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Posted at 9:34 AM ET, 12/21/2010

Feelin' solstitial again!

By Joel Achenbach

"Now is the winter of our discount tent" was the first thought I had this morning (I was in the basement, where we store the camping gear). My second thought was, I wonder if Brett Favre is still alive after being head-slammed on the concrete field last night in Minnesota. To judge by his behavior, the guy doesn't have a lot of IQ points to spare, and playing that game in the snow and ice, while entertaining, and reminding us middle-aged guys of the Olden Days when all the Vikings games were glaciated, probably made no sense in this era of concussion-consciousness (say that ten times fast).

I came across a great line in Winston Churchill's "The Gathering Storm": "All this is a sad story of complicated idiocy in the making of which much toil and virtue was consumed."

But don't get me started on the Redskins....

The odd thing about the arrival of winter is that we've already had three weeks of it. A mild fall gave way to an Arctic December; this could herald another season of Snowmaggedons, to which I would have to respond with emergency flights to the Tropics. I'm at the age where the fight-or-flight response skews to the latter. Maturity brings privileges, among them the right to a certain level of comfort. No one can make me stay up to watch the lunar eclipse; had I been in charge, I would have scheduled it for earlier in the night. Somehow, I still wind up in middle seats on discount flights, changing in Atlanta, which makes me think the people who run the airlines don't know who I am.

That is going to be my big line for 2011: "Don't you know who I am?" You have to practice it, work on the inflection points. It's not really a question so much as a statement of reproach: "Don't you know who I am." A question implies that one cares what the other party is thinking, and one is inviting the other party to respond. A statement says: Making me sit in that middle seat is a case of complicated idiocy.

The official change in seasons always makes me take stock of where I am in my life, and what occurs to me this morning is that, if winter has arrived, Christmas must be close behind. I believe it's on the 25th this year. Have I finished my shopping? I actually haven't really quite started the conceptualizing part, the list-making, the mental heavy lifting that precedes the actual trips to the malls. I've been preoccupied. Probably I will wait until the 24th and then rush into some stores and buy things at random, almost as if I'm looting these places using my credit card as a weapon. It's like I'm being timed, and the contest is determined by the weight of the objects I can retrieve from the stores within 60 minutes. Stunt shopping!

Then, on Christmas Day, the recipient will open a present and pretend to like it and say that, yes, a new cordless power drill is exactly what she'd been hoping for! (Mental note: Remember to buy the drill bits.)

By Joel Achenbach  | December 21, 2010; 9:34 AM ET
Categories:  Sports  
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Comments

Good morning, y'all.

Lots of breakfast bread, scrambled eggs, bacon, coffee and RRGJ on the table.

yello, congrats on co-winning the tiara. May I use it today? It's my birffday and I want to show it off at my party.

TWC had snow and clouds last night, so no view of the eclipse here. I've been looking at photos online and they're just gorgeous.

I gotta get out the wheelchair's snowplow attachment and go plow the condo parking lot.

Stay safe and snuggly, everyone!

Posted by: MsJS | December 21, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Happy birthday!

Posted by: bobsewell | December 21, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

"The winter of our discount tent"??? Argggh, that's awful.

No doubt you will be roundly criticized in these "pages," which criticism will lead to a foofaraw that will be referred to as the "discount tent flap."

Posted by: ajsmithva | December 21, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I went to The Mall (there is only One in Columbia) on Sunday, thinking "How bad could it be?"

We found a parking space down the first aisle we went down about two spaces from the handicap spots. There was no line at the Chipotle. I found a cute penguin laptop pillow for my wife at one of those mid-aisle kiosks (what did malls do with all that empty space before they turned the walkways into bazaars?). The theater showing the 2-D version of Tron was nearly empty.

We were living a pretty charmed life.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 21, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

**faxing tiara to MsJS**

You are welcome to it. Wear it good health. And congratulations on surviving another orbit of our celestial body.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 21, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Happy happy birthday MsJS!!

Posted by: badsneakers | December 21, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I have reached the point where I feel a certain amount of pity for Brett Favre. After all the hopping from team to team and off the field sturm und drang, I conclude that he doesn't know what to do after football, he's frightened of becoming irrelevant, and he's desperately flailing away in every direction to retain the spotlight. Unfortunately in the process he has managed to alienate his most loyal supporters, the Packer fans who idolized him for so long.

Posted by: kguy1 | December 21, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

HBTY, MsJS! Do wheelies!

Posted by: ftb3 | December 21, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

As for presents, we went the Hanukkah route this year. On the second day of the Festival of Lights, I came home to a pile of bags from Tar-Jay. My wife handed one to me and it had a brand new iTouch large enough to hold my entire music collection. I expressed delight but them remorse that now I needed to go buy her her present.

She told me not to worry and then pulled an iPad out of the other bag. It seems that some sort of Buy Anything In The Store At 10% Off coupon was expiring that day and she took serious advantage of it. I'm still trying to figure out who got the better end of that deal, me or her. I'm suspecting Tar-Jay.

We have been joyfully using our respective gifts for over two weeks now. And as a bonus any sort of tree or other ornamentation is now superfluous and can remain in the storage container until we decide to be less humbuggy and grinch-like some other year.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 21, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Mudged myself, of course. But if it's got to be done, who better than me? I ask you.

"Anyways," Fleming continues, this Minuit guy, he's a Walloon out of Wesel. He bought Manhattan for 60 Guilders."

"Weally?" I sez, "Sounds wike a bargain."

Here's a photo of me on the poop deck, standing right aft of the mizzen mast in front of her lateen-rig mizzen sail. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kalmar_Nyckel_Chesapeake_Bay.jpg You can't see it real well, but I have my hands out wide as a sign of welcome. We're flying the American flag, which is what a foreign vessel does when it enters port (in this case, we were in Chesapeake Bay. We had missed Delaware Bay by a hundred miles or more, which was a bit embarrassing. When we hit Baltimore and realized our error, we turned around and went back south, out the bay, and then went back up north until we found Cape Henlopen.)

Anyway, we leave Gothenburg in December, and believe me it was colder than a [redacted] [anatomical part]. We sprung a leak and had to put in to the Nethrerlands for repairs. We stayed for New Year's Eve, and the next day when we sobered up we departed for the New World. We had another, smaller ship with us, the Fågel Grip, which as ftb can tell you means "Griffin Bird" in Swedish.

On the voyage, to wile away the long days and nights, we took to carving blocks of wood and made faces of ourselves and our shipmates, and attached them to the sides of the ship, kinda like the Vikings did with those shields. Here's a photo, and I'm sure you can tell which one is me: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kalmar_Nyckel_stern.JPG

Yes, the blue bottom is a dead giveaway.

So we sail across the Atlantic and we come to the mouth of Delaware Bay, and there's a cape on each side, so we name them for two traders financing the trip, Thijmen Jacobsz Hinlopen and his business partner, Cornelis Jacobsen Mey. Cape Hinlopen and Cape Mey. Well, I don't have to tell you guys what lack of a good copy editor did to those poor guys' names when it was printed in the Rotterdam Gazette-Picayune. Yep. Cape Henlopen and Cape May. *sigh*

Well, I wrote their ombudsman one stinging letter of rebuke, I can tell you. They issued a correction, but it came too late: the maps had already been printed.

So we sail up the Zuidt River (somebody changed the name, morons) and land at a rocky outcrop at the Minquas Kill (Minquas Creek), which today you call Swede's Landing. We establish a colony and built a fort, Fort Christina, named after our queen, near the Christiana River in what later became known as Wilmington.

The valiant Kalmare Nyckel made four roundtrips back to Sweden, which was actually an unprecedented feat back in those days. Next thing ya know, Minuit's got some 600 Swedish and Finnish settlers along with some Dutchies and Germans on his hands and "New Sweden" (I lost the naming contest) is a going concern.

more

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 21, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

The ancient Sears pup tent got deaccessioned last week. Hadn't used it for an extremely long time.

Thinking of keeping old stuff around, the New York Times' tale of a ratty old Velasquez portrait at the Metropolitan Museum makes me wonder whether the painting was really worth fixing up.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 21, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I you missed the eclipse, here is all you need to see:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/blog-post/2010/12/lunar_eclipse_live_time_lapse.html

Posted by: yellojkt | December 21, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Twas the week before Christmas and all through the house
Nothing stirring except dust motes, no mouse.
Linda bedridden four days with allergy so severe
Wracked by coughs, surely death must be dear.

Nuts fall by bucketloads, they cause quite a clatter.
Spring rains, but drought now a serious matter.
The Pineapple Express brings snow and rain West and East.
Our empty Yule stocking--parched soil, dusty skies--holds a weather beast.

It's highly likely, our local weathermen foretell.
No New Year's fireworks, we might burn up like hell.
Who cares about lights, food, yuletide cheer, and holiday fare?
When one can't breathe and is left clawing for air.

Making the seasonal visit, the pollen of mountain cedar.
Who entertains notions of St. Nick, when nearer is St. Peter?
I know I paint a dismal, parched, dessicated Christmas scene,
So it's back to bed, to dream of wet, misty, breathable green!

