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Still reading newspapers

I read stuff on many different formats -- the Web, books, newspapers, magazines, my palm, inside of my eyelids, skywriting, smoke signals, messages encoded in cloud shapes, messages in bottles (to improve the odds of finding a message in a bottle, I always take the time to actually write the message and insert it into the bottle and then throw it in the tub, from which, after an appropriate passage of time, I retrieve said bottle, and open up and read with amazement the message -- usually some variant of "Hey, Good Lookin'").

So all formats, or genres, or platforms have their virtues when it comes to reading. But I still think newspapers are better than Web sites for reading an in-depth article. Newspapers are easy to handle, easy to read, and they don't festoon stories with links that are designed to distract an already distracted brain.

Consider this beauty from Huffington Post, on Stephen Hawking's comment on aliens being potentially dangerous. The technical term for this kind of a layout is "dog's breakfast." (I know, I know: The point is to make it so Google can find the page, not so that human beings can read it.)

This morning I read a rather old Roger Ebert column on why he likes newspapers, and he explains at length his struggles with HuffPo and with the enigmatic origin of the material he finds there.

Unfortunately, my opinion about newspapers doesn't really matter. What matters is what real human beings think, and increasing numbers of them don't think they need to buy the print edition. You may have seen these latest circulation numbers, and they ain't pretty:

Top 25 List by Daily Circulation

Newspaper Circ as of 3/31/10/ % Change

1. The Wall Street Journal 2,092,523 +0.5%
2. USA Today 1,826,622 -13.58%
3. The New York Times 951,063 -8.47%
4. Los Angeles Times 616,606 -14.74%
5. Washington Post 578,482 -13.06%
6. Daily News (New York) 535,059 -11.25%
7. New York Post 525,004 -5.94%
8. San Jose Mercury News 516,701 N/A
(1/1/10 To 3/31/2010)
9. Chicago Tribune 452,145 -9.79%
10. Houston Chronicle 366,578 -13.77%
11. The Philadelphia Inquirer 356,189 N/A
12. The Arizona Republic 351,207 -9.88%
13. Newsday 334,809 -9.07%
14. The Denver Post 333,675 N/A
15. Star Tribune, Minneapolis 295,438 -7.71%
16. St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times 278,888 -1.49%
17. Chicago Sun-Times 268,803 -13.88%
18. The Plain Dealer, Cleveland 267,888 -8.14%
19. The Oregonian 263,600 -1.83%
20. The Seattle Times 263.468 N/A
21. The Dallas Morning News 260,659 -21.47%
22. Detroit Free Press 252,017 -13.31%
23. San Diego Union-Tribune 249,630 -4.45%
24. San Francisco Chronicle 241,330 -22.68%
25. The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J. 236,017 -17.79%

By Joel Achenbach  |  April 27, 2010; 9:37 AM ET
 
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Comments

I feel a little bad about not subscribing to the daily dead-tree edition, but not as bad as I might -- I didn't give it up for the web, I never got it, because I am a slow reader and I don't have enough time in the day to read a whole newspaper in addition to other things. Since I read the WaPo online, it's actually getting more of my attention than it otherwise might.

Nowadays, I might consider getting it, but now I find less and less in the dead-tree edition that's worth reading. So many of the best writers are gone.

Posted by: ScienceTim | April 27, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Darn. Mudged. My brilliant and incisive comments about the disappearance of the secure pension and the high cost of higher education are at the last Boodle.

I still read the occasional actual newspaper. I would take the NYT or WaPo, but reasonable home delivery in my particular hinterland is a fond memory, a dream. WSJ priced me out, but the best even they could do was my office and they often missed that. Ivansdad grabs the NYT from the big pile at the university where he teaches - delivery free, to encourage students to read an actual paper.

I don't subscribe to our local daily because (a) it isn't very good (though considerably improved from its past "worst newspaper" rating from Columbia School f Journalism) and (b) "home" delivery means the top of the driveway, in all weather. We do buy the Sunday edition, and an occasional daily when at brunch, etc. We religiously pick up and read the alternative weekly paper, just like everyone else here.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 27, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

You are a real human being JA. Right?

It's not that all distractions are bad. The problem with all the linkiness is that it just takes you to more of the same. Another upshot to reading an actual newspaper is you end up tripping across something you didn't know was there....an article on a different topic.

Besides, you can't line the bird cage with a web page. Or wrap fish in it. Or use it to prime a flue. Or smack an annoying fly. Or a fellow boodler.

Posted by: LostInThought | April 27, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes, as a parent, it is an awful thing to be right. I constantly tell the Boy to tie his shoelace so he doesn't trip on it. Yesterday he tripped on it, twisted his knee and fell. Fortunately, the ER doctor determined it is probably only a sprain, with no ligament damage. He is back at school today with a nice dose of ibuprofen and a nifty immobilizing brace. I double-knotted his shoelaces.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 27, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I'm a compulsive reader. You know, like Burgess Meredith in "Time Enough To Last." (But without the need for reading glasses.)

And this, more than any other reason, is why I like newspapers. There, on a single sheet, are lots and lots of interesting words frequently arranged into fascinating sentences. I can skim and bounce around without fear of losing my place or inducing carpal tunnel disorder. Nor must I ever reboot my newspaper.

This intellectual stimulation, combined with the sensual appeal of crisp newsprint and fresh hot coffee, creates a personal environment that I find profoundly satisfying.

Of course, if they keep making the comics smaller I might soon need to reconsider those reading glasses.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 27, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

As someone who can't manage a physical newspaper, I am grateful that the newspaper companies publish so much stuff on the web.

As the boomers age, I daresay web articles will become more eyeball friendly.

That the distribution numbers continue to decline should be a surprise to no one. It's not a pretty trend to those still wedded to dead-tree publications, but it should give most of them sufficient warning to move on with their careers. Many of the rest of us have already done so, now it's your turn.

I found career changes held many unanticipated blessings. It's not all doom and gloom.

Posted by: MsJS | April 27, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm. Burgess Meredith -- 'twould make a good boodle handle, dontcha think? Is he still alive?

Say, has anyone heard from Her Vintage Ladyship? She hasn't posted for awhile, and now I'm getting worried. Now, if she's on a cruise or something with his Lordship, then my feelings would be different altogether, yanno?

I'm definitely with LiT about actual, physical newspapers. I, too, have a tendency to trip over news bits that I wouldn't necessarily see if surfing online. Makes the grimy newsprint coming off in one's hands all worthwhile.

Posted by: -ftb- | April 27, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I was just commenting to "S" last night that subscribing to the Boston Globe may cost more than it is worth. I'd like to just get the Sunday Globe, plenty of fish wrapping there. From my brief acquaintance with it when we visited a while ago, I think I'd be getting more value for my money if I subscribed to the WaPo. I do read most of the news online now altho' I admit that if the article is long, I'll print it out.

