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Posted at 6:42 AM ET, 02/ 2/2011

Battle rhythm

By Joel Achenbach

In the final sprint on my book (huff, huff, huff), I came across this term: "battle rhythm." It's the rhythm of people working overtime, in overdrive, 'round-the-clock, conducting consequential operations, knowing that the normal pace of hard work has to be ratcheted up to an even more intense level and sustained there, managed there. It's not feverish and chaotic, it's organized, it's scheduled, it's the battle rhythm.

We've all been in this state. You know that, at some point, you'll be back in your normal groove, that everything will slow down and you might even stop, someday, to smell a flower. But while you've got the battle rhythm going, you can't ease up until you accomplish the objective. Ideally, the people around you understand this. They'll look at you and think: "Uh oh, he's in battle rhythm." And leave you alone.

Once in a while I catch myself complaining about deadlines. Okay, maybe 47 times a day I do that. But writing for a living is a great privilege. It dudn't get any better'n this. One thing we usually take for granted here in this 235-year-old republic is that we can say what we want to say and write what we want to write, even if it discomfits the powerful. That should be a universal right, along with the right to select leaders and change government. What's happening in Egypt (yes, this was all a big throat-clearing to talk about the big news of the planet) is so reminiscent of Berlin 1989. At least let's hope so -- that this won't become Tiananmen Square or Prague 1968. The Egyptian army has reportedly told the protesters to go home, but the people surely know that they have to accomplish their goal now, while they're all in battle rhythm, that any return to ordinary life is a defeat.

This is their moment. They have to do it now. Retreat is failure.

By Joel Achenbach  | February 2, 2011; 6:42 AM ET
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Next: The Namath Conundrum


Well, at least I didn't mudge myself; I penultimudged myself. Reposting:

'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 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, we have reports of clashes between pro- and anti-Mubarak groups. Let us hope that is properly tamped down before it becomes a pretext for Mubarak to renege on his promises.

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2011 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I am seeing tweets that pro-mubarak groups are threatening journalists with violence. There is also some suspicion as to "who" these pro-Mubarak supporters are (i.e. police, paid participants etc).

Posted by: dmd3 | February 2, 2011 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Please let this be a story about the triumph of the downtrodden and not a story on the perpetuation of power.

Posted by: veritasinmedium | February 2, 2011 9:35 AM | Report abuse

By the way fabulous post Joel.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 2, 2011 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of discomfiting the powerful, Dan Snyder seems to have not gotten the memo about freedom of the press being a universal right:

The source of the discomfiting has been previously boodled:

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2011 9:39 AM | Report abuse

A little nostalgia for us old codgers:

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 2, 2011 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Well said Joel. I sure hope the anti-gov't protesters can make this thing work without a lot of violence and death. Saying a small prayer for that...

Off to work now that the dryer has made my jacket and hat wearable again.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 2, 2011 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Just to prove I have a semi-relevant photo for every possible parenthetical reference:

Tiananmen Square


Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

A more postcard-y view of Prague:

Note the tent in the center bottom for the World Cup jumbotron.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. Good luck to the People of Egypt. I like the idea that "battle rhythm" refers to intensity, focus and pace, but does not necessarily involve fighting or violence. As Joel says, sometimes it is just the energy necessary to accomplish a task. The Egyptians have embarked upon an important task, but i hope their battle rhythm allows it to be accomplished with a minimum of battle.

I am awestruck at the thought that, in the relatively short time I've been Boodling, Joel has written (or nearly so) two substantive books, with publishers and everything. And he has a demanding day job which he did well during that time! And he is the Achenblog! Well, I bet I could have been that consistently productive too, were I only six months younger.

Cassandra, I love the mental image from the last Boodle of you playing basketball with your daughter. That has made my day.

I will not be playing basketball today, though I will probably be trying to shovel some snow, or at least to find the dog bowls. It was a brisk 3 degrees when I arose at 7:30 am, and not likely to get much warmer.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 2, 2011 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Jeez, Ivansmom, that's tough. The high's supposed to be 64 here today, but your weather is headed our direction and we'll be cold by the end of the week...

The truth of the matter is that Joel is an amazingly productive person who puts the rest of us to shame with his excellent articles and books.

Posted by: slyness | February 2, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

The other day browsing through kb's Tropicfan website, I was stunned by how much good stuff Joel was writing back in the 80s and 90s. It seems like he has been on battle rhythm for decades now.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

And you thought your state representative was a boneheaded goober? Check out Georgia's Bobby Franklin-

Posted by: kguy1 | February 2, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all.

Slyness speaks of The Truth of the Matter, and I agree with The Truth of JA. I've taken a short break from Wapo news and lately have looked at NYT in the morn, but have been missing the JA & kit & kaboodle.

In 1957 when I was a sophomore in college, I met a friend of my brother's who was a foreign student. My brother, a student at VPI, had asked me to show him our small campus of Radford. Secretly, I think he hoped this young man might influence his flighty sister about world events. Well, he did, somewhat. He was a student at the University of Budapest in 1956 and had been in the student revolution against the government. He had fled to this Country, but of course, his heart was in Hungary. He had such passion, was so appalled at the complaciancy of students like myself who were born into a democracy, and took it for granted. I don't know if he was ever able to go home, I'm sure he must have been on a government list somewhere among the commies. A link,

some of his revolution and what happened. It was short (about two months) and bloody. But for a short time, it looked like the people's voice had been heard.

The Country did not officially become a democracy until 1989.

Posted by: VintageLady | February 2, 2011 10:52 AM | Report abuse

The latest coverage of the dueling factions clashing in Cairo does not leave me feeling too hopeful:

It's sounding more and more like an excuse for martial law.

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I think martial law has been in place for 30 years Scotty.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 2, 2011 11:00 AM | Report abuse

kguy, I just sent that piece all over the building. I can hear the laughter echoing around the halls.

Of course, there were the three cardiac arrests, but the EMTS are handling it.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 2, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Has MsJS checked in this morning? Hope all is well in storm weary TWC

Posted by: dmd3 | February 2, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

You have only touched the tip of the iceberg on that guy's nuttiness. Would a BoodleLawyer please read this and tell me how a real elected legislator can even attempt to get this passed.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

A second Good morning, you all.

Yea Kim! I asked about you recently, dear kindred spirit of Va. Beach.

Thanks for the link and memories, 'mudge, have marked the calendar for the March PBS showing, I especially love Linda Ronstadt's music... Good bye, my old friend, I always thought I would see you again.... but, will always be an Eagles fan.

Now, if you all have critiqued Michelle's State of the Union gown, please forgive, but I thought she looked absolutely smashing; simply beautiful, our First Lady.

Posted by: VintageLady | February 2, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Alo les Boodleurs

Joel is right. Egyptians must not retreat.
Russian TV crew from Zvezda missing after accosted by Thugs and driven into an alleyway.

Mubarak is showing he does not belong in civilized society. He must go today!

UN intervention is needed. It has troops in Cyprus a 45 minute flight to Cairo. Their arrival at the airport would be enough to get the brute down.


Posted by: Braguine | February 2, 2011 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Hiya, hiya!

The rumors of a US Midwest blizzard are true, in case you were wondering. I'm guessing about 18"-20" here so far, with about 5-6 hours to go. I am in awe that my caregiver du jour made it to CasaJS this morning.

My (limited) understanding of Egyptian government is that there are a LOT of gummint employees that might lose their jobs when Mubarak steps down. I'm guessing, and only guessing mind you, that the bulk of the pro-Mubarak protesters are from this echelon of the work force.

Warm bananana and pumpkin breads, assorted hot beverages and chilled OJ on the table.

Posted by: MsJS | February 2, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

CNN's Anderson Cooper reporting he and his crew had to leave the plaza after being attacked:

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Agree MsJS, especially if those workers, including police are given a little government insentive.

Also saw tweets (Canadian reporters) that Sulieman (sp) man not be in agreement with Mubarak stepping down.

Feeling rather cheated by our "snow storm" vastly inferior!

Posted by: dmd3 | February 2, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

How very... Snyderian.


I had momentary icy-fingers-clutching-at-heart fear that I was going to have to admit that I'd gone to high school with Bobby Franklin. But he's a little older, and from the wrong part of town to be the same guy. Didn't seem likely anyway, but people can change when you're not looking.

Posted by: bobsewell | February 2, 2011 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, I doubt it's the first time. There's just something about Anderson Cooper that pisses some people off.

Posted by: bobsewell | February 2, 2011 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I'm reading that the group attacking Cooper and his crew was pro-Mubarak.

Posted by: MsJS | February 2, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I love the concept of "battle rhythm." It's being in the play-offs, or working the register during rush hour, or getting ready for that Big Meeting. It is intoxicating and invigorating and, ultimately, exhausting.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 2, 2011 11:39 AM | Report abuse

It's the black Too-Tight-T-Shirts (T^3-S) he wears. Drives people crazy.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

You have a point, Bob... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Cooper and his crew not the only journalists attacked, I think all attacked by pro-Mubarak forces.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 2, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Personally, I suspect it was fanatical Wolf Blitzer supporters.

Posted by: bobsewell | February 2, 2011 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Fanatical Wolf Blitzer supporters: Redundancy or oxymoron?

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2011 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Where was Louie Gohmert at the time Cooper was attacked?

Posted by: kguy1 | February 2, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 2, 2011 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Depends on whether they're fanatical supporters of Wolf Blitzer; or supporters of a fanatical Wolf Blitzer. :-)

The former's an oxymoron; the latter's redundant.

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | February 2, 2011 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Read that Bobby Franklin article, kguy -- you owe me three aspirin for the headache caused thereby. :-) Whadda maroon.

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2011 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Morning boodle! Just shows that military life is still a little different from the rest of the world I thought everyone used battle rhythm. Then I grew up thinking that everyone's dad said "At ease" when he wanted quiet and immediate attention. Though frostdaddy is way more Andy Taylor than Great Santini.

RD-I have to disagree about battle rhythm being exhausting. It's more of a routine and tempo that keeps you from being exhausted.

There was a Kim sighting? Off to back boodle.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 2, 2011 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Ah, frosty, The Great Santini, I still that book as well as others about wretched fathers from Pat Conroy.

Posted by: VintageLady | February 2, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

He's got a wretched mother or two, too.

Posted by: bobsewell | February 2, 2011 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Those legislative story links are fascinating in a train-wreck kind of way. The proposal to do away with drivers' licenses is a textbook example of the old "patriot" movement. They want a return to the gold standard and don't believe in drivers licenses, taxation or other evil gummint intrusions. Of course, they still expect the State to build and maintain roads, etc. My favorite case from these nut people was one in which they tried to argue that failure to have a drivers license should be tried under admiralty law, since roads are "rivers of tar". These folks were very active fifteen years or so ago, but we haven't heard much from them recently. This is almost quaintly refreshing. I guess they're folding into the Tea Party movement.

I particularly like the legislation to repeal essentially the structure and function of "civil government". Again, a twisted combination of "patriot" movement, Tea Party, and Christian fundamentalism. I particularly like the provision that the small subcommittee deciding what must be repealed cannot include any lawyers or law school grads. How can anyone introduce this? Because, yello, they don't care whether it passes. These types of legislators have no genuine interest in governance. They're all about the ideological stance. Once in a blue moon the planets align and they can get something pushed through; I suspect they're hoping this is the time. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see one of these introduced in Oklahoma this session; I can think of a couple of idiots who would do it.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 2, 2011 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Front page alert, BTW.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 2, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Kristof, blogging from Cairo, figures the violence is a crackdown-by-thugs. Not good news.

The cyclone (hurricane, the category 5 variety) bearing down on Cairns, Queensland, Australia, looks terrible. It's much larger than our Andrew of 1992 or the category 4 Charley of 2004. Australian warning:

Locally, things are looking like spring. The local botanical garden had peas and lettuce growing happily, lots of native bromeliads (Tillandsia fasciculata) getting set to flower. These big tillandsias have been devastated in recent years by a weevil that was accidentally imported from Honduras. They're all residing in pots (rather than trees, where they belong) and get insecticide to foil any weevils.

Construction on the garden's bonsai display is coming along.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 2, 2011 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Kristof, blogging from Cairo, figures the violence is a crackdown-by-thugs. Not good news.

The cyclone (hurricane, the category 5 variety) bearing down on Cairns, Queensland, Australia, looks terrible. It's much larger than our Andrew of 1992 or the category 4 Charley of 2004. Australian warning:

Locally, things are looking like spring. The local botanical garden had peas and lettuce growing happily, lots of native bromeliads (Tillandsia fasciculata) getting set to flower. These big tillandsias have been devastated in recent years by a weevil that was accidentally imported from Honduras. They're all residing in pots (rather than trees, where they belong) and get insecticide to foil any weevils.

Construction on the garden's bonsai display is coming along.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 2, 2011 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Would it surprise you to know that Bobby Franklin is also a Birther and opposes a law that bans guns from houses of worship?

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Attaks at journalists are organized and widespread. Swedish, Russian, American and Sl Jazeera have been attacked.

I fear pro Mubarak thugs are trying to shut down coverage so that they can start a crackdown out of sight of the world.

The army seems to be cooperating with the thugs.

I smell nasty stuff coming up.


Posted by: Braguine | February 2, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

For one possible scenario of what may happen in Egypt, seek out the film "Z" by Costa-Gavros, which won the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 1970. In the midst of a peaceful demonstration a prominent leftist is killed by violent counter-demonstrators. Investigation by an incorruptible judge links the killers to the regime. A military junta takes control of the country and the investigation is quashed. It's a wonderful wonderful film based on events in Greece in the early 60's. The Greek junta held power for 7 years but were finally thrown out and democracy restored.

Posted by: kguy1 | February 2, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Bob Edwards had a great interview with Pat Conroy last weekend:

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 2, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Well, I agree with Franklin on that one. Ya just never know when yer gonna need to shoot up a church.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 2, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Count me among the folks who never would have seen the City Paper article if Dan Snyder hadn't made such a big deal out of it. Also count me among the folks who think he deserves every word.

But I'm thankful one of the biggest complaints in our lives here is that our football team has a bad owner.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 2, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Maybe. Or, having accomplished their larger aim of ending Mubarak's reign at the new election, they could return the country to normal and start organizing for the election campaign. The army is signalling that it's time to get back to work and at some point the economic damage is to themselves. The most likely outcome if Mubarak leaves is that Suleiman takes over--and it's hard to see how that is any great gain.

Posted by: scientist1 | February 2, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

IIRC, some maroon fellow traveler of Franklin's in Congress has submitted a bill to allow members of Congress to pack heat in the U.S. Capitol. These people are just nuts.

Posted by: ebtnut | February 2, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I too thought of Berlin 1989 when I was watching the events in Egypt, but then it occurred to me that between 1990 and 2009 the German government pumped 1,3000 billion Euros into the infrastructure and economy of the former German Democratic Republic. Maybe I am wrong, but right now I cannot imagine anybody doing this for the Egyptians. Although a less repressive government is highly desirable, people also want to eat. Even when they get rid of the dictator, without a better economy the society will not be stable. This makes me sad.

Posted by: gmbka | February 2, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

BobS, I think it's the permanent misty earnestness look the Cooper has. It's what drives me nuts anyway.

Posted by: cowhand214 | February 2, 2011 1:12 PM | Report abuse

You say 'permanent misty earnestness look', I say 'piercing blue eyes that touch my very soul.'

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

The Georgia guy has a point, I guess. If we can't make people buy health insurance, how can we make them get licenses... or car insurance.... or social security numbers... or use US dollars.

What you say? We CAN make people do all those other things? Why can't we make them get health insurance, then?

My head hurts.

Posted by: baldinho | February 2, 2011 1:41 PM | Report abuse

*faxing OTC pain relievers to baldinho*

Posted by: MsJS | February 2, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks kguy, now I have a Mikis Theodorakis tune cootie. It could be worse.
Next Costa-Gavras flick was was "L'Aveu" with Yves Montand once again. I like that one even better.

The thugs are there to cause maximum mayhem so that a crack-down will appear "acceptable". It will not be the first time it happens. The economy of Egypt is already precarious; unemployment of the youth is said to be over 30% even though the governement rarely report a rate above 9%. According to the CIA's factbook there is 33% of the population below 14 years old (20% in the US) and the median age is 24 (37 in the US). Add to that a GDP of $6000 per capita ($47 000 in the US) and that makes for plenty of young people motivated to revolt.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 2, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

DNA_Girl - That's what I was looking for! I caught the last few minutes of that chat with Conroy on Sunday (talking about his love for books), and was trying to find it, but didn't know what show I was listening to. A search at the NPR site didn't bring it up easily. Thanks!

Posted by: bobsewell | February 2, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

The people are revolting.
You said it, they stink on ice.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

That means more than 50% of Egypt's population was born under Muby's reign. That's all they know as governing goes and they appear to have had enough.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 2, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

From today's story on the Kepler mission:

"The K-11 solar system is some 2,000 light-years away, and so will never be visited or definitively understood. That will be true of all the Kepler-discovered planets simply because the observatory is looking so far into space."

That's a pretty bold statement. To quote Roxette, among many others, "Never is a long time."
"Solar system with six exoplanets, others in habitable zones found by NASA's Kepler"

Posted by: bobsewell | February 2, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Re Bobby Franklin: It's GEORGIA, people. God bless them, they are as bad as some in North Carolina. These folks live in a different universe.

Temp's 60 here now and I saw a crocus bloom when I went to the mailbox. That's the first one of the season.

Posted by: slyness | February 2, 2011 2:21 PM | Report abuse

baldinho, I'll fax you an aspirin for that headache. :-)

The Florida judge, Judge Vinson, would say that you're comparing apples and oranges. The licenses, car insurance, etc. are required by the various STATE governments, not the Feds (except if you're driving on Federal property like a military reservation).

Judge Vinson's assertion was that the STATE Government CAN force people to buy car insurance, etc; while the FEDERAL Government cannot. It's a Commerce Clause tied in with a 10th amendment issue.

The US Supreme Court will decide if Judge Vinson was right.

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | February 2, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

And speaking of headaches (no, not really), turns out there's *nothing* wrong with me, after all (and please remember that, you guys!).

However, my internists have contracted an opt-out with Medicare, which means that I have to send bills (after, of course, I have paid) to the secondary insurance company (once I'm on board with them) and try to get reimbursement that way. Ah, well. I don't think it will be that bad, really. I try to see them once/year for a physical, which isn't cheap, but is very thorough. They are listed as among the best docs in the city, which keeps my anxiety level low. If they refer me to a specialist, I'll just have to see what their Medicare policy will be. Not gonna be as easy as I thought it would be.

Ah, well.

Slyness -- you *did* say "crocus" didn't you??? My heart explodes in anticipation (although my sinuses and eyes are getting ready for the deluge). The first sign of Spring is categorically *not* a robin!

Posted by: ftb3 | February 2, 2011 2:37 PM | Report abuse

'piercing blue eyes that touch my very soul.'

Did you borrow that line from Carole King, or are you just channeling her spirit?

Posted by: j3hess | February 2, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

It's all a red herring. The individual mandate is loaded with all sorts of quid pro quo and provisos to make it as non-mandatory as possible. Both rulings overturning it ignore decades of SCOTUS precedent on the topic.

It's activist judges using partisan rhetoric to overturn carefully written constitutionally compliant legislation. It's as transparent as the arguments that Roe V. Wade should be overturned on states rights grounds.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Nah, Justice Kennedy will decide, just like he always does.

Posted by: kguy1 | February 2, 2011 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of crocuses it is still snowing quite heavily. We might get the 15-20cm we were promised after all. Should we hope for even more that 20cm?

