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In defense of Pepco

Everyone's hatin' on Pepco, the local power company here in the D.C. area. For those of you who don't live here: A recent batch of storms knocked out power for 300,000 people, and Pepco struggled to restore electricity. People got mad. Food spoiled in refrigerators. You can just imagine how much creme brulee, artisanal goat cheese and sustainably harvested sockeye salmon went bad.

These are the same folks who, if the power company wants to trim a tree, stage a furious protest and bring in the neighborhood Cabinet member to support their arborphilic cause.

It may be that Pepco needs to upgrade its performance significantly. Maybe other power companies are much quicker in their response. Certainly the overall grid isn't as reliable as it ought to be given how dependent we are on electrons. But I'm not persuaded that the fault lies entirely with Pepco.

I went around with a Pepco lineman earlier this year, and he had a rather dim opinion of certain neighborhoods where the company is never permitted to remove a tree. This town loves its trees. My neighborhood is a giant arboretum. There was much rage against Pepco for planning on removing some beloved trees along the boulevard earlier this year.

You can't have it both ways. Basic rule in life. According to today's story: "Pepco officials said that 90 percent of the recent outages were caused by falling branches, most from trees on private property whose owners often deny access to trimming crews."

Some people will say that Pepco should bury the lines. That is enormously expensive and raises other maintenance issues. Keep in mind, this is a utility, heavily regulated. Any major expenditure by Pepco to bury lines would require a rate increase. You want buried lines, you have to pay for it.

And more generally, you get the utility company -- and the electrical reliability -- you deserve.

By Joel Achenbach  |  August 18, 2010; 8:11 AM ET
 
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Comments

Our area was cured of anti-trimming sentiment. We had a devastating ice storm a couple of years ago, followed by smaller ice storms and a Christmas blizzard last year. Our local utilities have since ruthlessly pruned and trimmed all the roadside trees near power lines, along with some on private property. Generally they leave the trees near houses for homeowners to do; I only wish they would trim those for us. I am a big fan of trees (red and salt cedars excepted). I have more than I can count on the property. However, where trees and power collide, I'm all for the power lines.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 18, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

You know, it just occurred to me that the notions espoused in this kit could possibly be generalized to encompass the kinds of intrinsic trade-offs inherent in the overall social contract in place between a population and its government.

Nah, that's just crazy talk.

Down here in the Old Dominion, the power grid seems to have become much more stable over the years. Perhaps we Virginians simply hate our trees more. I dunno. But it used to be that every scenic summertime lightning storm was accompanied by a power outage. Granted, this did improve, somewhat, the viewing of those pretty flashing lights in the sky, but it still got annoying. The biggest annoyance was resetting the clocks and re-initializing the cable box. (The latter is a dark art involving split-second timing of which I shall say no more.)

I think the last time there was a sustained power outage in my area was in the summer of 2006 when the ragged remnants of Hurricane Florence came through. My dependents did the sensible thing and drove up to Pennsylvania to stay with the in-laws. I remained here to pensively watch the battery powered sump-pump and keep the votive candles lit.

Back when my elder brother was stationed in Guam he used to complain that there were frequent rolling blackouts because the population refused to approve the taxes needed to make badly-needed improvements to the infrastructure. Pretty short sighted thinking if you ask me.

But we're much smarter than that...right?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 18, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

We don't have that problem here in Nyawk and the Greata Newark/Long Island Metroplex. Here, when Con-Ed craps out, our refrigerators lose the cannolis, the artisanal Velveeta, and the not-sustainably harvested organs from the guys who owe the bookies or who won't pay for the protection, if ya know what I mean. And we don't want no freakin' utility digging up our back yards, capiche? We got some former business associates and a guy thought he was gonna take over the Teamsters back there.

And my "neighborhood cabinet member" can take care a your "neighborhood cabinet menber, know what I mean?

Posted by: chollynickabocka | August 18, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

People take so much of the convenience of modern life for granted. Water, power, sewage are things you have much more appreciation for if you live without them for a bit. That appreciation extends to those who provide.

When do you think the appreciation will extend to those who provide us with transportation fuel by boiling a flammable liquid for us?

Posted by: edbyronadams | August 18, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

We have very few outages here because 90% of our lines are buried. However, I am reminded of my time in southern India, particularly the first time I was there to negotiate a legal consulting contract. It was mid-summer, over 42C, and there were, as there always are, scheduled rolling outages every day (most utilities operate below bankruptcy-level, heavily support by the central government, because of the social policy of providing farmers and essential industry near-free power, and what we delicately refer to as 'non-technical losses' [theft/corruption]); it was simply unbearable when the air-con went out. And who was the client? The local utility engaged in negotiations with private power developers to build more generating capacity!

Posted by: Yoki | August 18, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

chollynickabocka - I love your posts! My grandfather came to America from the Bari region about a hundred years ago and moved to the Pacific Northwest, so I can claim no real connection with the more colorful side of my Italian heritage.

Which isn't to say that, when useful, I don't try.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 18, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Hey, don't forget the waste disposal management conveyance, there, bryonedieadams -- that's a field I am particularly conversant with in a manner a speaking. Where's the love then, huh? One a these days the Meadowlands are gonna be filled up, then what am I gonna do? It's already hard enough trying to find a good spot at night without turning the headlights on. You don't watch it, you can sink right in. Place is a swamp, I'm telling ya, a regular swamp.

Posted by: chollynickabocka | August 18, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Did your grandfather "move" to the Pacific Northwest cause it was his idea, RD, or did the WitSec people resettle him there? Not that it matters now, of course, What's done is done, know what I mean?

Posted by: chollynickabocka | August 18, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes the tree trimming goes a bit overboard though. I stood in the Hilton area of Patapsco Valley State Park a few years ago and was appalled at BGE's measures. Land owned by the state expressly for riparian buffer (prior to any electric line right of way) was clear cut to at least 30-40 feet on either side of the lines. I will also add that this was not an area where trees and branches routinely fell on lines, and that all overhanging branches were regularly trimmed back by BGE already.

Site with pics of erosion in other sites from the BGE cut-fest: http://protectmarylandtrees.ning.com/

Why did BGE do it? They were anticipating tighter federal regulations on up- vs. down-time for utilities and were being proactive. They didn't think about the effects of their actions other than their bottom line. Or didn't care, since the clearing fell within their 66 ft right-of-way buffer zone. Be careful what you wish for, Joel.

That being said, people definitely don't think long term when they plant in a community. I wince when I see cute little pines planted ten feet apart under the power lines. Or an oak 15 ft from the side of a house. (I wonder why the basement leaks?) I wonder if a service like Miss Utility for planting trees on property would help, at least in planned communities where most trees aren't planted by bird or squirrel.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | August 18, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

We have all underground utilities in my 25 year old neighborhood and it is very nice. We used to get random outages whenever the transformer a mile from our house got hit by a car or something, but BGE fixed something a few years back and now our power is rock solid.

Power lines are huge eyesores in addition to being storm and tree hazards. It is hard to justify burying existing lines on a fix-or-replace decision basis, but all new construction should be underground whenever possible. Sure it's more expensive, but so are bike lanes, breakdown shoulders, traffic circles, and lots of other infrastructure niceties we take for granted. We're worth it.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 18, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

They are building a brand new Meadowlands Stadium. I guess the old one got filled up.

http://www.newmeadowlandsstadium.com/

So, cholly, who do you have season tickets for, the Giants, the Jets, or Brooce?

Posted by: yellojkt | August 18, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

We had no water no power, just heat for 9 consecutive days in December of 2008 after "the ice storm". It was interesting to realize that you can make it without all that stuff just fine.

Smelly, but just fine othewise.

Posted by: baldinho | August 18, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

*Snort*

Posted by: Yoki | August 18, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Our last power outage, at 10 p.m. on a Friday night back in July, occurred when the transformer at the back corner of the lot shorted out, with lots of sparks. I imagine a squirrel got in the wrong place, or something like that. The line runs down the back of the property lines so it's pretty much out of sight. I will say Duke Power had it fixed in less than four hours.

Our lot adjoins the neighborhood elementary school. Several years ago, the system implemented a new landscaping plan, which included planting willow oaks under the lines to the school building. I swear the planners never came and looked at the grounds, or they wouldn't have done anything that spectacularly stupid. They also planted a willow oak 25 feet from the full-grown willow oak at the back corner of our yard. It doesn't stand a chance.

Posted by: slyness | August 18, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for Boodlehogging, but I just got an email from my friend Bob who is in Norway for work. Guess what he tried at dinner tonight?

Posted by: Yoki | August 18, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

One minor correction here to help keep people from being confused. You refer to the grid as if it is Pepco's distribution system. They are not the same. The grid (PJM Interconnect) is quite reliable.

The DC area is served by a regional electricity grid called PJM Interconnect (PJM stands for Pennsylvania, Jersey, Maryland) which actually runs from Chicago to NY to North Carolina to Kentucky. It transmits electricity from about 1,300 electricity generating facilities to the local electric utility companies. The grid's power lines are up high on tall towers. Tree branches don't fall on the grid's power lines.

Electric utility companies download electricity from the grid. They take control (custody) of the electricity at their download stations and deliver it to every building in their service area. The utility companies own and maintain their local distribution wires and related equipment. As your article pointed out, 90% of Pepco's service outages were caused by tree branches falling on Pepco's wires. The problems are with the utility companies' local distribution infrastructure - not with the "grid".

Posted by: ottlingerjim | August 18, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

When we lose power, we lose heat, air conditioning, and water too. No drinking water, no flushing toilets. No way to melt snow or ice, if they are the power-loss culprits, to flush toilets. Buckets of water, filled as a precaution before the power goes out, last only so long. Extended loss of power is a calamity.

When I lived in DC power loss meant only electricity. I still had hot water, steam heat and a gas stove. As I didn't have A/C anyway, it was possible to carry on almost without interruption. Of course, this was well before the Internets.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 18, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Lutefisk!!