RD, that Twilight Zone episode haunts me to this day, especially now that I need glasses to read comfortably.

Posted by: badsneakers | April 27, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

ScienceTim, try a trial subscription! The print paper is what makes all this possible. No subscribers, no display ad revenue, no newsroom -- and then you'll REALLY be complaining about nothing to read.

Posted by: joelache | April 27, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon is far more alert this morning than I am. Yes, Miami Herald columnist berates Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, not the esteemed and underexposed Mexican composer Carlos Chavez, who I suspect substantially influenced Aaron Copland.

On the state/private university business, reposted from a few minutes ago:

Pennsylvania's university history strikes me as unusual. I think the model of state-owned universities became the norm. If I remember correctly, Penn State was private-but-public from the start, a model that later worked nicely when Temple and Pitt became state-related. I think maybe Penn wavered in that direction during the 1960s, but has thrived since as a private.

In today's economic climate, with declining state support of universities, it seems that a fair number of state universities are moving toward being semi-private.

Wasn't the present-day New York university system a product of Nelson Rockefeller's ambitions for his state? The state's magnificent land-grant agriculture and life science college at otherwise-private Cornell is unique. I've only visited once, for a meeting in a new agronomy building. A University of Florida horticulturist was seriously envious.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 27, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Burgess Meredith died in the late 1990s.

Posted by: MsJS | April 27, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I miss the Post's National Weekly Edition, which closed down at the end of December. It always had political cartoons and stories that I'd somehow not noticed.

Interesting and maybe a bit discouraging that the excellent St. Petersburg Times is the largest-circulation paper in Florida. I suppose the Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel and Palm Beach Post chop up the southeast Florida metropolis.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 27, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I liked the HuffPo example of a bad example. The site contains some good stuff but the layout, the site's horrendous busy-ness and its attempt to load about a gigabyte of... stuff... on each page cause me to forgo it routinely.

My own newspaper did a brilliant move recently; they created a front-page section impossible to hold. A quarter-page ad sheet folded over from the back page. Such geniuses must be richly rewarded by the secret cabal of totalitarians, the carefully placed agents in newspaper management, who are working to eliminate the press. (One of the lower lackeys is responsible for routinely screwing up the Sunday chess puzzle so you can't tell which side's move it is without reading the answer.)

All over the country, mailmen already go down every street and leave stuff. Too bad they can't come at 6:00 a.m. and leave the newspaper, too, along with my mail. That could save a lot of cost of delivery, but they'd have to adopt a new low rate.

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 27, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I take my coffee with cream, sugar, and newspaper ink. I might substitue milk for cream, honey for sugar, but nothing can replace the newspaper.
Besides that, when else would I get to strut in my Tickle-me-elmo fuzzy slippers and Hugh Heffner bathrobe without getting arrested?

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | April 27, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Here is something that will probably stun you. But at the end you'll recover with Chilean wine and hors d'oevres.

Ilustrated Lecture:

LAND OF EXTREMES
LIFE IN THE ATACAMA DESERT

Tuesday May 11 7:00 PM

At Embassy of Chile
1732 Massachusetts Ave.
Washington DC 20036

RSVP cultural@embassyofchile.org

Posted by: Braguine | April 27, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Another thing...does anyone save a web page that says the Red Sox won the World Series? Maybe frame it? I'm thinking no...but I bet I know someone who has that newspaper.

I'm guessing, too, that a scrap book of newspaper articles isn't quite the same as a scrapbook of web pages.

Posted by: LostInThought | April 27, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I am surprised but not shocked to not see either the Baltimore Sun or the Tampa Tribune on that Top 25 list.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 27, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

My grandfather used to retrieve the newspaper wearing only boxer shorts and a sleeveless tee shirt. My mother would be mortified at her father-in-law wandering around the yard "flapping in the breeze" as she delicately described it.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 27, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

The frostfam is making up for a lot of non newspaper readers. We subscribe to the St. Paul Pioneer Press Thurs, Friday, Sunday and I buy single issues of the Mpls Strib when in St. Paul. Mr. F subscribes to the WaPo on his Nook and I buy it on mine on Sundays and occasionally weekdays-particularly if I'm going to be stuck on an airplane. We also get both the Tampa Tribune (dreadful, about the width of a roll of toilet paper and almost as useful) as well as the excellent St. Pete Times. As it happens, this wealth of newspaper reading appears to be keeping the USPS in business as well because though we can easily link to stories in our frequent e-mails we still clip and mail articles of note. A link might get clicked and briefly scanned, a clipped article always demands attention when sent from a loved one.

I'mom-frostson discovered the importance of tied shoes when he nearly lost a foot to an escalator. Disaster was averted, with pride the only thing hurt, but it was a long time before he doubted me again.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | April 27, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Charge us for online subscriptions. Less to recycle, less clutter around the house. Always convenient. Create new boundaries in the dead tree paradigm.

Did I hear Lucille Ball died yesterday or was I on glue?

I didn't feel that pension poster yesterday was whining, just stating that his own position is not understood by his parents. I myself find that my elder relatives, due to whatever reason have NO concept of how many hours my cousins and I work. They hear the number but don't make the connection that we don't have the support and leisure time they had when they worked. I don't work all those hours because I have a McMansion, but my small house, which cost my elderly neighbors $24k now costs more than 10x as much. My neighbor was a housepainter with a stay at home wife and 3 kids when he bought his. Most of the younger neighbors are firefighters or police who earn a lot of overtime and have a working spouse. It's a different world.

Does Brokaw's greatest generation include all those greedy geezer notch babies? :)

Off to work with the auditors then off to the gym afterwards to blur the edges of the day. Would someone have the kindness to fax me lunch?

Posted by: -dbG- | April 27, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

SCC-use your comma shakers as necessary on my 12:47.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | April 27, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

dbG- a salad of baby field greens, grape tomatoes, salami, green onions, and gorgonzola with raspberry vinaigrette on its way. If you can wait 20 minutes I have some crusty bread cooling.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | April 27, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

In Memory of Burgess Meredith (1907-1997)-

http://www.milkandcookies.com/link/140164/detail/

Posted by: kguy1 | April 27, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

After some 40-odd years of taking the print newspaper (Beginning with the Evening Star before it expired in the 1980's) I'm now contemplating ending at least the daily edition. Just don't seem to have time to read it any more, and I do catch most of the news here on the web or from broadcast media. It makes be a bit guilty to have to take the paper out of the plastic sack and immediately put it in the recycle bin.

Posted by: ebtnut | April 27, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Wow, frosti. Tyvm.

I'd be happy to get you some dd coffee on the way in tomorrow.

Posted by: -dbG- | April 27, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Dogbert's answer to the newspaper crisis:

http://www.dilbert.com/strips/1989-07-12/?Page=1537

DLD

Posted by: DLDx | April 27, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

dbG-you really are a G. Thanks!

