Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Hard cider and BlackBerrys

I've got these two desultory apple trees and I expect nothing from them so exotic as an actually edible apple. But surely the spotted, off-color, undersized apples can be converted to something like sauce, or cider, or, better yet, hard cider, something to put a little buzz back into the nightlife around here and get people to loosen up. That chemical nudge to enliven a party! The solution is right in front of us. Apples!

You know that was what Johnny Appleseed was all about. Michael Pollan said so in his book The Botany of Desire. He wasn't bringing apple trees because they were good eatin'. They were good drinkin'!

Here's the catch, though: How can I make cider, much less hard cider, from my apple trees when I'm online all the time and a prisoner of the 24-hour news cycle and the dictates of the accelerated society? Just mowing the lawn requires me to cancel about 14 appointments and go digitally AWOL.

Also, relatedly, I don't know how to DO anything. I'm incompetent with anything involving the physical world and have never manufactured anything more complicated than a loaf of bread.

It would be so nice to make one's own soap, and candles. Also to perform one's own coopering. But if you were to tell people, "I do my coopering myself," they would have no idea what you were saying and would suspect that it was vaguely obscene.

There was a time when all men had a shop. Where's Dad? In his shop, tinkering, inventing, devising a perpetual motion machine, experimenting with electricity, lathing, affixing, doing stuff with all manner of binders, gluers, bolts, and most of all duct tape. This could keep a man occupied and out of trouble. Now where is Dad? He's on the laptop in the living room, there but not really there. Each of us has a presence that is just one turn of the dial more tangible than a hologram.

Increasingly, vacations are defined as the period of time when we stop checking our BlackBerrys. The New Yorker's cover art shows a woman who has dropped her iPhone or BlackBerry in a swimming pool. Clearly it was intentional on her part. The title of the drawing: "Dropped call." It's possibly inspired by the new book from my friend Bill Powers, "Hamlet's BlackBerry." It's also a nod to vacation season. It's August, so we can revert, momentarily, to the simple, easy-going life we had back in, like, the 1980s.

Then it will be Labor Day suddenly, and once again a boss will say, "Didn't you see my e-mail?" and you'll say "When did you send it?" and the boss will say, "Two or three minutes ago."

What the geniuses need to invent is a universal device-charger. We now have, in this house, roughly 4000 chargers and power cords for our electronic devices. Some of them are of unknown assignment, and they just hang around forever. You can't throw one of these things away because the mysterious device might resurface. Then you'd be out of luck because without the charger or the power cord the device is just useless plastic. But where do you keep these chargers and power cords? You can't keep them close to the ones that DO have an obvious partner, becasue they all look so much alike you'll spend hours a day trying to figure out whether THIS or THAT is the thing you're looking for. So you put them in auxillary drawers and cubbies and forget about them for six months until one day you're looking for the insurance forms and they practically jump out at you like snakes.

Then you're about to go on a trip and you say to the kids, commandingly, like a war general before a big battle, "Remember your chargers!" But you doubt they will. And so you find yourself anxious about the electronics and the possibility that somewhere in the middle of the trip you'll run out of juice and the laptop or the camera or the iPhone or the BlackBerry or the iPad or the cellphone will die and be totally non-functional as you're sitting there on the beach.

Just thinking about this is making me want some hard cider, to take the edge off of things.

By Joel Achenbach  |  August 6, 2010; 7:43 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Oil spill: Is it over?
Next: Sports world knocked for a loop


Giggling Joel, my kids just left for the airport with one backpack just for, laptop, DS, Ipods, phones plus assorted chargers.

I lost my blackberry charger and spent weeks looking for it, found at least three other ones, none fit my phone, there there were all the other chargers for phones we do not have anymore, along with USB's to upload pictures from defunct cameras, assorted Ipod/MP3 cords, a collection of keyboards, etc. I have a goal to sort stuff while the kids are away - or I could just waste time on my laptop - in peace - wonder what I will choose.

Really - you aren't supposed to check your blackberry on vacation - what if you miss something.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 6, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

My Presbyterian ancestors made whiskey out of their grain. It was easier to transport and sell that way. My Presbyterian grandmother refused to believe that they did so, but the receipts still exist. We all laugh about it now.

Happy Friday, all, hope you are well today, Cassandra.

Yes indeed, CqP, Cassandra and I will run SafeHarborTrailSouth. We have been fortunate in our family that death has been a relatively quick affair, but I have a living will and a medical power of attorney, naming Elderdottir and Geekdottir. They know my wishes.

I went last night to see The Great American Trailer Park Musical. Hilarious, especially for Southerners. I recommend it, for a fun evening.

BUSY day ahead, then a run up the mountain for the weekend. Later, folks.

Posted by: slyness | August 6, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Anyone tried those mats that are supposed to charge a multitude of electronics, saw them in the store yesterday and thought it was a great idea, I guess providing we don't misplace that.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 6, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

I think wireless devices should be charged by the radio waves carrying all those pesky e-mails...

What's that you say? Second Law of Thermodynamics? Pish and tosh, I say. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 6, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Personaly, I like the iGo line of chargers. I've had to resort to them when the original ones broke, but they work great. One universal power unit, with multiple adapter tips to fit your various and sundry devices.

Why can't the electronics industry agree on a universal standard for batteries and sockets, and such? Too much to ask for, I guess.

Posted by: Don_from_I-270 | August 6, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

We could activate the universal charger with our universal remote!

Posted by: baldinho | August 6, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Joel asks: "Where's Dad? In his shop, tinkering,...." That's me. More than 30 years ago, my older daughter had a little cheesy plastic robot - the size of a doll. All it had was a set of blinking lights on the front which formed a matchup game for a set of replaceable cardboard cards that fitted into his torso. At the age of three, she didn't realize that the lights and buttons always were the same, no matter what game card you inserted.

One day, it broke. Tears streaming down her face, she sobbed, "Daddy, my robot broke, please fix it!!" Thankfully, it was only a loose wire, promptly dispatched with in the shop. But I was the biggest hero of her life. Ah, good times.

Been fixing her broken stuff ever since.....

Posted by: Don_from_I-270 | August 6, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all.

Mr.A's new kit may have set dmd to giggling but it left me in tears. The reference to 'Where's Dad? - in the shop tinkering . . .' caused me to miss my father so badly that I lost it.

Haven't backboodled but I'm going to assume that major storms hit the DC region yesterday afternoon. We have just completed the lovely task of purchasing a new router and reestablishing contact with the outside world. Hit by lightning is all we can ascertain. It wiped out the TV, all the landline phones and fried the router. Neither of us had our laptops fired up at the time so they were spared. I want to draw a clever comparison between Joel's chargers, the New Yorker cover, etc. and our little drama but am too cerebrally challanged at this moment to do so.

TBG, dbG and other ladies of the HdG BPH, despite my devout and earnest efforts and wishes, I will not be joining you. Emails sent to you explaining have bounced back. Have patience. Another reason to cry this morning.

Maybe some hard cider would help. :-(

Posted by: talitha1 | August 6, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Howsabout some *HUGSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS* Talitha? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 6, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Hugs talitha, I lost my father as well, he was a shop guy always tinkering with something, an engineer who thought he could tweak, fix anything. My favorite was his handmade sprayer for the back of the lawn tractor, and odd looking thing - I even took a photo before we sold the old homestead.

Going through his stuff in the garage caused no end of giggles, smiles, snorts and a few tears between my siblings and I.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 6, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

My dad had a stool in his workshop. If you visited him there (or were summoned), you sat in that chair. Couldn't reach anything from there, not even a screwdriver. Lots of doodads and gizmos and whajamacallits to look at, but not a chance at getting close. Which is why I fix so many things with a phone call.

Talitha, my heart goes out to you. Time doesn't do the trick it's touted to do. Seems to me though that those moments are often followed-up later that day with a memory that makes you smile, not feel sad. I wish this to be true for you today.

And since it's a day ending in a Y, I'm on the road (DC has got to have more mileage on her than a 20 year old Honda). Have a very happy day all.

Posted by: LostInThought | August 6, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

You folks are the best. I can feel your arms around me Scotty and dmd. *Hugs back* Hope you don't have to change shirts because the shoulder is wet from tears.

My dad built any and everything, always well and lasting. That included the vintage planes that he restored and flew for endless hours. My brother continues the tradition. It took me a few years to trust his piloting expertise enough to go up for more than a field buzz. He's ten years younger and when you've carried a little brother on your hip and wiped his nose that many times it takes a while to put your life in his hands. He's just a fine a pilot as our daddy. :')

Posted by: talitha1 | August 6, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Being able to fix things is a pretty good gig indeed. Feels good to do good.

On the other hand, sometimes you end up with a faceful of gasoline, burns from an electrical short ("Honey, I think it's the other breaker,"), splinters/slivers, bruises, all manner of injuries, and worst of all - sometimes things are broken beyond repair, and you have to go back to being the Engine of Disappointment.

"You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Fred."


Posted by: -bc- | August 6, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

LiT, I'm smiling already. In a clean shirt - :)

I think all of us with kind parents probably had a *sit here while I talk to you* perch. Reckon we learned a few things balancing there in our chagrin, though the lessons may have taken longer to sink in than necessary. I'm glad my parents lived long enough for my thanks to be seen and heard.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 6, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Talitha, I'm so sorry for you. I know that you know I was only waxing nostalgic. Still, I didn't even suspect that I would trigger such pain in anybody. Again, I'm sorry. Once again, I have my infamous foot sandwich for lunch.

I'd offer to try to fix your stuff, but high voltage damage pretty much guarantees nothing but toast.

Posted by: Don_from_I-270 | August 6, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

First, I am told, you need to maintain an apple called Kingston Black. This hails from Britain and is much admired for making cider over there. I have never eaten a Kingston Black apple although I should have some shortly from grafts I made a year ago last March. They are supposed to be woody, astringent, and above all inedible but abounding in tannin.

Here I must digress to say that cider is *fermented* apple juice. What you buy in the supermarket isn't cider or fermented. You *can* buy apple wine. How that is different from cider I don't know.

The quality of apple juice for making cider depends on sugar, acid, and tannin. During fermentation, yeast digests alcohol from sugar. The juice becomes less and less sweet and even exceedingly sour as the fermentation progresses. Suffice it to say, the apple wine available over here is very sour, probably because it lacks enough Kingston Black in the blend so that the bitterness of tannin balances the acidity.

John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed) died well-to-do although his estate did not survive the panic of 1837 and division among his many heirs. He had title to nurseries in northern Ohio and Indiana. According to Wikipedia, his customers purchased seedling trees and, contrary to his intention, grafted them with their favorite strains. One imagines settlers' first long, muddy trip off the farm in spring to dig root-stock from the nursery, but they did send away to the coast for scion-wood from keepsake varieties, too.

You can enjoy cider at home though it is increasingly arduous to find apple juice that has not been filtered, pasteurized, irradiated, or preserved for shelf stability. Thumb your nose at public-health authorities if you can and purchase the living stuff from an orchard. In warm weather, uncap a plastic gallon jug on the kitchen counter and insert an airlock (from a home brewers' supply store). Let it set for a couple of days until the fizzing starts. Frozen juice works, too. Then taste it. While it is still sweet but not too sweet, pop it in the refrigerator, airlock and all. This will slow the fermentation but not stop it. Drink it cold, one cup for daily happiness and a dollop of vitamin C. You'll finish before it becomes too medicinal. Pour the dregs into a fresh jug to jump-start fermentation.

Posted by: Entenpfuhl | August 6, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Entenpfuhl, I've officially started salivating for autumn apples and cider. My farmers market down the road may start selling the early apples in a couple of weeks. I have my heart set on Honey Crisp apples that I fell head over heels in love with last year. They're good keepers and the season is short, so I intend to buy bushels and see if they can last me until the end of the year. They are so juicy, you can literally choke on the juice as you eat them. Yumsers! I'll load up on cider, too. They make it just from the apples themselves, with nothing added.

I must say that even though I tend to eat nuthin' but fruit and veg during the summer, I am looking forward to the fall fruit and veggies. And I adore winter squash.

Is it lunchtime yet somewhere in the world?

As for losing fathers/parents, I'm with ya, talitha. My dad, whose 102nd birthday is coming up in a week, died closing in on 26 years ago. He was also Mr. Fixit, and I am the proud parent now of all (or most) of his tools. I store them in the bigger bathroom (doesn't everybody?) and have made them of use quite often. I must have inherited his fixit personality and knowledge base, but the state of my body doesn't allow me to climb on ladders and pound away at stuff. My dad was creative and talented enough to make furniture, and I have a small credenza-like bookcase and one huge breakfront that he made. The small one might be going on 80 years old now. It got a little damaged in the major move here, but one of these days I'll get it back in shape. The breakfront needs some help, too, after a number of moves, and it's on the list, too. There are times when I look at, and even use, his tools (they will always be "his" tools) and I hear his voice. It makes me stop and remember him when he was good, rather than otherwise. I'm glad he had a good side and could show it, as many people with the kinds of problems he had either didn't have a good side or were too afraid to show it.

I hope Alexandria can dig out from the detritus of yesterday's storm and am thankful that I didn't get hit again.

Cya later.

Posted by: ftb3 | August 6, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

This seems fitting for the discussion,

What we leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others."


Posted by: dmd3 | August 6, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

You should read "Shopclass as Soulcraft." It does an interesting job of breaking down what appears to be the common lament you are writing about.

