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Dec 27 2012

[Lounge #391]

baby-turtle-eats-strawberry

This is the lounge. You can discuss anything you want, but you will do it kindly. Turtle, because I’m still reeling at the idea that people run over them on purpose.

Status: Heavily Moderated; Previous thread

696 comments

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  1. 501
    ImaginesABeach

    I don’t know what to think. Chris Kluwe (the Minnesota Viking best known for his lustful cockmonster letter), did an interview with Reason Magazine, which identifies him as a libertarian. But, he points out that without empathy, you are a sociopath, which is an anti-Randian position.

    http://reason.com/archives/2012/12/27/libertarian-in-the-nfl

  2. 502
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Maybe an Ed Brayton sort of libertarian? I haven’t read the article yet.

  3. 503
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    ImaginesABeach,
    :(
    At least we will always have the lustful cockmonster.

  4. 504
    carlie

    Dang. Feet of clay and all that. At least he seems to realize that “I’ve got mine so fuck you” is a dangerous hole libertarianism easily slides into.

  5. 505
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Most libertarians aren’t Randroids. The usual libertarian thing is to claim that government impedes the sincere expression of empathy — because true empathy is when people of means force the deserving poor to rely on underfunded charities. But if people who need government assistance, along with their political allies, vote together to ensure that government assistance is available, then that’s anti-empathy, the initiation of force.

  6. 506
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    tony
    I’d say that to be fantasy, a story has to have at least two of the following:
    A) Takes place in a world historically unconnected to our own e.g., Middle Earth, Aloria, the Forgotten Realms, etc; they’re totally different worlds with different cultures, histories, etc, and no one’s ever heard of the Earth we know) and/or
    B) Has significant variances to the laws of physics (i.e. magic of some kind works)
    and/or
    C) includes both human and nonhuman sapients native to the same world

    I’m pretty sure that everything people would classify as fantasy meets at least one of those criteria, although (B) could also cover a fair amount of what’s usually classified as science fiction as well; those usually fail (A) and (C), though, so I’m still good. I suppose that a world where only (A) or only (C) applied would probably also count as fantasy, but I’ve never encountered such a setting personally.
    Katherine
    I’d love to help with making it more reliant on the fantasy aspects, but I’ve only have four hours of sleep and I’m stuck at work and in a crappy mood, so I can’t muster a lot of creativity right now.
    Socio-gen

    On Christmas, when I did the Great Round of Calls, I realized I hadn’t talked to one of my brothers since September.

    I can beat that; I saw my brother on Christmas. The last time I talked to him? Last Christmas. I don’t even remember when I last talked to my sister or my cousins.
    carlie

    At least he seems to realize that “I’ve got mine so fuck you” is a dangerous hole libertarianism easily slides into

    He just doesn’t seem to have realized that there’s nothing else to libertarianism; if “I got mine, fuck you’ isn’t your idea of policy, neither the Libertarian party nor the libertarian philosophy have anything to offer.

  7. 507
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    SGBM
    That’s like saying ‘Most Christians aren’t fundies; they just believe that the Bible is a good guide to morality and that people should pretty much do what it says.’ In fact, that argument by libertarians that you presented is exactly the same one used by christians who oppose a social safety net: ‘But then how will we show Jesus how charitable we are if there’s no one begging for scraps from our table?’ In other words, I don’t care how libertarians justify it to themselves, the outcomes of the policies they advocate come down to I’ve got mine, so fuck you.

  8. 508
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I think it’s more like saying “most Christians aren’t Mormons.”

    The Randroid thing is to say that charity is almost as bad as government-enabled altruism, because altruism itself is bad, and you shouldn’t help other people unless in doing so you’re really helping yourself more.

  9. 509
    opposablethumbs

    Tony, you are the coolest. I am in awe of and love the way you talk to people. If you ran my local pub I’d have a hard time ever leaving, I’d just want to hang out all the time. I’d be the one at the end of the bar wearing purple (with the red hat that doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me probably hanging up on a handy hook nearby).

  10. 510
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    45 minutes into The Avengers and I’m seriously liking Loki the best. Thor sounds like a whiny Christian God aka Jesus “humans are under my protection blah blah”
    Someone knock both him and Stark off of their high horses. Same goes for Captain America, Ma’am.

  11. 511
    opposablethumbs

    Stepping away from the computer for a bit – so a very Happy New Year to PZ and the Horde in about 1 1/2 hours, UK time!

  12. 512
    cicely

    Son seems to have shared his flu with The Husband. It’s only a matter of time….
    -
    *hugs* for Tony. Sorry to hear about Jim…but even though he’s deleted his email account, he can, if he wishes to, and/or if he needs to, re-establish contact with you, so long as you still have your same email account. It may not be over.
    -

    So basically, I’m an arrogant, egotistical fuckup who cares nothing and everything about herself, who makes a terrible friend, and probably creates most of her own anxiety by refusing to ask for help in the matter.

    Hmmm…this isn’t the vibe I get from you, Kat. Not at all.
    *hugs*
    I think you’re listening to Depression and Anxiety too much. Do Not Believe Them; they are a pair of lying bastards, and they do not have your best interests at heart. Listen to us, instead! Like this stuff here that carlie said, for instance.
    And what opposablethumbs said here..
    -

    I swear, on the whole we’re the nicest, most supportive and generous, most insecure people on Earth. Well, except me. I’m a giant asshole.

    :D
    But we like you anyway, Joe!
    -
    dianne, your semi-optimistic theory re the Fiscal Cliff matches my cynical one very well.
    :)
    -
    Tony, your Big Momma/Big Poppa story was awesome!
    -

    I have a note on my corkboard in big red letters reminding me to call my kids once a week, because I forget to stay in touch with people, even family, if I don’t see them regularly. I get busy and think I’ll call them tomorrow, only then I forget for a couple weeks…and so on.

    Me, too!
     
    Time is a difficult concept. It has trouble getting traction on me.
    :)
    -

    Duuuudes, I had a submission make Yo, is this racist? I’m so proud. Well, proud in that absolutely appalled at the blatant racism kind of way. It was in a cookbook we got as a Christmas gift.

    I read that.
    :)
    -

  13. 513
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I think a lot of people who identify as libertarian don’t really understand what libertarian means. They latch onto the legal pot, less “morality laws” thing

    Not saying Kluwe is one of these, just seems that there are many who are.

  14. 514
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    I think it’s more like saying “most Christians aren’t Mormons.”

    And I would argue that the distinction is functionally meaningless, as not being Mormons doesn’t materially change the effects of their belief systems.

  15. 515
    cicely

    If you ran my local pub I’d have a hard time ever leaving, I’d just want to hang out all the time.

    If Tony ran a bar hereabouts, I might start hanging out in a bar.
    :D
    -
    Beatrice
    *looks around furtively*
    <whispers> I like Loki best, too.
    :)
    -

  16. 516
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Of fucking awesome. I forgot NYE means lots of morons with fireworks. My Husky just fucking loves loud explosive noises.

    At least we’re staying home tonight.

  17. 517
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    I think a lot of people who identify as libertarian don’t really understand what libertarian means. They latch onto the legal pot, less “morality laws” thing

    I find the same thing, and I honestly have a whole different flavor of contempt for them as opposed to the ones who are just being sociopathic. Those causes are ones that progressives have been after for all of my life at least, and without coupling them to the economic fantasies that libertarians are addicted to.

