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1  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: pickles on: Today at 08:09:29 am
whoa.  It's a real thing, and it definitely doesn't look Kosher:

There's even a catchy portmanteau to describe it:  koolickle.  

I have a dirty mind, I suppose, because if I had stumbled upon that word it would not have made me think of pickles in Kool Aid.  I have found a NY Times article from 2007 describing it.  (I guess I have been under a rock because I really haven't heard of this culinary delight.)


I think we might just try this at home. 
2  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: pickles on: Today at 07:47:33 am
I like the big dill pickles, although I don't keep kosher so I don't care whether they conform to the halakha.  I like them whole and on the side when served with sandwiches, but I like them finely diced in potato salad and in situations when Italian dressing is used.

(What's a kool-aid pickle?)
3  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Pork or beef? on: Today at 07:44:30 am
Depends upon what I'm doing.  For tacos I prefer beef.  For pizza, I prefer pork.  For sandwiches I can go either way.  We have roast beef and smoked ham in the refrigerator now.  Today I'm having roast beef with mozzarella cheese, garlic, hummus, tomato, cucumber, mayonnaise, and mustard on whole wheat.  Tomorrow I may have ham with mozzarella cheese, sliced jalapeños, onion, tomato, lettuce, mustard, and mayonnaise on a crusty sourdough bâtard.
4  General Politics / Book Reviews and Discussion / Re: Greatest book ever written on: October 05, 2015, 09:19:30 pm
Gotta go with other, hoss.  Probably partly because I have no taste, but also because the only other choices involve reading a book in German.  Even when I lived in Germany and spoke the language proficiently, I hated it.  I'm not saying that they're all written as badly as "Mein Kampf" but any book written in that language will not win my vote.

Serious answer:  the best book ever written was written in Spanish.  It's hard to read, because much of it was written in a style that was already archaic when it was written 400 years ago, but if you have the patience, try to read it:

I read the first volume in a university Spanish course about 30 years ago, and struggled with it, but I managed to get through it and write my report.  I reread it recently, with the help of a spanish-english dictionary and have managed to appreciate its wit and wisdom. 

James Joyce's Ulysses comes a close second.  The main problem I have with Joyce is that he writes in the same style as I do, and it puts some readers off.  Even me.
5  General Discussion / History / Re: The Greatest Empire? on: October 05, 2015, 07:39:07 pm
Who had the Greatest Empire?

Probably the Han, especially in two of the four criteria you specify, and before you die, probably three of the four.

Given the two options you offer, and not wanting to say "other", I'll go with the Romans.  1100 years is pretty impressive.  Also, there's the language, the alphabet, the twelve tables, concrete, newspapers, welfare, bound books, the calendar, etc.  The Brits, the Spanish, the Americans, and a few others all have major achievements, but none of them really overachieve, so I'll go with the Romans here.  Of course, the Han Empire probably will outshine Rome historically.  If one asked the question every five hundred years starting 3000 years ago, "what is the richest country in the world?" then "China" would be the answer in all but two instances:  1500 (Spain) and 2000 (USA).  My guess is that by 2500 China will be yet again the answer to that question.  Next time offer three choices, and make one of them China.  It probably won't matter what the second and third choices are, because the Han Empire will outrank them all.

6  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Favorite American Sports Rivalry on: October 05, 2015, 01:37:14 pm
But yes Angus, if it costs you 100+ bucks to get you and a buddy through the gate, I'm guessing it's mostly upper class folk going to games.  If I was a New Yorker I'd probably be a Mets fan just because I'm a cheap ass.

That would be the case if it cost a hundred dollars, but it actually does not.  For example, you can get a nosebleed seat for 12 dollars at Fenway, and with certain cans of Coca-Cola on certain nights you can get it for 6 dollars.  At Yankee Stadium, I remember when you could get one for about 8 dollars.  It would be interesting if we had a "cheapest seats by stadium" chart to go along with the average seat chart.  My guess is that for some games you can still find a 15-dollar bleacher seat at NY.

