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Friday Fun Thread for April 12, 2024

Be advised: this thread is not for serious in-depth discussion of weighty topics (we have a link for that), this thread is not for anything Culture War related. This thread is for Fun. You got jokes? Share 'em. You got silly questions? Ask 'em.

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Finished up a project I'd been planning for a long time, but the weather finally got nice enough to do in my shop comfortably.

A rolling stand with some drawers for my drill press. Went super easy. The frame is just 2x4 construction lumber trimmed down to 3" wide, half lapped at the joints and glued/brad nailed together. It's super fast to put together, and more or less self levels as the glue continues to dry after you put a load on it. In this case a heavy ass drill press. The drawers are just 3/4" cheapo plywood with 1/4" cheapo plywood bottoms. Pocket hole screwed the cabinet for them, then rabbet joints, glue and brad nails for the drawers. The larger drawers were captured bottom, the smaller ones weren't. The rails are just more plywood.

It was a fun, quick build. Probably took me a solid 2 days. Spent one morning a few days back getting the frame of the stand put together, all day yesterday getting all the rest except the drawer faces done, and then an hour and a half this morning finishing up that task. This project was mostly training for breaking down sheet goods with my fancy new Kreg jig. I have to admit, it worked fantastically, and was a lot safer than feeding 4'x8' sheets of plywood through my dinky little jobsite tablesaw. That said, I still think I need to rough cut with the circular saw and do final dimensions on my tablesaw since it's more accurate. Once it was all put together I saw a lot of the cuts I'd made completely with the jig had about 1/8"-1/16" of wobble to them. The quality of the cut was a lot rougher too versus the higher quality blade I have in my tablesaw.

It's bonkers how much you pay for plywood smaller than 4'x8'. Basically a "Hah hah, you don't have a truck" tax. It's fully double per square foot for a 2'x4' sheet versus a 4'x8' sheet.

With that done, it clears the way for the boardgame table I plan on making out of black/rustic walnut. Going to be my first actually pricy build. I computed the lumber cost will come out to around $350. Which is a steal over buying one, which ranges from $1000 to $2000 or more.

It's bonkers how much you pay for plywood smaller than 4'x8'. Basically a "Hah hah, you don't have a truck" tax. It's fully double per square foot for a 2'x4' sheet versus a 4'x8' sheet.

At least my local Orange Box store has a couple of saws they will use to rough cut things like this. There isn't always someone on hand to operate it (I've had to wait either in line or while they paged the guy in the store) but they don't charge for a simple "make it fit in my car." I will admit I have to spend more time planning my cuts on the panels as a result.

For long boards, I've usually just waited, but I have considered bringing a handsaw to make it work for small jobs. If I ever need a lot, they do rent trucks by the hour, but I've never tried that.

I just put the 4x8 sheets on my SUVs roof rack. There is a pretty simple plywood rack you can easy make with 2 2x4s and metal brackets.

If anyone likes either the show Hot Ones or Conan O'Brien this is maybe the best of both:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=FALlhXl6CmA

In a very old instance of nominative determinism, apparently there is a former world champion of correspondence chess with the surname Sloth. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%B8rn_Sloth

Correspondance chess is a wild game.

Today it is usually played through a correspondence chess server, a public internet chess forum, or email. Less common methods that have been employed include fax, homing pigeon and phone

can't wait for the latest chess move to arrive by uh... homing pigeon...

And with RFC 1149, it's even legal.

Awesome

It's not quite pigeon, but correspondence chess by naval courier was a plot point in one of the Honor Harrington books, if I recall.

Hahaha. This made me laugh, thanks.

Slow chess best chess fr

I just finished watching Dune 2 and took some notes while doing so. Notes, not an essay, so what you get is a jumble of thoughts.

  • The Director turned a fanciful book that made little sense into a visually impressive film that makes even less. All visual spectacle.
  • Present-day politics clearly present and accounted for. White people bad, the whiter the worse. Paul and Jessica are presented as outright villains, and Chani is the moral center of the story.
  • Soundtrack with people suddenly screaming in fantasy-arabic, ouch, my ears.
  • Emperor: A fucking joke.
  • Chani, if it weren't rude I'd say she's an ugly bitch.
  • Irulan - the acting suited the character, the speech did not, the looks did not at all.
  • Margot Fenring, Lady Jessica, Alia, pretty actresses, decent acting.
  • Fight scenes: Absolute trash. Ridiculous acrobatics VS completely passive victim-badguys. Harkonnens, Sardaukar, no matter, they just stand around dumbfounded and do some slow-motion waving once per scene, while the Fremen breakdance all over the place. And of course the Fremen have regular guns and use them...from off-screen at impossible angles, but not when it would actually make sense. None of the fighting makes sense!
  • Lasers and metal-storm like helicopter door guns looked nice though.
  • Sardaukar standing around in the desert sun in triumph-of-the-will formation.
  • Worst of all: The boots. Floppily open-topped boots in a sandy desert. Ouch. Luckily it wasn't all of the characters who wore them, but I still pitied the ones who did.
  • The Fremen hideouts are...giant highly visible architecture. How stupid exactly were the Harkonnens? Do the people of the future just not believe in reconnaissance? Same for the Fremen having a massive but completely unnoticed troop buildup just around the corner from the Emperor's army. Everything is so damn visible! But then the Fedaykin just dig themselves out of the sand at the feet of the army, so I guess nothing needs to make sense anyways.
  • Javier Bardem, I don't know if he's a good actor at all. I don't know. Feels like he's phoning it in, or was never much good to begin with and I overrated him so far because I'm a Cormac McCarthy fanboy. Or maybe he is good, but the movie is such overrated tripe that he falls flat.
  • The final duel between Paul and Feyd-Rautha is...meh. Not as bad as the one-sided fights preceding it, but it looks like stage fighting 101, with nothing but flashy, highly-visible moves meant to be easy to counter. Makes sense for a movie, of course, but still looks something in between silly and boring.
  • Now, to be fair, Dune is difficult material to work with, because it made little sense even as a book. But this is just...all shape, no substance.

A thousand apologies for a worthless post, worthlessly posted, but I needed to put it somewhere.

And that’s what the Fun Thread is all about.

Re: Fremen hideouts, yeah, the people of the future hate recon. Or rather they rely on satellites, which the planetologist subverted by bribing the Spacing Guild. Everything on the north half had to be camouflaged, but the south definitely had open-air operations.

Present-day politics clearly present and accounted for. White people bad, the whiter the worse. Paul and Jessica are presented as outright villains, and Chani is the moral center of the story.

Every major character apart from Chani was white (as in, portrayed by a white actor), though.

Yes, but you can clearly see a gradient of morality that's pretty much the gradient of skin darkness. From the very dark Liet-Kynes, practically a saint, to the darkish Chani, morally flawless except for her doing violence, to the lighter Stilgar, a fanatic blinded by propaganda, but at least on the right side, to the much lighter Atreides, greedy egoistical colonialists who exploit the natives for their political games and are nominal heroes only because they fight even worse people, to the almost-albino cartoon villain Harkonnens.

This frankly seems like a bit of an overthink. The Fremen (canonically originating from Egypt or the general Nilotic area) are black or brown. The Great Houses, again canonically distantly from Greece and Russia (though it would be amiss from me to not to mention that the surname Harkonnen originates from Finnish), are white. Most of the nonwhite characters died in the previous film.

Present-day politics clearly present and accounted for. White people bad, the whiter the worse. Paul and Jessica are presented as outright villains, and Chani is the moral center of the story.

