Open Thread by John Cole| June 21, 20084:41 pm| 171 CommentsThis post is in: Site MaintenanceFacebookTweetEmailBy request. Anything but FISA, pls.
Ok. My topic is tomatoes and how I miss them dearly. There are only a few in the store and they cost about 5 bucks each. I want the FBI, CIA, DHS and all the other slacker alphabet agencies to figure out which cows are shitting on my tomatoes and deal with vile beasts accordingly.
Just Some Fuckhead
If Obama would step up and lead we could solve the tomato crisis by this time tomorrow. As it stands, I’ll just spend the money I was going to send Obama on tomatoes.
They are dirt cheap here. I even fried two up this morning for breakfast. Fried tomatoes, a grapefruit, some sliced strawberries and a bowl of oatmeal, washed down with a quart of piping hot coffee from the French Press. Plus, I added cinnamon to the coffee, because fuck it, I am an elitist Democrat now.
Suck it, Trebek.
No doubt Hillary had a plan for tomatoes. She was just busy in January when the anti-e. coli bill was voted on, but she did show up at FDL to promise she would filibuster E. Coli. Gosh, I wish Obama would act like a real leader like Hillary.
Speaking of produce, has anyone else noticed that a lot of organic produce is now cheaper than standard varieties?
Just Some Fuckhead
Don’t it feel great?
I’m making linguine with clams and tomatoes as we speak. Haven’t decided what to have with it but it’ll prolly be a salad with spinach leaves and carrots.
Eastern elitist. Now I’ve got tomato envy.
She coulda been a contender, she could have been somebody.
My love of high-end coffee (outside of Kopi Luwak, that is) is an eternal barrier to my ever being a Republican.
Actually, yes. I usually buy my produce from Whole Foods. I still go to the regular supermarket for other things though and when I swing through the produce section there (because pomegranate juice is cheaper there) I noticed the strange price difference.
I wonder why that is?
Truth be told, I have been adding cinnamon to my coffee for at least a dozen years now. I tried it one time at a coffee shop when I saw the cinnamon shaker sitting there and never looked back.
I used to like heavy cream, but now that I am older and have lost my girlish figure, I take my coffee with a little cinnamon, a little splenda, and a little non-dairy creamer. Still pretty awesome.
I’m guessing the use of petroleum products in fertilizers, but I’m not certain of that explanation.
I like my coffee to be like my president, strong and bla- tently full of good taste.
OK, since we started with tomatoes…
Here in south central Indiana, due to non-existent global warming, I planted my tomatoes more than three weeks early, i.e. before the still standard possible based on averages latest frost, which normally could be as late as May 10-15 or so. Only one night was I worried, had to cover them, and even then it did not frost, just got to mid-30’s.
On June 15, I actually picked the first ripening grape tomato, and presented it to me wife, since they are her favorites.
Oh, and the kale. It was so warm last fall I planted kale seed in late September. Not only did it grow to almost mature plants before first frost, a dozen or more plants COMPLETELY SURVIVED winter. Many of those bolted to seed, but others are now flourishing and providing early delicious greens. Along with collards. I harvested both last weekend and we had two pots of greens.
I expect to be picking crook neck and straight neck yellow squash within the next two days as well.
Indiana has essentially bumped an entire hardiness zones. Even the most defiant deniers of climate change have begun to admit it.
I can remember in the late 80’s and early 90’s that frosts in early May, even sleet and spat of snow, were all possibilities. Not know. We were hitting 90 degrees in the second week of May this year. Every day for a week.
So really what you’re saying is your conversion from a Republican to an Elitist Democrat has been in the works for over 12 years now. Its a slow process that only seems quicker because you just made the (official) switch recently.
Every since undergrad days at Birmingham-Southern College the second half of the 60’s, I have continued my ritual of coffee with a hefty dose of cocoa. A large coffee in a tall styrofoam cup, with plenty of creamer, was what got me through those morning classes.
To this day, that is what I drink all morning. For past few years the creamer is hazelnut.
I believe this is what has made me the hale and healthy 62 year old I am.
Just Some Fuckhead
So while you were loudly fighting islamofascism on the intertoobz, you were secretly letting the terrorists win? I can only imagine that now that you’re a Democrat, you’re sitting at your desk in a wetsuit and cowboy hat. Thanks John.
Lots of tomatoes here in the WI.
Going to have a nice Balkan tomato-cucumber-onions-parsley-feta salad for dinner today.
And if that’s not elitist enough, I brought the groceries home in my own reusable bags. One is canvas, and the other one makes every cashier ask me: “Where did you get it?”. Behold the silk shopping net bag:
It could also be a change in climate in some places. I know some small growers here in Colorado are growing different crops they couldn’t few years ago.
But I didn’t think of the petroleum product angle. That could certainly be a factor.
Kopi Luwak? Hmmm, shit seems to be a theme in this thread; cows, civets, etc.
Hotter than hell in CA; tomatoes for Gazpacho sounds good.
If Senator Obama doesn’t solve that whole Unified Theory thang combining Quantum Mechanics and Relativity THIS WEEK, the I will never vote for him!
We don’t need no stinkin’ tomatoes!
What interests me today is Obama’s outreach to Evangelicals and Catholics. Apparently, he’s had meetings with religious leaders and many are coming away impressed. Hard not to be impressed by the Big O.
Since he (we) gets no more than 25% of that faith community it would be excellent if mid to long term the Dems could count on getting another 10 to 20% from that crowd. In Canada and most of Europe Christians have led the Social Democrat movements – US Christians are the only Christians worldwide that seem to think Gay Marriage is more important than universal healthcare and a good society based social safety net.
Can Obama pull an interdenominational bunny or two out of the Pope’s episcopal mitre?
