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Hockey needs a rule change

Hockey clearly needs to make a major rule change. This is my take-away thought from the debacle, the travesty, the appalling calamity of the failure of the Caps to make it beyond the first round of the playoffs. You have to understand: This was going to be my social life for May and much of June. It was all planned!

The Caps were the best team, with the best player. Sure, I'm a bandwagon fan, not a lifer, but I was into it, screaming at the TV, occasionally even experimenting with hockey terms like "the crease" and "cross-check." I believed the hype about this team. Our other teams have been so pitiful for so long, it was a thrill, and a novelty, to root for a winner. This was our moment! We weren't losers anymore! We were somebody.

But no. The impossible happens. The Canadiens, despite their inability to spell their own name, somehow pull out the unlikeliest of comebacks, down 3-1 to the overall No. 1 seed. In Vegas this was already off the board, no doubt. This just can't happen.

Did you see last night's game? Excruciating to watch. Imagine how excruciating it must have been to play. That ice is so dang slippery. Large men banging into you all night. And you're trying to somehow squeeze the puck past a goalie the size of a Triceratops.

About halfway through the third period, the ominous thought bubble formed above the head, a dark little cloud: Ain't no way to score on this guy. Particularly with about 5 guys in white standing in the way as well. The net got smaller and smaller. The goalie got larger and larger. Halak is his name -- sounds like a Japanese movie monster. After the game he probably went outside and immolated the Portrait Gallery with his fiery breath.

One could weep at the result. Or one could, instead, come up with solutions. That's where my head is at. No complaining: Just a smart recommendation for fixing this ridiculous situation. And here it is:

Get rid of the goalie.

MAJOR rule change.

No more "tending" the net!!!!

Anyone tries to stand in front of the goal, whistle blows, unsportsmanlike conduct. You're not just in the penalty box, you're in the DUNGEON beneath the rink.

Also it should be illegal to block a shot in any fashion, or interfere with the purposes of the offensive player. True, the score in a hockey game, instead of being something like 2-1, would be more like 435-291. LOTS of offense.

If that's too unnerving a change, you could further modify the rules by making the net really small, hardly larger than the puck itself. Take a page from golf. Less whacking of the puck, more PUTTING.

Also they should nix the whole skating thing. They should wear spikes out there so they won't slip so badly. Last night the only way the Caps were going to score is if we had stuck to a ground game, made a flying wedge, handed the puck to Ovechkin and let him plow his way into the net.

Yes: I'm thinking hockey meets Woody Hayes. When I'm running that team, the offense will be three yards and a spray of ice.

By Joel Achenbach  |  April 29, 2010; 9:07 AM ET
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Next: The bad flowers


Nats, Caps, Skins, Wiz- Joel, this is Loserville. Get used to it, dude.

On a happier (or at least, funnier) note, here's a little love letter to Lindsey Graham-

my favorite bit:

"the U.S. Senate, where matters of incredible inter-generational consequence are decided by the whims and raw electoral interests of elderly white men with enormous, fragile egos. Whee!"

Posted by: kguy1 | April 29, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Hockey? Really? This is going to make me yearn for a gardening kit. Or knitting.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 29, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Clearly, the Caps have an enthusiastic fan base or else there is no way they could pay those Hockey fellows the Big Bucks. But the fans around here are diffuse. Hockey games are similar to conventions where like-minded individuals can congregate. The sport really hasn't reached the critical mass needed to dominate the collective sporting consciousness of the region.

I suspect a big part of this is fan ignorance. I mean, I probably know more about the sport than many because of exposure as a vulnerable child, but I still lack a full appreciation for the game. And, based upon an extensive survey of people who sit in the adjoining cubicles, I'm not alone in this.

So I think hockey fans need to be more aggressive at sharing their knowledge. They can't just limit themselves to small-group meetings with their fellow believers. They need to actively proselytize through education.

Now, I'm not talking about knocking on people's doors with earnest expressions and free copies of the Selected Writings Of Howie Meeker. Rather, I'm suggesting aficionados try to subtly inject references to "icing" into casual conversations. Only then will the Faithful expand.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 29, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

"That's where my head is at."

Joel, I am disappointed that you have gone over to the slang side. This is why the English language continues to disinegrate. Boo hoo.

Posted by: Windy3 | April 29, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Some insight there, JA, but not enough to make a diehard fan. Funny. And. Slightly. Insulting?

Don't know how to spell their names?

Posted by: cmyth4u | April 29, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Woody Hayes?

What happened to "I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out"?

The NHL won't go UFC or even Rollerball on us, will they? (and where's James Caan when you need him?)

Kguy, the Washington NFL Franchise and DC United had nice runs for awhile there...

Won't bother reposting my comment in the previous Boodle, but suffice it to say that Ted Leonsis is probably being advised by his Home Insepctor to consider (or make contingent) serious Curse dispersal measures as part of the contract to close on the Verizon Center (and the Caps and Wizards. Maybe using firefighting aircraft to drop thousands of gallons of Curse disinfectant or having garlic garland nights instead of hat or towel nights...

The curse of Les Boulez is strong.
And apparrenly has made the leap from wood to ice, as viruses make the leap from animals to people...


Posted by: -bc- | April 29, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I'm cracking up. Time to go.

Posted by: cmyth4u | April 29, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse


"Get used to it dude". I'm gone.