I wouldn't agree on Paul but it did occur to me that Jessica, due to the movies downplaying how much her going AWOL (and kicking off the deaths of everyone as a result) was about love , really comes across as vastly more malevolent not just in this movie but in the first one too.

They sort of flip Jessica and Paul's eagerness with respect to the missionara protectiva prophecy; in the book Paul is all for it and Jessica reluctant. But in the movie it is Jessica who is the insistent one and Paul troubled with it. This makes Jessica seem much more manipulative and also lumps her in with the rest of the Bene Gesserit when she was supposed to be the black sheep

Did they explain the original BG plan in the books? They were going to marry Paula off to Fred to breed back to the harkonnen bloodline, but would the emperor not have joined the conspiracy if Atredes only had a daughter?

Yes. And their male child would unite the Atreides and Harkonnen families. The emperor has no male children. His daughter would be married to this person.

I don't think they explain it past that in the books. I guess the BG were gonna massage it later but the implication is that's how they would get some peace (or at least preserve one of the lines)

In the films they do say that Jessica was told to carry daughters but not explicitly that they were to be wed to Feyd (like many things, there's enough to project the book canon unto it but not enough to recreate it). It is explicitly said in Part One that Paul is a boy because Jessica wanted to bring about the Kwisatz Haderach early and was willing to risk Paul's life to do so.

Casts all of her behavior in a very different light.

Jessica’s internal monologue definitely says she did it for Leto in the book. Weird change to make.

Agreed, The the movie was a collosal waste of 3 hours.

Why is 80s media so upbeat and optimistic? Are there significant reasons besides abundant cocaine?

Neoliberals were strip mining the economy and the labor market, but the short term effects were pretty impressive. The foreign policy establishment was digging us into a hole that would eventually lead to the collapse of the empire, but in the short run in made us feel very strong. A lot like someone on a cocaine bender, ironically.

Neoliberals were strip mining the economy and the labor market

Neoliberals embraced deregulation and austerity because Keynesian economics and large amounts of the economy being state owned or heavily regulated lead to the stagflation of the 70s.

Fashion oscillates, and the zeitgeist happened to swing towards optimism?

Though…in last week’s conversation about housing, someone mentioned that incomes grew unusually fast in the 80s. So I can’t rule out something like that. Maybe anything was better than stagflation.

Probably a reaction to 70s media being so depressing and dystopian (Logan’s Run, Soylent Green, Taxi Driver).

It's annoying how expensive substacks are. I wish there are some sort of bulk deal where I could buy all the ones I'm interested in at a significant discount, because as much as I love the writing of the writers I follow, I can't drop a hundred bucks a year on each of them.

My biggest gripe is the trend in which Substack authors make most of their posts free but put personal recommendations, such as the films, books, or music they consumed or items they purchased, behind a paywall.

I much prefer it that way than the other way around.

I mean, isn't that the least important thing to paywall? If you want to know what they care about so badly, you probably care enough to pay for it.

I think it works for ‘optimizer’ tech guys who read three columns maximum, or for news/gossip/opinion junkies with money willing to spend $200/month on substacks, but for the average reader the newspaper model is obviously preferable.

I don’t think there’s a huge issue with it though. Before the advent of high speed presses and mass literacy in the mid 19th century newspapers/magazines were niche and expensive with very low circulation in most cases, and that worked for them.

Errr...

I just found out a distant aunt of mine is already lining up Nice Indian Girls for me in the UK. You know, eligible bachelor nephew showing from the Homeland, getting a degree worth a shit, gotta snatch them up young.

This is not a joke. And frankly I'm an idiot for not seeing it coming, given that I am Indian and know their proclivities for matchmaking, especially within their community.

Well, at least she's in London, I pray her auntie-network doesn't reach all the way north, though I'm already fishing for excuses to dodge that for now. Like, I think I'd be a good dad, and I do want to settle down soonish, but not that quick, let me fucking live a little. And while I'm not particularly picky about ethnicity, I doubt she has buxom blondes lined up.

This thread is amazing, many thanks to all who contributed. I am starting to wonder if the Motte is entirely populated by Indians though...

I wish. Or actually I don't, if I wanted to talk mostly to yet more Indians, I'd stay in India.

Oh dear, about the UK..

At any rate, you're getting a sneak peek into how the sausage is made. Or how the potential customer dodges the weiner coming at his mouth at the least.

Maybe Western nerds would have fewer issues and their national fertility rise if their moms and female relatives had as much free reign to nab them a waifu haha.

I have acted as the Indian Aunty to matchmake/gatekeep for my desi brother (UK born, Indian, Doctor, absolutely shit useless with women), so let me (not) assure you: the Indian aunties in the UK are recommending socially reclused mummys girls whose lives are intertwined with their mothers at the hip, or these girls have run through their address book and are finally willing to accept their parents request for a Nice Indian Boy.

These arent necessarily bad things, the girls tend to not be psychotic, but I will say that the passivity of all the girls is infuriating even for socially functional desi men. Something about the NRI cultural experience demands that the men take the active lead in all aspects, with little feedback mechanism for what constitutes a successful interaction. As the Matchmaker, I have received endless complaints from the mothers about the lack of Interaction from my brother, so if you decide to pursue those paths, do note the pitfall.

On the other hand, their passivity and your relative bargaining power (articulate Good Indian Boy with medical degree) means you can set the tone entirely. Depending on your shamelessness you can use these girls as your mandatory partner in exploring the London gastronomic scene or as sounding boards for your gushing at the wonders of the Bovington tank museum.

Finally, buxom blondes tend to come with uncertain mass distribution curves. Be prepared for disappointment should you make footfall in the West.

Ah, finally someone who knows what I'm talking about.

the Indian aunties in the UK are recommending socially reclused mummys girls whose lives are intertwined with their mothers at the hip, or these girls have run through their address book and are finally willing to accept their parents request for a Nice Indian Boy.

As I expected really, British Indian girls, especially those born and raised there and not hailing from very orthodox backgrounds have plenty of options for partners, so I consider it mildly suspicious that they'd be looking at the arranged marriage route (there are of course plenty of benign reasons, and the same is true for the men, such as your brother, who is welcome to take dating lessons from me if you haven't already finished up your work as a matchmaker lol).

Since India itself still has it far more normalized, it's not nearly as eyebrow raising should I hear the same story here.

And I can't really complain too much right? My mom was an absolute nerd too, and paid no heed to men until her mom and dad beat her over the head to get married so her younger sister could marry the guy she fell for, now my uncle.

And I do know perfectly decent guys, doctors to boot, who would make acceptable husbands but are totally incompetent or halt and catch fire in the presence of two XX chromosomes.

These arent necessarily bad things, the girls tend to not be psychotic, but I will say that the passivity of all the girls is infuriating even for socially functional desi men. Something about the NRI cultural experience demands that the men take the active lead in all aspects, with little feedback mechanism for what constitutes a successful interaction. As the Matchmaker, I have received endless complaints from the mothers about the lack of Interaction from my brother, so if you decide to pursue those paths, do note the pitfall.

I have had far better luck in dating seriously back at home, but rest assured there are plenty of Indian girls who wouldn't know how to use initiative if it was their only option in Scrabble, heh.

And as for myself, I am very much not awkward, though this is largely academic since I don't have serious desire to get hitched in the UK right now, especially since I still harbor hopes of going to the States instead (even if I have to repeat my Residency), and I genuinely do not think I am "absolutely shit useless with women", and am suitably thankful since the prognosis is terminal unless Dr. Concerned Family Member intervenes.