We had a fall crocus (colchicum) that bloomed in a warm spell in late November this year. It's a brave little flower that blooms after we had the first snow. We should have more of them; flowers in October and November are precious few.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 2, 2011 2:45 PM | Report abuse

That Kepler guy sure finds a lot of stuff. NASA ought to give him a raise.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 2, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

AB, did Judge Vinson mention anything about the FEDERAL requirement for a SSN? That employers check immigration status of their hires? Sounds like a bit of cherry-picking to me.

Did anyone else see chef Gillian Clark on "Chopped" last night?

Posted by: Raysmom | February 2, 2011 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Also, baldinho the Social Security/Currency is not quite the same thing. The government can and does require its citizens to be in compliance on certain things but that is (in my mind) fundamentally different than requiring possession of a privately offered product or be penalized for not having it.

As AB pointed out your state will require you to purchase car insurance, etc. but it's a bit different for the Feds to do it.

I have no notion of SCOTUS precedent and I don't even play a lawyer on TV but this seems to me an area where reasonable people can disagree without it being inherently partisan. Frankly, every time I reflect on it I come down a different way. Generally, I'm in favor of the health care law but the practice seems troubling.

Posted by: cowhand214 | February 2, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I think NASA has boosted Kepler just about as high as they can.

(you were trolling for that, weren't you?)

Posted by: j3hess | February 2, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

SCC than

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 2, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

The most constitutionally compliant method to achieve universal health care would be to just extend Medicare to all U.S. citizens of any age. You could still find some hayseed judge to rule it unconstitutional despite 70 years of practice. Vinson, et. a. are the judicial equivalent of Wesley Snipes tax preparer. They know just enough lingo to make a plausible sounding yet completely erroneous rationalization.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2011 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, et alia - if anyone's interested in actually, you know, READING the Judge's opinion, it's at

kguy - ain't that the truth. If the present court is still intact when the case hits it, the outcome will see Roberts, Scalia, Alito and Thomas ruling the bill definitely unconstitutional; Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Kagan and Breyer saying of course it's constitutional; and Kennedy deciding which side wins.

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | February 2, 2011 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link, ArmyBrat. I'll save it off with the best of intentions for reading it later and then not have time.

It's important to have a plan.

Posted by: cowhand214 | February 2, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse


On a former topic, is offering a 2 week free trial to the new, digital Inquirer and Daily News. Previously, they offered smatterings of articles for free. New cost will be under $150 a year, about half the cost of the dead tree version.

I'd be happy to pay, but think they need to change to a web-friendly design. Right now, it's like reading microfiche. Ugh!

Posted by: -dbG- | February 2, 2011 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Page 42 is where the red meat is thrown to teabaggers.

"It is difficult to imagine that a nationwhich began, at least in part, as the result of opposition to a British mandate givingthe East India Company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold inAmerica would have set out to create a government with the power to force people to buy tea in the first place."

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2011 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Good points, ArmyBrat. NPRs business show did a pretty good story on that..... how weird we are relative to most places that centralize that power. We let the states decide stuff like that. I suspect the Supremes will side with the Florida guy regarding that provision. They won't throw the whole thing out, though.

Posted by: baldinho | February 2, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Ezra Klein has been tackling all the details of these decisions in mind-numbing detail. Here is but one missive:

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Paging LiT. I'd like a snappy comeback for AB, but just don't have the energy.

I'll just leave now and go wallow in my ignorance.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 2, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

With the title, I thought Joel would have some thoughts on the cultural battle of the day brought about by Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom. Alas, merely the demonstration gridlock in Egypt. I wish them well but have a "show me" attitude toward Arab/Muslim democracies. It is proving to be cultural thin soil for liberal democracy.

Child rearing practices, the bedrock of culture, I find much more interesting.

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 2, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Spotted in hotly contested East Jerusalem, in the company of right-wing officials and activists, laying the cornerstone for a new Jewish housing development: Former Arizona governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

I used to think that Huckabee was the kinder and smarter face of the Christian right. In his urgency to get to the right of everyone else, he's crossed the sidelines and left the field entirely.

Posted by: j3hess | February 2, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, if the mandate were to be struck from the law, there ought to be a way to require people to have some sort of coverage (by the States, perhaps?) so that when they visit the ER for their collective ingrown toenails, we all wouldn't have to (or be expected to) pay for them. After all, isn't that the dreaded *socialism*?

Posted by: ftb3 | February 2, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Hi all. I just did some backboodling from where I left off yesterday. I know it's bad form to correct someone on the Boodle but one needs to get one's facts straight. I am referring to Shrieking's remark that the Suez Canal is between Egypt and Israel. It is not. It is completely in Egyptian territory, nowhere near Israel. In fact, one of the things that led up to the Six-Day-War in 1967 was when Egypt blocked the Suez Canal to Israeli shipping. There were other things, of course, but that is not the point I am trying to make.

Shrieking also mentions the potential of an Israel controlled by an Ultra Orthodox Jewish party. Shrieking, rest assured, that will never happen. The Ultra Orthodox make up only about 8-9 percent of the population, as compared to over 20 percent of Arabs. Do you know that some of the Ultra Orthodox even refuse to recognize the authority of Israel. This is because they believe that until the Messiah comes, Israel is not Kosher, so to speak. Those Ultra-Orthodox who do accept the state wield a disproportionate amount of influence as players in the coalition government. But even they are divided among themselves. What they are most interested in is getting financing for their schools and programs. But there is no chance that they will ever control the government except in areas connected with religious laws within the state, which have no relevance to the outside world (but from which we, non-religious, suffer).

I have more to say about what is happening in Egypt but one of my cats just jumped on my lap, making it very hard for me to type. I'll give him the attention he wants and then get back to the Boodle.

Posted by: orawh | February 2, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

ftb3 - there are probably plenty of ways to get it done. Having the states mandate insurance might help; except that some states wouldn't play and then you'd have to figure out how to handle that. Another option would be to make a small enrollment window when the law takes effect, and then make everyone who opts out then, wait for coverage to kick in if they want it later.

That addresses one of the biggest fears, and the reason the individual mandate is so crucial.

The insurance model says that the risk has to be spread; a bunch of people will pay way more in insurance premiums than they actually get in coverage so that there's money to cover those who have hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses.

When an insurance company could refuse you due to pre-existing conditions, it was in your best interest to take insurance ahead of time and join the risk pool, so the actuarial models worked.

Given the cost of medial insurance today, if all you have are routine checkups and minor illnesses, it's probably cheaper to pay your own way than to buy insurance. If the insurance companies HAVE to take you with pre-existing conditions, once there's a major problem, THEN you sign up. You have to cover the bills for the major problem between the time it occurs and the time you start coverage, but if that can be a day or two it might be worth the risk.

By putting in a mandatory waiting period for insurance to start, you could make it clear that gambling on opting out involves a huge risk that most people wouldn't want to take.

So yes, there are ways to mostly get the system to work without a Federal individual mandate, but they're not as clean as the mandate.

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | February 2, 2011 4:33 PM | Report abuse

The individual mandate complete with penalties was lifted whole cloth from the Mitt Romney MassCare plan.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

SCC - medical insurance, vice medial insurance. :-(

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | February 2, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Mike Huckabee and the folks in Arizona would both be surprised to learn that he had been governor there. I think you mean Arkansas.

Posted by: kguy1 | February 2, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what the official tally is but I had about 10in./25cm of white stuff in the driveway. It's been cold so it might turn out that 25cm of fluffy stuff is only 15-20cm of standard snow. It's blown away now but it is still snowing.

edbyronadams, remember the MommyBlog? We would have a raging MommyStorm should the Boss decides to use his wit on this child rearing hot potato.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 2, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Another wingnut goldbug a little closer to home.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm back. Mr.Cat, called Scampy for reasons that validate his name, is now sitting on my chair but behind me so, although it is uncomfortable at least I can type. To get back to the subject of Egypt.

I think we would all like to see democracy unfold in Egypt, with free elections and all. There is only one caveat. We don't want the "wrong" party to get in. When free elections, (or pretty much free elections) were held in the Palestinian Authority, Hamas got in. In Egypt, the only party that is well organized is the Muslim Brotherhood. While they may not be the majority in Egypt, they will surely play a major part in any election held. This is not good for Israel and not good for America.

In David Ignatius' column today in WaPo,
he says "The most hopeful sign for the future is that the Egyptian military now holds the balance of power. It is the one institution that Mubarak has not been able to corrupt. Indeed, across the turbulent Arab world, it's a paradox that strong armies are now platforms for change."

I would hate to see Egypt become a military dictatorship but if the army can keep things under control until the stage is set for a peaceful transition of government, it would be better than a hasty transition.

He also says that that "the Muslim Brotherhood and other militant groups have so far played it cool.They know that the past 'decade of jihad' was ruinous for Muslims and is unpopular."

Here I disagree with Ignatius. I think they are being cagey by playing it cool. I have no doubt that when they feel the time is right, they will act.

Well, that's all for now. Tonight I want to get to bed at a reasonable time. It is midnight here now and for me that is a reasonable time. Will rejoin you anon.

Posted by: orawh | February 2, 2011 5:04 PM | Report abuse

A kid in Spotsylvania (roughly an hour's drive SSW of Washington D.C.) was expelled for using a straw to blow-shoot plastic pellets at people in his school.

Gosh, I shudder to think what they'd have done to the guys at my school who thought it was cute to shoot paperclips at people with rubber bands. Those things stung! While I wasn't going to fling metal projectiles, I became pretty proficient at returning fire with peas (or baked beans, if I was really annoyed) launched with a cafeteria spoon.

Posted by: bobsewell | February 2, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Watched a production of the show "Jacques Brel is alive and well and living in Paris". I need to research the two New Yorkers behind the English lyrics and the show itself. I strongly suspect the English lyrics may be better than the original French. Mort Shuman even wrote songs for Johnny Hallyday. Not bad for a Brooklyn Jewish guy.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 2, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Dude. How freaky is this. I was looking over DC's homework (I might actually learn something) and thought "I wonder what that Raysmom is up to." Decided to check. How the heck are ya?

AB, by and large, boodlers tend to be able to follow a bouncing ball (maybe not so much for me on sciency stuff) and actually pay attention to the fine print. We be thinkers.

Seems to me that yes, the feds get away with all sorts of stuff otherwise known as unfunded mandates that run the gamut from holding elections to checking immigration status to making everyone change their letterhead because they wanted to rename National Airport (the irony of course on that one is RR fired all the air traffic controllers). Is this just another unfunded mandate? Been there, done that.

In a lot of jurisdictions, No Child Left Behind was really just the feds getting their grubby fingers all over a nice clean window. Is ACA the same?

I'd go on, but DC is rolling on the floor pretending she's dying of starvation. But while I'm taking care of that, I'll think further about how allowing corporations to participate in the deep dark shadows of the federal elections game is going to come back to bite yet again, in that it's sort of the crinkly edge side of the making people buy insurance coin.

DC just said "For the Love of Pete, Mom! (pause) Hey! How is he?"

Have a happy evening all.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 2, 2011 5:16 PM | Report abuse

What wonder what store of wealth Delegate Marshall proposes to count upon to back this alternative currency. Virginia hams, perhaps?

Posted by: bobsewell | February 2, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Ora: Huckabee in the end is a baptist minister. The love of Israel by those folks has a lot to do with the birth a couple thousand years ago by some guy. I think that is admirable. Some times they get talking in depth on the topic and it gets a little dicey.

Posted by: baldinho | February 2, 2011 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I really was planning to go to bed but couldn't resist checking the NYT. If anyone really wants to know how we feel here in Israel I suggest you read the following article:

And now I am really going to log off.

Posted by: orawh | February 2, 2011 5:26 PM | Report abuse

In North Korea, a fur hat is a sign that baby Kim is set to inherit Kim's Kingdom. Only the king (and now the Heir Apparent can wear the fur crown:

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 2, 2011 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Of course, this is the delightful Delegate Bob who said, "The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion who have handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the firstborn of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children."

And (regarding his hopes to have homosexuals banned from serving in the Virginia National Guard),

"It's a distraction when I'm on the battlefield and have to concentrate on the enemy 600 yards away and I'm worried about this guy whose got eyes on me."

Marshall says gays have greater incidences of sexually transmitted diseases and this could create other problems. "If I needed a blood transfusion and the guy next to me had committed sodomy 14 times in the last month I'd be worried," he adds.

He's a charmer!

Posted by: bobsewell | February 2, 2011 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Raise the income tax to pay for single payer. The cost should not fall on the young to pay to insure older, sicker members society property from loss due to illness.

Make filling out end of life forms for everyone. Anyone who opts for "save me at any cost" should have their taxes in a higher bracket.

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 2, 2011 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Somehow, I doubt that Israeli feelings are at the top of most Egyptians' concerns at the moment. But I don't think anyone is particularly surprised to find that "trepidation" and/or "pessimism" sum it up nicely.

Posted by: bobsewell | February 2, 2011 5:44 PM | Report abuse

edbyronadams - Well, that's fair enough, in theory. But how do you intend the force the young folks to save to pay for their future old selves?

Posted by: bobsewell | February 2, 2011 5:47 PM | Report abuse

how many otters
will pay the ultimate price
to prop the wee dick?

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 2, 2011 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Quite right, kguy. A freudian slip? My apologies to the good citizens of Arizona.

The bad citizens of Arizona? Well, they'll pay a dharmic price for misbehaving.

And all you Arizona citizens packing a pistol on your hip - I live in Montana.

Posted by: j3hess | February 2, 2011 6:05 PM | Report abuse

*tug tug*


Posted by: Buddy999 | February 2, 2011 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Buddy! How's life with the toxic snake?
The Very Large Puppy had a nice romp in the fresh snow. I hope your old snarky food provider let you out.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 2, 2011 6:24 PM | Report abuse

In the bad old days, Russians had vast numbers of North American sea otters killed so their pelts could be sold in China. Fur was a huge status symbol. The tradition apparently continues.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 2, 2011 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Sea otter merkins sound quite comfortable.

Posted by: Buddy999 | February 2, 2011 7:25 PM | Report abuse

The rulings on the health care bill just point out to me that at times our judiciary appears to make rulings with about as much objectivity as a figure skating panel.

Did the various challenges say things differently or question different aspects of the bill? If they didn't, what is the explanation as to why some say everything is great some say only part is bad and at least one says the whole thing is garbage. Don't the basic cases all go back to the same documents? Why such varied rulings?

I am quite dumb when it comes to legal matters, but it seems fishy. I honestly don't know which side is fishier.

Posted by: baldinho | February 2, 2011 7:31 PM | Report abuse

They make nice boots, just like puppy seals but darker.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 2, 2011 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Not to get into a snow measuring contest, but here is how Chicago stacks up against, say, Baltimore.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2011 8:04 PM | Report abuse

LiT, sorry, but you completely lost me. In the Florida ruling, Judge Vinson explicitly ruled that this does NOT count as an unfunded mandate - he ruled AGAINST the state on that count.

The issue he ruled in favor of the states on was whether Congress could use the Interstate Commerce Clause to justify forcing people to buy insurance or pay a penalty; or whether only states can do that. He said only states can do that.

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | February 2, 2011 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Like, Joel.

Never give up. (does that sentence have to be in quotes?)

BTW, second trip back to Philly from Florida in less than a week was totally uneventful, for a change. It was 46 F in Philly...weird, but nice.

No work travel til March. Yay!

Posted by: Windy3 | February 2, 2011 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Well, except that I decided I didn't need my GPS for the trip back to my short-term apartment and ended up in Wilmington, Delaware. Nice scenery, though.

Posted by: Windy3 | February 2, 2011 8:53 PM | Report abuse

AB, I'm saying the Supremes would then need to be inconsistent to uphold that, but that wouldn't exactly be a first for them. I also thought I heard a distant bell in my head in re Cheeks v US, but that might just have been a dinner bell.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 2, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

AB, the arguments, not the decision.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 2, 2011 9:06 PM | Report abuse

LiT, sorry, but you're really losing me. According to Wikipedia, Cheek vs. US was about tax evasion, and a guy who claimed he didn't owe taxes because he didn't understand the tax law, because it was so complex. I'm mystified as to how that would apply here.

You initially lost me in your 5:16 because you went on at length about unfunded mandate rulings, and the judge in this situation rejected the states' unfunded mandate claim. You didn't seem to address at all the issue on which the judge did rule for the states, which is the Commerce Clause.

In your 9:03, are you now saying that "the Supremes would then need to be inconsistent to uphold that," meaning that it would be inconsistent of them to agree with Judge Vinson that the Commerce Clause does not give Congress the ability to mandate insurance, possibly because they've ruled that it DOES give Congress such ability in prior cases?

Help, seriously - I'm trying to understand what you're saying here, and I'm just lost.

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | February 2, 2011 9:13 PM | Report abuse

oh - and please bear in mind that I'm not a lawyer, I'm an engineer, so I don't always interpret words the same way that lawyers do. :-)

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | February 2, 2011 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Gene Weingarten comes to the defense of Dan Snyder:

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2011 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Fact checker on McConnell's claims about health care (includes some discussion about the court decisions);

And thank goodness:
This also discusses the role of the courts.

Personally, I think it's silly, this whole business about what the state can force you to do (anything) versus what the federal government can. Does that make me a bad American or just a liberal?

Posted by: seasea1 | February 2, 2011 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Laughing about DNAGirrrrl's post. You make me smile with the smallest number of letters. Period.

Hi Windy: glad you are safe.

Take care, all. Am hunkering down with Plato and Aristotle, for class on advanced rhetoric.

See you in the Am for coffee call.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 2, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Weingarten's piece about Mr. Snyder is hilarious, yello, thanks for that. I am not sure that my husband appreciated it. I read the funniest parts to him but he's currently watching the Terps get stomped by Duke so his sense of humor is seriously impaired right now. Poor man, being a lifelong fan of both the Terps and the Redskins has not been a source of happiness and equanimity for him these last few years.

Posted by: Kim_1 | February 2, 2011 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Windy, North, South, it's all the same coming out of Philly Int'l. One of my colleagues just left to join you as one, I believe, but in HR.

I sprinkled kitty litter over the wet places on my sidewalk, likely to freeze tonight, but I think I just created mud which will be encased in ice.

ftb, I looked but couldn't find a billing code for ingrown toenails in our software, so it's unlikely people visit the ER for that.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 2, 2011 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Not "just a liberal", seasea..a common sense liberal! (I still think of you as mostly!)

Posted by: Kim_1 | February 2, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Kim, how're the college boy and the beagle boy?

Posted by: -dbG- | February 2, 2011 10:19 PM | Report abuse

No problem AB. I'll admit I'm a bit spacier than normal today (and that's saying something!)

Haven't looked at it in a loooong while (hence the distant bell) but I seem to recall some of arguments way back in the beginning of Cheeks were along the lines of the constitutionality and whether paying taxes was an opt-in kinda thing. That it ended up being about some very narrow point by the time it got to the Supremes isn't really all that odd.

About unfunded mandates...does that argument ever work?

About the Supremes...this would be great to discuss at length, because I really do have a pretty good thought about it, but I tend to think in something of a valley-speak dialect, and I just don't have the time right now to elaborate on the thought let alone translate it. And while I'd love to have the time to go through the ruling and kick back and ponder it over a glass of wine (wouldn't that be lovely?) I've got to turn my attention to all the things I didn't get done today. Yet. But my main point was maybe you might want to consider the voice in your posts. A tad condescending. Look around the room. Is that really necessary? Can you maybe re-read your posts with an eye toward that before hitting submit? That would be great, because neither Raysmom nor I have the time or the patience right now to slap you back until you either play nicely or leave. But if we need to put that on the list, so be it.

