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Open thread 3/6/23

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  • captflee March 6, 2023, 8:58 AM

    l prefer the Double Rich Dutch Chocolate at the Old Dutch on Old Shell Road down L.A. way. Had a shipmate who claimed that a fat doob and one of those was, if not the Breakfast, then surely the Lunch of Champions. Good times!

  • RigelDog March 6, 2023, 9:06 AM

    I have a blank, bound book in which for decades I have been writing down poems, song lyrics, and quotes that deeply deeply touch me; words and wisdom that give my life direction and meaning and that re-awaken enchantment. It’s the most precious book I own, but I had not picked it up for quite some time.

    I did look at it today, though, after reading some poetry offered in Douglas Murray’s Sunday feature in Bari Weiss’s The Free Press (highly recommend the publication and also Murray’s weekly discussions of beauty and the written word).

    Flipping to the most recently written, here is the next-to-last entry. It’s by Gerard.

    “I have sometimes, I confess, ‘been half in love with easeful death,’ but no one escapes that siren call. The trick there is to lash yourself to the mast of the day, pray, and somehow, through the grace of God, just sail by.”

    • jd March 6, 2023, 11:47 AM

      Wow. Thank you for sharing, RigelDog.
      Thank you, also, for the site which I will explore.

  • Anne March 6, 2023, 9:07 AM

    Dear Neo:
    Thank you for your ongoing efforts–they are a gift. I don’t know how difficult it is for you to go through the AD history, or Gerard’s photo gallery, but I am going to make a request.Please know that if it takes too much time–not to bother.
    Sometime around November/December Gerard posted a cartoon sketch. It had a trojan horse being lured into the open door of a barn by Republicans. There were people in the horse and they were titled commies, or communists. It was a reference to the R party wanting to compromise with the Dems on the D’s terms. I would love to find that cartoon, but if it is too difficult please don’t bother.
    Thank you again for all you are doing . . .

    • neo March 6, 2023, 3:47 PM


      Voila! Here it is.

      • Anne March 7, 2023, 8:06 AM

        Dear Neo: Thank you so much! I hope it wasn’t too much trouble. I promise to put this to very good use!!

  • Kerry March 6, 2023, 12:02 PM

    The post Gerard did about F’Real milkshakes prompted me to immediately search for where they were available near home, and they were waiting for me just a few miles away! Good sh*t for sure!!

  • Casey Klahn March 6, 2023, 1:41 PM

    In the spirit of Strange Days, now comes: Judgement Days. The days grow late; things happen.

    Woody Harrelson goes completely off the rails on SNL, in good ways. Unfortunately, nobody watches SNL. Here is a “crazy script” riff of Mr. Harrelson’s bit, by Conservative Momma. Things…happened these past three years.

    Remember how you’re not supposed to be well-armed, but it’s okay if some “state militias” are? As if the Second Amendment redounds to the government’s favor, and you’re just a danger to children and well-meaning politicians everywhere? It turns out that “well regulated” is 18th Century language for gunned-up and stocked to the rafters with ammo. If the 2A meant that you were organized and dominated doggie-style by the government, then it wouldn’t fit with the rest of the Bill of Rights, would it? Damn my logic.

    Here’s an organized militia the government likes, and I suppose even regulates behind closed doors.
    Atlanta: ANTIFA versus police station

    The legendary Leonard Skynyrd is now without any of it’s original members, after the passing of Gary Rossington. They had a message for you all while they rocked. God & Guns.

    I finally figured out how to end pandemic diseases. End Game

    Seen on a t-shirt: The real pandemic is how stupid everyone is.

    Peace out.

  • ghostsniper March 6, 2023, 2:52 PM

    F’Real: The Return of the Milkshake
    by VANDERLEUN on JUNE 30, 2018
    Take your eyes off of any sector in this innovation-driven tech culture and in three years everything has changed. And now you can taste the change. F’Real.

    F’Real, that is, as in milkshakes.

