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The snowy winter


Please shoot me when I no longer want to get out in the snow. Just end the whole thing. Being from the Deep South, having grown up in a place where our idea of a sublime alteration of the natural landscape was the passage of the mosquito fogger ("The fogger! The fogger!" the Achenbro and I shouted as we ran outside and chased the poison-belching city truck), I still am easily amazed and amused by frozen precip.


In the snow, old bridges appear out of nowhere. Any second you think you'll encounter a soldier in a Civil War outfit. I wish instead of hiking I could ride a horse on snowy mornings. My horselessness is at the top of my long list of regrets in life.


I came upon a remarkable cave. God knows what lives in there. Bears. Wolverines. My horse always refuses to go in there.


The mighty Potomac. In winter it's hardly bigger than a creek.


A rare photo of my house. It's drafty as all get-out. But the canal access is great and it only takes me about 45 minutes to get into town (more if the mule is tired).

By Joel Achenbach  |  February 4, 2010; 8:15 AM ET
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Next: The storm before the storm


Joel, the amounts of snow shown in your pictures do indeed make everything look lovely. The amounts forecast for the next couple of days, on the other hand, are a PITA. We didn't see a plow until the Thursday after the December storm, and then it was just a Ford F-150 bouncing along the glacier in the street.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 4, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Great fotos, Joel.

Mother Nature is indeed having her way with us. I do like to watch the snow falling, especially if there are big fat furry flakes falling (actively alliterating).

And for today's sorrowfulness:

"Pack up all our cares and woe
Here we go, singin' low
Bye, Bye, Butterstick . . . ."


(my Safari isn't working right now, so I'm riding my alternative Firefox handle)

Posted by: -ftb1- | February 4, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Well, there's your problem, Joel. You're using a mule. Nothing much can motivate those critters. Now, if you were using a horse, it might be motivated by the thought of getting to town for some sweet, sweet lovin'. Then, later, motivated to leave town by the arrival of the town-horse's spouse. Sex is what makes the world go 'round, and makes transit speedier.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 4, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Isn't that picture of the Adirondack chairs from the last snow-storm?

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 4, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

It looks lovely in a fresh dusting of snow.

We must rethink the modern need for shoveling feet of the stuff. That just can't be good for humankind.

Posted by: --dr-- | February 4, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Looking foward to the release this spring of the CAGW's (Citizen's Against Government Waste) annual Pig Book. Here's a link to CAGW's website with links to the Oinker Awards (remember last year when *Democrat* and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada got a Porkosaurus Award?...if you thought the Blogosaurus is an odd creature...), a searchable database, and a list of pork per capita by state.

A closer look of CAGW's pork per capita by state reveals that the states in the top 10 don't shuffle much--Alaska and Hawaii at numbers 1 and 2, respectively, for the past two years, followed by others in the top 10: the Dakotas, West Virginia, New Mexico, Vermont. Seeing Alaska at the top of the list for two years makes me think of ABC's story by Jon Karl, along with the missing details Karl's reporting failed to mention, about how all the pork for the project to prevent flooding in Napa, Calif., ended up primarily benefitting the Napa Wine Train and ultimately pork-wise, Alaska.

And here's an interesting blog post with the CAGW logo near the title of the blog, "The Swine Line." This fellow says it's time for Obama to stop saying the dog ate his homework in terms of Obama's campaign pledges and subsequent inaction to cut wasteful government spending. There's even a link back to a very recent article in the Washington Post about the deficit study group.

Since by husband worked from 9 a.m to 2 a.m. yesterday--a 17-hour day, I caught Gail Collins op-ed as it was posted late last night at the NYT. There is a pigeon museum called Wings of Wonder in Oklahoma City. Don't know if Oklahoma Senators Coburn or Imhofe either proposed or received any government earmarks to support this noble *cough, cough...height of severe allergy season here* educational endeavor.

Posted by: laloomis | February 4, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

"Swiss and provolone are the Pattons of the macaroni army."

May I please nominate this douglaslbarber gem for Boodle Sentence of the Week?

Posted by: -TBG- | February 4, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Might as well start what I finished...with a simple rant included...

U.S. Rep. Ciro Rodriguez, D-San Antonio, will host Community Day on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at his South San Antonio District Office...The monthly event, with a theme of Breast Cancer Awareness, will give the community an opportunity to discuss that health issue and other concerns with Rodriguez and staff members. [Typically these meetings are for those who have problems receiving Social Security or VA benefits...I get the robocalls.]

So, on to the genetics of breast cancer...
How did I miss this article that came out late in the afternoon on Friday, Sept. 25? The fact that it was reported out of Florida? That there were probably a zillion other headlines competing for my attention? Or the fact that I was packing that weekend for our mini-vacation in nearby Leakey (population about 300) along the Frio River, staying the 28, 29, and 30 in a very primitive cabin with no phone, no TV, no Internet connection, no newspaper?

It's important to emphasize that the reporter says that half of all *genetic* breast cancers come down from males, from fathers. My cousin Bev said that she had learned that only about 15 percent of breast cancers are heritable, which means that if half are passed down by fathers, then that would account for roughly 7.5 of all breast cancers in women are passed down by fathers--not an insignificant number.

Interesting too, isn't it, as the article points out and as Dr. Frances Collins repeats in his January 2010 book "The Language of Life", that mutations in the BRAC1 or BRAC2 gene in men can cause higher risks for melanoma, pancreatic (Error perhaps?), prostate, and breast cancers.

-more, simple rant coming-

Posted by: laloomis | February 4, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I don't think the US is facing financial ruin due to too many military bands or marginal National Parks. Mostly, it seems to be overall military spending and health care. Especially health care. Broder's column today on the health care monster is good. But tea party types won't read it.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 4, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

TBG, that really was a great sentence, wasn't it? And I have Swiss and provolone on hand, so that may be my snow day cooking experiment.

BTW, am I the only one who gets the urge to cook chili, soup, and the like whenever it snows?

Posted by: Raysmom | February 4, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of snow, we're up to a Winter Storm Warning, 16-24" starting mid-morning tomorrow and conditions will rapidly deteriorate in the afternoon...

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 4, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

This week's snowstorm was truly beautiful, as these pictures show. And even they, through no fault of the photographer, fail to capture the complete wonder of the scenery. The juxtaposition of clinging snow, fog, and glittering sunshine made me feel as if I were living in a world of finely-etched crystal.

Under normal circumstances I great snow with delight. I have very fond memories of snowstorms from my youth. In the Pacific Northwest snow was reasonably rare, so snow days were to be celebrated. My siblings and I would gather around the open electric stove to keep warm as we listened to the kitchen radio for the magical words "school canceled."

Because truly cold temps were rare, we didn't own much in the way of proper winter equipment. You know, esoteric things like gloves. Ever try to make a snowman with socks and sandwich bags on your hands? It can be done.

But when it comes to the upcoming snowstorm, I'm with Raysmom. It brings no joy. Among other things, it means my son will not be coming up from college for his birthday. It isn't the coming up that is really the problem, it is the getting him back down again. If history is any guide, it will be early next week before our neighborhood is completely dug out, and the lad needs to be back in school by Monday. There's book larnin' to be done.

In addition to missing his sweet poorly-shaved face, this means I will, once again, be shouldering the shoveling duties alone. The operative word being shouldering. Now, it has been brought to my attention that I do own an electric snowblower. This is a gift from my in-laws when they abandoned Pennsylvania for South Carolina. But it really isn't practical for a corner lot.

I mean, have you even manhandled a hundred feet of extension cord in freezing temperatures? The cord instantly forms topologically-impossible tangles. And the last time I used it the stupid thing kept getting clogged. Besides, with this level of snow I suspect the machine will refuse to come out and instead simply hide in the garage whimpering quietly.

Which, I fear, is where you may find me.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 4, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

ScienceTim, a tip:
Mules have mo' whoopee, less foals--
when given the chance.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 4, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Not at all, Raysmom. We're doing chili tomorrow.

Chili, soup, grilled cheese samitches, hot choco, shepherd's pie, beef stew, comfort foods galore. Who knows? Perhaps some snickerdoodles may magically appear.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 4, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

(Shhh: Fewer, Wilbrodog. Not less.)

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 4, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

That tunnel in the third picture is eerily familiar. Doesn't it have some sort of weird reputation?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 4, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

A web search shows that this Sept. 25 article is not the only one to discuss male heritability of breast cancer.

There's this older one from Britain's Daily Mail, with no dateline given. Since I found it some time ago, don't let today's dateline fool you:

There's this one from the msnbc website from summer 2007:

A Simple Rant

So if George Stephanopoulos & Gang can present a "medicine on the cutting edge" segment every morning on their GMA show, why can't doctor's offices reflect the latest knowledge about genetic breast cancers in their information-gathering question(s) on the medical histories form each patient is required to fill out? (Disclosure: I have not filled out a medical history form for about three years now. The last I think was when I was having the eye problem.)

So, if we take the informtion provided by the most recent Sept. 25 article, the first link that I provided, why don't women or men see the following questions on the medical history form every person must fill out when visiting a new doctor? (If you've seen these questions, please feel free to correct or update me. I woild love that.)

Do have reason to believe that a breast cancer gene passed down by males may be causing cancers within your extended family?

Are you of Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jews descent [since it's been found that this ethnic group is 10 times more likely to possess mutations in their BRCA1 and BRCA 2 genes than the general population]?

Are you of Norwegian, Dutch, and Icelandic descent [who also have higher frequencies of specific BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations]? (And which makes the reporting by Nick Wade at the NYT on Dec. 19 about DNA variants found by Iceland's (homogenous population) DeCode all the more relevant?]

