Watercooler

Happy Fourth of July

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Happy Fourth of July

neilb@uk
Today is the day when all Americans should give thanks to the French, without whose aid, you would all be Canadian and probably much nicer people. Are you going to remember the French when you set off your firecrackers? Of course you are...

OK, I know I'm a day early but most of you will be - should be - too busy enjoying yourself (drunk) to post tomorrow.
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      CharlieSpencer

      We're replacing seven switches, and there won't be anyone else in the building. They're already mounted, I just have to move all the cables over.

      The good news is that the new ones are going in parallel to the old ones, so it's not a 'do or die' situation. If something has a problem, I'll just move it back to the old switch and troubleshoot it on Friday. However, the new one I brought on line two weeks ago has performed to expectations, so I don't see any problem. With any luck I'll get two done this afternoon when everyone leaves, and the other four tomorrow.

      It's good to live in any country where you have the opportunity to do work you enjoy! I regard our 'Revolution' as similar to one of those big knock-down, drag-out fights between maturing young adults and their parents. The kid storms out of the house for good, but the relationship eventually matures into one of mutual respect.

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      GSG

      I seem to remember from History class that we were fighting England and the Hessians.

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      john.a.wills

      refers to "the King of Grat Britain", England having been absorbed into Great Britain 69 years earlier. If your history teacher told you otherwise, you should have pulled him up on it.

      Had the Revolution not happened, Ohio and Florida would have continued as GB colonies administerd for the good ot the Native Americans living there, so North America would have been a lot less Anglo. Also, the British North America Act would have included those 13 colonies, Ohio, Florida, the extended Canada as under the Quebec Act (3 of the current United States) and the western and maritime provinces of what is now Canada, though presumably not the Spanish territories of Aztlan, so neilb is perhaps right about "being Canadians". Also, slavery would have been abolished somewhat earlier, so perhaps certain people would indeed have been nicer.

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      GSG

      OK, England was me, not my History teacher. However, I think it was a stretch to say we'd be part of Canada. Possible, but a stretch. I would like to protest the comment that we'd be nicer. I think that in general, we were plenty nice.

      However, I will blame all of my History teachers for the great Christopher Columbus lie and the F I got on the paper that I had to write about who discovered America and that I titled, "Christopher Columbus Did Not Discover America".

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      CharlieSpencer

      1) Jefferson would have never purchased Louisiana. Many of us might now be French. Of course, the Alaskans might be Canadians, although they might also still be Russkies.

      2) None of the western treaties and wars would have occurred, at least not in the name of this country. Lacking those, many of us might have always been Mexican.

      3) Although #2 above assumes Mexican independence. Lacking the U.S. example, it (and everything to its south) may have not successfully have separated from Spain. In that case, those in the U.S. west would be Spanish instead.

      4) It's anyone's guess if Hawaii would still be a monarchy, or if Texas would have remained an independent republic (most likely because no one else would want it ).

      In short, there's a lot more to the US than the former British colonies of the eastern seaboard. I can understand some forgetting that; I might too if I lived in one of those itsy-bitsy European nations :-)

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      neilb@uk

      which, back then, was pretty far from "itsy-bitsy" and getting bigger.

      We would not have purchased Louisiana but I do suspect that we would have taken it for nothing at the latest following Waterloo. Especially if the revolution, backed by France, had failed rather than not having occurred.

      Whether we have stolen quite so much land from the Mexicans as the US did is an interesting point but I think that war with Mexico would have been unavoidable and it would have been you and us verses them so we might have taken even more.

      It's not likely that the settlers would have stopped expanding the borders because the rulers had changed.

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      john.a.wills

      The French Revolution was largely inspired by the "American" Revolution, so if the latter had failed the ancien regime would have continued, there would have been no French Republic, hence no French Empire, hence no defeat of France at Waterloo.

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      neilb@uk

      Is that historical cause and effect is about as chaotic as the weather. Slightly more boring, too. My original comment was intended to be tongue in cheek and I expected to be answered by "up yours, Brit", not a dissection of my alternate hiostory's credibility.

      I wouldn't have said "inspired" - except for some of the middle classes, ut there weren't many of them - as the massive French National debt crisis and a demonstrably unfair and outdated tax system were the main causes. But, whatever... Nobody else bothered to follow your example - except the Poles and Catherine the Great bitchslapped them bigtime!

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      CharlieSpencer

      "Up yours, Brit!"

      There. All better now?

      Harry Turtledove writes very entertaining alternate histories. Keeping in touch with the holiday theme, his 3-book 'Atlantis' series starts with the discovery not of America by the Spanish but Atlantis by the French.

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      aidemzo_adanac

      Savages supported the British Imperial Army in defending Canada's borders, often without a fight from US soldiers who really weren't as organized and well trained at that time. It was the savages that scared most US soldiers and their leaders off, even when Canada's offense was severely outnumbered by US troops.

      In three separate attempts to acquire Canadian land, the USA fled, eventually opening up shop to Canadians who wanted to cross the border and illegally bring goods back to Canada, (not much has changed in that respect). The problem was not so much Tecumseh but the company he kept and the rumours that preceded them.

      Fighting the unknown enemy was not in most American soldier's best interests and they just didn't want to have anything to do with it.

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      neilb@uk

      Oh, I don't think so. That wasn't our habit, except when we wanted to use them against the rebels.

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      john.a.wills

      But let me rephrase: they were being run as colonies of native Americans rather than colonies of European settlers. I cannot off-hand give chapter and verse, but I remember reading that George Washington and Patrick Henry objected to the Quebec Act, under which Ohio became a separate dependency, precisely because it spoiled some of their investments which had been made under the supposition of Europlean settlement there.

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      neilb@uk

      Well, not much, anyway. The Quebec Act was put in place to placate 100,000 French-speaking Canadians we inherited by beating the French in the Seven Years War.

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      maxwell edison

      This one might be fitting:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNiie_zmSr8

      Don't think sorry's easily said
      Don't try turning tables instead
      You've taken lots of Chances before
      But I ain't gonna give anymore
      Don't ask me
      That's how it goes
      Cause part of me knows what you're thinkin'

      Don't say words you're gonna regret
      Don't let the fire rush to your head
      I've heard the accusation before
      And I ain't gonna take any more
      Believe me
      The sun in your Eyes
      Made some of the lies worth believing

      I am the eye in the sky
      Looking at you
      I can read your mind
      I am the maker of rules
      Dealing with fools
      I can cheat you blind
      And I don't need to see any more
      To know that
      I can read your mind (looking at you....)
      I can read your mind (looking at you....)
      I can read your mind (looking at you....)
      I can read your mind (looking at you....)

      Don't leave false illusions behind
      Don't Cry cause I ain't changing my mind
      So find another fool like before
      Cause I ain't gonna live anymore believing
      Some of the lies while all of the Signs are deceiving

      I am the eye in the sky
      Looking at you
      I can read your mind
      I am the maker of rules
      Dealing with fools
      I can cheat you blind
      And I don't need to see any more
      To know that
      I can read your mind (looking at you....)
      I can read your mind (looking at you....)
      I can read your mind (looking at you....)
      I can read your mind (looking at you....)

