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Mo's Achenfaq

   This has been posted before in the boodle but let's make it a kit. Ace boodler and porching-hour photog Mo has a blog named Den of Darkness where, among other things, she has made sense of the gibberish on this one. I'm sure that this sets a new land-speed record for self-indulgence, but (chisel these words on my tombstone) I just can't help it:

    The Achendictionary - a quick reference guide to the achenspeak on the Achenblog (this will make absolutely no sense to those not frequenting said blog)

AABB - (Always A Boodle Behind) (not to be confused with ABBA) - not keeping up with the boodle. We are a loquacious bunch!
Achenaddict - one who is addicted to the Achenblog.
Achenara, Achenlater, Achenawhile, bachenawhile - farewell to the boodle.
Achenblog - a blog run by Joel Achenbach on
Achenbloghogging - posting an inordinate number of comments.
Achenbook - a book authored by Joel himself, can be hard to find because they're out of print.
Achenbro - Joel's brother, Kevin, who is in a band called Rox Diamond.
Achenembarrassing - an embarrassing comment made in connection with the Achenblog.
Achenhead - headache.
Achenphotographer - the official photographer of the BPH - currently mo.
Achensecret - secrets said at the BPH not to be repeated at the Achenblog.
Achenshy - shy, especially with regard to attending the Porching Hour or boodling.
AHRRP - Achenblog Handle Reharvesting/Reallocation Program, a phenomenon whereby an individual - possibly the 'loper - would go back to old Boodles to find apparently abandoned handles that would later be adopted as his/her own. Handles acquired in this manner include "Observer" and "sweetiefur."
Bcfauxlettres - the fake letters bc advised we send to various members of the government.
Blorph - 1. Jim Beam; popular with omnigood/omnigoof. 2. a general "feh" statement.
Boddle - boodling gone wrong.
Boodle - (short for Kaboodle) the comments section of the Achenblog.
Boodle Porching Hour (or BPH) - Happy Hour for D.C. Boodlers (disclaimer - anyone is invited but must provide their own airfare and/or lodging).
Boodler - a person who posts comments in the Boodle.
Boodle Killer - the last person to boodle before a significant lag time in others boodling is sometimes accused of being a Boodle Killer. Joel likes to think his appearance in the Boodle has a tendency to kill the Boodle. He is wrong.
Boodling - the act of posting a comment on the Achenblog.
Boodling Out Of Order (or BOOO) - When someone posts a comment in response to a previous comment, but another comment is posted in between the two comments, making the comment look inappropriate or irrelevant.
Boodleville, Boodleborough, Porchville - names of places used by boodlers posting in other venues.
Burnt umber - color to be worn on National Umbrage Day; also a Crayola crayon color.
Dork - nerd; often used to describe frequent boodlers by those that are less than loquacious.
FBBI - Federal Bureau of Boodle Investigations, established in response to the Interloper Problem. Currently Achenfan is the official investigator as well as the Queen of the Boodle.
Feats of Strength - Under the Seinfeld orthodoxy, Festivus is not over until the head of the household is wrestled to the floor and pinned. This typically follows "the airing of grievances."
Feh - an exclamation similar to "darn", generally follows an scc statement.
Festivus - a "Seinfeld" term; an alternative to Christmas that includes "the airing of grievances" and a "Festivus pole"; Boodlers received Festivus gifts from bc at the 3rd Official Boodle Porching Hour on December 6, 2005.
FSM - Flying Spaghetti Monster or the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster; an alternative explanation for how the world came into being, in the context of evolution vs. intelligent design discussions. According to the official site "The Flying Spaghetti Monster: An invisible and undetectable being made of spaghetti and meatballs, the Flying Spaghetti Monster claims to be the true creator of the universe and life on Earth; all evidence of evolution or other origins of life, his followers, the Pastafarians, say, are tricks to throw off the unbeliever. The FSM's hobbies include flying through the universe, touching things with his noodly appendage and pissing off proponents of intelligent design creation theories. He could be defeated by common sense or acceptance of basic scientific principles, if only either of those things existed."
