The “am I the new owner of this thing?” open thread.

You know what to do! (Don’t forget: I’m super busy with work – if you get stuck in moderation, I’ll fish you out as soon as ever I can!)

Standard FYI clause: My rule of thumb is that I wait for 2 hours after Ta-Nehisi would usually open a thread (roughly noon, EST), and if none is forthcoming, I put one up here.

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289 Comments

  1. Dear anyone who is interested in such things:

    Trader Joe’s Chicken-less Mandarin Orange Morsels are really, *really* good.

    /gazes longingly into the empty bag

    • We just did lunch from a salad shop. I am disturbed how full I am after eating little more than a bowl of lettuce.

    • caoil

       /  February 23, 2012

      Please do tell more about these chicken-less items, said the vegetarian.

      • They’re really good.

        That’s about all I got.

        Oh, wait! And also: Product of Canada. So, presumably they’re available on your side of the border, too? But no information on the packaging as to who produces them in Canada.

        • caoil

           /  February 23, 2012

          I love packaging like that! I can think of a couple of suspects, actually (gardein being one), but have not seen that specific product in their lines. Oh, mystery foods, y u no available here?

        • Dex

           /  February 23, 2012

          Random storiness. Ok, so awhile back, my wife and I went on a self-guided beer and cheese tour around Wisconsin. We camped while there and got to see a lot of the countryside as we meandered from beer to cheese and back again. Gotta say, the scenery, and the Swiss barn decals in particular, are breathtaking.

          Anyway. Along the way, we happened upon this depressed little town that had a brewery. It seemed to pretty much the only active thing in town. The brewery produces and private-labels beer for Trader Joe’s, among other places. We went to the bar to sample some beers when they found out we were Canadian, they started gushing. At the front of the brewery in this totally white-bread town, is a picture of an Indian-Canadian couple that had taken over the brewery and completely transformed it. Years before, the couple had been a customer of the brewery and imported private-labeled beer into Canada for retailers at home. Eventually, they grew to be such a large customer, they did what amounted to a hostile takeover of the company. I’m sure it was scandalous at the time, but accompanying the picture of those two Canadians– whom I’m sure are the only non-white people in town– was a graph that shows how the production of the brewery had grown maybe twenty-fold since they took over. Success and employment has a way of healing old wounds, I guess.

          • That’s awesome.

            Cue “Canadians are taking over our beer” scaremongering, though.

            • You say that like it would be a problem.

            • corkingiron

               /  February 23, 2012

              Somebody had to.

            • Dex

               /  February 23, 2012

              They’ll probably take away my citizenship for saying so, and it pains me to admit it, but the beer scene in the US completely mops the floor with its Canadian competition right now. As in, if the American micro- and mid-brewers looked backward, they wouldn’t be able to see more than one or two Canadian breweries due to the curvature of the earth. The one exception I can think of is Unibroue, but it’s a tiny, tiny list indeed after that. Too much regulation, not enough competition.

              The one area where Canadian beer is better than American is at the mass production level. Molson- and Labatt-produced beers are far better than, say Coors and Bud.

              • corkingiron

                 /  February 23, 2012

                A list of microbreweries – just for BC. Swan’s is excellent, if you’re ever in Victoria.

                http://www.bcbeer.ca/brewery.aspx

                • Dex

                   /  February 23, 2012

                  I’ll have to check out Swan’s, thanks for the rec.

                  Admittedly, it’s been awhile since I lived out west, but there was virtually no craft brewing presence there up until I left in 2000. That said, I do love me some Big Rock beers. I visit Ontario and Quebec regularly these days and there’s simply no comparison to the craft beer scene that we have down here. :(

                  I can go to my local Binny’s store and choose from as many different individual brands of beer as any given Beer Store, LCBO or SAQ has individual total bottles or cans of beer. We’re talking multiple orders of magnitude in difference.

                  • corkingiron

                     /  February 23, 2012

                    Yeah – I won’t dispute that. The Government-run stores don’t do a good job of stocking local stuff. I’m betting that almost very one of those craft beers in BC have begun since 2000, when the regulations were relaxed. There are two “mid-level” breweries available via the Government stores here on the Island – Granville Island Brewery and Lighthouse Brewery here in Victoria. Their Race Rocks Ale is one of my favorites.

                    • Which is interesting, because I remember a local distillery employee here in Portland telling me that one of the biggest advantages to living in a monopoly state was that they always provided the local distiller’s with plenty of shelf space. Guess the Canadians aren’t so keen on that.

              • taylor16

                 /  February 23, 2012

                One of our saddest discoveries when we moved from Michigan to Indiana was finding that Labatt was not a standard cheap draft beer on tap at every bar.

                Sometimes you just want something cheap and light, and I will never warm up to the Bud/Miller/Coors of the world. Never.

          • aaron singer

             /  February 23, 2012

            As a beer-loving Illinoisan, What brewery?

            • Dex

               /  February 23, 2012

              It’s called Minhas. If I’m being honest, the beer was just meh.

              • aaron singer

                 /  February 23, 2012

                I have tried a couple of those Trader Joe’s line of beers, but have been underwhelmed, though I can’t remember exactly which ones I bought. They were cheap, however.

        • corkingiron

           /  February 23, 2012

          What kind of weird genome manipulatin’ freak would mix together chickens and mandarin oranges in the first place? I mean, I already feel sorry for the poor chickens that are forced to breed with buffaloes to produce buffalo wings.

          • You have clearly never had TJ’s Mandarin Orange Chicken–a staple food for the 8 year old in our home.

    • On my list for when our TJ’s opens (it darn well BETTER be on time) this spring…

    • SWNC

       /  February 23, 2012

      Aside from not being able to go to Horde meet-ups, a lack of Trader Joe’s in my life is one of the other very few things I regret about living in the sticks.

      • helensprogeny

         /  February 23, 2012

        The only thing I have in abundance that makes the absence of Horde meet-ups acceptable is multiple Trader Joe’s. One 5 minutes from my house. Several people who work there are my neighbors. Life is pretty good.

        My sympathies for your lack.

        • taylor16

           /  February 23, 2012

          Every single time I visit my parents in metro Detroit, I return with not only my luggage and my dogs, but also a box of wine and 2-3 bags of random groceries from Trader Joe’s. Man, I love that place.

          Whole Foods? Pffft.

          • helensprogeny

             /  February 23, 2012

            Exactly. I pass right by a Whole Foods nearly as often as I pass by TJs. But I can count on one hand the number of times a year I stop there.

  2. Yes. Yes you are.
    Unless the Khal decides to open his own in the next five minutes. Then no. No, you’re not.

    Did I mention to everyone I starting blogging London fashion week? Here’s an interplanetary disco line:

    http://anibundel.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/london-fashion-week-fall-2012-rtw-meadham-kirchoff/

  3. carlos the dwarf

     /  February 23, 2012

    ARGLEBARGLE I am having a bad day. It’s like everyone is trying to hold out some hope in front of me before yanking it away at the last minute. Job opportunity? Yanked. The prospect of FINALLY being done with this stupid website I’m building? Yanked. The prospect of making a decent project happen at my current job? Yanked.

