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Posts posted by astrid

  1. [...]

    Yeah, you are using this forum for wish fulfillment on something that's already closed in a way that you didn't like.  I am paying attention to what politicians and public officials of all strips are actually doing right now.  But after I call out uncomfortable facts, you're shutting me down with the typical "opinions may differ" and "how dare you use this sacred forum to disagree with me" tactics that have become part for course for inside the Beltway "opinion leaders," even if it's just just a thread on a foodie blog by two people with zero formal medical or public policy training.

    Frontline health workers are being sent in without PPE, now, in US hospitals.  They're told to use scarves for protection. Even in Wuhan, they only ran low on PPEs for a very short period.  In the US, it looks like supplies are what's on hospital storerooms right now for the foreseeable future. 

    Meanwhile, early this week, Joe Biden and Tom Perez still wanted people to go vote.  Even Bernie wasn't good, he should have publicly called for a delay and vote by mail, and affirmatively told his supporters to stay home.  I don't see Congressional Democrats pushing for job guarantee or UBI, rent/mortgage holidays as in Italy or France, nationalization of any companies receiving bailout, or free healthcare at point of service.  What I do hear are means testing, maybe no stock buybacks next year please, and keep voting for someone that DNC has pulled every dirty trick imaginable to coronate...and MSM had done everything possible to hide his severe mental deteriorating from the public. 

    And while helping little people is moral hazard and be unaffordable, nothing is said about the trillions in lending facilities to prop up Wall Street.  Nothing is said about the fact that nobody needs billions to live and most of the values liberated by these billionaires are from making people's lives worse, financial engineering, monopolistic rentier arrangements, and destroying the holding capacity of the Earth.  Nothing is said about what the hell is US doing in Iraq, where the government explicitly want Americans out, or hundreds of other places where American military presence is not wanted by locals.

    So I can care less that others "disagree" with me.  I am just stating facts as I see them, unlike your numerous unsupported and highly inflammatory dreamcasting opinion posts.  And the last 3 months have been wonderfully, wonderfully clarifying for me and a lot of under 40s. Boomers gonna Boomer, you can't even keep your own vow for half a day.

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  2. I wear pajamas pants around the house and they typically have generous pockets, but phones and wallets have a tendency to slide out during movement.  Have you considered a vest?  They're quite nice for carrying odds and ends, and provide extra bit of warmth without much constriction.

    https://www.exofficio.com/womens-sol-cool-flyq-vest/2076-3155.html?dwvar_2076-3155_color=9999&dwvar_2076-3155_size=000006M&cgid=#q=cool flyq vest&start=1

    I snagged a couple of these from Costco for $20 each.  They're great for travel and running around town too.

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  3. What are you planning for this gardening season?  It was supposed to be a light gardening year for me because we were expecting to move house, but now we're definitely staying put.  Started tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant about 3 weeks ago.  Some greens are almost ready to transplant.  Started another 2 tray of greens this week.

    Have about 50 lbs of seed potatoes coming.  Garlic in the ground, some spinach and beets not doing a lot yet, but should start taking off nowish.  

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  4. You could grab the wipe to use on your hands at the door.  Alcohol based hand sanitizer and wipes are not very effective anyways, they take minutes to work on a surface, so they dry out before sanitizing the surface.  Why are idiots out there acting as though hand sanitizer is going to protect them from this thing?  If that's the case, why did so many hospital workers, who have years of training at washing their hands before and after every procedure, getting infected?

    But this is probably the absolute worst moment to panic shop.  The infections are already in the populace, supplies are low, and people haven't adapted to the new sanitation regime.  No matter what comes, they'll likely to keep grocery stores open for the foreseeable future.  Better to wait at home and drink tap water, unless you live in Flint.

    Unless they get a UBI measure passed soon for the duration of the emergency, I would be a lot more worried about personal security.  There are a small number of preppers who long ago decided guns are the solution to their personal resource scarcity problems, and a larger number who are so desperate that they are going to do anything they can to survive.  Martial law wasn't necessary in PRC, RoK, or Italy.  It may well be here.  

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  5. This is pretty comprehensive.


    When assessing your personal risk, remember that 80% mild cases is everything that doesn't put you in a hospital bed.  In Italy and China, this typically means you stay home or at a quarantine center until you have trouble breathing and need supplemental oxygen.  Almost 90% had fever.  Minor can still mean weeks of recovery time, especially if you are required to quarantine yourself afterwards to protect family and coworkers from infection.  Why would anyone put themselves and their family through that, or worse, for green beer?

