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Competitive Vacation Review

People are trickling back into the office, and now comes the period of Competitive Vacation Review. People say, "How was your vacation?" or "Where did you go this summer?" But what they're thinking is: "Let me tell you about my much superior vacation."

Colleague: "We wanted to do something simple this year, with a low carbon footprint, so we almost never left the castle. It was a lovely 12th century number, utterly rustic, no AC, bare stone floors, huge fireplaces, and AMAZING staff, including a masseuse you wouldn't believe. The owner, our friend Count Hochlenstein, gave us the run of the place, including the stables and the lake cabins, and for dinner we'd mostly eat game meats from the count's personal forest. The kids hunted, canoed, falconed. Each had a pony. There was a zipline from the castle that went straight down the mountain to the village square, a sensational little trip if you have the arm strength. Villagers would haul us back up the mountain on the back of hay wagons -- very authentic, I thought. The whole thing had such a nice 'medieval' flavor to it, yet without the personal discomfort or all the GUILT, you know? By week 5 we had all decided it was even better than our vacation last year to the Amalfi Coast. Week 6 we got a little restless and decided to leave the castle behind -- many tears at saying goodbye to the ponies, and some tension, to be frank, over some highly unreasonable demands for gratuity, I thought -- later I'll tell you about how we were actually CHASED by the villagers -- make a note, 'Fast Driver Essential' if you ever do this trip -- and we made our jaunt to Egypt to see the pyramids and the Upper Nile. The Madagascar side trip was probably a bit much. Frankly, we were ready to come home -- 8 weeks of vacation is probably at least a week too much. Because now I need a vacation from my vacation hahahahahahaha. So, um, what about you?"

YOU: "I worked. But I had a Friday off in early July and, although I worked half the day, I had a chance to kick back a bit and do some yardwork that I'd been forced to put aside because of the long hours. And then I had some business trips and stayed in some decent places -- La Quinta, Motel 6, Red Roof Inn, splurged on a Homewood Suites -- and really found some new places that I hadn't discovered during previous trips. Like the other day in Houston, there's this place you may have seen from the freeway -- Taco Cabana? It's like any other Mexican fast-food except it has this outdoor patio. I guess that's the 'cabana' part. You're outdoors. The patio overlooks the freeway, so there's this constant roar of the trucks and that highway smell, and it was kind of hot and humid, but I spent so much time indoors this summer, typing, that I relished a chance to be outside. Plus they had a 'fixins' bar, all the salsa you want, free. Jalapenos. Sour cream. Cilantro. I'd definitely go back!"

COLLEAGUE: "Huh. How about that. We had a cabana once at Lago di Lugano."

By Joel Achenbach  |  August 31, 2010; 9:01 AM ET
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Harumph! Just because I described our great Grand Canyon trip in perhaps slightly excessive detail, Joel chooses to make this thinly veiled attack. Well, Mr. Achenbach, when you have gotten your kids through college and have a 40th anniversary to celebrate, perhaps you too will treat yourself to a nice trip. Meantime I'm suckin' on an umbrage milkshake and getting myself fitted for a new hissy.

Posted by: kguy1 | August 31, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

"Lago di Lugano" -- what is that? Lake of the Loogies? I spit on your vacation?

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 31, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I just adore Madagascar, but fall is really the best time to go, after the U.N. Relief Teams have all left. Our personal guide, Alfonzo, took us out on a cruise to watch the Somali pirates attacking container ships. Had a bit of dengue fever, just like last time, but that's to be expected.

We wanted to go to the Nile, but it was closed. A maintenance issue, I think.

We were in Monte Carlo one weekend, but the traffic was just horrible-- you couldn't cross the street! And the drivers! No taxis anywhere, nothing. And I don't think the Monte Carlo DMV makes them put mufflers on those vehicles. One very rude driver gave us the finger.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 31, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Bedbugs. The vacation report needs more bedbugs.

Glenn and me: A Talking Heads moment with the controversial talk show host

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 31, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

And bears. It was needlessly bear-less.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 31, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

This past weekend I treated myself to a $4 sno-cone at the local end-of-summer town carnival. I had planned to go all out on the $6 fried dough, but the line was outrageous.

When one is no longer working, every day can be a vacation. Some days are simply more or less daring than others.