    This surprising by-the-side-of-the-road innovation took me by surprise last year in a gas-station/convenience-store just outside of Grass Valley, California. I was looking at an hour and a half behind the wheel before getting home and feeling a bit peckish and thirsty at the same time. After filling my tank of the lower-priced fossil fuel blend I went into the store to check into, well, Dorito Futures for my drive.

    Once you’ve taken the Doritos you know you will have to take something else in order to, as we so delicately say, “Wash it down.” As I made my way towards the 500 linear feet of beverage choices my eye was caught by a new machine making a bold claim: “The Best Milkshake On Earth.”

    Now for those of you who have memories of what were once called “soda fountains” the milkshake is one of the leading reasons for your childhood worship of these once ubiquitous institutions. Beyond even the holy milkshake lay one thing that was even better– The Malted Milkshake Milkshake. As a boy I was addicted to milkshakes and even went so far as to spring the extra nickel to get the Ultimo Optimo Malted Milkshake.

    But those days were, I assumed, long gone and one was forced to either make one’s own Malted Milkshake at home (Ice cream, milk, chocolate syrup, Borden’s Malt, blend until the right consistency), or settle for the cup of aerated milk powder known as the “McDonald’s Milkshake.” I cursed an America that could have forgotten the real milkshake. Without the real milkshake being dispersed across the length and breadth of America I asked myself, “SELF, how can we possibly hope to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN?” I despaired.

    Then F’real machine opened my mind and shut my mouth.

    It has all the best things about the brave new age in which we are being dragged; personal choice and tasty treats with a screen for entertainment and updating while you wait for the robot to do your bidding.

    I was dubious at first. (It’s a robot. How good could it be?) But then I chose the basic “Chocolate Milkshake,” took out the cup from the freezer section, dropped it into the blending cup and waited while the whir and the whirl did their magic.

    What happened then? This milkshake aficionado speaks for me.

    “Yo, check it out. It just went inside the Millenium Falcon.”

    Since that afternoon in the convenience store, I’ve become especially alert for these machines on any route I might take. (There seem to be about 18,000 of them making America great again.)So far they seem to be only found in stores, but I am hoping that soon they will be available for homes.

    Then again, maybe not. Considering that every flavor F’real milkshake seems to be on my diet it might be best if I had to commute to it.

    UPDATE: It’s too late. Since I last checked three months back the closest F’real was at least 40 miles away. Now they’ve invaded Paradise itself. Still, I have to be strong. I have to show I have real willpower.

    UPDATE 2: I am deeply ashamed to confess that after discovering one of the F’Real machines within two miles of my house I resisted its Siren call for less than 30 minutes.

    Comments on this entry are closed.

    June 30, 2018, 11:07 AM
    There is one of those machines down the street and I’ve been tempted to give it a try for my summer ice cream fix. Thanks for the review.

    June 30, 2018, 11:12 AM
    WA Rt. 20 and Four Corners Rd., Pt Townsend. Boom! I’m sold.

    Roy Lofquist
    June 30, 2018, 11:56 AM
    When I was a kid, back in the dark ages, my dad owned a restaurant with an old fashioned soda fountain. It was in the Boston area which meant that things had funny names but that was OK because everybody talked funny. Soda pop was called “tonic” and milkshakes were called “frappes”. My brother and I, naturally, made every possible combination of 20 different flavors of ice cream and maybe 10 different syrups. The very best of all was a mocha malted frappe. We couldn’t agree whether chocolate ice cream and coffee syrup was the best, or maybe coffee ice cream and chocolate syrup.

    He sold the restaurant and we moved to California. For about a year I’d get real funny looks when I ordered a frappe or a tonic.

    June 30, 2018, 12:47 PM
    Well slap my ass and call me Sally. There’s one at a gas station a couple miles away here in south central Alabama. If there’s one here, there must be one everywhere.

    June 30, 2018, 1:20 PM
    Wow, I hope that Chocolate malt comes here! Used to love a thick, thick chocolate malt from the Fosters Freeze where I grew up.