      I am the eye in the sky
      Looking at you
      I can read your mind
      I am the maker of rules
      Dealing with fools
      I can cheat you blind
      And I don't need to see any more
      To know that
      I can read your mind (looking at you....)
      I can read your mind (looking at you....)
      I can read your mind (looking at you....)
      I can read your mind (looking at you....)

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      CharlieSpencer

      Usually you post a link. I don't think Alan Parsons is so obscure that you couldn't find one. I assume there's a method to your madness; there usually is.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNiie_zmSr8

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      maxwell edison

      I can see it and click on it. Can't you?

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      CharlieSpencer

      Lack of sleep, I guess.

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      maxwell edison

      Eye in the Sky?

      I've previously suspected TR of censoring my messages?

      You could have had fun with that one.

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      aidemzo_adanac

      Even after posting JP lyrics, I still can't get Eye in the Sky out of my head!!! And it's ALL your fault.

      I am the maker of rules
      Dealing with fools
      I can cheat you blind


      gee, thanks for that!

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      CharlieSpencer

      I'm stuck on "Time".

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      Michael Jay

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3T6IsXyq68

      Do believe I could listen to Alan Parsons for a long time, so much good stuff.

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      maxwell edison

      So you're a Parsons fan?

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      maxwell edison

      Question:

      I am the maker of rules
      Dealing with fools
      I can cheat you blind


      Who am I?

      Those who are running, or aspire to run, the United States Government.

      Is there a better answer?

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      CharlieSpencer

      Not necessarily better, but several are equally good.

      Most TV preachers
      Silvio Berlusconi
      Mark Zuckerberg
      The NCAA.

      Okay, that last one may actually be better.

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      maxwell edison

      The watch neither Evangelical or Italian television, so can't say for those two.

      And I don't Facebook. So take that, Zuckerberg.

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      aidemzo_adanac

      Time is my all time favorite ELO LP, the Prologue with Fred the robot that sounds just like a Cylon is so cool on a good system.

      Just on the border of your waking mind
      There lies... Another time
      Where darkness & light are one
      And as you tread the halls of sanity
      You feel so glad to be
      Unable to go beyond
      I have a message
      From another time...


      Ahh, the vocoder, LONG before Cher trashed it, even though the effect goes back to the original Clockwork Orange soundtrack.

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      aidemzo_adanac

      Up here in space
      I'm looking down on you.
      My lasers trace
      Everything you do.
      You think you've private lives
      Think nothing of the kind.
      There is no true escape
      I'm watching all the time.
      I'm made of metal
      My circuits gleam.
      I am perpetual
      I keep the country clean.
      I'm elected electric spy
      I'm protected electric eye.
      Always in focus
      You can't feel my stare.
      I zoom into you
      You don't know I'm there.
      I take a pride in probing all your secret moves
      My tearless retina takes pictures that can prove.
      I'm made of metal
      My circuits gleam.
      I am perpetual
      I keep the country clean.
      I'm elected electric spy
      I'm protected electric eye.
      Electric eye, in the sky
      Feel my stare, always there
      There's nothing you can do about it.
      Develop and expose
      I feed upon your every thought
      And so my power grows.
      I'm made of metal
      My circuits gleam.
      I am perpetual
      I keep the country clean.
      I'm elected electric spy
      I'm protected electric eye.
      I'm elected electric spy
      I'm elected. Protected. Detective. Electric eye.

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      maxwell edison

      I'm reminded of a ......

      Edit to slash and burn my message.

      (Okay, laugh at me. I'm reminded of something that wasn't quite accurate, so I'm looking into it.)

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      aidemzo_adanac

      While metal was around, as tagged by the media, for several years before JP, it was JP that introduced leather, studs and motorbikes as the heavy metal dress code.

      To the unfamiliar, they come across, much as Black Sabbath did, as unkempt, devil worshipping bad ***es to avoid.

      In reality, no drugs and these days it's just tea before a show. None of their songs, not one, is about the devil or religion specifically. One of their most famous songs is diamonds an rust by Joan Baez, they have both an acoustic and plugged in/faster version, oh and one that starts acoustic and ends electric.

      Before the leather and chains they all wore very feminine looking, blouses and bell bottom slacks, adorned with ribbons.
      As the lead singer is gay, he used to shop at the S&M stores in the backstreets of Birmingham and London. He started wearing leather chaps, leather biker caps, long leather trench coats etc on stage and it took off. Today, the same look is mirrored by metal acts worldwide, stemming from bondage outfits from an S&M store. Not exactly the hardcore beginning so many feel it was. Come to think of it, how ANYONE didn't realize the singer was gay is simply amazing. Leather chaps, a peaked leather cap and a whip on stage? C;mon people!!

      He actually came out, to the shock of many clueless fans, circa 1990. HE soon after left the band to start a solo career and other bands before returning 20 years later, where he still holds the mike today. He's very highly educated, very logical, soft spoken, patient and concerned about his entire crew. I've toured with them and they are really one of the most pleasant and hardworking bands I've had the pleasure of working with.

      So not exactly the demonic, hard core, metal edge they portray with their band name, titles and album covers. Just a bunch of very nice and very talented guys that really put the metal wheels in motion and proudly carried the torch that so many other bands were trying to douse.

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      NickNielsen Moderator

      But I think it's FZ for the win...

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHHvqncASrI

      "You will obey me while I lead you
      And eat the garbage that I feed you
      Until the day that we don't need you
      Don't go for help . . . no one will heed you
      Your mind is totally controlled
      It has been stuffed into my mold
      And you will do as you are told
      Until the rights to you are sold"

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      maxwell edison

      Not as easy on the ear, however.

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      AV .

      I just love their wine!

      AV

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      maxwell edison

      ..... and another grown in Colorado. Just one bottle of wine, however.

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      Shellbot

      From one of those dang Canadians!

      In your honor, I'll be celebrating in style this evening, with a free "do" at the dog track. Apparently they'll be serving us up some American food. I'm dieing to see how bad they bollox it up!

      Have a good one, whatever your doing!

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      aidemzo_adanac

      Ever tried a hamburger/beefburger in England (I'm sure its the same in Ireland too), or even a hot dog for that matter, they can't even make decent ketchup/tomatoe sauce !? Ick

      BBQ's take on a whole different meaning, it just isn't the same at all.

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      Shellbot

      They seem to think that hot dogs are sausages over in the UK, weird. I haven't been to England much the past few years so can't comment on such things, but here in Ireland its improving. A few more products are being imported, like BBQ sauce, so now people are getting to see what its meant to taste like (kind of anyways). Up till a few yrs ago BBQ sauce here was horrid.

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      neilb@uk

      I really, really dislike American barbecue. Every time I go over, I keep trying it to see if I've just chosen the wrong place but each time I find I don't like the taste. I don't have a sweet tooth and I find all of the sauces and rubs unblanced - too sweet. Might just be that it's a matter of what you're used to.

      I don't like American hotdogs, either. The texture of the buns (and, again they are a little sweet) and the taste of the dogs just doesn't do it for me. I'd rather have a susage butty with English mustard.

      We will not mention American bacon. You cannot make a proper bacon sandwich with streaky. A BLT, perhaps, but that isn't a proper sandwich.

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      AV .

      The best BBQ I ever had was down in Memphis, TN. It was dry rub and not sweet at all. If you ever want to take a nice trip, go to Memphis in May. They have a big barbeque competition along the Mississippi River and it lasts several days. Plus, you can make a trip to Graceland, the home of Elvis! :^0

      The best hot dogs ever are Windmill Hot Dogs from the Jersey Shore. They have a natural beef casing and taste very fresh. They're so big, you could probably just eat two of them and be stuffed.

