MGZ's Profile

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Do you hold Grudges against Restaurants? And for how long?

"[T]hat they are not your equals is a little offensive and classist."

Funny. I would've gone with "dickish".

about 1 hour ago
MGZ in Not About Food
2

McDonald’s Clothing Line Gives New Meaning to ‘Wearing a Mac’

To be honest, I'm not interested in the clothes., but I'm pretty excited for the flavored condoms to come out in the fall.

about 6 hours ago
MGZ in Food Media & News

Do you hold Grudges against Restaurants? And for how long?

Grudges really just aren't my thing. Sooner or later everything should be forgiven. Doesn't mean that I have to forget.

about 6 hours ago
MGZ in Not About Food
1

How to Create an Original Recipe

As I started reading your post, my untroubled friend, I went first to my own observations that web designers (as a general group) are some of the least "original" in their creations. Truth is, however, that they suffer from the constraints put on most of the commercial art world - they're client driven. Those clients are profit-driven and often lack both creative comprehension and an ability to think about things in a non-static manner.*

I think we see this play out visibly in the mainstream of the restaurant world.** Chefs are handcuffed by a conception of "what will sell." After wearing those steel bracelets long enough, they're inevitably stymied and actually grow comfortable with inhibition. On the other hand, I can putz around with a liverwurst and Swiss ravlingogi in my home kitchen because it doesn't matter if it's vile (as well as impossible to create a sauce for). There is no dissuasion from waking up the next day with the idea that chicken livers and parmesan might be worth a shot.***

The irony I start to see in this is the fact that it's the least creative, most commercial "artists" are those who are most aggressive in enforcing their intellectual rights. DIsney, to take a general example, is notorious for this, yet the most "original" thing they've done in forty years is make a heroine "not white." Creators who make almost nothing for the work they manifest are the ones who contribute most to the ideas "in the public square,"**** yet they're the ones least likely to be able protect themselves - if they even wanted to do so.

On a tangential note, I'll surrender with one final thought. Anyone who seeks to create, whether the purpose is the elusive quest of the "original" or a simple desire to personally progress, should be willing to commit to exposing themselves to as much of what already exists as possible. Nothing extinguishes creativity more than a closed mind or a closed door.

* I recently saw some amazing hand-lettering turned down with the statement, "I'm not sure if I get it."

** Let's omit the outliers for this part of the consideration.

*** Then again, plate with a red sauce and I'm coming up on Spaghetti Caruso territory . . . .

**** I'll omit the diversion into too much legal history, but it is quite interesting to me that copyright protection is actually a constitutionally mandated concept that was deemed worthy of much more limited protection at a time when dissemination and innovation occurred at a drastically slower pace.

about 7 hours ago
MGZ in Food Media & News

$15 hr min. wage x zero hours =?

Well, my therapist said I couldn't, but I just knew, deep down in my (bleeding) heart of hearts, that somehow, someway, I could make someone smile while contributing to this thread.

about 8 hours ago
MGZ in Not About Food
1

$15 hr min. wage x zero hours =?

I once spent almost ninety minutes buying drinks and talking to a girl I met in a bar. Didn't even get so much as a handjob.

about 9 hours ago
MGZ in Not About Food

Orion Magazine | All You Can Eat

I had never seen the magazine before. Now, I'm really enjoying it. Food section in particular.

1 day ago
MGZ in Food Media & News

How to Create an Original Recipe

Actually, I'm terribly conflicted on the issue. "Original" artwork provides the foundation for our livelihood, but my general thoughts are that the copyright laws are antiquated, the Bono/Mickey Mouse Act was simply a piece of corporate welfare, and that free works of art are of tremendous benefit to society's development.

Luckily, years spent as a corporate lawyer have left me with the skills to twist myself a mental, Gordian knot.

I still think secret is in finding the "H" note . . . .

1 day ago
MGZ in Food Media & News

How to Create an Original Recipe

I've found myself thinking about this subject time and again over the past several days. One of the fundamental questions I keep coming back to is, "Why would we care/want to create "original" recipes?" I mean, other that those who might have aspirations to enter the saturated Cookbook market for profit, does it matter?