Posted by: sillybritches | August 6, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Don_from_I-270 -

Honey, you better get that foot out of your mouth this instant! You hear me? Now sit down here right now and let me tell you that you didn't cause talitha to cry. She did that all by herself.

Now, hand me that shirt and let me sew on that button that's been missing since last week. Honestly, how can you walk around looking like that? What will people think!?!

8-D . . . love you all.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 6, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

First of all, this is for baldhino...


My dad couldn't fix a thing, but usually knew who to call to get it fixed. He had a workbench in the basement, but mainly it was there to hold the multitude of nails, screws and other odd assortment of stuff he saved for one reason or another.

When he did attempt repairs, they usually became lifelong stories that can still bring tears of laughter...

Like the time he trimmed the closet doors after the new rugs were placed in the bedrooms. The floor was hardwood and the rugs, though they stretched from wall to wall, were not carpeting and did not extend into the closets. But they were close enough to keep the closet doors from opening easily.

By the time Dad was finished trimming the closet doors, we could choose our shoes without opening the doors.

Like Talitha, this funny memory is making my heart hurt, but a HUGE smile is on my face. Thanks for making me go there.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 6, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Another potential male name for the maybeaboymaybeagirl due in November, if we want to propel him to historical stateman status.

Pericles Boehner Boyington

Posted by: baldinho | August 6, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

baldinho... did I mention that my dad's name was Homer? His brother was Aristotle. (And we are Greek.)

Posted by: -TBG- | August 6, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

TBG, did you get the heads up on HdG? I'm missing you all already.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 6, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

ftb, it's approaching dinnertime where I am. The sun is shining and this evening plenty of Bebbis (Baslers?) will be floating in the Rhein. We will watch them while munching on tomatoes, stinky cheese, bread, and chana (chick pea) masala.

And another reason why I love the internets (don't miss the comments):

I hope the fates smile on all of you too, wherever you are.

A Bruce Cockburn favorite of mine for your evening:

Posted by: DNA_Girl | August 6, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Odin or Wodin. Time for quiescent Scandihovies to represent!

Thor, too, but tis pronounced Tor in many settings.



Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | August 6, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Meant to add that a field trip to purchase power adapters/chargers seems to be de rigueur for any vacation in the 21st century.


Posted by: -bc- | August 6, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Baldinho, I think you should consider "Thor". There's not enough Thors around these days.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 6, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

My sister-in-law's Hungarian-descent husband was really lobbying for Zolton.

Talitha... I saw your sad message on the boodle. I'm very sorry you can't join us. But you are always welcome at the House of G if you ever get the notion to visit and we'll schedule a BPH.

You'll be missed tomorrow at the Havre de Grace BPH.

Anyone in that area who wants to join us?

Posted by: -TBG- | August 6, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

The Onion is great.

"The new remote control—along with the additional remote it is designed to control—will soon come standard with all Sony televisions, allowing viewers to remain "more immobile, more stationary, and more physically inert than ever before."

Thor is still a favorite of mine.

Posted by: baldinho | August 6, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Don't say Loki! Our neighbor has the puppy from H**L to which she has attached that moniker. Aptly.

I adore four-footed critters of all stripes but am currently having that devotion tested, not by Loki, by by Loki's momma's idea that training is optional.

Still smiling. I think there is a Greater Tool Bench in the sky today where Boodle Fathers (and fix-it Mothers, too) are gathered, drinking hard cider and trading tips on carpentry, widgets and tinkering. Salute!

Posted by: talitha1 | August 6, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Why, thank you SciTim for the double vote. Yes. Not enough of them. CPBOY is called this sometimes....T's hammer and all, as a punkie drummer....channelling Zeppelin on some days....

Ah, ah,
We come from the land of the ice and snow,
From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow.
Hammer of the gods will drive our ships to new land,
To fight the horde, sing and cry: Valhalla, I am coming!

Thar ya go, Baldie, a toddler theme song.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | August 6, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Oh please, not Loki.

Posted by: Yoki | August 6, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

A HdG BPH? Me!

Posted by: MoftheMountain | August 6, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Every man needs a cave. I think you either get a den or need a shop. Shops are definitely more intimidating to the women folk. As for cider, fuggetaboutit. Eating out of hand apples don't make very good cider. You must either add a fair amount of malic acid to make it taste like anything or search for the endangered bittersweet apples that helps make the brew tasty.

Posted by: edbyronadams | August 6, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

New GOP potential girl baby name: Dixie C. Sessions

Posted by: baldinho | August 6, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

DNAgirl, pleeeeeze send me your recipe for chick pea masala. And the spicier the better.

That's it! A name for the new baldinho baby -- *Vindaloo*! Or is that a girl's name only?

As I haven't back-boodled completely for the past week or so, I missed the post about the HdG BPH tomorrow. Can't make it, myself, alas, but I was wracking my brain to figure out what HdG meant, and with TBG's last post, I got it -- Havre de Grace, of course!

Have a great time, all who are BPHing tomorrow.

Posted by: ftb3 | August 6, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Hubby will have to share the shop in the new house, but his train layout space and its workbench in the rest of the garage will be all his own. :)

Of course, I'm getting my own craft room as well. :D

Posted by: MoftheMountain | August 6, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

*Ahem* To edbyronadams, um, no, there are only a certain number of wimminfolk (and quite a few of menfolk I've met) who are intimidated by shop stuff. Kwitcher stereotypos, eh?

Posted by: ftb3 | August 6, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Ooooh, "Zoltan" is a good name. Also, "Zorko". Or, you could name the child after the heroes of Lost in Space: Zachary William.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 6, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Howsa bout:

Zeno (paradoxical)

Diogenese (lamplighter sort)

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | August 6, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Oh, yeah, men and women are exactly the same. Remind me again when I forget. Retreating to my cave now.

Posted by: edbyronadams | August 6, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I have been making hard cider for almost a year now. Since I have no access to an apple press, nor much desire to use that, nor mess with filters, either, I use frozen condensed apple juice, and it's grown in China which bums me out. I live in apple country, or just to the east of a huge apple-growing area in the foothills, to be precise. I buy that, filtered, when I can, and I will be using a lot more of it now that I have some clue what I'm doing.

I like it dry; don't much care for sugar in my alcohol, although I have been experimenting with a wee drab of salt in my (nonalcoholic) lemonade (DNA Girl shout-out!)

Go to the homebrew store, Joel, and get some SAS #5 ale yeast. Add it to a gallon of cider, rubber band a piece of plastic kitchen wrap on top, and wait a full 4 weeks. Remove plastic, cap the jug (you will want glass jugs) and refrigerate for another 7 days.

For you, see if Heyser Farms in Silver Spring will juice your yard apples. At least you can buy their American cider there, and likely get some glass gallon jugs to 'speriment with after.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 6, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Don't scrape your knuckles on the way into the cave.

But what you posted was the "all or nothing" approach. And that's clearly not what I meant.


Posted by: ftb3 | August 6, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

My college's mascot (soccer and hoops and hemp in the 60s/70s) is a Viking.

Valhalla was the student union building. An ancient brick edifice of retreat. Cramming for exams, junkfood consumption, house music, coupling of all varieties, billiards and backgammon and crosswords, even the draft numbers announced (in 1970?) occured.

I dream of Valhalla.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 6, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Let's not be so touchy about some of this. Were we together the facial expressions would carry irony or subtleness and the balming southieness of full communication.

Man cave, some women retreat thusly.

Craft parlor, some men also wield a Dremel in that setting....

Ok then. Watermelon lemonade on the sideboard...with two kinds of rock salt to garnish your brew....and later in the day, some gin for a tonic-like concoction.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | August 6, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I have a bead cave.

Posted by: Moose13 | August 6, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I have a book cave.

Posted by: Yoki | August 6, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

To make it easier, Joel, print out the instructions, get some white oak, and begin the project in the front yard. Within minutes, men will gather and you can Tom Sawyer them into making this while you begin the barbecue. (Do not give them beer until the apple press is finished!)

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 6, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

MoftheMountain... email me at boodler [at] mac [dot] com and I'll send you details.

We are meeting tomorrow in Havre de Grace for lunch (halfway between DC and Philly).

Will that work for you?

Posted by: -TBG- | August 6, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I have a fabric cave and a plant grotto.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | August 6, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I have a book cave and a sunroom full of plants where I set up the sewing machine when I need it. I'd leave it out there all the time, but there are too many plants.

Actually, the books are all over the house 'cause I read all over the place. And then there's the yard and all the living things to tend out there.


Posted by: slyness | August 6, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Talitha, my dad still likes pottering and fixing stuff. He just fitted out a fishing rod for me a few days.

I do like handy stuff, too, but I don't have the knowledgebase for electronics or car stuff. Always hard to lose that, along with the love.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 6, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I have a book cave. And a rabbit cave. I also have my dad's shop. We added our own collection of tools to what remained of his, though our "working" tools tend to live in the house. It is clear from the cardboard confetti constantly decorating the shop, and constantly renewed, that it is Squirrel Wild Party Central. After one too many, it is really best to deny the squirrels access to power tools or sharp objects.

Our phone chargers are chaotically attached to a multi-pronged device we call a spider, neatly camouflaged by a shelf-type thing. Nearby is a basket containing every other charger I find about the house. There are similar baskets strategically placed for television and electronics remote controls. I have no idea what they're for, and thus I can never throw one out. However, whenever someone asks for any particular charger or remote, I just say to look in the basket. There my responsibility ends.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 6, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

did edbyron's router git hit by lightnin' yesterday, 2?

My lizardbrain polysexual self can 'fix' anything most days. There are people you can call otherwise, so long as the thang whut's broke wuz fixt right off.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 6, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I have a yellow cave lined with books and yarn.

I had to laugh at this Kit. I was cleaning a shelf off today in a corner that has not seen light for a few years. What do I find behind the books? A couple chargers for something that probably isn't around anymore. And yes, they went on the keep pile, just in case.

Posted by: --dr-- | August 6, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I too have all of our chargers in a basket. We only have 3 (so far). One I know is for a phone we no longer have, but Mr. Moose refuses to let to go.

Posted by: Moose13 | August 6, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

E-mail sent, TBG. :)

HdG is very, very close to me. I'll be able to canoe there from my new house. Lunch is perfect.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | August 6, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm in the book cave. The winter shelter for tender plants is a few steps away.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 6, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Hee hee. I know somebody who has never willingly disposed of any electronic device or accessory no matter how certifiably dead, obsolete or irreparable. Shelves and boxes full of deceased record players, radios, CD players, VCRs, modems, cables, monitors, CPUs, cell phones, tvs, chargers... I find it depressing; like bad memories that can never be purged.

Posted by: Yoki | August 6, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

MotM -- why Canoodling, for true.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | August 6, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Yoki! I didn't know you'd met my husband!

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 6, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom stole my line.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 6, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I too am guilty of keeping stuff, I have an area in my basement, boxes full of stuff my grandfather could not part with, nor my father and now I am keeper of this assortment of old family letters and pictures, wonder how many generations it will go through before someone does something with it. Also in the deep recesses of the crawl space a box of my essays/and assorted texts from university. Yes I have issues, there are also countless single socks because one day I truly believe I will find the mate.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 6, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

Were I not otherwise engaged, I'd be interested in the HdG BPLuncheon.

However, it is not to be. Had a good time with yellojkt last night -- RD, you woulda saved our bacon (and the Boodle's honor) in the Bunker last night. As it was, I think we did OK, given that we showed up late and didn't actually read the rules until roughly halfway through the game.

And we didn't leave a horrific mess behind.

Been meaning to buy one of those small hand-cranked $30 generators and the adapters to recharge or run small electrical devices. Somtimes when you're off the grid, you may not *really* be off the grid. (Or even want to be)

Have IP address (or at least DHCP), will travel.


Posted by: -bc- | August 6, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

You met my dad!

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 6, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

You and yello didn't call me, bc?

I'm hurt, terribly. ;-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 6, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

What game was that, bc?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 6, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Front Page Alert, too... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 6, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

A nursery in Portland had an annual apple festival. All sorts of strange varieties. The one Thomas Jefferson liked stood out. Tiny little thing, sort of a big crabapple.

Noel Kingsbury's "Hybrid" emphasizes that the big supermarket fruits of today are a product of recent ability to harvest and market such products, abetted by plant breeding. No Fuji apples for the Tudors, but plenty of cider.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 6, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Dave.. I think Fuji apples are the best! Always juicy and crisp. A big hit with the whole family, so we only have to buy one type of eatin' apple now.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 6, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

As for the kit:
When I was a kid we went here every year:
I went back last year, and had a good time, although it's a bit heavy on the crafts fair side now.

There was also a cider mill near our house where every local elementary school would go to pick pumpkins and watch the cider being made. It was the first time I realized there were (better) apples beyond red and golden delicious. About 6-7 years ago they sold it for development. I've only driven past it once since then, and I had to pull over until the tears stopped. My sister says the same thing happened to her. I don't think people appreciate these sorts of places until they are gone, and there used to be tons of them in Howard County. Out on the mountain in western MD, there were orchards everywhere. I need to find one up here. There must be cider this fall, and not that store-bought stuff.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | August 6, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Whenever my father would get grumpy he would retreat to his shop. Alas, he would often emerge smelling kind of funny and even grumpier. Especially if he couldn't find a pair of pliers that were there just the other day.

