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Porch Season 2010!!!!!

I do declare it: Porch Season opens today. Obviously this is controversial. There will be snipes that Porch Season actually opened several days ago, what with the balmy temperatures and sunshine, to which I must point out that I am sick and tired of people questioning the judgment and perception of the Commissioner of Porching. It ain't Porch Season until the Commish says so. And yesterday, which conceivably could have been the start of the season, the Commish was in his cubicle, busy, typing up a story.

What do I like about being the Porching Commissioner? The extraordinary power, obviously. The sense of practically being in control of the weather.

What don't I like? The crushing responsibility. The burden of always having to be the grown-up, the arbiter, the sanctioner, the one who has to make the difficult call between "Yes, now," and "No, not yet."

Sometimes I just want to be like other people.

Now, on to meteorology: The Post says the high today in DC (and by that I think they mean at National) will be 64, but is going with 68 and sunny at 3 p.m. The Capital Weather Gang says low to mid 60s, and cloudy. Anything above about 63 degrees and the porching becomes not just possible but borderline obligatory. You might argue that the rain in the forecast "puts a damper" (get it) on the picture, to which I'd respond: porches have roofs. I never said it was Deck Season, ya dig?

Fact: I'm seeing flowers. True, they're mostly on my boxer shorts, BUT -- just take a stroll and you'll see the crocuses are croaking up a storm. The star magnolias are warming up with their fuzzy buds. The forsythias are dying to bloom after a brutal winter.

Another compelling argument for Day 69 as the Porch Season opener: It has happened before. It's almost always right around now that I get out my starter's pistol.

There is, however, one argument against making a move toward serious porching. It is that my yard is trashed. It's just grim and repulsive and dispiriting. Snowmaggedon crushed all the bushes and trees. It looks like someone has re-enacted the Battle of the Somme out there.

Philosophical question: Does "doing yardwork" include hiring other human beings to take care of it?

I'll ponder this -- on the porch!

By Joel Achenbach  |  March 10, 2010; 7:37 AM ET
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Hard to get in the spirit of Pitching Season with 24" of snow still in my yard. I did go biking on Friday so that season has started.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 10, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

SCC: Porching Season. Danger Droid autocorrect.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 10, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

SCC^2: DANG autocorrect.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 10, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Forget about porching--being able to walk the dog without wearing gloves and earmuffs this week has made me positively giddy.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 10, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Should I take a photo of my blooming daffodils and post it? That might be dangerous.

I may have to strangle Mr. T: he got in touch with his electrician friend who said yes, he needed two cables in the trench to wire two cable boxes in the garage. He only put ONE cable in the trench he dug last Saturday. AARRRGGHH!!! This morning he covered the trench (and my plants) with plastic so the rain wouldn't make it muddy. AARRRGGHH again.

Posted by: slyness | March 10, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Given that the infallibility of the Commissioner is an established dogma, I accept without contestation that ancillary confirmations of his rulings are redundant.

Nevertheless, it might interest the community to note that as of yesterday I have officially abandoned my wintertime sweaters. It is common knowledge around my workplace and domicile that once the sweaters have been abandoned not even a freak ice-storm will prompt their return.

The small segment of my hindbrain that controls all things sartorial has spoken.

There shall be no more sweaters until some ill-defined date in the fall when an equally powerful compulsion will force me to don them once more. And the eternal cycle will continue.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 10, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

The dog started porching season last Saturday. But as I've mentioned before, our porch is really a sunroom so we do get to use it earlier and later than we would a true porch. It's nice that there's more daylight and I can see little green sprouts emerging in the gardens. We haven't reached the 60's yet officially but it's been close enough for spring fever to break out. Yardwork here is a mix of "S" and me and the guy who comes to fertilize the lawn. But we don't have any storm damage to clean up so it's fairly easy.

Posted by: badsneakers | March 10, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

I shall consider this non-year-round business of Porching having a finite season, this Friday evening, as I expect then to sit upon my personal private little porch at Uncle Billy's Hilo Bay Hotel, sipping a Longboard Lager or perhaps a Fire Rock Ale, listening to the sexually provocative calls of the invasive coqui frogs. I may even sleep in on Saturday morning, unless there is another tsunami warning.

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 10, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Let maddness begin,porching season ahhhhh YES!!!
Of course porching season is followed by kayaking season and fishing season.Last week in west by god,amongst all that snow,I checked on my Canadian night crawlers who have been spending the winter in my frig. And I am happy to report,they are still alive!!!!! It will only be a matter of time,before me, the worms and my kayak and hopefully my kayaking buddy are on the river.After this tough winter I am oh so ready.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 10, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

The home page touts a repackaged AP article about comments by Supreme Court Chief Justice Robers [sic]. More signs that the Post has cut too deeply on its copy-editing budget.

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 10, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Provocative for YOU, SciTim...Frogs don't do it for me. It's those honking geese that make me know...concupiscent.

Posted by: joelache | March 10, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Mudge! Great response to a question. I could see how that could be. Forgive the long explanation, but I personally rarely, just eat a piece of meat that is served without incorporating into a dish after cutting up or grinding (etc.). Last night, I was going to treat a friend with a well cut ribeye steak, but, alas, friend had to skip it because of work.

So, there I was with so much steak and only myself to feed. (taking advantage of $4.99 ribeye bonein at Safeway). I made my usual herb/garlic/ginger/soy/pepper marinade and let it soak for 45 minutes and made some wild rice/long grain mix, some sliced mushrooms in butter and marsala and the asparagus that I had to have. I tend to poach my asparagus in oil , vinegar, sea salt and pepper and use the remaining moisture for dressings. This time, I just let the sautee pan go very hot and scorched them a bit, but the retained the red wine vinegar flavor.

If I do a steak, I do it indoors--smoke alarm be damned. I have a grill pan that gets nice and hot and, having cut the steaks at about 1 and 1/3", I do 3 minutes per side and then pop the pan and steak into the oven at 450 for 3 to 5 minutes to touch.

While that is going, I pour the remaining marinade into a saute pan and blend up my own sauce.

I plated the rice and asparagus and put the mushrooms on the center. Once I pull the steak, I let it rest on the mushrooms for about 5 minutes and sauce the steak.

Here is the problem, Mudge, at this point, 1/2 my asparagus has been eaten by the chef.

With all that food, what I really want is the asparagus. In fact, I am thinking that I live like a king when I can have some asparagus or zucchini sauteed and cooled. then served along side some of my own marinated mushrooms and roasted red peppers topped with a few shavings of aged Asiago.

I am thinking that my desires are a bit of what I liked when I was young; a bit of what I have learned over the years as I grow older; a bit of being cheap and learning how to make it and make it better at home; and a bit of what just tastes right to me (as you so tactfully pointed out).

Posted by: russianthistle | March 10, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Mudged myself. Again. Can it be this simple: I just have the golden touch [read: curse]. Amazing. Well, moving on.

Joel, I offer you a piece of evidence from the natural world that indeed, Commish is wise (in declaring Porching Season to have begun): last night when I got off the bus at my park-and-ride in Waldorf, the symphony from the tree frogs in the big open field/forest/wetland adjacent to the parking lot was deafening. I have never heard them that loud before. Quite thrilling, actually. (I guess it was frogs; I can never quite distinguish between them and the crickets/cicadas or whatever they are.)

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

cicadas = sidewalk carpeting

Posted by: russianthistle | March 10, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Sunday, while walking the dog with ScienceKid#1, a woodpecker's jack-hammer could be heard echoing through the woody suburbs of Columbia.

A question: when a woodpecker is jack-hammering, what do the other woodpeckers do in lieu of leaning on a shovel?

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 10, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

A plague of crickets

Posted by: russianthistle | March 10, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I have a confession to make: last weekend, Safeway had asparagus on sale for $1.28/pound, and I forgot to tell the Boodle. At that price we had to buy two pounds, blanched them, and put them on a cookie sheet in the freezer, for later retrieval and grilling.

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

[Implied Soup Nazi voice] No porching for me!

Posted by: Yoki | March 10, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

78 degrees here yesterday. Without doubt, short and T-shirt weather. Tender buds and flowering trees erupting all over town.

We were out in the evening, lots of other people were out in the evening last night--full parking lots told the story. We went for a small meal of Chinese food and then *I* just had to stop at Half-Price Books before getting my husband home so he could get online, so he could go to work for Wells at 7:30 p.m. Apparently, deer were out, too. By day's light this morning, what we mistook for door hoof scratch marks in my hood is just more deer hair. *my mood is so flat today*

So, Joel these fashionista (fashionisto?) images of you come to mind:,27250706

Posted by: laloomis | March 10, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. No porching for me either. The cat has started porching on its own personal south-west oriented porch, on what is otherwise called a window sill, but our patio is still covered with ice. Nacht.
But I dragged the gas BBQ out of the shed last night and it will be put to good use today. Yes! BBQ season will officially open!

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 10, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

SCC: door hoof...deer hoof

Posted by: laloomis | March 10, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

They do more fun things, SciTim. They're not on city pay.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 10, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Yard work is yard work no matter who does it, so pay away!

