with some sequin stripes over one shoulder. So, the sequin fairy is back in her bottle for now. Bad fall....sorry...managed the combo...yeah....glad that he is just skating and not trying to tell some story in costume, gloves, twee hand motions--oh no, here come the expressive hands....like the skating...and his two combos worked again...jumps agian...he looks more relaxed....dmd, can you give the music link again?

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Sorry I was flipping will get the link for you, still trying to calm down after the hockey game. Note Abbott was being shown off tape, I am watching live on Canadian TV. Kozuka about to skate (they show the music when the athlete starts.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 18, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Here you go,

http://www.vancouver2010.com/olympic-figure-skating/schedule-and-results/men-free-skating_fsm010101eh.html

Posted by: dmd3 | February 18, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I thought I'd watch a bit of the Olys this evening.

NBC was showing a promo ad for tomorrow's ice dancing competition when I turned on my TV.

I turned it right off.

Posted by: MsJS | February 18, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

TZ of Japan

Sequin fairy more busy, must be on work release. The same gear that Jeremy choose: shirt and slacks....the glitter and stripes are OK. more of an iridescent effect rather than a SEE-MY-GLITTER approach...now we have the guitar segue into something rockish....I think he has tipped his hair with amber gel...ahh....lost the triple axel....but got th next one.........and the next.....he seems young and we will see him next time with a bit more gravitas....

So fair both men had shirts with asymmetrical lsequinning...interesting.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

This skater is 16 I will give him a pass on is outfit and gloves.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 18, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

But MsJS out dance team are wonderful, and will face strong competition from the US (one partner is former Canadian Tanibeth (sp)).

Posted by: dmd3 | February 18, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

I agree dmd -- twas that insistent and seductive siren, the sequin fairy.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Now we have the toreador song? My goodness, a musical mashup.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Plesenko (sp)'s sports a shag cut from the 70s. The shag is to women as the ________ is to men.

Five points and gingersnap if you guess. Hint: embarrassment at seeing the year book shot years later.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

It wasn't so much ice dancing itself as the promo, dmd. NBC jumped the snark.

Posted by: MsJS | February 18, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Mullet?

Posted by: dmd3 | February 18, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh my goodness; Shaun White has my hair -- from high school days aver the ill-advised Farah cut.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Yes. DMD. MsJS has better cookied no doubt but here is your ginger snap.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Oh My, someone call Clinton Kelly

Posted by: dmd3 | February 18, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for the compliment, CqP.

Since several of MrJS' current faves are from the boodle, there seems to be a lot of baking talent amongst our humble group.

Posted by: MsJS | February 18, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Oh my, the French skater of the amazing story: the harlequin theme and face paint...but he is so young, we shall forgive all. But, wish his buttons were buttoned.
Love that he is happy....and Frosti, now we have the brief accordion sequence.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

His snug and highwaisted pants are called Tyroler style....note the single back suspender...and he reminds me of the drama French skater years ago -- Phillipe Candelabra (sp!)

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

it worked. SU dispenses with the Hoyas by 4. on the road, even. i'd bet the farm that the Orange had more offensive boards and scored from the charity stripe. if only the saltine warrior were still mascot...

Posted by: -jack- | February 18, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Such a stylized jacket....German/tyroler dress Jaeger jacket. So, will this be a German composer or dance to some sound of music story?

Phantom of the Opera with a bit of Bavarian threat. So glad hi is not in gloves...the white cuffs are plenty to catch the eyes to the hands.

And, auch mein Gott, he could have added a half mask....that would have looked a bit like Jason from Halloween HOckey horror....oh poor dear boy...

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

I hope he is playing the young man for Christine and not the dark Svengali of the Phantom....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Yes tough skate for Patrick - but still so young with lots of opportunity to try again. Just turned 19 a month ago.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 18, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Czech skater also in a diagonal costume, with SEQUINS. The Nordies and their diamond pants.

