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Thread: Trivial (or not so trivial) stuff that makes you happy.

  1. #5341
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    ... the name of a particular kind of vaguely breadlike foodstuff ... Irish ...
    Which reminded me, I saw an article that said an Irish court has ruled that Subway bread has too high a sugar content to be considered "bread" for tax purposes.

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  2. #5342
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Which reminded me, I saw an article that said an Irish court has ruled that Subway bread has too high a sugar content to be considered "bread" for tax purposes.
    Yes. They stopped short of classifying it as "cake", unfortunately.
    A while back, in some other discussion, I said I'd never been to a Subway, and then recalled that I'd been to one in Nome, but had a complete blank in my memory about the experience. But the Irish court decision (about whether Subway bread was a "staple food" or not) brought back a vivid memory of my wife standing in the street, having pulled a bit of bread off her Subway sandwich, saying, "What on earth is this stuff?"

    On the shortbread theme, I always think of shortbread when someone, usually riled up about the status of Pluto, makes some argument of the form "How can a dwarf planet not be a planet?" The contention is that, in the English language, something with a name of the form [adjective noun] must always be a member of the class [noun]. There are so many counterexamples it's difficult to know where to start with that one, but shortbread seems to be the one that always pops into my head. It's like bread in some important ways, but it isn't bread.

    Grant Hutchison

  3. #5343
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Well, shortbread has its origin in twice-baked bread, just with a dollop of butter that gives it its characteristic taste and mouthfeel. So "shortbread" is the name of a particular kind of vaguely breadlike foodstuff, not a particular kind of cookie. It comes in various traditional shapes, included a rather big flat round object you'd be hard-pressed to call a cookie. And while it can be made into cookie-sized objects, in Scotland these are known by their shapes--so you have a shortbread round or a shortbread finger, not a shortbread biscuit (which would be our equivalent of your cookie). If offering someone one of these you'd say, "Would you like a piece of shortbread?"

    I don't know what a Danish butter cookie is, sorry. I do know the Danes produce something largely equivalent to Scottish shortbread.

    "Whiskey" is the Irish spelling, which was adopted in the USA. "Whisky" is the Scottish spelling. So it's Irish and American whiskey, but Scottish (and Japanese) whisky.

    Grant Hutchison
    When we first started getting Walker's at Costco they had at least one of those big flat round ones in the tin, scored to break into wedges. Now they just have individually baked wedges.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Danish butter cookies, at least in the United States, particularly the ones packaged in the blue tins. I have no clue if they actually have anything to Denmark, or if it is just a marketing thing or what. I like them
    Do not try Walker's. They are infinitely better, and again, I'm of Danish descent. Which leads to Torsten's problem....

    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    I think I've only ever had shortbread as small cookie-sized delights, and referred to only as shortbread. I can't have them in the house as any discipline I have evaporates upon tasting one.
    I had a severe lapse of shortbread discipline just last evening. I wasn't even hungry, having had a delicious burger but they are SO good!

    ETA: I just clicked on Grant's link to the Walkers site and the very first word I see is "Cookies". But the internet kind. Also, apparently there's no apostrophe in "Walkers". Kind of like McDonalds.

    ETAA: Their website has it both with and without the apostrophe!

    ETAAA: I swear I'll stop after this one! From a page of their US website:
    Made in the Highlands of Scotland, Walkers Shortbread cookies are made with just four basic natural ingredients: wheat flour, butter, sugar, and salt. You'll find our delicious cookies in a variety of recognizable shapes like Scottie Dogs, Triangles, Fingers and Rounds. Look for our famous tartan packaging to start tasting the difference today
    My bold, of course.
    Last edited by Trebuchet; 2020-Oct-09 at 12:05 AM.
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  4. #5344
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    ETAA: Their website has it both with and without the apostrophe!
    Yes, they call themselves Walker's, but they trademarked the Walkers logo. It's one of those "internet search" things, I think.

    Grant Hutchison

  5. #5345
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    ETAA: Their website has it both with and without the apostrophe!
    Yes, they call themselves Walker's, but they trademarked a Walkers logo that's used on all their products.
    There's also an English snack food company called Walkers, with its own logo, who use the walkers.co.uk domain name, so the Scottish Walker's is marginalized to walkersshortbread.com.

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2020-Oct-09 at 01:39 AM.

  6. #5346
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    ... I had a severe lapse of shortbread discipline just last evening. I wasn't even hungry, having had a delicious burger but they are SO good! ...
    I have occasionally wondered if you eat anything other than burgers. Question answered! :-)
    Measure once, cut twice. Practice makes perfect.