  18. 518
    Nick Gotts

    Dalillama, Schmott Guy,

    I thought I could come up with some (C) only, but a lot depends on your definition of (B):

    Has significant variances to the laws of physics (i.e. magic of some kind works)

    which seems to me a bit dubious anyway. Would FTL travel count? Or any form of time travel? Both can be presented as non-magical within a story, and I’d tend to restrict the definition of magic to universes where words or thoughts have some kind of “essential” power to which physical reality responds. If you allow time travel then arguably H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine is (C) only, although you could argue either that both the Eloi and the Morlocks are human, or that neither are! Olaf Stapledon’s Last and First Men includes only a restricted form of time travel – the future can view and to some extent influence the past, but people can’t move their temporal location – and at one stage the future earth is inhabited both by humans (of a future species, but definitely human) and sapient monkeys. Then there’s my unwritten work The King’s Halfelven Mistress (I’ve sketched a scenario and a few bits of the text), which will, if ever written, initially look like fantasy but will actually be (C) only, set on earth at a time when two or more species have split off from our own.

    As for (A) only, Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast trilogy seems to fit the criteria, but definitely has the “feel” of fantasy.

  19. 519
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    I’m sick to tears of libertarians. Where they make any sense at all, they are in alignment with progressives… but often with an underlying foundation of libertarian voodoo economics and ethical bankruptcy. Sometimes less ethical bankruptcy, but the more ethical a libertarian is the less libertarian they seem to be.

  20. 520
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Happy New Year everyone!

    I have started well with a) doing some exercise and b) baking & eating cream scones. Balance in everything!

  21. 521
    strange gods before me ॐ

    And I would argue that the distinction is functionally meaningless, as not being Mormons doesn’t materially change the effects of their belief systems.

    That’s fine. The reason I commented was because I was getting a “this guy’s not a Randroid, so what’s his problem anyway” vibe. So I want to explain that most libertarians aren’t Randroids, and mainstream libertarian ideology is not best understood as synonymous with Objectivism.

  22. 522
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    We’re waiting for the Redhead’s Indian friend to bring dinner (may not be totally vegetarian, but close), and I have eggnog made and gingerbread in the oven. Meanwhile, swilling grog. After they leave, set up to record the parades in the morning.

  23. 523
    Inaji

    Rev. BDC:

    Of fucking awesome. I forgot NYE means lots of morons with fireworks. My Husky just fucking loves loud explosive noises.

    My sympathies. Doll flips out when fireworks are going on and Jayne doesn’t like them either. Usually, the fireworks morons here are out when there’s any excuse to use them, but it’s -1 F right now, which seems to be keeping them at bay.

  24. 524
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    but it’s -1 F right now, which seems to be keeping them at bay.

    Having trouble getting their butane lighters going?

  25. 525
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Yeah I’ve got at least 7 hours worth of it to look forward to. At least I have lots of alcohol.

  26. 526
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Shit… I should have held onto my gun for one more night so I could shoot it into the air at midnight tonight. Dammit! 7 hours to go. I only have like 15 beers left. :)

  27. 527
    Inaji

    Nerd:

    Having trouble getting their butane lighters going?

    Fuck if I know. I don’t care, as long as I don’t have to be subjected to fireworks. Christ, the whole month of July is pure pain here. Actually, make that late June until the end of August.

  28. 528
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I loved The Avengers. Overinflated superhero egos and all.

    Oh, and happy New Year everyone! (been 2013 for 42minutes here already)

  29. 529
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Shit… I should have held onto my gun for one more night so I could shoot it into the air at midnight tonight. Dammit! 7 hours to go. I only have like 15 beers left. :)

    Are you really Yosemite Sam and have been hiding it all this time?

  30. 530
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Nick Gotts
    Ghormenghast is a good point. That one does seem to fit (A) only, and I would agree counts as fantasy. As I initially noted, the ones where (B) only applies are usually classed as science fiction rather than fantasy (That would include Wells, although some people like to break scifi up into classification based roughly on eras) .
    SGBM

    …mainstream libertarian ideology is not best understood as synonymous with Objectivism

    This is where I disagree; although the rhetoric is slightly different, the actual policies they advocate and the outcomes of same are functionally identical.
    Nerd
    My dad was going to have Christmas dinner with some Indian friends (apparently there are many Baptists in the area), but was unable to do so as there was a flareup of ethnic tensions in the area leading to roads being shut down an no-one being able to give him a ride because they’d have to pass through the territory of the other ethnicity, putting them in severe danger.

  31. 531
    Inaji

    It’s not just the dogs, either, when it comes to fireworks. They’re just delightful when you have PTSD and hypervigilance. Oh yeah.

  32. 532
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls
    Having trouble getting their butane lighters going?

    Fuck if I know.

    The reason I mention it is that butane boils at 31 ºF. The vapor pressure at -1 ºF may not be enough to cause the lighter to ignite.

  33. 533
    Inaji

    Beatrice:

    I loved The Avengers. Overinflated superhero egos and all.

    Me too. We have the blu-ray. Whedon knows how to do comic book.

  34. 534
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    they’d have to pass through the territory of the other ethnicity,

    Well, the friend lives in Milwaukee, and would have to pass the state line from Packers to Bears (American football reference) territory. Don’t expect any problems in an unmarked car.

  35. 535
    John Morales

    Nerd, survivalists to the rescue!

  36. 536
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I’ve recommended Rothbard’s The Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult as a first step for weaning Randists off their dogmas and onto another brand of libertarianism. I really don’t know if this is a good idea, though, as I haven’t investigated whether Rothbardism is less cognitively sticky than Randism.

    Anyway,

    At least he seems to realize that “I’ve got mine so fuck you” is a dangerous hole libertarianism easily slides into

    He just doesn’t seem to have realized that there’s nothing else to libertarianism; if “I got mine, fuck you’ isn’t your idea of policy, neither the Libertarian party nor the libertarian philosophy have anything to offer.

    I think you’re both being too generous to him. I think he knows exactly what he’s doing. I speak fluent libertarianese; if I may translate:

    I like some of Rand’s ideas. I think the core aspect she’s missing is empathy. Without empathy you don’t have stable society. What do you do when the real world intrudes? What do you do when there are earthquakes or disasters? If you don’t have concern for the people around you, eventually society is going to collapse.

    Since this is said in the context of critiquing Rand, all it signifies is that people of means should give enough to charity to prevent widespread cannibalism.

    It’s about finding what that level of safety net is without living off other people.

    This might mean he doesn’t want only a nightwatchman state; perhaps he would allow the government to feed orphans.

    But the whole point of bringing up the “safety net” as contrasted with “living off other people” is to say that the current governmental safety net is too large, and does constitute “living off other people”, i.e. takers stealing from makers via taxation, i.e. an immoral initiation of force.

    So the USA’s safety net should be reduced significantly.

    If you truly want to live your life for yourself, then you wouldn’t want to take somebody’s labor, because you wouldn’t want somebody to do that to you.

    “If you were a morally good person, the kind who doesn’t initiate force, you wouldn’t want to have more of a safety net than is necessary to prevent cannibalism. You’d probably also want a flat tax.”