      AV

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      CharlieSpencer

      In most of the country, barbecue usually means beef. In the southeastern US (the old Confederacy), 'barbeque' always means pork. The dressed hog is slow smoked over wood at a relatively low temperature for 16 hours or more. (If you can't smell the wood, go somewhere else.) Leaving the skin on results in the meat being at least partially self-basting. While the meat may be basted during cooking, sauce is applied lightly if at all. For retail operations, the meat is then pulled off, hence the term 'pulled pork'. It should come off in shreds with minimal effort,

      For social gatherings, the entire carcass is presented skin-side down, open cavity up, and you pick your own meat off (what we call a "pig pickin' "; -never- "pig pickinG"). Pig pickin's are very popular across the social spectrum: family reunions, sporting events, horse races, business conferences, etc. One governor even substituted barbeque competitions for his formal inaugural dances, inviting caterers from various parts of the state.

      Why various parts of the state? In South Carolina alone there are four different sauces, each preferred by a different geographic region in the state, usually applied after cooking is complete.

      http://strangemaps.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/scbbq.jpg

      Note how these regions run over into the surrounding states. Arguments over which is best can reach or exceed the intensity of those about sports teams. At the map shows, the sauces include ketchup-based (that overly-sweet stuff neilb disdains), tomato-based (different from ketchup; either tomato juice or diluted tomato sauce), mustard-based (introduced by SC's original German colonists), and vinegar and pepper. The first three vary from sweet to tart, depending on the proportions of vinegar to sweetener (brown sugar or molasses). I prefer the last, and neilb might like it too. It's apple cider or white vinegar, with black and / or red pepper and other spices and minimal / no sweetener. It's also easier to use as a baste, since it doesn't have any sugars to burn. Obviously it's a thin sauce, requires being shaken frequently, and a little goes a long way. In my opinion, it doesn't hide the meat the way the often-too-thick versions of the other sauces do. Mustard-based is okay if it doesn't overwhelm the meat, but I avoid the tomato- or ketchup-based styles. If you want to try any of them, here are recipes:

      http://www.discoversouthcarolina.com/see-do/food/flavors/maincourses/barbeque/default.aspx

      Rumor has it that in Tennessee they have a mayonnaise-based sauce, but you could serve them rednecks a deep-fried rat's *** in Lea & Perrins and they wouldn't know any better.

      Most towns of at least 3000 people have at least one barbeque 'joint', even if they're too small to have one of the national fast-food franchises. These place are usually only open on the weekends, as the proprietor works another job full-time, often in a traditional agricultural occupation. He or she may start the pigs cooking on Thursday evening, then check it a couple of times and add more wood before going to work Friday. By the time Friday afternoon rolls around, other part-time employees (often family members) have prepared side dishes* and the meat is ready. Depending on the popularity, that's when it's time to start the next set of hogs for Saturday and Sunday. In the bigger cities, most operations will run all week, but even they usually run only one or a few restaurants; even the largest has only a half-dozen or so. Still, many of these family operations are known throughout the region. Those better known outfits often supplement their restaurant income by bottling their sauces and wholesaling them to national grocery stores operating in the region. Operations of all sizes usually run catering services too; some bring in more money that way than through retail operations.

      In short, the word 'barbecue' means different things in different parts of the country, even in different parts of the same state.

      *Don't get me started on the typical traditional side dishes; that's a complete discussion of its own.

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      AV .

      I'm really not the barbecue chef in my house, but we usually use Cider Vinegar to baste our barbecue while its cooking. Sometimes we use dry rubs, other times its more of a wet sauce, just premade stuff, like Stubbs spicy and Saucy Susan if we want it sweeter. We customize it.

      If you have good meat, its always good no matter what you put on it.

      AV

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      CharlieSpencer

      Which is a nice way of saying, "Damn, I thought he'd never shut up!"

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      CharlieSpencer

      It can't be any worse than the gastronomic atrocities committed here annually in the name of St. Patrick.

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      Shellbot

      Do they do much "irish" food there for Paddy's day?

      Well, the mini- burgers were meatballs on wee small buns with a tangy salsa on them, quite tasty actually. The popcorn chicken was randomly sized chicken chunks, sans coating, with a herby/sweet chilli marinade, edible but definitely not popcorn chicken! The hot dogs were almost hot dogs, but without any toppings.. who the heck eats dry hot dogs?? There was a cheese sauce for the nachos which vaguely tasted of something, but I can't put my finger on it.. I dipped my hot dog into it.

      Anywho's, it was a bit of fun and out of 10 races, i didn't win once. 40 bucks down the hole. This is why I don't gamble!!

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      CharlieSpencer

      and put green food coloring in American beers.

      Small hamburgers ('sliders') have become popular in the last few years. They're found either as appetizers, or as entrees of two or three paired with a salad or four with fries / chips / other greasy salted julienned potato side dish. Most of them aren't much bigger than flattened meatballs, even smaller than those served by White Castle, the chain that I suspect inspired these mini-imitators. Now they're showing up as chicken, barbeque, and even crabcake variants.

      I don't like my chicken coated / breaded so the chicken bits sound pretty good, depending on how the chicken was cooked. If it was grilled I'd be all over it; fried, not so much.

      Hot dogs? Mustard is mandatory, almost anything else is acceptable. I like a coarsely chopped, medium-heat salsa and shredded cheddar, myself.

      In the U.S. we have a variety of restaurants serving supposedly ethnic cuisines. My wife and I occasionally speculate about what an "American restaurant" in a foreign country would serve. Our list usually starts with fried chicken, pot roast, southern 'barbequed' pork (technically it's smoked), and apple pie.

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      Shellbot

      Here when a restaurant refers to havfing "American" food, its the burger / wings thing. Think TGI Fridays. We are getting places doing pulled pork now, have yet to try it though. I suspect its not like the real thing.

      Apple pie. Yes. If you ever venture to this side of the world, please do not ever ever order apple pie. Ever. Even IF it says "american style". They are lieing. Its always a very sweet thick heavy butter based shortcrust, light and flaky is not something they do this side of the world. The filling is generally some tasteless concoction of stewed apple (aka apple puree) with a few chunks in it. In a better one you might actually have some identifiable apple peices. Spices are not used, other than maybe a couple whole cloves in a posh place.

      Think cheap tin of store bought apple pie filling with 1/2 the taste removed

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      aidemzo_adanac

      You are that fat, hairy guy I saw on TV who won the BBQ pulled pork competition ? He had a 4 day rub, a 16 hour cook and, while I am sure it tasted absolutely fantastic, that's just too much work for food.

      Tie a bit to a Canadian goose next time it craps on your lawn and send it back to me, they are homing geese, right?

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      jck

      Never been to Rendezvous in Memphis, TN...or anywhere else with quality BBQ.

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      maxwell edison

      I grew up with the stuff

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      AV .

      I'd love to have a recipe for that. We are pulled pork challenged here in NJ. Are you willing to tell?

      AV

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      maxwell edison

      I won't debate which is the best BBQ restaurant in the USA. I actually think such claims are rather silly, since it presupposes the one doing the claiming has sampled every BBQ restaurant in the USA.