Hal the Schemer - creator of the Achenblog and sometimes technical advisor - always trying to find a way to take over the blog.
Handle - Name by which a poster is known on the Achenblog.
Higgs Ocean - a metaphorical twist on the theoritical Higgs Field, which permeates the universe and gives mass to particles. The Ocean is treated as the fabric of the universe, where everything - matter, mass, energy, thought, etc. - propagates waves of one sort or another in the Ocean.
Interloper ('loper) - Person who posts under other people's handles, changes a handle to insult a boodler and/or makes rude comments.
Kit - Joel's blog entries.
Kit and Kaboodle - the whole Blog -- both Joel's contribution and the comments.
Kaboodle - the comments section of the blog (shortened to boodle).
LindaLoo's Family Tree - simply put, Linda Loomis is related to everyone. Period.
Manfood- Food to which masculine men restrict their diets. Must be artery clogging and have walked on at least two legs. One exception to this rule is quiche. Quiche is not manfood. Salad may only be considered manfood if it contains red meat.
National Speak Like a Pirate Day - September 19 (ARGH!)
National Umbrage Day - a day on which many Boodlers took umbrage at various comments of other Boodlers (this year is was October 31, yes, Halloween) possibly because of a strong 'loper presence that day.
Observer, Observerism - (the O must always be capital) a concept based on quantum mechanics and special relativity that all sentient beings in the universe have equally valid perceptions of reality. Individual perceptions do not have to agree; in fact, most of the time, they don't.
Onanism - ummm... let's just say self-gratification.
Permalink - a devious otherwordly Hal the Schemer invention. Purpose is not yet known, though it is thought that the purpose may be to take over the world. The appearance of permalinks may indicate the end of times is approaching, as they appeared December 15, 2005 and the blog broke December 16, 2005 thus leaving many an achenaddict fiending.
Porching - sitting on a porch, OR, attending the Porching Hour, i.e., drinking.
Raj - Alternative name for the Boodle, proposed by Joel when the term "Boodle" was starting to sound a bit old; short for Garage, the idea being that the Kit would be called the Garret; lends itself well to the term "Raj Rage." um... notsomuch - didn't really catch on.
SAO 15 - (now defunct) Select Audience Of 15, the number of participants Joel initially envisioned his blog would attract. According to Joel, "Ideally the blog will have only about 15 readers, but very intellectual, refined, sensitive readers between the ages of 18 and 35 and with large amounts of disposable income."
SCC - Self-Castigation Club, a means by which Boodlers correct their own typos and grammatical errors, but no-one else's, except Joel's.
Snarky - 1. a characteristic of squirrels; one of the Boodlers is in fact called Snarky Squirrel 2. v. being snippy or crabby; "Don't be snarky with me!"
Tai Shan - THE Panda cub at the National Zoo and possible boodle mascot - that's still up in the air.
THE Porch - Joel's porch, also known as the Achenporch.
THE Tom - Tom Shroder, editor of the Magazine.
Tom the Butcher - Weingarten's name for Tom Shroder.
Tom the Surgeon - Tom Shroder's preferred nickname.
Umbrage - Offense, issue; umbrage is usually taken in a lighthearted way on the Achenblog.
Widdershins - technically it means counterclockwise; the wrong way; however in certain circumstances it can be used to refer to a direction which is against the light, i.e. where you are unable to see your shadow ie. "I am up to my widdershins in xyz" - it doesn't really matter what it means - it just sounds good.
Worlds Colliding- The occasional visit of a Significant Other to the Achenblog for mild harassment purposes. Also known as breaching the boodle.