I did notice that currently there are no cheap seats left at Yankee stadium.  The cheapest seat available for tomorrow's game against the Astros is around 54 dollars.  There are 21 still available at that price.  At the other end of the scale, there are still two Legends 24A seats available at $1479.00 each.

7  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Favorite American Sports Rivalry on: October 05, 2015, 09:31:42 am
The yanks and the Red Sox are basically the same team. Historically it was good but it's ultra-rich snobby and loud New Yorkers vs. rich snobby Bostonites. I hate both teams.

I never got that impression.  I usually found myself seated next to decidedly blue-collar types at both of those stadiums. (stadia?)  "Go back ta Bostan, ya bum!" doesn't really strike me as a snob's battle cry.

It has been many years, though, since I've visited either of those parks.  These days, in the aftermath of the Credit Crunch of '08, perhaps the snobs are the only ones who can afford to see ballgames.
8  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Favorite American Sports Rivalry on: October 04, 2015, 07:55:42 pm
Yankees Red Sox.  Gotta love the "I hate the yankees" hanky.  I've probably been to more games at the green monster than any other field, although I've been to at least half of the major league parks.  I've always been a greater fan of the Yankees than the Red Sox, but I've only seen about five Yankees home games, and as sorry as it's built, I like the Fenway Park experience more.  As much as I like the rowdy fans and that Frank Sinatra song that they always play at the end of the game, the Bronx stadium is just a bit too large for that small-town feel that you get at the fenway. 

Actually, Yankees versus anybody else is a great rivalry--I always take a New York Yankees towel to the gym, even here in Southeastern Pennsylvania, because I know that no one will steal it--but the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry is special.  Mostly because it cuts both ways.  The Yankees fans seem to enjoy antagonizing the Boston players as much as the Boston fans enjoy antagonizing the New York players.  Of course, the Boston fans aren't quite as violent.  I never saw any broken glass being tossed onto the field in Boston, but I've seen it several times in New York.

9  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Rubio Vs. Putin on: October 04, 2015, 07:01:41 pm
Vladimir Putin is 'a gangster and thug', says Marco Rubio.

yeah.  Seems that Obama is saying the same thing.

I think it's probably true, but whether the president, or those running for president, should advertise their opinions like that is another question.  My guess is that it's a challenge. 

I've never been a fan of sanctions, mostly because they only hurt the most vulnerable populations in any society against which they are imposed. 

As an aside, the article quotes "Wendy Jorgensen, a resident of Cedar Falls."  I actually know Wendy.  She lived about two blocks from me during the five years I lived in Cedar Falls.  I suppose I don't agree with her politics entirely, but I do like her quite a bit.  She's a good person.
10  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Why is Donald Trump declining in the polls? on: October 03, 2015, 07:43:43 pm
Why is Donald Trump declining in the polls?

Because in the words of the Atlas Forum, he is a horrible person.  Why people are just starting to figure this out is a bit mystifying.  Maybe that's your point.  My guess is that most folks don't pay attention.  Back when he was some billionaire dude on some show that fired people, he was cool.  Now that he's a candidate, people will actually expect him to show some tendency toward statesmanship.  Since he has not shown any, the more people pay attention, the lower his numbers will fall.

11  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama said that we have to take mass shootings as a routine. on: October 03, 2015, 07:31:38 pm
Gun violence is basically normalized is what he's saying

I agree.  It has something to do with the settlement patterns and history.  It doesn't really make sense to throw up charts with Cyprus and Serbia and Finland and try to make any points relevant to Obama's comments.  Throw up a chart of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, if you want a good comparison.   

We are a very violent society.  Our nation's existence owes itself to a violent and illegal insurrection.  Jeb Bush and Barack Obama seem to recognize this.  Actually, outside this forum many grown-ups recognize this as well.  I've had a number of real-life conversations with real-life people about this and most people think that the new normal is really the old normal.  Of course, the guns have higher muzzle velocities now, and news travels faster now, but the basic pattern remains.  Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.  N'est-ce pas?