      Making BBQ at one's own home versus going out to one of the many fine establishments in various parts of the country are two different things. The huge smokers, the hickory wood, and so on are restaurant luxuries not available in most kitchens or backyards.

      To answer your question, I've been to Memphis many times. I grew up in Kansas City, arguably the home of the best BBQ in America. "The Best of the best" changes every year, you know, depending on who's doing the judging. The current year's best is a mere half mile from the house in which I grew up.

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      aidemzo_adanac

      I went to the air show, if I remember right it was somewhere near Beaulieu (great car museum near Hampshire) about 5 years ago and figured I'd TRY a hot dog. It was literally inedible, two bites and I almost hurled. Ketchup, is tomato sauce and absolutely cringe worthy. I can still recall the taste in my mouth when I think of the tomato taste, not a nice fresh tomato taste but like thick Clamato spewed on top.

      Trick to gambling, especially at the track (all hail the racetrack, "hail, hail, hail" ), is to never take more money with you than you are willing to lose.

      I take enough for a couple of beers at the track, and usually a 12 pack for the parking lot, enough to bet the first four races and ,if I win, I stay, if I lose, I go home and it only cost me an acceptable bet amount. $40-$50 usually. Hey, $50 for a day out isn't too bad these days either.

      The way I see it, I could go to the pub and spend twice that, I could go to a club and spend three times that, I could take out some broad and **** cash on her all day hoping it will pan out, I can even spend $40 going to a f MOVIE! In all of the above cases, I have absolutely ZERO chance of getting the money back that I spend, not a hope, it can't be done. Unless the broad caves in and figures I was worth paying for it.

      At the race track, I visit with friends, we have a STUNNING mountain view from the trackside, lots of gorgeous women to ogle and creep out, watch a few races and there's a CHANCE you get your money back or even make some on top.

      It's a pretty good deal when it's in perspective. Dog racing though, crap shoot, too short, hard as **** top handicap, I hate the look of greyhounds etc. Just doesn't cut it in my books anyway.

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      CharlieSpencer

      I walk in with X dollars.

      When it's gone or I've doubled my money, I get up.

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      Shellbot

      its not my thing.
      I sometimes place a bet on the Grand National over in the UK when its on, but other than a few lotto tickets here and there, I never waste money on it.
      I never win, and I know I'm never going to win, so any money I put into it is just going to go down a big black hole.

      I took 60 to the track, spent most of it. It was money I earmarked for be thrown into a black hole :)

      My parents started gambling a few years back..its not good. Thankfully I'm not the sort to chase the "win". I once spent 5 bucks in a casino, most boring 30 mins of my life!

      Hot dogs, well, growing up poor they were considered a food group, and so was ketchup.

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      CharlieSpencer

      I played once or twice a year when I was in the National Guard, and haven't played since I got out in '02.

      Otherwise, I don't buy lottery tickets. I've only purchased two scratch cards, and both of those were "guaranteed winners". If you didn't get a cash prize, your $1 at least yieldes a coupon for a $4 at the local aquarium. Guess where I was going that day?

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      NickNielsen Moderator

      Sitting in a Waffle House, eating lunch, between priority 1 call-outs.

      Brats & sauerkraut for supper, though!

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      aidemzo_adanac

      Atta boy, a good ole American BBQ! LOL

      Being British, it would be blasphemy for me to do so on....a bank holiday?!? No Independence day there. Not even global colonization day!

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      aidemzo_adanac

      No, not '4th of July, yuck!' But I figure a Special Friday Yuk is due, on the USA's 237th anniversary of Independence.

      Safe enough to share with the kids too!

      What did one flag say to the other flag?
      Nothing. It just waved!

      Teacher: “Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?”
      Student: “On the bottom!”

      Do they have a 4th of July in England?
      Yes. That’s how they get from the 3rd to the 5th.

      What did Washington ask as he crossed the Delaware?
      "How much did the reserved seats cost?"

      What does the Statue of Liberty stand for?
      It can’t sit down.

      Teacher: Why did Washington chop down the cherry tree with a hatchet?
      Student: Because he couldn’t find the chain saw.


      Okay okay, I know they are absolutely DREADFUL and I left out the ones that were puns on founders names. But there are not a lot of 4th of July jokes it seems, so there ya have it.

      Don't drink and drive, careful with the fireworks and enjoy the day with your loved ones.

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      aidemzo_adanac

      Otherwise they'd be lighting freedomcrackers.

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      jck

      Something funny I had show to me on the holiday. This came out after Dubya was re-elected back in 2004. Not written by Cleese, but still good for a laugh.

      ===================

      A Message from John Cleese to the citizens of the United States of America.

      In light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA
      and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (excepting Kansas, which she does not fancy).

      Your new prime minister, Tony Blair, will appoint a governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed. To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

      You should look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up "aluminium", and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'favour' and 'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters, and the suffix "-ize" will be replaced by the suffix "-ise". Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (Look up vocabulary). Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication.

      There is no such thing as US English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of '-ize'.

      You will relearn your original national anthem, God Save the Queen.

      July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

      You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

      All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

      The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline)-roughly $6/US gallon. Get used to it.

      You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

      The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.

      Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie MacDowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.

      You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full Kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies). Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable.

      You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.

      An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's
      Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).


      Thank you for your co-operation

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      CharlieSpencer

      Quoting from Weird Al's "Stop Forwarding That Crap To Me",
      "I just can't believe you believe those urban legends,
      But I have high hopes someone will point you toward Snopes
      And debunk that crazy junk you're spewing constantly."

      So here's the pointer:

      http://www.snopes.com/politics/satire/revocation.asp

      Oh, and here's the tune. I think of it every time I find something from my father in my inbox:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCSA7kKNu2Y

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      jck

      It was about the humor in it...and I made the point to debunk it was from Cleese before I quoted it.

      Jeez...deep breath...relax.

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      CharlieSpencer

      I was trying to expand on your non-attribution, not deride it. Sorry it my intent didn't come across.

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      aidemzo_adanac

      Like it though, rather pithy.

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      jck

      I got a chuckle out of it...made me laugh...especially since so many people in this country are tied up in their sports and food traditions...and if you speak against those institutions, you become a scum-sucking Nazi communist who wants to make the world evil. lol

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      aidemzo_adanac

      NASCAR sucks and is boring. "Turn left, keep your foot down, turn left, keep your foot down, turn left keep your foot down, you are out of gas, PIT! Okay, now turn left, keep your foot down, turn left, keep your foot down."

      or

      American football, 35, 48, 54, hike! (whistle ****)
      72, 53, 98 Hike, (whistle ****)

      Players are enourmous and hit hard, you can hear the kevlar body armour smashing as they make contact, compared to Aussie rules football or rugby where you hear bones crunching as hey make contact.

      Or basketball, where the entire game can be played in 8 minutes really, the preceding 3 hours are just back and forth 'pumpkin slapping' and showboating, all for a 6 point spread in a game with 100 points.

      or if you suggest that America needs to enact a law to protect people, it is the same as instantly offering the government the ability to walk in and inspect your underwear drawer.

      As a Canadian / British Expat, I am the epitome of a socialist, left wing, tree hugger, however i have never voted democrat, don't support MOST of the extreme left that democrats here do and in fact am far more conservative than people care to recognize.

