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What we need right now is a good 30 inches of snow. Yesterday the thermometer hit 102 at National airport. Today, more of the same. Tomorrow, not as hot, but more humid, so just as bad.

Unless you like heat. I like it some. It brings back memories of Hogtown, the pre-AC days, the splashing in the creek. Back then, kids were easily amused with something as simple as water. Fun with the garden hose! We're getting wet now hahahahahaha idnit great.

I often found myself euphoric simply over the possession of ice. Seriously, I'd ride my bike to the HoJo's motel to raid the ice dispenser, and bring it back in a folded shirt. I could get three or four hours of good times out of watching water go through a phase change.

But today? Kids are mopey unless you take them to a water park with 500-foot slides. That's the fun baseline. They also expect to stay in beach houses, ideally in the Caribbean. They demand oceans where we used to demand just a thimble of H2O. I would sometimes satisfy myself with just the O, knowing that, were I to someday have enough money to afford the H2, I could become hydrated.

But let me stop before this turns into an insane rant.





Snowmaggedon 2010

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 7, 2010; 10:54 AM ET
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Next: Midlife milestones


First? Truly??

Posted by: VintageLady | July 7, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: bobsewell | July 7, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

While the neighborhood was shoveling out from the storm, someone said they hoped we'd get a nice summer as a reward for our hard work. Someone else said "Nah--we'll probably have 2 weeks of 100-degree days."

Last night the dog would go to the door, ask to go out, then be back wanting in within minutes as if to say "Why didn't you tell me it was hot out there?" A little later, same thing. Lather, rinse repeat. The lack of a short-term memory is hilarious.

Posted by: Raysmom | July 7, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

My first mudging!

Repost from previous:

I found this by Googling on the words pity fear catharsis

7. Tragedy, then, is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament, the several kinds being found in separate parts of the play; in the form of action, not of narrative; through pity and fear effecting the proper purgation [catharsis] of these emotions. By 'language embellished,' I mean language into which rhythm, 'harmony' and song enter. . . .

(Aristotle, Poetics, 1449b25f if you want to look up the Greek on the Perseus site.)

Posted by: woofin | July 7, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all.

I am too late for the dawn patrol because we left home at 6:30 am to go to DC for an early morn appointment at WHC. What I want to tell you is this, even though it was already very warm, The District is one of my very favorite places in the world. It is so alive (not much traffic this holiday week). It's so beautiful. And for the most part, people there are happy or at least content to get and go to a job every day. And, they smile and greet each other like they ACTUALLY MEAN IT!. It's the trains and planes and buses and subway thing, too, as much as the landscape and the peoplescape, it's all of a piece!

Love your snowscape on this hot day, Joel, but I hope all children are entitled to the ocean and the beach and a cottage, for at least a week or two in the summertime. Many of our children in The District are just happy going to a public pool. I see the mayor is trying to get more hours in the pools for The City. Good for him.

Posted by: VintageLady | July 7, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Joel, I am happy to report that the granddaughters were perfectly content yesterday with the slip n slide (which is now ripped beyond repair but that's ok). I had bought a stupid (as it turns out) game called ladder golf. Obviously this game was thought up by someone whose brain had been fried by the heat as there were no instructions and the words on the box were written by a non-English speaker, "Which will provide hours of new fun for whole family. However, for your full enjoyment." The girls used the balls from the game as props in a water slide game (after they had gotten them stuck in a tree repeatedly). I would have taken the girls to the beach but low tide is in the middle of the day this week, making getting sufficiently wet a hike.

As a child, I remember getting ice from the milkman (remember them?) and marveling because it came in slivers and was perfectly clear. I am really feeling the heat today even tho' yesterday was hotter, as the dew point is higher. I wet a tank top and put it on, it has helped a lot to keep me cool in my non-air conditioned kitchen. (Please, no wet t-shirt jokes!) I'm not leaving the house again until my eye doctor appointment later this afternoon.

Posted by: badsneakers | July 7, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I went through a Gainesville summer without air conditioning. Not sure how. Saturday trips to the beach were mandatory.

Gainesvilleans did tend to demand ocean, usually Crescent, Flagler, or Anastasia Island.

These days, the slushy drinks sold by convenience stores seem perfect for reducing one's core body temp. I thought I saw scientific proof in a newspaper story, but it seems to have evaporated.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | July 7, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I notice that the flag across the street is no longer at half-staff today. Presumably, it had been lowered for Sen. Byrd. I was wondering why flags in Virginia were lowered for a West Virginia senator, but someone pointed out that the crusty old specimen may well have been in the Senate when West Virginia split away from the Old Dominion in the 1860's.

Posted by: bobsewell | July 7, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

woofin, thank you, I am all over it (like a fly on a cheap suit, brown on shїt, stink on rice...).

Wilbrod, that's a fine mind you rockin'.

The relationship between tragedy, death, poetry, ye Gods, suffering, love, the neurology of the mind, semiotics, this blog is just like...oh water on a hot, hot, day. We're getting wet now hahahahahaha idnit great. The practical, reality only please engineering minds might by annoyed, but hey, PgDn is just a stroke away.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 7, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Not quite blizzarding, but the high here in Denver is 64 today. I'll send you East Coasters all some icy thoughts.

