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Sep 13 2012

[Lounge #367]

This is the lounge. You can discuss anything you want, but you will do it kindly. Careful! Don’t squeeze the platypuses!

Status: Heavily Moderated; Previous thread

741 comments

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  1. 501
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    Oh my goodness gracious, Caine. That is so much cute I just can’t handle it. They must be a delight.

  2. 502
    ImaginesABeach

    GirlChild has bookmarked Rattitude. However we find it… lacking. No Zoe yet.

  3. 503
    carlie

    Beautiful day today. Perfect weather. Went to a nature center featuring swampland, but it’s been such a dry year that there was no water. Still lovely, though.

  4. 504
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Rattitude is AWESOME!!

  5. 505
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Ping pong balls, perhaps? Sounds hilarious.

  6. 506
    chigau (違う)

    Caine
    ♥♥♥ Ratitude!
    They’ve changed so much!

  7. 507
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Would tennis balls work? Or would they somehow get ripped to shreds?
    Ping Pong balls, if they got carried away would just wind up everywhere, I imagine.
    Any such objects would likely need to have some size to them, so that when/if they’re carried away, they’re easy and/or quick to retrieve. I can picture ping pong balls everywhere. Especially in places no one wants them (underfoot when you step out of bed in the morning).
    ****

    Is anyone familiar with Warehouse 13?
    I’m watching Episode 1 on Netflix. It’s has an odd X-Files meets Friday the 13th the series vibe to it.

  8. 508
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Tony,

    Big Warehouse 13 fan here. It really DOES have a Friday the 13th: The Series sort of feel to it, doesn’t it? It is funny that both shows have “13″ in the title too. The show doesn’t really come together completely until the introduction of one more character in the first season, but then it really seems pretty consistently good in my memory.

  9. 509
    Inaji

    Trinioler, craft beads would never work – rats consider all them prime chewing material. I don’t dare let the monsters near jewelry of any kind!

    Tethys:

    Cardboard box and a gross of ping-pong balls? One of the transparent storage containers might make it highly entertaining for the humans too.

    Oh, yes! I can get a transparent container for cheap at Big Lots and ping pong balls would be perfect.

    Kristin, thank you!

    They must be a delight.

    Oh…much of the time, they are. Other times, not so much. Then I contemplate hanging them up by their tails. The spray bottle helps. Have spray bottle, manage rats. :D

    ImaginesABeach:

    GirlChild has bookmarked Rattitude. However we find it… lacking. No Zoe yet.

    That has been remedied. :D

    Improbable Joe:

    Rattitude is AWESOME!!

    Thank you!

    Alethea:

    Ping pong balls, perhaps?

    Yep, that will work.

  10. 510
    Inaji

    Chigau:

    They’ve changed so much!

    Yes, they’ve grown! They are all getting big now, it’s like having a house full of 13 year olds.

  11. 511
    trinioler

    Hehe, I let munchkin(my guinea pig) out earlier. She’s not too used to it yet, so she kept ducking in and out of her cage.

  12. 512
    Deborah

    Hiya. I’m looking for some recommendations on some books to read to rectify a really horrifying lack of education on science and evolution. I was raised in an extreme fundamentalist home, homeschooled, and find that even the posts here at Pharyngula are too technical for me to understand. I have looked at books and websites, but I am hesitant because I have grasped reading here that it is very easy for bad science to masquerade as good science, and understandings change over time as theories are tested and refined. I saw recommendations all over FTB for Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me), which I am currently reading and finding very interesting and slightly terrifying, so I thought this might be a good place to ask for recommendations.

    I’m considering What Evolution Is (Science Masters Series) by Ernst Mayr, and Evolution: The Basics by Sherrie Lynn. The general idea to keep in mind is that I am highly literate generally but extremely illiterate in science, so the science needs to be pretty much on a grade school level.

  13. 513
    Inaji

    Deborahbell, welcome! I think you might find The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins to be readable and fairly easy to understand.

    There is serious science in it, but it is explained at a basic level.

  14. 514
    chigau (違う)

    deborahbell
    Daniel Loxton’s Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be is pretty good. But it may be too young for you.

    and
    Welcome!

  15. 515
    Deborah

    Thanks, both of you. I have been reading the God Delusion, slowly, and didn’t realize Dawkins had written about evolution also. I’ll check both of those out.

  16. 516
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    opposablethumbs, I ruined a cell phone with seawater. I didn’t forget I had it: I was carrying it safely in a backpack but the SO was going to phone me when it was time for pickup and I was afraid I wouldn’t hear it, so I put it into my pocket. I didn’t wade that deep but splashes of seawater made my pockets damp and caused the battery to short out and boil inside the casing. Quite dramatic. Moral: always carry a baggie.

  17. 517
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Deborahbell @12, I highly recommend Evolution by Carl Zimmer. I would say it is at a beginning high-school level but it is easy to understand and reads like a novel, it is so smooth. It was also written to accompany a PBS television series so you could conceivably buy the shows as well. And you can get it for one cent on Amazon.

    http://www.amazon.com/Evolution-Triumph-Idea-Carl-Zimmer/dp/0060958502

  18. 518
    chigau (違う)

    A big flock of cranes just went by.
    Heading south.
    *sigh*

  19. 519
    chigau (違う)

    and another

  20. 520
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    So my wife has safely arrived at Parts Unknown, and is staying at a really nice extended stay hotel. A decent sized kitchen, two TVs, a super-comfy couch and an even nicer bed… it is totally like a vacation for her. For me, not so much. I managed to make dinner for myself a mere 4 hours later than usual. I ate almost nothing yesterday and went to bed at 3AM and slept until 10-ish. I don’t seem capable of taking care of myself without my wife here… which is weird, because I normally do all the cooking and cleaning and grocery shopping and what have you.

  21. 521
    chigau (違う)

    and more cranes

    Improbable Joe
    Set a schedule.
    Eat by the clock.

  22. 522
    Inaji

    So…it cost $1,050 to get all the girls spayed. Yikes.

  23. 523
    Amblebury

    Yikes indeed. I repeat my offer to help out financially. I’ll pay for Agnes.

  24. 524
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    chigau, I’m going to try, but it would help if I were on a regular sleeping schedule. I guess that’s what an alarm clock is for, right? I’m thinking of printing out a daily/weekly schedule and posting it all over the house.

    Caine, kids are pretty damned expensive, aren’t they?

  25. 525
    Inaji

    Amblebury:

    Yikes indeed. I repeat my offer to help out financially. I’ll pay for Agnes.

    Thank you, I really appreciate that, but it’s all done and we’re alright. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds, that averages out to $95.00 per, which is below the norm (we got discounts!). We just ended up with a high ratio of girls.

    Improbable Joe:

    Caine, kids are pretty damned expensive, aren’t they?

    I don’t know from kids, but pets sure as hell are.

  26. 526
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    While I have a problem with government taxing my labor, I also have a problem with the welfare state because only a sicko could want a social group to live like that.

    I don’t know how the fuck anyone who isn’t a beneficiary of immense privilege could get that. You have to be insane to want a society where people are guaranteed basic things like food and shelter.

    Seriously. Fucking seriously. And we have to take this bullshit mentality seriously otherwise we’re closed minded and tribalistic and not worthy of the time of day. That people deserve food and shelter and medicine is somehow fucking debatable.

    I…

    I don’t know what to fucking do anymore. How the fuck are we supposed to repudiate these assholes and their bullshit theology? Even atheists can get on the mainstream media, but where economics is concerned if you don’t think that whether people deserve to have their basic fucking needs met is debatable you’re just an irresponsible laughingstock lefty working for that utopian lefty independent media and speaking at Occupy. The public doesn’t need to hear that conservatives and libertarians are just a bunch of privileged white doodz at heart.

  27. 527
    chigau (違う)

    Caine
    Since you don’t want to take direct financial help, can we donate to your vet?
    They sound like really good people.

  28. 528
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Deborahbell #12: another book you may be interested in, when you get done with the basics-of-evolution ones, is The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould, which is a critique of the racism, sexism, classism etc inherent in biological determinism.

  29. 529
    PatrickG

    Nick Gotts, opposablethumbs, Minnie, SGBM, and anyone I missed:

    Thanks for the educational replies, and for now making my head hurt with attempting to remember what’s used where. :)

  30. 530
    Inaji

    Chigau:

    Since you don’t want to take direct financial help, can we donate to your vet?
    They sound like really good people.

    If anyone wants to do that, that would be fantastic! They are wonderful vets all. We’ve been with them for well over a decade now. One night, back when we lived in Bismarck, we had an emergency at night with one of our cats. We put in calls to several area vets, waiting for a call back. We got one call back and when we arrived at the clinic, it was obvious we pulled the doctors out of a fancy affair. Good peoples all the way.

    They have two hospitals, Missouri Valley and Pinehurst. Pinehurst is their small animal practice. You can read about the staff here: http://missourivalleyvet.com/meet.html Dr. Angie Bettenhausen is our rat vet and she goes above and beyond for her patients.

  31. 531
    PatrickG

    @ Setar: I hear you… I got into a conversation with someone recently about proposed food stamp/TANF/etc. cuts…

    Me: You know food security is a huge problem right now for a lot of people?
    Them: Yeah, but charities will step up. Corporations, too.
    M: They haven’t. In fact, this has a been a problem for much longer than the recent economic crisis.
    T: I don’t believe it is:
    M: (Whips out smart phone, googles) Look at this.
    T: Hrmm, well that’s interesting. Charity should be doing more.
    M: If they won’t do more, what’s the alternative?
    T: But we’re running a deficit.
    M: Wait, wait, back up, let’s look at this. People will get their food supply cut off. Literally, people will not have enough to eat. In America. This should be unacceptable.
    T: But government isn’t the solution… (rinse and repeat)

    It’s like talking to a brick wall. I admit to losing my cool and saying something along the lines of ‘You know what, I don’t feel like arguing with someone who isn’t willing to admit that they’re willing to let people starve to avoid raising taxes’ and walked away. Except a bit more … crudely. The words ‘entitled’ and ‘sociopath’ might have been uttered, and the Fincke test might have been violated by ‘asshole’… but I admit nothing!

  32. 532
    Hekuni Cat, MQG

    Deborahbell, welcome!

    Caine, Rattitude is wonderful! And bookmarked. ♥ ♥ ♥ Hugs and pets for Vasco.

  33. 533
    ibyea

    @PatrickG
    Such people deserve to be called assholes.

  34. 534
    Inaji

    Hekuni Cat:

    Caine, Rattitude is wonderful! And bookmarked. ♥ ♥ ♥ Hugs and pets for Vasco.

    Aaw, thanks. Hugses and pets for Vasco will be done as soon as he presents himself. He had a late and busy night last night. :D

  35. 535
    trinioler

    Hey all.

    For anyone who feels like subjecting themselves to some torture, its been decided to transcribe Justicar’s latest video.

    I broke it up into one minute blocks.

    nick, carlie, anyone else?

    https://a-plus-scribe.com/doku.php?id=transcriptions:justicar_hands_off_my_rape_switch

  36. 536
    trinioler

    I also have to share the wondrous stupidity of justicar: https://twitter.com/Integralmathyt/status/247177559702376449

    “@aplusscribe well, remember what Greta et ass say: disability > copyright law. It’s why I hope someone transcribes her talking book. =P”

    GAH.

  37. 537
    chigau (違う)

    Tethys
    If you would still like a virtual ratty, Amelia and I can share.

  38. 538
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Joe:
    Does Warehouse 13 have an overarching theme to its seasons? I love shows like Buffy, Angel, or Fringe (probably my current *favorite* series).
    ****
    Deborahbell:
    Welcome!
    I’ve seen that several regulars have given some recommendations for you.
    I just want to say that I’m glad that you’re taking this approach and genuinely want to learn more. I came to FtB in general and Pharyngula specifically already being an atheist, and having *some* understanding of science. I’ve learned quite a bit here, both from reading posts by various bloggers, as well as checking links provided by commenters (and bloggers). I find this to be a pretty awesome community and I’ve found that Science! is awesome.

  39. 539
    Amblebury

    Caine: All good then. Give Agnes a scritch from me. I like Rattitude ;) I know it’s anthropomorphism and reading too much from one photo – but Agnes does look quite the “do NOT mess with me” sort.

    Setar: Beneficiaries as pariahs seems to be quite the global theme. It’s prevalent here in NZ. Google Paula Bennett. She’s one very scary Minister of Social Welfare.

  40. 540
    Jessa

    Totally threadrupt, but I just had to share some good news.

