Re: ATM: Persistence

1

Was this actually sent in by James. B Shearer and is it secretly one big metaphor?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 12:17 PM
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It was sent in by Moby and he's actually explaining the problems in the path that the vent takes from his dryer to the exterior wall.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 12:19 PM
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I think you should continue to be persistent, at least for this semester. He might be a little bit shy, and he might also be aware that you're extending the invitations (at least partially) out of kindness, but it seems from your description that he does ultimately enjoy spending time with you -- otherwise, he would plead busy-ness and beg off.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 12:25 PM
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If you have been inviting him f2f, maybe email or text instead. I think that some people prefer talking and others prefer writing, maybe he is a writer rather than a talker. I know that if someone mentions dates while talking to me, I will either email or text myself with the specifics.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 12:30 PM
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The first few times I mentioned it in person, and then said "Why don't I email you some dates?" and then did. This past time I emailed him, right off the bat, and he mentioned it in person afterwards, and...no confirmation for a date. (And the first proposed date has passed.)

Also, he said this time "I'd really like to take you all out to brunch this time!" Which he's mentioned before on his way out, and which is totally fine - I can understand that he'd like to reciprocate. But it makes it hard for me to press him to put down a date, since he's treating.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 12:34 PM
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6

Good god, being courteous sounds like a lot of work.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 12:37 PM
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7

6: It's not for the weak of heart.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 12:40 PM
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he mentioned it in person afterwards [. . . ] And the first proposed date has passed

If he affirmatively brought it up in person after some time has passed, then it sounds to me like he really does want to hang out, but feels shy or awkward or sad. Maybe bring up brunch dates again, but frame the occasion as an invitation to your house, allowing him to extend the offer to treat you?


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 12:41 PM
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6: You think this is bad, you should try small children.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 12:41 PM
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If he affirmatively brought it up in person after some time has passed, then it sounds to me like he really does want to hang out,

This isn't quite right, although your point may still stand: he brought it up the same day as I sent the email, and said he needed to check his email. Since then, radio silence, and the first proposed date was yesterday.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 12:42 PM
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11

I think he feels uncomfortable in an unequal relationship.

(see Debt by David Graeber)


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 12:46 PM
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12

Which would imply I should just let it go.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 12:49 PM
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13

Isn't restaurant-brunch sort of inconvenient and non-conversational for you, with Heebie and Hokey? If you wanted to renew the invitation without waiting for him to host, you might say that: that it's nice for you to have some adult conversation while at home where the kids can run free. And tell him to bring donuts or something.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 12:50 PM
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14

I'm actually pretty good in a restaurant. Hawaii acts like a three year old, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 12:52 PM
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15

Maybe you should all agree to meet at Chain Drive?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 12:52 PM
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16

More seriously, brunch at a restaurant wouldn't be bad. The kids are used to getting breakfast tacos and do pretty well in the morning at restaurants. We'd go somewhere not-crowded and with short prep times.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 12:53 PM
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17

I mean, as an angle to jumpstart the conversation I could certainly say so.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 12:54 PM
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18

I would say be persistent. He may be too depressed and disconnected to behave like a normal person.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 12:55 PM
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19

Except that putting off meeting people is pretty much the definition of a normal person.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 12:59 PM
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20

And he may also be courteously letting you drop the invitation in case you're just being dutiful and don't really enjoy having him around. In which case being pushy about it is good.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 12:59 PM
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21

How about you stop fucking around and ASK him about this? If you really enjoy his company then fine, make it clear you don't consider him an emotional charity case even if his are still bouncing around. If you don't enjoy the brunches then he might be picking up on that. I mean, I'd rather eat a gun than bacon and eggs with someone wishing to be somewhere else.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:03 PM
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22

Should I re-email? Or mention it in person?

(Also his mother died at the beginning of December. He had a really shitty, shitty year.)

(He does have a son/daughter-in-law/grandson in Austin, and it sounds like he spends a lot of time with them. So he's not completely isolated.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:05 PM
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23

What if the eggs had cheese?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:05 PM
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24

How about you stop fucking around and ASK him about this?

How about you not be an ass about this? "Hey, since your wife and mother died it's hard to read the etiquette of your mixed signals. What's up?" doesn't roll off my tongue.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:06 PM
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25

21 is kind of the crux of the biscuit. I wouldn't actually broach this explicitly, because that sounds like a conversation with unnecessary potential to make people's head explode with embarrassment. But if you're doing this just because you're worried about him and not because you enjoy having him around, I'd let him drop it. If you're actively delighted by the chance to socialize with him more and regretting that you never got around to it when his wife was alive, on the other hand, I'd keep being pushy unless you got clearer signals to go away.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:09 PM
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26

Be brave. It's an acquirable characteristic.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:09 PM
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25 crossed with 24, but I do really think you should be paying attention to Biophysicist, as probably the commenter in the position to empathize most accurately with your colleague.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:10 PM
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28

That would have looked more sensitive if I could remember more than the first couple of letters of anyone's handle.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:11 PM
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29

But if you're doing this just because you're worried about him and not because you enjoy having him around, I'd let him drop it. If you're actively delighted by the chance to socialize with him more and regretting that you never got around to it when his wife was alive,

It's neither one nor the other, quite. His wife was extremely private, and their life seemed full, and I don't generally extend many invitations.