Posted by: cmyth4u | April 29, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, the Montreal hockey team spells their name with the Canadian spelling "Canadiens" verusus the American spelling "Canadians."

It's a joke, and rather colourful commentary...


SCC: Of course -- this, coming from a guy who can't spell "apparently" to save his own life. Must be loosing my mind.

Posted by: -bc- | April 29, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Oh Cassandra, I don't think Joel is being insulting. I think he is poking fun at the collective ignorance of Washingtonians to the subtleties of the sport.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 29, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Canadien is French, from the original name of the team "Club de Hockey Canadien". Back in 1909 when the club was founded "canadien" meant French-Canadian.
The CH (the logo is still there) was the French Canadians' team and the Maroons (really!) was Montreal's Anglos team. The Maroons got marooned by the Great Depression and the CH became Montreal's team.
With a special devotion by the French Canadian. It's a frikking religion for some.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 29, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

No extra points for guessing the colour of the Maroons' uniform.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 29, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

It all goes back to the saying "Defense wins Championships". No matter that the caps had the highest scoring offense in the league,the best home record.When it came down to it,a hot goalie is much better then star studded fire power.I am totally bummed,like Joel i was wanting to watch hockey till June. I guess this will go down as the worst collapse in hockey history?

Now what? Lacrosse till the end of May. When does the NFL season start?

Well I guess there is always fishing......

Posted by: greenwithenvy | April 29, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Just having fun, folks. No foul.

Posted by: cmyth4u | April 29, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I believe "Mr. Tony's Choking Dogs" is still available as a Boodle handle...

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 29, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

A hockey kit! Yesss! Now I will get the lawn mowed.

I thought this political article was good:

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 29, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

kguy - now don't be hating on the Nats. They have actually been moderately tolerable lately. Really.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 29, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I love this kit. Every town has one losing team; Washington is just especially blessed.

If anybody ever doubted RD's honourary Canadianness, the Howie Meeker reference puts paid to that skepticism.

Posted by: Yoki | April 29, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Hey, don't look now sports fans, but on the home page:

Nationals clinch first winning month since Sept. '07


Posted by: Scottynuke | April 29, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I'm still trying to figure out who the hell Les Habitants is. For a while I thought it was the news announcer on WKRP in Cincinnati, but then woke up in the middle of the night remembering his name was Les Nessman.

Sports trivia: A certain Montreal-based hockey team, which shall go les nameless, has the following motto (like DB, I am not making this up): "Nos bras meurtris vous tendent le flambeau, à vous toujours de le porter bien haut."

For those of you who are poutine-impaired, this translates roughly as "If your upper undergarment catches fire, you can buy [bien] an upper [haut] [one] to carry [le porter] tomorrow." Yes, you are quite right: it loses something in the translation.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 29, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, coffee and OJ on the table.

Blackhawks, Blackhawks Blackhawks

Given what Ovechkin did the last time the Capitals played the Blackhawks, I'm somewhat pleased the Habs won.

The Habs upset of the Caps wasn't the only first round upset. In fact, the 4th seeded Flightless Birdies are the only upper seeded team in the Eastern Conference to advance.

Maybe it portends more upsets in the 2nd round. 's OK as long as it doesn't include the Blackhawks, who have the most regular season wins of the teams remaining.

Posted by: MsJS | April 29, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Ah, we Nats fans should be very careful about poking fun of perceived misspellings of the team's name, shouldn't we?

There was that day of Nats infamy last season, wasn't there?

On the other hand, perhaps the Caps series loss might be karma - after all, those Nats were playing a few years ago in Montreal as the Expos...

The Curse of Les Habitants, or L'Expos, perhaps?


Posted by: -bc- | April 29, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Joel, at least your team made it to the playoffs.

AT least I get to look forward to football in June. There is always golf.

Posted by: --dr-- | April 29, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Here's an interesting resource on the oil spill. Also Homeland Security is involved now.

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 29, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

RD, don't go knocking the writings of Howie Meeker.

Back in '05 the the Literary Review of Canada declared that his 1973 book "Howie Meeker's Hockey Basics" was one of Canada's top 100 most important Canadian books.

Posted by: MsJS | April 29, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

There is a twitter-bot that retweets all mentions of poutine:

Posted by: yellojkt | April 29, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse


It was an aberration caused by form filling this morning. It's tax time.

Thank heavens for knitting and multiple satellite receivers. And thank the good Lord, it is always knitting season.

Posted by: --dr-- | April 29, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Washington Nationals- last five seasons

2005 81-81
2006 71-91
2007 73-89
2008 59-102
2009 59-103

Last in their division each and every year except 07 when the Marlins were 71-91.

Callers these guys losers is not "hating" it's just factual.

Posted by: kguy1 | April 29, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I hadda Google Howie Meeker. Wikipedia says he was a rightwinger and a progressive conservative.

Why Wiki is trying to be funny about his politics I can't say.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 29, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Oh, do allow me to repost from the last kit (it's not exactly mudging myself, but close enough to get some pleasure out of it):

Okay, let me chime in, hockey-wise. I watched most of the game, and was rooting for the Caps (even though I've got friends in Montreal whom I will congratulate tomorrow).

I think that my experience with following the Red Wings has taught me a lot about the value of patience and the value of no expectations (and I mean that in a good way). Here's the thing -- the Caps had a fabulous regular season, and they have excellent players, but what they *don't* have is the experience of being and playing in the playoffs. An 8th ranked team just beat them in the best of 7 games. The reason, I think, is that Montreal played with an urgency that they needed to in order to beat the best team in the whole league. The Caps played like they felt entitled to win the series because, well, they were the Caps.