In your family, are three or more first-degree or second-degree (grandmother or aunt) relatives diagnosed with breast cancer, regardless of their age at diagnosis?

Has any breast cancer been diagnosed in a male relative?

Posted by: laloomis | February 4, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday's snow experience was odd for me, as the neighbors' 5-year-old was out shoveling my driveway for me before I got to it (no morning kindergarten due to the late start). I did the majority of the work, but still -- I got beaten to it by a kindergartener. Oh, the shame.

Any ideas on whether a leaf-blower is of any value in snow-removal operations? The relatively warm temperatures suggest to me that the snow will be damp and clumpy and uncooperative. Whereas, with the light and fluffy snows that we had earlier this season, I probably should have tried it.

Let me remind you all that if a miracle happens and the roads are passable on Saturday, that Saturday afternoon will bring this year's edition of the Folklore Society of Greater Washington Mini-Fest, open to the public (with appropriate admission fee), at Takoma Park MIddle School on Piney Branch Road. If there is no Mini-Fest, then I anticipate refueling my snow-shoveling with several dozen oatmeal-raisin cookies on Saturday that would otherwise have been distributed to the storytellers.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 4, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I have just been informed by a coworker, who recently moved here from Alaska, that we are all a bunch of snow wimps. (She actually used another term that, if used by me, would doubtless get me reprimanded fro creating a hostile work environment. But I digress.)

I have a theory that, in a weird recapitulation of Lamarckian evolution, people who were raised in perpetually snowy climes are anatomically different. They have developed, I assert, secret muscles devoted to nothing but shoveling snow. Plus, their tolerance for nippy noses and fingers is significantly enhanced because of an exceptionally extensive network of extremity capillaries.

Or, perhaps she's simply right.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 4, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I wondered whether mules had a desire for whoopee... I stand informed.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 4, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

RD, save that piece of information from your co-worker and compare it to how she handles mid-Atlantic state summers. Also, hurricanes.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 4, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Dear Lord, that looks like Minnesota. I hate snow. Sorry to all the snow worshippers.

Posted by: Sara54 | February 4, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

RD, one of our neighbors has one of those electric thingies. In December I just couldn't keep myself from giggling at his flailing uselessly at the snow with that thing.

We do have a "neighborhood" snowblower--the big mechanical type. Unfortunately, when the snow is wet (and the coming storm promises that it will be) the thing just clogs up.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 4, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

RD, check back in with your Alaskan-raised co-worker in a few years. I grew up in the snow belt of Western New York, but a few years of the unplowed-or-partially-plowed roads, freeze and thaw cycles, and folks driving way too fast for the conditions, I became a weather weenie, too.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 4, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Not chili Raysmom, Gumbo...

Posted by: HeadFool1 | February 4, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I've been given the green light to work from home tomorrow. Woohoo!

Posted by: Moose13 | February 4, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

curmudgeon6, thinking of the comfort foods has saddened me that we won't be receiving any snow up here this weekend.

I'm trying to expand my cooking horizons and I must say a number of those sound like excellent crock pot opportunities.

Posted by: cowhand214 | February 4, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

The real test for Alaskans is taxes. They have no experience with those at all.

Posted by: kguy1 | February 4, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Sara, nice to have you back for a second day.

I fully appreciate those in the greater DC area are not used to these amounts of snow. Dreading what one can't stop, however, may not be the best strategy.

Maybe pondering or doing things one likes would make the anticipation period less onerous.

If I were in this situation, for example, I might ponder a game. If among friends, maybe something silly and mindless and fun like Bingo.

Comfort food works too, as do pain relievers for those who must shovel.

My heart is with you all as the weekend approaches.

Posted by: MsJS | February 4, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Yum, gumbo...

Our forecast has been changed from rain/freezing rain to just rain. Looks like we won't be cold enough to freeze. Yanno, I'm okay with that. Got stuff to do on Saturday and so forth.

The installers are supposed to be here this afternoon to put gutters on the garage. That will help with the mud.

Chili or spaghetti for supper Saturday night? Decisions, decisions...

Posted by: slyness | February 4, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Just think, if your storm is really really huge, you will have a story to bore people with for years and years. Heck, we're still talking about the Blizzard of '78 here!

Posted by: badsneakers | February 4, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Snow pictures are lovely. Somehow, nobody bothers to photograph the downside of melting snow. I prefer to live in a climate where I can go get the morning newspaper without shoes when necessary.

A friend used to complain about the lack of seasons in California. What do you mean? You go to the beach in January, the wind blows and your face gets cold. That's winter.

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 4, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Apparently Ti Shan's departure is causing some traffic problems. My wife got a report from a coworker that a FedEx truck has a big police escort. Has to be you-know-who going home. *swallowing lump in throat*

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 4, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Just sent out an email blast that our facilities will be closed on Friday and Saturday.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 4, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I think of two other things in relation to breast cancer.

Chapter Three, "Margarent's Story: The Hearth" in Spencer Wells National Geographic book, "Deep Ancestry: Inside the Genographic Project," begins with the story of Wells' grandmother Margaret. Margaret was born into a middle-class Scandinavian family near Omaha, Neb., in 1917. Margaret's parents had moved from Denmark in the first decade of the 20th century, and Margaret's mother, Gerda, had come from Aalborg, a small town in northern Denmark to join her sister in America, settling in the Danish enclaveof Blair, Nebraska.

(All our family knows of our Grandfather Swanson is that he or his father came from Sweden, and that they, too, settled in Nebraska, in a town that no longer exists, or so the family lore goes. MOved to Chicago for awhile, with Grandpa Swanson eventually selling Florida swamp land in the early 1900s.)

As far as Wells own story, his family knew they were Scandinavian--their ancestors had always lived in northern Europe. The thought that their DNA might link them to another place was absurd. However, Wells decided to test the mtDNA, or mitochondrial DNA of his family, and found that his family's maternal mtDNA is of haplogroup J, with the highest frequencies seen in populations from the Middle East. Just as Thomas Jefferson was found to have a Middle Eastern genetic link not so very long ago.

There is absolutely no mention of breast cancer in Wells' family, but I do ponder the high percentage of BRAC1 and BRAC2 cancers in the Ashkenazi Jewish ethnic subgroup, and Wells' fascinating Scandinavian-Middle East links.

Closer to home is there any help for our family in terms of its breast cancers and their origins--genetic or environmental? I remember Scottynuke mentioning that the study of angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels, which in cancer, support the growth of cancer tumors) has been ongoing for some time, Nuke's mention occurring the same morning that the NYT published an article about Dr. Mina Bissell of Berkeley, written by reporter Gina Kolata and published Dec. 28.

It's not difficult finding additional information about the remarkable Bissell on the Wed. This Iranian-born and American-educated physician has an interesting life story, a fascinating CV. As a footnote, she's married to another physician, Dr. Montgomery Bissell. And it was the Loomises, Bissells, Porters, Griswolds, and the Rev. Ephraim Huitt who arrived together in the same boat in ancient Windsor, Conn., in 1638.

O.K., all done with breast cancer for a long, long time.

Posted by: laloomis | February 4, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

But edbyronadams, nobody is requiring you to wear shoes in the snow . . . . your trip out to get the paper would be super fast if you didn't wear 'em (*morning weather snort*).

All that comfort food sounds yummy. Now, if I can only make my way around the Beltway (to "over there") I could join the gang at Mudge's house.

I'm just hoping that my car gets its o/f changed quickly tomorrow morning and that there isn't a huge crowd at the nearby Trader Joe's.

Posted by: -ftb- | February 4, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I wish we had Trader Joes in Utah. I hear nothing but good things about it. Except for that one banana spider in the bananas story from a couple of years ago, but that's not their fault and that produce boy was very resourceful in capturing it.

Posted by: Sara54 | February 4, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: ScienceTim | February 4, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Meant to compliment Joel on the photos, very nice. I love taking pics of snow. ftb, I'm afraid there will be a huge crowd tomorrow anywhere that sells food.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 4, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I miss snow as an event. Here it is just a chronic condition from just after Halloween until early April-if we're lucky. The last two years we've had 6-8 inches on April 25-26 and by that time it really is too much. Depression is the natural state of the Finnish diaspora for a reason-our forebears braved hardships and took risks to settle in a land just as miserable as the one they left.

RD's theory about snow shoveling adaptation is an interesting one. It's 19F here today (heat wave!) and I just couldn't stand wearing a jacket while chipping away at the ice accumulated near the entry of the vacation rental. A ratty sweater was quite warm enough. For some reason old, pilled and fuzzy sweaters are always warmer than new ones.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 4, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

RD, your 10:23 made me laugh really hard, about evolution and snow muscles.

John (Jack) Horner, the paleontologist in Bozeman, Mont., in one of his books, observes that the musculature in the human back just isn't there to support the growth and formation of wings.

Which make the depiction of Valentine's Day angels and Christmas angels and any depiction of the the pudgy putti (lots in Italy, also elsewhere) or cherubs totally ridiculous. As is angel jewelry, the appearance of these figures in sacred texts, famous "sacred" artwork, etc.

Horner, also in one of his books, takes on the depiction of the griffin (half of the animal pair on Britain's royal seal) and compares it to the paleo "dragons" of Asia--Mongolia, IIRC. *Back to dragons, I see...*

Posted by: laloomis | February 4, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Tim, on the catch...brain dead, out of sync time-wise waiting late into the night for my husband to come home.

BRCA1 which stands for BReast CAncer1

BRAC stands for Base Realignment Commission, that acronym well-known in these parts.