Posted by: frostbitten1 | April 27, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

LiT - quite true. I have a collection of newspapers stored in my basement from significant events. You know, like the birth of offspring. Every once and a while I will carefully take one out and look at it. They frequently bring to my eye a manly tear of nostalgia. I mean, remember when the Washington Post was a quarter?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 27, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Here's the thing. When you pay for a dead-tree version of the paper, you aren't simply paying for the paper itself, you are also paying for online content subsidized from that paper. So, even though I value the paper, highly, in and of itself, I also view my subscription as a way to ensure the continued existence of things like the Achenblog.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 27, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I dropped all my newspaper subscriptions because of the horribly spotty delivery (often late or missing). I probably still spend twice as much money buying the paper now than I did getting it delivered. Personally I think it dates back to when they ditched the kids from delivery routes. I honestly think the adults that deliver papers as a second or third job take it lot less seriously than the young teens for whom it was their principal income. Every now and then we resume because they give it away nearly for free, then cancel a few months later for the same reason.

There's no reason major international papers shouldn't be able to thrive on the web. I think they will eventually, but there will be a lot less of them. The demand for accurate and factual reporting is still there, but on the web everyone who speaks the same language is in direct competition. There isn't that much unique information of interest to go around. The rest are probably doomed to dwindling to a weekly local interest papers.

Jumper, I also hate that vestigial quarter page. Tie the inventor to wild horses and drag him naked over astroturf I say.

Posted by: qgaliana | April 27, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Oops - I see Joel already made that point about the print version subsidizing everything else.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 27, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the news orgs could arrange it so if I subscribe to ONE newspaper, then I get a certain amount of online papers free. (assuming a paywall) I'm pretty sure McClatchy would grant me online access to ANY McClatchy paper. More difficult would be a quid pro quo such that I could get NYT and WaPo gratis online too.

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 27, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Looks like there needs to be a way the website can subsidize the print version. :)

Posted by: -dbG- | April 27, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Having grown up in a newspapering family, I literally do not recall a time I did not read at least one newspaper. Yes, I take the local paper and wouldn't consider cancelling my subscription for the webpage. I have a hard enough time reading the comics in my hands, reading them online requires a magnifying glass.

I guess I'm just not envisioning life without a paper. After all, television didn't kill radio or movies, so I'm hoping there will always be a printed newspaper. Ideas about how to make a newspaper/web operation more profitable are welcome.

Posted by: slyness | April 27, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

The irony of the Dilbert paper, of course, is the headline "Home Prices Rise". The cartoon is from 1989. Far from never needing another paper, another one was needed within twenty years.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 27, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

For cooks needing ideas, this one has several in one dish.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/11/magazine/11food-t-002.html

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 27, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I just need to go

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 27, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I would add that newspaper makes for dandy hats (Pirate and otherwise), but only so-so paper airplanes, excellent material for dropcloth or masking off areas for painting (or, more precisely, areas for *not* painting), and seriously -- when I think of newspaper, I think of puppies.

I've waxed poetic off and on the Boodle about how the basic human stories - the ones that resonate with us - remain *our* stories, no matter what the medium.

But it is getting more difficult for the storytellers to get fed these days. Telling stories by the fire or over a coffee and scrambled eggs ain't what it used to be.

We love news, but with the 24-hour world of infromation moving at Internet speeds, much of what shows up on people's doorsteps is regarded as 'olds' by folks who've never had to depend on newspapers for flexible delivery of information when and where it's wanted (that is, folks 25 and under). Flip on a TV, an Web-enabled phone, laptop with wireless, etc. and there's a World of Information (Good *and* Bad) at your fingertips, more than Thomas Jefferson, or Alexandrian Librarians possibly ever imagined, delivered automatically, soundlessly, soullessly.

We will always need the stories and someone to tell them, but how then to make them approriately valuable in this world?

And how will we raise puppies?

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 27, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

dbG, Lucille Ball died 21 years ago yesterday, so you probably caught the tail-end of a remembrance thing.

Possibly verging on TMI, but a little while ago in the men's room of a certain government building, a federal employee was standing at the urinal performing various and sundry business, and also reading his Blackberry.

I'm all in favor of multitasking, but I think texting while peeing is an idication that one needs to back away from modern technology for a while.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 27, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure if this has been tried or not.. but why not charge subscribers for an online version of the paper free of advertisements and annoying links. I bet you that folks would be happy to pay for a clean, easy-to-read version.

Posted by: workingmom2 | April 27, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Hi all!

One of the first things I did when I got my own house was to start a Balt. Sun newspaper subscription, but I soon cancelled because I was throwing it out more than reading it (and it was weekend-only). I love reading the print edition, because I'm a cover-to-cover reader. I always find an interesting article that I never would've seen online. However, I can read online in between tasks at work when I'm coming up for air. Carrying in the print edition to do the same would be a no-no.

I would pay for an online-only WaPo subscription, even if it was honor system with no wall, but I don't have that choice.

I'm not surprised the Sun isn't on there, yjkt, it is truly terrible now, even the online edition is too painful to read with all the grammatical errors and bad layout.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | April 27, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Let's be sure the peeing stops before the backing away starts, please.

Keep online WaPo free, just charge for commenting.

Posted by: kguy1 | April 27, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

And how will we raise puppies? asked bc.

Here's how.

http://uniquedistributors.com/dogpotty.html

In Toronto a few months ago a pedestrian texting on his crackberry was hit by a motorist that was most likely toying with his cell-phone. That's progresss.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 27, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Slyness: Ctrl+ is your comics friend.
(Ctrl- to make 'em smaller again. No need to use the Shift key with either.)

DLD

Posted by: DLDx | April 27, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

workingmom - that is a legitimate position, and I believe folks at WaPo are working out the various options right now.

My guess is that the WaPo will eventually end up with some sort of tiered system.

First of all, there will be people (like me) who already pay for home delivery of the WaPo. These folks, I assume, will get most online services free.

Then there will be online-only subscribers, which might, or might not, include a higher-priced "ad-free" version.


Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 27, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, RD. Current print subscribers might be charged more for on-line subscriptions as well, since you've already shown you're willing to pay for the paper.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 27, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

kguy, very good idea. Two cents? The Boodle would be a profitable enterprise at last!

Posted by: kbertocci | April 27, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Good to know, DLD! I wasn't aware of that. Thanks!

Dunno if I'd pay to comment. I'd prefer to pay for a subscription and be done with it.

Posted by: slyness | April 27, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

slyness, if you have a mouse with a scroll wheel, ctrl+ scrolling up or down will zoom in or out too.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | April 27, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Check out the 500+ comments on Cohen's immigration piece today. Hopefully even a small fee would drive away some of the sludge.

Posted by: kguy1 | April 27, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I mean, holding ctrl and scrolling will zoom. I just realized with DLD's tip that mine could be misunderstood.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | April 27, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a geek, MotheMountain, but I understood your directions! Thanks...I'm okay at home with the 22-inch monitor, but using the netbook strains my eyes.

