Pop-u-lar

To nobody’s surprise, the most recent Post poll shows that Trump and the Republicans are getting the lion’s share of the blame for the shutdown.  Also, most (53%) oppose the wall.

In the next week or two, I’ll be taking a full shutdown cruise. I’m starting by flying out West tomorrow, then I’ll be getting in a new vehicle (long story) and driving back to Rochester. Along the way I was planning to visit some national parks and monuments.  If a TSA sick out doesn’t keep me from boarding the plane, if the ATC sick out doesn’t make me miss my connection, and if overflowing toilets and assholes cutting down trees don’t close the national parks,  I’ll let you know how my journey through the heart of Stupidland goes.

(I’ll leave the latest Trump is a traitor news to Cheryl and Adam.)






98 replies
  1. 1
    SFAW says:

    I’m starting by flying out West tomorrow,

    Erie? Cleveland? Couldn’t you just drive there?

    ReplyReply
  2. 2
    [Individual 1] mistermix says:

    @SFAW: Colorado. Nope.

    ReplyReply
  3. 3
    Yarrow says:

    The reports from the National Parks have been terrible. Interested to see what you find. Save travels.

    ReplyReply
  4. 4
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix: I hope you have some time to enjoy our surroundings before your road trip thru the occupied territories.

    ReplyReply
  5. 5
    JPL says:

    I’m going to stock up on some frozen spinach and other vegetables. Our fresh vegetables should be labeled eat at your own risk. Spring will come and I’ll be able to grow some lettuce, etc.
    I’m still wrapping my head around the fact that our president is a traitor.

    ReplyReply
  6. 6
    sdhays says:

    Of course, the depressing news out of that poll is that Republicans are rallying behind the ASSet, with more Republicans supporting “wall” than before, and while a majority of Republicans still don’t support “wall”, they want their leaders to stand firm. Since Republican leaders only care about their base, this will make it difficult to convince President McConnell that he needs to end the shutdown.

    ReplyReply
  7. 7
    debbie says:

    @Yarrow:

    Despicable that people would do what has been done. I think what is needed is Walls around our sacred places.

    ReplyReply
  8. 8
    debbie says:

    Well, now he’s just fucking lying:

    Democrats are saying that DACA is not worth it and don’t want to include in talks. Many Hispanics will be coming over to the Republican side, watch!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2019

    ReplyReply
  9. 9
    JPL says:

    @debbie: Wow.. He’s on record as opposing it, but I suppose he forgot.

    ReplyReply
  10. 10
    JPL says:

    @sdhays: The Washington Post article didn’t drop until yesterday evening and the NYTimes twenty four hours before that. I assume that they had not heard. Of course, Fox news is not going to cover trump the traitor stories.

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  11. 11

    Story from my FBI friend. A co-worker had another couple over for dinner, and the guests were deploring how Federal workers weren’t getting paid. Co-worker’s wife said, “You mean like us?” The guests were shocked to realize the FBI wasn’t being paid. People haven’t yet grasped what’s shut down.

    ReplyReply
  12. 12
    sdhays says:

    @debbie: Is he really that stupid, or does he just believe we are?

    ReplyReply
  13. 13
    Yarrow says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Usually the shutdowns are over so quickly that people don’t really understand who and what is affected. This time maybe it’ll sink in.

    ReplyReply
  14. 14
    Yarrow says:

    @debbie: If someone asked him what DACA was, he would not be able to tell them. It’s a slogan to him.

    ReplyReply
  15. 15
    sdhays says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Wow. I wonder how many people don’t realize that the entire US Department of Justice is shut down, as well as DHS.

    ReplyReply
  16. 16
    jHumdog says:

    I’m trying to wrap my head around planning a driving trip from Colorado to Rochester NY in January. Seems like you may find yourself fitting right in with Stupidland.

    My auto correct capitalizes Stupidland, huh. It must be a real place!

    Good luck!

    ReplyReply
  17. 17
    MattF says:

    @debbie: It’s a day of the week ending in ‘y’.

    ReplyReply
  18. 18
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @debbie: Fuck him, i.e. the same thing I think every single day I have woken up since 11/9/16.