    Empathy isn’t just about taking care of other people. It’s also recognizing what your actions do to other people.

    Unintended consequences: progressives are selfish thieves who, at best, misunderstand the true meaning of empathy, which is libertarianism.

  37. 537
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Are you really Yosemite Sam and have been hiding it all this time?

    No, but my wife tells me that half of New Mexico turns into him right around the new year. Would Yosemite Sam have traded his only gun for a guitar amp? No. NO!

    Shit, I’m so fucking happy right now.

  38. 538
    strange gods before me ॐ

    …mainstream libertarian ideology is not best understood as synonymous with Objectivism

    This is where I disagree; although the rhetoric is slightly different, the actual policies they advocate and the outcomes of same are functionally identical.

    I said the ideology is not best understood as synonymous. That leaves open the question of whether the policies are, which in turn leaves open whether the outcomes are.

    For the record, the policies also aren’t identical. Compare Friedman’s negative income tax; Rand would never ever advocate such a policy, as it is obviously theft under her dogmas. Friedman didn’t care about that, as he was less of a moralist, or perhaps a different sort of moralist.

    The outcomes are plausibly indistinguishable; since all these libertarian types flock together, adding a million Randroids to the voter pool might have the same effect as adding a million devotees of Friedman.

    But conflating the ideologies produces confusion; it leads to comments like 501 in which people say outright “I don’t know what to think.” Hence my comment.

  39. 539
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Joe,

    Shit, I’m so fucking happy right now.

    Yay! :)

  40. 540
    cicely

    Shit, I’m so fucking happy right now.

    :)
    -

  41. 541
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    I see what you’re saying. I would say that the confusion evinced in 501 is on Kluwe’s part, which in turn meant that Imaginesabeach couldn’t possibly be expected to parse it in a way that makes sense. Specifically, Kluwe is trying to eat his cake and have it too by saying ‘Fuck you, I’ve got mine, but don’t think I don’t have any empathy, ’cause I totally do.’ It’s the rhetorical equivalent of ‘I’m not homophobic or anything, I just don’t like queers.’ Since what Kluwe was saying was incoherent, it’s only reasonably that Imaginesabeach would find it confusing. Another analogy would be expressing confusion that a Baptist talked about the evils of birth control while throwing in some nasty remarks about the Pope; even if his flavor of christianity doesn’t like the Pope, that doesn’t mean he actually believes anything significantly different from what the pope does.

  42. 542
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    *grins*

    Life is pretty good, and no kidding. I just wish I’d bothered setting up my guitars, since I sort of randomly traded away my gun for the new amp and neither guitar is really fit to play right now. Sort of like buying a new TV and trying to pick up stations with a metal coat hanger.

  43. 543
    chigau (違う)

    I’m not caught-up but I’m off to a wild-and-crazy NewYearParty.
    Happy New Year to all!

  44. 544
    Inaji

    My copy of Manhood in America: A Cultural History by Michael Kimmel arrived today. I’m looking forward to reading it.

  45. 545
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    There’s a Thing I’ve been semi-invited to but it’s taking place downtown and I don’t know if I want to claw my way through the crowd and parking to go to it.

    I really don’t want to be alone. Being alone in a crowd is not an improvement :(

  46. 546
    Inaji

    Happy Monkey, Chigau.

  47. 547
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Well…

    I was going to go deep into the weeds to discuss guitar amplifiers, specifically the difference between tube-driven amps versus solid state versus digital modeling amplifiers. But it would only make sense to me and FossilFishy. :)

    The point of the long ramble I was going to go in is this: The new amp is loud. LOUD. LOUD!!!!! It has digital stuff built in, but it is at its heart a vacuum tube-driven amplifier. Holy crap!

  48. 548
    Ing

    @SGBM

    I get what you’re saying intellectually but it feels like such an alien way of view that it is conceptually indistinguishable from Objectivism to me. At best it feels like Objectivism justifying itself in a cloak of self rightousness rather than self centerdness

  49. 549
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Caine: Manhood in America sounds interesting, and I look forward to your thoughts on it.

    It sounds like something that would relate to what I’ve been struggling to articulate, which is how to deal with how awesome it is to be a man without diminishing the experience of women, and integrating the things I’ve learned about gender identities that fall outside of the binary expression I was raised in.

  50. 550
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Ing: do you find “if you want to give to charity, go ahead” conceptually indistinguishable from “if you want to give to charity, see a therapist instead, because you’ve been brainwashed”? I think that’s the relevant distinction re Kluwe / Rand here.

  51. 551
    Ing

    @SGBM

    I see the former as more often a “we honestly aren’t uncharitable!! we just believe in doing it privately…where no one can verify that we did anything” hand wave. It’s more of a PR spin than a real difference. I’ve also heard self labeled objectivists made the “objectivism isn’t anti-charity!!” and arguing they want to enable people to help themselves rather than hurting them via making them dependent on others. Other’s gave the “Charity makes me feel better ergo it is a selfish reason to do so so I do it while being consistently Objectivist”.

    To me the “I care more about the ME end of charity than maximizing the good done” boils down to the same selfish mindset.

  52. 552
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Katherine Lorraine

    *headbonks & BIG PURRS*

  53. 553
    Inaji

    IJoe:

    Caine: Manhood in America sounds interesting, and I look forward to your thoughts on it.

    Thanks. I’ll be sure to share, probably as I go along.

    It sounds like something that would relate to what I’ve been struggling to articulate, which is how to deal with how awesome it is to be a man without diminishing the experience of women, and integrating the things I’ve learned about gender identities that fall outside of the binary expression I was raised in.

    This is part of the back cover blurb:

    “In Manhood in America, author Michael Kimmel argues that it’s time for men to rediscover their own evolution. Drawing on a myriad of sources, he demonstrates that American men have been eternally frustrated by their efforts to keep up with constantly changing standards. Kimmel contends that men must follow the lead of the women’s movement; it is only by mining their past for its best qualities and worst excesses that men will free themselves from the constraints of the masculine ideal.”

  54. 554
    birgerjohansson

    NYE in Sweden is safely over two hours ago. I have a mild cold, so I stayed indoors and missed out on the fireworks. At least 2012 ended consistently, as a disappointment.

    I heard Obama said a deal is close. Is this `Merkun for “we are going to throw Medicare under the bus” ?
    — — — — —
    Friends of urban fantasy rejoice: Mike Carey (of “Lucifer” fame) is busy writing a new string of graphic novels.
    — — — — —
    Cicero, feline overlord is curled up next to the computer, secure in the knowledge of “I own this apartment, I sleep wherever the fuck I want”.

  55. 555
    ImaginesABeach

    Just to clarify – I developed a serious brain-crush on Kluwe when he was blogging for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, both on (American) football and on the marriage equality question, that I was disturbed to find him identified as a libertarian. But pleased to find that he seems to be more of a “libertarian as I want it to be” kind of libertarian. That’s why I don’t know what to think.

  56. 556
    AJ Milne

    Bonne année à tout le monde. And hey, hordelings.

    I’m alone on New Years. Due to various logistic screwups. But in one of my favourite places. And it’s hopping. So could be worse.

    Best to all of you for 2013.

