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June 18, 2009

Clambake at Dewey Beach



Owl Meat says he has no Funtastic Thursday for Beach Week, and in fact doesn't particularly like beaches, so he's letting Amanda C. write a guest post for his guest post spot. Here she is. EL

My stepbrother says that Clambake is his favorite Elvis movie. That seems odd to me, since my first memory of a clambake involved him, and my first success at thwarting his tyranny (not to be my last).
Our families were, as they say now, blending, and all of a sudden I had two stepbrothers. One of them was a sweet grumpy little boy named Liam who was three years younger than me. I nicknamed him "Bear." The other was Bobby, an obstreperous boy slightly older than me. We just didn't get along.
So we all went to Dewey Beach, Del. Previous outings were iffy at best. Bobby was either moody/sullen or mischievous/mean. Boys! I adored four-year-old Liam, because, well just because. The Other One was a major pain. ...

It was summer and life was sweet. Playing in the ocean. Running around chasing my dog Ranger. Then evil Bobby painted a face on my back in Coppertone, so I had a tan with a pasty bas relief (growl). It was on.
I didn't know what a clambake was, but it sounded fun. The adults dug a pit to build a fire in the sand. I took Bear on a walk down the beach with my ever-present little yellow transistor radio. I taught him to dance to my true love Andy Gibb's "Shadow Dancing." As darkness fell, the fire was blazing and the adults brought a big metal steamer down to the beach.
It seemed to take forever for us kids. Bobby was being bothersome and on a dare allowed himself to be buried in the sand. Aunt Helen and Uncle Ronnie helped dig the hole. By now it was dark and the only light was from the bonfire and the moon. Bear and I gleefully scooped sand around him until he was just a head in the sand. Now the adults were salivating over mesh bags of corn, potatoes, and clams that filled the air with delicious ripe aromas. Clams on the beach. How perfect is that?  Oh yeah, and birch beer in glass bottles.
Bobby refused to admit defeat, struggling to escape, trying to wriggle himself out. This was my grand opportunity, because he hated clams. The food was portioned out onto plates. Bear and I chomped down on stubby broken corn, little taters and juicy clams. The corn was extra tasty because the clams gave it some extra flavor oomph. By this time Bear was positively gleeful to see his older brother in his predicament. 
In short order I tormented Bobby with clams, and there was nothing he could do. Eat them or stay buried. He didn't dare call out and admit that a mere girl had bested him. But I did. And that's why Clambake is also my favorite Elvis movie. Now Bobby loves clams, but won't even try an oyster. Stay tuned as Operation Oyster commences this summer.
Posted by Elizabeth Large at 11:38 AM | | Comments (166)


G who could Bobby be?

My lawyer will be in contact with you, Amanda. And Barry Glazer takes no prisoners.

The only thing vile enough to get the taste of oysters out of my brain is this: Rachel Ray's mini cheeseburger salad.

That's not salad.

Sweet $DEITY on a pogo stick, that is no salad! I'd rather eat can of ... casserole than that thing.

It's so easy to hate on RR. She's cute and positive. Boo.

Good story Amanda, more suitable for family beach week than my tale of innuendo. Clam-flavored corn sounds perfect (if you like clams).

What does $DEITY mean Lissa? Some sort of programming thing?

What's the deal with birch beer? Is that an East Coast thing?

A can of casserole. Barf

So that's why somebody hates the term "Sandbox".

So that's why somebody hates the term "Sandbox".

See, now, THAT'S detail orientation. I never connected the two.

So that's why somebody hates the term "Sandbox".

LOL. Wow, Laura, that's some deft psychoanalysis. Bravo.

Even I didn't think of that. I just thought it was one of his many irrational dislikes. LQTM.


Eating oysters and hard-boiled eggs with mayonaisse in a sandbox with ... wait for it .;. wait for it ... Hugh Jackman!


Hey Bucky, you ever been to a clambake?

Urrrr, you scooped me Bucky. I am sure he's going to love love love being psychoanalyzed in public. LOL.

Birch beer, TM? The best soda ever. Often confused with root beer. I really have no idea what it's supposed to be made from. It was popular when I grew up. I do see it occasionally around here. Maybe it's a Pennsylvania thing or possibly even Porksylvania (calling YumPo).

Cream soda was big too. Don't see that either. It's great with Tuaca.

