The cheaper cuts.

One of my favorite things to pick up at Trader Joe’s is their carnitas-in-a-bag heat-n-serve deal. Nothing like putting that on a tortilla with a little chopped cilantro to make you feel you made the right choice. It was maybe the third time I did so before I thought, $5.99 is a ridiculous price to pay for two cups of stewed pork. So I resolved to make my own. I recalled a “Splendid Table” episode that spoke of the wonders of the pork shoulder, a poverty cut well-suited to slow-roasting. I went online, found the recipe — mmm, a “mole-inspired spice rub” — and set out for my own culinary adventure in make-your-own carnitas.

The first problem was with the “3-1/2-pound organic pork shoulder.” They must breed some wee little piggies for the organic trade, because at the Gratiot Central Market’s Temple o’ Pork, the very smallest pork shoulder I could find was eight pounds. Still, at $1.29 per, it only cost me $10 and change. If this thing dollars up, I’ll be way ahead. The recipe is maddening for someone as impatient as me — rub, entomb in a heavy dutch oven and cook for hours in a very slow oven — but now, at the three-hour mark, I’m starting to get some pretty good smells upstairs.

Yes, it’s another write-on-Sunday-for-Monday entry. School lets out at noon Tuesday; I expect the week to kick my ass.

After-dinner update: Mmmm, slow-roasted fatty pork. Poor people get all the good chow.

That’s one consolation, I guess. Although, even rich people have it rough these days. They’re scared, I tell you. Here’s Tom Friedman in Sunday’s NYT:

So, I have a confession and a suggestion. The confession: I go into restaurants these days, look around at the tables often still crowded with young people, and I have this urge to go from table to table and say: “You don’t know me, but I have to tell you that you shouldn’t be here. You should be saving your money. You should be home eating tuna fish. This financial crisis is so far from over. We are just at the end of the beginning. Please, wrap up that steak in a doggy bag and go home.”

Tom Friedman, one week (one! week!) previous:

Now is when we need a president who has the skill, the vision and the courage to cut through this cacophony, pull us together as one nation and inspire and enable us to do the one thing we can and must do right now:

Go shopping.

I am a happy and satisfied New York Times subscriber — at least as happy as I get with any newspaper — but I’m starting to get frustrated with this phenomenon of rich guys panicking. Ben Stein, same paper:

The problem now, as in 1929 to 1940, is that the economy is not functioning normally. It is shot through and through with fear, even terror. Worse yet, and unlike the situation in the Depression, government miscues have been only a part of the problem. This fear is so pervasive that it has brought the credit sector to a virtual shutdown, even to borrowers with good credit. At this point, the lending sector is so panicked — largely from the government’s inconsistent behavior and failure to rescue Lehman Brothers — that it is frozen. Not totally, but way too much for ease of lending and maybe even for the survival of a robust economy. And if a colossal worldwide deleveraging spreads to Treasury debt owned by foreigners, the situation will be deadly serious.

“Shot through with fear, even terror,” so he thought, what the hell, can a little more be all that bad? It’s always interesting to me how many different personas Ben Stein deploys in maintaining his fabulous career. In the pop-culture joke sector, he’s all about the voice and the “anyone? anyone?” gag. In the NYT, he’s the serious economist. And there’s always room for another face, as his role in “Expelled” demonstrates. But he’s a rich guy now, he’ll still be a rich guy if the whole economy falls into the toilet, and I wish he’d save the fear and terror for those who might actually be going hungry or turned out in the street if such a thing happens.

All I can say is, thank God for Gretchen Morgenson, who explains it isn’t necessarily “fear” that has frozen lending. After all, didn’t we all recently chip in $700 billion to get the system oiled again? Yes, but oops, there seems to be a hitch in the plans:

When the Troubled Asset Relief Program of the Treasury Department handed over $125 billion in taxpayer money to nine banks a month ago, they were supposed to lend to small businesses, home buyers and other worthy borrowers to keep the economy’s gears in motion.

