Friday Cephalopod: NOM NOM NOM »« How Kloor gets the environmental movement wrong

Comments

  1. dianne says

    Thanks for the hugs Oggie, rq, and Min. I’m lacking functional alcohol dehydrogenase* so I’ll have to pass on the whiskey, but the usb sent chocolate was excellent!

    *At least, I think that’s what’s going on with me and alcohol tolerance. It might be that I’m just a hopeless lightweight.

  2. Matt Penfold says

    rq: oooh, parsnips are great in soups! But IIRC, they are considered cow food in some countries.

    When I make cawl (Welsh soup/stew made with root veg and meat, normally lamb) I use potatoes, swedes and parsnips in ration 2:1:1

  3. Ogvorbis: Exhausted and broken says

    Minnie and Matt:

    I actually prefer rutabaga to turnips. Great for New England Boiled Dinner. Which is corned beef and cabbage with potatoes, onions, rutabaga, carrots, sweet peppers and celery added.

  4. george3 says

    Fine words butter no parsnips.
    I was taught that parsnips were what folk in Europe ate before the spud arrived here from America to replace it.
    G

  5. Matt Penfold says

    I actually prefer rutabaga to turnips. Great for New England Boiled Dinner. Which is corned beef and cabbage with potatoes, onions, rutabaga, carrots, sweet peppers and celery added.

    Which is actually an Irish dish, if you leave out the sweet peppers. Not surprising, given the origins of corned beef of course. I sometimes make my own corned beef, and when I do I use a very similar recipe.

  6. Matt Penfold says

    I was taught that parsnips were what folk in Europe ate before the spud arrived here from America to replace it.

    And broad beans.

  7. dianne says

    Knollencelerie. I have no idea what you call it in English or if I’ve spelled it correctly, but it’s a yummy root vegetable.

  8. Ogvorbis: Exhausted and broken says

    Which is actually an Irish dish, if you leave out the sweet peppers.

    Though the corned beef is (I think) an English invention. I think Mom called it NEBD so that she wouldn’t get complaints that there were things other than corned beef and cabbage in the corned beef and cabbage. Around here, for Saint Patrick’s Day, lots of restaurants do ham and cabbage which is a poor (but easier) substitute.

  9. Matt Penfold says

    Though the corned beef is (I think) an English invention. I think Mom called it NEBD so that she wouldn’t get complaints that there were things other than corned beef and cabbage in the corned beef and cabbage. Around here, for Saint Patrick’s Day, lots of restaurants do ham and cabbage which is a poor (but easier) substitute.

    I would have thought that there would not be much difference between using ham or corned beef. And corned beef is easier to make yourself than ham. You just sit the beef in brine for a week or two.

  10. Ogvorbis: Exhausted and broken says

    Matt:

    Corned beef, to be nice and tender, needs to simmer for hours. Ham can be boiled, or baked, and, for a smaller restaurant, will feed more people with less effort.

    I like ham, but I also like corned beef (one of these days I need to corn some at home). And corned beef is (for me) a much longer process than ham.

  11. rq says

    dianne, Matt
    They call it just celery here, which was damn confusing, when I wanted celery stalks and all I saw was some weird root vegetable… It’s terrible raw, but is decent when baked, esp. with other root vegetables. With a beef roast stuffed with dried apricots, dried cranberries, fresh rosemary, lots of garlic and glazes with mustard+honey on top. Mmmmm.

    george3
    I’d heard the same (re: parsnip). Perhaps it got relegated to animals because the lowly potato was just so amazing. Which is somewhat strange considering that now, the animals get to eat potatoes, too (on Husband’s family farm, at least).

    So:
    1) How does one go about making corned beef?
    2) Recipes for all stews, please!!!! New England Boiled, Irish, with or without corn/sweet peppers/long beans – any and all will do! Winter is coming and stew is the best thing ever in winter. (Stew, and chowder.)

  12. Matt Penfold says

    one of these days I need to corn some at home

    I’ve done it. I just made up a brine solution of water, salt, sugar, saltpetre, peppercorns and juniper berries, allowed it call and popped in a couple of joints of beef (I used topside), weighted the meat down and left in a coolish place for 10 days.

  13. rq says

    Have now bookmarked Pharyngula recipe sites. Because that’s what I need, more meal ideas imbued with godlessness for the family.

  14. rq says

    Matt
    That’s how corned beef is made? It’s marinated meat?? That’s all? Where’s the corn (or is it in the pepper)?
    Will attempt sometime. What are the approximate proportions?

  15. Ogvorbis: Exhausted and broken says

    I’ve done it. I just made up a brine solution of water, salt, sugar, saltpetre, peppercorns and juniper berries, allowed it call and popped in a couple of joints of beef (I used topside), weighted the meat down and left in a coolish place for 10 days.

    I’ve done home made sauerbrauten which came out really good but was a lot of trouble. The corned beef sounds easier.

  16. Matt Penfold says

    Recipes for all stews, please!!!!

    Lamb Cawl:

    Simmer a breast of lamb with standard stock veg (celery, carrots, onion, bayleaf, peppercorns) until the lamb is falling off the bone. Drain and reserve the stock. Discard the veg and set meat aside.

    Allow stock to cool and put in fridge overnight. Strain to remove to excess fat. Pick over the lamb breast, keeping the meaty bits discarding the fat and bone.

    Sweat onions until they begin to soften. Add sliced leeks and sweat a little longer. Add swede cut into chunks. Add lamb stock and simmer. After a bit, add the carrots and potatoes (also cut into chunk) and cook until root veg are very tender. Add in the lamb you took off the breast, and serve.

  17. Ogvorbis: Exhausted and broken says

    Where’s the corn (or is it in the pepper)?

    ‘Corn’ is olde Englishe for grains or small hard particles. Such as the grains of salt used in the pickling process.

  18. Ogvorbis: Exhausted and broken says

    Thanks, Ogvorbis.

    Yet another one of those useless bits of information that squeeze out the useful stuff. Like birthdays, anniversaries, Wife’s favourite colour, etc.

  19. Matt Penfold says

    That’s how corned beef is made? It’s marinated meat?? That’s all? Where’s the corn (or is it in the pepper)?
    Will attempt sometime. What are the approximate proportions?

    The term corn comes not from any type of cereal, but from an old name for largish chunks of salt!

    To make the brine:

    500g Demerara or light muscavado sugar. (I recall I used half white sugar, as I did not have enough demerara)
    1kg Salt
    1tsp Black peppercorns.
    1tsp Junpier berries
    5 Cloves
    2 Bayleaves
    150g Saltpetre (optional, but if you leave it out you do not get that traditional reddish colour of the corned beef)
    5 litres Water.

    2-3kg joint of beef (topside, silverside or brisket)

    Put water, salt, sugar, saltpetre in a large pan. Heat until all dissolved. Add the peppercorns, bayleaves, juniper berries and cloves. Simmer for a few minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

    Place beef in a large non-reactive container (glass, ceramic, plastic) and cover with brine. Weigh down the beef to ensure it is completely submerged. Leave for 5-10 days in a coolish place (but not fridge)

    When you come to cook the beef, soak in water for 24 hours, changing the water at least couple of times.

  20. Matt Penfold says

    Oh, and you can reuse the brine. I made some salt pork after by soaking a pork belly for about a week.

  21. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    Recipes?

    Well, here’s one I make all the time:

    18.75 mg glycine
    4.45 mg L-alanine
    147.5 mg L-arginine hydrochloride
    7.5 mg L-asparagine-H2O
    6.65 mg L-aspartic acid
    17.56 mg L-cysteine hydrochloride-H2O
    31.29 mg L-cystine 2HCl
    7.35 L-glutamic acid
    365 mg L-glutamine
    31.48 L-histidine hydrochloride-H2O
    54.47 mg L-isoleucine
    59.05 mg L-leucine
    91.25 mg L-lysine hydrochloride
    17.24 mg L-methionine
    35.48 mg L-phenylalanine
    17.25 mg L-proline
    26.25 mg L-serine
    53.45 mg L-threonine
    9.02 mg L-tryptophan
    55.70 mg L-tyrosine disodium salt dihydrate
    52.85 mg L-valine
    3.5 μg biotin
    8.98 mg choline chloride
    2.24 D-calcium pantothenate
    2.65 mg folic acid
    2.02 mg niacinamide
    2 mg pyridoxine hydrochloride
    219 μg riboflavin
    2.17 mg thiamine hydrochloride
    680 μg vitamin B12 complex
    12.6 i-inositol
    116.6 mg calcium chloride, anhydrous
    1.3 μg cupric sulfate
    50 μg ferric nitrate
    417 μg ferric sulfate
    28.64 mg magnesium chloride, anhydrous
    48.84 mg magnesium sulfate, anhydrous
    311.8 mg potassium chloride
    2.438 g sodium bicarbonate
    6.9955 g sodium chloride
    71.02 mg sodium phosphate dibasic, anhydrous
    62.5 mg sodium phosphate monobasic
    432 μg zinc sulfate
    3.151 g D-glucose
    2.39 mg hypoxanthine sodium
    42 μg linoleic acid
    105 μg lipoic acid
    8.1 mg phenol red
    81 μg putrescine 2HCl
    55 mg sodium pyruvate
    365 μg thymidine
    100 mL fetal bovine serum, heat inactivated
    50 mg gentamicin sulfate
    MilliQ water to 1 L.

    Preparation:
    1. Combine all ingredients until all powders fully dissolved.
    2. Pass through 0.22 μm filter.
    3. Store at 4°C for up to 2 weeks.

    (The first person to correctly identify the recipe gets a prize!)

    /takes off dork hat

  22. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    Matt:
    Well, yes. That’s actually one of the standard, commonly-used medias. I don’t actually make it up from the salts, but buy it almost-entirely made up.

    The question is, which one? :D

  23. rq says

    Dammit, Esteleth, you had to post that when I’ve been years outside of a micro lab??? ;)
    Culture medium, yes. A whole bunch of proteins in it., Regular old all-purpose agar? /wild guess

  24. rq says

    I want to say cancer cell culture, but… (yes, it’s not agar, I know). I don’t know what kind of a lab you work in.

  25. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    I’m impressed and a bit disturbed that you make your own culture medium.

    I don’t. I buy stock media that is missing the glutamine, FBS, and gentamicin.

    I may be anal-retentive and a control freak, but I am not that much of one.

    For the record, that is 1:1 DMEM:F12.

    :D

  26. says

    Yay culture media! I wanna get back into a lab where I can make culture media :( Fridges full of nice pink jars, the roar of the fume hood, the gentle hum of the incubators, maybe the soft rocking of a shacker table ahhh…..

  27. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    Nah. That’s my standard go-to for adherent fibroblasts. I’ll frequently do additional supplementations, depending on the cell type.

  28. dianne says

    Any progress on getting rid of the need for FCS? It’s expensive, potentially dangerous, and arguably morally questionable. Unfortunately, the only possible substitute I’ve seen is discarded human plasma. Which has a few problems…

  29. dianne says

    How about an employer with a brain for Katherine? What is the point of forcing people to come to work sick?

  30. Matt Penfold says

    What is the point of forcing people to come to work sick?