      But you have to accept that, sometimes, it's a result of limited education, lack or a real thought process and sheer ignorance that promote such falsely assumed titles.

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      lee.koo Staff

      test one more time

      happy August!

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      CharlieSpencer

      We're replacing seven switches, and there won't be anyone else in the building. They're already mounted, I just have to move all the cables over.

      The good news is that the new ones are going in parallel to the old ones, so it's not a 'do or die' situation. If something has a problem, I'll just move it back to the old switch and troubleshoot it on Friday. However, the new one I brought on line two weeks ago has performed to expectations, so I don't see any problem. With any luck I'll get two done this afternoon when everyone leaves, and the other four tomorrow.

      It's good to live in any country where you have the opportunity to do work you enjoy! I regard our 'Revolution' as similar to one of those big knock-down, drag-out fights between maturing young adults and their parents. The kid storms out of the house for good, but the relationship eventually matures into one of mutual respect.

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      GSG

      I seem to remember from History class that we were fighting England and the Hessians.

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      john.a.wills

      refers to "the King of Grat Britain", England having been absorbed into Great Britain 69 years earlier. If your history teacher told you otherwise, you should have pulled him up on it.

      Had the Revolution not happened, Ohio and Florida would have continued as GB colonies administerd for the good ot the Native Americans living there, so North America would have been a lot less Anglo. Also, the British North America Act would have included those 13 colonies, Ohio, Florida, the extended Canada as under the Quebec Act (3 of the current United States) and the western and maritime provinces of what is now Canada, though presumably not the Spanish territories of Aztlan, so neilb is perhaps right about "being Canadians". Also, slavery would have been abolished somewhat earlier, so perhaps certain people would indeed have been nicer.

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      GSG

      OK, England was me, not my History teacher. However, I think it was a stretch to say we'd be part of Canada. Possible, but a stretch. I would like to protest the comment that we'd be nicer. I think that in general, we were plenty nice.

      However, I will blame all of my History teachers for the great Christopher Columbus lie and the F I got on the paper that I had to write about who discovered America and that I titled, "Christopher Columbus Did Not Discover America".

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      CharlieSpencer

      1) Jefferson would have never purchased Louisiana. Many of us might now be French. Of course, the Alaskans might be Canadians, although they might also still be Russkies.

      2) None of the western treaties and wars would have occurred, at least not in the name of this country. Lacking those, many of us might have always been Mexican.

      3) Although #2 above assumes Mexican independence. Lacking the U.S. example, it (and everything to its south) may have not successfully have separated from Spain. In that case, those in the U.S. west would be Spanish instead.

      4) It's anyone's guess if Hawaii would still be a monarchy, or if Texas would have remained an independent republic (most likely because no one else would want it ).

      In short, there's a lot more to the US than the former British colonies of the eastern seaboard. I can understand some forgetting that; I might too if I lived in one of those itsy-bitsy European nations :-)

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      neilb@uk

      which, back then, was pretty far from "itsy-bitsy" and getting bigger.

      We would not have purchased Louisiana but I do suspect that we would have taken it for nothing at the latest following Waterloo. Especially if the revolution, backed by France, had failed rather than not having occurred.

      Whether we have stolen quite so much land from the Mexicans as the US did is an interesting point but I think that war with Mexico would have been unavoidable and it would have been you and us verses them so we might have taken even more.

      It's not likely that the settlers would have stopped expanding the borders because the rulers had changed.

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      john.a.wills

      The French Revolution was largely inspired by the "American" Revolution, so if the latter had failed the ancien regime would have continued, there would have been no French Republic, hence no French Empire, hence no defeat of France at Waterloo.

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      neilb@uk

      Is that historical cause and effect is about as chaotic as the weather. Slightly more boring, too. My original comment was intended to be tongue in cheek and I expected to be answered by "up yours, Brit", not a dissection of my alternate hiostory's credibility.

      I wouldn't have said "inspired" - except for some of the middle classes, ut there weren't many of them - as the massive French National debt crisis and a demonstrably unfair and outdated tax system were the main causes. But, whatever... Nobody else bothered to follow your example - except the Poles and Catherine the Great bitchslapped them bigtime!

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      CharlieSpencer

      "Up yours, Brit!"

      There. All better now?

      Harry Turtledove writes very entertaining alternate histories. Keeping in touch with the holiday theme, his 3-book 'Atlantis' series starts with the discovery not of America by the Spanish but Atlantis by the French.

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      aidemzo_adanac

      Savages supported the British Imperial Army in defending Canada's borders, often without a fight from US soldiers who really weren't as organized and well trained at that time. It was the savages that scared most US soldiers and their leaders off, even when Canada's offense was severely outnumbered by US troops.

      In three separate attempts to acquire Canadian land, the USA fled, eventually opening up shop to Canadians who wanted to cross the border and illegally bring goods back to Canada, (not much has changed in that respect). The problem was not so much Tecumseh but the company he kept and the rumours that preceded them.

      Fighting the unknown enemy was not in most American soldier's best interests and they just didn't want to have anything to do with it.

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      neilb@uk

      Oh, I don't think so. That wasn't our habit, except when we wanted to use them against the rebels.

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      john.a.wills

      But let me rephrase: they were being run as colonies of native Americans rather than colonies of European settlers. I cannot off-hand give chapter and verse, but I remember reading that George Washington and Patrick Henry objected to the Quebec Act, under which Ohio became a separate dependency, precisely because it spoiled some of their investments which had been made under the supposition of Europlean settlement there.

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      neilb@uk

      Well, not much, anyway. The Quebec Act was put in place to placate 100,000 French-speaking Canadians we inherited by beating the French in the Seven Years War.

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      maxwell edison

      This one might be fitting:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNiie_zmSr8

      Don't think sorry's easily said
      Don't try turning tables instead
      You've taken lots of Chances before
      But I ain't gonna give anymore
      Don't ask me
      That's how it goes
      Cause part of me knows what you're thinkin'

      Don't say words you're gonna regret
      Don't let the fire rush to your head
      I've heard the accusation before
      And I ain't gonna take any more
      Believe me
      The sun in your Eyes
      Made some of the lies worth believing

      I am the eye in the sky
      Looking at you
      I can read your mind
      I am the maker of rules
      Dealing with fools
      I can cheat you blind
      And I don't need to see any more
      To know that
      I can read your mind (looking at you....)
      I can read your mind (looking at you....)
      I can read your mind (looking at you....)
      I can read your mind (looking at you....)

      Don't leave false illusions behind
      Don't Cry cause I ain't changing my mind
      So find another fool like before
      Cause I ain't gonna live anymore believing
      Some of the lies while all of the Signs are deceiving

      I am the eye in the sky
      Looking at you
      I can read your mind
      I am the maker of rules
      Dealing with fools
      I can cheat you blind
      And I don't need to see any more
      To know that
      I can read your mind (looking at you....)
      I can read your mind (looking at you....)
      I can read your mind (looking at you....)
      I can read your mind (looking at you....)

      I am the eye in the sky
      Looking at you
      I can read your mind
      I am the maker of rules
      Dealing with fools
      I can cheat you blind
      And I don't need to see any more
      To know that
      I can read your mind (looking at you....)
      I can read your mind (looking at you....)
      I can read your mind (looking at you....)
      I can read your mind (looking at you....)