12  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Bush asked about gun violence: "Stuff happens' on: October 03, 2015, 06:45:41 pm
If I was a politician who supported gun rights, I think I could up with quite a few better descriptions than what is essentially "lol, don't care"

Fortunately for him, then, that is not what he did.

He did, on the other hand, point out that it was sad and that this sort of thing does happen from time to time.  (Granted, he's stating the obvious, but stating the obvious is much less dangerous than some of the other things that politicians like to state, especially in response to tragedies.)

Let us be clear, the relevant quote, according to this article and many other is:

"Look stuff happens, there's always a crisis and the impulse is always to do something and it's not always the right thing to do,"

I am glad that a politician finally had the balls to say something like this.  If you have studied American politics--and I know that you have--then you know that it is the immediate response of our elected officials to immediately go into the mode of "fighting yesterday's war," and often with unintended consequences.

I don't know what laws will change history.  I'm guessing that Bush doesn't either.  

You want this gunman to swing from a tree?  That's another debate.  (of course that isn't necessary because he also executed himself)  You want Walmart to stop selling firearms?  That's another debate.  (I've never owned a gun and I also find it creepy that Walmart sells them)  You want Bush to be more exciting?  That's another debate.  (actually, we all probably think Bush is very Boring so there may not be much of a debate)  Here, the OP only wants to discuss Bush's comments posted in the article.   The comment was accurate, and as far as I can tell from the pictures posted and the comments, there was no Laughing Out Loud.  Moreover, the suggestion that he doesn't care about these things seems antithetical to his comments, which were that he thought that it was "sad and craven."  We may spell a few words differently, but our languages aren't so different that I can believe that you can really read "LOL Don't Care" into his comments.  

13  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Bush asked about gun violence: "Stuff happens' on: October 03, 2015, 06:30:07 pm

Except he's not being honest.  What he really means is "Stuff happens because we politicians won't take on the NRA, and I certainly won't."

If he were being honest, he'd be a Libertarian.

If he were being honest, he'd say on abortion "Stuff happens, not government's job to prevent that."
But, he's anti abortion.

If he were being honest, he'd had said on Terri Shaivo "Stuff happens, people die. That's life. Or, I guess that's the end of life."
But, he involved himself in Terri Shaivo

IF he were being honest, he'd say on medical marijuana (if not marijuana in general "Stuff happens, if people want to smoke it, who am I to tell them what to do."
But, he's anti marijuana (and medical marijuana legalization"

No, it's only on guns when suddenly he's a libertarian.

I don't know if he is being honest, but I will give him the benefit of the doubt.  I might blow myself up in my basement experimenting with explosives, for example, but I don't want any of you to use that as an excuse to make some legislation.  None of it will bring me back, anyway.

The other comparisons are interesting, but they aren't really apt unless you honestly believe that he wants to be a Libertarian.  To be a good Libertarian, you need to believe that we should not maintain a standing army and navy.  To be a Libertarian, you need to believe that public schools should not exist.  I really don't believe Bush is a Libertarian, but I can't get inside his mind.  I know that I'm not a Libertarian.  Are you a Libertarian?  You seem to be, based on your comments.  Libertarians love to point out that everyone is a Libertarian at heart.  I am frequently told by Libertarians that I am a closet Libertarian.  I do believe that marijuana and prostitution should be legal.  I do think that there should be no border fences and that people should be able to come and go as they please.  I do not have a problem with two men getting married.  If you are a Libertarian, then you probably think that all this makes me a Libertarian.  I won't argue with you, but in all honesty I think Libertarians are very misguided, and that none of my positions make me a Libertarian, and I think that Libertarians have little to offer in the way of good governance, and I do not consider myself one.  I respect their innate faith in the good nature of humanity, but I reject their claim that we can return to an agrarian utopia that needs no environmental, educational, commercial, and social regulation.  I would bet that Bush feels the same way.  Since neither of us can read his mind, so let us just agree to disagree.