OK -- the official shape of these thar Olys is the DIAMOND.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Note to young skaters, do not skate to Gershwin unless you have the footwork of Browning or Hamilton.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 18, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

I'll never catch up with the Olympics. I'm trying tho'. Maybe tomorrow night I will be able to sit down and watch without multitasking.

Omni, regarding the CR experience, I think that Ticos are naturally friendly and welcoming from everything my daughter has said about them.

One funny thing I forgot to tell. The week before we got there, my daughter was cleaning the house when she saw a group of very neatly dressed men and woman walking up the road towards her house. She thought perhaps they were visiting nearby or were lost until they approached her and started their spiel - yep - Jehovah Witnesses!

Posted by: badsneakers | February 18, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

He is channelling more Fred Astair than Gene Kelly. Clean so fair but he is not a fluid akatingwise .....ah spoke to soon....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

We are going to need the heavy duty fasion police for this last flight of skaters - not looking good.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 18, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

EP -- sequin fairy plus unitard. Sigh, a real read velvet vest with a few sequins could have worked fine.

EL -- has a second night with renaissance princely note. Last night he really looked like a de Medici. Tonight...he is more stylizes.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Joseph Andrew Stack is originally from Harrisburg, Pa., according to the latest reporting from Houston. Had failed business ventures in Corona and Lincoln, Calif. before settling in Sacramento. Moved to Austin in 2004. One of his victims has been transferred to the intensive burn unit at San Antonio's Brooke Armyy Medical Center.

We do know the area in northwest Austin, we having stayed just a block or so away from the flown-into IRS Echelon Building for an overnighter about two years ago.

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/aussh-renaissance-austin-hotel/

I know a short blurb is in the A-blog archives of that trip to the Research Blvd. area of northwest Austin. Went up to swim in Barton Springs (where Robert Redford learned to swim), checked into the hotel, had a very late lunch at a not-so-good Mexican restaurant in the next-door Arboretum, then headed downtown for the evening bat tour under the Congress Street Bridge. Next morning had well-known-in Austin gingerbread pancakes at laid-back eatery not far from our hotel.

So sorry to come home from Trinity University tonight to learn that yet another aircraft was flown today into yet another federal building.

Posted by: laloomis | February 18, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Evan's costume gives a very strange look when he spins (at least in HD), he gets a Spock affect on his head bizzare, doing well so far if a little tentative.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 18, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

EL is doing well. Sherezade is the music....so, not a Medici prince exactly.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Corection it is his hair that stands up when he spins - spanky style.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 18, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

EL will be the one to beat now. He looks relieved and pleased.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

He needs Slicker hair gel: a theater grade goop.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Good for Evan.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 18, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

NO -- nice tuxedo look. Charlie Chaplin melody.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

The Little Tramp guys looks he should be in junior high compared to the turkey vulture man before him.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 18, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Skate lace malfunction

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

This is more fun to read while NOT watching than it possibly could be while watching. Keep it up, guys!

Posted by: -TBG- | February 18, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

This is my dark horse favorite to skate clean and feel good.

La Traviata....

Vest and white shirt, with metallic cording and braiding...which does the shiny thing without the sparkle overload of the sequin spangles....

The epaulettes on the shoulder give movement but of a masculine, military note.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

The under vents of the vest are made of a metallic fabric...added depth without the overload of glitz...favorite male costume tonight.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Such a bizarre costume...the tiny print reads as jittery on the screen...do not know if this is true for high def....

La Strada?

Is he an Italian Cowboy? Spaghetti western harlequin? The pattern looks also like the Palestinian black/white scarf....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps he is now a clown.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

That ladies and gentleman is how you do a footwork sequence, unfotunate on the fall on the quad.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 18, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Yes Nice footwork and he improved...still the plan woven muted check scarf does not go with the glitter vest.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Agreed but I was able to look past it to the skating.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 18, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

JW to Fallen Angel....so that is the driver for the feathermotif. Little stumble but he has hit the big ones so far...