I prefer to recall my maternal grandfather's shop. This man took workshops seriously. He used to build his own power tools. For years he used a drill press made partly from an old wood-burning stove. Unlike his grandson, this man was truly handy. He could make all sorts of gadgets and wonderful wooden toys.

I recall a notched stick with a propeller at the end. When he rubbed it with another stick the propeller would turn. He could make the propeller stop and reverse direction simply, or so he claimed, by thought. We could never detect any other way.

And the bird-houses that man would make! Sure, in retrospect, some of them might not have been ornithologically (Which might not actually be a word but should be) approved, but they made up in beauty and whimsy what they lacked in practicality. I also remember that he kept all his tools on a pegboard with the shape of each carefully stenciled. That man never misplaced his pliers.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 6, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

S'nuke, I try to be respectful of bedtime at the NukeAbode. Please forgive me if I misjudged.


Posted by: -bc- | August 6, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I tend to prefer the older varieties of apples, nice and tart, Northern Spy, Courtland, McIntosh. But I do like the tart green apples from S.Africa and Wash St, as well as Royal Galas (family friendly as they are sweeter).

The smell of fallen leaves on a cool crisp day and biting into a Spy apple - wonderful.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 6, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh, well if it was THAT late, bc, all is forgiven. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 6, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm loving the Dad stories--thanks! My dad had a shop, but was not technically "handy." One of my favorites among his fixes was when he tried to fix the right front turn signal on my car. Proud of his handiwork, he had me check it out. He flipped the turn signal lever--and the left headlight blinked.

Posted by: Raysmom | August 6, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Joel makes a serious point about the transition of life from the real to the virtual. My kids would never explore the woods behind our house, but they would spend hours exploring the virtual wilderness of some video game. Now, in their defense the woods behind our house have way more poison ivy and way less magical nymphs than your typical video game, but still.

And this transition affects me as well. I can't make hard cider. Heck, I can't even properly make grape jam. (Anyone want some grape syrup? Cheap?) Sure, I can defrag a hard-drive and upgrade the ROM, but even those skills are getting obsolete. Nowadays the 'puters defrag their own hard-drives and come with more memory than any decent person needs. 'tain't right.

There is still one skill I have of which I am very proud. Whenever the electricity goes out, I'm the only person who knows how to get the cable box to re-initialize properly.

And I ain't tellin' how it's done.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 6, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Stop the presses!

Posted by: -TBG- | August 6, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

But if we stop pressing, TBG...

Oh, wait...

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 6, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

As entertaining as that article is, it is definitely making a big deal out of old news. Honda already sells a Civic version that runs on compressed natural gas, aka methane (and other -anes), aka "fart-gas." The only difference in this case is the source of the gas, and presumably the conversion of a stock New Beetle to run on natural gas (since VW currently does not sell a natural gas-fueled Beetle, so far as I know). Since the gas comes from decomposing sewage and I doubt that the car carries actual sewage with it, all they are doing is capturing the methane that results from microbial decomposition of the raw sewage at the treatment plant, and pumping it into the car's storage tank at pressure. The new technology is in the sewage-treatment plant, not in the car. On the other hand, a conversion kit to convert any internal-combustion engine to use natural gas -- that would be a worthy innovation.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 6, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

All you say is true, ScienceTim, but it is still a very funny URL even if you don't go to the story.

Posted by: Yoki | August 6, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Tim... fart gas, man. Fart gas. Go with it.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 6, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Quick chana masala recipe for ftb:

Chop a medium onion and saute in 1 or 2 tbsp olive oil (medium heat) until lightly brown (~15 minutes).
Add grated/finely chopped ginger (~1/2 inch square) and a clove of garlic, and chopped green chillies to taste, and saute another 5 minutes.
Add a small (12 oz?) can of chick peas (throw away the liquid and rinse lightly with cold water to remove the weird canned taste and salt; if you want to use dry chick peas, you'll have to soak them O/N and then boil them in a pressure cooker.
Add 1/4-1/2 cup water, salt to taste, 1 tsp (or more to your taste) chaat masala, and simmer under cover for ~15 minutes.
Add 1 large chopped tomato and simmer for another 10 minutes (remove the cover if you prefer a dry dish).
Add 1/2 tsp garam masala (if you like the taste of Indian spices) and garnish with cilantro.
Squeeze some lemon juice on top or add a pat of butter before serving.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | August 6, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

"Daddy, how much longer until we get there??"

"Kids, we still have another 100 miles to go, so pull my finger."


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 6, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Family lore has it that ScienceTim's maternal grandfather made hard apple cider in the winter, by leaving fermented juice outside to freeze overnight. In the morning, he'd dispose of the top layer of water ice, leaving a higher concentration of alcohol behind. Repeat several times for optimum potency.

Posted by: ScienceSpouse | August 6, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Whoa, ScienceSpouse! I'll bet *that* was a premium drink!

I remember my mom the lab tech talking about the Christmas her boss ran fermented apple juice through the lab water distiller. They all enjoyed the apple brandy. She never said how they went about cleaning the distiller afterwards...

Posted by: slyness | August 6, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Hi SciSpouse!!! *good-to-see-ya Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 6, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Sci Tim, I really want to try that. That's an awesome way to distill if it works.

So instead of pulling into a Exxon when you're low on gas, you'd pull into a Taco Bell?

Posted by: MoftheMountain | August 6, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

TBG, I've had the privilege of eating fresh-off-the tree Fujis in Japan. It's a different apple world.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 6, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Read fast and missed the Spouse vs Tim, so sorry!

Posted by: MoftheMountain | August 6, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I have a sad relationship to fart gas. You may think it's funny, but not me, man. Not me.

I seem to recall that the freezing-distillation method is referred to as "apple-jack." Am I correct? Don't Google it for me -- I'll do it myself. Post First, Google Second (piff-giss).

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 6, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Wonder how the fart gas will go over in Mianus?

OK.. someone had to say it.

DNA Girl.. thanks for the recipe. Did I miss something? Are you now living in Switzerland? Do I smell sabbatical?

Posted by: -TBG- | August 6, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

According to Wikipedia (FAK: Font of All Knowledge), I am correct about applejack. Furthermore, the "traditional" method of "freeze distillation" can increase the alcohol content to 30-40%. A potent drink, indeed.

My maternal grandparents lived in up-state New York, during an earlier and colder climate. Freeze-distillation would not work around here, but might still be effective up there.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 6, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks so much, DNA_Girl! Sounds delish! How many does that recipe serve?

Posted by: ftb3 | August 6, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Smell sabbatical? No, that's the fart gas.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 6, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Tim... I had a great-uncle from Batavia, NY, who used to tell us great stories of bootlegging liquor in from Canada and hiding it in snowdrifts and having to go back and find it later.

Sounds like making applejack would have been easier and less risky.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 6, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, I wonder if he was in business with my great-great uncle on the other side of the border?

Posted by: Yoki | August 6, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

That wouldn't surprise me, Yoki! A delightful thought, too.

He was a favorite of mine. I didn't technically name Son of G after him (they have the same first name), but this uncle was the reason I love that name.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 6, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Front Page Alert, too... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 6, 2010 3:08 PM

They'll never figure it out! ENTpatrol on the flank, however . . . . just in case.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 6, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse


With your bumper crop, perhaps you should make BlackBerry cider or BlackBerry wine.

I think I told this story here before. Once when I was cleaning up some stuff, I found the remote control to a Technics device. To the best of my knowledge I have never bought a piece of Technics equipment, so I don't know where the bloody thing came from. And, yes, I still have it. What can I say, I'm a guy.

Posted by: -pj- | August 6, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I have a chest freezer that I'm sure will make applejack in MD just fine. :)

Posted by: MoftheMountain | August 6, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

RD wrote: 'I recall a notched stick with a propeller at the end. When he rubbed it with another stick the propeller would turn. He could make the propeller stop and reverse direction simply, or so he claimed, by thought. We could never detect any other way.'

RD, my daddy made these for us and proclaimed it magic. It was! Years later, when sonchild and his cousins came along he'd carve them, then teach the technique 'and' the magic. You can fool your children, apparently, but you must instruct you grandchildren!

I still have two that Daddy made. I'm not crying - much - just delighting in the memory!

Posted by: talitha1 | August 6, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

scc: 'your' grandchildren

Posted by: talitha1 | August 6, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I suspect that heat-distillation would be much more energy-efficient than freeze-distillation, although with somewhat greater risk of blowing up the house.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 6, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Gee-haw whimmy-diddles kilt the boodle?

Naw, must have been the gas.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 6, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Do they really grow these apples as big as wee pumpkins in Japan, or is that another variety, Dave o'the Coonties?

I like some "eating apples" with high flavor, but I normally prefer much tarter apples normally used for pies-- eaten raw. I just like that malic acid bite.

Never been an apple pie person (now, if you put some peach in, I'll sing a different tune).

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 6, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Traditionally apple jack is made when it's already freezing outside. Unlike a still, it's impossible to discard the higher volatile fractions which include MEK and acetone. Nowadays we understand this better and must caution the applejack addicts.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 6, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Friday night dance! Come on down to the Club.

Posted by: Yoki | August 6, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, strong language alert!

Posted by: Yoki | August 6, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I don't think I will read anything as funny as David Sedaris' piece on flying currently in The New Yorker in a long, long time.

Posted by: baldinho | August 6, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

On TCM tonight at 9:30 my all time favorite movie is showing (Casablanca, of course; my other all time favorite movie is The 39 Steps with Robert Donat and Madelyn Carrol).

Time to channel my inner Peter Lorre. . . .

Posted by: ftb3 | August 6, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

39 Steps is a great one, ftb. Criterion Collection came out with a new transfer that is supposed to be cleaner than the choppy version I'm used to. I haven't had a chance to view it yet. Maybe this weekend. Casablanca's on my list, too, along with Citizen Kane and Singin' in the Rain.

Posted by: -pj- | August 6, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Sad news... I just found out that one of the nuns injured in that fatal crash in Prince William County is the wonderful Sister Charlotte who brightens my sister's day when she has her chemo treatments.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 6, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Slate has a recurring segment called "Blogging the Periodic Table." The current segment is about carbon, a very promiscuous element it turns out, as well as the basis for our existence. Maybe there's a lesson there. Or maybe not. Anyway, in addition to generating long chains of atoms like C1289-H2051-N343-O375-S8, it also creates long words. The name for the above protein is a mere 1,913 words long. It's a fun read.

Posted by: -pj- | August 6, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Oh, dear, TBG. That makes a sad story more intimate. Very sad.

Posted by: -pj- | August 6, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

So sorry to hear that, TBG. Sending good thoughts.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 6, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Why would anyone want to freeze their chest, even as hot as this summer's been?

Oh, wait... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 6, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

TBG, that's salt in a wound in the worst way... *HUGSSSS*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 6, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

TBG, my thoughts and prayers are with the good Sister.

Baldinho, yes, that was a very funny piece and I bet the flight attendant parts are true ;-)

Posted by: badsneakers | August 6, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

I am so so sorry, TBG. Heartfelt sympathy.

Posted by: Yoki | August 6, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

I am so sorry to hear that, TBG. Horrific.

How is your sister doing? I trust she is improving quickly!

Made it up the mountain. Now we are waiting on Elderdottir and her SO to arrive. When they get here, I'll serve some of the fresh peach cobbler I made this afternoon.

Posted by: slyness | August 6, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Scitim, maybe but get north enough, cold is really free. -30 and you'll have distillate within 10 minutes, and tasty ice for it, too.
You need less glassware that way, too. Just a strong bucket and a ice pick.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 6, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

So sorry to hear that TBG, hugs to your sister and thoughts for the family and loved ones of Sister Charlotte.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 6, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Quick, call the Titanic,

Posted by: bh72 | August 6, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: bh72 | August 6, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Be Aware that Fuji apples now in the stores are last year's crop and much of the flavor and texture has been lost in cold storage.

Posted by: bh72 | August 6, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Don't you just love that we Canadians have a "Canadian Ice Service".

Posted by: dmd3 | August 6, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Evening all
I am 2 hours away from vacation and my back is killing me.I guess I will be taking the good drugs tonight,in hopes that they produce a cure. I am taking my mom away to appamattox for a few days.Then a "Deliverance" overnight kayak trip in west by god to watch the meteor showers next week.I am soo looking forward to both,but need to get feeling better fast.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 6, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Evening all
I am 2 hours away from vacation and my back is killing me.I guess I will be taking the good drugs tonight,in hopes that they produce a cure. I am taking my mom away to appamattox for a few days.Then a "Deliverance" overnight kayak trip in west by god to watch the meteor showers next week.I am soo looking forward to both,but need to get feeling better fast.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 6, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse


mmmmmmmmmmmmm candy mmmmmmmmm

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 6, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Hey, even us Southern Canadians have a National Ice Center!

Posted by: Bob-S | August 6, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Feel better soon, gwe. The meteor showers sound wonderful.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 6, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh dear, it's often a small world at the most unexpected of moments. My condolences to your sister, and hope she is doing well with her chemo.

Drunk drivers really should be arrested no matter their citizenship status. You never know how much grief you could save so many people by stopping anybody from driving intoxicated.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 6, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh greenwithenvy I'm so sorry that you've hurt your back again. Really.

Posted by: Yoki | August 6, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

There's meteor showers next week? I probably should know this stuff.

