Eat the rich.

The New York Times specializes in a type of affect-less reporting on the problems of rich people. I recall a piece from around Thanksgiving a few years back, which detailed the difficulty of getting high-end appliances repaired when you’ve installed them in your country house, which may be in some shithole Adirondacks village where they’ve never heard of a Sub-Zero refrigerator. Can you imagine?

Here’s another, about a “cabin” in the Hamptons which cost, all in, about $5 million. Sample quotes: “I have three pillars in my life: I work, I spend a lot of time with my family and I work out.” “With the harsh winter, we’ve already had our roof leak. It’s a constant work in progress to keep everything maintained.” The exterior cedar will have to be refinished every five years. I’m really, really rooting for this house to become the monster it already seems to be, and for it to consume its owners, Mr. and Mrs. Mattis.

Not that I wish to start the weekend on a sour note. Perhaps the Mattises are lovely people. But I doubt it.

Speaking of other people who may be lovely, but with whom I doubt I could stay in a room for even five minutes, ladies and gentlemen, Alice Waters:

When you’re in New York City, how do you decide on where to eat?

I’m always concerned first about the provenance of the food. I want to know where it comes from, so I go to the farmers market and see who buys there. I see what chefs are buying there, and I know by now, because I come to New York a lot. There’s a group who are very serious about everything that they serve, not just the salad. So I can count on the Union Square Greenmarket, but there are a lot of young chefs that I know personally or am connected with in some way, or with the restaurant or the extended family of the restaurant.

Because God forbid you should put one forkful into your mouth that you can’t recite the provenance of. Who was I reading a while back, some conservative who noted that in the ’50s, if you knew a typical housewife, she’d be very concerned with who you had sex with, but not at all with what you ate. The first was society’s business, the latter personal. Today it’s exactly the opposite.

Which brings me to one of my favorite new shows this…I guess we don’t really have “seasons” anymore, do we? That would be “Silicon Valley,” which is about guess-what. A trio of young app developers rent rooms in the house of an older man, Erlich, who struck a little oil with his own app and cashed out. He calls the house an “incubator,” and requires that any work developed there owes him a 10 percent equity share. Erlich fancies himself a mentor figure, but he’s only a few years older than the early-20s dweebs he rents to. One of his early laff lines: WHO ATE MY FUCKING QUINOA?! Which is especially funny when you see him eating (which he does a lot), because he’s always scarfing up ramen or some repulsive energy drink. The other day he walked into the frame eating a pink-frosted Pop-Tart. Hilarious.

No mention is made of the Pop-Tarts or energy drinks, because you don’t have to. Everyone walks around talking about “making the world a better place,” which mainly involves talking about it and yelling about quinoa. I’m sure they’re all very concerned about who produces their eggs, but buy an American car? Hell no.

Let’s skip to the bloggage before I find someone else to shower disdain upon.

Gerry Adams, yes that Gerry Adams, questioned in a murder case more than 40 years old. He’s now a member of the Irish parliament. Fascinating. (Speaking of “The Long Good Friday.”)

And I think this news has been reported before — that is, the discovery of a now-submerged former land bridge across Lake Huron — and now researchers have found structures built there, nearly 9,000 years old. Hunting blinds and rock formations built to drive caribou into ambushes.

I feel like I will be ambushed myself if I don’t get to the gym tonight. So that’s where I’m going. Have a great weekend, all.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

85 responses to “Eat the rich.”

  1. Hank Chapin said on May 2, 2014 at 12:56 am

    Gerry Adams has always seemed to me to hide behind deniability, like a president or general. He’s always saying he didn’t do this or that. But it’s sort of a verbal trick as he probably didn’t put the pistol to the back of the head of the poor woman with ten children, and he probably didn’t beat her up the night before. But he gave the nod and the okay. In my heart if hearts, I hope they have solid evidence in this case. He’s so glib hen he denies that my BS detector suddenly gets activated. As a Butler Family member on my mother’s side, I personally thought the violence of the Troubles had stopped because terrorism has gotten a bad name and was no longer a useful tactic.

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  2. Hattie said on May 2, 2014 at 2:46 am

    Rich people. Yes, it is hard not to wish them ill.
    Alice Waters and that whole food thing. Like nobody ever thought of fixing and eating food before. My cousin dragged my mother to her Berkeley restaurant once: it was within walking distance of her house. She was not impressed. She had been preparing food herself for years and was, as a matter of fact, a great cook.

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  3. ROGirl said on May 2, 2014 at 6:31 am

    “Cabin” in the Hamptons brings to mind “cottage” in Newport — the gilded age palaces built by robber barons a hundred-odd years ago.

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  4. Deborah said on May 2, 2014 at 6:36 am

    Mrs. McConville, the mother of 10 children who was shot and killed in Northern Ireland during the troubles, was 37 when she died. 37. 10 children.

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  5. jerry said on May 2, 2014 at 6:40 am

    Gerry Adams has always denied being a member of the IRA and of having anything to do with the various “executions” and other nastinesses performed by the IRA. He has claimed only to be involved in political action with Sinn Fein. Personally I find it hard to believe that any separation was more than cosmetic.