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

He looks intense and focused but light somehow...not happy though.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

And now, he looks happy!!!!!!

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

It was lovely but too simple, well skated though and he should be very proud.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 18, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Last on, EP, wow. 11.59

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 18, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Tango Amore is the piece. I hear stylized ice scrapes in the music....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 19, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

EP should not win, this is not good enough - more show than substance outside the jumps.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 19, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

He is the most lithe...but I think that EL's program was the more skaterly.....EP holds his metal in his mouth when he spins....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 19, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

DMD -- boy, girl, are we on the same page.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 19, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Yes!!!! and that is why they changed the scoring system.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 19, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Our work here is done, DMD. I'll close down the boodle with you any old time. GNight.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 19, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Goodnight, I am going as well.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 19, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Weir was robbed. His performance was easily the third best and he is ranked below guys who fell on their ass. They have made him a martyr.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 19, 2010 12:13 AM | Report abuse

I've never trendied, apart maybe from visiting the Neals Yard cheese warehouse in London, near the Globe. But the people going through the cheese-buying assembly line looked normal and quite earnest. I settled for Wensleydale.

My own town is far too retired to be trendy, excepting that Gloria Estafan's hotel has livened up the very, very quiet beach. On summer evenings you see the occasional marsh rabbit nibbling on strips fo grass at the edge of the street.

The rip current meeting continues to fascinate. Dr. Beach himself is one of the organizers (Steve Leatherman), and it's remarkable the people he's assembled, including top lifeguarding officials from Australia and England, and a remarkable beach safety campaigner from Germany. The gadgetry for studying currents at beaches is developing impressively. Among other things, flocks of floaters that report their positions.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 19, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Lithe!

Posted by: Yoki | February 19, 2010 2:37 AM | Report abuse

Still don't know why NBC insists on showing skating so late. Thought they all looked tight, but I think the judges got it right.

I was thinking Alfalfa when Evan was spinning. Hated the snakes on his costume, of course. But he did well, and I'm glad for Frank Carroll. Wish Lambiel had done better - love his spins. And Johnny did ok, but the routine was not that great. Nice that Victor Petrenko was there. Evgeny didn't do as well as I expected.

I kind of liked the ice dance promo with Lady Gaga - catchy.

Posted by: seasea1 | February 19, 2010 3:22 AM | Report abuse

Don't let surfaces get you down. Few will have a body of independent and original thought that you have shared with us in the Post. Just get ready to put it all together and surprise us. That will be enough for your mark.

Astonish the world. You can be great.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | February 19, 2010 6:07 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. I must be watching too much Olympics. I woke up in a sweat, after dreaming I was being crushed to death by a pair of massive shiny orange thighs.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 19, 2010 6:34 AM | Report abuse

Morning, SD. I think they call those dreams nightmares.

Saw on the intertubes last night that hereabouts this is the coldest winter in 30 years and the wettest in 50. I believe it! I'm sooo ready for spring.

Thirddottir is having to learn to watch what she says. She was on the phone and said, jeez louise! And W said jeez weez! Later she said holy cow! And W said MOO! Kids are so smart.

Busy day, with lunchtime trip to the airport pick up Mr. T. Yness taxi service, that's me!

Hi Cassandra! Hope you are warm and comfortable this morning.

Posted by: slyness | February 19, 2010 7:02 AM | Report abuse

In Tampa for the weekend and just couldn't hang with Eastern time for the skating. Good thing I'm not scheduled too tight today-nothing, nada, zip that must be done before afternoon so I can back boodle at leisure.

Later gators! Have a great Friday.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 19, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends. JA, I thought you were a pretty hip guy, didn't detect any flies on ya! Yet we know time does do its thing, all you have to do is keep breathing, although I suspect it isn't quite beige yet. And to get through this, you have to kind of ignore the young folks. If you concentrate on that, it's a real downer.