    • This calls for emergency kittens. Here, meet Maru:

      http://anibundel.wordpress.com/2012/02/18/caturday-blogging-37/

      • MightBeLying

         /  February 23, 2012

        Have you seen Maru try to fit in many small boxes?

        • Oh that was UNFAIR. it took everything I had not to LOL at my desk when he tipped over.

        • taylor16

           /  February 23, 2012

          Heh. Now that is the kind of thing I need to be watching on a terrible day like today. :)

          • I would send you pictures of my fuzzballs, but I am at work, and the are all curled up into balls at home await my return.

          • helensprogeny

             /  February 23, 2012

            I visit Maru every day. We were devastated at the thought that Maru might have been a victim of the tsunami. My partner, an even bigger fan of Maru than I, got a Maru book for his birthday. Maru rules. Also, he’s our virtual substitute kitty while we’re kitty-less.

        • If they fits, they sits.

      • caoil

         /  February 23, 2012

        Maru is awesome. I bought his book!

        (also, I’m amused by the fact that a) we both posted cats in response, and b) those cats are of similar stock, Scottish Fold/British Shorthair)

        • Those are the best cats. It’s the flat faces.

          • taylor16

             /  February 23, 2012

            Flat faces, like Cee-Lo’s cat of evil from The Voice?

            (cue me giggling at my desk at the mental picture of him with that cat…)

            • The Fluffy White Cat Of Evil is the best new gimmick that The Voice has introduced in their second season.

              • mythopoeia

                 /  February 23, 2012

                I once bought a boyfriend a white stuffed animal cat specifically to be a fluffy white cat of evil. True story.

          • caoil

             /  February 23, 2012

            They also have the most amazing fur, it’s like teddy-bear plush. My previous rescue cat, Tyler, was probably British somewhere in his background as he had the stocky build, the plush fur, the slightly-squished face, and the stumpy tail. A big round ball of love.

    • caoil

       /  February 23, 2012

      :-/ Sorry you’re having a bad day!
      They won’t fix it, but how about a distraction by way of big-headed kittens?

    • Oh honey, I’m sorry. I wish I could bring you cookies and a nice alcoholic beverage of your choosing.

    • intangir

       /  February 23, 2012

      Ugh, I hear you – I’m in the middle of a project that was already 10x as large as anything I’ve handled before and nothing about it is going well in any way.

    • Oh no, the DC one? So sorry, honey.

      • carlos the dwarf

         /  February 23, 2012

        No, a different one. They called me to set up an interview, I missed their call, and now they’re not responding to my responses.

    • SWNC

       /  February 23, 2012

      I’m sorry. That really stinks.

  4. efgoldman

     /  February 23, 2012

    Kevin Drum posted this wicked cool map of the Interstate Highway System, rendered as a subway map. You can embiggen or follow his link.

    http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/02/chart-day-interstate-highways-subway-map

    • aaron singer

       /  February 23, 2012

      Neat. I saw a similar recently of the US highway system. While the interstate highways are all quite familiar to me (I was obsessed with geography as a little kid, and am only slightly less so today), with the US highway system I am less with familiar.

    • This made me want to get in my car and leave my house and keep going till I get to Seattle. It’s only one road!

      • Let us know when you get here.

      • NealH

         /  February 23, 2012

        When I moved to Seattle 9 years ago from Boston, I got on I-90 at the Allston tolls in Boston and aside from one exit gaps in Buffalo and Rochester, MN, was on I-90 the whole way–probably missed no more than 5 miles of the entire route. Favorite Stretch–Missoula to Couer D’Alene. Least favorite–Gary to the western suburbs of Chicago. Mystery Stretch–Wyoming, where the fog was so thick, I could barely see the edge of the road.

    • We have a print of it hanging in our hallway. It’s the bomb.

  5. Seriously. What’s with that?

    • I don’t know? Which “that” are we talking about?

      • That being in the lack of an OTAN 3 days in a row.

        • Ah, that “that”!

          Yeah, I have no idea. I think he must be very busy writing/researching, because he’s barely blogged at all. But other than that? No clue.

          • This. Are we glad we have emily and the student lounge though? I know I am!

            • taylor16

               /  February 23, 2012

              I know I am!!

              (I was glad when he finally did post a few things yesterday, though. I was about to start googling to see if something had happened. It’s crazy how much I start to worry about the Horde and its overlord when people disappear for a few days…)

              • Me, too. I had a whole worried open thread set up to run when he suddenly appeared. I waited half an hour, deleted the worried part and posted it un-worried, but yeah. I was totally with you yesterday.

              • helensprogeny

                 /  February 23, 2012

                I’m exactly the same way. It’s why I follow TNC on Twitter, so if he goes without posting for too long I can check the Twitter stream and see if he’s at least communicating somewhere.

            • Bookwoman

               /  February 23, 2012

              Yes we are. My daughter (who is a member of the Horde – I’ll let you guys try to figure out who she is) remarked yesterday that I was much more talkative here than at TNC’s place. I think that’s because here it feels more like a living room with a bunch of people sitting around talking and getting to know each other, while at TNC’s (much as I love it) it’s like an enormous cocktail party. I don’t do so well at enormous cocktail parties.

              • O_O.

                WHOWHOWHOWHOWHO?

                • I find this parental trend disturbing.

                  • SWNC

                     /  February 23, 2012

                    I found out recently that my aunt has been emailing all of my Facebook updates to my mom. (My mom luuuurves email, but has a deep and abiding mistrust for the rest of the Internet. This does not, apparently, stop her from wanting to know what I’m saying to family members who are on Facebook.)

                    • That’s……really weird. I would not be cool with that.

                    • Bookwoman

                       /  February 23, 2012

                      I don’t do Facebook because it feels like that’s my kids’ domain (plus I spend enough time on the internet as it is.) I’m not sure if my daughter or I found TNC first, but I started posting in the OTAN before she did.

                • Bookwoman

                   /  February 23, 2012

                  I’ll give some hints. She doesn’t post a whole lot. She lives in NYC. And she is more than passingly familiar with Latin and Ancient Greek.

                  Some people (I’m looking at you, sara_l_r), will know immediately who I’m talking about.

                • mythopoeia

                   /  February 23, 2012

                  I just got an email that said “I semi-outed us at Emily’s,” but you know, at this point it’s all but outed: yep, hi, I’m Bookwoman’s daughter. (And every time she has a squeeing fit over Downton Abbey with the rest of y’all I start giggling at my desk.)

                  Calling home is always a hilarious exercise in the Bookwoman/mythopoeia family, as she and I tend to end up discussing something posted at TNC’s and my poor father just sits quietly, befuddled, on the line. :)

              • Sorn

                 /  February 23, 2012

                TNC used to have a living room when he first started. Now it’s more like a banquet hall, but this place here or this here place, reminds me of what we started out as. Things change, I guess.

