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Posted at 4:41 PM ET, 01/28/2011

Thriving in Thundersnow

By Rachel Manteuffel

Play a snowstorm right, and it can be your best night out in a while.

I sent my snowbound friend a text at 6:41. "No wait at Matchbox!" Seeking to avoid the worst of the storm by postponing my commute until the wee hours, when rush hour would be over (yeah, right) and the plows and salters would be out, I stumbled onto an unexpected perk of a big snowstorm and its associated freakout. Supply of nightlife remains about the same, and demand goes waaaay down.

I had tried to go to Matchbox, the trendy Chinatown pizza joint, for dinner four or five times. Each time I introduced a new variable in hopes the crowds would be thin enough -- mid-August! Quarter to eight! Tuesday night! -- and each time I encountered a formidable wait. Enough that I went somewhere else, despite hearing about their mini burgers.

"I am so jealous. Is it empty in there? Are you alone? Are you alone with MINI BURGERS??? My fantasy." My friend texted back. Courtesy of thundersnow.

Black Watch, the massively-plaudited National Theatre of Scotland production about a Scottish regiment in Iraq, is in town two weeks only at The Shakespeare Theatre Company's Harmon Hall, with shows near sold-out before it even opened. This show won four Olivier awards and made the New York Times reviewer cry, in a good way. Tickets are $70-$105, with a few highly-coveted tickets per show discounted for the under-35 set at $20. I got my cheapie ticket for opening night a mere eight hours in advance. Thundersnow!

The opening-night pre-show festivities were gentlemen in kilts playing bagpipes and pouring free mouthfuls of scotch, and a man explaining just how fine those mouthfuls were. They produced bottles unavailable in stores, scotches aged in one kind of barrel and then aged in another kind of barrel, scotches with whimsical names such as Hold The Phone. I asked if they'd be there every night. "If we were," said the man in the kilt, "your ticket would be thousands of dollars."


A few minutes to curtain, the house manager asked those of us sitting near the back to fill in the seating bank on the opposite side of the theater -- seats on the actual stage, placed there to have audience on two sides of the action. The show was sold out, but so many people hadn't made it that the place was about half full. Including seats in the front row, on the stage, inches from the gritty, incredibly physical show. Many characters wore the same uniform and all spoke Scottish, but -- thundersnow! -- I was close enough to watch their lips and see their every expression, close enough to absorb the show physically -- and it's a show that will knock the wind out of you and leave you trembling.

The final thundersnow-enabled adventure meant going someplace I was curious about but would never enter without the excuse of necessity. I needed a bathroom, and the strip bar was the only place open -- and perhaps because they knew they were the only place open, I got in, no questions asked. I learned that it was much less intimidating than strip joints are in movies, and that the women's room is very clean.

On the drive home, I was stopped for hours on the GW parkway, hundreds of cars behind a woman literally going into labor, and I tried not to compare our halting progress on the way out of the city to the process of being birthed. Hey, joy hurts. A five-hour commute and shoveling out a parking space? Totally worth it.

Rachel Manteuffel guest-blogged today for Joel Achenbach.

By Rachel Manteuffel  | January 28, 2011; 4:41 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Obama: compete; GOP: be afraid.
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Sounds perfect except for the 5-hour commute, but I've had those commutes for less fun reasons.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 28, 2011 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Off-kit (that didn't take long) -- just found out my colleague and wife going to Egypt this coming Wednesday for a week. Not that I'm going to worry about them any. After all, he *is* a lawyer.


Posted by: ftb3 | January 28, 2011 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Lovely to see R. Manteuffel here, writing beautifully as usual, and funny too.

One of my great joys in living in the inner-city is that when the blizzards hit, I can just walk everywhere I really need to be. I may be cut off from my kid in the north end (but for her, if she needed me, I'd brave anything, and anyway I'm a *superb* winter driver), but I will never go without groceries, miss a day in the office (*sigh* - how I wish) or be unable to meet up for a coffee with my city-dwelling pals. I've got all the transport I need in waterproof boots, a warm coat and long legs (these are of incalculable value in the snow). Oh, and sometimes my ski goggles. Shank's mare!

Sometime in the mid-sixties there was a Peanuts three-panel comic in which Linus asks Charlie Brown in the next desk, "How many Gs in goggles?" "Three." Final panel, in little-kid lettering, "Ggogles." It still amuses me.

Posted by: Yoki | January 28, 2011 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Except for the ride home, sounds like a fabulous evening. What time did you actually get home?

Posted by: slyness | January 28, 2011 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Great kit, Rachel, thanks!

Posted by: -bia- | January 28, 2011 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Reminder while warping ... Refresh!

Posted by: talitha1 | January 28, 2011 6:04 PM | Report abuse

The ice cream guy (photographed with a cone during thundersnow) got his at Pizza Autentica on L Street.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 28, 2011 6:28 PM | Report abuse

I've just become aware of the situation in Egypt and am reading wapo and viewing PBS NewsHour for facts. Boodler's insights and knowledge will be appreciated.

Posted by: talitha1 | January 28, 2011 6:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm updating myself on the situation in Tunsia, Yemen, and Egypt too, Talitha.

On the downside, the Star-Tribune (Twin Cities, Princess Sparkle Pony's home district) did such a weak story on the GOP upset over her rebuttal to the SOTU that it came across as sounding like well, she's all sparkle and they're jealous, without detailing any facts about what they were criticizing. Jeez.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 28, 2011 7:24 PM | Report abuse

for Talitha:

Shakira Loca

She always seems to have so much fun making her music videos

Posted by: omni3 | January 28, 2011 7:42 PM | Report abuse

The NY Times' David Kirkpatrick was with Mohammed ElBaradei, who's now an opposition leader. Kirkpatrick quotes ElBaradei as saying the time for a peaceful transition of power is over. On the other hand, Kirkpatrick notes that the Egyptian regime is a military dictatorship. Mubarak was installed by the military.

I don't have the expertise to guess what might happen, except that Kirkpatrick is right to point out the military's power. The Chilean military gave up power more or less voluntarily, and Burma's junta might conceivably be starting to do so. Otherwise, I have a hard time thinking entrenched military regimes that quit due to public protests. Argentina's military did, but they had been discredited by the Falklands/Malvinas war. Brazil's military gave up, but that was some time ago.

I also don't know how ruthless the Egyptian authorities might be. It kind of looks as though they don't have the control mechanisms that the Iranian government does. The situation seems too far gone for a Syrian solution (the current dictator's father put down an Islamist revolt by destroying the city of Hama, with thousands dead) or a Tienanmen solution (Beijing).

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 28, 2011 7:43 PM | Report abuse

talitha1, I read a very interesting account by an Egyptian blogger named KAREEM AMER who participated in the demonstration on Thursday. Since it is in the subscriber part of the WSJ (yes, I know the WSJ is anathema to many Boodlers but it still has interesting articles) I will copy it here in two parts. (I have found a way to read the subscription only articles for free but it is too difficult to describe here.)

Egypt Will Never Be the Same
What I saw on the streets of Alexandria
Alexandria, Egypt
The news of Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution rocked the Egyptian Internet. The blogosphere was full of calls urging people to take to the streets on Jan. 25 and bring down the regime of Hosni Mubarak, just as massive protests toppled the 25-year regime of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
For too long, despotic Arab governments have been reassured by the submissiveness and compliance of the people. The events in Tunisia have changed everything.
Initially, I didn't want to participate in the protests. Regime change could mean an Islamist takeover. I was also skeptical that the calls for demonstrations would turn out to be anything but empty words. In my experience, such demonstrations are usually attended only by the few dozen people who organize them, all hard-core political activists.
On Tuesday, as I followed the news of demonstrations in various Egyptian cities, I got a call from a friend, an activist and blogger, who criticized my lack of enthusiasm. She told me that she was going, even though she was sick and would have to leave her child alone at home. I was embarrassed by my hesitation and decided to join her.
We agreed to meet at the Bibliotheca Alexandria. There, we joined the demonstration at Port Said Street, one of the city's major internal roads. Instead of the usual traffic jam, the street was packed with thousands of demonstrators, mostly young people. The scene will stay with me forever: There were demonstrators as far as I could see. As we marched on, demonstrators urged the residents of surrounding buildings to join us, and in many cases they were successful.
At first, it seemed that we were going to walk to the end of Port Said Street without being harassed by police. Some security personnel were accompanying us peacefully, while the armored vehicles of the riot police kept their distance.
We felt relatively safe as we chanted slogans demanding the departure of the Egyptian president, shouting that a plane is waiting to take him out of the country like his Tunisian counterpart. Cheers emphasized the unity of Egyptians—Muslims and Christians—against the regime.

Posted by: orawh | January 28, 2011 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Part II of Egypt Will Never Be The Same

But as we were about to reach the area of Sidi Gaber, specifically the Jesuit Cultural Center, we were besieged by riot police. As some demonstrators lay on the street to prevent the police vehicles from making progress, the police fired live ammunition in the air and threw tear gas grenades. My friend and I ran to the entrance of a building for shelter from the bullets, batons and tear gas. When we found a way to escape safely, the demonstration had already been dispersed.
After about an hour and a half, we joined the demonstration near the Alexandria Sporting Club, where it had been reorganized. But there we were once again confronted with an armored vehicle, which shot a number of tear-gas grenades at us. We fled though alleyways until we got to Safia Zaghloul Street, where the demonstrators intended to march to the governor's headquarters. But I had to take my friend home since it was late.
Tuesday's experience ignited something profound in us. It made us feel that only our own hands can bring change. The streets are the place to protest—real change won't happen from behind computer screens.
Social-networking sites are important—these are the only means we have to broadcast our thoughts and organize ourselves. Not surprisingly, the fact that Facebook and Twitter were instrumental in organizing these demonstrations agitated the authorities. So they did what dictators do: They shut down Twitter, as well as the websites of Al-Dostour and Al-Masry Al-Youm newspapers. Facebook, YouTube, Gmail and Blogspot have also been shut down intermittently.
This is the first time that the regime has so blatantly censored the Internet. These extraordinary measures show that the government is losing control. And the violent approach used to confront the demonstrators is evidence of further weakness. Mr. Mubarak may hang on. But Egypt will never be the same.
Mr. Amer, an Egyptian blogger, recently served a four-year prison sentence for views expressed on his blog.

Posted by: orawh | January 28, 2011 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Thinking of exploiting thundersnow, the local version would be to drop into one of the Orlando theme parks on a freezing weekday.

Thinking of Egypt, I can foresee Republicans excoriating the President for "losing" Egypt, just as Truman lost China and someone or other lost Cuba. People who think the Rapture will happen on May 22 are probably beside themselves with delight.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 28, 2011 7:50 PM | Report abuse

SCC: He was there on Tuesday not Thursday but this is really not important.

Posted by: orawh | January 28, 2011 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for posting that Ora. What is the sentiment where you are about all of this?

Posted by: -TBG- | January 28, 2011 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Well, May 22nd is the anniversary of my mother's death, and I will assure the Rethugs that "rapture" does not describe what I will be feeling.

I find it curious that so many people view world events as "winning" vs. "losing" -- not middle ground, no win-win (that's for wusses, of course). It's all a testosterone thing. It bores me silly.

Time to go put the feet up, methinks.

Posted by: ftb3 | January 28, 2011 8:06 PM | Report abuse


And end of last kit, you asked if we (boodler-hive) believe in karmic justice. I'll start. NO, but do think that our social networks over time will behave in a way that is karmic-like.

Those who are kind and give, will likely be given succor and support when they need it. Compare this to others who do not give and participate; they will like not reap specific acts of kindness, when times are hard.

The one caveat is this: those of us who are givers sometimes project an image of resolute courage and capability. And, others might not think we need things (tea, lasagna, gardening help, a gift cert to Target, a smile or soft hand on the shoulder or a fully engaged bear hug....). So, dear one, do ask.

And, sending you all sorts of courage and kindness, along with a beeswax votive candle lit for your intention and a medium glass of Malbec.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 28, 2011 8:07 PM | Report abuse

TBG, the feeling here is like the feeling elsewhere--we are waiting to see what happens. There are always pundits who push the panic button but so far no official has taken a stand, at least not for public consumption.

Posted by: orawh | January 28, 2011 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the WSJ often has good human interest interview articles of people here and aboard. The rest of it, I throw away.

In much older news, the first migration out of Africa might have been 125K years ago, not 60K, which would allow some extra time for humans to reach Australia, and it would mean humans migrated during an interglacial period, whcih makes more sense than migrating during an Ice Age anyway.

How did Neanderthals reach Europe without going through the middle East?

The Neanderthal genesis actually is estimated at 300 to 600K years ago-- from an European population of our common ancestor--H. Heidelbergensis, who migrated out of Africa, possibly isolated by the onset of another glacial period.

H.sapiens diverged around 200-100K years ago, by some estimates. This is all SWAG anyway.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 28, 2011 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Excellent job, Rachel, thanks for pinch-hitting!! :-)

Mubarak's calling for the REST of the government to resign, according to CNN, and then he'll appint a new one. Yeah, THAT'll work...

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 28, 2011 8:30 PM | Report abuse

scc: appoint

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 28, 2011 8:32 PM | Report abuse

I have been following the Egypt story to the best of my ability, I wish the protesters well, and trusting that the secular nature of this budding revolution continues, regime change there raises so many issues, and fingers crosses this can happen for the good of the Egyptian people and without causing major implications.

I am also encouraged by the amount of women that have been involved in this movement.

Hoping this ends more like Germany than Iran.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 28, 2011 8:42 PM | Report abuse

A wonderful Kit by the divine Ms. M! Yet another advantage of bailing on our still-darkened neighborhood for this nicely-electrified hotel. Maybe not quite as delightful as that much-delayed hot shower, but still pretty nifty.

I'm glad the timing worked out so well for you. The closest thing I can remember is this one time when I got my minivan inspected without waiting. But your experience sounds even better.

I get the feeling there were a number of fortuitous events on Wednesday. I liked this one about Joshua Bell:

Speaking of luck, if my schedule had been just a tad different that day I would have been trapped on the Parkway as well since I drive it every day. Interestingly, I have never once thought of the birthing process when driving it. And yet, for some time to come, I imagine I will find it impossible not to.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 28, 2011 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Traveling with two of the frostcats these past two days so off to back boodle.

Rachel-nice kit.

Keeping a good thought for Egypt, but with only radio for info have nothing to add.

Later gators!

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 28, 2011 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Goodness, dear USA-ish friends! Have you not always thought that the world matters?

Posted by: Yoki | January 28, 2011 9:02 PM | Report abuse

frostbitten, how do you travel with two cats?! It's a major operation for me to get even one of mine to the vet.

Posted by: orawh | January 28, 2011 9:06 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: Yoki | January 28, 2011 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Yoki has a cloaking device, so jealous!

Forgot to mention how much I enjoyed the kit, a nice glass half full perspective.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 28, 2011 9:15 PM | Report abuse

That's right. See me, or see me not?

Posted by: Yoki | January 28, 2011 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Howdy and thanks to Ms Manteuffel for a fine Kit. What a great series of events! I can guarantee that the theater was delighted you were there, and I'm sure everywhere else appreciated your business as well.

Once when I lived in DC the power went off for several days in a winter storm. I lived in a big old apartment building on Connecticut NW. It had stairs, steam heat and hot water, and a gas stove. As long as I was careful with the refrigerator and the candles, I didn't miss the electricity. I never ventured out in search of bonus nightlife, though. Silly me.

Talitha and others, at the risk of repeating myself I'll mention, as I did last Boodle, that Ellen Knickmeyer is writing some good stuff on the Tunisian and Egyptian situation, as well as Middle East armies and other things, at

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 28, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse

"A somber looking Mubarak called anti-government protests 'part of a bigger plot to shake the stability and destroy legitimacy' of the political system." according to Al Jazeera.

He is promising "safety, security, and stability" to his people, according to BBC World Service, plus prosperity.

That sounds like a crackdown to me.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 28, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse

That made me sad, Ora's thought that most prefers dogs. You know how everyone says, "there are two kinds of people in this world, dog people and cat people?" I'm both kinds of people, also gerbils and capybara and Vietnamese Fighting Fish and octopi.

Posted by: Yoki | January 28, 2011 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for the reminder Ivansmom, I did not have time to read Ellen story before, and very glad I did.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 28, 2011 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Rabbit people! also Reptile people! Just not squirrels.

I have a pronunciation question for the collective Boodle wisdom. Jim Bowie carried the first "Bowie knife" - BOH-ee or BOO-ee?

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 28, 2011 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I have nothing against dogs despite the fact that one bit me on the rear end when I was five, and caused me to fear dogs well into adulthood. In fact, though I love cats, I will admit that dogs are more loyal. I have a fridge magnet that says, "To a dog you're family, to a cat you're staff". I would even consider having a dog but, as I live in an apartment, it would mean having to take the dog down three times a day, and take him for a walk or a run. I know that some days I just wouldn't feel like doing that.

Posted by: orawh | January 28, 2011 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Time passes slowly ...

Posted by: talitha1 | January 28, 2011 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Bohee knife. Bo-ee.

Posted by: Yoki | January 28, 2011 9:56 PM | Report abuse

I've heard that saying. Don't believe it. Pet love is not exclusive.

There are no-pets people, cats-only people, dogs-only people, and everybody else.

Cats fit the lives of many who like but can't own dogs.

Rarely, a dog will fit the life of a catowner better than a cat, generally because of allergies, their size or because they can be trained to do things,

I was raised in a cat-allergic household, but have known and liked cats since.

Allergies and litterbox hygenie aside, the average pet cat is less likely to attack, bark, or otherwise irritate the h** out of the causal visitor than the average pet dog.

But ah, the trained dog is a beauty of companionship that few cats can excel. Or so my bias runs.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 28, 2011 9:58 PM | Report abuse

I always heard booey, Ivansmom. Like the town in Maryland.

Ora, I have a cat and love her lots. She's 13 years old and although she's very much a cat, she always comes to greet new people and check them out like a dog would (though much less excitedly).

But I am tired of having a box of poop in my house.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 28, 2011 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Though I'm sure Mo would insist I pronounce it "Boohout." A box of books.

Posted by: Yoki | January 28, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

TBG, I have two boxes of poop in my place. Not the end of the world. But my cats never come to greet new people. On the contrary, if they hear the intercom or doorbell, they duck under the nearest sofa or bed.

Posted by: orawh | January 28, 2011 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Well, I've only had Siamese appleheaded cats and pedigreed BMDs for so long (and they are, simply, dog-cat-dogs) but even before then, with my mutt-cats, they were sweet and responsive and beloved and loved. I don't get this thing about the difference between cats and dogs, nor goats and dogs, nor horses and goats. All the domestic animals are darling. Even sheep, though I don't do so well with them.

Ha! Me old Mum hates cattle, says they're "sneaky." Not me. I think they're frighteningly stupid, and therefore dangerous, but also darling and sweet, just so unintelligent that they'll step on me by accident.

Posted by: Yoki | January 28, 2011 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, unintelligent and sweet do not necessarily contradict each other. I don't want to use the word stupid to describe one of my cats but lets just say he is less smart than the others. Yet he is the sweetest of the three even though he causes more trouble than the other two.

Posted by: orawh | January 28, 2011 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Ora, so nice to have you Boodling! I love kitties too, but at the moment we have only a stray cat who (that?) sleeps on the back porch and gets fed outside. We're all fine with that arrangement - stray kitty doesn't seem to want to come in - and we don't have the mess of cat hair (this is a long-haired cat that sheds a lot) or a box of poop in the house (I'm not convinced this cat would know how to use a litter box, which is strange for a cat). Our best kitty died a few years ago, and frankly, we're not quite over him either.

I love most animals, except for reptiles, rodents, raccoons, bats, moles.

Hope things in the Mideast don't get too interesting - hope the change is for the better.

Posted by: seasea1 | January 28, 2011 10:22 PM | Report abuse

orawh-cats in the frosthousehold just travel, they have no choice, though some tolerate it quietly (these 2 are not of that variety). As trips go this is much better than the same route done with a dog, 3 cats, and 2 guinea pigs. Fun times.

I'm frostbitten and I'm a pet person! Though now that there are no children in the house to plead the case for yet another rescue we only have cats, and my goal is to one day have just 2 at a time. (We have 4 now, thus legally I am but one shy of "crazy cat lady.")

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 28, 2011 10:29 PM | Report abuse

You are lucky to have travelling cats fb.
Cat transport’s a risky business. Way back when I moved from Q-city to the other Federal Capital we had three cats to move. Her Hyperness Dodi, a 6-lbs tortoise shell who looked like a bat when wet, her half- brother the Great Mamaguchi, a giant yellow tabby who probably weigh close to 20 lbs at the time (and yet could jump from the deck to the top of a regular fridge fairly elegantly) and her son the Pea Soup, an unruly 11-12 lbs package of lean muscles and bones, full of pi$$ and vinegar and abou a year old at the time. After a visit to the vet we got the kitties prepped for the trip. ½ pill of the best for the Dodi, 1 for the Pea Soup and 1 ½ for the Big Guy. We had 2 spares left. The Pea Soup and the Mamaguchi had to share the medium plastic dog travel kennel we had purchase for vet visits and we put Her Hyperness in a fiberboard single-use cat travel box we had bought for the occasion.
I medicated the bunch an hour before departure, as instructed. I didn’t get bitten too badly, as it was the first time for the Pea Soup. He would get much better at that in later years. By the time we left the Pea Soup was unconscious and I was worried for the Big Guy. He was out of it. I took his pulse and listened to his breath; he was alive. The Dodi looked just fine, just a little excited.
30 km on the little fury had shredded her carboard box and was making wild runs in the back of the car (a 1983 Chevy Chevelle, 2 doors, 267 small block engine, I loved that car). We got off the highway at the Donnacona exit to take care of the Harpy. There’s stuff there now, a Tim Horton, a Canadian Tire, but back them it was farms and dark house. I got out, wearing sneakers as I hate to drive long hours with winter boots (it hasn’t changed), and opened the door to catch the cat. She escaped, eyes bugging out of her skull. She flew over the snow and hid under the porch of a house a 100 yards away.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 28, 2011 10:32 PM | Report abuse

On the way to find barbeque for lunch today, we passed a snow-covered field with Black Angus cattle in it. Lots of black spots on white! We also went by the bison herd. They were all close to their barn; I imagine they were staying close to food and water. So big and brown and fuzzy! I've been around cows and they aren't very bright, as Yoki says. I wonder about bison and how smart they are.

