Re: This Is Not A Good Idea

1

Yeah, they say "collaboration", but really its what happens when real-estate becomes more valuable than labor.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:10 AM
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We have mostly open offices where I am, and while I won't defend them in general, the noise problems you have are far from universal. I don't like wearing headphones (I can't listen to music while I'm working and actually get any work done) and it's generally quiet - everyone else is pretty respectful of the shared space. Some teams have designated "loud argument rooms" adjacent to their open office space and I hear that works pretty well.

It helps that we don't even have work telephones, though. The situation's a bit different over in the sales side of the office.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:11 AM
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Under those circumstances I'd wear noise-cancelling headphones permanently.

One thing I dislike about such arrangements is that they make fucking around on the job harder. I get a lot done, but I need that random fucking around time to recharge.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:13 AM
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My team was previously in a different building that was exclusively 2-4 person offices. I did find it a lot more inhibiting in terms of even knowing when people on my team were around, much less whether I could go and talk to them. There's an argument for having that kind of focus available, but having done both, I think this way is working better for us.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:14 AM
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I really like my office. Especially today because it's hot and I have my own climate control.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:14 AM
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I have my own white boards. Two of them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:16 AM
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I can't listen to music while I work either. "Rain sounds."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:17 AM
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Compromise: Pet Sounds.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:18 AM
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It sounds incredibly awful and I'd probably be more productive, at least if it was the quiet, respectful kind full of people that I felt would judge me if I acted like normal.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:20 AM
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You aren't allowed to listen to music or just you can't work if you are listening to music?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:22 AM
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Nobody has an office? How do you know who's a bigshot? And what is there to live for?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:22 AM
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I just can't work if I'm listening to music. Music seems to occupy the same part of my brain as coding.

11: You know who's a bigshot by how many meetings they go to and who they go to meetings with. Canonically, the higher-rank you are, the less you need an office, because you spend all of your time in meeting rooms instead.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:25 AM
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11.2: This sounds so complicated! It's so much simpler here -- the attorneys all have offices with windows, and the bigger deal you are as an attorney the bigger your office is. The most important non-attorneys (staff people) get little offices with windows, the next most important staff people get offices without windows, and then there's the peons that are in cubicles.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:32 AM
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"If you work hard, someday you can have a view. Of Ohio."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:37 AM
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I also can't concentrate with music on!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:37 AM
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I am not currently allowed in my office, because the mold levels measured so high that they declared it uninhabitable. Or something. I'm not sure if it's being cleaned or condemned.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:38 AM
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But you do actual math, not this coding bullshit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:39 AM
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Slowly and badly but yes!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:42 AM
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Maybe you'll be faster if you get away from the spores.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:43 AM
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16: So are you working outside now? Or did they move you to the gym?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:44 AM
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We have cubes, but we're in an old building with giant beautiful ceilings, meaning all conversations are amplified. Thankfully, we compensate by being quiet and using Slack for most conversations. I couldn't stand a full open-plan office.

I am absurdly lucky in having a cube with a door behind it that opens out onto a balcony with a view of the Mon and Mount Washington. But we've been moving in a few months for the last three years so I treat it as fleeting.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:45 AM
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16: I'm not actually sure where they've put people who are teaching classes. The secretary got moved to a different building. I'm enjoying staying home.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:47 AM
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I mean, 20.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:47 AM
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We had to pick office space recently. The options were a big coworking place with open seating but a fancy startup-y kitchen with free espresso and snacks and crap, or a funky shared office in an old building where you get your own space and can assemble your (permanent) desk area as you please but there's just a regular espresso machine you have to supply coffee for and the snacks cost money. To my utter bafflement the other people preferred the coworking space. I went along with them but man, I hate it. I think I'm going to rebel soon and make us pull up stakes and move to the other place.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:48 AM
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25

You're going to go work for Facebook?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:50 AM
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That took me a minute to parse, because Facebook's local office is actually in the same building as this shitty, echoey coworking space.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:52 AM
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A woman at xfit switched jobs and was soliciting help in how to join in the fray at lunchtime and sit with all her new coworkers. (I mean, she was asking in a very lighthearted way, not actually fretting.) Still, I was so baffled that everyone seemed to think that was the obvious best way to spend your lunch break.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:52 AM
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And also has an open plan office, although it's all coders so people are pretty quiet. This place has people doing, like, sales deals and printing and collating and shit. it's miserable.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:52 AM
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Possibly, I'm psychic.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:53 AM
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We are currently building out a major expansion to our HQ building, and the entire expansion is planned to be open office. Unclear at this point who stays in the old building (with offices) and who goes in the new building (without offices). I would have expected the answer to be obviously seniormost peoples keep the offices, but apparently some of the seniormost peoples are excited about the new building with more modern features and in theory they don't mind no offices. So it seems like basically it will come down to: if the head of your division wants to be in the open floor plan, your division will be in the open floor plan.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:57 AM
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I've been in newsrooms my entire adult life, and they are, pretty much by definition, open offices. I have enough pull in my current job that I could claim an office if I wanted to, but if I had an office, I'd probably use it.

I did arrange to have my back to a wall. That generally gives me enough privacy.


Posted by: President Anonymous | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:59 AM
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I think if I moved to an open office plan, the first thing I'd have to get used to would be that I couldn't pick my nose whenever I wanted to.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 8:01 AM
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I get to work from home two days a week now, so I'm looking through the glass door from my dressing room/office to watch the cats play, which is wonderful. At work we're in one big room with up to eight people at a time talking for work-related reasons and other people chatting and so on. We have cubicles, but it was really amazing once I started working from home how much more pleasant the quiet could be.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 8:03 AM
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Didn't we do this subject fairly recently? Anyway, I've never worked somewhere that wasn't open plan and it's fine. Indeed unless you happen to be next to someone particularly loud it seems preferable for collaborative working. That said, I'm pretty good at blocking out distractions, to the extent that I can be quite oblivious at times.