Posted by: MsJS | August 31, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

A $4 sno-cone? Did they bring in the snow from Lago di Lugano?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 31, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

mudged ...

MsJS, you are good to laugh with me... you were, weren't you?

Seriously, the point I failed to make is that so many people fear leftovers, I just call them toppings. If you bought too many things at the farmers market, it's pizza time! Garlic, peppers, roasted tomatoes, even left over hamburger can make it onto a pizza with no problem.

One of the interesting discussions that we have had here at the Boodle is surviving on $20 a week for food. That is a huge challenge, but the more skills and confidence that you have in the kitchen, the easier it is. Also, the wider your tastes for different food items--meats included--the easier it gets.

We are also lucky here with folks like Yoki and Mudge who are both kitchen gods to help us all out with ideas and encouragement. I also like the regional variation... make that international variations that we get.

At times, I am saddened with the arc of where my relationship with my child has gone, but I do know that, in our good times, I did teach her, from a very early age, how to cook. I look back with great pride at her prepping ingredients into the ramekins and getting everything ready, then stepping up on a step stool and working with a wok or skillet on high heat (me holding and reminding her: just don't try to catch anything... no biggy).

I taught her to cook with her eyes, hands, nose and, most importantly, ears.

I am pretty sure that I have said this before, but when she nailed chicken piccata better than restaurant quality on her own, I knew that the world was a safer place for her.

If you can make a sauce, you can do almost anything.

Or, as a noted kitchen theologian once said, "BAM!"

Posted by: russianthistle | August 31, 2010 10:30 AM

Posted by: russianthistle | August 31, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Where'd everybody go?

*kicking the tires*

Posted by: ftb3 | August 31, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

No, kguy, I am the one deserving of that four dollar umbrage snowball. I actually went to Europe and have been promiscuously posting links to the photos, so Joel is clearly mocking my global gallivanting. For example, my photos of Heidelberg are up:

Now despite Joel's over the top characterization, this was NOT a luxury trip. We traveled from city to city in a bus with 25 lightly (to the point of negligently) chaperoned hormonally charged teenagers.

More to the point, the hotels we stayed at specialized in group tours meaning all twin beds, usually no air conditioning, and bathroom facilities of varying vintages. In one case, the elevator didn't even go up to our floor, but I got revenge by using a 115V power strip to short out the East German fuse box.

For example, in Heidelberg we didn't even stay in Heidelberg proper but in the nearby industrial port town of Ludwigshafen next to the highway overlooking the railyard. The seventeenth floor lounge did have a great sunset view, but I attribute that to the haze from the local industrial smog.

That night for dinner we group marched past an abandoned grafitt-covered technobar and through a public housing project (complete with commemorative WWII shrapnel holes) that would have scared me if it had not resembled a luxury condo development by Baltimore standards. On the way through a large plaza with the usual flotsam of wind-blown litter, our tour guide pointed out the Brutalist municipal building and taught us the German word for 'unemployment office' (Arbeitslosigkeitsbüro) and the importance of that function in industrial Germany.

I must say that the Italian dinner at the restaurant in a de-sanctified Lutheran church was very nice except that I have no memory of its name and it does not show on Google maps, whereas the nearby Subway (sandwich shop, not U-Bahnstation) does.

Even the very picturesque fountain where the local homeless person was doing his laundry does not show on the WikiCommons list of 'Fountains in Ludwigshafen'. But that didn't keep me from sitting in the fake throne.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 31, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I'm here! *I* had an amazing summer, which I overshared with you folks, so I won't talk about it any more. Except to say that the peripheral blood stem cell donation, while not fun, was a wonderful opportunity.

Today's task: making placemats for my kitchen table in a lovely summer pattern. Yeah, and summer's just about over. But it took me this long to find the summer pattern that I liked and matched the wallpaper.

Back at it...

Posted by: slyness | August 31, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all. Thanks for the support on my post last night.

Vacation this summer has been very low-key. An annual weekend at the beach (every child needs to see the freak show that's the beach), a camping trip, an upstate funeral and visits to a sick grandma. But *my* vacation started yesterday, when school resumed. I actually had a cup of coffee both yesterday and today in relative peace and quiet. No Phineas and Ferb (even though they can be very funny), no scraped knee, no lost flip-flop. No one got me with a super soaker on my way either to or from the garden.