              • efgoldman

                 /  February 23, 2012

                So, we are both parent-child Hordeists. Glad I/we aren’t the only one(s).

            • i’m also happy that emily had the courtesy to chase out the skeevy freshmen making out in the corner before i got here. nothing bores me more than ignoring drunk people trying to grope each other.

  6. dmf

     /  February 23, 2012

    not sure what the pc version of being treated like a stepchild is but it’s nice of you to fill in the gap.

    • aaron singer

       /  February 23, 2012

      Mazzy Star? There’s a name I haven’t seen in quite awhile. One of those 90s groups that I haven’t heard anything from since.

  7. Did I mention my new-found fame? No?

    Well, I has it.

    http://imgur.com/opott

    Just need to make it through the next three rounds. THEN FAME AND FORTUNE ARE MINE! BWAHAHAHAHAH!

  8. Oh, and PS, dear friends and fellow Hordians:

    PLEASE FOLLOW L_ROBERTS’ LEAD AND SIGN THE PETITIONS THAT I POSTED TODAY.

    It’ll take you 30 seconds, and it’ll help bend that pesky arc a smidge closer to justice.

    I thank you!

  9. taylor16

     /  February 23, 2012

    If there’s ever a week when I need an OTAN, this is it.

    Found out yesterday that my BFF’s brother died suddenly. He was 30.

    I’d known this kid since he was about three. We grew up together. They were my second family and he was like my little brother when we were growing up. I haven’t seen him in a long time, since he moved across the country a few years ago. The family didn’t see him much, either. He had struggled with an alcohol problem when he was younger, but as far as the family could tell, he was doing okay. He had a good job, had a girlfriend for awhile (although they broke up a couple of years ago). The family was worried about him, but he seemed fine.

    Then on Tuesday, someone found him in his apartment. They’re not sure of the cause of death, but they’re guessing alcohol poisoning. And he died sometime over the weekend, so no one found him for a few days. Now everything is up in the air, because no one is sure whether they have to fly out to retrieve the body or whether there’s going to be more extensive postmortem testing that will take awhile. For now, they’re just waiting, with no idea of when the funeral will be. And I’m sitting here, 400 miles away from my best friend, with absolutely nothing I can do and no idea when I can/should rush back to Michigan. So I just sit here, going through my normal life like everything is fine when my best friend and her family’s (who were my second family growing up) lives are completely shattered.

    There’s no need to feel bad for me – it’s not my loss, and I’m not hysterical or anything. I just feel shocked and helpless. And keep picturing T as a little kid with a bowl haircut who used to follow us around and drive us crazy … and then the high school kid who was an awesome athlete and artist but so, so shy around all of us. And I’d love nothing more than for something to distract me from thinking about it, because there’s absolutely nothing I can do for anyone until I know more details.

    Thanks for listening, guys. It feels better to just get it out. And probably better that it’s over here, where it’s a little more private.

    Fuck death. That’s what I’ve got today.

    • sorry for all this. It does suck, doesn’t it.

      • taylor16

         /  February 23, 2012

        Yes, it does. Death sucks. Alcoholism sucks. It all sucks.

        Thanks.

    • Oh no, I am so sorry to hear this.

      • Also, it IS TOO your loss.

        • taylor16

           /  February 23, 2012

          Thanks.

          I don’t know, it feels weird. I haven’t seen him in a long, long time. I don’t really know him as an adult at all. And it’s not like he was my BFF.

          But, damn. Half of my childhood memories are tied up in that house, with T and his siblings. It does feel like a loss. It just feels like I *shouldn’t* feel like that, because it’s not me who’s suffered the biggest loss here.

          • selenesmom

             /  February 23, 2012

            There is no right or wrong way to feel about someone’s death.

          • Feel however you want. It’s your loss too, even if it’s just the loss of the root of those memories.

    • Bookwoman

       /  February 23, 2012

      I’m so sorry.

    • caoil

       /  February 23, 2012

      Sympathy to you, and to your friend’s family.

    • Ow. That’s awful.

    • MightBeLying

       /  February 23, 2012

      Oh, honey. I am so sad for you and your friend and the family.

    • selenesmom

       /  February 23, 2012

      Sorry to hear this. You are right to take a clear-eyed look at whether you can do anything about it at the moment. This shows that your self-preservation instincts are working.

      • taylor16

         /  February 23, 2012

        I feel like I’m being a bad friend for not rushing home right now.

        But BFF and her family have to deal with the details right now, and I recognize that if I rushed home there would be nothing I could do – I’d just be sitting at my parents’ house waiting. I can do nothing. And I have a job here, so it’s not like I can just go sit there for a week waiting for things to settle down.

        But it feels so, so, so wrong to just be sitting here filing insurance claims and chatting with my coworkers while their world is crumbling.

        • dmf

           /  February 23, 2012

          they will need people/support for the long haul and that means people who are keeping up with the things (like work) that they need to do to take care of themselves and their lives.

    • Oh sweetie. I’m so sorry. As neighbors says, this is very much your loss, and of course you can’t think straight or know what to do. I hope you will be surrounded by loving arms, and your friend and family as well, as the next few weeks unfold. I’m so sorry.

    • carlos the dwarf

       /  February 23, 2012

      I am so, so sorry.

    • Wow. That’s a big one to be carrying around. Feel free to vent all you want.

      • taylor16

         /  February 23, 2012

        I was going to say – this is why I didn’t come over and chat at your blog or on FB last night. I was basically staring at the walls all last night. This sucks.

    • chingona

       /  February 23, 2012

      I’m so, so sorry. That’s really awful. I hope everyone involved can be a comfort to each other. And yeah, fuck death.

    • corkingiron

       /  February 23, 2012

      I’m so sorry to hear this T16. Find somebody you love and hold on tight.

    • Ian

       /  February 23, 2012

      I’m so sorry. Obviously you are feeling the loss, and I know the sense of helplessness you’re talking about. Anyway, thinking of you.

    • SWNC

       /  February 23, 2012

      That’s so awful. My heart goes out to you and your friend and her family. I am so sorry that you’re all going through this.

    • socioprof

       /  February 23, 2012

      I am so sorry, Taylor. I’m giving death the finger right now.

    • That’s just heartbreaking all around. :-/

    • I’m so sorry. It’s natural for you to feel upset. I’ve been experiencing something which is similar but not as bad – someone I’ve known since he was little is now developing mental health problems. It’s so sad to think of how they used to be, and wonder what went wrong.

    • Sorn

       /  February 23, 2012

      Sorry to hear.

    • ahhhhh babe
      <3 <3 <3

    • helensprogeny

       /  February 23, 2012

      Oh, Taylor. OMG. I’m so very, very sorry for your loss. And yes, it IS TOO your loss. And truly, fuck death, fuck the helplessness it brings with it.

      Please just take good care of yourself right now, feel what you feel. The time for helping will come.

      Hughughughughughughughughug.

    • wearyvoter

       /  February 23, 2012

      I’m coming to this late in the evening. (Moonlighting job is back up and running.)Death needs a good kick in the teeth.

