Re: Cheesemongers

1

Mostly they sound like douchebags for talking about "cool cheese".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 11:29 AM
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Well, of all the things these people could mong, cheese is probably the most useful.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 11:30 AM
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"Having a cool cheese in your fridge has taken the place of knowing what the cool band is, or even of playing in that band"

That sounds like disturbingly wishful thinking. Have these people ever been to Williamsburg?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 11:30 AM
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2: Hate can be put to a diversity of uses, unlike cheese.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 11:35 AM
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On March 1, KayCee Wimbish, 32, a former second-grade teacher, moved from her Harlem apartment up to Tivoli to raise sheep and chickens with Owen O'Connor, 22, a Wesleyan dropout who helped come up with the name of their enterprise, Awesome Farm.

---choke---!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 11:37 AM
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How much work does it take to come up with a name like that?

There's a coöp or something in berkeley called "Fort Awesome". Not funny, kids.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 11:38 AM
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"Hello, Awesome Farm, the rude, crude, agricultural dudes! How may I direct your call?"


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 11:40 AM
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This article is from 1973, right?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 11:45 AM
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The real douche bags are David Brooks-style (in red states, they drink pabst while in blue states they drink cab!) writers.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 11:59 AM
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I happen to know one of the people profiled in the article, and she's been farming organically for the better part of 10 years. It's really backbreaking, hard work--in the growing season, we're talking about 15 hour days, 7 days a week. And she's not getting rich doing it. Far from it.

So, uh, before condemning the people in this article as douchebags, maybe you should cut people a little slack who aren't just making a lifestyle choice to live in the country (which is part of it, and we all make those choices, okay?), but who are also undertaking a major financial risk to start a small business that they hope can also be a model for a new way of producing food sustainably and well.

Doubtless some of their customers are douchebags, doubtless a reporter looking for a "hook" may be a douchebag, but sorry, a small operator in a very tough business who's going to get a ton of free publicity as well as get visibility for the social values that led them to start that business...not, by definition, a douchebag for letting the NY Style section profile them.


Posted by: theorajones | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 12:01 PM
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10: Did you just discover this blog in the last week?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 12:03 PM
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The douchebag claims seem to be attached to the bourgeois romance of the recherché product by the blogger mentioned and the journalist, not organic farmers themselves, who obviously have a hard row to hoe. The article itself is depicting organic farming as the new hipster lifestyle.

When our friends appeared in the Style section last week, we made fun of that article too, of course. Which is why the joke about the Style section, theorajones.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 12:06 PM
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Someone who has been farming for ten years probably isn't still in the game because he or she thinks there's such a thing as cool cheese and is concerned to have it in his or her fridge.

IOW, AWB gets it right.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 12:09 PM
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It's no fun if you come out and just give away the joke, AWB.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 12:09 PM
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We really need a FAQ.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 12:10 PM
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Sorry, Josh. I just hate when someone thinks we're hating on their friend, which, absent reading the archives, it might look like.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 12:11 PM
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We still don't have an answer to the most pressing question.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 12:11 PM
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OTOH, the "those damn hipsters" thing does kind of make us all sound like cranky old men.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 12:17 PM
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Ah, ty, missed that. Er...see, last weekend my regular lurking was pre-empted because I was so totally busy preparing for a party in my phat (do we still say that?) Billyburg two-bedz by pouring $7.00 a bottle microbrew into mason jars, and plating my organic free range Queens chevre on exploitation-free made-in-Staten-Island water crackers...


Posted by: theorajones | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 12:18 PM
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You people! I don't care about the hipsters at all. The entire point of the post was to make the "people in the Styles section are douchebags" joke.

Sheesh.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 12:19 PM
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17 can go in the FAQ. Also, do you know who that is, people? It's Theora Jones!

Say hi to Max for us, T.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 12:20 PM
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last weekend my regular lurking was pre-empted because I was so totally busy preparing for a party in my phat (do we still say that?)

If you have to ask, your lurking isn't regular enough.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 12:21 PM
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when we were students we used to go to the state farms to help harvesting, for about a month, in august-september
i think it was a common practice in all comecon countries
slavery of course, but it was such a wonderful time!for us it was first the wheat harvest and the next time, a potato farm
then transition happened so now they do not invite students anymore, but i can understand that farming could be very interesting and rewardful


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 12:23 PM
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Holy sheesh, this site is now mocking Brooklyn hipsters? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 12:27 PM
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theorajones is not a noob.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 12:27 PM
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Slavery of course, but it was such a wonderful time!

Long ago I knew a Chinese student in the US who had been sent "down to the country" during the Cultural Revolution. She initially sort of liked working on a pig farm, but became depressed when she realized that she might stay there forever. (Her father was a Stanford physicist who had returned to China in 1948). There was a book about a similar story, "Son of the Revolution".

I have enjoyed farm work in moderate to small doses. The farmers I grew up with mostly liked it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 12:35 PM
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i think it can't be compared with the cultural revolution, that was punishment and all
ours was young people, classmates working together, bonding, very fun, a summer camp like experience
then our countryside is just wonderful, a month of refreshment it was


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 12:48 PM
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20: It's kinda like herding cats, isn't it?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 12:48 PM
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After the environmental collapse, we'll all be the douchebags who don't know anything about farming.


Posted by: Zippy the Comment Frog | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 12:48 PM
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I tutored a Kyrgyz boy who even now, long after Communism, still goes to the countryside every summer / fall. He loves it. He's the city cousin, and he visits his country cousins.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 12:53 PM
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I heart Becks.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 12:54 PM
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Maybe they could get into childcare next and come over and mind my kids for the rest of the day.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 1:39 PM
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Whatever happened to our plans to form an Unfogged creche?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 1:45 PM
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Sure and there were never such plans, bitch. Your mind must have been addled by some devilry worked by your long-haired spawn.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 1:47 PM
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There totally were. Ogged was going to be in charge of it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 1:49 PM
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Was it to be a creche in the sense of animals providing care? Can we use Ogged's girlfriend's cat for that?


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 1:52 PM
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One of the things this article could have gotten into a lot deeper that actually does interest me is the flight of young rich people out of the city and into the countryside. Young people with money are not moving out to the suburbs when they get tired of the New York social grind; they're going out into the middle of nowhere, into farming communities.

Five years ago, when I lived near Williamsburg, I met a ton of people who were using their family money to buy barns upstate, insulating them and turning them into houses. They'd come visit and talk excitedly about critters getting into the house and needing some good barn cats.

I thought they were crazy, but over the past year, I've been fantasizing about it myself. Every now and then, I just want to say FUCK EVERYTHING and move to West Texas. Seriously, New York is so exciting and stimulating to all of us who move here from other places (note that several of the people interviewed came from Oklahoma and places like that) that it's really draining. There are all these social conventions that even a really dorky weirdo has to pretend to keep a thumb on. You have to be pretty quiet in your own apartment. You're constantly resisting the urge to treat all the people you see in a day the way you would if you fully recognized their humanity. It's totally exhausting.

The temptation to move somewhere where I can sing in my house, say hi to people on the street, not be physically pressed up against strangers every day, own a big mean dog, plant a big vegetable garden, not have to make much money, etc.---the fantasy isn't about the suburbs, and (for me at least) it's not about some romance of the countryside. It's just about wanting to get off this horrible exhausting treadmill of New York conventions and social pressure. Sometimes I love it, but more and more often, it's just wearing me the fuck down.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 1:54 PM
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No animals. Hell, if I wanted to let the animals take care of it, I'd just leave PK with Luna and the mice.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 2:00 PM
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I'm not sure that an aged cat and some cancerous mice are really up to the task of "taking care of" your kid.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 2:02 PM
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Alright then, humans. I'm ready to start planning. B, when you are ready to fly out to Atlanta to do a test run, let me know.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 2:02 PM
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39: The cancerous mouse was GASSED, Ben. Thanks for your callous remark.

And the cat, though mature in years, is still quite active, thankyouverymuch.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 2:10 PM
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40: I was hoping you guys would come out here. It's sunnier, and we have more water.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 2:11 PM
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Seriously, New York is so exciting and stimulating to all of us who move here from other places (note that several of the people interviewed came from Oklahoma and places like that) that it's really draining. There are all these social conventions that even a really dorky weirdo has to pretend to keep a thumb on. You have to be pretty quiet in your own apartment. You're constantly resisting the urge to treat all the people you see in a day the way you would if you fully recognized their humanity. It's totally exhausting.

The last two sentences are why I can't leave. It's weird out there in the rest of the country, what with fully recognizing everyone's humanity and all. I have a hard enough time recognizing my own sometimes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 2:14 PM
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After the environmental collapse, we'll all be the douchebags who don't know anything about farming.

Speak for yourself, cityboy.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 2:14 PM
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The upstate new york community I lived in was heavily populated with educated urbanites making a go at organic farming. I loved that community to death. One of my jobs at SLU was steering students into the kind of "summer in the country" experience that read is talking about.

As far as I'm concerned, the world becomes a better place every time actually doing something good becomes fashionable.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 2:17 PM
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West Texas, SoCal and Georgia are all terrible places to strike out to if you want to actually grow anything.

Seriously AWB, if you want to have a garden, at least do East Texas.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 2:19 PM
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I don't want to grow anything, I just want internet friends to take care of my kid on the cheap. But this coast-to-coast thing might actually cost more than my current arrangement, hard as it is for me to believe.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 2:22 PM
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My family got into a chicken farm if anyone wants to come work it. You can live out in the country, raising chickens.

If you want, you can get yourself some bees and make honey. Or goats, if you want to make yourself cheese.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 2:24 PM
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You're constantly resisting the urge to treat all the people you see in a day the way you would if you fully recognized their humanity.

I don't think I've told this here before: after a Rainbow Gathering I went to some many years ago, for a week or so, I raced back home for the beginning of a summer grad-school seminar, and was absolutely astonished and alienated to see the way in which people -- people I knew -- avoided one another's eyes in the department's hallway, nodded just the barest noncommital hello when passing. And so on. Seemed like a barely veiled hostility.

