Useless information thread

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by forzainter, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Hall of Fame

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    When the CIA ran a LSD sex-house in San Francisco
    By Gary Kamiya

    On an elegant dead-end block on the north side of Telegraph Hill is 225 Chestnut St., a swanky modernist building with panoramic bay views. It’s about the last place you would have expected to find a clandestine CIA program during the Cold War.

    Yet from 1955 to 1965, this building was the site of “Operation Midnight Climax” — a top-secret mind-control program in which CIA agents used hookers to lure unsuspecting johns from North Beach bars to what they called “the pad,” then dosed the men with LSD and observed the X-rated goings-on through a two-way mirror while sitting on a portable toilet swilling martinis.

    As John Marks notes in his 1977 book, “The Search for the ‘Manchurian Candidate’: The CIA and Mind Control,” the CIA’s obsession with mind control had its origins during World War II, when the agency’s predecessor, the Office of Strategic Services, set up a “truth drug” program whose purpose was to discover a substance that would make subjects reveal their secrets.

    The drug of choice was a concentrated liquid form of marijuana. The first field test in 1943 was administered to a New York mobster by George White, a tough-guy OSS captain who had been an agent in the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. The results were promising — White’s sidekick said “every (subject) but one — and he didn’t smoke — gave us more information than we had before” — but ultimately inconclusive.

    Red enemy

    When the CIA was created in 1947, it continued to do mind-control experiments, with the enemy now being communism. Eastern bloc show trials like that of Hungarian Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty, who in 1949 confessed to crimes he apparently did not commit, and reports of communist brainwashing during the Korean War led the CIA to fear there was a “mind-control gap” and that the U.S. was in second place.

    So the CIA authorized covert mind and behavior control programs. Drugs were given to people deemed expendable, including North Korean POWs, mental patients, prisoners, addicts and prostitutes. Before the programs were shot down, hundreds of scientists would work on them.

    In 1943, a Swiss chemist named Albert Hofmann developed an unbelievably powerful drug called LSD. When the technical branch of the CIA learned about this drug, the gung-ho head of its chemical division, a young chemist named Sidney Gottlieb, persuaded CIA official Richard Helms that the agency should investigate it as a spy tool. On April 13, 1953, CIA director Allen Dulles approved a program for “covert use of biological and chemical materials” with an initial budget of $300,000. Its name: MKULTRA.

    Dangerous game

    The CIA began to fund LSD projects at many institutions, including Columbia University and Mount Sinai Hospital. Informed consent and other moral niceties were dispensed with. One researcher kept seven subjects, junkies enticed by promises of hard drugs, on LSD for 77 straight days. No follow-up on them was ever done.

    The CIA was playing an extremely dangerous game. In 1953, Gottlieb dosed a CIA colleague, Frank Olson, causing Olson to undergo a mental crisis that ended with him falling to his death from a 10th-floor window. But this horrific incident only put MKULTRA temporarily on hold.

    Gottlieb soon hired White, the narcotics agent and former OSS captain, to run two “safe houses” for LSD testing in Greenwich Village. White administered LSD, knockout drops and marijuana to his unwitting “guests” using food, drinks and cigarettes, then tried to get them to talk.

    In 1955, White was transferred to San Francisco, where he had worked as a journalist, and rented out the apartment on Telegraph Hill. To give his pad the desired French-whorehouse look, White furnished it with Toulouse-Lautrec posters, a picture of a French can-can dancer and kinky photos of women in bondage and domination poses.

    “It was supposed to look rich,” a narcotics agent who regularly visited told Marks, “but it was furnished like crap.”

    Watching the show

    White installed bugging equipment and a two-way mirror behind which he would sit on a portable toilet, quaffing a martini from the pitcher he kept in the refrigerator, and observe the proceedings. The prostitutes who staffed the operation were paid in part with chits they could use for favors such as getting out of jail.