    ReplyReply
  19. 19
    The Dangerman says:

    @debbie:

    …now he’s just fucking lying:

    It would be fun to have him take a lie detector test just to see the machine smoke…

    ReplyReply
  20. 20
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @sdhays:

    Is he really that stupid, or does he just believe we are?

    ¿Por qué…? etc.

    ReplyReply
  21. 21
    debbie says:

    @The Dangerman:

    The examiner would have to read his words back to him, the ones where he walked away from a deal specifically because it included DACA.

    ReplyReply
  22. 22
    Mai Naem mobile says:

    I hope the Dens don’t chicken out of going after the GOP over Trumpov. If you send somebody to prison for some stupid robbery as a deterrent you damn well make the GOP and Trumpov pay big just for the deterrence factor. This shouldn’t be a Nixon or Iran Contra situation. Whoever knew about this and sat on their hands needs to go spend some time in solitary. What a bunch of treasonous dishonorable cowards the GOP is made of.

    ReplyReply
  23. 23
    Yarrow says:

    OMG, I just saw a short clip of Marco Rubio. What has he done to his hair? Is he wearing a toupee now?

    ReplyReply
  24. 24
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Mai Naem mobile: What do we do with ~60 million brainwashed fascists?

    ReplyReply
  25. 25
    David Evans says:

    @The Dangerman: It doesn’t work so well with people who lie routinely.

    ReplyReply
  26. 26
    Yarrow says:

    Ted Cruz is on MTP. What in the world is he growing on his face? He’s for building the wall, of course.

    It’s interesting to note that his fellow Senator from Texas John Cornyn, who is up for reelection in 2020, is not as supportive of the wall and has spoken out against Trump’s plan to take money from Harvey projects in the other part of the state and use it to build the wall. The Wall is probably not that popular in Texas if that’s how Cornyn is responding.

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  27. 27
    Jeffro says:

    Just got done shoveling snow – we got about 5″ here in NoVA – and my daughter informed me that another 6 inches or so is on the way between now and midnight. Hoo boy.

    Anyway, the Mrs. and I are heading down to the Kennedy Center to see an afternoon performance of ‘Miss Saigon’. Sunk cost fallacy and all that ;)
    I’ll drive slowly and take it easy, I promise.

    ReplyReply
  28. 28
    Yarrow says:

    @Jeffro: Be safe. I guess the Kennedy Center is open through the shutdown?

    ReplyReply
  29. 29
    Yarrow says:

    LOL. Ted Cruz says people outside the Beltway aren’t concerned with the Russia investigation. Sure, Teeeeeeeedddd.

    ReplyReply
  30. 30
    Brachiator says:

    @sdhays:

    Wow. I wonder how many people don’t realize that the entire US Department of Justice is shut down, as well as DHS.

    The shutdown is affecting government websites. From the Verge and elsewhere…

    One of the side effects of President Trump’s funding fight for his border wall has been to effectively build one around many government websites. Try to visit the U.S. Department of Justice, for example, and your web browser will likely block the connection and display a message telling you it is not safe to visit instead. Ditto for NASA’s rocket propulsion testing site, with the Microsoft Edge browser warning that the site is not secure and this might mean “someone’s trying to trick you or steal any information that you send to the server. You should close this site immediately.”

    So, what’s going on? Simply put, the security certificates that ensure your connection to a website is secure, or rather that the communications between your device and the site are encrypted, have expired.

    On some sites you can still click through, but this increases the risk of exposure to malware.

    These Republican dopes don’t understand the harm caused by their actions in shutting down the government.

    ReplyReply
  31. 31
    Punchy says:

    “journey……through Stupidland”

    Otherwise known as a Cletus Safari.

    ReplyReply
  32. 32
    Wag says:

    @debbie:
    The fantasy is strong in that one.

    ReplyReply
  33. 33
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Yarrow:

    What in the world is he growing on his face?

    Don’t complain. Think of the face it is concealing.

    ReplyReply
  34. 34
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Enjoy. Don’t forget state parks. Some real jewels out there, and all are worthwhile.

    ReplyReply
  35. 35
    Brachiator says:

    Federal consumer protection websites are also down…

    As the government shutdown stretches into the record for longest shutdown ever, key websites run by the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission are still down, leaving consumers more vulnerable.