At my current workplace, even the CEO doesn't have an office. There are, however, lots of meeting rooms.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 8:03 AM
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Open-plan has its pluses and minuses: there's some perfect balance between opportunity to focus and opportunity to easily interact that is highly individual and can't be satisfied by any office for more than, say, three people.

Taking a private VC call from a cube is straight-up BS and needs to be called out. Some folks convince themselves that headphones make it OK, when they actually make it worse: now you're hearing half a conversation barked by somebody who can't hear themselves properly.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 8:04 AM
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I think in every single open-plan desk I've ever had, there's been at least one obnoxiously-loud oblivious dude within earshot. Sometimes it's me.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 8:07 AM
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We have an open office as well. One thing it's good for is being able to hear the CTO's side of a phone call, so that I have some advanced sense of when something new is going to be dumped on our team.

I like open office within a team, because we really do circulate and pair a lot. I can also overhear people working on a ticket and sometimes save them time by knowing what the issue probably is, and vice versa on my own tickets.

I would prefer closed offices between teams, but team composition and size changes frequently enough that it would probably be challenging to organize at our company (and our CTO is a big open office fundamentalist, so it would never really be on the cards as long as he is in charge).


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 8:19 AM
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I DRIVE A FORKLIFT, YOU EFFETE FUCKS that is, we also have an open office plan and yes it is kind of bullshit for jobs that aren't significantly collaborative, but I'm also very used to it at this point as an office and it's more visually appealing than cubes. I work 60% from home ($200 IKEA hand-cranked convertible desk, that's my pet name for my forklift) and the balance is kind of nice. Five days at the office would be wearing. (Also I'm on the verge of quitting my job pretty much 8 hours a day every day at this point, but nah, really shouldn't.)

24/26: did I miss an update? congratulations due or anything?

I guess this is the place to plug Nikil's book. I don't know if I'll ever read it, though. Fleetingly I saw a NYT review that contained the line "There is nothing secret about this history."


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 9:31 AM
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Owing to a (physical) reorganization, I am now in a different part of our open-plan office. The new part is much, much louder, and it's terrible.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 9:41 AM
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I like open office within a team, because we really do circulate and pair a lot. I can also overhear people working on a ticket and sometimes save them time by knowing what the issue probably is, and vice versa on my own tickets.

I work in an open office, and it's definitely mixed. It is valuable to be able to eavesdrop on other conversations, but there are also days when I'll lost an entire morning or afternoon of work because, after the third or fourth time of being distracted by a co-workers phone call my focus goes completely out the window.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 10:10 AM
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My employer, which is known for giving people offices, is converting to open plan buildings. A lot of orgs are having massive space crunches as a significant fraction of the buildings on campus are being remodeled to make them open.

I didn't mind open offices at my last employer since people were generally pretty quiet and took discussions to meeting rooms, but at the new place it appears to be normal to take multiple hour-long "phone" meetings from your office every day. If that norm doesn't change after the remodeling, it's going to be impossible to get any real work done from the open offices.


Posted by: sral | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 10:12 AM
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To clarify, it's common for offices to be shared among two people, so taking an hour long phone call already seems like a bad idea to me. But not to most people here!


Posted by: sral | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 10:15 AM
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First time in an open office. So far not too bad, but there's only a dozen of us in the office in a fairly big space. I really wish my back was to a wall so I could occasionally dick off without being obvious about it.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 10:43 AM
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Just spit balling here, but I would think that somebody with the skills could adapt an RSS reader to make an comment thread look like a spreadsheet or code.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 10:48 AM
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It is code! Just read the raw html in your browser.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 11:01 AM
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I spent most of my working life in open offices, so I suppose I'm inured to them. In Britain they're the default, rather than cubicles, which are uncommon. The worst is the noise pollution. The best is that you have 360 degree warning of your boss approaching.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 11:15 AM
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I prefer libre office plans.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 11:15 AM
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I thought that "open office" referred to cubicles, just relatively low ones so that did go to the roof. When I worked for state government, the next office over was one giant room with maybe 100 people in it in lowish cubicles of maybe 8x8 or so. That's what I thought "open office" meant. I'm not sure I've ever seen an actual open office with 360 degree exposure.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 11:20 AM
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Just spit balling here, but I would think that somebody with the skills could adapt an RSS reader to make an comment thread look like a spreadsheet or code.

It works pretty well to resize the comment thread to cover just the email preview pane in Microsoft outlook. Someone really paying attention would notice that it's not an email, but they'd have to be paying close attention (to the point of reading your screen).


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 11:26 AM
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Don't cubicles normally not go to the ceiling? If they did, wouldn't that make them...offices? Or at least offices without doors. The image search results for open office plan agree with how I'd define it: no walls between workspaces. Sometimes long desks are shared. See also that picture of Zuckerberg going around.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 11:29 AM
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I also get confused when folks contrast "open plan" with cubicles, since there are definitely cubicle-like dividers in my office but they're low, like ~4 feet. I think the canonical "cubicle" office has 5+ foot dividers that you have to meerkat over.

