Early Morning Open Thread


I’m taking my mutts to the beach in a bit. What are y’all up to?

60 replies
  1. 1
    JohnK says:

    Taking my mutts up the mountain to play in the land of ice and snow.

  2. 2
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    Cheesehenge? Some people have way too much time on their hands.

  3. 3
    Amir Khalid says:

    Is that thing supposed to be nineteen feet high, or just nineteen inches?

  4. 4
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    That thing is in danger of being crushed by a dwarf.

  5. 5
    Schlemizel says:

    Colder than a well diggers ankle here today but we have to run out to big orange and get some parts for a couple of home projects I am working on.

    We ate at a Caribbean restaurant last night, it was fabulous! They make their own sorrel and it was the best I have ever had. In addition they must not understand that they are in Minnesota, I ordered the spice level of ‘hot’ and it actually made my eyes water. Everywhere else I have eaten around here its almost impossible to get people to believe you actually want heat. I enjoyed that a lot.

    Plus it was nice to imagine being someplace warm – have I mentioned its cold as a witches teeth?

  6. 6
    Garbo says:

    The accuracy of using blue cheese to represent the bluestones is much appreciated.

  7. 7
    Culture of Truth says:

    This is perfectly aligned with the rise of a giant wheel on cheese on the solstice.

  8. 8
    Riilism says:

    Unfortunately, I’m reaching desperation regarding my finances and it is beginning to impact my health. I have a job which pays minimum wage and doesn’t provide enough hours. I am still looking for work elsewhere (second job, anything) but no luck so far. I am also a student (at 46 yo, I’d say non-traditional) but financial aid does not come till the end of January when the spring semester starts.

    I’ve considered asking for help over the internet. Does anyone know anything about the online begging sites. Looks fishy to me and I hate do that but I’m at a loss for what else to do. Any good advice would be greatly appreciated.

  9. 9
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Did you make the cheesehenge? You are quite the artiste. Beach, I am so jealous I have to wear three layers just to get the mail.

  10. 10
    c u n d gulag says:

    I’m not religous, but my family is – so, I’ll be cooking for our Russian Orthodox Christmas.

    I have some sourdough bisquits in a tube, and I’ll be making 2 different stuffings before I fry them.
    One, is our version of knishes, and the filling will be mashed potato’s.
    The other, is sauteed cabbage mixed with hard boiled onion.

    Tomorrow, I’ll be making two version of stuffed cabbage.
    Both will be stuffed with sauteed ground beef and onion, and then mixed with white rice.
    1/2, will be cooked in tomato sauce.
    The other 1/2, in mushroom gravy.

    All of this is labor intensive.

  11. 11
    Snowwy says:


    Take that back. My teeth are not cold, damn you. :P

  12. 12
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Snowwy: I think he meant a different witch. I am sure there is one with cold teeth.

  13. 13
    gelfling545 says:

    @Riilism: Make an appointment with to see an adviser at the college financial aid office. Sometimes there are loans that can help you bridge the gap, work study jobs or just other info about people who have called looking for students to do various types of work. Not every school does this but it’s worth looking into.

  14. 14
    Wag says:

    Waiting for it warm up before we go skiing today.


    When I lived in Minneapolis there was a restaurant called the Sri Lankin Curry House that had the hottest curry I’ve had anywhere. If it still exists, give it a try.

  15. 15
    aimai says:

    CUND Gulag I think my arteries hardened just reading that description. AFter thinking of your labors I’ve decided to take the rest of the day off.


  16. 16
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    It’s 19 degrees here but I’m in for most of the day. Clean the aquarium, water the plants, play with the dog, clean the basement, fool around with some electronics projects, put up new smoke detectors, annoy people on Facebook, etc. Typical weekend.

  17. 17
    Donut says:

    Last night we saw “the Hobbit” and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Today Mrs. Donut has to put in a few hours of work, so, like most weekend days, I have to figure out how to simultaneously entertain a six year old girl and a four year old boy. We’ve seen every kid-appropriate film released this fall/winter, some of them twice. We are in a pretty urban area so no private outdoor space, and they have very different reactions to cold weather. The boy gets awful wind burn no matter how much preventive maintenance we do. I’m thinking nickel arcade.