Hey Bucky, you ever been to a clambake?

Oh LL, that's just mean. He's still traumatized from his first yogurt experience.

Now I'm hungry for clams. Where's a good place to get clams in Baltimore? Anywhere? I don't like the big ones and the little ones are too small, but have tons of flavor. Damn, I have no clam vocabulary. Any suggestions, Sandboxers?

Amanda, that was a lovely post and a treat to hear about your childhood experiences with Bobby. Hard to believe he could be so mean.

Dr. Browns cream soda is the best. Any jewish deli should have it.

We always used to throw a few lobsters in with the clams. Now that's a clambake!

Birch soda was originally made from birch sap, which can be boiled down like maple syrup. Tastes minty to me, I love the stuff.

Terrier Mom, yes, $DEITY is pseudo-code (fake programing) for "insert the god and/or gods of your choice here". 5 or 10 years ago, it would have been witty.

veranda is right, lobsters put that over the top. Mmmmm... I can smell it right now. It smells like ... victory!

Good question about clams. People here seem to be blinded by crabs. All the good places I know are in Jersey or NY.

What does cream soda taste like? That's a weird name. It's like clear and tan.

Have I ever been to a clambake? No. And, further, I don't understand why, if you put the clams in a big pot of boiling water, it's called a "clambake" and not a "clamboil".

I'm working on a new recipe: you take equal parts ground round and Italian sausage, mix yogurt into it, form into little balls.. Then you cook them in boiling water, on the beach at a party that's called a "meatball bake."

mmmm...Sandbox meatballs.

Have I ever been to a clambake? No.

Collective head nod.

Why is a shindig called a shindig? There's no digging and no visible shins?

OK Bucky, you win. And after the "meatball bake", we'll all sit around and watch for the green flash.

Oh, what a shindig that will be, Laura Lee.

Folk etymology: "shindig" derives from "shindy", which was a dance party. In the South, a "shin-dig" meant "kick in the shins" (which...think about it...could look like wild dancing). "Shindy" and shin-dig" merged into a common meaning, "shindig" which meant a raccous party.

New dictionaries seem to have lost the etymology of clambake.

Webster's Revised Unabridged (1913) shines some light on the origins.

Clam"bake (?), n. The backing or steaming of clams on heated stones, between layers of seaweed; hence, a picnic party, gathered on such an occasion.

Backing, not baking.

Back (?), n. [F. bac: cf. Arm. bak tray, bowl.]
1. A large shallow vat; a cistern, tub, or trough, used by brewers, distillers, dyers, picklers, gluemakers, and others, for mixing or cooling wort, holding water, hot glue, etc. Hop back, Jack back, the cistern which receives the infusion of malt and hops from the copper. -- Wash back, a vat in which distillers ferment the wort to form wash. -- Water back, a cistern to hold a supply of water; esp. a small cistern at the back of a stove, or a group of pipes set in the fire box of a stove or furnace, through which water circulates and is heated.


Oh my &DEITY, make it stop. I'm sure that BG could chime in with some of my other issues but she knows better. How about why I eat the items on my plate one category at a time? Why I like to eat nuts or olives in prime numbers? To me, that's completely rational. We all have quirks.

Urrrr, jackals! B>|

Why thank you, Junior McIntyre, that was quite helpful. We can always use an Etymology Domain Expert around here, especially one who has access to a 1913 edition of Webster's.

Sadly, too many of us are still reliant on Wikipedia.

Truly, for some men, nothing is written unless THEY write it.

Oh, I;m not worthy. I only have a cardboard bowtie.

Truly, for some men, nothing is written unless THEY write it.
Posted by: Sherif Ali


No ideas on clams? Come on, help a brother out, please.

Owlie, I think you were very brave. Foolishly trusting, for sure, but Amanda was a new sister, and you were probably trying to be nice to her (note to etymology buffs, look up "nice").

I look forward to hearing of your revenge.

How about why I eat the items on my plate one category at a time?

Hey, I do that too, sometimes. When I was younger I did it all the time.

Maybe its a Robert thing.

I look forward to hearing of your revenge.

Amanda, you should be very careful around the Owl now.

Lissa, his revenge has been ongoing in small and large doses. ;-)

Tee hee, my extra revenge was referring to him as "Bobby". Oh, he hates that, unless a cute woman says it. Much like his rule of no one will EVER smoke in his house ... unless she's attractive. Hypocrisy, thy name is Owl Meat.

