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1  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of Black Friday on: Today at 10:11:33 am
There are a number of reasons why we might treat the adults differently, not the least of which is that they have attained enough wisdom to decide whether this is a game that they wish to play.  Unlike children, they are responsible for their deeds and misdeeds and should be judged accordingly.

We were thinking of buying the boy some shoes today, but that will require a drive. 

I think that they're calling it Small Business Saturday now.  I prefer to call it Saturday November 28.  Hopefully the crazy shoppers have finished their game.  (I think it's a game, by the way.  I know that the sensationalistic videos are entertaining and shocking at the same time, in large part because we momentarily suspend our disbelief that they don't know what they're getting themselves into when they go out shopping on the busiest shopping day of the year.  It's sport, though, sort of a combination of the "scavenger hunt" and "king of the mountain" games of youth, all rolled into one.  All the players know the rules, and they're largely the types who don't mind the 15 minutes of infamy that goes with playing the game in an age of instant video communication.  However, I do think that anyone can get caught up in it.  Sponge Bob Chia Pet never looked so good till it sat on a lighted pedestal under a sign that said "70% off!"  And the moment we see fifty other people fighting over the very last Sponge Bob Chia Pet, it becomes an object of glory, worth the scars and wars waged for its procurement.)

I also think that the serious players only play on Friday--especially since the coupons in the spam that has stuffed my mailbox all week are good on "Thursday and Friday only!"--so it's probably a safe day to go out and buy some shoes.  Still, a few crazy drivers might be out there.  Alas, we have two books and a video due today at the public library.  I could bicycle it in 20 minutes, but I think that my entourage wants to attend, so it'll be a car trip nevertheless.  I figure we may as well go to the mall while we're out since it's not far from the library.
2  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of Black Friday on: Today at 08:53:11 am
FF.  Love it. 

Yesterday we went to the club in the morning.  I ran a few laps and then did the bicycle thing.  There's a room full of stationary bicycles and a big screen where users can choose a "class" to watch.  A big screen comes down and you can ride through the swiss alps, the Cape of Good Hope, Guadeloupe, Colorado, etc.  I chose a scenic ride through Acadia National Park in Maine.  My blood pressure is a little high so I try to make my heart pump fast at least 3 or 4 times per week.

Afterward, my son and I swam in the pool for about an hour and then sat in the hot tub for a while.  Of course, we had turkey for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but that's alright because we cooked it a different way each time.  In the afternoon we fired off two rockets, then had a misfire on the third.  (I think the fuses were moist.  They had been in the basement for at least 8 months.)  Then we bicycled to the park and saw some friends of his.  I took a laptop and worked on a manuscript while my son and his friend played on the swings and kicked the soccer ball around.

Best of all, I haven't driven my car since Tuesday.  It's not that I hate driving, but I drive every day to work.  It's only about 8.5 miles, but it takes nearly 30 minutes, so I enjoy days when I don't have to drive.  The liquor store is 500 meters away, the club 800 meters, and there's a CVS, a convenience store, my son's dentist, a frozen yogurt place, a playground, and a couple of mediocre restaurants--one of which has about 100 beers and open mic night every other Thursday--all within walking distance of one mile or less.  I especially avoid driving on Thanksgiving and the day after, because traffic is especially thick on those days.  We have bicycled and walked everywhere we needed to go these past three days. 

All holidays are good, even made up ones like Black Friday.  Spread the love.
3  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: favorite banned posters on: November 27, 2015, 06:25:12 pm
jmfcst and opebo were two of my favorite posters, even before they were banned.
4  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Happy Thanksgiving, 2015! :) on: November 27, 2015, 05:28:00 pm
Not dried out

That's the main thing.  So many industrial-scale cooked turkeys are too dry.  (Institutional carrot cake can be like that as well.) 

We made our first turkey when I was about 37.  I kept resisting it but my wife really wanted to try to cook a turkey, like a real gringo wife, so I said if we're gonna do it, we have to do it right.  We finely diced two bulbs of garlic, and put that in a bowl along with about half a cup of soy sauce and about a quarter cup of oil.  Mixed it in a bag and threw the turkey in that bag and let that sit overnight.  Then, the next morning we found a syringe and shot the turkey up with our mixture on about a 1cmx1cm grid all over the breasts, wings, thighs, and legs.  Then we cooked it at about 400F for about an hour then at 350F for another two hours, basting it in the pan drippings about once every 20 or 25 minutes.  Juicy enough to drink, and salty as the sea.  mmmmmmm. 