The feeling faded pretty quickly, but for a short while I found myself behaving in an inappropriately friendly manner, interspersed with confusion on my part at the recognition that this is not how we do things here. The whole thing, uh, made a lasting impression on me.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 2:26 PM
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A lot of people are moving into Wobegon to farm -- mostly Amish, however. (Know how to make a small fortune? Spend a big fortune buying a farm.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 2:30 PM
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My version of that was going to the March for Women's Lives. I had PK with me (and Mr. B.), and I was utterly astonished at how very, very safe and comfortable I felt, both for myself, and for PK. He went running around the Mall and ended up out of sight, and I was completely comfortable about it.

I'm generally pretty good about letting him have a long leash and not jumping to panic when I lose sight of him, but the difference between how I felt then and how I usually feel--a combination of concern for him and concern that I'm being Secretly Judged for having let him out of my sight--was really striking.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 2:32 PM
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I guess this is ignore-Emerson day. No one took my bait, but this going back to the country stuff is, as far as I can tell, absolutely identical to what happened back in the day. I tried it too for a year.

I like goats as pets, but it's hard just to break even on any kind of farm animal. Unless you believe that the quality of the meat you raised is massively better than storebought, you're giving away your time and possibly your money.

Of course, developing a personal relationship with someone you plan to kill and eat is, to some, worth it all by itself.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 2:36 PM
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In city fashion, I acknowledge Emerson's existence, but barely.


Posted by: Zippy the Comment Frog | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 2:40 PM
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Yeah, hi, Emerson. (does not break pace)


Posted by: Hustle Misterioso | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 2:41 PM
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My history book had all of the pages between Kennedy and Reagan ripped out. My impression is that in the intervening 16 years we were under the iron heel of international Communism.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 2:43 PM
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when my father were young he used to go to the countryside to visit our grandma, he used to help her to prepare hay for example, he would take us too, but for some reason only one of us at a time, so my sisters recall different summers :) there i rode his Yava with him
when i was 3 y/o i was sent to her place and stayed 3 months, i was back speaking my grandma's buriad dialect, a very funny archaic sounding language, my dad still laughs when he recalls how i talked back then


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 2:44 PM
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I think most of the douchebaggery comes from the author of the article. Surely there's something admirable about actually trying to farm organically and run a small business, even if you do say things like 'cool cheese.'

What bothers me is that the author is equating it with trucker caps and drinking Pabst; stuff hipsters do only because they're certain in the knowledge that no one will mistake them for an actual truckers or people who don't know enough to know that Pabst can only be enjoyed ironically. Are they only into organic farming because they're secure that no one would mistake them for ugh, actual small-time farmers, who are like old and shop at Walmart?

I can't imagine that's the case, but I want to throttle the author if it isn't.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 2:45 PM
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A couple of people I know plan to move to the country (one to Wales, one to Scotland) and have a smallholding, be self-sufficient. I'd never do it. I saw a photo of where another friend lives in New Zealand and it was so isolated it made me shudder and feel kind of disturbed. I've never actually lived anywhere that didn't share a wall with someone else. I guess I'll be starving to death very quickly come the revolution/collapse/war/etc.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 2:46 PM
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This place is sacred to the Buryats.


Posted by: Hustle Misterioso | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 2:46 PM
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Know how to make a small fortune? Spend a big fortune buying a farm.

So true.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 2:47 PM
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"Our rock stars are ricotta makers."

ricotta is the worst cheese, flavourless and mushy

fuck these people


Posted by: felix | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 2:49 PM
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52: Nobody's ignoring you. Hell, I live in a semi-country environment now, as close to the country life as I can get while still running the bookstore. But enough to have a decent garden, and my roommate makes noises about chickens every once in a while, but we're connected to an organic farm about 10 minutes away that has chickens, so.

One of my smallish personal book collecting subcategories is in homesteading, outdoors survival, organic farming; someday, maybe, but the truth is, you need a partner. I can live with the compromise.

What bothers me more is the highly mediated, slightly antagonistic, always provisional nature of most interaction in this our current urban lives.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 2:50 PM
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My in-laws and many of their neighbors eke out a living farming, but it's usually something done in combination with another job: home construction, carpentry, office work, oil industry. So one aunt manages an office, while another is a nurse and her husband and daughter manage most of the farm, the other aunt used to be a chef, his dad & one uncle mostly build things but that includes the greenhouse, another uncle raises cattle but also worked for the oil company and married an accountant.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 2:52 PM
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I've known 2 or 3 people whose parents homesteaded in Alaska. That's very serious stuff.

Read, have you ever been to Lake Baikal? It's a completely amazing place I'd love to go to.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 2:55 PM
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ricotta is the worst cheese, flavourless and mushy

Word.

Emerson and Will are also right. It's a lifestyle, not a living.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 2:59 PM
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Monterey Jack is the worst non-processed cheese.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 2:59 PM
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i flew over it in the winter once, a bit troubled flight it was, the plane couldn't land in Irkutsk b/c of the strong wind they said, so had to go to Ulan-Ude
but my sister have been there two summers 2-3 yrs ago


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:01 PM
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has been


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:02 PM
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I actually hate most cheeses, so my opinions on cheese probably shouldn't be taken very seriously.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:04 PM
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shivbunny: what are you reading?
me: [describes contents of article, highly educated young people deciding to become farmers.]
shivbunny: [funniest skeptical eyebrow raise I've ever seen.] No money in it these days.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:04 PM
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I'm far far too feeble, lazy, risk-averse, and unknowledgeable to have a farm, but otherwise, living in the country has real appeal. On the other hand, AWB, for getting off the exhaustion wheel, singing in your house, having a garden, and not needing to make too much money, I think the best option might actually be an unfashionable small city in a non-desert climate zone. In lots of ways I think I'd easily be just as happy living somewhere quite a bit smaller than here except that the prospect of not being close to a relatively large airport actually turns out to make me feel rather twitchy.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:04 PM
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(And yes, the well-off young people starting small farms phenomenon is totally 1970s style.)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:05 PM
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Ricotta's pretty bad on its own; it's a cheese that needs to be mixed with other things in order to taste good.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:06 PM
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Speaking of chickens and homeowning, I kind of covet one of these.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:07 PM
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It's adorable that it's called the eglu.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:10 PM
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I guess this is ignore-Emerson day.

I wasn't ignoring you, fellow old-fellow. I just thought my complete agreement with you might make you question your opinion. But yes, you are right, this back to the country thing seems very much like the way things were back in the day.

The novelty wore off pretty quickly for most people, including me. I spent a five months in a cabin with no electricity or running water when I was a teenager. We ground the flour for our bread by hand from chicken feed and cooked it in a wood stove. Very back to the land. It had its good points (lots of time to read, for example). But on balance, I prefer to stick with hot and cold running water and central air and heat thank you very much.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:12 PM
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Wineries. You can put a lot of money in a winery and maybe get some of it back.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:13 PM
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My brother raised urban chickens (~50th and SE Division, Jesus) and was successful with the egg part. However, probably 5 years of profits disappeared when a raccoon got in and killed all 8 chickens. Raccoons are not environmentally conscious; they kill for the sake of killing. This one only ate part of one chicken.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:16 PM
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I loved the physical experience of being in the country. Everything involved in the attempt to actually farm was neutral at best, but usually less than neutral.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:18 PM
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What I really want is a dacha, but in, like, Suffolk. It should also be easily accessible from wherever I happen to live the rest of the time, perhaps by a magical train that goes from cellar to cellar in forty minutes no matter how far apart the buildings may actually be.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:18 PM
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The eglu is supposedly raccoon-proof!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:18 PM
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Having a large inheritance, a country place, and a city place would be good. And a loyal old retainer to run the country place.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:19 PM
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Dear old retainer, how faithful he is! And what a sweetheart, though of course just a touch curmudgeonly. The AI is really superb.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:22 PM
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One of my smallish personal book collecting subcategories is in homesteading, outdoors survival, organic farming; someday, maybe, but the truth is, you need a partner. I can live with the compromise.

Ooh! Finding Your Way By Land and Sea! How to Stay Alive in the Woods! Termite mounds! Birchbark leggings! I love that stuff! Although I can hardly remember the last time I sat down on a rock, I'm sure I will thrive in the aftermath of civilizations collapse.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:22 PM
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In the aftermath of civilizations collapse, well all have to get along without apostrophes.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:23 PM
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One of my smallish personal book collecting subcategories is in homesteading, outdoors survival, organic farming; someday, maybe, but the truth is, you need a partner.

I used to be a regular reader of Backwoods Home, your source for two-thirds-hippy, one-third-Jesus-freak off grid entertainment! Have you encountered the Lindsay Books catalog and their awesome guides to 1880s through 1920s technology? Sadly, I know about two people who are competent to use all that stuff (build your own professional caliber metal shop with nothing but scrap metal, some sand, and a hair dryer!). Come the revolution, I'm going to be starving to death in a burnt-out Whole Foods.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:25 PM
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61: Someone's only had ricotta from the supermarket, it seems.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:26 PM
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The Amish here keep a lot of obsolete technology alive. I also have a very old neighbor who has canned. pickled, and preserved things since back when when she had to do so to survive.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:29 PM
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84: I have the latter; never heard of the former. The advice in the latter on how to make a maximally warming fire against a rock face is fascinating (hint: it's not what you think). I vaguely remember some stuff about keeping a firebox going, something that you carry around. Maybe I read that somewhere else, though.

Man, I need to get out there more often. The good news: weather's warming.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:29 PM
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62: One of my smallish personal book collecting subcategories is in homesteading, outdoors survival, organic farming;

Ooo! Ooo! Me too! Let's start an intentional community!

Seriously, all I know about chevre is that it's great on grilled cheese sandwiches and what I saw of its manufacture in Vagabond (Agnes Varda, 1985) and Padre Padrone (Taviani Brothers, 1977). Neither of those films made me more favorably disposed towards milking goats. (Or, in the case of Vagabond, towards philosophers.)

If you want to go back-to-the-land, then pace Helen and Scott Nearing, leave the animals out of it. From everything I read and hear from people who would know, it seems like there's an inverse relationship between profitability and size of an animal. Hence it's amazing that there are any people still left trying to produce milk with a 40-cow herd. On the other hand, if you kept it down to a coupla chickens (in a chicken tractor!), maybe some ducks or geese, some rabbits and maybe a goat or two, I guess I could see it making sense. But only if you have some kids to do most of the shitwork as soon as they're old enough. Otherwise, forget it.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:32 PM
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A friend of mine runs an urban farm not far from Emerson's brother's erstwhile chicken operation (down by Reed, John). She's pretty successful, but I think Portland has the rare combination of market and climate necessary to make it happen.