Just Some Fuckhead
I was sitting here making a list of things Obama needs to step up and take care of by tomorrow and it suddenly occurred to me, I don’t actually want him to do anything. Obama, it’s crazy but it’s true, I only want to be with you.
Science fiction author John Scalzi has a very entertaining weblog, the Whatever – folks who like John, Tim, and Michael in high snark mode will probably like John, too. Here he provides a valuable illustrated essay on handling a sink problem, which made me do a spit take partway through.
See I love living in CA because we produce most of our produce HAHAHAHA.
I agree with Dangerman though It’s hotter than 7 shades of hell here.
As for coffee I highly recommend the Coconut Creme flavor of Coffee creamer. Sounds odd but it is good shit.
No better way to beat slaving over a hot stove in the summer than gazpacho.
Oh and that non-existant global climate change thing has it over 100 degrees here while my parents are complaining about it being in the 40’s back in Upstate NY.
You could always write in John Hagelin. Not only is he a brilliant quantum physicist, he also wrote a book on how to use quantum and natural laws to govern effectively and heal a lot of societal problems.
So there you go, a good blend of government and quantum physics!
I am considering doing a fresh batch of tabouli, some pitas and hummus and either lamb marinated in an egyptian mint sauce made with a vinegar base and mint grilled to medium rare over charcoal.
Avila Beach, CA (Diablo Canyon Gate) = 115 (unofficial)
San Luis Obispo, CA = 113 (official)
Shell Beach, CA = 116 (unofficial)
Oh, and since I live in such a nice area (typically), do we have houses with AC? Nooooooo. Doing my part to be green.
Time to go jump in the ocean again (which, BTW, is cold here, dammit).
That certainly sounds delicious, but there’s the heat factor in that case.
slippy hussein toad
Aaauuugh!1!! I’ve been, er, Rollers-Rolled!
The Moar You Know
Christ, the sheer elitist food faggotry of this thread is overwhelming.
I’d be up for some coffee except that it’s just about 100 degrees here in lovely coastal San Diego.
Sounds pretty good. My morning office ritual is to take my 16 oz travel mug and fill it with 8 oz hot cocoa, 6 oz hot coffee, and 2 oz of soy milk (nectar of the elitists) and a little cinnamon to taste.
I really wish you’d use “organic” in quotes, like me. PROTIP: all produce is organic. Every single fucking banana and cucumber in the whole store. I cant stand this produce “organic” vs. “other” segregation. It’s nominally incorrect, it drives up the prices, and it reeks of elitism.
Shorter: I want ALL oranges to ride at the front of the bus.
As a non-coffee drinker, you’re all coming off as a little elitist to me.
Is there anyone out there still spinning vinyl records? Or thinking of getting into it? If so, you might consider one of these Bellari tube phone preamps. Adds that great tube sound, and has a headphone output with a separate volume. If you get one, you may want to ditch the Chinese tube that comes in it and put in a vintage RCA or GE equivalent. And….. it’s red and looks cool.
Vinyl is making a respectable comeback, and many new releases are now available in vinyl.
I’ve always wondered: what do kids these days roll joints on?
Punchy, I don’t care about the whole organic vs. non-organic debate. I’m simply talking about the difference in price in things labeled ‘organic’ now as compared to earlier.
Just Some Fuckhead
I don’t drink coffee either. I stick to specialty teas, lately mostly green blends for their reputed antioxidant properties.
If I ever find a cup of coffee that tastes as good as it smells–and I already love coffee’s taste–I’m in real trouble. I might have to get a real job just to pay for it. But I’ve never understood the desire to clot up the taste with all the extra stuff in there.
As for Obama, he’s still on the right side of the drilling issue, and McCain isn’t anymore, as is the case for him so often these days.
Dennis - SGMM
Salmon steaks topped with a fresh mango salsa. Side dish is a tart made with fresh asparagus and Gruyère cheese in a puff pastry shell.
I still don’t put cinnamon in my coffee.
A dark blend (my locally owned grocery store here in WI carries about a bazillion kinds), fresh ground beans, freakin’ strong, one spoonful of Ghiridelli ground chocolate, a splash of french vanilla creamer, and a dash of cinnamon.
And my new favorite, out of the house, a Venti Iced Doubleshot from Starbucks – 5 shots of espresso shaken with your choice of milk. Stronger than snot and damned yummy!
Fresh roasted organic robusta with a dash of arabica, roasted very dark, properly brewed with water at 208 degrees Fahrenheit. (I live at sea level.)
How’s *that* for being an elitist Democrat, you hoi polloi, you?
Oh, and when I say, “fresh roasted”, I mean “roasted myself, 4 mins at 425, 3 mins at 350, 6 mins at 400, cool 24 hours, grind coarsely in a burr grinder, keeping the beans cool”. kind of elitist preparation.
I just love watching all the lemmings out buying the mucho expensive “organic” crap, thinking that that magical sticker and enormous cost premium means it’s chemical and fertilizer-free. Uh huh.
And, as a scientist, I strenuously object to the implication that the “other” produce aren’t organic material. Like you’re buying rock potatoes or silicon asparagas.
The depressing thing about the damage done in the last few years of rule by wingnut is how devalued terms have been. Words like elitist. If anything I do can be considered “elitist,” the word simply has no meaning anymore.
Tonight, for dinner, I had nothing easy to make so I just used some birdseye frozen steamed vegetables, diced up a chicken breast, and just threw it all in a wok and threw in some Liu Liu tomato curry sauce.
Yet, because I have used not only a bizarre cooking implement such as a wok (billions of Asians would argue there is nothing elitist about this) and a curry sauce (billions of Indians would argue there is nothing elitist about curry), that would be considered elitist.
It is crazy.
