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Posted at 9:02 AM ET, 02/17/2011

What I've missed

By Joel Achenbach

There's so much I've missed in life during these last few months as I've labored on my writing project: Family dinners, movies, major sporting events, the fellowship of my friends. But most of all, I've missed chances to discuss the nation's fiscal situation. This is a searing pain in my soul. But you can't ever get those chances back. The president's budget comes out every year in early February. This year I was too busy to fulminate about it, too busy to remonstrate or dismiss or despair, and now the opportunity is gone forever.

What I would have said, of course, is that our nation's leaders continue to lack the political courage to face our gravest long-term fiscal threats. You know the whole speech. They're like Reagan flexing America's Cold War muscle by invading Grenada.

Looking at the worrisome graph in today's paper (I've been gone so long -- do people still say "today's paper"?), we see that interest on the debt is set to become a bigger expense for the country than Medicaid (in 2013), domestic discretionary spending (2014) and Medicare (2018), according to Obama's budget projections. The projections, of course, are just guesses, since no one knows what the real interest rates will be -- what amount of interest investors will demand in exchange for buying Treasury notes. It's conceivable that they'll continue to loan the Treasury money at extremely low rates, but you wouldn't want to bank on that. Only the feebleness of the global economy in the last couple of years has allowed the country to borrow at rates close to zero. As the economy recovers, the rates will go up. And then suddenly we're trying to roll over trillions in debt at 3, 4, 5 percent rates, and the whole thing becomes, like, the proverbial runaway metaphor. Yes: The locomotive over the waterfall. Hideous.

But here's the one good thing to come of this: Both the liberals and conservatives will have triumphed ideologically. The Pentagon budget, long a target of liberals, will shrink in proportion to the overall economy. Discretionary government programs, hated by the conservatives, will also shrink. The only things that will grow as a percentage of the economy will be the entitlement programs and, until 2021 at least, the interest on the debt.

If you're a policy maker and you want to know what to cut to make the fiscal picture better, the decision has already been made for you. It was made for you by the people who were in office in the past 50 years. And, no, it's not "earmarks."

That's what I would have said if I hadn't been so busy. Or something like that.

By Joel Achenbach  | February 17, 2011; 9:02 AM ET
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I wouldn't count the military budget to shrink just yet. While it definitely should, it has shown a historical reluctance to do so.

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: We don't have any debt problems that a healthy round of hyper-inflation won't solve.

Or some modest revenue enhancements. Say back up to Reagan era levels.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 17, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

The French and German are beetching these days because of the rising price of diesel; about US$6.70 a usg. Gas is about $7.40 per usg but it's been that high for a while. I'd say there is some room for an increase of the excise tax on fuel in the US. Might even help a little on those carbon dioxide emissions.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 17, 2011 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Hi Joel! I'm glad you're going slowly as you rejoin the World. It is good to start with something relatively trivial and simple, like the federal budget. Ease your way in gradually.

Based on your observations, I suggest we cut the budget by failing to allocate anything for interest on the debt. That should free up a lot of cash. In fact, we can just forgive the debt. I'm sure the other countries would agree. Or at least we could all delay repayment of the debt for, say, fourscore years or so, suspending the interest. Who could complain? We're good for it.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 17, 2011 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I think some realism on taxes is the only hope, you cannot keep paying for programs without a source of revenue. Rather than income taxes a national sales tax would IMHO be the best fit (with rebates/exemptions for low income earners).

Posted by: dmd3 | February 17, 2011 10:34 AM | Report abuse

So, the boss finally came up for air. Welcome back, JA! The budget dance will continue apace. I see the House actually voted to kill the alternate F-35 jet engine, but we'll see if that survives reconciliation. Right now, it's almost all smoke and mirrors.

Posted by: ebtnut | February 17, 2011 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I think all serious individuals understand the crisis. The problem is that seriousness isn't rewarded by the electorate. So the challenge is how to propose and execute a serious reform when staying in office - a prerequisite for getting anything done, prohibits such proposals. The solution, of course, is secret bipartisan negotiations resulting in a unified position. Which I really, really hope is what will happen.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 17, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Also, what's with this disdain for the invasion of Grenada. That invasion showed the Commie World that 'merica is not to be trifled with. It intimidated the Rooskies something fierce. In just the same way cutting NPR is going to make the deficit cower in fear.

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

I think LiT nailed it in the last boodle when she said the President's strategy is to nip and tuck until the 2012 election and then allow the Bush tax cuts to expire. Will that do the trick? We can hope, can't we?

Posted by: slyness | February 17, 2011 11:13 AM | Report abuse

From Ezra Klein's Wonkbook post this morning:

"The normal model of how bipartisanship happens is that the two parties want to work together. That model frequently fails, because they often don't. It's not in their interests. A better model might be that bipartisanship happens when they *have* [italics lost in the cut and paste] to work together."

Posted by: yellojkt | February 17, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Oh I completely agree that all serious individuals understand the crisis. The problem is that there are so few serious individuals. The other problem is that this country has a two party system. I'd vote for the Sensible Party candidate in a heartbeat, but the choice is always between the Silly Party and the Slightly Silly Party.

Posted by: kguy1 | February 17, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Talk to budgets, taxes and deficits, time for something fun.

A flash mob on the Rideau Canal - students from my alma mater participating - I am so proud. :-)

Posted by: dmd3 | February 17, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Front page alert. Not that this topic is going to bring out the masses.

Posted by: slyness | February 17, 2011 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Gas prices have a disproportionate effect on the US economy because intercity distances are much greater on this continent. Low gas prices also are huge impediments to the deployment of high speed rail.

However, there is plenty of room to restore infrastructure threw targeted taxes. Again, Ezra Klein has covered this territory recently.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 17, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

SCC: 'through'

That is new homonym mix-up for me. I usually just stick to new/knew.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 17, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Not all entitlements are created equal. Social Security is a runaway Lil' Red Wagon that can be brought under control with a tweak here and there. SS spending is controlled by laws and regulations. The number of beneficiaries, the benefits they receive and the revenues are known and controllable, at least to some extent. Rising the limit to 70 yo needn't even be considered iMHO.
The money pit is Medicare&Medicaid. Cost of care is rising and the gunmint has little control over that. New and expansive treatments are made available to all who have reached the magical age and people living longer means they receive treatments longer. For profit hospital and clinic have little to no incentive in controlling cost to the programs. People have rising expectations as well, I think. Older folks living with bad knees might have been a fact of life 30 years ago but if joint replacement surgery is available, why not benefit from it?
The only cost containment measures, apart from simple fraud like over-billing, that have been tried are in the Affordable Care Act a certain party wants to repeal. Yes those cost-containment measures became the infamous Death Panels. *sigh*
I'm not sure that increased revenues alone would solve this spiralling cost problem. To continue with mixed metaphors that beast got to be wrestled to the ground before it bolts from the barn and hurtles over that waterfall.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 17, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

From Ezra again, on the rising cost of health care.

That he was replaced on th Opinion page by that conservative blowhard has me fuming. The guy actually brings facts and number to his arguments, we can'y have that for sure.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 17, 2011 11:45 AM | Report abuse

New Yorker editor David Remnick commented on how much he'd missed while writing his book on President Obama.

I have no idea how Ezra Klein writes so much lucid stuff, while sometimes managing to include a lunch tidbit. Nor why the Post has made it necessary to hunt for him among the website shrubbery. They're making him disappear.

As I think I mentioned yesterday, Florida may drop out of Medicaid, which keeps a lot of Florida residents in nursing homes. I don't see any proposals for building homeless shelters for evicted nursing home residents. Maybe tent communities, like in Port-au-Prince?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 17, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Shriek, I've been waiting for getting onto Medicare before I get my knee replaced and get the back surgery I need for my stenosis. Otherwise, I can't afford it. So, I'm one of "them" senior citizens. Not that I feel particularly senior on most days, really. But other than these musculo-skeletal issues, I'm incredibly healthy, and will continue to be so, if any of this is under my control. If not, well, that's the way it goes.

The "Death Panel" meme makes my head explode (metaphorically, of course) in light of the fact that a guy in Arizona was literally on the gurney being wheeled into surgery for an organ transplant and the insurance company (and, I believe, the State) said "no." Don't know if he died yet, though. Wouldn't that be a feather in someone's cap, because if he has died, that would be one less human being to spend health care money on.

Population control at its basest.

Okay, don't get me started.

Welcome back, Joel. I was wondering if you were going to make us go up to 1000 before you would emerge from your cave.

Posted by: ftb3 | February 17, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

The interest payments are troublesome, especially if we have to pay for it. If somebody pushes me hard enough I would write a check for a couple of grand to cover my share, but it's probably hopeless anyway. If you don't have enough money to pay off a debt now, when are we ever going to have enough money. The solution is clearly to stall for time. Starting another war will probably not help us this time, because we have at least one now. If peace broke out I'm not sure it would help either.

Posted by: scottandrewtaylor | February 17, 2011 12:18 PM | Report abuse

ftb2, that Arizona case was due to a decision by the state government to withdraw Medicaid support for transplants, even for patients currently on wait lists.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 17, 2011 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, thanks for the inspiring citizenship post!

dmd, gwe, that's impressive. Congratulations.

Any recommended articles on the Wisconsin phenomenon?

Posted by: -dbG- | February 17, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

If all those seniors in nursing homes get sent home, they will end up on the streets. The reason they're in nursing homes is because no one wants to take care of them or they're unable to care for them. Seldom do folks take care of their elderly family members, even if they can.

And I can't throw a rock at anyone that has made the decision not to. Taking care of someone sick is not easy work. And many times elderly folks have so many ailments that it's hard to manage everything even with outside help. Home health has been trimmed to the bone because of budget shortfalls, so when folks want to care for their elderly family member there isn't much out there to assist them in that effort.

The dilemma for most folks is that they're working, have families, or just not able to provide what is needed in the physical sense. We kept my mother at home because she was blind, my father doing most of the care, and family members helping out. It was very difficult. The heart is in the right place, but when faced with all the work, it can quickly become a nightmare for the person being cared for and the caretaker.

Republicans might want to cut out Medicare and Medicaid, but some of them have elderly parents or family members perhaps needing these programs. Perhaps they would like to set the example, be the leader by going first? You think?

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 17, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Almost forgot...

Welcome back, JA.

Congrats to gwe and TBG.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 17, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I demoted ftb3 to ftb2. Sorry.

It won't do any good, but I sent a politely nasty email to Gov. Scott and a politely effusive one to Sen. Marco Rubio over the stoppage of work on Tampa-Orlando high speed rail. Rubio isn't the tea party guy we expected.

In the past, Florida's governor was merely the most important member of the state's elected Cabinet (it was a weird system), and someone like Scott would be outvoted by the other members. I never thought I'd want to see the return of that system.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 17, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Hi boss and Boodelites,

Of course I have little to contribute to the US budget and debt woes, but being obstinate, I still dispense my two cents. (Use it for a down-payment.)

Debt issue solved in 4 simple steps:

1) Enact VAT (at, say, 10%)
2) Enact a fuel tax( at 35% to current prices will suffice)
3) Raise taxes to max. 47,5% to those earning above $1 million, in 3 steps
4) Close tax loopholes and end subsidies for big business -- and mandate huge windfall tax recoup, backdated, for and from those corporations that has milked the system years if not decades. (Not sure I formulated the last point coherently, but the bottom-line is....the gov/people will get the dough.)

As a result, you can lower the pain/side-effects on the poor and the (not-so-well-a-do) middle-class with the trillions coming your way. And voila! - Done.

As an addition for those wanting some of the looted treasure the bankers individually (back-dated again) for at least half of their unearned loot of the past, say 10-15 years. (That'll pay for a bunch of new schools for a few years.)

While at it....make the health-care law similar as to be found in quite a few European countries. Saves a lot of money and insures everyone. ( pay the same as now, more or less, but with all folks insured. Not a bad deal.)

Yea, yea...needs some re-education for and of the voters, but the other option is the Boss's proverbial run-away metaphor....

My back is still all *expletive* up, so can't hang around much, but will take a peak once in a while.

Posted by: JyriSulin | February 17, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Interested that the Post is going very low profile on Wisconsin. Curious how they gave much more coverage of Jennifer Aniston's changed haircut.

Oh!!! Lookie, Rep. Paul Ryan noted the similarities between Cairo and Madison. Of course, he doesn't really get it. The story is the same. Those in power soaking the poor and middle-class and giving it all to the rich.

Please, come on WaPo... do just a bit of light reporting. You want to balance the budget? Robert Reich told you how it can be accomplished overnight. Let's not just be silly and posting Blaring headlines that are nothing more than the recently acquired Republican freak-out over the deficit.

Finally, let's be a little honest here and remind your readers that every dollar that you don't give to folks by way of social services transfer payments will come right out of the economy, and not once, but at least three or four times over. The affect will be to continue to lower the tax revenues.

When talking about "the economy," it wouldn't hurt to actually talk to some economists, eh?!

Why not take a pundit break, while you are at it!

I feel all mudgey.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 17, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I believe that the nascent political movement's name came from the acronym from "taxed enough already". While I dismissed them at first, they are getting my attention by cutting across the political grain in holding up renewal of the Patriot Act and killing a Boehner supported jet engine development. As a paleoconservative, it makes me smile.

While tax increases are a proper solution to the deficit problem, I don't think they stand a chance unless some very serious cuts, rather than just those around the margins, take place first or simultaneously.

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 17, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

You see, the deal with Medicare/Medicaid for the Repubs is getting back to "traditional values", one of those being that folks take care of their elderly parents themselves. That way, everyone gets to be poor together. And as we all know, the poor have shorter life spans, so that helps solve the Social Security isses as well. All of their rich friends and supporters don't have to worry about health insurance premiums - they can pay direct for their health care needs. For the rest, hey, it's social Darwinism.

Posted by: ebtnut | February 17, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Social Security issues

Posted by: ebtnut | February 17, 2011 1:30 PM | Report abuse

In case anyone doubts the value of Medicare and Social Security, consider this- in 1960 the elderly constituted the largest single census group below the poverty line, 35% of the poor were over 65. By 1995, those over 65 were the smallest class of poor Americans and made up only 10% of those in poverty. Between 1960 and 2008 average life expectancy in the U.S. rose about 9 years across all races and both genders. (This is not as good as it could have been. 21 other countries did better over the same period, although no other country spends as much for healthcare as the U.S. Perhaps if we cut back on the Big Macs???)

Posted by: kguy1 | February 17, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

If you have read this blog at all on the economics posts, you would know that the structural deficit is larger than the entire discretionary budget. You could close the doors on all the national parks, quit giving sex-ed grants, start storing nuclear waste in milk jugs and still not close the gap.

The elephant in the room is that tax increases are necessary and since revenue bills have to originate in the House, there is an enormous game of chicken going on.

I hate the idea of a national VAT tax not just because it is regressive, but because it is a camel nose in the tent. Sales taxes are the traditional purview of the states and once the feds get in that business all bets are off.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 17, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Ed, don't bet on that tax increase expectation on your part. Several states are choosing to raise taxes... as you point out, in conjunction with some cuts.

The majority of Americans believe in increasing the tax burden on the high earners, rolling back the Bush tax cuts.

I guess we can agree to disagree, but I think that this is the beginning of a ground swell that already is over 50%.

Here is a premise of mine, Ed, that you might enjoy. About a month ago, the then popular Afghani VP who had USA support and backing left the country and he had $58 Million with him. That was in US cash.

Folks wondered how we found it, like he had it in a suitcase. The truth is that that much cash has to be transported on a couple of pallets. Americans just can't comprehend these lofty amounts of money.

As more and more Americans get the shaft, political positions are re-aligning.

As they say, it will be fun to watch and speculate. I clearly disagree with the Washington Post's headline speculation that this is actually good for the Republican party.

In fact, I hear more people suggest to me from around the country that the Post is now somewhat of an insignificant news source--partly from its overt editorial stance and partly because of the lost talent. (and party because Achenbach took so much time to write that book).

Posted by: russianthistle | February 17, 2011 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Re WaPo,

Bar JA and a few lone voices every now and then, WaPo's political commentary is appalling. Sounds about as objective as a lobbyist for big oil wanting EPA to succeed. Or so.

I get my main conservative dosage from FT and the Economist, the rest from many divers sources. My US source is mainly NYT, but even it has some issues (kind now) regarding truthful reporting vs, 'balanced' reporting. Go figure.

Generally speaking, journalism is in a pretty sad state and place, but what can one do.

Posted by: JyriSulin | February 17, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

So very glad to see the boss back in fine form.

I'm just sitting here toward the back of the lecture hall absorbing all your observations and wisdom in preparation for the final exam.

Knit 1, purl 2, yarnover, k2 tog ...
repeat to end of row.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 17, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: kguy1 | February 17, 2011 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, but it won't count towards your grade, kguy. Relax.

Posted by: slyness | February 17, 2011 2:35 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: kguy1 | February 17, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Can I get a pass/fail? And grade on the curve too please.

Posted by: rickoshea12 | February 17, 2011 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Looks like I got the wrong info on our Senator Marco Rubio. He seems to have supported Gov. Scott's decision to stop work on the Tampa-Orlando rail link. St. Petersburg Times seems to be wrong, WUSF and Lakeland Ledger right. Papers make mistakes.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 17, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Only if you've made the proper arrangements with the professor, ros.

Kguy, RELAX! Your grade will be based on your paper, and I'm sure you're well along in your research. It's due April 15th.

Posted by: slyness | February 17, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I know it's difficult to separate out the operational costs of Iraq and Afghanistan, but there is some evidence that the buildup of defense spending over the last decade is still huge, even subtracting the operational expenses. Very huge. I'd cut it. Hugely.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 17, 2011 2:54 PM | Report abuse

It's not just individuals that benefit from Medicare/Medicaid, cutting those programs would produce a ripple effect. Think about the people that work in nursing homes, hospitals,etc., any place that receives those payments. It's not just the sick person.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 17, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse

As long as the final exam isn't an oral. ;) And slyness caught my drift when she wrote that the paper is due on April 15th.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 17, 2011 3:16 PM | Report abuse

edbyronadams, I will also give a shoutout to the Tea-like substance folks. What they stand for in general is not too bad, and that voice (stop spending on unnecessary stuff; get rid of waste; act like it is your money you are spending) has not been heard in a while.

The problem I have with the Tea-like substance folks is that often they get sidetracked and talk about other issues besides spending and they completely lose me.

Posted by: baldinho | February 17, 2011 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Gee, I always thought of the Boodle as a sort of graduate seminar where you just show up without any preparation, blow smoke out of your, um, keyboard for an hour and all get together for brewskies with the prof afterwards. Tests? Grades? Research? Paper? (all spoken in passable imitation of Bob Denver as Maynard G. Krebs saying "Work!").

Posted by: kguy1 | February 17, 2011 3:23 PM | Report abuse

kguy, that's why I mostly lurk. You guys are waaaaaaaaaaay ahead of me, and I am humbly grateful to be allowed to participate occasionally.

Posted by: oldbam | February 17, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Have the medicos cleared you to negotiate curves yet, rickoshea??

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 17, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: slyness | February 17, 2011 3:44 PM | Report abuse

talitha -- you remind me to start doing that needlepoint for the wedding gift. In the evening, it's all I can do to stay awake to read the paper, let alone start a needlepoint or knitting project. Maybe I'm waiting for the longer days and evening daylight.

Yeah, that's it.

*waving to Jyri and oldbam*

DotC, btw, I don't at all mind being "downsized". But if you call out "ftb" without any integers, I'm likely to answer.

Gonna try to get out first thing in the morning before getting down to working on what I should have done today, but haven't. I do have that procrastination fever this week, alright. Any boodle remedies at hand?

Posted by: ftb3 | February 17, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Ftb, the boodle is synonymous with procrastination. Any remedy would wipe us out.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 17, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

ftb - multitask, multitask, multitask ...

As to the needlepoint, get the project out and put it in a basket or bowl. Tell yourself you'll promise to work on it just one-half hour a day. Pretty soon you'll get the fever (if you're like me, anyway) and won't be able to put it down.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 17, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Fever? More cowbell?

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 17, 2011 4:13 PM | Report abuse

More cowbell?
I musta missed something ... not unusual.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 17, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I'll get back to you later ftb.

When fishing for marlin around Oz please keep your hands in the boat.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 17, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Joel, "today's paper" is obsolete. We now say "the daily newsfeeds."

We also are in the process of discontinuing the verb "to read" in favor of "organically uploading."

Also, "earmarks" is now replaced by "auditory scarring," to reduce electronic translator confusion with the various parsings of "earrings" and "ear piercing."

You will have to get a full political jargon upgrade. Please approach the appropriate copyediting department at WaPo for your daily newsfeed.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 17, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Weed, if you start to feel all mudgey again, I recommend this cure:'s_Gin

It's what I take when I start feeling all thistleweedy. Works like a charm.


Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 17, 2011 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I don't know how often one finds the Sydney Morning Herald without specifically going to look for it.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 17, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

talitha, I used to get into obsessive-compulsive mode when I did this stuff around 20-25 years ago. I once made a huge afghan using the afghan stitch in several sections (*pausing waiting to see if Snuke will come up with the appropriate pun*) and then embroidering on top of it roses and lillies. It's on my bed, and I must say it's really, really gorgeous. After finishing the fringe, I put it on my bed and I remember my eyes' welling up. From start to finish, it took 3 months.

I do like to do counted cross-stitch embroidery, but that takes longer. And, needless to say, I rarely (if ever) embroider my facts.....

That was a pretty startling video, Shriek. Yikes!

Posted by: ftb3 | February 17, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

You've knitted a dog ftb?????
When we had the Giant Black Lab we could have knitted an adult Shipperke avery week of the moulting season.

(1970's joke to Afghans' owner: we're going to smoke your dog.)

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 17, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Good day, y'all.

I'm with kguy. If there are tests or grades, I'm outta here. It's been about 30 years since I done got my last grade and I ain't never going back to that, not even to brush up on my English.

ftb, stop by and we'll procrastinate together. I can always find something I simply must cook as my highest priority.

Speaking of which, there's mocha pudding on the table.

Posted by: MsJS | February 17, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Weed - The Post carried Scott Bauer's AP stories last week and yesterday, and several Post political columnists/bloggers have mentioned it in the past week, as do several today. While it hasn't bubbled up to the top of the spotlight section, the Wisconsin public employee union story is probably perceived as being one where the Post doesn't feel that it has much to offer yet.

They've offered a good bit of coverage and opinion on the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act over the past year. That one's way off the front burner now, but the Post is certainly not unwilling to cover these issues.

Posted by: bobsewell | February 17, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

multiflask? multiflask? How about


Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | February 17, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Oh, goodie! Shriek got to it first!

My massage therapist's Great Dane is decked out in very colorful knitted sweaters (made just for Great Danes) to keep her warm in the winter. Looks very chic.

Afghan hounds are really interesting dogs. I rather like them.

Posted by: ftb3 | February 17, 2011 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I've mentioned the skiing Lhasa Apso I knew in Colorado. His mistress was a spinner/weaver/knitter and made several beautiful hats and scarves from the Cookie Monster's fur collected from brushings. He was coppery blond and so soft.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 17, 2011 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Hamlet wore very colorful knitted sweaters?

Posted by: LostInThought | February 17, 2011 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Listening to Mary Matalin (sp) a former Bush advisor, she is on CNN re Wisconsin, OMG. I want to slap her.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 17, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

I have no idea what James Carville sees in her. Well, besides that.....

Posted by: ftb3 | February 17, 2011 5:48 PM | Report abuse

To bedeck or not to bedeck? That is the question.
Whether it's chic-er on the back to shoulder the knits and purls of outrageous fashion, or bare arms against a sea of critics and, by opposing, outclass them?

Posted by: MsJS | February 17, 2011 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Through my in-laws, I occasionally hang out with dog show types. Some of them are really serious, and wear things made from dogs' hair. Some of it looks lovely, but when it gets wet, well . . . wet dog.

The Boy and I will be in Dallas tomorrow for the Jr. Olympics fencing tournament. We're very excited to be going, as this is the first year he's qualified. I would like to say now, in advance, just how much I hate driving in Dallas. We will be downtown this trip, which helps some, but not much. I just spent half an hour with some good online maps and am pretty sure I can get to both the venue and the hotel. However, I'm not happy about it. Thank you for listening.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 17, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

I-mom, I hope you have some great tunes to play. And good luck to The Boy!

Posted by: MsJS | February 17, 2011 6:02 PM | Report abuse

dmd3, the only time I have any sympathy for either Matalin or Carville is when I remember that they have to deal with each other.

Matalin lost me when she published a couple smear books on Obama running up to the last election.

Funny is they are both pretty rich. Beats an honest living, political insiderism.

Posted by: baldinho | February 17, 2011 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Yes, good luck to I-Boy!

aaaaaand ... just as sheep (or alpaca or llama or yak) wool would be aromatic if not scoured, so it is with dog fur. A little ivory snow or woolite goes a long way.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 17, 2011 6:11 PM | Report abuse

MsJS, the Boy has made several CDs - what we used to call "mix tapes" - which are pretty good. We'll compromise on the other CDs, some for him, some for me. We can both agree on several sort of alt/rock/hip-hop things. If I wind up driving home late at night I get to choose the "keep me alert" music. Oddly, very rhythmic stuff doesn't work well - too mesmerizing.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 17, 2011 6:27 PM | Report abuse

That is who he is married to? I felt like it was the twenties listening to her complain and slag teachers and unions, way over the top. Think she might have had a little too much botox had a weird inability to move her face, (if there is a medical reason for this beyond botox) I apologize.

Made me wonder does she really believe the crap coming out of her mouth, since she seems incapable of showing emotion hard to tell.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 17, 2011 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of furry critters, this story cracked me up. Listen to the 911 call, it's hilarious:

Posted by: slyness | February 17, 2011 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Good luck to I-boy, how very exciting. Ivansmom my daughter tells me the GPS app for Iphone is very good.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 17, 2011 6:40 PM | Report abuse

I must share this:

Evidently, many professionals find their depictions on television programs less than satisfying. It's not just me.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 17, 2011 6:53 PM | Report abuse

I-mom - good luck to I-boy! And have fun!

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 17, 2011 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Loved the 'llama attacks' story, slyness.
That fella's accent sounded veeeeery familiar to me!

There are many sheep ranchers who swear by keeping a few llamas in the herd because they'll attack predators that after the flock. And, like their camel cousins, they'd as soon spit at you as look at you.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 17, 2011 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Bob, I appreciate your response. I think the story is bigger than the Post believes. If I didn't believe so, then I guess ...

Posted by: russianthistle | February 17, 2011 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Weed, I hadn't heard of it before you mentioned it, so thank you. I agree this is important, because we are dealing with so many governors who are cutting things to the bone rather than raise taxes at all.

Yello, why should sales tax be a states-only deal?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 17, 2011 7:15 PM | Report abuse

I suppose you could call federal taxes on fuel sales taxes.

NC's governor presented a budget that would cut 10,000 employees. It's going to be interesting to watch how that plays out. Thankfully, my pension fund is in pretty good shape.

Posted by: slyness | February 17, 2011 7:27 PM | Report abuse

A female friends father raised Llamas and I must say they are sneaky quick and pretty nasty when their territory is encroached upon.I know from first hand experience.....ouch!!!

I missed Blue Oyster Cult the other night,they were playing at a new club in Baltimore,but I was needed at home.Perhaps the next time they are around.

It is scarey to think of the debt in the trillions,but who knows in 50 years they may be saying remember when the debt was only in the trillions,"boy those were the days".And I hate to seem really stupid,but what comes after trillion?

dbG keep up the good work

Have a nice evening everyone.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 17, 2011 7:33 PM | Report abuse

RD Padouk, Mrs D dos forensic science, for real. She doesn't watch TV as a rule but if she's tired and in the mood she hunts for CSI Somewhere shows for a good laugh. It is that bad. The clothes, the blue lighting and the machines spitting out deadly accurate immediate results in particular she likes a lot.

But I worry a bit, you follow the Bug Girl blog?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 17, 2011 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod ... I've no idea about your television viewing habits but Rachel Maddow (msnbc, 9:00pm est) has been doing a good job of covering the Wisconsin story.
I'm a big Maddow fan.

Went out for a quick errand around 7:30. It was so warm I had no need for a jacket and just wore a light shawl. The almost full moon was just rising over the mountains ... beautiful. Hope bc is making his preparations. ;)

Posted by: talitha1 | February 17, 2011 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Shrieking, I think all science fiction is... major fiction. Certainly the science on Star Trek has never been good, although we did wind up with cell phones and other things that seemed farfetched in 1960. I am awaiting the first medical tricorder-- we have the technology to make that happen now (seriously-- gene chips, information technology, and nanotechnology for chemical tests.)

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 17, 2011 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Talitha-- non-existent except for Hulu which I have been trying to watch for the last two hours, except that Wilbrodog keeps telling me it's bad for my health.

Hate it when the dog's right.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 17, 2011 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Maxwell Smart's shoe-phone was NOT far-fetched. Neither was the Cone of Silence.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 17, 2011 8:37 PM | Report abuse

LiT,the word NOT is a much discussed word up here these days :-).

Posted by: dmd3 | February 17, 2011 8:52 PM | Report abuse

LOL LiT......I love the Cone of Silence and everything that had to do with Get Smart and 99 was so hot....... just gotta love the brilliance that is Mel Brooks

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 17, 2011 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, did you see the piece on Nova recently about a guy that came up with some magnetic field gizmo that can stimulate very specific regions of the brain? It scans them as well, I think. Very tricorderesque.

They did a cool thing where the gizmo man told someone he was going to make their right pinky twitch (or something similar). He positioned his magnetic field gizmo over a part of the guy's brain, shot out a pulse of energy and.... his right pinky twitched.

Most impressive.

Posted by: baldinho | February 17, 2011 9:02 PM | Report abuse

The sun is acting up as well. Badly named Aurora Borealis may be in play. We should have Aurora Polaris and boreal bears.

CSI is supposed to be science, not science fiction.

And it is raining and +2C here, little chance to actually see the Northern Lights.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 17, 2011 9:05 PM | Report abuse

speaking of maxwell smart, this is the only episode in which he drives a Ferrari.

Posted by: -jack- | February 17, 2011 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Beautiful wintery days here on the northernish left coast. After a couple of weeks of 20's mornings with frozen fog. We had a couple of warm sunny mornings. Then yesterday awoke to a half inch of white stuff. The sun came out and quickly melted it all away. Then late in the afternoon it began to snow again and put down an inch just before dark. It was cloudy for a while then the clouds cleared to reveal a big silver almost full moon. It was a "hallmark" scene.
This morning the sun came out about ten and all the snow melted away. We got all the nice views without any of you guys snow problems. Even I-5 over the pass wasn't closed or even chain requirements.

Posted by: bh72 | February 17, 2011 9:22 PM | Report abuse

High on my bucket list is to see the "northern lights". Weather Gang guy says it's possible in rural areas in the early am during moonset. I may just set the alarm and give it a look-see.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 17, 2011 9:32 PM | Report abuse

It is about 7c and cloudy here, so will not be possible to see the northern lights - if they happen. This will be my best opportunity, live camera from Yellowknife - don't think it is quite dark there yet but getting close.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 17, 2011 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Me too talitha! The bucket list part, not so much the setting the alarm part.

Hi everyone. I hope all is well. Ivansmom, congrats to The Boy! That's exciting. Drive safe!

I don't really have anything to add, just checking in. I'm trying to finish up some work and the Boodle is my relaxation for the evening.

Posted by: cowhand214 | February 17, 2011 9:42 PM | Report abuse

frostbitten asked about Oscar movies in the last Boodle. I am in a similar situation, and am planning to see Inception (my local movie reviewer loved it) and The Social Network (mainly because Aaron Sorkin wrote it).

Posted by: seasea1 | February 17, 2011 9:48 PM | Report abuse

I have a friend who has invented a device you attach to an iPhone to make it an instant portable EKG. Very cool.

Full moon here too. The outdoor creatures have been very active.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 17, 2011 9:50 PM | Report abuse

seasea-thanks for the reminder that Sorkin wrote The Social Network. Reason enough to see that one in my book. Inception just doesn't look like something I'd enjoy though.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 17, 2011 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Meant to tell you, gwe, I think what you're doing is great on all fronts. Keep up the good work, sir!

I am indeed making preparations, with a full moon in the sky early, and possibly aurora borealis towards daybreak after the moon has set.

I looked for the northern lights earlier and didn't see anything except that moon... and here's that familiar itchy/tingling feeling, telling me it's going to be an interesting night. Keep your pets in tonight, folks. Just in case.

Something is definitely rotten in Denmark.



Posted by: -bc- | February 17, 2011 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Rachel Maddow's show website is here:
although probably not captioned. Which is a shame.

Posted by: seasea1 | February 17, 2011 10:04 PM | Report abuse

My beef with that Fringe episode is that in the parallel universe there is an Obrycki's in Annapolis. I cant accept mutant parasitic beetle roaches, but I just cotton to the kind of implausibility that puts a Bawlmer institution in the wrong city.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 17, 2011 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Uncle Leo passed away...

Posted by: -TBG- | February 17, 2011 10:12 PM | Report abuse

SCC: I CAN accept mutant parasitic beetle roaches. JJ Abrams has come up with far more implausible MacGuffins. Red stuff and the collected works of Milo Rambaldi come to mind.

And don't get me started about Bruce Willis climbing through the ductwork everywhere.

While long shots, both 'The Kids Are All Right' and 'Toy Story 3' are worth pre-Oscar screenings.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 17, 2011 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Here's what my local movie reviewer wrote about Inception (not her original review, this is more Oscar-based):

You could see The Fighter. I refuse to see movies about boxing, but I've heard it's good.

Posted by: seasea1 | February 17, 2011 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Oh, oh, I was just coming back to mention The Kids Are Alright. I've had it on order from the library forever. I may have to rent it this weekend, along with the other two.

Posted by: seasea1 | February 17, 2011 10:28 PM | Report abuse

We watched Exit Through the Gift Shop last night. I can't tell you the last year I saw this many Oscar nominees.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 17, 2011 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, baldinho, thank you for chiming in with those real-life examples of tricorderism-in-progress :).

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 17, 2011 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Hello, all. Saw "The Kids Are Alright." Though it had its good points, I found it a little oppressive. Maybe it's a California thing - people I know don't live in houses like that and aren't like that in very many ways. Liked the children in it more than the adults, certainly.

I'm rooting for "The King's Speech," best film I've seen in years, although it has my oldest claiming that doing homework with music blasting in her headphones actually helps her think, justified in a twisted way by the film. Gotta love Beethoven's 7th, too.

Inception - meh. Interesting in a Hollywood spectacle way. Reminds me, in retrospect, of a James Cameron film - you walk out very impressed, then the next day you think "why was I impressed?"

Did anyone else see "Babies?" Is it up for anything? Liked it a lot.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | February 18, 2011 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Not a good trend, but this has always been a problem. Again, the hidden elephant in employment has always been health insurance.

Business can't hire fairly if they bear unfair costs for whom they hire. This factor will always pressure hidden job discrimination as long as it exists.

This is why I can't understand people who are against health care reform-- including insurance reform.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 18, 2011 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Or you could watch Threat Level Midnight!

I guess I have The Who still stuck in my head...

And I meant to say the other night - Scottish Deerhound!

Posted by: seasea1 | February 18, 2011 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle! Hope to see True Grit, The Social Network, and Toy Story 3 before Oscar night. At 2 nominees I'm already at 2X what I normally see before the Oscar is awarded. Not sure "enjoyed" is the right word, but Mr. F and I both appreciated Winter's Bone.

If you're interested in seeing a nominated documentary you can't go wrong with Restrepo. Sebastian Junger was here at MacDill for a special screening and Q&A, but I've watched it again since and it holds up.

Friday mochas with whip are fired up and ready for the fax along with almond muffins.

Later gators!

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 18, 2011 5:34 AM | Report abuse

I found 'Inception' to be very well crafted from both a visual and a storytelling aspect. The layers and the paradoxes are very interesting to me, especially how they address that solipsistic philosophical conundrum most stoned college sophomores face at one point or another.

I have very firm opinions about the ending and get very frustrated with people who can't see it and are obviously WRONG.

Some friends of mine want to see The King's Peach and so asked me not to give away any of the movie. I said "Sorry, but it's all right there in the title. There's a king. And he gives a speech." Oops, Spoiler Alert.

I wonder what other movies are as flagrantly obvious about their plot line in the title. Most are usually the opposite. For example, 'Gone With The Wind' would have been a far more appropriate title for 'The Wizard Of Oz' than for itself, just to pick two classic 1939 films at random.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 18, 2011 5:49 AM | Report abuse

Google and you shall find:

The clear winners in the misleading title category are 'The Neverending Story' and 'Naked Lunch'.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 18, 2011 6:04 AM | Report abuse

And the misleading movie title quiz:

Posted by: yellojkt | February 18, 2011 6:07 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. Just got everybody out the door, going back to bed. Just wanted to check in, and give everyone a "holler".

Slyness, it feels like spring, it really does. I know it probably won't last but I'm enjoying every moment of it when I get the opportunity. I do hope you're able to get out and about. Today is my day to rest, so hope I can do that.

TGIF, folks, and may your weekend be a blast. Lots of love to all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 18, 2011 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Morning, Cassandra, enjoy your nap! Yup, it was 54 at oh-dark-six-o'clock when we went out for the walk. I took Mr. T to work (actually, he drove, but I drove home) and I didn't bother to put on a jacket. I dread the thought that it will be springlike for two weeks, then winter will return and kill all the plants that were fooled into growing like it was really spring.

Yello, I'm going to go back and take that quiz when I have the time, maybe later today.

Ivansmom, you and the Boy have a safe and fun trip! I've been to Dallas and I understand your feelings about driving in the place...

Since I had that 40 minutes extra going uptown, I'm running behind. Much to do, so I'll check in later...

Posted by: slyness | February 18, 2011 8:34 AM | Report abuse

*it-really-should-be-a-crime-to-have-so-much-to-do-on-a-TFSMIF Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 18, 2011 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Wheezy - my wife and I watched Babies. I found it both delightful and, sometimes, really, really disturbing.

Yello - I think the ending of Inception is firmly rooted in the personality of Christopher Nolan. Basically, he really likes to mess with the expectation of his audience. A lot.

Also, according to my wife, the most misleading movie title ever is "Must Love Dogs." Because the film is distinctly lacking in, you know, dogs.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 18, 2011 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, balmy in my area 10c this morning but very breezy. I can see grass again! Still lots of piles of snow but incredible how much melted in the last few days. The sun is even trying to shine. I have spring fever - til this afternoon when the temps are expected to drop.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 18, 2011 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Wheezy... we LOVED the movie Babies. We were mesmerized by it and talked about it for days afterwards.

We had watched nearly half the movie when we realized there was no narration, nothing. Then were also shocked at the end to see the credits were in French!

I highly recommend it to everyone. It's still streaming on Netflix Instant.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 18, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning, y'all!

Warm and cloudy at moonset time early this morning so there was no hope of seeing aurora borealis, whether it was there to be seem at our latitudes or not. Someday.

Scored nine out of ten on yello's misleading movie title quiz (surprising myself, to be honest). Missed the director of Slumdog Millionaire ... and I've seen it twice plus watching it win awards at the Oscars.

Have a great Friday. Later .....

Posted by: talitha1 | February 18, 2011 9:21 AM | Report abuse

9 of 10 on the quiz. I would not describe The Fighter as a boxing movie. Although it is about men involved in boxing and there are significant scenes in the ring, it's much more a film about drug addiction and dysfunctional families. That makes it sound more of a downer than it in fact is. It is in parts funny, in parts inspirational. Christian Bale has never impressed me as much in anything else. Ditto Amy Adams. He should be a LOCK for the supporting actor statue. She should lose out to her co-star Melissa Leo who is as great as Bale, unless they split the vote and the young lady from True Grit slips by them.

Now if you want a film about drugs and dysfunctional families that is a real downer, watch "Winter's Bone". Having said that I will add that it's a grim tale about poverty and hard choices, but right in the middle of all that is a fine performance by Jennifer Lawrence as a young girl determined to hold her family together against the opposition of literally everyone in her world. She drives the movie and makes it well worth watching.

Posted by: kguy1 | February 18, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

talitha, the "cowbell" reference comes from a classic SNL skit... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 18, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

How long can a guest-clean house stay that way? Not long enough, I suspect. My department is halfway done with two campus interviews for the person who would be my closest colleague, and I volunteered to host the wine-and-cheese receptions for both candidates. One last night, one next Wednesday. I spent lots of time cleaning for the first one; I hadn't thought that the normal state of our house was that disastrous, but it's amazing how much dust and clutter shows up once you start moving it around. I really don't want to do it all over again right away. Ah well, we'll see what we can do to maintain it. At least it's nice to have a clean house to live in, however briefly. I do hope that the opened wine lasts; I re-corked them as tightly as I could. Should I go ahead and drink that big bottle of Perrier that one person opened for one glass? I can't imagine those bubbles sticking around.

This is actually kinda fun, but I'll still make sure to get credit for it as department service.

Posted by: -bia- | February 18, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

More cowbell!

Posted by: yellojkt | February 18, 2011 10:19 AM | Report abuse

"I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell."