    I bought a house yesterday. It’s a pretty big deal for me. You see, I’ll be 39 years old next month, and I’ve never lived in an actual house. I grew up in a 10 foot by 70 foot mobile home that had a roof so leaky that we had to put out pots and pans when it rained to catch the drips. My room was so small that it wouldn’t accommodate even a twin-sized bed, so I slept on a children’s size bed until I went to college. Then I lived in the dorms in college, and apartments in grad school until now. So this is a huge step for me.

  41. 541
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    PatrickG #31: But the problem isn’t that the other person is being a brick wall; the public discourse is a brick wall because once you come up on the dogma of DEFICITS and DEBT and INTEREST if you don’t bow down then as I said no mainstream outlet will take you (well, you might get a spot on Ed Schultz or Maddow) because you’re just one of those irresponsible anti-neoliberals from that Occupy thingy. You can get on Current or HuffPo or other awesome independent media, but no major public discourse for you, that’s all gotta be about DEBT DEBT DEBT and HOW TO AVOID MORE DEBT.

    On the other hand, people who want to increasingly restrict the money supply by doing things like go back to the gold standard do get air time. Which is awesomely convenient, considering that debt dogma already exists to do that: we can’t expand the money supply BECAUSE DEBT, the government can’t take low- or no-interest loans from the central bank BECAUSE INFLATION (but private banks can if the only alternative is to go belly-up!).

    At this point I don’t know how we’re supposed to get the fuck out of this. The public discourse is rigged against us. The powers that be have spent the past three and a half decades rigging central banking against anything remotely liberal. Outside of what tiny safe spaces we’ve carved, if we question these sorts of privileged dogma we get a bunch of libertarians with a giant sound system screaming about how we’re totalitarians for calling their reality-free bullshit reality-free bullshit.

    It’s like…we’ve reached the point where our society can no longer tolerate regressive assholes. And, as a result, we’ve hit a collective cognitive wall because assholes have risen to the top almost by natural selection — their predecessors were willing and able to game interactions and take advantage of human cognitive defects to get up there before we reached this point, and now they’re gaming those same defects in order to stay there. They cheat — and they defend to the death their so-called “right” to cheat. And because cheating is the status quo, most of us don’t know what the fuck it is even when it’s dancing in front of our faces.

    Only now with the advent of the Internet have we found a place where this cheating can be countered on a wide scale — and even then it seems to be too little, too late, because the privileged cheaters got a head start here too.

    I know I’m asking for somewhat of a pony, so I’m going to keep fighting. But, honestly…with the snail’s pace we’ve been slowed to even at just carving out the safe spaces where we can ignore the regression to late-19th century ‘social justice’, it feels like my entire life is going to be watching this world die having seen how great it could have been.

  42. 542
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Amblebury #39:

    Beneficiaries as pariahs seems to be quite the global theme. It’s prevalent here in NZ. Google Paula Bennett. She’s one very scary Minister of Social Welfare.

    No thanks, I get sick enough when I read the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ study (read: damage report) on what the BC “Liberal” government has done to our welfare program.

  43. 543
    chigau (違う)

    Jessa
    yay you and your new space!

    Beware of Flat Surfaces.
    They FILL with unsorted mail.

  44. 544
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Jessa:
    Oodles of congratulations to you for your new home!

  45. 545
    Inaji

    For those of you with rat loving kids, Drusilla Kehl of The Art of the Illustrated Rat has some seriously cute Halloween Rats for colouring: first page, second page, third page.

  46. 546
    PatrickG

    @ ibyea: Ha, indeed. I was trying to express two contradictory ideas though, which I really shouldn’t aim for given my hit-or-miss eloquence. :) One was poking gentle fun at Finke’s civility position, the other is that I regret I ended that way, since I was in a public space with multiple people involved in the conversation. Most of what I was trying to do was aimed at them, since they weren’t quite so far down the rabbithole, and my flounce might have been counterproductive. Don’t know.

    @ Setar:

    it feels like my entire life is going to be watching this world die having seen how great it could have been.

    I do think some progress is being made, but I’m too much in agreement with the vast majority of your points re: media to really try and be optimistic at the moment.

    But yeah, I do want to just sort of just say “the gold standard? the fucking gold standard? How are these people not laughed out of a room?” Also, every once in a while I realize how normative this all is. It’s like having a bucket of cold water is thrown on me and realizing “Wait. Those people destroyed the economy, and they’re still in charge?” in an Old Thought is Suddenly New Again way. I don’t know how Krugman manages. I would have been institutionalized for nervous exhaustion in his position by now.

    As cynical as I am, I still hold out for the hope of progress. Probably centuries after I die, but progress nonetheless. All I’m hoping for is signs of a trend in my lifetime…

  47. 547
    thunk: turmite city

    Setar:

    When I tried to have a discussion with one CEO banker dood, he explained somewhat the cause of the recession, but then proceeded to blather on about Debt Debt Deficit Debt. I had little response to that, any advice?

    Caine:

    How’s Basil doing? Please give him extra scritches. Rattitude’s ossem.

    Jessa: Hooray for the house!

  48. 548
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Jessa

    Totally threadrupt, but I just had to share some good news.

    I bought a house yesterday. It’s a pretty big deal for me.

    Congratulations, baby! How big, what style of architecture, how old?

    It’s a wonderful feeling to have a house all to one’s self. If you’re like me and you like to hobbit-up when you’re done interacting with the outside world for the day/week, you’ll be so happy.

    And welcome to two years of irrational nightmares (real dreams, not waking morbid rumination) about your roof falling in, the foundation cracking, etc. But fear not—it gets better.

    Srsly, if you need any house advice from a frugal yankee fag first-time-homeowner, email me.

    Caine—I don’t know how you keep up with those ratlets; I can barely keep up with two sedentary and aging cats. You sure have given them the most luxurious accommodations!

    Reading your blog I just want to lie back and think of rats: Piles and piles of the darling little critters that I can smoosh and nom.

  49. 549
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Oh, and Divisitrix? Pure genius.

    I try to find every opportunity to affix “-trix” to ordinary things. Brava.

  50. 550
    Ichthyic

    I’m considering What Evolution Is (Science Masters Series) by Ernst Mayr, and Evolution: The Basics by Sherrie Lynn. The general idea to keep in mind is that I am highly literate generally but extremely illiterate in science, so the science needs to be pretty much on a grade school level.

    suggestions then:

    Why Evolution is True – by Jerry Coyne

    -very well written, easy to grasp book on the subject that covers all the primary evidence, and how it relates to the theory of evolution and how it has changed over the last 150 years.

    Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters – by Donald R Prothero

    again, very well written book that examines the geological and fossil evidence for evolution, and just is a great book about how we study fossils in general.

    Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo and the Making of the Animal Kingdom – by Sean B Carroll (note the “B”, there is another Sean Carroll who is a physicist)

    this book will educate you on how the modern synthesis finally came to understand how developmental biology related to evolution, and incorporated it.

    again, very well written, though the subject can get complex, you will find yourself easily understanding everything he is talking about.

  51. 551
    Inaji

    Chigau:

    Tethys
    If you would still like a virtual ratty, Amelia and I can share.

    Amelia is enough rat for four people. Easily.

    Jessa:

    I bought a house yesterday.

    Congratulations! We never owned a house until 7 years ago. (I’m 54). It’s grand owning your own place, but it’s a pain in the ass, too. Have fun hammering those first nails in and painting the walls any colour you like. :D

    Amblebury:

    I know it’s anthropomorphism and reading too much from one photo – but Agnes does look quite the “do NOT mess with me” sort.

    Agnes is also on the I doesn’t afraid of NOTHING! side of life, but she doesn’t go looking for trouble. She can hold her own in a fight and happily instigates a fight now and then. Generally, she is amiable and good natured.

  52. 552
    PatrickG

    On another random note, was driving down to Lake Cumberland here in beautiful Kentucky today, and partner was looking for radio feed of the Cal-Ohio State game… heard this on a station (my internal feed in italics):

    “Obama is working to make this a secular socialist society….” Wait, he is? That’s AWESOME! Tell me more!” “… by assuming totalitarian control of the country through executive orders because he refuses to work with Congress. ” Head explodes. Brain matter found splattered on window. (Continues on with libruls hating America and white people and all that.)

    The dangers of right wing talk radio. The things they strawman against just sound so damn sexy. I wish Obama were doing that!

  53. 553
    PatrickG

    And grats on the New House, Jessa! Don’t bring in any rats, they chew everything.

  54. 554
    thunk: turmite city

    Trinioler:

    I should try my hand at this scribe thing, when i have time.

  55. 555
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Also too (/Palin), Little House in New England’s first episode has begun! It’s going to be 44F degrees tonight, soup is simmering on the stove, and the antique kerosene lamps have been dusted off and topped up, then lit. Oh, I love fall.

  56. 556
    Ichthyic

    but then proceeded to blather on about Debt Debt Deficit Debt. I had little response to that, any advice?

    It’s obvious that forcing balanced budgets is not the best way to deal with conditions where you need to be flexible.

    sometimes, going into debt is a GOOD thing. sometimes, you need to go into debt to invest in infrastructure, and expand your local economies.

    such as, for example, immediately AFTER the 2008 crash, where the fed pumped a gazillion dollars into the reserve, which SHOULD have been used, as was traditional, to invest in expanding small business and inflating the economy that way, but was not. Instead, most of the large financial companies took advantage of the bailout money to… buy bonds and related things that only improve THEIR bottom lines.

    sure, your debt increases short term when you invest in small business and infrastructure, but there is over 100 years of prior history that shows that it works long term to move the economy forward again.

    this time, for reasons I can only assume are based on pure fear and greed, the standard practice was simply… ignored.

    I’ve seen interviews with economic historians who think it’s now too late to fix this; that seeing the fed pump even MORE money into the reserve (hell, IIRC the US is doing it RIGHT NOW as I type this), is too little too late to fix the problem, and we will be stuck with a global economy that’s in reduction mode instead of expansion for the next 20 years.

    A whole generation is going to have to live with the mistakes of those who, through their own shortsidedness, refused to do the things that have worked for a hundred years to stem economic recessions.

    sad.

  57. 557
    Jessa

    Thanks chigau, Tony, thunk, Josh, and Caine!

    How big, what style of architecture, how old?

    1700 square feet on 1/3 acre. Traditional, about 20 years old. My back yard is completely wooded (no mowing!) with a nice deck. And only a 5-minute walk to the nearest bus stop (an important feature for a one-car family). We also acquired an unexpected addition: an emaciated stray dog who had apparently been living on the deck while the house was vacant. He’s as sweet as can be, but we can’t keep him. We’re leaving kibble and water out for him until we can figure out what to do.

  58. 558
    Jessa

    Thanks, PatrickG! No rats for us: I think it would drive my already neurotic dog over the edge. :)

  59. 559
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Nice find, Jessa! A house that young shouldn’t need too much TLC, which is awesome.

    He says from his 142-year-old lair.

  60. 560
    Inaji

    Thunk:

    How’s Basil doing? Please give him extra scritches.

    Basil is doing well. He’s coming back out of his shell after being rather ferociously squirted for several days for relentlessly chasing girls and making them squeak. He comes up on the desk to pile in the Superhero box and help himself to Nutella. Extra scritches will be delivered.

    Josh:

    I don’t know how you keep up with those ratlets; I can barely keep up with two sedentary and aging cats. You sure have given them the most luxurious accommodations!

    There are days they sorely try my patience. Like today – woke up this morning, got my tea and wandered into the studio. Once my brain starts to kick in, what do I see? One or more rats figured out how to get into my embroidery thread cabinet. Naturally, they went for the drawer with all the silks and special threads, like the fluorescents and metallics. A substantial amount of thread was pulled out and I found skeins of thread, pulled, chewed and hopelessly tangled, stashed in various sleeping spots. It’s a good thing they are so fucking cute.

    As for the accommodations, as I told Pteryxx way back whenever, the rat condos are cheap and relatively easy to put together. The bookshelves are the flat pack ones and maybe 30 bucks a piece. The other stuff to buy is pegboard, screencloth, hinges and latches, none of it will break the wallet. The rest is just labor.

    Oh and for anyone else with rats, mice, guinea pigs, hamsters, etc., we recently switched litter – we’re using Eco-Straw pelleted wheat straw litter. It’s fab, comes in 20 lb. bags and costs around 15 bucks.

    Reading your blog I just want to “lie back and think of rats”: Piles and piles of the darling little critters that I can smoosh and nom.

    Heh. Yes, you’d love it. Until the piles and piles of adorable rats decided your bed was prime chewing material and had holes the size of your head chewed in it inside of 5 minutes. :D

    Oh, and Divisitrix? Pure genius.

    Hee. Thank you! I love -trix too.

  61. 561
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Anyone in or around Queensland?