Posted by: laloomis | December 21, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

SCC: ucking '' key isn't working worth a lip.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 21, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to go totally Geek here and point out to yellojkt that there is no such item as an iTouch. Sorry. Had to go there. But I hope you enjoy your new iPod Touch just the same!

Happy Birthday to MsJS! I tried to fax you a piece of cake, but the fax machine got all messy with the pink and blue icing and the folks here in the office are a little mad at me. Just imagine if I'd tried to light the candle before I sent it.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 21, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

R.I.P. Steve Landesberg-here's a nice set of clips from Barney Miller

http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/tv/tv-zone-1.811968/remembering-steve-landesberg-1.2557177

Posted by: kguy1 | December 21, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Thank you all so very much.

Oh Mr. Aaaaaaaaaay...10 days and counting.

Posted by: MsJS | December 21, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Happy birthday MsJS! I hope you have a wonderful day!

Joel, I'm glad I know who you are. You will always be Somebody to me! And I will fete you appropriately, baby to me that you are.

Tar-Jay, Yello! One of my favorite places, even if they don't carry craft supplies. I found that out the hard way, darnit.

Posted by: slyness | December 21, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

So one afternoon I'm lolling about in the great cabin in the stern of the Kalmar Nykel, entertaining a young Walloon lassie whose name I won't mention out of delicacy, when Pete Minuit comes storming aboard, and darn near catches us in flagranty delicatessen, as the lawyers like to say in their Latin.

"Mudge," he says, "can ya please tidy up the cabin? I got guests coming aboard for a conference and we need the great cabin. And I'll need you to take some notes and write up some documents and bills of sale. I'm buying some land from the Indians, see."

So I tidies up the joint and next thing I know I'm up to my neck in gummint types (Pete had made himself governor), and we got sachems from the Delaware tribe and sachems from the Susquehannocks and there's this big real estate settlement going on, and I'm writing up deeds faster than Bernie Madoff's stenographer.

A Dutchmen named Bill Kieft had sailed upriver and founded a Dutch East Indies colony up in some pine barren they called New Jersey, and Kieft and Minuit were always hassling over boundaries and such like. And meanwhile a bunch of Catholics had landed to the south down in Chesapeake Bay, and were settling up some colony they called Maryland. So we wuz kinda hemmed in all of a sudden, and Pete thinks we better set up some deeds and some proper boundaries before it becomes an issue.

So Pete gets the Indians to sell us the land just up to the Schuylkill River (Dutch name, means "hidden river," which was way better than its Indian name, Ganshohawanee, which means "rushing and roaring waters," which they somehow abbreviated to the word Manaiunk, which means "place to drink," aka "river," in the Lenape lingo; later they spelled it Manayunk when Bill Penn and the Quakers got there).

(If I may brag on myself a moment, may I say that I became quite adept at writing out Indian place names and putting them into reasonably spell-able Swedish or later English words. I'm telling ya, there was a period there for many years when we wuz up to our [redacted] in Indian places names. We had the Delawares, the Susquehannocks, the Algonquins, the Lenapes, the Potowatomies, the Iroquois, you name it, we got tribes all over the place, and they already got names for darned near every hillock, stream, creek, meadow, village, burial mound, crossroads, cave, passion pit, farmer's market, you name it, they already named it.

My story has a sad ending. In 1638 Pete wanted to go back to Stockholm to pick up some stuff, and on the way his ship stopped at a Caribbean Island called St. Christopher (now usually called St. Kitts, same thing) to pick up a load of tobacco. Along comes a hurrican and down goes the ship at St. Kitts, along with my friend Pete Minuit. RIP.

The guy knew how to run a colony, I'll give him that.

Although I never did quite forgive him for ruining my afternoon that one time.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 21, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link to the eclipse video, yellojkt. Several inches of new snow and the clouds what brung 'em made the eclipse a non-event in this neck of the woods.

Posted by: northbank | December 21, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

And this is very funny: Larry David is grateful for the Bush tax cuts we gave him. He's going to Cabo and buying a new TV. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/21/opinion/21david.html?hp

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 21, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Joel's pal Bob Wright, on the GOP and the START treaty: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/20/fear-vs-reason-in-the-arms-control-debate/?hp

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 21, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I barely know how to work the dang thing, let alone it's proper name. I can get it play podcasts and Angry Birds. All the rest of it is a mystery to me.

I understand I can use the wifi to download Kindle books on it, but since I can do that on my Droid or the hand-me down Kindle I got when my wife upgraded hers, it's not really necessary.

In addition to her Kindle she also has the Kindle app on her new iPad and her old iPod Touch (you happy?). So when I come to bed each night I have no idea which electronic toy she'll be playing with. Uh, that didn't sound dirty when I thought it.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 21, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

The Post's Capital Weather Gang are talking about DC's white Christmases over at http://wapo.st/fRhDaS

My most memorable one is 1962: I had just turned five a few days before and woke up on Christmas morning to find my dad and oldest sister shoveling our driveway (in what was then rural Fairfax) to get the car out.

Mom was in her room in labor two weeks early with what turned out to be daughter #4. She made it to Sibley Hospital in DC with time to spare.

That was easily the best Christmas gift I ever got... until Son of G was born on Dec. 27, 1988--but does that count as a true Christmas present, just two days late?

Posted by: -TBG- | December 21, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

OOooo, oooo, oooo. A new cordless drill for the Missus. Boss, you are a *genius*. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Posted by: Don_from_I-270 | December 21, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

May I call on the Wisdom of the Boodle? I need the names of some current SciFi authors in order to finish my Christmas shopping. It is a genre of which I am largely ignorant, but I do know that my target likes hard-science fiction that leans well more to science than space-fantasy or the other sub-genres. Any help out there for me? Thanks muchly.

Posted by: Yoki | December 21, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Sorry I can't help you, Yoki, as I am probably more ignorant of the genre than you are. But I can't imagine a better group of folks to ask!

Posted by: -TBG- | December 21, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Yoki,
David Brin. I cannot recommend him highly enough. Go with 'Startide Rising' since it is the first book in a double trilogy.

Other good 'hard' sf writers are Greg Bear and Kim Stanley Robinson.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 21, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

kguy1 - that's really nice of you to say. i am a FORMER favre supporter and live in Wisconsin and long for the days when favre was a talented player for Green Bay. it's sad how far he's fallen but i'm not ready to forgive and forget and i know a lot of people that feel the same way. after saying all that, kguy1, your words make sense and perhaps he will finally go quietly into the night (naw, i won't count on that). the very best holiday season wishes to kguy1 and the rest of you!

Posted by: MILWI | December 21, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

http://io9.com/393397/10-books-that-prove-science-fiction-just-got-harder

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

http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&tag=mozilla-20&index=blended&link_code=qs&field-keywords=hard%20science%20fiction&sourceid=Mozilla-search

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 21, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, these five authors:

Alfred Bester
Alfred Bester
Alfred Bester
Alfred Bester
Alfred Bester

A small but very important body of work (and a great sense of humor): two novels:

The Demolished Man
The Stars My Destination

plus another OK novel:

Golem100 (the 100 is superscript, but can't reproduce it here)

and two short story collections, The Dark Side of the Earth, and Starburst.

Also available: various amalgamations and reprints of the above short stories under titles such as:

An Alfred Bester Omnibus (1968)
Starlight: The Great Short Fiction of Alfred Bester (1976)
The Light Fantastic Volume 1: The Short Fiction of Alfred Bester (1976)
Star Light, Star Bright: The Short Fiction of Alfred Bester, Volume 2 (1976)
The Light Fantastic Volume 2: The Short Fiction of Alfred Bester (1976)
Virtual Unrealities (1997)
Re-Demolished

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 21, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Thanks yello! I know he likes Greg Bear, so you are clearly knowledgeable. You just saved me a considerable amount of angst.

Posted by: Yoki | December 21, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Although I know you said "current," and that kinda threw me. Bester wrote in the 1950s and 1960s, and died in 1987. He won the first ever Hugo Award in 1953 (for The Demolished Man). But if people don't know him, then I suppose he might be a good candidate.

Four short stories won Hugo nominations, as did the novel The Computer Connection, which I have not read and cannot intelligently discuss one way or the other. Here's a Wiki summary of it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Computer_Connection

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 21, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

And thanks to Curmudgeon and Jumper too. *Refresh window before posting*

Posted by: Yoki | December 21, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

In the cyberpunk noir genre there is Richard Morgan. The "Altered Carbon" "Broken Angels" "Woken Fury" Kovacs cycle is noir, s3xy and very brutal.
I liked the distopian "Black Man" and "Market Forces" as well. "Market Forces" is a must for any car guy; promotions in large corporations are given based on Mad Max style races in the city.

