Either I’m doing something right, or John hasn’t figured out the FYWP password after I changed it.

Whichever one of those two options makes you feel better is the one you should run with.

Tomorrow marks one year that I’ve been on the front page here at Balloon-Juice.  Since there’s some kind of festival going on that the majority of our readership will be involved with, I’m posting this here today.  Special thanks to Anne Laurie who pitched the idea of giving me the keys to John, and to John himself for taking the chance.  I hope that I haven’t embarrassed either of you too much.  Thanks also to the other front pagers who make it look so easy.  It’s due to their quality work that you have been saved from all sorts of crap I would have posted, but then I saw something one of them put up and said to myself “no way in hell I’m posting this piece of crap after reading that.”

Even more thanks to Kos, whose community allowed me to start to find my voice, with an admission price that I and so many others could afford.  And to many of the front pagers over there, past and present who listened to what I had to say even as they frequently disagreed with me, and most especially to Armando, for plucking me from obscurity and posting something I wrote on the front page there and showing me that there were actually people who were interested in what I had say.  Now, if I could only figure out why that is, I’d probably make a fortune.

And lastly, thank you all.  Without the readers and commenters here on Balloon-Juice, I wouldn’t have a reason to do this.  To the ones with whom I’ve had disagreements and even the ones who hate me, thank you as well.  You’ve all had a hand in making me a better person, if not a better writer.

207 replies
  1. 1
    Corner Stone says:

    You’re welcome.

  2. 2
    Arclite says:

    Hear, hear! I’ve enjoyed your posts SG. Looking fwd to more of them.

  3. 3
    Ted & Hellen says:

    I loathe you with the passionate intensity of a thousand supernovas, so you’re welcome.

  4. 4
    c u n d gulag says:

    Thanks to YOU, SG, and ALL of the other great writers here – and MOST of the commenters! ;-)

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!!

    And be thankful that that old turkey, Mitt Romney, and his sidekick, Paul Ryan, had their gooses cooked a few weeks ago.

    And just think – after the Holiday Season ends, we still have a couple of more weeks of Schadenfreude Season!!!

    But that ends when the last drunk passes out after the Inauguration Balls.

  5. 5
    Schlemizel says:

    Well, you are no Erectile Dysfunction Kane but I guess you are OK so you can stay I suppose.

    Thanks for your service to THIS community ;)

  6. 6
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Also, too: I’m sure it hasn’t escaped your attention that Cole hardly ever posts here any more. I would guess his over arching malaise regarding BJ is the reason he hasn’t noticed what you’ve done to the place.

  7. 7
    trollhattan says:

    Happy anniversary! Now go celebrate by kicking Jim Inhofe in the junk–my kid’s very future depends on it.

  8. 8
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Speaking of Thanksgiving, also too and furthermore: To whom or what are you militant/radical/fundamentalist atheists “thankful” on Thanksgiving?

    Are we trying to act like there was no religious basis to this holiday?

  9. 9
    Baud says:

    Time flies. Happy anniversary.

  10. 10
    Jay C says:

    What, SG? You’ve been here a whole year already?
    You think what: that that entitles you to our thanks and appreciation?

    Well, you’d be right! Thanks, dude, and keep up the good work. Or even the mediocre work: it’s still an improvement on a LOT of the Internet…..

  11. 11
    scav says:

    And suddenly fat turkeys to roast and pumpkin (plus other) pies are delivered, and a day early even. This really Is a full-service blog!

    ETA: and thanks to all that have the keys to it, even fywp ones.

  12. 12
    gogol's wife says:

    I always enjoy your contributions. And I’m madly in love with your dog. Happy Thanksgiving!

  13. 13
    mai naem says:

    Are we supposed to go “aawwwwwww!” now?

    Congrats on your anniversary.

    I was at Trader Joes this AM. It happens to be in a kinda sorta upper class/upper middle class area. Anyhoo, the sheetiest car in the parking lot(full of newer SUVs, Minivans and Lexus/Volvo/Prius kind of cars), an older 90s model Ford Taurus with peeling paint had “Repeal Obamacare”, “Gas was $1.86” and “Romney/Ryan” stickers. Now I know I am assuming this person is on the poorer side solely based on their vehicle, but still, why do these fools vote against their interests?

  14. 14
    kindness says:

    Soonergrunt mimic’s Joe Scarborough’s apology to Nate Silver with his 1 year achievement:

    Yo! Suck it John! I changed the password. Yoo Hooo!

  15. 15
    sparrow says:

    Yay for liberal sooners. God knows we need more of ’em.

  16. 16
    aimai says:

    Happy bloggiversary, Sooner. And many happy returns of the day.

    I’m struggling with the details of my own tday, actually, and have reached that point of no return where I wish heartily that I never had heard of the holiday–my holiday consists of 15 people: 4 vegetarians, one vegan, and 10 normal people except for the cousin who insists on bringing an extra sausage stuffing and her spouse who insists on at least two kinds of meat. And one person who won’t eat garlic. And several others who actually won’t eat anything that isn’t bland and white. Oh, and the vegan won’t eat starches. And I’m feeling guilty because for once this year I’m not cooking a separate vegetarian entree. Turkey, Pork roast, vegetarian stuffing, brussels sprouts (with and without bacon) escarole (with and without garlic), roasted carrots and parsnips in a cumin cinnamon lemon vinaigrette, maybe roasted fennel, a parnsip soup, and a bitter greens salad. But no squash.

    Having said that: Happy holidays?


  17. 17
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Are we trying to act like there was no religious basis to this holiday?

    Um, there isn’t a religious basis for the holiday, unless by “religious basis” you mean that the government used the word “God” when the government created it.

    Christmas is based in a specific Christian event that gives it a religious basis. So is Easter. Thanksgiving, not so much. If you’re going with a “if God is mentioned in the proclamation, it’s religious” claim, then Mother’s Day is just as much as religious holiday as Thanksgiving.

  18. 18
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ted & Hellen: One can be thankful toward one’s fellow humans. Seems to me like a decent thing to do.

    Is everything that has a religious underpinning anathema to you? Bach? Handel? Champagne (invented by monks)?

  19. 19
    imonlylurking says:

    @aimai: Why on earth would one not eat garlic? That’s just so very wrong.

    My usual array will be much simpler-the vegetarian isn’t coming this year so I don’t have to make a vegetarian gravy. Only 4 people for dinner, then a ‘dessert drop-in’ for those who have room after dinner, and then everybody is coming over on Friday night for leftovers.

  20. 20
    Mnemosyne says:


    IMO, people who are super-picky about what they eat for Thanksgiving have a social obligation to bring a dish that they can eat to take the burden off the hosts. If you’re really worried about not having a vegetarian entree, I would throw together a baked meatless pasta (this one cooks up in the slow cooker) and let the starch-free vegan fend for him/herself.