    There would not seem to be one, unless your intention is to look like a macho manager who is only concerned with short-term (read this week!) goals.

  31. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    Dianne, there are ways around the use of serum. A cocktail of some growth factors (in our lab, we use eight) can replace serum. But you have to be careful, and it does drive your costs up.

  32. opposablethumbs says

    Hugs to Dianne, and to anyone else in a similar situation.

    Parsnips are all over the place here (UK); quite like ‘em roasted (but no turnips, please. Ugh)

    Minnie, I already put you down for commune goat wrangler way back upthread – in your absence, in fact; hope you don’t mind!

    Welcome in, bluentx, pull up a chair; if things are stressful right now I hope the decor in the Saloon may help a little. This place goes a fair way towards keeping me sane too.

  33. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    That’s absurd, Katherine.

    *shakes head*

    I really wish companies would get the cost/benefit analysis of offering more sick days (i.e. it is to the company’s benefit to offer more) through their heads. That is, of course, in addition to the benefit of being human.

    *Tea* and *soup* for Katherine.

  34. Matt Penfold says

    I really wish companies would get the cost/benefit analysis of offering more sick days (i.e. it is to the company’s benefit to offer more) through their heads. That is, of course, in addition to the benefit of being human.

    There must have been research done on how much having someone come into work and infect colleagues costs in terms of increased time off and non-productivity. Not to mention good employees have less staff turnover. And in any case, as you say, there is being a decent person.

    I recall reading of a pregnant women in the US who worked in a call centre and was expected to throw up into a bin rather than leave her desk.

  35. dianne says

    Things like this make me think that one reason the economy isn’t improving is that the 1% don’t want it to improve. As long as unemployment is high, they can threaten their employees with being fired to make them do absurd things like come in to work sick and throw up in a bin rather than leave their desk. And never give them raises, which means an effective pay cut as inflation continues to occur. If the economy were better and the unemployment rate low, no one would put up with that sort of thing.

  36. says

    HAH!

    I really wish companies would get the cost/benefit analysis of offering more sick days (i.e. it is to the company’s benefit to offer more) through their heads. That is, of course, in addition to the benefit of being human.

    You wanna hear really stupid? I worked at a factory that hired efficiency experts to explain all of the standard cost/benefit stuff when it comes to making people work when they’re sick, and excessive overtime, and all the rest of it. They pulled people off their jobs for 2-3 days to train us in more efficient manufacturing processes… and when it was all done, the only change was that the hourly employees had hard scientific data to back up calling management a bunch of fucking idiots.

    Talk about wasteful, inefficient management… they paid someone to give them advice they had no intention of ever following.

  37. dianne says

    @565: On a quick search, I didn’t find exactly what you were asking for, but a couple of interesting articles…

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22720767

    Paid sick leave reduces the number of work related injuries that occur, probably because people aren’t trying to do dangerous jobs while distracted by viruses.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22788387

    Lack of paid sick leave is a barrier to getting routine cancer and other screening procedures, increasing the risk of later stage, more difficult and expensive to treat, disease and ultimately increasing insurance costs for both the employer and society at large. People blame the high cost of medicine in the US on “defensive medicine” and overuse of ICUs in obviously end stage disease, but things like this make me wonder if those are really the main problems…

  38. Beatrice says

    According to the trainee(slave) agreement I’m going to work on, I don’t think I can take payed days off. The site of the unemployed services says that they won’t pay for any days when the trainee is unable to work .No exception for sick leave is mentioned. Or vacation.

    *shrug*

    I’m not going to expect either, but some vacation after the first six months (which is required by law for any other kind of work) would be a nice surprise.

  39. Matt Penfold says

    Things are not perfect in the UK, but at least you are entitled to take time off if you are sick or for medical, dental or optician appointments. An employee is required to pay you for the first part of any sick leave, after which they still must pay you (at a reduced rate) but they can get claim most of the pay back from the government. It is only after a lengthy period that you must then apply to the state directly for sick pay. They also cannot sack you for taking too much time off sick without looking into to why you have had so much sick leave. and ways of helping you reduce the time off.

    Many employers actually go beyond the legally required minimum.

  40. says

    @Matt:

    A large portion of my problem was last winter, I not only got miserably sick, but I was also having constant panick attacks. I couldn’t come into work because I’d be a ball of crazy under my desk. I got deep in negative leave, and after that winter my boss has said that we can only take sick leave if we have positive leave to cover it.

  41. Ogvorbis: Exhausted and broken says

    Esteleth:

    Can you do that in American measurements? Pounds, ounces, cups, teaspoons, etc.?

    hugs to Katherine (from a distance (I don’t want to get sick, nothing personal)). Girl, a few months ago, was horribly sick. Vomiting, diarrhea, fever, etc. Not good. She could not find someone to work her shift at the restaurant and had to go in. Sick. This bullshit of making people work when sick is not only bad for the person who is sick, but is bad for everyone else!

    The government that politicians keep saying that they’ll run “like a business”?

    Yup. And the right has been running the government like Enron for thirty years. Lies to maximize the profit for a tiny minority.

  42. ImaginesABeach says

    Keep in mind that the paid time off that Katherine describes is widely considered excessively generous here in the US, at least when it comes to government employees.

  43. cicely (Possibly Too-Easily Amused) says

    Ah, but rq, I do not have a yarn mane. Of any color. Nor a yarn tail, either!

    Minnie!
    *pouncehug*

    bluentx: Happy birdsday to you! Hmmm…what birds do we have in stock today?
    The hummingbirds look cheerful, for a blue day.
    :)

    @447:

    But… but… there are so MANY cup sizes!

    Will someone jump on this straight line? Or (in this crowd) maybe it should be, “how long before someone jumps on this straight line?” Let’s watch and find out….
    .
    .
    .
    …Ha! Ogvorbis for the win, at comment 474!

    Is it possible to be too cynical when discussing the NRA or ‘independent conservative thinkers’?

    No.

    Turnips are not food. They are food for food. Feed ‘em to the hogs; then—bacon!
    -

  44. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Hello lounge! It was busy weekend, I see I missed a lot of recipe talk.

    Crip Dyke

    When I get up to get food at some point (really, I’m studying and taking notes for my Property final right now!) I’m grabbing my card and paying the first installment.

    Good luck! (Or rather, since I am so behind, how did it go?) Property is always a beast. Is it one semester or two at your school?

    ~-~-~-~-~

    I finished knitting my first hat last night. It has an endearing little point to it because I am still figuring out how to reduce at the right rate for a rounded top : )

    ~-~-~-~-~

    The news about the shooting didn’t really hit me until yesterday when I suddenly had an image of Littlest (who is 6) terrified in the face of such violence. And my heart broke a little, and then I was crying in an IHOP.

  45. Beatrice says

    I think I shouldn’t have started on the cookies today. I’m too anxious about starting work to do things properly – I put too much flour into one dough (hence my grumbling about cups) and wrong kind of sugar into the other. I left things alone after that.

    Might continue this evening and then bake when the electricity is cheaper, after 21h.

  46. cicely (Possibly Too-Easily Amused) says

    I was taught that parsnips were what folk in Europe ate before the spud arrived here from America to replace it.

    Turnips.
    There’s a medieval recipe for a dish that bears an obvious resemblence to potatos au gratin.
    (Here; scroll down a bit to Armored Turnips.

    *hugs* for Katherine Lorraine.
    I’d *pouncehug* you, but will spare you the force of impact.
    :)
    -

  47. dianne says

    Girl, a few months ago, was horribly sick. Vomiting, diarrhea, fever, etc. Not good. She could not find someone to work her shift at the restaurant and had to go in.

    She worked in a restaurant while suffering from gastroenteritis, presumably infectious? Bad plan. Very bad. (Just to be 100% clear, I mean on employer’s part, not Girl’s.)

    Let me guess how that played out…No matter how diligent Girl was, she managed to pass her disease on to some customers. It’s inevitable with a gastroenteritis. Customers assumed they got food poisoning and stayed far away from restaurant after that.

  48. opposablethumbs says

    Turnips are not food. They are food for food. Feed ‘em to the hogs; then—bacon!

    Yessss!!!! ::cheers for cicely::

  49. Ogvorbis: Exhausted and broken says

    No matter how diligent Girl was, she managed to pass her disease on to some customers. It’s inevitable with a gastroenteritis. Customers assumed they got food poisoning and stayed far away from restaurant after that.

    I’m sure she did. Chain restaurant (Subway) so not sure if it affected the patronage levels, but I’m sure she spread the bug.

  50. dianne says

    Right. Remind me to avoid Subways from now on. It’s likely a company policy to force employees to work sick.

  51. Ogvorbis: Exhausted and broken says

    Right. Remind me to avoid Subways from now on. It’s likely a company policy to force employees to work sick.

    Subways are franchised. This owner only has three stores. Normal staff is two at night and, if you can’t find someone to cover your shift, you go in even if sick (though being hospitalized is considered a valid excuse as long as you really do try to find someone).

  52. says

    “Hey Kat, can we get a list of all the things? Don’t forget to include who’s using all the things, even though most of the things are sold like software programs and the rest of the things we have no idea who’s using all the things. Thanks.”

    *headfloor*

  53. rq says

    So apparently last night some man ran around one of the smaller towns in the country and stabbed six people, a couple of whom are in pretty critical situation. Guess what the headlines are trumpeting. :(

  54. dianne says

    Normal staff is two at night and, if you can’t find someone to cover your shift, you go in even if sick

    In my opinion, one of the roles of the manager and/or owner is to go in if an employee unexpectedly can’t cover and they can’t find a substitute. That’s why the owner gets paid the big bucks, isn’t it? To make sure that the business runs smoothly and any problems are taken care of.

  55. Ogvorbis: Exhausted and broken says

    In my opinion, one of the roles of the manager and/or owner is to go in if an employee unexpectedly can’t cover and they can’t find a substitute. That’s why the owner gets paid the big bucks, isn’t it?

    Agreed wholeheartedly. Especially considering that there is a manager at each store. I think the reason that they run it this way is to make calling off extremely painful, irritating, annoying and time consuming to stop people calling off. Amazing how good a poor manager can be at not managing.

  56. dianne says

    So apparently last night some man ran around one of the smaller towns in the country and stabbed six people, a couple of whom are in pretty critical situation. Guess what the headlines are trumpeting. :(

    How lucky it is that he only had a knife not a gun, especially an automatic weapon, because if he’d shot 6 people there’d most likely be at least 5 deaths today. Also how fortunate it is that we have good trauma care these days and a fair number of people who present with severe injuries will survive. (Here’s hoping the victims in this case fall into that category.)

    No? That’s not it?

  57. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Katherine, Minnie:
    A pleasure to see the two of you round these parts again.

  58. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Beatrice:
    You pay different amounts for electricity depending on the time of day? Interesting.

  59. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    12 minutes to my last final of my first term in law school.

    2.75 hours from done.

    1/6th of this ordeal is about over. Holy crap in went fast and hit me like a slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick.

    See you all on the other side.

  60. Ogvorbis: Exhausted and broken says

    Crip Dyke:

    Not that you need it (being brilliant, confident and full of knowledge), but good luck!