Yesterday was kind of warm here, and the sun was so bright. It was still cold, but not as cold. Today is promising to be even better, and I'm getting dressed now so when the sun pops up, I'm out there. Everyone is tired of the cold weather. I haven't seen some of my neighbors in months. Hope the weather is beautiful where you are.

Sad about the plane incident. Home grown terrorists just really are the worse. Many people in America are going through difficult times, and for many just putting food on the table and getting kids to school is a mighty task, but we can't cave in to the desire to lash out and hurt people. It doesn't help anything. If we keep praying, hanging in there, I believe it will get better.

Mudge, Yoki, Martooni, Scotty, Lindaloo, and the lovely people of the boodle, have a wonderful day.

Slyness, I doubt I was home when my dad and my aunt came through. I was on my way to my aunt's house. She said we just got in, so I was probably behind them. I'm out all day on Wednesday, and if I visit folks, it really does take up much of the day. Not complaining, not one bit.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 19, 2010 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Florida's January cold spell was the longest since about 1940 and did plenty of damage to native fish, but not much at all to native tropical plants, all of which can put up with cold so long as it's only barely below freezing.

I'm still amazed at downtown (mainland) Miami's thicket of tall condominiums. Not quite an instant Manhattan, much less a Dubai, but a lot of square footage anyway. Anyone want to buy a nice urban condo, cheap?

One of the conference's international attendees came with only a small bag, which wasn't checked. Was given a hard time before being allowed through airport security.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 19, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Dang balky airport WiFi... *SIGH*

Cassandra! *HUGS* :-)

*off-to-ski-country-for-some-fun-with-NukeSpawn Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 19, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Have fun in the snow, Scotty.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 19, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Scotty, have a great vac and give the spawn a hug for me. Try not to return to the assistant shop steward's cubby in any casts, splints, traction, bandages, etc.

CqP and others, I need some more education, and once again I may be on some very thin ice (no sequins, though; not my style; draws attention away from my tiara). During the evening there was mention made of some woman's shag haircut. I kinda thought the remark was disapproving, but I wasn't sure, and there was no amplification. So what I want to know is how we feel about the shag haircut on a woman.

(There is a young lady in my office who was wearing one a few weeks ago, and I thought it looked very attractive on her. I even contemplated telling her so. But now I sense some disdain for the shag, yes? No? Say nothing?)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 19, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

I will offer only one comment on the canonization of Brother André the Doorkeeper; the fries at the Oratoire's snack were simply some of the best I've ever had.

However the twits at the G&M desk should know better than call him Québec's first saint. Marguerite d'Youville, born in Varennes in 1701, was canonized in 1990.
I lived near Varennes for a couple of years, her mausoleum is in the village.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/brother-andr-becomes-quebecs-first-saint/article1473970/

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 19, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Have fun skiing Scotty.

I've been busy watching the Olympics but concentrating on the 'other' sports, the luge, the skeleton,the skiing, the curling (of course).

I cannot watch the figure skating, though I have tried. It seems they hide behind fancy threads to cover the lack in the skating. Too many falls. There is such a thing as reaching too high to be palatable for a viewers.

Posted by: --dr-- | February 19, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Morning everybody, still on CR early wake up time, been up since 5 am - ugh! I posted a bunch of pics on flickr.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/41618334@N07/sets/72157623341170521/

Will spend the day trying to catch up with chores, errands, news and whatever else I have missed.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 19, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, a shag is a classic cut. Having said that, not every hairstyle looks good on every woman. But if you think she looks good, where's the downside in saying so? You know how to give a compliment. Besides, if she didn't like her hairstyle, she would have changed it before leaving the house.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 19, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Love the photos badsneaks, and so many pictures of the flowers, fantastic - love it.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 19, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Shriek, maybe the menu at l'Oratoire have something to do with Brother Andre's canonization: SOMEONE should be sainted for the invention of poutine.

Posted by: byoolin1 | February 19, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

SCC: Has, not have. Moi, je parle comme mon Oncle Edgar, who, as we all know, his English, she not too good. (Mais, sacre Crisse, il peut jurer comme un marin.)