But it's dark and blood and body parts fly.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 21, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

SCC dystopian *sigh*

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 21, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Dunno if that last link will even work for others. In any case Amazon knows what "hard science fiction" is.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 21, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

in re: The Stars My Destination (often considered the founding novel that pre-figures cyberpunk), from wiki:

"More recently, the book has received high praise from several science fiction writers. James Lovegrove called the it "the very best of Bester", and Thomas M. Disch identified it as "one of the great sf novels of the 1950s". "Our field has produced only a few works of actual genius, and this is one of them," wrote Joe Haldeman, who added that he reads the novel "every two or three years and it still evokes a sense of wonder." According to Samuel R. Delany, the book is "considered by many to be the greatest single SF novel," while Robert Silverberg wrote that it is "on everybody's list of the ten greatest SF novels." Fantasy writer Michael Moorcock praised it as "a wonderful adventure story" that embodies truly libertarian principles.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 21, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

For crying out loud, Mudge, let's just say Jules Verne then! LOL

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 21, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

book talk and the men of the boodle...and Don270, thanks for the drill! Need and WANT.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 21, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

In case you go the anthology route, this one is a bit old, but my favorite:
The Ascent of Wonder (the evolution of hard SF); David Hartwell, Kathryn Cramer

Posted by: DNA_Girl | December 21, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Any of these authors might be good current practitioners of the art. I trust Dozois's recommendations very much. Here is a collection of authors, many of whom have novels:
http://www.bestsf.net/2010/05/28/the-new-space-opera-2-ed-gardner-dozois-and-jonathan-strahan/

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 21, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

No, Jumper. There's two ways to interpret Yoki's question. One is relatively simple: what's a good book in such-and-such a genre. Then any recommendation of anybody's favorite is an acceptable answer.

But another way to interpret the question is: What's in the SF canon? What should a person wishing to become knowledgeable in the field of SF have on a "must-read" list. In that case, Verne would easily be on the list, just the same as, say, "Paradise Lost" would also have to appear in somebody's canonical list.

Knowing a little bit about Yoki and her literary sensibilities, I decided to go for the canonical. Sure any given Greg Bear book would do, or a Robinson, or any of a thousand other acceptable answers. But only Yoki will know how she wants to balance say, any given perfectkly acceptable Greg Bear novel, versus something from the canon. I cannot answer that for her. But now she has a choice and a context.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 21, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

And thanks to ajsmithva for my nth snort of the day...
and 'mudge for the rest.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | December 21, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I meant to point out to ajsmithva that most folks in Poland support Joel's post.

They are known as the discount tent Poles.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 21, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

If only CqP was my Missus ......

Ahem. MILWI, welcome. The souside of Milwaukee is my hometown. Graduated from Pulaski HS, no less. Bro's and sis's still live in the area. I'm the only one to move out east to DC, to be a trough - sloppin' gubirmint puke.

Posted by: Don_from_I-270 | December 21, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

"I need the names of some ****current*** SciFi authors in order to finish my Christmas shopping...I do know that my ***target*** likes hard-science fiction that leans well more to science than space-fantasy or the other sub-genres."

From the io9 list another author I can highly recommend is Vernor Vinge. There are no bad books by him. Michael Swanwick is also a writer with a good track record. I own but have not read Hugo Award winning (or nominated) novels from *this* century written by Paolo Bacigalupi, China Miéville, and Iain M. Banks, all reasonably hard but I can't vouch for them personally.

Then there are the Grand Masters of the cyberpunk age like William Gibson (his Hugo is from way back in 1985) and Bruce Sterling who are still writing. Gibson has the bad habit of writing in trilogies whose divisions aren't obvious to the novice and his current stuff is much softer than when he was inventing the genre.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 21, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Jumper,
I just noticed that some Pop Socket guy left a comment on that io9.com article you linked to. Ignore that jerk, he doesn't know anything.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 21, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, if your target has read all the canon and is finicky to buy new authors for because you're not sure what he has or hasn't read, I'd suggest a hard-core Sci-Fi magazine instead, or an anthology of the recent Hugo or Nebula winners.

Even the older volumes often contain great stories rarely seen elsewhere, and there's always bound to be something likable.

I know it was an old anthology of Hugo winners that introduced me to many classics of various flavors, including Harlan Ellison's "Repent, Harlequin!" said the Ticktockman.

Hope this helps.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 21, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

FYI, front page alert.

Bunker is fully stocked for the season and open at your convenience. It doesn't look like we'll have to tale refuge, however. We can party all we want to...

Posted by: slyness | December 21, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Some 2010 words/phrases of the year (via NYT):

Vuvuzela
Top kill, bottom kill, static kill
Blowout preventer
Refudiate (Oxford U. Press satys it is Word of the Year, which would be a real pity)
i-dose, i-dosing (Internet overdosing, i.e., on Justin Bieber)
belieber (a fan of JB)
the Justin Bieber (a haircut)
QE2 (quantitative easing)
Coffice (in South Korea, using a coffee shop as an office; yes, Joel was waaaaaaaaay out front on this one, with carbucks)
Demon sheep
Mama grizzly
Poutrage (false outrage)
Enhanced pat-down
Robo-signer
Junk shot
Containment dome
EV (electric vehicle)
GZM (ground zero mosque)

Missing from the list (IMHO), and possibly several years old, but worthy of an honorasble mention:

package

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 21, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I see that Obama has ordered the development of a new breastfeeding policy. I hope they're not gonna make it mandatory. I like hamburgers. And I don't know any of the women here at work all that well.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 21, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

SCC: foutrage

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 21, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Brett is an incredibly gifted athlete who is hanging on for dear life when he ought to retire with grace. He will pay for his football career injuries for the rest of his life; all of us have increasing aches and pains with old age, but Brett will have them multiplied by tens.

Piling on additional damage to his banged up body makes no sense. It isn't like he is a squad leader who has to risk death to take that hill to save the lives of his troops, and it isn't like he is desperate to feed his family and has to go to work because he has no sick leave left.

His hanging on has become a tragic joke, a miserable end to a great career. How sad.

Posted by: AZrls | December 21, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

...oh goody: another story about Brett Favre!

I don't know, maybe he shouldn't play because he's old, it's cold and the field is frozen, despite the fact that he's the best QB on the team and is paid a whole lot of money to play. Doesn't sound logical to me.

Or do you think that the possibility of a concussion (not to mention a broken neck) should be enough to keep NFL players from playing? Then why have the league at all?

Why let kids play football?

Posted by: chucklebuck | December 21, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Found this story off Tor.com. A pretty good SF story that taps across a few genres at once.

http://www.tor.com/stories/2010/06/what-doctor-gottlieb-saw

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 21, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

If we're banning sports, I could do without that human dogfighting thing. (Ultimate fighting? Something like that.) I'm not really much of a fan of boxing anymore, either.

How's that women's lingerie football league coming along?

Posted by: bobsewell | December 21, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Actually, it appears that the Lingerie Football has interesting (?) stuff happening.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/21/lingerie-football-brawl-caliente-breeze_n_799596.html

Posted by: bobsewell | December 21, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all! The Boy and I got up at 2 ayem to see the Lunar Eclipse. Lunacy, indeed. Hereabouts the entire moon at that time was just a shadow of itself. The Boy said, "A black moon. I'm going back to bed." It was very fine.

Happy birthday to MsJS!!!

Yoki, Ivansdad likes Kim Stanley Robinson and China Mieville, for what it's worth.

I admire Joel's gumption in adopting the statement, "Don't you know who I am." I'd worry that my listener knows EXACTLY who I am, or thinks so, and isn't afraid to share.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 21, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

"Why let kids play football?"

With a husband who does research on traumatic brain injury, I ask that question a lot.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 21, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse


Locally, clouds parted for the lunar eclipse. The family joined a crowd on the plaza of the Lawrence Hall of Science for mini nerdfest.

Posted by: edbyronadams | December 21, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

So I banished myself to the guest bedroom so that I could rouse myself at o'dark hundred to view the lunar eclipse. I quietly trudged downstairs, put on the comfy coat and wandered outside.

The moon really was beautiful - looking vaguely like a flashlight shining through antique parchment. And the stars sparkled around it like Paparazzi flashing pictures.

But it was darn cold. And that the moon was so high made it difficult to gaze at for long, so I ended up laying on the ground. Which was gosh-darn cold.

Eventually, the desire for warmth overcame the celestial awe of the sight, so I headed back upstairs. It was only then that I noted that if I raised the window blinds the moon was perfectly positioned to be viewed comfortably from the fluffy warmth of my bed.

Something to keep in mind for next time.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 21, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Yoki -- just my US2centsworth (although you can substitute Canadian2centsworth if you like): I haven't read a lot of SciFi, but I did find Arthur C. Clarke to be verifiably creepy enough to pass muster. Good short stories.

When my condo lost power for 3 hours last Thursday evening, *that* was my eclipse.

Posted by: ftb3 | December 21, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

William Gibson's early stuff is a winner when it comes to hard sci-fi.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 21, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Ah yes, the LFL, where only the shoulders are padded, where two teams of highly shampooed and conditioned athletes contend before the assembled thongs, where none can bare to lose, and the breast team always prevails.

Posted by: kguy1 | December 21, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

This is a quirky little history lesson. Did we mention it when it first started?

http://twitter.com/CivilWarwp/tweeting-the-civil-war

Posted by: bobsewell | December 21, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

The LFL sounds like a great venue to hold a BPH sometime.

Posted by: Don_from_I-270 | December 21, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

.... And I don't know any of the women here at work all that well.

Posted by: bobsewell

*****

You will, Bob, you will.

Posted by: byoolin1 | December 21, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

The funny thing about science fiction is that it becomes dated in ways you don't expect. Take the opening line of William Gibson's 'Neuromancer' published in 1984 (and winner of the 1985 Hugo):

"The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel."