I've had dogs in my life and loved them dearly but I am happy to be free of the responsibility at this point in my life. The archeologist has a black cat that Geekdottir adores, and Elderdottir's dachshund is is spoiled rotten, even by me. That is enough for now.

Posted by: slyness | January 28, 2011 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Thanks seasea.The trouble with Boodling or even just lurking is that it takes up so much time. That's why I quit lurking last time. Would you believe that it is almost 5:30 a.m. here and I still haven't gone to bed yet because every time I want to, I just have to take one more look at the Boodle. And then I have to answer someone. And then wait for a possible answer. It really is addictive. But now I am really going to go to bed. Goodnight all.

Posted by: orawh | January 28, 2011 10:34 PM | Report abuse

sd-our youngest two have both clawed and chewed their way out of soft sided carriers. They all have their own "pet taxis" now-a brand of carrier I find particularly escape proof and easy to disassemble for storage.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 28, 2011 10:40 PM | Report abuse has a good photo essay up now with pics from today's events in Egypt.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 28, 2011 10:43 PM | Report abuse

(End) I chased, in 3 feet of coarse salt March snow, over a couple of barbed wire fence. She was affected enough by the half-pill that I managed to catch her under the porch but not without some serious damage to my hands. I was wearing an old sturdy winter coat so I bundled her in it and brought her back, leaving a bloody trail behind. My blood, not hers, of course. After trying to fit the passed out Mamaguchi in the fiberboard box we came to the conclusion that the Harpy had to bunk with the Big Guy in the sturdy plastic box and we had to trust that the medication would restrain the Pea Soup so that the mostly destroyed fiberboard box would be enough. The idea of a crazed Pea Soup spinning inside the car was worrisome at that point, to say the least.
I forced one of the remaining pill down the Dodi’s throat and set out to find the antihistamine (I’m allergic to cats) in my toilet kit and some absorbing material for the blood (cheap socks work neatly).
We made it to the other Capital just fine. The Pea Soup was his own nasty himself early the next day, the Mamaguchi came about later the same day but the WitchCat took another day to sort out the triple dose she got. My hands healed, eventually.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 28, 2011 10:45 PM | Report abuse

sd-you're making me cry with laughter. Your story makes the Gang of Four seem so sedate.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 28, 2011 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Some advice-- I need a referral to a specialist to be seen by one, but my primary care provider (PCP) refuses to provide one, saying in his judgment it's not necessary.

He is incapable of doing the most basic exam associated with that speciality, and I said he cannot say I don't need a specialist for an disorder I have already seen a specialist for before because he's not one.

I am angry. I nearly died because doctors kept missing the fact a diagnosed disease was worsening and never referred me to a specialist for it. Once I did, I got better. I thank that doctor about every year for seeing me when he did.

This behavior among primary care providers is not uncommon, so what is my recourse here? Finding more primary care providers and going through the same crap and getting no further?

My mom nearly died of pneumonia when a PCP diagnosed it as "adult on-set asthma." Never thought of sending her to a specialist. My mom wound up in the ER first.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 28, 2011 10:58 PM | Report abuse

ora, I'm glad TBG told you about Persephone. When I was there last weekend, Persephone watched me carefully. Then she'd think, "Eh, just her. Not worth it." What a beauty, though!

CQP, best post of the day.

Some have seen these, so apologies to them, but dogs in the snow. We got 16.5 inches.

Posted by: -dbG- | January 28, 2011 11:04 PM | Report abuse

The Mamaguchi and the Dodi were mostly good cats but the Pea Soup was only getting started. Unfortunately the Pea Soup stories involve not-so-nice elements like pus and open bloody wounds. Although the Dodi once puked a well digested half rat/vole/mole in front of the TV, that was an eye-opener for every eye and nose witness. That thing stinked seriously.
I'm not really a cat person.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 28, 2011 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Hospitals are often the right resources when you are out in the boonies Wilbrod. Minnesota has some good hospitals, right?
(I'm out in the medical boonies, 13 km from the Peace Tower)

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 28, 2011 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, are you required to have a referral? Why not just make an appointment with the doctor you wish to see?

Posted by: slyness | January 28, 2011 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Shriek, after reading your post, I'm finished lurking. I'm going to bed!

Good night all.

Posted by: rickoshea12 | January 28, 2011 11:18 PM | Report abuse

I am required to have a referral for that clinic, yes-- their policy. Shrug.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 28, 2011 11:25 PM | Report abuse

good morning, Ora.

Posted by: Yoki | January 28, 2011 11:29 PM | Report abuse

SD, that story was wonderfully awful ;-) Years ago we had a cat. He was generally very well behaved (except for the 'fur balls' on the carpets) and sweet. He did hate to travel and once bit me hard as I tried to stuff him into the travel box. I prefer dogs but they are much more work so I'm happy to just have granddogs now.

A belated welcome Ora. I love having Boodlers from far away places, their perspectives on life shake me up and make me look at things differently.

Long day, haven't had time to read much about the events in Egypt. Hope to do that over the weekend.

Posted by: badsneakers | January 28, 2011 11:54 PM | Report abuse

sd, thanks for finishing the story. I figured you went after the escapee. I also have a pet taxi which has been great. The only time I hauled a cat long distance was the time I moved from DC to western PA with a kitten. I got a pet tranquilizer for him and put him in a shoe box - he was fine. The car I was driving needed a new transmission, so would not go into 4th gear. It was a somewhat nerve-wracking trip - top speed was probably 50, and I coasted down the hills.

Thanks, DNA_Girl for Gaga parody - really good.

Gwen Ifill had a reporter on Washington Week whose parents are from Egypt. She had some interesting things to say - that the disparity in rich and poor has gotten so extreme, so the young people are without hope.

Sad to remember the Challenger accident. We lived in Houston at the time, so it was a local story too. My kid was about 5 - I remember wanting to watch the news coverage, but he wanted to watch cartoons, and I didn't want him to see too much graphic footage anyway, and I didn't want him to see me upset. I saved the newspaper - at least I think I still have it.

As for the Kit - I didn't realize it wasn't written by Joel (thought it seemed a little out of character), so when I read the line at the end about the women's restroom, I was a bit confused!

Posted by: seasea1 | January 28, 2011 11:59 PM | Report abuse

I am, for the first time, disappointed in Obama, over Egypt (and Tunisia).

Posted by: Yoki | January 29, 2011 12:16 AM | Report abuse

What would you like to see, Yoki?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 29, 2011 12:29 AM | Report abuse

'evening, all. i hope that all is well with the metro DC contingent, would like to take the opportunity to pass along greetings to ora, and leave you with this:


Posted by: -jack- | January 29, 2011 12:31 AM | Report abuse

I would like to see his, and my own, government tell those dictators to negotiate, instead of metaphorically throwing up their hands, after years of blood on them, and shrugging. As though they have no support/aid/military/political leverage to leverage.

And why would I like to see that? Because I remember, vividly, Berlin and Bucharest and Sophia. When the people get *really* fed up, they are unopposable, unstoppable. Any regime can be overthrown in 48 hours, no matter how repressive. But why should so many, including the oppressed and the oppressors, be made to suffer? It needn't come to that.

Posted by: Yoki | January 29, 2011 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Watch out, jack. You'll be told how shallow is your taste!

Posted by: Yoki | January 29, 2011 12:53 AM | Report abuse

at first blush, the administration looks to be in a reactive mode. imo, this stems from the fact that the administration has a plate full with respect to the conflicts in iraq and afghanistan. i suspect that the rest of that part of the global community, from the administration's pov, is marginalised to the extent that if there aren't active terrorist type things, nor blatant human rights violations occurring in these countries, despite the dicatorial governments, that they might just as well play the containment game. i also suspect that there was a gross underestimation of the social network effect after tunisia. thus, there is the proverbial fine kettle of fish, and the administration has suddenly found itself in a reactive diplomatic mode. *sigh*

Posted by: -jack- | January 29, 2011 12:53 AM | Report abuse

yeah. shallow jack. i think that is available as a boodle handle.

Posted by: -jack- | January 29, 2011 12:55 AM | Report abuse

See, I don't accept that; Iraq and Afghanistan are a given; when driving, you keep your eyes at some point beyond the end of the car's hood, right? If anyone tries to tell me that our Dear Leaders are so focussed on something already understood that they have no attention for anything flaring up in the ditch along-side, well, I have a problem with that. I've been telling people for years about Tunisia (not so much Egypt) and Sudan.

Posted by: Yoki | January 29, 2011 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, I'm not sure that can be answered definitively. For instance, the Oxford dictionary peeps pronounce it Boo-ee (

The town of Bowier just up the road from here is also pronounced Boo-ee by the natives...but that doesn't mean anything regarding the knife and the woodman who invented it.

In the 1950s or early 60sd there was a TV show about him, and the song pronounced it Boo--ee. But again, who's to say that was any more correct?

There are dozens of sources that say, as you do, Boh or Bow--ee.

If you Google Bowie and "pronunciation" you get 82,000 hits. All claiming to be THE accurate one, no doubt.

I've always called him and it Boo--ee, because that's how I heard it on the TV show. says Boh-ee:

I don't know how David Bowie pronounces his name...but whatever it is, it's irrelevant.

To quote various people in "Shakespeare in Love"..."It's a mystery."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 29, 2011 1:06 AM | Report abuse

point well taken. i guess i'm trying to say that it's like driving by those roadside fires, knowing that they're there in drought conditions, hoping that the wind doesn't blow in such a direction to cause a catastrophe, and simultaneously hoping that the fire will self extinguish. then when it gets out of control, you are stuck with your pants down. i wonder if it'll eventually be discovered that someone in the State Department didn't raise the appropriate intelligence flags soon enough.

Posted by: -jack- | January 29, 2011 1:07 AM | Report abuse

TV show theme song:

Boo-ee...but doesn't make it right. Just makes it...Boo-ee.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 29, 2011 1:08 AM | Report abuse

all that i know is that if i vacation in cairo, it'll be in illinois, where it's pronounced KAY-roh.

Posted by: -jack- | January 29, 2011 1:10 AM | Report abuse

Wikipedia says Boo-ee.

It cites these two sources for the pronunciation:

Manns, William (May-Jun 2004), "The Bowie Knife", American Cowboy 11 (1): 40–43.

Janin, Hunt (2007), Fort Bridger, Wyoming, Jefferson: McFarland & Company, p. 138, ISBN 9780786429127

But doesn't discuss why or give details.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 29, 2011 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Just as Bien Fait, Sask. is pronounced Bean Fate. And Forget is pronounced forget.

Posted by: Yoki | January 29, 2011 1:14 AM | Report abuse

hey, 'mudge. good to see you on the night shift.

Posted by: -jack- | January 29, 2011 1:14 AM | Report abuse

onego, wv is pronounced one go. i thought it was of american indian origin.

Posted by: -jack- | January 29, 2011 1:24 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure what the US is supposed to do about Tunisia or Egypt. Obama supposedly sent signals to Mubarek that a violent putdown by the military would not be supported by the US, but I don't see how that could be enforced. The reporter on PBS - Nancy Youssef of McClatchy newspapers (her bio says she started at the Bal'more Sun) - said that WikiLeaks may have contributed to the Tunisia situation because people thought if the Americans knew how corrupt the rulers were, then they must be really bad. The problem for the US will be if Islamic fundamentalists replace the current awful rulers - which is why I think it's best for us to stay out of other country's politics, except for diplomatically, and using aid as some sort of leverage. I have to admit I had no knowledge about Tunisia, and not much about Egypt. I suppose we're selling arms to them - don't like that. The Daily Dish has a lot of coverage on this, but I haven't kept up.

On the pronunciation of "Bowie" - I have always said BOO-ee, except for David BO-ee. I noticed that Ricky Gervais says David BOW-ee (as in "take a bow").

Posted by: seasea1 | January 29, 2011 1:24 AM | Report abuse


Lea Michele to sing at Super Bowl

By Jen Chaney

"Lea Michele will sing "America the Beautiful" during pre-game festivities ahead of this year's Super Bowl, E! Online reports today. You know, because "Glee" isn't getting enough promotion out of its much-hyped post-Super Bowl episode.

[Post-Bowl episode of Glee????]

"Whether you're a fan of Michele or not, I think we all agree that she will belt the amber waves of grain out of that song. In fact, she may hit notes that will only be rivaled by ... Christina Aguilera, who is slated to sing the National Anthem before the battle between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers gets underway.

"Because this is America, dang it, where we like female singers whose vocal powers may blow out the speakers in family rooms from the Redwood Forest to the Gulf stream waters."


Question: when did snark become the default tone of voice in reportage?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 29, 2011 1:32 AM | Report abuse

When reportage began covering music and TV. I like.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 29, 2011 1:37 AM | Report abuse

I wanted to say how glad I am that ebtnut, Don, and RD are doing ok after the Thunder Snow event. We had a similar storm in November, with gridlock on the freeways and people stuck for hours.

Posted by: seasea1 | January 29, 2011 1:46 AM | Report abuse

How about Boo-WEE?

And here's an interesting WaPo home page headline:

"Bison in pilot program back in Yellowstone"

I'm sure they enjoy the view, but how do they fit in the cockpit, leat alone steer with those hooves?

Cellphones back on in Kai-row, but still no Internet, apparently, and the army's prepared to arrest protesters (or at least Mubarak says they will):

I really don't see what any outside government can do for Egypt at this point besides say, "Please don't kill each other and work this out peacefully." What, they should demand, "Install a new human-rights friendly government that scares neither the democratic West nor the remainder of the autocratic Middle East" instead? Kinda presumptuous, that.

*always-nice-to-wake-up-with-a-good-cuppa-cawfee-and-a-jazz-version-of-"Up-Up-and-Away" Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 29, 2011 6:04 AM | Report abuse

Hmmmmmmmmm... This will not end well, methinks:

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 29, 2011 6:12 AM | Report abuse

I think we are all disappointed when the US hangs on to dictators who happen to be allies over the people who might make independent choices we don't like. The repressive regimes we bet on to insure stability for our sake seldom work out as well for us as hoped. The problems for their own populace are self evident.

I agree with Yoki that Iraq and Afghanistan should be neither an excuse for not being prepared for events such as we've seen lately nor a reason to seek "stability." But, as S'nuke said-what precisely to do is not so clear. Unfortunately when the US picks winners we tilt the game in always unexpected and often tragic ways.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 29, 2011 6:50 AM | Report abuse

Yo fatty, carm down. Don't cross the Lizard Islanders. You do not want to cause a BKD.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 29, 2011 6:53 AM | Report abuse

*wondering what yello put in his cawfee this morning*

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 29, 2011 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, do you think Mr. Issa will be one of the GOP chosen to appear on the Sunday morning talk shows about Lebanon?

I don't think he will.

I typically disagree with people that jump all over our leaders when they don't aggressively go after dictators, whether they are allies or not. Most places with dictators have a populace that is at best wary of the US and often opposed to us. Having us jawbone against the dictator publicly would most often do actual harm to the movement trying to unseat him.

It provides excuses for the dictator to use the "foreign influence" copout and may push some people only marginally aligned with the protests to step away from them.

Posted by: baldinho | January 29, 2011 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Just woke up snarky. Best YouTube comedy clip of the morning:

And I link that as a guy with tickets to Dar Williams tomorrow.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 29, 2011 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Yes to all of the above, baldinho. How's your snow farm today? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 29, 2011 7:46 AM | Report abuse

A rosy sunrise on the snowfields.
Good morning, ye Boodlers! I'll kotch up with all of you in these 80+ posts a bit later. Hoping you're all warm and well.

Omni, my spirit's ear loves you.

CqP, your beeswax candle burns brightly .....

Posted by: talitha1 | January 29, 2011 8:01 AM | Report abuse

And just in case you don't know who Dar Williams is:

Posted by: yellojkt | January 29, 2011 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Sorta on-Kit...

Be sure to read the caption. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 29, 2011 8:32 AM | Report abuse

SCC: on-Boodle. So sorry.

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 29, 2011 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Gut morninkzz, Boodlies!
Forecast is for a hot day in Santiago. Though it's a mild winter in Cairo, forecast for a hot day there,too.

My money is on El Baradai. Yesterday Egypt has changed.

Haff a great weekend, ye Boodlers!
El Brag :)

Posted by: Braguine | January 29, 2011 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Morning all... Good afternoon to you, I supposed, Ora. You'll learn that you don't always have to boodle in real time. Don't leave us again, we enjoy your company!

Getting packed up for the trip to NYC. Daughter and I are taking the train to and fro.

Any NYC-area boodlers free to BPH this weekend? Email me at boodler [at] mac [dot] com. We'll be up there until Tuesday afternoon.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 29, 2011 9:08 AM | Report abuse

As far as Egypt goes, I guess it's all up to how the military responds. The pictures are so stunning... the people are so brave.

Now, the trivial stuff: I've always been fascinated by the word "Egypt" because it's all descenders and ascenders; the uppercase "E" is important in that respect.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 29, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Scotty: it is great. Yesterday afternoon was the first time we got above freezing, albeit to about 35F. I strapped Charlotte into the Baby Bjorn and the wife and the boy joined for a family snowshoe around the yard.

We have about 2 acres of woods and a small pond. We now have some pretty good trails that we will probably get out on today as well. The boy loves his snowshoes. Our parcel abuts a 5-acre or so parcel of woods and scrub whose owners have set up a cross-country ski trail network (okay, one big loop). We are pretty friendly with them, so our goal is to get access to that trail as well.

There is about 2.5 to 3 feet of snow, so the snowshoeing is excellent.

Posted by: baldinho | January 29, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Well... maybe the army is standing with the people...

Posted by: -TBG- | January 29, 2011 9:19 AM | Report abuse

The only thing I have to say about the west supporting dictators (while plugging our nose), I suspect that often times the people may be distrustful of the US because of the support for the dictator (or the knowledge the US et al will only support certain governments).

From what I have read and watch the people rebelling are not distrustful of the US, they are interested in how the US responds and are eager to have US support.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 29, 2011 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Places like Egypt are very tricky for the US. We give them billions in aid because they help us with a lot of stuff. They are a vital ally in the "moderate Middle East" world. We really can't go all in against Mubarak. We also can't fully support him, for many reasons to do with repression.

The safest thing is to sit back and appeal for non-violent solutions on both sides. If we can help stop violence from the government, we should do it. If we can help stop violence from the protesters, we should do it. As far as the two sides working things out, that will be for the two sides.

The safest thing is not always the most comfortable thing.

Posted by: baldinho | January 29, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Watching live on CNN am impresed with a) how peaceful the protestors have been, and b) how calm the military are, interacting with the people sitting relaxed on top of the tanks.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 29, 2011 9:55 AM | Report abuse

What worries me about the events in Egypt is how it will affect relations with Israel. At the moment we have a peace treaty with Egypt, albeit a very cold peace treaty. But the people there still pretty much hate us.

One small example is the case of an Egyptian journalist who admitted visiting Israel 25 times. This caused controversy because it defied the Journalist Union's ban on normalization with Israel. I don't know what happened to him in the end but I think he was kicked out of the union. Most if not all unions and organizations in Egypt are against normalization with us.

A friend of a friend who is a peace activist and who speaks Arabic fluently was in Egypt recently and tried to get into conversations with "the man in the street" without revealing his Israeli identity. He was shocked to hear how deep the hatred goes.

One of the reasons Egypt still has a peace treaty with us is the $1.5 billion in aid they get from America every year. Call it a bribe. If the Muslim Brotherhood takes over, I am sure the aid will end and the peace treaty will be abrogated.

This does not mean that I am in favor of supporting Mubarak. I just don't know what to hope for.

Posted by: orawh | January 29, 2011 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I do hope moving forward that the peace is maintained between Israel and Egypt.

I fear that if the lives of the ordinary Egyptian are not improved the situation will worsen, with increased hostility towards both the US and Israel and give increased support for radical groups. When people are desperate they will seek extreme solutions.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 29, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I'm kinda jealous of the thundersnow. We get it every once in a while, but we're just a little south (like just a few miles) of the Lake Erie snow belt and just on the fringe of the systems that move in from the south. It's strange how the snow seems to get right to I-80, then stops. Abruptly. We'll get a few inches, then you drive 5 miles north and they've got eight. We still get our share (and we sure have this year), but I somehow feel cheated as I'm one of those strange birds who actually enjoys shoveling snow.

Hope everybody who got hit with these big storms is holding up okay (seems Miss Rachel did well).

Peace out, my friends... :-)

Posted by: martooni | January 29, 2011 11:08 AM | Report abuse

A good background article for the issues in Egypt and surrounding nations, alone the same line as the articles pointed out by Ivansmom.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 29, 2011 11:14 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. Have the g-girl here this morning, so moving slow. I hope everyone has power and perhaps the snow is melting?

I suspect the folks in Egypt didn't see it coming. I do hope some kind of resolution can be brokered to get the people off the streets. Most leaders, dictators as well, just want calm and peace, although dictators can be harsh in that pursuit as in most things. I don't know how well the Egyptians would receive any input from us. Our track record leaves a lot to be desired despite the money. I do feel it is to our advantage to find out the root of all this and be on the good side of whatever. We don't want to leave it to folks that are dirtier? Of course, that's kinda how we got on the wrong side, isn't it?

