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The storm before the storm

Waiting for the Big One. Again. This might make the Snowpocalypse of Dec. 19 look like a dusting. It's going to be like a Roland Emmerich movie. There will be so much snow that it will destabilize the earth's crust. Hidden volcanoes will erupt in once-tranquil neighborhoods. There will be devastation followed by obliteration.

I stand guard on my front walk with shovel in hand. I want to meet the storm head-on. No level of frozen precipitation or wind can drive me indoors. Later, when it's all over, I want neighbors to walk by my house and say, "Wow, what a nice snowman they made!" and then suddenly realize: IT'S JOEL.

Bring it on.

Already this morning I have made the Safeway run. It's getting frantic and desperate there -- I believe the technical term is Hobbesian -- particularly in the produce section. People are feeling the fierce urgency of snow. You see shopping carts go up on two wheels while taking sharp corners.

The milk is gone. The eggs are gone. The fresh meat is gone, except for a couple of strange, unlabeled bags of mystery chicken. There are still a few root vegetables. You find yourself hunting and gathering -- poking through corners and crevices of the store, looking underneath things, and eyeballing covetously the contents of other people's carts.

At some point you find yourself lunging for that last turnip.

"Mine!" you scream, but too late. A speedy mom has grabbed it. You have no choice but to drop her -- hurling yourself horizontally at her knees the way they taught you in football. So now she's down, but the turnip is rolling across the store, and a guy who must have played minor league baseball fields it cleanly and puts it in his cart. But he's been greedy; his cart is so jammed with 200 pounds of canned food and cat litter that he's no match for your Spartan steed, and you overtake him in the soda aisle and do the full Indiana Jones leap onto the side of his cart and grab the turnip back. You slip and barely hang on to the bottom of the cart, he's dragging you, but you sink your teeth into his ankle and maintain the death-chomp until he finally relents.

This is shopping in Washington prior to a big snow. Is it insane? A little. But the important thing is that I got my turnip and I'm going to make some really good turnip soup while the snow falls. And man, I'd kill for some fresh greens to go in it.

That's just an expression, by the way.

--

Someone named Gerard Alexander has a piece in Outlook this weekend asking Why are liberals so condescending? Something tells me that this guy is not really trying to improve the nation's political discourse. But you be the judge.

--

Reader JB, responding to my reference yesterday to the mosquito fogger, says by email:

The only time I remember it snowing in central FL was in 1975 or 1976 [actually it was Jan. 17, 1977], when we were at an away basketball game (I was scorekeeper for the Mount Dora HS team -- scorekeepers' motto: "if we don't write it down, it didn't happen") and in the middle of play, it was suddenly as if we had switched to a slow-motion movie that ground to a stop: the person who had been passed the ball slowed and stopped, and let the ball bounce by. The crowd saw he was staring, and turned to see why: and then there it was, tiny flakes falling, barely visible through the gym's windows. It was something many in the room had never seen. After a few moments of silence, the referees blew their whistles and called a referee's time out (possibly the only one I ever saw), and everyone ran out of the gym into the snow, and spent the next 15 or 20 minutes staring up in the sky, or spinning around, or laughing. When the snow dwindled, everyone went back inside and finished the game, but the competition had been punctured, and nobody cared who won.

We moved to FL in 1962, and saw the fog machine for the first time not long after. It came down the street with lights flashing and smoke billowing, and my mother was terrified and ran to close the doors and windows. We had no idea what it was. My parents found out the next day it was to kill bugs. Thereafter, they would run to open the doors and windows when they heard it coming. I have no idea what chemical was being spread, so this may not have been the best idea. But it seemed right at the time.


By Joel Achenbach  |  February 5, 2010; 9:29 AM ET
 
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Comments

I don't know how much ran has fallen here since last night, perhaps 1-2 in. I estimate that if it were snow, we'd have between 3-6 inches.

Posted by: -jack- | February 5, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I'm confused, Mr. A.

If you plan on standing outside and meeting the storm head-on, why the need for food and the trip to the supermarket?

To all of you in the impacted area, stay safe and warm and look in on those who might not be able to fend for themselves.

Posted by: MsJS | February 5, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

The good thing about harsh winter weather is that it maintains herd health by culling the weak and turnipless.

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 5, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Wow... the power of the boodle... Just when I was thinking of food packaging inventions, I come across this article linked from Consumerist...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100204/ap_on_bi_ge/us_heinz_ketchup

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

The only thing more entertaining to folks in snowier climes than a blizzard in DC would be a blizzard in London.

Enjoy it!

Posted by: Itzajob | February 5, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

The Snowpocalypse has hit Bawlmer. There are flakes falling. I predict rioting around any bread trucks making deliveries this afternoon.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 5, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

When a hurricane's approaching, shoppers empty the supermarkets of meat. If there's a power failure (a reasonably good bet), they then get frantic about ice (short supply) or having enough ice chests.

At least a snowstorm provides food storage opportunities.

Had I known we'd have cold January, it might have been worth plowing up the back yard to grow broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and turnips. Turnips grow in cool weather, don't they?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 5, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Catching up from the last boodle.

TBG: Why not a squirtable hot dog? In theory virtually any processed lunch meat could fall into that category. As to the Heinz ketchup container the operative sentence for me was, "It holds three times as much ketchup as a traditional packet."

yellojkt: Stories about Ill-In-Oys politicians and un-Earthly voting patterns are incredibly commonplace here. This state is one of the most corrupt and also one of the most fiscally mismanaged in the nation. Every once in a while the voters rearrange the proverbial deck chairs, swapping red for blue or vice versa, but the general course remains the same and that iceberg is getting closer and closer by the day.

Posted by: MsJS | February 5, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Parsnips, parsnips are the ticket. The are tastier when harvested from frozen ground.

I was feeling sorry for the ankle bitten and turnipless until I figured out that he has cats to keep him warm when the power goes out.

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 5, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Joel, Holywood will be calling you, ooh-ooh-ooh..ooh-ooh-ooh.

Nice white (snowy) spin on Obama's "fierce urgency of now." *w* The fierce urgency of snow. *l*

No such urgency here. Replenishing rains this week after months of parched drought last year. Husband is still sleeping this a.m. as I type. He was hoping he could get a bye last night on having to work, but no dice. He didn't finish working until 1:30 a.m. We didn't even have dinner last night, and I've yet to have breakfast, so that turnip is sounding mighty tasty right about now. Spouse will have to work most of tonight and Saturday night.

I know he'll want to watch the game on Sunday, even if it's through eyes half-shut.

I was hoping that we might squeeze in "The Hurt Locker" this weekend, since it reopens in two theaters here for only three or four viwing times. Our paper informs this morning that the Tolstoy flick won't open until Feb. 26.

So, a quiet weekend of odd meal times and companionable books. Perhaps I'll pick up McPhee's writings about the geology of the East Coast in his "Annals."

Last night, there was supposed to be a video clip on the CBS affiliate station here about a new island forming somewhere (the promo had foaming oceanic waters) but by 10:26 p.m., I hadn't seen no bubbling video nor heard any story, so came upstairs to read online. I did learn that Bill Taylor's (the local CBS weather guy) wife will be cooking gumbo on Sunday. Taylor's from our 'hood, and I do run into him occasionally. No scramble here for any foodstuffs, no bubbling magma cauldrons erupting from this old limestone seabed.

I'd definitely love to learn more about those hidden volcanoes in your 'hood. Yup.

Posted by: laloomis | February 5, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Where's Al Gore now that we need him?

Posted by: Three3 | February 5, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Another hazard of cool weather in southernmost Florida: dogs nibble at stunned or freshly-deceased iguanas, which leads to botulism poisoning.

http://www.miamiherald.com/459/story/1464427.html

Heavy snow can flummox Wyomingites who live in low-precipitation areas or in areas where chinook winds usually remove whatever snow falls.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 5, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

@edbyronadams

Few things (at least gustatory-type things) are better than parsnips and pot roast. In fact, I would much rather have all of the vegetables in the pot roast than the roast itself.

For all you DCers, stay warm and be careful out there. I've only driven in DC snow a couple of times, but I remember it as harrowing. Get yourself a good pair of snowshoes or cross country skis. For those of you who can pull it off, walking, snowshoeing or skiing around the Mall after a big storm when the city is practically deserted is a near-spiritual experience.

Posted by: Awal | February 5, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

"Why are liberals so condescending?"

Because conservatives are such idiots?

Posted by: yellojkt | February 5, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Let the record show that the Great Blizzard of 2010 began in Waldorf at 9:46 a.m. with a gentle flurry so fine it was hard to even see. There was already several inches of snow on the ground left over from the previous storm, although the roads and sidewalks were clear.

I, too, made a Safeway run this morning with D2, getting last-minute supplies for the grandkiddies and for the two meals she wants me to cook. She had a copy of Bon appetit magazine with her, and two recipes she wants.

1) The sandwich on the cover, a grilled short rib and Monterey Jack on artisanal bread with pickled, carmelized red onion and baby arugula. http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2010/02/grilled_cheese_and_short_rib_sandwiches_with_pickled_caramelized_onions_and_arugula

2) Bison and red wine shepherd's pie (but lacking bison I'm using a round roast, cubed). http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2010/02/bison_and_red_wine_shepherds_pie

Those are for tomorrow. Tonight for Kiarra's 8th birthday we're having two vast vats of chili.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 5, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Yes, indeedy, it has begun. But the flakes (at least so far) are tiny and barely noticeable. I love the big fat furry flakes.

After getting the car worked on this morning, I decided to forego the trip to Trader Joe's. I've got enough food already, I've got toilet paper. What else do I need, FCOL?

