And We’re Back

Yay for Comcast. A reward for you all- a freshly bathed Lily, who I got mostly dry but then she ran around the house like a crazed person, and I just gave up trying to finish drying her off. I went and did something else and caught her lounging on Tunch’s futon:


I have about 50 books lined up to read, so of course I’m on the couch reading the Hitchhiker’s Guide. Again.

107 replies
  1. 1
    Keith G says:

    Ah…..What has Lily been smoking?

  2. 2
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    Lily looks like she’s tired and ready for some shuteye/

  3. 3
    RedKitten says:

    Awww, sweet Lily.

    We had fun tonight with doggies. A bunch of friends came over for a BBQ and brought their respective doggies, who had a blast playing together. Then right after supper, the fox who’s been hanging around our place made an appearance looking for leftovers (drawn by the smell of the BBQ, no doubt.) Fortunately, one of our friends has a really awesome camera, and so got some fantastic shots of her.

  4. 4
    ihop says:

    far out in the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the galaxy lies an insignificant little blue-green planet, where sits a little girl-doggie on a futon giving a raspberry to her daddy.

  5. 5

    Just for that she’s going to roll in Jimmy Hoffa’s corpse.

    And I bought a Furminator. Definitely worth the price. The yard looks like two cats stepped on a land mine.

  6. 6
    abo gato says:

    Oh Lily….she looks so happy!

    Good dog.

    Good John Cole.

  7. 7
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    OUt of borerdom I been surfin’ the wingnut blogs about the Palin breakup apparent false rumor. They’re pining for some trial lawyer justice for suing libtards spreading slanderous lies.

    This, after 8 years of spreading about every false notion imaginable on the Clinton’s and now Obama the unborn anti-christ Muslim. It goes to prove that humans can actually live on irony and hypocracy alone, and not even know it.

  8. 8
    steve s says:

    The Vogon intergalactic construction crew totes concern trolls Earth.

  9. 9
    steve s says:

    General, that apostrophe is totally concern trolling your plurals.

  10. 10
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @steve s:

    Are we gonna have to do an intervention on yer crazy ass?

  11. 11

    Speaking of which I have been having to bathe Cueball every other night for the past two weeks, it would appear that he is a magnet for fleas, they leave Judy and Lucky alone, but I am assuming that Cueball’s white fur and therefore pale skin are just irresistable to them. Poor boy, I have tried every damn spritz, spray and pill and nothing works other than bathing him. I am hoping that my Mum can bring over the absolute kick ass stuff from the UK that kept him flea free for a year last time when she comes over in September. I think it costs the equivalent of about $80.00 but it is worth every damn penny.

  12. 12
    geg6 says:

    Aw, Lily looks either tired or stoned out of her mind. Too cute. I am amazed that the four doggies we have tonight are being so good together. This is a first. They usually don’t get along as they are all spoiled drama queens/kings. Except Otis, who is the source of most of the irritation due to him being such an eager and exciteable boy. But it is doggy harmony tonight. Lovely.

  13. 13

    What is the answer to life, the universe and everything?

  14. 14
  15. 15
    Delia says:

    There’s a lot to be said for rereading the truly great works of literature. Especially when you have a dog curled up at your feet.

  16. 16
    Dave C says:

    Have y’all heard that Glenn Beck is now claiming that the Federal Government can take over your computer when you use the “Cash for Clunkers” website? Frankly, this is just too much for me. Beck is either very very evil or is seriously mentally ill (or both, of course). The GOS has the details:

  17. 17
    Fax Paladin says:

    What do you get if you multiply six by nine?

    By the by: What the heck is this I’m hearing about the website taking over computers? My neighbors just mentioned this, but they have a history of believing Glenn Beck types (and that’s who I’m seeing in a Google search on it).

  18. 18
    cbear says:

    @General Winfield Stuck: “Palin breakup”???

    Sounds juicy.
    Was it adultery?
    Will Coulter be named as “the other man” in the divorce proceedings?

  19. 19
    lamh31 says:


    Am I the only one who thinks this GE and Fox cut deal: Censor Olbermann is bullshit.

    Shouldn’t this put a pall over Countdown (I wouldn’t watch O’Reilly anyway, besides nothing could make that show any worse).