At the time, the Federal Reserve Board and three bank regulatory agencies said: “The agencies expect all banking organizations to fulfill their fundamental role in the economy as intermediaries of credit to businesses, consumers, and other creditworthy borrowers.”

Alas, that admonition wasn’t accompanied by any real requirements to lend. When the Treasury gave taxpayer billions to the banks, it attached no strings. So is it any surprise that lending is tight?

But remember: It would be wrong to loan Detroit automakers 20 percent of that amount. Because some Senate staffer bought a Chevy Vega right out of college, and it went through oil like you wouldn’t believe.

So I guess we’re either screwed, or we’re not. I eat tuna fish in good times and bad, and I don’t think the solution is to stay home and wait for the inevitable. I always wondered, reading about apocalyptic events in history, how ordinary people weathered them, and the answer seems to be — they did what they always did. (There are exceptions. Pompeii comes to mind.) As for me, I’ll continue to buy local, put money into Salvation Army kettles, floss, pet my dog and only pull the covers up over my head when I’m really tired.

Cautionary note: I’m always confident and expansive after eating a good meal.

Some good bloggage for you today: A fascinating read in New York magazine on Bellevue, the city’s infamous psychiatric hospital. News peg: It’s on the verge of closing. (Now I’ll never get to check in in a straitjacket.) What does it take to get committed to Bellevue? A lot:

Bellevue is not for “some Upper East Side suicidal neurotic or whatever—they’d go to NYU Medical Center next door. Our patients were the ones with no money, no resources, and multiple stressors.”

That, or their behavior is so extreme—criminal or otherwise—that no other option presents itself. Merely wandering into the middle of Broadway while muttering incoherently? Probably not enough. “You know, the brilliance of the schizophrenics when they’re directing traffic,” says Covan, “is that they always direct it in the direction it’s already going, so their grandiosity is reinforced. But if they start to direct it in the opposite direction, or if they’re assaulting other people, or if you came in and said you really wanted to kill yourself, not just that you were thinking about it … You know, Bellevue is not the place for you if you’re just not feeling good today and you’re really worried about the stock market.”

Remember when I talked about seeing people in motorized wheelchairs driving on the city streets? I wasn’t kidding. Jim @ Sweet Juniper has photographic proof.

Finally, Mr. and Mrs. Coozledad are adding to their happy menagerie, newest member seen here. Actually, they’re getting two mules, and they don’t match. Coozle reports he’s learning to drive them, and their favorite command is whoa. As they are now the hands-down smartest critters on the spread, I expect his blog will be even more of a laff riot.

Ten o’clock already? Time to study Russian.

Posted at 9:57 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

44 responses to “The cheaper cuts.”

  1. brian stouder said on November 24, 2008 at 10:24 am

    Cautionary note: I’m always confident and expansive after eating a good meal.

    The word “expansive” causes a little….”fear, even terror”, in this context

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  2. Jeff Borden said on November 24, 2008 at 10:45 am

    We ought to recall the words said to the British during the Blitz: Remain calm. Carry on.

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  3. LA Mary said on November 24, 2008 at 11:06 am

    I get some comfort from the news when they compare some dire change to the last time it happened, which was always in my lifetime and I always came through it ok. I’ve had two jobs at a time or I’ve eaten rice and beans more often, but jeez, worse things can happen. Just keep going. I worry about the kids college funds, but the state system here, in spite of serious cuts in enrollment and raises of tuition, will likely be our salvation. We can make this work if we have to. I paid my own way through college and I have no doubt my kids can contribute to their educations.
    Tom Friedman should go back to his organic mansion in Maryland and just shut up or stick to writing about the Middle East.