Posted by: slyness | April 27, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I can't imagine there ever being an ad-free online news site. Even in the heyday of newspapers, the big bucks were revenue from advertisers, not from subscriptions. Circulation accounts for such a tiny proportion of revenue that it would be a terrible business plan.

Posted by: Yoki | April 27, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Here's a way to add flashy style to your online reading AND pretend the page was designed by a 13-year-old in 1996...

http://wonder-tonic.com/geocitiesizer/index.php

Posted by: -TBG- | April 27, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, mudge.

So if someone boodles while peeing you don't want to know about it?

Posted by: -dbG- | April 27, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I should probably just stay quiet.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 27, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

See, another reason digital media is good. It's easier to hide.

Posted by: -dbG- | April 27, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

No comment needed: http://bit.ly/13SYNj

Posted by: -TBG- | April 27, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

When geocities went dead, the world lost my Travis McGee fan page. I had lost track of it years ago.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 27, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Now see, yellowjkt. You won't have that problem with Facebook!

DLD

Posted by: DLDx | April 27, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe the San Jose Merc is 8th largest paper in the U.S. Over the last couple years it has shrunk dramatically. They now run with 1/2 pages -- split vertically. It's weird the first time you see it. And the whole Section A is often only a few pages.

On top of that, most (possibly a majority) of stories are from the AP, WashPost or NYTimes. Meaning the bulk of the not-very-bulky paper is stories printed in other papers and the web the previous day.

It's a problem, because long-time loyal readers now don't feel they're getting enough for the $$ spent. I know several households who have stopped the paper for this reason. Which, of course, makes it harder and harder for the Merc to produce quality.

How do you fix this evil rut they're in? I don't know; but I'm pretty sure offering a weaker and weaker product is not the answer.

Posted by: k_auman | April 27, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Ya know, TBG, I hear they have an app for that.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 27, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Ms JS -- earlier you mentioned something about the career change for newspaper people. Your miles may vary! BUT, the mid career change is not that easy. We have the tools that we do in the locations that we live. I started a midlife job search about six months before the economy went bleepo. Nada, unless I was able to take an entry level salary, which I cannot not. I have at six close friends withing spitting distance of either side of 5O all looking for work. We have long time boodlers looking, too. JA is in our BoomerTailJonesGenX segment.

I think you know this. About the newspaper biz, they cannot head over to the J-school to teach or come over to composition in the English Department. The J-school is trying to suddenly figure out if they will be here in five years. And, some of us warm seats in the Eng/Dept/Adjunct prof quite nicely.

In the free lance writing and editing world, people are totally out of work. Culturally and economically, we are giving up on coherent documents and proofed pieces...so, my sector is crashing....and MORE

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 27, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

My wife called at 3:20, said she'd just be in a 3-Toyota accident, so I ran out of work and hurried home. She was all right, thought most everybody else was, too. Not sure how bad her car was hit. (Turned out not bad at all.)

She was at a stoplight on Rt. 301 (major 8-lane divided highway, the main artery in this part of the world) when some idiot in his girlfriend's borrowed 19-year-old Camry came up from behind doing about 60. He hit a Toyota Corolla, bounced off, hit (glanced off) my wife's Highlander on the corner of rear bumper, careened off the road onto a grass strip, then hit a curb, which sent him airborn. He crossed an entire side street in the air, landed in the parking lot of a Bob Evans, hitting NO people or cars. Landed with four flat tires and probably needs a new girlfriend at this point. An off-duty DC policewoman in another car saw the whole thing, stayed on the scene and helped out until the cops came. My wife says she was great and is going to write a note to DC Chief Lanier saying this woman was a great help.

Police report says the guy lives about three blocks from from us, a block away from the girlfriend whose car it was.

Could have been a lot worse.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 27, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

The next big thing is the shedding of teachers in public school systems. Last year, the district my son is a HS junior in, shed about 700 teachers....the class size in some high school rooms is at 50-60...so, if I were to try to go teach high school comp (which NCLB will not permit), well, no room at the inn there....to say nothing of how deep the dodo will be when same district sheds more teachers this summer.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 27, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Laughing at your 4:53, TBG. Nice find.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 27, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Last things:

Mr. Mudge, kiss Madam Mudge for us.

And, you promised me the next copyeditor job, NOT JOEL. You pinkyswore with your eyes uncrossed. LiT saw and so did Yoki.

Talitha -- sweet rest and relief about your neighbor.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 27, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Geez Mudge! Glad that Mrs Mudge is ok.

Posted by: Manon1 | April 27, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, very pleased to hear that Mrs. Mudge is okay. That sounds like one heck of a ride for the person who caused it. I hope Mrs. M can relax tonight with a few muscle relaxers in either pill or liquid form.

Posted by: badsneakers | April 27, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I'll keep my word, CqP.

Mrs. Mudge is fine. At the moment she is treating the trauma with dose of Beringer white zinfandel, taken orally. I don't know if the instructions call for a second dose, but i wouldn't be surprised.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 27, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Ah, jeez Mudge! Glad to hear your wife and everyone else is ok, including the idiot? He must have been doing some kinda speed. Wonder if he will claim that the accelerator got stuck?

DLD

Posted by: DLDx | April 27, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure by now all you horsey people (you know who you are) have seen the photo of that 14-inch foal. It's also been featured on the evening news. An "awwwwwwwww" moment if ever there was one.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 27, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

CqP, I understand the dilemma. My own career shifts took over a year each to fully materialize. I have friends who are homeless or have had to scale way back because they've been out of work a long time.

My point for those in the newspaper business is that this has been on the horizon since the mid-1990s. That's a long time in which to do some serious career planning. I was out of work during that time and could have taken a newspaper job, but frankly thought the situation newspapers find themselves in today was going to happen about 7-8 years ago. So, for the second time in my working career, I went in another direction.

While not diminishing the challenges of reinventing oneself or finding decent-paying work in today's market, I also believe many of us sell ourselves short. I know I did.

Mudge, that's amazing. You're right, it could have been a lot worse.

Posted by: MsJS | April 27, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Not funny, Mudge, to participate in an event like that. I'm glad Mrs. Mudge is okay, hope the vehicle will be also. I assume the 19-year-old Camry is history. As is the relationship with the Camry owner. Testosterone is a dangerous hormone.

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

*So* glad that Mrs. Mudge is uninjured. Still, one gets shaky for a while after something like that. The meds you describe sound about right.

Posted by: Yoki | April 27, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh Mudge! Poor Mrs. Mudge! Please give her an extra hug from the G family and then... make hre a Manhattan! With an extra cherry.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 27, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Holy moley, what a traffic adventure, glad Madame Curmudgeon is unhurt.

If she's still shook up tomorrow, the weather is nice for a day off, doncha know.