In honor of gwe's efforts in meteoritical science, I shall head to the clear skies of Mauna Kea, in/on the Big Island of Hawaii. Next Wednesday. I'll reach the summit by Thursday afternoon.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 6, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

badsneakers, I get a kick out of most things Sedaris writes. I don't necessarily connect with his general mocking tone as much as I FEEL the annoyance that he experiences and find it hilarious how helpless he is to prevent it.

He makes me laugh the way the lead character in Monk does.

Posted by: baldinho | August 6, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Thanks everyone and heck Tim,west by god is very nice but Hawaii sounds better!!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 6, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

I just made four loaves of zucchini bread, but I used a really really large zucchini so I still have too many left! Stuffed zucchini for dinner tomorrow night I guess.

GWE, I am sorry about your back, the good pills and ice should help. I have an ice pack that wraps around with velcro, I hope you have one or can get one, it's wonderful.

We were just dive bombed here by aerial spraying for mosquitos. We have had an outbreak of EEE in the area. So all the windows are closed and it's hot as h3ll in here. As soon as I'm sure they're done, I'll open everything up again.

The Perseid meteor shower is my favorite of the year because it's warm enough to observe in comfort. Hope we have clear weather for it.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 6, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Right now I don't have a cave as much as a nest. When we had our bedrooms painted, I threw out the 20 year old particle board computer I bought for my 386SX (with 2MB of RAM and a 80MB hardrive!) The replacement desk hasn't arrived yet, so the entire computer set-up is in my living room between 'my' loveseat and the TV.

I have the monitor and my external back-up drive (gwe, look into one or two of those) on the coffee table. On the floor is my HP destop with the cable modem and the iPod dock on top of it. Next to it, buried in cables, is the battery back-up and the 5.1 speaker system subwoofer (the front channel speakers are on either side of the monitor and the rear and center channels are somewhere on the floor).

The large Epson scanner/printer is being used as a stand for the smaller Canon inkjet. I have two separate squid style power strips powering all the accessories including the two back-up back-up drives (I had a very nasty hard drive crash about five years ago, so I am especially paranoid) and the USB hub which currently has dangling off of it my 5-in-1 memory card reader.

I'm using a B&H Photo catalog for a mousepad and have the Harmony universal remote (highly recommended) on the sofa arm which next to the folding TV tray table which currently is holding several unread back issues of Wired, two Sandman collections, my autographed copy of 'Battle for America 2008' by Balz and Johnson (now there is a pair of names ripe for some snickering) and a paperback edition of 'Anathem' which I will read perhaps within a year of finishing 'The System Of The World'.

If that isn't the 21st century moral equivalent of a workbench in the basement, I don't know what is.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 6, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

I know how to make cider, soap, & candles. I even know how to coop, & not just chickens, but barrels. I've actually done some of these things, and know how to use a draw-knife with enough dexterity not to be mincing about handling the tool. I know how to make; traps, fish, make shelters, cut & notch timber to make a cabin, make & keep tinder dry, start a fire with no matches & keep it burning in the rain. I know how to skin animals and how to pluck feathers from birds. I know which feathers can be used for what purpose, and how to make & use gut line that won't rot with the first rainstorm.

All of which are skills that I'm fairly glad I don't have to use on any regular basis. They're quite fortunately useless. I'm not likely to get stuck in a desert with no water anytime soon, or in the trackless wilderness of the Yukon either. I find it more than slightly ironic that the "Tea Party" people like to play dress up, but none of them actually really want to return to any simpler time. It's all a figment of their imagination. None of them is remotely interested in learning, much less using, the more odious & slimy skills implied by their costume circus. We're all lucky if they know how to change a car tire, much less the oil in their car. Knowing how to make a wheel and put it on a wagon that they've made though? Hahaha no way. The closest they come to that is imagining that the Amish people they saw once might know how to do that. They don't actually -want- that lifestyle.

Also, chicks don't dig all the filth that goes with a colonial, primitivist lifestyle. Just sayin, this isn't going to get you a date if you're single.

Posted by: Nymous | August 6, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Yello, as much I love your photos and your contributions, the description of your computer set-up raises for me one question: who is responsible for cleaning this mess?

Posted by: gmbka | August 7, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Lookin' forward to the Perseids next week too.

Wilbrod, yellojkt and I played a trivia game at the Bunker last night (see yello's photographic evidence in the previous Boodle. Undoubtedly lost 'mongst everything last night.)

Speaking of fart-powered cars, that conversation put me in mind of some fantastic engineering in this Boodle-based bit from from a long time ago...
(I think it's in Part III, actually.)


Posted by: -bc- | August 7, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

"... only have to buy one type of eatin' apple now."

"... used to tell us great stories of bootlegging liquor in from Canada and hiding it in snowdrifts ...."

TBG, allow me to point out a theme:

ISTR bootlegging during Prohibition paradoxically improved the quality of spiritous liquor. Because minimizing bulk and weight made contraband easier to transport and conceal, increasing its potency was a decent strategy for overcoming twin hurdles of distance and interdiction. The 18th Amendment had the perverse effect of creating a more standardized product.

What perverse forces are at work dictating there ought to be one type of eatin' apple and that consumers need to be satisfied with what Big Agribusiness churns out? Those Fujis you are so fond of are fair to look at and sweet enough for sure to eat, but they taste mighty bland, too, and aren't best for baking, sauce, or juicing. Bh72 is correct: They fit the modern distribution system well. Bruises are invisible, they can be held a very long time under refrigeration, they're large and solid red outside, and inside they're white. The down side is they absolutely need a long growing season to mature. Thus, like booze, they show up at your table from a respectable distance.

Posted by: Entenpfuhl | August 7, 2010 12:13 AM | Report abuse

My wife and I have a particularly Oscar-and-Felix relationship towards housekeeping. Let's just say that the hiring of a housecleaning service increased domestic harmony. The set-up, while a little chaotic, is really not too obtrusive except for blocking access to the WiiFit and the Guitar Hero World Tour drum kit. And the two laptops (you gotta have a way to boodle if you are watching Hulu on the HDTV) I had been using for couch-side-surfing have been temporarily placed under the sofa.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 7, 2010 12:13 AM | Report abuse

bc, I'm laughing about fast cars and sparkly stars. Well done, gentle man.

Posted by: Yoki | August 7, 2010 12:18 AM | Report abuse

The delightful hormonally charged teenagers I toured Europe with did take a break from the unending pursuit of coed privacy and booze to pull off a stunt we all thought was pretty impressive. While in Heidelberg, three of them, despite police patrol boats, stripped down to swimwear and swam across the river.

They then found a one-hour tee shirt shop and had shirts printed with 'Ich schwamm den Neckar' on the front and 'Flusskönig', 'Flusskönigin', and 'Flusshaifisch' respectively on the back. They proudly wore those shirts the rest of the trip.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 7, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse


It's pretty well established that illegal drugs become stronger and stronger to maximize profit per unit. For example, crack cocaine and high THC cannabis. Legal drugs become weaker and weaker to reach as wide a market as possible, e.g. de-caf coffee, low nicotine cigarettes, and Miller Lite.

How this observation becomes an argument for decriminalizing drugs is left as an exercise for the reader.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 7, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

A giant beaver is causing controversy is Bemidji.
(maybe Not Safe For Work)

At least it's not in Mianus.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 7, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt - Thanks! I was midway through a long explanation of why I know that cocaine is cheaper & stronger than it used to be!

Posted by: Bob-S | August 7, 2010 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Personal experience, or general observation?

Posted by: yellojkt | August 7, 2010 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Disinterested anthropological observations only.

Speaking of arachnids (smooth transition, eh?) I've got to admit that I'm impressed with the adjustments made by Señora Spider to whom I alluded last night. She's continued to recreate her rather impressive webby edifice each evening just far enough out of my personal space that her survival is not a grave discomfort to me.

Of course, we'll have to see what happens when that egg sac (that I just noticed she's tending) erupts.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 7, 2010 1:15 AM | Report abuse

I've seen this movie. When does she start writing things about the pig on her web?

Posted by: yellojkt | August 7, 2010 1:22 AM | Report abuse

So after some initial discomfort, actual elected officials in Bemidji have returned the beaver beaver to the town square?

I'm almost in tears (and I'm not entirely kidding here) at the sheer "F-'em if they can't take a joke" self-confidence being displayed here.

Hmm... Bemidji at one end, New Orleans at the other. Must be something 'bout that Mississippi mud!

Posted by: Bob-S | August 7, 2010 1:34 AM | Report abuse

yes it is true you can save money on your auto insurance by making few simple changes find how much you can save

Posted by: sharonjo6 | August 7, 2010 1:37 AM | Report abuse

Gotta love the bots in the middle of the night.

Posted by: Yoki | August 7, 2010 1:43 AM | Report abuse

Fuji apples in Japan seem to be as large as premium apples from the Pacific Northwest. Growing conditions are probably more like the Northeast, with Akita having forests that certainly have a Northeastern look to them.

The mini pumpkin business seems to have given us pumpkins about the sizes of wild Okeechobee gourds--about baseball size.

In the squash department, the local Publix seems to have changed its calabazas. They're the same species as Butternut, just different cultivated varieties, and invariably imported from Costa Rica or Panamá. The store used to sell round, green calabazas. Now, they have giant calabazas that look rather like striped straight-neck squashes, about 2.5 feet long.

In the summer squash department, I once said "crookneck" to an eminent squash breeder, who instantly assured me that I lived in a straightneck part of the country. There's strong regional preferences about straight vs. crook necks.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 7, 2010 1:46 AM | Report abuse

sharonjo6 - I'll consider anything, but you're gonna have give up a little more than that.

If we make those simple changes, how do we know that just a few more simple changes wouldn't save us even more?

And (given that the average age of the 'boodlers may well exceed two score and small change) just how much change (simple as it may seem to you) do you figure we're willing and able to make? Old dogs, new tricks, and all that, you know?

Talk to me, Sharon. I want to believe!

Posted by: Bob-S | August 7, 2010 1:47 AM | Report abuse

Sharon Jo (that's a Southern name, right?) I think that you should know that I'm a gainfully employed, unmarried Georgia boy myself. If you'd like to get together to discuss this whole concept of simple changes, you can generally reach me here. Feel free to bring some or all of your five sisters!

Posted by: Bob-S | August 7, 2010 1:52 AM | Report abuse

I'll bet sharonjo6 has giant calabazas.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 7, 2010 1:58 AM | Report abuse

I was just looking over my insurance policy, and suddenly I'm not feeling fulfilled. How, oh how, shall I satisfy myself?

Posted by: Bob-S | August 7, 2010 2:01 AM | Report abuse

ooops, Yoki, I think I misunderstood.

I read: "Gotta love the bobs in the middle of the night."

Just trying to please, you know?

Posted by: Bob-S | August 7, 2010 2:14 AM | Report abuse

My sister bought a small fruit tree and planted it in a big pot. It was called apple something or something apple (I don’t remember the exact name nor do I know if it was a made-up name.) It max at about 5 ft. The fruit is about the size and shape of an apricot, but it doesn’t have the fold of the apricot. Its skin is smooth like the apple skin and when ripen, stays green. The flesh is firm and the stone is like that of an apricot. Neither apple nor apricot grows in these parts (well, I think the tree will grow. You just won’t get any fruits from the tree.) It’s definitely not a local fruit tree, and I’m quite certain it is a genetic modified fruit tree imported from Thailand or Taiwan. Both these countries and China mess about plant and fruit tree genes a lot.

There was a time, a lot of people planted grape vines in their yard. They planted the globe variety but got only a couple of tiny grapes per vine. They know they won't get decent fruits but they still plant it. I told her she is wasting her money and she just laughed. The things people do for fun.

Posted by: rainforest1 | August 7, 2010 2:44 AM | Report abuse

BobS! I'm telling your mother!
You've got to lay off that cheaper stronger stuff.

2 with the small can, ftb.

Sabbatical next spring, TBG; this is a 2-week summer break to live with DNAGuy. Off to Luzern for Sat, and an old German student will visit on Sun. Happiness.

River shark :-) Smart kids, yello.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | August 7, 2010 2:50 AM | Report abuse

I didn't know the gecko's name was Sharon...

When will we see "Bob vs. the Spider" hit the big screen, I wonder?

Anyway, now that we have a marvelous weekend in front of us, I find I can't do a darned thing in the yard due to the almost-completed-insulating-and-residing-the-NukeAbode construction zone. I'm so disappointed. :-)

*still-plenty-to-do-inside-but-not-before-another-cuppa-joe Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 7, 2010 6:18 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all.

Speaking of apple trees, we toured an apple distillery in the country while in Normandy. Charm itself, with the brown and white dairy cows lying under the shady apple trees of May. Contented cows ate the overripe fruit, fallen on the ground within reach.

Anyway, after the tour a tasting of three kinds of distilled stuff was offered. First came cider, tasted fizzy, our guide said he remembers drinking this at home during meals as a child. The second was more substantial, a little like table wine. I didn't care for the first two, but the third, an apple brandy, was OUTSTANDING!! If you don't care for "sipping brandy" it makes terrific cough medicine.

French cheeses and brandy make a lovely after dinner memory.

Posted by: VintageLady | August 7, 2010 6:39 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, talitha, for that link to the "Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle." And now I know the secret!

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 7, 2010 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Here is a picture of my son and I crossing the Mississippi in Itasca State Park.

