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Posted at 8:55 AM ET, 11/26/2010

Front line bacon

By Joel Achenbach

Told you so! Other day I was extolling the virtues of bacon, and today, in a fine dispatch from Afghanistan, which I'm told is nippy this time of year, Greg Jaffe tells us of the secret ingredient in front-line curried chicken:

The three Army cooks at Combat Outpost Honaker-Miracle work with a staff of four Afghans. Over the past six months the men have become good friends, and [Army Spec. David] Blocker has even solicited some recipes from his Afghan counterparts. Recently he made an Afghan curried chicken for the U.S. soldiers on the base, adding his own American twist. He dropped a rasher of bacon, which is strictly forbidden in Islam, into the pot.

What I been sayin'.

Today is obviously a major day for fashioning leftovers into something special, like a cassoulet, infused with a highly reduced brown sauce that has been slowly tortured on a low flame. Also there must be turkey sandwiches. (The only catch is that, after yesterday at Gene and Arlene's, I've consumed all my alloted calories for the next 6 months and must now go on a strict distilled-water diet.)

My new vow: I'm going to get HEAVILY into cooking, and also literature, and learn a new language and rebuild my garage, as soon as this damn b--k is done. And I will burn this laptop on a pyre.

By Joel Achenbach  | November 26, 2010; 8:55 AM ET
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Next: Safe again to talk religion and politics


Bacon and bunnies and bears, oh my!

Posted by: MsJS | November 26, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Sure Joel, until the bug hits again.

I envy you all your turkey sandwiches, my favourite part of feasts featuring the bird. I go so far as to make bread the evening-of, just to make sure they are the Best. Sandwiches. Ever.

Posted by: Yoki | November 26, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Joel.

As I've always said, there are few things that can't be made better with the addition of bacon.

Perhaps even cassoulet, which I think is French for "clean out the fridge." [In America we call this Dad's Sunday Chili]

Even a laptop burning can be made better with bacon (or is that Bacon?) -- just bring the camping cooking rack, griddle and tongs. [Need to add a lot of mesquite or hickory to the fire to cover the tang of burnt plastic, though]


Posted by: -bc- | November 26, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I was thinking Brunswick stew for leftover turkey, but I'm not sure there's enough make it worth the effort. Turkey sandwiches it is!

My mother's technique for keeping the turkey from drying out is to cover all available surfaces of the bird with strips of bacon. It works very well, and the bacon is good to nibble on as one carves the finished product.

Posted by: slyness | November 26, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

One day, bacon might become a semi-forbidden food, like peanuts. Not so much allergies as various objections. Could someone invent fish bacon to satisfy self-described vegetarians? The little soy particles you're supposed to spread on salads don't convince me. Tofu bacon sounds unworkable. Turkey bacon? Have I actually seen that in the supermarket?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | November 26, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Elderdottir buys turkey bacon, Dave. It's just so-so, IMHO. Okay in a pinch, but why bother when you can get the real stuff?

Posted by: slyness | November 26, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

They must have battered deep-fried bacon available at country fairs by now. Can anyone confirm this?

Posted by: baldinho | November 26, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all! I look forward to the Pyre BPH. Joel, bring the laptop to OKC and we'll hold a Viking funeral on the river. Beer and bacon.

Fish bacon. I don't know. That seems wrong on many levels, but it is now stuck in my brain.

A friend shared a picture of their Thanksgiving vegetable - green beans bundled with bacon.

I went to sleep about ten last night. Ivansdad and the Boy stayed up and went to the midnight opening of the WalMart sale, looking for video games and DVDs. They were back in less than an hour, triumphant. With some mental effort I regard this as a fantastic adventure for them. It would be torture for me. At least this seems to have satisfied Ivansdad's tradition of early Black Friday shopping; he's still at the house this morning. My own Black Friday tradition involves not shopping.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 26, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

baldinho, the Oklahoma State Fair has fried bacon on a stick.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 26, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Turkey bacon seems like artificial crab, the sort made from fish. It's taking a valuable raw material and turning it into inferior manufactured goods, the way Soviet factories did.

Thinking of distilled-water diet, I should look into bottling Okefenokee Swamp water. Its mineral content is well below that of rain falling on the swamp. The water's brown color from tannic acids can be marketed as "natural tea" with of course some extra added stuff from resident alligators, birds, and bears.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | November 26, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Mmmmm, Brunswick stew, slyness! Even if you don't make it, the very thought of it lifts my spirits. My grandmother made huge kettles-full outdoors over a woodfire for family barbeques and fishfries. Joy!

I enjoyed the dispatch from Greg Jaffe ... may all those folks over there be blessed. And would someone please tell the copy editor that it's "make do", not "make due"?

Posted by: talitha1 | November 26, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

What copy editor, talitha? Copy editors now reside in museums.

Posted by: ftb3 | November 26, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Curry and bacon are kind of redundant, I'd think, but as long as the bacon brings out the salt and illicit taste...

Glad we're doing a bacon offensive in Afghanistan, though.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 26, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

How to make Beef Bacon...

Taste commentary:

Not convinced.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 26, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Delicious Thanksgiving leftover, below. Late. *sigh*

The Wampanoag wedding was a participatory one. There were no groomsmen or bridesmaids. In the middle of the ceremony, clan leader Robert called forward the friends of the bride and the groom to come forward and speak kind words about the couple. Each came singly from either the bride's side or the groom's side--whoever felt compelled to speak at any particular moment stepped forward in front of the pair and the guests assembled about the large circle. Even children, who were able, spoke.

Next, Matt and Kerri, with one wrist each still comfortably bound together with a deerskin cord, approached the four fires. Each fire symbolized a different direction--north, south, east and west. With a large stick, the couple pushed together the four smaller burning fires to create one larger blaze, again a sign of coming together, of union.

Then it was time for Matt and Kerri to declare their love for one another. Matt misted up; Kerri cried. They exchanged gifts, I believe each handcrafted something for the other. At this point, I recall Robert saying that the marriage of this Wampanoag couple, given the fact that everything had to be borrowed for that Saturday's wedding to take place (because of the house fire), was yet one more example of the resilience of the Wampanoags.

Lastly, this attractive young couple was presented a gift, just one, from the Wampanoag community, who pooled their resources to provide them a beautiful Pendleton blanket. Since this is the Painted Turtle Clan, the Pendleton design was one of a large turtle, which represents both fertility and long life. The blanket was unfolded and placed lovingly, and horizontally, over the couple's shoulders.

(At this point, I think my jaw dropped in surprise, because their blanket reversed in color from camel on one side to brown on the other. The very same Pendleton blanket in our own home reverses from gray to forest green.)

At this point, Matt and Kerri's children joined them. Ezra, just several months old and in the deepest slumber, wrapped snuggly in golden deerskin on the cradleboard, was ahnded to them. Here I must admit that the groom Matt is a very, very handsome young man. The couple's five-year-old son, Pharoah, is his father's spitting image. Pharoah stood between his mother and father. Wrapped as a family, the foursome made their way around the giant circle of friends, family, and visitors, happy and speaking with everyone.

Beautiful young reenactor who portrayed Jane Cooke and several other young reenactors from the English side of the Plantation had come to witness the special ceremony and celebrate the couple's joy. We saw the prepared native feast would barely feed their closest friends--a pot of sliced squashes, a nutmeat gravy, a stew of sorts. We had but an hour left to see the English village side of the Plantation, but as it turned out, the most fun hour was with the festive Wampanoags.

Posted by: laloomis | November 26, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Wow, subversive military cookery. Just as long as no one invites the natives over for a bite. Things are testy enough as it is.

And I know exactly what is meant about delaying great plans because of professional responsibilities. I have been forced to delay my dream of a Winery in Australia until at least 2032, when I should be able to retire.

And speaking of the passage of time, here's a great article by the Manteuffel Siblings. I thought that Mudge, and all fans of nautical-type history, would find it especially interesting.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | November 26, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Fish bacon is already on the market: smoked eel. It's a fish and it's fat enough. I'm not a fan though.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | November 26, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

This is for yellow,

Posted by: dmd3 | November 26, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I've had smoked eel, Shriek. Don't mind it. I certainly like it better than lutfisk (lutefisk in Norwegian).

I'm still stuffed from yesterday. So glad that beloved holiday only comes once a year, glorious that it is.

Gotta get back to work, alas.

There hasn't been a Martooni sighting for much too long. Hope he's okay.

*waving to Martooni*

Posted by: ftb3 | November 26, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for that link, Padouk. I toured the Olympia when she first came to Penn's Landing, literally about a half a century ago, when I was in the Cub Scouts/Boy Scouts. Yes, it is sad that the U.S. has no budget for its history, especially its Navy. It is a very long tradition of neglect not confined to just the Olympia. I could tell you stories that would make you weep...

There is one major, major inaccuracy in the story: "While newer American battleships fought the Germans, she engaged a lesser enemy emerging in Russia: Bolsheviks." No American battleship ever fired a single shot at anything remotely German during WWI. Furthermore, she did NOT engage any Bolsheviks; rather, 53 of her crew were detached and served briefly with some British Navy sailors occupying Archangel. The Olympia herself went to Murmansk as part of a peace-keeping force, not as a combatant. As far as I can determine, no one fired so much as a single bullet. (There was a bit of combat elsewhere, but not these people, and not the Olympia). (We had one of the last surviving members of this group of soldiers over to our house for Thanksgiving a dozen years ago. He's now buried at Arlington; my wife and I went to his funeral.) American battleships never battled the Krauts (in either war, by the way), nor the Bolshies, ever (they were our pals in WWII).

I don't want to nit-pick too much, but this is mostly nonsense: "When the Olympia returned home in 1921, the United States was no longer the little country with the big battleship. It was a world power, vying with Britain for the largest navy in the world." Most naval historians would say the US became a world naval power in 1905-7, when TR sent "the Great White Fleet" around the world. After all, that was TR's point. Anointing GB and the US navies as triumphant in the 1920s has very little meaning considering the poor, bedraggled state they were in compared to Germany and especially Japan in 1939 (we had to loan them 50 obsolete WWI destroyers).

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 26, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Guy Fieri's D/D-Is/D show just did a segment on a restaurant that serves glazed bacon donuts. Think of your basic glazed Krispy Kreme doused in crumbled bacon until it looks like a wilted Chia Pet lifering.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 26, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I also hope Cassandra had a good Thanksgiving. I wonder whether the baby is here.

This afternoon my computer developed an annoying habit. A little notification box keeps popping up to tell me that "One of the USB devices attached to this computer has malfuntioned, and Windows does not recognize it." There are no USB devices attached to the computer and the message box link (which says the location of the device will show up in boldface) is empty. Ivansdad has tried cleaning disk space, running a hardware problem troubleshooting scan - which tells us that "hardware changes might not have been detected" - but we have no idea what this is or what it means. Logout, shut down, restart, so far nothing has removed the message. It just pops up about every second in a continuous loop.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 26, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I did my Black Friday shopping online. Got a Roku XD with shipping for only $74. We just downgraded our Netflix subscription to just one DVD a month because we almost never return the movies and watch whatever is available streaming only. It turns out our son uses the Netflix Online more than we do because he figured out how to watch it using his second hand XBox360 and his roommate's 46" HDTV.