  6. 3 hours ago, Ericandblueboy said:

    I think the people who feel vulnerable should stay home, stock up and have food delivered when necessary.  Everyone else should live their normal lives.  Staying at home for work but still going out for other reasons will just delay the inevitable.  You’re just as likely to get sick from a grocery store as at the office.

    Hell no.  Younger people without risk factors are not immune, just somewhat less likely to require hospitalization when infected.  They can still get it and spread it to others. And some of them will still get very sick and strain hospital resources at a very bad time.  And infection spread in the US at this point likely means that what's happening in Italy right now is likely inevitable in 10 days.  The tens or hundreds of thousands of infections already happened, they just aren't symptomic or very sick yet.  If you do get infected and very sick after this point, you likely will not make it due to lack of ICU beds.


    If you have the opportunity to social distance and you do not, you're contributing to the problem.  I would also argue that it's now too late for panic shopping.  That was last week when the risks of infection appeared lower.  Just eat down what's in your pantry now and make a bulk additional order of groceries for delivery.  Yes, someone is still putting themselves at risk, but it's restricted to one person and gives them some income for the rough times ahead.  Tip any delivery generously and then wash your hands vigorously, they're putting their lives on the line doing their jobs.


    I say that as I am forced into the office for a set of meetings on Friday.  Most of them got moved (with my prompting) to virtual, but somebody decided they felt healthy enough to keep the in person and I don't have the power to say no.  Which means extra days of self imposed quarantine next week to minimize exposure to more vulnerable family members.

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  7. The US is just 7-10 days behind Italy, and it will be much worse here than Italy or Wuhan, unless warm weather saves us.  The lack of government preparation and seriousness is stunning.  That flight ban to Europe will protect them from us, not the other way around.  Even with warm weather, we are likely looking at quarantine in southern hemisphere this summer and return this fall.  Nevermind deaths and health, we have a hugely fragile global economy that won't survive this the way that 1918-1919 societies did.

    Honestly, I'm a little shocked that you people are still talking about eating at restaurants and going to large gatherings.   Even after all the evidence of exactly how bad it's going to be came out, it seems most Americans think it's not going to affect them.  



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  8. For anyone who still thinks this is just a bad flu.



    This is from one of the best prepared places in the world, in terms of free access to quality healthcare and social cohesion.  Remember that we live in the land of gig workers and hospital balance billing.

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  9. If your workplace accommodates telework, make sure you prepare to use it.  Buy some staples, rice and pastas and condensed soup and sauces.  Avoid scheduling travel if at all possible.  If you depend on meds, beg your doctor to give you an extra refill and do it now. This is the basic stuff just to handle the supply chain disruptions.  

    I had hoped that we could get some warning before getting into pandemic mode.  The speed and suddenness of the outbreaks in Iran, RoK, and Italy suggests otherwise.  


    Iran will report worse fatality numbers than most places, at least until we're in true pandemic mode like Wuhan.  About 10 to 20 percent become seriously ill and needs intensive care up to and including ventilators.  The US imposed sanctions  means Iran has extremely limited capacity for that level of care.

    But the fact that it's already spreading outside of Iran means it'll get far worse.

  10. We were really impressed by Bar Crenn from a visit a year ago.  It's a la cart but the portions are small (kind of like Bar Mini but fancier), might have the tasting menu but maybe not really vibe that I think you're going for.  

  11. For once, we strayed from the tried and true Littler and ate at Sushi Mon, Mothers and Sons, and So-Ca. Mothers and Sons is the standout.  It's toe to toe with Inferno Pizzeria's pasta tasting for my best pasta-centric meal of 2019.  The antipastas and desserts were also outstanding.  It would hold its own against any fine dining establishment in DC.

    Sushi Mon is pretty good, worth seeking out if you're in the area and craving sushi.   It's just below elevated sushi that show the signs of a master at work.  Everything was well prepared and fresh, the prices were good for the portions and selection, and it's a very pleasant if slightly generic establishment.  Maybe we'd like it even better if we hadn't gotten spoilt by some pretty masterful SoCal sushi a month ago.