All Bush said is basically that "Well, that's pretty ed up."  Of course I'm paraphrasing but that's essentially what he said.  There's no inaccuracy in that statement.  It is pretty ed up, but to  up everything even more is of course our paranoid society's instinct.  Just because some assholes decided to take out the World Trade Center, I now have to arrive at the airport two hours early, remove my shoes and belt, constantly pack and unpack my laptop, get probed and prodded, and I charge myself 25 dollars for the privilege, thank you very much.  I do that because a bunch of politicians have to answer to the great unwashed masses every two years and one way to guarantee re-election is to make sure you stir them into a state of paranoia and exploit that paranoia.  Bush at least has the honesty not to stoke those flames, and yes I call it honest when a politician doesn't say, "We have to do SOMETHING."  I'm so sick of hearing that.  Every time I hear the phrase I know I can check off one less liberty.  It's very Orwellian.  

Let us recognize that it is an unfortunate situation.  We could stop selling guns to people--and if that's your point then I'd agree that we probably do have enough guns--but it won't solve the problem.  I find Bush's recognition of this fact refreshing.  I also find it refreshing that he doesn't feel the immediate need to feign outrage.  Of course, it'll cost him politically, but on some level I respect him for this.

14  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Is Bernie Sanders too liberal for the Democratic party? on: October 02, 2015, 06:41:49 pm
Voted No, by the way.

I don't really see him as being too liberal for he Democrats.  Whether he is too far left for the general election would very much depend upon whom the Republicans nominate. 
15  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Is Bernie Sanders too liberal for the Democratic party? on: October 02, 2015, 06:39:27 pm
Is he too liberal for the Democrats?  Possibly.  In the 90s Clinton dragged his party rightwards, but because of it they started to win.  Welfare-to-work might seem insensitive, but it made Democrats look responsible.  China's Most Favored Nation trading rights may seem like an environmental disaster in retrospect, but for at least a decade it made some powerful donors rich.  Democrats might consider Sanders a relic of the the 1970s.

On the other hand, the Democrats may be starting to re-examine their rightward tac starting with the 1992 primary season.  Consider the following:

1.  A gallup poll conducted two months ago produced this result (presented graphically):

2.  The "frontrunner," in positioning herself for the 2016 election, is decidedly more liberal than she and her husband once were on illegal immigration, gay marriage and incarceration.

3.  60% of Democrats regard chinese-held debt as a major problem (seattle times)

4.  Democrats in congress rejected a GOP amendment designed to protect middle-class families by shelving the national energy tax if gasoline prices hit $5 per gallon.

5.  70% of Democrats think that socialized medicine would make things better (harvard poll, 2015)

Sanders has suggested, in one form or another, a willingness to support socialized medicine, higher fuel taxes, and has long been an opponent of Nafta, China's status, and a number of other free-trade agreements.  One might argue that not only isn't he too far left for the Democrats, he might just be ahead of the curve in their return to the left.

16  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Bush asked about gun violence: "Stuff happens' on: October 02, 2015, 06:13:11 pm
It is very sad, and stuff happens.  Nothing inaccurate about that.

But hey, if we only round everyone up who has ever told an inappropriate joke or who has ever been a social misfit or been on lunch detention, and if we put them in asylums at a great expense to taxpayers so that we can be absolutely one hundred percent sure that no one ever kills anyone else again.

I'm glad that there's at least one politician who has some honesty.  Granted, he probably won't win any converts to his candidacy--democracy really is overrated, isn't it?--but on a Kantian level I appreciate his comments.