  7. #5347
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    On the shortbread theme, I always think of shortbread when someone, usually riled up about the status of Pluto, makes some argument of the form "How can a dwarf planet not be a planet?" The contention is that, in the English language, something with a name of the form [adjective noun] must always be a member of the class [noun]. There are so many counterexamples it's difficult to know where to start with that one, but shortbread seems to be the one that always pops into my head. It's like bread in some important ways, but it isn't bread.
    I think there are many, many examples of words in the form like shortbread that are not proper adjective noun pairs. Another that comes to mind is a high-hat, which isn't a hat at all, but a cymbal. But I think that in those cases it's common for the word to be written as a single word or at least with a hyphen. Usually I would think that if it's written as two words, it is indeed an adjective modifying a noun. But I could be wrong, maybe there are examples of things written as two separate words that are not actually modifying the noun.
    As above, so below

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I think there are many, many examples of words in the form like shortbread that are not proper adjective noun pairs. Another that comes to mind is a high-hat, which isn't a hat at all, but a cymbal. But I think that in those cases it's common for the word to be written as a single word or at least with a hyphen. Usually I would think that if it's written as two words, it is indeed an adjective modifying a noun. But I could be wrong, maybe there are examples of things written as two separate words that are not actually modifying the noun.
    Shortbread was, of course, originally "short bread", and then "short-bread", before it became "shortbread". That's a pretty common evolutionary process.

    Grant Hutchison

  9. #5349
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    Quote Originally Posted by pzkpfw View Post
    I have occasionally wondered if you eat anything other than burgers. Question answered! :-)
    Since I figured out how to make them so delicious, we do have them frequently. But not two nights in a row.

    ETA: And I don't have them other than at home any more, having been spoiled by mine.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  10. #5350
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    I will say it's a rare Scot on The Great British Bake-Off who doesn't do shortbread for Biscuit Week. Several have said they feel it's expected of them.
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  11. #5351
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    Well, I’ll look for Walker’s shortbread whatevers the next time I am at the store to try them out. Presumably they are in the specialty cookie section. Then maybe I’ll get a big thing at Costco if I really like them.

    Something that makes me happy: After I retired, my sleep schedule got mixed up, to the point I ended up with a vampire schedule (awake all night, sleeping during the day) although it wasn’t steady. I naturally tend not to be a morning person anyway, but this was ridiculous. I wanted to fix it without sleep medicine and managed to shift my schedule forward bit by bit so that it is fairly normal now and seems to be fairly steady. I make a point of not staying up later reading, watching something or lose time playing a game (as I easily can do if I don’t think about it).

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  12. #5352
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    Neither me or my wife wanted to cook tonight, as all of the kids were out. My wife said, "I could eat anything. Maybe a Whopper or some chicken McNuggets." My brain locked up. I haven't had that junk in a while and I really don't want to start again.

    I got us a serving of pad thai, coconut shrimp and I found a new favorite, Holy Basil Pork. It was only half again as expensive as Burger King or McDonalds, but we have leftovers for lunch or breakfast, if I can't wait for lunch. I figure if it is two meals for two, then that's close to the price of a fast food joint.

    It all take out, so I can't get my usual soup. It's not that they don't serve it, but that they only make so much per day and it's usually gone by dinner time.
    Solfe

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    My family had friends over (after certifying that they were "safe" to do so) and we played a hilarious game of Charades. Several times we were left red-faced and teary with belly laughs over stuff that we would have probably considered goofy and perhaps dumb before 2020.

    It's been a long, long time since we've had that. An evening well spent.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  14. #5354
    Got my first haircut since the pandemic started, had to a different place the I usually do. Plus I picked some supplies, now since it is suppose to rain for a day, it can rain cats and dogs and I don't care.
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  15. #5355
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    I have called the clinic where I used to get my therapy; I have an intake appointment on the phone Thursday.
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    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  16. #5356
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    Mrs. Extravoice coincidentally picked up a small box of “Walker’s shortbread rounds”.
    Tasty, but I don’t think I could eat too many in one seating; they contain a serious quantity of butter.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  17. #5357
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    I, on the other hand, have been known to consume a whole tray from the big tin at one sitting!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  18. #5358
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    My wife, daughter, and I voted yesterday. We chose to try the drive through method since it allows you to wait in comfort and only come into contact with one other person.

