Re: It Takes Money

1

Also, safer media strategy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:25 AM
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Also, fires cover a much smaller area than a hurricane, move slower, So. Cal people mostly own cars and can get away, etc.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:26 AM
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also also also


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:27 AM
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First, as the article acknowledges, Katrina was a much bigger event. Second, this fire problem just happened in 2003, didn't it? I bet NO will be pretty well prepped for Katrina II in 2009 if (God forbid) it happens again.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:31 AM
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Yes, this is all about California (culture of competence) v. Louisiana (culture of corruption). Schwarzenegger has successfully not spoiled a reasonably functional system -- which, let's be honest, is apparently a high bar for lots of GOP politicians, so good for him.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:33 AM
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Also, no one was afraid of the San Diego refugees. One of the creepiest things about NO was that there were people who could have walked out to places where assistance would have been available, but there were police keeping them in.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:33 AM
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When I was at my grandmother's house, we were watching some news show that had a segment on people in one of the stadiums where they were housing people who were displaced. There was a creepy tone to the thing that felt like "see, white people can behave themselves in a stadium", overlooking the extreme contrasts between the two situations. I'll never forget a segment on all of the clowns they brought in to entertain the kids. BIG difference from people without clean water.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:39 AM
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I bet NO will be pretty well prepped for Katrina II in 2009 if (God forbid) it happens again.

Not a sure bet at all.

Grand Forks was flooded in April 1997. The victims were not blamed. The response was basically efficient, but the town has not completely recovered. Katrina brought the worst out in a lot of people.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:41 AM
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One of the creepiest things about NO was that there were people who could have walked out to places where assistance would have been available, but there were police keeping them in.

Probably not a coincidence that they went door to door confiscating guns first.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:43 AM
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I bet NO will be pretty well prepped for Katrina II in 2009 if (God forbid) it happens again.

Prepped in what sense? What has been improved? I think the response at all levels at government was to say "LOL we're just government, we're a bunch of losers who can't do anything, you need to rely on yourselves".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:49 AM
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10: I'd be astonished if there aren't fairly specific plans in place for responses to NO-related weather problems. It's not the harm to the people that the government wants to avoid, but the embarrassment. Similarly, it's one thing if terrorists successfully attack the US in the near future, and it's another if they do so by flying planes into buildings.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:00 AM
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11: You should be more prepared for astonishment. Especially when it comes to LA/NO governance.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:06 AM
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It's not the harm to the people that the government wants to avoid, but the embarrassment.

It does not seem like the government behaves competently as a means to avoid embarrassment. Sometimes the government behaves competently. But I think when the stakes become "embarrassment", the people running the show descend further into incompetence.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:16 AM
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Becks, why do you point to tax rates at all? Isn't the overwhelming difference between CA and LA the overall wealth of the places?


Posted by: dan | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:23 AM
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Right. There's a difference between tax rates and tax revenues. Poorly funded school districts often have higher property tax rates than neighboring wealthy districts -- the problem is that a lower rate on a higher property value brings in more actual money.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:25 AM
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Watching the coverage with Rah last week I could not resist saying, "Oh, look, Chirtoff's not afraid of white people." Gods, I hate our government.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:27 AM
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s/Chirtoff/Chertoff, of course. Stupid hands.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:28 AM
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I'm never sure that what looks like abject failure to us might not be a success for them, seen through other eyes.

We've already mentioned the notion that the behavior of refugees was being graded somehow. There's also the trope about government's inability to help, look, this proves it. What good are taxes?

These kinds of thoughts make me bite my tongue on more and more issues these days.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:31 AM
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According to the Tax Foundation (an anti-tax outfit, but they do some good data collection), California ranks 12th in state and local tax burden (11.5%), while Louisiana ranks 17th (11.0%).

Once you factor in federal taxes, California shoots up to 8th and Louisiana drops to 44th (this is largely an income/wealth effect). So score one for Dan and LB.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:31 AM
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People owned their own transportation. When the firefighters came in and said, everyone out! here come the flames! people packed up their SUVs and left. When NOLA said everyone out! here comes the hurricane! people tried to take the bus and the train except that they had already stopped running.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:35 AM
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I read yesterday that ONE THIRD of the avocado trees in Southern California were lost in the fires. Last year it was frost, this year it's catastrophe---am I ever going to be able to afford good avocados again?!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:38 AM
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I think the default belief should be that the deficient response to NOLA was motivated partly by the goal of making Louisiana a whiter, more Republican state, and turning NO into a Las Vegas-like recreation town. See Naomi Klein, "Shock Doctrine".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:40 AM
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That sounds about right. I wouldn't attribute the deficient prior planning to that motivation, but the post-Katrina response looks very much as if the administration viewed it as a providential bit of fortuitous slum-clearance.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:48 AM
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CA takes emergency response very seriously, and does the stuff you have to do. They recruit state workers all year round to get trained in emergency response; that is paid training and you get time away from your job to do it. They keep a floor of the flood center empty and standing ready; no encroaching boxes and binders on the shelves to block access to your emergency equipment. They have a command structure in place (very hierarchical, very strict protocols, good for fast decisions) that we all learn. They were incredibly good about letting me (a junior nobody) watch every instance of decision-making. (They're pretty desperate to fill behind them as the senior flood managers age out.)

I don't know how much of that is money (I assume a lot), and how much is simply priority and preparation, but I came away deeply impressed.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:52 AM
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22: That sort of thing - that a lot of people up the chain tutted quietly and rubbed their hands together at the thought of redevelopment and bleaching the voter registry - is exactly what I suspect. I just feel like it's crazy to say it out loud, so I usually don't.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:55 AM
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CA takes emergency response very seriously, and does the stuff you have to do.

I've got to say that I'm really glad to hear it. There's some apocalyptic event in California every single damn year, as far as I can tell.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:58 AM
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re: 25

I just feel like it's crazy to say it out loud, so I usually don't.

That sentiment is the product of a lot of very hard work on the part of a bunch of people. It's become almost impossible to say things that damn near everyone knows to be true because those things are 'dirty hippy' or 'conspiracy theorist' talk.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:00 AM
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27: Completely OT, but how's the "one-legged Lithuanian lesbian" line produced by the Tory leader playing in the UK? I heard a report about it this morning on BBC World Report and about drove off the road.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:03 AM
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I think that graft and cronyism was the main cause of the original bad preparations.

Besides ranting about shiftless Negroes, the wingers mostly tried to figure out ways of blaming Democrats in local government. Local graft and incompetence really were a big part of the problem, but the wingers didn't actually care about that. They were just trying to divert attention from Bush.

Something about the blatantness of the Katrina response makes me think of it as the most vividly disheartening event in American history (except for a few massacres). There was so much transparent malice, pointless stupidity, and in-your-face brazennnes about what was done and not done, and said and not said.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:03 AM
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26: sure does seem that way. And, no. You cannot have avocados.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:06 AM
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Is there evidence of that intent in Klein or elsewhere? For me, the default assumption is the same as Kanye West's, they just don't care about black people. Is there evidence they had the long-term consequences in mind?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:08 AM
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25, 27: You know, I read Emerson's comment, and thought, "Duh, of course." And then thought, "But I wouldn't actually say it, it sounds paranoid." And then thought "Damn. That's not right. Better comment."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:08 AM
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re: 28

Actually, I hadn't heard of it until you mentioned it. I haven't really watched the news since the weekend, though.

Campbell seems to be claiming he was misquoted. Apparently he joked about 'one legged Lithuanian dance groups' (in the context of Arts Council grants).

I don't imagine it'll hurt him. A large part of the Tory core constituency is pretty reactionary and those who aren't will be inclined to cut him some slack.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:09 AM
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re: 32

I can think of several other similar 'facts' in the UK political context -- things which everyone knows to be true but which no-one says in the media except when reporting the views of 'conspiracy buffs' or the 'loony left'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:11 AM
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31 was me.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:13 AM
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31: I'd have to google around for it, but I've seen repeated complaints from displaced New Orleansians that there is (was?) habitable housing that people aren't being allowed to return to.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:15 AM
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36: I've heard this first hand, and probably seen it a year ago. The latter meaning that I've seen blocked off buildings that appear perfectly habitable, but by no means actually inspected them, so who knows.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:16 AM
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Without rehashing the whole sorry Katrina episode, the Navy did have the USS Bataan http://www.windsofchange.net/archives/007448.phpon station in the Gulf of Mexico and she arrived near NO as soon as the hurricane passed, and her aircrews did heroic work resuing people off roofs. Many of the bridges had collapsed, were impassable or were unable to handle the tonnage of the trucks bringing relief supplies. The Delta is a hard place to get around in once the primary infrastructure is damaged.

Of course, in California most of the emergency prep is for earthquakes, but it works for fires, floods or terrorist attacks as well. There are always public service spots reminding us to have disaster prep kits at home, at work and in your car. They say to be able to self sustain for at least three days to a week.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:17 AM
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if I recall correctly, the Bataan sat idle offshor for days waiting for a go-ahead to help. Reported as source of great frustration to many on board. Eventually they were undoubtably a big help.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:21 AM
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30: According to some economist I heard this morning imported avocados will satisfy the guacamole jones without much of a price rise.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:22 AM
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39 could be misremembering the actual chronology --- there was a BBC report about this I remember, but there was also a lot of contradictory information flying around at the time. I'm not meaning to impugn the Navy particularly, and clearly in restrospect the relief efforts were a massive clusterfuck which wasn't helped at all by difficult (as TLL mentions) conditions on the ground.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:24 AM
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39. Yep. And you can thank Gov. Blanco for that. She did not want to "federalize" the project until she realized the magnitude of the problem. Precious time was lost.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:25 AM
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It's funny, I think vaguely that I wouldn't mind eating locally and seasonally, even in NY -- I like root vegetables fine, and I enjoy getting all excited when things come into season. But man, I'd miss avocadoes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:25 AM
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42: No, she was asking for federal help pretty much instantly. I think you're talking about not wanting to turn the LA National Guard over to federal control for the first few days -- a decision which did not obviously cause any of the myriad other screwups.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:27 AM
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TLL - Maybe more of the municipal emergency prep is for earthquakes, but at the state level, they have separate systems/buildings for flood and fire emergencies. (Same incident command model.) They don't have one emergency response center that they activate for whatever comes up.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:29 AM
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Here's Snopes on the subject.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:29 AM
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My memory is that the Feds drove a hard bargain and put conditions on sending help which Blanco was unwilling to meet.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:29 AM
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I've learned through Wikipedia that Hass avocado trees can withstand temperatures of -1 degree Celsius, so I anticipate being able to eat avocados from my backyard &mdash estate-grown! &mdash before long. The Willamette Valley will likely have to switch from Pinot Noir to Syrah at that point, but I suppose I could live with that.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:31 AM
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Imported avocados! Maybe Mexican avocados would be alright, but those tasteless North African behemoths are right out. And of course if they're being imported from Chile, they were plucked seriously unripe, then frosen, and if you catch just the right moment in their defrost cycle, you might be able to eat them before they rot.

Fucking economists.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:32 AM
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I anticipate being able to eat avocados from my backyard

WANT


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:34 AM
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49 If (and this is by no means certain) you can get the good mexican ones, they are at least as good as anything out of california.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:34 AM
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DaveL has an avocado tree in his backyard. Bastard.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:35 AM
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People argued in the 30s that we shouldn't invade people's backyards and take their avocados and you know what that got us? Hitler. Not guacamole. Hitler.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:37 AM
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then frosen, and if you catch just the right moment in their defrost cycle,

This sort of thing is a disaster. The 100 mile diet people aren't insane.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:37 AM
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Megan- I'm sure you're right, and I know that the first responders train constantly for different scenarios. And obviously it doesn't do a person any good to had emergency supplies in a house that just burned to the ground. i was just reinforcing your point that all levels of government do take preparedness quite seriously.

Thanks for the link, LB. It boggles my mind that in the facre of a disastwer of this magnitude that elected officials would haggle over details and worry about who was to be blamed. Plenty of time for that later.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:37 AM
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JM, dear, I will be happy to get you a few nice Co-op avocados if you like. I bathe in good cheap organic avocados.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:38 AM
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An average avocado tree produces about 120 avocados annually
I'd settle for a fraction of that.
Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:38 AM
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I bathe in good cheap organic avocados.

Did this make anyone else think of the cover of Whipped Cream, by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:40 AM
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54: Yeah, I think that's very sensible. I don't do it because of time/energy shopping constraints, but I'd like to. (Although I've never really looked into the practicalities -- I figure around NYC I'd probably need 200 miles radius, and I'm not sure if that gets me any grains at all.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:41 AM
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Not guacamole. Hitler.

Avocatus diaboli?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:42 AM
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Aren't avocados much less innocent than they seem? Chock full of bad transfats and shit? JackM's friends and family should intervene.

Avocado = abogado = "lawyer". Need I say more?

I do? Well, then, in Nahuatl the word is ─ühuacatl = "testicle".

Lawyer's testicles. Yuk.

Link.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:45 AM
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What, do I have to start shipping you people avocadoes?