I've been acquiring a taste for sushi. So far, the seaweed wrap is the part I sometimes don't like. It's much stronger tasting some places. I don't know if that makes them more authentic or just means they need to check expiration dates.

Posted by: -dbG- | March 10, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Good (late) morning, y'all.

“There is, however, one argument against making a move toward serious porching. It is that my yard is trashed. It's just grim and repulsive and dispiriting. “

Mr. A, there are vast parts of North America in which late winter/early spring always looks like this. In TWC, this transitional period can last four or five weeks. In fact, it looks that way right now. It is considered normal and will eventually pass.

I encourage you to set aside the grim, the repulsive and the dispiriting and instead peruse the pages of the very newspaper for which you so valiantly toil in search of inspiration.

Hmmm, “Inspectors to examine runaway Prius”; “Republicans work to split Dems in House, Senate”; “Massa staffers reported groping”; “Washington Wizards fall to Houston Rockets for their fourth consecutive loss”.

On second thought, back to the porch.

Posted by: MsJS | March 10, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

As the snow retreats I can see the full extent of the damage to the Vast Padouk Estate. I was warned to expect damage to the shrubs and trees by Professor Higgins:

Still, I am shocked by just how grievous some of this damage has been. The magnolia tree lost two major branches, the oaks quite a lot, and those weird bushes behind the house that turn red in the fall look like little herbaceous pancakes.

The lawn itself has an alarming number of muddy spots. Or, perhaps I should say the mud field is spotted with sporadic outbreaks of lawn. If I lean over I can hear the nascent weeds plotting world domination.

Finally there is the trash. The blustery weather that accompanied the snow embedded Chinese take-out containers, empty snow-melt bags, and every single of of those stupid free newspapers that periodically blanket the development.

I spent much of Saturday dealing with this, and, as a result, the yard is starting to look presentable. Although I can still hear the weeds.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 10, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Johnny Carson said the following things about death:

"For three days after death, hair and fingernails continue to grow, but phone calls taper off."


"I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food, He was healthy right up to the time he killed himself."

On Friday morning, at noon, we asked one of the women at the front desk of the Holiday Inn to print off directions and a map for the Texas State Cemetery, around 7th Street in Austin, since I'd found #62 on Texas Monthly's Bucket List minutes before in our room on the 14th floor.

We had had good luck the evening before, coming directly back to the room after the Heilemann-Halperin presentation, when we requested from a different woman at the front desk at the time, directions and maps to Cisco's and the nearest Kerbey Lane breakfast spots.

Unfortunately, something weird happened to the map and driving directions to the cemetery on Friday at noon. The directions were O.K., not great, and the map printed the area south of the cemetery, not really the cemetery itself. While driving there, we accidentally overshot 7th Street and ended up turning right on 9th. It wasn't too hard finding the cemetary after several turns on successive streets with Spanish names. We ended up parking on a hill overlooking 7th, as it turned out, and alighted from my husband's SUV.

We began walking. We walked much of the cemetery's western perimeter, heading downhill toward 7th Street. We walked all of the cemetery's southern perimeter along 7th Street, the area that I had seen earlier that morning when we were driving toward Cisco's. At the southeastn corner of the cemetery, we ran into a state employee marking the crosswalk with a wheeled paint device. We asked him where an entrance might be. He didn't know.

So we turned left and began to walk the cemetery's eastern perimeter. Still no entrance. We had passed some small gates with big chains and locks on them during our stroll past the cemetery's high fence. Finally, I asked my husband if we'd ever find an entrance. At which point, he calmly replied, "It seems you have to be dead in order to get in there."

You know, my husband is my comic relief. I travel with him for comic relief. Just imagine the scene in our hotel room on Thursday night.

The meal at the Salt Lick had been huge and we had come away with leftovers--having read about the barbecue joint well in advance. No need for a dinner.


Posted by: laloomis | March 10, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse


Yes dbG sushi can exert a sly and irresistible pull. I became enslaved at a local sushi bar. Because, you know, sometimes they give you free samples.

First they start you out with a few California Rolls. Heck, some folks don't even consider those real sushi. Then you start moving into the serious stuff like tuna. The fatty kind. And next thing you know you've developed a taste for eel.

And it always ends the same way. You find yourself staggering out into the merciless light of day broke, bleary-eyed, and reeking of wasabi.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 10, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

RD, I don't know that I'll ever develop a taste for eel. Too Princess Bride. I don't want to associate wasabi with iocane powder.

Posted by: -dbG- | March 10, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

All white here on the left coast this morning. And cold enough that it isn't melting. Only less than a half inch so it will be gone this afternoon.
Got some of that $1.29 aspargrass Friday. Saute in a big pan with a tp of butter browned in some
Found on a web site "Cooking for Engineer."

Posted by: bh72 | March 10, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I do like certain kinds of sushi, but after some of the raw stuff sent me reeling to the bathroom (yeah, I know, TMI), I stay with the veggie versions or at least the shrimp or salmon which has been either cooked or "cooked". Trader Joe's sells some wild mushroom sushi which is good, I think.

Wasabi's good, too.

Is it lunchtime yet?

Posted by: -ftb- | March 10, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

We had brought a small cooler and packed the leftovers, mostly a variety of meats, in ice once we had checked it at the hotel, 45 minutes after we had left Driftwood.

Earlier in the evening, we thought and talked about buying a bottle of wine and taking it up to the room. But even a couple of drinks--any kind of alcohol--too often gives me a headache the next morning. We ended up at the Chevron service station next to the hotel, having driven straight "home" from the LBJ Auditorium, where we purchased what seems to be becoming my late-night beverage of choice in the absence of dinner: a large bottle of chocolate milk. Since we were on a mini-vacation of sorts, too, we purchased a king-sized Hershey's dark chocolate candy bar, king-sized now meaning 1/4 of an inch thicker, but no longer than, the regular-sized Hershey's dark chocolate candy bar.

We got comfortable. We watched some CBS. We watched the first story on Austin local news at 10 p.m. We switched to CNN for about a minute. We turned off the lights. We pulled back the drapes. We pulled the two chairs in the room--a desk chair and an stuffed chair--close to the four large panes of our splendid picture window for a better look at the city lights and a boat or two trawling the river.

I poured the chocolate milk into two small glasses, but there was milk leftover, still in the plastic bottle, I replaced the bottle's plastic lid. My husband broke the candy bar into squares and stacked the squares into two short stacks along the window's ledge. We relaxed deeply, we sipped our beverage. We talked.

Then my husband rose from his chair, nearer to the desk, to finish off the last of the chocolate milk in the plastic bottle. He decided to shake the bottle. But, oddly, he forgot to place his thumb, or any other finger for that matter, on the lid. Not a screw lid, mind you. Next thing you know, there was a fountain of chocolate milk whooshing into the air, spilling across the top of the desk, luckily covered by a plate of glass.

Lights on. Washcloths fetched. Mop-up begun. Luckily, not a drop of milk fell on the floor, or splashed against the wall. Some milk found its way under the glass plate.

So went our Thursday evening in Austin on the 14th floor of the Holiday Inn with a spectacular view overlooking the river and the hills of the city.

-more on the cemetery itself later--

Posted by: laloomis | March 10, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

The bestway to get rid of this eel infatuation RPD is to go eel fishing. I've done that, once. Yes, it was one of those "Let's finish our seventh beer and then we go eel fishing" moment.
The night fishing was quite a bit of fun. We caught a few baiting our lines with chunks of pork liver.
The fishing equipment equipment and clothes covered in first fresh then caked eel slime were not fun.

Or you just watch Schlöndorff's "The Tin Drum".

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 10, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Now that I think of it The Tin Drum includes the second best use of a dead horse head in a movie.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 10, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

My triumphant asparagus planting has led me to pick them and eat them right there in the garden. I expect to begin again soon.

Speaking of beef, saw some on sale. 3/4" steaks thinner than my preference. I need, I believe, temperatures of 1200° at least. 30 seconds per side. Difficult. I also decided I have beef stew too often: I could happily make the same recipe sans beef and enjoy it just as much.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 10, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

RD, if you refer to eels again, please say the following or something similar: "I tried eels and OMG that is awful. Never again." This will keep the price down for us.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 10, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Paul Quarrington's "King Leary" has a fantastic bit about eel fishing early in the narrative.

Posted by: Yoki | March 10, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

In Miami, it's Porsche season. I suspect that some households have front Porsches and back Porsches. Or Ferraris, or BMWs or hot VWs or for those of modest budget, Mazdaspeeds. Sort of remarkable how the driving style changes when you cross the Miami-Dade border.

Regrets to the grounds managers at the Padouk Estate.

A global expert on crocodiles died recently at age 52, of malaria. Plain old malaria, something that used to plague the US. Obit at the NY Times, probably with help from the Times-owned Gainesville Sun.

