Returning to normal

Lot of dead air here lately, sorry about that. It’s a combination of factors: my laptop is dying (replacement has been ordered) and is no longer reliable, especially not for traveling…so it’s locked down in my office and confined to only light duties. But that means I’m away from home without a fully functional blogging computer. My work flow is disrupted! But I’ll be going home today.

Also, I was ambitious: I’ve done 11 panels at CONvergence so far (one more this afternoon), and co-hosted the Freethoughtblogs party, 8pm-1am, every night — actually, most of the work there has been done by Mary, who’s going to collapse once we get home, I think. My voice is gone, fried and frazzled, which will make this last session an ordeal. I think I’ll just point to the other people and have them do all the work, while I nap.

Anyway, Pharyngula will be back to normal by Monday. I hope. I think it depends on me getting my brain back on track. Fortunately I don’t need to talk to blog.

Comments

  1. Sili (I have no penis and I must jizz) says

    Mary! Mary! Mary!

    (Please come cuddle the sheep with the rest of us.)

  2. says

    “Returning to normal” — or what passes for normal around here. Looking forward to your getting back into high gear.

  3. mythbri says

    PZ, when you say “Freethought Blog Parties” you are of course referring to “Freethought Bullying Parties”, right? Or do you mean that you didn’t round up everyone that you could, lock them into a room and berate them until they agreed with you?

    Some bully you are.

  4. onion girl, OM; social workers do it with paperwork says

    Please do take care of yourselves–both of you. Chamomile tea with honey & ginger is my favorite lost voice remedy. :)

    And you must hurry back to blogging full speed; there is a serious dearth of bullying around here–I thought the rule was one blog post per hour devoted for bullying, and it definitely seems FtB is falling short of that goal.

    You has a reputation to maintain!

  5. happyrabo says

    Not only were people not locked into the party room, I personally witnessed PZ in the party room being polite to the vapid “Ancient Aliens” dingleberry he had recently humiliated in a debate on that topic. Some monster you turned out to be!

  6. Sili (I have no penis and I must jizz) says

    I personally witnessed PZ in the party room

    Clever namedropping there.

    Nope. Not jealous at all. Not at all. Not even a little bit. Not even at all.

  7. carlie says

    No no, first priority is sleep, second is food, third is stuff like laundry, then is cleaning up threads.

  8. RFW says

    You need to take lessons from a voice coach. Not kidding.

    A good voice coach can teach you how to talk as much as you have without leaving your voice in tatters.

    Lawyers know this, but deal with it in varied ways. One young lawyer I worked with (his summer job) was taking singing lessons to improve his voice projection, the better to argue cases in court. Another (her summer job) headed off afterwards to spend six months in a chateau in the Loire Valley to improve her French by immersion. As she put it, you can’t argue cases before the Supreme Court of Canada if you are not fluently bilingual.

    As lawyers, so biologists who take on significant speaking engagements.

  9. onion girl, OM; social workers do it with paperwork says

    A good voice coach can teach you how to talk as much as you have without leaving your voice in tatters.

    Err…yes, but only within physical limits. I used to sing and learned all kinds of tricks for boosting your voice’s capacity (honey and ginger being one), but there are limits. No matter how many tricks you learn, if you exhaust your voice, it’s done, and will need time to rest.

    Even with vocal tricks, significant public speaking over the course of 3 (4?) days is going to bump up against most people’s natural limits.

  10. Draken says

    headed off afterwards to spend six months in a chateau in the Loire Valley to improve her French by immersion. As she put it, you can’t argue cases before the Supreme Court of Canada if you are not fluently bilingual

    Tough for her; I knew a Quebecoise who had the hardest time making herself understandable to, or understand, a native Frenchman. But that should not stop anyone from visiting the Loire valley.

  11. says

    Former rock singer here. Honey, ginger, teas and/or voice coaches? All good ideas. Here are two great ideas for when “the show must go on.” 1) gargle with glycerin. IIRC, it’s not as bad as it sounds. Vocal cords become much more supple without cracking. 2) gargle and drink a shot or two of Grand Marnier (or similar). Okay, this one might be woo… but (a) it always worked for me (therefore it must be true fax! because SCIENCE!), and (b) it’s a shot or two of sweet, strong liquor. I.e., no downside.

  12. says

    Freethought blogs party? Well how much work can that have been? It was just you and Mary sitting around having a beer, right? Obviously nobody else showed up. Everybody else everywhere hates Freethought blogs. Hates hates hates it (and it is it: many minds but just one thought). I know this because the same person under different names keeps showing up to tell me so.

  13. says

    Freethought blogs party? Well how much work can that have been? It was just you and Mary sitting around having a beer, right? Obviously nobody else showed up. Everybody else everywhere hates Freethought blogs. Hates hates hates it (and it is it: many minds but just one thought). I know this because the same person under different names keeps showing up to tell me so.