    Somewhere to Think is a new website designed to provide up to date information on atheist, skeptical, humanist and other ‘progressive’ group events – mainly in Queensland at the moment, but planning to expand nationally. Worth a look if you’re wanting ‘somewhere to think’.
    http://thatsmyphilosophy.wordpress.com/

  62. 562
    Inaji

    Jessa:

    We also acquired an unexpected addition: an emaciated stray dog who had apparently been living on the deck while the house was vacant. He’s as sweet as can be, but we can’t keep him. We’re leaving kibble and water out for him until we can figure out what to do.

    Aaaaw. Good luck finding a solution. Maybe you can get him into a foster program.

  63. 563
    Jessa

    Josh:

    A house that young shouldn’t need too much TLC, which is awesome.

    Well, we’re getting a full re-pipe of the plumbing next week because it has polybutylene pipes, and spouse and I have had unpleasant experiences with PB pipes bursting. Luckily, FHA has a loan that lets you finance those types of improvements.

    Oh, I love fall.

    It was 89F here today. Fall is still a ways off down here.

  64. 564
    chigau (違う)

    Josh
    quote He says from his 142-year-old lair. endquote
    (my keyboard has had a stroke, I do not want to restart)
    moar pix plz

  65. 565
    ibyea

    @Ichthyic
    I don’t understand how what used to be a standard economic practice that actually worked is now considered detrimental. I know they have been doing propaganda and all that, but still, I can’t believe we have actually reached this point.

  66. 566
    Deborah

    @17 Markita thanks I added that one to my list

    @28 Setár thanks as well added that one too

    BTW, why are the numbers changing as I scroll up and down? Am I that tired that I’m just confused? Or is the computer screwing with me?

    @32 Hekuni Thanks! I usually read on my phone and comment only very rarely because commenting on WordPress in general via cell phone browsers sucks. But I’ve been reading the blog and some of the comments for a while now.

    @38 Tony I like Warehouse 13 too! I have only seen what’s available on Netflix and not all of the last season that’s on there, but it’s just fun. Not sure about the overarching theme question but you weren’t asking me so guess I’m off the hook there. :) I watched all 7 seasons of Buffy in a month while I was off work on a medical leave a few years ago. That’s definitely the way to watch a series.

    I was afraid to ask, afraid I would sound like a troll, and you guys have been very nice about it, thanks. I originally came to Pharyngula following a link from a feminist blog and stayed hoping to glean some understanding of science, and instead found it and other blogs on FTB after the move helpful in keeping me thinking critically about social issues other than feminism; although I have rejected religion sometimes the “respect” for it that was drilled into me as a child tries to creep in and the blunt refusal to “respect” religion here has helped me be more clear in my thinking.

    I was asked recently if I regretted my upbringing, which involved parental mental illness, abuse, religious indoctrination etc. That was an unusual question for me and made me think. What I regret is that the way “science” was presented – as a series of apologetic arguments for creationism and christianity – made me lose any sense of wonder or curiousity for science. I find myself not terribly interested and seeing exploring the issues as a task I have assigned myself. But I want to know because I have until now only accepted the conclusions I gather science has reached as factual based largely on faith in authority – authority such as PZ whose honesty and integrity and knowledge I respect, but authority nonetheless. I do think if I can get past that initial resistance to caring about the subject I can become interested and regain the curiousity; I am curious about everything else in the world and find some of the neuroscience I read about in the book I mentioned earlier (Mistakes Were Made) very interesting.

    @50 Ichthyic Cool, thanks, I’ve added your suggestions to my list as well.

  67. 567
    Jessa

    Caine:

    Good luck finding a solution. Maybe you can get him into a foster program.

    We’re looking into that. We also have some friends who have a large wooded property, and they have expressed interest in him. He’s so afraid of humans; he runs off at the slightest sound. We’re trying to get him well-fed and less skittish so that he can be relocated to a place that’s better for him.

  68. 568
    Ichthyic

    I don’t understand how what used to be a standard economic practice that actually worked is now considered detrimental.

    it’s not. I’m relatively new to this game, but from my understanding, no economist worth their salt has said that it was.

    it appears, to be the result of an attitude of “safety through profit taking”. that investors far prefer their companies look after the immediate bottom line, and protect the returns on their investments NOW, instead of planning for a future where there is a growing economy. It’s like they seem to think that like in the old day, doing a rush on the bank and pulling all your money out, and keeping it in a mattress, will somehow insulate you from risk. This appears to be the attitude behind what is happening, and no, it makes no sense, but then, it also looks that what is driving this is largely ignorance and fear.

    What’s more, there is nothing built into most western government constitutions that forbids taking advantage of reserve funds for personal gain. I only say most, because I haven’t looked at all of them, but for the UK, the US, Canada, and many others, this is the case.

    the governemnt has no power to stop financial institutions from NOT investing in infrastructure and small business loans, even when it is expected that their own long term interests (and everyone elses) would be best served by doing so.

    I’m basing all of this on interviews I have watched with academic economists and historians, who have tried to document what’s been happening with the world economy in the last decade.

    all of them basically said the same thing, and so I decided to take a bit of a closer look.

    shorter:

    it sure looks like the global economy is completely fucked for about the next 20 years.

    *kicks dirt*

  69. 569
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Chigau—Moar pix

    1. SpokesHallway. My house has NO right angles.

    2. SpokesLivingRoom, with kitteh and Victorian ancestress.

  70. 570
    chigau (違う)

    Josh
    Nice kitteh.
    You do NOT have a pile of junkmail?
    c’mon

  71. 571
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I ain’t gonna show you my junk mail!

  72. 572
    chigau (違う)

    Oh piffle.
    I forgot about rule 34.

  73. 573
    Jessa

    Picture of the doggie. Any ideas of the breed mixture?

  74. 574
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Rule 34 is still in effect. That doesn’t mean you get to see it. :))

  75. 575
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Jessa! Oh my god, the poor thing is starving!

  76. 576
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I know you know that, mind. But oh, poor thing.

  77. 577
    chigau (違う)

    Jessa
    OMG
    Keep feeding it.

  78. 578
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Give that dog 80 percent hamburger with lots of fat.

  79. 579
    Jessa

    Josh, that’s why I cut the final walk-through of the house to go to the store to get him some food. I cried all the way to the store and back. He’s much perkier today, though. I’m making sure he gets the care he deserves.

  80. 580
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Jessa, I know, I’m not blaming you! It just turns on my water works to see such a pitiful sight.

  81. 581
    chigau (違う)

    on another topic;
    I missed when Horshack died
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Palillo
    and Epstein
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Hegyes
    I am going to bed.

  82. 582
    John Morales

    Jessa, German Shepherd cross, I think.

    (Thank you for feeding it)

  83. 583
    Jessa

    Josh, no problems, I didn’t think you were blaming me. But we do think alike. I went to the local grocery store butcher and got some of the fat trimmings for him. He’ll be fine under my care. I’ll accept him as an outdoor doggie if I can’t find someone to take him.

  84. 584
    chigau (違う)

    John Morales
    I was thinking some blue heeler.

  85. 585
    Tethys

    Goodnight Chigau. Thank you for your kind offer to share your virtual rat.

    Jessa

    Congratulations on the new house and OMG poor doggie!
    He appears to be a shepard mix. Hard to tell as I can’t see a tail in the pic.

    Have you considered the possibility that he belongs to the people who formerly lived in the house? It makes it even sadder to think that he is waiting on the deck for his people.

  86. 586
    SallyStrange

    Wow, so, brother in law just came home a little while ago, puked, and passed out on the stairs for a bit.

    I tried to help him up to his bed but he wasn’t having it.

    So I said “meh” and finished my sandwich and beer.

    Am I a terrible person?

    Eventually he got up and made it to bed, thank goodness. Now my sister has to deal with him.

    I’ll miss hanging with my niece when I move out but I sure as shit won’t miss this sort of fuckery.

  87. 587
    Jessa

    Tethys,

    Have you considered the possibility that he belongs to the people who formerly lived in the house? It makes it even sadder to think that he is waiting on the deck for his people.

    That was my first thought. I confirmed through their realtor that the dog did not belong to the former owners.

  88. 588
    chigau (違う)

    SallyStrange
    Next time, take his wallet.
    and ‘find’ it 12 hours after the search begins

  89. 589
    chigau (違う)

    Well fuck.
    We have a frost warning.
    House plants in, then really to bed.

  90. 590
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    PatrickG #46:

    I don’t know how Krugman manages.

    He and other sane economists such as Yves Smith and Brad DeLong likely have a listserv or something where they rant about all those idiots in Chicago.

    thunk #47:

    When I tried to have a discussion with one CEO banker dood, he explained somewhat the cause of the recession, but then proceeded to blather on about Debt Debt Deficit Debt. I had little response to that, any advice?

    The only one I know of is “bullshit”. It’s theology and dogma, that’s it =/

    Ichthyic #56:

    sometimes, going into debt is a GOOD thing. sometimes, you need to go into debt to invest in infrastructure, and expand your local economies.

    There’s something else in the neoliberal debt dogma that gets me: interest. Since the government controls the central bank, why do we need to worry about interest? We’re giving low- and no-interest loans to big banks through TARP and the discount window and such, so why doesn’t the government get no-interest loans from the Fed? For that matter, why does it even matter if the government is in debt to the Fed — isn’t that effectively the government being in debt to itself?

    Generally, when I go towards this route I hear something about inflation. If I ever even get the chance to.

  91. 591
    SallyStrange

    Next time, take his wallet.
    and ‘find’ it 12 hours after the search begins

    Most useful advice about this situation I’ve heard so far!

    WRT debt: especially since Republicans are always going on and on about how govt should be run like a business, EVERY healthy business has a certain level of debt. If they’re not in debt then it means they’re not growing–not investing in new equipment, new offices, new workers, whatever.

    I learned this from copy editing a newsletter about investment in renewable energy. Taught me a lot about investment in general.

  92. 592
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Okay, seriously. I don’t get “left-libertarians”. I don’t get what they’re doing other than providing a convenient shield for the masses of liberturdians. And I don’t get why they have to be “libertarians” even though they’ll have to constantly explain themselves because their “libertarianism” is (supposedly) totally different than what is generally meant by libertarianism, when “liberal” or “progressive” would probably fit their worldview just as well if they’re as left as they claim.

    In fact, I don’t get what the point of “left-libertarians” is other than to play Humpty Dumpty with “libertarianism”.

  93. 593
    Ing

    When I tried to have a discussion with one CEO banker dood, he explained somewhat the cause of the recession, but then proceeded to blather on about Debt Debt Deficit Debt. I had little response to that, any advice?

    From what I understand, so feel free to call bullshit but the idiot version is that the recession was basically caused by people being allowed to take greater risks due to deregulation…and then promote said risks as assets to which someone else then took them and invested them, and someone else did again and again so a house of cards was built. It wasn’t so much debt as allowing and encouraging practices that had high short term gain but disastrous long term.

  94. 594
    Inaji

    Deborahbell:

    I do think if I can get past that initial resistance to caring about the subject I can become interested and regain the curiousity; I am curious about everything else in the world and find some of the neuroscience I read about in the book I mentioned earlier (Mistakes Were Made) very interesting.

    On that note, a fun book is Bad Science by Ben Goldacre. If you find neuroscience interesting, I highly recommend The Tell-Tale Brain by V.S. Ramachandran. The latter is easy to understand and utterly fascinating.

    Also, if you like the Discworld novels, go for The Science of Discworld, which is an absolute blast. It’s out of print, but copies can be easily found.

    Another fun one is Surely You’re joking, Mr. Feynman! by Richard P. Feynman. It’s not about science per se, but it is about and by a nobel winning physicist and has a fair amount about science in it, even if it is in a rather oblique way.

    Reading a few things which are more on the fun/fascinating side will kindle that curiousity. Setting yourself a task which makes it all seem a slog won’t help.

  95. 595
    Inaji

    Also on the fun and fascinating side is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed by Carl Zimmer. It has bite sized chunks of all kinds of science and utterly fabulous tattoos.

  96. 596
  97. 597
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Another hmm. Someone in the educational section of the A+ forums referred to the null hypothesis as a “rhetorical strategy”, which reminded me of the problems with zero-sum approach to debates.

    Hopefully this was somewhat coherent. Even the use of language such as “strategy” in reference to approaching a discussion gets my hackles up, because of the zero-sum thinking involved.

    I should also note that referring to it as a “rhetorical strategy” implies that this is some sort of competition. When you imply competition, you imply that your opposition seeks not to come to a factually sound and logically valid conclusion, but rather that they seek to discredit you in any way possible. When you do this, you’re assuming that your opposition is arguing in bad faith.