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  4. crinoidgirl said on November 24, 2008 at 11:10 am

    I forget who suggested it, but looks like they really are going to drive a fuel-efficient caravan to Congress:

    Detroit’s new plan: Drive point to Congress

    A plan is taking shape for auto suppliers, dealers and the UAW to participate in a cavalcade of fuel-efficient American-brand vehicles to Washington, D.C., in December, when Congress reconsiders the industry’s plea for quick action on low-interest loans.

    The aim is to put a populist face on the need for the American auto industry’s survival and to build grassroots support for federal aid, in the wake of criticism that the Detroit Three chief executive officers and UAW President Ron Gettelfinger did not make a convincing case during two days of congressional hearings last week.

    “There was so much misinformation in the hearings last week. I’d love to see something come to fruition where people show what this industry means to the country,” said Carl Galeana, president of Galeana Automotive Group, which has domestic and import dealerships in Michigan, South Carolina and Florida.

    “I’ll do whatever I can to save this industry,” he added.

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  5. nancy said on November 24, 2008 at 11:12 am

    Maybe the Dylan rule applies: When you ain’t got nothin’, you got nothin’ to lose. The dollar-figure loss in the Stein and Friedman portfolios is doubtless jaw-dropping, but it’s really irritating to hear this sort of hand-wringing from people whose greatest sacrifice will be to switch to a younger single-malt.

    Rod Dreher soaked another pair of undies this weekend, too:

    I’d suggested to Julie yesterday that we might take the kids today to a certain restaurant we like. We haven’t been to a restaurant as a family in a while, and this restaurant could use our business. But having read Friedman this morning, we’ll stay at home today, and this cafe will lose business. This is how it happens. Tom Friedman, in a small way, contributed to the contraction of economic activity in Dallas today, and hastened the demise, possibly, of a small business. I don’t blame Tom Friedman. He’s right, of course. But you see how the cycle happens.

    That’s one of the bright lights of the American commentariat there. Life isn’t fair.

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  6. nancy said on November 24, 2008 at 11:16 am


    The proposal took shape Friday after Tim Leuliette, chairman and CEO of Dura Automotive, a Rochester Hills-based supplier, broached the idea to Rick Wagoner, Alan Mulally and Bob Nardelli, the CEOs of General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC. Other supplier executives and auto dealers were quickly engaged in the discussion.

    J.C., check the logs! Maybe we can take credit for this after all!

    HT: Crinoidgirl.

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  7. moe99 said on November 24, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Glad the hogshead is no longer on the top of the fold, so to speak.

    As someone who is not a big fan of american automobiles, the latest news that they’re giving big bucks to Citi kind of brought me over to side of the car makers. At least the big 3 produce something, rather than push paper.

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  8. Julie Robinson said on November 24, 2008 at 11:46 am

    What LAMary said. We’ve been through hard times in this family and we know how to hunker down. We still live better than 95% of the world.

    I will say, though, that a little sunshine would help! Last week on a grim day like today I growled and whined my way to the grocery, to be met by a Salvation Army bellringer who was his own ray of sunshine. Everyone got eye contact, a smile, a comment about how wonderful it was to be alive and a bless you. Now, I wasn’t feeling any of those things, but he sure helped. Thank you, sir.

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  9. Danny said on November 24, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Tom Friedman should go back to his organic mansion in Maryland and just shut up or stick to writing about the Middle East.

    I wish he’d move from Maryland. Sigh…

    Speaking of producing something, years ago I had a conversation with one of the managers at the LA Sanitation District regarding the effect of reduced flow from water conservation measures on the equipment. His comment: “Flow’s down, but solids are the same.”

    Oh, and … “Astronauts tinker with urine-to-water machine…”

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  10. Rana said on November 24, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    So it’s tuna fish sandwiches now? What happened to the days of telling us to quit drinking lattes and thereby eliminate debt from our lives?

    (I prefer bean-and-cheese burritos and tea, so I guess I’m really screwed.)