MySon did go Black Friday shopping more in solidarity with his House-bound frat brothers than anything else. He picked up a $60 video game for $35. Not a bad deal. He did see all the loss leader $400 48" televisions snapped up before 4 a.m.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 26, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Um, Imom -- get a Mac, get a Mac, get a Mac Mac Mac. . . .

I get an error message relating to Skype that my Windows has malware. It shows up on my Mac desktop. I delete it. On the PC side of my system, I have Internet access disabled completely, so nobody can come in at all.

A bit *snortworthy*, that.

Posted by: ftb3 | November 26, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Could be merely a tiny piece of debris lodged in the USB port. I'd blow them out. Then I'd put a REAL USB drive in each to see what it said THEN.

My friend reports lobster risotto for Thanksgiving. I am curiously frenvious. I of course had the traditional spread.

Posted by: Jumper1 | November 26, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Alas, I can't fit clothes online. I made the mistake of looking for Best Buy around here while I was out shopping-- and got lost.

So in the end, I'm going to buy a printer online instead. Wilbrodog got some chicken and duck jerky instead.

I did get some gift ideas, but I really, really hate shoppping. Can we petition for an overturn of that gender stereotype?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 26, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

In Austin I stumbled upon a food truck specializing in donuts. I got the Flying Pig which is a donut with six slices of bacon with maple glaze:

Here is there menu with all the different donuts they have.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 26, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse



Now we know what those mounties do when they are not rescuing damsels from railroad tracks.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 26, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Why am I not hearing about oxygen on Rhea from our resident exoatmospheric scientist instead of reading about it online?

Posted by: yellojkt | November 26, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I need comparative numbers. 50 bn (billion, presumably british billion which is 1 million million, not 1 thousand million) molecules is a meaningless number without a clear idea of how thick Earth's atmosphere is. I assume they mean diatomic oxygen, not elemental oxygen. Since 50 billion (british) is 5* 10^13, and a mole is 6.0225 × 10^a3, and there's around 1/10 mole oygen per liter... and a square meter contains 1000 liters...

So, roughly 100 moles of oxygen per cubic meter on Earth, versus 1/10^12 mole of oxygen on Rhea...

Again, this is a ballpark estimate, I don't have the precise figures, but it sounds like they're being able to trace and identify a very thin oxygen atmosphere that's around 1/10^14 as thick as on earth.

Impressive measuring, but the article could have used better comparatives and a little info on how they did that.

SciTim may not be able to say anything until the actual article comes out.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 26, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Engineers, any thoughts? My brother and I went around this story for a while arguing pros and cons.

Posted by: Jumper1 | November 26, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Fish bacon? Of course. What else, after all, is smoked salmon/trout/oysters?

I've been grateful in the past, whilst in the Gulf for extended periods, to run into beef bacon.

I've purchased turkey bacon, but find it too dry and thin to be worth the name. I'd rather eat dry-cured, thick-sliced, crisp-but-tender pig bacon only twice a year (and only two slices at a time even then) than bother with substitutions that aren't worth the smoking of 'em.

Posted by: Yoki | November 26, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Turkey bacon is an obscenity to both species. Smoked turkey is OK in itself, but I prefer plain turkey.

I adore smoked trout, Yoki. Smoked salmon depends on how moist it is.

I've tried smoked sturgeon, it has a strong taste but I really liked it, and my dog adored it no end too. I'd take it off anybody's hands anytime.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 26, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

IANAE, Jumper, but I would think the potential generating capacity would be minimal at best.

I would be happy to tell you how the inaugural Mexican Post-Thanksgiving get-together went...

Despite repeated assurances from the chosen restaurant the past couple of weeks, however, it was closed when we got there this afternoon. I pity the staff when NukeMater gets through with them.

So we ended up with the inaugural Chinese-Sushi Buffet Post-Thanksgiving get-together. *shrug*

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 26, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Jumper1 - would it work? Sure. Would it be cost effective? No clue, and it sounds like the director of the Water Resources Department isn't sure, either. Worthy of a research grant? Maybe, after somebody does the math.

It should be fairly easy to come up with a set of numbers showing the amount of available energy from the released water pressure, the approximate cost of the power-capturing system in low volumes (the first few units), and figure out whether it's worth it. Then run the pilot.

It certainly sounds neat, and there have been lots of cases where people figured out how to capture and use otherwise-wasted energy (like the Formula 1 KERS system for example).

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | November 26, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

I had a back bacon sandwich a week or so ago, it had been a while since I had had one and forgot how good they were, however, there were 4 pieces of bacon inside the bun - way too much.

Eldest made me laugh at dinner with an important culinary announcement, her school cafeteria now serves poutine - she was very happy about this.

Off to purchase ingredients to make cookies, have the first fire going in the fireplace tonight, almost makes up for the chilly weather, think the last of the flowers may finally be killed off tonight.

Posted by: dmd3 | November 26, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Had leftover ham and scalloped potatoes for dinner -- and by blind luck I opened a bottle of wine that paired terrifically with the ham. And not only that, it was one of the best wines I've ever had in my life--quite possibly my bnew #1 favorite. It's here -- the 2008 Vignoles. We bought a couple bottles of it this ummer, and I cannot rave about it too much. Outstanding stuff.

I also highly recommend their Crimson Sky and their Make Me Blush. Really great stuff. And if you combine a bottle of Make Me Blush with Crimson Sky you've got the basis of an outta-sight sangria (they have a recipe).

Yeah, I realize there's not a whole lot to recommend a trip to central New Jersey...but if you are anywhere in the vicinity, stop in. These people make some swell grape juice.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 26, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Mudge.

Ham and scalloped potatoes (with maybe corn or green beans) is one of my favourite good-old-plain-country-food meals. Lucky you, to have that, plus a decent bottle of wine.

I was just thinking (I know, I know, I might hurt myself) how odd it is how we name meats. Chicken is chicken, turkey is turkey, and fish is fish. But cattle is beef, pigs is pork (or ham, or bacon, or....). Yet calves are veal, whilst lambs are lamb. At first I wondered if we were more comfortable eating named avians than mammals, since mammals R Us, but the veal/lamb dichotomy puts paid to that theory. Some of it has to do with etymology (cattle were beeves in Anglo Saxon) but not all.

I have no idea, I just have a vague sense that this delicacy in naming tells us *something* about meat-eating culture. I just have no clue what the key is.

Posted by: Yoki | November 26, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

IANAE? Snuke, you got me again with all this abbreviation stuff.


Posted by: ftb3 | November 26, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

"beeves", Yoki?

Reminds me how we called an opposing counsel up in NY "Beavis" and a guy out in Arizona (or New Mexico -- one of them states) "West Coast Beavis." The epithet was perfect.

But (back to the point for a sec, do forgive) I wonder if "beeves" morphed into "bovine" to annotate cattle. Just guessing.

I just finished dinner, Mudge (turkey leftovers, of course) and your description of your meal made me feel hungry all over again. Glad right now that you live "over there" and not really, really nearby.

Posted by: ftb3 | November 26, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Well, Yoki and ftb, as one of the characters in Ivanhoe pointed out, the meat names are of French origin (mutton, too), while the animal names are good old native English words. The maintenance of the distinction may have had something to do with who was tending the animals and who was eating the elegantly prepared meals at the time the French words entered English; at least Sir Walter Scott seemed to think so. It's certainly common for borrowed words and their native synonyms to carve out separate places in the meaning space. I don't know why the meat is still chicken and lamb, though -- maybe the Normans didn't eat those as much?

Now to post and see if Wibrod has beat me to it while I was typing.

Posted by: -bia- | November 26, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

*I* know that one, Yoki! Anglo-Saxon swine, Old French pork. According to the OED, cattle and beef both are Middle English, from Anglo-Norman French...

Posted by: slyness | November 26, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and I'd need to check the OED to be sure, but I'd bet that "beeves" came from "beef" rather than vice versa, and that we got "bovine" from Latin at some point.

Posted by: -bia- | November 26, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, the usual explanation is Norman French vs native Anglo-saxon, in that French words were imported and used only when they were relevant to speaking to the overlords.
So, calf in field but veal on the lord's table; sheep in field, but mutton etc.

No clue why lamb isn't called angeau on the table-- maybe talking about "an-YOH" just sounded too much like fee-fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman...

We don't have fancy words for birds on table vs birds in the field. I think the fact that beef, pork, bacon, mutton, etc. were often extensively butchered into cuts for the table may have been why these words came in use as distinct from the whole animal.

Veal comes from Old French,ultimately from the Latin vitellus (where also our "vittles" aka victuals)-- the diminutive of vitulus-- "calf." The same old french modification also gives us "vellum" for scrolls made from skin of calves, kids, or lambs.

Bovine is directly from Latin (as is ovine for sheep-- Bos, bovis/ Os, Ovis); it signified a bull. Cow was pecunia, from where came "pecuniary" to refer to money (like we refer to "bucks" as money.)

Pecunia is probably cognate to cow, kine-- the old Anglo-saxon plural for cattle.

Cattle itself was a generic word meaning livestock through middle English, and derives from the Latin word "capital"- holding, from principal, and ultimately to "caput"-- head. Which may be why we speak of heads of cattle.

Moral: if it's to do with raising, we use the old words. If it's to do with marketing mystery cuts of meat, go upscale to French/ language of rich people. If it's to do with law, use Latin-rooted words.

Thanks to our historical richness, we often have triplet cognate words from all three languages. None of them overlap exactly in meaning or connotation-- or why would we have more than one word?

Beeves would be the native Anglo-saxon.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 26, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Awesome! I also know that the A-S Beeves came from the Norse Beasts. Which Northern English (like, Yorkshire-located) farmers, much influenced by the Norse, still call their cattle.

I just love when the Boodle hive-mind brings its power to bear on a specific (and often, in my case, eccentric) question.

I also love that Yorkshire-based mothers refer to cradle-cap as "a bielding hed." More Viking-language!

Posted by: Yoki | November 26, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I forgot venison= that comes from Old French: venation= hunting. The overlords did hunt, after all.

Our word "deer" comes from Old German, cognate to "Tier"= animal. Up through the 16th century, it was used to refer to animals generally-- "mice and such small deer"-- Shakespeare.
The native word was hart, doe.
Buck comes from male goat/deer (Latin Bucca)
Roe or Fallow harts and does may have just been called Roe deer or fallow deer, etc. parallel to cattle as a general name for both bulls and cows.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 26, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Whoa, sorry, beef is from Old French Buef.