Time to get cracking. I want to do the bullentin board at church this afternoon, if I can come up with the supplies. *sigh*

Have a lovely day, folks. Temps here are suppose to be in the 60's, with some wind. Slyness, hope you're enjoying Winterfest. Love to all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | January 29, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I lived in the Philippines for three years during the late 70s and saw first hand how corrosive massive military aid to an absolute dictator can be. My dad has a very nice samovar which is a souvenir of the time he delivered an F-4 to the Royal Iranian Air Force. We all remember how that turned out.

Supporting dictators has ALWAYS ended out badly for us. The only thing worse seems to be invading to overthrow them. The Middle East is the modern powder keg and unless countries there find ways to enhance the standard of living for their people, the juntas and strongmen will always have to sleep with a guard at the door.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 29, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Major frenvy on your trip to the Big Apple. NYC in the snow is so beautiful, but they may have gotten too much of a good thing. A high school pal living in Yonkers posted to Facebook photos of the 14" of snow outside his house.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 29, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Yellojkt, when Carter stopped supporting the Shah of Iran, look what happened. I'm not saying that the Shah should have stayed in place but his replacement was 100 times worse. So what's the solution? I have none.

Posted by: orawh | January 29, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Yellojkt, when Carter stopped supporting the Shah of Iran, look what happened. I'm not saying that the Shah should have stayed in place but his replacement was 100 times worse. So what's the solution? I have none.

I just got a notice about a movable type error so I don't know whether this will be posted or not.

Posted by: orawh | January 29, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

orawh, the support for the Shah was withdrawn way too late, past the time for a moderate solution.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 29, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Dmd3, what would have happened if support had been removed earlier? Who would have come to power? Let the historians argue over that one. I have no answer to what might have been.

Writing what might have been reminds me of these lines from MAUD MILLER by Whittier:

"For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: 'It might have been!'"

But the parody of that poem is even better. It tells the sad story of what really happened.

Posted by: orawh | January 29, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Maud Muller

Posted by: orawh | January 29, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I don't know the answer, I just wish for once we would learn from past history, none of this is new, the situation in Egypt reminds me a little of the french revolution, a disenchanted educated lower and middle class, seeing little hope for their future and wanting freedom and jobs.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 29, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse


I didn't see your post, hope all is well with you and family. We know the hearing is shot, but could the sight be going too. I hope not. Take care, Martooni, it's always good to hear from you.

Posted by: cmyth4u | January 29, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Could you share that parody? There are many parodies of famous poems, and I don't know that one.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 29, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, here is the link to the original poem in case you have forgotten it:

Here is the parody by Bret Harte:

Posted by: orawh | January 29, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, I-80 west of Laramie, Wyoming is still known as the Snow Chi Minh Trail. It shortcut the old road through Medicine Bow by taking to the bad-weather flanks of Elk Mountain.

Wyoming doesn't have thundersnow, at least not that I've heard of.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 29, 2011 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Seeing-eye cat.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 29, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I am annoyed by the hed on the front page, "Insider's Guide to Davos 2011." If we were insiders we wouldn't need the guide, now, would we?

Posted by: Yoki | January 29, 2011 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, you weren't invited? I threw mine away. It's gotten so declasse since they started letting all the hoi polloi in.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 29, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh thanks! I harte Bret Harte.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 29, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Hee hee. I actually was invited once, in a very minor capacity. 2004, I think. I didn't go, but not because I didn't want to.

Posted by: Yoki | January 29, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Not to fond of him myself.

Posted by: Yoki | January 29, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse

His peer Mark Twain was the champion heavyweight on the humor smackdown circuit, but some of Harte's works are still nice enough to read.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 29, 2011 2:13 PM | Report abuse

You may not like Bret Harte, I have no opinion of him one way or the other, but that doesn't mean that you can't enjoy his parody. I don't particularly like the original poem by Whittier but I really like the parody.

Posted by: orawh | January 29, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, Boodle. My goodness, Yoki, you're getting as testy about bad headlines as some other crotchety, curmudgeonly souls I know.

Meanwhile, I am sure it will come as a major shock that Princess Sparkle Donuts has lost her mind:

"Bachmann eyes cuts to veterans health benefits

By Sahil Kapur

Friday, January 28th, 2011 -- 12:05 pm

"WASHINGTON – Tea party hero Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) this week proposed a blueprint to eliminate $400 billion from the federal budget, which included billions in cuts to veterans' health care and disability benefits.

"Her plan would freeze health care funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and slash $4.5 billion in disability benefits to military veterans.

"Bachmann posted the document on her official Web site, calling the spending cuts "real and necessary" to avoid increasing the debt ceiling above $14.3 trillion. She supports the United States wars in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Because, yanno, cutting $4.5 billion in Veterans benefits is a great way to support the wars AND show you support our fighting men and women AND that you are, after all, a true-blue 100% patriotic Psycho-American.

Gawd, I just love this woman.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 29, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: seasea1 | January 29, 2011 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I feel bad that I haven't mentioned how much I enjoyed reading Rachel's guest Kit. I almost envy her experiences in the storm (a nice warm house beats that envy down to admiration for her resourcefulness, tho').

I've been watching some of the coverage of Egypt and wondering if eventually, with the continued disparity between the rich and the rest of us, we will be rioting too. But I don't think we could pull together long enough or overcome our short attention span. (sarcasm- sort of)

Posted by: badsneakers | January 29, 2011 2:37 PM | Report abuse

badsneakers - that's a legitimate concern. If the dominant reaction to this week's power outages and traffic snarls is for the rich to buy generators and invest in helicopters while the poor suffer, well, it ain't gonna be pretty.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 29, 2011 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I do work in central Virginia and at lunch with the workers, they all compare notes on the generators they have for their houses. When I tell them I don't have one because the underground utility lines in my neighborhood are rock solid reliable, they look at me like I'm some sort of troublemaker.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 29, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

"Princess Sparkle Donuts"
*snort* and *double-snort*

I really wish she and the wassilawitch would hold off with all their idiocy for another few months. When the real campaigning begins for the 2012 election we're gonna need their astute input to further undermine the opposition. The way they're going on the flame-out is imminent.

On a serious note, I thought the president's remarks regarding the situation in Egypt were excellent. The human rights element seemed aimed not only at Egypt but at "others".

Posted by: talitha1 | January 29, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

RD, then the rich can compete as to who has the most tricked-out 'copter, etc., would be fun to watch, especially the spectacular mid-air collisions. (kidding!)

Yes talitha, I agree, but I think the boobsey twins will be around and spouting nonsense for quite a while yet.

Posted by: badsneakers | January 29, 2011 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

Rachel, good to see you here again, and that you made the most of thundersnow.

Had some of that here Wed evening - we do have that here from time to time; there was some during the blizzards last winter, too.

I recognized the Rush Hour Purgatory approaching and made arrangements to skip lunch, leave the ofc early (2:30ish) and work from home for the balance of the day. Got home just as the freezing rain kicked over into snow.

Upon Further Review, it might have been more fun to get snowed into DC than 40 miles away. I sure didn't have kilt-wearin', bagpipers pouring whiskey for *me*.

The pronunciation discussion reminds me that I'm glad I don't live in Norfolk or Mianus, either. Just a visitor, y'know?

As far as Egypt goes, I also see that as a very very tricky situation. Some believe the US meddles far too much in the internal workings of other countries, others think we don't do enough. Each situation is different at any given point in time, even those of Tunis and Eqypt. Some point to Iran in '79 as a failure, though can we say with any confidence that we're likely to end up declaring a triumph in Iraq?

Of course, it all depends on who you ask, even amongst Americans.

I can only hope that President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and the rest of our leaders act (or not) with wisdom and courage to do the best they can for Tunisians and Egyptians, as well as Americans and the rest of the people of the world.

I believe they're trying.


Posted by: -bc- | January 29, 2011 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all, hi Cassandra! I'm watching and reading and praying for the Egyptians, hoping for a positive outcome for them. Has anyone written the book on how to topple a regime and peacefully bring about change that benefits a people? Maybe Lech Walesa should. The trick isn't the toppling, it's what the leaders do afterwards. So difficult to govern, in the best of circumstances. And when does anyone ever have best circumstances?

We spend the morning in the village at Winterfest events. First up was the Polar Plunge, in which 64 demented souls jumped into a lake with water temperatures at 37 degrees F. I never can see, being short, and standing still for an hour wears me out. We parked on Main Street and walked to the plunge site and back, uphill on the return, of course.

Then on to Chili Cookoff. It's amazing what people do to such a lovely, simple dish. Some good, some not so good, some awful. My digestive system is still trying to recover. After being on my feet for three solid hours, I was ready to sit down and rest. So that's what I'm doing.

The weather is lovely, though. Currently it's 51 on our porch. Oh, and the Tar Heels are beating State. Life is good.

Posted by: slyness | January 29, 2011 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Can't resist. Dumbest headline of the week? "Will Obama or the GOP win the future?"

Because, you see, those are the only two choices, and it's a one-shot-forever, zero-sum kinda thing. A Dan Balz story, of course, which I haven't had the stomach to read.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 29, 2011 4:19 PM | Report abuse

The Future, like until this old Sun flares out? I suspect the O-man will be dead by then.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 29, 2011 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Nan and Flossie, will the Boodle be observing Milbanks' Palin moratorium in February? I just wondered. Probably no concensus has been reached, but I'd hate to stumble. 8~)

Posted by: talitha1 | January 29, 2011 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, you really found a jewel in the Bachman babe. You treasure hunter, you.

Brag :)

I wonder how Mubarak is sleeping tonight.

Posted by: Braguine | January 29, 2011 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I would think he is sleeping under heavy guard Brag :-)

Posted by: dmd3 | January 29, 2011 4:51 PM | Report abuse

You know what calling for a balanced budget is? Something you do when the other party holds the Presidency, that is what it is.

Posted by: baldinho | January 29, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Omar Suleiman, the Egyptian intelligence chief, has Mubarak's mandate to run the country, if he can get control of it.

Apparently soldiers on the street are draftees, who might or might not be loyal to the regime.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 29, 2011 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Gene Weingarten reviews the Chevy Volt -- and hates that he likes it.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 29, 2011 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I just can't help myself, my apologies...

From Weingarten's Volt article:

"So just how green is that snazzy new Volt -- with its electric butt-warmer seats -- that's charging up in your garage?
Basically, it depends on where that garage is. If it's in California, which is big on nuclear power, your Volt is practically pristine. If it's in Pennsylvania, in coal country, not so much."

Ahem -- California has four reactors and gets 14 percent of its electricity from nuclear power plants, Pennsylvania has nine reactors and gets 35 percent of its electricity from nuclear power.

(specifically Figure 12 on page 5 of the PDF)

Now if only Weingarten had asked JA if he knew someone who could speak to nuclear topics... *SIGHHHHHHHHHHHH*


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 29, 2011 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I swear, that was unintentional, 'Mudge! *L*

And if JA wants to have Weingarten call someone and get his shizzle straight before the live chat, that's cool too.

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 29, 2011 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Nice catch, Scotty.

Random thoughts:

They should start referring to it as "the Boehner Party."

Did anyone else but me think the mixed seating at the SOTU was really for assassination concerns?

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 29, 2011 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I saw a photo of Palin looking EXACTLY like Garth of Wayne's World.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 29, 2011 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Woman walks into a bar. Hears an acoustic solo concert. Felt so moved she wrote a poem. Shows it to a lyricist. He asked her to talk about her feelings, how she felt. He put those feelings to words. Then showed these words to a songwriter. Who put those words to music.

1972 Lori Lieberman recorded this song.
1973 Roberta Flack made it famous.

This is that song as sung by Lori:

(The acoustic concert was Don McLean)

Posted by: omni3 | January 29, 2011 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Nice catch, Scotty. You shoulda been a copy editor.

Funny thing is, Weingarten had the gestalt right, but the facts wrong.

Gestalt will trip you up every time.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 29, 2011 7:15 PM | Report abuse

IMPORTANT PUBLIC SAFETY TIP: If you find yourself opening a bottle of Smithwick's Farmhouse-style Ale, do not hold the bottle pointed at your face. If possible, point it towards a despised enemy. Keep a glass handy.

That is all.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 29, 2011 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Tim, do you need stitches? I'll be glad to run you down to the emergency room, if necessary.

And put some ice on it.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 29, 2011 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I was hoping that all SciTim needed was a nice thick ShamWow....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 29, 2011 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Ice on the ale or on Tim?

Posted by: -pj- | January 29, 2011 8:27 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | January 29, 2011 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Hello to all -

Omni, I'm so glad to see you back here. That song is one of my favorites (indicating, of course, that I was 14 when Roberta Flack made it famous). I'll probably keep it playing off and on all evening.

Also glad to see Martooni.

Following Egypt's news. Makes me wonder what will come of this wave of rebellion. It's a funny, young kind of sensation - not feeling as if I know what will probably happen. I like it.

Have a good evening, everyone! Waiting to see if I have driving duty yet tonight before I know if I can have a drink. Youngest turns 16 in 1-1/2 weeks - there's even a car waiting for her, and she's ready and willing to start driving herself. Yippee!

Posted by: Wheezy11 | January 29, 2011 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Wheezy, am now able have 1 or 1.5 or even 2 small glasses because CPBOY drives...indeed, he is bringing home the ice guards this evening, because their parents are all down with flu...

And, keep hoping that the situation in Egypt continues to be rather like those we saw in Europe that were student and community led, and rather velvet (steel hands inside those gloves, etc.) We do not need China nor Romania as repeat models.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 29, 2011 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. ScienceTim, was the problem the ale or the lid? Seems like a faceful of ale would not be bad.
Testing wifi - back soon.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 29, 2011 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Ivansdad is breaking in a new computer and printer and had to move and rewire stuff yesterday. We are still working out the gremlins. [I say "we" very, very loosely.]

It was a gorgeous 75 degrees (F) here today. Tomorrow's high is in the low 40s, and the sleet/snow/what-have-you move in Monday and Tuesday. All our daffodil shoots will get very, very cold. Fortunately they're hardy little devils.

Thanks for the input on "Bowie". I myself have always said Boo-ie, but the Boy insists it is BOH-ie. I'll tell him we are both right, but I am righter.

I had the pleasure of watching the Boy fence well in a local tournament today. He is practicing for the Junior Olympics fencing tournament in February.

Hi Martooni! Hi omni! and thanks, Shrieking denizen, for those great cat stories.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 29, 2011 9:10 PM | Report abuse

CQP - I tried to find out what "ice guard" meant. Google was no help. But deep down, I know you mean he's a skater boy who is a life guard at a rink. Am I right?

Posted by: Wheezy11 | January 29, 2011 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Just back from seeing The King's Speech. I heartily agree with all here who loved it. Fastest two hours I've spent in a movie theater in a long long time. The mark of a great movie and great acting to me is when the viewer completely forgets that she's watching actors reciting lines and that's what happened to me tonight.

Great to hear from Martooni. You could visit a bit more often, you know! And glad that Omni is showing up more. Ivansmom, 70 degrees! I thought we were doing well to hit 40 for a while today!

Posted by: badsneakers | January 29, 2011 9:22 PM | Report abuse

I also enjoyed SD's moving cats story this afternoon. Reminded me of the time in my 20's when I drove a U-Haul across country with two cats ***roaming free*** in the cab with me. Worked out fine, though. No funnies in my story, unfortunately. Kitties got hot because the floor where they huddled was quite warm, but they ended up fine. I was shocked and unhappy to find that this particular U-Haul only got 8 miles to the gallon, but that's another story.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | January 29, 2011 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Wheezy, CpBoy is a water life guard. Two of his friends are "ice" guards: they skate round the ring and keep order on the ice. And, help people who fall. And, ban games of "crack the whip."

And, try to ignore when:

Hokey Pokey
Chicken Polka
KC and Sunshine Band

are played.

And, loved SD's story too.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 29, 2011 9:46 PM | Report abuse

LOL! At first I thought the equivalent was "Ski Patrol" and then understood that skating must have "Skate Guards." That's awesome. 'cause we wouldn't want anyone doing crack-the-whip. For legal liability reasons, prolly.

Posted by: Yoki | January 29, 2011 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, we played crack the whip and British bulldog and Red Rover on the ice all the time...and, warmed ourselves over fires in trash cans....

And, even better, one of the ice guards is a gel...and she is a kick-ice-and-arses hockey player, to(o) boot! Paging dmd on that one.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 29, 2011 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Us too, cuz. I don't remember too many traumatic head injuries (not that that's a good thing!).

Posted by: Yoki | January 29, 2011 10:26 PM | Report abuse


I'm not familiar with crack the whip. I also had to be told about Red Rover. Dare I ask about the other doggy?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 29, 2011 10:28 PM | Report abuse

WB -- copied from Wiki

Most commonly one or two players —though this number may be higher in large spaces— are selected to play the parts of the "bulldogs" (after whom the game is named). The bulldogs stand in the middle of the play area. All remaining players stand at one end of the area (home). The aim of the game is to run from one end of the field of play to the other, without being caught by the bulldogs. When a player is caught, they become a bulldog themselves. The winner is the last player or players 'free'.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 29, 2011 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Remember playing "War" in the cold northern twilight? Like a game of hide and seek, but with strategy. It was great.

Posted by: Yoki | January 29, 2011 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, that variation on tag doesn't sound TOO violent.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 29, 2011 10:40 PM | Report abuse

WB -- Wiki snag...

Crack the Whip is a simple outdoor children's game that involves physical coordination, and is usually played in small groups, either on grass or ice. One player, chosen as the "head" of the whip, runs (or skates) around in random directions, with subsequent players holding on to the hand of the previous player. The entire "tail" of the whip moves in those directions, but with much more force toward the end of the tail. The longer the tail, the more the forces act on the last player, and the tighter they have to hold on.

As the game progresses, and more players fall off, some of those who were previously located near the end of the tail and have fallen off can "move up" and be in a more secure position by grabbing onto the tail as it is moving, provided they can get back on before some of the others do. There is no objective to this game other than the enjoyment of the experience.

References to this game go back to the 1890s in England.[citation needed] The game is also illustrated in Winslow Homer's painting Snap the Whip of 1872.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 29, 2011 10:41 PM | Report abuse

I was such a useless skater at age 6, that I was universally elected whip-end by Pete and Dave and Dave and Dave and Ceri and Drew. By the time I was 13, those boys were so muscled and heavy and I was such a good skater and strategist, that we won most games of crack-the-whip.

Posted by: Yoki | January 29, 2011 10:46 PM | Report abuse

War...yes,Yoki, Vietnam war....even though Chris B. and John M.'s older brothers came home in boxes...

and the card game of War on long winter days before the fire...Spit too, Hearts, naturally....and with the wee ones:

Old Maid
Go Fish
Crazy Eights

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 29, 2011 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Go Fish is perhaps the easiest card-game ever. And so we play it with our baby-brothers. At least, I did, with mine.

Like playing Lotto with those same babes.

Posted by: Yoki | January 29, 2011 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Worth the link: Winslow Homer's Snap the Whip

The flowers include:
chickory (blue)
pearly everlasting

some unnamed composite (yellow something in the sunflower family, perhaps heart leaf arnica)

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 29, 2011 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Yes, another female hockey player!

I played crack the whip on the ice when I was young and Red rover, and I think British bulldog.

Spent many a Saturday night at the arena with my friends in the middle school years, lots of fun and some hi jinks too.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 29, 2011 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the babby brothers! Lotto! and even cut boy paper dolls with them using the Sears catalog. They would point at the toys or farm equipment then wanted. I would cut out carefully with manicure scissors and then mount on cardboard with rubber cement...

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 29, 2011 10:59 PM | Report abuse

OOPS! My mistake -- that's Southampton Farmhouse-style ale, not Smithwick's. A typo.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 29, 2011 11:15 PM | Report abuse

But ice in ale? That's just plain yechhy.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 29, 2011 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

I meant to post a link to Gene's review of the Volt, a friend at Criswell tipped me off to it some time back, and then it completely slipped my mind.

Crack the Whip -- that's a game that does indeed go back a long way; further, for example, than the term "face plant." Was always a challenge to get my little brother horizontal to the ground at the end of the whip, but we did manage from time to time.


Posted by: -bc- | January 30, 2011 12:12 AM | Report abuse

And then make vrrooom vroom noises, for the babbies.

They thought those were engines!

Posted by: Yoki | January 30, 2011 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. Here is some sweet music by Khatchaturian to ease you into the day:

Posted by: gmbka | January 30, 2011 6:26 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 read Weingarten's piece on the Chevy Volt, and should not have done that while trying to eat food. It ended up on the computer! The man is hilarious!

I'm attempting to get ready for Sunday school and morning worship services, and doing badly on all counts. I need help! I probably should get off the computer, that would help a lot. Doncha know!

Got the bullentin board up yesterday while babysitting both the g-girl and her little brother. I told my daughter I was so tired when I left the church, I was stupid. Everybody that had something to do at church left before we did. We were the last ones to leave. Dywaun wanted grandma to hold him, I think he knew he was in a different place. And the g-girl was all over the place. All I needed was the other two, the grandsons from the city, the madness would have been complete. I know somewhere in the future, I'm going to end up with all of them together, and I'll probably need bed rest for a week or more.

Slyness, sounds like you had a terrific time, even with the bad food. Get some rest today.

Time to get cracking. Have a beautiful day, folks, and please join me at church services this morning. And love to all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | January 30, 2011 7:38 AM | Report abuse

IMHO, Adam Peneneberg is sorely mistaken:

No self-respecting journalist would come close to duplicating Assange's behavior -- how many times have we seen REAL journalists stand up for their principles by facing the authorities and accepting contempt-of-court jail time for protecting sources?

*sadly RME*

I've noticed this morning that one's WiFi router works remarkably better when one remembers to use ALL the characters in one's password. *L*

An interesting Venn diagram of business and religion here:

*contemplating-a-Sunday-without-football-(and-don't-mention-Honolulu) Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 30, 2011 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra!! *HUGSSSSS*

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 30, 2011 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Learned a new word for Cairo residents today, via the NYT --

"Some [[Cairenes]] said gas stations were running out of fuel and many automated cash machines had either run out of money or had been looted."