17  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Which candidate would be best on foreign policy and why. on: October 01, 2015, 11:05:20 am
Hillary ... has a leg up over Bernie, and it's an important one.

not a pretty picture
18  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of black pudding on: September 30, 2015, 09:20:45 pm
This thread reminded me of a poem I read in one of my Freshman English classes at university.  I couldn't remember the name of it, but the "black pudding" question kept tugging at my brainstrings. Today I performed a search on "first they ate the white pudding and then they ate the black" and hit the name of it.  It is Get Up and Bar the Door, an anonymous medieval scots ballad.  It is also one of the Child's pieces, which reminds me of Michener's The Drifters, which I just finished re-reading recently, and I tried to imagine Gretchen singing in her hoary voice and strumming along on her oversized spanish guitar.   Anyway, here it is:

Get Up and Bar the Door.

It fell about the Martinmas time,
And a gay time it was then,
When our goodwife got puddings to make,
And she ’s boild them in the pan.

The wind sae cauld blew south and north,
And blew into the floor;
Quoth our goodman to our goodwife,
“Gae out and bar the door.”

“My hand is in my hussyfskap,
Goodman, as ye may see;
An it shoud nae be barrd this hundred year,
It ’s no be barrd for me.”

They made a paction tween them twa,
They made it firm and sure,
That the first word whaeer shoud speak,
Shoud rise and bar the door.

Then by there came two gentlemen,
At twelve o clock at night,
And they could neither see house nor hall,
Nor coal nor candle-light.

“Now whether is this a rich man’s house,
Or whether is it a poor?”
But neer a word wad ane o them speak,
For barring of the door.

And first they ate the white puddings,
And then they ate the black;
Tho muckle thought the goodwife to hersel,
Yet neer a word she spake.

Then said the one unto the other,
“Here, man, tak ye my knife;
Do ye tak aff the auld man’s beard,
And I ’ll kiss the goodwife.”

“But there ’s nae water in the house,
And what shall we do than?”
What ails thee at the pudding-broo,
That boils into the pan?”

O up then started our goodman,
An angry man was he:
“Will ye kiss my wife before my een,
And scad me wi pudding-bree?”

Then up and started our goodwife,
Gied three skips on the floor:
“Goodman, you’ve spoken the foremost word,
Get up and bar the door.”

raw, isn't it?
19  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Which candidate would be best on foreign policy and why. on: September 30, 2015, 08:45:17 pm
Which candidate would be best on foreign policy and why.

Rand Paul on foreign policy.

Mostly for the reasons you suggest, but I'd add to that: "...you know, the 50-year embargo on Cuba hasn't worked... I mean, it punishes the people more than the regime..."

(Okay, ophthalmologists are busy people and probably don't have time to develop superb writing and grammar skills, but you get the point.)
20  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: What are the policy differences between Hillary & Bernie? (besides single-payer) on: September 30, 2015, 08:40:03 pm
I guess I'm not entirely clear on "leaves it all on the mat."  Is this a scatological reference? 
21  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Best Democratic Speaker of the House in the last 60 years? on: September 29, 2015, 07:59:19 pm
Sam Rayburn.
22  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of black pudding on: September 29, 2015, 12:27:56 pm
i used to like it, before i stopped eating pork (and i know non-pork varieties exist, i just haven't come across any)

dim sum restaurants usually have a big plate of cold duck-blood pudding, although technically it is a very dark shade of red, not black.  Often it is served with pork intestine and beef tripe, although you could probably ask them to hold the pork bits.

Voted FF.
23  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: How many sports jackets/blazers do you own? on: September 29, 2015, 12:24:31 pm
I think the "sport" in "sports jacket" is confusing some people.

sad but true.

"Blazers" isn't helping either.
24  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What Social Media Apps do you have? on: September 28, 2015, 08:22:45 pm
Among those you list, only facebook.  In fact, I have at least six facebook accounts.  (I keep forgetting the passwords, so I have to create a new one every time one of my middle-aged female friends encourage me to log on and view her offspring's prom dress or new car or latest hairstyle or the like.)

I also keep forgetting that you're meant to "like" their photos.  Apparently it's considered rude just to view it.  You have to "like" it if you want to be polite.

25  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Favorite Living Vice President on: September 28, 2015, 08:15:28 pm
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