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Australopithecus sediba: Not the "Missing Link"

The headline at the CBS news website: "2 Million-Year-Old Skeletons Reveal Man-Ape Link." This comes after AOL News on Sunday ran a headline, "Scientists to Unveil Possible Missing Link Between Man and Ape," and the Telegraph of London ran with the even more declarative headline, "Missing Link Between Man and Apes Found."

Please, someone, make them stop. I realize it's page-view bait to write about the Missing Link, and no one is going to want to read a story that says "Still Another Dadgum Human Ancestor Found." But at some point, the journalistic community needs to move beyond the Scopes [STED: "Snopes," which I'll claim as a postmodernist allusion to Faulkner as opposed to being mere sloppy writing] Monkey Trial mindset and drop "link" from the paleontological lexicon. The common ancestry of humans and apes is an established fact. We have a fossil record of hominids going back four million-plus years. There will always be gaps of some size in that imperfect fossil record. The existence of those gaps does not mean we are desperately in need of the discovery of a new fossil that will link humans and earlier hominids and thus permit us to believe that Darwin was correct.

What's happening is that the family photo album is slowly being filled in. We're finally finding snapshots from years that were blank. We're discovering relatives -- including distant cousins -- we didn't know we had. Look, here's your second cousin Lester, who had no teeth and only bathed in mineral oil! Here's your third cousin Henrietta, who knew 14 ways to cook a squirrel! And so on.

The "link" concept also implies that human evolution was a linear process. But it wasn't that way at all. There were lots of evolutionary experiments, lots of branching, many dead ends, and multiple hominid (or hominin) species inhabiting the planet at the same time until relatively recently -- that's the new picture.

I see that Carl Zimmer has a similar no-missing-link take at Slate; he also does a fine job explaining the new discovery.

By Joel Achenbach  |  April 8, 2010; 12:08 PM ET
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I believe I have just set a new world's record. Mudged myself TWICE in one day.

Un. Freaking. Believable.

And one more, an oldie. Haven't seen/heard of John Waite in ages.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 8, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

That's a record that may stand for the ages. Being mudged, I mean. Not the Alison Krauss song.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 8, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

When they find my great-aunt Lizzie's second husband's stepson's girlfriend's hairdressers fingers, will someone please let me know? I'd like to take a photo for the album.

Posted by: MsJS | April 8, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 8, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

China's president, Hu Jintao, in a keynote speech, encouraged Communist party officials to live clean lives. "Leading cadres at all levels should always maintain a spirit of moral character and be aware of the temptations of power, money and beautiful women," he said.
Gosh, who knew? I've always gone straight as an arrow for the power, money and beautiful women without hesitation. Guess it's too late to change now.

Posted by: kguy1 | April 8, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Methinks the Snopes Monkey Trial took place in William Faulkner's novel about some of Wilbrodog's ancestors, called "The Sound and the Furry."

And next durn thang you know a couple of them hominids'll be wanting to marry each other and such like. I think it's disgusting.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 8, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

kguy, cover your eyes on the boodle for the number of

Just a public service warning. And, gals according to this exemplar of moral behavior we are not in danger of the boodle men. So, we.may.feast.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 8, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I understand the powerful temptation towards page-view bait, especially among the modern generation of headline writers who do not, apparently, understand basic journalistic concepts. Like, y'know, not being outright stupid if it is not obvious that it is in jest. I propose an alternative phrasing that may catch eyeballs while not being technically inaccurate nor, technically, stupid: "More Details Revealed of Man's Sordid Past." Or, if you feel that you will succeed better with a patina of specificity, "New Details on Sandra Bullock's Husband's Sordid Family History". That ought to bring them in.

PS: SCOPES. Like the mouth-wash.

Posted by: ScienceTim | April 8, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm all about the sordid.

Posted by: ScienceTim | April 8, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

That's right, CquaP. They are regular antropopha-guys.

Posted by: Yoki | April 8, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Great piece Joel. As the historical record of the A-blog is full of my comments on this topic I won't add any more here.

And let's hope that your epic powers of persuasion and edification, as evidenced by the last two kits, will squash this pesky conceptual weakness.

Or at least hurt it real bad.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 8, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Interesting post on the Chinese Communist Party announcement, perhaps only because the temptation to the "leaders" would be in the form of beautiful women and not handsome men, thereby establishing that Communist Party leadership shall remain solely in the hands (if you will) of men. . . .

So much for women's rights in Commie Land.

Yeah, that were all for show, after all, weren't it? Pretense only gets ya so far, eh?

Posted by: -ftb- | April 8, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Headlines? You want headlines?

Posted by: kguy1 | April 8, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I've never been that smitten with power or money.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 8, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Snopes has monkey trials? Sorry Joel but that typo was too funny not to poke. Speaking of debunking, I got an extra bonus yesterday from learning of the various Articles of Secession which are great ammo against the revisionists. I am glad I found this place.

I also thank you Wilbrod for the link to the first major salvo in the TMI War. About time. Plus I needed a laugh after yesterday.

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 8, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

We've seen it here...the importance of linear connections. If one can show a connection to a king, no matter how far back that person has to go, they think they're royalty. It's the same problem we saw with the past coupla's ancestors fought on the wrong side of a war, and they think it says something about them as they sit at their computers today. Yet they don't see themselves as relatives of apes, even though intellectually some of them appear much closer than others.

*Tim, I knew it was something like that, but I think Mortifera narrowed it down a bit further than just 'sordid.'

Posted by: LostInThought | April 8, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Although I find misrepresentations of evolutionary thought annoying, I guess these things are better than right-out rejection. I mean, even if these folks are being sloppy, at least they aren't including commentary from some creationist.

That said, of course, sloppy reporting can confuse the naive and hides the true power and elegance of evolution. All of which hands evolution deniers an opening.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 8, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

"There were lots of evolutionary experiments, lots of branching, many dead ends"

How does anyone know that this small brained hominid did not evolve into the likes of Dubya, Sarah Palin and the branch of humanity that voted them?

Who says this branch died out? Deadend? Yes, but it seems these small brained creatures are still with us.

Posted by: plaza04433 | April 8, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

John 14:2: "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. Some of those mansions are full of monkeys, apes, deadends, small-brained hominids. Michelle Bachman."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 8, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Funny you should para-quote that passage, 'Mudge. I heard it this morning in its usual form.

And of course I'd get semi-mudged while passing along some well-deserved thanks. Reposting:

(Nuke-SIL here)

Thank you all for the wonderful pastries you sent for our family to enjoy. They were from a local bakery favorite of ours and absolutely delicious. Your thoughtfulness at this time is vey much appreciated. J. Carter

(NukeSpouse here)

Thank you so much for the well wishes and the wonderful pastries. How nice it is to have such thoughtful, caring imaginary friends!

(me again)

Frankly, NukeSpouse is a little tongue-tied, but trust me, she's very glad for the support, as am I. All the difficult duties are done, and the family's been celebrating my FIL's life and the fact that so many of the family as possible could make it.

And yes, I DID leave plenty of pastries for everyone else!

*heading-home-tomorrow Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 8, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

The "enlightend" Creationists will acknowledge that these prehistoric beings did exist. However, none of them were "Man". They will tell you that the mitochondrial "Eve" only dates back about 6,500 years ago (they cite some studies that say the mitochodrial DNA mutations occur 20 times faster than other studies show), and therefore God's creation of Adam and Eve is the start of humankind as set forth in the Bible. Never mind that the archeological record takes modern humans back about 250,000 years ago.

Posted by: ebtnut | April 8, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

The reports and news at Science are not easy reading. This new find may have been living at a time when Homo was already around. More interestingly, it seems the authors (and kid and dog) already have more pre-human bones on hand, not to mention loads of other animals that had apparently fallen into the cave.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 8, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Any screwy logic that fits their worldview works, dontcha know, ebnut? It's scary, the lengths they will go...

Kguy, the story with that headline was priceless!

Scotty, my thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Posted by: slyness | April 8, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

From the Zimmer article in Slate:

"...a sentence that makes no sense the first time you read it and then somehow manages to make even less sense the longer you look at it."

I couldn't help thinking of Palin's abuse of the English language.

And this too:

"It had a projecting nose like us, but a tiny brain."

Posted by: rashomon | April 8, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

First time I broke 400 on the M-W Scrabble game my highest scoring word was three letters. ha

Posted by: omni3 | April 8, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

omni, qzq isn't a word.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 8, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I thought "ha" only had two letters. . . .

Posted by: -ftb- | April 8, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: bobsewell | April 8, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse


Was laughing, my high scoring word for that game was ZIP for 36 points. so far I've only once used seven tiles once, and forgot to make note of the total for that one. I think I actually used the Q in that time

Posted by: omni3 | April 8, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse


Snopes. Scopes. Doesn't "almost" count for something anymore???


Thanks Mudge...will resist noting that you covered the Scopes Monkey Trial as a cub reporter!

Posted by: joelache | April 8, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

There are those among you who play lots of Scrabble.

Words like QI, ZA, and XU are their lifeblood. And knowing there are no strictly-legal two-letter words containing C or V. Or that ZAX, at 19 points, is the mother lode of three-letter words.

Bereft of vowels? There's always SHH, BRR, or MM.

Posted by: MsJS | April 8, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Joel really love this kit, as well as Plaza's 3:37

Posted by: dmd3 | April 8, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

I always brr in the brwk.

Yes, the Scrabble dictionary is also useful for crossword puzzles. I like using an unabridged dictionary with obscure words, though.

My brother once was so mad my dictionary had "vis" in it as an English word. He lost that challenge.

I've used all seven letters twice.

My first coup was "Meatloaf" I don't remember the other one.

Sometimes I like the end-play the best for the chance to try and form many words at once- but only if I have vowels.

I'm still fond of the day I slipped an OB into the grid to make "mobled" with my dwindling final rack.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 8, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Note to self do not challenge MsJS to a game of scrabble next time we head off to the bunker. :-)

Posted by: dmd3 | April 8, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

dmd, I never claimed to be any good. I lose more often than I win.

Posted by: MsJS | April 8, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

So it's not the missing link but the media can't state enough how this is yet more evidence in what is overwhelming, undeniable, that humans are the product of evolution. Since there are so many mental midgets in this country who don't even accept that fact, maybe we should worry about setting them straight before we start nit-picking about semantics.

Posted by: SeattleOrca | April 8, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

...or we can just ignore this hole debate and say that humans in their present form appeared on the world after 7 days of magic.

Posted by: jlm062002 | April 8, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

never mind the Bollocks, Malcolm McLaren is dead at 64
reminds me of a Beatles' tune

Oh, and case you didn't notice, we're on the front page again

Posted by: omni3 | April 8, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

"this hole debate"

Hhehehe hehe

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Mudge, you were a cub reporter at the Scopes trial? Do tell!

Posted by: slyness | April 8, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

This specimen is definitely not the “missing link” however there are a number of Cro-Magnon individuals serving on Capitol Hill. Most, but not all, caucus with the Democrats, come from blue states like California, New York and New Jersey and are easily identified by their smaller brains and limited capacity to think outside the herd.

Posted by: fenoy | April 8, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

As long as the A-blog is on the front page, I'm going to jump right in and assert I've found something of a missing link.

Check out the "Episcopal Barbie" photo on the front page. Now dye her hair brown, put glasses on her, dress her in a conservative but tasteful suit, and imagine her saying, "you betcha."

Posted by: MsJS | April 8, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

MsJS, you must be referring to Hasbro's new Glasshat Barbie.

Be still, my heart: the Nats are leading the Phillies 6 to 5 in the bottom of the 8th. Of course, it's not over until the fat lady gets trampled by 9 Philly runs on 14 hits, 3 errors, one fan interference, and a visit from St. Nick.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 8, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Am watching D.A. Pennebaker's famous documentary on the 1967 Monterey Pops festival, on the Sundance channel. David Crosby, though mustachioed, looks 12. Michelle Phillips looks 14.

Can hardly believe they dressed that way back then. Jeez. And in the opening 10 minutes Pennebaker has managed to film about 27 incredibly good-looking babes in the audience.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 8, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the fat lady sang a falsetto. Nationals beat the Phillies 6 to 5

Posted by: omni3 | April 8, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Nats, 6-5.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 8, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, sorry to mudge you, make that three in a day (I don't know, I think this counts

Posted by: omni3 | April 8, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

I think Michelle Phillips was about 14 at the time...

Posted by: seasea1 | April 8, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

They dressed that way? *They?!*

Hee hee. It was a look.

Posted by: Yoki | April 8, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

There's a new kit?

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 8, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

One can only 'mudge oneself, surely? 'Mudging someone else (especially in the absence of a new kit) would be as bad as reposting one's own comments, or calling out an SCC.

What you meant, I think, omni, was that you scooped Curmudgeon. And as a cub reporter, he expects that.

Posted by: Yoki | April 8, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: nellie4 | April 8, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Wiki says she was 23. Jeez.

She's 2 years older than me. Still one fine-looking woman.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 8, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Michelle was 23. Turns out she's a year younger than my older sister. She and John Phillips got married when she was 18, though. She and Dennis Hopper were married for 8 days, which I had forgotten or never knew about. So pretty.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 8, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

There is no new Kit unless of course it is invisible. If it were imaginary we'd see it.

I like this Kit. I am always surprised by the way in which persons who ordinarily believe six impossible things before breakfast fixate on certain things which require physical proof. These people are heck on juries. An eyewitness won't do for them if there are no fingerprints.

I wonder why the link has to be missing. Can't it be forgotten? How about chain link? Chain of fools? Fools for love?

Also, I liked Snopes. Scopes to Snopes to Snope to Snape: really there's a JK Rowland tie-in somewhere, which should be good for lots of page views.

I probably really need a vacation. Fortunately tomorrow I'll be going to a boffo three-day whatchamacallit, modeled after the Clinton Renaissance Weekend but state-specific. Lots of talking, singing, poetry, drinking, wandering by the lake around very old mountains (big hills to y'all familiar with real mountains). Of course those folks encourage the kind of free association thinking which is apparently all I'm currently capable of.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 8, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

They've already found the missing link years ago. I think they called him "Joe Cocker" or something like that.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | April 8, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

oops, so sorry

Tho it was funny to me the time stamps were the same

Posted by: omni3 | April 8, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Poetry, you say?

Yoki's right omni (no surprise, there): the act of mudging takes place when one submits a post only to discover Joel's just posted a new kit, and everyone has moved to it, leaving your own post high-and-dry. That's being mudged.

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

Michelle Phillips was 23 at the time of Monterey Pop but it wouldn't surprise me if she looked 14. Coincidentally I just picked up a best of collection by The Mamas and the Papas. In the liner notes, she apologized for their performance at the festival, saying that she and John Phillips spent so much time trying helping put the festival together that they didn't practice enough.

One cool story from the Wikipedia listing of the festival is that The Who and Jimi Hendrix decided their appearance order by coin flip. Neither Hendrix nor Pete Townshend wanted to follow the other. Two smart guys, in my book.

Posted by: -pj- | April 8, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh, the Wikipedia page for Monterey Pop also lists the groups that were supposed to appear but didn't for various reasons. It makes for a fun read.

David Crosby was 26, by the way.

Posted by: -pj- | April 8, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

OK, scoop it is then. I've done that before, so I don't feel so special anymore, except for the less than a minute part

Posted by: omni3 | April 8, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Here's an image of MP at the MPF

And another looking to young to smoke, but smokin' none the less

Posted by: omni3 | April 8, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Quick! Someone call the Texas Board of Education so they can repress any news of this in their textbooks. We shor wouldn't want tham ther chillun in Texas to larn sumpin that might contradict the Bible, wood we?

Posted by: mtrobt | April 8, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Michelle Phillips. Phillips screwdriver. Vodka screwdriver. Orange juice. Florida. Disney World. A handful of steps and Michelle Phillips is dating Mickey Mouse.

Is it tomorrow yet?

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 8, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Can somebody confirm that second pic of MP is the MP?

Her BC name is Holly, right? Holly Michelle

Posted by: omni3 | April 8, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

... 14 ways to cook a squirrel ... now that's impressive

Posted by: MissToronto | April 8, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Her given name is Holly Michelle, omni. Here's a picture from Monterey Pop of her and Cass Elliot:

She seems much younger in the photo you posted. The site has a bunch of photos from the festival.

Posted by: -pj- | April 8, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Ok, got confirm

Take a look at these

look at the two flaming stairway pics. the first she could pass for teen, but the second...

Then there's this one

Definitely no teen there or someone would be in a lot of trouble

Posted by: omni3 | April 8, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

I must admit that until now I had no idea who Michelle Phillips was.

That said, I think Ivansmom's chain of associations is brilliant. Indeed, I have put all the elements on post-it-notes and linked them all with color coded string here in my dark basement.

Indeed, it all makes sense.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 8, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

That's because she's not a redhead, RD. Every other color, maybe, but not red.

The last photo omni lists provides a sufficient end to this particular discussion, so I will change the subject. Sort of.

Every time I now see the phrase "missing link" all I think of is the Jackson Browne song, "Redneck Friend."

Honey you shake and I’ll rattle and we’ll roll on down the line
We’re going to forget all about the battle
It’s gonna feel so fine
’cause he’s the missing link, the kitchen sink--
Eleven on a scale of ten
Honey let me introduce you to my redneck friend

Posted by: -pj- | April 8, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

This is a YouTube video of the Monterey Pop Festival
Mamas and the Papas performing in the background not seen 'Creeque Alley'

The quality is quite good I think

Posted by: omni3 | April 8, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, RD. I think.

You & I will be ready when the New World Order comes and everyone else is wondering how things got this way.

I find colored duct tape holds the links in place more firmly.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 8, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

pj, thanks for that tune cootie.


Posted by: -bc- | April 8, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Folks are missing links?
It wasn't me. No sausage breath.
Here, sniff mine. See now?


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 8, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Folks... don't do it.

It's even worse than his "pull the tail" gag.

Trust me.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 8, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | April 8, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

sort of?

In that video...was that Hugh Hefner at 1:08 with a pipe,,,Looked older than he would in '67...maybe a Wannabe...but The woman in the snow leopard dress at 1:18 looked like a PB model

OK, I'm done and done

Posted by: omni3 | April 8, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

"Creeque Alley" is a hoot. One of the better autobiographical songs a band ever put together.

Posted by: -pj- | April 8, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

I don't think that's Hefner, omni. At the end there's Lou Adler talking to the police chief and Jack Casady talking to Janis Joplin. Michelle Phillips at the beginning, of course. Don't know who else appears there. Some of the fashions are intriguing.

Starting to have flashbacks. Must go to bed.

Posted by: -pj- | April 8, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

My Nate.

Posted by: Yoki | April 8, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Good evening all.

When it comes to complex issues like, well, everything, many of us try to make things simple so that we feel like we can understand it. Einstein spent the last decades of his life looking for a simple elegant unifying field theory to encompass general relativity (essentially, gravity) and electromagnetics, and never did get there. Quantum mechanics more or less swamped his efforts, and QM is far from simple IMO.

This universe we live in is complex and messy and full of missteps and dead ends, many of which are inexplicable, but in their own way serve purposes (to us) as something to be learned. [Much as I serve as an object lesson to many as an example Of What Not to Do.]

As much as we'd love the diagram showing the evolution of the human family to be a nice straight line of folks walking to the future with increasingly better posture as we saw in old textbooks, it appears that the more accurate diagram of hominid starts, stops, mistakes, missteps, successes and failures of the past several million years may look like a Jackson Pollock piece.

We homo saps may be kind of a mess (and the result of messy processes), but we're all we've got.

At least for the moment.

I note with some trepidation that they're finding new species of roaches all the time, even in NYC. When they find one with a bulging brain carapace/exoskeleton and opposable thumbs that can walk on his hind legs and can withstand the global climate changes that are coming, I'll ask him if he thinks Cher will make a good Hive Queen.


Posted by: -bc- | April 8, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

we're on the backside of the first spring storm. the trees have produced so much pollen during the past week or two that the updraft into the storm clouds at about 6 p.m. tinted the sky yellow. i've never seen anything like it.

Posted by: -jack- | April 9, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

I'll second (or third, or nth-ordinal) the notion that "Creeque Alley" is a hoot. Fun stuff.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 9, 2010 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Neither have I.

Posted by: Yoki | April 9, 2010 12:46 AM | Report abuse

I posted without even noticing -jack-'s comment. I'm with Yoki, never seen such a thing. Very cool & a little unnerving. I love it when nature gets in your (or my) face without wreaking too much misery-causing havoc along the way!

Posted by: bobsewell | April 9, 2010 1:01 AM | Report abuse

I've seen yellowy/green skies when a bad storm is on the way. Never thought it was pollen (usually it's very far away). But who knows? We have enough pollen here that it coats the cars yellow.