    PAST PORTALS

    The CIA was particularly interested in the venerable question of how sex could be used to get a man to talk. At first White and his colleagues wondered if having the prostitute offer some extra sexual service might work, but soon realized that, in the words of an observer, “We found the guy was focused solely on hormonal needs. He was not thinking of his career or anything else at that point.”

    The postcoital period was deemed more effective. The men expected the hookers to hurry off, and became emotionally vulnerable when the women said they wanted to stay a few more hours.

    Operation Midnight Climax soon expanded beyond the Telegraph Hill pad. CIA operatives began dosing people with acid in restaurants, bars and beaches. They also used other, more exotic drugs: “If we were scared enough of a drug not to try it out on ourselves, we sent it to San Francisco,” a CIA source told Marks. And the agency began using the prostitutes to lure men of all sorts, not just marginal figures, back to the safe house.

    Shutting down

    The project continued until 1963, when the CIA’s inspector general stumbled upon the safe houses and raised a ruckus. The Chestnut Street pad was shuttered in 1965.

    White later recalled, “I toiled wholeheartedly in the vineyards because it was fun, fun, fun. Where else could a red-blooded American boy lie, kill, cheat, steal, rape and pillage with the sanction and blessing of the All-Highest?”

    Because the agency destroyed most of MKULTRA’s files, no one will ever know how many lives and minds its illegal and unethical activities damaged or destroyed. (It should go without saying that it achieved none of its murky-at-best research objectives.) Had New York Times reporter Seymour Hersh not exposed the CIA’s illegal spying on Americans in 1974, opening the door to subsequent investigations, this weird and ugly chapter in U.S. history might never have come to light.
    http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/...-a-LSD-sex-house-in-San-Francisco-7223346.php
     
  2. Rock Strongo

    Rock Strongo Legend

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    Today it's midsommar, or as Swedes like to put it, an excuse to get ridiculously drunk and not care about DUI's while eating fermented fish and drinking some vile type of alcohol.

    Me? I wasted about 15€ of vodka as a fire starter for our grill.
     
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  3. Mike Bulgakov

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    A midsommar feast?
    [​IMG]

    It is important to bring dill to the party.
    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Vcore89

    Vcore89 Legend

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    IKEA held a Scandi-licious All-You-Can-Eat Midsummer feast this time last year in Last Vegas, Nevada.

    Anyone spotted sureshs?
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. stringertom

    stringertom Bionic Poster

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    Will this year's event be the next circus dgold attends in America's desert Sodom???
     
  6. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Hall of Fame

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    Mashed potatoes are no substitute for new potatoes with sour cream and dill. A big part of midsommar is being in nature. Are there parks in Las Vegas, or does everyone just stay indoors?
     
  7. Vcore89

    Vcore89 Legend

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    It's a regular restaurant and cafe inside a warehouse store.
     
  8. stringertom

    stringertom Bionic Poster

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    It's 114 F in Vegas...stay indoors!
     
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  9. Vcore89

    Vcore89 Legend

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    Anyhow, I didn't see sureshs at the restaurant so I made sure to scour for a rotund object clad in lime green and fuchsia at their exit bistro [nice Scandi-bizniz sense], no luck!
     
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  10. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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  11. stringertom

    stringertom Bionic Poster

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  12. Vcore89

    Vcore89 Legend

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    Bow row: Jeremy Corbyn did not snub the Queen, says Labour
    Wednesday 21 June 2017 14.00 BST Last modified on Thursday 22 June 2017 00.50 BST

    Labour sources have rejected claims that Jeremy Corbyn snubbed the Queen by not bowing to her at the state opening of parliament, arguing that it was against protocol for MPs to do so.
     
  13. joe sch

    joe sch Legend

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  14. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Hall of Fame

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    I sometimes pick-up groceries at IKEA, and once ate at their restaurant in Palo Alto. It's funny how it is designed in a way that you have to wander a maze through a wilderness of furniture before reaching the restaurant on the top floor.
     