Posted by: Awal | July 7, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Just about to head out to lunch, checked the temp 89F but feels like 108F, can hardly wait for the really warm part of the day!

Posted by: dmd3 | July 7, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

The kids were perfectly happy to splash around in the pool and have a beer on the patio last night. The VLP was delighted to play his favourite game; catching pool water splashed by the kids in his giant maw.

Mrs. D was complaining about the heat in Cambridge yesterday, 26C and humid. When she'll get out of the airport this afternoon, at the hottest hour of the day, it will likely be around 34C and quite humid. He he he...

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 7, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

DotC, my unscientific opinion about slushy drinks is that they do cool me off. I make a slushy smoothie for lunch almost every day and always feel cooler afterwards.

Posted by: badsneakers | July 7, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

My mother has a picture of me on her fridge working on all that snow.I feel cool everytime I look at it.

Sheesh I think Baltimore was the hottest place in the country yesterday at 106.That is just too darn hot.I had several guest check in from Arizona last night and they all said how nasty it was here.

and here is the riddle on my popsicle stick
What did the square say to the old circle?
Been around long

eat many popsicles today......

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 7, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

More humor here.

Go check out the five remaining contestants in the WaPo cartoonist contest and vote for your fave by next Tuesday.

It's 31 C here and almost no breeze. Errands all done, staying in the a/c for the rest of the day.

Germany-Spain today. Maybe I'll change my mind and watch it at the pub patio with a pale ale in hand.

Posted by: MsJS | July 7, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

When I were growing up I don't think AC had been invented. Certainly not for autos. We just turned the wind wing (remember those) into the flow and let the hot air blast you in the face. I was at Fresno State the first year they got the new campus. The best class was the new thermo lab. Had an industrial size AC unit in the middle of the floor.
My first job in 1959 was at McClellan AFB outside Sacramento. The only thing air conditioned there was the black box repair shop. Our office was a steel box hung from top of dock three. Plenty of incentive to get out of the office and do some time study down at floor level.
I grew up near Redding, CA where it is usually over 100 from the end of June until October. But no humidity so when the sun went behind Mt. Baldy it cooled off fast and nice sleeping temp. I thought it was hot all over the world in the summer until I got my '51 Ford and drove down to San Francisco to visit my high school chum that moved there to attend SF State. Left home only wearing a tee shirt. Almost froze.

Posted by: bh72 | July 7, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I have all 3 water cannons fully loaded. Just waiting for the kids to go outside.

Now, that's what I call fun. Even the dog is hiding.

Posted by: pl1123 | July 7, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

ONLY a tee shirt. bh?

*silly twitter*

Posted by: MsJS | July 7, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Hey, y'all.

As per Jumper's tall tale creature gallery from last kit, today I am "the hotheaded naked ice borer". In my case the ice is a cool bathtub and the borer is my empty brain.

MsJS, got my vote in on the comix contest and an easy choice it was, too.

Slyness, I've been thinking of you since last evening. I have a friend here who, over the Easter holiday, donated just as you have done. He reported the fatigue and trouble sleeping at first but now feels back on track. The recipient of his donation lives in the U.K. and is doing well. My admiration for you and for my friend is deep.

Slushies, popcicles, Italian ices and daiquiris are in the freezer/fridge for all comers, ye boodlers. Keep it cool.

Posted by: talitha1 | July 7, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Agreed bh72, I don't care how hot the day is, the night is what matters. If there is no night relief, only then does the day become excruciating. pl1123 you've got it goin' on, and isn't it funny how the dogs just know? Mmmmmm daiquiris,

Posted by: shrink2 | July 7, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

hmm, sorry if I missed this before, but it seems it was a Canadian who came up with the culinary wonder of coloured bacon.

Back from lunch it is indeed steamy outside. According to my car 34C.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 7, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

To my offspring, the heat of summer means that as they run from the air-conditioned car to the air-conditioned house they might occasionally notice that the lawn has turned brown.

Them kids today.

Now, when I was a lad we had proper respect for temperature. Neither my house nor our cars had air-conditioning. Indeed, the only two places in the entire city that did were the bank and the lobby of the local Elks Lodge. I have special memories of the latter because the coolness would hit us like a tsunami of frigid refreshment when we scampered through to get to the swimming pool.

My offspring have never known nights too hot to sleep. You know, when, in desperation, you put wet washcloths on your feet. They have never been motivated to sleep in the back yard on surplus army cots and look at lights of high altitude aircraft.

Sure, when they were little they used to get excited when the ice-cream truck would visit our development, but their enthusiasm lacked the religious fervor of those who truly know what it is to swelter.

Yep, these children, despite living in an area much hotter than where I was raised, simply do not have the same organic relationship with the notion of a summer day. They lack any real visceral understanding of the heat. All they know is that in the summer they have to twist that knob on the thermostat to the left instead of to the right. To them, the outside temperature is essentially a meaningless statistic. Sorta like the electricity bill.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 7, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I don't suppose anyone is interested in hearing that it is 15.5 C. here in the part of the left coast where I live?

