As a rookie compared to some of you tried and true veterans out there, I want to first state that I hesitate to post this but feel it still should be said. Everyone on these boards has a passion for food so it should be no surpsise when this passion is displayed in rather - how should I put it- colorful and passionate prose. My gosh there are strong opinions here! I personally like it when I come accross a point of view that is so well formed because it challenges my own thoughts regarding certain subject matter (politics,chow, academics,ect.). I think, however that sometimes discussions can esclate beyond an appropriate level of heatedness and past the point of all things remotely chow-related. If I find myself clicking on a thread to see how Ms. X responded to Mr. Y, I am probably following a thread for the wrong reason. Perhaps I am the only person who finds herself getting sucked into the occasional soap opera between posters, and if that is the case I hope the moderators will delete this before the word gets out! Other than that, I think we all just need a gentle reminder to stay a bit more food/wine/gratuity/whatever focused in our debates. And if I may, I would like to thank all of you for the wealth of information I have learned in my year as a new chowhound.