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      CharlieSpencer

      Usually you post a link. I don't think Alan Parsons is so obscure that you couldn't find one. I assume there's a method to your madness; there usually is.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNiie_zmSr8

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      maxwell edison

      I can see it and click on it. Can't you?

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      CharlieSpencer

      Lack of sleep, I guess.

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      maxwell edison

      Eye in the Sky?

      I've previously suspected TR of censoring my messages?

      You could have had fun with that one.

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      aidemzo_adanac

      Even after posting JP lyrics, I still can't get Eye in the Sky out of my head!!! And it's ALL your fault.

      I am the maker of rules
      Dealing with fools
      I can cheat you blind


      gee, thanks for that!

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      CharlieSpencer

      I'm stuck on "Time".

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      Michael Jay

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3T6IsXyq68

      Do believe I could listen to Alan Parsons for a long time, so much good stuff.

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      maxwell edison

      So you're a Parsons fan?

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      maxwell edison

      Question:

      I am the maker of rules
      Dealing with fools
      I can cheat you blind


      Who am I?

      Those who are running, or aspire to run, the United States Government.

      Is there a better answer?

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      CharlieSpencer

      Not necessarily better, but several are equally good.

      Most TV preachers
      Silvio Berlusconi
      Mark Zuckerberg
      The NCAA.

      Okay, that last one may actually be better.

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      maxwell edison

      The watch neither Evangelical or Italian television, so can't say for those two.

      And I don't Facebook. So take that, Zuckerberg.

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      aidemzo_adanac

      Time is my all time favorite ELO LP, the Prologue with Fred the robot that sounds just like a Cylon is so cool on a good system.

      Just on the border of your waking mind
      There lies... Another time
      Where darkness & light are one
      And as you tread the halls of sanity
      You feel so glad to be
      Unable to go beyond
      I have a message
      From another time...


      Ahh, the vocoder, LONG before Cher trashed it, even though the effect goes back to the original Clockwork Orange soundtrack.

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      aidemzo_adanac

      Up here in space
      I'm looking down on you.
      My lasers trace
      Everything you do.
      You think you've private lives
      Think nothing of the kind.
      There is no true escape
      I'm watching all the time.
      I'm made of metal
      My circuits gleam.
      I am perpetual
      I keep the country clean.
      I'm elected electric spy
      I'm protected electric eye.
      Always in focus
      You can't feel my stare.
      I zoom into you
      You don't know I'm there.
      I take a pride in probing all your secret moves
      My tearless retina takes pictures that can prove.
      I'm made of metal
      My circuits gleam.
      I am perpetual
      I keep the country clean.
      I'm elected electric spy
      I'm protected electric eye.
      Electric eye, in the sky
      Feel my stare, always there
      There's nothing you can do about it.
      Develop and expose
      I feed upon your every thought
      And so my power grows.
      I'm made of metal
      My circuits gleam.
      I am perpetual
      I keep the country clean.
      I'm elected electric spy
      I'm protected electric eye.
      I'm elected electric spy
      I'm elected. Protected. Detective. Electric eye.

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      maxwell edison

      I'm reminded of a ......

      Edit to slash and burn my message.

      (Okay, laugh at me. I'm reminded of something that wasn't quite accurate, so I'm looking into it.)

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      aidemzo_adanac

      While metal was around, as tagged by the media, for several years before JP, it was JP that introduced leather, studs and motorbikes as the heavy metal dress code.

      To the unfamiliar, they come across, much as Black Sabbath did, as unkempt, devil worshipping bad ***es to avoid.

      In reality, no drugs and these days it's just tea before a show. None of their songs, not one, is about the devil or religion specifically. One of their most famous songs is diamonds an rust by Joan Baez, they have both an acoustic and plugged in/faster version, oh and one that starts acoustic and ends electric.

      Before the leather and chains they all wore very feminine looking, blouses and bell bottom slacks, adorned with ribbons.
      As the lead singer is gay, he used to shop at the S&M stores in the backstreets of Birmingham and London. He started wearing leather chaps, leather biker caps, long leather trench coats etc on stage and it took off. Today, the same look is mirrored by metal acts worldwide, stemming from bondage outfits from an S&M store. Not exactly the hardcore beginning so many feel it was. Come to think of it, how ANYONE didn't realize the singer was gay is simply amazing. Leather chaps, a peaked leather cap and a whip on stage? C;mon people!!

      He actually came out, to the shock of many clueless fans, circa 1990. HE soon after left the band to start a solo career and other bands before returning 20 years later, where he still holds the mike today. He's very highly educated, very logical, soft spoken, patient and concerned about his entire crew. I've toured with them and they are really one of the most pleasant and hardworking bands I've had the pleasure of working with.

      So not exactly the demonic, hard core, metal edge they portray with their band name, titles and album covers. Just a bunch of very nice and very talented guys that really put the metal wheels in motion and proudly carried the torch that so many other bands were trying to douse.

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      NickNielsen Moderator

      But I think it's FZ for the win...

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHHvqncASrI

      "You will obey me while I lead you
      And eat the garbage that I feed you
      Until the day that we don't need you
      Don't go for help . . . no one will heed you
      Your mind is totally controlled
      It has been stuffed into my mold
      And you will do as you are told
      Until the rights to you are sold"

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      maxwell edison

      Not as easy on the ear, however.

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      AV .

      I just love their wine!

      AV

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      maxwell edison

      ..... and another grown in Colorado. Just one bottle of wine, however.

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      Shellbot

      From one of those dang Canadians!

      In your honor, I'll be celebrating in style this evening, with a free "do" at the dog track. Apparently they'll be serving us up some American food. I'm dieing to see how bad they bollox it up!

      Have a good one, whatever your doing!

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      aidemzo_adanac

      Ever tried a hamburger/beefburger in England (I'm sure its the same in Ireland too), or even a hot dog for that matter, they can't even make decent ketchup/tomatoe sauce !? Ick

      BBQ's take on a whole different meaning, it just isn't the same at all.

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      Shellbot

      They seem to think that hot dogs are sausages over in the UK, weird. I haven't been to England much the past few years so can't comment on such things, but here in Ireland its improving. A few more products are being imported, like BBQ sauce, so now people are getting to see what its meant to taste like (kind of anyways). Up till a few yrs ago BBQ sauce here was horrid.

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      neilb@uk

      I really, really dislike American barbecue. Every time I go over, I keep trying it to see if I've just chosen the wrong place but each time I find I don't like the taste. I don't have a sweet tooth and I find all of the sauces and rubs unblanced - too sweet. Might just be that it's a matter of what you're used to.

      I don't like American hotdogs, either. The texture of the buns (and, again they are a little sweet) and the taste of the dogs just doesn't do it for me. I'd rather have a susage butty with English mustard.

      We will not mention American bacon. You cannot make a proper bacon sandwich with streaky. A BLT, perhaps, but that isn't a proper sandwich.

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      AV .

      The best BBQ I ever had was down in Memphis, TN. It was dry rub and not sweet at all. If you ever want to take a nice trip, go to Memphis in May. They have a big barbeque competition along the Mississippi River and it lasts several days. Plus, you can make a trip to Graceland, the home of Elvis! :^0

      The best hot dogs ever are Windmill Hot Dogs from the Jersey Shore. They have a natural beef casing and taste very fresh. They're so big, you could probably just eat two of them and be stuffed.