    June 30, 2018, 1:29 PM
    Gerard, If you give up those Mexican sodas and their ghastly, garish colors and all that SUGAR, you should be good to go with F’Real in moderation. 🙂

    (Didn’t know there was a Stratton’s Market in Paradise.)

    Haxo Angmark
    June 30, 2018, 1:37 PM
    wish I hadn’t read this: I thought the McD shake was OK, now it’ll never taste good again.

    June 30, 2018, 2:00 PM
    I’ve let the Mexican sodas go, Abigail.

    As for Stratton’s Market, it’s just down the road from where I lived as a child in Paradise. Today was the first time I’ve been in the store in sixty years.

    But I shall return.

    June 30, 2018, 2:21 PM
    One can still get a Chocolate malted at Michael’s Dairy Ocean Ave, New London, Ct. Yes the ice cream is made on site, and the malt is two bits xtra. None. Better. And I make my own ice cream. Unfortunately we’re awash in libprogs. My change up malted is Banana with a real Banana blended in. Makes me feel like I’m 8 yrs. old again.

    June 30, 2018, 2:25 PM
    Perfect timing. My wife is a milkshake freek. Of the REAL milkshake variety, of which, until today, hasn’t existed since her yoot. Just yesterday her addiction got the best of her and we both jumped in my ride and drove 30 miles to Steak N Shake to try one of their milkshakes for the first time. She wasn’t impressed, said it had too much whipped cream and the milkshake itself tasted like all the others out there.

    So now you tell me about this, and I find out there is one at the Speedway 6 miles from here.
    Whoa. As my life effort is to keep my baby satisfied all of my life, about 3 seconds after I click “submit” I’ll be layin’ rubber southbound to what better be her nirvana, and I don’t care how much it costs.

    June 30, 2018, 2:48 PM
    I tried one of these for the first time last weekend. Actually, it was a pina colada smoothie, (perfect follow-up to a morning spent outside in steamy Florida), but that’s just a different flavor variety. Grabbed one out of the freezer without realizing it had to go in the mixer; the owner of the store took great delight in showing me how it worked, and with reason. Fun machine, great cold treats, what’s not to love?

    Ghost, question: how do you think it blends the shakes without sticking a paddle of some kind in the cup? Just vibration?

    June 30, 2018, 3:05 PM
    WELL????? How was the milkshake?!?!?! Dammit man! Breaths have been baited!

    June 30, 2018, 3:17 PM
    Superb in all ways. Not as good as those of the ancient of days, but still fresh, cold, and satisfying.

    June 30, 2018, 4:19 PM
    There is one on every corner!!! Ok, I’m agsadurating but there are 24 nearby and…

    0.88 MILES AWAY!

    I’ll be back in a few with a hot off the presses personal review.

    Dr. Mabuse
    June 30, 2018, 4:19 PM
    OMG they’re in Canada too! There’s one less than 2 miles away from home. I foresee a trip there with my daughter next week.

    June 30, 2018, 4:34 PM
    Had to give up milkshakes for a permanent Diabetic Lent. But there are Amish dairies where they have ice cream parlors just beyond the cow house…and the milk shakes? Sigh! Contented regret. Banana milkshakes were my favorite. Never more. Never more.

    June 30, 2018, 4:51 PM
    The price point is a little high, at 3.00, for the amount of product. But everything at quicky stop gas stations is overpriced. Smart product placement from a profitability perspective.

    There were 2 machines side by side, no waiting!

    The taste was ok…and then…I couldn’t stop eating it. Chocolate was my choice.

    I got the medium thickness, it actually disappeared all of the way up, unlike the video. I’m guessing that the thickness decides how far it goes up into the Super Galactic Voltronifying Transmogrifier.

    The bottom of the cup interestingly, has a spiral configuration…so I think that the Super Galactic Voltronifying Transmogrifier spins the cup. That was unexpected.