Have a happy night all.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 2, 2011 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Hi, Kim! Nice to see you again - meant to say that earlier, but as usual I forgot what I wanted to say...

Posted by: seasea1 | February 2, 2011 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Am watching my Terps get stomped by Duke, too, Kim. With the sound off. Easier for me to take that way.

(I guess it really *is* Groundhog Day)

In the Boodle, no one can hear you swear.

I, too, am not a lawyer (though I'm 3-0 representing myself vs. real lawyers), but it seems to me that if the federal government can "provide for the common defense" by conscripting/drafting citizens into the armed forces and enter wars or other miltatry actions as unfunded mandates (whether the majority of citizens agree with those actions or not), then it may be within the purvue of the Executive and Legislative branches to "promote the general welfare" with the provisions in the Health Care Law. That is, requiring citizens able to purchase health insurance to do so.

Though that may be a door big enough to drive a truck through. Or a Patriot Act.


Posted by: -bc- | February 2, 2011 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Hi dbg, seasea and all...

The college boy is in his 2nd year at Tech and doing well...although, like last year, January in Bleaksburg makes him wonder why he didn't pick a Florida school. My daughter has finished her college apps and is now turning her attention (by parental force) to scholarship applications. The whole 2 kids in college thingie is kind of mind-boggling.

The beagle boygle is almost 11 and doing well, slowing down a little bit, but he's in good company with that!

So nice to see so many boodlers and newbies, who probably aren't so new!

Posted by: Kim_1 | February 2, 2011 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Hey AB...I just thought of how to say it succinctly (for me). Lately, the Supremes (can't you just see them in blue evening gowns and big bouffant hairdos?) have narrowed the spaces between what is a corporation and what is a person, and can they now say that's a one-way street?

Posted by: LostInThought | February 2, 2011 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Yes, bc, it's a good thing that the boodle can't hear the's actually much quieter now during Terps games in our house. Now that my son is gone there is only 1 person screaming in our house.

Posted by: Kim_1 | February 2, 2011 10:45 PM | Report abuse

I don't buy for a moment the argument that mandatory health insurance is forcing one to participate in economic activity rather than regulating activity. We have decided to mandate that emergency rooms treat, or at least stabilize, all those who present themselves. Some portion, maybe even a significant portion, of our citizenry may decide- then don't treat me, or my uninsured family member, let us die-and they would indeed be the rare people who are not participating in the commerce of health care. While I suppose letting uninsured people, who don't have cash, die would solve a lot of uncompensated care problems, it hardly seems like supportable public policy. (set aside for a moment the knowledge that it is essentially happening already, I'm talking voluntary opting out)

Ivansmom, or another of the boodler barristers may correct me, but it seems to me it would not be a stretch for SCOTUS to decide that by virtue of breathing one is participating in the commerce of health care.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 2, 2011 10:47 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 2, 2011 10:50 PM | Report abuse

frosty! YES! *pumping fist*

Posted by: Kim_1 | February 2, 2011 10:50 PM | Report abuse

I was *pumping* about your 10:47, frosty, very succinctly put...don't EVEN get me started on the prevailing majority view of the ACA here in my part of Tidewater!

Posted by: Kim_1 | February 2, 2011 10:56 PM | Report abuse

I feel for you Kim, alone in the wilderness like that. My little grandnephew spends a lot of time with his great grandpa Frostdaddy and thinks "Thatidiot" is your governor's first name. Ma Frostbitten has forbidden mention of the AG until the boy is ready for PG13 phrases, about 10 years from now.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 2, 2011 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Made me laugh, frosti, but then....GGGRRRRRRR....just the mention of our AG makes my blood pressure go up. Ugly, ugly, ugly.

G'night boodlers, fun to chat again!

Posted by: Kim_1 | February 2, 2011 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Goodnight Kim, goodnight boodle.

Sweet dreams!

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 2, 2011 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, unloved? Not so, unless you were talking about the languages which you love, yet never love you back.

Frostbitten, yes. I think the question is whether the government has the right to mandate this for the common welfare. If the federal government doesn't, the states shouldn't.

I don't care if "all powers not specified devolve to the states." The Declaration of Independence clearly states that this union exists to guard against tyranny.

There's no constitutional right for a state to form a dictatorship. The disparity between health care laws among states is one reason why we have high costs and limited choice. In most cases, those laws were not passed by popular demand, but by lobbying to favor in-state insurance firms.

Our country is such that people live and work in more than one state-- a situation not often possible back in 1789. We are, ipso facto already a federal republic, not a collection of states, engaging in internal and international commerce at a pace far exceeding states' ability to budget and track all issues of concern.

Interstate commerce used to mean physical goods brought into the colony. It never meant states could regulate freedom of speech, such as newspapers.

I'm not even sure it even meant states could declare money from other states illegal, nor federal money (look at your dollar bill.)

I think restricting health insurance, in terms of who can pay whom, is bordering close on states declaring they can regulate currency, not commerce.

Regulating actual health care in the state, well that certainly is the states' right-- hospital codes, and so forth.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 2, 2011 11:49 PM | Report abuse

After back boodling from earlier today, I'm ready to announce that today in Catholic, today is St. Blaise Day! On this day as an elementary school girl, I went to church to have my throat blessed by a priest who touched my throat with crossed candle sticks to protect my throat from strep throat and other diseases.

It worked!

Posted by: rickoshea12 | February 3, 2011 12:04 AM | Report abuse

The boodle has such as variety of expertise, that I'll ask this here. There was a cyclone yesterday that came near Cairns in Oz (in Strine pronounced "cans" nasally) -- in the Pacific near Oz, and in the Indian Ocean, such as Bangladesh, they are called cyclones. In the NW Pacific they are called typhoons. Over here in the NE Pacific, and the Caribbean and W Atlantic, they are called hurricanes. (What are they called in the Mediterranean or SW Pacific?) Why the various names?

Posted by: Jim19 | February 3, 2011 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Very rare in the med, but when they occur are called hurricanes. SW Pacific: cyclones.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 3, 2011 1:26 AM | Report abuse

That's a chilling thought. Even one major hurricane in the Mediterranean could wipe out a good chunk of Europe, just from the tsumanis-- Venice is already going underwater.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 3, 2011 1:48 AM | Report abuse

By the way, saw this local report from Egypt:

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 3, 2011 2:27 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. Where u b, Yoki?

I'm up already, couldn't go back to sleep. And will pay for this later in the day. Got the g-girl here, so will need to get up early anyway, not this early however.

Yesterday here was just beautiful. Nice and warm, sunny for the most part. Then the wind kicked in, and it got cold. Clouds showed up, and things got a little dreary, but was nice while it last. I wish I could box it up, the nice sunny warm weather, and send it to you guys that have the snow!

Please try to stay warm, and be careful if you have to go out. And remember your elderly neighbors.

Slyness, we're hanging in here with the kids. The baby got four shots yesterday, and on the breathing maching too. I don't think I would have the heart to give a baby four shots! Today will be rough going for mother and baby. I will check on both later today.

Have a kindness day, folks, and you can't do that without lots of love.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 3, 2011 4:01 AM | Report abuse

In case anyone wants a different opinion on the size and sway of the muslim brotherhood...more in line with what I've heard from Egyptian colleagues/students:

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 3, 2011 7:08 AM | Report abuse

LTL-CA, perhaps the different names reflect derivation from different languages?

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 3, 2011 7:19 AM | Report abuse

Kepler-11 is stranger than fiction:

Posted by: omni3 | February 3, 2011 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle!

DNA_Girl-a belated thank you for that Conroy link.

Keeping a good thought for Egypt, and all of us by extension. My main memory of Tahrir Square is hanging out a bus window haggling with a kid who was selling papyrus. Got a good deal, but he should have been in school.

Thought I'd mention, since the devices have been mentioned frequently, that Finns coined the term Molotov Cocktail and perfected its use as an anti-tank weapon during the Winter War against the Soviets.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 3, 2011 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Keep good thoughts for journalists as well, seeing reports of NYT and Globe and Mail reporters being arrested, in Egypt this morning.

Glorious sunshine here very pretty with all the fresh snow, but cold - 13C

Posted by: dmd3 | February 3, 2011 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning ye winter denizens!
My sympathies are with the Snowboodlers.

Blaming them for all sorts of outrages,the Muslim Brotherhood has been used as part of the War on Terror scare tactics. 'nuff said about the U.S. staunch ally.


Posted by: Braguine | February 3, 2011 8:19 AM | Report abuse

The last reports from the G&M reporter plus updates from the newspaper.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 3, 2011 8:24 AM | Report abuse

I don't know that the Preamble's ever been used as a precedential cite in a SCOTUS case, but ya nevah know. I-mom or ftb or someone prolly duz, tho.

Cassandra!! *HUGSSSS*

yello, do you think Weingarten's checking his titanium knees for bite marks this morning? :-)

And it's never helpful when the Dawn Patrol makes a gate change announcement coindicent with the imminent departure of said flight. *SIGHHHH*

*recovering-from-some-particularly-wretched-cawfee Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2011 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Frosty, for that insight into "Battle Rhythm." I see your point about preventing exhaustion. In which case, I guess, it is more like the way I was in college.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 3, 2011 8:41 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

Something fun to start your day: Inga Savitskaya does the tango. Needs sound, 6 1/2 minutes, but worth it; safe for work.

Frosti, it's true as you say that the Finns coined the term Molotov cocktail, and brought its use to a high art in the Winter War (Nov. 1939-1940). But the device appears to have been invented in Spain during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) when Franco orderd his troops to use them (again against the Soviets) at the Battle of Sesena and after. Also, the Japanese picked up the technology and used them (again against the Soviets) at the Battle of Khalkin Gol. The genius of the Finns was to use two storm matches taped to the side as the fuse, rather than the cloth strip.

In one of my favorite movies, "Bad Day at Black Rock," ostensibly set in 1946, Spencer Tracy improvises a Molotov to defeat the evil Robert Ryan.

Modern tanks and armored vehicles are now impervious to them, though not back then, although they can be used for other mischief. Although dead simple to make, they are also illegal to make, although I suppose some Republican might introduce a bill to allow them into churches and schools, just in case the good citizens need to take out a government-run Meals-on-Wheels truck.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 3, 2011 8:47 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't say modern tanks are impervious, 'Mudge, particularly if the crew forgets to batten down the hatches, so to speak...

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Incidentally, Boodle, Happy Chinese New Year. Today begins the Year of the Rabbit, Xin Mao, so Ivansmom and Padouk, in particular, congratulate your lagomorphs (have gotten a new one, RD?).

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 3, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Well, yes, if you leave the hatch open or forget to close the windows. One can make something foolproof, but not damnfool-proof.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 3, 2011 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, I've got come decent coffee, check the fax, I'm sending you some. (Even though I don't drink coffee, I keep some in the house for occasions such as this.)

Morning, everybody! Hi Cassandra! I hope you got a little sleep before 0700 ayem. It will absolutely tell on a body around 4 p.m. if you don't get enough sleep.

Weingarten's op-ed is hilarious. Not being a football fan, I never paid much attention to Dan Snyder, but he's an idiot, isn't he? There's good PR and then there's bad PR, and Snyder's racking up so much bad, he'll never get out of that hole. What part of keeping his mouth shut does he not understand?

So good to hear from Kim, I hope you'll rejoin the regular commenters. We have indeed missed you!

Posted by: slyness | February 3, 2011 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Thanks slyness!! *happy slurps* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2011 9:03 AM | Report abuse

FYI, "Year of the Rabbit" is Xin Mao in Chinese. The word mao means rabbit. However, the word mao and the name Mao may not be synonymous, and before you ask, no, Mao Zedong does not mean "rabbit poop." YotR roughly coincides with Pisces, and the birthstone is aquamarine, in case you were thinking of buying a bit of bling or a bauble for any loved ones born in the YotR (1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999). It's polarity is yin, in case you were thinking of doing some electrical work.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 3, 2011 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Hey Shriek -- my Red Wings beat your Senators last night and Johan Franzén got 5 (5!!!!!) goals in that game. That feat even hit the Swedish newspapers. Very cool.

Kim -- great to hear your voice again. It's been far too long.

Now I should really concentrate on this conference call, I suppose. Toodles until later.

Posted by: ftb3 | February 3, 2011 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Morning Al!

Thanks for the moral and other support LiT, and for hitting the nail on the head re: tone of voice.

*waving to Kim*

Posted by: Raysmom | February 3, 2011 9:12 AM | Report abuse

There's battle rhythm and then there's battle rhythm. Take, for instance, Napoleon's march on Moscow. Battle rhythm came to a snowmageddon halt, much like Dan Snyder's attack on Dave McKenna and the City Newspaper. Look outside, Dan Snyder! This is your very own snowmageddon march on the fourth estate. Your troops are weary, hungry and cold and they've signed pre-employment agreements not to sue you. Time to retire to your estate in Potomac; enjoy your hard won view of the river, and rename the place, Elba. I would enjoy seeing you at the Potomac Safeway, with your hand half covered on your breast and your head adorned with a tricorn hat, under a cloud of consternation as you moodily search for Bush's Beans Original Recipe.

Posted by: davemarks | February 3, 2011 9:18 AM | Report abuse

No, Mudge, I am afraid I am still bunny-free. One day this will change, but for now the wee little dog is it.

I would also like to point out that not only is this the year of the rabbit, but I have been told it is the year of the *metal* rabbit.

Make of that what you will.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 3, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Mr. F is traveling in the Philippines this week and complained of Chinese New Year celebrations keeping him awake in his room at the Mandarin Oriental last night. I am having a hard time working up any sympathy over a little sleeplessness under the swanky and exotic circumstances. He owes me a trip to Churchill, MB!

Mudge-I think the lesson of the Finns and the Molotov Cocktail is that clever modification (MacGyverization?) of what's at hand can be pretty powerful. More powerful than a handgun in every bedside table I expect. Both US and Russian tanks remain vulnerable to Molotov Cocktails and IEDs in urban environments, where the cocktail can be launched from a basement window, as the track remains the weak link. They need dismounted infantry against the determined and clever.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 3, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

BTW, I thought Gene's letter to Snyder was a real hoot!

*still on ratzen-fratzen conference call*

Posted by: ftb3 | February 3, 2011 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm bananana and pumpkin breads. assorted hot beverages and chilled OJ on the table.

Yes, it's the metal rabbit year, referred to by some as the golden rabbit year.

Today's digout day in TWC. Most area schools are closed, but many businesses are open.

Is it spring yet?

Posted by: MsJS | February 3, 2011 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I loved Gene's letter too! It was a much more sophisticated and elegant version of that whole "It would be wrong to call Cheney a doo-doo head" sort of deal.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 3, 2011 9:42 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. *shudder* ftb. Don't call the Sens "my" senators. I feel like taking a shower now. Those cheating, lyings losers deserve every drubbing they get.

Yesterday's storm has been cancelled. The official amount of snow reported at the airport is 11cm/3.33in. and 15cm/6in. is the minimum amount to call an event a snowstorm. I most likely imagined that the snow was coming over my 25cm/10in. boots yesterday. Even the lady from the weather channel was a little discomfited to have to make the announcement. She referenced a microclimate that deposited 28cm (measured) of white stuff on her backyard deck.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 3, 2011 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all! Beatrice graciously accepts our felicitations. I'm sure the Year of the Rabbit will be a banner year.

It began well. By the time the sun was up and I could let the dogs out, the temperature had risen above zero to two degrees F. That's just really cold, y'know?

I see there was some discussion yesterday about individual rights, and the various abilities of state and federal governments. I have great respect for all the Boodlers. One of the Boodle strengths is the wide variety of both opinion and expertise. Given that, I mean what I'm about to say in the nicest possible way. If you aren't a lawyer and don't have a legal background, you are probably not going to be able to have an informed and intelligent opinion on the narrow legal issues involved in these cases. That is, you probably will not be able to understand what is going on to reach the decisions, although you understand the final outcome.

I know we all have a basic understanding of how gummint works. We also all have strong feelings about the rights of individuals and the abilities of gummint, across the spectrum. We believe that common sense should be able to help us understand these arguments. There is also a feeling that the outcomes of the cases may depend heavily on the political leanings of any given judge.

However, this is an unusually specialized and arcane area, when you get into actual legal issues rather than the larger, more philosophical questions about the nature of government. It isn't enough just to read the final opinions. You really need a background in the legal arguments, language, and over two centuries of law and history which bear on the issue. This is frustrating because it goes against all our instincts - common sense, transparency, simplification. Law is written in English, more or less, so we feel it should be clear to us. Sometimes it is more like those physics or math things you charming people post, which I enjoy without having any real idea what they are.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 3, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse

'Morning. Gene's column was very well done, I don't follow that team but I know from comments here what sort of owner he has been. Mudge, that link was terrific.

The news from Egypt about attacks on the press is disturbing, secrecy is the friend of repressive regimes.

Hope everyone affected has been shoveled out from the storm(s). It's not bad here as long as you don't have a flat roof (lots of collapses, mostly of industrial type buildings and no injuries, thank goodness).

Posted by: badsneakers | February 3, 2011 10:04 AM | Report abuse

To make sure you burn the inside of a tank with a Molotov coctail, you knock on the hatch. When they open it--pooff.

Brag :)

Posted by: Braguine | February 3, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

To the best of my knowledge, the Atlantic coast of Spain has been hit by one or two tropical storms but no hurricanes. I'm not aware of hurricanes in the Mediterranean (probably not enough moisture in summer). There's been at least one hurricane on the southern Brazilian coast, a modest category 1 that startled the locals.

The Australlian cyclone is a reminder that Florida and the Gulf coast are vulnerable to such enormous, intense storms. Maps are available quantifying the risks. Miami is bad.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 3, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Well done, as usual, Ivansmom. has made some changes which makes reading some articles less fiche-like, but they're still not using easily- available technology well.

Have a wonderful day, all.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 3, 2011 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, I-mom. When someone suggests that I read a court opinion, my reaction is "Yeah, right. As if I would understand it." You've given me validation for that viewpoint;)

Posted by: Raysmom | February 3, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, I-mom. When someone suggests that I read a court opinion, my reaction is "Yeah, right. As if I would understand it." You've given me validation for that viewpoint;)

Posted by: Raysmom | February 3, 2011 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Supreme Court opinions are sometimes quite lucid. I'm thinking of Justice Souter on the Palila Bird.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 3, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

The simplest SCOTUS opinions are always those from Clarence Thomas- "Ditto what Scalia said."

Posted by: kguy1 | February 3, 2011 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Come to think of it, if the Supremes use the Affordable Care Act to redefine the Commerce Clause, it'll probably be bad news for the Palila Bird, which lives only in Hawaii.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 3, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

iced ballerinas
trees sparkle in adagio
agony well masked

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 3, 2011 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Trust Imom, she's a lawyer. Ya see, right there is the problem.


Much earlier in today's boodle, regards to DotC. May he be beset only with the lesser of two weevils. (In honor of my fav. author.)

Posted by: Don_from_I-270 | February 3, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Great news! After 19 years of experience with them, I have received approval to operate lasers that are capable of burning your retina to a useless glob in an instant.

My mother would be so proud, if I told her.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 3, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

(properly chastened, he reappears...)

R-mom, LiT - thanks. I'll apologize for the tone of some of my postings; it was certainly not my intent to put down the intelligence of posters here. I tend to learn a lot on this blog; that plus being a fan or Joel's writing is why I read it. I'll try to keep the tone more civil in the future.

