Kitchen Skipping

Sep. 20th, 2017 03:42 pm[personal profile] daily_alice
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Laptime

Sep. 19th, 2017 03:41 pm[personal profile] daily_alice
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Tia

Sep. 18th, 2017 03:40 pm[personal profile] daily_alice
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Groups vs systems

Sep. 20th, 2017 10:13 am[personal profile] dpolicar
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I am so very tired of the narrative of "We shouldn't condemn a whole group because of some bad individuals. There are good people and bad people in that group."

Here's the thing: there's a difference between a group of people and a system of people. The difference is that a system of people comprises not only the individuals, but also the social constructs that guide the behavior of those individuals... in other words, the system itself.

For example, a company isn't just a bunch of people who coincidentally happen to work on the same projects in distributed ways. A school system isn't a bunch of teachers and administrators who independently happen to work the same way. A police precinct isn't a bunch of officers who just happen to follow the same rules.

In each of these cases there are policies and guidelines and hierarchies and informal structures and so forth that shape behavior. There's a system.

And when we praise or condemn the public school system, or the police, or Microsoft, or etc. we mostly aren't praising or condemning a whole group because of some good or bad individuals. I mean, sure, those individuals exist, but they aren't the reason. We are praising/condemning a whole group because of the system that organizes it. And the larger the system we're talking about, the more true that is: when we say that democracies are more just than totalitarian states, or that capitalism is more efficient than communism, or that communism is more humane than capitalism, or various other claims along those lines, we're basically not saying anything at all about any individual.

Or at least, that's how it should be. I mean, sure, sometimes we praise or condemn a group of people just because we're applying aggregate-level stereotypes to all the individuals in that group. And in those cases the "We shouldn't condemn a whole group because of some bad individuals. There are good people and bad people in that group." narrative makes sense: we really shouldn't! Or at least, we're overwhelmingly likely to be mistaken when we do; we can draw our own ethical conclusions from there.

(I am reminded now of a friendship I broke some time back by expressing both the idea that condemning individuals because of their group affiliations is bad, and the idea that analyzing the common behaviors of individuals is the only way we can identify pathological systems, in ways that struck them as infuriatingly and relationship-endingly hypocritical.)

And sure, sometimes we make analysis errors in this space. Sometimes there's a system operating we're unaware of. Sometimes we infer the presence of systems that don't actually operate, or aren't relevant to what we're talking about. It's easy to talk about the behavior of people while ignoring the systems that shape us, and it's easy to handwave about notional systems without actually making any concrete or testable claims about whether they exist.

I'm not saying I expect us to be perfectly accurate when we describe groups and systems. But I want us to be better about acknowledging that they are two different things.

When someone condemns racism as a systemic attribute of a society, for example, there are folks who reply that no, racism is a property of individuals, end-of-story.

And in principle that can be a legitimate disagreement; if someone wants to argue that there really aren't any social systems underlying/guiding/constraining/coordinating the racist behavior of individuals, for example, that's a totally relevant argument. (Mind you, I think it's obviously false, but that's another matter.)

But usually they aren't arguing that; rather, they are simply insisting that we can only talk about individuals, because when we say that racism is also demonstrated through the systems that essentially all white people in this country participate in, we're talking about a whole group, and (all together now) "we shouldn't condemn a whole group because of some bad individuals. There are good people and bad people in that group."

And I don't know how to say all of this, or any of it, in ways that are at all useful within the conversation itself. And I watch other people trying to do it, and not getting very far either.

And I understand that often that's because other people just don't want to hear it, and in general I don't believe that there's a way to say everything that will be accepted by the person I'm talking to and that it's my job to find it. But still, I try to express myself clearly and compellingly.

So, anyway. I am so very tired of the narrative of "We shouldn't condemn a whole group because of some bad individuals. There are good people and bad people in that group."
copperbadge: (Default)
Last night, R and I watched a bunch of documentaries, including one on Willie Nelson, which referenced his smash album Red Headed Stranger.

R: In the RV park, Red Headed Stranger is the only album I feel comfortable playing over my external speaker system. It’s the only music everyone can agree they like.

Sam: Isn’t Red Headed Stranger a concept album about going on the run after murdering your family?