Last week when there was a full moon, it was surrounded by clouds, and I swear there was a much smaller, similar-looking globe next to it. At first I thought it might be something on the window, a drop of water, but I think it was a reflection of the moon through the clouds. Might have been those aliens. Very weird.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 9, 2010 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Seasea, it was probably a moon dog (cue Wilbrodog). They can occur either singly or in pairs. From wikipedia:

and some pretty cool pictures:

Posted by: rashomon | April 9, 2010 1:45 AM | Report abuse

Happy 49 years + 1 day, Bob.

No one is totally mudged. You see, I’m always behind (I’m sure there are others, too) and will read your post and might still say something even though everybody is already many kilometers passed it. For me to get mudged means I’m still up and can join in on the discussion at the time. Not that I would have anything intelligent to say. I have never been able to stay up late enough to get mudged and Joel NEVER post new kits at around 3am. What’s wrong with 3AM, I ask you? :-))))

Posted by: rainforest1 | April 9, 2010 2:05 AM | Report abuse

The Vimy Ridge Memorial in France

Posted by: omni3 | April 9, 2010 3:24 AM | Report abuse

A close up: Mother mourning

Posted by: omni3 | April 9, 2010 3:30 AM | Report abuse

Greece on the brink of default…….rate on 10-year Greek bonds reaching as high as 7.5 percent on Thursday, up from 6.5 just three days ago…….

German 10-year bond rates are less than 4%.

Posted by: rainforest1 | April 9, 2010 4:30 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all, happy Friday. Am I the only person up on the East Coast?

Hi Cassandra! I hope the front came through your area last night as gently as it did ours. There were tornado warnings north of us, but we didn't get anything but a nice rain. There's a little cell over us now, and a gentle rain. The temperature is down, too. I'm all for it, especially for washing the pollen out of the air.

Busy morning ahead. The craft class ladies are going to look for cloth for a quilt. They've been doing this for 35 years, making a quilt and raffling it off at the fall carnival. I'm one of the newest and youngest in the crowd, so I get to drive.

Posted by: slyness | April 9, 2010 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Is anybody up yet? I put the coffee on. Stong and hot for a Friday.

We are in the middle of a nice spring storm. Wind and little pellet like snow. Its my fault. I washed my car. I was tempting the heavens.

Omni, beautiful links to the Vimy Memorial. I hope to see it someday.

Posted by: --dr-- | April 9, 2010 7:21 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. I think I'll pass on this kit.

Slyness, my daughter texted me last night and told me what it was doing outside. I cannot hear a thing in here, even with the hearing aid on. We had warnings too. I was all for the rain, just to get rid of the pollen.

Have a great day, everyone. Love to all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | April 9, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday I got the most recent issue of the New York Review of Books. The publication date on the cover is April 29, 2009. On the inside pages they get it right.

So happy belated birthday Bob S. Maybe you can live it over again.

Posted by: -pj- | April 9, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Joey: Hey Ross. If homo sapiens were in fact "homo sapiens", could that be why they're extinct?
Ross: Joey, homo sapiens are people.
Joey: Hey! I'm not judging here.

Posted by: steveboyington | April 9, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Joey: Hey Ross. If homo sapiens were in fact "homo sapiens", could that be why they're extinct?
Ross: Joey, homo sapiens are people.
Joey: Hey! I'm not judging here.

Posted by: steveboyington | April 9, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. It's my last full day of vacation and I'm off to Winslow via Route 66, at least certain extant portions of it.

My wife and I are still negotiating exactly how many verses of 'Take It Easy' she is willing to operate the camcorder for. She is holding firm at one half of the second verse. I may have to impress random strangers as cinematographers if she won't cooperate with my artistic vision.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 9, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

The late tulips are grateful for the rain and cool air. So, perhaps they are reprieved, although some of mine look prostrate with heat. Note: not PROSTATE with heat or grief.....awaiting, awaiting, JK's classic and earnest Winslow Moment and we are not talking Homer.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 9, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

yello, if you can get a girl in a flat bed Ford in the video, I'll be truly impressed.

Posted by: Raysmom | April 9, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh!

Translated from missing link ancestor language, it means:

Good morning, Boodlers.


Posted by: Braguine | April 9, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, coffee and OJ on the table.

Brag, ugh ugh ugh ugh back atcha. How is Chile doing?

Planning a moviefest gathering. It'll start with a Thai lunch, then two flicks, then a movie break featuring cocktails, then a final flick served with a light supper.

Others are deciding the flicks. My task is the menu. Suggestions encouraged.

Posted by: MsJS | April 9, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

You gotta have Yoki's olive cheese balls in there somewhere, MsJS. That's the only suggestion I've got...

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


In Chile, important news: Gummint will issue 10 year bonds to finance reconstruction. (possible good investment).

Psycopath released after 18 years in prison on March 14, murdered two women. Was arrested yesterday as he met another possible victim. Must be some sort of world record for serial killers.

Posted by: Braguine | April 9, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

I recommend my baked onion soup, MsJS, the secret ingredient of which is 1/3 cup of white or blush wine in each serving.

I assume omni has posted a couple of pix of the Vimy Ridge Memorial because today is the 93rd anniversary of the four-day Battle of Vimy Ridge, the first major Allied victory of WWI and the greatest feat of arms in the history of the Canadian military. It was the first time during WWI that the entire Canadian Army (four divisions) went into battle together (97,000 men) in a single, concerted attack. Even better, they won, taking a fortified position that had defied previous assaults by British and French troops.

France gave Canada a 250-acre site from the battlefield for a cemetery and war memorial; it is one of only two Canadian National Historic Sites not actually located in Canada. (The second one is up the road a piece at Beaumont-Hamel in the middle of the Somme battlefield, where the entire Royal Newfoundland Regiment got wiped out in 20 minutes in a glorious but gloriously stupid attack that was a disaster, not only militarily but also to the sparsely populated territory of Newfoundland, which lost 700 or so of its best young men. The "disappearance" of the Newfoundland Regiment is a central plot point of the Anthony Price novel "Other Paths to Glory," about which I have often raved as the #3 alltime best spy thriller ever written.)

So yes, a moment of silence in memory of the brave Canuckistanis of Vimy Ridge, 93 years ago today.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 9, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm. I think Gene Robinson has been reading the Boodle and stealing my schtick:

"Will no one utter a word in defense of Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele? With attacks pouring in from both the left and the right, won't someone at least pretend to take his side? Sigh. Must I do everything around here?"

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 9, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

There is a big ceremony today in Ottawa commemorating the Vimy Ridge battle. Initially it was supposed to be a National Funeral for the last Canadian veteran who participated in WWI but the guy was against it.

I'll try to catch the tail end of it. Darn work interferes with so many things.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 9, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse


Wait 'til Krauthammer starts stealing you schtick. :)

Posted by: Braguine | April 9, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

And I didn't even know Mudge's schtick was missing.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 9, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I see that the pope is willing to meet with abuse victims.

That's nice, although if I were such a victim, I'm not certain that going to a meeting with the priestly capo di tutti capi would be high on my list of priorities.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 9, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of Republicans... a couple of days ago, Tom Coburn characterized Rachel Maddow's reporting of his actions as "emotional." Well, this is what he got last night:

As my parents used to say, "pretty damning stuff."

Posted by: russianthistle | April 9, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Brag! Good to hear from you. Those bonds sound like a good idea. I might buy, if I had any money (this is my habitual stance towards financial investment).

I'm thinking about the "missing link" phenomenon. Put up a Kit about evolution and all kinds of anti-Darwin types will show up. Talk about a missing link, and there's no ideological fuss - except of course for the sciencey people like Joel and Boodlers, pointing out how there is no missing link. Is this just too sciencey? Does using the Latin name in the title kill the umbrage meter? Do people secretly like the idea of a missing link even if they reject the linkage?

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 9, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Brag, thanks for the info on Chilean bonds.

I've put Yoki's olive cheese balls and Mudge's onion soup on the short list of possibilities. Any others?

And I'm glad the Queen remembered to mention "Canadians and Newfoundlanders" in her Vimy Ridge speech, since Newfie didn't become part of Canada until later.

Posted by: MsJS | April 9, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I won't talk about the subject of this link because I don't want to stir up any more trouble, but I especially love "Joe Cook's" take on this...

Posted by: -TBG- | April 9, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Gene Robinson should have said, what do you expect, given his job? OF COURSE Steele must be a masochist.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 9, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Brag! Good to hear from you. Those bonds sound like a good idea. I might buy, if I had any money (this is my habitual stance towards financial investment).

I'm thinking about the "missing link" phenomenon. Put up a Kit about evolution and all kinds of anti-Darwin types will show up. Talk about a missing link, and there's no ideological fuss - except of course for the sciencey people like Joel and Boodlers, pointing out how there is no missing link. Is this just too sciencey? Does using the Latin name in the title kill the umbrage meter? Do people secretly like the idea of a missing link even if they reject the linkage?

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 9, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Hmmmm. Movable Type chewed my post up and spit it out, then swallowed twice.

I usually only admire Tom Coburn for his consistency, but I give him props. At a recent town hall meeting here he defended Nancy Pelosi. The yahoos were booing, saying bad things, etc. and he told them to stop. Said she was a very nice person and deserved decent treatment even though they disagree on issues. When they kept booing he asked whether they'd met her. Nope. He pointed out that only one person in that room knew Nancy Pelosi, his being the opinion that should matter.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 9, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Another possible missing link:

Is it just me, or does Jon Stewart look like Rachel Maddow's older brother?

Click on any video.

(from russianthistle's 10:10 post)

Posted by: MsJS | April 9, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom - I think there is a perception among many evolution deniers that this alleged missing link is some kind of intrinsic defect in evolutionary science. It's something of a fallback position popular with certain religious individuals who are not entirely comfortable with removing all overt divine intervention in the development of modern humans.

In essence, the argument is that evolution brought about some pre-cursor to humans, then divine intervention turned these non-human pre-cursors into humans with souls, at which point evolution continued on.

All of which means that the missing link, for some, really does have huge theological significance.

Implicit in this view, of course, is the whole notion of linear evolution. If evolution is not viewed as a steady progression then the whole missing link, and hence their theological out, becomes irrelevant.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 9, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I'll say it again: I can't believe that evolution-deniers don't see how Divine evolution really is.

Why they would want to deny God the credit for such an amazing thing is beyond me.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 9, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Great Rachel Maddow show! Wowie-Zowie!

I've always found it amusing when men tell women that they (i.e., women) are not only emotional, but "too emotional" -- it's a gig, alright.

MsJs, if you like, I can reiterate my recipe for the now world-famous Spinach Tomato Cheese casserole:

2 pkgs frozen chopped spinach, cooked & drained
1 can stewed tomatoes (try to get it w/o high fructose corn syrup)
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce (same)
1 cup Ritz cracker crumbs (same) (I've tried other kinds, but Ritz is the best)
1 pkg Cracker Barrel sharp cheddar cheese (I use the one with lower fat and fewer calories, but it's up to you)

Bake in a preheated 350-375 F oven for about 35-40 minutes, until bubbling and heated through. Alternatively, you may nuke it (which I do for everything) for maybe 7-8 minutes if you have a revolving tray, or just turn it halfway through.


Posted by: -ftb- | April 9, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Oops -- don't forget to shred the cheese.

Posted by: -ftb- | April 9, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I agree TBG. I think the biggest challenge is for those who value Scripture, but also value what their own eyes and brains tell them. And I have sympathy for people of good nature who are engaged in this struggle.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 9, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I have this silly picture in my mind of ftb's casserole with a big blog of cheese in the middle. :-)

Posted by: -TBG- | April 9, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

RD_P, the thing I don't get is why people get their shorts/panties twisted in the first place.

If Gad is responsible for all creation, then all life forms were created on some level by divine intervention. This would include homo sapiens, by whatever miraculous non-linear evolutionary fits and starts science says took place.

Posted by: MsJS | April 9, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Looks like the Chilean wine industry took quite a large hit. Concha y Toro hasn't released information on its losses, according to a news story this week.

At least grapes remained on the vines. Apples were shaken off the trees.

Justice Stevens' much-anticipated retirement makes me wonder whether the confirmation process will be anywhere near as polite as for Justice Sotomayor.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 9, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Ok, so I just reiterated what TBG said better.

Ohh, ftb, yummy! Many thanks!

Posted by: MsJS | April 9, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

MsJS - yes, this is a common fallback position. The gotcha, for some, is linking the *specifics* of evolution to the *specifics* of Scripture. For those who aren't hung up on such literal specifics, science in general can, and frequently is, a source of tremendous spiritual inspiration.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 9, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Yes, RD... but those who value Scripture have no problem with the many other things they don't believe anymore.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 9, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

"a big blog of cheese"????

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 9, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Well, evolution IS linear. There's an unbroken chain of related individuals with me at one end and the primordial ooze at the other. The albatross and the whale, they are my brothers. Well, cousins.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 9, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

MsJS, these were a big hit at an Oscar party a couple of years ago (actually, the whole menu works well):

Posted by: Yoki | April 9, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

New Scientist recently ran a cover story on evidence for most speciation being 'accidental.' This is really no surprise, in that geographic isolation has long been seen as leading to speciation. And northern regions that were glaciated or very cold not so long ago are notable for having plenty of locally-evolved plant species (look at wild carrots in the Rockies--Lomatium, Cymopterus, etc.).

This 'accidental' quality of speciation and of evolution in general is terribly hard for most people to accept. Most like to think that evolution was aiming at developing wonderful human beings, preferably ones that look like Michelangelo's art.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 9, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps if they changed the word "accidental" to, oh, maybe "absent-minded"?

No, I guess not.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 9, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse


This is the *only* blog of cheese EYE choose to be around, even if it does get heated now and again.

Well, Justice Stevens is retiring, giving Obama yet another chance to nominate a fine jurist to the Court. I fully expect that it will be bloody, and that ultimately the nominee will prevail. I shall not watch the attempted butchery, however.

As for the evolution argument, I find it ironic among those who demonize others (i.e., gays, feminists, etc.) on religious/biblical lines, yet state emphatically that God made all human beings. God must have a dart board up in his/her abode, or some likewise decision-making software as to which sector to demonize and which not. Bleah. Entirely too silly for me.

And now I'm hungry for my casserole. I don't have the spinach or stewed tomatoes, though. Oh, BTW, in that regard, if there are any gluten free boodlers, gluten free cracker crumbs work just as well, I have heard.

Posted by: -ftb- | April 9, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I am, alas, a gluten for punishment.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 9, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

And I'm thinking about starting a cheese blog.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 9, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Funny to think that Stevens was named to the court by Gerald Ford in 1975.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 9, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

The invention of the post-it note (tm) was 'accidental' too, but still somewhat miraculous.

Silly me, I can view seeming accidents as miracles.

*stomach now growling a full 90 minutes ahead of schedule*

Must go find food. Can't imagine why I'm hungry at this hour.

Posted by: MsJS | April 9, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I'm with TBG & RD: the more I learn about the workings of the universe - what some have called the "Mind of God" - the more I am filled with spiritual wonder.

Scrabble! I whupped ScienceTim last night with an 80-point full-rack laydown on a triple-word. Final score: 380 to 328. We must be geniuses score so high!

Not quite. This is Facebook Scrabble, which has a "shuffle" button for the rack, and lets you see what a play will score before committing. More importantly, its built-in dictionary won't let you play an invalid word, so you're free to try any crazy assemblage that *might* work. Up to 4 can play; find us and join in the fun!

BTW, ScienceTim has won 10 of the 18 games we've played. Not that I'm counting.

Posted by: ScienceSpouse | April 9, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

A cheese blog, TBG? I cheddar at the thought. If no one visits, it might provalone Web site that would make you blue. Make sure you have lots of bright, colorful graphics, because mozzarella good Web sites are attractive and easy to navigate. Havarti illustrations, so people know what kind of cheese your talking about. And make sure you do your research: you don't want people to say you don't know jack.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 9, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

*High-Fives Science Spouse*

Do the victory dance and make him squirm.

Was it a proper noun?

Posted by: russianthistle | April 9, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Hi SciSpouse!

Scrabble? Oh goody!

Posted by: MsJS | April 9, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Proper nouns aren't allowed in Facebook Scrabble, just as IRL. The word was "toolbars", building on a final "s", and making use of a blank tile.

Posted by: ScienceSpouse | April 9, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Jalapeno, Mudge!

Posted by: -ftb- | April 9, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Many, many years ago I used to frequently play Scrabble all the time with a young lady of my acquaintance. She had a deluxe rotating board with recessed tile receptacles. We spent many delightful evenings so engaged. But I don't ever recall her executing a full 80-point full-rack laydown. But that may have been because her mother was often in the room.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 9, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Because it's a Friday, I must pass this along.

Every once and a while I am forwarded painfully earnest letters from well meaning individuals beseeching the government to exploit some previously suppressed scientific breakthrough before our Many Enemies do so.

I just received one alarmingly lucid such missive on the many strategic opportunities offered by this shamefully under-reported topic:

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 9, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

My proudest moments remain: (1) Playing "avarice" for 97 points, and (2) My 409-point game.

The statistics suggest that the global highest-scorers managed 1789 points on a single word -- all of them on the same word, for the same score -- and the highest-scoring game for each of these players is in the over-3000 point range. A little research suggests that this is all a load of nonsense, and well outside the range of any accepted-and-observed game of Scrabble in tournament play. In others words: the Facebook game apparently can be hacked, or at least somebody rigged the game with the intention of constructing a super-high score (like, by plying both sides in order for one side to throw the game to the other). But that still doesn't explain how they all got the same score off the same word, which would depend on exactly how and when certain tiles were delivered to the appropriate locations to deliver the highest possible score. Somebody done cheated.

Posted by: ScienceTim | April 9, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Well, of course, Padouk. I was wondering when you morons were going to get around to that. It's been right there all along, staring you guys in the face. We in the DOT have been cooling our heels for years, waiting to get around to implementing our ITGH (Internal Trans-Global Highway) system. We've even got the names of the rest stops picked out: Molly Pitcher, Val Kilmer (nobody ever heard of Joyce), Vince Lombardi, Sen. Bob Packwood, the Joey Tribiani Interchange, the Lindsay Lohan Freeway, etc. C'mon, let's put the "infra" in infrastructure.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 9, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | April 9, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

RDP, I once met a guy who was entirely convinced that the Philadelphia experiment really happened, and then proceeded to tell me in detail the plot of the 1984 movie starring Michael Pare as if it were gospel. I asked him if he'd seen the movie and, surprisingly, he had not. Apparently he'd picked up all this info elsewhere, and had no idea that the particular story he was telling was fiction.

The interwebs have really given these guys a gigantic playground. I wonder if either the truthers or the birthers would have been much more than a virtually unknown minority of cranks without it.

Of course, the events surrounding the mysterious temporal diversion of the aircraft carrier Nimitz to 1941, immediately preceeding Pearl Harbor, should be investigated fully immediately.

Posted by: rashomon | April 9, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Then I'm sure ITGH will be in the Scrabble Dictionary next edition.

One game I'm fond of is a curious variant of Scrabble employing a rule whereby the players agree on any bleeping dictionary except the Scrabble Dictionary. It is a delightful game I recommend. There is usually no problem agreeing on which dictionary to use once the initial concept itself is agreed upon. Someone once asked me "what kind of dictionary?" and I recommended $20. Or more.

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 9, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, I'd play that as long as the "no proper noun" rule was stuck to. Actually I think I've always played that.

I love unabridged dictionaries full of obscure and ancient words.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 9, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Love a good hoax. Was tipped on to one by a coworker predisposed to believe them all. You think inner earth is cool, how about a perpetual motion dune buggy invented by a guy who the Arab cartels tried to buy off and then was mysteriously killed by poisoning?'s_water_fuel_cell

Posted by: steveboyington | April 9, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry, Mudge. It would be a very gouda blog and would be feta'ed all over the world. In fact, the descriptions would be so gouda, you'd want to edam.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 9, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

But there'd be cheddars and copycats ready to bleu its secrets all over, so you'd want to goudaright it.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 9, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

There's a video podcast series on iTunes called "Stuff they don't want you to know" that has one about Nazi research into the hollow earth theory. From the bit that I saw the series looks fun.

Posted by: engelmann | April 9, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Problem with wine this year. Have a good bunch of grapes, but main problem is a large number of fermentation and storage facilities and vats have been destroyed.
Most ports where fruit is normally loaded have suffered damage and have limited loading capacity. Towns in the main wine area have been 80% destroyed.

Posted by: Braguine | April 9, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Problem with wine this year. Have a good bunch of grapes, but main problem is a large number of fermentation and storage facilities and vats have been destroyed.
Most ports where fruit is normally loaded have suffered damage and have limited loading capacity. Towns in the main wine area have been 80% destroyed.

Posted by: Braguine | April 9, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Uh-oh, Brag -- I'm starting to see double.

*putting down glass, slowly*

Posted by: -ftb- | April 9, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Believe me, Brag... we're doing our best to support the Chilean wine industry.

Isn't it about time for a SCOTUS kit from Joel?

Posted by: -TBG- | April 9, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I think he should nominate Ric Flair. The hearings would be worth it.