I'm remembering egg sushi at Narita Airport.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | March 10, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Sushi? We never had sushi back in my sailing days, I can tell you. Well, we *did* have it-- we just called it "bait." And on rare days a sailor could get a helping hand. I remember one time we were crossing the Indian ocean, and all of a sudden all the flying fish came flying aboard. And you could hear some of them hitting the sides of the ship, whap, whap, whap. Seems flying fish aren't the best aerial navigators, and they don't have the best leaping ability. If the sides of your ship are too high, you just get a lot of noise and a school of dazed, concussed mackeral with headaches in your wake. They aren't like bats, you know. Laughed ourselves sick, we did.

I just love the name Schlöndorff. It's so comically awful. It even sounds like a dirty word. If it isn't already Yiddish for something, it ought to be. "That idiot is such a schlöndorff." "He lets his schlöndorff do all his thinking for him." "Murry got in so much trouble he had to hire a schlöndorff to get him out of it."

Yanno, ftb, we haven't had virtual lunch on the Boodle in quite a while. Everybody want to pile into the car and we'll all go out to TBG's club?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 10, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Greivis Vasquez(acc player of the year) and Gary Williams (acc coach of the year) for their awards.It says alot about a coach's loyality to his seniors and his players playing 4 years.It also nice to take the award off of tabacco road for a year......

I am looking forward to the acc and ncaa tournaments to begin.

Don't you think it is about time Gary Williams gets inducted to the college basketball HOF?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 10, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I just finished my lunch, Mudge. Can I come along anyway for the good company?

Posted by: Raysmom | March 10, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Accidentally went eel fishing once.

Was fishing off of GrandpaJS' dock for blowfish or sand sharks when wwwwwwwwwhhoooa, the tug on the line was definitely out of my 9-year-old league. Luckily, a strong relative was nearby and helped me successfully reel the thing in.

It was subsequently smoked and served on crackers during cocktail hour. GrandpaJS paid me $2 for my efforts, which made me the envy of the brothers-and-cousinsJS for at least a week.

Posted by: MsJS | March 10, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

OK you eel lovers, here is the scene in question from "The Tin Drum"-

If you can watch this all the way through and keep eating eels afterward, you're a better man than me, Gunga Din. This film is IMHO the best faithful screen adaptation of a large complex novel ever made by anyone, Schlondorff or not. "The Maltese Falcon" is perhaps more faithful, but that book is much smaller and less complex. Unfortunately the soundtrack on the youtube is not from the film, but the pictures tell the story. The fun starts at about the one minute mark.

Posted by: kguy1 | March 10, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

A VERY good afternoon to the Boodle (and the Commish, too)...

Woohoo! Porch season!

I'm working with the garage door wide open today and lovin' every minute of it. The drawback is that with letting all that sunshine in, there's also a breeze. In other words, I have an infestation of dust devils and keep getting eyefuls of sawdust -- but I ain't complainin'. Sure beats freezing my gnomish rear off in a dimly florescent-lit workshop.

Peace out... :-)

Posted by: martooni | March 10, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Forgot to mention that "The Tin Drum" was banned in Oklahoma in the mid 90's as kiddie porn, if that whets your appetite to see it. The film is many things, powerful, wrenching, funny, absorbing, and at times erotic, but porn it ain't.

Posted by: kguy1 | March 10, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

One of my favorite, and long gone, T shirts was "Bernie's Bait Shop and Sushi Bar."

After the $15 a week food challenge I found myself underwhelmed by meat generally and more appreciative of vegetables, even ones I formerly hated. For me it's all about texture-all manner of roasted veggies are better than the slimy canned mush my MN forebears found edible.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 10, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 10, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Gary Williams' sweat stained suit coat will make it to the Springfield hall before him.

Posted by: russianthistle | March 10, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

SD- your comment about "The Tin Drum" couldn't be more accurate. I saw it when it was first released in the U.S. and, consequently, have never been able to even consider eating eel.

Posted by: rashomon | March 10, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Schlondorff= "Schmeautiful-village?"

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 10, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I've eaten eel both Italian and Japanese style, even after participating in a commercial-type eel fishing expedition in the Mediterranean. Now if it we'd caught a hagfish by mistake, that would put me right off.

Posted by: Yoki | March 10, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Lucky for you your ship had a high freeboard Mudge. Look what happens when you ride a jonboat in "flying fish conditions".

An asian carp right in groin, that's gonna hurt.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 10, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of eels, this reminds me:

"Marriage is like putting your hand into a bag of snakes in the hope of pulling out an eel.
Leonardo da Vinci"

Which is the most touchy-eely approach to marriage I've ever heard of.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 10, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I spent many hours in my formative summers fishing. If the expedition was successful, that also included gutting and cleaning.

About once a summer I'd find I caught half a fish, the other half having been consumed by a larger fish whilst I was reeling in.

I guess if you grow up with it, it's no big deal.

Posted by: MsJS | March 10, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Yoki, mystery solved. The Very Large Puppy is a hagdog.

From wiki:
"Hagfish are long and vermiform, and can exude copious quantities of a slime or mucus ... of unusual composition. When captured and held e.g. by the tail, they secrete the microfibrous slime, which expands into a gelatinous and sticky goo when combined with water; "

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 10, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Hagfish doin' it's thang-

Posted by: kguy1 | March 10, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

All dogs are hagdogs
when they smell pizza; hangdogs
after they ate it.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 10, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse


All dogs are hagdogs
when they smell pizza; hangdogs
when caught eating it...


(The deuce take those paws!
Nose proofreads, paws hit submit,
Tail goes either way...)

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 10, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Shriek, when read figuratively rather than literally, that wiki definition fits many an Ill-In-Oys politician. Rod Blagojevich is probably the most nationally known recent example.

Posted by: MsJS | March 10, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

The daVinci quote sounds much more poetic and melodious in the Italian, Wilbrod. I think it goes something like this: "L'unione è manna ana wifia coma sticka la you mano ina de sacchetto dei serpenti ina de speranza di findetto una bigga eeli."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 10, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I may have gotten some of the declension wrong. I'm such a schlondorff.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 10, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Fair warning: It's hard to want to post here when the Mexican firebush blooms. We had a winter night when the temperature plummeted to 16 degrees, maybe 15. It's a question of whether the Mexican firebush and a number of other leafy plants in our yard survived--at all. If ours didn't survive, then nurseries will have them.

And when they bloom, I plan to knock off here for four to six weeks, maybe eight.

There are things that must be done or that I'd prefer to do given the more balmy days and nights, some I can talk about--such as beading a few pieces of jewelry now that good, strong light is back, and taking long reads under the oak on the patio in the spring warmth--some that I don't want to. I remain mysterious about the latter, but it's all to the good--for me, at least.
No layoffs, no repo man, no house eviction, no invading space aliens, no bubonic plague.

It does look like we shall soon get two new air conditioning units--since the others are ancient, pretty much held together by duct tape and prayers (if I were a praying woman, that is).

And cemeteries don't have to be sad, grim places. They can be funny places--as in haha-funny and odd-funny and the Texas State Cemetery has good bits of both. Whenever I can tell the tale(s), which may not be until Saturday, if then.

Posted by: laloomis | March 10, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: laloomis | March 10, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Man, Mudgers, I'm really glad I wasn't drinking tea when I read your Eyetalian. Woulda been mopping up plenty.

It must be Spring, as I'm feeling the pollen rush. *wiping eyes and blowing nose, yet, somehow, smiling*

Close to only 100 pages to go Imom. It's come to the point where I don't want to put it down. If only the DVDs of the Swedish version would work over here.

Posted by: -ftb- | March 10, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

When my #1 was for a brief time a biology major the kids kept a hagfish in the lab, only displayed and poked at open houses and other fora that could be counted upon to have at least one attendee who'd never heard of such a beast. Gagging and even outright vomiting never failed to ensue. Such larks!

Posted by: Yoki | March 10, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Joel, it's after 3 PM.

If you're still feeling concupiscent, you should consult a doctor.


Posted by: -bc- | March 10, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Greenie, remember that Vasquez originally applied for the NBA draft last year, and didn't like his prospects at that point, then pulled out and came back to MD for his senior year.

He's played great for us, and this season has improved his chances for more than an NBA cup of coffee.

ACC Men's tournament starts tomorrow night, should be fun.

As far as porching season goes, I spent part of Sunday evening sunning out on my deck, enjoying a beverage and a barrage of photons.

I noted some tulip shoots poking out through the snow while out and about in the 'hood yesterday. Don't anyone in the DC area drain the snow blowers just yet, lest ye jinx us with another two feet of flakes.

I washed my cars -- that was as much tempting of fate as I care to do.


Posted by: -bc- | March 10, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

That's all right, feel free to not.

Posted by: Yoki | March 10, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

We still have a swatch of white stuff in the back yard where the sun never gets to this time of year. I'm hoping that will be gone by next week, so we can maybe put down some weed-n-feed. The plants, especially the pencil hollies, in the front garden took a real pounding, as did the arbor vitae along the carport. Hoping to finally get to the 'Burg this weekend to see how that house fared. They got pounded almost as bad as us last month.

Posted by: ebtnut | March 10, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

From the food chat today:

icing a cake: How do I make pink icing to write "Happy Birthday" on a chocolate cake?

Joe Yonan: First you have to grow pink sugar. It's an incredibly long, drawn-out process. Sugar, for those of you who haven't grown it, doesn't turn pink until the third year. So you won't be able to get this until summer 2013 at the earliest.