  61. chigau (違う) says

    Crip Dyke
    I’m sure you’ll do very well.
    —-
    I spent a few minutes trying out and rejecting various ways of saying “I’m sure you’ll do very well.”
    ‘Break a leg.’
    ‘I’m sure you’ll nail it.’
    ‘Kick ass.’
    English.
    Weird language.

  62. rq says

    dianne
    Well, kind of:

    How lucky it is that he only had a knife not a gun, especially an automatic weapon, because if he’d shot 6 people there’d most likely be at least 5 deaths today. Also how fortunate it is that we have good trauma care these days and a fair number of people who present with severe injuries will survive. (Here’s hoping the victims in this case fall into that category.)HE MUST HAVE BEEN COMPLETELY CRAZY even though he’s not on any mental health register.

    Added a few small corrections.
    It’s so weird… There’s a registry of known mentally ill people, those who (presumably) have mental illnesses potentially dangerous to society, and I’m wondering: (1) How do they rate that? (How does one get on this list?) and (2) Is this a relic of Soviet times?

    Which reminds me of the time when the cops came around one time, asking about one of our neighbours. I’d only just moved in, and they were asking about a teenager (I believe he was 17) who was on the dangerous-mental-health list, and they were coming around asking neighbours if he’d been a bother or if we had any complaints about him. I’m not sure I can list the things I find wrong with that, considering he’s (technically) a minor and they’re sharing sensitive medical information. I expect their justification has something to do with the protection of society, and I didn’t think too much of it back then except “Well, that’s a bit weird/interesting”, but now…
    So many things wrong with that.

  63. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    Well, chigau, with respect to “break a leg,” it isn’t so much that English is a weird language, but that theater people are odd people. Highly superstitious. Saying “good luck” before a show is taboo, because it is bad luck, inviting disaster.

    Hence, negative wishes = good.

  64. Ogvorbis: Exhausted and broken says

    chigau:

    I know what you mean. This (598) was my fourth try at saying good luck without implying that Crip Dyke needs any luck.

  65. rq says

    Wow, the blockquotes have gone weird.

    Beatrice
    I wish our energy prices changed according to time of day, too. Starting from about 4PM, when it gets dark, we could have reduced rates. That would be awesome.

  66. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    So I went out to a local gay bar last night for a few drinks to celebrate my bday. Brought T as my designated driver (didn’t wind up drinking much anyway, but better safe than sorry). I encountered a guest-turned-regular-turned friend (from two of my last bartending jobs). I long suspected he was gay, as did many of his friends, but we all figured when the time was right, he would tell us.
    He came out to me last night.
    When he found out it was my birthday, he tried toasting to it, but I told him my bday is really just another day and I would get one next year. I told him the real cause for celebration was him being comfortable enough with himself to decide to come out of the closet. I felt honored that he came out to me.
    I consider that a present to himself, though one that made me happy for him (so the joy was something of a present for me).

  67. chigau (違う) says

    Esteleth and Ogvorbis
    Yeah. I knew that about ‘break a leg’. I’ve used it outside of theatre applications, too.
    But suggesting that Crip Dyke break a leg seemed … wrong.
    I also didn’t like the notion that ‘luck’ was involved.
    So after second-guessing myself for a while, I went with something rather cold and impersonal.
    *sigh*

  68. says

    Good evening!
    Well, the New Years Eve dinner my friends wanted to go to has been cancelled due to not enough people booking it. So instead, the cook invited them to his home.
    Well, should I mention that the cook is my BFF’s son in law.
    Invitation has been extened to us, of course so we’re getting to spend it all together (restaurant dinner until 2am is a bit hard to do with kids, but just putting them to bed at our friends is easy).
    Happydance!

    +++

    Knollencelerie. I have no idea what you call it in English or if I’ve spelled it correctly, but it’s a yummy root vegetable.

    I hate all incarnations of Sellerie.
    I love swedes, I’m glad they’re making a comeback. I’m impartial to parsnips.

    +++

    I really wish companies would get the cost/benefit analysis of offering more sick days (i.e. it is to the company’s benefit to offer more) through their heads. That is, of course, in addition to the benefit of being human.

    The whole idea of having a fixed amount of sick days is ridiculous. You should have as many sick days as you’re sick, and if you’re healthy you go to work. And you get free days to relax in any case.
    But I understand that this is probably impossible to do in a country with no socialized healthcare. Over here you go to your GP who then writes you a sick slip, end of discussion (usually. Also many contracts say that normally you only need to see your GP if you’re sick for longer than 3 days…). BUt you#re supposed to schedule appointments around your worktime or take time off. You only get paid time for appointments if it really, really has to be done during your work hours.

    +++
    *mulled wine for Katherine*

    +++
    dianne
    *hugs* for the anxiety.
    I realized that for many years to come the kids and I will part in the morning and all three go to school. And it’s not like such things haven’t happened here.

    Can I ask you something else?
    My gamma-GT is constantly too high. Do I have to worry?

    Tony
    That’s a wonderful story that happened to you.
    To me it’s still one of the things I’m proud of that many years ago a friend of mine came out to me as one of the first straight people she ever told.

  69. dianne says

    My gamma-GT is constantly too high. Do I have to worry?

    Kind of hard to say. A high GGT usually means something wrong in the liver, but without knowing more I can’t say whether there’s an impending problem* or you’re just one of the 2.5% of people who have a higher than “normal” level without any pathology (norms being established by determining what values 95% of healthy people have). Certainly not a “go to the ER right now” sort of problem, but might be worth getting a specialist to look into it.

    *I’m assuming you don’t have any symptoms or other high counts or you’d have mentioned them.

  70. rq says

    Tony
    That is so awesome! :) The best present ever – mostly for him, but also a little bit for you.

    Giliell
    Sounds like a good plan for New Year’s.
    Which reminds me yet again that we have none at all.
    There’s still time!

    +++

    Also, we have a similar sick-day procedure here. Note from the GP if you’re sick for 3+ days, and mandatory 2 weeks off for things like influenza, strep throat, and a few stomach viruses too, I think. My dad got about 6 months off for chemotherapy. You can also get a sick note from your doctor for hangovers, because you’re incapable of working. If my children get sick, I get a note from their GP and I get sick leave for as long as they’re sick (which can be a quarantine of up to 3 weeks for scarlatine and chickenpox). I can’t imagine things working any other way, because it just doesn’t make sense to go to work sick (I know it’s been said, but I wanted to say it again).
    But then, if state holidays (days of independence, labour days, etc.) fall on the weekend, they won’t give you an extra day off; sometimes, if there’s a holiday and a work day and then the weekend, they’ll say the workday is a holiday, but you have to make it up on a Saturday either before or after the date. Otherwise it’ll be detrimental to ‘productivity’.

  71. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Giliell:
    It looks like you’re going go have an enjoyable New Years!
    ****
    I think atheists need to begin a War on New Years. Why? As joyless, souless, nihilists we should not be deriving joy from a new year. If life has no meaning, we should not be happy for another year of meaningless existence. So let’s begin the hard work of ruining New Year’s for everybody just like we did Christmas.
    /sarcasm

  72. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    I just discovered the ‘return to top’ link at the bottom of the page. All this time, I’ve been scrolling away.

  73. rq says

    Tony
    You too, huh?
    I’m with you on the war on New Year’s. Want to be a depressing and obnoxious ass with me? :) I’m pretty good at it on New Year’s Eve (years of experience). We could ruin everybody’s fun.

    +++

    Anyway, some people are just lucky.
    Moi, I’m going to bed.

  74. says

    *hugs* for Katherine.

    @Oggie: a swede is a rutabaga in USian. I usually prefer my own language to yours, but in this case you win! @rg: a parsnip looks like a carrot, only cream-coloured and a more exaggerated shape. Wider at top, narrower at tail. They are better when smaller, with big ones the core can be woody. And the “corn” in corned beef refers to the size of the salt grains traditionally used for the curing – from the English usage of corn meaning any grain. No actual corn. (Yeah, I see this is mostly covered already.)

    @John M: “a good cook can cook good with pretty much anything!”
    This is basically true of ingredients. It’s not true of the combination of time, energy and money. I am lucky and have the money – Woolworths pre-sliced free-range chicken stir-fry strips cost more than whole pieces, and bagged “ready to stir-fry fresh asian veg” are likewise pricier but not beyond my wallet. Or the pre-sliced mushrooms – about twice the price of unsliced. You definitely pay a premium for the convenience.

    Sophia, have you tried the oven-bag roasting method? If you get one with the bonus free seasoning packet, just chuck that out. But the method makes a very nice roast chook with almost no mess – and the juices can be used as gravy with no added work (just decant into the fat-separator jug).

    My next project is to brine a small turkey using some smoked salt. Anyone have recommendations for recipes?

  75. opposablethumbs says

    Crip Dyke, hope it went really well!

    Tony, that’s very very cool – and also, I have to say, you are awesomely good people the way you relate to others. Again.

    Giliell, yay for being able to go to New Year’s dinner!

  76. cm's changeable moniker says

    You can also get a sick note from your doctor for hangovers, because you’re incapable of working.

    This strikes me as a really extraordinarily useful idea. Espeshully around crismuss. :-D

    (In living memory, UK TrainCo™ issued seasonally-drunk passengers with “Wake me up at {station name}” badges to use on their journey home. Brits, eh?)

  77. says

    ‘rupt. Happy birthday to tony and any others I’ve missed. *hugs* and conga rats as appropriate.

    Re: Sick days/working while sick
    A large part of the problem is a deliberate and near universal policy of chronic understaffing; the absolute bare minimum of workers remotely capable of doing the needed work are hired, so there’s no slack. If anyone isn’t there, then something essential doesn’t get done, because the co workers are all working at or beyond max capacity already and can’t pick up the slack. So you make people come in to work sick, bully them into doing their usual load anyway, and once you’ve destroyed their health you fire their dessicated husk and hire someone new. It really is that calculated, and that evil.

    In personal news, my phone died last night, requiring a factory reset and losing me all of my contacts and apps, including those that were supposed to be on the SD card (which I removed before the reset) Very annoying.

  78. says

    Wider at top, narrower at tail. They are better when smaller, with big ones the core can be woody

    They taste very good sliced and fried in butter.

    I would have thought that there would not be much difference between using ham or corned beef. And corned beef is easier to make yourself than ham. You just sit the beef in brine for a week or two.

    That’s a perfectly valid recipe for ham too. Alternately, you can make a smoker, but that;s a right pain. Or just soak the thing in honey for a bout the same time, if you’ve got enough on hand.

  79. ImaginesABeach says

    My furnace is broken. It’s 23 degrees F outside, and was 62 in the house when I left this morning. Fortunately, HusBeach had the day off to call a repair person and we own a couple of small electric space heaters. Unfortunately, it sounds like it won’t be fixed before tomorrow.

  80. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Hot water heater died over the weekend. Should have the new one installed tomorrow morning. Ugh, at least I can heat water for the Redhead’s sponge bath in the microwave oven.

