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Askville is sending me a $10 gift card to replace the "gold" I'd earned on their site. They've apparently made major revisions. Not sure what to think of that. Should I reconsider them?
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This topic bothers me, but I have a hard time not replying to this sort of question.

"Do you approve of our government using predator aircraft to strike at terrorist targets?"

Oh hell, I assume that this is political.
Read more... )
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This question was obviously inspired by the "lovee" question I wrote about a minute ago.

"Is anyone else concerned with how today's youth can't spell and don't know grammar or simple capitalization/punctuation?"

The problem is our educational system and our culture. Television bears a large share of the blame, for sure. So do parents...and, I suspect, the popularity of divorce (although I think that's probably a reflection of the decay of our culture as a whole).

America has been a bastion of anti-intellectualism for many decades now. That's ironic, when you consider that we were founded by intellectuals - brilliant men, all of them.

As far as eduction goes, I suspect that a key element of the problem is school funding. It's profoundly unfair for school funding to be based on local property taxes, as it so often is. It virtually guarantees that the children of the poor will receive inferior educations, and that goes against the whole idea of fairness in America. True, an exceptional teacher or administrator can sometimes provide a great education to students even with very few resources - but that's the exception, not the rule.

Level funding for all schools should be mandatory, and it should NOT be based on the wealth of the specific community. Every American should receive the best education possible.

I have to admit that on World of Warcraft, it bugs me when almost everyone uses textspeak. Even things like saying "grats" instead of "Congratulations!" annoy me. So I make a particular effort to use proper English.

Of course, that sometimes means that I stand there and let my companions get killed while I'm, I'm kidding, I wait for the right moment and I type pretty fast.
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Someone asked "why doesz lovee huuurt?". Oh, hell, I'm going to post their entire question because the spelling is so insane:
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Someone asked "What is the last book you RE-read?"

I re-read all the time. I'm currently reading The Fellowship of the Ring out loud to my son. It's around the 40th time I've read it, but it's the first time I've read it aloud.

I re-read The Lord of the Rings more than any other book, perhaps twice a year. Every time I get something new out of it. I consider myself very lucky in that I can re-read my favorites and enjoy them just as much as the first time, if not more!

Others that I re-read often include Kim by Rudyard Kipling, Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny, A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, I, Claudius by Robert Graves, The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle, and Shogun by James Clavell. Among many, many others. I re-read them every six to twelve months. I generally save Shogun for long trips, because it's so huge.

The most recent non-favorites I've re-read were The Still Small Voice of Trumpets by Lloyd Biggle, Jr., and The Escape Orbit by James White. It's been at least three years since I'd read either. I liked The Still Small Voice of Trumpets very much; Biggle brought art and culture to science fiction, and that's very refreshing. The Escape Orbit strikes me as one of White's lesser (and probably earlier) works, but it's still enjoyable, entertaining, and thought-provoking.
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I suppose this could be considered political, so on with the political chastity belt again! (Read more) )
You think 79% is high? The effective annual interest on many payday-loan-store loans is over 800%.
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A rare non-political question on Askville. I asked it myself.

"Should the Askville Team have a regular weekly DB to discuss the state of the site with Askville users?"

Would that be a good thing for the site?

Regularly, once a week, one or more members of the Askville team could ask a question (maybe "How's it going?") and interact with Askville users in the DB. It wouldn't be a complaint forum as much as a chance for Askville users and the team to stay in direct communication and assess how things are going for the site in general. As it stands, management and users don't seem to interact very much!

More communication might also help avoid unpleasant surprises like the Askville 17 Massacre.

What do you think?

I agree that large-scale involvement in "problem" DBs by the Team would be ideal. But that would probably require more of a commitment from them than they are willing (or perhaps able) to give. A once-a-week chance to interact is about the most I think we can hope for. And who knows? If it goes well, it might encourage the Team to slowly expand their involvement with the community!
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Politics. Do not click if the topic bothers you. )
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Apparently someone was recently executed for a crime it was then proved they hadn't committed. Someone asked if this would mean the end of capital punishment in the USA.

I suppose this is political, so here's a cut.
Read more... )
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God help us, it's more politics. Snarky politics, to boot!
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Okay, this is a political post which is NOT filtered. I'm putting it behind an LJ cut, instead. Those who don't like my political posts, DON'T READ THIS.
Read more... )
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Someone asked "Would you ban a book?.............".

Chung Kuo immediately leapt to my mind.

No, I'd never ban a book. Nor would I burn one, no matter how badly I wanted to.

