Re: There's a kind of hush all over the world tonight.

1

I guess the people having sex right now won't be chiming in, so my timing was perhaps unfair.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 1-10 11:22 PM
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This involves that coffee shop girl somehow, right?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 1-10 11:30 PM
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2: No, just chatting with a friend, and there were no limericks, though I encourage them at all times.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 1-10 11:36 PM
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I am not.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 1-10 11:54 PM
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(heavy breathing) Yes. Oh! Yessss


Posted by: Earnest O'Nest | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:51 AM
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Does this mean that our brunch meetup identifier should be something about sexing Stanley?

(Also, I'm analyzing why I feel squeamish about answering this question myself. I'd talk about it in person like you did, probably, but in this world it seems too personal.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 4:28 AM
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Funny, Thorn, I think that I might feel as you do in this case, but there are many personal things that I have said in this forum which I would not discuss in person as easily.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 4:54 AM
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I'm also thinking it might be easier to discuss dislikes than likes. I'm sure I've mentioned much more intimate things here, too, but this one just struck me as not something I'd want to talk about, though I'm not offended or anything by those who do. Just musing.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 5:10 AM
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I like midday sex. Morning's great, but late morning and early afternoon are even better. I like to be really awake, fed, clean, and sober.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 6:02 AM
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10

I like sex whenever, but only with a very, very restricted subset of commenters.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 6:10 AM
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No more visits from apostropher, Tweety.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 6:12 AM
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I like midday sex.

Yeah, but I like having a job too...


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 6:12 AM
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11: only between noon and two!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 6:15 AM
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10:38 AM on Thursdays


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 6:15 AM
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You're such a boy Stanley.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 6:25 AM
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I used to like morning sex, but it seems more and more difficult. Must be getting old. More seriously, I agree with 9.

12: Mmm, that was a great summer job at the snack bar.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 6:30 AM
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Because 10:37AM would be bourgeois decadence, and 10:39 would be social fascism.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 6:31 AM
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Can anyone explain to me the appeal of the typical romantic date w/r/t sex? Does eating a heavy meal and drinking a lot of wine turn people on? If it's an option, I'd far rather have sex before going to dinner.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 6:40 AM
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But then you'd have to shower again.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 6:42 AM
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I think the point is only where there's some at least nominal doubt whether you're going to have sex -- the point of the romantic date is seduction, not that it's going to improve sex you were going to have anyway.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 6:43 AM
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Even when you are sure or pretty sure you're going to have sex, the date draws out the anticipation. Also, you don't have to get all drunk; a few glasses of wine can be really nice.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 6:48 AM
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Which is to say: yes, drinking wine (even a lot sometimes) turns me on.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 6:49 AM
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Also, you don't have to get all drunk;

A morning-drunk person is likely to have some problems.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 6:52 AM
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Surely it's a truism - it's been a standing joke in the circles I move in as long as I've been aware that people have sex after going on dates - that the standard eating and drinking model is totally anti-aphrodisiac and more likely to induce sexual dysfunction than the world's greatest earth moving time. I'd guess it remains standard because 1. drinking is an easy way to ice break and 2. it gives people something to do during those awkward pauses when they're thinking about how they could be curled up at home with the cat watching Corrie.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 6:52 AM
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I mean, obviously, you can drink wine during the day, too.


Yes, bottle of mad dog, I told them. No, I don't need to tell them again. Yes, yes, I do love you, bottle of Mad Dog! No, I'm not ashamed of it. No, it's not too early, right now is fine, bottle of Mad Dog. No, bottle of Mad Dog, don't hit me! No! Yes, I know it's because you love me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 6:53 AM
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25: I've always favored the strawberry-banana flavor, myself.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 6:55 AM
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Sex at night after a rich meal and wine is both decadent and a signal of the robust good health necessary to perform in such glutinously sensual circumstances.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 6:56 AM
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But yes, drinking some is disinhibiting, and that works for plenty of people (hi!). If there's a real flaw in the date model, it's in the connection between a good meal, and a heavy meal; you don't want to eat Thanksgiving dinner when you're out on a romantic date, but eating something shouldn't wreck the rest of the evening.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 6:58 AM
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Dan Savage makes this point around Valentine's Day - people ask him how to avoid falling asleep instead of having sex after the big meal and large dose of CNS depressants, and "Fuck first!" is his usual response.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 6:59 AM
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9 is correct. Midday. My motto's always been; when it's right, it's right. Why wait until the middle of a cold dark night. When everything's a little clearer in the light of day. And you know the night is always gonna be there any way.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 7:02 AM
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28: The insight that lead to the development of the tapas bar, sushi, and 1 ounce bags of Doritos.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 7:04 AM
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Why wait until the middle of a cold dark night/

Because the night is made for lovers.


Posted by: Opinionated Natalie Merchant remaking somebody I don't recall | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 7:06 AM
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32: Patti Smith, hon.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 7:06 AM
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It turns out it is possible to reset your innate disposition on this.

I just woke up * and am mentally sluggish and had to spend a minute deciding whether an exclamation point made that sound like "oh hey isn't this a funny topic" or "I am overly enthusiastic about disclosing my sexual habits!"


*no, I am not having sex right now


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 7:08 AM
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33: Hey! I wrote that!


Posted by: OPINIONATED BRUUUUUCE! | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 7:09 AM
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Different Bruce.


Posted by: Opinionated Bruce Lee | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 7:12 AM
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37

It turns out it is possible to reset your innate disposition on this.

Definitely, it depends on the partner(s).


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 7:14 AM
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38

These days, I rather like celibacy. But I do remember in the immediate post-divorce era discovering that I actually liked sober sex.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 7:15 AM
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39

21 and 22: Man, my tolerance is so low. A few glasses of wine gets me pretty tipsy.

At the last meetup I was ridiculously drunk, but I didn't really watch myself, because I was drinking less than a fair number of people at the table. Not just a little bit less but a whole lot.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 7:18 AM
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40

18
Can anyone explain to me the appeal of the typical romantic date w/r/t sex? Does eating a heavy meal and drinking a lot of wine turn people on? If it's an option, I'd far rather have sex before going to dinner.

I think the problem is in the second sentence. The typical romantic date is a light meal, and a good alcoholic drink but not necessarily a lot. Not so light a meal that you're still hungry, but the 16-oz.-of-steak-with-six-shrimp-and-your-choice-of-"starch" dinner is a recent American invention rather than the typical romantic anything, and a big part of the food-industrial complex.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 7:20 AM
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As opposed to the ten course meal with crazy amounts of wine that was the traditional upper class notion of a nice romantic dinner in Europe. That or the 'what's a romantic dinner' one for the lower classes.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 7:25 AM
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37: Great, you have now forced me to imagine a short-lived sitcom about a polyamorous fivesome where everyone likes it a different time of day. Hilarity ensues! And ensues and ensues! I guess it is not really your fault that this is where I immediately went with that.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 7:33 AM
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42: There was a polyamorous fivesome in grad school whom everyone referred to as "The Pile."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 7:34 AM
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That or the 'what's a romantic dinner' one for the lower classes.

Fish and chips eaten in the gennel outside her dad's house to keep dry.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 7:44 AM
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This thread is really crying out for a) some sort of chart showing different preferred times and b) a rigorous mathematical discussion of the maximum number of commenters who could potentially get some in a given 24 hour period. Call it the Travelling Mutombo Problem.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 8:07 AM
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46

Or not.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 8:34 AM
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47

33, 35: Officially they both have songwriting credit. Smith was on [slightly wooshy voice] Fresh Air [/slightly wooshy voice] the other night talking about the writing of the song, among other things. Apparently Bruuuce wrote it for her, and then she changed a lot, because she thought it was important the the Patti Smith Group be writing their own songs.

Sweet romantic point: At the time she was rewriting the song, she was anxiously pining for an expected phone call from Fred "Sonic" Smith.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 8:46 AM
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48

I'm generally more fond of night, although I did recently have an early afternoon date that culminated in sex, and that was pretty nice.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 9:50 AM
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49

NOTHING BETTER THAN TEA AND TOAST WITH CUNTY FINGERS


Posted by: OPINIONATED BUTLER | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 10:05 AM
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50

This cafe's website apparently consists entirely of an image mocking up what an actually functional website might look like.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 10:10 AM
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51

(I'm studiously ignoring 48.)


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 10:10 AM
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52

O RLY? FRANKLY, I THOUGHT YOU DIDN'T GIVE A DAMN.


Posted by: OPINIONATED O'HARA | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 10:10 AM
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53

Megan McArdle Really Hates Sex at Dawn


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 10:28 AM
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54

M. F. K. Fisher has written what ought to be the definitive Western works on actual aphrodisiac meals, but I can't remember which of her shorter works it was in. It doesn't really matter, as you ought to read the compendium if you care at all.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 10:32 AM
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It was wonderful, thank you. The earth moved.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 10:32 AM
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55: another great joke ruined by a faulty timestamp.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 10:35 AM
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Fisher does that.

The Uncle Bonsai take on it.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 10:35 AM
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The piece linked in 53 is awesome but includes a major misapprehension:

I'm not familiar with Ms. McArdle's work, but if she's got a gig at The Atlantic, which is one of the most respected magazines in the country, presumably this is far below her usual intellectual standard.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 10:38 AM
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Heh. It has been funny watching a new round of people become aware of McArdle's work and being disappointed by the content. I suppose I could tell them that they are part of a grand internet tradition.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 10:55 AM
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M. F. K. Fisher has written what ought to be the definitive Western works on actual aphrodisiac meals, but I can't remember which of her shorter works it was in. It doesn't really matter, as you ought to read the compendium if you care at all.

I think we've got a copy of this somewhere in the house. Quite mad, but fun.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 10:59 AM
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58: That line gets quoted again and again in the comments, with almost every reply a variant on one of two themes:
1. No, that's par for the course.
2. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 11:20 AM
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Hilarious. "Her continuing role in the econo-blogosphere confounds the mind." There's probably great entertainment in the comments to her own post, but I think I'll pass.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 11:44 AM
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drinking wine (even a lot sometimes) turns me on.

Yeah, usually I just skip the sex.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 11:51 AM
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You can't separate timing from partner and the peculiarities of the relationship. Morning sex before work is a strictly new partner thing, as only the intoxication of sexual novelty can overcome the deficit of caffeine. Lazy lounging in bed on the weekend sex is great with a partner you know well and trust. And then there are some who will punch you in the face if you so much as look at them in a sexual way before their third cup of coffee.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:05 PM
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And then there are some who will punch you in the face if you so much as look at them in a sexual way before their third cup of coffee.

Oh hai. I'm a terrible lover.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:08 PM
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And then there are some who will punch you in the face if you so much as look at them in a sexual way before their third cup of coffee they've brushed their teeth.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:13 PM
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Three cups of coffee. Then it's back in the sack for a romp? No thanks, tog.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:14 PM
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66: Try keeping a tart apple by the bedside.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:21 PM
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Try keeping a tart apple by the bedside

Apples should be kept in the refrigerator.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:23 PM
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The tart belongs in the bed, silly.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:24 PM
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68: "Hang on, honey, just let me eat this here apple first!"

But I wasn't speaking for myself. Some call for a mutual shower before sex, as well.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:30 PM
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Some call for a mutual shower before during sex


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:33 PM
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Apples should be kept in the refrigerator.