No, I didn't think so.

Posted by: nellie4 | July 7, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Enjoy it, Nellie.

I may go back to the mountains, just to get away from the heat. It was warm there, but nothing like the mid-90's like here.

Azaleas in the sun are dying. I can't give them enough water to keep them alive. They shouldn't be in the sun anyway, but that's another discussion.

Posted by: slyness | July 7, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

In September 1961 I went to Coast Guard OCS in York Town, VA. No air conditioning there either. First time to experience humidity, Ugh. Plus a hurricane was approaching so classes were delayed a week while we marched around and taped all the windows.
They had fans in the quarters but they just blew the dust around to make it harder to pass room inspection on Saturday's

Posted by: bh72 | July 7, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Nope, nellie.
That's like when my son called from 9,000+ feet altitude in the Rockies an hour ago to say it was 65 degrees. Argh!

I have lived in one place in my entire life that had AC. It was an apartment cubicle in Baltimore for two years. When we were kids in Georgia our bedrooms were in a converted attic space. We had fans everywhere - in the windows, on the ceiling, on the floor - but I can only remember sleeping hot and sweaty. The best relief was at my grandmother's house because she had a huge screened sleeping porch with about 10 cots. It was wonderful.

We cooled off in creeks and a big horse trough daddy converted into a pool for us. Going to the municipal pool was a rare treat, like the air-conditioned moviehouse.

Posted by: talitha1 | July 7, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Hereabouts engineers like that stuff too.

I've had a day full (as an egg) of major annoyances. Fully aware millions would accept them gladly if they also received the rewards I do, unwilling to inflict the whining which you wouldn't want to hear even if I paid you, I'm mainly keeping my mouth shut here at work because I know this is temporary.

Anyway, given the divorce discussion and no kids, it was one of the best things I've ever done. And to the point of making me smile and dissipating this mood, I remembered how excited we kids were every time my mom kicked my stepfather out of the house. When he fiiinnnnally died, we celebrated for weeks. Lifts my mood even now. Good times :)

Not to imply anything about shrink's friends. I understand we were at one end of the bell curve.

Oh, I'm not saying divorce shouldn't happen. I am saying kids get hurt badly, whether or not they feel better after it is (nominally) over.
Oh, I'm not saying divorce shouldn't happen. I am saying kids get hurt badly, whether or not they feel better after it is (nominally) over.

Posted by: -dbG- | July 7, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Shrink - left an answer (with a lot of IFs) to your total loss question at the end of the previous kit. You (or anyone else) can read it there if you wish. No need to drag it over here.


Posted by: DLDx | July 7, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

That is why our children have been sent to camps in the summer, outdoors, no a/c - see kids this is summer.

My parents added on to our house when I was little, they got a new master bedroom on the opposite side of the house, the design of the reconfigured house ment 2 furnaces, but they decided to only put central air on on furnace (their side of the house), I remember well my brothers and sister and I sweltering in our unairconditioned rooms, the house an old colonial style did not exactly have cross breezes upstairs. Wet washclothes yes we used them. I am not really complaining though as I was so fortunate growing up, we also had a pool and could go for a swim just before bed and hope the refreshed feeling would last til morning.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 7, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

What, was bacon all-white before? Oh. I see. Blue bacon. What a great appetite killer.

I suspect now somebody's going to try making Cordon Bleu that is really... bleu.

Clear ice is slow-frozen ice. I've always been amazed at how clear lake ice is, as lakes themselves aren't exactly clear, but the slow freezing is the key.

May I suggest Billy Collins's "Purity" as the macabre poem du jour?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 7, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

*Faxing the cold room in my lab to everyone who needs it.*
Sorry, no food or drinks allowed.

*Settling down in front of the TV in the computer shop, ready to scream my guts out for the next couple hours.*

Posted by: DNA_Girl | July 7, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Oops. Sorry for the double sentences at the end of my last. Meant to erase them

Posted by: -dbG- | July 7, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

DLD thank you, here is the thing I am wondering, whether the efficiency of centralized energy production is worth the handling losses, or should we focus on an intensely local 'green' electrical energy production and distribution system. I imagine the answer is both and, but this is a hot (sorry) topic in the PacNW as all the wires, dams and windmills have a downside. The grid itself is a downside, to be more specific.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 7, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

-dbG- I did think you were making fun of me.
I was like "what th'? Does everyone have thin skin?" But then I thought, shrink2 I thought, don't be thin skin guy, ignore heckling...

More importantly, what is wrong with Germany?

I suspect something in their water, they are not the same team.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 7, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

That is better, I didn't know Germany could get nervous. Now they are on the ball...

Posted by: shrink2 | July 7, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

20C here in Our Fair City and it doesn't look like we'll beat that today as clouds have rolled in ahead of a cold front. If this is not the cold front itself I hope we get sun the next few days-most of my sweaters are packed away.

I remember the day Frostdaddy installed the window AC unit in our Newport News house circa '66. It was in the dining room, a central location in this little mid-century ranch with car port. In retrospect it couldn't have done much for the bedrooms but it did at least insure that the inside was cooler than the outside. Ma Frostbitten had strict rules about when it could be used. Let's just say we were taught not to have a cavalier attitude toward electric bills.