I-mom - appreciate your thoughts as well, but frankly they bother me. I understand that in specialized subjects, a non-lawyer can't possibly understand all that's going on. After all these years, I've accepted that I'll never understand everything happening in patent law (and IP law in general). At the end somebody's just going to tell "you own that, and she owns this, and this is how we're going to resolve it." And I'm beginning to think real estate law is the same, from my limited experiences with it. :-)

But frankly, the suggestion that I shouldn't try to read and understand a court opinion on an important issue bothers me. I've read a number of them for various reasons, and I've found many (certainly not all) lucid and understandable. Some of these judges can actually write well. :-)

And it often bothers me when an opinion is issued, and someone says "well, it says that" when reading would indicate that the opposite is true. Yes, it's possible that it's in such an arcane area, filled with terms of art and long histories, that words do not mean what they seem to mean. But that's not always the case,

My bottom line: I tend to think that discouraging the lay person from attempting to read and understand court opinions leads only to more lawyer jokes and lower regard for the legal profession.

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | February 3, 2011 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I'm frankly amazed the Google home page hasn't lagomorphed today...

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Don, I'm more or less constantly rereading the series. Whenever I'm between other books or just in the mood for some friendly prose I pick it up and read a bit. Great stuff!

I only caught a bit of it on my way into work but Diane Rehm's show this morning was about the health care law/repeal effort/recent court rulings. I mention this in case anyone is interested in grabbing the show once it's available on the web (I think tomorrow).

Posted by: cowhand214 | February 3, 2011 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Lots of court opinions are quite readable as-is. And many more are pretty readable once you develop a knack for skipping lightly through or over the thicket of cited precedent. Legal arguments are often drowse-inducing, but (in my relatively limited experience) they're seldom as technical as an average article in an average scientific journal.

Posted by: bobsewell | February 3, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

5 possible hurricanes in the Med, DotC:

"On rare occasions, tropical-like systems occur over the Mediterranean Sea. These systems are a subject of some debate within meteorological circles whether they closely fit the definition of tropical cyclones, subtropical cyclones, or polar lows. Their origins are typically non-tropical, and develop over open waters under strong, initially cold-core cyclones, similar to subtropical cyclones in the Atlantic Basin. Sea surface temperatures in late-August and early-September are quite high over the basin (+24/+28°C), though research indicates water temperatures of 20 °C/68 °F are normally required for development.

"Meteorological literature documents that such systems occurred in September 1947, September 1969, January 1982, September 1983, and January 1995. The last system developed a well-defined eye, and a ship recorded 85 mph (140 km/h) winds, along with an atmospheric pressure of 975 mbar. Although it had the structure of a tropical cyclone, it occurred over 61 °F (16 °C) water temperatures, suggesting it could have been a polar low."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 3, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Apparently January 1995 was clearly a hurricane:

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 3, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I see that the passage from the Kepler article I mentioned yesterday has been slightly emended...

"The K-11 solar system is some 2,000 light-years away (the distance light would travel in 2,000 years), and so is unlikely to be visited from Earth or definitively understood. That will be true of all the Kepler-discovered planets, simply because the telescope is looking so far into space ... "


Posted by: bobsewell | February 3, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the outcry worked this time. The language has been dropped.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 3, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

You have to watch the Jon Stewart piece on that rape/abortion thing, given by Kristin Shaal. Hysterical...and kinda pathetic that she even had to do this ridiculous thing.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 3, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Mudge, it was kind of a "meaning of is" moment. Rape-rape?
Maybe they could get Clayton Williams to explain it for them. Back when he ran against Ann Richards for Texas guv in 1990, Williams famously compared rape to bad weather, "If it's inevitable, just relax and enjoy it." He lost.

Posted by: kguy1 | February 3, 2011 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Hubby and I were watching that this morning, Mudge. I completely lost it when she pulled out the piggy bank.

It's usually sad that Stewart and Co. have to do most of their bits and sketches to point out the absurdity of various measures and comments. At least on this measure other news outlets also criticized it.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | February 3, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

That 1995 Mediterranean storm does look like a hurricane in a teacup.

Europeans seem to have been taken by surprise by Atlantic hurricanes. But not, it seems, Columbus. Maybe he was pretty sharp. Blog item from a Washington source:

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 3, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

OK, I'm starting to get excited about the possibility of some actual changes in this country's health-care system. There's a notice from our insurer (Guardian) that, beginning later this year, they won't be renewing medical coverage in most states, including Virginia.

If a few more large insurers get on board that movement, that's gonna leave a whole lot of money loose on the table. If we can convince Congress to drop the unfair tax treatment of individual-vs-business insurance purchases, then maybe both insurers and providers will start offering rationally-priced care to people who are finally paying attention to where the money goes. You can bet SOMEBODY is gonna be chasing all that cash, and they won't all be scam artists.

Posted by: bobsewell | February 3, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Armybrat, I don't disagree with you, and I don't mean to discourage you from reading and trying to understand court opinions. As you and BobS point out, many are easily understood by educated lay people. As a general rule I think it is a good idea for people to try and read through opinions. For years I've been on something of a crusade, in a small way, to encourage writing opinions which are as clear and easily understood as possible. That's how I do it, because I want people to know what we're saying. Sometimes, sadly, a point of law is complex enough that just doesn't happen. That's what I'm referring to here.

However, you mentioned something which goes to my point. It bothers you when an opinion comes down, you read it and think it says one thing, and legal interpreters tell you it says something else. Sometimes that happens, and it really does say something different than it appears to say. The Constitutional issues involved in the federalism/state's rights/individual liberties cases are often like that. That is what I was trying to convey.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 3, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

testing, testing, 123

Posted by: rickoshea12 | February 3, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I remember that the last storm in the Warshington area triggered a lot of comments on this Pepco entity.
This headline made me laugh.
"Pepco may charge more due to outages.
Pepco customers who struggled through up to five days without power last week could soon pay for the privilege." What a system.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 3, 2011 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm afraid to go "thump, thump" again, 'cuz Mudge will go "Ow! Ow!". And we can't have that!

Posted by: ftb3 | February 3, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Beatrice was very frisky this morning, as befits someone whose year is beginning. She did something completely new to us. I had my big mug of Constant Comment tea on the floor next to me. She hopped right up, sniffed it, then started to put out her tongue to try some. I discouraged her, on the theory that caffeine can't be good for rabbits, but she came back several times to try again.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 3, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

It's all those anti-oxidants, I'mom. She knows they're good for her. I just finished a mega-mug of Vanilla-Almond tea, which certainly does the trick on a wintry day, indeed.

Back to the contract-drafting, wishing I had a wabbit to play with.

Posted by: ftb3 | February 3, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Oooh, this is just perfect karma:

Posted by: slyness | February 3, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

@ftb: hewe's a wabbit to pway wiff:

Posted by: MsJS | February 3, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, does Beatrice also groak? This is wonderful word I recently came across. which means to stare at someone when they are eating, in the hope that they will give you some food. I later found a similar definition at a site called "Worthless Word For The Day". Worthless? I have never found a better word to describe what my cats do when I am eating!

Posted by: orawh | February 3, 2011 3:39 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 3, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

O'RIELLY explains that the moon doesn't necessarily explain the tides.

Posted by: bh72 | February 3, 2011 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Poor Mudge -- you keep getting in the way of my thumps. Do you do that deliberately? Shall I fax you some single malt Scotch to make it allllllllll better?

I know that those with dementia problems tend to go even more nutz when there's a full moon (wreaking havoc with the "tides" of the brain fluids). Does O'Reilly have an alternative explanation of the tides (not that I really want to know, you know)?

Thanks MsJS -- great wabbit video!

Posted by: ftb3 | February 3, 2011 4:26 PM | Report abuse

A little Hendricks gin would be good, ftb.

I wonder if O'Reilly's tidal fetish couldn't be explained as a subconscious reaction to a major bladder infection.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 3, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

And this just in from the Borowitz Report:

Obama Says He Will Resend Message to Mubarak, This Time in All Caps

White House Mulls Change in Font

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) - Concerned that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak did not receive his message to begin a peaceful transition to democratic reforms, President Barack Obama said today that he would resend the message "but this time in all caps."

Mr. Obama said that while he hoped sending a capitalized version of the message would be effective, "we have a variety of other options at our disposal, including resending it in bold."

In the days since it became clear that Mr. Mubarak did not receive the White House's initial message, Mr. Obama has been huddling with advisors to discuss a range of more drastic options, including changing the message's font altogether.

"We are fully prepared to go to a stronger font if that will help make our point to Mubarak," said one aide who spoke on condition of anonymity. "Right now every font is on the table except Comic Sans."

On the Republican side, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin said that she would refrain from commenting on the situation in Egypt until she learned how to pronounce "Mubarak."

Meanwhile, at the National Prayer Breakfast, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) led all Americans in praying that they never need healthcare.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 3, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Well said, Ivansmom. Some of us occasionally do read the opinions, and even yet more seldomly, the cases cited in the opinion. Usually, though, I just listen to you. And thanks for valiantly overcoming the demonically powerful lawyerly impulse to charge us for it!

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 3, 2011 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Jumper! Lawyers gotta eat, too, yanno!

*muttering expletives while kicking rocks and pebbles down street*

Ya gotta provide *exceptions*, too, folks. Like for boodle lawyers.


Posted by: ftb3 | February 3, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

2 hours exactly.

The glow of the sunset over the Clara Barton rest area is just gorgeous.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 3, 2011 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mudge! DUCK!!!

*thump* *thump*

Posted by: ftb3 | February 3, 2011 5:25 PM | Report abuse

The National Theatre's broadcast of King Lear from the little Donmar Warehouse Theatre was hit by a satellite glitch, so a key scene with disguised Edgar and blind Gloucester was restarted from the top.

All this uncomfortably close to the audience. There is something to be said for doing the play in a theater seating more than 250 people. A bit of distance from such nastiness.

I had a close encounter a few years ago. A play from shortly before Cromwell shut down the theatres, set in something like Egypt, with a man claiming to be king returning 20 years after the slaughter of his army. And a Roman diplomat keeping events in check. I was in the front row. The place didn't have a stage. Swordplay on the floor in front of me, almost close enough that I could have participated with the walking stick I'd just purchased, right beside me.

That play might be worth producing in Washington, for Republicans.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 3, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

mudge - as long as he doesn't use Comic Sans

(Google "Dan Gilbert letter" if you don't get that joke.)

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | February 3, 2011 6:19 PM | Report abuse

I am going to have to work groak into a conversation soon.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 3, 2011 6:38 PM | Report abuse

"Bad Day at Black Rock" is a great movie. Checked it out of the library and saw it for first just last year. Recommend it to all

Posted by: omni3 | February 3, 2011 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Frostbitten, do what I did. Wait until someone mentions their pet and then ask if the pet groaks.

Posted by: orawh | February 3, 2011 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Ivansmom. While my own comment was off-the wall myself, but interesting since health insurance is now considered a form of currency for health care, and people who pay cash pay much higher rates for health insurance, it's only a small part of the problem: we are rapidly developing a class-based finance system thanks to credit cards, credit reports and such. I do think this needs to be thought about by a legal scholar or two. Are we, in fact, allowing corporations to form and enforce their own currency within our borders? There would be advantages to them if they could; income not documented in dollars means lower taxes.

As you pointed out, law is history and tradition, not just what the original law says. Most laws refer to and are intended to be interpreted in context of other laws, and are supposed to apply narrowly to a specific concern.

You cannot take a perceived law in isolation and apply it to every issue. There's a hierarchy. There's specific intent of a law, as derived from the law itself and all rulings narrowing or broadening its purpose and applicability.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 3, 2011 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Ora, I can't thank you enough for the word groak. My #2 daughter's dogs do this all the time and it drives me nuts. Now at least I can verbalize the behavior with a word that will be fun to say.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 3, 2011 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Um, lesser of twoo???

Weevil (band), a band from Yorkshire, England
Weevil (Torchwood), an alien race in Torchwood
Insector Haga - Weevil Underwood, a character in the Yu-Gi-Oh! universe
Eli “Weevil” Navarro, a supporting character in Veronica Mars


Posted by: omni3 | February 3, 2011 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, get your fix heare:

Posted by: omni3 | February 3, 2011 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Internet lag problems all day. Bah.

I'm talking law to the Boodle pro bono? Jeez. What was I thinking? Ah well, this way I can always say the information is worth what you paid for it.

Beatrice does not groak (nice word). This is primarily, I suspect, because she does not recognize much of what she sees us eat as food. I do give her lettuce, carrots and sugar snaps, but all food is confined to her cage.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 3, 2011 8:20 PM | Report abuse

In high school while a member of the Model United Nations club, I wanted to be a lawyer because I liked wearing the three piece suits. But I couldn't grow the dorsal fin.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 3, 2011 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Oh. It's Chinese New Year!

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 3, 2011 8:29 PM | Report abuse

I like Apple Chancery. Brush Script would be a close second except capital I and T look to much alike. Zapfino is cool but sometimes hard to read. Handwriting font is rightist ( obviously a right handed writer's font ). For programming I'll just stick with Courier or Courier New, something that isn't True Type.

Posted by: omni3 | February 3, 2011 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Internet lag problems...I thought it was just me. BAH!!! Indeed!

Posted by: omni3 | February 3, 2011 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Evenin' all. I hope ya'll are keeping warm or staying cool or whatever floats your boat (or blows up your skirt as my grandmother used to say :). I spent about 5 hours today trying to make a d appear as a j (in certain cases) on three screens in the software program I work on. This is why God created beer.

Has anyone here seen Joshua Bell perform? I'm supposed to go to a concert tomorrow night with my parents who are in town for a conference and I can't say I have any idea what to expect.

Also I haven't a *thing* to wear. Do you think the dress code will require me to tuck in my shirt?

Posted by: cowhand214 | February 3, 2011 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Hosni Mubarak is one deluded old man.

Posted by: BaileyReynolds | February 3, 2011 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, yello. And then you have to go to the special tailor.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 3, 2011 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Joshua Bell: excellent musician. Fine performer. Violin or fiddle, depending on the genre, well worth seeing and hearing. Probably you should tuck in your shirttail.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 3, 2011 9:09 PM | Report abuse

While we are all reading legal filings, here is the full text of Dan Snyder's law suit against that City Paper writer whose name I can't remember:

It was linked to by Weingarten in his rather funny chat about his hilarious open letter to Dan Snyder.

I suggest someone with a CafePress account start selling "Honk If You've Been Sued By Dan Snyder" bumperstickers.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 3, 2011 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Lucky you, cowhand! Yeah, tuck in the shirt and wear dress shoes instead of sneakers. Your parents will be impressed.

That's putting it mildly, BaileyReynolds. The shame is that people will die/have died already, because of his delusions.

Posted by: slyness | February 3, 2011 9:20 PM | Report abuse

I was at symphony last night and wore good jeans, heels and a pretty sweater. Is that helpful?

Posted by: Yoki | February 3, 2011 9:33 PM | Report abuse

I wanted to be a lawyer, until I spent a year in law school. Then I quit to enlist in the Army. The frostrents and the first Mr. F were not amused.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 3, 2011 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I think that might shock some people were I to try that.

That's good to know Ivansmom. I'd be happy with either style I suppose (I used torment the violin in middle and high school) so I guess we'll see. Lately I've been listening to more traditional Irish music which is obviously fiddle-centric.

They're calling for more snow here on Saturday. Can you believe it?

Posted by: cowhand214 | February 3, 2011 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Any moment now, DNAgirl will appear to fairy-wand integrate vie haiku:

groak -- to watch (lasciviously) another eat

grok -- the Robert Heinlein word that means something like

to deeply become another thing and understand that thing's perspective from the inside out.

Ex: become Beatrice by some shapeshifting mode, IMOM. Then, you can return and tell us what she really thinks about Constant Comment OR if she has a jonesing for what ftb drinks...

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 3, 2011 9:48 PM | Report abuse

I hope you've read this, cowhand:

If not, enjoy. Joshua Bell is wonderful, in so many ways. Make sure you give us a review!

Posted by: seasea1 | February 3, 2011 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Cowhand, am with Yoki on this one and POLISH YOUR SHOES!!!! Her shoes are simply fab and shine with such care....

Baby oil or a light coating of vaseline will do in a pinch.

Everybody needs a neutral KIWI polish tin. WORD.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 3, 2011 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: seasea1 | February 3, 2011 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Dogs grok people food
Ergo, they groak people food.
Why can't people grok?


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 3, 2011 10:26 PM | Report abuse

A nice article.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 3, 2011 10:29 PM | Report abuse

A friend wrote me with a reference to S.R. Ranganathan, an Indian who devised a library catalog system. Maybe someone will find my reply slightly interesting. LTL-CA

I remember the catalog in the university library at UCRiverside. They used the Library of Congress system, which I liked, and each book would be in the catalog in multiple places, which is in effect giving it multiple reference numbers; probably easy to do with computerized catalogs. I don’t think I have used a library for research since the early 80s when I looked up some GIS (geographical information systems) topics at UCLA, some of which were in the engineering/computer science collection in the engineering building (the “Chinese” library, where I would be nearly the only round-eyes in the place), and some in the geography library in the social sciences building.

When I was in high school I would sometimes go to the UCLA main library with my dad when he was getting stuff, to get books for my classes. I didn’t like the American history teacher (one of the football coaches), and by luck stumbled across the book that he used more or less verbatim to lecture from. He must have had a good memory. My dad being faculty could keep books more or less forever, so I would take the book to history class and occasionally finish the teacher’s sentences for him. He really didn’t like me. After I found the books I was looking for, I would usually go browse in the section on streetcars or trams and interurban railways, which UCLA had a big collection on, and I found (and still find) pretty interesting. I was disappointed at UCR that they had hardly anything of that sort, but they had all of Marquis de Sade’s writings (in French) and when I took 18th Century European history I read several for my major paper. Some of the apparently dirty words (mostly verbs) I could never find in French-English dictionaries.

Posted by: Jim19 | February 3, 2011 10:49 PM | Report abuse

University libraries are great for obscure literature finds. Did you ever find what these verbs meant?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 3, 2011 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I read the dear old MdS in French for a paper too! In spite of the, um, rather limited (though considerably less restricted than I imagined as a green girl!) population to whom specific acts described might appeal, he managed to write first-rate stories.

Posted by: Yoki | February 3, 2011 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Highly obscure, vernacular French-language dirty words from the 18th century? Perhaps I can help.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 3, 2011 11:26 PM | Report abuse

To groak or to grok?
There ain't no such thing as a
free lunch or free dom

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 3, 2011 11:27 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | February 3, 2011 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, and a Happy Year of the Rabbit, y'all.

As we humans learn more about the universe we live in, I suppose I should feel smaller, but somehow, I feel we're becoming a larger part of it.

And I'm OK with that.


Posted by: -bc- | February 3, 2011 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Does a stolen lunch exist
or is it a burp?


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 3, 2011 11:34 PM | Report abuse

To be or not to...
that question bedevils like
egg first or chicken

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 3, 2011 11:52 PM | Report abuse

What hits the ground first,
I gobble first. No riddle.
Just alert patience.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 3, 2011 11:54 PM | Report abuse

No, WG, even though I looked in my F-E dictionaries and the F dictionaries in the library. MdS was writing about politics (even the book called something like Philosophy in the Bedroom) so it didn't matter all that much.


Posted by: Jim19 | February 3, 2011 11:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm clever enough to get DNA_girl's jokes on all levels, and appreciate them, but jeez, I wish I were clever enough to make them.