All fruit should be room temperature, if not sun-warmed. Including tomatoes.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:38 PM
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74

And then there are some who will punch you in the face by way of foreplay if you so much as look at them in a sexual way before their third cup of coffee


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:38 PM
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Three cups of coffee. Then it's back in the sack for a romp? No thanks, tog.

But tog promised to bring me that coffee nekkid. By the third time, that should be some pretty good coffee.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:39 PM
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73: That threw me as well. Enough for forestall any remarks that might have been made about shower sex.

I think the only exception I make to the non-refrigeration of fruit is grapes.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:44 PM
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for s/b to.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:45 PM
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71: WORKED FOR US!


Posted by: OPINIONATED ADAM AND EVE | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:52 PM
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Apples keep better refrigerated. It's a fact. Plus, what's better than a cool, crisp, tart apple?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:52 PM
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Stanley's conversation:
"No, thanks. I'm a morning sex guy."


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:52 PM
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Post-workout sex is the best:
Showered and warmed-up.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:53 PM
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what's better than a cool, crisp, tart apple?

Morning sex.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:55 PM
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83

Plus, what's better than a cool, crisp, tart apple?

Hot, sloppy, sweet sex.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:55 PM
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84

I worked harder on mine, so that takes points of the apwnage.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:55 PM
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85

+f


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:56 PM
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81: Depends on how hard you've been working out. That can turn into nasty bickering about who has to be on top and who gets to just lie there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:56 PM
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I'll be on top, LB. You can just lie there.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:57 PM
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^f

(dammit.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:58 PM
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(double dammit.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:58 PM
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90

Plus, what's better than a cool, crisp, tart apple?

An apple whose flavors aren't muted by cold.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:58 PM
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91

Who said I've been working out?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:58 PM
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92

The very same apple, warmer.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:58 PM
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93

Who said the one who has been working out gets to just lie there?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:59 PM
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94

Hey, a talking apple.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 12:59 PM
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93: The right to just lie there, especially if you've been working out, is inalienable. Thirteenth Amendment, dude.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 1:07 PM
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Maybe my fridge is too cold or something. When I take refrigerated fruit out of the fridge, it develops condensation on its hide as I let it warm, and that process seems to have ill effects. Also too, there's so much stuff in the fridge (a function of mid-90-degree weather*) that I can't let apples roll freely around in a vegetable bin, which they might wish for, but must cram them willy-nilly in available up-shelf space. Instead, I just procure smaller quantities of things, and don't refrigerate them unless it's necessary.

* Also a function of receiving on the order of 4 pattypan squashes per week from the CSA. They're nice, but jeesum.

(/end food muse)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 1:08 PM
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Who said I've been working out?

Sweet. You're on top.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 1:08 PM
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And, far be it from me to disclose off-blob communications, but my understanding is that the time most favored by Unfoggeders is immediately after Unfogged meet-ups.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 1:08 PM
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off-blob communications
I guess if they worked out more you could be on 'em.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 1:13 PM
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100

Blobe!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 1:15 PM
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When I take refrigerated fruit out of the fridge, it develops condensation on its hide

So, what kind of fruit has a hide anyway? Kiwis? Coconuts?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 1:20 PM
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I can't wait to get home and eat an apple.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 1:21 PM
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I has a hide.


Posted by: Shy Carrot | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 1:22 PM
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101: Alligator pears.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 1:22 PM
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Hide = skin.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 1:27 PM
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106

what kind of fruit has a hide anyway?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 1:31 PM
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I'm imagining parsimon in her deep-woods log cabin, munching voraciously on a bowl of greens, the pelts of this morning's tomato hunt strung up to dry out on the porch.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 1:32 PM
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Oh bother. If your fruits don't have protective skins, more power to you.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 1:41 PM
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106: Shouldn't you be buying canned goods and a generator?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 1:42 PM
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110

101: Squirrels.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 1:56 PM
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111

I'm pretty far inland to be worried about this one.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 2:00 PM
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Just to be safe, maybe print some pictures for herpy.net.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 2:02 PM
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West of I-95, we're not even supposed to get any rain from Earl. My first of two fantasy football drafts is tonight, so no power outages are allowed anyhow.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 2:05 PM
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17 is hilarious.

100 makes me wonder more than ever about the technology Stanley uses to hit 100 on every thread.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 2:11 PM
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Hide = skin.

Prude.

My first of two fantasy football drafts is tonight, so no power outages are allowed anyhow.

Are you in two leagues, or does the Mustard Truck get to double dip?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 2:12 PM
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Two leagues, but the same team name in both.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 2:17 PM
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In the spirit of this thread d'antan, I offer up the perfect cover band for Stanley to listen to on those mornings when he's alone: My Morning Jackoff.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 2:19 PM
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116: Doesn't that get confusing?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 2:19 PM
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Judd Apatow:

"There certainly are a lot of dick jokes in Funny People but there is no way to portray comedians without having them tell a lot of those types of jokes. If I was a hundred percent accurate I would have doubled the dick joke count. The only thing more troubling than making jokes about the male penis would be to be serious and honor the male penis.
Via, context and ridicule from James Wolcott.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 4:47 PM
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120

Twisted. And degenerate.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 5:05 PM
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120: Jesus.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 5:14 PM
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Sure, it's troubling to be serious and honor the male penis.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 5:15 PM
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120: Gross. They interviewed the husband immediately and he said all the right things, but I guess to the tabs those are the wrong things, so they had to talk to the wife too.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 5:16 PM
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120: Yeah, that's the same incident I mentioned in this comment. Reminds of this somewhat famous picture (I think it appeared in Life originally).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 5:18 PM
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124: Is that staged or real? The way the hose has slipped down on her legs is horrifically disturbing to me for some reason.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 5:21 PM
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125: Real. A little more searching yields this summary (and a black and white version of the photo which is what I recall seeing).

Photographer Robert Wiles took an iconic photo of Evelyn McHale moments after she committed suicide by jumping from the Empire State Building on May 1, 1947. McHale landed on the roof of a United Nations limousine which had been parked on the curb, indenting it. The photo, which later ran in Life Magazine is notable for the look of peace and serenity on McHale's face, and the relatively untouched preservation of her body despite the 86-story tumble. McHale had recently left her fiance and, in her suicide note, expressed her belief that she would not make anyone a good wife


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 5:33 PM
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This photo must be part of the backstory for Crash.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 5:44 PM
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I remember that photo from one of the life books of photos.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 5:56 PM
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||

I just submitted an article through some online system and received an email telling me that it is presently receiving full consideration. I am doubtful!

|>


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 6:03 PM
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I am doubtful!

I'm reviewing it right now, so your doubts are well-founded.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 6:09 PM
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Sometimes, Gonerill, I get the feeling that you look on me as an object of fun.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 6:13 PM
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From a customer service perspective, is it best to tell people that [x thing] will be happening in the next few days? It is, after all, the truth.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 6:14 PM
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131: You have to admit, 130 was kind of funny.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 7:25 PM
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#120. I wonder if Reuven Fenton is related to James Fenton, and if so, I wonder if James is ashamed of him.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09- 2-10 7:56 PM
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I had a jumper call tonight but it was from only 25 feet or so up. Suicide attempt? Fight with the boyfriend? Landing is almost directly opposite the boyfriend's kitchen window! (cue CSI music)

Looks like this guy got kicked out of his on again off again boyfriend's apartment, and tried to get back in by climbing out the hallway window and walking along a big pipe that runs horizontally along the building (a bad idea, doubly so when you're drunk). He was barefoot and landed feet first, compound fracturing both of this ankles and lower legs. On the concrete there was this interesting bloody splatter mark along with a couple small chunks of bone where his right foot and ankle exploded on impact.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 2:35 AM
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135. Thanks, I was just trying to eat a biscuit here.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 2:39 AM
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Aw geez. I had a period in college where I'd decide I was Spiderman when I got drunk, and did some very ill-advised clambering over fire-escapes and such several stories up. That story gives me the retrospective creeps.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 7:18 AM
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the retrospective creeps

That's would be a good name for a year in review column of the NAMBLA newsletter.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 7:24 AM
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137: That sort of thing led to the demise of the 17yo daughter of the US's ambassador to Thailand in NYC last weekend -- she, drunk, climbed out on a ledge to take a picture and fell.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 7:27 AM
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My freshman year, a guy fell down the elevator shaft. The elevator stopped between floors and nobody responded to the alarm. He ripped the doors open and jumped down (climbing up was not an option because the elevators were every other floor). He landed badly and fell into the shaft.

He lived and I think he walked again (fortunately, he was only at the 2nd floor), but he was in very bad shape for a while.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 7:32 AM
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Stirling Moss, the racing driver, walked into an open lift shaft at his home and fell 3 floors [aged 79]. Broke both ankles.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 7:37 AM
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This guy broke his back, but not his spinal cord. Or something like that. Maybe his pelvis. Anyway, he fell backward into the shaft and hit a bar that is at the bottom of the shaft for the elevator car to rest on.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 7:40 AM
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Ouch ouch ouch.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 7:44 AM
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In LA Law, the scheming and manipulative senior partner who was sleeping with another senior partner (unclear whether in the morning or at some other time) fell down an elevator shaft and perished, thereby getting written out of the show.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 7:47 AM
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One of my best friends fell down an elevator shaft (though just first floor to the pit in basement) when the doors opened for the elevator he'd called and he walked in but the car wasn't there. Since then, I try to remember to look first before stepping into an elevator, but it's surprisingly hard to do.



Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 8:04 AM
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145: I find it very difficult to imagine stepping into a lift that isn't there without noticing. I mean, lift = brightly lit box, white floor, wood and metal walls; no lift = dark lift shaft, no light, no floor.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 8:15 AM
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Maybe I am always noticing, even when I don't do it consciously, and this wouldn't happen to me, but I don't think it's that difficult to be already stepping forward, and perhaps with enough momentum not to be able to stop yourself, before you process that there's no cab.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 8:21 AM
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I don't know if I'd ever be stepping forward without looking first. Of course this may be the ninja-like environmental awareness we Scots [ajay and myself] share. Or just that I wouldn't want to walk into people walking out.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 8:23 AM
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I could see it happening even while you were looking - walking forward as a conditioned response to the doors coming open, and simultaneously thinking "Huh, there's no cab in thereeeeeeeee...."[crash]. But I do a lot on automatic pilot.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 8:29 AM
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146: I find it very difficult to imagine sitting down on a toilet without first checking to see if the seat is down (not to mention clean and dry). But apparently it happens all the time.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 8:29 AM
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Back on the veldt, the tribes who didn't check elevators before stepping in died out pretty quickly.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 8:31 AM
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But the predators building the open elevator shafts prospered.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 8:39 AM
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I also have real difficulty with the idea of stepping into an empty lift shaft. I definitely step out of lifts pretty much on auto-pilot [0], but not really into them.

[0] And then end up three floors above the one I wanted to be on, felling vaguely daft...


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 8:39 AM
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Despite self-reports, I suspect everyone does it on autopilot from time to time unless they really make it a point. It's like the baby car-seat thing. Everyone *always* checks, except when they don't.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 8:44 AM
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154: Right. And it's precisely familiar environments and things that are part of daily or regular routines where it probably happens the most.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 8:47 AM
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re: 154

Maybe we just all have different things we do on auto-pilot? I can think of any number of absent minded pieces of stupid shit I've done, and maybe they are things other people just wouldn't do.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 8:48 AM
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I don't regularly take elevators, and when I do, I'm consumed by environmental guilt, since I should be taking the stairs. So I think I still pay attention to the process. I think I would notice an empty elevator shaft.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 8:48 AM
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Of course this may be the ninja-like environmental awareness we Scots [ajay and myself] share.