What is it with the Roberts and Bobs here. It seems statistically improbable or is there something about that name?

Etymology:Middle English, foolish, wanton, from Anglo-French, silly, simple, from Latin nescius ignorant, from nescire not to know — more at nescience
Date:14th century


Ass't. Prof. McIntyre: thanks for clearing up the bake/back/boil thing. You can see how much other help I was getting here.

We all have quirks. And I have decided that everyone is entitled to at least one vice. Mine is wine with dinner. Every night.

When it comes to vices, I believe in collecting the whole set. How else would I get to my fantasy dinner with Tallulah Bankhead and Fran Liebowitz?

Dahlink, wine with dinner is a vice? I thought it was just civilized.

My birth name is Robert. My mom, because there were so many Bobs and Bobbys at the time, decided I would be called Rob. I like that better anyway, except for the people that still call me Robby. Hey, I'm all grown up now!

Hey, how many of us Roberts out there are left-handed?

I asked a friend of mine who is a chef about where to get steamed clams and he didn't have an answer. Places have raw clams, but that's not the same. They use them in clams casino and other stuff, but NY/NJ/NE steamed clams? I don't know, sport.

¿Dónde está cada uno? Soy tan solo en este infierno del desierto.


Hal, if you read the health letters, a glass of wine every night makes you a "heavy drinker." Sigh. I like your take on it better!

I don't recall ever getting New England-style steamed soft-shell clams (my expatriate New Englander wife calls them "steamers") around here, although we did once buy the soft-shell clams from Faidley's and steamed them at home.

If you want to be decadent, I'd suggest taking the train to New York city, and go to the Oyster Bar restaurant in Grand Central Station for steamers. Yes, I know it's a tourist trap, but it's fun anyway. My wife usually has lobster after the steamers.

As the Mom, I read this and I think, "Oh, poor little guy, The Intruder stole his Little Brother/Side Kick!"

As the Oldest Sibling, I read this and think, "Pffft! I'da paid ya to take my sister!"

Hal, if you read the health letters, a glass of wine every night makes you a "heavy drinker." Sigh. I like your take on it better!

That's crap. If you're reading something that says that then stop reading it. It's crap. That is exactly the recommended behavior for a long life.

Soft shell .. clams? Clams, Hal? Is that what they call them there? That sounds like crazy talk since clams never shed their shell as far as I know.

I remember my dad getting clams all the time in New Jersey or Delaware (at the clam store?) and you bring them home, steam and eat with drawn butter, maybe with shrimp or lobster. I remember hearing names like cherrystone, little necks, top neck (?) and quahogs(?) on Martha's vineyard. Maybe those were local names. Not sure.

I thought this was a seafood town?

I remember steamers when I was growing up in NJ. My grandfather used to buy them and make clams casino. I am quite sure the clam store must have been a bar.

Checking in late, Amanda C. Great article. As for the birch beer, I remember going to visit my uncle and aunt and my nine cousins, and having both sadistic girl cousins (who were much older than me) lock me in their scary basement with rows and rows of homemade birch beer and root beer bottles. It smelled terrible because sometime bottles would explode, the goo would spray everywhere, and the stinky aroma hung in the air for years. Even worse was when they forced me to drink their foul concoction. It tasted like fermented roots and worms mixed with dirt. My boy cousins were the ones who rescued me from their horrid sisters. Even today, when I see those women at funerals or weddings, behind my pasted-on smile, I'm plotting my revenge.

Asked and answered courtesy of:

The quahog (pronounced coe-hog) is a species of hard-shelled clam and the one we most commonly enjoy in our chowders and po boys. All those other names - from little neck on up - are this same species of clam and just refer to how large the clam has grown.

Little Neck: The smallest size of clam, amounting to 7-10 clams per pound.

Cherry Stone: A little larger, you'll get 6-10 cherry stone clams per pound.

Top Neck: These are sometimes also labeled as count neck clams, and they equal roughly 4 clams per pound.

Quahog: These big guys are also called chowder clams and weigh in at a mighty 2-3 clams per pound.

Which type of clam to buy depends on how you want to prepare them. The clams get tougher and chewier as they get larger, making these sizes ideal for chowders, stuffing, frying, and other cooked preparations. Choose smaller sizes when quickly steaming, grilling, or eating raw.