In other Portland news, I saw my new favorite bumper sticker yesterday: "One Less Fixed Gear." That's apostasy around here.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:33 PM
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84, 86: We're well on the way to a Central Commissariat for the New Unfogged Farm.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:34 PM
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an intentional community

Something about this phrase really makes me want to punch you, minnie.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:35 PM
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Something about this phrase really makes me want to punch you, minnie.

Get with the times, square.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:37 PM
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Ricotta haters are totally missing the point. You're supposted to put fresh fruit in with it.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:37 PM
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86: Good grief, I'm not familiar with that either. How about the early Foxfire books, though? I have a couple of excellent issues of Mother Earth News detailing how to make a root cellar in any number of ways, depending on your circumstances. Then all the books on preserving foods. Come the meltdown, it's all about food and shelter. I couldn't build something to save my life: that's what the hypothetical partner is supposed to be for.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:37 PM
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93: That's really not cool, ben. Couldn't you just twinkle menacingly?

(Also, wikipedia informs me that it was sheep in Padre padrone, whatever, I'll be able to tell the difference after a couple of weeks farming, I'm sure.)


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:38 PM
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95: Or really good honey drizzled on top. (Do not attempt with Polly-O.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:38 PM
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The Amish here keep a lot of obsolete technology alive.

Lehman's in Ohio is the Amish Home Depot. Their parking lot has a buggies-only section.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:39 PM
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P.S. You know ben, a common feature of many intentional communities is a more relaxed approach to sexual mores. Not that that would interest you on any sort of crass, lustful level, but you could write an interesting dissertation on it.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:40 PM
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That last is almost certainly false, minnie.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:41 PM
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71: I know people who've done something like that in the annapolis valley. House prices are nearly lake wobegon cheap (since the collapse of the east coast fishery), but it's an order of magnitude more beautiful. An hour or so's drive will get you to a decent airport.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:42 PM
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The Amish are a communist intentional community, and their sexual mores are not relaxed, except that they do not frown on early marriage.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:43 PM
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101: Okay, then write about the chicken tractor instead.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:45 PM
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102: People always talk about the bad part of fisheries destruction. No one ever mentions the good part.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:45 PM
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I can join the old timers club on this one too: when we got married, we lived in a cabin 30 miles from town, and had a goat, three chickens, and a duck. I'm not interested in actually practicing agriculture, but enjoyed my time as a rural bureaucrat, and am looking forward to the transition to small town western lawyer.


Posted by: Napi | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:47 PM
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100: minneapolitan is making me laugh.

90 is totally right about the animal husbandry, I think: keep it small. Goats (a few) are good, but otherwise chickens. And why do we want the geese/ducks/rabbits? For meat? Okay. They're self-feeding, aren't they? If you have geese/ducks, you really have to have a pond, which you should have anyway if it's any kind of subsistence land situation. It drains the land and all like that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:48 PM
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While farming is a hell of a way to try and make a living these days, it would be an awfully nice way to supplement a living if you make it work.

Given some space with decent land and growing season and enough time to do it properly, it's really not hard to grow a bunch of food that is pricy or unobtainable commercially. Trying to subsist on what you grow is bloody difficult. I'd love to have a huge herb garden and grow some fresh vegetables and bit of fruit maybe. Sometimes I wonder how tenable consulting work + grow a bit would be these days.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:48 PM
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whatever, I'll be able to tell the difference after a couple of weeks farming, I'm sure

minneapolitan gets to do the garden.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:51 PM
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One of the cows I used to milk had outrageously small teats. I would be willing to apply my knowledge to a goat, should the Unfogged I.C. start up. (Does Will still have that island?)


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:54 PM
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The friend who wants a smallholding in Wales wants a couple of sheep, a piglet or two, and a cow. This is part of why I am skeptical of their plan.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:56 PM
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Just one thing: No pigs! The guy who bought my aunt's land awhile ago had some kind of insane back-to-the-land plan which involved putting in a brand new trailer (the old one was pretty crap, admittedly), and buying six or seven hogs to fatten. Yuck! Pig shit is about the only kind of animal shit I've ever smelled that is worse than human shit.

I will happily work in the garden, as long as we don't have to fertilize it with pig shit.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:57 PM
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If I had some chickens, a few goats, and a nice big vegetable garden, I could live on that pretty happily. I do like bread, though, so I'd have to be able to buy flour, as milling my own wheat seems a step too far.

Having a community would be better, though, since one gets sick of eating only one's own produce all the time. For two months one summer, I maintained a huge vegetable garden while the owners were overseas. I tried to live on nothing but the beans, tomatoes, and herbs that came from the garden, but I made myself pretty sick of them.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 3:58 PM
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I think we should spare a thought for the dozens, possibly hundreds, of men for whom the only way they're ever going to get to eat cheese is to pay for it.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:01 PM
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111: You know, I read about people in the UK buying smallholdings in order to go back to the land, and it sounds even crazier than it would here. I realize food and other agricultural produce (except for scrumpy) are a bit more expensive, but the ads for land in the back of "Permaculture" magazine are for like 20 acres in the hinterlands for £300,000!!! How the hell can you possibly pay that off making chevre?


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:02 PM
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110: If you teach me how to milk the goats as well, I will learn how to make goat's cheese (oh yum. Yum. Yum.)

No pigs, are you kidding? They eat too much.

I can do pretty good with a garden, and contra 108, I could at least grow enough to feed two. I think. I'd need supplementation with dairy and grains. Not sure what I'd do in a subsistence situation about the grains -- for bread. Also beans -- I have a few things about growing lentils, but you need a lot of land.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:05 PM
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How the hell can you possibly pay that off making chevre?

You don't. These are city boys and hobbyist farmers. They're living off the rent on their £1.5m house in town. And also the tax breaks on farmland as an investment are fucking amazing.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:05 PM
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I would never want to keep pigs, but they are apparently super handy for subsistence farmers, as they turn your trash into valuable meat.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:06 PM
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If you actually want to make money doing this, the thing to grow is wheat.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:06 PM
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103: Ahh, but think how much more uptight the Amish would be about sex if they were city-dwellers, John, that's what you are not considering.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:07 PM
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should the Unfogged I.C. start up. (Does Will still have that island?)

I'll be there the minute civilization collapses.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:07 PM
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The thing about pigs is that they'll eat anything and they'll forage for themselves, so they're actually pretty cheap to feed.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:07 PM
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116: Amaranth!


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:09 PM
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116: It's the grains etc. I'm talking about. What you and AWB have been saying is basically what I meant by supplementing, rather than subsisting.

And also the tax breaks on farmland as an investment are fucking amazing.
This is true elsewhere, too. Of course, in remote parts of this continent where you can get a quarter section for $10k or whatever, the issues are different.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:10 PM
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What you definitely don't want is horses. Very expensive to feed.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:11 PM
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118: Right, and you'd want to forest them ideally. Going into larger scale raising of animals is a big jump in commitment and complexity. Having a few chickens and a yard goat or whatever isn't a big deal, but cattle, pigs whatever on any real scale is a whole different game.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:12 PM
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125: Assuming you aren't eating them, right?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:13 PM
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Yard goat!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:14 PM
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Goats are convenient because you can feed them your recycling.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:15 PM
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Assuming you aren't eating them, right?

Even if you are, actually. I may be misremembering the figures I've read, but the upshot is that horses require way more feed than any other livestock. Even cattle.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:16 PM
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124: Yeah. True subsistence is too much. Still, mainly self-supporting with some supplementation would be doable. Amaranth is growable, minnie says?

Still, you'd also need a lot of building supplies and other things. Some can be had through barter depending on where you are. I could easily produce enough veggies along with AWB (mostly preserved, probably, like canned/jarred/pickled things, dried fruits) to trade for some things.

I enjoy thinking about this, anyway. We could all have some really good sex, too.

Who's in charge of the outhouses, by the way? Someone needs to be up to speed on that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:19 PM
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I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,

And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

Pigs are good if you have a source of garbage, and hey, what is less scarce than garbage?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:20 PM
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Jesus Christ, I'm staying in the city where it's civilised. I'll buy all the delicious organic cheese I can afford so that you wierdos will have some hard currency with which to purchase, like, nails and seeds and shit.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:20 PM
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I think that almost everywhere the best subsistence food is potatoes.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:21 PM
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In defense of Yeats, I believe that he renounced that early poem.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:22 PM
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I think that almost everywhere the best subsistence food is potatoes.

Mostly in northern climes, where it is until, suddenly, it isn't.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:22 PM
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135: what?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:24 PM
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Goats are convenient because you can feed them your recycling.

Compost, Ben. You are not feeding the goats the bottles and cans (of which there will be very few). We'll have words. However, I believe goats are grazers, and like the grass just fine. We need the compost for the garden.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:24 PM
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My aunt who lives in Oregon ran a flower farm in the seventies. Now she lives off of her inheritance.

I met someone in Maine who raised goats. He was an ER doc who worked part-time (one 24 hour shift per week.) His wife was a legislator which was a very part-time job, and they spent the rest of their time on the farm.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:24 PM
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You are not feeding the goats the bottles and cans (of which there will be very few)

What's the point, then?

And how are you going to jar and can without jars and cans?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:25 PM
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OK, I won't be fair to Yeats. Screw him.

Goats are very resourceful. For example, if you are raising goats while also having a garden and are a little careless one day, you'll just be raising goats.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:29 PM
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140: I reuse the jars, silly. I don't throw them away afterwards. "Canning" is just another word for preserving things in jars. See. Lids for the jars are another issue, but the goats won't eat the old ones.

For the cityfolk among you, we can go to the local freestore or thriftstore every couple of weeks to get you some swanky vintage outfits.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:35 PM
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I totally have the outhouse thing covered. I've done plenty of research on it. (None of it involving standing at the bottom of a latrine in a rainslicker and wielding a video camera, Apo.) I have some very specific designs I'd like to implement for an "indoor outhouse" as it were. You can't do that in the city of lakes though, unfortunately.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:42 PM
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had been or may be was, ch.a
141 is very funny and other jokes are funny too
i cleaned my floors and now it smells nicely pine-tree like


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:45 PM
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"An unexpected crisis has come upon America. We have finally realized that the rosy picture of live given us in the fifties and sixties by magazines and newspapers and politicians is false. Our draft-weary armies are bogged down in an endless land war in Asia which has produced a crushing burden of inflation. Our money is steadily worth less; our cities rot while billions are spent on armaments. Our citizens are at each other's throats over race, war, corruption. The image of "affluent" America has vanished and been replaced by one of a nation with miserable standards of health care, education, and public welfare; malnutrition, infant mortality and desperate poverty are still widespread in America."
--Ernest Callenbach Living Poor With Style. Chapter 1: "Getting Free"

Amazing how little things change in 36 years, isn't it?