Boy, this line is going to come back to haunt at least one of us at the next UK meetup.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 8:57 AM
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||

Legal Question Bleg. I think that I can solve this problem without pulling out regulations or laws, but I'd like to find out what they are.

I've had bad tendonitis and shoulder pain from typing at work on a laptop with a bad chair and a desk that's way too high. My hands and wrist hurt badly.

My doctor's visit was covered under workman's comp.

We all are supposed to share office space. There aren't enough desks and we spend a lot of time out in the community.

Anyway, they're going to buy me a chair, and the IT people were planning on getting me a keyboard and a proper monitor, but I'm supposed to have a foot rest and a keyboard tray under the desk.

Even though I've been clear in all my e-mails, my boss and her supervisor weren't planning on assigning me a space (which anybody could use if I'm not there).

A quick google search suggests to me that the Supreme Court does not consider RSI a disability even if covered under workman's compensation.

And there don't seem to be ergonomic OSHA requirements.

Our organization is pretty dysfunctional, but I know that one of my "supervisors" said that the deputy director of my division (MH) would let her mediate while he's on vacation.

They're using language like "reasonable accomodation," but I don't want to spew a bunch of stuff that's wrong.

Anybody know a good place to look?

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 9:01 AM
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I'm not so sure that you can be certain that you wouldn't step into an open elevator shaft on auto-pilot. Granted, when the doors open and there's an elevator there, you see the interior of the elevator. But how many times have the doors opened for you onto an empty shaft? Perhaps you would notice that there's no elevator there while also stepping forward.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 9:03 AM
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re: 158

You mean when I walk in my splitty toed stupid sandals and fall flat on my face, stabbing myself with some piece of historically questionable metalware?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 9:04 AM
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It's like the baby car-seat thing.

Monster!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 9:09 AM
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Speaking of auto-pilot, I got home the other night after biking back from a party, where I had had a couple of drinks (OK, a bottle of wine) and I could remember (quite vividly) pretty much the entire bike home, -except- for the difficult turn across traffic half-way home.

(It's maybe a ten minute bike ride at most? It was a bit scary.)


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 9:09 AM
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I'm on team "Don't be so confident it couldn't happen" too, wrt stepping into the elevator shaft. Not all elevators are well lit, and when something is routine, none of us have any idea what we don't notice. Especially if you were carrying something a little bulky, or your attention was pulled towards something outside of the elevator.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 9:11 AM
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Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be monsters.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 9:15 AM
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This calls for randomized trials.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 9:16 AM
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(a) God, that fucking baby-in-the-car thing haunts me horribly.

(b) I look forward to the time when conversation moves on from this thread, so that I don't get a horrible earworm every time I visit the front page.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 9:21 AM
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I never read that article; I knew I couldn't handle it.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 9:31 AM
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167: What did you do wrong, to get an earworm?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 9:35 AM
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Maybe we just all have different things we do on auto-pilot? I can think of any number of absent minded pieces of stupid shit I've done

I've walked through four plate-glass doors in my life. Two of them were within twenty four hours of each other, that second time being the same door that had just been repaired that morning.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 9:48 AM
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earworm

If left untreated.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 9:49 AM
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I ran through a sliding glass door as a kid, but I don't think I would have run through it again the next day.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 9:55 AM
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Gonerill is more likely to walk into the elevator shaft than I am, I think.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 9:56 AM
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but I don't think I would have run through it again the next day

Well, that's because you're not a fucking gobshite.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 9:56 AM
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And empty manhole covers. And when he carries a ladder, he's a lot more likely to swing it around and conk someone. And to clock himself with rakes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 9:58 AM
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Also Gonerill's eyes literally go "Ah-OOOGA!" out of his head when the girl who's really poured into her sweater walks by. If I'm getting a correct reading here.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 9:59 AM
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I've run into multiple glass (and screen) doors, but never through one. Maybe I should start walking faster.

I also run into walls/edges of doorways pretty often. I'm not sure if it's because I'm not looking where I'm going, or just have no sense of where my body ends and the rest of the world begins.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 10:03 AM
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And his eyebrows float above his face.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 10:03 AM
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edges of doorways pretty often

Yep. Glad to know I'm not the only one.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 10:04 AM
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154: Yes. The automatic pilot is not a bad thing, IMX.

One of the most annoying things about aging is the amount of active attention I need to pay to things that used to be totally automatic processes.

It's things like remembering to leave one hand free when taking stuff out of the car in case vertigo hits on the stairs or making sure the windshield is extra-clean for night driving that require mental work that I didn't have to do before.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 10:04 AM
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I once stepped into a revolving door that was rotating a bit faster than I expected and it closed on my head trapping it between the revolving door and the frame. I think I was about 14. I'm hard pushed to remember anything quite as painful [or stupid].

I don't quite know how I managed to get my head trapped, either, rather than it hitting my leg or shoulder.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 10:05 AM
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179: Same here. And I have a semi-permanent bruise on the outside of my left thigh from the baseboard of our bed. When I'm carrying something it's worse.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 10:09 AM
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135ff: There was a guy at UVM who fell off the roof of a frat house during a party and got impaled on a fence. He managed to extract himself and make it to the door, but no one could hear him knocking over the noise of the party, and he died on the porch.

Thanks to my mom's old job, I know lots of gruesome stories like this.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 10:21 AM
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182: If you go to a good tattoo guy, I bet you can get a bruise that stays better.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 10:23 AM
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It seems like the best time to heedlessly walk through a doorway would be shortly after you had already destroyed the glass, but I guess there's no accounting for efficiency.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 10:24 AM
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Once, when boarding a bus, I was retrieving my ticket from my wallet which allowed the driver to close the door, neatly trapping both my hands and my wallet.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 10:27 AM
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As a kid I used to read while walking around, resulting in lots of unfortunate encounters with lampposts. I could imagine absent mindedly stepping into an elevator shaft that way.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 10:27 AM
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I had a friend in college who went through the giant plate glass window of a bar. Apparently, even if that bar sold you the liquor that got you drunk enough to do that, you will have to buy a new window.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 10:29 AM
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Back when I was living in the apartment building of all martial artists, my (male, black belt) roommate did, in fact, walk into a door, giving himself quite the shiner. There were any number of jokes about that.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 10:30 AM
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186 Anyone else seen pics of old school trams/trolleys - the ones with no doors and bunches of people hanging on to something inside with their bodies on the outside?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 10:30 AM
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I could imagine absent mindedly stepping into an elevator shaft that way.

Except, aren't elevator doors supposed to have a thing so that they don't open unless you either hack them apart or the elevator car is there?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 10:30 AM
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190: I'm pretty sure you just described Gonerill's daily commute. He loses a lot of papers out of his briefcase that way.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 10:35 AM
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Some of the old fashioned elevators don't have that safety feature, there's just a normal door that you open when the elevator is there.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 10:36 AM
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Also, the interlock that stops them opening sometimes fails.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 10:37 AM
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187: In L.A. plenty of idiot pedestrians are crossing streets while looking at their cellphones. They won't even win the lawsuit later.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 10:39 AM
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Christ. We just had 7.4 here. Jesus.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 10:46 AM
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A 7.4. Earthquake.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 10:47 AM
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193, 194: Yes, but all in all, I'd be more worried about walking into a bus* than falling down an elevator shaft.

*Near my office is a street that is one way for cars, but has a single bus lane going in the opposite direction. Some poor body forgets to look for the bus every year or two.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 10:48 AM
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Anyone else seen pics of old school trams/trolleys - the ones with no doors and bunches of people hanging on to something inside with their bodies on the outside?

I see one going by my office now.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 10:56 AM
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OT: And with this, Sausagley's libertarian transformation is complete.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 11:02 AM
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197. You OK?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 11:02 AM
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196/197: Wow. Is that why you're awake so late/early? Everything okay?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 11:03 AM
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Yeah. I'm fine, tho' the second storey's a bit shoogly. The radio's gone all civil defence: nice calm presenter telling us in cut glass tones that we aren't to panic, make sure there's a torch, etc, etc.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 11:10 AM
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A 7.4 is no joke. Hope you and everyone you know is OK.

Re 200, I've actually had to stop reading Yglesias recently out of distaste for his libertarian turn. It's pretty clear that he's caught whatever pundit's disease turns young liberals into old contrarian assholes (IMO, the pathology of this disease is best understood as "needing simplistic solutions to policy problems that are easily expressed in column form" and also, perhaps, "never actually having worked in any real capacity on anything.")


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 11:11 AM
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make sure there's a torch, etc

"You'll also need a pitchfork --now's the time to make our move..."


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 11:12 AM
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OT: And with this, Sausagley's libertarian transformation is complete.

This is a good comment:

Wow, what an excellent argument against maternity leave. Or sick leave. Or the 40-hour work week. Or child labor laws. Or, basically, any benefits for workers at all. But those were all wacky Socialist advances, and that's the kind of liberal you're not.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 11:14 AM
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203: Good luck to you. And I hate to contradict your civil defense people, but I get tired of the government always telling me not to panic when they don't give me notice as to when would be a better time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 11:15 AM
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Apparently buildings damaged, but no injuries or anything.

The Press's interviewing the journalists about power outages etc.

A bit odd. Canterbury's normally pretty stolid.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 11:20 AM
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PS: 200 & 204 is quite right.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 11:21 AM
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I can't fathom the brain patterns of people who think there's some sort of ongoing "bargaining" that goes on between the typical employee and employer. In the extreme macroeconomic sense it makes sense. Institute this irritating policy and 24% of your workforce will quit every year instead of 23%. But actual employees, no, they do not bargain with their employer. They have one employer per job and they can either keep working there, quit and be unemployed, quit and start a completely new life, or in very rare instances, quit and find a similar but slightly different job right away.

Unless they are, like, freelance writers or pundits or something. Those people can have many employers at once and actually bargain to some extent. Wait a minute...literally every person who ever expresses an opinion on economic matters in public (other than professors) is actually a specimen of the rare Homo economicus.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 11:21 AM
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The top video hit in a Google search for "shoogly" is Telly Savalas singing "If". Maybe the earthquake fucked up the Internet.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 11:23 AM
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200: Matt's always been opposed to paid vacations.

My explanation is that he's scared it might lead to someone forcing him to go a day without blogging.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 11:49 AM
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196: Glad you're okay -- that's got to be scary.

200, 212: Yeah, I remember talking about an earlier "no such thing as paid vacations" post. Is the other libertarian stuff you're talking about all the licensing posts? Because some (although not all) of them were reasonable.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 12:04 PM
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Old post of mine responding to an old post of Yglesias's on paid vacation.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 12:07 PM
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Is the other libertarian stuff you're talking about all the licensing posts? Because some (although not all) of them were reasonable.

There was one recent post where he said that if some sort of objectionable-seeming hiring practice was really objectionable, the market would sort it out.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 12:16 PM
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Oh, I remember that, but not exactly what it was.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 12:17 PM
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My further theory of Sausagley is that his limitations derive from the limits of his experience. I believe that he has never attended a public school and has never had a "real" job.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 12:20 PM
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It pertained to credit scores.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 12:22 PM
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My further theory of Sausagley is that his limitations derive from the limits of his experience.

