The Office Holiday Party store

There's one of these dress barn stores that we keep walking by on the way home from the red line. As bad a name as "dress barn" is, it's really just the store where all secreataries get their New Dress for the Office Holiday Party.


The New York Times > Travel > Escapes > 36 Hours: In Phoenix

The Times has on its list of must-go places in Phoenix the amazing little Mexican restaurant we dragged Scott's parents to when we were there. They didn't eat anything, because they were afraid of it and thought we were crazy for dragging them halfway across the city.

What's a trip to the Southwest without Mexican food? Be prepared — Barrio Café (2814 North 16th Street, 602-636-0240) isn't your typical chips-and-salsa joint. Silvana Salcido Esparza serves her black mole sauce over chicken or enchiladas in her simple but elegant storefront restaurant. The white-walled, Saltillo tile-floored space features a small wooden bar and rotating work by local artists — often Latino. Start your meal with guacamole prepared table-side ($8) and try the 12-hour slow roasted pork with achioto rojo and sour orange and salsa Yucatan ($17). Save room for dessert, especially the churros rellenos de cajeta de cabra ($8) — goat's milk caramel-stuffed fritters with vanilla ice cream.

Those churros really were sublime. Scott's dad had something rude to say about the creative ingredients, if I remember correctly.


on my dad's being a crazy person

Scott helped put together a graph showing clearly the sad, sorry decline of my dad's capacity for good eating and where it's headed.

My dad's restaurant picking graph

They make me tired

When did my dad and Kathleen become exactly the same as Scott's lame-ass parents? Is it really that hard to go out to dinner in Chicago, to try something new you haven't had before, to figure out where to go, or to meet people and then decide? Apparently they need to drive right up to the front of the pre-ordained restaurant, park, and not walk or take any kind of train or bus at all. Walking around and finding a place to eat is apparently also out of the question.

So is anything like indian food, couscous, grape leaves, or tapas.

Shop or Die!

Aerobics lessons and digital cameras greet Friday shoppers

They really should've gotten Mr Combs to participate. I'm sure "Shop or Die" would be as effective as his compelling "Vote or Die."


Bitter, yes, but terribly lucid and incisive.

ScentStories Up Your Nose / It plugs into the wall and plays "scent CDs" and features Shania Twain, somehow. Hail, Satan: "Look at it this way: much like white zinfandel or 'Cathy' cartoons or the George W. Bush presidency, ScentStories could vanish tomorrow and no sentient being anywhere on the planet would miss it, ever. And that, verily, is the scent of true perspective."


more yum


  • spinach risotto with crimini mushrooms and thyme
  • pan-seared scallops with garlic and lemon


  • roasted brussels sprouts
  • chicken paprikás
  • whole wheat pasta

for jon

How to reset the nickname and the automatic completion caches in Outlook


I had a lovely dinner aboard the train to Chicago. No, of course I didn't go to the café car: I brought a sourdough bread that I'd sliced about half of, an assortment of cheeses, and some salami (sopressa, I think).

It was not unlike meals I'd brought on to trains in, say, Bologna or Rome. Immensely satisfying, but it was missing wine. In Italy you can get a juice box of table wine, perfect for the train! a bottle and a glass are impractical. I wanted travel wine. Definitely on the list of things to bring back next time... especially because I couldn't find any online. Is there no market for this here? Why the stupid small bottles? Who wants to drink out of those? They need a glass. Although props of course to this kickass sparkling wine packaging.


Creepy shit, this

Yahoo! News - Government Uses Color Laser Printer Technology to Track Documents

damn that's a nerdy idea

I'd laugh really, really hard if Steve gave out Linux with his xmas cards.

yummy plans!

Metromix.com:: Thanksgiving Dinner at Vermilion


Gawker Stalker

Gawker Stalker
Freemans tuesday night the 16th of nov. the bush twins along with 2 massive secret service men tried to have dinner they were told by the maitre 'd that they were full and would be for the next 4 years upon hearing the entire restaurant cheered and did a round of shots it was amazing!!! [Ed: We're hearing that this is actually true.]


An eye for an eye

I strongly believe that if you excessively horizontal-scale a beautiful font, that you should be punished by being horizontally scaled. You should be laced up in a motherfucking corset until your motherfucking ribs break. It's only fair.

But- but-

American Family Association reviews Shark Tale:
"Of course, when it comes to kids, this is tricky stuff. The film does not come right out and say that we should all accept homosexuality. And, naturally, children should be taught to be accepting of others."

The reviewer nearly acknowledges his own tortured "love the sinner hate the sin" confusion. It is a compelling message, he admits, but can't bring himself to say that he thinks accepting others isn't something you really want your kids to believe in.


Another little game

Let's suppose the following hypothetical situation: A number of graduate students (say, seven) share an office. The overhead light has a motion sensor. When people are working or reading at their desks, they're not moving around enough and the light shuts off after about 15 minutes.

One member of the class decides to rewire the light (the junction-box is easily accessible). He or she is extremely proud of him/herself for this unusual feat of engineering.

