Premium ice cream has spoiled me for non-premium ice cream

I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

Our local grocery store has been sending us special just for us coupons in the mail, and each time it sends us coupons for various ice creams.  It knows our eating habits well.

Most recently, in addition to the standard pints of fancy boutique ice cream and Haagan-Daaz and Ben and Jerrys, we got a coupon for a half gallon of Bryers.

Back in college Bryers was the best, fanciest ice cream I could afford (mostly vanilla with minimal ingredients– is their vanilla still good?).  A huge step up from the big gallon tubs of generic ice cream my father would bring home when I was a kid.  Since DH and I got real jobs, we generally only get pints of premium stuff (or make our own!).

DH used the Bryers coupon to get a half gallon of Rocky Road.

Readers, it was meh.  Too sweet.  Not rich or creamy enough.  Nothing like the Haagan-Daaz we get.  I had a little and then it sat in the freezer until the children were reminded about it enough times for it to disappear.  DH did not partake other than a spoonful or two.

And I realized– I can not appreciate this thing I used to like because I regularly eat a better version.  Just like I can’t truly appreciate the chocolate of my youth because I’ve had too much high quality single source dark chocolate.  Even my favorite reeses peanut butter cups aren’t as good as the TJ’s knock-offs.

These premium items come in smaller packages too.  So I eat less than I did when we regularly bought the lower quality product because there is less.  Pints instead of half gallons.  Little tubs instead of big bags.

Am I getting more pleasure?  Am I getting less?  Is this healthier?  Is it worse on the family pocket-book?  It is hard to say.

Are there things that access to better products has destroyed for you?  How do you feel about that?

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Link Love for GET OUT THE VOTE DAY

The last day to vote is Tuesday.  Have you made sure all the good people in your life have the information they need to vote and have figured out a plan to get to the polling place if they haven’t voted yet?  (Have you made a plan to vote?)

I’ll be out canvassing with my sister.  DH is picking up signs for polling places for our congressional candidate and AG candidate from a nearby city.  Reader FF is canvassing too!

I’ll also be canvassing. I was really dreading it initially, but felt very energized by the positive feedback–some people even thanked us for doing this. Living in a reddish part of a purple district, it’s been good for me to see that there are others in my area who think as I do and are very enthusiastic about voting for Democrats (and voting out Republicans). I was told that GOTV canvassing is the most fun you’ll have canvassing. At this point, it’s more about getting supporters to actually vote, and less about convincing people. So I hope that you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

If you google “volunteer” and then either your senate candidate or your governor candidate, chances are they have a good ground game and a cell phone app that can get you hooked up this weekend.

If Fort Bend goes blue

Abe Lincoln’s republican party

Thread about the rise of Nazism in 1933 The parallels to today…

Related:  Guns did not help Jewish people in Germany

More families were separated than originally reported

Birthright citizenship case

I can’t believe Lindsey Graham said this (literal jaw drop):

Girls suing for the right to wear pants in a public charter in the US

Fascism in Brazil

Message to the Media on reporting objective facts

Trump cancels program to fight domestic terror

How facebook is melting the minds of our elders

Here are the idiots behind the dumb scheme to accuse robert nueller of sexual harassment

The following is a really good explainer about why Ken Paxton is able to run for AG despite being under indictment for insider trading (if you watched the Jon Oliver segment and had so many questions):

 

Ask the grumpies: Books on how cities can deal with growth (with some bonus climate change!)

Debbie M asks:

On the topic of how cities can deal with growth, do you recommend a book or other resource that discusses studies of various approaches and the benefits and bad side affects involved? Like I know that rent control in NYC inspired people to never move and landlords to never fix anything.

Sadly, my city keeps growing, but we still think of ourselves as a town and everyone wants their own yard. City Council is trying to develop a new city plan, but residents fear that increasing urban density will just make parking and traffic worse. Also when people are looking to build new high-density stuff, they want to start with the cheapest plots they can find–and there goes all our affordable housing. We definitely have a long history of segregating residences from stuff to do, and that leads to a reliance on cars. Anyway, I’m sure some ideas are better than others, right?

I have actually seen talks by TWO people who have written books on this very topic.  Though I haven’t read said books (*cough*).  Kent Portney and Matthew Kahn are leaders in this field.  My colleagues in political science say that each of these books was ground-breaking in the field of Poli Sci.  They definitely each give a great seminar, so I suspect their writing is also excellent.

#2 recently read The New Geography of Jobs by Enrico Moretti.  It’s slightly off to the side of this question, but it’s the only contribution I have.  It was a fast read and kind of interesting.  Obama read it!  (Oh hey, #1 saw a presentation on this one too!)

VOTE!!!!!!

What’s hanging around on your Kindle?

(… or other e-reader?)

A copy of Jane Eyre; Persuasion; Northanger Abbey; Carmilla; Middlemarch; Barchester Towers; a Jeeves book.  Father Brown mysteries by G. K. Chesterton.

Several books from the Liaden universe by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (Fledgling).  Lots of short stories by Seanan McGuire.

Almost everything K. J. Charles has ever published!  Romancing the Werewolf by Gail Carriger.  Amethyst by Lauren Royal.  (#2 thinks she deleted Amethyst, but she loves the Temptation series, especially the Consent is Sexy parts of Tempting Juiliana, even if sometimes that heroine is pretty silly– note that the first in that series is still 100% free for kindle and a good read/reread)

Serpentine by Cindy Pon.  At least 1 collection by John Scalzi.  The Corpse Reader by Antonio Garrido.