But via the kit and the boodle, I went to a lot of places this summer, ate some pretty good food, learned a lot in Louisiana and Texas, and drank a lot of beer in Germany (and I don't even like beer). I had fun.

Where to next?

Have a very happy day all.

Posted by: LostInThought | August 31, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Passing along this e-mail just received from Don from 1-270:

"Just got a message that the Navy has set hurricane condition 4 for the Washington DC area. That means, batten down the hatches, people. It's gonna get damp here."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 31, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Weed, anything good said about pizza and/or facility in the kitchen is totally thumbs up in my world.

Part of being graced with abundance is knowing what to do with the leftovers and it certainly sounds like you've hit upon a great way of making them yummy and fun.

Yeah, the price tag of that sno-cone was eye-opening, but; A) it was big enough to share, and B) the proceeds support our local public schools.

slyness, what's the pattern look like?

Posted by: MsJS | August 31, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Vacation will be Thursday at a nearby state park, watching proficient surfers getting thrashed by double-overhead waves.

Thanks to a Japanese Portlander who's run amazing and affordable trips to his homeland, I've been treated to hotels that would be unimaginable in the US.

The office from which I retired had people who would vacation in lowland Bolivia, Bogotá, South Africa, whatever. I tended instead to bring exotic places into the yard--three Madagascar palms (one's presumably from Madagascar. The species was "discovered" in a yard in Hawaii). Cycads from Central America. Brazilian bromeliads and jaboticaba fruit. Mango varieties from India and Honduras. I'm running into trouble with my native-plant friends.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 31, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

It has been a tough summer,but most of my vacation was spent at the Riviera. The West Virginia Riviera and boy do I need to get back there.

And we need the rain,but a flippin hurricane isn't what we need,although kayaking conditions would be swift.......hmmmmmmmmm

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 31, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

My vacation was two days, last Wednesday and Thursday. Well, actually, just Thursday. A day spent with colleagues is not really vacation, even though we spent much of it at loose ends (and/or at the beach) in Hawaii. Thursday, I had my own car, I was driving the wild open road of Hawaii (yes, *the* road -- there's really just one road, The One Road (Hwy 19), the Belt Road), I ate when I felt like it, and I zip-lined through the rainforest. It was a high-density holiday.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 31, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

MsJS, pink roses and blue cornflowers. Summery, like I said. Up close it would clash with the wallpaper, but on the table the colors will blend nicely.

I'm making these so I won't completely wear out the handquilted placemats that were a wedding present from someone on Mr. T's side of the community. They are lovely and match perfectly but are starting to get a bit ragged on the edges.

Now I have to find some fabric that will look fall-ish and still go with the wallpaper. Christmas placemats I already made, and a set that's kinda wintery.

Posted by: slyness | August 31, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

SciTim, was the rainforest fern-ished?

Posted by: russianthistle | August 31, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

For geeks: buckytorus

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 31, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Vacation? I *knew* there was something that slipped my mind. Although, truthfully, I had my opportunity. I chose to spend a week home with just the dog while the dependents visited the in-laws in Myrtle Beach.

I watched old movies, ate cruciferous vegetables, and remembered why I stopped drinking Tequila. (Man what *do* they put in that stuff.)

I had a few beers with a charming lady (You know who you are) and finally got the garage all ship-shape. And the dog was given time to heal.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 31, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Vacation? VACATION?! In my day we had no vacations! My dad would round us up and make us harvest 100 acres of watermelons! Nonstop, until we finished! With burlap bags and no motorized assistance at all!

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 31, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Burlap bags? You had burlap bags? We were too poor for burlap bags. My dad used to make us wait until the dead of winter so we could walk home 6 miles through 10 inches of snow carrying our watermelons in our arms.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 31, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 31, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

We had a nice vacation going around the Gaspé peninsula. The weather was fantastic. I never thought I would ever write this but one day, it was even too hot. So from now on the kids stay home during our vacations. They were clearly the bad luck charms that caused the awful weather that plagued most vacations we took with them.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 31, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Vacation! Need the definition for that word. Not an experience I've had in any form. And there's a serious chance I may die without knowledge of a vacation.

Explain a little, MsJS, your comment from the last kit, please?

Posted by: cmyth4u | August 31, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Never take a 13 year old boy to Paris. Trust me on this.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 31, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Uphill in both directions, Mudge?