    On December 28th, the FTC announced that, while ftc.gov continues to operate, several sites will remain unavailable throughout the shutdown. Among those is donotcall.gov, the website for the agency’s National Do Not Call Registry. “Due to the government shutdown, we are unable to offer this website service at this time,” a message on the site reads….

    But the registry isn’t the only website the FTC is shuttering. The agency has also closed identitytheft.gov, a site where victims of identity theft can report fraudulent activity. The shutdown has left victims unable to send their information. (An archived page from the agency still has tips for what victims of identity theft can do.)

    https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/13/18178594/fcc-ftc-robocall-complaints-websites-government-shutdown

    ReplyReply
  36. 36
    joel hanes says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    What do we do with ~60 million brainwashed fascists?

    Disconnect them from the brainwashing apparatus and hope some of them heal.

    Fox and Sinclair must go. Media de-consolidation would help, but ultimately, the government cannot do it for us, because of the First Amendment; we must find a way as citizens.

    ReplyReply
  37. 37
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @sdhays: He believes his base is.

    ReplyReply
  38. 38
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Yarrow:
    Ted is probably singing this to himself.

    ReplyReply
  39. 39
    Jeffro says:

    @Yarrow: I guess so!

    ReplyReply
  40. 40
    Yarrow says:

    @A Ghost To Most: My favorite take on it was from someone in a Rick Wilson thread on it: “Wallverine.”

    @OzarkHillbilly: This is very true. State parks can be fantastic.

    ReplyReply
  41. 41
    MomSense says:

    @Yarrow:

    Given that his nose looks like a tiny penis (you can thank my 15 year old for that visual gift) I’m going with scared pubes. They don’t look happy to be there.

    ReplyReply
  42. 42
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Yarrow: The landowning Republicans on the border HATE the wall. So do their neighbors.

    ReplyReply
  43. 43
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @joel hanes: I thought that’s what the FEMA camps were for.

    ReplyReply
  44. 44
    Yarrow says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’m very aware of that. I’m interested in how Cornyn is responding given he’s up for reelection in 2020. It’s an insight into how it’s really playing in Texas, despite Cruz’s claims that people are for the wall. Land-owners along the border in Texas aren’t for it and if it takes post-Harvey rebuilding money from Texans across the state, they aren’t for it either. So it’s not popular.

    Also, I saw a member of the Leopards Eating People’s Faces Party on TV–middle-aged white guy who said he supported Trump but this shutdown…THIS was too much. He was being hurt so he didn’t support it.

    ReplyReply
  45. 45
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: the whole discusssion of eminent domain is a point that’s not getting enough volume, IMHO. THere’s some chatter that lawsuits from a 2006 push to buy land in Texas for fencing through ED is still going through the courts.

    ReplyReply
  46. 46
    Yarrow says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I saw a piece on the NBC Nightly News a few days ago about eminent domain to seize land from ranchers and how they’re planning lawsuits, or something. I was at the gym so I didn’t catch all of it. But it’s getting some coverage at least if it made the Nightly News.

    ReplyReply
  47. 47
    WereBear says:

    Bon voyage! Here’s some Midwest tips you might need to know:

    If you order a salad, you will get Jell-O. Order a “green salad” to get salad.

    If you order Green Goddess dressing, it will be leprechaun green, done with food coloring. Because it wasn’t GREEN enough. It’s SUPPOSED to be green.

    Coffee is powdered and the creamer is powdered unless you go to Dunkin Donuts.

    Do not, whatever you do, try the Amish wine.

    ReplyReply
  48. 48
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Yarrow: RMNP is cool, but you don’t need a national (or state) park here. A twenty minute drive up a back road to a valley almost as pretty, and almost devoid of other people.

    ReplyReply
  49. 49
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Yarrow: @Jim, Foolish Literalist: The funniest part about all this is that most of $5.6B trump wants for his wall would need to go to lawyers fighting all the lawsuits. (that money would actually come out of DOJ funds I suspect)

    ReplyReply
  50. 50
    Mai Naem mobile says:

    @A Ghost To Most: bring the equal time rule back.. Teach some strategies in HS in figuring out when a story is true andwhen its false. Have the FCC roll back ownership rules. Also very limited or no foreign ownership of major media orgs.

