Re: The things I put up with.

1

So what you're saying is that you need dedicated burrito gloves.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 1:25 PM
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But then I can't set those down. Next I'll be stacking turtles.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 1:26 PM
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Maybe if I had some sort of stand with a clip that would hold the burrito gloves, which would hold the breakfast taco. I could put it on a plate to catch the drips.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 1:27 PM
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4

And then the plate could go on a turtle. Or several turtles, depending on what size they were.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 1:29 PM
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5

Could you ask for a plate?


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 1:29 PM
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6

A plate. Please.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 1:31 PM
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7

I was being sarcastic, not trying it out.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 1:31 PM
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8

A taco you can't eat in three bites is too large anyway.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 1:32 PM
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9

You could get two turtles, one named Tor...


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 1:32 PM
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10

(Three breasts per taco, IOW.)


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 1:33 PM
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11

See, the comment threads always go in unexpected directions.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 1:33 PM
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12

Kotsko!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 1:39 PM
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Could you ask for a plate?

And risk being accused of insufferable privelege? I think not.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 1:39 PM
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14

What's in a breakfast taco?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 1:40 PM
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15

Cereal, milk, OJ, and a piece of fruit.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 1:42 PM
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16

This morning I had one migas taco and one black bean, egg, and cheese taco. Sometimes there are potatoes in them. That sort of thing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 1:43 PM
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17

My solution is not to care about looking like a mess, and then clean up when it's done. Once I was eating a bagel sandwich on the steps of Sproul and a classmate stopped to talk to me; he interrupted himself mid-sentence to say, "Sheesh, this is like going to the zoo!'


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 1:45 PM
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18

This is why I eat food only in bar form, like Homer Simpson and Rainier Wolfcastle.

OT: At the gym, when a woman stows her iPhone in her cleavage, is it convenience or advertising?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 1:45 PM
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At the gym, when a woman stows her iPhone in her cleavage, is it convenience or advertising?

Apple is really thinking outside of the box these days.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 1:49 PM
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20

Bagel sandwiches are a perfect example of this problem.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 1:49 PM
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21

Apple is really thinking outside of the box these days.

Where was she storing her iPhone before?!?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 1:50 PM
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22

This is why I eat food only in bar form, like Homer Simpson and Rainier Wolfcastle.

Sigh...Homer Simpson and Rainier Wolfcastle are food in bar form? (It's like a tic. I can't help it.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 1:51 PM
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23

Also, storing your iPhone in your cleavage while you're at the gym sounds like a quick way to break it by drenching it in sweat.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 1:52 PM
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24

"Come over to the Abdominator and I will shout slogans at you."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 1:52 PM
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25

Advertising for the iPhone or for her cleavage?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 1:55 PM
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26

then I kept thinking of how I was going to have to defend myself against all of you with your phony solutions, so I kept providing more and more detail. And now it's boring.

Maybe you should have written the last third of the post without any punctuation or spacing.

max
['Then it would be a fractal!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 1:57 PM
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27

If you have someone's MobileMe password, you can remote activate the camera, right?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 1:58 PM
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28

Hot super-zoomed smushed breast action!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 2:02 PM
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29

||

Nothing enforces acting like an adult (calling people on the phone, scheduling appointments, dealing with money, etc) like moving. I'm feeling proud of myself.

|>


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 2:05 PM
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30

then I kept thinking of how I was going to have to defend myself against all of you with your phon-ey solutions

Maybe there's an app for your problem.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 2:07 PM
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31

Advertising for the iPhone or for her cleavage?

Intentional fallacy: five yards, repeat first down.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 2:12 PM
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32

29: Sure, but moving sucks. I hope never to move again, and I hope none of my friends ever moves again either, unless it's to move to Austin.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 2:13 PM
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33

29, cont'd: Not that you shouldn't feel justly proud.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 2:14 PM
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34

Calling people on the phone, scheduling appointments, dealing with money like a motherfucking adult!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 2:15 PM
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35

Calling people on the phone....