On the other hand, their passivity and your relative bargaining power (articulate Good Indian Boy with medical degree) means you can set the tone entirely. Depending on your shamelessness you can use these girls as your mandatory partner in exploring the London gastronomic scene or as sounding boards for your gushing at the wonders of the Bovington tank museum.

Oh boy. I'm really not that kinda asshole, and believe it or not it's my sense of shame that keeps most of my ADHD at bay. But should I ever need someone else with me to visit the Royal Museum of Firearms so I can gush over their collection and get an autograph from Johnathan Ferguson, I will take your advice. If they stick around afterwards, I know they're marriage material ;)

Finally, buxom blondes tend to come with uncertain mass distribution curves. Be prepared for disappointment should you make footfall in the West.

Insert joke about how the taste of their food and the faces of their women compelled the British to conquer the rest of the globe. But don't worry, if she exceeds my 1 rep maximum, and I'm concerned I can't roll her off the bed, I'm not going for it.

I appreciate the advice and your brother is lucky to have you. Make sure he treats you suitably, I think a lot of expensive champagne is good enough, but you might take mercy since you know NHS wages.

who is welcome to take dating lessons from me if you haven't already finished up your work as a matchmaker lol

Don't make an offer you can't back out of.

totally incompetent or halt and catch fire in the presence of two XX chromosomes.

Self consciousness is the bane of the Good Studious Asian, and it is impossible to overcome without experience, and it is impossoble to have experience without overcoming it. With the added proviso that the longer you go with no experience the more this albatross hangs over your neck.

My brother is the worst Indian to ever Indian, having never actually stepped foot in the motherland or even speaking a single word of any Indic language He is the ultimate coconut, yet has practically no experience with the fairer sex. Exhortations of 'just be yoursrpf bro' enthusiastically extolled by Indian Ultrachad don't help, nor does 'just learn to settle' from well meaning women help. The desi dating experience in the UK is really one of the most variable ones, and it brings forth madness from any who experience its troughs.

For your sake, your aunty has vetted the prospects as beyond the pits of Indian Despair. Failing which, weird clinginess might follow.

Don't make an offer you can't back out of.

I've done better things for worse people 😉

Self consciousness is the bane of the Good Studious Asian, and it is impossible to overcome without experience, and it is impossoble to have experience without overcoming it. With the added proviso that the longer you go with no experience the more this albatross hangs over your neck.

I suppose in front of the Pearly Gates I can argue I was Good, and definitely Asian, studious? Well, you know I have ADHD. I just manage lol.

But yeah, I know the type. They make for good doctors and decent husbands, they just need a bit of prodding for the latter.

My brother is the worst Indian to ever Indian, having never actually stepped foot in the motherland or even speaking a single word of any Indic language He is the ultimate coconut, yet has practically no experience with the fairer sex. Exhortations of 'just be yoursrpf bro' enthusiastically extolled by Indian Ultrachad don't help, nor does 'just learn to settle' from well meaning women help. The desi dating experience in the UK is really one of the most variable ones, and it brings forth madness from any who experience its troughs.

Bruh.

To be nice to the poor guy, this would be a far bigger concern if he was a girl, since even nominally liberal NRIs still hold out in their hearts of hearts for a slave doting daughter in law who participates in the rituals and asks them in nice Hindi/Indic language how they'd like their tea in the morning. But it's hardly a deal breaker for men, especially if they're hardworking and competent, and you haven't accused your brother of not being the latter. They can compromise on that front.

"Just be yourself" my ass, if I was just myself all I'd do was sit around and argue with internet strangers and play video games. Sadly I'm straight and fond of feminine comforts, like ensuring I don't leave the house looking like what the cat dragged in, and so on. And if the "yourself" is quiet and nerdy, well, you're doubly screwed, and thankfully I'm willing to talk ears off if I feel like it, hence psychiatry.

I don't have the temerity to call myself an ultra-Chad, but I punch above my weight class, and know how to do that in a manner that isn't just sidling up to a drunk chick in a club and relying on looking good and dancing well. Better to take advice from someone who once struggled and improved than someone who never had to think with anything but their dick in this regard.

And dating advice from women? He's better off writing his own will, and a death certificate too since he's qualified. You seem more understanding and introspective, but what girls say they want and what they actually want are miles apart in most cases.

Well, at least he has you, you have his best interests at heart and seem to have your head screwed on straight. Just ensure that he marries someone with more emotional intelligence, or I guarantee the kids will be hella autistic. But if they are, well, you know a friendly psychiatrist who will cut you a discount for being a Mottizen. And I can and will talk to the poor guy if needed, just invite me to the wedding so I can get some half decent food and abundant liquor.

And dating advice from women? He's better off writing his own will, and a death certificate too since he's qualified.

Indeed, stated vs revealed preferences often betray a massive discrepancy. Nevertheless these women actually talk to other women, and pretending to at least listen to them is a bare minimum for social interactions.

Truthfully, he, like many anglicized NRIs, suffer from a bias that you yourself betrayed in your earlier statements, which is a strong preference to date outside proximate cultural companions. Even if the girls meet physical descriptors ("fair and lovely"), many indian men are, I find, terrified of the idea that the girl they date may end up like their mother.

(side note: the one major and exceedingly hilarious exception to this observed trend is the NRI communities in Jersey City, who are so far removed from the generic ABCD culture of vague parental agreeableness/overbearing and liking Indian food that other NA NRIs from Flushing to Virginia find the Jersey NRIs incomprehensible.

And before that sparks any interest in yourself, their social experience distance from generic ABCD experiences does not make them less insufferable. Just... just trust me on this one.)

Anyways, it is this specific issue of social experience distance awareness that I find most incomprehensible to the Aunty community, and thus the nice genteel/exhausted pattygoing indian girls who have finally given in are still approaching Indian matchmaking from a totally different perspective. The specific dynamic at play is interpreted differently by the four relevant parties (Fe/Male Prospect (FP/MP) and Matchmaker Fe/Male (MF/MM ) - Ignore the extremely unfortunate acronym - whereby the FP and MP are both viewed by the MF/MM as 'returning to the fold' which includes obeying the unspoken social structures of the NRI experience. By contrast, even if the FP/MP are kissless handholdless Good Indians they have been acculturated in the west, not fully versed in the expectations and more importantly obligations of the NRI cultural sphere. The gormless women have no idea what to expect to begin with (except for 'generic unvocalizable disappointment') but the exhausted partygoers will judge MP with even more harshness than the FM would because their prior expectations still exist even in this new context they ostensibly consented to participating in.

tldr hope that your obligations only require contact with a gormless girl, cause down the other path lies pain.

I'd rather not sleep on the town mattress, even if I'm not particularly judgemental. Just had things breakdown with a med student who turns out to have an unfortunate habit of getting frisky when she's drunk, and not necessarily with me.

I appreciate the insight from one so wise in the ways of matrimony, may one of the one lakh and change gods and goddesses we have bless you for your advice.

And frankly, you're putting me off the whole thing. Well, not entirely, but I was never too keen to head down the arranged marriage route, and now I'll actively avoid it. Well, even more actively than I'm doing now. There's always the Import Unspoiled Girl From The Old Country route (🤢).

many indian men are, I find, terrified of the idea that the girl they date may end up like their mother.

No mommy issues here, even if I prefer older women for their emotional maturity. I'd be tickled pink if one of them was like my mom! In non-Freudian ways, she's a sweetheart ❤️.

And where's your mom in all this? Surely she must be pulling her weight, or is everything being left on your capable shoulders?