Posted by: laloomis | February 4, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Great photos - love the bridge and river ones.

Good luck with the storm. That amount of snow is a major disruption anywhere.

Posted by: engelmann | February 4, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

This just in:











Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 4, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, Mudge. I got a response to our email about closing tomorrow and Saturday from one guy who could'nt believe we'd close "based on rumor."

Posted by: -TBG- | February 4, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

The snow, per se, isn't going to be the problem. The problem will be the wind/blizzard conditions, causing drifts, meaning whatever gets plowed will be undone in a few minutes. And if we get the ice storm first, then the near blizzard -- well, everything will grind to a halt. The question is, how much ice forms on trees and wires -- and then gets pushed around by the wind. Depth of snow won't be the problem. It's all the mean s--- that's gonna be a problem. Get out the generators and just hunker down.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 4, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse



Posted by: -bc- | February 4, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, from the warning you posted, doesn't look like ice is in the picture. *Fingers crossed*

Posted by: Raysmom | February 4, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I know just what you mean. When I get plowed I always start to drift a little too.

Posted by: kguy1 | February 4, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Been there, done that, afraid it will come back before spring. Y'all be careful.

Howdy sara, cowhand, welcome to headfool (lurker?)

Ivansdad is like Joel in his early weather conditioning. He's spent most of his life in south Texas or southern California. He'll just stand and stare at the snow coming down, and then periodically stare at the unmelted snow and ice days for days afterwards. He has no experience of this and can't quite get used to it.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 4, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Just heard an inside track that the big state Hugh-ee (take off the haitch and the ee- y-sound and you will know what I am talking about....

working from home is not likely on Friday....

Yes. Chili is the right this. Or gumbo. i will re-track the parsnips, since CPDude and Co do not really relish the pleasure of parsnips as the base for fortifying food.

Chili -- the feast of kinglets.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 4, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

We could use some of that snow you know. Many croos country ski trails are closed because of poor snow condition. In flipping February. *sigh*
There is a 30" 13HP snowblower in the garage that has been collecting dust for more than a month now. I'll take it for a spin this weekend to keep it lubricated I guess. *sigh*

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 4, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I hear you, CP, about not being able to work from home. My employer gets downright cranky when people take work home. Although I am seriously considering burning a day of leave. Or at least a few hours. I have no intention of becoming stuck on the beltway with nothing but a leather satchel to ward off the wolves.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 4, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I thought the first picture was a chilly Cialis photo.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 4, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know where on the Post web site to go routinely to find closings and delays? I find I have to do an ad hoc search each time I want to find it. You would think it might be with the weather or education or local or traffic pages. I know there were delays today, and there already have been cancellations for tomorrow, so why is a listing of closures not easily located?

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 4, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Very pretty pictures! However, the two chairs pic, while pretty, kind of reminds me of the Cialis TV ad pic of the two bathtubs which also makes no sense to what the ad is promoting if you ask me. Maybe one big bathtub.

Posted by: Windy3 | February 4, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I dunno, Raysmom. The ice prediction is coming from this site:

They are calling for ice pellets from mid-afternoon to late Friday night. (I keyed in Waldorf; your ZIP might vary).

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 4, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

GWE--just saw your reference to Cialis. Yep, great minds think alike.

Posted by: Windy3 | February 4, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Funny, Joel. You are implying the mule hauls your canal boat, right? I was hoping to borrow him for the spring plowing if you have a trailer. They haven't extended the canal down here while I wasn't paying attention, have they? And you did have him gelded, no? You know how they are.

Not so sure it's genetic, RD. I spent a single awful night out in Ohio winter once at 23 below, F., and it was enough to reset my body's thermostat to "high" for the next three years even after I moved back down to Texas. It took a summer in an un-air-conditioned trailer in Texas before it went back to normal.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 4, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Ah, I see, Mudge. It's a Merlin' thing. No ice in my neck of the woods.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 4, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

That's exactly what I thought, GWE.

Posted by: Moose13 | February 4, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Greenie funny. I never understood the separate yet classic claw footed tubs image. Sorta like parallel play. That works for toddlers...but my goodness, grown ups who want frisk the cat and then the dog?

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 4, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who attempts any sort of Cialis-related activity in an Adirondack chair in four inches of snow is not only out of his/her mind, but also likely to encounter performance problems that the Cialis may not solve. "Slow hands" is a good thing; forstbitten ones, not so much. Lighting the cigarette might be the best part of the experience: the happy couple can huddle around the Zippo.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 4, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Adirondack chairs aren't made for activity of any sort-part of what makes them so inviting.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 4, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

To have frisky fun in an Adirondack chair you need Catskills.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 4, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm with SD. I'm jonesing for some proper snowfall and starting to get a wee bit jealous. If this is how everyone else's winters look like (grey frozen turf and mud), I'm going to have to move farther north. It's just unnatural.

Laloomis, objecting to cherubim on the basis of human anatomical limitations just brings to mind spawn #2 who will open questions with statements like "There one thing that doesn't make sense in Transformers...". Just one?

Posted by: qgaliana | February 4, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Tim: My grandmother used a leaf-blower on the fluffy snow earlier this year and I believe she was not happy with the results. Just threw it up in the air to resettle on her walk in her opinion.

On Cialis tubs: Not only are the two tubs strange, what about their location? The top of a mountain? Who is dragging the water up there? Why do you never see their clothes on the ground or hung up on a tree or something? Was the scene before co-ed naked water hauling? Not my idea of romance.

loomis: As of 4 months ago when I left the oncological records world after an 8-month stint, all of those questions were routinely covered in our office, where applicable. Familial cancer histories (both genders) and ethnic/racial descent were often mentioned in consultation notes. It was also not uncommon for patients to be recommended for genetic counseling.

However, I believe that there were times when insurance wouldn't cover the counseling. I wasn't really involved with that side though, so I'm not positive on that. Not shocking, since that would not usually affect the treatment or health of the patient, but more their (and their family's) peace of mind.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | February 4, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

qgaliana-hope coffee doesn't stain this shirt.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 4, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

*Waves* at Ivansmom. Thanks!

Posted by: cowhand214 | February 4, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Tim... this looks like a bookmark-worthy generic page...

Posted by: -TBG- | February 4, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

The snow is the sky crying for Tai Shan:

Posted by: seasea1 | February 4, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm jealous JA... we have NO snow here. Unreal. Horseback in the snow... we need more photos.

Posted by: MissToronto | February 4, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

To me, the first picture is reminiscent of those Corona beer commercials with the couple at the beach. I think this would be the off-season version.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 4, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I agree, RD. I thought Corona when I saw the first pictures.

Posted by: Sara54 | February 4, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

There's a Corona off-season?? Who knew???

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 4, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Alaska? A guy who'd worked for years in Fairbanks noted that, first snow, everyone drove around overconfidently. Fender benders everywhere. The closest I've been is overhead on a nice fall day, on a flight from Dulles to Japan.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 4, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

It's the hot toddy version of the Corona ad.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 4, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Hmm. I have been playing around learning to make homemade hard cider and about have it down. I have not tried it hot yet. If I remember to get cinnamon at the store I might try it.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 4, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: -TBG- | February 4, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

OTOH, Sunday is a good time to stay home and watch the national spectacle of 200+lb. men who can run like deer, running into each other.

Oh, the humanity, oh, the health care, oh, the chili and gumbo.

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 4, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Love the snow pictures, but I know you guys are in for some blizzarding this weekend. At the risk of sounding ridiculous, I am acutally envious (a little) of you all because I love the cold and the winter wonderland thing. Yes, I realize what it means (the shoveling, the power outages, etc.) but it's also something I don't see much of (obviously). So please post pictures when you can so I may live vicariously through you. And, stay warm and safe! I'll be thinking of you guys this weekend.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | February 4, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

They are all adorable, but I think Tater Tot is my favorite. He looks thoughtful.

Thanks, TBG!

Posted by: Moose13 | February 4, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

DotC-shhh, the fact that everyone must relearn how to drive in snow each winter is supposed to be a secret.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 4, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Been suffering a bad case of solastalgia since I read this (O.K. it's not home but it's pretty close to the childhood home. And algia, you know, like analgesic or fibromyalgia):

Solastalgia definition here (fifth graf):

The song Solastalgia by the British Group Zero 7 here:

Posted by: laloomis | February 4, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

TBG, I was amazed that only one of them was smiling. But puppies tend to be a little skittish about stuff they don't know.

*choking on cuteness*

Posted by: -ftb- | February 4, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse


How dare you utter the words 'power outages.'

Posted by: russianthistle | February 4, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Day of meetings. No snow. Damp chill rain, gets in the bones, ick. Will be back later with important Boodle query re: recommendation for Super Bowl munchies - simple, tasty, hearty (gonna be cold), some vegetarian other than veggie tray. See y'all.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 4, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I miss the snow, too.

Posted by: laloomis | February 4, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

we'll have rain this weekend in socal in solidarity with you folks.

spent last weekend in nj, where it was quite cold. even my relatives of the north-eastern states were complaining.

i have gone soft, i confess, but i do love the winter wonderland pics.

Posted by: LALurker | February 4, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Oops, sorry Weed!

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | February 4, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Breaking news: unscheduled leave for you feds tomorrow, and possibly Monday.

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Yes! Puppy Bowl! Thank you for reminding me. I will have my guacamole ready.

Posted by: Sara54 | February 4, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

News from North Korea, via Chosun Ilbo and Daily NK, is reaching new heights of weirdness.