Case in point: I picked up a book at a library porch book sale for ten cents. As I read it, I discovered that it was one of the most vile and hateful things I had ever seen - it felt as if the writer was a filthy, diseased child-molester trying to literally rape my brain. Although the blurbs on the covers claimed that it was the most brilliant work of all time, and compared it to the masterpieces of some of my favorite writers, not only was it nothing but torture-porn, it wasn't even well written. But the writer clearly loved his subject.

I immediately stopped reading, of course. And if I had it in me to destroy or burn a book, I would have. But I couldn't. Nor could I bring myself to give it away or donate it somewhere. Someone might read it, and I would feel responsible for that.

I want that filth out of my head. I've been working on forgetting it ever since. Can't understand why there are people who are apparently fans of that book. I guess there are a lot of sick and perverted people out there!

So it's up on a high shelf, out of sight. Some day, when my son is getting tall enough to reach that shelf, maybe I'll write a warning in permanent red ink on the cover and donate it somewhere.

And if I ever meet that writer (unlikely though it is), I'll call him a bastard to his face.


Sep. 29th, 2009 08:52 am
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In a decent world, "kiddy porn" would be pictures of candy and toys.

Over on Askville, someone asked "How do I turn on a girl using just words?". I answered "Have the words be said by Johnny Depp."

Holy crap. I just looked him up, and Johnny Depp is OLDER than me!
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I lost my temper in a discussion of salaried and exempt employees over on Askville.

"I'm exempt (salaried) employee in CA, I'm suppose 2 work 8-6 w/1 hour lunch, which means 10hr day is that illegal?"

"Be glad you even have a job right now."

What I hate about that sort of statement is that it could be used to excuse any kind of abuse by an employer.

"My boss makes me work nights and weekends." "Just be glad you have a job."

"My salary got cut in half but my boss got a bonus." "Just be glad you have a job."

"My boss raped my wife." "Just be glad you have a job."

"My boss is forcing me to donate all my organs to his family, even the organs I need to live." "Just be glad you have a job."

At what point can we STOP being glad, and start getting angry? "Just be glad you have a job" just perpetuates the worst kind of treatment of employees by abusers. Shutting up and being "glad" just means that things will get worse and worse. There are companies out there that would gladly kill their employees and sell their bodies for dog food if it would make a ten-cent profit in their bottom line. How much are we supposed to endure? At what point can we insist that our lives and time have value that's measured by more than money - that's we're human beings, deserving dignity and fair treatment?


Sep. 21st, 2009 02:37 pm
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Today seems to be food day over on Askville. From a discussion about hamburgers, we ended up talking about Friendly's and how they used to serve their hamburgers on toasted white bread:

They changed their Fribbles, too. I remember when I was a kid, my mother would take me there. I'd order a chocolate Fribble, and a long spoon. There'd usually be a few lumps of vanilla ice cream in the bottom of the glass, and I'd fish them out and eat them. Yum!

That's because the Fribbles were made with hard vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup, of course. Now, unfortunately, they're just made with some soft-serve-like stuff. It's nowhere near as good, and it's boringly consistent all the way through.

I like Friendly's hot dogs, too. But I loved Brigham's ice cream and food even more. Their burgers, fries, and hot dogs were outstanding, and they had a delicious pea soup sometimes; I could literally stick a fork in it and it would stay standing up! As for their hot fudge sundaes, well, they were perfect. And I used to buy their hand-packed ice cream as a special treat; it cost twice what it did in the supermarkets, but it was three times as good.

The chain went bankrupt a few years ago. Hood makes the Brigham's ice cream that you see in supermarkets now. I don't know if any of the stores are still open; if they are, there aren't many of them.

Lots of wonderful old things are gone, or have been replaced with ersatz and homogenized out of existence.

autumn00™:0), did you ever try Newport Creamery? They're another New England ice cream/food chain, much like Friendly's and Brighams. They're based out of Newport, Rhode Island. For a while they were expanding into Massachusetts and possibly elsewhere in New England, but they almost went out of business a few years ago. They managed to hang on, fortunately.

They make excellent burgers/fries/hot dogs/etc., but what they're best known for is Awful Awfuls. Those are big, thick ice cream shakes which are a lot like the classic old Fribbles. They were almost made the state drink of Rhode Island, but lost out to coffee milk.

Newport Creamery's chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches are really memorable too. It's $10 for a pack of four, but they're totally worth it - particularly when filled with chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.

God, I'm so hungry!!!
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I don't often answer questions on Askville any more, but this was one I absolutely couldn't resist.