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 30, 2011 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Here is another headline that does not exactly reflect the content of the article:

Towards the end the author points out that Egypt may not go the same way as Iran did and that it is possible that the US can renew the alliance with a a new government.

Posted by: gmbka | January 30, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

After our beautiful spring day yesterday we are back to winter - in the thirties and overcast. It could, of course, be much worse, and according to the weather forecast it will soon.

I am getting ready for church early. They've done a diabolically clever thing this year. Each year they have an Annual Meeting at which church members elect the Vestry. This is usually at mid-afternoon on a Sunday, after the regular 8 am, 9 am and 11 am services, and I suspect not well attended (I wouldn't know for sure since I am among the many who don't come back for it). This year, they're only having one 10 am service, during which the Annual Meeting will begin, then serving lunch. If one is a regular churchgoer and wants to go to church today, one will perforce attend the meeting. Alas, it is not a day off for me, because both choirs will sing together, ensuring we all show up. Diabolically clever.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 30, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Obama lost Egypt? He probably left it under a pile of papers on his desk. Or in the helicopter.

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, assorted hot beverages and chilled OJ on the table.

Posted by: MsJS | January 30, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

gmbka, I read that article in Haaretz even before you posted the link. I should mention that Haaretz is considered a very left-leaning newspaper. The writer, Aluf Benn, is considered to be well informed on the issues of the day and often appears as a "talking head" on one of the main t.v. newscasts.But here is the link to another article in a different Israeli newspaper that I take much more seriously:

What worries the writer is what has been worrying me from the beginning. I think I mentioned it in one of my earlier posts.

Posted by: orawh | January 30, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all, hi Cassandra! We have been to the pancake breakfast, to support the local fire department's Explorer Scout program. Glad to do it, even if the pancakes weren't warm.

Cassandra, it sounds like you had to work hard to get everything done with the grandchildren in tow. Good for you! Rest after church today, you have earned it.

I don't know that Mr. T and I will accomplish anything much today, but I'm okay with it. We are having Ivansmom's nice weather today and the snow is melting. This won't last.

If Mubarek doesn't face reality and leave soon, I'm afraid what happens in Egypt will be ugly.

Posted by: slyness | January 30, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I am repeatedly hearing reports that the thugs in the Egyptian riots are acting with/under government direction - has anyone more info on this - it seems to be an underplayed story.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 30, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Populist uprisings like this are such a double-edged sword for the United States.

First, as despotic as Mubarak might be, there is no guarantee that a new regime will be better.

Second, maintaining a regime in Egypt that is friendly to the United States and tolerant of Israel is important for the stability of the region.

Finally, keep in mind that one of the most reliable ways for regimes to discredit uprisings is to claim that the protesters are simply pawns of the United States. Being too vocal can easily backfire.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 30, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

No guarantee it will be worse either.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 30, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

RD, I apologize while I so see your point it is a line of thinking that has always made my head explode. The idea that we promote democracy but when it comes down to it that promotion comes with a great many caveats. If we were honest we would say we promote democracy if and when and how it suits our purposes otherwise we will take whatever situation best suits our purposes and not the purpose of those people most directly affected. We sacrifice others for our security - I have never been comfortable with that - particularly when much of it is done on what-if scenarios.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 30, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

dmd - if it were absolutely clear that a new regime would be better for the population then certainly I would go with populism over realpolitik. But I see great ambiguity here.

And perhaps I should have been clearer that my biggest concern is that too much overt support from the United States can easily damage the legitimacy of any uprising. The last thing any worthwhile protest needs is the perception that it is being in anyway orchestrated by the United States.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 30, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Agreed, RD. I do believe we (and by that I mean western Democracies) should promote democracy, but refrain from orchestrating situations.

I will remind you that the US was once a rebellious nation - you were there, struggled with a government much of the world feared and was worried would spread to other nations.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 30, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Ora, I did not intend to imply that the situation is not worrisome: change is always a reason to worry. But, as shown by the two articles, I see it as a glass-half-full or half empty situation. I think the president hunkering down at this point is a good decision, as dmd and RDP have already pointed out.

NPR reports that Baradei wants to form a government. When he was the head of the AAIA (I hope I got the "I" in the right place) he did a good job, I think, although he could not prevent Bush from invading Irak. Anyway, he does not seem to be an extremist.

Posted by: gmbka | January 30, 2011 12:17 PM | Report abuse

elBaradei ran the IAEA quite well, gmbka... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 30, 2011 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Scotty. But it would help me if I knew what all those vowels stand for. I only get as far as International Atomic Energy, and then Agency I guess.

Posted by: gmbka | January 30, 2011 12:31 PM | Report abuse

One problem with dictators is does tend to lessen a viable alternative party - making transitions difficult. I thought of this yesterday when I heard someone state "dictators rarely retire", while they may bring "stability" in the short term it rarely ends well and can result in long term issues.

I am a glass full kind of person and have a difficulty seeing the downside of things, I don't necessarily think of this a good thing, and certainly not always practical.

I do believe that a democratic Egypt, with true freedoms for their people could be a good example in that part of the world and would go further to temper extremists than other alternatives. Insert glass half full disclaimer here :-)

Posted by: dmd3 | January 30, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

The issue with the Middle East is authoritarianism. That type of government is the one that seems to be able to last... so many ethnic tensions and interests that could muddle true democracy.

In Egypt, as others have said, the choice is to back an authoritarian regime you know or get an authoritarian one you don't know. I don't think there is any real chance of getting a true parliamentary system like either Germany or the US. That system only works when everyone with power buys into it.

Posted by: baldinho | January 30, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

gmbka, I don't agree that El Baradei did a good job. I think he was covering up for the Iranians and did not report their nuclear progress until it was revealed by others. However, the latest headline in Haaretz is "Muslim Brotherhood Moves to form Egyptian Unity Government Without Mubarak.

Now that is indeed cause for concern. Must go now. Will rejoin the Boodle anon.

Posted by: orawh | January 30, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I meant anon in the old fashioned sense of "soon". I love that word because it is so noncommittal

Posted by: orawh | January 30, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

ElBaradei is speaking with Fareed Zakaria on CNN now, very interesting, Fareed asked him about the fear of Egypt becoming a fundamentalist muslim nation and the role of the Muslim brotherhood. I would say ElBaradei certainly answered the questions directly and in a positive way, do not know enough about him to really judge but it was a good first impression.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 30, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

orawh, don't know if this will make you feel much better but just saw this tweet.

Muslim Brotherhood on streets. Spokesmen handing DVDs to Int'l media saying they do not want Islamist state in #Egypt

Posted by: dmd3 | January 30, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I will note that ElBaradei did say he had mentioned that he had reached out to the Muslim brotherhood as moving forward they would need to be included as they are part of Egyptian society, although a moderate, and claimed they were not what they had been made out to be.

He also reiterated that they exist because so much of the liberal opposition had been suppressed in the last decades.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 30, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Wall Street Journal says Muslim Brotherhood is backing ElBaradei.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 30, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

baldinho, it would seem there might be an effort for various groups to come together.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 30, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

According to Reuter's in 2009. Elbaradei said that Iran wanted nuclear weapons, which Iran denied. That does not sound like covering up anything, or do you have earlier sources?

Posted by: gmbka | January 30, 2011 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Here's a beautiful woman having too much singing in spanish to a mariachi band while dancing the Texas two step

Alicia Villareal - Ladron

Posted by: omni3 | January 30, 2011 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Wann hear a powerfully strong voice?

Olga Tañon - Amor Secreto - (secret love)

Olga Tañon - Basta Ya - (enough already)

Posted by: omni3 | January 30, 2011 3:39 PM | Report abuse

SCC: too much fun

Posted by: omni3 | January 30, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

"Shots sound like they are coming from the east of the city, Peter Beaumont says. Tracer rounds from heavy calibre weapons suggest they are military. Bursts from the direction of the airport and Heliopolis – where the presidential palace is located. Tanks seen moving fast eastwards."

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 30, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Omni, that a hint you'd rather not talk Mideast politics?

I think you're out of luck today, but keep the salsa power going.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 30, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I read earlier reports that armed groups broke militants out of prison at several locations in the last 24 hours or so... and that the military has been scrambling to catch them and put them back.

That seems rather ominous.

Posted by: baldinho | January 30, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Hiya -- I've been sort of lurking and working and need to do one more thing before I head off to (possibly) look at the hockey all-star game. Hockey fan that I am (or, at least, Red Wings fan that I am), I have actually been known to fall asleep during a game. Strange, perhaps, but, well, that's that.

I do hope the death toll can be kept down in Egypt. This is really an opportunity for that country (as in Tunisia and the southern Sudan). I wish them well.

Busy week ahead. Hope to enter into boodle conversations, but may lurk more than I boodle. On that note, toodley-boodley.

Posted by: ftb3 | January 30, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Forgot the link to Bast Ya:

Wilbrod, I'll talk about the middle east, politics, realpolitik etc till our faces turn blue...but I'd rather listen to music and look at pretty pictures.

The Snowdrop. January's Birth Flower:

Posted by: omni3 | January 30, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

A lavender chrysanthemum, grown in Ottawa.

Novembers birth flower

Posted by: omni3 | January 30, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Christiane Ananpour's interview with ElBaradei from today:

Posted by: gmbka | January 30, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Beautiful flower pictures thanks omni.

Just about snorted coffee out of my nose to hear a nobel laureate say "bogus".

Posted by: dmd3 | January 30, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I too noticed rather much un-reflective rah-rah from U.S. commentators, Orawh.

We were gifted today with near-miraculous warm weather. By 3:30, pretty girls in shorts were jogging, (I suppose the male equivalent too, but I focus on what I focus on), I was sweating with yard work; the novelty of it rendered the experience pleasant. Except for dragging from yesterday's yard work tiredness.

Wiki introduced me to the word "demonym" meaning what someone from a place is called. Reminded Belizeans call themselves Belizeans, but for some reason Cayman islanders call them "Belizarians." I don't know why.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 30, 2011 5:10 PM | Report abuse

gmbka, I don't remember where I read it or heard it but I know it was repeated several times. Of course you can't always believe what you read or hear so I'll take a pass on that.

dmd3, no, it does not make me feel better. Things that are said for public consumption are not the things that are said in private. Yasser Arafat used to say one thing in English to the Western media and another thing completely, in Arabic, to the Arabs.

Just heard on the radio that many of the young protesters do not want El Baradei as their leader. He is of the old guard or just too old and he has been away from Egypt for too many years. But news reports keep changing so we'll just have to wait and see.

Posted by: orawh | January 30, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Glad everyone likes my music and pix.

Posted by: omni3 | January 30, 2011 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Flowers are always welcome in winter.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 30, 2011 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Noticed today my snowdrops in the garden have little white buds showing.

In case anyone wants a break from Egypt, this is an interesting article about Ben Huh, who runs the Cheezburger Network (LOLCats is a network? that makes money? in Seattle? I had no idea!). I never really got the the LOLCats phenomenon - cute pictures, but why are cats so bad at English? Anyway, we were talking about dogs and cats the other day, and the internets's effect on our lives is always relevant.
"Somebody asked me this question the other day: Why cats on the Internet? Why are people captioning cats and why not dogs?" says Huh, who owns a dog. "The answer I gave was dog owners have a place to go. They can walk the dog and engage in social discourse (with fellow dog owners), whereas with cat owners, they don't do that. So the Internet's kind of proven to be the playground for people who have cats."

Posted by: seasea1 | January 30, 2011 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Here's January goings-on in the yard, from frozen palms to this week's camellia bush (a variety called 'royal velvet' that supposedly needs very little chilling to flower properly). Camellias are more of an Orlando thing. The city's Leu Gardens have the best collection in the East.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 30, 2011 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, I just went to your link about the Seeing-Eye cat. I was really touched by it. It's so nice to read something good for a change. While I was at the site, I also watched the video about the puppies in training. Something else positive. If you have anything else in this spirit please post the link(s). At this moment I need something to lift my spirits.

Posted by: orawh | January 30, 2011 5:48 PM | Report abuse


"Ignorant people think it's the noise which fighting cats make that is so aggravating, but it ain't so; it's the sickening grammar they use."

Mark Twain, "The Blue Jay"

A dog's happy face
never needs closed captioning;
a cat's sourpuss? Well...

-Wilbrodog-, "The Trouble with Cats"
(unpublished opus)

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 30, 2011 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

A nice weekend overall - had a LiT/DC-esque moment yesterday evening with my youngest, who asked me "Dad, who's Dip Sherlock?"

I stopped stirring the gravy and checked on the roast to stall for time, but drew a blank. "Honey, I don't know. Where'd you hear the name?"

She said, "I was watching a show, and someone asked, 'Do you think [show's protagonist] did this?' and the answer was, 'No dip sherlock.'"

On another note, as the situation in Egypt is deteriorating, and with folks like elBaredi positioning with Egyptians, neignboring countries in Africa and the Middle East, as well as Western countries/media, it is very difficult for anyone to not only know what's really going on there, but to know folks' motives (e.g. elBaradei) for taking advantage of the situation. Trustworthy and straight information are tought to come by at the moment. Prudence is reasonable, though with passions so inflamed, perceived inaction and lack of support does not endear.

On a final note, I'm amused by the wired goalies in the NHL All-Star game. Quick interviews with goalies while they're still on ice with the puck at the other end - like, wow. Of course, they've been interviewing race car drivers during caution periods for years, but not during live action. Cheez.


Posted by: -bc- | January 30, 2011 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Ora,but wait and see is hard, especially when there is so much at stake for you. My friend in Jerusalem is worried to death and there is no way I can assuage her fears.

Posted by: gmbka | January 30, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

"The blue jay" is from A Tramp Aboard, and one of my favorite yarns.

More on grammar, including Twain to a copy editor on his tin ear for language.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 30, 2011 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Doh! Forgot to post the link - a thousand apologies -

Posted by: seasea1 | January 30, 2011 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Well adorable pictures of children always cheer me up.

As well there is a very large snow storm heading our way, despite living in a northern country we do not handle this well in my area, feel free to snicker as we whine and complain this week. I would get excited for a possible snow day but I work less than a kilometre from work - short of mountains of snow falling on us I really do not have an excuse for a snow day.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 30, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't get the Dip Sherlock reference

Unless the dip is excrement

Posted by: omni3 | January 30, 2011 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, I have just downloaded "Jim Baker's Bluejay Yarn" and copied the link for Mark Twain on Grammar. Thanks. No time to read them now as it is past one a.m. and I must go to sleep soon.

Have you ever read his short story "The Jumping Frog"? Not just the original story but the original then translated into French and then re-translated into English by Twain himself, to show the French translator's incompetence. It is hilarious, especially if you know a bit of French. I don't have a link to it but I have the book itself, published by Dover. It is Dover 0-486-22686-7.

Posted by: orawh | January 30, 2011 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, this cracked me up: There is no such thing as "the Queen's English." The property has gone into the hands of a joint stock company and we own the bulk of the shares.

Dave, I am frenvious of your camellias. The buds on mine are still tight, but given the weather today, they might open a little.

Does anyone read Sherlock Holmes these days? My copy of the complete stories is falling apart. I suppose the reference cleans up the phrase we all know.

Watching, and praying, for the Egyptians.

Posted by: slyness | January 30, 2011 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Here is something to feel good about Egyptian youth guarding the library, scroll down for the message from the Directo

Posted by: dmd3 | January 30, 2011 6:38 PM | Report abuse

It's "no {redacted}, Sherlock."-- i.e. yes, how clever of you to figure that out (sacrastic.)
Dip is an interesting replacement for

Owa, I can give you links to easy n cute (all animals), but I'm a little scared you'll never come back and you'll have a permanent tic in your mouse click finger...


.. I know I'm gonna regret this... but check out page 8 in particular-- for some great kitties.

2) For food humor (and cute animal cakes)

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 30, 2011 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Er, I meant to say Ora. I don't know where the lisp came from.

No, I don't. That sounds brilliant, I and my dad probably would love it-- he's a Twain collector and I grew up on him from childhood on, and I do know a little French. I'll look it up.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 30, 2011 6:49 PM | Report abuse


felted, after knitted, tomatoes?

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 30, 2011 6:52 PM | Report abuse

CqP, I think the boodle is killed by off-site cute.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 30, 2011 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Sugar crash :-)

Posted by: dmd3 | January 30, 2011 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that Huh would say that, seasea, since the LOLdogs part of the Cheezburger site, I Has a Hotdog, is just about as popular as the LOLcats.

MEGA-thankyous to all the Boodlers who recommended "The King's Speech," as NukeSpouse and I had a marvelous time seeing it this afternoon!! :-)))))

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 30, 2011 7:37 PM | Report abuse

I love the last line of this story, it just made me smile - it would spoil it to mention why.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 30, 2011 7:41 PM | Report abuse

dmd, thanks for the link to that story. It puts a somewhat different spin on the news from Egypt, doesn't it. And the last line is great.

Scotty, so glad you liked the movie. I'm still thinking about it today. "S" found a link to the original speech and we were impressed at how close it was to Firth's interpretation.

Posted by: badsneakers | January 30, 2011 7:52 PM | Report abuse

The Screen Actors Guild Awards are on, if anyone wants to do any live blogging/snarking or fashion commentating.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 30, 2011 8:26 PM | Report abuse

The SAG awards are probably a good alternative at the moment. I've been watching AFC players hand the ball to the NFC guys, and it's the NFC leading 35-0 only halfway through the second quarter.


Posted by: -bc- | January 30, 2011 8:33 PM | Report abuse

I can't help but feel Betty White won because of her age, not that there is anything wrong with that, her acceptance speech made me laugh.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 30, 2011 8:50 PM | Report abuse

"S" had been watching the football game until it was 28 to zip then changed to the award thing. After watching some of the ladies in their dresses, "S" just commented that it should be called the no SAG awards. And yes, Betty was funny - she has superb timing.

Posted by: badsneakers | January 30, 2011 8:58 PM | Report abuse

bc - I watched about five minutes of the Pro Bowl before giving up. It's sort of like watching really big guys play Pee Wee football. But without the mercy rule.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 30, 2011 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Tee hee, Padouk said "Pee Wee."

Jeez, Conway is going ON and ON and ON...

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 30, 2011 9:04 PM | Report abuse

bc, yes, very DCesque. Ranks right up there with Cheeses School. Did you explain *before* running into the laundry room to laugh, or after?

About Egypt and Tunisia. Haven't backboodled very far, but seems to me the thing that's kicking around all the dust is still kicking it around. I think the relationships between the US and Egypt and between France and Tunisia bode well. Once the kicking up stops and the dust begins to settle, those forces and additional outside forces are going to start blowing the dust around to suit their own interests. But in order for all that blowing to be productive, they need to figure out a way to deal with the variable...Libya, which sits right smack in between. Right now, the outside forces need to get Libya to 1) invest in dust covers and/or 2) live with the construction mess.

Have a happy night all.

Posted by: LostInThought | January 30, 2011 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Mudge, I have a hard time with my social calendar this time of year - would have missed the SAG's if you hadn't said something. Thought Betty White was great - and Ernest Borgnine looks and sounds wonderful (not so crazy about him as an actor). Angie Harmon's dress was bit much - liked Hilary Swank's simple, drapy one.

Posted by: seasea1 | January 30, 2011 9:41 PM | Report abuse

LiT, I turned back around and stirred the gravy for another minute (laughing into the saucepan), then explained all of it, includng Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and what rhymes with 'dip.'

Good point about Libya, too.

Cheezes, the AFC scored 2 touchdowns in the span of 5 seconds on the clock.

Watching the SAG awards for a minute -- has Donald Sutherland grown a playoff beard?


Posted by: -bc- | January 30, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Thankfully, thankfully, thankfully, thankfully!

"Downton Abbey" is in production for its second season! Tremendous series!

*wondering what I'll have to watch come next Sunday besides the Super Bowl (if, indeed, I do)*


BTW, I'm looking forward to seeing "The King's Speech"too.

Posted by: ftb3 | January 30, 2011 10:27 PM | Report abuse

NY Mayor Bloomberg sent undercover investigators to a Phoenix, Arizona gun show. They bought a pistol (story at NY Times).

I assume Phoenix will send investigators to round up illegal aliens in New York.

In Egypt, I suspect that security police and/or troops are moving into the cities right now.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 30, 2011 10:33 PM | Report abuse

I didn't realize that Claire Bloom played George VI's mother in The King's Speech. I meant to imdb the movie, but hadn't till just now - also didn't realize Anthony Andrews or Derek Jacobi were in it. Never knew Claire Bloom was married to Philip Roth - and for some reason, I thought he was much younger than he is. Wow - I don't know a lot.

Posted by: seasea1 | January 30, 2011 11:07 PM | Report abuse

found an alternative cut of this, and thought the original was contextually appropriate.

laundry, laundry, laundry...

Posted by: -jack- | January 30, 2011 11:34 PM | Report abuse

seasea, when Himself and I saw The King's Peach over the holidays we were struck by Derek Jacobi. In "I, Claudius" he looked just the same, only that was at least 32 years ago! It was remarkable to us, that he'd managed that role (and makeup), so relatively young.

I too, had to look up Claire Bloom. I knew I knew that face, but failed to connect it to Lady Brideshead and so many other roles. I'm delighted that she's still working. She might be the next Maggie Smith.

I *did* recognise Anthony Andrews, who was of course both Sebastien Flyte and a detonation hero in Danger UXB.

That stable of RSA/RSC-trained actors is remarkably, well, stable, isn't it? Apparently, "Age shall not wither them nor the years condemn."

Posted by: Yoki | January 30, 2011 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Derek Jacobi has aged neck, Yoki, and crows feet, but otherwise, he has enviable stability of facial features.

