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February 25, 2009

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This makes me happy - assuming they don't bollix it all up. I still think the better outcome would have been moving it to cable, where they would have been freer in terms of content deemed unsuitable for regular ol' TV.

Tiger Woods baby!

Oh Tobias, you blowhard!

Bob Loblaw's Law Blog!

Did Michael Cera wait too long? Isn't he getting a little old for this?

Will our own GOB be contributing to this thread?

Open thread, no politics, thanks, von!

I'm going to be working in Cambridge for the last week in March and the first week in April. Any of you Boston-area ObWi-ers want to try to get together?

They wouldn't take "not optimistic it could be done" for an answer!

"Tobias, I need you to be a mole." One of the best shaggy dog set-up stories of all time.

Please don't Strangers with Candy or Run, Ronnie, Run it (crosses fingers).

I'm not sure if this counts as no politics, but I've been itching for an open thread the last few days... What are thoughts about all the secondhand bookstores and resellers throwing out all their old children's books? I just found out about this - evidently I should have known much earlier to be useful - and, telling friends about it, I've gotten two replies from friends saying that, yes, there was an uproar there from local secondhand stores doing exactly that.

Because some children's books printed before 1985 used lead in the illustrations, there's a new regulation which is making secondhand bookstores and resellers throw out their children's books published before 1985, en masse. It's happening all over - it's a massacre. Libraries are in limbo - really they have gotten a year's reprieve in which to test their children's book collections ... using what budget I'm not sure... (and at the end of that year, it looks like either they have managed to test and they toss any that failed the test, or they toss them all indiscriminately).

Note the exact bite: the booksellers have actually been throwing the books away because the books are now actually illegal to sell or distribute... or, some of them are, and the resellers can't know which ones.

When I first saw an editorial about it I didn't check about it at all for a few days because I thought it couldn't be real, it was too loony

The debunking site Snopes had a piece about it,

http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/pending/cpsia.asp

declaring the worry "false" - and, in regard to children's books particularly, they were completely wrong... and they actually linked to two Consumer Products Safety Commission documents as if they disproved the point when they actually confirm it! The first, a clarification on the policy,

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09086.html

gives assurance that bookstores/resellers would not have to certify that all of their children's book holdings passed the lead requirements - and Snopes quotes that sentence - but the following sentences specify that they would still be held criminally responsible if books they sold did not pass the lead requirements.

The second document,

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09120.html

gives assurance that there won't be prosecution about children's books printed after 1985, even if those books should happen to turn out to contain high levels of lead. The picture about children's books printed before 1985 is unchanged!

And so used bookstores have been throwing out their collections. This leads to a situation in which old books that have not been reprinted after 1985 may be being completely lost. (The ray of hope is still library collections - but note the temporary reprieve libraries are under? And what about things that aren't in current library collections but that have still been out there - until this year?)

I am also thinking of book illustrations in some books that have been reprinted after 1985 with much crappier illustrations. Whole past periods of illustrations.

I wish I could be putting in scare examples, particular endangered books, but, the thing is - I don't know what to point at, what my memory should be barfing out, and it is getting harder to look around to find out. Like, when I look on Amazon - lo and behold, I can only see children's books printed or reprinted after 1985 now. Which makes even checking what to worry about, at least in Amazon, impossible, because I wouldn't see it, would I?

This in the absence, to my knowledge, of any findings about actual lead intake as a result of reading or handling books even if and when those books have had lead in the illustrations, or about damage to children from such lead intake, - as opposed to eating paint-chips...

... and this in the conspicuous absence of any findings about the benefit to children of reading some of the books covered.

What I've been staring at is the way the antibodies lay out here, the immune resistance. Or lack of. Like, if this were a case of censorship, people objecting to particular books, there'd be outcry ready and staffed: "They picket 400, we picket 500!" But with this, people are likely to react to this as being just the same old tendentious conservative hysteria about safety regulations. The antibodies aren't there. While this (if this can be right) is WAY broader than some people trying to get rid of certain books they don't like - this is a meat-axe across a dateline. It doesn't CARE which books.