It doesn't work that way.

The Red Wings did not have one of their stellar regular seasons, mainly due to injuries (and, okay, probably age, as well), but they ended up with more than 100 points for the umpti-umph season in a row. The Wings were forced into an unusually rare 7th game against Phoenix -- out *there* FCOL -- and beat the you-know-what out of them, because they didn't want to lose and because they knew they had to *play* hard to win that last game. And because they have tons of playoff experience (both good and bad).

What I wish for the Caps is that they learn from this experience and have a great year next year so they can get into the playoffs again and do better than they did this year. I feel for Bruce Boudreau, I really do. I'm not sure he could have done anything differently for his team, but they sure could have done a lot of things differently for him, for each other and for their fans. It's a huge disappointment, but let's see how they get on with life now and prepare for next season.

Pontificating over. Do get back to what you were doing.

And, now, for today's kit:

Playoff hockey is really serious hockey, and you have to play harder and faster and smarter, because *every* team wants to drink beer out of the Stanley Cup. They're not gonna give it to you just because you want it and think you deserve it.


Posted by: -ftb- | April 29, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

If there were more bra burning, I'd watch more hockey.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 29, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Now that Montreal is going on to play the Flightless Birds, I shall become an honorary Canadien fan.

Before the playoffs, I opined to Raysdad that the Caps should want to play Philly vs. Montreal, in no small part to the hot streak that Mr. Halak was on.

Regarding blocked shots, I think the Caps should have shot high all the time, so that blocking them would involve a painful blow to an unpadded midsection vs. padded shins and thighs. Raysdad didn't think much of this theory.

Posted by: Raysmom | April 29, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

New Dave Barry in the NYT.

I've always liked his work, but pretty much anyone with a dog named Lucy is okay with me.

Posted by: -dbG- | April 29, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

yello, I'd recommend you take yours off before you light it.


Posted by: -bc- | April 29, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

MsJS, I assure you I would *never* knock Howie Meeker! The whole premise of my post is that the closest thing hockey has to Sacred Writings are the words written my Howie Meeker.

As a lad I used to watch Hockey Night in Canada and, before that glowing hearth, absorb the wisdom of Mr. Meeker.

And because of the educational outreach of his televised Hockey School I know, to this day, that the greatest sin in Hockey is putting poor skaters at goalie.

Not to mention that weak ankles are often the result of poor-fitting skates.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 29, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

There's actually ice of the hockey variety in Florida. I expect that someone running a private school will discover that hockey gets kids into Yale, and that will set off something similar to the recent lacrosse revolution.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 29, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

You are wasting your talent as an editor Mudge, clearly translation is your natural calling. I can see the office of Aubray, Mudge and Diefenbaker, Translators and Interpreters.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 29, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Ooh Mudge. Don't tell me things about Howie I don't want to know. I'm still getting over my disillusionment with Victoria Jackson.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 29, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I get it now. "Right winger.."

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 29, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Victoria Jackson? Oh, you thought the clueless blonde act was an act?

Posted by: kguy1 | April 29, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Another incompetently written WaPo headline: "Crist expected to switch parties." No, there is nothing whatsover in Cilizza's story that remotely suggests Crist will "switch parties." What the story says is that Crist will run not as a Republican but as an independent.

I would hope that it doesn't need explaining, except that it apparently does to the online copy desk: there is basically no such thing as "the Independent Party." (There used to the American Independent Party a long time ago founded by Curtis LeMay and george Wallace, but "running as an independent" has nothing to do with that old outfit.)

What Crist may or may not do regarding his own party affiliation remains to be seen, but it is a different thing entirely from how he runs in November.

The whol;e point of running as an independent (depending on various state law) is that you HAVE NO PARTY affiliation. So you can't "switch parties" from having one to not having any.

Joel, would you please get somebody to deliver a basic civics lesson to the online desk people.

Somewhere on L Street Bill Walsh and Pat the Perfect are shaking their heads.

Thank you, shriek. Yes, my intimate familiarity with the nuances of the French language have often been remarked upon. More than once have I heard "sacred blue" in reference to my work, and once something about merit (that's what "merde" means, correct?).

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 29, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

On kit comment: hockey sounds here at Sound Dog

I love the sound of hockey; this sport carries a cool and icy gravitas. Basketball, with all due respect, is very squeakie, swoshis, squeakie. Sounds a bit cartoonie.

Sound Dog features an astonishing library of sounds.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 29, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, my favorite preface statement before someone makes a pronouncement is that they are an "independent." Usually, what follows screams "I have no CLUE!"

Posted by: russianthistle | April 29, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Boomslang | April 29, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, either that or they tell you they are independent and then go on about the "Democrat party".

Posted by: kguy1 | April 29, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

And in the Not-Playing-With-a-Full-Deck Department we have someone who announced his illegal intentions on Craigslist.

Posted by: MsJS | April 29, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Yes, chiming in with Boomslang (an excellent name), I never hear anything bad about Washington's professional golf team. What are they called, the "Congressmen"? Something like that? Anyway, I never hear anyone complaining about them. Never.

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

Bill Clinton used to take a few too many mulligans.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 29, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

SciTim, the DC golf team is called The Lobbyists.