Import an indian girl from the old country once you get your green card. Get that 1m dowry and a downpayment on a Loudon County white picket fence. Chances are she'll be moderately westernized herself past the point of gormless insufferability. Don't trust the aunties, deep down they're hoping any match they find for you is a proxy for their own daughter.

As for the attempts of the aunty network, it has all been failures. The girls have ranged from fully-passing halfies to 8/10 modern elites to tradwife factory template to the leavings of ultrachad, and all have rejected the match. My boy has flamed out with literally every girl in the last 15 years, except for one I accidentally introduced to him. Hence, by dint weight of historical track, I have been tasked with this sacred mandate.

Well, if my luck keeps working out, I might end up in the US doing yet another residency, and I think that green card fetches a higher sum lol. But that's just optimistic daydreaming for now.

Jesus Christ how old is your brother? 15 years? I regret my offer on rizz lessons, he's probably going to be a senior consultant and not in the mood for lectures from an uppity junior.

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Finally, buxom blondes tend to come with uncertain mass distribution curves.

Oh this, oh this.

No matter whether you like tits, ass or hips, with even a little age mass goes where it wills, and it obeys no rules but gravity.

It is an absolute curse that the reality of dating frontloads immense amount of effort into visual presentation, which quickly loses its value in contributing to long term maintenance of a stable relationship. Yet, without that frontloaded focus, one cannot even reach the steady state whereby ones looks are diminished in their relative priority.

One can love their partner regardless of how they end up looking, but you must have a partner worth loving in the first place before the luxury of ignorance can be afforded. Relationships should grow like a fine wine, even if the people grow sideways within said time.

My aunt in the States offered to do this for me. The only question in my mind is why on earth would a girl in the centre of the world (NYC) be willing to import a spouse? (she claims there are many in her community) NYC probably has some of the best marraige-age people : human capital/wealth ratios in the world.

Western Desi kids (especially the girls) are such losers for even allowing this to be an option.

I didn't tell her a flat no though, obviously the best option is to keep this door open incase I can't cook something up in due time.

The girl I knew who took up the offer did so in desperation after her situationships all failed simultaneously, just as she thought she could convert at least a few of them into simultaneous dating arrangements. She did play the millennial power woman dating meat market well while her cards remained in her favour, but alas punjabi genetics caught up to her, and the circle of orbiters all escaped immediately.

The man came over, she discovered she preferred singlehood to domesticity with a dweeb, then she went to california and discovered the joy of being a precious commodity. I give it 3 years till the next shot of punjabi genetic affectation hits her, and she'll take up her moms offers once again.

That's a sensible decision. I'm perplexed as you that anyone in the West would end up needing such aid, but hey, at least it's a decent fallback.

Kinda harsh? Some people and families I'm sure put more importance than you do on familial and cultural ties. Nothing wrong with that as long as it doesn't turn into a "Hassidic jews bankrupting the NY state budget abusing welfare programs" style of insularity.

UK capped a lot of child welfare at 2 children for all born after 2017. Probably a good idea for the US.

Last year I was at a social gathering with an (about 30?) year old, higher-class Indian woman who lamented that her parents refused to find her a match before her older sister. She was also talking about matchmaking sites where all sort of criteria are included, like skin tone. It was problematic that her older sister was darker skinned than she was. Wild stuff.

The older sister thing is a common story. Happened to my mom as well, she got married because her younger sister fell in love with a grad student, and they were planning to tie the knot before they moved to the States. My mom wasn't one for romance, barring some traumatizing incidents where I accidentally read her Mills and Boons novels out of boredom as a kid lmao.

The main issue is that in some more conservative parts, people get suspicious if the older sister (not a brother) isn't married yet, because it raises concerns about why that hasn't happened. Is she a bad egg? What's wrong with her? And those concerns can hamper the younger one, even if it's for entirely benign reasons.

In actual India, this isn't a big deal, not most of the time, especially if the family has a decent excuse, such as the older daughter still being in grad school, doing a PhD, being in a committed relationship and so on. But if they emigrated a while back, they probably still have older cultural attitudes ossified in them, all the more if they're explicitly looking for an arranged marriage (most Indians abroad don't do that, as far as I'm aware, it's usually acceptable for them to find their own). I'm not condoning this, I find it rather sad, but that's my understanding of the issue.

She was also talking about matchmaking sites where all sort of criteria are included, like skin tone. It was problematic that her older sister was darker skinned than she was. Wild stuff.

Ah, Indians of all castes and creeds are obsessed with skin tone. The fairer, the better as far as they're concerned. Skin lightening creams of dubious utility have been raking in billions, for decades.

This is an issue for both men and women alike, but a bigger deal for the latter.

Hell, even I internalized this as a kid, and until I was secure in my own skin, dark as it is (hardly the darkest, but still obviously brown), I used to be deeply jealous of my younger brother who happened to be both fairer and otherwise more classically handsome. But that's a thing of the past now, and has been for a while. I have my own personal appeal, be it when it comes to looks or otherwise. But I know I look fine. He's certainly still more handsome, but motherfucker needs it, given how bad his ADHD is, I'm praying he ends up bagging a sugar-mommy so he doesn't have to work for a living heh.

Now this hasn't changed, it's been a cultural obsession since before living memory, and I don't know how well glutathione skin lightening creams work, but if there's something coming out that obviously makes people fairer, it'll make more money than Ozempic does.

I thought you had an America-hating girlfriend?

Now I have an America-hating ex girlfriend! That much hasn't changed. She failed her exams, not that we broke up because of that. We had issues, and I can't point my finger solely at her.

I did love her a lot, if that wasn't obvious, but at least I won't have to cajole her into moving with me, assuming that ever happens. For now, the UK it is for me, for the next 3 years at the least.

Are you an atheist? If so, will this be a problem for Matchmaker Aunt?

I am an atheist, and I'd go so far as to say I'm an anti-theist, though I keep my religious squabbling to places like the Motte. As long as someone doesn't impose on me, I can deal with a little spirituality in a partner, even if I strongly disapprove.

I don't think my aunt knows this, but it probably doesn't matter. I doubt British-Indian women are particularly devout themselves, especially if they were raised there. And most view Hinduism as more of a cultural tradition they're fond of rather than nursing burning desires to undergo a pilgrimage to the Himalayas and see the Ganga sprout, somewhere before it turns into a river of shit and corpses. And I'm not going around burning temples to the ground either.

And besides, there are literally atheist strains of Hinduism, most famous being the nastiks, which ended up being the common word in most Hindi-adjacent languages for atheist. It's a very tolerant and syncretic religion, it's unlikely any Indian girl I meet there will care as long as I chuckle ruefully as she tries to set fire to the place with lamps for Diwali or insists on wearing a sari during festivals and smearing food-grade pigments on me during Holi.

It's not a big deal really, unless they're from super conservative backgrounds or fresh off the boat.

lol

This sounds like a win-win.

It's not a loss for me haha, but as much as I love biryani, I don't eat it literally every day (though it was close for a year or two).

I don't particularly care if the person I end up with is Indian or not. Hell, I think Pakistani or Iranian girls are the hottest, though them being Muslim would certainly be a headache for my family, liberal as they are. Can't blame them, they were being genocided for being Hindus in East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. I'd be salty too.

I'm suitably touched, and I appreciate the gesture, even if I shake my head ruefully. Not going to settle down yet. Give me a few more years, I've been through some shit and might even move again, if the stars align.

Are Pakistani girls noticeably genetically distinct with regards to looks? Or is it just like saying white Canadian women are hotter than white British women?