Soft shell clams are a different species, not a clam that sheds its shell. Courtesy of Wikipedia:

Soft-shell clams, scientific name Mya arenaria, popularly called "steamers", "softshells", "longnecks", "piss clams" or "Ipswich clams", are a species of edible saltwater clam, a marine bivalve mollusk in the family Myidae.

These clams live buried in the mud on tidal mudflats. They are well-known as a food item on the coast of New England in the Western Atlantic Ocean,

M. arenaria has a calcium carbonate shell, which is very thin and easily broken, hence the name "soft-shells" (as opposed to its beach-dwelling neighbors, the thick-shelled quahog).

You know what goes great with homemade birch beer? BEEF STROGANOFF

Gotcha, Jr. MC Wordsalot

Those defintions are a little wiggling, but I've got the basic rank ordered scheme.

So soft shell clams are really less hard shell clams and live in mud. Everything else is just clams of different sizes. Cool. We used to eat buckets of cockles and beer in New Zealand. Yes, buckets of beer too. Those are a different species. Never seen them around here.

VP, I think "thin shell" would have been a better name than "soft shell".

Tee Hee. JMcI Jr cites Wikipedia as a reference.

I bet he gets sent to bed without a martini tonight.

Dredging for soft shell clams in the Chesapeake is a major industry. Most are shipped to New England where they become fried "belly" clams.

They differ from other clams, among other things, because the shell doesn't completely close and the siphon extends beyond the shell.

Dredging for soft shell clams in the Chesapeake is a major industry.

And yet almost no one here seems to eat them or know anything about them. What up Chesapeakies?

And be forced to listen to Scottish jokes.

You know what goes great with homemade birch beer?...

Backing away from my computer screen in horror...

And be forced to listen to Scottish jokes.

Whit ur ye talkin' abit ye simple wee dobber?

I have been reading this blog for a long time but never commented before. But today, I can not restrain myself. It would seem there are certain people who feel compelled to bring grief to YumPorchetta. She has gamely recounted her adventures with various foods which unfortunately left a bad taste in her mouth. That other commenters would then seek to turn these personal tragedies into fodder for their own witticisms... well, it's just cruel.

Welcome Camille Quelquejeu. What an extraordinarily beautiful name. I was sure that it was one of our more clever regulars making up a fun nom be blog (which may be true), because my first reading of it in French is "Whatever game". What better name for a trickster? None.

Alas, it is a very real name. There are lots of Quelquejeu's out there. There are 74 on Facebook.

I have a huge crush on your name right now. It sounds exquisite. I am also intrigued by how such a name came to be.

Whatever game indeed.

Sorry to get sidetracked on your name. I'm a language freak.

Yes, leave little YumPo alone. You're tarnishing her sparkly party hat.

Merci, grazie mille, gracias, bitte, Camille and OM. I appreciate your concern and thoughtfulness. Rest assured -- what doesn't kill me makes me stronger.

Tell me about it. I'm still buried up to my neck in the sand covered in oyster juice and mayonaisse watching Hugh Jackman dance around in a Speedo and tuxedo t-shirt. Help.

Totally off topic, but after watching a lot of late night Arizona television and mentally comparing it with Baltimore and elsewhere, I have concluded that liver disease must be a major cause of death of car dealership owners, at least those that make their own ads.

Wonder why I've never seen
"piss clams" for sale, McI Jr.

If you'll adjust the tint control on your TV, the car dealers might not appear so jaundiced.

Going waaaaay back to Randy's question, cream soda tastes like fizzy vanilla soda. I love the stuff. There are (I think) two major producers: Dr. Brown's and A&W. The former is found more in delis, the latter in grocery stores; Dr. Brown's tastes better, but A&W is more convenient.

GOD it takes a long time for a post to go through! SHEESH!

Back to cream soda.... I forgot the third producer: Stewart's, available in both grocery stores and delis. Enjoy.

Preoccupied yesterday with the twins' 25th birthday (Lord, I feel old, but at least I'm still too young to drive a Buick), I had no idea that I had landed a disciple. Once we wean Junior off Wikipedia and supply him with a proper bow tie (cardboard wilts in Maryland's humidity), everything should be swell.

As for clams, both Ms. Large and I have enjoyed the clams at the Hamilton Tavern on Harford Road. Exceptional broth.