Posted by: Yoki | March 10, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Sigh, tried to post on the theological meaning of concupiscence but the comment was, let's see if this Wallace Stevens pome goes through:

The Emperor of Ice-Cream

Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring flowers in last month's newspapers.
Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

Take from the dresser of deal,
Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet
On which she embroidered fantails once
And spread it so as to cover her face.
If her horny feet protrude, they come
To show how cold she is, and dumb.
Let the lamp affix its beam.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | March 10, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Trying again. Why? I wrote a paper on concupiscence in college that was published in an obscure journal. Here is the thesis, IFRC

For Catholics concupiscence is not one of the seven deadly sins. In other words, concupiscence is not lust. Concupiscence has two meanings. Broadly, concupiscence is the yearning of the soul for good. In a narrow and exacting sense, concupiscence means a desire of the lower appetite contrary to reason. This "lower" meaning is troublesome not because of desire per se, but because the object desired is problematic.

(Will this go through? I took out the cool words that bothered the PurityBot, including ard0r,which is a very good word....)

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | March 10, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

The winter, being cold, saw my door was open, swooped down and tried to come inside. It brought some wet with it.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 10, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure I'm getting this. Does the "lower" meaning of concupiscence have anything to do with schlondorffen?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 10, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

PurityBot is a good term, CqP. I always kind of liked Bowdlerbot.

Posted by: rashomon | March 10, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

What if you go Canadian? Ardour. Or circumlocute? Ardent feeling.

Posted by: Yoki | March 10, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm confused, that's fer sher. Not that it's especially out of character fer me, mind you.

To take Yoki's 4:38pm example from the food chat: Is this person experiencing "lower" concupiscence with pink sugar as the object of her desire, or is she a schlondorff for thinking pink writing on chocolate is appealing?

Posted by: MsJS | March 10, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday would have been a good day to open porch season here, or possibly some time last week. Today our March wind has arrived. If past experience is any guide, it will blow very hard until sometime in May or June when the temperatures approach triple digits. There are a lot of potential rain clouds being pushed very fast by the wind. Although the sun is present, and even shiny, that wind might blow us off the porch.

RD, I loved your description of the mud, and plotting nascent weeds. It sounds just like my ecosystem. Of course, yours will probably be tamed into a lawn at some point. I'm just aiming for drained and mowed, and not certain when I'll get there. It is good to have goals.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 10, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

MsJS, as long as the writing is on chocolate, the color doesn't matter. Puce, burnt sienna, raw umber - my focus will be on the underlying chocolate.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 10, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Option 2, I think, MsJS, and also just a complete ignoramus who hasn't heard of that new technology "food coloring." I couldn't blame Yonan for rolling his eyes.

Posted by: Yoki | March 10, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Before I fully backboodle, have to say I started my version of porching season the other day, sat on the garden swing with a coffee and enjoyed the beautiful sunshine and mild temps. Because the swing sits in a protected corner of the yard, it felt even warmer than the 10c temp. Even better forecast for the next week at least has the daily temps holding around that level - although the rains move in for the weekend.

Posted by: dmd3 | March 10, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I-mom: I agree. Which begs the question, why write anything at all? Like the recipient needs reminding or something?

Yoki: Not only does the person lack awareness of food coloring but (I'm assuming she's local to DC) I'll bet the nearest Safeway sells pink cake decorator right next to the other colors.

She reminds me of that ill-fated day in the fall of '92 when GHW Bush went to a supermarket photo op and was amazed by the stuff the rest of us already took for granted.

Posted by: MsJS | March 10, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Urban legend and all that. Sorry.

Posted by: MsJS | March 10, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. Let's see how the Boodle reacts to this:

Apparently, the Governor of Utah has signed a law called "Criminal Homocide and Abortion Amendments" which also apparently previously applied to miscarriages caused by 'reckless' acts.

I do wish these people would take up a hobby. Like knitting, perhaps. Which reminds me. I really have to finish all those projects I started, but never finished all those decades ago.

Toodley Boodley.

Posted by: -ftb- | March 10, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

ftb, heavens knows I'm not a lawyer, but how is this law constitutional? Or is that the point, to get it before SCOTUS? It goes without saying that the pain and suffering of women who have had a miscarriage will only be heightened by enforcement of this, but how are they going to know, are OB/GYNs now going to rat out their patients? Good grief, what country are we living in again? There are times I'd be happy to go back to the original 13 colonies.

Posted by: badsneakers | March 10, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

ftb, I react exactly the same way as I do to all the boneheaded, mean-spirited, bigoted, misogynistic, homophobic carp the Alberta government does or proposes.

Posted by: Yoki | March 10, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Just try ardor, CqP.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 10, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Sneaks and Yoki, I can't tell you how many times I've been thankful that I am (and have been for quite some time) completely out of estrogen.

These laws have *nothing* to do with being "pro-life" and everything to do with the absolute control of women.

*muttering expletives*

Posted by: -ftb- | March 10, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

porching? i just passed a 10 foot mound of snow on nebraska ave. still...

there's quite a bit of damage in my hood too - trees and fences damaged by fallen trees... the safety island at the intersection was scooped up by the plows and now lies on the grass by the side of the road... potholes galore! but i was able to sleep with the windows open last nite (extra blankets of course). so nice to sleep breathing fresh almost-spring like air.


Posted by: mortii | March 10, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I am just incredulous. How can people still think like that?

Posted by: Yoki | March 10, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Advocates for Youth's take on the bill:

Posted by: MsJS | March 10, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, maybe in Utah there aren't enough women of strength and character to speak up about what glassbowls their lawmakers are? Are Mormon women generally subservient? I'm glad I live where I do, for sure.

Posted by: badsneakers | March 10, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

I've been steaming all day about the Catholic bishops who may sink health reform:

Utah is very right wing Republican. Mormonism is a patriarchal system, and in general women are there to serve men. It says a lot when Christian fundamentalists think that Mitt Romney being Mormon is a reason not to support him for President.

I don't get it. If you think abortion is immoral, don't have one. But you don't get to decide for everyone.

Posted by: seasea1 | March 10, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm so proud of our junior senator-

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 10, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

I saw a You-tube clip the other day of that Utah bill's sponsor on CNN trying to claim that this bill will not 'criminalize miscarriage' but only make it illegal to do back-alley abortions in Utah. He was not convincing. The interviewer (I think it was Rick Sanchez) suggested things ranging from the not wearing a seatbelt and having a miscarriage (sponsor says it wouldn't qualify as a crime under his bill) to smoking (sponsor says not a crime, though he obviously disapproved) to illegal drugs and miscarriage, which even the sponsor admitted would qualify under his bill. So it is admittedly, even by the sponsor, not just about intentional abortions performed by non-physicians. Though I think there are only about 2 or 3 places you can legally get an abortion in Utah. What a hellhole.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | March 10, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Some salty language, but I couldn't resist an Onion analysis of cable news with bears!

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 10, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Seasea, the new Utah bill goes to great pains to define what is a legal abortion. See the link I provided earlier.

The kicker is that most other terminated pregnancies, including most miscarriages, are now defined as illegal abortions.

Further, it puts the burden on the pregnant woman to prove that her abortion (or miscarriage) is legal under the new statute, rather than the traditional assumption that stuff is legal unless it smells funny.

It's not just about abortion. A pregnant woman who engages in any activity deemed "reckless" and then later miscarries is now potentially criminally liable.

Advocates for Youth feels Utah may back down if highly ridiculed. Apparently they backed off eliminating the 12th grade in a cost cutting move due to massive ridicule by the rest of the nation.

Posted by: MsJS | March 10, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Up with women!

On a lighter note, I have to confess that when I logged in this morning (my time) and saw the new Kit, I read the title as "Perch Season!" And that was OK with me. I no longer fish, but did when I was a girl, and in my part of the world we don't have porches much, so it all made sense to me.

Posted by: Yoki | March 10, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

My father informed me today of the following startling genealogical tidbits:

* I am the 29'th great grand son of Aethelred the Unready
* Sir Alan la Zouche, Lord Zouche of Ashby, born 1205, is my 21st great-grandfather (maybe)

Despite the sudden sense of specialness and aristocracy flowing over me like a great tidal wave of mildew spores or royal jelly, I am more enamored of this splendid blurb I found today concerning my storytelling:

"Offbeat, unique, a powerhouse of talent."

Fortunately, I have learned to keep this stupendous power in check, for the betterment and safety of all mankind.