Posted by: -pj- | August 31, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

H-m-m-m, so we're back to 6th grade and the "What I did on my summer vacation" gig. I won't trouble you with my one week off. We've done a few 3-day weekends, but that was in the 'burg doing work on the house up there. We haven't done a "fun" thing since the end of the Shakespeare Theater season. This fall doesn't promise much either. Really wish I could punch my ticket, but the retirement income won't quite cover current expenses. Maybe next year.

Posted by: ebtnut | August 31, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Yes, pj. We lived in some pretty weird terrain. We were too poor to live where it was flat. Downhill was for the rich, people who skied and stuff like that.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 31, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I just happen to think what you have to say, how you say it, and how you 'walk the talk' with your spiritual beliefs should reach a wider audience than it does now.

I haven't a clue what form that might take, but why not an article about you on the WaPo front page instead of Glenn Beck?

pj, I was thinking the same thing about Mudge, but you beat me to it.

Posted by: MsJS | August 31, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

pj is such a great straight man and set-up guy. I don't know how I'd get along without him. Always reliable, impeccable timing. The Bud Abbott of the Boodle.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 31, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, there is a rule of lunch in Silver Spring, MD, during winter when and the winds are howling, the wind will be in your face both going from the office and to get lunch and when you return ... without fail.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 31, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

For my summer vacation, I did like Phineas and Ferb and built a time machine.

Unfortunately it only sent me forward in time two and a half months -- and *poof.*

Here I am.


PS. Um, whatever happened with that oil well in the Gulf of Mexico? And did the Nats ever bring that Strasburg kid up from the minors?

And boy, do I need a shave and trip to the bathroom (the things they *don't* tell you about time travel in the Heathkit sales brochures...).

Posted by: -bc- | August 31, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Yello, I've brought a six year-old together with his 4 year-old sister to Paris. Lucky we had the in-laws to keep them busy while we toured. Typically, it was one of the coldest Christmas week in memory. Tourists were chopping ice in the Louvres fountain the morning we went there. As I said, from now on they stay home. We'll show them the pictures.

I've looked at prices for the cabanas at lago di Lugano and decided it will be for another year. Nice set up though.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 31, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Well, Cassandra has told us she's been on the radio before. C'mon, Cassandra, toot your own horn a bit. It was more than once, as I recall. Hope you do more of it, too.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 31, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Arms? You had arms? We had no arms and had to hold the watermelons between our knees and waddle. And in order to hold the melons securely we had to double over and hold the end of the watermelon with our chins while waddling backwards to see where we were going uphill both ways. And if the snow got especially deep then we had to use those little periscopes like they have at golf tournaments to see and you absolutely don't want to know how we held those!

Posted by: kguy1 | August 31, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse


This, dated Friday.

There are more recent posts, but yuz gotsta pay money for 'em.

Posted by: Don_from_I-270 | August 31, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Vacation?! I'd like to recommend a trip to the North American Bear Center in Ely, MN. Haven't managed it myself yet, but it is moving to the top of the list. Mr. F is quite keen on the idea so it may just jump ahead of the San Francisco trip we've put off for several years now.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 31, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Well Cassandra,we should do a little something about that.
Let's head west of you,into the mountains,find a nice little stream flowing with cool mountain water.Take off our shows and put our feet in.Maybe take a fishing pole or two,grab some canadian nightcrawlers and fish the day away.Watch the birds fly by,the cattails blowing in the wind,relax,talk about life and dreams and just enjoy this world for what it is.

Really a vacation is whatever you do that takes you away from the normal routine.I am game for anything. Who is ready for a roadtrip?

Oh shoot,I gotta go to work,but I can always dream about it.

Have a great day yaw!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 31, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

and k-guy-please stop, my nose is sore from all the coffee snorting.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 31, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Snow?! SNOW?!!! We were blinded permanently by sweat on the first day, because all we had to eat was pure salt! Not your fancy-dancy regular salt, no, we had to eat salt of phosphoric acid! It was 137º in the shade. Celsius! The sugar oozed from the watermelons and coated our legs, which we used to kick through fire ant nests. Mutant fire ants!

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 31, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Kguy, I guess you never got that Call?

Thanks for that, Don.