Apparently the latest out of NOAA (by way of a colleague) is that >30" predicted for McLean. Maybe over here across the river, too.

Gonna just settle in for a long winter's decade.

Posted by: -ftb- | February 5, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Joel, your item on the fogger reminded me of a song by one of my favorites James McMurty, son of Larry the novelist. The way with words did not fall far from the tree.

12 o'clock whistle

...The boys were chasing the city truck, spraying DDT
It kept the mosquitoes down
And that stuff won't hurt you none the neighbor lady'd say
Encephalitis, now that can ruin your day

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 5, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

"Why are liberals so condescending?"

Because conservatives are so stupid?


[this is fun]

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Being a condescending liberal, I have already prepared for the storm by getting all the people-food we need. Instead, we are going out briefly to collect the special-magic cat litter that we prefer, some frozen rats, and I will be getting a haircut.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 5, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Absolutely no sign of snow here three miles west of the Chesapeake.

Feeling cheated.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | February 5, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

The flakes are starting to stick out here in Dawn Patrol hangarland...

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Finally snowing in CP!

Posted by: Moose13 | February 5, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

That ketchup container was apparently redesigned for the convenience of drivers. This will have the benefit of keeping one's fingers clean for texting while driving.

The chili bottle idea is intriguing, but difficult. The necessity of heating it has been pointed out, plus you have all the dangers of a meat product. I think you'd end up with I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Chili©.

Posted by: engelmann | February 5, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Thank goodness weather predicting has evolved to the point where you know to go to the store and stock up. Back in the Blizzard of '78... Nah, I won't bore you.

Seriously, please be careful shoveling. I hope you all can enjoy the beauty of snow while still having power to cook all the great stuff you all fought the crowds to get!

Posted by: badsneakers | February 5, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

No sign of snow here, either.

Oops, wrong metropolis. Here we're being deluged by political "say what!" stories. And they won't ever melt. *sigh*

Posted by: MsJS | February 5, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Badsneakers, your memories of '78 brings me back to one of my happier memories. We were living just outside of Harvard Square where it was just one big party for a week. What fun! Music everywhere, Morris Dancers in the streets, and bars hopping.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | February 5, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

We had that snowstorm here in '78, too (or at least we had a huge one that year). I remember that my roommate's little MG was completely covered... looked like her parking space was empty.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

We stocked up on booze & condoms. We'll be fine.

Posted by: jezebel3 | February 5, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Sneaks: I was working in downtown Beanville and we all got sent home about 11:00. Those who didn't get out by about 2:00 ended up spending three days at the office. Luckily, the cafeteria was well stocked and the mini-concessions store had plenty of soap and mouthwash.

Posted by: MsJS | February 5, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Snowing here. Raysdad is a total weather junkie. He's got the Channel 9.2 weather radar on in the kitchen and is providing running commentary. (Me: "Yup. Still snowing.")

I went to Costco last night. It was busy, but no more so than a typical Friday evening. But I forgot milk. In spite of the fact that a) we don't use much milk, except in coffee b) we have at least a quart left and c) we have an emergency supply of non-perishable milk, Raysdad has gone in search of milk. My bet is that the shelves have been picked clean.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 5, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Heading home right about now. The snow is falling fast and hard. So long as the power stays on all shall be well. And if not, well, that is why the gods gave us propane gas grills and fireplaces.

Stocked up on food, paper goods, and an appropriate selection of beverages. Vehicles fully gassed up. All available batteries charged. Prescription for Naproxen filled.

Yep. We're as ready as we can be.

The one who suffers most when it snows is the wee little dog. Carin terriers are, evidently, not really into snow. Especially when the frozen precipitation is deeper than they are tall. If our dog were to fall into the snow she could become lost. We might never find her as she tunnels desperately beneath the icy drifts.

Further, history suggests that no matter how large of an area one digs out for her personal hygienic needs, it is never quite enough.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 5, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

rickoshea: And there were oodles of wonderful snow sculptures along Mass Ave between Harvard and MIT. I wish I still had the pictures.

Posted by: MsJS | February 5, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

My Obama-protesting in-laws just sent an email saying that Obama "doesn't get it" (i.e., doesn't understand their point of view). I believe that he totally "gets it;" he just happens to think they're *wrong*

They're both college-educated, so I am shocked that their critical thinking skills evade them when they watch the Fox News talking heads.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 5, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Ha, just heard on the news that according to Men's Health magazine, Boston is the least drunk city, even beating out Salt Lake City! Good thing they didn't take that survey during the '78 blizzard!

I have no tales to tell from that storm as we were home and safe in suburbia. No parties, no sculptures, just cabin fever.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 5, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

My normally business casual office (khakis and oxford blue button-down dress shirts) is all wearing jeans, flannel shirts, and work boots today. It looks like a lumberjack convention. But that's okay.

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

Posted by: yellojkt | February 5, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Flakes!!

Posted by: rickoshea1 | February 5, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Ice melt and a new sled have been purchased, a liquor store run has been made, and I've brought in more firewood (could bring in more before it all gets buried, but my arms are tired.)

It's snowing here, but it didn't start with picturesque flurries. One minute nothing, the next, WHAM! It's piling up very quickly. And to think...the heavy snow won't be here for 6 hours yet.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 5, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

sneaks,
I would be very suspicious of that survey's methodology. I have been to Boston often enough to have anecdotal evidence that would soundly counter that assertion. And that's just my relatives.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 5, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I got home to find that this storm has blown a hole clear through the time-space continuum. Part of the Sunday Washington Post has already been delivered.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 5, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I am seriously hungry. Can anyone fax me some food?

Posted by: russianthistle | February 5, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I think there are a few boodlers getting ready to sacrifice a few small animals to the gods of electrical power to insure that there will be 120V available in the TV's socket come Sunday night.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 5, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Cream cheese and olives on rye toast is on its way, RT.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Veggie soup with chicken headed your way, weed...

The creeks are rising still and the rain is supposed to be with us till about 9 this evening. Mr. T's french drains are working well, the overflow is coming down the sidewalk like it's supposed to. I just about couldn't get to the mailbox for the running water.

You folks stay warm and safe, ya hear?

Posted by: slyness | February 5, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Raysdad has returned intact from the store. He reported that they must have gotten a shipment last night, because the milk shelf was full.

*faxing weed some Italian wedding soup*

Posted by: Raysmom | February 5, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey, if anyone has a really good snow photo you want to share over the next 48 hours or so, do send to me at my post address:

achenbachj at washpost com

I hope we don't lose power. Without the grid I'm nothing. I think I can last about 6 hours without the grid.

Posted by: joelache | February 5, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

If anyone still wonders if there's any value in social networking sites like tumblr, you've got to see this to be convinced there absolutely is...

http://selleckwaterfallsandwich.tumblr.com/

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't last 6 hours, joel.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Snow! Help! Ouch! Cold! Can't catch breath! End is nigh! No whole milk! Sold out! Only skim! No! Bad! Won't! Bread! Eggs! Toilet paper! Sit on john and eat French toast! Cocoa! Snacks! Booze! Super Bowl! What? Run! Help! Wicked city! Drive faster! No, drive slower! Shovel! Salt! Cinders! Old Testament-style punishment! Wrath of God! Wrath of nature! Wrath of Khan! Man vs. Nature! Man vs. Man! Man vs. Self! 2012! Panic! Looting! Doomed...all of us! Must evacuate town... before... too...late! Hat! Precipitation! Argh! El Niño! The Mayans! Cold front! Low pressure system! High pressure system! Ice Age! Global Warming! Man-made! Solar cycles! Voter fraud! Bush's fault! Warm front! Meteorology! Barometer! What? [Keels over.]

Posted by: LNER4472 | February 5, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse


WOWWWWWWWWWWWW

I wemt to the store late last night thinking I would avoid the after work crowd...Haaaaaaaa

You would have thought ff

Posted by: misssymoto | February 5, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Some friendly advice for DC residents since it looks like your temperatures are going to enjoy bouncing around the freezing point. Note exactly where the storm drains are and shovel them (even before your driveways). Melting snow will make a very unpleasant glacial lake during warm daylight hours if the drains freeze overnight. I say 'note exactly' because you would not believe how hard it is to find, even if you're on the right corner, once a plow drops 6 feet of snow on it. Saves me some hassle when we get a big spring dump.

Posted by: qgaliana | February 5, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

The pres is on right now on
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/video/2005/04/12/VI2005041201139.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 5, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I've got only Yellow Snow to show Joel but I'll make a try.
This will be known as the Superbowl storm.

For me, the storm of March 71 is my best/worst memory of a snowstorm. Cars buried, road closed for days as the plows couln't clear them; a huge snowblower was required. My uncle came to our house in a snowmobile and my mom went grocery shopping with him after a couple of days being snowed in. I remember the army evacuated the civilian workers of an ammunition plant who were snowed-in as well. We shoveled and scooped snow 3 days non-stop.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Canadian_Blizzard_of_March_1971

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 5, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

TBG!!!! So wonderful of you!!!! I used to survive on Cream cheese and olive sandwiches from Leo's at GWU.

Well, maybe it was the Isabellas from the Bone ... or their steak and cheese or was it the #6 burger.

Treks to AVs late at night.

AV's was an institution. I am glad that I returned for a year or two to enjoy AVs before it disappeared.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 5, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I have mounted a bit of a scoop on the front of my Roomba.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 5, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

When I have a big spring dump, I feel soooo much better afterwards.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 5, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

You all stay safe and warm out there. I'll be sending warm rays of heat your way.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | February 5, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

RT... is Leo's the same as the GW Deli? Because that's where I learned to LOVE cream cheese & olive on rye. (OK.. a quick Google shows me that is IS the same spot).