Who will tie this thread together with a "something something her burritos" joke?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 2:19 PM
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36

I don't get it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 2:22 PM
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37

34 was my response too. Congratulations, parenthetical!

When I'm eating hand-held food like a sandwich or burger, I don't like to put it down and then pick it up again. Never change, heebie!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 2:23 PM
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38

M/tch at 32 captures my feelings precisely, except that I have no reason to hope for people to move to Austin.

But congratulations on feeling like a capable adult, that's a nice thing to feel every once in a while.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 2:26 PM
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39

You should buy burritos 50% larger than the ones you currently buy.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 2:31 PM
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40

I sometimes play a game with myself when I realize a post in Google Reader is from Unfogged. In this game I try really hard not to read who wrote it and guess from the text. This post made me guess "ogged".

I likewise hate to pick up, put down and pick back up messy foods, heebie, but I see this as an excuse to really go whole hog and just tear it up. Don't feel annoyed by your food choice; feel liberated by it.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 2:34 PM
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41

1-4 put me in mind of the burner cover caddy organizer curtains from the old Letterman show.

Heebie, how do you feel about the fourth sixth of the taco?


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 2:40 PM
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42

like a motherfucking adult!

That's right! Thanks, all.

I think I'm sort of inured to moving. I realized recently that I've lived in about 20 different places - we moved 10 times before I was 10, and I moved every year between 16 and 25 to boot (and will have two moves between 25 and 28). It's a pain in the ass but thankfully I mostly just own books.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 2:44 PM
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43

It's one of the most dangerous sixths; highly likely to be eaten too quickly. Be careful.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 2:45 PM
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44

so I kept providing more and more detail. And now it's boring.

On the glass half-full side, it wasn't all that interesting to start with.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 2:49 PM
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45

(I kid because I love.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 2:49 PM
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46

Love breakfast tacos, that is.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 2:50 PM
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47

If a post is boring after one sentence, try adding a second. If it is still boring, make it four sentences. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is hopeless.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 2:53 PM
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48

However, if your sentences converge in length sufficiently rapidly, you can bound your boringness.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 2:54 PM
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49

You mean the partial sums of the lengths of your sentences, I assume.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 2:59 PM
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50

Also on the bright side, you found five dollars. More breakfast tacos, stat!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 3:03 PM
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51

If your sentence length converges sufficiently rapidly, then it implies the partial sums of the lengths of sentences converge as well, dear Neb.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 3:08 PM
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52

Food is so underconstrained that adding an ergonomic constraint does not reduce the number of different foods a person could eat over several lifetimes, even if they never ate the same thing twice. I propose that all foods be designed for easy and mess-free consumption with a spork. All citizens should be issued with their very own spork, which will double as a social security card, driver's license, and proof of legal residence. The savings in soiled clothing, cutlery washing, and ID related hassles will more than cover the transition costs.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 3:11 PM
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53

I am positive that is not true, since a sequence of sentences of constant length is a sequence the length of whose sentences converges quite rapidly, but its partial sums go to infinity.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 3:12 PM
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54

Unless that counts as convergence. I don't know.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 3:13 PM
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All citizens should be issued with their very own spork, which will double as a social security card, driver's license, and proof of legal residence.

Read the Obama-Pelosi-Reid health care legislation a little more closely, Togolosh. I think you're gonna like what you see. Electronic medical records are just the beginning.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 3:15 PM
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56

55: I missed the Spork Panels part. Those secret muslims are a crafty bunch, eh?


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 3:20 PM
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57

55: The only catch is where you are legally required to keep the spork.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 3:22 PM
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58


57: But then where will I put my ipod?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 3:23 PM
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59

In your cleavage?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 3:26 PM
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60

Back to the taco, doesn't the foil provide a sort of exoskeleton, providing support to the taco throughout the eating process while keeping your hands (relatively*) clean?