    Martin McGuinness, who admits IRA membership, now seems to be claiming that the police questioning of Adams is overtly political and shouldn’t be happening.

    Whether Adams is guilty or not I can’t comment, but I strongly believe that if there is evidence potentially implicating him then it is essential that the police explore that evidence just as vigorously as they would for any other individual. The famous and the unknown (I just avoided typing “infamous” which was not what I meant) should both stand equal before the law.

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  6. David C. said on May 2, 2014 at 7:09 am

    My wife used to work in the quality assurance lab at the Keebler (before they merged with Kellogg’s) plant where Pop-Tarts are made, so boy do I know the provenance of Pop-Tarts. To me, they may be good for shingling a house, but I sure wouldn’t want to eat one. There was the time when a coke can got into the flour bin and was ground up a batch. Throw away the batch, hell no, pick out the chunks of metal that you can see. There was the time they did a batch without salt. They tasted like shit, but looked OK, so let them go. So many more stories, but you get the gist.

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  7. Deborah said on May 2, 2014 at 7:13 am

    I watched an episode of Silicon Valley and found it quite entertaining. Now that I’m back in Chicago with cable not hooked up I won’t be able to continue watching. I worked in a small graphic design studio between jobs in architecture firms. I enjoyed it a lot, being around extremely creative young people was fun. They always kept pop tarts in the studio kitchen, we could help ourselves anytime. I found myself with a pop tart addiction for awhile, then I ODed and that was that.

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  8. basset said on May 2, 2014 at 7:38 am

    Mrs. B. was formerly a potato chip inspector at Be-Mo in Kalamazoo, don’t know if those made it out of the greater Kzoo-Portage-Battle Creek metroplex but some of you may have run across them back in the 70s. No horror stories there, she mainly talks about eating them fresh and still hot as they went down the line.

    My only reportable Pop-Tart experience was when I was twelve or so, my brother picked a blister off his foot and stuffed it into a Pop-Tart which he then gave to me to see if I’d notice. I did.

    Four years ago today, we were watching the flood waters rise… making the last payment on the repairs this week. Some video, our neighborhood’s at 3:35 or thereabouts:

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  9. coozledad said on May 2, 2014 at 7:51 am

    I just wonder who and what entity in the US placed the embargo on the tapes that linked Gerry Adams to the murder. The IRA had ceased to be a political paramilitary organization before the seventies, and its chief aim had become self-sustenance via protection rackets, murder and terror. An Elks club with more lethal interior policing, cash, and plastique. Same shit Frazier Glenn Miller was running back in the eighties, or would have run, if he’d been in a slightly more priest-ridden country.

    Someone needs to ask Peter King (R-IRA) or some of his old friends over in Boston why they shouldn’t go to trial with Adams.

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  10. Suzanne said on May 2, 2014 at 8:31 am

    I used to eat pop tarts and fed them to my kids, for which I am extremely repentant. That, and Velveeta (so-called) cheese. Ugh.

    Say what you will about the hard core foodies like Alice Waters, but she and her cohorts have really gotten me thinking about what happens to my food before it’s on my table. My grandmother didn’t have to think about it; they raised their own cows & chickens and grew a large garden. Then convenience foods hit the groceries and much of that type of cooking flew out the window.

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  11. coozledad said on May 2, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Underwater archaeology is expensive, but “in this case, it’s revealing a site that’s in pretty much pristine condition.”

    “We expected to find the hunting blinds pretty much intact. The big surprises were the perfectly preserved mini refigerator still filled with cans of Stroh’s lite and the titty mags located near the functional chemical toilet. This revolutionizes our whole perspective of the paleoindian period. It’s huge.”

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  12. beb said on May 2, 2014 at 8:40 am

    You don’t need to go to Ireland to find corrupt, immoral politicians with blood on their hands. Michigan’s Republican legislature is doing a pretty good job on their own.

    They’re redefining things like copper slag, asphalt shingles and so on as “beneficial wastes” that can be used in construction away from residential locations. Environmentalist have been trying to get extensive notification to landowners before their use but that would be government over-regulation. Given industries ability to ignore any law that doeosn’t flat-out ban something I suspect that with five years of passage of this law we’ll find some school built on top a dump of these beneficial wastes…

    Also in the paper today is that report:

    In which a decaying old mansion was the site for an indie movie about vampires. Last year my wife was involved in the production of a play (non-acting) called “The Poppy” which was preformed in a renovated old mansion in the same general area. The renovations was a work in progress but from the pictures my wife took it looked to be a real nice place. However the heating bill, she said, was like $1000 a month which makes the whole idea of renovating a century old building with no insulation a dubious project. Kind of like that “cottage” Nancy linked to, where the maintenance was a never-ending chore. Since all houses require such maintenance it makes one wonder why anyone considers owning a house an investment?