    Brunch at So-Ca was a good choice.  We enjoy brunch but don't like the sugar, egg, and bread heavy brunch classics.  So-Ca delivered by giving brunch classics Latin fusion twists, making them feel lighter, more flavorful, and more savory.  We had pleasant service in another very pleasant if slightly generic space. 

  12. And now we have also been to ZZQ.  We were driving south on I-95 and bet on getting quick enough service to reach our destination on time.  There was no line on Friday at around 1:45.  The service was friendly and efficient.  We ordered pork ribs, brisket (mix of fatty and lean), hab sausage, hot guts, pulled pork, pastrami, small buttermilk potato salad, small jalapeno mac and cheese, 2 pickled jalapeno, and banana pudding.  The order also came with a health stash of pickles and pickled onions.

    Overall we're really impressed.  All the meats were moist, perfectly textured, and deeply flavorful.  The least of the batch is probably the pastrami, which was a little saltier and tougher than I'd like it (yeah, I know it's pastrami).  I think I still like my dry rubbed ribs better but the ZZQ pork ribs were delicious and perfectly cooked.  The rest were all amongst or are the best of their kind I've ever had.  The pickles and provided sauces went really well with the meats.

    Of the sides/desserts, we liked the potato salad the best.  The mac and cheese and banana pudding were good specimens for their kind, but we felt they were not worth sacrificing the space that could be otherwise allocated to more meat.

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  13. I generally think that people saying boorish things are just boors and not usually monsters.  However, hitting on waitrons is really icky.  They depends on your tip to live, so it's essentially an employer/employee relationship.  Unwanted (or even wanted) sexualized remarks play out the same dynamics as a boss making that type of remark to their employee.  

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  14. We ate well...and too much.  The two trip gems were Jacqueline and Berlu.  

    Jacqueline is a lovely seafood place with a very lightly applied Steve Zissou theme.  Good (fresh, well shucked) dollar oysters during happy hour (limited to 1 dozen per person).  Good drinks, good vibe and service, really really good seafood at a good price with nice preps,  and large-ish menu.  It's so good that we went there twice in 2 days, even though we had tasting menus booked on both days (Roe and Berlu).

    Berlu is a fantastic experience and great value right now.  Each of the 8 courses was at least as good as the best dishes at Willows Inn (which I admittedly was very disappointed with, especially at the current price point).  The closest East Coast comparable I can think of is Laurel in Philly, though the presentation is more Nordic.  It reminds me a lot of my 2 favorite Parisien restaurants, Sola and Restaurant David Toutain.  Though there is a lot more chef participation since they cook and prep in front of us and talks to us about the food.  Go, it's good.

    Other places we mostly really enjoyed too, from my most to least favorite.

    Maurice - I really really like it here.  It's a beautifully lit casual space and feels just perfect.  The food is also very good though not technically as good as some of the places below.

    Ataula - we were considering staying away because why pinxto outside of Basque country, but the dishes here turned out really nice, nicer and more crisply executed than most pinxto encountered around Donostia.

    Roe - still perfectly executed and we like the new space it's in.  Only nit was wish for 1-2 more courses of shellfish rather than fin fish.  We're not cooked fin fish people but we still really liked the 3 cooked fin fish courses we got.  This place is solidly wonderful.

    Olympia Oyster Bar - the oyster selection was a bit misleading, the website made it look like they have over a dozen varieties, but they actually only have 6.  But they were pristine, albeit weirdly not slurpable because the bottom abductor muscle is not cut.  The other dishes we ordered were very good too.

    Gumba - okay, we tried 3 bites each of 2 pastas and they were quite good. The portion was generous and no wait for us on Thursday night.  They're definitely much better than the surprisingly mediocre Il Corvo pastas, but I wouldn't say it's life changing pasta as opposed to very solid and well prepared pasta that tasted good and filled you up.

    Little Bird - the menu is a bit truncated for my taste.  But everything we ordered was pretty darn good.  Just not clearly superior as the establishments above.

    Eem - the BBQ fried rice (where's the smoke and bark?) and the Serious Eats touted pina coladas (sour and mild?) were busts, totally different flavor profile from what I'd look for in each.  The spicy chicken and lamb mussaman curry, on the other hand, were really really good.  Overall, I wouldn't wait in a long line here and remember enjoying Pok Pok much more.  