Been doing one every Thanksgiving since.  Yesterday we had freshly-baked turkey for lunch and warmed up turkey for dinner.  Today I had turkey tacos for breakfast, turkey and noodles for lunch, and tonight we're about to have spicy stir-fried turkey with garlic, two kinds of mushrooms, and onions for dinner.  Bokchoy and a third kind of mushroom on the side.  Juicy or not, it's still turkey.  I can handle it about once a year--all meals, two days straight--then I'm glad it won't be thanksgiving again for another year.
5  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: where were your great-grandparents born? on: November 26, 2015, 12:34:52 pm
Impressive that you can answer this.  I can trace my ancestry back only to my grandparents, none of whom were born in the USA.  I know what countries they were born in, but not the cities in all cases.  Beyond that the thread gets a too thin.  I have written down all I know about my grandparents and my wife's grandparents in my son's baby book, so that he'll be able to name his great grandparents and tell where they were born, etc.

6  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Time Person of the Year 2015 on: November 25, 2015, 07:19:12 pm
There's a ton of Candiates

hmmm.  I'm suspicious.  That's only about four average Americans. 

Anyway, I sort of like his holiness for this one.  Or maybe Bashar Al Asad.  Or maybe Vlad the Impaler.  Probably the pope, though.  He's pretty fly (for a white guy.)
7  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Favorite Great Lake on: November 23, 2015, 09:23:47 pm
Lake Champlain.

I'm not surprised by that answer coming from someone who doesn't know what Great means.

In all seriousness though, I voted Lake Superior. Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are really the same lake.

haha.  You beat me to it.  I was about to say that Michigan and Huron are just two lobes of one great lake, which is superior to Superior.

For me, Lake Superior, no doubt.  I first sailed on Superior (shallow-draft markoni fractional rig), first fished on Superior (with hooks and worms!), and had some of my first non-pool swimming there (in late July, when the water is still very, very cold.)  I've visited all of the great lakes, but only Superior holds superior childhood memories for me, so that's how I voted.
8  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Supergirl!!! on: November 23, 2015, 09:19:39 pm
New episode tonight.  I sort of halfway paid attention.  Some impressions:

Cyndi Lauper, but not Cyndi Lauper (unpleasant cover of "time after time") playing in the background, a building was bombed (more ingratiation with the post-millennial generation), eye welding (yes, you read that right.  Apparently Supergirl has the ability to fire intense beams of light from her eyes, sufficiently intense to weld metal).

James still figures heavily.  Apparently Kara is a bit nervous about his ex.  Oh, and Ally MacBeal's nerdy, gifted son, Carter (so now she's a Democrat?!), definitely has a major hard-on, not only for Supergirl, but also for Kara

I'm mostly still seeing lots of character development, but not a lot of story.  Maybe that's just the way stories are done these days.
9  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Politicians not part of political families, but have misleading last names on: November 22, 2015, 08:12:05 pm
Best one I remember was Jack E. Robinson.

Were any of you living in Massachusetts in the fall of 2000 when he was the GOP candidate for US Senator?  I was.  Jack E. Robinson was the Republican candidate.  Short black dude.  Played in Jaws as an extra back in 1975.  How sorry was the Massachusetts Republican party?  The entrenched alcoholic US senator Ted Kennedy (D) and gun-nut Carla Howell (L) were the main competitors.  Jack E. Robinson got about 12% of the popular vote that year, and most of it was misguided name recognition.

10  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Who would you vote for: 2 Races, 5 candidates on: November 22, 2015, 06:56:36 pm
First race, definitely candidate 1.  I go with good judgment over all other considerations.  It's not entirely clear from your description which would have more, so I made an executive decision and decided that candidate 1 has better judgment than candidate 2.

Second race, clearly none of them have good judgment, so then we have to look at other considerations.  I'll have to go with candidate 1 in that one as well.  For all his problems, at least he hasn't yet been kicked out of office and he is not a vegetarian. 
11  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Do you think that all illegals should be deported? on: November 22, 2015, 06:25:48 pm
Do you think that all illegals should be deported?

No.  I think it's high time for a blanket amnesty.  Less costly; more effective.  Last time was 1986, I think.  Long overdue.

This is bizarre. You think we should keep the laws we have but just grant an amnesty every couple of years for people who break them? Why not just get rid of the laws? Moderate Hero-ism at its most illogical.

Every couple of years?  Probably not.  Last time congress enacted the sort of bill I'm talking about was nearly 30 years ago.  That's what I meant by "long overdue."  Really, the alternative is that we must accept that we will have a permanent underclass.