By Joel Achenbach  |  December 22, 2005; 7:54 AM ET
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How about changing National Speak Like a Pirate Day to somewhere during the Gasparilla Pirate Festival, January 21-28, in Tampa, FL.
Celebrating Pirate Krewes, its parade on the 28th will remind some of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, beads and all.

Posted by: MH | December 22, 2005 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Quick, somebody fax the smelling salts to mo--she'll definitely be having an achenswoon when she sees she's headlining the kit today.

Posted by: Reader | December 22, 2005 8:11 AM | Report abuse

As a former Tampan, and yes that is how it is pronounced, Gasparilla has always been a great Mardi Gras knock-off where otherwise professional people dress like pirates, parade, and drink too much. Not necessarily in that order.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 22, 2005 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Key West has a pirate festival, too, and it has an "arts, culture and literature" component. Ha!

Posted by: Reader | December 22, 2005 8:27 AM | Report abuse

And not to step on TomFan's toes or whoever points out the glitches, but there are some ugly unintended line breaks in there. Cut and paste will catch you on the hidden break codes every time.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 22, 2005 8:29 AM | Report abuse


Key West's Pirates in Paradise Festival. That must be where the Buccaneers former mascot, Bruce the Pirate, retired to when he got sacked after the Bucs changed team colors from frothy tangerine to black and red and silver.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 22, 2005 8:33 AM | Report abuse

'Midst laurels and line breaks stood Mo...

Long may the AchenFAQ thrive!!

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 22, 2005 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Some additions that I'll post to mo's Den:

Ouroboros, Ouroborosian: An Observation that the the Web/'net/blogosphere is like the classical Ouroboros symbols of a serpent eating it's own tail. Cyclical, self-referential, self-propagating and self-consuming. Any references to Alchemy or Egyptian, Greek, Norse, Christian, Far Eastern, Native American, or Satanist cultures, myths or gnosticisms is purely intentional.

Additon to Observer, Observerism: Observerism does not rule out the possibility of an Ultimate Objective Observer. If anyone Observes It, please post to the 'boodle immediately and notify your local Homeland Security Office.


Posted by: bc | December 22, 2005 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Looks like mo has achieved a new height (achenapex?) of achencelebrity. Well done!

Posted by: silvertongue | December 22, 2005 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Per mo's request:

Tempel 1: A comet attacked by NASA and the Bush Administration last July 4th in Operation Deep Impact. Some 'boodlers are considering setting up a summer homes and a good bar (to be called the Hellbar) there with the pending settlement from a lawsuit against the US Government for their unwarranted bombing. The remaining funds from the settlement will be handed over to the evolving Ashton Kutcher/Britney Spears-based Sea Monkeys who were put there by unscrupulous genetic scientists from an unnamed Far Eastern country. These creatures are not currently known to be al Quaida members or Insurgents.


Posted by: bc | December 22, 2005 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Way to go, mo!

I love the Achencommunity! You people keep me grounded and sane, not to mention amused and thinking...

Posted by: Slyness | December 22, 2005 9:19 AM | Report abuse

mo's gonna be so excited! I'm tempted to print this out and create myself a booklet so it more closely resembles a dictionary. It'd be great if Joel or mo could get this published. I know I'd get up early to buy it from B & N.

Posted by: Sara | December 22, 2005 9:21 AM | Report abuse

An idea, (I'm not going to say if I think that it is a good one or not):
Over the Holidays when Joel is too busy to post a Kit, he could have Hal the Schemer post an Achenblank, a blank Kit. There would be an obligatory disclaimer that Joel is busy tending to the camels in his back porch, real life, nativity scene, and everyone is welcome to post whatever their little heart desires.
Then the Boodle would launch on Autopilot, so to speak. Kit? "We don('t) neeeed no steeeenk'n Kits..."

Posted by: Don from I-270 | December 22, 2005 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Old SCC: "theoretical" in the Higgs Ocean definition.


I'm sure in Joel's voluminous spare time, he'll compile and Kit "Quantum Foam: The Best of the Kit and Kaboodle 2005."


Posted by: bc | December 22, 2005 9:32 AM | Report abuse


Um, as long as the 'lopers are excised, isn't "Best of" a redundant description for the Kit and Kaboodle? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 22, 2005 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I must request an addendum. Blorph is also onomatopoeia. It is the sound I make while in the vicinity of Jim Beam.

Posted by: LP | December 22, 2005 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I agree with LP. It was she after all who first introduced the term to the boodle. I would also like to make one change to the definition...

Blorph - 1. Jim Beam; popular with omnibad

(Leave out the omnigood/omnigoof)

Posted by: omnibad | December 22, 2005 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Two days ago, mo said that I should check out my entry in the Achenfaq. I did as mo directed at once, and laughed heartily: mo humorously suggested that I was related to EVERYONE.

But mo is not aware of the great irony of this. It was my feeling of the absence of family that started this genealogy hunt of mine, beginning with that strange wonder as a child as to why there weren't more of us--when?: at CHRISTMAS time.

All of the family that I knew was in the Greater Los Angeles basin (while we four Loomises were separated and isolated from them, to the north, over the Grapevine, in Bakersfield): my dad's sister and her two kids and husband, and my mom's two brothers and their small clans, plus my mom's sister and her family (also known as the Law Enforcement Group.)