    On a more serious note, it’s been interesting seeing the discussion of the economy in one of my online retail venues, Etsy. The people who are successfully selling things are convinced that it’s because people value handmade items more in a downturn (through some miracle of authenticity triumphing over mass production); those who aren’t selling tend toward the other explanation, that nobody’s buying much of anything, let alone high-priced (because more authentic) handmade goods. In both, the economic situation reinforces people’s perceptions that they held before the downturn, about their goods, their skills, etc. Makes me wonder how true this is of financial pundits?

    Etsian responses tend to replicate prior patterns as well; there’s the optimist camp, who are convinced that the proper response to the situation is to be positive! (to the point of exhorting the group at large to do so) and the pessimist camp, who wrap themselves in the cloak of Being Realistic and accuse the optimists of being too positive (all about “cupcakes and rainbows” in Etsy parlance).

    (I blame my own lack of sales on Etsy on inexperience and inadequate marketing, but I do sometimes find the temptation to blame outside forces enticing.)

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  11. LA Mary said on November 24, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    You can use cheap cuts of pork, cubed, in green chili. I’ve have good luck with that lately. With about five pounds of pork I use maybe four big white onions, three or four pounds of chopped tomatillos, half a dozen big cloves of garlic, as many jalapenos (charred on the burner or under the broiler), green bell peppers (charred also) serranos (ditto) as you like. Brown the meat with some salt and pepper, add the onions, then everything else. Cover and cook for about 90 minutes. All the vegetables release a lot of liquid. It’s good, and better on day two.

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  12. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 24, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    Radical thread hijack (i really, really should be making contracts fly out of my office, but my files are all in electronic limbo, but perversely i have internet) — this is about an evangelical pastor who is not a total doofus, and it was good to read about an evangelical church in the NYTimes where there was no financial scandal, no personal collapse on the part of the leadership, and . . . ok, so there is sex. Sort of.

    Liked the acronym for “Kids,” and i hate acronyms.

    Rana, the “miracle of authenticity” — can i steal that for a sermon?

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  13. beb said on November 24, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Yesterday I was going to post an apoloogy to Susan Tompor for laughing at her when she said Detroit was a dirty word.
    while I have known for a long time that Detroit wasn’t liked I was unprepared for the rain of hatred showered on the car makers this past week. People seemed almost gleeful that maybe 2.5 million people would lost their jobs if the American car industry collapsed. Why do these people people America so?

    I don’t think that a caravan of fuel efficient cars to Washington is going to change perceptions much. The CEOs were told to come back with a plan, and this isn’t a plan.

    I’m not opposed to the car industry being beaten up a little but I would feel a whiole lot better if there were some investigations in the finace section to find out who lost all this money and try to get some of it back. Andn I’m thinking the perp walk needs to begin with Robert Rubins.

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  14. Rana said on November 24, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    Jeff – sure!

    I have a feeling we’re going to be seeing a lot of that language (about being authentic as the solution to all our woes) in the next few months, especially around Christmas and around the swearing in in January, as a sort of counterpoint to the perception that we’re in this hole because we’ve somehow lost touch with what’s “real.”

    I don’t entirely disagree with that – losing touch with the real describes the banking crisis pretty well – but like so many memes in the media, the praise of the authentic and down-to-earth is frequently just a new marketing campaign for business as usual. See “frugalista” for example. Yeah, we’re swapping out steaks in restaurants for tuna fish at home, but what’s really important is that people see us doing so – wouldn’t want to be off-trend, now, would we?

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  15. crinoidgirl said on November 24, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Found it (I have nothing else to do but look for a job right now):

    jcburns says:
    November 20th, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Yeah, if I were doing PR for GM/Ford/Chrysler, I’d turn it into an event…put all three of them in a hybrid SUV and let them roll down the Ohio and Pennsylvania Turnpikes to DC, doing press avails by cell phone, stopping for mini news conferences at truckstops, and rolling triumphantly (with live shots) into the Capitol area. In the back seat: a UAW employee from each.
    “These are the people you’re affecting. We’re just their drivers.”