  21. 21
    imonlylurking says:

    @aimai: Why on earth would one not eat garlic? That’s just so very wrong.

    My usual array will be much simpler than usual this year-the vegetarian isn’t attending so I don’t have to make a vegetarian gravy. Only 4 people for dinner, then a ‘dessert drop-in’ for those who have room after dinner, and then everybody is coming over on Friday night for leftovers.

  22. 22
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @imonlylurking: Vampire. Obvs.

  23. 23
    Mnemosyne says:


    I don’t know what aimai’s guest’s problem is, but I have a co-worker who’s allergic to garlic (and oatmeal, of all things). She gets a deep, nasty cough if she has things with a lot of garlic in them and gets a rash if she touches it, so it’s not just an intolerance.

    She was pretty mad when she found out, especially since she’s married to an Italian whose best dishes have lots of garlic, but she adapts.

  24. 24
    Schlemizel says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    For one I am deeply grateful that I live in a country that does not require me to bow down before some great and powerful Hairy Thunderer in the sky.

    I am grateful to this planet which allows us to plunder its beauty and bounty even though we abuse it badly.

    I am grateful to the men and women who make my daily life possible, from the people who pick my vegetables to the teachers who taught me math, science, the arts and history to the radiation oncologist who applied the work of people I am also grateful for to save my life, to the men and women who go into harms way (police, fire, military) and allow me the opportunity to ignore their contributions day to day.

    In short I am grateful to a million entities I can see and feel, touch and be touched by and I truly believe they have more impact on my being than some Cosmic Muffin so insecure it demands complete adulation lest it cast me into a pit of fire for all time in order to show its love for me

  25. 25
    Steeplejack says:

    @aimai, @Mnemosyne:

    Starch-free vegans? What can they eat?! I’m with Mnemosyne, people like that should have to fend for themselves, at least partially.

  26. 26
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @imonlylurking: Some extremely
    devout orthodox Hindus (my husband’s grandfather, for example) do not eat onions or garlic. Since apparently it can arouse base passions. I had to stifle a giggle, when this was explained to me.

    I think many religious people (of all religions) are just sour pusses who cannot have fun, and don’t want any one else to have fun either. YMMV.

  27. 27
    handy says:

    Are people who are allergic to garlic able to see their reflection in the mirror?

  28. 28
    handy says:

    Just asking questions.

  29. 29
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: That explains a lot, thanks!

  30. 30
    nellcote says:

    Enjoyed you at Kos and I’m delighted you turned up here.

    Clearly tomorrow is a celebration of your blogversary. How else to explain roasting a turkey?

  31. 31
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @handy: I like the way you think.

  32. 32
    jeffreyw says:

    Yay Soonergrunt! 11Bs rule! Follow Me! I like pie!

  33. 33
    Corner Stone says:


    In short I am grateful to a million entities I can see and feel, touch and be touched by

    Kinky. But whatever floats your boat.

  34. 34
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @mai naem: they vote against their interests because they are heavily invested in the idea that a government run by Democrats will give free goodies to Those People, which isn’t fair, and Republicans will stop it. That’s the entire reason why anybody votes Republican who isn’t filthy rich or a rabid bible-banger.

  35. 35
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @jeffreyw: Thread needs more kittehs!

  36. 36
    YellowJournalism says:

    Happy blogiversary, Sooner! And thanks for an entertaining Twitter feed, too.

    My folks have something to be thankful for tomorrow: Dad starts a new job next month! Unfortunately, they had to move, which will make the holidays a little hard when we go down to visit and have to split time up among them and my sis. But things are looking up, so there’s that.

  37. 37
    Suezboo says:

    SG, can’t do the snarky thing, so sincerely : I read here several times a day – call me a lurker, if you must – and I really enjoy your posts and your doggie pix.
    I miss seeing Cole around but his front page is now so full of really good writers that he can slack off and I still keep coming back.

  38. 38
    Corner Stone says:


    Starch-free vegans? What can they eat?!

    I wonder what the next progression is?
    Maybe he’ll eventually be too pure for water and will Darwin.

  39. 39
    becca says:

    You are one no-shit guy,Sooner, and that’s a high compliment.

    Best to all this Thanksgiving. Eat well and love much!

  40. 40
  41. 41
    Corner Stone says:


    Dad starts a new job next month!

    What age range is padre?

  42. 42
    Surreal American says:


    Hairy Thunderer…Cosmic Muffin

    Someone must be familiar with Deteriorata:


  43. 43
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @nellcote: God damn it! Every year my dad and I ask for/ suggest goose instead of turkey. Every year we are overruled. I also want a damned mincemeat pie. And a pony.

  44. 44
    dr. luba says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Speaking of Thanksgiving, also too and furthermore: To whom or what are you militant/radical/fundamentalist atheists “thankful” on Thanksgiving?
    Are we trying to act like there was no religious basis to this holiday?

    To the arc of the moral universe, which bends towards justice; to the American voter, who saw through the bullshit; to FDR, who helped create America’s middle class; to Eleanor Roosevelt, who helped my family immigrate; and to my cousin Val who is doing the cooking (so I don’t have to).

    Oh, and what Schlemizel says (beat me to it.)

  45. 45
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: maybe he’ll transcend the sordid flesh and become a being of pure energy. As long as the energy is renewable.

  46. 46
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @jeffreyw: Kittehz seem to love her!

  47. 47
  48. 48
    donovong says:

    I’ve really enjoyed your work here, Grunt. Keep it up.

    And let’s all be thankful that we never have to contend with the idea of a President Romney.

  49. 49

    Keep up the good work and thanks SG.

  50. 50
    Shlemizel says:


    Rest assured that a walk though most men’s souls would scarcely gety your feet wet.

    I am also thankful for the folks at Nat Lamp!

  51. 51
    PurpleGirl says:

    Sooner – Happy Anniversary here at BJ. I enjoy your postings.

    I’ve finalized my plans for tomorrow: Seeing Wreck-It Ralph first and then going to a restaurant for a hamburger and Wild Onion (fried onion blossom). Should be a good day.

  52. 52
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    You are a wonderful addition to the front-pagers. Can’t believe it’s been a year. Happy BJ-versary, SG!

  53. 53
    Karmus says:

    Glad you’re on the job. You’re the salt of the blog.

  54. 54
    YellowJournalism says:

    @Corner Stone: Over 55. He has had a hard time finding something in part because of his age. He actually was able to find something he has experience with and didn’t have to go do retail at a box store, which was an option he was heading to. So excited for him.