    ReplyReply
  51. 51
    gene108 says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I think he could beat a lie detector test. He lies so much and has no conscience there wouldn’t be any changes in pulse rate, etc. that a lie detector measures.

    ReplyReply
  52. 52
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Mai Naem mobile: Nobody has been able to convince me that Raygun’s 11th commandment and the loss of the Fairness Doctrine didn’t start this fascist shitball rolling. Bring it back.

    ReplyReply
  53. 53
    Yarrow says:

    @Mai Naem mobile:

    Teach some strategies in HS in figuring out when a story is true andwhen its false.

    I’m posting about this organization again because it seems they’re doing this kind of thing. They have programs for schools so if anyone has kids in school or connections to schools, maybe have a look at it. MediaWise.

    Professional fact-checkers and platforms alone cannot solve the problem of rampant online misinformation. There are too many hoaxsters and too many opportunists.

    To fully combat the spread of misinformation online, we must teach a new generation to be fact-checkers.

    Enter MediaWise, Poynter’s groundbreaking endeavor aimed at helping middle and high school students be smarter consumers of news and information online.

    MediaWise is a partnership between Poynter, the Stanford History Education Group, Local Media Association and National Association for Media Literacy Education, supported by Google Inc. MediaWise will feature a research-based curriculum to be taught in classrooms and a teen-led fact-checking initiative. YouTube creators like Ingrid Nilsen, the Green Brothers and Destin Sandlin from Smarter Every Day will help this project reach its goal of 1 million students, with at least 50 percent coming from underserved or low-income communities.

    Also:

    Stanford is developing a new curriculum for schools to teach information literacy and improve what researchers there call “civic online reasoning.” The National Association for Media Literacy Education is helping with outreach to teachers, librarians and others who teach these skills.

    This is definitely a step in the right direction.

    ReplyReply
  54. 54
    WereBear says:

    @Yarrow: It should be taught to the Faux News base.

    ReplyReply
  55. 55
    p.a says:

    @WereBear:

    If you order a salad, you will get Jell-O. Order a “green salad” to get salad

    Please tell me you’re pulling his leg.

    ReplyReply
  56. 56
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @WereBear:
    FEMA civics reeducation camps?

    ReplyReply
  57. 57
    Yarrow says:

    @WereBear: When I linked it the other day I said they should go into retirement homes, church groups, senior centers, etc.

    ReplyReply
  58. 58
    joel hanes says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I thought that’s what the FEMA camps were for.

    Too small and cramped; re-education in FEMA camps would be like industrial hog production.

    I’m lobbying Baud to issue an Executive Order re-purposing Fort Leonard Wood as a free-range political re-orientation camp for Cletus diehards. (I spent the winter of 1972-1973 there, as a guest of the US government. Lovely wooded surroundings, and the orienteering training, roaming free in the early-spring woods, remains a treasured memory.)

    ReplyReply
  59. 59
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    On eminent domain, NPR just broadcast a story about a Catholic chapel that’s been notified it may be taken by the gov’t for Wall

    Texas Chapel In Path Of Trump’s Proposed Border Wall
    NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks with Father Roy Snipes, whose chapel sits on the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas. The chapel may lose their land if President Trump’s border wall plans move forward.

    ReplyReply
  60. 60
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WereBear: Do you live in the 1950s?

    ReplyReply
  61. 61
    Sebastian says:

    @joel hanes:

    Unless you can prove that willingly and knowingly participated and contributed to a foreign destibilization effort. Then it’s FARA violation and espionage all the way down.

    ReplyReply
  62. 62
    WereBear says:

    @p.a: Please tell me you’re pulling his leg.

    Sadly, no. The Midwest is Mormon-esque in their food tastes.

    Also, a spice-averse area, traditionally. A New Yorker would order the hot wings and say, “Geddoutahere.” A Southwestern person would never order them again.

    ReplyReply
  63. 63
    WereBear says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Do you live in the 1950s?

    Not me, THEM.

    I was there last about a decade ago, a family-triggered event in the town of my birth, and NOTHING had changed, just gotten more shabby.