In my current office the only real "privacy" is provided by a 3'x5' panel attached to the back of the adjustable-height desks, and by the careful positioning of monitors. I have learned to dick off without shame.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 11:30 AM
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Does no one call a no-walls, not even cubicles, space a bullpen anymore?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 11:31 AM
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43: My spouse works in an open office environment and she's described the dicking off at very blatant. E.g., visibly playing computer games at your desk. This is one of those common knowledge/shared knowledge things. Everybody dicks off; everybody knows everybody dicks off, but once everybody knows that everybody knows that everybody dicks off, the blatancy goes though the roof.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 11:31 AM
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50: But IRL I've not seen anything like those pictures. In graduate school, there were desks all in a row separated by only small dividers, but those were in rooms that held maybe a ten people at most. Everybody was facing a wall, not another desk.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 11:33 AM
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54: My wife works at the Cookie Quadrilateral and it's like that.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 11:34 AM
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I've only been there to the bar on the ground floor.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 11:35 AM
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Actually, the entire office isn't like that--some people are in cubes. Well, hexes. And they're low-walled without a back.

For another example, here's the people who make Minecraft.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 11:40 AM
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Possibly I'm getting the advantage of never having an office in a modern building.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 11:40 AM
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At least the Minecraft people get two monitors. I don't know how anybody works with one.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 11:42 AM
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59: I only have one, and I don't get anything done.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 11:49 AM
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Just spit balling here, but I would think that somebody with the skills could adapt an RSS reader to make an comment thread look like a spreadsheet or code.
As I wrote last week, I use the rss feed on top of my screen, and it fits in nicely. People look over my shoulder all the time.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 11:54 AM
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I thinking of that, but such a thing would look much more out of play on my screen than code or a spreadsheet.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 12:04 PM
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For another example, here's the people who make Minecraft.

What, did Microsoft make them sell their extraordinarily tacky new office?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 12:08 PM
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I work in a bunch of different office spaces depending on the project, and I can handle almost any setup as long as I'm facing the entry with a wall behind me. I cannot abide anyone being able to walk up and see my screen.


Posted by: freight train | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 12:08 PM
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I would seriously start burning shit down if this idea came to my workplace, but I think lawyers would be the last ones to implement an open office plan, for tons of reasons including secrecy. I assume that the GCs of these companies don't have to sit at the open library-like tables or whatever, though I guess I don't actually know.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 12:18 PM
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I am one of the only people I know with a job that involves a lot of programming that has my own office. I don't know how I would get anything done without it. I would and do take a substantial pay cut (relative to what I might command if I hit the job market) for it.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 12:32 PM
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From what I can tell, lawyers in my company have shared offices with closing doors. As Nathan said earlier in the thread, that does not imply they don't have ample access to private spaces for sensitive discussions.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 12:32 PM
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I know LE attorneys who went in house and had to explain why neither they nor the HR people should be working without offices.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 1:07 PM
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lawyers would be the last ones to implement an open office plan, for tons of reasons including secrecyall lawyers being insane prima donnas.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 1:18 PM
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Whoops, 69 was me.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 1:18 PM
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66

My job is more coding than non-coding (I had four hours of meetings today and it was unusual and debilitating), and I have a real office. It has a window and is at an angle in the building, so I guess I'm part of the 1% here.

I find that coding or debugging productivity plummets proportionally to the number of interruptions, purposeful or inadvertent. When someone comes to my door and says "Do you have a minute?" even that costs me between 15 minutes to half an hour even if I say "NO."*

* I do grumpy really well.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 3:42 PM
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The university is getting ready to demolish the building I've been housed in for the past ten years, so they've moved out everyone except me and one other professor (who's on the other side of the building from me).

I'm the only one left on my hallway of offices, is my point here. It is utter bliss. I have absolute control of the AC, the hallway is utterly silent except for whatever racket I make, no one every comes down the hall except when they're coming to see me... it's like it's my private office building.

I'm going to be sad when I get moved to one of the new buildings, onto a regular hallway filled with offices full of other faculty. I tried to talk them into keeping the building up just for me, but no go.


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 5:25 PM
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That sounds like the start of a suspense movie. If you hear banging in a corridor you know nobody is supposed to be on, don't go down to check it out.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 6:01 PM
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Our office isn't open, but it has a lot of the same issues. There are a few private offices, but mostly the part of the building I'm in has sort of pseudo-offices that are more substantial than cubicles in having doors and full-height walls, but no ceilings. There are also glass panes in weird areas that make a lot of locations feel very exposed, and you can basically hear everything. The building was originally a bank, and it's really not suited for use as an office building.

I recently moved to a new location in the building and I hate it. It's somewhat private in that people can't see what I'm doing from many angles (but the ones from which they can are very weird), but it's right in the middle of a bunch of other pseudo-offices and the sound bounces off the walls in weird ways so it sounds like it's coming from different directions. I'm finding it very distracting and it's not helping with my current general lack of motivation for work.

Also, over the weekend apparently someone fired a gun through the glass wall of the office that had been my supervisor's before she left. Friday was her last day, and yes there were a lot of jokes about her taking her revenge. I was in a meeting when they discovered the bullet hole, so I didn't see the response but apparently the cops came to investigate and there was so much broken glass in the offices in the line of fire (this is a drawback of not having walls that go all the way up!) that they had to have a cleaning service come in with special equipment to clean up. The cleaners were still there when my meeting ended, and it took them a few hours to be done. They still hadn't found the bullet as of the last I had heard around midday.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:50 PM
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America, home of the brave.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 7:54 PM
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A guy got shot a block away on Sunday, but it's not clear if there's any connection.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 8:34 PM
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Shoot up your office on your last day and you might end up taking the bullet home.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 11:06 PM
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Well, not necessarily the same bullet.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-27-16 11:09 PM
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Unacceptable things about the guy who sits next to me: wears cologne (he's foreign); has notification sounds enabled (he deserves to die).