Yes, they look more "white"

India has like at least 30 distinct ethnicities, and people from the different corners bear about as much resemblance to each other as a Norwegian does a swarthy Spaniard with Moorish ancestry. Or they do to with a Pacific Islander or Australian aboriginal, or the fucking Chinese. People from the North Eastern regions are far closer to the Thai, Nepali or Bhutanese in terms of looks than they are to me.

It's a fucking diverse country, not that I expect Westerners to be able to make out finer distinctions than North vs South Indian, or maybe Punjabi if they're wearing a turban.

So yes, Pakistani girls, while overlapping with Indian girls from across the border (said border being largely arbitrary at the time of independence), do look notably different, and what else but genes would account for that? I think they're super hot, but it's not like I don't know hot Indian women from my own particular ethnic group or any other.

To be honest, I can't even tell North or South Indian folks apart. Then again it's not like people wear a badge saying what part of the country they are from, so unless you know the differences already it seems like it would be hard to suss out. The only thing I know about different regions of India is that a friend at a previous job (from Chennai) used to talk so much shit about North India, lol. I always took that with a grain of salt but it was pretty funny how much trash he would talk about North Indians.

I can't even tell North or South Indian folks apart

Neither can they, will frequently get immigrants open conversation with me in Hindi. 2nd gens like myself are even worse, most can't even tell I'm south Indian after hearing my extremely Dravidian last name.

Ah, accursed Northern/Southern Indians! They ruined India!

Yeah, the North and the South are usually locked in something between friendly rivalry and a bitter bloodfeud. They don't speak the same languages or even similar ones, when they do communicate it's mainly through English, which is the lingua, uh, franca, and the younger ones down south have picked up Hindi too.

But you need an ophthalmologist if you can't tell us apart dawg haha, though I'm somewhere in between given my own cultural background, but closer to north Indian in terms of culture and language. At least we can sorta understand them, and vice versa. Then there's also an east west axis, though that's not quite as jarring.

Oh right. Kind of a stupid question on my part, in retrospect.

Nah it's not a stupid question, quite a lot of people don't even realize that India, Pakistan and Bangladesh were once continuous and you couldn't tell you were somewhere else until you were several hundred kilometers past the border.

A lot of the changes was people fleeing in the tens of millions during the Partition, but even then, the populations across the border don't diverge that much. But at least if you go far enough west in Pakistan, you can tell they're closer to Afghan than what you'd think of as Indian.

Surely the strategy is to enlist your aunt to find someone suitable even if you also try on your own? My family never helped me but if a well-connected relative had had suitable candidates of the right class and background I’d at least have looked them up on social media to see if they were hot lol.

Update:

She's sending my mom pictures of one on WhatsApp, she's a med student in the UK, her dad is a doctor too, in the NHS, and it turns out he's from the same med school as my mom, just a year younger.

Fuck. It's worse than I thought. I'm honestly not sure how I can weasel out of this one, I have to save face on their behalf, even if I'm not down.

Well, I did at least look, but I'm not marrying a med student, I think my NHS salary for the first few years can support just about myself and an undemanding cat willing to live off the neighborhood wildlife, not a family. Though they're well off enough that it wouldn't be a deal breaker for them.

She do be kinda cute though.

You're locked in, buddy. No sense fighting it or yourself now. Let us know when the kids arrive!

I'm so screwed. Can't even offend him, I don't know what specialization the dad is and I'd rather not piss off a senior consultant when I'm fresh off the Boeing lol.

Eh, I'm sure I can just claim geographic distance and educational pressure. Defer that decision to the future and hope someone gets her first.

How long is the engagement for a typical arranged marriage? What would be the longest and the shortest?

Very general question, but usually it's a matter of months, once both families are content with the pairing (and so are the spouses to be). That follows however long it took for both sides to get comfortable, and rule out the other options.

Eh, I don't think I've seen it take longer than a year, or shorter than a month. Some people are slightly superstitious about auspicious dates, or have more practical concerns such as giving enough notice for distant family to make it, and at least where I live, the winters are the marriage season, it saves on the air-conditioning bill and waterproof makeup if nothing else.

I mean, I never said I wouldn't do that 😉

But it's more that I'm mildly concerned she's genuinely expecting me to start lining them up and discussing marriage plans the moment my flight lands. Which is probably a slight exaggeration, but hey, she never had any kids of her own and I doubt she's got anything better to do, bless her heart. A nice young man showing up, freshly single after ditching that awfully temperamental girlfriend of his (her words, not mine, not that I'd disagree, I did really love her but goddamn did she have issues)? It'll give her something to keep her busy.

Maybe that's something for 2 or 3 years down the line, assuming I haven't gotten some poor girl infatuated by then. Sadly they only tend to figure out I'm an awful boyfriend in some regards when it's a little late, but I'm working on that. I have to, I simply won't survive independently in a distant land if I don't get my act together, and at least I'm now looking forward to it.

Must be nice to have a family and community that actually cares about helping you with that! Spend a few years getting shot down on tinder and in clubs, then youll be more appreciative.

It's not that I'm not appreciative, I think it's sweet of her, it's just a bit misguided and not what I want to be doing with my life right now.

I don't think there's anything wrong with arranged marriages for the matter, even in India, outside the truly hidebound and orthodox, it's more serious dating with additional vetting by family on both sides. I'm sure the more religious here will understand, especially our Jews. It speaks to how atomized most of the West is that this strikes anyone here as an utterly foreign concept (and I'm not pointing at you either).

And while I've literally complained about how god-awful Tinder is, I'm doing pretty well on the other dating apps. Better than expected. There's no way to express how well without coming across as boasting, so I'm giving up on it. I only avoid talking about it (more) because I too was once an angsty, sexless dude lusting after girls and never getting any. I think I'm at the point where that hasn't been true for most of my life after puberty, but I remember how awful that felt, and all the worse when you do know people who are getting it good.

Look, I'm tall, I've got a deep voice and a glaring lack of an Indian accent. People in the West mistake me as hailing from Nordic parts, and are genuinely surprised to find out I'm Indian, at least if they only know me from my voice. I'm funny, charming, when I can be arsed to (and for a pretty girl I can be very arsed), and I sincerely think I'm a nice person who is fun to talk to and whose company people enjoy, even as friends. I'm kind. Gentle, even.

I'm in a field, which, if not held in quite as high esteem in the UK as it is in India or the States, is still highly respectable. My career is finally progressing, and I don't see any major roadblocks ahead barring my now gently smoldering desire to fuck it all and escape to the States. I got called hot by some cute chicks recently, and they weren't even drunk (though they could use an eye checkup). I wouldn't call myself handsome, per se, but at the very least it wasn't a deal breaker when it came to seeing women much hotter than I am.

I'm not an introvert, I'm at a happy medium where I can mix with people if I care to. I can charm women by sliding into DMs or in person.

I just happen to suck at dancing, so maybe clubs aren't the right place to be, but believe it or not I have options. And I wish to explore said options, given that things have utterly broken down on with the girl I saw myself marrying, and then I discover that hey, cute girls younger and older than me are into me. It's a nice feeling. I didn't expect it.

If all else fails, and I can't meet a cute doctor at work or elsewhere (and I don't particularly care if they're a doctor, or about their ethnicity), then sure, there's always the backup option of relying on the old whisper network or more organized means of finding a spouse, but you're mistaken if you think I'm likely to need it. I do alright.

And that's that for me. I'm not scared, and why should I be?