  57. 557
    strange gods before me ॐ

    ImaginesABeach, I just wouldn’t give too much credit to his talk of empathy if I were you. Libertarians mean something wonky by the term. Here’s another “libertarianism is all about empathy” pile of jargon, courtesy of our old friend john@skeptivus.

  58. 558
    Ing

    @SGBM

    Sort of what I was getting at I suppose

  59. 559
    birgerjohansson

    Gilliel, I hope your mom will get well once she gets diagnosed and gets medicated.
    — — — — — —
    The late Harry Harrison had a hybrid animal called “porcuswine” play a role for new settlers on alien planets, protecting them from whaterver nasty critters the local fauna had.
    Maybe Minnie can provide a variant suited for boreal climate? 50% wild boar, 50% porcupine 100% bad attitude.
    — — — — — —
    Too many books: I donate those in mint condition to the local library.
    SF and detective fiction in “reading copy” condition goes to my friends.
    — — — — — —
    Holiday entertainment:
    Wayne Barlowe contributed to a CGI “documentary” about the animals of a truly alien planet years ago. It is available for peanuts at Amazon.com.
    And NASA has free eBooks about the Hubble Telescope.

  60. 560
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    HAPPY WILDEBEEST YEAR TO ALL!

    Wait. That’s not right.

    Hrm.

    Okay, got it.

    HAPPY GNU YEAR TO ALL!

    So basically, I’m an arrogant, egotistical fuckup who cares nothing and everything about herself, who makes a terrible friend, and probably creates most of her own anxiety by refusing to ask for help in the matter.

    Two things.

    First, that is not, at all, the way you come across in electronic format. Second, your description would apply to me as well.

    I forgot NYE means lots of morons with fireworks. My Husky just fucking loves loud explosive noises.

    Last year was rather warm and thus quite loud. This year, it is cold, there is 15cm of snow on the ground, and the wind is blowing so it should be more quieter.

    I only have like 15 beers left.

    I am currently drinking a bottle of Anchor Old Foghorn Barleywine Style Ale. Good. Odd flavour, but good. Strong, too.

    Are you really Yosemite Sam and have been hiding it all this time?

    Damnit! Now if Improbable Joe ever has the misfortune to meet me in meatspace I won’t recognize him because I’ll be looking for the mustachios.

    It’s not just the dogs, either, when it comes to fireworks. They’re just delightful when you have PTSD and hypervigilance. Oh yeah

    Oh. Hugs? Chocolate? Whisky?

    I’m lucky on that count. The only things that set me off are certain cameras (now rare because of the replacement of film with digital), cub scouts, and smells. Sounds do not set me off. That’s be scary. Be safe.

    Life is pretty good, and no kidding.

    Good news.

    I’m a bit of a personal pessimist. If things are going good in my life, I start worrying about what will go wrong next.

  61. 561
    Inaji

    Ogvorbis:

    Oh. Hugs? Chocolate? Whisky?

    I’ll take all of ‘em. ♥

    I’m lucky on that count. The only things that set me off are certain cameras (now rare because of the replacement of film with digital), cub scouts, and smells. Sounds do not set me off. That’s be scary. Be safe.

    I will be. It’s quiet so far. One of the rare times I’m happy it’s so freaking cold outside.

  62. 562
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Hey Ogs, good to see you tonight, and happy merry new calendar day. :)

    Should be easy to find me in real life, I’m the one who doesn’t have a gun… oh, wait. Shit.

  63. 563
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Six hours to go, here, and I’m not sure I’ll be in any shape to post later, so I’mma say it now:

    Happy New Year, everyone!

    Have fun and stay safe!

  64. 564
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    WMDKitty, you totally have to come back when you’re shitty drunk and posdt a bunasch of horribel shitte. :)

  65. 565
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Hey, everyone. Hugs, congrats and commiserations for those who need them.
    -
    -

    which seems to me a bit dubious anyway. Would FTL travel count? Or any form of time travel? Both can be presented as non-magical within a story, and I’d tend to restrict the definition of magic to universes where words or thoughts have some kind of “essential” power to which physical reality responds. If you allow time travel then arguably H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine is (C) only, although you could argue either that both the Eloi and the Morlocks are human, or that neither are! Olaf Stapledon’s Last and First Men includes only a restricted form of time travel – the future can view and to some extent influence the past, but people can’t move their temporal location – and at one stage the future earth is inhabited both by humans (of a future species, but definitely human) and sapient monkeys. Then there’s my unwritten work The King’s Halfelven Mistress (I’ve sketched a scenario and a few bits of the text), which will, if ever written, initially look like fantasy but will actually be (C) only, set on earth at a time when two or more species have split off from our own.

    As for (A) only, Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast trilogy seems to fit the criteria, but definitely has the “feel” of fantasy.

    The difference between sci-fi and fantasy for me is that sci-fi is technology based while magic is innate or natural. Like creating a shot to give superhuman powers = sci-fi. Time travel with a time machine = sci-fi. People with an innate ability to time travel = fantasy. Unless of course there’s other abilites that push it into another genre. Like time-traveling romance is a thing. It’s classified as romance first, because that’s the main focus and time travel second.

    Sci-fi take the time to explain how the technology and science works in their world while fantasy says it’s magic and here’ s the laws of magic. For paranormal/urban fantasy there’s always the issue of how does magic work in an technologically advanced society? In the Mercy Thompson series, the author literally shrugs off the issue of extra weight/mass whatever just disappearing/being added when people shift into giant werewolves or coyotes. But the shifting/vamps are magical and natural to this world, just not known to the public.

    As for restricting magic to words and thoughts that effect physical reality, do you count symbols? Silent rituals? Werewolves that transform at full moon? Vampires? Or are werewolves/vamps not included because we’re talking about epic or high fantasy and those monsters are typically paranormal fantasy?

    Actually, clarifying if we talking just fantasy in general or specifically a sub-genre would be helpful.
    -
    -
    If anyone is interested in Mary Mallon aka Typhoid Mary, there’s a historical fiction book Fever by Mary Beth Keane coming out in March. Mary is portrayed as an uppity woman immigrant that didn’t follow the rules or morals, which some reviewers just did not like about her, and was a caring, compassionate human. It really humanizes her and is a compelling story. I recommend it.

  66. 566
    AJ Milne

    (Seconds #564)

    As trade, I’d offer to try to do the same. But handling this phone after a few more, I seriously dunno.

  67. 567
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Good grief it’s like a fucking war zone outside. The Husky has now positioned himself under the glass coffee table directly on my feet. Time for more whiskey.

  68. 568
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Hey JAL! Good to see you, happy merry thingy!

  69. 569
    Inaji

    Rev. BDC:

    Good grief it’s like a fucking war zone outside. The Husky has now positioned himself under the glass coffee table directly on my feet. Time for more whiskey.

    Yikes. Maybe you should give the Husky a little whiskey too. ;)

  70. 570
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Hey, Joe!

    And happy holidays to you too. =)

  71. 571
    ImaginesABeach

    Jal – you have to stick around, even if all you ever do is talk books. I learn from you.

  72. 572
    AJ Milne

    It’s always time for more whiskey.

  73. 573
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    It’s always time for more whiskey.

    Try telling that to the state trooper who just pulled you over for doing 15mph in a 65mph zone on a highway. Traveling the wrong direction. With an orangutan wearing a business suit and a purple trilby.

