Ram Truck Superb Owl Farmer Wrongness

Jodi Thibeault is a skeptic, a feminist, an atheist, and most importantly, a human being. Her vocation is ass-kickery; her hobby is vineyard management.

This is so so so wrong and so many people are sighing and crying about it.

Here’s the text:

And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker.” So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the field, milk cows again, eat supper, then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board.” So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt and watch it die, then dry his eyes and say,’Maybe next year,’ I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from an ash tree, shoe a horse with hunk of car tire, who can make a harness out hay wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. Who, during planting time and harvest season will finish his 40-hour week by Tuesday noon and then, paining from tractor back, put in another 72 hours.” So God made the farmer.

God said, “I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bales, yet gentle enough to yean lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-comb pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the leg of a meadowlark.” So God made a farmer.

It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed, and brake, and disk, and plow, and plant, and tie the fleece and strain the milk, . Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft, strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh, and then sigh and then reply with smiling eyes when his son says that he wants to spend his life doing what Dad does. “So God made a farmer.”

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Pet turtle digs in and lives 30 years in family’s junk room

Red-footed tortoise on some junk

Manuela on some junk
Photograph by: Perla Rodrigues , TV Globo

While I’m slightly skeptical about the “just so” nature of this story, it’s still an adorable story, and I don’t see any aspects of it that make it particularly implausible. Apparently, a pet turtle (technically a tortoise, but turtles are turtles, I have it on good authority!) got lost in a junk room and, thirty years later, while the dad’s kids were going through his stuff after he died, they discovered the turtle had made a nice little home for itself next to a turntable and survived several decades on, probably, termites.

“At that moment I was white and did not believe,” explains Almeida.

Crawling around in a box with an old record player was Manuela, a red-footed tortoise the family had written off as lost back in 1982.

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Back from vacation. Need a vacation.

I’d been trying to maintain a post-a-day schedule for a few weeks now despite trying to suck the marrow out of a precious oasis of respite from a job that has, as late, challenged me to exceed what even I thought myself capable. I am back home now. My wife and I arrived home at 1:30am to a house with no food, short one bag.

While in Minneapolis, a mouse attacked our luggage and we decided to get new luggage rather than try to force one more trip out of the already haggard container which had to that point lasted almost ten years. All of the clothing was intact, though it all had to be washed; the bag was discarded. The bag we got to replace it attempted to take a diversion to Quebec and was apparently left in Chicago rather than following us all the way back to Halifax. We haven’t gotten it back yet. We’ve been told to call them for updates; the updates via the automated system presently say they’re “searching” for it. The number we were given to talk to a human landed at a voice mail box. Tomorrow, if our bags aren’t returned, we will be quite… put out.

And our car wouldn’t start today. Dead battery. Not just dead, DEAD dead. The money pit of a car had been sputtering during the summer and we’d suspected the alternator; the only piece of good news was that the battery had simply succumbed to the winter, and it wasn’t something more serious.

It was a lovely vacation with food, people, fun, happiness and love. It’s sometimes rough, I suppose, to switch back to home life mode and focus on the good things, ignoring the bad. Might take a few days. Bleh.

Fossil Gears, by Flying Trilobite

Last week, Jodi and I hosted Glendon Mellow (a.k.a The Flying Trilobite) and his lovely family for an all-too-brief night right before the end of their road trip through the Maritimes. I was more than willing to put them up just for a chance to reunite with Glendon and to meet Michelle, their adorable son, and their nephew Christian, but they saw fit to gift us with this great piece of shale art as a thank-you.

Trilobite fossil painting, with clockwork gears, on shale

It was still wet in spots when he presented it to us. A personal gift like this means a hell of a lot to me. It will get a prominent place in our office, once it’s re-done. (The office is kind of in shambles at the moment.)

Thank you, Glendon. You know you didn’t have to.

My cat Molly

Look. This is going to be a mushy post. About a cat. If you don’t like it, don’t read it, and especially don’t comment. I’m not particularly interested in your disapproval right now.

About eight years ago, I was living in Toronto in the basement of the mother of my boss. My roommate at the time had a cat, Casey, a big bruiser of a tom, but rescued another — a kitten she found at a shelter, who as it turns out was the runt of her litter.
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Congratulations to Rieux and his wife!

Good news — FtB commenter Rieux’s wife has delivered their expected baby.

Off-topic: at 8:17 this morning, it’s a boy. (Or at least AMAB, if that’s better stated.)

6 pounds 14 ounces, 19.25 inches, 22 hours of back labor by a mom who demonstrated unbelievable guts and stamina in 3 hours of grueling pushing. Then he wrecked the Apgar curve.

Now bedtime. Explaining how rape culture is nasty bullshit that all us XYs have a responsibility to resist will come soon enough.

(Not snark.)

Yeah. I’m spent and unable to get all the blogosphere things written that I want to write, and I just travelled. I just don’t have an experiential framework in which to empathize properly with how spent your family must be.

CONvergence: Doctor Who fan repairs his timeline

I’m going to try to write about a few of the thousands of little interactions I had while attending the SkepchickCON science/skepticism track at Minnesota’s annual CONvergence — the continent’s largest entirely fan-run sci-fi/fantasy/fandom convention. This year’s convention had just shy of six thousand attendees, and practically every panel in the Skepchick track, in convention rooms that seated ~125-150, was packed and in many cases standing-room-only.

During a convention of this size, you overhear lots of conversations about lots of different things, most mundane, but some truly interesting. During a group lunch, I learned the tale of a man who, eighteen years ago, missed a chance to meet Sophie Aldred — Ace, one of the Doctor Who companions of the 7th Doctor. He had gotten an aluminum baseball bat of the same style as Ace’s signature, and though he had it at a convention where Aldred was doing signings, was too shy to ask.
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Vacation! Blog entering low-power mode now.

While I’ve spent other work vacations claiming to put the blog in low power mode, but still managing to keep blogging at my usual rate, there’s a good possibility that for the next two weeks my blogging activities will be significantly curtailed by all the preparation and socializing that accompanies attending CONvergence.

I am very likely presently in the air on my way to Minnesota right now, assuming nothing untoward has happened (planes delayed, pilots being Raptured away mid-flight, etc). I might have a thing or two to write while I’m in the air, but I also plan to try to finally read the beta copy of Kelly McCullough’s new book so I can tell him in person what I thought of it. Yeah, the harassment fight has been keeping me from other duties. I suspect he wouldn’t mind though, considering the nature of this all-consuming conflagration, and the frequency with which he attends conventions.

I will, as usual, attempt to keep some interesting stuff pumping into my blog, but the chances of hosting a knock-down-drag-out fight over some piece of my personal philosophy is significantly lower as a result of all the time I plan on spending catching up with friends and making new ones.

Once in Minnesota, I understand I have more beers to try. I didn’t quite get through all the beers on offer last time there. I should post my notes on the last set, so I clear my “beers I’ve tried and haven’t yet blogged about” queue. I’ll also probably rely pretty heavily on working my way through some of the blog fodder backlog from links people have been sending me. But all that aside, it’s well possible I may not pay as close attention to the blogosphere as I have recently. If you need me for something, those of you who really matter already know how to get a hold of me.

And if anyone needs to pass along hugs to Stephanie Zvan, let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

Yay vacation!!