That is meant to evoke a gray gloomy overcast day. Only now with digital televisions, dead channels display bright blue instead of random snow.

I have seen Gibson do readings twice and he is astoundingly perceptive on a wide variety of topics, the least of which is technology.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 21, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like that stealth Muslim, Barack Obama, is trying to invoke sharia law on women in the workplace:

http://boingboing.net/2010/06/07/fatwa-encouraging-ad.html

Posted by: yellojkt | December 21, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

The odd thing about the arrival of winter is that we've already had three weeks of it
----------------------------------

Uh, today is the first day of winter. Have you had a concussion?

Posted by: Send_in_the_clowns | December 21, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, MsJS!

kguy, were you transmitting telepathically to me? Just a couple hours ago, a co-worker and I were discussing Favre, and I said pretty much what you did.

Congrats to anyone who saw the eclipse last night. I woke up at 3:00, but just couldn't roust myself from bed to go check it out.

Posted by: Raysmom | December 21, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Here's a great link for you, Send-in-the, etc.: http://literalminded.wordpress.com/

Also: http://www.tnr.com/blog/the-plank/the-perils-literal-mindedness

And...

oh, the hell with it.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 21, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Congrats and Happy Birthday to MsJS! All three of my sibs were born on 'cusp' days, zodialogically speaking.) Wear that tiara and shine.

On kit ... will someone explain to me why anyone can or would want to wait until Christmas Eve to shop for gifts? With my family farflung this year (most years) that's an impossible feat to contemplate.

Posted by: talitha1 | December 21, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Procrastination, talitha. I'll explain it to you tomorrow.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 21, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

HB MsJS, and many more!

Now I'm really upset that I didn't become an engineer. Some lucky guy (probably a guy) got to shoot out a panel in the Metrodome roof so that it wouldn't fail on its own. Sounds like the dangerous camp schedule needs expanding.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 21, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Well Raysmom, when I do transmit it's usually tell-a-pathetic.

Posted by: kguy1 | December 21, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Well, I don't usually, but this year X-mas has snuck up on me. I usually make candy every weekend starting the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year, I started last Saturday. There's no hope that I will be done with gifts before Friday.

Luckily, only the immediate family exchanges gifts on the day in my world, the rest are a week later. Gives me more time to do it tomorrow.

Hippo birdies, two ewes, MsJS!

Posted by: MoftheMountain | December 21, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

*half-snort*, mudge

Posted by: talitha1 | December 21, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

That's the problem with sci-fi, it dates fast, especially the more modern stuff because it relies on pop culture too much.

I didn't like Neuromancer very much-- cyberpunk never really appealed to me.
Not much story or character to it, not like the real-life stories we have now thanks to technology.

I wonder how it reads today to kids who grew up with the internet, to be frank.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 21, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I was going to comment on how appropriate send_in_the_clowns handle was but I see Mudge has replied in a much finer fashion.

MotM makes candy! Fax some please I have been good.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 21, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I'll have to check with Santa, dmd, but I'm sure you'll pass muster. ;)

Do you like white chocolate? I have some green holly leaves that are quite festive. If not, there's dark cocoa hearts and light cocoa roses. Pure white snowflakes will have to wait until tomorrow evening. Not much time for more than simple undecorated molds and lollys with a few pretty colored ones this year. Maybe some nut clusters.

I don't have the chest freezer plugged in yet, so I'm trying to set them in the side-by-side and it's a nightmare navigating around the ice dispenser. I've dumped two trays on the floor already. Waste of good chocolate.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | December 21, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod,
Probably much like the works of Asimov and Heinlein read to me when I was discovering them in 1975. Dated but compelling.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 21, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Oh, it is all good MofM.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 21, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

MoftheMountain -- I am a darker-than-ever chocolate lover. I've never cottoned to so-called white chocolate (which isn't really chocolate). Your wonderments in the creative chocolate area, however, leave me quite admiring.

Call out to my fellow Mac users. Is it just my Safari, or is everyone having problems with that browser? It hasn't loaded since sometime last week. I can clearly use Firefox (which I'm using now), and I'm not really complaining, just curious.

Had lunch with a colleague downtown earlier today -- great Thai food. Very, very nice. I notice that the price of parking has gone up considerably (much to my painful surprise, or, well, not, as the case may be).

Posted by: ftb3 | December 21, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I never in a million years suspected I'd have to raise this deeply philosophical question, but...

...is the snort half-full, or half-empty?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 21, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

As a pessimist I would say half-empty. But I'll think about it and answer later.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 21, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

And Joel, if you do follow through on that cordless drill notion, please, for your own personal safety, make sure it isn't charged up.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 21, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Thank you again, one and all.

Posted by: MsJS | December 21, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

One word comes to mind at the very mention of Brett Favre, and that is SELFISH !!

Posted by: cjackson3 | December 21, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

RDP, with smart lithium batteries charger we have now the cool-down period is about 30 minutes. It might not be enough. Better give the bits at a birtday or anniversary occasion then. An unloaded gun is useless.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 21, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Yellojkt, I was an Asimov fan and I sure didn't discover Asimov as early as 1975.
I guess I've read maybe 100-200 of the 500 books he wrote.

His science essays also quickly got dated, but not all of them, and I learned a lot.

His book on the Golden Age of Science Fiction (1930's) is also great reading of the pulp fiction classics. It's interesting to see how many physics concepts were floating around back then.

Now, if we were talking Rudy Rucker... (Yoki, Rudy Rucker is a mathematican and does mathematical/physics SF. I rather like his "Mathematicans in Love" which might even appeal to the hopelessly round.)


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 21, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

ftb, safari's working fine for me. Well, mostly fine -- when I tell it to quit, it hangs for a while, then quits and throws up an error message that it quit unexpectedly. Silly safari, you didn't expect to do what I asked? It's been doing that for a while, and I always use firefox anyway, so I don't worry about it.

My shopping this year went all right -- it was helped by the fact that we were going to Birmingham last weekend for other reasons, and they have actual stores there, unlike here. The most difficult gift ended up being for my sister and brother-in-law. After going to their place for Thanksgiving, my mother told me that they needed trivets. OK, I can do trivets, I said. I could have looked online, but I do prefer to see and touch what I'm buying if possible, and I figured that, surely, in a place with actual stores, finding some attractive trivets couldn't be that hard. Ha. Don't people use trivets? Because they don't seem to sell them in the stores. I came home and found a nice woodworker on etsy who makes pretty wooden trivets. He was quick with the shipping, so they may well get there in time. Next year I'll go to etsy first.

Posted by: -bia- | December 21, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I'd put my cordless drill with the combination boom box/charger at near the top of the list of great Christmas gifts Mr. F has given me, probably even a notch ahead of the Lego NXT Mindstorms robot.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 21, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Safari seems to be working.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 21, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Well, actually, I do prefer Firefox, as I can boot as many ads as I can using the Noscript add-on. It's much faster. Nice to have choices.

Posted by: ftb3 | December 21, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Just like any group of literary critics, we fight happily among ourselves!

Anyway, with the help of all of you, I am pretty pleased with my selections even though the only book store I could hit today had an *appallingly* small (and stupid) SF section (shelves and shelves of factory-produced Star Wars pulp, and not much else). However, I came away with two new story anthologies that include Bear, Egan, Brin, Gaiman, Doctorow, L. Niven and Benford. I think they will please. Without your input, I would not have known which names to look for.

So, thanks all!

And Wilbrod, I love your idea of a magazine subscription. That will be next year, when I'm working. I didn't know there still were such beasts.

I'm awfully pleased, with the books and with having done all my Christmas shopping a) without ever stepping into a mall and b) in less than 4 hours today. Yay me!

I don't say I didn't pick up a couple of CDs and books for myself; you know the rule; two for everybody else, one for me.

Posted by: Yoki | December 21, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Magazines still exist, Yoki. They are the hopeless aunt's friend ;). I gave a nephew a subscription to Discover.

Another niece who struggles with reading motivation but adores cats, cooking, and field hockey may find a interest-oriented magazine with photos worth reading.

I am pondering Cat Fancy, with all those smug-faced aristocats, but am open to suggestions.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 21, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Yoki... we are the 21st Century's Algonquin Round Table.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 21, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Dibs on being Alice Duer Miller, then.

Never cared much for Dorothy Parker.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 21, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Can I be Dorothy Parker? I never manage to get her when I take those "which drunken author are you?" quizzes.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 21, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

EYE wanna be Dorothy Parker!

No, OK, you can be (you actually *are*) Dorothy Parker if I can be Herbert Ross.

TBG, that might have been the most brilliant joke/true thing you've ever said on the Boodle (and you've hit it just right, in both timing and tone, more often than my goofy self cares to remember). I bow to you.

Posted by: Yoki | December 21, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, how old is this cooking/cat niece?

Posted by: Yoki | December 21, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Drunken author? I can do the drunken part easily.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 21, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

No. No. No. I get to be Dorothy Parker. I have worked all my life to be her.

http://dowdreport.blogspot.com/2007/11/dorothy-parker-dowd.html

Posted by: Mo_MoDo | December 21, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

You're not drunk, s_d, you are simply one of those sophisticated wine-drinking (not to mention fully bilingual!) Franch people.