Wow... like 30 years ago, when I worked at the DC Red Cross at 20th & E, NW (not to be confused with the National HQ Bldgs on 17th Street).

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Actually, the DC Red Cross holds a very important place in the G family history: it's where I met Dr G when we both worked there back in the olden days.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

TGB!!!!

The same... I figured all along that Leo's GW Deli was a total front to unload tons of counterfeit change. If you remember the place, you know what I mean.

... my attempt at dry wit.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 5, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Mmmmmm.... just saw this recipe for a great SB snack that we may have to try this weekend...

http://www.chezus.com/appetizer/healthy-super-bowl-recipes-roasted-garbanzos-chickpeas/

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

SciTim, why do I feel like the guy that pitches for the allstar HR derby?

Posted by: qgaliana | February 5, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Weed,

The chicken enchiladas will be ready in an hour or so.

I'll fax some then.

Posted by: Moose13 | February 5, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

i took a few minutes to read the 'condescending' piece. not impressed.

let's look at this from a psychological point of view for a minute. consider, for example, our use of defense mechanisms. fantasy, denial, and projection are immature defense mechanisms, usually employed by children. when utilized by children, they are normal and not usually harmful. when utilized by adults, however, they lead to problems ranging from continuously conflicted relationships to overt psychosis.

so when conservatives espouse 'ideas' such as: noah had dinosaurs on the ark... obama is the racist... homosexuality is equivalent to bestiality and child abuse... guns don't kill people...katrina was god punishing us...etc...

some of the grown-ups (liberals?) in the area might roll their eyes, snicker, or have the unmitigated mental maturity to point out that the socalled conservative 'ideas' cited above are nothing more than fantasies, projections, or blatant denials of reality.

it is not condescending to point out to adults with childish thinking that they are wrong. excuse me. if conservative 'thinkers' want to improve the quality of the 'debate', let them start with dobson, beck, limbaugh, santorum, robertson, palin, etc.

professor alexander, sir, you can take two running jumps and go to ....

i'm going to go take a walk in the snow and cool off.

Posted by: butlerguy | February 5, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I love you, butlerguy. You always make good sense. Enjoy your walk in the snow.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

TBg,

That sounds interesting.

I've never eaten a chickpea, but I'm willing to try.

Maybe I'll get some chickpeas next time I get to the grocery store. You know, like next week, or March. :o)

Posted by: Moose13 | February 5, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

The winter of 70-71 was v. exciting in Ottawa. The record snowfall suppressed the troops in the streets suppressing the great Francophone Uprising.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 5, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Popping in after a relaxing, slow-time breakfast and some appreciable time with sleep-deprived spouse and Friday's newspaper.*

There is in today's local dead-tree edition of the Express-News a reprint of an article from the Houston Chronicle, displayed large on the front of the S.A. Life section. By reporter David Barron, it's about Sunday's Super Bowl ads.

First graf (I'm not finding the link, unfortunately):

Other than a controversial, issues-oriented message featuring former University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother, Sunday's Super Bowl ads will be dominated by the traditional Fearsome Foursome of American Advertising--lust, animals, slapstick and gluttony.

*Really, really, really looking forward to the Betty White ad. Deliciously anticipating. Real food for thought. *w* *

Posted by: laloomis | February 5, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Today's art project: set up a camera in the front window, on a tripod. Take a picture once every hour or so.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 5, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Butlerguy,
Thank for elucidating upon the point that TBG had made in her 11:37 am post. You say it so much more convincingly and eloquently.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 5, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Good luck all, about half way through backboodling but a little tip, before the snow starts to accumulate move your barbeque to as sheltered a spot as you can, if the power fails you can always barbeque.

Same goes for firewood if you have a fireplace, no fun trucking through the snow to get the wood.

Good thing about snow storms, they are reasonably safe if you are prepared.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 5, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Wow... NWS issued a Special Weather Statement about the danger of this storm and says it may break the record held by the 1922 "Knickerbocker Storm" in DC.

http://www.weather.gov/alerts-beta/wwacapget.php?x=DC20100205173400LWXSpecialWeatherStatementLWX20100206014500DC

About the Knickerbocker Storm here...

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

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Nicely said butlerguy (note to self: check mirror regularly for childish behaviour). Krauthammer seems to have written a similar piece so I guess it is the new talking point. It would be less obvious if they didn't all start on the same theme simultaneously.

Since Krauthammer brought to mind the late lamented Douglas Adams by referring to "the largest spending bill in galactic history", I guess I will go with the Ford Prefect response. V-signs, for condescencion to the readership.

Posted by: qgaliana | February 5, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

The good thing about harsh winter weather is that it maintains herd health by culling the weak and turnipless.

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 5, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse
------------------
That's really funny.

Posted by: cooper100 | February 5, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

This storm has the potential to bury DC Liberalism.

Posted by: fgoepfert1 | February 5, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Boko, your 1:33 made me spray coffee. My grandmother was buring outside Ottawa in november of 1970, I remember just a little, my family filling several hotels was one, the other was the snow the drive to the cemetary was grey, miserable and their was snow. Older siblings remember the armed forces being in town but I do not.

The only car accident I have ever been in was returning from that funeral, driving home in my uncles car a truck completely covered our windshield in slush, before we could clear the windshield we rear ended another car. Don't remember much else - no serious injuries to anyone but I remember my uncle the doctor helping someone with a bleeding nose and I have a lifelong fetish with sparkling clean windshields - I go through many bottles on windshield wiper fluid a year.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 5, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Red snow's falling? That can't be a good sign.

Yup boko, but much of the excitement was in the fall. It ain't called the October Crisis for nothings.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 5, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

*faxing ***hearts*** to butlerguy*

Moose -- chickpeas are really good and are packed with protein. Try 'em, you'll like 'em. And, if it turns out that you don't, then more for me. . . .

Posted by: -ftb- | February 5, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

The show is beginning to stick on man-made surfaces (pavement, the deck, surface of car).

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 5, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Not a big fan of chick peas but I love hummas, it is the texture of the chick pea I do not love,

Posted by: dmd3 | February 5, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I'd let the other shoe drop but I set up for the punchline a few days ago and then forgot. Oops.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 5, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Note to self: don't forget the falafels for the SB buffet.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 5, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Thats a great idea SciTim. I'm not being quite that vigilant, but I did just take a pic of my backyard and plan on taking another one tomorrow and then a third on Sunday. I figure it will show the progression of the snow.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 5, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

In order for someone to form and opinion and espouse it, a form of condescension is necessary. After all, if you thought someones else had better information and reasoning, why would you cling to your ideas, unless it is out of faith or loyalty?

That said, public officials claim that opposition is out of ignorance put an exclamation point on their presumed superiority. The fact is that two people of equal intelligence, given the same facts, can come to different conclusions regarding the solution to a problem.

For instance, in health care, I find the solution requiring young people, who are healthier and poorer to subsidize a wealthier and sicker population intolerable. I remember being young and poor and trying to form a new household. I don't want to burden someone in my previous situation with a new bill and I don't want to run deficits that present them and their children with a huge new bill either.

That doesn't make me a Republican because they don't oppose this new burden either. I believe their "alternative" schemes rope the young into paying for it also. It makes me an independent thinker willing for education but unwilling to be lectured.

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 5, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Timothy McSweeney, the inspiration for McSweeney's has passed on. So it goes.

http://www.mcsweeneys.net/2010/2/5mcsweeneys.html

Posted by: yellojkt | February 5, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

It's been snowing here for several hours, but the ground is not quite cold enough for snow accumulation.

The ice melt, salt, sand, cinders, and magnesium coating the roadways here seems to be doing the job. I'm thinking -- so far, so good. Only another 24 hours or so to go.

I'm looking forward to the Super Bowl, myself. Should be an interesting game, and still offer plenty of opportunity for the annual Festival of Complainers.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | February 5, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

DMD -- cook the chickpeas even from a can for about two to four hours BEFORE adding any other seasonings or ingredients. They will soften.

Chick peas plus any winter squash in a soup are such married souls. Look at the Moosewood gypsy soup recipe and modify as you like.

Here is a lo fat version:

2 C onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 C sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed,
1/2 C diced celery
1 C fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 C sweet red peppers, chopped
1 1/2 C cooked chickpeas
3 C Imagine Organic Vegetable Broth
1 Tbsp good Hungarian paprika
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 Tbsp basil
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp bay leaf, crumbled
1 Tbsp tamari or Braggs Liquid Aminos


Directions

In a soup kettle or large saucepan saute onions, garlic, celery and sweet potatoes in enough broth to cover, for about five minutes. Add seasonings (except tamari) and the veggie broth. Simmer, covered, fifteen minutes. Add remaining vegetables and chickpeas; add tamari and adjust seasoning if necessary. Simmer another ten minutes or so - until all the vegetables are as tender as you like them.
Yields 4 sultry servings.

Number of Servings: 4

Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user DUUREV.

Number of Servings: 4

FROM:
http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=131226

Lovely, but I like sweet potatoes or squash, sometimes, instead of the white taters.

I have made it without tarmari -- using soy sauce. But, the new style that is a fave in the house is pesto sauce.... you pick the "ointment" or elixer to boost the flavor.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 5, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

edbyronadams...

I'm not sure if you're arguing that the young subsidizing the older is something new or the status quo. Because that's how group health insurance has always worked.

I mean, health insurance is always a gamble that you pay while you're healthy so that when you're sick, you'll have coverage, isn't it?

And do you want the young to stop paying into Social Security as well? That's the young paying for the old.

Someone is always going to be subsidizing others. That's how it works. If it's not the young subsidizing the old, it's the healthy subsidizing the sick. The working subsidizing the unemployed.

The educated subsidizing the uneducated (working taxpayers paying for public schools).

