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October 16, 2009

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Boston-area Obsidian Wingers (?) -- 5 or 6 of us have gotten together a couple of times in the past year for dinner and great conversation.

We're planning to do so again on the evening of Weds., October 28. Details to follow about how to get in touch for date, time, and venue.

Balloon-boy - awesome hoax or not?

I saw him interviewed, he showed how he does it, great quote "You have to have really soft hands".

JanieM,

I don't know, would I survive? or even be welcome.....

Marty, you would be very welcome, you would definitel survive, and I would be willing to bed that you would even have a good time!!!

We're going to generate some kind of email account soon, so keep an eye on this thread for an address to write to.

Oh good lord ... I'm in too much of a hurry.

definitl -> definitely

bed -> bet

More to come.

bed -> bet

I'm glad you clarified that; I was starting to think that you might be taking bipartisanship a little too far .....

bed -> bet

I was gonna say, that IS quite the welcome.


Ugh: I don't think the Ballon Boy (mis)adventure was a hoax.

However, given the family's fascination with the spotlight and having so much of their life on camera, the whole thing makes for a remarkable coincidence.

I just don't think the father's tears and joy upon knowing his boy was alive was a product of acting -- it would be some really great acting.

If it was a hoax, that would be really sad and call into question the fitness of the parents.

"bed -> bet

I'm glad you clarified that; I was starting to think that you might be taking bipartisanship a little too far ....."

I didn't even get back to read it before the correction and comments so, thanks, I'll watch the thread.

Marty, come on down!

Marty,

What Janie said. I hope you can make it; I look forward to meeting you. And don't worry: flaming liberalism is not contagious:)

--TP

I'm leaning slightly toward "hoax" (or possibly "hoax that got out of hand"), mostly because of the two appearances on Wife Swap and the other instances of attention seeking (and because I'm a bitter old man). But I very much hope I'm wrong. That would be even worse than putting your kids on Wife Swap.

Tony,

I have lived in MA for a number of years, that proves it isn't contagious. Although I do find myself at OBWi...hmmmmm. :)

flaming liberalism is not contagious

I wish.

"That would be even worse than putting your kids on Wife Swap."

Parenting is an art not a science, but it irks me to see parents using their kids as props or pawns.

If only ice hockey bore any relation whatsoever to any skill useful anywhere below the Medicine Line.

Obsidian Wings Boston Chapter now has an official email address.

It's ObwiBoston at gmail. Send an email if you'd like to join the dinner and we'll get the relevant info to you.

One of the LG&Mers cries hoax and gives 5 reasons.

I want publius to explain whether this thing about secret copyright treaty seen by 42 people is really performance art or satire or something.

Parenting is an art not a science, but it irks me to see parents using their kids as props or pawns.

Because it's also neither a performance nor a board game.

Open thread? As good a time as any to mention that I'm soon to join the ranks of the unemployed. I spend enough time hanging out here (which was not the issue), that I feel I am among friends, so I wanted to let you know.

For the same reason, let me ask if anyone happens to know of a firm or governmental entity in King County or Snohomish County, Washington that may need a slightly-used litigator with broad experience and mad writing skilz. If you do, please let me know.

Crafty, if you hurry you can be another totally unqualified candidate for mayor.

Unless, of course, you actually are qualified. In which case you're not qualified.

Crafty and Sidereal, we appear to the the West Coast reps tonight. I live on an island down by Sheltonn.

I'm very sorry about your job, Crafty.

I found a recipe for chocolate cake I had been planning to send to a friend who needs to make a cake for 40 people for next Wednesday, but I had forgotten (because I am a bi-national baker) that this recipe gives quantities in US measuring cups, and the reason she particularly wanted a reliable and expandable recipe was so that she would know what quantity of ingredients she would have to buy.

Oh well. Anyone here want a recipe for chocolate cake for 40 people?

One more reason all those old units should be retired, Jes! Surely if the US Went Metric, and started to get rid of a huge market for cup measures and cookbooks that use them, we'd get a start on getting all those old recipes converted, and be done in a generation or two, even affecting you folks across the pond? And now is the perfect time - the Black Helicopter paranoids are already so worked up about President Obama that surely Going Metric now won't make any difference to their level of perpetual outrage?

(On the other hand, maybe there's already been enough violence from the extremist right, and Going Metric would push the rest of them over the edge).