And, yes, once in a while I'd say that "why not just get rid of the laws?" is a perfectly sane approach.  The majority on this forum have in poll after poll indicated that this is the prevailing attitude on several issues.  Whether they do on this issue is another question, and I am not claiming that they do, but only that I do, given that all the alternatives are all more costly and ineffective.

12  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Do you think that all illegals should be deported? on: November 21, 2015, 08:22:46 pm
pretty hard to deport me if I commit a felony as well.

Anyway, I'm not suggesting automatic citizenship, just a blanket amnesty.  Green cards can be revoked, if necessary, although I suspect with the overwhelming majority of undocumented aliens it would not be necessary. 
13  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Do you think that all illegals should be deported? on: November 19, 2015, 09:32:18 pm
Do you think that all illegals should be deported?

No.  I think it's high time for a blanket amnesty.  Less costly; more effective.  Last time was 1986, I think.  Long overdue.

14  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of Birmingham, AL on: November 19, 2015, 09:17:26 pm
Definitely freedomland, just as Memphis and San Francisco are.  FF.

Current ranking:  Memphis>SF>Birmingham.  All are, like Jesus, alright by me.

15  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do non-Americans actually still refer to "miles" a lot? on: November 19, 2015, 03:06:03 pm
I think you're reaching a little far for your pop culture reference here.

Well how about this guy?  Surely he gets referred to by "non-Americans" from time to time.

16  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do non-Americans actually still refer to "miles" a lot? on: November 19, 2015, 12:56:21 pm
There's a porn actor/director named Miles Long.  How cool is that?  He doesn't get referred to much, though.  Miley Cyrus, on the other hand, gets referred to quite a bit, even outside this forum.

Seriously, though, miles were around long before the USA was around.  Romans, Greeks, and Arabs all had a mile long before the English had one.  And since the Brits are too cheap to change road signs, they still use miles quite often for directions and posted speed limits.  Australians and Canadians of course know what a mile is since their source of language is the same as ours, but they are less likely to use them in descriptions of driving distances.

For an actual measurement I don't you'll see it much south of the border.  When I've rented cars in Latin America with unlimited mileage, the agreement always referred to "kilometraje ilimitado" rather than "milaje ilimitado."  

For poetic use, in which clunky terms like parsecs, kilometers, and astronomical units just don't have the right meter--pardon the pun--miles is a good choice.  (Given your penchant for long user names, you might appreciate the poetic value of a song entitled "One point six times ten to the sixth power kilometers apart" but I don't think most people would.)  

Light years also works well for poetic expression, I might add.  I often see disparate political views described as being "light years apart."  
17  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Rank James Bond Actors on: November 19, 2015, 12:06:28 pm

Which Bond Are You?
18  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: What political view of yours is furthest from the mainstream? on: November 17, 2015, 10:55:53 pm
Mine is probably our relationship with Canada which I really think we should move towards at least a Schengen Treaty-style relationship, and preferably even fuller political and economic integration.

I think that might be pretty mainstream.  (You should do a poll.)  Moving into such a relationship with Mexico is probably less mainstream, but it is a position that I've held for a long time.  Still, it's probably not one of my least mainstream views.

I guess mine is against the TSA.  I still see no point in arriving at the airport an hour and a half early, taking off my shoes and my belt, waiting in a line to be electronically surveyed, giving up all drinks and lotions which have a greater volume than some arbitrarily-decided four ounce maximum, and paying 25 dollars per flight for these privileges.  Every time I've brought it up with people--at least with people old enough to remember what it was like to show up at an airport 20 minutes before take-off and walk onto the plane with a 16-ounce mug of beer--they look at me like I'm nuts.  I really think that the TSA should be disbanded, the fee cancelled, and that normalcy should resume.  If any politician ever ran on that platform, he or she would definitely win my vote.  Unfortunately, paranoia markets very well right now.

19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Does the 2nd Amendment protect suicide vests? on: November 17, 2015, 10:41:10 pm
The profanity is complete unnecessary.

LOL.  Indeed, as was the attempted sarcasm to which the profanity was directed. 

As, for that matter, is posting in this thread.  I guess we're all a little bored.  Wink
20  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Does the 2nd Amendment protect suicide vests? on: November 17, 2015, 10:35:12 pm
Three paragraphs answering a rhetorical question?  And all the while missing the true point of the topic.  Good job!

Actually, one paragraph to answer your question, asshole.  Two more to point out that if you wanted to take the topic seriously you could, and quash it in one well-reasoned post.