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 7:13 AM
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He might smell worse without the cologne. You could ask.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 7:26 AM
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Oh, my god. Newt has just reached the teenage-boy age where he feels the need to use strongly scented body-wash, and he smells terrible.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 7:33 AM
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I mean, ordinary scented body-wash terrible. And I have mentioned this to him, in a manner warmly supportive of his personal choices to smell like whatever he wants to, but he should know that if people are having sneezing fits when he walks by, there's an explanation.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 7:36 AM
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But he's not foreign, so ogged won't be bothered.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 7:36 AM
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82: He uses pollen brand body wash?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 7:40 AM
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With iPhone 7, releasing enough pepper to make those around you sneeze will be a notification option.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 7:55 AM
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81/82: I assume you're familiar with Dahlia Lithwick's fix?


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 9:08 AM
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At the impressionable age of 13, I was compelled to use Lynx (as we call Axe) to kill Soviet cockroaches, normal pesticide having proved completely ineffective, as did standing on them. Watching Lynx's rapid and completely lethal effect cured me of ever wanting to spray the stuff on my own person.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 9:13 AM
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You're either younger than I figured or that stuff has been around longer than I thought.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 9:19 AM
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Well, given that these were Soviet cockroaches, you can more or less tell how old I am.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 9:25 AM
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The roaches didn't just give up socialism when Yeltsin pissed everything away.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 9:27 AM
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Lynx has been around for as long as I can remember, which was well before the fall of the USSR, though admittedly after the Beatles first LP.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 9:29 AM
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Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Spray for men.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 9:32 AM
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89: Yeah, I bet we can figure this out. What year did they introduce cockroaches into the USSR? 1986? Part of perestroika?


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 9:37 AM
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Wikipedia says Axe/Lynx was introduced in 1983, which seems about right to me.

92: Want. Presumably smells like leather, cigarettes, and the decay of empire.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 9:37 AM
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Psst. Do you know any good Asian restaurants of the fancier sort? Close to Oakland is better.
Asking for a friend.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 9:42 AM
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95: JRoth reviews restaurants in P'burgh. Have you emailed him? If you don't have his email, I'll send it to you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 9:45 AM
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I have his email, but I figured if he wasn't around he might be busy and plus I could just look at this reviews in the archive.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 9:54 AM
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98

With the caveat that my tastes are surely less refined than JRoth's:

Most of the Asian restaurants I go to are in Squirrel Hill. Everyday Noodles is fancy Chinese. We went there last week and it was a blast. Sakura is Japanese on the face of it but really northwestern Chinese (and has a JRoth review posted on the inside). Chaya is genuine fancy Japanese; the place to go to if you like your meal to still have a face on it. Silk Elephant for Thai . Coriander for Indian probably doesn't count as fancy but should be considered; there are a lot of other good places but I don't think any of them would count as fancy.

Actually in Oakland: I've enjoyed whatever the Indian restaurant on the northern bit of Craig is called now--Indica?--but I think they got hit with a health code violation recently. Lulu's is a great noodle place but it's more hip than fancy, and plays to a younger crowd.

Shadyside: If Thai Place is still there it's a really good...Thai place.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 9:55 AM
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Apparently there are like four Japanese places on Oakland Ave now on the block between Forbes and Fifth. I guess I don't eat in Oakland much.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 10:00 AM
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Thanks.

On the Indian restaurants, I thought the one that got hit was the one on 5th. When I asked (before that violation) an Indian about it, she told me to go to the one on Craig, north of campus.

I think maybe Chaya might be what I need. I'd forgotten about that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 10:06 AM
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95ff. Pittsburgh is nowhere near close to Oakland.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 10:18 AM
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There's one in Alabama, but that one hasn't has a single scene from a Batman movie filmed in it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 10:32 AM
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Speaking of places with the same names as other places, there's apparently a Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania. It's very conveniently located no where near New Jersey or any shore.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 11:06 AM
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I drive through there frequently. It's confusing. It is on the shore of a tributary of the West Branch Susquehanna, at least, and supposedly early settlers were New(?) Jersians. I also occasionally go through Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania, a few hundred miles away from Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 11:45 AM
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I'm thinking of hiking up that way.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 11:49 AM
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Black Moshannon is on my list, but it's inconveniently far for a day trip.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 11:51 AM
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Be sure to pack a printout of the disambiguation page.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 11:52 AM
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The Pine Creek Trail ends in Jersey Shore. I was looking not at that trail, but at the West Rim Trail, which runs across the river from it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 11:54 AM
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99: Kirala in Berkeley was the best Japanese restaurant I ate at in that area, but we're talking over 15 years ago now. Is it still going?


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 12:43 PM
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Kirala still exists.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 12:46 PM
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109: Wrong Oakland.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 12:56 PM
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Ah. Sorry. It was nice to feel nostalgic for a few minutes, though.


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 12:59 PM
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That's not really the kind of block you get nostalgic about. It's got perfectly good restaurants (I ate lunch on that block today), but none are very high end. And, while there are at least three places where you can get sushi on that block, I don't think any of them are actually run by somebody with a connection to Japan.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 1:03 PM
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For example, my lunch cost $7. The place two doors down sells "bubble tea" and across the street you can get $2.50 drafts during happy hour.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 1:08 PM
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There's no possibility of my ever being nostalgic for your Oakland - the furthest east I've ever been in the US is Reno.