R: People can relate. 

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Caliban's War by James S.A. Corey

Second in the Expanse series, this volume revolves around the crisis on Ganymede, and the associated blue-eyed beastie. Entertaining adventure SF, recommended.

Far-Seer by Robert J. Sawyer

A tale of Galileo, if Galileo was a sentient dinosaur living on the moon of a tidally locked gas giant. Interesting world- and myth-building, recommended.

Winter Witch by Elaine Cunningham

Set in the world of the Pathfinder roleplaying game, this is a light fantasy about a Viking woman, an urban mage, and the icy witch who brings them together. Mildly recommended.

Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazny

Loosely similar to the movie, murderer and rapist Hell Tanner is given a chance at a clean slate if he'll ferry a plague cure across a ravaged America. It's clearly supposed to be some sort of redemption tale, but Zelazny missed the memo that some crimes don't get redemption. I honestly prefer the movie.

Venus Equilateral by George O. Smith

Fixup novel of a series of stories published in the 1940s in Astounding, revolving around a communications relay station and the scientific geniuses therein. The science is advanced and accurate for its era, but has not dated terribly well. (The problems they encounter in communicating with, and locating, spaceships were solved in much simpler ways within the author's lifetime.) By the end, the science has advanced so far that it's almost shifted genres from hard SF to morality play. Mildly recommended.
copperbadge: (Default)
Come in, please, come in. I can’t entertain you shipboard as I once could, but there is tea and plenty of food, and I understand you’ve done well for yourself at the gambling tables. I suppose I can afford to lose a little now and then. My late first husband was a wealthy man and I magnified his wealth – well, you know how.

I think there should be discipline in everything, you know, even lawlessness. When I ruled the sea and the Red Flag Fleet, no one disobeyed me. Literally. Those who did were beheaded. But, on the other hand, I think my rule was mainly benificent. Did you know I forbade those under my command to steal from villagers who supplied us? That only made sense, of course. Death was also the sentence for any assault on a female captive. One makes these laws when one grows up as I did.

I also insisted that anything taken from town or ship was to be presented, registered, and given out amongst all – oh, the original taker got a percentage, and twenty percent is better than nothing, you know. That’s how you keep a sailor happy.

My dear second husband, he also issued some laws, I suppose, but they weren’t written down or very well enforced. What were they? Who knows. What does it matter? My laws were what mattered.

Eventually, of course, it became easier just to tax the local cities than to keep sacking them. Nicer for all concerned and not so much work for us. Bureaucracy will have its day, sooner or later, always.

That is how I came to be here, you know; several years ago, after I defeated their entire Navy, the government offered amnesty to pirates. Well they might; what other option did they have? But I was wealthy, so why should I continue to work when I was no longer a criminal? It was in 1810 that I left crime behind forever and opened this little gambling house. Here I am content, you know, and I think I will be until I die. Hopefully not for a long, long time!

Oh, I am called many things. I was born Shi Xianggu, and I am called Cheng I Sao, sometimes, but mostly I am known as Ching Shih – the Widow Ching, wife of two pirates, but a pirate empress myself.

(After all, it’s Talk Like A Pirate day, not Talk Like Every Pirate day. I chose Ching Shih.)

(Also if you enjoyed this, consider dropping some spare change in my Ko-Fi!)

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[personal profile] sasha_honeypalm's musical tribute to Barbara G. Walker's (professionally published!) novel
Amazon:


Don't know much about history
Don't know much about theology
Don't know much 'bout how to write a book
Don't know how to cite the quotes I took
But I know all that I say must be true
And I know if you believed it, too
What a wonderful world this would be

Don't know much about geography
Don't know much sociology
Don't know how to understand folklore
Don't know what a reference book is for
But I do know that one god is bad
And if we'd kept the goddess we once had
What a wonderful world this would be

Now, I don't claim to be a goddess
But I'm tryin' to be
For maybe if I'm a goddess, people
You'll all worship me.

Don't know much about history
Don't know much about technology
Don't know much...