Calling cattle "beasts" makes sense to me. That word is from Old French, too-- Beste (now bete with the ^ over the e), and it ousted "deer" as the generic for animal.

(Animal itself is from the Latin, as is creature/critter.)

Kid, cake, cur, bark, egg, knife, steak and slaughter are all from Old Norse, though.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 26, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

If you say so.

Posted by: Yoki | November 26, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

The word that fascinates me is dog. OED says docga, Old English of unknown origin. The common word was hund, now obviously hound. Wouldn't it be fun to be able to trace that one?

Posted by: slyness | November 26, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

*faxing Yoki and ftb a plate of ham, scalloped potatoes, baby/early peas (Le Seur), and a glass (or more, as necessary) of Sharott's 2008 Vignoles*

Yes, it has to do with the Norman conquest and the overlay of its language upon the earlier, heavily latinate Saxon -- but there is yet one more layer of refinement to place upon this explanation.

When the Normans invaded and took over, yes, their French language became the language of the court, of law and of administration-- and also of royal/high society. Thus it is that "cow" remained the word for the animal out in the field, but "boef" was the french word for the meat served at court. Another meet was the "veal," the French word for the food, but the animal it came from remained the calf. Robin and his merry men hunted deer, but when the Normans ate it, it became the French word venison.

So the question of WHICH words became Frenchified and which ones didn't have a huge cultural overlay. Words used by upper class and high society adapted French loan words (because the speakers were Norman), whereas many common words used by the lower class and rural society remained heavily Saxon and latinate.

From Seth Lerer's History of the English Language course:

Norman words:

religious terms: prophet, saint, Baptist, miracle, paradise

social/political: prince, dame, master, court, rent, poor, rich, prison (see gaol), crown, purple,

The English language underwent Ferenchification in two distinct phases. The first was the result of the Norman Conquest. But the second was a wholly different and later phase, in the 13tyh and 14th centuries (called "Central French, to distinguish the dialect from the Norman French, which was heavily Germanic, the Normans being mainly from Scandanavia).

Thus Norman French words pronounced with a 'k' sound (castle, cattle, cap) correspond to a later softening when the Central French turns them into chateau, chattel, and chapeau.

French loan words in English have these spellings : ei, ey, oy, and these endings: -ion, -ioun, -ment, -encen, -aunce, -or, and -our. Central French adjectives end in -ous and nouns end in -us. Thus he is callous, and he has a callus on his hand.

But in these periods, England wasn't bilingual, it was trilingual, since Latin remained the language of the church, education, and philosophy, and to some extent of the law (but so di French, hence oyer and similar terms).

The other thing the Normans brought was their architecture. The Saxons didn't use dressed stone; they used wood and stone cobble. In the Peterborough Chronicle describing William the Conqueror's death, it says "He had castles built." This means more than that he built a bunch of fortified towns' it means he used dressed stone to build what we now think of as castles. In other words, he introduced a new kind of stone architecture into England. There were no castles before Big Bill arrived. Fortifications, yes. Castles, no. hence the important distinction.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 26, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Hmm. IIRC, there was a Romanesque building at Westminster before William and Harold fought it out at Hastings. Was it built by foreign masons? I'd have to check that one out. And castles did exist, but they were mostly small and wooden. I will grant you that William started the trend to rebuild in stone within a few years of the Conquest.

Posted by: slyness | November 26, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

You just totally sma, 'mudge. Thanks! What I take from my conversation with Wilbrod is that linguistics and etymology has evolved *hugely* in 34 years.

Posted by: Yoki | November 26, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, German "cattle" would have been Vieh (from whence our "fee" comes), and the Old Norse is Fieh or something similar.

Beef is also found in Mediveal dutch of sorts, without the same rationale. Hmm, maybe the theory is slightly wrong.

France is the home of some very nice large cattle breeds, perhaps the name traveled with the cattle? They have always bred cattle much larger than the British isles did, for milk, beef, and drafting wagons (cf. South Devon cattle aka "Orange elephants" descended from red cattle of normandy). Large, docile cattle that could be worked are gold.

Today we distinguish between milk cattle and beef cattle; maybe the early anglo-saxons distinguished thus, too?

Ox and oxen refer to castrated cattle used for drafting work, related to old Norse Oxi. Now the term is applied to related species (like water oxen).

Neat is also an old word meaning cattle, still found in "neatsfoot oil." Looks like it's related to german Noz (head of cattle) and a verb "to make use of" or "own" that might be ancestor to our "need."

Bottom line, our ancestors needed a lot of words for cows.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 26, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, Wiki says: "A stone abbey was built [at what is now Westminster Abbey] around 1045–1050 by King Edward the Confessor as part of his palace there and was consecrated on 28 December 1065,[about 10 months before Hastings] only a week before the Confessor's death and subsequent funeral and burial. It was the site of the last coronation prior to the Norman conquest of England, that of his successor Harold II....

The only extant depiction of the original abbey, in the Romanesque style that is called Norman in England, together with the adjacent Palace of Westminster, is in the Bayeux Tapestry."

The distinction is between dressed stone, also known as aslar masonry, which dates back to the Greeks and Crete and earlier. Its alternative is what's called "rubble masonry," which is also very old, and also used mortar, etc. It is just that the stones are irregular, whereas in dressed stone they are regular and unform. Whenver you think of a castle, you are thinking of dressed stone walls, nice even, regular uniform blocks. That's what it was W the C brought to England in his architecture: the precision and uniformity. Think "Leggos."

Yes, the earlier abbey was Romanesque and stone, but rubble stone.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 26, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

ftb, I was riffing on I Am Not A Lawyer with I Am Not An Engineer... :-)

*staying-up-past-my-bedtime-to-prepare-for-tomorrow-evening's-festivities Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 26, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Gotcha, Mudge.

One of my presents last Christmas is a fascinating book on the castles and historic houses of the British Isles. It's necessarily abbreviated but it does discuss pre-Conquest structures. Edward I's Welsh castles were influenced by those he saw when he went to the Middle East on crusade. The evolution of castles from square to round towers and improvements in walls, gates, and other defensive structures makes for interesting reading. Of course, many if not most were also luxurious palaces as well as fortresses. The palace function outlived the fortress function, with the coming of gunpowder and development of battles as the main form of warfare, instead of castle sieges.

Posted by: slyness | November 26, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, please give my regards to your folks and sibs and sib-in-laws. I really enjoyed meeting them at your wedding and reception. A most, most memorable afternoon. (And of course to Herself and to Spawn.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 26, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

If it hadn't been for the Normans, we would never know which words to be offended by.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | November 26, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Funny, RD_Padouk. Thanks.

Posted by: Yoki | November 26, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Consider it done, 'Mudge. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 26, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Mudge is right there.

One example of a word triplet with nearly exact cognates from all three languages would be: kingly/royal/regal.

Another would be: lawful/loyal/legal

(loyal once related to feudal law and swearing fealty-- a loyal follower was sworn to defend his lord.)

Lesser triplets would be:



and so on.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 26, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Mudge's point about trilingualism is why I feel Americans are grossly cheated by not being made to study French and Latin as youths.

That would increase their brainpower and make them speak English better, dangabit!

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 26, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

I was made to study Latin as a yoot. Skipped da Latin until collitch, though.

My kinda Triplets.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 26, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Skipped da French until...

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 26, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

My favorite example of the Saxon/Norman dual usage is gift/present. Why do we need two words for the exact same thing? English has a lot of similar cases with two words (and as Wilbrod points out sometimes three, but the French versions usually trace back to the Latin somehow) which only confuses English as a second language learners since they have to learn twice as much vocabulary.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 26, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Nuance, yellojkt. It makes up for our relatively simple grammar.
BTW, of course French traces back to Latin ;).

Those two words only overlap on that one meaning of an object given, and both have many other meanings.

Certainly your child is not presented and talented.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 26, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

My favorite singing triplets:

Posted by: yellojkt | November 26, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

I thought, yello, that these might be your favourite singing twin triplets.

Posted by: Yoki | November 27, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

curmudgeon6, I'm one of the authors of the Olympia article.

I disagree that the Sixth Battle Squadron was not fighting the Germans: they might not have directly engaged the High Seas Fleet, but they certainly were part of the distant blockade from Scapa Flow, a big part of the war. They also serve who only stand and wait. If someone came back from Iraq, but spent their entire time on a FOB, you'd still say that they were fighting a war, you know?

As for the Bolsheviks, the crew ashore definitely were fired on. According to _USS Olympia: Herald of Empire_ by B. Cooling, Ens. Donald Hicks' 50 sailors from First Company engaged in several firefights: Hicks reported, of one "The fight lasted five hours and kept us fairly busy" and that one had a sailor wounded- George Dewey Persche. Persche's wounding was "the first American blood to be shed on Russian soil for the cause of democracy" according to his hospital report, says Cooling. So there were Olympia sailors fighting against the Soviets ashore.

As for when the US became a world power, sure, you could date it to the Great White Fleet, but in 1914 the US was firmly in 3rd place in seapower (22 dreadnoughts for the RN, Kaiserliche Marine had 15, and the USN had 10 in Aug 1914), so I'd put it a little later. It isn't until the 1915 and 1916 USN orders- and the scuttling of the HSF, that the USN becomes the #2 in the world, and then the scrapping of the old RN Splendid Cat era ships under the Washington Naval Treaty that the USN moves into a tie for #1 and can realistically project power into Europe by itself.

As for the RN compared to Germany in 1939, that isn't even a contest. Yes, Britain took 50 destroyers from us, but they were a temporary expedient until the British 1940-1 crop of corvettes ripened. Most of the ships that defeated the U-Boat menace were new ships like the RCN Rivers, RN G/H's and Flowers, or the cutters and DE's that were also LL'd to the RN or operated by the USN.

Yeah, Japan was better in carrier aviation than the RN in 1941, but other than in carrier aviation they were generally comparable: it was just that the RN was backwards in that one- very important- field.

If we had a few thousand more words, we would have loved to gotten into these issues in more detail: believe me, I'm a naval history geek too, and would love nothing more than to fill entire sections of the Washington Post with it. But, we had to summarize in a few words, and so necessarily had to simplify complex situations without losing the accuracy. Obviously, I feel that we succeeded. Your mileage may vary.

Posted by: cmanteuffel | November 27, 2010 1:47 AM | Report abuse

When I was in college, writing essays, I often struggled over which word to use for words that have similar meaning. What I often did was choose the word that sound sophisticated to make it look like I know more than I did. Never mind the fact that it still may not be the correct word and that I was also making countless grammar mistakes.

Nowadays, often, I’d go, “Oh no, I’ve used the wrong word” after I’ve hit the submit button.

Posted by: rainforest1 | November 27, 2010 4:03 AM | Report abuse

Just found that "123 Get Samples" is promoting a wide variety of major brands by providing free samples. You’ll have to fill in your zip code to see if you can qualify to receive them. You can get all samples from one place. I think it is available for most of the zip codes and it worked for me.