"The limits of my punditry are the limits of my world."


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 12:23 PM
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I believe that he has never attended a public school and has never had a "real" job.

Now you have to join the tea party or the Trotsky fan club.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 12:24 PM
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218: That was some serious stupid.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 12:26 PM
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220: Well, actually at this very moment I am at a tea party and I'm about to propose a toast to Trotsky.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 12:28 PM
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How many libertarian arguments can be expressed in the form "There's no point in doing X, because it will just lead to Y"?

There's no point in mandating vacation, because it will just lower wages.

There's no point in raising wages, because it will just raise unemployment.

There's no point in trying to reduce unemployment, because it will just lead to inflation.

The general formula is to identify one economic indicator that you don't want the government trying to influence, then point out a (possibly weak) connection to another indicator and use that connection to argue against action.

You never see arguments about the economy as a whole. You just see isolated treatments of two individual measures. I suppose that's what makes it science.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 12:28 PM
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I would trade lower wages for paid vacation. The thing about having vacation is, even if you make less money overall, you can do what you want with your time.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 12:33 PM
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218: Ah yes, the "presumption of functioning markets" argument. A pure libertarian simply denies the existence of market externalities altogether. Yggles is more moderate, in that he simply assumes externalities don't exist until he has been given solid proof otherwise.

Oh, and on this business of individual workers being in a constant state of negotiation with their employers: this is true at the upper levels of academe, where big institutions are always trying to poach professors whose reputation is rising. But there the competition is extremely counterproductive. Rather than creating efficiency, where people wind up in the job slot that maximizes preference satisfaction, you just have an ongoing beauty contest that sucks away people's energy and attention.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 12:37 PM
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224: I guess the question is whether your choice is between (1) ((lower wages and paid vacation) or (higher wages and no vacation)) or between (2) ((lower wages and paid vacation) or (higher wages and unpaid vacation)). The first choice has to do with how much you value money and freedom. The second choice is a math problem.

This is the most complicated comment I've ever made!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 12:39 PM
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you just have an ongoing beauty contest shark attack


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 12:39 PM
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If it were required by law that one be allowed five weeks of paid vacation a year, as in civilized countries, then this would all be a nonissue.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 12:43 PM
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But then you'd lose one easy indicator of 'civilized country.'


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 12:47 PM
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Oh, that's fine. Civilization can shift for itself. I only want the amenities of civilization.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 12:52 PM
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I get a shocking (for this country) amount of vacation at my new job. And I'm paid sort of poorly! (Better than I was when I was unemployed or semi-employed, but still.) I do believe I have nosflow's dream job.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 12:52 PM
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I get five weeks vacation, if I get sick for two weeks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 12:55 PM
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225.2 kind of makes me want to tell stories, but I really shouldn't. The most absurd case I'm aware of is someone who's been negotiating with another university for five years or so, including multiple semester-long visits there, who convinced them to build a new building and create new positions, still without committing to definitely moving.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 12:56 PM
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I do believe I have nosflow's dream job.

Househusband?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 12:57 PM
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The problem with Saisegly is that he seems to have bought in to the idea of non-regulation as a good in itself along libertarian 'economic freedom' lines. In the case of vacation it is pretty obvious that non-regulation means less free time regardless of what an individual wants. There ain't no freedom here whichever way you cut it. Nor is it at all clear that more free time means less pay in a capitalist system, certainly not on a one for one basis.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 12:59 PM
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Is Sifu finally going to make an honest man of you?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 12:59 PM
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I dunno, I feel like I've successfully negotiated with employers here and there. They just have to believe you'll leave if you don't get what you want. This rather obviously works for harder to fill knowledge jobs, which means it skews vastly UMC, but it's not like it doesn't happen.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 1:00 PM
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"Knowledge job" sounds like cant for some sort of criminal activity.[1]

[1] "cant for a kind of con" nixed on too-comical alliteration grounds.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 1:03 PM
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"Knowledge job" would also be a good name for a service requested from a euphemism-prone hooker.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 1:05 PM
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<allusion to="the whore of mensa" />


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 1:09 PM
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The problem with Saisegly is that he seems to have bought in to the idea of non-regulation as a good in itself along libertarian 'economic freedom' lines.
This is what I was reacting to. I was unaware he had discussed this issue before, but it seemed to me that previously his libertarian posts had been focussed on bad outcomes due to overregulation. This one seems to assume that even if there aren't clear negatives, interference is not something with doing.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 1:11 PM
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Sure. My dad 'negotiated' more vacation time by saying he's taking it and if they don't like it they can fire him. (They'd explained that it was strictly against company policy to allow for more than two weeks and that it looked better if you didn't take your two weeks, he wanted four). They knew he was being headhunted by competitors and backed down. This was back in the early seventies with demand for programmers soaring, and the supply of folks with experience was so low they were hiring English majors who'd never touched a computer in their life and someone with a dozen years experience in leading programming teams had plenty of leverage. Very few people can do that.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 1:12 PM
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Very few people can do that.

True, and even less people than can do it actually do do it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 1:15 PM
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FEWER


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 1:15 PM
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Somebody needs a knowledge job.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 1:17 PM
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244: all in the game, neb.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 1:19 PM
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They'd explained that it was strictly against company policy to allow for more than two weeks and that it looked better if you didn't take your two weeks, he wanted four

My dad, who worked for the same company with reasonably good vacation and benefits for nearly 30 years before it shut down, was dismayed on taking a new job to find that his promised two weeks of vacation actually meant "two weeks vacation, of which we will refuse to allow you more than 7 consecutive days, and will act evasive about whether you can even do that without being fired".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 1:38 PM
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Thank god for the right to work, eh?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 1:45 PM
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When people talk about 'vacation' are they counting the holidays? I only get two weeks vacation, plus two personal days, but I get 12 holidays or so.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 1:51 PM
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I'm trying to figure if I should complain or not.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 1:52 PM
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Vacation ≠ holidays


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 1:53 PM
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I'm wondering what would happen if I just didn't show up at work for a month with no warning. Probably for at least two weeks people would assume I'd gone on a random vacation or to a workshop or something. I hope by the third week someone would make sure I wasn't dead in my apartment.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 1:54 PM
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251: "Holidays ≠ vacation" is often even more true.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 1:55 PM
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252: That sounds like an experiment worth trying!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 1:57 PM
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Vacation ≠ holidays

Right, but one of my holidays is from Christmas Eve through New Years Day, so that is pretty nice.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 2:00 PM
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The other experiment I'm thinking of trying at the moment is ordering a 21 euro room-service hamburger, just because I can't imagine what a 21 euro burger could possibly look like. (Like any other burger, I guess.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 2:02 PM
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I hope by the third week someone would make sure I wasn't dead in my apartment. to take anything of value I left in my desk.



Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 2:03 PM
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I look like the Musée du Louvre on topless ballerina day.


Posted by: 21 Euro-Room Serivce Burger | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 2:06 PM
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what a 21 euro burger could possibly look like


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 2:14 PM
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235: Non-regulation *is* good in and of itself, at least enough to warrant minor and equitably distributed inconveniences. Regulations as often as not entrench established interests, making it harder for genuine innovators, they provide avenues for politicians to dole out favors, and their proliferation acts as an obstacle to informed public participation due to the fact that nobody can possibly know all the regulations that might affect them. For someone looking to start a small business or even just work on their house, a proliferation of regulations forces them to start the process by paying out large sums of money to intermediaries who will figure out the regulatory impact. I know people who've dropped several thousand dollars on starting a business only to find out that the network of regulations makes the business impossible to run profitably, and most of those thousands went to lawyers, not to anything that could be sold to recover costs.

Once the number of laws and regulations affecting a person proliferates beyond the point where they can reasonably hope to have a general sense of what is and isn't OK, the sheer number of regulations is oppressive regardless of content. If everyone is in violation then the people getting prosecuted will be the most egregious violators and those whom the authorities most desire to harm. The latter tend to be the downtrodden to start out with, and often enough have the least resources to bring to bear on figuring out what the regulations and laws are in the first place.

None of this is an argument against more vacation time (which I support), but IME liberals (and some conservatives) tend to be way to inclined to just throw laws at a problem, whether they help or not. That's something I'd very much like to see change.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 2:26 PM
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I would trade lower wages for paid vacation.

I'm paid pretty poorly, but I can count on about a month of paid vacation at Christmas. So there's that. Of course, I can rarely afford to actually go anywhere during my vacation, but it does give me a lot of time to sit in coffee shops and read.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 2:28 PM
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260. Wow, tog, who died and made you Ayn Rand?


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 2:30 PM
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OK, this is just getting ridiculous, Yglesias.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 2:41 PM
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I mean, that argument is so incoherent it's not even libertarian, just Slate-magazine level pointless contrarianism. The guy is in the middle of acute stage pundit disease, about to become fatal.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 2:45 PM
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Just to tie threads together, I'd like to quote this line from the post Halford linked to:

To throw a couple of bold claims out there that probably nobody agrees with, brands, chains, standardization, and replication are some of the most underrated economic phenomena and single-establishment retail businesses among the most overrated.

Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 3:00 PM
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|?

Bob Shrum on the Catfood Commission...with an extended analysis of the lameduck strategies and pre-emptive possibilities by FDL

It really is beautiful, in a radical evil kinda way.

Only Speaker-to-Be John Boehner will be able to really deliver votes in December, based a) on the power to deliver goodies to his disciplined caucus (+ Blue Dogs), b) based on promises from Obama and Rahm to give Boehner whatever he wants, possibly including a scandal impeachment and war in Iran. Look, all Obama wants is survival, and then to his villa in abu Dhabi.

Pelosi could not deliver anything. This is why Obama has engineered the Republican victory in November.

What has this to do with Yggles?

Yggles is looking at the next two years, of madmen in charge of the House, and a White House playing along saying "Well, Paul Ryan has some interesting ideas, and I can't know what I will sign until the bill is on my desk" Matt & Ezra will survive and proper in that environment, you betcha.

It is the rest of us debt-peons who will suffer.

Anyway, skip the rant and follow the link. It's brilliant work.

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 3:10 PM
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262: Nobody died and made me Ayn Rand, I made myself Ayn Rand by the raw power of my will!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 3:13 PM
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He has a point, though. Doing something focused and doing it predictably clearly works-- it allows restaurants staffed by inept cretins to produce palatable food, for the examples cited and for their obvious and polarizing parent, McDonald's.

Process automation and control is depressing from the point of view of the employee, and depressing for clients in comparison to individualized skillfully produced products (whether these are meals or watches). But the alternative to the world we actually live in with its widespread automation is miles and miles of rural bleakness with a few urban social centers, not ubiquitous cheap and good restaurants and artisanal but affordable tailors and blacksmiths.

He is becoming a column-spewing pundit, though, unfortunately. I'm off to run.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 3:15 PM
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Look Obama revealed himself entire by the way he the got Republican vote in October 2008.

It was swineflu, a porkfest of tax credits of epic proportions, a total layout of this government for sale.

This December, well, they have also put the tax bills and energy bills off to the lame duck, simply to have more bargaining chips bribes and kickbacks.

It is gonna be fucking AWESOME. A bazaar, a feeding frenzy.