If that's surgery, he picked better surgeons than a lot of hollywood stars do.

I am hoping my face ages well as people think it will, but I think that just means the final collapse will be all be the more dramatic.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 31, 2011 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm, I never see that, Wilbrod, in aging faces. Most people look like themselves, young or old. The real trick in the tail, I believe, is the 'quality' of the face, rather youth or age.

If any one person has decent nutrition and a positive disposition and don't do much to harm her/his own health through vices, that person mostly maintains the most interesting thing about his/her face, which is character.

I thought then that I was a pretty young woman and think now that I am a handsome old woman, just with wrinkles and marionette lines, etc. etc. Those signs of ageing bother me not at all, because I've always liked my face, it is an old friend, and a face that strikes me as homey, humorous, intelligent, and friendly. The changes that time makes don't frighten me, because they only show me as more myself, as I get better at being myself.

Posted by: Yoki | January 31, 2011 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Wow, not many people can quote Lawrence Binyon. I once paraphrased that line in the lede of a veterans Day story one year.

Claire Bloom was married to novelist Philip Roth and also to Rod Steiger. She did "The Illustrated Man," a Ray Bradbury novel adaption, with him. I always liked her very regal appearance and bearing.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 31, 2011 12:47 AM | Report abuse

That seems more congruent than Padma Lakshmi being married to Salman Rushdie, doesn't it? Equally beautiful and intelligent, skilled, Rod and Claire.

Posted by: Yoki | January 31, 2011 12:51 AM | Report abuse

But I pity her years with Philip Roth; an excellent author but a bad man.

Posted by: Yoki | January 31, 2011 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, I don't mind the character of age.

After age 80 or so, there's a risk of major sag suddenly, though, due to sun damage and the accumulation of wrinkles. I had a dear acquaintance who died at age 92 whose face sagged normally and then the sag took over. A few years away, and an illness later, she was so thin by the end, that I had problems recognizing her.

It's what I was thinking about. I still remember her as she was 15 years before then.

Read the summary of her book. I know such men, too unstable and too shrewd in their generosity to be good to anybody, but that list of her faults is just absolute cruelty.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 31, 2011 1:14 AM | Report abuse

I am, frankly, not going to worry about what my face might look like at 92. There is no chance I'll survive that long.

Posted by: Yoki | January 31, 2011 1:23 AM | Report abuse

Also, of course, I don't need to worry about sun-damage, since I never go outdoors except under duress.

Posted by: Yoki | January 31, 2011 1:29 AM | Report abuse

I would live outdoors if I could...I mean, if I lived where it was 70 degrees all the time...Tahiti, or Hawaii. Not that I'd be in the sun much - I'd stay in the shade. Isn't it funny how different we are? I'd like to have a mostly glass house, in the middle of a few acres, so it would be almost like being outside all the time.

Posted by: seasea1 | January 31, 2011 1:46 AM | Report abuse

you just made me laugh, dear seasea.

Posted by: Yoki | January 31, 2011 1:53 AM | Report abuse

I like seasea's idea, but I'd have wall all around the acres and a tiny palace with glassed courtyards. I love greenhouses, but not to live in.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 31, 2011 2:00 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, this link will tell you more about the book:

I see that the link has in it, which is the Israeli ending (I forget the name for it--not domain name but something like that) so I hope you can access it.

Thanks to all for the links. No time now. Am off to my yoga lesson. Will re-join the Boodle anon.

Posted by: orawh | January 31, 2011 3:37 AM | Report abuse

I see that this was posted at 3:37 Washington Time (is that ET?) but here it is already 10:39 a.m.

Posted by: orawh | January 31, 2011 3:40 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | January 31, 2011 3:57 AM | Report abuse

I am hopeful but wary about what will develop in Egypt in the coming days and months. We are certainly due for pleasant surprises in that region. Perhaps this will be one.

Posted by: baldinho | January 31, 2011 5:41 AM | Report abuse

MY wife and I saw Bryan Adams do a solo acoustic show over the weekend and she remarked on how well he has fared over they years. He looks every bit as vital and Canadian as ever.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 31, 2011 6:54 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle!

My money is still on El Baradai. The Egyptian military are still sniffing the wind. I smell change. This is a great opportunity in the Middle East to bring orderly change.

Speaking of outdoors. My happiest times were in the African bush listening to the chorus of hyenas or the rumble of curious elephants.

Also marvelous was resting my head on a saddle and watching the parade of stars after a hard day´s riding in the Andes.

Have a good day, Boodlies. :)

Posted by: Braguine | January 31, 2011 7:11 AM | Report abuse

Stars in the Andes, what a wonderful thought to start a Monday morning! Thanks, Brag.

I hope the military will make the right choice in Egypt, whatever the right choice will be.

No glass house for me, thanks! Unless I could afford to have someone wash the windows...I do have a sweet little cottage nestled in the trees on the side of a mountain. No grass, but a bank on which to plant flowers.

Good morning, Cassandra! I hope you are well today. Mr. T and I had a pleasant walk, it wasn't too cold and the wind on our faces was fresh.

Posted by: slyness | January 31, 2011 7:24 AM | Report abuse

A one-way mirrored glass house for me -- mirror facing out, of course. Much easier to enjoy today's lovely sunrise that way. :-)

*waiting-for-the-next-36-hours'-worth-of-wintry-mix Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 31, 2011 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and one month gone already? Really?? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 31, 2011 8:03 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. Hugs to you, Scotty, and your feeling of anticipation.

Slyness, moving slow this morning. Probably the humidity, rain in the air. Glad you and your spouse got a chance to walk. I do miss walking.

I had the baby yesterday evening. He was fascinated by the ceiling fan. I think he was afraid of it, couldn't take his eyes off of it. Finally got him to sleep and mom showed up about ten minutes later.

I do hope the folks in Egypt get some satisfaction.

Have a lovely day, folks, and love to all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | January 31, 2011 8:13 AM | Report abuse

I'm with you, Brag! I remember trying to sleep in a tent just outside the Serengeti, completely without success, as I was being serenaded by the rumblings of hippos, roars of lions and trumpeting of elephants. It's not called the "African Lullaby" for nothing. Simply unforgettable.

Okay, I've got a question for the techies in the boodlesphere. This morning I had some morning show on (for background noise as I was making breakfast), when I got a brief phone call. When I got back to where my TV is, the sound had gone off. Switching channels didn't help, and I don't think it's a Comcast issue (counterintuitively enough). My TV is a Panasonic (~10 years old, maybe?) and I've never had anything wrong with it before. I'm getting into *cringe* mode, anticipating that what it may cost to fix it would pay for a new TV, which I would really not buy right now.

Any ideas?

Posted by: ftb3 | January 31, 2011 8:14 AM | Report abuse

SCC: would really not *like to* buy right now (you knew what I meant)

Posted by: ftb3 | January 31, 2011 8:17 AM | Report abuse

*knock* *knock* *knock*

I hear snoring ......

Posted by: ftb3 | January 31, 2011 8:54 AM | Report abuse

I hear snoring who?

Posted by: DNA_Girl | January 31, 2011 8:59 AM | Report abuse

*waving to DNA_Girl*

Feel free to fill in the blanx yerself.

Posted by: ftb3 | January 31, 2011 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Snorepodopolus, the Greek sleeper agent.

Posted by: Braguine | January 31, 2011 9:05 AM | Report abuse

ftb, did you accidentally hit the "mute" button?

'Morning, Boodle.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 31, 2011 9:08 AM | Report abuse

I heah snowing will stawt in 36 owahs in the ciddy.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | January 31, 2011 9:18 AM | Report abuse

I used to have a small TV in the kitchen which would turn itself on mysteriously. I finally decided that direct sunlight through the bay window was somehow messing with the IR sensor.

If the sound has gone out entirely, small HDTVs (the only type you can buy since analogs are now obsolete) can be found for about a hundred bucks.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 31, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

ftb, you'd be surprised how much TV (even HDTV) you can get for a couple hundred dollars these days. Not to mention all the "big game" specials out there right now. Quick check -- if you have a DVD player (or even VHS) hooked into the old TV and you get no sound from that, it's pretty certain the TV's kaputski.

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 31, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

yello hijacked my post -- by the time I post this my earlier one should appear.

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 31, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I guess when I yawned, something flew in (*cough* *cough*).

So, looks like Mommy Nature is about to show us one of her mood swings. Kinda reminds me of when you start petting a doggie and it turns its body to show you its, well, *best* part (at least to it). I'm sure that Wilbrodog will chime in on that, as appropriate.

For everyone in the path of the latest storm, wherever you may be in the country, do take care.

Gotta rev up my day.

Posted by: ftb3 | January 31, 2011 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle! Just listened to some interesting BBC reporting from Cairo. Feels to me that Mubarak is scrambling for a graceful as can be done under the circumstances exit.

Had a long run on Bayshore in Tampa, past The Collonade (yello's oft recommended seafood joint) and some, gasp, new home construction on a "tear down" waterfront lot. I'm not declaring a recovery, but it's a hopeful sign.

A question that recurs like an itch whenever situations like the current activity in Egypt occur. I toss it out for boodle commentary as I continue decades of trying to work it out for myself.
Is there a universal ethos for a professional, perhaps better described as ethical, military that crosses not only national boundaries but the centuries? If there is, what would it dictate the Egyptian military do now?

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 31, 2011 9:37 AM | Report abuse


Very frenvious of your morning jog. The Collonade brings back many fond childhood memories. In retrospect I am certain its greatest charm in my dad's eye was the low price. I keep vowing that the next time I'm in the Bay Area, I'm going to go back to Berns to see if the decor is as garish (think red velvet bordello) as I remember.

Wasn't Gasparilla this weekend? That also brings back a lot of childhood memories. I understand they now have a separate kid's parade. That ruins all the fun of having drunken dentists dressed as pirates bean you with gold foiled chocolate coins.

Also, does the bay still smell as bad as it used to?

Posted by: yellojkt | January 31, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

You would think, Frosti, that the internal military bias would be to protect the people and do what advances their wellbeing. What would constitute behavior that demonstrates that in Egypt, I don't know. Joining in the protests while protecting property from looting? The commanding officers making sure Mubarak knows his time has ended, and helping him leave peacefully?

Posted by: slyness | January 31, 2011 9:58 AM | Report abuse

There is a recurring ethos of the military being reluctant of battling their own people.


Posted by: Braguine | January 31, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Ensure status of manual (not remote) volume control. If not functioning, try unplug TV for a half hour, then re-plug.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 31, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Did "mute" somehow get activated?

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 31, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Brag's right about the military's reluctance (in some cases). It was at the heart of what happened at Tianamen Square, when that lone student went out and stood in front of that tank column. It wasn't that the tank couldn't squash him flat; it could. The point was, the military couldn't pull the trigger that day. Which was a good thing.

I can never quite figure out if that student was insane or brave (or both). But I think that poor tank commander that day was a hero, too. Does anyone know what ever happened to him? I hope they didn't execute the poor guy.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 31, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

*faxing buckets o' hearts to Jumper*

I did what you said about the manual volume control and *voila!* it works! Don't have to shell out money for a new TV. Although I did find a nice Panasonic on the HHGregg web site (32" HD) for $349. Shipping and hooking up to two devices would cost me another $70, but that's all moot now (or, perhaps, "mute").

Thanks, Jumper! I so love the boodle.

Posted by: ftb3 | January 31, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Just now, I was startled to discover that the printer in my office has no paper tray. Nope, none at all. It has a "media tray."

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 31, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse


Can you print on CDs and DVDs? Some printers can. And transparency film isn't technically paper. Otherwise I can't think of non-paper media other than adhesive labels (which still strike me as being paper).

Posted by: yellojkt | January 31, 2011 11:24 AM | Report abuse

SciTim-preparation for digital transmission of food?

yello-the view and the prices are the Collonade's main reasons for continued popularity. The food is only ok, and I understand this to be neither a slide from former greatness nor an improvement. The bay doesn't smell offensive most of the time. Low tide can create the typical low tide fishy smell in spots, but not normally in an overpowering hold your nose sort of way.

The Gasparilla pirate invasion and parade was this weekend, the children's parade was last weekend, and the Distance Classic races are on Feb. 26/27. We tend to concentrate on the running weekend-the beer is free for finishers and the distances are not too demanding.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 31, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Beer for rehydrating? Interesting concept... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 31, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

The beer doesn't do much toward rehydration, but it makes dehydration less unpleasant.

Posted by: bobsewell | January 31, 2011 12:25 PM | Report abuse

It helps the body replace electrolytes such as know...electrolytical things. Hydrogen. Calcium. Bactine. Muscle juice.

All these can be found in the Pick of the Hops.

And if you stick a wedge of lime in the neck of the bottle, you fight off scurvy for another day.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 31, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

frostbitten, it depends on the makeup of the military. If it's drawn from the general population, the ethos is to protect the citizenry - they're your friends and family - regardless of whether "leadership" tells you to kill them all.

However, if the military is drawn from and considered to be a "separate" class of people, then all bets are off.

Which is why, during Tienanmen Square, the Chinese government had the Beijing-based units stand down, and called in units from outside of town to handle the situation. They were much less likely to understand/relate to the demonstrators, and thus much more likely to follow orders.

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | January 31, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Hello mudge and Abrat!

I can't believe that Chris Cillizza didn't didn't use my topic and versus for his FIX feature.

Mine was "Who has the longest car ride back to reality?"

Louie Gohmpert v. Virginia Foxx

Posted by: russianthistle | January 31, 2011 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Frost just saw this tweet from a reporter in Egypt, in reference to million man gathering tomorrow and violence against the protestors.

The Egyptian army says it won't resort to violence against the people. Is this "game over" for Mubarak? #egypt #jan25

Posted by: dmd3 | January 31, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I printed my own bumper stickers on an adhesive-backed vinyl until I ran out.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 31, 2011 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Hey, DNA girl and others who liked the

LadyGagaBad(Science)Project vid

Try this Law and Order style critique of NASA engineering/management culture.

Astronaut’s Video Satirizes NASA Bureaucracy.

and the video itself is at

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 31, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Our snow storm warning here has just been upgraded to "potentially paralyzing", we are on kit!

MsJS hope you are prepared as it will go through your area before descending on us, and it is expected we be less affected than those in the US. Stay safe those in the path of the storm.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 31, 2011 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Florida's winter tourist season seems to be much better than last year.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 31, 2011 2:21 PM | Report abuse

"Who has the longest car ride back to reality?"

Louie Gohmpert v. Virginia Foxx

That's not a car ride, that's a trans-galactic teleportation! But if they do ride, let's hope it's not in one of these-
cause they'll never get there.

I (for my sins) have owned three Fiats, a 1966 850 coupe\Ratmobile, a 1967 850 Spyder British racing green ragtop, and a 1978 1800 Spyder black with red interior white pinstripes and mag wheels. The first got rolled and totaled. The second was sold when I could no longer afford the insurance after 6 speeding tickets in a single year. The last and best (which ain't sayin' much, these were after all Fiats) looked great and was a lot of fun to drive when it ran, but succumbed to parenthood and the need for seats for more than two.

Posted by: kguy1 | January 31, 2011 2:23 PM | Report abuse

We, too, are expecting a winter storm, starting with freezing rain this evening and rapidly changing to heavy snow. It will be followed by cold bitter enough that even those of you in northern climes might call it cold, particularly with the 40-mph north winds. The TV, my iPhone, iPad, and computer all confirm this. Snowpocalypse, brought to you by technology.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 31, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Took them 17 paragraphs to get to the "Fix it again, Tony." joke. Talk about burying the screed.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 31, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

yello - I skipped reading that one, precisely because of the inevitability of that phrase.

Posted by: bobsewell | January 31, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Well, what's crazy here is that we are expecting a paralyzing ice storm here tonight/tomorrow, followed by the temp going to 56 on Wednesday. Crazy.

This morning on the NBC affiliate news, one of the anchors made a statement that made me crazed (no, not a long trip, and far, far shorter than Gohmpert/Foxx). They had a map of the entire country showing this massive storm all along the northern tier. So the anchor said it could affect "two-thirds of the country, 100 million people." And even the math challenged ought to know that 2/3 of the country ought to be 200 million, not 100. Or, if she meant square miles, say so, and don't conflate space with population.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 31, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Just got off the phone with a neighbor in Our Fair City. The storm is passing to the south and even St. Paul is on the northern fringes-expecting a mere 6-9" total. Can't say it bothers me to be in Tampa for this one. It has been one snowy winter so far in MN, and we still have plenty to go.

AB-You have a good point about where the military is drawn from, but the question is really about a universal ethos of professionalism. In this framework the junta in Burma would not only be considered unprofessional by others, but they would realize it themselves. I'm thinking Rommel in contrast to other German commanders.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 31, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Popping in between projects to say that I'm still having a hoot of a good time reading Don Quixote and I'm only about 1/10 of the way through. There are several layers of writing at play, and it seems to me that when some people evoke Don Quixote to make a point, they tend to ignore a lot of the other layers. Ya gotta peel that onion! I cry with laughter most of the time.

Ivansmom, may your power stay on, may you and the fam stay warm and I hope you are over the plague you had recently.

Back to the next project (deep breath, hold nose, dive)

Posted by: ftb3 | January 31, 2011 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Hey kguy, mudge,

Whatever cars those to select, I would recommend considering an extended warranty to cover them on the trip.

At least the Republicans didn't select either of them to chair any committees.

Posted by: russianthistle | January 31, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse

The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest was a major dissapointment. The scenes seemed random and probably incomprehensible to someone who hadn't first read it.

Posted by: davemarks | January 31, 2011 4:28 PM | Report abuse

The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest was a major dissapointment. The scenes seemed random and probably incomprehensible to someone who hadn't first read it.

Posted by: davemarks | January 31, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

davemarks -- I know there were longer versions of each movie (of each book) on Swedish television, but they were pared down for the movie versions. Maybe they took too much out. I'm sure it helps to have read the books in advance.

Posted by: ftb3 | January 31, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Don Quixote is great, ftb. It's hard to evoke it all, but the romantic idealist at right angles to reality is the most readily evokable.

Frostbitten, as for ethos, I'd say psychology, maybe. Most military recruits aren't sociopaths. They have to learn how to kill the foe and all that. Hard to just generalize that to the very country you were sworn to defend, never mind your hometown. It helps to dehumanize the foe, but as we know from soldiers' accounts, it never works out fully for everybody.

However, if the military has historically been trained to subjugate the citizenry at need (military police), with severe penalties for disobedience, they will do it-- preferably away from home. As Armybrat observed, even the Chinese government made sure local units weren't involved.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 31, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

The "Hornets' Nest" movie made such severe cuts to the book (without providing concise substitutes) that I think it would indeed be difficult for someone who hasn't read the big book.

On the side, I hear that the House may consider legislation to withdraw the statehood of Rhode Island and Vermont, while offering statehood to the State of Jefferson (Fresno north to Grants Pass, with aid for the new University of Jefferson at Davis to create a suitable football program) and one other suitable area, perhaps Southern Idaho. This will do a great deal to ensure a Republican Senate in 2013.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 31, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Funeral pyres in Colorado. Next: vultures in Texas?

I don't know about de-stating Vermont DotC, the house is busy drafting law to forbid abortion in cases of regular rape. If they have their way only "forcible" rape would be covered. The TP people are all for small gunmint and individual freedoms, but pregnant women must do what the gunmint tells them.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 31, 2011 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Umm regular rape?

Posted by: dmd3 | January 31, 2011 6:20 PM | Report abuse

"regular rape"???? What the *expletive* does that mean? Does that mean if he sends you flowers first, and then rapes you, it's not as, um, *serious*??? Rape is rape!

It's kind of like the Salem witch trials, where if you drown, you're not a witch.


Posted by: ftb3 | January 31, 2011 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I read that article and they define "regular rape" as including statutory rape, example used a 13 year old raped by a thirty year old.

ditto to ftb's Holy FSM - Expletive...

Posted by: dmd3 | January 31, 2011 6:27 PM | Report abuse

I am as ready as I'm going to be for the Big Winter Storm or Blizzard (they cancelled the winter storm warning and put up a blizzard warning instead). I filled tubs and buckets with many gallons of water so we can flush toilets if the power goes out. Ivansdad is always amused when I do this, but I just don't like the alternative.

We have time to get the Boy to fencing and back before the mess begins. Otherwise I would expound on the "rape" question. As it is, I'll say anything the Congress enacts will only apply to crimes committed within federal jurisdiction, which means very few. Anything a given state enacts applies only to it. Congress has very little power to significantly influence criminal law as a whole.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 31, 2011 6:35 PM | Report abuse

I agree with dmd3 and ftb3 on the rape question. If I knew what Holy FSM - Expletive means I'd undoubtedly echo it though I am sure it is something that can't be printed in a family newspaper. I suppose it's something like %$#&*! These are the same people who decry the existence of so many single mothers yet they would add many more to the list. Do they want more Bristol Palins around? Maybe they do.

Posted by: orawh | January 31, 2011 6:45 PM | Report abuse

FSM means "Flying Spaghetti Monster," which is a spoof deity intended as a counterweight to religious fundamentalism.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 31, 2011 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Oooops. Sorry about shaking the tree. I didn't meant to cause you ladies a spike in blood pressure. I was just astounded that some pols would make a distinction between "forcible" vs (standard, regular, ordinary, run-of-the-mill, garden variety, etc) rape in a law.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 31, 2011 6:57 PM | Report abuse

We have blizzard warnings for Wednesday. I will likely spend some quality time this evening moving snow I earlier shoveled into a pile off that pile to make room for the new snow. Yecch.

Are there people actually trying to legislate that it is not really rape if you are 13? How about if you were wearing suggestive clothes and asking for it? Ye gods.

He-Man Woman Haters Club indeed.

Posted by: baldinho | January 31, 2011 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Thanks RD. I was really way off, wasn't I. But my reactions to H.R.3 is still
%$#&*%$#&* No expletive deleted.