      AV

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      CharlieSpencer

      In most of the country, barbecue usually means beef. In the southeastern US (the old Confederacy), 'barbeque' always means pork. The dressed hog is slow smoked over wood at a relatively low temperature for 16 hours or more. (If you can't smell the wood, go somewhere else.) Leaving the skin on results in the meat being at least partially self-basting. While the meat may be basted during cooking, sauce is applied lightly if at all. For retail operations, the meat is then pulled off, hence the term 'pulled pork'. It should come off in shreds with minimal effort,

      For social gatherings, the entire carcass is presented skin-side down, open cavity up, and you pick your own meat off (what we call a "pig pickin' "; -never- "pig pickinG"). Pig pickin's are very popular across the social spectrum: family reunions, sporting events, horse races, business conferences, etc. One governor even substituted barbeque competitions for his formal inaugural dances, inviting caterers from various parts of the state.

      Why various parts of the state? In South Carolina alone there are four different sauces, each preferred by a different geographic region in the state, usually applied after cooking is complete.

      http://strangemaps.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/scbbq.jpg

      Note how these regions run over into the surrounding states. Arguments over which is best can reach or exceed the intensity of those about sports teams. At the map shows, the sauces include ketchup-based (that overly-sweet stuff neilb disdains), tomato-based (different from ketchup; either tomato juice or diluted tomato sauce), mustard-based (introduced by SC's original German colonists), and vinegar and pepper. The first three vary from sweet to tart, depending on the proportions of vinegar to sweetener (brown sugar or molasses). I prefer the last, and neilb might like it too. It's apple cider or white vinegar, with black and / or red pepper and other spices and minimal / no sweetener. It's also easier to use as a baste, since it doesn't have any sugars to burn. Obviously it's a thin sauce, requires being shaken frequently, and a little goes a long way. In my opinion, it doesn't hide the meat the way the often-too-thick versions of the other sauces do. Mustard-based is okay if it doesn't overwhelm the meat, but I avoid the tomato- or ketchup-based styles. If you want to try any of them, here are recipes:

      http://www.discoversouthcarolina.com/see-do/food/flavors/maincourses/barbeque/default.aspx

      Rumor has it that in Tennessee they have a mayonnaise-based sauce, but you could serve them rednecks a deep-fried rat's *** in Lea & Perrins and they wouldn't know any better.

      Most towns of at least 3000 people have at least one barbeque 'joint', even if they're too small to have one of the national fast-food franchises. These place are usually only open on the weekends, as the proprietor works another job full-time, often in a traditional agricultural occupation. He or she may start the pigs cooking on Thursday evening, then check it a couple of times and add more wood before going to work Friday. By the time Friday afternoon rolls around, other part-time employees (often family members) have prepared side dishes* and the meat is ready. Depending on the popularity, that's when it's time to start the next set of hogs for Saturday and Sunday. In the bigger cities, most operations will run all week, but even they usually run only one or a few restaurants; even the largest has only a half-dozen or so. Still, many of these family operations are known throughout the region. Those better known outfits often supplement their restaurant income by bottling their sauces and wholesaling them to national grocery stores operating in the region. Operations of all sizes usually run catering services too; some bring in more money that way than through retail operations.

      In short, the word 'barbecue' means different things in different parts of the country, even in different parts of the same state.

      *Don't get me started on the typical traditional side dishes; that's a complete discussion of its own.

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      AV .

      I'm really not the barbecue chef in my house, but we usually use Cider Vinegar to baste our barbecue while its cooking. Sometimes we use dry rubs, other times its more of a wet sauce, just premade stuff, like Stubbs spicy and Saucy Susan if we want it sweeter. We customize it.

      If you have good meat, its always good no matter what you put on it.

      AV

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      CharlieSpencer

      Which is a nice way of saying, "Damn, I thought he'd never shut up!"

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      CharlieSpencer

      It can't be any worse than the gastronomic atrocities committed here annually in the name of St. Patrick.

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      Shellbot

      Do they do much "irish" food there for Paddy's day?

      Well, the mini- burgers were meatballs on wee small buns with a tangy salsa on them, quite tasty actually. The popcorn chicken was randomly sized chicken chunks, sans coating, with a herby/sweet chilli marinade, edible but definitely not popcorn chicken! The hot dogs were almost hot dogs, but without any toppings.. who the heck eats dry hot dogs?? There was a cheese sauce for the nachos which vaguely tasted of something, but I can't put my finger on it.. I dipped my hot dog into it.

      Anywho's, it was a bit of fun and out of 10 races, i didn't win once. 40 bucks down the hole. This is why I don't gamble!!

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      CharlieSpencer

      and put green food coloring in American beers.

      Small hamburgers ('sliders') have become popular in the last few years. They're found either as appetizers, or as entrees of two or three paired with a salad or four with fries / chips / other greasy salted julienned potato side dish. Most of them aren't much bigger than flattened meatballs, even smaller than those served by White Castle, the chain that I suspect inspired these mini-imitators. Now they're showing up as chicken, barbeque, and even crabcake variants.

      I don't like my chicken coated / breaded so the chicken bits sound pretty good, depending on how the chicken was cooked. If it was grilled I'd be all over it; fried, not so much.

      Hot dogs? Mustard is mandatory, almost anything else is acceptable. I like a coarsely chopped, medium-heat salsa and shredded cheddar, myself.

      In the U.S. we have a variety of restaurants serving supposedly ethnic cuisines. My wife and I occasionally speculate about what an "American restaurant" in a foreign country would serve. Our list usually starts with fried chicken, pot roast, southern 'barbequed' pork (technically it's smoked), and apple pie.

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      Shellbot

      Here when a restaurant refers to havfing "American" food, its the burger / wings thing. Think TGI Fridays. We are getting places doing pulled pork now, have yet to try it though. I suspect its not like the real thing.

      Apple pie. Yes. If you ever venture to this side of the world, please do not ever ever order apple pie. Ever. Even IF it says "american style". They are lieing. Its always a very sweet thick heavy butter based shortcrust, light and flaky is not something they do this side of the world. The filling is generally some tasteless concoction of stewed apple (aka apple puree) with a few chunks in it. In a better one you might actually have some identifiable apple peices. Spices are not used, other than maybe a couple whole cloves in a posh place.

      Think cheap tin of store bought apple pie filling with 1/2 the taste removed

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      aidemzo_adanac

      You are that fat, hairy guy I saw on TV who won the BBQ pulled pork competition ? He had a 4 day rub, a 16 hour cook and, while I am sure it tasted absolutely fantastic, that's just too much work for food.

      Tie a bit to a Canadian goose next time it craps on your lawn and send it back to me, they are homing geese, right?

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      jck

      Never been to Rendezvous in Memphis, TN...or anywhere else with quality BBQ.

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      maxwell edison

      I grew up with the stuff

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      AV .

      I'd love to have a recipe for that. We are pulled pork challenged here in NJ. Are you willing to tell?

      AV

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      maxwell edison

      I won't debate which is the best BBQ restaurant in the USA. I actually think such claims are rather silly, since it presupposes the one doing the claiming has sampled every BBQ restaurant in the USA.

      Making BBQ at one's own home versus going out to one of the many fine establishments in various parts of the country are two different things. The huge smokers, the hickory wood, and so on are restaurant luxuries not available in most kitchens or backyards.