I am concerned about him, but I also actively enjoy him, and I see a faint ulterior motive that we don't really have grandparents in the area and he really likes kids and inter-generational friendships are nice. (Not grandparents in the sense of pawning them off on him as a babysitter, but just general intergenerational fondness.) So I see it as a mutually beneficial relationship to foster.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:14 PM
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30

Some of us enjoy eating bacon and eggs EVEN IF our companions don't want to be eating with us.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:16 PM
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31

11, 12: Or find something you can ask of him. (Ask to borrow one of his books. It worked for Ben Franklin and it can work for you.)


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:18 PM
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32

So long as the demon toast is completely absent from the scene.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:18 PM
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33

No, I get that Biohazard has actually been through this, and I do value his input. I just bristled at the tone.

Plus, he's no shrinking violet so I figured I could be blunt back.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:19 PM
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34

31: That was the kind of thing I had in mind.

Biohazard's direct approach is probably more sensible.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:23 PM
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35

Another ulterior motive is that my parents are unhappily resigned that they'll be moving to Texas at some point in the next ten years, and I vaguely wonder which friendships I could foster on their behalf. He's not the only person that's crossed my mind there, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:24 PM
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36

To be serious:

31 is a very good suggestion.

I think there's a certain mindset, which I certainly share, and that is very very common in our culture, where fear of being a "burden" or appearing pathetic trumps absolutely everything else, including a desire to ask for help or even just a bit of company. That's a common human response but it doesn't necessarily mean it's a healthy response. Nor does it mean that deep down companionship isn't valued even if it feels awkward to get there. I think it's totally appropriate for Heebie to try and be just a little pushy about socializing.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:25 PM
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37

He's always telling me about books. It would be super easy to ask to borrow one. (Then I have to read the boring book inevitably about sailing or history, don't I.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:27 PM
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38

37: Most like someone here will have read it, and be able to feed you talking points.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:28 PM
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39

36: Yeah. I have an overdeveloped desire to avoid awkwardness and either socially imposing on anyone or making them think they're imposing on me. And honestly, feeling like that means that no one ever gets out of the house. People willing to be a little awkwardly pushy about being friendly are most of the reason anyone ever speaks to anyone else in real life.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:28 PM
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(Then I have to read the boring book inevitably about sailing or history, don't I.)

You could ship him up here to have brunch with me and my dad? He sounds like my type of codger.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:29 PM
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41

By the way, thanks for the recommendation here for Railroaded, a really interesting read so far.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:32 PM
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42

37: Cliffs Notes


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:37 PM
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43

Email sent. I said that I wanted to know the book so I could recommend it to a friend, and I will certainly recommend it to all reprobates who call Lunchy Lunchy. And followed up on another social point and asked if he were free on a few upcoming days.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:38 PM
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44

To elaborate: borrow the book and then separately buy the Cliffs Notes. Read the notes, and then read the parts of the book that actually seem interesting.

This should be more than enough to talk about it afterwards.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:39 PM
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45

Is there a reason not to ask him directly whether he'd be willing to be a part of your kids' lives? That's a pretty huge favor to ask, so it evens out the relationship for a long time to come, and it tells him that you really do value him and his company. Plus, quasi-grandparent! They are the best, and I think it's worth trying to formalize the relationship rather than just hoping it develops.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:39 PM
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46

Unless there's no Cliffs Notes available.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:39 PM
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47

As long as you're taking my advice, another way to deal with 11 would be to charge the bereaved an hourly rate plus a penalty for missed appointments, but I see you already went with the book method.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:42 PM
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48

Definitely tell us the name of the book. Books about sailing and/or history are the best.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:42 PM
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49

Although the method in 47 was not endorsed by Franklin as a way to make friends.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:43 PM
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50

48: TimeBoat


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:43 PM
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51

20,000 Years Over the Sea


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:44 PM
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52

The fastest way to cement a friendship between him and the kids would be for me and Jammies to get out of the way. I always feel like our presence prevents the kids from bonding with other adults and even other kids sometimes.

I don't feel any particular urgency to rush that along, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:44 PM
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53

The Time Traveler's Wife's Sailboat
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Sailboat


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:46 PM
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54

53.2 flows more naturally as A Connecticut Sailboat in King Arthur's Court


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:48 PM
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Moby Timedick. Master and Time-Commander: The Long Time of the World. The Voyage of the Timebeagle.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:50 PM
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56

How did time travel get involved, again, here?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:50 PM
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The Sisterhood of the Time Traveling Pants


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:51 PM
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58

The Three Day Road. He warns that it is not a feel-good book. We're on for brunch later this month.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:51 PM
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58: Oh dear.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:55 PM
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60

It looks like you've gone ahead and played a turn, but I think you could accomplish the meat of 21 with something along the lines of, "In case you had any doubt, I do want you to know that we really like spending time with you. I hope you're not worried about being a burden or a charity case, because as much as we want to make sure you're all right, we also rather selfishly enjoy having you around, not least because our children are unreliable conversationists." or something.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:56 PM
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61

60 before 58. NEVER MIND YOU'RE DOIN GREAT


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 1:57 PM
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Time Travels With Charley


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 2:00 PM
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63

56: That's the history part.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 2:08 PM
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64

56; It sounds good.

