Today Of All Days I Want One Of These (Snow My FSM Open Thread)

When the view out your back door looks like this:


You really could use one of these:

(h/t David Dobbs, who tells us (correctly) that the good stuff begins at about 6:55 in.)

Me and mine? We’re OK.  I made one of the best decisions of my almost 55 years on this earth when I finally broke down and hired the guy with the truck and the plough to dig out our driveway.  He came by last night, and will return this afternoon.  My back blesses me, and by increasing the velocity of money I’m doing my part for the great Obama second term recovery.  In the meantime, been cooking, and the neighbors are going to come by for a big bucket of spaghetti sauce (duck ragu!) and a fire to celebrate the oddly wonderful absence of cars from our roads.  We are, we know, very lucky indeed.

I hope all of us in the affected area are having an easy storm.

With that…

Chat about whatever, whether it falls from the sky or no.

184 replies
  1. 1
    Redshirt says:

    Global Warming LOL! Amirite! Stupid libtards!

  2. 2
    Yutsano says:

    DUCK RAGU?? I’m jumping the next plane!!

    Oh wait. Logan is still closed. Cwap.

  3. 3
    johnny aquitard says:

    Looks like a good ol’ wisconsin winter to me.

  4. 4
    Walker says:

    Measly 6 inches in the Finger Lakes. Just finished clearing the driveway.

  5. 5
    catclub says:

    That thing is amazing. But I suspect not good on the gallons per mile front. Might be better than the Abrams tank.

  6. 6
    Mary G says:

    Brr! So you still have power? Or is the ragu being made over the fire?

  7. 7
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    I need to trek to the bank and buy Sochul1st European Euros for my trip next week to Germany. Luckily it’s just next door. The bank, not Germany.

  8. 8
    JPL says:

    You are fortunate not to live on the coast. I doubt that these folks have power…. link

    whoops the picture is at 9:48

  9. 9
    Davis X. Machina says:

    This has been a a ‘keep a shovel in the mudroom, pull the storm window on the screen door and have the kid go out and over, and shovel back to the door’ storm.

  10. 10
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Mary G: Power’s good, so far. (crosses fingers).

    Been a benign apocalypse so far in my corner of the commonwealth, I must say. Snowball fight with the sprout last night — much fun. Others (on the coast especially) have it much worse.

  11. 11
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Warm wishes and wishes for warmth to all who are caught up in the storms.

  12. 12
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @JPL: Niece in Plymouth MA is without power. There’s a nuclear power plant in town, about 3 miles from her house and that’s down.

  13. 13
    JPL says:

    @Tom Levenson: I attached the NYTimes link a few posts above. The picture of the wave coming over the sea wall is quite something.

  14. 14
    22over7 says:

    The great southwest is much milder today than the frozen tundra out east (I live here on purpose) but the spouse requested chili tonight anyway. My brother’s recipe is so good.

  15. 15
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    I’m in Columbus to watch the 29-0 Gophers take on Ohio State. I’m feeling pretty confident about it after a workmanlike 5-2 win last night.

    The OSU Ice Arena is a ridiculously bad place to have Division I hockey games. The ice is terrible. The visiting dressing room is in the basement so the road team has to climb stairs in skates to get to the rink and the home dressing room isn’t even in the same building; the Buckeyes have to walk through an open breezeway and through the crowd before and after every period. Not that I really expect the fine folks of Columbus to even realize that they’re embarrassing themselves. Just move the women’s games over to the Schottenstein Center for god’s sake.

  16. 16
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    It’s getting harder to tell how seriously to take warnings of severe weather. The news channels obviously know that ZOMG!SNOWMAGEDDON!RUNFORYOURLIVES! is good for ratings, so they’ll hype the crap out of any meteorological ripple.

    But the National Weather Service called this particular storm pretty accurately.

  17. 17
    jeffreyw says:

    testing new mini itx box testing

  18. 18
    Yutsano says:

    @jeffreyw: ERFOLG! Now moar puppehs!

  19. 19
    22over7 says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder:

    A friend who lives in NC calls them weezagonnadie storms.

  20. 20
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: Why not just withdraw them from any ATM when you’re there? Why do you need actual currency before heading over? Just curious, as I never change currency before heading to another country.

  21. 21
    PeakVT says:

    Less than a foot of snow here. Not quite the 33 inches we got in January of 2010. The wind chill is down below zero, though.

  22. 22
    catclub says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I second that. Most expensive place to get Euros is the US, in my experience. Cheapest place, European ATMs.

    This assumes one has a credit card.
    I also explored getting a european style chip and pin credit card for travel. TWO places in the US have them. the better choice is a credit union in maryland – seems to cater to military and state department.

  23. 23
    grandpa john says:

    Talking about increasing the velocity of money, my wife got her first inheritance disbursement of 200,000 in late Jan.
    Currently what is left stands at about 60,000, but that is according to plan. The bible says that God loves a cheerful giver so he must absolutely adore my wife.
    All our bills are paid off, daughters needs taken care of, new well, car paid off etc. Grandaughters bills and cars paid off including ones college loan. some checks written to
    favorite charities and organizations including church and related food pantry for needy people outreach programs we sponser
    Since we are both 75 there is no need for long range planning for retirement, hell we are retired, just wish that health would allow us to do some traveling but we are both restricted to short term travel. But the next installment due in about 6 months and will be larger than the first, belongs to US a

  24. 24
    handsmile says:

    With so many housebound by weather or weekend inclination, now might be a good time to post this “Grammar and Punctuation Quiz” from the Guardian earlier this week.