    Not only is it highly disrespectful to open with an assumption of bad faith, it will also make you more prone to errors because an assumption of bad faith carries with it a bias against the opposition’s arguments being factually sound and logically valid. This means that you are more likely to respond to any attempts to correct your errors with hostility, because your view is not that we are presenting the arguments we see as correct but rather that we are presenting what we think will force you into an untenable position.

    If you are really here to learn something, you should not be doing this. Please find a better way to word that statement, so that you do not make yourself susceptible to errors.

  98. 598
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    deborahbell:

    @38 Tony I like Warehouse 13 too! I have only seen what’s available on Netflix and not all of the last season that’s on there, but it’s just fun. Not sure about the overarching theme question but you weren’t asking me so guess I’m off the hook there. :) I watched all 7 seasons of Buffy in a month while I was off work on a medical leave a few years ago. That’s definitely the way to watch a series.

    I’m up to Episode 7 of Season 1. I’m really getting into Warehouse 13.
    Oh, and if you have an answer to something, or just want to contribute some information, please feel free. Even if a question is directed at one person, there’s no requirement that they be the only one to answer.
    Also, you don’t have to love science to post here. Even if you do, well, there are a *lot* of fields that science covers (understatement much :). You may find a particular field that you never knew about and find it utterly fascinating, but nothing else. Or you may find that there are several fields you have interest in and can’t get enough. Or you may find that you still have no interest in science, but just want to be educated about areas where scientific knowledge applies to issues of social justice.
    If I can make a suggestion: There may be many blog posts you find interesting. At times the subject under discussion might be something you know little to nothing about (still happens to me). It’s ok to lurk. Ireally hope I don’t come across the wrong way with that. I just see so many people who choose to weigh in on topics they don’t know enough about. Some of them back off and learn more; others double down and dig a biiiiiiiiiig hole.

    ****

    SallyStrange:
    Nah. You’re not a bad person. You did what you could to help out. Even that wasn’t a requirement.

  99. 599
    Amblebury

    Just randomly, does anyone have any experience with those kneeling office chairs? They’re supposedly better for your posture, spinal alignment etc. However, all the positive reviews I’ve read come from sites who have sales links also.

    They’re pricey, and I’d like to know if they actually work before I commit to buying one.

  100. 600
    Amblebury

    That, not who. ’tis late and I should be asleep.

  101. 601
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Amblebury: I do not know what you mean by “kneeling”. My work chair has adjustable height, seat angle and back angle, but it’s my grandfather’s and he needs it because of his bad back. It’s also super padded and comfy, though the one at the other pit is a bit better. I believe he bought it from Staples, which is our big-box office store (Office Depot is basically gone from Canada).

    I rather like it myself, because I like the ability to lean it back quite a bit and lock it in place (I broke a couple of shoddy leaning-back chairs because of my frequent posture changes) because this is the most comfortable for me; I can keep my feet off the ground most of the time without putting them on the chair. But, YMMV.

  102. 602
    Amblebury

    Setar: That sounds good. The ability to adjust seating angles, etc. would be really useful. I was going to past a link for he kneeling chair, but was scared of borking it. I’ll pluck up some courage and try.

    http://www.backdesigns.com/Kneeling-chair-pros-cons-W10.aspx

  103. 603
    Tethys

    Kneeling chairs are comfortable, though I have never used one as an work chair. They are somewhat awkward to get in and out of, and they don’t roll. I prefer a chair that is height adjustable to avoid neck and shoulder strain.

    Can you go to the store and test sit?

  104. 604
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Test sit only works for the short term. They were very popular in the 90s; I had one but I have it away. In my case, the pressure on my knees became too great after an hour or so.

  105. 605
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    *Gave it away. Having it away with a chair seems odd to me, but who knows?

  106. 606
    opposablethumbs

    Amblebury, I had a kneeling chair for a while once, but my habit of shifting my weight and moving around in my chair all the time wrecked it in fairly short order. Maybe if I’d had a MUCH more sturdy (and therefore probably more expensive) one … (I am 1m 72cm aka about 5’7″ and on the light side for my height, so I wasn’t putting a lot of strain on the chair either compared to many adults). Might be a factor to take into consideration, for anyone who doesn’t sit still all the time!

    If you’re used to “normal” chairs, a kneeling one will feel odd for a while. And if you’re prone to getting stiff knees, you might find it uncomfortable because you’re, well, kneeling. And you have to have reasonably good posture, as you need to avoid slumping with no back support to help you.

    I’ve … gone off the idea, to be honest! But that’s just me, obviously, and everybody’s MMV.

    Markita Lynda, I share your frustration :-/
    Phone vulnerability is a lesson learned … I hope!

    Caine, chalk me up as another Rattitude fan. They really are adorable and must be infinitely more fascinating in motion! How does housetraining work in the case of free-running pet rats?

    A warm welcome to deborahbell, and I wish you happy reading! I’d second the Dawkins rec, his science writing is very readable. Also the Gould.

    Neil Shubin’s “Your Inner Fish” is great, and well worth a read if you come across it! (the evolution of the features that ended up being present in the human body)
    (funny, you mentioned you thought you might look as if you were trolling but there’s a WORLD of difference between what you said and the kind of fake “questions” commonly seen from trolls. Just brought the difference home to me, really!)

  107. 607
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    I just responded to a libertarian’s implied “welfare queens!” with my personal reasons for hating libertarians and their fucking stories.

    Taking bets on which tactic is used to evade. Here’s the odds:
    “You didn’t answer my question!” – 1.1:1
    “Anecdotes aren’t data!” – 1.2:1
    “You’re just lazy!”, “Suck it up!” – 1.5:1
    “Private charity!” – 1.8:1
    Sophisticated libertarian theology – 2.6:1

  108. 608
    Nick Gotts

    In fact, I don’t get what the point of “left-libertarians” is other than to play Humpty Dumpty with “libertarianism”. – Setár, genderqueer Elf-Sheriff of Atheism+

    I think the point is probably that it is the right who have stolen the term: in my youth, “libertarian” either meant “social liberal” or was a synonym for (left) anarchist. I don’t think myself that it’s possible to reclaim the term now.

  109. 609
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Not fully caught up.
    Caine:
    Rattitude! *dies!*
    I love Pearl– she reminds me of my first rat Daphne, who was so pale tan that she was almost white. Not the smartest rat in the world, but extremely sweet.

  110. 610
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    I just can’t deal with libertarians. It is like they’ve hung a sign around their necks declaring that they are shitty fucking people and proud of it.

  111. 611
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Tony,

    Warehouse 13 does some season arc stuff, plus crossovers with Eureka. :)

  112. 612
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    S/F convention disability fail. In particular:

    And finally, as much pushback as I know Access has gotten from within the committee over its mission, at least none of WisCon’s concom (that I know of) has ever seriously suggested developing an entire track of programming that doesn’t exist, located in a room that doesn’t exist, and then put the damn thing in the pocket program book, the online program and everywhere else. Evidently, someone in the WorldCon committee finds it immensely amusing to think of a convention member with no cartilage left in his hips struggling painfully down multiple escalators, across the tunnel, up more escalators, then searching through a maze of corridors for a program event, only to find a sign that essentially says “Ha, ha, gotcha, Sucker!” The con chair heard from me on that topic as well, by the way. His response? “Well, I’m sorry you don’t see the humor in it.”

    This comment is so true:

    One of the troubles I have run into is that often, fandom people want everything to be “jokey” and don’t get that that isn’t necessarily the best way to communicate with people.

    But watch that spun as, “These complainers have no sense of humor!” Probably by the same nimrods who have been launching unexpectedly at parties into the “Knights Who Say Ni” routine for the last 35 years and think it’s still high-larious.

    Some anonymous winnar defends the idea that “fandom insider knowledge” is sufficient to justify such practices. Mm, yeah, all fandom is a monoculture. Across numerous national cultures, too. I smell more old-sk00l fan-dumb parochialism.

    The WorldCon newsletter featured a tidbit called “Be Kind to Our Wheel-Footed Friends.” No condescension there, of course. The newsletter editor shows up to refuse to apologize, claim that his occasional gout attacks make him an expert on this sort of thing, and accuses a woman who has advocated for years for her wheelchair-using husband of playing “rhetorical games” (and asks her, “Are you familiar with the work of John Callahan, the unfortunately deceased cartoonist?” — meaning of course that since Callahan wasn’t “P.C.”, she should strive to be more like he was).

    Dragon*Con is described here as “the worst convention I’ve ever attended for attitudes to the disabled. I saw someone pushed away (ie his chair pushed) from an elevator.” Going by their well-publicized attitudes toward sexual harassment, I’m not surprised.”

    The whole thread is worth reading; there are constructive comments. I rather especially like the WisCon practice of dividing rooms and hallways with blue tape, so that, respectively, there are designated areas to park one’s wheelchair, and that “chatting space” is clearly demarcated from “walking space.” They also have “quiet rooms” in which people with neurological disorders, PTSD, or what have you can de-stress.

    Amblebury: Don’t get a kneeling office chair if you have ever had any knee problems. It will aggravate them.

    Setar, if you GIS on “kneeling chair” or “kneeling office chair” you will see what is meant.

  113. 613
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    MDC #112: Holy fuckstain. That…if that’s how these, ahem, “socially awkward” people treat people with visible disabilities I am utterly terrified as to how they’d treat someone with real social phobia.

    I’m officially scared to go to local geek cons now. And this is tacked on to not wanting to go play Magic or anything because the last time I tried everyone at the game store was super in-groupy and I could barely learn how to draft well, much less play well.

  114. 614
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Setar, your best bet would be to research conventions that pique your interest, both those conventions’ websites and discussions of their environment among fans who are aware of social-justice issues, and see how comfortable you would be there.

  115. 615
    AJ Milne

    … if that’s how these, ahem, “socially awkward” people treat people with visible disabilities I am utterly terrified as to how they’d treat someone with real social phobia… I’m officially scared to go to local geek cons now.

    There’s probably someone present with actual expertise in the field who could comment more precisely on this, but seriously:

    I think I’ve always been intuitively wary about of a certain strain amongst ‘the socially awkward’.

    Putting it in the very rough terms that occur to me right now: my layman’s observation is that having been the put-upon loser in high school is no particular guarantee you’re somehow going to grow up a beautiful human being with an omnisicient awareness of others in other (or even your own) outgroups who suffer similar ostracism. There’s folk who do seem to have somewhat expanded humanity from such experiences, but it’s just no guarantee.

    Some, rather, will just keep the chip on the shoulder, and a sense that whatever they do to someone else, it’s their fucking turn to do so anyway. Like, listen, I learned from the painful experience of my childhood that this is just how the world is supposed to work, so hold still now while I use you to perpetuate that dynamic.

    Others may just be kinda blind to how others hurt, because everyone has those blindnesses, but besides this, that sense that look, I’m the bullied one anyway, that’s just how it’s always been, that particular idée fixe will make them triply insufferable when they themselves are callous or just clueless. Put real roughly again: they’re into their own sense of victimhood. So they’ve little room left for anyone else’s.

    This may sound a mite harsh. And full disclosure: my direct experience of this is pretty meagre: I’ve never been to a con, don’t go to a lot of conferences*, either. I’m gonna say here I don’t think it’s particularly so much because of that wariness as it’s more globally not just my dynamic (and partly, I just don’t like crowds), but honestly, you know how brains are. I don’t really know. That may even be part of the reason, for all I know.

    (/I will make Eschaton 2012, in Ottawa, however, as previously advertised, for anyone else who’s showing.)

  116. 616
    Nick Gotts

    trinioler@35,

    Don’t we need Justicar’s permission? If not, or if we have it, I’ll do a minute.

  117. 617
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    AJ:

    This may sound a mite harsh.

    No, actually, you said it rather more charitably than many other people have said it. All of you are right, by the way.

    For a while now I have been recommending a couple of posts by Nick Mamatas that touch on the subject: Let Us Put an End to Geek Pride and Why Are Geeks Bullied, Excluded, and Taunted? Mamatas is far from perfect, and in fact can be a giant asshole, but these sorts of posts from him are worth reading IME.

  118. 618
    carlie

    Jessa, congratulations!!

    the public discourse is a brick wall because once you come up on the dogma of DEFICITS and DEBT and INTEREST if you don’t bow down then as I said no mainstream outlet will take you (well, you might get a spot on Ed Schultz or Maddow) because you’re just one of those irresponsible anti-neoliberals from that Occupy thingy.

    Yeah. It’s always debt and deficits when you’re talking about social spending, but somehow that doesn’t matter when it comes to military spending or tax breaks for churches and rich people. I just want one person on a major media news show, when told that we need to bring down the deficit, to then say “So, you’re in favor of raising taxes on yourself then, because you believe in deficit reduction so much?”