My first car was a Buick. A 1972 Buick Estate wagon. It had a 408 V-8 engine. I floored it once, hit 4 Gs, never floored it again. Got about 9 miles to the gallon.

What am I thinking? 405 V-8. Sheesh.

Maryland sends its clams to New England, and North Carolina sends its crabs to Maryland. Ahh, the glory of free trade.

Anyway, I find clams to be chewy and not very good. Even when they are good, they are only so-so.

I saw a TV show on "farm-raised" geoduck/mirugai/giant clam. It's just a beach on the west coast. But if you saw them harvest them, you might think twice. I think they're delicious raw in a sushi place. I like when the sushi chef slaps the mirugai on the cutting board to see if it still moves. If not, it's gone bad. They say it's still alive but I don't see how. Maybe?

I think clams done right are a crazy good flavor. Done poorly, just awful. Too small;, a little annoying. Too big, tough or icky. It's a real Three Bears situation.

This is the time for YumPo to close her eyes...

Birch beer and root beer are similar, but birch is beer different, hard to day how, more spicy and herby.

from Wiki ( I know, I know)
Birch beer is a carbonated soft drink made from herbal extracts, usually from birch bark. It has a taste similar to root beer, with a slightly minty and sharper flavor. Various types of birch beer are available, distinguished by color. The color depends on the species of birch tree from which the sap is extracted (though enhancements via artificial coloring are not uncommon). Popular colors include brown, red, and white (clear), though others are possible. After the sap is collected, it is distilled to make birch oil. The oil is added to the carbonated drink to give it the distinctive flavor. Black birch is the most common source of extract. In the dairy country of southeastern and central Pennsylvania, an ice cream soda made with vanilla ice cream and birch beer is called a Red Bull, while chocolate ice cream and root beer makes a Black Cow. Alcoholic birch beer, in which the birch sap is fermented rather than reduced to an oil, has been known in the region from at least the mid-nineteenth century.

The birch beer that I remember as a girl was made by A-Treat, I suppose a local PA outfit.

Cream soda = vanilla? Uhhhh... sort of. Isn't vanilla one of those flavors that combines well with others. Cream soda from what O remember was more compklex than simple vanilla, slightly spicy. I'm not good at the analyze the flavor game.

I just realized that birch beer and clams are quite a disgusting combination. Yuk. Kids.

another ew...[wiki]
The first patent for Cream Soda was granted in Canada to James William Black of Berwick, Nova Scotia on July 5, 1886. The recipe had whipped egg whites, sugar, lime juice, lemons, citric acid, flavouring, and bicarbonate of soda

My friend Camille laminated my cardboard bowtie. That should help in this humidity.

I've got a wiki on my back.

It was summer and life was sweet.

Mon coeur est rempli avec joie.

Faygo does a cream soda, too. I've seen it around here, but only in dollar stores or in Broadway Market, for premium prices (which is pretty hysterical, since Faygo is the local Detroit cheap pop).

It's pronounced fah-yay

Nope, Anonymous, it isn't. As you'd know if you grew up listening to the famous Red Pop song.

I mean fah-yo

what's the deal wit sasparilla? is that the same as root beer?

What is happening back there?

Now the Sun's web site's favicon in my browser has turned blue.

Did some consultant tell them that blue was a more attractive color for the Sun? I saw that the new horrible web site is saturated with royal blue.

Gone are the warming rays of our yellow Sun, replaced by the super strong blue rays of a sun that melts the flesh from our bones. I'm scared.

What's a favicon?

When are you coming back?

There are many things similar when it comes to Root Beer, Sasparillo and Birch Beer.

I'm not sure of the differences, but I know the cheap ones taste like Pepto Bismal.

A favicon is an icon (shortcut) saved to a favorites folder.

The Sun in my favicon was always red or orange, but what do I know, I'm kinda color-blind.

AC, the favicon is the tiny icon that precedes the url in your browser. In Opera (dump IE for god's sake already) it is the icon that represents the web site in my favorites tool bar. It's nice because I turn oiff the text there and have 35 favorites in one line. I stripped Oprah, I mean Opera down to one thin tool bar of favicons to maximize screen space on my netbook.

Who comes up with these design concepts? Oh yeah, consultants. LOL, I used to give out all kinds of advice to people when I did management consulting. We cashed their checks and moved on to the next suckers.