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 10, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

A friend has a bit of an ethical but totally hypothetical problem. Let's say a cook plans on doing a ham-peas-carrots-celery béchamel sauce on vol-au-vent\pastry shells, a kind of a ham à la king if you like. If the cook loses more than half his/her béchamel to a miscalculated microwave cycle (said cook wouldn't dream of doing béchamel without his/her MW, but the MV is still new yet) that sees the sauce spilling over in the circular glass tray. The tray wasn’t really pristine to start with but it wasn’t gross either. Would it be ethical to swish the liquid from the tray back to the glass pot? I’m not talking scrubbing the nasty bits and all but just pouring back as much as possible of the thick béchamel back into its original pot.
There could be some serious loss of béchamel so the cook might have to add a couple of cup of milk, whip the thing vigorously then add 2 beaten egg yolks and a 100g of gruyère and call it a Mornay sauce. Which happen to be great on vol-au-vent. But yet, the pour back conundrum remains.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 10, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Perch season
Lerch season (Addams)
Birch season (beer and trees and saunas, please)

Borsht season (lovely color)
Rorsch (sach) season

Torch season (Diana Krall and Blossom Dearie)

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | March 10, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

If the bechamel is hot and will be cooked further, I say go for it.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 10, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Wheezy I saw that interview the other day as well, I was not convinced. Hopefully there is a very loud public outcry.

I do not have a porch, do not eat perch, but for me it is definitely garden season, and I fully believe that hiring someone to do your yardwork counts as 'doing yardwork', in fact I highly encourage it!

Posted by: dmd3 | March 10, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Perch is a lovely fish. It smells nice and has nice stripy colours. White, green, yellow and red, what's wrong with that?
Its white flaky flesh tastes great too, one of the few freshwater fish I really enjoy. Fishing for perch is one of my guilty pleasures. (grownups with equipment worth obscene amounts of money aren't supposed to fish perch...)

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 10, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

So, you are practically a Breton dear Tim.
Do you have an inordinate fondness for butter and crêpes/pancakes?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 10, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm still trying to catch up, but how can you kick off Porching Season without...

Football Tiaras!!!


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 10, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Oh, looks like you all had a great time. Love your captions, too.

My snowpeas are finally sprouting in the garden (I planted some on Presidents Day). We had a nice warm snap, then it got cold again. We even had a few minutes of snow Monday.

Posted by: seasea1 | March 10, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Shriek, I am just not a fan of fish, my parents would travel the 30 km to Lake Erie to get fresh Perch though, they loved it.

I know I should eat fish, but have never been able to acquire a taste for it. I am odd.

Posted by: dmd3 | March 10, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Tim's a Breton? Queen Elizabeth will be so pleased.

Oh, wait...

I wonder what it would take to get Joel to get out the zapper. That 8:48's gotta go. Money? Tears? Groveling? Large caliber weapons? Lemme think, lemme think...

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | March 10, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

A tragic Zamboni accident:

Posted by: yellojkt | March 10, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Me too, DMD -- odd this way. Fish is a natural experience or a biology project/fish gutting session in the kitchen sink, I have NEVER recovered from watching caddis fly larvaes squirm or even grasshoppers jump emerge from the split stomachs. And, then I am supposed to EAT THE STUFF? Six of seven children were unscathed. Me? CANNOT EAT IT. EVER. Especially salmon. Faint, practically from the look and smell. Still, I cook the heart health stuff for my progeny.

Nothing is prettier than a cutthroat trout in a deep clear pool, save perhaps the flash or greyling in an alpine tarn or even the rainbow freckles of the most lovely, dappled trout....just cannot eat this.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | March 10, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Parkian, take two servings of Tartar sauce and call me in the morning.

Posted by: russianthistle | March 10, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

RT -- I eat pork and beef without a problem but I do know pigs ae very very smart. And, rode dairy cows after a fashion, as do dairy kids everywhere.

So, you may have my servings of fish now and forever. I have tried fish capsules --wild salmon -- but I burb the stuff. Blech and TMI.

The other factor about fish is likely the teasponful of coddle-iver oyle daily until circa 1974 has something to do with this too.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | March 10, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

CqP, you're not supposed to look at the fish, just cover it with sauce or breadcrumbs or whatever and don't think about it. If I ever really looked at raw oysters or cherrystone clams, I'd never ever eat them! ;-)

Waiting to pick up #2, her plane is late so ETA is after midnight. I think I'm bringing the dog, he'll be very excited, I hope my car survives the pandemonium. Any bets on how much sleep I'll get tonight?

Posted by: badsneakers | March 10, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Whoever much or little, bad, I bet it will be a happy sleep.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | March 10, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Aethelred the Unready, is it Tim? I'll bet you weren't prepared for that revelation.

DMD, as a victim of pre-Vatican II Catholic school cafeteria food, I couldn't stand fish as a kid. Every Friday, there were overcooked, dried-out fish sticks for lunch. And then my mother would prepare some form of overcooked, dried-out fish for dinner -- I think it was the dread of parasites that seemed to be typical of 1950s cookbooks; the pork recipes were awful, too. She also was a member of that that cook-vegetables-to-mush school of cuisine.

I finally tasted properly prepared fish at about age 12 when a friend's father brought home some rainbow trout he'd caught, and his mother sauted them in a skillet in the backyard. Smelled great and, after much coaxing from his mom, tasted great. What a revelation.

But I still can't stand the taste of overcooked fish. It literally makes me gag. How anyone can eat a tuna casserole or patty melt is beyond me.

Posted by: rashomon | March 10, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

CqP, my mother had to take cod liver oil as a child and swore she would NEVER do that to her children. And she didn't!

We didn't eat much fish at home. Fish sticks in the elementary school cafeteria were among the more palatable offerings, so yes, I ate them.

Fish for us was what you got at fish camps. Any kind of fish you could want, as long at it was fried. Even today, people go to Calabash on the NC coast just to eat at one of the dozen fish camps in that tiny town. I don't know how many of those restaurants actually buy the catch from the fishing boats based in the town. You can still meet the boats as they come back in and buy from the fishermen.

Posted by: slyness | March 10, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, CqP, just a joke.

Posted by: russianthistle | March 10, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

We did the Friday fish thing too rashomon, but surprisingly fish was one thing my mom didn't overcook (vegetables were always mush). The one fish I couldn't get near was finnan haddie, the smell of it was awful - I don't like anything smoked!

Yes Mudge, it will be happy as it's the last night I have to sleep with a dog, altho' #2 will probably get that honor and I'll sleep on the sofa. SIL is still in CR. He's buying a boat so he can do charters next year (speaking of fish!) and it will take another week or two to finalize the deal.

Posted by: badsneakers | March 10, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

RT -- I took it as a joke. Didn't mean to catch you in my fish rant. We all have our failings and fish is mine.

I find yeast that is not expired! Will try the no need bread stuff in my small Dru Ware (Holland) cast iron small dutch oven. Yoki put Ivansmom on to this; now tis my turn.

This is Dru Ware:

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | March 10, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

rashomon,in my area the "patty" in pattymelt is hamburger -- and really good, too.

Oh wait, you are maybe thinking of a tuna melt? Something I have never had -- fish and cheese seems all wrong.

Posted by: nellie4 | March 10, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

since porching season is officially open, this is appropriate:

feel free to stop by en masse. our porch could accommodate all of the boodlers. of course, everyone would have to bring a paint brush, or any power appliance of choice, as the honey do list needs to be punched out.

Posted by: -jack- | March 10, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Just to threadjack, I am trying to pick which book to read next and I have narrowed it down to ten novels and ten non-fiction books. The novels are:

Ridley Walker by Russell Hoban
Florida Roadkill by Tim Dorsey
Shadow of the Giant by Orson Scott Card
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clark
Heydey by Kurt Andersen
The Bridges of Madison County by Robet James Waller
The System Of The World by Neal Stephenson
Jittebug Perfume by Tom Robbins

Leave a comment on my blog or in the boodle (I will count them equally no matter how I count them) picking no more than three.


Posted by: yellojkt | March 10, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I did mean tuna melt, nellie. Patty melts are wondrously good when prepared well.

Posted by: rashomon | March 10, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Here are the non-fiction choices:

Fat Man In The Middle Seat by Jack Germond
Googled by Ken Auletta
The Grand Idea by Joel Achenbach
Collapse by Jared Diamond
The Eden Express by Mark Vonnegut
Under the Banner Of Heaven by Jon Krakauer
I'll Sleep When I'm Dead by Crystal Zevon
Let Freedom Ring by Sean Hannity
Fiasco by Thomas Ricks
The Battle For America 2008 by Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson

Reasons for why I should read a particular book will be especially appreciated.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 10, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

CqP and rt,
PETA has taken to calling fish 'sea kittens' to emphasize that they are just as cute as any other animal which shouldn't be eaten.

As I become a more and more lapsed Catholic, the meatless Fridays in Lent is the one tradition our house hangs onto. Last week it was shrimp scampi. We went out for sushi the week before that. When our son was in the house, cheese pizza or macaroni and cheese fit the bill.

My wife's hometown had a fish camp by the railroad tracks that we would go to sometime. Catfish is one of her favorite fish dishes.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 10, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I too suffered through Catholic fish fridays, you would think after centuries they would have perfected wonderful fish meals, but no. We had Chicken haddy, chopped up haddock in some sort of creamy white sauce with peas (which I also cannot eat cooked). Salmon loaf, fish stick, tuna all the smelly stuff, pretty much did me in. The scent of fish makes me queasy, always has.

I also lived about 200 feet from a very polluted harbour when I was young, in the early spring the smelt would die on mass, the smell was awful and every year our dog would roll in the dead fish, wet mangy collie/shepherd that stank of dead fish - really my taste buds didn't have a chance, but like CP other siblings seemed to thrive on this - they just avoid and of the fish meals we had.