  55. 55
    NotMax says:

    @Ted & Hellen

    To whom or what are you militant/radical/fundamentalist atheists “thankful” on Thanksgiving?

    We’re not thankful to, we’re thankful for.


  56. 56
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Karmus: He is kind of pink.

  57. 57
    Carnacki says:

    You are still bad for daily kos

  58. 58
    NotMax says:

    Feliz anniversary, Soonergrunt.

    But when J.C. discovers that new password is “steelersblow” there will be hell to pay….

  59. 59
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Carnacki: Thank you, Sir!

  60. 60
    Shlemizel says:


    Went through that myself at that age and it is scary as hell. Glad to hear he got into something better than retail sales. That has to be a better thanksgiving even with the downside.

    My late job hunt turned out really well so far I hope as much for your dad.

  61. 61
    👽 Martin says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Well, the basis for the modern holiday shifted from being thankful for a bountiful crop to being thankful that we can buy a 46″ flat screen TV at 2AM the next day at Walmart for $100, if only we’re willing to step on the neck of our fellow citizen.

    FDR officially put Thanksgiving where it is to boost consumer spending leading into Christmas during the Depression. So I guess we’re all thankful to Macy’s.

  62. 62
    Brachiator says:



    Happy anniversary, and have a great Thanksgiving.

    I look forward to reading more of your work here.

  63. 63
    Violet says:

    Happy blogiversary! I’ve enjoyed hearing your perspective on things.

    Still avoiding making the pumpkin pies.

  64. 64
    Felonius Monk says:

    Happy 1st and many more to come plus Happy Thanksgiving to you, Sooner. I always look forward to your posts.

  65. 65
    NotMax says:

    @👽 Martin

    So I guess we’re all thankful to Macy’s.

    And Gimble’s, the now-defunct Rodney Dangerfield of major metropolitan department stores.

    And Wanamaker’s, and Field’s, and Dayton-Hudson…

  66. 66
    MikeJ says:


    Starch-free vegans? What can they eat?!

    Turn them out to pasture, but you might put a hobble on so they don’t go too far.

    Maybe by next year they’ll be fat enough to be the entrée.

  67. 67
    dead existentialist says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Speaking of Thanksgiving, also too and furthermore: To whom or what are you militant/radical/fundamentalist atheists “thankful” on Thanksgiving?

    I’m thankful God is not paying any attention to the likes of me. We have this agreement,see: I don’t believe in Him, and He doesn’t believe in me.

    And Sooner up top, thanks for your presence here. You’re alright.

  68. 68
    JoyfulA says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: My sister makes mincemeat from scratch, and her pies are unbelievable. Unfortunately, she’s having Thanksgiving with her daughter’s in-laws in Virginia, but maybe for Christmas—-

    (In our family, one person makes the turkey(s), and everyone else brings sides and desserts.)

  69. 69
    👽 Martin says:

    @NotMax: Yeah, but Macy’s really invented Black Friday and treated thanksgiving as the formal kick-off to Christmas. Macy’s is to Black Friday as Frank Constanza is to Festivus.

  70. 70
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @jeffreyw: I would like to know her secret. Today when I came home the neighbor’s cat was curled up on my doormat, sound asleep, and when I approached she (the cat, not the neighbor) fled as though all the hounds of hell were after her. I feel like I’m wearing cat repellent.

    And a happy Thanksgiving to Soonergrunt and everyone else!

  71. 71
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @JoyfulA: Both of my grandmothers made mincemeat from scratch. One of them made the best pies I have ever had. She is still around, 91, but she now directs pie making by others so they can try to learn and because her hands get too tired. The pies are not the same. Some people have a gift.

  72. 72
    NotMax says:


    No argument here.

    Gimbel’s (unfortunate misspelling above), even in its heyday, was perennially in the “get no respect” category.

    Fingers crossed that Macy’s does not unveil a Chris Christie balloon this year.

  73. 73
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: My grandmother’s pies and cakes were the best. And try as she might, she never managed to teach her daughters or her grandchildren how to make them that good.
    The universe lost something special there when she went on.

  74. 74
    Biff Longbotham says:

    Congrats from a retired 96B4SK3RU!!

  75. 75
    Biff Longbotham says:

    Congrats from a retired 96B4SK3RU!!

  76. 76
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Soonergrunt: I think it is the ability to judge the crust by the way it feels in their hands. Learned as a child and developed through a lifetime. Their daughters had careers and never practiced enough. They didn’t teach their sons until they asked when they were adults – by which time it was too late to develop the skill.

  77. 77
    NotMax says:


    Had one grandmother who made the best – hands down, no contest – garlic dill pickles in the known universe.

    She always swore that how to make them was “her secret” and she would die before the recipe/technique could be pried from her.

    Which she did, at 108.

  78. 78
    LanceThruster says:

    To me, saying you come from DKos is like saying you’re a “rape baby.” That being said, I enjoy your stuff and am glad you’re here.

  79. 79
    Mnemosyne says:


    I think the official thing to do after seeing that movie is to “stuff your face with chili.”

  80. 80
    Anne Laurie says:

    Happy blog-anniversary, Soonergrunt.

    “Rare Sincerity” category!

    When people complain that I bring nothing to this blog they couldn’t find on a refrigerator door, I point to you and Kay.

  81. 81
    Sacrablue says:

    @NotMax: Hey, I worked in the toy department at Wanamaker’s long, long ago. Talk about Black Friday, you have no idea!

  82. 82
    ruemara says:

    I like your posts. Don’t know if I like you, as we are internet ships passing on a blog, but I suspect I do. Keep them coming and Happy Blogiversary! You can release JC from whatever hogtying escapade you put him in so you could have free run of the place.

  83. 83
    Sacrablue says:

    @👽 Martin: Macy’s had nothing to do with the term “Black Friday”, that honor goes to the Philadelphia cops.

  84. 84
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Anne Laurie: You could put SG on a refrigerator door, but it would have to be a big ‘fridge.

  85. 85
    Sacrablue says:

    Happy blogiversary, Soonergrunt. You’re perspective is always welcome.

  86. 86
    kc says:

    Happy anniversary!

  87. 87
    Ash Can says:

    Congrats, Soonergrunt, and may you celebrate many, many more anniversaries here!

  88. 88
    jl says:

    thanks for the blogging.

    Go Sooner! (huh, never thought something that sounds like that would come from my direction)

  89. 89
    quannlace says:

    I also want a damned mincemeat pie.

    My Mom used to make mincemeat pie. As a little kid, I was mystified/horrified at anyone putting SUET into a sweet pie. My Dad loved it though, would eat two slices at least, even tho it did give him heartburn.