Posted by: orawh | January 31, 2011 7:23 PM | Report abuse

SCC:Reaction not reactions

Posted by: orawh | January 31, 2011 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Shriek -- it shouldn't be just the "ladies" (I prefer the word "women" but apparently that's not the moniker that most people use, alas) who have blood pressure spikes! That calculus should include men in it, too, because 99.999999% of the time (include epsilon factor, if you must), it is men who are the perpetrators. Unless and until men actually educate other men (since men generally don't listen to women, by cultural definition (include epsilon factor, if you must), men will continue to abuse women. And men generally don't do that, do they??? And, yes, yes, I know all about women who abuse men, and I think that sucks, too, but people, this is not ever going to be a balanced equation.

It's been almost 33 1/2 years since I was raped and, while it certainly doesn't plague me like it used to, I am no different from most women you meet on the street or in the shops or on public transportation or anywhere in the world. Rape is an exceptionally common occurrence, and is, probably for that reason, rather unexceptional. And do note that many rapes happen when the woman is incapacitated (drunk, passed out, dead), which tells you a great deal about the "manhood" of the perpetrator. I was fully awake, and not drunk (I don't drink) for mine.

When you think about rape as a weapon of war (think Congo), and when you think about war as a test of manhood (which I think it generally is (YMMV)) what happens does indeed happen.

Great way to start out the week, eh?

Posted by: ftb3 | January 31, 2011 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Orawh, you can Google FSM and Flying Spaghetti Monster will come up first, before the Federated States of Micronesia. That amuses me.

Posted by: nellie4 | January 31, 2011 7:34 PM | Report abuse

I've listened to most of the new Shakira album and it's all good, but so far Loca is my favorite.

Meanwhile I hear James Blunt has a new album out that I've is a departure from his signature sound on his first two albums.

Here is My favorite "Same Mistake" from his second Album:

Posted by: omni3 | January 31, 2011 7:44 PM | Report abuse

orawh, I thought reactions as plural was OK. Sometimes you just really feel...

Posted by: omni3 | January 31, 2011 7:49 PM | Report abuse

DoC, where do you hear us citizens of the State of Jefferson are getting House consideration?

Ducks watch out.

Posted by: bh72 | January 31, 2011 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Omni, Witch no.1 likes Blunt, so I bought "Some kind of trouble" yesterday. Is this the latest? That's pretty mellow. It's one of the first thing I listened to on the new denizen's wireless music streaming system. I couldn't believe how easy it was to set up. Connect the air express to the old receiver, enter a couple of passwords (the bane of modern life) and that was that. I don't need to make the huge effort of walking the 15 ft to the receiver and connecting the iPod to the hanging wire anymore, a few clicks and the music plays from the 'puter. Don't need to raised my fat arse from the chair anymore. If only Steve Job was making fridges it would deliver wine to my workstation as well.

I got a bad cas of pink eye during the weekend so my reading and computing was limited. I got the good stuff after a visit at the clinic this morning (one hour wait, not bad). After 2 shots of the prescription-strength eyedrops I feel like a new man; no more feeling like I've got sand in my eyes.

We got something out of nothing last weekend. We had no snow forecasted (less a one cm) and we got 6 to 8cm. Hopefully the 15-20cm we are promised will actually show up later this week. The Very Large Puppy enjoyed his walk on the river. Between the sunny weather, thefresh snow and the numerous ice fishermen with dogs that was a nice outing.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 31, 2011 8:07 PM | Report abuse

SCC, DoC, Couldn't find anything in google. Haven't heard anything on the local news.

Posted by: bh72 | January 31, 2011 8:09 PM | Report abuse

sCC airport express, one of a large selection of potential SCC candidate. *sigh*

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 31, 2011 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Ftb, I was so surprised that you think that rape is an act of manhood because I always considered it an act of violence, mostly against women. When you think that especially in Africa all kinds of objects are used to rape women, you may reconsider your definition. And... I am so sorry it happened to you and at the same time relieved that you can talk about it.

Posted by: gmbka | January 31, 2011 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DNA_Girl | January 31, 2011 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Nice, DNA Girl.
Rape can be both an expression of manhood, in a particularly twisted and colloquial way, as well as an act of violence (which is always the baseline).

Not a flake yet, not a sleety drop, but the governor declared state offices closed for all but essential workers, and the Boy's school is cancelled. I'm nonessential and proud of it, so I'm sleeping in tomorrow!

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 31, 2011 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Awww,Ivansmom -- *we* think you're essential. Truly.

DNA Girl, that was a very nice Sinfest.

And, noted, gmbka. But I still think that -- in Imom's terms, it is twisted, to be sure. I've also heard from a bunch of old men throughout my life that being in the army "made a man" out of them. Whatever, the FSM that means. As for being able to talk about it, it's been so long, and I've grown so "old"-ish, I don't feel ashamed, I don't feel like damaged goods (so to speak), but I do feel pissed as all get out that it still happens. I just don't dwell on it. Not any more.

Posted by: ftb3 | January 31, 2011 9:02 PM | Report abuse

bh72, I live in a congressional district that was Tea Party before there was such a thing. My state revamping is in the vibe. And stripping states of statehood has come up at Rush Limbaugh

I think Congress seriously looked at de-stating Nevada after the Comstock Lode was pretty much played out and there was scarcely anyone left to run the state. Something like 42,000 residents, less than a tenth of today's Wyoming (but maybe comparable to Florida when it became a state?)

The Constitution doesn't allow state mergers without approval of both state legislatures. I can't imagine RI-Mass, Vermont-NY, or even a splitup of Wyoming, with pieces going to Colorado and Montana, getting that kind of approval. Still, a suitably Teacup House of Representatives could apply suitable incentives.

My hunch is that water-receiving California would be horrified at the idea of pupping off the water-generating regions of the state. Oregon might be more laid-back about secession, but the SW corner of the state figures big in Oregon history and outdoor recreation, not to mention the Shakespeare Festival.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 31, 2011 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Just to clarify, the change in definition of rape is in a bill designed to keep taxpayer money from paying for abortions:
It's an extension of the Health Care overhaul fight - and unlikely to pass the Senate or survive a veto. It's reprehensible, but that's how its proponents are - single-minded to the point of insanity, wanting government interference where there should be none.

Posted by: seasea1 | January 31, 2011 9:24 PM | Report abuse

ftb, I'm glad you have worked through the emotions. That would be the tough part, I'm sure. If a child of mine were ever raped, I think I'd kill the raper, no questions asked. Barehanded, if need be. I know I could muster the strength in that kind of anger.

Posted by: slyness | January 31, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse

When the GOP thinks about rape, they have to ask themselves: what would Warren Jeffs do?

Posted by: baldinho | January 31, 2011 9:30 PM | Report abuse

No comment:

"S. Korea Inflation Climbs to 4.1% on Commodities, Food-and-Mouth Outbreak

By Eunkyung Seo and William Sim - Jan 31, 2011 7:24 PM MT

[down in the story:]

"Foot-and-Mouth Disease

“In addition to inflation pressures caused by the rise in global commodity prices, the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Korea and festive demand ahead of the Lunar New Year, we note that underlying core inflation has also been trending up steadily due to sustained economic recovery,” analysts at DBS Bank Ltd. said in a report yesterday.

"South Korea is struggling with the nation’s worst outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, which will lead to the slaughter of 2.9 million animals, mostly pigs and cattle. The magnitude of the problem is “unlike anything that we’ve seen for at least half a century” in Asia, the Food and Agricultural Organization said last week.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 31, 2011 10:25 PM | Report abuse

ftb, thanks for your comments.

Thinking of rape as warfare, John Lukacs' "Budapest 1900" concluded with a short history of the city after 1900. It was mostly disastrous, especially the Russian conquest, in which the city was largely destroyed and the surviving residents raped. I don't suppose 1956 was much better.

As best I can tell, Budapest, a great flour milling center, had an economy like Minneapolis (which produced "Hungarian" flour--a compliment to Budapest's reputation). I don't think there was any inevitability in the one city having a horrific 20th century while the other prospered. The western world, especially the US, benefitted hugely from the Hungarian diaspora.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 31, 2011 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Budapest has the second oldest subway in the world. It's a better ride than the mine train at Disney. Just don't mess with the jack-booted thugs of the transit police.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 31, 2011 10:32 PM | Report abuse


It is about time to curl up in bed. I am reading China Mieville's "Kraken" - lots of fun so far. This was my last gasp for National Just Read More Novels Month. I knew I wouldn't be able to finish it by midnight tonight, but I couldn't resist starting it yesterday.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 31, 2011 10:47 PM | Report abuse


It is about time to curl up in bed. I am reading China Mieville's "Kraken" - lots of fun so far. This was my last gasp for National Just Read More Novels Month. I knew I wouldn't be able to finish it by midnight tonight, but I couldn't resist starting it yesterday.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 31, 2011 10:47 PM | Report abuse


It is about time to curl up in bed. I am reading China Mieville's "Kraken" - lots of fun so far. This was my last gasp for National Just Read More Novels Month. I knew I wouldn't be able to finish it by midnight tonight, but I couldn't resist starting it yesterday.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 31, 2011 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Darn Moveable Type.
Buenos gnocchis, Boodle. Vaya con queso and fondue.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 31, 2011 11:03 PM | Report abuse

While understanding the pressures of a deadline, it's time for a new kit!

Posted by: rickoshea12 | January 31, 2011 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Could someone guest-blog from Cairns, Queensland, Australia? They're facing a large, probably category-3 hurricane. The Post has been good enough to provide a story on this impending mess on top of unbelievable flooding. A lot of people with more or less intact houses are faced with major cleanup and need to replace appliances, air conditioners, etc.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 1, 2011 12:34 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 am so sorry that happen to you, ftb, but happy that you've come to terms with it to some degree. I won't go into details, but I can understand so much of what you're saying, and have days were I'm ok, but sometimes, not so good. Much love to you and to all that have had such experiences.

Rape is a violation of everything human. Crayons don't work with this picture.

I think we have rain, but it was so cold yesterday, and of course, I was out in it. Had the baby yesterday and the g-girl too, only for a little while. The g-girl has a problem with asthma, got a doctor's appointment today after school.

Why do people from other countries come to America and try to demonize the people and the leadership? I caught the ending of Piers Morgan's show, and in praising Nic Roberston for his reporting the uprising in Egypt, he had to stomp President Obama. Now, I agree with his praise of Nic Robertson because first of all, he's a fearless reporter. He was smack dab in the middle of all these folks, and they're angry, but couldn't Morgan have done that without kicking the President? Both men do their jobs pretty well, but being a reporter isn't necessarily on the same level as being President of the United States. And he added that he was so proud of working for CNN. Well, that's ok too, but did he really need to draw the President into all that gushing? Wasn't it enough to gush without puking too? It was offensive to me in more ways than one.

As you can see I'm up early. My phone started ringing and wouldn't stop. It does that sometimes. No one on the other end, it just rings.

I hope the folks that are in the path of that monster storm will be okay. Please check on your elderly neighbors. I know you folks are sick of snow and ice. And I do hope your power stays on. I think most folks can endure just about anything if the electricity stays on, all bets are off when that isn't the case. We may get a touch of it this way too.

Slyness, hope the heat is running smoothly, and you get a chance to walk this morning.

Have a great day, folks, and love to all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 1, 2011 5:38 AM | Report abuse

Yes shriek, Some Kind of Trouble is the new one. Ask the witch what she thinks of the new songs as compared to the previous two releases.

Posted by: omni3 | February 1, 2011 5:53 AM | Report abuse

Gut morninckzz, Boodleros!

Will today's Cairo demos work?
The only people well positioned for any outcome are the Army. They can drive Mubarak to the airport. They can talk with ElBaradei and establish a transition government.

Once the dust settles, they can do what they always do, replace the present leader with one of their own.

We had Nasser, Sadat, Mubarak.
The only hope for real change is if the demands of the mob change from get rid of the bum to, we'll accept only a transitional government led by ElBaradei.

Looking at my hoochie woochie crystal ball, bought at huge discount, I see:

The more things change the more they remain the same.

Haff a besties day,
El Brag :)

Posted by: Braguine | February 1, 2011 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Gut morninckzz, Boodleros!

Will today's Cairo demos work?
The only people well positioned for any outcome are the Army. They can drive Mubarak to the airport. They can talk with ElBaradei and establish a transition government.

Once the dust settles, they can do what they always do, replace the present leader with one of their own.

We had Nasser, Sadat, Mubarak.
The only hope for real change is if the demands of the mob change from get rid of the bum to, we'll accept only a transitional government led by ElBaradei.

Looking at my hoochie woochie crystal ball, bought at huge discount, I see:

The more things change the more they remain the same.

Haff a besties day,
El Brag :)

Posted by: Braguine | February 1, 2011 7:08 AM | Report abuse

omni3, I had to write the SCC. As a former English teacher I could not let the post remain uncorrected, using a singular verb with a plural noun.

To get back to the unfortunate subject of rape. Rape is not an expression of sexual desire. It is an expression of power. At one time, I don't know if this is true now, men talked of their "conquests". Not from rape, perhaps, but from succeeding in bedding down as many women as possible. Perhaps this is just a caricature but behind every caricature there is some truth.

And now I will expose some dirty linen in public. The ex-president of Israel was recently convicted of rape and sexual harassment of women who worked under him. What made my blood boil, in addition to what he did, was to hear certain men trying to explain that the women were asking for it. Why didn't they complain right away, was the question asked. Because they felt helpless against this man, and felt that nobody would believe them. He hasn't yet been sentenced and already people (mostly those bearing the Y chromosome) are claiming that he has suffered enough and shouldn't get a harsh sentence. This is pure bovine stercus (I looked up the second word) and it is a polite way of saying bull****.


Posted by: orawh | February 1, 2011 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Amen, Orawh!

Good morning, Cassandra! We have heat and took the walk this morning. Only clouds here, no rain yet, and temps in the upper 30's. It was almost pleasant. I hope the g-girl gets the medical treatment she needs. I also hope she outgrows the asthma quickly!

Brag, I hope you're wrong but I won't be surprised if you're right. Hoping and praying for the people of Egypt...

Posted by: slyness | February 1, 2011 7:28 AM | Report abuse

To get back to Egypt, Braguine said "The only hope for real change is if the demands of the mob change from get rid of the bum to, we'll accept only a transitional government led by ElBaradei."

El Baradei doesn't have any real standing. He has been away from Egypt for too long. The Muslim Brotherhood have endorsed him for their purposes. They, the Brotherhood, are keeping a low profile at the moment but they are the only well-organized opposition in Egypt. I would love to see democracy come to Egypt, but a country has to be prepared for democracy and Egypt is not. I fear that any transitional government will eventually be taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood. That is not a good thing, for Israel or for the world.

I will copy something that I read in the Jerusalem Post this morning:

"A leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt[Muhammad Ghannem] told the Arabic-language Iranian news network Al-Alam on Monday that he would like to see the Egyptian people prepare for war against Israel. Muhammad Ghannem reportedly told Al-Alam that the Suez Canal should be closed immediately, and that the flow of gas from Egypt to Israel should cease 'in order to bring about the downfall of the Mubarak regime'..."

So we have to keep watching and waiting and hoping for the best. But what is the best?

Posted by: orawh | February 1, 2011 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Sly, I hope to be wromg, too.

What worries me, is that ElBaradei is not getting adequate exposure to the masses. With al Jasera shut down, internet down, people are not getting the news. The Muslim Brotherhood might make a difference in getting the word out.

At the moment, the longer Mubarak stays in the palace, the better the chances for the mob to get organized and demand real change.

Brag :)

Posted by: Braguine | February 1, 2011 7:45 AM | Report abuse

I can only point out today's "DUH" headline on the WaPo home page:

"U.N. report: N. Korea has secret nuclear sites"


*shakin'-mah-pointy-'lil-haid-and-hoping-some-oatmeal-will-settle-my-stomach Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 1, 2011 7:58 AM | Report abuse

To get back to my comment about the ex-president of Israel, I must hasten to add that he is mostly a figurehead, with no real power. The present president, Shimon Peres, should have been chosen last time but because of dirty politics the other guy got in. (The president is chosen by the Knesset, our parliament, and not through elections.) Peres is someone we can be proud of.

Brag, I don't trust anything that the Muslim Brotherhood does. If they get the word out, as you say, it will be only for their own benefit. I hope and pray that they don't come to power, as I have said before.

Posted by: orawh | February 1, 2011 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, can you please explain what you mean by"Grover Waves". You use this quite often. I googled to find out what it means but only got some scientific explanations that I did not understand.

Posted by: orawh | February 1, 2011 8:21 AM | Report abuse

orawh, if you've ever seen older episodes "Sesame Street," you should be familiar with the sort of scene that starts with one or two Muppets in the foreground. Grover appears, crossing in the background, sees the other characters, and waves both arms above his head, usually shouting "Helloooo ev-er-ee-bod-eeeeeee!!" as he rushes to the foreground.

Those are the Grover waves I try to greet the Boodle with every morning. You should see me do them in person. Frightening, I tell you. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 1, 2011 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all!

Just coming up for a bit of air before wading back into Excel spreadsheet-land.

*Breathe in, breathe out*

OK, back to the grindstone. Have a good day!

Posted by: MoftheMountain | February 1, 2011 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, the laugh's on me! When I googled I found things like "Grover or planet waves locking tuners" which is mumbo jumbo as far as I'm concerned. I thought the word waves was a noun and Grover described what kind of waves they were, like sound waves or infrared waves.

No, I don't remember Grover from Sesame Street. I saw a few episodes with my kids but not many. Anyhow, I'm waving back to you.

Leaving the Boodle now. Will return anon.

Posted by: orawh | February 1, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

By now I have heard and read, that a) the Muslim Brotherhood is moderate and does not represent more than 20% of the population and b) that they present themselves as moderates but will eventually take over the state, install an Islamic Republic, and wage ware against Israel. My crystal ball is somewhere in the basement collecting dust. I think it is time to clean it up.

Posted by: gmbka | February 1, 2011 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, re: your 5:38: did you feel the same way about foreigners coming to the US and criticizing Bush?

Personally, I tend to be a "freedom of speech" type of guy, which means that you're free to say it even if it's something with which I disagree.

Yes, there is the issue of rudeness/politeness - it's somewhat impolite to go to someone else's home and criticize them/it. But I don't place "criticizing an elected official" into that category.

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | February 1, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

The largest bear ever:

Posted by: yellojkt | February 1, 2011 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I do not have a crystal ball, but I have been impressed with how calm the protestors are in Egypt, they have stayed for the most part on message - remove Mubarak, very little else has been mentioned it seems the general impression is they want change, freedom, legit elections.

We demonstrations this large, over this many days, without police presence I dare say many North American cities would be in a crazy state.

I will also note interesting happenings in Jordan today.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 1, 2011 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Interesting indeed, dmd!!

"Jordan's King Abdullah II ousts prime minister, cabinet in wake of mass protests"

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 1, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I've marched on Washington countless times (especially when I had knees that worked). The back and knee issues prevent me from continuing that activity (although at the last Pro-Choice march, I saw a woman marching in a motorized wheelchair -- good for her!).

What might give me pause now, even if I were physically able to take part, is the presence of pistol-packing-people (regardless of laws). The level of anger in this country right now can lead to the trigger-happy contingent's acting out with such weapons (and with weapons larger than pistols).

Gotta go draft a license agreement. Toodley Boodley.

Posted by: ftb3 | February 1, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Now that I seem to have lulled the Boodle to sleep, I wish to awaken it with the following -- completely in view and in sync with the joys and sorrows of the world. So put your speakers on and completely drown yourselves in the following:

Posted by: ftb3 | February 1, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I have a question for Ivansmom (hope you still have power and are safe).

Saw a news report this morning from OKC, it mentioned that the plows were going to wait until the storm was over to clear the roads. My question - even main roads - isn't that dangerous? While conditions did not look good I think plows could still have been operating to keep main/emergency routes open?

Posted by: dmd3 | February 1, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, I feel hugged.

Posted by: gmbka | February 1, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

This is pretty cool:

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 1, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I know she was harshly criticized in the past for political involvement, but I wonder what HM Queen Noor thinks about all these goings-on.

Posted by: bobsewell | February 1, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle! The Jordanian situation gives me special pause. In flight school I had a Jordanian stick buddy for several months and our paths have crossed a couple times since. The connection made some temporary duty in Jordan years later much easier than it might have been. I'll never forget the stress he felt before check rides, knowing that King Hussein himself was a pilot who might make an unannounced appearance in the other seat sometime.

Some observations- Jordan can feel like I-80 in PA, all trucks non-stop. Without oil it can only be economically viable by maintaining good relations with all its neighbors a sticky wicket that. I am sure it is not original to the then Captain I was working with in Jordan, but he said "The Israelis don't have an objection to a Palestinian state, they just think that state should be Jordan."

I have long been impressed with King Abdullah and he was very good on The Daily Show, but it seems the tipping point for all rulers, whether generally progressive like Abdullah and his father, or the Islamic version of right-wing nut jobs like the Saudis, is corruption.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 1, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

No water this morning. I have warm pumpkin bread and bananana bread, but it's BYOB until we get the water back.

TWC awaits the next big storm. We're being told 12"-24" of snow, starting sometime this afternoon. I do hope the water's back on by then.

In other news, BP (Mr. A hopes you remember BP) reported a loss of $4.9 billion in 2010. BP also said it's billing its partners for a lot of the costs it has incurred, but so far "[t]hey've not responded."

Posted by: MsJS | February 1, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I just looked at our updated forcast for my area, projections of 30-40cm of snow (12-16"?). Winds are expected to give us lake effect snow on top of what the storm will dump.

It has been quite a while since we had that much snow, will be interesting, and then there are the high winds that are forecast. One big messy storm that will affect so many people. I giggled at CNN this morning in their forecasts this storm magically disappeared at Detroit, not because it will but because once it crosses the border who cares!