For our one miserable night here this summer I took a couple wet washcloths to bed and used them and the ceiling fan to forestall a trip out to the garage to grab the little window unit we keep for emergencies (like visits from elderly or pregnant relies). Life without AC is really quite pleasant where it can be done.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | July 7, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Heat seemed more tolerable when I was a kid. Don't recall air conditioning in San Antonio, certainly none in Puerto Rico, which had trade winds. None at the college dorm in North Carolina in summer. Wyoming provided excuses to do overnight visits to the mountain above Cody.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | July 7, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

They miss Müller.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 7, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Nope, not heckling, just had copied them to remind me of the point I wanted to make. IPod boodling is an art, not science. I didn't see them again so they remained. My apologies.

Now I'm working with a vendor who will be upgrading their app for us on Friday evening. Trying to dispel my thoughts that the tech couldn't do it even if we held a gun to his head.

Posted by: -dbG- | July 7, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

He's probably thinking the exact same thing about me.

Wow, guys, thanks. I feel so much better!

Posted by: -dbG- | July 7, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse


I've been double-crossed!!! I thought the match started at 2 and was hoping to watch the first half uninterrupted on the treadmill! Only got about 15 minutes, and now the office TVs aren't working!!!


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 7, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Penalty kick Germany!

Posted by: shrink2 | July 7, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Scoreless first half... *whew*

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 7, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Wow, guys, thanks. I feel so much better!
Posted by: -dbG-

It is reality. Once in the food store, a woman came up to me, of whom I had entirely forgotten and started to tell me everything she thought about me and what I had said to her and why she fired me and how later when things felt the same she thought she should come back to me and then she figured she knew exactly what I would say and then things got better and so in conclusion, I was actually useless because all you had to do was think that way and you don't have to pay anybody any money, the end.

Point is, the boodle speaks without talking.

Now, for the 2nd half...

Posted by: shrink2 | July 7, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

So, she learned how to think better. That IS what she paid for, whether she knew it or not, not for a decades-long addiction to therapy.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 7, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Shrink - Short answer: Yes.

Long answer follows:

The huge efficiency achieved by massive centralized multi-megawatt generation is insurmountable for the near (and probably far) future. There are places in this country where electricity only costs $0.05/kWh. The feds consider $0.11/kWh the norm. No matter what any solar salesman will tell you, you can't come close to matching those numbers with any current micro- or mini-power generation technology, not in 1 yr, not in 30 yrs. You can't do it with wind*, fuel cells, solar, hydrogen, natural gas, diesel, tidal, geo-thermal, what did I leave out?

Now don't get me wrong here. I WANT my solar cells on my roof, I WANT my solar water heater, and I want them NOW! I just can't come close to affording them. Lord knows we have solar power to spare here in Charleston, SC. We throw megawatts of it away here every hour!

Then there is the other little problem, the one that scares the holy C@&$ out of the utility companies. If alternate power becomes cheap and available, who is going to pay for the power grid that we all will still need/require? Solve that one and you will be rich beyond your wildest imagination. Just not beyond yellowjkt's imagination! :-)

Wind*, you mentioned wind early on. Now I know that wind turbines are a sore subject in the PacNW but there are many people who would gladly give up their smog, acid rain, mercury fouled air, and that new oil storage facility out in the middle of the Gulf for some wind turbines or solar farms. I was still in SoCal when they conceived, designed, and started building the wind farm in Tehachapi. It is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. When the lights go out in Portland and Seattle, they will think so also.


Posted by: DLDx | July 7, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

DotC, Ahh, yes, I remember Rosey Roads, PR circa 1960 with no A/C...tropical didn't begin to describe it.

Posted by: -CB- | July 7, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I'll have to miss the exciting finale of the World cup. Keep up the play-by-play.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 7, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

W_G yes, precisely.

I have come to despise therapy addiction, the therapists, not the addicts.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 7, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Wow, German defensive breakdowns keep happening, it should be 3-0. Spain can't score because they know they put Rorer 714s into the Germans' water.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 7, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

The Germans look like those old toy football games with the buzzing vibrating metal board, just heading off in various directions, some making odd circles, always out of position...

Posted by: shrink2 | July 7, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Germans are a goal away from winning though, bunch of 20yos, amazing. German pressure at minute 70...

Posted by: shrink2 | July 7, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

My Spanish husband is yelling!!!!!
(Well, he's also half-Polish, but surname Spanish.)

Posted by: talitha1 | July 7, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

*many bad words, at high volume* :-(

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 7, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Now. a goal down, we'll see whether the German's can break loose. They need to get off the drugs and onto the field, Pidulski and Schwiensteiger in particular.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 7, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Schweinsteiger needs Müller, a horse and carriage.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 7, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they are all on drugs. Spain look like bunglers even as Germany can't defend. These teams just look wrong. Must be the pressure.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 7, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Referee is letting a much rougher game happen than we have seen before.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 7, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Maybe 7 minutes to go, Germany is out of time, both teams look exhausted, Germany just got a good chance in the box.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 7, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Flash of brilliance from FernandoTorres

Posted by: shrink2 | July 7, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

3 minutes, Spain dominates

Posted by: shrink2 | July 7, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Front Page Alert, FWIW...

