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September 01, 2014, 11:29:29 pm
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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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1  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update XVI: Sidejackin' it in the Train Room. on: Today at 06:25:54 pm
I prefer if you got a Coke Zero instead of a regular Coke. Really disappointed in that, Bushie, but no fries is no fries. Thank you.

Don't knock him on the double whopper guys. Bigger burger is a better path to his goals than more empty carbs of french fries. That's the real point. Trying to get Bushie to stop eating empty carbs. And please for the love of god salad.

Regular soda is empty carbs, though.

Don't listen to his BS, oakie.  Regular soda tastes good.  Well, sort of.  At least it tastes better than Coke Zero, which is awful.

The sugar-free stuff and carb-free just tastes nasty.  Let's be honest.  It also has phosphoric acid, which is bad for your teeth, red food coloring, which is bad for your personality, and caffeine, which is bad for your brain.  You should drink water instead.  Water is good.  It doesn't taste bad and it has nothing bad for you. 

If you must drink soda, then have the moral integrity to drink one which isn't sugar-free, because you can at least justify it on the basis of taste.  If you're drinking diet soda, then you're basically leaving out the only redeeming quality of the soda and just sucking down all the bad stuff. 

You probably have no business drinking any of it, but at least if you drank a full-on drink we'd respect you for it.  If you swear them off--and I hope you do--then swear them off for something which actually is better, something like water, not something like Coke Zero.

2  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Mandatory vacation pay on: Today at 06:17:51 pm
I wouldn't know.  I use economic arguments when I argue against a federally-mandated minimum wage.  That's a fun topic as well, but I respect that it's a different one.  I think you're the first to have brought that particular topic into this one so don't blame anyone other than yourself it it goes off on that tangent.
3  Forum Community / Forum Community / opinion of those who feel compelled to ask the opinion of other fora in this one on: Today at 06:08:03 pm
Yeah, I guess I get it.  Gotta keep it real.  Still, I feel unclean and a bit slutty when they do it.  I'd prefer to feel special.  What about you?
4  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Your favorite hard liquor on: Today at 03:49:22 pm
Ron Pampero de Venezuela. 

Best rum there is.  Not white.  Not spiced.  It's golden, and very slightly more viscous than most rums.  Dry, yet fruity.  Somewhat sweet, of course, as it's rum, but not too sweet.  Very good neat.  Probably good on ice as well, or with juice, but I like it neat. 
5  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: Who is guilty of felony murder in these scenarios? on: Today at 03:05:19 pm
B only.

D is also a killer but that seems like manslaughter or something unpremeditated.  B is probably not premeditated either, but killing to end an argument sounds like a more serious crime than killing in self-defense.  I could see a good argument coming from the prosecution about making it felony murder.
6  General Discussion / History / Re: Chat with The Mikado about cool history topics that interest you on: Today at 02:55:42 pm
I've been thinking of race relations in the USA, specifically between the black minority and the white majority (but not necessarily including the white elite power brokers) post-1965.  It seems like things were becoming normalized from about the mid-60s through the 70s and into the early 80s.  Then, starting sometime in the mid- to early-80s, things started getting weird.  By the 90s identity was strong.  Society has become increasing fragmented along racial and ethnic lines.  Nowadays, I can't even turn on the television without hearing about some race riot or other, or about racially-motivated criminal or civil actions.  What was the turning point?  Was it a single event 30 years ago?  Was it a series of events?  How did we s start moving in the wrong direction with regard to race relations?
7  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of Pancakes? on: Today at 10:12:51 am
My wife made pancakes this morning so it's relevant.  I think it's the first pancake I've had in a long time.  My son likes his drenched in honey.  My wife likes hers with pickled turnips and garlic hot sauce.  I like mine with shredded pork and Cholula, or Melinda's hot sauce if I don't have any Cholula.  I also wrap mine around the pork and hot sauce and eat them as hand food, sort of like a soft taco, whereas my son and my wife use a fork with theirs.