How do you not have an Indian accent? I would be very surprised if someone who grew up in the US and spent their entire life there didn’t have an American accent. The only cases I’m aware of would be some sub-sects of Ultra-Orthodox Jews that still have Yiddish-inflected American accents (although these are still more American than not, the same is true for their British equivalents) or some Mexican-Americans who grew up in largely Hispanic border communities and almost never interact with non-Spanish-speaking Americans.

I know some very rich Indians who have British or American accents but in the former case they went to boarding school in Britain and in the latter case they typically either go to boarding school in the US or to international schools in Singapore, Switzerland etc from 11 or 13. I looked up Rahul Gandhi on YouTube and even he (very high status Indian) seems to have a strong Indian accent, which is almost funny coming from him because he looks (for obvious reasons) like a swarthy European.

How would you describe your accent? More American, or just international enough that it sounds ‘not Indian’?

My parents were too busy to have a honeymoon. My dad was in the OR operating when I was born.

To be fair, he and my grandpa were doing the C-sec on my mom, so I can't claim he wasn't involved lol.

But when I was a little older and they had money saved up, they decided to spend about 8 months traveling the globe, seeing quite a few countries but mostly spending time with friends and family in the UK and the States. I was still barely a toddler, but started off knowing only my mother tongue, but came back fluent in English with an American accent. And an addiction to Teletubbies, which probably explains why my mom had to lug a suitcase full of VHS tapes back and why my writing mixes styles and idioms from both sides of the pond. But at any rate, while it did dwindle with time, I was always great at English, to the point where it far outpaces even Bengali, let alone my lacklustre Hindi. And I consumed mostly English-language entertainment from an early age, and spoke English almost exclusively with my friends, my mom and my brother.

So I have an extremely neutral accent, one that sounds vaguely Nordic to western ears. I get asked literally every day at the hospital if I'm from around these parts, and I have to assure them that I am. Well, not for much longer at least.

I guess @cjet79 and @TheDag have heard me over voice comms on discord, so you can ask them what I sound like. My opsec is so compromised, but I'd still not rather make my voice public, especially when it's trivially easy to clone these days. It's not an affectation, though I abhorr Indian accents and wouldn't want to sound like that in the first place. Not that I'm very fond of British accents either, they've got some stinkers, and even Received Pronunciation sounds uppity and unnecessarily trying too hard to be posh to my ears. But who am I to judge? I just hope I don't acquire a Scottish one, Indians find me hard enough to understand as it is. I prefer American accents in general.

I'm terrible with differentiating accents.

Neutral is a pretty good description of yours, but I'm American so maybe that is your accent. You have a very deep voice so that throws me off a little.

I'm not sure if I'm remembering any Indian affectations or I just assumed they were there cuz I knew you were Indian. It might have just been that you correctly pronounced Indian words, which most people with non-indian accents can't do. I think it was a food item curry/Tikka/biryani etc.

Ah, well, if you were speaking to me, biryani almost certainly came up somewhere. It's a near and dear topic, and I'll miss it in the UK, where decent biryani in the style I like was nigh impossible to find. Some of the flavoring and spices are too, and my ex planned ahead and brought her own.

Unfortunately in this one regard her ambitions exceeded her culinary talents, and while she did make a tasty rice dish, I'd struggle to call it biryani. Closest I found to what I like was from a Pakistani restaurant.

I asked my friends who know how to cook if it's possible for me to learn how to make it properly while I'm taking a crash course in Single Survival 101, and the consensus is an unanimous no. It takes time, rather specific utensils and spices, and is easy to fuck up if you don't know what you're doing. Which I don't.

Guess that clears up what I'm eating for the next few weeks eh?

Nordic looking dark skinned Indian from India without an accent is probably just a joke.

Re: Rahul Gandhi - many Indians who grew up abroad and speak with e.g. an American accent code switch and talk with an Indian accent to Indian Indians. It's possible he just does that all the time for the cameras to seem more Indian.

You didn't get what I said. I look Indian. I sound Nordic. Or at least that's the most common ethnicity I've been accused of being, by people who haven't actually seen my face.

I have buddies who know I'm Indian, and they enjoy taking the piss with other acquaintances who don't me but have heard my voice by asking them where they think I'm from. I play a game called Arma 3 which uses TeamSpeak for voice comms, and it shows your nationality in a small box. Cue the surprise when they see mine is from India, and accusations of using a VPN.

Claims include Nordic, American, German, Dutch, but primarily the first.

How do you not have an Indian accent?

I mean there's Indian accent and then there's Indian Accent. Think someone born in India but educated in western university vs stereotypical Indian tech support. I have a couple of friends who fit the first. Like yeah, you can hear they're probably from India but it's not a thing that strikes you the first moment you talk with them.

Be careful in the medium-long term. Hitting the wall isn’t something that only happens to women, and it can creep up on you faster than you think.

That's a good while away. While I'm on the wrong side of my 20s, I'm still relatively young and probably younger than most doctors at my level, primarily because I got into med school on my first try and smashed all the million exams I needed, here or abroad, to keep progressing, with the only notable delay being maybe 6 or so months lost because I was waiting for my ex to pass an exam I managed on my first try and she didn't.

Guys don't hit walls till they're well past 35, maybe well past 40 if they take care of themselves. I'm not waiting that long to settle down, 2 to 4 years is what I have in mind. And for me, the most pressing issue would be losing my hair, which I have a 80% chance of suffering given my dad had male pattern baldness. But he got married at 33, and he had a full head of hair then, and I remember being old enough to recall him starting to lose it.

Then again, I do know what to do about it, namely minoxidil, or a trip to Turkey or India to visit the hair transplant surgeons. It's not a pressing concern by any means, and so far, I've only gotten better looking with age, and most girls do like a guy older than them, even if I have a thing for older girls.

2 to 4 years sound wise to me, but keep an eye on it. Hair plugs have come a long way, they can look very thick and natural now. I would avoid minoxidil, hormone treatments of any kind are a lot heavier than most people think.

I think you're confusing minoxidil and finasteride!

Minoxidil is rather safe when applied topically, you shouldn't take it as an oral tablet as it was originally made for because A) It was discovered as a treatment for treatment resistant hypertension and B) You'll look like Chewbacca. But topically, as drops? It's perfectly fine really.

It's finasteride that makes your dick stop working. Kinda defeats the point of getting your hair back.

I'm glad you replied quickly because he had me searching "minoxidil side effects does it make your dick small 5 years use oh God oh fuck"

It won't make your dick bigger, that's for sure, but it shouldn't make it smaller either, heh.

Sometimes it's prescribed as a combo with finasteride for the people in a real rush, so I guess some of the bad rep rubs off.

I'm thinking about joining the Flat Earth movement. Not because I believe in it. It just seems so fun!

This is the video that hooked me: https://youtube.com/watch?v=68YuU2tStoU?si=v2pOJnJQVS7I6HvT

It seems like a nice tight little group, wirking together worldwide. Theyre doing homemade science experiments, but not like real science which is so boring. Its more like medieval science- "let's launch a big steam rocket and see what happens!" Any conflicting evidence can be explained away by grand conspiracy theories. It's fun to think about wacky theories of how this flat earth could actually work. And it's nice to do hands-on science yourself, instead of relying on authorities: "look up some NASA footage" isn't really doing science.

If they actually succeeded, think what an Earthshaking result that would be! But in the mean time they're having a grand time doing fake science, going to conventions, and even their own dating app. My sense is that most of them don't even really believe in it, its just a hobby group like the SCA.