You've heard about them and how they're ruining Washington.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 29, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

WaPo headline at bottom of the home page, under the small "Religion" heading:

"Brazil: Priest charged with 8 abusing boys"

Yes, that's what it says. 8 abusing boys.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 29, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

And you residents of Fairfax, VA should Facebook friend one of your neighbors:

He is the guy who had his license plate recalled for having crypto-racist meaning (He claims it's just a tribute to his favorite NASCAR drivers). His bio says:

"100% WHITE MAN, 100% ARYAN, 100% PRO-LIFE (Children are innocent), 100% PRO DEATH PENALTY (Criminal Scum aren't innocent).
Over the past 28 years; I, like David Duke, have had an Awakening."

On the plus side, his favorite movies are "Star Wars, Pitch Black, The Chronicles of Riddick, Unfortunately, Pretty Much Any Sci Fi, Pretty Much Any Old Western, Or John Wayne Movie"

Posted by: yellojkt | April 29, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Then they were probably asking for it.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 29, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

As 'mudge notes, Gov. Crist will run independently. State law requires that candidates of the Governor's party get the top spot on the ballot. Presumably, since Crist was elected as a Republican, the Republican candidate, Marco Rubio will get the first slot. I assume that Democrat Meek will get #2 and Crist #3.

Bush had the top spot in 2000, which was probably yielded enough extra votes to put him within reach of a court-ordered win.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 29, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, what I really like about the guy with the crypto-racist plates is the mural he had put on the back of his truck.

According to this article it read, "Everything I needed to know about Islam I learned on 9/11"

I use the past tense because his employer told him he couldn't park in the employee lot anymore until he took it off.

DotC, maybe so, but if Gore had been able to win his own home state, he wouldn't have needed Florida.

Posted by: MsJS | April 29, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

yello, your 2:28 is a big steaming, er, *potful* of reasons why I don't use facebook.


Posted by: -bc- | April 29, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

He's tame compared to some of my high school 'friends.'

Posted by: yellojkt | April 29, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Forbes Magazine claims the Baltimore-DC area ties with NYC for the worst air quality (ozone), at #16.

All other cities ranking above NYC and DC are well in the south. LA is #1, to nobody's surprise.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 29, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Also, I'm glad I don't belong to the Independent Party. Aside from the term sounding a bit like an oxymoron, I'd want to be able to decide for myself if I'd want to be in the same party with him. And I wouldn't want to give up my Independence if I decided against...

I'm 'Unaffiliated' and happy to be that way. [Please, let there not be an Unaffiliated Party. The next party I'm joining is the Deceased Party (which I understand had a detectable turnout in recent elections)]


Posted by: -bc- | April 29, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of political parties, the last of the UK televised debates will air shortly.

The BBC is hosting this time. Follow along here.

Yello, sorry. I attributed your post to Mudge. Apologies to you both.

Posted by: MsJS | April 29, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

In Florida, there is an Independent Party as well as an Independence Party and the America's Independent Party of Florida, not to be confused with Independent Democrats of Florida.

Other notable parties are the British Reformed Sectarian Party, The Christian Party (doesn't sound particularly fun), Florida Whig Party (who knew those guys were still around?), The Moderate Party (they only party in moderation?), the Progressive Libertarian Party (presumably an offshoot of the Libertarian Party of Florida), the Prohibition Party (which sounds self-defeating for a party), the Surfers Party of America, and of course, the Tea Party.

Florida is just one big party state.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 29, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

The British Reformed Sectarian Party may not be for everybody. From their webpage:

"As stated in our Constitution and By-laws filed with the Florida Secretary of State, we do not allow Black people to join our party and you also have to be a Christian."

Posted by: yellojkt | April 29, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

The UK PM Debates are kind of an open mike night, aren't they?

This should not favor PM Brown, who seems to have a recent aversion to open mikes...


Posted by: -bc- | April 29, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Ah yes, election night in the U.K. Not like in the olden days-

Here at Luton it's a three-cornered fight between Alan Jones - Sensible Party, in the middle, Tarquin Fin- tim- lim- bim- whin- bim- lim- bus- stop- F'tang- F'tang- Olè- Biscuitbarrel - Silly Party, and Kevin Phillips-Bong, the Slightly Silly candidate.

Posted by: kguy1 | April 29, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

>So I think hockey fans need to be more aggressive at sharing their knowledge.

We try. It's a slow process.

But, progress is evident. Southerners are the hardest sell. Some (Jumper) will go mow their lawns during a hockey kit, but others (yello) will grouse and then jump in. But then one day some guy from the Florida panhandle is writing an article about hockey and you can tell he's starting to get into it. That's when you know the word is getting out.

You see, hockey is like a swallow that flies into a home through an open window, and out another. There are many sports, like birds in the sky, and most all take place without our even knowing that a game is being played, especially if you don't have premium cable. So hockey is like a particularly brightly coloured and fast swallow that swoops in, beats up all the other birds, knocks everything over, and then flies out. But maybe my analogy isn't really working.

But anyway, we keep the bras burning.

>I'm suggesting aficionados try to subtly inject references to "icing" into casual conversations.

Ask about our plan for Afghanistan. We call it the Neutral Zone Trap.

Posted by: engelmann | April 29, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

My wife's best friend is from New York and the whole family are big fans. It's come to the point where I know the names of some of the teams. There are the Flightless Birds, the Gislanders, the GoddamFlyers and a few others.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 29, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

JA has a new piece up on the front page:

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 29, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Has anybody beside me had trouble all day (or last day or two) with The Achenblog page hanging up and not refreshing very fast?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 29, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I have had problems with the refresh for a few days now, very annoying.