Never gets old.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 18, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

That fintrivia site with the quiz is blocked out on my gummint computer.

Here's something interesting I myself have often wondered about. I hope the $100 million figure is way wrong....but I'm guessing it may be right:

Other misleading movie titles:

Goodbye, Columbus. No Spanish ships or sea voyages anywhere. Worse, wasn't even set in 1492.

The Sun Also Rises. Virtually the entire movie took place during the day or evening. Not a single sunrise scene, as I recall.

Henry V: His last name was Bolingbroke. Should be called Henry B.

Gone With the Wind: It was mostly that big fire. And the war, of course. Not much wind at all.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind: It wasn't just "close"; the damned thing landed right there in front of them, and then Dreyfus went aboard it and flew away. That ain't "close"; that's "Inside."

12 Angry Men: Henry was pretty calm through the entire movie. Just raised some questions. Should be called "11 Angry Men and This One Curious Guy Who Pissed the Other Guys Off."

Star Wars: Nope. Just planets, duking it out. And the Death Star wasn't actually a star, just this gigundo round spaceship. I don't know why SciTim hasn't corrected this mis-impression a long time ago.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Apparently nobody. She never showed up, and anyway, it wasn't at all spooky or scary. A lot of yelling, sure. But anything to be afraid of? No. I don't know what Albee could have been thinking.

The Last Picture Show. Well, it wasn't, was it? They've made a gazillion more since then.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 18, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Wine left after a faculty function? Clearly not a journalism or engineering department.

My favourite disfunctional family film is C.R.A.Z.Y., and it is not a downer. It wasn't nominated to the Oscars Foreign Film just because the selection committee didn't find it foreign enough, oddly. It won plenty of other prizes though. The hero would be a few months younger than myself and I also have 4 siblings so it was easy to identify with the members of that family.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 18, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

mudge, 100 million over 10 years? Very believable, especially given that you're talking multiple cars. Sponsorships can go up to 10 million dollars per car, per year.

On the other hand, they believe that that's their target demographic. And it's not different from the Navy sponsoring broadcasts of soccer games, etc.

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | February 18, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

My adopted home town, Petaluma, CA celebrates the 100th anniversary today of the first airmail flight.

Posted by: bh72 | February 18, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Scotty (and yello, tho I'd already googled it) for cluing me in on More Cowbell. And the great Christopher Walken ... "I got a fe-vah!" That one slipped under my radar, probably because I didn't own a television during that particular era of SNL.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 18, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

shriek, in addition to any influence of the field, the leftover wine phenomenon may also be a generational thing. Those faculty members who have been in the department since the '70's shake their heads at us lightweight young'uns. Faculty parties are clearly not what they used to be.

Posted by: -bia- | February 18, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, "12 Angry Men" was on TCM last night. I like it a lot (and have seen it a lot). All the usual "suspects" were in that room, most of whose names I actually remembered. A very young (relatively) Jack Klugman, predictable thugs Lee J. Cobb and Ed Begley. A very good movie.

It's nice out, and getting nicer, on its way to making us pay for this niceness with colder weather (and even *gasp* snow on Tuesday) later.

Posted by: ftb3 | February 18, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Good day, y'all.

Curried chicken salad on baby spinach, pumpkin bread and blackberries for lunch. BYOC(hair).

Another mistitled film in my mind is "The Unbearable Lightness of Being". First, the subject matter was anything but light. And second, in its pure form, the concept of being is splendid.

Off to enjoy the lightness of Friday.

Posted by: MsJS | February 18, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

bia, you should try partying with the school of public health. I've never seen more people aware of the appropriate number of drinks allowed per day for their gender.

Posted by: cowhand214 | February 18, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

12 Angry Men was the only film that Henry Fonda ever made as both actor and producer. It was the first directing job for Sidney Lumet. Nothing like hitting a homer in your first at bat.

Posted by: kguy1 | February 18, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

A trillion here, a trillion there, pretty soon you're talking real money! Quadrillion, quintillion, sextillion, septillion...

Posted by: bobsewell | February 18, 2011 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I watched the end of it, too--always been one of my favorite movies. I kind of like to watch the "mechanics" of it unfold, as you watch each juror, one by one, come on board. After the second or third one falls, you know the rest are going to, one by one-- but that doesn't ruin it for you. Part of the suspense is simply watching each one unravel in his own way. There's a kind of elegant story-telling precision to it as you watch the plot unfold.

I get the same feeling watching "In the Heat of the Night." You get the entire set-up easrly, and you sort of know what's going to happen, but mainly you watch as Poitier and Steiger circle around and circle around. The actual murder plot is almost secondary (like it is secondary in 12 Angry Men): you watch the two characters interact, and to a secondary degree you watch the actors do their craft.

And of course no explosions, no shoot-outs, no space aliens, no special effects. Just good, solid, straight-ahead craftsmanship.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 18, 2011 1:06 PM | Report abuse

My officemate just suggested that the gummint should regard this weather outside our window as "inclement," because it is really messing with our heads and disrupting our work and claiming our attention in a way that no blizzard or rainstorm ever could. She thinks the gummint should let us out three hours early because it is so disruptive and demoralizing.

I cannot argue with logic like that.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 18, 2011 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Mudge, about craftsmanship. We came across "All About Eve" on TV the other day. Just people talking. And wow.

Posted by: -bia- | February 18, 2011 1:11 PM | Report abuse

We studied 12 Angry Men in Grade 10 English and as part of that I saw the movie for the first time, loved it then and still do now - great play as well.

In the Heat of the Night is fantastic as well.

Just got back from the first of many of the girls hockey games this weekend. It took place at a brand new facility - a 4 plex, 3 NHL ice pads, one Olympic sized, they sold Starbucks (brewed) coffee at the facility, it was clean, bright (lots of windows) had seating and a large restaurant - event rooms, glass tiles on the walls of the stairwells. I have always known I live next to a very wealthy town, but my goodness - tax money well spent - really jealous - if not for the coffee as much as anything!

Posted by: dmd3 | February 18, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

ArmyBrat and mudge: I read a NASCAR blog a couple days ago that quoted the Army sponsorship for Ryan Newman's car was about $12 million for last year alone.

I think the 100 million for 10 years is correct.

Posted by: baldinho | February 18, 2011 1:15 PM | Report abuse

The more "correct" that figure is likely to be, the worse it is. $100 million to recruit a few dozen soldiers? That's beyond insane. Does ANYBODY think that's a hundred mil well spent? (It's not about NASCAR; it's about the dollars per recruit.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 18, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge, wouldn't "uberclement" be more appropo?

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 18, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of NASCAR (I've never been a fan), the Charlotte Observer is doing a series on fatalities and safety at racetracks. Interesting stuff. Mudge, they say the Observer has the most complete database on race fatalities in the country.

Posted by: slyness | February 18, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Here is the NASCAR blog I mentioned earlier. The $11.9 million for Ryan Newman was 2009.;_ylt=Aphh5yQGaUATry5E9eeWJY3ov7YF?urn=nascar-321859

Posted by: baldinho | February 18, 2011 1:40 PM | Report abuse

3 hours and 8 minutes, Scotty.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 18, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Guess it depends upon the quality of the recruits, and whether there are ancillary benefits (beyond recruitment) to being involved with NASCAR.

Doesn't seem like money especially well spent.

Posted by: bobsewell | February 18, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Bob: my take is your opinion on sponsorships will parallel your opinion on marketing in general.

I will back up others that have said that the NASCAR fan base and the pool of folks typically in the Army do overlap a lot.

It is not perfect, for sure, as I bet the percentage of minorities in the Army is a lot more than the percentage of minorities amongst the crowd at a typical NASCAR event.

If the military is going to advertise anywhere, NASCAR is about as ripe a target as you can get.

Posted by: baldinho | February 18, 2011 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Well, I was specifically thinking of Mudge's estimate of the high per-recruit cost of the program. But if you find one Luke Skywalker (that you wouldn't have found otherwise) who has a unique talent that helps you destroy the enemy's equivalent of the Death Star (or helps avoid the destruction of ours), then I guess the money was well-spent.

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

The Army should rediscover the Northeast by sponsoring theater showings of samurai movies, as in this film appreciation at the Times.

Sen. Bill Nelson is sending emails to constituents promoting bipartisan efforts to build the Tampa-Orlando rail link despite Gov. Scott. I don't think it'll work, but I appreciate anything that will humiliate the governor. Sen. Nelson's video:

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 18, 2011 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Off our rockers actin' crazy

With the right medication we won't be lazy

Doin' the old folks boogie

Down on the farm

Wheelchairs they was locked arm in arm

Paired off pacemakers with matchin' alarms

Gives us jus' one more chance

To spin one more yarn

And you know that you're over the hill

When your mind makes a promise that your body can't fill

Doin' the old folks boogie

And boogie we will

'Cause to us the thought's as good as a thrill

Back at the home

No time is your own

Facilities there they're all out on loan

The bank foreclose and your bankruptcy shows

And your credit creeps to an all-time low

So you know that you're over the hill

When your mind makes a promise that your body can't fill

Try and get a rise from an atrophied muscle

And the nerves in your thigh just quivers and fizzles

So you know that you're over the hill

When your mind makes a promise that your body can't fill

-- Paul Barrere

Posted by: russianthistle | February 18, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

59 minutes, 'Mudge??? A travesty!! *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 18, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I know, Scotty. We had that 59-minute thing down at Pax River. By law, only the president can close something an hour or more early. Hence, 59 minutes is in the base commander's discretion.

I blame Obama.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 18, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse

What made you stop smoking dmd? Pictures of the suave Bev Oda? or


Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 18, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Yanno 'Mudge, we're almost at the point where we could start blaming Boehner...

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 18, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abuse

LOL. I've never seen a politician get shot in the ass so often by his own people. Makes progressives v. Obama look like a cake walk.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 18, 2011 3:09 PM | Report abuse

co-blaming, anyway...

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 18, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse

He-he I posted that picture to my FB Shriek, I quit before it but it is a good incentive to stay smoke free! Can't help but think she is taking the fall for the PM.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 18, 2011 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure there even WAS an iguana in "Night of the Iguana." Not for the whole night, that's for sure. And "Giant"? Heck, they weren't even 7 feet tall, much less, oh let's say 40 feet.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 18, 2011 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Watched "Unknown". Ann Hornaday's review is fine, as is Manohla Dargis's at the Times. Doppelgänger, indeed. Possibly the most implausible feature of the movie is that a plant breeder could be renting a ridiculously expensive hotel suite, wearing a tuxedo, and entertaining a Middle Eastern prince. Keep an eye on the California plants. Neesom mispronounces "Calochortus"--the ch is like "k", like in architecture. Greek.

Ridiculously entertaining.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 18, 2011 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if you have had this experience, but every week, a couple new people that I know have decided to become Life Coaches and think that they want to join the crowd of 60 or 70 other life coaches who are attempting to "square away" my lowly existence.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 18, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse

The Oatmeal's already chimed in on Obama's meeting today with the technology nerds...

Posted by: -TBG- | February 18, 2011 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Duck and cover, Weed.

It's appallingly gorgeous outside, and I'm thankful that my almost endless week of procrastination is coming to close. I was out earlier this morning, when it was a mere "in the 50s" and now it's in the not so mere "mid-70s". At least I've changed to sandals and thrown open the windows.

I do dread the pollen during the next two seasons (or three, counting Autumn ragweed). I long for the days in yore when I had no allergies at all. Aging does indeed suck in many ways, I must say. In other ways, it's just dandy.

Ah, well.

The thought of slogging through case law simply doesn't appeal to me right now. You know, for some reason.

Anyway, I don't think I've seen any of the movies up for an Oscar. But I don't go to movies much. Ah, well.

...move over, Weed.

Posted by: ftb3 | February 18, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Actually, there was an iguana in Night of the Iguana, but he (she?) didn't have much to do. Just kinda watched Richard Burton have his DTs. Tennessee Williams was quite parsimonious when it came to handing out dialog to reptiles.

Nope, no Giants in Giant, Dead on, on that one.

Another one: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Yes, they spent a lot of time underwater, but they only had enough for maybe one good pick-up softball game. Certainly not enough for even one league, much less 20-thou of them.

Band of Brothers: None of them were related. And nobody played any musical instruments. With Donnie Wahlberg in it, yanno, I wuz expecting New Kids on the Block.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 18, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I just had a nice walk with the VLP in springlike conditions. What a gorgeous day.
Unfortunately winter will make a quick come back.

Milbank is in fine form. Although it is not difficult to make fun of 400+ elected officials fighting days and presenting over 600 amendments pertining to 12.7% of the total budget and leaving the other 87% alone...

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 18, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Apparently other countries have the same problems with the quality of their elected leaders that we do-

Although I do like his campaign slogan- "It can't get any worse."

Posted by: kguy1 | February 18, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Only because I can now relate:

Washington DC favorite band.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 18, 2011 5:24 PM | Report abuse

The things I learn watching "PTI"...

Cybil Shepard is 61?!?!?!?!?!

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 18, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

quadrillion 10^15
quintillion 10^18
sextillion 10^21
septillion 10^23

When we get to 10^30 we can call the whole thing off: Nonillion

We certainly don't want to get to 10^36: Undecillion, back where we started, unable to make the hard choices.

The funny number is 10*63 expressed as 10^(21*3): the Virgintillion. Yep that's right, Sex times three is Virgin!

Posted by: omni3 | February 18, 2011 6:22 PM | Report abuse

The trouble with that system is that things work out well in French and English until we hit a milliard/billion then all heck breaks loose. With the talk of budgets these days it is a good sounding of the depth of ineptitude many media have reached.
10.6 million/million
10.9 billion/milliard
10.12 trillion/billion
10.15 quadrillion/billiard
10.18 quintillion/trillion...

So when the French media is talking about the 1.7 trillion US deficit that means you are in REAL trouble...

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 18, 2011 6:36 PM | Report abuse

seasea if you ever watch one boxing movie, then watch "When We Were Kings". A documentary about the boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. Really good docu. Even my Mom liked it after I convinced her to see it.

Posted by: omni3 | February 18, 2011 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Seconding omni. When We Were Kings is an excellent documentary and I'm quite averse to boxing and movies glorifying it myself.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 18, 2011 6:51 PM | Report abuse

well, that's the french for ya.

we say billion they duck
we say quadrillion they head off to the pool hall

no wonder they like Jerry Lewis

Posted by: omni3 | February 18, 2011 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Hi all,
I haven't had time to back-boodle so maybe someone has already posted this but Jonathan Capehart raises the question of Al-Jazeera's silence on Lara Logan. He makes a very good point.

Posted by: orawh | February 18, 2011 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Howdy Boodle. We are safely in Dallas. The Boy enjoyed fencing today. Thanks to my iPhone and iPad we found the convention center, our hotel, and a great burger joint in Deep Ellum. I am confident we'll be able to follow google maps and meet our friends for breakfast tomorrow. Woo Hoo!

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 18, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Boodle.

Hey, IMom, glad you and Boy got there OK.

I was reading Nir Rosen's apology on

I am female. Not so sure I'm as pissed off at Nir as I was. Thoughts, Boodle?

Posted by: oldbam | February 18, 2011 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Oldbam. His "apology" seemed to me to be all about him, how great he is and how many great causes he fights for. He is disgusted that people would question HIM, when he is just a great fighter for all that is good. He spends the whole piece explaining just how bad and ignorant or worse everyone is that jumped all over him is, and throws in most of America to boot.

He is not a nice person, and I will reiterate that I will be forever upset at the next outfit that hires him. I don't care what his politics are. He has no sympathy from me.

Posted by: baldinho | February 18, 2011 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Hey Baldino, I totally agree with you. I thought his remarks were pathetic.

Poor, poor me. No body likes me; I'm going to eat some worms.

I thought his remarks were self-serving and really rather pathetic.

But, his remarks, compared to the two women who also comments on Lara Logan's plight, were quite mild.

Posted by: rickoshea12 | February 18, 2011 9:56 PM | Report abuse


I am rereading his article with your comments in mind. Back in a bit.


Posted by: oldbam | February 18, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse


I am rereading his article with your comments in mind. Back in a bit.


Posted by: oldbam | February 18, 2011 10:06 PM | Report abuse

oh geez, don't know how I double posted. sorry.


Posted by: oldbam | February 18, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

For Ivansmom and her trip to Deep Ellum:

Posted by: -pj- | February 18, 2011 10:12 PM | Report abuse

meh, I think people have ideas then just "splurt" them without necessarily considering how other people might interpret them. I live with somebody like that. He isn't evil, just thoughtless.

Maybe Nir is like that......

Posted by: oldbam | February 18, 2011 10:14 PM | Report abuse

The Miami Herald's Latin America expert, Andres Oppenheimer, has interviewed an economist who thinks Chile, Uruguay, and perhaps other Latin American nations will achieve first-world status in the next ten years or so. Perhaps its time for Chileans to plan a big First World celebration with lots of fireworks.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 19, 2011 1:08 AM | Report abuse

I'm saddened but not terribly surprised to see Al Jazeera present another example of a media "blind spot." I could offer all sorts of guesses on why they ignored the Lara Logan story, but the bottom line remains -- they willfully ignored a horrible crime. Some of the comments on Capehart's posts are pretty criminal, too. *SIGHHHHH*

Nir's an @$$hat whose speech filter is set to "stupid."

The list of House amendments to the government funding bill is rather f-ing depressing...

I think I'll go lash myself to one of the porch's support pillars and let the winds blow my blues away. The D.C. Boodleistas should watch out for yellow bricks falling from the sky today, too.

*frantically-searching-for-the-cats'-"weekend"-setting-button Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 19, 2011 6:06 AM | Report abuse

Snuke, I just poked my head outside. I was going to say that I thought I saw a puddy tat fly by, but now, it isn't funny. From what I hear, the winds haven't really started yet. We have already called the outside stalls for the day because of high winds.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 19, 2011 6:30 AM | Report abuse

Oooh, ooh ooh!!! LOVELY view of the full moon setting, if any other East Coast Boodlers are up! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 19, 2011 6:52 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. Winter is back but that's all right. I saw a moth flying by yesterday. Give them a few hours above the freezing point and the insects are back!

A family of American was seizd by pirates off the coast of Somalia. Other believers in the "it's a big ocean" theory. *sigh*

This budget process is amazing. The House left the place where the money is alone, the social security payments, but slashed the budget of the SS administration, where the money isn't. Who will decide who gets what now?

Off for some shopping but first I have to wipe off the slime the VLP kindly deposited on my thigh. *that bagel smells so good!*

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 19, 2011 7:13 AM | Report abuse

Last swim meet of CPBoy's high school career on top. So, while the wild winds whip, we shall be in a tropical bromine/chlorine bubble. The humidity will make my barometric hair oddly elevated. Then, as we exist, the wind shall frost it into Medusa madness. You have been warned. Avert your eyes.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 19, 2011 7:24 AM | Report abuse

I'll alert the paparazzi, CquaP... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 19, 2011 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Last night a BBC news site article on dangers faced by reporters, particularly female ones, had an accompanying image of Ms. Logan that could only be described as eye candy (close up of a very low cut gown).

Someone may have caught he!! for it; this morning the image is cut off at the shoulders. I guess they couldn't find a photo of her in professional garb. @$$hats come in many flavours.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 19, 2011 7:45 AM | Report abuse

CqP's hair!

Why am I thinking of that movie line ...

"I'm warning you, I have to be home by 11:30. I am expecting a very important call."

Posted by: russianthistle | February 19, 2011 7:48 AM | Report abuse

And thanks for the moonset heads up S'nuke. Perfect timing; I had tea in hand.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 19, 2011 7:49 AM | Report abuse

De nada, DNA-Girl. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 19, 2011 8:11 AM | Report abuse

I really need to see more movie trailers...

a) I just discovered "Thor" will be in Imax 3-D (extreme mixed feelings here on that) and

b) Thor will be played by Kirk the Elder (Chris Hemsworth).

You may now resume your non-geeky activities.

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 19, 2011 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, hot coffee and chilled OJ on the table.

TWC's springy weather has returned to more seasonal temps today, with sleet/snow expected tonight and tomorrow. But at least the 20" we got at the beginning of the month has melted.

Imom, glad you're safely in Dallas and able to get to where you need to be.

CqP, have fun at the swim meet. And good luck to CPBoy.

It's an unexpectedly busy day, so I'm off to do great things. May you all do the same.

Posted by: MsJS | February 19, 2011 9:06 AM | Report abuse

S'nuke I saw the moonset as I was walking the faithful beagle. Lovely. Best of all, it was 54 degrees! It's a little early, but spring fever is raging in the tidewater area. No daffodils yet, but soon.

Best wishes to I'mom's boy and CqP's swimmer in their endeavors today. I laughed about the hair in humidity and of the banes of my life.

I hope the sun is shining on all the boodlers today.