Dennis - SGMM
I’m afraid that “organic” is another word that’s rapidly becoming devoid of meaning – at least when it’s applied to food.
I buy organic produce from the co-op and there is a large difference. It tastes better, and rots faster. Lots faster.
The tomatoes also don’t have that waxy bullshit skin. I think there is a difference between regular and organic produce.
Holy shit. I just drink Cafe Bustelo–it’s like liquid crack mixed with black tar heroin. And it tastes good too.
Does that mean that organic elitism is totally devoid of meaning? Or is it actually antithetical to meaning, and actually consumes meaning?
Dennis - SGMM
I was thinking that there are varying degrees of “organic.” All the way from produce that’s grown without insecticides or chemical fertilizers to that which has been grown with both but only those not listed as forbidden by the FDA.
I’m a huge tea drinker. I drink green tea, chai and some specialty blends. For store bought tea I usually stick with Yogi Tea. Then there’s this great herb shop near me and they make their own teas, they have great teas if you’re sick. They also make teas to elevate your mood like Happy Tea.
I only drink coffee if I am very tired and even then I put cocoa in it.
Dennis - SGMM
And I learned the truth from Lenny Bruce, And all my wealth won’t buy me health, So I smoke a pint of tea a day.
Simon and Garfunkle – Simple Desultory Phillipic
I’ve been adding cinnamon to my coffee for a couple of years, mostly because I read that cinnamon may help reduce cholesterol in the blood. And besides, it takes that vague aftertaste of “bottom of an ashtray” out of the coffee and smooths it out.
I drink buckets of tea, hot with milk and cold with lemon, all day. I love the way coffee smells, but I have never developed a taste for it.
My tomato plants won’t fruit for a few weeks — I’m in Toronto, plus they were planted late — but last year I was still harvesting vine-ripened beefsteak tomatoes on Halloween. That’s just freaky.
Meanwhile, I have to roast some almonds so I can cut back the basil-trifid in my backyard and make some pesto. Now that’s elitist.
I drink instant coffee because it matches my bitter temperament.
I likes my green tea too but I don’t drink it. It’s part of my nicotine replacement program when 7 years ago I quit smoking. I replaced smoked nicotine with cherry flavored smokeless tobacco nicotine, and I mix that with about 50% green teas of various blends. When I explained this to my doctor on how I was making ST into something good and healthy he shook his head in apparent disbelief.
Doctors, what do they know anywho.
I like my Coffee like I like my president. Black.
That said, I guess Obama does have a little creamer in him.
I am, however, picky about my black coffee. I have to buy the high end elitist organic fair-trade shit.
I’m generally a medium roast kinda guy.
Drinking some Green Mountain right now. Not bad.
F ood I s S o A greeable
Forget I Said Anything
Dennis - SGMM
I like my coffee like I like my women: ground up and stored in the freezer.
LOL! Its all made from regular and some exotic imported herbs- non-smoking.
They also make a Love tea, which is suppose to have aphrodisiac-like properties. But I don’t drink it. With my high libido that’s the last thing I need. I’d probably start attacking men in the streets and get arrested or something.
All in all, its a great little shop.
diet coke, babycakes. diet coke.
Dennis - SGMM
In which case:
marianne set the table
an old friend I see
marianne fetch the papers
there’s two for tea
Donovan – Sun
deans beans. fucking dirty hippie coffee. yum and cheaper than starbucks….french sumatra.
And is trader joes really owned by wal-mart? I’m noticing a similar couple of brands.
Just Some Fuckhead
Wow.. is there any food experience more simply beautiful than the way the flavor of a tellicherry black peppercorn slowly blossoms in your mouth when you crack it?
Do any of you want to know why I’m such an elitist about coffee? ‘Cuz I’m CHEAP — green coffee costs about half as much per pound as roasted coffee, but is of much higher quality; the stuff I buy (shipped from Burman’s Coffee Roasters in Madison, WI), costs me less than $70 every four months.
And it’s much, much better than anything I could buy here in Seattle.
And, yes, I drink a lot of coffee.
Just Some Fuckhead
Erm.. what areas would I need to be careful not to get lost in at night carrying a crate of Love tea?
Organic produce also probably hasn’t traveled as far, or changed owners as many times, before it arrives at the store.
Cinnamon is okay, but real elitists put cardamom in their kopi luwak (make sure you look at the “Research” section). Cardamom has the added benefit of being an Arabian tradition, so you can be ready for dhimmitude when it finally arrives.
Or maybe it’s a Greek tradition — I am aware of all these traditions but sometimes I get mixed up about where they came from.
Cinnamon in coffee? I’ll have to try that. I hear vanilla works well, too.
As for chocolate: Go and order a few bars from this guy:
This will almost certainly be the best chocolate you have ever tasted; only the very best of the established high-end makers like Valrhona is its equal. And it’s being made, from bean to bar, by a 23-year-old kid who used to work at Whole Foods and figured he could make better chocolate than what they sold. He was right.
Yeah, it’s expensive, but this isn’t something you Hoover into your mouth; it’s something you eat a gram or two at a time and savor. Know how single-malt whiskies kick blended whiskies’ asses? Well, single-source chocolate — chocolate made from one variety of bean grown in one locale — kicks ass on even the best Green & Black’s. You will take a nibble, let the various flavors (which depending on the bar can be anything from coconut to cherries to citrus) float over your tongue, and keep looking at the label and shaking your head because the only added “flavoring” is vanilla.
I’m telling your mother you said that, Dennis. ;-p
Just an ordinary June day here, 113. But we are used to it, prepared for it, and the portion of our brains that would normally scream “What the fuck are we doing here?” has been burned away.
So, ho hum. But in SLO, or anywhere on the Pacific Coast, temps like that are brutal. I assume that the onshore breeze is gone and there is no relief?