Posted by: dmd3 | February 1, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

TQC will be the site for the Democratic National Convention. cool.

Posted by: -jack- | February 1, 2011 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I am surprised that so many Middle-Eastern countries are firing their cabinets. I worked for a couple of marketing companies that would have fictitious employees that were fired after errors were made.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 1, 2011 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Hello, Boodle!

ftb, thanks for the hugs and back atcha. While watching that I realized I haven't had a good hug or cry in months so I gave myself one of each.

Mudge, we must apportion funds to purchase a 'smart table' for the bunker.

Following news from Egypt, Jordon, the activist judge in Florida ... but primarily the weather. Hopes for safety, warmth and electricity for all affected boodlers.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 1, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

That is great news about the DNC. And it even falls on my anniversary weekend. My wife will be delighted with this idea. I'm still trying to sell her on DragonCon for our 25th.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 1, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

YJ, you're such a romantic. I'll bet you'll toss in a new electric frying pan as part of the deal. I want one just like you.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 1, 2011 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Some handy info for those in the path of the storm. Driving tips for those without snow tires (like me).

Posted by: dmd3 | February 1, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Still snowing here. I think they are waiting to start the plows because of the wind. It is blowing so hard that no matter what you push away, it will drift right back to cover the road. That's just a guess.

Almost everyone is home except for medical and emergency personnel and news people. Our local channels were all Weather Porn this morning, showing what was happening to the people who were fool enough to drive. It seems like it is possible to drive north or south on I-35 at least partway through the state as long as you don't try to get off the highway. Entrance and exit ramps are too steep.

This weather has Beatrice deeply unsettled. She jumped out of her crate this morning before eating her carrot and made a circuit of the room. Since then she's alternately sat in her crate and rushed about like a mad thing.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 1, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

My mistake. Apparently casinos and liquor stores are open.

Part of the roof collapsed on one of the big fancy Cherokee casinos in the Tulsa area. It sounds like nobody was hurt.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 1, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Hi all. The consensus is that the weather "sucks" here in Boston. It's snowing pretty hard right now but I can't really tell from my office window how much is on the ground. A few inches to be sure.

I actually braved the snow to come into work this morning. I had a meeting with a coworker about a problem we're having at one of our sites. In most situations we could have done that by phone but my coworker is both soft spoken and has a thick accent. She's a pleasure to work with in all respects save long brainstorming sessions over the phone when I have a great deal of trouble understanding her.

I also had another self-interested reason for coming in: I hope they plow my lot before I get home. The snow pile keeps growing and I'd like them to not plow around my car this time.

Of course, I hit my new neighbors' car on the way out this morning. So my introduction to them will be an exchange of insurance information. I'm pretty annoyed with myself for being careless. In my own defense, I will say it's a white car, covered in snow, with a white background of a snow pile behind. Well camouflaged. This rationale isn't helping my mood much though.

Be safe out there everyone!

Posted by: cowhand214 | February 1, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Here's an interesting idea-

This bill would require all adults in South Dakota to purchase a firearm “suitable to their temperament, physical capacity, and preference.”

Which of course raises the fascinating question "What kind of firearm is right for moi?


or Mini?


Nah, I think that this is the weapon for me. It's physically imposing and technologically advanced, made from recyclable materials, and it's ammo it immediately reuseable!

Posted by: kguy1 | February 1, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

kguy, my son recommends

be sure to get the 36-pack of additional ammo.

The backstory on that is that my son, who's 20 and a sophomore in college, belongs to something called the "Humans vs Zombies Club"

They run all over campus shooting one another. Only classrooms and a few other places are off limits. You've got to be able to fire a lot of shots quickly, and be willing to leave spent ammo behind.

It helps if you modify your weapon so that it's fully auto, not semi auto. :-)

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | February 1, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Yep, this is definitely the weapon for me-

When I retire I'm moving to South Dakota and buying one of these suckers to mount on the hood of my pickup.

Posted by: kguy1 | February 1, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, been there, done that, in the Atlanta exurbs:

"Kennesaw, where everyone is armed by law"
Financial Times - September 24 2010

Posted by: bobsewell | February 1, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I'd be willing to bet that whoever designed and built the rubberband "disintegrator" gun also has built weaving equipment. Except for the trigger that thing looks very much like my old cylindrical warping frame ... and even some of the mechanical portions of a spinning wheel or a loom.
What fun!

Posted by: talitha1 | February 1, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Hope you all have your little Canadian flags, PM to be in DC on Friday.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 1, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps, like me, many of you have come to the opinion that our country has cornered the market on tacky, but you would be WRONG!

Posted by: kguy1 | February 1, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

How will South Dakota's proposal to arm all adults fit with the soveriegn Indian nations within that state? Are they planning to arm the tribes? As a rule, since citizens of Indian nations are also citizens of the states where they live, they would be subject to this law.

And if tribes were exempted (no giving guns to them!), then I'd advise the tribal leaders to enact their own law making ownership of firearms mandatory, purely in self-defense. Otherwise they'd be surrounded by armed South Dakotans.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 1, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Ivansdad suggests this proposed South Dakota law is in response to the ongoing conflict between North and South Dakota. While at this moment it is a cold struggle, South Dakota evidently wants to be prepared. He notes that firearms aren't nearly enough, since North Dakota has all the B-52s in Minot, but South Dakota may test that missile defense system. I suggested South Dakota may actually be in league with Canada. A well-timed invasion from the north could make all the difference.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 1, 2011 2:23 PM | Report abuse

They should ironically mandate bows and arrows.

Posted by: davemarks | February 1, 2011 2:31 PM | Report abuse

North Dakota is a myth. And I've been there to prove it.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 1, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

North Dakota is always smarting because they have much less tourism than South Dakota. The blame it the nordic, cold connotation of their name, not on the little monument on Mt. Rushmore. They should call themselves South Saskatoba instead; that conveys well the idea of a hot climate vacation spot.

This guy looks just like me with a beard. 4 gauge guns are the orthopedists' best friends.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 1, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

kguy, do I understand this correctly? In South Dakota, they are pissed off that the government and Obamacare wants to force you to buy medical insurance, because the government has no right to force you to buy something you don't want.

But they're okay with forcing you to buy a gun, because, yanno, that's an entirely different legal principle.

OK, got it.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 1, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Tourism building advice to North Dakota: Offer a relocation incentive to Wall Drugs.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 1, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

That's kinda their point. From the article:

///Rep. Hal Wick, R-Sioux Falls, is sponsoring the bill and knows it will be killed. But he said he is introducing it to prove a point that the federal health care reform mandate passed last year is unconstitutional.

“Do I or the other cosponsors believe that the State of South Dakota can require citizens to buy firearms? Of course not. But at the same time, we do not believe the federal government can order every citizen to buy health insurance,” he said.///

Posted by: yellojkt | February 1, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Fed gummint here in town just got the big unscheduled leave/telework for tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the weather in Dallas is so bad that the Pittsburgh Steelers are practicing INDOORS at a local high school facility.

2 feet predicted in Chicago, 18 inches in Great Lakes region.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 1, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Clearly, the Founding Fathers in their infinite wisdom passed the 2nd Amendment. The South Dakotans are just following orders.

Flintlock Muskets for everyone, I say.

Posted by: baldinho | February 1, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I think they were trying to be ironic, in an Alanis Morissette way.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 1, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Ah, yes I see. Still, one doesn't expect that sort of sardonic subtlety in South Dakota.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 1, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Frostbitten, you quoted a Jordanian captain as saying, "The Israelis don't have an objection to a Palestinian state, they just think that state should be Jordan."

The quote should be "Some Israelis" and not "The Israelis." Yes, there are people who think like that and, unfortunately, there are too many of them in the coalition government. However, most Israelis are in favor of a two-state solution. One of the problems is that the Palestinians absolutely refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Most of us really admired the late King of Jordan, King Hussein. One example of why is the case where a Jordanian soldier killed several school children visiting a spot close to the border. The king came to Israel and paid special condolence visits to the families.

The last I heard, King Abdullah has taken preventive steps by firing his cabinet. We really hope that he can quiet his country down. The people of Jordan don't seem to be against him, personally.

Here's hoping things quiet down in the region.

Posted by: orawh | February 1, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, y'all.

Still no running water.

Ah, but the snow has started in earnest.

*hunkering down in earnest*

Posted by: MsJS | February 1, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry I got onto the subject of local politics. I always intend to keep my big mouth shut or in this case my keyboard and then I slip up. I don't think the Boodle is the place for this.

Posted by: orawh | February 1, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about your water situation MsJS. So frustrating to be without a major utility during a weather event.

Telework, Mudge? The forecast is for rain overnight and 35 degree temps in the a.m., rising through the day. And I thought I was a wuss for teleworking today after I nearly went a$$ over teacups when I took the dog out this morning!

Posted by: Raysmom | February 1, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Are the teacups OK, Raysmom?? *waving* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 1, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Personally I think it is a great place for this ora, it is a situation you face everyday and your insight is so valuable. Am hearing Mubark will announce he will not run in next election - don't know if that will be enough to calm the situation.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 1, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Mubarak is about to announce that he won't run for reelection this fall. It would have been a good announcement to make a few days ago. On the other hand, I doubt that he'll be given the Ceauşescu treatment.

I suppose someone's taking bets as to how long it'll be until the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo is burned or blown up by a strict Islamist government.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 1, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Dave, you make me shudder.

Orawh, yes, please keep commenting on your local politics. The joy and genius of the Boodle is that we get those insider comments on all sorts of topics. It's enlightening and educational and one reason why we all stick around here.

So Charlotte's got the 2012 DNC convention. Mr. T and I will probably go to the mountains for the week...There's a need to spruce up Time Warner Cable arena? The one that's barely five years old? OMFSM! It looked just fine to me when I was there last summer for the Michael Buble concert.

Posted by: slyness | February 1, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Firefox suddenly cut the Boodle off somewhere on January 28 and I couldn't post a comment. However, by the time I tried Internet Explorer and found the user name and password I used to register, Firefox was working again. I wonder if this happens often.

Posted by: orawh | February 1, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Aye, Scotty. Teacups intact.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 1, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Oh, mercy, that didn't come out right. In the sense that "a$$ over teacups" means "tumbling upside down," no I didn't.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 1, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh, mercy, that didn't come out right. In the sense that "a$$ over teacups" means "tumbling upside down," no I didn't.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 1, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Oh, mercy, that didn't come out right. In the sense that "a$$ over teacups" means "tumbling upside down," no I didn't.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 1, 2011 4:41 PM | Report abuse

How close is Earnest to Chicago, MsJS?

Raysmom, depends on how bad it is and whether it freezes. I was expecting to telework today, but we had zero precip this morning, and everything was fine. So I came in.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 1, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the encouragement dmd3 and slyness. What I really don't want to get into is the Israeli-Palestinian question. There is so much to say on both sides. I want to be objective but it is not easy. However, I will continue to comment on the crises in Egypt and Jordan.

To change the subject, I don't know how many of you are approaching 55. I passed it a long time ago. However, there is an interesting article in the Jerusalem Post entitled "Walking staves off memory loss in adults over 55" The link is:

It is a study by US researchers so you may have already read about it.

Posted by: orawh | February 1, 2011 4:49 PM | Report abuse

The sun came out and the Boy and I had a fine romp outside. We walked around the fields. I took the trash up to the can beside the road, and got the mail. USPS gets my vote for dedication. The wind is still extremely brisk (40+ gusts) but otherwise it was lovely. The snow is too powdery to do much with, yet. It ranges from about 9 inches to knee-deep (on me, anyway), with lots of lovely drifts.

The Boy has no school tomorrow and I have another day off. I'm so glad they told us early.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 1, 2011 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm approaching it a lot faster than I'd like, Ora!

Posted by: Yoki | February 1, 2011 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I just received a pps. of Mubarak's palace in Cairo. You wouldn't believe how opulent, extravagant and luxurious it is. I am at a loss to describe it because the words I just used don't do it justice. Unbelievable. And the people in the street hardly have enough to eat. No wonder they are rioting.

Posted by: orawh | February 1, 2011 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Let them eat cake.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 1, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

ora, I agree with what dmd and slyness said. This is part of what makes the Boodle so interesting - the views from people who live in different circumstances or places. It widens our scope of understanding and makes us think.

The ride home from work was a bit scary, slippery and roads not well groomed. We probably have about 5 or 6 inches here topped with an icing of sleet. Now they are saying tomorrow's storm won't be as bad as originally forecast and that our area will probably be mostly rain. Ugh. I'd much rather it was snow as the rain on top of all this snow will just make a huge mess. Also, I won't be able to use the snow blower - have I mentioned how much I love using the snow blower?

Posted by: badsneakers | February 1, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

yello, that's exactly what I thought while I was watching the presentation!

Posted by: orawh | February 1, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Muby's well into his eighties, still young for a US senator but he could credibly take a medical leave and save face. He'll have to tell Muby Jr. that he might have to find a real job soon, at the ripe age of 47. "You won't be king after all Gamal, sorry about that"

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 1, 2011 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Okay, the Vermont GOP are repulsive beasties, no matter their motives.

I remember hearing that about Israel's ex-president. Shocking, shocking. And a shame it has to be politicized/"justified" so disgustingly considering he's out of office.

Walking is always good. I don't know how long cats can walk, but cats can learn to walk on a leash and ride the rest of the way.

I wanted to share this link about the no-fear woman and what it could tell us.

It's old neuroscience lore that the amygalda is involved in fear, but gosh.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 1, 2011 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I think you should throw a "double nickles" party when you turn 55. Sneaks can come over with her snowblower to supply the music and Mudge can bring some Kinkaids from the bunker for ambiance. We'll get two candles in the shape of the number "5" for the cake (sheet cake, I think, but huge -- we are feeding the world boodlers, after all), which absolutely *must* have several chocolate layers, some laced with various congenial liqueurs, and ...

what was I saying??? (sorry, chocolate got in the way).

Anyway, we will all be there with bells on (which add to the snowblowing bass (pronounced "base" to distinguish it from the large-mouth fish).

I vaguely remember turning 55. My 50s were fun, though.

Gotta go to the doctor tomorrow -- not at all planned -- but I think I've got a UTI which needs fixin'. Glad it'll be only rain, so I don't have to drive on ice.

Random thoughts, indeed. So, when's the happy event, Yoki? Shall it be a black tie event? White tie and tails, perhaps? Jeans? Gotta plan, yanno.

Posted by: ftb3 | February 1, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Someone, I think ftb3, mentioned friends who were supposed to visit Egypt. I'm sure the visit was called off but this ad, for an Egyptian gift shop, just struck me as ironic at this time.

Posted by: orawh | February 1, 2011 5:21 PM | Report abuse

You're right, ora -- their trip was canceled. I have other friends who have been to Egypt (ages ago) and really enjoyed the trip. Still have to be careful of food and drink (especially the water), but that's the case in many countries, so one can accommodate rather easily.

I do hope things turn out well for the Egyptian people.

Posted by: ftb3 | February 1, 2011 5:36 PM | Report abuse

An American newspaper (I think Times or Post) pointed out that income disparities are greater in the US than in Egypt. There seems to be less perception of corruption in the US, but the interlocking relations between the Congress and lobbyists could eventually set off some kind of revolt. Last year's Tea Party stuff came close.

By the way, if anyone's taking bets on government-sponsored antiquities destruction in Egypt (in the Saudi style), I don't expect that to happen. On the other hand, Egypt's thriving resorts might have to adopt standards of modest dress. There's several American companies that provide women tourists with modest (Christian) bathing attire. I think Coolibar, which markets secular sun protection, is Australian.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 1, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Some were speaking here about Claire Bloom regarding her role in The King's Speech and others. TCM is currently showing Richard lll (1955 version), Olivier playing the "scourge of God" title role. Claire Bloom plays Lady Anne. She has definitely had a long career!

btw, February is the month when every movie shown on TCM is one in which an Oscar win or major nomination figured. It could be for director, actor/actress, cinematography, best picture, etc. Worth checking out their schedule if you like classic cinema. Last night I watched Chaplin's The Great Dictator for the first time in years.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 1, 2011 5:48 PM | Report abuse

What a fabulous idea, ftb! I'll cater it myself. I think we'll do a trail ride/hayride (for them what don't be doin' with horses) in the foothills, and then have a big barbeque-style meal followed by dancing (*not* country!) and, no doubt, ingestion of various beverages. Utterly casual, of course. March in a couple/three years.

Posted by: Yoki | February 1, 2011 5:56 PM | Report abuse

ora, I meant to add my voice to those who find the Boodle to a place of wonderful diversity, knowledge and, yes, hilarity.
I've read your posts with great interest and appreciate your thoughts.

I'm a 'new' boodler (though a few years past 55) and felt welcomed from the beginning, though it took me awhile to pick up on some of the lingo! And I'm just a crazy ole' hippie weaver woman, no rocket scientist. ;)

Posted by: talitha1 | February 1, 2011 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, do you have experience walking cats? I would love to take my cats for a walk, one at a time, of course. However, when I asked someone about it, I don't remember if it was the vet or the pet shop owner, he advised against it. Do you walk them on a leash? But mine are such scaredy cats that they would start running and even if they were on a leash I would have trouble keeping up.

Posted by: orawh | February 1, 2011 5:59 PM | Report abuse

The King's Speech might be a fine movie but it is fiction.
Christopher Hitchens can kiss his potential Knighthood goodbye, if he had such ambition. His take down of Eddy the Eight is consistent with what I've read about the slimy creepy self absorbed womanizing b@stard over the year. Ed the Drunk Skirt Chaser was the final product of a long line of interbred defective human beings. I'm quite sure She is not amused.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 1, 2011 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod -- does Wilbrodog herd cats? Or just chase them?

Posted by: ftb3 | February 1, 2011 6:04 PM | Report abuse

DotC, that reminds me -- a friend posted this link on facebook today: . The data is ten years old, and I wonder how perceptions might have changed in the meantime, but it does point to a continuing popular belief in American as the land of individual opportunity, regardless of actual numbers. Some people would point to this as the poor deluded masses who vote against their own interests, and I can see that argument, but I dunno, in some ways it's kind of nice that we keep our illusions of ourselves. Of course, it'd be nicer if our reality were closer to our ideals, but is destroying the illusion necessary for us to move in that direction? I kinda like that we imagine our national self so optimistically. It means we won't have an economic revolution to repair inequalities, but revolutions can be plenty destructive, with uncertain outcomes. Incremental change'll do me.

If economically we're not that different from Egypt, and, similarly, there are people feeling angry and unrepresented, do we need to worry about our government being overthrown by protests? I don't see it. You only need revolution if you can't change your government by other means. I worry about the role of money and corporate interests in politics, and I know some people feel disenfranchised, but really, we're pretty good at voting the bums out (repeatedly, and relatively peacefully). So, self-examination is often valuable, but based on such examination, I think many parallels can be overstated.

Posted by: -bia- | February 1, 2011 6:11 PM | Report abuse

SCC "inbred" A bad case of false friend for those linguist out there.

The cat walks us Ora. I go out with the Huge Dog and the cat often leads the way. Most of the times she darts ahead along the ditches and wait for us for a quick rub against 'her' dog than makes another sprint. Sometimes she does the triumphant walk ahead of us with her tail straight up in the air. She feels she deserves to lead the parade.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 1, 2011 6:13 PM | Report abuse

That last sentence of mine doesn't work. I think what I was saying is, "Hey, y'all, don't overstate the parallels." Better?

Posted by: -bia- | February 1, 2011 6:16 PM | Report abuse

By some standards Wilbrodog is a cat.

Cats are best walked in harnesses, not collars, and the training is slow because as you pointed out, cats can scare easily.

However, I used to have a feline roommate (I was catsitting) who was pretty darn outgoing and would have enjoyed learning how to walk on leash especially for food. I had a plan ready, but the rooming situation came to an end.

I have seen cats walked on leash, and actually seen cats out for a walk with their family (no leash.) Where I am right now, there is actually a leash law for both dogs and cats. Strange, but it means we have a nuisance of bold squirrels that show no fear of Wilbrodog, which he's itching to fix.

Wilbrodog has been trained not to chase cats on leash, and finally offleash. We worked at pet stores for a long time, with the neighbor's offleash cat, and in various places. He'll never be as cat-mellow as my old dog who licked kittens, but cat-chasing is not a concern thanks to obedience.

He does enjoy barking at the fluffy orange cat who keeps trespassing along his fence, though.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 1, 2011 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Interesting article, Shriek. Reminds me of the loyalty of the Swedish royal family to Hitler and the Third Reich. In fact, the current Queen's father was a member of the party, joining in the 30s when he and his family lived in Brazil. There's a lively controversy in the media over there now, and bashing the Queen for attempting to downplay her father's activities have been interesting to follow. The King's mother was German and his father, grandfather and great-grandfather appear to have been not unhappy with Hitler.

Idiots all.

Posted by: ftb3 | February 1, 2011 6:17 PM | Report abuse

I have an odd 'cats-on-a-leash' story. Back in '75 in Colorado, where everyone owned huskies, malamutes and other large canines, but nary a cat to be found, a friend of ours visited with two cats in tow. The dogs-on-leash-law had just been enacted and some of the guys were kvetching about it, causing our cat owner to wonder if he should also leash his dearies.

As a practical joke they sent him to the local leatherworker who fashioned cat harness/leashes for them. The cats were not amused during their debut promenade on main street, nor was their 'father'. It was funny as h*ll, though, and still makes me grin all these years later.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 1, 2011 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Thank you talitha1. I also feel that I have been welcomed by the Boodle. I previously lurked here from time to time but never felt that I could just join in the conversation. The only problem, as I have said before, is that it is so addictive!

I just came across an article in the Jerusalem Post, written by "an Islamic thinker and reformer, and one-time Islamic extremist from Egypt." The article is entitled, "How the US can help the Egyptian people." He may have a good point.