The cost of the fire thing came up yesterday in my dentist's chair. She was bitching about taxes, about how oppressed she feels as a single person, about how she doesn't want to pay for other people's kids' educations or for illegal immigrants who aren't contributing anything, and what the hell does all this tax money go for, anyway? They can't possibly spend that much on roads. So I said, well, the fires we just had probably cost a bundle....

Since apparently I need a ton of work because my molars are all cracked with grinding my teeth at night over conversations like this, I figure I'll have plenty of opportunity over the next six months or so to keep pointing out to her that as a single woman who owns her own home and her own business, she's actually doing rather well, and that maybe she should keep in mind that the kids of today will be her dentist tomorrow. I did make sympathetic noises yesterday about the importance of differentiating between small local business owners and big national and multinational chains, though, in terms of tax burdens, and promised to do some research about whether, in fact, a national health care plan would actually cost her more or less than paying 50% for all her employees and herself.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:45 AM
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Knecht, those are the ones from Chile. Weren't you reading along?


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:45 AM
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55: And apparently, Blanco didn't.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:47 AM
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Bitch, you probably don't want to antagonize a dentist working on yourownself.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:47 AM
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65: So far, no antagonism. I think we've both realized we're complete opposites politically and are trying to use the opportunity to have a conversation.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:48 AM
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Avocado = abogado = "lawyer". Need I say more?

In French, avocat = avocat = lawyer = avocado.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:48 AM
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What, do I have to start shipping you people avocadoes?

That was rather explicitly my deal with you, B.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:48 AM
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Hass avocado trees can withstand temperatures of -1 degree Celsius

Tree, not fruit. Anything below freezing damages the fruit. I don't think AWB is right about frozen Chilean avocados, I think that they just pick them really green.

Several years ago avos got so dear that armed bandits were hijacking trucks on their way to the packing house. I hope we don't see that again.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:49 AM
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"What's that? I can't understand you. I suppose that means you don't need any more procaine..."


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:49 AM
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61: Avocados have the good kind of fat. You're still not supposed to sit down and eat a whole one for dinner (blush) but they're good for you.

I did not eat avocados, salad, eggs, olives, beets, mushrooms, veined cheeses, or half a dozen other staples of my current diet before the age of 21 or so. What the hell was wrong with me? Some of these I blame on the fact that I only had access to nasty versions of them, but eggs? I would die without eggs now.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:50 AM
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Re. the post, though, I read something the other day (I think maybe it was the Rude Pundit) that pointed out that not only could evacuees actually evacuate, but bystanders who wanted to help in SoCal were able to just drive to the stadium *in their cars* and pass out food, water, massages, etc.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:50 AM
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69: picking them green like that (and avocados are hardly alone in this) is a sin.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:51 AM
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68: And as I said, I'm waiting for them to reach edible size.

You're still not supposed to sit down and eat a whole one for dinner

What? Says who? Don't listen to crazy people.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:51 AM
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I require that lifeguard/surfers hand-pick my organic avocados and feed them to me. Else, why live here?

LB - if you meant it about the root vegetables, could you get a box? I figure the four months of root vegetables are the deterrent for most people.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:51 AM
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I don't think AWB is right about frozen Chilean avocados

Twas JM.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:51 AM
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B., get a new dentist now! An annoyed dentist is not to be trifled with. She'll give you crowns the wrong size for your mouth, or extract a few extra teeth, or something like that. "Ha! Sure, it looks sort of like a molar up there, but trust me, it's an incisor. We have a name for that kind of incisor. Many think that they're especially attractive."

Alternatively, you could speak to this one only tactfully and only about happy topics, but wouldn't that be formally impossible in this actual world?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:52 AM
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You're still not supposed to sit down and eat a whole one for dinner

Right, you eat it as a snack beforehand. Avocados are tasty, but no way does one make a meal.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:53 AM
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74: I dunno. I read recently that 1/6 of an avocado is considered a serving and I was deeply chastened. Fresh cherry-tomato-and-jalapeno guac of one avocado slathered on stove-top-toasted corn tortillas is one of the greatest dinners available to the single person.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:54 AM
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Fresh cherry-tomato-and-jalapeno guac of one avocado slathered on stove-top-toasted corn tortillas

Ok, that's a meal.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:55 AM
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And Ficke's eaten my guac.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:55 AM
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picking them green like that (and avocados are hardly alone in this) is a sin.

Particularly sinful for avocados, because they, like melons (and unlike, say, peaches), do not continue to ripen off the vine.

An average avocado tree produces about 120 avocados annually

The ones I have seen looked like they had many more than that. Maybe they are special dwarf varieties for easy commercial harvesting.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:55 AM
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I have! It's delicious.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:56 AM
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75: We do. Unfortunately, with the kids who aren't crazy about many types of vegetables yet, and everyone being busy, we also do a whole lot of eating whatever from the grocery store. We eat some of the CSA stuff, but a lot never makes it out of the fridge.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:56 AM
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Damn. I can't insult avocados any more. Damn.

If you want to be plump with low cholesterol, avocados are the fruit for you!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:57 AM
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Avocados are tasty, but no way does one make a meal.

But combined with four slices of bacon and two slices of whole wheat toast, there is no better meal anywhere.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:57 AM
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Tree, not fruit

Shit, you're right. I wasn't aware that Hass avocados are harvested in April in the Northern Hemisphere.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:58 AM
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I read recently that 1/6 of an avocado is considered a serving

Really? I have a co-worker who halves them, takes the pit out, pours soy sauce in the reservoir, and spoons out all the soy-soaked green deliciousness. As a snack.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:58 AM
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maybe that 1/6 an avocado is just recognition that if you have the nasty picked-too-early and shipped-too-far type that most of the country has access too, then you're lucky if 1/6 of it isn't black by the time the thing isn't rock hard.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:59 AM
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JM, dear, I will be happy to get you a few nice Co-op avocados if you like. I bathe in good cheap organic avocados.

WANT WANT WANT


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:59 AM
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And Ficke's eaten my guac

IYKWIM


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:59 AM
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88 is a variant of the canonical 1/2 avacodo with salt. sounds pretty good, too.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:00 AM
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I've mentioned this before, but mashed avocado on a toasted English muffin topped with sharp cheddar and broiled is a wonderful sandwich. Needs salt -- I'm not a heavy salter generally, but a touch of salt snaps the avocado into focus.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:00 AM
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If you want to be plump with low cholesterol, avocados are the fruit for you!

Sigh. Plump with low cholesterol, low BP, shiny hair, clear skin, strong fingernails, and high resistance to disease.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:01 AM
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No, Stanley, you put freshly squeesed lemon juice----from a Meyer lemon if you can get one---in your avocado pit. And for dinner, you put shrimp in it.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:01 AM
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Yeah, I worry that even with my cooking habits, I couldn't go through a box. And I like the shopping. But maybe when my life gets fuller, it'll be a good trade-off for me.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:02 AM
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94: sounds horrible, doesn't it.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:02 AM
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In the future I will feed my sex slaves primarily on avocados.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:03 AM
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All those avocado recipes make me nauseous. I'm fairly greedy and eat a fair bit of fat, but fat in a form as 'raw' and nakedly fatty as an avocado makes me feel sick.

Adding cheddar to avocado ... !


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:03 AM
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JM, when did you stop using Z's? Frosen (49)? Squeese?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:03 AM
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96: this is a real problem with CSA; it's often nearly impossible to work out as a single person without huge waste.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:03 AM
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Canadians do that.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:04 AM
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from a Meyer lemon if you can get one

I have two ripening on the tree on my windowsill right now. But I think I'm required to make pie out of them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:04 AM
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99: I can't imagine a decent avacode making it to the UK. Are you sure that isnt' the problem?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:05 AM
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97: Yeah, for some reason, "But I have very low blood pressure!" does not attract potential lovers.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:05 AM
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or I could be totally misremembering MM's local.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:05 AM
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99: Even better if you butter the English muffins first.

(All right, I was just kidding about that bit. But really, don't knock it till you've tried it.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:06 AM
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And for dinner, you put shrimp in it.

Try this recipe, J-Mo. You'll thank me.



Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:06 AM
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107: even better on fresh sourdough.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:06 AM
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this is a real problem with CSA

In fact there is a reason for the grocer. He absorbs the waste (actually, passes it on to you in the form of higher prices, but, you know).


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:07 AM
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re: 104

We get good avocados here. The UK is no further away from warm places that grow avocados than the non-avocado growing bits of the US [like New York] are.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:07 AM
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JM, when did you stop using Z's?

That key is broken, has been for six months or so. I was trying to get away with UK spellings and the occasional cut n' paste or onscreen keyboard, but I'm getting cranky about it.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:07 AM
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99: I can't imagine a decent avacode making it to the UK. Are you sure that isnt' the problem

Nah, the UK is as close to anyplace you'd grow an avocado as I am (or, not much further in terms of shipping time), it just has more borders in the way.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:07 AM
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But do they grow Hass avocados, ttaM? Those footballs from North Africa do not count.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:08 AM
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I crave avocado maki. Maybe there's a lunch deal down the street.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:08 AM
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ttaM, have you always said nauseous to describe how you feel, not a quality of the thing, instead of nauseated, as we do—or are supposed to?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:09 AM
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Looks good, Knecht! I like the idea of putting some wee bits of celery in.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:10 AM
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re: 114

Yes, we get Hass avocados.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:11 AM
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112: I can't imagine a decent avocado making it to NY for the same reasons.

It sounds like it might just be selection bias, but I've never had a decent avacado anywhere that wasn't pretty close to being able to grow them. And I have tried.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:12 AM
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re: 116

I'd not normally use the word at all. I'd say something vernacular, like 'it gives me the boak'. But, generally, I'd say it makes me feel nauseous. Yeah.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:12 AM
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re: 119

Spain is one of the major avocado producers in the EU. Avocados can get from Spain to the UK in a couple of hours. It probably sits on the shelf waiting to be bought for massively more time than it spends in transit.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:13 AM
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121: Ah, I'd forgotten about the mediteranean ones... makes sense.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:14 AM
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Avocados ripen just fine off the tree.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:14 AM
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123 not if they are picked to early. Or else they are screwing them up in some other way.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:16 AM
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I have a co-worker who halves them, takes the pit out, pours soy sauce in the reservoir, and spoons out all the soy-soaked green deliciousness.

My grandfather does this, only with capers instead of soy sauce.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:17 AM
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Needs salt -- I'm not a heavy salter generally, but a touch of salt snaps the avocado into focus.

mmm, salt.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:17 AM
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Avocados ripen just fine soften off the tree


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:17 AM
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Ttam, you are insane.

Particularly sinful for avocados, because they, like melons (and unlike, say, peaches), do not continue to ripen off the vine.

Wrong. Peaches do *not* continue to ripen off the tree; they begin to rot, and therefore soften. This is why peaches in grocery stores are almost universally disgusting, and why peaches simply should not be shipped, period. Avocados, on the other hand, have to be mature before you pick them, but they won't soften up on the tree, so you *have* to pick them (or wait for them to drop) and let them sit a day or two.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:24 AM
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125: Not soy sauce or capers; balsamic vinegar. (And don't *fill* the hole--a teaspoon or two is plenty.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:25 AM
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The fires (and 9/11) had the good graces to happen in relatively wealthy areas. Katrina did not. If the Harris fire in southern San Diego County had threatened metropolitan San Diego south of Interstate 8, it may have been Katrina all over again.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:32 AM
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In French, avocat = avocat = lawyer = avocado.

And how do the eggs get involved?

All this talk about avocadoes is making me think that I should revise my decades-long policy of not eating them or anything containing them. I like fat, after all.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:33 AM
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yes ben, you should.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:34 AM
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I'm slightly allergic to avocadoes—eating them makes my mouth itchy. Avos fall in a family of allergens to which I have varying reactions: latex (none), melon (mouth itchy), and bananas (POISON DEATH).


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:35 AM
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Just don't get the idea to start mixing them with Campari.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:36 AM
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130: I wondered about that.

I'd think our response to a disaster—we had the fire a long time ago, and the heat wave was hard to monitor because its victims were hidden inside—in Chicago would be somewhere between CA and LA in efficiency, depending crucially on what it was and what part of town.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:36 AM
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You put the lime in the coconut; you drink them both up.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:37 AM
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134 =>> 131.

Smasher, where do you stand with cashews and papayas?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:37 AM
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133: put condoms on your bananas first.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:37 AM
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Apparently the eggs get involved as a substitute for avocadoes!

The original advocaat was a liquor made by the Dutch population of Suriname and Recife with avocados. Upon returning to the Netherlands, where avocados were not available, a similar texture was achieved with thickened egg yolk.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:37 AM
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On cashews I stand on the side of light: They are delicious. I can't remember ever eating a papaya, actually.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:38 AM
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136: you're such a silly 'smasher


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:38 AM
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Interrupting the great avocado debate....

Given that there is a whole world of rightwing horseshit about Katrina (rapes/snipers/etc) I'm assuming there's a similar one on the other side.

I exclude the Potemkin village thing because I translated both the independent German TV reports, and the FEMA fake press conference thing corroborates.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:40 AM
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140: Papayas are unexciting even when perfectly fresh.

Easy to grow, though. If the climate is right, they'll sprout right out of your trash heap.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:40 AM
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139.---omg. Egg yolk is just not equivalent to avocado!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:40 AM
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140: !!! Papayas are lovely.