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 1:08 PM
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Assuming you mean Reno, OH, that's only about three hours from here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 1:11 PM
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Back in my dating days kirala was a major first date resto. Ah memories...


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 1:24 PM
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Japanese food is probably pretty good for dating. Certainly better than German food, if you need to pick a cuisine based in an Axis power. Italian food is better than German but just too common now.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 1:34 PM
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Apparently, I'm so bad at recommending Asian and/or fancy restaurants that we're going to a regular bar. Go me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 1:56 PM
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Food snob Asian who used to live in Pgh gonna butt in here. If the person you're asking for likes Americanized Asian food, then my advice should be disregarded.

The only decent Asian place in Oakland is Spice Island on Atwood. Some of their Malaysian dishes come pretty close to what I would expect in Malaysia. It is reasonably fancy.

Chinese food:
How Lee in Sq hill for Szechuan food, but order only from the back page. The front pages are standard overly sweet American Chinese things.
Orient Kitchen on Baum (border of Bloomfield/Oakland), again ask for the special menu. If you're white they won't bring it to you (seriously, I went with a white friend, and he arrived first and was given only the 'white people' menu, until I came and the waitress explained that she didn't know he was coming with Asians).

I do not like Thai Place in Shadyside at all; I think it is bland and tones down strong Thai flavors to suit white people's tastes. Smiling Banana Leaf in Highland Park is my favorite Thai place. Nicky's Thai Kitchen (downtown & north side) is not bad either.

Also in Highland Park, Teppanyaki Kyoto. Japanese food that is not sushi. For sushi I've heard good things about Soba/Ume in Shadyside but they are expensive (which may be what you want). For less expensive but very good sushi in a less traditional setting, Penn Ave Fish Market in the Strip.


Posted by: Ponder Stibbons | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 1:58 PM
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I thought Spice Island was Cuban?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 2:02 PM
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No but it's next to a Cuban sandwich place. It's Malaysian/pan-southeast Asian (but I recommend only the Malaysian dishes) and is fancy enough to serve novelty cocktails.


Posted by: Ponder Stibbons | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 2:03 PM
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I keep meaning to try the Asian people menu at How Lee, but I'm afraid they'll yell at me. Plus, it's right down the street from the Squirrel Cage and they have fries.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 2:03 PM
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Plus, it literally adjoins the new hipster bar.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 2:04 PM
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A bunch of my white friends became regulars at How Lee, only ordering from the back page, and the staff loved them.


Posted by: Ponder Stibbons | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 2:05 PM
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But is it written in English?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 2:05 PM
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There's also a Nepali place on the north side and an Uzbek place in Mt Washington if you want to be more adventurous. I like both.


Posted by: Ponder Stibbons | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 2:06 PM
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Yeah, they have English translations, and some are a bit wonky but most are pretty descriptive.


Posted by: Ponder Stibbons | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 2:07 PM
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I'm not crossing a river for dinner.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 2:07 PM
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129 to 127, in case somebody thinks I'm talking about a metaphorical, ordering-Chinese-food river.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 2:09 PM
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I forgot Noodlehead in Shadyside. Thai place, slightly Americanized, but nice interior and minimalist menu. I used to go there at least once a week.


Posted by: Ponder Stibbons | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 2:47 PM
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120: I usually ordered the destroy-my-mouth spicy dishes at Thai Place, which probably aren't authentic in the least, so I never thought of them as bland. But I've been there maybe once in the last five years.

I've been meaning to try How Lee's actual Asian food; I have them mentally categorized as "generic Americanized Chinese takeout place," despite the fact they've put a lot of effort into being a nice sit-down restaurant.

130: I know river crossing is against the ways of vampires our people, but in the Chinese chess tradition, when you cross the river you also get to move sideways.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 3:12 PM
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118: Axis power cuisines ranked by suitability for dating:
Japan
Thailand
Vichy France
Italy
Romania
Germany
Bulgaria
Hungary
Russia


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 3:13 PM
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What the fuck, is there anyone in Pittsburgh who doesn't comment here?


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 3:14 PM
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Whoops, forgot Iraq. Just above Russia I think


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 3:16 PM
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Yes! That person who was reading a thread in a coffee shop that one time but has never admitted to doing so. I can't die until he (or she? but I think not) delurks.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 3:17 PM
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Ponder is at least ex-Pittsburgh. Like ned, and...you, I guess.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 3:17 PM
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Not me! I've visited, but that's all. I've spent most of my life in this generic Pittsburgh equivalent, or I assume that's why they hate each other.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 3:20 PM
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133: What is it about Bulgarian food that makes it more suitable for a romantic evening than Russian food? Or, I suppose, less than German food?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 3:22 PM
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134: Also I assume all of us are waiting for the eventual link to Moby's wife's secret blog.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 3:24 PM
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139: Feta?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 3:24 PM
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By you I meant Tigre. But post-industrial Ohio river town solidarity!

We've confirmed that the mysterious coffee shop lurker wasn't me, right? Pretty sure we've talked about this before.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 3:26 PM
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I mean, I also suspect many would be interested in the thoughts of Senora Tigre. (I can pretty succinctly summarize what Lee thinks of me in case there's curiosity on that front, but I'll bet there isn't.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 3:27 PM
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We have, dalriata, because it's a totally reasonable and not at all weird obsession of mine!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 3:28 PM
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141: Plausible.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 3:34 PM
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143 - in the Tigre household, there are no thoughts, only action.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 3:42 PM
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Ze Germans have better cake than the Bulgarians.Cake is romantic.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 4:07 PM
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Why does Romania beat Hungary?