  119. 619
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    I’ve read the second one, MDC, and I agree wholly with it. In fact, I’m quite lucky because…I dunno, I kinda noticed that the “geek” stereotype didn’t really play out in the real world, because all of my friends — who were ‘normal’, ‘cool’ kids — liked a lot of the geeky stuff I did. Star Wars wasn’t just ‘a nerd thing’ because the prequels started coming out when I was in grade two. We had two Darth Vaders and two Darth Mauls (one of the latter was me) in my third grade class at Halloween.

    But even the few closest to me who were fairly massive SW nerds and the like, weren’t outcasts or nerds…well, except for me really, and I damn well knew I wasn’t just getting laughed at for my love of Star Wars or anything. And when I was in a high school with a distinctly separate ‘nerd’ group, I still found relatively little solace there because I was still a bit of an outcast amongst them.

    I’m a nerd, yeah. But I’m set apart from other nerds, because I have that social phobia.

    The stereotypical nerd who is always super smart, displays this as if it’s nothing on a regular basis, is always alone socially but when someone actually talks to them they’re actually the nicest person ever who wonders why no one ever talks to them? That’s me. Only, that story never ends well. There’s no magic ending, no fairytale acceptance, no finding a bunch of other nerds and being all SUPER HAPPY and maybe also my crush really loves me too. Nothing at all like that. There’s a shitton of stress from the family that thinks you’ll just put your head down and succeed, a shitton of loneliness from not having any real friends, a shitton of pain from hurting that crush because of the same reasons you don’t have friends…and maybe, just maybe you’ll end up finding some small place, probably on the Internet, where people finally accept you and treat you as a friend.

    If you’re lucky, that’ll happen when you’re still in high school with a chance to get some help through that family that is stressing you out. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to get some sort of steady job, or a disability allowance, or something so that you can pick up the pieces and try to function with heavily impaired social skills.

    I wasn’t that lucky. Not at all. And now I’m not only alone and abandoned, but I have to make myself heard above a wall of assholes who want to hide behind me.

    (yeah…this rambled and wandered a bit. I’m almost done a shift that started nearly 12 hours ago, and once I’m off shift I’m going to do a bit of running around to try to get back to Langley and make myself look genderqueer in time for when the churches let out. Including maybe pinning a hastily-drawn GQ flag to my shirt. And maybe an atheist A [A+ might confuse people] or even just “ATHEIST” below the GQ flag. Or something. Suggestions would be nice, but I can’t really print stuff because the printer here only does grayscale)

  120. 620
    Pteryxx

    Nick Gotts:

    trinioler@35,

    Don’t we need Justicar’s permission? If not, or if we have it, I’ll do a minute.

    Justicar says it’s public domain; see Twitter here:

    https://twitter.com/Integralmathyt/status/247176156493778944

    so according to the copyright on the video itself (he says) it’s good to go. I’d suggest double-checking it with a watchthrough first. Anyway, the transcription progress page is up.

  121. 621
    Pteryxx

    also, I missed Carrot, and now I’ll really miss him. Adding condolences, Caine, and thank you for documenting him on Rattitude and taking such good care of him. Brux and boggle till the end.

  122. 622
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Hi there

    Caine
    Yay for Rattitude. I just love them. Tickles for Gytha!

    debirahbell
    Welcome to the lounge

    Jessa
    Yay for house. I guess a yay for the poor stray is in order, too. He’s in bad shape but he was lucky that you showed up in time. I second the German shephard mix idea. Actually he reminds me of the stray that lived on the campus in Limerick. The silly dog ran in front of my bike one day. Since I was going to have a bad crash anyway I decided to have one alone. But he licked my nose when I was lying there…

  123. 623
    Pteryxx

    Oh the heck with these christians and their weaponized consciences:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/12/hobby-lobby-morning-after-pill_n_1878873.html

    Hobby Lobby calls itself a “biblically founded business” and is closed on Sundays. Founded in 1972, the company now operates more than 500 stores in 41 states and employs more than 13,000 full-time employees who are eligible for health insurance coverage.

    [...]

    “The Green family’s religious beliefs forbid them from participating in, providing access to, paying for, training others to engage in, or otherwise supporting abortion-causing drugs and devices,” the lawsuit states.

    The lawsuit says the family also has “a sincere religious objection” to providing coverage for certain kinds of intrauterine devices and alleges they can cause the death of an embryo by preventing it from implanting in the wall of a woman’s uterus.

    The art teachers here recommended Hobby Lobby to students. I actually went inside and spent money there. *gag hurl*

    Why can’t these blaggards have the decency to hang crosses over their doors so I know to stay the fuck away. From now on I might refuse to patronize any business that’s closed on Sundays. It’s the only way to be sure. /rant

  124. 624
    Owen

    I am really looking forward to the day that outfits like Hobby Lobby get the legal smackdown they so richly deserve. Sadly, I’m not going to hold my breath.

  125. 625
    Deborah

    @94 Caine I think I’ve heard of Bad Science and The Tell-Tale Brain; that’s not always a good thing, but I’m glad to know it might be in this case. I’ll check them out. I do like the Discworld novels, and I’ve read a lot of them. I am intrigued how you could write a science book around them (dehydrated water anyone?) so I’ll definitely have to look at that one.

    @98 Tony Oh! Ok I’m into about season 3 I think. There are some longer arcs, including one nearly all of season 2. It’s not so much themes as longer storylines that overlay the ‘go get x chaos-making item and return it’ formula. And thanks for the encouragement. As I think about it I’ve always liked what I’ve read about linguistics in most forms, especially the experiments that showed intriguing things about how the brain works with language, so there’s one field I already like. :)

    @122 Giliell Thanks!

    @123 Pteryxx Well that really sucks. I like Hobby Lobby’s selection of yarns and crochet hooks (better than Michael’s) and the store doesn’t stink of perfumes and potpourris like Michael’s or Joann’s which are so bad I have to hold my breath or cover my mouth and often have to use a rescue inhaler upon leaving. Once I know what I want I can buy online, but I need to see and feel the colors before I can decide that. IOW it’s a lot harder to not shop there than it is not to eat at Chick-Fil-A (which is really popular around here so it comes up but I don’t even notice I’m not eating there most of the time).

  126. 626
    Lynna, OM

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali speaks out on the latest protests in Islamist regions.

    …Islam’s rage reared its ugly head again last week. The American ambassador to the United States and three of his staff members were murdered by a raging mob in Benghazi, Libya, possibly under the cover of protests against a film mocking the Muslim Prophet Muhammad.

    They were killed on the watch of the democratic government they helped to install. This government was either negligent or complicit in their murders. And that forces the U.S. to confront a stark, unwelcome reality.

    Until recently, it was completely justifiable to feel sorry for the masses in Libya because they suffered under the thumb of a cruel dictator. But now they are no longer subjects; they are citizens. They have the opportunity to elect a government and build a society of their choice. Will they follow the lead of the Egyptian people and elect a government that stands for ideals diametrically opposed to those upheld by the United States? They might. But if they do, we should not consider them stupid or infantile. We should recognize that they have made a free choice—a choice to reject freedom as the West understands it.

    How should American leaders respond? What should they say and do, for example, when a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s newly elected ruling party, demands a formal apology from the United States government and urges that the “madmen” behind the Muhammad video be prosecuted, in violation of the First Amendment? If the U.S. follows the example of Europe over the last two decades, it will bend over backward to avoid further offense. And that would be a grave mistake—for the West no less than for those Muslims struggling to build a brighter future….

  127. 627
    trinioler

    Nick, that would be excellent. We’ve got 1.5 minutes left of his talk to transcribe, which reminds me.

    Carlie you are amazing. Thank you for doing three minutes of Justicar!

    I can’t wait to shove an accurate transcript into his smug face after he made this accusation:
    “(oh, if it’s helpful, feel free to jazz up the language to make me look evilier than normal; I won’t play professional victim)”
    “oh, I’m just accustomed to it from the A+ people. =^_^=”

    SO much projection going on here, neh?

  128. 628
    PatrickG

    He and other sane economists such as Yves Smith and Brad DeLong likely have a listserv or something where they rant about all those idiots in Chicago.

    Gasp, not a backchannel. We all know that only the truly malevolent amongst us use those.

  129. 629
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali is sort of a reactionary hack, no? Personally justified based on what I know of her history, but nevertheless. A little too much “Islam as monolith” for my taste.

  130. 630
    Nick Gotts

    trinioler,

    OK, I’ll do the remaining 1 1/2 minutes.

    *Takes deep breath before plunging into the sewer*

  131. 631
    Aratina Cage

    @Tony #496

    Ricky Watson wipes tears from his eyes after thanking President Obama for repealing DADT.

    It brings the waterworks out in me too.

    And in me. I’m so glad we made it this far.

  132. 632
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Joe: Agreed.

  133. 633
    Nick Gotts

    *comes up gasping*

    I met a group of indignant turds, all complaining about how the sewer was no longer a fit place to float since Justicar moved in.

    Seriously, what’s most noticeable in the segment I transcribed, after the rank dishonesty about what others have said, is the incoherence of the penultimate, run-on sentence, and its completely gratuitous reference to a woman’s “divine yani” (sic).

  134. 634
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Is anyone around to have a private chat? I have a dilemma. It’s minor really but I’d like someone’s opinion on it. I trust and respect you guys here.
    -
    -
    -

    Also, has anyone read A.M. Home’s “This Book Will Save Your Life”? I can’t gather my thoughts around her or the book. I mean this interview with her rubs me the wrong way. She gets a bad review from another woman so it must be that woman is unhappy and hates men? WTF? I’ve looked up the reviewer and tried to figure this out but it’s lost on me.

    Interviewer :Yeah, that’s pretty much all you can say. It seems like they really have less and less of an idea of what they’re talking about.

    A.M. Homes: That seems to be the consensus, especially lately. My feeling is, there’s not that many people buying books, and you don’t have to discourage them from buying books. If you don’t like a book, you can [choose to] not review it. It’s frustrating to have to deal with the response and the fallout. At the same time, that being said, I think there are what I would call “good bad reviews,” really well-thought-out reviews of a book that are negative. It’s legitimate to have a bad review. But I think there are other things that are just kind of crazy. I think I must have somehow done something to Michiko Kakutani. Maybe I was in the grocery store one day, and I cut in line in front of her and didn’t know it. I’ve never met her. I have no idea what her problem is. She definitely seems to think I’m godawful. [Laughs]

    Interviewer:You and Philip Roth.

    A.M.Homes:I know! It’s one of those funny things. What did I do? Whatever.

    Interviewer:I’m not sure she really likes reading.

    A.M. Homes: I’m not sure she does either. I feel bad for her. She must not be happy. Truthfully, it doesn’t feel — the reviews she’s written, not just of my book — it doesn’t feel like they come from a person who’s feeling good about things.

    Interviewer: Do you think this is the type of book where some people just don’t get it? Is there a type of person who’s maybe predisposed to really understand it?

    A.M.Homes:I wouldn’t have thought that until very recently. I thought it was a kind of book that had a very broad appeal. I thought it could work for a lot of people. But it does seem like some of the people have truly not gotten it. It seems to me sometimes — younger women reviewers, maybe they just don’t understand this guy, who he is. It’s funny to say; I almost think it’s as though they hate men. It’s like they’re so mad at this middle-aged guy who’s freaking out, that they can’t bear it. They’re dismissing him, and I think they don’t know him in some way. I’ve written other books where I kind of expected a very intensive negative reaction. And it sounds silly to say, but this book was written with incredibly good intentions, and wanting people to be uplifted a bit, and inspired, and think about how they can make a difference in their own lives, and other people’s lives. And then people are like, “I hate this book!” I don’t know. I’m a little confused at the moment.

  135. 635
    Pteryxx

    JAL, I opened up #theendlesschat if you want to come there. At this instant it’s just me but I put the word out. Mibbit works and the server is irc.synirc.net

  136. 636
    Inaji

    Opposablethumbs:

    How does housetraining work in the case of free-running pet rats?

    Provide rat boxes, that’s it. Of course, you still have to deal with a fair amount of rat raisins all over the place, as they tend to drop them on the run, but they’re pretty good about using their boxes.

    Audley:

    I love Pearl– she reminds me of my first rat Daphne, who was so pale tan that she was almost white. Not the smartest rat in the world, but extremely sweet.

    Pearl is pretty smart, from what I can figure. She’s on the shy side, so she isn’t terribly social.

    Pteryxx:

    also, I missed Carrot, and now I’ll really miss him. Adding condolences, Caine, and thank you for documenting him on Rattitude and taking such good care of him. Brux and boggle till the end.

    Aaw, thank you. I hope I go out bruxing and boggling, so to speak.

    The art teachers here recommended Hobby Lobby to students. I actually went inside and spent money there. *gag hurl*

    Hobby Lobby came up on a thread back at Sciborg. I have no choice but to shop there for art supplies, there’s no other option in Bismarck.