Also, by rights Ben should have his California drivers' license revoked and be forced to pay out-of-state tuition, if he won't eat avocados.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:41 AM
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I am not crazy about papaya, but I like to say "papaya." If cherimoyas were not prohibitively expensive, I'd buy them quite often.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:41 AM
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How can people not like papaya? Next you'll all say you don't like mangoes.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:43 AM
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Story told by my brother:

Back in the bad old days, he was crossing the border into an East Bloc country on a train and had some avocados with him. The customs inspector informed him that it was a grave violation of the law to bring in this exotic foreign produce, and did he not realize what a risk he was creating for domestic agriculture, etc. As the inspector was leaving with the confiscated fruit, he asked "So, how do you cook these?"

He told him to boil them for a couple of hours, at least.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:43 AM
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Klug, I don't believe that. That isn't consistent with what I've seen of the people doing emergency response with the state. I've been on the flood side, not fire, but after working with them, I don't believe they take any loss of life or property lightly.

I have a ton of respect for the ones I met and observed.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:44 AM
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I don't mind them, but they're not all that flavorful. Vaguely melony.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:44 AM
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145: ben's in cali? It's worse than I though. There is a bit of a north/south divide, though. I think the way it works is that if you live in nocal you can refuse to eat avocados on the grounds that they aren't local, but only if you eat artichokes all season. Of course anyone with access to fresh artichokes should do this anyway.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:44 AM
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I don't think I've ever eaten mango, either. These fruits all look too tart.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:44 AM
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mango is anything but tart.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:45 AM
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Also, by rights Ben should have his California drivers' license revoked and be forced to pay out-of-state tuition, if he won't eat avocados.

Ríete, pero no lo mates.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:45 AM
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Papayas aren't tart. Blandly sweet if anything. You want to squeeze a little lime juice over them to wake them up a bit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:46 AM
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No, honestly, it is quite normal and proper to ripen avocados off the tree. However, it is also quite true that they must mature on the tree, and that an avocado that is picked when it is immature will not ripen properly.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:46 AM
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As I mentioned last time we had this discussion, I'm not a big fan of avocados. Mangoes are good, but you have to wait until they're completely ripe or they're all tart and stringy. I'm not sure I've ever had a papaya.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:47 AM
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Mm, papaya with lime.

Don't tell Smasher the truth. Let him continue to subscribe to these pathetically risible east coast provincialisms.

Teo, you also should have your western cred revoked. Green mango salad is amazing.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:49 AM
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See? Tart and stringy. Do not want.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:50 AM
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Mangoes are the ones that taste like uncured lumber, right? The retsina of fruit?

Two avocados fulfill your MDR of fats. If everything else you ate was zero-fat, you could stay model-thin on an avocado diet.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:54 AM
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I was talking to someone not too long ago who told me that she developed a late-in-life latex allergy. She'd been on the pill when she was married but when she got divorced and started seeing someone new, they used condoms. Around that time, she started getting crippling stomach cramps and became incontinent (um, both ways). It took them a few weeks but they realized it was the latex. (Points to the dude for sticking around through that unpleasantness.) Now they're using lambskin condoms and everything's hunky dory.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:56 AM
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Mangoes are the ones that taste like uncured lumber, right? The retsina of fruit?

Look, I know you're all midwestern and shit, but you *used* to live in a civilized part of the world, John. There's just no excuse for this kind of thing.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:57 AM
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re: 128

I don't mind small amounts of avocado. Say, sliced in with some raw red onions, some halved cherry tomatoes and some balsamic vinegar, they are nice. I quite like the flavour, I'm just not mad keen on the mouth-feel of the fat so I couldn't eat more than a small amount without feeling a bit queasy -- avocado plus cheddar [blech].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:59 AM
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Teo, you also should have your western cred revoked. Green mango salad is amazing.

What, because I don't share your decadent west coast tastes? I'll have you know that we used to sell mangoes.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:59 AM
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I just never developed a taste for two-by-fours, B.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:59 AM
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Hrmpf. See if I make you a sandwich.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:00 PM
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163: Still crazy. Do you also dislike ice cream, or sausage?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:00 PM
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161: I know someone who similarly found out about her devoloping latex allergy --- but from epesiotomy (sp?) sutures. What fun.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:00 PM
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164: And you don't like them, nor avocados. BANNED.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:01 PM
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re: 167

No, it's the very specific avocado fat. It reminds me of cheese that's been left at room temperature too long and has begun to sweat. In small quantities, it's fine, as I said.

Sausages, on the other hand, are lovely.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:02 PM
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I don't think I've ever eaten mango, either.

OMG. It's been so long since I've lived back east, I'd forgotten such a thing was possible. My daughters have loved mangoes since they were a year old; not an entirely good thing, because though we can get excellent mangoes, they're still fairly expensive.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:03 PM
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165: No comment.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:03 PM
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re: 169

Oh yeah, I don't really like mangoes either.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:03 PM
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161: Apparently a non-vegan.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:04 PM
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170: Crazy.
171: Indeed. Western kids, who know about mangos, avocados, and sushi, are the best.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:04 PM
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,em>164: And you don't like them, nor avocados. BANNED.

Where did I say I didn't like mangoes? I like mangoes.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:05 PM
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Western kids, who know about mangos, avocados, and sushi, are the best.

California isn't really the West, you know.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:06 PM
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When mangoes are bad, they're inedible, and so I am often wary of buying them unless they are the perfect size and heft. One way to avoid the mango gamble is to buy golden "champagne" mangoes; they're perfectly sweet, flavorful, and have velvety, creamy flesh.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:06 PM
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116: The OED allows "nauseous" as a description of a person's state (and not just of a nausea-causing thing). It's doesn't seem preferable to use "nauseated," in the U. S. or elsewhere.

OED: b. orig. U.S. Of a person: affected with nausea; having an unsettled stomach; (fig.) disgusted, affected with distaste or loathing."


Posted by: NickFranklin | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:06 PM
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173: Crazy brits. I bet you don't like pb&j either.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:06 PM
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176: Fuck.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:06 PM
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Lichees. I like them.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:06 PM
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There seem to disposable lambskins now. Traditional condoms needed to be washed and cared for, if I remember correctly. I'm sure there's a very knowing wiki about it.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:07 PM
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177: You lack all credibility on these matters now.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:08 PM
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180: It's genetics, bitch. Scots are predisposed to like grease, in all forms. Perhaps some are developing a disliking of vegetable and dairy based fats, as self preservation.

That is, untill someone figures out how to deep fry avacado.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:08 PM
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re: 180

Damn right, it's an abomination and an affront to all that is true and beautiful.

I agree with Emerson, though. Lychees are nice.

re: 178

At one of our local street carnivals, they were selling those in big boxes. My wife gorged herself on them for days.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:08 PM
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When mangoes are bad, they're inedible

Look who else doesn't like mangoes! Get her, B!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:09 PM
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AWB doesn't claim to be a westerner, and "when X is bad, it's inedible" is not a claim of disliking. When *anything*'s bad, it's inedible.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:10 PM
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I adore mangoes enough to care about having good ones. I'm the same way with olives; I'd rather go without than eat bad ones.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:11 PM
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Are you enjoying this, b? Because I'm not.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:11 PM
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That is, untill someone figures out how to deep fry avacado.

I've had avocado tempura at Nobu. It was unimpressive, certainly by the standards of everything else we were eating, which was lifechangingly good.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:12 PM
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190: Then don't pursue it! Easily solved.

Lychees are delicious, it is true. And weirdly I had never had one until a year or two ago. Go figure.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:12 PM
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B, abuse me for a bit. Teo (like Knecht) is still emotionally healthy and normal.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:12 PM
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189: bad olives are a travesty. And far, far too common all over north america


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:13 PM
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California isn't really the West, you know.

This is so true. Also, Californians: although your strawberries and wine grapes may be among the best in the world, your mangos ain't shit.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:14 PM
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B is a Westerner of the worst kind. She can serve as a reference point for people confused about the concept.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:14 PM
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192: really? That surprises me, I would have thought they were all over california. I had them growing up; rarely because they weren't cheap. Large local asian population, though, so that might explain it.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:14 PM
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Nah, I'm going to abuse LB now because she's eaten at Nobu and I'm envious.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:14 PM
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*sulk*

Yo mama is a hillbilly.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:15 PM
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195: Most california strawberries aren't very good (bred for size). They do have some good ones, but you've got to look hard.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:15 PM
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Tinned lychees make great sorbet. Lychee and mandarin oranges combined, even better.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:16 PM
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your mangos ain't shit.

At least we *have* mangos.

197: SB, I was not lacking for a local asian population, trust me. But my parents were somewhat poor and provincial. Sad.


Posted by: i got | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:16 PM
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179:

Another example of the prescriptive/descriptive difference between Webster's 2nd and 3rd.

2nd gives nauseous as a synonym for nauseating, period.

3rd (descriptive) adds a second def., nauseated.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:17 PM
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I'm the same way with olives
AWB are you familiar with Graber olives?http://www.graberolives.com/


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:17 PM
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In Oregon there's actually a special market for good-tasting strawberries. I've also seen good tasting corn ears on sale in some places. You pay a premium for getting it fresh and carefully handled.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:17 PM
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200: Most non-organic strawberries aren't very good. Period.

201: Please tell me you're not advocating canned mandarin oranges.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:18 PM
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And a different breed of strawberry, of course. And ripe.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:19 PM
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202: Mine were somewhat poor but non provincial (we immigrated, which probably helps in that respect). So while we wouldn't get much of anything dear, we did tend to sample, which was great.

Fresh lychees are wonderful.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:19 PM
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*sniff*

B hates me and only thinks of Teo and LB.

*sob*


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:20 PM
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I am pleased to say that my Minnesota foodie boyfriend was, of course, providing me with fresh lychees, yes.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:20 PM
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re: 206

For sorbet, sure. If I am just going to cook 'em up and sieve them, yeah. I wouldn't eat them out the tin, though. It's not like they are hard to get here. The supermarkets are generally full of fresh ones.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:20 PM
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205: Yup, the best non-wild strawberries I've had are from BC, then Oregon.

None of them hold a candle to wild strawberries, but it's pretty hard to get any appreciable amount of those anywhere I've seen them.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:21 PM
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Am I right in recalling teo has a bit o' the thistle on his father's side?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:21 PM
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209: There, there, John. I'll always hate you more than anyone else.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:21 PM
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Megan:

I believe that the governmental response would have been the same south of the 8. I am not sure the resources of the citizenry (cars, phones, monies for hotels, emergencies, etc.) would have been able to cope with the situation as well.

Happen to know any good breakfast places in Davis?


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:21 PM
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I should note that I'm partially pissed off because this thread incited an unhealthy desire for guacamole today, so I went to Chipotle for lunch. Say what you will about them (authenticity is a canard! a red herring for quality!), they used to make a damn good guac until they changed their recipe recently to something that is merely fairly edible.

I got through the lunch rush line, was about to ask for my usual pot of take-away guacamole and bag of chips for after I finished my tacos, and their tray of guac was a bilious brown color. Bleh. I'll probably go back there in an hour or so in the hopes that they've had to make a new batch from all fresh stuff, but I still can't figure out how the hell a fast food place in the Loop had something that looked a day old in the middle of the lunch rush.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:22 PM
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210: Does he have a statement about smorgasbord, herring, smoked carp, lefse, lutefisk, etc.? Or is he an outlander come to raise the cultural level of the natives?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:22 PM
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212: Our house in Seattle had little alpine-type strawberries growing all up the front steps. So yummy.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:22 PM
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Promiscuous hatred is no hatred at all, you slut.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:24 PM
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218: I thought "Chipotle" for half a second, and then reminded myself that that would be insane. But I'm definitely heading out for tacos here in a minute or two.

217: He's a native, as you know perfectly well, and as far as I know he doesn't eat any of that crap.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:24 PM
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219: You want hatred, you gotta take what you can get.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:25 PM
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Knecht is still emotionally healthy and normal

What in God's name makes you think that?

I'm going to abuse LB now because she's eaten at Nobu and I'm envious

The original chef of the Nobu in NYC now lives in the Boston suburbs and owns two restaurants. The main one, Oishi, is like a provincial knockoff of Nobu. The other, Oishi Too, is a small, unbelievably good, fairly economical sushi place in the suburb of Sudbury. It's a bit of a haul from central Boston, and not reachable by public transportation, but I recommend it to anyone who is out that way.

My neighbor the tuna fisherman is buddies with the owner; we've had some great meals there together.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:26 PM
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Weenie. It's probably just you, though. Ask him. He's probably babying you because you're a hillbilly.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:26 PM
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Po-Mo Polymath: `in the Loop'? Where are you located?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:27 PM
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223: Possibly, but he's got zero interest in that kind of country boy crap.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:27 PM
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Knecht, aren't you the guy who objects to broken-neck and freezing-to-death jokes? Sorry to offend, but.....