Yes. A tie between Pringles and banana chips.
Dennis - SGMM
I blame machine shop. Spent over a decade as a gypsy machinist, hauling myself and my toolboxes from Southern California to Idaho and points in between in a ’57 VW Transporter seven-door panel (This was nearly forty years ago when we still made things in America). No matter where I wound up, every time first break would roll around someone would say, “I like my coffee like I like my women; strong and black. Hyuk, hyuk.” So I developed the “in the freezer” thing as a response.
Just Some Fuckhead
Pringles makes banana chips?
*1 Australian Semillon varietal
I planted a little mint bush along with my basil last summer so I could try a mint julep. Heard it was a nice, refreshing drink, great for hot weather. Spent the latter part of the summer in a bourbon stupor. Not sure what ever happened to the basil. Good times.
Fungus Infections Seem Annoying
Fussy Infants Shouldn’t Antagonize
Fleas Infest San Antonio
Fiona Indicates Sexual Arousal
Funny Insects Scurrying Around
Fortunately I Shall Arrive
Forget It Stupid Ass
Just Some Fuckhead
A suspected serial killer sez:
Anywhere near Green River..?
No TJ’s is not owned by wal-mart and they probably have rules that execute people for saying as much. Wal-Mart is probably assimilating their brands because TJ’s is the shiznit
It’s murder, plain anf f’ing simple. What breeze exists might as well be jet exhaust with how hot it is and no onshore breeze or flow to speak of. And to think I was going to move to AZ…
I am on the Outer Banks for a week’s holiday with the family. Just blended my first margarita. Aside form the wild fires in the Great Dismal Swamp threatening to blow our way, all is good.
I think I even figured out John’s method for properly embedding links, but will not test that now.
Dennis - SGMM
Not that I recollect. I stayed pretty much off of the beaten path, worked mostly for little places that did pump repair or machinery repair. That way I could park the VW behind the shop and snake an extension cord out to the bus to recharge the big -ass tractor battery that powered my lights and the cassette player. Slept in the bus most of the time and relied on the kindness of co-workers as well as rivers and streams to get cleaned up.
These are the memories that make me a wealthy soul.
Bob In Pacifica
John, yesterday I was on a picket line in San Francisco and Cindy Sheehan showed up. Really. She’s running against Pelosi, you know.
Hence, my daily venti. Coffee’s also thought to be good for the liver (helps prevent the cancer). Considering my love of red wine, I fairly consider my coffee a necessary offset.
*Yer there link.
And to think, just a couple hundred miles away over here in the Gila forest we got some much needed rain and it’s currently about 75 degrees. Cool as a frosty milkshake it is.
Dennis - SGMM
Where the heck did that strike through come from?
The Green River Killer was actually captured and convicted about five years ago, FWIW.
Here in Seattle, the June day that’s offered anything over 70 degrees has been the exception. Lots of folks bitchin about it, but me and Mrs. Pantload are soakin in the damp gloom for all it’s worth.
Just Some Fuckhead
One of ’em, at least.
Dennis - SGMM
Here, thirty miles east of LA, up in the San Gabriel foothills at seven o’clock it’s still 102 degrees. Which is downright refreshing compared to the earlier 109.
Dennis - SGMM
I never even touched that woman.
Given the pattern of murders, most likely, there was only the one.
Sorry, JSF. You lose that round.
Aww, whats wrong with FISA – Fresno International Soccer Association?
We enjoy while we can. Yesterday was 98 and tomorrow might be 100. And whats with that Bigfoot character? Is he(it) an Obamamaniac or a Mcsame wingnut? The latter I bet.
Just Some Fuckhead
God, normally I’d gloat silently about my embarassment of riches, but with North Carolina burning the fuck right down to the south and bathing us in luxurious smoke when prevailing winds are to the north, it seems okay to mention that it’s 72 degrees here on the coast of Virginia, perfect weather, sea salt in the air, low humidity and, of course, zero visibility.
I just hope NC provides the same level of hurrican protection to Virginia when it’s finally extinguished.
Vanilla. Coffee. Together. It’s heaven.
I’m also a big fan of green tea, and when I’m feeling really arrogant California elitist, white tea.
But as to what’s really on my mind right now…you know, WoW really needs a couple of new battlegrounds.
If Obama can’t figure out a way to provide something more than the same old AV/AB/WSG/EOTS…I’m going to have to vote Horde.
I thought southern California was Paradise remaining at a constant sunny 75 degrees with all the girls blonde and beautiful. That’s what the brochure says anyways.
Seriously? The original DFH? Obama alla way, baby.
lol! Its good that you ask such a question. I’m sure your wife appreciates it.
Just Some Fuckhead
I promise you will regret ruling against me before all the votes were counted.
Just Some Fuckhead
Oh yeah, that too.
Welcome to the land of microclimates. It can be cloudy and 68 at Venice Beach, sunny and 75 in downtown LA, Lawd-take-me-now hot another half-hour’s drive east.
You might wanna re-think the all-hawt-n-blonde thing, too.
Here in Redmond, the temperature broke 75 today, and the demi-clan is melting in the wretched heat.
Should LOLCat-speak be taught in schools?
Damn hot here in OC a few miles from the beach. No AC either because we only need it about a week per year. But yeah, better than inland. 8PM and 103 at my father in law’s place up in Bakersfield. Fuck that.
You bring this up at the risk of Cosby LOLCat holding forth on how the other LOLCats need to learn to speak proper English in order to become successful LOLCats. Srsly.
Oh, wifey is hawt and blondish, so I’m keeping up my end of the deal.
But I’d have to say that SoCal is somewhat lacking in hotness overall. Not sure why, but that’s my impression.