    ReplyReply
  64. 64
    joel hanes says:

    @Sebastian:

    Thanks. Unfortunately, while Trump is a Russian asset, I fear that the Christianist bigotry of Sinclair in particular is completely home-grown. (One of Heinlein’s frequently-used premises was that the US experiment would fail through the agency of religious hucksters; see Nehemiah Scudder).

    I suppose that because Murdoch is not American, nor is his organization, really, there might be an angle there.

    I’d love to see the Mercers get burned for Cambridge Analytica after Trump’s perfidy becomes a matter of record. Confiscation of all their assets would seem like a good start, and confinement at hard labor for a period not less than a year seems just to me.

    ReplyReply
  65. 65
    VOR says:

    @p.a: sadly, I have seen this in rural areas. Not in cities, bUT in the boonies.

    ReplyReply
  66. 66
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @joel hanes: Pulaski County is beautiful and the Big Piney is a great float, lots of tall bluffs and deep cool pools, tho it does get a little low in the summer..

    ReplyReply
  67. 67
    Pogonip says:

    @WereBear: Um, I’ve spent 58 years in the U.S. midwest and “salad” has always meant “ a plate of lettuce, shredded carrots, shredded red cabbage and maybe a tomato wedge.” If you want jello you have to say “jello.” Are you maybe talking about the UPPER U.S. midwest?

    ReplyReply
  68. 68
    joel hanes says:

    @WereBear:

    Interesting. My hometown is decaying in many ways, but there’s two regional chains of boutique coffee shops (Caribou Coffee and Cabin Coffee) and one local (Jitters). There’s even a quite-passable Thai restaurant.

    Unfortunately, River City no longer has a decent salad bar. Best advice is to order the Greek salad (for generations, many of the best restaurants in town were operated by families of Greek descent, and I can think of at least four places to get a truly excellent Greek salad.)

    ReplyReply
  69. 69
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WereBear: Define there, because you are painting with a pretty broad brush. For example, no self respecting place in WI would serve powdered creamer. Also, I have lived in three Midwestern states and have never been given jello when I asked for a salad, nor have I ever been offered Green Goddess dressing at anytime.

    ReplyReply
  70. 70
    joel hanes says:

    @WereBear:

    spice-averse area

    My Iowa-born-and-bred mother thinks that pepperoncini are very hot, and will tell you that Tabasco sauce must be masochism, because she experiences it as pure pain
    OTOH, the best local Mexican restaurant has La Yucateca habanero sauce on every table, and a subset of the locals love it.

    ReplyReply
  71. 71
    WereBear says:

    @Pogonip: Are you maybe talking about the UPPER U.S. midwest?

    Yes, I am, and extrapolated the blog author’s probable route from Colorado to Rochester.

    ReplyReply
  72. 72
  73. 73
    WereBear says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: All I can tell you is I drove from NY to Indiana, and the interstate coffee (man’s driving, yanno) got worse with every mile from the NY border.

    ReplyReply
  74. 74
    joel hanes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    nor have I ever been offered Green Goddess dressing at anytime.

    Ikes, one of the better restaurants in the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, offers it. Theirs is not artificially colored. Until last year, their menu included a Green Goddess salad that was a bed of iceberg lettuce with shrimp and big chunks of good-quality crab meat (_not_ surimi), the inevitable pale tomatoes, plus bell pepper and salad onion and cumber, with the eponymous dressing. It was a favorite of mine.

    ReplyReply
  75. 75
    joel hanes says:

    @WereBear:

    interstate coffee

    Ah. I see your problem.
    Even San Francisco is no foodie paradise if you insist on eating in gas stations and freeway-intersection national chain restaurants.

    ReplyReply
  76. 76
    WaterGirl says:

    @p.a: I have lived in the midwest for my whole life, and I have experienced nothing like what WereBear described. (sorry, WereBear)

    Maybe in a very rural area in the midwest? But not anywhere I’ve been, including small towns.

    ReplyReply
  77. 77
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WereBear: Well, If you want to define the Upper Midwest as Ohio and Indiana and use interstate coffee as a culinary marker, I suppose that is on you. I’ll just say that my lived experience differs greatly from your description.