    For the grammar police here (you know who you are):

    (Twelve of fourteen myself; need to work on the nouns.)

  25. 25
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @catclub: I withdraw cash all over the world with a plain old US-style dumb debit/ATM card from my local credit union.

  26. 26
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: They did, and in thanks, people insist on using the cheap stunt name provided by the weather channel, in spite of NWS requests that they not.

  27. 27
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Sheehan says that the reactor shut down without any problems and that backup generators are powering plant equipment.

    Read more here:

    Blew a fuse when local power was lost? I’ve never heard of a nuke shut-down due to a blizzard.

  28. 28
  29. 29
    quannlace says:

    Here in NJ, we were spared the worst. Woke up this morning to the sun shining, and news that it was still blizzarding out on Long Island.
    What is it about the sound of freezing rain that drives my dog nuts?

  30. 30
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Well thanks for making me feel that my mother tongue is a stranger to me (10 out of fourteen).

  31. 31
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN): What! And take money from the football and basketball programs?
    May the spirit of Woody and Fred Taylor come and haunt you in your dreams. Then again I guess somebody could get OSU’s sugar daddy Les Wexner(The Limited) to maybe dig a little, but I don’t think he is a sports nut.

  32. 32
    WereBear says:

    @quannlace: What is it about the sound of freezing rain that drives my dog nuts?

    I’ll bet he or she knows she’ll have to go out in it.

  33. 33
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Son just spent a year at uni in Switzerland, and used exclusively his ATM card from the local 3-branch credit union, except for the €50 in cash he bought outbound from the Travelex desk at Logan. (Airport rates aren’t the best, but the exchanges are certainly handy).

    Problems were a.) every 90 days, having to get the anti-fraud people to o.k. the card for foreign use, and to update the list of countries when he traveled on vacation and b.) local direct deposit of Swiss-sourced moneys (a fellowship) needed a local bank. He went with PostFinance.

    Chip-and-pin issues we’ve heard of involve stuff like motorway toll booths and gas stations, which weren’t in his daily rounds.

    He carried a separate US pre-paid VISA with a PIN for ATM use as a backup in case of the credit union card going bad, or getting locked (see a. above) and used it a couple times.

  34. 34
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @handsmile: I’m embarrassed to admit I got 13. And annoyed with myself for having changed one from my initial instinctive selection to the wrong answer.

  35. 35
    Jay C says:

    Well, looking out this morning at the corner of xxth St. and x Avenue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, one would be hard put to imagine a Snowmageddon scenario (Weather Channel notwithstanding) reports of the fall total ranged from 11-1/2 (Central Park) to 15 (Bronx) inches, so it was a decent-enough dump, but we’ve seen a lot worse.

    Of course, that’s just Manhattan: apparently there have been higher totals (and more problems) further out. And of course, CT and MA…. (three feet outside New Haven? Jeez…!)

  36. 36
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Davis X. Machina: True, I do have tell the credit union in advance where I’ll be, but that’s not usually a big deal.

  37. 37
    gogol's wife says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    14 out of 14, bitchez.

    I guess our street won’t get plowed today. I wish I had the “let’s get cozy and eat good food and enjoy ourselves” gene. I just feel claustrophobic.

  38. 38
    PeakVT says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Ha. 14 out of 14. But I think that reflects my test-taking skills more than my English skills.

  39. 39
    aimai says:

    Things I’ve made so far to stave off cannibalism:

    Tomato/Rosemary/Orange soup
    Marinated goat cheese
    brown butter corn bread

    Chicken with lemon, sage, and milk
    kale with garlic and anchovies
    assorted roasted vegetables

    today its hot cheese bicuits to go with the soup
    followed by

    roast leg of lamb
    spice roasted potatoes
    possibly a quick chocolate/pecan cake

    While the spouse and children are snow blowing our pathetic driveway and frontage.

    I’m thinking of also starting a batch of Jim Lahey’s no knead cast iron pan bread even though I don’t have any bread flour. But King Arthur All purpose is only 1 percent less protein than their bread flour so can it really matter?

  40. 40
    Steeplejack says:


    Perfect 14 here. Boo-yah!

  41. 41
    Suffern ACE says:

    I’ve decided to watch the weather on TV and not bother with the inconvenience of dealing with it myself. So lunch today is Harvey Wallbangers and grilled cheese. This counts as living it up in Calet du Suffern Ace.

  42. 42
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @gogol’s wife: 100% here also.

  43. 43
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Suffern ACE: People still drink those? I can’t recall the last bottle of Galliano I’ve seen.

  44. 44
    22over7 says:


    13 of 14. I missed the gerund because I couldn’t remember what the hell a gerund is. Now I have to go look it up here:

  45. 45
    muddy says:

    @aimai: If you are not kneading it, maybe it doesn’t matter.

  46. 46
    BGinCHI says:

    Snow Fort!

    Tom, if you’re around…have you read Heilbron’s book on Galileo from this past year?

    If so, recommend?

  47. 47
    gogol's wife says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    That’s right, but Harvey Wallbangers are good, aren’t they? I haven’t thought of those since about 1978, which is also the last time I saw snow like this.