    And people wonder why Jon Stewart is the “America’s most trusted newsman”

  20. 20
  21. 21
    General Winfield Stuck says:


    go over to memerandum for the scoop/

  22. 22
    robertdsc says:

    I have about 50 books lined up to read

    I lost count at over a thousand waiting to go. Now I’m just plodding through my list, one at a time.

  23. 23

    Oh, well, if you want book recommendations . . .

    (Sort of. I’ve read two of six of the Stross books and one of ten of the Zelazny ones so far.)

  24. 24
    Punchy says:

    Shouldn’t “Lily” have two L’s in her name?

  25. 25
    wonkie says:

    Litlbrit, have you tried frontline? It workers wonders for our dogs.

    I’m more impressed with the stgories about Palin pushing the prosecutors to throw the book at Levi’s mon, than I am with the about to get divorced stories. Frankly I think she sgtarts these rumors herslef so she can get back into the spotlight and her roles as martyr. No stories;no media atention; no martyrdom

  26. 26
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    Beck is either very very evil or is seriously mentally ill (or both, of course).

    Or the re-incarnation of P.T> Barnum. He is challenging Peak Wingnut with that one. Wingnuts concerned about government eavesdropping. Pig fly’s.

  27. 27
    freelancer says:

    Yes, why am I indulging in the colossal time suck that is, when I could be reading one of the 20 books I’ve bought but haven’t started?

    Answer: 42.

    Revised Answer: those unread books are concern trolling the hell out of my bookshelf. /Steve S

  28. 28
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Punchy: Like llama? Are you trying to suggest John’s dog looks like a llama?

  29. 29


    Wonk – Frontline does nothing for Cueball, nor do any of the other Vet prescribed thingys, I swear the only thing that works is the thing my mum brought over a couple of years ago (probably banned in the US because one dog out of 27 million died as a result of using it), I put it on him once in September (when my mum visited) he did not have a single flea until the following September. Of course because of this fact I forgot to ask my mum to bring over some more, so now we are in the height of flea season and Cueball is being eaten alive. I will have to ask Mum to bring over the good stuff.

  30. 30
    Ken Lovell says:

    the futon makes lily look fat

  31. 31
    Tonal Crow says:

    @steve s: What kinda pie do you like? Raspberry, you say? Is that raspberry tart, raspberry-rhubarb, raspberry-strawberry, raspberry cream, or something else?

  32. 32
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @ Punchy / 9:32 pm

    There ARE two L’s in Lily.

    Just not consecutive.

  33. 33


    Oh any by the way it is bad seeing as we do not have any carpets, I tore up all the carpets and replaced them with tile after Hurricane Floyd, I cannot even imagine the misery we would be suffering if we had carpets. We do not even have throw rugs, there is nothing but cold hard tile on the floors and yet the fleas are thriving. Having said that I went out into the yard today to hang out some laundry and the fleas were all over me, so it appears that they are in the grass and the Cubemeister is picking them up every time he goes outside.

  34. 34
    A Mom Anon says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    I think there’s something really truly wrong with him. Medically. It’s either mental illness or some sort of physical brain issue. Hell,it could be both. I can’t look at him,he creeps me out big time. (((shudder)))

    I hope someone’s checking in on is wife and kids now and then,seriously.

  35. 35
    Demo Woman says:

    Moxie knows when she is going to get a bath and hides. It must be the way that I call her. Having an 18 lb mutt has it benefits. She gets a bath in the kitchen sink and after I towel dry her, she is dried with the hair dryer.
    I have had several goldens (one golden had 11 pups) and a shar pei and because of Moxie’s dead animal fetish, she has had more baths than all the rest combined.

  36. 36
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @A Mom Anon:

    It’s either mental illness or some sort of physical brain issue.

    He doesn’t worry me so much. What worries me are the thousands or millions of knuckleheads that think he makes perfect sense. You don’t get you own program without a lot of followers. He makes Hannity seem sane. And that is scary.

  37. 37
    Demo Woman says:


    Shouldn’t “Lily” have two L’s in her name

    Don’t pick on Lily. She’s proud of her name.

  38. 38
    Demo Woman says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Twenty years ago, I lived in Dallas, TX and they have more fleas than anywhere else in the world. You could find fleas in peanut butter jars. I finally went the chemical route. We bombed the house and left for several hours and then I treated the yard every few months. The dog that I had then Sunny, lived until he was close to 17 years. Pretty old for a golden.
    I haven’t had to do that in the twenty plus years that I have lived just north of Atlanta.