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:28 PM
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On the subject of produce, I must say that the obliviousness in this DeLong post makes it possibly the only blog post I've ever read which destroyed all respect I ever had for the writer and made me question every opinion I've ever had about him. I mean...I didn't even know what to say in comments. Also, there used to be several dozen comments, and now there aren't any.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:28 PM
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That was a summer associate lunch at Nobu, and may be the single best meal I've ever had. We got a tasting menu that must have had twenty courses, each better than the last. The tempura avocadoes actually weren't on the tasting menu -- they were going to another table, and we ordered them out of pure beastial greed -- and when they came they were unexciting. It was like a message telling us to obey the chef.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:29 PM
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228: obeying the chef at a place like that is usually a good idea.

Oh, and bitchphd Nobu inspired hate aside, the french laundry should be fairly close to you, right?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:31 PM
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227: I'm sort of hoping that was a joke that went wrong, and DeLong couldn't face straightening it out. I can't quite see what the joke could be, but that's exactly what would make a failure to explain make sense.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:31 PM
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It was like a message telling us to obey the chef.

They served their purpose, then, I'm sure.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:31 PM
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203: The OED definition of "nauseous" that I posted in 179 comes from a 2003 edition available online through my university (I'm not claiming extra status for the OED necessarily, just providing the reference.). It's interesting, though (to me, at least): the definition I posted in 179 is the first non-obsolete/rare definition given for the word "nauseous." The "nauseated" definition that you suggest is more prescriptive than descriptive--i.e., 2. lit. a. Of a thing: causing nausea. In later use: esp. offensive or unpleasant to taste or smell.--is listed second.


Posted by: NickFranklin | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:33 PM
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the french laundry should be fairly close to you, right?

You taunt me with my inability to afford it, yes. And I never went to the Herbgarden, either.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:34 PM
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`in the Loop'? Where are you located?

My office is in the very north-west corner of the Loop, right by the bend in the Chicago river. I was going to link the satellite image of the corner and be all coy n' shit, but Google Maps kept crashing my browser.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:34 PM
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I don't know if it's worse to be in a city with a place like that you can't afford, or to be in a big city that doesn't really have a single place like that.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:37 PM
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John, the boyfriend says "I've never bothered to try to make lutefisk. I imagine I *could* make something out of it. In its traditional preparation, yes, it's totally gross."

He says the other stuff is tolerable and he likes pickled herring.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:39 PM
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I remember a post of DeLong's several years ago where he seemed needlessly dismissive of eating local, and almost dirty-hippyish.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:39 PM
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Knecht, aren't you the guy who objects to broken-neck and freezing-to-death jokes?

Hey, I'll have you know I made a freezing-to-death joke already today. I am slowly conforming to the deviant norms of this place, and by God I'd appreciate some credit for that.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:39 PM
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'Smasher's a liar. I've seen him eat mango with my own two eyes. Bought from the Mercadido and turned into a fruit salad with lime. He just must not have known what he'd eaten.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:40 PM
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234: ah, ok ... different city, different loop. It sounded plausible that you were suggesting Chipotle over the real thing, is all.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:40 PM
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235: Definitely the latter. Very few people can afford top restaurants like that, but big cities with top restaurants usually also have really good cheap ones.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:41 PM
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I thought "Chipotle" for half a second, and then reminded myself that that would be insane.

There aren't any great taquerias in this area of the city. Rent's too high and probably not enough people who'd appreciate the difference.

As it is, I'll probably return to Chipotle on my mission of hope sometime soon. Or I could actually work. Or hell, study for the midterm I have in 4 hours. The choices are just so plentiful and depressing!


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:41 PM
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pay out-of-state tuition,

I don't go to a state school, B.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:41 PM
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227: I think that DeLong was referring to what I said about strawberries above -- you pay for what you get. Large crunchy low-flavor strawberries can be bought for one price, whereas small tasty ripe juicy strawberries could be bought for a different price. Same for tomatoes.

At some point in the past most people really only had one choice, but it's not like most of them would have been willing to pay the good-tomato price.

DeLong's handling of it wasn't that great. It was a stereotypical economist's point though, not really a statement about tomatoes. DeLong annoys me a bit more when he raves about the variety and quality available in his Berkeley yuppy markets.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:42 PM
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237: I really don't get this. I mean, I can understand the arguments for big-agriculture (at least, many of them) but if you are talkign about top quality and taste, it just isn't in the running at all. You can get that argument just as clearly from trust fund foodies as you can from dirty-hippies (and probably better, too)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:42 PM
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I don't know if it's worse to be in a city with a place like that you can't afford, or to be in a big city that doesn't really have a single place like that.

Definitely better to be in a big city. Because where there are very very expensive places with mind-shattering food, there are cheap places with Damn Good Shit. I went on a two-day road trip (to prison!) with my boss last week, and came to the realization that I am so fucking spoiled. We ate at a bunch of restaurants and they were all terrible. In Chicago, basically everything I eat is delicious, whether it's $5- or $50-costing.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:43 PM
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pwned by B. Since we have a mind-meld, I guess it's good we're co-bloggers.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:44 PM
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And my comment didn't make any fucking sense anyway. Viva Chicago!


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:45 PM
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basically everything I eat is delicious

This would make a good t-shirt.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:45 PM
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235: There are some strange mixes though --- Houston, for example, has an amazing selection of cheap restraunts, and really good reasonably priced ones. The top end is pretty much empty though, there's a small handful of second tier places and that's it. For the cheap & middle price though, I don't know any city that can match it. Some of this may have to do with (low) land prices & rents.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:45 PM
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ah, ok ... different city, different loop.

There's another Loop? Where?

It sounded plausible that you were suggesting Chipotle over the real thing, is all.

Authenticity really is a red herring for quality. The old Chipotle guacamole recipe was among the best that I'd ever had, except for one or two people's homemade versions, and that includes the guacamoles of a number of authentic taquerias in Chicago and other cities.

Plus I really love their carnitas, even if it's not a traditional preparation. So neener.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:45 PM
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243: Well, of course you don't, Ben. That would be far too plebian.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:45 PM
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I believe that the governmental response would have been the same south of the 8. I am not sure the resources of the citizenry (cars, phones, monies for hotels, emergencies, etc.) would have been able to cope with the situation as well.

Agreed on that. I was worried you meant a deliberately callous approach to official emergency response when the neighborhood is poor, which is one of the arguments for what happened in Katrina.

Happen to know any good breakfast places in Davis?

Heh. This just came up. There are real Davis residents at Unfogged who could no doubt tell you better. I went with Delta of Venus, and was pleased with my breakfast.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:46 PM
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236: Your promptness is appreciated, young lady!

So what about Icelandic hakarl -- putrefied shark? (It's not readily available unless you know the right people within the clannish Icelandic-American comunity, of course.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:46 PM
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I wonder if he grew up in California. I don't know, but maybe even back before the decent-produce revolution, it was always possible to buy good tomatoes in California because that was where they were grown, and he was literally unfamiliar with the idea that the nasty hard pink tomatoes was all that were available.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:46 PM
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B hates Nobu? I have only had good Nobu-y experiences.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:46 PM
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God, I love carnitas. Maybe I should have a carnitas burrito for dinner.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:47 PM
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No, I think B hates me for having gone to Nobu. It's a jealousy thing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:48 PM
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Nobu Next Door is good, not great.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:48 PM
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Seriously, though, it's true. Whether it's the burritos I eat for lunch, the cheap sushi from down the street, Thai food, whether from the Spectacular Place or merely the Really Really Good Place, the cheap-ass Lebanese food I eat all the time 'cause it's hella cheap and right by my house, or the delightful things I or my boyfriend cook up when we aren't feeling lazy, it's all effing awesome.

I love food.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:48 PM
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254: I am not going to insult the man with the question.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:48 PM
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256: Ben, learn to read. I actually used the word "envy" in the comment.

Given that you can apparently afford to eat at Nobu, you can buy *me* breakfast next time, you cheap bastard.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:50 PM
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Authenticity really is a red herring for quality.

Only sort of. But that isn't what I meant. I thought you might be talking about houston (which has two loops, soon 3, but the inner one is `the loop'), where better than Chipotle (at similar price) is easily found.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:50 PM
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bitchphd, m.leblanc ... you both misread my earlier question. Undoubtably, its better (food wise) to be in a big place rather than a small place. And the more diverse the better. However, it's entirely possible to be in a big place with a real lack of the mind blowing stuff, regardless of being able to afford it or not. Which is weird, but true.

On the other hand, amazing selection of everything else. Yay food.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:53 PM
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Am I right in recalling teo has a bit o' the thistle on his father's side?

Not in any meaningful sense. My great-great-great grandfather was probably born in Northern Ireland, and was probably of Scottish descent. His surname, at least, is typically Scottish.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:53 PM
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Thai food, whether from the Spectacular Place or merely the Really Really Good Place

Wait... where are these places? Thai is one of the few cuisines that I've never been able to find in Chicago to my satisfaction, though I've not yet shelled out for Arun's. It particularly annoyed me because there was fairly delicious and flavorful Thai food around when I was growing up in the suburbs, but then everything in the city has been fairly insipid.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:53 PM
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Ben, if you would go and light another fire in the right place, you could be rid of B. for another couple of days.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:54 PM
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B hates Nobu in the same sense in which I hate mangoes.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:55 PM
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I think that DeLong was referring to what I said about strawberries above -- you pay for what you get. Large crunchy low-flavor strawberries can be bought for one price, whereas small tasty ripe juicy strawberries could be bought for a different price. Same for tomatoes.

But he doesn't allow for the possibility that "could be bought for a different price" s/b "could not be bought". Presumably if you ask him about he would say "If your parents really cared about tomatos they could have done some research, made friendships with some growers, and had some FedExed in for a hundred dollars a pound or so. The fact that they did not do so tells us something."

At some point in the past most people really only had one choice, but it's not like most of them would have been willing to pay the good-tomato price.

But that's because, having never experienced the good tomatos or had any idea that the standard tomato is considered by some people to be suboptimal, it would be somewhat irrational of them to buy them for any price. The first attempt at buying them would be purchasing novelty, not purchasing quality.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:55 PM
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leblanc my neighbor's comments make plenty of sense; there is good food away from this city here and there, but you need to know where it is, not just go looking as you so easily can here.

And there are many towns where all that's available is dreadful.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:55 PM
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Damn, hate to defend capitalism, but we're getting all tangled up. In Berkeley, as DeLong brags, there's been a high-end market developed so that people who can afford it and are willing to pay can buy quality produce. That's still capitalism, though. In most of the rest of the country there's no such market. My guess is that the high-end market will be Big Ag too, soon enough. Look at the co-op --> Whole Foods transition.

Traditional ag could deliver enormous amounts of very high quality food in season, but the rest of the year you eat preserved food. We raised wonderful corn and tomatos here two summers ago, but we couldn't eat it all and didn't have time to can it.

A big factor in the disappearance of tasty food under capitalism is the increase in labor costs. Restaurants and low margin specialty truck gardens have trouble staying in business without either cheap labor or very high prices.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:55 PM
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However, it's entirely possible to be in a big place with a real lack of the mind blowing stuff, regardless of being able to afford it or not.

Sure, but why would you prefer that? If you can't afford it, it makes no difference either way.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:56 PM
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261: I didn't really think that he was in with the Icelandic elite. Nothing to be ashamed of.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:57 PM
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bitchphd: inarticulate is I. If you can't afford it, is it best not to have your nose rubbed in that or don't you care, is more what I meant.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:58 PM
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268, see: Mangoes are good, but you have to wait until they're completely ripe or they're all tart and stringy.

That's a lukewarm endorsement, not to mention the implicit dislike of green mango salad. You're not hearing me saying "oh, Nobu seems like it would be okay, but . . ."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:59 PM
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We ate last night at a very good neighborhood Thai place, Elephant, on Devon in Edgebrook.

My wife is a devotee of a local foodie blog—leblanc knows about it—which has identified the good with remarkable efficiency.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:59 PM
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Ned: Yeah, Brad was a bit obtuse. However, I think that pre-Big-Ag, a moderate number of people had wonderful tomatoes, but only for a brief period every year, and a lot of people really couldn't get tomatoes at any time. There wasn't a Utopian period when everyone had good tomatos whenever they wanted. Just people who could afford it in season, and people who could grow their own.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:01 PM
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A big factor in the disappearance of tasty food under capitalism is the increase in labor costs. Restaurants and low margin specialty truck gardens have trouble staying in business without either cheap labor or very high prices.

It's true obliviousness not to realize that it is in fact a disappearance. It's not that better food is available to everyone as a luxury alternative. It's that better food is not available at all to lots of people. You might as well ask my aunt why Panera bagels are the best bagels she's ever eaten.