Posted by: steveboyington | April 9, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Hey everybody.

Brag, I hope somebody in California and/or France can come up with equipment and assistance with the grapes now on the vine in Chile. You'd think it would be a no-brainer, regardless of limited port access.

Thirty five years for Justice Stevens. Wow. I hope he's enjoyed the job, considering that he's 89 and stayed a long, long time. I didn't like my job that much, I retired when I was 53.

Back from visit to large cloth store to purchase quilt fabric. We were successful, I'm glad to say. I was the youngest person in the crowd, so it was my job to drive and agree with the oldest, who is In Charge. We had a pleasant time.

Posted by: slyness | April 9, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Friend of mine used to work at NASA, managing a program that solicited "out of the box" proposals that might get funded. He got one called the "Fast Ambulance". The proposal was that in cases where there was a fatal crash, the ambulance would be launched into space, where it would exceed the speed of light for sufficient time to precede the accident, thereby allowing them to arrive on the scene and prevent the accident from happening. Aside from a minor flaw, the theory looked promising.

Posted by: ebtnut | April 9, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

rashomon - Love that story about how rumors become decoupled from their origins!

Of course, I also heard that The Philadelphia Experiment really was true and then they, like, hypnotized the producers into making that movie as, you know, cover.

I mean, I've seen that movie. The hypnotized producers angle makes a lot of sense.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 9, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I agree TBG. I think saving the Chilean Wine industry is, like, a moral imperative.

I also heard, of course, that the Australian Shiraz industry might be endangered as well.

Okay, maybe not. But I figure it helps to be proactive in such matters.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 9, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Very clever ebtnut! I'm sure it was felt that that detail could be worked out with sufficient funding.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 9, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure that Time Ambulance thing was worked out in a Star Trek episode somewhen.

That Hollow Earth letter reminds me of a letter received by the Department of Clandestine Technology a few years ago, and the CDT's reply:

Ya gotta love a good indictment of the second law of thermodynamics.


Posted by: -bc- | April 9, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I see the GOP is having another crazy conservative revival tent weekend, this time in New Orleans. You folk see the quotes from the speechifying? Holy mother of Moses, are they all nuts? Every time they get together to talk to their base it reminds me of some weird reality show called "The Biggest A Hole". The competition is very fierce, every time.

Posted by: steveboyington | April 9, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Someone mentioned SCOTUS. I'm going to take a flyer and say that Judge Wood has the inside track this time around.

Posted by: ebtnut | April 9, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

So what if these guys look like humans? How important are looks? Personality is what counts, and on that basis I suggest man is descended from the Magpie. They are crafty, hoard shiny objects, and chatter a lot. It's obvious!

Posted by: rlargess | April 9, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Favorite Cinematic Conspiracists-

From the 1992 film "Sneakers" the Dan Ackroyd character Mother:

But the key meeting took place July 3rd, 1958, when the Air Force brought the space visitor to the White House for an interview with President Eisenhower. And Ike said, "hey look, give us your technology, we'll give you all the cow lips you want."

And from 2002's "Undercover Brother" the Dave Chappel character Conspiracy Brother:

Undercover Brother: Are you telling me there really is a Man'?
Conspiracy Brother: What do you think? Things don't just happen by accident! Sometimes people - mostly *white* people - make things happen!
Undercover Brother: So the conspiracies we've believed for all these years are true? The NBA really did institute the three point shot to give white boys a chance?
Conspiracy Brother: Of course!
Undercover Brother: Then the entertainment industry really *is* out to get Spike Lee?
Conspiracy Brother: Come on man! Even Cher's won an Oscar! Cher!
Undercover Brother: Then O.J. really didn't do it?
[Everyone looks away and mumbles]

Posted by: kguy1 | April 9, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

What's the tea party like in that latest Alice in Wonderland movie?

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 9, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Messy, chaotic, unappetizing. Not unlike...oh, that's too easy.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 9, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I have voted Republican more than Democrat in my rather short voting life (6 Pres elections). I am a pretty staunch fiscal conservative, but pretty liberal socially. Every time another GOP official or candidate gets up on the stage and mocks Obama for being a community organizer gets my blood boiling.

His campaign responded to the same horrid attacks after the GOP convention eloquently. I wish I could find the text.

The theme of the response was: you mock people for being community organizers?!? Those people help the poor and the helpless to improve their lives. They fight for people that nobody else cares about. Our question to the Republicans who mock community organizers is this: Who are YOU fighting for?

The GOP has to realize that the smearing of community organizers cost them valuable votes in 2008. Do they think doing the same thing will not cost them again?

Posted by: steveboyington | April 9, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm posting this in two parts as the Blogosaurus gobbled up the the whole post.

Chile, a Post Earthquake Pub Crawl

On February 27, 2010, five hours after the earthquake, I set off to see what was going on in my neighborhood. Here and there bits of rubble and glass littered the sidewalks. A few buildings were cordoned off with yellow tape. Near the Divina Providencia Church a sinkhole had swallowed an entire block of pavement. In front of the church itself a crew worked at clearing rubble blocking three traffic lanes. On the opposite sidewalk, people milled about gawking or taking pictures of the heavily damaged bell tower. The rest of the nearly 200 year-old structure seemed ok.

On my return, I went by my local pub. It was yellow taped, bits of stucco lay about the sidewalk. To the rear, a bit of adobe wall leaned out as if daring anyone to stand under it. I pretty much kissed goodbye to the two buck half liter mug of beer I frequently had there on warm evenings. It made me wonder on the fate of my other favorite watering holes.

All of them were old, traditional establishments built before Chile’s demanding building codes came into effect. The idea of having to change my boozing habits and having to patronize glitzy nuveau riche bars gave me the creeps. Modern Santiago had already swallowed most of the joints where you could order a cool borgona, wine with fruit in it, on a hot afternoon or an elaborate vaina on a cold winter night.

A few days later, bus services and the Metro were back to normal operation. I headed to the Central Market built over a hundred years ago by a French fellow by the name of Eiffel who would later build some tower in Paris.

Of course, my destination was not the market but an establishment around the corner opened in 1916. In those days it catered to the market workers who would have a glass of wine when arriving to work and when going home. In 1922 a friend of then President Alessandri invited the head of state for a drink. On seeing the clientele, Alessandri commented, “Esto es una piojera!” this is a lice den.

The owner quickly changed the name of the place to La Piojera. Still owned by the same family, the staff of this bar-restaurant works hard at making it the raunchiest place in Santiago.

Glasses are filled to the brim and the bar is wet with slop-overs. The bar is famous for its terremoto (earthquake) cocktail. White wine, aguardiente (fire water), Fernet and a dollop of pineapple ice cream. One of them is enough to make you feel the earth is shaking. My favorite is pipeno con chichi, white wine with a sweet grape cider. At the bar they also serve ham hock sandwiches and meat pies.

I am happy to report, the place is still standing. After drinking a few terremotos, some of the clients are not.

Later, I went clear across town to the western suburb of Maipu where some apartment buildings, their main supports collapsed, tip over at alarming angles.

Posted by: Braguine | April 9, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Pub Crawl Part II

I was worried that La Higuera, an establishment installed in a sprawling old house had not survived the quake. To my delight, it is still up. Lunch with a large glass of wine here is six bucks. It includes salad, main course and desert. The bar, which has a separate entrance to segregate the rowdies is about as raunchy as La Piojera, but I doubt it has ever been visited by a foreign tourist.

In the city center, right on the main drag officially named Avenida Bernardo O’Higgins, but called Alameda by everyone, stands the stately Club de la Union, which occupies a city block. Everyone who is anybody in Santiago is a member. Nobody who is nobody is allowed entrance unless a guest of somebody who is not afraid being seen friends with a nobody.

Being a nobody, I have not yet done any elbow bending on the world’s longest bar carved out of one piece of wood.

But across the New York Street side of the club are the friendly doors of the Bar la Union. Inside, behind the bar counter, the shelves are lined with wine bottles. Only a small space is occupied by whiskeys or other imported spirits. The bartenders here will even talk to a nobody. Waiters in white dinner jackets and napkins on their wrists, bustle about tables with red table cloths. Here the menu is elaborate but very Chilean, and the prices wallet friendly.

If it wasn’t for the Club de la Union, we wouldn’t have the bar of the same name. I guess one ought to thank somebody.

My local pub has been repaired.


Posted by: Braguine | April 9, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Brag. There is hope when the gathering places are still intact.

And three cheers for the Bar la Union. The club of the same name appears able to fend for itself.

Posted by: MsJS | April 9, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'm torn between Judge Fargo and Judge Hershey

Posted by: omni3 | April 9, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

I have this sudden urge to visit Santiago.

Posted by: qgaliana | April 9, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Great synopsis of the pubs Brag, glad your local pub survived.

Posted by: dmd3 | April 9, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

steveboyington, I'm curious about something. You said that you were staunchly fiscally conservative, causing you to vote Republican in your election history. This seems to be a theme among those I know who have voted for Republicans in the past. To me, and especially after the flagrancy of Bush II's administration (and Reagan's, as well), the Republicans are anything BUT fiscally conservative, staunchly or not. Where did this myth come from? Is it because when Democrats spend money it's on or for the "wrong people?"

As for the community organizer bit, I'm sure the brains of the evangelicals and tea party people (to the extent they have any) would explode if they realized that Christ was a community organizer and a socialist, to boot.

Oh Happy Day!

Posted by: -ftb- | April 9, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm right there with you qgaliana, those were my thoughts

Posted by: omni3 | April 9, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

I often wonder the same thing ftb

I'm a fiscal conservative (balance the budget) and a social liberal (take care of people). I have on occasion voted for a republican or minor party candidate at the local level. I have never voted for a republican presidential candidate

(voting early and often since 1980

Posted by: omni3 | April 9, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

qgaliana, Omni,
Sounds like a IBPH in Santiago is in the cards. We'll add a visit to some primitive (undeveloped) hot springs with view of a volcano and Brag's famous mussels feed. :)


Posted by: Braguine | April 9, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Australopithecus means southern ape right?

Explains a lot

They haven't evolved

OK, that was mean, some of my best friends are apes

Posted by: omni3 | April 9, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

I think Brag needs to work for the Santiago Tourist Bureau because his post made me want to visit as well.

Posted by: dmd3 | April 9, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

JA made the Snopes -> Scopes correction, but he didn't mention he put in some text to explain. and a link as well. I think the explanation is funny and the linked graphic funny as get out

But, what is STED?

Posted by: omni3 | April 9, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

*strolling back from the M-W Scrabble Zone*

Not to brag tooooooooo much, but I just scored TWO consecutive bingoes (BEAMING and SEARING) on my way to 538 points.

It takes so little to get my ego preening.


Posted by: MsJS | April 9, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, is this a joke that went over my head?

'Someone once asked me "what kind of dictionary?" and I recommended $20. Or more.'

Posted by: omni3 | April 9, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Note to self, never ever challenge MsJS to a game of Scrabble

dmd, are you for a friendly game?

Posted by: omni3 | April 9, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

That was a sort of joke that was serious too. I meant there are a lot of really bad dictionaries out there. Most of them are soft cover, inexpensive, have the word "Webster's" on the front but are published by some obscure holding company with no academic cred, and kind of a rip-off compared to good dictionaries with lots of words, good etymologies, and decent credibility as scholarly. I have a ~$25 Merriam Webster dictionary (G & C Merriam) my dad bought me in about 1978 and I acquired another big Random House dictionary that went for about $85 around the same time. Saying "$20" about what kind of dictionary to get may be right even though it sounds cryptic. But it saves time.

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 9, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I don't know who first came up with the idea of combining pineapple, cheese and Ritz crackers, but person who did: I salute you.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 9, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I am for any game where I will not be laughed at for place and, the, but on the board :-). The thought of playing the ScienceSpouse and SciTim scares the crap out of me, loved ScienceSpouses post earlier today.

Posted by: dmd3 | April 9, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Yello, I gotta know if your sweet love saved you past half the second stanza.

Truth in reality tv: on what not to wear the chosen lady just said she felt like punching all her friends.

I nominate Santiago for the next Ibph.

This is the weekend of no cash, but I'm enjoying it. Cash is all I spend now. I bought a laptop then they cancelled the sale when i wanted more ram installed. The first sale's cancellation hasn't turned over in my account yet and they put the second one through. My debit card account is now 1k overdrawn and a combination of different time zones and countries meant the fax they sent to cancel immediately arrived after the bank had closed. The customer service mgr at the hardware company offered to have his friend in America wire me enough to see me through the weekend. Gotta love it! Fortunately I'm not going to starve and there is that little used account I almost forgot about.

Posted by: -dbG- | April 9, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Somehow I don't remember it being so much fun and a good story when I was actually broke IRL.

Posted by: -dbG- | April 9, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Dontcha just hate it when that happens, dbG? It is a good thing that we won't starve in the meantime.

TBG, glad to hear that you like the pineapple cheese casserole. It's a great potluck dish.

Jumper, my copy of the OED is three decades old, so I suppose it wouldn't do these days. IIRC, my mom got it for me from the Book of the Month Club; it's in two folio-sized volumes, complete with magnifying glass so you can actually read the entries. Nowadays, I usually go to when I have a question or need a word.

Posted by: slyness | April 9, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Jumper. I understand now. I have a webster's collegiate I used to carry around in my backpack. every time I came across a word I didn't know (or wanted a refresh) I'd look it up. never in it. worthless

Posted by: omni3 | April 9, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

I've been to Santiago (worked there for 6 weeks in the mid-nineties), and it is a *great* place for an IBPH! I'd love to go back. Brag, if you organize it, I'll be there.

Posted by: Yoki | April 9, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, I was there for a while but it isn't important enough to waste my weekend being annoyed over. so it's like camping, being resourceful and happy about it. Maybe I'll start packing lunches for work or walking to the store. I'm open.

I'd meant to write earlier, let us know when the quilt gets raffled. I'll get a few tickets.

Posted by: -dbG- | April 9, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Come back, little Boodle.

Posted by: -dbG- | April 9, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

It isn't dead. Just restin'

Posted by: Yoki | April 9, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Just resting...and watching "House." And eating strawberries and ladyfingers (one word, denoting the cakes rather than the phlanges). Then gathering up the rest of the household trash because tomorrow is take-the-trash-to-the-landfill day.

Wind was hellacious when I came out of work at 5 p.m. this afternoon. Musta been blowing 35, 40 knots. Unreal.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 9, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

OK, Boodle quiz (the Boodle knows everything). How do you pronounce "artisanal"? Is it




Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 9, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, sorry, but cannot stand House. Still friends? Hi Yoki. And Brag, to have the watering holes is important; little node from which community crystallizes.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 9, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

I'll let you know, dbG. The colors are cornflower blue and white, and the pattern is Irish Chain. I've never quilted before, so it will be interesting. The event has always been in late October, but I don't know what we'll end up doing this year.

Posted by: slyness | April 9, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Always still friends, CqP. I fully recognize House is an acquired taste, like olives and gin.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 9, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

So my son is here for the weekend. And it fills me with parental angst to note that he appears to have fallen prey to that most seductive of college, um, seductions.

Yes. He is into foreign films.

And I'm not talking about something mellow like Bergman or Fellini. Because every parent expects this sort of cinematic exploration.

No, I fear he has moved on to the hard stuff. You know, like Lars Van Trier. Who, I am told, makes beautiful films once you get past the genital mutilation.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 9, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, how about ar Tese sinl

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 9, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

I vote for AR-ti-zun-ul.

Posted by: rashomon | April 9, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

I like CP's pronunciation, my first thought was AR-ti-zun-ul, but I would tend to blur the end together closer to sinl. Of course I pronouce Toronto, Torawna - so what do I know.

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

And now I need to figure out what a "Park Chan-wook" is.

My son assures me his stuff won't make me consider an intervention.

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

Oh Mudge... must you give us an opening like that? A word that ends in ANAL? How do you think we'd pronounce it?

Of course the real question is: How do they say it in Mianus?

Posted by: -TBG- | April 9, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

I kinda like "House". He's so ill, crabby, and just a big, you know what. And he doesn't change, and I think that's what people keep hoping for, that he'll change. Whatever comes up, comes out. In the worst way.

Night, boodle.

Posted by: cmyth4u | April 9, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse


Will one of the resident copy editors answer omni's question about what STED means (see Joel's amended Kit)? I know STET is an editing term, to let the original stay (after a correction). Just wondering...

Posted by: seasea1 | April 9, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, seasea, I have no clue what STED means. I Googled it just now and found these six possibilities, but can't see how any of them applies.

Stimulated Emission Depletion
Septic Tank Effluent Disposal.
Summary Technical Documentation
Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development
Surface Transportation Enforcement District
Seeley Trunk Encryption Device

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 9, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Space-Time Existential Displacement

Posted by: rashomon | April 9, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

instead of

Posted by: -TBG- | April 9, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

The Urban Dictionary? WAAAAAYY no help:

1. sted A contraction of steroid head, if you describe someone as a "sted" it means they are very strong, not on steroids (necessarily). Often used sarcastically. Generally used in the UK.
"Go on sted, lift this weight!"

2. STED to carry many types of Sexually Transmitted Diseases

3. sted describing something as appealing to one's self
cool, fashionable, attractive
"I can't stop thinking about your mother's sted body."

No, I don't think any of them.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 9, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Ahh, like 'stead of? Wow - thx.

dbG, I think you should be hopping mad and writing to Chris Dodd or Tim Geithner or somebody. I hate the way checks clear immediately and deposits (or credits) take forever. It's not right! I've never used a debit card - not for that reason, mainly because I don't like what happens if they get stolen. I'm the old lady in the checkout line who still writes checks. But good for you for not fretting about what you can't change now...although, as you well know, computers don't sleep, so I don't know why it has to wait till Monday to get corrected...Sorry, don't mean to rile you up...

Posted by: seasea1 | April 9, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Braguine's observations on Chile and Chilean society remind me of Eduardo Galeano's based on soccer -- a common reference point that highlights the differences from one country/culture to another. In English the book is Soccer in Sun and Shadow, and there are excerpts in Google books. Sun & Shadow refers to the East side where the ordinary people sit looking into the sun vs the West side where the boxes are located. At Boca Jrs stadium in Buenos Aires it's so exaggerated that one side looks like a grandstand and the other an apartment house.,-58.36465&spn=0.01,0.01&t=h&q=-34.63565,-58.36465


Posted by: Jim19 | April 9, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm still going with "Space-Time Existential Displacement." This involves being briefly transported to an alternate universe where, for example, the famous Scopes monkey trial about John Scopes teaching evolution involved, instead, whether Vernon "Bubba" Snopes' pet gibbon was eligible to vote in school board elections. These displacements usually last only seconds -- just long enough for a blogger to post a column to a newspaper web site, or to hit the "submit" button on a comments thread.

Posted by: rashomon | April 9, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Stet= "Let it stand"
Stat= it stands.

There is no latin conjugation of the verb Stare (to stand) that leads to "sted"

I think Joel wanted "stetit"-- pluperfect, "it had stood."

Or stetisset= "It could have stood (as)"


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 9, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and of course it also explains those socks that go missing in the dryer.

Posted by: rashomon | April 9, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Snopes Vixen Trial--
That memory still hounds dogs;
Foxes as kin. Brr.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 9, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I'll go with TBG, although Linux' Small/Stupid Text Editor is the thing itself, given we still don't have italics.

Thanks, seasea. The first charge should come off automatically within 4 days, so by Monday. Anything else takes a person.

I always wonder whether the socks go missing in the washer or dryer. I've read it's the washer, they get swept out with the water.

Posted by: -dbG- | April 9, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure I've told y'all about the family road trip that took us through Dayton, Tennessee, to the Scopes Trial Museum. The folks all over town asked us if we'd "see the monkey thing."

And about the museum... it seemed more about the making of "Inherit the Wind" than the actual trial itself.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 9, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse


With top-loaders, you have to check around the edges; with the washers you probably have to check for them plastered against the "ceiling" around the lid.

I've actually found a sock half stuck in the drum on a side loading dryer, though. You have to feel around all the edges you can't see inside.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 9, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Snopes Dryer Trial:
Did the socks divorce their peers
or simply evolve?


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 9, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

It appears from his Facebook picture that Yellojkt made his appointment in Winslow.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 9, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

It may also explain the Tea Partiers. Fox News viewers literally live in an alternate universe. Unfortunately, they vote in ours.

Posted by: rashomon | April 9, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Christian AND I believe in evolution. Just had to proclaim this.

Posted by: Windy3 | April 9, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Brag, a IBPH in Santiago sounds good. And thanks very much for that pub crawl.

Yello, I'm looking forward to seeing who's driving that flatbed Ford and hearing you belt that chestnut out.

On this quiet night, I thought I'd toss in this thought: Media culpas aside, Tiger Woods has had a nice couple of rounds at the Masters -- halfway through the event, he's two strokes off the lead lurking in 3rd overall.

A green jacket does not redemption make, (and that's not up to me anyway), but -- wow.