Thanks, ottlingerjim. It is easy to confuse The Grid with local lines. There are serious looming infrastructure capacity problems with The Grid nationwide, but most local storm-related power outages are caused by problems with the local lines.

It is difficult to convince communities to pony up even to fix local infrastructure, which can affect them quickly and often. We shouldn't be surprised that it is even more difficult to persuade people to invest in nationwide infrastructure. All the wind farms in the world won't help if there is no way to get that power to consumers.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 18, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Rakfisk or surströmming? Hummmmm, fermented fish.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 18, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Disney's Epcot once had a Norwegian buffet with lots of pickled fish, but the building's been commandeered for eating with Disney Characters, evidently without pickled fish.

In Florida, it seems mandatory to have underground electricity within new subdivisions. Probably a safety matter--people are amazingly good at electrocuting themselves. A very few developers get the idea that their project will have more road appeal if there isn't a utility line running along the project's boundary.

My town has its own municipal utility. The 2004 hurricanes wreaked havoc on residential-area power lines that ran along the back boundaries of yards, with no alley for access. Restoring power took a lot of time and destruction of live oaks. Most of those neighborhoods now have underground lines. Surprisingly large chunks of the rest of the local system are out of sight. But the town's electric rates are 30 percent higher than FPL, so the system will almost certainly be sold to that big private utility.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 18, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Norway, did anyone see the Colbert bit on the Newsweek ranking of the world's best nations? I'da figured at least one of our neighbors to the north woulda mentioned it if they did. I think the clip is still available at The Colbert Report site.

Posted by: baldinho | August 18, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

A lot of jurisdictions, MoCo included, implmented requirements for putting utilities underground in the 1960's and '70's as the suburban boom reached a crescendo. DC, at least in the old city area, banned overhead lines even earlier (see the current controvery regarding the proposed trolley lines). My old childhood neighborhood was developed in the late 1940's; where we live now in the late 1950's. Back then the developers mostly cleared everything before building. Now the trees planted back then are mature, 40 and 50 feet tall, and becoming a problem when they get blown over. Undergrounding an entire neighborhood is a very expensive task that will come out of the rate-payers pockets, as will the additional routine maintence expenses. Don't know if the trade-off between undergrounding vs. occasional infrastructure damage would balance out. And there is always a conflict between the power companies and the street-tree planters.

Posted by: ebtnut | August 18, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Thinking of tree branches, urban trees need to be managed, and in many cases older or inappropriate trees need to be replaced. I need to start agitating for revision of a local tree ordinance that protects laurel oaks, which get too big and are too short-lived to be appropriate for most yards. Live oaks are far better. If you're reasonably close to the beach (warmer in winter), you can even try native gumbo-limbos and paradise trees (Bursera simaruba and Simarouba glauca, respectively).

http://regionalconservation.org/beta/nfyn/plantdetail.asp?tx=Simaglau

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 18, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Topo Gigio and Giuseppe Mango.

Posted by: chollynickabocka | August 18, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

And Barbra, of course, Front row. The wife likes Vic Damone.

Posted by: chollynickabocka | August 18, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Scott has a few folks lying in wait for him.

http://www.wmur.com/news/24675224/detail.html

Posted by: baldinho | August 18, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, you let me know. I know a few guys, they can come with ya, ya want.

Posted by: chollynickabocka | August 18, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Funny -- when I went to law school (entered in 1978), the then governor Meldrim Thompson (I think I got the name right) wanted to use nuclear weapons on the protesters at Seabrook, which was basically just down the street from us (well, a 40 minute drive, perhaps). We used to go out that way to get into lower Maine for fresh (and cheap) lobstah. Ahhhh, those were the days. . . .

Anyhoo, the first thing I thought of, Yoki, was lutefisk. Great minds think alike, eh, Imom? And congratulations to The Boy for entering high school. He won't be on the bottom of the totem pole for long.

Posted by: ftb3 | August 18, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Seabrook nuclear power station is owned by FPL, the one-time Florida Power and Light and probable new owner of our town's electric system. Hmm.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 18, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I used to not mind,when the local power company came in to trim or take down trees.It usually meant free firewood and it was easy to get to,next to the road.

When I was on vacation last week,I visited Red Hill,Patrick Henry's retirement home.There was an osage orange tree that was over 300 years old and it was awesome,I was impressed by the size of the trunk alone.

As for power,I would be happy with oil lamps,candles,spring houses and crank radios.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 18, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I used to not mind,when the local power company came in to trim or take down trees.It usually meant free firewood and it was easy to get to,next to the road.

When I was on vacation last week,I visited Red Hill,Patrick Henry's retirement home.There was an osage orange tree that was over 300 years old and it was awesome,I was impressed by the size of the trunk alone.

As for power,I would be happy with oil lamps,candles,spring houses and crank radios.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 18, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

D'oh

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 18, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

It was in fact rakfisk, but I think you could substitute lutefisk without any loss of appeal.

Posted by: Yoki | August 18, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

I prefer Vic Fontaine at Quark's.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmXzamLDgFk

Posted by: yellojkt | August 18, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

More Vic. 'Come Fly With Me' with Odo on the ivories:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSIgr51FRjk&NR=1

Posted by: yellojkt | August 18, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

For me, the annoying thing about power outages is that, as a wheelie living in a multi-story building, I'm stuck inside (or outside) until the juice flows again.

Around TWC those with underground lines tend to fare a lot better than those with above-ground lines.

Posted by: MsJS | August 18, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Is "quark" a sound a dork makes?

Posted by: ftb3 | August 18, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

But in a big storm even a tree 20 feet away can bring down a power line, if it's tall enough. Are we really going to clear all the trees within twenty feet of a power line? Summers would be even more hot and hellish than they already are with, like, 50% less tree cover than we have now.

That's not to say I haven't seen a lot of trees all tangled up in power lines that area just a power outage waiting to happen. But the real problem is that we're getting bigger, more violent storms more often.

Posted by: csdiego | August 18, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Quark! Quark! Yup.

Posted by: Yoki | August 18, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

DoTC my area is full of trees that should be replaced, boulevards lined with Ash trees, that lose large limbs all the time, constantly shed smaller branches and the city is now trying to fend off Green Ash Borer beetle infestation. They innoculate and heavily trimmed on of the trees on our city property.

Hydro to the homes are underground here so we do not lose power unless there is a problem with the major transmission lines - which is quite rare.

Just had a wonderful day at work, an unexpected deadline had me recruit elder child to help out in the office, she was terrific, worked well without complaint, used some proactive decision making and made me a proud mother.

She was offered the choice of being paid or giving her volunteer hours for her high school graduation requirement, she took the volunteer hours, and a small gift card to her favorite book store - that's my girl!.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 18, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

All it takes to bring power down is for a tree branch to hang a little low. Doesn't have to fall completely, csdiego.

We've got underground power lines in my neighborhood and rarely lose power. It's just a nightmare when the lights flicker and the Tivo has to reboot. Oh the humanity.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 18, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

TeeBeeGee!

eye 3> U,

Mb, etc.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | August 18, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

dmd-that is your girl!

Fought a migraine, mostly losing, all day long. Am just now beginning to feel human.

Our Fair City is served by a rural electric cooperative, as was our home in NoVA. The stockholder owned utilities usually have fairly negative things to say about the supposed bennies the cooperatives get that help keep costs low, but that doesn't mean our rate payers don't pay as much, or more, than theirs. It's just nice as a consumer to know that when I pay it's to get the guys out trimming trees, or burying lines, not paying ridiculously high salaries to management. I know the folks on the board of directors, and though I can't imagine needing to call them about any service related issue, I could. I wonder if Pepco and others would do better in the court of public opinion if some high ranking corporate officers handled the phones when things go to heck in a hand basket.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 18, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

dmd, happy to hear that story about your daughter, something to be very proud of!

Productive day here, mostly. I cleaned out a bunch of old video tapes that, altho' good, we just never watch anymore and donated them to the library - they were very happy to get them.

We don't seem to have much trouble with power outages here. Of course we also don't get too many big storms (lately we can't even get a decent rain shower, the weather man tonight actually forecasted 'drops').

All the power around here comes from overhead lines but new developments do have underground utilities. Of course we have plenty of trees which overhang our wires, now and then the utility will trim them and it's always a hatchet job.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 18, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

greenwithenvy - "As for power,I would be happy with oil lamps,candles,spring houses and crank radios."

Green, I spent three years in the Rockies with just that. Well, a hot spring for bathing and a stream for water. Two wood stoves - one for cooking/heat, one just heat. No electric, used a treadle to sew - the loom uses foot, hand and shoulder power.

Once you get juiced up in the city and can't function any other way do you lose that autonomy. Only since moving out of the city, and also camping more often, have I regained a sense of what we "can do if we have to" regarding utility outages.

Dominion Power is more that zealous in keeping limbs off the lines out here, for which I'm grateful. We retain gas for cooking and heat only. Water is powered by the electric pump from the well . . . keep a supply on hand.

All entertainment being self-generated at that point (and often, otherwise) we're glad we can amuse ourselves!

Posted by: talitha1 | August 18, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Don't want to boodlehog, but MsJS, I hear you about being a wheelie. When power would die in Baltimore County and my little guys (with whom I worked in the schools) lost their wheels and lifts and all manner of electic sustinance - well, nightmare. Not for me, for them and for their families.

So many of us forget what loss of electricity (especially) can mean for those whose true life support depends upon it.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 18, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Giggling at the Colbert clip, baldinho, we consistently rank high in the UN rankings, no surprise, but being Canadian we keep quiet about it. I also happen to live in one of the top ranked liveable cities (for its size) in the country - best of both worlds scenario.

As for lame anthems, glass houses anyone :-).

Posted by: dmd3 | August 18, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

dmd, the bit about the Norwegian coat of arms was better. Colbert has the "rivalry" with Canada similar to the one with Eleanor Holmes Norton. Too funny.