    Do you know where your food comes from? Just because you buy it from a farmer’s market doesn’t mean it was produced locally or picked fresh. Farmers are as apt to lie about the provenance of their wares as anyone else. The only “real” fresh produce is stuff you’ve grown yourself. Everything else is a crap-shoot.

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  13. beb said on May 2, 2014 at 8:42 am

    It’s early in the day, but Coozledad for the win.

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  14. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 2, 2014 at 8:56 am

    The housewife quote was Caitlin Flanagan in “The Atlantic,” can’t find a link online. But an interesting observation.

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  15. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 2, 2014 at 8:57 am

    Oh, and I’d add a quote to the general mix today; it was Balzac who said that behind every great fortune there is a great crime.

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  16. Judybusy said on May 2, 2014 at 9:09 am

    Suzanne, I quite agree with liking the message of paying attention to our food, but that pretentious statement is preaching to the converted, and unlikely to win her new “converts” to the cause. Even I, die-hard organic gardener, found it really off-putting and reeking of privilege. “I go to New York a lot….”

    But it got me curious about rural farmers’ markets here in Minnesota. I grew up on a farm, but it was large, and we sure weren’t growing for local production (corn,oats,wheat, soybeans, sunfowers.) We of course had a large garden, but bought a lot of stuff at the gorcery store. I am so happy there has been a farmers’ market in my hometown for 15 years!

    “The Pope County Farmers Mkt will be open for its 15th yr, Jun 14, 2014! The mkt is located at the Pope Cty Fairgrounds. From the only stoplight in downtown Glenwood, travel W on Hwy 28/29. Mkt vendors supply a wide variety of fresh local produce, meat, eggs, bakery goods, preserves & wood crafts. Mkt hrs are Sat: 9a-Noon & Tue: 3-6p. All are welcome!”

    If you’re interested in what it’s like to be a small farmer, I recently read “Gaining Ground” by a young man who managed to turn around his family’s farm by using pasture methods, similar to Joe Salatin. He had a lot of difficulty in the late 90’s finding someone who could process his meat, and there was quite a bit of info on how difficult it was back then to develop a market for his foodstuffs.

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  17. Julie Robinson said on May 2, 2014 at 9:49 am

    beb, yes. When a farmers’ market is offering produce that is clearly out of season, unless they have a greenhouse, it’s been shipped in. You really have to visit the farm itself to know, and even then it might be a Potemkin village. Same thing with organics–how can I really know I’m not just paying the higher prices for non-organic?

    Our son brought home organic honey the other day. Isn’t all honey organic, I asked? You can’t really control where the bees fly. It’s how it’s processed, he said. There is no processing, just extraction–the bees produce it, you strain it into bottles, and that’s that. This organic honey was in plastic bottles. Plastic, made from chemicals.

    Or how about cage-free chickens? To meet that standard you only have to open a small door in the coop for a few days towards the end of the chickens’ lives. Few will venture out because their patterns have already been made.

    We laughed at the Portlandia episode where the couple goes to lunch and ends up at the farm to check out the sources of their meal, but unless you can do that, I’m not convinced it’s worth paying the higher prices. Hmpf.

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  18. Deborah said on May 2, 2014 at 9:55 am

    The green markets start in Chicago mid May. Since it’s been so cold so long I’m not sure what will be available then. Alice Waters spoke at the Lincoln Park market a couple of years ago. I missed her speech but saw her walking around later. I have a number of her cook books. I like her.

    Santa Fe has a fabulous Farmer’s Market, the best I’ve seen.

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  19. Jolene said on May 2, 2014 at 10:08 am

    So, Basset, is your house flooded again? That video is astonishing.

    Did you all catch the sinkhole that opened up in Baltimore? Scroll down at the link below, and you can watch it happening.

    This has been an astonishingly destructive few days. So many different kinds of damage in so many places.

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  20. brian stouder said on May 2, 2014 at 10:09 am

    An interesting article, even if Formula One holds no charms for you at all:

    On one hand, I can’t believe it’s been 20 years….and on the other, it seems a lifetime ago

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  21. Jolene said on May 2, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Not that I wouldn’t love Alice Waters to cook for me, but she sounds like the NSA of diners–not only inquiring about the source of her food in restaurants, but stalking the chefs to see what they are buying.

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  22. Bitter Scribe said on May 2, 2014 at 10:31 am

    What Hank said in the first comment. I never liked Gerry Adams. He always seemed like the affable, smiling face of terrorism.

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  23. Bob (not Greene) said on May 2, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Holy crap, Cooze, I just realized after reading your blog that you are practically neighbors with my wife’s cousin, Inge. You may even know her. She’s a beekeeper.