It looks as though the NK government's efforts to ban foreign currency and private marketplaces (farmers' markets and merchandise trading) was encountering ridicule. A story noted that once-respectful North Koreans were referring to the Dear Leader by his naked name, with no honorific, or were calling him "Idiot", using a word popularized by illegally-watched South Korean TV. Until now, no one would ever do such a thing.

The official in charge of re-socializing NK has disappeared, markets are reappearing, the NK currency is stabilizing, private imports seem to be resuming, people are failing to show up at their government "jobs" because there's no pay, and the government's been humiliated.

The Post has put a good deal of effort into covering Korea. The next story might be interesting.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 4, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

When I lived in Portland, which seemingly had an ice storm every winter, office closures were only weakly related to my ability to actually get to the office.

Christian Science Monitor has a substantial story on goings-on in North Korea.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 4, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Thinking of cold rain, an enterprising little arts outfit in Portland will be staging Wagner's Das Rheingold, condensed and restaged as a Baywatch episode wherein the Golden Tan (the erstwhile Rheingold) becomes a source of Evil.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 4, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I would guess what you serve for SuperBowl snacks would depend, in part, on what team you and your company are rooting for?

If it's the Colts, then something with "horse"radish?

If it's the Saints, hotcross buns?

Posted by: laloomis | February 4, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

The NYT had a feed (or food, take your pick) feature for Houston this morn, and "wahoo," a Gulf fish, was mentioned in the story.

Posted by: laloomis | February 4, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Mickey Loomis hails from Eugene, Oregon, so maybe there's some snackum that could represent the Pacific Northwest--little (black, huckle, boysen) berry tarts, smoked salmon, baked apples, or aplets and cotlets.

Or crawfish etouffe for Nahlins?

Posted by: laloomis | February 4, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

the thing is, after this next snow storm,you probably won't even be able to see those chairs.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 4, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

How nice to think there are lots of angels in Italy, or even more so there than everywhere else. Alas, tis not true. They're everywhere, and have been depicted in art since 2250 bc in Mesopotamia. That humans don't have the muscles to develop wings doesn't really negate the argument for the existence of angels. Would be like saying humans don't have the facial structure for Bratz doll eyes so there can't be Martians.

I'm supposed to travel to the city tomorrow; I'm guessing that's a no-go.

Go Saints!

Posted by: LostInThought | February 4, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

This is my solution for this weekend's snow:

The original steel pan orchestra launches.

Enjoy and tell me that 16 inches ain't that bad.

Hey, we just discovered a third bottle of Bailey's in the house.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 4, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Indiana foodways (adjusting thinking, memory cap):

Home to Orville Reddenbacher, so low-fat popped corn. Lots of bison raised there, as we could attest when we lived in Floyds Knobs. So delicious bison bites or bison meatballs. Onion pie. Persimmon pie, of course, made with the little tiny persimmons that are abundant around the state (and grew on our neighbor's property in FK.) Apples, wild game--all fitting in the nutritious category.

Posted by: laloomis | February 4, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Dave, interesting bit by Hitchens in the National Post on North Korea. A little opinionated, starting with the title "A Nation of Racist Dwarves":

Posted by: engelmann | February 4, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

What's particularly disturbing about those Bratz dolls, in addition to the awful tag-line "The Girls with a Passion for Fashion" is how some of those fashionable accoutrements are handled. The shoes don't come off of the feet in order to change shoe-styles -- the feet come off the legs. Poor little amputee Bratz dolls, lying about, waiting for their new foot-prostheses to be attached. It's kind of horrible. Talk about sending a bad message to little girls about personal priorities! It's possibly even worse than Talking Barbie saying "Math is hard."

Oh Barbie, Algebra's Fine, Geometry's Kool Math

I prefer

Only Boys Advocating Feminism Get Kissed Meaningfully

(OBAFGKM = stellar classification code sequence for main-sequence stars)

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 4, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I do think that wings on other (primarily mammalian...not sure about monotremes or marsupials) forms go back to the shamanic mists of time.

Maybe Erich von Daniken has something he can add to the conversation? Or someone here can speak reliably about ancient astronauts?

*diving for Horner's passage about griffins*

Posted by: laloomis | February 4, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

And who knows the classic (and insensitive) mnemonic for the resistor code?

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 4, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

There was a story on GMA in the past week or so about fashonista mommies dressing up their pre-school daughters in heels (some of those heels are modified--or shorter-- heels though). Who is leading this horrible trend before little girls' bones in their feet are fully formed? No doubt the kiddie fashion industry, but also Katie Holmes, Mrs. Tom Cruise. *shudder*

Know nothing about Bratz dolls, so appreciate the info about their feet. I do remember Barbie's contorted feet, however. *deep sigh*

Posted by: laloomis | February 4, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Dr G has some very funny mnemonics for various body parts and functions from when he taught anatomy & physiology. Some are Not For Polite Company.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 4, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Latest winter storm warning update now calls for 18-24 inches...

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 4, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

TBG -- if you fear snow -- here is another one for headphones:

Just a practice session The Marsicans

NO SNOW after this.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 4, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Resistance is futile.

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 4, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Bad Boys [R] Our Young Girls, But Violet Gives Willingly

Black Brown Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Violet Grey White

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 4, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

What came first -- the dragon or the egg?


Posted by: -bc- | February 4, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

The Onion had an exposé on how Bratz dolls were giving girls unrealistic expectations on ideal head size.

Posted by: engelmann | February 4, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Snuke, they are zeroing in... too much, but zeroing in.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 4, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Even 16 years ago I was appalled at the heels on little girls' shoes. It was when Daughter could finally fit in ladies' sizes that she could find good flats in many styles.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 4, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Horner's "Dinosaur Lives," pp 21-23.

The cutline showing the Protoceratops skeleton and an illustration of the griffin: "The griffin, considered a mythical creature by Western culture, was most likely based on the skeletons of the dinosaur Protoceratops, common in the rocks of the Gobi Desert, near the Altai Mountains, where griffins are alleged to have existed."

In these pages, Horner mentions Adrienne Mayer, classical folklorist, who pieced together only a few years ago the legend of the griffith that the Greeks borrowed from Central Asia (Indo Europeans). Horner discusses the Altai (Altai means gold in the local dialect) Mountains, the Nemget Formation, where Proroceratops is the most common dinosaur, and in the same breath, Roy Chapman Andrews and dinosaur eggs.

Horner does a bit of comparative anatomy between the mythical griffin and Protoceratops: prominent birdlike beak, the thin frill prone to breakage that could resmble a horn, and the flared edge of the frill that could conceivably look like ears to the ancients. The high probability that wings were added to the mythical griffin to complement these other avian-like features of Proceratops. The elongated shoulder blades located in exactly the same place as the griffin's wings.

Horner explains: "...Protoceratops has an elongated shoulder blade located in exactly the same place as the griffin's wing, which might not seem significant until you consider that the wings of mythical creatures typically are located in areas where no bones are present to anchor them. The next time you see an angel, especially one blessed with big wings, ask yourself which anatomical structure supports those heavy limbs."

So the early shamans, Sumerians, Greeks, Egyptians, Romans had no Darwin, no Wegener, no du Toit, no biogeographers, no evo-devo, no books, just a lot of silly mythical mumbo-jumbo. Germs certainly; no guns or steel. Wonder if they even had mutant wheat and barley when they developed their lore? The latter cultures, probably.

Posted by: laloomis | February 4, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Golly, bc, I have been pondering the chicken or egg--and which came first--in my readings. I would tend to think the egg, but am stuck in "Game Change" and will return to Shubin and McCarthy soon to finish their books. Will probably turn to a book on c elegans, then another by Carroll on evo-devo, then one I picked up yesterday by Yale University Press, 2005, with an alternate theory about evolution-can't recall the title right off the top of my head since I've spent no appreciable time with it.

Anyone want to venture an educated guess on the chicken or egg question?

Posted by: laloomis | February 4, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: -TBG- | February 4, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Starting pinto beans from a can....dreaming of Ranch Beans, the brand of cowboys and other rustic folk in that wide fly over.

Formerly of Ft. Worth in that great state of Southern Montana, well, Ranch Beans are a Conagra product.

Making my own!

Have a bottle of Malbec for the chili beans...should be fine.

For CPBoy and friends who can walk over? Four loaves of Basil Asiago bread from Spring Mill bakery: shall last about 45 moments but they will be carbo -loaded for the afternoon.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 4, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

SCC: dragon/egg or avian dinosaur/egg

Posted by: laloomis | February 4, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: slyness | February 4, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Egg. Definitely the egg.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 4, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

We may pick on James Cameron's storytelling skills, but he has written a pretty solid editorial supporting Obama's approach to fulfilling the dream of manned and unmanned space exploration:

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

No school in Fairfax tomorrow.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 4, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: yellojkt | February 4, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

There is a genetic basis for OCD behavior in dogs.|main|dl8|link6|

That explains so much.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 4, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

"Federal offices in the Washington area will operate with unscheduled leave status on Friday as a major snowstorm nears the nation's capital. "


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

This would be a step in the right direction! The GOP better join in.

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

This is very cool.

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Love the photos Joel, especially the river. Stay safe everyone, like the others I am a little jealous.

Was amused all day at work with your posts about the impending storm, then I had to send a package for delivery in DC tomorrow, what do you think the odds are it will get delivered in time, fortunately not time sensitive until Tuesday, will a runway be cleared by then :-).

Posted by: dmd3 | February 4, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

My great and august employer sent out an alert assuring us that the would consult mightily and often with weather wizards, announcing at 6 AM via text alert our open-ness/closeness condition.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 4, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

*faxing in advance as much snow as will fit in my fax machine to dmd, shriek and dr with enough left over for MiddleofthePacific*

And, if you want more, there is bound to be much (*much*) more over the next few days.