Posted by: baldinho | August 18, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

I actually just looked at the agenda for the Seabrook meeting. 7 to 9 PM! Waaaaayyy past bedtime for The Boy. As The Wife is away tomorrow evening, taping a segment for local TV, I am on Boywatch.

No meeting for me. Maybe the next one. The Wife says Hi, Scotty. We both hope the meeting goes well. Looks like the local anti-nuke groups are trying to get themselves madder today before the meeting.

Posted by: baldinho | August 18, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

If this isn't the definition of extreme ambivalence, I don't know what is. http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/weigel/archive/2010/08/18/ann-coulter-bounced-from-right-wing-conference-over-appearance-at-homocon.aspx

I really hate this woman, really really...but...but...

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | August 18, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, she (and likely many of the more shrill right-wing pundits) at some point came to the realization that she could be rich simply by spouting controversial stuff. My guess is she doesn't believe the majority of the stuff she says, and is really just a very good actress.

One that gets paid well. She thrives off silly controversy she creates. I'd be more apt to despise her if I thought she was serious.

Posted by: baldinho | August 18, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

"The main thing I do is speak on college campuses, which is about the equivalent of speaking at an al-Qaida conference."

Sigh.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 18, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Today is the 90th anniversary of the radification of the 19th Amendment. Just thought I should mention that, considering how important it is for half the population.

Think about it, where would Ann Coulter be if she couldn't vote? Yeah, still an actress, but...

Posted by: slyness | August 18, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

An erudite comment on Coulter is worthless.
Blech! says I. Double blech.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 18, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

slyness, thanks for the reminder about the 90th anniversary of the 19th's passage.

My now departed mother-in-law was 15 then. Her mother was one of the 'ladies' who worked hard for passage and Mrs.P. recalled the relief as much as the rejoicing on that day. She told of knowing women who went to prison for their "antics", as the powers-that-were called them, for passage.

I send a salute into the ether for all of those who opened that first big door for us in that time on this day!

Posted by: talitha1 | August 18, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

My great-grandmother once told me that as much as she appreciated gaining the right to vote, it was a lot more satisfying to own several businesses and have the political SOB's come kiss her butt in the hopes that she'd support them.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 18, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Trivia question... (no Googling allowed):

Who caught Brett Favre's first NFL completion?

Posted by: -TBG- | August 18, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Top Chef tonight is at the CIA. The spy agency, not the cooking school. I hope they don't out any agents by accident.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 18, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Again with the bears for Frosti,

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/raid-on-bc-marijuana-grow-op-bears-big-surprise/article1677785/

Posted by: dmd3 | August 18, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Quark is also the titular starship captain in the cult 70s science fiction series, so the answer would be 'yes'.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pqLjOg0hwo

Posted by: yellojkt | August 18, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Trickier question: Who caught Brett Favre's last pass?

Posted by: yellojkt | August 18, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

dmd's link gives a whole new meaning to
picnic time for teddy bears. Yessiree.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 18, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

I doubt he's thrown his last pass, yello.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 18, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

First pass: Pop Warner
Last pass: Suzy Kolber

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | August 18, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Well, I don't know about any of you, but I just watched the PBS showing of South Pacific from Lincoln Center (live, I might add). It's the first revival on Broadway since the opening - what, 60 years ago or so?

I'm still wiping tears from my eyes. I've seen productions of it before, but this one really moved me. And the guy who played Emile had a voice on him that is going to provide me with fantasies from now until my lights go out (and I'm not talking about light bulbs, either!). Rrrrrrrrrrrrr.

It was magnificent.

And a big huge *YAY* for the 19th Amendment!

Posted by: ftb3 | August 18, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Here's your answer folks... G'night... going up to pack for my relatively impromptu road trip to Nashville!

http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/64109

Posted by: -TBG- | August 18, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Officers!

Posted by: Yoki | August 18, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Sorry I missed that, ftb. Perhaps there will be a re-broadcast. I'm in need an enchanted evening right about now.

Is there a raid, Yoki?

Posted by: talitha1 | August 18, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

for TBG . . . impromptu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4p7prURvIk

Posted by: talitha1 | August 18, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

sent our children off to school today. #1 is a hs senior, #2 is in the same building, a freshman, under the watchful eye of my spouse, #3 is in the last year of elementary school. given the events of the past couple of weeks, this familiar routine is rather comforting. laundry beckons.

Posted by: -jack- | August 18, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

I didn't see South Pacific, I was watching the Montreal auditions for SYTYCDC. One of the performers, break dances, however, he is on crutches (muscular disease that prevents muscle in his legs), unbelievable - made it to the final auditions, not sure if he will make the top 20 but it was so worth seeing.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 18, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Who caught Brett Farve's first NFL completion?
Hmm. He started his career with the Atlanta Falcons, no? I seem to recall he threw interceptions for them, but don't think he actually completed a lot of passes there.

Way back then, didn't Deion Sanders play offense and defense for the Falcons?

Deion Sanders is my guess.

Though I suspect a goofier answer, like it was deflected to an offensive lineman or something.

And for sure, he's not thrown his last pick, either.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | August 18, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

I watched it, too, ftb. Loved Alan Alda's interviews with the daughters of Rogers and Hammerstein, and w/ various Lincoln Center peeps. Kelli Ohara was great, to, as was DeBeque.

(Ham's daughter mentioned him going to his farm in Bucks County, about halfway between Doylestown and New Hope. I know right where it is.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | August 18, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

I worked for Pepco when I was but a mere schoolboy. Even then, it was no easy gig wearing the Brown and dealing with situations involving man, nature, and electricity. Unstable, unpredictable and dangerous, but I did a pretty good job for them anyway.

Yello, thanks for bringing my favorite interstellar garbage collector back to the Boodle.

Speaking of which, I'm still snorting over the Ray Bradbury bit from last night, sir.

I sure hope Omni saw that.

Done working for the night, g'night, all.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | August 19, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Gawd, I'm old. I only just now realised it.

#1 is a double-degree 24-year-old and #2 is 21-and-a-half.

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

Yoki, you're just the 'a bit older' mother of 20-somethings . . . and the music you post here proves it. Even leatherthumb, my 35yr son loves your links. ;)

Posted by: talitha1 | August 19, 2010 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Hugs Talitha! Now I feel not young.

Posted by: Yoki | August 19, 2010 1:38 AM | Report abuse

Shoot! I'll try saying that again . . . this way

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=favgoOn-U1I

Posted by: talitha1 | August 19, 2010 2:55 AM | Report abuse

Thank you

Posted by: Yoki | August 19, 2010 3:01 AM | Report abuse

The last time we had a 4 days power outage was a couple of years ago. At the end of the second day, my neighbour rented a noisy portable generator set to run their freezer and fridge. They ran it for 2 days straight. The noise was magnified at night. I almost went mad from the noise.

Posted by: rainforest1 | August 19, 2010 3:14 AM | Report abuse

Get information on how to reduce your debt by filing for bankruptcy http://bit.ly/cpmRHo

Posted by: dalejohn19 | August 19, 2010 5:02 AM | Report abuse

Yes, it's true . . . get information . . . (blogspam at 5:02am)

Have mercy!

Posted by: talitha1 | August 19, 2010 5:13 AM | Report abuse

rainforest, we had a neighbor in Ruxton MD, just north of Baltimore, that had the generator from hell. Of course, he had it situated as far from his house as possible and right next to our back fence. These homes were at least 1/2 mile apart, I should stress, on a largely wooded hillside. The lines were barely maintained by BGE and we lost power quite often.

One fine summer day, after the power had been out for two days due to a storm, I politely asked if I could tap into their generator to run music to drown the constant drone-whirr that ruined our peace. No such luck. That night a few young "ninjas" (who?) disconnected their lines for a few blissful hours of peace. ;)

Posted by: talitha1 | August 19, 2010 5:29 AM | Report abuse

scc: 1/2 acre, not mile - doh

Posted by: talitha1 | August 19, 2010 5:33 AM | Report abuse

I cheated and googled the Brett Favre question. Here is a hint: the recipient is also known for his role in a popular comedy of the late 1990s and has dealt with drug addiction in his life.

Posted by: baldinho | August 19, 2010 6:52 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all. With storms in the area, Mr. T and I decided it would be wise not to take the walk this morning. I'll have to decide whether it's safe to walk later, or to ride the exercycle. Oh boy.

Cassandra, I hope you're cool and comfortable this morning!

Most of the rain has missed us, rats. But at least we got some.

Yoki, Elderdottir is getting close to the 30 mark. That will officially make me old. Yesterday I went with her to purchase her second sofa; the first one, now 6 years old, needs to go to the dump. It's not even worth giving away. She bought it new with the condo shortly after she graduated. That will explain the quality of the piece. Amazing that it stayed together this long.

Posted by: slyness | August 19, 2010 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Robert McCartney has a different opinion about PEPCO:

"Pepco is at the bottom of the class when it comes to frequency of power losses. What's more, Pepco has known about the problem since at least 2005 and has been too cheap or lazy to correct it."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/18/AR2010081806409.html

And those stats refer to non-storm related outages.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 19, 2010 7:20 AM | Report abuse

I do not have the data that Pepco has, but if they really are replacing the same transformers and the same lines after every storm and winter ice - they need to put that line and that transformer under ground. Do this long enough and all the "bottlenecks" will be fixed and not at the "trillions of dollars" they say it will cost. It will even generate some needed business activity.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | August 19, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Richard Pryor played football? I never knew.

Posted by: chollynickabocka | August 19, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Could someone please explain this idiocy to me?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/18/AR2010081806913.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: talitha1 | August 19, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Talitha, that article caused a Eureka! moment for me.

We should create an openly racist scratch lottery ticket game. "Win with White Power". The purchaser would scratch off the three swastikas. If there are three white people below, they are an instant winner!

All proceeds would go to reduce the deficit.

Posted by: baldinho | August 19, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Merlin Olsen? Alex Karras?