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 4:25 PM
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So, it turns out Spice Island was their favorite restaurant but they had lunch there. But I think Ponder can claim a win even though we didn't go there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 4:30 PM
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148: Grit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 4:31 PM
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What is it about Bulgarian food that makes it more suitable for a romantic evening than Russian food?

Staggering array of fruit brandies.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 4:35 PM
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This Romanian food looks pretty romantic to me. Let's eat tripe soup and talk of sex.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 4:37 PM
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The haggis loaf with a boiled egg inside is pretty much sensual romance for the tongue


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 4:41 PM
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I thought the Rumanians were supposed to be crypto-Romans, not crypto-Scots.

Actually those baked potatoes look pretty nice, but probably potatoes do not mean "romance," except in Ireland.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 5:28 PM
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Those cabbage rolls are for real great.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 6:24 PM
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||

I made my first motion and it failed. I moved to exclude lead from a list of permissible building materials. And it failed. You can build with lead (as a secondary material) here.

|>


Posted by: LadyBird Johnson | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 6:40 PM
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156: At least you tried. Rome wasn't built in a day, although it was admittedly made partly of lead.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 6:41 PM
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So was that the asshole faction or the stained glass window people that stopped you?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 6:42 PM
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Also, good choice of thread title for that comment.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 6:42 PM
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The stained glass people! One of the people was like, "Uh, my mom does stained glass using lead. Maybe the church people need it." The city planners were like, "Seriously, you can exclude it and it won't affect anything - we can't think of a situation in which it would be needed" but somehow that wasn't convincing.

I went 0 for 3 tonight on the topics that I voiced an opinion on. Two of my own introduction. I can't tell what I'm doing wrong but I'm not at all convincing people who are generally compatible with me. They all more or less asked like I was asking for a major PITA concession for points that I thought were very minor. The second, a new definition was being voted on, and I asked for a modifier to inserted that would make it (significantly) more accurate and one person said, "Eh, that seems like the type of thing that could be changed later on, right?" Everyone seemed to say, "You're right, but everyone knows we mean that, so why are you nitpicking?"

I'm feeling indignant and annoyed.

|>


Posted by: LadyBird Johnson | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 6:48 PM
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I've repaired stained glass windows using lead. It's the funnest metal ever.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 6:49 PM
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Is there, like, an unspoken rule that new commissioners wait a certain amount of time before making motions? That sort of reaction makes it sound like there might be.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 6:51 PM
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I'd have thought you were more the mercury type, Moby.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 6:51 PM
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Lead came (heh) is just really fun to work with.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 6:53 PM
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Maybe! If so, I should ask for some mentoring because I was unaware.


Posted by: LBJ | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 6:53 PM
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That and houses made of recycled car batteries are why people use lead in construction.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 6:54 PM
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They wanted to fix up this abandoned church into a community center and they were Mennonites and all crafty. So, to repair the windows they had classes that you could take and learn how to make stained glass windows while you repaired their windows. The church was some kind of Methodist thing, so the art wasn't as intricate as a Catholic window (no pictures of saints), but I'd bet a 4x4 section of window (the size we did for the class) would have at least ten pounds of lead in it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 6:58 PM
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I later saw the woman who taught the class at a Halloween party where she was dressed as a tube of Preparation H. Guess what her date was dressed as?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 7:00 PM
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A lead pipe?


Posted by: LBJ | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 7:03 PM
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A penguin?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 7:05 PM
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Anyway, there must be so much lead around there. All those borders you see between the pieces of glass in a stained glass window are lead. To restore the window, we took apart the old window, put the old lead somewhere, and rebuilt with the same glass. The old lead had to be replaced because it was all crumbly. I'm pretty sure hipster Mennonites are usually environmentally responsible so the lead was recycled, but we certainly didn't have any breathing masks or any way to contain the dust.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 7:06 PM
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The third one was bog-standard protectionism of existing businesses, but I thought the mechanism was dumb and weak. I'm game for protecting local owners, but I'd prefer legislation that explicitly says and does what it says it's going to do, not weird backdoor things that really seem unlikely to have any affect anyway.


Posted by: LBJ | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 7:10 PM
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I'm game for protecting local owners...

Thank you for your support.


Posted by: Opinionated Nazi Memorabilia Replica Maker | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 7:13 PM
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172.last to 168ff.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 7:14 PM
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Re Thai Place:

I did order spice level 10 there (as I do everywhere) and it was mild to me. Noodlehead at least tastes moderate when I order their maximum spice level (which is 5).


Posted by: Ponder Stibbons | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 7:35 PM
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but everyone knows we mean that

That usually doesn't stand up in court.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 8:13 PM
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133 is missing Slovakia. Also, there should be a things called Tiso soup.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 8:27 PM
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If you count Slovakia (or I guess Vichy France) there's a whole range of Axis puppet state cuisine to try, from Manchukuo to Croatia. There should probably be some special dining experience at Epcot Center for this.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 8:45 PM
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"Eat like a nervous fascist-aligned puppet monarch," the experience.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 8:47 PM
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Quickly, then.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 8:48 PM
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Speaking of which, I just realized that King Zog of Albania probably got to for-real utter one of the greatest movie lines, "KNEEL BEFORE ZOG," more than 50 years in advance. I mean it's a little different but still, art imitates life.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 8:51 PM
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Speaking of nervous fascists, Trump appears to be spamming foreign legislators asking for campaign contributions.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 8:52 PM
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175 is hilarious.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 9:43 PM
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As is 182, though also inexplicable. What kind of amateur operation is he running?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 11:28 PM
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It's astonishing how incompetent they appear to be. All indications are that they're not even trying to run an actual campaign.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 11:30 PM
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Like, they didn't even start fundraising until last week (after everyone laughed at them for not having raised any money), and their response was to solicit money in ways that are so blatantly illegal that everyone seems to be assuming they are just massively incompetent.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 11:33 PM
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Obviously it's not good to be complacent, but the Trump campaign is such a joke that it's really hard to see how he can possibly win.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 11:35 PM
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It's not clear that Trump would do better with more fundraising, He already has pretty high visibility, and beyond his core issues of walls'n'stuff he appears to be completely empty policy-wise and not particularly interested in trying to change that impression.