  81. birgerjohansson says

    Speaking of birthdays…
    Happy Birthday, Milla Jovovich, 37.
    May you get a part in a proper, well scripted horror film one day. Without crappy CGI.
    — — — — — — — — — — — — —
    “They taste very good sliced and fried in butter”
    I just re-read Templesmith’s “Wormwood, Genteman Corpse” this evening. Your comment gave me weird associations.

  82. birgerjohansson says

    Tpyos strikes again.
    Should be “Wormwood, Gentleman Corpse”
    And the illustrations are surreal.

  83. David Marjanović says

    Caught up till comment 400. Past bedtime; I may end up giving myself an artificial jetlag instead of having a real one.

    cicely, Caine, and David Marjanović – *pouncehugs* [If you're not around, they're perfectly happy waiting around until you are.]

    ^_^

    *forwards pouncehugs to Beatrice and Portia and opposablethumbs and rq and Koshka and carlie and Caerie [Hi! Are you new, or did someone change their name in the 2 months of my absence?]*
    *adds Jules’s caramelized bacon, a thing of awesomeness*

    (by dark milk I mean their high-cacao version of milk chocolate, I think it’s 34%)

    Isn’t that normal milk chocolate?

    Won’t work. One of the bugs in Windows XP is that it goes into the USB as foccacia and comes out the other end as acacia. Sorry.

    Mmmmmm… acacia honey… *Homeric drool*

    * By ‘real life’ I mean non-digital, not to imply that any of you are fake or figments of my imagination.

    Meatspace. The term is meatspace. :-)

    (Remember “cyberspace”?)

    “Shersher (his name for me), you’re a gril.”

    “Yes, Justin.”

    “And Jackie’s a gril.”

    “Yes, Justin.”

    “Where’s the boy?”

    “You’re the boy, Justin.”

    “Ah!” He went back to coloring.

    Quoted for awesomeness.

    Esteleth – I absolutely love the gingerbread line!

    Seconded!

    (And, totally OOT as it may be, I admire that you overcame your triggering over on the other thread earlier today, at least enough to remain on the site. Kudos)

    Link, please?

    gee mail dotte communism

    FTW.

    Maybe you should sue them for copyright infringement lol

    Lol indeed.

    random animal squee-ing: CLOUDED LEOPARDS HAVE SQUIRREL FEET HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS EEEEEEE

    Their hind feet can point backwards, like squirrels’ feet do, so they can descend trees headfirst… which OTHER CATS CANNOT DO (except the margay) EEEEE yeah facts science all that EEEEEE

    *suddenly performs wingbeat motion that ends with grabbing Pteryxx by the shoulders*

    I didn’t know that either. I only knew about the margay.

    CLOUDED LEOPARDS HAVE SQUIRREL FEET HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS EEEEEEE

    That applies to both species of clouded leopard, right?

    *goes to printer supply shop, orders a refrigerator-compatible dessert printing unit, cracks it with a wrench and eats it directly…*

    Daviiiiiiiiiid
    *pouncehug*

    ^_^

    Ooh, I forgot to mention, my gf and I are expert mushroom hunters.

    Awesome.

    Astonishing piece of medical research.
    (TW animal experimentation)

    Impressive!

    A lot of of the archives are missing.

    Still!?!

    (Yes!!!! I know that four exclamation points are a sign of a diseased mind!!!!)

    Huh. Five is the number that proves you’re wearing your underpants on your head, but four? News to me.

  84. David Marjanović says

    And the “corn” in corned beef refers to the size of the salt grains traditionally used for the curing – from the English usage of corn meaning any grain. No actual corn.

    Or, rather, this was the word for “grain” before grain had to be imported from French. Its meaning shifted to “cereal” (as has also happened, as an expansion in addition to the original sense, in some kinds of German), and then narrowed down to the default cereal in the US. (There are places in Austria where the word for “cereal” narrowed down to “rye” before it died out.)

  85. says

    Indeed. You sometimes see a trick question “How many times is ‘corn’ mentioned in the bible?” where the answer is supposed to be zero because corn is from the Americas ha ha. But it doesn’t work with the King James, where they use “corn” in that older, near-obsolete sense.

  86. David Marjanović says

    Well, chigau, with respect to “break a leg,” it isn’t so much that English is a weird language, but that theater people are odd people. Highly superstitious. Saying “good luck” before a show is taboo, because it is bad luck, inviting disaster.

    Hence, negative wishes = good.

    That’s actually a reanalysis.

    It’s a translation of German Hals- und Beinbruch, “neck and leg fracture”. And that in turn is a humorous misinterpretation of Yiddish hazlokhe & brokhe, “good luck” and “blessing”.

    Yiddish is particularly liable to being misinterpreted this way in German, because it’s basically a south-central German dialect mixture with all abstract nouns replaced by Hebrew equivalents (plus* plenty of words and most of the sound system taken from the local languages like Polish, Ukrainian, Byelorussian and Russian).

    * In East Yiddish. West Yiddish is pretty much extinct, AFAIK.

    The original Hebrew form of brokhe is barukh, which is also the name of a Biblical prophet who has his own book, and hence Baruch de Spinoza, and… Arabic didn’t participate in the shift of k to kh… Barack Obama shares that name.

  87. David Marjanović says

    Uh, reanalysis is a technical term that includes most forms of folk etymology, off the top of my head, but also similar phenomena in grammar. Like English-speakers misinterpreting the -s of Latin biceps “two-headed and singular” as their own plural ending.

  88. David Marjanović says

    Mindless scrolling…

    …see, going to bed is an activity I procrastinate against…

    Knollen[s]elerie. I have no idea what you call it in English or if I’ve spelled it correctly, but it’s a yummy root vegetable.

    That would simply be celeriac. Knolle = tuber. Usually just called Sellerie, and the greens are Selleriegrün when the specificity is deemed necessary.

  89. cicely (Possibly Too-Easily Amused) says

    Tony: Awesome!

    ImaginesABeach: Awesome! (But with a completely different intonation.)

    DDMFM!
    *pouncehugwithchocolate*
    -

  90. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Tony: I neglected to wish you a happy birthday (or to wish one of my bffs yesterday, either, bad Portia, bad…) but

    HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY

    and very cool story. Glad you went out to celebrate a little :)

  91. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Can you believe, the proctor lost the exam – started the darn thing a half hour late.

    What an ordeal even without that!

    But, y’know, I remembered to account for equitable waste of the life-estate holder, so, y’know, I couldn’t have done too badly.

    Gonna pic up the kids, put them to bed early, and have a glass of wine and some intimate time with Ms crip dyke. See y’all again soon!

  92. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Congrats on surviving a Property exam, and from the sounds of it, doing one better. Enjoy your earned relaxation.

  93. opposablethumbs says

    David Marjanović

    (by dark milk I mean their high-cacao version of milk chocolate, I think it’s 34%)

    Isn’t that normal milk chocolate?

    You may well be right, unless the UK is extra mean with their cacao – I haven’t really checked – this brand comes in 34% and 32% (I think) which seems a ridiculously small difference. The lower one is definitely creamier, though. They also do a 70% and an 80% dark chocolate, for the dark chocolate lovers …
    I have a notion that the most popular UK brands (like Cadbury’s etc.) have lower percentages of cacao than this in their versions of milk chocolate – but maybe it’s the amount of sugar they put in that is actually making the difference in taste, and Green & Black’s just has a bit less sugar.
    Of course what really matters is that this is what I still have some of in the freezer :)

  94. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @ everyone – thanks for the encouragement.

    @Chigau – don’t worry about the wording.

    @Portia –

    Property is 2 semesters. I’ve taken to saying, “Ironically, Property is the only 1L class that doesn’t have any structure in it”.

    Torts, contracts, criminal law, you can flow-chart ‘em all. Not property. Oyvey.

    But I’m done. Okay, now I’m really off to pick up the kids. As a special treat, I’m buying them fast food…

    …as a special treat to me: Crip Dyke gets a night off cooking! Hooray!

    Now if I can just get them to go to sleep on time…

  95. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Yeah, Property just covers so many varied concepts. Mortgages have very little in common with future interests. Congrats on getting the worst over with. Have a good night!

  96. Pteryxx says

    Furnaces, hot water heaters… at one place I get my water from a hose, and heat potfuls on the stove top until I have enough in a bucket to wash with. (Though sitting in the shower with a big steaming bucket and splashing is rather fun…)

    EEEE welcome back David M! Your extensive quoting helps me be somewhat less threadrupt. ♥

  97. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    Mm. Loving the influx of MRA scuzzballs we’ve had on FTB lately. At least it’s taught me a lot about how to counter their pet arguments. Doesn’t help much seeing as I’m still a Woman Using Brain without Man Permission… and on the INTERNET of all things. GASP!

    Never been more tempted to set up a more male-sounding pseudonym.

  98. carlie says

    Moar cooking?

    I realized today that tomorrow is the last day before holidays I will see a few coworkers. So tins of food for everyone it is. I made chocolate-dipped clementine wedges, have what will hopefully be successful candied clementine peel drying, and have oatmeal chocolate chip maraschino cherry cookies in the oven. I am quite cross at the cookies, because no matter how much I chill them I can never make cute little ball/button cookies. They always spread out and turn into pancakes. :(

    David! *snuggles*

  99. ImaginesABeach says

    Yup. Furnace will not be fixed before tomorrow. HusBeach has to work tomorrow, so I will be working from home, waiting for Adonis. Seriously, the furnace repair guy’s name is Adonis. Wouldn’t you think that was setting the bar pretty high for your baby?

  100. carlie says

    Thanks to everyone for the kind words last night. School apparently went ok. Everybody’s on high alert, though. I was at a grade school today and got followed around from walking in the door through sign-in to where I was going, which doesn’t usually happen. And where my parents live, someone overheard another kid in a hallway talking about a gun, and the whole school ended up on lockdown, and emergency e-alerts went out to all the parents, and it turned out to be a couple of kids talking about a bb gun one was getting for Christmas, but then they let parents pick up kids early and everyone went home.

  101. carlie says

    Interesting – I notice the news today is full of shootings. I can’t imagine this is some kind of rise in incidents because of Friday – probably now the news outlets have decided that gun violence is news, so now we’re seeing all the things that are usually considered too routine to bother to report.

    Good.

  102. Pteryxx says

    randomer than usual, because I’m smiling so hard at this review and fellow Horde could use a few laughs. Jennifer Armintrout’s pick for Best Book of 2012:

    http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/3410463-my-pick-for-best-book-of-2012

    It’s been a year packed with blockbuster novels, from 50 Shades of Grey to The Casual Vacancy, and Gone Girl, but I think that so often the commercial success of a great (or gallingly mediocre) novel can sometimes bury the true artist, and their masterworks can be woefully ignored.

    This year, no book was so tragically left by the wayside as Abraham Lincoln: Presidential Fuck Machine by Catherine Devore.

  103. thunk, weirdness in the fifth month says

    Hia all. I’m doing a pre-finals weird out. Can’t be good for my grades.

    Just remember something. And have fun.

  104. carlie says

    Katherine Lorraine! (hugs and warm soup) I’ve missed you!

    Crip Dyke, yay for being done!