Posted by: yellojkt | August 19, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

20% of Americans are idiots. Q.E.D.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 19, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

I can't do it, talitha; I've been grumbling and muttering and cursing that story all morning. Among other things, I don't much like the word "confusion" they are applying to it, which I think is much too polute a word for "blind, willful, delusional ignorance. I tend to reserve "confusion" for cases where there are a couple of choices that are at least reasonably close to each other, such as not being able to remember which one is Cheech and which is Chong. But this is like being confused between dentistry and the tooth fairy.

I don't like the headline on Cilazza's piece, either, which calls it "President Obama's Problem." No, it isn't Obama's problem; he's not the one who needs remedial education and a course of medication. It's the problem mainly of the GOP, in which one-third of Conservs hold this crazy idea. I don't care if they don't like or even hate the guy, and disagree vehemently with his policies. But to also believe something so patently untrue simply undermines their credibility on other political questions, and undercuts their desire to be taken seriously and to be "listened to." One doesn't pay attention to or respect the opinions of people in psych wards who think they are Napoleon.

Ultimately, I think this is simply a major symptom of the mental breakdown that is occurring in the GOP and the rightwing. Their collective personality is splintering and fracturing much like an individual whose mental health is coming apart.

It's going to take a while to play out, maybe a few years, but the people who are most going to have to deal with this are the reasonably sane portion of the GOP, the old-line Republicans, Big Business/Big Pharma/Wall Street types and the party functionary types. It is not in their long-term interest to have their party influenced or dominated by lunatics, and people in the power structure don't need the inmates running the asylum, which is where the GOP is right now. If you are a GOP upper level manager and functionary, you have to be very worried. All political parties and groups rely upon a certain minimal level of reality-testing among their troops.

Posted by: chollynickabocka | August 19, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Ha! baldinho
A given, yello

But why draw attention to the obvious? feed the fire? . . . pick a cliche'.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 19, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

You can rise to power on a platform of fear and hate-mongering. Particularly if you have a small minority you can persecute and scapegoat.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yellojkt/4896067350/in/set-72157624608736065/

And some people will believe anything if it is said loudly and frequently enough.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Lie

Posted by: yellojkt | August 19, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, coffee (iced or hot), and strawberry lemonade on the table.

talitha, I'm baffled as to why the President's religion, or anyone's, is a question in a poll.

chollynickabocka, welcome to the A-blog.

I'm going to respectfully disagree with your statement "all political parties and groups rely upon a certain minimal level of reality-testing among their troops." What the adept political parties do is discover what the public perceives to be real and then they leverage that 'reality' to their advantage. The Nazis excelled at this.

I don't support the current GOP leadership's way of thinking, but I do think they're doing a fairly good job at assessing the level of anger and distrust around the country. If they can leverage that to their advantage, that will give them more power. Once they have more power,then they can try and figure out what the heck they'll do with it.

Posted by: MsJS | August 19, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Hola Boodleros!

Ha! Freedom from Pepco is great.

While living in the DC area, my light bulbs lasted about a month. I blamed ii on instability. The same Chinese light bulbs in Santiago last forever.

Sure, we lost power for a week after the earthquake and I have a notice that power will be cut this Saturday between 0930 and 1530 hrs. for maintenance.

Pepco could learn a thing or two here. Maybe they are more suited to bottle cola drinks.

Brag

Posted by: Braguine | August 19, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

How anyone can speak up in Pepco's defense is beyond me. Shoot, the power in my building is so unreliable that I don't even set the time on any of my devices anymore (except for the clock radio, because I need that) because I know it's only going to be a matter of weeks, if not days, before I'd have to set all of them again.

Posted by: psknight | August 19, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

New Kit! (Y'all have been Mudged.)

MsJS said above:
"Once they have more power,then they can try and figure out what the heck they'll do with it."

We saw what they did with it from 2001 to 2007 - hope we don't see it again.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 19, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Hola, Brag!

MsJS, that was exactly my point. Why is the President's religion a question on a poll, and then splashed all over the "front pages" to fan the hatred. Disgusting.

yello, I'd been meaning to tell you that your photos from Dachau moved me a great deal, the memorial sculpture particularly. (And I've enjoyed your entire gallery as it's been revealed. :))

Posted by: talitha1 | August 19, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

As a homebuilder working inside the beltway, we have to deal with Pepco and roadside trees on a regular basis. I am lucky to be the person who handles permits and the utilities. We've definitely seen an increase in delays to our service requests from Pepco - recently, it took them 3 months to remove their service off of a home that we are preparing for teardown, historically that has only taken about 3 weeks.

Despite the delays, I has some sympathy for Pepco. The roadside tree canopy in this area is a disaster waiting to happen every time the wind blows. And the Maryland DNR has recently made things worse by requiring a property owner to obtain a state permit to trim/cut/alter any roadside tree.

This permit requires that a State Arborist inspect the proposed work, a process that is taking up to a month. Of course, the State Highway Administration is exempt from this requirement - they can cut anything they want.

I am generally not one to advocate for less regulation, but the Roadside Tree Law does not even account for invasive species or trees with hazardous conditions. Given the current situation, the law needs to be reexamined.

Brad Beeson
Bethesda Bungalows

Links: (http://permittingservices.montgomerycountymd.gov/permitting/docs/forms/RoadsideTreeAffidavit.pdf)

(http://www.dnr.state.md.us/download/rsregs.pdf)

Posted by: bradleybeeson | August 19, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Whew! Bunker's open for all who wish to be here!

Posted by: slyness | August 19, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Hey, slyness. I stuck some watermelon wedges and a jug of lemonade in the fridge. ftb sounded like she had the spirits covered.

Back to the numbskull channel for now.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 19, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

So this is the fabled bunker I've heard so much about. Nice play ya got here. The pool table is really cool. Not crazy about that painting on the wall, though. Some hobbit bungalow in the moonlight, looks like. Whose idea was that?

Sure are a lotta doilies. Food and beverages are great, though. My compliments to whoever's doing the commissary work.

Maybe if you got a steam-cleaner in here some of the carpet stains would come out. I know a guy knows a guy in that line of work. Specializes in bloodstains, though that doesn't seem to be the problem here. Looks like a lot of chardonnay damage to me, but i could be wrong.

Posted by: chollynickabocka | August 19, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

It's the cabernet stains that need the most work, chollynickabocka.

**rummage rummage rummage**

I got pale ale and orange slices, if anyone's interested. I know pale ale ain't everyone's fave, but it's what I got. Oh, and peach-blackberry crisp.

I tried posting a dim light bulb on the prior kit, but the werty derd filter wouldn't accept it.

Posted by: MsJS | August 19, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I used to live in College park and had Pepco. Now I live in what is a well-wooded residential area in Laurel; my electric utility is BG&E. In four years, we've had only had one power failure of more than an a hour or two in duration, and very few of those. Pepco is definitely deficient in providing reliable service to its customers.

Posted by: dlk117561 | August 19, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Great storm over there. I think I may go make some popcorn and set my browser to a high refresh rate...

Oh right, I'm supposed to be working, I have Access code to debug. *sigh*

Hope everyone is having a lovely day.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | August 19, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Whew! As the day wears on, so do the trolls. I hope the eyeballs will benefit Joel, the posts are definitely unedifying.

Glad you like the place, Cholly. We've spent a lot of time and effort on it, and it pays off on days like this.

Posted by: slyness | August 19, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Whew! I knew there would be fine people in the bunker! Hey, Cholly (it's somewhat easier for my tired brain than your initials), and welcome to the boodle. You're our kinda person, really.

Just got in some good work to do that will take me through the weekend, as I have to get my portion back to my colleague by late afternoon Sunday. This will be fun and, I might add, remunerative (eventually).

As for the moroons over on the other kit, they sure do prove the point, don't they? Un-effing-believable! They certainly do take the Christ outta Christianity, and every single one of them would be the first in line ready to kill him (presumably for his socialism).

*sigh*

Posted by: ftb3 | August 19, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

ftb, there've already been at least two not-so-veiled death threats to the President over there this afternoon. One made me so mad I could feel my face flush. There were some great new voices for sure and I hope they'll hang with us, but . . .

You know there are people with these demented views out there yet when it hits you in the face like that it's breathtaking. I feel like I want to pour a gallon of disinfectant all over the entire kit and then go take a shower.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHKzn8aHyXg

Posted by: talitha1 | August 19, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Dangerous Islamic music
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D09shzTkW50

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 19, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, some of them are pretty scary. But I've said my peace.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 19, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

A good day for the A-blog, viewerwise.

400 posts on the 'numbskulls' kit and rising. It's mighty hard for Mr. A to garner that many comments so quickly without a stormy kit like that.

Posted by: MsJS | August 19, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Nice music, Jumper - loaded that up, thanks.
RD, your peace was wonderfully said, sir.

I just read my mudged post above at 10:02. Kinda spooky, considering how the day went here.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 19, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

True, MsJS. I get the feeling that Joel feels passionately about this issue. As do I.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 19, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

As should we all.

Got one of those robopoll calls just before supper. Do I favor increased taxes on oil (Yes). Do I favor increased taxes on oil if it means lost American jobs (Yes again). I had to vote, just to mess with them. Bet they will eliminate my response.

Is A-blog still on the local homepage? I'm not seeing it on the out-of-town edition. But still the trolls come.

Posted by: slyness | August 19, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Thanks talitha, but I keep trying to change minds. Which probably makes me the numbskull.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 19, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

So nice to return where sanity reigns. I was amused earlier but now most of the posts are just irritating and some repugnant

Great admiration to those of you who attempted to use reason, logic, humour, intelligence in your posts, I appreciated it, but I sadly think it would have little affect on most of the wacky posters.

I am curious isn't Vitter from LA a convert - is that an issue with the voters there, this idea that Obama must prove his religion is beyond belief. How does one prove a belief?

Posted by: dmd3 | August 19, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

He who knows not and knows that he knows not is a child, teach him.
He who knows not and knows not that he knows not is a fool, avoid him.
He who knows and knows not that he knows is asleep. Wake him.
He who knows and knows that he knows is wise. Follow him.