Posted by: byoolin1 | February 19, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Je parle comme
Mon Oncle, il peut jurer
comme un marin

I spotted a haiku somewhere in your comment, Byoolin. Fix as you wish.

'Tis the first time I've seen "swear like a sailor" in French. It's worth a haiku.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 19, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Well, that's true, LiT. Just generally speaking, I tend to like the shag. The woman in my office has a kind of round face, and the shag isn't real puffy, and I thought it framed her face nicely.

She sits on the far side of our office complex, and I only ever see her by chance maybe once a week, if that. A few days after the shag, she had some kind of asymmetrical flip thing I didn't like, and a few days after that -- it may have been a dress-down Friday -- it looked like it was just washed 20 minutes ago and she'd only had time to run a towel over it before rushing out to work (I'm not criticizing, merely reporting what I saw). Haven't seen her in a week or more; don't have any idea how she's got it today.

Giving a woman a compliment is such a tricky hazardous thing, even when one is on sure ground.

I may (or may not, I have no idea) be on even thinner ice than some men, because as a general rule, I tend to like informal, non-dressy look/appearance on woman as oppossed to the really dressed up glam look. You know all those actresses we live-boodle about on Oscar and Emmy nights, all dolled up in their bazillion-dollar dresses and high-maintenence hair-dos? For the most part, I'd rather see the same actress in a track suit with her hair in a bun tied up with a scrunchie.

I realize full well that old idea (truth?) that "women dress for other women, not for men." And if that's so, fine. But I'm pretty sure my own taste for plainer, simpler fashion, etc., has to do with "approachability" -- I think a woman made up dressed to kill like on Oscar night looks totally unapproachable: you wouldn't want to touch her, dance with her, do -- whatever -- with her, because she'd go screaming berserk at you. Whereas a woman casually dressed looks (to me) "human" in a way that high-glam does not.

A prime example: J-Lo. We've seen her in some of those outfits where one can ...um...admire...nearly everything about her. Yet to me she looks much more attractive in a movie like "Jack," where she's an ordinary schoolteacher wearing an ordinary dress. SOOOOOO much hotter that way, to me, anyway. The zowie open-to-the-navel gown? Meh.

But I realize I may be in a minority here.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 19, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Hmm, maybe because such women either are dressing to troll, or they're dressed up for a date... with somebody else.

You'd probably go crazy up north, where warmth counts more than fashion.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 19, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I know the Americans cannot view this but watching the Olympics morning show, which is since there are no sports going on just above Entainment Canada, but they have a studio overlooking the water and mountains, the sun has just risen in orange, purple and pink glory - stunning.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 19, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, you're not in a huge minority, really. Some of my guy friends have said they get intimidated by women who come off as too feminine or high-maintenance.

Of course they hang around me, so it's a self-selecting group.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 19, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

badsneaks, thanks for the photos! It looks like it was a magnificent visit.

Posted by: -bia- | February 19, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, coffee and OJ on the table.

dmd, thank you for describing the sunrise on the telly.

sneaks, you're pictures are amazing. Thank you for spending your sunrise putting them together.

mudge, that was an excellent description of what I think a lot of people can relate to, both men and women. Thank you for your candor and the superior-writing-as-usual way in which you presented it.

As expected, sports pundits are not in agreement over last night's men's figure skating judgments. It's made for fun reading this morning.

Posted by: MsJS | February 19, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

In my experience, saying something fairly innocuous as "Your hair looks very nice today. Have done something new to it?" is a pretty good conversation launcher and most women appreciate the compliment even if it is completely unwarranted. It's pretty easy to get into deeper water from their with responses to their rejoinder like:

"Six months ago? I guess I'm just not that obsrvant."
"Well, it's always looked like crap up until now."
"It's amazing what a good colorist can do."
"That style is so much better at hiding your bald spot."
"They can wax your upper lip the next time too."
"My grandmother used to have a wig that looked just like that."