"what is your favorite way to grill hamburgers?"

What do you use in your ground beef to make your hamburgers the best? I like to use a little Worcestershire sauce and salt & pepper. But I am always looking for that perfect hamburger. Please let me know your favorites.

I’ve been questing for the perfect hamburger for more than thirty years now. I have a remarkably narrow palate - I don't eat fish, or any sort of birds if I can help it, and I'm not comfortable with the texture of steak - so I’ve probably eaten more hamburgers than almost anyone else in the world. Here’s how I cook mine.

Read more... )

P.S. - Leftover burgers can be refrigerated for a few days or frozen for much longer. They re-heat best either on the grill (be careful not to overcook!) or by being wrapped in aluminum foil with bit of marinade and put in the oven at around 450 degrees for ten to fifteen minutes (this is handy to do if you're making french fries in the oven as well). They'll be on the well-done side, but still very flavorful! I've also had excellent results using leftover hamburgers to make dirty rice. The smokiness of the burgers adds a nice extra kick.

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"Have an HP printer set to greyscale to conserve the color cartridges. Color cartridges are still being depleted. Why?"

Because HP's printer software is designed to lie to you. This is pretty much an industry-wide problem; almost all printer companies sell their printers at or below cost, and make their profits by selling grossly overpriced ink cartridges. They deliberately design the printer software to tell you that you're out of ink long before you actually are. Some of them will actually stop the printer from printing, even if it has enough ink!

The printers also have sponges inside which are solely designed to soak up ink and waste it. Every time you clean the printer head(s) (as the software often recommends), it simply squirts a large amount of ink into those sponges.

I have an Epson printer. I hardly ever use it. Because when I do, it tells me that I'm critically low on ink, and tries to force me to buy new ink - from Epson. There's a box to turn off the low ink warning, but it's purely an exercise in frustration; it turns itself back on EVERY TIME! I hate Epson (which is ironic, since I used to be a fan).

Kodak recently started trying honesty with their customers ( Their printers are now more expensive, but the ink is reasonably priced - about $10 per cartridge, I believe. That makes a lot more sense to me. I hate not letting my son print out his pictures because I'm afraid of running out of ink. The whole point of having a printer is to USE it! So when the ink finally runs out of my Epson, I'll be buying a Kodak.

By the way, someone may suggest that you take out the ink cartridges and reinstall them. Unfortunately they have magnetic codes built in which your printer will recognize; it will not reset the cartridge life, and will probably refuse to print altogether!
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Someone on Askville asked "what's the difference between Catholicism and Christianity?"

Someone else commented "Before the Reformation, Catholicism was the only Christian faith."

I had to jump in.

Er - no.

The Reformation was sparked in 1517 by Martin Luther's protest against the sale of indulgences. But the Armenian Orthodox church was founded in 301. Many other Orthodox sects also predate the Reformation.
Read more... )

Since Eastern Orthodox churches do not recognize the authority of the Pope, it would be quite a stretch indeed to classify them as Catholic! There are other theological differences as well, of course. And certainly their adherents and priests would object to being classified as Catholic
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Askville again: someone asked which coffee was better, Dunkin' Donuts or Starbucks. I said DD, of course, but had a comment to add:

I have to say that Dunkin' Donuts is also very variable. Particularly in their coffee Coolattas. Sometimes they're excellent, but sometimes they're pretty bad - and once in a while they're awful. I knew someone who manages a Dunkin' Donuts, and he said that the problem was that many DD employees don't know how to make a Coolatta. I guess they're often not trained properly. That's why the Chocolate Coolatta was discontinued; too many DD workers screwed it up too often. I guess it was a little harder to make.

Also, whenever I order a bagel with butter on it, about 1/3 of the time they just toss those butter packets in the bag along with a dry toasted bagel. I find that really annoying.

Years ago some guy wrote a complaint on his blog about DD not having skim milk. The search engines caught it. People started coming to his site to complain about DD. It turned into, and became HUGE. There were lots of really interesting and funny complaints about DD there.

DD wrote the guy, and threatened him with legal action if he didn't give them the site. He was a law student, so he laughed in their faces. Eventually they paid him a large (undisclosed) sum for the site, and killed it off immediately.

I remember some of those stories, the many people who found a mouse (or a mouse skeleton) in their donut. Or the guy who went into an all-night DD late one night for coffee and a donut. No one was behind the counter, so he looked around. The manager was having intercourse with some woman right on the donut prep table in the back.


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