    Thunk – you’ll do great.

  105. ImaginesABeach says

    time to put on the footie pajamas and head for bed. My kids may be too old for footie pajamas, but I’m not!

  106. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Footie pajamas?
    Anything like a snuggie?

    And now I have an image of us all singing and roasting marshmallows in our Snuggies in Teh Commune :)

  107. Akira MacKenzie says

    OK, early New Year’s Resolution time…

    I hereby resolve to be a little more mindful of my proofreading and my arguments before posting them to any online forum, especially those here at FtB. I will no longer post angry, knee-jerk responses, and if I can’t think of anything reasonable to post, I will post nothing.

  108. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    carlie
    glad school was good for your son. so nervewracking, I cant imagine.

    ImaginesABeach
    Hope you can all stay warm enough :( lots of hot chocolate for you and yours.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I just submitted my resume. SO had to press send, because I was so nervous. I’m still nervous.

  109. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    if I can’t think of anything reasonable to post, I will post nothing.

    This is why I don’t post much outside the Lounge. : /

  110. bluentx says

    Catching up since my 4 am post (# 430) and having gone to bed soon after:

    Thanks to all for welcomes to The Lounge and Happy Birdsday wishes. As said before, I work nights (6 pm-4 am CST) so I’m usually late to the party for the original OPs. By the time I get to read them or have time to comment they’re either on life support or already dead.

    Answers to specific questions:

    rq @ 434: “..skills, ideas or useful items… to fit into the commune…”. Always did feel I was born a little too late to enjoy the Hippie/Commune era fully. Now’s my chance!
    I work in water treatment- drinking water at this time but am (state) licensed for both water and wastewater treatment. Skilled? Don’t know about that– I wish now I’d have paid more attention in science class seeing that most of my adult work life has depended on it!
    Ideas: I finally decided in 2004 (after being apathetic about it for decades) that religion was not for me and no it wasn’t because there was something WRONG WITH ME that I couldn’t believe ‘like everyone else’. It took a while longer to be able to use the word atheist- negative connotations yadda,yadda…
    Other ideas are still evolving partly thanks to reading Pharyangula. I’ve always subscribed to the adage: you never stop learning.

    Alethea H. “Crocoduck” Kuiper-Belt @ 437:
    I’m’ okay’. Was just a little down at 4 am reading more accounts about the school shooting, frustrated with our ‘leaders’ responses and gun nuts’ excuses for why we can’t even talk about gun regulation. “Semi-automatics and 30-round + magazines = FREEDOM” !!eleventy eleven!!!
    I’m located in rural north central Texas (godbot,gun nut heaven). Ranching, dairies and voting Rethuglican are the norm in these parts!
    A few years ago I contacted the Freedom From Religion Foundation to ask how many other members lived near me. They put me in contact with all five (!) of them. That was in a 50-mile radius— 6 of us! And only 1 or 2 were actually interested in a conversation. *sigh*

    Other points of interest in The Lounge:

    dianne @ 408 and 497: “.. 88 guns per 100 persons in the US…” I inherited two when my dad died -a shotgun and an antique hanging on the garage wall- my granddads maybe. I would gladly smash them to bits and may yet.
    And I agree with you. The NRA should be designated a terrorist organizaton. Not only do they have nuts on their board of directors (lookin’ at you Nuge) but what’s-his-name publisher of Soldier of Fortune magazine and others with equally disturbing bios.

    And speaking of goats:
    You all may be getting an invitation to a barbeque soon if my neighbors goats and donkeys don’t stop their daily invasions! (What can be done with a dead donkey?) Complaints directly to the owner are mostly ignored, reports to the Sheriffs’ Depart did little good.. Looks like I’ll be fence mending the few days after Christmas (I volunteered to work the holidays).If that doesn’t keep them out I may have a use for Dad’s shotgun after all. And I know The Horde will be good for a few side dishes!

    Also want to commiserate with Nerd on the death of his water heater. Had to replace mine a few weeks ago. Pilot wouldn’t stay lit even though it was only about a year old. I learned something new. I specifically asked for a heater designed for propane –they loaded one for natural gas in my pick-up! Who knew that would even work- much less for over a year!?

    Okay I’ll shut up now– Just thanks for the hellos and I suppose I should go do something as I am at work!

    Always reading, if not commenting…

  111. chigau (違う) says

    Tony #647

    And now I have an image of us all singing and roasting marshmallows in our Snuggies in Teh Commune

    Works for me.

  112. thunk, weirdness in the fifth month says

    And now I have an image of us all singing and roasting marshmallows in our Snuggies in Teh Commune

    But don’t turn up the heat, for it shall be too warm. Ere the dawn, I’ll be sweating.

    (well not really, if it’s outside)

  113. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    We just got the Christmas tree decorated. The family was together for the first time in a while, and we had a good time.

    Speaking of family, our teen girl announced that her former best friend has just given birth to a second child. We spent some time in congratulating our girl and her family on not having babies yet.

    Our girl is now identifying as lesbian, which may reduce the chances of having unplanned babies. Congratulations were also given for that announcement. I wish others in her family will be as supportive.

    Thanks to Pharynguloids for supporting people like her, and their choices, and for making it clear that some things are not matters of choice.

    And thanks for all the great writing. I cannot keep up, sadly.

    Welcome, bluentx.

  114. Pteryxx says

    Heya bluentx and welcome… there might be more Texas folks than we let on. <_<

    (Seriously, Gohmert is 'my' representative. Talk about embarrassing…)

  115. chigau (違う) says

    bluentx
    .
    It might be better to do separate comments for each topic.
    (until you learn to do a full-on David Marjanović)
    (in-joke, sorry)

  116. bluentx says

    Apologies for the run-on. I composed that mess in between ‘chores’.
    And yes I got the “joke”. Been reading here since I heard of Pharyngula via The Atheist Experience–early 2010(?).
    Note to self: practice HTML practice HTML…

  117. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Menyambal:
    So very happy for your girl and it sounds like she has a loving supportive family. The world can never have too many of those.

  118. Pteryxx says

    speaking of eeeee:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/17/gender-neutral-easy-bake-oven_n_2318521.html

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Hasbro says it will soon reveal a gender-neutral Easy-Bake Oven after meeting with a New Jersey girl who started a campaign calling on the toy maker to make one that appeals to all kids.

    [...]

    Hasbro invited McKenna and her family to its Pawtucket, R.I., headquarters to meet with its Easy-Bake team, and on Monday, they drove to Rhode Island from New Jersey. During the meeting, Hasbro executives showed off a prototype of their newest Easy-Bake: one that’s black, silver and blue.

    Hasbro has been working on the new color scheme and design for about 18 months, and decided to invite McKenna to see it and offer her thoughts, said John Frascotti, Hasbro’s chief marketing officer.

    McKenna said the company is doing everything she asked, including putting boys in the ads.

    “I think that they really met most or even all of what I wanted them to do, and they really amazed me,” she said, adding that Gavyn thought the new design was “awesome.”

  119. chigau (違う) says

    bluentx

    …practice HTML practice HTML…

    This is a lovely site:
    link

    —-

    goo’ness the HTML overgnomes are pick-ehhh!!

  120. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Threadrupt:

    Today was my daughter’s last day at kinder, forever.

    (sad and joyful and irrationally worried about future safety)

    Today they poured the slab for our new house.

    (happy and tired from riding 8k roundtrip several times from work to there and anxious about money)

    Today was the first day that that little fellow with the jackhammer, the one that was working on the inside of my cheekbone for the last week, whatz-is-name? Sinuitis or something, stopped for any length of time.

    (happy and exhausted from constant energy sapping pain)

    Today everyone wanted to buy all the things, NOW, because: OMG CHRISTMAS!

    (happy about income and worried about getting all the commitments done before D-day and annoyed to the point of wanting to scream: “Your lack of planning is not my emergency!”

    [in a small pathetic voice]

    Can I haz marshmallows and snuggies too?

    /whinging

    Apologies to those who’s troubles are acute and serious in the way mine are not.

  121. says

    Good morning

    Belated welcome and Happy Birthday bluentx
    But don’t kill donkeys, please *puppyeyes*
    Around here I would say get an injunction. Yes you can get one against goats, or better said against your neighbour being a neglicient ass.

    rq

    If my children get sick, I get a note from their GP and I get sick leave for as long as they’re sick (which can be a quarantine of up to 3 weeks for scarlatine and chickenpox).

    3 weeks for scarlatine?
    Oh the horror!
    Here I need to makes sure they’ve been on antibiotics for three days.

    dianne
    Thanks.
    Well, everything else is just all right (apart from the Hashimoto’s). Blood’s allright, sonogram’s allright and did I mention that it’s also very high in my dad and my sis?

    +++
    Corn
    The urban legend says that after WWII western Germany suddenly ate lots of sweetcorn. The Americans asked what they eeded the most and the Germans said “Korn”, meaning “cereal”. They got corn.
    BTW you still have the word in a “kernel of truth”

  122. rq says

    Good morning!
    I suppose I’ll have to work my way backwards…

    Giliell
    Yes, three weeks. Plus the antibiotics. But a three week quarantine – although it wasn’t as bad as for chickenpox, since we were allowed to go to the store (different method of transmission?). It didn’t seem that big of a deal for me, but some aspects of medicine here are a bit behind the times (tuberculosis, anyone?).

    FossilFishy
    I’m sure we’ll make snuggies the official Pharyngula commune uniform. I can’t see it being any other way.
    And congrats on the house-work moving forward!!! :)

    Menyambal
    Hooray for your girl! Wishing her all kinds of support from all of her near and dear ones!

    bluentx
    You know what? Water purification had not even crossed my mind. You are in for the win, and ranked pretty high up there among functions (don’t worry about the science, lots of people here to help you with that!).
    I have no idea what to do with a dead donkey. :/

    Portia
    Yay for submission! I now transfer all holding of thumbs for employment from Beatrice’s jar to yours. :)

    opposablethumbs
    *sends chilli pepper 40% chocolate via USB*
    Found it. Should be about what you want. Let me know if it arrives. (I know the percentage is a bit higher, but it’s a good percentage.) :)

    David Marjanovic
    I’m new as of (I think) 4 weeks ago. Kind of lost track of time.
    I don’t like the term ‘meatspace’ but I’m pretty sure the dislike will wear off with time and I’ll actually start using the term. I do know it, though. Just don’t like it.
    Nice linguistic analysis of ‘break a leg’ – love those things (ling. analyses, not breaking legs). Also for corn (ditto Giliell).

    Alethea
    Yeah, that’s what I thought parsnips look like, except they don’t have them here. The closest they have (in appearance) is something called a white radish, and I’m not even certain it is a white radish. One day I will try it, but it looks too pale and smooth to be the parsnip of the days of yore that I remember.

    Cheers to all finishing exams (Crip Dyke) and wishes for quick fixes for all those with heater/hot water issues!!! Hope everybody manages to stay warm in the meantime!