We generally take ours on the thin side, and we use only gluten-free batter.  We don't make them often but when we do I enjoy them very much.  FF
8  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: How often do you buy music? on: Today at 07:57:25 am
from about 1981 to about 1999, very regularly.  I have about a million casettes and a million and one CDs (Well, actually maybe 400 each) that I bought during those years.  I also have about 40 records that I bought during the five-year period preceding that.  Any of you old enough to remember records?  However, I think in the past fifteen years I've only bought two, and both were of my son's piano recitals.  

We're trying to buy some now, though, or maybe a movie.  My son got a 15-dollar iTunes gift card from a girl in his class.  It's something of a hassle.  He wanted games, but none of the games work on either of our tablets and none work on any computers (not even apple ones).  You have to have an iPhone or an iPad or an iPod Touch to play those.  The music and movies work, after you download this huge executable file and install it.  Anyway we'll probably spend it on movies or music.  Problem is, all that stuff is free.  Even movies in theaters now.  My son even found a website (of questionable legitimacy) from Slovakia that has free current movies.  And actually there are so many free games available on the "app store" on our tablets that we really don't need the games either.  I kinda wish they'd given him a more useful gift card, like one from Walmart.  Or the all-you-can-eat Indian buffet.  Or even Barnes&Noble.  Anyway, I guess we'll buy some music.  By my calculation, you can buy one new movie, or one old movie and about ten old songs, or one old movie and four new songs, or twenty old songs, with a 15-dollar iTunes gift card.

9  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Mandatory vacation pay on: August 31, 2014, 11:37:40 am
I knew of at least two people who made this claim.  They'd say things like, "Are you kidding, I have a wife and two children!  Hang out with them or hang out in my office?  Easy choice.  One day you'll have a family and you'll see what I mean."  

For about three years I worked at a place that gave three weeks vacation time per year, in addition to two weeks of holidays.  We would occasionally receive emails that said things like "you must use your vacation time by a certain date or lose it..."  We didn't have any choice in the holidays.  There were five non-movable days in the year, plus a week starting at Christmas and ending January 2, and in those periods no one was allowed to come in, but the vacation times were movable.  I knew one guy who sold his vacation time regularly.  He never took any of it, so another employee, who maybe wants to do four weeks, could "buy" an extra week off him, meaning that the other employee would sign a document agreeing to relinquish the equivalent of one week's pay and that the seller would receive the equivalent of one week's pay.  There were some restrictions, but the system worked well enough.  I knew another guy who always meant to sell his vacation time, but always forgot to, or the date came around and there were just no buyers, so he'd lose it.  It does seem that some subset of the population just doesn't want to be with their families.  They'd rather sit in their offices and surf the internet undisturbed by children or spouses.  It's not so strange, really.

I never bought or sold any, but I scheduled cleverly so that my three weeks usually gave me four actual weeks of travel time.  I actually enjoy going snorkeling and cycling and hiking, etc., with my son and my wife.  Certainly I miss the edgy things that I could do before I had an entourage, but still I enjoy vacationing with my family.  I wouldn't sell vacation time if I had it coming.  

Edit:  none of this should be misinterpreted.  I voted none because the question wasn't about how much we enjoy our vacation or how much we take per year--I very much enjoy vacating the premises and generally take at least a month to travel each year--but rather how much should be mandated by law.  I do not think there should be any more laws regarding anything.  Both our personal lives and our economic lives are stymied enough by state encroachment.   We need fewer rules, not more.  The contract between an employee and and an employer is just that:  it's between the employee and the employer and really should not be the concern of lawmakers, who I'm certain enjoy providing a good deal of vacation time for themselves and their families.

10  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should people with disabilities who are unable to attain orgasm, be allowed to.. on: August 31, 2014, 11:26:09 am
By all means.  All people should be allowed to engage in sex for hire, regardless of their abilities, and regardless of whether it leads to orgasm. 
11  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Mandatory vacation pay on: August 31, 2014, 10:33:59 am
FYI, from the current (september 8 ) issue of TIME magazine:

No paid vacation days are required by law.  