Posted by: -bc- | April 9, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: seasea1 | April 9, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

LAN periodically offers good fares to Santiago. The interesting thing to do would be to continue on to Sydney. I'm pretty sure they have Santiago-Sydney flights.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 10, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | April 10, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

messing around and found an alternate take of the rolling stones hang fire. long ago and far away i had the paris rehearsals on a trio of cassettes. cool stuff.

Posted by: -jack- | April 10, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

say it three times fast. triple dog dare you.

Posted by: -jack- | April 10, 2010 12:47 AM | Report abuse


That cover art reminds me that tattoos and other body modifications were, even quite recently, considered extreme. Funny.

Artisanal, artisanal, artisanal.

Posted by: Yoki | April 10, 2010 1:12 AM | Report abuse

I posted several days ago (during the second coming of "the cause") and have only returned, after two brutal days' work because several of you invited me to do so.

Enjoyed all I've read here, esp. Braguine's Pub Crawl from Santiago. I'm afraid I'm too late to the party, however.
Try as I might, your wonderful give/take and shorthand may leave me the proverbial babe in the woods.

Glossery (?)
Kit - a new subject (with reference sites) by Joel A. ?
Mudge - being the last poster on a kit when a new kit has commenced ? (ref:curmudgeon)
Scrabble M-W - online scrabble game ?

I could go on, but I'd be guessing. I do like hot breakfast drinks and sunrises, weather reports and geography, Faulkner and biblical/Shakespearean references.

One caveat - I was born in Georgia . . . am I automatically disqualified?

Let me know on the next kit (?) and I'll cease hovering and participate on a "if I'm able to keep up with you" basis.
Regards and trepidations,

Posted by: talitha1 | April 10, 2010 1:20 AM | Report abuse

talitha1! Welcome back.

No trepidation is required. If you liked cooked breakfasts, and any one or more of Shakespeare, knitting, gardening, cooking, science (especially but not exclusively physics and astronomy), imaginary lunch, poetry, theory, the Potomac, Mr. A's writing, classical music and classic rock (also folk of various heritages) and any number of other digressions or meanders, you are more than welcome.

Kit = Blog post by the Boss
Boodle = the commentary thereon (or not)
'Mudged = posted on the last Kit after a new one had been announced.
'mudge = Curmudgeon

Being southern by birth, location or inclination most certainly does not disqualify you. Indeed, one of our most esteemed Boodlers of long standing (I dare not say emeritus) is a dyed-in-the-wool Southerner.

Posted by: Yoki | April 10, 2010 1:31 AM | Report abuse

Hi talitha

So far you got it nailed just right, and you can always ask any question here

Do come back and set a spell, (the Boodle is where we hang

We won't hold a Georgian birth against you, in fact we'll embrace it

Posted by: omni3 | April 10, 2010 1:32 AM | Report abuse

What omni said.

Posted by: Yoki | April 10, 2010 1:39 AM | Report abuse

Welcome back, talitha! You'll catch on, never fear. Are you from Georgia, the US state, or the former Soviet Republic? Either one is fine!

We used to do sky reports on a regular basis, so if you see a nice sunrise, let us know.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 10, 2010 1:42 AM | Report abuse

What Yoki said.

Posted by: omni3 | April 10, 2010 1:47 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, omni. Auntie loves you.

Posted by: Yoki | April 10, 2010 1:54 AM | Report abuse

oooh, since Auntie's not here I'm smilin' and givin' myself a hug

Thanks Auntie, love you too

Posted by: omni3 | April 10, 2010 2:02 AM | Report abuse

Welcome back, talitha.

Posted by: rainforest1 | April 10, 2010 2:03 AM | Report abuse

Well, Hey y'all.

Guess which Georgia I'm from?
(never end a sentence with a preposition, notwithstanding)

I've never felt so welcomed in my whole life.
Let me catch my breathe and I'll be right back.

Oh - textile r'me
I drink tea
my daddy had a runway in the back field for his Stearman (any pilots out there?

And I love leftover imaginary lunches.

Thanks to all. (do y'all forego emoticons?)

Posted by: talitha1 | April 10, 2010 2:13 AM | Report abuse

rainforest *and* talitha1. Such riches.

Posted by: Yoki | April 10, 2010 2:16 AM | Report abuse

Oh, you are *so* a Boodler, talitha1. Happy homes.

Posted by: Yoki | April 10, 2010 2:20 AM | Report abuse

A friend once said you can't end a sentence with a preposition. I said sure you can, it just takes a little practice

I think many of us are Glaucoma Test Pilots, I'm not sure about actual pilots

bc races cars he built himself and that's pretty near close

Posted by: omni3 | April 10, 2010 2:23 AM | Report abuse

Went to the open market this morning to buy some purple potatoes. I came home not only with a 2-kg bag of it, but also 3 kg of tapioca. For the next 3 days, my breakfast is going to be sweet potatoes. Lunch and dinner is going to be tapioca since tapioca turn black very quickly.

Posted by: rainforest1 | April 10, 2010 2:24 AM | Report abuse

EYE am not an Glaucoma Test Pilot!

Posted by: Yoki | April 10, 2010 2:28 AM | Report abuse

Eye am naturally an outsider.

Posted by: Yoki | April 10, 2010 2:29 AM | Report abuse

I was introduced to cat’s whiskers tea recently. It can almost revive the dead.

Posted by: rainforest1 | April 10, 2010 2:31 AM | Report abuse

Eye do that too, rainforest.

Stock-up on stuff I like; small brussels sprouts (ma petite chou!) and broccoli.
Sometimes chard.

One word: Soup.

Posted by: Yoki | April 10, 2010 2:34 AM | Report abuse


put some quotes in that first sentence

and former in the second

third stands as is

Posted by: omni3 | April 10, 2010 2:36 AM | Report abuse

I vaguely remember reading an article that suggested that the whole don't-end-a-sentence-with-a-preposition thing was the result of 19th (or maybe it was 18th) century grammarians attempting to mandate a formal structure, like that of Latin, for a wooly beast of a language that really didn't want to be structured. This was one instance where colloquial usage really won the battle.

Posted by: rashomon | April 10, 2010 2:43 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | April 10, 2010 2:47 AM | Report abuse

another SCC: Add a former

I'm not making any sense any more. is off to to sleep

Posted by: omni3 | April 10, 2010 2:47 AM | Report abuse

I've never made soup with tapioca. Might try that. So far I've only eaten tapioca one way and that's dipping cooked tapioca in sugar. I might try cooking it with curry.

Once upon a time when there were many western expats here, one supermarket on occasions carried chard. Not anymore. The last time I had Brussels sprouts (imported from Australia)was early last year. It was $12.50 per kg then. It’s now $14.80 per kg, so I settle for cabbage which I can get for as low as 79 cents per kg (local.)

Posted by: rainforest1 | April 10, 2010 2:59 AM | Report abuse

Oh, my rainforest. You can buy good greens (unlike me) from the market. You go!

Posted by: Yoki | April 10, 2010 3:07 AM | Report abuse

We do have a wide variety of greens because of the climate. Yet, at times we feel there isn't enough choices. We need to be made to suffer before we appreciate them more.

Posted by: rainforest1 | April 10, 2010 3:26 AM | Report abuse

Lord have mercy!

Please drop the "1" from talitha.
The WaPo assigned me the "1" and I keep waiting to meet "talitha0".

just talitha, and a free imaginary lunch for the first who can cite (book/chapter/verse) the origin of my spiritual nomen.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 10, 2010 3:33 AM | Report abuse

Ursa major?

Posted by: Yoki | April 10, 2010 3:36 AM | Report abuse

Big bear star? Number 1 bear? Frosti, note we talk about bears. More Bear!

Posted by: Yoki | April 10, 2010 3:37 AM | Report abuse

Talitha Borealis?

Posted by: Yoki | April 10, 2010 3:46 AM | Report abuse


heh heh.

Posted by: Yoki | April 10, 2010 4:01 AM | Report abuse

Geesh you folks stay up late.

I went to the O's opening day,great game except for the ending,our closer blew it,theirs didn't.It was a lot of fun,but O the drinking that takes place.It was almost as much as a Raven's game.My first opening day since Memorial stadium days.

well back to work,carry on yaw

Prayers go out to the WV miners and their families.....

Posted by: greenwithenvy | April 10, 2010 4:36 AM | Report abuse

Yoki - all stabs in the dark? Hmmmm...

greenwithenvy - among my many travels in this life I sojourned in Bawlmer . . . so how 'bout dem Os, huh? Gone down'e'o'shun?
(that's Baltimore MD vernacular for baseball and seaside vacations) or am I preaching to the choir?

Posted by: talitha1 | April 10, 2010 4:57 AM | Report abuse

actually talithia it is
every sentence ends in "hon"

Posted by: greenwithenvy | April 10, 2010 6:33 AM | Report abuse

water= wooder
butter= budder
and a lot of the boodle live round warshington hon

Posted by: greenwithenvy | April 10, 2010 6:36 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

Talitha, I'll take a shot at Mark 5:41:

"And taking the hand of the child, he said to her, "Talitha kum," [also rendered as "talitha cumi" and/or "koumi"]

which is translated, "Little girl, I say to you, get up."

This verse gives an Aramaic phrase, attributed to Jesus bringing the girl back to life.

Tlitha is Aramaic for "young." Qum would would be the root verb meaning to rise or stand up. In proper syntax, the verb form would be qumi or koumi. but in the imperative voice the "i" would be dropped in speech, to just qum, koum, kum, or cum, depending on one's preferred transliteration.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 10, 2010 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Jeez, did you see the lede story? The president of Poland was one of 96 people killed in a plane crash in Smolensk, Russia, when the plane tried to land in fog. He was on his way to a memorial ceremony with Putin concerning the Katyn Massacre.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 10, 2010 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Will be gardening in a community setting for the am. Welcome to T. Nice name, that. And, Mudge is a font of knowledge. T, you can introduce new topics that might be your little
box canyon of joy.

For example, I have a neighbor who is interested in the history of aspirin. He collects aspirin bottles. CPBoy has learned the art of polite and pretended interest to musings on the bottles manufactured between WWI and WWII.

For those in the area (metro DC) be sure to see the tiny blush pink grass level blooms called spring beauties. These ephemerals will be gone in a wink. Also, listen for the spring peepers, even in the close-in suburbs.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 10, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Close up of spring beauties; bend over to see this, as the blooms are the size of a wee bairn's pinkie fingernail. Same color too.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 10, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Spring peepers

Scroll down for the two wave files to listen to the wee dear 'phibians.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 10, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

The flowers are lovely, CqP, in a yes Virginia there is a spring sort of way. It has been lovely till this week. This weekend will see most of the prairies battening down the hatches for a major spring blizzard.

Welcome Talitha

Posted by: --dr-- | April 10, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: omni3 | April 10, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Mark 5:41. Not only am I a Southerner, I am leading a Bible study of the Gospel of Mark, and we recently read that passage.

So, welcome, Talitha!

Windy, you and me both. It kills me that faith is set up against science. That is a horribly wrong take on both.

Good morning, everyone! Hi Cassandra!

Ham biscuits and appropriate beverages on the ready room table. I'll have the mixed fruit bowl done in a couple of minutes. Oh, and thanks to Mudge, Scotty, and bc for their yeoman work in cleaning up the bunker. It is habitable now.

Posted by: slyness | April 10, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Thank you CP, for that info and those pics!

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 10, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, coffee and OJ on the table.

A newbie? Oh goody! Welcome, talitha!

As you've likely discovered, we regular boodlers all have our dee-light-full quirks. We welcome and embrace those quirks of yours you choose to share.

Scrabble M-W, aka the M-W Scrabble Zone, is a solitaire-type version of Scrabble that can be found on the Merriam-Webster website ( click on word games, then click on SCRABBLE). Some of us are quirky towards Scrabble, some of us aren't.

Bunker clean already? You are all sooo thorough on our behalf. Many thanks.

Posted by: MsJS | April 10, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

What an enthusiastic welcome!

The plane crash that killed so many Polish officials and members of parliament looks like it may be somewhat similar to the medical problem of VIPs getting bad advice/bad treatment because they're overly fussed-over or doctors are unwilling to say "no". It sounds as though airport tower officials had shut the airport, but didn't think they could tell the Polish plane to go somewhere else. Perhaps the same for the pilot.

At the moment, this is just speculation based on news accounts.

The only US equivalent I can think of was a crash that killed much of Atlanta's arts community in 1962. That loss is still felt, and is memorialized in a number of facilities, including the Atlanta Botanical Garden, where a nice portrait of one of the victims hung in the formal meeting room.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 10, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Welcome back, Talitha!

gwe, the bluebells transplanted from your river to my house are blooming. Gorgeous. Thank you.

Yoki, TBG, how's the road trip?

What's everyone cooking this weekend? I'm thinking Cincinnati chili, gnocchi/spinach soup, maybe some taboulleh.

I want to make a cake just for the magic of it. A friend asked if I'd be willing to make the wedding cake for her daughter's wedding. While I've made them in the past, I had backup staff and multiple professional ovens. I'll make a little three tier and multiply the work in my head to decide.

Posted by: -dbG- | April 10, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Thoughts to the people of Poland all around the world and for the families and friends of those last four WV miners.

Welcome to you, Talitha.
It's been a while since we flew the Boodle Dawn Patrol, but a Stearman would be fine bird to fly one in.

Speaking of birds, I see you can buy your own film-quality Bird of Prey at this warehouse auction of assets from a closed Start Trek attraction in Vegas. Personally, I think Picard's chair would make a fine addition to the center of the Bunker, but I think Mudge, Scotty, Omni and I (and a few others) would end in a hip-checking scrum, wrestling each other like four-year olds (and no offense to four-hear olds everywhere) to get to it first.

"I call it!"
"Hey, leggo!"
"I was here first!"
"Sez you!"
"You had it last time!"

"Boys!" [The boys look around as best we can to see the ladies of the Boodle looking at us, arms folded or hands on hips, tapping a foot, each employing their variation of The Look. The boys collapse on the ground in a heap, defeated in an instant. They disentangle then scamper to the bar and the kitchen, asking for drink and food orders. The ladies nod to each other with wry smiles and go about their business. One of the ladies settles in the Chair with a beverage and ponders what she'll do next.]


Posted by: -bc- | April 10, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I always advocate BYOC(hair) myself. Works for me, anyway.

You can take it outside to do wheelies if you ask nicely.

Posted by: MsJS | April 10, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Indeed, MsJS.
I appreciate the reminder.

On another note, there was something I'd been meaning to post (and apologies if I already did in one of those tired-and-about-to-go-to-bed states): I was talking with Scottynuke the other day about the McDonnell flap in the Boodle, and the term "Rebstorm" just popped out of my mouth. Rhymes with 'Redstorm,' too.

Thought it would make for a convenient shorthand like "Rovestorm."


Posted by: -bc- | April 10, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

For more info on the Trek memorabilia auction:


Posted by: -bc- | April 10, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Ding Ding Ding -
Curmudgeon wins
and why am I not surprised?!

Indeed, Aramaic . . . when Jesus raised the young girl from death. Her father beseeched the young "rabbi" for aid and the crowd mocked him.
My great-grandmother had a long name encompassing the phrase: (this is VERY Southern) - Fanny Talitha Cumi Cline White.
She and I were very close (I was 16 when she died!) and she bestowed T.C. on me as a way to carry the name forward.
I employ it as a spiritual name, as a signature for my poems and fiberart work.

Curmudgeon, I sought out an Aramaic scholar when studying comparative religion/lit in college and he told me of all the permutations of "cumi", the spelling the King James of my youth used. We had always translated the phrase as "Damsel, arise", which appealed to my teenage medieval heart!

Awoke this morning to all your greetings and a warm spirit . . . only to immediately learn of the tragedy for Poland. My thoughts and meditations will be with them today. Brightened by "boodling", of course. Please correct me when I mis-boodle?

Later . . .

Posted by: talitha1 | April 10, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

There is no such thing as mis-boodling, Talitha. I am so glad you found us. We often pick up a new friend during a *storm. Funny how reason always shine through.

Thanks for joining our silly group. Do you still live in Georgia?

Posted by: -TBG- | April 10, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I've only backboodled enough to be able to shout out welcoming greetings to talitha!

I certainly don't mind that you're originally from Georgia (I'm originally from Michigan -- and HOW ABOUT MY TIGERS!). What captured my good mood at the time was your liking of Faulkner. Oh, dear. Now I must get into my Faulkner rant. I have tried (*oh* how I have tried!) to read him, but there is simply not enough dynamite in the world to dislodge that constipated prose. I figure that if he had to be drunk to write it, I most certainly have to be drunk to read it.

*sigh* But good on ya for liking him. Somebody has to, I suppose.

*and now talitha is probably muttering that I don't know what I'm missing (true, even if I were able to get through one of his sentences without itching) and more*

Ah, well. Such is life.

To the boodlers from North Carolina (Cassandra, slyness, Jack et al.), I wish to thank you mightily for causing me to substitute nonfat yogurt for the OJ at the store this morning. And that's because at my farmers market down the street, they had for the very first time this season ... {wait for it} ...

STRAWBERRIES (yay!) and they were from North Carolina. I will taste one as part of lunch and save the rest for breakfast with yogurt. I've heard that they're not that sweet yet, but the next batch ought to me.

Oh Joy! Oh Rapture!

Going to see "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" tonight. Yummy to hear Swedish again.

Cya later.

Posted by: -ftb- | April 10, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

"Rebstorm" is very fine indeed! Years hence, we'll remember that was the occasion of meeting Talitha.

Hi, Talitha, welcome back. While I haven't lived there in thirty years, Atlanta & Savannah are kinda home for me. Just went down to see my folks in Savannah around St. Patrick's Day.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 10, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

In general, we let boodlers self-correct, Talitha. Hence all the SCC: posts.

The news being what it is, we often find ourselves celebrating life and acknowledging tragedy simultaneously on the A-blog. Brag's posts recent posts from Chile are an excellent example.

bc, I was thinking maybe we could strip the cloaking device off the Bird of Prey and wrap it around the bunker. Mr. A and the regulars would all get a pair of decloaking spectacles so we could find it in an emergency, of course.

Also, do we feel we need a backup bunker? Since the US and Russia are reducing their nuclear weaponry, we might be able to get a silo bunker or two on the cheap. Maybe convert one into a nice dacha to rent out on weekends.

Posted by: MsJS | April 10, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Make it so, bc:
Chair fights mean bold fur flying,
warps and woofs, then naps.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 10, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Daughter and I just completed a fun project. She recently re-did her room, which is painted bright green and hot pink, and we recovered an old ottoman to match her new decor...

Posted by: -TBG- | April 10, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrodog-- don't you mean shuttles flying? No, it's definitely bold fur flying?


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 10, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Very cute ottoman TBG. Alas such an item would just be another place to throw clothes for my kids.

My mystery hellebore (blooming for the first time) has flowered, quite happy with the colours.

Talitha, glad you found your way back.

Posted by: dmd3 | April 10, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

ftb - when I saw that some folks got the Scopes/Snopes typo-thang besides me I knew I was in home territory!

Try THE REIVERS (W.F.'s Pulitzer) or just look up the Yoknapatawpha County family tree and you'll be intrigued (or not).
I had to read ABSOLOM, ABSOLOM! twice before I could write an intelligible 5-page synopsis on it in grad school, and I'm still not sure I got it. Alcohol doesn't help; other mind-alterers may have contributed at the time.

bc - Dawn Patrol in a Stearman was part of life for me growing up . . . oh for the day.

TBG - Left Georgia in 1972. (Most family still there, up in the N.Ga. mountains.)
Telluride Colorado until 1983, then D.C. and Baltimore until settling in the Shenandoah Valley in 2003. Many stops in between along the way, but only living from a trunk!

I feel like I'm at a cocktail party and can't keep names straight among all the new introductions.


Posted by: talitha1 | April 10, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Wet nose in your hand=
No introductions needed.
Say hi, toss a bone.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 10, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon all.

Talitha, welcome. You *are* at a cocktail party. Within no time at all (about the time it takes to drink two glasses of wine) you'll get the names straight.

bc, as long as you reel it in somewhere between "The Look" (what the heck's wrong with you guys, acting acting like you're 12) and "Crazy Eyes" (just you boys wait until the company's gone; there'll be some serious repercussions for your behavior). Otherwise, you might find yourself spending a weekend repainting the salon.

Time to get back on the road again...have a great day all.

Posted by: LostInThought | April 10, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I must admit that it is the ScienceSister who is the Faulkner fan. Myself, I picked it up in the gutter. Plus, I read the explanation on explaining how they derived their name.

Posted by: ScienceTim | April 10, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I found this new bit of decoration for the bunker...

Posted by: -TBG- | April 10, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

btw, I see Wilbrod knows weaving references. YEAH!

And what's the bunker, etc.? Do y'all wipe out segments of flamethrowers like during Rebstorm? Just explain it to me as we meander along.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 10, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Man these pirates are starting to act like 'suicide by cop' guys.

