lundi 29 septembre 2008

The Obama sign

More than 40,000 people have watched

I hung out for a few minutes today on, like a lot of the newbies who showed up after the WSJ online ran their piece, In Sign of the Times, Global Village Gathers to Watch a Sign, and got a little addicted.

They were so nice, all the OC's! That, for the newly initiated, means Original CHAOS. CHAOS means "Citizens hanging around the Obama sign." We -- I like to count myself among them now -- call ourselves the Sidewalk People.

The speed of chat was frenetic! There, they had enjoyed their nice quiet groups of people hanging out to keep an eye on Preston and his mother's ("Teach") sign, and suddenly, thanks to Christopher Rhoads, there were scores of people new to the chat room. It was my first time in a chat room, too. I was flabbergasted. The person who volunteered to moderate asked for a few "moment of silence"'s. I didn't get it the first time, but I did see all the "Shhh"'s, and figured something was up.

I tried to ask politely. It's nice to learn the etiquette of a new place you are visiting, and its people. I was very graciously told that the moderator volunteer had asked for a "moment of silence" to give everyone a break, to go to the toilet, rest their fingers, drink something ("coffee only this morning!" one person typed).

The moderator also provided warnings for rude language, smears of any type, political, racial or religious, and hunted trolls.

Suddenly, a new chat window opened, and (mercifully) only one person was there. BelgianChaos. She is a translator and teaches university in Paris, although she lives in Belgium and is from somewhere totally different. We were in the middle of an exchange, and poof! There she was, with everyone else gone. "She" I said, but I am not sure "she" said anything to tell me "she" wasn't "he".

"How did that happen?" I typed.

"You double click on the name of the person with whom you'd like to chat and the window opens," came the reply. "To return to the chat, you hit the button on the top left. #-obama-sign-CCTV-1."

Right now there are 206 people chatting, and nearly 290 people watching. Germany, USA, France, Finland. Earlier, there was a roll call of the people chatting who were all in Texas.

I double-clicked on a name. The volunteer moderator. The law student from the WSJ piece.

Fleur_de_Paris : Do you take turns doing what you are doing?
07:11 CrazyFinn : yes, it is
07:11 CrazyFinn : not really
07:11 CrazyFinn : everyone just chimes in
07:12 Fleur_de_Paris : Moderating?
07:12 CrazyFinn : oh that. i guess it goes according to who's here
07:12 Fleur_de_Paris : Are you able to read EVERYthing everyone writes?
07:12 CrazyFinn : not at all
07:12 Fleur_de_Paris : chuckling
07:12 CrazyFinn : only few lines
07:13 Fleur_de_Paris : I saw you threaten a few with banishment, and I wondered how you caught everything that was said
07:13 CrazyFinn : i was just looking at the numbers
07:13 CrazyFinn : but i missed the conversations completely
07:13 CrazyFinn : i was hunting trolls

There was Hen, Sarjo, OWL, Suzy, PTP2, POTS, Polder, Skein, Jen, Pax, STL, and so many others. They'd probably appreciate it if you all didn't rush to join and chat, since today was a little overwhelming, but you can be sure they'll all say hi if you do, and welcome you. The banner over the chat screen read, "Welcome, readers of the Wall Street Journal".

They even say "bye", one by one, as you leave, if you tell them you are.

Hen asked for triple cream brie, St. Honoré, from the grocery store. PTP2 prefers rice milk to regular cow's milk (she -- there I go again with the "she" -- says you get used to it, and it's easier on the tummy), and Suzy sent me her recipe for French Onion Soup (see bottom of post).

I had a great time on the sidewalk. I think I'll drop in again tomorrow.

Nähdään myöhemmin.

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French Onion Soup
from Suzysnowflake

This recipe is from have many versions, but this is the one I use......bon apetite!!
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large red onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 (48 fluid ounce) can beef broth
  • 1 (14 ounce) can beef consume
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 thick slices French or Italian bread
  • 8 slices Gruyere or Swiss cheese slices, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup shredded Asiago or mozzarella cheese, room temperature
  • 4 pinches paprika

  1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in salt, red onions and sweet onions. Cook 35 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are caramelized and almost syrupy.
  2. Mix chicken broth, beef broth, red wine and Worcestershire sauce into pot. Bundle the parsley, thyme, and bay leaf with twine and place in pot. Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occassionally. Remove and discard the herbs. Reduce the heat to low, mix in vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Cover and keep over low heat to stay hot while you prepare the bread.
  3. Preheat oven broiler. Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet and broil 3 minutes, turning once, until well toasted on both sides. Remove from heat; do not turn off broiler.
  4. Arrange 4 large oven safe bowlsor crocks on a rimmed baking sheet. Fill each bowl 2/3 full with hot soup. Top each bowl with 1 slice toasted bread, 2 slices Gruyère cheeseand 1/4 of the Asiago or mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle a little bit of paprika over the top of each one.
  5. Broil 5 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown. As it sofetns, the cheese will cascade over the sides of the crock and form a beautifully melted crusty seal. Serve immediately.
J'ai faim!

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