Obama is going to get his historical slashing of Social Security. Obama is going to do the impossible, simply to show he could do it. All ego and greed.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 3:18 PM
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That is what is so brilliant about the article linked at the top of 266.

I realized of course, that the Catfood Commission was in constant contact with the White House.

What I hadn't realized is that the third party to the December plans was John Boehner and the Republicans.
God, Obama and Rahm are smart.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 3:25 PM
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it allows restaurants staffed by inept cretins to produce palatable food

I'll be run out of business.


Posted by: 21 Euro-Room Serivce Burger | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 3:28 PM
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Only at that transition, only in that lame-duck House party switch is there ever this much power.

Boehner:"You want that Agriculture chairmanship? Vote for the Catfood recommendations and you have it."

Pelosi couldn't do that.

Oh, after December I will be the Troll of Infiinte and Constant Sorrow. But for now I'll leave y'all alone.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 3:32 PM
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Saiselgy:

Olive Garden is better than you care to admit

I have been to an Olive Garden in living memory (let's don't ask why), and it was terrible.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 4:23 PM
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Maybe it's only terrible most of the time. Do you care to admit that?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 4:28 PM
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so that I don't get a horrible earworm every time I visit the front page

As I sat with the Herman's Hermits song stuck in my head all day yesterday, I wondered if anyone else was suffering the same affliction. Admittedly, it was of my own doing, but it's nice to know I wasn't suffering alone.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 4:31 PM
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I recall an article in which Marcella Hazan and her husband were inveigled into eating at an Olive Garden and she did have good things to say about one of the dishes (though she also said there was nothing particularly Italian about it). So I am willing to admit that not everything one can get there is terrible. But that doesn't exempt it from an overall judgment of being terrible.

There's something odd about the name "Olive Garden". Olives grow on trees; shouldn't one refer to an olive grove?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 4:31 PM
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276: Next you're going to complain that no one actually grills macaroni.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 4:39 PM
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I read an article (in the NYer maybe?) about the cooking school they run for their chefs in Tuscany.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 4:40 PM
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278: What'd the article have to say? (Personally, I'd be more impressed if they ran it in Emilia-Romagna, but then again I don't really get the fascination with all things Tuscan.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 4:46 PM
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There's something odd about the name "Olive Garden". Olives grow on trees; shouldn't one refer to an olive grove?

I never thought of it before, but could it be a reference to Gethsemane, the Garden of Olives? If so, creepy.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 4:51 PM
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277: Also, bees make honey, not apples.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 4:51 PM
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276: Next you're going to complain that no one actually grills macaroni.

I thought the macaroni grill was a place where you could order roasted fop, and similar dishes.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 4:52 PM
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Isn't it just that Tuscany is the one region people have actually heard of?

I'm pretty sure I've never been to an Olive Garden, and looking at their website, it almost seems like they try to photograph the dishes in a way that makes them look as plastic and unappealing as possible.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 4:52 PM
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279: This was circa 2002, so I don't remember all that well. I feel like it was largely positive about their seriousness.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 4:53 PM
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The Olive Garden was originally a General Mills venture? I did not know that.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 4:53 PM
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273: Not a fan of hospitaliano?


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 4:54 PM
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And I would have thought they would try to play up the faux-Italian-ness by having sections for "Primi Piatti" and "Secondi Piatti", but maybe those don't focus-group well in middle-America.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 4:54 PM
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I've been to an Olive Garden in the past year. It was terrible and not even cheap. The portions were big, but otherwise it was both worse and pricier than your average red sauce Italian that you can find most anywhere in the US.

As for the idea that economies of scale create economies of scale, well, no shit.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 5:10 PM
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I just ate at one for the first time in decades and it was surprisingly good. Whenever someone says "it's terrible", it gets my hackles up. It's not terrible, it's just predictable. It's better than 90% of people could make for themselves at home, and it's better than about half of all randomly selected Italian restaurants in the country. The biggest flaw of Olive Garden isn't that it's bad, but that it's mediocre and doesn't care to be any better than that. Anyone who says it's terrible hasn't eaten enough terrible food.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 5:11 PM
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photograph the dishes in a way that makes them look as plastic and unappealing as possible

But they failed. You have to go there and see them in all their 3D reality for that. My mother's stud-muffin liked the place. Total organ failure over two months in the ICU was his just reward


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 5:12 PM
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However, whoever said it was a depressing place was spot on. I suppose if you're one of those people whose perception of the food is strongly colored by the atmosphere, OG could be pretty terrible.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 5:17 PM
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Ok, substitute "extraordinarily mediocre versions of easy to prepare food" for "terrible.". It's still true that there have got to be vanishingly few places where you can't, within 5 miles of an Olive Garden, get much better Italian food for less money.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 5:18 PM
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It's still true that there have got to be vanishingly few places where you can't, within 5 miles of an Olive Garden, get much better Italian food for less money.

I'm not sure that's necessarily true. My parents like Red Lobster, and it probably is the only place they can get a decent meal of non-fried fish within fifteen miles of where they live. But this is because they live in the opposite end of town from the UMC neighborhoods with good restaurants. The funny thing is that in their city the only Olive Gardens are in the upscale part of town, where there's better Italian food to be had. An Olive Garden in their part of town would probably clean up, because there's no comparable option. But maybe it's perceived as being too fancy for the clientele in those suburbs.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 5:23 PM
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I'm wondering what would happen if I just didn't show up at work for a month with no warning.

There's an old paper in Soc that makes the argument for something like this as an operational definition of class position -- along the lines of "If you can have an unexcused absence from work for three days in a row and still not lose your job, you are not working class".


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 5:28 PM
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But 293 is just the point -- TOG isn't going into downscale or isolated areas, they're in UMC SUV country.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 5:32 PM
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295: Ah, ok. I said "in their city", but I wasn't sure if this was true generally. (I've noticed this about P.F. Chang's -- it seems to exist almost exclusively in areas where cheaper, better, more authentic versions of everything on their menu can be had with minimal effort. Again, I could see the appeal if it were located in an area like the suburb where my parents live.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 5:37 PM
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I've noticed this about P.F. Chang's -- it seems to exist almost exclusively in areas where cheaper, better, more authentic versions of everything on their menu can be had with minimal effort.

Maybe if you live very close to the Stanford Mall and have neither car nor bike?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 5:40 PM
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A cow-orker was showing me photos from his family's trip to Italy recently. "This was our favorite restaurant," he said of one photo. I didn't want to be rude, so I bit my tongue. But I'm pretty sure if you're favorite restaurant in Italy has a sign out front that says (in English) "Italian Food", UR DOIN IT RONG.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 5:42 PM
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297: And are incapable of walking a few blocks?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 5:43 PM
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Or of taking the Marguerite?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 5:43 PM
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What, you mean walk to downtown PA from the mall?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 5:44 PM
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Oh, the Marguerite doesn't even make a lot of sense, because P.F. Chang's is on El Camino, right? So it's like two blocks from downtown Palo Alto. Maybe if you have a pathological fear of walking through an underpass.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 5:47 PM
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What, you mean walk to downtown PA from the mall?

But think of the palatial golden Cheescake Factory that awaits you when you get there.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 5:48 PM
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Restaurant placement, especially for chains like TOG is a full time job for a team of dedicated professionals. Mom and Pop find the cheapest rent in the general neighborhood that they want to cater to. Some chains, like TOG competitor The Old Spaghetti factory will purposefully pioneer into questionable neighborhoods so that they can command cheap rent, but by their very presence bring more traffic to the area and subsequent development. This says nothing about food quality, but running a restaurant actually has less to do with cooking than one would suppose.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 5:55 PM
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It's better than 90% of people could make for themselves at home,

This can't be true. I'm sincerely doubt that I am in the top 10% of cooks in this country, and while I enjoy the Olive Garden soup and salad deal on occasion, I can always produce something better than they do. As can all of my friends that regularly cook me meals.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 5:56 PM
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I, and this is embarrassing, really like The Old Spaghetti Factory's pasta with mizthra cheese and browned butter. (What's not to like about lots of cheese, eh?)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 5:57 PM
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I couldn't agree more with 305.


Posted by: Pauline Kael | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 5:58 PM
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They use mizthra cheese 'cuz the owner is actually Greek, not Italian. And there is one town in Greece that is the source for all of their cheese, as alleged by said owner. (My fave is 1/2 miztha cheese, 1/2 meat sauce.)


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 6:00 PM
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304 is why commercial real estate companies employ geographers who can use GIS.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 6:01 PM
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Even stranger, it served nothing but wurst.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 6:10 PM
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I lived in a neighborhood where P.F. Chang's was the only Chinese restaurant in walking distance.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 6:13 PM
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More to the point, the reason people like chains, and branded product is because the know what they are getting, or at least they think they know. They also know to whom they can complain if they are not satisfied with the product. This becomes more important in a mobile society, where the local reputation is not known by the newcomers.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 6:13 PM
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I WENT TO THE OLIVE GARDEN. IT WAS AGONY.


Posted by: OPINIONATED JESUS | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 6:15 PM
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I live two blocks from a Chinese restaurant I never go to because none of my neighbors go there and I've never seen anybody walk into it. P.F. Chang's is by the store and has brown rice, so we do that a fair bit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 6:15 PM
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PF Chang's serves that chicken in lettuce leaf thing that I love and had previously never seen on any other Chinese restaurant menu except for one in Hong Kong, and it was pigeon, not chicken. So that is why I like it there, even though I think it way overpriced. Chinese food is supposed to be inexpensive.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 6:19 PM
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As for the idea that economies of scale create economies of scale, well, no shit.

Sausagely has become just puzzling at this point.

I've been to an Olive Garden three times, I think -- my mother favored it -- and thought less of it each time. Heavy on the fat (butter) and salt; the last time to a dreadful degree. Far, far too heavy. Pasta may well be overcooked. Etc. And yet I never found it flatly *disgusting* as I did the one visit to an Applebees I made some five years ago. That was nearly inedible.

The Olive Garden outlets/franchises I went to were fairly courtly in their service -- offering freshly-grated parmesan for your individual plate [waitperson wields, with a flourish, exotic-looking device, awaiting your wish wrt to the parmesan], and I suspect that any number of people enjoy that aspect of things quite a bit. A night out on the town. That's what the Olive Garden is about, I think.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 6:21 PM
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Chinese food is supposed to be inexpensive.

I'm nonexistent.


Posted by: 21 Euro-Room Serivce Egg Roll | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 6:23 PM
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$55/person for three; one can easily spend more but it's not exactly cheap.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 6:29 PM
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OK, 313 made me not merely LOL but actually laugh out loud.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 6:36 PM
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316: salt; the last time to a dreadful degree.

This has always been my experience with the catered versions of Olive Garden food: The alfredo sauce is basically just a semen-analogue.

I have only eaten at Applebee's 3 or 4 times -- mostly in situations where it was basically the only food option going. I've always found it pretty disappointing. Not actively retch-inducing, but not much better than that. Bizarrely, the night desk at my college paper dined exclusively on Applebee's-To-Go meals. That was probably why they were all sub-morons.

Look, I'm no gourmet, and no one has ever accused me of not being a good trencherman, but that Olive Garden food is some hardcore, repugnant shit.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 6:37 PM
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Oh, a little bit of TOG trivia: An actor friend used to wait tables there. Apparently (at least at his location) they have one ~$100 bottle of wine on the menu, so that people celebrating the big promotion or whatever can really splurge. The entire stock (3 or 4 bottles) is kept locked in the manager's office desk to prevent pilferage.