    It will not work.

    Trust me on this one.

  74. 574
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Aww, thanks ImaginesABeach. I just talk what I know so books it is. =)

    Even when I’m horribly depressed, I hide in books, in book discussions, and book places. Just can’t stop that passion. Much better than the other ways I’ve tried to handle depression, though I didn’t become immobilized as much.

    And thank you to everyone here. I love this place and you guys so much. I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me.

  75. 575
    cicely

    JAL!!!
    *hugs*
    -

  76. 576
    Inaji

    ImaginesABeach, the cookies arrived. I haven’t opened them yet, because I want to open them with Mister and the Rats and I’m not quite ready. In the next day or so. I’ll be sure to blog it. Thank you so much. ♥

  77. 577
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    The neighborhood is lucky tonight. I am too drunk to set up my guitars, therefore I won’t be playing guitar, therefore I won’t wake up the whole neighborhood and get the cops called on me.

    … maybe I’m the lucky one? :) Although I could always jack my computer into both amplifiers, and hit the neighborhood with a double-barrel shotgun blast of metal!

    No. Well, maybe. But mostly no.

  78. 578
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    cicely! *hugs*

  79. 579
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Why the fuck do “pocket notebooks” only come in “tiny flimsy things that quiver while your pocket licks its fangs at them” and “things you could fucking land airplanes on?” >.>

  80. 580
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Azkyroth,

    Because profit?

  81. 581
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    But profit motives would try to exploit the market for things that you can carry *comfortably* in your pocket AND expect to survive for more than a week.

  82. 582
    AJ Milne

    It will not work… Trust me on this one.

    Fair enough. Sounds like a pretty hard sell, sure…

    Maybe with a bonobo in a bowler?

    (/Hang on… I’ll let you know.)

  83. 583
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Happy new Year all, for all it’s still a few hours away for me here.

    SGBM@557
    That’s what I’ve been getting at too. Randists and Libertarians both agree that charity is only good insofar as it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, which in practice usually means ‘after they’ve demeaned themselves sufficiently for your amusement.

    JAL
    Welcome back *hugs*
    Tony initially asked about fantasy in general, which is why my list of traits was so generic. I generally draw the lines the same places you do, although in many settings magic is treated as a science, but it’s still fantasy because the trappings of that science differ wildly from the trappings of ours; it’s mostly flavor, really.

    In the Mercy Thompson series, the author literally shrugs off the issue of extra weight/mass whatever just disappearing/being added when people shift into giant werewolves or coyotes

    That one doesn’t actually need to violate conservation of mass; a 150-lb human who turns into a 150-lb wolf has the same mass, which make for something about half again the size of a natural wolf, the largest of which run around 100 lbs. That sure sounds like a giant werewolf to me. (note, I’ve not read the books in question so I don’t know if we’re actually talking wolves of some kind of anthropomorphic hybrid, in which case what i said doesn’t apply). I actually thought of that problem in a fantasy game I was working on a number of years ago; I ruled that conservation of mass does apply, so e.g. you get big wolves out of most werewolves, but werebears turn into ordinary size black bears and are pretty big humans (~300 lbs).

  84. 584
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Azkyroth,

    I dunno… I just spent $4 on a fucking tiny notepad that I swear to fuck should cost about $1.25.

  85. 585
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Maybe with a bonobo in a bowler?

    Perhaps a Vervet in a vest just five versts from Vladivostok?

  86. 586
    carlie

    Ooo, notebooks and other sundry stationery goods are my downfall. Azkyroth, could those little metal pads work for what you need? Also, I hate going on fads, but moleskines are pretty durable. I ended up using them after yet another of my favored planners went belly-up, and they’ve worked well.

  87. 587
    AJ Milne

    Silverback with a stovepipe? Smoking a stogie?

  88. 588
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Product dimensions: 4.5″ [ok] x 3″ [ok] x 0.5″ [….}

    Hmm. Worth looking at. O.o

  89. 589
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    A communist Capuchin with a catarrh in a cowboy hat?

  90. 590
    Inaji

    Carlie:

    Also, I hate going on fads, but moleskines are pretty durable.

    Those aren’t faddish, they’ve been around forever! ;p They are nice, I have several moleskines of different sizes. I’m awash in notebooks of all sizes, for pocket notebooks, I go with the book style ones, rather than the flip style. They seem to be more durable.

  91. 591
    SallyStrange

    Happy New Year to everyone! 2013 is starting off a lot better for me than 2012. Remember, I was leaving VT and thought StrangeBF and I were finished and had no real job and blah blah blah.

    Life, what a fucking trip.

  92. 592
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    That one doesn’t actually need to violate conservation of mass; a 150-lb human who turns into a 150-lb wolf has the same mass, which make for something about half again the size of a natural wolf, the largest of which run around 100 lbs. That sure sounds like a giant werewolf to me. (note, I’ve not read the books in question so I don’t know if we’re actually talking wolves of some kind of anthropomorphic hybrid, in which case what i said doesn’t apply). I actually thought of that problem in a fantasy game I was working on a number of years ago; I ruled that conservation of mass does apply, so e.g. you get big wolves out of most werewolves, but werebears turn into ordinary size black bears and are pretty big humans (~300 lbs).

    True, it doesn’t need to violate this. For the werewolves it might not but I’m having a hard time remember specific things from the series regarding size. I definitely remember the main character, Mercy, wondering the same thing though. However, the woman who weights 100 plus pounds turning into a small coyote does violate it. Coyotes are usually 45-50 pounds max and she’s not a big coyote at all. She blends in perfectly with other coyotes.

    The werewolves are very similar to wolves except the front legs, head and chest being bigger because they have more movement/use of their claws and teeth. This causes most of them, especially the huge males to look odd. So one can tell weres from wolves just by looking at them but they aren’t a true hybrid with walking/hunting on two legs.

  93. 593
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    *sigh* blockquote fail. My bad.

  94. 594
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Sally Happy New Year right back at you!

    *grins* 2012 is better in the rear view mirror than in the windshield, isn’t it?

  95. 595
    rorschach

    I’m already nursing my post-NYE hangover here, but for all of you who are still working up to it, have a great night and a Happy New Year!

  96. 596
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    G’night, all.

    Talk to you next year.

  97. 597
    AJ Milne

    Libertarian lemur? Lolling lasciviously? In… A… Hat beginning with ‘L’?

  98. 598
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Good night Ogvorbis, be well and Happy New Year.

    rorschach, I think I started early enough that my hangover will start before I get to bed.

  99. 599
    carlie

    Caine – true! I was thinking more how lately people have “discovered” them, so now it’s all moleskine this and that.

    Azkyroth -if you’re anywhere near a Barnes and Noble, they carry the metal notebook thingies in the checkout line. Not all the color possibilities, but if you could get your hands on one you’d be able to tell if you liked it or not.

  100. 600
    Rob

    cicely (The Lesser of Two Weasels) thank you the line break instruction worked spot on.
     
    Thank you. A belated happy New Year to all and here’s hoping that 2013 is a better year than 2012.

  101. 601
    michaeld

    bleh newyears v.v

  102. 602
    AJ Milne

    Night Og. Hope 2013 treats you well.