  90. 90
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @NotMax: We are all Macy*s now.

  91. 91
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Ted & Hellen: I am thankful I don’t have to put up with your bullshit on a daily basis. How’s that?

  92. 92
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Mnemosyne: Thanks. I could see if the restaurant has chili or I could make some at home later in the evening. (The video is taking forever to load.)

  93. 93
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Also, just for old time’s sake, can we get a Manning throwdown?

  94. 94
    Schlemizel says:


    I love mincemeat, particularly if it is made with real meat, preferably venison. I have a venison roast coming from friends and I plan on making a pie with some of it.

  95. 95
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    happy blogiversary! You’re my favourite of the newest crop of FP here – always look forward to your posts (and not just the serious VA/military affairs ones which I love because learning stuff is cool, but also the silly and the musical ones because, duh!).

    Unmentioned here: you also have a good hand with the comment threads – I like hanging in comment threads you’re watching. They don’t go pear-shaped so often (or when they do it’s pear-shaped in all the right ways).

  96. 96
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Fingers crossed that Macy’s does not unveil a Chris Christie balloon this year.

    Oh, I am SO not gonna touch that.

  97. 97
    Corner Stone says:


    Also, just for old time’s sake, can we get a Manning throwdown?

    Hell yeah. Peyton looks like he’s throwing wet ducks and Eli is settling in to his usual mid season slump before the Tom Coughlin getting fired stories are written.

  98. 98
    Schlemizel says:


    I think I can safely say we are ALL thankful for that! But they were more worried about what we were thankful to.

    I assume they want us to be thankful to the great invisible slot machine. You insert a prayer and pull the handle. If the slot machine decides you are somehow lucky or worthy or who the fuck knows delivers a payout. May be a good crop or a cure or a healthy birth or something. If the slot machine decides against you (and there is never a clear indication of why) then you starve, die, have a deformed child and that was the slot machines will.

    They must assume the slot machine loves them & they want us to love the slot machine too

  99. 99
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Corner Stone: well played, sir. well played.

  100. 100
    Schlemizel says:


    But that would mean a days employment for thousands and thousands of people to hold a balloon of that size down!

    Yes, I am going right to the fat jokes!

  101. 101
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Schlemizel: I think we can all be thankful that we were born on Global Third Base.

  102. 102
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Schlemizel: Oh, the huge manatee!

  103. 103
  104. 104
    Citizen_X says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Eli or Peyt…ohhhh, that guy.

    Happy bloggiversery, SG!

    ETA: curse you Corner Stone!

  105. 105
    Schlemizel says:


    Got that right. It is so easy to forget that even with our struggles and the daily grind we have it pretty damn good.

    Given the trials and tribulations I have had there are times I have to remind myself that it could be so much worse.

  106. 106
    Feudalism Now! says:

    Happy Anniversary Soonergrunt! I will sip a bit of Glen Livet in honor of your achievement tonight. I second the suggestion that you kick Jim Inhofe in the junk, but understand the potential hazards. Maybe deliver a cranky polar bear to him and let nature take its course.

  107. 107
    Redshift says:

    You’ve done good, SG. Happy blogiversary.

  108. 108
    Comrade Mary says:

    Happy anniversary, Sooner! I hope this makes up for y’all celebrating Thanksgiving so gosh-darn late.

  109. 109
    Redshift says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: When I was a kid, mincemeat pie was my favorite. I was always “different.”

  110. 110
    Redshift says:

    @LanceThruster: Heh. I came here from FDL…

  111. 111
    opie_jeanne says:

    @Soonergrunt: Happy Anniversary, and I’m glad you’re here now. I enjoy your writing immensely and while I skip some columns because of time constraints or lack of interest on my part, I always read yours.

    My mother and my paternal grandmother made what I thought were very good pies, and when I was about 25 I asked my mom how to make a pie and she laughed at me, the same as her own mother had done when she asked the same question. So, I dragged out the Betty Crocker cookbook and followed the steps and produced an ok pie, but I was terrified of pie crust. I had watched my paternal grandmother manipulate pie dough and knew that it was a matter of practice, but I couldn’t find a recipe that really worked well, until I acquired a Cuisinart.

    My dad picked one up for free from a friend who was rebuilding them for Cuisinart but they couldn’t be sold as new; I think the price would have been about $20 at the time, when a new one cost about $120, probably about 1978. It had an instruction booklet that included a recipe for pate brisee, and after omitting the sugar it has been my pie dough recipe ever since. The sugar seemed to make the crust burn and didn’t improve the taste. I tweaked the filling ingredients, played with various combinations of apples, or berries (Boysenberry pie! Marionberry! Olallie!) and how much sugar and what spices to add to them, and I’m still learning. Alton Brown made a huge fuss over making an apple pie, it was really ridiculous the lengths he went to to prevent problems I’ve never had, BUT he did suggest replacing the cold water in the crust of an apple pie with apple brandy and I think that sounds interesting.

    I make a pretty darned good pie these days, and it only took me until age 62 to be able to say that. :-)

    Here are tomorrow’s offerings: http://www.flickr.com/photos/s.....hotostream

  112. 112
    opie_jeanne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I make far better apple pies than my mother did, she told me so and I ate enough of hers to know, but I will not make a cherry pie because that was my favorite that she made, the one I always asked her to make if she asked, and I do not want to eradicate that memory by outdoing it. Plus, she did this thing with tapioca beads that I do not understand so it just wouldn’t be the same, and I’ve never had a better cherry pie made by anyone else.

  113. 113
    Ruckus says:

    It is good to have you here and on your day job. Keep up the good work both places.

  114. 114
    opie_jeanne says:

    @Anne Laurie: Who does that???!!!

    And they are wrong.

  115. 115
    opie_jeanne says:

    @NotMax: My dad made wonderful fudge. The recipe is lost and he is gone now, at age 94.

  116. 116
    👽 Martin says:

    @opie_jeanne: My grandparents were great cooks. They taught me. They also tried to teach my mom – it didn’t take. She’s the only person I’ve ever met that could (without burning it) make a hot dog completely, physically inedible.

  117. 117
    PurpleGirl says:

    @opie_jeanne: My mother came to cake making later in life (her late 40s). One day she was making a box mix chocolate cake and it didn’t come out right. It didn’t rise and the mixture just sort of lay there in the cake pan and cooked flat. But it was the best damn fudge I’ve ever had. Problem was she couldn’t remember how she make the cake mix or if she left something out. Damn that fudge was good.

  118. 118
    👽 Martin says:

    @👽 Martin: I should add, both of my parents attribute the generation-skipping characteristics (I also learned a lot of mechanical, woodworking, gardening etc. things from my grandfather) to the fact that we were poor. Everyone was too busy working jobs to pass down skills, except those that could produce income. As I got older, we all got less poor, more free time opened up, and I benefitted from it. My parents missed that chance.