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  24. Charlotte said on May 2, 2014 at 10:35 am

    My agent took me to Chez Panisse when we sold my novel, and it was fine, but not spectacular. Alice Waters drives me up a fucking wall, and I got in something of an online spat with her when I was writing for a few years back. We had a fly-by-night developer here who bought a big ranch and was planning to make it a “preserve” full of rich people — showed up one year in the Neiman Marcus xmas catalog. He was promising all sorts of bullshit — heli skiing in the wilderness (illegal), private digs with Jack Horner (who sued him for non payment) and a private farm and cooking lessons from Alice. Alice, who had famously never sold her name for anything, sold out my neighborhood for a fake “wilderness preserve” (nothing was in actual easements). Luckily, the housing market collapsed, and the Mentos heir, who lived on the chunk next door bought about half of it, then some other rich guy bought the rest this year. It was quite the kertuffle at the time.
    But really, look at the cookbooks. Alice doesn’t cook. All she does is compose artful little salads and wanders around twittering about how if only the poor would stop buying Nikes they could eat well.

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  25. Dexter said on May 2, 2014 at 10:36 am

    During the heart of “The Troubles” , I was very busy working and to get any details from Belfast I had to hurriedly skim The Nation and Progressive Magazine , so like most Americans we only received headline news and really, only those who had close friends and relatives (not anyone I knew) could follow along. Most people I associated with couldn’t have found Belfast on a map to save their lives. They didn’t know Gerry Adams from Sam Adams. Digging up dirt on Gerry Adams is interesting, though. Here, Nixon died just 22 years after he ordered civilian targets, including a children’s hospital, be bombed into rubble, killing thousands, all done way after the public tide had turned against these provocations with the north. Never , ever, was Nixon and his gang going to be tried for war crimes, I know that, but when Nixon died in 1994, President Bill Clinton praised him to no end, casting Nixon into a hero’s light, and with Bush 41’s flare-up with Saddam over Kuwait, why, who wanted to re-visit the mistakes and crimes committed by previous administrations when “we” had fresh fish to fry, and the symbolism of that turned to real-life when our TVs showed human beings in a new form, presented to the viewing audience as “Crispy Critters”, Saddam’s elite guard scorched to death by American blow torches, cooked alive in their jeeps.
    Then again, Gerry Adams is but 65, fully active, and a lot of people would love to see him dead I suppose. But by now all evidence will be viewed as conjecture by opposing sides, and Adams is not going to admit to anything, for sure.

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  26. Sue said on May 2, 2014 at 10:47 am

    I go to two farmers markets over the summer months, the larger one has vendors that don’t even bother to hide the cases. You just have to look, the legit ones seem to stand out. There’s usually a kid or two helping (my egg guy is actually a middle-schooler and I’d better get there early because he’s sold out by 8:30; don’t forget to bring your cartons back), sometimes a few crafts and home-canned stuff, sometimes a few plants stuffed into re-used containers.
    Plus the beeswax candle lady, plus the homemade rug guy…

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  27. Sue said on May 2, 2014 at 10:50 am

    With all respect to Cooz, Dexter has my vote for the win today.

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  28. Connie said on May 2, 2014 at 10:54 am

    I always wondered about the vendor at the South Bend Farmer’s Market that sold bananas year round.

    Our small local farmer’s market opens tomorrow, we will check it out just to see it’s new location. On the site where the elementary school my husband attended oh so many years ago was just torn down. Can’t imagine what they will have this early.

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  29. nancy said on May 2, 2014 at 10:56 am

    We all recall Alice Waters’ “60 Minutes” piece, where she waved off the suggestion that poor people can’t afford organic grapes at $4/pound because “they can afford those Nike shoes.”

    I give her all credit for jump-starting the better-food movement, and my one meal at Chez Panisse was bliss, but like many gurus, she’s insufferable.

    For some reason I’m not getting your comments via email today. Must be a server thing.

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  30. nancy said on May 2, 2014 at 11:03 am

    This piece in the NYT today, on Adams/the IRA, kept my attention through breakfast. This passage in particular:

    …the abduction and murder of Jean McConville, a 37-year-old widow and mother of 10 wrongly believed to be an informant for the British Army. She was dragged wailing from her home as her children watched in horror, by men who made little effort to hide their identities. Her body was not found until 2003.

    To this day, her children will not identify the kidnappers for fear of still-active I.R.A. splinter factions, even though some of them have said that they know who was involved and that they still see certain culprits around the neighborhood.

    To this day. Can’t say as I blame them.

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  31. Scout said on May 2, 2014 at 11:09 am

    With all respect to cooz and Dexter, Charlotte has my vote with this:
    “But really, look at the cookbooks. Alice doesn’t cook. All she does is compose artful little salads and wanders around twittering about how if only the poor would stop buying Nikes they could eat well.”

    Color me guilty as charged. I do care quite a lot where my eggs come from but I do not drive an American car. Right now our friend’s garden is pretty prolific, and since they share, I am assured of the absolute organic-ness of what we’re eating at the moment. Most of the rest of the time, I figure that as long as we’re not eating a bunch of processed crap containing unpronouncible* ingredients, we’re doing the best we can. And I don’t even make rice anymore, it’s all FUCKING QUINOA for us these days!

    * is this even a word? It is underlined in red and nothing I try fixes it. I considered removing it, but thought I’d leave it and let our writerly experts inform.

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  32. Jolene said on May 2, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Just a spelling problem, Scout. It’s unpronounceable. An unusual construction in that the final e stays in.