People stated abovethread pious things like "I care about mangos and I often choose to eat no mangos rather than to eat bad ones." How can you tell which are good and which are bad? That's the kind of thing that makes me not bother buying mangos at all. I have imperfect information, or no information at all, with which to make my decisions.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:01 PM
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Po-Mo, seriously? Maybe you just have way more discerning Thai food taste than I, but most of the stuff I have is at least good. Downtown, I like Star of Siam--you could go there for lunch! Green Curry yum. I also like Siam Noodle on the North Side, Duck Walk by the Belmont stop, and like a bunch of other places. But the best Thai in the city is at Spoon.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:04 PM
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Shit.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:05 PM
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274: Eh, I don't think living in (say) the Bay Area amounts to having one's nose rubbed in the existence of the French Laundry. It would suck, certainly, to live in a place where there were a couple of good restaurants and everything else were a crappy chain (which I've done), but less because of envying the good places than because of being pissed that no one's figured out how to open a damn taqueria (or whatever) yet.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:05 PM
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280: Fixed.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:07 PM
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Yeah, but I thought that a lot of people on that thread were idealizing the pre Big Ag past, as though the best food available in the old days was routinely available to everyone. In the old days, a lot of people had diets that were extremely monotonous, and even in the U.S. some people were undernourished. Even in the country you only had the foods you could grow and preserve yourself. One of my neighbors here grew up as something of a subsistence farmer, and some of the stuff they made / grew themselves was really good (sweet corn, sausage, sauerkraut, horseradish, tomato sauce) but their diet was still pretty monotonous day in day out.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:07 PM
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266: It's been a while for me--since 1996--but there used to be a bunch of decent Thai restaurants in Hyde Park near the lake--at least five, within a two-block stretch or so. I also used to enjoy the Sunday brunch at P. S. Bangkok up on North Clark. It was never top, top quality, but ran around $13 for all-you-can-eat decent Thai food. I could never get over the fact that I could Just, Keep, Eating chicken satay as I long as I damn well pleased.


Posted by: NickFranklin | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:08 PM
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Tyler Cowen wrote something about the best restaurants being in miserable third world countries like Haiti with a small very rich class, because labor costs were low enough to have the best of everything.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:09 PM
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281: The Bay Area is an embarassment of riches, in some ways. I guess it depends how much people value individual amazing meals (even if you have to save 6 months to go) vs. availability of good food generally, I guess. But then again, when a friend told me they were planning a trip across the continent just to go to Eigensinn farm, I didn't think they were crazy.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:09 PM
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285: Right, that's the kind of situation I'd hate to live in.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:10 PM
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287. amen.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:10 PM
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The stretch along 53rd just East of the tracks were the first Thai places I ever ate, back in the early '80s.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:11 PM
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283 - Naw. I have peculiar notions about the Agrarian Utopia, but I have to admit they are based on a notion of California-climate gardening, not pre-industrial ag real life.

After the revolution, however, we'll combine the variety of modern agronomy with the respectful traditional ways of permaculture, and all the workers will get healthy vibrant (seasonal, local) produce all the time!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:12 PM
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My goodness people the things you complain about. Oh the mangos and avocados aren't ripe. Well you were able to buy the at your local Kroger instead of sailing to Hawaii. Big Ag gives you cheap produce year round, but the cost is flavor. there are many sins of Big Ag, but year round availability of food is a blessing, not a curse.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:14 PM
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That's a lukewarm endorsement, not to mention the implicit dislike of green mango salad.

Which is, what, an indictment of my character? Evidence that I'm "not a real Westerner"? (Hey, you know where mangoes don't grow? The West.) Is not sharing your specific preferences really justification for this kind of abuse?

I mean, I realize you're not being entirely serious here, and that this is some sort of weird jokey bantery thing you do, but I only know that because we discussed it a few days ago and you were shocked that I got upset when you treated me like this. I thought that meant you were going to stop, but apparently not.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:17 PM
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One of my neighbors here grew up as something of a subsistence farmer, and some of the stuff they made / grew themselves was really good (sweet corn, sausage, sauerkraut, horseradish, tomato sauce) but their diet was still pretty monotonous day in day out.

That's something people often forget.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:17 PM
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291: Really, it depends. Things are better now than they were, but there was a time not too long ago when you could get nasty horrible Big Ag pink tomatoes twelve months a year, and good tomatoes never, in a lot of places. That's a bad tradeoff.

From a health point of view, I wonder if the increased availability of nasty horrible produce tends to drive people away from eating non-processed foods. Someone who's been eating cabbage all winter sees their first spring salad and gorges on it. Someone who's been toying with iceberg lettuce all winter looks at a spring salad and thinks 'Eh, more vaguely edible garnish'.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:18 PM
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TLL, year round availability is a (mixed) blessing, no doubt. Serious loss of quality in favour of shipping and shelf life is a curse. It's the balance that's a problem.

Honestly though, the big issues with industrical ag aren't with produces nearly as much as with the shift towards highly processed food and the primacy of food science interests.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:19 PM
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Are all sins forgiven by green mango salad, as well?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:19 PM
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The year round availability of food has externalities you aren't confronted with when you make your food purchase. It is a blessing at the cash register, but the true costs (farm labor practices, environmental degredation, accumulation of subsidies/wealth/power, mid-Western grower suicide rates) are always out there, and always get paid. Where you set your system boundaries determines how many of those costs you acknowledge and internalize.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:19 PM
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From a health point of view, I wonder if the increased availability of nasty horrible produce tends to drive people away from eating non-processed foods. Someone who's been eating cabbage all winter sees their first spring salad and gorges on it. Someone who's been toying with iceberg lettuce all winter looks at a spring salad and thinks 'Eh, more vaguely edible garnish'.

Yes, I tried to say something like that but didn't. I grew up in an area where you can grow good tomatos. However, these tomatos were not available at the grocery store even in tomato season. As a result, I was unaware that good tomatos existed.

And economists blame poor people like me for our own hardships in the tough world of information asymmetry! Woe! Woe!


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:21 PM
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297: this is the mixed part. It doesn't all have to be as bad as it actuall is, though, so I don't think it's a blanket dismissal of industrial ag methods. Just most of them as actually processed.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:21 PM
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299 `processed' should be `practiced'. I should cut down to doing only 3-4 things at once.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:22 PM
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They don't really grow avocados in Hawaii much, to speak of.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:24 PM
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I agree that the ag sector doesn't have to be as bad as it is, or even bad at all. There are even up-sides to industrial ag (like the capital to install really sweet irrigation systems). I just object to the notion of cheap food. Big-ag food isn't cheap; mostly, however, the costs aren't paid for at the register.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:26 PM
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Tyler Cowen wrote something about the best restaurants being in miserable third world countries like Haiti with a small very rich class, because labor costs were low enough to have the best of everything.

Not the first time he was full of shit.

their diet was still pretty monotonous day in day out.

Exactly. A lot of adherents of the cult of authenticity in food (Saveur, Madeleine Kamman) gloss over this. What's truly new about high-end provisions today is that a consumer with money to spend in the right city can enjoy an approximation of a 100-mile diet for dozens of cultures and places around the world.



Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:27 PM
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There are even up-sides to industrial ag (like the capital to install really sweet irrigation systems).

You totally sound like a teenager talking about cars. I bet you daydream about your own irrigation system, with pinstriping, and rims.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:28 PM
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Certainly there are trade offs, but I think we are much better off now than even fifty years ago. You know I really enjoyed the various historic reenactment "houses" they did on PBS a while ago. The frontier house was fabulous, showing how much physical labor was required for just subsistence, and none of the participants would have survived the first winter.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:30 PM
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302: It's crazy --- we've already pushed food down to a pretty small part of most north americans budget, yet we keep trying to push it lower by externalizing more costs to free up cash for more consumer crap that either nobody needs or is designed for a short life ... but it keeps the growth numbers ticking over. The entire economic model is fairly insane, but few really wants to talk about that.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:32 PM
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I only watched 1900 House, and got kind of pissed off about it. It looked as though they'd deliberately made it artificially difficult by training them poorly -- I remember something about a poorly adjusted stove that obviously wouldn't be a problem to people of the era, but made the participants miserable.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:33 PM
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305: I'd argue that we're worse off, food wise, than we were 20 years ago, and the trends don't look good.

KR is right that for the right person (one with quite a bit of money) in the right place (a few cities), you can approximate having it all, at least for a while.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:34 PM
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303: I don't think that this is one of the times he was full of shit. Or rather, the full-of-shit part was that he presented this info as a tip for foodies looking for great food, not as a comment on the costs of a luxury lifestyle. His basic point was that restaurants and truck gardens that paid their labor more than a minimum or sub-minimum wage would price themselves out of the market, and I think that it was a good one. The U.S. restaurant industry is heavily dependent on illegals who are often getting paid sub-minimum wages and seldom have any benefits to speak of.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:35 PM
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Yeah, 1900 House was also blisteringly unfair because the mom had to leave her job and learn how to cook food for their picky son without knowing how to use the stove, wash all the clothes in lye, tend rabbits, etc., while the husband got to go to his regular job, as long as he wore the costume and shaved with a straight razor, which was his biggest complaint. I wouldn't be surprised if they divorced after that.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:36 PM
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Colonial House was particularly bitchin', though.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:36 PM
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I only saw part of that, but I felt the same way. I think that some sort of training would have been helpful to all. How does one show up for an experiment in subistence farming without getting in shape first? I loved "Manor house" with something like twenty five people catering to the whims of three.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:37 PM
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292: Huh? I thought you were bantering *with me*. E.g., because I don't share your decadent west coast tastes? I'll have you know that we used to sell mangoes.

Was I supposed to take that seriously and be offended by your saying I have 'decadent west coast tastes'? I was responding in the same tone I read that in--as bantering. Also see 177, 187, and 154, which seemed to understand the joke just fine.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:37 PM
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The only one of those series I enjoyed was House of Pancakes.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:37 PM
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B, abuse me at once!

Teo, that kind of stuff happens a whole lot around here. Falling silent is about the only recourse.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:39 PM
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310: Didn't they eventually hire a maid-of-all-work? Which, realistically, they would have had all along, if they had any pretensions to middle-class status.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:42 PM
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310: They also, IIRC, seemed very low on servants for the class they seemed to be portraying. The house looked to me like one that would have had a cook and a housemaid, and expecting one woman to do the housework without help (they hired a maid, but she quit instantly, right?) seemed ahistorical.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:42 PM
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Just wait until we get to volunteer for 1985 House, where most of what we eat is Pizza Hut and chicken fried steak with white gravy from Western Sizzler.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:44 PM
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I missed all those shows. I wonder if they're available now on Netflix....


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:44 PM
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Pwned, but they should have gone in with servants. Not having servants in a house like that would have been a temporary emergency, not a normal state of affairs.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:44 PM
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317. My grandmother (born 1900) told me you either had servants or were one.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:44 PM
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Yeah, exactly. Or you lived in circumstances that would look like grinding poverty now.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:46 PM
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My mom grew up in a tiny little house with five siblings in semi-poverty in the deep South, and they had a maid.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:48 PM
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Wasn't it Agatha Christie who never imagined that her family would ever be poor enough to not have servants, or rich enough to own a car?


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:50 PM
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B. is a truly heartless sadist.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:51 PM
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volunteer for 1985 House

No internet for you! I think I still have my old compaq somewhere, DOS 2.0


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:52 PM
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I always liked the name of P.S. Bangkok.

Also, Po-Mo and other Chicago dwellers, if you haven't gone up to eat Vietnamese around Argyle, you're really missing out. I was at Pho Xe Tang over the weekend.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:56 PM
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1970s house: you have to live with "harvest gold" kitchen appliances and wall-to-wall shag carpeting.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:57 PM
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Thanks for the Thai food suggestions, people. Although I've tried several places, I admit that I've yet to eat at Spoon since I don't get up to Lincoln Square very often. It looks really promising, though.

I think the amount of spice used in true Thai food may just make it fairly unpopular with most American palattes, which could explain why pretty much everyone tones it down around here. I'll just continue dreaming that someone opens up one of these places in Chicago, as they probably had the best (and cheapest) Thai food I've had outside Bangkok.


Also, the Chipotle about half a mile away, on the opposite end of the Loop, had fresh guacamole made with awesome avocados. I am contentedly munching on chips at this very moment. But apparently they're having all kinds of supply problems these days, almost certainly relating to those Californian fires that set this whole threadjack off in the first place, and every store is really spotty on whether they're getting great avocados or borderline rotten ones. Big Ag clearly has room for supply chain improvement before it becomes an unstoppable behemoth of capitalist excess.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:58 PM
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And batwing sweaters, with belts around them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:59 PM
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I don't think that this is one of the times he was full of shit. Or rather, the full-of-shit part was that he presented this info as a tip for foodies looking for great food, not as a comment on the costs of a luxury lifestyle

I think he is full of shit as both an empirical and a theoretical matter. Inequality is neither a precondition for the availability of good food, nor even necessarily conducive to the production of good food, outside of a couple of special cases of extreme labor intensity and no scope for substituting capital for labor. My fuller thoughts here.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 2:01 PM
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I'm the same way with olives; I'd rather go without than eat bad ones.

I have recently become this way with garlic. Once I realized that I could reasonably store enough local garlic to last into february/march (and that it stored well) I decided that it was better to go without garlic from Mar to Jun/Jul than eat out of season grocery store garlic.

It definitely makes the first garlic of the season a treat.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 2:03 PM
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Really? I have never once thought about the freshness or otherwise of garlic. It makes a difference?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 2:03 PM
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330: This is also true on "Williamsburg House."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 2:04 PM
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Given that you can apparently afford to eat at Nobu, you can buy *me* breakfast next time, you cheap bastard.