Sorry, beloved Mo_MoDoe, you are *not* Dorothy Parker. You, my dear, are Harpo Marx.

Posted by: Yoki | December 21, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Oh! Oh! Oh! *EYE* wanna be Dorothy Parker!!! I *love* her to absolute pieces. When she had her own stamp issued by the Post Office on the 100th anniversary of her birth many years ago, I bought as many of them as I could. You would think that I would have saved one of them ... but, well, you would be wrong. Nevertheless, I do adore her, sad person that she was. But, still. She did have her way about her.

Posted by: ftb3 | December 21, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Now look. We can't all be Dorothy Parker. Wilbrod doesn't want to be, so that's fine. I'm happy being Harold Ross, so that too is fine. ftb, since frosti is DP, and I've dubbed yello Marx, why don't you take ML Pulitzer? That fits you to a tee.

Posted by: Yoki | December 21, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I'll be happy as Robert Benchley.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 21, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

tweeting-the-civil-war

Posted by: bobsewell | December 21, 2010 2:27 PM
________________

Just promise me that the day I start tweeting civwar history is the day y'all force me to hang up my corset and hoopskirt forever.
________________

Popping in and out of the Boodle today has been veeeeeeery in-ter-est-ing.

Posted by: talitha1 | December 21, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Not at all. You are Robert Benchley, only, you know, prettier and more female and hot.

Posted by: Yoki | December 21, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

I say we don't try and recycle all the original members but accept that we are the Algonquin Table: The Next Generation.

Although, I personally think Alqonquin Table: Deep Space Nine would be be more fun, but that'd attract a lot of wormhole mysticism and innumerable fistfights over who is the real Emissiary.

Still, it'd be worth it to nominate Mudge as Dax.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 21, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

I like The Algonquin Roundtable:The Next Generation.

Posted by: Yoki | December 21, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

I think I need to put dibs on Heywood Broun. I'd rather have been Ring Lardner or Ben hecht, but they weren't members.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 21, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

...because in real life I often get mistaken for Terry Farrell.

Wilbrodog, have you been messy with Wilbrod's meds again?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 21, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

You are totally Ring Lardner, 'mudge. Such a pity.

Posted by: Yoki | December 21, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Yes, yes, I know. The other one.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 21, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Ach! Never satisfied, boychik! What to do? From your mouth to God's ear, I hope.

Posted by: Yoki | December 21, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Not Jadzia Dax, Mudge. Curzon Dax, the Trill diplomat who died of "Jah-ma haron" on Risa, suffering a heart attack while with a lovely young woman. His symbiont, Dax, was transferred into Jadzia.

Think about it. There was an episode where Odo did Curzon and it's awesome.

Wilbrodog wants dibs on Odo, claiming it's in his name, but I dunno.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 21, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

The Patrick Stewart "Christmas Carol" has just come on, and I don't think I've ever seen it. Anybody got a quick opinion?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 21, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

OK, then. The Algonquin Round Table: The Next Generation.

I'll be TBG.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 21, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

I sure hope no one from my office is reading the Boodle tonight because then they'll know that I made them these...

http://www.casasugar.com/DIY-Rockin-Vinyl-Record-Bowl-388078

...filled with this...

http://www.food.com/recipe/peppermint-bark-345124

... for Christmas presents.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 21, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

And I'll be Yoki, the gangly alien with the slicked-back hair.

Posted by: Yoki | December 21, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Gangly. That word makes me giggle.

G'night my gangly girl. G'night Boodle.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 21, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

I gotta watch Quark;
he has people, fun, and food.
Food from everywhere.

-WilbrODOg--

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 21, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

But! In the spirit of retro, there is this. (And why don't we have hyperlinks, only 20 years later?)

http://www.jenbutneverjenn.com/2010/06/it-had-to-be-done.html

Posted by: Yoki | December 21, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Back in the day, did you leave a Fanta for Santa? I coulda been an ad man.

Posted by: baldinho | December 21, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

LOL baldinho. How is that sweet lady-baby, and your ladywife? Precious Charlotte and mrsbalinho?

Posted by: Yoki | December 21, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

I dunno what brought into my mind, but I was just thinking about the one American lit course I took in college. Back in the day, women who wanted to be professionals deliberately didn't learn to type. I was one of those and for that class, I wrote my paper in longhand. (What was it on? I have no idea.) The professor criticized the way I formed my z's. I made an A, though.

All my typing is OJT, which explains why I'm not so good at it. Word processing destroyed my handwriting, I am out of practice in a big way.

Maybe that fits into the Algonquin Roundtable because they were writing 20th century lit?

Posted by: slyness | December 21, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Isn't that a strange, wonderful thing, slyness? If one didn't want to be a secretary, one had to refuse the one skill that is still good for everybody. The better a typist (hee hee!) we were, the more streamed.

But it all works out. We've made our way. I don't know. It's a mystery! Now everybody is comfortable with keyboards. There used to be mystique, and it wasn't for us.

Posted by: Yoki | December 21, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

You all astonish me! I'll leave you (good night) with this from 2000: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eebfMFzJHNs

Posted by: Yoki | December 21, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Well, are we closing early tonight?

Due to MacBook troubles, which even TBG failed to fix, I just got into the Boodle.

As a New Yorker reader since 1966(!), I decided to be Harold Ross; then I did a Wiki and learned that Tallula Bankhead was an occasional member! I've been Tallula all my life (although without the alternative lifestyle and (I hope) alcohol problem!

Our next conference theme may be to come as a literary character (or literary actor).

Happy Birthday Ms. JS!

Posted by: rickoshea11 | December 21, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Rickoshea, I would be honoured to see you do Tallulah Bankhead. Lah!

Posted by: Yoki | December 21, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Rickoshea, I would be honoured to see you do Tallulah Bankhead. Lah!

Posted by: Yoki | December 21, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Problems Boodling from alternate locations kept me from commenting during working hours over the past couple of days. Had a couple of good, on-topic, on-time posts blow up in my face (after that weird multi-post fiasco last week). Football and hard SF, both reasonably within my wheelhouse, for example. I'd add to all those mentioned (that I managed to catch, anyway), I do like Stephen Baxter, particularly his Xeelee and Manifold sequences and Fred Pohl's Gateway stuff.

Hopefully the browser/network nonsense won't be a permanant situation. But it could be...

Have a good evening, all. I happen to be reading some Dorothy Parker right now, believe it or not.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 21, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

MsJS, in honour of your contributions to the boodle:
http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=3757
Happy Birthday

Posted by: DNA_Girl | December 21, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Cupcakes! Presumably they're devils food cupcakes, too?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 21, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

This one I am totally copying.

http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=3537

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 21, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

You'll be happy to know, I think, bc, that one of the Really Big Books of Hard Science Fiction I bought today, was "In Honour of the Master, F. Pohl." Or maybe not, but I was.

Posted by: Yoki | December 22, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Have to pop in briefly here regarding the Algonquin Round Table.

Dibs on Harpo Marx!

Posted by: rashomon | December 22, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Rashomon! Welcome home.

'night.

Posted by: Yoki | December 22, 2010 12:49 AM | Report abuse

I met Fred Pohl at the WorldCon in Orlando in 1990 and he was no spring chicken then. Truly a master and author of some of the hardest science fiction ever. While most people love the Gateway series, I am partial to the more allegorical Jem.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 22, 2010 5:34 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for asking, Yoki. The Mrs is doing fine, and Charlotte is a sweetheart. Things are very good.

Posted by: baldinho | December 22, 2010 5:38 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all.

'mudge, I enjoyed your history yarn. Did you know my ancestor Olaf Thorsson came to New Sweden on the second crossing of the Kalmare Nyckel ? He brought his young family with him. (He may have been given the choice of coming to labor and to help establish the colony in the new world or serving time in a Swedish prison, we dunno for sure), We first saw the replica in Wilmington, DE, some years ago when meeting with some decendants of Stedhams and Tusseys. Years later, we boarded the ship in Alexandria and the actor playing the captain found Olaf listed in the Ship's Log. Tight quarters, but a beautiful little ship.

Belated Happy Birthday to MsJS!! Here, have a just-out-of-the-oven oatmeal cookie or tole house cookie, or a pecan sandie, what could it hurt??

"The winter of our discount tent", just tickled me pink, Joel. But, a cordless power drill wouldn't do it for me; try a big jug of Joy. Yup, I'm old school. :-)

Posted by: VintageLady | December 22, 2010 6:10 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of authors, tho you all are in the Science Fiction room, I just read this review of the two books of Jackie Kennedy Onassis's years as an editor.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/20/AR2010122005703.htm

Looks kind of like a tossup, but I'm actually thinking of buying the Lawrence book and wonder what our boodle editors and others would do. I haven't been to a book store this season, and have missed a few hours of Borders and browsing.

I have great respect for Jackie Kennedy. and the way she tried to shelter her children from our lunatic fringe press after the assassination. Maybe it's because I was a young married when she and President Kennedy became Camelot and we mourned as a nation when he died. Maybe I just thought she was a beautiful woman. Whatever the reason, I know nothing about her editing years, maybe it's time to find out.