*This reminds me: I was in a conversation earlier where the interlocutor kept substituting "relative" when he meant "relevant"; is that a common slip? I'd never heard it, but he did it like five times.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 3:30 PM
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61

That's funny, because while you were talking to him, I did your mom five times.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 3:32 PM
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62

is that a common slip?

It's all relative.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 3:32 PM
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63

62 to 61.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 3:33 PM
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64

56: Secret muslims? I thought it was Bart Stupak standing up for the unwanted offspring of America's all-too-casual fork-spoon sexual relations. Use drawer dividers, people.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 3:37 PM
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65

||

Hey, Blago got off almost Scot free. A victory for hair everywhere!

|>


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 3:39 PM
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66

65: And particularly for hair on your forehead.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 4:12 PM
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67

So the finding was "Not Proven" or what?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 4:48 PM
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68

I am positive that is not true, since a sequence of sentences of constant length is a sequence the length of whose sentences converges quite rapidly, but its partial sums go to infinity.

Oh, fine. Converge sufficiently quickly to zero. Happy?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 5:54 PM
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69

Back to the taco, doesn't the foil provide a sort of exoskeleton, providing support to the taco throughout the eating process while keeping your hands (relatively*) clean?

For the first half, yes. For the next 1/6, it's so-so. For the last third, not at all. And in fact, generally the taco/burrito has been wrapped with the foil, and so you're actually unwrapping your food item when you extract the foil. Disaster.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 5:55 PM
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70

And in fact, generally the taco/burrito has been wrapped with the foil, and so you're actually unwrapping your food item when you extract the foil.

This is a sign of incompetence.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 5:56 PM
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71

I think the taco/burrito artists just get frustrated near the ends and mash foil and tortilla all into a heap. I try to stay sympathetic.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:01 PM
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72

This is a sign of incompetence.

Depending on the ingredients, a burrito can be a sign of incontinence.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:04 PM
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73

Heh. I have an ongoing internal dialogue with the staff at the deli that offers my favorite "wrap". Some do wrap the sandwich -- the tortilla surrounding it -- with the foil in such a way that unwrapping it, actually getting at it, unwraps the dang sandwich. People! I know I should probably just make a wrap my own self, but you're the professionals!

I now know which staffpeople put together the wrap so that it can be eaten, and which kind of can't. Every once in a while, I pretend I'm undecided on what I'd like to order, until my favorite staffperson is available.

I never find five dollars while all this is going on.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:07 PM
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74

Zeno's Taco contains multitudes (of halves).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:08 PM
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75

I never find five dollars while all this is going on.

This is a sign of incompetence.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:08 PM
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76

I've got it! Heebie should just purchase her tacos in quantities such that she's full precisely when 33% of each taco remains; then, feed the remaining portions to a dog. The dog would sure like that.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:12 PM
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77

See comment 39, you content-thief.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:13 PM
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78

Totally different, neb. My comment is about tacos.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:15 PM
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79

Plus, the dog? Value-added, that's what that is.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:15 PM
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80

I'm pretty sure having a delicious 33% extra taco would not result in a mature decision about stopping when I've eaten the perfect amount.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:18 PM
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81

Catching up, cleavage makes a handy place to rest your burrito as you eat it, but it's hard to get to the last little bit, so you let the dog eat it?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:24 PM
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82

80: Taco filled with 2/3rds delicious breakfast stuff and 1/3 shit.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:26 PM
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83

Taco centipede!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:27 PM
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84

82: Then you just cross your fingers and hope you start at the right end.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:27 PM
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85

Maybe the problem with respect to the tacos/burritos with stopping when you've had enough is that they're warm, or even hot. If you'd just have a cold breakfast burrito, you could probably stop short of that last third.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:27 PM
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86

Dentataco!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:28 PM
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87

The topics of food and cleavage reminds me that in my youth I did not completely grasp that "brasserie" and "brassiere" were different words.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:29 PM
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88

86: Damn, you beat me to it. But we may be at the point where we need to ask, WAYRTTD?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:30 PM
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89

Taco filled with 2/3rds delicious breakfast stuff and 1/3 shit.

