Comments

  1. Portia, wishing for spring says

    Portcullised, but PZ saw to it anyway…

    OOOOoooooh, puuuuduuuu. I forgot what I was talking about.

  2. thunk, hull overheating says

    Well happy monday, and bday to katenrala (again), and congrats portia.

    In case comment was eaten.

  3. Owlmirror says

    I definitely am not interested in Thunderdome, where there are a lot of personal insults, often with obscenities thrown in.

    I know … like, “pr*cmail”! Can you imagine? Isn’t that the most disgusting and horrible obscenity ever?

  4. says

    Good evening folks

    My very best wishes to you, katenrala

    Yay for Joe

    Tony
    Your story about this guy who gets more attractive to you the more you know him although he doesn’t have the “right features” reminds me of how I met Mr.
    Now, if I compare the guy I met 13 years ago to a laundry list of things I was looking for in a guy, there aren’t a lot of boxes he would tick.
    Although he is definetly not unattractive, he is also most definetly not the type I usually fancy. I’m more fond of guys with darker hair and eyes, Antonio Banderas style. And I got sombody with grey blue eyes and dark-blonde-light-brown hair. At least it’s long. And back then he thought that museums were evil and books were something you put under your furniture when the floor is uneven. And I don’t think he’d ever eaten Chinese. And he likes football and takes an active interest in it.
    But it was totally nice talking to him and we had a fun evening together at a party until he tried to kiss me and I asked him what the fuck he was doing and then we spent a full year tip-toeing aroud each other* because although we were probably the worst match in history, we somehow had connected back then. Maybe we weren’t that much what we were looking for and wanting in a partner, but we were what we actually needed.

    *Yeah, the nice version of “how our relationship started” is we kissed under the mistetoe. The real one is that it was a year earlier and sexual harassment.

    +++
    So, by popular demand, Giliell’s review of The Hunger Games Trilogy
    Spoilers ahead, you’re warned.

    Book One: The Hunger Games
    A well-written novel that can absolutely stand alone.
    It is the starting point of the Trilogy, but it is also a story that is in itself complete.
    It manages to set the scene and the basic background without coming across as doing so.
    The arc of the story is well constructed and already one of the things that I liked most about the books is shining through already:
    The protagonist is a young girl, a teenager with all what comes with being one.
    I hate it when protagonists are children or teens and then they act and think like adults.*
    Katniss doesn’t. She’s growing up quickly and rapidly, but she’s still a teen and you can see it in her thoughts.
    She’s led to the slaughter of the arena and still she’s dazzled by the beauty of the Capitol, by the pretty things they do with her, by having more than enough food for at least a few days. She’s a kid.
    And then there’s this other thing: Katniss is our one and only narator, we know what she does, we know what she thinks. And it’s painful to read how she blames herself for the actions of others, especially the Capitol. This goes on throughout the three books and is heartbreaking.
    Another thing the book does beautifully is to be very, very violent with few actual deaths. Every blood of drop spilled in it is worth it and important.
    *That’s why I’m the only person who enjoyed Harry Potter in the Order of the Phoenix: he’s an egocentric asshole the way only teens that age manage without become irredeemable assholes.

    Catching Fire

    Sometimes I think that people should stop writing trilogies.
    Yes, I thought it was slow and I could hardly believe that they actually ended back in the Arena. I was constantly wating for something to happen, the revolution to break out, anything, but I didn’t want to go back to the arena. Not because I found it too horrible to read, but because I had already been there. I didn’t expect it to offer me anything new and it didn’t.
    I will call the book an “information book”. We get a lot of information that is important later, but unlike the information in the first book, it felt superfluous to the story of the book itself.
    Again, Katniss blaming herself for things that she caused according to herself is IMO great writing. The reader can see the obvious flaws in her thinking (how could she have reasonably forseen what was going to happen and also, she totally didn’t hurt those people, the Capitol did) but we can’t reach her any more than it is usually possible with an actual teenager, although they normally don’t blame themselves for mass-murder.