Posted by: VintageLady | December 22, 2010 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Sorry.

Link/article moved, fancy that:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/20/AR2010122005049.html

Posted by: VintageLady | December 22, 2010 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Wake up everybody!! I'm all alone out here!! There WAS a Brag sighting yesterday, and that's a good thing.

Going quietly into the dawn, no matter what....

Posted by: VintageLady | December 22, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Good, foggy morning, all! At least the weather is more seasonable for December. The forecasters are predicting a good chance for a white Christmas, which is annoying Mr. T. He doesn't have time for all that nonsense!

I read the review of those books, VL, and was also intrigued. Jackie was a great lady in the true Southern tradition, even if she wasn't a Southerner. Like you, I may have to indulge.

I am making progress as the week goes on. Cheese straws and sugar coated pecans yesterday, ladyfinger dough is in the fridge, waiting to be rolled out and baked this morning. Tomorrow a run to Costco for rotisserie chicken to make Brunswick stew for Christmas Eve dinner. I hope I don't forget anything...

Tonight will be especially fun. My favorite twin boyz are coming to supper and we're going to McAdenville to see the Christmas lights! It's the local tradition, and a fun one.

Posted by: slyness | December 22, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

'morning VL!

Doesn't happen often, but I love Ms. Dowd's column today:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/22/opinion/22dowd.html?hp

Perhaps because I played nativity characters through multiple years in convent school--once as Mary in 4th grade when my hair fell to my waist.

I most certainly did not have a tail then!

Posted by: DNA_Girl | December 22, 2010 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Oh, DNAGirl, we are in the same club. I played Mary in grades K and grades 2 but with a long waterfall of red hair that I detested.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 22, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle!

Would have been here sooner this morning, but I was sidetracked back to last night with DNA Girl's Sinfest prowess. Can never read just one.

VL-thanks for pointing the way to the Jackie books review. Finding myself wanting to read the Lawrence book more than I expected.

Slyness-could you share your cheese straw recipe?

UConn women rule!

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 22, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

I feel compelled to shop for a creche today.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 22, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

That particular nativity play was a traumatic experience. I had to stand on a pedestal for what felt like hours in a white shift and blue veil with a serene countenance (smile a little, not a lot--no no that's too much!), while a parade of much more interestingly dressed characters cavorted all over the stage--including Mary Magdalene who wore a new gold tafetta dress that she got to keep!

If Sister Grace had divined the decidedly unchristian thoughts in my mind that day....

Posted by: DNA_Girl | December 22, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

CqP, I'm glad you're on board this morning. I need your and the Boodle's opinion regarding a grave and important topic concerning Christmas apparel, namely, the Christmas-themed women's sweater. These are being mocked and derided all over the place, and some snot-nosed young 20-something WaPo editor in one of the WaPo columns used the term "hideous" to describe them. On NBC4 this morning they were termed "the ugly sweater."

Does the Boodle concur? Or do we like Christmas sweaters?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 22, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Oh Mudge, beauty is in the eye of the beholder...I prefer the overdone-but-earnest-holiday-pin, given by children...then we wear that on the hat or the lapel....

Most holiday sweaters end up boxy and not carefully styled to the line of the body...


A lovely holiday sweater would be a twin set....with a little detachable faux mink collar...would go nicely with the Tiffany bobble you gave long ago...winter white, which is a light cream....or navy....or black...or a light cherry red that tends toward cerise........

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 22, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

No, no, CqP, I'm not looking for present ideas or anything -- that ship sailed long ago. I just want to know the Boodle's opinion of whether any of those holiday sweaters are "hideous" or not, and whether all this sudden attention about them is warranted.

I would agree only somewhat about the "eye of the beholder" thing. That always seemed to me to be a little too glib and to be ducking the question about the object at hand. (For one thing, it excuses the Kinkades we regularly mock.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 22, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I will always be grateful to Jackie's promotion of Larry Gonick's "Cartoon History..." Series. It was information packed as well as humorous and provided my kids with a nice framework to hang all the subsequent history lessons.

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

Posted by: edbyronadams | December 22, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

I am with Marybeth, a little subtlety. Not sure I consider the sweaters "hideous" but just a little too cute for me. And this from a person who's home looks like the inside of a snowglobe at this season!

Posted by: dmd3 | December 22, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Oh mudge, got it...what is wrong with a little overdone holiday goofieness...and the INSIDE OF A SNOWGLOBE! I want to be there, now.

I do not like the pontificating of some of the style-maves.....if we were all Martha Stewart or looked like the neat villages of Columbia, MD where windsocks and clothelines are banned...well, blechies on that.

Give me some good and tacky Holiday Madness now...

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 22, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

If this has been posted already, appologies in advance for the duplication. Otherwise, it's cute. As I won't be around for a while, what with family coming in and the usual holiday press of events, I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

VR,
Don


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

Posted by: Don_from_I-270 | December 22, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I think Martha would have a coronary if she saw my house! I spent most of the day Monday cleaning, it looked lovely, yesterday as I went off to work I remarked to the kids look around see how nice it looks, please have it look similar when I come home. Decided to check in at lunch walked in the front door and the first thing I noticed was a large circle of chairs in the kitchen, covered with blankets, towels and throws. A large fort, it has pretty much been downhill from there :-)

Posted by: dmd3 | December 22, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

http://cut.gd/nXh8

I ran Google image search on Christmas sweaters. I would say 99% are very awful. Here's the only decent one I found.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 22, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

The comment monster just ate a post. Just as well, cause I screwed up the link. This is cute. Appologies if its already been posted here.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, all.

VR,
Don


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkHNNPM7pJA


Posted by: Don_from_I-270 | December 22, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Aarrgh. Ignore my 9:24. That link is Yoki's from last night. Sorry.

Posted by: Don_from_I-270 | December 22, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm pumpkin bread, coffee and OJ on the table.

Thanks for the link, DNA_Girl. When all else fails, bake something.

VL, mmmmmm, those are yummy. Thanks!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TBG!

Posted by: MsJS | December 22, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends.

I've been getting home late every night coming from my daughters to help with the kids. If any of you have had pneumonia, you know it makes one really weak and fatigued. What energy I have is spent with the grandchildren, trying to help their mother prepare for Christmas. I'm saying all of this to let you know that I heart you folks so much. I don't know what in the world would happen to me if Christ had not saw fit to put all of you in my life. Do you know your impact on this soul? I have been so depressed for days now. Christmas has always been that way for me. For a long time, even when my children were small. When I opened your gift to me last night, I wanted to cry, and still it's hard to keep the tears back. I feel bad because I never have anything to give you, I bring nothing to the table. I thank you from the bottom and top of my heart, I do.

In the Bible, God told the patriarch, Abraham, that He (God) would bless those that did good to Abraham. I know God's word is good today as it was then. My prayer is that God will bless each and everyone of you, and your families in the coming year, and always.

Slyness, I would have called last night, but it was too late, and didn't want to boo-hoo on the phone with you. Thank you, dear heart. I still haven't fixed my computer, but will get to it soon. I've finished the meds, so perhaps the energy level will rise.

Mr. Achenbach, it's always a pleasure to visit your porch, and thanks for having me. Bless you, and your lovely family. And yes, I do know who you are. A lovely person that I'm honored to know.

Happy Birthday, MsJS, albeit late. May you have many more.

Ivansmom, hope you got the card the little one sent.

Merry Christmas to all of you, and the best New Year. I love all of you.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 22, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

As the spouse of an educator, owning an ugly Christmas sweater is mandatory for elementary school teachers. Similarly I am wearing Christmas ties to work all week.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 22, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Yes Mudge, all Christmas sweaters are ugly. One of the best parts of the Glee Christmas episode was the subtle homage to the ugly sweater.

The sad thing is that they need not be ugly. But, as CqP said, they are seldom made to flatter and almost always constructed of the cheapest materials.

Although I agree with the ugliness factor, I think it is just as ugly for self-appointed arbiters of taste to presume they are not worthy of being worn. To those fashion mavens I'd like to ask, "How do you know this ugly sweater (actually sweatshirt) with the glittery unicorn bedecked with red and green wasn't given to the wearer by an adoring little boy living in a family shelter?" Mine was.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 22, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I have made in the past one Halloween sweatshirt and one Christmas sweatshirt for my eldest, she actually wore them a lot, god love her for not have any particular taste as they were not works of art. I had completely forgotten about them until Frosti mentioned her story, wear that sweatshirt with pride Frosti.

Cassandra, Merry Christmas you are the gift!

Posted by: dmd3 | December 22, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

dmd-I'm waiting for someone to give me these to complete the ensemble
https://www.pajamajeans.com/flare/next

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 22, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I think that the aesthetic appeal of the Christmas-themed sweater depends on the shape it is given, if you catch my drift.

Also, I was shocked by something I inferred from posts that I read just now -- do you mean to tell me that *Canada* and the US observe Christmas on the SAME date? How did that happen?

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 22, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, what dmd said. YOU are our gift. Don't ever forget it, you hear?

Posted by: MsJS | December 22, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Yup same day Tim, but we tacked on an additional holiday the next day :-), almost makes up for our US thanksgiving envy.

