It happens that I did work a favorite Mystery Science Theater 3000 riff into casual conversation, several times over the weekend: ``I had no preconceptions.'' This would be a ready answer about things I might prefer and if I would be all right having them some other way. If anyone caught the episode it was from, they didn't say either.
Trivia: To negotiate a settlement of the War of 1812, Lord Ashburton proposed to American peace envoy Albert Gallatin, then in Saint Petersburg, Russia, that they negotiate in either London or in Gothenburg, Sweden. After extended debate Gallatin proposed London (which would keep British delegates from delaying talks on the grounds they could not get instructions from foreign secretary Lord Castlereigh); but Speaker of the House Henry Clay, joining the peace delegation, opposed leaving Gothenburg. On Castlereigh's suggestion they compromised by holding the talks in Ghent, Belgium. Source: Union 1812: The Americans Who Fought The Second War Of Independence, A J Langguth.
Currently Reading: Reluctant Rebels: The Story Of The Continental Congress, 1774 - 1789, Lynn Montross. I'm reading this because it started to bug me that every book on the Revolutionary War mentions the Continental Congress for about three paragraphs in declaring independence, then mentions how it couldn't raise taxes and barely held together, and then we blur over to Shay's Rebellion. I mean, they had to do something for fifteen years. They had to do more than just send John Adams to things so he could disapprove of them.