Posted by: kimbenet | November 27, 2010 5:32 AM | Report abuse

Ah, I see the holiday spambots have arrived. *SIGH*

This evening's festivities should be interesting, and not only because I'll be live-Boodling and live FBing the whole affair. The most interesting part will be that I won't consider it to be "reconnecting" with anyone, since I'm fairly sure I won't see the three or four people I actually connected with in school. Sure, I've struck up recent FB connections with several folks, but that's different, yanno?

*having-a-much-better-morning-after-having-properly-calibrated-NukeMater's-coffeemaker Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 27, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

When I grew up on a small dairy farm, there was this one steer that mooed only in Olde English. You couldn't understand him at all. How rude.

It was one of my pet beeves.

Posted by: baldinho | November 27, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. The slush we had yesterday morning froze over and the sidewalks were treacherous last night. Now it snows.

Slyness, I'm not a linguist but in French large guard dogs are "dogues". The VLP is a dogue de Bordeaux a.k.a. dogue d'Aquitaine, the Great Dane is the dogue allemand, dogo argentino/dogue argentin, dogue the Naples/Naples Mastiff etc
I suspect a latin origin.

Off to walk the DDB in the snow.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | November 27, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everyone, cold and windy here today with a few snow flakes floating in air.

A history debate in the boodle - I love it!

yello, I saw this the other day and thought of you, this years version of Canada reads, includes Sara from Teagan and Sara.

Posted by: dmd3 | November 27, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle! Returned to St. Paul to find winter arrived in my absence. If you must travel at this time of year, I highly recommend flying the day after Thanksgiving. Relatively low fares and flights that aren't over booked. Stretched out over 3 seats and slept the whole way.

Doing a turkey breast dinner today with all the Thanksgiving trimmings-ostensibly to entertain the dott and dotthusband, but really to provide left overs for me.

Shriek-watched the AKC national dog show for a bit on Thursday. When they announced the DDB I thought "VLP!"

The Chez Frostbitten Black Friday anti-shopping tradition is listening to The Moth Radio Hour-either on an actual radio or as a podcast. Worth a listen if you haven't heard these great stories.

Later gators! Off to see if the trusty steed will start after a very cold week with no driving.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | November 27, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Bacon has definitely been in the news this past week, but not the strips or slabs thrown into a pot of stewing chicken in Afghanistan.

Remember from earlier this year the acronym PIIGS, the letters standing for Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain. Nuf said, you can read the headlines and stories for yourselves about the escalating debt crises in some of this European nations.

Interesting headline and story that shared the top of our local business page this morning, "Oil-drilling firm sued in spill probe." Reported by Tom Fowler of the Houston Chronicle and reprinted in our Express-News.

In brief, Transocean has refused to turn over some documents subpoenaed earlier by the U.S. Coast Guard and Department of the Interior, as part of these agencies' investigation of the Macondo oil rig spill. So the Justice Department, in a federal district court in New Orleans, has filed a civil suit against Transocean in attempt to acquire the information about safety audits and safety training.

As Fowler writes, Transocean maintains that the requests are "overly broad, unduly burdensome, irrelevant, not reasonably calculated to lead to admissible evidence in this proceeding, and outside the scope of the Joint Investigation's charge."

Must be hard to write a book when big parts of the story are still moving.

Posted by: laloomis | November 27, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

From last night's 8:27..."Yes, it has to do with the Norman conquest and the overlay of its language upon the earlier, heavily latinate Saxon..."

Latinate Saxon???%$@*&??? Coulda fooled me! I thought the the Anglo-Saxon tongues were heavily Germanic! Ach du meine Gute!

Posted by: laloomis | November 27, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link. Tegan and Sara are my favorite Canadian Twin Sister Punk Folk Duo. I've been fans since they were just a Teenage Canadian Twin Sister Punk Folk Duo. That Neil Young guy sure can pick them.

I still begrudge my wife for not letting us go to the Paramore concert T&S were opening for. Probably the same Paramore show Joel drove his daughter to.

For fans of redheads, Hayley Williams has got quite some pipes on her. Although I don't like the bubble gum pink color she has it in this fantasy revenge violence tinged video:

Hayley will also be one of the titular divas in "USO Presents VH1 Divas Salute The Troops" on December 5th.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 27, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm pumpkin bread, coffee and OJ on the table.

At CasaJS Thanksgiving weekend means frivolity, food and football. No linguistic journeys or anything else that requires the brain cells to fuction.

Yesterday's fajitafest went swimmingly. Virtually no leftovers, largely due to a few unexpected guests with healthy appetites. But still plenty of goodies in the fridge to enjoy during the high school football marathon Ill-In-Oy televises this time each year.

Me need food. Must go forage. You enjoy day.

Posted by: MsJS | November 27, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Chris, the 6th battle Squadron participated in the distant blocade -- but Olympia wasn't with them. According to Wiki:

"On 13 November 1917, Rear Admiral Hugh Rodman broke his flag in USS New York as Commander, Battleship Division 9. After preparations for "distant service", USS Wyoming, USS New York, USS Delaware, and USS Florida sailed for the British Isles on 25 November and reached Scapa Flow, Orkney Islands, on 7 December 1917. Although retaining their American designation as Battleship Division 9, those four dreadnoughts became the Sixth Battle Squadron of the British Grand Fleet upon arrival in British waters. The 6th Battle Squadron operated from Scapa Flow and Rosyth.

The U.S. Battleships serving in the 6th Battle Squadron were:

* USS Florida
* USS Wyoming
* USS New York
* USS Delaware
* USS Texas arrived January 1918
* USS Arkansas replaced USS Delaware July 1918"

During the combatant phase of the war, Olympia's only significant combat role was patrolling the US eastern seaboard, and escorting a handful of North Atlantic convoys. Without diminishing or trivializing her contribution in any way, this does not merit the word "fighting." You make the perfectly valid argument that "those who serve and wait" also make significant contributions to a war effort, and I couldn't agree more. But my argument is that as an editor, this isn't "fighting." A supply sergeant at Ft. Riley Kansas, also contributes to the war effort -- but he didn't "fight." "Fight" has a fairly specific connotation. Your analogy to being stationed in an FOB in Afghanistan is in no way similar.

Nobody is going to raise one thin dime to save the Olympia because Hicks' shore party got into a couple of street brawls with some Reds. The Olympia was and is a great ship and it is to me beyond criminal that no one appears to be able to save her -- but I think it trivializes and demeans the overall argument in her favor by hyping up and exaggerating her very, very minimal roles in WWI and the Russian Intervention as reasons to do so. It's like saying the sinking of the Titanic was a great tragedy because all that terrific furniture and dishes and silverware was lost. One needs to construct an argument in favor of something, such as preservation of a historic ship or building or landmark or whatever by concentrating on that object's core importance and significance, not by throwing in a bunch of secondary and tertiary factors of dubious significance. We don't preserve Valley Forge because there are still some huts and old buildings there, and because Washington slept there one year. We don't preserve gettysburg because they built a cemetary there, and there used to be a shoe factory in the town. We don't need to preserve the Olympia because she "fought" Kaiser Bill and Lenin. We need to preserve her because she represents something vastly larger than a few trivial things from her obsolete twilight years.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 27, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

*waving kudos and huzzahs to Mudge for his succinct and whippy-skippy arguments in favor of saving the Olympia*

BTW, Mudgie, the ham and potatoes you faxed to me were delicious. Yumsers, in fact.

Posted by: ftb3 | November 27, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

My kind of backboodle. I see "y"s and "ng"s and "g"s all swimming around and changing, so I have no problem seeing angeau (or even "Agnes") as "ãno" and a lamb as something that happens "yearly." The authorities say nothing of this so I'm probably out on a limb here, if not on the lam.

Re. the Normans, I am led to believe that the Norse takeover of the coasts earlier folded their hierarchy into the ruling classes earlier on. Adding some old Norse Germanic from the sea and not merely slower land migrations.

Posted by: Jumper1 | November 27, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Thanks...but what about those five glasses of wine? When I faxed you that last glass, you were singing "Home on the Range," waving a fireplace poker and shouting "En garde, you varlots!", and the cat wouldn't come out from under the bed in the guest bedroom.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 27, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Ah, poor, poor Willie. *sigh*

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 27, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

curmudgeon6, of course Olympia wasn't part of 6BS. We specifically said in the article, that the newer battleships went off to fight the Germans and Olympia did not. You objected to that sentence because 6BS never fired a shot at the High Seas Fleet. I am not happy with your more exclusive definition of "to fight" because it relies far too much on the enemies decisions, not the friendly ones. If I understand your opinion correctly, a mechanic on a FOB which was never fired on by the enemy did not fight, but a mechanic on a FOB where the enemy did fire on did. I like this analogy because they were both serving overseas, in a protected base near the enemy, and willing to engage if given the opportunity; unfortunately (?) for them, the enemy did not chose to come out and play (the HSF mutinied when ordered on the death sortie).

Since the concept of fighting is so tied up in our western culture with the concept of honor, I am uncomfortable with your definition that restricts it to only people who were shot at, and not to people who were potentially going to be shot at, but the enemy didn't happen to be there.

Olympia went to Murmansk, and some of her sailors were shot at, and one was wounded by the Soviets. That justifies our use of the verb "engaged" w.r.t to her WW1 experience. You can object, but if people are getting shot at, that sounds like being engaged to me.

I completely agree that her time in Murmansk is not a key reason to keep her. That's why it got 10 words in our article. It was just an effort to place her in time: connect her to something people might be more familiar with than the Spanish-American War.

The focus of the article was on how we've forgotten the Spanish-American war and the Philippine Insurrection/War for Independence, and that is represented by the decrepit state of the Olympia, and that maybe we ought to pay more attention to the rest of American history- and to the Olympia. It often seems to me that the popular understanding of history skips directly from the Civil War to the Great Depression and World War Two- with only a brief mention of a few presidents in between. (For that matter, history often seems to jump from the Founding Fathers directly to the Civil War, with maybe a brief stop for Andrew Jackson.)

Posted by: cmanteuffel | November 27, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

...and this piece makes me want to find a nice hunk of rope and garrote a couple of people.

You see, according to a few of our favorite people, the Pilgrims were a bunch of socialists. It was only when they realized that socialism doesn't work, and went over to a free market economy, did the colony finally prosper.

And wait to you read the BS about the commies in Jamestown.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 27, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I saw that one. It's pretty, uh, rich.

I'm also shocked, shocked I say, to discover that Willie has been arrested for possession again.

Hope everyone is having a lovely Saturday.

Posted by: cowhand214 | November 27, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I saw that one. It's pretty, uh, rich.

I'm also shocked, shocked I say, to discover that Willie has been arrested for possession again.

Hope everyone is having a lovely Saturday.