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:49 PM
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I dearly regret the hatching of this whole "hipster" concept. Hipsters and regular people alike would benefit from its retirement. The only ones to suffer would be the kind of douchebags who write filler for New York papers and magazines, and of course, they deserve to suffer.

37: That was the most satisfying read I believe I've ever gotten out of a single blog comment. Word, if we still say that. (Ah, Teofilo says we do.)


Posted by: iancgdi | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:56 PM
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We have a bunch of wild onions growing in our backyard, because we suck at cutting the grass. My take-away from this conversation is: re-brand them suckers and sell 'em at the local farmers' market. Hipster onions!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:57 PM
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145: Callenbach, where do I know him from? I'll check in a minute.

Seriously, as I said, I enjoy thinking about these things from the ground up, as it were, in part because I know a few people who are already very good at it, who know how to build stone fire pits and outhouses, and how to shore up a barn or prune an apple tree and make a cider press. It's pretty cool. I listen and learn.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 4:58 PM
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Callenbach. Of course. Ecotopia. Everybody laughs, but damn that book turned my head.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 5:03 PM
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149: Me too. Also see Eric Frank Russell's "And Then There Were None"


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 5:07 PM
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Once you've spent a week getting to the field an hour before true dawn and staying there until dark picking beans you will quickly realize that farming is not romantic.

It all reminds me of Marcel Pagnol's Jean de Florette. Gérard Depardieu plays the part of the tax collector (although I think he was actually a rentier in the book) going back to his mother's land as a would-be farmer in search of authenticity and instead winding up dead. Hopefully there are no Yves Montand in upstate New York, but my knowledge of farming community life makes me doubt that lack. The people at the feed store and the tractor repair place must love these people.


Posted by: winna | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 5:17 PM
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151:
Aiming to earn a livelihood by producing a fungible commodity by hand, especially a commodity that is usually produced by industrial methods is, I would agree, a mug's game. However, creating an interlocking network of economic/agricultural activity that engages many aspects of one's abilities and that balances the arduousness of hand-labor with the potential for remuneration from a high value-added product is something else again.

That is, picking a few bowls worth of garden produce for dinner may be a pleasant way to break up your day, but 12 or 14 hour shifts of stoop labor is just the opposite. If you could organize your life, and the lives of a few people you were friends with to balance out the drudgery with the profit-making endeavors, you might find yourself very happy indeed.

I don't know, from personal experience, that this is either possible or easy, but it certainly sounds like there are quite a few people around the world who are making a go of it, although as dsquared cautions us, it's important to look at all the inputs and outputs of any system, not just the immediately apparent ones.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 5:26 PM
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I've seen Jean de Florette! (And the sequel, Manon des Sources.) Good movies, both of them.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 5:27 PM
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150: I can't read it now, but the title is familiar, perhaps I've read it before.

151: I at least am not under any illusion that farming is romantic. On any kind of larger scale, it sucks (before dawn to dark, I know). On a smaller scale, with a community to help, it doesn't have to be so bad.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 5:28 PM
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Look! I was right not to follow in my father's footsteps! I can't be a farmer - I even kill threads.

Also, putting the italics around 'these' instead of 'love' has been bothering me for thirteen minutes now.

I always wanted to learn to plow with a mule. It seems so much nicer than using an actual tractor. And drinking fresh apple cider straight from the press is the best thing on earth.

And moonshine, of course. I was saddened to see that one of the brotherhood was caught this week. Damn the revenooers!


Posted by: winna | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 5:30 PM
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Mules are assholes.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 5:32 PM
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No, I wasn't thinking anyone here thought it was romantic. And that was a family farm I was referring to, my own. It's much less communitarian in small farming communities than you would think, which is the reason old farmers had lots of kids. We did like eating the beans and corn and tomatoes in winter, but bending over picking green beans for twelve hours with the sun burning your back is not fun. Especially since, if you pick the beans carefully you can get another crop off the plants. So you don't just rip the bean off, oh no. You carefully pinch it away. The same is true for tomatoes. If I ripped a tomato vine picking a tomato my dad knew, and I'd hear him bellowing from a quarter-mile away, 'YOU PICK THOSE RIGHT OR YOU'LL WISH YOU HAD, GIRL!'

Good times, good times.


Posted by: winna | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 5:36 PM
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If you could organize your life, and the lives of a few people you were friends with to balance out the drudgery with the profit-making endeavors, you might find yourself very happy indeed.

Perhaps a community of high-class prostitutes/farmers.


Posted by: Zippy the Comment Frog | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 5:36 PM
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155: I always wanted to learn to plow with a mule
Per Richard Linklatter, it's impossible to do that by reading books.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 5:38 PM
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158: Hmm, I was thinking more along the lines of a community of class-conscious healthcare providers/furniture makers/digital filmmakers/educators/surveyors/horticulturalists.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 5:41 PM
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My friend who had mules absolutely loved them.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 5:44 PM
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Related but tangential - I love David Lee's poetry about pig farming. I think anyone who likes to read about farmers would like this book. If they like poems, of course. They seemed to me to capture something important about farming, perhaps the thing that always makes me sad I didn't stay home and live the rest of my life with black dirt under my nails.

Behold

And came forth like Venus from an ocean of
heat waves, morning in his pockets and the buckets in his hands
he emerged from the grey shed, tobacco and wind
pursed together in song from his tight lips he gathered the day
and went out to cast wheat before swine. And in
his mind he sang songs and thought thoughts, images of day
and heat, wind and sweat, dreams of silver and
visions of green earth twisting the cups of his mind
he crossed his fence of wire, the south Utah steppes
bending the air into corners of the sky he entered
the yard to feed his swine. And his pigs, they come.


Posted by: winna | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 5:46 PM
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I am concerned that you are all doing something other than writing limericks right now.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 5:58 PM
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150 - That's a story I liked in high school, but I have since become a relentlessly humorless ass about simplistic depictions of right-libertarianism in science fiction. Bob the Angry Flower speaks for me. At least when I read Bob Black I feel like he's in on the joke.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:01 PM
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Winna, I've got no illusions about farm work, I've done enough farm labor to have a pretty good picture. Above, I wasn't even claiming it was possible, but noting that if it was possible, I've thought I'd quite like to use the economic leverage I have (a lot more than I'd have farming) to have enough space to grow a few things I can't get for love or money now, at least with regularity. Supplementary food, not necc. income. I think other people were commenting along the same lines.

Maybe I just have to move somewhere with the right sort of CSAs, and pay them instead, I dunno.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:03 PM
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Winna did note in 157 that she wasn't saying anyone here was promoting a romanticized view of farming.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:08 PM
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Around here you can get fantastic fresh tomatoes, fresh corn, and fresh fish in season and with luck. If you have them all at once it's an amazing treat. But the tomatoes and corn all come at once, and you can only eat so much, and they aren't as good frozen.

I've never had a too-much-fish problem around here, but it can happen near the ocean.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:08 PM
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People are forgetting the loyal retainer working the farm for us. Sort of like a reliable bra or jockstrap holding up our important parts. You don't miss the retainers they're gone -- destroyed by progress and democracy.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:11 PM
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the tomatoes and corn all come at once, and you can only eat so much, and they aren't as good frozen.

This is very true, but one does what one can. And then sometimes one cans what one can. (I very much want fresh tomatoes right now, and it is months -- MONTHS -- before there will be any.)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:15 PM
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and they aren't as good frozen.

I don't understand this part. As for `they all come at once', well, naturally.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:17 PM
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I truly look forward to the arrival of loyal AI retainers.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:17 PM
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Personally, I'd be mostly happy with a comprehensive herb garden and a decent sized kitchen garden for stuff that just can't be matched other ways.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:19 PM
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[the funny off topic symbol]

The Tibetans are engaged in their most sustained uprising in decades. The BBC has good coverage. I've done a initial post on it, which has already earned a response from a Chinese nationalist who linked to a really bad propaganda clip on youtube.

It is important that protests like this get international attention to pressure the occupying forces to act with some humanity.

[/funny off topic symbol]


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:21 PM
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This is reminding me that my grandmother up north used to bottle (!) pears for the winter (4/5 of the year). It was considered very chic (!) to add food coloring. I never knew my grandmother except by the ROWS AND ROWS OF GREEN PEARS IN BOTTLES, LOOKING FOR ALL THE WORLD LIKE FORMALDEHYDED FETUSES that lived in the cupboards by the cereal boxes.

As for me, I can't even eat canned tomatoes. I am a lily of the field.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:23 PM
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[the funny off topic symbol]

It's not that hard, folks. It's a Pause button. Two vertical lines, like so: ||. At the end, you hit Play to resume the thread: |>.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:25 PM
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The best canned tomatoes are far better than off-season `fresh' tomatoes, for most things


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:26 PM
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164: Yeah, but I don't see that story as more than a little bit right-deviationist. It certainly comes from a "don't-let-the-perfect-be-the-enemy-of-the-good-enough" strain in anarchist thought, but I think there's plenty of solidly anarchist theorists who've advanced similar premises. If anything, it harks back to Proudhon and Godwin, despite name-checking Gandhi. So yeah, it's not a perfect anarchist utopia, but neither is The Dispossessed, although "And Then There Were None" is certainly farther away from recent anarchist doctrine than Le Guin's work.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:28 PM
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I have a lot of fillings. I always taste the can in the canned tomatoes.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:30 PM
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151: While I don't think anyone here is overly romantic, I'm enjoying playing with the thread. First, we will farm, with authentic stone tools. Next, we'll need to have neighbors who farm, so that we might enjoy many kinds of produce. Next, we will need to find a system under which we might exchange produce and a central location in which to do it. And let there be judges that we might govern ourselves as do the other nations.

Unfogged develops a supermarket and its own religion in five, four, three..