      To answer your question, I've been to Memphis many times. I grew up in Kansas City, arguably the home of the best BBQ in America. "The Best of the best" changes every year, you know, depending on who's doing the judging. The current year's best is a mere half mile from the house in which I grew up.

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      aidemzo_adanac

      I went to the air show, if I remember right it was somewhere near Beaulieu (great car museum near Hampshire) about 5 years ago and figured I'd TRY a hot dog. It was literally inedible, two bites and I almost hurled. Ketchup, is tomato sauce and absolutely cringe worthy. I can still recall the taste in my mouth when I think of the tomato taste, not a nice fresh tomato taste but like thick Clamato spewed on top.

      Trick to gambling, especially at the track (all hail the racetrack, "hail, hail, hail" ), is to never take more money with you than you are willing to lose.

      I take enough for a couple of beers at the track, and usually a 12 pack for the parking lot, enough to bet the first four races and ,if I win, I stay, if I lose, I go home and it only cost me an acceptable bet amount. $40-$50 usually. Hey, $50 for a day out isn't too bad these days either.

      The way I see it, I could go to the pub and spend twice that, I could go to a club and spend three times that, I could take out some broad and **** cash on her all day hoping it will pan out, I can even spend $40 going to a f MOVIE! In all of the above cases, I have absolutely ZERO chance of getting the money back that I spend, not a hope, it can't be done. Unless the broad caves in and figures I was worth paying for it.

      At the race track, I visit with friends, we have a STUNNING mountain view from the trackside, lots of gorgeous women to ogle and creep out, watch a few races and there's a CHANCE you get your money back or even make some on top.

      It's a pretty good deal when it's in perspective. Dog racing though, crap shoot, too short, hard as **** top handicap, I hate the look of greyhounds etc. Just doesn't cut it in my books anyway.

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      CharlieSpencer

      I walk in with X dollars.

      When it's gone or I've doubled my money, I get up.

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      Shellbot

      its not my thing.
      I sometimes place a bet on the Grand National over in the UK when its on, but other than a few lotto tickets here and there, I never waste money on it.
      I never win, and I know I'm never going to win, so any money I put into it is just going to go down a big black hole.

      I took 60 to the track, spent most of it. It was money I earmarked for be thrown into a black hole :)

      My parents started gambling a few years back..its not good. Thankfully I'm not the sort to chase the "win". I once spent 5 bucks in a casino, most boring 30 mins of my life!

      Hot dogs, well, growing up poor they were considered a food group, and so was ketchup.

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      CharlieSpencer

      I played once or twice a year when I was in the National Guard, and haven't played since I got out in '02.

      Otherwise, I don't buy lottery tickets. I've only purchased two scratch cards, and both of those were "guaranteed winners". If you didn't get a cash prize, your $1 at least yieldes a coupon for a $4 at the local aquarium. Guess where I was going that day?

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      NickNielsen Moderator

      Sitting in a Waffle House, eating lunch, between priority 1 call-outs.

      Brats & sauerkraut for supper, though!

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      aidemzo_adanac

      Atta boy, a good ole American BBQ! LOL

      Being British, it would be blasphemy for me to do so on....a bank holiday?!? No Independence day there. Not even global colonization day!

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      aidemzo_adanac

      No, not '4th of July, yuck!' But I figure a Special Friday Yuk is due, on the USA's 237th anniversary of Independence.

      Safe enough to share with the kids too!

      What did one flag say to the other flag?
      Nothing. It just waved!

      Teacher: “Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?”
      Student: “On the bottom!”

      Do they have a 4th of July in England?
      Yes. That’s how they get from the 3rd to the 5th.

      What did Washington ask as he crossed the Delaware?
      "How much did the reserved seats cost?"

      What does the Statue of Liberty stand for?
      It can’t sit down.

      Teacher: Why did Washington chop down the cherry tree with a hatchet?
      Student: Because he couldn’t find the chain saw.


      Okay okay, I know they are absolutely DREADFUL and I left out the ones that were puns on founders names. But there are not a lot of 4th of July jokes it seems, so there ya have it.

      Don't drink and drive, careful with the fireworks and enjoy the day with your loved ones.

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      aidemzo_adanac

      Otherwise they'd be lighting freedomcrackers.

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      jck

      Something funny I had show to me on the holiday. This came out after Dubya was re-elected back in 2004. Not written by Cleese, but still good for a laugh.

      ===================

      A Message from John Cleese to the citizens of the United States of America.

      In light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA
      and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (excepting Kansas, which she does not fancy).

      Your new prime minister, Tony Blair, will appoint a governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed. To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

      You should look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up "aluminium", and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'favour' and 'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters, and the suffix "-ize" will be replaced by the suffix "-ise". Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (Look up vocabulary). Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication.

      There is no such thing as US English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of '-ize'.

      You will relearn your original national anthem, God Save the Queen.

      July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

      You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

      All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

      The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline)-roughly $6/US gallon. Get used to it.

      You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

      The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.

      Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie MacDowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.

      You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full Kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies). Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable.

      You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.

      An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's
      Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).


      Thank you for your co-operation

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      CharlieSpencer

      Quoting from Weird Al's "Stop Forwarding That Crap To Me",
      "I just can't believe you believe those urban legends,
      But I have high hopes someone will point you toward Snopes
      And debunk that crazy junk you're spewing constantly."

      So here's the pointer:

      http://www.snopes.com/politics/satire/revocation.asp

      Oh, and here's the tune. I think of it every time I find something from my father in my inbox:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCSA7kKNu2Y

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      jck

      It was about the humor in it...and I made the point to debunk it was from Cleese before I quoted it.

      Jeez...deep breath...relax.

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      CharlieSpencer

      I was trying to expand on your non-attribution, not deride it. Sorry it my intent didn't come across.

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      aidemzo_adanac

      Like it though, rather pithy.

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      jck

      I got a chuckle out of it...made me laugh...especially since so many people in this country are tied up in their sports and food traditions...and if you speak against those institutions, you become a scum-sucking Nazi communist who wants to make the world evil. lol

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      aidemzo_adanac

      NASCAR sucks and is boring. "Turn left, keep your foot down, turn left, keep your foot down, turn left keep your foot down, you are out of gas, PIT! Okay, now turn left, keep your foot down, turn left, keep your foot down."

      or

      American football, 35, 48, 54, hike! (whistle ****)
      72, 53, 98 Hike, (whistle ****)

      Players are enourmous and hit hard, you can hear the kevlar body armour smashing as they make contact, compared to Aussie rules football or rugby where you hear bones crunching as hey make contact.

      Or basketball, where the entire game can be played in 8 minutes really, the preceding 3 hours are just back and forth 'pumpkin slapping' and showboating, all for a 6 point spread in a game with 100 points.

      or if you suggest that America needs to enact a law to protect people, it is the same as instantly offering the government the ability to walk in and inspect your underwear drawer.

      As a Canadian / British Expat, I am the epitome of a socialist, left wing, tree hugger, however i have never voted democrat, don't support MOST of the extreme left that democrats here do and in fact am far more conservative than people care to recognize.

      But you have to accept that, sometimes, it's a result of limited education, lack or a real thought process and sheer ignorance that promote such falsely assumed titles.

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      lee.koo Staff

      test one more time

      happy August!