Posted by: cowhand214 | November 27, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: cowhand214 | November 27, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Quebec city is living up to its reputation for awful weather in late November. The Vanier Cup is played in intermittent blizzard condition. My alma mater is leading the Calgary Dinos 26-2 with a few minutes to go though. Yeh!

Tomorrow forecast for Grey Cup XCVIII: -6C/22F with some flakes. Not bad for Edmonton in late November. The CFL has shown its usual lack of class by treating the Als like dirt for a second year in a row. It might backfired on the Riders; the guys are pretty riled-up. They are the current champions after all.

Pilgrims as socialists? The concept didn't existed yet.

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

Good afternoon, all.

Thanks to Chris and Mudge for the enlightening comments on Olympia and war. Yes, we do seem to skip history between wars, don't we? To this female, that seems terribly...male-like, glorifying the violence. Time for a new and better look at what really happened and what was truly important, not just the fighting.

We have been Christmas shopping and enjoyed the glory that is the mountains in winter. Currently 34 on our porch, up from 23 when we arose at 7:45. Snow is being made across the valley at the ski slope. It's being blown around, too. High winds in the night toppled over chairs on the porch and blew the cover off the grill.

Geekdottir went to the Gap outlet and found jeans she liked and bought them. This is an event worthy of mention, because all her current jeans are tattered and she actually spent some money.

Posted by: slyness | November 27, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Well, here's a treat! Tonight at 7 pm on Life TV, it's the Thomas Kinkade's Christmas Cottage film.

Would someone kindly tape it so it can play on a continuous loop in the bunker the next time we are besieged?

Posted by: rickoshea11 | November 27, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse


Remind me to snag my office Christmas tree for the bunker. It's about three feet tall and mounted on a ceramic(?) Kinkade house with ornaments featuring his "artwork." I had no part in the selection of this thing.

I forgot to mention it last year. I cracked up every time I walked into my office (it's displayed proudly at the front desk).

Posted by: Moose13 | November 27, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

*faxing rabid, underfed piranhas with brain tumors, tortured childhood fish traumas and bad attitudes to rickoshea and Moose*

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 27, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

This LA Times story on the demise of a small Los Angeles Basin community (neighbor to scandal-wracked Bell) is something of a classic. Wayward city council, lack of professional management, etc. My own municipality may be going in the same direction.,0,3587410,full.story

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | November 27, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

*in the nicest possible way, of course*

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 27, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

There are now Kincade Christmas cards.

Posted by: dmd3 | November 27, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Oh dmd. Say it isn't true. I know it is, but I need some help pretending otherwise.

What an excellent discussion between Mudge and Mr. Manteuffel! Glad to see that intelligence and fearlessness is, obviously, a Manteuffel family trait.

I think that Chris made a wonderful point that we skip too much history. But I do question his assertion that everything between 1776 and 1860 has been ignored. I mean, I remember learning all about the war of 1812. That is, I remember learning that they burned the White House. I'm sure other stuff happened too.

Anyway, I am enjoying my 4th day off in a row. I think the last time this happened snow was involved. Let's hope this doesn't happen again.

And, serious, Kincade Christmas cards?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | November 27, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

That was my reaction RD - I was very tempted to mail one to the bunker but I didn't have the address.

Said card, at a very appropriate site (think I need an insulin shot).

Posted by: dmd3 | November 27, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I am surprised that the Kinkade mania hasn't peaked by now. He's had his share of bad press (deservedly) and I don't think we are the only people who have noted the difference between what he does and 'art'. Ah well, different strokes.

Getting ready to heat up the leftovers from last night's mini Thanksgiving meal. "S" has been looking forward to a turkey sandwich, so that's what he'll be having. Just saw a marching band during half time of whatever game we are watching. Haven't seen that in a long time, the talking heads usually take up the time. It was quite nice to watch the precision and listen to the music.

Posted by: badsneakers | November 27, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Well, Ohio State beat Michigan again.

*yawn* and *whatever*

Posted by: ftb3 | November 27, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Well, NukeSpawn is now somewhat better satorially prepared for the coming months, and I'm off in a few to examine the state of my h.s. graduating class.

Should be enlightening, and I do still plan to live-Boodle the thing if Web access is to be had at the function facility.

*deep breath*

Mr. Manteuffel? There's a great difference between someone asking for the proper usage of "fight" and somehow bemirching the honor of a subset of veterans. I served during the First Gulf War in Saudi Arabia, occupied Iraq (at the very edge of the occupation zone) and Kuwait, but I never fired a shot. I served, I did not fight, and I would not dishonor those who fought by misrepresenting my role. The Olympia's crew may have fought some Bolsheviks, but the battlewagon "served" durign WWI, it did not "see combat." Be happy neither 'Mudge nor I were your editors for that article. I agree with 'Mudge that there's enough reason to preserve the Olympia without overstating her role in WWI.

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 27, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Shrieking, since dogo occurs in Spanish and Dogge in German, etc. I'm inclined to agree with you that the word was simply imported to apply to big and heavy dogs.

I think Mudge meant to say Romanized Britian. Britian was ruled in part by the Romans for centuries-- hence Via Appia (Watling Street) and Hadrian's Wall. They also traded with Wales and the Irish for horses and other goods.
Irish contains many words from Latin to this day-- e.g. senad (for senate), etc. This may be why so few Celtic words crossed into English; why bother when Latin was good enough as the lingua franca?

The Angles and Saxons were also known in Rome, often as war-captives, as were their mastiffs (Pugnacius britiannae).
By the 7th century puns on Angle and Angel were quite old hat-- St. Albertus was described as: "natione Anglus, conversatione angelus."
(by country, an Angle, by conversation an angel).

The word "dog" could have come from almost anywhere that far back, though. Big Molosser-type breeds are descended from Roman fighting dogs (and before that, Greek dogs). If Britian was already exporting their huge dogs in Britain times, the name could have travelled with them, rather than vice-versa from vulgar Latin, though.

We could guess that as dux was used for war leader, and the Italian "duke" is doge, that dog might come from that root.

The theoretical proto-german root (docce+ ga) would be related to dux, meaning "muscle."

Another possiblity is a corruption of "doctum"- meaning taught/trained, but we'd need proof that vulgar latin used this term for dogs first. Mastiffs seem to derive from from Mastin, which itself comes from a latin word meaning "tame."

This isn't the only canine mystery: Perro (Spanish) is thought to come from Persus, meaning persian, referring to a hunting dog breed from there, or perhaps it arose as a term for sheep dog; some people think it might come from Basque or Celtic.
In any case, it replaced the old spanish word, "can" for dog, and "dogo" meant specifically bulldog or mastiff type.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 27, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

You are a Gulf War veteran, then, S'nuke, even if you're not a combat veteran, since you did serve in that war.

Service vs combat really doesn't seem like a hard distinction to make to me, but each to their own.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 27, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

There's a fine line here about serving in a war zone. I completely get what Scottynuke is saying. He, to his great credit, doesn't want to assume the mantle of heroism given that he did not endure what others have. I respect his humility. But to me, I honor anyone who has willingly put himself, or herself, in harm's way - if only in a theoretical sense. To me, the bravery is in the willingness to be shot at, even if no shots were ever fired.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | November 27, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

It's also illegal to misrepresent your service record, RD. An inaccuracy by a reporter could lead to criminal charges for fraud.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 27, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

True, Wilbrod, but rather irrelevant to my point.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | November 27, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

I think I read something about the socialist Pilgrims once. Didn't the most talented of their corrupt society retreat to a shangri-la the next valley over? When the original settlement was near collapse, the true capitalists came back and rescued them from their sloth and socialist tendencies. I think Eli Whitney was one of the true believers.. and his cotton gin helped pave the way to a millenium of economic dominance by the South.

Posted by: baldinho | November 27, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Wow -- an hour gone by in the reunion already! As always, some haven't changed a bit and some you do a double-take when you realize who they are... *L* And folks want to catch up instead of posting Facebook updates, go figure! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 27, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

In my AP American History class about 30 years ago we spent the first half of the year studying the colonial era and then the causes of the Civil War.

When we came back from Christmas break, we went into Reconstruction. A classmate had a conversation with the teacher which went like this.

"We've studied the causes of the Civil War and now we are covering the effects the Civil War. Didn't we skip something in between?"

"Like the Civil War?"

"Yeah. Weren't there a bunch of battles and stuff?"

"You mean like Bull Run, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Antietam, and Shiloh?"

"Yeah, those. Aren't we going to cover them?"


We then went on to cover Reconstruction, Frederick Turner's Frontier Theory, the effects of immigration and industrialization, the Robber Baron
Era, and Wilson's 14 Points. And then history stopped at World War II.

By the way, our history teacher had his degree from Gettysburg College.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 27, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Yes, courage is in assuming the risk, RD, but also perserving through real danger to do what is right.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 27, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

So, you think he was sick of the civil war, Yello?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 27, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

No. He didn't see military action as being worthy of study. We pretty much avoided any discussion of actual combat all year.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 27, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Odd. I tend to think otherwise about history, given how many medical and technological advances are made in wartime. I mean, we have canned food because Napoleon gave out a prize for anybody who could improve food preservation so he could feed his army.

Little things like the use of motorcycles in WWII, like that make those periods worth studying for me. But each to their own.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 27, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Christmas bargain of the day:

Be sure to read the reviews.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 27, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Guess who's handling all the photo-posting duties at the reunion... *grin*

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 27, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, yellojkt. I disturbed my family by laughing out loud for a long time.

I have enjoyed cmanteuffel and Mudge's colloquy. I, too, appreciated cmanteuffel's observation that the hive mind tends to skip from prominent war to prominent war: War of Independence to Civil War to Great Depression to The Greatest Generation. The ability to remember the Spanish-American War may be diminished by its hyphen. On the other hand we don't remember the French and Indian War either, so perhaps it is the presence of a connector of any kind.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 27, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

The Spanish American War is a much overlooked watershed war in the American psyche.

It was our move beyond the continental borders into imperial status. Our true aim was to achieve geopolitical strategic positioning. By grabbing Spanish colonies we put ourselves onto the path which eventually led to war with Japan.

We fought an undeclared war against a guerrilla insurrection. I lived in the Philippines in the late 70s and we still lived in fear of anti-American rebels.

The war was instigated on flimsy grounds fanned by a blood-thirsty press.

Deja vu.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 27, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Of course, it is possible that the Spanish-American War had no hyphen, and I am thinking of Franco-American SpaghettiOs, a product certainly familiar to the hive mind.

In which case, I posit that we forget the French and Indian War and the Spanish American War because they include the names of other countries.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 27, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

I have an outsiders view of your history, and was curious earlier in the day as to the concern about the Spanish-American war being overlooked, from what I recall not a high point in US history. I do admit to only limited memory of course.

I seem to recall it being one of the reasons the US went to isolationism in the early 20th century - as always I look forward to being correct/reminded of the true story.