I can afford to let my father and uncle pay for a meal at Nobu. Likewise, I can afford to let you pay for a sammich at Tartine. Thanks again!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 2:06 PM
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I think the amount of spice used in true Thai food may just make it fairly unpopular with most American palates

The spiciest Thai food I've ever had in the U. S.--which also qualifies as the spiciest food, period, that I've ever had in my life--was at a Lao-Thai place in Madison, WI called Vientiane Palace. God help you if you were macho about your spice preference; the five-star level of spiciness was a joke to even the heat-desensitized Lao-Thai staff--only meant to be eaten by foolhardy tourists and fratboys.


Posted by: NickFranklin | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 2:06 PM
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331: I think inequality is a prerequisite for good restaurants, although maybe not good food. High quality food preparation is very labor intensive, which means the people doing the prep have to make much less than the people doing the eating. As can be seen by various articles about how everyone in Norway brings their lunch to work rather than going out to eat US-style.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 2:07 PM
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333: Absolutely!

I'm having trouble thinking of anything (non-preserved, of course) where freshness doesn't make a difference.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 2:10 PM
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Reliable sources tell me that I have, in fact, had mango; I retract my earlier comments to the contrary.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 2:11 PM
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335: Well, I'm glad for an excuse to eat there, I admit. But one of these days you are going to fucking serve me a meal.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 2:11 PM
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a Lao-Thai place in Madison, WI called Vientiane Palace

Was it delicious as well as spicy? I might end up in Madison one of these days for an ultimate tournament.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 2:14 PM
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Yeah, it's quite good, Po-Mo. There are lots of reviews around online if you take a look, most of which (correctly) emphasize the combination of good food, reasonable price, hot spice, and laissez-faire service.


Posted by: NickFranklin | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 2:18 PM
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I think inequality is a prerequisite for good restaurants, although maybe not good food

Simply. Not. So. Both Italy and France have a more egalitarian income distribution than the U.S., and they have better restaurants, across the board, at every price point. (Don't any body start in about the crap meal they had in Rome; every country has its share of crap restaurants.) The secret is that a good restaurant does not exist in isolation from the culinary tradition that it emerges from and, the agricultural supply chains that provision it, and the expectations of the clientele that frequents it.

If your definition of a good restaurant is elaborate, labor-intensive frills, then fine, inequality will make that more affordable (if you're on the high end of the distribution). But if you care about food, go to a country with a high quality production system and a rich culinary tradition.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 2:21 PM
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I think the amount of spice used in true Thai food may just make it fairly unpopular with most American palates

The Thai place I went to in Portland had the five-step spiciness scale. Step one was "not spicy" and step two was "mild". Thai "mild" translates as American "very hot". I've tried Thai "medium" twice and could barely finish. (And I can handle a spoonful of tabasco). I have no idea what steps 4 and 5 would be called. "Impossible to eat" would be more accurate than "unpopular".

A South Asian friend is sure that it's genetic. I have trouble arguing against that.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 2:22 PM
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Just upgraded my browser. Apparently the html formatting persists over line breaks in this one.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 2:22 PM
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Really? I have never once thought about the freshness or otherwise of garlic. It makes a difference?

An extreme difference, but I didn't realize just how large until a couple of years ago. The garlic season is short enough that if, like me, you eat garlic all the time, you're just used to eating out of season garlic, and your taste adjusts as the stored garlic gets progressively worse over the course of the year.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 2:34 PM
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What are we talking about when we talk about garlic that isn't fresh? The stuff that's all whithered? Because, yeah, obviously. Or is there a contention that there's a particular time of year when the garlic you buy in the grocery store sucks, which I have never had a problem with, or that like tomatoes, you really can only get good garlic if you either grow it yourself or buy it directly from someone who does? Which I refuse to believe, since after all, it *is* a root.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 2:50 PM
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I confess to buying the pre-minced garlic in a jar.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 2:52 PM
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That stuff will kill you, won't it? I remember it being a significant botulism risk.

I've never tried it, so I don't know if it tastes bad, but I'd expect it does.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 2:54 PM
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I don't see the point of that stuff. It's more expensive, there's the unnecessary packaging thing, and dry garlic keeps fairly well and isn't exactly hard to smash.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 2:59 PM
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Holy crap, really?

I think it tastes blander than fresh-minced, and I was willing to accept that concession, but I'm not willing to die for the convenience.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 2:59 PM
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Or is there a contention that there's a particular time of year when the garlic you buy in the grocery store sucks, which I have never had a problem with

I strongly contend this, but I am contending that it sucks compared to farmers market garlic, so this may be a variation of the tomato story.

It's also true that I eat a lot of garlic lightly cooked. Depending on how you prepare it the difference may be smaller.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 2:59 PM
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I can see that very fresh garlic would be better for a lot of things, but not that your regular shipped a few days' garlic would be inedible the way a tomato is.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:02 PM
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Was I supposed to take that seriously and be offended by your saying I have 'decadent west coast tastes'? I was responding in the same tone I read that in--as bantering. Also see 177, 187, and 154, which seemed to understand the joke just fine.

Ah, I think I see the problem here. Yes, I was expecting you to take that seriously and be offended. 158 hurt my feelings, so I posted 164, 177 and 187 in anger and frustration to get back at you, but it didn't work because you interpreted them as playing along rather than objecting to the game. This is a good illustration of the dynamic I was complaining about before.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:02 PM
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Again, not trying to gang up here, and I did figure out you were sincerely annoyed a couple of posts before it looked like B. did, but 164, 177, and 187 looked playful to me too. But, like, not even close to ambiguous. Really playful.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:06 PM
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343: Better restaurants than Applebees, or better restaurants than you'll find in the major US cities where all the income inequality is? (After all, I seem to recall reading that if you ignore King County, WA; San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties in CA, and whatever includes NYC, income inequality in the US declined in the last five years.)


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:07 PM
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and whatever includes NYC

Counties don't include NYC. NYC includes counties.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:08 PM
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Teo, really. Your way of abusing B is no fun. See, this is how you do it:

B, how are the koi? Have you been regularly checking tyour rodents for hantavirus and plague? Have you ever thought of starting a school to teach wholesomeness to the local middle-schoolers?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:09 PM
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I was expecting you to take that seriously and be offended.

Then why are you complaining about *me* being mean?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:09 PM
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359: Because he thinks you were mean first, in 158. I dunno.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:10 PM
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In any case, with me (and I'd argue, if we were arguing, that this is true as a general rule), it's better to either say directly that X bothers you or else, if you can't bring yourself to do it, then ignore it. Snipping and then complaining that someone else is (apparently) snipping (especially when they aren't) is awfully double-standardish.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:11 PM
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357: include s/b comprise. Possibly restricted to Manhattan. The point that most of the income inequality increase in the US took place in areas that have much better restaurants than average still holds.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:11 PM
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356: Whether or not that is true is quite a seperate question from what the income distribution looks like compared to france or italy.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:12 PM
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Honestly I think reading 158 as mean is incredibly over-sensitive. Not just to me, but to the kind of joking everyone on this blog does pretty much all the time.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:13 PM
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That said, I'll try not to joke with you in the future, T., because I really have zero desire to piss you off.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:14 PM
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not that your regular shipped a few days' garlic would be inedible the way a tomato is.

Of course your standard grocery stroe garlic is edible, it just isn't very good.

I say again, however, that I didn't realize just how bad the standard store garlic was until I started storing local garlic myself and went from my personal stock of garlic to late winter garlic directly without being gradual acclimated to the declining quality.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:14 PM
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Fond as I am of Teo generally, I'd really have to agree. I had no idea whatsoever that anything tense was happening until 190, and looking back from that point didn't make it obvious why it was tense.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:15 PM
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Better restaurants than Applebees, or better restaurants than you'll find in the major US cities where all the income inequality is?

Both, though obviously especially the former.

I'll add two qualifications:

1. With the Euro at 1.45, the notion of similar price points is strongly skewed. Take a more "normal" (PPP) exchange rate and I'll stand by the statement.

2. De gustibus non est disputandum. If you don't like French/Italian food, well, you won't agree with my assessment.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:16 PM
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366: But your garlic has been stored just as long as theirs, just in your house rather than a warehouse. It can't be freshness -- something like initial quality?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:16 PM
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363 continued ...

... but what I really think is going on there is that people in some places really do care a lot more about food quality than americans do. I'm not saying that americans don't care, but they value things like convenience, cost, ability to eat on a freeway, etc. in ways that simple don't make sense to most people in provence, say. The quality of meals follows.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:16 PM
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Gotta concur with LB in 367.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:17 PM
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teo is developing an allergy to bitch.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:18 PM
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I was told by my Chinese buyers that the best food in the world, no matter what type of cuisine, could be had in Hong Kong. The theory was based on the fact that all food had to be imported, and the "best" was only marginally more expensive. No comment was made on income inequality, which at the time was quite large (pre-reversion).


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:19 PM
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(After all, I seem to recall reading that if you ignore King County, WA; San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties in CA, and whatever includes NYC, income inequality in the US declined in the last five years.)

You're thinking of the stats for the inequality increase during the tech bubble. The current income inequality is mostly people in NYC and people in the DC area who benefit from the Republican-approved invisible hand that dispenses no-bid guaranteed-profit contracts with no accountability for how the money is spent.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:21 PM
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I realize that I've only been to the UK and Germany, neither of which are noted for their culinary tradition, and I also don't generally frequent "fine" restaurants. Spending more than $10 a head on a meal is pretty unusual, and more $20 very much so. And on top of that, I generally eat the >types of food for which my area is famous for producing at a very high quality and reasonable price point.

So yeah, KR and sb are probably right.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:22 PM
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The point that most of the income inequality increase in the US took place in areas that have much better restaurants than average still holds.

But Cowen makes a much stronger argument than that: he wants to argue that inequality is a necessary condition--indeed, *the* necessary condition--cuisine. That claim is empirically rubbish and highly suspect on a variety of theoretical grounds as well. Unless you have a very impoverished sense of what a good meal is.

Also, I would argue that the *relative* improvement of American cuisine since, say, baseline year 1970, has been much greater in the provinces than in NYC or Northern California.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:22 PM
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teo is developing an allergy to bitch.

Possible I suppose, but he should still get a doctor to check that rash.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:23 PM
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Teo, weren't you supposed to be at Blume's house, errm, making a delivery?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:25 PM
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Honestly I think reading 158 as mean is incredibly over-sensitive. Not just to me, but to the kind of joking everyone on this blog does pretty much all the time.

Yeah, I realize that, but it is nevertheless how I feel. I'm really very sensitive, especially right now, and honestly, this place has begun to feel deeply and increasingly alienating to me. It's like everyone's operating under an entirely different set of conversational ground rules from the ones I'm using.

That said, I'll try not to joke with you in the future, T., because I really have zero desire to piss you off.

Thanks, I appreciate it. I don't like to sound like a humorless whiner, which is why I've resisted bringing this up in the past, but it really does bother me a lot.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:25 PM
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Teo, weren't you supposed to be at Blume's house, errm, making a delivery?

I was, but then someone went to bed without sending me any of his frequent flyer miles.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:27 PM
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Also, I would argue that the *relative* improvement of American cuisine since, say, baseline year 1970, has been much greater in the provinces than in NYC or Northern California.

I would agree with this. Meanwhile bookstore selection has gotten way better in the provinces, and worse in many metropolitan areas where it was good back then.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:27 PM
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But your garlic has been stored just as long as theirs, just in your house rather than a warehouse. It can't be freshness -- something like initial quality?

Yes.

I don't know as much as I would like about the SOTA for storing garlic. I read somewhere that places were getting better results storing food in an all nitrogen atmosphere, but it doesn't seem to be working (and that might have been for fruit rather than garlic).

It's possible that some air flow is good and that it's better to store garlic in smaller quantities (in my case 5lb or so) than in large bins. I don't know.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:30 PM
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379: I am sorry you're in a bad place, and it's perfectly understandable that you would be. I think if you throw out the occasional signal that you're sad, and could use some people being nice to you, there should be plenty of responses -- no one wants to be mean to you, people are just playing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:31 PM
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Jake in 375: Most of the US can only dream about having access to the sort of food options you can take for granted in the bay area. Cheap or otherwise. I'm really not talking about just (or particularly interested in) what's available at the top end, price wise.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:31 PM
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383 gets it exactly right. We like you and don't mean to be alienating you (if I may be presumptuous enough to speak for the collective).

On the prior threadjack, I'm happy that your basic multi-ethnic city with a tourism-based economy turns out to be a pretty good place to eat.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:36 PM
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Most of the US can only dream about having access to the sort of food options you can take for granted in the bay area.

I don't contest this in the slightest. My point was that this was not a counter-argument to "good quality restaurants require income inequality", as most of the US doesn't have nearly the income inequality we have in the Bay Area, either. At least in San Francisco, many bars will probably have patrons with an income range spanning an order of magnitude.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:40 PM
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383, 385: Thanks, guys. The thing is, though, that I already send out these signals (in fact, most of my recent comments may fall into this general area), and I do get support and reassurance, but the sense of alienation is somewhat broader and not really about me personally at all. I just feel like this place has a lot of interesting, like-minded people who make up what can at times be a fun, supportive community, but that many of those people often seem determined to undermine that by picking pointless fights with each other.