Posted by: Yoki | February 3, 2011 11:55 PM | Report abuse

action or device
for everything a season
time and way to win

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 4, 2011 12:02 AM | Report abuse

'night 'dog

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 4, 2011 12:19 AM | Report abuse

seasea, thanks for the links. I'm now really looking forward to tomorrow.

And with that I note it's way past my bedtime. Vaya con Dios!

Posted by: cowhand214 | February 4, 2011 1:13 AM | Report abuse

In these parts, rabbits are called tu zi, or tu. We call cats mao.

Posted by: rainforest1 | February 4, 2011 1:54 AM | Report abuse

You call cats mao?

What do you call a deaf Canadian cat?


Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2011 2:03 AM | Report abuse


lon Zia Na Ta mao

Posted by: rainforest1 | February 4, 2011 2:27 AM | Report abuse

What do you call a deaf cat? Minou.
What do you call a Ken Kesey? def cat

Posted by: baldinho | February 4, 2011 5:28 AM | Report abuse

What do you call the father of two Chinese rabbits?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 4, 2011 6:30 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. Slyness, did go back to bed, and the g-girl and I were late getting to school. We took my neighbor to dialysis, and had to stop and get breakfast too.

I was late getting in last night, the kids had quite a bit of work to do. I work with kids that have different levels of ability, but try to teach them to help one another. Yesterday they brought me their report cards, and the cards were so good. All of them got pretty good report cards, it just made my day, and theirs too!

I'm babysitting today! The "big guy" will be here this morning. And my grandsons have decided they need to lose weight, so they're eating better. And the last time I saw them, I could tell the difference. I text them when they get out of school. I love this new technology! I can't believe they're in high school! Lord, I'm old!

I hope the snow is melting for you guys that have so much of it. This has really been a tough winter. I think it's raining here, and a tad chilly.

Last night I had to call someone to open my car door so I could get out. The handle is gone. I will have to crawl across the passenger seat to get out or someone will have to open the door for me. Not good, not good at all.

Ivansmom, I think you are a great teacher, and I appreciate your comments concerning law and other things. If I read an opinion, and that's a big if, would not know the first thing about it. I believe everyone here adds a lot to the conversation. And it's all good.

The bed is calling my name. Have any of you had that experience? And my answer is yes!

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

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 4, 2011 6:49 AM | Report abuse

good morning boodle! My apologies if someone already linked to this from Egypt.

Pineapple macadamia waffles this morning. Will leave out the fruity bits upon request.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 4, 2011 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Good morning Boodlies!

Ha! Animal talk.
On year of the rabbit. Bunnies are delicious. Yum, yum.

On cats. If you have a fat black cat watching the mouse trap and you replace him with another fat black cat to watch the mouse trap, you end up with ... you've guessed it. A fat black cat watching ...

That is exactly what the White House is suggesting for Egypt with a transion government headed by Suleiman.

I doubt the Egyptian and Arab streets will accept more of the same.

Haff a happy Friday everyone.

El Brag :)

Posted by: Braguine | February 4, 2011 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all, happy Friday! Cassandra, I hope you rested well. Do we need to ask bc to find and send you a door handle for your car?

I found Mary Beard on the Times of London site ages ago and enjoy reading her blog. Her son has been studying in Egypt and she has posted about his adventures in the last week. Yesterday he was to come home.

Posted by: slyness | February 4, 2011 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for those links Slyness. Beard reads like she could be a boodler.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 4, 2011 8:07 AM | Report abuse

frosti, if we all left the fruity bits out this'd be a pretty dull place, hm? ;-)

Darn outside faucets and cold weather -- waiting for the plumber to come diagnose how badly the ice bandjaxed things -- and the need to telecommute... :-)

*hoping-everyone-has-a-TFSMIF-for-realz Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 4, 2011 8:26 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. This one's for you Science Tim. Tom Toles exposes the clique of "scientists" who keep on discovering "planets" while ignoring the muuch simpler and credible alternative of a solid firmament.

Mubarak has at least one western leader firmly supporting him: the increasingly clownish Berlusconi.
"Silvio Berlusconi calls Mubarak a wise man"

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 4, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse


I had to laugh at your comment about the door handle. Better to laugh, than to cry. BC, would you have a handle for a 1996 Toyota CorollaDM, four door? That car has seen it's best days. I know it has about 300,000 miles, give or take a few miles. I'm not complaining, it has been good to me, but I haven't been good to it. Looks horrible, but I don't know, kinda matches the driver in a comical sort of way. LOL! And the grands have put the hurt on it. When I was able to clean it out, I would always find french fries or nuggets under the seats, and the latest toy from Burger King or McDonalds. Crayons, pencils, paper, books, you name it, it's been there and probably is still there, some of it. LOL! But I'm crazy about that car. It was the first nearly new car I bought.

All those memories wrapped up in a piece of metal or whatever cars are made of. Many of them happy memories, of course, some sad. Wouldn't take nothing for them.

Isn't life grand?

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 4, 2011 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I figure bc has connections. If anyone can find a door handle for a Corolla, he's the one who can do it.

Frosti, I hadn't thought of Mary Beard in those terms, but that's why I like her, obviously! She's the classics don at Newnham College, Cambridge. What's not to love about a woman who's devoted her life to ancient culture and teaches it on a college level?

Posted by: slyness | February 4, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, no more or less than anyone else here. Thanks for letting me play.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 4, 2011 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I know I'm a day late and a dollar short on most things, but I read that opinion piece by Gene Weingarten to Dan Snyder. I shouldn't have done that right after eating breakfast! I'm hurting so bad from laughing!

And to make matters worse, I went to the comment section. Oh my! Whew!! Need air! One guy wrote, thank God for Washington, and not in a good way which is kind of the focus in Weingarten's letter.

Do you think this Snyder person is going to get that letter? I mean he doesn't seem to get most things, do you think he'll miss this too?

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 4, 2011 9:28 AM | Report abuse

I know I'm a day late and a dollar short on most things, but I read that opinion piece by Gene Weingarten to Dan Snyder. I shouldn't have done that right after eating breakfast! I'm hurting so bad from laughing!

And to make matters worse, I went to the comment section. Oh my! Whew!! Need air! One guy wrote, thank God for Washington, and not in a good way which is kind of the focus in Weingarten's letter.

Do you think this Snyder person is going to get that letter? I mean he doesn't seem to get most things, do you think he'll miss this too?

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 4, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Sorry about the double posts!

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 4, 2011 9:32 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

Is anybody experiencing anything weird happening on their computers? Here's what's happening. Apparently, two days ago, "something happened" to a piece of Facebook coding concerning the "Like" button, when you indicate you "like" somebody's post. At any rate, what seems to be happening is that glitch, whatever it is, has been causing programs to self-launch on computers, for no reason. On my computer, the graphics program "Dreamweaver" has been self-launching for no reason (12 times in one day, two days ago). For other people, it has been launching Notepad. Systems admins are aware of it. One piece of advice was that it also seemed to be related to Shockwave, and if you disable the Shockwave thing in the tool section, the glitch will stop.

At any rate, that's what they're telling me. Those of you who do IT work may know what all this means; I don't. I'm just reporting what's been happening, and what I was told.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 4, 2011 9:49 AM | Report abuse

I blame Obama, 'Mudge...

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 4, 2011 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I have not had anything strange like that happen to me Mudge.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 4, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Mubarak, dead man walking.

Berlusconi is absolutely nuts.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 4, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else bothered by the way WaPo phrased this?

"Anxious to move Mubarak out of the way, but wary of appearing to try to impose a plan, the White House authorized a senior official to deny media accounts that the administration had formulated a specific proposal for the contours of a new government. 'It's simply wrong to report that there's a single U.S. plan that's being negotiated,' the official said."

So WaPo's accusing a leaker of lying, is that it? *sour face*

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 4, 2011 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Obama! Of course! *smacks forehead*

I should have known.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 4, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all! It is probably a whopping twenty degrees this morning, with a light gentle snow falling. Sure looks pretty. Of course, I still haven't made it out of my driveway. Good thing I was caught up at work.

I'm with Yoki on enjoyment of DNA Girl's stuff. Cassandra, it is great that you get to babysit, and that the grandboys are starting to think about eating right. That's a big battle, and it makes all the difference when they make the decision for themselves.

Frostbitten, the world is clearly better off because you left law school. Anyone can be a lawyer, but not everyone can do all the different things you do, and so well.

Thanks to Shrieking Denizen for the Toles Rant. It is so hard to write that kind of parody now. The stuff he's making fun of is so loony his Rant could be real.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 4, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

What it means, mudge, is fb is careless--about privacy, code, testing. If it has its code tentacles in so many other apps, that's scary to people like me. They apparently consider themselves unaccountable. Rant off.

Great news on the report cards, cassanda! You change a lot of lives for the better.

My first (and possibly final) Reiki certification class starts tonight. Maybe I should reiki fb.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 4, 2011 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Hiya -- I, too, have had a bit of "interesting" computer things happening, in that it's been very sluggish in the online world. I rebooted my Comcast box and then I rebooted my Mac, and all seems to be a bit better now.

Read in the Swedish newspapers today that the actress Lena Nyman died overnight. Only 66 years old. Now, she wasn't necessarily a household word over here, but some might remember from her youth in the late 60s when she starred in the "I am Curious" films somewhat nakedly. She was also in "Autumn Sonata" in the late-ish 70s, where she played a disabled woman, with Ingrid Bergman as a cold-hearted mother and Liv Ullman as her sister-caretaker. I have a copy of that film, but haven't looked at it since it first came out, and I was still living over there.

Back to work.

Posted by: ftb3 | February 4, 2011 10:43 AM | Report abuse

government officials and starting to show up at the demonstrations in Alexandria. like you said a little while ago, Mudge.

Posted by: -jack- | February 4, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, bc has trouble posting to the Boodle sometimes --

He's wondering, "You're sure you need an interior driver's side doorhandle for your Toyota?"


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 4, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, rant kilt the boodle.

It's just as a CISA and database engineer I think about this stuff all day. Fb would not evaluate well professionally afaic. . . When the machines take over you'll see I was right :)

mini soft pretzels in the den, help yourself.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 4, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

wrong city. the government officials are at the demonstrations in Cairo.

Posted by: -jack- | February 4, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I did, Jack? I don't think I have said Word One about Egypt.

ftb, it's really quite freaky that both Lena Nyman of "I Am Curious" and Maria Schneider of "Last Tango in Paris" both died the same day.

Schneider obit:

Nyman obit:

(Well, reported on same day. Nyman died Friday, Schneider died Thursday.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 4, 2011 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Scotty, it's the interior handle. It opens fine from the outside. I'm thinking it's something that connects a "thingy" to whatever is suppose to make the door open. The handle feels loose, like something is broken. It's hanging and looks like one could just pull it off with no problem.

Tell BC, not to worry if he can't find anything, Scotty. I don't want to put him to any trouble. That car's days are numbered. Everything wears out, including the owner.

Ivansmom, daughter called, going to keep the big guy in today because it's so wet and cold. Just don't want to risk bringing him out in this weather, and it's probably for the best.

I got the basketball for the g-girl. If the weather permits, hopefully we'll get to try it out Sunday. It's suppose to be sunny and a tad warmer. She's excited, and so am I. Now if I can just find someone that knows how to play basketball, I certainly don't! The last time I tried to play, a guy elbowed me in the face, and then the ankle twisted on me. All this took place at the local community college for P.E. I got an exemption from that course after the doctor's visit for the ankle, and none to soon!

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 4, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, last summer I started shooting baskets at the gym as a warm-up. The Boy had insisted I play with him once, and I was surprised at what good exercise it was. I asked one of the guys who hung out at the basketball court to show me what they did. I'm sure it looked funny, a short plump white lady with no particular coordination, but at least I'm persistent. It was fun. If I ever get back to the gym I'll keep at it.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 4, 2011 11:28 AM | Report abuse

right again, Mr. Shop Steward. It was r-thistle. skimmed too quickly.

Posted by: -jack- | February 4, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Basketball is the only team sport I was ever good at. Played in high school and second-string in university. Fun!

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

No problem, Jack. I was enjoying basking in my prescience and perspicacity. Now, if I only knew who was gonna win the Super Bowl...

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 4, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

jack, the dynamics are amazing. Watching al jazeera stream ... since 6 in the am.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 4, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I once made a basket in an actual basketball game.


Posted by: ScienceTim | February 4, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

This is completely off topic - but the home that Calculus built - Wow!

Posted by: dmd3 | February 4, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Big excitement at the Ivanshouse. Ivansdad made it out of the driveway on his way to a meeting. If his 4wheel drive CRV can do it, perhaps my Honda will too. At some point. I'm in no hurry.

It is still snowing here, lightly, but less bitterly cold than it has been. The Boy decided this was the perfect time for me to take pictures of him in the snow wearing board shorts. I did insist on shoes. That was pretty funny to watch.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 4, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I-mom, did you stall and fiddle with the camera pretending it had a problem to keep him out in the cold longer?

And on another whole topic, the gift that keeps on giving, Virginia Thomas, is trying to be a bigtime playa on the Hill-

Posted by: kguy1 | February 4, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I don't think I have ever played an actual game of basketball in my life. But when I was in Junior High I was the scorekeeper and team statistician. So, like, as you can imagine, the young women were all over me.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 4, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Careful about where you bestow that digital salute-

My only question is just what the heck is a "non-verbal hand gesture" and does the existence of such a thing necessarily imply a "verbal hand gesture" also? Perhaps a seance to contact Senor Wences is in order.

Posted by: kguy1 | February 4, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I-mom-you are too kind. I enjoyed my time in law school immensely but always intended to join the Army and it hit me that as a JAG there would be little opportunity to blow things up.

Basketball, where do I start? I'll watch just about anything where a score is kept, but basketball is the best-sport-ever. Love to play too, but being vertically challenged doesn't help performance. Mr. F is a gifted athlete and does well at any sport he tries, but is pure grace on the basketball court. Super bowl, shmooper bowl, bring on March Madness!

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 4, 2011 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I've been to a basketball game. A couple of them, in fact.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 4, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey, y'all!

I could use some boodle sympathy. Two days ago our internet server 'lost power' and 'had to wait for parts to arrive', according to their phone reps. (A transponder down and parts from Boston one informed idiot told me. No back-up parts?)

Late last night we "got back on." Translated, the major portion of Shenandoah County and surrounding areas (including first-responders, government offices, businesses and residents, etc.) were without use of the innertubes for 43 hours. For me it only meant that I paid some bills via snailmail and was bothered and bored. I can't imagine what the repercussions elsewhere will be.

Back-boodling is daunting. I do hope you all are well and I send hugs.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 4, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I like basketball, too, but I think that hockey is my favorite (at least so long as the Red Wings remain terrific).

When I was in junior high school and high school (back in the stone age), the women's game was only half-court. Couldn't have been more boring.

Frosti -- you woulda made one helluva great lawyer! Our profession needs more like you. And that wasn't a gratuitous shovelful, either!

Posted by: ftb3 | February 4, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, that was very perspicacious of you. JAG lawyers have limited opportunities to blow things up. I think it is a real recruiting drawback.

I briefly read that Talitha wishes us well and is sending bugs. Too much snow for me.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 4, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm just glad your long nightmare is over. Thank goodness I have a web-capable cell phone just for such disasters.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 4, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I suppose that if the US military were to re-invade the Shenandoah Valley, they'd first cut off the Internet. Probably cable TV, too.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 4, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Imom, bugs back to you! Do you prefer praying mantises or roly-polies? 8~)

Posted by: talitha1 | February 4, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Hah, Dave. They don't have Sheridan anymore!

Posted by: talitha1 | February 4, 2011 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Big excitement in the dmd house, eldest received her final marks for 1st semester, for the 1st time ever she has completed a course with honours, it was history (Canadian) - that she is passionate about history is an understatement - she is thrilled beyond words. She also received one other similar mark but it was in Comm/Tech so no honours, and she passed science, now she can look forward to Biology next year and without Chemistry and Physics perhaps even better marks. Of math we will not speak, second time is the charm correct?

Also last night middle child prepared an anniversary gift for dmdspouse and I, she got a bristle board and selected some photos and created a very nice display of our lives together.

Some days being a parent really is worth it.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 4, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Verbal hand gesture= a sign, perhaps? Something translatable as language?

I know what minou means in French, but I don't get the deafness allusion, other than the all-caps.

I agreed with Weingarten's article completely. Also not a 'Skins fan.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 4, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Very lovely, dmd. Congratulations and confetti to you all. :-)

Posted by: talitha1 | February 4, 2011 2:51 PM | Report abuse

talitha, "I know just how you feel." Dammit, I hate that expression but you do have my sympathy. When it happens to me, I feel that I am suddenly cut off from the outside world. Being a news junkie, I am usually reduced to reading the paper newspaper (sorry for the retronym) that I subscribe to but usually read online. Anyhow, I'm glad you got connected again.

Posted by: orawh | February 4, 2011 3:35 PM | Report abuse

You should be rightly proud on all accounts.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 4, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse

ora, thanks! Hope you're well.

Tried to watch Mr. Obama and Mr. Harper address the press and our nations ... distractions abounded. Will trust boodlers for what substance and/or nonsense transpired.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 4, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

dmd, what yello said.

talitha, welcome back to virtual reality.

re hoops: I was a great shooter as a youth, but too short to make the team.

I-mom: Hope the pictures turn out great.

I am in serious crave mode this afternoon. I just sent the caregiver du jour to the Big Box O' Coffee drive-thru for a warm calorie-laden latte thingy. Extra large.

I hope they've plowed the drive-thru lane.

Posted by: MsJS | February 4, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

ora, thanks! Hope you're well.

Tried to watch Mr. Obama and Mr. Harper address the press and our nations ... distractions abounded. Will trust boodlers for what substance and/or nonsense transpired.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 4, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Geez, I just wrote a great post and it didn't take. I can't remember what I said, but I vaguely recall it was awesome.


Posted by: MsJS | February 4, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Wonderful news, dmd! Enjoy it all...

Missed you, talitha, I hope you're back up for good. Being without the intertubes also drives me crazy, but I'd accomplish a lot more around here if I didn't stay on so much. Too bad, I'm definitely addicted!

Cassandra, we've had steady rain all day, how about you? I read (online at the Charlotte Observer website) that we are in drought so the rain is needed. Not that I'm complaining, but I'm happy not all days are as dreary as this one.

Ah, basketball. I live in North Carolina, and basketball is king. From November through the first of April, there are few nights when Mr. T doesn't have a game on. We've been to see the Tar Heels play a few times, that's always a high point of the year.

Geekdottir played church league basketball growing up. Great fun, especially watching the girls grow into good athletes. The very best basketball game I ever saw was their championship game when she was in the 8th grade. They lost, but it was a close-run thing, a thriller from start to finish. She fouled three times in the first five minutes. I've never been more proud of her.

Posted by: slyness | February 4, 2011 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm always surprised when people seem offended when I offer them a "non-verbal hand gesture" salute to their driving prowess. I just always assumed that's the approbation which they seek.

Posted by: bobsewell | February 4, 2011 4:31 PM | Report abuse

MsJS -- I write lots of those posts, too!

Posted by: nellie4 | February 4, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I am now finished with the projects du jour (so far) and am now back to *wave* to talitha and to Ora, and, well, to the rest o' you.

Posted by: ftb3 | February 4, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

MsJS -- I write lots of those posts, too!

Posted by: nellie4 | February 4, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Engineers have it better than the lawyers I guess in the army. They get to blow this up if they choose the right trade. A young engineer who was working with us a few years back did the sapeur/engineer course and got to blow things up for real. It was funny travelling with her; she would point at bridges, overpasses and other structures and tell me how much and where she would put the C4 to bring down the thing in the most efficient way.