    The ingredients are problematic if you eat natural. Yes, there are Ice Creams with zero additives. And no, I wouldn’t expect a gas station milkshake to be healthy.

    Bottom line; Good, expensive, but good.

    June 30, 2018, 6:16 PM
    Was browsing the web while enjoying a machaca torta and some beef taquitos at Beto’s in Springville (UT). Came to your fine site (it’s on my daily browse list), read this article, thought ‘Huh. Never heard of this.’ Did a search at the F’Real website and like 20 popped up in Utah County, including one less than a mile north of my house. Went straight there, did not pass Go, got a chocolate shake.

    Good. Solid good. No, not the best I ever had (my lifetime favorite is a chocolate chip malt [extra malt] from Baskin Robbins), but better than the usual fast food glop.

    Trying ‘cake batter’ next.

    June 30, 2018, 6:46 PM
    Maybe I will search for a keto version of a banana milkshake to, you know, help out with the IF LCHF OMAD thing I got going on.

    Old Fert
    June 30, 2018, 11:01 PM
    Only ones close by are on the Army post about five miles away. None in our town (yet). May have to go check it out.

    July 1, 2018, 5:34 AM
    Re: the permanent diabetic Lent — You may know this, but there are some very good things you can do with smoothies made of unsweetened cocoa and frozen, unsweetened almond milk. Not the same, no, but not bad. I am told that things like ginger or lime juice are also quite nice with almond milk smoothies.

    July 1, 2018, 6:56 AM
    I don’t understand the point of traveling a distance for something that can easily be made at home.
    Been making milkshakes at home since I was a teenager.
    Am I missing something?

    Walt Gottesman
    July 1, 2018, 8:37 AM
    O.My Everlovin’ G. Never before heard of F’Real Shakes but, according to their website, at least one of their machines is in a gas station 1.49 miles from us, just waiting for us on this hot day. The soda fountains where we used to hang out are all gone now but we can, after 43+ years of marriage still drink a milkshake to their memory and dream of them. A tip of the hat to you Mr. GVL. Thanks!

    July 1, 2018, 9:15 AM
    I’ll be damned, I thought I’d have to go at least 2145 miles down to Seattle to find a f’real.
    I typed my zip code into their site and found there’s one less than 12 miles away at Siourdough’s in North Pole!

    Walt Gottesman
    July 1, 2018, 11:48 AM
    The chocolate one was good tasting and good slurping consistency. Had to first convince the wife (after looking at the F’Real website) that the machine is self-rinsing after each use and steam cleans itself every 24 hours. She was skeptical about using it if it was left to the employees there to clean it. She didn’t like it that corn syrup was listed among the ingredients but she did like the taste. The experience was not like being at the old soda fountain but it was good for a laugh. Thanks. Happy 4th to you and yours!

    July 1, 2018, 1:53 PM
    I hope you bought a load of their stock before you posted this [1/2 mile for me].

    July 1, 2018, 1:59 PM
    What a drag.
    Like the Terminator said, “I’ll be back.”

    July 1, 2018, 4:05 PM
    Had to try one today after reading and watching the post last night, and there are numerous options near my home in Dallas. Great consistency, real flavor, not too expensive–your basic weight management nightmare. Thanks for the heads-up!

    Gordon Scott
    July 1, 2018, 5:05 PM
    I saw them the first time about six years ago in a little independent store in Pine Island MN. They’ve spread out some. Every Holiday store has one now, Holiday being a regional chain. As for the price, it seems a bit high, but really, it isn’t these days. McDonalds will charge you about the same and it’s not as good.

    We have four or so great ice cream parlors here. I have been known to get a milkshake at one, and it’s about $2 more than the F’Real.

    The company owes you some courtesy passes, no doubt!

    July 1, 2018, 5:19 PM
    Gerard! I generally get a “slurpee” frozen coke at a local Loaf ‘n’ Jug after mowing on a hot day (like I did today) and it really cools me off. Today, though, I discovered the “Big D” had F’real and it is even closer to my house. The chocolate was outstanding! I did the “regular” thickness but found the straw inneffective, except as a makeshift spoon. As I walked in, I asked the clerk if the F’real was any good, and he replied, “Oh, yeah!” I’d say he was correct. Thanks for the tip.