Posted by: Kim_1 | February 19, 2011 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Kim, I noticed grass growing in lawn scattered around last surviving blocks of snow storm leftovers... All gone after yesterdays nice temps.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 19, 2011 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all. Hi Cassandra! There were a couple of slivers of snow in front of the planters when we arrived last night, but that's all. Today won't be as warm as yesterday and tomorrow cooler still, but with a high in the upper 40's it will be quite pleasant in the high country.

Good luck to CPBoy! Swim meets are of a hurry up and wait mentality. Great to watch for the minute or two the kid you love is in the water.

And good luck to Ivan! I've never been to a fencing tournament but I bet they are fun to watch.

On tap for today: getting the Christmas lights down and watching a Carolina basketball game.

Later, friends!

Posted by: slyness | February 19, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Inherit the Wind is on. The part where all the locals realize they will have a windfall in the hotels, restaurants, etc., reminds me of Charlotte getting the convention.

Like slyness, I find it bad form to stay inside on this lovely day. Out into it, then.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 19, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

jumper... we visited Dayton, Tenn., a few years ago on a road trip and went to the Scopes Trial museum in the courthouse where it all happened.

The townsfolks call it the "Monkey Museum" or "Monkey Thing," but it really was more of an Inherit the Wind Museum. Most of the artifacts and details were about the movie rather than the trial.

My impression from history is that the whole reason for the trial was to make money for the town. That the entire thing was a setup, orchestrated by the town fathers.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 19, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Beautiful weather outside. A wonderful day to clean up the yard, churn the leaves on the garden, and try to not think about a government shutdown.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 19, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, is was a very blustery 24 hours, heard the wind howling all night long, the warm temps over the last few days melted most of the snow we had but now big fluffy flakes are covering the ground again.

Lots of smaller branches down at my house but nothing major, not sure if the wind gusts were quite as strong at my house as recorded in Toronto but it was certainly windy.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 19, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Quite the breeze (as in "gale force winds") churning up outside. But because of yesterday's lovely temp, I've even witnessed some buds forming on a tree or two. Well, it's almost March, after all, and *some* life forms get impatient. While I will admit to a modicum of Spring Fever, I dread and cringe in anticipation for the accompanying pollen.

There is indeed Spring in the air and spring in my step (or is that hobble?).

And may you all be the same, wherever you find yourselves.

Posted by: ftb3 | February 19, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

RD, if you have time on your hands...

Posted by: russianthistle | February 19, 2011 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Yep, a government shutdown means I'll stop working one week sooner than planned. And it will probably screw up my unemployment claim, to boot. So be it.

Sunny and cold here. Haven't been outside yet, but the crocuses are looking great, snowdrops are out. Not sure if any daffodils have opened up yet. Flower show next week!

Posted by: seasea1 | February 19, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, everyone. Sounds like folks are up and about and being busy today. I wish you the best on that front as I personally intend to relax and chill inside today. Possibly do a little work.

Yesterday was beautiful. 60 degrees with sunshine so I played hooky for an hour and went out for a walk up the bike trail to Davis Square. Lovely.

This morning I was practically blown over while taking out the recycling and spent a hysterical 5 minutes chasing blown paper and aluminum cans about the parking lot. Strong language was used.

Posted by: cowhand214 | February 19, 2011 12:13 PM | Report abuse

On the northish left coast two degrees below freezing and snowing lightly, nice white covering on everything except the highway.
Yesterday's sun melted the night before snow and cleared the sky for a big silver moon come up just after sunset.
A good day to make a big-o-pot of pinto beans with some hamburger, onions and chile power.

Posted by: bh72 | February 19, 2011 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I am looking forward to having more time to read, particularly Vonnegut:

Posted by: seasea1 | February 19, 2011 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Hey, y'all.

I see from backboodling that all of you on the greater eastern seaboard are holding onto your hats today. I'm dreading the windfall from the maples as I can hear them hitting the tin roof in a steady drumbeat.

Reading through the list of budget amendments (Scotty's early link) I came upon one from "my representative" ... a term I write with utmost derision.
--- Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) -- #467 - Prohibits funding to implement plans for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

This a$$hat gets beaucoup bucks from the ShenValley farmers (corn and dairy, primarily) to ensure that no further regulations are placed on them to prevent agricultural/animal waste runoff into the Shenandoah River. That beautiful but fouled river feeds into the Potomac up at Harper's Ferry and thus into the Chesapeake. *SIGH*

Wishing success to I-Boy and CqP-Boy and their loving and supportive momheads! I'd give anything to see whether CqP's enhanced coif matches my mental image. ;)

Good Saturday to all, whether you're lazing or productive.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 19, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Yay for chili power! Up with chili! Power to the chili!

Posted by: rickoshea12 | February 19, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Howdy, Boodle.

I drove 5 miles to the Post Office this am, then stopped in at Food Lion on the way home for potatoes and onions, ended up with one of those WONDERFUL smelling rotisserie chickens as well.

Fortunately, the Trans Am rides fairly low to the ground, so I didn't get blown around. I did have to keep a death grip on the door while getting out, though. That wind!!

Hope everyone's staying warm today.

Posted by: oldbam | February 19, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I started my hike in the woods today,but ended up on the road,much safer there.Although I have to admitt,dodging falling branches has it's fun moments.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 19, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh, meant to tell Jumper that I watched Inherit the Wind this morning, too. It's been several years since I've seen it and I never fail to be amazed at all the fine performances, especially Tracy and Fredric March.

I was in a production of the play when I was a junior in highschool. Played the role of Rachel Brown, fiancee' of the defendant accused of 'breaking the law' by teaching evolution. It was one of those experiences of my youth that 'opened my eyes', to say the least.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 19, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Winds are back here, blowing the fresh snow around, about to head back to the arena, eldest has a game, and then middle child has a semi-final game. Then hopefully home for the evening and building a nice fire. Eldest has a chance to make the playoffs if they win this afternoon, by a lot, and other teams don't do well - not too likely to happen.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 19, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Best of luck to the dmd-dottirs, too!

Sometimes I wonder if I'm lucky or deprived that Dragonhead didn't participate in many outside organized sports. His keyboards and sketchpads kept him occupied and happy for the most part, though he did quite well in track for a couple of years in early highschool.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 19, 2011 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Read through the budget amendments, and I must say, what a bunch of baloney (especially the ones that prohibit funding for health care reform). But what is up with this one?
"Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) -- #101 -- Prohibits the use of funds to provide nonrecourse marketing assistance loans for mohair."
Now, I'm not the biggest fan of mohair myself, and usually it's priced over what I can afford, but WTF?

Posted by: seasea1 | February 19, 2011 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Must be a strong Angorra lobby!

Posted by: dmd3 | February 19, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Here's a story about the mohair subsidy - $750K a year. OK, it can go.

Posted by: seasea1 | February 19, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

All I know, seasea, is that if Anthony Weiner is for something, so am I. And if he's agin' it, I'm agin' it, too.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 19, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Ha, dmd! Good luck to the hockey grrlz. Interesting how subsidies just go on and on - the mohair funding started in WWII because it was in military uniforms then.

I just read the chat with Ken Jennings, Jeopardy champion who lost to the computer:
He's very funny. I found the match interesting because Watson is quite an advance in natural language processing. To me, its big advantage was in buzzing in before the humans (which I guess Jennings was the best among humans). It also did not do very well on questions involving wordplay (or airports!).

"Ken Jennings :
The Watson team told me two things after the match: that the idea for Watson was born after watching my 2004 streak on Jeopardy, and that they watched LOTS of tape of me while honing its skills. "There's a lot of you in Watson," one guy said. So I already feel like the Dr. Frankenstein here. If it goes amuck and kills humanity and stuff so sorry lolz my bad!"

Posted by: seasea1 | February 19, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

The chat's so good I posted it twice. A thousand apologies.

Now, I must go outside.

Posted by: seasea1 | February 19, 2011 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I had a giggle about the mohair subsidy issue myself. Most of my supply (what little I use) is not from U.S. breeders.

My sister kept two angora goats for about twenty years ... she's the animal-whisperer of the family. We both spun their fleece on occasion but they were chiefly put to use as grassmowers. She'd tether them out in their extensive yard (an old farm in GA) in whatever area needed a good clipping. She got a local reputation as "the goat lady" because she'd load them up in the back of her old stationwagon and haul them over to mother or brother's house to mow for them, too. ;)

Posted by: talitha1 | February 19, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I should qualify that the goats weren't the *same* two goats. Angoras only live about 10-12 years generally. But she always had two ... didn't want them to be lonely I guess.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 19, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

As some of you know, the effects of moons such as last night's can be somewhat taxing on me. But I had a great time... I think. I don't have that "knocked over garbage can" taste in my mouth, anyway.

Went out with my youngest today for a little kite flying - the high winds were a bit dicey for a drugstore kite, but we managed to not hurt ourselves or anyone else, and brought the kite home in the same number of pieces we started with.

I am disappointed that the GOP folks in the Hizzy are attempting hold government workers and those who directly benefit from their services (isn't that all of we taxpayers?) hostage. Sheesh.

Isn't it usual policy to *not* negotiate with terrorists?

Have a good day, all.


Posted by: -bc- | February 19, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Good luck, bc.

Same to RD.

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

I have watched Mo Rocca on TV and listened to him on "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" for years. I am a big fan. However, for the $750,000 a year he gets for his hair, you'd think it would be more stylish.

Posted by: baldinho | February 19, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

The thing about a shutdown is that while I will probably get all my lost earnings reimbursed, that isn't really the point. It isn't about not getting paid. It is about not accomplishing things.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 19, 2011 2:27 PM | Report abuse

It's the waste that bothers me, about the budget impasse. Four (that I know of) low-paid but talented, hard-working people are being let go from my Fed workplace because of the "uncertainty" of various projects being funded. So while our formal training was limited (in that there is no training plan or much documentation in place), all that will have to be done again if/when the workload picks up. Any cost-saving ideas we might have are gone - as outsiders to the way things have always been done, we have a perspective on how things might be done differently.

And in the meantime, we're back to drawing unemployment benefits and scrabbling for jobs. I really feel bad for a young colleague of mine - he works very hard, with little direction, and is the kind of person who should be brought in to public service. I only have to work for a few more years and I can probably scrape by after that. Hope he and the rest of us find decent jobs soon.

I don't mean to whine - but this is a stupid way to run the government.

Posted by: seasea1 | February 19, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

What's not to love here? ... and some of them have built-in handlebars if the kiddos want a ride, too.,or.&wrapid=tlif129813771749710&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&sa=X&ei=pR5gTYTnJIHdgQfD6rDBAg&ved=0CDoQsAQ&biw=1090&bih=403

Posted by: talitha1 | February 19, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Is it possible that the Rethugs don't think that *they're* government? Let's stop their wages and perks for the duration of their terms.

Posted by: ftb3 | February 19, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse

My brother reports that at his govt office, there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. People are very afraid that they'll lose their jobs.

Yes, this is a stupid way to go about things.

Posted by: rickoshea12 | February 19, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

seasea, I've been meaning to tell you that I was so sorry to hear about your job situation ... and angry about it as well. Your thoughts above as well as others' comments and situations here just confirm the short-sightedness of the "cutting off their noses to spite" mentality so prevalent now. Arrrrgh.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 19, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

When my mother had her house in the country, one morning the dog started barking and we looked out to see a billy goat on the porch. Mom called her brother to come catch him, which we did. He and I were pretty much eye-to-eye, so he was big as goats go. She kept him for several years, to keep the honeysuckle and other weeds in check. He was strong but friendly and liked to be around us when we were in the yard. Eventually, he started having some health problems and Mom let my uncle take him to auction. We never found out where he came from.

Posted by: slyness | February 19, 2011 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing that retirees might not get pension payments, either. Electronic payment does make it easier to keep up payments.

Here's president Clinton's weekly radio address on the 2nd, longer shutdown of 1995:

It's kind of quaint. Programs he mentioned are already being gutted, shutdown or not.

Members of Congress and the President get paid in a shutdown.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 19, 2011 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Your comment is a valuable reminder that the budget situation is already claiming casualties. As an addendum, scarcely anyone would go to work on projects like restoring Chesapeake Bay or implementing health care reform, not to mention lots of other useful and necessary things.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 19, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

yeah, slyness ... sister A. liked the fact that her goats would clear out the honeysuckle, bramblebush, any old nuisance undergrowth that can be such a pain to clear from the property. I've never heard of taking in a stray goat ... great story.

Being a Capricorn, I've always had a soft spot for goats. Now that my resident lawnmower has departed maybe I ought to take in a couple myself. ;)

Posted by: talitha1 | February 19, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

We're all inheriting the wind today, it seems...

And may I say it's much easier to jog the full distance one planned for when trees remain upright? Hope the Park Service stays funded long enough to get the towpath cleared for everyone's enjoyment.

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 19, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

As long as you're not in Nancy Pelosi's district you should be OK Scotty. Those a$$hats de-funded the one federal park in her district. How frikking petty can it gets?

We had the wind last night when the temperature went from +7C to -10C. Nothing major broke but I have a substantial amount of branches to pick up.

THis is the backyard bird count weekend. You can file one report a day, for any length of time of observation. For now, this is a very slow day for my yard. Except for the stupid starlings at 20 (another of those European parasite that invaded the place and never left would say a HUron friend) it has been a very, very slow day.
They ask for donation but they aren't too obnoxious about it.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 19, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Just so the lagomorph lovers don't feel neglected, let me not exclude the other Angoras. Love to knit with their fur, hate to spin it.

This one's called "a ruby-eyed white English Angora doe". I think one would have to conduct a meticulous search of both ends to ascertain either trait.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 19, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

SD, the Republicans had to exact revenge for Pelosi delivering our nation into recovery after they previously had pushed us to near depression.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 19, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Back from the arena, one loss - eldest team and they are now out of the tournament - a mid game collapse allowed the other team to make a comeback, but eldest was player of the game for her team - she is like the tortoise - steady :-)

Middle child's team one big, and middle child played spectacular, defensive standout and included a slight injury that she managed to milk for significant attention/drama. The team will play tomorrow morning in the semi.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 19, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Shriek, our fine feathered cup runneth over today. We got a robin, bunches of dark-eyed juncos, a couple titmouse sightings, some black-capped chickadees and even a downy woodpecker.

Put out some seeds and you get pretty popular this time of year around here.

Posted by: baldinho | February 19, 2011 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Sam Donaldson was a famous recipient of mohair subsidy money. The mohair funding goes back to WWII and the need for military uniforms. His family owns a ranch out west. He opposed agricultural subsidies, but was going to keep taking the money as long as it was offered.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 19, 2011 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Why Borders REALLY went bankrupt.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 19, 2011 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I love it, yello.

"Yes there was a recession and some debt, but anyone with an MBA can tell you that the way to solve any financial woe is to make your employees miserable, and Borders really worked hard to transform themselves into market leaders in masochism and self-mutilation. The only possible explanation for their downfall is that outside forces are conspiring to bring Borders Group down.”

Posted by: -TBG- | February 19, 2011 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh hey... yello... how was Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark?

Posted by: -TBG- | February 19, 2011 6:43 PM | Report abuse

"Communislam" ... rotfl
yello, thanks for the Borders link.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 19, 2011 6:45 PM | Report abuse

I cannot believe I am typing this: major mulch fire near Fairland in the MT/PG county borders. This effected the swim meet in ways you would not believe. Including, not being able to leave. Exhausted and wiped out....CPBoy did well. And, the fire continues and I95 has been closed. So, pay attention peoples about driving this eve. The high winds are making fires in several locations....and, tis February. We need some precip and fast.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 19, 2011 6:50 PM | Report abuse

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

Good evening, friends. I've had the whole crew today, and the last one just leaving. Just wanted to pop in and say good night. I am exhausted, really.

The weather here was just beautiful. Quite a few people out moving about. Just really sunny and bright, but without the warmth because of the wind, still great weather for being outside. I hope the tender plants don't show their heads yet, not really spring.

Hope you enjoyed your day, Slyness, and got a chance to go out.

My bed is calling my name, and I'm so ready to answer the call. Do enjoy your Saturday night, folks, and love to all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 19, 2011 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all from Big D. Today was our break day - the Boy fences again tomorrow. Junior Olympics is very big, not as huge as Summer Nationals but very cool. There are a lot of good fencers, so pretty much any random bout is fun to watch.

Today we met friends for breakfast. After a large and tasty meal we went through the Dallas Aquarium. This takes up two buildings in downtown and is very impressive. There is a rainforest with monkeys and amazing birds, tropical fish, crocodiles, piranhas, seahorses and sea dragons, warm-weather penguins, sharks.... Very cool. Then we had an excellent fancy pizza lunch at il Cano Rosso in Deep Ellum. Then we walked that off at the very impressive Arboretum. Then we came home. Now we're headed out to dinner with some other people. I am tired.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 19, 2011 7:19 PM | Report abuse

*initiate driveby smiling sequence*

> > > > > > > > S M I L E > > > > > > > >

*end driveby smiling sequence*

Posted by: MsJS | February 19, 2011 7:35 PM | Report abuse

I've always been enamored of seahorses, I'mom. I think their faces are very cute.

I'm currently grappling with when to cut my hair. It is currently longer than I've ever had it, but I'm getting a wee bit tired of it. I checked out Locks of Love today, and my hair is much longer then their minimum (10"), so I'm good to go on that. And, they will take gray hair (luckily, 'cuz that's pretty much all I've got). But, still ...

Of course, it *will* grow back, and mine tends to grow like a week anyway.

But, still ...

Posted by: ftb3 | February 19, 2011 7:51 PM | Report abuse

SCC: like a *weed* (although in a week's time, I'll bet it'll grow a fair amount).

Posted by: ftb3 | February 19, 2011 7:53 PM | Report abuse

I think that S. Carolina gentleman should read this article - our border is not so porous.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 19, 2011 8:26 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: dmd3 | February 19, 2011 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Fires all around the DC Metro area and even on the mountain not far from where I live the the Shenandoah Valley. Latest from Wapo, including some info about the one CqP reported.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 19, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Post photos of the mulch fire looked pretty unpleasant.

Thinking of swim meet, here's a competitive ocean swim part at beach near Auckland, New Zealand. The enormous surf carried away the turning buoy just as the swimmers showed up.

I guess this is a lesson in what sorts of things elite athletes can do.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 19, 2011 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Dave... I'm exhausted just watching them.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 19, 2011 9:25 PM | Report abuse

We went to Ravenna, an Italian restaurant in downtown Dallas. It was very good, full of fencers. I was glad to get back, though -almost bedtime. It has been a long day, and the cedar pollen here has aggravated my allergies. Sneeze, sneeze.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 19, 2011 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Dr G and I went into the city this morning to have brunch with some friends and I remarked to him on the drive in that it was kind of surprising to realize they are "IRL" friends... I mean, I forgot that I also meet people in person, too.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 19, 2011 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Bless you my child, for you have sneezed.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 19, 2011 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark was nowhere near as bad as WaPo and NYT made it out to be which kind of disappointed me. It needed to be either a little worse or a whole lot better.

The flying stunts were fantastic. Our seats were mezzanine third row aisle, so twice we had SM land on a dinky platform right in front of us. The second time there were two stagehands with gaffer hooks crouched in the aisle to fish him up if he fell off.

There was one technical difficulty that stopped the show for about five minutes. The announcer apologized that we weren't able to see it since it occurred off-stage. Like NASCAR, you don't want a wreck, but you want to see it if it happens. Meanwhile the guy playing Peter Parker had to stay in character and lie (lay?) on a bed pretending to sleep while the female members of the audience cat-called him.

The songs were third-rate U2, so the less said about them, the better. The super-villain costumes were amazing even if they were a little over the top for even a comic book musical. Likewise, the sets which were trying to evoke a printed page feel just did TOO much.

The biggest hot mess was the story which used the meta-framing device of some comic nerds telling the greatest Spider-Man story ever while also invoking Greek mythology as a precursor to modern superheroes. The concept was way more ambitious that show could pull off.

The ushers were actively policing any photography of any kind. We got one picture off on the sly before the show. At intermission a middle-aged mom in full Spider-Man costume took her daughters down to the front of the mezzanine for a photo but the usher confiscated the camera and deleted the picture.

There were a lot of kids in the audience, some dressed up as Spider-Man and/or carrying figurines. The gift shops and counters were doing a brisk business in tee-shirts which were pretty cool looking.

I've seen worse. Little Women and Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang come to mind. In the latter they were making a big deal that the 'car' flew. Well, in SM:TOD, Spider-Man battles the Green Goblin while both circle the entire theater. The ante has been raised, if not the quality.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 19, 2011 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Achoo, RD, achoo.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 19, 2011 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Great review, yello. Now daughter wants to go see it.

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

weed, watch your back. There's a lot of talk around here about Boodlers getting goats. Yikes...