    The Mockingbird
    That book was hard. Not because it was hard to read but to stomach because there’s so many things going on and being told.
    I really loved how it doesn’t deal in black and white but in many subtle shades of grey. There isn’t a glorious and noble revolution with all good on one side and an all bad evil empire on the other. This becomes obvious when Katniss deals with Gale, when they fight over Katniss defending her prep team. Gale is absolutely right in his accusations, but so is Katniss in her defense.
    Here it becomes clear who the actual antagonists are. It’s not Katniss vs. everybody in the Arena, or Katniss vs. the evil president Snow. It’s Snow vs. Coin and she is a pawn they both use(d).
    The rebellion is shown in its gruesome reality. It is murderous and it kills the innocent and the guilty alike. Omlette and eggs.
    Stuff I really liked:
    – Suzanny Collins has no mercy with her characters. She bends and breaks and hurts and then hurts again.
    -Katniss’ valiant plan to go and assassinate Snow totally fails within inches of its goal. The story we know from a hundred books and a thousand movies, the lone hunt over enemy territory, the sacrifice of the crew members, the unexpected help, the final obstacles and then she fails and the story isn’t over, because wars aren’t usually decided by teenage girls saving the world while the actual armies are a background noise.
    -The all-important pearl Katniss carries since book two gets totally forgotten and is 100% unimportant for the story. It’s set up to be the one thing that will finally bring Peeta back and it totally just doesn’t because he never gets to know.
    -How Katniss is hurt and wounded and broken and totally needs healing. She doesn’t walk off into the sunset with Peeta and Gale who have suddenly decided that they don’t mind both being her lover.
    – All kinds of people everywhere. Good and bad and with many layers, many which Katniss doesn’t see or understand but of which we get a glimpse.
    -Women all the way down. Many writers, even when writing kick-ass female characters stop there. The first row characters may be female/contain women, maybe there are even some in the second, but after that people stop thinking and it’s just a plain old man’s world. Collins doesn’t do that. There are women everywhere. There are female miners and Peacekeepers, soldiers, commanders, everything. She mentions them down to the last couple of guards who only appear once.
    -The revolution eats its children: When Coin wants to reinstall the Hunger Games, only with the tables turned against the Capitol.
    -How the glory of the Victors is brought down, how those illusions Katniss had about what winning means are shattered, how she has to understand that it was not just for her that winning the Hunger Games brought more suffering.

    Things I didn’t like that much:
    -Peeta and Gale. No, they’re written well, but just like I wanted to cradle Katniss and tell her that it’s really totally not her fault that Snow destroyed #12, I wanted to bang these two together with their heads and yell at them that they’re actually not helpful and petty assholes who only think about who finally gets the trophy while they’re hurting Katniss even more.
    -The epilogue. Not so much the what but the how. I don’t mind that Katniss gets kind of her happy end watching her children. I’m annoyed that she finds her happiness in something that Peeta talked her into. Throughout the book she is always opposed to having children because she couldn’t bear the thought of having the reaped for the Games and because she didn’t want to inflict her life onto an innocent child. I would have been happy if she had come to the conclusion that with the Games gone and things apparently being better that these were the conditions under which she now would like to raise a family. No, she does it for Peeta. A little sad on my part.

  5. philosophia says

    I’m sorry, those two posts were my first here and I’m afraid I got PZ’s attention in a very bad way. Really, I’m not trying to cause trouble! PZ said my comment was really stupid, I assume he means my comment about Thunderdome, so I withdraw it. I also didn’t mean to misrepresent your comments in any way, PZ. If my topic is inappropriate for the lounge, that the lounge is not meant as a place to exchange scientific information, I didn’t know that. Perhaps I misread the “you can discuss anything you want” because I’m not familiar with pharyngula commenting culture.

    What I’m really interested in is a discussion of my first note. I’m interested in the current research on gender differences. I can go to Thunderdome, I suppose. I don’t know I much I can emphasize that I’m not trying to cause trouble!

    Sophia

  6. says

    I am so high… tung oil fumes, not an illicit substance. I really need to crack a window before I start dealing with chemicals.

    Also, if anyone is desperate to take potshots at me, now’s a good time. I can’t find my keys. :(

  7. Portia, wishing for spring says

    I’m annoyed that she finds her happiness in something that Peeta talked her into.

    THIS was my biggest gripe with the books, and you are the only other person who has raised it or agreed. It seemed so out of character, so obnoxious, and so…disappointing. Grossed me out. Especially since there are so many young girls and young adults who read that…to me, it undermined the messages about how strong and willful and self-determined Katniss was. Not that characters can’t change, it’s just…ugh.

    I like your review, I hadn’t thought of a lot of those points.

    Sophia:

    I’m not familiar with pharyngula commenting culture.