(BTW, I checked the weather and it's actually a few degrees warmer here than in Virginia. Nice job, that.)


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 27, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Oh, dear Mudge -- please pile on (in a good way, of course) my happiness that Mrs. Mudge was unhurt in that crash. What a horrible experience!

Very strange day for me. Hope tomorrow brings with it an infinitely more copacetic way for me to be productive. Hate logjams! Grr.

BTW, when I looked earlier this afternoon, Gene Robinson's article had more than 1500 comments. Mostly carp, of course.

Posted by: -ftb- | April 27, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

If you are on a Mac it's command = or command -

It's directly adjacent to the space bar on either side

http://www.designingaccessiblecommunities.org/images/mac_kb.gif

I use it all the time just because I can

Posted by: omni3 | April 27, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

mudge,
So glad your wife is all right. Those sort of encounters can be very frightful. Cars are easy to fix or replace. People less so.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 27, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

'evening, boodle.

Most important here, so glad Mudge's beloved is home safe and nursing her aches.
Hope they don't persist. (your aarrgghh from the urinal cracked me up, btw, but all things in perspective now, eh?)

Thanks to all over the last days for your comforting words. My friend and neighbor has been at true rest for days, of course, and today has been for comfort and respect for the family, as you all know. I am tired and a little drained, but fine.

I want to post later on kit, just to throw in my thoughts with yours, however disjointed they may be. You don't condone bullet points for random catch-up, do you?

Posted by: talitha1 | April 27, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

By the way, a good reason not to write is the…incidence of writers block. and I don't mean searching for a word like the above ellipsis is meant to indicate, but

I wrote a seven chapter short. one page for each chapter. got stumped after two. was two weeks before I was able to finish. just came suddenly.

Started another today, same format. seven pages one chapter a page and am stumped after two paragraphs

My muse is on a cruise…without me

Posted by: omni3 | April 27, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Yeah omni, muses are unfaithful female dogs. Mine are anyway.

Your wife would have had the upper hand Mudge. That 20 year old Camry may have 10 spot welds left unbroken, maybe less, and the Highlander is a pretty sturdy vehicle. Yet, it's better to avoid collisions altogether.

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

NukeSpouse and I add our "WHEW!" to the general relief that Mrs. Mudge is OK!!! :-O

And I simply must note that the 14-in. horse hails from New Hampshire. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 27, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

I did see that story. What is remarkable is that the colt is not a dwarf. I pulled up images of both Einstein and the previous record holder, Thumbelina (who does have the equine equivalent of dwarfism), and the difference is apparent at first glance.

Posted by: Yoki | April 27, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Even crazier than little Einstein - did anyone see the photo last week of the world's largest documented horse? I'll try to find a link, but you all know how inept I am at that. The man pictured with him was standing on a stool and his head barely grazed the behemoth's eyeballs.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 27, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Big Jake is awesome! Literally. Now *that* is a horse.

Posted by: Yoki | April 27, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

oh, well - maybe I dreamt it (tallest horse), like dbG's thought of Lucille Ball's recent demise.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 27, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

You did not!

http://www.wiscnews.com/portagedailyregister/news/local/article_7f402b66-4781-11df-a981-001cc4c002e0.html

Posted by: Yoki | April 27, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Now, Yoki! No centaur or Pegasus fantasies allowed. he-he

Posted by: talitha1 | April 27, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I got over those when I was fourteen. You know, when real men entered my consciousness.

Posted by: Yoki | April 27, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

*collapsing in giggles*
Just what I needed. Merci!

Posted by: talitha1 | April 27, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

My pleasure, talitha.

Posted by: Yoki | April 27, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Well I just learned something here. I always thought the Percheron was the largest breed and now I see that it's the Belgian. #2 had a Belgian and she was fairly large. "S"'s niece-in-law has a Percheron that is huge and very friendly - I love big horses!

Posted by: badsneakers | April 27, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Me too, badsneakers. At camp when I was in my early teens I was allowed to ride the Percherons, Belgians and Canadian Horses, because I was fairly lanky myself (so fit) and a pretty good, fearless, strong rider.

I'm feeling a bit of frenvy for your #2 and S's niece-in-law.

Of course, I also love big dogs.

I don't know *what* talitha1 will think of me now!

Do you know about the Canadian Horse? They are still extant, remarkably.

http://www.eidnet.org/local/cdnhorse/history.htm

Posted by: Yoki | April 27, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Bought a Boston Globe for the trip home after work today. They had an article on the same topic. Their circulation has dropped 26%, I think, this year. I think it dropped them off the top 25.

Posted by: steveboyington | April 27, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the annoying colours and animation on that site, but it is accurate.

Posted by: Yoki | April 27, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Yoki, for the horse link. I grey up around working quarterhorses and indian ponies. We did not ride much because the horses were ridden by hands and wranglers. I rode more cows, Aryshire breed, than horses. Cows are boney-backed and shift from side to side, specially with us on top. Like the smell of horses and cows, though. And, the velvet of their noses! Like the insides of old violin cases. Horses are more mannered though. When cows send their tongues into the nasal regions, well, a bit too obvious.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 27, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

One of my favorite quotes: "If you don't know the horse girl, you ARE the horse girl."

Talitha... I'm glad you feel some comfort after your neighbor's funeral today. That's what it's all about, isn't it?

Also... we love bullet points here. We love any sensible discourse here, no matter how it's written or displayed.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 27, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

As a child of the suburbs, I didn't have the opportunity to ride often, but loved it when I got a chance. I have ridden a Belgian bareback, which was a hoot because it was a wet day and my leg got stuck trying to get over its back (yes, there are photos of this). I also went bareback riding with #2 a few years ago on a 'regular' size horse. It was a revelation for me to feel so much more connected to the horse's movements. It made riding easier, altho' at one point when she trotted up a small hill, I nearly slid off her rump (thank heavens for her mane!).

Thanks for the link to the Canadian horse. Very interesting history, poor things weren't very well treated in the past.

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

Good evening, all.

Mudge, so glad to hear that Mrs. Mudge and everyone else involved are OK, even the Camry aerobatics team (wonder if they're Toyota Test Pilots?).

Speaking of newspapers, I'll likely need some spread out in my basement tonight. Was enjoying a beverage out on my deck this evening, and felt a familiar prickling sensation on the back of my neck and arms. Looked on the Eastern horizon, and -- yup. La Bella Luuuuoooooooo - oh, sorry - na.

Grrrowl... ahem, have a good evening, all. And don't forget to bring your cats in.

Now, for another beverrrrrrggrrrrage (sorry) or two before I'm overtaken. Plenty of territorrrrrrrry to mark tonight.

Arrooooo-ooooooo! Ar-ar-arooooo!

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 27, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

I fall asleep a lot faster reading the newspaper then a web page.

Silly putty works well picking up cartoons from newspapers and not so well on the computer screen, but it still gets stuck on shirts.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | April 27, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Silly putty and comics - now there are some memories! Thanks GWE.