      My sympathies to you and to your BFFs family.

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  February 24, 2012

      Well, arrangements with the nightmarish tentacle-sex demons were managed for last week and this week to be fucked for eternity on enstar’s behalf, so fucking Death Itself should be, dare I say, doable.

      … I’ll see what I can arrange.

      Sorry to hear of your and your friend’s loss. Pray you can get the time and care you deserve.

  10. WAKnight

     /  February 23, 2012

    Recently on the Blog:

    I ruminated on Catholicism, Contraception, and Thomas Aquinas. My Spouse also found out some handy quotes to flesh things out.

    http://testudomeles.blogspot.com/2012/02/contraception-and-catholicism.html

    • OT in the OT, but just yesterday someone smart used the phrase “flush things out” in conversation with me, when they clearly meant “flesh things out,” and thank God it was on the phone because I literally made a face.

      • MIL once said “I’m in the balls of the building” when she meant the “bowels” (which, on further reflection, not that much better). Again, good thing it was over the phone, because there was much guffawing.

    • dmf

       /  February 23, 2012

      not sure how much reasoned argument matters when dealing with cults of personality but you might find this heartening:

      http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2012/feb/15/contraception-con-men/

    • taylor16

       /  February 23, 2012

      Just because I’ve been so depressing this blog, I will post this to make you LOL…

      I clicked over there to read the post, and my foggy brain registered the title of your blog as “Testes.” Cue wide-eyed double-take.

      Back with more substantive comments in a few…

  11. Chicago foodies will appreciate this—

    This weekend my school has a big fundraiser for it’s scholarship fund, and the hundreds of people that go are split into smaller groups and sent to individual homes and locations for dinner. In my case, my husband and I are with the group going to Aviary—A place so fancy and expensive I have literally never considered going there. but I think for sure DEX has been there? It’s supposed to be awesome. I’m now worried about what to wear.

    • MightBeLying

       /  February 23, 2012

      You will have to come back and tell us about it! I’m still waiting to hear about the El Bulli dinner … (DEX …)

      • Dex

         /  February 23, 2012

        I’ll talk about this more over at TNC’s at some point, so I’ll apologize in advance for flogging it:

        My wife did a dump of her pics from the meal to Flickr, but I haven’t combined them with mine and culled them yet. It was epic in every sense of the word. Honestly, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that we never do, and probably won’t do something similar anytime soon. Which is not to say that it wasn’t wonderful. We had planned on going to Charlie Trotter’s (open for ~25 years and routinely among the best restaurants in the world) for our fifth wedding anniversary and then the restaurant decided to shut down.

        El Bulli proper was something that we could never have done, even if the restaurant were still open. It was the best restaurant in the world for years, and Ferran Adria is this last century’s Escoffier. Grant Achatz worked there years ago, and re-created the El Bulli experience with not only Adria’s blessing, but also with his personal help as well as some of El Bulli’s key chefs pitching in.

        The menu was basically 29 courses that changed the world of cooking. Each one was presented to us with the year in which it was served, the chronological number of the recipe*, as well as a story about what made the dish significant. Virtually all of the ‘new’ techniques we see in restaurants today were done 10, 15, even 20 years earlier by Adria at El Bulli. My wife did the non-alcoholic version of drink pairings, and we had to decide as a table to get either the wine pairings or the cocktail pairings, the latter of which was still heavily based on wine, but had some other surprises mixed in.

        The meal lasted five hours and thirty minutes, and we had eaten almost nothing during the day that we went to dinner. I would say that we could reproduce MAYBE 3-4 dishes that we had at home, but even that is a stretch. As a fairly hardcore and accomplished home cook, it was truly a humbling experience. Really, the meal was too much, foodwise. I’d say that I finished 24 of the 29 courses, but left half or more of the others. You know there’s too much food when you talk only one spoonful of what is basically a foie gras creme caramel that is impeccably executed simply because you know you won’t make it until the end of the meal.

        I’ll probably write up a longer post that talks about highlights, but I don’t want to lose this.

        • Dex

           /  February 23, 2012

          *Oops. The asterisk was referring to the numbers on the recipes. They gave everyone a menu to peruse at the start of the meal, then took it away and gave it back at the end for people to take away as a souvenir. Every recipe has the year and this mysterious number. I was curious, so I asked what the number meant, and to my delight, the floor captain explained that the restaurant recorded all recipes and gave them consecutive numbers as the years progressed. By the time the restaurant closed, there were 1846 recipes, the significance being that this is the year that Escoffier was born.

        • cofax

           /  February 23, 2012

          Wow, that sounds really amazing.

          • Dex

             /  February 23, 2012

            Embarrassing moment of the night: I’m totally part of the great unwashed. I was born of it and am still of it, despite my plush life. Not too long into the meal, the floor captain announces: excuse me, sir, we’ve identified you as a leftie, so we’ll be serving and placing all of your drinks on your left-hand side for the remainder of the night. I mean, it was super-thoughtful and not meant to be condescending at all, but I felt like a big old loser for not being disciplined enough to drink only with my right hand and always place the glasses down directly on the right-hand side. (Just to get a mental image, there were several instances during the 5+ hours where we had no plates in front of us but had 4+ glasses in front of each of us with various beverages, so I often sat chatting while holding the glass right in front of me or to my left-hand side.)

        • taylor16

           /  February 23, 2012

          That sounds awesome.

        • watson42

           /  February 23, 2012

          Wow. That sounds really, really amazing.

        • MightBeLying

           /  February 23, 2012

          Aah that sounds amazing, I am so happy that you got to go.

    • Bookwoman

       /  February 23, 2012

      That sounds wonderful! In my experience, you can wear a pair of black dress pants and a pretty top to just about any restaurant and it’ll be fine.

      We want menu details next week….

      • selenesmom

         /  February 23, 2012

        second this. Generally, people will notice your top half more, especially since you will be sitting at a table a lot of the time. I think black skirt is OK too if that is more your style.

        Was it here that I was having the Hermes scarf conversation? (does not literally have to be Hermes, can be any nice scarf that goes with your personal style) Here is the kind of situation where if you have such a scarf, you might think about it.

    • Dex

       /  February 23, 2012

      Aviary is awesome, but it is REALLY expensive. Honestly, they gave us an amuse-bouche and it was not good at all. We also ordered one bite each to see if the other food was good and each one was unimpressive. The cocktails, however, are really fantastic. The flavor is great, but the creativity and interactive nature of the drinks will likely set the Aviary apart from anything you’ve ever experienced. If you’re not into the experience side of things, some people would find it prohibitively expensive. I didn’t find it stuffy at all, but we were there during a snow storm and the place was quite empty. Grant Achatz sort of carries on the legacy of El Bulli where there’s excellence of food while allowing for fun and frolic.

      • Yeah—it’s an event for school–I’M NOT PAYING for anything. The group of people from the school that will be there are being hosted by the family. So it’s win-win: see an amazing place, eat amazing food, drink amazing drinks without the sticker shock.