    Giliell:

    Yay for Rattitude. I just love them. Tickles for Gytha!

    Thank you. I’ll tickle Gytha when I don’t feel like crucifying the little fuckers.

  137. 637
    Pteryxx

    Thank you. I’ll tickle Gytha when I don’t feel like crucifying the little fuckers.

    …BWAHAHAA… *snif*

    Caine, thank you so much for this. I know, it sucks for you but damn it’s good to be reminded of mere rattie mischief these days.

    http://ratifiedtwentyfive.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/visions-of-ratlets-hanging-by-their-tails/

    I go to pour soy milk in all the various drinks dishes and what do I see? A very large tube of black gouache paint in one of the condos….

  138. 638
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    caine
    Well, that could almost be art in itself

    +++
    Everybody who transcribed Justicar:
    Wow, you’re brave people

    +++
    Now, I’m debating myself whether to take some Paracetamol:
    Pro: fucking headache
    Con: blood test on Tuesday, and since I’m still being monitored for liver values I’m not supposed to create a false positive.
    Ouch.
    That’s when I hate being a woman.

  139. 639
    ImaginesABeach

    Caine, with the addition of Zoe, Rattitude is now virtually perfect. Thank you.

  140. 640
    PatrickG

    Caine, came across this post and saw various pictures of rats and books.

    As someone who is dominated by chinchillas… how? How? HOW? HOOOOWWWWWWW? How are there no books utterly destroyed by rodent vandalism? I must know how you did this!

    “So Long And Thanks For All The Fish” isn’t even NIBBLED ON!

  141. 641
    ImaginesABeach

    PatrickG – It should be obvious that any rat that shares space with Caine must be an extraordinary creature. Just look at the art her rats have created.

  142. 642
    Inaji

    Pteryxx, always glad to lift your spirits. :D

    Giliell:

    Well, that could almost be art in itself

    Actually, when I was processing the photo, I noticed a bit of greatness – if you look at the blob/smear right in between the edge of the ladder and the top of the paint tube, it looks like a rat dipped their face and left a little portrait. It was Artemis and Amelia, by the way, who started this bit of artistic endeavor. They proudly showed me this morning how they managed to get into my supplies.

    ImaginesABeach:

    Caine, with the addition of Zoe, Rattitude is now virtually perfect. Thank you.

    You’re welcome. Zoe is quite the success story.

    Patrick:

    How are there no books utterly destroyed by rodent vandalism? I must know how you did this!

    It’s easy. Books and rats are kept in separate rooms. Percival and the others who were photographed on books were taken out by me and placed somewhere they couldn’t scurry away from easily, so I could get the photo in the first place.

    By the way, our rat Doctor has three chinchillas.

  143. 643
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    (and asks her, “Are you familiar with the work of John Callahan, the unfortunately deceased cartoonist?” — meaning of course that since Callahan wasn’t “P.C.”, she should strive to be more like he was).

    This pisses me off. I was a fan of John Callahan’s ‘Quads’ cartoon series, and this comment demonstrates that the person who made the comment didn’t get it at all.

    John Callahan made no secret of the fact that he was sick and fucking tired of the condescending way the disabled are treated by privileged able bodied people. It shows through brilliantly in his cartoon, even if he does occasionally poke fun at the disabled themselves.

    John Callahan was a bitter man, and ‘Quads’ was a gross, crude, rude, ugly, and weird cartoon, and was far from a shining beacon of social justice, but if this idiot thinks John Callahan would have thought it was ‘funny’ to mess with the disabled, then s/he never really watched the cartoon… REALLY watched it.

  144. 644
  145. 645
    Inaji

    Oooh, I love the adult choker, Giliell.

  146. 646
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Giliell,

    Great stuff. The adult choker looks brilliant.

  147. 647
    PatrickG

    Caine:

    Bah! Cheating! I thought you had invented some kind of benign training. Images flowing through my mind included conditioning via electroshock, smell, or sound conditioning. All of which I knew you wouldn’t do to your beloved rats.

    Thus, I’d hoped you’d found something better. :)

    I think even more highly of your rat doctor for having chinchillas. I think I’ve said this here before, but… many years ago, we (my partner and I) were in agony after a year or so of chinchilla ownership, convinced we were about to lose the fluffiness to the short-term lives of rodents. Then we found out they typically live 10-15 years!

    Mycroft is going on 10 years, and he can’t jump quite as high as he could when a young’un (though this may just be due to the fact that we spoil the fat lil guy shamelessly), but he can still figure out clever ways to evade our vigilant guard*, run across a large room in 0.2s, and perch on top of our heads like there’s no other place to be. :)

    /end sappy chinchilla love

    * Best record: stripping off an entire book cover in just under 15 seconds and taking it back to his cage for nibbletime.

  148. 648
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Nice Giliell.
    The “now even girlie enough” part makes me smile because that’s the Little One position on all clothes. I really should get into something like you do. I imagine that would help in my war against the Princess ideal crap.

    Hmmmm. I should look in to that.

    Thanks for the great idea.

  149. 649
    Inaji

    Patrick:

    Mycroft is going on 10 years, and he can’t jump quite as high as he could when a young’un (though this may just be due to the fact that we spoil the fat lil guy shamelessly), but he can still figure out clever ways to evade our vigilant guard*, run across a large room in 0.2s, and perch on top of our heads like there’s no other place to be. :)

    /end sappy chinchilla love

    Aaaaaw. I’m down with chinch stories, if I didn’t have rats, I’d either have chinchs or ferrets. Love the name Mycroft, too. Nice change from all the Sherlocks out there. :D

    * Best record: stripping off an entire book cover in just under 15 seconds and taking it back to his cage for nibbletime.

    This sounds suitably rattish. Heh. Reminds me of another rat person’s account of momentarily placing their freshly washed, favourite pajama bottoms on their rat’s cage and when they came back, there were two massive holes chewed, one in each leg. She said “I don’t know how they did it so fast, you’d think they (pajamas) were made of meat.”

  150. 650
    carlie

    is the incoherence of the penultimate, run-on sentence,

    That’s why I did three minutes – the sentences just kept bleeding from one minute into the next. Also, I felt a little guilty since I said to do it.

  151. 651
    PatrickG

    Caine:

    OK, you asked for it! Disclaimer: Don’t judge me or my partner for our slovenly habits while younger, but…

    One of our early apartments had doors leading to bedrooms. Mycroft was not accepting of the idea that there were forbidden spaces (the bedroom, the office). NOT ACCEPTING.

    So one night, he got out of his cage*, and proceeded to literally chew the carpet out from underneath the doorways. We noticed the next day he’d been chewing on the carpet, and being the naive idiots we were (also cheap and slovenly), didn’t fix the damage. Important note: this was the first time he’d ever done this, and also the only place he ever chewed up carpet. Smart little bastard, that one.

    Soon enough: we discovered that he’d tunneled under the door to the computer room. I discovered this because he escaped (again), and spent an entire night frolicking with the cords to our computers. Fucking disaster, that was.

    Earlier story from when we were even more newbie-ish regarding rodents: we’d let him run around unsupervised, and he really liked hiding behind the TV stand. We thought it was because it was an enclosed space and such, but … one night, as we were hanging out with some friends, there was a loud POP-ZZZT-BOOM, a shower of sparks, a cloud of smoke, and a terrified chinchilla running back into his cage at near light-speed.

    Those were early in our chinchilla days… we’ve learned since then.

    * Mycroft enjoys the spacious dwelling of a 2′ x 4′ x 5′ cage designed for multiple ferrets, mounted on a 2′ rolling stand, equipped with various platforms and a Flying Saucer. If we carelessly forget to lock an upper door after replacing water or hay, he’s more than capable of figuring that out and leaping the 5.5′ to the ground.

    He gets out a lot to wreak havoc because even that makes us feel guilty (He needs FREEEEEEDOM!).

  152. 652
    thunk: turmite city

    Giliell:

    What does that have to do with being a woman?

    (just curious why youm mentioned that)

  153. 653
    Inaji

    Patrick:

    So one night, he got out of his cage*, and proceeded to literally chew the carpet out from underneath the doorways.

    Oh brother, do I ever know that song! It’s a favourite technique of rats, too. Takes them very little time to chew out the carpet and *whoosh* right under the damn door.

  154. 654
    PatrickG

    Caine: Ha, glad to hear it happens to even experienced rodent handlers. ;) That was when we realized that while chinchillas look too big for such antics, they’re really just a giant ball of fur with a teensy tiny squishable body underneath. Further confirmation from the time he fell in the toilet… 80% reduction in volume (and over 10 dust baths to get him dry).

  155. 655
    Pteryxx

    Destructive rodent stories?

    …Never leave a towel hanging within rattie arm-reach of a cage. The boogers pulled it completely THROUGH the wire mesh. O_o (Also, apparently rattie arm-reach is about 4x the actual length of their arms. I have no idea how they did it.)

  156. 656
    Inaji

    Patrick:

    Further confirmation from the time he fell in the toilet

    Hahahahahaha, oh, at least that hasn’t happened with the rats. (yet.) That’s one of the reasons I’m damn near religious about keeping the top of the toilet seat down at all times, though. The rats do have access to the bathroom. They love playing in the tub.

  157. 657
    Inaji

    Pteryxx:

    (Also, apparently rattie arm-reach is about 4x the actual length of their arms. I have no idea how they did it.)

    Ayup, I can confirm this. Also, I’ve seen them hook stuff with their tails, which are just prehensile enough to perform massive acts of mischief.

    This also goes for body length, I swear. They can stretch unbelievably to get places they really shouldn’t be able to reach.

    The current crop of ratlets are insane climbers, I’ve never seen anything like it before. They just grab on and shimmy. I have a work counter in my studio that has proved to defeat all attempts to climb it. However, last night, there were rats up on it. How? I stupidly left a broom leaning up against it.

  158. 658
    Patricia, OM

    Mmwaahhahaha!

    Safeway parking lot preacher – Islam is the only religion that commands it’s followers to kill everyone that isn’t a Muslim!!! Their prophet demands it!!

    Innocent bystander – Ya know, as I recall there is actually one other crazy old prophet that said the same thing.

    Parking lot preacher – Mam, that isn’t true.

    Innocent bystander – I think Jesus said that too. If you have a bible handy you might check Luke 19:27.

    Parking lot preacher – flips through bible. THAT’S OUT OF CONTEXT!

    Innocent bystander stands there long enough to hear someone in the small group ask preacher to read the verse out loud.

    Happy Sunday!

  159. 659
    PatrickG

    that hasn’t happened with the rats. (yet.)

    Oh, it will. One day you will know our panic! Newbie as we were, we did do some basic research and discovered that chinchilla + water = NO. Little bastard still managed to go swimming. ;)

    Also, apparently rattie arm-reach is about 4x the actual length of their arms.

    Mycroft in repose is a near-spherical ball of fur approximately 6″ in diameter. When he stretches to reach something (usually something he shouldn’t be trying to get at!), he can reach a length of well over 2′. It’s really disturbing.

  160. 660
    Inaji

    Patrick:

    we did do some basic research and discovered that chinchilla + water = NO.

    Ah, I didn’t know that. Rats can tread water for 3 days and are capable of diving. They are outstanding swimmers and enjoy a swim now and then.

  161. 661
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    thunk
    There’s a certain kind of headache only women between menarche and menopause are entitled to once a month ;)

    JAL
    You’re welcome. I try to make stuff “girlie” without getting into princess territory but I really, really have it up to here with the gender-police. I know, I’m preaching to the choir here.
    I’m eager to see what will happen with the little one who starts kindergarten next month and who so far is completely oblivious of this. But so was #1 back then. Only that the little one is much more stubborn.

  162. 662
    PatrickG

    Caine:

    Yeah, chinchillas are native to the west side of the Andes, which tends to be a very cold semi-arid area (see this for an overview.

    But basically, chinchillas have extremely dense fur, which doesn’t allow air drying. When they get wet, they stay wet, and in their natural environment, that’s pretty much a death sentence.

    Chinchillas bathe with abrasive volcanic dust, which removes natural “dirt” as well as oil accumulation. Plus, they’re really fucking adorable when they bathe. And they really enjoy it. If we want Mycroft to come to us immediately, all we have to do is pick up his dust house and/or shake the dust bottle.

    That second link claims regular bathing is 2-3 times a week. If we give him enough fresh dust, Mycroft will bathe 2-3 times a day. :)

  163. 663
    Inaji

    Patrick:

    If we want Mycroft to come to us immediately, all we have to do is pick up his dust house and/or shake the dust bottle.

    Yes, a friend of mine has a chinch named Ralph. If she wants to capture him when he’s having free time, all she has to do is put out his bathing bowl and he barrels right to it.