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:31 PM
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Not to pick on minneapolitan, but this statement:

If you want to go back-to-the-land, then pace Helen and Scott Nearing, leave the animals out of it. From everything I read and hear from people who would know, it seems like there's an inverse relationship between profitability and size of an animal. Hence it's amazing that there are any people still left trying to produce milk with a 40-cow herd.

is typical enough of an apparent misunderstanding expressed by several here to serve as an example. First, let's quote the article:

While this is hardly the first time that idealistic young people wanted to get back to the garden, the current crop have advantages over their forebears from the 1960s and 70s, many of whom, inspired by the Whole Earth Catalog or Wendell Berry's books about agrarian values, headed to the country, only to find it impossible to make a living.

But the growing market for organic and locally grown produce is making it possible for well-run small farms to thrive . . . .

The emphasis of those the article profiles is farming to sell directly to people the city, not subsistence living out in the boonies. Running a 40 cow milk herd and expecting to make a living selling the milk as a commodity to Borden is indeed not a viable option these days. But selling high quality milk, cream, butter, yogurt, cheese, icecream, soap, etc directly to consumers can be. In the NYC area, see for example: Bobolink Dairy, Ronnybrook Dairy, Cato Corner Farm. Still not an easy way to make a living, of course.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:31 PM
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Oh, yeah, we cityfolk sure love our organic bucolic yoghurt. I'll buy your "nice cheese," babee.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:33 PM
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I think the soap market is oversaturated, though.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:34 PM
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I think the subsistence farming stuff in this thread is not meant to be directly related to the article, which I'm sure few of us have read (I haven't). More just riffing on the general theme.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:35 PM
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Home-canned tomatoes come in jars. Parmalat-canned tomatoes come in boxes. No cans required!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:35 PM
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182: You think wrong then. Although it seems to mostly be goat dairies that run a nice sideline in handmade goatmilk soaps.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:36 PM
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Emerson and Will are also right. It's a lifestyle, not a living.

Maybe it's just riffing, but it's stated quite categorically, and happens to not be true.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:38 PM
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First, we will farm, with authentic stone tools.


I don't know about anyone else, but if I did anything like this the technology would be bleeding edge.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:40 PM
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175: Oh, I get it. I'll remember that from now on

||

Arguing with people who are Wrong on the Internet doesn't accomplish anything. Drawing attention to important information does.

|>


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:42 PM
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Maybe it's just riffing, but it's stated quite categorically, and happens to not be true.

Well, there are different kinds of farming, some of which are profitable, but your average educated middle-class urbanite who decides to move to the country and farm is unlikely to know which is which, is all I'm saying.

And now I'm off to my mom's house for colcannon and John Adams. Argue amongst yourselves.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:43 PM
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All I would grow would be tomatoes and zucchini and peas. Tomatoes because I have had a serious tomato craving for about six weeks now and summer is too far away, and zucchini because my experience growing up is that if you just think about zucchini, you end up with so much zucchini that you fill paper grocery bags with them and give them to the neighbors, but the neighbors have also thought about zucchini and so everyone ends up making a lot of zucchini bread.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:45 PM
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I always taste the can in the canned tomatoes

I don't have any fillings, but this used to be an issue for me too, until I discovered the kind of canned tomatoes that come in a can with a thin ceramic lining inside to keep the acidic tomato juice from leaching metal-taste out of the can. If you haven't tried that, it might solve your problem.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:45 PM
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your average educated middle-class urbanite who decides to move to the country and farm is unlikely to know which is which

in sitcoms and films starring Tom Hanks, maybe. In real life, your average person who is setting up a small business tends to do roughly one metric fuckload of due diligence.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:50 PM
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188 RHC
it's hard to believe that the peaceful, buddhist Tibetans do uprise, things must be going really bad, their religious non-violent mentality and true identity might be corrupted over all these years of occupation i mean of laymen or may be the poorest Chinese do the revolting together
it could be Hu Jintao is pretty liberal to allow things happen
when our transition first started there were a lot of peaceful demonstrations but we never believed that the army will be used against people, our head of the state at the time Dr. Batmunkh, he was a wise man, he agreed to the talks and all the turmoil resulted in the democratic elections, though the first 5 yrs were really really bad economically
my sister, a student in Russia then, used to send home parcels with soap b/c in the stores there was only salt left (our authentic seasalt from Gobi, sold now pretty expensive in Japan)


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:50 PM
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Well, there are different kinds of farming, some of which are profitable, but your average educated middle-class urbanite who decides to move to the country and farm is unlikely to know which is which, is all I'm saying.

I don't think that's quite true -- I think the schmancy-niche way to make money by small-time farming is pretty well known in the circles that tend to produce educated urbanite farmers, actually.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:50 PM
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n real life, your average person who is setting up a small business tends to do roughly one metric fuckload of due diligence.

That too.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:51 PM
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Well, there are different kinds of farming, some of which are profitable, but your average educated middle-class urbanite who decides to move to the country and farm is unlikely to know which is which, is all I'm saying.

Okay, clearly you were telling the truth when you said you didn't read the article. It's a lame article, to be sure, but it specifically profiles educated middle-class urbanites who did know which is which when they got into farming.

And now I'm off to my mom's house for colcannon and John Adams.

Colcannon and Laura Linney, yum!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:51 PM
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I have The Last Whole Earth Catalog. It took me years and years to realise that there had been previous Whole Earth Catalogs - as a child I always read it as being about the 'Last Whole Earth', whatever THAT is.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:51 PM
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180: Hey, I buy Hope Creamery butter at the co-op like any good white person in the Twin Cities. But I'm dubious though that current conditions will persist in the organic food market. Just in the past 5 or 6 years there's been a huge influx of big money and government/corporate meddling. Maybe there will always be niches in the corporate agriculture world for small, high-end boutique producers of high value-added foodstuffs -- especially those within easy shipping distance of a world city -- but I'm not betting that it'll be easy for a lot of those places to do more than tread water. More power to 'em, obviously, and I know that there's a lot of diversity among these small-scale organic producers, just as you might expect. But I still think on balance that hitching your star to some cows is more risk than I would willingly take on.

Anyhow, more broadly, what makes me suspicious about a lot of the "you can make it selling organics to yuppies" talk is that I don't think we can consume our way out of our current mess. There really does have to be massive, radical social change. Some of that will have to interface with existing social and economic structures, but at some point we'll have raise a little ruckus and tear it down, bed slats and all.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:52 PM
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read: The way I piece together events, the monks in Tibet staged peaceful protests which earned them a violent beatdown from the police. Laypeople, witnessing the beatdown, were so outraged that they rioted.

The closest I've seen to footage of monks rioting was a clip of a man in robes kicking at a door, without any context provided.

It sounds like your Dr. Batmunkh handled things well.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 6:59 PM
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I almost never read the articles linked. The Unfoggedetariat is my primary source of information on matters discussed here.

I've expressed myself to the effect that farming is impossible, but I'm willing to grant that annoying, well-funded people can do well in niche markets such as boutique truck-gardening.

And no, I'm not going to read the article now either.

192: Probably selection bias. Lots of lame small business startups.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 7:04 PM
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the peaceful, buddhist Tibetans

"peaceful" and "buddhist" do not imply one another - Myanmar, Bhutan and Nepal all have Buddhism as state religion (and the Dalai Lama mob can be surprisingly vicious when it comes to ethnically cleansing local animists).


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 7:07 PM
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With Bear Stearns being swallowed by JP Morgan -- at something like 2% of its valuation of three months ago -- I have a feeling the people doing the organic farming and selling directly to New York yuppies are going to be screwed. How much economic activity is directly tied to year-end bonuses on Wall Street?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 7:14 PM
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Yes, and the brutality of the Bhutanese during their imperial period is the stuff of legend.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 7:14 PM
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I'll be there the minute civilization collapses.

This is not acceptable, mcmc. We need you there earlier.


OT: I just discovered that a friend has an amazing U2 cover band. Unfogged Richmond now has will have a U2 cover band as the entertainment.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 7:19 PM
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he Dalai Lama mob can be surprisingly vicious

There are some entertaining stories of this mob visiting NY and having their food catered by an upscale buddhist vegetarian place, except those guys aren't vegetarians and they wanted steaks.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 7:28 PM
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well, so the first yrs of our transition were hard, all the imported industrial goods vanished, the first two yrs? i forgot we all got food by the food talons, in rations, that was like during the war or in the North Korea now i guess, so it really helped if one had relatives in the countryside who had their own meat and produce
then the Chinese borders were opened and all kinds of goods from China replaced the soviet ones
Free Tibet! :)
hopefully they'll start negotiations


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 7:29 PM
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I didn't read the linked article either. I haven't been talking about setting up a semi-subsistence community (which necessarily involves farming or gardening, since you do need food) in order to sell boutique organic foods to high-end consumers. That's sort of ridiculous. You just *might* be able to eke a few extra dollars out of selling some chevre, but come on: you're growing for yourself. It's not like nobody has ever been able to do this.

198.2: tear it down, bed slats and all

minneapolitan makes me laugh with desperate appreciation and delight, as always.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 7:35 PM
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AWB should move to neither west nor east Texas. She should move to central Texas, which fulfills every one of her criteria. Come to Austin, AWB! We've got gardens, dogs, space, nice people. House singing is strongly encouraged. Heebie, you can get her a job at TeeEllYou, right?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 7:42 PM
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I'm considering it!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 7:43 PM
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Austin is Fort Awesome, yo.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 7:51 PM
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Oh, do it. I'm happy to second Austin as the greatest place in the world.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 7:51 PM
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Hamlin Garland's Up the Coulé (not a euphemism) is a pretty good story about city-country stuff. A guy who left his family's Wisconsin farm to become an actor in New York goes home.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 7:51 PM
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211: Not filled with the sorts of ponces that end up in the NYT Style section, then?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 8:03 PM
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i forgot we all got food by the food talons

I'm not sure what you were trying to say here, read, but what you did say paints a funny picture.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 9:09 PM
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The great Roc delivers, for a small fee.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 9:10 PM
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i meant the first two or so yrs, i forgot how many yrs exactly
the food talons were something like food stamps may be, except those were assigned to the whole population, a pretty just system, i'm sure nobody died of starvation then


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 9:17 PM
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213: They would, though, if poncey NYT style writers ever went anywhere besides Paris. France.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 9:19 PM
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204: Okay, I'm on my way.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 9:21 PM
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the food talons were something like food stamps

Huh. Talon is generally used to mean a bird claw here. Which, of course, is how they grasp their food.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 9:26 PM
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ok, i was a bit afraid of what you might picture :)
talon, a new word, cool


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 9:31 PM
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I'm happy to second Austin as the greatest place in the world.