    Which is why lurking is advised. And now I’m going to advise you to stop digging.

  8. Portia, wishing for spring says

    Oh, no, Joe! That sucks. : (

    A couple of weeks ago, I spent 20 minutes searching the courthouse for my keys before discovering they had slipped into an undiscovered pocket of my shoulder bag.: /

    They’ll turn up soon, I know it.

  9. Scr... Archivist says

    Giliell,

    Thank you for that review. I read the trilogy a couple of years ago, and although I liked it, I also had different reactions to each of the books.

    One thing that I appreciated was the fact that none of the characters gets through the story unscathed. Even the “good guys” lose things that are very, very important to them. Also, not all (not any?) of the good guys are Good, while all those clueless Capitol-dwellers exemplify the banality of lower-case evil. They aren’t comic-book characters (even the extras), they’re just people. Perhaps too much like us, which was part of the point.

    Again, thanks for the food for thought.

  10. says

    Portia, I’m not worried about the keys. I drove to look for my wallet last night, I got home and I took the keys out of the car’s ignition and I haven’t been anywhere since, so I feel pretty comfortable that the keys are somewhere in the house. And every key I have has a copy either on my wife’s key ring or on the emergency key ring buried in the backyard. So I’m fine, I’m just a little annoyed with myself.

  11. says

    No, your comment that I deny sexual differences was stupid. I don’t.

    You were question-begging when you claimed that differing interests in science were examples of ‘real’ gender differences. They aren’t. Girls show similar levels of interest in science compared to boys, but are turned off to it later in life…often by the kinds of sexist self-fulfilling prophecies you’re talking about.

    Also, I’m kind of annoyed that you’re using a woman’s name when I can easily track your info back to a man in California. Why are you doing that? Do you think sexist platitudes will be overlooked if everyone thinks you’re a woman?

  12. chigau (違う) says

    philosophia

    I’m interested in the current research on gender differences.

    Try google.

  13. ednaz says

    Happy Birthday Katenrala!

    I am learning a lot from your conversations. I am glad you’re here. : )

  14. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Portia:

    A couple of weeks ago, I spent 20 minutes searching the courthouse for my keys before discovering they had slipped into an undiscovered pocket of my shoulder bag.: /

    Moved by car key gnomes, no doubt. (I would have linked to the relevant Farside cartoon, but apparently Gary Larson doesn’t like that.)

  15. dianne says

    Hey, Portia, would you be interested in commenting on this thread? Specifically, on the contention that the law would be hard to apply against anyone but the assailant? That’s not how I read it, but IANAL.

  16. A. Noyd says

    So any of you heard of this “Check These Out” 2013 calendar with pinups of female characters from sci-fi/fantasy books? I just came across it in the school bookstore and it kind of set my teeth on edge, especially since it was being sold with a message about how the money from sales helps out charity. Like, how many years now has the conversation been going on about how bad it is to only appeal to straight male fans in sci-fi/fantasy, gaming, comics, etc.? And can’t works that benefit charity not contribute to oppressive messages about a different group of people? Ugh.

  17. mildlymagnificent says

    Thick gobs of paint? Well, if they’re really thick and really gobby, you might be able to lift largish bits off the way you might with wax.

    Put the brass whatsit in the fridge or fill it with icewater, the temperature should make the lumps a bit harder but more brittle. Then see if you can lift the now-just-a-bit-brittle lumps off the surface with something flexible but firm enough to do the job, but with no sharp edge to scratch. Like a piece of firmish plastic – cut out a piece from an icecream container, or one of those non-scratch spatulas, or a tupperware-style paddle scraper for baking.

    I’ll have a bit of a think about the flecks that will certainly remain.

  18. carlie says

    THIS was my biggest gripe with the books, and you are the only other person who has raised it or agreed. It seemed so out of character, so obnoxious, and so…disappointing. Grossed me out. Especially since there are so many young girls and young adults who read that…to me, it undermined the messages about how strong and willful and self-determined Katniss was. Not that characters can’t change, it’s just…ugh.

    I had the same reaction reading it as well – I mean, happy ending with spouse and kids and roses everywhere? Ugh. It wasn’t completely sappy, but the part about kids really rubbed me the wrong way.