Decided to go to Shoppers this afternoon. Of course, everyone else in the local world was there, as well. Luckily, someone opened her cash register just as I was looking for a place to wait for about an hour or so . . . .

Posted by: -ftb- | February 4, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Local NBC weatherman Bob Ryan just said this storm could be one of the all-time top 5 storms in the DC area.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | February 4, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

I volunteer my fax portion to be sent to Vancouver, the visuals of the Winter Olympics being held with daffodils blooming is just so wrong. At least the Vancouver portion, I believe Whistler has a 33' snow base, and no that is not an error 33 feet, if I remember correctly that is questionable :-) At any rate it was a staggering amount.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 4, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

World Bank is closing Friday.

Many Maryland schools face the end or near end of snow days.; if they go one/half day, then the day counts. Also, in my area, the thought is this too:

free and reduced breakfast and
free and reduced lunch

Very important before a weekend.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 4, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

For all you in the DC/east coast storm path, I offer our local descriptions of our storm last week, used particularly in connection with traffic, closings, and the descent of shoppers like locusts on grocery stores: Icepocalypse. Snowbomination.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 4, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

CqP, if the World Bank closes tomorrow, countries can still go to the ATM machine, right?

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | February 4, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Snowed in tomorrow, play on this website designig a light show in Vancouver - Code is part of the Cultural Olympiad going on right now with a large of interesting things, Code just when live today and this is one of the first interactive elements.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 4, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Regarding unscheduled leave. While this might appear to as if we are getting a snow holiday, this, alas, is not the case. A true snow holiday only occurs if the guvm'nt were to actually close.

Unscheduled leave just means that we need not get formal permission from our supervisors before using some of our accumulated vacation.

And since there are some uppity employees (like, um, me) for whom getting formal permission is always more a theoretical construct than an actual operating procedure, there isn't really that much difference between tomorrow and a normal workday.

Of course, if the snow is bad enough, they might actually close the government on Monday. This would be a true extra holiday. But the Feds hate to do this because it, technically, costs money in lost productivity. Of course, in most cases it does no such thing. It just means that in the days following people have to work all that much harder to get caught up. So it really just makes our lives harder.

Which is why I am hoping that the government doesn't do anything so rash as to close on Monday. Really. I would be heartbroken. Probably couldn't enjoy sleeping in at all.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 4, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Here's your talker for the evening:

Posted by: joelache | February 4, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

"What it's about is an intense sensation," she explains. "Some people like rock climbing or jumping out of airplanes or bungee jumping. You'd never catch me doing that. But if you're talking about a good spanking, then yes, absolutely."

The Washington Post: If you don't get it, you don't get it.

Posted by: joelache | February 4, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Call me a crazed libertarian but I don't really see what's wrong with it so long as it doesn't wake the neighbors and they shovel the sidewalk after a blizzard.

Posted by: joelache | February 4, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Thanks ftb! Although, I think by the time the snow comes through my fax machine it'll be a nice drink o' water.

I'd send you guys some lilikoi shave ice syrup (aka snow cones in your neck of the woods) but the jug might not fit in the fax.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | February 4, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

I dunno, Joel. I'm happy to talk about zoning regs all night but you might drive away the rest of the crowd.

Oh, you meant the reason for the complaint. Right. Well, I hope that guy either doesn't have a party this weekend, or they're all real good friends. A few days of that could get very tedious, or worse.

Now that I'm back, at least temporarily, I'll again request Boodle advice. We're having some folks over to watch the Super Bowl and I'm looking for some new stuff to mix in with our usual casual fare. I don't think anyone cares about the game (sorry football peeps) but it is a good excuse to get together. C'mon you cooks and kitchen tinkerers!

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 4, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse


RANCH (style) BEANS.
jalepeno corn bread

Ro-Tel and no or low fat sour cream, to make a better nacho dip that does the Velveeta fauxness.

True story: i grew up thinking that Velveeta was a type of fish and crawdad bait. We also greased the fishing line with Velveeta fingers....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 4, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

I capped the beans because, you dear Sooner, can BUY THEM. Although, I hear that ConAgra makes them in Tennessee or some such non plains place.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 4, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

That is hilarious, but I'm with you Joel. I don't see that it does any harm to anyone.

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Wait a second wait a second, I have snow already. Mrdr is gonna hate it if we get more snow. He has to shovel the neighbours drive so they can make it to their house when they get home in the middle of the night. Its a long drive and it is too far on busy roads to drive the bobcat over to clear it properly. (Yes we do it industrial sized up here)

Send it east please, and west, but not here!

Now if CqP could fax some chili I'd be greatful.

Posted by: --dr-- | February 4, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mudge,

Sure, use your ATM card. I know that you are Turks and Caicos alias type anyway.

Joel -- my stars.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 4, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

As long as they're not keeping anybody illegally, sure. Party on.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 4, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

If the participants arrive in street clothes and park in a lot, and the try to keep the noise and drinking down, how did the neighbors know what kind of parties they are?

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 4, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse


arancini (fabulous with Prosecco):

coconut shrimp:

- more -

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Shoveling shall be rewarded with faxed home-made ranch-style beans.... queue up lads and ladies.

About the dungeon people in the moderately toney neighborhood: my only comment is this. i live in an older neighborhood (1920s to begin but really took off in, say, 37, with a war respite, then a 45-50 mushroom). Narrow streets, remnant street car line....we are very tight on road space. The acupuncturist up the street and the Susuki violin lady plus the mommy who hosts and charges for a weekly kiddie music session in her basement -- well, my goodness, the parking is impossible.

I am mostly a bike lady, but i do have to run out and tell people firmly but with sugar and spice to NOT BLOCK MY, there is that...

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 4, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse


Honey-Walnut Spread:

Pissaladiere (search, there are many). Use pate brise for sure.

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Does the Unitarian church charge for parking?

Posted by: --dr-- | February 4, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Yum so far. Thanks, Yoki. When I'm eating my take-out dinner tonight (pizza, Chinese or Mexican, the Boy picks) I'll go over those recipes carefully.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 4, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Vegetarian main:

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Oh goodness. Interesting snacks. Well, one year we spent Super Bowl Sunday at the in-laws and feasted on homemade California rolls! Here's a website that shows something similar to what we made. (I helped. Really I did.)

The nice thing is that you can substitute ingredients to suit the audience. For example, you can omit all the fishy bits and use chicken if you want. (It actually works.) Or go all veggie.

It's very easy, although, of course, you do need to have access to the ingredients. You don't need the bamboo mat, some posterboard will work reasonably well.

The important thing is to have *lots* of wasabi.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 4, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Got in and out of the grocery store tonight in about 45 minutes... most of that was shopping time. Got everything I wanted but no ground meat to be had and very little meat in general, so the chicken in the freezer will be thawed and it will be chicken chili for the G family this snowy weekend.

The woman behind me was actually buying toilet paper...

Posted by: -TBG- | February 4, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Oh my. That's quite some article. I shall never view Bethesda the same way again.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 4, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

"It's really very, very diverse -- though we do have an unusually high percentage of lawyers. I don't know why."

The zoning issues alone are worth the price of admission. Plus, what if the fee is characterized as a club membership? If the internal business structure is so characterized and is satisfactory as legitimate tax avoidance, shouldn't that be sufficient for the purposes of municipal zoning?

I'm not stopping until someone says the safety word.

Posted by: engelmann | February 4, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

So let's say some folks on Tone Drive in Bethesda have some friends over and want to order pizza, so they take up a collection. Is that violating the zoning laws?

Posted by: -TBG- | February 4, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

One of the storm name suggestions @ Capitol Weather Gang:

Kaiser Snowze


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 4, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: -TBG- | February 4, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Lucky guess.

Posted by: engelmann | February 4, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

You know, funny you should mention this zoning issue, Joel. Way back when I was a foreign correspondent covering the French and Indian Wars (they called it the Seven Years War on the continent. I kept asking them, how do you guys know it's going to last seven years? You've only been fighting now for two. Nobody could give me a good answer).

Anyway, there was this guy who lived in a big McMansion/castle down in Provence, in a town called LaCoste, where they made a lot of tennis clothes. This guy was holding wild parties and such, with all kinds of rumored kinky goings-on, and he, too ran afoul of the law. In fact, his mother-in-law got the king to put out an openended warrant on his butt, and over the next couple decades this guys was in and out of dungeons -- the "real" kind, not these kinky suburban rec rooms -- as well as insane asylums. You wanna talk zoning violations, you shoulda seen the Bastile back in the 1790s. Wow.

This guy finally died during the War of 1812 (once again, I hadda ask them, how can you call this the War of 1812? It's already 1815? No answer. I'm telling, that General Jackson sure knew how to Stonewall.)

At any rate, after spending, like 32 years in prison and insane asylums for violating what I guess must be French zoning laws (I guess that's what they were; as you know my French isn't too good, and there were all sorts of french words I'd never seen or heard before), this guy died. I can't remember his name, but every time I see a movie with the Walberg guy, Marky Mark, I think of hism. His last name was weird, too, with a bunch of silent letters that you didn't pronounce. Sharday, or something like that, only that wasn't how you pronounced it. All I remember thinking was it was all so very sad.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | February 4, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Ivansmom, around here we love "Little Smokies" wrapped in sections of refrigerator crescent roll dough and baked. Simple, but warm, and satisfying.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 4, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps he preferred being a sad-ist, 'Mudge?

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 4, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Finally found some time to look at a synopsis of the NASA budget. It seems unless you were working on Constellation it's probably not the end of the world.