  103. 603
    Inaji

    I’m off to bed with Manhood. Heh. Happy Monkey, everyone. Rev. BDC, I hope you and the Husky get through okay.

  104. 604
    ImaginesABeach

    Good night everyone, and Happy New Year!

  105. 605
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    JAL
    Given that description, the wolves are fine, but the coyote is problematic. I recall in the Wild Cards books there’s a character who turns into a small (for an elephant) elephant. She generates temporary mass for the purpose by sucking in various forms of available energy form the environment, which leads to blackouts, engine failures, etc. when she uses her powers. The math doesn’t work out at all, of course, but I thought it was an amusing piece of technobabble to try to make it more sciency.

  106. 606
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    I recall in the Wild Cards books there’s a character who turns into a small (for an elephant) elephant. She generates temporary mass for the purpose by sucking in various forms of available energy form the environment, which leads to blackouts, engine failures, etc. when she uses her powers. The math doesn’t work out at all, of course, but I thought it was an amusing piece of technobabble to try to make it more sciency.

    lol. Well, the author tried and addressed it at least. I wonder why they didn’t go the extra step and just make the character absorb other materials instead of just energy. That would be an interesting twist to have to absorb other things or maybe even animals/people to make the shifting work. *adds to list of ideas I’ll never use*

    I haven’t heard of the Wild Card series before, I’ll have to go look that up now.

  107. 607
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    It’s calmed down a bit but the big time is soon. I’m drinking 20 year old Pappy van Winkle so all is not bad.

    Happy Mrs. BDC and I chose to avoid amateur night and stay home.

  108. 608
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    JAL and Dalillama:

    I’m a huge fan of explanations from comics in the Marvel Universe. Hank Pym is Giant Man/Ant Man, he grows and shrinks. They explain it using the imaginary “Pym Particles” that flow back and forth between their universe and another universe and allow for any and all transformations. When a werewolf or the Hulk transform, they “borrow” mass in the form of Pym particles.

  109. 609
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Improbable Joe & AJ Milne (#564,6)

    I’m not the drinking type, if you catch my meaning. I’ve already gotten in to the “catnip”, and am steadily on my way to being all fumble-pawed.

    Ogvorbis

    Hah! You know that’s the kind of thing where he goes back to his fellow troopers, going, “You’re not gonna believe this…”

    Azkyroth

    I know, right? Ooh, idea! Design a mid-sized pocket notepad! Small enough to fit in your pocket, but large (and sturdy) enough to actually be useful!

    Sometimes I think the four most dangerous words in the English language are, “I have an idea…”

  110. 610
    michaeld

    Hmm… pym particles not a bad explanation for something so silly. I recently watched part of the incredible shrinking man and kept wandering about all the problems such a loss of mass/size creates.

  111. 611
    DLC

    A shoggoth slogging somberly in a sombrero.

  112. 612
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Sometimes I think the four most dangerous words in the English language are, “I have an idea…”

    Or

    “Hey ya’ll, watch this”

  113. 613
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    BDC
    Fortunately, we haven’t gotten any fireworks out here. I’m sorry for you.
    JAL
    The Wild Cards setting is ‘real world plus superpowers.’ It’s a shared universe with characters by a bunch of different authors, but the quality is usually pretty good. First book is just called Wild Cards. The basic premise is that just after WWII an bioengineered alien virus was released, which kills 90% of victims horribly, disfigures 9% in freakish ways, some of which have useful side effects, and 1% just get straight up superpowers, although not always useful ones; one fellow got the power to change the color of his skin to any solid tone at will, for instance.
    Joe
    Pym particles work if you can turn some of your mass into them and send them back for shrinking, otherwise it only works for turning into things bigger than you are. The usual answer that I’ve seen for turning into smaller things is that the excess mass is stored in a pocket dimension of some kind.

  114. 614
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    I’m a lumper, not a splitter. It’s all Speculative Fiction to me. :)

    Happy New Year, everyone.

  115. 615
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Happy Tuesday, everyone!

    Today, I went to work for about an hour, then came home and played The Sims.

    Turned the game off about fifteen minutes ago.

    Good day, all in all.

    JAL!!!
    *tacklejumphug*
    Glad to see you’re back.
    Did you get my email?

  116. 616
    Ing

    Instead of losing mass you could hand wave by having the coyote usually heavy and dense for its size.

  117. 617
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    The difficulty with that, Ing, is that the coyote would have trouble getting around, if it weighted that much.

    Though I suppose that if you were handwaving shit anyway, “…and they’re stronger too” wouldn’t be that much.

  118. 618
    Ing

    It’s density is in the muscles :-p

  119. 619
    Ing

    but seriously if we’re bringing in cube/square into it in all but broadest strokes I’d imagine the speed at which cells and tissue are breaking down and reforming would be the greater issue for shapeshifting. Imagine how much energy that’d take and biological systems aren’t exactly energy efficient they’d need to be water cooled or something!

  120. 620
    John Morales

    Ing:

    It’s density is in the muscles :-p

    What about the brain?

  121. 621
    Ing

    @JM

    Clearly that’s shoved into the torso along with all the other organs that wouldn’t fit like some sort of visceral dirty laundry basket.

  122. 622
    cicely

    Happy New Year, and good night.
    -

  123. 623
    Hekuni Cat, MQG

    cicely – *pouncehug* And Happy New Year too!

    Indeed, though I am totally threadrupt, I wish everyone a very Happy Monkey and good things in 2013. Thank you for being you and helping to provide this safe, wonderful space.

  124. 624
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I am not sue why but I like to start my new year with this video.

    I am very perplexed but in my defense, I’m drunk. 1.5 liters of chardonnay will do that.

  125. 625
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    The video is too heavily in debt to The Monkees but is there a better constructed pop-rock song?

  126. 626
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Now I don’t believe I wanna see the morning.

    Damn, I wish I could sing like this!

  127. 627
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Ballet For A Girl In Buchannon

    Yes, I actually love this.

  128. 628
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    So I’ve shmoked… umm… *holds up one paw, two — no, three — claws extended* dish many bowls, and I has a WARM FUZZY.

    *staggers around, giving headbonks to those who need or want them*

  129. 629
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  133. 633
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    So, apparently there was a shooting in Old Sacramento last night, about 40 feet from where I was standing with a few people 15 minutes earlier making the executive decision that all the bars in Old Sac were likely to be gouging people for a cover charge and we should head up K st to try and find something better.

    Didn’t hear shit, but might have saved a couple lives.

    On the other hand, if I did, they were the lives of people I had to argue with about whether trying to pick up drunk women half their age was “fucked up” and who tried to convince me to just drive home in my state at the time I heard about it since “they won’t be bothering checking people.”

    Mixed feelings. I haz them. >.>

  134. 634
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    By “last night” I of course mean 2.4 hours ago.

  135. 635
  136. 636
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Yikes!

  137. 637
  138. 638
  139. 639
  140. 640
  141. 641
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  144. 644
  145. 645
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Happy new year everyone.
    I just got off work and I am about to visit Morpheus.
    I am feeling down. Another year has passed and I am just as lonely and single as I was 16 years ago when I was 21. I know there are people with worse problems out there, but I just…sigh…I just want someone to share my life with.
    Think I am going to cry myself to sleep. Again.