[personal profile] rosepsyche's paean to the Power of Story is also quoteworthy:

I have to call "bull" on Antiope's reasoning that art and music are inferior because they are "not alive" for another reason. No, such creations aren't living, breathing things. However (and I apologize if this gets a bit corny), the best of them can seem as if they are alive, get us invested in their characters, have us cheering about their triumphs and crying over their tragedies. They are just as valuable in their own way for their ability to entertain, to inspire, to teach, to help us grow and develop by seeing the world from a new point of view, and I don't think anyone involved in creating them would appreciate being told that their work can never compare to something that was squeezed out of a vagina.


Context sporks the world's worst Wonder Woman fanfic.

Drop Off

Sep. 12th, 2017 01:44 pm[personal profile] daily_alice
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(A comment from another discussion)

I acknowledge, of course, that we are all imperfect humans, and what an individual officer does in a specfic situation is always the result of a million variables that are impossible to predict and often impossible to determine after the fact.

That's why I tend to focus more on training and evaluation protocols than on specific events. It's unjust to expect officers to do X in a sitution if they've been trained to do Y, but it's perfectly reasonable to expect officers to be trained to do X if we prefer that they do X in a situation.

I would prefer that police be trained and evaluated as peacekeepers rather than killers. So I would prefer, for example, they be trained and expected to identify situations that don't require a death, and to act so as to not create a death where none is required.

That said, how police are trained and evaluated is a collective decision, and if we collectively prefer police to choose deaths that aren't required -- for example, if we prefer to train and equip police as military officers who happen to deploy among civilian populations -- then that's how we should train and evaluate them, regardless of my preferences. That's part of the price I pay for living in a collective.

If police _are_ trained to choose unnecessary deaths, we should (individually and collectively) treat calling the police, permitting them into our homes, and otherwise making use of their services as a use of deadly force. Consequently, if we don't individually endorse the use of deadly force in those situations, we should not call the police, any more than we would fire a gun.

Those are individual decisions, not collective ones, and it's perfectly reasonable to hold one another as individuals accountable for them.

I acknowledge that this means that individuals who eschew deadly force in a situation may find themselves in conflict with any police who may arrive. I don't like this, and I don't endorse it, but I acknowledge it.

(no subject)

Sep. 18th, 2017 07:45 am[personal profile] copperbadge
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Before we start, a quick note because I've had a handful of issues with this lately -- if you want to bring a cause to my attention the best way to go about it is to fill out the Radio Free Monday form (also linked from the sidebar of my tumblr page). It's not just that I might not see a post tagged to me or that it saves me a ton of time, but also that it makes sure I get the information I need to describe the situation, link the appropriate pages, and name and gender people correctly.

The form doesn't ask many questions, doesn't pull any metadata (literally it doesn't even record the date you entered the information), and is as anonymous as you want it to be -- there are options for complete or partial anonymity for the person submitting the item.

Ways To Give:

[tumblr.com profile] prismatic-bell linked to a fundraiser for Congregation Beth Yeshurun and their attached day school, which were flooded by Hurricane Harvey, which hit two Jewish neighborhoods in Houston especially hard. The families are currently attending Temple Brith Israel, and the children from the day school have had to scatter among several schools temporarily. You can read more about the damage here, reblog here, give directly to the rebuilding fund, or purchase toys and learning materials or replacement books for the school directly through Amazon.

[tumblr.com profile] reesa-chan is preparing for surgery and gathering supplies to make recovery go as smoothly as possible, but they're coming up short on a few things and surgery is looming. They have a Amazon Wishlist available here and have their paypal giving page here.

Anon linked to a fundraiser for [tumblr.com profile] poplitealqueen, who is trying to help her mother get some experimental medical treatment which might allow her mobility without the use of a wheelchair. You can read more and reblog here (including links at the top to Patreon and Ko-fi) or give directly to their Ko-Fi here.

[tumblr.com profile] quinfirefrorefiddle linked to a fundraiser for [tumblr.com profile] niines9s, who is trying to escape an abusive home and needs funding for housing after graduation. They are offering commissions and also taking donations; you can read more, reblog, and find paypal information at their post.