Posted by: -bc- | August 31, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

On my vacation this summer, I scaled the highest US peak east of the Mississippi. Before you get too impressed, I am referring to Mt. Mitchell, NC, around 6600 ft. I drove the family to the top and ate at the restaurant there.

Posted by: GomerGross | August 31, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Off-kit, but how funny is this? Today, DC was given an assignment in class to write words in the -at family. I'm guessing the teacher was looking for cat hat rat, DC put down acrobat, babysat and democrat. My heart goes out to her teacher.

Posted by: LostInThought | August 31, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

GomerGross, that's a beautiful place to be on a nice day. Hope you had the view! (and a jacket.)

LiT, hilarious! I'll bet the teacher has a great year with her.

Posted by: slyness | August 31, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

LiT -- DC is *how* old?

Good for her!

Posted by: ftb3 | August 31, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

She's 7, but she'd say she's 7 1/4 because those extra 3 months put her that much closer to her own apartment.

Posted by: LostInThought | August 31, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Great story, LiT!

I like your mountain climbing technique, Gomer, and I'd like to make it to Mt. Mitchell, too. I think I can retire by the end of next year, so these things I'd like to do become more possible.

Posted by: -pj- | August 31, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Hi all!

LMAO at all the "uphill both ways" one upping. I needed a laugh.

I haven't had a vacation since my honeymoon, which is coming up on two years now. I haven't even been to my usual conferences. We've done a few driving one-day trips, but when you're only earning just enough to cover the car payment and there's no paid time off, vacation is impossible. I'm glad those days are behind me. (For good? God I hope so.)

This year we're buying the house, but we're hoping to be able to scrape up enough for a short trip around the holidays. Anywhere would be good at this point.

Speaking of the new house, we may have discovered what was making the underwriters nervous and made the necessary adjustments to the terms of the loan. Maybe there will in fact be a house this week. We were supposed to settle yesterday according to the original schedule. We will see. I'm cautiously optimistic.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | August 31, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Just posting before I read the kit and backboodle, just got home a half hour ago and made attempt to salvage my plants, they were thirsty and very hot. Max temp my car registered 36C just north of where I live, was reading 34c when we got home, drove the entire 600 km trip noticing the haze that was covering the entire area.

Good to be home with a strong WiFi signal, just waiting for the other travels to arrive from the airport later today, fun was had by all.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 31, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

LiT, that's great.

Er, if DC's available for a summer internship next year, ya oughta steer her to Justice Kagan's office.


Posted by: -bc- | August 31, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Now I am giggling Joel - well done. Don't think my vacation will win any contests, but I had the chance to spend a few quality days with my daughter and her friend, two delightful 15 year olds. They were charming and funny and only got on my nerves a couple of times, like the commercial says priceless.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 31, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

How you doing, greenwithenvy,so good to hear from you! And thanks for the offer.

As to tooting my own horn, not good at that, not good at all. Too shy, and it uncomfortable, but thanks for the lovely comments.

Dave, the county I live in is a tier one county, in fact we are the second poorest county in the state. And we've been that way for some time. I can understand what you are saying, the need is great, and it never seems to get filled, but I keep praying. I think I have my information correct as to our standing, but Slyness probably knows the designation.

When the factory jobs left in the 80's there was nothing to replace them. And that's still the situation. For better jobs and a thriving economy, communities need an educated populace to entice new industry. Many of our young people have to leave home in order to get employment, and that means our greatest natural resource is drained badly, leaving the community with people like myself or young people that lack the desired skills employers seek. Sometimes it feels like a vicious circle, at other times, as if we're standing still and the world is spinning around us.

Of course, in any situation, regardless how bad, somebody makes money, it's good for someone, and that's the case here. It seems providence would at some point change our status, but it's been that way too long, so my thinking is, there's intent. I could be wrong, but I don't think so.

And what hurts the most for me is that I'm probably going to die and never see a change. I'm so tired of young men walking the streets day and night with nothing to do, I could literally scream and I can't seem to get anybody to listen. And it just hurts. It cuts my heart, and I don't know what to do anymore. I know I can't save the world, I can't change the world, but I know the Creator put me here for something, and that something is good, because He is good.