Posted by: dmd3 | April 29, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I have had the same problem Mudge, it has to do with all the ads and thumb-images that aren't properly set up, and each time an ad or thumbi item is attempting to link to an unavailable server it keeps trying till it times out and moves on. It's also a problem elsewhere on the WaPo. With Safari you can look at the activities load page and it shows where the problems are. a typical WaPo page will load 80 to 150 items before it will even show the text you're after. This particular load I just waited for shows I have nine errors out of about 90 items loaded

Posted by: omni3 | April 29, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

That would explain why I'm not seeing the problem here omni. I have Firefox and No-script screwed down to delete most of the ads.

I even managed to get rid of the Facebook box by editing the lmhost.sam file to send all requests for the server to go to local (


Posted by: DLDx | April 29, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm still having problems with Sun UK auto reload using Safari, but Firefox is OK, just about the only thing I haven't tried is IE with the developer user agent (that's just using Safari to mimic IE for web page testing), but that isn't really a solution now is it

I've looked avery, and even tried pushing random keys and combos here and there

no joy

Posted by: omni3 | April 29, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

DLD, the Post made it possible to turn off the Facebook box in the "change preferences" link at the top of the page. Go to "network news preferences" and "disable network news" in the pulldown at the bottom of the page.

No more facebook box for me.

Posted by: rashomon | April 29, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Can't get there rashomon. The box is gone. Did this before they enabled the opt-out.


Posted by: DLDx | April 29, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Ah, you said the TOP of the PAGE. My bad. The advantage of the lmhost method is the box is gone from EVERY web site, not just WaPo.


Posted by: DLDx | April 29, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Ok, not the lmhost.sam file. Its in the "network" file in the "C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\" folder. Just add the line:

using notepad. You will need to reboot the system for the change to take effect.


Posted by: DLDx | April 29, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I got 15 errors this submit

6 errors were ads
5 errors were style sheets
2 errors were java scripts
2 errors were ambiguous to me

DLD, how do you screw your scripts down?

There are two things I can do with Safari that I haven't been able to figure out in Firefox:

1) highlight a link, right click, open in new tab
2) resize the comments box for pre-preview

Posted by: omni3 | April 29, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

DLD, never mind, I'm on a Mac

Posted by: omni3 | April 29, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

With Firefox the Linkification add-on turns non-HTML URLs into clickable links. Right-click get to a box that opens a new window or new tab. If you have a wheel on that mouse just click it.

The NoScript add-on allows you to control what Java scripts run on the page. The problem is knowing which scripts to allow or disallow. Shift-click (or wheel-click) on the list NoScript gives you will take you to a page that will get you to the info needed to make a decision. If it servers ads its out'a here!


Posted by: DLDx | April 29, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Last time I used a Mac you could not right-click. Only had one button.

I think many of the add-ons have Mac versions. Have no idea if the comment box can be resized but I'll be there's and app (add-on) for that!


Posted by: DLDx | April 29, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

In other news…did someone say Bra-be-que?

NSFW (unless your a woman shopping online and that's OK with your boss

Just love the Sun and the turn of a phrase

Posted by: omni3 | April 29, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

The web monkeys at WaPo Central have so cluttered and festooned every page with so many gee-gaws and widgets that it is amazing the page ever loads. On my old Treo some script had to be manually stopped everytime and the overhead of all the graphic logos and schtuff made reading it a pain.

On my Droid it is slightly better, but still a lot to deal with.

I have [complained] before that I can never ever get the comments on a regular news story to work on Firefox on any computer or operating system with or with AdBlock running. Now on my work computer, IE punts too. I've installed Chrome for just those few times I want to wade into the muck of the news comments and post something. That particular widget is particularly troublesome and should be scrapped.

You would think an organization as big as WaPo could make their website run as well as, say, Gawker or TPM or Politico.

And speaking of Politico, the new PostPolitics page is a dead wringer that goes way beyond flattery.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 29, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm willing to pay for the Post on line, but widgets, add ons, and plug ins. If the WaPo wants me to work they had better well be prepared to pay me

I mean really. look at the page and count the images. what is it? ten or twenty. so you've got a bunch of text and some tens of images. why am I loading a 120 items???

Posted by: omni3 | April 29, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

I hope that I can retain enough of my brain cells to remember beautiful days and beautiful people that have crossed my path when I'm really living in la la land. Today was just gorgeous, one of those days one wants to treasure like that last piece of candy or the last slice of a good cake. Bright, sunny, not too warm, with just a soft kiss of a cool breeze. And I got to see it, feel it, enjoy it, and take all that loveliness in. God is good.

Now to reality. The g-girl is here.

Posted by: cmyth4u | April 29, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I hope that I can retain enough of my brain cells to remember beautiful days and beautiful people that have crossed my path when I'm really living in la la land. Today was just gorgeous, one of those days one wants to treasure like that last piece of candy or the last slice of a good cake. Bright, sunny, not too warm, with just a soft kiss of a cool breeze. And I got to see it, feel it, enjoy it, and take all that loveliness in. God is good.

Now to reality. The g-girl is here.