    That said, I’d only bail them out with about a zillion restrictions that would include firing most of top management, including the three jet-setters.

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  16. Julie Robinson said on November 24, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Re homemade gifts: I’ve always done this, partly to be frugal and partly because I need to be creative to be happy. I try very hard not to create junky kitsch like crocheted toilet paper dolls. Almost universally, people express joy that I valued them enough to spend time making something personally for them. In some cases, recipients are truly awed that someone still knows how to sew, crochet, paint, bake, etc. For women I like to observe what kind of jewelry they like and create something I know they’d like. This is lots of fun for me. I have to be careful not to get overly ambitious, though!

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  17. Kirk said on November 24, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    Your quote from the sanitation manager reminded me of one from a story we did recently on a couple of guys who have worked in the Columbus sewers for decades: “You don’t want to bite your fingernails if you work in the sewers.”

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  18. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 24, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Authenticity — in museum design, more and more people are quickly tiring of high tech, button/gadget/touch screen stuff (ask the folks at the Lincoln Museum in Springfield, IL), and they are saying “Where’s the real stuff?” They want to see Tecumseh’s calumet and Harrison’s sword and the Treaty of GreenVille, not an interactive exhibit on “Contact Between Cultures.”

    And the program we’re trying to keep running here that the Thanksgiving service helped so much with is not really about having money or vouchers to hand out — it’s about training volunteers to hear out people in full, focus attention on their story and situation, and offer to guide them through the maze of JFS touch screens and forms and prompt menus on the phone (and offer to pray with them, if that would be a help to them, too).

    As real gets rare, it increases in value; but lots of real is cheap in cash value, just pricey in terms of commitment.

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  19. alex said on November 24, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Fuck Tecumseh’s calumet. I want to see Sitting Bull’s little big horn.

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  20. Jolene said on November 24, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    Just saw this article re the industrial processes needed to make the U.S. auto companies more competitive. It focuses on pushing knowledge and accountability down and out—more information-sharing re design at lower levels of the company, more internal competition, more focus on small hits. Reminded me of the sort of things people said in the Eighties re ways of improving quality. Not sure if he’s right, but I’m glad to read such discussions, as figuring out how to make the companies more innovative and efficient seems a lot more useful than endless rants about their greed and inefficiency a la Sen. Shelby.

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  21. Rana said on November 24, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Oh, Julie, I completely agree. Homemade doesn’t have to be junk; in fact, I can often make nicer things at home more easily than I can afford to buy a version in the store. (Pretty much everyone on my list is getting one of my photographs or a calendar this Christmas.) It also helps that none of us, except one new baby and my little nephew, really needs anything. If anything, we’re all actively trying to reduce the amount of stuff in our lives, so the best gifts frequently take the form of quality time, or food.

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  22. Danny said on November 24, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    Jolene, you inadvertently linked to an obituary for Marjorie Williams.

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  23. LA Mary said on November 24, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Speeding down the middle of the street in a power wheelchair in a snowstorm? Is that what is in that photo? There’s something I’ve never tried.

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  24. Jolene said on November 24, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    Thanks for the correction, Danny. Here is the article re needed reforms in the auto industry.

    But linking to the piece on Marjorie Williams is a happy accident, as it creates an opportunity to recommend another great thing–Williams’s book called The Woman at the Washington Zoo. It’s a collection of her writings for Vanity Fair and <The Washington Post. All brilliant. A remarkably perceptive, intelligent, and expressive woman who, as the obituary indicates, died much too young. My book group discussed this collection last night, and it was one of the most engaged, animated discussion we’d had in a long time. Anyone else read this collection or other parts of her work? (If you’re interested, there are links to some of her pieces on the same page as the obituary.)

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  25. Dorothy said on November 24, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Kirk that article you referenced about the sewage workers was very well done! I enjoyed it.