Posted by: omni3 | February 19, 2011 11:16 PM | Report abuse

The only Huge Spectacle Musical I've seen is Mary Poppins, which did have Bert walking upside down at the top of the proscenium.

I'm amazed that those guys could pull it off with those waves reflecting off the rocks, even with that big rip current (a structural one caused by the rocks) providing much of the locomotion for the trip out.

A vastly gentler rip (with no waves) provides a moving sidewalk to where the wave breaks at a popular Oregon beginners' surf spot, Otter Rock. You just passively ride the rip out, paddle a short way to the peak, come in, repeat. Floridians rarely have that convenience. The result is that despite dinky waves, Floridians tend to be excellent surfboard paddlers.

Beach weather has arrived here.

I planted a bunch of baby native flowers today, all Floridians raised for research at the local UF branch.

Maureen Dowd has a classic column for tomorrow's Times. Keep reading to the end.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 19, 2011 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Just because .....

Posted by: talitha1 | February 20, 2011 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, good night. Your daily message of love is much welcomed today.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 20, 2011 1:31 AM | Report abuse

New discoveries in my back yard. Well, not exactly my back yard, but it's not that far either. A university professor discovered that the woolly bats have been roosting inside the pitcher of the carnivorous pitcher plant. They didn’t fancy the many caves in the surrounding area. Instead they consistently chose the pitcher plant. Sometimes, mothers and babies would share a pitcher.

The newspaper article did say where the bats would roost when the pitcher is filled with rain water. I suppose they’ll grudgingly use the caves.

Posted by: rainforest1 | February 20, 2011 3:37 AM | Report abuse

SS: article did NOT say....

Posted by: rainforest1 | February 20, 2011 3:44 AM | Report abuse

Insomnia is not a welcome visitor.

Posted by: cowhand214 | February 20, 2011 4:21 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all and hope you get some sleep Cowhand.

First light will be here in less than and hour; then we will know just how many branches and twigs have accumulated.

No wind this morning, slept right through howls last night, but pretty scary yesterday as we have brittle oaks 'round and about. No fires reported here; I thought my car door was going to blow off the hinges as I opened it at Tyson's Corner yesterday.

Thanks to D of the C for link to Congressional pay and Barbara Boxer's Bill, sounds like the fair thing to do, as many of us use our Soc Sec plus Medicare monthly, well actually Parts A, B, C & D. Lessee, I think my C is my supplimental, which is AARP.

But our powerful government cannot stop my daffadills from breaking ground or beautiful birds from coming to our feeder. Really hate to think of filthy cow plops in the Shenandoah, tho.

Posted by: VintageLady | February 20, 2011 6:09 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends. Have a beautiful day, Wilbrod.

The dedication of Dywaun, my little grandson, will take place today during morning worship service. Please join me, if not in body, in spirit.

Slyness, I woke up this morning thinking about Phylicia Barnes and Asha Degree, two missing young people from your area. I don't know why. They were front and center this morning. Odd.

Time to get cracking. It's going to take some time for me to get it together this morning, and I'm dragging already. Not good, not good at all.

Hope things have been solved with the fire, and all is quiet on that front. The smoke from grass fires can be hard to deal with, especially for people with respiratory issues.

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

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 20, 2011 6:16 AM | Report abuse

Hope cowhand doesn't see this message for a few hours... :-)

ftb, I always think of spun silver where your hair is concerned. :-)

baldinho, the birds down here are still waiting for the all-clear on the wind alert. Should be actually pleasant today, and it looks like another delicious moonset's on the way!

So even after the House budget vote, Rove thinks there are those among the GOP who need a push to act in ways not generally considered coherent?

And speaking of penny-ante budget cuts:

*eye roll*

I guess I should have been online yesterday to catch the brush fire coverage -- at this point WaPo's delegated it to the rotating home page photo and the Dr. Gridlock blog. *shrug*

*looking-forward-to-a-relaxing-and-perhaps-cookie-filled-Sunday Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 20, 2011 6:36 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra!!! *HUGSSSSSSSSSSSSSS with a little extra for Dywuan* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 20, 2011 6:50 AM | Report abuse

yawn. Fog. Irrigate-the-yard day.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 20, 2011 6:54 AM | Report abuse

Yup -- Moonset alert, DNA_Girl!!! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 20, 2011 7:10 AM | Report abuse

...and a good morning for Dywuan.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 20, 2011 7:12 AM | Report abuse

My apologies, TBG. I'll make it up to you somehow.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 20, 2011 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I am there with your congregation.

You moonies!

Posted by: russianthistle | February 20, 2011 7:26 AM | Report abuse

moon set in fiery
sky curtain is rising on
'dog and friend show love

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 20, 2011 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Bob Mondelo of NPR echoes most of my opinions about Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, only much more eloquently.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 20, 2011 8:47 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. Gawd it's cold. Appropriate for the day the Heritage classic is played.

The final bird count for yesterday was underwhelming. The wind has died down so we should do better today.
Downy Woodpecker 2
Blue Jay 1
Crow 2
Black-capped Chickadee 4
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
Starling 20
Dark-eyed Junco 2
Cardinal 2
Goldfinch 3

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 20, 2011 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Take pictures, Cassandra! Always a wonderful morning when the little ones are brought to God.

ftb, good for you to do Locks of Love. Great program, that.

After dinner last night, we rode around a bit and watched the moon rise above the mountains. Magical.

It's cloudy and cool in the high country this morning, but no wind. I should go out and put water in the birdbath. We're already in drought and the birds do need to drink...

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Posted by: slyness | February 20, 2011 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Spun silver, eh, Scotty? What a sweet sentiment -- thanks!

Laundry's done, plants watered, about to plunge into the "book work" and then decide what else is going to fill the day.

It's very pretty out right now, but we still need to be reminded (it would appear) that it's still winter -- even if Mother Nature is toying with us right now.

Shriek -- I adore cardinals. They are just gorgeous. Some Swedish friends were visiting several years ago and saw cardinals for the first time (those birds don't appear over there) and were mesmerized. They even familiarized themselves with the call cardinals make (tweeters they're not -- not even electronically). In Michigan blue jays are all over the place, but I have rarely seen one here in the almost 30 years I've been here. I like their coloring, but they are aggressive little buggers.

I read "The Mind of the Raven" when it first came out (I think > 10 years ago) and loved it. Those birds do have a sense of humor and are very smart. In fact, as perhaps I have opined before, non-human animals tend to be much smarter than the human kind, and consistently so.

And, so, on that note I bid ya'll adieu and will pop in from time to time during the day -- if only to thump the tires if the boodle ends up snoozing.

Posted by: ftb3 | February 20, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Hey, y'all.

... have boodle, will back.
Just wanted to say I'm with Cassandra, Dywaun and family in spirit.
Cowhand, me too. *yawn*
Hugs to Wilbrod. And an extra one for good measure.

Later .....

Posted by: talitha1 | February 20, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Happy Sunday everybody. Glad to see that Ivansmom and dmd are enjoying children's sports competitions. Cassandra, a great day for you and your family, my best wishes to all.

The winds of yesterday are gone but it is cold enough without it today. We have some small (?) amount of snow coming in for tonight and tomorrow just to remind us that winter is still here.

Yello, you must hold some sort of record for Broadway shows seen by Boodlers. I am in awe of your abilities.

We went to what our dance teachers call a dance practice last night. We actually remembered moves we were taught on Friday night. But the best part was watching our teachers do a Disco routine. The turns and hand hold changes were constant and their abilities were awe inspiring.

I may run out for more paint chips today. I am trying to find just the right color to paint the bathroom. I have the color in my mind's eye, but of course it doesn't exist in real life ;-)

Posted by: badsneakers | February 20, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Sneaks ... check this out for 'fun with paintchips'. It's new to me and perhaps all the major paint companies have such sites ... dunno.

[click on the general color palette and then the color that appeals ... it will appear in the box on the right ... click that and it'll flip over for coordinating colors]

Posted by: talitha1 | February 20, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Sneaks ... check this out for 'fun with paintchips'. It's new to me and perhaps all the major paint companies have such sites ... dunno.

[click on the general color palette and then the color that appeals ... it will appear in the box on the right ... click that and it'll flip over for coordinating colors]

Posted by: talitha1 | February 20, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

It wuzn't me, Ma!

Posted by: talitha1 | February 20, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, any report on youthful fencers from Chevy Chase? The ScienceGrandpa coaches a bunch o' them young sprats.

How is The Boy doing?

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 20, 2011 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I watched The Social Network last night and thought it was really, really good. I had zero interest in this movie when it first came out. Even after it was getting Oscar buzz I was quite resistant to seeing it, but I do like Aaron Sorkin's writing. So I was pleasantly surprised, even a bit amazed. I had no idea about the drama behind Facebook, or some of the more arcane aspects of Harvard (ie Final Clubs: I even watched part of it again with the director's commentary, something I rarely do, because I was curious about how they did some things. It clips along quite nicely, kind of like The King's Peach.

On tap later - Winter's Bone and Inception.

Posted by: seasea1 | February 20, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, a happy day for you and yours. Enjoy!

I second badsneakers on the chill. It's not that it's that cold in comparison to what it sbeen but in comparison to say, Friday, it's completely different.

Riddle me this: I was just out policing the parking area while taking out trash. After a big windstorm like we had yesterday it's not unusual for lots of random trash to have shown up from wherever the wind brought it. That's fine. But how come I'm apparently the only one who happens to pick it up? Judging by cars in the lot and activity heard on the stairs a half dozen people at least have come and gone yet no one will bother to pick up the plastic water bottle that's stuck in a bush *next* to the recycling bin?

Now I'm just waiting for the brunch rush to die down. Ho hum.

I'll check in with ya'll crazy cats laterz.

Posted by: cowhand214 | February 20, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Editor! I need an editor for cleanup on column three!

The NYT home page has the following sentence underneath their central just-below-the-masthead picture: Chad Knaus, Jimmie Johnson’s crew chief, receives as much credit than Johnson for the success of the team, favored to win in the Nascar season that begins today.

Posted by: cowhand214 | February 20, 2011 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks talitha, cool website. I have narrowed my paint choices and have them taped on the bathroom walls, a few more chips and I could just leave them up and forget the painting part.

cowhand, just gassed up the car and the cold on my ungloved hand was almost painful. I don't know what's more painful, the lack of litter picker uppers or that sentence from the NYT.

"S" is out in the yard, burning brush (it's okay, he checked with the fire dept. first!) so I assume he's sort of warm. I'm prepping a pork loin for dinner. Trying a new recipe and looking forward to the results and the leftovers.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 20, 2011 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I thought Winter's Bone a very good movie, if a bit shocking.

Now off to crank up the chainsaw. It's a nice day.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 20, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Oh, goody. After I posted here last I dared to poke my head outdoors. Three major limbs (20' to 30' long, 8" to 10" thick) are down in the yard. Technically, one of them is still partially attached to the tree. And that's not counting the smaller debris everywhere.

*SIGH* This is my first major yard crisis since the man left with the chain saw, if you catch my drift. Think I'll pull a Scarlett O'Hara and think about it tomorrow ... not likely I can snag a tree surgeon on a Sunday afternoon anyway.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 20, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

ssssshhhhhhh.....the Boodle's sleeping.....

Posted by: seasea1 | February 20, 2011 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Boodle's quiet today. I'd like to think that means everyone's out having a good time. I'm fighting back a cold, so I've spent a good part of today in bed. But when I am horizontal, the tiny wheeze I get sounds like I have a Wookie trapped inside me.

Going through family pictures looking for photos of my sister for my niece to put together a memory book. Sister's birthday is in a couple of weeks, so Niece is asking for pictures and memories to be compiled for a birthday present. This way, happy memories are written TO her, not sad messages about her.

My cousin is coming to town tonight, staying with us while taking her daughter on college visits. I think we'll have a nice time going through some of these memories together.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 20, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 20, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Thanks everyone! The service was short, but nice. He tried to holler, but somebody stuck the pacifier in his mouth, and that calmed him down a bit.

My dad didn't show up. He said he forgot. My sister was there, but not too many family members on my side. I'm not complaining, just glad the main players showed up.

God is good.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 20, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Classic BOO.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 20, 2011 4:22 PM | Report abuse

This is very cool. Several groups have been posting on Facebook asking people to call local food establishments in Madison to order food for the protesters there, who are keeping up the protest day and night.

One pizza place wrote on their own Facebook page:

"This is astounding! As of right now, Ian’s Pizza on State’s normal in-store and delivery operations are on hold — due to the high volume of calls, we are only processing orders donated to the protesters. By our (rather harried) count, we’ve heard from 30 states and 5 countries (including Egypt, Korea, and our northern friends, Canada). Wow. Thank you! To our regular customers: We really apologize, but… wow."

Posted by: -TBG- | February 20, 2011 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I got you, DNA girl. It was very quiet until I spoke up. Sorry to wake you!


Posted by: -TBG- | February 20, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

It is quiet.
Yoki, planning on watching the Heritage Classic?

After this roller coaster of temperatures going up and down the snow is in a weird condition, 1 in. of styrofoam over loose snow so we choose to walk the dog in rarely frequented skidoo tracks. Yes I say skidoo for snow sleds, sue me.
We saw a marten, something that brought me back 25 years when I was fishing and trapping hare actively. What cute animals they are. The VLP didn't see it but was absolutely fascinated by the smell of its track...
Dinner is an Italian dish inspired by the Middle-East classic mix of lentils and caramelized onion. The lentils and onions are mixed with spinach (or kale) and blended in pasta (occhi di lupo in our case) with enough olive oil and Parmigiano to make it edible. Good stuff that doesn't break the bank and the fat budget.
The bird count is still a struggle. Goldfinches, pine siskins and cardinals are just not cooperating. Show up you little divas.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 20, 2011 4:33 PM | Report abuse

DNA Gal and TBG and Talitha -- a trifecta of boodlebabeliciousness.

As I said yesterday, we were caught in the HUGE mulch fire near Burtonsille/Calverton/Beltsville/Laurel yesterday. Still burning!

We were so lucky to get CPBoy's swim events in before everything was canceled. The whole thing was surreal and felt like California in those Santa Ana wind events.

O T! He took the chain saw? Blechies....I am still finding out the details of "he took that?" Five years and then some.....double blechies....and faxing you the Tin Man, who by the way, is in search of a heart. Lovies dear.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 20, 2011 4:51 PM | Report abuse

This is heartwarming too:

Posted by: seasea1 | February 20, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

The Gatineau loppet is on. They had to scramble some new tracks but, from 2km to 50km, all races were run. Mrs. D demurred skiing this weekend because of the crowds in the Gatineu park.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 20, 2011 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Sunday naptime. Cassandra, hope Duwayan got beautifully dedicated.

Thanks for the greetings, DNA-G and Talitha. Let's just say it's been an extremely rough week physically. I've been taking my anti-scourbic-- vitamin C.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 20, 2011 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I will be glued to the TV, shriek. A friend offered me a ticket to the live game, but at -25 wind chill, there is no way to stay warm sitting still for two hours. I'll be a lot happier here at home.

I should really go out and get some snack foods before the game starts.

Posted by: Yoki | February 20, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Ahh but it is a dry cold Yoki :-).

Posted by: dmd3 | February 20, 2011 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, cold is a factor when you are sitting there on your assets. I don't do Alouettes games in October, so even when you are a fan...

It's better that in 2003 in Edmonton but still, it's cold. Good luck to the Flames. The CH is having a hard time these days. they lost against Edmonton (!!!) 2 days ago.

The pasta is on.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 20, 2011 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I really, really, really *love* this guy!

Posted by: ftb3 | February 20, 2011 5:40 PM | Report abuse

ftb, thanks for the link! That was funny.

Posted by: cowhand214 | February 20, 2011 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, y'all.

For various reasons, MrJS and I missed celebrating Valentine's Day. We're catching up tonight: haddock with goat cheese & artichoke hearts, haricots verts, and key lime pie.

Forgive me that you are not invited.

ftb, the line in his article that really stands out is that for much of Wall Street, this was merely a blip and has been forgotten.

Congrats to all the boodlers who attended boodlerkin events this weekend.

*faxing chain saw to talitha*

Posted by: MsJS | February 20, 2011 6:20 PM | Report abuse

*Yawn* *Stretch*

What a great nap. Thanks for letting me sleep everyone. Oddest thing. There was a beautiful shiny man wearing a heart and wielding a Husqvarna chainsaw standing on my doorstep when I awoke. Wonder how that happened? Somebody out there must love me ;)

Reckon I can adopt that young man from Egypt? His courage and his words made me cry.

CqP, it's not just the "he took that?" ... it's also "why did he leave that? Spring cleaning is going to be a major purge this year and good riddance methinks.

Wilbrod, feel better.
Hope the favorite teams triumph in the hockey games up north. (I know nothing about hockey)

Faxing shriek some cardinals to admire for awhile. I have two pair here and look forward to their fledglings when they arrive. I have all the usual suspects at my feeders this year including downy and pilated woodpeckers. The bluejays and the hummingbirds should be back in a couple of months, too. Love the birds.

Love to all this quiet Sunday evening.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 20, 2011 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Looking into the city laws on keeping goats. I could use something which would keep down weeds and emerging shoots. The dogz just don't do it. Found this:

TBG, hope the cold abates and you have a wonderful time tonight with your cousin. I'm making your pumpkin soup tonight and thinking of adding some crumpled bacon.

This weekend was a view into how a lab eats. Lab ate potholder she grabbed off the counter, probably Friday. Saturday, found some small pieces of potholder on the living room floor but didn't put it together with missing potholder. Sunday morning, some evidence emerged from one end and more thrown up from the other. Ahhh.

Hoping to get rid of the remainder, I fed her some bread soaked in the amount of peroxide recommended to induce vomiting. She ate it eagerly. 10 minutes later, I poured peroxide in her bown, she lapped down 2/3 of it eagerly, then after I put down bread to soak up the rest, ate that with gusto. Ten minutes later, I tried again, she looked at me with eyes that said, "Get that cr@p out of my bowl." She avoided me for a while, but the peroxide worked, and a very small piece of Pupperoni later, we're friends again. At least it wasn't bread dough.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 20, 2011 7:07 PM | Report abuse

O ... TBG, my boodle sister. Love to you as you sort through your family photos. I'm glad your cousin is with you to share the memories. You and your sister and family are in my thoughts often these days ... just reach out and grab my arms if you ever need an extra hug.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 20, 2011 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Goat Patrol ... that's the ticket!
Wonder if they can be trained to use the Husqvarna?

Thanks for the link and the grin, dbG!
Sounds like you've had an, ahem, interesting day. You said at least it wasn't bread dough but I was thinking at least it wasn't skunks.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 20, 2011 7:24 PM | Report abuse

dbG, that's a great story! I had no idea peroxide induced vomiting in dogs (but then, why would I know?). The dog I grew up with rarely ate anything 'odd' and never vomited in the house, except for this one time. My mother and I saw him heaving and suddenly this 'thing' came out. My mother thought it was a snake but on closer inspection it was a leather glove, all in one piece. He must have found it on the street as we weren't missing one. Quite amusing at the time, tho'.

TBG, have a great time with your cousin. My thoughts are with you tonight.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 20, 2011 7:34 PM | Report abuse

TBG, your sister couldn't ask for a better birthday present than what your niece suggested. I was once told the best time to pay your respects is when the person is still alive, and I try and remember that.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 20, 2011 7:59 PM | Report abuse

I kilt the boodle?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 20, 2011 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Apparently so. RIP.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 20, 2011 9:53 PM | Report abuse

For my birthday I spent an hour discussing politics for with my father. He claims there is a pre-2008 video out there where Obama tells an interviewer "I was born in Kenya." He also figures Obama never graduated from college since nobody has ever seen his transcript.

I told him to quit watching so much FoxNews. He says he can't stand to watch those commies.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 20, 2011 10:35 PM | Report abuse

We just finished our federal taxes. We pay a lot less now than last year, partially due to the added family member, but also due to other tax breaks and tax cuts passed recently by Congress. This is crazy. The stimulus gets beaten up by the right because of spending.... but they NEVER mention all the tax breaks and tax cuts that were part of it.

Why is our deficit so high? I can tell you why it is higher by about 2500 bucks.... that is directly from Bush and Obama tax cuts that we would have paid but don't.

Multipy that by 100 million or so and it adds up.

Posted by: baldinho | February 20, 2011 10:51 PM | Report abuse

So, you had an invigorating emotional workout for your birthday, Yello?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 20, 2011 10:55 PM | Report abuse

The hotel bar dark and stormy (best ginger beer I've ever had) before I called helped a lot.

Fairfax County Public Schools claims another casualty in the war on drugs.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 20, 2011 11:00 PM | Report abuse

My dad also spent the weekend taking my nieces to the Battle of Olustee Civil War re-enactment. I thought he was pulling my leg, but it seems the state of Florida actually was the site of a Confederate victory.

