A Tale of Two Peters

I only remember seeing one show at the old 9:30 Club on F Street. Was Peter Case and must’ve been 89 or 90 or so. We got there really early, Gordon and Babs and I, and planted ourselves right up at center stage. I’m sorry to say I can’t remember any song that he sang, though. He only had two solo albums out at that point, so I suppose I can guess a bunch of songs he mostly likely would’ve sung. But I can’t specifically remember any one.

I do recall this one story he told, about a friend of his, who remarked about the fall of Communism that was happening at the time. His friend was now waiting for the fall of Capitalism. He said that somebody else hearing this asked, “What are you, an anarchist?” “No,” said the friend, “I’m a Christian.”

I remember also that Peter Buck jumped onstage at one point. After the show I dashed downstairs to the dressing rooms to get Peter Case to sign a poster and some 45s and a CD that I had with me. While he was talking to somebody else, Peter Buck wanted to see what I had brought. He fancied himself a collector of Peter Case 45s, but he didn’t have any of the ones I brought. I was awfully proud as he flipped through them. “I don’t have this one! I don’t have this one either!” Then he noticed that they weren’t US pressings. “Oh, they’re European,” he said. “I don’t collect European.” I was of course heartbroken.

I don’t know what happened to the poster or the 45s, but I still have the signed CD. In the jewel case is a guitar pick that I must have grabbed at some point.

A year or two ago I saw Peter Case at Jumpin’ Java in Vienna VA. I talked to him after the show and mentioned the old 9:30 Club show. Peter Case remembered that Peter Buck joined for the encore and they played a Plimsouls song, “A Million Miles Away.”

Last Year’s News



For the moment anyway, the home page of The New York Times is letting me know what were the most popular articles from February 13, 2008. See this article, for example, where a beagle (gasp!) wins at Westminster.

Thanks, Grey Lady, for that blast from the past!

Middle Cyclone

The always astonishing Neko Case, singing the title track to her new record.

(Does anyone know anything about music? Does this song weave back and forth between 3/4 an 5/4 time? Seems like wild, wild stuff to me.)

What I Saw Last Year

  1. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
  2. Match Point (2005)
  3. A Good Year (2006)
  4. The Secret of Roan Inish (1993)
  5. Proof (2004)
  6. This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006)
  7. The Good German (2006)
  8. Atonement (2007)
  9. Cold Comfort Farm (1995)
  10. Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951)
  11. Veronica Guerin (2003)
  12. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
  13. The History Boys (2006)
  14. Darling (1965)
  15. Cache (2005)
  16. The Claim (2000)
  17. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008)
  18. Bread and Tulips (2000)
  19. Notes on a Scandal (2006)
  20. The Fallen Idol (1948)
  21. Why We Fight (2005)
  22. Wordplay (2006)
  23. The Philadelphia Story (1940)

I saw all of 23 movies last year, every one of them on DVD from Netflix. I haven’t seen a movie in an actual theater since 2005. I’ve seen dozens of ballets, in very grand theaters, these last few years. But no movies outside the house.

I didn’t especially love any of the 23 movies. Didn’t especially hate any of them, either, but that’s because I’m not counting the 5 that we just gave up watching.

With nothing that I absolutely loved, there’s no clear favorite to pick, so let’s just go with a top 3, how about. In no particular order:

I liked Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, maybe because I thought from seeing the trailer that it was going to be cloying and unbearable. And it wasn’t. It had my totally favorite actress of all time, Shirley Henderson, although, sadly, she played the heavy. Amy Adams was fun and charming her ownself in the ingenue part. And Frances McDormand and Ciarán Hinds were delightful, although you would expect that, as great as they always are in anything they do. So, all in all, a good time.

Speaking of incredible actors, there’s also Notes on a Scandal. I swear I’d watch Judi Dench read the phone book. (On the other hand, I’d rather not have watched her pee on the rug in Iris.) While Cate Blanchett strikes me as awfully uninteresting in person, she’s amazing on screen when she tries, as she does here, as opposed to, say, The Gift. And extra bonus points for the always memorable Bill Nighy.

Finally, I liked The Claim, which turned out to be a version of The Mayor of Casterbridge set in the frozen northwest. Again with Shirley Henderson, playing a lovable whore this time, thankfully not with a heart of gold. Also, it had Sarah Polley, another favorite of mine.

Seems like, even if the movies weren’t that great, I liked them because they had actors I like in them. Not too surprising, I suppose.

The movies we gave up on were Alfie (mutual decision), Tristan & Isolde (I gonged this one), Sylvia (another mutual decision), The Wind that Shakes the Barley (mostly Dawn, but it wasn’t doing a whole lot for me), and Sarkar (totally Dawn’s decision, but I suspected she wasn’t going to make it through).

Census Data on Last Names

Here are the last names of my Facebook friends, as of 12/24/2008, along with data from the 2000 census. Gives rank and count, e.g., Johnson is the second most popular name in the U.S., with almost 1.9 million people. Bohls, however, is not so popular. Only 282 of us.