The Stiff One is in Washington discussing border security with Napolitano and Obama. Nothing good will arise from that, the War on Commerce will not stop I'm afraid. Lieberman got a good knee-slapper in this week when he learned that only 30 miles of our 2500+ miles border was "defended" to a level that fully satisfies the paranoid freaks at DHS (they are not all paranoid freaks at DHS, of course, but the ones managing border policy certainly appear to be). It's not called the longest undefended border in the world for nuttin'. Good old Joe suggested the US should impose a visa on Canadians to enter the US. But of course this visa requirement would effectively apply only on the 30 miles of secure border crossings where they could be checked... What a maroon.

Labrèche at Radio-Canada had a good Harper joke yesterdy. " In his autobiography 'I stole the hair of a Playmobil Figure' Harper admitted that he got emotional once, in his first mandate, when he slammed a car door on his finger"

I got nothing on basketball. Never played outside of phys-ed and never watches it. I learned to like footballa and always liked hockey, of course. I saw Guy Lafleur playing for the As/Remparts when I was 8 or 9 and I was hooked.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 4, 2011 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Bob-S. Would that be a silent bird, by any chance?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 4, 2011 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Shriek, the whiz kids at DHS have failed to grasp this most likely scenerio. The barbarian hordes of Canukistanies will come running across said undefended border. A pinstriped suited, federal gubimint puke will greet them, saying, "welcome. You want New Jersey, help yourself. The Gulf of Mexico? Dive right in, the water is, well, it is what it is. Our wimmin? There's Sarah, and Snookie, and Princes Sparkle Pony, jus' waiting fer ya. Knock yer ol' selfs out, fellas."

Whereupon, the invading mauraders will drop their clubs and run screaming back home, their eyes bloodshot with terror at the thought of what fate might have befallen them.

Is this a great country, or what??

Posted by: Don_from_I-270 | February 4, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Indeed, Wilbrod. I'm generally not particularly upset, and don't even think about it. I figure people who cut across lanes without signaling, or honk their horns at cars waiting for pedestrians to clear a crosswalk (or any of a number of other skilled and thoughtful maneuvers) wish to be acknowledged, and it seems to me to be the proper acknowledgment.

Posted by: bobsewell | February 4, 2011 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I tried out for Junior High basketball. I figured everyone in the neighborhood played and were good and I could usually win better than a quarter of the time we played 'pig' or 'horse' I might have a chance Hah! I was the shortest kid to try out. I could make free throws but couldn't do a layup, and could barely dribble without tripping over the ball. Which, the second part annoys me in retrospect, cause every movie made about basketball the coach is always screaming "PASS" "PASS" "PASS"!!! Passing was something I could do well.

In football little league where you pay to be on a team (no tryouts) I shone. Second smallest kid on the team but sixth in most stars on helmut. The coaches philosophy about helmut stars was: One sack, one star. For the next star two more sacks. The next three sacks another star. The same thing for forced fumbles and sacks and tackles,and I go on and on.

Oh, I played defensive tackle. I guess cause of my size I was underestimated. But truth is I was tough and played hard and didn't stop.

Then we played the Lions. Their smallest kid was a foot taller than our biggest. I think the final score was 52 - 7. I got a star that game. With a tackle of a running back who was a giant, easily weighed twice as me. Oh yeah, that was the one time that season I got the wind knocked out of me so bad I just lay on the field for a minute trying to catch my breath. The coaches came out (even from the opposing team, it really looked that bad from the sidelines) My Dad came out. Finally I got up and said I was fine and walked off the field with Coach and Dad. Both of them beaming with pride.

Posted by: omni3 | February 4, 2011 5:32 PM | Report abuse

270-Don -- thanks for making my day at 5:12.


Posted by: ftb3 | February 4, 2011 5:44 PM | Report abuse

US politicians are bomky. Wait, no, they are the bonkiest, and getting bonkier all the time. Soon they will be the bonkiester politicians in the world. Well, not counting Silvio Berlusconi.

Posted by: omni3 | February 4, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse


We have the same thing here. I went out on the porch, but didn't stay long. Just wet, dreary, and so cold. I suspect we need the rain, but like you, I'm ready for it to move on. Of course, no one asked me!

Don, I couldn't help but laugh at your assessment of our friends from the North after encountering the culture(is that the right word?) here. Thanks for the laugh.

Ivansmom-- I was trying to be Miss NBA when playing basketball in school, attempting to knock the ball out the guy's hand. He got tired of me, and a quick elbow to the face was all it took to get me out of his hair. Oh, he apologized, and acted concerned, but problem solved. LOL! I'm short, real short, guy was tall, didn't take much. I had fun, although that elbow did hurt, but the sprained ankle was the worse. And I couldn't shoot a basket if my life depended on it. I think I hit one, and you would have thought I cured cancer with all the screaming going on, strictly on my part. Like I said, it was fun, and it does get one to move, and moving is good.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 4, 2011 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Why won't the NFL allow live streaming video of the Superbowl over the web?

Posted by: omni3 | February 4, 2011 6:23 PM | Report abuse

The last time I saw a major jerk zoom across three lanes of traffic in a super-lane change, he kept going and zoomed off the side of the road, bulldozed his way through settled snow that slowed him down, and ran headfirst into a lamp-post at about 25-30 mph. In that particular case, it became clear that something other than mere major jerkiness was at work. Last I saw him, the driver was alive while being bundled into an ambulance. His external body parts, at least, had all stayed where experience suggests they should normally be found, and he had the approximate appearance of an anatomically healthy person. Internally, I cannot know.

THAT, folks, is why the nanny-state government forcing automotive manufacturers to spend money on safety and requiring seat belts is a good thing. Modern automotive construction and airbags are amazing. In a marginally similar accident whose aftermath I witnessed as a child, one car entirely crumpled to the extent that there was nothing to be done about the passengers, while the passengers of the other (bigger) car would be lucky to live, much less walk or move again. My contribution at the accident I witnessed was to recognize that I have minimal first aid training, but I can use a telephone, so I got on the horn to 911 before the other witnesses and gave an accurate report on the location and situation. The ambulance was there in 5 minutes: the advantage of crashing in a relatively affluent district.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 4, 2011 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I was pretty good at basketball in seventh grade, but it was half-court then, like ftb said. By eighth grade everyone else had grown a few inches and I had not. In college, gym class was mandatory and I managed to roll my ankle quite badly and end up on crutches for ten days playing basketball. So I sympathize with Cassandra about the painful part of the sport.

More and more roof collapses here in New England. I think the local news mentioned somewhere around 90 of them. No serious injuries, thank goodness. More rain/snow tomorrow, all rain around here. I don't think we've seen bare ground since before Christmas, that is very unusual for us. Snow in Dallas (!) - climate change anyone?

Posted by: badsneakers | February 4, 2011 7:06 PM | Report abuse

ScienceTim, driving expressways on the diagonal is customary in much of Florida. Rumble strips and the near-certainty of debris has somewhat limited creative use of right-hand shoulders. Left-hand shoulders do seem popular with high-speed motorcyclists.

Ezra Klein's Harvard-student researcher is wondering about Yglesias's take on the stability of the federal government.

I suspect the Government as we know it might collapse by the end of March, what with huge, abrupt shutdowns from the continuing resolution that the House Republicans want (and may get) compounded by an inevitable shutdown due to grandstanding over the national debt limit.

For a while, at least, the military will continue to function, but what if the Marines have to operate US embassies in lieu of furloughed State Department personnel?

I suppose Toronto will be overwhelmed with corporations trying to transfer operations from the unstable US.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 4, 2011 7:17 PM | Report abuse

SciTim, I get a kick out of the automotive industry, one of the biggest chicken littles ever. When I am bored I like to search for old articles and Op-eds by folks that said that the change to unleaded gasoline was going to ruin the industry... as were seat belts.... and air bags....... yadda yadda yadda.

Posted by: baldinho | February 4, 2011 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Easy to listen to. Piano music.

Highway fatalities charts. Improvements are seen.

I finally got hold of a real, honest-to-goodness African yam. Interesting. In a bin, some were the size of footballs. I got one the size of a regular potato. Fufu is the standard dish. I peeled, then boiled mine, then fried it in butter. A bright flavor, but not much of it.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 4, 2011 9:54 PM | Report abuse

I should note that what I made was NOT fufu. It was my own variant.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 4, 2011 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I disagree that driving diagonally is commonplace in Florida. Far more prevalent is driving the wrong direction entirely as senile motorists mistake off-ramps for on-ramps. In some cases, drivers have mistaken airport runways for highways.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 4, 2011 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Given the title of this kit, how have we not gone to this video, especially since it is a very oblique Super Bowl reference.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 4, 2011 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: -jack- | February 5, 2011 12:50 AM | Report abuse

At the risk of reminding Mother Nature what's she's supposed to provide rightaboutnow (teehee), let's all recall all the fun we were having one year ago today... :-)

As it stands, however, it's just wet and dank, doesn't seem to have cooled off enough for the forecast icing, and I don't mind. We'll see what this week's passel of storms brings us in any case.

And in the "Be Careful What You Ask For" Dept. --

*trying-to-reach-an-optimal-caffeine-level-prior-to-making-my-Super-Bowl-pick Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2011 6:08 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 see the folks in Egypt are still in the streets. Do we have the right to intervene in this? Egypt is its own country, for lack of a better expression, right? Yet somehow, I see this turning really ugly if the people don't return to their homes. For the sake of the country and people, why doesn't this person leave office? He's had a long run, was not going to run for office again, so why not leave? It seems to be more or less, a selfish reason. In his interview on ABC's Good Morning America, he claims the country would fall into chaos. Hasn't he noticed that's happening already?

It's beginning to look like he doesn't want to go, perhaps this was obvious from the start, and he was just feeding the people a line. I can't say his actions are really strange because seldom do folks want to give up power, especially when they've had it for some time.

If we(America) can or do play a part in this, it's tricky and the longer it continues, it will become a mine field. With the people in the streets so long isn't there a tendency for others in that part of the world to sympathize with their cause and perhaps join in too? I mean, sometimes these things spread like wildfire, right?

There are lots more poor people in the world than those that have means. People do get tired, very tired, and I'm not suggesting any of this is a good thing, just worrying I guess where is all this going?

I don't have the answers, don't know what should be done or how it should be done. Don't have a clue. The people of Egypt seem determined and have honkered down for their cause. The people seem to be their own leader.

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

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 5, 2011 6:22 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra! *HUGSSSSSSSS*

The short answer is that our only real option is to keep talking to those Egyptian officers who've trained in the U.S. and stress the need for a peaceful solution. *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2011 6:33 AM | Report abuse

I read in the Post this morning that Dan Snyder wants an apology and a retraction of the McKenna piece on him. He's claiming this article talked about his wife and her fight with breast cancer unfavorably and made fun of him because he's Jewish? I haven't read that article, but it's stated that the paper is setting up a legal defense fund to fight the lawsuit.

Now comments concerning this article were none to flattering for Mr. Snyder. The commenters are upset with his handling of the team, and just basically sick of his antics.

I used to live in the District and always pulled for the Redskins, but they never seemed to meet expectations. That still seems to be the case? It sounds like the people are more upset about their team, and were critical of his handling the team than any personal vendetta. Is it possible this man doesn't get that?

What's the scoop on this?

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 5, 2011 6:48 AM | Report abuse

The scoop is that Snyder taking this libel action makes him a fool. The article that was initially published in a smallish publication was re-linked on the front page of national newspapers reporting the libel suit. That gave Weingarten the opportunity to dip his quail in acid and write this very funny opinion piece (linking again to the original piece). Weingarten's opinion containing the link became the most read article of the WaPo 2-3 days in a row. Thousands of people who had no read the initial story now have. So it confirms that Snyder could behave like an idiot.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 5, 2011 7:17 AM | Report abuse

Jacksonville's downtown southbank has a confusing assortment of on and off ramps for bridges and a boat ramp adjacent to a waterfront restaurant, near Baptist Hospital.

I think the ramp has been fully equipped with safety features for about 15 years now, but the last person I know of to mistake the ramp for a street (during a thunderstorm) was rescued by people lunching in the restaurant. When a crew came to recover the sunk car, they noticed something else, which turned out to be a car that had disappeared a year earlier, with the remains of its driver.

My town is geriatric. It has a bunch of one-way streets and had a street that persuaded the elderly that it was one-way despite a double yellow strip running down the middle. We also get people making right turns from the left lane. I once watched someone in a Lexus backing into a parking space bump a Mercedes. They pulled forward a bit, then bumped the Mercedes again. We also have diagonal drivers on the 4-lane one-way streets downtown.

Diagonal driving is perhaps a Miami-area specialty. And Jacksonville, where the driving was a combination of distraction and aggression.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 5, 2011 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, some people just don't understand. They didn't want to ban THEIR earmarks, only the wasteful ones by OTHER Congressmen.

Didn't someone suggest a better acronym for earmarks? TaTas I think. It seems some are more bodacious than others.

Posted by: baldinho | February 5, 2011 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Florida governor Rick Scott has rejected some $2 million in federal funding to implement the Affordable Care Act. A million of that was to get the insurance industry accustomed to spending 80 percent on things other than overhead.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 5, 2011 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Now that we have verified that today's precipitation is in liquid form, I would like to alert the DC-area Boodlers to a fabulously inexpensive entertainment option for today: The Folklore Society of Greater Washington is holding its annual Winter Festival (aka, "The Mini-Fest") at Takoma Park Middle School today, off Piney Branch Road. A mere $10 ticket will entitle you to a full 6 hours of splendid entertainment, including some of the area's finest storytelling. Get there by noon and you might even catch a glimpse of the semimythical StoryTim.

I dare you.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 5, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to keep getting back to the subject of Egypt, but I guess that's because the air waves here are saturated with reports of what is happening there.

One report was that a section of the gas pipeline in northern Sinai (in Egypt) had been blown up by saboteurs, disrupting supplies of gas to Jordan and Israel. A later report said that a fire at a gas terminal in the northern Sinai Peninsula was caused by a gas leak. At any rate the gas supply has been stopped as a precaution. However, we were told that we have the option of switching to alternative (but dirtier) energy sources so our electricity won't be shut down.

If you are not too put off by the WSJ, there is a very good interview with Natan Sharansky. Unlike many others here,he believes that believes that liberalism can take root in Egypt—if the free world supports its transition.

Getting on to more mundane matters, I was planning a trip to a local branch of the international IKEA chain. However, following the news of the gas pipeline came the news that the IKEA branch I had planned to visit burned down completely this morning! Fortunately, no one was hurt but the building and merchandise were completely destroyed. I guess this isn't such a mundane matter for the owners.

Posted by: orawh | February 5, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

just read the weingarten piece. brutal, hilarious, and well-deserved.

Posted by: LALurker | February 5, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Cold, wet, raw, foggy, misty, drizzly, generally miserable day here--but the good news is, there ain't a dop of snow or ice anywhere. So it's all good.

My wife has a colleague who has a daughter-in-law whose grandmother's funeral is tomorrow. The funeral has been scheduled for a week, and planning for it began 10 or 12 days ago, when the grandmother was in hospice and was given 24 hours to live. What's going to puyt a big damper on tomorrow's funeral is that grandma hasn't died yet. So, they are turning it into a celebration of life thing. I just hope she doesn't die today or tomorrow and put another damper on things.

My wife sez: "Go ahead and plan my funeral ahead of time if you think you must. Just don't actually schedule it until after I'm dead."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 5, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Oh my, Mudge... what are they going to do when she does die?

It reminds me of when Mom was in Hospice. We persuaded my dad to bury her (and eventually him) in the cemetery that's only a mile or so from me, instead of in the family plots on the DC/PG Co. line, which is nowhere near where we live or ever go.

We called the cemetery to set up an appointment that day, but they were busy and said they couldn't see us. I kept pressing until I finally had to admit, "But Mom is likely to die today and we want to get the 10% "Pre-Need" discount."

They told us to come right in.

The saddest part of that story was not being able to share with Mom that we'd gotten such a good discount.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, where are they going to hold the celebration of life thing, at the cemetery?

Posted by: orawh | February 5, 2011 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I forgot. In the States you can hold a funeral service in a church. Here the funeral is held in the cemetery unless someone important dies and then all the eulogies are given somewhere else.

Posted by: orawh | February 5, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Egypt taking baby steps on the road to change, the type of change still to be determined.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 5, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

These morbidly humorous stories remind me of my husband's account of a conversation with his mother, when she was a spry and relatively healthy octogenarian, living 1000+ miles away. She liked to guilt-trip people into doing things for her so she said, in her most pathetic voice, "You should come and visit me before I die." "Okay," said the dutiful son. "When are you gonna die?"

(She laughed. They shared that sense of humor.)

The weather is beautiful here in SoFla. Our local Green Market had a demonstration of hydroponic gardening. I might have to give that a try next year. Meanwhile, I have a secondary tomato crop that I just planted, and they made me happy by saying that they are planting their second tomato crop this week. They also told me that now is a good time to plant zucchini, so I probably will do that in the next couple of days.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 5, 2011 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Oh, TBG, that is funny. I'll bet your mom, if she did know, would have laughed at that, as well as admired your diligence.

I've been out in the drizzle soup this morning, dutifully doing my Saturday errands. One more later this afternoon, and that's it for today. Gotta do stuff inside, anyway. This would be a wonderful day for a fireplace, cognac, great music, good food (tapas, I think, for today) and terrific books. The books I've got. Anybody else here got the rest of it?

*fax machine turned on*

Posted by: ftb3 | February 5, 2011 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Ora, is that a Jewish tradition? My wife's family is Jewish and the services for her grandparents were at the cemetery, one by the rabbi and one by the cantor, of course.

Posted by: baldinho | February 5, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

My mother had a graveside service for my dad, which would have been fine but it was the week before Christmas and the weather changed just as we went out to the cemetary. It was windy and c-c-cold. She wanted us to do the same for her, but we had her funeral in the church on a broiling hot day in June and then went to the cemetary with just the family. So much more comfortable and convenient for the people who came.

Posted by: slyness | February 5, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Baldinho, it depends on which Jewish tradition you are talking about, Orthodox, Conservative, Reform or Reconstructionist. My experience is with Orthodox funerals because the Orthodox establishment has a monopoly on marriage, divorce and death here. In an Orthodox funeral, first of all, the person must be buried as soon as possible, usually the day after he died, unless it falls on the Sabbath or a religious holiday. Therefore, you would never get into a situation like the one Mudge spoke about. When the person dies, and only then, you phone the "Hevre Kadisha," the ones who run the cemeteries, to make arrangements.

You don't need a rabbi present for the ceremony but you need someone like a cantor to chant the prayers. It doesn't have to be a cantor from a synagogue however. If someone in the family or a close friend has a good voice and can chant the prayers, or even if he doesn't have such a good voice, then he chants the prayers. People can eulogize the deceased or not, as they choose.

Those who do not want a religious funeral can arrange to have the funeral in a private cemetery, like on a kibbutz. I attended such a funeral and found it disconcerting. After the speeches, (no prayers) the body was put in the ground and then everybody just stood around, not knowing what to do. There was no fixed ritual to follow. In the end everyone just drifted away or began to chat--or to gossip about those who didn't attend!

Posted by: orawh | February 5, 2011 12:21 PM | Report abuse

We Greeks do a pretty long church service (priest and chanter), a shorter graveside service (priest) and then a big meal (including fish) with everyone invited.

This meal can be in the church basement or a restaurant. Being Greeks, we've got lots of restaurant connections, so even in the church basement, it's brought in, not cooked there, and served by the sweet church ladies.