My mother pointed out to the re-enactors that her great-grandfather had papers proving he had fought in the War Of Southern Secession as they called it in Maine back then. To which the soldier replied, "I guess we know which side you are on."

Posted by: yellojkt | February 20, 2011 11:28 PM | Report abuse

There’s a documentary “Inside Job” that details the financial crisis. It’s got good reviews. I won’t watch it. Don’t want to get my pressure up.

Posted by: rainforest1 | February 21, 2011 4:26 AM | Report abuse

*briefly-surfacing-from-tax-return-finalization-activities Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 21, 2011 7:13 AM | Report abuse

rainforest! As entertainment, I think that the movie's trailer is "fun!"

In the land of Lady Gaga, we don't bother our little minds with such ... whatever it is.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 21, 2011 7:27 AM | Report abuse

The Cleverlys doing a fabulous version of Single Ladies (Put a Ring on it). I may have to agree with one the comments that "This is the very best thing on the Internet."

Posted by: -TBG- | February 21, 2011 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all.

As a backyard birder I enjoy our bluebirds as well as finches & blue jays & cardinals & chickadees & nuthatches & slate colored juncos & downies and most especially the pilated wood peckers with their lovely tassle tops...not so much the mourning doves as they hog the feeder in gangs of 4 or more, but the woodpeckers just swoop in and scatter them when they have lost patience for waiting for their breakfast/lunch. I wish they all ate the stinkbugs that are slowly coming out of hiding or hatching or something. I'm finding one or two a day INSIDE THE HOUSE!!!. If they would just stay outside, we could live in harmony, but I turn into "the enemy" when they invade my personal space. Radio garden man tells us their eggs are barrel shaped and stacked in rectangles or squares, haven't seen any eggs inside; hope I never do.

Looks to be a nice day, btw.

Nothing like run- on sentences this holiday Monday morn.

Posted by: VintageLady | February 21, 2011 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Love it, TBG!

Posted by: talitha1 | February 21, 2011 8:02 AM | Report abuse

oops, forgot to include the ladderbacks, lovely birds, they are...

Posted by: VintageLady | February 21, 2011 8:06 AM | Report abuse

VL, I've found you can spot immature stinkbugs if you keep a close eye on surfaces near south-facing windows. Easier to catch at that stage... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 21, 2011 8:07 AM | Report abuse

I lived in the National Forest near the Olustee battlefield for several months. The site looked like a reasonable approximation of how it would have appeared during the war.

The church I attended in Lake City had turned itself into a hospital after the battle (that building was long gone, congregation still very much around).

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 21, 2011 8:09 AM | Report abuse

A formal good morning to the Boodle.

VintageLady, I could have written the main paragraph of your post myself. The morning doves are little piggies and, though they're groundfeeders, do discourage the regulars from flocking. Bless the woodpeckers' hearts ... they're fearless.

Happy belated birthday to yello. I shall refrain from editorial comment regarding your reaction to the reenactment excursion but can attest that the political pronouncements would have sent me up the wall. Ah, the things we do for love.

Happy holiday to them whut's got it and a good Monday to all.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 21, 2011 8:11 AM | Report abuse

I guess I should also add that I lived for a while near the Duck Pond in Gainesville, site of a cavalry skirmish.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 21, 2011 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all. Happy Presidents Day! Mr. T and I had our usual morning, as the City is open today.

Cassandra, I hope you rested well after yesterday's celebrations. I hope you got lots of photos!

Hmm, I'll have to watch for the immature stinkbugs. Had a mature one in the bathroom (no window) a couple of weeks ago. It wasn't energetic and I was able to catch and discard it quickly.

I saw my first daffodil bloom on the walk this morning. Spring can't be too far away!

Posted by: slyness | February 21, 2011 8:15 AM | Report abuse

scc: 'mourning' doves
coo coo cachoo

Posted by: talitha1 | February 21, 2011 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Spring report (thanks S): winter jasmine in neighbor's yard but just barely (Frosti, keep your blood pressure meds ready) because neighbor wacks said bush into a perfect globe.....FIE FIE FIE.....

Rainy, so nice to see you. You need Frosti's meds too....'tis a kitty on the lap, with claws sheathed....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 21, 2011 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Scotty, I'm assuming you mean facing South inside the house. Will go have a peek, as most of the stinkbugs I encounter are coming off of glass doors in our kitchen, just off the deck, facing West. Sometimes I can see them between storm and regular door, then I can knock them down and stomp them outside, hoping to set the example for the birds. Their feeder is mounted on a railing on the deck so we can study their habits up close.

Talitha, these doves hang out on the second story deck, as that is where the feeder is mounted. There are no hulled sunflower seeds that drop to the ground for long, I'm sure there are probably doves on the ground, as well other birds; once in a great while a hawk or a fox will be there, just watching and waiting for a fat dove (they sure look like dirty pigeons to me).

You and I share the same birds, even tho you are near Shenandoah National Park and I am off of Hunter Mill Rd, in FFXCO.

D O C, during the Civil War, possession of Hunter Mill Rd. changed sides many times, it's an interesting history.

Posted by: VintageLady | February 21, 2011 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Happy Presidents Day everyone. As others have reported the local bird population is waxing once again. The other day I saw a cluster of woodpeckers. I kept my distance because I hear they can, like, mess you up real bad.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 21, 2011 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Yello, I read that story very sad. Unfortunate that the reasons why he did were not explored was the weight of school, sports, friends and and ill mother starting to be too much to handle and he was looking for an escape, too bad they looked to punish rather than help/educate.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 21, 2011 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, hot coffee and chilled OJ on the table.

Happy Prez day to the 'Merikans and Happy Monday to all.

It's still too cold for many bird sightings around TWC. I did see a crow in the tree outside my office the other day. That's actually a big deal cuz the crow population was hit very hard by West Nile Virus about nine years ago. This one was the first I'd seen on this block since we moved here in 2004.

For those with the day off, have fun.

Posted by: MsJS | February 21, 2011 8:49 AM | Report abuse

yello's link is incredibly sad, and the student was from my own high school. The no-tolerance policy in our county is awful and I hope it is revisited and carefully evaluated. I'm amazed this isn't the outcome more often.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 21, 2011 8:54 AM | Report abuse

baldinho - lucky you! I'm paying about 6K MORE this year, despite AGI being roughly equal and despite the fact that there are 3 kids in college right now. Guess those tax breaks didn't fit my situation, whatever that is.

rainforest, re: "Inside Job" - here's an excellent review on BBC's web site;

Love her comment about the head of the Economics Department at Harvard being simply flabbergasted at the suggestion that academic economists disclose who pays for their research and writings.

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | February 21, 2011 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning Boodle! Shall backboodle soon, but have a desperate need to share this with you first:

Simply gorgeous!

Posted by: ftb3 | February 21, 2011 9:04 AM | Report abuse

To you cook types, check this dish out:

It's a definite for me.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 21, 2011 9:05 AM | Report abuse

I didn't know our paths crossed that close, Dave. Although I never toured the battlefield, I was assured it was basically a pine forest, many of which I did tour, only with a sign. My father is buried at the Memorial, around 1000 feet from the Lake City Oaklawn Cemetery you mentioned, which I have walked through a couple of times. Near the tobacco barn which still seems to be there. I did have my only water skiing experience on Ocean Pond, a very good place to ski being large.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 21, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse

ftb, thanks! already passed link on to others

Posted by: russianthistle | February 21, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

mmmmmmm, lots of garlic. Thanks, weed!

Posted by: MsJS | February 21, 2011 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Great recipe, Weed ... a keeper!

ftb, the primate photography is a treat.
I've been intrigued by primates, especially orangs, since visiting them at the Atlanta zoo way back when. My parents used to have to drag me away from them because I'd hang around enjoying interacting with those so inclined.
(Their enclosures in those days were so confining and dismal but I understand that's been much improved, thank goodness.)

Posted by: talitha1 | February 21, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

For talitha: Zoo Atlanta orangs

Posted by: MsJS | February 21, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, MsJS. That last big fella looks like the model for Chewbacca. I'm so grateful to see their outdoor habitat. Those old tile-walled, glass-fronted enclosures were depressingly cruel.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 21, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

That's why I never go to zoos, talitha. I think the last time I ever set foot in one was in Amsterdam during a break at a conference located nearby (and IIRC, it was a cruelly and unexpectedly sweltering day without air conditioning (it was Europe, after all)). I witnessed a simply beautiful black panther pacing back and forth endlessly in a cage much to small for him/her. I remember apologizing profusely to that cat, whereupon I turned on my heel and left immediately, vowing never to return to any zoo, no matter what. After my African trip, that vow was repeated.

Certainly if zoological parks are of the sort where the animals are treated well, and have enclosures which are spacious and safe for all (animal and observer), that's one thing, but that costs money. Who's gonna pay for it, especially when there are other needs.

Wait a minute...I'm suddenly feeling cranky. Sorry about that.

But, still .........

Posted by: ftb3 | February 21, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

SCC: much *too* small

As you were ...

Posted by: ftb3 | February 21, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all, and for those celebrating President's Day - enjoy!

I will probably celebrate by a: working from home, b: folding laundry while watching my DVR of the Daytona 500 (I still no nothing of who won or what happened, though I did explain to Scottynuke and Nukespouse last night why I expected a mess - hopefuly no one gets hurt) and c: visting with friends.

yello, Happy Belated Birthday, sir. Glad you're enjoying it.

That story you linked to was a topic of some discussion yesterday, and there was acknowledgement that School Boards and school executive administration systems sometimes need checks and balances to keep their expansive powers from crushing the very children they're supposed to serve. Elephants ought to not be expected to change an infant's diaper, and a political system is probably not a good actor in the best interests of an individual.

On another note, I recall last month that LiT suggested we keep an eye on Libya after Egypt - quite prescient.


Posted by: -bc- | February 21, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

The Osceola National Forest was long used, quite heavily, for turpentine production. You could relatively easily find old clay turpentine pots. The Forest also had red-cockaded woodpeckers, small ones that create nest holes in older pine trees with rotted trunks. The South's dearth of older longleaf pines has been disastrous for these birds.

Lake City is kind of neat in that it has bluffs with beech trees, about as far south as they get.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 21, 2011 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Interesting chat on the Abraham Lincoln "myths" printed in yesterday's dead tree edition.

I have Carl Sandburg's biography in hard back (from the parent's library at home). I recall starting to read it once, maybe as a teenager, but stopped for some reason. I'll have to pick it up again when I'm done with Don Quixote and "Things Fall Apart" by Achebe.

Yeppers -- so many books, so little time.

And then there's the needlework....

Posted by: ftb3 | February 21, 2011 12:13 PM | Report abuse

At this point I'll just assume, Dave, that one time or another you met Russell Platt at the old cabin down by the Itchetucknee, before it burned down. Everyone else did. What a place. That's where I first tried rattlesnake burgers: way more delicious than most people will ever know.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 21, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

There was politics at the Daytona 500. Gov. Scott and Sen. Bill Nelson met and Scott opened a small opening for reviving high speed rail. The two are meeting again today for a ribbon-cutting at Embraer, the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer, in Melbourne.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 21, 2011 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Rattlesnake is delicious. I've had it sauted and burger-style.
Tastes just like .....

Posted by: talitha1 | February 21, 2011 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Missed Russell Platt, but wonder whether Bill (William J.) Platt III might be a relative. Gainesville native and a quite distinguished fire ecologist at LSU.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 21, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

That is, "Ichetucknee."

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 21, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

In any case, for those who care about such, I posted a bit of the cabin history on my site. I didn't remember the glass eye in the masonry... out of hundreds of museum-style items.

Don't know of any relatives of his. Maybe possible, I'll check.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 21, 2011 1:12 PM | Report abuse

The brown trilliums should be flowering at Ichetucknee State Park about now. There's probably a few left in Gainesville in a patch of deciduous forest (a.k.a. "hammock").

I hope to have a photo gallery of one of Florida's famous but non-touristy areas in a few days.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 21, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if you Southrons know how deeply odd it is to hear about blooms in mid-February. We've got at least three more months before we see a hint of a bud.

Posted by: Yoki | February 21, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

*hey Yoki!*

Posted by: ftb3 | February 21, 2011 2:11 PM | Report abuse

We should see the first snow drops in about two months...

Bernie's most excellent Bahrain Grand-Prix has been cancelled, no surprise there. If that movement spreads to the UAE and Abu Dhabi the season will get down to a more reasonable size...

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 21, 2011 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I ordered my vegetable seeds and Mrs. D flower seeds yesterday. The first indoor seeding is due in about three weeks. Winter becomes a drag after the end of January.
I got a $75 coupon good at a catalog reseller that I will use for a couple of clematis and a couple of hellebores. dmd, (darn you!) is responsible for this hellebore envy.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 21, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Don't they make something to cure that?

I love the amerind names (or anglo mutations) for rivers and swamps, especially the ones in the deep south.

Hey, Yoki!

Posted by: talitha1 | February 21, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, my mother used to quote an old family friend who opined that spring moves north about ten miles a day. Here in the Piedmont, my observation is that's true. Spring is also influenced by altitude; the trees and flowers at our mountain house are about four weeks behind Charlotte.

Posted by: slyness | February 21, 2011 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Smiling Shriek, you will love the Hellebores. Saw glimpses of growth in the garden yesterday, but a fresh snowfall has hidden them again.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 21, 2011 2:56 PM | Report abuse

slyness, perhaps Spring is also influenced by "attitude" (I *do* have to clean my glasses (and probably get new ones, too....)).

Posted by: ftb3 | February 21, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm adding "fire ecologist" to my list of jobs I wish I'd heard about on career day.

Posted by: cowhand214 | February 21, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Hiiiiiiii Evereebody! *Grover Waves*

Posted by: Yoki | February 21, 2011 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I just pulled up the weather for current conditions and the forecast and note that the DC area as well as mine are in for a wintry mix changing over to snow after midnight ... 2-5" predicted. Oy!

Posted by: talitha1 | February 21, 2011 3:21 PM | Report abuse

All this boodletalk about spring and flowers, and it's snowing (again) here.

Grump grump grump

I just rented "Being There" the old Peter Sellers film. How Sellers managed to play that character without cracking up is beyond me.

Tee hee hee

Ahhh, much better.

Posted by: MsJS | February 21, 2011 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure I'm ready to jump on the "all zoos are inherently cruel" bandwagon. Like a lot of our social constructs, they have evolved rapidly as our knowledge of the natural world has progressed.

The Atlanta Zoo in particular has very large open areas for their apes with lots of structure and equipment to engage them. But we also need to not project our emotional interpretations on other species. Here is an orang looking pensive and bored, but who knows how he really feels:

On the other hand, this gorilla at feeding time is rather engaged with both the crowd and the other gorillas:

But for all we know, these guys are just as sad as Billy Pilgrim and Montana Wildhack on Tralfamadore.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 21, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Hi Yoki!
***Grover waving back***

Posted by: yellojkt | February 21, 2011 4:23 PM | Report abuse

And speaking of feeding time, I was just invited to an early dinner not far away from here this evening (like, in 45-ish minutes). As I wasn't sure what I was going to fix for dinner this evening, anyway, this invitation was very propitious, indeed.

Posted by: ftb3 | February 21, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Ands it's not like we are doing so hot with maintaining animals or fish in the wild.

Which is a shame because I do love some grouper and feel so guilty now when I eat some.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 21, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I just got back from the tax preparer, and to add to baldinho's point, our tax liability went from around $13000 last year to about $1000 this year. And that's also why we have a deficit. Not sure Congresscritters understand this.

I would also echo that zoos are better than they used to be, at least most of the ones in the US. More room, more natural surroundings, which means you aren't guaranteed to actually see animals up close. But that's ok with me.

Posted by: seasea1 | February 21, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

spring moves up the mountain at about 100ft (30 M) per week. winds are quite gusty around here. a bit early the spring turnover in the ponds and lakes, but enough to get the eddys rolling.

Posted by: -jack- | February 21, 2011 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Did you ever have one of those moments where you realize you might actually have done something right raising your kids. Just noticed post by eldest on her facebook, which is normally full of friends, Narnia, Harry Potter and Glee, today she posted this link. I might note it was a holiday here today she had the day to do whatever she chose.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 21, 2011 6:24 PM | Report abuse

seasea, did you drop a digit? I hope...

Posted by: HeadFool | February 21, 2011 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Wowie-zowie, dmd, that's really telling it like it is. God bless the peoples of north Africa in their struggles.

Windy here as well, Jack. A big limb came down in the front yard, and the ball on the end of the flagpole is missing. Will have to get a new pole soon.

Posted by: slyness | February 21, 2011 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to Yoki and yello for keeping up with the Grover Wave quota...

NukeSpouse and I are fairly certain we saw a pair of bald eagles (breeding pair, hopefully?) on the Potomac this morning, serenely flapping their way downstream.

I am rather conflicted concerning the announced Winter Storm Warning for tonight -- as much as I enjoy a decent snowfall, there's an important work-related event that I hope remains unaffected.

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 21, 2011 6:44 PM | Report abuse

My dinner was lovely, but getting out of the parking lot was not. I got the green light, thought I was still on the road, and ended up going *over* a road divider (heard the crunches). The tires are fine, but the front underneath the bumper thingie seems to be down on the ground, but not entirely, so I've been dragging it.


It's difficult to drive at night, and especially when it's raining.

*sigh* Just hope it doesn't cost too much to fix.

Posted by: ftb3 | February 21, 2011 7:13 PM | Report abuse

but you're ok, ftb?

Posted by: MsJS | February 21, 2011 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Gee, S'nuke ... all this time I thought you owned exclusive rights to Grover-waves. ;)
I'll sneak one in occasionally in the future even though I identify more with Rowlf ... keyboard and classical music, ya know.

ftb, bummer on the bumper. I hate driving at night in the rain, too. Just got in from a quick run to the grocery, pre-snow, for eggs and bread, etc. It's only rain so far but blurry oncoming headlights and such are so distracting. Be careful out there, y'all.

dmd ... a hug to your eldest. Those are the moments that make parenthood joyous!
The events in Libya, Bahrain and elsewhere in the Mideast both frighten me and yet give me hope. Perhaps awareness of them by our young people will have a positive effect, too ... a realization that peaceful protest can manifest change, even as they see the horrible sacrifices that go along with it. As these stories unfold they may serve to further young folks toward involvement in effecting change, politically and otherwise, in their own lives.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 21, 2011 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Excuse me, any rights Scotty holds to *Grover Waves* is granted by license from Yoki, who originated the expression it in a long-ago post regarding, of course, bears.

Posted by: Yoki | February 21, 2011 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Just one big, ugly SCC except for the concept.

Posted by: Yoki | February 21, 2011 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Snow coming and I am not sorry. Shall not be biking in the AM. Take care all. Am enjoying Patty Griffin's rockish-folkish music these days:

Two choices:

Mary, recently featured on Sons of Anarchy
And, this is why I am still Catholic despite all the hideousness. Mary, a women of no consquence elevated. And, the Marys are everywhere, including Egypt and Libya and Yemen....women of no consequence, save for the essential worth of all. Especially the least of us.

Moon song, as we are coming off a full moon over the weekend:

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 21, 2011 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Scottynuke, I've seen several up and down the area over the years, and it's still a thrill to me.

ftb, I suspect you've dislodged a spolier or bumper undertray, and that's what's dragging underneath. Dragging a piece of urethane plastic is robably not a fatal problem - I've reattached such things with temporary fasteners until I could get a proper repair at a body shop due to my paranoia that the piece would catch under a tire.

Hey, freezing rain falling now and a nice coating of ice forming on exposed surfaces. Oh boy.

DotC, remember President Reagan at the '84 Daytona 500, when Richard Petty won his 200th race -- with what was later found to be an oversized engine? Some consider this an example of NASCAR race fixing aka 'the nod.' I believe Sarah Palin was at last year's race, too. Politics and the Daytona 500 - nothing new there IMO.

S_D, I was wondering when Bernie was going to pull the plug on the Bahrain F1 event next month. I'm sure the teams and drivers were getting cold feet about going.


Posted by: -bc- | February 21, 2011 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Yoki! While I've done some serious research in the Achenblog archives I missed the genesis of the Grover-wave.
This newbie requires 'jerk-a-knot-in-the-tail' enlightenment now and then. ;)

Posted by: talitha1 | February 21, 2011 8:23 PM | Report abuse

It's pretty darn cold. I went out for some errands. I walked between stores with the wind in my face. I get in the store, my glasses froze up. When they finally cleared what do I see? Easter chocolates! %*&!#&£!%

It's a classic winter mishap ftb. I busted a rim this winter by sliding sideways on a steep drive way and hitting the curb. It was a steel rim, $50 bucks, and the tire was OK. The fun of winter driving.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 21, 2011 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Scotty is kind and is happy to share GROVERWAVES. They belong, technically, to some amalgam of the Henson family and the Children's Television Workshop. So, go at it.