I just felt like writing that.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 19, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Underground. I live in a neighborhood of trees, where the power lines were ingeniously placed behind the houses. Power reliability is nil.

My father owned a retail store and he always offered to pay the local power company to put the lines underground. They never did, although he was in hurricane alley. The customers always pay for the fixing. The technology of placing the lines underground was lacking then, but with locator services, it is more reliable, more beautiful, and more friendly to the trees to place lines underground. Get a life, remove a pole.

Posted by: HappyCurmudgeon | August 19, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Just for the record, I'm not him (potentially, her). But I guess the "happy" was the give-away on that, I suppose.

Man, it's mean as a snake over there in the current Boodle. I find it kind of interesting that so many whackjobs actually read the post enough to have seen the headline/link, and even gone so far as to have read it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | August 19, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Those people are nuts. I admire all of you who've tried to speak rationally, even though we know it is a lost cause.

Posted by: Yoki | August 19, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

I think I just mudged an e-mail to you, Yoki. Not 20 seconds ago I sent you an e-mail asking if you were alive and well. And here you are.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | August 19, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Well, let's look on the, um, bright side. From one of the more recent boodle-storms, talitha joined us, as did MsJs. We have since picked up Cholly and maybe a couple of others.

I noted on the last kit (before I started gagging) that CowTown came back for a visit.

And, now, we're in the bunker, happily ignoring the nuclear war back over there somewhere. May the idjuts annihilate each other.

*graciously accepting another round of appetizers from the hostess-with-the-mostest*

Posted by: ftb3 | August 19, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

The front page alert isn't canceled yet, but since the link moved down the homepage a bit, it's calmed down noticeably.

baldinho even jumped in with his own LIBTARD comment to try to stir things back up!

Posted by: Bob-S | August 19, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Whew, took one look at the comment count and knew it wasn't worth opening that boodle. Well, I think I know that. If there's anything worth reading would someone please alert me to it? I'd hate to think I spent X minutes of my life I'll never get back reading tripe (which is probably being too harsh on a perfectly harmless foodstuff).

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 19, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

This is my first boodlestorm bunker. I'm so proud. (Started to say "my virgin bunker experience" but . . . well ;))

Posted by: talitha1 | August 19, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Why did I just waste my time reading those lunatic posts? Yikes. Now I have to back up here and read all the good stuff from the sane people. Thank goodness for the bunker.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 19, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

frosti - You didn't really miss anything. There were occasional cute, clever, and/or thoughtful comments, but nothing worth wading through the rest.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 19, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Ah Mudge, I found your green beans and crunchy toppings from 2008, I was within an inch of asking for it as my best enemy Vista had made my copy disappear.
It is Ms. D's father's 75th and my 50th next Sunday and I am on the hunt for recipes for the main course. Ms.D's sister rejected all my proposed choices so far so it will be a surprise, I'm not submitting anything further to her veto. This passive-agressive cook has had enough. I'm leaning toward a pork-fillet version of a classic veal escalope recipe. Might even spring for the veal, so pissed I am. Nobody should say no to my chicken galantine.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 19, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

EYE would not say no to your chicken galantine, shriek. Or anything else, for that matter.

Posted by: Yoki | August 19, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Since no one else has said it, I've got to:

The plural of ilk is actually has a seasonal variation.

The plural of ilk is elke, but only in sommer.

Now if only I could remember what it is in winter ....

Posted by: j3hess | August 19, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Next Sunday (the 29th?), Shriek????? Why, that's my birthday, too! I'm a wee bit (well, more than a wee bit) older than you are, but all is well. And the big 5-0, to boot for ya! I hope you celebrate that magical age. My 50s were pretty good, IIRC. The 60s ain't so bad, either, mostly.

How about that!

Posted by: ftb3 | August 19, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Sounds great to me, shriek. You won't hear me vetoing any food someone wants to prepare for me.

If someone wouldn't mind, could I get just a brief who,what,when,where,why of when the bunker was established? I know it's old news to you all so just a quick shapshot.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 19, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I have just made a creme caramel that Escoffier would envy.

Posted by: Yoki | August 19, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm tilting into the second half century the 22cd ftb and the FIL's birthday was a little earlier but his only son and DIL will be in town next weekend from Lotusland so we will make a combination celebration.

You are a woman of good taste Yoki, she makes 'little rices' and got in some health trouble because of her way-too-plain diet. (lack of variety) When it starts to taste something it is suddenly too spicy for her. Even her own kids complain. She is a very nice person, I like her lot, but her feeding habits are not exactly in tune with my own. Lucky she's got a meat&potatoes guy as a husband who makes meat&potatoes for himself and the 2 huge jocks she calls her sons. Each boy eats almost as much as the Fungi, but there are 2 of them so in total they are a very impressive eating machine. They love to have dinner here or with their grand-mother.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 19, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

It is also eldest daughters birthday on the 29th - we will be celebrating in Montreal.

I also noted Awal had some great posts in the fray, much overdue welcome to cholly, please forgive me if I miss any other new comers.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 19, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

SD, EYE will be delighted to consume anything you decide to create, food-wise.

Happy birthday, early, to you and ftb! I hope you both have delightful days.

So nice to sit on the bunker porch with a nice glass of chardonney and contemplate the rain falling in the yard and the furor in the other kit.

Yoki, the olive balls are outstanding. If there's any creme caramel left, may I have a tiny bite?

Posted by: slyness | August 19, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh please don't let me forget the upcoming birthdays. Yes, welcome cholly, your posts are most entertaining. There were a lot of good, sane comments among the crayon scribbles over there, but I got so spaced out by the end of my reading that I can't remember much about them anymore. DNA_girl linked to a good cartoon, I know that, but if there was a test right now, I'd fail. Sorry about your SIL Shriek, I have some friends with definite preferences in food, but nothing like that!

Posted by: badsneakers | August 19, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

There is lots (and extra caramel)! I'll put it on the fax for you, slyness, just remember to wipe off the mechanism after you retrieve it.

Posted by: Yoki | August 19, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

'lo buddies.

Been busy to the bone but managed to swim every day but the recent storm day. A few kits back, Talitha said a costume-fabric thinking.

Here 'tis. Hoisted upon petards....that comes to mind when thinking on the current boodle zone.

ILK...good word, Y.

I like ilth myself, which is the opposite of health: ilth over then in spades.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | August 19, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

'lo buddies.

Been busy to the bone but managed to swim every day but the recent storm day. A few kits back, Talitha said a costume-fabric thinking.

Here 'tis. Hoisted upon petards....that comes to mind when thinking on the current boodle zone.

ILK...good word, Y.

I like ilth myself, which is the opposite of health: ilth over then in spades.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | August 19, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Not a problem, Yoki, but if it looks like somebody licked it off, I'm not the culprit!

Posted by: slyness | August 19, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

During the heat of the day I left some lowly melon and lemonade in the fridge - don't let it spoil.

Baldinho posted a couple of hilarious Libtard items complete with video over there at 7:38 and 8:06. BobS is messing with as many minds as possible, and the Kaddafidelwhatsit guy is back with a vengence. *shaking head*

Posted by: talitha1 | August 19, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Crème caramel, crème schkaramel allright. Mrs. D tend to judge a restaurant's dessert rating by the quality of their crème brûlée or crème caramel. This diabetic cook disagrees.

I'm tempted to bait a couple of those twats over there. Being a French speaking furriner should get things interesting. The French are overrun by muslin cloth, right?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 19, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Well, I do think the handling of eggs is a distinguisher between the good and merely adequate cook. Creme brulee or savory omelette matters not.

Posted by: Yoki | August 19, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Hoist on (one's) own petard From Shakespeare's Hamlet, and concerning those knavish-unfortunates of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern: BEGIN WILL O'S quote:

There's letters seal'd: and my two schoolfellows,
Whom I will trust as I will adders fang'd,
They bear the mandate; they must sweep my way
And marshal me to knavery. Let it work;
For 'tis the sport to have the enginer
Hoist with his own petar; and 't shall go hard
But I will delve one yard below their mines
And blow them at the moon: O, 'tis most sweet,
When in one line two crafts directly meet.

(act III, scene 4, lines 206 and 207)

The idea, really, is that a petard is a a bomb, smallish, that blows up the bomber, either with the object or instead of the object. Bridges were often the target of a bombadier.

OK -- more: 'petard' comes from the Middle French 'peter,' which derives, in turn, from the Latin 'peditum'— to "to break wind."

MORE: the costume part...somehow this has morphed into being hoisted or foisted by one's petard, with this being a leotard or leggings or hoserie-type garment. Men used to wear hose...with codpieces, natch!

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | August 19, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Isn't that interesting? We (Canadians) call them bombardiers.

Or snowmobiles.

Posted by: Yoki | August 19, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Oh my, spelled this wrong! But, get the Shakespeare embedded: bomBARDier!!!!!!!

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | August 19, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Oh! I never meant to C you, dear CquaP!

Posted by: Yoki | August 19, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Worst even, I'm licenced to launch them. And I abuse this privilege.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 19, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Still ugly over there, but bc, RD, baldinho and bobs are doing their best to beat back the insanity. God bless them all.

Hmm. Now that I've finished the creme caramel, what do I want? Hot tea with a splash of bourbon would be nice, I think.

Posted by: slyness | August 19, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Hard-boil them before launch, please, shrieking_denizen.

Posted by: Yoki | August 19, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

CqP wrote: OK -- more: 'petard' comes from the Middle French 'peter,' which derives, in turn, from the Latin 'peditum'— to "to break wind."

Hmmm, am I a rock (in Greek) or do I merely break wind (in Middle French)? Quite the existential dilemma.

Posted by: -pj- | August 19, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Or they named a cheese after me: Roquefort.