Austin is sorely lacking a few things needed to make the greatest place in the world. It is a pretty nice spot though, and preferable to oh, most everywhere nearby I can think of.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 9:33 PM
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талон; bottom of the page


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 9:36 PM
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Speaking of word acquisition, I've decided to learn to understand spoken Mandarin. B's friend JP, who runs the limerick contest, is affiliated with the Pod people who do SpanishPod and ChinesePod, and so far, ChinesePod is pretty awesome.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 9:38 PM
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You know what? Fuck cheese. Seriously. All of it. Fuck it in the ass.

You know what else? Fuck what else.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 9:41 PM
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I have a feeling the people doing the organic farming and selling directly to New York yuppies are going to be screwed.

I'm willing to grant that annoying, well-funded people can do well in niche markets such as boutique truck-gardening.

I haven't been talking about setting up a semi-subsistence community (which necessarily involves farming or gardening, since you do need food) in order to sell boutique organic foods to high-end consumers.

Have any of you ever actually been to a farmer's market or a farm stand or participated in a CSA scheme? There are definitely yuppies among the customers, true, but it's hardly the case that only the Wall Street elite are interested in buying food directly from the producer. And there are other outlets for small producers as well. For example, a growing number of institutions like hospitals, schools, and universities have begun buying at least a percentage of their produce, meat, milk, etc. from small local producers. As have many grocery stores.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 9:44 PM
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224: cheese-doodler.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 9:45 PM
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224: I always had a sneaking suspicion you were a cheesefucker, Sifu.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 9:46 PM
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You know what I know? Everything.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 9:46 PM
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Austin is sorely lacking a few things needed to make the greatest place in the world.

Dude, we have a hockey team.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 9:47 PM
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228: Okay. What do I have in my pocket?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 9:48 PM
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A google image search for "fuck cheese" is surprisingly work-safe and includes a picture of Malcolm X on the first page of results.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 9:48 PM
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One hand.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 9:48 PM
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232: I was asking Sifu.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 9:49 PM
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Austin is sorely lacking a few things needed to make the greatest place in the world.

Specifically, dogs that crap pot.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 9:50 PM
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230: Fuck what's in your pocket. There. That's a clue.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 9:52 PM
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231: Fuck work-safe.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 9:54 PM
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Why is Tweety channelling Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 10:14 PM
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I dunno I feel like starting a fight. It's usually easy, you know? A fucking breeze. Like rubbing two fucking balls together. NPR, fuck! NPR, fuck!

No, I just miss Ned.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 10:15 PM
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Unfogged minus Ned.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 10:16 PM
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239: Holy crap, I had that sweater too.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 10:20 PM
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It's a great sweater. But where's the joy?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 10:23 PM
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Unfogged with Ned.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 10:24 PM
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I thought 236 was Unfogged with Ned.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 10:26 PM
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That too.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 10:28 PM
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Given the unfolding financial crisis, I suggest The Unfogged Organic Farm Cooperative and Quasi-Military Compound's time has come. Load up the trucks.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 10:43 PM
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Gonerill is right. And do you know who we need to keep out of our utopian planned community? Cryptic Ned. I hate that fucker.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 10:54 PM
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In honor of 236, what's the likelihood this nsfw picture was taken in a city other than San Francisco?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 10:54 PM
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247: you're just posting pictures of Ned to make me sad.

246: f'real!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 10:56 PM
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If this is making my deep, animal longing for Ned attenuate some small amount, rest assured my guilt and confusion is on your conscience, you-know-who-you-are.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 11:00 PM
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Did Ned leave or what?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 11:16 PM
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250 is a serious question.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 11:20 PM
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Ned is no more, yeah. He just couldn't take the misinterpretation, I suppose.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 11:21 PM
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Professional hazard if you're cryptic.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 11:22 PM
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Ned is a professional? My goodness! I am honored.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 11:26 PM
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OK, so the whole financial world is kind of melting down now. How are you guys?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 11:30 PM
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Dude slol you gotta check out my guitar. Can you fake it through the first few drum measures on "Tom Sawyer" by Rush? Let's jam!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 11:32 PM
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I can do the synth parts with my mouth. Does that count?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 11:39 PM
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OK, so the whole financial world is kind of melting down now.

I don't pay much attention to financial news. Could you be more specific?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 11:42 PM
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Volcanoes on Wall St., apo.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 11:43 PM
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Anything you do with your mouth counts, honey.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 11:45 PM
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259: Huh. Maybe Obama is the Antichrist.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 11:45 PM
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OK, so the whole financial world is kind of melting down now. How are you guys?

See 245. You want me to swing by and pick you up on my way to Idaho?


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 11:45 PM
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258: Follow Sifu's link. The Asian markets are tanking in early trading; it'll be a fun day on Wall Street.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 11:47 PM
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Could you be more specific?

Sure: aiiieee! Bleargh! Boogie boogie boogie!

And there's more where that came from.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 11:48 PM
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You want me to swing by and pick you up on my way to Idaho?

Yeah. I got my hunting knife and my perpetual flashlight, and about a trunkful of granola.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 11:50 PM
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Yeah. I got my hunting knife and my perpetual flashlight, and about a trunkful of granola.

Terrific. I owe you one anyway. I got a hand-crank radio, two years worth of K-rations and an iPhone. Who else is in?


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 11:54 PM
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264: Thanks.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-16-08 11:54 PM
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The iPhone is a nice touch.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 12:00 AM
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The iPhone is a nice touch.

Well, I figure I'll need it up there to keep track of my stocks.

Here's a nice discussion of some of this (good pictures) from a blogger I used to read all the time but haven't for years, for no very good reason.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 12:06 AM
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Who else is in?

Well, I'm in, I guess, if you want me to be. I'm a totally soft and citified wimp, of course, but FWIW, I probably do know how to track deer, if I absolutely had to. I'm not so fond of granola, though.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 12:06 AM
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I'm not so fond of granola, though.

Good job you know how to track deer, then. Or there's the K-rations, too.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 12:08 AM
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The K-rations are cheating, of course. But I never said I was so holier- (by which I mean, "be the best that you can be" purer)-than-thou that I could ever make the cover of the L.L. Bean catalogue (where the hunting knives are never shown but always strongly implied). Which, I never will. So: okay, fair enough on the K-rations.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 12:27 AM
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OT: Evolutionary psychology ataaaaack!

Men are subconsciously attracted to fairer-skinned icons such as Nicole Kidman or Kylie Minogue because of the skin tone's association with innocence, purity, modesty, virginity, vulnerability and goodness.

Women, on the other hand, pick men with darker complexions - such as film stars Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell or Jamie Foxx - because these are associated with sex, virility, mystery, villainy and danger.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 1:07 AM
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By way of extra data: I've noticed that Alex James, bass player for Blur, etc., makes cheese in the Cotswolds:

Alex James, it transpires, has nurtured a terrible passion for cheese. He has something of a history with it. 'The first time [Blur] went to Japan, they said, you have to say what you like, because the fans will want to give it to you. They'll find out what you like, and give it to you. And I could only think of cheese. I was 22 at the time, and really, really skint. So we arrived in Japan to this like regal state welcome, ha ha! And they all gave me cheese. They threw cheese at me! It comes in cans in Japan - there's no actual word for cheese in Japanese, like there's no word for 'sushi' in English ... So yeah, there was a connection with me and cheese.'

And there's also the oil of Sting:

Several years ago, in the Tuscan hills south of Florence, Trudie Styler and Sting found a beautiful sixteenth-century villa complete with an estate full of olive groves and vineyards. They set about restoring house and land to their former glory, using modern organic farming methods to ensure that the produce was as natural and as healthy as possible.

I'm reading that off the back of the bottle, incidentally. The brand is il Palagio, if you're interested. It's good. I love that 'found', also. As in, I found this beautiful 40 metre yacht in midnight blue.


Posted by: Charlie | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 1:58 AM
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Eh, the dollar tanking is to be expected. The trade deficit was going to go away somehow, and this was always the most likely candidate, since it doesn't require US politicians to make difficult choices. A lot of the increase in the price of gold and oil is a result of said dollar tankage. Sucks for those bought a house out in the sticks and have to commute, but they were screwing the environment up anyway.

Bear Stearns going kablooie, on the other hand, could be the sign of bad things to come. If you're a betting man, it might not be a bad time to short Lehman Brothers.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 2:11 AM
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No proper Sunday Styles piece is complete without a sentence (or subordinate clause) that says "We have no statistical evidence that this purported trend goes beyond the couple of anecdotes depicted here."

Here, the relevant passage is, "Whether young, first-generation farmers constitute a flood or trickle is difficult to say. But..."


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 3:21 AM
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My namesake with the multizillions, wanker hat problem, and collection of bass guitars has two major hobbies - farming, and flying his private plane.

Make of that what you will. Meanwhile, I am mostly wondering at the fragility of the American mindset; you're all yelling about moving to the outback to eat grass because of the fucking mortgage market. Deep breaths. In...out...in...out.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 4:10 AM
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"Whether young, first-generation farmers constitute a flood or trickle is difficult to say. But..."

Well, if it were a flood, it would be obvious, no? So it's a trickle. And the purported trend is bogus.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 4:11 AM
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re: 277

He always comes across as a tosser. IIRC, Toby Young, in How to Lose Friends and Alienate People has, to say the least, nothing nice to say about him [and Hurst, and Keith Allen].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 4:53 AM
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Bear Stearns going kablooie, on the other hand, could be the sign of bad things to come. If you're a betting man, it might not be a bad time to short Lehman Brothers.

Unfogged: born to pay list price.

279: wow, how much of a wanker does one have to be for Toby Young to think "that guy's actually a bit of a wanker".


Posted by: derauqsd | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 5:11 AM
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re: 280

Quite a bit, if the book is to be believed. Young apparently had to interview Hurst, Allen and James together for some Cool Britannia/Fat Les cover article. And then spent days trying to get them to keep it together long enough to get pictures and an interview while they demanded more coke, more champagne, etc. They don't come over well [boorish coke-addled pricks, basically].