Posted by: dmd3 | November 27, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

I like that we call our wars different things when they occur on our soil. The Seven Years War is the French and Indian War. The Napoleonic Wars is the chronologically suspect War Of 1812 on our side of The Pond. And that we won the War of 1812 is one of the more polite lies our history teachers told us.

And what do they call the Mexican-American War in Mexico? The War Of Northern Aggression?

Posted by: yellojkt | November 27, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Just wouldn't be a reunion without the "Electric Slide," right?

And I forgot the main side effect of reunions -- I'm losing my voice having to shout over the music!!! *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 27, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Looks like both Oklahoma and Georgia have amazing games going on within their borders.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 27, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

I have never figured out why at events when people want most just to talk to each other, the DJ insists on playing the music at deafening levels.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 27, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

OMG, I watched a half hour (7:30 to 8) of the Kinkade movie before I realized what it was. Mr seasea asked what I was watching, and I said, "A sappy movie". Shortly thereafter it became clear. Thanks to rickoshea for the warning!

My friends and I left our last reunion because of the loud music - which I don't mind so much, but it is impossible to hear anyone.

Posted by: seasea1 | November 27, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

We won by a hurricane and managing not to be re-conquerered, Yellojkt. Sometimes survival is victory enough.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 28, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Um, that is very strange. We Canuckistanis remember the War of 1812 as the last one between Canada and the US. And we whupped your *sses. That's why you've stayed on your side of our border ever since.

The Spanish-American war may have happened in 1812, but I know nothing about that.

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

Risking giving offence, though I shouldn't. Just remember that it is the Arrogant Worms.

The War of 1812.

Posted by: Yoki | November 28, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, I'm sure that's right.

The Spanish-American War was in 1898 - Remember the Maine - William Randolph Hearst. I probably know about it more from Citizen Kane than anything else. Also, my brother used to charge up the stairs with a machete, re-enacting Teddy Roosevelt's charge up San Juan Hill (not sure if he was influenced by Arsenic and Old Lace).

Heard someone on NPR recently talking about Teddy Roosevelt - how he glorified war till his youngest son was killed in (in WWI, I think).

Posted by: seasea1 | November 28, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

So you were living Arsenic and Old Lace? Charge! Uncle Teddy.

Posted by: Yoki | November 28, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

I and my dots all love Uncle Teddy. Up the Hill!

Posted by: Yoki | November 28, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Kipling did too, until his son was killed in WWI.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 28, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | November 28, 2010 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Er, Kipling was pro-war, not that he loved Uncle Teddy-- he might have, but oceans parted their love as Kipling left Vermont in 1896 due to anti-British sentiment due to a keruffle over British Guiana (now Guyana in SOuth America) wherein the US invoked the Monroe Doctrine and war-sabers began to rattle.

He wrote after his son Jack's death:

"If any question why we died/ Tell them, because our fathers lied."

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 28, 2010 1:59 AM | Report abuse

SOUTH AMERICA! (somewhat Groverish).

Posted by: Yoki | November 28, 2010 2:27 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all.

We were guests for Thanksgiving dinner at The Beach, so did not have lovely leftovers for traditional turkey sandwiches; but, upon reading about said sandwiches here in the boodle, wondered if you all had a particular way of building yours.

Sliced turkey (preferably dark meat), iceberg lettuce in thick crunchy leaves, Hellman's mayonaise, lots of pepper, all on toasted Wonder bread The only improvement that I have made in recent years is to try french, italian or potato bread slices, and to leave the bread soft, instead of toasted.

Pity the Pilgrims, no Hellman's.....

Posted by: VintageLady | November 28, 2010 4:51 AM | Report abuse

Crunchy slices of good bacon also improve an already delicious turkey sandwich, but only if it crunches, no soggy bacon, please.

Posted by: VintageLady | November 28, 2010 4:55 AM | Report abuse

That song is so delightful, how could anybody take offense? It even apologizes at the end of the video. How very Canadian.

Perhaps you Canuckis should just call the War of 1812 the War of Southern Aggression. Then you can stage re-enactments and drive around with Maple Leafs in the back window of your pick-up trucks.

Print a bunch of bumper stickers that say. "Save Your Loonies. We're Coming Back Someday." Forget, Hell!

Posted by: yellojkt | November 28, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Yello, as a resident of a border state, I think some of our neighbors to the north already are at that state.

Je me souviens!

Posted by: baldinho | November 28, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

White bread in our household was very strictly verboten as a child, growing up, so I have never understood the appeal of paste-y white bread, Wonder bread included.

For our leftover, we use, sometimes, Orowheat 100 percent whole wheat bread, and sometimes, to alternate and enjoy a multitude of possible flavor combination, yummy jalapeno cheese bread or rosemary sourdough, the latter two from Whole Foods (the rosemary sourdough went into this year's dressing, a reminder of 49er California, to pair with the organic turkey from Oregon that was processed in Washington state). Or a sweeter touch, toasted cranberry bread, also from Whole Foods.

Pity the Pilrims because of a lack of Hellman's? Did anyone see the special op-ed about eels that ran on Thanksgiving Day at the NYT?

What types of bread do the rest of you put on your leftover eel sandwiches?

Posted by: laloomis | November 28, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

British Guiana, as well as a family feud and the crush of the press corps, prompted Kipling to leave his home Naulahka near Brattleboro, Vermont.



In other words, the United States ruled the Western Hemisphere.

This didn’t sit well with the British, including Kipling. Anti-British sentiment in America, followed by family troubles, sent him back to England.

Posted by: laloomis | November 28, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

VL-I buy soft bread once a year, just for turkey sandwiches. Except for preferring white meat, mine are just as you describe-with the bread untoasted. If I am really lucky there is enough gravy left over for "gravy bread," essentially the traditional hot turkey sandwich sans turkey.

Chez Frostbitten South is between the old Port Tampa, in what was a separate town called Port Tampa City, and the Spanish American War Memorial Park where Teddy and troops camped before embarking for Cuba.

Almost nothing remains from this 1898 photo
except it is still a very small working port with rail cars loaded about once a week. (not to be confused with the much larger Port of Tampa on the other side of the peninsula)

Posted by: frostbitten1 | November 28, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I dunno, I guess I am a politically correct curmudgeon. I just don't find it heartwarmingly sweet that the chef made his own "take" on an Afghan dish by throwing in a load of bacon. It seems more to me like an in-your-face denial of something essential to the culture of the guy who taught the recipe to the Army chef, an act that seems guaranteed to breed pointless and unnecessary ill will. A dumb move.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 28, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I tend to concur, but hey, maybe it was beef bacon. I prefer whole wheat for any sandwich, however...

In my house, leftover eels are always made into broth and served to ex-lovers called Lord Randall. No bread.

Shocking, I know.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 28, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

In our house, the only eel is a leftover eel, as none are taken for firsts. Or any other helping, for that matter.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 28, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Like Tim I was bothered by the story about the bacon in the dish.

That said, I fully realize this makes me a hypocrite as it has always bothered me greatly that women, when visiting certain parts of the world must conform to dress styles, mores of the area.

I am not sure how to reconcile this, should US, Canadian or other troops be allowed to eat what they are used to, I believe yes, within limits, while on a their own bases, but at the same time it is their country, their rules and while we might agree, even really strongly how much right to we have to ignore or demand changes in the rules.

I think it was the spiteful nature of the actions that upset me.

Posted by: dmd3 | November 28, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

If they can get it in the country, they can eat it. It was the tasteless combination that got me. Bacon and curry will just drown each other out.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 28, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

So far, none of my six picks are loosing.

'Afternoon, Boodle.

The mysterious disease two of my grandkids briought with them during their T-day visit has struck down my wife, who is a bed with flu-like symptoms. I think I may be coming down with it, too, but not sure. However, in my possible delirium Donovan McNabb just lined up as a wide receiver, so this could be a pretty serious disease I'm suffering.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 28, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

When I used to work for the Torontonians, I took the wife and kids for a week one time - they toured while I worked. They went to Fort York, and got what they considered to be a very interesting history lesson. The Brits/Canadians burned Washington in retaliation for the Americans burning what's now Toronto. (Or what was left of it, after the retreating Brits had destroyed much of it themselves.)

One thing I did appreciate in taking Louisiana History in 8th grade was that the mandatory field trip to the Chalmette battlefield took pains to point out that the battle was fought AFTER the war had ended, what with communication being slow in those days. So it didn't count, but since the Brits got their clocks cleaned, it became part of a great victory.

(And BTW, Battle of New Orleans Day is still a holiday, except it's been superseded by something much more important - it's also Elvis' birthday! Also Robert E. Lee - Stonewall Jackson Day to a certain subset, but the King wins the popular vote in a landslide.)

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | November 28, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Hi y'all... just relaxing after a mixed busy/relaxing T'giving weekend.

ArmyBrat1... don't know if anyone's "officially" welcomed you yet, but I'm so glad to see you boodling so regularly these days. You always have something good to say (which is more than I can say for myself!).

Hope everyone is having a good weekend. I took the entire week off and spent some good, quality time with Son of G before he returned to Charlotte to face his first Black Friday on the other side of the counter.

Thanksgiving at my sister's house was wonderful and crazy, but my oldest sister wasn't feeling up to being there, so there was a damper on the day. Of course, the star of the show continues to be the only member of our next generation, who just turned 2.

Speaking of babies... we finally watched the movie "Babies" that Bad Sneakers and "S" recommended to us a few weeks ago when they were visiting. It's a fabulous documentary about four babies and their early development in four parts of the world. We didn't even notice until halfway through that there is no narration. It's beautifully filmed and incredibly entertaining... and available on Netflix Watch Instantly. I wholeheartedly pass along the recommendation to you all.

Posted by: -TBG- | November 28, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I was a bit more troubled that Army cooks could barely work out the frying of the turkey. Hope it worked.

I assume the folks here who are appalled by the bacon curry would run from Korean tacos too. There are a million different styles of curry and I have no doubt that bacon would improve some of them.

Look what bad people did to us:

Bad, yes, but perhaps not entirely stupid.

Posted by: Jumper1 | November 28, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Oh Jumper... he's so cute. I hope you can find a good home for him soon.

Posted by: -TBG- | November 28, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

How could anyone abandon such a cute puppy, hope he finds a good home.

Posted by: dmd3 | November 28, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Jumper we trust
to rehome pups, but anyone
can, and will dump dogs.


(Not the gnome, of course
because I have her well-leashed
and fully trained. Still...)

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 28, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

That is an adorable pooch. It's lucky I didn't know of this as we passed through NC. I hope he finds a good home.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 28, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 28, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I see nothing wrong with adding an ingredient to a dish provided it is not served to people whose religious or ethical customs avoid that ingredient. Americans are nothing if not notorious blenders of ethnic cusines. Aforementioned Korean tacos as a case in point. The very word 'fusion' in a restaurant description has become a bit of a cliche.