Americans received an average of 14 paid vacations days in 2013.

On average, 577 million of those days were unused, which is about 4 per person per year.

Why don't Americans use their vacation days?

27%:  "stockpiling" them for future use
24%:  difficulty in scheduling family vacations
35%:  preferred to work
17%:  chose to cash in on them (not all companies offer this, but some do)

source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics

Lots of other useless stats in this issue as well.  It's called "The Answers Issue."  There's stuff like the first use of some word to mean excellent (e.g. "spiffy" 1853, "epic" 1983, "badass" 1955, "boss" 1836); the percentage of the world's prison population who are in prisons in the United States (25%); and the fraction of folks with household incomes over $200 thousand who have had sex before their 16th birthday (32%).
12  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How do you pronounce Oregon? on: August 31, 2014, 10:24:55 am
Or as in "ore", i as in "bit", gon as in "gun". Ore-i-gun.

come to think of it, that's how I say it as well.
13  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: do you use ms excel? on: August 30, 2014, 06:29:11 pm
pretty regularly for graphs and data tables and such.  It can be frustrating for data fitting and it's not really well designed for scientific work and I prefer SigmaPlot, or even Kaleidagraph, but since MSExcel is free and everyone has it, I use it because it's just easier to share stuff that way. 
14  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Have you ever asked someone about the color of their urine? on: August 30, 2014, 06:26:18 pm

Dude, that's a coastal mountain range in the Levant, overlooking the Mediterranean.  I'm pretty sure that ℒief was referring to the light brown color of the sickeningly sweet polymeric food substance.  (I'd agree that the Laverne and Shirley L in his username is pretentious, but there's nothing pretentious about correctly pronouncing caramel with three syllables.)
15  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: American Southwest Could Face Megadrought This Century on: August 30, 2014, 06:10:33 pm
If it can be done in the Middle East, it can surely be done in this country.

Most of the Middle East isn't plagued by the pesky democratic process.  (Or at least it wasn't until recently, and I'm guessing that in those places that recently overthrew their repressive leaders there's some buyer's remorse.)  Here, we have to come together to do it.  We've become far too populated and vast an empire to function effectively as a democracy, and in any case big Public Works projects are the whipping children of those who favor austerity.  I just don't see large-scale desalination plants powerd by large-scale, solar-powered generators fetching much popular support any time in the near future.

Luckily, the vastness of our empire supports high mobility, and internal migration isn't particularly difficult.  We could see a drain on the population from the Southwest, and that may not be a bad thing since that region is already supporting far more inhabitants than is ecologically feasible.
16  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Do teachers these days still use overhead projectors? on: August 30, 2014, 12:27:20 pm
Do teachers these days still use overhead projectors?

They do.  They're fancy now, and they're called Elmo.  At least that's a popular brand just now.  They come with little adjustable cameras so you can project little demonstrations from the lab bench on the wall, and they have buttons which you can push to dismiss them and they fold down under the bench and out of the way when you're finished.  They also have little USB ports so that they can be integrated with other learning technologies.  In the end, though, Elmo is an overhead projector, so yes.
17  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Ernest on: August 30, 2014, 12:20:42 pm
Really the only thing I don't like about him is that he's a mod,

...and a particularly poor one at that.  

Still, he's probably the most informed poster here, one with a very droll sense of humor, one with courage and wit, and otherwise hail fellow well met.  

Then again, you can't ignore the really bad moderation aspect.  That's like saying, "Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?"  

18  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: dr. pepper. on: August 30, 2014, 11:52:53 am
It's okay.  A bit like pressurized, carbonated prune juice.  I wouldn't buy it but the times it was offered to me I drank it and found that I could stomach it well enough.  I assume that we're not talking about sugar-free dr. pepper.  I've never tasted that, but I assume that it's nasty like all sugar-free sodas.
19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Americans both support unions and right to work laws on: August 30, 2014, 11:38:03 am

There seems to be some confusion.  The irony is that folks posting here seem very confused, yet they claim that the people answering the poll are confused.  Let's clear this up:  The folks answering the poll question are not confused.  They were asked the questions, therefore they know what questions they were answering.  