But, who knows if it's an accurate portrayal.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 5:28 AM
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280: Well, all this meltdown talk is veering into hyperbole of course, but that doesn't change the fact that the rest of my week is going to completely suck due to another bubble bursting. Why do I always get to be around for the craziness and miss the long profitable run-ups?

Also, to M/tch @225: Fine fine, you've convinced me: all serious-minded hipsters should immediately move to the country and work long, but fulfilling, days making cheese or doing other things that involve animal husbandry, because there's always going to be a market for that kind of product and the risks of such an undertaking are more than balanced out by the potential returns.

Now, wanna buy a cheap CMO? Never retired and only defaulted once.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 5:29 AM
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Speaking of word acquisition, I've decided to learn to understand spoken Mandarin.

Good choice. There'll always be work cleaning house for Mandarin speakers, at least in our lifetimes.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 6:00 AM
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Why do I always get to be around for the craziness and miss the long profitable run-ups?

Because you're a Responsible Person.

And yes, being enough of a self-absorbed twat to offend Toby Young is an achievement.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 6:02 AM
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This article is from 1973, right?

The rural county in which I grew up experienced a brief revitalization as a result of the last generation of "back to the land" converts. Some were trustfunders. One family, of whom I was particularly fond, was heir to a well-known industrial fortune; I learned this not from them, but from one of their Andover-and-Ivy-League educated cousins with whom I later became acquainted). They had a go at living in a farming with horse-drawn plows and living in a teepee. They upgraded to a log cabin after their second child was born.

The presence of all the "hippies" (as they were universally known by the locals) was not without its frictions, but I can say without a doubt that my upbringing was meaningfully enriched by having them around. They were damn near my only window on the wider world for much of my youth.

Anyway, years went by and most of the the newcomers discovered that subsistence agriculture on marginal land was no way to make a living. Some of them practiced trades (carpentry, mechanics, and what have you), but a significant fraction of them discovered that there was a lucrative cash crop that was especially well suited to cultivation in isolated hilltop plots in secluded areas with little in the way of local law enforcement personnel. The years from about 1977-1983 were the dot-com bubble years of my hometown; the banks were raking in deposits, land prices were appreciating, the local feed store was doing record business in fertilizer and water hoses. And then came the War on Drugs and the DEA helicopters, and it all came crashing down.

I venture a prediction that some of the Williamsburg hipsters making organic goat cheese will follow the same trajectory.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 6:02 AM
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Now you're making sense. Organic dope challenging the industrialised, Vietnamese suburban hydroponic gang stuff; lining up the consumer tribalism/habitus for the next generation of wankers.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 6:27 AM
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The presence of all the "hippies" (as they were universally known by the locals) was not without its frictions, but I can say without a doubt that my upbringing was meaningfully enriched by having them around. They were damn near my only window on the wider world for much of my youth.

And then you built a bridge to Terabithia!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 6:32 AM
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I'm going to Spain for a few days in April. Should I buy some Euros immediately or wait until I get there? Or should I just plan to beg for tapas?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 6:46 AM
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Or should I just plan to beg for tapas?

The only way to get enough free tapas to live on is to spend enough on beer to buy a decent meal. Spanish bar owners aren't stupid. I should carry gold.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 6:56 AM
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225: The Portland Farmers' Market thrives, but I get the impression that it's a sideline for most producers, and that some producers are living in voluntary or involuntary poverty.

As I said right off, the people entering farming around here are Amish, who seem to be taking over the poorest county in Minnesota (Todd). But they're raised from birth to be poor farmers. I've been told that in many places the Hmong have gone into truck gardening.

Historically the problems for independent farmers have been very long hours, low return per hour, vulnerability to price swings, the high cost of credit, lack of spending money, and exclusion from the wild and crazy fun characteristic of cities. There is an upside since the work is intrinsically satisfying in several different ways. I just wonder how many people can handle that, especially because every time a lucrative specialty market is fully developed a purely capitalist farmer will horn in with his alien work force working below minimum wage.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 7:00 AM
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I got a hand-crank radio, two years worth of K-rations and an iPhone. Who else is in?

I am formerly requesting that shivbunny be invited to join us. He has skills.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 7:07 AM
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"Police Crack Down on Anti-Chinese Violence in Tibet": Washington Post Headline. Sounds like Karl Rove still writes their headlines. Probably militant Islam is behind the riots.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 7:07 AM
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Sucks for those bought a house out in the sticks and have to commute, but they were screwing the environment up anyway.

Dude, I ride a bicycle. And yet I buy food that has had to come by petroleum-burning conveyances to my grocery store. It is significantly more expensive now than in the recent past. It sucks for me and, unless you're one of the cheesemongers, thee.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 7:11 AM
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I am formerly requesting

Will had requested it, but now he's reconsidering.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 7:15 AM
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It's awfully bourgeious to eat, slol. Maybe you should think about a less impactful lifestyle, one filled with brunches of delicious sticks, dirt, and small rocks.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 7:17 AM
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Anyone care to hazard a guess at the Dow as of noon today?

I wonder, will, if the divorce business is countercyclical. More breakups but less to fight over, maybe?


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 7:20 AM
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As I've said, for most people the most promising self-sufficiency staple is the potato. But unless you raise exotic Andean potatoes, you destroy your classy yuppy aspirations that way. "Hey, wanna come over tonight? We just learned about out a new way to cook potatoes!"


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 7:20 AM
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It's awfully bourgeious to eat, slol

You're right. I should absorb nutriment from the good vibrations around me. Alternatively, from the blessings of Jesus.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 7:23 AM
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re: 289

Not true. A lot of places in Granada will give you tapas with every drink. One of the bar owners explained to us that Granada is fairly unusual in that respect -- still holding to that tradition. A few days later, another customer in one of the bars told us the same thing.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 7:37 AM
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Napi:

The slow housing market has definitely impacted divorce cases. They are just harder to resolve when you dont know how long it will take to sell the house or how much money you will get for it.

The Dow issues cause problems because one party will not necessarily want to cash out at the low level. If the 401K is worth $400,000 today because the stocks are worth $20 a share, does the other person buy you out for $200,000 today? What is the market rebounds and the stocks go up to $30 a share next week? How about tank and go to $10 a share?

Tough questions.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 7:39 AM
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Will, have you seen "The War of the Roses"? I saw it by accident and apparently the movie didn't make much of a splash, but it does reinforce my theory of relationships.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 7:42 AM
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You guys should read John Harris's book "Britpop! Cool Britannia and the Spectacular Demise of English Rock". Blur come across as a veritable R.E.M. in terms of politeness and genuine creativity, compared to Oasis at least.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 7:43 AM
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Oh no! I forgot about my vow! What a way to start the week.

Thanks for your concern, everyone.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 7:46 AM
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Ned! Dear sweet, Ned. Would you like to have sex with me? Low, low prices!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 7:48 AM
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Anyway, I had been already planning to gradually switch to a different name so it wouldn't be obvious what my new name was.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 7:48 AM
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Hustle Mysterioso


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 7:51 AM
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No, that was a stopgap name. Too obvious because of the similar structure.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 7:53 AM
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299. I know. But the free tapas aren't very large, so my point is that you need to buy a lot to drink to get a free meal. And IME Granada is actually unique in that respect. It only applies to one side of town even there.

302. Blur come across as a veritable R.E.M. in terms of politeness and genuine creativity, compared to Oasis at least

I know nothing of REM - is that a compliment? I certainly would cross the street to avoid Oasis, or anyone trying to make me listen to them.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 7:53 AM
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re: 302

I liked Blur, the band, and continue to like most of Albarn's post-Blur output, with Gorillaz and Good, The Bad and The Queen. The excellence of their musical output doesn't have much impact on whether or not James was a bit of a prick back then.

I'm not sure 'veritable R.E.M.' cuts much mustard with me, personally, as a gold standard, though. Never have been much of a fan.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 7:54 AM
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308: REM's members are famously down-to-earth and lacking in typical rockstar ego, unless they have taken ambien and it's a long plane flight.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 7:56 AM
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re: 308

Yeah, they were just wee snacks. Very nice, though.

Speaking of food, we just came back from a week in Rome, and the food was massively disappointing verging on shit in about half the places we ate in. The food in Granada was much better.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 7:57 AM
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I've heard that about Rome. Apparently you can eat well, but you have to pay through the nose.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 7:59 AM
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My son's band is so polite that they'll never get anywhere. Get famous first, then develop the reputation for being nice. During that introductory phase you need an air of menace.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:07 AM
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re: 312

The best meal we had was cheap and was in a disappointing touristy looking place. But we exhausted and needed something to eat. Luckily, the food turned out to be great.

We did eat in a couple of the mid-priced places rated in the various guidebooks and they were crap. In fact, I've had better Italian food from crappy 'Italian' chains here in the UK, and massively better from restaurants/cafés in Glasgow and in Edinburgh.

All the guidebooks have the usual 'don't worry about the food, even the cheaper restaurants in Italy/Rome provide good, solid Italian food' cant. Which, it seems, is a load of bollocks.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:09 AM
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The dirt, twigs and small rocks in Italy are spectacularly fresh and delicious: it's best to not even bother entering a restaurant, just kneel on down and dig in. Italian cooking is beautifully simple that way.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:12 AM
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That's actually comforting. After a month in Rome, I was wondering if I didn't like authentic Italian food.

I did like those storefronts they have everywhere that sell sandwiches and beer, though.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:19 AM
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Last Fall, I saw Damon Albarn sitting in a café next to théâtre du chatelet where he composed music for Monkey: Journey To The West.

Restaurants in Rome: Most are average since they cater to the tourist, so it's vitally important to go with a local.


Posted by: Willy Voet | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:27 AM
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308: Tragically, I'll be in Madrid the whole time, so I guess I'll have to drink myself into a coma every night if I want to live on Tapas.

But are none of our financial wizards going to tell me about the Euro? Viz., buy now or later? Will the dollar continue its plunge or is it hitting bottom as I type? I think I'll go buy some Euros on my lunch hour if no one tells me it's a stupid idea.

Sifu, How are the Spanish twigs and pebbles?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:27 AM
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How are the Spanish twigs and pebbles?