    Oh yeah, the place was empty as hell. No huge crowds of people moving in and out, no games of Munchkin, no sitting in the awesome throne, no booze in quantities enough to drown a team of Budweiser horses…or give me a wicked hangover…

    That person is an eeidot (and you’ll come next year, yespleaseyay?)

  14. 'Tis Himself says

    Anyway, Pharyngula will be back to normal by Monday.

    That would be nice.

  15. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Anyway, Pharyngula will be back to normal by Monday.

    Normal? Hmmmm…almost sounds good…might give me a chance to clean the troll stomping tutu and steel toed troll stomping boots. But then, that’s why there is back-ups.

  16. says

    When you can’t think, just keep tossing the ball to other people:
    “And what do you think about this issue, Yukio?” “What’s your experience with this been, Xavier?” “How would you handle something like that, Zenobia?”

  17. sisu says

    Not only were people not locked into the party room, I personally witnessed PZ in the party room being polite to the vapid “Ancient Aliens” dingleberry he had recently humiliated in a debate on that topic. Some monster you turned out to be!

    I know, right? He & Mary came into the kids’ space and taught my 3 year old about owls. He didn’t even eat a single baby!!

  18. Lonely Panda, e.s.l. says

    “And what do you think about this issue, Yukio?” “What’s your experience with this been, Xavier?” “How would you handle something like that, Zenobia?”

    Zenobia would probably just advocate a series of half measures.

  19. larry says

    I do not use WordPress to blog (I use another service) thus I had to do a little digging to resurrect this account. This will be a one way and one time communication.

    My road to non-belief has been long and mostly solitary. I simply could not find any source of romantic, idealistic atheism, a belief is sheltering, and soaring. I read all the book and consumed all the blogs. I watched videos and witnessed the debates. The lynchpin for non-beleif was not a storm of facts or a reasoned argument. It was RIchard Dawkins description of his boyhood in The God Delusion. Reading his words I thought, “That is my boyhood and I want it back!”

    I turned from religion embracing a wide-eyed curiosity of the world. I turned from bitterness and judgements….sexism…double speak. And now what do I see in my new home? I see bitterness and fighting. I see immaturity. I see a person posting a carefully selected email to place himself in a good light. You should be ashamed of yourself……but I know you are not.

    I prefer my solitary road until I can find a decent source of information and opinions. Again, this communication is a one time only event. I will never be back.

  20. says

    I prefer my solitary road until I can find a decent source of information and opinions. Again, this communication is a one time only event. I will never be back.

    And nothing of value was lost.

  21. allencdexter says

    It will be nice having you back. I especially miss those accounts of why people became atheists. Post a few make up one if you can,

    Hope the voice gets back to normal quickly.

    Rest assured that you were missed by many of us who don’t buy into all this controversy. It got downright nasty — shockingly so. I finally just tuned it out and refused to read all the drivel. Those commenters were clicking keys in vain, as far as I was concerned.

  22. carlie says

    Ew, Larry, you got melodrama all over my screen! That stuff is hell to clean off. So sticky.

  23. tim rowledge, Ersatz Haderach says

    Iris –

    2) gargle and drink a shot or two of Grand Marnier (or similar).

    The traditional beverage at Cons for those using their voices a lot – mainly the filkers – is Tullamore Dew. Not being a drinker I can’t offer any personal opinion, but it certainly seems to help Leslie Fish keep her guitar under control.

    Joey –

    Via FB, an official message from Convergence.

    Now really, how hard was that?

    Oh boy, the comments… There really isn’t much hope, is there?

  24. DLC says

    I know how you feel, PZ. back in the day I used to get home from a con and feel like I needed a vacation to recover from my vacation. Take it easy for a day or two, the place won’t go too much further down the tubes.

    Liked the sign linked @20. nice, and to the point.

  25. says

    @ larry:

    I turned from religion embracing a wide-eyed curiosity of the world. I turned from bitterness and judgements….sexism…double speak. And now what do I see in my new home? I see bitterness and fighting. I see immaturity.

    You mean that atheists still have to live in the wider world, to deal with immature trolls, and with sexists and liars who send them disgusting emails, right? Right?

    /snark

  26. says

    How many “I get email” posts has PZ made over the years, anyway? That was the 20th on FTB alone, if I’m reading the URL correctly. Funny that the mysterious Larry was suddenly so distressed by the latest. The content wasn’t especially remarkable by “I get email” standards.

  27. says

    I turned from religion embracing a wide-eyed curiosity of the world. I turned from bitterness and judgements….sexism…double speak. And now what do I see in my new home? I see bitterness and fighting. I see immaturity. I see a person posting a carefully selected email to place himself in a good light. You should be ashamed of yourself……but I know you are not.

    I am so sick of the sexism of religion that I just want everyone to ignore the sexism of atheism! The worst thing you ever did PZ was talk about sexism! Yes, it’s PZ’s fault. Now that bold Abbie Smith defending sexism, she’s a hero.

    How many more of these copypate template posts of “you used to be cool” do we have to go through?