No sign of beavers.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 7, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Joe's article this morning on the well-kill includes a parenthetical aside about the difference between cement and concrete:

"The midweek mud shot was followed by cement Thursday, and by Friday the cement (the oil industry says it is not "concrete" because no sand, rocks or other aggregate are in the mix) had hardened in 5,000 feet of Macondo's well bore."

Glad he cleared that up.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 7, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Entenpfuhl... That's why I said "eatin''" apple and not "cookin'" apple. I do like the theme, though. Interesting.

Getting ready for our Havre de Grace BPH. We may have picked up a few participants. Fun!

Posted by: -TBG- | August 7, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

I have been traveling so much this summer, it's been rare for me to get my hands on an actual dead trees WaPo. My wife is in charge of canceling the paper when I'm not home, but I came home last night to five days of news to catch up on, and only one is too soggy to read.

I must have missed it earlier in the week, but Joel had an article Tuesday that gives the final official flow rates as 62,000 barrels a day at the beginning of the spill and slowing to 53,000 bpd towards the end. These are about double the numbers I was accused of being excessively cynical with when I predicted that the official numbers at the start of the crisis were much too low. My BPALB factor should have been 300% instead of 25%.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 7, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Lovely and evocative video poem from a Canadian!

With knitting and homey knitted things within.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | August 7, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, morning, friends. We had a terrible thunder boomer the other night, and alas, no power. And we were without power for a long time. Some folks even moved out on their porches because inside got hot without air. We're back, and it's just great. I've always believed that if you want to keep people calm, keep the power on. Once you lose that, all bets are off. People get even meaner when the power goes out.

JA, you can still make your own soap. Just take those small things left from the big bar and save them until you get a lot, and then put them in a pot, one you don't use often, and put low heat under that until it comes together in one big bar. Homemade soap with a little help. My mother did that all the time. The woman did not throw away stuff that could be used again, plus soap was expensive, and we were using Ivory. I can't stand Ivory soap now. Get it away from me.

How you guys doing? I hope everyone is well and families are doing good. Those of you looking for jobs, prayers are going up for help. Where I live, the jobless thing has been around since the 80's so we feel your pain. Hang in there, it's just around the corner, may get side tracked, but eventually will show up.

I haven't read the above comments, just got the computer up and running, so may take some time. Got to do the Sunday school lesson, and try to get the pills down too, which means fixing breakfast,ugh!

Have a great day, folks, and know that in rural North Carolina, you have a big fan. Love to all!

Posted by: cmyth4u | August 7, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, in our house Ivory Soap was considered the expensive soap. Mom used to find all sorts of economy soap. I love Ivory now because it smells like luxury to me!


Posted by: -TBG- | August 7, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

That was lovely CP.

Just saw this article on Prairie Zen, about a Japanese Garden in Lethbridge, AB. One of lifes little surprises when I clicked on the link - beautiful photos of the gardens.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 7, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Ivory Soap is luxurious to me too, TBG.

Tastes a *lot* better than Irish Spring.

And my Mom knew it.

[bc, shuddering at the thought...]


Posted by: -bc- | August 7, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Off to read kit and boodle, I pinkie swear, but cannot wait to share this-

Obviously some DJs just don't get the WKRP maxim-no good can come of a turkey stunt.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 7, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Beautiful photos, dmd. I share Cassandra's distaste for Ivory soap now - maybe it's the hard edges? Altho' as a child, my memories of it all involve it floating in the tub like a boat and me trying without success to sink it.

Perfect day for weeding and other yard work as there is no humidity to deal with. We could still use a good all-day rain, but other than that, can't complain. Have a great day everybody.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 7, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

"As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fry."

Posted by: yellojkt | August 7, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Eureka! I just solved the fiscal crisis. It accomplishes so much at once.... and eliminates the inefficiency of middle men in government.

1) Completely repeal the way that we "elect" people to the house and senate. These positions will now be filled using a blind auction format. The proceeds go straight to the US treasury to eliminate deficits and pay down debt. Candidates submit sealed bids of how much they are willing to pay to get the position. All bids must be done in true accounting ways... the bid must be backed by real money, likely donated or pledged by supporters and special interest groups. I would open it to international donors and for direct infusion by corporations. Cut straight to the chase.

2) The envelopes are all opened on "election night", and the winners announced. Things become official a week later, after the financing of the winning bids has been confirmed.

3) Minimum bids are set. The house and senate minimum bids are established thusly: take the total debt incurred by the US government over the previous term for each position (2 years for the house, 6 years for the Senate) and divide that by two. 1/2 of the debt goes to each chamber. The house half of the debt gets split by the number of house seats. The senate half gets split by the number of senate seats.

Example: if there was a 2 trillion debt over the last two years, one trillion gets debited to the house. That gets split 435 ways, so it costs at least 2.25 or whatever billion to successfully bid for a house seat. This will likely make a Senate seat way expensive, since they get 6 years of debt and only 100 shares.

4) This system will guarantee a moderating effect on our debt. If the debt skyrockets and people want to keep their jobs, they have to pay more. In this situation, where the debt actually comes out of the pockets of the candidates and their donors, there will be huge incentives to close the debt by cutting spending or raising taxes. The opposite, it seems to me, occurs now. Candidates today win by promising the opposite: that the debt will NOT be paid off by their supporters and donors.

I absolutely love this idea. All we need is to amend the constitution. I'd actively campaign for its passage. I bet we would get a better congress than our current system does.

Posted by: baldinho | August 7, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I never have leftover bar soap. When the bar gets too small to use easily, I just stick it onto the new bar while both bars are wet & softened. They fuse together.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 7, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

*discreetly calling those nice young men in their clean white coats for a certain Boodler who needs more sleep, obviously* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 7, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, assuming you are talking about me.... if you think of how my silly idea works.... it works more efficiently to collect the money to run our government, and from people willing to pay.

NH has two house seats. There are about 1.3 million or so people in NH. Let's assume there are about 600,000 registered voters, so about 300,000 voters are in each house district. In order to win, you need to convince people, places or things to give you 2.25 billion. That is close to $10,000 per voter. Obviously, most voters won't give you that much. What does that figure represent? The debt per capita we have built up since the last election. To get the $10,000 per head, the candidate will have to shake down businesses or the wealthy or whatnot. Bottom line is they have to get backing for $2.25 billion. If that means the oil industry or Goldman Sachs ends up giving 5 billion dollars to help pay for 10 or more seats, so be it. They bought them fair and square, and their money will be duly noted and available between "election night" and the certification.

The businesses will face the same choice they do now: how much money is it worth to me to influence who is in Congress? The difference with my method is that if the peope they put in Congress cut them huge breaks and run the country into the ditch, the cost to keep their legislative friends in place goes up.

If they get sweetheart deals, their opponents will form different coalitions of the willing to knock those people out. All the while, the deficit gets paid down... by the people willing to pay to get their folks in congress.

People don't have to give a nickel. If they don't, they have to live with the consequences. People can make unlimited donations if they so choose. It is their choice.

This would be the true free market election system.

Will 100,000 people be wililng to give $1000 to make up for $100 million from Warren Buffett or Bill Gates? Would the "donors" start to enact pressure to force spending down or income taxes up to cut the cost of each seat? Will all those cheap people in New Hampshire get mad that their representatives are completely paid for by corporations from Europe or wealthy land barons from California? Getting mad is one thing, but coming up with the dough to buy back their respresentatives is another.

Will all the seats be paid for by the wealthy, so that their taxes are cut and taxes on the less fortunate are raised? If so, all those less fortunate people would be able to cough up the dough in the election to pay for folks that would cut their taxes. Could they collectively outbid the rich? Maybe not, if they don't here is the silver lining: all that money the rich aren't paying in taxes they now have to pay in the election! Either way, the debt gets paid.

This is the perfect system. Open and honest. Or, open and dishonest. Either way it is open and results in fiscal solvency.

Posted by: baldinho | August 7, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I only call the white coats when soap's being abused, of course... ;-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 7, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Trying so, so hard not to make a dropped soap joke.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 7, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

baldinho, it never occurred me to doubt that my remark was the reference there. Among other things, I was 'boodling far later than you last night/this morning.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 7, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I heart Jason Linkins on the Huffington Post:

He's also written a piece about BP and its flow estimates:

Oh, and Joel was on the Diane Rehm show again Thursday.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 7, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I got tired of buying shaving cream years ago, so my dad bought me a shaving kit - basically a brush and cup - and I toss the little vanishing bars of soap in the cup. Works well.

I'm scratching my head over Rainforest's mystery fruit. Plum?

Off to the Health Food Store soon for sesame seeds. Homemade burger buns to make. The ones in the regular store are WAY too expensive. I will look for cider while there. In gallon glass jugs. I doubt even any cold-storage apples have been crushed lately. I typo'ed my yeast recommendation yesterday. It's "Saffale 05." The 04 was intriguing but wacky: it tasted funky after 4 weeks but after leaving it in the fridge an extra 3 weeks I re-tasted it before tossing it and it had turned into a real nice cider beverage. Still wondering about that. Some use Champagne yeast; it makes a dry brew easily, handling high sugar content, and sparkles easier but the taste isn't there.

North Carolina is known for its moonshine but I talk to the old-timers and start asking about how long to flame the inside of the oak barrels and they look at me like I'm daft. I'd say they were in the fuel business, in that case.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 7, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

The Nikka Yuko garden at Lethbridge, Alberta looks wonderful, especially considering the climate. There's some very hardy maples from the Amur region that might be filling in for the usual Japanese maples.

Thinking of plants, it looks as though such a hardy maple that I planted in Wyoming many years ago is still there, sort of shrub sized, and a birch at another spot has thrived. The things you can find on Google Street View.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 7, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

This has probably already been addressed, but Entenpfuhl said of Fuji apples: "... they're large and solid red outside, and inside they're white." He also described them a s bland and flavorless.

Dude, which Fuji apples are you eating? The Fuji's that I get from the fruit stand at work are red-green striped on the outside, with a decently thick (but not armored) skin, with a tangy flavor and floral scent when I bite into them. They're wonderful apples. The Fuji's at my local grocery store are significantly inferior, with the sole advantage that they are for sale every day instead of just Thursdays like the fruit stand at work (run by folks who also sell fruit at the Takoma Park Farmers' Market). The skin and texture of the ones at the store are more like Macintosh, the cheap doxy of apples -- desirable for a moment, and enjoyable enough, but not suited to a long-term commitment. The flesh of the Fuji's that I get is faintly green

That said, I treasure the variety of apples. The sweet lightness of Elstars. The rich and heady flavor of Cortlands. The sour verve of Nittanies.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 7, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

There's a Nittany apple? Not surprising, but they don't seem to migrate long distances.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 7, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Not familiar at all with Fuji apples, will have to look for them. Elstars or Nittanies either. I do love a good Granny Smith apple.

It occurs to me that my preferred choice of apple is most often used for cooking than eating - probably because I prefer a tarter taste and less juicy.

I also recall an apple from a friends orchard with a green and brown skin, a little bit ruff (similar to an asian pear), but do not recall the name, definitely and older and now out of favour variety.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 7, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I think that must be one of the Russet family of apples, dmd. We don't get them here, but they are a favourite of mine.

Posted by: Yoki | August 7, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Not that I'm suggesting this particular technique for locating them, but you can't swing a dead cat in the agricultural produce section of a retail establishment near my home with upsetting a pile of Fuji apples.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 7, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

"Without upsetting", darn it!

Posted by: Bob-S | August 7, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

The stupendous head-exploding glory of Mutsu's!

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 7, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

*redialing the nice young men once again* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 7, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

And in sports news, apparently the Great Haynesworth Kerfuffle has subsided, with Mr. Extra-Large Defensive Linesman having finally passed his conditioning test:

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 7, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Tim - I was once chastised (in Georgia, in the 1970's, of all times and places) for calling a Crispin apple a Mutsu.

I pointed out that it must be the same apple I'd eaten in Japan as a child. I was assured that I was incorrect. I wasn't.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 7, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Let's see, from memory here is a list of the apple varieties that show up at the fruit stand at various times:

Fuji (with a sign that says: "Our #1 favorite!")
Staymen and winesap (two closely-related varieties, I believe)
Granny Smith
Golden Delicious
Red Delicious (with a sign that says: "America's favorite eating apple. We don't know why.")
Pink Lady (always priced about 5% more than the others).

That's all that I can think of, right now.

I have been told that the Cortland and Baldwin are supreme pie apples. My experience with the Cortland is that the flavor is stupendous but it loses all structure when cooked. I like to use a mix of Cortlands and Mutsu or Fuji in my pies, so that I will have firm apple slices mixed in with a matrix of sauce. I have never seen nor knowingly tasted a Baldwin, but I dream it will be an experience like unto the discovery that sexuality is not a solitary activity. Exactly the same, but totally different, and far more enjoyable.

Long-term cold storage is being unfairly dissed. I have talked with the fruit stand guys, and it is a lot more sophisticated than merely putting apples in a big fridge for a while. The apples are held in an atmosphere of cold nitrogen with controlled humidity. No oxygen, and the decay-signalling hydrocarbons (ethylene, in particular, I believe) are removed so that the apples are in essentially suspended animation -- no rotting, no over-ripening, no drying. Breaking the seal on the cold-storage facility means a sudden influx of apples on the market. The big fruit-packers rent most of the space, then sub-let to the small producers/distributors. When the big guys decide to open a storage facility, they give the little guys very little warning that they need to come get their apples and get them onto the market.