        • aaron singer

           /  February 23, 2012

          Do they have much food? I thought it was mostly a bar—an amazing one, nonetheless.

          • Well, the whole thing is called the Scholarship Dinner, so I’m guessing they’re going to get food in there somehow. (I looked at the website, they have a private room at Aviary, I’m assuming we will be there…At this point, being semi-cryptic, the family hosting are the business partners of Achatz, they send their kids to my school, so they probably have a lot more leeway with doing whatever the hell they want there then most people. I’m personally hoping that means they bring in food from Next—which is next door, right?)

    • Dex

       /  February 23, 2012

      Oops. Just to follow up on the fashion choices. When we ate at Next, I was arguably over-dressed, but I was sporting Hugo Boss, a tie, and French cuffs. Almost none of the other guys had ties on, and my buddy had a nice shirt and sweater and fit right in. Most women had dresses on there, but nothing crazy formal.

      When I went to aviary, I was rocking nice jeans, a button down and a casual sport coat and felt fine. I think my wife had jeans and a sweater. We’re casual people, though, so we were probably on the lower end fashion-wise that night. Lots of guys would wear shirt only, although it would be a nice shirt.

      Don’t sweat it. One of the best things about Chicago is that the best new eateries have really turned their backs on the old-white-people-eat-after-a-funeral-er-attending-the-opera stuffy style of dining.

      • socioprof

         /  February 23, 2012

        I love French cuffs. So elegant.

      • aaron singer

         /  February 23, 2012

        What do you have against Chez Paul?

      • taylor16

         /  February 23, 2012

        Lots of guys would wear shirt only, although it would be a nice shirt.

        Well, a nice shirt is definitely the way to go when you’re going pantless. :P

      • watson42

         /  February 23, 2012

        I love French cuffs. They are my brother’s preference, despite being a software engineer. I made him some (IMO) cool Damascus steel cuff links for Christmas. When/if I make it to Chicago, I might have to bring a pair along for you. As a fellow left-hander, foodie, knife junkie, and member of the Horde, it seems appropriate. :)

        • Dex

           /  February 23, 2012

          Sometimes I feel like we share a brain. I would totally buy those cufflinks from you. I built a desk recently using live edge maple and the thing I was most excited about was that the edge ended up looking vaguely like Damascus steel. Was going to link to a pic but apparently Flickr’s servers are down right now.

          • watson42

             /  February 23, 2012

            I know what you mean about sharing a brain. A little freaky, yeah?

            I would love to see the desk. Maple is probably my favorite hardwood. Among other attractive attributes, I love that it can take on so many characteristics, visually.

            I’m working on a rather complex (for me) Damascus billet right now. Well, not right this second, but over the last few weeks. I have a very specific end result in mind, but don’t know if it’s going to work. I’m actually freaked out about the next step – I need to twist three different billets, each with a different, very specific pitch to the twist. I haven’t twisted Damascus in a long while, and the last time I did I burned the damn thing AND it delaminated because I got above welding temperature. New shaded face shield – the steel got way too hot because I was looking for the color I would see through the old one.

            If it works, I’ll post a photo somewhere of the finished billet when I’m done.

    • socioprof

       /  February 23, 2012

      Have fun!

  12. selenesmom

     /  February 23, 2012

    Bookwoman, last night I discovered that one of my favorite books that I own has unexpectedly (to me) become somewhat rare! If you want a paperback used copy of Matt Love’s The Far Out Story Of Vortex I, first edition (I don’t think there were any more), 2003, Nestucca Spit Press (proprietor: Matt Love), from Powell’s, it will set you back $65.00. But it is out of stock.

    • Bookwoman

       /  February 23, 2012

      That’s so cool when that happens. :)

      I have a signed copy of Ricky Jay’s “Cards as Weapons” that he gave me when he worked briefly at the auction house I worked at in the ’80s. (If you don’t know him, he’s a magician and sleight-of-hand master who’s had roles on TV and in movies.) I didn’t think anything of it other than “this quirky guy has given me a very odd book.” A few years ago I decided to look it up, and lo and behold signed copies are going for close to $1,000!

  13. selenesmom

     /  February 23, 2012

    oh hell, lack of edit function has exposed my incompetence with HTML, sorry all

  14. carlos the dwarf

     /  February 23, 2012

    Can I just say that I really appreciate it when you host the OTANs? Mostly because your commenting system works on my office computer and Disqus rarely does.

    • Dex

       /  February 23, 2012

      I second that.

    • cofax

       /  February 23, 2012

      Thirded!

      If my office system allows me to comment once in Disqus, I usually can’t comment again unless I close IE and/or re-start the computer first.

    • Me and my free WordPress platform live to serve, my friend! : )

  15. selenesmom

     /  February 23, 2012

    Anyway. For those who don’t know, Vortex I was one of the coolest events ever. In 1970, the American Legion planned to have its annual convention in Portland, Oregon, and rumor had it that Richard Nixon was going to speak. Anti-war protests were planned, and things got tense. Then Governor Tom McCall, a Republican of the extinct good kind, scheduled a state-sponsored Woodstock-style rock concert at a state park some miles out of town on a beautiful river, publicized it widely and gave the state police orders not to enforce the laws against public nudity or pot smoking too severely. Nixon canceled his appearance, but the festival went on and was well attended. The protests in town at the American Legion mostly fizzled.

  16. Last Sunday I stopped by the Farpoint sci-fi convention and wound up buying myself some new games. (I haven’t bought anything for myself since, oh Thanksgiving or so, it was high time to self treat.) Hoping to taking them for a test drive at gaming tomorrow night. (And if Sloath is here somewhere, said geekfest is taking place in your neighborhood, if you’d like to geek with us.)

    I acquired as follows:

    Normal game: The newest Ticket to Ride expansion, India. I don’t understand the Mandalay bonus, the explanation was so unclear in English I might try reading it in Spanish instead, but otherwise looks straightforward and interesting.

    Weird game: Nuts. A card game in which you try to grab other players’ nuts. You’re supposed to be a squirrel, BTW, not that you need to be a squirrel to grab someone else’s nuts.

    Inexplicable game: Kittens in a Blender. Do I need to explain that one, or shall I just let your imaginations free?

    • Nuts is totally fun. Ridiculous, but fun.

    • selenesmom

       /  February 23, 2012

      Thank you for sharing with us about your Encounter at Farpoint.

    • intangir

       /  February 23, 2012

      Ticket to Ride has always been kind of a puzzle for me – I enjoy the build-rails-across-the-country theme quite a bit and in theory I feel like I should love the game but it’s always seemed a little flat to me. I think my main issue that there just isn’t enough interaction between players. Aside from blocking opponents by laying tracks in their way, it seems too much like you’re just playing against the deck.

      Do any of the expansions provide more player interaction? I’ve only ever played the base game.