What do you say you're going to do at the end of the year for next year's class? Your could be an asshole, and proclaim that you are going to re-wire the sensor "to give the next class a challenge like we had" or do you shut the fuck up and leave the light the new way that makes everyone happier?


Sex Inspectors

The Observer | Review | 'I'm trying to wean myself off younger men': "The series goes out at 11pm. And the footage is extraordinarily frank, even with clever cropping and pixellation. Couples draw their bodies on a blackboard and identify the bits they like stimulated. Then there's the jaw-dropping moment where one of the men admits he ejaculated so fast after a spot of spanking he temporarily blinded his partner. It sounds terrifying - and just occasionally it is - but actually the shows are redeemed by the good humour and bravery of the participants."


a preview for api tomorrow

Classroom activities on regulation

  • ❑ It is 1964. The six members of the European Economic Community (dominated by France and W. Germany) are drafting the first Common Agricultural Policy. Since they are all relatively rich and can't imagine that Poland will want a piece of the CAP subsidy for another 40 years, they can afford give in to demands from important national constituencies, like chicken farmers in Germany who say that cheap Tyson frozen chicken from America is putting them out of business. The "panel of trade experts in Geneva" that would eventually become the WTO rule in favor of the United States and say, "put across-the-board tariffs on some stuff that will mostly hurt West Germany." Choose three items to tax up to 25%, remembering that you can take this opportunity to throw a bone to another non-chicken ag constituency: potato starch, sauerkraut, lederhosen, light trucks, expensive brandy. Hint: Volkswagen makes something called the Kombi van. Hint 2: The Brandy is probably French; you don't care about Italy; and you can't tell Benelux apart from each other (neither can they).
  • ❑ You are 1973 EPA Deputy Assistant Administrator for Vehicular Pollution Eric Stork. "We [have] to find a way to keep the [1970] Clean Air Act from being blamed for putting American Motor Company out of business," you say. Although Congress made explicit targets for cars' fuel efficiency (1985 CAFE 27.5), it added vaguely that the EPA "shall, by rule, prescribe average fuel economy standards for automobiles which are not passenger automobiles." AMC makes the Jeep Wagoneer. Find a way to allow Detroit to meet the Clean Air Act targets and still make large, inefficient vehicles. Hint: Your light truck tax from #1 is still in effect, and Detroit automakers all seem to think that it would be fair to exempt light trucks, say, up to 6,000 lbs Gross Vehicle Weight and set their target at 20.7. After all, they only make and sell a few vehicles are in this category (Wagoneer, Blazer, and Bronco).
  • ❑ You are Jimmy Carter. The American economy hits more recession in 1979. The clever Japanese have figured out that they can ship light trucks to the US in two parts, and bolt them together on the docks because "auto parts" are not subject to the chicken tax. Appease the Big Three and the UAW with one Customs Service ruling.
  • ❑ You work for the EPA under Reagan. Mention that the standards for emissions and efficiency haven't been changed since 1973. Ha! You thought I was serious! You were gonna do it!
  • ❑ You are NHTSA. Pesky safety advocates and their allies, personal-injury lawyers, have begun to notice that SUV drivers are far more likely to die in rollovers than car drivers because SUVs have a high center of gravity. A 1980 segment on "60 Minutes" shows that a Jeep can flip over even on a dry, open road if the drivers swerves abruptly, as if avoiding a child or a tricycle. You "look at the difficulties of coming up with rollover evaluations" and of "repeatability" of a test. Then do nothing.
  • ❑ You are a congressional committee under pressure in 1984 to close tax loopholes (deduct full purchase price for depreciation over just three years) that encourage realtors, sales representatives, and consultants to buy the largest, gaudiest, most expensive new Cadillacs and Lincolns they can get their gauche little hands on. Pretend to close the loophole. Hint: Farmers still want to be able to deduct their light trucks up to 6,000lbs GVW, and you always do what farmers tell you. Detroit agrees, especially since Japanese light trucks are still subject to the chicken tax.
  • ❑ An AMC ad shows a Jeep careening off tall sand dunes and then driving off into forests. NHTSA says that the Jeep is in fact highly unstable and prone to roll over. Devise a rule that will cost pennies per vehicle, make the Jeep seem more adventurous and attractive to young buyers, and not do anything about its instability. (You can pretend to be either NHTSA or AMC here. It doesn't really matter.)
  • ❑ You are Ford. You want to roll out the 12mpg Expedition, but it will totally kill your light-truck CAFE. One of your lawyers points out that in a previous bit of pork for corn farmers, vehicles that can run on "E85" (85% ethanol, which is available at few gas stations, alongside regular fuel so consumers have ample opportunity to pass it up) can be said to get "superb gas mileage." By adding a small sensor that will allow the engine to adjust automatically, you can count a 27mpg Ford Ranger as getting 44mpg. Determine exactly how few of these in a given year you must produce in order to meet 20.7mpg with the introduction of the Excursion. If you exceed 20.7 CAFE Chrysler and GM, played by other members of the class, will laugh at you. Make sure to inform consumers of this unique capability in a footnote to the Appendix of the owner's manual.