Posted by: dmd3 | March 10, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Agree with the horrors of tuna melts, and overcooked salmon patties. I detest fried seafood of any sort in general, too (although I've unbent towards a good fried walleye).

But a properly cooked tuna casserole ain't bad, as it is supposed to be moist due to the dairy,and the tuna doesn't smell overcooked or anything. In effect it's an extra-thick chowder with crunchy noodles.

CqP, I let my dad do the filleting. I have very little interest in learning how to chop a fish apart, those knives are very sharp and also rather big.

Carnivores who refuse to be piscavores aren't that uncommon.

I hated fish (except for tuna casseroles) growing up, but gradually changed my taste when properly introduced to non-fried fish. My mom only learned to like fish when she learned how to cook it properly to cut the fishy smell, with lemon and garlic.

Some people just will never make the transition. It happens. More fish for the rest of us, then.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 10, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Sea kittens don't sound cute, yellojkt. It just evokes images of drowned kittens and make me think of that dumpster-dumping of all those homeless pets that PETA killed.

I'm going walleye fishing this summer, bet on it.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 10, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

If fish is fresh, it doesn't have an odor, but if you don't have a good fish market nearby, you probably don't believe me. DMD, if I had grown up as you describe, I wouldn't like fish either - wow! We were lucky to have a good fish market that mom went to every Friday, sole, haddock, swordfish and cod (scrod) were the staples, very simply cooked but good. Serving of the above mentioned finan haddie and smoked oysters sent me to a frozen pizza or Chef Boy-ar-dee (sp?). Now I'll eat most fish except for bluefish and other heavy oily 'earthy' tasting ones. And fried clams are a summer treat! But #2 won't touch fish and #1 only eats a few kinds. Chacun a son gout!

Posted by: badsneakers | March 10, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Aw, s--, man, no-brainer. Catch-22 and Grand Idea. Burn Bridges of Madison County unread. Catch-22 because it is head and shoulders better than any other on your list. It is also the only truly "must-read" on your list.

The Grand Idea not so much because Joel wrote it, but because it illuminates a tiny corner of history few people know about. It has a certain calm majesty about it. I'd rate Collapse or Fiasco as tied for distant second. Hannity's book? You've got to be freaking kidding, right? Puh-leeeze.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | March 10, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

the best night to go to to the fish camp is tuesday. fresh grease night.

Posted by: -jack- | March 10, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Bad, I didn't know you had a boy named Chacun. I hope his gout clears up quickly.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | March 10, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

RD, I recommend trying fried catfish -- the only way to prepare it, I think -- and conch fritters, when you're in Florida or the Bahamas.

Yello, somehow I think the idea of sushi on Friday would have sent the nuns at school into fits.

Posted by: rashomon | March 10, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

I remember sitting at the dinner table for hours after everyone else had left trying to choke down two fish sticks. Crying. Sandwiching a flake of fish between two sweet pickle chips and choking it down. More so because this was not my mom's normal parenting style, we were generally pretty coddled. She must have been having a really bad day.

And, like Wilfrod, now I love fish. Except it's so fricking expensive!

Posted by: Wheezy11 | March 10, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Oops, sorry about misspelling your name, Wilbrod.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | March 10, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

I rarely speak of him Mudge. He was the product of a brief fling with my French lover back in the day. Someday I'll tell you all about it...And yes unfortunately he suffers from many health issues, rare genetic disorders and afflictions from ingesting too much rich French cuisine. Alors!

Posted by: badsneakers | March 10, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I agree, and said as much just now on yellojkt's blog. Crystal Zevon's book about Warren is interesting, and has parts in it by Carl Hiassen (she kind of strung together a lot of what other people wrote about Warren). kbertocci and I saw Crystal on a panel at the Miami Book Fair, but she was the least interesting one. That's where I learned about Gram Parsons and his connections to all sorts of music I love, because of a book by David N. Meyer.

I have not read that Jon Krakauer book, but he's a wonderful writer. Under the Banner of Heaven is about Mormons - I think the really radical ones who still practice polygamy, etc. I was really surprised to see it in the Salt Lake City airport bookstore.

Posted by: seasea1 | March 10, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

A Grand Idea is also nice, YJ, because tis in our back yard. While walking near Pataspco State Park, circa 1990, I stumbled into a depression. I discovered five graves of workers who I later discovered worked on the C and O canal, but later moved to Catonsville/Ellicot City to work at the mills. That canal was the big dig of the day.

Thanks for the fishy support. I was drawn, WB, to look at the surgery. I am a science nerd and not afraid of this stuff. I am proud to say I pithed a frog when I was 17. Wow. Heart beating during the dissection. I honor that frog; yes, some moral problems with this. But, like tribal people -- including my Crow Nation relatives -- I bless that frog and apologize; I promise to always keep the wonder and awe with me. And, come to think of it, cannot eat frog. Pithing? yes. And watching the little muscles jump in the pan during camping trips. I can eat shrimp but not crawdads.....we used crawdads for brown trout and muskie bait. Muskie? Bet Frosti has stories as that is the official tarpon of Minnesota...

But, I think many of us have food trouble related to events circa 3-7. One brother cannot eat scalloped potatoes because the Hong Kong flu descended for him the day of the taters. You can say "scalloped" and he greens up at the gills.

G'Nite Fishies and Kitties.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | March 10, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

SCC - Hiaasen. Bah.

Posted by: seasea1 | March 10, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

badsneakers, bluefish has to be filleted properly if it's going to taste good. There's a streak of dark, oily flesh along the side, which has a very strong taste that will permeate the fish if it isn't removed before cooking. Salmon has a similar streak on the side, but it can easily be removed after cooking with no effect on the taste.

Posted by: rashomon | March 10, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

I know rashomon. I actually ate blue fish ceviche last summer that I made from SIL's recipe. He had caught and gutted the fish within 30 seconds. The fish was okay, but I still have a 'thing' about bluefish - irrational but c'est la vie. ;-)

Gotta go to the airport, later!

Posted by: badsneakers | March 10, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

I love fish and shellfish. Fried, steamed, baked, grilled, raw (sushi or on the half-shell), whatever. Tuna melts are OK with me, too.

But then, I'll eat darn near anything if it's prepared well - animal fleshes, veggies and other plants (and plant parts), insects, fungi, varied saps & secretions -- whatever. There are a few personal lines I won't cross, but by and large -- if it's of this Earth, it's what's for dinner.

*Somebody's* got to hold station for humanity at the top of the food chain, and I'm just the guy to do it.



Posted by: -bc- | March 10, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

The Giant African Snail Mucus Cure. Only in Miami (and Africa if the practitioner is right, which I wouldn't count on).

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | March 10, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

SNeaks, LOL!!

Posted by: rickoshea1 | March 10, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, on the fiction side, you have a lot of winners there - I really liked Riddley Walker and System of the World.

On the non-fic side, Grand Idea, hands down. Been meaning to read Fiasco, but I'm still clearing my night stand, and trying not to add to it. Collapse was OK I suppose, but I read it right after Guns, Germs, and Steel, and it felt like one long book to me. I'm just not a big J Diamond fan.


Posted by: -bc- | March 10, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

We have hit the Austin breakfast jackpot at the NYT. Ca-ching!

yello, why not read Achenblog, Ricks and Diamond--listed in no particular order of (my) preference. I'll leave recommendations for fictpicks to der FictionMeister, aka Curmudgeon.

Did you know:

That Rajiv Chandrasekaran's book is coming out very soon as a movie starring Matt Damon. Since the title of the book and movie don't match, you may not recognize the connection. I saw a preview of the soon-to-be-released Damon flick, and bolted upright in my chair (as I did with the quote from Hedges' book and "Hurt Locker") to see Rajiv's book as the source of the movie. Damon interviewed this a.m. on the Today show.

That on the "Crazy Heart" CD, Obama's singing distant cousin takes a turn.

That "Hurt Locker" is the lowest grossing top Academy Award picture.

Posted by: laloomis | March 10, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

My dad was a fly fisherman, and every vacation in my youth was beside some mountain stream, reached by the sheer force of dad's expletives. He fished for trout, we ate the days catch. Wonderful.

At home we had canned tuna for sandwiches, and canned salmon for patties!

Posted by: nellie4 | March 10, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Achenbach *l*

Husband working, I'm trying to stay up with him while he toils since he's coming down with a fierce cold, migrating to his nose from some kind of bronchitis that he picked up while in Austin. I'm getting very sleepy. Night, y'all.

Posted by: laloomis | March 10, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

-jack-, loved the Nelson. Thank you.

Posted by: Yoki | March 11, 2010 1:50 AM | Report abuse

Martooni!!! Good to see you on the boodle.

I love reading Mudge’s foreign language posts. You don’t need to go look for translation. You just need to read it a couple of times and you’ll get what it means.

Scotty, wishing Nukesis a speedy recovery.