And I have a fuckin bridge to sell ya
We should have a Balloon-juice mini-convention with all of us down here in So-Cal. I’m in Santa Ana, the OC. I know Ned Ragget is an OC denizen over Irvine way.
It’s all those In-N-Outs and the plague of other drive thru burger joints. Seems I recall seeing somewhere that SoCal-ers are kinda heavy set compared to other Americans. Not that I don’t like curves, but an oval figure behooves neither man nor woman.
We got to meet some elitist tomato growers at the home of dailyKos’s Frankenoid (of Saturday Garden Blogging fame). She had a party where there were not only shit-free tomato plants growing, but people smoked and ate meat. Take that, Republicans!
Just north of Boston, here, eight different kinds of fancy cherry tomatoes are fruiting up nicely, along with the Early Girls, and the other plants are lush & flowering already. Normally the first cherrys don’t fully ripen until a week or so after Independence Day, but it’s been a gloriously warm spring with just enough showers so everything’s two weeks or more in advance.
If you have a balcony or a strip of asphalt that gets at least 4-6 hours of sun, you can grow your own tomatoes in a big pot with a stake or cage to hold the vine up. You don’t have to stick to cherry tomatoes or the pre-planted “patio” plants the local hardware store will try to sell you. And you sure don’t need a green thumb, because I can’t keep houseplants alive, but as long as I keep the pots from drying out (which has meant watering 3 times a day during some terrible Augusts) I always get enough tomatoes to keep me, the Spousal Unit, our cherry-tomato-stealing lapdogs, and sometimes the next-door neighbor supplied from mid-July through the end of October (or sometimes even Thanksgiving). My plants are not as lush or productive as they would grow for Serious Gardeners, but the fruits are still delicious and, even using $3-$5 nursery transplants rather than starting my own from seed, cheaper to grow than to buy.
I am eagerly anticipating the arrival of the “home grown” tomatoes arrival at our local Farmer’s Market – they should be hitting around the first of July. I know a lot of Northerners rave about New Jersey’s tomatoes, but as far as I’m concerned, nothing holds a candle to a Ripley, Tennessee tomato – huge red slicers, as sweet and juicy as can be. Great plain or sprinkled with salt and pepper. Oh, the BLT’s I’ll make all summer long – nothing finer!
My older brother’s wife lost her sister to that fucker, and I am glad they finally caught him. Yes, her sister was a prostitute, as were most of his victims. I lived in Spokane when he came over to our side of the state, and I worked in a plating shop near the red light district. I would drive past this one sorry looking hooker every day at lunch time, and one day she was gone. She didn’t return and I had a feeling she was one of his victims. They found her body a short time later, and yes she was.
If anyone deserves to die, that sick fuck sure does.
Regarding the weather, we are still cool here on the south Oregon coast. I think we hit 62 today, and yesterday was in the mid 70’s, which is high compared to what has been going on. It has always been that the hotter it gets immediately inland from here, the cooler it gets here. We are usually socked in with fog throughout the summer but this year we are getting little fog, just mostly cool weather.
But our fall weather kicks ass here, so the wait is worth it.
Since this is an open thread, I’ll just say this:
Huston Street can bite me.
I read the book written by the two Seattle Times guys about that case, a real fucking tragedy, that whole thing.
And Dave Reichert is now a member of congress, who ran on his ‘solving’ that case. What a dickhead.
Just Some Fuckhead
Near as I can tell, if we had the Virginia version of BalloonJuiceCon, it would be just me and Jenniebee. Which reminds me of the joke about the guy that moves to the country, the punchline of which is “Not at all, just gonna be me and you..*”
*I’m like a human joke punchline repository. Can’t remember the jokes but know all the punchlines by heart.
Have to agree on the Microclimate thing; two summers ago, I was in San Simeon (roughly an hour north of SLO on the coast) and it was maybe 80 and crystal clear. In Paso Robles, about 25 miles inland, it was roasting at 113. I thought about driving over to check out what 113 was like when I recalled that it was just flat fucking hot.
No onshore breeze at all until about 6 pm tonight; actually cool air coming in through the window right now (Thank you, God; think, Animal House, towards the end). That was the unusual pattern this time; with no onshore, air came over from the hot valleys (like Bakersfield) and warmed up as it came over the passes. Like a blast from jet engines is right.
It’s hot as hell here in the Bay Area and the AC is broken. Last night I had the house wide open only to be visited by a skunk. Good times.
Demi, you don’t need a fancy roaster to make your own coffee? Always thought it would be fun to try. I brew and make wine, so why not. In fact this year, I’m planting wine grapes.
I’m sure there’s a reason, but why is coffee roasted? Has anyone brewed green coffee for shits and grins?
He got smizz’oked. OTOH, my Cubz are 2-0 against the White Sux.
Sorry about to hear about the skunk. It’s been hellish here in the Bay Area the last couple of days, but at least relief is on the way. I’m more worried about all the fires breaking out all over the place now.
Oh fuck organics. Shop at your local farmers market or find a store that sells locally grow food.
You’ll never shop at a traditional grocery store or pay the high price for organics again.
Yeah me too. I see what’s happening in the Santa Cruz mountains and my mind flips back to the Oakland Hills fire of 1991, which was not to far from my current place of residence.
Well, our local farmers’ markets basically sell organics. But then, I live in Eugene, so it’s what’s for sale.
My, what obedient little boys and girls you are!
Speaking of fires, here’s a factoid.
A friend of mine is a firefighter up in the Sierras. We were talking about the causes of fires. He made the claim that a lot of fires blamed on cigarettes are in fact caused by other factors. Cigarettes are just the de facto blame when they don’t know what actually caused the fire.