Beyond that you are completely on your own.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 19, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

A jogging suit? You mean loungewear, right?

I never really subscribed to those 'women dress for women' kind of ideas. The women I know all seem to dress for themselves. Maybe because we're older and can't be bothered with nonsense; I don't know.

Glam has its place, and sometimes we either like to go to those places or we need to go to those places. How one interprets and carries glam is a different matter. (No offense, but a good illustration of that would be the difference between how you sport the tiara, and how TBG does.)

Sounds like the woman in your office likes hairstyles like I like shoes. Cool.

Have a happy day.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 19, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

badsneaks,
Great photos. You have the raw material for some great stitched panoramas.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 19, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Sorry...jogging suit. Should have checked.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 19, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I did it again! Track suit!

Posted by: LostInThought | February 19, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Do you ever have one of those days where it seems that everyone is conspiring to ruin your life?

I guess, by day's end, it can improve. No doubt. Or is there?

Posted by: russianthistle | February 19, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Hey Yello, you noticed that panorama thing! My camera can do it but I forgot to check the instructions so I just stood at the beach and took photos while turning. I also keep forgetting that I could take video - duh! Half the time I forget I'm not still using film.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 19, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Hi all..

Totally off subject (but maybe not for long), but has Tiger Woods actually said he's going to apologize at his noon press conference? Don't you think he might tell everyone to F-off and leave him alone?

Posted by: -TBG- | February 19, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

A mention in our paper this morning that Joseph Stack, who yesterday flew his small plane into the seven-story IRS building located on Research Blvd. in Austin, had been raised in an orphanage in Hershey, Pa.

What first popped into my mind as I read the front-page stories at the breakfast table about the fiery, one-man attack on the IRS offices yesterday and the important mention of the orphanage--was the Milton Hershey School. So I raced upstairs to fire up my computer and to run a Google News search in an attempt to confirm my best guess.

I had seen several series of dramatic photos at different newspapers' websites last night. A quick search of the Web news a few minutes ago shows reporters on top of the story--reporters who have confirmed my strong hunch about the orphanage.

Yes, Stack had graduated from the orphange and school founded by chocolate magnate Milton Hershey. As a Californian, the Hershey company means the huge plant in Oakdale, Calif., in Stanislaus County, to me.

What's on my sleep-deprived brain this morning are stages. The world stage and world leaders. The big stage at the university. The small stage at the university. Tiger Woods taking the stage today. Stack, who self immolated on a stage of his own making yesterday. I may return to the topic today after I get my husband out the door and get more, much-needed sleep.

Posted by: laloomis | February 19, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure you get it yeoo: I'm not trying to "launch" a conversation with anybody, and I'm certainly not hitting on anybody, much less this woman, who is less than half my age, married and the mother of two. All I wanted to say was, "I like your hair that way." End of story, end of conversation with her. (Preferably, I would even say, "You look cute that way," but my feeling is that "You look cute..." is going beyond what I would say to someone I hardly know.) But the truth is, she looked cute that day. But we live in a day and a time and a social mileiu in which I couldn't/wouldn't say that to someone in a thousand years.

Over the years, I have become fascinated with the subject of the things we canNOT say to each other, rather than the things we can and do. It's like a whole undiscovered, unexplored country out there. Quite ripe for exploration, and so fas as I can tell, I have it all to myself. (Props for the true origin of "the undiscovered country" metaphor.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 19, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Why didn't I get this last week?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/18/how-to-handle-climate-cha_n_467671.html

Posted by: kguy1 | February 19, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Cute at any age.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ey9kdeOjT3o

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhJwSn84gqg

Posted by: russianthistle | February 19, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

OOps... 11 am presser.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 19, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I know that the phrase is part of Hamlet's "To be, or not to be" speech. Does it pre-date Shakespeare?

Posted by: MsJS | February 19, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Yup. Apology.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 19, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

A really good apology, too. None of that "sorry you felt bad."