Just before sunset I went outside and saw the full moon low in the sky visible through a red maple tree who's leaves are about half size right now. Really beautiful.

Posted by: dmd3 | April 27, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

steveb, are you surprised that the Globe's circulation has dropped by that much? It used to be a good newspaper but not anymore. When we were in DC a while back and I got to read the deadtree WaPo, it reminded me of what the Globe used to be like.

Posted by: badsneakers | April 27, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

*Snort* GWE! See, this is why I love you so.

Posted by: Yoki | April 27, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Glad to hear Mrs. Mudge is fine and recovering.

TBG, wonderful.

Posted by: -dbG- | April 27, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Riding Belgians bareback.... oh my.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 27, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

You know what I wonder about the journalism industry? If editors know that there is a vast silent majority (who *don't* make inflammatory comments on website-posted news reporting, because we're drowned-out, voice wise) which really cares about good journalism? I am very fortunate in having several excellent news sources, including, inter alia, The Globe and Mail, The CBC, The NYT, and the WP (two of which I pay subscription fees for the dead tree privilege, the other two which I would, but cannot -- well, I *do* pay for the CBC through taxes, I'm comfortable with that). Also The Economist (subscription paid), The New Yorker (subscription paid) on the mag-end.

Perhaps we readers need to be more vocal.

Posted by: Yoki | April 27, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Going off topic, (surprise!), just noticed this article on two Canadian restaurants that have made the World's Top 100 restaurants list. Notable as one is in Yoki's city and the other - reasonably local to me - another hotel on my bucket list, the chef is quite hot as well, although too young for me.

Langdon Hall is beautiful, the lodgings, gardens and food.

Mudge glad Mrs. Mudge is OK.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/food-and-wine/two-restaurants-put-canada-back-on-the-worlds-best-map/article1548982/

Posted by: dmd3 | April 27, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Rouge is where my boyfriend and I had dinner for St, Valentine's Day (but on me and not on Feb 14),

Posted by: Yoki | April 27, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

It was a Belgian *horse* Wilbrod.

The restaurant talk is making me hungry as I am back on Weight Watchers again ;-)

No moon here yet, still have rain. After midnight they say, but I probably won't last that long.

Posted by: badsneakers | April 27, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Why am I not surprised you have eaten there Yoki.

Posted by: dmd3 | April 27, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

*trying to catch up*

talitha (no 1, please) thinks Yoki is wonderfully, hilariously full of wisdom and mirth. So there!

Posted by: talitha1 | April 27, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Hmm... that's how the restaurant business goes. By the time S. Pellegrino releases its list, it is already out of date. Adrian Feria has closed El Bulli for at least a year, possibly forever. Grant Atchaz at Alinea is doing other things more (so sad).

That said, I am proud to say I've dined at 5 of the 10. Some good eating out there! El Bulli, Alinea, Per Se, The Fat Duck, Daniel.

Posted by: Yoki | April 27, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Don't know about wisdom, but the mirthful goofiness is *totally* me!

Posted by: Yoki | April 27, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Lemme tell ya, I'm rethinking this work thing! Totally exhausted, and no time to Boodle!

I love big Belgians and Percherons, but I don't think I've ever ridden one. When we lived in Montana, for a time Mr seasea worked for a rancher who used Belgians (for taking hay to the dairy cows and for logging, mostly). The rancher took us for a wagon ride with 2 of them hitched up, and oh my, they flew. I like big horses generally - their gaits are usually so much smoother. I rode one horse at a therapeutic riding facility who was so smooth, it was like sitting on a comfy couch.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 27, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Even more oh my, badsneakers, regardless.

I jest only in part. I once tried to mount a saddled Belgian but couldn't get onboard. He was as wide as a table.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 27, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

C'mon Yoki didn't Joe's Pool hall,diner,liquor store and lasix surgery center make that list?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | April 27, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I only rode or sat on the pony/quarterhorses typical of the dairy farm near us and owned by relies. They turn on a dime and you might fall off in the process. I know from experience and have a cracked tail bone to show for it. You might fit them better, WB, being petite in your charming French way.

Here is the setting:
http://www.davidbergerphotography.com/Ayrshire-Dairy-Barn2.jpg

I remember a spirited and lovely Palouse named Joey (For Chief Joseph of the Nez Peirce "I will fight no more forever.") Palouse is what we called the roman nosed, spotty Appaloosa horses around us.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 27, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

I can't imagine what you mean, green man. I've never had lasix!

Posted by: Yoki | April 27, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Ha Wilbrod! When I rode the Belgian, #2 gave me 'ten fingers' to get up on him. Of course #2 isn't much taller than I am so there was still a bit of a stretch left, which is why I got stuck :-) They are a very wide horse.

Posted by: badsneakers | April 27, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Silly putty and comics, now there's a memory. Perhaps someone has mentioned it but I read the comics now on Wapo's page and enlarge them to 150%. I read them once a week in one swell foop...Monday thru Sunday. This method was discovered when my reading glasses and the diminishing print reproductions on paper failed to be decipherable to my wearisome eyes.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 27, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

I've ridden a quarterhorse colt. Very lively. Indeed, one's overriding desire becomes to stay on without mishap throughout.

No appaloosas.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 27, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

No French restaurant and only one dodgy Italian trattoria (they shoot grapes with "molecular" stuff at that place, not something a good mama would do) in the list. That is highly suspect.

I'm just not buying. That list is very Tecchy and Anglo. Vapour and mmist are not food. The wines coming out of the "modern" winery business are enough punishment, "modern" food doesn't need to follow.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 27, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

It makes me sad that I don't really "get" comics. Many of my dear dear friends do, and we have much in common, and yet this is a deficit in me that I can't overcome. I just don't care about this art-form.

It is like jazz. I hate it. I've tried to love it, I've studied, but to me it is just noise. I've subjected myself to it, repeatedly, trying to teach myself its merits, and, just, nothing.

And its weird. Because I love Indian classical music played on tabla and other instruments, which is as close to jazz as you can get (raga are formally-structured but improvised in practice), and I love all the plastic arts and pictures, and graphic novels, but I still can't hear jazz properly nor appreciate comics. I'm sad for me {-:

Posted by: Yoki | April 27, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

tall and tiny horses
grey vs gray
talitha often wonders if her
blunders lead boodlers astray


Posted by: talitha1 | April 27, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

WB, Yoki and SeaSea can explain better, but the spotting is a pattern not necessarily a breed. But, the horses kept by the Nez Peirce reflected the mustang, pony, feral, "cowy" size much like the stocky and reliable and lithe and hardworking quarterhorse.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 27, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, that stance toward jazz is an important subplot in the darlin' movie (book by Roddy Doyle) The Commitments. So, feel justified and fortified, dear one.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 27, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'm all Anglo, so that it explains it, shriek.
And you betray your bias, hee hee! You know from my history here that I cook classic, every day. Which is why it is fun to go out, sometimes. Taste something different.