Personally, I am inquisitive, creative, and prone to experiment. After years of developing skills and tasting ingredients, these traits have become part of my approach to food preparation. But that motivation is fundamentally selfish - I benefit from sating both my curiosity and my appetite. The fun I had making various versions of "ravlinogis" I've discussed on the Site before provide a perfect example of this (and, apparently has my Mother thinking I'm a genius because two months later Oprah has a feature along the same lines in her magazine). Mostly, I just wanna try new things - even if it leads to liverwurst leaking out of batter into hot oil.*

I don't know. I guess it's just that I simply agree with you that this subject has significant room for discussion and consideration. (Probably why I keep bumping it - Shhh!)

On the upside, in a roundabout way, it's led to my discovering Guru's "Jazzmatazz" album and I'm grateful for that. (Ever since 7-11, I've been listening exclusively to K-Pop. I didn't like the way the Ska community responded to the Slurpees!)

* I am reminded now of greygarious's thread from January: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1001717

1 day ago
MGZ in Food Media & News

Orion Magazine | All You Can Eat

I stumbled across this very interesting article about shrimp fishing and farming. Figured I'd share such a worthwhile read (and stick to the very expensive wild shrimp when the cravings hit).

1 day ago
MGZ in Food Media & News
1

$15 hr min. wage x zero hours =?

"NEW teachers face a huge change in teaching structure and right now there is a shortage of teachers and a huge list of substitute teachers on every town budget for approval."

Well, in fairness, teachers, as we know them, aren't likely to be around for much longer than minimum wage, fast food workers. See, e.g., http://www.theatlantic.com/education/...

1 day ago
MGZ in Not About Food

$15 hr min. wage x zero hours =?

"80% - 90% dropout rates are common."

That just isn't true. There is no support for it. It is certainly too high,* but making up statistics doesn't help to make your point. It just calls into question any arguments or conclusions based upon it.

Assertions like this don't help either:

"Can speak to numerous scandals involving urban districts pushing failing students through who would have ordinarily failed and dropped out which could be a factor in dropout rates."

Anecdote is not a substitute for real data. As I said above, we can agree to have different world views, but when you want to base yours upon stories and suspicious statistics, it makes discussions like these futile. Justifying beliefs by affirming the consequent or rejecting the consideration of alternatives, is simply a way to prevent addressing problems.

It would be more helpful and less disingenuous to the process to just be honest. Arguments to maintain the status quo always stem from one of two motivations: (a) the status quo is perfect and (b) the status quo is comfortable/advantageous to me personally. The first requires a scenario that is virtually never true. The second is actually valid, if disconcerting, so why not own it?

The spectrum between the singular importance of the individual and that of the collective is broad. Frankly stating "I've worked hard to figure out how to make this apple cart work, so I don't want to let anybody upset it" isn't a crime. When you think about it, it is this deceit that plagues our national, political discourse. It appears that a nagging conscience or concern for the appearance of morality prevents the presentation of unveiled veracity.

* See, e.g, http://www.trentonian.com/general-new... ("The drop-out rates in urban sectors are staggering. Figures from the NJ Department of Education reveal that in 2013 Trenton graduated 48.6 percent of its students while Newark and Camden graduated 67.7 and 53.4 percent respectively.")

1 day ago
MGZ in Not About Food

$15 hr min. wage x zero hours =?

Whew! Thank God! Now I can go back to being just a lovable ol' dirtbag. (Reminds me of the time I narrowly dodged the "slacker" bullet.)

Mar 25, 2015
MGZ in Not About Food

$15 hr min. wage x zero hours =?

"As for our "Great Society Social Programs" that we have spent trillions on, the record of pre vs post speaks for itself."

Does it?

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archi...

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/...

Mar 25, 2015
MGZ in Not About Food

$15 hr min. wage x zero hours =?

Some time ago, I read an NY Times article about "normcore". Who would've thought my daily dress of a solid tee shirt and jeans would be trendy and fashionable?