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 7, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 7, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Tweeeet! Espana!

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 7, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

DLD, I neglected to mention, that is interesting and true (the best combination), thank you.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 7, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I was wrong again. I thought the Argentina Germany match was it. Now I wish I could see Argentina Spain.

As an aside, Sheesh, pulling star players out of the match as a reward for the slapstick, the pratfalls, the theatrics of the tragic victim...what a bunch of pansies. Hockey players...oh, I won't do it, even though I already did.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 7, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I was at the other end of the island, same time. Need to revisit.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | July 7, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

"'No one could have expected this?' Looks like you did, 30 years ago, and turned in into a game that's fun for the whole family."

Posted by: -TBG- | July 7, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

DotC, Have you been back? Both are now closed I think, resort to replace RR.

Posted by: -CB- | July 7, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I haven't been back, but there's no excuse. Direct flights to Aguadilla, where the old military hospital is now a Hampton Inn or something similar and somewhat astonishingly, the streets have mostly retained their old English-language names. That corner of the island has become a winter magnet for Florida surfers.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | July 7, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I spent most of the morning inspecting a bridge... that makes up a taxiway of an airport. Surprisingly, little shade was available. Heat is a great motivator. Got it done quickly, then scurried back to the air-conditioned office.

I'll be pulling for the dutchmen? hollandaise? netherregioners? I picked them at the start, and got completely lucky, as I know very little about any of the teams.

Posted by: baldinho1 | July 7, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

So today the Popular Front avenges their defeat in the Spanish Civil War by taking down Germany. Then the final on Sunday with Spain against the Netherlands will be an update of the War of Spanish Succession. Not sure where that puts the third place game of Germany-Uruguay. A sequel to Boys from Brazil, more or less? I dunno.

Posted by: -pj- | July 7, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I got in my car about an hour and a half ago. The temperature display on my dashboard said 104. After I got the car moving, it plummeted to 103. And stayed there.

I'll defer to Mel Torme:

Posted by: -pj- | July 7, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: talitha1 | July 7, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Funny, pj. I had that song stuck in my head for quite a while during our home AC woes.

Posted by: -bia- | July 7, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Funny. While Joel was writing that I was out in the front yard playing with the hose. Watering the ornamentals. Wetting down the roof. Spraying the driveway. Getting wet. Yeehah!

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 7, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Love the mutton chop sideburns on John Sebastian in that video, talitha.

It's also a great song. I was 10 when that song came out. Loved it then and I still do.

Posted by: -pj- | July 7, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Best headline ever?

Posted by: -TBG- | July 7, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, friends. I just couldn't resist. I mean, yello's on vacation and might have missed it.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 7, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

TBG, that is sooooo *snortworthy*. Actually I saw that race on TV over the holiday. I like to watch track and field, but the hurdles always make me cringe, as I hate to witness the crashes.

I continue to despise this weather, and I also continue to try to convince Mother Nature to pull another mood swing. *Someone* isn't listening!!!

SYTYCD is on tonight, so let's all put on our attitude shoes and go trip the night fantastic (in my case, that might mean merely to trip . . . .). I wonder how Alex is gonna dazzle us tonight . . . .

Posted by: -ftb1- | July 7, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Saw that earlier today TBG, very funny. ftb, how is your knee? I had my eyes dilated today and they still are more than four hours later. This is very annoying!

Posted by: badsneakers | July 7, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Still 100 here @ the NukeAbode... Praise FSM, the dew point's dropped below 60, so it's ofiksally a "dry" heat. *eye roll*

Sports editors live for those sorts of headlines, TBG... *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 7, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Hey Sneaks! My knee is a bit better. Well, how the modifier "better" can ever be applied to my dear carpy knee. It's not as painful as it was, and the knee knows that it has to wait for another year and some months before being replaced. It is trying its best to be good, dear body part.

My cleaning crew had some extra time today, so they came this afternoon and completely cleaned the kitchen and disinfected everything from the condo version of the Gulf oil disaster (but no oil, "merely" water). These buildings are going on 50 years old and the plumbing is giving out. A friend of mine here and I call it "The Projects". Mind you, it's hard to find a better location, we're next to park land, I can get downtown in 20 minutes if it's not rush hour or there's no inclement weather (which includes the threat of drizzle in the Rocky Mountains). The units are spacious, although I would rather have a table-space kitchen instead of a galley kitchen. We're not allowed to have washers/dryers in our units, so there's a laundry room on each floor with three washers and three dryers. It's mostly okay, I suppose. The average age appears to be mid-70s, which can be troublesome, but there are more new people moving in with young families, which can also be troublesome. Ah, well. I will try to bring new steps and my ever-evanescent personality to my continuing "winning the lottery" dance. *That's* why I concentrate on SYTYCD -- gotta get them moves right.

Cya tomorrow, I expect.