Here are the questions relevant to this thread:

1. "Do you approve or disapprove of labor unions?"

53% claim that they approve.  I approve of them as well.  (Whether I want to be represented by one or want to join one is a different question, and one which was not asked in this poll.)

2.  "Some states have passed right-to-work or open shop laws that say each worker has the right to hold his job in a company, whether he joins a labor union or not.  If you were asked to vote on such a law, would you vote for it or against it?"

I would definitely vote for such a law, and I am not surprised that a majority (71%) of respondents in the poll would also vote in favor of such a law.

There is no evidence of confusion among those answering the poll questions.  Moreover, it should not come as a surprise that most folks are, simultaneously, tolerant of the idea of the existence of unions but leary of having laws which allow them to operated in a heavy-handed way.
20  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Americans both support unions and right to work laws on: August 29, 2014, 08:38:35 pm
In typical American fashion.

I guess I'm in the majority, more or less.  I support the right of unions to exist, but I'm also a big fan of right to work laws.  You can have a union, but I'll thank you not to force me to be in it to have a gig.  Calling it "typical american" seems odd, though, because we're usually not accused of subtlety.

21  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Ernest on: August 29, 2014, 06:42:13 pm
Smart, open=minded, humorous, well-informed poster, and I like him.

On the other hand, he's totally dysfunctional as a moderator.  Of course, like all moderators here he's an absolutely horrible person by virtue of his being a moderator.  I'm not sure why becoming a moderator on this forum seems to cause a sort of madness, but it does.  His recent hijacking, moving to another board, and totally misrepresenting the original question in R2D2's immigration thread clearly regarding a point of US General Discussion to Forum Community is clear evidence of his madness.


22  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Does anyone of you know ... on: August 29, 2014, 11:27:00 am
this guy had a bigger and creepier problem.

But not as creepy as this guy.

23  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Is there a hidden "mini-decade" between the 80s and 90s? on: August 28, 2014, 09:06:40 pm
You could argue the same of the 67-72 period.  Neither the Sixties of the Andy Griffith show and the Civil Rights battles nor the gas-guzzling, polyester-wearing Seventies represent well the cult of flower children and war protesters in the summers of love.
24  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: American Southwest Could Face Megadrought This Century on: August 28, 2014, 08:40:46 pm
Weird map.  There's a little rectangular gulf where the Berkshires and a good bit of southern New England used to be.  What happened to Cape Cod and Cape Ann?

25  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Does anyone of you know ... on: August 28, 2014, 08:23:36 pm
We're having ants right now.  I don't know how it started.  First there were a few marching in a column across the dining room floor in the evening.  We swabbed the floor, cleaned everything, and thought that they'd leave, but we kept seeing them.  Then we sprayed vinegar, because I generally don't like killing animals.  I'm not a Buddhist or Hindu or anything like that, but I don't like killing animals.  It worked for a while, but it got to be too much trouble.  I became desensitized, finally, and I started wasting everyone I saw, but it's futile.  It's like any other country besides China going to war with China.  I'd kill fifty every night, but the next morning there were fifty more, every morning.  Finally, we got serious.  We bought some 40 Mule Team borax and mixed it with honey and put it in a bowl.  Now we have about a thousand dead ants in the little honeybowl every morning.  Maybe in about ten years we'll have killed them all.

I guess with a bat I'd be reluctant to kill it too.  I'd probably go out to the garage and get the butterfly net and close myself in the bathroom and try to catch it.  If that didn't work I'd take a big towel or a blanket and try.  If it flew at me I might pussy out and run away.  I might do that several times, but I'd keep trying.  If that failed repeatedly, eventually I'd probably get serious.  I think at some point I'd get pissed off enough to get my raqcuetball racquet out and start aiming to kill.  I'd probably wear big gloves and a big jacket and a football helmet, even if it's warm, just to protect myself. 

Good luck.
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