Again the Boodle has kept me up past my bedtime. It is 1:20 a.m. here. So I will reluctantly leave it now.

Posted by: orawh | February 1, 2011 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Frostson had a cat who was quite contented on his leash, not so much walking as just staked out in the yard watching the family activities with water bowl at hand and birds and mice to catch. He did so remarkably regularly considering the limited mobility. I suppose it was all about patience and swift reflexes.

A woman in our St. Paul building carries her cat to the park across the street then puts him down to let him walk her. He wears a harness and a 6' lead.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 1, 2011 6:26 PM | Report abuse

scc: not 'two cats in tow', they were two cats in a travel-crate. But they were definitely 'in tow' (among other acrobatics) once their new harnesses were employed!

Posted by: talitha1 | February 1, 2011 6:39 PM | Report abuse

*sigh* The world needs more cat-on-a-leash stories. Or, maybe, not so much, I dunno.

Just to be a devil's advocate for a moment, is Mubarak's palace something he himself ordered built, or is it just the "presidential palace" of an earlier potentate, such as Nassar?

The income disparity thing is nonsensical. The gap between rich and poor is much wider in the US than it is in Somalia, too. Means nothing.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 1, 2011 6:44 PM | Report abuse

ora, it's just talitha (wapo assigned the 1) ... and I like 'anon' alot, too.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 1, 2011 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, would you prefer children-on-a-leash stories? That's a subject that would raise hackles almost anywhere but here. (And no, sonchild was a gentle and cautious little soul ... though he might have occasionally thought of leashing his momhead!)

Posted by: talitha1 | February 1, 2011 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of enfranchisement, I'm off to exercise mine. We have a run-off election today for a transportation commissioner. The only thing on the ballot on a rainy windy day. I wasn't sure that I'd make it out to the polls, but then last night I saw a TV ad for one of the candidates in which he talked about taking the country back. You're trying to be one regional representative among several on the state transportation commission, fer cryin out loud. And it's a non-partisan race. And, ahem, no one has ever taken this particular state away from people who share your point of view.

So I'm off to vote for the other guy. Go, other guy!

Posted by: -bia- | February 1, 2011 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Hah! My Mum had a harness and reins for my youngest brother in the early 60s when he was first walking. I can't think, somehow, that among the sibs he somehow earned those by behaviour; I think it was more a matter of being the last of five and she had enough roaming by the rest of us to keep her eye on.

Posted by: Yoki | February 1, 2011 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I had a leash for Elderdottir when she was a toddler and it was a big help. I don't recall having to use it with Geekdottir, though.

Very interesting article, orawh, about what the US can do. I hope someone in the State Department picks up on that and acts quickly.

Today I heard a presentation about South Sudan and the work of one of the Lost Boys to build a school in his village. The ones who came to Charlotte have done remarkably well; all have gotten their high school diplomas and several have earned bachelor's degrees. This particular young man has been back a couple of times and has raised $130,000 towards the $180,000 needed to build an elementary school. I just hope the unrest in Egypt won't have a negative impact on the partition of Sudan.

Posted by: slyness | February 1, 2011 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I'd be proud to 'play' the snow blower at Yoki's b-day party. I could vary the pitch with the choke, use the gears effectively for sound level changes and flip the auger on and off for tempo.

We had an indoor cat once and did sometimes take him out on a leash. It was amusing to watch him walk on the grass, raising each paw very high before putting it down - sorta like picking one's way thru a large puddle. He never seemed to be very afraid when we did this, he walked with great 'attitude'.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 1, 2011 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, my little brother (born five years after three close in age daughters) was so rambunctious even in the womb that my aunt predicted that his first adventure would be to climb the grandfather clock. Danged if it wasn't! Aunt R. was always prescient and a bit of a conjurer, as was her mother, so none of us were too surprised.

That prescience runs in the family and I'm glad to say it runs through me ... though not always glad. A financial matter of which I had no prior inkling, but which came to me in a dream last night, revealed itself today. Not dire, but not welcomed.

It's a mystery.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 1, 2011 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, y'all.

Got no cat-on-a-leash stories. Ours would have staunchly refused had we tried, I'm sure.

Stay warm, everyone.

Posted by: MsJS | February 1, 2011 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, talitha. And here I was gonna go get you to come and buy some lottery tickets with me.....

Posted by: ftb3 | February 1, 2011 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Almost all financial matters that bring themselves to my attention are neither dire nor welcome.

Posted by: Yoki | February 1, 2011 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Yoki's birthday party ... since she's catering and it's in March in the cold country I suppose my table linens, even the time-worn Provence outdoor picnic-ish napkins and tablecloths, won't be needed.

Darned ... it'll be too cold for iced watermelon. Well, maybe an infused one could be arranged. ;)

May I bring some music and hugs? All birthday parties need those.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 1, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Oh, we don't need to do the party in March. Late June, I think, the most beautiful time in the mountains. So music and picnic trappings are more than welcome!

Posted by: Yoki | February 1, 2011 7:48 PM | Report abuse

talitha, that reminds me a little of my great grandmother. She used to keep a dream diary by her bed and record her dreams and whatnot. When she was a young woman she claimed they helped make the down payment on her first house: by playing the numbers racket.

Posted by: cowhand214 | February 1, 2011 7:50 PM | Report abuse

ftb and Yoki, you two sound like my sisters ribbing me ... go on ahead, I can take it. (boodle-sisters dish sweet ribs like no others do ... grownup slumber parties.)

ftb, hope doctor visit goes well.
Yoki, I'd never bring 'country' music to your party.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 1, 2011 7:59 PM | Report abuse

I don't mind a little two-step, I confess, with a lean cowboy who is broad of shoulder and narrow of hip and slightly rough around the edges. It has happened once or twice.

Posted by: Yoki | February 1, 2011 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Cowhand, your great-grandmother must have been a friend of mine or my kin. I've kept a dream diary for years, though never profited from it monetarily. I've also been a journal keeper for years. Any possible profit from either of those endeavors will likely be in the warmth generated from their incineration by my progeny.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 1, 2011 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Yoki-down the road of your 8:09 lies madness, but a madness neither dire nor unwanted.

If we shift the birthday fete for finer weather I suppose I'll quit working on the synchronized snow shovel choreography in favor of explosions, er I mean fireworks.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 1, 2011 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Shoot, Yoki ... that's what I was about to tell cowhand.
But I'm too old and shy.


Posted by: talitha1 | February 1, 2011 8:20 PM | Report abuse

I remember my little brother (born 1963) wearing a harness tied up to the clothesline. Just too bad he wasn't tied up so until he was in his mid twenties...

You're right Mudge venality is not one of Muby's sin, unlike so much of the hereditary kleptocracies of the Middle East. I found the emirates of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Koweit, UAE, etc particularly revolting. AS far as I've read Muby's sons do not appear to keep a stable of sports car and leggy girlfriends in European capitals, unlike said emirates' son.
But Hosni has absolute power. He has been behind every little decision of the last 30 years. Whatever happened in Egypt he was behind it. He kept a cabinet of yes-men as he valued loyalty over competency. That doesn't mean the government is not corrupt. Mubarak, like so many before him, believe in free-range bureaucracy; don't really pay your public servants but leave them find their own means of living. Doing business in Egypt or going through the Suez canal is an exercise in finding the right player and the appropriate backshish. My BIL ships stuff through the canal once in a while but hide its value as much as possible; theft is a constant threat.
The Suez canal is a nice shortcut but the real traffic goes around Africa these day. You'll find nobody proposing to superzize the Suez canal. It's difficult to use it and it's been blocked often enough by conflicts that the world has learned to do without it. If it weren't between Egypt and Israel it would be worth the billions necessary to upgrade it so that Panamax+ ship could use it but it won't happen. Nobody in their righ mind would invest billions in a waterway located between a country potentially led by the Muslim Brotherhood and another one potentially controlled by an Ultra Orthodox Jewish party. It's a nice-to-have, not a must have anymore as the Ultra Large Crude Carriers and 14 000 (soon 18 000, 24 rows of boxes across!) TEU containerships have taken over and sent the Suez canal to the backburner of history.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 1, 2011 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Maybe this would go ...

Posted by: talitha1 | February 1, 2011 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Talitha-love it! Reminds me of my Oklahoma days. Rotating shifts at the tire factory and dancing till dawn with the soldier cowboys from Ft. Sill.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 1, 2011 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Holy Crap, the Suez takes 150 000 ton vessels now (say 8-9000 teu), but it's a slow transit. It's down to about 7% of world traffic (2-3% for oil) from a lot more in the 50s.
Some VLCC too deep for the channel apparently unload partially in barges, enter the canal followed by the barges and reload at the end of the journey through the canal. That's a rather inefficient but amusing routine. A mothership with her following. Still, really big ships go around Cape of Good Hope. The pirates in Somalia might be another reason these days.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 1, 2011 8:45 PM | Report abuse

And no snow yet. But it's as cold as a stitch width.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 1, 2011 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Current radar shows the leading edge of the storm just to the west of me, not liking the way it is heading over Lake Erie before hitting my area, appears to be picking up moisture over the lake. Gusts up to 57 km/hr as of 8:00 pm. It will be quite the winter wonderland when I wake up tomorrow.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 1, 2011 9:00 PM | Report abuse

SD, that's very interesting. Mr. T saw a news story over the weekend about how the price of oil would skyrocket if the Suez Canal is closed. Maybe not so much.

I'm okay with that.

From the story on the top of WaPo right now, perhaps the President is having some impact on events. I hope so.

Posted by: slyness | February 1, 2011 9:09 PM | Report abuse

It's about -16C/4F and windy up here, we might be reduced to the role of the cold anvil against which the storm hits again. It gets old, we need some action and serious snowfall.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 1, 2011 9:10 PM | Report abuse

If our street wasn't already only about one and one half cars wide, I'd be very jealous of SD and dmd's approaching snow. Seriously, I hope you are safe and warm up there, MsJS too.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 1, 2011 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Hi all... not sure if I'm happy or sad the blizzard is missing us again. Those of you in its path... be careful and I hope you stay warm and cozy.

Daughter and I had a great trip to NYC and it looks like the college list is narrowed--maybe even down to one. We visited two colleges, saw a great improv comedy show at UCB Theatre, had dinner with a nephew, had brunch and spent an afternoon shopping with a friend of mine and met all sorts of nice people. Oh... and ate some fabulous meals, including dessert from Rice to Riches--a rice pudding shop in SoHo. What will they think of next?

Posted by: -TBG- | February 1, 2011 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Some hooraw over the Dems announcing convention in Charlotte, aka banktown USA. My initial impression after the economic local benefit is, meh.
Danged Amy Irving made me cry.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 1, 2011 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Colleges, Schmulleges.
Witch no, 1 is graduating her Bac of A in Translation this spring and she is at a lost about what doing it next. Brown U. has a neat proposal I really like. I'm kind of favouring a US East Coast proposal over Europe at this point. Europe would be a nice PhD/post-doc propostion.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 1, 2011 10:10 PM | Report abuse

My team, the Canadien, just won a game over the Caps. It was a very, very, close call.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 1, 2011 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Snow is starting now, checked the webcam at our waterfront, big crashing waves pounding the shore.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 1, 2011 10:14 PM | Report abuse

What a useless government document. The table of contents is not linkable. The page numbers don't match the file's page numbers and it tells me things I don't want to hear.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 1, 2011 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Upon closer examination, it turns out that I'm a health nut:

“Strong evidence from observational studies has shown that moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Moderate alcohol consumption also is associated with reduced risk of all-cause mortality among middle-aged and older adults and may help to keep cognitive function intact with age.”

Posted by: yellojkt | February 1, 2011 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Hey, shriek, I object! They're *MYE* team.

I know, first-hand, that simultaneous verbal translators can do a stage in Strasbourg, but usually only after a Grad Degree in languages/translation. East Coast USA would impress. Both look great on a CV for a first real job, usually with After that, the world!

Posted by: Yoki | February 1, 2011 10:49 PM | Report abuse

I hope your water is back on. If not, boil some snow.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 1, 2011 10:49 PM | Report abuse

yello-turns out I'm a health nut too. That trip to Germany was downright medicinal.

MsJS-just stay away from the yellow snow.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 1, 2011 11:08 PM | Report abuse

My wife says it's too late to keep cognitive function intact with age.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 1, 2011 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

yellojkt, my man, I can't say I know much about your health, but I think you're partially right with that self-assessment...

Don't have time to do more than backboodle skim today, but I'm wondering if there's something to the conflux/sequence of events surrounding Wikileaks publishing those diplomatic cables, what's happened/happening in Sudan, Tunis, Egypt, Jordan, and who-knows-what-and-where -next?

Not that I think Assange and his cohorts are directly responsible for anything, and but I wonder how much that might have aggrivated things in Tunis or Sudan, which encouraged folks in Egypt and...

I'm sure the right people are looking at what's going on those places, both in public and behind the scenes.


Posted by: -bc- | February 1, 2011 11:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm a permanent dry wit, so I have zero alcoholic knowledge.

What would be your favorite drink to order in a bar out West (US)?
If beer, any brands in particular?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 1, 2011 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Fat Tire. Anchor.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 1, 2011 11:57 PM | Report abuse

That's a real beer brand?

Learn something new everyday...


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 2, 2011 1:12 AM | Report abuse

I've, this evening, spoken all of English and German and French. It felt OK though I made conjugational mistakes in both French and German. *Sigh* See, that's how you know someone speaks three languages. Wrong in all three. But just a little.

Posted by: Yoki | February 2, 2011 1:33 AM | Report abuse

I'm checking in with the boodle after a long absence...
Shrieking d's
" Muby's well into his eighties, still young for a US senator "

just cracked me up! And Bia's 6:11 was wonderful. So very boodle-y.

I'm happy to see so many recognizable boodle names...hope everyone is doing well.

Posted by: Kim_1 | February 2, 2011 2:00 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | February 2, 2011 2:25 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | February 2, 2011 2:26 AM | Report abuse

No, here's the thing. It doesn't really matter how much I love my darlings. I know I'm the most useless thing, body, ever. I'm not loved. I just have to take that, accept. I do.

Posted by: Yoki | February 2, 2011 2:40 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'm not loved", says Yoki. Yes, you are. Very much so. I love you, and the boodlers love you. Perhaps it doesn't mean much, but in my world it's like a shining star. Very few of us know how to love, Yoki. If we knew how to love, we would not have needed a Saviour. Jesus.

Army brat- just thought all the gushing didn't require a kick to the President. He didn't need to stand on someone's head to gush.I believe in free speech also, very much so. That can be seen here in my posts. Yeah, we pretty much kicked President Bush around, a lot, but he was ours. Also enjoy reading your comments.

It is wet here, but in the form of rain. I have to venture out in it later. Glad it's not snow or ice, rain I can take.

Ivansmom, do hope all is well with you and family. And your neighbors. I saw your area on television, not pretty. Hoping for the best with all that are in the path of the storm.

Slyness, got one child to the doctor yesterday, and the baby has to go today. The g-girl got prescriptions, and mom needs to cut back, more exercise. I told her I'm buying her a basketball, and we're going to the park. If I have to show her how to do myself. Won't that be a sight for sore eyes! It's all about moving!

Orawh, I, too, enjoy your posts. Very informative and witty. Please stick around.

Howdy Kim, good to hear from you.

It's Wednesday, and time for Bible study in two places. Can't have too much of the Word of life!

Have a better than great day, folks, and love to all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 2, 2011 5:58 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. It is snowing, a little. We are expecting, maybe, up to 15cm/6in. This is pity precipitation, not a really good storm.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 2, 2011 6:19 AM | Report abuse

So far I think our snowfall is on the lower end of what was expected, really hard to tell how much fell over night as the wind has drifted the snow, maybe 6" it is still snowing and expected to snow on and off throughout the day.

School is closed, hubby working from home, zi will attempt to go to work later - after shovelling - I work pretty close.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 2, 2011 6:51 AM | Report abuse

I used to talk to my mother, every evening, before turning in for the night. When she died, I missed talking to her so much, still miss it. We didn't talk about anyting in particular, just the sound of the voice. That voice that talked to one as a baby, that voice that soothe the hurt. Oh, how much I miss that!

While we have our joys in this life, we should cherish them, and never take any of them for granted, for the day will come when they will be memory. A pleasant loving memory, but just a memory.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 2, 2011 6:56 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, my nani (grandma) passed away in December. Since I've been in the US for 20 years, I remained in touch with her mainly on the phone. She had a full life (93 years) so I could let her go. But she still speaks to me. Thank you for your post. Much love.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 2, 2011 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all, hi Cassandra! We're wet and happy here in the Queen City. Getting the Dems is a very big deal for us. I hope the convention goes well.

Cassandra, I have a wool duster (a long sweater) that my mother crocheted. It still smells like her and I feel her presence when I get it out to wear. We're never too old to miss our mothers, any of us. And what a blessing to have a loving mom.

Bible study on my agenda this morning also. We're in Luke these days. This week it's chapter 3, John the Baptist in the wilderness.

Posted by: slyness | February 2, 2011 7:29 AM | Report abuse


So sorry, I forgot to congratulate you and the fine folks in Charlotte on your success! I saw it on the news yesterday. I do hope it works out well.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 2, 2011 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Only in Canada would a guy find a flow in the lottery scratch off game and then tell the Lottery Commission that they have a problem.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2011 7:33 AM | Report abuse

And much love to you, DNA girl!

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 2, 2011 7:36 AM | Report abuse

I hope everyone enjoys Groundhog Day! As a kid this was a religious holiday for us papists, but I don't think it has ever really managed to compete with that whole "Punxsutawney Phil" business.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2011 7:56 AM | Report abuse

St. Gopher?

Posted by: dmd3 | February 2, 2011 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Hee hee. No, dmd, it is the "Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary." Like I said, this event has never really been in danger of rampant commercialization.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2011 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Ah yes, today is Candlemas. I read way too much 18th Century British fiction.

Kim, so good to hear from you! Hope all is well in your corner of the world. Check in often, please.

Posted by: slyness | February 2, 2011 8:10 AM | Report abuse

That's right RD Padouk, happy Chandeleur!
(Fête de la Présentation de Jésus au Temple/Feast of Jesus's Introduction to the Temple, no wonder a shorter name was used!)

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 2, 2011 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Candlemas. Feast of Presentation of the Lord or something of the sort. Wasn't it a big day for jousting tournaments in the Middle Ages?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 2, 2011 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Candlemas=Chandeleur indeed, as chandelle=candle.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 2, 2011 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Apparently my 13 years of Catholic education were not well spent!

Posted by: dmd3 | February 2, 2011 8:18 AM | Report abuse

More pointedly, it's pancake day!
(tamales day in Mexico)

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 2, 2011 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Blessing of the candles: Candlemas....should be beeswax-made.

And, St.Brigid's day, yesterday and today, actually. Tons of argument about that one. But, she deserves two days. Beloved of Pagans and Celtic Xtians alike.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 2, 2011 8:26 AM | Report abuse

I would very much like to see Cassandra's moves on the b-ball court!! *HUGSSS*

I gotta tell ya, though, this is not the best of Hump Days. First the storm forgets it's supposed to ice things up so that hardworking peepuls can be hardworking at home, via da Intertubes, so I have to scramble to take care of the things I'd normally pre-position the night before. Then I have to stand out in near-freezing drizzle for almost a half-hour waiting for the Dawn Patrol to get its flight schedule together, never mind the holding pattern that got me into the office almost an hour late. Once I get here, I go to drown my sorrows in some B&E from the cafeteria, and people fail to notice me approaching as the elevator doors close. *SIGHHHHHHHHHH*

*where's-the-damn-reset-button Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2011 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Kim! Check in more often, you are missed.

Just shoveled 3" of heavy snow/slush off the driveway - didn't want to risk another shearpin breakage. That stuff is really heavy. Be safe everyone, gotta get ready for work.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 2, 2011 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah -- Hey Kim!! *extra Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2011 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Between Kim and omni, it's like Old, er, Veteran Boolder Week!

I'm not going to take any more guff on how long de-icing operations take. These venti caramel macchiatos don't brew themselves. Safety first.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2011 8:42 AM | Report abuse

*faxin' yello one of those little handheld fans to cool the venti caramel macchiato off and prevent tongue burns* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2011 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Happy Hypapante, all. Sorry, pigeons.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 2, 2011 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Hugs to you, Scotty, glad to hear from you. I was getting a little worried. Have a good day despite the beginning!

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 2, 2011 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Kim!! So glad to see you here.

I never heard the term "Candlemas" until I was a grown up, but I do vaguely remember something about taking candles to church to be blessed.

Also, today means we are halfway to the vernal equinox. Which is cause for celebration indeed.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2011 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Oh, but on a happier note I did win $3 on a lottery ticket... That cost $5.


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2011 9:04 AM | Report abuse

And Scottynuke, gosh darn it, you know dang well that fer some of us poor people telework just isn't an option. It's a dream, an impossible dream, you know, like free venti caramel macchiatos.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2011 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Well, that's what all-weather helicopters (or dare I say, weather control) are for, right RD_P? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. This just in from the Giant Rodent Meterological Climate Prediction Center, Punxutawney Phil did NOT, repeat, NOT see his shadow, presaging an early spring.

And just FYI, "Punxutawney" means "town of the sandflies." But you already knew that, I'm sure.

We now return your Boodle to its regular programming.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 2, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse

But you now you have arrived when your office supplies free raktajino.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse

New kit.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 2, 2011 9:19 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!!

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Morning, y'all. My quick backstroke through the boodle reveals old friends here are rejoicing together ... delicioso!

Candles lit.

I woke early but worked the loom quietly for awhile. Am now tuned into what appears to be chaos in Egypt. Mercy! What network or newsfeed do you recommend to ascertain the latest and/or most accurate news? Thanks.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 2, 2011 9:26 AM | Report abuse

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