I just know that as someone who learned to cook after taking Organic Chemistry, and spends all day in a lab, I hate all these arbitrary English units we use in everyday life here in the US. Why should any reasonable person know how to convert tablespoons to teaspoons? What is the point of 5280-foot-statute miles (not to mention also having a 6076.12 foot nautical mile, which at least is more useful as it's also a minute of latitude)?

P.S. The incredible thing is that some Americans actually use the old-fashioned English units not only in everyday life, but even in technical applications. I remember in particular one of the automated Mars missions that crashed because one contractor used metric units and another contractor used English units. The revelation quite boggled my mind - though it did result in a good Ruben Bolling cartoon.

Boston-area Obsidian Wingers,

I send my regards, sorry I can't be there.

Sorry Warren, but we cannot change to a modern system of measurement because that would require every upstanding American kitchen denizen to buy drug paraphernalia. You know those kitchen scales are only designed to measure weed and have no other valid use when measuring cups are available.

Hey, in that clip they used "Nutty," the old WSBK theme to Bruins telecasts. Really took me back. As did this old time hockey clip (where Terry O'Reilly (of course) goes into the stands at MSG).

Crafty: Welcome. I joined the ranks last Monday, although I'm more of a regulatory specialist and I'm found a few hundred miles south in Long Beach, CA. I recommend rescuing a puppy from a shelter. The mad love and need for constant attention is a very nice way to fill the day.

Warren: When I was in RN school in the '90s, they made us learn drug calculations in not only metric units and English units but also the "apothecary system", which has fun archaic units like grains and drams... because apparently there are still some crusty old doctors who will write prescriptions that way and you never know when you'll get one.

Jes,

Can you convert? Measure out the ingredients and then put them on the scales?

I've done some of that from time to time, so I know, for instance, that 3 cups of flour is about 400g, and that 1 cup of granulated sugar is about 200g.

(The other thing to watch out for is different kinds of sugar...American granulated sugar is more like caster sugar than it is like British granulated sugar.)

Also, for oven temperature conversions, gas mark 4 = 350° F = 180 C. Each gas mark represents 25° F or 10 C.

Warren Terra, as a matter of fact I quite like the US system of measuring cake and scone ingredients in cups - because with baking what matters is getting the proportions right, it's actually more efficient in making good cakes, scones, and cookies than a dodgy old set of scales.

(A beautiful balance scale where you can weigh flour, butter, and sugar in one balance against the weight of the eggs you plan to use in another is even more efficient, but the only way to get a really good set of scales is to inherit them from an elderly and meticulous relative.)

I may have to lend my friend my Canadian measuring cups, though.

Von, I like the looks of your favorite watering hole. One of my favorite watering holes, a similar place, is closed indefinitely, so I'm jealous now. (Creating a link wasn't working for me, so I just pasted the URL below.)

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/local/56301197.html

Good luck, Crafty and (TO) Francis.

Puppies aren't for everyone, of course, but Francis is so right about a dog's theraputic value.

The companionship of a dog is a wonderful thing. That's why I would not rule out adopting an older dog. They need lovin' too, and you'll be rewarded with their sixth sense that you saved them.

Meanwhile, if anybody needs a good cry, and that can be theraputic, too, I'd recommend "Marley and Me."

We saw it last Saturday for the second time, this time on HBO. And we laughed -- and cried -- more than the first time.
There are wonderful family dynamics in that movie.

P.S. Does anyone else on the East Coast find this weather depressing? It's way too early to be roughed up by a Nor'easter that is spoiling what is normally a great time of the year.

P.S. Does anyone else on the East Coast find this weather depressing? It's way too early to be roughed up by a Nor'easter that is spoiling what is normally a great time of the year.

Yes. Rain for days on end with temperatures in the mid-forties is not normal mid-October weather. We can save that for late November and early December. I want my clear, sunny 60 degrees back...now. And I want my kid playing some damned soccer on Saturday morning.

hairshirthedonist: At least most of this will clear up for Game 3 of Dodgers-Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

I can take leaving L.A. with the series at 1-1, but yesterday's train wreck of an eighth inning certainly was maddening.

Mostly, I hate that the Phillies wasted a gem by Pedro, who probably only has so many of them left.

I no longer attempt to analyze Charlie Manuel's moves because he is so unorthodox -- and because so much of the craziness he employs works. Yesterday, it didn't.

Great series so far and the Dodgers are certainly more dangerous than last year.