    July 1, 2018, 5:29 PM
    The pleasure is to serve. I’m going to branch out from my basic flavors this week.

    Charley HuaCu
    July 2, 2018, 6:00 AM
    Houston Heights, 1950, soda fountain at the local drugstore (Balfanz Pharmacy)Banana malt so thick the long handle spoon had to be pushed into the mix, wouldn’t sink and would stay upright centered in the malt. 50 cents would get you one with a hamburger to die for. Gone now along with the Mading’s chain that could not quite compete with those malts. Dangit!

    July 2, 2018, 10:12 AM
    MY plan for greater and great access to F’real is going forward with this email from this morning.

    Hey, Gerard!

    Thanks for your email! We LOVE your review and we’re totally stoked to hear you’re enjoying f’real! We’d like to send you a T-shirt and some coupons to share our love right back!! Let us know a size and your address and we’ll get that sent your way!! Thank you for being a loyal f’natic!!

    Speak with you soon, ”

    Of course I would be more than happy to pay and keep paying….

    July 2, 2018, 12:28 PM
    OK, you grab the flavor of your choice from the glass fronted small frig on the bottom, then you tear the foil top off and sit the 1/3 filled frozen concoction in the silver cup, you then touch the icon of choice for the thickness of the mix on the screen, and the cup immediately elevates itself up into the machine. The screen says it is mixing and to enjoy the music which has started playing. Subway is noisy and the music is low so I didn’t hear much. It took longer than I expected, to mix, maybe 2 mins. Finally it said it was ready and the cup lowered down to it’s previous location. As I grabbed it cold water droplets from above got on my hand. I looked into the cup and there was a swirl design in the now liquidish frozen concoction. My impression is that indeed a spinner went into the cup and after removal it was rinsed off, ready for the next one. (I suppose it’s possible for a foreign entity to be placed inside the cup prior to putting it in the silver cup that would then get on the spinner that I am assuming mixes the thing, but what sane person would do such a thing?)

    That f’real machine is locacted in a large beverage island right in the middle of the Speedway and everyday all day long hundreds of people go past it and/or use it. I have gotten plenty of muds (coffees) there and have even tried once or twice a frozen slurpy like beverage that comes out of a machine that is located right next to the f’real machine. I never really looked at the f’real machine much because it is low to the floor. The whole thing goes from the floor up to about maybe 6 and half feet tall. It’s a busy island and unless you stand there and interrogate the whole thing you won’t know what all it holds. It’s possible that f’real machine has been there for years, I dunno.

    There was no price on the product or machine and I didn’t keep the receipt and paid with cash so I don’t know how much it cost. My wife said it tasted pretty good and I didn’t get one for myself. To be truthful, it took about 15 minutes to get home from the speedway cause I was behind an asshole that has all the time in the world and there was a whole fleet of tree trimmers along the road too, so what my wife received was not exactly what was delivered immediately out of the machine. Now, 2 hrs later, I kinda wish I got one for me.

    Gordon Scott
    July 2, 2018, 5:05 PM
    Well, Gerard got my wants up, and I dragged the wife to Izzy’s, a local ice creamery in Minneapolis (it does not take much dragging to get her to go to Izzy’s). We started going there about 18 years ago, when the whole place was in a storefront 20 feet wide, with the ice cream making area down one side, and the display freezer down the other. Now they have a second location, and there were about 100 people in line ahead of us. But the staff is very well trained, and the line moves quickly, and in about 20 minutes we were inside the store, and a young wench came to us and took our orders. One chocolate malt, one strawberry malt, both large, cost $20. As they are being made, we proceeded past the freezer with 32 flavors inside. I sampled Swedish Picnic, which oddly featured raspberries instead of lingonberries, but no matter–it was great, with the raspberry flavor stunningly fresh. Our malts, made to our specifications as to thickness, whipped cream and very good cherry on top, were wonderful. Expensive, yes, but for a once in a while treat….