Posted by: -TBG- | February 19, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I believe Ann Hathaway was the one who pre-dated Shakespeare, at least if the birthdate of their daughter Susanna (six months after the wedding) is correct.

Posted by: kguy1 | February 19, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I think all of us have variable appearances, from hair to dress to shoes, as we deem appropriate for the circumstances.

Sometimes I keep my hair short, sometimes I have it longer in a galactic dark-matter halo, sometimes in the "Frampton Comes Alive" shoulder-length curls (with a pony tail for the office), and frankly, some days it looks better than others [OK, I'm pretty much resigned to having a Bad Hair Life.]

Sometimes I wear nothing but cutoff jeans and sometimes I wear a tuxedo. And sometimes, the Gladiator outfits, of course. Again, sometimes I look better than others.

And people do look good an a variety of styles and dress, from cutoffs to formal evening wear, and I personally appreicate all of it. Anything can look good on anyone, particularly if the outfit suits the wearer and the occasion.

I think it's reasonable to occasionally and nicely compliment someone on their hair, shoes, jewelry, etc., in a respectful and friendly manner. They're showing you respect by dressing and styling nicely, why not let them know you appreciate it?

bc

Posted by: -bc- | February 19, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Weed, is it just me, or does Emmylou just keep getting better and better-looking the older she gets? Man, she could be the poster girl for "In Praise of Older Women." I liked her "back when," but jeez, she's devastating now.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 19, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, it's not just you.

Posted by: byoolin1 | February 19, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

(Although you keep getting better and better-looking the older you get, too.)

Posted by: byoolin1 | February 19, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Loved the photos, sneaks; it's such a gorgeous place. I chuckled at page 1--looks like you like to take flower p0rn pictures, too.

Mudge, since she changes her hairstyle so often, it's something she pays attention to. So a small compliment would probably be welcome.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 19, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I know the problem -- just ran into it the other day. An acquaintance was wearing a more casual hairstyle than usual, I think because she was in a hurry. And I think she looks better the quickly thrown together way than the carefully put together way -- suits her face better. But I couldn't figure out any way to tell her so that didn't sound like I was saying she usually looks bad. (Friend or family member, I could do it; acquaintance not so much.) So I didn't say anything.

Posted by: -bia- | February 19, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

When I was young, I dressed more for men altho' if I knew I'd made an impression on a woman, it pleased me more. Now I just dress for myself which in these unemployed times means I dress for comfort. But I still try to look 'put together'. The woman who sat next to me on the plane ride home was wearing stilettos with the thinnest heel I've ever seen. I couldn't help wondering 1) how she avoided getting them caught in cracks in flooring and pavement and 2) how the heck she walked the miles of corridors at the airport without her feet screaming at her!

As for commenting on a woman's hair, I know I enjoy being told my hair looks good and I certainly never assume it's anything more than a compliment. Considering that the whole time I was in CR my hair was a disaster, I would have killed to hear that type of thing.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 19, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Hope your life isn't really being ruined, rt.

Badsneakers, I thought your hair looked great in those pictures. They're great photos, too. SIL looks very "sketchy" as my kids say, with that unshaven handsome look.

The 30 Bucks a Week kids have a good-sounding recipe up for pumpkin-coconut-raisin muffins. With oats and jam mixed in. Maybe a little too much. I'll try it and report back.

http://thirtyaweek.wordpress.com/

Posted by: Wheezy11 | February 19, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

My point exactly. You should be able to compliment a coworker of any gender on their appearance without the assumption you are hitting on them.

At my first job, we had a Very Young Thing (not that I was much older) that dressed very nicely every day to the point that we had a running joke that she never wore the same outfit twice. It was just good fun without any sexual tension whatsoever.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 19, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

And there's a new Tiger kit, right on schedule.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | February 19, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

New kit!

Posted by: Raysmom | February 19, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

badsneakers, I really enjoyed the pictures of Costa Rica. You should enlarge some of the flower/tree photos and cover a wall with them!

Posted by: nellie4 | February 19, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

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