Posted by: cmyth4u | August 31, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I will stop boodle hogging in a second but while I remembered I had to convey part of a conversation I had on the trip of with the girls. They were discussing places they want to visit and initially could not really come up with places in the US they wanted to see, I suggested a few of the places I love and they agreed. Then in a moment of silence my daughter chimed in with "I know for sure the one place I never want to go - Texas", just about drove off the road laughing.

On a more poignant note, just after we passed Kingston today I settled on a great radio station that played 70's rock, then they played this song, a song named after the road I was on (between Trenton and Toronto), having read that another solder was killed in Afganistan on the weekend it was very touching and I spent the next 10 minutes with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes, being on the same highway really brought it so close.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 31, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

All hail the box monkey!

Totally off-kit, but it was a math pun, and it mentions rhubarb. Somehow that equaled boodle in my mind...

Posted by: MoftheMountain | August 31, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Sure I come back and kill the boodle.

One of the items we did not visit, but I was tempted, was to see the IMAX film - Hubble 3D, really kind of regretting it now, perhaps it will be available around here.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 31, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

dmd-thanks for the link. It's more evidence that every band needs an accordion. But, you should have warned about the bagpipes, I completely lost it there. So sorry for Canada's losses, so often ignored by those of us south of the border.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 31, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

We were going to do some day trips this year, as we already had our 'big' vacation in Costa Rica last winter. However, I forgot the one essential ingredient for a successful day trip - telling "S" which specific day to take off. He is not proactive at all. Maybe this fall if I have a good day off during the week...and remember to tell him in no uncertain terms to take off the same day :-)

Posted by: badsneakers | August 31, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

You have the same temperature that we do, dmd. That's too hot!

Posted by: -pj- | August 31, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

dmd, thanks for that. I'm supposed to be starting supper, not sitting here sobbing.

Posted by: Yoki | August 31, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

I know pj, I have about 10 planters around our pool area - they are very sad looking right now, apparently yesterday was ever hotter, it was hot in Montreal but nice and breezy and a few degrees cooler.

Sorry, Yoki.

Frosti, the bagpipes got me as I listened to the song in the car as well - one of the rare times I actually enjoyed them.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 31, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Well, then.

Well, I must have done something right somewhere along the line --

My youngest just finished making dinner for the family - a penne with eggplant pesto garnished with marinaded chicken breast, and a nice caprese with homegrown tomatoes and basil. Even measured out the balsamic vinegar so she wouldn't overdo it.

All by her 10 year-old self.



Posted by: -bc- | August 31, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

That's very impressive, bc! At 10 I could make popcorn.

Posted by: -pj- | August 31, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

And I had barely graduated from frying an egg to making french toast.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 31, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

bc, your ten year old can already cook circles around me. You have done well.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 31, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Send 'er over, bc!

And for a different DWTS, this is fun:

Posted by: -dbG- | August 31, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

dbG, I loved that, only a few movies I could not name - not sure if that is a good thing or not.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 31, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

dbG, that was great! I can't wait to get back to dancing lessons, altho' they won't be anything like what was on that video.

Have you seen this one of the dancing dog?

Posted by: badsneakers | August 31, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for allowing me to cry on your shoulders, folks. Have a good evening one and all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | August 31, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, what else besides paper and pencils can you use?

Posted by: badsneakers | August 31, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: RichNomore2
Now we are all rested, fed and vacationed. Time to get down to work, indeed.

Posted by: Bob-S
The close-mindedness here is more about tone than content...

So that can be interpreted as meaning the value of one's sound is more preferred than content? Does that analysis include character? (Heavy Water Ahead, Batten Down the Hatches)! Maybe that's why Beck has so few fans in virtual-land. He sure doesn't sound like some characters would sound if they were to pretend to be a Beck fan and have access to an audience of, say 60,000-80,000 or even 600,000-800,000, potatoe-potato, it's all how you cook the ingredients anyway.

It's been my experience that if you treat someone as an equal, they will afford you the same courtesy. You should give it a shot.
Posted by: LostInThought | August 31, 2010 12:40 AM

It has been said, written, and lived that what one is with another shall be returned in kind. It's been man's experience that treating and being treated as an equal is a matter of requirement in a law-abiding community, but it falls far short as a concept worth idolizing, let alone a precept worth what it is cracked up to be. Who is to say that being equally mal-treated by a rogue, apostate government is any more desireable than having faith in the precept of good being returned for good?