    Hey we should talk about possibly seeing a picture of your leftover pavers or whatever you call them. We might not use them, but then again you never know. Please ask Nancy for my email address and can you send me a picture or two of them? Thanks. Also let me know how many you have, and how much you want for them.

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  26. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 24, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    Mmmm – Sweet Potato souffle

    Seriously, the Thanksgiving Day page at NYT is durn useful

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  27. jcburns said on November 24, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    Ah, the public relations career I never had….those big 3 guys owe me a tank of gas. For my Prius.

    Watched Obama’s news conference today…boy, I can watch a guy who speaks in coherent, thoughtful sentences all day.

    Maybe we need ‘The Obama Channel,’…just kind of a balm to our bruised economic souls. 24-7 reassurance from the President-Elect.

    I’m hoping once he’s inaugurated he can dial the American flags back a bit.

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  28. Kirk said on November 24, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Sure thing, Dorothy.

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  29. LA Mary said on November 24, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    Hey, it’s supposed to rain here. Mudslide season is coming early this year.

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  30. Dexter said on November 24, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    I can’t imagine the 3 amigos of the Auto Empire riding to D.C. in a car-caravan. I suspect they will just fly down on Northwest, still.
    However, I’d love to see them ride down on Amtrak. Amtrak has indeed had a rider increase since gasoline prices soared last summer, but more publicity won’t hurt.
    In 1981 after Reagan fired the PATCO workers, the UAW boycotted the airlines. For the giant Solidarity Day demonstration in Washington, UAW member either drove down in vans, rode buses, or like me, rode Amtrak.
    We had the largest (18 passenger cars) train moving since the WWII troop carrier trains. It was something. Our Region 3 director was an old man but he survived it alright. The 3 amigos could too. Here’s how they could get there:
    Route: 6030 Bus
    Departs: Dearborn, MI (DER) Approximate Duration*: 1h 20m
    Arrives: Toledo, OH (TOL)
    Service or train number change in Toledo
    Route: 30 Capitol Limited
    Departs: Toledo, OH (TOL) Approximate Duration*: 13h 31m
    Arrives: Washington – Union Station, DC (WAS)

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  31. Bruce Fields said on November 24, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    “Here’s how they could get there:”

    In fact, that’s how I like to visit my parents in DC, say, when I visit for thanksgiving: I’ll be boarding bus 6030 in Ann Arbor tomorrow night.

    If the Capitol Limited is running late, there can be an annoying wait in the Toledo train station. But the trip the next day (through Ohio, Pennsylvania, and western Maryland) is great.

    And of course union station is just a few blocks walk from the capitol (and on a metro line).

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  32. LA Mary said on November 24, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    I haven’t been in the eastern part of the country at this time of year in a long time, but I can easily remember what the countryside looks like in Pennsylvania. I used to take the train from Philadelphia to NYC when I was in art school. I remember one time at Christmas the train got stuck somewhere in New Jersey and everyone hit the bar car. Many drunks disembarked at Penn Station.

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  33. Catherine said on November 24, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    Here’s a nice Amtrak trip: LA’s Union Station (my favorite train station anywhere) up the coast to San Luis Obispo. Sit on the left/ocean side. Go business class and they’ll give you a split of wine with some so-so cheese and crackers. Watch the sun go down over the Pacific.

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  34. LA Mary said on November 24, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    Union Station is gorgeous. So evocative of old LA. I was there on Saturday, putting my younger one on the Red Line. I could have made him hop on the Gold Line down the street, but he had a lot to carry, and it was Saturday and it was nice to drive with just him in my car. That’s something I’ve really grown to savor. Having only one of the kids in the car at a time. You notice how funny and smart they are in little private one on one conversations that aren’t possible with both kids.
    Having said that, sometimes the two of them together, if they decide to team up rather than bicker or compete, are pretty amazing.

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  35. whitebeard said on November 24, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    LA’s Union Station is indeed marvelous; I have taken both long-distance and commuter trains from that station on my infrequent trips to the West Coast although I am partial to Grand Central Terminal in New York City because of its grand restoration and the shorter walks to the trains without navigating stairs, my worst enemy these days.