I'm not sure it's possible to separate the shit from the food like that, JP.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:30 PM
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90

while i like the variation in texture/eating method that 'taco' style food construction gives, as a replacement for my default dinner methods of stir-fry (pile of veg/meat with small amount of dense sauce) or curry (volumous amounts of moderately thick sauce over the veg/meat), i don't really like eating tortillas. Corn ones always fall apart, and wheat ones have little flavor and everyone eats too much wheat anyway. and i don't like to touch my food with my hands, at least once i'm done with preparation.

then there is 'kebap' option, a number of bit size peices on a skewer, but htats sort of crude anyway and only can be cooked easily on a grill.

most everything else depends either on too much carb or meat. the first is nutritionally suspect, the latter envifonmentally so.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:30 PM
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91

87: That's not the only thing you weren't grasping when it came to brassieres.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:31 PM
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92

That is true.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:31 PM
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93

WAYRTTD

"Why are you ralphing thirty tacos, dear?"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:32 PM
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94

89: Wow, people used to comment on your blog!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:34 PM
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95

And I used to post on it!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:34 PM
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96

This problem overwhelms me.

With dilemmas such as this confronting us daily at home, what can possible justify our continued presence in Iraq and Afghanistan?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:34 PM
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97

96.2: as stated above, Kebabs.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:36 PM
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98

95: As a close reading reveals.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:36 PM
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99

96.2: The last 1/3 is so messy.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:37 PM
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100

Kebab and melons.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:39 PM
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101

I'm not sure it's possible to separate the shit from the food like that, JP.

No kidding.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:42 PM
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102

The thread in 89 is really something. Standpipe should grace the internet with its presence more often. But b-n's proposal of feeding one efficient digester to another was the real stroke of genius.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 7:07 PM
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103

I just had a guy come to the door, in uniform, saying he was from some alarm security company, and generally chatting me up. Except given the topic, the questions were all "So, do you guys have an alarm system? Looks like your door isn't fitted with a contact. Looks like you're expecting a kid!" and all of a sudden I felt like I was being asked to divulge specific information about how we're vulnerable to break-ins. Also it's 8:30 in the evening. So I got his name and employee number. I feel slightly like an idiot for being skittish, but whatever.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 7:14 PM
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104

Actually, their webpage has a place to click called "Verify a Security Representative!" specifically to address this situation. His representative number popped right up with his name and photo. What a weird way to market alarm systems.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 7:18 PM
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105

"Did we just creep you the fuck out? See? You need an alarm!"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 7:20 PM
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106

47: The food was boring and the portions were too small.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:10 PM
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107

103, 105: especially useful as a sales tactic since pretty much the only thing home alarm systems are good for is triggering false alarms and over-extending the cops.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:19 PM
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108

Are alarm systems worthless? We don't have one, but we'd loosely floated the idea at one point.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:21 PM
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109

The LAPD attempted to stop responding to them for a while, although I'm not sure it worked. They cited a 95% false alarm rate.

Which makes sense, actually. I've had burglar alarms used as an example to teach me Bayes rule: say that the probability of the alarm going off given a burglary is 90%, and the probability of being burglarized on any given day is, oh, 0.001%, then the probability of the alarm going off at all would have to be incredibly low to prevent that outcome, but of course they're designed with panic buttons and sold to panicky customers and just generally are a panic-oriented product with lots of ways to fail.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:28 PM
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110

If you'd like to gain all the benefits of an alarm system, by all means put one of those signs in your lawn and put a blinking light on the wall. It'll do every bit as much good.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:29 PM
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111

Alarm systems are great at catching your teenagers sneaking out in the middle of the night.


Posted by: kaye | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:31 PM
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112

put one of those signs in your lawn

We have stickers on the windows leftover from the previous owner. But I just admitted to Brandon The Security tech that they were fake!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:32 PM
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113

A friend of mine in NYC whose parents were art dealers/historians lives in a classic Woody-Allen-movie-type apartment filled with 18th and 19th century French art. She's required by her insurance company to have an alarm system, but the alarm has shorted and gone off enough at this point that she's been told by NYPD that if it does so one more time, they'll no longer respond to her address. Oops.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:34 PM
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114

Are alarm systems worthless?