  39. 39
    demkat620 says:

    Anybody else enjoying Being Human on bbcamerica?

  40. 40

    @Demo Woman:
    Lily is just proud of the fact that she has a loving hoomin, who spoils her, and adores her, and to be quite honest she really can’t figure out right now what she did to deserve this, but she likes it. It makes me cry every single time I think about it, and it makes me feel good. Lily is home, and that folks, is really all we need to know. Lily is home.

  41. 41
    Punchy says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Dammit. I knew someone would clown on me for such inaccuracy.

  42. 42

    @demkat620: My wonderful all embracing Time Warner keeps telling me that “bbc america is not available right now” and tells me to try again later. I am getting very tired of this shit.

  43. 43
    demkat620 says:

    And John, she looks very tired and happy. But most important, relaxed.

    You go Lily!

  44. 44
    A Mom Anon says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    Sigh. I know. WTF is wrong with us that we seem to have an overabundance of this mess? There seems to be a whole lotta unleashed mean out there,is America meaner than other countries and cultures? I know there’s fucked up people everywhere,but I swear it seems like we’re overrun with this nonsense.

    They ruin whatever they set their sights on,just because they can.

  45. 45
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    I have Dish and rarely have any problems. Usually only when it snows hard. About once every three years or so.

    Having the International Package, I pay just 9.95 a month and get 20 stations, including CNN, MSNBC and cspan 1 and 2 and a few others like Comedy Central, AMC etc…./ Haven’t used my Comcast connection in 7 years and it was good riddance.

  46. 46
    Englischlehrer on vacation says:

    Books in Germany (in English) are relatively expensive, limited and there are few, if any, real bargains like on amazon and barnes and noble. Invariably, I buy a dozen or so books before each visit home to California and then bring them back to Germany. I was reading a Richard Clarke fiction piece but wasn’t that into it so found myself opening up and starting Stephen Ambrose’s “Undaunted Courage” about Lewis and Clark.

  47. 47
    steve s says:

    totally, freelancer. I can’t seem to finish The Eight and Dangerous Games. Why are Katherine Neville and Maraget MacMillan concern trolling my couch?

  48. 48
    steve s says:

    Hmm… I think I drank too much. That Gilbey’s Vodka is concern trolling my liver.

  49. 49
    wonkie says:


    Or however you spell it!

    How big is your dog? One of my clents has a miniture chihua hua that is being eaten alive by fleas. The family won’t buy anythng for her so I have sgtartged dosing her with vaseline and combing her with a flea comb. It works. I slather the vaseline on her and the fleas flee. I comb the vaseline out-it comes out brown with fleas. I do this every time I go to their house, three times a week. The gel makes her poor chewed on skin feel better and I have cut down drmatically on the bug population on her poor little body.

  50. 50
    ihop says:

    if you have indoor-outdoor critters then i can’t recommend more strongly that you treat your lawn and growing beds with nematodes. they are beneficial microscopic critters that feed on larvae, especially flea larvae.

    we have been treating the property for the past 10 years or so and have had zero flea issues (dogs and cats) in that time.

    we get them from but i’m sure they can be obtained from other sources.

  51. 51
    jl says:

    Not sure what to make of Lily’s expression. First commenter said Lily was stoned, which a possibility, given the weird stuff she like to roll (in). Hahahaha… little joke there.

    It could also be the beginnings of the Haughty Tunch Stare. Let’s hope not, Cole would probably crack under that kind of pressure.

    Probably just a pooped dog.

  52. 52
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @steve s:

    That Gilbey’s Vodka is concern trolling my liver.


  53. 53
    xyzzy says:

    John, I’m sure you’ve told already, but I must have missed it — do you know what breed Lily is? Or mix of breeds? What a dainty little thing she is (compared to the Incredible Hulk, aka Tunch, that is…. :)

  54. 54

    Aw, who’s a tired out little girl? Lily is! Such a doll baby. Totally pepped me up. I need it, considering that I’m leaving for a party in half an hour!

  55. 55
    Delia says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    In my area Dish stopped carrying the CBS affiliate, which really annoyed all the people who were stuck with long term Dish contracts.