But I never had that sense of a "My Big, Fat Greek Family" extended family. (The family mentioned above *was* the family and that was it--well, except for the grannies and the old, divorced and childless, great-aunt. Period.)

And I wondered "Why?" Now I have many of the answers, and as I said before, I stumbled into American and European history in a way that I *never* could have imagined.

And since my husband will have a long Christmas weekend, and since this will be my last day to Boodle in a way so that my atttention is focused (rather than scattered), I'd like to have you meet one more family member, whose words are appropriate for today. Perhaps you'll recognize his words first:

Jim had not yet seen his beautiful present. She held it out to him eagerly upon her open palm. The dull precious metal seemed to flash with a reflection of her bright and ardent spirit.

"Isn't it a dandy, Jim? I hunted all over town to find it. You'll have to look at the time a hundred times a day now. Give me your watch. I want to see how it looks on it."

Instead of obeying, Jim tumbled down on the couch and put his hands under the back of his head and smiled.

"Dell," he said, "let's put our Christmas presents away and keep 'em a while. They're too nice to use at present. I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs. And now suppose you put the chops on."

The magi, as you know, were wise men--wonderfully wise men--who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a lsst word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.

"The Gift of the Magi," O. Henry Porter (on our Porter branch of the family), 1906

Thanks for your gift to the Boodle of the Achenfaq, mo!

Posted by: Loomis | December 22, 2005 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Beautiful post LindaLoo.

Posted by: omnigood | December 22, 2005 10:02 AM | Report abuse

"My Big, Fat Greek Family"

should read:
"My Big, Fat Greek Wedding"

Thanks, omnigood.

Posted by: Loomis | December 22, 2005 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I, too, endorse the idea of that requesting that Joel and/or Hal the Schemer leave some sort of blank boodle open during the Great Darkness.

BTW, when is the Great Darkness scheduled to begin, and when will it end? (Dates/times approximate). When it's all over, I have a hunch we'll look back on it like some episode from "A Canticle for Leibowitz."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | December 22, 2005 10:19 AM | Report abuse

New kit up. Just in case you wanted to know. Something about Joel hobnobbing with the liberal elite.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 22, 2005 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Fiat Caligo, 'mudge.

Or maybe Fiat Nox.

My latin is awful.


Posted by: bc | December 22, 2005 10:31 AM | Report abuse

to make dizzy

or let there be night

I guess my latin is worse!?

Posted by: omnigood | December 22, 2005 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Boodle Festivus Gift for the Achenwimmen (and Achenmen who ain't a-feared of the kitchen)!

I first mentioned my pancake recipe back somewhere in the days of the Geena Davis and new Commander in Chief TV series. I said the show needed more "creative tension." I was trying to use my promo of my own pancake recipe as a case in point of creative tension--holding out on you for a while. The response and requests for my recipe was far greater than I anticipated--who'da guessed it? (And we do have to get firstimeblogger up off her arthritic knees.)

I did mention that my recipe is much like the one Susan Hermann Loomis has in her cookbook, "Farmhouse Cooking." Do I know Susan Hermann Loomis? No. Do I know where her husband (I'm assuming Loomis is *his* last name...not hers) fits on the Loomis family tree? No. So the recipe I'm sharing with you is mine.

So here it is: Loomis's Way-Too-Overpromoted Pancake Recipe. But I trust that once you try it, you will/(should) never ever go back to a Bisquick pancake.

So easy, four dry ingredients:

1 cup of flour
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

Stir together in a bowl until evenly distributed.

Add three "wet" ingredients:

1 tablespoon of peanut oil

(Hains, Hains, Hains...or another brand of very, very light peanut oil. If you use a heavily flavored peanut oil...well, the recipe will be ruined and you might as well toss out the batter at this point. Also make sure that the people to whom you are serving this recipe are not allergic to peanuts, as Science Tim, I think it was, pointed out.)

1 egg
1 cup of buttermilk

Add all the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until all lumps disappear and the batter is smoothly blended, but don't overbeat.

***Very important note. Play with this recipe until you make it your own. I'm serious. Although trained otherwise, I rarely take a knife to level the ingredient in my measuring cup(s) or to level the ingredient in my measuring spoon(s). I "eye them" as level, always being a little more generous than stingy.