I was in a skiing accident in the late 80s in Calif. Even though it wasn’t serious, my back hurt for about 6 months. My friend and I had finished out bunny hill lessons and we were advancing to the next stage. We were on a 3-seat lift chair going up the hill. I got off first when we reached the top. I skied to the side to wait for everybody to arrive like I was instructed. The woman who was seated beside me didn’t know how to slow down and she skied right into me. I fell and couldn’t get up. The instructor called for a stretcher. By the time the stretcher arrived, I was able to sit up so I declined the stretcher service. Instead I went back down the hill via the lift chair. Everybody on the lift was going one direction and I was going the opposite direction. And everybody was looking at me. I was so embarrassed.

Posted by: rainforest1 | March 11, 2010 2:12 AM | Report abuse

I love fish, especially deep fried.

We haven’t had rain for about 2 weeks now. Except for the lalang, the crab grass and other weeds are drying up. For the lalang, all it did was not grow 2” a day.

Yesterday, there were very dark clouds in the sky. Then there were strong winds. Then there were not more dark clouds. And no rain, too.

Posted by: rainforest1 | March 11, 2010 2:23 AM | Report abuse

The earliest man who came up with a lot of crap to control women is Kong Qiu or Confucius (551 BCE – 479 BCE.) His teachings set Chinese women back hundreds of generation. It wasn’t until Wu Zetian (690 – 705), Empress of Zhou Dynasty, came along that Chinese women got some reprieve. She removed and altered a lot of the rules that subjugated women.

Posted by: rainforest1 | March 11, 2010 2:39 AM | Report abuse

Canned tuna ruined the fish for me for many, many years. Now, however, a good tuna steak seared but very rare is a delicious dish. On a whim, for the first Friday of Lent I took my wife to Fahrenheit in Georgetown, so named because the hotel/restaurant is in an abandoned incinerator. Since it was a Lenten meal, we both had seafood. This indulgence met the letter of the rule but somehow missed the spirit of sacrifice I suppose.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 11, 2010 5:13 AM | Report abuse

I thought mudge was the god of copy editors:

Posted by: yellojkt | March 11, 2010 5:19 AM | Report abuse

Still not caught up... *SIGHHHHH*

Thanks rainforest, she's still pretty much bedridden until they can do some more surgery. *further SIGHHHHHHHHH*

'Toon!!! :-)

RD_P, It's always interesting to see what lies beneath massive urban snowbanks once spring arrives. I walked past the remains at the local Metro stop and saw a hubcab, a few mismatched shoes, and what looked an awful lot like half a Smart car.

*loading-the-crockpot-for-dinner Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 11, 2010 5:20 AM | Report abuse

Pretty much sums up the problems newspapers are facing:

Posted by: yellojkt | March 11, 2010 5:26 AM | Report abuse

I couldn't SCC earlier 'cause I couldn't get connection.

Half the hundred generation, it would be about right.

Posted by: rainforest1 | March 11, 2010 6:27 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

I suppose better late (way too late) than never:

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | March 11, 2010 6:34 AM | Report abuse

Happy Porching Season, ye Boodlers!

In Santiago, we're getting a bit of a break in the news as a new president takes over.

An unusual item is that Chile and Bolivia don't have diplomatic relations. Nevertheless, Bolivian President Evo Morales arrived for the inauguration.

Yesterday, Morales and Pinera played a game of futbol on the same team (the Politicos) vs Non Politicos. A bit of fresh air in international relations.

Posted by: Braguine | March 11, 2010 6:38 AM | Report abuse

This will get your heart pumping in the morning:

For fans of science fiction television and/or white-boy rap.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 11, 2010 6:55 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all, hi Cassandra!

Sneaks, your 11:17 last night made me laugh out loud. I hope you are sleeping well after your trip to the airport.

Today's task is a visit to the accountant with the tax info. I think we're good to go; it's always such a relief to get it over with! I did it myself till I acquired investments after my mother's death and decided it was worth the money not to have to figure it all out. So nice to hand it over and just go back to sign and pay!

Rain today, but it's a spring rain and smells good.

Egg, ham, and cheese croissants on the ready room table. Get them while they're hot, folks!

Posted by: slyness | March 11, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Looks to be another great porch day developing here, too bad I have to work. Going to miss waking up to the sunrise when we change the clocks (this weekend?).

Posted by: dmd3 | March 11, 2010 7:14 AM | Report abuse

We've only got about 5% snow cover left and the robins have arrived here, north of the Adirondacks. The mountains not the chairs. Or the chairs, depending on where you keep them.

Posted by: Buddy999 | March 11, 2010 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who peruses the WSJ front page today will see a wonderfully done Python reference... *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 11, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Washington Post's version of the Jihad Jane story:

Note how the San Antonio Express-News used the copy from the Washington Post and, with some local additional reporting, changed it ever so slightly:

First three grafs online via our newspaper this morning:

The Pennsylvania woman accused of using the Internet alias Jihad Jane to recruit people for violent jihad had dropped out before reaching high school and was married at age 16.

It was the start of a bumpy life that might have left Colleen Renee LaRose, 46, vulnerable to radical beliefs, according to federal sources and public records.

Born in Michigan, LaRose moved to Texas and had married twice by age 24. Her first marriage, at 16, was to a man twice her age in Tarrant County, public records show. Addresses for her include Corpus Christi, San Angelo, Ferris, Miles and Round Rock.

Posted by: laloomis | March 11, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

I left our home office and began to start my day, but Nick Kristof's column at the NYT's this morning nags me, or teases me, or draws me back.

Teach for the World also would be an important education initiative for America itself. Fewer than 30 percent of Americans have passports, and only one-quarter can converse in a second language. And the place to learn languages isn’t an American classroom but in the streets of Quito or Dakar or Cairo.

Here’s a one-word language test to measure whether someone really knows a foreign country and culture: What’s the word for doorknob? People who have studied a language in a classroom rarely know the answer. But those who have been embedded in a country know. America would be a wiser country if we had more people who knew how to translate “doorknob.” I would bet that those people who know how to say doorknob in Farsi almost invariably oppose a military strike on Iran.

My "Aha!" moment as a newly turned 21-year-old overseas wasn't "doorknob" but the German word for coathanger, "Kleiderbugel." I had to air-gesture to get my meaning across the first time I searched for the word in conversation with my Hausmutti, in the home where I had been placed for my summer at Goethe Institute in Prien am Chiemsee.

Bugel takes an umlaut over the "u," for starters, but I've got to post quickly and get on to other household things so no searching for the international character set, I'm afraid. Interesting noun, Bugel, from the noun Bug, meaning a nautical bow or an aviation nose. Bugel means the bowed part of a coathanger, or the guard of a trigger, or the stirrup when riding a horse.

Bis spater, gators.

Posted by: laloomis | March 11, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends. Slyness, I used to buy fish right off the fishing boats in some of the coastal towns in NC, and once one eats that fresh fish, that in the store is only fit for the cat! Huge difference in the taste. Now I seldom eat fish, maybe salmon from the can in patties.

I don't think it's porching season here yet. People here are still hiding behind the door. A couple of days the weather has been nice. I sit on the porch in winter if the sun is shining, just wrap up. Sitting in an apartment 24/7 is like being in a padded cell! There's a strong possibility I may need to be in a padded cell, but not doing it willingly.

Martooni!!! Glad to hear from you. Hope you and family are well.

I haven't started on the cleaning yet. I know I'm going to wait until the last minute, but not really going to do much at the risk of hurting me. They will have to write me up.

Mudge, Yoki, Scotty, Lindaloo, and all the gang, love to all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | March 11, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

morning, all.

love the kit. love the tiaras. (good work, bc) love fish, love sushi. can't remember what else.

hey, martooni!

Posted by: LALurker | March 11, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Tried putting some tartar sauce on Snowball, but she just wouldn't cooperate.

Posted by: russianthistle | March 11, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Hello boodle! The weather has been too warm here, and rainy, so the annual Perch Jerk ice fishing contest (fire dept. fund raiser) this Sat. has been canceled because there is too much water on top of the ice. 3 years ago it was canceled because ice formed so late in the season it was doubtful it would be thick enough to support the 100+ cars that park on the ice. More rain today. I'd call this our least attractive time of year-uniformly gray and muddy-but with warm temps all manner of dreary landscape is forgiven.

Slyness has shamed me into getting to the mounds of tax stuff. But only after I get a walleye fillet out of the freezer. Grandma Frostbitten was a famously horrible cook-save for 2 things, bread and fish. What she could do with the local bullheads (aka catfish). Light, flaky, never smelly. My first mother-in-law was a famously fabulous cook and she could not only can and smoke fish, but take the finished products and turn them into edibles all winter long. Canned sucker croquettes with remoulade, yum.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 11, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Frostie, but for the lack of an ocean and a whole lot of pastel stucco, you are almost in Miami Beach!!!

Posted by: russianthistle | March 11, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Sorry about that, Frosti, but better to do it today than wait another month, no?

I suppose the weather is always crazy somewhere...Will there be another event to raise funds for your fire department? Gotta keep basic services going, yanno!