  56. 56

    Cole! For to please, post a picture of the Tunchinator. I am jonesin’ for a glimpse of that little white powder puff!

  57. 57
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @Punchy: Here is a Lily. Here is a Lilly.

  58. 58
    Xenos says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: When I lived in Florida with a lab the nematodes really helped break the cycle of repeated flea infestations. Frontline was also critical, but it just did not help so long as we had millions of fleas hatching every month in the yard.

  59. 59
    Demo Woman says:

    Lily is a fairly small dog but look a tad over weight on that futon. We know that Tunch looks obese on that futon.
    What’s with the futon.

  60. 60
    MikeJ says:

    Shouldn’t “Lily” have two L’s in her name

    She does, unless I can’t count correctly. I think you are concerned that she doesn’t have three. Your concern has been noted.

    And yeah, I watched Being Human last night but it was still so fucking hot I couldn’t enjoy it, although it looked like I should have.

  61. 61
    General Winfield Stuck says:


    Yes, that would be annoying if you had no other way to get local network channels. I’m getting locals now for an extra 5 bucks a month, only because I have an ancient analog teevee that still works. and I didn’t feel like getting a converter. Hope to get a new LCD, for Xmas,, if I’m good. big if.

    I have had no problems with dish, except they raised their PPV movie fee to 5 bucks.

    Can’t beat the price, unless I wanted to get a lot of extra channels I’d never watch. About all my viewing is on PC except for cable news, even most teevee programs, movies etc….

  62. 62
  63. 63
    CaseyL says:

    Oh, so it’s officially Tunch’s futon? Because you’ve photographed Lily on it quite a few times now. Has Tunch given you permission to use his futon as a Sear’s Photo Portrait Backdrop? Is he being appropriately recompensed for the loss of use of his futon?

    There are probably some family law cutting edge animal rights attorneys who would be willing to represent Tunch in an alienation of affection futon suit.

  64. 64
    bystander says:

    Lily’s is the smug, So you gave me a bath and I tore around the place eight-five kinds of revved up crazy all but swinging from the curtains and you are so gonna pay for that indignity sap sucker look.

  65. 65
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    That’s a happy pup!

    The running-around-after-a-bath thing is something I’ve seen other dogs do. They always seem to get such a charge out of it.

  66. 66
    Anne Laurie says:

    Aww, pouty Lily! Still an improvement over her life a few months ago, though, as I’m sure she’d agree.

    LitleBritDfrnt, some people swear by
    diatomaceous earth for “organic” flea/tick control. I actually bought some to see if it helped against June beetles, but it’s been so damned wet here in New England this spring/summer that I haven’t had the chance to test it yet…

    We used to “bomb” the yard with a pyrethrum product every spring, but it’s disappeared from even the online pet-supply outlets, so now the dogs wear Preventick collars from March till November and I pray they don’t pick up fleas elsewhere.

  67. 67
    John O says:

    That is the face of a happy, grateful, loving dog. Stoned or not.

    You’re a good man, John Cole.

  68. 68
    srv says:

    Jeez, I hope my cookie clears up this IE madness.

  69. 69
    John O says:

    Safe, content, not in the slightest bit afraid of the Great White Feline of Evil.

    Have the two gone nose-to-nose yet, staked out any turf?

  70. 70
    Punchy says:

    what’s with all the ‘concern troll’ junk? Inside joke?

  71. 71
    stibbert says:

    i think not so much an ‘inside joke’ as a general term of derision, used by steve s to poke a bit of fun at JC’s choice of reading material?

  72. 72
    geg6 says:

    Englischslehrer on vacation: “Undaunted Courage” is a great, great book. What amazing and brave men Lewis and Clark and their men were. What an epic adventure. In fact, that’s going on my “to read again” list. It’s been a few years. My pile of new reads has “Summerland” by Michael Chabon up next. Just finished up Julia Child’s “My Life in France.”. I recommend that one highly.

  73. 73
    daryljfontaine says:

    Watching my dog Max’s near-epileptic seizures after he gets bathed is part of the entertainment. He rubs himself all over every square inch of the living room carpet trying to get the water out of his undercoat, which is awesome and funny for a small dog — if he was bigger I’d be worried about the furniture and the fixtures.