    I thought that was insightful that both my socialist dad and conservative mom made that observation – and I think within months of each other decades after they divorced.

  119. 119
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Corner Stone:
    I can’t remember what it is called, but I worked with a woman who was trying to eat only renewable parts of plants, like fruits or leaves; nothing that destroyed the plant.

  120. 120
    robertdsc-iPhone 4 says:

    Happy Anniversary, SG!

  121. 121
    Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    To whom or what are you militant/radical/fundamentalist atheists “thankful” on Thanksgiving?

    We’re not thankful, we’re fortunate.

  122. 122
    gelfling545 says:

    @Steeplejack: I guess they can riot amongst the relish trays.

  123. 123
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    My grandmother and great-aunt each had a specialty. My GM used to beat the bejesus out of cake batter, 500 strokes minimum. And her cakes were terrific. But she was way too rough on pie dough, handled it too much, and it became tough and inedible.

    My GA, her sister, OTOH, was a fine pie maker because she really didn’t like handling the pastry and worked it only barely enough to combine the wet and dry ingredients. So her crust was light and delicate, lovely stuff. But because she also didn’t like beating cake batter, her layer cakes tended to come out lumpy, soggy in parts and dry in others, and generally as inedible as my GM’s pies.

    Of course, no Cuisinarts in those days.

  124. 124
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    John’s over on Facebook regaling us with stories, rants and pictures of the pets. No idea why he’s so infrequent here these days. My guess is he hates the lot of you.

  125. 125
    Ted & Hellen says:


    Oh Mnem, you’re such an idiot.

    To whom do you believe the original Thanksgiving folks were giving thanks? Whom do you believe the government had in mind when it was created?

    I don’t know…maybe…God?

    Are you an atheist? If so, all I’m asking is to whom or what are you thankful on thanksgiving? Nothing? If so, can you explain how that works?

    Or maybe you’re just “happy” so the day is “Happy-giving” for you or something. Why so touchy?

  126. 126
    Corner Stone says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    John’s over on Facebook regaling us with stories, rants and pictures of the pets. No idea why he’s so infrequent here these days. My guess is he hates the lot of you.

    Not to be brash but I think it’s just me. After I innocently asked his Ladyfriend a question she protected her tweets. And probably dumped Cole as well, from which I suspect he hasn’t even begun to recover.
    It’s all my fault.

  127. 127
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Who can blame him?

  128. 128
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    God damn it! Every year my dad and I ask for/ suggest goose instead of turkey

    So why not buy a goose and bake it yourself?

    Problem solved.

  129. 129
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jay in Oregon: Where the heck would you get protein from?

  130. 130
    Corner Stone says:

    @Ted & Hellen: I’ve never been sure why anyone would actually want a goose.
    Of course, I’ve despised all turkey except for fried turkey since I’ve been old enough to not attend Thanksgiving dinner.
    For those who don’t know, fried turkey is the balls and the antipothesis of any other turkey you may have ever had.

  131. 131
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: /whimpers, presses face against glass

  132. 132
    Ted & Hellen says:


    We’re not thankful to, we’re thankful for.

    Who’s “we?” Do you speak for some great unseen mass who sit behind you?

    Capiche? Capiche this, douche.

    Also too…I’m pretty sure “thankful” requires a “to.” Otherwise whom are you thanking? At least someone above said they were thankful to other people…that’s something. That makes sense.

    Generally, I’m just amused by radical/fundamentalist atheists who pretend the religious holidays they horn in on did not have a religious basis when first established, even if as a secondary consideration to commerce.

  133. 133
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    I didn’t even know until now that BJ had a presence on FB. But I’ve liked the page and will look forward with panting eagerness to the promised stories, rants, and pet pictures.

  134. 134
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Corner Stone:

    John doesn’t hate us. He hates that he has to pander to us for the revenue.

  135. 135
    opie_jeanne says:

    : @👽 Martin: Your mom was special, just like my mother-in-law, but boy could my MIL potty-train a kid. She did all three of mine, although we had almost finished the job with the girls when she did her magic. I think our son would have gone to kindergarten in diapers, he was that unconcerned with the process.

  136. 136
    Corner Stone says:


    My dad made wonderful fudge. The recipe is lost and he is gone now, at age 94.

    Thankfully my dad is still with us, even if barely at some times, but he made the best Banana Nut Bread ever. Take a hot slice, schmear some sweet butter on and then slip a Monterey Jack cheese slice on top. MmmMMmmMM…heaven.
    Which was always weird because my mom makes a variety of desserts I really love. So how did he do that?
    We may never know since the selfish bastard hasn’t made it in 20+ years.

  137. 137
    Comrade Mary says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: D’oh! I was looking under John’s name.

  138. 138
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Because the number of people involved in the festivities is not large enough for two bis ass birds. Also, the requests for goose have become a part of our Thanksgiving tradition which would be destroyed if we ever actually got our way. Families are weird. We have had goose on other occasions, so it is not like dad and I are actually deprived.

  139. 139
    HRA says:


    Very nice pies.
    I decided to go back to the original pie crust made with lard.
    There was a time when I would make 8 pies for Sunday and it was not a chore. This time it was a chore for 2 pies. I had lost the original recipe and got one from a co-worker. Anyone have a recipe for that pie crust?

    Both of my parents were great cooks. Dad was a chef. Mom’s cooking of ethnic foods is something I miss now.

    Happy anniversary Sooner.

  140. 140
    gelfling545 says:

    @opie_jeanne: My daughter is the apple pie goddess in our family. She learned how to make them in 7th grade home ec & has been in charge or that area aver since. She has developed some neat additions over the years (she’s 35 now) like her apple cider & basalmic glaze and Thanksgiving requires 2 pies for dinner & 1 for me personally to savor over the weekend..

  141. 141
    Lorinda Pike says:

    Okay, Soonergrunt…now you’ve gone and done it!

    I’ve lurked here for a couple of years, and always enjoyed the dialogue. It’s a little different from DKos, but lucid and intelligent (well, for the most part) with a generous helping of snark. I like it here.

    So, here I am, jumping into this pool also – mainly to thank you and the others, for a most enjoyable lurk.

    Lorinda Pike, no longer a lurker…

  142. 142
    opie_jeanne says:

    @PurpleGirl: My mother made fudge only once during my childhood; she thought she’d left out the salt and the batch came out salty, and she didn’t like being teased about it.