Posted by: bh72 | April 10, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I was dragged to the Star Trek exhibit at the Las Vegas Hilton - cheesy but fun. I was so proud of myself for not throwing up on the ride. Kind of sad that it closed - didn't realize it had.

Very sad about the plane crash - what a terrible, terrible thing, on their way to commemorate such a tragedy. And very sad about the mining disaster too - I heard the news late last night.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 10, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Talitha, if you are a White we are probably distantly related. My grandmother was a White, and part of the family left Piedmont NC and moved to Augusta in the second half of the 18th century.

It's just amazing how we find each other and bond, even at such great distances!

Gotta wrap two birthday presents (A Dr. Seuss and a Thomas the Tank Engine DVD for each boy) and go get cards. I'm trying not to eat too much, because there will be BIRTHDAY CAKE!

Posted by: slyness | April 10, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

The bunker is mostly figurative, but in the case of a storm, it is located one Kit back.

The Achenblog faq is here, on kbertocci's blog for now:

It was started by mo and is a bit out of date now. kbertocci had it on a wetpaint wiki site, but that seemed to be infected with viruses, so wouldn't recommend going there...

Posted by: seasea1 | April 10, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

somehow I missed your citing to Mark.
Too excited by Curmudgeon's early ref.
Teaching bible study . . . as long as you don't kick me out for bringing up evolution (this happened to me in Sunday School when I was nine!) I'll be there and even bring the cookies and Tang! *wink*

Posted by: talitha1 | April 10, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure I can speak for some others here when I say we're not against discussion of evolution. Or even of revolution... as long as the accompanying slogans are clever and correctly spelled.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 10, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I'll accept that it has nothing to do with bears, but I'm kinda disappointed.

Happy two to the two!

Posted by: Yoki | April 10, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

bobsewell, I'm a turrubel speler.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 10, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I've heard that spiel before.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 10, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

By the way, feel free to shorten my name to Bob S.

That was my nom de boodle before a website reorganization made me re-register. And I never settled on a nickname that amused me sufficiently. Besides, when I occasionally am a bit tart with some commenters, it's probably better that I'm doing it under my own name, rather than hiding behind an alias. Helps me remember to observe some limits in the interest of civil discourse.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 10, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

BS is probably even more appropriate, and certainly more convenient!

Posted by: bobsewell | April 10, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Talitha, I joined my Bible study group a couple of years ago. They began with Genesis 1 and were in II Samuel when I came along. The minister who was leading it left a year ago, and I volunteered/was volunteered to lead. We crashed and burned in Chronicles (too much war, violence, and family names) and decided to go to the New Testament. Mark has been fascinating. This is not a fundie crowd, we get that faith is about the why and science about the how.

Posted by: slyness | April 10, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

When cat's cradles weave,
I'll flee that reverse satan:
(Fewer dents per inch.)


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 10, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Mister Peabody,
Where are your shaggy feghoots
about history?


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 10, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, feghoots, nice! I dropped that reference in a conversation once and was met with quizzical silence. Kinda ruined the joke.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 10, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Here, Wilbrodog!

Posted by: MsJS | April 10, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

when dents per inch
require my eyes to flinch
I let my fingers ply the shed

-back at ya Wilbrodog . . . (true haiku not my forte')

BS it is, Bob S., unless we're enduring a storm . . . then I'll run for shelter under your true-name umbrella.

and slyness, I'm a "Zen-Baptist" so faith, science and silence all work for me!

Posted by: talitha1 | April 10, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Thanks. Naptime beckons;
My brains wear out from haikus
and gnomes crave gardens.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 10, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

okra seeds and zinnia seeds
on my agenda this pm
sweet dreams!

hi ku u later

Posted by: talitha1 | April 10, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Well, truth be told, talitha, The Reivers was my first exposure to Faulkner -- when I was a teenager (too long ago to even vaguely remember). Couldn't even get through the first page. Tried it again maybe 20 years later. Nope.

Time to listen to some Eva Cassidy.

Posted by: -ftb- | April 10, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of bears & faith:

An atheist was taking a walk through the woods, admiring all that the "Accident of Evolution" had created. "What majestic trees! What powerful rivers! What beautiful animals!" he said to himself.

As he was walking along the river he heard rustling in the bushes. As he turned, he saw a 7-foot grizzly charging him. He ran as fast as he could up the path. He looked over his shoulder and saw that the bear was closing in. He tried to run faster, so scared that tears were coming to his eyes. He looked over his shoulder again, and the bear was even closer. His heart was pumping frantically as he tried to run faster, but he tripped and fell. He rolled over to pick himself up and saw the bear right on top of him raising his paw to kill him.

At that instant he cried out "Oh my God!"

Just then, time stopped. The bear froze, the forest was silent, the river even stopped. A bright light shone on the man, and a voice came out of the sky saying, "You deny my existence all these years, teach others I don't exist and credit my creation to a cosmic accident, and now you expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer?"

The atheist, ever proud, looked to the light and said, "It would be hypocritical to ask to be a Christian after all these years, but could you make the bear a Christian?"

"Very well," said the voice. As the light went out, the river ran, and the sounds of the forest continued, the bear put his paw down. The bear then brought both paws together, bowed his head and said, "Lord, for this food which I am about to receive, I thank you."

Posted by: bobsewell | April 10, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

hey, ftb . . .
I still can't "paste" on the dangnabbit new laptop . . . if god had meant us to be omnipotent *he* wouldn't have invented *himself*. Just promise you'll never take the delightful but so-not-faulkner "Reivers" movie as gospel and all is well.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 10, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I like the Reivers on Firefly. They made good bogeymen.

Posted by: ScienceTim | April 10, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

OK, BS -
You just made mr.talitha spit coffee!

Posted by: talitha1 | April 10, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Oops. My finger was bleeding all over my desk, Band-Aid applied, so all is better. Time to continue packing up my stuff.

Our lab is moving to a new building. We are practically the last people to leave the old building. It's annoying when you have to remember to carry a burning brand on bathroom trips, to drive back the coyotes. They're starting to get bolder, too. Fire doesn't scare them as much as it used to.

Posted by: ScienceTim | April 10, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

off to run errands
and seed the garden

see y'all later . . . with heartfelt smiles!

Posted by: talitha1 | April 10, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Welcome talitha, you seem to be fitting in quite well!

dmd, loved your flower pics, you seem to be a week or two ahead of us altho' this year we are about three weeks ahead of our usual blooming schedule.

ftb, finished the book and must say I am disappointed. Good story but seemed to be a lot of filler, characters that were extraneous, and the ending was a bit unbelievable, even for the resourceful Lisbeth! But that's just my opinion, what did you think?

Posted by: badsneakers | April 10, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

wait, ScienceTim -
Could you explain wolves and firebrands, or am I one and you need torches as repellants?
Newbies are innocents until proven guilties.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 10, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Bob S -- gotta tell ya, *that* was a terrific story! I'll be copying, sending and giggling for the rest of the millennium (at least) after that. And never look at a bear in the same way again.

Well, I felt much the same way, Sneaks after the second book. But do read the third book anyway. I thought it was the best. After I finished it, I thought back about the second book and understood more. #2 is more of a "prequel" to #1, and #3 wraps it all up beautifully. There are some red herrings (after all, it *is* Swedish, and the herring there is so good ... (but I digress)).

talitha -- to bring you up to date -- Sneaks and I are talking about the Millennium trilogy by Steig Larsson. I've read all three because I read them in Swedish. The third book is coming out in English some time next month.

One thing that really stood out for me on the series was the treatment of women by Western countries, and how women cope (or don't) under the most egregious circumstances. I so wish Larsson had lived longer.

Posted by: -ftb- | April 10, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

ftb, I'm glad to hear that about the third book. IMHO the second book would have worked better if it had just been the first and not a prequel as he seemed to spend a lot of ink explaining things that happened in the first, if that makes sense. I am enjoying the story line, tho' parts of it are very hard to read about. Obviously the subject matter needs to be addressed more openly so I'm glad Larsson wrote about it. I'm sure the book reads better in Swedish as the translation is a bit clunky at times. I do look forward to the last (sad!) book.

Posted by: badsneakers | April 10, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I borrowed the first book from my father-in-law, but the first couple of chapters have completely failed to grab me, and it's been sitting ignored for a few weeks. I'll pick it up again if y'all all tell me it's worth it.

Posted by: -bia- | April 10, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Happy Saturday everyone!

Talitha - delighted to see you here.

Speaking of non-linear evolution. Has anyone tried to purchase a lawn-mower lately? I assert that the whole concept of gradual linear advancement can be easily disproved with a quick visit to your local hardware emporium.

Which, of course, is what I did this afternoon after my trusty ol' Toro finally went on to a better place. Where, I can only assume, old mowers just sit around sipping hi-octane surrounded by lawns that never need cutting. But I digress.

Anyway, there are an alarming number of mowers out there. This, with enough imagination, says something about evolution.

While there are, certainly, differences in subjective measures of quality between these mowers, many of the differences are because of features and intended use. That is, the plethora of different mowers all represent adaptations to different types of mowing conditions and consumer preferences.

So we have a web, and not a linear progression. Which is not to say that one cannot *force* a linear progression much as one can force a linear progression in human evolution.

If one takes, say, price as a measurement of advancement, one can put all these mowers into a rigid linear sequence from cheapest to most expensive.

But this approach would muddle the real story, which is what this diversity of mowers says about the consumer environment in which they "evolved."

Instead, this linear progression would make people fret about the "missing link" between the manual and electric start models.

Which would be silly.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 10, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Like my battery-operated Husky really fine, RDP. Also, the pushmower but since the grinder is gone from the neighborhood AND two now closed hardware stores, well what is a classic mower gal/guy to do?

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 10, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I think the critical moment of my story was here:

Posted by: bobsewell | April 10, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

No, no, not wolves -- coyotes.

It is my long-running fantasy that does not amuse anyone besides myself, regarding the return of wildlife to abandoned areas, like Chernobyl, our old building, and the moral high ground.

The claim is that the building will be dismantled following salvage operations, which will follow our departure. Note the word "dismantled", not "torn down". This building, despite having only three floors above the basement, is built with a welded steel frame (or so I am told). A wrecking ball would simply bounce off. Explosives short of the nuclear scale would create a majestic shape of bare steel, but the bare steel girders would remain. Girders, plus a cloud of asbestos dust. The building will have to be disassembled with cutting tools and lots of manual labor (the Economic Recovery program at work!). The general belief is that after they have finished shooing us out of the building, they will suddenly discover that it is too valuable to dispose of it, then sell it to another government agency, which will be stuck with the cost of asbestos remediation and renovation.

Posted by: ScienceTim | April 10, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh my CP! Your push mower has become an endangered species brought about by hostile changes in the environment!

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 10, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

RD... you're not going to believe this, but just yesterday I was thinking that very same thing about hot dogs.

While standing in Shoppers, and pondering over the incredibly vast assortment of hot dogs I could possible purchase, I actually said to the man standing next to me: "What kind of country do we live in where we have so many kinds of hot dogs? I mean how many do we really need?"

Posted by: -TBG- | April 10, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

bia... I say don't bother, but that's just my opinion. Others here liked the books.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 10, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

RDP, I fantasize about starting a grinder biz. Me, with a little step van and grinding machines inside...I want a ice cream truck jingle to boot. Finance me?

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 10, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Every kind, ma'am,
except the soy vegan ones;
Toss me all the wurst!


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 10, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Er, TBG-- you just said that aloud around a dog who enjoyed a little cheddarwurst for lunch.

Personally, I am not a major hot dog fan. When I do eat them, I like kosher beef dogs or bratwurst.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 10, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

RD - That's actually a pretty good metaphor for, and explanation of the conceptual difficulties surrounding the misunderstanding of, biological evolution.

If you take a gander at any particular model of lawnmower, or even a badass combine harvester [ ] it's pretty easy to imagine a linear evolutionary path back to the hand sickle and hoe.

But if you look at several divergent samples, it's easy to forget that each one was based upon a somewhat similar prior model, all of which had a single progenitor.
[Links to follow]

Posted by: bobsewell | April 10, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: bobsewell | April 10, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Lawnmowers on hooves
fill a useful niche-- meat, milk,
and jobs for bored dogs.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 10, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

CP, the grinder does a great business in our area, I had some of my garden tools sharpened by him last summer - haven't heard the familiar bell yet this year. Ice cream truck hasn't been by yet either, this weekend would be a great time for him to come by.

badsneaks, we are earlier than normal here, about two or three weeks I think, my cherry tree is just about to bloom. However, if you are judging by my planters, I cheat and by potted tulips, daffodils, pansies, etc at the nursery and then arrange them in the planters (in the fall I put them in the garden). Last weeks sun and 70 degree temps certainly sped up spring.

Posted by: dmd3 | April 10, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

//Our lab is moving to a new building.

I dint know you had a lab, tim. Black? Chocolate? Vanilla? sorry, dog peep humor.

I've been thinking of a new lawnmower. I get tired of dragging the big electric one around and think wistfully of the old days of self-propelled gas ones. Just spent 4 hours in the back sawing and binding the trees I cut last week. At this rate the last 2 by the fence may not come down until the fall. Tonight or tomorrow I'll tackle the poison Ivy and the remaining limbs.

In the supermarkets I frequent, there's less choice. They
re obviously data mining and only stocking the most popular brands. I end up shopping different places every week to buy what I like.

Back to work. pleasant afternoon, all!

Posted by: -dbG- | April 10, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I love my battery charged lawn mower. Battery will last 45 min to an hour depending on how long the grass is, I have two batteries just in case.

Posted by: dmd3 | April 10, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Indeed CP. Just as soon as I handle on that whole "surplus income" thing. I mean, I keep waiting for my ship to come in, but I fear we are looking at an opposing tide.

I am fascinated, thought, by this whole "grinder" business. I assume from the discussion that this is some sort of transient tradesman who sharpens blades? I have never heard of such a thing. I agree it would be very useful.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 10, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

This isn't a lawnmower, and I've got no particular fetish for John Deere products (for trivia purposes, remember that the deer should be running left in their logo), but here's a fine shot of good ole steel workmanship:

Posted by: bobsewell | April 10, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Thanks bobsewell! Fun links.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 10, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Thanks bobsewell! Fun links.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 10, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

See, you know I mean it 'cause I said it twice.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 10, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

RD - Within a few miles of my house, I can find you someone who will rewind the cores of your electrical motors when they burn up, someone who will reshape and/or sharpen your knives/screwdrivers/scissors/lawnmower blades, and someone who can replace & refurbish any necessary parts of your footwear.

These were all handy folks to know when I had a little problem with the boots for my electric ninja suit a few years back.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 10, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I tremble to think what will happen when my 20 plus year old Honda mower dies. It was a mother's day gift so it's mine, all mine! Starts on the first or second pull every time, burns a bit of oil but that's okay with me. I only cut the front lawn with it as "S" has the big riding mower for the back.

Gotta get dinner ready as we're going dancing tonight. I also have to get "S" out of the cellar, he's down there cleaning and neatening. Still a bit of dampness at the joint between wall and floor but no rain forecast here for the coming week, so I think we're safe!

Posted by: badsneakers | April 10, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of hot dogs, were there ever pork hot dogs? I thought there were, but they sure don't sell them. I think. Plenty of poultry dogs out there. And the all-beef. And the mostly turkey partly pork. But no pork & beef dogs, and no pork dogs. Since I can't have one now I want one!

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 10, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

The grinder has been around as long as I can remember, when I was a child I remember him coming down the street, my memory is of a bicycle pulling a cart but not sure that is accurate. Now it is a big truck (similar to an ice cream truck) that goes slowly through the neighbourhood ringing a very distinctive bell to let you know he is there, same bell sound from childhood.

Of course I still remember the milkman coming to the house - I am old.

Posted by: dmd3 | April 10, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Cool, sneaks, we're dancing tonight, too! Let's all have lots of fun.

J is starting up the lawnmower as we speak, and I'm just in from hopefully making more work for him -- planted grass seed in the dug-up patch in the front yard where the pipe burst last fall. I am so ready to have it looking decent again. I hope the grass grows, even though I didn't have the tools or strength to till up 2-3 inches as the package instructed. Everything else grows easily (especially dandelions); why not grass?

Posted by: -bia- | April 10, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Jumper - Try this:

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 10, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I think someone else here shares my memory of the sweet potato man... When I was a kid in Japan, he'd come on his bicycle, hauling a two-wheeled cart that had a little wood-fired oven filled with ("very hot, be careful!") sweet potatoes.

Enjoy the little things!

Posted by: bobsewell | April 10, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

You make me want sweet potatoes, Bob S.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 10, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, CP. I might be able to swing sumthin' like this:

But I'm afraid you would be on your own for the horse.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 10, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Ooh wait. I think that cart was actually supposed to be hand hauled. I know that CP is in amazingly good shape, what with all the biking and swimming, but that might be asking a bit much...

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 10, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Little bunny Foo Foo
Hopping through the valley
Scooping up the field mice
And bopping them on the head
And then good Fairy said
"Little bunny Foo Foo
I don't want to see you
Scooping up the field mice
And bopping them on the head!
I'll give you three chances
Before I turn you into a Goon"

Little bunny Foo Foo
Hopping through the forest
Scooping up the chipmunks
And bopping them on the head
And then good Fairy said
"Little bunny Foo Foo
I don't want to see you
Scooping up the chipmunks
And bopping them on the head!
I'll give you two chances
Before I turn you into a Goon"

Little bunny Foo Foo
Hopping hopping along a stream
Scooping up the fishies
And bopping them on the head
And then good Fairy said
"Little bunny Foo Foo
I don't want to see you
Scooping up the fishies
And bopping them on the head!
You've used up your last chance
So now you are a goon!"

Little Goonie Foo Foo
Bopped the Fairy on the head
and said
"Next time be a little more specific!"

Posted by: omni3 | April 10, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Maybe a bike-cart instead, RD?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 10, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Now yer talkin' Wilbrod!

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 10, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I stole most of that and modified it and it is a work in progress so to speak

I guess the moral to the story is Faeries can't count

On another note, they do wear boots:

Posted by: omni3 | April 10, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

omni - It's not quite a Feghoot, but it's certainly a shaggy dog story.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 10, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

perhaps a young strong robust healthy.... Australopithecus sediba

ooh,ooh,me,me,pick me

Posted by: omni3 | April 10, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

'Afternoon, Boodle. Been out and about all day, and am just returning for a little pre-cocktail backboodling. Talitha, I picked up a smattering of Aramaic way back in the days when I was wondering around the Middle East, and spent some time among the Aramaks learning their lingo, Aramanian. For a long time I thought maybe I had dyslexia, until one day one of told me they write right to left, like the Hebrews down the valley. Then it got a little easier. I suggested they switch, try left to right, but they didn't like that idea any more than when I suggested it to Moses Whatshisname. All he did was look at me and mutter, "Feh." He wasn't in a very good mood that day. Something about burning shrubbery, and being asked to put off his sandals from off of his feet, and then traipse around a bunch of rocks barefoot all afternoon.

You dad had a Stearman!!!?? I LOVE Stearmans. My father had a pilot's license right after WWII, and used to take my brother and me up for rides, usually in Piper Cubs or Aeroncas. He had trained in a Stearman, and always said he wanted to rent one some day and take us up, but my mother said words to the effect of, "Over my dead body, buster." Seems she was fond of my brother and me, and worried that two of us in an open cockpit might fall out. (My brother...maybe. I was bigger, so...)

But oh, yeah, always wanted to fly in a Stearman. Great, great airplane. Still some around, too.

Did you know that Lloyd Stearman, Walt Beech and Clyde Cessna -- three of the greatest names in small-airplane history -- all teamed up to found an aircraft company? I've flown in Beechcraft and a couple of Cessnas, but never in a Stearman. I guess two out of three ain't bad.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 10, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I guess I just don't get it. I looked it up and found a few explanations, but no examples. I think I understand the concept ... but maybe not. as I said I stole that, so maybe I'm not the only one who doesn't get it
Though I did see that both Asimov and Clarke used this form in short stories they wrote

Posted by: omni3 | April 10, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Because (in the D.C. 'burbs) it's still Shabbat, here's a reasonably odious Feghoot for you:

- - - -

Once in a land far, far away there lived a group of people called Trids. The Trids were happy except for the huge ogre that lived on the mountain. The ogre would periodically terrorize the Trids.

The Trids tired of the ogre's rampages and sought to reason with him. They thought one of their religious leaders would be a good intermediary. So a group of Trids and their minister went up the mountain and, before they could even say one word, the ogre kicked them down the mountain. Not being dismayed, the Trids thought that since maybe the ogre was Catholic, they'd send another delegation, this time led by the local priest. But alas, as they approached the ogre he once again kicked them all down the mountain.