Odd fruit trivia: Bill Amend, who draws the comic strip "FoxTrot," is a cousin-by-marriage of the fruit farm/fruit stand owners.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 7, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Scotty - Did you notice my helpful contribution (somewhere back around 11:00 A.M.) to the wise commentary at that Haynesworth blog entry?

If you hadn't already, you may safely trust me when I say that it's not worth the effort to dig it up.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 7, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I have seen Crispins (they should have been on my list). A smallish apple, green of hue -- almost pastel, if I recall it rightly. They are not Mustus, or at least, they are unlike the Mutsus to which I have been exposed. The Mutsu is a gargantuan green monster of an apple, larger than a softball, larger than a grapefruit -- a one-pound apple. Marvelous tart flavor, less acid than Granny Smith and a more-developed apple flavor, but marred by the fact that it is so big that you actually get over-full before you can finish eating the apple.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 7, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Yoki | August 7, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I strongly suspect that pome variety labels can be somewhat... suspect.

I'm life-bettingly certain that the apple presented to me on more than one occasion as a "Crispin" (quite large, yellow-green, dense-crispy but still very juicy) was the same critter as the Mushu apples I ate in Japan.

But at a different time & place, the labels would probably have changed. As a bartender, I was astounded by the variety of ingredients included in different establishments' offerings of a beverage popularly called, "Sex on the Beach".

Posted by: Bob-S | August 7, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Yoki - I'm nearing physical pain. I read through that "Red Eye" diary twice, and laughed harder with each successive panel.


Posted by: Bob-S | August 7, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

SciTim, around here Northern Spies were always the apple of choice for cooking, very firm texture, tart, that hold up well when cooked.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 7, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I eat Braeburns. Oh yes.

from a website:
"Everyone measured out one cup of white flour from the same bag, using their usual measuring technique. When we weighed each cupful on my kitchen scale we found they ranged from 127 to 148 grams. That’s a difference of up to 15%."

I was wondering about this. In any case I began weighing my bread ingredients because I couldn't bake worth a hoot. Now I'm pretty good. BTW the sesame seeds were cheaper by a factor of about x20. About $5 for 5 tbs. at the regular store.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 7, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, was of course correct, it was a Russet I was thinking of, thought that the name but wondered if it was a potato name not an apple.

Local apples list in the link, have had most of these.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 7, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Scottynuke, if you think that the Haynesworth drama's over, well, I'll bet ya a BPH cheeseburger it isn't. One chapter may be winding down, but there's surely another in store.

Be willing to wager that he's not on the Washington NFL franchise active roster by the end of the regular season, too.

Speaking of Boodlers gatherings, I hope the HdG BPLuncheon was a smashing success.


Posted by: -bc- | August 7, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Weighing flour is an improvement over dry-volume measurement. But the professionals and the old folks will point out that even that method can't account for moisture-absorption variance, fine differences amongst different flour grinds, or any number of subtleties that end up making the difference between good & great.

I'm pretty sure that anybody can become a pretty good baker (I've sometimes pulled some tasty stuff out of my own oven!) with a good set of instructions, attention to detail, and a decent set of tools.

Becoming a great baker probably requires so much repetition that you can eventually trust your gut to ignore any particular rule of thumb when the situation warrants. No shortcuts down that path, I'd guess.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 7, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

This is why I don't enjoy baking and don't very often bake. It is chemistry where precision counts, and I cook more by the seat of my pants.

Posted by: Yoki | August 7, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

To tie everything together, I went to the site of a local apple orchard/pie producer/entertainment farm.

Noted under Nothern Spy apples - Good for cider!

Posted by: dmd3 | August 7, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Yoki - Don't taunt me so! Himself might be annoyed by my thoughts when you waggle the seat of your pants thusly.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 7, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Tony Judt, one of my favourite authors and historians, has died.

I had been hoping for at least a few more of his memories, which he published in the NY Review of Books. No more, sigh.

Posted by: gmbka | August 7, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Noble big dog head
blocks off oven modesty
from anal cleansers


Er. SCC malapropism? No.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 7, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Too much subtext, dog!
This isn't a canine audience;
butt talk's a no-no.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 7, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I remember Ezra Kleins's piece in December ( because I'd been reading Judt's most recent book, and the recent stuff with (and about) Judt & son:


I know it's selfish (and intellectually & emotionally dishonest, because I don't believe a a word of it) to say this, but I'm kinda glad I didn't know Tony Judt better, because I guess I'd rather not have to miss him more than I do already.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 7, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

So what should we call this?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 7, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

A temblor has to subside before the aftershock, bc, does it not? :-)

And I also hope the HdG BPH has provided at least the minimum daily allowance of hilarity.

And for a moment I thought the Bucs had started the NFL preseason early -- Toronto 17, Tampa Bay 11 is your MLB final. *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 7, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod - Sounds to me like "Grapefruit-juicy Fruit" might work. We'd probably have to get Jimmy Buffett to sign off, but he seems pretty easy to work with.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 7, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Scotty - I'm not convinced that "temblor" is synonymous with "mainshock", which seems to be your implication. But I'm perfectly willing to seek out (or lazily await) input from better-informed sources.

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

OED and Miriam Webster both define temblor as "earthquake" with no qualification.

Posted by: Yoki | August 7, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I find myself tembling in anticipation, Yoki.

I used to like to bake (and, of course, eat what I baked), and got pretty good at it. I particularly liked the feel of the dough and knew when it was "just right." Generally, I don't pay much attention to recipes, but look them over for ideas, mainly. Just throw stuff in and see what happens.

Posted by: ftb3 | August 7, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Temblors make me tremble but rumbles make me fumble. Quakes make me shake.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 7, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Cute, Jumper. You made me smile.

Posted by: Yoki | August 7, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

I use Granny Smiths in my apple pies because I like them a little on the tart size. I forget what our current eating apple of choice is because it tends to change. I just know it's not Red Delicious which are way too grainy and bland. Another typical example of the American predilection for size and color at the expense of taste and texture.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 7, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

I sure wish that I had written this, which better conveys what I actually meant:
" out (or lazily await) input from sources better-informed than me."

As a general rule, I find most contributors here to be pretty well-informed. Often intimidatingly so. The reason I occasionally stay up so late is because you gotta get up pretty early in the morning to sneak one by the 'boodle! And even then, a few pickets are posted as impediments to impetuous inanity.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 7, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

But we love inanity, fatuous remarks (especially about gardening) and gratuitous goofiness! Goodness knows, if profundity, intelligence or relevance were required, I'd've been drummed out years ago.

Posted by: Yoki | August 7, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

I certainly enjoyed the HdG BPH and thought there was an acceptable level of hilarity. However, it being my first, I cannot judge if it falls within the usual levels expected.

I suspect the high level of beautiful beaded jewelry was unusual, though. Thanks for sharing, Moose! :)

Posted by: MoftheMountain | August 7, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Ack! Bob-S, I didn't mean to imply that your comments are inane, fatuous or irrelevant, only my own.

Posted by: Yoki | August 7, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

y-jkt: I can only dream that the American predilection for size and color will eventually lead to something more interesting than banal offerings like "Real Housewives..." and "Jersey Shore".

Flipping through the cable TV offerings while waiting for the start of a show, I chanced upon "The Real L-Word".

I hate to ruin the suspense for anyone, but the word is "lesbian", and the apparent intent of this series is to demonstrate that lesbians' lives are just as boringly mundane as "real" people's lives. It succeeds brilliantly.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 7, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm very sad to hear of Tony Judt's death. He was only 62. I very much liked reading his work in the New York Review and have a copy of Postwar that I will get to. Thanks gmbka and BobS. Sigh, indeed.

Posted by: -pj- | August 7, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

As a great fan of lesbian in general and the original scripted series 'The L-Word' in particular, 'The Real L-Word' is nearly unwatchable. I say 'nearly' because for some inexplicable reason I did watch a particular episode twice before arriving at that conclusion. I won't be making that mistake again.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 7, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Hilarity definitely ensued at the Havre de Grace BPH! What a lovely group of people. So nice to finally meet MoftheMountain and welcome her into the IRL version of the boodle.

In attendance: MoftheMountain, dbG, Moose, CollegequaParkian, rickoshea (nee Maggie O'D), TBG and yellojkt.

A fun drive up from College Park in the Ladymobile with Moose, CqP and rickoshea, too. What a great way to spend a beautiful summer Saturday!

Posted by: -TBG- | August 7, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

As civil twilight became nautical, I noted that la mujer araña buena is hard at work creating her nocturnal edifice. As always, a swipe along the deck rail indicates that she's (just barely) respecting my space. This relationship may work out after all.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 7, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Excellent company, good lunch, totally worth the hours of bumper-to-bumper going home. Happy Moose shared her mad jewelry skillz with us!

September? Same town, different place?

Posted by: -dbG- | August 7, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

OK.. here's a question for my learned friends here...

Dr. G noticed a sentenced used in a cricket game he was watching today:

"A hard pitch, this."

He wants to know... is this a proper sentence that doesn't have a verb?

Posted by: -TBG- | August 7, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

So frenvious of the BPH! Any pics? Funny stories?

I hadn't heard of Tony Judt - thanks for the links, Bob S. I remain impressed by Ezra Klein.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 7, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

My pictures of Munich are up. They aren't quite as scenic as the other cities because I spent so much of the day drinking beer. A liter of Radler at Augustiner Beer Gardens and a liter of beer at Hofbrauhaus and then another half liter of wheat beer at the Greek tavern near our hotel. Not bad for one day.

But we did see the famous Munich surfers:

Posted by: yellojkt | August 7, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

I should probably wait for bia or LA Lurker or others more knowledgeable - but in spoken English, and probably most languages, yes. That's why non-native speakers often sound stilted and formal - you have to learn when to let the "properness" go. Written language usually remains more formal, but as we've seen with blogs, email, etc the language is much closer to spoken. And then there's texting. Srsly.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 7, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

We had a great ladies' day out at Havre de Grace. My only regret was that I had to dash away from the charming company of six such wonderful women to pick my wife up at the airport. Here is the only photographic evidence of the event:

At least two people were willing to be seen with me.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 7, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

I believe you mean your "wonderful, beautiful and understanding wife", yellojkt. Great picture!

Posted by: seasea1 | August 7, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

I've now met Mrs. yj twice, and it goes without saying.

Posted by: Yoki | August 7, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Those adjectives and more go without saying. I am very happy that both of us are back at home.

While in Atlanta, she ate at a Cuban restaurant, a pizza place with 1100 degree pizza ovens and no plates (paper or otherwise), and a Korean tacqueria. She also treated our son to a full service shave and haircut at a rather metrosexual Midtown barber shop since his hair had not seen scissors since May.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 7, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

I'll hook my car onto seasea's train - I deeply regret the unseemly earthiness of the following line, but must ask TBG (or Dr. G) if the following seems proper. Feel free to insert the raised brow and/or half-wink where appropriate:

"A nicely-turned leg, that."

(Sometimes discussions of furniture turn just a bit bawdy!)

Anyway, it's certainly not a usage I'd wish to champion for formal academic/business publication, but it's most definitely a usage with a long & distinguished history in less-constrained forms.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 7, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Ummm... Did somebody imply that "since May" is a long interval between haircuts?

Posted by: Bob-S | August 7, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

My wife thought so. She posted before and after pictures of the back of his head on her Facebook page. The before picture really wasn't so bad. It was a thick and full with quite a wave and some subtle red highlights. I think it was mostly envy on her part. That said, the after was quite nice. And at that price it had better have been.

He did quite enjoy the hot towel and straight razor shave. My wife says I'm getting one when we go down for homecoming. Who am I to argue?

Posted by: yellojkt | August 7, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm too lazy to get a proper haircut very often, but I do looove the pampering.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 7, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

I haven't had my hair cut since May either. It was Memorial Day, but still...I hate getting my hair cut, so I always wait too long. I plan to get it cut tomorrow.

Interesting article about texting vs phone calls, which we have talked about before:

I need to email my kid, who has gone incommunicado since mid-May.

On the subject of baby names - how about Bob Loblaw? Not sure why I thought about that, but it cracks me up every time.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 7, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

So glad everyone had fun at the lunch, wish I could have been there.

Scotty the topic of that Jays game came up tonight when we were at dinner with our friends. Wonderful dinner with perhaps the best fresh corn on the cob I have ever consumed - peaches and cream corn - so fresh and sweet it melted in your mouth, no butter or salt required just pure enjoyment = the steak was pretty good too. And a selection of berries to top off the meal.

My children have arrived at Jasper and have discover a) all the elk and b) that summer in the mountains is not quite the same as summer at home, eldest remarked "OMG it is summer and I had to buy jeans"

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

Bob Loblaw is the true name by which each of us is known to the great babbling spirit above.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 7, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Wish you'd been there too, dmd.

There was this dessert called "Lemon Lust." :)

Posted by: -dbG- | August 7, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Bob Loblaw. Betty and Bobby Blobby, lost in the Lobby.

Posted by: Yoki | August 7, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Seems like the HgGLuncheon was fun for all.

yellojkt, I'm not sure I had a haircut during the first Reagan Administration. I'd call it not having had one since May (of this year?) "reasonably normal," given yelloJr's age and situation.