    Dad had this mythical notebook that he had mislaid when he was in his 40s, and that had the extremely good fudge recipe in it, but the stuff he turned out after that was so good I can’t imagine that the lost recipe could have been better. I think he recreated it from memory as best he could, but I have no idea what he did with that recipe. I’m not sure I’m up to making candy at this age; I’ve always been a bit nervous about the horrifying burns to be had from hot caramel and other candies.

    He would ask what we wanted for Christmas when we were adults and I’d always tell him I only wanted a batch of his fudge. He stopped making it when he was about 80.

  143. 143
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    soonergrunt, well done!

  144. 144
    eemom says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Sorry dude, but when it comes to mirror mirror on the wall, who does Cole hate most of all, I get the prize.

  145. 145
    opie_jeanne says:

    @👽 Martin: I told the preacher at my dad’s memorial service that if my conservative father hadn’t wanted a liberal daughter he shouldn’t have taken me to Sunday School all those years.

  146. 146
    Ted & Hellen says:


    I am thankful I don’t have to put up with your bullshit on a daily basis. How’s that?

    Why don’t you Thanksgiving PIE me so I don’t have to bear the burden of knowing that my pearls of wisdom are being wasted on your ignorant hillbilly eyes.

  147. 147
    opie_jeanne says:

    @👽 Martin: I told the preacher at my dad’s memorial service that if my conservative father hadn’t wanted a liberal daughter he shouldn’t have taken me to Sunday School all those years.

  148. 148
    MikeJ says:

    @gelfling545: I’m the bread maker. I’ve got Parker House rolls pre-half baking in the oven right now as my bring with for turkey day. Parker House rolls are actually a lot like challah, except small, roundish, and unbraided.

  149. 149
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    D’oh! backatcha! That didn’t even occur to me.

  150. 150
    opie_jeanne says:

    @opie_jeanne: Sorry about the double post.

  151. 151
    Dirty Aussie says:

    As a long-time lurker (both of this blog and outside people’s windows) I have really enjoyed your posts. Congrats on one year!

  152. 152
    scav says:

    what amuses me about certain religious types is that they can’t imagine anything not dictated them from a personified daddy. Daddy says it’s wrong so it must be wrong, no fair establishing morality from logic or fairness or any other basis, it has to be based on Daddy-says. How can you be good out of discipline or self-control or a sense of fairness or honor? It simply can only arise from a fear of Daddy, or a promise of Daddy-treats in Daddy-heaven. One cannot be generally thankful, one must be thankful to a specific Daddy. Not so much GOD as their pilot as GOD is their training wheels and blankie and safety scissors so they don’t have to think or worry or decide anything. sad. the saddest are like domesticated plankton, only noisy and domineering with it.

  153. 153
    opie_jeanne says:

    @HRA: My piecrust improved 1000% when I got that dough recipe and started using butter. I realized that what was wrong with Mom’s was that she used Crisco. She liked my crust better but refused to learn my recipe. She was a bit stubborn, a Missouri mule she used to say.

  154. 154
    WereBear says:

    Happy blogiversary and many more!

    The writer is shaped by his craft, as well as the other way around. So pleased you have found an audience.

  155. 155
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    John’s over on Facebook regaling us with stories, rants and pictures of the pets. No idea why he’s so infrequent here these days. My guess is he hates the lot of you.

    Bingo! I keep asking why he doesn’t like his own blog anymore and get no response.

    My guess is front pagers like SG and DougJ have destroyed the place and he doesn’t even like the vibe here anymore.

    Just a guess… :D

  156. 156
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Comrade Mary: His page pops up occasionally as a person I might know but I just think of his misanthropic desire to never meet anyone and respect it.

  157. 157
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Corner Stone:

    For those who don’t know, fried turkey is the balls and the antipothesis of any other turkey you may have ever had.

    ACTUALLY, I make a KILLER roast turkey, and it’s all about the BRINE I soak it in for at least two days ahead of time. Makes the meat moist and tender, especially the white stuff which I love but which can also be dry.

    The brining is the secret!

  158. 158
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Oh Mnem, you’re such an idiot.

    Or maybe you’re just “happy” so the day is “Happy-giving” for you or something. Why so touchy?

    Oh, Timmy. Still the least self-aware troll ever.

    Also too…I’m pretty sure “thankful” requires a “to.” Otherwise whom are you thanking?

    And now you’re attempting to add grammar trolling to your repertoire, with the usual results. Really, you’ve never heard anyone say, ever, that they’re thankful “for” something, and if they did, they were using the wrong word?

  159. 159
    Frivolous says:

    Congratulations and you’re welcome, Soonergrunt.

  160. 160
    Svensker says:


    I tweaked the filling ingredients, played with various combinations of apples, or berries (Boysenberry pie! Marionberry! Olallie!) and how much sugar and what spices to add to them,

    Are you in the Northwest?

    My mom made the best pies, particularly berry pies, especially boysenberry and wild blackberry. She used Crisco (? ! ?) but somehow her crusts came out buttery tasting, tender, flaking, lighter than air. She tried to teach me but her fingers were always cool and mine are always hot… I can manage a pate brise for a bottom crust that’s acceptable, but classic American pie dough just doesn’t come out quite right, always a little dull and a little tough. Guess I’ll never again taste one of those beautiful berry pies with a flaky, tender, delicate, delicious crust. Sob.

  161. 161
    Ted & Hellen says:


    Oh Mnemie, still a dumbass…

    …the word YOU are looking for is something like “pleased” or “satisfied,” or “stupid.”

    Thanks implies a recipient of the thanks you’re expressing. Otherwise you’re just a stupid pleased and satisfied person.

    Oh wait…you are.

    Regardless of all that, you fool, the original origin of the holiday, not the secondary origin of the scheduled government/commerce holiday as marketing tool, is clearly and historically a religious one. You’ll argue otherwise because you’re stupid but facts are facts.

    For me I am thankful to god whatever it may be that I will never have to meet you.

  162. 162
    eemom says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    He actually has lots of BJ fb friends. Hell, even I was friends with him until our most recent brawl got particularly ugly.

  163. 163
    opie_jeanne says:

    @Svensker: I am in the Seattle area now, but I learned about all of those berries while I lived in Southern California. Boysens are a SoCal thing, but we used to be able to get canned Marionberries down there, and we had friends who grew Olallie berries.

    And yes, Crisco can make a beautiful crust but usually it didn’t for me and it never did for Mom or Grandma Mabel. I experimented with other fats, tried a recipe that called for cooking oil which was only so-so, substituted margarine and got an interesting result but not good enough. I adapted the heck out of that pate brisee to make it work and now that I think about it, it may not exactly qualify for that name any more. The one thing I’ve never tried is lard. I just can’t wrap my head around using it for dessert, not being from Dixie, not to mention the dietary issues… although I don’t know if it’s worse than butter.

