Archive for the ‘friends’ Category

Wednesday real-life miscellany

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

BlogHer has an article on Why You Should Run Your Life Like a Business; namely, on why prioritizing and scheduling are ways to live a more effective, enjoyable life.

I wonder if Megan McArdle cooks and cleans in her own kitchen, which she’s now remodeling. Instapundit quotes her post, Stainless Steel and Granite: The Harvest Gold of the Future?

…as the mania for huge kitchens grew unabated, everyone started thinking of stainless steel as generically upscale. And so it became a moderately pricey option on otherwise downscale appliances. (I have to assume that it does not actually cost more to put a steel sheath on your appliance, since steel is presumably what the appliances are made of). Now everyone but the very cheapest landlords has stainless steel, and laminate and various composites and synthetics do a very passable imitation of granite.

My understanding of the luxury cycle is that as soon as everyone can afford a decent replica of high-priced items, the replicated qualities become outre. By that metric, stainless steel and granite have to be on their way out; the only thing more ubiquitous in the American kitchen is the George Foreman grill.

What Megan doesn’t realize is that stainless is exactly that, it remains stain-free after a thorough cleaning, unlike the “harvest gold” appliances of the title (and white appliances). Granite, while initially expensive, doesn’t burn and is extremely tough, unlike Corian, Formica, and other “laminate and various composites and synthetics”. Granite is also easy to sanitize.

So it’s not so much a fad, it’s a matter of practicality. By the way, the most impractical stone countertop material is white marble. Your children will inherit those stains.

Speaking of cooking, Suzette has a recipe for lemon cake. She also buys her handbags from Handbag Heaven, “handbags starting at $10. All under $85″, which means Cristina Fernandez is not among her customers.

Jane’s making grilled cheese sandwiches. My favorite version of a grilled cheese sandwich involves semolina bread, fresh tomatoes picked at their peak in the summer, Swiss cheese, and butter: butter on both sides of the bread and on the pan.

After you’re done running your life like a business, cooking the lemon cake and grilled cheese, cleaning your stainless and granite, and admiring your new handbag, there’s time for a little wine. Mr. Bingley, who is a fabulous cook (and Claude’s pack leader), buys his at Costco. Denny has more Fine Wine suggestions.

Political blogging shall resume shortly.


Fabulous feasting…

Monday, January 17th, 2011

at Mr & Mrs Bingley!

This was the appetizer,

(click on the photo to see the rest of the menu)

It only got better from there, and it was a magnificent feast, with wonderful hosts and great company, Suzette, Jim, Gregor and RealJeffS.

It was a real pleasure and a true honor!


What did we talk about during dinner?

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

A couple of people saw this picture yesterday,

and asked, “What did you all talk about during dinner?”

Joy fills you in on the coversation,

We had a great discussion about New Media, the winds of political change, and (over the second bottle of wine) the sartorial disaster that is the First Lady of the United States. (Here, I pointed out that I held off for months after last year’s inaugeration on that one, not wanting to diss the wife of our Commander-in-Chief. But the ghastly choices she makes eventually burst the dam of my reluctance, and last night I was the cattiest one by far.)

Speaking of the CIC, during a discussion of daily prayer it was pointed out that he should be on our prayer lists, for several reasons—but two in particular. (That is, because he is our Chief Executive, and because we don’t care much for the way he’s handling the job. A political adversary counts as an “enemy” for the purposes of prayer. So you know what to do.)

She also makes a connection between Vanderleun and free-market capitalism, which you must go read.

(From left to right in the photo, Juliette, Joy, Fausta, Ginny, Kate.)

Unrelated to the subject, Gerard has honed his “Standard Apology for 21st Century Schmucks” for Tiger Woods. (Did we talk about Tiger Woods during dinner? For all I know we did, but after my third or fourth glass of wine…)

Obama might involve Iran in Afghanistan plans, and other posts from friends & FIHMY

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Report: Obama Seeks Iranian Assistance In Afghanistan:

The Obama Administration is already considering talks, without preconditions, with the Iranian Regime.
…The same regime that has been killing our soldiers for the last 5 years in Iraq.

But before they even take office, they couldn’t even keep themselves from leaking details of Obama’s confidential conversation with President Bush.

I was talking to Friend I Haven’t Met Yet (FIHMY) Obi’s Sister, who’s suitably angry over the leak, which had to come from Obama himself, as there were no aides present during the conversation.

