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A couple of years ago I was privileged to administer the IT department for our union and I learned a lot of things during that grand adventure. Because I had a skilled and knowledgeable staff I did not have to learn a lot of stuff, too.

One of the things I never had to master is a full understanding of the numerous algorithms that various Internet Service Providers use to distinguish legitimate e-mail from mass-mailed Spam that is targeting their customers.

I now suspect that some of my correspondents may receive e-mail from our “elotrowa” domain only when it is individually addressed, as is this message. Others seem to have no problem getting mail that I send to a group.

If you got an e-mail from me in the last couple of days with a subject line that said something like “No Fat In The Food,” then we’ve got no problem, and you can disregard the rest of this message.

If you DIDN’T get an e-mail with that subject, then your ISP has perhaps identified my e-mails as Spam, maybe because they’re addressed to enough people to trigger a blocking algorithm, I dunno.

Anyway, if you did not get that e-mail (and if you care) you might should contact your ISP and ask them to place anything originating from the domain “” on what is called a “white list.” That should ensure that any e-mail from here sent to one of our groups that originates with “” or “” makes it through OK.

Verizon, for example, seems to block “” for at least some folks.

The “Fat in the Food” isn’t one of the best we’ve sent (that might be the frog in the toilet, which is still circulating in cyberspace) but I’ll paste it below for those who may have missed it.

Hope all’s well with you.


Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

No Fat in the Food


We’ve noticed something about Dominican cuisine. There doesn’t seem to be any fat in the food.

And, since I’m American, I LIKE the way fat tastes. But, we’re adjusting. And I’m learning to enjoy eating in this way.

It’s taken awhile to figure out what’s to like about Dominican cooking, not that I’ve mastered the oeuvre. I have not. But I can get by in Spanish in a simple Dominican restaurant and I’m not starving in my own kitchen, even though Denise is back in DC for the month of February.

As it is at the moment, if it came out of our kitchen I made it. That’s a radical and not particularly welcome departure from our pattern of the last 20 years(overlooking 6 months of fast food while on the campaign trail in 1996.)

Some Dominican dishes are sort of non-descript, more like really efficient fuel than something one would eat for pleasure. Other foods that appear deceptively simple are a whole different world of flavor once you dig in.

Mostly the food isn’t heavily spiced and the spices available–at least those that I’ve found, aren’t very potent. I don’t think I’ll lose my appetite for spicy food, but I’ve certainly put it away for a while.

But, hey, let’s admit it: there’s a lot to be said for letting a chicken walk around and eat bugs and scraps and whatnot, and it’s not a bad thing to know the fisherman or the farmer. All of those things are unavoidable in Las Galeras, where commercial refrigeration is absent and prepared portions are unheard of.

However, the very best fried chicken I’ve ever eaten can be had in a little hole in the wall on the main drag in the town of Samana. They roll up the metal door and there you are in the dining room, 6 feet from the pop, whine and backfire of the ubiquitous motoconchos and the unrelenting honk of horns and the belching of truly impressive clouds of sooty diesel exhaust. But the fried chicken is absolutely perfect.

We’re the only gringos in the place, and I’m generally one of a few men without the obvious butt of a semi-automatic sticking out of my wasteband. It seems to be where the local businessmen go for lunch.

Did I mention that the fried chicken is outrageously good? It’s cheap, too, which is something that cannot generally be said for restaurant fare in the RD.

There’s not much sugar in the food, either, although I compensate pretty heavily with unrefined sugar in my pretty stout coffee.

We’ve both lost a fair amount of weight without really trying. I feel better than I have in years.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

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