Is there a new strategic plan somewhere? The official releases are basically platitudes. I'd be interested to know, for example, if researching heavy lift (still necessary if we want off this mudball) means continuing the Ares program or something completely new.

It's easy to imagine Constellation entered in a classic death spiral - cut budget and narrow the focus until your solution is so specific to be a one shot deal; push problems forward to hit milestones and collect your cash while you can. You can see projects that go through this progressively produce crappier results until it's obvious that when it's 'done', tying off the loose ends will cost as much as the supposed work. You can probably guarantee success in most endeavours if you modestly tighten your scope and up your budget at the very beginning when it is on paper, but usually the opposite gets done - repeatedly. On this scale they probably lost a lot of good work, no matter how many problems they said Constellation had.

Project management is both craft and art, not unlike captaining a sailing ship. Unfortunately there is usually a landlubber owner over your shoulder trying to squeeze some more cargo aboard and insisting you tack closer to the shoals to save time.

The effort to commercialise access to LEO is interesting. I wonder how the crew office feels about possibly having to fly commercial. NASA has a strong culture of best of the best for manned missions. I recall jokes about all the stringent processes to ensure safety compared to the Russian solution which was supposedly to simply send additional crew. Then again, the Russians have logged many more hours in space than any western austronauts and Soyuz has been pretty reliable with less tech. I wonder what solutions industry can come up with or if they can be profitable or economical holding to NASA's standards.

If it wasn't for the extension of ISS I would suspect a major shift away from manned spaceflight. But I can't shake the feeling this is mostly to encourage later international ventures, and there isn't any interest in sending people anymore. I know robotics has a lot of supporters, but if there is no intent to ever follow the robots with people on a semi permanent basis, the exact composition of the Martian polar caps is just as academic to me as to those who advocate scrapping all of the space program.

Sorry for the digression back in time, or if I repeated others comments. Just needed time to read and mull it over.

Posted by: qgaliana | February 4, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Thank you qG.

Smokies! Way better than those anemic Vienna sausages. Apologies to Austrians all around.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 4, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh RD, I am in serious pain, here.

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

The book by Myers that Hitchens discusses seems to bring up the same things that Bradley Martin explained in "Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty". The NK system seems to believe it's the only pure country/race, surrounded by filthy enemies who will eventually prevail by sheer force of numbers, like so many Orcs.

Another complication is that the NK government views the barbarians as unworthy; they have a duty to send tribute. The NK government graciously displays tribute in a museum. It is particularly appropriate for vassals to send their best white rice. High quality white rice is particularly appropriate, and bestows a bit of NK moral goodness on the filthy donors. If it's good enough, North Koreans may actually eat the rice.

It's impossible to parody such a strange regime. I wonder whether it would be just as well to abruptly end sanctions.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 4, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm getting deja vu, Padouk. Once upon a time my ex used to call me "simple, but warm and satisfying."

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | February 4, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

I am so confused. I can't wait to make Yoki's recipe for butternut squash pasta with sage, but RD's "pigs in a blanket" would be equally satisfying. I'm afraid I have no cred as a foodie. If it's not nailed down or frozen I'll eat it. (with the usual exceptions for fruity bits)

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 4, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Harvard University Press is promoting a new history, "The Thirty Years War: Europe's Tragedy". The war evidently killed off "a quarter of all Germans" and caused untold ruin. 1040 pages, a book on death, just in time for taxes.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 4, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

I don't see the problem. How do the neighbors even know what is going on, unless that is, they are prowling the internet looking for local color.

Maybe the guests just leave latex of various types strewn on the neighbors' lawns.

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 4, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

So much better than
complex, cold, and catastrophisizing.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 4, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Well, she also called me a pig in a blanket once or twice, too.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | February 4, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Pig in a poke -- what does that mean? Quick. No wiki allowed.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 4, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

A poke is a basket.

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

A poke is a sack-so you can't see the supposed pig.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 4, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Or bag. And, therefore, one has purchased something without examining it. To buy a pig in a poke is to be cheated, because what you get is not what was promised.

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Y; the idea of a pig in a poke bonnet was too odd for me.

A tisket
A tasket
A piggy in a basket

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 4, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

The pokey is a jail...and the Very Very Pokey Puppy is a Golden Book.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 4, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

I love the Pokey Little Puppy! One of the few books my rotten sister didn't scribble in while I was in the hospital having my appendix out. That was back in '64, but I don't hold a grudge.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 4, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Ah, but the reason the bonnet is a poke is that is has that little bag-like thing in the back. The poke was first.

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

What if you threw in some fancy mustard?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 4, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

I love how words move around so much. And poke! Frosti, that is what siblings do to irritate one another...especially in Mass. The stealth poke, disavowed. Until we were managed by mom's most excellent Spock-Audrey Hepburn eyebrow...

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 4, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

That would definitely redeem the snack.

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

When I was young dinosaurs were green. You know what I mean!

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 4, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Rd, redo the bread sleeves around the wee sausages...then add the grainy mustard....use good bread.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 4, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Thanks CP! I will pass this suggestion on.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 4, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

"Poke" is also the name of the little paper sleeve that an ice cream cone sits in.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | February 4, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Zackly, CquaP. Here's the thing. If you use Pillsbury (substitute any brand or no-name here) packaged biscuits, you don't control the salt or fat or preservatives. It isn't 'food' as Pollan would define it. It is an edible food-like substance. And more expensive, gram for gram, than if you make a nice whole-wheat or rye or even white bread dough yourself.

And if in addition you are using something meat-like called 'lil smokies' well.

How about making chicken/apple/spice sausages oneself, enrobing them in homemade bread dough, and then baking and serving them with a fancy mustard? Awesome.

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

The grandchildren have arrived...pray for my sanity, after being snowbound with them for the enxt three days.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | February 4, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

I'll pass that suggestion on as well.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 4, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Yoki-I have been trying, most successfully, to eat real food since the $15 challenge. However, what you describe is nothing short of heresy. Next you will propose that cheap grape jelly and chili sauce are not adequate as sauce ingredients for cocktail meatballs.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 4, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, frosti! I never meant to comment on anyone's approach but my own. We all do the best we can, within our constraints, don't we? Both nutritionally and otherwise. I know this in my bones, if nothing else.

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Frosty - my mother-in-law would be crushed if that is so! I once made her some homemade grape jelly just for those meatballs.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 4, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Avert your eyes, Yoki.

Ivansmom, dried beef dip is always well-received around here. I can get deli-dried beef here, but I'm not sure you can.
(I ditch the mayo, substitute sour cream, and slice a bunch of green onions instead of a regular onion, Serve warm.)

I made both of the following at Christmas, took them to parties; again, people have requested them since then.
I sprinkled some cinnamon over these after I took them from the oven. Outstanding.

HONEY CRYSTAL ALMONDS (from my sister)

2 cups whole natural almonds
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw®)

Spread almonds in a shallow pan. Place in cold oven; turn oven to 350°F and roast 12 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until well roasted. Over medium heat in medium saucepan, heat honey and butter to boiling. Reduce heat to medium low, simmer 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add Almonds; simmer and stir 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer almonds to baking sheet lined with parchment paper or sprayed with non-stick cooking spray; spread in single layer and cool slightly. Toss almonds with sugar to coat using a medium plastic food storage bag.


Posted by: -dbG- | February 4, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I can live with smokies, but in good bread and grainy mustard but keeping the occasion to a rareity.

Really, make sausages? I remember the deer making times in my garage....

I have not seen better small sausages around....we should all limit the cured meat moments anyway because of the nitrites....nitrates?

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 4, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

No worries Yoki, there are just a few faux foods that cannot be topped. The crescent roll/little smokies concoction is one of them. Another is dip made from a jar of jalapeno Cheese Whiz, a can of Hormel chili (no beans) and a can of french fried onions. Heat until well mixed and the consistency of very thick wallpaper paste. Serve with nacho chips.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 4, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

If you skipped the sugar in the pecan recipe, I think your favorite herbs and spices could be added with impunity, not to mention wasabi. It's nice to be able to make the spiced nuts ahead!

Having lived in the Midwest for a long time, I'd think hearty food to bridge the hors d'oeuvre/dinner hour. Quiche. BBQ-sauced meatballs in a crockpot. Warm Kielbasa with chili sauce. Canned chicken hot sandwiches. Deviled eggs.

To finish, while these burn easily they are totally worth the trouble.

Hunka Chocolate Cookies

Makes 24 cookies
Prep: 20 minutes
Bake: 24 minutes

2 12-ounce packages semisweet chocolate pieces (4 cups)
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup butter (no substitutions)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1-1/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 to 3 cups broken walnuts, toasted
Melted white chocolate
Melted semisweet chocolate

1. Lightly grease large cookie sheets; set aside.
2. In a heavy saucepan, heat one package of the semisweet chocolate pieces, the unsweetened chocolate and the butter until melted, stirring constantly. Transfer to a large mixing bowl to cool slightly.
3. Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
4. Add eggs, sugar, and vanilla to chocolate mixture; beat with an electric mixer. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed till well mixed. Stir in remaining chocolate pieces and nuts.
5. Using 1/4 cup of the dough for each cookie, drop the dough 3 inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheets. Flatten slightly.
6. Bake the cookies in a 350 degree F oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until the edges are firm and the surface is dull and cracked. Let stand for 2 minutes on cookie sheets. Remove; cool on wire racks. Drizzle with melted white chocolate and semisweet chocolate.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 4, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

You 'poke' your Facebook friends. I guess that is less tawdry that goosing them.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 4, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

And since we're talking about edible food-like substances, I had a friend who would unwrap a package of crescent rolls, lay them flat out and smoosh all the seams together. Wrap a whole Gouda in this, top with some mustard, pinch any holes shut, and bake 25 degrees lower than the rolls call for.