    Hai Yat Belmont - I actually didn't love the spicy chicken here, though I thought the mushroom curry we ordered was delicious.  Eem's chicken (and Bantam 46 in Bellingham, from the same overall trip) were better in my estimation.

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  15. We ate well and expensively during a shortish SoCal stay for a family function. 

    Sushi Nekosan - this is where the cat titans from Isle of Dogs dine, if they're okay with being seen at a hole-in-a-wall place.  The fish (and A5 Waygu) here is impeccable and beautifully presented and well worth the (not cheap but not expensive) price.  If this is an indication of the level of SoCal sushi then sign me up now for a return trip!

    Fishing with Dynamite - Also impeccably fresh and beautifully presented.  The hot dishes are great.  The raw bar is exceptional.  It's a bit pricy but a wonderful way to end our SoCal stay and trudge our way to LAX (due to ongoing construction.  It's less than 20 minutes to from our LAX rental car return and then it literally took 1 hour to travel the 2 miles between the rental car return and our terminal.

    Whist-n-Ladle in La Jolla - we went for brunch and it was perfectly fine.  Decent service, well prepped food, not too expensive, and nice atmosphere.  My only regret is eating here before we happened upon Sushi Nekosan.

  16. In Bellingham, we had very nice meals at Hokkai ramen and sushi.  Their ramen is comparable to the top tier DC options.  Really delicious takoyaki and pretty good sashimi and karaage.  Bantam 46 had very very good crusty crispy fried chicken, great service, and very nice bar program.

    We stopped by Taylor Shellfish for bivalves and I learned to shuck oysters.  The drive there is lovely and the guys at the store are great.  The view is very PNW in a very good way.  Oysters were very fresh and tasty, but no discount buying from the source.  We went on an overcast Tuesday and it's relatively quiet.  They told us that it's gets pretty mobbed on weekends, mostly from weekenders from Seattle.

  17. Finistere in Port Townsend is likely to be your best restaurant option on the Olympic Peninsula.  It's not better than very very good modern American restaurants elsewhere, but it does everything well, it's not expensive, and it's a very pleasant place to sit down for a meal.

    Return trip to Willows Inn was technically fine but a definite let down.  Fewer courses, courses of just random minimally-prepped veggies displacing the magical proteins that used to come out of their smoke house (still magical but far fewer in number), and a substantial uptick in prices.

    The current trend of serving barely adorned fruit and veg at high end restaurants is getting really tedious.  Look, if I want a good local peach or eat some roasted winter squash, I can shop at the local farmers market and prep it to my liking.  If I am paying $300 a head (after mandatory gratuity and tax) for a tasting menu or $25 for a small appetizer, I want magic that I can't make on my own, not long winded explanations about this super special artisanal landrace roasted squash that somehow tastes just like an inferior delicata squash that could be bought for a buck anywhere in the fall.  Of course, we suspected we would be disappointed but was hoping to recapture the magic.  

  18. Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything is good for covering the basics.  It's unfussy and recipes have few ingredients, so it's easy for a new cook to follow.  If he is scientifically minded, Kenji Lopez Alt's book and Cook's Illustrated Cookbook are good at explaining why in a rigorous way.

  19. I meant that persimmons in general are not fast to fruit as peaches or plums.  The Just Fruits trees are big, so it might be a year faster to fruit.  I think Silver Spring is safely zone 7.  My experience was  from something of an urban heat island part of SS, but I successfully fruited pomegranates, so I think it's fair to say 7B or 8A for parts of SS (also parts of DC, Arlington, and Alexandria)  Not warm enough for true semitropical plants, but hospitable for pomegranates, figs, and hardy gardenias.

    But this is in the ground with good placement.  Anything in a pot of  your deck should preferably be hardy to zone 5 or colder to get through a winter here.  It might be possible with a large pot and some sort of sheltered wintering position, and it's helpful that persimmons are grafted on hardier American persimmon rootstock, but still an iffy proposition.  

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  20. The non astringent varieties are marginal in most of DMV, though might be fine in warmer spots in or near DC, you can probably grow them where you live as that's practically zone 8A.  The astringent Asian varieties will be fine anywhere in DMV.  There are also some American and American x Asiatic persimmons with smaller fruits and greater hardiness.

    Edible Landscaping will have region appropriate varieties for sale.  Just Fruits and Exotics are price but have big health plants.  They're pest free plants, though not particularly precocious, maybe 3-5 years to bear.

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