Boyden writes as good a battle scence as you will ever read and I must add writes some of the best sex scenes on paper.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 2:10 PM
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58: Good book. There is a follow up "Through Black Spruce" also worth a read.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 2:11 PM
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Some of us enjoy eating bacon and eggs EVEN IF our companions don't want to be eating with us.

Indeed this may be the normal condition.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 2:11 PM
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67

64: That was supposed to say "58:..."


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 2:11 PM
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65 was me.


Posted by: A. Lea Toric | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 2:12 PM
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38, 65: I knew it!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 2:13 PM
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58: On the plus side, the book has now introduced "Whiskeyjack" as a potential baby name.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 2:15 PM
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70: Isn't that a common name for the Canada Jay (aka Grey/Gray Jay)?

I don't say that to discourage the adoption of the name, but to enhance it.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 2:24 PM
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You can call me Grey or you can call me Jay or you can call me Grey Jay.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 2:26 PM
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From Wikipedia: "In addition to the once official 'Canada Jay,' there are [as common names], lumberjack, meat-bird, camp robber, venison-hawk, moose-bird, gorby and, most notable of all, 'whiskeyjack'.

I'm not sure that 'whiskeyjack' is more of a notable name than 'gorby', or 'moose-bird' for that matter.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 2:27 PM
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Hold the phone MEAT-BIRD?!? SOMEBODY'S BABY HAS TO BE MEAT-BIRD.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 2:28 PM
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75

All birds are meat, except maybe there is an exception for penguin so you can still eat it during Lent.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 2:31 PM
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76

How about yours, Tweety?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 2:33 PM
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75: The power of the Walrus lobby at the Vatican


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 2:39 PM
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33: My apologies for the tone.

Yes, "Simple and Direct" (ISBN-13: 978-0060937232) is generally preferred and especially so when under some sort of stress. For sure, early on I didn't have any surplus processing power available to decode subtle signals, he might not either.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 2:45 PM
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Oh, thanks. I shouldn't have snapped at you; I do thnk you're the right one to ask on such topics.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 6:16 PM
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80

||
Is Far from the Tree like 7,000 Kindle screens long or is my percentage marker not moving? It's the slow reader's nightmare.
|>


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 6:53 PM
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Actually I think my attempt at exaggeration there was kind of like "ONE....MILLION....DOLLARS" in Austin Powers since I am way more than 10 screens in and it's still on 1% and I think the book was 700 pages.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 7:00 PM
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82

It's really really long, but it ends at 50% on kindle.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 7:07 PM
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83

I regret to say that my Canadian family uniformly called grey jays "camp robbers." " Whisky-Jacks" would've been much cooler.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 7:22 PM
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84

I didn't know you were Canadian. Can you explain The Red Green Show to me?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 7:34 PM
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85

83: That's also what Proenneke called them in his diaries, so apparently it's the Alaskan term as well.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 8:07 PM
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86

Sorry, I'm half-Canadian, half-Mormon, raised in the Bay Area. My (Mormon) mother encouraged Canadian Content, but that mostly took the form of Farley Mowat and so forth. And I'm barely catching up with American pop culture.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 8:14 PM
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84: Duct tape.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 8:18 PM
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88

Right, but I meant the aspects unique to Canada.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 8:20 PM
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I once saw a short TV profile of Steve Smith that showed him driving around Hamilton in his Jag and talking about wintering in Florida. Quite discombobulating.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 4-13 8:27 PM
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Only in Austin do they call wheat tortillas with eggs breakfast tacos. Though they are otherwise served all over the country - even at McD's - as breakfast burrito's. I so hated living in Texas.

If you have the patience, I think you should just keep inviting him. It surely helped me in similar circumstance.


Posted by: DN | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:48 AM
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When it comes to naming conventions for Southwestern American cuisine, I always defer to the superior judgment of McDonald's.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 6:29 AM
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stanley!


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 6:49 AM
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80: Maybe footnotes throw it off? I'm not familiar with the Kindle, but I'm 99 percent sure my Nook (which I still need to replace since it broke a couple months ago, dammit) turned all footnotes into hyperlinks to endnotes for most books, and put all the endnotes on individual pages at the end, so if a book had 40 or so footnotes then the last 40 or so pages would have one short paragraph on them each.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 7:51 AM
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Only in Austin do they call wheat tortillas with eggs breakfast tacos. Though they are otherwise served all over the country - even at McD's - as breakfast burrito's.

Huh. I was ready to disbelieve, but I searched Yelp for various cities: only in Texas did the phrase appear substantially, and most of all in Austin (300+ hits). Even LA was less than 30 hits.

I do think of breakfast tacos as smaller than breakfast burritos - much less stuffed. But perhaps it varies.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:21 AM
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