Oh learned, and apparently well fed one's of the virtual isle of flies, to whom shalt WE give the credit for first speaking, writing, the words "All....are created equal", and following up by defending forced emigrants from that big Continent over there, southern Gondwanaland, guess that would make them (the defendents) Gondwanaland-Virginians? Oy Vey, those racist colonials, maybe WE deserved the punishment George III visited on US.

Can WE all agree that doing the right thing in faith and love of goodness, even though the intermediate result may appear to be of little value, is better than seeing some alledged injustice, getting all infuriated, getting scared at the powerlessness of rage in itself, summoning a semblance of courage (anti-rage?), going out and donating your time and money to a cause is good, of course, but what if the money and effort goes to something that is, oh say, not so good inherently, isn't it every person's right/duty to make sure the effort on behalf of a cause is as right/good as possible, and use every resource, beyond just emotion and experience, to ascertain that which is good?

g'night all

Posted by: RichNomore | August 31, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

the hyperbolic
is approaching maximal
incoherence now?

Posted by: DNA_Girl | August 31, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Looks like it to me, DNA_Girl!

Still no info on his activities to better the country. So disappointing.

Posted by: slyness | August 31, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Someone seems to be in charge. Off to eat steaks.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 31, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

though the enter key
speaks well and is welcome, so
pardon my rudeness

Posted by: DNA_Girl | August 31, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

What you talkin bout Willis?

Posted by: LostInThought | August 31, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

The path of progress
is painfully slow and starts
with the Enter key

Posted by: DNA_Girl | August 31, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Silence of the 'dog...
why, with whom shall I spar now
in sweet seventeens?

Posted by: DNA_Girl | August 31, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

I need a puff,it has been in the 10 O'clock hour for hours now.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 31, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

haiku are no more
poetress and mutt have left
syllables to count

Posted by: yellojkt | August 31, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

your comment made me think of the good commander, gwe.

Posted by: -jack- | August 31, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

what is the oldest late for work excuse in the book.......flat tire......Oyyyyyshhhh

and the 10 o clock hour goes on and on

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 31, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Poor Joel.

I just had a two and a half day visit in NYC. It felt like a five day vacation as we packed in a lot. The most never boring place there is...anywhere.

Posted by: Windy3 | August 31, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

I counted four John Travolta movies, Kevin Smith and several pelvic thrusts.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 31, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

I need to lost in the Ozone Jack!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 31, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

faxin' something that i think is from oaxaca...the years make the memory suitably fuzzy. and some suitable music

Posted by: -jack- | August 31, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Been beat up and battered 'round
Been sent up, and I've been shot down
You're the best thing that I've ever found
Handle me with care

Reputations changeable
Situations tolerable
Baby, you're adorable
Handle me with care

I'm so tired of being lonely
I still have some love to give
Won't you show me that you really care

Dedicated to W&W

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 31, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

My mom's a native of Manhattan's Yorkville, a once-poor portion of the Upper East Side, now infested with Trump buildings. From that sort of perspective, Manhattan's not a frenetic place at all.

Dropped by a beach north of us. Four foot surf, made mushy by an onshore wind, which is supposed to continue tomorrow. Thanks to a shower, it was almost uncomfortable to just stand around, astonishing in a hot summer. Thursday is Big Earl Day.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 1, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

That was sweet, Jumper.

Posted by: Yoki | September 1, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Roger Ebert reviewing, recalling food.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | September 1, 2010 2:58 AM | Report abuse

Charlie Brooker on the two-block mosque:

and twisted language:

Posted by: DNA_Girl | September 1, 2010 3:11 AM | Report abuse

And this is for 'mudge:

Posted by: DNA_Girl | September 1, 2010 3:20 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. It feels like I haven't been to bed. Really anxious this morning, worried about my friend. She has her biopsy today. Your prayers would certainly help, and would be greatly appreciated.

Badsneakers, just the one subject notebooks. I'm not trying to be fancy here, just the basics. The kids run out of paper so fast, and later in the year it's hard to find and quite expensive. Thanks a bunch. And thanks to all.

I don't understand your comments, RichNoMore. Are they critiques of the boodle or of the country and its people? Not trying to be funny or flip, just don't understand.

A really lift me up poem, Jumper. And BC, the girl can cook!!