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  33. Charlotte said on May 2, 2014 at 11:36 am

    The BBC online news podcasts have been doing some interesting reporting on the Gerry Adams thing. McConville’s eldest son, who was a whopping 11 at the time, was snatched the following week, held for several days, beaten and threatened with death if he identified the men who’d taken his mother away. I don’t know much about Adams, but I do remember that the woman who hosted me my semester in Dublin, who was a reporter for RTE, had nothing but contempt for him. I never believed his whole “oh, *my* hands are clean” bullshit … the Irish Times reporter on the BBC the other day did want to remind us all that the IRA at that time were “a pretty nasty bunch.” Also, running a lot of drugs.

    (and gee, thanks Scout. Alice is a topic who will always rile me up.)

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  34. Deborah said on May 2, 2014 at 11:41 am

    I’ve never eaten at Chez Panisse, though always wanted to, and I like the artful salads and vegetables in the Waters cookbooks I have. Plus the illustrations are fantastic, David Lance Goines

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  35. Basset said on May 2, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Thankfully no flood this year, Jolene, at least not yet. The river got into the lower part of our yard earlier this week, but that’s normal. There’s a NOAA gauge on a highway bridge about a half-mile upstream of us; usually around 2 feet this time of year, got to 16-something this week, flood stage is 20. Hit 33 during the big flood but the gauge is under the bridge and water was chest deep over the road so we figure we must have had at least 40.

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  36. sg said on May 2, 2014 at 11:50 am

    I was in a room with Alice Waters for an hour and a half. The first five minutes were sheer torture–she’s very Stevie Nicks.

    After that, the real person emerged and she’s quite a force (“I didn’t create just a restaurant, I created an industry”). Her talk was a crash course in Culinary Americana.

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  37. Sue said on May 2, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Oh, my, Nancy didn’t even print the best quote:
    “But the Mattises are determined not to let it slide. As Mr. Mattis said, “We don’t want a gray cabin in the woods.””
    ‘Gray’ was italicized in the article. Because of all the horrors you can contemplate, Mother Nature interfering with your color scheme is the top nightmare-producer.

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  38. alex said on May 2, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    …it was Balzac who said that behind every great fortune there is a great crime.

    And it was Stan Freberg who said that beneath every successful man is a woman.

    I just read the other day that importation of American produce has effectively been banned in Europe because of the staggeringly impermissible levels of pesticides used here. Maybe increasing fruits and veggies in your diet ain’t such a hot idea after all.

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  39. Jolene said on May 2, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    All American produce, alex? I heard that apples were banned, but didn’t hear about anything else.

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  40. alex said on May 2, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    I thought it said anything that used one particular chemical that is banned there.

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  41. Jolene said on May 2, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Could be we’re both right. Might be a. Particular chemical used on apples.

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  42. coozledad said on May 2, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Bob (not Greene: We know the president of the club, Mary. She’s also active in the Democratic Women’s group here. We keep trying to get her to run for register of deeds, or the state house, or governor. She’d kill it.

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  43. Julie Robinson said on May 2, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    When I read the story about Jean McConnvile’s murder, I couldn’t help but compare my life, since I’m Irish and just a year older than the daughter whose been pushing for an arrest. Their father had died the year before and the children were split up and sent to different foster families, so they didn’t grow up knowing each other. Now they’re on different sides of the issue, with little hope of reconciliation.

    Whereas in 1972 my biggest issue was mastering parallel parking so I could get my driver’s license. Thinking of this is very humbling.

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  44. adrianne said on May 2, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    If you read the New York Times story on Gerry Adams that Nance linked to, you’ll find that the institution fighting against release of any documents that could link Adams to the execution of Jean McConville is none other than Boston College. Boston College researchers who interviewed people caught up in “the Troubles” pledged confidentiality to their subjects until after their deaths. Sorry, but academic freedom doesn’t trump a murder investigation. There must have been something pretty definitive in those interviews for them to charge Adams with kidnapping.

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  45. Bob (not Greene) said on May 2, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Cooze, I kinda figured you might run in that orbit. My wife’s cousin and her husband live in Hurdle Mills. Don’t know if that’s anywhere near you.

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  46. coozledad said on May 2, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    It’s down at the southwest end of the county. We’re within a mile of the northwestern corner.

    Hurdle Mills is not far from Bushy Fork, which is just waiting to be used as a town name in the Petticoat Junction porn parody.

    Some of my folks had a farm in Cedar Grove, not too far from the Old Eno Presbyterian cemetery. It’s mean country, or used to be.
    Most of it is becoming a bedroom community for Chapel Hill and Durham.

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  47. LAMary said on May 2, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    I think that in Oakland, not that far from Chez Panisse, there’s a street called Gerry Adams Boulevard. It’s tiny.

    Alice has become insufferable but I’m glad she got people going back to eating fresh food. I grew up Pop-Tart free and in the summer and well into the fall we got all our produce from neighbors who were farmers. My kids have never had a Pop Tart at home, or a hot pocket or a pizza roll. My office neighbor brings Artisanal Hot Pockets for lunch on the days when she’s not eating a lunchable. What the fuck is an Artisanal Hot Pocket.