  19. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you, Portia! Progress has been made … (honest it has, iJoe!) and we are planning to do more tomorrow (fortunately the work I have pending isn’t too urgent, and I can put a fair chunk of the day into it with DaughterSpawn (she’s doing an undergraduate degree in biochemistry; it’s a sandwich course, and the students apply this year for an industry placement for next year. SonSpawn is still in sixth form, applying for Summer School places. They have up to 100% subsidies!!! Which is beyond wonderful. Yay!!!). And we have found a place that might be able to replace her broken laptop screen for a fairly reasonable price, so that helps.

    Well after midnight here, so I’m off for the night – here’s some USB hot chocolate for anyone that wants some. rq and everyone who likes the way it feels to be around here – yes, I’m right there with you.

  20. Portia, wishing for spring says

    I should clarify re: Hunger Games that I don’t think having kids undermined the strength and independence of the character, per se. It was the “Peeta talked me into it, and what makes him happy makes me happy, I guess.” Gives me the heeby-jeebies.

  21. The Mellow Monkey says

    Giliell on the Hunger Games:

    I’m annoyed that she finds her happiness in something that Peeta talked her into.

    Oh, word forever. It could have worked for me if, like you said, she decided it for herself. That she did it for Peeta just really bothered me, though. It took away her agency, which was one of the things she was fighting for so hard throughout the books.

    Massive, fervent thanks to Hekuni Cat for bringing up TMJ pain. I hadn’t considered that being what I was feeling in my ear, since I kept thinking it all had to go back to either the ear infection or the wisdom tooth. I ate nothing but yogurt and soup today to cut down on chewing and while my jaw still clicks if I open it wide enough, the vast majority of the pain has finally gone, after non-stop aching for days. I’d put it at about a six on a ten point scale for pain, but it was a full blown ten for irritating. Finally, I can think again. Thank you, thank you. ♥

  22. carlie says

    Boy scouts close to ending ban on gay members

    “It’s an extremely complex issue,” said one Boy Scouts of America official, who explained that other organizations have threatened to withdraw their financial support if the BSA drops the ban.

    No, I’m pretty sure “We’re losing all our financial backing over this and money is more important than our supposed morals” is a fairly simple issue, actually.

  23. mildlymagnificent says

    OK. I did some thinking with my fingers and found this. Just get some baking soda, put it in water, bring to boil, boil for over half an hour. Read the link for details – handling the boiling hot thingie is a bit tricky.

    http://www.ehow.com/how_4494120_take-paint-off-brass.html

    When you’re finished with the paint, polish with tomato ketchup. Works like a charm.

  24. says

    Jafafa Hots,

    Something mildlymagnificent said sounded important enough to me to second and expand on: you can bang on the paint a good bit so long as you find something harder than the paint and softer than the brass. You could probably grab an old credit card or card of similar thickness and scratch against that paint all day and not do any real damage to the brass. Whatever scratches plastic might put on brass should polish right out.

  25. says

    Hunger Games:

    I didn’t “feel” the epilogue either, because it treated Katniss as mostly broken and lacking agency. It is one thing to make your characters bend and come close to breaking, but to snap them in half and leave that as the ending is kind of horrible… and I can even respect that sort of ending, but not targeted at a YA audience.

  26. says

    It is an antique embossed brass plate, not thick (so fragile).
    Historically important and valuable if you’re from the East Bay.

    I have worked with copper a lot, embossing it, etc.
    My concern is scratching since it’s thick… and also discoloration and oxidation.

    I have patina formulas to use to “fix” any damage to copper, but with brass/bronze they act unpredictably because of the various alloys/mixtures.

    I was thinking the credit card trick might not work as this is thin… but I just remembered, I have a heat gun… so I probably can get the paint all gooey, come to think of it.

  27. says

    Thanks for the other tips, too.
    I’ve also heard about acetone working, but I wanna try and start as careful as possible.
    This is a large brass plate from 1929-38 from a piece of equipment (or building, as there’s plaster on the bay) from Oakland/Berkeley’s Key Route trolleys.

  28. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    The Mellow Monkey – I’m glad your pain levels have dropped off–and that I could help. A further suggestion would be to continue with the soft food diet for a few days after you feel better. Many has been the time that I didn’t follow that advice and regretted it. As a side note, I never got much TMJ pain relief from ibuprofen; naproxen worked better for me.