Food CONVERSON Calculators ..

solids, liquids, etc...

bedtimeforbonzo: "I can take leaving L.A. with the series at 1-1, but yesterday's train wreck of an eighth inning certainly was maddening."

An error: a walk with the bases loaded: not so much a train wreck, as a 'nobel prize' un-earned gift: but we'll take it, not as 'recognition of Dodoger accomplishments' but rather as an affirmation of Philly fielding ineptitude under pressure (tho not as bad as the sloppy 3-error Angels in their game with the Yankees yesterday, at Yankee Statium the North Pole.

30 seconds of Googling found this site, which will convert almost any unit of measure to almost any other unit of measure.

Since this is an open thread I wanted to express my support for the cash for golf carts stimulus explained here

I no longer attempt to analyze Charlie Manuel's moves because he is so unorthodox -- and because so much of the craziness he employs works. Yesterday, it didn't.

I know what you mean. In game 1, he left Madsen in for what seemed to be an eternity. And yesterday, he pulled Park to put Madsen in, prematurely in my opinion. I can't figure out why he'll let one pitcher get hammered and yank another at the first sign of trouble - even when the trouble was more a matter of fielding than pitching. But I agree about coming out of LA 1-1. It's now a 5-game series with home-field advantage to Philly.

the sloppy 3-error Angels in their game with the Yankees yesterday

And that doesn't count Matsui's infield "hit." I suspect the cold weather affected the Angels' play. They looked like a bad team, though Sabathia will do that to you, cold weather or not.

"I suspect the cold weather affected the Angels' play."

With all those cold weather face-coverings it looked like a Ninja war ... and I expected to see reindeer running across the outfield, and bearded guys in red suits umpiring the base paths...

Von, I like the looks of your favorite watering hole. One of my favorite watering holes, a similar place, is closed indefinitely, so I'm jealous now. (Creating a link wasn't working for me, so I just pasted the URL below.)

Aside from the bit where a couple folks died, that looks like a swell joint.

For those of you who take a trip to Naptown, keep in mind that the restaurant scene is sparse. It was a hard fall in that department when we moved to Indy from Chicago. There are only three restaurants that are arguably worth a foodie's time:

1. The Brugge, in Broadripple, a college-town like Indy neighborhood.

2. R Bistro, on the far end of Mass. Ave., at the edge of what passes for the theatre district.

3. St. Elmo's, downtown, but not for the food (it's a steakhouse, and there are several chain steakhouses within walking distance that do it better). St Elmo's is an institution: Kinda like Peter Lugar in New York, but with an extra side of powerbroking (and, at one time, cigar smoke: Indy's smoke-filled back room serves tenderloins).

That's not to say that there aren't other spots to get a good meal (Oceanaire, a small chain, is good; Oakley's Bistro is good; Scholar's Inn is good; Mama Carrolla's is good). But all these places are "big-city standard": that is, they serve fare that can be (and is) roughly duplicated in any big city anywhere in the US.

BTW, any readers in Grand Rapids? Because I'm up there a bit and I'm tired at eating at hotels.

Warren Terra, as a matter of fact I quite like the US system of measuring cake and scone ingredients in cups - because with baking what matters is getting the proportions right, it's actually more efficient in making good cakes, scones, and cookies than a dodgy old set of scales.
Huh. I've never seen recipes in metric, so I had no idea that where recipes in English units use volumetric measurements, recipes in metric units use weights. I'd assumed the recipes used cooking measures much like the ones I'm familiar with (Tbsp, 1/4 cup, etcetera), but in ml's rather than in arbitrarily interconverting units.

Any so-called conversion site that can't turn acre-feet annually into miner's inches (both northern california and southern california) is useless, i tell you, just useless!

(heh)

Warren:

Normally, I'd be all in favor of going metric, with a couple of exceptions:

- The metric system has no good size for a milk jug. "Honey, I'll be back in a minute, I just have to run out and buy a 3.785-liter jug of milk!" Actually, that's true for most potable liquid conveyances.
- Celsius sucks for non-technical applications.

@tgirsch: I don't know... When I was living in France, I really liked the six-pack of 1 liter milk cubes. They were ultra pasteurized, so you keep five of them in an kitchen cabinet and only one in the fridge. When the one if the fridge starts getting low, you put a new one in to start to chill. It's a great system.

I liked Marley and Me and I did cry at the end.