It is a matter of lines vs. breeds. The Nez Pierce value ponies who are stocky and muscular, low-centre-of-gravity, because they are hard workers. A breed is typey, a pattern just repeats in lines. The Stoney people (Blackfoot) value agile fast colts with long legs for racing and barrels, so breed not for pattern, but type.

Posted by: Yoki | April 27, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

*watching The Daily Show*
Jon Stewert just called someone 'titmouse' to describe his testimony in the Goldman S. hearings today.
He's behind on the boodle . . . birds were last week.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 27, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Yoki does pool halls. Oh yes she does. Especially when they have a lovely courtyard and interesting patrons.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 27, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm obviously an old crotchety relic. And proud of it too. The English owns the Spanish restaurant scene, hence the Spanish slant to the results.

Having to teach a "wine expert" what a Bordeaux is was a bit of an education to me. Yes, it's possible to mix grape species to make a wine. There is no law forcing that atrocity "shiraz" upon us. The grape is called Syrah and the better wines made from it are Côtes du Rhône. And, surprisingly, they are not from Australia. Better yet, they are cheaper than the imitation.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 27, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, sometimes it's just a matter of taste. Graphic novels tend to have sustained storylines that aren't episodic or comic.

"The Raven" and um, "American Born Chinese" are the two I've liked. As for comics, superhero comics bore me.

I like funny comics the best; the humor should come from both visual gags and my own ability to fill in the mental action in between frames, AND good writing.

There are conventions to help indicate motion that I learned before I was six when I read a book on how to draw cartoons.

However, a lot of visual gags get cliched, and jokes do get recycled. Comics can go the way all genres go.

I would recommend Asterix if you haven't tried that and like puns.

Yoki--Forget about listening to jazz as an "art form." Put on earplugs, pump it up and feel the beat and try and dance to it. Just go.

Jazz is one of the very few music forms which I like, because I can feel the beat very clearly, so I can move to it, and I like the motion. Likewise, bhangra music has a good beat. Ragas are snoozers because those are played on strings so are too quiet and high-pitched to feel, let alone discern the beat.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 27, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Yes I do! TBG knows me well. And dive bars of all types and geographies.

Talitha No. 1, I've not seen you blunder yet. You Are a Boodler, born and bred. Typey, even.

Posted by: Yoki | April 27, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Comics - does anyone out there appreciate LIO ?
Sonchild and I appreciate that one and trade them back and forth. Won't try to explain except to say son is a graphic artist who NEVER uses words in his product, though he's very delicately expressive verbally in person. LIO conveys quirky/evillittlekid without balloons.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 27, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

*Loves "The Commitments* both book and film-wise.* Doyle I met, in Dublin, at the Abby Theatre. Awesome!

Posted by: Yoki | April 27, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Checked on it out of curiosity.

Pure nonverbal strips are very hard to do well consistently. I see LIO does use words, just not the balloons.

I still like the few nonverbal gems of Calvin and Hobbes better.

Nonverbal graphic communication is quite a skill and one America needs more of, I think.

I was impressed at the Taipei airport by how they were able to convey information pictorially to all the travellers-- video, multi-frame signs, etc.

Very nice. Not accessible to the blind, though.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 27, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Not gonna happen, Wilbrod. I *hate* it.

Posted by: Yoki | April 27, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Earplugs, Yoki.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 27, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

I mean, I'm not about to download a bunch of jazz and turn it up loud. I've been reading Asterix in the original language since I was small, I love that.

Posted by: Yoki | April 27, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

I've never listened to jazz on a computer or iphone or whatnot, Yoki. That's so cold.
I only experience jazz at dance concerts and clubs. I need me some good woofers.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 27, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Well, Yoki, if talitha is born and bred, (and dear ones, she is grateful)
blame it all on BobS who drew me in on the night of the great hunkerdown when the lost cause was revisited on the boodle.

First and last time I ever got so mad at a comment board that I jumped in to defend a true atrocity . . . I started defending historical reenactors in schools and national parks. B. invited me back and ta-da. Grow everyday here, thanks to all.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 27, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh, bobsewell can work on anyone's mind! Glad he worked on yours.

Jaysus Gawd, Wilbrod! Cold? I am stunned that you would say that.

Posted by: Yoki | April 27, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

"Need some good woofers?"
Ha! my last jazz serenade
(in loud bass)? Chastised.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 27, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Yoki. I would be sociopathic to listen to music privately; I always fear making my neighbors' eardrums bleed.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 27, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Check, Wilbrod, on LIO -
son and I prefer the ones without the lazy billboards and placards. The squid (octopus?) (squid?) as a pet is a visual metaphor that speaks to certain times when he was younger and 'funner' and more vulnerable. And we both miss Calvin and Hobbes to the point of distraction.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 28, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

No, see, my iPod touch is my primary music-conveyance, but I have a dock so that I can boom it out through the floor-boards and dance. We're not so different as you imagine.

Posted by: Yoki | April 28, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Taipei as a whole is amazingly accessible to English speakers/readers.

I've missed The Commitments, but got to see Doyle's other two films of the trilogy. Hard to forget the Bimbo Burger wagon.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 28, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Ah! But I still can't judge the noise impact, so I prefer to let others deejay it.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 28, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Then we have nothing to say to each other.

Posted by: Yoki | April 28, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Funny scene from Commitments in the church, sequeing into Whiter Shade of Pale:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOav4guQs7Y&feature=related

And, Try a Little Tenderness
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDhsBhc8CEQ

And, some think that white boys and girls from Dublin got no soul...take a listen.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 28, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

My point Yoki, was the sometimes the dives and hole in the walls are just as delicious as the high class places.

And I love smooth jazz and the blues.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | April 28, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

As TBG pointed out, so was EYE. And I love the blues. But not jazz.

Posted by: Yoki | April 28, 2010 12:18 AM | Report abuse

I see where I need to be.

Posted by: Yoki | April 28, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

This is the clip I love best:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQKmrQfxRHQ

Posted by: Yoki | April 28, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

"Try a Little Tenderness" is one of those songs that evokes so many slo-mo-love dance grooves that it makes me weepy for my youth.
Like "My Girl".
But I'm really a White Album or Sticky Fingers girl at heart, so you can guage my geezerhood from that. Bach to N.C. Chocolate Drops these days.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 28, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse

I spent the night barhopping on Sixth Street. I'd still be out there but my cellphone died.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 28, 2010 1:33 AM | Report abuse

Some are born to deejay, others are not.

I am wise in knowing my limitations.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 28, 2010 1:33 AM | Report abuse

At least, tonight I am wise. But not too wise, or I'd be in bed already.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 28, 2010 1:35 AM | Report abuse

My father and mother used to argue about women and horseback riding. My mother said it was a psychological issue; my father said there was physical pleasure involved. (Note that I used a semi-colon.) Any truth to the theory?