  74. 74
    Ned R. says:

    They ain’t new but Frederic Morton’s two nonfiction books on Vienna A Nervous Splendour (1888-1889) and Thunder at Twilight (1913-1914) are absolutely crackerjack reads when it comes to ‘end of one era/start of another’ stuff. Had read the first before but am now going through the second — top flight popular history told with a novelist’s sense of story.

  75. 75
    stibbert says:

    y, i liked ‘Undaunted Courage’ a lot, too. Awhile back, my parents rented a motor-home, and did the best they could to follow the L&C route north out of St. Louis, then west into ughknown territory! They had a great time on their trek.

    I’ve just finished a nift’ history, ‘The Candy Bombers’ by Andei Cherney. He presents the events of the Berlin Airlift in parallel w/ the brand-new USA Department of Defense, Truman’s re-election campaign, and the creation of NATO.

    D’ya have a recomendation for anything in the mystery/detective genre?

  76. 76

    @Linkmeister: book recommendations…

    Hell yeah, Linkmeister, Roger Zelazny is the man. I liked the first five Amber books so much that I named my second son Corwin, after the lead character of that series. The second five are good too, just a little thin on plot. Most read Zelazny for the great characters anyway, and the Amber books are one of those great secrets of fantasy, because they had been out of print for so long but now they’re back.

  77. 77
    Steeplejack says:

    That is a shmoogy-faced dog. Om-nom-nom-nom! Somebody deal out some beef jerky here.

  78. 78
    Steeplejack says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    That dog’s head is huge. Or maybe your head is huge too. (Flashing back to Mike Myers as the father in So I Married an Axe Murderer.)

    Don’t get me wrong. Nice-looking. But huge.

  79. 79
    Steeplejack says:

    AsiangrrlMN, are you out there? I’ve been missing our dysfunctional night-owl love connection lately.

  80. 80
    Steeplejack says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    This. Win. Also.

  81. 81
    stibbert says:

    i haven’t read v. much of Zelazny, but his ‘Lord of Light’ really turned my head when i was in highschool, i’ve re-read it many times. I also recall his ‘Hemingwayesque’ Venusian fishing-story, ‘The Doors of His Face’, which i read in a Hugo-winner anthology.

    i never tried his Amber series – i’m thinking they’d compare well to Fritz Leiber’s story ‘Ill Met in Lankmar’ ?

    my current sci-fi faves are Richard K. Morgan, Iain M. Banks & William Gibson. these guys are just tearin’ up the joint.

  82. 82
    Steeplejack says:

    D’ya have a recomendation for anything in the mystery/detective genre?

    1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson. Corporate corruption, family secrets, retro missing-person story, edgy sort-of-love-story–in contemporary Sweden.

    2. All She Was Worth, Miyuki Miyabe. A simple missing-person inquiry by a Tokyo cop on disability turns into a complex–but not ponderous–meditation on identity theft and consumer debt.

    3. Bangkok 8, John Burdett. Trippy, immersive tour through the Asian underworld. First of a series.

    4. A Corpse in the Koryo, James Church. Inspector O, just your average cop in Pyongyang. WTF? First of a series.

    5. A Death in Vienna, Frank Tallis. Murder, atmosphere and Freudian psychology in fin de siècle Vienna. First of a series.

    6. The Janissary Tree, Jason Goodwin. Istanbul, 1836. Investigator Yashim Togalu on call to the sultan’s court. First of a series.

  83. 83
    Steeplejack says:


    Have been working through Iain M. Banks’s “Culture” novels. Very good. Currently beached in the middle of Choice of Weapons. Just need a breather.

  84. 84
    Steeplejack says:

    Okay, all threads seemingly dead, and I’ve got four of five “recent comments.” I guess I’ll just piss off for the night, then? Mission accomplished.

    Oh, the lonely lot of the night owl.

  85. 85

    D’ya have a recomendation for anything in the mystery/detective genre?

    Current or classic? Police Procedural or Lone Detective? Hard-boiled or cozy?

    All the sf fans can relate to questions like that. ;)

    If you don’t know Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe books, you should read them. They’re standalones, both the novels and the short stories. Wolfe is great, but his colleague Archie Goodwin is the narrator and the real reason to read the books.

    Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct and Del Shannon’s Luis Mendoza books are good American police procedurals; there are about a thousand British novelists who write ones that take place in England, both London and in the countryside.

    I just read and reviewed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I’m anxiously waiting for book two to become available at my library (I think there are about 100 people in front of my hold request).

  86. 86
    stibbert says:

    @Steeplejack: wow, thx for the listie! Those were all new to me, ‘cept for Burdett. I’ve read ‘Bangkok Haunts’, & thought it was wild & well-written.

    i like serials, they extend the fun. i’ve just gone thru a raft of 8 or more of Donna Leon’s ‘Commisario Brunetti’ novels, set in Venice. I got a bit tired of her hand-wringing over moral/political corruption, OTOH, the Italian food & vino is right up my street.

    have really enjoyed a pair of books by the Oz writer, Peter Temple – ‘Black Tide’ & ‘The Broken Shore’, for classic hardboiled detective action.

    a Spanish author, Arturo Perez-Reverte, writes a good procedural – try ‘The Seville Communion’, ‘The Fencing Master’ or the recent ‘Queen of the South’.

  87. 87
    BethanyAnne says:

    @Punchy: Damned if I know, but I’m about to put him on the pie filter.

  88. 88
    Lesley says:

    Lily’s looking more plump (Tunchish); also happier. She really looks like she’s settled in.

    I miss the photos (thumbnails) being clickable so you can see the larger version.

  89. 89
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Excuse my naivete, but could someone please explain what is meant by a “pie filter” and the regular references to pie? It obviously has something to do with trolls and other annoying posters (naming no names), but I’m just not getting the connection to pie.

  90. 90
    nadifa says:

    I really think that you feed both the dog and the cat too much.
    Go easy on their diet.

  91. 91
    Anne Laurie says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: One of the BJ regulars (Cleek, I think) wrote a “greasemonkey script” that can be installed on your PC, assuming you understand such installation or have access to someone who does. Once you’ve installed the Pie Filter, every comment by any poster you “flag” will be replaced by a standard phrase, originally “I like pie!”. So, if (for example) somebody’s would-be-funnies about concern trolling are getting on your nerves, or you’re finding it hard to resist arguing with spooftrolls or other liars and further polluting the thread, a pie filter will let you know the offending individuals are loose again without running up your blood pressure.

  92. 92
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @ Anne Laurie

    Thanks! Very clear ‘splanation.

  93. 93
    RedKitten says:

    @Anne Laurie: I’m trying to remember who the offender was who became the first recipient/victim of the pie filter. I’m thinking it had to be Darrell, but I could be wrong. Either way, there is now a long and rich history of liking pie here at Balloon Juice.

  94. 94
    HeartlandLiberal says:

    I am currently reading Peter Heather’s The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians .

    I highly recommend it as a thorough and incredibly readable summary of the past 50-60 years of scholarship on the last 400 or so years of the Roman Empire until its demise in the fifth century.

    The in depth exposition on the social, political, financial, and military evolution and structures in that period are covered and explained very well. And I am seeing lots of parallels to our modern society, in which ultimately living in a state of denial when confronted with crisis did not historically, and will not in the near future, serve society and the state well.

  95. 95

    I looked at the CARS website, and it says the ‘clunkers’ have to get 18 mpg or less.

    Fluffy’s all like HA! PWNED! PWWWWWNED! with her 30+ mpg, even though she’s recently put me through a brake line failure (!). But it was like a $230 fix.

    (Fluffy is my hotrodded ’92 Buick Century…)

  96. 96
    Mino says:

    Nematode are ace killers of flea infestations, but– warning–they will also do a number on your tomatoes.

  97. 97
    Violet says:

    Late to the party, but oh, my goodness, Lily is just gorgeous! Such a happy girl. Makes me happy to see her. What a changed doggie from just a short time ago. You’re a good man, John Cole.

  98. 98
    geg6 says:

    Poisonous plants were very cool this morning on CBS Sunday Morning. Now cool Venetian art wars. Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese. Good show.

  99. 99
    Nethead Jay says:

    @RedKitten: As far as I remember it was indeed Darrell who caused cleek to come up with the script

  100. 100
    Mr. Prosser says:

    “Time’s an illusion, lunchtime doubly so.” To hell with it, time for three pints at lunch.