Puppies are cute but I prefer old dogs. I went to volunteer at the dog shelter today and got good news, old Goldie has been adopted. She spent years tied up in a yard with nothing for shelter but a tree. Oner of the volunteers used to drive by every day and see her hunkered down, just a pile of fur. Her chain was only a few feet long. Her food was gthrown on the ground, not even put iin a dish. One day the volunteer just couldn't stand it any more so she marched up to the door and offered the owner fifty bucks for Goldie. Goldie has been at the rescue kennel for a couple months. She is very sweet, very good natured but her fur was in bad shape and she is old. However she went home today with an older couple. I saw her smiling face in the window of the back seat as they drove off. Olders dogs are very appreciative of kindness. Our Jody who lived on a chain outside for three years is almost a pest with her attention seeking behavior. She's trying to get inot my lap right now.

When I was living in France, I really liked the six-pack of 1 liter milk cubes. They were ultra pasteurized, so you keep five of them in an kitchen cabinet and only one in the fridge. When the one if the fridge starts getting low, you put a new one in to start to chill. It's a great system.

Yes, but European milk tastes funny.

19.85, Francis, because no one really cares about those wimpy SoCal inches.

(Oops, wrong number. I'll just go with 20. For the rest of you, 20 Montana miners inches -- which are the same size as a NorCal MI -- for 24 hours gives you an acre-foot. Well, maybe just a hair less than an acre foot.)

Huh. I've never seen recipes in metric, so I had no idea that where recipes in English units use volumetric measurements, recipes in metric units use weights.

Which is one reason why conversion is hard. How many cups is a kilogram of marshmallows? Large or small ones?

FWIW, weights are a much more accurate way to do recipes than volumetric. Especially with ingredients like flour that can be compacted.

wonkie: It's always lovely to hear of neglected animals finding new homes where they'll be loved as they deserve. Cheers for the volunteer who rescued Goldie.

I wrote up the story of how my older cat found her home with me for a cat website: Bob finds her home. (It's told as from the cat's point of view, so sweetness-overload warning.)

weights are a much more accurate way to do recipes than volumetric. Especially with ingredients like flour that can be compacted.

One pet peeve about recipes is when they specify something like "one cup of chopped onions." Give me the weight and I can figure out how much onion to chop.

'One pet peeve about recipes is when they specify something like "one cup of chopped onions." '

or when they specify one 'medium' size onion.

Or 3 cloves of garlic.

Or a 'pinch' of red pepper.

All of which vary in size considerably.

"Celsius sucks for non-technical applications."

?

Are you thinking of Kelvin? Metric countries don't use Kelvin for temperature.

If you really are thinking of Celsius, how does it suck any less than Fahrenheit? At least with Celsius you have two good, commonly-encountered reference points: the freezing and boiling points of water.

"Yes, but European milk tastes funny."

Ultra-pasteurized milk sure tastes funny. It's convenient if you don't have a big fridge, but it's otherwise no substitute for fresh milk.

There's a slight flavor difference between fresh milk in the UK and the US, but the main difference is that the milk in the UK is (or used to be - I think this has changed lately) non-homogenized. Which means if you were the first to the fridge with a new container of milk, you could take all the cream and leave everyone else with the thin stuff. Not that I would ever do that, as that would be wrong.

Which means if you were the first to the fridge with a new container of milk, you could take all the cream and leave everyone else with the thin stuff. Not that I would ever do that, as that would be wrong.

Nonsense. You would be doing the others a favor by making their milk more healthful. Self-sacrifice of the highest order.

"Nonsense. You would be doing the others a favor by making their milk more healthful. Self-sacrifice of the highest order."

cheeseburger. Cheeseburger.
CHEESEBURGER!!!!!

Pepsi?

No, Coke. We change it.

Ccarp: You, sir, are awesome.

I'm happy for Bob, Jes. I hope she's curled up on the couch right now. Thanks for the story.

I hope she's curled up on the couch right now.

On the black felt blanket at the foot of my bed, actually. :-D

Three cheers for Goldie and the old people who adopted her -- and the volunteer who rescued her!

Since my wife and I don't go to the movies, my movie-watching is dated. That said, I wanted to say "Slumdog Millionaire" -- it premiered on HBO on Saturday night -- was the best movie I have seen in a long, long time. Definitely worth of a Best Picture Oscar.

I will never forget the outhouse scene and little Jamil's determination -- that's all I'll say because I am sure others may not have seen this great movie.

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