Burning with dusky passion.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:29 AM
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Seriously, MCMC, things are so volatile no one wants you risk your freindship by giving advice. I'd say buy when you get there, because things don't look good for the dollar. But who knows, maybe there's some back door causing the the Euro to go down too, and faster. Those guys do invest in the US.

I may be less financially expert than you are, BTW.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:35 AM
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Yeah I haven't the slightest idea. Seems like the dollar probably will get weaker, but in the short term? No idea.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:37 AM
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re: 317

We went in a few places that weren't in touristy areas, and which were filled with enthusiastic locals. They were still pretty average.

I've had better Italian food in Glasgow and it was cheaper, too.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:39 AM
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320: It's hard to imagine that anyone could survive with less financial expertise than I have. Anyway, it's not like it's my retirement fund, I'm just cheeseparing, so to speak.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:39 AM
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Bank-to-bank lending freezes; bankers ask "who's next?"

It's good that this is actually happening on Bush's watch. It's bad that almost all the malefactors will probably end up profiting hugely and moving to the Bahamas. Greenspan's reputation may be destroyed, but he doesn't need it any more.

His reputation for foresight and intelligence may be undamaged; only his reputation for ethics and decency may be destroyed. But as we know, economics is a science, and ethics and decency are not part of science.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:41 AM
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Thanks, Invisible Hand!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:43 AM
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Everything is better in Glasgow! Same as Wobegon that way.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:44 AM
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No, that was a stopgap name.

OPINIONATED VIROLOGIST.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:44 AM
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Canadian dollars seem to be the thing to have at the moment, but it's probably too late for that.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:45 AM
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OOTB


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:45 AM
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all the malefactors will probably end up profiting hugely and moving to the Bahamas. Dubai. That's where the company headquarters are all moving, anyhow.

While I'm sure this isn't actually the start of a new great depression, or anything like that, wow, this is freaky.

Boca Raton residents beat down by riot police while trying to get housing voucher applications.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:48 AM
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Dubai is not a fun place to chill. The people who do the actual finance work may be stuck there.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:49 AM
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Thanks, Invisible Hand!

For some time now, I've been looking for a way to work the phrase "invisible handjob" into conversation, but I haven't found it yet.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:50 AM
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Pacing!


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:50 AM
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If you spend it as fast as you earn it, no financial smarts are needed. I don't invest in the lottery -- that's my only financial wisdom.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:52 AM
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331: c'mon, all those beaches and Islands and mandatory minimums? What's not to like?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:53 AM
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re: 326

Actually, the west of Scotland has a fairly big Italian immigrant community. So Italian food is one of those things that can be good there. Some other cuisines, not so much.*

* Although Indian and Chinese food are also, in my experience, of a higher average quality than 'down south'. At least at the bottom and mid-range of the market. The top-end of the market that you find in London doesn't exist in Glasgow.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:53 AM
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Dubai's vegetation is primarily rocks and gravel.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:55 AM
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I'd say buy when you get there, because things don't look good for the dollar.

Unfogged - born to pay list price. The salesman offered 10% below list, but Unfogged haggled.

this does not constitute trading advice, but if you think "things don't look good for the dollar" (ie that it will fall in value), should you buy things for dollars now or later?

(this patronising attitude is utterly hypocritical on my part btw - I am notorious among my colleagues for being congenitally unable to remember whether I should be multiplying or dividing when converting exchange rates).


Posted by: derauqsd | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:56 AM
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337: mmmmmm. Delicious!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:57 AM
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Is "Glaswegian" constructed on analogy with "Norwegian"? So it seems. Are there any other -wegians".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:57 AM
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Zimbabwegian.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:58 AM
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Yes, I gave MCMC exactly the wrong advice. A simple plus-minus error, or something like that. Now he or she will hate me forever.

I haven't gotten used to being the citizen of a third-world empire yet.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 8:59 AM
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See, in math exactly wrong is halfway there! You just invert something or switch a sign, and you're right! That's why math is so easy.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 9:00 AM
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re: 340/341

Gallowegian, apparently.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 9:01 AM
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Yes, Emerson, feel the hate! Haaaate!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 9:02 AM
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But I did accurately characterize my fiscal acumen.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 9:02 AM
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OK, so the whole financial world is kind of melting down now. How are you guys?

I'm suddenly thinking that I foolishly spent too much money this weekend.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 9:03 AM
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346: It's not lunchtime yet anyway.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 9:05 AM
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you're all yelling about moving to the outback to eat grass because of the fucking mortgage market.

I'm not inordinately worried about the mortgage market. I was talking about moving to the outback picturesque valley to eat better food because large scale commercial ag. mostly sucks that way. I guess it would be handy to have a hobby farm if the world did collapse for some reason.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 9:14 AM
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Anyway, Ttam is right about unexpectedly good west of Scotland Italian restaurants. I once had a damn good plate of tagliatelle with squid ink in Fort William (yes, I know it's the West Highlands, that's why I went, and no doubt there's some dire tribal distinction at stake).


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 9:41 AM
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re: 350

If there are tribal distinctions, they're irrelevant to me. Not, personally, being from the west coast [highland or lowland]. I'm from here which is a bit of a hole.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 10:25 AM
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Also, to M/tch @225: Fine fine, you've convinced me: all serious-minded hipsters should immediately move to the country and work long, but fulfilling, days making cheese or doing other things that involve animal husbandry, because there's always going to be a market for that kind of product and the risks of such an undertaking are more than balanced out by the potential returns.

Well I'm glad you're finally talking some sense, minnie.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 10:34 AM
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Not the Hebrides? How wrong I've been!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 10:56 AM
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I'd just assumed a Heberdwegian background.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 10:57 AM
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re: 354

My mum lived on the Hebrides for a while, but no. The village I grew up in is smack bang in the middle of the industrial belt.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 11:01 AM
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I think that a Heberdwegian affectation would probably do you some good now and then.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 11:04 AM
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Of other places in Scotland...Galwegian means from Galloway. However, Solway has not inspired "Solwegian".

"-wegian" from "-way" makes sense. "-wegian" from "-gow" not so much.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 11:06 AM
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Good in what way?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 11:07 AM
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You can claim all kinds of quaint Celto-Viking powers.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 11:10 AM
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Wiki:


Ironically, given the status of the Western Isles as the last Gàidhlig speaking stronghold in Scotland, the Gaelic language name for the islands - Innse Gall - means " Isles of the non-Gaels/foreigners " which has roots in the time when they were under Viking occupation.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 11:11 AM
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You can claim all kinds of quaint Celto-Viking powers.

Wrong coast.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 11:13 AM
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re: 359

Heh. That wouldn't cut much ice in the actual Scotland. Where Hebrideans are just hicks. Outside of Scotland, I can claim those powers just by virtue of not being English.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 11:14 AM
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360: 361 meaning the Vikings were camped out on the east coast a lot longer, afaicr.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 11:14 AM
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364

Or maybe Orknegian.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 11:16 AM
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re: 363

Not in Scotland. The Vikings occupied the westernmost bits of Scotland and the easternmost bits of England.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/vikings/images/invasion/map_britain.gif

From a kids' map. The pink bits are the viking bits.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 11:16 AM
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366

Interesting. Ok, if that's the case, why do danish words survive in Aberdeen scots, for example?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 11:18 AM
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367

or more accurately, parallel to danish words, from common roots.

I'd always thought the Vikings primarily occupied coastal regions (true) starting east and moving west + up the thames, etc (wrong?)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 11:20 AM
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re: 367

All Scots contains words like that since Scots in general is like that. Presumably in the case of Scots it comes from the same shared Germanic root rather than from actual occupation by the Norse. Scots is West Germanic rather than North Germanic.

In the areas that were occupied by the Norse, they spoke a different language/dialect (Norn).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norn_language

The Vikings did a lot of coastal navigation and moved in short hops. So from Orkney and Scotland over the north of Scotland and down the west coast to the Hebrides, what is now Ayrshire and on to Ireland. From mainland Europe, across the channel and up the east coast of England.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 11:27 AM
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369

The coast hopping makes sense, just surprises me the eastern foothold wasn't stronger. I guess I'd extrapolated that from my fathers experience with the language (he grew up in the north west, and had lived in denmark for a while later on). It was intuitive enough to not check out, I suspect!


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 11:32 AM
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re: 369

A bit more searching about, I find that bits of the far north of the mainland were also Viking occupied. But the mainland 'Norn' dialect died out centuries ago.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 11:38 AM
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Long after the Vikings, though, the east coast had all kinds of trading connections with Scandinavia and Russia; right down the east coast in fact.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 11:42 AM
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Ah, that might explain it then, along the dee & don would have been sensible places to stop. The linguistic similarities he noted were pretty striking, with modern danish. Probably quite different these days, as I'm talking pre-oil aberdeenshire rather than post-oil urban whatever.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 11:44 AM
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re: 372

As I said already, Scots is a Germanic language. It didn't have all the Germanic-ness smoothed off with French as English did. There's a fair bit of French influence too, but it's Norman French rather than Ile-De-France type French.

There are striking similarities between Scots, German, Dutch, Frisian, Afrikaans, Danish, Swedish, Icelandic, etc. But the similarities between the 'Lowlands' languages -- Dutch, Frisian, Flemish, Afrikaans, Plaatdeutsch, etc -- and Scots are more striking than those between Danish and Scots.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 11:52 AM
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It didn't have all the Germanic-ness smoothed off with French as English did

That makes sense.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 11:55 AM
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So, you get words like Scots 'muckle', Old Norse 'mykil' [and its modern cognates in the Scandivian languages].

But the same word was in English [anglo-saxon] as 'micel'. But later lost. Scots kept it. Ditto the 'great vowel shift' which didn't completely happen in Scots, so lots of Scots words that are orthographically similar to English words retain a Germanic pronunciation.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 11:58 AM
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"Loch" being a famous one.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 12:05 PM
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re: 376

Er, Loch is a gaelic word. It has no Germanic/Norse connection. I can't work out if this is an Emerson-troll.

Since I studied all this stuff for years [although it's been a while] I'm easily trolled.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 12:07 PM
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The "ch" sound. The same word in English or American English would be "lock".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 12:13 PM
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"Loch" is unrelated to "Lake"? Well, whattya know.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 12:14 PM
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re: 378

Yeah, the /x/.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 12:15 PM
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Really bummed I missed the early part of this thread.

That is all.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-17-08 1:59 PM
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