Posted by: yellojkt | April 28, 2010 1:38 AM | Report abuse

Only if you are a man who gets wildly turned on by men with blistered thighs and calloused bums, and peers who walk all bow-legged.

Oh! You meant female women? Nope. Neither, actually.

Posted by: Yoki | April 28, 2010 2:02 AM | Report abuse

Physical pleasure, yes. Sexual pleasure, no. Good heavens, do people (men) really think that?

I've loved horses since I was a little kid. I like being around them. I'm not a fearless rider, though. It took me quite awhile to learn to relax while riding - and that's a wonderful feeling, to be in synch with a huge animal. I find now, when I'm dealing with a horse, I go calm and quiet inside (which helps keep the horse calm and quiet) - again, a great feeling. But not sexual, at all. Ye gods!

Posted by: seasea1 | April 28, 2010 2:40 AM | Report abuse

Mercy, it got so quiet I thought it was something I said . . .

Does the boodle ever get quiet, then someone composes a well constructed post and then hits the vacant space that sends it into the ether never to be seen again? Just happened to me. Try again.

We buy three deadtree (as y'all call them) papers every day. Drive 16 miles round trip and pay $1.75/day - no delivery service 'round here. We like the crispy turn-the-pages with our coffee and tea and eggs and fruit.

Until I got my own laptop I didn't discover the joy of 'by the worktable' access to hourly updates and leisurely reading via internet. Hooked.
And this is from a woman who only got her first microwave five years ago and still doesn't own a cellphone.

I'll always enjoy dunked-in-the-bathtub damp or blown-under-the-hammock-while-I-nap newspapers until they cease and desist.
But I'll pay to have a good news service online if that what it takes. Newspapers and the extraordinary reporters and opinion writers and editors of my youth are important to me and their demise saddens me. I take deep gulps and breathe in all I can of the air we have left of that tradition.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 28, 2010 2:51 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

Yes, talitha, sometimes the Boodle gets quiet, most especially afer we've run through a thread or two, told all our stories, and run out of stuff to say. And then we await a new thread.

The funny thing about threads is, you just never know around here what is going to start one. I often deliberately try to launch a new thread from time to time, with mixed results. But often as not, a thread will suddenly pop up from a completely casual remark no one thought would do it. Just yesterday I had no clue my remark about the guy at the urinal with his Blakberry would provoke a thread, but it did.

On the other hand, there are some topics around here that are just evergreen, they are like kudzu. Just mention horses, or knitting, or poetry, songs, trains, jeez, there's about a dozen or so that are guaranteed to launch a two-day discussion.

CqP, back in the mid-60s I might have been one who suggested that music from any part of Great Britain lacked "soul." But then along came Joe Cocker and Van Morrison, and well, there went that theory.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 28, 2010 6:32 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all. Hi Cassandra! Mudge, I hope Mrs. Mudge isn't sore this morning. I also hope repairs to the vehicle will be quick and cheap.

Talitha, I never got into Lio. My favorite these days is Doonesbury; the storyline the last two weeks about Melissa are pure genius. I also enjoy Frazz and Jump Start.

Yoki, one day we'll have to compare iPod playlists. I've never gotten jazz either, I love great classical and some local folk artists.

Onward into the day! This is the busy one, so I'll be in and out (but mostly out).

Posted by: slyness | April 28, 2010 7:11 AM | Report abuse

Don't want to start a Jazzstorm but I recently read someone's comment "there's good jazz, and then there's the other 99%."

I have a feeling, too, that Yoki wasn't talking about jazz that has any kind of a beat, but I could be wrong. At least that's the jazz I don't like. Sorry GWE but I think it's what's called Smooth Jazz.

Hard to believe that stuff is mixed in the same genre as Swing or Blues. But to each his own, no?

Anyhoo... Y'all have a great day!

Posted by: -TBG- | April 28, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

I simply must infiltrate Yoki's playlist and convert her. Hehehehehehe... :-)

Seriously, "jazz" is about as well-defined a genre as "pop" or "rock." I have no doubt Yoki knows (and likes) many tunes that can reasonably fall into the "jazz" hopper.

*back-to-the-salt-mines Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 28, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

The Birth of the Cool is an excellent album.

I'm one to take a gun to a knife fught, but the TX guv takes out a coyote with a hollow point? Geez, that's a bit much. I'm guessing the only things left were dust and mist.

Have a happy day all!

Posted by: LostInThought | April 28, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

SCC: fight

Posted by: LostInThought | April 28, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

My perhaps overly cynical side notes that Gov. Perry's on the campaign trail and that just might have affected his decision to publicize the event. *eye roll*

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 28, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

At one point I tried to really get into Jazz because, well, it seemed like the Thing to Do.

Although I have learned to appreciate Jazz, I don't really love it. Jazz, for me, isn't something that I enjoy sitting and listening too as much as something that I enjoy having in the background while I am doing other things.

It's sort of like a baseball game that way.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 28, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

HOLY [excrement]! Have you guys seen the new front pahe makeover???? Pretty much nothing but a double box around the old front page. Not sure whether I like it or not. I'm generally a pro-box kinda guy when it comes to page layout. (In the graphics world, there's us pro-boxers, and there's the anti-boxer "prairie" types who like wide open spaces. Neither is "right" or "wrong," per se. Just a question of tatste, to some extent.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 28, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends! I'm up, hopping around and trying to do the best with what I got. Don't have a choice. I don't think Wal-Mart sells new legs, and the drugstores are fresh out.

Mudge, so glad Mrs Mudge is okay, and the rest of the folks in that twister. Young folks and cars, they need more lessons!

Howdy Slyness,(borrowing your word, Ivansmom), hope you are well. Did you folks get a lot of noise yesterday from storms? I saw the radar on television, but was knocked out by the time it was suppose to hit here.

And the link was great,Slyness, and it spoke volumes. I'm sure people don't think about that when they participate in these things, but I do worry about that because sometimes when that ball starts to roll, there's no stopping it without loss of life and everything else.

And as for the dead tree edition, I love newspapers, always have. I like just the feel and the handling of them. One taking the time to read each little corner and the big stuff too. Always finding something precious and surprising in a corner somewhere. Never knowing what one will find. Oh, and the smell is intoxicating, too. I'm a fan. Alas, just don't have the means.

Hope the Boy isn't in much pain, Ivansmom, and tell him I asked about him. Hope VL is ok, too.

Everyone have a great day, and love to all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | April 28, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

And New Kit!

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 28, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I used to buy a lot of papers at the newstand to read on the metros. I don't do that any more because I cannot take the right wing editorial board. If you could depackage style and restore the book section I would read those things, but I try hard not to contribute a dime to an oragnization that thinks that Mark Thiessen is deserving of an editorial voice in any capacity.

Posted by: caphilldcne | April 29, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

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