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Outside The Lines

Posted by Becks
on 11.28.08

Via FiveThirtyEight, the Star Tribune has scans of about 500 actual challenged ballots from Minnesota that you can view, see the reason they were challenged, and vote on what you think the right resolution is for each one. What I've learned? Most of the challenges are completely stupid and make you want to punch one of the candidates in the nuts for trying to subvert democracy or make this harder than it needs to be.

(And on the topic of "making things harder than they need to be", I'm looking at you, Star Tribune. For the rest of you: unfogged/mineshaft, IYKWIMAITYD.)


 

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A moment of levity from Wikipedia

Posted by Ben
on 11.28.08


 

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I'll See You In 2-4 Hours

Posted by Becks
on 11.28.08

If you're stuck at home with the family and need some distractions, this should do it.


 

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Help, my liberal bleeding heart needs a brain.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 11.28.08

I got into a conversation with my brother and sister-in-law the other day, where they were arguing that we need to let all the corporations fail, and all the people go bankrupt in their mortgages, in order to find the natural bottom of the economic cycle. The argument became an argument about who would bear the burden of such a fallout. (By "argument" I mean that I argued in my head but couldn't get much of a word in edgewise.)

There were a few points that I felt unequipped to back up, yet I still emotionally believe. (They argue machine-gun style and I get overwhelmed quickly.) First is that a nontrivial portion of people who can't make their mortgage payments are basically sympathetic. A lot of their argument was about the Escolade-driving, Gucci-purse-having, kitchen-renovating new-development living irresponsible mouth-breathers who refinanced their home to pay for it all, which just smells like the upscale version of Cadillac-driving welfare queens to me.

Relatedly, how "bad" is it if someone gets foreclosed on? Their argument was that renting and having bad credit for seven years is not the end of the world, as it forces you to live within your means. This certainly assumes an affordable rental market, which I'm not positive about, and no unforeseen medical costs for the next seven years. What are other long-term associated costs with getting foreclosed on? Do we have any sense of the portion of people for whom this is a financial relief, and for whom it is a disaster?

Next, what are the macro effects of mass foreclosures? Their argument was that housing prices will naturally settle at 2.5-3x the average salary for an area, and the responsible grasshopper down the street who made bread during the summer months will now be able to snap up the gaudy house, cheap. Is it just that it tugs at our heartstrings to kick people out of their houses? I *feel* like there is more going on, but I don't know what.

My last emotional belief is that, if the corporations are allowed to fail en masse, the ripple of lay-offs will exceed some acceptable level of collateral damage. Their argument is that the massive lay-offs will be limited to the greedy fucks who will land on their feet anyway, and that new industries will be created to absorb sufficiently many of the rest.

Do you all have any facts/statistics to arm me with for the next battle?


 

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Gobble, gobble, gobble.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 11.27.08

It is traditional for me to listen to Alice's Restaurant on Thanksgiving. It's mildly hard to find online since Youtube seems mostly to have a New Version With An Old Arlo version up. So I like to make it available. Enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving!

(cross-posted at my place.)


 

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"The best choice I made was making him wear that see-through raincoat in every scene! See, it's like a CAUL. His name is CAUL."

Posted by Ben
on 11.26.08

Over at the internet's most named food blog, various wonks are having it out over turkey. Saiselgy thinks they're hopeless. Some dude recommends brining. Ezra thinks they should be cut up and braised. Only Spackerman sees his way to relaying advice to put bacon atop the breast, calling it an "intriguing idea".