  29. carlie says

    Yeah, I could see the ending as a completely dystopian ending, but it was worse that it was made to be a happy one. :(

  30. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Re philosophia:

    Has anyone done any research on why certain kinds of people always seem to jump from “minor differences in brain structure and function exist” to “GENDER ROLES ARE SET IN STONE?”

  31. The Mellow Monkey says

    Hekuni Cat, yeah, I’m going to be cautious and probably do another mostly liquid day tomorrow and then slowly ease in soft foods before I try any real chewing. I don’t want to risk this getting worse again. I’ll try naproxen and see if it’ll help, since I’m almost out of ibuprofen anyway. (Which has, in fact, been next to useless.)

  32. marilove says

    There must be something in the air, Joe — I had family visiting from a town about 3 hours away this weekend, which included my sister and her kids. My complex is gated and requires a key to get in and out. I have a spare set. Somehow my main set got into HER duffle bag. Thankfully, my spare set has house, gate and car keys, but she now has my mailbox key … and the key to my office. My boss was annoyed this morning, lol.

    She had to stick it in the mail today, and had to send it to the office since I can’t get into my mail box!

    I was mostly worried because if the gate key is lost, I lose the $35 deposit AND have to pay an additional $75 (this is to discourage losing or giving them away).

  33. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist, with anit to pick) says

    Jafafa Hots: You sound like you know your business so forgive me if you’re already aware of this, but that paint could be lead based and hitting it with a heat gun seems like an unhealthy thing to do. Respirator, yes?

  34. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist, with anit to pick) says

    Dammit, I know what’s happened to your keys iJoe: they’ve run away to a non-extradition country with my Snap-on mini flashlight, taking with them the spoils of that casino caper they pulled last week.

  35. bluentx says

    Catching up: (with short short installments, as I tend to lose long comments before I can submit them [“Nooooooo!”])

    katenrala
    Happy Birthday!

    Caine:
    “..break is off.” YEA! Glad I was wrong/misunderstood!

    Fossil Fishy: @820
    “..The second time involved sheep.” *
    A cliff-hanger!
    *subtly seconding what rq said about this-subtly

  36. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist, with anit to pick) says

    Oops, I missed the bit about it’s your wife’s keys that are missing iJoe. Sorry.

  37. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist, with anit to pick) says

    Seriously bluentx, what’s in your imagination is going to be waaay more interesting than the actual story. But I’ll tell it soon. I’m at work and really should be getting on with things.

    You know, I’m surprised that physicists are still puzzled by the dark matter problem. It’s quite clear that dark matter is comprised of 32% lost socks, 27% lost keys, 14.5% lost paper documents, 5% lost sunnies with the remaining 21.5% consisting of various and sundry brick-a-brak including my damn mini-torch.

  38. says

    Hey marilove, I don’t see you much around these parts! :)

    I know about keys and costs… apparently my car key has a magical chip in it that makes a replacement key cost $75. The mail key is like $40. But I was trying to be optimistic about finding the keys, and/or having more money sometime down the line.

  39. says

    FossilFishy,

    When I moved my whole household some 1900 miles across America, I lost about one full box of things. The odd part was, they weren’t all in the same box. So I lost two lamps, an $80 bottle of cologne, my beard trimmer, a computer audio interface, a couple of books, and my ironing board.

  40. mildlymagnificent says

    wherever it is that Lost Things go.

    One of the favourite storybooks of my children was about an ornament that finished up in The Land of Lost and Broken. Being magical, the ornament was transformed after the child/ren visited there.

  41. carlie says

    Update: Child 1 went to bed. He was completely ensconced in the bed, covers drawn, lights off, then a few minutes later came upstairs. This was the conversation:

    “Why are you up here again?”
    “I had to use the bathroom.”

    SUCCESS.

  42. bluentx says

    Minnie the Finn:@862
    Doesn’t seem to be a great day for goats.
    My goat drama may be over -finally! After ‘losing my shit’ yesterday on the phone with my jerk of a neighbor (“Be expecting a letter! I’m taking you to small claims court!”), after 6-7 months of complaining to him and to the sheriff’s dept., after getting advice from the Justice of the Peace and a lawyer.. What may have actually worked is a combination of legal threats and giving him a dose of his own medicine.
    I got a voice mail message this morning saying, “… Just thought you’d want to know.They’re gone.” [Taken to the auction.] YEEEAAA! But a Snoopy Happy Dance* with caution: I already think of him as Pinocchio.