Does that mean that once you're done with school, you shouldn't have to pay taxes that go to the schools anymore?

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Saw some good Tancredo quotes from the Tea Party Convention. I guess he wants us to be more Judeo-Christian. I agree. Why don't we forcibly settle about 100,000 Mexicans in his hometown. They are 99% Christian, after all.

Posted by: steveboyington | February 5, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

edbyron and TBG, good discussion. MY beef with healthcare is that the adoption of a big omnibus-type plan for everyone is that we as a nation would enact a plan that is terrible.

I LIKE the Euro- or Canadian plans because they are CHEAP. They enact spending controls. They avoid bell and whistle treatments. They are more generic and low-frills. That is what any omnibus plan SHOULD be. If people want high-end coverage, they should pay more, like they do elsewhere with supplemental insurance.

Here, we would get a pork-laden bill that would not control any costs and would cover even the most dubious practices. Everyone would get "cadillac" coverage, and (surprise!) it would cost us all a LOT.

Give me no-frills health care. If I want to upgrade to first class, I will.

Posted by: steveboyington | February 5, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

That certainly depends on what he means by being Judeo-Christian, steveb. I have a feeling that what he has in mind isn't actually historically accurate, if you know what I mean.

Still raining steadily.

Posted by: slyness | February 5, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

edbyronadams,
That is a rational statement that reasonable people can disagree with. What is not rational is that Obama's health insurance reforms constitute a socialist take-over of the American medical system. Or that government death panels will decide who gets to live. Or that deficits finally matter after eight years of drunken sailor spending. Or that faith-based organizations are capable of providing all government run social services.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 5, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I have chickpeas in the pantry!

Posted by: Yoki | February 5, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Moose,

Just had some pasta! Ready for enchiladas...

My favorites are chicken. The best thing is that they stay moist when faxed.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 5, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

slyness, you think? Saw Tancredo live when he was goose-stepping through NH in the runup to the 2008 primary. Wow, what a loser. Are all full-blown bigots short like him?

He reminds me of some of the folks I grew up with in the tiniest, most cut-off towns in the backwoods of New England. They don't know much, and they never ever met nobody but white folks, but they are pretty sure all the problems they have are somehow cause by folks with more pigment in their skin than they got.

For the record, most of the folks I grew up with are extra nice people, and nothing like Tancredo.

Posted by: steveboyington | February 5, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

A chickpea

http://www.twobadmice.com/showpic.asp?i=http://www.twobadmice.com/gifs/IF39.jpg

Posted by: nellie4 | February 5, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Here is my take on the young and the healthy. I am relatively healthy -- actually quite health at 50 --; however, I test positive for a serious and situationally life-threatening autoimmune disorder. Several people I love, including my children, and sibs, and cousins, also have similar disorders.

When we go south, we need lots of medical help. We mostly rise up within say six weeks and start back our productive lives at work and in the community.

WE LIVE IN FEAR OF NOT HAVING HEALTH INSURANCE. I have been fearful of this for about 12 years, long before the national conversation got around to it. I DO NOT TELL INSURANCE about my diagnosis. I took care of it at a University program and sometimes off the books. I have never been in such a flare that I needed to reveal this. However, I can hardly believe that my tenous hold on being middle class, indeed not homeless, depends on good luck. Health disasters drive people into bankruptcy EVEN WHEN THEY ARE INSURED.

Insurance is about spreading risk around. Insurance began in two thrusts: with companies and unions but also by fraternal organizations wanting to protect them and theirs. I have a copy of a really old policy that came from a Hibernian Society, circa 1895 or so. Insurance is a rational and reasonable way to pay for what the individual cannot afford. Even healthy individuals.

I do hear you on how hard it will be for some people -- young, students, underemployed -- to pay. But, we have to do something. Otherwise, the stark contrast between the rich and everybody else here will further erode our society's sense of ethical and right relationship.

Another discussion entirely is the poor and disenfranchised. I cn leave that to another post....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 5, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I have tried to rehydrate and cook and soften the dried chickpeas several times and they just won't soften. What am I doing wrong?

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 5, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Most criminals are younger than me. So I shouldn't pay a consarn cent for police pertection: young'uns should.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 5, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

One last thing about Tancredo. Just saw this on Wiki, and it made my day. "On February 3, 2009 the Denver Post revealed that Tancredo has probably lost a significant amount of money invested in hedge funds with Agile Group, a Boulder-based investment company with substantial investments in Bernie Madoff's investment firm."

Posted by: steveboyington | February 5, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, in my spare time, I want to form the PBCSociety. Proper Bean Cookery....and, we need to give lessons to the big food industry about this....I lament that canned beans batches are increasingly under cooked.

Yoki and RT and other can help here, but the deal is beans have to soften before NEARLY antything is added...no acids, no salt, no species, no fat, no protein.....

I was very sad about ConAgra buying Ranch Beans....for this reason...RANT RANT RANT....but my hands cramp in the very frustration over this.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 5, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Saw two short clips of Tancredo this morning, one moment was a snide remark about votes not speaking english, the other was him speaking Obama's full name with emphasis on the middle name. Really told me all I needed to know about him - jerk.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 5, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, dried chickpeas are so resistant to cooking that they are downright ornery. A strange personality quirk in something otherwise so cute.

Best bet is a pressure cooker. Since I don't have one, I soak the garbanzos for a good 18 hours, then simmer them in a lot of water for up to four hours.

And CquaP is right, no salt or anything else with any dried legume until they have softened.

Posted by: Yoki | February 5, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I gave up on dried beans years ago. I have a 10- or 15-y.o. supply for emergency backup purposes. For most cooking, however, I just get canned beans.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 5, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I've never been able to get past the fact that Tancredo is the grandson of immigrants.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

yello - thanks for that McSweeney's info. McSweeney's Internet Tendency is a great site. A wonderful way to relax on a wintery day.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 5, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Black beans rule. Mmm good.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 5, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

TBG -- Trancredo does fit the pattern. Often, the sons and dots of immigrants know the hard ships....grandchildies often romanticize what happened based on HARD WORK....etc. But, seldom do people recall the luck factor....or really dwell on what happened to poor uncle Otto who was injured in the mining accident.....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 5, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Tancredo (tan-KREE-dough)
noun
Shorthand for "I shall always wear sunscreen when outdoors and faithfully monitor my sun exposure."

Posted by: MsJS | February 5, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

TBG -- YMMV, not all grandchilies....but, I think you understand where I am coming from.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 5, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Good one Joel. You of course are wearing your Aussie hat while performing these heroics.

DC's challenging winter weather has far eclipsed Colorado Front Range weather thus far. It is sunny and pleasant here for a change. Then again we only have to travel a bit west vertically to get a similar sensation.

Everybody go sledding!

Posted by: Windy3 | February 5, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Blizzard warnings now up for the southern MD counties on the western Chesapeake shore... :-O

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Been snowing here now for 6 hours -- and the accummulation is a big fat ZERO. Nuthin'. Nada. Zippy. Just took my son to work, streets are wet -- but no different than an average rainy day.

What a horrible waste of fear-mongering.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 5, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I apologize if I missed it, but has anyone issued a front page alert?

Posted by: MsJS | February 5, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Wait for it, 'Mudge...

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Beans? I don't know beans about beans. I just like Legume humor. Most say soak a long time in the fridge covered (24 hrs). Most say cook in a pot slow and long (2 hrs) ...

I am thinking that there is a reason why I don't normally cook beans, however, some homemade baked beans would be a good idea for this weekend.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 5, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

No, MsJS, but we've got one: Storm before the Storm. That's a lame headline.

Still raining bigtime around here.

Posted by: slyness | February 5, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I will gladly switch places with anyone of you in the storms path, I am currently on hold with my cable provided, seriously shovelling is more fun than this.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 5, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, my street has been covered over in the hour and half since I came home. I can't imagine (well, I can) what it's going to be like when it gets really rolling and windy and keeps it up for another 24 hours.

What is a bit scary are those cute branches that look like they belong in an Achenbach photo... short of about another 24 hours of snow.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 5, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

dmd3--torture!

Posted by: Windy3 | February 5, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

The boss called the day at 3:30 after just about everybody had already abandoned ship.

I got home right as the snow is starting to stick on the driveway, so perfect timing. Definitely planning to spend the next 63 hours within eighty feet of my front door.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 5, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

No snow yet? But the honepage has a radar-type graphic and there is, reportedly, the threat of a blizzard, oh, a mighty wind, a mighty snow, a blizzard!

Yanno, DQ around here sells plenty of blizzards. Just cue me when the Donner Party begins.

Posted by: laloomis | February 5, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Ok, people, it's just snow, not the haiti earthquake. Just stay off the roads. And did you get a load of the picture on the front page today? Not one remotely healthy food item in those people's grocery carts. I guess they are eating for Armageddon.

Posted by: BklynTransplant | February 5, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

The yardstick on my deck was showing 3 inches before this snow even began. It's now at 5 inches.

There's not a lot of stickage on the street yet, but more than this morning. I guess you'd say it's grayishtop rather than blacktop right now.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

We have about 2 inches of new snow. Sticky too.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 5, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Potage à la Bretonne completed, and it's very tasty. Time to move the bread dough into pans. Then time to make the cookies.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 5, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Sitting here in the banana belt enjoying some chili (with beans) that has been in the dutch oven in the frig for almost nine days.
Yesterday after a few weeks of drizzle, it didn't and also the night before so I mowed the lawns. Now today extra bright sunshine.
Snow had been forecast for almost daily for a month but it never made it over the mountain. All dropped on the California side in Mount Shasta City. About five feet.
Saw it snowing at the white house on CNN but the lawn was still green.
like Mudge said. Forecast esteria (sp)

Posted by: bh72 | February 5, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I have a very small front yard with a northern exposure. From the past two snows, I already have an 18" base. By Sunday my driveway will be a walled tunnel.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 5, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

It's been snowing all day, just not sticking on the streets and sidewalks yet. Well, now it is.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

From the Capital Weather Gang...