MAYBE IT IS, to SOME, but to others it is a TRADITIONAL ARTISANAL TECHNIQUE named after the practice in Olden Times of roasting singers alive if they were no good. Since such persons typically were poorly fed, they were low in fat and sometimes would not burn up completely, offering paltry sustenance for the fire. Consequently they would be adorned with supplemental grease. Doing so is thus known as barding, and the word "bard" itself was transferred from the people so adorned to the fat adorning:

Thin slices of pork or bacon fat which are placed around joints of meat, some game birds and poultry, and even some fish before roasting, to prevent them from drying out in the heat of the oven. (The Larousse, thanks much—it turns out that this edition is different from the one I have in SF and that it has a recipe for daube! of! pigs'! trotters! "Cut 3 pigs' trotters in half and place the 6 halves in a stewpan, together with a slightly salted knuckle of veal and 2 slightly salted pigs' tails." I'm all over it.)

It is thus related to larding, to wit, the insertion of pieces of fat directly into the roast with a (get this) barding needle, or, you know, anything else. We know that this is known to the IFA crowd.

What else should one expect of the Internet Food Association, though, than that they be cut off from tradition? It's a damn shame, a damn, crying shame.


 

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I Have To Start Reading More Romance Novels

Posted by LizardBreath
on 11.26.08

I became aware yesterday that there is a series of romance novels about a time traveling Viking who comes to the present and becomes a Navy SEAL. I have a hard time imagining how that could possibly be improved upon, but clearly a genre that includes something that wonderful must have room for all sorts of other bizarreries as well. Further investigation is required.

Even better, one of the author's books is called The Very Virile Viking. I can only assume this is part of her series of children's books for the precocious, soon to be continued in The Particularly Priapic Pirate and The Really Randy Rancher.


 

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I almost forgot to mention something about Claudia Bassols, as befits house style

Posted by Stanley
on 11.25.08

M/tch's comment about Mario Batali reminded me: this weekend I was watching Spain… on the road Again. Batali, with his awful pseudo-Madrid accent, compliments one of the chefs they're visiting, saying something like, "Como dicen en las cocinas de América, eres un jodón." Roughly, "As they say in the kitchens of America, you're a real sunuvabitch." (Jodón literally means "fucker", but, at least to my ear, "fucker" would be the wrong translation here.)

I was surprised the word made it through PBS's censors and then surprised at my reaction. Because, shit, why the fuck should I care?


 

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Cue Laugh Track

Posted by Becks
on 11.25.08

While generally aware of internet traditions, I didn't know that "Tina Turner tickets" is slang for crystal meth on Craigslist. Given that Tina Turner is actually touring right now, I'm picturing a some wacky sitcom-style mixups.


 

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This one has shamrocks for March.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 11.25.08

I decided that I'm preggers enough to start wearing sneakers to work, and I love it. I may never go back. My lower back used to feel weirdly compressed and creaky at the end of teaching, even before I was packing a fetus, and now it's like sunshine. I assume years from now this decision will mark the moment when I began my decline into thinking jumpers with mock turtlenecks were just so sensible. And so easily coordinated with the season.


 

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Report from the goth club

Posted by Ben
on 11.24.08

Expensive drinks, bad "industrial" music, and worse dancers. Pfah!


 

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It's just like the day after the election in 2004...

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 11.23.08

...if Unfogged were populated by passionate, passionate tweens.

Via Jammies via BWE.


 

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Does not compute

Posted by Ben
on 11.23.08

So, in this movie, various hot women from exotic locales (such as … London!) with hot accents make out with each other, and it gets roundly panned? Whatever.


 

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Intrusive questions

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 11.23.08

I never quite realized, until Jammies pointed it out, how relentlessly nosy and intrusive my family is. But why? But why? But why? And where and when and how.

The thing is, I kind of love relentlessly nosy and intrusive, and it took me a long time to realize that not everyone operates this way. That not everyone interprets curiousity as a sign of love, and not everyone withholds questions out of disinterest. When someone fires off artillery style questions at me, I feel fawned over and flattered. I have to intellectually walk myself through realizing if they're crossing boundaries or not respecting my answers.

Anyway, the next time Grandma asks why we won't just go to a Justice of the Peace and get married before the baby comes, I'm going to answer, "Well, once the baby's here, I want a probationary period in case I change my mind about Jammies."


 

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