The Trids were upset until they thought that perhaps the ogre was Jewish. Unfortunately, none of the Trids were Jewish, so they wrote to the people of another land and asked them to send a rabbi to help them with the ogre. The rabbi arrived and led a delegation of Trids up the mountain. The ogre saw them coming and kicked all of them, except for the rabbi, down the mountain. The rabbi, having been told of the previous expeditions, wondered why he alone had not been kicked down the mountain, so he asked the ogre. The ogre laughed and replied:

"Silly rabbi, kicks are for Trids!"

Posted by: bobsewell | April 10, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Of course, it's quite possible that I've misunderstood the term all these years. But I think the painful pun (as opposed to an otherwise acceptably groaningly weak conclusion) is integral to the integrity of the form.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 10, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Coyotes . . . got it!
Thanks, ScienceTim. Sounds like you've made this saga into quite the successful metaphor useful in many situations. Rebstorm comes immediately to mind, but current events offer something new every other second, no?

Posted by: talitha1 | April 10, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

(It occurs to me that my dumb ass has missed a beautifully subtle pun in the Bunny Foo Foo conclusion. Better re-read, hadn't I now?)

Posted by: bobsewell | April 10, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Bob S., it's a Feghoot if the moral is "Hare today, goon tomorrow."

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 10, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the ideas, boodlers. This is what I am at:

BUt yes, for the seven mile circuit, totally the bike rickshaw set up. Absolutely.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 10, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

And, apparently the Japanese like their version of the Italian grinder man folk song:

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 10, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, everyone, for the new word. I love it! My favorite example is one with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans that ends with, "Pardon me, Roy, is that the cat who chewed your new shoes."

I remember a knife grinder from my childhood who came around and sharpened everything with a bicycle wheel. All the housewives came running when they heard his bell.

I also remember a card in a window that said "ice," when caused the iceman to climb up to the second or third floor with a giant block of ice on his back held by giant black iron tongs.

And, I remember a yellow card with a big red "S" that warned everyone that the house was under quarantine because of scarlet fever.

Wow! Talk about acid flashbacks!

Here's an approximate model.

The roving knife sharpener. He walks the streets and blows a whistle to let people know he is ready to sharpen with his bicycle-wheel-powered grinder.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | April 10, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Just got back from dropping one of the children off at a friends house. What should I see on the way there, the grinder/sharpener truck turning the corner one street over - spring really is here.

Posted by: dmd3 | April 10, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

This Aussie Ice Cream truck bell is very much the grinder bell I recall long ago and far away.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 10, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that brings back memories of reading Ferdinand Feghoot stories in Astounding (later Analog) in the 60's. Always a long pun. Need more knights in a hurry? Ferdinand would get you printed sir kits, etc., etc. Was surprised to see the term here, thought it was in the past.

Anyone else having problems with unwanted pop-ups for stuff such a coupons or(heaven forbid) Registry Defender. We've spent the last several days googling the sites and then running Spybot, Registry cleanup, etc. and marking the site as prohibited. I was hoping we had gotten a handle on the problem; brought computer up, clicked on my A-blog link and got both A-Blog and a window for Is this coming thru WaPo or are we just targeted for junk somehow? We Googled an answer to a crossword puzzle clue, and shortly thereafter got a 2nd window offering another search option to get the same information (Harry Truman's veep). We've cleaned out some malware, a trojan, etc., and still it lives.

Posted by: km2bar | April 10, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod & Omni - Of course it is!! I really am a bit of a moron sometimes, and that's a superb Feghoot.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 10, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon - you're gonna hate me when I tell you this.

My daddy learned (at 14) to fly in a Stearman. (1943) First date with my mother was taking her up, behind her parents' back.
After college he stored the Stearman but always kept a Piper Cub in a barn out behind the house (farm in N.Ga.) Restored the Stearman in the early 60s and built two T-hangers and created a landing strip on 10 extra acres. He would rebuild and test-fly planes while we all stood around biting our fingernails. Never had a bad flight (or landing or take-off), but I was with him once in the Piper when the engine died and he set it down in a cornfield.

Oh, I have leaped the surly bonds of earth . . . .

Posted by: talitha1 | April 10, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

SCC: just about everything, but you folks know that I mean well....

Posted by: rickoshea1 | April 10, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Ricko -- great photo and wow, I did not see the bicycle type. I am more than kidding about this....however, need to keep plying the word, phrase, sentence, paragraph, document correcting trade for the near term.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 10, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Never heard the term "fegoot." I thought they were called "shaggy dog stories," or at least that's what my mom told me they were. Is there a difference, or do they both describe the same thing?

I googled one about Native American women that that I remember and fortunately found this alternative, which is kind of lame, but the original tale depends on the use of a word that has since been recognized as unfit for use (unless, of course, it's the name of a town)...

There were three medieval kingdoms on the shores of a lake and an island in the middle of the lake the kingdoms had been fighting over for years.

Finally, the three kings decided that they would send their knights out to do battle, and the winner would take the island.

The night before the battle, the knights and their squires pitched camp and readied themselves for fight. The first kingdom had 12 knights, and each knight had five squires, all of them busily preparing for battle. The second kingdom had 20 knights, and each knight had 10 squires. Everyone at that camp was also busy preparing for battle.

At the camp of the third kingdom, there was only one knight with his lone squire. This squire took a large pot and hung it from a looped rope in a tall tree. He busied himself preparing the meal, while the knight polished his own armor.

When the hour of the battle came, the three kingdoms sent their squires out to fight, as this was too trivial a matter for the knights to join in. The battle raged, and when the dust cleared, the only person left was the lone squire from the third kingdom. He had defeated the squires from the other two kingdoms.

This proves that the squire of the high pot and noose is equal to the sum of the squires of the other two sides.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 10, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, misquoted.

by: John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

Oh I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings.
Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split skies . . . . .

. . . put out my hand and touched the face of God.

whole text on (type first line)

Posted by: talitha1 | April 10, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

I think that the "shaggy dog" story needn't necessarily end with a pun, so long as it is a long-ish anecdote ending with a conclusion that wasn't really worth the wait. If it was intended to be humorous, so much the better.

All feghoots are shaggy dogs, but not all shaggy dogs are feghoots. Or something like that.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 10, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Feghoots are story puns, and a variant of the shaggy dog story.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 10, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Now if I ever own a shaggy dog, his name shall be Feghoot.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 10, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

The crime? Carrying gulls over stately lions for immortal porpoises.

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 10, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

But the shaggy dog story includes things like the Clintonian Whitewater saga, which included plenty of salacious details, but ultimately had no real point, and certainly no punny ending.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 10, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Why in heaven's name I started quoting treacly poems in the middle of feghoot stories I will never know.

Still groping my way around in the pre-dawn on boodleville. *shy grin*

Posted by: talitha1 | April 10, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

On the other hand, the Whitewater saga certainly inspired plenty of punny business!

Posted by: bobsewell | April 10, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Talitha, you're doing perfectly. We thrive on juxtaposition here.

We are the Boodle of the Absurd.

Do you know the poem, "No soap, radio?"

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 10, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Never underestimate the power of treacly poems (quoted from elsewhere or composed in-house) to move and/or amuse the crowd here.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 10, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

OK... here's another quick change of subject. I don't know where I first found this group, but it may have been on Facebook--or here, even. If any of you are fans of old-timey music, you should check out the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

You can listen to some of their songs here (this is just a shortened google search results link):

Posted by: -TBG- | April 10, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Let me compose one such poem, then.

cherry blossoms fall from shelves--
No soap, radio."


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 10, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Yep, we love a good pome.

Those feghoots are what we used to refer to as groaners. A good friend of ours in DC was a master of them. Especially when he'd had a few drinks. Here's one he used to tell (it has a bear!):

Chan was a shopkeeper who sold beautiful teak wood carvings. They were polished and intricately carved in the finest oriental tradition. A young boy wandered into Chan's shop one day and was awestruck by the beauty of the fine carvings. The little boy saw one in particular-- a delicately detailed butterfly-- that he wanted desperately, but he had no money to buy it.

So the boy hatched a plot. Recognizing that Chan was a timid man, he found a bear skin, wrapped himself in it, and returned to the shop. Chan was mopping the floor when he saw the bear in his door. With a scream, Chan escaped to the store room in the back.

Alone in the shop, the boy handled several pieces before taking his prized butterfly carving, and then started to leave. Not hearing the ruckus of a bear in his shop, Chan's curiosity began to overcame his fear. Still quaking, he peaked through the curtain in back to see the bear going out of the door, and in the wet floor, he noticed the boy's footprints.

Though not quite sure what was happening, he rushed out shouting, "Stop! Stop, oh boy-foot bear with teaks of Chan!"

Posted by: seasea1 | April 10, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Isaac Asimov was pretty darn good with of the feghoot, IMO. "Death of a Foy" is a personal snortworthy favorite of mine -- pretty short, but it's a nice setup.

You can find it on the web (illegally, I'm sure), and I *dare* you not to give in at the end. (Mudge, it just about has your name on it.)

Y'know, I'm the kinda guy who sometimes keep stuff around way too long, keeps things running beyond when someone with good sense would bother... (which is why my two cars have 300,000 miles between them, and date from the 20th century). If a mower conks out, I've got it in pieces, and am running from parts warehouse to parts warehouse looking for a carb rebuild kit for a Briggs & Stratton engine powering a Montgomery Wards mower originally sold during the Ford Administration. I'll be lucky to get the mower running again that day, much less actually mow the lawn.

And I wonder why I never get anything done.


Posted by: -bc- | April 10, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

9:30 p.m. Thursday, May 20, 2010 at "Jammin Java" Vienna (DC area), VA
Unknown Hinson

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 10, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

bc, I liked Death of a Foy but I had to look up the original reference to really get the full pun.

I'm like that. Spider Robinson did a lot of feghoots. One I needed years to figure out; I had never heard of Euell Gibbons, see....

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 10, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I really abhor puns, feghoots (never heard the word before today) and shaggy dog stories, really I do. I think I learned to dislike them way back when, when I was traveling around the Middle East as a freelance correspondent. This was much earlier than when I learned Aramaic from the Aramaniacs. I wandered into this small town called Ur one day. You've all probably heard of Ur -- it was a famous repository of learning, scribes and original documents, and such. In fact, to this day, one still hears about this or that ur-text and its importance to this or that field of study. Well, all those ur-texts got written in Ur, which, rather obviously, is how they got their name (d'uh!). Ur-texts became so popular that people started selling them. There was no such thing as "Borders," back then, so they called the first ur-text scrollstore "Boundaries," instead. Boundaries became so successful they opened up branches in other towns and cities.

One day a guy named Murray, a friend of mine, comes to me and he says, "Mudge, I want to start a chain of ur-text scrollstores to compete against Boundaries, but I got three main problems. I don't have a location to start my store, since I just live in this rural hovel on the outskirts of town, and second, I don't have a name for the store. Third, I don't have a marketing gimic, either. You got any bright ideas?"

So I thought about it for a bit, and then the torchbulb went off over my head. (We didn't have lightbulbs.) "Murr," I sez, "you've got that big old out-building behind your hovel, right? The one where you keep all the sheep and goats and cows? Only they all died of various plagues? So why not start your ur-text scrollstore there?"

"Brilliant!" Murray exclaims. "And we're conveniently located right off the camel track, so we get all the foot traffic right past my place!"

"And listen to this," I say. "While people are standing around reading their ur-texts, why not get some tables and chairs and let them sit down? And then, see, at one side of the room, set up this coffee bar, where you can sell coffee and tea and scones and stuff at exorbitant prices."

"Amazing, Mudge, simply amazing!" Murray yells, patting me on the back. "But a technical question about the pastries: leavened or unleavened?"

"Leavened," I say. "What's your hurry? It ain't like pharoah's chasing you or anything."

"Pharoah! Ha ha ha, that's a good one, Mudge," he sez. "You always were a great kidder. Like that could ever happen. But now, what about the name of my ur-text scrollshop? It ought to be something catchy."

I ponder a moment. Then I get it. "Murray," I say, "follow my drifting here. The only people who can read these ur-texts are the educated royalty, am I right?"


Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 10, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse


"Sure," he sez, "all the rest of us are too dumb. You know that."

"Zackly," I say. But here's your corporate name. You got all this royalty sitting around eating the scones and snacks and sipping their Maxwell House and Earl Grey, and they're in this old out-building that used to house your farm animals..."

"I got it, I got it!" Murray yells.

"We'll call it 'Mangers and Nibble,'" I tell him.

"Genius!" Murray yells. "Mudge, I could just...wash your feet!!"

Don't ask me why, but back then people did a lot of washing each other's feet. I have no idea why, but if you read a lot about that era, you run into a lot of footwashing going on. Personally, I think it was some kind of fetish thing that I just didn't get. Sometimes entire towns got famous for their peculiar forms of...well, you've all heard of places like Sodom, Gemorrah, Pedibathia, Voyeurville, Spankytown, places like that. Personally, I never went in for any of that stuff, except for that one time I had a little too much to drink and next thing I know me and these two wenches were gemorrahing like there was no tomorrow, but hey, I was young and foolish, and you know how people experiment. But I swear, I only did it that one time. I mean, it wasn't like the story of Pierre the Bridge Builder or the Parable of the Aristocrats or anything, yanno?

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 10, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

My favorite Feghoot was by Arthur C. Clarke.

It involved the tragic tale of a space cruiser that was caught in the magnetic field of a collapsed sun. All hands were lost. Nothing remained but a horribly twisted and deformed wrench.

Yes, the only thing left was a star-mangled spanner.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 10, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

A neatly dodged feghoot, Mudge.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 10, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh wow. Here can one go crazy nuts with these things.

Including the Clarke one, which really must be read in it's entirety.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 10, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

I've known about Feghoots since I was a lad because of the SciFi linkage, but I never knew that they were considered a relation to a Shaggy Dog Story, which I always viewed as simply a long rambling pointless story such as might be told by a gregarious Aunt after a few to many rum toddies.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 10, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Wilbrod . . . off the board for a while.

Nope, don't know "No soap, radio"
And as an ex-dj (KOTO - Telluride)
I hang my head in shame.

Kindly quote/reference.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 10, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Quote it? No soap, radio.

You simply must find it for yourself.

Hint: Wilbrodog's off base with his haiku.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 10, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse



Mr.Talitha is a member of a CivWar minstel string band and true music (like C.C.Drops) is hard to come by. Boy, did I ever stumble upon folks of like mind when I got mad at the flamers during the Rebstorm! You folks blow my mind.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 10, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Ha! Good, Mudge. [The Parable of the Aristocrats -- I know that one...]

RD, I remembered that Clarke bit, that, too -- quite snortworthy.

Wilbrod, thanks for following up on that.

Jumper, I've been to Jammin' Java a few times to see some up-and-coming pop/rock acts (The Kin, Jealousy Curve, etc.) - JJ is usually an all-ages place. Unknown Hinson ought to be *really* interesting there.


Posted by: -bc- | April 10, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't know that anyone here care's much, but in a few minutes there's a new made-for-TV movie coming on the Lifetime Channel, a murder mystery based on a Patricia Cornwell project or book (I dunnuo, I'm not familiar with it) called "At Risk."

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 10, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Holy Cur, Feghoot!

Posted by: talitha1 | April 10, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the old BBC radio show My Word, which used to air on either WETA or WAMU, can't remember which. Half the show was a relatively straightforward quiz about literary references, etymologies, etc. The other half was a feghoot contest (though they didn't have any special term for it). The master was the late Frank Muir, who had, or affected, one of those deeply "plummy" accents in which half the consonants are swallowed. A really funny dude, and the others weren't half bad either. Another formidable regular panelist was the biographer Antonia Fraser.

Posted by: woofin | April 10, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Wow, talitha... that's really something!

Dr G (my husband) and I are taking a roadtrip across the bottom of Virginia (we are calling it our Route 58 Trip) in May and I thought it would make for some great music on the drive. (speaking of old-timey music, we'll be stopping at the Carter Family Museum.)

You're not anywhere along Route 58 are you? We could get together for a meal or a drink or a cup of coffee.

Before you think that's weird, we meet in person all the time. In fact, Yoki's coming down from Calgary next week and after a Happy Hour here in DC on Thursday, she and I will be heading down to Charlotte on Friday to visit some Queen City boodlers (well... and my son, too).

By the way... each of these get-togethers is called a BPH, or Boodle Porching Hour.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 10, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Hola, Boodle. Busy fun day; lunch with #2 and Himself, and then a small culinary adventure boring to anyone but myself. A success, I think.

TBG is clearly my evil twin (or I am hers).

Hope everybody is having some fun this evening

Posted by: Yoki | April 10, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Ok, Wilbrod.
Asch Paradigm - knew about those experiments and relation to Orwell's 1984, etc.

Why had I never heard NoSoap,Radio ?
I lead such a sheltered life. *sigh*

Posted by: talitha1 | April 10, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

I used to listen to that show, woofin (yeah, I know you're surprised). Hilarious, especially given Frank Muir's utterly Brit stiff upper lip. I liked Denis Norden and Dilys Powell, too.

Lady Antonia Fraser was the widow of Harold Pinter, didja know? In addition to writing her scholarly biographies, she also wrote a detective series featuring her heroine, Jemima Shore.

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

TGB - not on Rte.58. I'm in the Shenandoah Valley off Route 11 (aka "Valley Pike").
Are y'all doing the designated music trail, the name of which escapes me?

And to Woofin - Loved "My Word" and wish I could get some copies of it . . . I know, google it, I know, I know . . .

Posted by: talitha1 | April 10, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

There was once a long boodle thread teasing me for not knowing why "No Soap, radio" was funny, Talitha.

That's the only reason I know.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 10, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

No music trail, really. We're actually following Route 58 all the way from the ocean in Virginia Beach to the Cumberland Gap. All 508 miles of it. (We take weird road trips.)

Since we can't magically appear and disappear at the beginning and end of the road, we're driving the entire triangle of Virginia. Although we are staying in Kentucky and West Virginia for part of the week.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 10, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Also... I love Route 11. The family calls it "Mom's favorite road." Really. I told you... we take some weird family road trips.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 10, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Yoki.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 10, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod . . . I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. They can tease me now and give you a rest!

I should pluralize friendship, for the welcome and fun I've had from you all you boodlers is pure joy for a work-from-home-likes-my-solitude artist.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 10, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

BCC - "you all you" is the new y'all (!)

Posted by: talitha1 | April 10, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Why, TBG! That is a perfect intro for me to segue into a reminder of the DC Happy Hour.

Thursday April 15
5:00 to ??
The Quarterdeck Restaurant
1200 Fort Myer Dr
Arlington, VA

Hey, 'mudge? You there?

Posted by: Yoki | April 10, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

You know, TBG, that Route 11 follows the route of the Great Wagon Road, which my ancestors used to travel from Pennsylvania to North Carolina. It's a wonderful road, you are right about that.

When Mr. T retires, I plan for us to have a similar trip on US 64, which goes from Manteo to Murphy in NC. There is a road sign in Manteo that says Murphy 584.

My favorite twin boyz are definitely two! They had a chaotic bithday party, just exactly right for them. P has figured out how to go down the slide on his bum; when I saw them last week, he would only go down on his stomach, feet first. I don't know how successful I was with the photos. No matter where I was, the boyz always had their backs to me.

Posted by: slyness | April 10, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm here, Yoki. And I think I'll be at the Quarterdeck, too. Gotta figure out the logistics, is all.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 10, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Sent you an email, 'mudge. A groveling-type email.

Posted by: Yoki | April 10, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

slyness, when my family used to roadtrip from N.Georgia up to Black Mountain, NC, we always ate lunch at a wonderful family-style restaurant in Murphy NC. 'Twas a lovely town then. We also drove from there through the Nantahala Gorge, which I understand now has been defiled by touristy overdevelopment. But I love the Smokies and the mountains remain still and serene despite man's worst efforts.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 10, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Laughing. Yes, Yoki, yes.

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

Bless your good heart, Curmudgeon.

Posted by: Yoki | April 10, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Struggling mightily to stay awake, but can't do it. 'Night, Boodle.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 10, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Good night, 'mudge.

Posted by: Yoki | April 10, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

My Virginia ancestors are from Franklin Co., north of the highway 58 swath. I just noticed that ancestor Giles P., who had served in the cavalry under Jubal Early, had a son named Ulysses S. during Grant's first term as president.

The ancestors were ordinary folk. My grandfather was born in a log cabin, similar to Booker T. Washington's in the same county.

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

You are fabulous, dotc!

Posted by: Yoki | April 10, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

nothing better, i'm told, than peach brandy made in floyd(va.) county. when i was collecting plants for my thesis in page county, i was told that i might come upon either a still or similarly illegal cutivars, and to steer clear of them. generally i was told to heed any no trespassing signs. reminds me of this:

btw, welcome talitha. this is a cool place to be.

Posted by: -jack- | April 11, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Thinking of the miners...WV is a lot like the area in western PA where I grew up...and Ireland, Scotland, Wales...