    +++

    I know it won’t be that bad, but on Friday we leave for Husband’s family enclave out in the country for three days and three nights. I’m already getting antsy even though I really shouldn’t since we’ll be arriving before most of the rest of his family and leaving soon after they leave (I have responsibilities in the capital re: giant Christmas concert and the participation of my choir). And it won’t be that bad. It never is that bad.
    On the positive side, I’ll be bringing work this time around, since I have a January 3 deadline (as long as the world doesn’t end) to make, and I need every day I can get since this month has so many days to slack off.

  123. rq says

    theophontes
    I’ve been practicing secretly. Many thanks. ;)
    (Taking lessons from Giliell and cicely, actually.)

  124. opposablethumbs says

    FossilFishy, herewith drugs and hugs for the sinusitis. Even after a week I’m still feeling pathetically grateful for the cessation of toothache, so I really sympathise with that!

    Corn – it’s either sweetcorn or it’s maize; poetical “fields of corn” or prosaic cornfields mean wheat (or rye or barley), dammit ;).

    Menyambal, I’m really happy that your daughter has such a great family. If only every child had a family like yours.

  125. says

    @ opposablethumbs

    Corn

    Consider also: Kore- Persephone-Demeter

    ( If you think triune goddesses are complicated, you should try: Jeebus, Sky-daddy and Spook.)

    & Dutch: Koren, Afrikaans: Koring

  126. rq says

    theophontes
    Maybe if they’re totally awesome add-ons, I can make Firefox my default Pharyngula browser. :) It would clear away a lot of open tabs from the general-use Opera window.

  127. says

    So, ladies and gentlemen, today’s lesson is: How to fuck up a presentation

    First, be late.
    Now, I have chronical difficulties being on time for that class. It starts pretty early at 8:30 and I live 20 miles from college and I have to get the kids ready before.
    So today I really, really hurried. No mercy for sleeping kids.
    And I was on time until I got stuck in a traffic jam 200m from college because one of the barriers to the carpark didn’t work, again.
    Second, forget the CD you need in the car.
    Third, run back to the car and notice that the CD is inexplicably gone.

    Thankfully the lecturer is all kinds of awesome…
    +++
    Also, I’m pretty creeped out.
    When I came home last night (half six), I held the door for the kids as usually. And the kids took their time as usually. And while I was standing there I heard somebody over the intercom and it sounded very much like somebody jerking off. So that somebody must have watched me in the carspark and then gone to the intercom to delight me with his masturbatory sounds.
    How was that post-sexism world getting along again?
    I’m sure the MRAs will quickly tell me that nothing has happened and I’m totally unfair and that it’s absolutely my fault for coming home in the early evening with my kids wearing a long winter coat and jeans…

  128. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Fuck Giliell, that is the very definition of a bad day. [lays out hugs, chocolate and a selection of the finest booze]

    I used to manage a book store. One winter morning I asked my employee to go shovel the front sidewalk while I changed out of my cycling clothes. I come back downstairs, shoes in hand, to find some guy standing behind the front rack staring out at her. The motions his body was making made me think “No. No that can’t be.” and I dropped my shoes to see what he would do. The tucking, zipping motion was quite obvious. He takes off and I pull my shoes on and run after him. At the corner I catch him, and well, threatening him is putting it mildly. I’ve been told that I’m pretty scary when angry and boy was I angry.

    I go back to the store and my employee is wondering what was up. I’m not sure I should have told her, but I did. She starts to laugh, “Did you see what I was wearing?” That morning was -20c she had on an ankle length quilted coat, a half dozen scarves, and hat pulled down to her eyes. The only thing even vaguely female about her appearance was that the coat was purple.

    This was a decade or more ago. It saddens me to know that this kind of thing is common and will be for the foreseeable future.

    [adds kittens, puppies and baby platipuseses to the pile]

  129. rq says

    Giliell
    Ew. Gross! And totally creepy. :( Kittens for you!
    And awesome your lecturer is so awesome.

    FossilFishy
    You are all kinds of awesome, too! Have a kitten!!

  130. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Thanks rq, and belatedly opposablethumbs. I found some lounge advice that I think was given to you OP really helpful. Ibuprofen taken regularly without waiting for the pain to come back really helped. Paracetamol didn’t touch it, the anti-inflammatory nature of vitamin I (as hardcore cyclists like to call it) kept me from being an even more whiny sick person.

    And with that, to bed, perchance to sleep the sleep of the virus-free and dream of just how the hell we’re going to pay rent and land mortgage and building mortgage for those last couple of months before we can move in. Tell me again why the hell we thought this was a good idea…..

  131. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Er, that would be OT…. definitely bedtime, no footy pj’s nor snugglies for me though, it’s summer and Mrs. Fishy already thinks me weird.

  132. rq says

    FossilFishy
    Good nights, good nights, may the virus leave you while you sleep; I’ll buy you a lottery ticket for the mortgage, but I’m keeping half for ours.

  133. birgerjohansson says

    Tips to help kids cope following tragic news events http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-12-kids-cope-tragic-news-events.html
    — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

    A new theory on long-term unemployment http://phys.org/news/2012-12-theory-long-term-unemployment.html

    Go, Kiruna! “Arctic town eyes future as Europe’s gateway to space” http://phys.org/news/2012-12-arctic-town-eyes-future-europe.html
    — — — — — — — — — —
    Brain imaging identifies bipolar risk http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-12-brain-imaging-bipolar.html

    Tax evasion in Greece: Billions earned by high-income professionals go untaxed http://phys.org/news/2012-12-tax-evasion-greece-billions-high-income.html …while the poor suffer from government cutbacks.

  134. says

    So I have the following paraphrased description for a character in my second novel I’m working on (first novel being edited.)

    She’s short, she’s skinny, she’s plain, she shares much with a washboard when it comes to feminine qualities, she’s got a shaven head, she’s got green eyes and black hair and light skin.

    The parts in bold are the parts I am having trouble with because they’re… loaded terms. But I can’t figure out another way to describe her without going into crazy-long details. These are important qualities however.

    Her plainness more speaks to the fact she blends in perfectly in a crowd. She has a look that really doesn’t call attention to her. She doesn’t stand out at all.

    Her flatness (that’s what I’m alluding to) is important because she’s a master (mistress?) of disguise, and since she doesn’t have a curvy figure, she can easily play the part of a man or woman.

    It’s so hard to write descriptions while trying not to be offensive…

  135. bluentx says

    Giliell, professional cynic @ #666:

    Congrats on the nym update and such an auspicious comment number.

    I don’t want to kill donkeys, you understand. It’s just that hearing them bray in the distance is quite different than it happening right outside my bedroom window– twenty minutes after I’ve gotten to sleep!

    And on the way home from work I hear this gem on the radio (as if I couldn’t have guessed it was coming): Gov. Rick Perry supports teachers being allowed to carry guns in the schools.
    Speaking of braying donkeys,….

    Now off to bed. Goodnight or good morning as the case may be…

  136. rq says

    Katherine
    For ‘plain’, can you say ‘ordinary’? ‘Easily forgettable’ (probably not, but I doubt ‘blendsome’ is a real word)?
    As for the washboard part, I’m not sure… ‘the surface relief of the prairies’? ‘smoothness of a plank/wood floor’? ‘shares a table-top’s most important useful characteristic – flatness’? :/ Not sure what would be not-loaded. But, I have to add that I associate ‘washboard’ with male abs… If transfered to a woman, it brings to mind some serious, serious, body-building-type abs.
    (Sorry if advice is unsolicited or bothersome.)

  137. carlie says

    Katherine – “short and lithe” might cover it without being too explicit. It calls to mind a body type that is adaptable and well-controlled, and is usually associated with thin-all-over-ness.

    fossilfishy – hugs and morphine for you. :)

    On pajamas – I think the commune uniform should be this. :D

  138. says

    @rq:

    Nah, those are good. I know washboard usually means abs which is why I was pounding my brain so hard.

    Ordinary is probably better than plain. Plain is very loaded when I think about it.

    @carlie:

    Lithe would probably work too.

    This is a very interesting character, a thief and a master-of-disguise. One of my not particularly feminine female characters. Heck, the main character is much more feminine than she is XD (I outright call him ‘pretty.’ He is a very pretty guy.)

  139. rq says

    carlie
    PINK FOR GIRLS!
    But it doesn’t have attached feet. :( Apparently it comes with footies, but it doesn’t say if they’re attachable.
    The zippered hatches are definitely a +++.

  140. rq says

    Katherine
    I like female characters who aren’t particularly feminine, especially the thieving kind. Not sure why. Something very intriguing about the idea, though – to be able to blend in completely and yet have this weird sort of power over people (in that you can take anything from them and they would never know it was you…). Likey-like.
    And pretty guys. I don’t know what his character’s like, but they have a special place in my heart, too.

    I’m very interested in your books. When the first one’s out, please remember to drop a notice here!!!

  141. says

    @rq:

    Of the female characters I’ve introduced, the thief woman is one of the least fem. The other is a trained warrior – elven (though of the true elves) with green eyes (I like green eyes…) and chin-length black hair. She’s got dark skin. She’s tough-looking, definitely able to handle her own. She’s also aseuxal.

    The pretty boy is a blond-haired, fair-skinned, blue-eyed guy. He’s smarter than he is strong. I think the way I describe his face is that he shares most of his features with his beautiful mother.

    I have some fairly interesting characters I think. My favorites are the old lesbian tallis couple (the tallis are a race of hyperactive, scientifically minded, steam-punk, draconic humanoids.)

  142. says

    Ah, it’s Christmas time! *warm and fuzzies*

    The time here in Australia when drunk and stoned teenagers packed into fast cars get themselves killed and injured on a regular basis.(You see, it’s the summer holidays around this time)

    Four major traumas through the door within 10 minutes this evening, the victim’s ages: 16, 16, 18, 34.
    There are aggressive and confronting TV ads, roadside billboards and stuff to warn young people about this, but it just gets ignored. And then everyone is distraught and grief-stricken and crying after the 16yo has driven dad’s Merc into a pole going 160 in an 80 zone and wiping out the rear seat passengers. I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with young people here.

  143. rq says

    Katherine
    The tallis sound like some fun people!
    From your descriptions so far, all your characters sound really interesting and intriguing. It’s nice to hear of authors working out characters that don’t fit in the usual stereotypical boxes or end up in the predictable kinds of relationships (or any relationships at all, for that matter). Too bad I’m not a publisher with oodles of cash. :(

  144. says

    carlie
    Wow, I love the bum-flap

    katherine
    Well, why don’t you use those verrrrry short descriptions you gave us here and show instead of tell (more or less)? Like just saying that her face was one that disappeared in the crowd, or saying that she thankfully didn’t need to bind her breasts up for disguising as a man?

    Fossil Fishy
    You’ll make it.

    +++
    As for the creep: It’s kind of frightening how little it actually disturbs me. I mean, I knew there were sure to be creeps and rapists in this house. Now this one let me know he’s watching. Asshole.
    What a shitty world in which it’s one of the lighter terms of harassment…

  145. says

    @rq:

    I’m trying to avoid as many stereotypes as I can, to make strong characters with real personalities instead of just shoeing in the character designs. Each one has a history, a goal in life, a purpose. They’re not all cardboard cut outs with little development. The women are strong and don’t revolve around men. They don’t have daddy issues. They’re not going to turn into shrinking violets.