Now there's all this. I only shave once or twice a week. Hold a liberal arts degree. Have been selective about my employment. And, just last week, my Mom gave me a hundred bucks - two fifties.

Holy shit! Have I become a "hipster"? Is that even possible at my age?

I knew I should've worn a condom . . . .

Mar 25, 2015
MGZ in Not About Food

Bring your shopping cart back where it belongs, please!

MrsB, my offer for the cart return still stands, and I'm happy to extend it so you can feel free to call the door holding to my attention should I fail to see you coming, ok? I'm rarely an asshole, but sometimes I do get distracted.

Mar 25, 2015
MGZ in Not About Food

Bring your shopping cart back where it belongs, please!

Pro Tip: Next time swing by the Stationhouse after the trucks return. Tell the guys what you did and revel in their gratitude, complimentary beer, and funny tales of cats in trees.

Mar 25, 2015
MGZ in Not About Food
2

$15 hr min. wage x zero hours =?

Especially in the Google era:

"New Jersey spends about 60% more on education per pupil than the national average according to 2012 census figures, or about $19,000 in 2013. In Camden, per pupil spending was more than $25,000 in 2013, making it one of the highest spending districts in the nation."

"Camden’s public schools are among in the worst in the nation, notorious for . . . an on-time graduation rate of just 61 percent."

http://reason.com/reasontv/2015/01/26...

Let's grant Tom the benefit of the doubt and assume he was exaggerating?

Mar 25, 2015
MGZ in Not About Food

$15 hr min. wage x zero hours =?

The numbers I had seen were roughly that the 1968 wage would adjust to about $10 - $10.50. That's roughly what I had in mind.

As to experts, I was referring to testimony put on at the legislative proceedings. The stuff politicians would no doubt have considered in coming up with proposals.

Mar 24, 2015
MGZ in Not About Food

$15 hr min. wage x zero hours =?

Ahh, both extremes at once. Cool. That's way better than the usual slippery slope/$100 argument alone.

As to the "why have one at all" question, I'd certainly be amenable to some sort of replacement form of government protections for labor. The problem is there are none even being discussed right now, so it's merely an academic exercise (though I enjoy those).

As to the slope, I doubt you believe that's some sort of "gotcha". Obviously inflation is the answer. I've not opined as to what the magic number for the raise should be, but the equivalent to the 1960s figure seems most likely to strike a balance. If governments and their experts agree on a slightly higher number to anticipate the future, I can live with it as well.

The automation excuse wears thin to me however. It just seems extortive. It's going to happen anyway, so what if we have to adjust in two years instead of four?

Mar 24, 2015
MGZ in Not About Food

Bring your shopping cart back where it belongs, please!

That's why I light fires in people's homes. I'd hate to see a firefighter have to get laid off.

$15 hr min. wage x zero hours =?

I'm sorry, but I just can't help myself from hearing "walking uphill in the snow" stories. Let's simply chalk it up to different world views?

On a quasi-related note, I found this interesting last fall:

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/arc...

Mar 24, 2015
MGZ in Not About Food

How to Create an Original Recipe

I find the broader subject to be quite interesting. In fact, I shared some thoughts last month:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1004...

I should add that since hearing the Mark Ronson interview, I've had quite a Slick Rick earworm. Misogyny aside, "The Great Adventures of" was a very good record.

Mar 24, 2015
MGZ in Food Media & News
1

$15 hr min. wage x zero hours =?

"There is a serious problem, its clear to see, and all the extremes do is muddy the water."

Absolutely. That's probably why assertions that read like "these kids today . . . " bother me so much.

Mar 24, 2015
MGZ in Not About Food

What 'Race Together' Means for Starbucks Partners and Customers | Starbucks Newsroom

"I applaud Starbucks even in this failed attempt, since it did get people talking about talking about race."

It at least got them thinking about it enough to decide they're not ready to say much out loud. It's not really surprising. The status quo is beneficial to three-quarters of the population, it's not likely that in their deepest, truest selves they're too eager to want to change that.