  18. 18
    scav says:

    @c u n d gulag: neither religious nor technically a part of the family involved but I can vouch for the labor intensity– having helped with the holubki, bobslki, kapusta, kutya, and various mushroom + onion concoctions (12 in all) for a Ruysn Christmas eve. Your kniches sound interesting, any furter hints?

  19. 19
    hildebrand says:

    Continuing to prep for a phone interview next Friday – gotta love the academic job search. Wish me luck, everyone, this would be a perfect position for me. Any academics out there who want to give advice about phone interviews (and hopefully campus visits), I am all ears.

  20. 20
    Phylllis says:

    Watch This Old House and the cooking shows on PBS, work on 2012 business expenses for taxes, read, nosh on chocolate & saltine cracker bark, and avoid thinking about going back to work Monday.

  21. 21
    leinie (iPad mini) says:

    It’s nine freaking degrees out there, when I’m used to it dropping to thirty being cold. I’m watching USA vs Sweden for the gold in World Juniors cuz hockey just seemed appropriate. US is up 2-1 in the third. Not enjoying this cold snap at all.

  22. 22
    Betty Cracker says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I wish I had thought of Cheesehenge, but it wasn’t my idea. I plan to shamelessly steal it for my next party, though.

    The high temp here today is 70, but it’s only 60 right now. Brrr! I had to put on socks!

  23. 23
    c u n d gulag says:

    Oh yeah, you DO know what I’m talking about.

    Btw – those knishes are great by themselves.
    But, they’re also tasty with sour cream or spicy mustard.

  24. 24
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Betty Cracker: It is currently 16 here. I will wait until this afternoon to go running.

  25. 25
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Yeah, but once the sun rises on the Solstice, that thing is going to be Fonduehenge.

  26. 26
    c u n d gulag says:

    Yeah, I wanted to take a nap just writing it.

    I was going to make the stuffed cabbage with ground turkey, but I decided to go “Old School!”
    In for a penny, in for 10 pounds.

  27. 27
    quannlace says:

    Cheesehenge? Some people have way too much time on their hands.

    Maybe that's what Ms. Cracker did while she was recuperating from that nasty virus. Gotta keep yourself occupied. What's that garland/greenery draping the stones? Fresh thyme? Nice.

  28. 28
    scav says:

    @c u n d gulag: you’re teasing me with those knishes, my lot use pirohi. So clearly I’m off to the google and possibly store, as there’s something to do today, huzzah! Knishe-quest!

  29. 29
    Elizabelle says:


    Good luck, Rihilism. Very proud of you for going back to school.

    Another way to get some hours: can you find someone in the community who needs someone to sleep in the house with an elderly or disabled person?

    See ads for that occasionally on Craigslist.

    You could even check in at a local rehab center on a patient who’s been released (knee surgery, etc.) who could use someone to cook or run errands/grocery shop.

    And great suggestion by gelfing on the school and unusual student aid. I’d think colleges get this inquiry all the time.

  30. 30
    Steeplejack says:

    Cold here in NoVa, about 30° when I got up and went to the grocery at 7:45. Shelves stocked but no teeming hordes yet. Got what I needed and was home by 8:20. I may be in for the day. Housecat warming at level 2 on the heating-pad-enhanced throw. F.A. Cup soccer on the box. Laptop to be tweaked/configured. Good times.

  31. 31
    quannlace says:

    I was going to make the stuffed cabbage with ground turkey, but I decided to go “Old School!”

    Just yesterday on the Leonard Lopate show, they had someone on talking about Eastern Orthodox Christmas. Yikes, do people really have to go on a modified fast for 40 days before the big Christmas feast?

  32. 32
    Violet says:

    Off and on rain where I am. Have a party to go to tonight. And class this afternoon. Otherwise, dishes, laundry, cleaning up. Will take down the Christmas tree and other decorations tomorrow. Outside ones I don’t know. They might be too wet.

  33. 33
    Suzanne says:

    I am laying in bed, awakened by Mr. Suzanne’s snoring. I am getting a birthday mani/pedi today, and I am ludicrously excited about that.