Good job on your part as well.  

21  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Does the 2nd Amendment protect suicide vests? on: November 17, 2015, 09:36:08 pm
No, the founders didn't have suicide vests in mind when they wrote the second amendment, bedstuy.  I'd say that you are probably the only person in the world who thinks that it does, but even you know that you are blowing smoke here, so I'd guess that it's about zero people who draw that conclusion.

What weapons did the founders have in mind, angus?

Let's assume that they had in mind only weapons that had already been invented, for starters.  James Madison, for example, was a political theorist.  He also studied Latin and religion.  It is unlikely that he had a propensity for theorizing about photon torpedoes or nuclear warheads, or even suicide belts.  I think that it's a safe bet that the other authors could be described similarly.

There are a number of law students and licensed attorneys who post here regularly.  If we wanted to take this thread as a mental exercise, they might have some insight.  The last two high-profile cases were Heller and McDonald.  Both cases strengthened the individual right argument over the collective right theory.  (I think the collective right made more sense to me when I was a university student learning of the constitution, but who knows?  we all evolve and I'm not sure what the current consensus is anyway)  Either way, it is clear that the framers want you--either you collectively via your legislature or you individually, depending upon your interpretation--to be able to protect yourself against the very real possibility of an English invasion.  In that frame of reference, you might ask the question, "What would madison et al. think if I had a device that killed the English invaders but would also kill me?"  I think Madison would tell me to rethink my defense strategy.  He might give me the cell phone number of a good Brown Bess Musket merchant, if cell phones existed.  Of course they didn't, so it would not have occurred to him to provide me with such a number.  Nor would it have occurred to him to advise me regarding suicide vests.

We could look into the Supreme Court opinion in some recent cases.  In McDonald, Alito wrote for the majority opinion and Stevens wrote the dissent.  A careful read of both of their statements would suggest to me (and I assume any literate person, lawyer or not) that, although they disagreed on the particulars of that case, neither of them would consider the suicide vest a fundamental right.
22  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Does the 2nd Amendment protect suicide vests? on: November 17, 2015, 09:28:11 pm
The second amendment starts off with a dangling modifier, so it's a little hard to take seriously.  It's even harder to take this question seriously.

No, the founders didn't have suicide vests in mind when they wrote the second amendment, bedstuy.  I'd say that you are probably the only person in the world who thinks that it does, but even you know that you are blowing smoke here, so I'd guess that it's about zero people who draw that conclusion.
23  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Charlie Sheen has HIV on: November 17, 2015, 08:59:48 pm
Charlie Sheen has HIV

Of course he does.  Probably several other social diseases as well.

Definitely FF for HIV.  Any virus as biologically successful as HIV deserves serious respect.  As for Charlie Sheen, I don't have a strong opinion either way, but I hope he does stop spreading his disease.  I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, so FF for him as well. 

24  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Who has killed more terrorists? on: November 17, 2015, 08:41:42 pm
I would hope that all faiths value killing terrorist scumbags with drone missiles, angus.

Just asking why that's so different from valuing killing remorseless serial killers and child rapists, something death penalty opponents characterize as people's "blood lust."

My sarcasm meter might be a little dysfunctional, but I had assumed it was sarcasm on Leif's part.  Or at least dark humor.  Either way, it is certainly not the case that all religions endorse vendetta.

25  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: What's the probability that the GOP prez. nominee will be a non-Hispanic white? on: November 17, 2015, 04:04:19 pm
Indeed, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra's fictional Don Quixote de la Mancha was no less hispanic for being 100% white.  That he was a victim (of his own madness) has no bearing on the question.  Were he real and living in the United States, the Census Bureau would want him to identify as a Hispanic White resident alien.

Interestingly, about 53% of those who identified as Hispanic on the census form in 2010 also identify as white, about 26% as two or more races, about 6% as black, and small numbers (>1%) as either Asian, PI, or native american, and about 36% as "other race."  My assumption is that the 36% who are not willing to identify with any of the existing racial categories are primarily hispanophone and identify only as part of La Raza, which no doubt frustrates Census Bureau attempts to categorize them.  I always choose "other race" myself, solely out of a sense of mischief.  One wonders why the Census Bureau would continues its obnoxious policy of setting Hispanophones apart from all other US persons, especially in light of the fact that its results are neither particularly useful nor particularly reliable.

Back to the question.  What probability model did you use when deciding?  There are plenty out there, and I think that most combine public opinion polls, news, and other data. 

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