Also, I have had the misfortune to dine once at an Old Spaghetti Factory. It was gawdawful too, and the service was atrocious. And the portions: So tiny!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 6:41 PM
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Somebody pretty awesome just took me out to a delicious, expensive dinner at a mutual favorite restaurant, so maybe that is why I am deprecating to such a pronounced degree.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 6:43 PM
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Well, Natilo. Nobody's saying that the Olive Garden is pretty good (except Yglesias). It's just that as these things go, I dunno: Applebees is grotesque.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 6:49 PM
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Alfredo sauce is always a semen analogue. Or maybe you really, really pissed off the waitstaff.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 6:50 PM
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Or made them really, really happy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 6:55 PM
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I find Olive Garden to be perfectly serviceable, although I haven't eaten there in years, because I generally avoid food in the form of a metric ton of pasta covered in cream and meat.

A few weeks ago, we were out with the kids and, as we hungry and were a 30-minute drive from home, stopped in for lunch at an Applebee's where my wife and I each had reasonably tasty and greasy sandwiches and the kids had grilled cheese and chicken fingers (with sides of broccoli and fries, respectively) and we considered the outing to be a success, until we told one of my wife's friends who was HORRIFIED that we would take our children to Applebee's, because it was a CHAIN restaurant, and wasn't there a locally-owned kid-friendly restaurant we could have taken them to?


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 6:58 PM
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The wikipedia entry on alfredo makes me think that I've probably never had an authentic alfredo sauce. I might have to try it just to see what it's like, but I'm pretty sure all alfredos I've had have been thickened with flour or cream.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 6:58 PM
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But 293 is just the point -- TOG isn't going into downscale or isolated areas, they're in UMC SUV country.

The Olive Garden near my parents' town is right next to the freeway in a strip-mall style shopping area with a Costco, a Fry's, an office supply store that went out of business, a sporting goods store, and a bunch of car dealerships. And the only other restaurants are one or two places that are kind of like the Olive Garden in the sense of "American chain family restaurant" and a Burger King. There are no upscale residences within walking distance, and the only residences within walking distance are probably 10-15 minutes away next to a road that may not have sidewalks (I can't remember). There might be residential building plans for the big vacant agriculturalish lot nearby (i.e. didn't have buildings before) but it's been undeveloped for at least five years.

I've been there a few times, but not in the last few years. The place was always full, with people waiting outside.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 7:08 PM
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Somebody pretty awesome

Is there anything you'd care to share, Natilo? {prohibited emoticon deleted}


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 7:09 PM
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Maybe Applebees is better for a lunch at which a person might be down with a tasty and greasy sandwich. There's a place for that, sure.

Has anyone ever been to a Ruth's Chris Steak House? It may be an east coast, or even mid-atlantic thing, as I'd never particularly heard of it before. My housemate's brother is a hearty champion of the place (chain), so we took a carnivorous friend there for a special occasion. Had I known, I'd have asked, politely, for my broccoli not to be drenched in melted butter. Butter, butter everywhere.

What a strange place. One got the impression that movers and shakers (perhaps in their own minds, I don't know) fancied the place, and enjoyed puffing on cigars while they did so. It had the air of a gentleman's club. Very, very weird.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 7:19 PM
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I don't think I've ever eaten at any of the above mentioned table-service chains, but I remember that while I was doing campaign stuff out in the boonies I found it interesting that in NH they were far outnumbered by non-chain restaurants, while in NW Missouri they dominated the eating out market. Coastal vs. 'middle America' cultural patterns?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 7:21 PM
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Ruth's Chris is a national chain. Like the Capital Grille that Saiselgy mentioned. The steaks are pretty high quality.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 7:24 PM
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It had the air of a gentleman's club.

It's true, a lot of steakhouses have this feel. The Capital Grille, The Palm, Ruth's Chris, Fogo de Chao....kind of a peculiar phenomenon, although not hard to figure out.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 7:27 PM
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Tog's argument, similar to one recently made by Saisegly, breaks down on a 'compared to what' basis. Parts of the regulatory state can be, and generally are captured by powerful interests, but absent an activist state the same powerful interests will achieve all they wish. We can also see how this works in the most regulation happy place in the world - Western Europe. It's not that you don't have incestuous relationships between private business interests and politicians and bureaucrats. On the contrary, those relationships are if anything even worse than in the US. But nonetheless, in the aggregate, the greater degree of regulation is a clear net positive for the average citizen.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 7:30 PM
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326: and wasn't there a locally-owned kid-friendly restaurant we could have taken them to?

You should have loaded the kids up with ketchup and turned them lose on them.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 7:32 PM
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Coastal vs. 'middle America' cultural patterns? development patterns.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 7:36 PM
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Coastal vs. 'middle America' cultural patterns?

I'd guess it's more likely to be structural (zoning rules, ability to compile the right parcel of land), or financial (who's got the startup capital to launch a business).


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 7:36 PM
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Ruth's Chris has perfectly good steak but to be completely honest I've never figured out what is supposed to be so much better about fancy steakhouse steak.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 7:37 PM
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It doesn't count as Sifu-pwnage if you add a second thought.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 7:38 PM
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I've never quite gotten the appeal of steakhouses. Steaks are about as easy a thing to cook as there is, all you need is to buy top quality beef. Why pay double the price plus triple for the wine when for the same amount of money you could get an equally nice place with food that takes effort and skill. It's like going out for a super expensive lobster dinner or paying ten bucks an ear for boiled corn on the cob - why?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 7:39 PM
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Pwned by Sifu.

I'd guess it's more likely to be structural (zoning rules, ability to compile the right parcel of land), or financial (who's got the startup capital to launch a business).

But how is some place way out in NH so different from way out in MO?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 7:42 PM
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332: The steaks are pretty high quality [at Ruth's Chris].

And yet, perusing their menu, they specifically highlight the fact that their steaks are drenched in butter 'so they arrive sizzling at your table.' I really don't get that: if the steaks are awesome, why do they have to have butter on them? I just find this bizarre, that's all.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 7:47 PM
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But how is some place way out in NH so different from way out in MO?

It was settled hundreds of years earlier, so the town centers are much better established, and it's surrounded by areas that were settled pre-automobile, so that's the kind of development people are used to? I mean, there are plenty of Wal-Marts and commercial strips in NH, but there's less freeway infrastructure and there are more, older towns. Doesn't take much at the margin.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 7:52 PM
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But how is some place way out in NH so different from way out in MO?

I hope somebody more knowledgeable than me comes along with real data. In the meantime, some rank speculation:

Because NH is a fiercely independent New England state with old, localized government and highly engaged decisionmaking patterns (don't they still have town meetings?), while MO is a poorer Southern/midwestern state with less representative local governing structures?

Because NH is likely to have people with social capital and higher levels of education, such that they are better positioned to launch a small restaurant than people in MO with less education and social capital?

Because the nuisance value for developers of compiling sufficiently large parcels of land near the right size and demographics of a community is too high in NH?

(And on "Why pay so much for a steakhouse?": Because you're paying for an atmosphere, not the food. You're paying to be the kind of person who enjoys luxurious, manly meals, served in an atmosphere of extravagance. You may also be paying to see and be seen by political or financial power brokers. It's a performance. Why else would they have a cadre of young men circling the room with large, impractical serving spears, flashily carving off samples of meat?)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 7:52 PM
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If the cakes are so awesome, why do they need frosting on them?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 7:53 PM
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Butter is the secret ingredient to a lot of good food, adding yumminess to everything from steak to broccoli to traditional French sauces.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 7:54 PM
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Why else would they have a cadre of young men circling the room with large, impractical serving spears, flashily carving off samples of meat?

They do? I've seen that at Churrascarias, but never at an American steakhouse.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 7:55 PM
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Yeah, I can't remember which one I was in -- we have nearly a half-dozen of them in town -- but I'm not exaggerating; that was a literal description. And I personally know some of the guys who do that kind of work (although more bussers, to be honest).


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 8:01 PM
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{prohibited emoticon deleted}

I think she's winking at you, Natilo.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 8:01 PM
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348: I mean, I have seen exactly, literally that at more than one Churrascaria, but that's the scene there. It doesn't seem to fit the American steakhouse atmosphere.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 8:03 PM
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346: Keep your butter off my broccoli, teraz. Or at least ask me first.

Regarding NH vs. MO, Witt has the right idea, but (as someone with family and a fair history in NH), I'd say it's chiefly this one: Because the nuisance value for developers of compiling sufficiently large parcels of land near the right size and demographics of a community is too high in NH?

Also, yeah, they're a stubborn bunch, and will go for a friendly, robust local place over a chain. In the boonies of NH, that is.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 8:08 PM
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As far as I can tell Ruth Chris/Morton's are the dining equivalent of the "How about those Bears?" scene from Trains, Planes & Automobiles for business folk dining with their buds. A slightly less tacky, but significantly more socially destructive bro' scene.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 8:13 PM
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350: I don't recall it anywhere else, but don't they do that, or something like it, at Morton's?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 8:14 PM
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313 is very funny.

There's a steakhouse in a neighbouring town that's been open since the 1930s, and I love going there even though I don't eat meat and have to order a couple of side dishes to have something resembling a meal (there's no vegetarian option: this place is old-school). It's the retro vibe that appeals to me: the dark wood panelling, the heavy chairs, the creamed spinach, the 50s-style desserts. It's not for financial power brokers, though, it's not nearly upscale enough; it's more family-oriented, I suppose, but with the idea (or the nostalgic indulgence in the idea) that taking the family out to a restaurant is a special event. (But of course Witt is right about the manly meals aspect of the steakhouse in general).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 8:14 PM
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353: could certainly be the case. I've never been to Morton's.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 8:15 PM
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I got 5 days of vacation after 6 months and after a year it jumps to 3 weeks. Sick time started accumulating right away though.

Luckily for me, my particular boss is the kind of person who just puts in that you worked your 40 hours if the work gets done. If you work a holiday, you do get an extra vacation day.

So, I had to visit my parents, and I'd put in for the day off, but because my Dad had been sick, she didn't take the time out. (Our team, btw, is one of the most productive in our office, because she doesn't nitpick.)

Other people have to use sick time hours for a dental appointment, but I never do.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 8:21 PM
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I do have to work Veterans' day in order to take 6 days off at Christmas, though.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 8:22 PM
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350: And it's an awesome scene, especially when said flashy young men are good-looking young Brazillians. Right up until ICE raids the place and shuts them down.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 8:24 PM
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354.2: Yeah, we had one pretty much like that--thick steaks for the common man in a basic setting. It was named for a 1930s semi-pro football team and run by a former player.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 8:32 PM
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Frankly, I expected that the Ruth's Chris I patronized had broken out the hot young (but demurely garbed) ladies -- in the private room that was well-marked as soon as you walked in the door -- by 8 p.m.

Strange!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 8:34 PM
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I don't recall it anywhere else, but don't they do that, or something like it, at Morton's?

No. Morton's has a cart that they wheel around with the menu items on it; it'll have the various cuts of steak you can order under plastic wrap on a plate (and a live lobster, if they're serving that), and the waiter/waitress will give you a presentation. No skewers of meat.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 8:48 PM
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thick steaks for the common man in a basic setting. It was named for a 1930s semi-pro football team and run by a former player.