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  48. Bob (not Greene) said on May 2, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Just had a Google tour of Bushy Fork. The commercial hub appears to be a thrift store and some ramshackle farm buildings, one of which has a faded ad for Swift’s Red Steer fertilizer (which is apparently the tops for tobacco crops). Oh, and just up the road is what looks to be an actual hillbilly log shack with a tin roof.

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  49. LAMary said on May 2, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Sorry, it’s Gerry Adams Way, not Boulevard.

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  50. coozledad said on May 2, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    The shack is probably an old tobacco barn. most of the hicks opt for a prefab house, with an indoor shitter, warm and wired for TV’ I’ve known some folks who converted tobacco barns to live in, while they were young and could keep themselves warm enough with a woodstove, and entertained with cannabis.

    Most of these people’s parents provided the tobacco barn.

    They were still using a few of these barns in production recently. When I was six or seven years old I was “helping” tie tobacco and put it up in the barns. It would have been late August. An eighty year old guy was in the top rafters because most everyone else was too chickenshit to load there. He passed out and seemed to hit every rail on the way down. When he came to, they gave him a Pepsi or a Nehi and he climbed back up.

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  51. nancy said on May 2, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    …Bushy Fork, which is just waiting to be used as a town name in the Petticoat Junction porn parody.

    As usual, Cooz is en fuego.

    Still not getting comments as email, so two of LAMary’s sat in moderation for an unknown spell. Sorry about that.

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  52. Jolene said on May 2, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    In addition to stretching the bounds of self-defense, the Second Amendment absolutists are undermining technological efforts to promote gun safety, even though those efforts do nothing to intervene in ownership rights.

    Perhaps you heard that efforts to market a smart gun (a gun that could be fired only by its owner) were thwarted by maniacs who threatened a salesperson and promised to undermine the business of a shooting range where she was meeting potential customers to demonstrate the gun.

    Now the same thing has happened in Maryland. A gun dealer said that he was not going to be bullied and would sell the gun in his shop. Now, after a few days of both commercial and physical threats, he has backed down. You would think any rational person would welcome the availability of these guns, if only as a way of reducing accidents, which kill several hundred people every year, many of them children. Just outrageous.

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  53. John (not McCain) said on May 2, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    “there’s a street called Gerry Adams Boulevard. It’s tiny.”

    Well, that has always been the curse of the Irish.

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  54. Deborah said on May 2, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    An artisanal hot pocket is an oxymoron for sure.

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  55. Sue said on May 2, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    I love the details of this prom date: buying a special purse to hold her inhaler and going to dinner beforehand at her favorite restaurant, Bob Evans:

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  56. Bob (not Greene) said on May 2, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Cooze, This is it. Please elucidate for a city slicker such as myself. The only time I ever saw anything that looked like this was on the opening credits of “The Beverly Hillbillies.”,-79.087166,3a,75y,318.11h,90.38t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1soEa9ag8IDTWlIur4Yjss-w!2e0!6m1!1e1

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  57. Sherri said on May 2, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    That looks like a smokehouse to me, Bob(nG).

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  58. Kim said on May 2, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Bob NG, looks like a smaller tobacco barn to me, a transplanted city slicker who is always learning about things charming and southern, plus all the shitty stuff. But I suspect Cooz is the last word on it.

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  59. brian stouder said on May 2, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    …and – it has a smoker grill out front.

    In any case, an evocative photo.

    Upthread folks were talking about restaurants, and further to that, Pam and I visited a new restaurant earlier this week, for her birthday.

    It is called Tucanos Brazilian Grill, and it is sort of a sit-down buffet, wherein they continuously bring skewers with various meats (beefs and roasts and cuts of pork) and treats (the baked pineapple was particularly good), and they have an extensive salad bar.

    Each table has a marker, and if you leave it with the green indicator on top, they keep offering you various interesting foods; and if you flip to red – they stop. And – you can flip back and forth. (it makes me wonder how terrible it must be to be on the wait-staff there, if a person won’t tip properly)

    All in all, a pleasant restaurant, and an interesting change of pace. If I was a newspaper food critic, I’d give the food and experience and atmosphere high marks – what’s not to like?

    But my one criticism would be: they have two fiery bowls outside as you walk into the place; they’re set at the end of a surface maybe 4 feet from the ground, on either side of the front door, and (I’m guessing) they have maybe a 36″ diameter – and they literally blaze away continuously.

    When we were leaving, a little girl was on the elevated surface, perilously close to the blazing fire – which had no guards or screens. I cannot imagine how they got the unattended, unguarded Great Bowls of Fire past the FWFD, and (indeed) whoever runs the shopping center (Jefferson Point; I refuse to write “Pointe” – except in quotation marks!).

    I’d suppose that is a fairly major accident waiting to happen.