    Hangtown Bob
    July 4, 2018, 7:15 AM
    I make my own chocolate malts. A blender works just fine. If you want a particularly rich and smooth malt, toss in a raw egg. BTW, I use Carnation (Original) malted milk powder.

  • ghostsniper March 6, 2023, 2:54 PM
  • Checkers March 6, 2023, 3:43 PM

    Tasty shakes. Quick and cheap. Mmm.

  • ThisIsNotNutella March 6, 2023, 4:35 PM

    1757: Frederick the Great to his retreating troops at the battle of Kolin: “Dogs! Do you want to live forever?”

    2023: My failed advertising pitch to f’real.

    Can’t win ’em all.

  • John A. Fleming March 6, 2023, 11:13 PM

    In my teenage years I worked in ice cream stores, the kind where you go in and pick out your favorite flavors from big tubs. Yes, I was that soda jerk that you watched stack up your double scoop of rocky road and mint sherbet. Of course, we had sodas and shakes. Sodas were your favorite flavors blended with carbonated water. Shakes were, well, scoops of ice cream with milk and malt powder. And the customer’s flavor selection was always correct. In those days, ice cream seemed like a perfect food for me. Fruits, nuts, milk, dairy fats, granola sprinkles, what else does anybody need?

    It’s been years and years since I’ve had any ice cream and other dairy confections. Somewhere along the way I just plain lost my taste for them. Cold soda water with bitters is now an always refreshing drink for me. Or a dessert liqueur like amaretto or drambuie.

    I see that idiot the Fraudulent goes out and has an ice cream cone wherever he goes. I read somewhere that old folks like ice cream. And then I remembered that my dad in his latter years developed a hankering for ice cream, and he’d always keep a carton in the freezer. He’d pull it out and just start chowing down, pulling big scoops and feeling happy. People said he was overweight and he was, not at all like today’s blimpos we see waddling everywhere, but for the times in the 60s and 70s and 80s when everyone was still slim, he stood out. Those nighttime ice cream snacks kept him in fighting trim till the end. Not a bad way to go out, take your pleasures while you still can.

    I only have the vaguest of memories of this article of Gerard’s. I probably saw the headline, milkshake, and I just scrolled on. There you go. Seize the day, because all things come to an end before you are ready.

  • jwm March 7, 2023, 11:31 AM

    I sent an email via the contact form at the subscription site, but it Outlook returned the message. I discontinued the paid subscription. The account now has me listed as a free subscriber, but it is still charging my CC. Could you look into this? Thank you.


  • Casey Klahn March 8, 2023, 4:04 AM

    I’ll go back to politics for another post. The history buffs among us will certainly recall how Grant and Sherman were handed the keys to Chattanooga and Atlanta by the Confederates in the Civil War. You know, Ol’ Johnny Reb just opened the doors and toured Sherman through the cities and the whole thing was akin to a big panty raid.

    No, I didn’t think you remembered that. Biden, Inc. has called J6 the biggest attack on the Fed Govt. since the Civil War. Now, that turns out to be bullshit. Tucker Carlson is releasing video footage of the actual events at the capitol, and the lib state narrative is crumbling. My question to the readers here is: is anything coming out that you didn’t already know? I feel we already knew this non-sedition narrative because we read conservative blogs and websites. In my estimate, this is video the Left is seeing for the first time, and heads are exploding over it. Which is fun. Will a paper mask protect me from the splatter of Leftie’s head as it vaporizes from the truth bomb of the J6 videos?

    Takes a slurping sip of his milkshake. Carry on.

  • Terry March 8, 2023, 7:34 AM

    A chocolate shake, a chocolate cone and a poem by Gerard to read, while enjoying all.

    That would be my tied to the mast and last joy’s delight.

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