      • If by interaction between players you mean even more fist-shaking and ‘you bastard!’, then yes, lots :) I like all of the expansions better than the base, they all have additional mechanics and in some cases, a lot more tickets and possible routes. For interaction, I can suggest the ‘Alvin & Dexter’ expansion, in which players can place space aliens and dinosaurs in cities and prevent anyone from going into that city; and the very new ‘Team Asia’, in which players are paired up and must share tickets and train cards. Still trying to get the hang of playing for both myself and for the team at the same time, but so far we’re really liking that one.

        • intangir

           /  February 23, 2012

          Haha seriously, aliens and dinosaurs? Wow, you’re not kidding! Both that and the team aspect definitely sound more interesting, may have to check those out.

    • watson42

       /  February 23, 2012

      Re reading directions in other language: my siblings and I came up against this over Christmas with a new game. One of the crucial rules in the English directions was really ambiguous, so we tried the French ones which helped but still not definitive. Then asked my mother for her interpretation of the Spanish ones, which settled the matter. If we had to, we could have asked my father about the Arabic, but thankfully it didn’t go that far.

      • TTR is up to about 10 languages for the rules now. I try to read the Spanish rules first to see if I understand them, then read the English. Sometimes I’ll try Italian or Portuguese just to see how similar the languages really are.

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  February 24, 2012

      Kittens in a Blender is messed up. Seriously, beautifully, horribly messed up.

      Because I try to save my kitteh’s from the blender, clearly I am a Good Entity.

      Because I try to steer all y’all’s kitteh’s into the blender … clearly I am Evil.

  17. In which I try some whiskies that are pleasant but uninspiring. Such are the trials and tribulations of being a booze blogger:

    http://cocktailchem.blogspot.com/2012/02/whisky-review-dalwhinnie-15-vs.html

  18. efgoldman

     /  February 23, 2012

    I wanted to add a snappy caption to this pic (and you’re most welcome to) but to me, it really speaks for itself .Just look at the two faces.

    /large

  19. efgoldman

     /  February 23, 2012

    Oh, and before I forget, let’s all wish HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our own K_Cox, who is so overwhelmed with work today, she might not even check in to see it.

  20. dmf

     /  February 23, 2012

    not sure what funnier saying wee-weed up or talking about Satan as a being in the world:

    http://bloggingheads.tv/morevideos?v=9019

  21. David L

     /  February 23, 2012

    Today in “Suck it, climate-change deniers”: I saw a news item saying that 2008-09 to 2011-12 sets a record for most consecutive winters with snow here in Austin. Meanwhile, it’s 91 degrees here today.

    • It’s around 70 here, went with a t-shirt today. In February.

    • We’re something like 30″ below normal snowfall for the year
      *heads over to another site to look up earlier post about this*
      ahem…i’m back…

      Albany snowfall departure from normal: -24.3″ Syracuse: -52.5″ Rochester: -37.9″

    • David L

       /  February 23, 2012

      It’s actually pretty pleasant here, all things considered. There’s low humidity, a nice breeze, and some high clouds to soften the effects of the sun. I don’t mind the really warm weather mid-winter except for the fact that we’re headed for 4+ months of pretty relentless heat soon.

  22. socioprof

     /  February 23, 2012

    So, Emily, what shall we call you now?

    • Not late for dinner?

      : )

      (I really hope I don’t own this now. I don’t have the bandwidth to do what he’s allowed to happen. This is like that nice little cabin you go to on vacation, but you’d never want to actually live there).

      • I’m surprised he didn’t close the comments of the Rihanna thread since he’s obviously not home.

      • socioprof

         /  February 23, 2012

        “Not late for dinner?”

        Nah–that’s too long.

  23. Weird thoughts this week. I’ve felt good (photography getting a teensy bit of attention, studio space FINALLY getting rented, work calming down, new sushi joint about to open walking distance from my house AND office) and yet there’s a bit of dark…something. Foreboding? Weird. I literally feel trembly right now.

    Started reading a memoir by an old friend and it’s freaking me out, but the foreboding predates the reading, so that’s not it.

    Sigh. What’s up with that?

  24. Dex

     /  February 23, 2012

    Follow-up to gratitude for having a place to chat, I also feel like I should apologize to Emily for not commenting on her real articles. I read almost all of them and enjoy them immensely, but some of the topics are just outside of my obnoxious opinion wheelhouse.

  25. So, George Huguely got 26 years.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/george-huguely-guilty-of-second-degree-murder/2012/02/21/gIQA1ss4TR_story.html?tid=pm_local_pop

    Of course the Post printed a column blaming this on “hookup culture” and college drinking. Which makes me think this: I attended U.-Va. more than *twenty years ago*…we had “hooking up” and we had lots of drinking. I did both. (Note to WaPo: this is not new.) Luckily, no one I hooked up with back then beat me up and no one I dated did, either. One guy I dated turned into a stalker, but I was able to enlist the guys in my dorm to protect me. I wish I could have traveled back in time and sent them on to protect her, too.

    • aaron singer

       /  February 23, 2012

      I love all those “hookup culture” articles. Yet, when you see studies done (or even look anecdotally, at least in the case of my college friends and I), that isn’t really the experience for the vast majority of people.

      • selenesmom

         /  February 23, 2012

        To some extent, it’s just an attempt by people whose idea of social interaction is that a boy calls a girl on the telephone and says “Hi, Susie, it’s John, I sit behind you in math class? And I was wondering if you might want to go to a movie Friday night” to get their heads around the fact that since about I don’t know, 1970? there have been a lot of different ways for people to get together, and sex and “dating” have not been so formalized.

      • SWNC

         /  February 23, 2012

        Yeah, but nobody wants to read an article saying, “Most college students really don’t sleep around all that much.” It’s not good for the page views.

        I’m also convinced that most college students think that *everybody* is having more sex, more drinks and more fun than they themselves are. I think that a lot of people who write those hook-up culture articles never get past that stage.

        • At Reed the psych department ran a survey that confirmed your notion. There was a wide gap between what people actually reported doing and what they thought everyone else was doing. If I remember correctly, there were also a lot of bimodal distributions, so the fact that some people were having a lot of sex, alcohol and drugs probably convinced everyone else that those people were in the majority.

          • selenesmom

             /  February 23, 2012

            Yes, I think that’s all true. There is also the well-known phenomenon that if there is one person on the whole campus having more frequent and enthusiastic sex then you, that person will be your roommate.

            • Thankfully I have only ever been subjected to the ones who forgot to close their windows.

            • David L

               /  February 23, 2012

              I’ve never had this guy/gal as a roommate, but it has been the person(s) upstairs from me in every dorm room and apartment I’ve lived in that wasn’t on the top floor of the building, plus the guy right through the wall from me sophomore year.

              What was really fun was the couple that alternated between very loud fights and very loud sex.

              • My best bud in college had a couple like that literally on the other side of the wall from him. One weekend, we set up his stereo against the wall and I supplied Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries. They never did it again.

                • I remember hearing a story about a guy at my alma mater who calculated the resonant frequency of his dorm room, hooked his computer up to his fairly massive stereo system and set it up to play the appropriate sine wave. To hear tell, the entire dorm started shaking.