Ours apparently began as a hot dog stand.

In Canada, there's a newish type of restaurant that tends to be run by hockey guys (former players or coaches): an imitation of the old, established American family-night-out restaurant, but generally not nearly as good. America really leads the world in family-style restaurants.

Also, apparently the reason why side dishes cost so much in steakhouses is that they actually lose money on the steaks (and have to make it up with veggies, desserts, and of course booze).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 8:55 PM
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thick steaks for the common man in a basic setting

New mouseover.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 9:00 PM
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361: Ah, right. I've only been there for a press function and didn't get the whole routine. I've heard the meat's fantastic, but I found the vibe unbearable.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 9:05 PM
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I like the seafood at Morton's. "Trust the Morton's fisherman."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 9:07 PM
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362.last: That's interesting; I didn't understand why having anything beyond the given hunk o' meat cost an arm and a leg, and figured it was just some sort of arm-twisting.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 9:23 PM
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362.2: Unclear if mine is still open (some search returns for restaurant sites and an address, but suspiciously no reviews or anything else) . Red Pepper Steak House--all I can find is this. The loudmouthed guy next door was always, "Why would you eat out anywhere else when you can get steak for $5.95?" (or whatever it was at the time). My father semi-agreed to my mother's chagrin; she weaned him away over a period of years.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 9:23 PM
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I, for one, am shocked that a thread about sex has become one about food. I mean, who could have foreseen that?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 9:33 PM
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We had a great meal at Mortons not too long ago after one of Rory's plays. They even offered to print up a personalized menu for her to honor the occasion. Food was delicious, service was warm and attentive. We had a rather stiff and uptight meal at a different Mortons a dozen years ago. After years of development, I've finally perfected my own steak recipe/preparation, so I tend not to go for steak when I eat out, but now and again it really is a treat.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 9:38 PM
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Red Pepper Steak House

Red Pepper Steak House & Cocktail Lounge. Harvey Wallbangers all around as we peruse the large and faux-leather-bound menu: I suggest shrimp cocktail as a starter, followed by the Surf 'n Turf special, with rice pudding for dessert. Perfect!


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 9:51 PM
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emdash--your kids are getting so old now! Are they in pre-K?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 10:20 PM
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I've heard the meat's fantastic, but I found the vibe unbearable.

New mouseover.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 10:25 PM
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362: I went to a place like that. It might have been called Ruby Tuesday's.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 10:28 PM
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210

I can't fathom the brain patterns of people who think there's some sort of ongoing "bargaining" that goes on between the typical employee and employer. ...

Even if most jobs are offered on a take it or leave it basis employers naturally want to make their offer as attractive as possible to potential employees from among the possibilities available at the same cost. So if the average person wanted more vacation and less pay that would be offered.

As usual you guys just want to impose your minority perferences on everybody. Instead why not a mandate that employers allow up to x weeks of unpaid vacation a year?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 10:42 PM
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265

To throw a couple of bold claims out there that probably nobody agrees with, brands, chains, standardization, and replication are some of the most underrated economic phenomena and single-establishment retail businesses among the most overrated.

Sounds right to me. Yglesias is interesting because he doesn't always parrot the liberal line.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 10:45 PM
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Even if most jobs are offered on a take it or leave it basis employers naturally want to make their offer as attractive as possible to potential employees from among the possibilities available at the same cost.

But what universities call "indirects" make it cheaper to higher fewer people and work them longer. Costs, such as health insurance, retirement, training, parking and, office space, are fixed per employee, not per hour worked.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 11:09 PM
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376

But what universities call "indirects" make it cheaper to higher fewer people and work them longer. Costs, such as health insurance, retirement, training, parking and, office space, are fixed per employee, not per hour worked.

If it costs more for an employer to offer a particular benefit (like more vacation time) than the perceived value to the employee then it is not sensible to provide it.

And to quibble retirement benefits are generally based on wages and thus are not fixed. And you don't need parking for an employee who isn't there.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09- 3-10 11:27 PM
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Same awesome person as always (not that this in any way lessens the awesomeness). Open relationship, so that's why I talk about dating sometimes.

The only chain steakhouse I've been to in recent memory was a McCormick & Schmick's, for an office party a few years back. It was not awful at all, and we had drink tickets, and the waiter conspired with me to get the fanciest possible call liquors for mine. I mean, I'm sure it's horrible in other ways, and it's way too rich for my blood now, but I would certainly eat there for free again without hesitation.

This thread is kinda making me want to do some kind of horrid blind taste test of Applebee's, Olive Garden and Old Spaghetti Factory. Kinda.

Also, in Nickle and Dimed, has it ever been positively established which chain restaurant Ehrenreich is talking about that was so disgustingly unhygienic? I had always assumed it was Denny's, based on parts of her description, but I was thinking about it the other day and I wondered if maybe it was really Applebee's. I hope we won't have to wait until 75 years after she is dead to find out.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 12:23 AM
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Huh. Somehow it had escaped my attention that the local branch of Morton's The Steakhouse had closed last year. Weird.

Also, I do not anticipate patronizing Fogo de Chao, as I view the employee uniforms as an Unfair Labor Practice.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 12:28 AM
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I am predisposed to dislike chain restaurants, but I found Olive Garden decent, and Morton's and Ruth's Chris quite good. Applebee's, however, lived up to my expectations. It also helps to peruse the menu with the question in mind "What are they least likely to screw up?"


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 12:36 AM
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I think Morton's is excellent (in LA, it is "Arnie Morton's" to distinguish it from former Hollywood celebrity restaurant "Morton's" which was opened by Peter Morton, Arnie's son, of Hard Rock Cafe fame. Peter's son opened the unfortunately-named "Pink Taco" chain of Mexican bar/restaurants and runs the Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas.)

Anyhow, Arnie Morton's has a big service cart and is light years better than Ruth's Chris or the Capitol Grille. Frankly, I've never left Arnie Morton's anything other than ludicrously drunk in a party of all male yuppies (post-bros?) which I guess goes to Stormcrow's point. But we're entitled to our culture too, goddamnit!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 1:18 AM
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You know what chain isn't bad? Gordo's Taqueria in the Bay Area. Shortly before I moved out to mass, Gordo* taught his New English cousin Anna* how to run a burrito joint and thus my burrito service was uninterrupted.

*Not real people.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 1:51 AM
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Possibly the most disgusting pizza I've ever had was at Applewood's in Menlo Park. Confusion between its name and Applebee's led to some sneering among my friends about Applebee's, but I think Applewood's is "gourmet" non-chain pizza. I've never eaten at Applebee's.

I've never thought of Olive Garden as terrible, but I've also never thought of it as Italian food (and never thought of it as great). I think of American pasta chains as pasta, not Italian. Palo Alto has a branch of some chain called Buca di Beppo that's like an assembly line style of food preparation. Bland pasta, potatoes so dry you might as well eat sand.

Most mediocre chains, like most mediocre restaurants, have one or two dishes you can get away with ordering amidst the sea of awful. It's possible that I benefit from lactose intolerance in that I stay away from lots of dishes because it's not worth the hassle.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 2:05 AM
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I ate at a Gordo's in SF a few times this summer. It made me sick once, but otherwise was not a place I'd avoid at all times.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 2:06 AM
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347 They do? I've seen that at Churrascarias, but never at an American steakhouse.

They do it at Fogo de Chao, which was on Witt's list in 333. But that's very definitely not an American-steakhouse-style place, it's a chain of churrascarias.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 2:19 AM
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I think Applebee's is where I had the most incredible steak ever. And by "incredible", I mean literally not believable: it was half rare and half extremely well-done, as if it had been left hanging partway off the grill for an hour.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 2:20 AM
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One of our top two eat-out meals on a recent beach trip was at at a Taco Bell. We were out in the sticks off I-95 and were hungry. Only my son had eaten at one recently and he handled ordering all the little-known delicacies...


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 7:11 AM
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peter luger. that is all. so, so worth it. once my ex and I were so overjoyed after sharing the giant T-bone that when we got back to the studio-ish apt where we were staying with a friend we had sex (quietly) on the floor of the foyer before slinking to our sofabed. I feel chagrined in retrospect because surely he heard us, and that's not really very polite. especially because he really wanted to have sex with me, as he had pointed out on numerous occasions. well, but that was sort of his problem, I guess.

husband x's friends started his bachelor party at peter luger's at my suggestion, and sean connery was eating there to make it extra manly. also, I think they take cards now, but for ages you could only pay with cash (or the peter luger card, of which I can only imagine like 80 existed). having to carry around rolls of bills enhanced the experience. asian people don't do steak. there is a place near us where you can grill wagyu beef strips over a charcoal-fired brazier mounted in the table, and that is delicious, but there's nothing like a nice thick steak. with butter on it. filet mignon is too liver-ish at times, but can also be nice.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 7:19 AM
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388 makes me happy - my sweetie made reservations for us there in a couple weeks. They still do not take credit cards, except for their own, but do accept personal checks (!).


Posted by: Lambent Cactus | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 8:10 AM
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Starbucks had to abandon downtown, defeated by local outfits. We still have one out on the strip with the big box stores, and another on the interstate, for the tourists. "Upscale" chain restaurants aren't interested in Missoula: Red Robin and Fuddruckers are the kinds of things we get. Hooters and Johnny Carino. All out on the strip as well, probably doing a substantial share of their trade with rural folk come to town to shop, and eat somewhere they are unlikely to have to see a hippie.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 8:18 AM
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I have eaten mashed potatoes at PL many times, because my dad loved it there. Once they were running crazy late and my dad was like 80 and no longer set up for standing around for an hour, so my brother did the "hand the maitre d' a 50" thing, which was mortifying but worked a charm.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 8:21 AM
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Carinos is about the only chain that regularly has a booth at downtown events. Their tagline seems to be 'not your garden variety Italian' which is a clever enough dig at the big chain. I got lunch at their booth once, because the lines were too long at the booths from the local Thai places (but that was before I discovered the salmon quesadilla at one of the taco stands.) I've had much worse.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 8:27 AM
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Oh, Fuddruckers. I grew up thinking Fuddruckers and Schoop's were the local competing step-up-from-Mickey-D's burger joints. I guess I had it halfway right more or less. Five Guys would be the current mistake-it-for-local-while-still-sorta-kinda-being-correct joint. It was certainly disconcerting to see a Five Guys in Manhattan.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 8:27 AM
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We just got a Five Guys last fall. Bold move, I think. By the University, not out on the strip, so basically it's burgers for people not afraid of hippies.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 8:39 AM
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I will never, ever be able to see "Fuddruckers" again without thinking of Idiocracy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 8:43 AM
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Whenever I look at the history of one of these chains, I remember being impressed by how many originate in Texas. Illusion? Coincidence? Something in the culture?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 8:49 AM
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so basically it's burgers for people not afraid of hippies and peanuts.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 8:50 AM
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A Midwestern chain that we like is Max and Erma's (and now I see that they are in bankruptcy and closing locations). Did not realize for a while that it was a chain as the location we patronized was associated with Horne's (department store) in downtown Pittsburgh.