Big sigh

There is a large class of people in this country who are sympathetic to the "European dream" of a managed market economy in which cooperation is emphasized over competition, leisure is privileged over work, and the social costs of capitalism are closely regulated -- and you know who you are, gentle readers. But to most Americans "freedom" still means untrammeled private-property rights, open markets, workaholism and the belief that somehow we'll all die rich.
A Salon review of three books on the European Union



The true story of Stickies

MSN Search

Microsoft came from behind in the browser war, andhttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif triumphed briefly. I think most of us hold a negative view of IE in comparison especially to Firefox. Of course, search is a different concept, and I think the "market" is more fluid.


Critical opinion so far.

Slashdot | Learning Unix for Mac OS X Panther

Slashdot | Learning Unix for Mac OS X Panther

Microsoft is as reality-based as the Bushies

Microsoft says Firefox not a threat to IE | CNET News.com:
"'I don't agree that just because a (competing) product has a feature that we don't have, that feature is important,' he said. 'It is not. It is only important if it is a feature the customer wants. There are plenty of products out there with features we don't have. We have plenty of features that our customers don't use."


more blue post-election blues

Frank Rich gets it pretty much right:
"The Leslies swear by 'moral absolutes,' support a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and mostly watch Fox News. Mr. Leslie has also watched his income drop from $55,000 to $35,000 since 2001, forcing himself, his wife and his three young children into the ranks of what he calls the 'working poor.' Maybe by 2008 some Democrat will figure out how to persuade him that it might be a higher moral value to worry about the future of his own family than some gay family he hasn't even met."


for gmail users:

A handy notification extension for the status bar.


Fuck the South!


Oh, and by the way

Get Firefox

If you're one of the three or four regular readers of my little blog, you should be aware that Firefox 1.0 was released today and you should download it right now.

Film festivals are fun!

I'm especially excited to meet the director of Gods & Monsters and now Kinsey.

Many thanks to Hilary for finding and going to the Metropolis St Louis event last week! A lot of them seem like exactly the kind of young people I want to befriend, to get away from the department and do fun stuff. Example: we met Andrea who hooked us up with the Film Festival parties! And Victor, who's also cool.

Quiet, at last, I hope!

I asked the woman upstairs very nicely if there was anything she could do about the loud walking, especially late at night. Her first response was, "It's the shoes, isn't it?"

I said, well yes, they're loud, but even barefoot it can be pretty annoying when someone crosses the apartment 32 times between 3 and 4 AM.

She, in turn, asked that the techno music be less loud; that's not a problem because I really only turned it on as loudly as I did to annoy her.

Kinda ironic

A web article today on TNR says basically the same thing that Stephen Glass made up a few years ago.

Old, but good

Here's an American Prospect article by E. J. Graff from 2002 that concisely summarizes the recent political history of gay rights just up to Vermont civil unions.

2000 census data on same-sex partners


Marriage Amendments go to court

from NPR.

Bye-bye, Asscroft!



for a change, a recipe


I was pleased with the soup I made for dinner tonight. It reminded me of Milanese soups, with a number ingredients that mingled well yet maintained their individuality. It's not a minestrone becuase it doesn't have beans; you could add a half cup of rice or maybe spelt to make it a meal without bread.
  • 'bout a pound of spinach, raw, chopped, or I guess a frozen box is ok
  • As much pancetta or bacon as you care to add, up to 1/4 lb.
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large or 2 med potatoes (1.5lb?), half-inch dice (I used yukon gold so they stayed chunky with thin skins)
  • 4-8 cups stock (I made chicken stock, but fresh or packaged veggie or beef stock would be good; I will note that if you are making beef stock, shouldn't you use it for onion soup and top it with either Gruyère or Idiazabal and broil it? Yes, you should.)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Sea salt to taste


Chop the bacon and fry (starting in a cold pan) until most of the fat is rendered and the bacon is almost crispy but not quite. Remove the bacon, and pour off most but not all the fat. Add butter and sauté the leeks, potatoes, and garlic together until the leeks are soft. (You could use olive oil. I know we're trading one saturated fat for another, but they're different flavors and we're using a lot less butter than we had bacon fat.)

Add the stock and salt and simmer until the potatoes are soft. If you add rice or pasta to the soup, this is at least 20 minutes.

I broke one egg per person into the soup at this point, and cooked them slightly too long because I was setting the table.

Serve with bread unless there's rice or pasta in the soup.

Part II of the NPR Gross Anatomy Lab story


Conservatives just aren't very creative

“I know all about Polk street and the Castro,” he said. “Stanford University. I’m from San Francisco, and I’m for gay marriage.” He was wearing a yellow golf shirt, tucked into khaki chino shorts with a cell phone clipped to his belt — the Republican uniform. “Our candidate, John Kerry, supports gay marriage, gay adoption, everything gay.”

The ruse, apparently, was supposed to target this church-going Democratic crowd by misrepresenting Kerry’s politics.