Doesn't it kind of depend on what you're trying to prevent? My observation of people who have alarm systems seems to fall into three categories: 1) Genuinely high-crime neighborhoods where there is a real risk of home invasion robberies; 2) People with something valuable and easy to steal; and 3) People who watch TV news a lot and have mean world syndrome.

"Valuable and easy to steal" is of course subjective, but I wouldn't put my own stuff -- for example -- in that category. Aside from a four-year-old laptop, I have no electronics, no jewelry, and no furs. I don't even have any good prescription meds. What else would someone steal?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:35 PM
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115

Doesn't it kind of depend on what you're trying to prevent?

No.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:36 PM
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116

No jewelry?

If I were a woman I'd have tons of jewelry. I love jewelry. In fact, I've had two pairs of earrings for several years (for want of someone to give them to).


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:36 PM
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117

Gah, s/b "In my observation, people who have alarm systems seem to fall into one of three categories."

I should concentrate on writing one thing at a time.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:36 PM
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118

115: suppose you're trying to prevent a bank robbery.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:37 PM
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119

116: Men can wear earrings, nosflow; pierce yours ears already.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:38 PM
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120

118: then maybe! And in fact, any situation where you have extremely expensive goods, highly controlled access (like, nobody goes in there when the alarm is activated), and the ability to count on reasonably dedicated responders is going to be a pretty good candidate for an alarm system. None of these conditions apply in a home, of course.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:39 PM
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121

I didn't think this was a high crime neighborhood until Brandon The Security Expert tutted me for not knowing there'd been break-ins nearby.

Actually, I still don't think it is.

There's also 4) Being conspicuously out of place in your neighborhood. We have a bit of that. I've had people ask me if we have the whole house to ourselves. The place is 1300 square feet! But it's definitely newer and bigger than most of the houses.

I don't think we need one. But that's why we'd consider it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:40 PM
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122

in my youth I did not completely grasp that "brasserie" and "brassiere" were different words

These words were involved in one of the two instances I clearly remember in which my language mix-ups caused my parents to go into peals of laughter. The other was when I called the "Deutsch Country Days" festival my uncle was helping to organize "Douche Country Days."


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:41 PM
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115: In all seriousness, why not? If I had a friend living in, I dunno, the Badlands, I'd totally agree she should have an alarm system, because I think it would be a useful deterrant to something that might actually happen.

When my brother-in-law, on the other hand, impulsively said yes to a door-to-door security system in the midst of Bucolic Suburbia, my sister and I laughed our heads off for about two hours before she called and insisted that they come back and un-install everything and tear up the 39-month contract.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:41 PM
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Anyone else beginning to suspect that Sifu runs a robot-based home-burglary business on the side?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:42 PM
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119: these earrings would not look good on me.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:43 PM
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If I had a friend living in, I dunno, the Badlands, I'd totally agree she should have an alarm system

Scary tourists? Marauding prairie dogs? Oh, not those Badlands.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:44 PM
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121: I was being sloppy. I was using "high crime" to mean crimes against people, not property theft.

I do think there is some vulnerability to being conspicuously the newest/prettiest/most distinctive house on the block, if only because other people may assume from that that you have the toys and portable objects to go along with your supposed higher income/status. I agree with you that an alarm is unlikely to solve this problem; most of the security issues that I'm aware of are best addressed by being gossipy chatty and well-connected.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:45 PM
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115: In all seriousness, why not?

Because the math doesn't work. The chance that your alarm will be a false alarm is 10 or more times greater than the chance that it will be a real emergency, even in the most high-crime neighborhood. The police know this, but they are obliged to respond to alarm calls. So they will respond, but they sure as hell won't hurry about it, because they know (to a first approximation) that it's a false alarm.