I am reminded of the anecdote recounted in Bill Bryson's 'At Home' about Indian soldiers deserting the employ of the British on the rumor that the powder cartridges for Enfield rifles were sealed using beef and pork tallow, thus offending both Muslims and Hindus.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 28, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Did you have a good trip, yello?

Posted by: -TBG- | November 28, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

But... bacon and curry. Pork vindaloo is one thing, but bacon is used as a salty smoky meaty fatty "spice" in cooking.

Many (not all, especially rajasthan or afghani) curries have heavily browned onion as a base, so the smoked taste bacon would offer is redundant.

And the curries that don't, tend to have a sweet, nut-and-fruit base which provide enough fat as it is.

The only curry recipes I can think of that would benefit from bacon would be curried eggplant. Maybe egg curry, although that would be totally ruining it with excess fat.

I'm not taking an ethic purist approach in my cooking-- never have. I'm just familiar with bacon in cooking thanks to French-canadian and cajun recipes, plus Indian curries.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 28, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

*mumble mumble grumble [redacted] grumble [*&^%$# redacted] mumble cuss, growl*

We can't even beat at home a crummy 3-7 team with an ancient, broken-down quarterback, an interim coach taking over from one who got [redacted] fired in mid-season, and which had a 17-game road loosing streak.

*grumble mumble grumble [redacted] grumble [*&^%$# redacted] mumble cuss, growl*

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 28, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Had a delightful trip, TBG. Last night was the $4.95 fried chicken special at Mary's Diner in Danville. Today I took leg stretch breaks in Lynchburg and Charlottesville and made it home in about 12 hours of total driving with only minor traffic jams, the worst being yesterday afternoon between Charlotte and Greensboro.

I ate authentic Neapolitan pizza, hipster burgers, gorgonzola potato chips, and Lexington style barbecue.

I got to see my adorable two-year-old niece, watch my eight-year-old nephew play football, and met a girl with a pet rat. We also saw a great if rather crowded Dali show which featured both 'Persistence of Memory' and 'Christ of Saint John of the Cross', a very haunting beautiful work.

Not bad for four days.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 28, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I even saw a Georgia Tech athletic victory. Only it was in volleyball and against Clemson. Those girls are, uh, fit.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 28, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

If only I lived closer Jumper.

I installed two, yes, two outside Christmas trees and put the winter protection on fragile plants. I'm bushed. Still 90 minutes to Grey Cup XCVIII.

Hey Mudge, the Bills are holding their own on the Steelers. Nobody's chopped liver.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | November 28, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

One very significant benefit of an internal clock that insists on waking one up @ 6:30, no matter how late one managed to get to bed after an unexpectedly fun reunion, is that one can manage to get to the airport in time for an earlier flight. Astoundingly trouble-free return home, as well.

The reunion wasn't as well-attended as the one five years ago, but it made up for it in energy. I'm genuinely surprised at how most everyone there was happy to see me and more than politely interested in how I've been doing. For someone who was a near-outcast in high school, that means a lot. It was quite funny, though, to hear so many people proclaim, "you haven't changed a bit!"

*vewwy-vewwy-sweepy-but-fighting-to-watch-the-4-p.m.-games Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 28, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

The Giant Mouse followed me closely while I was setting my trap line. I want to add to my collection of tiny deer mice racks so I set mouse traps. I inadvertently caught a doe (no rack) in a plastic pail. I found it by following the smell gradient.
The Giant Mouse got at least half a slice of Cracker Barrel cheese out of the deal.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | November 28, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, it's good to hear that your reunion was fun, though now it's making me second-guess (just a little) my decision not to go to a big one of my own, also held yesterday. But we were just as happy not to travel with the crowds, and my parents (who we would have stayed with) were just as happy to get to go across the country to see their grandchildren instead of hosting us. There's really only one person I wanted to see; we'll have to plan a trip. That'll give us more quality time, anyhow. But maybe I'll make it back to the reunion in another 5 or 10 years.

Posted by: -bia- | November 28, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

And I turned the Christmas lights on the trees on. It's the first Sunday of Advent, so it's got to be legal.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | November 28, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Gorgonzola chips, eh? I've had Parmesan chips before, which were really, really good. And I do like Gorgonzola, too.

Well, enough about that. That poor abandoned puppy was cute as all get out. Shame on those people who tossed him/her out on his/her snout. *TSK*

So, um, Mudge -- I guess we ain't goin' to the Super Bowl, eh? (That's "we" as in Skins and/or Lions, the latter of which doesn't ever have a chance and they know it, so it makes 'em more honest, I suppose).

I've been doing research and working all day on a pleading due on Thursday. I'll do a bit more before I hang it up for the day.

Two loads of laundry this morning and the watering of the indoor jungle -- in addition to all the billable work today -- has me feeling inexorably smug. That'll wear off quickly, so don't throw anything.

Toodley Boodley.

Posted by: ftb3 | November 28, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Browned onion makes bacon redundant?

Please don't pass this on to southern cooks.

Posted by: Bob-S | November 28, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

The onion is cooked much more than for barbecue sauce or chili, Bob S.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 28, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Whilst I consider Bacon to be a food group of its own on Canada's Food Pyramid (min. 2 servings a year) and will tonight eat a salad that includes bitter greens, Noble Blue Cheese, croutons and Bacon!!! when I read that 'graph about the cooks throwing bacon into a curry, all I could think was, 'Sepoy Mutiny.' Let us not forget.

Posted by: Yoki | November 28, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Watching the Grey Cup game, chili has been consumed and my first attempt at making Sneaks Snickerdoodles is complete - reasonably successful - kids love it.

Just saw a commercial for heated boots, a) about time b) does that invention qualify for a nobel prize - pure genius.

Posted by: dmd3 | November 28, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

The spectators needed those heated boots at the Western final last weekend in Calgary. Edmonton today is practically balmy, in contrast.

Posted by: Yoki | November 28, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

I have in-laws at the game, they lived for a long time north of Ft. McMurray - they were thrilled to have tickets even when the temps were so frigid.

As someone who drives at least half the year with the heated seats in the car on, I am so getting heated boots.

Posted by: dmd3 | November 28, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

There is something so quaintly reassuring about Grey Cup, BT no O, loving it.

Posted by: dmd3 | November 28, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Me too!

Posted by: Yoki | November 28, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Montreal is amazing.

Posted by: Yoki | November 28, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Sad news on this Canadian day, Leslie Neilson has passed.

Posted by: dmd3 | November 28, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Nuts to that! I'm gonna miss him.

Posted by: Bob-S | November 28, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

That's very sad. And stop calling me Shirley.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 28, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

That is sad. I actually have a little sob in my throat.

I remember meeting him and his brother Erik (former Deputy Prime Minister) around 1992. *So* funny, both of them. It was clear that at their mother's table in the NWT c. 1949, children were expected to be both informed and entertaining company.

As were #1 and #2.

Posted by: Yoki | November 28, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

No more naked guns, then, or police squad. Bummer.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 28, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

And airports will never be the same.

Posted by: Yoki | November 28, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Now this is weird. This recipe just appeared at the top of my RSS feed for this Instructables site...

Posted by: -TBG- | November 28, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Awwww, Yoki. I enjoyed his work, but meeting somebody like that is extra-special.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 28, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Joel is, clearly, an early-adopter. A trend-setter.

Posted by: Yoki | November 28, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

He really was, Wilbrod, a lovely man. Big mobile face, smart, hilarious. Very modest in himself. A joy. I'm sad.

Posted by: Yoki | November 28, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Heated boats?? *blushing madly* Why, I don't need no danged Nobel Prize for inventing heated boats. It was just pure self-interest on my part, that's all.

I think it was on our second or maybe third trip to L'Anse Aux Meadows over there in Vineland that the idea come to me.

('Course, we didn't call it L'anse aux Meadows, since none of us spoke Frankish, and those peeps barely even had a country to speak of, back then, being as they were just about a couple centuries away from all their gall being divided into three parts, as that Roman guy once wrote. No, what you folk now call L'anse aux Meadows we called Bjornsylvania. It got that name in a shipboard contest, and that's the name got the most votes [9], while my nomination, Mudgensfjiord, got 7 votes, and the dark horse candidates, Lutefiskshtadt, Cranberry Town, and Firstvillageonthenewbigwesternisland got 4, 3 and 2 votes, respectively.)

(And anyway, how the hell do you pronounce "aux"? I mean, talk about a stupid sounding word to put in the middle of a place name. Awks. Jeez. "Hi, there, toots. Like to come spend a nice quiet evening with me at my bachelor pad in Lance Awks Meadows, overlooking the sea? We can share a flagon of mead and put on our electric boots and take a walk on the beach." See? it just don't scan.)

Where was I? Oh, yes. Second or third trip. Well, lemme tell ya, I had pretty much frozen off the horns off my helmet, it was so cold crossing the North Atlantic. We was skirting the polar ice pack (only we didn't know it was polar, see, since we didn't know nothing about no poles nor polar bears). So I talk it over with a couple of the other oarsmen, and they sez, "Mudge, you're the literate spokes-type guy. Would you go see the skipper and see if he'll do something about putting some heat on this here damn boat?"

So I goes to the cap'n one afternoon when I think he's in a pretty good mood.

"What's on yer mind, Mudge?" he says. "Yer still not babbling about using that funny little needle balanced on that crazy-ass piece of rock to tell us which way the sun comes up and goes down, are ye?"

"Well, actually, it points north and south," I sez, "but no, I come about a few other suggestions me and the other oarsmen been discussin'."

"Let's hear 'em," he says.

"Well, first off, can we please put that big dragon head on the front end of the boat instead of looking aft? All the other longboats are always laughing at us, just because the boatbuilder got his blueprints mixed up that one time."

"Mudge," he says, "did you guys ever think how almighty terrifyin' it is to go into battle with a giant dragon's nether parts comin' at ye? It gives us what I likes to call a psychological advantage, kinda like 'shock and awe.' I like to call it 'shock and revulsion.'"

'Well," I sez, "I don't know nothing about that sikeyventrical stuff. I leave that sort of thing to you deep thinkers."

"What's yer other concerns?"


Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 28, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

As I read Joel's comments, the curry was being cooked for American soldiers, via an Afghani recipe. Under those circumstances I had no problem with throwing in a bunch of bacon. As yellojkt says, modifying recipes is common, and as Jumper says, there's lots of different curries.

Wilbrod, you must be thinking of different bacon than I've ever cooked with. No matter how long I've cooked bacon, or onions, they don't take one another's place. They are often complementary but with very different tastes. Now that fish bacon, I don't know.

Yoki, one of my favorite old-time salads is iceberg lettuce, tomato, blue cheese, bacon, and blue cheese dressing. Last time I used Stilton. Now that's a meal. [I know iceberg isn't very nutritious but (a) it is good in this salad and (b) it is a lettuce and the Boy likes it, so I always have it.]

Yellojkt, that sounds like a great trip.