I read a comment on Reddit by someone who talked about posting Flat Earth stuff as a creative writing exercise. You get to think up clever arguments and find loopholes when arguing against people who are objectively correct, and not worry about getting your ego hurt if you're proven wrong because you're not actually taking it seriously. I browsed the Flat Earth sub for a bit after that and tried to figure out who was serious and who wasn't, though with no way to test that I have no idea how successful I was.

I think the main issue I'd have with actually participating is the propensity to delude naive and mentally ill people into joining unironically. The more people who are involved and having fun and aren't lunatics, the more legitimate the movement seems. Although on the other hand it's a relatively harmless conspiracy for people to believe, so maybe it helps steal thunder away from more dangerous conspiracies that mentally ill people might fall into, so maybe it's useful, I dunno.

Relatively harmless

I'm not so sure about that. It comes with all sorts of other beliefs if you think about it--for example, all pilots must be in on the conspiracy. I think you'd end up believing a host of other conspiracy theories and being overly skeptical in general. A belief which looks charming and harmless now might cause a low-IQ follower to refuse cancer treatments five years down the line, or shoot a cop the first time they get pulled over for a traffic stop.

Hence the word "relatively". All conspiracy theories carry some risk, via this sort of chaining, but the Flat Earth ones are indirect like this, while others like "the FBI is stalking me" have a much more direct path towards danger.

Not to get too contrary but I think it's one of the more risky ones. JFK, 9/11, vaccines, etc. all posit government conspiracy but don't go much further than that. Flat earth posits government and tons of other people are in on it.

In terms of scale it involves more people, but in terms of perceived threat and actionable measures it seems less threatening.

Like, JFK was assassinated. This is immediately violent. Believing that the government/CIA assassinated the president makes them dangerous bad guys who are willing to assassinate people they don't like, and potentially justifies violence against them in retaliation and/or self defense. 9/11 likewise killed lots of people, making the perpetrators dangerous and worth retaliating against (even ordinary non-conspiracists can get behind this, which is why there was so much support for military intervention in the middle east after 9/11).

The most likely response to threats of violence are accumulating weapons to defend oneself and possibly pre-emptively strike using violence. If someone points a gun at you, you point one back.

Vaccines and Flat Earth are about scientific lies. They say that the leading scientists and media are corrupt and in the pocket of the government or whoever is leading the conspiracy, and the things they say cannot be trusted. Nobody needs to die to cover up the truth, because they can be paid off instead. Now, maybe some of the variants of vaccine and Flat Earth conspiracy theories do involve the government murdering people to cover up, and those ones are potentially dangerous, but I have never heard a Flat Earther talking about assassinations, so I think it's uncommon.

The most likely response to media and scientists lying is to not trust them, and possibly have this mistrust bleed into other domains. If they're lying to you about X, why should you trust them about Y? Now this can lead to some harms such as people refusing to vaccinate themselves or their children, but this is significantly less dangerous than actual violence. If someone lies to your face, you lose respect for them and possibly try to avoid them, but very few people would respond with violence (except in weird edge cases, where it's probably not about the lie itself but about the underlying thing they were lying about).

Empirically I have to admit you're probably correct. It's hard to separate flat-earth, though, from all its comorbidities. The only flat earther I know is also a conspiracy theorist in pretty much every other way imaginable. I think there's probably some kind of conspiracy pipeline, and most people don't start with flat-earth, but essentially nobody ends with just flat-earth and none of the others, so it's objectively probably less "dangerous" than other theories which are both easier to swallow and posit more direct malicious intent by the people in charge.

The most frustrating part about my friend is that he definitely has the resources, and the intelligence, to verify flat-earth one way or another for himself, and yet he doesn't do so. I have no idea at all what his mental state is like to believe that so many people are lying, yet not want to figure it out for himself one way or another.

It's like sleepwalking through life.

"the propensity to delude naive and mentally ill people into joining unironically"

In retrospect, the Matrix movies did a lot of damage to society. Or maybe all the mentally ill people would have just believed something else instead.

Yeah, i have absolutely no idea how many people really believe in it vs just having fun. It would probably be more obvious if you spent more time in the community or went to conventions.

I feel like a movie where flat earth is real and there really is a conspiracy dedicated to protecting it would be great. That's what the Wachowski's should have done instead of Matrix 2.

It'd be amazing for people to stumble out of this moving wondering "Am I in the matrix?".

Lol that would be an awesome movie. Its the perfect conspiracy: huge, but not really offensive to anyone.

How about another "what are you drinking" thread?

I picked up a bottle of Noah's Mill bourbon based on the recommendation of @yofuckreddit a few months back, and I really enjoy it so far. I usually find the "bourbon" category pretty homogeneous in terms of smell and taste, so I tend to seek out whiskeys with more varied flavors like rye and scotch. But this bottle has some wonderful nutty vanilla notes on the nose with a lingering woody, waxy flavor that helps set it apart from a typical bourbon.

At a friend's place I finally got to try Octomore for the first time. Peated scotch is probably my favorite kind of spirit, and Octomore's claim to fame is having the highest concentration of peat smoke--something like 2-5 times as much as other heavily-peated whiskeys like Laphroaig. The difference is impressive on paper, but on the palate it doesn't really taste much smokier than a Laphroaig or a Port Charlotte; maybe 5-10% smokier. Still an excellent whiskey, and I'm glad I got to try it to satisfy my curiosity, but I don't feel any desire to pay $300 for a bottle of my own.

I'm in a Rusty Nail phase. Just the absolute best cocktail. Trying it with various inexpensive blended scotches.

I wonder what else Drambuie is good in?

I'm honestly surprised I don't see Ardbegs or Bowmores in the list of mottedrinks. The Ardbeg Uiegadil, Corryvrecken and Alligator are all on the same smokiness/mouthfeel/finish curve, with the marginal improvement in quality from Uiegadil to Corryvreckan being just about justified and the Alligator being unreasonably expensive for my thinning wallet. Very light peat flourishes overall, excellent drinkability and flavour, varying smoothness on the finish depending on the variant.

The bowmores used to be my standby, but since the disconitnuation of the Black Rock I've only had the 15 as my economical standby of choice. Like a less smoky Lag 16 with a speyside sweetness.

The last drink I'm partial to is the Kavalan Solist. Prices have come down since they won the awards almost a decade ago so they are now reasonable options.

If simply getting buzzed is the objective though, I drink Chinese or Korean shochus/alcopops. Surprisingly strong and taste really good.

Ommegang Witte

Spring is here. The weather is warming up. Stout season is done and it's time to embrace lighter beers again. The beer is a Belgian white ale, heavy with coriander & orange peel. Just a delight everytime.

Campari spritz, basil smash and other cocktails - the programmer's job market is not what it was so I am into cheap booze now. And the best cocktails are made with the bottom shelf stuff.

Also I am into making big batches of clear ice lately for all kinds of drinks - chopping ice with cleaver is fun. Still trying to find a way to make a proper mini clinebell on a budget. Right now I make a block of clear ice that is 20kg - but I have to sacrifice all my freezer space to achieve it. So looking for something with external power.

I'm unreasonably psyched that you both tried a rec and liked it. I've had an excellent hit rate with that in the past and I'm glad it worked out.

Tonight I'll be having people over for a round of the Dune board game, which means I'll need to be alert enough to teach but then get drunk enough to give someone else a fighting chance. I'll be building espresso martinis on top of some elusive, limited run "Bensa Bomb" Ethiopian from my subscription, or I'll eschew the temperamental light roast for a Counter Culture staple. The homemade coffee liqueur gifted by some of my buddies really steps these up a notch over what I can get at a bar, but finding the right time to fuck up your sleep schedule when you have kids is difficult.