"Through tonight: Get ready (if you stay up) for some of the heaviest -- if not the heaviest -- snowfall rates you ever see around here. It will come down in buckets, perhaps with some thunder, most of the night after things intensify markedly by 7 p.m. or so.

"The heaviest focus is likely from around 10 p.m. through sunrise. While most locations should pick up at least 1 foot overnight alone, don't be surprised if some spots pick up a good bit more.

"Lows drop to the mid-and-upper 20s as northeast winds blow around 20 mph, with higher gusts, leading to near-blizzard conditions."

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitalweathergang/2010/02/snow_picking_up_becoming_very.html

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I bought a half dozen of scones at the Scone Witch. I got 2 each of ginger-raisin, cranberry-orange and lemon-poppyseed. I had to wait a couple of minutes because they were still baking. They rode beside me on the way home, smelling wonderful. All five of them made it home unmolested. Mrs. D and Witch no.1 couldn't resist though and had a snack of scones.

All beans have their own personnality. Generalization is offensive. The pinto bean barely need soaking. Sometimes I bring them to a boil then let them soak for an hour, change the water and boil them tender in less than an hour. Red beans, navy beans and flageolets are are swelled up after 12 hours and cook in a couple of hours. I admit that chick peas are the tough ones. I soak chick peas at least 24 hours and you can wait until they start to sprout (between 36-48 hours). Seriously, they do. Then cook them in plenty of water.
I soaked beans in tap water at room temperature. If I'm in a hurry I use lentils.

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

"By Sunday my driveway will be a walled tunnel."
--yellojkt

Half-pipe competition at yello's before the Big Game!

Posted by: MsJS | February 5, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I give you SD, the BeanMeister. Thank you. Perhaps cowboys everywhere made the pinto the pony to ride and the bean to pack.

Mudge -- at least four inches in my South College Park environs. I have swept twice and done these things (snow is very wet, which means that this could be come a crusty layer of ice-like fierceness).

Unlock car doors
Raise up the antenae (wipers)
sprinkle said behind all four wheels
filled the trash and recycle bins, wedging them open
swept free the sump pump drain
swept out petitepoodlepottypatch in the back yard

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 5, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

The snow's picking up here, sticking on the pavement, more or less on schedule.

The wind's picking up, blowing big one-inch flakes around in a vigorous swirl, my world a full snow-globe.

Dreamlike disorientation.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | February 5, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Getting excited about snow? How quaint.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 5, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

OK... someone's gotta sing it...

Beans, beans, the musical fruit,
The more you eat, the more you toot!

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

CqP, it scares me to think that you're going to have to repeat that last action at intervals all night long.

Posted by: slyness | February 5, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I know, Slyness. The gift a daytime storm is staying ahead of it.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 5, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Tancredo apparently wants to have literacy tests for voting again...sigh.
http://rawstory.com/2010/02/tea-party-opening-speaker-suggests-blacks-voting/

Posted by: seasea1 | February 5, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

seasea, within a few seconds I had come up with a question for the test. 1) Is Obama a US citizen? That one ought to cull the voting herd a bit.

Posted by: steveboyington | February 5, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

edbyronadams, requiring people to buy insurance is not, primarily, in the legislation as a way of subsidizing other people. It's there because, if we're going to require insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, and prevent them from charging higher premiums to do so, universal coverage is a necessity. It prevents people from gaming the system. Without mandatory coverage, there is nothing to prevent someone from going without insurance until a medical emergency crops up, immediately taking out a policy that the insurer is required by law to issue, getting the medical care they need -- and then canceling the policy again.

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

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

Howdy, friends. Those of you facing a blizzard, take care, and keep warm. We just have rain and more rain. It has been raining since last night. Some places are beginning to flood. The rain is messy, but I would much rather rain than snow and ice.

Concerning the kit..

JA, I laughed all the way through the turnip story. That was really funny. And I'm thinking you had all of the turnip, but you only got the root. No green. You can make "pot liquor", and my spelling is off on that, but that what we do with turnips when we want to help someone that has been sick a long time. It's kind of like a soup. Anyone here familiar with this dish?

Take care folks, and remember to check on the elderly and neighbors.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 5, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Literacy tests. Sigh. It's a good thing that Tancredo is a conservative, or I might find that attitude condescending.

Sort of like referring to rural conservatives as "the real America."

Posted by: rashomon | February 5, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I think Tancredo might find that an honest literacy test would achieve the opposite of his intention. However, for him to say such a thing is really the literacy test in itself -- specifically, a "reading between the lines" test. I suspect he conveyed precisely the message that he intended. Inadvertently, he also has told us that everything we suspected about the Tea Party is true.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 5, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, rashomon, where the heck does that come from? Urban America outnumbers Rural America by quite a bit...

Posted by: slyness | February 5, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra! How are you making out on your crutches?

Posted by: Yoki | February 5, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I know what pot liquor is. It's the liquid cooked out of various greens. I would guess it is full of vitamins.

Posted by: Manon1 | February 5, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh my! A chase scene in The Rockford Files. Who could have seen that coming?

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Coming late to the dance. I bailed from the office at noon with some work that can be done from home. The snow is just now really beginning to stick on the sidewalks and roads here - probably have a couple of inches on the ground. Joes couldn't find any vicutals because we bought them all last night and this morning. We have 5 discs from Blockbuster, and enough firelogs to heat the block. Just hope we don't need to fire up the generator - the thing is really noisy. Haven't had to use it since the ice storm about 10-12 years ago.

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

A little pot liquor runs on my cornbread, makes it better.

I think it more likely, Joel, that the turnip was the only one left because the turnip truck was afraid to get stuck in the city after dark with a storm coming. Picture the ravenous hordes of zombie-like denizens, arms out, keening like banshees, closing in hungrily on the stuck turnip truck and its horrified, doomed driver.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 5, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Mr. A, I finally had time to read the Gerard Alexander piece. The guy is certainly passionate about his opinion, to be sure.

I found him rather adept at selecting stories and facts that bolster his hypothesis while ignoring the ones that don't. This is done with great regularity by pundits on both sides of the ideological aisle, to be sure, and I don't mean to imply he's the only culprit out there. I'm just saying he's part of that crowd, and I've given up reading several of them precisely because of that habit.

I'd say this author falls into the 'whiny intellectual' category. His argument could have been made forcefully in about a quarter of the space, but he didn't know when or how to leave well enough alone. The article took on a sort of angry-victim-with-pouting-mouth-and-arms-akimbo quality once he'd made his point. I've stopped reading those sorts of pundits, too.

He offered no solutions, which I guess goes to your suspicion that "..this guy is not really trying to improve the nation's political discourse."

Thank you for the link. I'm glad I read him, but I have no idea how I'd engage him in a political conversation, even on topics in which we are in agreement.

Posted by: MsJS | February 5, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

On of the local list serves is starting to feature these nice messages:

my shovel is missing, can I please borrow one? i walk to retrieve and a promise to return it. Can trade lasagne.

I am happy to help with shoveling or errands for the shut in -- walking only.....I live at Elm and Maple

I will shovel for hot chocolate

---
FOMA rule: May as well be kind.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 5, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Oh my CP. And here I sit with four snow shovels and only one shoveler!

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 5, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Sitting here in sunny Portland, OR (I kid you not -it's well over 50 degrees and the sunglasses are out) - this DC native bids you well.

Joel -thanks for the photos and play-by-play of the Safeway run! Ah, memories... LOL!

Take care and enjoy the snow everyone! Have a great time over the long weekend and be kind to each other.

Oh, and if you see my friend Lupita, or any other Oregonians whose flights back home have been canceled... please make sure they don't get caught in any drifts.

And you probably shouldn't mention the sunny weather.

Posted by: carrieann1 | February 5, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I was really impressed with Alexander's piece. Nearly every single statement he made was correct (incredible for a conservative). Many, many examples:

"But American liberals, to a degree far surpassing conservatives, appear committed to the proposition that their views are correct, self-evident, and based on fact and reason..." [quite true. We are committed to that view. Reason: we're correct, self-evidently so, and based on fact and reason.] "...while conservative positions are not just wrong but illegitimate, ideological and unworthy of serious consideration." [Yep, absolutely true.]

"The benighted public is either uncomprehending or deliberately misinformed (by conservatives)." [Yup.]

"...when dialogue would be more valuable than ever." [Conservatives' desire for dialogue is exceedingly well-known.]

"Liberals have dismissed conservative thinking for decades,..." [True. With good reason.] "...a tendency encapsulated by Lionel Trilling's 1950 remark that conservatives do not "express themselves in ideas but only in action or in irritable mental gestures which seek to resemble ideas." [Lionel nailed it, didn't he?]

"During the 1950s and '60s, liberals trivialized the nascent conservative movement." [True. That's because it was tiny and ineffective, hence the word "trivial."]

"Prominent studies and journalistic accounts of right-wing politics at the time stressed paranoia, intolerance and insecurity," [because it was, you see, paranoid, intolerant and highly insecure. Two words: Joe McCarthy. Nailed it again, didn't they? Wow.]

"...rendering conservative thought more a psychiatric disorder than a rival." [True. You were nuts then, too. And you really weren't a rival, you know.]

"In 1962, Richard Hofstadter referred to "the Manichaean style of thought, the apocalyptic tendencies, the love of mystification, the intolerance of compromise that are observable in the right-wing mind." [Yup, he did. Another guy with a heavy-duty nail gun.]