  164. 164
    CZHA says:

    I’m thankful that you’re here, SG. I’m in the upper right-hand quadrant of the Sooner State, and it’s gratifying to find other like-minded individuals in the rest of the state.

    Best of wishes for a happy Thanksgiving, and for many days of peace.

  165. 165
    opie_jeanne says:

    @Ted & Hellen: You know, you come in here and just start insulting people and there’s no reason for it.

    Why can’t you be nice?

  166. 166
    opie_jeanne says:

    @Mnemosyne: Can we be thankful to quantum or something? I wonder if that’s allowed for the non-Jesus-y people.

  167. 167
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Ah, well, I’m still using a fake last name on FB anyway. (Long story, friend in trouble, things are better, I’m just lazy …)

  168. 168
    Carnacki says:

    @Mnemosyne: Only religious people ie Christianists have mothers not us godless heathens

  169. 169
    Antonius says:

    I always look forward to your posts. Happy Anniversary.

  170. 170
    Jacel says:

    I find it worth reading anything that appears at Balloon Juice, but you’ve become one of the bylines that make me really look forward to the paragraphs that follow. John Cole might not put up many posts these days, but there no where else on the web that has as interesting and varied a collective voice as his little corner of the world.

  171. 171
    Joel says:

    @Ted & Hellen: I am also thankful for sanctimony.

  172. 172
    John says:

    @Ted & Hellen: One thing I am thankful for is that I can always depend on you to come in here and take a big shit in the middle of any conversation.

  173. 173
    NotMax says:

    @Ted & Hellen

    The “we” refers to the “atheists” (note the plural you introduced) in your original query.

    If gratuitous insults or puerile name-calling are your preferred tools of riposte, or if trying to raise others’ ire gives you jollies, then have a nice day stewing in your bile.

    As for the rest you mention after the insult – Bzzzt. Wrong. But thanks for playing.

    Happy holiday, regardless.

  174. 174
    WereBear says:

    @Svensker: Try rolling out the pastry between sheets of waxed paper.

    It’s the flour that makes it tough.

  175. 175
    Schlemizel says:


    I loved that nym when he was aroung here, what happened to Odie Huge Manatee?

    I want to steal that one & Frankensteinbeck, fabulous names!

  176. 176
    opie_jeanne says:

    @Schlemizel: Happened to him? I thought he posted something a couple of days ago.

  177. 177
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Where the heck would you get protein from?

    Beans & peas & grains, I’d assume, like all the other vegetarians. I think the sub-sect calls themselves “fruitarians”, but every time I hear that word I think of Bronson Alcott & I despise Bronson Alcott.

  178. 178
    WereBear says:

    @Anne Laurie: Except those are all starchy.

    That was what messed me up, trying to be vegetarian for humane reasons back in the day; my body could not extract protein from such sources, and it created no end of trouble with my blood sugar.

  179. 179
    opie_jeanne says:

    @WereBear: My youngest decided to be a vegetarian when she was about 13. She lasted about six weeks, and she knew that she would only last that long because her declaration came six weeks before Thanksgiving. We did not tease her, only urged her to research how to eat correctly. There were always foods in the house that supported that diet.

  180. 180
    WereBear says:

    @opie_jeanne: I certainly admire the humanitarian impulse. It is simply not biologically possible for humans.

  181. 181
    sharl says:

    Soonergrunt, I’m glad you’re here, and I appreciate your posts and your perspective. I hope you stick around for awhile.

    On a separate matter (but one of the reasons I’m glad you’re here), I just heard some ominous, booga-booga scary ad about TRICARE on my local all-news & commercials radio station (Washington DC area), sponsored by something called the Military Officers Association of America. The gist of the ad, and their proposed action for concerned TRICARE recipients, can be found here.

    TRICARE is nothing I am eligible for, but it seems like the sort of thing you would have come across. In the unlikely event you haven’t heard about this in your day job, just thought I’d pass it along. Is it a real thing worthy of concern, or just some shrieking from the IGMFY crowd, or (related to that second option), an opportunity for an organization to enhance its mailing list and improve its grifter game? Just curious.

  182. 182
    Del says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Regardless of all that, you fool, the original origin of the holiday, not the secondary origin of the scheduled government/commerce holiday as marketing tool, is clearly and historically a religious one. You’ll argue otherwise because you’re stupid but facts are facts.

    Last I checked I didn’t get a day off of work because of the first reason, only the second. The funny thing? Most of my family has the day off too so we all gather and have a good ass time. None of us are religious, though I think one of my young cousins’ might be in his ‘exploring’ phase.

    Remind me again why I should give a shit what religious people think about the holiday, or how indignant fucknuts like you get when I enjoy the day? I’m thankful to John for bringing SG onto the roll. I read this site every day and rarely, almost never, actually contribute to the comments (truth be told I only started reading them recently). I’m thankful to all the enjoyable commenters who made me realize that they’re the bulk of the content on this site. I’m thankful for my wife for putting up with my every day. I’m thankful to live in a society that recognizes my marriage and doesn’t stone me to death for my choice in love. I’m thankful to my family, both old and new, for always being a source of joy in my life. Take your pick, I could rattle off things and people to be thankful to all day, but not once does any sort of Sky Daddy enter the picture.

    You don’t like that and want to act like a purity troll and grammar nazi over it? Go right ahead.

  183. 183
    Ted & Hellen says:


    Wow. You haven’t been around here very long, have you?

    There’s a long history if you care to learn it. But I don’t care to take the time…

  184. 184
    Ted & Hellen says:


    One thing I am thankful for is that I can always depend on you to come in here and take a big shit in the middle of any conversation.

    Actually…I skip most threads, so your sentiment is based on stupidity.

    But you’re welcome.

  185. 185
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Wait, Ted & Helen is Timmy? I R confused.

  186. 186
    Ted & Hellen says:


    If gratuitous insults or puerile name-calling are your preferred tools of riposte

    Hmmmm…those tools show up in nearly every front page post at this blog, in particular those of ABL, DougJ, and Mistermix, so what the hell is your point?

  187. 187
    Soonergrunt says:

    @sharl: Well, the pentagon has been trying to get copays and premiums raised on Tricare for years, well back to the Clinton era. The Congress just strips them out because lobbying groups like the one you mentioned, and the Retired Officers Association, and the Association of the US Army have done exceptional work in lobbying to prevent this.