    The process was smooth and well-handled. Cars were directed to the mail-in ballot drop box, the in-person voting area, or the drive through as necessary. We were directed to one of several lines of waiting cars, then into a voting shelter, presented our IDs, and were given a tablet to cast our votes. That last took the most time as only one of us could vote at a time. We arrived at 6:30, the polls opened at 7:00 and we were through at 7:28.

    As we were leaving, a police officer at the exit waved his hand and pointed the direction to exit (on to a one way street). Since this took place in the NRG Stadium parking lot, our daughter felt he should have used one of those big foam fingers.
    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.
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    You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don’t alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views.
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  19. #5359
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    On the day it arrived, I don't think my ballot was under my roof for more than a hour before I had marked it up and delivered it to the nearest drop-box.

  20. #5360
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    I voted by mail as the adults in my family are all in the vulnerable category. No taking chances.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  21. #5361
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selenite View Post
    On the day it arrived, I don't think my ballot was under my roof for more than a hour before I had marked it up and delivered it to the nearest drop-box.
    Same for me, sort of. Since I live outside the country, I have always voted by mail. Usually it stays on the table for a while before I get around to sending it, but this time I did it promptly and due to concerns about postal delays, I went to the embassy and put it in their drop-box.
    As above, so below

  22. #5362
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    We used a drop box that was specially set up due to the pandemic. We were able to obtain confirmation of receipt a couple days later, which is a nice feature.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  23. #5363
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    One nice aspect of having my ballot submitted early, is now when any of the political solicitation calls come in on the landline, robotic or otherwise, I can just chirp; "I voted already", and hang up on them.

    Trivial. But it makes me happy.

  24. #5364
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    I can't get used to the idea of relying on the mail for anything that matters. I have a history of things I had no choice but to count on disappearing that way. For example, the first time I was supposed to take the ACT (a test Americans take in high school as part of getting into a college/university) didn't happen because my registration form vanished. In another case, a potential employer that I had applied for a job at mailed me my invitation to interview for it, which I did receive... six months after the interview was supposed to happen. And there are one or two dozen more like that, most of which I don't even remember the details of anymore because it was so normal.

    I gather that the overall rate of such occurrences is actually pretty low, or people wouldn't be suggesting it for elections in the first place, and if anyone did and experiences like mine were common, then there would be a huge "but we all know that doesn't work" backlash, which there isn't. In fact, there's been complete silence, as if I were the only person that anything like that ever happened to at all. So that tells me it's pretty reliable overall (and I don't mean just reliable at losing things, which I've been known to say before). But I just can't shake the deep urge to always seek out and use whatever alternative I can possibly find to avoid ever letting the Post Office touch anything that matters.

  25. #5365
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    I thought I'd had the first incidence in my life of losing something I'd sent through the mail happen last month, but it was just delayed by literally about three weeks. My state has been voting by mail for years now, and we don't have an issue of ballots' getting lost. And we know that even after we instituted a website where you can check to see that a submitted ballot has been received.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  26. #5366
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I thought I'd had the first incidence in my life of losing something I'd sent through the mail happen last month, but it was just delayed by literally about three weeks. My state has been voting by mail for years now, and we don't have an issue of ballots' getting lost. And we know that even after we instituted a website where you can check to see that a submitted ballot has been received.
    We’ve had trouble with anything that looks like a birthday card. I suppose such mailings are tempting as A) they often contain gift cards and B) the recipient might not notice its disappearance.

    My spouse has taken to over wrapping such items in a less conspicuous envelope.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  27. #5367
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    My wife and I had the option to vote by mail. (We surrendered the ballots when we voted drive-thru.) Harris County has a way to track your ballot on-line. Or we could have dropped the ballots in one of a dozen drop boxes in the county, until our governor reduced ballot drop boxes to one per county. We chose drive-thru because our daughter needed to vote and that way worked for all of us.
    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.
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    You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don’t alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views.
    Doctor Who

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  28. #5368
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    The drop box closest to us is at a fire station that's undergoing remodeling, but their box is out on the sidewalk, and I got my traditional pictures of the kids putting the ballots in the box.

    Meanwhile, it may be cold and rainy outside, but I have one cat on my lap and the other curled up next to me.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  29. #5369
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Meanwhile, it may be cold and rainy outside, but I have one cat on my lap and the other curled up next to me.
    I once considered naming a kitten “Hotpad” but decided not to - I didn’t really want neighbors to hear me calling for a hotpad (and I had decided “Heatingpad” or “Lapwarmer” were too cumbersome). Lap warming is one of their more useful functions, as long as they are lapcats.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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  30. #5370
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    Come to think of it, maybe “Heater” would work.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

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