"But these days, liberal confidence and its companion disdain for conservative thinking are back with a vengeance...: [Your point?]

The first is the "vast right-wing conspiracy ... This vision maintains that conservatives win elections and policy debates not because they triumph in the open battle of ideas but because they deploy brilliant and sinister campaign tactics." [That's what it maintains, all right. Nicely encapsulated.]

"A dense network of professional political strategists such as Karl Rove, think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation and industry groups allegedly manipulate information and mislead the public."
[U-huh. Excellent point.]

"This liberal vision emphasizes the dissemination of ideologically driven views from sympathetic media such as the Fox News Channel." [Yes, it does indeed.]

"For example, Chris Mooney's book "The Republican War on Science" argues that policy debates in the scientific arena are distorted by conservatives who disregard evidence and reflect the biases of industry-backed Republican politicians or of evangelicals aimlessly shielding the world from modernity." [Mooney sure got it right, didn't he?]

more

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 5, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I was really impressed with Alexander's piece. Nearly every single statement he made was correct (incredible for a conservative). Many, many examples:

"But American liberals, to a degree far surpassing conservatives, appear committed to the proposition that their views are correct, self-evident, and based on fact and reason..." [quite true. We are committed to that view. Reason: we're correct, self-evidently so, and based on fact and reason.] "...while conservative positions are not just wrong but illegitimate, ideological and unworthy of serious consideration." [Yep, absolutely true.]

"The benighted public is either uncomprehending or deliberately misinformed (by conservatives)." [Yup.]

"...when dialogue would be more valuable than ever." [Conservatives' desire for dialogue is exceedingly well-known.]

"Liberals have dismissed conservative thinking for decades,..." [True. With good reason.] "...a tendency encapsulated by Lionel Trilling's 1950 remark that conservatives do not "express themselves in ideas but only in action or in irritable mental gestures which seek to resemble ideas." [Lionel nailed it, didn't he?]

"During the 1950s and '60s, liberals trivialized the nascent conservative movement." [True. That's because it was tiny and ineffective, hence the word "trivial."]

"Prominent studies and journalistic accounts of right-wing politics at the time stressed paranoia, intolerance and insecurity," [because it was, you see, paranoid, intolerant and highly insecure. Two words: Joe McCarthy. Nailed it again, didn't they? Wow.]

"...rendering conservative thought more a psychiatric disorder than a rival." [True. You were nuts then, too. And you really weren't a rival, you know.]

"In 1962, Richard Hofstadter referred to "the Manichaean style of thought, the apocalyptic tendencies, the love of mystification, the intolerance of compromise that are observable in the right-wing mind." [Yup, he did. Another guy with a heavy-duty nail gun.]

"But these days, liberal confidence and its companion disdain for conservative thinking are back with a vengeance...: [Your point?]

The first is the "vast right-wing conspiracy ... This vision maintains that conservatives win elections and policy debates not because they triumph in the open battle of ideas but because they deploy brilliant and sinister campaign tactics." [That's what it maintains, all right. Nicely encapsulated.]

"A dense network of professional political strategists such as Karl Rove, think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation and industry groups allegedly manipulate information and mislead the public." [U-huh. Excellent point.]

"This liberal vision emphasizes the dissemination of ideologically driven views from sympathetic media such as the Fox News Channel." [Yes, it does indeed.]

more

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 5, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

2

"For example, Chris Mooney's book "The Republican War on Science" argues that policy debates in the scientific arena are distorted by conservatives who disregard evidence and reflect the biases of industry-backed Republican politicians or of evangelicals aimlessly shielding the world from modernity." [Mooney sure got it right, didn't he?]

"In this interpretation, conservative arguments are invariably false [I would dispute "invariably" but give him "most of the time"] and deployed only cynically. Evidence of the costs of cap-and-trade carbon rationing is waved away as corporate propaganda; arguments against health-care reform are written off as hype orchestrated by insurance companies." [Well, he forgot a bunch of loonies.]

"...liberals have largely argued that the decision will "open the floodgates for special interests" to influence American elections, as the president warned in his State of the Union address." [True.] "In other words, it was all part of the conspiracy to support conservative candidates for their nefarious, self-serving ends." [...and?]

"It follows that the thinkers, politicians and citizens who advance conservative ideas must be dupes, quacks or hired guns selling stories they know to be a sham." [Sad, isn't it?]

"In this spirit, ... Krugman regularly dismisses conservative arguments not simply as incorrect, but as lies." [I agree, he overstates. Many aren't lies, just delusions, hallucinations, superstitions, etc.]

"In Krugman's condescending world, there is no need to take seriously the arguments of "these people" -- only to plumb the depths of their errors and ponder their hidden motivations." [Yeah, pretty much.]

"But, if conservative leaders are crass manipulators, then the rank-and-file Americans who support them must be manipulated at best, or stupid at worst." [I know, I know! It's uncanny, isn't it?]

"[Thomas] Frank argued that working-class voters were so distracted by issues such as abortion that they were induced into voting against their own economic interests." [That was exactly what Frank said. Where do liberals get all these nails from? Wow. It's like a Korean nail parlor.]

"...Howard Dean... echoed that theme i...when he said Republicans had succeeded in getting Southern whites to focus on "guns, God and gays" instead of economic redistribution." [Ahem.]

"When his comments became public, Obama backed away from their tenor but insisted that "I said something that everybody knows is true." [True, again.]

"In this view, we should pay attention to conservative voters' underlying problems but disregard the policy demands they voice; these are illusory, devoid of reason or evidence." [I know!]

"...Edsall and Mary D. Edsall argued that Nixon and Reagan talked up crime control, low taxes and welfare reform to cloak racial animus and help make it mainstream. It is now an article of faith among many liberals that Republicans win elections because they tap into white prejudice against blacks and immigrants." [Doncha just love articles of faith.]

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 5, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Hey carrieann1... enjoy the nice weather. I'm sure it'll be your turn soon for something nasty coming your way.

I sure hope any folks stranded at airports around here are treated well and don't have a horrible time. Especially your friend Lupita.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

2

"For example, Chris Mooney's book "The Republican War on Science" argues that policy debates in the scientific arena are distorted by conservatives who disregard evidence and reflect the biases of industry-backed Republican politicians or of evangelicals aimlessly shielding the world from modernity." [Mooney sure got it right, didn't he?]

"In this interpretation, conservative arguments are invariably false [I would dispute "invariably" but give him "most of the time"] and deployed only cynically. Evidence of the costs of cap-and-trade carbon rationing is waved away as corporate propaganda; arguments against health-care reform are written off as hype orchestrated by insurance companies." [Well, he forgot a bunch of loonies.]

"...liberals have largely argued that the decision will "open the floodgates for special interests" to influence American elections, as the president warned in his State of the Union address." [True.] "In other words, it was all part of the conspiracy to support conservative candidates for their nefarious, self-serving ends." [...and?]

"It follows that the thinkers, politicians and citizens who advance conservative ideas must be dupes, quacks or hired guns selling stories they know to be a sham." [Sad, isn't it?]

"In this spirit, ... Krugman regularly dismisses conservative arguments not simply as incorrect, but as lies." [I agree, he overstates. Many aren't lies, just delusions, hallucinations, superstitions, etc.]

"In Krugman's condescending world, there is no need to take seriously the arguments of "these people" -- only to plumb the depths of their errors and ponder their hidden motivations." [Yeah, pretty much.]

"But, if conservative leaders are crass manipulators, then the rank-and-file Americans who support them must be manipulated at best, or stupid at worst." [I know, I know! It's uncanny, isn't it?]

"[Thomas] Frank argued that working-class voters were so distracted by issues such as abortion that they were induced into voting against their own economic interests." [That was exactly what Frank said. Where do liberals get all these nails from? Wow. It's like a Korean nail parlor.]

"...Howard Dean... echoed that theme i...when he said Republicans had succeeded in getting Southern whites to focus on "guns, God and gays" instead of economic redistribution." [Ahem.]

"When his comments became public, Obama backed away from their tenor but insisted that "I said something that everybody knows is true." [True, again.]

"In this view, we should pay attention to conservative voters' underlying problems but disregard the policy demands they voice; these are illusory, devoid of reason or evidence." [I know!]

more

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 5, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

3

"...Edsall and Mary D. Edsall argued that Nixon and Reagan talked up crime control, low taxes and welfare reform to cloak racial animus and help make it mainstream. It is now an article of faith among many liberals that Republicans win elections because they tap into white prejudice against blacks and immigrants." [Doncha just love articles of faith.]

"Race doubtless played a significant role in the shift of Deep South whites to the Republican Party during and after the 1960s." [...uh...so you agree?]

"But the liberal narrative has gone essentially unchanged since then..." [because nothing has happened to cause it to change, moron]

"Finally, liberals condescend to the rest of us when they say conservatives are driven purely by emotion and anxiety -- including fear of change -- whereas liberals have the harder task of appealing to evidence and logic." [Yes, we do. Sorry about that. If the shoe fits, etc.]

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 5, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

I was disappointed to find that things were much different in our humble little neighborhood (Aspen Hills). At the local Giant today, the air was full of "pardon me" and "I'm sorry, let me move my cart." Much of that was in Spanish and Arabic, so maybe they were actually saying "get out of my way so I can feed my family" but they smiled so convincingly.

Oh, and then there were the folks who helped clueless shoppers (boyfriends and husbands, mostly) find food - "they're out of fresh hamburg, but there's frozen hamburg down that aisle." Of course, the manager had to intrude, letting us know that a truck just brought more milk - funny how that store never runs out of milk in a storm. Must be a conspiracy to keep us from grumbling.