Time to hit the water. Slyness, hope all is good with you and family. Have a wonderful day, folks, and love to all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | September 1, 2010 4:57 AM | Report abuse

cassandra, good morning, I am thinking of you and your friend and praying for a good outcome.

I second Cassandra's comment, bc, that meal must have been fantastic!

Good morning, all!

Posted by: russianthistle | September 1, 2010 6:10 AM | Report abuse

Oh why did I say I'd play tennis at 7:30 this morning? I am barely awake.

Cassandra, thanks for the info. I'll get some notebooks and more pencils (and pens too?). I am sorry about your friend and hope and pray that the results are good.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 1, 2010 6:40 AM | Report abuse

A good commentary at the end of the war on how we got into the war.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 1, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

*clears throat*

I'm sorry, must be all this pollen... :-)

*GETE-but-whadda-ya-gonna-do Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 1, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

jkt, I was up early and listened to the BBC World Service and Iraq was a topic of discussion. The Brits have addressed/are currently addressing in a formal manner the events that led up to the Iraq involvement. One of the ministers was asked if he thought that he had ever mislead the public based on what was truly known and he said, no.

He then did suggest that the Americans were more than willing to suggest that Saddam had nuclear weapons or they were just on the verge. In fact, he mentioned that it was known that they did not have those weapons.

I was thinking that Obama's unwillingness to have hearings into the start of the Iraq war served both as a service and a disservice to the nation. The Bush misjudgments it seems have been given a huge free pass allowing the public to take all the bad of the war and lay it at Obama's feet.

Obama and the Dems seem a bit complacent when it comes to the impending defeat in the House. I think they are expecting a bit of the same Clinton and Republican Congress success and maneuvering, however, Obama is not Clinton and these Republicans are not those Republicans.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 1, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all. Cassandra, I got some stuff for you yesterday and will dig a box out of the recycling so I can mail it to you today. Hope it will help!

Weed, my sister-in-law cracked that Obamacare would be gone soon, at the family reunion Saturday night. I managed NOT to take the bait, but I certainly hope not. I don't understand what the Repubs don't understand about the need for healthcare policy reform. The current system is unsustainable, in financial and human costs.

Posted by: slyness | September 1, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

My very first thought when I looked at that government ranking is that *somebody* was going to be feeling pretty darn smug this morning.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 1, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

slyness, it is becoming conventional wisdom in the Republican right wing that social security and medicare are gonners.

Oh, really!?

That's not going to work for most people over 50.

Of course, they don't understand that Obamacare is just the tip of the evil and that includes medicare and, of course, the freeloading medicaid stuff.

Most people who are against Obamacare don't have a clue what it is that they don't like. As a matter of fact, if you take it apart and ask them one initiative at a time, they are mostly for it, just as long as you don't tell them what it is part of.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 1, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Greetings from the Maine seacoast. Who'da thunk it would be in the 90s every day? The rental has no A/C, and last night it didn't get below 75 or so. Sticky is the operative word. Hope everyone is coping. Looks like we will be leaving the area just as the remnants of Hurricane Earl arrive.

Posted by: baldinho | September 1, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Pleased as punch, perhaps, but never smug... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 1, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

*taking deep breath*


*sorry for shouting, but we all gotta be awake, eh*

Posted by: ftb3 | September 1, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

oh, and further, your in-law has no clue how Congress and the government works. There are so many barricades against getting rid of Obamacare, that it is literally impossible in the near-term. What's more, if they try, it will just fire up the progressives again and maybe even wake up the seniors to the reality.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 1, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Mainly, weed, I have a hunch that the president ain't exactly gonna sign off on it. And there's no way the GOP might have the numbers to override a veto.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 1, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Howdy. Cassandra, best thoughts for your friend, and I hope you are feeling better than you did yesterday. I can't understand RichNoMore either, except that he seems unhappy and afraid, and that fear is getting in the way of what may be some decent human feeling. Don't worry about changing the world. You change the world one person at a time, one child at a time, and in doing so you are the model for people like me. I used to plan to do great things. As I grow older I realize there is little sense in passing up the chance to do good work on a small scale, just because it doesn't affect hundreds or thousands of people or get in the news. It is sometimes embarrassing to think just how much common sense and understanding I acquire as I age; it makes me wonder how I got by without it all those years - and what I'm still lacking now that I'll figure out five or ten years from now.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 1, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

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