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  60. coozledad said on May 2, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Yep. That’s a tobacco barn. The oil drum provides diesel fuel to a set of burners connected by galvanized pipes on the earth floor. The smoky diesel fuel adds a delicate, cancery, flavor to the leaf while bringing it to the correct moisture. The leantos on the side serve a double purpose: they keep the rain from washing the clay cinking from the lower courses of logs, and they would have been the shady location for tobacco tying conveyors, and even earlier, where the mule drawn skids would pull up and the hired people would tie the tobacco while they shot the breeze and/or drank corn liquor.

    Before they used diesel, they ignited logs that were shoved in a clay and stone flue under the side of the building, and they had to be kept smoldering for several days. this was also an occasion for drinking.

    We have several of these barns on our property. Unfortunately all but one of them are in sorry shape. I framed an upper floor in one, and chinked it with mortar. We use it for storage, and the mules and sheep will fight over it when it’s raining.

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  61. Sherri said on May 2, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    The tobacco barns where I’m from were fired by burning sawdust, and looked more like this:

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  62. coozledad said on May 2, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    Sherri: There’s also Burley tobacco, which is air cured. The barns have hinged wall sections on the sides to let the air through.
    Some people farmed that way in the northern part of this county, because it’s more of a Virginia/Kentucky thing.

    I’d never heard of sawdust curing, but it makes sense if you need a slow burning fuel. I’m surprised they didn’t try that on this farm, because the family that’s buried here ran a sawmill.There are huge hummocks of the stuff sprouting seventy and eighty year old trees.

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  63. Sherri said on May 2, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Cooz: my grandfather grew both Burley and dark tobacco, and he definitely used sawdust to cure his dark tobacco. I remember the big pile of sawdust next to the barns. Mostly what I remember is that I found everything about growing tobacco disgusting. Tobacco leaves are sticky and gummy before they’re cured, they get big fat disgusting worms on them, and I hated the smell of tobacco being fired, and it was ubiquitous in the fall.

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  64. coozledad said on May 2, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Sherri: I never primed tobacco, but I always heard about people getting “greensick” from nicotene exposure handling fresh leaves.

    My wife had a part major in biochemistry, and she says one way to subtly kill someone is expose them to a small amount of raw nicotene after they’ve used DMSO. It’s deadly in its concentrated form.

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  65. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 2, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    Hail thou inspiring plant! Thou balm of life,
    Well might thy worth engage two nations’ strife;
    Exhaustless fountain of Britannia’s wealth;
    Thou friend of wisdom and thou source of health.

    ~ from an early tobacco label

    Tobacco, that outlandish weed
    It spends the brain, and spoiles the seede
    It dulls the spirite, it dims the sight
    It robs a woman of her right.

    ~ Dr. William Vaughn, 1617

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  66. Dexter said on May 3, 2014 at 12:27 am

    Jeff, it’s just plumb magical. I quit cigarettes 33 years ago and all tobacco, which at the end was just a celebratory birth cigar or an occasional pipe of Kentucky Club or Sir Walter Raleigh, 28 years ago, and still I crave that Kentucky Club cut pipe tobacco. Like many, kicking the desire to smoke is impossible for me, although I don’t act on my desire. I found that losing the desire to drink alcohol was achievable. Who would have thunk it?

    Who is having a mint julep today? It’s Derby Day.

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  67. Dexter said on May 3, 2014 at 12:44 am

    OK, coozledad…comments?

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  68. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 3, 2014 at 8:33 am

    King James, he of the version, in 1604 on smoking and tobacco: “A custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs, and the black stinking fume thereof, nearest resembling the horrible Stygian smoke of the pit that is bottomless.”

    Apparently he wasn’t cut in on the monopoly.

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  69. Deborah said on May 3, 2014 at 8:58 am

    “a delicate, cancery, flavor” ha ha ha.

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  70. Deborah said on May 3, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    A bunch of women are walking around with crazy hats and even though it’s sunny and warm in Chicago it’s windy as hell. I couldn’t figure it out until I made the Derby day connection. I don’t remember the hat thing before.

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  71. Dexter said on May 3, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Wet happy dogs ..and a cat!

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  72. Deborah said on May 3, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Morels! I found fresh morels in Chicago today and Little Bird got some in Santa Fe today too. I’m making a cream sauce with morels and favs beans to have over fresh pasta. A little fresh basil, and parm. Heaven. I got a good bottle of wine to go with it too.

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  73. alex said on May 3, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    It took me a minute to make the Derby Day connection today on our way to Home Depot. There’s an off-track betting parlor nearby and the driveway into the shopping center was parked up — obstructed really — by cars parking where none are supposed to. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

    Over lunch at an Italian place we overheard a most unusual conversation. Two men and a woman, late middle-aged and well-dressed, talking Biblical. “And Paul said blah, blah, blah and you know that means dah, dah, dah.” “Well, John said such and such and you can’t get to the Kingdom of Heaven any other way.” The conversation then turned to whether sports exist in Heaven. At that point I blurted to my partner, “What I want to know is whether they have a well-stocked wet bar there and if the marijuana’s free.”