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  36. Dexter said on November 24, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    Uh huh, sure.

    LONDON — A woman has told a British court she accidentally flushed her newborn down the toilet because she didn’t realize she was giving birth.

    Claire Jones says she knew she was pregnant from an affair with a colleague but thought the pain she suffered in the early hours of Dec. 28 was from diarrhea.

    Jones told a coroner’s court in Cardiff, Wales, on Monday that she only realized what had happened when she saw a foot in the toilet bowl.

    She said she tried unsuccessfully to revive the baby and then put the body in the trunk of her car.

    The corpse was found in Jones’ vehicle after she was arrested. She was given a suspended sentence for concealing the baby’s birth.

    The coroner’s court is investigating the circumstances of the baby’s death.

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  37. basset said on November 24, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Back when I was still doing tv news, we did a story on some poor guy who lived in the projects in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and had just gotten a DUI in his motorized wheelchair. It’s been awhile.

    and now for something completely different… anyone have a good turkey-stuffing recipe? my wife won’t eat cornbread, my son won’t eat meat, his girlfriend and I are the only omnivores in the bunch.

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  38. moe99 said on November 24, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    My favorite dressing, basset, is the apple/raisin/onion/celery dressing made with soft bread chunks in the Joy of Cooking. It has a tangy taste if you make it with Granny Smith apples and I like to substitute half dried cranberries in with the raisins.

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  39. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 24, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    Just made the parsley puree Mark Bittman suggests at and i’m looking forward to putting it on turkey in a couple days . . . i had the processor running anyhow with two bags cranberries, one can mandarin oranges, a cored Granny Smith apple, lemon juice to taste and a cup of sugar.

    If i were single, i’d throw in walnuts, but i’m not, so i don’t. Still tastes like Thanksgiving to me, nuts or not.

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  40. Catherine said on November 25, 2008 at 12:26 am

    If your Thanksgiving is anything like mine, Jeff, the nuts are coming. Count on it.

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  41. Hoosier said on November 25, 2008 at 5:43 am

    Ain’t it easy to wag our fingers at the financial wizzards and auto makers for causing this mess? They didn’t do it by themselves. All of us who just had to have houses fancier and bigger than our parents or siblings, who just have to have bigger gas guzzlers than the neighbor and each kid over the age of 16 has his own car, ’cause heaven forbid they might have to ride a school bus, and who have $200+ cell phone bills because all the kids have cell phones so they can text all their BFFs at least once every half hour, whose kids have to have the latest video game or computer, who eat out for dinner 4 or more times per week because we’re running our kids to every conceivable expensive class or sport activity, who can’t drive to work or home without stopping by Starbucks for our latest fav, and expensive, caffeine fix and who have to have “name” brand shoes, bags, accesories, etc, etc, etc. Do you suppose we had something to do with this?

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  42. beb said on November 25, 2008 at 7:50 am

    Did we have anything to do with the financial meltdown, Hooosier asks.


    Sure everyone wants a bigger, better house but the people writing the loans shouldn’t have gone around offering magical loans with interest-only payments, ARMS, or sudden balloon payments. They were setting ppeople up to fail and filling the financial markets with toxic mortegages. There were a lot of criminals out there, scam artist, who should go to jail.

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  43. paddyo' said on November 25, 2008 at 12:00 pm

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  44. Cosmo Panzini said on November 26, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    Tom Friedman sounds more and more like some shrieking old bat these days. The world may be flat, but we(in the good ol’ USA) will come thru it fine. As for GM, yes, the legacy costs and other challenges it faces are daunting, but ferchrissake the solution for them is a simple one–just build cars that WORK for some reasonable length of time after warranties expire, and engineer them so that people with normal hands and arms can maintain and repair them. Sounds simple and obvious, but they ain’t been doing that for a long time now.

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