Posted by: cmyth4u | April 29, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Yeah. That's it. You were catching up on the latest futbol scores, and when you went to click the link, you sneezed. Yeah, that's it. Your hand moved, and you clicked the wrong article. Yeah. That's the ticket. You even had a witness. Your wife. Morgan Fairchild....

Posted by: LostInThought | April 29, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

dbG, Thanks for the heads-up about the Dave Barry Q&A in the Times. I would definitely have missed it if you hadn't mentioned it. Here's a link for the lazy:

Posted by: kbertocci | April 29, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

I was on today's kit yesterday

Today I'm on boodle

Next a link of shoes

Posted by: omni3 | April 29, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Okay. You've effectively distracted me.

I thought I liked a bunch of those shoes, until I saw #12. Those, I like.

Have a very happy night.

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

Does anyone know why flags are at half mast?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | April 29, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for that, Cassandra. It almost describes today here, except for the vicious and relentless south wind which has the flags straight out and straining their mooring lines. We are so lucky, to live in beauty and with fine people. It is easy to take for granted.

My reality: dishes.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 29, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

wow, omni - now them's some shoes!
I wore platforms back in the 70s and once was enough. I'd have to walk with a cane or ski poles nowadays to avoid mishaps.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 29, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Flags at half-masts for Dorothy Height?
I seem to recall reading that in the coverage of her funeral today at the National Cathedral.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 29, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

thank you talitha

Posted by: greenwithenvy | April 29, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey, gwe! Nice to see you here. It seems like a long time since you set a spell with us.

Posted by: Yoki | April 29, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

No problem, green. I know nothing about hockey so it's nice to contribute something of relevancy. Hope I got it right, but someone will correct me if I dreamt it.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 29, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

I shall cheer for Detroit tonight, since the Habs aren't playing. I read some of the hockey-related chats today, and I must say, Caps fans are seriously turning against their team and its coach. I didn't like it.

Posted by: Yoki | April 29, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I blame Ovechkin for bringing on bad karma. He shouldn't have sprayed the kid with the flag.

Posted by: steveboyington | April 29, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

word, sbgnt.

Posted by: Yoki | April 29, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

WaPo tries to extend Rule 7 to blogs it doesn't even write.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 29, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Wow. If he's interpreted it correctly, it is egregious.

Posted by: Yoki | April 29, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm trying to know nothing about hockey, but I am afraid I am surrounded by it. I thought there would be a break of a day or two, but no, back on, full bore. Mrdr swears it is very very good hockey too.

Habs and Caps went to game 7, right? How can anybody complain over a well fought good long series. (I heard some sports commentators talking about the high quality of play.)

Posted by: --dr-- | April 29, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

The thing of it was, that it was the high quality of the Habs' play. When, by all regular-season indicators, the Caps were the better team. They just weren't ready for the difference in play between rs and playoff strategy.

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

I didn't know anything about hockey either ,but the ever knowing, all seeing boodle has set me straight. Although after last night's game and the series in general,I don't care who wins,except for Pittsburgh of course.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | April 29, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | April 29, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

This is one quiet Boodle. Is everyone watching some sort of sports-game?

Posted by: Yoki | April 29, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

You're welcome, kbert. Thanks for the link.

Seems like I backboodle and check in every night just before I go to bed.

Who still lets their mortgager hold escrow for them? I always had, tonight I came home to a letter which told me they were upping my recently-refinanced mortgage (escrow) about $50 a month because a year from now, for one month, I'd fall below 2 months escrow set aside. I earn no interest on the escrow, and being charged more so they could earn interest, well, it just hit me wrong.

Segueing back to a recent kit, I'd seen an article about this recently in deadtree edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer, where a lawyer with the same mortgager as I had fought them for months over a similar issue. He eventually just had them send him a check and paid his own taxes and insurance. Eh. Why fight? I just called them and told them I'd handle my own escrow. I'm a little anxious about it, but you know, that's 2 bills a year. I've had 1 late payment on one bill in the last 10 years. I can probably handle it.

Hope everyone is well.

Posted by: -dbG- | April 29, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Would Boodle more tonight, but I'm playing hurt. Mishap with a car door and my finger -- will probably lose the nail and maybe a pair of pants if my type A pos won't wash out of it.

Omni, I think you have a future doing fashion commentary.

G'night, all. Ow.


Posted by: -bc- | April 29, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

dbG, I took a look at the same thing a few years ago. The amounts were so trivial, particularly given current interest rates, that I decided it was worth it just to tidy up my record-keeping. In principle, I agree with you. In practice, it wasn't worth the bother

Posted by: rashomon | April 29, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: -jack- | April 29, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | April 29, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: -jack- | April 29, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what this escrow is?

We only use it for deposits and initial down-payments before a real estate purchase transaction closes.

Is this an arrangement under which your mortgagor pays your property taxes? We have that, but I've always opted out, for just that reason. I can deal with the city, and ours, at least, has a programme under which I pay a portion of the coming year's tax (after the assessment has been made, so there is a small adjustment every year, usually after the fact) month-to-month.

At least the City doesn't charge interest unless a taxpayer is in default for more than 15 days (which, thank the FSM) I never have been, so far.

Posted by: Yoki | April 29, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about your owwwey, bc. Give that mean old car door a kick for me.

Thanks for the Dead link, Jack.

'night boodle.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 29, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

bc, ouch. It's always sad to say goodbye to a nail. A new one will eventually grow to be become your misshapen friend.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 30, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

I always thought that word was spelled ow!ie. Learn something every day.