It's very satisfying for everyone and the celebratory meal really makes for a wonderful day.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

On my run this morning I was thinking about how fortunate we are to have boodlers reporting in from all around the world. Then I wondered, do we all have boodle instructions for our friends/family should we meet our demise without prior notice here? Or just end up on the wrong side of some civil disturbance and not be able to communicate for a while? Make some plans folks, don't leave us hanging!

My funeral is scheduled for the third Sat. in July, of some year. I have a notebook with important instructions, like where to find the post hole digger in the garage at Chez Frostbitten, so someone can go out the morning of the memorial service to make the hole to receive whatever container the ashes are in. Need to rethink the meal plan for the day. I've eased my "no scone" stance for coffee that morning.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 5, 2011 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Ora. I am pretty sure her grandparents were of the Orthodox persuasion. Their ceremonies were in fact the day after they passed.

Posted by: baldinho | February 5, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

baldinho, even in the "reformed" persuasion, burial is prompt. It does make sense, after all. It's a matter of allowing the living to get on with their lives -- which doesn't mean that once one is in the ground, one is forgotten.

Frosti -- you make an excellent point about having a boodle connection with respect to a boodler's demise. Me, I intend to be buried in the royal graveyard in Mfuwe, Zambia. Honest! Of course, to save on air fare and other, um, "issues" in transportation, it makes sense to reside (if you will) in an urn for that purpose. Should a pride of lions wish to keep guard, that's fine, too. I don't think I'll be allergic to that -- not then, anyway.

*hoping I don't have to do anything about that anytime soon*

Posted by: ftb3 | February 5, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse

frostbitten, I'm not so sure it would be a good idea to inform the Boodle of one's passing. I remember when Error Flynn passed away. I was only a lurker then and didn't participate in boodling but it quite upset me nevertheless.

Posted by: orawh | February 5, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I laughed until I cried at shriek's "That gave Weingarten the opportunity to dip his quail in acid" which he posted at 7 something this morning. That poor quail, dripping ink all over everything.

Ora, I think there should be someway to notify people on the Boodle if someone dies. I know way back in the past when Nani stopped writing, many of us were disconcerted and worried about what had happened to here. I still wonder. It would be better to know.

Posted by: nellie4 | February 5, 2011 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Nellie, I'm not sure. Maybe you are right but when you don't know you can still hope for the best. What I do know is that we should change the subject. We're all going to live till 120 so no need to think about it now.

Posted by: orawh | February 5, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Here, the laurel oak leaves are raining down, the oaks are bursting buds for the annual pollen cloud, and over at the beach a big garden sale is underway, some 70 vendors and an enormous crowd. I arrived early and wandered out with cheap orchids to attach to trees and an expensive but gorgeous book on the orchids of Mexico. Something on Cuban orchids would be more useful, but Mexico is a wonderful place for armchair travel.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 5, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Anyone besides me wonder why there is no headline on the on-line WaPo? I would guess it is a problem with the software ---

Posted by: nellie4 | February 5, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I know nellie, I know. I should know better than post before my second coffee.
I looked at that poor quail and said to myself, at least it has feathers. I didn't SCC it, it was a low hanging fruit for someone with real wit.
I got my replacement microwave from the large Japanese conglomerate. The first one died after 11 months of use; I hope this one does better.

Most old folks still get the big Catholic funeral mass around here. It's usually held about a week after the death of the principal and it is followed by interment with a quick prayer at the cemetery or a quick going-away prayer at the mausoleum where the cremation is done. The second part is a strictly family/close friends affair.
Most younger folks go for a non-religious celebration. Eulogies are made, stories are told. Usually there is a celebrant/MC nonetheless to get things humming along. At the cousin who died in Afghanistan's funeral the celebrant was a military catholic priest but the G-word never left his lips; he had plenty of practice. The same pattern holds, there is usually a family-only affair at the cemetery/crematorium afterward. Then the party is on somewhere, usually at one of the local family member.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 5, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm hoping to live past the singularity. Or the rapture. Whichever comes first.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 5, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

ora, I don't knw anything about what that family is doing for the celebration of life thing. I don't know them, and am getting the story fifth-hand.

I was amused by the notion of a bunch of secular Israelis standing around after a burial not knowing what to do.

As you might guess, American Jews have an extremely detailed and complicated set of rituals, which generally correspond to the degree of orthodoxy/religiousity (degree of difficulty: 8.5). Among them:

At the burial, the mound of dirt is left next to the grave, with a shovel in it. After the casket is lowered in and the service is finished, the mourners file by, and each takes the shovel and deposits some dirt into the grave. But wait! There are rules! You may not hand the shovel to the nextperson in line; you must set it dowqn on the ground and the next person must pick it up. This way, you do not "pass along your grief" to the next person. Each person picks up and puts down his/her own grief individually. So never hand the shovel to the next person. (I am not making this up.)

Next, when walking away from the gravesite, it is traditional to bend down, grab a handful of grass, pull it loose, and then scatter it to the wind.

Traditionally, when you visit the house of the deceased, the door is not locked. You don't knock or ring the bell and wait to be admitted. Rather, you just walk right in. The theory is the bereaved have better things to do than run back and forth to the door all the time.

In the case of a deceased spouse or parent (or child), the chief mourner(s) (The surviving souse, say), may be found sitting on the floor, or on a low couch or low stool. The theory is to get as close to the earth as possible. No visitor/mourner may sit lower than the chief mourner/spouse. (You would be putting yourself and your grief ahead of the spouse's.) The grieving spouse is not expected to talk; he/she may not even acknowledge you.

In this scenario, it would not be unusual to go to the house, let yourself in, sit down next to the bereaved, say nothing, sit for, say, 20 minutes or half an hour, saying nothing. Then you might give the person a hug or whatever would be appropriate, and leave, having never said a word. No food would be served, before or after the burial.

Immediate family members would rend their clothing. A widower wearing a suit, say, would tear the lapel or the suit pocket almost off. This would be on the left side, over the heart Other family members would do similar, but the chief mourner would have the largest tear. This is the "rending your garment" business, and would begin the moment you hear of someone's death. The non-orthodox or the less orthodox might wear a necktie they have specifically cut or torn in some way. Some may simply tear off a button, symbolically.

Jews do not allow cremation. (Though I'm ignoring that one and will be cremated. My family knows I want my ashes scattered behind home plate ath the field where I umpired.)


Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 5, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I found out about Error's passing from Slyness when I met her in Monroe to pick up the computer RD had given me. And I remember how sad I was driving back home. I had the g-girl with me, but couldn't talk to her, and I desperately wanted to talk to someone because I felt so bad.

African-Americans usually have their funerals inside their churches, and burial, if that's the case, is in the church cemetary. There's usually a big meal served by the church, not prepared at the church. Members contribute the dishes or the church will cater the event depending on the size of the family.

With the economy putting so many in a bind, people are now having their loved one cremated, and just having a memorial service. Funerals can be pricey. And some of these memorial services are in the funeral homes. Some churches charge a fee if the decease is not a member. Many of us in time past had what was called a wake, but that is hardly the case now. It was like a double funeral and much too hard on the families.

I remember when funeral homes used to bring the decease back to the home overnight, and the funeral was the next day. Family members would stay up all night, and the casket was kept open. As a child I was so frightened when I had to attend these events with my mother or grandparents.

I intend to ask my daughter or a family member to notify you guys.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 5, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

SCC: The tear is on the left for parents of the deceased; on the right for everyone else.

The bury-within-24-hours rule does exist, but it is quite flexible and allows for the many problems and what ifs: legal reasons such as autopsies, travel problems (either of the deceased or of relatives), avoiding holy days, etc. Basically, the rule is "24 hours if you can, and if you can't, feh. Do it as soon as possible." Which is pretty much how everyone else does it.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 5, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Except the British Royal Family. Remember when the Queen Mum died and they didn't bury the poor old soul for about 3 weeks? It was obscene.

Posted by: Yoki | February 5, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

While interesting, some people are clearly sensitive about talking about the D word.

How about them taxes and politics instead?

Yesterday we had a melt and we planned a long walk, and I checked with Wilbrodog if he wanted his booties on (they're great for snow but do get wet), and he shook/wriggled his head no, so that was it.

This morning, he woke me up early and when I asked him why, he pointed to my coat. I asked him what for, and he indicated the door and did a shuffle. I went "NOW?" and he shook his head yes, eyes open.
I got up to toss him out as quickly as possible so I could catch a few more minutes in bed (that kind of day, I'm coming off wicked insomnia.) I feed him breakfast and plop back in for a little bit more.

After our walk, we go to a room to find out the room has been changed. I tell Wilbrodog we have to go downstairs, and he immediately detours me to the Ladies'. I did have to go, but that was unexpectedly bossy of him. Nobody else was in there.

Two hours later, he's schmoozing with somebody else talking to him-- "How are things going for you?" Then his newest petting pal comments "If he could talk, boy, what could he say?"

And I'm thinking that I have a pretty good idea already of the sort of things he'd say.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 5, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Eloquence sans noise:
Body language's more fluent than
Playing voice charades.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 5, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Cheery conversation for a rainy afternoon ;-)

Okay, I'll join in! I grew up experiencing only Irish wakes which tend to be a bit more uplifting and 'fun' than many other types. The first wake/funeral combination I was involved in was my ex's grandmother's. She was Italian, quite old and had cancer, so her death was not unexpected. Imagine my surprise at her wake upon seeing the group of short little old women wailing in the corner. Everyone was in tears, even my ex mother-in-law, who I don't think even liked her mother-in-law! We all sat in rows of folding chairs looking towards the casket, which was so covered in flowers that you could barely see the deceased. No funny stories, no gentle laughter, I was astonished at how different customs were.

I want to be cremated too. I'm hoping my son-in-law will take my ashes in his boat and scatter them to the four winds or whatever. I do hope there is laughter and a funny story or two...

Posted by: badsneakers | February 5, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

As I learned at my grandma's funeral, French-Canadian funeral customs tend to veer more towards the Irish version (but with less booze) with storytelling about the deceased, some funny ones too.

We played pinchole after my uncle's funeral because that was the family game and he loved pinochle. Same went for my grandma's funeral because it was when our family was gathered.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 5, 2011 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, my remark about whether the family was going to hold the celebration of life thing at the cemetery was meant to be facetious, not a question. When I wrote it, I forgot for a moment that not all funeral ceremonies are held at the cemetery. That's why I clarified it in my next post.

You were amused by by the notion of a bunch of secular Israelis standing around after a burial not knowing what to do. Not all of them were secular but the deceased was. Although I, myself, am secular, I find there is a certain advantage to ritual in these situations. It tells you what to do next.

The ritual here is a bit different from what you describe. First of all, except for military funerals or private ones, there is no coffin. The body is covered with a shroud and wheeled to the grave on something like a gurney. Sometimes the legs move a bit from side to side, which is disconcerting to say the least.

Before this, however, the person conducting the ceremony cuts the shirt, blouse or upper garment of close relatives. I never noticed on which side.

Once the body is in the grave, the gravediggers cover it. If others want to help they can but there is no problem of handing the shovel to someone else.

After the prayers are over, those present do not grab a handful of grass but rather look for a stone to put on the gravesite. (I have never been able to figure out what this represents.) The stone setting, that is putting up the tombstone, comes later. It can be as soon as a month later but it is usually 11 months or a year later, depending on.., I don't know what.

After the funeral, everyone goes to the home of the deceased. The family sits "shiva", in mourning, for a week, except for the Sabbath. (Shiva means seven.) As you say, the door is left unlocked but the people do talk, even the grieving spouse. It is supposed to be a kind of catharsis to talk about the deceased, but others subjects come up, too. Sometimes the spouse sits on a low stool but very often not. He/she usually wears slippers rather than shoes. If there is a t.v. in the room, it is covered and nobody watches t.v. or listens to the radio for a month. Friends and relatives bring food for the family and snacks for the visitors.

The shiva lasts a week but the mourning period for the close family members lasts a month. Close male relatives, e.g. the male spouse, brothers and fathers are not supposed to shave for a month as a sign of mourning. They also wear a yarmulka (skull cap) during that time. Of course not everyone follows all of this but this is the accepted behavior.

Posted by: orawh | February 5, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

And now, can we please talk about something else!

Posted by: orawh | February 5, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

"French-Canadian funeral customs tend to veer more towards the Irish version (but with less booze)"
Let's just say that the booze is a variable variable. Been to dry ones, been to flooded ones and been to in-between ones.
Accidental death of the young and murder creates conditions that are not amenable to dry funerals in my limited experience.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 5, 2011 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Yes, something else. The Canadian wins 2-0 against the Rangers. Ha! you Yankees you!

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 5, 2011 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Something else?

"Coem together with the RN, it really is something other than else!!!"


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2011 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I was just going to say that the only funerals I have been to have been held at the funeral home, with a short service at the graveside. These have been for family members, usually after a long life, so the gathering afterward was filled with lots of food and laughs. Not so much liquor, or maybe I was just too young to notice. I don't remember anything about what we did after my mom's funeral. She died when she was about the age I am now - odd to think about that.

On a brighter note, you'll get to hear lots of Pittsburgh accents heading into the Superbowl. Quite a few Stiller fans were interviewed on the national news last night, as they travelled to snowy Dallas.

Posted by: seasea1 | February 5, 2011 5:34 PM | Report abuse

badsneaks, I am like you grew up with Irish Catholic funerals and with a large family became well aquainted with attending funerals - they tended to be long drawn out and sometimes involved 2 cities. As I matured I learned to be a little more careful about the comments I would make about funerals and death as I found not everyone shared the dark humour I had learned in my experiences.

And yes, there were normally alcoholic beverages.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 5, 2011 5:35 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Come together

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2011 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Shrieking, I think that the equation of tragic death increasing booze intake probably holds for most funerals.

Good to know customs do vary in relation to to >

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 5, 2011 6:03 PM | Report abuse

SCC: good to know customs do vary in relation to drunken funerals, French style.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 5, 2011 6:13 PM | Report abuse

dmd, I agree about being careful with words in certain circumstances. My father's death was sudden and sad, but I remember telling stories about him and laughing at both the wake and after the funeral, it was comforting to be able to share stories about him. Back then the wake generally ran for two days, 7 to 9 the first night, then 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 the next night, followed by the funeral the next day. Now people tend to have a one day wake with 'viewing' hours from perhaps 4 to 8. Two days of waking someone is just too difficult to get through both physically and emotionally for the family, I think. Our family usually ends up at the home of the deceased or that of a near relative after the funeral Mass and burial for food, drink and stories. Maybe it's the British influence or just my family's style, but there are rarely any tears at these 'public' occasions.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 5, 2011 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Many Episcopalian funerals have Schubert's "Ave Maria".

Many Episcopalian weddings have Schubert's "Ave Maria".

Almost the only song a soprano needs to know.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 5, 2011 7:09 PM | Report abuse

For Baptists, Amazing Grace is the hymn often used. That, and the 23rd Psalm as the Old Testament scripture. If the decedent is a woman, Proverbs 31 is popular as a reading. I hope I rate that, but I wouldn't ask my kids to use it.

Posted by: slyness | February 5, 2011 7:19 PM | Report abuse

I remember after funeral gatherings with lots of food and alcohol. There were always streams of tears and quite a bit of laughter, one following the other without any transition, and vice versa. The alcohol helped with the expression of emotions.

Posted by: gmbka | February 5, 2011 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Changing the subject a bit, for any geezer Redskins fans, like me, Chris Hanburger got elected to the Football Hall of Fame:

The man never tackled below the neck, but this is good news. He was an excellent linebacker.

It's also great to see Richard Dent make it in. He was an important part of those great Bear defenses in the '80s.

Posted by: -pj- | February 5, 2011 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Chris Hanburger is elected to the Hall of Fame! (I'm not commenting on any of the others elected.)

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2011 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Oops. Didn't refresh first. PJ gets the scoop!

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2011 8:24 PM | Report abuse

I remember Proverbs 31 from my mom's funeral - the line about rubies especially. I love the 23rd Psalm too - the only one I ever memorized. I much prefer the King James version for Psalms and Proverbs.

Posted by: seasea1 | February 5, 2011 8:41 PM | Report abuse

I've been to plenty of viewings and a few services but the only full funeral I've been involved with was for my grandmother a few years ago.

The funeral home was right next to the church so it seemed a little silly to roll the coffin into the hearse just to drive it across the parking lot. Catholic services, like all ceremonies, are full masses with extra prayers which are occasion specific.

It was only after all the other attendees left that we started the informal family-only wake. My uncle, the most traditionally Irish of us from an alcohol consumption perspective, gathered all the open liquor bottles from my grandmother's condo onto the dining table. He would then pass one around and everyone would pour a glass until the bottle was empty. All the while we traded old family stories everyone had heard dozens of times and a few new ones. When the open bottles were gone we found some unopened bottles further back in the closet. The most mysterious was some Mexican brandy that must have been thirty or more years old.

My son was only 16 or 17 but we felt it was important that he be connected to this important cultural tradition. About midnight I had reached go/no-go on stumbling back to my folks unit across the complex. We put my son in charge of making sure my uncle didn't go John Bonham on us overnight.

Every one was alive the next day for brunch so all had ended well about 2 or 3 a.m. while there was even still booze on the table. My uncle couldn't quite make it to the couch, so my son made him comfortable on the floor, discharging his wake duties admirably and gaining valuable skills he would need in college.

My grandmother, while not Irish, was very fond of a few cocktails at family gatherings and several glasses of wine with dinner, so we figured we had done her proud.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 5, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

TBG, that story is one of the many reasons I love you. Tell the one about your dad's barber, too!

Knowing about Error drew a lot of us together. TBG and bc came here, Yoki, dmd, TBG and mo were here a few weeks later. We should have done it weeks earlier.

I became a certified Reiki master today. What's always funny in these classes is I'm the only non-nurse/doctor student and everyone wants my phone number because they now feel they have an in with IS. And they do.

Where's Moose?

Posted by: -dbG- | February 5, 2011 9:09 PM | Report abuse

//gaining valuable skills he would need in college.//

lol. Really lol.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 5, 2011 9:13 PM | Report abuse

The first real argument Mr. F and I had as a married couple was about funeral plans. He was leaving for a second trip to Somalia and while filling out some paperwork I said something about the frostfamily cemetery in Our Fair City. He said he thought his parents would want him to be buried at Arlington. We went round and round for a while and it finally ended when I told him he could be buried wherever he wanted-as long as he didn't predecease me.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 5, 2011 9:33 PM | Report abuse

The lunch after my mom's funeral was a great one, but the best "wake" I've been part of actually happened a couple of nights before my dad died.

He'd had a stroke and was in intensive care. We met with the doctors and all decided to let him go. This was a long, dramatic and tiring meeting. When the question of keeping him alive as long as possible came up, the social worker reminded us that many people value this "sacred time together."

I reminded her that my most recent "sacred time" with Dad had been when we were out picking up printer cartridges together just a few days before--the culmination of 48 years of "sacred time." My sisters and I had spent our lives with Mom and Dad doing the everyday stuff and didn't need to gather around a deathbed to feel satisfied with our relationship with either one. (We had experienced our mom's death just two years earlier).

By the time we left the hospital that evening, they had moved Dad out of intensive care into a quiet room at the end of a long hallway. A wonderful, kind hospice nurse came in and started caring for Dad, talking to him sweetly (he was unconscious at that point) and ensuring us that she would stay with him all night. We were exhausted.