Scotty, I've discovered the larger the reunion year, the less important the high school class distinctions - popular, not popular, jock, geek, weird - they all seem to disappear. I went to my 30th a few years ago and everyone was just so pleased to be around and in condition to attend that we were all happy to see one another.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 28, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Ivansmom. Curry base is designed to work with onions-- a lot of onions.

I'll try and fry up some curry base with bacon sometime, but I'm pretty sure turmeric will make bacon taste very un-bacony, more like low-rent pork.

Yoki has it right-- sepoy mutiny.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 28, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

So sad to hear that Mr. Nielson has died. I know he is best known for his comedic work, but I still think of him as Commander John J. Adams in "Forbidden Planet." This was the first film of his I ever watched, and the imprinting took.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | November 28, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Did you, RD, follow him around like an upright vacuum-cleaner?

EYE did.

Posted by: Yoki | November 28, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

I haven't checked the databases, but I suspect that his role in "Nuts" was one of his last non-comedic roles.

Posted by: Bob-S | November 28, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Awwww Ivansmom, I tried, last night, to seduce a really, reely, hot man with a steak-house meal; grilled steak, a wedge of iceberg with homemade blue-cheese dressing, and a baked potato with bacon-bits (real bacon), sour cream and chopped scallions.

He refused the iceberg lettuce and creamy blue-cheese dressing.

Luckily, he didn't refuse me.

Posted by: Yoki | November 28, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Awwww Ivansmom, I tried, last night, to seduce a really, reely, hot man with a steak-house meal; grilled steak, a wedge of iceberg with homemade blue-cheese dressing, and a baked potato with bacon-bits (real bacon), sour cream and chopped scallions.

He refused the iceberg lettuce and creamy blue-cheese dressing.

Luckily, he didn't refuse me.

Posted by: Yoki | November 28, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Awwww Ivansmom, I tried, last night, to seduce a really, reely, hot man with a steak-house meal; grilled steak, a wedge of iceberg with homemade blue-cheese dressing, and a baked potato with bacon-bits (real bacon), sour cream and chopped scallions.

He refused the iceberg lettuce and creamy blue-cheese dressing.

Luckily, he didn't refuse me.

Posted by: Yoki | November 28, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Awwww Ivansmom, I tried, last night, to seduce a really, reely, hot man with a steak-house meal; grilled steak, a wedge of iceberg with homemade blue-cheese dressing, and a baked potato with bacon-bits (real bacon), sour cream and chopped scallions.

He refused the iceberg lettuce and creamy blue-cheese dressing.

Luckily, he didn't refuse me.

Posted by: Yoki | November 28, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Gosh! Sorry.

Posted by: Yoki | November 28, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Wow! How... amorous.

Posted by: Bob-S | November 28, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Ooow! I'd say typeface, or whatever it's called, has a bad case of the hiccups.

I hope you got your way with him, Yoki.


Posted by: slyness | November 28, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

That doesn't seem that odd a coincidence. A Google search for curry + bacon gets over two and a half million hits.

But I don't know that much about curry since all mine come from that ancient purveyor of exotic foods, Trader Joe.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 28, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Woo Hooo! Nos Allouetes totally RAWK.

Posted by: Yoki | November 28, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse


"Skip, we're all pretty tired of fish sticks, and we were wondering what your feelings were regarding cannibalism."

He sighed a big sigh. "Yeah, I been thinking that myself," he sez. "Let me sleep on it some, and I'll get back to you. What else?"

"Well," I sez, "maybe you noticed, but it's pretty durn cold on this here vessel, and quite frankly, rowing all the time just isn't keeping us warm enough, not on a diet of fish sticks and kelp. Could we, like, have a roof over our heads? Some sort of enclosure? And that would keep the rain and snow off, too. It can get right miserable when yer chained to yer bench and up to yer knees in slush, with little chunks of ice floating around. It's like trying to row when you're sitting in a bowl of unspiked prom punch."

The cap'n snorted, kinda like Yoki sometimes does, only he weren't amused like she is. "You guys is turning into a bunch of wimps," he sez. "Whaddaya want next, a nice big fireplace with a fire burning in the hearth all the time?"

"Well, now that you mentioned, it, skip...yes! A fireplace would be terrific. We could put it amidships, and run a chimney pipe to the dragon's mouth, and there'd be smoke coming out of it. *Very* frightening effect. it'll scare the heck out of everybody--flame shooting out of the dragon's mouth."

"Hmmmm," he said. I could tell he was thinking it over, mulling the implications and the possibilities, which is why he got the big kronar.

"We could cook on it, too," he sez. "Have hot food, just like on land."

"Zackly, yer admiralness," I sez. "That's a brilliant idea!" See, I was lettin' him think it was all his notion.

So the very next day, when it was colder than a penguin's organ of intromission, the cap'n give orders for some of us to gather up a bunch of ballast stones out of the bilge, and we build a primitive kind of fireplace right aft of the mast. We were nearly done when my shift ended, and I went to bed thinking what a fine thing we'd have tomorrow when the second watch finished the job.

So imagine my surprise the next morning when I woke up to find that someone, somehow, had screwed up the plans and run the chimney pipe to the wrong end of the ship. Yep. We had smoke coming out of the dragon's bum at the front of the ship, which blew back on us. What a miserable voyage that ended up being, so to speak.

That was my last voyage on that particular longboat-- I just couldn't handle the humiliation and teasing all the other pillagers larded on us. Last I heard, the skipper sold the boat to bunch of Angles, Saxons and Jutes who were preparing to invade the Low Countries on the northwest shore of the continent. According to legend, our old ship led the invasion fleet, and scared the you-know-what out of the locals. They wound up naming the new country after their flagship: The Netherlands.

But that was how we come to invent heated boats.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 28, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

I dunno, Yoki, I think that post was worth repeating. Good times.

Next time, hold out until he tries the lettuce.


Posted by: Ivansmom | November 28, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Oh, the Achenshame of the multiple post, late at night when they will hang in clear view. At least it's an intriguing story, Yoki!

Have pretty well completed my Christmas shopping online, which probably explains my giddy mood. My Achenfriends are making me laugh, too.

RIP, Mr Nielson.

Posted by: seasea1 | November 28, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Yes, slyness, 'nough said.

And yes, Bob-S, I am a *warm* woman.

Posted by: Yoki | November 28, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse


You had me at bleu-cheese dressing.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 28, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Four times in one night?

Beats my personal best, alas.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 28, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Laughing, yello. Sleep well.

Posted by: Yoki | November 28, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

*Snort* Goodnight, all. So embarrassed.

Posted by: Yoki | November 28, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Glad you had a pleasant evening, Yoki.

So happy that it's this Sunday night and not last Sunday night, when I was looking forward to being stuck with needles all day Monday.

Good night, all.

Posted by: slyness | November 28, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

So sad to hear about Leslie Nielson. Airplane was the first movie I remember seeing without having any idea how funny it would be - made the experience even better.

We just got back from seeing The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest. It was good, not as good as the other two movies, but then neither was the book. I like that the Swedes don't make up or light the actors in such a way as to make them all look plastic. It's certainly more believable to see a few wrinkles and large pores on a woman.

Mudge, enjoyed your memories of life at sea (the Netherlands indeed!). How do heated boots work, dmd?

Posted by: badsneakers | November 28, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Here you go sneaks, not the height of fashion!

Posted by: dmd3 | November 28, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Thanks dmd. Those are serious boots, expensive too, but if you're out in the weather, they'd be worth the price. I just run into the house when my feet start to tingle ;-)

Posted by: badsneakers | November 28, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

When my feet start to tingle... oops. Never mind.

Posted by: Yoki | November 28, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Are Afghan cooks so different from others? I mean I don't expect someone to convert to Apatheticism just because I gave him a recipe or taught her how to filet a walleye. Though I say it is sacrilege to use cultivated wild rice vs. the much superior lake grown variety, I really mean it is an affront to taste buds not the almighty.

Yoki-whew, the quadruple post made your night sound exhausting.

Toodles boodle and sweet dreams.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | November 28, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

When her feet start to tingle, out comes the steak & potatoes!

Posted by: Bob-S | November 28, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

(Four times, no less.)

Posted by: Bob-S | November 28, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Oh my! I'm blushing.

Posted by: Yoki | November 28, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Lovely blue sky and fall crispness. Vintage Lady, sometimes the soft white bread is the FOIL for the turkey splendor. I will eat a sammich on your porch anyday.

My preference: small turkey sandwiches on soft rolls, made daily in the post Tday times...have been known to use Bridgeford Dough to make these :)

A smear of avocado dressed with salt, pepper, and minced red onion.....oh, lovely and moist. And, would not say no to a bit of rasher or bacon on it too.

Love to all. Off to impart wisdom by singing a show tune or two about the that-which distinction and the comma of clarity...

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | November 29, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all, hi Cassandra. Anybody up yet? You lazy people, it's almost 8 o'clock!

Today is Geekdottir's birthday. What a Thanksgiving that was! Entirely too much excitement, even before she decided it was time to be born. Hard to believe that my baby is 25!

Well, much to do, so I'd better get started.

Have a great day, all!

Posted by: slyness | November 29, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday Geekdottir! Now that she is an honorary G Daughter, too, we will make sure to toast her at dinner tonight!

I'm working today, because I took all of last week off, but working on Mondays is relaxing at my office because we are closed to our public. It is our "casual Monday," and the only folks even there are those of us in the office. Nice and quiet and lots of work gets done.

Hope y'all have a wonderful day and a terrific week. How are you celebrating Cyber Monday? I note that seasea is celebrating by NOT celebrating it!

Posted by: -TBG- | November 29, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

CyberMonday has been proven to be a myth. You don't need to go to work to buy off the internet. My one purchase this weekend was a new Roku box which Roger Ebert also tweeted as being a good deal. It's 20% off the $80 regular price.

I have made a strategic decision to avoid Blu-Ray technology because on-line streaming is the future of video. My two year old DVD player upconverts, so video quality is definitely good enough.

We also scaled back our Netflix subscription to just one DVD at a time because we have gone six months without sending any back.

This requires us to send two back which I had to tear apart the house to find the discs we had out. But Netflix has sent out two more movies including this one:

Saving Face (2005)
Dutiful daughter Wil (Michelle Krusiec) sidesteps her mother's (Joan Chen) attempts to marry her off in Alice Wu's romantic comedy. At 28, Wil's the old maid of her traditional Chinese family, so there's no way she can tell them about her budding lesbian romance with Vivian (Lynn Chen).

I have NO idea how that got in our queue.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 29, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

"Kissing Jessica Stein" and "But I'm A Cheerleader" also seem to have snuck into the queue somehow.

The top two categories Netflix is giving us for recommendations are Quirky Romantic Comedies and Japanese Revenge Thrillers.

I suspect my son's use of our instant streaming account has something to do with this.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 29, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

new kit

Posted by: GomerGross | November 29, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

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