Switching topic abruptly, next time you want to feel sorry for your local, woeful sports team, think about this - your team will pale in comparison.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/leafs-beat/leafs-not-amused-by-eggo-bombers-antics/article1846588/

Posted by: dmd3 | December 22, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Only this year, Tim, and only because of the confluence of the solstice & the eclipse.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 22, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, knowing you is a privilege I treasure. God's blessings to you and yours this Christmas season! And get well NOW!

:-)

Frosti, ask and you shall receive:

Esther’s Cheese Straws

16 oz sharp cheddar cheese, room temperature
2 cups flour
8 oz margarine, room temperature
½ teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more/less if desired

Leave cheese and margarine out for eight hours or overnight; this will make the dough workable without causing carpal tunnel syndrome.

Preheat oven to 425.

Shred the cheese finely. Put all the ingredients in a large bowl. With clean hands, work them into a smooth, stiff dough. Fill a cookie press no more than two thirds full with the dough. Using the star plate, press the dough in rows onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the straws begin to brown slightly. Cut the straws into 3 or 4 inch lengths and store tightly. Feel free to eat small pieces.

I normally make a double recipe, it's hardly worth the trouble to do the single. Fortunately Harris Teeter had their extra sharp New York cheddar on sale for the last couple of weeks, so I stocked up. For that, a little less than a teaspoon of cayenne was about right. My cayenne has some age on it, so I don't think it's quite as spicy as new. And I used butter because the Parkay spread really didn't work. They need to be crisp and weren't, with the Parkay.

Posted by: slyness | December 22, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

After yesterday's festivities I find myself with lots of yummy leftovers.

From lunch:
Tuna sashimi
Spicy shrimp
Cucumber salad
Key lime pie

From dinner:
Roasted pork tenderloin in apple-wine sauce
Roasted new potatoes
Steamed veggies
Chocolate creme brulee

Kindly BYOB.

Posted by: MsJS | December 22, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

slyness-thanks bunches. As I suspected it is as much technique as recipe. Your tips are most appreciated.

Now back to the "big clean." Since we don't have any fort builders here abouts things may stay straight longer than at Chez dmd, but I doubt it.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 22, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

"With clean hands" Feh.
You're missing out on interesting flavours slyness. Garlic cheese straws. Dog treats cheese straw. Wood dust cheese staw, etc.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 22, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

And speaking of wood dust, where on earth is Martooni keeping his sweet self? We all want to know how the Bean is doing, too.

Cassandra, dearheart, we all do love you -- make no mistake about that! What you give us is what nobody else has done. You are a treasure. I'm also faxing you some chicken soup to cure your pneumonia -- do try to get enough sleep. When I had pneumonia 11 years ago, I would get up, eat breakfast, go in front of my computer and fall asleep again. That I dared to drive during that time, it was a miracle indeed that I lived to tell about it.

Slyness, my fax machine remains on for the duration for any of the goodies you'd like to send. Same goes for you, MsJS.

Posted by: ftb3 | December 22, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Question for the boodle, I have read this story and if the man's claims are true it is a case of an unfortunate accident, I do not want to make light of his alleged injuries.

But could one of you newspaper types explain how this story could be written that would cause me to giggle just a little. Perhaps I am just a bad person.

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/910688--santa-claus-parade-sued-over-thrown-candy

Posted by: dmd3 | December 22, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

LOL, S-D. You are a man after my own heart. My mother swore the reason I was a healthy kid was that I ate dirt when I was little. The folks who are always afraid of germs just make me giggle.

Posted by: slyness | December 22, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Is there any truth to the rumour (which I'm starting) that Justin Bieber was "the young celebrity clown involved in the incident"?

Posted by: bobsewell | December 22, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

No, you're not a bad person for giggling, dmd.

The reporter told it pretty straight, simply by quoting from the complaint itself, which is public record. The other side was given a chance to respond, and didn't. No foul, no harm.

Presumably the event has some kind of liability insurance, and the lawyers will dicker it all out in settlement.

But yeah, it's hard not to snicker over a Snickers-related projectile injury.

And John Doe was probably 14 years old, or something.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 22, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

The celebrity clowns in the past have included the CEO of McDonalds, usually quite prominent.

Bob now I am really laughing.

This phrase is looping through my head, "some clown threw a frozen chocolate bar at me".

Posted by: dmd3 | December 22, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Just a side commentary, having had the Mickey D clown mentioned - Willard Scott, of Today fame, had a kiddie show here in DC back when. McD was a sponsor, and he invented the Ronald McDonald character for his show. He never "copyrighted" it, and McD took it over as their own. Not that Willard probably needed the $$$, but he could have been doing real good on the royalties.

Posted by: ebtnut | December 22, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I despair of the fact that Willard's failure to sue McDonalds, and their failure to then countersue him, have deprived us, the prurient eavesdropping public the spectacle of a really good, knock-down/drag-out servicemark infringement battle that would have kept ftb rolling in briefs for years.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 22, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

WooHoo. The New Start Treaty has been ratified. My Christmas just got a little less stressful.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 22, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

The 9/11 health care bill just passed, too, Padouk. They trimmed it a bit, $4.3 billion over five years instead of the original $7.4 billion over eight years. But that's probably OK. It was a major, major victory.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 22, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

*faxing to ftb*

Posted by: MsJS | December 22, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Still backBoodling, but...

The visiting hours and the services went quite well, all things considered, and I had the good timing and fortune to be able to make it to NukeSpawn's holiday concert, whence I promptly purchased a "Bandgeek Dad" t-shirt.

baldinho, I don't get up there near as often as I should, but yes, the Great North Woods has its challenges these days.

Heading home now.

*rather-mentally-and-physically-pooped Grover motions* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 22, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Depends on the size of the briefs, Mudge ... (LOL).

*Grovering back to Snuke for a safe trip home and even more hugs, just cuz you still need them*

Posted by: ftb3 | December 22, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Slyness

Thank you. Hope the lady at WSOC can get some help. Just happy no one got hurt.


Thanks again folks. Will try to follow the advice. No more pneumonia shots for me!

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 22, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Last few days (Not a bad week's work):
START Treaty bill passed
DADT repealed
9/11 bill passed

I blame Obama.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 22, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Some lame duck.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 22, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, what everyone else here said - you are the gift to us. Your presence is always welcomed and your absence makes us less than whole. Get well right away!!

I have mixed feelings about Christmas sweaters, as they do tend to be boxy and rather cheaply made. But some of the less 'busy' ones are nice. Last week a woman customer had on a plain red sweater with a while snowman knitted into it. When I complimented her, she said she got it at a thrift shop. It looked hand made or at least not made in some foreign land. I also like the one Jumper linked to this morning.

Coming down the home stretch now, house is as clean as it's going to be. Tomorrow I'll prep the veggies and set the table.

Have a safe trip home Scotty, I hope you get some well deserved rest before Christmas festivities start.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 22, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

TBG, please go straighten out this glassbowl, please: http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/22/a-greek-bishops-anti-semitic-tirade/?hp

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 22, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Thanks....for XmasChanukahKwanzaa we get two things:

better risk re nuclear blechieness by "civilized" nations; AND

holding on for some pre-exiting health care by 2014....geewhizz, I am a moral failure for this genetic lotto draw....some would rather I a) take my deserts and b) beg for some minimal free care from a doc willing to DO.The.RIGHT.THING.

Thanks Mudgies and Padoukies...your sweater-jumps suits that DR and I knit by hand await you. Paduokie -- yours has cotton tails affixed....Mudgies, I knit and re-knit that bi-plane on front and back....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 22, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

The Rockefellers are Jewish? Who knew?

Posted by: ftb3 | December 22, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, that was wild, wasn't it, Cassandra? Poor woman, I hope she's at Mental Health today. Here's the story, it's a doozy:

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2010/12/22/1926652/woman-with-gun-inside-wsoc-tv.html

Nice that you got to go to Nukespawn's concert, Scotty. I hope it made the trip a little less stressful.

Yes, Mudge, I'd say it's quite right to blame Obama for the legislative achievements of the week. Did you see the story in Slate about the Start Treaty, by Fred Kaplan?

http://www.slate.com/id/2278869/

Looks like the Republicans deserved what they got.

Posted by: slyness | December 22, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh, man, I want one of these sooooooo bad: http://www.etsy.com/listing/58916017/usb-typewriter-computer-keyboard-for-pc

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 22, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I love that biplane, CqP. Thanks.

Good Kaplan column, slyness.

It now appears that White Christmas has been postponed in the DC area. Our impending snow storm looks like it will be on Sunday/Monday. Saturday precip chance down to 20 per cent or less, and decreasing every hour.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 22, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Backboodling after a busy day I came upon DNA and CqP relating their memories of portraying Mary in nativity scenes. The only time I had that experience was when I was 19, home from college, and was recruited by my parents' pastor to pull a stint as Mary in a live outdoor "living creche".

It was quite beautiful, complete with all the livestock (except camels) and was staged in a lovely 'stable' the deacons had constructed ... complete with lots of hay ... to which, it transpired, I was highly allergic. I spent the entire holiday break with huge red hives. (My sister maintained it was god's justice for them miscasting me as the virgin mother.)