Anon linked to news about a Christian group, Faithfully LGBT, who are fundraising to aid transgender people with gender-confirming surgeries as a way of atoning for religious discrimination against transgender people. You can read and reblog the story here or give directly to the Tithe Campaign here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

News To Know:

Anon linked to a post called Saving Your Grades From A Mental Health Crisis, which is about what to do if you're in college and dealing with mental illness.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
siderea: (Default)
(h/t Metafilter)

This link should take you to the audio player for The Moth, cued to a story, "Who Can You Trust", 12 minutes long.

The Moth, if you didn't know, is an organization that supports storytelling – solo spoken word prose – true stories. This story is told by Dr. Mary-Clare King, the discoverer of BRC1. It concerns a most extraordinary week in her life, when pretty much everything went absurdly wrong and right at all once. It is by turns appalling and amazing and touching and throughout hilarious.

It's worth hearing her tell herself before the live audience. But if you prefer transcript, that's here – but even the link is a spoiler.

Recommended.

Anniversary Dinner at O Ya

Sep. 16th, 2017 09:19 pm[personal profile] lillibet
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Today was the twentieth anniversary of our first date and our seventeenth wedding anniversary, so Jason booked us an early dinner at O Ya. We've been there twice before. The first time we had the omakase (chef's whim) of seventeen courses, just to see what they were about. The second time we sort of wanted to order a la carte, but their menu is extensive and the portions are small and trying to figure out a dozen or more courses on the fly seemed overwhelming. So this time I sat down with their online menu several days in advance and made notes on what we wanted, not really a solid plan, but enough so that we were able to come up with an order on the fly. Here's what we ended up with:

KUMAMOTO OYSTER watermelon pearls, cucumber mignonette

ORA KING SALMON Vietnamese dashi caramel, spicy rau ram salsa

BLUEFIN MAGURO Republic of Georgia herb sauce

SANTA BARBARA UNI TOAST "NIGIRI" smoked trout roe, truffle honey

HAMACHI TARTARE ginger verjus sauce, spiced chile oil

WARM EEL Thai basil, kabayaki, fresh kyoto sansh

BLUEFIN TORO TARTARE ginger kimchee jus

LOCAL SHRIMP TEMPURA bacon truffle emulsion, scallion ginger oil

MARTHA'S VINEYARD SMOKED BLUEFISH rainbow trout roe, wasabi vinaigrette, micro celery

AVOCADO TEMPURA kabayaki, truffle salt, yuzu zest

CHICKEN BROTH foie gras shumai, Tokyo leek, shitake

WAGYU TSUKUNE 2 oz., confit egg yolk, green onion, dried mushroom

CRISPY PORK BELLY Akashi glaze, celery root purée

We declined to order dessert, but they decided that our anniversary merited something sweet, so they gave us coconut tapioca with lime granita and yuzu sesame dice and moshi donuts with jasmine caramel dipping sauce.

We decided that the next time we go--in another few years--we will concentrate more on the nigiri portion of the menu, because those were our favorites, but everything was delicious and fascinating and special.
copperbadge: (Default)
Wow, you guys, the me of 2014 was such a good bro, he bought an extra three years of premium-level warranty coverage on his laptop.

I wasn’t even looking for whether I was still covered by warranty, I just assumed I wasn’t, but I went to Dell’s website to get the model number of my laptop so I could look up how to open it up properly and fix the terrible groaning noise my fan is making. And Dell was like hey, here’s your model number, also your warranty is good through June of 2018. 

I’m still gonna try to open it up and fix the fan myself, but if I can’t, I can send it in and get the fan fixed AND get a repair on the housing that’s starting to crack. 

Good job, 2014 Sam. You had no idea the crazy shit that was ahead of you but by god you knew you’d need three years of warranty. You and me, buddy, we’re fucking killing it in the adulting department lately. 

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Me: R’s in town this weekend so we may meet up.

Mum: Send me a picture of you and R when you’re hanging out!

Me: Not sure when it’ll be yet but I’ll do my best. It’s a little uncertain right now.

Mum: If it were certain, I’d be worried it wasn’t really R.

She knows us both so well. 

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Cake or Death?

Sep. 15th, 2017 03:58 am[personal profile] earthling177
earthling177: (Glasses)
Garry Kasparov / The Resistance said:

"The American democratic awakening spurred by resistance to Trump will be short-lived and ineffective if more people don't vote.