To demonstrate, he chucked a half smoked cigarette into a rather large pile of dried pine needles. It was moderately breezy that day in fact and the smoke just brunt itself out.
He explained that cigarette paper is designed in such a what that if it’s not drawn on consistently, it will go out.
Note, he did say that cigarettes never start fires, just that they get blamed for a lot more fires than they actually cause.
Good point, and so do mine and they are a ton cheeper than Safeway for the same thing.
I firmly believe a major contributor to fires is the dumb-ass talking hair-do’s on the local TV stations that get on and announce that it’s “fire season” then talk for about 5 minutes about how dangerous and dry everything is and how shorthanded local fire depts. are. It’s like a dog whistle for pyromaniacs to run out and start a few infernos. As soon as those news stories start, the really bad fires are about a day later.
Well, time to take off for ’80s night at one of the joints downtown. My muscial tastes don’t generally run toward pop, but damn, they sure crafted some fine ditties back then. I must half the decade’s top 40 on the ‘pod.
We’ll know it’s time to leave when Mrs. Pantload tries to do a horizontal dance on the table top. (Did I mention the drinks are curiously strong?)
Sounds like things are messed up in SoCal. Here in the middle of the country (Nebraska) we’ve had just a tad more rain than usual. Not as bad as Iowa, but several parts of this state are flooded and there’ve been way more twisters than we normally have. Add that to the fact that it is now June 21 and we’ve had only 3 days all spring where the temp got above 90 (by this time we’ve usually had at least 10-15), and you’ve got very weird weather indeed.
Just Some Fuckhead
I have an interesting experience that belies this anecdote. Two years ago we were coming back from Disneyworld to Virginia via Charlotte, where we’d stopped and visited my wife’s brother for a couple days. Driving up I-85 towards the VA border, we needed gas. I decided to wait for one of the cloverleaf exits where there are four gas stations, one on each quadrant, so I can get gas and get going immediately. We went thru Durham and next thing I know, I’m in the middle of nowhere with no gas stations anywhere. First Exxon I see a sign for (gas 3.38/gal) I skip because Exxon at that time is about thirty cents a gallon more expensive than anywhere else. Now I’m going through Falls Lake State Park and the driver’s side of the road is on fire. I’m like WTMF. We keep going about another ten miles and with it being a Sunday and being in the middle of nowhere, we decide to turn around and go back to the Exxon 15 miles back with the expensive gas. On the way back, the fucking median is on fire. We get to the Exxon, I go in and say, “hey, fyi, your state is on fire about ten miles north of here”. Clerk got on the phone immediately.
About thirty minutes later, driving back north after gassing up, there were firefighters putting out the fires. Cause? Drivers flicking cigarettes out the car window.
Leave it to a child to confuse being polite with being obedient.
That needed to be blockquoted.
Hence the reason I stick to cigars (thompson.com, in case you were curious) — give them 2 minutes unattented, and they go out all by themselves.
If I could tell you about the number of stares I get when I get out of my car to walk into a supermarket or Home Depot or whatever, and actually place my cigar in the little divot on top of my windshield wipers.. you’d think these people had never heard of physics.
The Mythbusters once tried to ignite a puddle of gasoline with a tossed cigarette “like they do in the movies” and repeatedly failed.
So much for The Birds.
The flavor is produced by the roasting. Generally speaking the darker the roast the stronger the flavor.
Green coffee would taste like shit.
Green coffee would be to coffee what Republicans are to government. Lousy.
I don’t know about Whole Foods, but many natural foods stores (including mine) try to buy local organic produce when possible.
That means less petroleum spent on trucking and shipping, and possibly less cost overall when you’re not dealing with mega agribusinesses.
This is also just a guess.
Two important pieces of information about coffee:
Coffee is good for you.
Best coffee ever. (Yes, you can buy it retail.)
Good explanation TZ. Since I consider myself and elitist foodie, I find the history of food and drink interesting.
like take coffee for example.
Joe: “Wow that tastes like shit”
Steve: “well if you roast it…”
Joe: “hey that’s much better!”
Joe: “Hmmm fungus…wonder if that’s any good”
Steve: “Let me try it…” -gack-
Joe: “Guess I won’t be eating that”
With the foods we eat…who was “Steve”?
All you have to do is mention a vegetable or condiment and it turns into a fucking Atrios comments thread in here. “Ooh, I’ll cardamom your fenugreek! Hee! ” -Ethel
Lots of people don’t realize that raw fuel doesn’t burn, the vapors do. That’s why an engine runs like crap when the fuel just dumps into it from a carburetor with a stuck float or a fuel injector stuck open. The fuel doesn’t vaporize fully and it refuses to burn until it hits the hot exhaust manifold (where it finally vaporizes!).
Same with the problem of starting an engine in an extremely cold region. The air and fuel are so cold that it cannot be properly vaporized and ignited.
If you pour out a small puddle of isopropyl alcohol on a flat, flameproof surface and ignite it, then examine it closely from the side and you will see that the flame is above the liquid.
It’s the vapors!
Fried tomatoes and oatmeal?
Drove through Death Valley two summers ago. Half way through, we stopped and got out of the car for a few minutes. It was 126 degrees and the wind was blowing a steady 25 mph! Talk about scary. We didn’t linger.
But it was a dry heat, so different than the 90-100% humid heat we get here in the east. You don’t sweat there. Here in humid heat, if you even move a little bit you get coated with filthy sweat.
Look at the qualifying string before the word militants and the subtle defense of the surge.
It’s not the bleat, it’s the stupidity.
Maybe they blamed themselves for McCain’s ignorance.
That it has seen some tactical success is of course true. What’s false is the implication that al Qaeda was a leader in the insurgency in the first place.
If you’re ever at my house, remind me not to ask you not to crap on my couch, you rebel you.