    I know that might make it more difficult to publish, since they’re going to want to see characters who are more ‘familiar.’ But I can’t just do that. There’s no way, in her character, that Mara (the elf) would ever be a typical stereotypical ‘strong woman’ character who just turns into a pretty little flower if she doesn’t have a guy around. She’s one of my most developed characters and I’d rather find a different publisher than change her any.

    (Another cool character is Juani. She’s a sailor. She’s probably got a lover in every port. She drinks, she cusses, she gets into fights.)

  146. rq says

    rorschach
    It’s not just there. Same problems around graduation time in Canada (don’t know about now, but I remember one particularly horrific accident where 5 teens were killed on a stretch of decent road – just driving too fast and too recklessly).
    And here, too – in the spring, a 12-year-old (!!!) took his parents’ car and killed a cyclist. And last new year, when a car of seven teens drove into a river, fatalities all…
    Young people everywhere. :(

  147. rq says

    Katherine
    I likey more and more. :)
    Especially the part about daddy issues (hence dispensing the need for a male on permanent stand-by). It actually sounds really refreshing. I hope your publisher lets you keep them that way (and agrees to publish the characters as they are)!

  148. says

    rorschach
    Hey, you remember Germany, where people treat their fast cars and no-speed limit Autobahn like USAsians their fucking guns?
    My greatest horror is meeting them on the road because while I can reduce some of my risk by being a careful and passive driver myself, I sadly can’t stop all those who actually shoudln’t be drivig a car on accounts of lacking the mental maturity.
    Sorry you’re having a hard time at work.

    Katherine

    Another cool character is Juani. She’s a sailor. She’s probably got a lover in every port. She drinks, she cusses, she gets into fights.

    I like her already.

  149. says

    @rq:

    I really just hope I don’t run into the “too many strong women” trope XD

    I don’t think that’s a big problem cause I have Trisha, Emma, and Ona. Trisha is the “mom” of the guards – taking care of things like cooking for them and cleaning up and washing their uniforms and stuff like that. Emma is the wife of one of the guards, with a young son. Ona is one of the tallis lesbians – she’s very femme.

  150. dianne says

    I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with young people here.

    The same thing that’s wrong with young people everywhere: They’re young, inexperienced, and don’t have the brain development to properly understand the risks. Children, even older children, shouldn’t run deadly machinery, be it cars, guns, farm equipment, etc. IMHO, the US’s laws on alcohol and cars are backwards: put the drinking age at 16, the operating motor vehicles age at 21.

  151. says

    @Giliell:

    She’s also fun cause despite being all “you look at me wrong I slam your face into a bar counter” she’s also got this hyper-femme side to her – enjoying fluff and frill and going to parties. It’s one of those little hidden bits of her personality. She’s still all “you look at me wrong while I’m wearing a fluffy frilly dress and I’ll slam your face into the hors d’oeurves table” but she looks good while doing it XD

  152. Beatrice says

    IMHO, the US’s laws on alcohol and cars are backwards: put the drinking age at 16, the operating motor vehicles age at 21.

    I could never understand that. You can’t buy a beer, but you can operate a potentially deadly machine.

  153. Beatrice says

    Katherine,

    Counts as spoilers to me. :)
    If I read about characters in advance, I will build a mental image of them. When I later read the book, if the character doesn’t fit my image, I might consider the book “wrong”.

    I don’t mind that you write about your characters here, don’t get me wrong. A lot of people enjoy getting to know them in advance. I’ll just skip those comments, no problem.

  154. says

    Hey, you remember Germany, where people treat their fast cars and no-speed limit Autobahn like USAsians their fucking guns?

    I did emergency retrieval(Notarzt) in Germany before I moved over here. I don’t have the numbers, but I do not recall this amount of dead and injured teenagers in Germany. On average, I would say that Germans are safer drivers, get better and longer driving instructions, and drive more responsible than in particular young drivers over here. Anecdotal, but that’s my impression.

  155. Beatrice says

    And I’m not talking about physical looks when I say “mental image”, but the overall characterization.

  156. rq says

    Katherine
    I don’t believe in ‘too many strong female characters’. :) Ever. :) BUT. If you have the motherly types still lurking around, I’m sure it’ll please those who do think there can be too many.
    How are your male characters?

    dianne
    While I agree legal alcohol age should be increased, I’m not so sure about the driving. How does one go about getting their license in the US? I got my first license in Canada, and it’s a three-step process (G1 – learner’s permit, 0 alcohol, driver with 4+ years’ experience in the passenger seat, no driving on 400 series highways; G2 – can drive alone, 0 alcohol, can drive on 400 series highways, and I think something about driving at night, not allowed more passengers than seatbelts (a weird one, but); G – can drive alone, 0.08 alcohol, can drive anywhere anytime etc.; each step required a test: G1 – written; G2 – taken as soon as 8 months (with driver’s ed) or 1 year (without driver’s ed) after G1, 20 minute driving test; G – taken minimum 1 year after G2 but before expiry of license from first date of G1 acquisition, 1-hour driving test). Or maybe it’s a matter of attitude again (and I add, I’ve never driven in the States), but my instructor was very heavy on the whole defensive-driving idea, and from what I could tell, that was the general teaching method: emphasis on your own responsibility and always leaving space in case some fast action required. (Doesn’t stop the accidents, but…)
    The system here (Latvia) is much worse, because it’s a profit-making business for driving schools: take your theoretical courses, do the school’s written then the state written, then the school’s driving exam, then the state driving exam, and it can all (beginning to end) be done in the space of a month, if one has the schedule for it. Legal driving age is from 18, though. Not that it helps the general road attitude here, though.

  157. says

    @Beatrice:

    Ahh, okay. Well, your mental image you form is probably somewhat accurate considering how I describe the characters won’t change much in the long run. Like I said, I’d rather find a different publisher than change around what my characters are like. They’re mine! I made them! I don’t care if they don’t do well in focus groups. They’re real to me. People in real life are like these characters, and I’ve seen and read way too many cases of the same exact characters in every possible medium that I go to great lengths to ensure my characters are written how I want. How much more fun would it be to read about a character like Mara or Juani as these strong, independent women with their own character flaws and goals and raisons d’etre than it would to read them as carboard cut outs of every other female character every written about?

  158. rq says

    Beatrice
    It’s similar in Canada – start driving from 16 (actually 17, for driving alone), and vote at 18, buy alcohol at 18 or 19 (depending on province/territory). Why the Americans have 21, I don’t know.
    But it could make sense if you think of it the other way around – learn to drive potentially deadly machinery while (theoretically) totally sober with young brain unspoiled and receptive to teaching – memory, reactions, learning process easier and a better foundation laid; once have some experience driving and doing it well, can enter the world of irresponsible activity.

  159. says

    @rq:

    Much like the female characters – built with different personalities and goals and stories. Admittedly aside from Owin (pretty-boy) they are a little weak, but I’m working with their personalities to try to make them all strong characters.

  160. says

    On average, I would say that Germans are safer drivers, get better and longer driving instructions, and drive more responsible than in particular young drivers over here. Anecdotal, but that’s my impression.

    Never been to Australia, but from all the countries I’ve driven a car in, Germany is the one I dislike the most. Switzerland is great. Currently my daily annecdote is the university carpark where it’s more or less a miracle that so far nobody has been killed because all those kids, while in their cars still think that they can go by 50km/h, or just drive backwards without looking, totally act like they’re in a pedestrian area once they’re out of the car…

  161. Beatrice says

    Katherine,

    People in real life are like these characters, and I’ve seen and read way too many cases of the same exact characters in every possible medium that I go to great lengths to ensure my characters are written how I want. How much more fun would it be to read about a character like Mara or Juani as these strong, independent women with their own character flaws and goals and raisons d’etre than it would to read them as carboard cut outs of every other female character every written about?

    See, this is why I’m looking forward to reading your book(s).

  162. opposablethumbs says

    I found some lounge advice that I think was given to you OP really helpful. Ibuprofen taken regularly without waiting for the pain to come back really helped.

    It made a huge difference for me – that was some good advice :). Glad something is helping with the pain for you too.
    .
    Kitty’s character’s face might “somehow have the quality of being instantly forgettable”…. “the kind of face that looks like a thousand others” or “that the eye skates over” ….. “neither ugly nor striking” ….. “nondescript features” ….. and “ordinary” is good, imo. As for her figure, I’m not sure about this but she could be maybe slim and/or solidly-built and have an androgynous figure? “….. her angular frame/form …”? When young women get described as “coltish” or having “a coltish figure” it makes me think they’re un-curvy ….. anyway, that’s just off the top of my head and may not suit at all, don’t know if young is right for this character – just meandering here.

    I like the sound of Juani, btw!
    .
    Giliell, ugh. What a creep. Is there anything in particular you think you might want to say or do if you ever identify who this is?

  163. dianne says

    How does one go about getting their license in the US?

    1. Go to the license bureau.
    2. Take an extremely easy written test about the rules of the road. You’ll probably only fail if you don’t understand English well enough to know what’s being asked. The questions are things like “Which of these signs means stop?”
    3. Take a very easy driving test which you will only fail if you can’t actually shift the car properly (and are driving a manual.) The only hard part is parallel parking. Driving on the highway, at night, in bad weather, or under any sort of emergency conditions are not required.

    In some places you might have to prove that your vision is adequate as well. I don’t remember that from when I got a license, but it’s been years.

  164. says

    Oh, and also Giliell,

    my impression is that alcohol and drugs somehow do different things to Germans and Australians. Here, it leads mainly to aggression, disinhibition, violence, crime, assault, road accidents. Back home, there is some of that as well, but not to this degree, and all the people I ever drank or took drugs with tended to become more focused, maybe a bit brooding, dark, humble, reflective, funny or depressed. Don’t know. Maybe it’s the convict’s genes :D

  165. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Katherine:
    How about ‘understated’ or ‘imperceptible’ feminine qualities?
    ****
    rq:
    Instead of meatspace, IRL (in real life) could work, no?

  166. dianne says

    On average, I would say that Germans are safer drivers, get better and longer driving instructions, and drive more responsible than in particular young drivers over here.

    At risk of sounding like someone who should vote Rechtsextrem, there’s a problem: foreign drivers. Americans, among others, come to Germany, drive on the “no limits” parts of the Autobahn and get themselves badly mangled.

    Re Australia versus Germany, FWIW, Wiki says that there’s a higher fatality rate in Australia (5.7/100,000 population) versus Germany (4.5/100,000)-and both are far safer than the US (12/100,000).

  167. says

    Re Australia versus Germany, FWIW, Wiki says that there’s a higher fatality rate in Australia (5.7/100,000 population) versus Germany (4.5/100,000)-and both are far safer than the US (12/100,000).

    I’d like to see that statistic for the 17-24yo bracket. That’s the main problem over here. And I think the difference to Germany would be quite striking.

