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About sheldman

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  • Birthday 04/17/1965

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  1. The more I have thought about this, the more I believe that the "no" campaign was misleading astroturf by corporate interests, aided by some successful employees who have learned to navigate the current system well and who feared what their bosses might do to them in a new system, all targeted at the worst impulses of prosperous pseudo-liberal DC. We were all led to understand, for one thing, that it was "about" restaurants and bars when - as far as I can understand by some digging - it actually goes broader than that. (Think of nail salons, valet parkers, etc., and wonder whether employees in those industries are being treated as fairly as you hope that your favorite bartender or waiter in a fancy restaurant is being treated.) We were all led to understand that it would somehow lead to a decrease in compensation for those bar and restaurant employees who have been clearing a good compensation package through tips - when there is no reason for anybody without advanced econ training and lots of data to make any such assumption. (There is no inherent reason why now-tipped employees, individually or collectively, would be willing to do the same work for lesser compensation; it would be up to employees and employers to work within the new laws to reach a new equilibrium.) Part of me thinks that perhaps the unspoken thing is that the current system gives employers in tipped industries some hidden tax subsidy that is not available to other industries, like they don't have to pay full employer FICA on tips or something? Mainly, it shows that so many of us lucky west-of-rock-creek (white) people are fearful of changing the arbitrary systems that we have grown up with, especially when Rick Berman tells us that it might cost us a few dollars.
  2. I think that, although it is a very imperfect way of making political decisions, "who's behind this" is often the best realistic way of making decisions that many of us have. I don't know the first damn thing about the economics of running a restaurant, whether it be IHOP or Ruth's Chris or Tail Up Goat or icky dirty no-name place. I don't know the first damn thing about how many restaurant customers will actually drive to VA or MD instead of DC to save a few bucks. I am tempted to think that I know those things; but when I pretend, I am only rationalizing my gut hunches about which side of the issue feels right to me. And I'm pretty good at this sort of policy stuff compared to the average voter, I think. So, when I realize that IHOP and Ruth's Chris and the like have more at stake in this than anyone else - to try to block it here in DC not only for the sake of their operations in DC, but so that it does not spread - and when I see that they or someone have hired Rick f'in Berman and others - that tells me more than anything else.
  3. My impulse has been on the "no" side since I started hearing about this, because I trusted the few owners of great small places whom I know who were publicly asking for "no" votes. I am disappointed that both sides' rhetoric has been simplistic and over-the-top. Neither side wants to start with basic simple points - that tipped workers *are* guaranteed the same minimum hourly rate as anyone else under the current system, and that any mom-n-pop could go to a "no tipping" model without raising net cost to customer. What we are arguing about, I think, are (a) worries about the irrational reactions of customers to a no-tipping-but-higher-menu-price model and (b) probably some other behind-closed-doors stuff that neither side wants to talk about. But at this point I am an inch away from voting "yes" because the "no" side is in bed with Rick Berman (the worst corporate astroturf scumbag in the country) and other folks whom I consider terrible. I guess the take-away for me is that management is management, even when it is people whom I know and like - and even if they are not ill-motivated, they are cautious in favor of their own interests in navigating the existing system as they know it.
  4. By the way, thanks to all for responses to my original question. Matters got taken out of my hands and we went to Ris. It was ok.
  5. I will go ahead and say that I was pondering whether to raise that possibility, knowing of the restaurant only what I have learned by reading this site for many many years.
  6. Science proved them wrong! Except that "science" did this experiment using COURIER for pete's sake, and so it proves nothing about any font that people actually use.
  7. Thank you. Yeah if they were fish-acceptant this would be much easier. But I think dietary preferences are cool so I don't mind.
  8. It falls to me to make reservation (for June, don't worry) for special occasion dinner for 7 in the District. Not really worried about price because I am not paying Only trick is that youngest generation is vegetarian while oldest generation is decidedly not. Online menus or sample menus at Metier, Kinship, and Mirabelle suggest practically nothing for the teen vegetarians. And I would prefer not to put them in the awkward position of having to ask for something off-menu (and would optimally prefer that they have actual options rather than both having to order "the one vegetarian app and the one vegetarian main"). But along the lines of those restaurants, is there a place that is GREAT these days and would fit the bill better, making both the traditionalist grandparents and the young veges happy and making me happy because the food is awesome? Or am I underestimating how accommodating Kinship or Mirabelle, for instance, would want to be? Thank you.
  9. sheldman

    One More Time?

    I would be very interested. What questions I ask would be entirely dependent on what the person's specific knowledge was; I am trying to guess, but am not succeeding. As one who does not always check the site every day, right now, I think it would be useful to have some (oh i hate this phrase) "push notification" of when it was happening and then what was going on in the conversation. Even just a couple of heads-up - "it's starting tomorrow, here's the info, get your questions ready in light of this info" and "it's starting now!" - would be useful if possible.
  10. Who could possibly have imagined that a guy who became famous for being a sexist jerk would be a sexist jerk? (In this, I mean to be criticizing not only the sexist jerk, but those who, for profit, enabled his rise from "just a jerk who's a good chef at somebody else's restaurant" to "celebrity with lots of restaurants".) So, for instance, thanks so much, Eater, for distancing yourself after years of puffery.
  11. I went a couple of days ago for the first time in a long time and it was absolutely delicious. A catfish soup (Orm) was the highlight, a real depth of flavor. Also a delicious and subtle rice noodle soup with tofu (khao piak sen). Oddly, the only available beer was Corona but I managed.
  12. sheldman

    Unreal flat tire story

    in retrospect, was it at least a slightly different indicator than it would have been for a "real" tire? if not, that is just ultra crazy
  13. sheldman

    Sun Noodles Ramen Pack

    I love this website. Thank you Don. I had never heard of Sun Noodles until astrid's post. Bought a miso-broth pack at Hana (nominally a two-portion pack) and stretched it for four people by adding lots of stuff (corn, fake ground beef, leftover spinach, leftover enoki, nori, eggs, butter). Really good noodles and VERY surprisingly good broth. Thanks to all. (edited quickly to add for Don: Roll Tide!)
  14. I asked a couple of weeks ago, and they do not make it in DC. It is shipped in. And as much as I hate to disagree with Marty about anything, I believe it is worth $12/pint. When Ben and Jerry go for $4 to $5, and taste like nothing, this is worth splurging on. Also, in my experience (after many visits) the people working at the local store are kind and helpful and funny.