Of course, there were the checkers and baggers - insanely cheerful and helpful, despite having been called in to do extra hours to handle the overload. What are they trying to pull, anyway?

Lastly, folks had to pile on by insisting that those with a few items cut ahead of them in line - "really, I'm not in a hurry."

Seriously, if someone hadn't cut me off in traffic on the way home, I would have lost all my faith in human nature. I'm sure the lack of visibility had nothing to do with it.

Posted by: drmary | February 5, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Love that description, drmary.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I loved your annotated summary of Alexander's essay, Curmudgeon. Had me laughing out loud at times (thereby disrupting the Friday afternoon hush of the campus library and waking up the reference librarian from his late-afternoon nap).

So the home page now has a photo of people lined up in store clutching snow shovels. Here's my question: where the heck were these people during y'all's December snowstorm?? Very bizarre. I mean, my father owned the same snow shovel for our entire childhood; I never thought of them as fungible items needing to be replaced with every inclement weather event. If so, I may need to go into the snow shovel manufacturing business and forget this whole career in academia thing.

Enjoy the snow, folks! Glad I'm not there!
-Snarky Squirrel

Posted by: 7900rmc | February 5, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Snarky Squirrel... so good to see you here! Yeah... I always wonder about that, too. I think the explanation is that there were very few snow shovels in the stores in December because we haven't had much snow in the past few years. So no one had a chance to buy them them.

I'm surprised there are some now because you can't buy a coat in the store this week, but you can buy a bikini.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

carrieann1,
My little camellia bush (a "Royal Velvet") has five splendid red flowers. It'll probably never grow into one of those tree-sized Portland monster camellias. The variety has a reputation for flowering without much cool weather.

Since Virginia Republicans are already proclaiming the start of the next ice age, here's the start of an editorial in this week's Science magazine by the president of the National Academy of Sciences, Ralph J. Cicerone, a climate scientist:

"Hacked Electronic Records of Climate Scientists at the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (UEA/CRU) led to worldwide publicity... My own reading of the vast scientific literature on climate change is that our understanding is undiminished by this incident; but it has raised concern about the standards of science and has damaged public trust in what scientists do..."

Not that Republicans think "Climate science" is any more "scientific" than evolution or evidence-based medicine.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 5, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

What good's a turnip going to be when 50 MPH wind gusts blow down power lines laden with wet snow? Gonna eat it like an apple?

This is one of the very few occasions in life that positively cries out for vienna sausage.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | February 5, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

What a load of rubbish! It's ONLY snow. Get over it! I've got three hungry teenagers chained up in the garage and I'll let them loose with shovels tomorrow with the promise of chips and hot chocolate when they're done clearing the driveway and walks. What's the big deal?
I'm dealing with it the same way the Pharohs did. Or would have...
BTW: I think it's very inconvenient that the supper bow was scheduled for the same weekend as the apocalyptic snow storm. The supper bow is one of my favorite weapons of mass destruction and now I've got to divide my time between it and the awesome nuclear summer maker...
It's carnival in Rio. Just sayin'.

Posted by: dschalton | February 5, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

More bad news for you and other conservatives, Mr. Alexander: the unemployment rate you've been whining about fell to 9.7 per cent. Couldn't possibly be because the stimulus package and recovery plan are working. Must be some other explanation, I'm sure.

Commies, maybe. Or, yanno, global cooling. A fluke. A statistical anomalie. The aurora borealis.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 5, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, thanks for reading and dissecting that piece so I didn't have to raise my blood pressure.

Every time we have a big storm here we get the same pictures of people buying or trying to buy a snow shovel. I don't believe they all just moved here from Florida. My theory is that somewhere in the far recesses of their garages or basements there are half a dozen shovels, but they can't find them because they'd need a shovel to move the debris. Of course once they use the shovel on the snow, they're too tired to use it to find the others.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 5, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

It's Carnaval in Québec city too! Even doggies can have fun in the smow.
http://www.carnaval.qc.ca/en/carnival-2010/program/list-of-activities?event_id=108

Not quite Ipanema but eh, we are easily amused.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 5, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

When I read or listen to a conservative I get a headache. BANG!

An hour ago we had half an inch on the sidewalks and some slush on the roads.

I went shopping with no problem.. The store was crowded but well stocked. Two six packs of Becks and I'm good to go until Game Time. (Already have some backup in the fridge)

And for the record I direct you to a post I made September 5 last year. The day before regular season started.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/achenblog/2009/09/astronauts_in_sweat_pants.html

Look for the bottom of my 6:55 PM post.

I think GWE was the only Boodler to make comment on my post.

Posted by: omnigood | February 5, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

TV is reporting a power outage in CqP town.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 5, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Omni wrote:

So anyway, out of all this I've already made my SB XLIV prediction. Yeah, I know, the regular season hasn't even started yet.

I find the secret is to make your picks early, before you get emotionally involved in any team.

NOST Champs
Balt Chumps

And there you have it...


Are we playing for the Tiara this year? Who's going to get that started?

Posted by: omnigood | September 5, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 5, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

badsneakers,
Houses are sinks for material goods. Stuff goes in the doors, vanishes, and finally exits during some major cleaning project, a move, or estate sale.

I live in an estate sale town. At the beach a while back, I complemented a surfer for his vintage circa 1980 Jeep Wagoneer. It was an estate sale find. A proud trophy in the new glass-door kitchen cabinets is a set of three Pyrex mixing bowls, orange, tangerine, and yellow.

I was in Lake City for the Great Snowfall. Being up against the Georgia border, it wasn't quite the best place to feel astonished.

The medical examiner has found that the sailboarder south of us died of bleeding from a large shark bite to the leg. The garden-variety shark (not a White) evidently was having lunch.

I'm reminded of my own nonchalant behavior in grizzly bear habitat.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 5, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Hi carrieann, drmary, snarky squirrel, daveschalton, and anyone I missed!

I hadn't planned on reading the Alexander piece but I really enjoyed Mudge's annotated version. Thanks.

Parent-teacher chaos day done, recycling taken, bought beer, wine, milk, OJ & ice cream. The list of chores is dwindling slowly.

The school board here decided the best way to make up the snow days so far is to add 45 minutes onto each school day until the end of school in May. I doubt they really thought through the details. We figure it is something like 11 minutes more per class and lunch. That means the Boy and cohort (6th - 12th grades) will begin school at 7:40 a.m. and end at 2:55 daily. With four classes, a brief lunch period, and no breaks I pity the 4th hour teachers. They'll be teaching zombies.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 5, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I find more liberals tend to do what Feynman recommended:
"I'm talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you are maybe wrong, that you ought to have when acting as a scientist. And this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen."

This is seen as weakness, of course, by their opposition, who exploit it regularly.

To put it another way:
"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 5, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Why do I always hear about southern hardware stores being stripped clean of snow shovels and snow blowers every time there is a storm? You can reuse these things people. Keep them till next time. Yes, there will be a next time!

Posted by: Dennis12 | February 5, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

FYI, I went back to the Safeway this afternoon at 5. No line at all. The nervous folks were already hunkering down, I guess, with food to last 7 years.

I made red beans with andouille sausage and bacon. Snow beans, we will call them from now on. Blizzard beans. (Prepare for a mighty wind!)

Posted by: joelache | February 5, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Very impressive Kreskind, I mean Omni :-). Did you have money in Vegas on that pick?

Posted by: dmd3 | February 5, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

CqP, thank you for your comments re: luck and circumstances, which you made in connection with health care/immigration. Our precious middle-class status can be a very fragile thing and depend heavily on sea changes in economy and policy, on sometimes very subtle differences in individual/family capability and perspective. Many thoughts on this, but now is not the time (or perhaps this the place). So much discipline required, and yet it is still a crap shoot.

Back to snow discussion! I've got to go out and see if the Post ads are in my driveway, before they get 20 in. of snow on them.

Posted by: woofin | February 5, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

I think maybe what Alexander is saying is that we've hurt their feelings. Perhaps Conservatives need a trophy for participating in the political system, like they do in third grade. Everybody gets a trophy. And a gold star. Maybe if we'd just given Alexander a gold star now and then he wouldn't be feeling so down in the dumps.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 5, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

I like the idea of traditional snow foods like the "Blizzard beans." I just hope we don't feel obligated to eat such foods *too* frequently.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 5, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Gold stars for everybody! But two for Joel, who cooked Blizzard Beans.

Dennis12, there will not be a next time. That is at the heart of the Southern approach to snow. Big storms are an anomaly, a freak of nature, a hundred-year flood. So we'll sell those cumbersome shovels and snowblowers this summer, when they're uselessly hogging valuable storage space. Then next winter, when hell freezes over again, like a plague of locusts we'll descend on hardware stores large and small and pick them clean.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 5, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Traditional snow foods for me: hot food (often pork-based), hot chocolate, tea, soup.

RD, I'm sympathetic, but snow is what we do up here roughly 5 months out of the year.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 5, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Snow beans? I think of Great Northern Beans.

Garbanzo (AKA Chick Peas) are hard to make soft, so I always go with the cans. Lentils are easy peasy, just throw them in with the liquid.

(apologies for the puns)

I did do an excellent job of channeling The Amazing Kreskin there didn't I. Now If I could just channel Johnny Carson and say "I meant the other Colts", you'd all believe me...right. tehee.

Posted by: omnigood | February 5, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I really appreciate your taking one for the team and deconstructing that column for us. I just can't stand to read and think these things through, so it's wonderful to have you to do it for me. Thanks and great job!

Still raining, but we aren't flooding in our end of town yet. I don't know how we have avoided it.