I may take the coward's path and just make margaritas.

When visiting Kansas a few weeks ago I dropped almost $500 on whiskey which should last me a significant amount of time, since I have cut back and largely stuck with it since January. I was able to grab Heaven Hill's 7y BiB for something like $40 and I quite enjoy it. The cheap 6 year expression was never available where I live so I don't have the FOMO that kills the taste for those who did have access.

Speaking of FOMO, I'm still milking my 2017 bottle of Rendezvous Rye from High West. I'm preparing to kill it once I have a small group over of people who actually give a shit and have a developed palate, because holy crap the old version is so much better. It doesn't even have the 16-year-old juice in it like the stuff pre-2016 did, but it's perhaps the most succinct way to explain to someone how fucking hard making great whiskey is and why MGP is such a dominant force. The current version is still drinkable, but when you put it alongside its older brother manufactured by someone else it becomes borderline unpalatable.

I attribute a lot of the homogeneity of modern American whiskey to suppliers like MGP. It's not bad, but it's ubiquitous, and I worry that a lot of potential variety and novelty of flavor is missing because so many brands are just bottling one mega-producer's spirits. If it's not MGP, it's often some other supplier of "sourced" whiskey. I've started following this rule-of-thumb: only buy bourbon or rye that says on the label "Distilled AND bottled by..." instead of just "bottled by..." Whiskey needs to come pretty highly-recommended for me to break this rule nowadays.

How do you feel about esoteric finishing and blending though? Things like what Barrell and Bardstown have done have produced pretty interesting results. I don't want Seagrass all the time, but when I do, it's really good.

...how fucking hard making great whiskey is and why MGP is such a dominant force.

Hilarious that there are people that want to skip out on MGP because they don't like sourced and finished whiskies. More bottles for me!

I've been nursing a bottle of Blender's Pride, a midmarket whiskey here, for about 3 weeks since my breakup.

It's a step up from the true dross, but not considered fancy unless you were a broke med student. Which I once was, so the association with a taste of something better remained.

I have a shot every time I feel like shit because I miss my ex, but never so much I feel the need to call her, which is why the bottle is yet to finish.

Be warned - the bottle you lean on during trauma can be hurt by association! If it's your daily driver, consider punishing yourself with something worse instead.

I almost lost my taste for Lagavulin 16 after drinking it for my old firm being bought out by a shitty multinational and 2 deaths of close friends. Had to pull it back and reserve it for birthdays and bonuses.

Hope the difficulties from the breakup pass soon.

You really prefer the Lagavulin 16 over other peaty whiskies? I had somewhat fond memories of it from many years ago, but I tried it again a couple of months ago and was not too impressed. It was okay, but it had a caramel aspect or something which I didn't like. It would have been nauseating in large amounts. And not enough pure mossy peat and ocean.

I've generally preferred it to Laphroig for instance but I don't think it's a fair comparison since I only see their 10 year expressions laying around.

I haven't done as much of a deep dive on scotch as I should have at all. I'm in the southeast, so what I can get is the big boys you can see at any grocery or ABC store. I'm headed to scotland in June and plan to be very intentional about expanding my horizons.

I enjoy Lagavulin a lot, although the 16 is absurdly overpriced in my neck of the woods; I don't think I've ever seen it priced below $100. For a similar investment you could get some top shelf Islays like Laphraoig Lore, Ardbeg Uigeadail, or Kilchoman Loch Gorm, all of which I think are better than the Lag 16. Then again, I tend to gravitate towards higher-proof, bolder whiskies generally, while I think Lagavulin is aiming for a smoother, more subdued whisky that's still complex and interesting.

I appreciate the advice, but I don't think you can get that brand of whiskey in the UK, so it's a bit moot haha.

I drank some real trash before, when I was even more broken up over things, and believe me the taste wasn't improved through association.

Thank you, I'm doing okay. Things were on their last legs by the time we broke up for good, so most of the real emotional torment is in the past. I wouldn't go back to her even if she wanted me, as much as I once wanted a life with her. That's what's the drink was for really, to drown my last regrets. Either way, I'm leaving India, and she, through bad decisions I did my level best to mitigate, couldn't tackle the same exam we gave, so it's not like I'll be confronted with her face to face anytime soon.

Presuming she does eventually make it to the UK, it's not too tiny a country, so I can fully expect never to see her again unless I want to. And I don't, we're not even aiming to be in the same specialty. I'm more sad about the hopes and dreams I pinned on her, even if I wish her the best. The only annoying part is that I met a few girls I kinda like here, but I'm unfortunately honest enough to tell them I'll be gone soon, and did so even before I knew I'd matched. That kinda messed up things with a cute med student I could see myself falling for (I was thinking with my dick), but from what I saw for myself on our first date, she's the kind to get drunk and end up making regrettable decisions very very fast, and not necessarily with me (doesn't matter, got uh..). So that would rule out anything serious, but eh, let's see what Scotland holds in store. I do appreciate your kind words.

(I do need to write a salacious essay about the weird and wonderful women I've run into on the apps. Buddy I've seen some shit already, but at least I'm getting laid.)

Any opinions on Paul John whisky? I occasionally look at it on the menu at my favorite whiskey bar or on the shelf with the other less common countries and want to try it, but have never pulled the trigger.

Never heard of her. But I'm the last person you should ask for advice when it comes to liquor, I'd drink pure ethanol if someone gussied it up with soda and a dash of lime.

BP, well, it just had connotations personal to me. I've had MUCH more expensive liquor, and tbh I don't care to refine my palate enough to distinguish better. It's an expensive hobby.

I'd like to say I'm a connoisseur, but I normally go for a good single malt that I can mix with water, or dry ginger ale. Jamesons, Glenfiddich, heck even Chivas Regal.

I learnt a long time ago that alcohol tasting is a sham. Just pick something you like and don't try to compare against others.

I kind of agree, actually. My favorite spirits are those where the smell reminds me of a specific memory or a place from my childhood. That subjective quality is going to be unique to each drinker, and it's far more interesting to me than the proof, or age, or region that the drink is from.

Jameson, on the rocks, is what I always order the first time I try out a new bar. They always have it in stock, it's always smooth and pleasant. It's great when I'm just hanging out and don't want to have to concentrate on what I'm drinking.

If I could find a bottle, I'd be drinking Old Forester 1924, but alas, I cannot find a bottle.

As it is, we're headed for the first really warm weekend day of the year and I strongly suspect that's going to entail an afternoon on the porch with some Foursquare rum (I think I have a few pours of Nobiliary left) and a cigar.

Is Foursquare worth the hype? I've never been much of a rum drinker, although I know plenty of whisky enthusiasts who love it.

Absolutely. I do like rum in general, but Foursquare was a gamechanger for me as someone that's mostly a bourbon guy (Scotch and Irish whiskeys are great too, but I have more bourbon than all other liquor bottles put together). They retain all of the tropical flavors that I love about good rums, but are really expertly aged. I think we have about 5 bottles and I've never been disappointed. The ones that simply have years for names have probably been my go-to favorites - 2008 had a panna cotta sort of taste to it that was just fantastic as a dessert. They're probably my favorite thing for the porch on a hot day because they fit the vibe.

I think the real rum guys are less in because it doesn't have any of the funkiness that you get with Jamaican pot rums and such, but if you're coming from whisky in the first place, that's a feature rather than a bug.

What does your after-work routine look like? I feel like I'm in a bit of a rut in the way I spend my time. Curious what other people do.