Red Hill Mining Town - U2

From father to son
The blood runs thin
See faces frozen still
Against the wind

The seam is split
The coal face cracked
The lines are long
There's no going back
Through hands of steel
And heart of stone
Our labour day
Has come and gone

Posted by: seasea1 | April 11, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Dixie Carter (Designing Women) has passed away:

Posted by: seasea1 | April 11, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

lift your spirits, if you're so inclined, and enjoy this video link. a very good rendition of ramblin' rose, ca. '87, rfk stadium, philly.

Posted by: -jack- | April 11, 2010 12:39 AM | Report abuse

lift your spirits, if you're so inclined, and enjoy this video link. an excellent rendition of ramblin' rose, ca. '87, rfk stadium, philly.

Posted by: -jack- | April 11, 2010 12:41 AM | Report abuse

SCC: double post. imo, from a quite biased pov, it's worth watching twice. on a more serious note, i'll ponder the plight of the families in wv that have suffered so. at least we have a better system of checks and balances compared to china. mining tragedies there are all too commonplace, and of far greater magnitude. awful, and shameful on the part of that particular regulatory body in that those accidents happen with such frequency.

Posted by: -jack- | April 11, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse

loving heart.

Posted by: Yoki | April 11, 2010 2:03 AM | Report abuse

I take a little nap in the afternoon sun, and now I'm up all night. But I dug up this

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 11, 2010 2:22 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all

Beautiful sunrise here in the Shenandoah.
So sad to see that Dixie Carter has died.
As a Southern designing woman myself I always identified with her character on that show, though I understand that her own political views at the time were considerably to the right of "Ms. Sugarbaker". (Wapo's notice said she traded each leftie assertion her character had to utter with a chance to sing on that episode . . . love that!) Thoughts of Hal Holbrooke and family this day, along with the people of Poland and the WV miners.

Hopes for a glorious Sunday to all boodlers!

Posted by: talitha1 | April 11, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

I'm back in Bawlmer. In Winslow, my wife volunteered some nice ladies in tie-dye tee shirts to operate the camcorder while she ducked into the ORIGINAL Standing On The Corner Gift Shop (as opposed to the newcomer catty-corner from it) so as to avoid my actual warbling.

As luck would have it, the store had just opened and started its daily broadcast of Eagles songs across the intersection beginning with "Take It Easy". I have not viewed the footage myself, so I don't now how effectively I'm drowned out.

The very nice lady refused to pose for a picture for me, so here contribution will be forever anonymous.

So if you have been keeping count, there is still one prime corner left in Winslow for an entrepreneur willing to listen to Eagles songs nine hours a day.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 11, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Saturday Night Live last night was hosted by Tina Fey with musical guest Justin Bieber. They do that stuff just to trick me.

And do NOT visit this site if you expect to get anything done the rest of the day:

Posted by: yellojkt | April 11, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all. Hi Cassandra! Are you up and ready for church yet? We are picking up an elderly member who lives nearby to take him, so this will be short.

I notice that it's warmer at the mountain place than here, at least according to Highly unusual, that. Must be spring.

Time to get moving, so I'll TTYL...

Posted by: slyness | April 11, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Love Red Hill Town.

So hate reading about mining deaths, with all the modern conveniences, there still seems to be too many of them.

Morning all, another beautiful day here, rain during the week and sunshine on the weekend, I could get used to this.

I am sad that Dixie Carter passed away, loved her character and Hal Holbrooke is Mark Twain to me, but will admit her right wing views did not sit well with me.

Posted by: dmd3 | April 11, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Holbrook, as Twain

Posted by: dmd3 | April 11, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

thanks for the link, dmd3

Saw Holbrooke as Twain at KenCen years ago and it endeared him to me forever.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 11, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, coffee and OJ on the table.

I have little facility with puns so will not attempt to join in the groaner discussion.

I love this time of year as The Windy City gradually buds and blooms. Tulips are in abundance now, a bit earlier than usual.

Talitha, one of the less desirable quirks of the boodle is knowing how much info to share. There are bloggers who think it sporting to track others down, and the A-blog is, alas, not immune to these creatures.

Enthusiasm for our little corner of blogdom is greatly valued and I'm thrilled you've pulled up a chair to set a spell. Only you can decide what's appropriate to share here, just wanted to mention in passing this sort of thing exists.

Enough with the dreary! Back to frivolity, praying bears, puns, and much sharing.

Coffee anyone?

Posted by: MsJS | April 11, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everyone. Looks to be a beautiful day. The sky is blue, and the lawn is green. And, I might add, very nicely mowed.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 11, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Hello boodle! Cold fish for breakfast, one of Our Fair City's favorites. Hard to tell with the golden brown coating but I think I managed to grab some crappie from the community fish fry yesterday. Back to reading the WaPo on the Nook Mr. F sent me.

Welcome Talitha. I beg everyone's pardon for not thoroughly back boodling. Hoping for a new kit, even a mini-kit...

Posted by: frostbitten1 | April 11, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Work to be done, errands to run, and if the wind kicks up enough, a kite to fly.

Have a great day, folks.

Yello, looking forward to your "The Making of..." video. Plus the blooper reel.


Posted by: -bc- | April 11, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

A link, yello. We need a link.

MsJS is correct. Many have mad Internet skillz; not everyone uses his/her powers for good, even here.

GTSY, frosti. RDP, I'm frenvious of your lawn.

Posted by: -dbG- | April 11, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Good late morning Boodle! I've already done a very early (pre-breakfast) run to Trader Joe's (where I somehow always seem to buy more than what's on my list ...). Breakfast was yummy NC strawberries under yogurt and my usual Wheat Chex cum banana. Washed down with a mug of white tea. Feeling smug, actually.

Okay -- the movie ("The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"). I thought it was very well done. But, I suspect that if one has not read the first book, the movie doesn't seem to have the oomph that the book had. I mean, if you haven't read the book, the movie is what it is, and it's a bit disjointed. And there's a lot (and I mean *a lot*) left out. But, if you have read the book, you know what's coming and it's nice seeing the characters (at least the main characters) brought to life. And, of course, I loved hearing Swedish spoken again and loved looking at the scenes in Stockholm and out in the Swedish countryside. And the ending wasn't like the ending in the book, which I thought was a shame, as the ending was so strong and so perfect in regard to Lisbeth Salander's feelings. The movie was predictably gruesome in parts, but done well, I thought.

If you see it, Sneaks, I'd be interested in your thoughts. BTW, the actor who played Henrik Vanger was Sven-Bertil Taube, the son of Evert Taube, a very, very famous and loved Swedish troubadour. IIRC he died around the time I was living there in mid-70s. Sven-Bertil is a pretty famous singer in his own right.

It's been about 6 1/2 years since I've been over, and the next trip is going to have to wait until I get my knee replaced and the back fixed, so there are a couple of more years to go. That country is near and dear to my heart, indeed.

Posted by: -ftb- | April 11, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

MsJS and dbG - duly noted and thanks.
Just send up a flag in my direction . . . I'll get my boundaries marked!

Posted by: talitha1 | April 11, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse


*feeling so out of it, mnenomics-wise*

Posted by: -ftb- | April 11, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Good to see you. :)

Posted by: -dbG- | April 11, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

A rare bit by Willie Nelson, suitable for a Sunday. With scrolling lyrics.

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 11, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh, that's cute. Thx.

Yoki, I am soooo looking forward to seeing you!

Posted by: -ftb- | April 11, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I cannot hold a candle to the grand punsters her. I have punned only once on the boodle, but it was a good once and I am still proud of it.

Sadly, the curling season is now finished. Canada took top honours in Mens Worlds. It has been a source of some pain that only todays game was
available to us on TV. Shame on whoever is responsible for this when the worlds are held in other nations Just shame and Fie on them. Harrumppphhhhhh.

However, it was a very interesting season. There were new teams at the ladies worlds and mens because of the Olympics. Seriously fine curling right across the board.

Posted by: --dr-- | April 11, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I have devised a sign for curling. More than that I cannot give.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 11, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

dbG-back at you.

ftb-finally have succumbed to the call of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Delivered to my Nook just seconds ago (this gadget is going to be dangerous). However, between now and getting to read it Mr. F has requested some help on the taxes.

Boodlers-up for some "What I plan to read this summer" discussion? I always do better at reading fiction when I have boodle wisdom to guide my selections.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | April 11, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Cool, Wilbrod. Very cool.

I'm sitting here laughing a little. Mrdr is trying to install baseboards in the guest room in the small amount of time between the curling finals and the Masters. You never saw a man move so fast to get to his hammer and get it over with.

Posted by: --dr-- | April 11, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Gleeks in Seattle:

It was cold yesterday. I picked up fuschias, geraniums, and strawberries early in the morning and wished I had been dressed for winter. It was like a wind tunnel in the garden center.

I have Dragon Tattoo from the library - started it yesterday, have 4 days to finish. I don't have high hopes for doing that. As for this summer's reading - no plans. More Michael Chabon, maybe start the Neal Stephenson trilogy. Re-read Austen.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 11, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, Boodle. The big news this morning is that Texas Stadium has been blown up. Here's the video:

By a tragic mishap in scheduling, none of the Dallas Cowboys were inside the stadium at the time. I don't know who screwed up, but I think there needs to be an investigation immediately.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 11, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I miss William Raspberry.

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 11, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

No way are they going to fix that between curling and the masters, Mudge. No way at all.

Posted by: --dr-- | April 11, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Jumper, I do, too. I reread that column from now about 5 years ago. It's definitely a keeper.

Ooooh, what's for lunch?

Posted by: -ftb- | April 11, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Gotta be one of my favorite WaPo headlines: "Vatican's PR skills found lacking."

Maybe it was that whole Inquisition thing, I dunno.

And, um...gee...:
"Natalie Hopkinson: Go-go music is the sound of D.C."


And they need to keep this headline on speed-dial: "Another squall for Governor McDonnell"

"Ignatius: A nearly true tale of a double agent." I love nearly true tales.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 11, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Choking on iced tea, mudge, and I don't even like baseball.

Posted by: -dbG- | April 11, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

ftb, on Sunday CasaJS serves omelets for lunch.

Mudge, I particularly love nearly true tales in the newspaper.

As to the Vatican's lack of PR prowess, that seems to be news only to the Vatican.

Posted by: MsJS | April 11, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt will probably remember this joint. I certainly spent a good bit of time there. Looks like dominoes falling.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 11, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I was never in Fulton County Stadium. The Braves were just too terrible when I lived there. The stadium I miss is the Big Sombrero in Tampa. I watched several Tampa Bay Rowdies games there and one Buccaneers game.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 11, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

A very, very strong second for the notion that our lives are poorer without a regular dose of Mr. Raspberry.

I still fall too regularly into the trap of enjoying the sound of my own voice when I deliver zingers to (or at) folks with whom I disagree. But I don't enjoy it nearly as much as I used to, and I regret it more and more quickly.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 11, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Well, gosh, the Braves were horrendously bad when I was there. But the beer was actually fairly affordable, and for at least a couple of seasons they ran a promotion that allowed you to continue using the same ticket to enter games until they won a game. No small discount, given how many consecutive games they were perfectly capable of losing!

Posted by: bobsewell | April 11, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Aww, you're becoming a pussycat, Bob S.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 11, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

That was a great column, Jumper, thanks for the link. I too miss Raspberry. Great mind, great writing.

Bob S, I meant to ask last night and forgot it. Would you please obtain a copy of the bear at prayer, the one you linked to last night? I'd like to have it framed to put above the bunker futon. It is just the thing to go along with the Kinkade above the couch. Let me know the cost and I'll issue a purchase order for it.


Posted by: slyness | April 11, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

frostbitten asked about summer reading . . . haven't planned too far ahead but am currently enjoying two wildly different reads:

NEW YORK the novel by: Edward Rutherford

YARN HARLOT the secret life of a knitter
by: Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Was thinking of re-reading Anne McCaffrey's Roman series for light fare this summer. Turned mr.talitha on to them at Christmas and remembered how much I enjoyed them back when they were new.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 11, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I missed a bear on the boodle?!!

Posted by: frostbitten1 | April 11, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Bob S. posted a pic at 3:45 yesterday. here's the link again

Posted by: omni3 | April 11, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

doh . . .
I meant Colleen McCullough's Roman series.

Son was reading McCaffrey, husband McCullough. Have been out in the hot garden and must have heatstroke!

Posted by: talitha1 | April 11, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, don't you agree that picture would make a great addition to the bunker collection of art? (Or it is Art?)

Posted by: slyness | April 11, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Talitha, you knit? Nice. I just finished reading New Yrok. The citys relative newness did not provide the depth of story that Russka or London had. Still a good read.

I think this summer the camper van is going to be stocked with Tom Clancy. Its time to reread Tom Clancy. And there will be the grand reread of Jane Austen too. It is time for that too.

Posted by: --dr-- | April 11, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse


Slyness-that bear picture demands being turned into needlepoint. Oh that I could finish something bigger than a smallish pillow or Christmas stocking in that craft.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | April 11, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm currently reading 'Executive Orders'

Posted by: omni3 | April 11, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... For many years Go-Go music defined Washington, DC.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 11, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

So far I've only noticed one typo halfway through

Posted by: omni3 | April 11, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I've seen EU, Trouble Funk and Lucy Brown at the old Nightclub 9:30. Good music, and lots of fun. I danced, even though I can't dance, the music just makes you move and shake, and you just don't care

Posted by: omni3 | April 11, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm not entirely convinced that the bear was genuinely prayerful. Seems to me that I espied a watchful eye and a knowing smirk behind those paws. Those of you in the Pittsburgh area can probably question the critter about the underlying motivations.

Here's a link to the set where I found the picture, and if you click on the thumbnail for the photo (sixth row, I think) you'll see my (slightly obfuscatory) request for permission to borrow the image. [As a non-profit gathering centered around the sayings of a seldom-seen dispenser of truths, I thought that "church study group" wasn't too far a stretch.] I'll let you know how the request turns out.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 11, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

slyness - I'm not sure I'll ever forgive you, but maybe spreading the pain will make me feel a little better. While back-Googling to try to find out where I'd run across the bear picture, I was confronted with this:

It's gonna take a while to get rid of that one, I tell you. As you read this, I'm off to the local watering hole to get a start on forgetting.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 11, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Locally,the town's relatively few azaleas are finishing an unusually good show, thanks to the chilly winter cooling the buds. At the beaches, native coralbeans (Erythrina herbacea) are flowering. It's a big shrub, a component of the beach thickets. The tropics have huge Erythrina trees, while our species behaves as a perennial herb farther north (range is from Mexico through North Carolina).

In the yard, spotted a small black racer sunning itself. Caladiums are finally coming up. Apparently half or more survived the cold--the 35 degree night when rain poured didn't seem something they'd readily survive; bulbs are supposed to be stored at temperatures above 60. Replacement bulbs to fill in the holes have been planted. Zinnias have germinated.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 11, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

tsk! BobS, and on a Sunday, too.
Loved the picture and I know the church group will as well.

Frostbitten, try bargello needlepoint, goes much more quickly and it's psychidelic. (sp?) turribl speler

dr - needles are me. And I want to read Rutherford's Russia and London. Scratch re-reading McCollough this summer.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 11, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm trying to start Winston Churchill's 6 volume tome about WW2. It will be interesting seeing the difference between what he could say just after the war and what has come out since. Trying to start. My copies have wee tiny type. Maybe that is why I am looking forward to reading Clancy again.

However, The Pacific is going to play on History Channel starting in May IIRC. I eagerly await it.

Posted by: --dr-- | April 11, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Slyness... I just looked. US 64 goes all the way to Four Corners (Teec Nos Pos, Arizona). That's a road trip I'd love to take.

We've always wanted to do US 50 from Ocean City, Md., to Sacrament, Calif. We've gone as far west as Jefferson City, Mo. (after starting in Fairfax). Still need to finish that trip.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 11, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

This was the picture I found so difficult, and now I really AM on the way to the watering hole.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 11, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

TBG - I'm really leaving for the cheap gin joint after this, but:

Speaking as a man who's ridden a motorcycle along US 50 from Sacramento to Grand Junction Colorado, enjoy the ride and don't let yourself run out of fuel. There really are some long stretches of road without much company.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 11, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

More than 500 comments. Amazing.

Posted by: Yoki | April 11, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Hey Yoki! So, on Thursday at the BPH, are you gonna have a rose in your teeth so I will know you? I mean, it's been so long!

*snort* (and a welcoming one, at that!)

Posted by: -ftb- | April 11, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Well, of course! De riguer for dancing on the table, no?

It's going to be awesome! I can't wait to see everybody. That porch is one of my favourite places in the world.

Posted by: Yoki | April 11, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Here's a video to Chuck Brown's "Bustin' Loose," one of the best known go-go songs.

It isn't a very imaginative video. Chuck Brown also cut a record with Eva Cassidy.

Posted by: -pj- | April 11, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Summer reading? Long ago I discovered Anthony Trollope via "The Eustace Diamonds" and I consciously decided not to read the rest of his novels because it was so nice to know there would always be something worthwhile--or at least, entertaining--left in the library to read. Last year I read "Can You Forgive Her?" and I'm presently working on "Phineas Finn"--this may be the beginning of a long stretch of Trollope. He's no Dickens, but somehow the stories are just engaging enough to keep me interested for long periods of time.

Meanwhile, my husband started reading George Eliot's "Romola," a book I love but would not generally recommend because of its setting and style, not most people's cup of tea. Hubbie is loving it, though, can't stop raving about how great Eliot is. He's entirely self-educated so has missed much along the way. How exciting to discover George Eliot at age 67! And on the strength of his enthusiasm, I would recommend this novel as summer reading, especially if you have any interest in 15th century Florence--Savonarola, the Medicis, etc.

Meanwhile, we spent part of the weekend on an island off the gulf coast--some pictures and an account are up on my blog (so kind of to keep the blog up even when I don't post anything to it for months at a time!) (

Posted by: kbertocci | April 11, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I love Romola! Of course, I love Daniel Deronda, which is often overlooked in Eliot's oeuvre. And I think I've said here before that Middlemarch is my desert island book.

Posted by: Yoki | April 11, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

The Carolina Chocolate Drops were the hit at FloydFest... 3 years ago. I make a point to see them when they come to town.

For anyone else interested in old timey music from SW Va, there's a good book/CD combo... a Guide to the Crooked Road. The book is part history part travelogue. The CDs contain both modern and vintage recordings from the region.

And there are Crooked Road concerts in Herndon & at Lisner this week.

Posted by: HeadFool | April 11, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm reading Jeff Shaara's The Steel Wave, the second book of his trilogy of novels about WW11. I was fascinated by the first one (whose title I have forgotten) about the war in north Africa. I was 10 years old when Pearl Harbor was attacked so I don't remember much about the early years of the war. I was surprised to learn that Eisenhower was involved in the Africa canpaign.

Posted by: Manon1 | April 11, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Echo love for Middlemarch, Yoki. Being a lit major I read Eliot (Silas Marner appealed to my weaver's heart) and all the required authors. Find myself coming back to Austen and Faulkner the most these days.

I read a lot of history, factual more than fictionalized, so any beloved titles you all might recommend will be appreciated.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 11, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Make that CaMpaign.

Posted by: Manon1 | April 11, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the info HeadFool. I have heard that the Choco Drops are great live and I look forward to seeing them someday. If you hear about them being nearby DC, please drop in here and let me know.

I didn't realize that we were going to be traveling something called The Crooked Road. I'm excited to find out there's more to our route than just our own goofy desire to follow one road across the state like that... well... it looks like a very interesting trip. Now there's even more to it!

And I have just ordered the book/CD you recommended on Amazon! Thanks again.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 11, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Crooked Road . . . thanks HeadFool.
That's the "designated music trail" I groped for last evening.

Glad to know the Carolina Chocolate Drops are well-known and thriving . . . the one song about eatin' butterbeans stuck in my head for days after I first heard it in an interview on NPR.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 11, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

HeadFool, ever heard Double Decker String Band or 2nd South Carolina String Band?

Two of my favorite old-time groups.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 11, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of summer reading, I've been having fun finding and downloading ePubs from Google books for my iPad.

There are so many books in the public domain, especially for someone like me who likes to read novels from the 1920s. Some are scanned by Google and others are from Project Gutenberg.

Right now I'm reading "The Reason Why," by Elinor Glyn, written in 1911. Her stuff is incredibly tame by today's standards, but she's considered the founder of women's "erotic fiction." She also is the person who coined the word "it" for sex appeal.

Most writing from before 1920 is a little too hard to read, but Glyn was clearly ahead of her time. Yowza.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 11, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to mention, talitha... I am not a knitter myself, but there are MANY fans of the Yarn Harlot on this blog. You really found a good place, didn't you?


Posted by: -TBG- | April 11, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Talitha, you join me, slyness, CollegequaParkian, 'mudge (?) and others in having studied English Lit and yet, somehow, preserving our love for it. I guess I add Dirda to that list, even though he's not a Boodler (as far as we know).

I like to think we add a nice balance to all the pointy-heads around here. And we love them to the very tips of their cones.

