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  1. Today
  2. ol_ironstomach

    Luggage and Suitcases

    Hear, hear.
  3. DonRocks

    Luggage and Suitcases

    The Tumi bag I have (had) was from probably 2005 - there you go. This is *exactly* why ongoing conversations about products are important <he says, while drinking a Bell'sTwo Hearted Ale, which is drinkable, but by no means "great" or even "pleasant">.
  4. ol_ironstomach

    Luggage and Suitcases

    What era/line was it from? Pre-2000, their bags were tough. Nowadays, I wouldn't spend the money on anything but their Alpha line, and IMHO the Briggs features are now better. ETA: I should clarify that I'm talking about B&R's "Baseline" line; their "Transcend" offerings seem to use similar fabrics, but lighter-duty frame construction.
  5. DonRocks

    Luggage and Suitcases

    Wow, just to offer up another perspective: My Tumi suitcase was awful - lightweight, impossibly flimsy, and the darned thing broke within two years in a couple of places. I'm willing to accept that it was an anomaly, but consistency is critical here (which is why I'm struggling with my Eagle Creek having snapped on one side of the handle after, perhaps, twenty trips).
  6. ol_ironstomach

    Luggage and Suitcases

    There's an old joke ("Questionable Answers for Job-Jocks") in which the interviewer asks "where do you want to be in 5 years?" and "what do you feel is most important to success in our firm?", and the newly-minted Booz Allen tyro's answer is, respectively, "in an airplane" and "a large suitcase". Among soft-sides, the classic heavy hitters are: Tumi and Hartmann, in part for their once-formidable worldwide customer service. I would add B&R. You won't necessarily find larger diameter wheels in this group, but they've always used better bearings, harder wearing fabrics, and provided better seam protection and scuff protection along the roller handle and lower rear frame. In the next tier, I'd say Travelpro, Eagle Creek, Victorinox, and many others. Then the better generics. Then the rest. YMMV.
  7. DonRocks

    Luggage and Suitcases

    Dave, I'm genuinely curious: What (soft-shell) line have you found that's more heavy-duty than Eagle Creek? The primary way I find my suitcase on the carousel (other than Magdelena having had put on a purple ribbon) is the size of the wheels, which are invariably the largest of the lot. That said, in full disclosure: The handle on my penultimate-largest bag had one side snap off, and is hanging by the other side - this is my one (and only) complaint with Eagle Creek. And it's a big one, because when you pay this much for luggage, it should last for at least ten years: This is the H2 of suitcases.
  8. ol_ironstomach

    Mid-Century Modern Furniture

    All good reccs. Donnelly's pieces will be in the finest condition, and priced to match. Modern Mobler is a personal favorite; the Georgia Ave location is larger, but I think they tend to put their most interesting wares out in the Kensington showroom, so you really do need to visit both. Peg Leg has to do a lot with a little space, and I think their acquisition style is more eclectic, but they also have a bunch of MCM tchotchkes that the other two don't carry at all. FWIW, should you find yourself in Atlanta GA, pay a visit to RetroPassion21. The owner buys MCM in Europe and ships containers over a few times a year. And while you won't find too many of the famous Danish makers that everyone else carries, she favors German and English MCM makers you probably won't find elsewhere. And other anonymous items that fit the bill. We loaded up on a couple of teak floor lamps very cheaply; they needed a bit of rewiring and refinishing but look great now. Sadly, Mid Century Salvage in Charlotte NC is apparently no more.
  9. ol_ironstomach

    Luggage and Suitcases

    I, for one, find myself liking Briggs & Riley more and more each time I acquire a piece. Once the poor man's substitute for Tumi, they keep evolving clever improvements to their bags, from the ratcheting expansion/compression system to the tethered piggyback strap, and are arguably the innovators in the category. Unlike Tumi, they've retained a lifetime repair policy across their line. The bags have become significantly lighter over the years, albeit at the cost of some toughness. If there's anything that annoys me, it's that the ratchet system cannot be rigidly locked into position to force an expanded bag to stay oversized to create airspace around fragile contents. My earliest piece, not quite 20 years old, is a fully-framesheeted tank of a rollaboard, and so long as I'm on a carrier with no carryon weight limit, it's my go-to for getting bottles home safely. +1 on Eagle Creek pieces. Their bags are a bit light-duty for my tastes, but their packing cubes and suit/shirt folders are still great for internal organization.
  10. DonRocks

    Bell's Beers

    I'm curious what you think of the finish of the Two Hearted Ale. It has a nice golden color, a citrus nose, an aggressively hopped mid-palate, and then ... ?
  11. TrelayneNYC

    New Orleans, LA

    That ancient copy of The Joy of Cooking sells for $200. It's the second printing and was issued in 1936. Pictured is a recipe for "pigs in potatoes".
  12. TrelayneNYC