Posted by: -pj- | August 19, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Here's a nice discussion on Jonathan Capehart's blog about the gay marriage issue in California. Capehart's comments aren't much, but some of the following arguments are very good and very civil:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2010/08/ted_olsons_conservative_argume.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Posted by: -pj- | August 19, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Just peaked at the crazy Boodle. That Kadaffi guy is certifiable. I toast (with my diet coke with lime) all of you brave souls, RD, Bob, baldinho, who have engaged him and the others without resorting to all caps and abusive language.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 19, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

pj, péter is more like pet-heh than peter...

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 19, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Mudge,

I see in the Philadelphia Inquirer that on this day in 1909 the Phillies were rained out for the tenth straight day. Was that when you decided to give up your baseball paycheck, in spite of your mastery of the infield fly rule, and find another way to make a living?

Posted by: -pj- | August 19, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

True, SD. I'm tired and just engaging in some self-absorbed playing. Off to bed. Exhausted after work and reading a bid of today's Boodle. What a mess! With badsneaks, my hat is off to those who played with the posters. Well done to you all!

Posted by: -pj- | August 19, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Rachel Maddow had a great show tonight from Baghdad with Richard Engel. He was describing his seven plus years there starting before the war when he entered Iraq as a human shield. It was fascinating to listen to him talk about what he had to do, moving around a lot, bribing police, etc., to stay 'safe'.

More sharks! A sighting today off Plymouth but 'just' a 20-25 foot basking shark, not Jaws!

Posted by: badsneakers | August 19, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

First time I ever umpired a game from a rowboat, pj.

talitha, I don't want you to think I've been ignoring. You asked about the origin of the bunker, and for the last hour or more I've been diligently researching it. The best I can come up with is this:

The first "Rovestorm" was the original, which occurred in Joel's kit posted July 12, 2005 http://voices.washingtonpost.com/achenblog/2005/07/karl_rove_national_treasure_or.html

However, there was no mention of the bunker at this time, just the origin of our notice of an invasion of trolls and wackos.

The first mention I could find was my own, on June 8, 2006, as follows:

"Durn good thing I got the bunker ready the other day for the Hillary storm that never materialized. I'm down there now, bc (hope you got that tent flap sealed good and tight). Had a can of Dinty Moore for dinner, played some Eights Off (solitaire variant) by lantern light, listened to the weather report on the emergency radio, and so to bed. Tomorrow I'll raise the periscope and see if its safe to come out --but I don't know, I don't like the way the geiger counter's ticking."

We can see for a fact that it was slyness's first visit, as she posted:

"'Mudge, if we don't get a new kit soon, will you let me come in the bunker with you? I promise to be quiet! I'll bring my own laptop and let you play Snood...AND I'll cook, if I have to!
Posted by: slyness | June 9, 2006 7:30 AM"

This was followed by:

"Slyness, you're welcome in the bunker any time. You play Gin Rummy? Casino? Acey-Deucey? ...
Posted by: Curmudgeon 9:34 AM"

and

"'mudge - got some more room in that there bunker? bc - room in the tent?
...
Posted by: mo 2:53 PM"

I replied, "mo, don't bother--it's waaaay too late to try to explain anything to them. Just run for your life. There's plenty of room in the bunker; bring a pal and we'll have enough for bridge.
...
Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 9, 2006 3:00 PM"

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/achenblog/2006/06/the_next_zarqawi.html

It's difficult to track this stuff, because a lot of Joel's kits (such as the one following the Zarqawi) are archived without the comments, so I can research them.

However, it appears that the concept of the bunker was extensively fleshed out during the Steel Cage Death Match kit, Nov. 17, 2007, which is worth quoting extensively.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/achenblog/2007/11/steel_cage_death_match_in_the.html#comments

beginning with Maggie's post:

"I'm going over to the Bunker right now to paint it pink and lavender. Anyone want to help?
Posted by: Maggie O'D | November 16, 2007 5:37 PM"

more

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | August 19, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

First time I ever umpired a game from a rowboat, pj.

talitha, I don't want you to think I've been ignoring. You asked about the origin of the bunker, and for the last hour or more I've been diligently researching it. The best I can come up with is this:

The first "Rovestorm" was the original, which occurred in Joel's kit posted July 12, 2005 http://voices.washingtonpost.com/achenblog/2005/07/karl_rove_national_treasure_or.html

However, there was no mention of the bunker at this time, just the origin of our notice of an invasion of trolls and wackos.

The first mention I could find was my own, on June 8, 2006, as follows:

"Durn good thing I got the bunker ready the other day for the Hillary storm that never materialized. I'm down there now, bc (hope you got that tent flap sealed good and tight). Had a can of Dinty Moore for dinner, played some Eights Off (solitaire variant) by lantern light, listened to the weather report on the emergency radio, and so to bed. Tomorrow I'll raise the periscope and see if its safe to come out --but I don't know, I don't like the way the geiger counter's ticking."

We can see for a fact that it was slyness's first visit, as she posted:

"'Mudge, if we don't get a new kit soon, will you let me come in the bunker with you? I promise to be quiet! I'll bring my own laptop and let you play Snood...AND I'll cook, if I have to!
Posted by: slyness | June 9, 2006 7:30 AM"

This was followed by:

"Slyness, you're welcome in the bunker any time. You play Gin Rummy? Casino? Acey-Deucey? ...
Posted by: Curmudgeon 9:34 AM"

and

"'mudge - got some more room in that there bunker? bc - room in the tent?
...
Posted by: mo 2:53 PM"

I replied, "mo, don't bother--it's waaaay too late to try to explain anything to them. Just run for your life. There's plenty of room in the bunker; bring a pal and we'll have enough for bridge.
...
Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 9, 2006 3:00 PM"

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/achenblog/2006/06/the_next_zarqawi.html

It's difficult to track this stuff, because a lot of Joel's kits (such as the one following the Zarqawi) are archived without the comments, so I can research them.

However, it appears that the concept of the bunker was extensively fleshed out during the Steel Cage Death Match kit, Nov. 17, 2007, which is worth quoting extensively.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/achenblog/2007/11/steel_cage_death_match_in_the.html#comments

beginning with Maggie's post:

"I'm going over to the Bunker right now to paint it pink and lavender. Anyone want to help?
Posted by: Maggie O'D | November 16, 2007 5:37 PM"

more

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | August 19, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Nice work, baldhino. And RD.

I can tell the vegan pepperoni will be a joke but it's in the oven drying. I suppose it will be a learning experience, as is the current kaboodle.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 19, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the double post.

2:


followed by

"Me, me, pick me, Maggie!"
Posted by: dr | November 16, 2007 5:55 PM

"Of course, dr. I'm thinking of stripes for the front entry. Too daring?"
Posted by: Maggie O'D 6:00 PM

"Maggie... Lemme pleeeeeze paint the bunker's foyer (pronounced "foy-yay") a lovely shade of aqua..."
Posted by: TBG 6:10 PM

"The Bunker interior shall be decorated with plastic fighter jet models and deer antlers! And Sports Illustrated swimsuit calendars. And there'll be Outside magazines on EVERY END TABLE!
Posted by: CowTown 6:15 PM |

"And that is just the front entrance.
Posted by: dr 6:45 PM |

End Tables? Bit la-di-da don'tcha think?
Can we have Harley Davidson napkin rings?
Posted by: Boko999 7:04 PM

Let's redo the ready room with antlers, yet flock them for the holidays. Shall we try a lime green/amethyst pink to go with TBG light aqua walls....a sort of fifties holiday look complete with a metallic aluminum xmas tree?
Posted by: College Parkian | 7:06 PM

Gotcha covered with that retro look, CP.
...
Posted by: TBG 7:14 PM

Naturally, the pooch was welcome, and got into it:

Let's not forget the four-footed stalwart guardians of the bunker.
There should be stuffed kittens buried in the baskets of yarn for us to chew on and play fetch with.
Oh, and baskets full of deliciously stuffed kongs with nice chewable squeaky cloth covers. An umbrella stand full of bully sticks would also be awesome. And don't forget to stock up with food and water and extra leashes and so on for the necessities of life. Dog beds or extra sofas are awesome, too.
THEN maybe I'll happily wear something stupid that goes with the decor. I draw the line at wearing pants of any sort, though.
Posted by: Wilbrodog 7:20 PM

The antlers look divine with each tip ending in a bow. And they do look tres chic in hats.
...
Posted by: dr 7:31 PM

Here's an idea for sofa cushions
...[redacted URL]
Posted by: kbertocci 7:38 PM

*sobbing quietly*
Posted by: Curmudgeon 7:45 PM

Ladies, ladies! If you want a Fraser fir for the Christmas tree in the bunker, just let me know and I'll get and fax it tomorrow. We found ours today, at a place where there are many lovely ones. Will a nine-footer do, or do you want one bigger?
Posted by: Slyness 8:04 PM

Far be it from a color-blind dog to comment, but perhaps the rainbow trout or marlin would also be good?
...[redacted URL]
Posted by: Wilbrodog 8:09 PM

Don't forget the singing bass.
[redacted URL]
Posted by: dmd 8:23 PM

Is it okay if I bring some lights for the bunker? I mean Xmas lights, the ones that are different colors. I love Christmas lights. Will the lights fit your color scheme?
Posted by: Cassandra S 9:11 PM

Cassandra, any Christmas lights will fit the color scheme!
Posted by: Slyness 9:19 PM

more

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | August 19, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

3

*additional memo to self: NEVER, EVER leave bunker or shop steward's office unlocked over the weekend EVER again*
Posted by: Curmudgeon 9:31 PM

... Oh, I like the thought of a lavender diffuser lamp, rainforest! Good call! That should make Mudge so mellow, he'll be okay with the Christmas decorating in the bunker. We really should do something special for him in the shop stewart's office. Hmmm...will have to think about that.
Posted by: Slyness | November 17, 2007 7:38 AM

The rest, as they say, is history...

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | August 19, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to RD for his usual work with irrefutable logic and cunning incisiveness, even if it was to no avail. And while baldinho gave great parody, I found out the hard way that is impossible to outflank a wing nut on the crazy side.