I have been totally stunned by this - a whole branch of literature, quietly and cavalierly chopped off? We don't do that - do we?? Now and then I remember where I came from, and where I came from was shorter. And it would confirm my darkest fears about the grownups (some of which I've had as a grownup) if they (we) did a Holocaust on all the books I loved as a little kid for administrative consistency reasons about a safety threat coming from other things. Like a time-based lobotomy of the accumulated mind associated with little kids.

Look in Google News about this, about the mass discarding. And then reassure me about grown-ups: you-all here aren't going to think this is trivial, are you?

Show me the ways of the secular flesh!

I'm going to be working in Cambridge for the last week in March and the first week in April. Any of you Boston-area ObWi-ers want to try to get together?

Sounds good to me.

I actually missed Arrested Development when it ran, though my sister raved about it, so I have the pleasure of experiencing it for the first time. I've been watching it on Hulu (all episodes available, all three seasons), and I've been peeing myself it's so funny.

The cast is top to bottom accomplished farceurs, with great timing and delivery, and they're absolutely fearless.

My favorite moments have to be when they do a reallllllly raunchy joke and hold for several seconds while they wait for you, the audience, to get it.

*******************

Michael to Gob (referring to a yacht): And get the Seaward out of here

Lucille (who has just come up behind Michael, after a few seconds): I'll leave when I damn well please

*******************

Michael to Lucille (referring to the unused family cabin): Why don't you take a date?

Lucille: Oh, who'd want to go into that closed up, musty old place?

Michael (after several uncomfortable seconds): Ohhhh, the cabin!

Marry me!

I remember -- that business card almost got you arrested.

Is that true about the childrens' books? Oh. My. God.

I'm so glad my niece has our old copy of Wind in the Willows.

Michael, will you *look* at what the homosexuals have done to me now.

You can't just comb that out and reset it?

Me: I'm going to be working in Cambridge for the last week in March and the first week in April. Any of you Boston-area ObWi-ers want to try to get together?

Bernard: Sounds good to me.

My email address is

janiemat at myfairpoint.net

Let's see who all is interested....and make a plan. ;)

Cal Gal: Unfortunately it is true. I really wished that Google would allay my fears instead of burying me in confirmations. Try Google News about it.

Here's one piece about it: http://blogcritics.org/archives/2009/02/11/035548.php

I don't know whether to lean more on the danger of complete loss of some things or on (regardless) the definite loss of the possibility of kids or adults happening across them in the shelves. It is insane. And I've been hearing insanely little about it.

(But I *have* found several online forum discussions on the topic that ended almost immediately when someone found and quoted the CPSC sentence that Snopes quoted - making it sound as if that allayed the worry. The discussions end, "Oh, thanks! Whew!" That totally wrong Snopes article may have helped defuse a potential in-time outcry about this.) :o(

@Alex Russell: No, it's not trivial.

Trivial is the risk to children of ingesting lead becase some illustrations in some children's books printed before 1985 (a completely unspecified and possibly quite low percentage) contain some lead.

Even if these books were identified, if a child sat with the book all day, running hands over the illustrations and putting them in his/her mouth, day after day, it's very doubtful that the risk of damage would approach that of a child living in an old house with lead-based paint chips or living in DC with its lead-imbued tap water.

We have to hope that some of the booksellers have enough love of the books that they're storing aware some of the inventory, waiting for sanity to return.

So – is there anything better than a good burger off the grill? I mean good. Not a rush affair. At least 20% fat. Yeah you eat healthy all the time, screw that – want a juicy burger? 20% fat minimum…

Now get the grill real hot. Slap them on there. 4 minutes a side, get them off the heat at medium. Off to the side, cheese on to melt, toast the buns/English Muffins/bread on the grill. Condiments as you desire but if it does not include Mayo you just wasted your effort.

(Vegetarians may substitute … may substitute … nope, you just can’t. Sorry.)

So – is there anything better than a good burger off the grill? I mean good. Not a rush affair. At least 20% fat. Yeah you eat healthy all the time, screw that – want a juicy burger? 20% fat minimum…

I only use chuck. Screw sirloin and its lean-ass lameness.

So – is there anything better than a good burger off the grill?

i'm tempted to say a rib-eye. but it would be an exceedingly close call. i'd need at least an hour to eat them both, and a six-pack, to judge fairly.