  101. 101
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @robertdsc: I started to finally succeed at chewing through my collection, so I, of course, put out a call to friends on my blog for suggestions, and now the pile is larger than ever.

    I’ve decided I just like the warm, cozy presence of the overwhelming intellectual/entertainment potential itself.

  102. 102
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Frontline was/is heavily faked because it fetches such a high price retail. If you didn’t pay a small fortune for it from a very reputable source, you may have gotten a junk version of it. It’s always work fantastically for us, but you need two full months so the eggs also hatch and die, or the ones in the house do.

  103. 103
    Steeplejack says:


    I, too, like series. If you get a good writer, some good characters and some good mise-en-scène, it’s pure joy to watch everything play out over the long arc of several–or many–books. The ultimate for me, though they’re not mysteries, is the Aubrey-Maturin series by Patrick O’Brian. (The first one is Master and Commander.) The British Navy and British society circa 1800-1815. A really towering achievement in 20 novels. The huge cast of characters realistically evolves and ages over the course of the book, and O’Brian has Jane Austen’s grasp of character and nuance.

    I’ve read a few of Donna Leon’s novels and liked them, but I didn’t get bitten hard enough to zoom through the entire series in a rush, as sometimes happens. (I’m currently tearing through the various subseries of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels.) I’ll get back to them at some point, I’m sure. She reminds me of Henning Mankell and his Kurt Wallander novels (first one: Faceless Killers). Good writer, good characters, interesting background (contemporary Sweden), but every book is wired to some Big Issue that occasionally gets pounded over your head a little too hard. So I take them in small doses.

    For a different take on the Italian vibe, you could try Michael Dibdin’s series about Commissario Aurelio Zen (first one: Ratking) or Andrea Camilleri’s series about Inspector Salvo Montalbano (first one: The Shape of Water).

    Dibdin’s series starts out a little light and then gets darker as it goes along. Zen is detailed to different regions of Italy to tackle difficult cases, and they always illuminate some murky aspect of Italian society. Very good, and subtler than Donna Leon, I think.

    As for Montalbano, the novels are good–he’s a quirky, outside-the-lines cop in Sicily–but my opinion is completely prejudiced by the excellent series of TV movies made from the books. There is an obscure little cable channel, MHz WorldView, that has run them over the last few years, and they are amazingly good. And MHz now sells the DVDs, I think. Worth checking out.

    I will have to check out Peter Temple. That reminds me: if you like hard-boiled American, the Derek Strange novels by George Pelecanos (who went on to write for The Wire) are excellent: Right as Rain, Hell to Pay, Soul Circus and Hard Revolution. Strange is a middle-aged black P.I. working in D.C. and environs, and Pelecanos has an anthropologist’s eye for the whole urban scene. Tight, very tight.

    I have read and liked most of Pérez-Reverte’s books about Captain Alatriste, 17th-century Spanish swashbuckler, but I haven’t tried his others yet.

  104. 104
    schrodinger's cat says:

    I need some gardening advice. Some bugs are eating my basil, what should I do?

  105. 105
    Glocksman says:

    @Chris Johnson:

    My 92 Olds Cutlass Ciera S (same car as your Century) 3.3L V6 was rated at 17 MPG city and 20 combined by the EPA using their new system.

    Strangely enough, that’s just about what I got from it.

    If I’d waited a few more months (I bought a used 2008 Spectra in April) I could have bought a brand new Spectra for nearly the price I paid for the used one after the CARS rebate my clapped out Cutlass was eligible for.

  106. 106
    Of Bugs and Books says:

    @ S.’s Cat,
    As a general reference, Garden Insects of North America by Whitney Cranshaw is well done; at $30 list, far more useful than my $17 and $19 ‘field guides’ (all prices out-dated). Appendix, eg., lists Ocimum (Basil): Leaf chewers – American serpentine leafminer, vegetable leafminer and painted lady; main chapters will then give a page of text and a page of photos on each of these groups of bugs. Not conclusive, of course; e.g., there are 2500 species of “leafhoppers” in North America, but identification of plant and pest is first step. Text doesn’t rely on technical terminology, and useful photos, so interesting even as casual reading to me.

  107. 107
    Mary says:

    @daryljfontaine: Yup. The post-bath Zoomies are one of the great joys of dog-ownership.

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