When you pay someone to tell you what's wrong with you, you are basically incapable of deciding whether the criticism and subsequent advice has any value. That's what I call low self-esteem management.

Ref: Streetcar Named Desire (I dare you to figure that one out).

Signing off from the wifi hotspot at the Copper Queen Saloon in Bisbee, an authentic Wild West saloon with wifi and frozen margaritas. From the land that doesn't believe in DST, it's 7PM here.

AC, I'll call you later. Oh it is later there.

I saw the actual movie Roadhouse in a roadhouse in Huachuca City last night dubbed in Spanish. Partick Swayze es muy macho en espanol.

One thing that amazes me is the amount of supermarket shelf space devoted to plain white wheat tortillas here. They have dozens or different kinds of plain burro and burrito size and none of the crappy supermarket ones from Giant or Safeway.

Set it up and I'll use it.

I don't want realism. I want magic! Yes, yes, magic. I try to give that to people. I do misrepresent things. I don't tell truths. I tell what ought to be truth.

I think we have a winner, Blanche.

Bucky, send her a prize.

I was thinking more along the lines of Stanley Kowalski being charismatic and abusive, which is what consultants do, along with lowering your self-esteem further, so that you think you will continue to need them. I guess Blanche would make an excellent mgmt consutlant.


Streetcar, what a great movie. Brando is amazing in it.

Ugh, it never occurred to me that my Peppermint Patti phase photo would drift into the eternity of the internet.

Peppermint Patti--exactly, Amanda! Now you need to post an updated photo to bring us all up to date.

When will we hear from Liam?

This string is impressive: fewer than a hundred comments, and already there's topic drift approaching continental drift.

"Consulting: If you can't be part of the solution, there is good money in prolonging the problem."

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

If you're not part of the solution, you're not water soluble.

D'oh, you scooped me Hal

Shill alert for the post by "rick" at 11:44 AM for an unrelated website! Delete it?

Ha Ha, Rick. I got rick-rolled. Serves me right for wanting to see Rachael Ray make clamburgers.

hmpstd, check your definition of shill. I've heard fot his before but never seen it. It's a common form of harmless mischief called rick-rolling. They send you to a video of Rick Astley. I don't know what it means but he is funny in a so bad he's funny way.

That does sound like something she would make.

Warning, warning. Do not click on link for 'Rachael Ray' unless you want to lose your lunch, and that comment has nothing to do with Rachel Ray.

New England Clam Bake Burger recipe. Looks like a crab cake without crab.

VoodooPork, the Rick Astley viral video prank has been around for so long (over a year, judging from a quick Google search) that I thought it wouldn't be news anymore -- and certainly not for somebody as worldly as you profess to be. (Where's Amanda C, now that we need to inject some sanity into the proceedings?)

Recipe for a New England clam bake burger. Eh, looks like a crab cake without the crab.

CG, come on, wouldn't you rather see freakish deep-voiced Rick Astley trhan freakish deep-voice Rachael Ray.

I'll take this one hmpstd.

One dork point for Piglet for not having been Rick rolled before. Shocking, given the amount of time he spends in the Gossip Girl chat rooms.

Shoo, rick. That would be funnier if it were, oh no, not giving you any ideas.

I don't know what's wrong with you people, I really like that Rick Astley song. Then again, I'm also a big Hall and Oates fan.

I think I'm worldly? Maybe wordy. Now that song is in my head.

You guys and your free-associating ways have polluted my dreams. After reading this blog last night I had a weird dream.

I dreamed that I saw my gf after a long absence. When I met her instead of a kiss, she presented me with an invoice. Her explanation: you called me before 5 and told me how much you loved me but it's now 6:35 so this is a bill for the cost of my time. Yes, she had morphed from gf to mgmt consultant. You bastards!

VoodooPork, that is a toss-up. I don't know which one I dislike more.

Hey, somebody has to maintain order in the Sandbox. Next thing you know, the Pet Shop Boys blog discussion will resurface, and then who knows where we'll be headed? (Probably to yet another Faygo/Fage/Fa-yeh riff?)

There is no order in the Sandbox. That's why it is the Sandbox.

Hey, I like the Pet Shop Boys. Which reminds me, I heard a rumour of a North American tour, I should go check.