Mar 24, 2015
MGZ in Chains

$15 hr min. wage x zero hours =?

"47% of current american jobs will be gone in 20 years."

Here's a great read on the subject: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archi...

Mar 24, 2015
MGZ in Not About Food

$15 hr min. wage x zero hours =?

"My problem is too large a % of our citizens are not."

OK. I'll assume that some percentage is, for purposes of this response. Can you tell us what the percentage actually is? What is it based upon?

Mar 24, 2015
MGZ in Not About Food

$15 hr min. wage x zero hours =?

I also mentioned that the use of anecdotes does little to address the subject at hand other than showing what are single instances of observation. For example, your post http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1007... is merely hearsay and extrapolation designed to support the notion that an entire generation is lazy and shiftless. It doesn't. It's just spiteful and an attempt to distract attention from the issue being discussed.

Likewise, Puffin's story about "a guy I know" http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1007... suffers similar flaws. If anything, it merely supports either the idea that "the guy" is a bad businessman or someone who made the mistake of thinking that franchise ownership is a better business model than it is in reality. Are we supposed to say, "oh yeah, that poor guy. He's made money for a while with depressed wages, it's unfair to ask him to bring those up to date."?

In the end, all I'm really saying is this, what is it honestly about raising the minimum wage that truly bothers you? Does the concept that a burger may cost an extra quarter cause indigestion? That minimum wage laws have benefitted individuals and society for generations?

To me, it seems that for a lot of people, it's more like a sporting event. "Well, our side is against it and I gotta root for them. I bought this red jersey and everything." When we look to history and data, outside of the constraints of "positions", it's hard to see how maintaing a minimum wage at a level that is insufficient for people to survive on, benefits more than a fraction of a single percent of our citizenry.

Mar 24, 2015
MGZ in Not About Food

$15 hr min. wage x zero hours =?

I'm sorry. It appears in my haste to post by phone yesterday, my prose was less than clear. I'll try to rectify that now.

I mentioned the New Yorker article since, knowing we have discussed this subject before, I thought you had a general interest in understanding as much as you can about it. It was not proffered as any sort of support for the placeholder that was the paragraph which preceded it. Now that I'm back at my computer, I'll post the link: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/201...

If you want to label the New Yorker as a "Liberal publication", fine, but there are one of the few publications out there still doing any meaningful investigative journalism.* Look past the opinions expressed to the facts and data contained and upon which they are supported. As to the franchise owner issues I was generally referring to, this passage is what I mostly had in mind:

"In late July, the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board ruled, in connection with another set of complaints, that McDonald’s is a “joint employer” with its franchisees. The corporation exercises, through its standard contract, the most elaborate possible control over virtually every aspect of its franchisees’ operations, and the pay and the treatment of workers are very largely determined by that control."

* * *

As to what I wanted to come back to, reiterating talking points that are based upon half truths only obscures the facts and precludes meaningful discussion and progress. For example, the "takers" meme is old and unsupportable. Half of American citizens will need some form of government assistance in their lifetimes and less than five percent of those who receive benefits do so for a continuous period of ten years or more. See, e.g., http://www.salon.com/2015/03/22/race_...

Another one is the dusty old "bootstraps" chestnut. Economic mobility in the US is pretty limited and trails behind that of other nations. See e.g, http://www.salon.com/2015/03/07/the_m... It is simply not true that in our contemporary society all one needs to do to prosper is work hard - examples of it happening occasionally does not debunk the data showing that it usually doesn't.

(I'll move on to the anecdata in another box)

* Of the more respectable "Conservative publications" available, there is very little material of this sort being produced. I mean, if you look at the National Review, for example, Thomas Sowell is basically the only writer considering the subject and he writes nothing but relatively short opinion pieces that contain very little fact and almost no citation links. See, e.g. http://www.nationalreview.com/article...

Mar 24, 2015
MGZ in Not About Food

$15 hr min. wage x zero hours =?

I think you're being more mouthpiece than messenger.