  48. 48
    Amir Khalid says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):
    I got 13 too. I’m kinda disappointed in myself; I normally get perfect scores n this kind of test. But I don’t see how the noun “pride” is both abstract and collective, unless I was supposed to count “family of lions” and “what you feel when you’re proud” as the same word.

  49. 49
    Teresa says:

    Sharing with good neighbors is one of those good times in life. I’m glad I hired a local landscaper to handle my driveway too.

  50. 50
    Jay C says:


    13 of 14 for moi: I missed the “prepositional phrase” at #13; not to bad, I think, for someone who wastes spends as much time blogposting as I do…

  51. 51
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @22over7: The gerund may be seen here in all its glory.

    They are quadripeds, by the way.

  52. 52
    muddy says:

    @gogol’s wife: In the storm in ’78 my bff and I made a punchbowl of Harvey Wallbangers and then drank the whole thing, inbetween playing in the snow. I was looking at the pictures last night.

  53. 53
    gogol's wife says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Yes, I think you’re supposed to include the “lions” meaning. It’s a poorly designed question.

  54. 54
    Smiling Mortician says:

    Have all y’all snowbound folk seen the snow-related South Korean Les Mis parody? My apologies if this has already been linked to death — I’ve been away from the innertubes most of the week.

  55. 55
    shortstop says:

    @handsmile: Yay! Fourteen!

  56. 56
    gogol's wife says:


    I was young back then too! I took that storm so lightly . . .

  57. 57
    Suffern ACE says:

    @gogol’s wife: there was a sale on galliano last year. I guess I’m retro, but I don’t know what else to make with them. I need to have the orange juice to stave off scurvy.

  58. 58
    22over7 says:

    @Davis X. Machina:


  59. 59
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Amir Khalid: I figured that was the “trick” and is the only reason I got that one right. I bow nod in admiration to those who got them all.

  60. 60
    TriassicSands says:

    View out the back door —

    Wow, beautiful in an apocalyptic sort of way.

  61. 61
  62. 62
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    I yam what I yam.

  63. 63
    shortstop says:

    @muddy: We spent the Chicago heat wave of 1995 holed up in our bedroom (the only room with AC) drinking margaritas, eating popsicles and watching movies like Ed Wood. None of it seems like a good idea, or even tolerable, now.

  64. 64
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @jeffreyw: Speckled belly puppeh! Mr. Q is taking our (6 yo) speckled belly pup for a walkie around the cul de sac as I type.

  65. 65
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @handsmile: 14 of 14 here (which is good, since I teach grammar). But there was no correct answer to #5, just so you know — it asks for the sentence with an introductory subordinate clause, but none of the sentences contains a subordinate clause. Instead, the “correct” answer begins with a prepositional/infinitive phrase. Shame on the Guardian.

    /Geek out

  66. 66
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @handsmile: 11 out of 14, I guess not too bad. I slept through many a English class back in the day. What was it Peter O’Toole once said in The Last Emperor?

    If you cannot say what you mean, your majesty, you will never mean what you say and a gentleman should always mean what he says.

  67. 67
    aimai says:


    Well, I think the “no knead” breads (which I totally don’t get because the fun part is kneading) develop the gluten by adding more water and having a longer fermentation at room temperature–12-18 hours. So the amount of protein is quite important.

  68. 68
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Smiling Mortician:

    14 of 14 here (which is good, since I teach grammar).

    Shouldn’t that be “because I teach grammar”?


  69. 69
    handsmile says:

    @Jay C:

    Yes, I too would have imagined that frequent blog-posting would only degrade one’s grammatical skills. But evidently once more the Balloon Juice commentariat proves itself the exception to the rule. What a fine and knowledgeable assembly of citizens (and eager test-takers) we are!

    @Amir Khalid:

    That “abstract and collective” bizness is what tripped me up as well (incorrect on both “truth” and “pride.”)

    @gogol’s wife:

    Thank you, yes. That must have been the problem: a poorly designed question. It could not possibly have been my enormous brain. :)

  70. 70
    gogol's wife says:

    @Smiling Mortician:

    You’re right! I knew something was bothering me about that one.

  71. 71
    gogol's wife says:


    No, really, that test was rather illiterate, I’m afraid. But fun.

  72. 72
    Steeplejack says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    No, it was a deliberately tricky question to separate the true pedants from the merely nitpicky.

  73. 73
    Ash Can says:

    @handsmile: I goofed up one of the nouns too. :)

    Me and mine? We’re OK.

    That’s good. When we got socked with a bunch of snow here a couple of years ago (enough to close the city schools for two days, which is amazing in itself), we had a blast. Once it stopped snowing and blowing, all the grownups pulled out the shovels and snowblowers (and snowmobiles and ATVs), and all the kids bundled up and piled into the snow. My friends and I all helped each other shovel while the kids played, and when the shoveling was done and the kids started getting cold we all ended up in my neighbor’s house, with the kids in their big play room and us grownups in the kitchen with snacks and an assortment of adult beverages. As suppertime drew near, frozen pizzas started going into the oven, and those spouses who had braved the storm and gone to work that morning started coming home to find all of us wives happily snozzled (but with all the kids fed and all the paved surfaces cleared of snow, mind you). It was a grand party.

  74. 74
    Ash Can says:

    And PS @grandpa john: It’s so nice to hear good news around here. Yay for you and your family!