Okay I've complained; here are some numbers. I clicked on the Sun home page in a browser full of other open windows. It took 1:45 to completely load on a hot connection. I decided to do a more scientific test with Opera and no other open windows/tab.

Here is the amount of data loaded by each home page (on a freshly started Opera session)
Balt Sun = 63 M
Wash Post = 18 M
NY Times = 18 M

I repeated the tests for the IE with the same results.

that's great. that means the sun has four times as much news as the wp or nyt

63 megs. Obviously, they aren't targeting the dial up modem demographic.

(Don't laugh, I have friends on dial up. I wouldn't try loading the Sun homepage, well, ever, but not especially on my cell phone. I love to read the news while on the bus, and the NY Times has a nifty thing that makes that really easy.)

Since Day 1 the Sun's wen site was a loser. Always slow to load compared with other news sources. That's why it has never been and probably never will be a primary or siginificant source for news, you know, if it had anything worthwhile reading.

They don't appreciate that my time is valuable. Selfish-news, that's a new business model.

GIven that their demos skew really old, destroying the ability of people with dialup is kind of stupid.

And for the magic young demo coveted by advertisers who want news on iPhones and such, this is a huge turnoff.

I guess their target market is people in Chicago with T3 lines going to their desks and 30 inch monitors.

It looks like they are trying to create a single ginormous single page for morons, at the expense of literate people who want info.

The ship is sinking, you can tell the band to stop playing.

Mr Piglet is a little grumpy this weekend. Something sports-related.

I checked the Chicago Tribune and their web site only load 15M.

I amused to see that the top of page is dominated by three photos and captions:
1) The Life and Times of Walter Payton
2) Shortest Celebrity Marriages
3) Stolstice at Stonehenge

Hard-hitting stuff. Especially the "stolstice" coverage. Yes, correct headline spelling is optional at the Trib now. Oh well.

Back when I was in the Navy stationed in Scotland (early 80s), I visited London and took one of those city tours. When we reached Fleet Street, the guide announced that many of the world's important newspapers had offices here, and he called out the Baltimore Sun as an example. I expected him to name the NY, LA, and Chicago papers. The guide had no idea there was a Baltimorean aboard.

I was proud at the time, that my hometown paper was considered one of the world's important newspapers.

I wonder what Fleet Street looks like these days.

Ok, so the Sun has four times the data as the NYT, and the NYT includes all the news that's fit to print. So, that means the Sun has all the news that's fit to print plus some not fit to print. Well, that explains the continued existence of Roderick's columns.

Ha ha. Roderick! It's amazing that a photo of his head even fits on their server.

You east coast dandies.

Why y'all fussin and fightin bout stuff that just don't matter? Just watch the tumbleweeds. Here in Mountain Time ya just gotta let that stuff roll offa ya.

Me? I'm still hittin them corners in my low-low girls – still. Only nows its a pickup and nobody's at the corners.

Palabra a tu madre!

When will we hear from Liam?

Any day now, Dahlink, I expect we'll learn that VDP is Liam.

Palabra arriba Bujito

Uh, I married my own step-brother?

Strike up the banjo music.

RoCK, Pennsyltucky is only a state in your mind. Although I could see the combination of ring bologna and bourbon being intriguing.

This here river don't go to Aintree

RoCK, are you going to sing "I'm My Own Grandpa"?

ring bologna?

Speaking of Kentucky and Bologna, it reminds of the band that played at my wedding (this is a true story). They were called Night Train, and they were out of eastern Kentucky. During their set breaks they would fry up bologna and make sandwiches for those in attendance

That sounds awesome, but not very RoCK. Did you have to give your wife's family Xanax?

Hola amigos, blogging to you from Nogales, Mexico. Can you believe I can get a wifi signal here? Man, that donkey-powered router is huge. Lots of bells and whistles.

Just had a machaca burro. My friend had a machaca chimichanga with black olives. Muy saboroso.

Uh, the donkey looks tired...

My wife used to book for this band (they have since disbanded), so she was the one behind getting them to play at our nuptials.

Just not what you'd expect from a Skokie girl. I think the best weddings, actually the only weddings, are the ones that are meant to be fun and without pretention. Otherwise they are worse than getting a wisdom tooth removed.

Night Train? Please please tell me some of their set list. Can I assume they did mostly covers?

I liked the band from that movie that was a bunch of guys singing the lewd version of Total Eclipse of the Heart at a wedding. The name escapes me. I want them at my next wedding.