    Still no test results. BLAR. If they come on my birthday and I failed, I will have a massive sad.

  34. 34
    c u n d gulag says:

    We Russians call them ‘pirojki.’

    But, call ’em what you want, they’re all delicious!

  35. 35
    Riilism says:

    @gelfling545: @Elizabelle:

    Thanks for the terrific advice. Will get into to see someone at school next week. Also, checking into state assistance to see if there might be some help there. And checking out craigslist.

    Thank you muchas for the help. Sometimes just having someone respond so nicely is enough to get me out of the desperation mode. Thank you!

  36. 36
    c u n d gulag says:

    My sister and her family do the ‘fasting’ thing. She became pretty religious after she got married, and had my neice and nephew.

    We didn’t fast when we were kids.
    My late Father was a soup, meat, bread, and potato’s guy.
    My Mother would fast for a couple of days.
    I’d eat what my Dad was eating.

  37. 37
    danielx says:

    Since I haven’t had breakfast yet, Cheese Stonehenge is looking exceedingly tasty. But I’m thinking your basic American heartstopper breakfast is sounding even better.

  38. 38
    scav says:

    @quannlace: technically, the 12-serving Christmas eve dinner IS part of the fast, so they’re not exactly suffering (no meat, oil instead of butter, etc. is the bulk of it best I can tell). Look at a calendar the observant are bouncing in and out if it all the year. Some families just extended the meal until after midnight so they could haul out the meat courses, with or without a quick trip to the midnight services in between courses.

  39. 39
    SectionH says:

    @Schlemizel: It seems unlikely it’s the same place Wag mentioned at #14, since it was in the ’90s, but I have have a very fond memory of a Sri Lankan restaurant in Mpls. Excellent food, and the hot was srsly hot.

  40. 40
    scav says:

    @scav: oh, and fair warning — my lot by showing up a lot are Rusyns and thus of the species that are Orthodox Old Slavonic rites under the Catholic church jurisdiction (until they really noticed the beards, wives and service) and thus probably not exactly the same as the Great (did I use the term correctly?) Russians. But every Slavic village seemed to have its own traditions and the Pirohi Belt is a wide and varied one.

  41. 41
    Wag says:


    It is the same place. I lived in the twin cities ’89-’92

  42. 42
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Betty Cracker: Its 38 here but feels like 28 which is much better than the highs in low 20s and lows in single digits which we have had the last couple of days. Its also sunny, so I am not complaining. Pretty balmy for January weather in New England.

  43. 43
    handsmile says:

    Mmmm…such a savory thread.

    36 degrees in the urban hellhole this morning, and it’s forecast to reach over 50 degrees by midweek. Winter? What winter? For the second straight year, my second favorite season has been very disappointing. And the only significant snowfall we’ve had occurred in October.

    mrs. handsmile and i will visit the Metropolitan Museum later today to view the Neapolitan creche, aka “The Angel Tree.” It’s probably our favorite holiday tradition. The handcrafted details of the expressions, clothing and accessories of these terra-cotta figurines is simply astounding. The angels arrayed on the tree hold little interest for me; the variety of activities and occupations of the figures, both biblical and 18th-c. Neapolitan, encircling the tree’s base has captured my attention for years.


  44. 44
    Origuy says:

    I used to go to Minneapolis on business occasionally in the 80s, and I remember the Sri Lanka Curry House. They used to tell you in the menu not to order Hot or Extra Hot if you’d never been there before. Apparently it’s gone.

  45. 45
    Schlemizel says:


    They went out of business.

    I ate there ONCE. I asked for 5 on a scale of 1-10 & the waitress warned me it would be hot. I explained to her that I grew up eating hot food, I was OK with it and it would be my fault if this was too hot. What came out of the kitchen was mild by MN standards, when I complained she said “Oh, well I didn’t think you meant it so that was a 3”.

    I bet a 5 wouldn’t have been hot enough.

    My reply BTW “OH! Well I didn’t think you wanted a tip so I’ll leave a tiny one”

  46. 46
    Ash Can says:

    Cleverest cheese tray ever!