  75. 75
    some guy says:

    3 feet of powder here. halfway done the driveway. amazing how the wind blew the snow sideways last night. 76 mph winds. amazingly cold, too, but ran into my best friend from childhood last night, haven’t seen him in 30 years, and it turns out he’s a contractor with a plow, so the bottom half of the driveway is waiting his return.

    sonwshoes ready, then some toboganning.

  76. 76
    muddy says:

    @gogol’s wife: It was good clean fun altho we were underage. My friend’s mom was a nurse and had to work extra shifts, so we were all set.

    We got the booze from these early 20’s guys, who bought it in exchange for us cleaning their apartment. So we just gleefully grabbed our punchbowl ingredients and went to play in the snow. It was only later that we realized why they seemed so surprised, lol. I think they thought we would hang around and drink it with them and etc.

  77. 77
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @grandpa john:

    Thank you for sharing the news. Thank you for remembering to take care of your favorite charities.

  78. 78
    muddy says:

    @shortstop: That was a terrible year. I have family there. In the suburbs with a/c, happily. I’d always rather be too cold than too hot.

  79. 79
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    In IL, i’m sitting here watching a cat stare out an open balcony door in 40 degree weather, and cooking. lazy saturdays, ah yes.

  80. 80
    shortstop says:

    @Ash Can: The great blizzard of February ’11! First and last time I’ve skied down the middle of our street.

  81. 81
    shortstop says:

    @muddy: Well, we’re older now, with central AC, but it’s hardly as much fun. We’d just make better drink, food and movie choices these days.

  82. 82
    shortstop says:

    @grandpa john: Congratulations. You’re good peeps.

  83. 83
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @handsmile: 14/14.

  84. 84
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @22over7: No one in my Latin classes has ever heard of a gerund before we get to them.

    They are now referred to, on an alternating-year basis, as ‘nerbs’ or ‘vouns’.

  85. 85
  86. 86
    Corner Stone says:

    @some guy:

    but ran into my best friend from childhood last night, haven’t seen him in 30 years, and it turns out he’s a contractor with a plow,

    Your best friend from childhood is Homer Simpson?

  87. 87
    Corner Stone says:


    Measly 6 inches in the Finger Lakes

    Hey! It’s not the size of the fall, it’s the pile up of the drift baby!

  88. 88
    dww44 says:

    @grandpa john: Good for you and especially your wife. As one who’s also retired, I’ve dreamt of winning one of those big lottery pots and dispersing it out in just the manner that your wife has. Pay off debits of family members, educate my grandkids, fund a whole bunch of good works, especially those that preserve the earth, travel, and simply enjoy the giving. None of that ostentatious display of suddenly acquired wealth for me! Just long past all that.

  89. 89
    suzanne says:

    Here in Phoenix, the weather is enjoy-your-drinks-out-on-the-patio perfect.

    In July, though, I’m going to just be DESTROYED. I will need all the sympathy you can muster, and a pep talk just to cross the parking lot.

  90. 90
    Corner Stone says:

    @Steeplejack: I, for one, never had a doubt.

  91. 91
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jay C:

    13 of 14 for moi: I missed the “prepositional phrase” at #13; not to bad

    Did you do that on purpose?

  92. 92
    dr. bloor says:

    Just did three hours of shoveling on our measly urban lot, and that’s with an assist from the guy with the snowblower down the street (apron of the driveway was plowed to about 4 1/2 feet high).

    Caught a few minutes of Emily Rooney’s call-in crankfest while warming up the car. The Massholes seem comfortable enough this morning to call in to complaint about Deval Patrick depriving them of their civil rights by closing the streets last night, so I’ll assume they did a good job in MA.

  93. 93
    MomSense says:

    The whole fandamily has been holed up in front of the fireplace eating bacon and pancakes and we are now about to tackle the shoveling. We got 30 inches of snow but the drifts are wild–they cover the doors!

    We dug a little tunnel for the poocher and he performed the fastest pee in history. The cats are in hiding ever since the thundersnow woke them in the middle of the night.

    I have heard reports that even the big snowplows went off the road last night on the Maine Turnpike because of the whiteout conditions.

    Today is a good day to stay inside and watch movies!

  94. 94
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @suzanne: But it’s a dry heat!


  95. 95
    scav says:

    @Amir Khalid: The lion one nearly got me as well except my test-brain clicked in and decided the duo of abstract and collective was just too improbable a combination not to be used. Unexpectedly managed a 14, so am wondering about that test. My luck is usually not that good and grammar was never a gold star strength.

  96. 96
    Jay C says:

    @Corner Stone:



    More’s the pity……

  97. 97
    Yutsano says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: 11/14, but I’ve had no coffee.

  98. 98
    kdaug says:

    Earworm for the day.

    Heart’s out to those who will be digging out for the next 3 days. Been there, flat zero on the “Miss It!” scale.

    I’ll expect similar sympathy when we’re baking at 110 in a few months.

  99. 99
    handsmile says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    For the resident classicist here….

    In the current issue of the New York Review of Books, there is an essay (rather belated) by Greenblatt and Koerner on The Classical Tradition (2010), edited by Anthony Grafton et al. I would imagine both the essay and the book (which I do own) would be of interest to you:

    But a question. The essay mentions the once-celebrated Roman poet Statius and his epic poem, the Thebaid. Both were heretofore sadly unknown to me, but searching about I found the two-volume Loeb Library edition of the poem. On the “MUST READ!- meh!” continuum, what would be your recommendation? It does seem appealing, but there’s the constant problem of time and interest allocation.