Posted by: -ftb1- | July 7, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Scotty... editing is so much fun! When we wrote about Big Pharma, we used to love to use expressions like "the penetration of the COX-2 inhibitor market" or how Vi@gra was facing stiff competition.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 7, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

English is too much fun in the hands of a professional, TBG... :-))))

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 7, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Oh well just in case you think you have it bad? My wife has just brought home (perfectly fresh, local can't wait to eat it) corn labelled 'yellow' when in fact, IN FACT, it is 'white'!!! Can you imagine? She is pissed. I heard her mutter,"...never again...they lie..."

I will not say a word. It is Feirabend and I am going to play "sprinkular" soccer with my men, my two little guys.

The sprinkler is a defender in front of the goal, helping the goalie, supposedly.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 7, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Oh, the horror!

Posted by: -dbG- | July 7, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

We call it "maize."

Posted by: -TBG- | July 7, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

And Yoki calls it "grits," no?

Posted by: -dbG- | July 7, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Mămăligă, Мамалига, Мамалыга, puliszka, polenta.

Okay, I'm even boring myself. Time to water and get some sleep tonight.

Posted by: -dbG- | July 7, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Hah! I just spoke to my buddy who is pretty high-up in Reuters' Canadian operation, and he assures me that that headline could not in any way have been intentional, and he thinks whoever wrote it is probably going to call in sick tomorrow.

Posted by: Yoki | July 7, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

You calling my white corn yellow? Them's fighting words.

That's a maize zing.

Posted by: baldinho1 | July 7, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

But Yoki... someone wrote it, someone coded it, someone made sure it looked right. Too many people saw that headline for it to have been put online unintentionally.

I mean, the person who wrote it might not have realized it at the time, but I'm sure a few people snickered before it actually went live.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 7, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Yoki | July 7, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, that may be the official company line, but somebody was amusing themselves.

They sure amused me!

Posted by: Bob-S | July 7, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

In an all-time popular music upset, the country of Rammstein's Du Hast was beaten by the country of Los del Rio's Macarena. No comparison.

Posted by: baldinho1 | July 7, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

For slyness,

that from which love stems
that part of me which could be
anything is yours

Posted by: DNA_Girl | July 7, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Yoki! What a great example of what makes the Boss so good. So funny. So on the spot.

I can't stop laughing at this part...

"There’s the biological extravaganza of the birth itself, the physical pain of which for some reason I can barely remember. (But I was strong and brave, that much is certain.)"

Posted by: -TBG- | July 7, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

that part of me which could be

I heard that.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 7, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Very nice piece at Princeton! Thanks for the heads up, Yoki.

Posted by: Bob-S | July 7, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

The corn fairy visited our house while was lolling in the tub. These are friends and neighbors from church who always seem to have a bumper crop earlier than anyone else. Delivered 2 dozen ears. We'll be feasting tomorrow.

pj, I couldn't resist the John Sebastian song. I was in my early teens when it came out and I always associate it with my rise and/or decline into hippiedom. ;)

By the way, what does a Canadian know about grits, or did y'all initiate Yoki when she was visiting in the spring?

Posted by: talitha1 | July 7, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

talitha... when dbG, dmd, DR and I visited Yoki a couple of years ago, she requested that I bring her some real southern, long-cooking grits.

I brought a couple of boxes onto the plane with me, after convincing the guy at security that they were not a security threat.

Yoki will never pass up a chance to eat good grits. Up north we often have to settle for Crackerbarrel, but this spring when Yoki and I road tripped to Charlotte to visit Son of G (and slyness and Jumper), she got to enjoy the real thing.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 7, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Well, Joel made me cry with the Princeton piece. (Thanks, Yoki.) I've been pretty nostalgic ever since sonchild left on Saturday and J.'s words triggered the ole' release valve. Good tears, good tears.

Posted by: talitha1 | July 7, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: talitha1 | July 7, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Talitha, I am a great traveler and honestly cannot remember when I first ran into grits; certainly after I ate polenta in Northern Italy (c. 1968), Johnny Cake in eastern Ontario (all my life) and cornmeal pancakes in Ohio (1974-ish) and became a devotee of all things cornmeal. I think it may have been my first visit to Savannah around 1978, but maybe even before that.

I am so addicted to grits that I run a cross-border smuggling ring to feed my habit.

Posted by: Yoki | July 7, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Good grits are very impressive. They just take about 45 minutes to cook, which isn't your average breakfast fare. Great stuff, though.

Posted by: -pj- | July 7, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Okay, just one more from the way-back-machine -----

Posted by: talitha1 | July 7, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Englemann -- this rose is for you!

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | July 7, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

I just came back from a zoning board hearing on a variance for an addition to a neighbor's house. Without getting into too much detail I'll just say that when you have an illegal in-law apartment in your basement, which you admit to, and yet you don't understand why the board would be hesitant to grant you a variance for a garage, maybe logic and reality aren't your strong suits.

My eyes are finally normal again. I hope I don't have to have them dilated again for a long time, that was not fun at all!

Posted by: badsneakers | July 7, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Well, Yoki, I impressed. I'll eat grits any old way myself, having been raised on them. I especially like them with a side of sage sausage. And my specialty is cheese grits using x-tra sharp cheddar.