If you are in a high crime neighborhood, the home invaders could come into your house, abduct everybody resident, grab the high-dollar items just in case, retire to their van, wait for the police to show up, ring the doorbell, and leave, and then bring you back into the house and finish clearing you out. Or, in a more likely situation, they would take the laptops and jewelry and be out of there in 10 minutes, leaving you to cool your heels for 20 or 30 minutes waiting for the police to arrive. Or, in the most likely scenario, you or the dog or an earthquake or cosmic rays would set the alarm off, and the police would be dispatched to your house when they could be responding to actual calls.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:46 PM
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Audible alarms, on the other hand, are actually quite effective.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:47 PM
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these earrings would not look good on me.

Flickr pool!


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:48 PM
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129 cont'd: and the inevitable false alarms will only piss off your neighbors!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:49 PM
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What about an audible alarm that just calls your cell phone? I'm sure that's out there. Then if you're out of town or something, you call the police.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:50 PM
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Huh, I guess the article I linked contradicts 129. Never mind! Buy a shotgun! Or, um, snakes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:50 PM
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132: unless you have webcams and stuff so you can look at what's going on, why wouldn't you just be acting as a false alarm-middleman?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:51 PM
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Aren't all home alarms audible? It's not like you're the guy who's being held up at the convenience store and needs a secret button.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:52 PM
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Oh, so Sifu shares all my prejudices and more.

126: No, these Badlands.

(And for fairness' sake: Children's photos spotlight the 'Goodlands.')


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:52 PM
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134: I thought the false alarms were from setting it off by mistake, not actual system failures.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:53 PM
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My ears aren't pierced, Witt.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:54 PM
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137: there are lots of points of failure.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:55 PM
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Failure is pointless.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 8:59 PM
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With that attitude, it is.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 9:20 PM
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Here you go, Witt.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 9:32 PM
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137: We had an alarm system once. For extra security at night, you could go upstairs and activate the motion detector on the ground floor. It was, by far, the easiest legal way make sure everybody on your half of the block was aware that you were a forgetful asshole.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 9:41 PM
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It has been a while, but I recall that the alarm company would call you if the alarm went off because 99.9% of the alarms were triggered by somebody living there. If you answered the phone and said "Rosebud," they'd know it was you tripping a false alarm. If you answered the phone and said "Spandex," they'd tell the cops to shoot into the house until nobody moved. If you answered the phone and said "Give me a second," they'd give you time to call your wife on the cell phone to see if you should say "Rosebud" or "Spandex."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 9:47 PM
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Get an alarm. You don't even need to set it - 90% of the effectiveness is the deterrent value of a visible box on your wall (standard police advice to homeowners in Britain). A large dog is even more effective, but costlier in time and money.

Leafy suburbs are extremely vulnerable to professional burglars, not least because you don't have proper neighbours. Opportunists looking for the price of the next rock stay in the city; guys making a serious living selling good stuff cruise the suburbs.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-18-10 1:23 AM
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The LAPD attempted to stop responding to them for a while...They cited a 95% false alarm rate.

Bingo. We don't respond to burglary alarms, only robbery. We don't go to a burg unless there's eyes on scene like the owner or a security guard to verify an open door, broken window, etc.

Genuinely high-crime neighborhoods where there is a real risk of home invasion robberies

Different areas of the country might vary, but around here, if no one in the house is involved in the drug trade your chances of being the victim of a home invasion robbery are approaching zero.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-18-10 1:47 AM
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Generally, burgs are middle of the day, when people aren't home. Often a knock at the front door first to see if anyone's home. If your kids are home alone, they're better off going to the door and yelling that mom's in the shower or something rather than not answering. Typical burg is often to support a habit, taking stuff they can carry out quick and sell for cash. Electronics, jewelry, prescription narcs, etc. If the mattresses are overturned they're looking for guns.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-18-10 1:52 AM
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*This reminds me: I was in a conversation earlier where the interlocutor kept substituting "relative" when he meant "relevant"; is that a common slip? I'd never heard it, but he did it like five times.