I'm not going to go as far as saying Trump won't do better, it's just hard to see campaigning and fundraising making that difference, as opposed to external factors or Trump becoming a different person. A Trump win would be the ultimate fuck you to the American political system.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-28-16 11:50 PM
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He's way behind in the polls, though, and a general election campaign is a totally different context from a primary. More money may not necessarily help, but it certainly couldn't hurt, and the amount of money he's raised so far is trivially small in context.

That said, it doesn't seem like Trump has any interest whatsoever in doing the actual work of either fundraising or campaigning, so whether he would benefit from it seems kind of irrelevant.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 12:01 AM
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||

NMM Scotty Moore.

|>

182. There was a wonderful response to that from a SNP MP on FB yesterday, but I can't find it.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 3:39 AM
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Here you go:
https://twitter.com/NatalieMcgarry/status/745790016891289602/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Remarkably restrained by Scottish standards.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 3:42 AM
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Donald junior is a quarter Scottish so she probably went easy on him.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 4:53 AM
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re: 102

I may be generalising from my own experience, but Scots tend to be quite 'not give a shit' about people's ancestry. I don't mean in the sense that it's some post-racist paradise. I expect a lot of ignorant wee knobs care that someone's parents were from Pakistan, say.

But if you tell us that your great-grandmother was from Aberdeen or whatever, you don't earn any Scottish points.

American: "Oh your Scottish? I'm Scottish too."

Me: "Aye, what part of Scotland?"

American: "Idaho! But my great-grandfather was from Dunoon."

Me: bites tongue


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 4:59 AM
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to 192, I mean.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 4:59 AM
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Maybe we'll have residency tests, though:

"Right, use 'fankle' in three sentences."

"When and where would you wear a simmit?"

"With reference to the popular song, how many floors are too many when it comes to jeely piece flinging?'

'Pan or plain?'


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 5:03 AM
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192 was less than serious.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 5:06 AM
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"I have frequent pain in my f' ankle."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 5:06 AM
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re: 196

I knew. My wife complains that I am unable to avoid the literal humourless reading of things, sometimes.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 5:11 AM
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I note with relief that I could pass 195.

"What meal will you have had?"
"Wha's like us?"
"Where were we on the way to with whose army when and why?"


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 5:31 AM
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199.3: Before I went to the States, I thought that the only words to that tune were the Scottish ones. So when I was in a baptism service in an Episcopal church one Sunday and the organist started improvising on it as a voluntary, it completely blew my mind.


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 6:09 AM
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198: See, if Moby's wife commented here, we could find out if she has the same complaint about him!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 6:27 AM
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She has a list. I'll see if that's on it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 6:30 AM
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Not that I could pass a single one of the other questions in either 195 or 199 without googling. I don't have a single drop of Scottish blood, as far as I'm aware. Just English, Welsh, German, and a tinge of Irish (sadly too far back to apply for a passport). My 19th-century German ancestor did have the distinction of penning a patriotic song that later became a Nazi and now a neonationalist anthem, but let's gloss over that.


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 6:40 AM
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I certainly couldn't answer any of them, except "Wha's like us?", of course. But then, as far as I know I have no Scottish ancestors since the 17th century, when they were shipped over to Ulster to become a public annoyance there and subsequently in Canada.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 6:48 AM
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I have a Scottish grandfather and I've spent more time in Scotland than in England, so if Scotland splits off I think I'll try to go with them rather than stick with Rump UK. I have no idea if that would even be possible. I have no more claim to Scottish citizenship than to UK citizenship, but given the choice I'd go Scottish. That said, I have no clue what the answers to ttaM and Ajay's questions are. I just want an EU passport. Also I have a lot of good memories of Scotland, while my major positive memory of Rump UK is the fantastic burger I had in the Heathrow transit lounge. Does losing your virginity confer any kind of connection to the place where it happened? AFAICT my virginity is currently somewhere in Ayrshire. I should seek out the lady in question and get a sworn statement just in case.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 6:59 AM
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http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/fankle

http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/sndns1436

http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/semmit

By way of assistance.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 7:06 AM
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Does losing your virginity confer any kind of connection to the place where it happened?

Not unless you do it really wrong or really right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 7:07 AM
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There's probably a folk tale about that.

One of those Just-So stories, where some huge divot out of the ground is explained by it being where Sadhbh's arse was, that one time with Fionn mac Cumhail (Finn MacCool).


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 7:11 AM
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If it gets really bad, Mrs y can play the Irish card, which I believe I can coattail. How does health care work in Ireland?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 7:16 AM
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208 Golf-ball size cumhail it was.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 7:16 AM
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In Canada, and probably other places there are enclaves where many people were from Scotland. These have an ethnic self-identity which is distinct over time from anything in modern Scotland. In Galbraith's Western Ontario, a hundred years ago for instance, the self-identifying term Scotch was still used, as in the 18th century, despite being deprecated elsewhere.

So I was raised with an awareness of ethnicity on that side of my family, but no sense of immediate connection or possession of modern Scotland at all.