I just learned more in one post than I did in college.
Mm…coffee. Usually I drink a nice free trade blend. And yes, I take my coffee black and strong.
(Except for when a slug of caramel-flavoured Bailey’s is called for.)
OMG. Another fan. Zuzu’s Petals is so right about Old Soul in Sacramento roasting the best coffee in the world. Maybe the universe.
Who’d ever figure that a tiny, somewhat eccentric little shop that’s literally tucked back in an alley could be the source of such caffeinated bliss?
True, but the point here was that a glowing cigarette is not hot enough to ignite the vapor/air mixture above a typical gas puddle.
I should add that they did this in their workshop and not, say, on asphalt on a hot day. So just untie your little sister, young man, and put the cigarette out.
But he won’t — he traded life in Walla Walla for a confession.
Like you said, Reichart ran for Congress on the strength of that confession — and the demi-bunker is two miles too far north for me to vote against him (and for Burner, FWIW). Damn.
The flash point of octane in a 16% oxygen solution in nitrogen is above the combustion temperature of tobacco in the same solution when adequate ventilation is provided. So much is true.
However…that ignores other factors. For instance, if ventilation is restricted, or if other heat sources are provided, the temperature of the combustible mixture may easily rise above the flash point of the fuel, and combustion may still begin. Thus, the old canard about “a lit cigarette in bed won’t start a fire” makes sense — as long as the bedclothes don’t fold loosely over the burning cigarette. If they do, and there’s enough trapped air for the butt to burn for a while, a fire certainly can start.
(Is it likely that all those conditions happen in any given time? No. In a lifetime of falling asleep with a cigarette in your hand, is it likely to happen eventually? Consult you local probabilist about “independent events”. You’ll be surprised to find that the answer is “yes”.)
Close. The vapor/oxygen concentration above the puddle was insufficient and thus it refused to ignite. If the vapor/oxygen concentration would have been high enough, it would have ignited. A cigarette is more than enough to cause ignition with the proper mixture of gasses present. Ask yourself this question: How does a diesel engine start when it is cold?
Glow plugs. No spark is present in a diesel because a diesel engine uses the heat generated by the rapid and high compression of the atmosphere (the rapid compaction of air molecules generates a lot of heat) to ignite the air fuel mixture . The difference is that first the air is compressed in the cylinder, and right before the piston reaches the top of its stroke the diesel fuel is injected so that the piston is just completing its compression as the mixture ignites, forcing the piston back down.
When a diesel engine is started in cold weather, a glow plug in each cylinder heats to the glowing point, then when you crank the engine over to start it the glow plug ignites the fuel mixture for just long enough that the cylinders heat up enough to trigger a switch that turns the glow plugs off.
So yes, a glowing ember will ignite an air fuel vapor, but only in the right conditions. Diesel is very difficult to get to ‘light off’ because its ‘vapor pressure’ is very low. The vapor pressure of a solution is the rate that it changes from a liquid to a vapor at a given temperature. Diesel will ignite, but it takes a lot of heat to vaporize it properly for ignition, but once the vapor concentration is right, it does not need a spark (or glow) to ignite it. Just compressing the air and introducing the fuel to the hot air is enough to ignite it.
Octane is a term used to describe a substance from the isomeric liquid alkanes family that is added to a fuel to inhibit ignition, so octane (as used in the above expression) is incorrect.
Old time mechanic here, and I enjoyed high school and college chem classes. ;)
I wonder if this is correlative of what someone told me once: that contrary to what you see in movies, cars don’t usually explode on impact. Or even if they’re on fire.
I cannot believe there’s another OS regular on this board!
I love going into the main bakery/roast-ery(?), even though it’s hotter than a firecracker this time of year. But it’s nice to know I can buy the beans at some of the finer retail establishments in town.
Have you been to Weatherstone since they took it over?
Hmm, that sounded sort of duh. You know what I mean.
Absolutely. A full gas tank is very safe as long as the fuel stays in it, but a half full tank of gas is a small bomb due to the high vapor concentration present in the air in the tank. Even then, in a crash the integrity of the fuel tank must be compromised and a spark produced to ignite it.
I saw a show recently that pretty much showed what happens when a fuel leak in a racing boat (hydro racing) allowed the vapor concentration to hit the ‘sweet spot’. It blew the top off of the boat, from end to end. A huge airspace and the accumulation of fuel vapors in it made the perfect bomb. Luckily the two guys survived, but they were a mess from being inside of an explosion.
Thanks for the info CL.
Just Some Fuckhead
My ’72 Pinto was engineered to these specifications.
No prob, and it is a subject that I studied so I enjoy talking about it.
On the subject of octane, here is a money saving tip for those of you who might not be aware of it. Don’t buy premium fuel unless the design of your car/truck calls for it specifically. You will NOT get more power out of a higher octane fuel just by virtue of using it. Use the octane rating your engine calls for, and you will get the best cost per mile/gallon out of it.
Octane is a tricky subject to understand because it can be applied in various ways for different results. In the old days, you added ‘ethyl’ (named for the company that created it and the octane scale the industry uses!), or what we called premium, to your car if you used a high compression engine. The higher you compress the air/fuel mixture in an engine before it is ignited by the spark, the more power you can derive from it. But if you compress that same premium in a low compression engine, you will not get the same gain in power.
High performance engines not only compress the air/fuel ‘tighter’ (read: higher) to produce more power, their intake and exhaust systems are designed to flow better, thus allowing for more atmosphere to fill the cylinders. The problem is that gas will auto-ignite (spark knock) due to the higher heat generated when that atmosphere is compressed (like in a diesel engine, hence the expression ‘dieseling’ to describe ‘run on’ when you turn a gas powered car off and it keeps running). In the old days, octane, referred to as TEL, or Tetra-Ethyl Lead), was added to the gas to raise its auto-ignition level. By suppressing (raising) the ignition point of the air/fuel vapor mix, this allowed engine makers to shove more air and fuel into an engine (through better flowing intake and exhaust systems or even turbo/super charging), compress it tighter (higher) and then ignite it, producing more power.