  100. 100
    Yutsano says:

    @kdaug: I shall sit here in my (thankfully still) temperate climate and reserve the right to point and laugh as necessary. Climate change isn’t as much a negative up this way, at least not yet.

  101. 101
    quannlace says:

    ever since the thundersnow

    Watching the Weather Channel, I swear a crack of ‘thundersnow; gives Jim Cantore an orgasm.

    How come I have to reenter my name and email everytime I want to post?

  102. 102
    Steeplejack says:

    Southampton thumping Man City. Fine by me.

  103. 103
    scav says:

    @Davis X. Machina: nerbs or vouns, oh which oh which?

    nerbs for nerds (by a hair) as that leaves gerunds for gerundatrics.

  104. 104
  105. 105
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    A sweet half court shot at the buzzer, and it puts Wisconsin-Michigan into OT.

  106. 106
    scuffletuffle says:

    Listening to opera and drinking tea… will have to disturb lap cats soon and go out to finish the last ten feet of the driveway including the now 3 ft berm of snow left by the street plow. Feckers!

  107. 107
  108. 108
    catclub says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I do too. The chip and pin investigation did not actually result in me getting a chip and pin credit card. I may have worried excessively in that regard. But I know my dumb card was turned down when I tried to buy a subway pass at a kiosk. It made more of an impression than it should have, I guess.

  109. 109
    Corner Stone says:

    Is there a more ridiculously spelled word than “debuted” ?

  110. 110
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @aangus: Since you bring up singing, there’s this. I think it ranks among the best TVZ covers ever. I wanted to put it with MattF’s Pancho and Lefty entry downstairs.

  111. 111
    handsmile says:


    Gareth Barry again demonstrating the skills that keep him a member of the Three Lions national squad.

    This morning’s match between Tottenham and Newcastle was quite a cracker; recommended if replays are of interest and available to you.

    (I weep softly that true football posts no longer appear on this blog.)

  112. 112
    Svensker says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: Why not just withdraw them from any ATM when you’re there? Why do you need actual currency before heading over? Just curious, as I never change currency before heading to another country.

    Ditto that. You can get 20 Euro or so just in case there’s nothing working at the airport (unlikely but who knows), otherwise it’s cheaper and easier to use the ATMs in country. Check with your bank, too, to see if they have “sister” ATMs in France. BofA does, so you don’t get charged a transaction fee. Just be sure your PIN isn’t longer than 4 digits.

  113. 113
    WaterGirl says:

    @aimai: Brown butter corn bread, please. Pretty please, even.

    Unless you count Jiffy, I have only made corn bread once. I am looking for a good recipe, and I’m pretty sure that anything that starts with “brown butter” is going to be good.

  114. 114
    Steeplejack says:


    I actually feel sorry for Barry. An own goal is bad enough, but he managed to look spectacularly inept.

    I saw the Tottenham-Newcastle game; it was very good.

  115. 115
    Corner Stone says:


    (I weep softly that true football threads no longer appear on this blog.)

    Football season just ended. *SPOILER* The Ravens won the SuperBowl in case you missed that.

  116. 116
    Svensker says:

    @grandpa john:

    That’s fabulous! What fun!

  117. 117
    Shortstop says:

    @Svensker: Have had a couple of experiences the last few months with ATMs being down at South American and African airports. Always like to have a little walking- (riding-)around money upon first arrival, if it’s a currency easily available at a US bank. Otherwise, agree with all that it’s best just to use ATMs once you get there.

  118. 118
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: that’s pretty bad. “Languor” never looks right to me.

  119. 119
    handsmile says:

    @Corner Stone:

    What is this “SuperBowl” of which you speak? And how was the family of BJ commenter Raven involved?

    I hope you’re not referring to that bastardized American cousin of TRUE football…

  120. 120
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: One of the reasons I like TWC’s New York 1 News is that the weather people and the news people don’t go overboard with the weather craziness. For instance yesterday and today they were commenting on how they aren’t going to call the storm “Nemo” or anything else. Their weather guy said it could take one of two tracks and the amount of snow depended on that. He was on target — NYC had about 8 inches and relatively lower wind speeds. We didn’t get into blizzard territory.

  121. 121
    SFAW says:


    15 out of 14. (Extra credit for the suppository paragraph.) What a looser. I gerunded my participles. I would of collectivized my nouns, but that’s to soshulistic. But at least I got “The quick brown fox” question right.

    Re: snow: you call this smattering of flurries “snow”? Why, when I was a kid … etc., etc.

    We had something north of two feet, I think. Light stuff, unlike “The Cape and The Islands,” so shoveling was relatively easy. Power stayed on, but the generator was ready, “just in case.” All in all, not too bad, unlike the poor suckers south of Boston.

  122. 122
    aangus says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Yes, “Corner Stone”.

  123. 123
    gogol's wife says:


    Just be thankful your street has seen a snowplow.

  124. 124
    opie_jeanne says:

    @grandpa john: Your wife’s situation is nearly identical to mine: I received a similar amount in November and used a big chunk of it in the same way, to make our kids’ lives better. In March I hope to finalize the sale of Dad’s house, and my part will be about the same as your wife’s remaining amount. I think it will be more than enough to enlarge the kitchen and fix the bathroom, finally.

    The inheritance was almost all in stock and I was briefly an oil baronness.