Nell - Exactly. (When I wrote about this in my journal, a friend read it and then, she said, went and pondered this while methodically licking every page of a bunch of her old books. Notice my lack of worry.) :o)

I am definitely hoping for booksellers doing such storage; I have to hope for that - while my imagination is full of the sound of sand leaking in thousands of different places.

Some intransigence and outright defiance would be nice too, for actual pushback.

(I have just found that Amazon has notified all its resellers that they all have to comply with this law. Amazon in particular pushing back could have been huge. While this... And, as I was just reading that and thinking about it, my mom asked me whether I wanted her to save a recorded Jon Stewart with an interview with the Amazon founder, who was on talking about the Kindle. My blood pressure may have been amazing for a few minutes. What, it would have hurt Amazon to be seen standing up for children's books? Not in the long run, I'll bet...)

Any of you Boston-area ObWi-ers want to try to get together?

I'm in. Janie, I'll email you.

I only use chuck. Screw sirloin and its lean-ass lameness.

Half beef and half ground lamb for me.

i'm tempted to say a rib-eye.

Bone in, please. Just beyond rare.

Is it summer yet?

is there anything better than a good burger off the grill?

Bacon wrapped steak?

"Because some children's books printed before 1985 used lead in the illustrations, there's a new regulation which is making secondhand bookstores and resellers throw out their children's books published before 1985, en masse."

No, this is not true.

The debunking site Snopes had a piece about it,

http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/pending/cpsia.asp

declaring the worry "false" - and, in regard to children's books particularly, they were completely wrong...

No, you're wrong.

CPSC:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 6, 2009
Release #09-120

[...]

Manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers should also be aware that CPSC will:

* Not impose penalties against anyone for making, importing, distributing, or selling:

[...] an ordinary children’s book printed after 1985

Wanna hear about Mrs. Fields' cookie recipe now?

Let me partially retract: ok, although sellers aren't required to test books made prior to 1985, worried sellers may want to C their A by pulling pre-1985 books. That would be bad. And if such a regulation were actually changed so that it was enforced, that would be very bad.

But the latter hasn't happened yet. It's not unreasonable to be concerned, but there doesn't seem to be cause to panic yet.

Specifically:

The agency intends to focus its enforcement efforts on products of greatest risk and largest exposure.
I notice that most of the cites on this story tend to go back to sites such as "Ace of Spades." While the future policy of the CPSC needs to be clarified, this looks an awful lot like rightwing nutbar anti-government alarmism to me.

Russell, this may disturb you as much as it disturbs me, but we have almost identical tastes. ('Tho I slightly prefer a NY Strip just beyond rare.)

But add sweet corn to the menu. And make it August. And get me a gin and tonic to start ....

Gary: You wrote,

No, you're wrong.
[...]
Manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers should also be aware that CPSC will:
* Not impose penalties against anyone for making, importing, distributing, or selling:
[...] an ordinary children’s book printed after 1985

I specifically noted that.

As follows:The second document, http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09120.html gives assurance that there won't be prosecution about children's books printed after 1985, even if those books should happen to turn out to contain high levels of lead. The picture about children's books printed before 1985 is unchanged!

That was my point.

Then you wrote: Let me partially retract:

Partially?

ok, although sellers aren't required to test books made prior to 1985, worried sellers may want to C their A by pulling pre-1985 books. That would be bad. And if such a regulation were actually changed so that it was enforced, that would be very bad.

But the latter hasn't happened yet.

As long as you're just saying that enforcement hasn't happened yet.
If you mean resellers throwing out old children's books en masse, no, that does appear to be happening already, in a bunch of news stories I found - this not limited to editorial rants on "sites like 'Ace of Spades'", but stories in newspapers across the country - and in, as I said, my friend's home town! Amazon now not allowing any sales of pre-1985 children's books should be an indication that the effects here do not need to wait on actual enforcement, and that they are not waiting on it.

I sympathize with the "this looks an awful lot like rightwing nutbar anti-government alarmism to me"... that was my first reaction, too, because it does sound like that; it was too whacko-sounding. But this does appear to be real and already ongoing.

Gary, I hope you're right, but if so John Holbo is surprisingly susceptible to rightwing nutbar antigovernment alarmism. Since your initial "correction" had nothing to do with Alex's concerns about pre-1985 books, I'm not reassured.

And get me a gin and tonic to start ....

right. but only one, because there are multiple bottles of red wine waiting in the wings. and whiskey/whisky when that runs out.