One I really have grown to dislike is Outback--the absolutely-nothing-Australian-about-it aspect starts the whole thing off on the wrong foot.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 9:10 AM
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Uh, I'm pretty sure there are bloomin' onions Down Under, Stormcrow.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 9:13 AM
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398: Max & Erma's, along with Bravo, are two regional chain restaurants that I don't think of as chains because I knew them back before they were. Both from Columbus, OH.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 9:21 AM
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And almeida brings the thread full circle.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 9:23 AM
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Buca di Beppo (cringe) is headquartered here. I've been there exactly once, again, for a work function. It was hella crowded. The main gimmick, other than the gluttonous all-you-can-eat service, is the table set up in the kitchen, which garnered a ridiculous amount of fawning media coverage here when it was introduced. They also had an executive who embezzled a lot of money in stupid ways -- buying himself Rolexes on his corporate credit card and foolishness like that. For all that, I'd way rather pay for a meal there, despite the extra expense, than at Olive Garden. Which I despise, in case that was not clear.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 9:31 AM
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I remember when my parents' town got a Carrabba's (founded in Texas) when I was away at college. Hour-long waits; people agog that they had planted trees?! on the roof?!

All the while I was wondering if then-newly discovered Dashboard Confessional's Chris Carrabba was wrapped up in the whole thing.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 9:43 AM
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378.4 Don't know if they're the same your side of the pond, but some time ago a friend quit on his first day as an assistant manager at a Kentucky fucky after he looked in the freezer. As he put it, "I'd rather be unemployed than go to jail."


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 9:45 AM
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And those that aren't from Texas are from Florida (eg Outback and Olive Garden). Oh, we have an Outback after all. On the strip.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 9:52 AM
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My cousin worked for a little while in a London KFC knock-off. The power went out once, the chicken was green by the time it came back on. The manager insisted that it be used, saying that the batter and semi-rancid oil would mask the stink enough for the customers not to notice.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 9:55 AM
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saying that the batter and semi-rancid oil would mask the stink enough for the customers not to notice.

True dat. Scary though.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 9:59 AM
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My brother has tales of hijinks from working at KFC in high school but nothing getting to semi-rancid green meat. I think the worst things he ever did were (1) forming a biscuit into the shape of chicken wing, breading it, frying it, and selling it as a chicken wing and (2) carding older customers who vociferously demanded their senior 5%-off (or whatever) discount.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 10:08 AM
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400: Actually, I think the Max & Erma's in downtown P'burgh has been there for going on 30 years, but yeah, real franchising and expansion came much later. Just bought out of bankruptcy by the company that owns Village Inn and Baker's Square chains (unfamiliar with those).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 10:15 AM
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Baker's Square

"Come for the food; stay for the pie."

Man, I could play this game all day, apparently.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 10:18 AM
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re: 406

I do always wonder about all those US-State-that-isn't-Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets in London.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 10:20 AM
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411. As far as I can see most of the KFC knockoffs in Sheffield claim to be halal, which guarantees nothing about how clean they are, but it does cater to a market.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 10:27 AM
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409: When I left, the original Max and Erma's was still operating in Columbus's German Village neighborhood. But, you are right that it was already a chain by that time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 10:27 AM
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It only took me two days to figure out a connection to the post title. My catalogue of pop music is woefully limited.

Also, I totally thought that song was from the '60s, and that it had been covered by Bruce Cockburn. I guess I was thinking of The Last Night of the World.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 10:31 AM
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re: 412

Yeah, I think they are mostly halal here, too.

Ironically, the local fast-food place/chippy in my village in Scotland was excellent. A friend worked there for a while, and apparently everything -- pizzas, burgers, kebabs -- was freshly made in house from good quality produce. He had no reason to talk them up -- they let him go for being a tad less reliable than they were looking for. I think even he was shocked when on his first day one of the first things he had to do was make the dough for the pizzas, and start prepping the sauces for the evening kebabs.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 10:37 AM
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In your friend's defense, "prepping the sauces for the evening kebabs" could be misinterpreted as an invitation for something other than food service.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 10:41 AM
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re: 416

He did spend much of the 80s doing an impression of the McConaughey character from Dazed and Confused.

Him with the ciggie at the front [I'm also lurking in there] - http://i52.tinypic.com/2rzdslz.jpg


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 10:51 AM
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They still do not take credit cards, except for their own, but do accept personal checks (!).

Checks are a form of cash, after all.

There's a Five Guys in Pocatello, ID.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 10:53 AM
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I do always wonder about all those US-State-that-isn't-Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets in London.

I've been noticing a chain all over Madrid called "Nebraska", which doesn't evoke the most romantic images for me.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 10:53 AM
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Him with the ciggie at the front [I'm also lurking in there]

Lemme guess: long hair, scarf, on the left?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 10:54 AM
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re: 420

Yup. Aged 17, I think, taken after a gig with our crappy rock band.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 10:56 AM
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I just picked the one who looked most womanly.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 10:59 AM
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re: 422

That would have been a fairly good method at the time, although the shorter guy next to me with the dark hair was probably wearing quite a lot of make-up.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 11:02 AM
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I think I've heard your band before, on the NPR program "The Thistle and Glam Rock".


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 11:06 AM
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re: 424

Did they play our biggest hit?

"It's no a caber, I'm just pleased to clap een on ye?"


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 11:08 AM
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[I'm also lurking in there]

Stand straight, dear, and pull your hair back from your pretty face.

Is it bad that I would also have thought that when I was twenty, and not "Oooh, bad boys."? I was born old.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 11:16 AM
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There's a Five Guys at the mall here.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 11:33 AM
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I've been noticing a chain all over Madrid called "Nebraska"

Which is kind of ironic. In Nebraska, the chain Spanish restaurants are called "Sevilla."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 11:34 AM
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You have to go to South Dakota to see a restaurant called "Madrid."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 11:34 AM
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419 -- Tagline: There's just a meanness in this world.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 11:40 AM
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430: Is this a Big 12 thing?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 11:43 AM
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There's a local Mexican chain (where chain = 4 different locations, all run by the same family) called Guadalaraja ("Guadala-horrible" to the less charitable, but really it's your average Americanized Tex-Mex food). I was chatting with one of the waiters one day when he mentioned plans to travel home to Mexico. When I asked where home was in Mexico, he gave me a really confused look as he said, "Uh, Guadalajara." (Oh. Duh. I'm dim.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 11:48 AM
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430: Heh. The decor is prison storeroom, I assume.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 11:52 AM
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I don't know if the place was halal, but the manager was South Asian so it's possible. All the employees were Polish, none of the customers were. If one wandered in they were quietly told they might want to eat someplace else.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 11:52 AM
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Back in the early nineties some Israeli guy decided to introduce Poland to the wonders of falafel in the form of a place called 'Texas Falafel' in the dark warrens underneath the main train station. The veggies were beets, pickles, and sauerkraut with Magi sauce and some horrible knock-off ketchup as condiments. The falafel itself wasn't bad.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 11:56 AM
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Maggi! We always have to have a bottle of that in the cupboard for soup. My wife insists.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 12:01 PM
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Maggie!


Posted by: Opinionated Rod Stewart | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 12:03 PM
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435 is several kinds of bizarre. We have a chain around here that's echt Portland (though it's headquartered across the river in the 'couve): they emphasize local, seasonal, sustainable ingredients, they buy 100 percent wind power, they compost their food waste and they let cyclists use the drive-throughs. It's the best fast food I've ever had, but it's still fast food.

Sustainability related, why let the sugar in diabetics' urine go to waste? You could, say, make whiskey out of it.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 12:18 PM
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Opinionated Rod Stewart

Filed under "random shit I learned at Wikipedia today":

Stewart is a keen model railway enthusiast. His 23 x 124-foot HO scale layout in his California home is modelled after the New York Central and the Pennsylvania Railroads during the 1940s. Called the Three Rivers City, the layout was featured in the cover story of the December 2007 issue of Model Railroader Magazine. In that article Stewart said that he would rather be in a model railroad magazine than a music magazine. His passion for the hobby has been cited as contributing to the end of his second marriage.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 12:27 PM
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433 -- They let your baby sit in your lap.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 12:28 PM
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Knowledge is power. It's great to learn.


Posted by: Informed Rod Stewart | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 12:28 PM
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There's a Tex-Mex chain in Paris called "Indiana Cafe".


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 1:03 PM
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And it is terrible.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 1:07 PM
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There's a local French restaurant called Petit Pois, and my running joke is to decline to go there for dinner because, if the name is to be believed, they've only got just the one, and it would be rude to make them share it.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 1:14 PM
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There's a local French restaurant called Petit Pois

Petit Pois.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 1:33 PM
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Mwoi, je voudrais trwois petits pwois. Sur le twoit.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 1:47 PM
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You're a guy.


Posted by: Matt McIrvin | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 2:05 PM
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So does Kim du Toit's name mean "Kim of the roof"?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 2:14 PM
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Maybe.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 2:36 PM
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443: I had always assumed so. What possessed you to develop actual knowledge?


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 2:40 PM
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Has anyone ever been to a Ruth's Chris Steak House? It may be an east coast, or even mid-atlantic thing, as I'd never particularly heard of it before.

There was a Ruth's Chris extremely near my old office, but my co-workers and I avoided it because of the prices. After about two years of wondering about its weird name, I finally looked it up and discovered it's the result of someone named Ruth buying a place called Chris Steak House, with a contractual agreement to keep "Chris" in the name.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 3:06 PM
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The exotic allure of Texas.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 3:08 PM
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I didn't realize until this thread that Ruth's Chris was a chain. The one near my folks' house is in an old plantation house, which, among other things, served as General A. P. Hill's headquarters during part of the Civil War.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 3:24 PM
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Ruth's Chris (in)famously relocated its headquarters from New Orleans after Katrina. Fuckers.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 3:54 PM
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I know a couple who are big fans of Ruth's Chris, but they make a point of explaining at length how much they pay for everything they own, apparently having some kind of proto-econ-101 understanding that spending as much money as possible on something makes it better.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 3:59 PM
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I always assumed that Fort A. P. Hill in Virginia was named after a hill. Possibly an Advanced Placement hill.


Posted by: Matt McIrvin | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 4:37 PM
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454

Ruth's Chris (in)famously relocated its headquarters from New Orleans after Katrina. Fuckers.

Everybody should have relocated from New Orleans.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 5:06 PM
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apparently having some kind of proto-econ-101 understanding that spending as much money as possible on something makes it better.

So they insist on only going to places where the kitchen staff is paid at least six figures?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 5:13 PM
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I've never eaten in a Ruth Chris's because I've seen them advertised only in airports and in-flight magazines.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 5:15 PM
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424 and 425 entertained me a great deal.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 5:34 PM
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Possibly an Advanced Placement hill.

I did well enough on the AP Hill to get out of my university's Topograhy gen.-ed. requirement.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 5:36 PM
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ttaM's picture in 417 is marvelous! The 80s! (or would it have been early 90s, given the tattoos?) And: did that young ttaM ever think he'd eventually go for a Ph.D. in philosophy?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 6:03 PM
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Well, here it is. Our last hurrah at work. And I've already been dancing all day.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 6:18 PM
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Everybody should have relocated from New Orleans.

yes, but instead, in a triumph of small government, they were just left there to drown, weren't they?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 4-10 7:09 PM
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223 Yes, without the citing a case-specific dynamic, it's generally called homeostasis.


Posted by: Le Châtelier Econolicious | Link to this comment | 09- 5-10 4:38 PM
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388 asian people don't do steak.

Is Seattle, teriyaki a counterexample.
In NY, Bulgogi tacos are great.



Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 09- 5-10 5:08 PM
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