I also make great cornpone which, I hasten to add, involves bacon fat and no sugar. My recipe is from my great grandmother and I even have her iron skillet to make it in, a special gift from my mother when I left home.

Posted by: talitha1 | July 7, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

That is the only advantage to being unemployed, pj. Lots of time to make grits any day of the week!

Posted by: Yoki | July 7, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

My favorite cornbread song, involving butterbeans and love, too.

Posted by: talitha1 | July 7, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Well, if you have cornbread, butterbeans and love, what more could you wish for?

Posted by: Yoki | July 7, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Only a needle, thread and the boodle, Yoki. ;)

Goodnight all. Sleep cool~~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by: talitha1 | July 7, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

You know how US weather forecasters blame Canada for "cold winter blasts" well I am holding the states responsible for our current weather, please make it stop! Temps were actually cooler today but felt hotter as it was really humid and tomorrow forecast to be hotter.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 7, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

The Twitterverse is convinced the Gay-Dix headline is a setup.

One person says "A journalist makes the most out of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Posted by: -TBG- | July 7, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I'm sure it was intentional, in spite of what my friend says. But surely it was an editor, not a reporter, who wrote the headline?

Posted by: Yoki | July 7, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

For those of you rooting Germany in today's match (Scottynuke), sorry for the loss, but it was a nice Cup tournament for them. pj, I was thinking Spanish Civil War, today, too. Shouldn't have, but I did. (balidinho, thanks for the Rammstein. My friend and I always listen to a live recording of them when driving down to Gainesville in October.)

Backboodling section:
RD, I am terribly sorry about that mistake -- why did I think that?

I like LiT's idea about using electrical energy as *ahem* currency. Has an interesting advantage of being transferrable as a commodity (like an ounce of gold) or a there being fiat currency representative of x amount of kWh. Besides, it's quite punworthy.

Would this change the question of who would be paying for maintaining and even upgrading electrical power infrastructures? If it became more of a banking-style system, then the power companies could develop fee systems - and interest paying accounts - like... banks.

And there'd be a lot of incentive for power companies, large and small...

It's after 10 PM, and my thermometer still says 89 deg. F. Oy.

Spending the evening enjoying not only Joel's Princeton Alumni piece, but something else originating from Gainesville (no, not Tom Petty), - a new recording from Against Me! -- "White Crosses."

I've seen these guys several times -- a lot of fun, and some reasonably thoughtful punk, though this album seems aimed a bit more in the "Green Day" direction. Disclaimer: I've never intentionally crowd surfed. But sometimes it happens.


Posted by: -bc- | July 7, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

It's time for my annual reminder (I'll repeat it periodically over the next couple of weeks):

The Capital Fringe Festival starts tomorrow, runs through July 25th. Well over a hundred different shows, hundreds of showings, I don't think there's a ticket that costs more than $15. [Well, you also have to buy a Fringe button for five bucks. But you only have to buy that one time, no matter how many shows you go to see. And if you've got plenty of spare time, there's an unlimited pass for $300.] If you live in the DC vicinity, you really, really, really ought to check out a show or two. Really!

Posted by: Bob-S | July 7, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Oh yes.. the editor, Yoki.

Getting sleepy now... g'night all. Sweet boodle dreams.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 7, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I'm leaning toward:

Posted by: Bob-S | July 7, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

That reminds me that North America's largest and best Fringe is in, of all places, Edmonton. Might be time for a quick trip north, hang out in the funky south-side neighbourhood that is the scene, check out some guerilla theatre.

Posted by: Yoki | July 7, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

One o' these days I'll join you at that one, Yoki.

Posted by: Bob-S | July 7, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

You would be most welcome, Bob-S.

Posted by: Yoki | July 7, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

These may have possibilities, too:

Posted by: Bob-S | July 7, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

I always think Miss Manners is a hoot, but her final answer in today's column was hilarious. And right up yello's alley (NSF the delicate-of-sensibility)!

Posted by: Yoki | July 7, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

I think byoolin needs to link to one of his blog posts if he is around.

Off to bed, trying not to think about how high our hydro bill will be this month, not sure the air conditioner has stopped in the last few days, and we have our temps set at 76 and 78. Feeling for those without air conditioning.

Sleep well everyone.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 7, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Long, long ago, in a country far, far away -- actually, it was Texas. First encounter with grits. My husband and I were driving from California to Georgia for his job. My mother, who grew up in Amarillo, said: "Now, you are going to find something you have never seen before on your plate at breakfast. Looks sort of like Cream O'Wheat -- but it is grits, it's good, and you eat it!

And we did.

Posted by: nellie4 | July 7, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Did you see our eathquake?

Posted by: nellie4 | July 7, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

While Ms Manners' final answer was breathtakingly transcendent, the penultimate analysis & answer was pretty darned amusing also.

Posted by: Bob-S | July 7, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

The best grits I ever had in Texas, nellie, included sharp cheese and fresh green chilis. For breakfast! Fabulous. 'Course, I'm one of those people who can't enough of spice and savory flavours. When I was growing up, my Mum could hardly believe my breakfasts; feta, olives, baguette, green onions (I now know that to be a rather Middle Eastern breakfast, but I came up with it on my own); cold ham with super-hot English mustard and an apple; quinoa made up as a sort of mac n' cheese with lots of chili flakes. She would much rather have had an apricot danish or anything else sweet. So I guess there are two kinds of people in the world...