Scrappleface pokes some humor at the meeting, At White House, Obama Links Laura to George W. Bush

Friend I’ve Met Neo-neocon says By Obama’s appointments shall ye know him

Then again, there’s Jamie Gorelick. Another rumor has been circulating that she might be Obama’s choice for Attorney General. It’s hard to think of a worse one, although with effort it could be done.

Gorelick has a Zelig-esque history of association with disastrous epidsodes. From the erection of the firewall between the CIA and the FBI in the 90s (see this post for my in-depth study of the lengthy history leading up to that decision), to the debacle at Fannie Mae, to defending Duke against the lacrosse players it had so maligned, Gorelick has been on the wrong side of so many issues it would hardly seem humanly possible that she could still be on a list for consideration for a Cabinet post. And yet there she presumably is.

If Obama appoints Gorelick to the AG post, or John Kerry as Secretary of State (well, why not—after all, the institution is known as “foggy bottom”), that would tell us something about Obama, and it would not be good.

Add to that Jon Corzine, and you really got a real mess.

From Ed: Surprise: FEC plans to audit McCain’s campaign funds — but probably not Obama’s

Roger Kimball looks at Utopia Limited

Obamania may be a harmless enthusiasm that will spend itself naturally in the coming weeks. Then again, its “spread-the-wealth-around,” egalitarian tendencies may presage something far graver. It’s just possible that Obama actually believes what he says about redistributing wealth and sitting down for cozy chats with dictators, etc. In that case, the country is in for a very rude awakening. I think that is what worries Hitchens. It worries me, too.

James Pethokoukis, who’s been in Larry Kudlow’s CNBC show this week, explains why he believes Why Obama Looks Like a One Termer. With appointees like Gorelick, Kerry and Corzine, Obama will be!

Tonight at 8PM Eastern I’ll be in Rick Moran‘s podcast. Rick, who I met at the RNC, has an excellent post where he asks,WILL THE HARD LEFT PUSH OBAMA OVER A CLIFF? and payback time.

Then there’s the very high expectations, too. Jeremayakovka has a post on Black Democrat Warns Against Unrealistic Expectations

In other subject, King Banaian looks at the Minnesota senate vote count and asks, Maybe that’s three typos #mnrecount


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Friends with videos, and shoes!

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

Two of my most handsome friends are now on video: Erik Svane and TigerHawk.

First, Erik Svane explains Sarah Palin to his cat:

Also from Erik, Obama on the Subject of Fox News: A Complaint or a Threat? and Who Are the Fascists and/or the Neo-Fascists and/or the Fascist Sympathizers?, with this video (no, Erik is not in this one):

Ayers, to this day, is unrepentant about his role as a Weatherman.


TigerHawk inagurates TigerHawk TV,

and explains the financial crisis:


A Friend I Haven’t Met Yet, Francis Porretto, needs help with a pair of shoes:
He bought two pairs of a gorgeous style, and I would buy the second pair but they’re too large for me. Any ladies who wear size 10 please email him.

Francis has included me on a list of beautiful tall women, for which he has earned my eternal gratitude.
And I didn’t have to slip him a $50!


As long-term readers of this blog know, I frequently post about movies on Sunday mornings. Yes, it has nothing to do with the friends above, but here it is:

Today Turner Classic Movies was playing The Scarlet Pimpernel, where Leslie Howard recites these beautiful lines,

This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

Here he is, in the final 10 minutes of the film,

The Scarlet Pimpernel was hugely successful, so there was a Loony Tunes version starring Daffy Dumas Duck,


More blogging later today.


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Thank you Steve!

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

Last night we had the pleasure of having dinner with charming and hansome Steve Graham of Hog on Ice, author of the funniest and most delicious cookbook ever to hit the stands. Steve brought his delicious brownies, and my whole family loves them.

You’ve GOT to try his cheesecake: just take a look at the picture. Steve says,

Food is a lot like women. The most attractive women aren’t the perfect ones. The most attractive women have a lot of good features, plus one or two things that make them look “possible.” If a woman looks so great you know you have no shot, she tends to become invisible.

Buy the book!

UPDATE, Sunday 29 June
Welcome, Protein Wisdom readers. You’re going to love Steve’s excellent cookbook.


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Double Thanks for the Thinking Blogger Award

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

The lovely Spanish Punditand Blog For Cuba have honored me with a Thinking Blogger Award!

I am truly thankful to have such wonderful friends. Their continued support inspires me every day.

According to Spanish Pundit, the rules are

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award” with a link to the post that you wrote.