    ReplyReply
  78. 78
    WaterGirl says:

    @WereBear: Again, that is not my experience. Where in the Midwest have you found what you are describing ?

    ReplyReply
  79. 79
    WaterGirl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I see I am not the only one pushing back on this.

    ReplyReply
  80. 80
    scav says:

    @WereBear: Might be a bit of an overcharacterization though. Even in Iowa (well, Iowa City, so a bit of an island) there were reports of small diner waitresses in even further isolated locations who, when asked about salads, replied “You mean like lettuce in a bowl?”

    Then again, remembering the state of some of the pale lettuce and paler tomatoes on actual immediate offer in other diners visited, any local jello-based alternative could have its attraction.

    ReplyReply
  81. 81
    MagadaInBlack says:

    Grew up outside a small farm town of 700 and have lived my whole life in northern Illinois, rural and now suburban Chicago. I have never been served jello as a salad, never been served instant coffee. Not in Illinois, not in Wisconsin, not in Iowa, not in Missouri and not in Indiana. Green Goddess comes from a bottle, unadulterated with extra food coloring
    We are not an entirely alien culture.

    ReplyReply
  82. 82
    joel hanes says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Big Piney

    Thanks. I’ll try to remember — I’m retiring, and have an old Grumman canoe and a twenty-five year collection of good to great paddles.

    ReplyReply
  83. 83
    WereBear says:

    @joel hanes: Not so in NY. Even western NY, which is almost-Midwest, turnpike stops were far better than in Ohio. And it went downhill from there.

    Listen, people: I’m just telling you what happened.

    ReplyReply
  84. 84
    Haroldo says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: @WaterGirl:

    @WereBear: Well, If you want to define the Upper Midwest as Ohio and Indiana and use interstate coffee as a culinary marker, I suppose that is on you. I’ll just say that my lived experience differs greatly from your description.

    @WereBear: Again, that is not my experience. Where in the Midwest have you found what you are describing ?

    Hell, I’ll pile on here. I’m a Mid-westerner, born and bred (tho’ I live in New England these days). Your (i.e., WereBear’s) description of the road side delights of I-80 is probably right on, but if you detoured right off of the Interstate, you’d probably have found wonderful little restaurants. They are there, in spades. As always, it depends on how open you keep your eyes.

    ReplyReply
  85. 85
    joel hanes says:

    @WereBear:

    what happened

    … and some of us are trying to gently suggest that you had agency, and made bad choices.
    Which is your right, but is a poor foundation on which to characterize six or seven states.

    ReplyReply
  86. 86
    MagadaInBlack says:

    Unmoderate me please, I didnt swear, I swear.

    ReplyReply
  87. 87
    scav says:

    @WereBear: Some of us have also repeatedly traveled bwtween Um well, Iowa City and Rochester (since the mid 90s) and not had the same experience. Were there some distinctly iffy meals? yup, also some really good ones (not that we’d ever be able to find that Mexican restaurant in Ohio again, the driver liked to abandon the toll road every so often). I-80 stuff increasingly was pure chain fast food, so provided that univerally available iffy rather than any local exemplar of bad. Give me about five minutes and I’ll find you some bad coffee and I’m currently in western Washington state where espresso stands may outnumber gas stations, but it is nevertheless possible to find some authentic tongue-burning dirty water.

    ReplyReply
  88. 88
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WereBear: You are telling mistermix what to expect in terms of food in the (Upper) Midwest based on a short, decade-old experience. People who live here are pointing out that your level of expertise as a culinary guide might be, shall we say, a little skimpy.

    Also, remember the first rule of holes.

    ReplyReply
  89. 89
    joel hanes says:

    The Universal Rules of Interstate Cuisine:
    1. No matter how bad the truck-stop diner, they probably can’t fuck up breakfast too badly.
    2. Cracker Barrel is completely fake, and so is the food. Avoid at all costs.
    3. One mile or less from the McDonald’s is a local restaurant where, if you order the right thing, you can get a satisfactory meal.

    ob. book :
    William Least Heat Moon’s delightful Blue Highways taught me a rubric for evaluating small-town restaurants. In every little town, the local real-estate offices and insurance agents and banks and natural-gas distributors, etc. give away free imprinted calendars as advertising. They all want their calendars to appear in the most highly-regarded establishment, so one can measure local regard by counting such calendars on the walls.