There was a four-alarm fire in an apartment building here a couple of nights ago. I suppose that many resources were called because of the number of people they had to rescue. Interestingly, the same building burned in October 1989 shortly after Hurricane Hugo when a resident left a candle burning because there was no power. Both times, losses were in seven figures.

Posted by: slyness | March 11, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Late but still contemplating the start of Porch Season 2010. If I put my deck heater under my porch roof, I too, can porch in comfort.

Of course it would be followed by a small fire burning through the roof from accumulated heat but...

It's a small thing.

Posted by: --dr-- | March 11, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Well, fortunately, I seem to have this gift for foreign languages, so:

der durknobben

il dornobbi

los dornobo

la poignée de porte (always somebody who won't play by the rules)

the bumtruckle (I have no freaking idea why the Brits do this sort of thing, but they do: boot, loo, tram, telly, whatever, can't speak a word of English, any of 'em)

sclondorffenspinner (Yiddish)

haliwaluhamayeimayimahalamanakawelei (Hawaiian)

das Fchlchstchmcht (pronounced how it is spelled, like clearing your throat after a bad case of strep)

ķňőļĵśœψĝÿåŕťůſ (Norwegian, also pronounced just the way it is spelled, except for the desire fork, which is pronounced fyork).

ЩЊщыфяэдџюжі (kind of, like, shenshnyigroli with the accent on the nyi part)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 11, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Perch jerk? What is that, some kind of spicy Jamaican trout?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 11, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

you have me chuckilng, Mudge. i'm reminded of a cartalk episode from nearly 15 years ago that discussed the lack of vowels in eastern european languages.

Posted by: -jack- | March 11, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Would someone explain to me why (any native-born American) dropping out of school and getting married at 16 predisposes someone to adopt radical politic views? Other than voting for Sarah Palin, that is? You see them on the Jerry Springer show all the time.

I sometimes think our nation's security people are a bit unhinged.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 11, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Don't understand what prompted the unhinged portion of your last, Mudge. Understand about the Jihad Jane part, just not the last.

We know an Armenian girl whose last name has 10 letters, no vowels. To be fair, there are two y's, but no real vowels. It's like Hebrew, the vowel sounds are just made up in between all those consonants.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | March 11, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Oh carp - 7.2 earthquake in Chile.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | March 11, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

The lack of vowels in eastern Europe is an unfortunate result of the Napoleonic wars. As Bonaparte's army retreated back from the doorstep of Moscow, the soldiers looted the local languages of all their vowels and shipped them back to Paris as war booty. The French, not knowing what to do with their ill-gotten gain just added three or four vowels to the end of every word and the Académie Française declared half of them silent. Ever since, the Slavic tongue has been forced to improvise which is why we have words like 'syzygy'.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 11, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

slyness-fortunately the Perch Jerk is not the year's biggest event, that would be the annual dance in October.

Mudge-when you get a perch on your line you jerk it out of the hole in the ice.

Strange thaw going on. Instead of first opening with a small trickle in the channel the river ice is sinking under rain water and melted snow. Glad we had deep water this fall or this could cause quite a fish kill. Looks like the channel will break open tomorrow or Sat. Have the binoculars out for otter and eagle watching. Usually have a few stand offs between the two each spring. Ben Franklin was right, there's not really that much to recommend Bald Eagles as the symbol of anything but thievery. (Yes, I have a cute mammal bias)

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 11, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Heading to see a giant of a man--and mankind--close to the banks of the San Gabriel River--with a French twist!

Posted by: laloomis | March 11, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Wheezy, what I meant was that the so-called security experts who diagnose these things seem to have some notions about people that are crazy as the notions held by the bad guys. For instance, the Jihad Jane lede says she had "a bumpy life that might have left her vulnerable to radical beliefs, according to federal sources..."

Uh, a bumpy life? So who the hell hasn't had a bumpy life? Since when is a bumpy life a pre-cursor to anything? That's my complaint -- they think a bumpy life might lead to something radical. In fact, there's a good deal of evidence that suggests exactly the opposite. Almost all of the 9/11 hijackers were well educated men with scierntific or engineering college educations; they came from good families. And looke at Bin Laden AND his #2, the doctor. Sons of privilege and very weel educated; Bin Laden's familiy are bazillionaires.

The IRA terrorists? Well educated. Bader-Meinhof? College grads and upper middle class, every man and woman among them. Carlos the Jackal? Upper class, wealthy family, highly educated. The domestic radicals of the late 1960s and 1970s? College educated, middle and upper middle class, nary a "bump" anywhere. McVeigh and Terry whatsis who helped him? Not trailer trash. Jim Jones of Jonestown? His followers? The spaceship suicide cult people?

In point of fact, from just about every single thing we know about terrorists, cult nut cases, suicide bombers, non-suicide bombers, assassins, is that by and large they are NOT lower class, uneducated, "dumb," people. AND we also know that by personality type, they are NOT simpletons who are easily led by the nose by some charlatan svengali.

So who is the half-a$4ed federal authority figure who thinks that because Jihad Jane dropped out early and got married at 16, this marks her as somebody ri[pe for radical recruitment? In fact, she is NOT such a candidate. In fact, she's so atyopical it ain't funny. It seems to me there is some sort of class distinction bias operating in whatever security person seems to think that if you drop out of high school and get wrapped up with some jerk of a boyfriend, you are at risk of gravitating to sophisticated international terrorist politics.

So that's why I think any so-called security expert who thinks Jihad Jane was just ripe for the pickings is a moron. The operational theory seems to be that if you are "stupid," lower class, trailer trash, and "uneducated" you are easily led and duped. It just ain't so.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 11, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Following the Commissioner's orders, I am boodling on the patio during our day-long break between rainstorms. I am pleased to report that the brand new patio table holds a laptop nicely. In other springtime news, I can now confirm that the previous owners of this house planted no bulbs whatsoever. What were they thinking? I'll have to get a bunch of daffodil bulbs into ground next fall. Some for both the front and back yards, I think.

Posted by: -bia- | March 11, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

The ice must have broken up in the upper Ottawa river as today was the first day the rapids were sparkling with bits of ice. It's beautiful when it happens on sunny days. The ice was so carpy around here that it sunk and broke about a week ago, almost three weeks in advance.

We had the carpiest winter in ages. Also the warmest since good records are kept (1948).

So you're all for the turkey as the national bird Frosti?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 11, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Yur saying that it is smurt folk like Boodlers that (who? which?) otta be watcht? Gud think I don't fall inta any of those categuries.

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

Not eny domestik Boodlers, yello, jesst some of the furin oneses.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 11, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Mudge - I think you are quite right. It would be nice if efforts to improve education and eliminate poverty were guaranteed to eliminate crime and terrorism. But many terrorists have been described as upper-class twits.

That is, individuals who have a healthy dose of narcissism fostered by affluence as well as intellectual smugness.

The latter is often facilitated by being extremely highly educated in narrow fields. That is, they are educated in ways that do not challenge their philosophical biases, but actually encourage them.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 11, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

A new kit. About writin'

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 11, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

A quote in that Jihad Jane article directly contradicts the un-named and unquoted "federal officials":

///"LaRose's actions again reflect the fact that immersing oneself in the propaganda and culture of jihadists through the Internet can lead to an individual attempting to undertake a violent act, no matter that person's age, gender, or background," according to an analysis by the SITE Intelligence Group, a private firm that monitors jihadist Web sites. ///

Posted by: yellojkt | March 11, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

For instance, this is absurd: "FBI analysts and national security experts have worried for years that Westerners with easy access to passports could be recruited for terrorist aims." WTF does "easy access to passports" mean? Don't any and all of us have equal access to passports? You mean some d1ckhead in Iowa has any easier access to a passport than I do? There is no such thing as "easy access to passports," not unless you work in the passport office.

And it gets even stupider: "LaRose's actions again reflect the fact that immersing oneself in the propaganda and culture of jihadists through the Internet can lead to an individual attempting to undertake a violent act, no matter that person's age, gender, or background," according to an analysis by the SITE Intelligence Group, a private firm that monitors jihadist Web sites."

OK, now which is it, a predisposition by dropouts who get married at 16 -- or "no matter... age, gender, or background." You can't have it both ways. Either there is a pattern or disposition, or there isn't.

And this: "The charges came as a surprise to neighbors ... where LaRose had lived for years while taking care of Gorman's elderly father." Yup, gotta watch them elder care people, using Alzheimers patients as "cover." D@mned wily, I say. What will they think of next? One thing's for certain: we need to monitor our geriatric institutions a lot better.

And this lovely piece of deep wisdom: "Sounds crazy," Gorman told CNN. "It is hard to believe. . . . She wasn't no rocket scientist. She was limited in her capacity, so I'm not sure how much she thought she could do on her own."

See, she "wasn't no rocket scientist."

"LaRose had brushes with the law in Pennsylvania, where in 2002 she faced charges of public drunkenness and disorderly conduct, according to public records."

Drunk and disorderly -- clearly "gateway" behavior leading to international terrorism. A lot of your top al Qaeda operatives spend their weekends binge drinking Budweiser at tailgate parties and frat houses.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 11, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm an accessory to a 'mudging.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 11, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: tianyou1666 | March 17, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

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