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  74. Deborah said on May 3, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    Heaven forbid sports in heaven.

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  75. Kirk said on May 3, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    I would forbid opera in heaven.

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  76. Dexter said on May 4, 2014 at 2:24 am

    Big excitement for Waterloo and Bryan today. Steam train 765 was run on an excursion from Elkhart to Bryan. It turned around here and went back to Elkhart. I am a trainspotter of the lowest degree, I have almost always lived near the tracks of what used to be called the New York Central Line and is now Norfolk and Southern last I checked. There were hundreds of people taking it all in. Kids ought to see a steam train once in their lives. That chug-chug and that whistle carried me way-back, I will say.

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  77. Connie said on May 4, 2014 at 9:31 am

    We got to see one of those massive steam trains in Seymour many years ago. That baby was big!

    As to the farmer’s market, not much. Dog treats, jams, honey, honey again, and pies. And warnings and offers of free ear plugs as the nearby tornado siren was about to do its first Saturday thing. We got out of there in time with one lonely jar of onion jam.

    Then on to our favorite interesting market where it was customer appreciation day. Free samples around every corner, deli meats and cheeses, dressings and seasoned olive oils, meatballs, bacon and sloppy joes, free Dearborn hot dogs, bakery goodies and more. It definitely served for lunch.

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  78. brian stouder said on May 4, 2014 at 11:19 am

    What a beautiful weekend. The girls and I did the zoo on Saturday, and several of my brothers and Grant and I are meeting later today (at Buffalo Wild Wings – so we’ll see about that…) – and here is a random dog-tease video that Diane Ravitch posted, and which will indeed make you chuckle

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  79. beb said on May 4, 2014 at 11:56 am

    This is getting to be old. A gang of gun nuts in Texas decided to have a gathering at a local Jack-in-the-Box. The staff, seeing all these armed men gathering in their restaurant fear that they’re about to be robbed so they hid in the walk-in cooler and call the police. The police arrives in force because: armed robbery and everybody gets pissed off. The Police at least chastised the group for not having signage and for not calling the police to notify them in advance.

    I have a dream of where someday some of these gun-fondlers converge on a store and the owner decides to “stand his ground” and exerciser his “Castle Right”, pulls out his gun and starts shooting as their enter his store. In a shoot out between gun-rightists and stand-your-groundist… who goes to prison?

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  80. Dave said on May 4, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    I rode the 765 from Cincinnati to Fort Wayne once, I couldn’t run it because running a steam locomotive is far different than running a diesel. Still, I was in the cab and it was the dirtiest I think I ever got in my life, all that coal dust and soot. Glad I had the experience and it was a great insight into understanding how much tougher a job railroading was in steam days and how those old fellows thought. Some of those fellows would romanticize about steam but you could hardly ever find one who wanted those days to return.

    Yet, when I was a little boy and saw many Norfolk and Western steam locomotives, which they ran up until about 1958, in central and southern Ohio, I wanted to run one someday.

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  81. Julie Robinson said on May 4, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Dexter, I got to ride the 765! It’s been restored by a very dedicated group of folks, and my hubby knows one of them, who was kind enough to comp us tickets. The engine is mighty impressive. We had a great time, and it was so much fun to see everyone along the tracks. This was just a couple of hours but we’d love to take a longer journey some day.

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  82. Deborah said on May 4, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Kirk, Don’t worry, opera is much to demonic to be performed in Heaven. It will thankfully be playing 24/7 in hell, where I’ll probably be.

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  83. brian stouder said on May 4, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Deborah – I’d say I’ll be suffering through the Damned operas with you!

    (I recall reading that the root of ALincoln’s “scoffing” status was that he simply never could believe a loving God would allow for eternal damnation. Lincoln’s argument was that if this was really true, then the only possible rational way to lead our relatively brief lives on earth would be as devoted monks engaged in constant prayers, and nothing else)

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  84. Suzanne said on May 4, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    I love opera. I hope that doesn’t mean I send eternity in Hades.

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  85. BigHank53 said on May 5, 2014 at 1:33 am

    The one thing I’m pretty sure Heaven is equipped with is excellent soundproofing. I won’t begrudge someone who wants to spend eternity riding their colossally loud motorcycle up and down mountain roads…as long as I don’t have to listen to it.

    I only ever heard one story about Alice Waters. A woman who’d spent several years in NYC holding down a second job as a server for a catering company related it. (NPR? An essay? Who knows…) Typically whoever prepares the food provides enough extra to feed the staff, since they’re going to be working through a regular mealtime, and then doing clean-up for at least an hour afterwards. Anyway, she’s working an event at which Ms. Waters is appearing. Interns from some other organization are acting as ushers. She ask her boss if there’s enough extra food (which is Waters-approved fare from some fancy NYC restaurant) for the ushers; there isn’t; and the ushers pool some cash and order a pizza. On her way out, Ms. Waters notices the pizza box and berates the ushers (who are collecting not one thin dime for the evening’s work) for not eating better.

    The woman may know food. People, not so much.

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