We went back to my sister's house just a few miles away, in Baltimore, and had the greatest dinner and the best wine and told the funniest, most wonderful stories about Dad. Many of the grandkids were there--all young adults--and we stayed up and had that party until the wee hours. We found Dad's school report cards in a trunk my sister had salvaged when Dad moved into the retirement home and pulled out pictures from his time in the Navy during WWII.

It was truly a celebration of his life. And he was there with us just as if he'd been sitting at the table.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2011 9:42 PM | Report abuse

(Let me please add that Dad did die peacefully the next day while we were gathered around his bed.)

Posted by: -TBG- | February 5, 2011 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Hello, Boodle. I am a long time lurker. I have posted here once or twice, but you are a close-knit community into which I have been reluctant to insert myself.

I have been inspired to contribute because I lost one of my sisters when she was 46 and another suddenly when she was 52. I am the oldest--I'll be 54 in three weeks (yeah, I lost the one closest to me less than a year ago).

Interestingly, both funerals were similar. Maybe something southern but not religious? There was a scheduled viewing that was kind of like a party without food or drink at the funeral home at certain hours on one day, then a graveside service the next day.

My sister (in 2007) that was a deputy sheriff and a canine officer was visited by a lot of police officers as well as an amazing number of civilians. The next day the funeral home conveyed her in a long funeral train which included police officers and our family to the cemetery, where there was a (too) long service. Neighbors and friends came to the house and delivered a TON of food, and after the funeral we had an open house for all the mourners.

My other sister's (last year in April) was similar, except the funeral train only consisted of the hearse and the family in one limousine. The graveside service was as well attended as my other sister's, but without the police/sheriff attendance.

I moved away 35 years ago and do not expect that there will be anything similar at my funeral. I don't know how I feel about that...........

Posted by: oldbam | February 5, 2011 10:10 PM | Report abuse

You all are bringing up happy and sad memories. My mother's wake and funeral were quite happy, after a horrible death as a result of pneumonia. The church was filled with neighbors, cousins, colleagues, and friends of family. After the cemetery, we all returned to my parents' house for lunch, and we told wonderful stories that caused us to laugh and cry. Photographs were passed around, and we all reminisced. She was 83.

My father was 89 when he died, and it was quite different. There were not so many friends and colleagues remaining, and my brothers and I had moved away, and so, not as many friends were aware of his death. But still, there was a traditional Irish wake, but not so much celebrating with the spirits.

When I go, I've instructed the few people I know around here to hire mourners to keen the traditional Irish ceremonies.

I want to go out with bagpipes.

Posted by: rickoshea12 | February 5, 2011 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Kind greetings and welcome, oldbam! Please don't feel awkward about speaking out; we love long-time (and short-term) lurkers who introduce themselves. Welcome, indeed.

This subject is a little close to the bone for me, as it will be for our darlin' gwe, since we have both lost siblings under rather dreadful circumstances very recently (too often and too terribly recently for gwe-- I'm thinking of you, dear friend).

But, I can only echo what others have said. During our week-long vigil with Gub, and again at his memorial service, there was as much laughter as there were tears. There was almost no public drinking (though plenty enough late at night privately with the remaining brothers!), I cried when I spoke at the service, but we laughed *a lot* both while waiting around in ICU and later during the visitation and post-service reception; we don't do viewings.

The greatest thing was that we all thought there might be fifty people stop by the reception. In fact, there were more than 300 signatures in the guest book between one thing and another. I think now that none of us knows how many people we may touch in our lives, nor how generous they will be with their time to express their respect.

Such a wonderful insight, for me, into the power and comfort of loving and generous hearts.

Posted by: Yoki | February 5, 2011 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Welcome oldbam. I am so sorry that you've lost both sisters at such young ages.

Don't feel shy about posting. It's sort of scary at first to jump in here, but you'll soon become comfortable.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 5, 2011 10:34 PM | Report abuse

I love this - a serious but funny, not morbid discussion of an experience we'll pretty much all have, one way or another, present or not.

Of my family/close friend funerals, one memory really sticks out. When my dad died, in the early '80s, the community rallied 'round with a truly astonishing number and variety of jello salads. I didn't eat jello after that for years - had a decade's worth in a week. HOWEVER, there was one that stuck in the whole family's memory as a good, if unlikely, jello salad. All I really recall now is that it incorporated grape jello, maybe jelly, and pretzels. Really. Also, I think cream cheese.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 5, 2011 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I meant to say hi to oldbam. Glad you jumped in. All y'all other sometime lurkers, say something too! It doesn't have to be about funeral baked meats and libations.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 5, 2011 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Very Boodley (Boodlesque?) isn't it, Ivansmom?

Posted by: Yoki | February 5, 2011 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Spent a fruitful day changing Ye Olde German sedan's oil and fixing the resitstant throttle movement that had been irritiating me for some time.

Did some grocery shopping tonight, too. Hopefully this will keep me from having to go back out into the pre-Super Bowel (ahem) mayhem tomorrow. Speaking of which, I decided to not have a portajohn brought into my living room this year so I can watch every second of play. It's a risk, but I think I can maintain enough discipline to not need it. If not, there's an empty container for Fisher's Popcorn in my dining room that could serve in an emergency...

Glad to see Hanburger's election to the HOF. Was suprised to find that Washington hadn't retired the #55, and a bit disappointed to see Jayson Taylor wearing last season... not that I'm anti-Taylor, but I didn't see where he really did the jersey proud when he was playing here. Tough luck and a tough situation didn't help anything, either.

I used to check out new Fords at the Hanburger dealership on Rt 1 in College Park, back in the day...


Posted by: -bc- | February 5, 2011 10:52 PM | Report abuse

>>fixing the resitstant throttle movement that had been irritiating me for some time<<

Well, it would, wouldn't it?

Posted by: Yoki | February 5, 2011 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, Sneaks, I-Mom, thank you for your kind welcomes.

My sisters' deaths were tragic for different reasons. Tammy kind of chose hers--she had been ill for several years and decided to stop all treatment on Memorial day 2007. She died on June 21st 2007 and it wasn't pretty to watch during those three weeks. I was kind of angry at her for a loooooooong time. She was only 46 and it seemed like it was too soon to make that kind of decision.

Shelly's was a sudden heart attack at 52. I was 13 months old when she was born, so I really don't remember my life before her. She was my first roommate and my first best friend. We had been close even though we lived 350 miles apart. We IM'd nearly every day. There are things every day that happen that I would have told her. She has definitely left a hole in my life.

Posted by: oldbam | February 5, 2011 11:11 PM | Report abuse

A couple years being ill can feel a very long time, especially if pain is involved, but that doesn't change the pain of your loss. Slow or sudden, it's the same.

Too young, both of them.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 5, 2011 11:25 PM | Report abuse

A follow-up - I've been reluctant to discuss the loss of friends and family this evening, for the same reasons Yoki points out: some folks are facing difficult times, and want to be respectful of that.

Going back a little ways - it's tough for me to think of Error as Error Flynn and not hizownself by name. Very much WYSIWYG, though; very much as he was in the Boodle.
His own man - intelligent, fearless, passionate, funny and with those very strong senses of fairness and justice. And a good guy to be around, in all senses of the word.

And his family was kind and generous as we gathered to celebrate and remember him and to say a kind of goodbye [I fully expect to see him again, somewhen].


Posted by: -bc- | February 5, 2011 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Wilbro. I came to realize that Tammy had her reasons for her decision, although I am too healthy to understand them completely just yet. I hope I won't understand them for at LEAST 20 or 30 years.

I remember Error, too, although I was only a lurker then. He is definitely missed.

Posted by: oldbam | February 5, 2011 11:47 PM | Report abuse

If you think that funeral stories are depressing, look at this:

AlJazeera reports that the Egyptian government used a NARUS product to monitor internet and cell-phone traffic to the point that they even could locate the cell-phone owners. The dailykos story refers only to what our own government did with these gadgets, which was reflected in the ATT spying scandal way back. Now we have a nice demonstration of what can be done by other governments. According to AlJazeera all Arab States are good customers of Narus, which is owned by Boeing.

Have a very good night everybody, and no nightmares.

Posted by: gmbka | February 5, 2011 11:52 PM | Report abuse

I don't find funerals/memorials depressing. The ability of governments to spy on their own citizens, within or without the Rule of Law, I do.

Posted by: Yoki | February 6, 2011 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Always nice to have a lurker join in. oldbam, you have been around quite a long time!

Posted by: seasea1 | February 6, 2011 12:54 AM | Report abuse

hi, folks, just checking in. jumping into the discussion here, i attended a memorial service for my mom's cousin today. wasn't particularly close to him but am to his daughter (lived with her when i first moved to this area). due to various family dynamics, it was a tough day. good to see my relatives though.

i still appreciate the supportive words that many boodlers gave when my grandma passed away last year. she would have been 100 tomorrow, had she lived.
(yes, along with you know who.)

Posted by: LALurker | February 6, 2011 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Craig Conroy retired today, but will stay with the team. He went to Potsdam!

Posted by: Yoki | February 6, 2011 1:19 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Yoki | February 6, 2011 1:31 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Yoki | February 6, 2011 1:33 AM | Report abuse

I apologize; had never listened to that last link through, and didn't know there was an unconscionable slur there, twice. Please, never mind.

Posted by: Yoki | February 6, 2011 1:36 AM | Report abuse

listened in on world cafe late this eve, and heard this. had more fun listening to this show than i've had listening to the radio in years. fm as it was meant to be.


Posted by: -jack- | February 6, 2011 2:32 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Yoki | February 6, 2011 2:49 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Yoki | February 6, 2011 4:14 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 6, 2011 4:25 AM | Report abuse

Ah, I've not heard Grieg done like this before. You've made me an instant fan.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 6, 2011 4:30 AM | Report abuse

Electric cellos!

Posted by: Yoki | February 6, 2011 4:51 AM | Report abuse

I think, Jumper1, you'll like this too.

Posted by: Yoki | February 6, 2011 4:59 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. Welcome, oldbam, and please stick around. It's good to hear from you. And so sorry about your sisters.

Will have the kids today, had the baby last night. The heat went out in the apartment, but daughter got it working now.

Overslept and got to rush to get dressed, want to attend Sunday school this morning. With the baby, might not be able to stay for worship services, hope that's not the case.

Slyness, we're suppose to have lovely weather today, and it couldn't have showed up at a better time. Hope you get a chance to get out.

Have a lovely day, folks, and I hope the weather is good where you are. Love to all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 6, 2011 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Welcome indeed, oldbam -- more than enough knitters around here to open up a stitch and warp you in (yes, I know I'm abusing a weaving reference, blame the coffee)! *what-took-you-so-long Grover waves* :-)

Cassandra!! *HUGSSS*

Music, food and laughter were all central to saying goodbye to my Aunt Cal just a few short weeks ago. I would imagine when my time comes, the focal point will be laughter -- largely at my expense, no? :-)

dbg, Reiki for server maintenance? What?? At least you won't short something out... *ducking*

And in the You Can Find Plenty of Depravity Domestically Dept. --


*enjoying-a-marvelous-sunrise-to-start-this-Super-Sunday-after-my-internal-clock-somehow-knew-to-give-me-a-couple-hours-of-extra-sleep Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 6, 2011 7:53 AM | Report abuse

And unfortunately, I see both WaPo and NYT have forgotten about Milbank's "Ex-Governor-Free Month." *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 6, 2011 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle!

oldbam-welcome. Glad to see you throw off the lurker's cloak of invisibility.

Mr. F is in Okinawa for a few days, so I'm wondering which snack I love enough to make and eat as a solo endeavor for the big game. I'm leaning toward the Franks Red Hot buffalo chicken dip. What's not to love about a recipe that calls for a cup of hot sauce and a vat of melted cream cheese?

Later gators. Once again hope outweighs experience and I'm thinking I'll find enough good reading in the Tampa and St. Pete papers to make a morning of reading with coffee on the porch.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 6, 2011 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Just heard a very silly comment on ESPN -- "Green Bay and Pittsburgh have never met in the playoffs before!"

Uh, yeah, since they could only meet in the Super Bowl. *raised unibrow*

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 6, 2011 8:33 AM | Report abuse

And good to see Ed Sabol made it to the NFL Hall of Fame. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 6, 2011 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Canuckistanis-I read an Internet rumor that Kraft is going to reintroduce Jalapeno Cheez Whiz in your fine country this year. Have you seen it in stores yet? Heard the rumor? (Willing to admit you know this food product?)

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 6, 2011 8:48 AM | Report abuse

I missed StoryTim at the FSGW Mini-Fest? I was there (later) with the Archie Edwards Barbershop Blues Jam.

Posted by: HeadFool | February 6, 2011 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Cowboys Stadium still shedding snow and ice -- SB Fan Plaza closed for safety issues. Can't wait to see what the Meadowlands will bring us in a couple years...

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 6, 2011 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Oldbam, welcome. I'm sorry to hear about your sisters but hope you'll jump in more. You know all about us, so . . .

I'mom, I believe that is called "pretzel salad." i have a friend who makes it for parties. If it's the same stuff, no jelly and iirc Cool Whip and toffe pretzels. I can get the recipe if anybody wants it. People seem to like it a lot.

S'nuke, it's not unheard of. People do printers, cars, everything.

I'm fortunate to be at a fine hospital that's open to alternate healing modalities. Grants have been obtained and papers are being written re: Pre/post surgery Reiki and there's a healing room for staff and patient families where they can sign up for a free 15 minute treatment or a massage. Next? I think we need therapy dog visits to IS.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 6, 2011 9:26 AM | Report abuse

What a great discussion over night, our internet went wonky after I posted so I have just now backboodled. I am still smiling picturing a community rallying around Jello.

oldbam, Welcome, and I am sorry you lost your sisters so early.

Frosti, I didn't know Jalepeno Cheez Whiz went away. I grew up with processed fods,
Wonder Bread, Cheez Whiz (which I loved) etc, which explain the high chloresterol ;-)

Posted by: dmd3 | February 6, 2011 9:26 AM | Report abuse

dmd-apparently it's been gone for a while. I just thought the stores I frequent weren't carrying it.

Fatuous garden comment/inquiry-

DotC-should I bother planting hydrangea macrophylla outdoors in Tampa, or just enjoy it potted on the porch? I've long since abandoned the mixed border but have a shady spot near the composter where it would get frequent attention.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 6, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Some people seem to have problems with even simple instructions:

The first rule of jury duty is don't talk about jury duty... Or something like that. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 6, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

For S'nuke:

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 6, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

Anything good on TV this evening?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 6, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Mudge- Glee!

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 6, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Indeed, DNA_Girl. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 6, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Glee's on? Awwwwriiiiiiiiighttttt!

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 6, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

this is it, a mixture of cool whip and cream cheese.

Just because today is a day of snacky excess, go for it.

My ex MIL is a Kansan and serves jello at least once a day. Her kids joke green jello is a veggie and all other colors are fruits.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 6, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Are we agreed on live-Boodling the ads and such? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 6, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Good news story of the day.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 6, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all. Just checking in while I contemplate whether to make brunch or let someone else make brunch. I'm reasonably confident that brunch is happening.

I did go see Joshua Bell Friday night at Symphony Hall. Fabulous! I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would. Sam Haywood, the gentleman who played the piano, was fantastic. The two of them together and the dialogue back and forth between the instruments was just awesome.

I think the fact that it was just the piano and violin kept it much more interesting to me. Listening to them hand phrasings and themes back and forth was a lot of fun and then watching the physical interaction between Bell and Haywood while the did it was really interesting.

Anyway, a really great night. My parents and I wandered out afterward for a drink and a bite. We (I) could have chosen a better location but as I pointed out I spend most of my time on the other side of the river. The establishments along Mass Ave downtown? Not so much.

It's almost 40! Felt extraordinarily springlike when I walked down to the corner convenience store earlier. I positively bounced (flounced?) along without a care in the world until I encountered a patch of ice in the shade and went tumbling off into a snowdrift. Everything was salvaged except my dignity.

Posted by: cowhand214 | February 6, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Full-throttle brunch on the table. At CasaJS there is always much eating on Super Bowl Sunday.

More snow here. Only 2-3 inches this time to be followed by another cold spell.

Must go to prepare for brunch guests, but wanted to pop by and say hi.

Posted by: MsJS | February 6, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

CqP, I just tried to send you an e-mail, but got a message your mailbox was full.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 6, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I'm here, dbG!

Hi oldbam. Hugs to you.

Much love to gwe too.

I can't boodle from work anymore, except at lunch. Grrrrrrrr.

Posted by: Moose13 | February 6, 2011 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone else remember the gourmet jello desserts from the seventies, it was regular jello, with a moussey type jello as the middle layer and whipped cream? as the third layer. Mom would sometimes make this dessert not sure why as she was an outstanding baker. As for fruit in jello, I have never been able to eat that, green jello with pineapple -eeeew, Mom had a special jello mold for such creations had little design on the bottom, some sort of rubbermaid dish.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 6, 2011 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, this is reaching back a ways, but our family game is pinochle too. I absolutely love to play and whenever we gather at least a few games are played. I learned to play when I was very young and my grandparents and I played against my parents quite often. Usually Grandma and I were partners. Grandpa didn't agree with my playing style which was a bit wilder than his and I don't count cards to the extent that he did.

I believe Grandpa had learned to play during WWII during transit to North Africa. I guess that began the family obsession with the game.

Sadly, I don't think any of my cousins play. They never had the inclination (or the patience) to learn so I'm worried that my generation will be the last to play pinochle. When I was visiting my uncle down in Tampa for Thanksgiving we played (I swear) Uno. Not that Uno isn't a lot of fun but when no one at the table is younger than, say, 18 or so it's a little odd. And no matter how many beers or Mango Slaps you have it's hard to convince yourself that winning or losing has any merit attached to it at all.

Bringing it full circle, I left a pack of pinochle cards in Grandma's casket. She and I were always buddies and damn if didn't make a good team.

Posted by: cowhand214 | February 6, 2011 11:24 AM | Report abuse

cowhand, glad you enjoyed the performance. You must learn to pay attention when walking in New England in the winter ;-)

Ah, jello and fruit. I remember one Lenten season while I was in high school when that was dessert every night. For six weeks. The big thrill was getting one of the half cherries from the fruit cocktail mix which was embedded in the jello. I used to make jello molds, now that I look back, I can't imagine why I did. Maybe it was the challenge of getting the mold out in one, unmelted piece?

Looking forward to the commercials tonight, the game is secondary altho' I lean towards the Packers.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 6, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

SCC: if we

Posted by: cowhand214 | February 6, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning, boodlers!

That was sweetly sad and joyous Boodle yesterday. For me the ceremonies and tear-filled laughter of gatherings upon the loss of someone beloved are healing and necessary parts of life. Mine has been filled with many variants ... old Southern Baptist wakes as a child to the many secular memorials of my adulthood.

Welcome oldbam and smiles. As someone who jumped headlong and feetfirst into this wonderful place I must say I admire your restraint all these years!

Great music last night, boodle djs ... I especially appreciated the Stones and Dylan, but I'm retro that way.

There's always room for Jello, btw. 8~D

Annnnnnnnd, speaking of the SuperBowl, did anyone catch Bill Geist and his toddler grandson (CBS Sunday Morning) on the subject this morning? Maybe the best and sweetest piece I've seen on football in a long time.

I'll be here for livechat/snark on SB ads and such, S'nuke. See y'all then if not before.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 6, 2011 11:37 AM | Report abuse

talitha, we saw the Geist piece with his grandson. The funniest part for us was when George was sitting in the recliner and Geist turned on the massage.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 6, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

New kit!

Posted by: cowhand214 | February 6, 2011 11:45 AM | Report abuse

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