Random fantasy novels that I got a deal on:  The Native Star by M. K. Hobson; Not Dark Yet by Berit Ellingsen (I don’t remember reading this but apparently I did; I have no memory of it); The Final Formula by Becca Andre (tried to read further in this series but petered out); Ghosts of Tsavo by Vered Ehsani.  Here’s me talking about some of this before.

The Amsterdam Assassin series by Martyn V. Halm.

Several books by Martha Wells (Wheel of the Infinite; City of Bones; etc.). (#2 has all of these in paperback because her hardbacks from high school disappeared for some reason… maybe her BIL ended up with them?)

Widdershins by Jordan L. Hawk.  A romance novel I haven’t read yet that I heard about on a podcast.  Novellas by Tiffany Reisz.

Most of Sarah McLean’s Rule of Scoundrels series (A Rogue by Any Other Name), plus some Courtney Milan.  (Some of the Milan has nifty behind the scenes commentary throughout!)

Assorted detritus, short story collections, un-great romance novels, terribly-written fantasy (although I’m trying to delete most of this stuff).  [#2 only keeps very good and great romance novels on hers– even the sub-par Heyer got deleted.]

A couple of the Vorkosigan books by Lois McMaster Bujold; I have most of them in paper books instead.

Here’s some earlier posts on this topic, with links to mostly free or in a few cases inexpensive stuff.  (#2 has literally hundreds of books on her kindle– btw, did you know you could get Shellabarger and Sabatini books for free on your kindle?  #2 had no idea that Sabatini wrote so many boring terrible books in addition to classics like Captain Blood, Scaramouche, and The Sea Hawk.)  (#1 still prefers paper books.) (#2 does too except for traveling which she does a lot of, thus the need for more ebooks.  I’m pretty sure my sister ended up with my Sabatini hardbacks.)

We’re gearing up for holiday reading [and conference trips]… be sure to click our “books” tag to see all kinds of things we’ve read and loved in 2018 (and before).

That oughta keep me occupied for a while!  Whatcha got, Grumpeteers?

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Artists to support with money

We need art to keep us sane in this crazy world.  Donating to worthy causes is all very good, but if you want to consume some media, here are some suggestions.

 

Do you wish you could read more widely with low effort?  Great news!  I found out that if you subscribe to Open Letter publications, they’ll just send you their books in the mail.  The price is really surprisingly low, and all the books are translated from around the world.  They didn’t pay me to say this.

Patreon finds:  I need diverse games; award-winning author and podcaster Mur Lafferty; sure-to-be-award-winning writer Rivers Solomon; necessary words from The Bookavid; I’ve also read K. Tempest Bradford; I have enjoyed writing by Liz Bourke.  Amazing writer Nisi Shawl will also send you tea blends!  McMansion Hell makes us laugh.

I think LaGuardia Cross’s videos are hilarious and occasionally poignant.  Subscribe to his channel so he can keep getting endorsement contracts and stuff.  (Ok, this one isn’t spending money.)

I like podcasts from the maximumfun.org family of pods.  Some suggestions:

I recommend (again) buying things by Sarah Gailey.  If you aren’t convinced, try reading this story; that oughta do it.  And if you want to cry, you can read the sequel.

Get a t-shirt from the Call Your Girlfriend podcast.

Buy comics from Lions Forge (diversity and all-ages).

The Worldbuilders shop is a place to buy cool bookish things (like this rad bookmark). You can buy lots of foreign-language translations of fantasy novels (Hungarian!  Catalan!  Canadian French!  Polish!  Brazilian Portuguese!), jewelry, stickers, a sword, mugs, etc. Proceeds are given to charities such as Heifer International and First Book.

 

What kinds of art should people toss their dollars at, Grumpeteers? 

On Time Link Love

 

One of us is traveling and the other one is busy, so we’re likely missing any and all important links from Thursday and Friday.

Here’s an educator pledge that a former student asked me to sign.

If you vote by mail in Florida it is 10x more likely that your vote won’t count

Ted Cruz sent fundraising letters pretending to be legal summons.  This is not illegal.

Fake News and Advertising on Social Media:  A study of the anti-vaxx movement

Trump Administration releases new rules allowing states to remove the requirement to cover pre-existing conditions.  I’m finding that none of my students, even graduate students, know what a world without this requirement was like.  They are USED to being able to get health insurance. (#2 says: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!  I remember pre-existing conditions not being covered.  This is relevant to me and to my family.)

Should you trust Republicans or Democrats on health care?  The answer may not surprise you.

The University of Tulsa wants to learn about your reactions to the media coverage of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings. If you are in the U.S., please complete this short, anonymous survey to help us better understand the effects of the nomination and its news coverage.

More on universal basic income

Selling shares beats collecting dividends

BS asymmetry principle

Writing post-cards you find out about some interesting places.  Check out the street names in this subdivision.

Remember that if you’re in line by the time the polls close, they have to let you vote!

Finally… BOO. (Nerd joke alert)

Times are spooky, Grumpeteers!

Ask the grumpies: emojis vs. emoticons

Leah asks:

what is your stance on emoticons, and are there ones you favor? What about emojis? I prefer emoticons, for the record, but maybe it’s because I like to kick it old school.

#1:  Gchat used to have these super cool emoticons that would move and turn around after you made them.  So the less than 3 would rotate and fill into a pink heart.  The winky face would wink at you.  And so on. (Especially the secret hidden ones like the monkey and rock on and stuff.)  Those were the best.

#2: Emojis are silly and sometimes fun. I use them sometimes for ridiculousness. I prefer emoticons like you, as I am what you might call ancient school.