Amanda C... The Dan Band. Get the CD, it's worth it.

The movie was Old School

Night Train did a lot of their own music. Some of the bigger songs included "8th grade bride" and "Cold Beer and Fried Boloney"

Amanda C, am I the only one who laughed at your last line? (Sorry VDP, I couldn't help it. You must understand that I used to introduce my former (and only) husband as my "first husband" when we were married, and identified my married name as my "slave name".)

Ah, memories. Memories of why I left the Dark and Bloody all those years ago.

YumPo, I'm laughing, too. When my husband and I were first married, he introduced me to relatives as his "new wife." Didn't come out quite the way he intended it.

YumPo, I love it. Got to keep folks guessing.

The one wedding I officiated at, the groom intentionally wore clothing that, according to our religious traditions, gave his wife the right to divorce him. He did this to remind himself to work at keeping her happy, and as a promise that he would work at it.

I thought this was rather sweet, in the twisted kind of way I expected from him.

What is the Dark and Bloody?

"The Dark and Bloody Ground" is a nickname applied to Kentucky. The Indians warred with one another there, particularly the Cherokee and Shawnee.

Fortunately, the tourism people of the Commonwealth opted to use "My Old Kentucky Home" on the brochures over "The Dark and Bloody".

I dunno. You could attract Goth tourists with "The Dark and Bloody."

The Goths in Kentucky go to Louisville, or as a T-shirt I saw there calls it: Lou Evil.

Prof McI,
If you want to get your heavy metal on, venture up Harford Road to the Shamrock when Snowblind plays. Tell them Rob in Florida sent you.

I know you are more into the classics, but you might enjoy a night of Black Sabbath. Plus, they do have some tasty beers. Tell Terry behind the bar I said hello.

The JMc Harford Road metal tour would be something indeed.

Sadly the Harford Rd Safeway is the place that delivers to all of Baltimore City, or at least Little Italy. I have a Harford Rd grudge because of that.

Don't even get me going on Safeway delivery. Suffice to say, never again!

I will never use a grocery delivery service. I love going to the grocery store. I feel like a kid in toy store.

Well, I should say that when I'm at Eddie's or Fresh Market I feel like I'm at good toy store, like FAO Schwartz. When I'm at Superfresh or Safeway, I feel like I'm at crappy toy store, like the toy department at Ames or Jamesway.

RoCK--never say never. You never know when you might be incapacitated and need to have those toys delivered.

I was trying to avoid the roughly monthly trip up the hill from the Sadistic Safeway, dragging 60 lbs. of my younger cat's preferred brand of kitty litter. I was willing to pay to avoid that.

Safeway buggered up a simple kitty litter delivery. Then said, essentially, "oh, well." Wrong answer.

You have to be very strategic when using Safeway's delivery service. It has lots of problems.

Owlie, to get me to put up with that much crap, Safeway would have to marry me.

And while a corporation is treated as an individual in US law, I don't think corporations are permitted to marry under DCMA.

Since my fiancee lives near the Harford Road Safeway, she visits it a lot. I don't like the store all that much. The Safeway out on Joppa Rd. at North Plaza is much better.

Y'all should check out the Publix down here, where their slogan is "Where shopping is a pleasure". The people working there are super nice (almost sickeningly so) but are very helpful. I see people with a cut of meat or seafood asking them how to cook it, and they are genuinely interested in helping them. Plus, at the deli counter, they always ask how you would like it sliced, and show you a representative slice. And then they offer it to you as a snack. My sister thought that was the nicest thing, that they were giving her special attention. I told her they always do that.

(sorry, Prof. McI, for the incorrect grammar there)

Fl Rob, southerners are always nice and polite, even when stabbing you in the back.

Intriguing as the "Harford Road metal tour" might be, your best chance of seeing me is to arrange to be at the Hamilton Tavern some evening, before it gets crowded, for a pint or two and conversation. I'd like that.

Does the Prof keep office hours at HT? Or is appointment required?

By appointment only.

Before I started college one of my friends gave me two bits of advice: always go to class and meet with your professors during office hours. Had I been given the opportunity to fulfill both of these activities at a tavern I would have graduated cum laude.

The game lasts,
the game is eternal,
the game cannot be stopped,
the game gives birth to itself.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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