Yeah, one sees it a fair amount. Historically it used to be accurate ("I'll find grounds more relative than this").


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-18-10 6:23 AM
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If the mattresses are overturned they're looking for guns.

How could you possibly sleep with something like than under the mattress?


Posted by: Opinionated Princess | Link to this comment | 08-18-10 7:25 AM
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I do think there is some vulnerability to being conspicuously the newest/prettiest/most distinctive house on the block, if only because other people may assume from that that you have the toys and portable objects to go along with your supposed higher income/status. are a drug dealer.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-18-10 7:28 AM
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Generally, burgs are middle of the day, when people aren't home.

Our neighborhood was hit repeatedly by a local workday burglar several times over the winter. He was in many ways very skillful and in others really stupid - he hit the same house three times in these daring lightning strikes during very narrow windows of opportunity but the third time he forgot his gloves - and the local cops seemed very frustrated by it. Once the warrant was issued and they went to his mom's house to serve it, the word was out and the guy disappeared.

During a similar spate of burglaries a few years ago an alarm company sent some door-to-door reps through the neighborhood and I shocked the one who came up to me by saying, "Get the fuck off my property." There had already been mention on the neighborhood listserv of the same sort of "I see you've just had a baby; I see you're getting the RV ready for a vacation" talk and I really wasn't interested in giving this visibly smug kid the opportunity to pretend he could scare me.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 08-18-10 7:35 AM
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he hit the same house three times in these daring lightning strikes during very narrow windows of opportunity

After the second time, I think I'd start leaving bear traps behind the couch.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-18-10 7:53 AM
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I'd think bear traps would be an even more effective method of teaching Bayes' theorem than hypothetical burglar alarms.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-18-10 8:15 AM
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I'd think bear traps would be an even more effective method of teaching Bayes' theorem constant vigilance.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-18-10 8:22 AM
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I interrupted a daytime robbery at a neighbor's house when I was a kid. (Memo to burglars -- it may be daytime, and the grownups may be at work, but do try to plan your thieving around the time all the kids get let off the school bus.) We were all getting off the bus when we heard an alarm going off. I was surprised anyone had alarm -- most folks didn't even lock their doors. So, neighbor-boy JT and I walk straight up to the front door of the house in question (I don't even know why -- we had decided a cat set the alarm off), when the door opens, a dude is standing there with a pillowcase full of loot, and he says, "Get out of the way, kids! This is a robbery!" I screamed holy hell and ran home, but JT ran after the guy as he raced to his car and wrote down the plate number. The guy was quickly arrested and turned out to be a Pagan (motorcycle gang) and a heroin addict.*

*The burglar died not too many years later of a heroin overdose. JT died a couple years ago of an oxy overdose.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-18-10 8:26 AM
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155: That's like an after school special if the networks were honest about how much they hated children.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-18-10 8:50 AM
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But was the pillowcase optimally packed?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-18-10 9:05 AM
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Maybe if the guy was dressed like a Pagan, it wouldn't matter, but in general I would think that a pillowcase would not be your best bet for holding loot from a daylight burglary. To remain as inconspicuous as possible, I'd go with reusable grocery sacks or a book bag.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-18-10 9:28 AM
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I was surprised that there was a neighborhood in Philly known as the Badlands (since I don't remember one). It turns out it's the neighborhood where my mom grew up, and where I had a job in the mid-90s.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-18-10 9:35 AM
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158: I still remember that it was white with black and gold stripes. (I had to identify it in the police station.)

156: The whole JT story is a sad one. When we were kids, he was always the banker when we played monopoly and he always, always cheated. He later went on to be a trader on Wall St. and ended up losing his license pretty quickly (to precisely no one's surprise) due to illegal machinations (helped along by a coke habit). He ultimately moved to Miami and was engaged in a variety of sketchy wheeler-dealings. After he died his family discovered that he had secretly married a Russian stripper.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-18-10 9:35 AM
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