It's like there's this competitive, oppositional worldview that dominates most of the threads around here (maybe because there are so many lawyers, I don't know), and it tends to steer those threads away from friendly chatting about interesting subjects, which is what I like, and toward long, bitter arguments that lead to nothing but hurt feelings and ill will.

I'm not trying to make people change their personalities or attitudes, of course. Part of the problem is surely that this site is much more central to my life than it really should be, which makes me wish it was more to my taste.

Anyway, that's just where I'm coming from here.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:51 PM
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(maybe because there are so many lawyers, I don't know)

They ruin everything they touch.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:59 PM
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Part of the problem is surely that this site is much more central to my life than it really should be

This is the too-true-for-comfort hovertext for Unfogged.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:04 PM
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and toward long, bitter arguments that lead to nothing but hurt feelings and ill will.

As often as not, it's just the narcissism of minor differences.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:07 PM
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Lightning, lightning bug, whatever.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:11 PM
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As often as not, it's just the narcissism of minor differences.

True, but that only makes it more dispiriting.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:14 PM
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tends to steer those threads away from friendly chatting about interesting subjects, which is what I like, and toward long, bitter arguments that lead to nothing but hurt feelings and ill will.

In the "tastes differ" file, I would note that while unfogged can sometimes feel like it's in a rut, I thought last week had a couple of great threads that left me feeling quite positive about unfogged.

The arguments about feminism between John and LB were painful, but that was an interesting thread. I found the thread about hormonal birth control fascinating, and there was one other thread that I almost forwarded to a friend as an example of "this is why I like unfogged."

That isn't to say that unfogged couldn't be better, just that you can't assume that if something is bothering you that it's bothering everyone else. It's hard to know what to do to influence the "tone of the blog", however.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:17 PM
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Hire snipers.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:19 PM
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That seems like a drastic step just to improve the pool of commenters.

Plus snipers don't usually accept contracts on pseudonyms.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:20 PM
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The arguments about feminism between John and LB were painful, but that was an interesting thread. I found the thread about hormonal birth control fascinating, and there was one other thread that I almost forwarded to a friend as an example of "this is why I like unfogged."

That isn't to say that unfogged couldn't be better, just that you can't assume that if something is bothering you that it's bothering everyone else. It's hard to know what to do to influence the "tone of the blog", however.

See, that's just it. I didn't read either of those threads, because they're exactly the kind of thread I can't stand. So I'm not assuming that the things that bother me bother other people, but more and more of the threads around here have been bothering me lately.

Another example of tastes differing: this morning leblanc was complaining that the blog was boring today, while I (at that point) thought today was a pretty good day for it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:21 PM
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there was one other thread that I almost forwarded to a friend as an example of "this is why I like unfogged."

You sicko.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:21 PM
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Another example of tastes differing: this morning leblanc was complaining that the blog was boring today, while I (at that point) thought today was a pretty good day for it.

Leblanc is one of the people who enjoys becoming angry on gender issues. I guess I am too, but always in a quest for knowledge.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:23 PM
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I guess I just can't understand the mindset of someone who would enjoy becoming angry. And there seem to be many such people around here.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:25 PM
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Well, if something's important enough to be interested in talking about at length, it's worth getting angry about. I don't know that I actually enjoy getting angry -- I wasn't having fun in that conversation the other day -- but the things I want to talk about are also things where there's a real chance I'll get irate about something.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:27 PM
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400: Meanwhile, those aren't the things that I want to talk about, but they are the things about which I have very strong opinions which MUST BE HEARD and the fact that I would rather be talking about something else makes me ALL THE MORE ANGRY that people insist on not just disagreeing with me but insisting on discussing such an annoying topic.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:32 PM
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I found my argument with LB extremely painful, and I'm sure that she did too, but we were discussing things important to both of us that we disagreed about. Usually LB and I agree, but we found a difference here. It wasn't a fun time, but there's a value in talking about things like that.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:33 PM
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Well, if something's important enough to be interested in talking about at length, it's worth getting angry about.

See, this is the attitude I just don't understand. Not that I'm criticizing it, it's just totally different from how I see things. I think this explains a lot of my alienation here.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:33 PM
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And, teo, it really is useful to be able to get mad and then get over it. I grew up believing that open conflict is the worstest thing ever, but that turns out not to be true. Between the lawyers and the academics the place does run to folks who care a lot about nailing down that last little bit from "almost right" to "exactly right," but that's not necessarily a bad thing.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:34 PM
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Ned's and Emerson's attitudes are more comprehensible to me, but they're still pretty different from my own attitude.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:35 PM
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There's a big difference between getting worked up about a topic (can be good) to picking pointless fights (usually bad).


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:38 PM
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And, teo, it really is useful to be able to get mad and then get over it. I grew up believing that open conflict is the worstest thing ever, but that turns out not to be true.

I suppose so. I guess I just have trouble with the "getting over it" part; I remember hurt feelings for a long, long time. This is probably related to my general unhappiness and dissatisfaction.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:39 PM
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I have never gotten into an argument over issues like this in real life. In fact, I don't think I've ever had an argument with someone who had been my friend and would continue to be my friend later on. But doing so with imaginary internet friends is a lot lower-risk, and I do find myself being able to be civil with epople with whom I had been in a heated argument a couple days earlier.

("people" meaning "bitchphd")


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:39 PM
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And "epople" meaning?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:40 PM
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"ibthhcpd"


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:41 PM
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Fair enough.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:42 PM
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But there really isn't much picking pointless fights, I don't think. It's not unusual for Commenter A to hit one of Commenter B's hot buttons--actually let's make that Commenter X to hit Commenter Y's hot buttons--but that's usually either intended as banter or done in the course of working through an argument without fully identifying all the hot buttons the argument may hit. Or at least that's how it usually looks to me.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:42 PM
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This is probably related to my general unhappiness and dissatisfaction.

That's not it.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:42 PM
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413: Good lord. We have just over 671000 comments on this blog, since we started 4 1/2 years ago.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:44 PM
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And, teo, it really is useful to be able to get mad and then get over it.

This seems right, but I sympathize with teo here. I am also conflict averse and it's frustrating to feel caught in the situation of "I need to either be willing to be seriously mad here, or I need to back off and just stop talking." Because I don't have a comfort zone with "slightly angry."

I don't comment often enough to have tried to figure out how to get around that dynamic, but I'm not sure that unfogged is a good place to try to become more comfortable with conflict.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:44 PM
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I'm not sure that unfogged is a good place to try to become more comfortable with conflict.

It has been for me. That is, 408 to 415.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:44 PM
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It's not unusual for Commenter A to hit one of Commenter B's hot buttons--actually let's make that Commenter X to hit Commenter Y's hot buttons--but that's usually either intended as banter or done in the course of working through an argument without fully identifying all the hot buttons the argument may hit.

That's how it starts, yes, but the part I don't like is how it continues, often for hundreds of comments, very heatedly and with neither party yielding an inch. What's the benefit of that?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:44 PM
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417 is meant to justify my use of "pointless," just to be clear. "Picking fights" may not have been the best way to put it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:46 PM
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What's the benefit of that?

So you're saying all the lives lost in WWI were lost IN VAIN???


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:47 PM
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There once was a man from Verdun.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:48 PM
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It has been for me. That is, 408 to 415.

Great, seriously.

One of the things I like about unfogged is that, compared to the rest of the internet, it seems less inclined to value conflict for conflict's sake. So it certainly seems possible that it could be a place to have "good" arguments, but 417 also seems familiar.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:48 PM
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That's how it starts, yes, but the part I don't like is how it continues, often for hundreds of comments, very heatedly and with neither party yielding an inch. What's the benefit of that?

the argument is not just to try to convince your interlocutor, but to convince the onlookers.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:48 PM
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I frequently leave threads I don't like, for example Harry Potter crack-baby threads. (Sometimes though not always voluntarily.) It is annoying when the thread in question is sucking up all the Unfogged oxygen, but you learn to do other things for a few hours.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:49 PM
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So you're saying all the lives lost in WWI were lost IN VAIN???

Yep, every single one.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:49 PM
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420: I'm reminded of the limerick about the Emperor Nero, but can't recall how it starts.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:49 PM
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421: I think that's because trolls are ignored. Seriously, somehow there is a system here by which trolls are ignored. I don't know why this is the one blog at which it works.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:50 PM
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416: Me too. I continue to be mostly conflict-averse in real life, and this isn't the only place I've learned to be less conflict-averse, but arguing with people you respect in a relatively low-risk environment isn't bad practice.

417: I don't think "neiter party yielding an inch" is exactly the dynamic. The back-and-forth usually clarifies what's really in dispute and shakes out the various miscommunications around the edges. I've learned quite a bit from those arguments, especially the ones I came along too late to be in the middle of.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:50 PM
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the argument is not just to try to convince your interlocutor, but to convince the onlookers.

Does it work, though?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:50 PM
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There's a real issue here, and I'm sympathetic to Teo's point, but basically I live in fear that this place is going to become a genial echo chamber where everyone agrees and keeps quiet if they disagree. As tiresome as some of the threads can be, I much prefer an atmosphere where conflict and disagreement are part of discussion, as opposed to its breakdown. That way, when people do get heated, as they do about things that matter to them, the discussion can keep going, without devolving into incoherent anger. That's the plan, anyway. Sometimes it works.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:53 PM
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The back-and-forth usually clarifies what's really in dispute and shakes out the various miscommunications around the edges.

This is what it feels like is going on in a lot of those arguments for me -- that it's a repeated attempt to actually get my interlocutor to understand my position, and to get them to state theirs so I can understand it clearly. It doesn't always work, but that's more the goal than convincing anyone.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:54 PM
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I don't think "neiter party yielding an inch" is exactly the dynamic. The back-and-forth usually clarifies what's really in dispute and shakes out the various miscommunications around the edges.

I like the ones where around comment 540 someone realizes that 98% of the disagreement has been the result of people having different definitions of a word while actually having virtually the same opinions. This word could be "housework", "misogynist", or in one infamous episode, "defile".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:54 PM
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427: I don't really disagree with either of your points, but I'm still not convinced that this is the best use of the forum. Why do we have to spend so much of our time here, the only time in which most of us interact with each other, practicing dealing with conflict and clarifying points of dispute? Couldn't we spend more time doing things that are more fun?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:56 PM
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It's not unreasonable to enjoy a bit of friendly headbutting every now and again. I don't personally have any desire to get into barfights, or even to be around them, but when I hear about people who go out and do it for fun, it's not completely incomprehensible.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:56 PM
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Fascinating how many feel they've become more accustomed to argument, to conflict, than they feel they are irl, although with good influences on that too. I'm another one who feels that way.

I'd imagine the women commenters would feel this even more strongly, depending on personality of course, but they'll have to speak for themselves.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:57 PM
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There's a real issue here, and I'm sympathetic to Teo's point, but basically I live in fear that this place is going to become a genial echo chamber where everyone agrees and keeps quiet if they disagree.

This clarifies a lot. I guess I just don't share ogged's fear of genial echo chambers.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:57 PM
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434: I actually have arguments like this in real life -- with my best friends, with my family... only with people I'm fond of, usually. The new thing about Unfogged for me is the heated arguments without always the close emotional bonds.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:59 PM
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I don't know much about genial echo chambers. Usually the comments sections that could be called "echo chambers" are far from genial, and result from one person saying "[Person unlikely to read this blog] is an idiot" and everyone agreeing in more and more homicidal terms.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:59 PM
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My argument with LB was one of the rare times recently when I've had a strong disagreement with someone I don't have deep, undiscussible disagreements with. It certainly gave me things to think about, and probably LB too. As I've said, it wasn't fun but there was some value in it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:01 PM
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without always the close emotional bonds

Just needlessly cruel, LB. NCBC: Revoked!


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:01 PM
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I'm much, much less inclined to get into the big argument threads than I was before.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:02 PM
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Shucks. Of all the brains in vats out there, you've always had a special place in the lab cupboards of my heart, Tim.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:03 PM
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I do think that open-conflict groups are healthier than conflict-averse groups. I've been in "let's pretend" fake-comity groups, and I've found it unbearable.

It's true that one conflict can split a group, but perhaps people are better off going to places where they can feel easier.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:04 PM
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LB, John, FWIW I got a lot out of that thread when I read it the day after it was over.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:04 PM
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438: Yeah, I don't want to get back into it, but I'm still thinking we were probably misunderstanding each other. That whole conversation I felt as though I were swinging and missing at what was actually under discussion. But I really don't want to reopen it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:04 PM
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441: Unrevoked!


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:05 PM
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Well, it's 5:00 so I'm going to have to leave, and I have a date tonight so I won't be back for a while, but I'll be interested to see how this turns out.