Posted by: PopSocket | August 19, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Oh, yeh, Socket? Just watch.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 19, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

I must modestly admit that I donated first Kinkades to the Bunker. I thought that they would add a certain je ne sais quoi to the ambience.

I've been lurking but not posting lately. Too busy wallowing in my own personal slough of despond to make the effort.

(nee Maggie O'D)

Posted by: rickoshea11 | August 19, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that's a real NumbSkuagmimre over there. Engaging some of those folks is like trying to reason with a bowl of sulfuric acid, or tiger sharks in a tank full of bloody water.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | August 19, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

brought along a large bowl of shrimp dip and a backgammon board. go nuts. the dipsticks on the other side must have an alert chain or something, judging by the rate at which comments are being posted. that kadaffi poster proves that the apple doesn't often fall far from the tree. i brought the atari, too. the rca jacks are in, and the pong tourney is on.

Posted by: -jack- | August 19, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

jack!

Posted by: Yoki | August 20, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Good luck with that, bc.

Posted by: Yoki | August 20, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Sir Curmudgeon, your tireless and loving effort in answering my query regarding the origins of the bunker are appreciated more than you'll ever know. Had I realized the efforts required to fulfil my curiousity I might have hesitated to ask. I'm afraid that I departed the bunker at 10:15 and missed your posts but what a delight to discover them this morning. I am illuminated, though not as colorfully as that first bunker Christmas must have been!

Many thanks, kind sir.
your talitha

Posted by: talitha1 | August 20, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

ros!

Howdy boodle. Thinking they'll see something shiny elsewhere and be out of the boodle soon, but not holding my breath.

Had another thunderstorm last night, this one with rolling thunder (cloud to cloud lightning). We must be nearing a record for days with thunderstorms this summer.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 20, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Just checked in at the Numbskullstorm next door. Mean, it is cary mean over there. Read some of the overnighters-- it was like Yoki and Bob S. versus Night of the Living Dead.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 20, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Is this all PEPCO's fault? No. Is this largely the result of an evolutionary develooment of a now antiquated infrastructure? Yes. But that is systemic of all infrastructure in the greater DC area. How many major water main breaks have there been this summer.

But here's the rub. PEPCO IS THE POWER COMPANY. They are responsible for providing uninterrupted electricity to my home in exchange for the premium I pay for electricity. I recently moved here and my electric (air conditioning) bill is TWICE what I paid at my last home - in NEW ORLEANS! And yet in the 3 months I've been here I've lost power at least 10 times including 2 days in that debacle last week, when none of my trees affected power. Thank goodness I still had my Katrina generator to save my food. Yes, it's expensive to bury cables. But is that really more expensive in the long run compared to the cost of all this overtime and out of state repair crews? I'm dubious. This is 2010 for cryin' out loud and this is Maryland, USA!
No PEPCO isn't the entire problem but they sure are giving monopolies a bad name.

Posted by: Kapnnem0 | August 20, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Numbskullblog is still on the home page! I guess only numbers rule at the .com these days.

Posted by: -pj- | August 20, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

All I can say is, Thank goodness that noted legal scholar Alberto Gonzalez has weighed in on the 14th amendment issue. It's like that whole discussion had a huge empty space inside of it until he put forth his legal wisdom. http://www.thepowellhotel.com/

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 20, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Howdy. I just posted this yonder at the NumbSkullStorm:

"Good morning. I'll check back to the future shortly, but thought I'd try and peruse this ultimately exhausting and tedious Boodle. Major props to those of you who remained voices of sanity through the long long march. You deserve AchenMedals, all.

Thanks again are due to RD for the nice explanation of logic this morning. If I accomplish one thing as a parent I hope I successfully teach the Boy to think logically. I've been trying since his infancy, by example and analysis. I took philosophy logic, as opposed to math logic, in college. I was surprised to realize, as a music major, that the forms and structure of logic corresponded remarkably to the forms and structure of music. Several of us were in the class. I did a sort of tutorial for the music folks showing them the correlations and we all did very well."

ShriekingD, I turn 50 on the 30th. I'm thinking of celebrating with a family dinner sometime in September that will primarily include dishes from "The Gift of Southern Cooking". I have my eye on a scalloped tomato recipe. Yesterday I made croutons from leftover baguette and was embarrassed at how easy it was. I will never be croutonless again!

Today I hit the 10-pound loss mark on my diet. It doesn't seem like much but at this rate I'll be down 20 pounds before Thanksgiving, and almost 40 pounds by Easter. Taking the long view makes it easier.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 20, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Response to leighwilliams from yesterday's request: Yes, permission grant. Just cite "Curmudgeon" or "Curmudgeon from the Achenblog" as the source.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 20, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations, ivansmom. Truly an accomplishment!

Posted by: -dbG- | August 20, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

The front page alert is still in effect, but I think the storm can be downgraded to a minor nuisance.

Posted by: MsJS | August 20, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Yay Ivansmom!

Posted by: Yoki | August 20, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Is NumbSkullStorm official now? I was leaning towards Mosquerade, but meh... too much work lately (still much better than none)

Posted by: qgaliana | August 20, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey, ho, and hello, all.

It is nuts over there. Nuts. Kaddafi reminds me of an ex who loved to argue for the sake of it. He wasn't interested in an idea exchange, and he was always, always 100% right. No convincing him. Nothing was cited, and everything he said trumped you, even when it made no sense. Insults were sprinkled liberally throughout to get you angry and keep you off-balance. It's an interesting style of "conversation." Best thing is to simply ignore him.

Hope everyone is having a good day, I think it's about time for a trip to Panera. My stomach thinks my throat's been cut.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | August 20, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

btw, "Hi Mudge!" Welcome back. :)

Posted by: MoftheMountain | August 20, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

To my dear Ivansmom -- congratulations on your upcoming 50th! Celebrate early and often, and take no prisoners, because you have definitely earned it. I have a cousin (if he's still alive) out in California who shares a birthday with you (but he's much, much older - gotta be close to 80 I would think).

Woo-hoo to the ancient among us!

I'll be outta pocket here for the next few days, as parts of an opposition to a motion to dismiss are on my plate. Gotta get it to the guy in charge by latest end of day Sunday, and I'd like to capture a teeny bit of weekend magic not spent doing laundry, watering plants or doing any work (so to speak). I might lurk on occasion, though. If prodded (intellectually, of course), I'll even blurt something out.

Cya later.

Posted by: ftb3 | August 20, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom: best wishes at long view. I've not yet extended short into long.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 20, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Thanks y'all! Less food, more exercise.

I am looking forward to 50 - I always say I wasn't even interesting until I was 40.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 20, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I had a look at Moore's "Bite me!" at the bookstore at lunch time but the $26 sticker means I'll wait for the trade edition (usually $16-17 in these parts). Abby Normal is an important protagonist. It should be good.
I got Michael Connelly's "9 dragons" instead.

Yvansmom, it took me 2 years to lose 50 lbs and another 3 to gain back 20... It's a long fight. I'm not sure I'm looking forward to 50. The only improvement that aging brought on my body is that I stopped having migraines when I was about 38. Since then it has been going down steadily.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 20, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

The year that I was 50 and 51 was one of the best of my life, and things are getting better daily. I wouldn't go back for all the youthful tautness in the world.

Posted by: Yoki | August 20, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, yet another thing to worry about: lunar shrinkage. Too bad AP beat Joel to this one.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/19/AR2010081904117.html?hpid=artslot

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 20, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Singing out my congratulations to I-mom on her birthday and her weight loss! I enjoyed turning 50 myself, by myself, on an indulgent long weekend at an old resort. Now that I'm almost a decade older I smile at that and look ahead to more.

I hope your birthday is the best!
-----------
Regarding the Storm over yonder, it seems to be worse as the day progresses. I have two random thoughts. One is that someone is putting out the word on the wingnut sites and sending people over armed with cut-and-paste talking points.

The other thought I had is that by having the 'visitors' spouting in Achenblog they are at least challanged with high level discourse and humour (most sailing overhead, I'm sure) --- not just talking amongst themselves. Diffusion, so to speak.

Love y'all!

Posted by: talitha1 | August 20, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Welcome Imom to this age of splendors. I find that no matter what I do, really, the waist is rather gone. And, if you lose enough to make the waist appear, well you lose the swells of plether and nether regions. And, my goodness, when slimmy the face looks thinny, too.

So, find the reasonable middle and exercise for the heart rate and blood pressure and endorphin benefits.

And interesting that a waist is a negative space, as in it is less than more....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | August 20, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Missing RickOshea, who is lurking but perhaps the knees hurt these days when the heat has not sent her to the veranda with two fans and a huge pitcher of lemon water on even days, barley water for the odds.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | August 20, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Just stopping by to drop off a pot of Thai green curry chicken coconut milk w/lime soup for y'all. Oh, also an apple pie. (choice of menu suggested by visitors at the stormsite)

Eat hearty!

Posted by: talitha1 | August 20, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Vintage reality check. Do any of youse guys and gals remember metal or high-gloss ceramic/concrete cats or squirrels that were affixed to brick walls or trees? I am thinking from 50s, 60s, and then left over from that time.

Did I dream them?

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | August 20, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I remember them, CqP, and there's a house about a mile from here with two kitties on their chimney.

Unless my eyes deceive me, the front page no longer contains Achenblog link. Alert over, methinks.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 20, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

YES! Chimmbleh Kittehs.....I have been looking for a source for them....TeeBeeGee and I are fanatics for 40s 50s stuff. Of course, now other join us in the mid century mania but we are not haters we are joiners!

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | August 20, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Plether regions? There are plether regions? WHY WASN'T I TOLD ABOUT THIS??? I know about that other one, but why didn't I get the memo?

Jeez, I'm almost 64 years old and I've spent major portions of my life trying to educate myself about...well, certain anatomic issues, let's just say. And now I find out women have a whole, entire, complete region that I had no idea even existed. Guys? Help me out here. RD, Dave, shriek, did you know? Is there a map, a book, a chart, SOMETHING?

I even Googled it...no help.