Posted by: Yoki | April 30, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

my pleasure, talitha. just to be on kit, any tournament contesting a prize like Lord Stanley's Cup is too often a do or die gig for the #1 seed. for any number of reasons, the favoured team can get caught on its heels and take a dive to a much lower seed. the Habs toughed it out. sometimes tradition is one of those unknowns. i'm having flashbacks of all of the matches that the orangemen basketball squad has dropped over the past thirty years in these very circumstances. i won't mention the cubs.

Posted by: -jack- | April 30, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

best you don't.

Posted by: Yoki | April 30, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

yeah. better to let the sleeping dog lie. emphasis on dog.

Posted by: -jack- | April 30, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Friday's Achenstory is up:

"Government contests offer different way to find solutions to problems"

Must be a terribly difficult field to write about. There is a real tendency for effective inventors to be people from backgrounds you wouldn't quite expect. A local guy is entering what looks like a promising second career as an inventor of better shingles and siding for houses.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 30, 2010 1:06 AM | Report abuse

In the US, if you have a governmnent-backed FHA or VA loan, the mortgage holder adds a monthly pro-rated fee to pay both your property tax and home-owners insurance. They usually set the fees so high that you are loaning them thousands of dollars interest free. Depending on the private lender, you can avoid this. When I refi-ed about five years ago I insisted on no escrows.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 30, 2010 6:40 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all, hi Cassandra! It's Friday and we are going up the mountain this afternoon.

It won't be a relaxing weekend, as Mr. T is taking the utility trailer to get a load of mulch and spread it on the bank above the house. We're also meeting a local nursery guy to discuss what to plant on said bank. I'm looking forward to that part.

Yup, dbG, escrow is a normal part of my existence. I suppose we could now say no to it, but then we'd have to escrow the property taxes ourselves, about 3 grand. Even though we don't get interest on the money, I'm okay with it. Last year it went down, this year it increased about $11.

Busy day, so onward...

Posted by: slyness | April 30, 2010 6:51 AM | Report abuse

If you've mashed your fingernail and blood is collecting beneath it jam a glowing hot needle through the nail relieving the the pressure and draining the blood. You may save the nail.

Next week: How to gnaw your arm off.


Posted by: Boomslang | April 30, 2010 7:40 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 suspect everyone here knows, I don't know zap about hockey and lot of other sports(as well as regular stuff, too). Yesterday I was trying to be funny, and it probably turned out to be offensive. Wasn't the intention, but some of the comments were funny. And the kit, JA, was hilarious.

Morning, Slyness. Enjoy the work, although it sounds a bit like fun, that is, playing in the dirt.

And Ivansmom, my reality is still here, hope that's not the case with the dishes.

BC, sorry about the finger, are you having much pain?

Have a wonderful weekend folks, and enjoy your families. Love to all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | April 30, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse



Posted by: cmyth4u | April 30, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Greetings, which I guess is always on-kit. Take care and enjoy the lovely day. Notice the dear little budded roses all around. In about ten days to two weeks, we shall have the roses, oh, the roses. I am giddy at the thought. But, better go teach something about the placement of commas for good effect or affect or impactfullness.....

And, yes, I know that roses have limitations. So did famed BaltiMudgean HL:

An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup. -- H. L. Mencken

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 30, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

@ bc:


*faxin' over some Super Glue for the nail and a 55-gallon drum of OxyClean for the pants*

That's really very rude of the car, as well as you treat it, sir!

*really-really-really-really-really-really-really-glad-it's-Friday-(can-you-tell?) Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 30, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. I will soon be on my way to an all-star statewide summit on women's incarceration. Our goal: lower the state rate to below the national average in ten years. Modest? Perhaps, but right now we're the highest per capita in the country by a very large margin. Why? Our system structure sends women to prison for crimes which do not get prison time in other states. Over several weeks our strategy committee, again with statewide stakeholder representation, adopted the first strategic plan to reduce women's incarceration in the nation, using evidence-based programs and policies. Today at the Summit we expect attendees to approve it and pledge to work to get it done. None of this is rocket science, of course, and unfortunately most of it depends on political will. Usually that is lacking. This year is a little different since we have no money and can't afford to keep doing what we've always done.

bc, my sympathy on the finger. Mine has finally mostly healed, but I fear the tip will be odd for some time.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 30, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

bc, hope your finger feels better soon, that is always a fear with me that one of the kids will shut a car door on their finger.

Beautiful again here, so many trees in bloom, crab apples are gorgeous, hard to believe it is not yet May. My Wisteria is days away from blooming, a couple weeks earlier than normal. Lilacs are out and my hybrids will be out soon.

Setting the fan towards AB to warm up their temps.

Posted by: dmd3 | April 30, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

'mornin all! April is almost gone and I'll miss her. Lilacs here are so heady I swoon just walking past them. The entire white clapboard back wall of our house is covered in trellised old hubrid red tearoses that are about to pop. I will move residence to the backyard for the show.

Boko's solution for bc's finger reminds me of the time when I was ten and machine- sewed over my finger. I was making doll clothes (Barbie?) and it was the most painful lesson I ever learned in my textile career and why I do handwork if at all possible.

Ivansmom, good luck in your efforts on women's incarceration reduction. A worthy cause IMHO.

Friday - Yahoo! Enjoy your's, all.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 30, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

BCC - "yours" More coffee!!!