I imagine many Irish Americans relate back in a similar way but don't know. It brings something distinctive to your way of being here, but not necessarily any connection to there.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 7:23 AM
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211: See also Otago and even moreso Southland in New Zealand. Pretty sure I heard a tinge of Scottish in the accent there that wasn't in the rest of NZ. It's particularly obvious in the religious distribution.

As for the Irish-American thing, yup. We're probably the worse at claiming a kinship that is so remote as to be meaningless, and we definitely have the largest industry of it. My great great grandpappy came from Cork, whatever good that does anyone. Certainly too distant for me to play the Irish card.

(At one point it was mildly entertaining: it turned out there was another guy with the same name who came from Cork County, not Cork City, who moved to the same metro in the US in approximately the same year. There was a great story in the Philly papers about how the local government tried to eminent domain his property to put a railway through it and neglected to inform him; he was arrested trying to beat up the workers. The next day they came back and his wife shot at them with a malfunctioning revolver; thankfully, no injuries. Lots of racist eye-dialect and references to the crazy micks. Alas, after extensive research found there was no actual relation.)


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 7:45 AM
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Lots of people have the same name in my family. I'm told it makes genealogy very difficult, but I've never tried.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 7:50 AM
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I keep going to weddings where I have the same name as the father of the bride. I'm always afraid they'll stick me with the bill.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 7:53 AM
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205, 207, 208: Kipling had an opinion.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 7:54 AM
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You'd think the fact that every Gaelic name can be Anglicized three or four different ways would cut down on the inter-family name collisions, but nope. I have to give props to my patrilineal Protestant ancestors, who, at least in the old country, were good about unique names. Once they became Catholic, though, it's all Jr's. and III's.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 7:54 AM
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My family really doesn't Junior anybody (except my uncle). Boys get named after uncles and grandfathers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 7:57 AM
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Not to say it isn't a charming tradition, and I wouldn't have minded being a IV. It just makes the research harder.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 7:57 AM
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re: 211

Yes, and Scottish fiddle players and the like go to study with people from Canada, who've preserved styles and techniques that are lost or hard to find here.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 8:01 AM
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On girls names, there has been some concession to current trends. Lots of old names for the girls still, but nobody is named "Mary" any more.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 8:01 AM
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I have a teacher and a girlfriend in Canada.


Posted by: Opinionated Scottish Fiddle Player | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 8:01 AM
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209: it's a bit crap, really. The public system covers everybody but on the hospital side has big backlogs in both procedures and, what's probably worse, in scanning (because they will move you up the op queue if it's actually urgent, but if they don't know ...) Many people (not so many as before) have private health insurance but pre- existing conditions aren't covered for I think 5 years after taking it out.
For GP level stuff people on low incomes can get a medical card or if slightly less low a GP only card. Limits are better for over 70s. Otherwise you have to pay.
Prescription drug costs for those without medical cards over €144 per month per family will be refunded by the HSE.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 8:07 AM
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There's this Scottiish-Canadian anthem that was popular in the 90s, or at least among my Canadian hockey-playing housemates. "The thistle and the maple leaf are the emblems of the free." OK then, Canadians!


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 8:08 AM
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PS there's a public long term illness scheme too providing better terms for those with certain chronic conditions.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 8:11 AM
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212 - yes: Southland (and some Otago) accents have what they call a "burr", which is really just a rhotic island in a sea of non-rhotic accents, and it's almost certainly a remnant of the Scots accent.

It's very noticeable in Invercargill - I'd say it Invercargill and so would burr havers, but most New Zealanders say Invacagill*.

* apologies for the crude phoneticisation.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 8:21 AM
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OK then, Canadians!

That's the name of the national anthem.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 8:24 AM
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"Invacagill" is actually the underwater metropolis of the secret remaining population of Steller's sea cows.

(Emir, thanks for Irish health info -- my sister is moving to Dublin for grad school this fall and I try to pick up bits of information for her in my role as infantilizing, all-knowing older sibling. Say, do you know if there is likely to be Brexit-driven pressure on the Dublin housing market sooner rather than later? The vague prospect of an influx of i-bankers from London seemed worrying, and I know it's not great to begin with...)


Posted by: Lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 9:39 AM
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Yes, thanks emir. That's a little depressing. Looks like I'm going to have to hang in until the dismantling of the NHS makes it worse than that (maybe a couple of years?), because I really need all round affordable health care.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 10:07 AM
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Regarding the OP, I just heard a 10-minute rhapsody on a fancy restaurant in London where my colleague dined during a recent business trip. You could order pigeon, so it's either really fancy or postapocalyptic.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 12:41 PM
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Or both. It could be both.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 12:41 PM
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227: timing of any effect will depend on how soon any moves happen, assuming they don't all go to Frankfurt or Madrid. Supply is very low for both purchase and rental - both have shrunk IIRC in the last couple of years for complex reasons (and there was no new building during the peak crisis years). I'm afraid September is a bad time to be looking, too. Where is she going to be studying? I might be able to get someone to scan noticeboards for any house share ads in August.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 2:06 PM
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229, 230 - a Road Warrior/Anthony Bourdain mash-up could be interesting.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 2:15 PM
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231: There was this and another mention on the BBC of Morgan Stanley targeting "Dublin or Frankfurt" in particular. She'll be at Trinity, and plans to go househunting the last week in August (for a family-sized unit). I wondered if there would be any sense in her trying to go sooner.

You've been super kind about sharing advice in the past too, and I'm very grateful.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 06-29-16 3:27 PM
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Having trouble with commenting (4th try), will follow up again


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07- 1-16 5:07 PM
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