  125. 125
    handsmile says:


    (finally, at last, on the same thread together…)

    Once more, I must thank you for your kindness on a recent thread. To deny such ugly intent oneself is usually fruitless. I appreciate very much your willingness to do so on my behalf. You’ve been a real friend here!

  126. 126
    Amir Khalid says:


  127. 127
    Shortstop says:

    @opie_jeanne: I hope you briefly went with huge hair just to look the OB part.

  128. 128
    Vogon pundit says:

    @johnny aquitard: I think you mean the former Wisconsin winters. This same storm gave us less than 6″ in Milwaukee… we did crack out the snow blower, but for just the first time all winter.

  129. 129
    Citizen_X says:

    Re: the video, how is it that commie screwboat ATVs aren’t being bought up by US American rednecks to go duck hunting or ice fishing or whatever? Those things can go anywhere.

    And low mileage? That’s a selling point in Redstate America. “Mah duallie gits 5 miles a gallon costs me 200 bucks to filler up thanks fuckin Obammer.”

  130. 130
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @handsmile: 14/14, and I don’t teach grammar.

  131. 131
    Steeplejack says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    That, too.

  132. 132


    Right, but it wasn’t that tricky. I thought, “Child, please.”

  133. 133
    opie_jeanne says:

    @handsmile: 12 of 14. I’m rusty.

  134. 134
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Why not just withdraw them from any ATM when you’re there? Why do you need actual currency before heading over? Just curious, as I never change currency before heading to another country.

    For expense account reasons the documentation is better if I do the exchange at a US bank.
    Plus, I’ve always gotten a better exchange rate from my own bank, and lower fees, compared to using ATMs in other countries.
    In MX Pesos, I get 10:1 from Mexican ATMs and about 12.9:1 from Chase here.

  135. 135
    Suffern Ace says:

    Ok. Now I’m making Johnny Cake. Thanks cornbread people for giving me ideas.

  136. 136
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:


    In ’78 they didn’t call the emergency until well into the storm, and thousands of cars (and people) were stuck in window-high snow and had to be rescued/removed before they could even think about plowing the roads. Those who forget history, yadda yadda…

    I was in college in ’78 and rode out the blizzard in a place called – I swear to Bob – the No-Tel Motel. Had a minor accident driving back to MSU from Central Michigan and got stranded.
    ’78 was the first time that MSU cancelled classes in living memory.

  137. 137
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    @Suffern Ace:

    Ok. Now I’m making Johnny Cake. Thanks cornbread people for giving me ideas.

    missed a Cornbread Thread if there was one. Just stole this from my sister. I can attest to its deliciousness.

    Mari’s Famous Cornbread

    (adapted from the basic recipe in the 1948 Fannie Farmer cookbook, one of the best cookbooks ever published)

    3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
    1 cup white whole wheat flour
    1/3 cup sugar
    2 tsp baking powder
    3/4 tsp sea salt
    1 cup light sour cream
    1/3-1/2 cup milk (depending on ambient humidity)
    1 beaten egg
    2 tbsp oil
    1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
    1/2 cup shredded Mexican-style cheese (optional)

    Preheat the oven to 400. Grease and flour an 8″ or 9″ square pan. Mix and sift the dry ingredients together. In a smaller bowl, mix the wet ingredients together. Combine the two gently, folding together. Add the scallions (and cheese, if desired) and fold gently to combine. Pack gently into the pan. Wet a spatula and smooth the top of the mix. Bake about 20 minutes, or until you can see the edges getting browned and a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for ten minutes before cutting.

    Geek Variation: Cook 6 pieces bacon until crispy. Use the bacon grease in place of the oil. Add 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese instead of the scallions. Add the crumbled bacon pieces to the mix right before you pack it into the pan.

  138. 138
    opie_jeanne says:

    @Yutsano: Where’s our snow, dammit?

  139. 139
    La Caterina (Mrs. Johannes) says:

    @SFAW: “looser”?

  140. 140
    opie_jeanne says:

    @Shortstop: There was one bad hair day about then, but I just needed a haircut. I’m 62 so my hair is only as thick as the average 20-year-old woman’s, but it used to be so thick that I could have achieved the Big Hair without much teasing.

  141. 141
    Tom Levenson says:


    Me! The chief assistant to the assistant chief!

    (Bonus intertubes to be delivered to those who get the reference.)

  142. 142
    burnspbesq says:


    Check back with us in 20 years, when the Sound reaches Third Ave. and U-Dub’s football stadium is in the lake.

  143. 143
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Suffern Ace: At the risk of starting a very obscure but very heated war among the cognoscenti, they’re jonny cakes, not johnny cakes.

    You can only disagree if you can spell Usquepaugh without looking it up.

  144. 144
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Suffern Ace: At the risk of starting a very obscure but very heated war among the cognoscenti, they’re jonny cakes, not johnny cakes.

    You can only disagree if you can spell Usquepaugh without looking it up.

  145. 145
  146. 146
    Gin & Tonic says:

    I swear I didn’t post twice.

  147. 147

    It is currently 77 F and sunny here in Miami. The AC just kicked on.

    I heard that. The same to you.

  148. 148
    Pinkamena Panic says:

    It’s about 32 here in IN with no snow. We’re going out to eat and do some shopping. The rest of the day will probably be occupied with loads of Fire Emblem: Awakening.