Oh Yoki! Helloooooo dearest.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 21, 2011 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I checked: only 61 shopping day left until Easter. The regular Easter is on April 24th. The Copts and Orthodoxes will be late as usual, darn procrastinators.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 21, 2011 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Procastinators or good shoppers, as I recall easter candy goes on sale day after Easter!

Big earthquake in Christchurch, NZ

Posted by: dmd3 | February 21, 2011 8:44 PM | Report abuse

SD -- eat some good chocolate before Lent. Then purchase and eat a small about on Sundays (God bless the practical Italians about little Easter each Sunday)....and then, have an excellent amount on both regular Easter and Orthodox Easter. Then, tighten the belt for swimsuit that?

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 21, 2011 8:51 PM | Report abuse

No, Headfool, unfortunately I am correct. I've had a substantial drop in income since being laid off from a very large corporation in 2009. Ironically, I made more that year than I ever had before, with vacation and sick leave pay, severance, and unemployment, plus Mr seasea's Social Security. So our tax bill was quite large, but we had enough withheld that we still got a small refund. But last year was a different story - made about one third of what I had been earning. Lots of people in my situation - which means less revenue for the Feds, which means larger deficits. Guess we should cut taxes, eh? That'll fix it.

Posted by: seasea1 | February 21, 2011 8:54 PM | Report abuse

ftb, glad you're ok and hope your car is too.

Looks like a bad earthquake in NZ. Masonry buildings and earthquakes are a bad combination.

Posted by: seasea1 | February 21, 2011 9:02 PM | Report abuse

dmd, just spent 10 minutes reading liveTwitter posts from New Zealand. Sounds grim ... and some folks are begging the rest to stay off the phones because the lines are jammed and inhibiting emergency personnel from communicating effectively.

Folks are trapped in tall buildings because stairwells have collapsed, others trapped in rubble including two buses covered in building collapse debris. Strong aftershocks all around Christchurch.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 21, 2011 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Yikes, CNN is reporting fatalities in Christchurch. This is not good.

Posted by: slyness | February 21, 2011 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to hear about the jump in taxes, ArmyBrat. I'd like to think that the more taxes is a dark lining to a pretty silver cloud, huh? I never felt bad about paying a lot of taxes when I was younger; it usually meant I was doing okay.

Posted by: baldinho | February 21, 2011 9:33 PM | Report abuse

seasea, meant to send my best wishes for your job search. I agree with you about the whole tax situation, just nuts.

Hope all you D.C. area residents stay safe with the coming bad weather. We will miss this storm for a change. Had an inch or so this morning which covered all the black snow, so that was nice!

ftb, hope bc is right about the damage to your car and glad you are okay.

Feeling bad for the people of New Zealand. The world is a crazy place lately...

Posted by: badsneakers | February 21, 2011 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Man, I just looked into why my taxes are lower than I would have thought.... and it has to do with me now being married with children.

When I was younger and earning decent money I had a side investing account. It was during the runup to the tech bubble, so it wasn't hard to make some capital gains.

The combo of: single, no mortgage interest deduction, no deduction for children or daycare or any dependents. I used the standard deduction and was in a relatively high tax bracket. I paid capital gains taxes of anywhere from 28% to maybe 15%.

Now: married filing jointly with mega deductions (aforementioned mortgage interest, 2 kids, daycare, etc. etc). We make much more money (though probably not much more in equivalent dollars due to inflation) but we have relatively less taxable income. Married filing jointly gets us twice the threshold, so we are in a lower tax bracket.

The result? Our modest capital gains this year has a tax rate of 0.0. Dean Wormer would love it.

To me it just seems weak that we can make a few thousand in capital gains from buying and selling stock... and pay no taxes on it.

I guess I have the GOP to thank for it... since they undoubtedly twisted the arms of the Dems that okayed the silly 'no tax' rule for middle class folks making capital gains.

Don't even get me started on the per-child tax credit. Never has there been such a pure suckup tax break.

Posted by: baldinho | February 21, 2011 9:48 PM | Report abuse

The GOP could use the Dean Wormer line for all their proposed tax rates.

Posted by: baldinho | February 21, 2011 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Scotty is not only the registered user(though not exclusive user of) Grover waves, he is also the inventor of the fax. Or maybe it was Scotty and BC. I can't remember clearly. It was a long time ago and remembering clearly is not my forte today.

I've been knitting since 5 a.m. and my hands and arms have rebelled. My eyes are tired so no go for reading. There are a couple of hours of evening left and I am sitting here feeling weird. What do the rest of you DO with your hands while you watch tv?

Posted by: --dr-- | February 21, 2011 9:58 PM | Report abuse

From the New Zealand Herald. Fortunately, the local hospital is OK, except for one ward:

"The magnitude 6.3 earthquake in Christchurch today is still classed as an aftershock despite the scale of the damage.

"This earthquake struck much closer to the city so what we have seen today is a much closer and shallower shake. With many buildings weakened we are seeing much more damage," University of Canterbury Earth Sciences Professor John Townend told Radio New Zealand.

The quake today was definitely connected to the first magnitude 7.1 quake of September 4, he said.

"This is in one sense just one of those earthquakes following that but much larger than we have seen previously. At some point aftershock sequences do end. The rate does diminish but the magnitude doesn't. Any of them could be quite big."

A friend and his family (including hospital-administrator wife) got through the main quake in good order, and he had a project underway that will no doubt be badly disrupted, even if no materials are ruined.

As the geologist explained, this is a very shallow shock. Much of Christchurch is on terrain that shakes very badly (think of Jello), and this was at lunch hour, when lots of people were in downtown, with its older buildings. It's a very bad scenario, one that will economically hurt the entire nation.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 21, 2011 9:58 PM | Report abuse

What do the rest of you DO with your hands while you watch tv?

-dr- I boodle, scroll, refresh, repeat. ;)
Actually, I save the knitting for when my eyes *are* tired because, unless it's a really intricate pattern, I can knit without looking at the work for the most part. Too much practice, I reckon.

baldiho, your talk of married/filing jointly is getting me down. I can't file at all right now because my a.w.o.l. joint filer is, shall we say, less than cooperative. Incognito, incommunicado.
Looks like deferment time. *sigh*

Posted by: talitha1 | February 21, 2011 11:20 PM | Report abuse

I watched the movie Limelight this afternoon. Claire Bloom was lovely, Charlie Chaplin was great. It's a bit sentimental, but not too much. This part made me laugh - what a pair of masters at work:

Posted by: seasea1 | February 22, 2011 12:17 AM | Report abuse

yoki *gwvs*

Posted by: -jack- | February 22, 2011 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: -jack- | February 22, 2011 12:34 AM | Report abuse

jack, *gwvs*

Great links, especially the first. You gotta million of 'em.

Posted by: Yoki | February 22, 2011 1:52 AM | Report abuse

Armybrat, thanks for the BBC review link. Almost all the big banks are reporting pretty high profits. What I’d like to know is how much of that profit comes from speculating on food commodities that recreated so much hardship for so many people around the globe.

Posted by: rainforest1 | February 22, 2011 4:15 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. Well, North Korea is hungry. And I know this isn't news, but it seems to have gotten worse. Many of their donors are opting out on sending them relief because they failed to feed the people that really needed the food, giving it instead to the army and those they love. A whole country full of people that need food, yet their leader takes their meager resources to build weapons to kill those they're begging food from. Lord have mercy! A country on a foundation of straws.

RD, you are right. It's the details that hang one up. Yes, we want to feed the people that need food, but we don't want to feed snakes!

What to do about Libya and the Middle East? The cry for democracy. We know it has the potential to spread, but how far? There's going to be a serious impact, already happening, but how serious? Are we in danger here? Will we get crumbs or major pieces of this pie? What are we actually doing to help or curb this revolution? Can we say that out loud?

Slyness, yesterday, I was so tired and give out, just sat down and tried not to move. I haven't seen the pictures yet, I've had the real deal! So sad about Zahara Baker, just wondering if we'll ever know the details of that horror.

For those of you with snow issues, stay safe, and don't forget to check on the elderly. Have a lovely day, folks, and love to all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 22, 2011 6:12 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all. A quarter inch of snow here and stopped, that's all, temp to rise to 32 degrees today.

Wapo news includes school closing/late openings. Fairfax Co. is two hours late and that makes sense as we still have hills and dales in Great Falls for school buses to contend with. Our street is clear.

So sad in New Zealand, such a shock!

First light.

Posted by: VintageLady | February 22, 2011 6:35 AM | Report abuse

Hang in there, talitha. Is there no way (that doesn't cause more stress and cost a lot of money) that you can nudge Mr. AWOL into helping a bit? I'll try to send some good thoughts YOUR way.

Posted by: baldinho | February 22, 2011 6:41 AM | Report abuse

We ought to be able to enact some tax reform. Add a new category for filing.

Married filing seperately
Married filing jointly
Married, but to an estranged buttmunch

I say the third category would warrant a much higher standard deduction.

Posted by: baldinho | February 22, 2011 6:46 AM | Report abuse


I filed taxes with my husband, and after we parted ways, I ended up paying the tax bill. No refund that year because the bill ate it up, and he wasn't paying child support. My daughter was a toddler at the time. Just got beat up on all sides. Hope your outcome is so much better than mine.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 22, 2011 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Uh., separately?

I'm a way good speler.

Posted by: baldinho | February 22, 2011 6:48 AM | Report abuse

Begin spring bird count:
juncos and nuthatches, no
estranged buttmunches

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 22, 2011 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all. Cassandra, I understand the sitting because of no energy. Hope it helped. I'm sure I don't want to know what Zahra Baker had to live with before her stepmother killed her. When her children spoke out, to ask that she not be given bail, that told me everything I needed to know. So incredibly sad, and wrong.

When Mr. T and I went on the walk, it was 61.9 degrees at oh-dark 6 ayem. No jacket and I was plenty warm! Tomorrow we're back to winter, with a low in the low 30's.

Now, I'm going to take off the reflective vest and put it up. Have a wonderful day, folks!

Posted by: slyness | February 22, 2011 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Vous êtes délicieux!

Baldinho, I've no idea how to contact buttmunch. That's the dilemma. I'll work it out eventually but it -really- shouldn't be so hard ... I'm gettin' too old to suffer fools lightly.

Hugs to Cassandra. Take it easy another day, dear lady.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 22, 2011 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Buttmunch is an amazing word, actually. Is is a contraction of this:

buttocks munching?

It cannot be a contraction of the kinder and gentle situation known as

button Munchkins

As in the special cuteness of the entire Munchkin-culture, you know, cute as buttons.

File separately with an accountant. Did that several times as a hedge against IRS troubles. So far, so good....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 22, 2011 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I meant to share the snow report.
Awoke around 7:15 to about a 1/2" with nothing falling. It has since recommenced and is falling moderately heavy. If it tracks northeast, as it usually does, the DC area may see more accumulation.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 22, 2011 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Yep, CqP ... that's what I'm thinking.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 22, 2011 8:39 AM | Report abuse

talitha,yes, but even the mouse has become an issue.

Posted by: --dr-- | February 22, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

It is always so sad to hear of divorces where one partner or another starts using money as a weapon. And tax time is so fraught with emotion already.

I did the driveway shovel and got into work. Since it's my only day in the office, I was under some internal pressure to show up. The roads were more treacherous than usual, but I drove cautiously and stuck to the well-salted thoroughfares.

If anybody needs something to do on a snowy day, here is my rather selective and superficial overview of portions of the Metropolitan Museum. We are very partial to Impressionists and I like some of the odder Modernists.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 22, 2011 9:15 AM | Report abuse

We had also gone to the Whitney that morning for their Edward Hopper show, but the Whitney does not allow photography. So I was delighted to find a few famous Hoppers at the Met I could take pictures of before my camera batteries died.

And you can't mention Hopper without namechecking Nighthawks, which to the best of my knowledge is still safely in TWC.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 22, 2011 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Poor statue lady, looking up at those bars on the skylight.

Stink bug invasion to increase to biblical proportions:

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 22, 2011 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm banananana bread, hot coffee and chilled OJ on the table.

Yes yello, Hopper's "Nighthawks" is still at The Art Institute of TWC.

TWC got 3 inches of the white stuff overnight. It's still flurrying, but is supposed to taper off soon.

Alas, money is used as a weapon all too often during a marriage not just as part of the breakup. How come we as a species got so attached to weapons?

As for Lent, as a teenager I gave up giving up things for Lent. That practice has served me well over the years.

Happy Birthington's Washday! Or something like that...

Posted by: MsJS | February 22, 2011 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. We are back home and back on schedule after a fun weekend. The Boy enjoyed fencing in the Junior Olympics. He learned things, saw some really good fencing, and had fun. ScienceTim, I completely forgot that ScienceGrandpa is a coach. The tournament is big enough that I didn't see anyone from Maryland, didn't see any particular groups really. Perhaps he will be at Summer Nationals in July and I can seek him out. "hi, I'm one of ScienceTim's imaginary friends."

I missed yello's birthday and Dywaun's dedication??? Geez. Belated congratulations to both!

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 22, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

MsJS, I gave lent for lent as well. I do not do New Year's resolutions either.

Yello, you are a great guide book for us for our trip to NYC in April - previews! I don't know what we will see, 5 people, various ages and interests, eldest wants to see the NY Public library, Empire State building, middle child not sure about an elevator on a building that tall - she wants to shop see toys stores, youngest just happy to be alive. We are think museum of Nature might appeal to all and hope younger two can endure at least one art museum. If we can find one agreeable to all perhaps a broadway show, although dmdspouse and youngest are iffy on that prospect.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 22, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

dmd don't forget the free Staten Island ferry trip. Best (maybe bestest?) Manhattan view.
They may also enjoy the Children's Museum of the Arts.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 22, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Some years I've given up stuff for Lent, some years I haven't. But the best thing I ever did during Lent was to work on making my devotionals a daily habit. Now I miss that time terribly if I don't stop and do it.

Ivansmom, glad to hear that it was a productive and happy trip to Dallas.

Ezra Klein has gone to the heart of the matter:

Posted by: slyness | February 22, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I think perhaps we saw an estranged buttmunch lurking in the ferns at the Dallas Aquarium.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 22, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse


That sounds like a great trip. How long will you be in New York? I would make a big list of things to do and prioritize them with a vote or letting each person pick one must-do.

Unlike DC, things in New York can be pretty far from each other, so it helps to pick things close together and remember that the traveling is part of the fun. For example, the NYPL is very close to the Empire State Building and Toys-R-Us is in Times Square by all the Broadway shows.

The AMNH is across the park from the Met, but both are nearly full day things. My wife and I spent four hours in the Met and never got to the right side of the museum. The AMNH is also a full day event and make sure to get reservations if you want to do the planetarium.

We are dedicated subway riders, but that also requires planning and knowing what to do in what order. For example, on Saturday we took the 6 train south from Grand Central to SoHo for Rice to Riches and then took it back and hopped on the Shuttle to Times Square.

On Sunday, we took the 6 uptown to 77th for the Whitney on 75th, walked to the Met on 82nd, ate dinner on 77th which was right back on the subway line back to our hotel. Subway rides are $2.25 per trip, so that can add up fast for a big family.

Food is fantastic because you can pay as little or as much as you want. There is no bad pizza in NYC and lots of street vendors. I have Yelp, OpenTable, and Foursquare apps on my phone which help a lot.

April will bring a crop of new Broadway shows for the pre-Tony season, but the traditional tourist ones like Phantom, Lion King, etc have very good discounts online. Start at And there is always TKTS for the adventurous or not very picky. TKTS also has a good Android app with hints of what shows might be discounted. Don't expect to ever see Wicked for half-price.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 22, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

The only problem with the Staten Island Ferry is that it takes you to Staten Island. The only time I've ridden it was as part of the Five Boros Ride. But even on a rainy miserable day, it does have a great view:

Lower Manhattan with the WTC site, Battery Park, Wall Street (not much to do but pose humorously with the Bull), Chinatown, Brooklyn Bridge, etc. can keep you busy all day.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 22, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I am willing to make another grand compromise. From now on, all public employee unions can only negotiate salaries.

In addition, from now on the Chamber of Commerce can only lobby on business tax rates.

Done and done.

Posted by: baldinho | February 22, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Talitha, I'd follow CqP's excellent advice and your own censored thoughts. Move ahead. File separately--why get caught in more drama? You can fix this right now.

Back to work!

Posted by: -dbG- | February 22, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link to Ezra Klein's article, slyness. I would advise not visiting the comments part, tho. Pretty gruesome ... and typical.

Gonna take the wounded car in this afternoon. Poor baby.

Posted by: ftb3 | February 22, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Since I broached the subject because I trust you folks ... While I realize that money is used as a weapon both within a marriage and during a divorce, that's not the actual case for me. My problem is one of having someone "in hiding" from me, without communication for months and also actively discouraging family and mutual acquaintances from revealing whereabouts. I've no clear idea why as I'm certainly no threat, tho his early Alzheimer's and a new honey are probably factors.

All well and good ... until I realized what a pain in the ummph it had become at taxtime. I'm fine financially, even better emotionally ... just got a case of the grizzly growls over the tax thang is all. Like everyone.

thanks for letting me 'bend your ears'
meanwhile .....

Posted by: talitha1 | February 22, 2011 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Well, I missed dbG's kind counsel while composing my uncensored post.
What can I say except consider it done.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 22, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Buttmunch- n. A person so low in standing that they have nothing open to them for munching purposes save the butts of others.

While this phrase did not originate with them, it was made immensely popular through its overuse by Beavis and Butthead, two of the world's favorite morons.

Posted by: GomerGross | February 22, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Home computer still dead, so three days without it (and the Boodle) have my hands trembling in withdrawal. Meanwhile, I have been saving this for you:

Which I think may be just a tad over the top.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 22, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

WaPo headline: Gaddafi vows to 'die as a martyr'

By all means, do not let me stand in your way, Moammar. Here, let me hold your coat.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 22, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Mudge!
Nope, I wouldn't touch that 'slider' with the proverbial pole.

Tuned into msnbc and bbc earlier for news on Libya. Gaddafi is a manman, of course. Reports of scores of bodies in the streets of Tripoli ... nations scrambling to evacuate embassy personel. Soldiers and tribal leaders switching sides haphazardly. What a mess.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 22, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Mudge! I've been worried about you. Glad you are around, even if your 'puter isn't.

If Gaddafi thinks there will be a buncha virgins waiting breathlessly for him on the other side, he's gonna be mightily disappointed.

Turns out I have to wait until tomorrow morning to take the car in to the shop. Hoping -- as bc intimated -- that it's just that rubber thingy (my term of art) and not anything else.

Posted by: ftb3 | February 22, 2011 1:20 PM | Report abuse


Hey, I forgot your birthday, and still don't know the day! Help!! So sorry, and happy birthday, yello, may you have so many more.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 22, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Oh, yeah! Me, too, yello!

*waving belated BD greetings*

Posted by: ftb3 | February 22, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse


I was born on the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Olustee as well as the 21st anniversary of the first eruption of the volcano Parícutin in Mexico. I am also exactly two years older than Cindy Crawford. (Hint: It was Sunday, but no big deal that you missed it. I barely noticed myself.)

Fun trivia: My wife was born three hours after me on the other side of the planet. I only date younger women.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 22, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

*non-exclusive-but-with-my-own-je-ne-sais-quoi Grover waves* :-)

Very busy morning, so much so that we're obviously already well past noon! :-O Got the bare minimum of homeowner-type shoveling done prior to a pre-Dawn Patrol into D.C. to attend the important meeting, where I listened attentively whilst draining my portable e-mail device's battery almost to extinction.

Talitha, FWIW I would remind whatever family members you can reach that it will be to buttmunch's benefit to resolve this year's tax filing ASAP. I'd also suggest bringing ftb or another of the Boodle's legal eagles along to a "neutral site" meeting with buttmunch to ensure a proper distribution of refunds/bills. *HUGSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS*

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 22, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

So is Mrs. Yello's birthday the 19th, what with the date line and all?

Posted by: bobsewell | February 22, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: ftb3 | February 22, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I caught a glimpse of the TV over lunch and thought "why do all those people hate Michael Jackson so much?".

Oh, wait. That's Qaddafi.

Posted by: baldinho | February 22, 2011 2:45 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 22, 2011 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, I've been paying the household bills myself since 'the great departure'.
Though buttmunch had cleaned out the joint household account without my knowledge and I had to scramble a bit that first month, I have always maintained my financial independence and I'm cool. As far as the tax bill/refund I'll handle my side with an accountant. Fie on 'im!