    New Orleans, LA

    As you know, I collect vintage cookbooks and Kitchen Witch is on track to be my "go-to" store with Amber Unicorn in Las Vegas a close second.
  13. I was watching a baseball video from the Dead Ball Era, and noticed a brief glimpse of a vendor (presumably in Chicago) selling "Red Hot" sausages. You can catch a glimpse of this at around the 5:18 mark (look at the bottom-center of your screen, but don't blink, or you'll miss it). (I think it's pretty safe to say that Barry Bonds would have hit about 9,000 home runs had he played in the 1920s.)
  14. I was finally able to get the dry hot pot that I had desired last night. I asked the person who took my order for carryout (who is the guy who it seems like manages the place) about the spot next door. He said that they are in the process of building it out, but that it has taken longer than they anticipated with the normal delays from the county building inspectors. They are building a bigger kitchen (he explained that the current kitchen isn't big enough, that there is only one day's worth of refrigerator space. They will convert the rest of the space to a larger dining room, and will also build some party rooms. They plan to keep the current menu, but expand it slightly.
  15. Yankee Pier is owned by a company called Tastes on the Fly (get it?) - they have six food outlets at SFO. I went directly to Yankee Pier's website, clicked on "SFO," then "Contact," and tried to write the gentleman named Michael - the recipient's email bounced (although I note that the CEO's name is Michael). All of this means nothing, except that the email bounced.
  16. Yesterday
  17. dcandohio

    Dinner - The Polyphonic Food Blog

    Chicken tostadas with sharp cheddar cheese, tomatoes, homemade pickled red jalapenos and lettuce.
  18. Ferris Bueller

    Paid Parking Slowly Killing Reston Town Center?

    With State Grant, The College Board Expands Reston Town Center Footprint New Reston Hotel Approved By Board Of Supervisors The 138-room hotel will be situated at Lake Fairfax Business Park.
  19. Recovering from being caught in the storm(s) and flash flood, I am beginning dinner. It will be meatloaf barded with bacon, mashed potatoes with ramp (and pea shoot) butter, and steamed broccoli with hot pepper sesame oil. I was thinking of salad too, but I'm wet, cold, and feeling sorry for myself, and I've decided on an all hot meal.
  20. DonRocks

    Friday Afternoon Throwdown

    IPTEC O IPTAC
  21. What a great show!!!! For a REAL Cheers type hangout I really haven't had a serious bar hangout since Kitty O'Shea's closed in Arlington/Courthouse around 2011. It was a dive. I knew and was friendly with the owner, staff, and other patrons. I drank there in evenings and watched sports/ on Sundays plus some early morning Euro Soccer. I repeat...it was a dive. My kind of Cheers type place. Now I'm old...so beyond the typical Cheers type age range...but I've always enjoyed them. Fave Cheers type places over the years: The Beowulf at 20th and L downtown in DC till it closed in the early 80's, Turkey Joe's in Fells Point, and my home town joint, which I understand has customers my age...my old school mates and teammates that never moved far from that area; All sorts of dives....oh...and a special shout out during the latter 80's and into the 90's the Malt Shop above the Dancing Crab off Wisconsin Avenue. (boy my ex put a crimp on my hanging out at that dive)
  22. We were big fans and will really miss them (and will seek out their new location, hoping they won't go too far). They had interesting flavors (lucuma!) and good variety. On warm evenings, there were always happy people outside the shop eating gelato, including folks on benches and children in child-size chairs Boccato had out there. Always put me in a good mood walking by (and getting gelato there was a favorite way to end an evening). They were good neighbors to the neighborhood, too.
  23. TrelayneNYC

    Dining at Airports

    We were pleasantly surprised by one of the restaurants at SFO's Southwest Airlines terminal - a special of Dungeness crab eggs benedict had real crabmeat set atop toasted English muffins slathered with melted butter and a competently made hollandaise sauce draped over the eggs. For $18.25. Not bad. Edit: I think the restaurant was Yankee Pier.
  24. When out of the country and having eaten pretty much solely Chinese food (a visit to Chinese KFC aside), coming home Lost Dog Cafe was a nice little welcome home. I got Chulita's madness pizza, Hubby got a bow wow sandwich and fries. Considering how much we both ate, it couldn't have been bad. I think the larger the size of pizza you get here, the better it is in terms of ratios, just mho. Last time I was here I got the chicken parm- it comes with sliced chicken pieces, but I kind of liked that, the chicken was very tender and it was easier to eat with spaghetti and the garlic bread- which was texas toast style in a good way. Anyway, when you are craving a good sandwich, sub or pizza that isn't Papa John's but isn't fancy either, you could do worse than Lost Dog.
  25. Simul Parikh

    Bell's Beers

    No one that would say PU (appropriate acronym), Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams, or Anchor Steam are any longer great beers. I don't think the people that say Bell's is good now are saying those beers are good. This is an apples to ... uh .. robots comparison (I just can't think of something more different than an apple) I've been drinking it far before that, being a Michigander, and I think there has been very little difference in quality. But this is all opinion, and I think I've already had this discussion before on this site.
  26. DonRocks

    Bell's Beers

    I'm on record - Jan 24, 2011 - as having noticed a change in Bell's (which I used to really like, just as I really liked (past tense) Great Lakes) ... and I had *no* idea about their 2012 expansion at the time, during which they tripled their capacity. There is always a lag time between when the quality of a product declines (or "changes"), and when people recognize it - sometimes the recognition never happens: People still think Pilsner Urquell, Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams, Anchor Steam, etc. etc. are "great" beers. Just reporting what I notice - what other people say has zero effect on that - couldn't care less if I'm a minority of one. I do agree with Jake Parrott that "Two Hearted holds its alcohol pretty well" (talk about damning something with faint praise). Maybe the fact that they have a beer called "Hopslam" is a clue to all of this. I'm also supremely confident that the beer I had at Das Bräustüberl Weihenstephan in Friesing, Germany, a couple months ago was the best beer - for my palate - I've had in *many* years, and I've had Weihenstephan's beers in America probably twenty times in 2018 - absolutely no comparison.
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