  168. rq says

    Tony
    Well, it all started with me using the term ‘in real life’ :).

    dianne
    That sounds… Well, a bit too easy for my liking. :/ I see a lot of problems with that system – when my mum learned to drive, it was the same system in Canada as the US, and somehow they went about and changed it…

    Katherine
    Yeah, better strengthen the male characters. :) Might not go over well if they’re all snivelling weaklings. ;)

  169. Beatrice says

    3. Take a very easy driving test which you will only fail if you can’t actually shift the car properly (and are driving a manual.) The only hard part is parallel parking. Driving on the highway, at night, in bad weather, or under any sort of emergency conditions are not required.

    Here, you have to take some classes before the written test, but I hear it’s quite easy.

    As for 3.
    Oh my. We have to take some number of hours of driving with a teacher. The whole ordeal is very expensive and gets more expensive yearly. Today, it’s about three times as costly as it would have been had I taken the classes when I was 18. Also, a lot of people fail the test the first time. It’s almost a norm. Of course, then you have to pay for some additional driving hours with the teacher.

  170. Ogvorbis: Exhausted and broken says

    WARNING: RANT!

    Damnit! Last night, I found myself discussin the Newtown shootings with an acquaintance. I mentioned how hard it will be for the teachers, parents and students, even the parents who did not lose a child, to deal with what happened. He replied that, “Well, it’s not like they’re gonna get PTSD or anything. They’ll be fine.” Apparently, through a longer-than-I-wanted conversation, he thinks that PTSD can only happen as a result of combat in the military (he served in Vietnam at an airbase in a warehouse) and anyone else claiming it is lying to try to get money. I pointed out my eleven-plus years of flashbacks, panic attacks and nightmares and he dismissed that as me trying to cadge money out of the government.

    RANT OVER!

    So, luckily, last night I didn’t have any cub scout dreams. I had three 9/11 nightmares but, I guess, those don’t count.

    Furnace will not be fixed before tomorrow. HusBeach has to work tomorrow, so I will be working from home,

    Well, just picture yourself on a beach somewhere. Sand, sun, a daquiri in your hand, icebergs off shore, as you try to figure out how to sip your drink through the scarf.

    waiting for Adonis.

    Some of y’all have an interesting fantasy life.

    Seriously, the furnace repair guy’s name is Adonis. Wouldn’t you think that was setting the bar pretty high for your baby?

    Wow. Erm. Yeah, pretty high bar.

    School apparently went ok.

    Good news.

    This year, no book was so tragically left by the wayside as Abraham Lincoln: Presidential Fuck Machine by Catherine Devore.

    Good book for someone’s high school term paper?

    (What can be done with a dead donkey?)

    Many more things than can be done with a drunken sailor.

    (until you learn to do a full-on David Marjanović)

    Is that anything like the full monty?

    Note to self: practice HTML practice HTML…

    However, if you start praying to HTML, this might indicate you are spending too much time on your computer. Worshipping Tpyos is fine, but not HTML.

    Today they poured the slab for our new house.

    [Kermie Arms] Yeaaaahhhh! [/Kermie Arms]

    and anxious about money

    You should have contacted an organized crime outfit. They would have paid you a lot (or alot) to drop a body under it.

    I’m sure we’ll make snuggies the official Pharyngula commune uniform. I can’t see it being any other way.

    Sorry. Just picturing myself in cowboy boots, cowboy hat and a snuggie. Not good. We may have to be a little loose about the uniform.

    Do they work with Opera?

    Not as far as I know… :(

    And I heard that, in my mind, as a short bass aria by theophontes. Sorry.

    =======

    Re: Driving discussion. Both kids were told, long before they turned 16, that they could get their learners permit at 17.5 and their drivers license at 18. Boy has been a slightly above average driver. Girl shows absolutely no desire to get her license.

  171. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Katherine [sarcasm] what about the meeeeenzzz? Underdeveloped male characters hurt meeeeenz fee fees :o
    ****
    Ogvorbis:
    That acquaintance would fit right in with the insensitive asshats in all the current Newtown related threads.

  172. dianne says

    I had three 9/11 nightmares but, I guess, those don’t count.

    But I thought being part of the 9/11 rescue gave you an exception because it was “in the service of the country” just like the “legitimate” PTSD of the military (/snark or maybe snarl.)

    I’m sorry you’re having nightmares! Your acquaintance was flat out wrong about PTSD, if that’s any help.

    TRIGGER WARNING: Discussion of dreams about 9/11.
    I occasionally have these strange little “I’m not quite traumatized by this, just slightly worried” 9/11 dreams. Things like I dream I’m at a re-enactment of the events where they’re going to be using a hologram to simulate the collapse of the towers and suddenly it’s not clear whether this is a re-enactment or I’m in tower 2 on 9/11/01. That sort of thing. Not sure what it all means since I was a good mile from the events the whole day. Maybe some feeling that I should have been there?

  173. Ogvorbis: Exhausted and broken says

    That acquaintance would fit right in with the insensitive asshats in all the current Newtown related threads.

    No question. He also got into the idea that gun control in CT was at fault and that if the teachers had been carrying yadda-yadda-yadda.

    Maybe some feeling that I should have been there?

    I am not a public or mental health professional. That said, I suspect that there are may who were near the WTC that day who have some level of survivor’s guilt.

  174. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Good morning!

    rq” Thanks for the well wishes. I haven’t decided whether I want the job or not. I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try.

    Giliell: That’s revolting. Another moment where I’m glad that I can’t get into the headspace of another person to understand their actions.

    Oh, and hooray for an understanding instructor. Hope the presentation eventually went alright.

    bluentx: A belated welcome from me.

  175. Ogvorbis: Exhausted and broken says

    Portia:

    I thought of you this morning. I saw a Porsche pulling out of a Dunkin Donuts. I immediately flashed on your name, your ‘nymextension, and your avatar.

  176. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    That makes me smile. It’s appropriate, too. DD saved my sanity throughout law school. It was on my walk from the El stop to the school, and it was a perfect distance to run to for coffee on a smoke break. #nostalgia
     
    Also, sorry you had nightmares, and that your friend was so dismissive. I hate when people tell me how I’m feeling or reacting to something, as if they have knowledge about what’s inside my head that I don’t have.

  177. Ogvorbis: Exhausted and broken says

    that your friend was so dismissive.

    Luckily, not a friend. An acquaintance I have known off and on since Girl was a Brownie. He was pretty sane back then. Now, he seems to have become a Faux News parrot.

  178. says

    Rorschach
    Lots of drug and drinking culture among the youth have changed, although I would probably say that attitudes about drinking/taking drugs and drivig have become better. But seriously, when I was a teen getting my drunk experiences, we would go for beer (mostly beer plus coke, even) or at worst “Saurer Apfel”. Drugs in school was weed. It’s worse now with the kids drinking Vodka.

    dianne
    Foreign drivers were a problem all over Europe before they had various agreements to prosecute drivers across borders, because usually if they didn’t catch you redhanded, you were off the hook. Now, the amount of tourists pulling that shit isn’t that massive a problem, but in areas like around Rammstein where you have basically as many ‘Meiricans as Germans, it used to be a big problem.

    opposablethumbs
    What would I say if I cought the creep? Probably something like “Fuck off you creep and never get near me or my family again”.

    driving licenses
    You spend a hell lot of money in a driving school. Mandatory driving lessons at night, on the Autobahn etc…
    They just changed some things (surprisingly after they got good data from studies) so now you can get your license at 17, but you’Re only allowed to drive with somebody over 25 with a full license who is also able to drive next to you (so, no, you can’t get drunk and let your child drive you home) . Apparently getting a year of practise with somebody watching you helps them getting the hang of things.

  179. opposablethumbs says

    I really wanted to get DaughterSpawn driving lessons as a present, so she would have the possibility of driving herself sometimes rather than being dependent on someone else to do it, but it’s too expensive :-(

    Oh well, a) first-world-problem, b) public transport and c) maybe some day. And if I can’t get her lessons as a present, maybe I can chip in and part-help her get them some time in the future.

  180. says

    Wal-Mart has proven itself to be big business without any ethical moorings. The New York Times and journalist David Barstow have done a remarkable piece of reporting. They detail not just the run-of-the-mill bribes and other corrupt practices in third world countries, but Wal-Mart’s “aggressive and creative” role as an unethical, evil bad guy in Mexico, China, India and other countries.

    Excerpt below:

    The Times’s examination reveals that Wal-Mart de Mexico was not the reluctant victim of a corrupt culture that insisted on bribes as the cost of doing business. Nor did it pay bribes merely to speed up routine approvals. Rather, Wal-Mart de Mexico was an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering large payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited. It used bribes to subvert democratic governance — public votes, open debates, transparent procedures. It used bribes to circumvent regulatory safeguards that protect Mexican citizens from unsafe construction. It used bribes to outflank rivals.

    Through confidential Wal-Mart documents, The Times identified 19 store sites across Mexico that were the target of Wal-Mart de Mexico’s bribes. The Times then matched information about specific bribes against permit records for each site. Clear patterns emerged. Over and over, for example, the dates of bribe payments coincided with dates when critical permits were issued. Again and again, the strictly forbidden became miraculously attainable.

    Thanks to eight bribe payments totaling $341,000, for example, Wal-Mart built a Sam’s Club in one of Mexico City’s most densely populated neighborhoods, near the Basílica de Guadalupe, without a construction license, or an environmental permit, or an urban impact assessment, or even a traffic permit. Thanks to nine bribe payments totaling $765,000, Wal-Mart built a vast refrigerated distribution center in an environmentally fragile flood basin north of Mexico City, in an area where electricity was so scarce that many smaller developers were turned away.

  181. says

    More from the Wal-Mart corruption story:

    Wal-Mart dispatched investigators to Mexico City, and within days they unearthed evidence of widespread bribery. They found a paper trail of hundreds of suspect payments totaling more than $24 million. They also found documents showing that Wal-Mart de Mexico’s top executives not only knew about the payments, but had taken steps to conceal them from Wal-Mart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. In a confidential report to his superiors, Wal-Mart’s lead investigator, a former F.B.I. special agent, summed up their initial findings this way: “There is reasonable suspicion to believe that Mexican and USA laws have been violated.”

    The lead investigator recommended that Wal-Mart expand the investigation.

    Instead, an examination by The New York Times found, Wal-Mart’s leaders shut it down.

    Neither American nor Mexican law enforcement officials were notified. None of Wal-Mart de Mexico’s leaders were disciplined. Indeed, its chief executive, Eduardo Castro-Wright, identified by the former executive as the driving force behind years of bribery, was promoted to vice chairman of Wal-Mart in 2008. Until this article, the allegations and Wal-Mart’s investigation had never been publicly disclosed.

  182. Ogvorbis: Exhausted and broken says

    Mea culpa, ecce signum,

    So sorry, Sigmund,

    Corpus vile, coram deo

    My body is vile and made of corundum

    Pactum serva,

    I’m serving Pacman

    Scala caeli, gloria patri, pax et bonum

    With Scali bread O golorious patriot, peace and boners

    Sine cura, vade mecum,

    So take the sine of a priest and evade his come

    Casus belli, lusus naturae

    To start a war against nature

    Dies illa, velut luna, dona es virtum

    Which will get ill and die, denying virtue.

    ==========

    No, I am not fluent in Latin. Sorry.