  146. 646
  147. 647
    chigau (違う)

    Tony
    *hugs*

  148. 648
  149. 649
  150. 650
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  152. 652
  153. 653
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  156. 656
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Good morning!

    Thanks for the music, Janine!
    —-

    Tony, *hugs*

  157. 657
  158. 658
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Tony I would, at least, totally cuddle up to you if you weren’t on the wrong fucking coast. What’s with that? >.>

  159. 659
    opposablethumbs

    Seconding Azkyroth (with modification)

    Tony I would, at least, totally cuddle up to you if you weren’t on the wrong fucking coast continent.

    .
    New Year hugs of congratulation or commiseration to the Horde, as appropriate. JAL, it’s really good to see you!

  160. 660
    rq

    re: shapeshifting

    I don’t know if it was the Wild Card series, but I did read a book years ago where the main entity (non-human) could absorb things in order to shapeshift into something larger, and would ‘excrete’ extra mass as water (and I presume carbon dioxide and lumps of rare minerals?) when shapeshifting into something very small. Will have to remember the title, wasn’t a bad book overall, I think.
    Then there was the one about the jaguar-princess girl who can shapeshift into a jaguar, and where they solved the size issue was making the girl super-dense in human form – so dense, in fact, she couldn’t swim, because all her jaguar essence was compacted inside of her. The whole changing process was extremely painful, too. Will have to remember this one, too, but it may just have been called The Jaguar Princess.

  161. 661
    rq

    Here we go:
    Beholder’s Eye and The Jaguar Princess.

  162. 662
    Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^=

    My New Year’s Day is nearly over. Hugs for everyone having a less-than-good one.

    Hubby and I picked up a friend and went into the city to kill some time in air-conditioning* before going to the cinema. Most of the shops were shut. So we went to a café for cakes and drinks and then watched ‘Quartet’.

    It was really, really good.

    The terrifying thing, though, was how many of the ‘elderly’ were around OUR age! :(

    *Honestly, what kind of climate is it where the temperature goes from 9ºC to 32ºC in less than half a day?!

  163. 663
    Nick Gotts

    As for restricting magic to words and thoughts that effect physical reality, do you count symbols? Silent rituals? Werewolves that transform at full moon? Vampires? Or are werewolves/vamps not included because we’re talking about epic or high fantasy and those monsters are typically paranormal fantasy? – JAL

    I don’t actually read fantasy much, and never have, so I’m not the person to ask about sub-genres, and I’d not thought about those things in defining magic, but yes, they’d certainly count.

  164. 664
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Happy New Year, everybody.

    I spent a very nice evening/night at our friends’ place which I would have enjoyed even more if I hadn’t managed to seriously tear a muscle in my neck.

    Mum still isn’t under medical care but “allowed” my sister that she can call a doctor today. Yay?

    Kat
    Many hugs and chocolates
    You’Re a wonderful person I’m glad to know.

    jose
    Oh, I’m sorry for your cousin. I gave my godson a doll for his second birthday and he loves it dearly.

    big pile of hugs
    Serve yourselves.

  165. 665
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    JAL!

    Damn, I missed your return. Welcome back. I’ve thought of you often over the last little while.

    I’m so very sorry that things have taken a turn for the worse.

    I want you to know that I don’t give a flying fuck how you spent the money I donated. Assuming of course that you have. And I don’t give two flying fucks in formation why you chose to stay.

    You are an adult. An adult who’s demonstrated by dint of the care and concern for her little one that she is in fact a good person in a horrible situation. I refuse to second guess such people on how they choose to live their lives or spend their money. I don’t live their life. Nor do I have to make the decisions they do about how to get by. And let’s be clear about this: such good people are so few and far between that the pittance I gave should be the very least of my support.

    If you don’t want charity, well, I can understand that feeling. But if you do have a need, one that we here can help with, I would be pleased and honoured to again be a part of that.

    And I’m going join the chorus with a basso profundo informed by my own experience with damn disease: the voice of your depression lies! That’s what depression does, it turns your emotions against you. It takes the caring and compassion and strength and courage you have and pushes it all aside to whisper fucking lies to you.

    If you weren’t caring and compassionate the depression wouldn’t hurt you so badly.

    If you weren’t strong and courageous you wouldn’t still be here fighting it.

    Everyone makes mistakes, everyone has times when they become overwhelmed. There is no shame in this, and there should be no judgement on it either. But the foul, poisonous voice of depression wants to define you by your mistakes and tell you that a temporary retreat is a permanent defeat. It judges you unfairly and with extreme prejudice. It ignores and distorts any and all evidence of goodness and decency in such a profound way that your standard reality denying whack-a-loon fundamentalist looks like rigourous, Nobel bound scientist by comparison.

    Fuck that.

    Fuck it sideway.

    Fuck sideways with the poor, lonely, much neglected porcupine of fuckiness.

    Reality is never so cut and dried as the voice of your depression would have you believe.

    And fuck me for a meddling idiot. I hope I haven’t made things worse by bringing it up again.

    JAL, you are a valued member of this community and I hope that you continue to participate here in whatever way you choose.

  166. 666
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Kat: “I can’t remember the events of said gathering.”

    I do not think that the fact that you bestow kindness casually and habitually makes the acts less kind. I think it makes you a good person and a good friend.

  167. 667
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Good morning.

    Happy Wildebeest Year to one and to all! Well, Happy Gnu Year, anyway.

    So why hasn’t the radical Christian Right started whining about those New Atheists appropriating New Years Day as an Atheist Christmas yet? I guess Faux News is falling down. Must be spending too much time promoting the Millionaire Protection Act of 2013 and the Great Coverup to invent more lies.

  168. 668
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    This is the first New Year’s Day I can remember with no hangover.

  169. 669
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    So, in addition to being New Years Day, it is fucking snowing. Again.

    And yet, I fucking have to go to fucking work.

  170. 670
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Good morning from sunshiny New Mexico, and a happy new year to all!

    Drank too much last night by a pretty (un)healthy margin. Feel surprisingly OK though… probably because I fell asleep at my desk about 20 minutes after the last comment I made here and just got out of bed 20 minutes ago. *grins* This is going to be a good year.

  171. 671
    AJ Milne

    I had a pretty mild kinda sorta hangover. Which a large breakfast, one extra strength ibuprofen, several gulps of water, and several passes through the snowpark seemed to have handled. Under the circumstances (circumstances involved rather a lot of Jamesons), I think this pretty much proves I’m an evil alien cyborg…

    Or at least a mutant. I seriously do not _get_ what gives with my body and alcohol, but hey, times like this when it falls _my_ way, well, fine. So I’m a mutant. Yay, me.

    I’m now sitting at a day lodge, with 45 minutes to kill, as my lovely wife just emailed me to inform me she’ll be late for the planned kid handoff so she can get out there…

    I’m also minutes from the place I left after 3 this morning. And am sorely tempted to go back to grab a quick lunch there, purely in the interest of reinforcing the ‘evil alien cyborg’ rumor.

    (/Still, I’d just have a cappuccino with the lunch. Let’s not push this.)

  172. 672
    ImaginesABeach

    New Year’s Resolution: This year, I am going to do my cookie recipe experimenting throughout the year, so that by the time Gratitude Day rolls around, all of the recipes will be excellent. In the past, every year we start with all of the recipes that have been approved the following years, and add a few experiments. This year, 3 of the formed cookies and all of the pressed cookies were experiments, and only one recipe will be advancing to next year. So in the interest of only providing the best possible cookies for those to whom we express gratitude, we will improving our recipe base today.