Construction of the garage is finished and paid for. Now Mr. T gets to do his part of the job, i.e. putting plywood in the rafters for storage, installing the Elfa shelving, installing retaining wall around the lean-to, and putting gravel down in the lean-to floor. We have to decide what color to paint the roll-up and regular doors, they clash with the white siding.

Posted by: slyness | February 5, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I still have the $7 snow shovel I bought at Safeway in Dale City a few days before one of those southern anomaly storms. It stays in the back of my truck all winter in case I need to dig out of a snow bank-which I thought I might have to do this afternoon. Hit a patch of ice just north of St. Paul and went into a slide at 70mph. I must say it is better to do this in Feb. than November. Traffic in other lanes did a very nice job of avoiding me until I hit dry pavement and was on my way. Kind of thrilling actually.

Great job Mudge!

Slyness-congrats on the garage. A new garage, as yet untainted by use, is a thing of beauty.

Hello to all the new names, and the people behind the. Off to back boodle.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 5, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

SCC- behind them

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 5, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Frosti, it would be more beautiful if there weren't quite so much mud.

I'm glad to hear that you avoided being a traffic statistic. Bet it got your heart rate up!

Posted by: slyness | February 5, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Slyness... can't believe I didn't do a drive-by when I was in Charlotte this weekend to check out the new garage. Very exciting.

What are you looking forward to getting out of your house and into the garage?

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

CqP signing in, Mudge. We heard that 'sposion. Holding our breath in the flicker, I was spared. The power reaper passeth over our household, talking amps and olms and watts and etc. from soul other than mine.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 5, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Most glad to hear it, CqP.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 5, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Hi carrieann. It's nice to see you. I'm seriously considering moving to Portland sometime in the future. It's good to hear that someone else made the move from DC to Portland and enjoyed it.

Posted by: -pj- | February 5, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Hah! Oblivious! Idunnitagin! madame woofin explains to red-faced woofin that the Sunday Post ads have been on the kitchen table all day because they came with the morning paper. No need for heroic rescue of the week's coupons.

I can't bear to read pieces such as the one you analyzed, Mudge, but I suspect your diagnosis of hurt feelings is spot on. A major point of conservatism is that they think of their positions as the default.

Posted by: woofin | February 5, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

MsJS, I tire of partisan rhetoric easily. I find myself in the middle (in that I am neither a full-blooded conservative or a bleeding-heart liberal on everything) a lot of the time.

I like to think that the explosion of media outlets has allow the partisan sides to wall themselves off from each other very effectively. They both sit in isolation and spend far too much time telling ghost stories about the other side.

Ghost stories were a hoot.... when I was in middle school.

Others here have mentioned it, but I find that the liberal partisans DO tend to be more open and honest. That puts them at a disadvantage, for the true right-wing partisans, by design, never give an inch.

Hence we get stuff like Palin calling in to the Rush Limbaugh show to call for Rahm Emanuel to be fired for using the "r" word. A word that Rush uses so frequently it almost has lost any meaning to him.

We get stuff like the scientists for the coal lobby harping on the "climategate" emails, which show some inclination to jaundice data...... when the coal lobby expressly falsifies it.

It is disheartening, but we in the middle muddle through.

Here's hoping you all in the DC area stay warm and stay electrified.

Posted by: steveboyington | February 5, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Yardstick is at 11.5 inches (base was 3 inches). This is after hovering at the 5-inch mark most of the day.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Bean limericks:

There was a young man named Pierre
With a highly attuned derriere.
On one pot of beans
He'd play "God Save the Queen"
And Franz Schubert's "Marche Militaire".

There was a young fellow from Sparta
A really magnificent farter
On the strength of one bean
He'd fart God Save the Queen
And Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata

Posted by: -pj- | February 5, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Just went out to clear the dog's "relief zone" and felt like I had been transported to the ice planet Hoth. Seriously, I kept looking out for those Wampa critters. Who probably don't even need a relief zone.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 5, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

The outdoor Christmas decorations, TBG. All fourteen trees and the big lighted wreaths in the huge boxes. They will be much more accessible in the garage than the attic, and not cause nearly as much mess in my house.

It will be nice to get the cargo trailer in the garage and out of the carport so I can actually see the back yard.

I assume Mr. T will rearrange tools etc. from the storage room, which he has stuffed full, into the garage. But that's not my project, I'm glad to say.

Posted by: slyness | February 5, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

pj-you have forced me to find this link to Mr. Methane
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFLw8aH-M2w

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 5, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

The prediction of feet of snow instead of the usual inches made the shoppers crazy. But the coming of the Superbowl -- the third busiest shopping day after Thanksgiving and Christmas -- made them hilarious. Every cart had milk and eggs (until they ran out) toilet paper and... Doritos! Suddenly, guacamole was a staple!

Posted by: fmjk | February 5, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of beans:

Two guys are playing golf -- a Japanese and an American. The Japanese man, getting ready to tee off, begins talking into his thumb.

The American says, 'What are you doing?'

The Japanese man says: 'Oh, don't worry. With microtechnology, I have a microphone inserted in my thumb. I was just recording a message.'

The two men go on playing golf. All of a sudden, the American farts.

The Japanese man looks over at him.

'Oh,' says the American. 'Don't worry, I'm just receiving a fax.'

Posted by: omnigood | February 5, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Doctor, "What seems to be the problem?"

Patient, "Doc, I've got the farts. I mean I fart all the time,"

The Doctor nods, "Hmm."

Patient, "My farts do not stink and you can't hear them. It's just that I fart all the time. Look, we've been talking here for about 10 minutes and I've farted five times. You didn't hear them and you don't smell them, did you?"

"Hmm," says the Doctor,
He picks up his pad and writes out a prescription.

The patient is thrilled "Great doc. This prescription, will it really clear up my farts?"

"No," sighs the Doctor, "The prescription is to clear your sinuses. Next week I want you back here for a hearing test."

Posted by: omnigood | February 5, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

I know that this is an epic snowstorm and everything, but isn't it possible that the television stations are going a tad bit overboard with the coverage? I dunno. But about the twelfth time you have seen someone stick a ruler into the snow it sorta loses its thrill for me.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 5, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

A gentleman walked into a diner and says to the waitress, "I'll have a set of headlights and four hubcaps."

This confused the waitress, but she wrote it down and went to check with the cook.

The cook replies, "That is just old short-order slang. What he wants is two eggs overeasy and a stack of four pancakes.

The waitress says, "I'll fix him!" and serves him a bowl of beans.

"Hey, this aint what I ordered," he bellows.

"Well, I thought while you were waiting for spare parts, you might want to gas up"

Posted by: omnigood | February 5, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Yikes, frosti! The human boom box.

Posted by: -pj- | February 5, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

And on that note...I think I may post a new kit with some pix. I just went with my neighbor Angus and his dog, Crow, and the little Angus-offsprang Josie into the teeth of the face of the maw of the howling gale. Actually it's kind of nice outside at the moment. You wouldn't know it was the end of the world, just on first glance.

Posted by: joelache | February 5, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh, goody! Pitchers! Kewl!

Thanks, Mr. A! Glad to see the grid is intact in your 'hood.

Posted by: MsJS | February 5, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

I wanna see the weather hyper go out when it's a foot and a half and stick a twelve inch ruler into the snow. Then start shaking his arm acting like he's trying to lift it out of the snow. Then suddenly his arm comes free sans ruler and glove and he falls on his bum. He looks to the camera looking scared out of his wits and says "Sit, did you get that."


the missing letter is 8.

Posted by: omnigood | February 5, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Clearly, Joel, you have successfully terrified the snowy maelstrom into submission. Or at least scared it over here into Virginia.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 5, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

This snow is so sticky that there's actually a couple of inches on the top of the yardstick, like a little ski cap.

Gnight folks.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

I know TBG. Let's hope the power lines hold.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 5, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

The Mighty Mudge: he ventures into the dark heart of wingnuttery, so you don't have to.

RD, regarding television and snowstorms, the local stations all seem to take it as an excuse to go on autopilot, and not do any real work, such as reporting actual news. I still get a laugh remembering a storm sometime back in the '90s, when a forecast major snowstorm fizzled. One of the evening news shows (channel 7, I think) had obviously planned their entire broadcast around what they had apparently planned to call "The Blizzard of '92," or some such (I don't remember the actual year). Instead, the broadcast featured reporters standing around on dry streets saying, basically, "Nothing happening here." The funniest thing was the graphic they kept repeating, complete with dramatic music, and an ominous voiceover that announced "The Snow of '92."

Posted by: rashomon | February 5, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday after work I went to a couple of grocery stores. The parking lots were packed more than the night before Thanksgiving and the checkout lines were about 10 deep. This morning I went to one of the stores to pick up some newspapers. Usually there's one line open in the morning and not much of a line. This morning there were four lines open with about five people in each line.

Tonight I went to the same grocery stores between 4:30 and 5:00 pm when the snow had been falling for about six hours and was just starting to stick to the roads. There were few people in the store and lots of items on the shelves. Panic? Nah.

Posted by: -pj- | February 5, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Joel has posted a few pics. Something for both dog and cat people. Not to mention unidentified but vaguely ominous bird people.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 5, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

nuke it!

Posted by: MsJS | February 5, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

I measure 9 inches, more or less. My fifth shovel today and I am glad to make a dent even though tomorrow will be insane.

Very heavy and very wet. Not cold. For shovels four and five I shoveled in Croc barefoot. Felt better than wet socks.

I plan to shovel once before midnight. Then, give over to nature.

And, this to report: the sweep and swoosh and then creak, squeak of snow-heavy 40 foot bamboo...lovely sound. Tempted to keep window open to hear it. But. Not.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 5, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

New kit...

Posted by: joelache | February 5, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

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