    God DAMN but this game is good. My low-minded roommate, a man who wouldn’t play a turn-based RPG without a damn good reason (the only ones he’s ever showed interest in were Pokemon and D&D – yes, technically it’s turn-based!) and who wouldn’t touch a strategy game with a ten-foot cattle prod, is all over this game like a fly on a rib roast.

    Extremely deep, a shitload of content plus more as DLC at a good price, and the best localization I’ve seen of a Japanese game since… well, ever. The only problem is finding a physical copy – it’s been selling out everywhere. But it just so happens you can download it fromt he eShop… or buy the FE 3DS bundle that includes it pre-installed (and looks badass to boot).

  149. 149
    ruemara says:

    I kinda miss a good old fashioned blizzard. Stay safe and warm, Tom et all the EC BJers.

  150. 150
    burnspbesq says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Football season runs from August to May, you ignorant ass.

  151. 151
    aimai says:


    Couldn’t find an online version but its from this cookbook:

    8 TBS unsalated butter
    2 large eggs
    1 cup buttermilk
    1 cup sstone ground cornmeal
    1 cut all purpose flour
    1/3 cup sugar
    1 tsp kosher salt
    1/2 tsp baking soda

    Oven: 375, Pan size 8 inch square or 10 wells of muffin tin.

    Melt the butter and turn it light brown. Do not skim. Use all browned milk solids.

    Whisk together eggs and buttermilk
    whisk together dry ingredients
    combine eggs/buttermilk and melted butter whisking fast so you don’t cook the solids.
    combine dry and liquid ingredients in a few swift strokes

    pour into buttered pan and baake 25 minutes for square pan, 17 for muffins.

    For once I didn’t change a thing in the recipe and it was amazingly good. Just perfect. Try it.

  152. 152
    Corner Stone says:

    @burnspbesq: Amurka! Love it or leave it you posh ponce soshulist bastard!

  153. 153
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Well there’s always “ghoti” which was GB Shaw’s alternate spelling of “fish.”

    Or maybe not. I always thought it was Shaw, too, until I came across it in Finnegans Wake and decided it must have originated with Joyce, but it seems we’re both wrong.

  154. 154
    the Conster says:

    I have finished snowblowing all the paths – the plow guy does the big hilly driveway – and shoveled out the feral cats food and water and path from their lair to the food and water, and now my arms are so tired that I have to use two hands to hold my wine glass.

  155. 155
    SFAW says:

    @La Caterina (Mrs. Johannes):

    Now YOUR calling me a looser? Oh, the ignonimee igominy igghominy shame!

  156. 156
    SFAW says:


    I always thought it was Shaw, too, until I came across it in Finnegans Wake and decided it must have originated with Joyce, but it seems we’re both wrong.

    I thought it was Dr. Seuss. (Author of “The Tough Coughs As He Ploughs The Dough”)

  157. 157
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @aangus: Wonderful.

  158. 158
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @handsmile: Thanks for the link. I also scored 12 out of 14.

  159. 159
    SFAW says:


    When Teh Blizzard started, I was in New York, said NFW would I get stuck there, drove to Boston through heavy snows (stopping to chip frozen slush off the headlights every so often), made it in about 4 hours, parked the car at my frat, and hunkered down for the next few days.

    Now that I’m an old fart, I’m semi-appalled that I drove in those conditions – especially since I rarely dropped below the speed limit – but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

  160. 160
    Yutsano says:

    @opie_jeanne: Back east, evidently.

    Doing a half-shift of OT. It’s a trade-off for sacrificing a case processing day during the week. I’ll take the dough over getting a break from getting screamed at any day.


    and U-Dub’s football stadium is in the lake.

    I propose, Counselor, that this is not a negative.

    /GO COUGS!

  161. 161
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    That’s the same one I got wrong — I hate “and” answers on multiple-choice tests. It always feels like a trick.

    In other news, G is dropping the in-laws off at the airport today after their week-long visit. A fun time was had by all, though I managed to come down with a cold yesterday.

  162. 162
    Aimai says:

    11 out of 14 right. My problem answers were things like collective nouns, for some reason.

  163. 163
    shortstop says:

    We’re just never going to be able to sleep late or take a nap *ever again* until the pachyderm of a toddler living upstairs moves out. And takes her parents with her.

  164. 164
    SFAW says:


    Or even boys in their early 20s, you young whippersnapper.

  165. 165
    La Caterina (Mrs. Johannes) says:

    @SFAW: I only got 12 right– better at spelling than grammar. :-)

  166. 166
    NotMax says:


    Methinks you mean ragout.


    33? 78?

    Sounds like a record year.

  167. 167
    Bill Arnold says:

    Twelve of fourteen. I could not recall the meaning of “prepositional phrase” and “gerund”.
    Out of curiosity, do current U.S. public k to 12 schools teach grammar? I was never taught anything but the basics.

  168. 168
    NotMax says:


    You’re fired.

    Heh. Free at last.

    I purposely left out the trifecta of 78 minus 33 meaning born in 45.

  169. 169
    SFAW says:


    I was 33 in ’78.

    OK, fine, so you got me beat. Does that mean I need to refer to you as “old fart”?


    I purposely left out the trifecta of 78 minus 33 meaning born in 45.

    Watch it, pal – I’m the designated bad-joke-maker ’round these parts.