Posted by: Yoki | July 7, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Yes it was!

Posted by: Yoki | July 7, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

I didn't realize Miss Manners still had a column...oh my.

I heard about your earthquake, nellie. Did you feel it?

Posted by: seasea1 | July 8, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

My apologies to those of you who've heard it repeatedly, but man, I love telling this story!:

Years ago, when the crusty old caretaker aboard the "Constellation" in the Baltimore harbor was giving me crap for having climbed the rigging up the mast, I did mention to him that if they were going to have such easily climbed ropes hanging about, then they were going to get clumb every now & then.

"Attractive nuisances", indeed!

[Yes, I was at the upper yard on the center mast. I could hardly hear the man shrieking at me to come down. Those were definitely simpler times. No cops, just a firm dressing down. He actually gave me & my buddy the tour afterward. It helped that we pretty much had the whole harbor to ourselves that gloomy mid-December weekday afternoon. In 1978, there was no Hooters, no Aquarium with IMAX theater, no Orioles Park at Camden Yards. Not much at all, actually.]

Posted by: Bob-S | July 8, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Miss Manners rules!!

The Wednesday column:

Posted by: Bob-S | July 8, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

*Laughing* That reminds me that when the tall ships first came to Kingston Harbour (for some international regatta and sailing competition whose name I can no longer remember, since it was in the mid-seventies) both my elder brother and I signed on as crew.

So. We did a sail-past, and both big brother and I were up in the rigging of two different ships as we cruised close to the shore. Little did we know that our mother had received an invitation to witness this event from the 10th floor balcony of a friend's condo on the lakeshore.

So there I am as monkey, somewhere much above the deck and somewhat below the crows-nest, when I hear my very own dear mother's voice coming from shore: "Yoki P Boodler, you get down from there right now! Right now! Or I'm coming up after you!"

Posted by: Yoki | July 8, 2010 12:39 AM | Report abuse

DNA girl, your 9:26 to slyness was just lovely. So I'll just say ditto, slyness. What she said.

Posted by: --dr-- | July 8, 2010 1:14 AM | Report abuse

*Slightly offended, but taking the lesson.*

Posted by: Yoki | July 8, 2010 1:22 AM | Report abuse

I ran into Joel unexpectedly this evening.

I go to knit with friends on Wednesdays and usually pick up a sandwich there for my dinner. I read whatever is closest to hand on the magazine rack while I eat. (Knitting+food=bad). This evening, it was the July issue of Natty Geo, always a worthwhile read.

And there was Joel, large as life, discussing the power grid and usage, thereof. It was a very pleasant read, sir. I really liked the line about the can opener.

Posted by: --dr-- | July 8, 2010 1:32 AM | Report abuse

As for the Germans, they weren't sharp in offense, didn't have enough possession, and in general met a superior team. That said, it was 0-0 except for Puyol scoring on a corner kick of all things.

In a football match, everything is complicated by the presence of the other team.
-- J-P Sartre

I visited Japan in the (hot, humid) summer of 1965 and discovered the bath. Wash outside the bath, and then soak until the color of a cooked lobster. After that, with your wide-open pores, anything is cool by comparison.


Posted by: Jim19 | July 8, 2010 3:14 AM | Report abuse

So anyway, I am so NOT staying up late (for me, anyway) to hear LeBron's choice of the next supporting cast that will fail to get him a championship ring.

I mean really, AN HOUR?!?!?!?! What, is it going to be a "Miss America" format where he takes 10 or 15 minutes to eliminate a destination at a time? Talk about megalomania, and shame on ESPN for aiding and abetting it. Sheesh.

And another case of (career) Death by Tweet:


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 8, 2010 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Thanks JfromLa for the Sartre. I give you this:

“If it were not for failures, no game would ever end.”

Bruce Cohen includes that line in a baseball poem. I heard him read at St. Mary's College in Southern MD....this line stuck. More on BC here:

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | July 8, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

For those late night boodlers who were having fun with Miss Manners column last evening, here's a comment left on MM's board regarding the zoologically configured napkin question -----

"FYI - I am ABSOLUTELY the person who will be playing with those alligator puppets if they're on the table. Right up until the food comes and maybe after. You know, an alligator might grab a bread roll and go thrashing back into the swamp of butter with it."

Good morning, y'all. I was up much earlier (4:30am) to see Mr.tal off to play a fife and drum gig at National Harbor. Who schedules these things for 8:00 in the morning, anyway? Off to make Earl Grey while it's still cool enough to drink it hot.

Posted by: talitha1 | July 8, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

CqP, thank you for the introduction to Bruce Cohen. In the quiet of this morning I shall sip tea and read poetry. How civilized.

Then I'll go water the garden and play in the sprinkler. I make even take my soap bubbles and wand out and make a real child of myself!

Posted by: talitha1 | July 8, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

scc: I 'may'

Posted by: talitha1 | July 8, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Yes talitha, you may do so. ;-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 8, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: badsneakers | July 8, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

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