  164. 664
    PatrickG

    I should have known you were familiar with chinchillas. ;) Hopefully someone less familiar will be introduced to their awesomeness by my post, though.

  165. 665
    thunk: turmite city

    Giliell:

    There’s a certain kind of headache only women between menarche and menopause are entitled to once a month ;)

    Oh.

  166. 666
    Nutmeg

    Paging the Horde culinary geniuses:

    Has anyone ever tried making a dish similar to butter chicken, but with red meat? I’ve been hunting the past couple of weekends (no, I don’t feel like discussing the ethics of my diet, thanks), and I want to try something new with the ducks I harvested. I have a new cookbook full of recipes to check out, but for some reason my mind is stuck on butter chicken/duck. Do you think it would work?

  167. 667
    Inaji

    Patrick:

    Hopefully someone less familiar will be introduced to their awesomeness by my post, though.

    Yes, chinches make great companions. Most rodents do, it’s just that they all come with a somewhat steep learning curve. They definitely keep you on your toes. :D

  168. 668
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Nutmeg,

    I can’t imagine why butter chicken couldn’t easily become butter duck.

  169. 669
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Nutmeg, considering the fat content of domestic duck (no idea if wild duck is similar) you might want to use a bit less butter possibly?

    I know duck is considered ‘red meat’, but I dunno. It’s still not the same as beef or lamb. I consider it more of an ‘allover dark meat’ thing.

  170. 670
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Hey TLC, can I email you a copy of the thing we were talking about earlier? I’m now positively itching for someone to read it once I’ve decided it won’t be posted.

  171. 671
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    If you don’t have a disposable email, I can post one of mine. Then you just email me and I can send it to you.

  172. 672
    Patricia, OM

    You could add some nice peas to that butter.

  173. 673
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Sure thing, JAL. My email: fart (underscore) in (underscore) my (underscore) mouth at live dot CA.

  174. 674
    trinioler

    Just be aware that duck is muuuuch fattier than chicken, but I’m sure you know that. I don’t know if butter chicken is just coated or cooked in the sauce. If it is, you will probably need to cook the duck for longer than the chicken, because fat is very dense, and needs to do a bit of rendering out to make the meat more palatable.

  175. 675
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Thanks TLC, I just sent it.

  176. 676
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    No Taco Sunday in Casa Improbable…

  177. 677
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Good review, JAL, and significantly ‘gentler’ than I expected.

  178. 678
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    I know, I know. I don’t do mean reviews well at all. I’m very…skittish and wobbly.

    I think I need a class on how to be uppity…

  179. 679
    opposablethumbs

    Most of you will already have seen this, but just in case: there’s a call for signatures from AllOut – a petition for clemency for a Cameroonian at risk of more prison time for texting a love message to another man.

    http://www.allout.org/en/actions/Roger?akid=854.12914.WoZOKd&amp=&amp=&amp=&rd=1&t=7&utm_campaign=roger&utm_content=english&utm_medium=email&utm_source=actionkit

  180. 680
    Inaji

    JAL, have you considered joining LibraryThing? It’s free up to 200 books. I’m there, but I don’t review. You can read reviews, write them, discuss books and so on.

  181. 681
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Only 200?
    Pffffffffffffft.

    I don’t have to review, I just feel obligated to. That isn’t going to change, no matter what site I go to.

  182. 682
    Inaji

    JAL:

    Only 200?
    Pffffffffffffft.

    :D Yeah, it didn’t take me long to hit 200 once I started cataloging mine. I’m a lifetime member there.

    There are a lot of people who do review there and get into discussions, thought you might enjoy that.

  183. 683
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Hey, does anyone here watch Dexter? I watched the first couple of seasons, and since I seem to have too much time on my hands, is it worth getting caught up and watching the new season?

  184. 684
    Tethys

    On princess “culture”.

    My SIL belongs to a playgroup. It consists of 5 girls, and 3 boys between the ages of three to seven. It happened that one of the girls birthdays coincided with the playgroup meeting. Mom of said child brought princess tiaras, jewels, and dress-up clothing for the girls, and pirate gear for the boys. The boys were very upset that they did not get pretty princess gear. :D
    —-
    Rodent adventures.

    Argh, rattie abstract art destruction would not be a pleasant way to start your day. Perhaps they read Caine’s post on painting the walls and decided to help out?

    My day started with a somewhat similar tone. I have two cats, which means that furballs and vomit have been way to common recently. This morning I awoke to a rather odd colored deposit in the bedroom doorway. “Hmmm” I thought to myself ” pink and black furballs? Did I leave some food out last night and neglect to put it away?” So I went downstairs to make coffee and get some paper towels to clean up the mess. I picked up the furball and on closer inspection it also had feet and a long tail.

    Eeew…eeeeeee….ackk….poor mouse picked the wrong place to hole up for winter.
    ——–
    Vegetarian trigger warning
    On wild duck vs domestic duck.

    I love domestic duck, but I do not enjoy wild duck.
    Wild duck has very little fat in comparison, and the fat it does have is often very strongly gamey flavored. I do not think it would work well in a long-simmered recipe like butter chicken.

    I have cooked it frequently though. I either stuff a whole duck with apples, celery, and onions, lay a few bacon slices over the duck, and roast at 350 for about 45 minute.

    Another method was to take the skinned breast, wrap in bacon, and grill over high heat for a few minutes on each side.

    Do not overcook as it becomes very stringy and dry. The results can be eaten as an entree, added to another dish, or cooled, sliced and made into cold duck sandwiches.

  185. 685
    carlie

    Question time – when you get into a blue funk, what do you do to get out of it? I’m just having one of those days where everything seems to suck, and I blame myself for everything, and there’s nothing actually wrong anywhere but I’m miserable and don’t know why. I exercised, I’ve cleaned, now I’m cooking, but I still can’t shake it. Blah. What do you all do to raise your spirits?

  186. 686
    Inaji

    Tethys:

    So I went downstairs to make coffee and get some paper towels to clean up the mess. I picked up the furball and on closer inspection it also had feet and a long tail.

    Ugh. I have to pick those up every now and then. Why in the hell does the clean up *always* have to be before tea/coffee?

  187. 687
    PatrickG

    @ Improbable Joe: Yes, Dexter is awesome. Catch up!

  188. 688
    Inaji

    Carlie:

    What do you all do to raise your spirits?

    Completely flake out. Put the responsibilities on someone else, curl up under a nice comforter with hot chocolate (or a glass of wine) and a stack of books.

    This works better when you actually have someone else to dump the responsibilities on. I’m alone most of the time, so that doesn’t always work out for me. Even then, though, if I need to, I do it.

  189. 689
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    carlie,

    Beer. If I get drunk enough, everything is better.

  190. 690
    carlie

    Caine and Joe – I hadn’t thought about drinking! And the rum isn’t gone. Mojito in progress. :)

  191. 691
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    My SIL belongs to a playgroup. It consists of 5 girls, and 3 boys between the ages of three to seven. It happened that one of the girls birthdays coincided with the playgroup meeting. Mom of said child brought princess tiaras, jewels, and dress-up clothing for the girls, and pirate gear for the boys. The boys were very upset that they did not get pretty princess gear.

    Heh. My daughter was watching an episode of Cake Boss(don’t judge me) and the birthday party was for siblings, a girl and a boy. Their mom was insisting that it had to be a pirate party AND a princess party, because gender bullshit, so the bakers were trying to wedge the two concepts together somehow. Even allowing for cultural girliness, my daughter and I couldn’t understand what would be insufficiently feminine about a fabulous, baroque pirate queen.

  192. 692
    hotshoe, now with more boltcutters

    I have three discworld novels that I hope to give to someone who wants them (not just dump in the goodwill box with the junk).
    Small Gods
    Guards! Guards!
    Going Postal

    I’d be happy to put them in a mailer and send them to a US address … one, two, or all three depending on if anyone wants them.

    Let me know: leslierussellgreen at that yahoo thingie people use for email.

  193. 693
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.

    For instance, I have been drinking and I forgot the chorizo on the stove and it was getting stuck to the pan. A quick splash of beer, and we’re back in business!

  194. 694
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Me please? I’ve sent an email.

  195. 695
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    I’m fiendishly hungry for books, especially in hard copy form. I’m a terrible pirate and could quit if only books weren’t so expensive. I can’t even afford books at GoodWill. My sodabox bookcase is so empty.

  196. 696
    Pteryxx

    ^ Give ‘em to JAL.

    following up on this: JAL, have you got any sort of book wishlist? I keep intercepting old books and once in a while I buy some out of the cheapo used boxes and just give them away (i.e. leave them in waiting rooms and such). Could easily just mail some to you.

  197. 697
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    I will take them all.

    The only thing I have is on goodreads for my to-read list but that’s mostly books I’ve found on the site that I wanted to win in giveaway or added so I wouldn’t forget. It doesn’t have any of the Pratchett books, though I’ve always planned on reading them.

    Goodreads also has all the books I’ve read on it. Or that I remember reading anyways and most of those I’d like a copy of because BOOKS. I miss having books on a self. I have like no personality, there’s no paintings or posters or game cases or movie cases or anything in my house but my bookshelf was always mine. If that makes any sense.

  198. 698
    Pteryxx

    That makes all the sense; I had to whittle down my book collection to the handful that are so core to my identity that I couldn’t bear to leave them behind, even while (briefly) living out of my car.

    So we should look at your Goodreads page? is that public? or just post a big list here?

  199. 699
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    JAL,

    What part of the world do you live in? I has books, and as soon as I has money you can has books.

  200. 700
    Deborah

    @197 JAL I have a bookcase in front of my desk and I stare at it sometimes. Things are placed somewhat haphazardly – Alien Tango is upside down, nothing is alphabetized by title or author (they are actually organized more or less by size). I enjoy staring at odd juxtapositions – Shari Tepper’s After Long Silence next to My Life As a White Trash Zombie, etc.

    I don’t like doing reviews, because I tend to want to go on and on about what the book was about, but I often wish I could list what I’ve read with a line or two about what I thought – not a complete review just a line.

  201. 701
    carlie

    Alcohol was surprisingly helpful.
    I have the feeling this was not a good lesson to learn.

  202. 702
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Hmmmm. I think the list is far too long and it will get lost anyways on the next Lounge page.

    Here’s my goodreads

  203. 703
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    carlie,

    It is the BEST lesson! I’m a little afraid for myself though, because I’ve got five gallons of homebrew that should have been bottled about 3 months ago, and I’m about an inch from siphoning some into a pitcher and rolling the dice. Shit, I can drink flat beer!

  204. 704
    Pteryxx

    lawl – it says “This profile is private”.

    Seriously, JAL, to be careful about protecting your profile I’d suggest just posting a big long (scrambled and partial) list here. Folks can bookmark or save it.

  205. 705
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Carlie: video games. Some of the classics are free online.

  206. 706
    Aratina Cage

    It occurred to me that Justicar is the Victoria Jackson of atheism.

  207. 707
    Inaji

    JAL:

    I can’t even afford books at GoodWill.

    Shit, I can. I pick up books there all the time. A lot of good ones I leave because they’d be duplicates for me, but next time I’m there, I’ll buy them for you. I’ll let you know when I have them, so I can find out where to send them. Our Good Will has a lot of sprog books, too, so I’ll pick up a stack of those.

  208. 708
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Oh, oh, Deborah Bell, there are *three* disc world science books and they are all great. The wizards make a weird magic-less Roundworld in the lab, and they talk about its properties, and of course stuff goes wrong. Serious education!

    KG, perhaps “yani” might be a mistaken accent thing? “Yoni” seems more correct. (Also WTF, twee newage pseudohindu mysticism? Not what I’d expect from Justicar. Or is he accusing someone. I don’t want to look.)

  209. 709
    Inaji

    Christ, Amelia was covered in blood. Got her cleaned up, no obvious wounds. I suppose there’s a crime scene around here somewhere…

    *sigh*

  210. 710
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    HAHA, oh yeah. I forgot about that part of having a private profile. *sigh* I’m such a goofball.

    I’ll either have to make it public or find a way to put the 127 books in neat list to just copy over.

  211. 711
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Patricia:
    Awesome.
    Can we have more of these Sunday sermons please?

  212. 712
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Speaking of books, I have I guess all of the Discworld books except for the last one or maybe two?

    I’ve got so much to read and not enough focus to actually do the reading.

  213. 713
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Setár @#590, I think I can take this …

    Since the government controls the central bank, why do we need to worry about interest? [...] why doesn’t the government get no-interest loans from the Fed? For that matter, why does it even matter if the government is in debt to the Fed — isn’t that effectively the government being in debt to itself?