So by itself, premium fuel will not improve power unless the engine is designed for it. That is the way it was. In the world of today, octane takes on a whole new meaning with the elimination of TEL (Lead) from gas as an octane rating booster. Why? Glad you asked! ;)
In the early days of the internal combustion engine, gas was pretty much waste material from refining oil and it was discovered that it could be burned in the internal combustion engine. So there was no real consistency to the quality of the gas, nor how consistent it would be from one refinery to another. Early engine manufacturers kept blowing up engines as they tried to increase the amount of air/fuel mix they consumed and the pressures it would be subjected to prior to it being ignited. The vapor pressure of early gas was such that it would auto-ignite (spark knock) if the compression of the engine was too high, and too high then was way lower than our current ‘low compression’ engines of today. In fact, the lowest compression engine today would be a race engine compared to the highest compression engine of the early days of motoring.
Someone got the bright idea of adding something to gas to inhibit its auto-ignition point, and octane was born. They tried all kinds of substances and fuel blends before settling on TEL, and TEL was the perfect substance because it not only inhibited ignition, it also lubricated the valves and seats in the engine which made them last longer and able to withstand abuse better. But TEL contains lead, and that was its major drawback.
Other substances have been tried, MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether) being one of them, but they work in a different manner by introducing oxygen into the fuel before it is vaporized, thus ‘leaning’ out the amount of fuel in a given volume of gas, before it is even mixed with air. The same goes for ethanol, it is an oxygenate too. By introducing more oxygen into the fuel, you have to consume more fuel to produce the same amount of power that an equivalent amount of TEL based fuel would produce.
That explains the lousy mileage that you get with ethanol based fuels, and why you can buy racing carburetors that are E-85 capable now. They are similar to regular gas carburetors but they dump a heck of a lot more fuel into the engine to make the same power that an old time engine running TEL would need.
Fuels are an interesting subject, but don’t get me started on oil and the reduction of ZDDP (Zinc Dialkyldithiophosphate) in engine oil!
So was my 78 Mustang…lol! Do you know what the ‘fix’ was that Ford made to stop the problem? A thick piece of plastic strapped around the front and bottom edge of the gas tank. The problem with the Pinto/Mustang II chassis was the placement of the fuel tank immediately behind the rear axle. In a rear end collision, the gas tank could be shoved into the axle, puncturing it. The thick piece of plastic was to allow the tank to slide up over the axle and compress rather than puncture.
Surprisingly, it worked perfectly. You can bet I still have mine on my car too! ;)
And it cost something like $1-$2 to fix, yes?
Bringing back memories of the ol’ cost-benefit analysis Ford applied – the cost being the amount paid to families of victims burned to death in their cars.
Hmm, I see the cost was estimated at $11 per vehicle. Still cheaper to pay off families, it seems:
Ford’s Pinto memo
Just Some Fuckhead
Haha. I lost the Pinto in a seven car pileup. Oddly, no boom.
Didn’t know about the MustangII. Had one of those too, a ’74 if I remember correctly. Blew the engine up.
I am here despite Ford’s efforts to kill me. Today, I proudly drive a 2004 F150 that only costs $120 to fill up with gas, which is gonna kill me just as certainly as an explosion.
Yeah, and at $11.00, the cost of the materials was inflated. In production, it took a couple of seconds to thread the plastic onto the gas tank straps before mounting the tank. A retrofit would take about 15 minutes.
I don’t think it was deliberate on their part though (the production of the car itself, not the delay in implementing the change). You would be surprised how many engineers are caught with their pants down because they did not fully understand cause/effect relationships of components and their proximity to each other in extraordinary situations.
Some of the best engineers are good mechanics first. We not only fix problems, we find out why they happened and what, if anything, can be done to prevent (or delay) them from happening again. You can’t beat hands on experience and intelligence put to good use.
Plus you never need to take your car to a shop, you ARE the shop. :D
My Mustang had a V6 in it, so it came with the 13 gallon tank. I dropped a well built 351 Windsor V8 in it, but I have not come across a 16 1/2 gallon tank that the V8 Mustangs came with, so I live with the limited range. But at least the fill-ups are less painful! Just more often…lol
Yeah, and an estimate of 11 million vehicles sold seems preposterous. Even if you’re including chasses (is that the plural of chassis?) for other vehicles, and extrapolating for a period of years.
There was a story on NPR a number of years ago about this, in which a professor of mechanical engineering was being interviewed. He observed that, as you say,some of the best engineers are first of all good mechanics, and a lot of them got their experience working on cars. Nowadays working on cars is much more difficult, shrinking the pool of people with good mechanical experience, and (less intuitively) all the modern 3D computer-aided design tools that are now viewed as being essential in engineering education don’t actually give people the same intuitions as fiddling with real physical objects.
Glad to see the Pinto mentioned in this discussion. I know one of the engineers Ford hired to figure out why the Pintos were exploding in rear-end collisions. He says his team figured it out in less than 2 weeks but it took a while to figure out a solution that management and federal regulators would accept as cost-effective.
Cinnamon in coffee isn’t elitist, it’s an effect of the “Scary Brown People” from across the border taking over. All of the panaderias in San Jose sell café con canela. Some sell café de olla. You should also try the Mexican chocolate with cinnamon. One brand that is pretty easy to get is Abuelita. It comes in a yellow box with a picture of an old woman (abuelita means grandmother).