Posted by: talitha1 | December 22, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Ouch. My dad lost an eye at age six from a thrown hat (and I was drilled on the dangers of throwing any object at people's faces from an early age), so the story didn't make me chuckle at all.

It's an unfortunate accident, but anybody throwing candy high and hard enough to hit a grown man's eye really does need to rethink that method of distributing candy; it's such an avoidable accident. I feel for the guy, it's not easy to adapt to uniocular vision in adulthood, he is probably having to relearn how to drive (with intense, intense anxiety) and also learning about basic things like memorizing where food and wineglasses are so he doesn't forget and knock them over.

As for ugly christmas sweaters, the only thing wrong with them is that they're given for Christmas and then you can't really wear them in the new year. I think that and their quality are the major issues.

I bought myself an "ugly" holiday sweater with doe-eyed bunnies in snow. No holiday symbols. It's not in my color or in my preferred collar. But it fits, the fabric is warm and will last.

The lack of overt holiday insigila means I can wear it for Easter if needed, although I'm praying April 24 isn't that cold.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 22, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Kaplan was good, Dana Milbank's "figgy pudding" commentary was satisfyingly nasty.

Sen. Lindsey Graham is already whining. As Ezra Klein would have liked him to say, "Harry Reid drank our milkshake".

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 22, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Related to the knitted holiday sweater meme-theme, sent to me by another venue by our dear KnittyMaven of the Cold Canookie Lovely Prairie lands...

DR of course:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edIlyY5_6EU

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 22, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Be careful about talk of Easter snow Wilbrod. Remember we had a lot of it on April 26, '08 and '09.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 22, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Who's ready for a Holiday BPH?

Monday, Dec. 27, 2010
5:00 pm til ?
McCormick & Schmick's
1652 K Street, NW
Washington DC

Posted by: -TBG- | December 22, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

I so love this advice column.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/holiday/i-regret-taking-away-my-kids-electronic-gizmos-until-christmas/article1847659/

Posted by: dmd3 | December 22, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing neither yello nor I will link to *our* favourite advice column.

Posted by: Yoki | December 22, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

I should have said, "Each of our..."

Posted by: Yoki | December 22, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Just got in a little while ago from some Christmas shopping. I was in Borders tonight and must report upon two books I saw there. The first was a small paperback -- almost a chapbook -- of pirate haiku, by Michael Spradlin. Some pretty funny stuff.

The second was a novel (a novel, mind you) called "The Christmas Sweater." Well, that made me laugh right there...until I saw who the author was.

Glenn Beck.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 22, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Don't go over to the dark side, 'mudge. Please.

Posted by: Yoki | December 22, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Have no fear, Yoki. (Check your e-mail, BTW.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 22, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, TBG.
I'm in on Monday.

Cassandra, I'm glad you're feeling better and enjoying the love this Christmas.

Wish my Business Hours Boodling were not being curtailed so, but things are what they are, unfortunately.

G'night, all.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 22, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Check, and checkmate.

Posted by: Yoki | December 22, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

happy birthday, TBG. like pooh said.

three man bands rock, especially with the standard instrumentation of the musicians of the 50's:

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

Posted by: -jack- | December 23, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Health care in Florida should be interesting next year. The incoming governor, an aggressive former health-care exec, seems to want to ban public hospitals.
http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/12/22/1984864/scott-advisors-doubt-need-for.html

He also wants to ban the Affordable Care Act.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 23, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Yo, jack! I love old-school rock'n'roll. A few Saturdays ago #2 introduced me to Tea Party (the band, not the political statement) now universally known as Morrocan'roll.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjBDK35FRjo

Posted by: Yoki | December 23, 2010 12:53 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. I'm trying to figure out if someone found guilty of defrauding the government would be put in charge of the same up here. Probably not, it would be a steep obstcle to overcome. I'm sure that private hospitals, where everyone keeps their germs for themselves, are way better than than public hospital where pathogens are free to roam. I can see that "keep the government out of my Medicare" would be a good battlecry in the Sunshine State though.
All shopping is done, some wrapping to go. I'm seriously thinking about making cheese straws for an unscheduled appetizer at my sister's Saturday. I'll see tonight.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 23, 2010 6:44 AM | Report abuse

DotC,
Shocking that a newly elected fox sees no need for henhouses.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 23, 2010 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all.

Blessings to Casandra, wish for a restful day for Scotty.

My cheese straw recipe is similar to Slyness's, but I put worchester sauce and Tabasco in the dough instead of the pepper; the dough is hand rolled in logs, refrigerated overnight, then sliced about the size of quarters, a pecan half pressed atop, then baked for about 8-10 minutes at 350-375 degrees. Husband enjoys them muchly and does the cheese grating for me for a double batch. Very good with onion soup or wine or cocktails.

TBG and all, I hope to come to the porch on Monday, if I can do it, dear Vintage Husband will come, too. Will bring cheese straw cookies....

Posted by: VintageLady | December 23, 2010 7:07 AM | Report abuse

It has been a long time since I have seen you all, soooo, you will know me on Monday, as I will wear my Christmas Sweater Vest, circa 1981, from Woodies. :-)

Posted by: VintageLady | December 23, 2010 7:18 AM | Report abuse

VintageLady has a Christmas sweater! The dottirs refuse to allow me to wear such, so all I have is a nice long-sleeve black shirt with Santa in his sleigh on it. It will last forever, because I wear it five weeks of the year.

Good morning, all. The forecast is for snow on Christmas afternoon. That means I'll have to be prepared to make dinner, if we can't visit my brother and family, who are an hour and a half away. They are southeast of us, but snow normally comes from that direction. We'll see.

On today's schedule, a birthday party for a friend who turned sixty last week. How did we get to be so old? It will be a fun evening...

In the meantime, a visit to Costco. That will be exciting. I plan to be there when the doors open, so maybe it won't be quite so harrowing.

Cassandra, I hope you're feeling better today!

Posted by: slyness | December 23, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Happy Christmas eve eve day. I'm sort of wishing I had more Christmas jewelry to wear. I think I threw out a bunch of old pins and earrings a few years ago. Not missing having a sweater much, altho' it might be fun to have just one... Have a great day everybody.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 23, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

Man, the parking lot at the park-and-ride bus stop was deserted this morning. I'd say only about a third to 40% of the usual ridership today. I don't know if any of you will take comfort from this, but I suspect I'm in charge of a large part of the federal government today. And a woman who rides the bus with me regurlarly is in charge of the Department of Education today. We can probably scare up someone to run Commerce, Labor and Agriculture. I'm sure Scotty's running his outfit. Anybody wanna run DOD today? Justice? Interior?

I like this piece, and it has a nice, ironic-without-being-falsely-ironic ending: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/22/christmas-in-the-west/?hp

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 23, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

And this is pretty good, too, subtly snarky: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/23/opinion/23collins.html?hp

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 23, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

RIP, Fred Foy. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/23/arts/television/23foy.html?hpw

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 23, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

A sunny ShenValley good morning, y'all.
The following is completely silly but what-the-hey ... it's Christmas Eve Eve.

http://www1.msn.americangreetings.com/ecards/display.pd?prodnum=3167188&Ns=P_NEWNESS|1||P_PERFORMANCE_NUMBER|1&N=374005+374226+374012+374007&Ne=375019&offset=1&pageSize=17>1=30000
_______________________

A belated but hearty Happy Birthday to TBG ... and hugs!
Is it my imagination or are there an inordinate number of Boodler B'days around this time of year?

Posted by: talitha1 | December 23, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

R.I.P. Fred Foy-Hi ho Silll-ver one last time

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/lone-ranger-announcer-fred-foy-64971

Posted by: kguy1 | December 23, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

I'm already in charge of DOT-North, can't take more responsibilities.
Tim Egan has been on a good rip lately.

32 years ago today Franco Harris caught the Immaculate Reception from Bradshaw and won the against Oakland. Playing a division playoff in December, imagine that.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 23, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Yup, 'Mudge, I'm in charge all weekend, actually...

MERRY CHRISTMAS CASSANDRA!!!! *HUGSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS* :-)

So THIS is what my cubicle looks like; sorta oddly comforting to see the mountains of paper again.

A MAJOR Boodle shout-out to the redoubtable bc -- not only did the man shuffle his schedule to pick me up at the airport last night, but he also gave NukeSpouse and I a wonderful (and oh-so-appropriate) stocking stuffer:

Bacon-flavored chocolate!!!!

The man's a saint, I tellya. He even suppressed the urge to nibble on my leg, since the all-but-the-merest-sliver-full moon was in full view all the way home.

*looking-forward-to-a-needed-long-weekend-followed-by-an-undoubtedly-raucous-BPH Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 23, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Hummmm, add "game" somewhere.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 23, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand:

New Kit.

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 23, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Welcome home, Snukie. I'm gonna try to make it to the BPH on Monday (HBTY TBG and thanks for setting it up!), too.

And ... New Kit!

Posted by: ftb3 | December 23, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

The WaPo has a photo of Obama arriving in Hawaii for a 10-day visit; somebody's has given him some sort of lei to wear around his neck. I bet this gives rise to a bunch of absurd rumors that he's secretly some kind of Hawaiian, and maybe even was born there.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 23, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

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