    Three calendars is an acceptable score; five is quite good, six or more means a winner.
    Highest we ever saw was twelve, in the much-missed defunct Derby Restaurant, in Derby Iowa.

    ReplyReply
  90. 90
    WereBear says:

    I noticed NO ONE argued with me about Amish wine!

    ReplyReply
  91. 91
    joel hanes says:

    @WereBear:

    Amish wine

    A palpable hit.

    OTOH, the Taylor New York State wines are also abominable.

    ReplyReply
  92. 92
    WereBear says:

    @joel hanes: That is a wonderful book.

    And even Indiana has its patches. Get a big town or a university town, and it’s a fine place, with amenities.

    But my birthplace is not even found on most maps. There is no solace there. So much weirdness it would make a fine memoir :)

    ReplyReply
  93. 93
    joel hanes says:

    @WereBear:

    One of my grandmothers came from hard-scrabble Indiana farmers, and fled them as soon as she could, to work as a hired girl on an eastern-Iowa farm. I have pictures of her antecedents — there are no redder necks anywhere, and the women all look beat down and exhausted by their late 20s.

    I miss Doghouse Riley for his take on all things Indiana.

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  94. 94
    StringOnAStick says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Staunton State Park, just past Conifer, is my favorite one right now. It’s relatively new so it has modern trail design standards, a great view of Pikes Peak and lots of excellent hikes, rock climbing, biking.

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    tybee says:

    @joel hanes:

    local Mexican restaurant has La Yucateca habanero sauce

    youngest son mainlines that stuff straight.

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    J R in WV says:

    We drove up to MA to visit Tanglewood, and the Eastern States Mineral Exposition in Springfield. The music at Tanglewood was wonderful, and the minerals at Springfield were great too, I got Wife’s “engagement” ring stone there, a natural emerald, from an Indian gemstone dealer who was fine with educating me, tho I knew a little bit to start.

    But my purpose in this post is to talk about food north of NYC, where flavor is often something to be extracted from food and discarded. Out first sad encounter was north of the city, a few miles SW of New Paltz where we spent that night. We stopped at a locally owned restaurant for dinner, it had lots of cars parked outside. We both ordered the turkey dinner with dressing, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy. There was no flavor in any of those items. Salt and pepper did not help at all. The beans tasted like the potatoes which tasted like the dressing, which all tasted like the gravy, like nothing.

    Brick Oven Pizza House in the general western mountain Berkshires area of MA. The pizza wasn’t horrible, but they had no shaker of red pepper flakes – a necessity for pizza in every pizzeria everywhere, even in Italian villages. The waiter didn’t even know what I was asking for — had no idea what red pepper flakes were, didn’t know why one would want such a thing on Italian food.

    On a different vacation, up into Maine, the seafood was usually OK… but we asked around for a quality restaurant, which wasn’t as bad as the tasteless Turkey Dinner in the Hudson Valley, but could have used some edumacation about herbs and spices. Fortunately lobster only needs the butter to be good, and seafood usually can go with lemon/lime juice, tho garlic can help.

    And cold water oysters, lemon juice and hot sauce. Or horseradish, just a touch. I did get food poisoning with fried clams in New Hampster driving over the White Mountains from the airport in Manchester to Maine. Terrible. Haven’t eaten them again for many years now. Sad…

    Great food in New Mexico, Denver, Tucson, LA, New Orleans, good BBQ in Nashville, stopped in a really quaint quonset hut BBQ pit SW of greater St Louis, which I found by turning right onto the interstate ramp too early, I hit a gravel road, but while turning around, we saw the brick ovens built into the side of the WW II vintage quonset hut buildings. The best BBQ we ever had in the midwest!

    Have had great smoker roasted whole pig in NC, they pull the meat off with tongs, you pick which sauces you want on it. Great, but totally unlike Midwestern BBQ. Also had some good BBQ in Arkansas.

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    Starfish says:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix: Where is the Colorado meetup for you trip?

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    TomatoQueen says:

    @J R in WV: @J R in WV: You missed all the good places and there are plenty of ’em,starting with pizza in New Haven.

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