Let the cheese re-solidify a little before serving.

Surprisingly good for something you don't want to eat more than once a year.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 4, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Oh, my homemade sausages are not cylinders in casings, more like tiny hamburger patties. dr, TBG, dmd, Himself, #1 and Kerric have experienced these. Very much less work. A la minute, though.

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

And dbG!

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

I was at a client today for a meeting and their company cafeteria had an all you can east Super Bowl Party buffet for three bucks.

Chicken wings, potato skins, tortilla chips, taco toppings, pulled pork, pretzels, etc. They also had a chocolate New Orleans and vanilla Colts sheet cakes.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 4, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

And wonderful they were, too!

Posted by: -dbG- | February 4, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

True, frosty. Sometimes coming from our childhood.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 4, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

I don't contribute to the recipe pool much, but this is my office's official party dip:

Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip

2 – 3 pieces of chicken breast
1 cup of Frank's Hot Sauce
1 8 oz. block of cream cheese, softened
2 ½ cups shredded cheddar
1 15 oz. jar of Martzetti's Bleu Cheese Dressing

Boil Chicken 15 to 20 minutes, slightly cool and shred (use fork). Mix together: cream cheese, hot sauce, cheddar cheese, and bleu cheese. Add mixture to shredded chicken.

Spread in a 9 X 13 pan. Bake at 350º F for 30 – 45 minutes. Gets brown and bubbly on top. Serve with nacho chips, crackers, or celery sticks.

It is fantastic. I tried to talk my wife into buying the ingredients for Super Sunday, but she says that it is too much for two, well actually one, of us.

Instead, Lays chips were BOGO and I got the very last jumbo tub of french onion dip in the store.

We also have a six pack of Mike's Hard Cider Lemonade. It better be good because I'm having one after each driveway shoveling session this weekend.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 4, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

LOL! Even now, once a year or perhaps a little less frequently, I crave Kraft Dinner and fried weiners. And don't resist.

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

yello-you've posted that recipe before and Mr. F made it for a Super Bowl get together (2 years ago?) A big hit!

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 4, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to get back to the veggie snack suggestions. I favor a vegetarian quiche with spinach and mushrooms. I am lazy (and not very competent) when it comes to pie-crust. Pie-crust in a box uses lard (prok-fat) and hydrogenated oils (trans-fats), so it's neither healthful nor vegetarian. However, *frozen* pie-crusts seem to usually be made with vegetable oil, and make a very nice quiche with minimal effort. For health considerations, I use egg-white-in-a-carton to replace a large fraction of the eggs called for in quiche, and I have had success with using buttermilk for the dairy component -- very tangy, very tasty.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 4, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Kd and weiners was the only way I would eat KD when I was young, but mom had to put a dollop of cheeze whiz in to make it satisfactory for me. We always had pillsbury items in the house, even though mom made the best pastry I have ever had. Add the toasted peanut butter and bacon sandwiches we consumed on Sundays and I fear for my arteries.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 4, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

PB and bacon, oh my. DMD is this a Celtic-in-North American phenom?

In Aussieland, do they eat vegemite with bacon?

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 4, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Hummus-veggie sandwiches: spread a pita with a thin layer of hummus, add sliced provolone, shredded lettuce, sliced cucumber, alfalfa sprouts, a little dill, some tzatziki sauce if you've got it, some sliced green bell pepper, and you've got yourself a nice sandwich.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 4, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm a big fan of caprese on skewers and individual beef wellingtons. Then again, a salumi plate at game time with carbonara at half-time sounds really good to me too. But I wouldn't eat again until sometime Tuesday.

Or Wednesday.

Have a happy night all.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 4, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Time for bed, but Emz has pointed out that the labz would love soup bones or hollowed-out bones with peanut butter inside for that Super thing.

Emz herself would love Yello's dip because, well, she loves hot stuff.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 4, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ivansmom... look what I just stumbled on...

Posted by: -TBG- | February 4, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

I thought I had, but since it's about the only recipe I have, I decided to repost. It is delicious.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 4, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Anybody gonna read this book?,0,6842263.story

If this is Jenny Sanford's payback to her husband, she really zinged him good.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | February 4, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely. I took it to a party the last time you posted it. I believe I added chopped celery while it was cooling.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 4, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, y'all.

It appears that a certain rogue-y ex-governor has cabins on property she co-owns but the property tax assessments were based on the land value only.

Her attorney claims it's not the owners' responsibility to notify assessors of stuff like putting up a building on one's land. Took me two minutes to find the relevant Alaska statute (AS 29.45.180.Corrections), which states in part:
"A person receiving an assessment notice shall advise the assessor of errors or omissions in the assessment of the person's property."

I'm sure there's a perfectly good explanation.

Posted by: MsJS | February 4, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

There is also the money-laundering aspect of
Sarah using campaign funds to buy her book to give to big donors.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 4, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

chips, french onion dip, cheez it , cocktail peanuts, totino's pizza rolls, hard salami, cheese, chili (no beans), buffalo wings (fry the wings in a wok, sauce=the one on the texas pete label, to taste), the mayor's bbq, ice, various adult beverages, 4L ea. coke (pepsi just isn't fit to drink), diet, sprite, and sun drop, just in case someone brings some 'shine. oh, and my fried mushrooms w/ piquant sauce. add music. voila.

Posted by: -jack- | February 4, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Moomintrolls were always part of our snow time when the progeny were wee. Try this Russian version of a Swedo-Finnie beloved creature:

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 4, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

MsJS, have you seen the picture of one of the "cabins?" (and yes, those scare quotes are justified):

I wish I had a cabin like that.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | February 4, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Awesome. Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. My "Boodle food" file is growing by leaps and bounds. Or pounds. What I don't use this time can be incorporated into future gatherings - we're trying to meet once a month, alternating houses. The Super Bowl is just a great excuse, and traditionally centered around food. I mean football.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 4, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Nah, Wheezy, not my style. The idea of being perched at the top of a hill doesn't appeal.

But that's just me.

Posted by: MsJS | February 4, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Ooh! Careful. I think the one thing is being absolute, sure.

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

But MsJS, you could see Russia from there.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 4, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

cool link from last night, yoki. reminded me that ny used a megaphone in part of greendale

Posted by: -jack- | February 4, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

On a clear day
You can see forever.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 4, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

and this, my favourite song from the piece. it starts 4.55 into the stream, and the end cuts off, but the sound is very cool.

Posted by: -jack- | February 4, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Might want to think about PIGS--no, not SuperBowl food.

It's a follow-on to Greek Debt Crisis, now compounded by a strike in Greece. PIGS is the first letter of the other European countries facing possible economic crises: Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain.

Feel free to call these countries SPIG or GIPS if you please.

Posted by: laloomis | February 5, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Always late to the party.

Here are some savory walnuts, when you have consumed too many of the sweet --

Curried Walnuts

About one pound shelled walnut halves
1/4 C. vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. chutney, put through a sieve

Heat oil, add all other ingredients and cook until hot and well mixed. Then spread nuts on brown paper in 300o oven for 10 - 15 minutes. Serve warm.

I probably post this every year. That's o.k., they are pretty good.

Posted by: nellie4 | February 5, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Storm start range is no 8-12 not 9-1....hoping to not bike in only to turn around and go home.

Beans softening nicely; should be lovely tomorrow. Will roast garlic to add in the midday....smells so lovely. Doggy is sawing zzzzzzzzzzzzzssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss in a polite poodle but totally relaxed way.

GNite all. Nightshift, thanks for standing watch.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 5, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Permission to come aboard?

I'll take third Watch, Cap't, to protect CqP.

Posted by: Yoki | February 5, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

NBC/Brian Williams did report the potential European problems tonight as PIIG: Portugal, Ialy, Ireland, and Greece.

Interesting and possible austere times ahead.

Report on the local news tonight. Texas forces are mobilizing--an umbrella of groups--to attempt to make San Antonio the first "food-secure" city in the state by 2012.

And the link I provided the other day had very good news at the end: the Haven for Hope opens here soon, and the plan is that that this new homeless shelter will feed about 4,300 people daily. It's the story of Los Tres Alcades: Garza, Hardberger, Castro. Why, I remember a beautiful night and a real mix of people a few years ago: a bunch of concerned citizens, an overflowing cup of Councilwoman Patti Radle, a large dash of dedicated Trinity students, a heap of Rudi Harst, a shaker of publicity thanks to local media, and a small pinch of PeeCan Alley from me as a follow-up. *w*

Posted by: laloomis | February 5, 2010 12:24 AM | Report abuse

SCC: Italy

Posted by: laloomis | February 5, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

You have no idea

Posted by: Yoki | February 5, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

I have no idea what she is talking about.

Posted by: nellie4 | February 5, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Not Yoki, I can understand Yoki.

Posted by: nellie4 | February 5, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Time to go turn my pajamas inside out...

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 5, 2010 12:48 AM | Report abuse

But of course! Thanks nellie4.

Posted by: Yoki | February 5, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse


Laloomis, are you going down to that shelter, and cooking in the kitchen, or serving the homeless? Or tithing? Or otherwise serving?

See, here's the thing. I work at the Drop In Centre, in the big kitchen (and the computer lab, and the Reception, and the dorms), and also donate to it.

I just don't *talk* about it a lot.

Posted by: Yoki | February 5, 2010 1:10 AM | Report abuse

i'm on the night shift for the next 4 nights and probably all shifts during the storm.