And I'll still go three months between cuts during the wintertime. Well, given my hair, it's not so much a cut as a truncated sheep shearing. But it's a great insulator during those Snowmageddons, y'know?

But that's just me.

Had a straight razor shave with the full warm towel treatment once, and I liked it well enough once I got over watching someone repeatedly take a blade to my throat.

But not as much as I enjoy a top-notch professional pedicure. Sure keeps the dogs from barkin' so much after longer runs -- for a few weeks anyway.


Posted by: -bc- | August 8, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Some light links:

Comic con cakes...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 8, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

This one was really too good to keep off the boodle....

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 8, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Now this is a Christmas card idea...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 8, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

LMAO. That catalog one is hilarious.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | August 8, 2010 12:48 AM | Report abuse

I was quietly enjoying "Catalog Living" until I got to this one, when I woke up a sleeping person by laughing out loud...

Posted by: Bob-S | August 8, 2010 1:11 AM | Report abuse

More, a lot more about Tony Judt:

Yello, I enjoyed your pictures, but I was surprised not to see any of the numerous baroque churches. I suppose they were drowned. Munich beer gardens are unique in that many of them allow their guests to bring their own food. The tables are marked by not having a table cloth. After 5 pm you can see families, groups of friends or office teams moving in and setting the tables, with their own table clothes, china, eating utensils and food. You have to order the beer, though. This makes for an interesting and very enjoyable mix of guests.

I cannot identify your tower picture without caption, but I laughed out loud about the change of decoration in the Hofbraeuhaus. Munich was the birthplace of the (Nazi) "movement" after all, and there are special tours covering the atrocities of that period. Now it is social democratic, like most big cities in Germany, although Bavaria is rather conservative, especially in the South.

I am grateful for seasea's comment on the writing stile of non-native speakers like me. Yes, all we can do is trying to get the grammar and spelling right.

Posted by: gmbka | August 8, 2010 1:12 AM | Report abuse

summer wanes. nearly finished tiling the shower, need to do grout and sheetrock the exterior walls. wrestled with a shelving unit designed for an existing closet. since our home lacks closets, with the exception of 1 down and 3 up, basically broom closets, i fabricated a wall, and fashioned an open closet sans top and front. sadly, we lost a student to an automobile accident this afternoon. *sigh*

Posted by: -jack- | August 8, 2010 1:14 AM | Report abuse

Bob, here's where I completely lost it:

Posted by: MoftheMountain | August 8, 2010 1:33 AM | Report abuse

Jumper, not plums. Plums don’t grow in these parts. We get different varieties of plums imported from different countries and that something apple doesn't resemble a plum, stone or flesh. I won’t be surprised if the tree has plum genes in it.

Posted by: rainforest1 | August 8, 2010 1:57 AM | Report abuse

gmbka, no, no, no - I didn't even know you aren't an English-as-first-language person! I was speaking from my attempts to learn other languages, and about learning to speak colloquially, rather than sticking with proper forms and full sentences. Because spoken language is so different from written language - we speak in fragments. That's all. I've studied quite a few languages, but at this point, could not string together a thought in anything but English - and you see how that goes. Tell us more about where you're from (without going beyond what you want in a public forum).

Posted by: seasea1 | August 8, 2010 2:14 AM | Report abuse

Don't read this, yello...

Catalogliving is indeed chuckle-worthy.

And speaking of "is," would that not be the implied verb in the "blah bla blah, that?" structure?

One might wonder why I'm so stuck on a regular haircut schedule. I certainly do.

*not-really-looking-forward-to-prepping-the-basement-for-tomorrow's-furnace-tech-visit-but-oh-well Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 8, 2010 6:49 AM | Report abuse


Thanks for that very accurate description of beer garden etiquette. They are very large picnic grounds where outside food is allowed. We were there pretty early in the day, but we saw several large groups her families bringing in huge rolling coolers and the like. But the food they served was awesome. I was trying to keep my carbs liquid, but I had a great pretzel. Our guide said to put cream cheese on it, but I ended up using some other cheese because I didn't see the booth with cream cheese in time.

They had very good sausages (as you would expect) but the ribs were just out of this world. Nobody was daring enough to try the smoked fish.

And as you said, the beer had to be bought there. Since the sun was barely over the yardarm, I had a liter of radler, a 50-50 or sometimes 60-40 mix of beer and lemonade that is very refreshing on a hot summer day.

There are three churches in the center city area but I didn't get into any of them. The Frauenkirche had one tower completely wrapped is scaffolding, so it wasn't very photogenic., but here is a picture with of the two towers:

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2010 6:51 AM | Report abuse

I have an uncle that lives in Arlington. I will have to get his take on this nutcase. There have been other cities where bike lanes have been vociferously protested on much the same grounds. I just want cars to share the road.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Indeed, yello... I have some experience with (irrationally) principled opposition to worthwhile projects. *eye roll*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 8, 2010 7:13 AM | Report abuse

It's bugging me greatly that I cannot accurately identify this church that I took a picture from the outskirts of Munich:

It's not showing up in my guidebook or in any Google image searches because I don't know what to search for.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

SCC: I have an uncle WHO lives in Arlington...

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Hello all.

There is a wonderful discussion available with Bill McKibben that I would recommend if you happen to have a nour and a half. I was working before I head off to the farmers market and (related topic) I was listening to this show and found it amazing. I really think that this guy can connect with folks who just don't buy in on the climate change challenge. Beyond that, he connects the dots on the social issues that are related. Back at 2!

ps. I think that this is a wonderful discussion especially based on the fact that Joel has spent so many hours recently covering the BP disaster in the Gulf.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 8, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

And in the "Yeah, THAT'LL Work" Dept:

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 8, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Morning, Scotty. The bike lane Don Quixote is just another example of the "enough!" crowd. I bet he figures that why should we do something to help the other guy all the time.

I don't know enough about the stretch of road that Arlington wants to add bike lanes to. Is there a big destination or two that most of the bikers would go to that they don't now?

I have attended a few training sessions that dealt with this process... changing severe, unfriendly urban streets to be more accommodating for pedestrians and bicyclists.

When done properly everything works better... the separation of the cars from the bikes from the people prevents slowing due to mixing and confusion. It is rare to install such a system....Say taking an 8-lane road with narrow shoulders into a six-lane road with no shoulders, a raised island separating a bike lane and then a widened tree-lined sidewalk for the peds.

If you can't get a "perfect" situation, the tradeoff is the slowing down of auto traffic... typically where the bicyclists and pedestrians are to be. You get narrowing of lanes near bump-outs of the curb at intersections. You get narrower auto lanes to make up for the adjacent bike lane.

When you don't get a good setup, the arguments that Don Quixote makes can be legitimate..... for automobile users that don't want to change their driving habits.

Posted by: baldinho | August 8, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Yello, I tried to read the street signs on the photo of the unidentified church in order to find out where you were, but my old eyes fail me. Can you get a less blurred resolution?

Posted by: gmbka | August 8, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I read an amusing comment at an "On Faith" piece about Julia Roberts' revelation that she's a practicing Hindu:

"I can't imagine what caring about this might feel like."

Definitively dismissive, that!

Posted by: Bob-S | August 8, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Hm. I guess I'm guilty of non-verb sentences as well.

I'll blame it on all of the the UK-sourced motor press materials I read.


Posted by: -bc- | August 8, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Related to absolutely nothing, I think this was kind of cool...

Posted by: -TBG- | August 8, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Sentence fragment. Use 'em all the time. No big deal. So, no, not a "proper sentence." Not like anyone cares, though.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 8, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Such a quiet Sunday Boodle.

Music news: Weezer has a new CD that will be released on September 14. That's good news.

Posted by: Yoki | August 8, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse


a good friend in Munich helped you out: the un-named church is St. Paul, right next to the Oktoberfest area.

Posted by: gmbka | August 8, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Turns out that my mother has been incorrectly using "the worm turns" for years. Who knew?

Also, reheated soft pretzels are a yummy breakfast. :D

Posted by: MoftheMountain | August 8, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

MoftheM... What did Mr. Mountain think when you came home with the evidence of meeting your imaginary friends?

Posted by: -TBG- | August 8, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Nice to know at long last why Bob's your uncle.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 8, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

He was completely nonchalant. His response was "I'm glad you had a nice lunch," and then he ate a pretzel.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | August 8, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I mean, I guess it's good that he has the confidence in me to not do anything stupid, but I'm not sure what to make of that.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | August 8, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

'Tis almost certainly a good thing.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 8, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I'm not worried or concerned or whatever, just more surprised/bemused. :)

Posted by: MoftheMountain | August 8, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Can you expand on that, MoftheM? What is the source of that bemusement?

Posted by: Yoki | August 8, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse


Thanks. That is the one. I've updated the caption.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Oh my. While on a walk through the local area, I included an excursion into the nearby woods, and just ran across a young neighbor engaged in some private sport with a lad who's definitely not the same young gent I've seen occasionally squiring her about. She looked distinctly uncomfortable to have been noticed.

Ahh, the energy of the youths on a warm afternoon. I hope it works out OK for everybody involved.

I also some some frogs and turtles. Even they seemed taken aback by the spectacle.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 8, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

My day is good:

Good day with the kids, I see that Montoya won at the Glen, and the NFL Preseason starts tonight at 8. Looking forward to seeing a slice of Russ Grimm's speech - didn't get to catch it yesterday. Caught some of Jerry Rice, though (ahem).

Have a good evening, folks.


Posted by: -bc- | August 8, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

...also "saw" some frogs & turtles. You probably figured that out for yourselves.

They were not comporting themselves so vigorously.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 8, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I can have no respect the opinion that playing football in this weather is a good idea.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 8, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I was out mowing lawns and pruning mold-spotted grape vines.

This summer has been tough for lawns. I read in the NYTimes that golf courses all over are having their greens die. My lawn is a mishmash of crabgrass and moss. Much of the moss, which my in-laws grudgingly praise, in that it stays green all the time, is now brown and crusty.

Hot weather, to stress moss like that.

Posted by: baldinho | August 8, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

That idiom website is very useful. As a very poor linguist, I do know that just learning the vocabulary of foreign language is useless unless you also learn the idioms.

Some American ones are pretty obscure. I like the logic behind "chip on one's shoulder":

///Definition: feelings of imagined inferiority or grievance often leading to aggressive or antisocial behaviour

Example: She’s had a bit of a chip on her shoulder since the divorce, and I can hardly blame her.
(Note Originally American, apparently from the frontier practice of young men balancing a chip of wood on their shoulder as an open challenge to their macho fellows to knock it off.)///

That phrase always reminds me of the old Robert Conrad battery commercials:

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Did the winner at Watkins say "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed me father. Prepare to die."

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I have a neighbor (no, not that one!) who has occasional battles with the dreaded "Grounds Committee" over the fact that the drainage and available sunlight in her front yard are much more conducive to a thin (but usually eye-catchingly verdant) crop of moss than to any significant amount of grass.

They're wrong, she's right, and no matter how many times the argument occurs, they'll keep losing. They once spent a good bit of money (which they intended to recoup from her if it worked) paying a landscape service to force grass to grow in her yard. Nope, it died at the first available opportunity. Some rules aren't applicable in all situations, and it's silly to keep trying.

It's certainly theoretically possible for her to grow a lush crop of grass, after she and one of her neighbors remove the trees & shrubbery, and the slope of the yard is completely changed by a drastic landscaping effort. But what's the point?

Posted by: Bob-S | August 8, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

More reasons for me to never take up golf:

"Shooting 18-over par is not fun," Woods said. "I don't see how it can be fun shooting 18 over."

If shooting 18 over after 4 rounds is no fun, my game would be equivalent to one of the lower levels of Hades.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

And Yello... Son of G worked all day yesterday and today so that folks can get away Scot-free!

//get away with something scot-free

Meaning: succeed in some action without penalty

Example: Society will break down if hardened criminals are allowed to get away with their crimes scot-free.

(Note: A ‘scot’ was a medieval municipal tax, so the term really means something like ‘tax-free’.)//

Posted by: -TBG- | August 8, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

See you, boodle.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 8, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

And have we discussed here the recurring newspaper prop?

Posted by: -TBG- | August 8, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

One time, and one time only, I've shot about 90 for a round of golf where the score was kept rigorously. That would be have been about 18 over par. For one round. On a famously easy course. In the hackers' world, that's called "bogey golf" [i.e. - averaging one stroke over par on each hole] and is considered to be one of the defining lines between utter cluelessness and mere incompetence.

I was ecstatic, and the people with whom I was playing were proud of and happy for me, and bought me celebratory drinks afterward. (Although I'll note that I was still expected to pay a couple of losing sidebets!)

Tiger and I, obviously, approach the game differently.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 8, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

See you, too, Wilbrod!!


Posted by: Bob-S | August 8, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

And raise you a BobDog.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 8, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Yep Baldinho, "S" mowed the lawn today in record time (30 min. on riding mower) because he never had to stop to empty the clippings. Most of the from lawn is brown, no matter how much I try to bring it back, it won't wake up. But the veggies and flowers are more important to keep watered so...

ftb, we're going to see "The Girl Who Played with Fire" tonight. I can't remember if you've seen it yet. I'll report back on how it compares with the book and with the first movie.