This, btw, is a good example of the kind of discussion I wish we had more of on Unfogged. There's a real disagreement, but everyone's been civil and no one is arguing as if their own opinion is obviously right and trying to convince everyone else to agree.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:05 PM
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It sounds to me like the arguments and the "I thought we were bantering" / "No, I was genuinely upset" phenomenon aren't quite the same thing. Or are they? I suppose that being fond of teasing-type banter and enjoying (heated) arguments often go together, but I feel like there is an important difference in there somewhere. I like friendly teasing and being teased, though of course there are limits, and I like (some kinds of) arguments, but I really hate arguments where I feel like my opponent is being unserious: doing things deliberately to get a rise out of me, changing what he/she is claiming while acting like he/she was making whatever the new claim is all along, making unkind and unsupported generalizations, etc.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:08 PM
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teo, we can either have heated arguments, or we can tease you about your love life. Take your pick.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:12 PM
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420, 425, both of you, I want to have your children. Only not really.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:13 PM
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(I have a few minutes to kill before my date.)

It sounds to me like the arguments and the "I thought we were bantering" / "No, I was genuinely upset" phenomenon aren't quite the same thing.

Yeah, they are actually different, though the same people do often seem to enjoy both. My problems with b earlier in this thread are really only a minor part of my alienation from Unfogged. The argument stuff is a bigger part.

teo, we can either have heated arguments, or we can tease you about your love life. Take your pick.

The latter, of course.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:47 PM
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I felt as though I were swinging and missing

It's not easy being a frotteur.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:49 PM
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449: Yeah, it seems unjust that saying "I want you to have my children" isn't as much of a light-hearted compliment as the reverse is.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:49 PM
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Dude, remember, lack of ambiguity is your friend. Kissing someone may be hard -- saying something making it clear that you plan to kiss them later on is easier, and commits you to a course of action. Compliments work nicely, because they establish what's going on.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:51 PM
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Who is 453 addressed to? Me?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:53 PM
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Kissing someone may be hard -- saying something making it clear that you plan to kiss them later on is easier, and commits you to a course of action.

I do not know what such a thing might be that one might say to make that clear. I wouldn't dare try to do that.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:53 PM
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"I plan to kiss you later on" would probably work.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:54 PM
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455: "Hey, next time we go out, don't eat onions bring lip balm."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:55 PM
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"I plan to kiss you later on" would probably work.

You've got a date tonight. Time for some science.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:55 PM
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But what would I use for a control?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:56 PM
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453: Yeah, it's meant to engage with the 'giving you intrusive advice about your love life' request. Seriously, a couple of goofy compliments work nicely to indicate that you're interested in making out at some point later in the date. Once she knows what's going on for sure, she should either be helpful, or remember that she left the teakettle on and has to get home.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:57 PM
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saying something making it clear that you plan to kiss them later on is easier, and commits you to a course of action.

When lawyers date ...


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:58 PM
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Sparks fly, the earth moves, and lesser mortals burn with envy. Or, contracts are negotiated.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:59 PM
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But what would I use for a control?

Prior dating attempts?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:00 PM
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a couple of goofy compliments


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:01 PM
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The affidavit may seem a bit forward, but it's the only way to show prior intent vis-a-vis cockblocking.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:01 PM
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There's going to be a lot of different variables changing if I'm going to try comparing this date to previous ones.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:01 PM
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Gee, your hair smells terrific.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:01 PM
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Sparks fly, the earth moves, and lesser mortals burn with envy. Or, And contracts are negotiated.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:01 PM
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Well, I'd better get going. I'll let you know how the experiment turns out.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:03 PM
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There's going to be a lot of different variables changing if I'm going to try comparing this date to previous ones.

Get in touch with the University of Minnesota twin researchers to see what variables are most crucial to be held constant.

Good luck teo!


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:04 PM
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The giving compliments part can't be underestimated. More than once I've inadvertently given compliments which were overinterpreted as serious plays.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:59 PM
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472

That's an excellent comment, John. Next comment, don't eat onions.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:02 PM
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473

You're just not attractive to me, Apo, what with the mullet.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:04 PM
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Yeah, you should stay away from "are your other lips just as lovely?" if you're not interested in finding out. Also if you are, for that matter.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:06 PM
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475

474: the glitter brings out the beauty.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:09 PM
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476

Date complete.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:35 PM
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477

And no, I didn't kiss her.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:35 PM
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478

I will enter it into the registry, then.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:37 PM
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479

Huzzah! It couldn't have been that bad!


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:39 PM
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480

Decided to go with the high five?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:46 PM
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481

a whole lot of spendin' money


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:48 PM
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482

Now me, I was continually reading the title of this post in the voice of Jamie Gumb. w-lfs-n takes the more optimistic route of hearing it read by George Harrison.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:50 PM
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483

Teo, all of your dates are, suspiciously, exactly between 3 and 3.5 hours long. Never more, never less. Explain.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:50 PM
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484

AWB's registry seems to include more precise information than Ned's.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:53 PM
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It's sometimes helpful to gauge dates by how long they last. In my cases, dates tend to be either one hour or over eight hours, so it's easier to tell. Teo's much more consistent.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:55 PM
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486

Some of your dates include time-consuming activities that Teo's don't?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:57 PM
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487

That's about how long it takes to drive across town, have a leisurely meal and maybe some dessert, and drive back. Any more questions?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:57 PM
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488

Drive to meet woman - 20 minutes
Chloroform, place in trunk - 5 minutes
Drive to secluded location - 30 minutes
Bad, bad stuff - 120 minutes
Wash up - 10 minutes
Drive to 7/11 for microwave burrito - 20 minutes
Drive home - 10 minutes


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:59 PM
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489

Once I'm done housesitting (just one more week!) they will likely be between 2 and 2.5 hours.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:59 PM
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490

If Teo hadn't rudely pre-empted me, it would have been clear from the context that I was describing one of his dates.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:00 PM
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491

Wash up - 10 minute

Way too optimistic.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:00 PM
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488 might be one of those things that teo doesn't find as amusing as some people might hope he would.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:00 PM
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Nah, it's plenty amusing.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:00 PM
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A chipper mood! Ah, 'twere a fine date indeed.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:01 PM
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495

Why are washes called washes?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:02 PM
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496

Yes, 'twere.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:02 PM
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But there are still missteps that you must not avoid making. For example, as Homer Simpson once said, women usually don't like nicknames like "jumbo" or "boxcar", unless they come up with them themselves.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:04 PM
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There is an issue that may come up at some point on which I could use some opinions. Orthodox Jews: more like Catholics or Mormons in terms of sluttiness?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:07 PM
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Mormons

for example, even the slutty ones are probably more likely to only be slutty with other members of the sect, unlike Catholics.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:08 PM
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How are we defining the sect, though? Do I count?

I was thinking Catholics, based on my experience with other Jews, but I've known very few Orthodox.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:11 PM
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My vague impression is that orthodox men can fool around with as many gentiles as they want (but not Jews!), but that orthodox women aren't similarly free. There are all these laws about not touching someone of the opposite sex because of uncleanliness. I don't know the details though.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:17 PM
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That's ultra-Orthodox; here we're talking about something considerably more modern.

I don't think this is likely to be an issue, really; though she was raised Orthodox and still clings to Orthodox traditions rather than Conservative reinterpretations (she won't wear a head-covering or tallis in synagogue, for instance), she doesn't seem all that religious personally. And her last boyfriend wasn't even Jewish. She does seem kind of sweet and innocent, though, which worries me a little. But only a little.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:22 PM
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The people I was thinking of were modern orthodox, not ultra-orthodox. But there's of course much variation there as well.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:47 PM
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Really? Where was this? Anyway, this girl's background doesn't seem to have been that traditional. Plus, her mom was raised Reform.

But, like I said, I hardly know any Orthodox Jews so I'm not really sure what's standard.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:54 PM
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She does seem kind of sweet and innocent, though, which worries me a little.

Believe you me, the religious "sweet and innocent" ones can be fantastic.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 12:02 AM
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506

Like I said, only a little.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 12:03 AM
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507

That's about how long it takes to drive across town, have a leisurely meal and maybe some dessert, and drive back. Any more questions?

Any casual activities you can plan for after dinner? "It's a beautiful night, would you like to go for a walk?" or similar such. Some date time without a table between you can be good.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 5:57 AM
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Di speaks wisdom, Teo. Pay attention.

It would behoove you to choose a restaurant where there is something interesting nearby to stroll around. Or where you could move on to another activity. On my first date with Mrs. Ruprecht, we ate at a restaurant next door to a pool hall, and after dinner she suggested we go in and play a game of billiards.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 6:48 AM
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509

I am, after all, on of the foremost expert's on the subject of successful dating....


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 6:55 AM
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Don't sell yourself short, there, Di. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

It's a shame that our culture lacks the French institution of femmes d'une certaine age: it is considered broadly acceptable for the sexually experienced middle aged woman (who is perhaps neglected by her husband as he pursues younger prey) to sexually initiate teenage boys. In doing so they are thought to contibute to preserving the chastity of teenage girls.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:03 AM
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510 -- Knecht, I don't think I'd use the term 'middle aged' to refer to a woman of Di's years. Young. Not teo-young, to be sure, but far from Carpishly middle aged.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:13 AM
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498: A 23-y-o friend of mine now in Israel researched Orthodox women (n=1, father a rabbi). What he found was that they (= she) flirted like crazy and talked dirty, but no touching. My friend got to know the rabbi before the daughter, and I think was being recruited into marriage and conversion (from secularism). This is exactly the Mormon pattern (Judaism isn't a missionary religion, but this group reached out to secular Jews).

Extrapolating, you would expect lax and fallen away Orthodox women to be pretty hot.

As I've explained, at Unfogged a single anecdote is data. You don't need three.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:17 AM
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Knecht, I don't think I'd use the term 'middle aged' to refer to a woman of Di's years

I didn't. I was making a general observation. I don't know how old Di is. Where I come from, "old enough to be divorced already" could be 21.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:19 AM
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510: ...preserving the chastity of teenage girls.

Or even better, improving the quality of life of teenage girls by handling the awkward early stages of the guy's learning curve.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:20 AM
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Orthodox dudes making out with transsexual prostitutes on the subway at 3am are a remarkably common sight.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:23 AM
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516

Those are Amish on their rumspringa, AWB.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:24 AM
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Or even better, improving the quality of life of teenage girls by handling the awkward early stages of the guy's learning curve.

Yeah, that too. It's win-win-win-win! Then again, so is national health insurance, and we're unlikely to ever get that, either.

My sense is that this institution may be in terminal decline even in France, as premarital chastity for girls is no longer important.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:37 AM
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511: Sadly, I didn't think to quibble with "middle aged" as I was too busy thinking "sexually experienced" was a bit of a stretch.

But then JE pointed out that "at Unfogged a single anecdote is data," and I felt like a regular little wild thing again.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:37 AM
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"at Unfogged a single anecdote is data"

There's no shame in using a datum on its own when you don't want to go to the bother of rounding up a whole herd of them.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:39 AM
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flirted like crazy and talked dirty, but no touching

What's the word I'm thinking of?? Oh yeah, "cocktease".

Orthodox dudes making out with transsexual prostitutes on the subway at 3am are a remarkably common sight

I was acquainted with the guy who made Trembling Before G-d before he was out, and it I was surprised as hell to learn that he was gay.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:44 AM
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521

I was too busy thinking "sexually experienced" was a bit of a stretch.

Re-read 510.1b (presuming that 518 was Di)


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:47 AM
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ZOMG. Until I saw the poster for that movie just now, I didn't realize I have a gay-Orthodox-dude fetish. I'm going to go live my unhappy life now.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:47 AM
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It is good to be the King!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:48 AM
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519: Especially when you know you're right.

There's a book frequently used in Administration of Justice courses which does not distinguish clearly between fictional and non-fictional data. Movies are used to illustrate criminal types. Somewhere at the beginning of the book there's a brief disclaimer.

I suspect that the scholarship behind counseling education is of approximately equal solidity. An old friend with a counselling psych PhD boggled me by relaying rumors of widespread Satanism and thousands of abducted children that I knew were urban legends.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:49 AM
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I didn't realize I have a gay-Orthodox-dude fetish. I'm going to go live my unhappy life now.

You should be overjoyed. Few people have as many opportunities as you do to encounter gay Orthodox dudes.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:50 AM
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520: Hey, he went to my high school. You must have known him in early college, if it was before he was out.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:51 AM
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527

True, but they're 19-23, and my students. So sweet!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:51 AM
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Note that the decadent French don't bother to omit the vowels from G-d's name in their translation of the title.

s/b "Ils tremblent devant D---"


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:53 AM
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524: Sadly, such urban legends were so happily accepted in the therapeutic community for a time that there have since been lawsuits addressing the damage caused by therapists who insisted their patients had been victims of these satanic cults and used things like hypnosis and "recovered memeory therapy" to convince the patients that horrible shit really did happen (and usually their families were to blame). Unbelievably fucked up .


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:53 AM
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You must have known him in early college, if it was before he was out

Alternatively, I didn't know him well enough to know he was out. He wasn't ostentatiously out, let's say.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:56 AM
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I don't know whether I've ever actually met an Orthodox Jew.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:57 AM
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Unbelievably fucked up .

This may be the one and only time in my life I give props to the editorial page of the WSJ, but Dorothy Rabinowitz's work on this topic was awesome.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:58 AM
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Any casual activities you can plan for after dinner? "It's a beautiful night, would you like to go for a walk?" or similar such. Some date time without a table between you can be good.

Yes, in fact we did this last night; dinner, then a nice leisurely stroll to another place for dessert. It went well.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 2:01 PM
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