Russell, this may disturb you as much as it disturbs me, but we have almost identical tastes.

That would not disturb me in the least.

Food longa, politics brevis.

The final test: scotch or bourbon?

Bourbon.

von, my brother. we should hang out. :)

So – is there anything better than a good burger off the grill? I mean good. Not a rush affair. At least 20% fat. Yeah you eat healthy all the time, screw that – want a juicy burger? 20% fat minimum…

How about a Moco Loco: Nice juicy boigah, egg on top and covered in gravy. No wonder Hawaiians are always so happy!

-------------------------

The quotes above, especially the ones calling Lucille a dusty old c***, are precisely why AD left me cold. The only true AD was the band!

BTW, How I Met your Mother did a joke on the C-word much better. One of the sub-plots was about a word that a male character called a female. They never specified what the word was, but they had a one-time character named Clint...

Sad: Rocky Mountain News to close Friday.

Anyone know if someone archived Andrew's blog? Who knows if they'll leave the site up...


Now you're cooking with gas lads:

Had a bone-in rib eye last night, with some garlic and peppercorns blackened to the exterior.

Bourbon

As long as it's either Woodford Reserve or, possibly, Basil Hayden's.

Could make an exception for Blanton's I suppose, though I think it's overpriced.

Bourbon…

Wow. You guys are not so bad. If you ever have the chance, swing by here.

And take a cab when you leave. ;)

Of *course* bourbon...

My favorite steak is still a filet, seared and then finished on a charcoal grille; lid on and dampers nearly all the way shut, with some wood to create a nice smoky flavor. Followed closely by marinated flank steak, thinly sliced.

Although I do occasionally have a hankering for a big T-bone.

Scotch. I won't turn up my nose at bourbon, but if given a choice I'll go Scotch single malt. Dunno whether I could say whether I prefer bourbon to Irish.

As I told OCSteve and Hilzoy in email: I've saved all of Andy's Rocky Mt. blog entries to my hard drive, and backup HD. One was missing, entitled "Not Dead Yet," which they might have pulled for inappropriateness, but it was short, and still on the front page for that month's entries, and I saved all those as well, so I have the text of that one, too. About 4-6 are missing comments, but that doesn't seem important.

If it's okay with Andy's parents, I could make time to repost them as a Blogspot blog.

"Scotch. I won't turn up my nose at bourbon, but if given a choice I'll go Scotch single malt."

I'll be with Slarti.

Thanks Gary. I was having compter issues so I appreciate it greatly.

The more people save Andy's posts at the Rocky Mt. News, though, the better. We could have an electrical problem that fries my drives. And my life isn't the most stable; I wouldn't want to be the only source of Andy's posts (although I assume his parents have also saved them). Redundancy Is Good.

Although I do occasionally have a hankering for a big T-bone.

That's actually my favorite.

As for Scotch vs. Bourbon: I'm for both, not either or.

I love me some Lagavulin (if I'm in the mood for the peaty stuff) and The Macallan otherwise. But if it's bourbon, then, as I said, Woodford and Basil.

The more people save Andy's posts at the Rocky Mt. News, though, the better.

Agreed. Thanks Gary. As I've said before, you're a mensch.

That's actually my favorite.

It's up there for me, but if I'm eating one I absolutely have to pick the bone up and get every last scrap knawed off it.

Which is hard to do in polite company, so I tend to put temptation out of reach by not having one in the first place.

"As for Scotch vs. Bourbon: I'm for both, not either or."

I'm no Bourbon hater; I used to enjoy Beam's Choice with friends, among others. I'll just take a single-malt if given a choice, most of the time.

The weird thing is that one of the very few foods in the world that I don't like is steak. I had some kind of imprinting episodes when I was a kid on choking on gristle, and bad experiences with overly chewy steak, and have never been able to get past that. I love beef just fine, so long as it's falling off the bone, or chopped, and not steak.

There aren't many other foods that I don't like: I'm not wild about anchovies, and a couple of other things. Otherwise I'm a big fan of Food: all kinds.

So I'll have a nice hamburger while you guys enjoy steak. Or maybe some nice bbq ribs?

make a steak of your choosing. then sautee some mushrooms in butter and a splash of scotch. mmm mmm good.

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