Nearly 100 million Americans didn't vote for president in 2016. Trump won with just 26% of the eligible vote. That is a crisis level.

Apathy is self-censorship and it concedes power. Treat your democratic rights like duties. They will weaken and be lost if you do not."

Ailsa Cunningham Ek said:

"Problem is, we need greater citizen input into the primaries first. Closed primaries are undemocratic. Superdelegates are super undemocratic. The election shouldn't be a choice between two incredibly unpalatable individuals selected by someone else, or if they want to be able to pick them for us, we need a "None of the above" option.

Come downtown to stand in line for hours to choose between being kicked in the balls or shot in the head. Bugger that, I'm not going to *ask* to be kicked in the balls. If so few people volunteer to be kicked in the balls that we all end up shot in the head instead, among other things it says something about people's desire to be kicked in the balls, and maybe, just maybe, if we had listened to everyone's opinions on the matter, we might have had different options."

To which David Policar responded:

"Given a choice between being shot in the head and not shot in the head, I choose not being shot in the head.

Sure, I'd rather choose not being shot in the head and eating cherry pie than not being shot in the head and being kicked in the balls. Absolutely. No question.

But either way I choose not being shot in the head."

Well, I guess the ones who know me probably can predict what's coming, but for the benefit of folks who do not know me very well, here it goes...

I would like not only to agree with David Policar, but add to it: the results of the last election basically convinced me that for now, the *best* thing we can do is to close the primaries: if you want to vote in the primary, register for the party you want to win; I think that many people did in this election what they've done in many many many previous elections -- they wanted party A to win, so they gave up voting in their own primary and went across the isle to vote in party B's primary for a candidate so unpopular that they thought *no one* would vote for them and then stay home.

What they forgot is that Liberals fall in love, and if their favorite candidate did not win the primary, they do everything (fail to vote, vote 3rd party, write-in their favorite etc) but vote for the one who won the primary. Meanwhile, Conservatives fall in line, they hem and haw about how awful so-and-so is, but you will notice they vote for so-and-so *anyway*.

That's how we got Bush I, Bush II and now Trump.

Do you remember when a candidate could lose just for flip-flopping? Or for lying about something? Or refused to serve in times or war? Or for being perceived as nasty to women, or having an affair, or for even showing sympathies for Russia?

Can you honestly show me *one*, just one wrong thing from the immense list of "candidates that did this do not win" that Trump has not checked? I am under the impression that he personally went and "checked" every single box in the "this is not a good candidate if..." list and he *won* *anyway*, because for decades now, there are about 30% of registered Republicans, and they *all* vote, so they win even if there are over 50% registered democrats.

Please tell us honestly: if this were any kind of game (D&D, videogame, *any* game), do you think Republicans with such bad candidates would have won so very often if it depended on random chance? Worse yet, if over 50% of the players were D and barely 30% of the players were R, wouldn't you expect D to win almost all the time if it depended on simple voting?

People say they didn't vote this time because the Clinton wasn't leftist enough, or progressive enough, or because they wanted to "teach the Democratic Party to select better candidates". Among other things.

Well, guess what, you can't teach an organization to select a "better candidate" unless *you* vote for the better candidate, otherwise, the only data that the Democratic Party will add to their already large amounts of data is that "the American public likes extreme-right candidates, in the future, if we want to win, we need to offer someone more like Trump than more like Sanders, Clinton or Warren". *That's* what they learn, and that's why over the last 50 years the politics in America has moved so far to the right that Clinton and Obama are considered "centrists" and Sanders is consider "left wing" -- I want you to appreciate that by all we know, Sanders is a right wing guy compared to Nixon, who, despite being the extreme right of his time, would appear to be completely pinko-communist today; if you are not aware, Nixon tried to have this country pass laws for affordable college, universal health care *and* Universal Basic Income. In fact, Nixon tried for Universal Basic Income *twice* and it nearly passed, but Republicans and Democrats couldn't agree on the yearly *salary*.

Meanwhile, I'd describe the situation that you described as "shot in the head or kicked in the balls" a bit differently.