I know...It's probably way, way too late, and I don't know if I even have any plethering skills or not. For all I know I coulda been a terrific pletherer when I was younger. Women back in the day could have whispered to each other, "Ya know, I'll say this about Mudge: he knows his way around a lady's plether."

But no.

*sigh*

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 20, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I think you have been there. Rose, any other name, sweet smelling,etc.

When you bike, you use your nethers. So, the plethers would be up several stories.

The waist is tween/twist the nethers and plethers.

Now, let's all sing a chorus of this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96UbVbNqRSE

Ella F is best at this but here is a modern version

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEW2aEazNCQ&feature=related

Silje Nergaard

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | August 20, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Those...are plethers/

Oh.

Okay, never mind. I'm getting a dim recollection now.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 20, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I used to have a very nice plether jacket, but the plether cracked and fell off. Never had plether pants, so no plether on my nether.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 20, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

If I understand her correctly, yello, I don't think CqP's plether and your plether are quite the same thing. Because otherwise I'm having trouble picturing you in a plether jacket, and the notion of your plethers cracking and falling off is quite disturbing.

Just saying.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 20, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

*snort*

Posted by: ftb3 | August 20, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Yes, absent major illness, plethers fall down as they age, not off.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 20, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

The plural was the giveaway.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 20, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Worth yet another *snort,* talitha.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 20, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Indeed, I have been lurking. I haven't added anything to the discussion because I haven't felt strongly enough about anything lately.

Except, of course, myself and my impending surgery (on my foot this time), which requires that I spend some time in rehab (no, no, no)followed by two or so months in a wheelchair, then crutches, then a walking cast.

Not looking forward to it, though I will be entertained by family and friends as much as possible. And attended to by a high school girl, who, as a native Spanish speaker and the daughter of aliens, is taking AP calculus, AP English, AP History, and Honors French 3.

I'm going to help her with her homework and tell her how brilliant she is and how the US is enriched and enhanced by all the immigrants in its history.

Mojo to me on August 30th, por favor!

Posted by: rickoshea11 | August 20, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Mojo already on it's way, dear rickoshea. Your new companion indeed sounds like an enrichment to life and the country.
___________
___________
A major troll that I recognize from other comment boards just slathered Achenblog with his drivel. Lysol Plus may be required.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 20, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention dynamite, talitha.

Posted by: ftb3 | August 20, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

You got it, ros!

Rehab? Argghh! I spent six weeks in rehab a couple of years ago. Get to know your patient care techs. It can make things a lot more tolerable.

Maybe I'll stop by and we'll do wheelie races down the corridor!

Posted by: MsJS | August 20, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Thanks MsJS, I bet I could use the instruction on wheelies and on paper folding. Please bring $1500 and teach me the art of oragami.

6 weeks, wow! I bet they throw me out after a week!

Posted by: rickoshea11 | August 20, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

ftb, you're right!

Aside from the opinion page I just determined the link to Achenblog that's been puzzling me since it was taken off the front page. It's at the bottom of this front page piece:

"Lawmakers and the 'birther'/Muslim myth"

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/08/lawmakers-who-push-the-birther.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: talitha1 | August 20, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

rickoshea,

One week? I'm frenvious. At that rate, you won't have time to choke on the food.

As for the origami, we'll start with simple things, like frogs, hearts, rings, and fish. By the time we're done you'll have graduated to elephants, stingrays, and bracelets. Got any requests? My repertoire is admittedly limited, but I shall do my best.

Posted by: MsJS | August 20, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Thanks MsJS, but I'm only really interested in the $1500. In one dollar bills please, so I can get really good at it!

Posted by: rickoshea11 | August 20, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

For those of you staying in the bunker, I came upon this while searching for something else. I posted it back at blog. The guy in the last part of the clip says it all.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seH_gnUzj-E&videos=NNJJXOzW9rI

Posted by: talitha1 | August 20, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Wow, reading that Boodle (though it does not deserve such an honourable name) has me sunk in the Slough of Despond. I'm not going back in there for anything.

Posted by: Yoki | August 20, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Ahem. As one who has had lunch with both CP and Yoki, let me attest that both have passed 50 looking quite exceedingly fine.

Indeed, the thought of it is making me feel all woozy...

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 20, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, maybe this'll cheer you up an iota. I was typing a word today and, without thinking, typed "honour". Didn't change it either. ;)

Sit down, have a glass of wine, maybe some of my Thai green curry soup, some pie later. To trot out the old cliche', this too shall pass.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 20, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Finally getting my homemade pizza chops back. Even the vegan imitation pepperoni I made as a lark turned out pretty good. The 'shrooms, red bell pepper, homemade crust: all good.

My sweetie is in town! Snoopy dancing!

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 20, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Hey Jumper. That's great! *doing a sympatico Happy Dance*

We really need italics.

Posted by: Yoki | August 20, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

I guess I picked the right two days to be working so that I missed reading all that carp in real time.

Maggie, I hope your surgery and recovery go smoothly. I am very sorry that you have to go thru all that. Try to focus on how much better you'll be when it's all behind you. (Golly, I hate it when I sound so much like my mother - the original Pollyanna).

Glad the week is over, standing for hours on end is hard on the feet. Tomorrow hair appointment and then dinner and Lewis Black with friends at night!

Posted by: badsneakers | August 20, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, talitha. Be careful though, pretty soon you'll be a Loyalist.

Posted by: Yoki | August 20, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Yoki.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | August 20, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey, beloved 'mudge.

Posted by: Yoki | August 20, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Maggie good luck with the surgery and I hope you have a speedy recovery.

badsneaks, I saw Lewis Black a few years ago, loved it - enjoy.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 20, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Have a great weekend, Jumper!
______________

I was surfing around tonight and came upon this video. It's not the content (weird) but the title that counts.

Motivational Posters vs Numbskulls
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVnqtIjk0Js

Posted by: talitha1 | August 20, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Rachel Maddow is still in Baghdad with Richard Engel and her reports from there are fascinating. Engel speaks Arabic (?) and was translating some Q&A between Maddow and an Iraqi friend of Engel's about electric power (very little vs. under Saddam) and safety issues, etc. Her show these past two nights has been stellar.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 20, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

sneaks, hope you get used to the standing. I'm walking my legs off getting to and from the bus and light rail, but so far my knees and ankles have not failed me - my Achilles tendon was barking at me yesterday, though. Maggie, hope everything goes well for you - glad you will have someone to help out.

Feels kind of weird to be working again. I'd feel better if it was permanent, but as someone said to me the other day, all jobs are temporary now. There's some kind of tension between my supervisor and the sweet older woman I work with - hope I don't get caught in the middle of that.

What I started to reply to was badsneakers' comment about Richard Engel - I heart him. He speaks Arabic fluently - he was a freelancer in Cairo many years ago. He and Rachel are fun to watch together - he is so knowledgeable about the Middle East and Iraq in particular.

Got home tonight in time for Keith Olbermann reading James Thurber - I love that feature. Makes me want to curl up with cookies and milk.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 20, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

I agree about Thurber, seasea. I enjoy 'hearing' him rather than reading him. And I heart Engel too (and Rachel).

I have been forcing my legs to get used to it all as "S" and I have walked each night after I get home from work. Finally tonight when we walked I didn't feel like I had to drag each leg along. So I guess I'm winning the battle.

I hope you don't get caught in the middle at work. That's what I liked about my last full time job, no drama. Altho' after I left I did find out about an office romance that didn't end well. I had wondered about the two people a few times when I was there, but dismissed it as very unlikely - boy was I wrong.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 20, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

i believe the comment count on the other side may be approaching a record. some of the comments seem to be as driven as beavis on speed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4NQrFM_Vv4

Posted by: -jack- | August 21, 2010 12:39 AM | Report abuse

We'll just wait for Butthead to show up.

Posted by: Yoki | August 21, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

i think he has already showed up a time or two. the former AG had an op-ed on the fourteenth amendment. something about the rule of law. yeah.

Posted by: -jack- | August 21, 2010 12:54 AM | Report abuse

here it is.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/19/AR2010081904783.html

ymmv.

Posted by: -jack- | August 21, 2010 1:02 AM | Report abuse

The Incomparable Alberto Gonzales!

Posted by: Yoki | August 21, 2010 1:02 AM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nO_WOi92YWo&feature=related

hat.

Posted by: -jack- | August 21, 2010 1:07 AM | Report abuse

wrong. 300 sec late.

Posted by: -jack- | August 21, 2010 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Jaysus Gawd! Always late and not too soon smart.

Posted by: Yoki | August 21, 2010 1:36 AM | Report abuse

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/20/AR2010082005747.html?hpid=topnews

A big new Achenstory on plugging the Macondo well. It's a vivid first draft of history, the wary but effective collaboration between BP and the US Government.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 21, 2010 1:50 AM | Report abuse

good morning bunkering boodlers! I'm off to Tampa this morning and wondering if that horrible boodle will self destruct at 1,000 comments.

Best wishes to you on your surgery Maggie. Cheers to sneaks' and seasea's working legs-tired though they may be. And sneaks-I'll take the faxing of some 'maters. Even the little cherry types are flavorless from all the rain, rain, rain.

Later gators.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 21, 2010 6:33 AM | Report abuse

For those who are still here, new kit.

Posted by: MsJS | August 21, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

A motion is advanced to retain this room for use as bunker because the other room is far from ready.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 21, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

second

Posted by: -bia- | August 21, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Third. The LimbaughStorm is fierce right now. Gad!

Posted by: talitha1 | August 21, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Wine and rare beef were consumed. The company was pleasant.

Plus, my Alice Sheldon/ James Tiptree bio arrived. I will go submerge now.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 22, 2010 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Just tidying up a little. As commodius as the bunker is I don't think it was designed for multiple incidents of numbskullduggery. Oatmeal with berries and peanut butter for those needing a breakfast that fuels an active day. (Mine might be fueling a nap, but I've already run so that's ok)

Have a great Sunday.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 22, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

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