If turning my pj's inside out would help,i will try that too.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 5, 2010 1:17 AM | Report abuse

DotC, now that the chief of Bureau 39 has disappeared, maybe they’ll slow down on the printing of the supernotes (fake US$100 notes.) Then again, maybe not….

This article is long and reads like a spy novel…
…..At least $45m in North Korean supernotes have been detected in circulation, out of an estimated production of bills with a face value of $45-$75m per year…..

Posted by: rainforest1 | February 5, 2010 2:10 AM | Report abuse

dave barry:

Posted by: LALurker | February 5, 2010 2:21 AM | Report abuse

Woman receives ‘incompatible’ kidney....
There's hope for alot of people.

Posted by: rainforest1 | February 5, 2010 3:56 AM | Report abuse

It's backwards, not inside-out. Don't mess this up worse than it is.

What is it about Illinois politicians?

Do they good ones look so great in comparison that they automatically get elected president?

Posted by: yellojkt | February 5, 2010 5:17 AM | Report abuse

Yet another incredibly scrumptious yet deadly Super Bowl suggestion, courtesy of NukeSpouse...

1 pkg Bob Evans bulk sausage (not links)
1 lb Velveeta
1 can Ro-Tel

Place cooking liner in crockpot
Cube Velveeta, put in crockpot on "Low"
Brown sausage, add to Velveeta
When Velveeta is melted, add Ro-Tel
Cover & let bubble for awhile

Serve with corn chips

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2010 5:40 AM | Report abuse

Talk about picking the wrong time to deviate from one's normal behavior...


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2010 5:53 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and NukeSpouse said the checkout line at her place of employment was 45 minutes long yesterday, even after they called in more cashiers!!! :-O

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2010 6:02 AM | Report abuse


Hummus-veggie sandwiches: spread a pita with a thin layer of hummus, add sliced provolone, shredded lettuce, sliced cucumber, alfalfa sprouts, a little dill, some tzatziki sauce if you've got it, some sliced green bell pepper, and you've got yourself a nice sandwich.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 4, 2010 9:47 PM

Sounds good. Still want to try that dip on steroids, Snuke.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 5, 2010 6:19 AM | Report abuse

The U is closed; K-12 on but closing three hours early. They are banking the last snow day for Monday. Even if the roads are clear then, imagine the parking lots.

Hunker down. Hope we all keep power. Isabelle was 8 days without power but that was in fall.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 5, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, everybody, and happy Friday. Cassandra, I hope you are warm and dry! Rain here, I need to check to make sure Mr. T got to work okay. He left on time, as is his wont, regardless of the weather or road conditions.

So, folks, snow yet in metro DC? I hope you all survive the weekend.

Posted by: slyness | February 5, 2010 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Weed, I made the mistake of buying "hot" sausage one time for that recipe...


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2010 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle! Stay warm, safe, and well fed this weekend.

S'nuke-I've made that Velveeta with Rotel concoction sans sausage. Sounds even better with sausage. The hot Bob Evans sausage is great for biscuits and gravy.

Getting ready to depart for the big city later this morning. Have a robotics speaking engagement at a conference tomorrow. Always looking for an opportunity to recruit more adults so more kids can participate.

Later gators.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 5, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse


raiforest and DotC-thanks for the links to stories re: NK. Wouldn't have sought them out otherwise.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 5, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Enjoy the trip, frosti! :-)

It's interesting attempting to work from home with a cat who insists on helping...

*keeping-an-anxious-eye-on-the-radar Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning Everyone.

I see the Feds decided to close up shop four hours early today. So I made the right decision to come on in.

I can only imagine what it was like in the days before reliable weather forecasting. You go along dumdedumdedum and then ya get snowed in without warning.

Man, I bet those folks in the older days ran out of milk, bread, and toilet paper, like, all the time.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 5, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

HoCo Schools also closing three hours early which gets my wife out at 12:10. Which also ruins my plan to leave work at noon because I can't possibly justify leaving the office with school still on.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 5, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Scottynuke - perhaps all that time with angry people took its toll. Sorta like reverse parenting when you start to pout when you don't get what you want.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 5, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

???? RD_P, I'm having a little cognotive dissonance here... Huh?

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 5, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse


considering that I am occasionally in charge of the sausage AND the Velvetta concession, I will make note.

I guess this make 1,000 and 2 uses for Ro-Tel

Posted by: russianthistle | February 5, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

It's my White Theorem. Snow is white, so you have to buy staples that are also white. Milk, eggs, bread, TP. It's also so that you can make French toast on a snow day. Just don't top it with beets or you will run out of tissue.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 5, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Scottynuke - about what?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 5, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

The stuff about angry people, RD_P...

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

That article reminds me of Matt Dillon in my favorite snowy weather movie, 'Beautiful Girls' with Timothy Hutton and Natalie Portman. Matt Damon plows in his ex-girlfriend's house just to spite her husband.

Everybody in the entire cast has a great scene at some point. Particularly good is Rosie O'Donnell's critique of girlie magazines. It is astoundingly boodle-unsafe, but it can be found here:

Posted by: yellojkt | February 5, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Scottynuke - I was just suggesting, whimsically of course, that since that fellow in your link served as an anger counselor, perhaps he became infected with the anger of those he dealt with. Sort of like when a parent picks up a bad habit from a child.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 5, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

DNAGirl, that link reminds me of the Boss.

This time around the rain has melted our residual snow, a few spots of which still lay in shadows and under trees and tall grass. The rain continues.

Of note is I found something not improved by the addition of heavy cream: homemade paneer round two. The cream gave it a more rubbery texture and I think locked up the flavor a bit. However, in the Indian dish (which I made up in my head the other day in the grocery store) it was still quite good. Half a butternut squash, half a potato, half a sweet potato, diced and parboiled, were added to a half-caramelized onion with some (frozen) green peas and the paneer. And the spices.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 5, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Yello, that rant got me all fired up, but I don't have anyone to fire on...although I should check under the mattress on DNA Guy's side....

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 5, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

DNAGirl - that is a lovely complex story with so many interesting undercurrents. And a sugary treat. Thanks for linking it.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 5, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Aha! Light dawns on my marble head, RD_P... You're quite right, of course. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Try sauteeing paneer cubes in some olive oil before adding them to any dish (be patient they stick for a while). Yum.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 5, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

DNA_Girl... are you suggesting that food will release "itself" from the pan?

signed impatient chef

Posted by: russianthistle | February 5, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Yup. Just like paneer can release itself from arterial walls. Or so I hope.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 5, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

My favorite Super Bowl food is - something someone else made.

Seriously, I'm very lucky to share good food and good times with lots of friends for football games.

And I'm not so bad at whipping up a thing or two myself - my clean-out-the-fridge meat lover's chili is a big favorite for cold days. Mixing pork, beef, and fowl satisfies the carnivore in me, much like a hearty pasta does my Eye-talian soul good.


Posted by: -bc- | February 5, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

DNAG, but that is what "open sesame" is for, said with a flourish and perhaps the crossing of toes.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 5, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

rainforest, that Christian Science Monitor story (link posted 2:10 am) on counterfit $100 bills and other North Korean criminal activity has enough material for a thriller, what with those plutonium hockey pucks.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 5, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. I remember doing Yello's chicken dip for the SB, last year of the year before. I substituted the Red Hot sauce with canned chipotle peppers minced in tomato juice and made my own bleu cheese dressing but starting it with a commercial product IIRC. It was a hit.

I'm thinking of a Lebanese themed SB buffet this year.
For example:
Fried eggplant slices with seasoned pressed yogurt and the same with spicy tomato sauce. Dip eggplant slices in good olive oils and fry on a baking sheet in the oven. Put the sauce/pressed yogurt while the slices are hot but wait until they have cooled before eating them.
The favourite pressed yogurt in the denizen's casa is pressed "ship" yogurt with garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Cow yogurt works too. You make your own favourite spicy tomato sauce.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 5, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Some information about the SouperBowl of Caring:

Posted by: laloomis | February 5, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

SD, please tell me you're not planning to dress up like Klinger while you serve that.

Just so I can banish the mental image I have.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 5, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Steady snow for the past half hour here in Fairfax. Let the Snowmaggedon begin!

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I was picturing a belly dancer outfit, but now you have poisoned my imagination with Jamie Farr's unibrow and oversized honker.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 5, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Got in just a bit late this morning; had to check on the supply of batteries for the radios & flashlights. I'm planning on bailing around 2 and taking work home in case we're still socked in come Monday. Plan to park the van in the nearby shopping center lot, which gets plowed almost immediately. Our subdivision streets, not so much!

Posted by: ebtnut | February 5, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Flakes in the air out my way, too...


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Looking to invent a new food product package? Hot dog chili in a squirty bottle. That way, you don't have to open an entire can just to make one chili dog.

That's OK. You don't have to praise me so much. It really is quite a simple idea.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Great idea, TBG! The bottle would have to be microwavable, wouldn't it? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

New action kit!

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 5, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

It is great to see you actively helping in your community. I'm sure you'll have a great time at that Souper Bowl party.


Posted by: -bc- | February 5, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Lovely photos; all we are getting in Los Angeles today and probably this weekend is rain. Good luck to all of you in the area; hope you all can hunker down with good food and that the power doesn't go out.

Posted by: Kathy18 | February 5, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Let's hope this snowfall does not create havoc.

If it does, just a thought of wisdom is in order here: will it be God's punishment for all the negativism and obstruction in the Congress? Or, maybe, the first phase of punishment?

Now, just where is the good Rev. Pat Robertson? We do need his insight sometimes.

Posted by: paultaylor1 | February 5, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

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