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  15. stringertom

    stringertom Bionic Poster

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    It leads to a-maze-ing profits for them!

    There are experts in retail floor plan design whose mission is to steer customers in such a way as to maximize exposure to the hot ticket items they want to sell.
     
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  16. joe sch

    joe sch Legend

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    Plenty of golf and tennis facilities and lots of outdoors parks like Lake Mead Nat Park [​IMG]
     
  17. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Hall of Fame

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    June gloom in Del Mar:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Vcore89

    Vcore89 Legend

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    When it occurs earlier, we call it May Grey. Now, it is June Gloom and conditions suggest it is going to spill over to No-Sky July and possibly empty into Fogust.
     
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  19. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Hall of Fame

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    I lost a very nice London Fog raincoat one night when I was drugged and interrogated by intelligence assets of Denmark's Politiets Efterretningstjeneste in Copenhagen.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  20. stringertom

    stringertom Bionic Poster

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    To paraphrase Mark Twain, I have never spent a colder winter than a summer in Foggy London Town.
     
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  21. Vcore89

    Vcore89 Legend

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    Heatwave in London.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  22. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Hall of Fame

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    Sentinel deserves a bigger pool. Baked courts for Nadal?

    Tennis is better than the cold PET Copenhagen winter,
    [​IMG]

    where there is nothing better than escaping the murky intelligence fog.
    [​IMG]
     
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  23. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Hall of Fame

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    I haven't had popcorn for many years. When I watch a film at the movie theater, my go to is a pack of Peanut M&Ms (smuggled in a pocket) and coffee.
     
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  24. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Hall of Fame

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    Big Sur is hard to reach these days.
    [​IMG]
     
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  25. stringertom

    stringertom Bionic Poster

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    Big Sur(eshs) had been hard to reach during his Sewretchejira to Chennai and Singapore but he is back.
     
  26. Dedans Penthouse

    Dedans Penthouse Legend

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    Post Inn's getting around that by getting over it - offering helicopter service​

    Ventana ("across the street, inland") is closed until October.​
     
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  27. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Hall of Fame

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    Jim Morrison died on July 3, 1971.
     
  28. stringertom

    stringertom Bionic Poster

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    Are you sure? Is Paul still alive? Did Elvis really leave the building? Is Andy laughing at us from the moon?
     
  29. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Hall of Fame

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    I have been to Wimbledon a few times, but have never tried Pimm's and don't really know what it is.
     
  30. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Hall of Fame

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    Morrison had a quick burial to hide his heroin overdose. Pamela Courson had a similar fate a few years later. Many of the rock stars of the time didn't know how dangerous that drug is. There were many strange rumors that CIA faked his death, but why would they? Incidentally, I am currently eating fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches with Elvis while watching Wimbledon at a Big Sur hotel.
     
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  31. stringertom

    stringertom Bionic Poster

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    Fruit-based liqueur, roughly 25% volume alcohol. It can be gin based but all the other alcohol grains and brandy have been used as the base.
     
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  32. Vcore89

    Vcore89 Legend

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    [​IMG]

    The Burj al Arab's Royal Suite is $20k+ per night! Whoa!
     
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  33. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Hall of Fame

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    I would rather be in Del Mar.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  34. stringertom

    stringertom Bionic Poster

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    My bus line has a stop near a blood donation center. While waiting for my bus, one of the donors bummed a smoke from another chap and the conversation eventually shifted to the quick $50 he had just earned for his pint of plasma. I noticed his forearm bandage as he spoke. At the next stop, six men got on. Five had the same forearm bandage. Business is booming!
     
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  35. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Hall of Fame

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    My blood is O Negative, which means that I should donate blood more.
     
  36. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Hall of Fame

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    Putin is a master at manipulating people through their fears and desires. This is an essential skill learned in his KGB training.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  37. Mike Bulgakov

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    The deli capital? It's L.A.

    By Elina Shatkin
    It was in rural Kansas, near the geographical center of America, that David Sax hit rock bottom in his search for the perfect deli sandwich. It happened innocently enough, in an Arby's. He had ordered a Reuben.