  47. 47
    Raven says:

    Just came from “Bring One For The Chipper”! Our neighborhood school collects xmas tress and gives out saplings. I was able to bring 18 trees!

  48. 48

    Taking dogs to the beach as well. Then enjoying a home with no guests for the first time in a month and going to go get some pho tonight.

  49. 49
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    Hey. How about some details….you know; recipe? Thx.

  50. 50
    SectionH says:

    @Wag: Nice to know, if I’m ever back there and have the time.

  51. 51
    Yutsano says:

    43. Raining. You know, Seattle. And trying to fight a cold though I may just be tired as hell too.

  52. 52
    daize says:

    @handsmile: Wow! The expressions on Mary and Joseph are amazing.

  53. 53
    SectionH says:

    @Schlemizel: Maybe they got tired of people who didn’t know what they were getting into? Not that I’m excusing the server, but I’ve seen that happen to a number of restaurants over time. But I used to like hot – we grew our own Habaneros, among other hot chilis – and the shrimp dish I ordered (a vindaloo? It’s been a long time) was an 8, iirc, and was right on the edge of too much pain to enjoy. (I don’t know what happened, but these days I’d probably be fine with the 3.)

  54. 54
    maya says:

    Looking at that Stonehenge rendition I suddenly saw what the original was intended for. It’s what’s left of the underpinnings for what must have been a new druid beltway cloverleaf built to avoid downtown Salisbury traffic jams in those days.

    Not let’s see your Bridge over the River Queso.

  55. 55
    Anne Laurie says:

    @handsmile: Probably too late to catch you, but also worth seeing: The American Museum of Natural History’s origami tree!

  56. 56
    Maxwell's Demon says:

    Just redug the paths for my alpacas that the wind refilled with snow last night. It’s a balmy 27 and sunny so a good day to be outside and 50 degrees warmer than a couple of nights ago. Almost feels like beach weather.

  57. 57
    c u n d gulag says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin):
    Ok, here goes:
    Cut 1 plain-old green cabbage as thin as possible.
    Sautee slowly in a little canola or other vegetable oil.
    Add salt, pepper, and paprika, to taste.

    Hard-boil 3-6 eggs, depending on the size of the eggs, and cabbage.

    Let everything cool down.

    Slice the eggs, and mix with the cabbage.

    On a large cutting board, sprinkle a bit of flout, then take buttermilk bisquits, stretch them out a bit. Not too thin or they break, not too thick, or you’ll be eating mostly bisquit.
    Fill the stretched-out bisquit with about a healthy tablespoon of cabbage-egg mixture, seal with a little flour-water paste, pat them lightly in the flour, shake off any excess, and fry in very hot oil.
    Turn them over – rinse and repeat until the whole batch is done.
    They don’t take long to brown – remember, the inside is already cooked.

    You can also take them. It’s healthier – but nowhere near as delicios.
    If you bake, put a little egg wash on them, before sticking in the oven.

    Put on paper towels to remove excess oil. And serve.

    If you have any left-overs, they keep in the fridge for a good while – you can also freeze them.
    If frozen, thaw them, if you take the out of the refrigerator, don’t microwave them. They become rubbery. Put them on a skillet over very, very low heat, cover, and turn them over a few times.
    VOILA! Good as new.

    Stuffed cabbage some other time…

  58. 58
    Haydnseek says:

    @Raven: Hi, Raven! Speaking of Christmas trees, good article in the LA Times today about the thousands of Christmas trees that have been dumped in Lake Havasu. Since the Colorado was dammed decades ago, there’s not much organic matter, tree roots, etc. in the water, causing problems with fish populations as there was no place for the newly hatched to go before they became food for the bigger guys. The Christmas trees provide a perfect place for the fry to hide while they become big enough to take care of themselves, and eventually big enough for anglers to take an interest. Thought you might be interested as a fisherman and Christmas tree fan. Happy new year to you and yours!

  59. 59
    Haydnseek says:

    @Raven: WTF! Comment #58 is from me. Nothing undefined about it. Where did that come from, Cole? Sheesh…….

  60. 60
    Fax Paladin says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Or eaten by a dwarf.

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