    The fact is, they copays and the premiums should go up. That is, if you’re going to run it like an insurance program, then run it like an insurance program. But if you’re going to run it the way it used to be run, where there none of those because healthcare for military personnel and their dependents was free, then that’s what you should do. Tricare rates are rediculously low for the coverage you get. Full health insurance with a 5.00 copay for anything for something like $185.00/month for a family, and the copays are waived for care received on-base.
    There are different rates for Tricare for Life, the plan for retirees and their dependents, and Tricare Reserve Select for reservists. Those are all freaking awesome deals, and a lot of reservists have TRS as their primary insurance. TRS is also free for a 5-year period post-deployment as long as the reservist stays in.
    Tricare Retired Reserve however, is a sick joke. It doesn’t cover shit, and it costs over $1200/month.

  188. 188
    Ted & Hellen says:


    Remind me again why I should give a shit what religious people think about the holiday, or how indignant fucknuts like you get when I enjoy the day?

    If you had any comprehension skills you would have noticed that I didn’t say anything about what religious people think of your activities, nor what I think; my question regards what YOU think about the holiday given its origins.

    Clearly, you are defensive and bitter about it.

    Good to know.

    I haven’t been to church regularly in about 40 years. I don’t, however, find it necessary to create fantasies about the origins of the holidays I celebrate.

  189. 189
    Ted & Hellen says:


    I will never go away. :D

    Lightweight, third and fourth tier front pagers ban me without regard to Cole’s banning policy whenever they get their tender fee fees hurt, and then Cole un-bans me…every time.

    Sometimes it is necessary, I suppose to assuage intrablog politics, that I select a new nym, so at Cole’s request I do that.

    Hello again! Glad to see you!

    Ted and Hellen are my doggies’ names.

  190. 190
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Clearly, you are defensive and bitter about it.


  191. 191
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Thanks for all your posts and PC advice. And of course Soonergoogie photos.

    I have one more question, which is a follow-up to a question about the Dell laptop display that I had heard before. The Dell Latitude’s display had been steadily deteriorating. This was your advice.

    You can probably ignore it for now. It’s probably a physical defect with the screen. Plug the laptop into a monitor, and if the effect is replicated on the monitor, then it’s the graphics chip. If the effect is not replicated on the monitor, then either the laptop screen or the inverter (a circuit board that sits between the graphics chip and the screen, almost always inside the main chassis next to the hinges) is bad.

    Its not the graphic chip since it works fine when plugged on to another monitor. How do I figure out whether the problem is with the laptop screen or the inverter.

  192. 192
  193. 193
    Del says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Defensive? I’ve been fighting religious moralists my entire life, and I take a certain joy in standing up to holier-than-thou morons. So I’ll cop to a bit of defensiveness when someone flat out asks me, as an atheist, my I celebrate the holiday. Bitter though? No, not really. I’m simply returning the snide and condescending tone your original question was posed in. Kindness is the default but I’ve got no problem bringing out the snarky bitch when someone earns it or I feel like having a bit of fun with a troll.

  194. 194
    Soonergrunt says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: If the effect is occuring to part of the screen, like there’s a line or a band of black (no image) then it’s in the screen itself. If the whole thing is fading out or flickering, then it could be the screen but is more likely the inverter. Of course, the proper way to diagnose this for sure is to swap the inverter with a known good unit and see what happens.
    If you decide to replace the screen, try to find the inverter as well. Since you’ll have to remove the cover over the inverter when you disconnect the screen from it anyway, you might as well replace them both if it’s not too expensive. General rule of thumb, what I tell people is this–if the laptop is more than three years old, you probably ought to bite the bullet and replace it, outright. If it’s less than three years old, but out of warranty, then price out a replacement laptop, and price out the cost of the repair parts and labor (if you can’t do it yourself,) and if the cost of the repaired screen is more than 35% of the cost of a replacement laptop, then go with the laptop.
    Also check into remanufactured or refurbished units, but only buy those from the manufacturer. Remans/refurbs are the only way I buy laptops for personal use and I’ve never had a problem.

  195. 195
    Svensker says:


    Lard is actually a bit easier on the body than butter — melts at a lower temp and is softer. But I can’t find enough to experiment with. I bought a bucket of “lard” from an Amish grocery store once, but it turned out to be just regular melted pork fat and much too loose to make pastry with — and then I had a bucket of goopy grease on my hands…that I’d paid money for!

  196. 196
    Svensker says:


    Try rolling out the pastry between sheets of waxed paper.

    I do that. It helps but not enough.

  197. 197
    Del says:

    @Svensker: Ever tried using tallow? I use it in my pie crusts and cookies and it adds a slight rich flavor but makes for fluffy, flaky, & not at all greasy dough every time. My grandpa turned me on to the stuff when I was a kid and I don’t think I could bake a pie without it to save my soul.

  198. 198
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Soonergrunt: Thanks much!

  199. 199
    opie_jeanne says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Since 2007, but I probably just didn’t know your other names. I only recently became aware of you as Spatula and was not duly impressed.

    But that doesn’t really answer my question about why you behave the way you do…. or maybe it does.

  200. 200
    opie_jeanne says:

    @Svensker: Oh, yuck. I could get lard in SoCal, I guess because of the immigrant population from Latin America. Manteca is the Spanish word for lard or fat.

  201. 201
    opie_jeanne says:

    @Del: Tallow? You’re joking, right? I mean, I’ve heard of starving people eating candles but I’ve never heard of it being used for food on purpose.

    ETA: I went and read about it. Learn something new every day.

  202. 202
    Del says:

    @opie_jeanne: Well ya gotta use fresh filtered tallow, but it’s most definitely a food. Doesn’t hurt that pure tallow, in an airtight container, will last damn near forever. I prefer it to butter in my baking, and it’s excellent fry oil to boot.

  203. 203
    Ackfoo says:

    Deep lurker here, but I will say that I was glad to see you come over from the GOS and I enjoy your posts here.

    Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.

  204. 204
    NotMax says:

    @Ted & Hellen

    Deflection is not any sort of bolster or defense* insofar as what we’ve been discussing. Neither of us were talking about, defending, nor chastising, FP-ers, and you well know it.

    *All the more if what you are saying (and it may not be thus) is that because you find FP rhetoric distasteful or awful or blatantly, insultingly blunt, therefore your aping of that style is meritorious.

  205. 205
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @Del: Why not just use suet?

  206. 206
    Gretchen says:

    @soonergrunt : I’m feeling sad at the thought that there are other posts that I’ve missed that you didn’t think were good enough. I want to read them all!

  207. 207
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    Late, but what the hell. I’ve been reading you from back when you were at GOS. You’ve got a good perspective and it’s worth hearing. Thanks.

    Also, too, I’ve got nothing but respect for anyone on any blog who posts a reasoned essay and puts it out there. Comments are all I can manage.

Comments are closed.