Name Rank Count
Johnson 2 1,857,160
Wilson 10 783,051
Martinez 11 775,072
Clark 25 548,369
Scott 36 420,091
James 80 233,224
Hamilton 107 194,331
Boyd 164 149,476
Andrews 206 129,320
Oliver 248 111,641
Dean 250 109,230
Fuller 256 106,682
Schwartz 330 84,699
Ramsey 373 76,625
Saunders 439 67,210
Moody 479 62,344
Cain 516 57,873
Briggs 522 57,297
Randall 574 52,495
Christian 597 51,177
Wyatt 604 50,874
Lin 624 49,360
Kane 636 48,527
Conrad 786 40,102
Tapia 845 37,201
Mayo 965 33,126
Shea 990 32,069
Holliday 1,686 19,488
Pfeifer 3,302 9,963
Gracia 4,371 7,514
Luckett 4,504 7,254
Seely 5,805 5,455
Mickle 8,237 3,702
Bennington 9,835 3,032
Esch 9,998 2,974
Sydnor 10,969 2,662
Eckel 11,423 2,531
Polen 12,088 2,368
Class 13,943 1,985
Cerezo 19,657 1,269
Millay 20,618 1,194
Salam 26,469 867
Weygandt 34,799 614
Cotts 64,385 289
Bohls 65,668 282
Rognlie 114,852 141
Nayer 147,095 103

Got this email. I think it might be fake.

From: Federal Bureau Of Investigation <fbi-robertmueller@fbi.org>
Sent: Monday, December 22, 2008 10:53:55 AM
Subject: Federal Bureau Of Investigation. ( Your ATM-CARD Is Ready ).

Anti-Terrorist and International Fraud Division.
Federal Bureau Of Investigation.
Seattle, Washington.
Telephone Number : (206)-201-2749.


This is to Officially inform you that it has come to our notice and we have thoroughly completed an Investigation with the help of our Intelligence Monitoring Network System that your ATM-CARD is currently  with the (G.P.S.) Global Postal Service in Nigeria.

We have ordered the Federal Government of Nigeria to contact FedEx, Dhl, Ups, First Bank, Zenith Bank and other firms to release the bank draft and Atm cards to the GPS (Regular Mail Service), So that they can be mailed out to the rightful owners, because there are too many complains/Rip Off Report coming to the desk of Federal Bureau Of Investigation that people are not getting their Instrument to cash their funds and gratuity, e.g people are not getting their Bank Draft and Atm Cards due to the fact that people are not meeting up with the required demands and amount imposed by some of this delivery companies, firms and other sectors and constant require of fees that are too much for people to handle or pay.

We have completed this investigation and we have verified the entire transaction to be Safe and 100% risk free, due to the fact that we have been assured that your ATM CARD will be delivered to you once your Full Name and Address is confirmed. Delivery of your ATM-CARD is free!!! You only need to pay $95 for insurance only.

Therefore, you are instructed to contact the Global Postal Service with the Information below:

Full Name: – Mr. Richard Oscar.
Valid Contact: – globalpostalserviceng01@gmail.com
Tel # +234-7025-9828-94.

You will be required to e-mail him with your information such as:


FBI Director.
Robert Mueller.

NOTE: In order to ensure your ATM-CARDS gets delivered to you ASAP, you are advised to immediately contact Mr. Richard Oscar via contact information provided above.

Science is Fun


scientistsSpotted this story on Yahoo News: Scientists say a rock can soak up carbon dioxide.

It had this picture, with the caption:

Scientists sample a stalagmite of carbonate minerals in an undated photo courtesy of Columbia University’s Lamont -Doherty Earth Observatory. A rock found mostly in Oman can be harnessed to soak up the main greenhouse gas carbon dioxide at a rate that could help slow global warming, scientists say.

Looks like a totally fun job to have.

Doo Lough and Mweelrea Mountains

Doo Lough and Mweelrea Mountains

Originally uploaded by ebohls

Must have been Lifehacker that recommended MIcrosoft’s Image Composite Editor, to put together panoramas of photos. They said it was pretty good, so I downloaded it.

I thought it was going to be somewhat tricky to use, trying to figure out similar points in the photos. And then I was worried about the different angles of the pictures, that it would look weirdly bent.

But, nope. No worries. The program does everything for you.


Give it up for Peter Wallison

From the New York Times, September 30, 1999, Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending by Stephen A. Holmes:

In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980’s.

”From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,” said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ”If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.”

Full article here.

(h/t The Corner)

The Crisis

Oh, maybe I should explain.

Another reason I liked the previous quote from The Mayor of Casterbridge so much is because of the financial meltdown we’ve been experiencing lately. And the bailout plan that’s been floated by Secretary Paulson.

Yesterday there was the  big summit at the White House, trying to hammer out a final deal. Apparently the House Republicans staged some sort of revolt, also apparently with the support of Senator McCain. I imagine the scene as something like this:

[W]ith the demand and response of real cash the jovial frivolity of the scene departed. A lurid colour seemed to fill the tent, and change the aspect of all therein …

You think?