Posted by: talitha1 | April 30, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

If we reduce the rate of female incarceration, what will we do for Roger Corman movies and Lady Gaga videos? I'm just always looking at the downside from the law of unintended consequences.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 30, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Here come the Hawks!!!

Posted by: teddymzuri | April 30, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

It's Friday already? Where have I been?

Ah, well, my lovely Wings lost 4-3 last night, but I figure that's why each series is a 7-gamer. Whatever. Thanks for the support, Yoki! BTW -- did you get my email responding to yours?

Woke up to extreme allergy attack. I mean, I really hate this -- but now I certainly appreciate what many of my friends and acquaintances went through when I was young and not afflicted like they were.

Time to see what's on my plate for today. Cya later.

Posted by: -ftb- | April 30, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Oh bc, sorry about your finger,yikes. Talitha, you have mentioned my worst fear when sewing. I never sit down at the machine without being very aware of my fingers as I've come close to sewing over them more than once.

Lilacs are very close to blooming here. The forecast is for 80's this weekend so I assume things will pop. Hope to finally plant pea and lettuce seeds in the mud hole formerly known as the vegetable garden.

Posted by: badsneakers | April 30, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse


That finger injury sounds rather debilitating. I understand that depending on the digit, these wounds can render Italians unable to communicate.

Get better soon. And I see you are showing me the unhurt finger.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 30, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Boko, I'm very familiar with the hot needle treatment -- we'll see if it gets there. I broke yello's digit on the same hand in a similar manner in high school covering a kickoff, smashed between another guy's helmet and my shoulder pad. Nail still has a smashed shape, flat on top.

Thanks for the sympathy folks, but I'll be OK, just limited typing and use of the hand for awhile. Keep bumping it into stuff, of course.

Joel's story reminded me of some people I know who helped develop an entry in one the DARPA robotics competitions. Cool stuff.


Posted by: -bc- | April 30, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, yello... not to mention Cellblock Sisters. oops. Did I mention it? Sorry.

We have our mortgage company hold escrow for us for two reasons: 1. I don't want to worry about coming up with a couple thousand dollars to plunk down on time for the county twice a year (they don't offer monthly payments... would be nice, though); and 2) All the info for tax deductions is in one place. Yeah... I'm that lazy and disorganized.

Off to the dentist for a cleaning and then on to a rare Friday at work.

Another boodler is working today--after more than a year of leisure... Seems byoolin has not only moved back to his country of birth (must have something to do with the invasion), but is gainfully employed as well. I just hope he has someone to sit with at lunch today.

Good luck, byoolin, if you have a chance to read this today!

Posted by: -TBG- | April 30, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

One more thing... does this sound like Republican-speak, or what? In Arlington, no less--the Bluest county in Va, probably. The tragic story of a man who died after police used a Taser on him; apparently the second person to die in Arlington in such a way this year...

"The incident was the fourth time this year that Arlington police have deployed Tasers, which administer an electric jolt and are designed to be safer than firearms. Two of those confrontations did not involve death or injury, Griffith said. "

Glass half full?

Posted by: -TBG- | April 30, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I suggest Joel take a quick peek under his basement stairs.


Posted by: Boomslang | April 30, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of The Invasion, Yoki's visit coincided with the first game of the playoff series with the Canadenizens. The series the Caps would eventually collapse in. Coincidence? You decide.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 30, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

50% fatality rate with tasers? It's safer to be a coyote while Rick Perry is jogging.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 30, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

That was my former reasoning, TBG, but the refi to a 15 year mortgage (which I'm paying extra on to bring it down to 13 years) added enough that I don't want to pay even more for that convenience. Philadelphia will let me pay monthly starting next January and the check I'll get from wells will already cover half of the year's payment.

The very nice lady I spoke with @ Philly taxes wArned me that a number of mortgage holders will tell people they're in tax arears and charge them even though they've already paid taxes themselves, so I'll watch that. I also discovered wells was paying my taxes early, which created the "insufficient" escrow situation to start with, exactly was the situation reported in the newspaper article.

Ivansmom, you go! Yello, thanks for the great explanation. Bc, the cure sounds worse than the accident. Cmyth, knew you were kidding.

Have a good day, all.

Posted by: -dbG- | April 30, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Hydrogen peroxide is absolute magic on bloodstains. I'd immerse the whole garment in the peroxide / water though, because it is a mild bleach. It won't lighten the colors perceptibly unless it's half-in and half-out the soak.

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 30, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

My insurance company will bill me monthly so that just vanishes into the insurance bill.

I can pay my property taxes in two semi-annual payments but the penalty on skipping the first installment is so low I usually just write one huge check at the end of the year.

Like so many other things this practice is to protect the mortgage holder, not the homeowner. The last thing they want to happen is to have the lendee default because the property burned down uninsured or have the resellability collapse because the gummint put a tax lien on it.

However, the processing of these escrows is rife with abuse and lender-favoring formulas. And with the rampant bankruptcy and consolidation of lenders sometimes the paperwork shuffle left a lot of gaps.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 30, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Jumper, thanks for that -- hadn't thought about H2O2.


Posted by: -bc- | April 30, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, coffee and OJ on the table.

Bee-you-tee-full windy day here in TWC. I'm gonna spend as much time as I can outdoors today.

*pointing the healing mojo gun in bc's direction on my way out the door*

Posted by: MsJS | April 30, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: yellojkt | April 30, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

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