  170. 170
    Scamp Dog says:

    I’ve seen that sort of vehicle in other videos. I think the originals were build by Ford in the 1920’s or thereabouts. They look really fast, but the fact that they never made much of an impact tells me that they’re not as good as they look. Unless you’ve got absolutely dreadful snowy and swampy places to go. Like Siberia. Works in summer AND winter, comrade!

  171. 171
    SFAW says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    I could not recall the meaning of “prepositional phrase” and “gerund”.

    Don’t know about the first one, but – as Will Shortz could tell you – “Gerund” was Enid’s husband, I think.

  172. 172
    SFAW says:

    @La Caterina (Mrs. Johannes):

    I spel reel gud, too.

  173. 173
    scav says:


    I hate “and” answers on multiple-choice tests. It always feels like a trick.

    Sneakiest prof-side multiple guess trick I ever saw was the none-one-or-many answers are correct format that one of my Anthro teachers used. Just as easy to grade (well, non scantron easy, this was back in the dark ages where we sometimes built grading templates with hole punches) and his multiples to choose betwixt weren’t necessarily short. Gaming through the abstract logic of the question was right out. He’d also grade down for incorrect answers so circling everything wasn’t an option.

  174. 174
    Triassic Sands says:


    In July, though, I’m going to just be DESTROYED. I will need all the sympathy you can muster, and a pep talk just to cross the parking lot.

    If you want sympathy in July, it’s probably a good idea to be at least a little apologetic now.

    (Note: I live in Western Washington and in July while you’re baking in 115+ degree temperatures, I’ll be “sweltering” with high temps in the high sixties and low seventies with blue skies and virtually no rain. And I will feel sorry for you then. I promise.)

  175. 175
    Skepticat says:

    Just checking the Portland, Maine, paper for storm news and being grateful I live there only in the summer. My favorite comment of the day comes in the last line of a story about a man who got blown into Portland Harbor: “LaMoria could not immediately say what the man was doing on the wharf at 3 a.m. in the middle of the storm.”

  176. 176
    Rob in CT says:

    30 inches here in central/eastern CT.

    Absolutely fucking epic. I’m so tired from shoveling, and I don’t mind. This was the coolest snow storm I can remember.

    Problem is, our plow guy hasn’t shown up to plow our driveway yet. Since it’s ~500 feet long and I don’t have a snowblower, I sure hope he shows soon.

  177. 177
    J R in W Va says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    I got 12 out of 14, and one of the ones I missed was carelessness, I didn’t read the answers closely enough. I DO know they’re, their and there from one another…

    My wife is really good at grammar, her Mom was both an AP English teacher and a monster.

    I got the gerund question with a little luck, M would have known it flat.

  178. 178
    J R in W Va says:


    Back in the late 70s we got snow up to the bottom of the parking meters in town. Then we moved to the country.

    Then we were dug out by the National Guard once, here in the country, they had a huge grader and a 6×6 truck, the truck driver wouldn’t come up the road, he let the grader do it on his own.

    We have been trapped in the hollow for up to a week, but not lately. And the power and gas have Both been off for a while, also not lately.

    My spouse once went into the mountains after a blizzard with the National Guard, they got stuck in a military Hummer, and had to wait for a BIG front end loader to dig them out, after the Guardsmen carried an elderly couple out of their trailer, where they were burning furniture to stay warm not freeze.

    This time it is pretty here, sunny and 40s and 50s, so far.

  179. 179
    Randy P says:

    @handsmile: 14/14.

    I know some of you are really struggling with the snow so this complaint will strike you as stupid, but down here in Philly for the second time this year a blizzard has passed us by. I was really rooting for the 3-5″ that were predicted when I went to bed. Went out this morning and shoveled the 1/2″ off the walks in about 10 minutes, then did the neighbor’s sidewalk out of boredom.

    I grew up in snow and I get kind of grumpy when a winter goes by and I don’t see it.

  180. 180
    Randy P says:

    @Amir Khalid: I hesitated on that one and decided that yes, I was supposed to consider both meanings, therefore “collective” (in one meaning) and “abstract” in the usual meaning. Changed my answer. Changed it back.

    Turns out that was right.

  181. 181
    J R in W Va says:

    I didn’t even know there was such a thing as grammar until I took 2 years of Latin.

    I made straight Cs the first year. Second year I got a C, and then 2 Bs. Then I got an A, and Miss Summers (who had a terrible hairlip and couldn’t speak English) asked me to stay after class.

    Because the class started at 7 am, I sat right in front of her desk, to stay awake. She wanted to see me after class because, she told me, I was cheating, and that’s how my grades were going up. And she was going to see me expelled for cheating.

    It made me glad I dropped out of Latin Club. I told her I wouldn’t have cheated in Latin unless my life depended on it, and that if she couldn’t see me cheating right in front of her, she had no grounds to make such a serious accusation, AND that I was finally getting a little more vocabulary and she shouldn’t dump on a student who was starting to do a little better in her class.

    Then I got straight A’s the rest of the year. FU bitch!

    No substitute for smart! But work can help, some. She motivated me no end!!!

  182. 182
    opie_jeanne says:

    @efgoldman: Being a native of SoCal I would have been too ashamed to admit it.

  183. 183
    opie_jeanne says:

    @Yutsano: Oh yeah, I forgot that a single inch seems to paralyze the entire area. They cancelled school last time we got that much.

  184. 184
    opie_jeanne says:

    @efgoldman: Late bloomer.

Comments are closed.