    "What I got was this horrible abomination of plasticized cheese that tasted like it had come from a napalm plant," he says. "Meat that had been pressed and pumped and vacuumed and torn apart to increase its yield in water but had no flavor. Bread that was just white bread painted a dark rye color. It was horrendous. And it was microwaved. I had two bites and that was it."

    But if Sax found the nadir of the Reuben, he also found its zenith. And -- perhaps surprisingly -- he didn't find it in New York, the birthplace of the Jewish deli; he found it here in Los Angeles.

    "It's a very difficult business to be in," Sax says, "but the [delis] that are most inspiring, the ones that people cling to, the ones that people enshrine for years and years are the traditional Jewish delis. And Los Angeles just happens to have more of them than any city I've been to."

    To die-hard deli aficionados and sandwich fans, this assertion is heresy. It certainly wasn't what Sax, a Toronto native who now lives in Brooklyn, expected to discover. But in "Save the Deli," a book that traces the rise and fall of Jewish delicatessens from the shtetls of Eastern Europe to the suburbs of middle America, he makes that very claim.

    On a two-month cross-country trip, Sax hit all the major deli hubs: Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and, of course, New York, even working for an evening as a counterman at the legendary Katz's deli on Manhattan's Lower East Side. But he also fanned out across North America to Denver; Detroit; Scottsdale, Ariz.; St. Louis; Cleveland; Las Vegas; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Montreal; Toronto; and a dozen other cities. He even made a trip across the Atlantic to visit delis in London, Brussels, Paris and Krakow, Poland, one of the birthplaces of the modern Jewish deli.

    History in every bite

    Bound by "a proclivity for garlic and onions, and a reverential worship of schmaltz, or rendered fat," Sax writes, the Ashkenazi Jewish cultures of Germany, Poland, Romania, Hungary and the Russian empire developed kosher versions of local meat specialties. When centuries of diaspora living met America's abundant beef supply in New York in the late 1800s, the deli staples of pastrami, corned beef and tongue were born.

    Selling from pushcarts, early Yiddish food vendors faced increasing restrictions (a familiar conflict to foodies aware of recent county and city attempts to curb taco trucks) and evolved to bricks-and-mortar restaurants. But it was America's obsession with the sandwich, according to Sax, that catapulted Jewish delis "from an obscure immigrant food to an American cuisine." In Los Angeles, delis had yet to make their mark; that would come later as the descendants of New York's first wave of Jewish settlers migrated west.

    The 1930s were boom deli years, with a second generation of immigrants finding more stability and prosperity while catering to a clientele concentrated in New York's Jewish enclaves.

    At the same time, the traditional kosher deli gave rise to the kosher-style deli, also known as the Jewish or New York deli, that predominates today. Uninhibited by dietary restrictions that forbade observant Jews from consuming meat and milk together, they broadened their menu and clientele. Ergo, the Reuben, the ultimate assimilated sandwich: corned beef and sauerkraut topped by Swiss cheese and creamy Russian dressing.

    Driven by the rise of supermarkets, decreased Jewish immigration, changing eating habits, fewer mono-ethnically Jewish neighborhoods and uniquely low profit margins in the deli business, the post-World War II years marked the beginning of the decline for delis.

    "In the 1930s there were something along the lines of 1,500 kosher delis in New York," Sax says. "Now, there are about two dozen in all of New York City. That's an 80% to 90% decline. This has been echoed in other cities around the country."

    Yet Los Angeles delis have managed to thrive in a niche market. Acre for acre, Sax maintains that Southern California boasts "more delicatessens of higher quality, on average, than anywhere else in America." He commends Nate 'n Al in Beverly Hills; Factor's in Pico-Robertson; Junior's in West L.A.; Greenblatt's on the Sunset Strip; Art's in Studio City; Canter's in the Fairfax district; and the various Hat locations.