                  Your project sounds way more productive.

          • David L

             /  February 23, 2012

            What ISTR hearing is that it’s an application of the 80/20 rule. 20% of the people have 80% of the sex.

          • mythopoeia

             /  February 23, 2012

            This is exactly what happen(ed/s) at my school (Yale), and there’s the survey data to prove it. Most people don’t conform to the binge-drink-and-hook-up stereotype (the mode sexual partners over 4 years of college was 2), but the minority who do reinforce everyone’s idea that they are the majority.

            • Part of that, I think, is from their own personal experience, or at least that’s what happened in my case. I was part of the binge-drinking crowd, so from my perspective, most people did what I did … because when we went out drinking, we went to drink with other people who were drinking heavily, and if we looked around, everyone was drinking, so therefore EVERYONE’S DOING IT.

              Of course in retrospect, it wasn’t everyone, not even close. But yeah, between the people who think “I don’t, but other people do”, and the people who think “I do, and my friends do”, it’s not surprising to me that there’d be a perception that everyone does.

    • I was in college, um, a long time ago? Ok, 20-25 years ago. And this stuff was going on at my college all the time. A lot of classes were Mon/Wed because there was so much drinking going on starting on Thursday they knew no one would take a Friday class. Half the college was smashed half the week and in the morning there’d be as many used condoms as beer cans on the ground.

      No, I was not part of this. I was part of the ‘learned to sleep with earplugs’ and ‘graduated top of the class because it’s not like there was competition’ group. There weren’t many of us.

    • David L

       /  February 23, 2012

      I went to a college with a reputation as a “party school” that, during my time there, eliminated Friday classes for undergraduates because attendance rates were so low.

      Hook-ups were readily available if you knew where to go or who to talk to and there wasn’t much of a stigma against them, but I’d bet there was more sex going on between established couples. Anecdotally, but perhaps unsurprisingly, my understanding was that among straight men, the demand somewhat outstripped the supply, even though there were significantly more women than men on campus.

      At the parties I would go to with predominantly queer attendees, there was a moment late in the night when it became understood that any gay man still there was after a partner for the night. (Usually–and not coincidentally–it was usually some time between when the straight people, lesbians, and guys with boyfriends started heading home and when the last stragglers started to get the hint.) I partook on a few occasions, usually when I was feeling particularly celebratory and/or libidinous, but it was about as emotionally fulfilling as a night with Rosie Palm and her five friends and, even if I had discovered I had chemistry with one of those guys, I’m not sure I could have gotten past my own issues enough to actually form a relationship with them.

  26. selenesmom

     /  February 23, 2012

    Blaming Yeardley Love’s beating death, by a man who kicked through her locked door to get to her, on “hookup culture,” “college drinking” or any other such is basically blaming her. If she hadn’t been sleeping with the men she dated, if she hadn’t gotten together with another guy and pissed off Huguely (shouldn’t she have known he was an unstable drunk?), if she had “sought help” earlier (shouldn’t she have known he was an unstable drunk?), etc. etc.

    • Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. THIS.
      My own anecdotal point was simply trying to communicate that we had the drinking and the hooking up and all that crap at that very same institution a long, long time ago and before I got there it was even more pervasive.

      I hate that those “hookup” articles always seem so Shocked, SHOCKED, you know? I’ve never been on one of those dates you describe in my entire life, for example.

      And that it was NOT her fault. Just that I wish those two linemen who protected me could have time-warped to protect her. Because it was HIS fault, and HE’S the one she needed protection from.

      So, thanks for clarifying my thoughts. I have a headache.

    • taylor16

       /  February 23, 2012

      THANK YOU.

      And you know, I participated in “hookup culture” in college. As did many of my friends. Magically, we all managed to escape without ever having our heads repeatedly bashed into the walls.

      It’s not hookup culture that killed this woman. It was an abusive murdering asshole. I’m so tired of the excuse-making. People will forgive anything if there’s a way to blame it on a female person who didn’t act like a nun 24/7. It makes me sick.

  27. This makes me smile.

    Obama, singing, “Sweet Home Chicago”

    • aaron singer

       /  February 23, 2012

      I’ve always liked this song much more than “My Kind of Town.” Maybe because I’m a White Sox fan.

      • socioprof

         /  February 23, 2012

        Have you ever heard Harold Washington singing MKoT? I love it. I looked briefly on YouTube but came up empty.

  28. Monday was a good day that I have wanted to share with you guys since Monday night. In chronological order:

    1) My boyfriend got a job interview! His first one. …. of his life.

    2) This meant we had to buy him professional clothes, and I got to confirm my long-held suspicion that in well-made clothes that fit him correctly, he is the prettiest girl at the ball. In a sort of, dry-mouthed incoherent “adfjfadl;jfklk i like yooooooooou” sort of way.

    3) He and I finally went shopping for my lovely and generous Christmas gift of a chef’s knife (I tried several at Sur la Table and went with Wusthof), which he generously complemented with a paring knife when it became clear that I was pricing them for future purchase.

    4) And on top of all that I got into Columbia School of Social Work. (No aid award information yet.)

    A good day indeed.

    • Bookwoman

       /  February 23, 2012

      Wow. Many congratulations on everything!

    • MightBeLying

       /  February 23, 2012

      YAY! Yay you! Yay boyfriend! Yay good news!

    • Dex

       /  February 23, 2012

      Four YAYS from me! Seriously, a good knife is life-changing if you’re a hardcore cook, which I know that you are. We registered for a Wusthof Ikon set when we got married, but friends of ours chipped in and got us a couple of Global knives, which we’d registered for individually, and we’ve never felt to get more knives since then.

      Re: clothes. After searching for a suit that actually fit me for 6+ months, I finally bit the bullet and got an slimmer-fitting Hugo Boss one (referenced above). At that point, I’d been together with my wife for 10 years, but when I came around the corner, the look on her face can be loosely translated as DAYUM!!!!!! It was kinda great to know that I could still prompt that look. Several months later, she was searching for a dress for an upcoming wedding and she came around the corner after trying on the umpteenth dress, took one look at my face and said something to the effect that: your face looks how I felt when you walked around the corner wearing that suit. I’m obviously buying this dress.

      Congrats on the grad school admission as well! Best of luck with the financial aid gods.

    • taylor16

       /  February 23, 2012

      Congratulations!!!!!!!! You are really rocking the grad school apps!

    • selenesmom

       /  February 23, 2012

      Tell him he can also wear a skirt if he really wants. Apparently this has been my best sartorial advice of the day, so I might as well go with it.

    • carlos the dwarf

       /  February 23, 2012

      YAY!

    • caoil

       /  February 23, 2012

      Congrats on school! And on an excellent Monday all-around.

    • dmf

       /  February 23, 2012

      tough days to start an MSW, please find internships that might turn into a job or at least some useful work experience and if they aren’t going well early it would be worth finding a new one, good luck

    • You know what the student lounge does better than the mother ship?

      Allows for gifs:

      null

      Also images:

      null

    • socioprof

       /  February 23, 2012

      Yay, all around, Sara!!!