I find the batter makes a pancake a little too thick for my taste/preference, and there is a difference if you use 1 percent buttermilk or 2 percent buttermilk. *I ALWAYS* add either another 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup buttermilk and cut the thickness of the buttermilk with 1 tablespoon to 2 tablespoons of water. I find this to be just right. So you can make the pancakes thick, or like crepes--depending on the amount of liquid you add--or don't add.

Make sure your griddle is hot enough. Since my husabnd once managed a pancake house restaurant in the Age of Long Ago, he cooks 'em.

Serve with maple syrup, or fresh fruit or a light drizzle of maple syrup--or my absolute favorite, Denmark-made "Scandinavian Delights" fruit toppings (made without boiling and without lots of sugar, so they are natural [you can see the fruit] and appropriately sweet without being too sweet).

Since I grew up with lots of fresh produce in my childhood home, I prefer the apricot topping, since my mom made her own apricot syrup and jams. Another favorite is the tart lingonberry (expressing my Swedish genes). Also highly recommended are the blueberry, and strawberry, and blackberry toppings. (I buy mine at either Tuesday Morning or TJ Maxx.) I always add, as the crowning glory, powdered sugar "lace"--from a small stainless steel container with a fine wire mesh top.

(I figure the U.S. Senate will NEVER complete its investigation of how the administration used intelligence in the run-up to the Iraqi war, so I decided to share this recipe with you now.)

Happy Festivus, everyone!

Posted by: Loomis | December 22, 2005 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, Mo, thank you! I actually work for a living, so I can only check the blog so often and I hadn't clearly deciphered all the terminology. In the boodle, is it a heinous crime to BOOO? Because I frequently have very witty and/or stupendously insightful comments, but I don't want to get a bad rep.

Posted by: Kim | December 22, 2005 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I think it's only a heinous crime whe Achenfan does it.

Posted by: omnigoof | December 22, 2005 12:15 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: omnigoof | December 22, 2005 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the recipe, LindaLoo. I have duly copied and pasted and am eager to try it out. And a happy Festivus to you, too...

Posted by: LP | December 22, 2005 12:28 PM | Report abuse

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ACH!!!!!!!! who faxed the smelling salts???? *swoon*
Thanks Joel!!!!! i'm seriously touched!!
(and he changed the screwy format!)
all suggestions and additions/changes above have been added to the achenfaq on my site (as i obviously can't change it on the kit - nor should i! that would be breaching the kit!)

and Lindaloo - me thinks you have found a new family, no?

i'm glad you all enjoyed the achenfaq cuz i greatly enjoy our achenworld!

Posted by: mo | December 22, 2005 12:34 PM | Report abuse

LindaLoo, thanks for the pancake recipe! I'll try it out on the in-laws next week...As a member of a large extended family, I can say that there are some disadvantages (why is there ALWAYS a busybody aunt who has to tell me scandalous things I don't need to know?!), but I'm very glad for the Achenfamily and the Achenblog. Was it Peter Drucker who said we would have high tech/high touch? It's right here! Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season!

Posted by: Slyness | December 22, 2005 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I think I will post a kit of some kind tomorrow and then let the Great Darkness descend upon us, probably through the New Year. I'm on vacation next week, in theory. I'll probably do what I usually do on vacation: work. But let's assume that after tomorrow this blog will be on hiatus, through Tuesday Jan. 3, unless there's huge breaking news of some kind. If people want to boodle, they can, but I won't be around to break up any fights.

Posted by: Achenbach | December 22, 2005 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Linda, thank you so much for sharing the recipe. It wil be much treasured for the end product, certainly, but far more for the giver. I agree with mo that this community, is a special family.

My family and I shall feast, and we will think of you and all the Loomis' past present and future to whom we are indebted for the gift of you.

May all your Festivus celebrations be merry, and wonderful.

Posted by: dr | December 22, 2005 2:28 PM | Report abuse

What great gifts! First mo and her excellent Achenfaq (woo-hoo, your blog is in The Washington Post - well, just - then Linda Loo's pancake recipe, which was beyond my wildest dream! Thanks so much - thanks, Joel, for whatever it is you do that brings us all together.

Posted by: mostlylurking | December 22, 2005 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Kim, Boodling Out of Order is practically a requirement - I think it adds to the zaniness. Since I'm time zone challenged and prohibited from boodling at work, I'm always way behind anyway.

Posted by: mostlylurking | December 22, 2005 9:25 PM | Report abuse

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