  173. 673
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Um.

    At the store, I found a box of crackers.

    They’re called “Jingos!” (complete with the exclamation point)

    And they were Fiesta Cheddar flavored.

    Um.

  174. 674
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    ImaginesABeach,

    I wanted to make a huge load of cookies this year, to distribute between neighbors and my friend’s family. I left it all for the 17.-21.12. week. But then on Monday (17.), I found out I was supposed to start working that week. Panic! I made one dough that day, and a couple of them the next. Did the baking in the evening.

    I managed to fuck up every single batch. I guess I was too stressed and excited about starting work and having to finish all in a day.

    We still have some of the cookies, since I made a lot and couldn’t give them to anyone.

  175. 675
    mythbri

    I left this in the Thunderdome because it seemed too ragey for the Lounge.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/12/24/thunderdome-13/comment-page-1/#comment-524714

    Is dianne around? Does anyone know if a woman can spontaneously develop eclampsia, without showing signs of pre-eclampsia?

    If not, then my cousin’s doctors were not doing their jobs.

  176. 676
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    IANAD, mythbri, but it is my understanding that eclampsia is almost always preceded by pre-eclampsia, but the pre-eclampsia can be of short duration (i.e. the progression from development of pre-eclampsia to development of eclampsia can be rapid).

    Best wishes for your cousin. :(

  177. 677
    mythbri

    @Esteleth

    Thanks, that helps a lot. I wish I knew if there were any other indications the doctors would have had that she was high-risk, if the progression from pre-eclampsia to eclampsia can be so quick.

  178. 678
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Also, I think that eclampsia, while almost always preceded by pre-eclampsia, the “almost” is important. Idiopathic eclampsia is apparently a thing.

    The risks of eclampsia, apparently are (1) primagravidism, (2) low maternal age and (3) pre-existing vascular disorders.

    Based on what you’ve said, your cousin had 2 of the 3 I just listed. Of course, eclampsia only manifests in 1.6 women per 10,000. So it is by no means a sure thing.

  179. 679
  180. 680
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    O_O

    Oh lord. Can I have a timestamp?

  181. 681
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I have not and will not watch it. I am taking Chas’ word for it.

  182. 682
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Or, better yet, a quote of what he says? I’d rather not watch it…

    (yes, I’m a wuss)

  183. 683
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Esteleth, I am sorry that I brought it up but I thought you should know about this.

    (Talk about being a wuss. There is a reason why I do not do video conference or try not to revel where I am.)

  184. 684
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Naw, it’s cool. I’m glad you told me, Janine. I’ve since watched it.

    And now, all I can say is this:

    An anti-feminist who thinks AVfM is awesome has called me an “ultra-PC” feminist harpy out to destroy secularism.

    *struts*

    AW, YEAH.

    I have arrived.

    (And I toyed briefly with the idea of tweeting at him (from my nymmy-twitter) demanding to know why he DIDN’T call me a “radfem.” Because I am a radfem, and dammit, I would have loved to go, “Yes. And?” in response.

  185. 685
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    *sticks a close-parenthesis in there*

  186. 686
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I remember the good old days when just being a lesbian gave us the power to destroy the world.

  187. 687
    Socio-gen, something something...

    Happy New Year. May it be better than the last.
    ===
    I hate my ISP. Stupid internet went out AGAIN yesterday afternoon and remained dead until I went to bed (and who knows how long it’ll work today). I finally got a real live human on the phone this morning who told me they were “aware of the problem” (which is probably why there was human in the office). In a snotty tone, xe said, “We sent an email to all subscribers informing them of the problem and when it was expected to be resolved.”

    They sent an email. To tell people why the internet was out. *headdesk*

    It took me five calm tries to explain why this was a problem before I finally screamed into the phone, “HOW CAN I READ MY EMAIL IF THE FUCKING INTERNET ISN’T WORKING?!”

    “Oh. Heh heh,” says xe. “I guess they didn’t think of that. Heh heh.” Noooo, really?

    At least I got three months of free service after telling hir to close my account because I was going to find an ISP that wasn’t so fucking stupid. If it goes out again today, even a year of free service won’t keep me with them.
    — —
    Ogvorbis:
    Saw this and thought of you! PA railroad calendar delivered 63 years late

    JAL:
    Yay book talk! I love reading your comments on books. I enjoy reading, but have no ability to take them apart the way you do, and often I don’t see the flaws in a story (unless they’re huge) until someone else points them out. All I know is “liked it” or “didn’t like it.”

    mythbri:
    I hope your cousin recovers completely and is able to make a new start for herself.

  188. 688
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    *makes uterus-shaped cups, gives one to Janine*

    *clinks cups*

    Lesbian Power?

  189. 689
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    To all those with hangovers>

    GOOD MORNING!!!!!!! HAPPY GNU YEAR!!!!!!

    Saw this and thought of you! PA railroad calendar delivered 63 years late

    Er, I work for the National Park Service, not the US Postal Service.

    That said,

    The large tube contained a 1950 Pennsylvania Railroad calendar addressed to James Flanagan, former general manager of The Scranton Times

    James Flanagan’s son (who died a few years ago) worked for about a decade at Steamtown after retiring from the same company for which his father worked.

    When I worked as a mail clerk for the NPS down in West Virginia, we rearranged the mail room and discovered five or so pieces of mail. Including a travel reimbursement cheque that was over 10 years old. It happens.

  190. 690
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Tony
    Many hugs.
    Janine
    I love Richard Thompson
    Socio-gen
    At least you have an option; there pretty much it only one ISP out here.

  191. 691
    chigau (違う)

    Esteleth
    “ultra-PC” feminist harpy
    hmmm
    gingerbread season is about over…

  192. 692
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Indeed, Chigau. Indeed.

  193. 693
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Fuck. The new year has started out awesome for anti-feminists?

    And suddenly, magically, I got hit with a hangover all at once. What the fuck? One minute I’m plugging along nicely, got one guitar strung up and mostly in tune, was about to start the other one. Now I feel nauseous and light-headed and I broke out in a cold sweat, and not in a James Brown way either!

  194. 694
    Socio-gen, something something...

    Ogvorbis:
    Yup, I know. It was the mention of Steamtown that reminded me of you.

    When I worked at IBM-Owego in 85-86, they rearranged (or maybe expanded?) the mail sorting room and found some inter-office mail dating back to the early 60s, some of it with DoD priority and classified stamps. I always wondered if someone was fired back then for losing them.

    Dalillama:
    True. I like pitting them against each other every now and then to see who’ll give me the better deal. Where I used to live your “choices” were Time-Warner broadband or a local dial-up company. I guess there was a satellite provider as well, but the service sucked pretty much year-round according to those who tried it.

    Esteleth:
    I can only hope that some day I will be as ultra-PC as you.

    Joe:
    Sounds like you’re hypoglycemic. Might want to ingest some sugar and then have a good meal.

  195. 695
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    That’s where we are. There’s Comcast, or there’s a bunch of crappy wireless providers.

  196. 696
    PZ Myers

    NEW THREAD.

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