    • Wusthof is good stuff. I got myself a set with gift cards and gift money after our wedding, because my mom still has, in good working order, the set *she* got over thirty years earlier.

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  February 24, 2012

      Woot for deserved admission! Woot for awesome knives! Woot for first interview! Woof for Dead Sexiness!

  29. caoil

     /  February 23, 2012

    Via The Hairpin today, have you Downton fans seen this article about the real house?

    • You are a good friend.

      • caoil

         /  February 23, 2012

        It was the “We found a staircase recently. That was quite exciting.” quote that made me giggle & want to share it. My mind boggles at the thought of living in something that enormous!

  30. Ian

     /  February 23, 2012

    My wife is the dog musher, not me, but this winter I’ve been getting into it a little via bikejoring. Basically you put a sled dog in harness, fasten it to your bike somehow, and try not to get dragged to death. Anyway, I just moved up to two dogs, and last night for the first time I did a 7-8 mile run with no assistance hooking them up, lining them out, etc. Dealt with a couple tangles, a moose, and one of the dogs going temporarily brain dead on the trail. It was fun, and very fast. For the first minute or two, when the dogs are most excited, you have pretty much zero control over them. You just try to stay upright and hope for the best. It’s warm out, so I’ll probably go again tonight.

    • caoil

       /  February 23, 2012

      You are a brave, brave man. Or a little off-kilter. Or both.

    • SWNC

       /  February 23, 2012

      You probably know this, but you’re kind of awesome. (And by “kind of,” I mean “completely.” What did I do last night? Clean the bathroom.)

      • Ian

         /  February 23, 2012

        What did I do night before last? Watched a Korean melodrama about a 30-year-old woman with Alzheimers. You have no idea how boring I am.

        • Ian

           /  February 23, 2012

          Also slovenly, it turns out. Girl at the cafe this morning: “What kind of dog do you have?” My clothes being the only basis for her asking that question.

        • Dex

           /  February 23, 2012

          What he’s not mentioning is that he did so while honing his luthier skills. The guy’s a total snore.

          • Ian

             /  February 23, 2012

            Last night I had a brilliant idea for a plate-joining jig that, in practice, turned out to be the dumbest idea ever for a plate-joining jig.

            • Dex

               /  February 23, 2012

              Over time, I find I am increasingly less prone to coming up with ideas that could end with the severing of an appendage. I count this as progress.

              I bought a plate joiner specifically to use when I built my desk and I was absolutely bowled over by its awesomeness. I didn’t need it for strength at all, but in terms of precise alignment for glueup, it was amazing (it was two boards with undulating edges that weighed ~80 pounds each, so I needed all the help I could get).

              • Dex

                 /  February 23, 2012

                That said, will apparently forever be prone to coming up with awkward phrases like “increasingly less prone.”

                • Ian

                   /  February 23, 2012

                  My (nascent) shop is hand tools only, so I’ll never lose anything bigger than a finger. I was looking for an easy way to align the (very small) plates while exerting just a little pressure so as not to starve the joint. A have another idea. It involves a piece of birch plywood, small sticks, spring clamps, and maybe six shot glasses full of fishing sinkers. It cannot fail.

                  • corkingiron

                     /  February 23, 2012

                    Without knowing the dimensions and the alignment, this idea might be useless – but I’ve seen joints clamped together with pvc pipe – cut the lengths as needed and then slice the pipe horizontally – the pvc “memory” will exert a significant amount of force.

                    • Ian

                       /  February 23, 2012

                      I think that would be awkward, and probably too much pressure. Together the plates form something close to a 12″x12″ square. But I already told you, my new idea is perfect and cannot fail! The PVC idea might be good for things like gluing in the lining, though. Stuff you’d ordinarily use a bunch of clothespins for. And with PVC I wouldn’t have to worry about gluing my clamps to the work.

                  • efgoldman

                     /  February 23, 2012

                    …and maybe six shot glasses full of fishing sinkers…
                    And maybe, what, three more filled with a realy good Canadjun rye?

    • I must ask what the “brain dead” section of this adventure entailed.

      • Ian

         /  February 23, 2012

        My wife caught up to me towards the end (she was on her sled with 4 dogs), and Scout’s brain broke. She didn’t know whether to keep going forward or to go back and play with her siblings, so she just started spinning around in the middle of th trail. Which is a problem what with the harness, gangline, and neckline attached to her.

        • I’m both laughing and horrified at the same moment. Dearie me, I’ve never done what you or your wife do, but I’ve been with a dog that’s lost its damn mind at just the wrong moment!

          So glad everyone lived to tell the tale. Without a visit to the vet/doctor.

  31. Ok everyone, i know not all of you are on twitter but I must bring word that TNC has come out from under his rock and is currently attempting to get into a twitter war with Chris Brown.

    You’re welcome.

    • Ian

       /  February 23, 2012

      Isn’t that exactly the kind of thing he’s always telling us not to do on his threads?

    • caoil

       /  February 23, 2012

      Speaking of brave souls!
      I’ll have to look at his timeline when I get home (thanks a lot, work firewall!).

    • There’s that twitterwar and the Slutty Reporter Avatar twitterwar going on at the same time right now. My tweetdeck popups are HILARIOUS.

    • Srsly?

      Srsly.

      To the Twitters!

      • Damn it, not seriously. THAT COULD HAVE BEEN AWESOME. Or not. But I would have enjoyed watching, that much I know!

  32. dmf

     /  February 23, 2012

    35,0000 postal job cuts, yikes

  33. Holy crap. 226 comments?

    Duuuudes.

  34. Still feelin’ good, ya know?

    Went out and celebrated with a VENTE mocha.

    Now I am at home with a completed MS, a heater, and the sun is coming out. In February. Does it get any better than this?

  35. wearyvoter

     /  February 23, 2012

    I am taking a vacation day tomorrow to burn off some use-it-or-lose-it time. I will be cleaning and doing laundry. And then I will be watching the weather and hoping that it is not as blustery as predicted, because I hear a chai tea latte calling my name, and Panera brews them better than I can. And Panera is a third mile from my house, and a very tempting walk if I’m not facing a headwind.

    • It’s nice to be able to walk to Panera, isn’t it?! Happy day off.

    • Use-it-or-lose-it time is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it’s annoying that there’s a point at which you stop accumulating vacation time. On the other hand, sometimes it’s nice to have to take a random day off.

      • David L

         /  February 26, 2012

        I have what I consider an even crueler form of use-it-or-lose-it. For vague historical reasons, our leave resets on July 1, and any vacation time remaining from the previous year has to be used by January 1 or it disappears. Because we acrue at one day a month for the first 10 months of the HR year, it’s impossible for me to take a full two weeks off in January, February, or March because I can’t combine vacation time with any other leave and I can never have more than 7, 8, or 9 days, respectively.

  36. wearyvoter

     /  February 23, 2012

    P.S. Thanks for opening the lounge. Couldn’t get on from work today. Too hectic.

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