Posted by: talitha1 | February 22, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I have come across this extremely weird painting, which at first I thought was IN "The Linder Gallery", but eventually I understood that "The Linder Gallery" is the title of the piece (or, at least, its common form of reference):

It is a very odd thing and will keep you captivated for a while, following all the little numbered buttons.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 22, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

This was a bone of contention in my household for years. I was born at 7 a.m. at the former Webb AFB (yes, I am a Texan by birth). My future wife was born at 10 p.m. on the same day in Saigon. There is a 12 hour time zone difference, making me three hours older.

My father who has crossed the IDL many, many times used to contend that she was born a day earlier than me.

We finally solved this by one day calling my mother-in-law in Vietnam at 7 a.m. and asking her what time and what day it was. I was right.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 22, 2011 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Well then, talitha, perhaps a certified letter/return receipt regarding your actions to buttmunch, stating as such, would insulate you against IRS scrutiny if he decided to file jointly anyway. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 22, 2011 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Gomer! Thanks for speaking up on pop culture.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 22, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Not how democracy works:

Posted by: -TBG- | February 22, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

S'nuke ... since I have no address, email or phone number (remember, he's hiding) I'd have to go through the one person, his sister, who "might" convey a registered letter. It's a possibility, I suppose, though she lives in New Mexico. She's already refused as per his dictates to reveal his whereabouts or contact numbers.
Will see what the accountant says.

You're kind to help me with ideas. *hugs*

Posted by: talitha1 | February 22, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I was skimming just now and came upon these two headlines right next to each other:

Oil prices fall as supplies soar

Oil prices soar with violence in Libya

What ya gonna do?

Posted by: ebtnut | February 22, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Buy low, sell high!

Posted by: bobsewell | February 22, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Viewed in the proper spirit, reader comments can be a great source of amusement. Here's one from someone called jilrocks2011 responding to the WaPo Fact Checker column-

"You want a rational fact supporting counter-argument. Well how about the fact that every time the president speaks people like you have to misconscrew every word. It seems that you think your opinion matters more than anyone else's,
Think Again."

Geez I do so hate it when people misconscrew stuff!

Posted by: kguy1 | February 22, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I am trying hard not to think of a tasteless joke about prisons in that context, K-guy.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 22, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

talitha, there are lots of legitimate ways of tracking down somebody in hiding. You can check with creditors (if you have a card number); they almost always have a good billing address :).

The SSA will forward letters under certain circumstances -- almost nobody who receives benefits would fail to give them a good address.

Sometimes with just a name and a SSN you can search credit reports.

In a pinch, you can quite cheaply file suit against the person so long as it has merit; any process-server has oodles of tools at his finger-tips to find your target. Tools you can't access.

Posted by: Yoki | February 22, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I refudiate the word 'misconscrew'.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 22, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Or just inquire with his alumni association. Mine has always found me no matter how hard I've tried to ditch them.

If Osama bin Laden had gone to an American university we would have found him years ago.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 22, 2011 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Yoki. *waving*
Back when he first left I considered tracking him through SSA (he's retired).
Because I was focused primarily on maintaining my emotional stability because it was affecting my health/sleep/appetite
I let it go. I'm not the vindictive sort and my peace of mind was paramount. By the time the holidays arrived I was on an even keel and the new year brings new, now
pragmatic issues. Taxes, the actual divorce (after waiting period), etc.

Who knows, even buttmunches must occasionally have lucid moments ... maybe he'll realize on April 14th that he f'd the dog!

Miss Conscrew, Miss Manners evil twin.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 22, 2011 5:07 PM | Report abuse

scc: Manners' (awol apostrophe)

Posted by: talitha1 | February 22, 2011 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone ever really answered the REAL question about Libya?

Why is Gaddafi still only a colonel?

Posted by: -TBG- | February 22, 2011 5:45 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: cowhand214 | February 22, 2011 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, cowhand... I thought maybe it was because "it's the highest rank in the military."

Posted by: -TBG- | February 22, 2011 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Good for you, Talitha, for keeping your financial independence. Much as I love Mr. T, it's important to me that I have control over my own money. It's survival in today's world.

My mother had a friend who never wrote a check nor paid a bill, until her husband died. Mom had to teach her how to do both those things, when she was nearly 80.

Here's to hoping that somebody does what needs to be done to Qaddafi soon, before genocide sets in.

Posted by: slyness | February 22, 2011 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Buttmunchausen Syndrome: an affliction, usually of older men, whereby you compulsively reference the Constitution and refer to 99% of others as a "libtard".

Posted by: baldinho | February 22, 2011 7:10 PM | Report abuse

While in fact only hurting yourself.

Posted by: Yoki | February 22, 2011 7:49 PM | Report abuse

So, Yoki, is there still room for some of us up there in the frozen tundra?


Nevertheless, I have just ordered some stuff from Amazon, and I feel better already (well, sort of). I "pre-ordered" some new "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" books (last year's in paperback and this year's in hardback (they were having an excellent discount on both, so I couldn't resist)), another copy of "Cutting for Stone" to serve as a birthday gift for a friend, AND the newest CD by Herb Alpert & Lani Hall, called "Anything Goes". I've been viewing "Mas que Nada" on youtube this week, as Ms. Hall was a singer with Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66 way back in (wait for it) 1966. I loved their stuff and still have albums in vinyl (also Herb Alpert's music in vinyl). Her voice is tremendous and so pure as a vocalist.

Sorta takes us all back, eh?

Posted by: ftb3 | February 22, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to keep this going, but if he's hidden out so far, would he respond for taxes?

Apparently a post I made yesterday was totally lost. Iirc, happy birthday to yello. Emma has survived and adding about a teaspoon of balsamic glaze to brownie mix removes that mixey taste (uncooked).

Today I was troubleshooting access to a DMZ web server, inaccessible from my work's internal network. The tech and I were trying to force the load balancer to hit both servers, so we opened multiple sessions from his desktop, my BlackBerry, his BB, his iPad and my iPod. Couldn't get it to swap over but the technology we automatically had at hand was amusing.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 22, 2011 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Ftb-- good for you LOVE THOSE BOOKS and the series about Isabel D. set in Edinburgh...the author really gets women, doesn't he?

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 22, 2011 8:35 PM | Report abuse

That's why I suggested Social Security benefits; almost nobody hides from *their* reception.

Posted by: Yoki | February 22, 2011 8:38 PM | Report abuse

He really gets Africa, too, CqP. I haven't kept up with Isabel, alas, but I'll get back to her series one of these days.

Posted by: ftb3 | February 22, 2011 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Caught an episode of Terry Jones' "Medieval Lives" (2004) on Netflix today. This one was the life of "The Knight." In explaining heraldry, he went to the modern College of Arms, a bright young representative of which presented him with a notional coat-of-arms.

Crest: a black cat, gules, bearing a sharpened quill.
Shield: a golden Python.
Motto: Non Messiah Est

I literally laughed out loud, indeed guffawed, all by myself in my apartment.

Posted by: Yoki | February 22, 2011 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Did some Speed Backboodling, was glad that someone caught baldinho's "buttmunch" and noted Beavis & Butthead's frequent use of said pejorative.

Don't recall who pulled "misconscrew" in the Boodle, but I'd attribute that one to the late, great Norm Crosby, who made malapropism an artform. Or at least a graceful living.

Which was long before GW Bush and Sarah Palin mistook malapropisms for expanded vocabulary.

So sez I, the Jackson Pollock of the English Language.


Posted by: -bc- | February 22, 2011 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Y'all are cracking me up! No, dbG, he probably won't respond for taxes ... not to me anyway. His duplicity and guilt, coupled with his health, seems to have transformed him into someone I wouldn't recognize as the man I knew even a scant year ago. I had ten loving and adventurous years with him though and have come to realize that I'm grateful and at peace in that knowledge.

Speaking of books, a few days ago I picked up a collection of Twain that's been gathering dust on my bookshelf for years and have been reading it voraciously.
He's good for the soul and the ticklebone!

Posted by: talitha1 | February 22, 2011 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Gnome whizzing through work;
A meaty bone to chew on.
Things are a good quiet.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 22, 2011 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey Rocky,watch me pull a rabbit out from under this hat.......nothing up my sleeve.........roar...

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 22, 2011 9:15 PM | Report abuse

MsJS, what's your reaction to TWC's new mayor, if I may ask? Just saw the announcement on the Maddow show that he won't be facing the run-off some had expected.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 22, 2011 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Ack! Fresh, not too distant skunk spray in the back yard. My neighbor's yard, I think.

So if I hang the brownies and lemon bars on their front door, will it attract the skunk? He cleared my sidewalk and driveway today.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 22, 2011 9:18 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: -TBG- | February 22, 2011 9:19 PM | Report abuse

My neighbor, that is. If skunks had snowblowers they'd be more welcome.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 22, 2011 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Yes... Chicago's first new mayor in 20 years. Congrats to Rahm Emanuel.

I hope Mr and MsJS voted early and often!

Posted by: -TBG- | February 22, 2011 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Gtsu, tbg. Xoxo, dbg

Posted by: -dbG- | February 22, 2011 9:25 PM | Report abuse

*Snort* dbG.

Posted by: Yoki | February 22, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Glad to hear that Rahm won. I'll bet TWC has never had a ballet major for a mayor before.

Talitha, the thought crossed my mind that you had good years but now someone else is going to cope with his precarious health and decline. God bless that person.

Mr. T and I saw a dead skunk on the side of the road Saturday. We were moving fast so didn't smell anything. I saw a dead raccoon today. It's a bit early for roadkill; that's normally a spring thing around here.

I suppose I was bored tonight. Anyway, I spent an hour or so going down the find your friends list in Facebook. I apparently have a mutual friend with every soul who resides in North America. I never did get to the bottom, I had to stop because the algorithm was messing with my browser. Or so it said.

Posted by: slyness | February 22, 2011 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Besides, he's hot.

Posted by: Yoki | February 22, 2011 9:39 PM | Report abuse

slyness, I did something similar the other day. At first I even "friended" a few folks that I knew and somehow had missed, then it seemed it would never end, so I stopped. Facebook is such a weird experience. Fun, but I don't trust it any farther than I can throw it, if you get my drift.

ftb, I loved Lani Hall and Brasil 66. One of my favorites:

I must be the last to know she married Herb Alpert (in 1974!).

Posted by: seasea1 | February 22, 2011 9:52 PM | Report abuse

The Baltimore 10 pm news says they are still searching for Phylicia Barnes. They held a vigil tonight. How tragic.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 22, 2011 10:06 PM | Report abuse

This link is to a very good graphic about the International Space Station. Really good.

Posted by: nellie4 | February 22, 2011 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I didn't think Emanuel was going to lose the Chicago Mayoral election, or even get to the point of a runoff.

Seems to me that someone needed to get behind the wheel of the Machine, and Rahm is an experienced operator of such juggernaut zambonis, even if his last name isn't Daley.

Reestablish his Chicagoicity, and then snick, snick, snick, done.


Posted by: -bc- | February 22, 2011 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I have some knitterly political friends who live in Chicago and really dislike Rahm. Guess they're not too happy tonight. I've always liked him.

I'm going to plug The Social Network again - here's my local paper's take on its Oscar chances:

We're in for days of chancy snow, wintry mix, cold temps. I have plans, dagnabit, Flower Show plans!

Posted by: seasea1 | February 22, 2011 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Yes, slyness.
A major part of my initial grief was the knowledge that, despite my stated desire to help him those last months, it wasn't accepted. I didn't know about the other woman then. Indeed, bless them both.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 22, 2011 10:27 PM | Report abuse

talitha, sounds like you have your priorities in order regarding the buttmunch (what a great word!). As long as your accountant looks out for you, who cares whether he remembers to file (well, the IRS will care, but not your problem).

I assume that Rahm will be up to the task of running Chicago, tough guy, tough town, politically speaking.

I've ramped up my workout program this week and am definitely feeling the effects of it - very weary. But I know this will pass and I'll be fitter eventually ;-)

How quickly we went from cheering the Egyptians to worrying about Libya, New Zealand and Wisconsin.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 22, 2011 10:38 PM | Report abuse

A friend in Christchurch, N.Z. reports that they're fine but badly shaken. The quake was indeed far worse than the one in September.

I was in the Everglades today, mostly an area tourists never see (not the Park). Despite horror stories (exotic plants, pythons, too much/too little water, phosphorus in the water, whatever), much of the Everglades is doing nicely.

Some of the former Everglades is nice if you like suburbia with what must be the largest of all outlet malls.

Had things gone differently, there might have been 'burbs much farther out in the glades.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 22, 2011 10:40 PM | Report abuse

I have to really wonder about New Zealand. When there is bad damage in earth quakes in third world countries, the first to blame is corruption in the construction industry and government inspectors. New Zealand doesn't seem like that sort of country yet seemly as any new construction buildings failed as much as of the old unreinforncesed masonry buildings.

Posted by: bh72 | February 22, 2011 10:48 PM | Report abuse

I used to have a copy of Qaddafi's Green Book from my Model United Nations days. Back when he was the state-sponsored terrorist threat we feared the most. Good times, good times.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 22, 2011 10:51 PM | Report abuse

One of the pictures seemed to show some restoration underway on an old masonry building that the walls then collapsed during the earthquake.

Posted by: bh72 | February 22, 2011 10:54 PM | Report abuse

yello, you're an engineer, what do you think of the multistory guinnes building collapsing?

Posted by: bh72 | February 22, 2011 10:58 PM | Report abuse

BH, I'd wonder if the quake last September plays into the damage this time.

Posted by: --dr-- | February 22, 2011 11:04 PM | Report abuse

bh72, thank you. When the great rains of June 2003 came to my city, there was any amount of sympathetic TV coverage of the rich people who lost their back gardens and boat launches when the river rose.

And then the same local TV crew went out the reservation, and asked the First Nations homeowners who'd lost their homes and livelihoods, "Well! Why did you build so close to the river? [Sneering voice and facial expressions go here]! Jaysus Gawd. Forgive us, Gitchee Manitou.

Posted by: Yoki | February 22, 2011 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Hello all...last time I checked there were something like 200 comments...I've been working way more than I like, that's for sure. Skimboodled and loved yello's Hopper pics. We've got a Hopper print over our fireplace, he's a particular favorite of mine. And a belated happy birthday yello.
Misconscrew, buttmunch...hilarious. Really, just cracked me up!
So nice to hear about Dywaun's dedication, what a sweet time.
I think TBG's got a new job...pajamas involved? Sounds GOOD!.
I know I missed tons of's so nice that the boodle keeps on trucking!

I've got no original thoughts at all, wish I did... but there you go!

Posted by: Kim_1 | February 23, 2011 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Today’s a public holiday for us. It’s Independence Day. But I’m working because I’ve a deadline looming. It’s bad enough that Feb has 28 days. There are also 3 public holidays.

Today being Independence Day, all business establishments must take the day off and fly the Brunei flag at the place of business. If a business establishment, say a restaurant, wants to open shop, the owner must seek permission to do that. However, he/she must take off on another day to replace today.

Aside from taking the day off, all business with shop fronts must fly the flag. Residences along a thorough fare fly the flag as well. I don’t know if there is a rule on that but everybody does it. There are 2 days the flag appears and all businesses must close for the day – Independence Day and the birthday of the Big Guy.

I’ve stay at my present place since 2006, and this is the first time I’m flying the flag. In front of my house, there are 2 big trees that usually block the view of my house from the highway. Because the branches of one of the trees were stretching into the neighbour’s property, I gave it a major ‘hair cut.’ Now, my house can be seen from the freeway. Because of that, I felt I better fly the flag lest I get into trouble. What kind of trouble? I don’t know, and I don’t want to find out.

Posted by: rainforest1 | February 23, 2011 3:57 AM | Report abuse

rainforest, I was once working on a Huge Proposal for a Very Important Client (VIC) that a senior partner had promised for the end of the month of August.

We were late by three days, so he dated the covering letter "August 35, 200-."

Posted by: Yoki | February 23, 2011 4:34 AM | Report abuse

EYE don't want you to find out, either.

Posted by: Yoki | February 23, 2011 4:36 AM | Report abuse

Good night and good morning, Boodle! I'm signing off on the recommendation of one of our senior members.

Posted by: Yoki | February 23, 2011 5:09 AM | Report abuse

I think it was a recent Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, but they referred to where they were broadcasting from as:

The Miami of Canada..... Chicago!

Have fun on the north south beach, Rahm.

Posted by: baldinho | February 23, 2011 6:08 AM | Report abuse

My Joel, my Joel, why have you forsaken us?

Posted by: yellojkt | February 23, 2011 6:19 AM | Report abuse

I saw a Second City tour at Woody Mammoth a few years back. One of the troupe did a killer Rahm. I guess he's got a great gig now.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 23, 2011 6:25 AM | Report abuse

Good morning friends. My sister G called a little while ago to tell me that my dear, sweet big sister passed away in her sleep last night. I'm so thankful that this nightmare is over for her, but my heart, of course, is broken.

I thank all of you for your love and support and friendship. She felt it, too, when you sent your prayers, good thoughts and plenty of mojo. She told me how much it meant to her over these past couple of years.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 23, 2011 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all.

TBG, may her angels carry her to her resting place. You are in my prayers.

Posted by: VintageLady | February 23, 2011 7:49 AM | Report abuse

My thoughts are with you and your family, TBG. *HUGSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS*

Several articles on the NZ quake have noted last year's quake damage certainly contributed to the devastation this time around.

Today's the second time in two weeks I fergot mah ID. I blame the pre-Dawn Patrol distraction of either cleaning up a NukeFeline hairball or putting the liner in my winter coat.

On the bright side, I shall be vacationing with NukeSpawn in something less than 60 hours! :-)

*Happy-Hump-Day-that-feels-much-closer-to-a-TFSMIF Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 23, 2011 8:02 AM | Report abuse

TBG big hugs going out to you, I do understand being both thankful and sad. You and your family will be in my thoughts today.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 23, 2011 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Have a wonderful holiday, Scotty, but keep in touch with boodledom if you can.

Yellow, thanks for your Edward Hopper links; he is one of my favorite artists We saw his exhibit at the National Gallery of Art
a few years ago, and I was just thrilled to be there.

For an art project he did years ago, my oldest son copied a cityscape of Hopper's. After he was finished with the class, instead of disposing of it, we had it mounted and framed (it is unsigned, of course)
I have never seen this particular piece exhibited, it was in a California gallery at the time. Anyway, it's a treasure of mine. Hopper is so powerful, yet so beautiful.

Van Gogh's Blue Iris is another favorite, not so bipolar.

Georgia O'Keeffe had a great exhibit at The Phillips Collection last year, it was wonderful. That gallery is my favorite because it is the home of Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party..... best of the best.

Posted by: VintageLady | February 23, 2011 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Oh TBG, my deepest sympathies and heartfelt prayers for you and your entire family.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 23, 2011 8:42 AM | Report abuse

TBG, you and yours are in my heart and prayers. I know there is relief mixed in the grief.

Posted by: slyness | February 23, 2011 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, hot coffee and chilled OJ on the table.

TBG, thank you for sharing the news with us. We at CasaJS send our condolences. We'll continue to hold you and your family in our hearts.

On the TWC front, the trade that began with Richie Daley trading his brother Bill to Team Obama was completed yesterday with Team Obama member Rahm Emanuel winning the mayoral election here. Being a resident of a TWC suburb made it a tad challenging to cast my ballots, but where there's a will there's a way, yanno?

Of the four major mayoral candidates, only Rahm truly understands political power. How he chooses to deploy it and on whose behalf remains to be seen. The others quite likely would have been swallowed up by the job pretty quickly.

As to the Miami of Canada, MrJS lived in Newfie for 4 years in the 1970s and says Newfies consider the Miami of Newfie to be...Miami.

BTW, I saw Social Network the other day and found it unsatisfactory.

Scotty, enjoy your time with NukeSpawn.

Posted by: MsJS | February 23, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse

My deep condolences to you, TBG.
I wish peace and memories' kind blessings to you and to your sister's family.

Posted by: talitha1 | February 23, 2011 9:14 AM | Report abuse

TBG, I am so, so sorry. You and your family are in my thoughts.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 23, 2011 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, new kit, folks.

Posted by: GomerGross | February 23, 2011 9:23 AM | Report abuse

TBG, I'm shedding a tear with you this morning. Love and hugs.

Posted by: -bia- | February 23, 2011 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 23, 2011 9:40 AM | Report abuse

TBG: Love and blessings to you and your family. <3


Posted by: kbertocci | February 23, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

TBG and the loving, big-hearted G-clan: am with you in sorrow and loss about dear sister. And, that she thought on us and even took comfort from our boodle webs of fun and affection.

Oh, enter in, she shall into that mysterious space where we all are stardust again.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 23, 2011 2:48 PM | Report abuse

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