Bob S., you live an interesting life ;-)

Posted by: badsneakers | August 8, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

My parents just got back from a long vacation in the Maritime Provinces which included a stop in Monkton, New Brunswick for some genealogy research. It seems I have ancestors that are both Horsman and MacLains (but not MacLeods, so I'm not an Immortal) and that my great great grandmother moved to Massachusetts to marry, making me 1/16 Canadian.

I know that if you are 1/16th of certain tribes you qualify for casino money. What does being 1/16 Canucki get me?

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

One critic (NYT?) commented that "Played With Fire" had somewhat less needless violence than "Dragon Tattoo". I think I agree that the second movie is a slicker job, but still has trouble with explaining motivations. Lisbeth Salander is shortchanged in both movies.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 8, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

From one Canuck to another - Moncton :-)

Posted by: dmd3 | August 8, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

You can have all of New Brunswick, so long as you promise to take it home with you.

Posted by: Yoki | August 8, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

I have no idea what you just said. I am so out of touch with my heritage.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Just teasing yello, if you want to claim a share of nationality spell the home town correctly.

1/16th Canadian guarantees that should you become famous we would claim you as part Canadian - other than that - you are entitled to nothing.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 8, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

yello, pick up any novel by David Adams Richards, and you will understand completely.

Posted by: Yoki | August 8, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Enjoy the movie, Sneaks. I haven't seen it yet (and might not, as I can't get anybody to see it with me -- I'll wait for the DVDs from Sweden). As you know, from reading all three books, the second one acts as a sort of prequel, by plumbing the depths (if you will) of Salander. The third book wraps it all up. That being said, I think Noomi Rapace (the actress who plays Salander) does a more-than-magnificent-job. I cannot fathom who will play her in the Hollywood version.

But I'm eagerly waiting for your review yanno.

So, I don't know about you guys, but I'm more than ready to be buried by a blizzard or two or three. It's supposed to get up into the hellish regions on the thermometer this week, and I'm hoping that the air conditioner continues to work.

*muttering expletives about Mother Nature's sense of humor*

Grrrrr. *snort*

Posted by: ftb3 | August 8, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Bob-S | August 8, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about that last one, it should to be ignored. It was a test, but identifying it as such would have ruined the test.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 8, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Wonderful movies, good series. There are non-MacLeods who are Immortals, though.

Are the MacLain's related to, you know, Bruce Willis?

MotM, happy that worked out for you. I know TBG freezes them. As a native, I'm spoiled. In Ohio, there was a good German restaurant that cut them into chunks and deep-fried them. Not that anyone would do that here. . .

Posted by: -dbG- | August 8, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Wonderful movies, good series. There are non-MacLeods who are Immortals, though.

Are the MacLain's related to, you know, Bruce Willis?

MotM, happy that worked out for you. I know TBG freezes them. As a native, I'm spoiled. In Ohio, there was a good German restaurant that cut them into chunks and deep-fried them. Not that anyone would do that here. . .

Posted by: -dbG- | August 8, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Monkton, MD has Ladew Topiary Gardens.
Moncton, NB has the Magnetic Hill.

Got it.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

There is some timing issue, don't know if it's on my side or the WaPo's side, but it looks like if the post takes a millisecond too long to register, it's resent and posted twice.

Embarrassing when what you're writing isn't necessarily worth posting once!

Posted by: -dbG- | August 8, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

'Night, all!

Posted by: -dbG- | August 8, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Bob-S | August 8, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Bob -S-, my experience with golf is similar to my experience with being a sports fan. When I was younger, I played a lot and was very bad. I would struggle to break 100 when the score was kept closely. My effort to break 100 and then 95 would result in me just missing, and I would end up grumbling for the next couple days about the 2 or 3 or 4 shots that I had hit particularly badly.

After a while, I played less and turned the tables (reverse the position and gain the advantage
Example We lost the opening game, but we managed to turn the tables in the second round.
(Note From the idea of players reversing their position at a board game, and thus reversing their fortunes.).

Now, I rarely play, but when I do I shoot maybe a tick over 100. Instead of ranting about the 2 or 3 or 4 worst shots I hit, I tend to remember fondly the 2 or 3 or 4 best shots I hit. I have achieved some type of zen and the art of playing golf with a terrible baseball swing thing.

Sports fandom was the same. I was really involved in every game when I was younger. I was mad when they lost, crushed when they almost won the title (think 1980-2000 Red Sox or Patriots or Bruins). At some point I was broken. I didn't follow day to day. I was not emotionally invested. When the teams won, I was ecstatic, but in a personal way, not in a "go act crazy with other fans" way.

I like this way better.

Posted by: baldinho | August 8, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

I hear that Kate Plus 8 will appear in a crossover TLC thing on Sarah Palin's show soon.

My initial reaction is that this is at best the third most impressive crossover in TV history. I is certainly behind The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones, and I personally would put it behind The Globetrotters on Gilligans Island.

Posted by: baldinho | August 8, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

I hear that Kate Plus 8 will appear in a crossover TLC thing on Sarah Palin's show soon.

My initial reaction is that this is at best the third most impressive crossover in TV history. It is certainly behind The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones, and I personally would put it behind The Globetrotters on Gilligans Island.

Posted by: baldinho | August 8, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

So we can officially say TLC has jumped the shark, then? *SIGH*

Nytol! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 8, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

badsneaks - You'd think my life is interesting from some of these little tidbits, wouldn't you?

Alas, the tidbits are it. The whole thing. Nothing else. Blah, blah,...

Posted by: Bob-S | August 8, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else remember when Owen Marshal defended Marcus Welby, MD?

Posted by: -TBG- | August 8, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

I vaguely remember the Six Million Dollar Man teaming with the Bionic Woman to defeat Sasquatch. That could be a keeper, too. I gotta figure even if all three of those teamed up, the combo of the Palins and Kate and her Brood would wipe the floor with them.

Posted by: baldinho | August 8, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Is Sarah going to be teaming up with Kate, or hunting the kids?

Posted by: Bob-S | August 8, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Oh I think we can say it jumped that particular shock when they first put the most boring woman in America and her 8 kids on the air.

I think about freakishly large family shows the way Hank Stuever does about bakery shows (and the whole little-people-genre):

"The message is clear: There is no problem or anxiety today that cannot be seemingly soothed by joining an hour-long line to buy a trendy cupcake. It is rich in almost every sense of the word.

But really: TV shows, too? "D.C. Cupcakes," which premieres Friday night on TLC, joins a growing number of manic-bakery shows (some with dwarves, some without)"

Posted by: Yoki | August 8, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

As Joel McHale would say, I'm crying little chocolate tears.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 8, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

It may be the same thing, Bob-S.

Posted by: Yoki | August 8, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

yello, I don't think Juan Pablo said anything of the kind. His father's still around and I don't think he knows of the dread Pirate Roberts (though he does know Bernie Eccelstone).

The preseason game's already down to a large percentage of guys who are unlikely to be playing in September. I think the Bengals are going to have to come up with a modified game plan for this season. They have TO and Chad Ochocinco on the field as recivers together, but can only play with one football at a time. I think Carson Palmer's going to tape his helmet's earholes shut, because in every huddle he's probably going to hear lobbying and cajoling from both sides that he should throw them the ball because of how 'wide open' they are on every single play. Oy.

Goodnight, Wilbrod.


Posted by: -bc- | August 8, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Just back from the movie. It was great. Of course a lot of stuff in the book wasn't in the movie and a few things were sorta different, but we still enjoyed it. Altho' there is one scene where Lisbeth wears a Yankees sweatshirt and "S" was a bit upset about that. Of course the violence is tough to watch and the last scenes are especially difficult, but knowing what happens in the third book makes it a bit easier to take. It was also a longer movie than the first one (just about two hours running time).

ftb, a question about the Swedish language - I kept hearing some words that sounded similar to French and some that sounded German, what is the root of the language? I suppose I could look this up (and probably will) but knowing you speak it, I thought I'd get your expertise.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 8, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

I believe that Swedish has been determined to be a pastiche of the murmurings of Castor fiber, the mutterings of Lepus timidus, and the muted mouthings of mis-placed Murmanskers.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 8, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Gee Bob, that's exactly what Wiki said!

Posted by: badsneakers | August 8, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

If only it were that easy to master!

Posted by: Yoki | August 8, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

It's been a while since I took the class. Possibly, I've mis-remembered.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 8, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Where is everyone?

Posted by: Yoki | August 8, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Mad Men. I loved that bit at 11:30, when the previous sister-in-law said, "you are just a man in a room with cheque-book." And Don Draper acted stricken.

Posted by: Yoki | August 8, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

We're around. Just getting ready for Mad Men

Posted by: bh72 | August 8, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh gawd. I just put up a spoiler. Ignore, please.

Posted by: Yoki | August 8, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

I like "Tunnelbana"

The first rain in a month brought things back to life. Toads everywhere.

The local shack that look like a George Booth carton from the New Yorker had a noisy generator running outside. No idea whether this represents an effort to save money (electricity is expensive locally) or the result of service being cut off.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 8, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Yoki !

Posted by: bh72 | August 8, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | August 8, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

ScienceKid#2 and I and Friend-of-SK2 (aka BookSellerKid#2) are all back from a Bare Naked Ladies concert. We had a great time! It was AWESOME!

Time to go to bed, now. Work tomorrow.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 8, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Man complains about having to exist on shish

Posted by: bh72 | August 8, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

sushi ?

Posted by: bh72 | August 9, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

And he and his companions were a minimum of 133 years-old, at the time.

Apparently age does not equate with wisdom.

Posted by: Yoki | August 9, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

went water skiing this afternoon. don't remember the last time i did this. wobbly. didn't spill until i tried to set an edge, as if in snow. aotk. one of the hazards of the sport is the distinct possibility of a speed enema.

Posted by: -jack- | August 9, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | August 9, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Half the skill in any "speed" sport is knowing how to fall, right jack? :-)

Monday already... *SIGHHHHHHHHHH*

*reluctantly-heading-for-the-Dawn-Patrol Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 9, 2010 5:12 AM | Report abuse

From WaPoMag this weekend:

Sometimes hitting the 'send' button too early actually makes somebody feel better.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 9, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, and happy Monday.

Where is everybody?

Gonna be a hot week around here, I think I'll stay inside. We had a pleasant weekend in the mountains with Elderdottir and her SO. Saturday, we did the gem mining thing, so hokey but we did have some pretty stones in the $80 bucket. Elderdottir picked one to have cut and set in a ring. The rest I need to find a tumbler and polish, to put in a vase.

Later, folks...

Posted by: slyness | August 9, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

R.I.P. Patricia Neal...

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 9, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning Everyone.

The dependents return tomorrow from Myrtle Beach so this evening the wee dog and I must sanitize the house. A task that the wee dog is remarkably unhelpful at. Didn't get out as much as I should but more than I have in the past. Plans kept falling through and schedules didn't mesh.

But I did finally figure out how to use the X-Box. So that's something.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 9, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

In the wee dog's defense, how much of the mess did he contribute to? He probably didn't leave the pizza boxes all over the living room. In fact, my dog would have helped clean up any leftover food items.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 9, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Why am I picturing Tom Cruise's parents' house at the end of Risky Business? Did you at least get all the skid marks out of your socks? You know, from sliding around the floor to Bob Seger tunes. Jeez, people.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 9, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Murphy the iconic dog.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 9, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Hey to all and, well, sundry (which includes you, Yoki!).

Sneaks, it is my understanding and experience as a linguaphile that Swedish includes a particularly hefty degree of Germanic influence and a fair amount of French (as the current royal family emanated from the Bernadotte guy installed as king several centuries ago). As I was learning the language, I certainly noticed all the French. The grammar (thankfully) is much more straightforward than German (sorry, Snuke). "Tunnelbana" means subway or underground. Depending on where you stress the accent, "banan" means either the course a mode of transportation uses (subway tracks, train, etc.) *or* banana. I love to mix them up with people over there, just to see their reaction. Most of the time, alas, only *I* think it's funny.

I also have to stop and think hard whether I need to say "anka" or "änka". "Anka" means (think hard on this) "duck (of the quack quack variety" and "änka" means (um) "widow". Good humor and great laughter ensue, but it makes me stop and try to figure it out every single time.

Swedish, at least for me, was a pretty easy language to learn, and it helped that everyone I worked with insisted on speaking Swedish with me all the time. I became fluent in 4 months by that total immersion. I highly recommend that process for learning a language.

Indeed, RIP for Patricia Neal. Very saddened by her loss, no matter that she lived to the ripe age of 84. She was a tremendously talented actress, and had a less than comfortable existence in real life.

Gotta go do some werk.

Posted by: ftb3 | August 9, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the explanation of the Swedish language, ftb. I remember hearing 'comprendre' or something similar and thinking, French. The Swedes don't speak as gutterally as the Germans, right? I think if I watched enough Swedish subtitled movies, I'd eventually understand the language!

Sticky weather this morning. Hope we get some of the t-storms predicted as it is just so darn dry.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 9, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

New kit!

Posted by: DNA_Girl | August 9, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

yello, I'm thinking more of the house in "Weird Science" before Kelly LeBrock makes everything normal again... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 9, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

SC sausage

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 9, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

A definite, hero! I travel a lot, and nothing bothers me more than the “entitled” passengers! Her butt should’ve been the one getting arrested! I’m gonna have a beer – or two – in Slater’s honor tonight!

Posted by: BasicInstinct | August 10, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company