    But Sax reserves his highest praise for Langer's, near MacArthur Park -- where the pastrami sandwich "encapsulates perfection at every turn" -- and Brent's in Northridge and Westlake Village -- which he calls "absolutely sensational."

    Where New York delis tend to be cramped and covered in an intangible layer of old world schmutz, Los Angeles delis are the height of midcentury, suburban modernity. If New York delis are as intimate and familiar as your bubbe's kitchen, then Los Angeles delis, with their spacious banquettes, polite wait staff and abundant parking, are like younger, sexier spokesmodels for the deli world.

    Metaphors aside, the most successful delis usually share three traits: They own their own land and aren't subject to harsh rent increases; they often keep the business in the family; and they don't skimp when it comes to the quality of their core deli fare.

    "Any deli where you can order lobster should be suspect, even if you're not kosher," Sax says. But he's aware that rules are meant to be broken. Sax was initially skeptical of Brent's, because of its vast menu, but he was won over with one bite of their house-made kishke, a rarely served sausage made of beef intestines stuffed with schmaltz, matzo meal and, often, organ meat.

    The other secret of L.A.'s delis is that its owners are a tight-knit bunch who usually cooperate with each other. When Nate 'n Al installed a new computer system, owners David and Mark Mendelsohn went around to other local delis to help them set up their computer systems. Sax can't imagine that happening elsewhere.

    "I've been to delis, especially in Florida, and when you ask if there are any other delis, they say, 'There are no others,' even if you can see another deli in the strip mall across the street," Sax says. "The attitude that prevailed in New York for a long time is that if another deli goes out of business, 'Hey, more for me.' "

    It's not simply a philosophical error but a pragmatic one, in Sax's opinion. If the deli, whether as a hallowed eatery or as the civilian repertoire of American Jewish culture is to be saved, then Los Angeles is the case study. "The more delis that there are, the more people are going to want to eat at delis because it's visible, it's there in their minds," Sax says. "I thought that was the lesson L.A. could teach everyone else."
    http://www.latimes.com/food/la-fo-deli21-2009oct21-story.html
     
  38. Vcore89

    Vcore89 Legend

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    Demi-god versus god? No chance Dimitrov! Federer is just magical; too good!

    ...that was a wrecking ball of a forehand from the Bulgarian.

    In the end, RF set a blistering pace, done in 1:38. Oh, Rafa is still playing a five-setter?

    Oh and Nadal just can't will his way anymore especially at Wimby.:rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
  39. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Hall of Fame

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  40. stringertom

    stringertom Bionic Poster

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  41. Rafa.the.Magnificent

    Rafa.the.Magnificent New User

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    During World War II, American soldiers were given Tootsie Rolls in their rations because of the candy's ability to withstand all weather conditions.
     
  42. K-H

    K-H Semi-Pro

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    It may rain tomorrow where I live in the UK. Or it might not either.
     
  43. stringertom

    stringertom Bionic Poster

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    Sounds par for the course. Will you have four seasons in one day? That happened many a time when I stayed there.
     
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  44. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Hall of Fame

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  45. Rafa.the.Magnificent

    Rafa.the.Magnificent New User

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    Mike Bulgakov posted an amazing, awesome video of a Russian man having lots of fun whilst eating and detailing American military rations, which made me hungry hungry HUNGRY! :p
     
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  46. Vcore89

    Vcore89 Legend

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    That was a quick workout from Rodge. Well done!
     
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  47. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    I would like another thread about a grass court in Iowa
     
  48. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Hall of Fame

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  49. Dedans Penthouse

    Dedans Penthouse Legend

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    Putin played Illya Kuryakin in "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." TV pilot.​
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017
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  50. stringertom

    stringertom Bionic Poster

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    Only the creative minds behind the crafting of Lagunitas brews could weave the names of Lorena and John Bobbitt into their argument for appreciation of both beers and ales. Buy a bottle and read the label's fine print for a supremely good giggle.
     

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