    This isn’t really how the Treasury and Fed work. If it helps, think of the Fed not as an agency of government, but as the interface between government and the private sector. So the government can’t get loans from the Fed—it borrows from the private sector via the Fed. US Treasury (UST) debt is just a commitment to pay money in future. If the UST sells this commitment (as a bill, note, or bond) to the private sector, the government gets money now, but is on the hook to pay money in the future, which means taxing the equivalent amount in the future. (This is why the low-tax, small-government people hate government debt.)

    If the private sector either doesn’t believe that the government will pay the money back (credit risk => default) or believes that that due to the inflation, that the “future money” they get back won’t be worth as much in terms of purchasing power in the future, then the private sector will demand interest on the loan. (30 years ago, in the teeth of the late-70s-early-80s inflation era, 30-year UST bonds were issued at 14% interest.)

    Ichthyic @#556:

    sometimes, going into debt is a GOOD thing. sometimes, you need to go into debt to invest in infrastructure, and expand your local economies [...] such as, for example, immediately AFTER the 2008 crash, where the fed pumped a gazillion dollars into the reserve, which SHOULD have been used, as was traditional, to invest in expanding small business and inflating the economy that way, but was not. Instead, most of the large financial companies took advantage of the bailout money to… buy bonds and related things that only improve THEIR bottom lines.

    Sorry, but this isn’t quite right, either. ;-)

    The Fed didn’t “pump a gazillion dollars” anywhere. It bought financial assets from the private sector for cash, i.e., took the risk of those assets onto its balance sheet. In the beginning (“QE”), the assets were short-term UST debt (so, completely risk-free, from a Fed perspective), then (through “Operation Twist”) longer-term UST debt, and now (“QE3”) effectively-government-guaranteed mortgage-backed securities. The goal is to make these safe investments yield so little that the private sector has no option but to invest in riskier ventures like business investment. [more in a minute]

    Ing, @#593:

    feel free to call bullshit but the idiot version is that the recession was basically caused by people being allowed to take greater risks due to deregulation…and then promote said risks as assets to which someone else then took them and invested them, and someone else did again and again [...]

    Not bullshit. Just not complete. ;-)

    If you go back to the late 90s, the economy seemed pretty solid. Unemployment falling, wages rising, stock market up, full speed ahead. It was the “Great Moderation”. No recessions, no crises, everything’s rosy.

    Except.

    If everything’s rosy, there’s no risk, and therefore no opportunity for reward. Returns on all sorts of assets fell. (Pension funds used to assume an 8%/year return. Then it was more like 3%/year.)

    And therefore, to get the expected returns on lending and investment, etc., everyone had to leverage up—take bigger bets. Homebuyers should take out bigger mortgages. People with less-than-stellar credit histories should take out mortgages because in 5 years’ time, they’d be more solvent. It’s OK, though, because the economy’s only going up and a rising tide lifts all boats, right?

    Wrong.

    Around 2005, the tide turned. This is inflation-adjusted household debt per working person in the US:

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fredgraph.png?g=aKQ

    … and as people stopped borrowing and started saving (or paying back debt, or “deleveraging”), they cut back spending, which leads to a spiralling economic slowdown and the Great Recession.

    Ichthyic, again [this is my more in a minute]:

    I’ve seen interviews with economic historians who think it’s now too late to fix this; that seeing the fed pump even MORE money into the reserve (hell, IIRC the US is doing it RIGHT NOW as I type this), is too little too late to fix the problem

    It’s not that it’s too little or too late, it’s that it’s that “[making] these safe investments yield so little that the private sector has no option but to invest in riskier ventures like business investment” isn’t really working. If there’s no demand for stuff, making it easier to borrow money to make stuff won’t work.

    *sigh. do what Krugman says*

    [meta]

    economists such as Yves Smith and Brad DeLong

    Heh. One of these people is an economist. The other is an investment banker turned social commentator. [Your mission is to discover which is which! Also, which one self-identifies as "neoliberal"?]

  214. 714
    carlie

    Wait, now I feel funny. I’m tired and my head hurts…

  215. 715
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Alcohol was surprisingly helpful.
    I have the feeling this was not a good lesson to learn.

    :)

    Also, if you have TV, starting in a half-hour on ABC you can watch the pilot and next couple of episodes of Revenge, which is great fun. (Season 2 starts on the 30th.)

  216. 716
    trinioler

    Oh boy. Hope everyone’s okay! @ Caine.

  217. 717
    chigau (違う)

    Caine
    I’m glad Amelia is OK.
    How’s everyone else?

  218. 718
    thunk: turmite city

    JAL:

    I also have plenty of books I don’t use, as the library is next door.

    *and apparently requires two forms of Photo ID. Sqwa?

    You can contact me as thunketythunk using google’s email service.

  219. 719
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Writing out a wish list feels so weird for some reason.
    Basically I’ve liked books by:
    Anne Bishop
    Jacqueline Carey
    Terry Pratchett
    Robin Hobb
    Jodi Picoult
    Ellen Hopkins
    Joe Abercrombie
    Patricia Briggs
    Brandon Sanderson
    Stephen King
    Laura Joh Rowland
    Ursula K. Le Guin

    The only two specific books I’m wanting to try out are:
    The Warded Man (Demon Cycle, #1) by
    Brett, Peter V.

    Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1)
    Carriger, Gail *

    Everything else on my list is stuff I really don’t care about, but am willing to try since they were giving away free copies. XD
    I think I’ve learned my lesson in that department.

  220. 720
    Inaji

    Trinioler & Chigau, no one seems to be dead. No idea of what happened. Someone probably got their tail bit.

  221. 721
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    oh, ouch Caine! Glad they are okay though. Are tail bites serious?

  222. 722
    Pteryxx

    re bloody rats: my bet would be on a broken claw somewhere. Either that or they got into a tube of red paint. <_<

    JAL, the Robin Hobb 'Assassin's Apprentice' triads are some of my favorites. Two of them are on my live-in-the-car list. I can cover those, and maybe the newer stuff if I can find it.

  223. 723
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    TLC: I have several of Callahan’s books. He could be very funny, but he could also be an asshole. He was indeed bitter and angry about the way people with disabilities are treated, and his cartoons about them were clearly self-deprecatory. However, he also took nasty stabs at other groups of oppressed people. For example, two women chatting in an office: “It’s not sexual harassment if they’re datable!” Lots of fat jokes, lots of homophobic jokes. Et cetera.

    CM: Smith is the ex-investment banker, DeLong the economist. I will bet on DeLong being the neoliberal.

    Jessa, I forgot to congratulate you on your new house and on taking in that poor stray dog. As Josh says, owning your own home, being able to do as you please in there with nobody else in the building to annoy you, can definitely make you more of a homebody. I’ve learned to embrace it.

    I had a productive afternoon and early evening: The office is clean, the kitchen floor is clean, and I made two batches of tomato/pasta sauce — the first from heirloom tomatoes that I grew, the second from beefsteak tomatoes bought at a roadside stand. The first went into English muffin pizzalettas, which are in a bag in the fridge; the second into mushroom lasagna, which is cooling on a tableside window. Bacon is cooling next to the lasagna; it will go into BLTs, which will be made with the last of the roadside tomatoes. And I’m about to throw a load of wet laundry into the dryer.

    For those who are curious, the trick to homemade sauce is bay leaves, in the pan, then left in the jar. Oh, and a generous amount of olive oil in the pan, not just a coating.

  224. 724
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    I’ve got to mention that Comcast is the most awesomest thing ever. I have cable and Internet through them, and I get access to ridiculous amounts of on-demand TV and movies, just about every premium channel on Earth, plus pretty stellar Internet(50-60 megadoodles!) for under $100 a month.

  225. 725
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Women who have given birth may find this amusing: a man has labour-like contractions. http://www.upworthy.com/if-every-congressman-had-to-take-this-test-birth-control-would-be-100-free-for-a?g=2&c=ufb1

  226. 726
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    JAL, the Robin Hobb ‘Assassin’s Apprentice’ triads are some of my favorites. Two of them are on my live-in-the-car list. I can cover those, and maybe the newer stuff if I can find it.

    Oh I love the Assassin’s Apprentice books. I’ve read the first trilogy and then the Fools trilogy. Her other books are def. to-read. But I have read those and have them electronically so I’d hate to take away from your important stash.

  227. 727
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Patrick @162-
    That is so preciously cute. I could watch videos of bathing chinchillas for hours….

    ****

    Caine:
    I hope Amelia is ok.

    ****

    Deborahbell, Improbable Joe:

    I’m totally enjoying Warehouse 13. I watched the entire first season yesterday (which was also the first time I met Netflix; Hi Netflix, how are you? Where have you been all my life?).
    I’ve found my favorite character too- Claudia. She rocks. Alison Scagliotti is a wonderful actress.
    I’ve found that not enough episodes showcase a shirtless Eddie McClintock.

    ****

    On the bad news front: K found out that he was mistaken about being on the cruise ship for 4 months.
    It’s actually 6 months.
    I’ll see him again in late February/early March. I’m hoping maybe he’ll get some time off so that maybe if I get financially secure I can visit him. Hawaii in December for my 37 birthday sure would be nice, but it is perhaps a pipe dream at the moment. Too many damned maybes in there.

  228. 728
    hotshoe, now with more boltcutters

    JAL –

    Me please? I’ve sent an email.

    Yep. Got your email, and I just sent you a reply asking for mailing address …

  229. 729
    Pteryxx

    JAL, I wouldn’t give you MINE <_< but at least two of them I have duplicates of, and the others are easy for me to find.

    Because I"m disorganized and privacy and all that, how about I note you here when I have a batch ready to ship?

  230. 730
    Inaji

    JAL:

    Are tail bites serious?

    Depends. Not usually, but Sam had a very serious one recently, his tail was bitten half way through.

    Pteryxx:

    re bloody rats: my bet would be on a broken claw somewhere.

    Ah, you’re probably right, given the amount of wrestling and fighting they do.

  231. 731
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Tony,

    Claudia is the “one more character” I was talking about… when you add Claudia to the mix it really becomes a “family show” and it is compulsive viewing from that point on.

  232. 732
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Caine,

    I would think “broken claw” too. I remember when my boy Nobby broke a claw, he bled all over the place like I did when I almost cut off the end of my thumb.

  233. 733
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    JAL, I wouldn’t give you MINE <_< but at least two of them I have duplicates of, and the others are easy for me to find.

    Because I"m disorganized and privacy and all that, how about I note you here when I have a batch ready to ship?

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh okay. Boy, am I dense today. I blame the cheap vodka.

    And that system works perfectly.

  234. 734
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Also, I forgot to add: Hotshoe, I’ve replied with my info.
    -
    -
    Anyone else getting the Cloud Flare “Website is Unavailable” page? It’s happened twice now today for a couple minutes seemingly random. I have no idea what’s going on with it.

  235. 735
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Ms. Daisy Cutter:

    CM: Smith is the ex-investment banker, DeLong the economist. I will bet on DeLong being the neoliberal.

    Three points!

    http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2010/11/neoliberal-economists-agonistes.html

  236. 736
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    That said, I was also reading this today:

    http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/works/1951/economic-problems/index.htm

    Dunno if that averages out.

  237. 737
    cicely

    Talking about growth, in my immediate circle of friends I’ve noticed something: In siblings of the same sex, the firstborn is usually taller than the second born.
    Is this just a funny coincidence or is there something to that?

    I am the oldest of five kids; all of my siblings—including my two sisters—are taller than I am.
    -

    Is anyone familiar with Warehouse 13?

    Yup. It’s one of the few shows we bother to record.
    -
    Welcome in, deborahbell!
    -
    Joe, of course your scheduling has come undone! Your life has been majorly upheaved.
    *hugs*
    -

    So…it cost $1,050 to get all the girls spayed. Yikes.

    O.O

    Yikes…is an understatement.
    -
    Jessa, congrats on your New Home Ownership.
    -

    Beware of Flat Surfaces.
    They FILL with unsorted mail.

    Only the ones near the front door.
    All other Flat Surfaces fill with books, magazines, and other media.
    -

  238. 738
    Inaji

    JAL, recently, I’ve come across good science books at thrift stores (Sagan, Hawking and the like) – are you interested in having those type of books?

  239. 739
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    cicely,

    Yeah, but we’d like to pretend that our lives have NOT been ripped up and tossed into the air. Plus, in case you missed it, they sold the SpokesGuitar out from under me! WTF am I supposed to do with the rest of my life?

  240. 740
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    JAL, recently, I’ve come across good science books at thrift stores (Sagan, Hawking and the like) – are you interested in having those type of books?

    I’d love to expand my knowledge. I’m a bit worried about being in over my head but that’s the whole point really, to expand.

  241. 741
    PZ Myers

    NEW THREAD.

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