I'd say Bernie's and Hillary's platforms/agendas were so *close* that we couldn't insert a vacuum cleaner crevice attachment in between them. I remember many years ago, I got my rental car in the airport in Omaha NE, this was before simple people like me could have GPS, and I made one wrong turn and ended up across the river in Iowa, luckily all I had to do was turn around and I was where I needed to be again.

So anyway, I felt like we were in Chicago and Bernie offered us to go to Iowa and Hillary offered us to go to Nebraska, or vice-versa. But, they both said, "eventually our goal is to end up in San Francisco". Instead, people kept bitching about how the destination couldn't possibly be Nebraska or Iowa, even if just for 4 years, because the *only* good places are on the West Coast, and "if they can't pick California, we won't go, just to teach them a lesson!"

Well, now we are lost halfway in the Atlantic Ocean, because, despite the fact it was *obvious* that Sander's and Clinton's platform were a millimeter apart and their platforms were 10 miles to the left of Trump's, people thought they "could walk back" the 10 miles after 4 years. To teach the Democrats a lesson. Now you are, with the rest of us, over 1,000 miles *off* course, because the idiotic president currently there doesn't even know how to serve food at the soup kitchens he visited for hurricane relief.

And no, I am not blaming you personally. I'm super pissed off at my own people who think they'd keep their souls pure and their hands clean if they didn't vote for Clinton.

Well, if you ask the rest of the world, they do not make this differentiation -- they think *all* Americans are to blame for Trump. Any crap that he starts internationally *will* be a stain on our personal and collective souls.

With all that in mind, I humbly ask you to please stop repeating Soviet Russia Propaganda designed to divide the progressives. About 2 centuries ago there were not even "primaries" -- the parties put out their candidates and you voted in the general election. *All* coalition building currently happens at the primaries in US and, if you want to influence the candidates for the general, vote in the primary. All this "closed primaries are not democratic" and "super delegates are not democratic" are *all* propaganda straight from Putin's hands. The Republicans *wished* they had super delegates, they could have gotten rid of Trump no problem that way. Notice that the Republican Party per se could have just voted for completely new rules and just said "we don't like Trump, the second winner is the candidate *this* time around", which is even less democratic than well, the Democratic super delegates.

My point, and I do have one, is that *anyone* and *anything* the Democrats could have offered this time was better than Trump and we *knew* it: Bernie, Clinton, a prairie dog or a baked potato. It doesn't take a genius IQ to get to that conclusion, but we, collectively, decided it was better to bet the country on the guy who got us lost in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and about to start a nuclear war, because we didn't want to be the ones to be blamed for a brief stop over in Iowa or Nebraska on our way to California.

If we can't recognize that we were not being invited to sleep with Clinton or Bernie or even just have dinner with them, we did not have to *like* them at all, they are just the president that was going to be *much* better than Trump even if not ideal, do we even deserve a chance to get better as a country?

If we can't recognize that Clinton was *right* about all that she warned us about Trump, and that he's been doing everything she told us about -- if we can't recognize that she *knew* more than we did -- do we really deserve to get better and do we really have a leg to stand on asking other countries not to laugh at us?

I hope most agree with me those are much more serious things to think about than "shot in the head" vs "kick in the balls".

Also, despite some thinking that Clinton was unpalatable, I say I've heard that lots of dishes are an acquired taste. But Trump is a metric ton of manure, and I've never heard anyone claim they like or even tolerate eating manure.

Peace,
   -- Paulo.
mangosteen: (Default)
Things I say non-ironically: “I’m used to occupying a weird spot in the corporate realpolitik orgchart… the big open spot in right-center field where the outfielders aren’t because someone read the play wrong.”

More on that later, but I wanted to get the thought out.
siderea: (Default)
I have a recollection of hearing a filk song, I think from a tape, that had a climactic line or repeated like in the refrain, to the effect of "And that's what cities get from trains". I have an impression it was a Leslie Fish song, but I don't know that for sure.

Not having any joy of google. Does anybody recognize it?

[personal profile] pink_halen on eggs and cages

Sep. 12th, 2017 11:01 am[personal profile] conuly posting in [community profile] metaquotes
conuly: (Default)
It seems that Starbucks is offering sandwiches with Cage Free Egg Whites. Personally, I never keep my egg whites in cages. Usually keeping them in their shells works just fine.

Context is free-range.

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