Since the Nice Matters Award was for women bloggers, now it’s time for the guys:

1. Siggy, for his blog and for his invaluable support and help with my podcasts.

2. Ed Morrissey, for his excellent blog and for being a true friend.

3. GM Roper, because his posts make me laugh and think.

4. Rob Bluey for his blog, for his support, and for his work at the Heritage Foundation, which is an invaluable source of well-researched, well-explained information in all economic matters affecting our contry.

5. Jeremayakovka, for his excellent commentary on arts and politics.

And guys, you don’t have to link back. I just wanted to say Thanks.

Saturday in the big city

Sunday, February 4th, 2007

Right now it is 20 17F with winds of 30+ miles an hour, and the rest of the family’s away camping. The AccuWeather woman on TV says the wind chill is in the single digits. You better believe her.

Since the guys are away and I don’t have to keep an eye on their schedules, yesterday I headed to New York to meet some friends. I had a wonderful time.

Right after I got to Penn Station I took the subway to the 79th street station and walked to Sarabeth’s Kitchen on 80th and Amsterdam. It was as cold as it is now. I was bundled well enough that the wind didn’t cut through the layers but my skin was suffering.

Where’s that global warming when I need it?

At Sarabeth’s I had an early lunch with Allyson Rowen Taylor, who’s working with Stand With Us. Allyson gave me some excellent materials to read, and the Israel, Small Country, Big Ideas CD. Stand With Us has developed a high school curriculum, Israel 101, which should be a must-teach at every high school in the country.

Later in the conversation, Allyson asked, “how do you explain George Soros?” I haven’t blogged much about George Soros but have been reading about George Soros since back in the days before he triggered the collapse of the British pound in 1992. Over the years I have reached the conclusion that Soros is an enemy of our country, after hearing statements like this (h/t Larwyn)

After asserting that the United States is recognizing the error it made in Iraq, Soros said, “To what extent it recognizes the mistake will determine its future.” He went on to say that Turkey and Japan are still hurt by a reluctance to admit to dark parts of their history, and contrasted that reluctance to Germany’s rejection of its Nazi-era past. “America needs to follow the policies it has introduced in Germany,” Soros said. “We have to go through a certain de-Nazification process.”

I considered Allyson’s question and honestly said that I can not explain Soros at all.

The wind and cold weather have been killing my thin skin so after we finished our meal I headed to Saks 5th Avenue looking for some high-octane moisturizer. A charming gentleman named Greg sold me a bottle of Steven Victor MD Miracle Serum and after an application my chapped skin felt wonderful.

More on that in a minute.

In the afternoon I had lunch with Mary and Judith at the Museum of Modern Art.

I’m a member of the MoMA because it’s a great place to meet with friends when I’m in town. The museum is easily accessible for NJ commuters, the food is good, the portions are mercifully small, and you can carry a conversation indoors, or, when weather allows (definitely NOT yesterday) outdoors.

We talked about their trip to Lebanon and Israel.

Mary has more guts on one knuckle than I have in my whole body. Last December she headed for Lebanon at Michael Totten‘s invitation. Michael’s a great guy and I’m very fond of him but as I said to him last year, they don’t make enough Valium for me to do what he does.

After Lebanon, Mary and Michael headed to Israel where they met with Judith, who shares my sentiment, to attend the Media as Theater of War, the Blogosphere, and the Global Battle for Civil Society conference in Hertzliya, on December 17-18, 2006. Judith, Mary and I talked about the conference. Read all their posts and follow their links. Judith and Mary are delightful and I always have a great time being with them.

I had to leave early because I wanted to take the express train and get home before 7PM – Saturday trains are fewer and slower than weekday trains and also more crowded. Saturday evening trains are rolling sardine cans that make stops to deliver milk. In the train I read the Israel 101 booklet and highly recommend it.

I got home and found that the postman had left a small box in the porch. I didn’t recall ordering anything and didn’t recognize the name, but I opened it, and found a package gift-wrapped in gold foil with a gold ribbon around it. It was from Leigh-Ann of Newstext, who sent me three three bars of Elite No Sugar Bittersweet Chocolate for signing up with Newstext. Thank you Leigh-Ann!

After having dinner and a shower I watched the Israel: Small Country, Big Ideas CD, and also recommend it highly – you can find it at Learn Then I started working on translation for Pajamas Media until it was bedtime. I applied more Miracle Serum.

Alas, when I woke up this morning I found that I’ve had an allergic reaction. Will have to call Greg tomorrow to tell him I’m returning the Miracle.

One of the things Allyson and I had talked about is how many friends we have lost because of differing points of view on the war. It is indeed great solace to share a day with such wonderful friends.

And the chocolate bars are great, too.


Remember how I thought the NYT had finally stopped delivery?


They delivered one today. Again.