Posted by: Yoki | April 11, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Shhh, let's not mention knitpicking this time of night.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 11, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for the hat flattery, Yoki, but I think I will stop adding quite so much starch to my Phygrian cap.

After all, that gentle flop goes well with Wilbrodog's ears.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 11, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

kb, you redecorated your blog! Very nice.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 11, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Hmm. I'd say that Go-go defined the DC music scene in the 80s and 90s as much as, well, maybe harDCore punk did, Mudge.

I think I've mentined in the Boodle that I used to see Chuck Brown every couple of years, just 'cause. As Omni points out, it's a good way to sweat out a fun night, with a lot less brusing than a good mosh. Some of the good old days.


Posted by: -bc- | April 11, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

CCD are at Montpielier Arts in May, but unfortunately, it's already sold out.

talitha those bands are new to me. I come to old timey from the Blues scene, and pretty much rejected the stuff when I grew up down there.

And on the other musical topic of the day... Wind Me Up Chuck!

Posted by: HeadFool | April 11, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry, Wilbrod - I don't want to talk shop (pick knit) at this time of night. Nor invite bad puns.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 11, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

I wear one of those freedom caps myself, Wilbrod!

Posted by: Yoki | April 11, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

You guys just aren't getting it. That Go-go headline is written in present tense. It says Go-go defines Washington NOW.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 11, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Well, not many cities have an indigenous form; Austin, NY, London, Berlin, Paris, Nashville, New Orleans, Tokyo, Lagos and Washington. A few, very few, others.

So in a way even when it is out of fashion, it is still defining. It tells one both about the form and the city where it arose.

Posted by: Yoki | April 11, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

From the article, go-go sounds like it's pretty popular now in DC (I've never heard of it):
"The most popular go-go bands, such as TCB -- a fixture since the early 2000s -- play as many as four gigs a week and easily draw 500 to 1,000 fans per night, with clubs turning people away at the door.

Nico "the Go-Go-ologist" Hobson, a music historian and collector who is a fixture on the scene, says there are more new bands forming than ever. While not a route to the high life or visits to the White House, for many local artists, becoming a go-go superstar is a more attainable goal than being the next Jay-Z."

Posted by: seasea1 | April 11, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Hey, talitha. Can you give me a shout at

Please feel free to use a non-personally identifying account, such as hotmail or yahoo. I won't be insulted. :)

Posted by: -dbG- | April 11, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. Hey to Manon, welcome talitha & headfool.

I am finally back, emotionally and spiritually refreshed if a bit very tired physically. My fellow Symposiasts and I talked, drank, ate, sang, disputed, discussed, poetized, and generally disported ourselves splendidly. Now I must get ready for the coming week. I had no interstices in which to Boodle and missed some very funny stories. Bob S, I love the bear thing.

See y'all tomorrow. Buenos gnocchis, vaya con queso and fondue.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 11, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

The reason you never heard of it, seasea, is because the premise is nonsense. It's crap. It's tunnel-vision hype, which assumes that what a certain small portion of the local population is doing speaks for the entire region (which is nonsense in the first place).

It is also misappropriating an earlier term that has nothing whatsoever to do with Washington.

It presumes there is one and only one "music scene" in Washington, and this particular one is it.

Crap. It's tunnel-vision self-referential crap.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 11, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Welcome home, I'mom! That sounds OK, actually, if tiring.

Sorry 'mudge. You're being overly curmudgeonly about this. Just because it isn't your thing, either musically or journalistically, doesn't make it wrong. Just not your scene.

Granted, there are thousands of music-scenes in any city, from Grand Opera to underground Euro-techno clubs, but the point is that this is indigenous.

Posted by: Yoki | April 11, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

dgB - check your inbox

Posted by: talitha1 | April 11, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Have to disagree, Yoki. It isn't about me. The article claims to speak for all of DC, and the region. It claims to speak across age cohorts, and it claims to speak across various and sundry groups of taste. That's why it's crap.

It is simply a sub-genre, and that's all it is. And it isn't even very large. I don't object to writing about it; I simply object to it being characterized as "the sound of D.C."

This is from the Wiki write-up: "There is generally little familiarity with go-go music outside of the D.C. Metro area, which includes the District of Columbia and the city's outlying Maryland and Northern Virginia suburbs. Consequently, the relatively little commercial success (by industry standards) go-go bands have enjoyed has largely been a product of the genre's following in this geographic region."

And this:

"While go-go's international profile was on the rise in the 1980s, go-go clubs in D.C. were acquiring an unfortunate reputation for violence. In some areas of Washington—even today—clubs are not permitted to play go-go or have go-go bands appear. In 1988, an all-star go-go band dubbed the Go-Go Posse recorded "D.C. Don't Stand for Dodge City," conceived, written and produced by the "I Hear Ya Records" production team of Jonathan Smith, Mitch Bebbs and Derral Johnson a.k.a JJ&J. as an attempt to raise awareness and stop the violence. Suffice to say, any reduction in violence was short-lived at best.

"One well-publicized venue with trouble was Club U, located inside a District-owned building at the corner of 14th and U Street NW, where numerous incidents—including murder—occurred, leading to the revocation of its liquor license,[18] and eventual closing.[19]

In March 2007, Jack B. Johnson, County Executive in nearby Prince George's County, Maryland, also cracked down on go-go music, announcing the indefinite closing of nine area clubs that had experienced a high frequency of police calls many for violent incidents in the past year.[20] A court battle is ongoing over whether the closings were justified, with a court order temporarily stopping the closing of five of the clubs."

This is what speaks for the city and region? I don't think so.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 11, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

SCC - dbG

Posted by: talitha1 | April 11, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

SCC - dbG

Posted by: talitha1 | April 11, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | April 11, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

dbG, my shout is echoing off the webwalls - (can't get through to you at address you sent)

Posted by: talitha1 | April 11, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Once again mudge is completely flummoxed by something he has never heard of and comes to the conclusion that that makes it completely irrelevant. Consider go-go the Flannery O'Conner of soul/funk music and let it go. It's not for you.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 11, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, ya got me laughing over here. You chose your handle well, sir.

I think go-go is *still* an indigenous style that defines a large part of Washington's live nightclub music scene, even some (like I) think its heyday is past, there isn't any other style that has supplanted it. Heck, I heard some coming out of a club on U Street this past Monday/Tuesday (right about midnight).

I get it -- been there, danced it, sang the crowd vocals, and read the piece. I wasn't all that enamored of it, and the headline may be arguable depending on your knowledge and perspective, but I wouldn't describe it as completely wrong.

But, that's just me.


Posted by: -bc- | April 11, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Try again, my fault. It's an account I rarely use. It's open now. :)

Posted by: -dbG- | April 11, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

And! Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

Posted by: Yoki | April 11, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Here is an exercise for those of you with knowledge of vintage cars:

In Holbrook, Arizona, just east of Winslow, is a famous Route 66 landmark called the Wigwam Motel where each of the cabins is shaped like a tipi. This site inspired a portion of the movie Cars. The motel now has (or may always have had) a junked old car in front of each wigwam.

I took pictures but did not or could not identify the make and model of each car. Here are the pictures:

Leave comments on the picture or here in the boodle and I will update the captions.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 11, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

There are few foods as wonderfully comforting as homemade onion soup, no matter how basic.

Posted by: russianthistle | April 11, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

It is so, Weed.

Posted by: Yoki | April 11, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

I'd go with mac and cheese although I don't even like it that much!

'Night, all.

Posted by: -dbG- | April 11, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Oddly, I like a good lentil (or split pea) and rice soup (rice added in last minute is fine by me).

I've never tasted a onion soup I truly liked, even though I adore onion in BBQ, chili, curries, lentil soups. etc.

And now I'm all hungry, and I am still trying to tame my appetite back to pre-stress levels.

Comfort, schmofort. I want a gallon of chicken soup.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 11, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

1926a is a 1959 Chevy Bel Air

Posted by: rashomon | April 11, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

I am not a big soup fan, but French Onion soup is top of the list, mom would make it from scratch. She had soup bowls brown ceramic with wicker holders, each bowl would be filled with the soup, then bread added and cheese (swiss?) and place under the broiler. When this was finishd the bowls went into a wicker basket so as to avoid burns. So good

Posted by: dmd3 | April 11, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Now that I think about it, the cheese must have been mozzarella (it took some talent to wind the spoon/cut the strings of cheese, might have had parmesan as well.

Posted by: dmd3 | April 11, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Oops. Not a Bel Air, it's an Impala. Slightly different trim.

Posted by: rashomon | April 11, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

And here are the highlights from the Standing On The Corner photo shoot:

The panorama really needs to be seen at the original 26,000 x 2500 pixel resolution to be appreciated (warning, it's big):

Posted by: yellojkt | April 11, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh goodness. Himself and I were given a set of four of those handled French Onion Soup bowls with baskets as a wedding present, in 1981. We hauled them from pillar to post until 1997, when we held a huge moving/garage sale. They found a ready market in the Montreal suburbs of the day!

Posted by: Yoki | April 11, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

The 1959 Impala reminded me of my first (used) car, a '59 Chrysler Imperial.
It was a boat and you could get 10 teenagers in it. Dash looked like a spaceship.

And I've been to the teepee motel - what a trip.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 11, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Curious about the "right" cheese for French onion soup, I did a quick google, and every recipe had a different white cheese, from gruyere to mozzerella.Pick one you like.

Posted by: nellie4 | April 12, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

I like a mixture of Gruyere and Parmesan. Sometimes a little Oka in the mix.

Posted by: Yoki | April 12, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

I never heard of Go-go, yello? What about the eight or ten years I spent in PG County in the 1980s and 1990s covering all the shootings and murders and police raids at the big Go-go club up on Naylor Road right off Branch Ave., and and all over the whole west, central and north parts of PG County? The Del Rio Club, the Alexandria kid knifed at the Black Scorpio in Cheverly,the Thai Seafood & Grill right here in Charles County where 50 people got arrested (45 of them from PG County), the shootings at the New Hot Cafe on Branch Ave. (which is Route 5, which is the route my bus takes to work every morning), J's Cafe up in Laurel, the Crossroads in Bladensburg, the Tradewinds (which is about a thousand feet from my old office at the Clinton Times before it went under), the Tick Tock. LePearl, CFE. Never covered Jack Johnson when he was PG's DA before he became county exec. No, I don't know diddly about Go-go.

yello, the person who has no effing idea what he's talking about is you.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 12, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

To whomever posted Ted Kooser's "Flying at Night" a while back, my thanks. Printed it, stuck it on my refrigerator ... and read it all the time.

Above us, stars. Beneath us, constellations. Five billion miles away, a galaxy dies like a snowflake on water. Below us, some farmer, feeling the chill of that distant death, snaps on his yard light, drawing his sheds and barn back into the little system of his care. All night, the cities, like shimmering novas, tug with bright streets at lonely lights like his.

Posted by: KBoom | April 12, 2010 1:24 AM | Report abuse

IMG1932 is a 1952 Ford Customline.

Posted by: rashomon | April 12, 2010 1:37 AM | Report abuse

to: dbG
(with apologies to Wilbrodog)

trapped in wild verbage
a villainess lurks heedless
while talitha lives

[or "while talitha laughs" ... take your pick!]

Posted by: talitha1 | April 12, 2010 2:27 AM | Report abuse

Never fear kind women and gentle men.
My welcome here is of such fine sort
that I felt compelled
to snark a bit.

To bed, and late.
Fine sunrises to all.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 12, 2010 2:32 AM | Report abuse

Saith talitha: "I read a lot of history, factual more than fictionalized, so any beloved titles you all might recommend will be appreciated."

Hmmmm.... I'd put pretty good money on the quality of the book recommendations offered here. But figgerin' out how much fictionalizing has gone into any particular history is a rather more subtle task, thinks I.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 12, 2010 2:33 AM | Report abuse

OK, I feel very comfortable stating that a face-off between yellojkt & 'mudge on the subject of go-go is... unnecessary.


Posted by: bobsewell | April 12, 2010 2:39 AM | Report abuse

But having said that, you gotta do what you gotta do, right? I certainly do.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 12, 2010 2:43 AM | Report abuse

VIP syndrome and pilot error in the destruction of the plane carrying Poland's elite:

I'd rather hear that the plane was old and tired and fell apart than that the pilot was under pressure (or thought he was) to land.

If the VIP Syndrome explanation holds up, it might be a warning to anyone in a position to demand special treatment (or who's prominent enough to dazzle the staff) at the hospital, or most anywhere else.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 12, 2010 2:59 AM | Report abuse

And one last one for tonight. The white car parked under the awning in the panorama is a 1951 Studebaker. I think it's a Commander, but it might be a Champion.

Posted by: rashomon | April 12, 2010 3:01 AM | Report abuse

IMG1925 is a 1953 Hudson Wasp.

Posted by: rashomon | April 12, 2010 3:59 AM | Report abuse

IMG1923 - 1956 Ford Ranch Wagon

Posted by: rashomon | April 12, 2010 4:18 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all. Dawn is breaking on yet another spectacular Spring day, enjoy it while you can, folks.

Camellia Japonicas have outdone themselves in our yard for the past two weeks, dogwoods did not bloom to speak of. Every year at this time I wish I had planted wisteria and lilacs, but not having done so, can still admire those blooming in the neighborhood. Red buds are great this year. Mixing up an early morning application of bobbex deer repellent to spray on the Crape Myrtle, which is starting to get it's leaves.

Coffee is ready. Am thinking of Scotty and spouse, have not read back to see if he has returned home safely.

Posted by: VintageLady | April 12, 2010 6:33 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for all the help, rashomon. You have a good eye.

Perhaps I misread mudge's tirade. It seems that he has heard of go-go but just doesn't care for it because of its association with a certain urban criminal element, which smacks of, well, something. The article doesn't seem to pull any punches about the violence surrounding the scene and indeed has as its thesis that the criminal element is making the music undesired in mainstream venues.

It's hard to deny its ubiquity since as I peruse the weekly lists of street festivals and music happenings, there is always a go-go band doing something somewhere, so it has always seemed a DC thing to me even if it's not a musical style I appreciate.

But bobs has hit the nail on the head. For two pasty geezers like us to argue about it is fairly ridiculous. Here is a pertinent quote from the article:

"Go-go may be invisible to much of white Washington, but it's as much a part of the city as the pillars and monuments of its federal face.
Go-go is Washington. The music never made a real national splash, but it has come to reflect this city, its artistic pulse and the often painful reality of life for many of its black residents."

I can't dispute those sentences in any meaningful way. And I would congratulate the Post on a thoughtful nuanced article since there has been such hand-wringing lately that part of the decline of newspapers has to do with their irrelevance to a younger and blacker readership.

So I would posit that if go-go is not the sound of DC, what is: Blues Alley jazz? 9:30 Club punk? Fern bar classic rock? 'Thank God I'm A Country Boy' at an O's game seventh inning stretch?

Posted by: yellojkt | April 12, 2010 6:52 AM | Report abuse

VL -- lovely report. The odd spike of sustained heat meant that some things bloomed and faded quickly with odd over lapping. Twas not a daffy year for me because they arose and were slain by heat. I am hoping more for the mid and late tulips to be in sustained bloom-beauty. I see fat buds on the roses, which almost makes me swoon. Apparently, GWE has a secret stash of blue bells, which I MUST.HAVE. Maypops up and about to bloom under the fat splayed leaves...and the darling sweet woodruff is blooming. Will need to make Mai wine soon.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 12, 2010 6:55 AM | Report abuse

For all of us but mostly for ScottyNuke'sDarling Gal

[love is more thicker than forget]

by E. E. Cummings

love is more thicker than forget
more thinner than recall
more seldom than a wave is wet
more frequent than to fail

it is more mad and moonly
and less it shall unbe
than all the sea which only
is deeper than the sea

love is less always than to win
less never than alive
less bigger than the least begin
less littler than forgive

it is most sane and sunly
and more it cannot die
than all the sky which only
is higher than the sky

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 12, 2010 6:58 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all, hi Cassandra! VintageLady and CqP, you are both up early. That's a good thing on a lovely April morning.

Mr. T and I trimmed the camellias yesterday. They get too big for their space, but I made him put it off till the blooms were done. My light pink one outdid itself this year. We also pruned the hollies, disturbing a little mother bird on her nest. But I made sure Mr. T didn't upset the nest at all...

Our daffodils are gone, but the hostas are coming out. This is the week for spectacular shows by the azaleas and dogwoods. The hellebores still look good, and the herbs that survived the winter are putting on new growth. The columbines are a few days from full bloom, maybe by the end of the week they will be there.

Today I need to plant the vegetables and begonias I bought early last week.

Posted by: slyness | April 12, 2010 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Kboom, perhaps I posted that poem. Here is a very touching Kooser poem that I always think of around Easter. Who has eaten lamb cake? You know, the molded pound cake baked in a two part heavy special pan?

A Child's Grave Marker

A small block of granite
engraved with her name and the dates
just wasn't quite pretty enough
for this lost little girl
or her parents, who added a lamb
cast in plaster of paris,
using the same kind of cake mold
my grandmother had--iron,
heavy and black as a skillet.
The lamb came out coconut-white,
and seventy years have proven it
soft in the rain. On this hill,
overlooking a river in Iowa,
it melts in its own sweet time.

Ted Kooser, Nebraskan and former Poet Laureat (consultant to Library of Congress is the official name).

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 12, 2010 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Mudge and YK, kiss, etc. And, YJ -- all that music is here, plus My Maryland and now the salsa-rock beating at the stop sign....all of it.

Chuck Brown, a go go God, was absolutely a (strike that and say THE) catalyst for shy Eva Cassidy to enter Chris Biondo's recording study and lay those exquisite tracks down.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 12, 2010 7:14 AM | Report abuse

My wife was very happy to find her tulips (variety unknown to me) waited for her while we were on vacation.

The only other artist of a national reputation that I associate with DC is Mary Chapin Carpenter who is about as un-go-go as you can get. Though those nice boys in Good Charlotte are from Waldorf.

Lyrics for the YouTube impaired:

Waldorf Worldwide

Listen up cause there ain't nothin funny
I wanna hot girl and a little bit of money
I wanna a little house where my band can live
Cause we're tired of moving every other weekend
I wanna go to parties where they got no guns
I wanna rock with my band, I wanna have a little fun
Where thugs and punks and any other type
Can sing this song and up sing it all night

Everything's gonna be alright now
Everythin's gonna be alright
Everything will be alright, alright

All I wanna do is kick the welfare
All I wanna do is get my share

And I don't wanna run for the president
I just want an honest way to pay my rent
And I'm tired of the man always shuttin us down
Tired of my old man cause he's never around
And I'm tired of eating off of other people's plates
And I don't look important so they're telling me to wait
Police records said they wouldn't exist
I wanna know the meaning of a Christmas list

Said all I wanna do is kick the welfare
All I wanna do is get my share
All I wanna do is make somethin from nothin
It's GC baby and we're workin with somethin

We'll be self-made millionares
These lives we'll lead without a care, oh yeah
And we'll see what we'll be

{repeat chorus}

Posted by: yellojkt | April 12, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Good morning another beautiful day here, daffodils opening in the garden, one tulip open.

VintageLady, I have both Lilac and Wisteria, shall post pictures for you when they are in bloom, Lilacs are small being recent purchases but wisteria is very old and large.

If only I had the climate for Camellias.

Posted by: dmd3 | April 12, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

What's with all this go-go talk?

I mean, of course, I loved the Go Gos. If only they had been allowed a little bit more time to prep "Vacation" it might have been a more successful follow-up to "Beauty and the Beat."

I thought Belinda looked better before her surgery too. But I understand her issues. Shoulda re-thought that photo shoot though.

Of course, my heart belonged to Jane Wiedlin.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 12, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

And in more funk/go-go news, they are looking for The Mothership in PG County:

I heard a rumor that bc was once abducted by it.

They seem to be skipping some obvious hiding places. Like the Garber Facility (I know for a fact that the CE3K mothership used to be there). Or mudge's back yard.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 12, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Eva Cassidy -- white gal from Bowie (represent, PeeGEE Countee!!!) and
Chuck Brown, DeeCee GoGo DADDEEE

I NEED your Love..... (listen to the entire clip for Chuck's little whisper at the end. Better voice than Barry White.....)

Gritty and bluesy and as Chuck said when he heard her voice for the first time, and then saw her blonde self, said, "I thought you were black, lady. You sing black!"

Off by bike to impart knowledge....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 12, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

New Kit.

Let us rejoice and be glad.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 12, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning, Yoki!

My theory is that it is far better to enjoy a food done well and naturally than to worry about exact ingredients.

I talked last night with our baker at the store who does a wonderful job with the breads (we have a special oven that a good baker can take advantage) ... he is a fairly recent immigrant from Poland and he was aching about the plane crash.

Thanks again Yoki for talking with me last night even though, I believe that I fell asleep. I had a long weekend of work and the soup sent me quickly to the land of ZZZzzzz.

Posted by: russianthistle | April 12, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

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