    * My cats are dancing too. Uninterrupted meals, not getting run off from their own food/water pans by ugly over-sized critters stealing their kibble…

  43. says

    Jafafa Hots: You sound like you know your business so forgive me if you’re already aware of this, but that paint could be lead based and hitting it with a heat gun seems like an unhealthy thing to do. Respirator, yes?

    Yep, and wide open garage doors.

  44. Esteleth, OH NO ZEBRAFISH ABORTION IS MURDER says

    So!

    Today, I rushed into work at 7:30, to collect data and analyze data for my lab meeting presentation.

    Thirty minutes before lab meeting, I get an email with the subject line, “Lab meeting cancelled.”

    Of course it was.

    Went to yoga again! Haven’t been for months. Felt great. And painful. In a great way.

    Am now at home, indulging in months of pent-up feels over Downton Abbey now that my American friends who don’t know how to internet have seen That Episode. Referred to a character as Sir Patriarchy and had the inordinate glee of seeing others pick this up.

    Am in a mood, for reasons I do not know. Am thus listening to “Ashokan Farewell” on a loop. Because this evening is apparently “Ashokan-Farewell-On-A-Loop Day.” Also, my face is bleeding.

    And ACS sent me a huge framed plaque and a boron coffee mug. :D

  45. Portia, wishing for spring says

    So I’ve been exchanging emails with this guy about my old junker I’m trying to sell on craigslist. His most recent one, following the laundry list of mechanical issues says:

    Sounds like a decent amount of stuff. Hmmm. Not sure if hr n half drive to see car is worth it. Although ur pic comes up on ur email address. Maybe shouldnt say it but u are Gorgeous. Jus sayin

    GROSSGROSSGROSSGROSSGROSS

    I’m trying to think of a biting response but really I just want to figure out how to keep my picture from showing up with my gmail. Damn you google and your skeeve-enabling. (And this douche thinks I’d tell him my address to look at the damn car now?)

  46. athyco says

    Esteleth:

    Am in a mood, for reasons I do not know. Am thus listening to “Ashokan Farewell” on a loop.

    I have a piano arrangement of “Ashokan Farewell” that I love. I wonder if it’s still in muscle memory….

    …..

    …..

    Not quite. But the sight reading was successful. Thanks for sharing that mood, Esteleth. :)

  47. thunk, hull overheating says

    Yeah, portia, that is way creepy. Oh google, and your delicious trampling on privacy.

  48. Portia, wishing for spring says

    Thanks for the commiseration, thunk. *shudder* And for the congrats, above.

    Maybe I should tell him the truth, that his looks creeperific and what does he expect, a 16 year old ford with no issues?

  49. The Mellow Monkey says

    carlie:

    Update: Child 1 went to bed. He was completely ensconced in the bed, covers drawn, lights off, then a few minutes later came upstairs. This was the conversation:

    “Why are you up here again?”
    “I had to use the bathroom.”

    SUCCESS.

    Woohoo! Pee sink no more!

  50. Portia, wishing for spring says

    Well played, carlie, well played, by the by. Very nice to have such solid evidence of success :D

  51. bluentx says

    Portia:

    Eeewww!
    Maybe you should accidentally email him your comment above with an additional: “How many of you(my friends) can I count on to back me up if this skeeve shows up at my door?”
    Ooops! Forwarded it to the wrong address….disregard.

  52. cicely (Mostly Harmless) says

    ImaginesABeach!
    *pouncehug*

    One helping-spawn-with-applications-paperwork done, several to go. Progress …

    *clinking glass*
    To Progress!


    Jafafa Hots, that is indeed some industrial-grade cute!

    iJoe, it’s obvious that the Horses stole your wife’s keys. Watch out for Their next move,

    *hugs* for Portia. That’s definitely creepy.
    -

  53. Portia, wishing for spring says

    Thanks all.

    Had a nice visit with my dad when he got here. I do like it when I remember how much I like him.

    I’m going to put this headache to bed now.

  54. says

    Hanoi is a bizarre mixture between Cuba, iron-curtain Hungary and contemporary rural China. I haven’t seen much of the town center yet because it’s raining, but I will later.

    A friend who comes here once a year to teach the local emergency physicians recommended a hotel to me, and because I mentioned this recommendation when I booked, I was upgraded to a suite, 24-hour butler included(seriously, I’m not comfortable with this, he was like, “sorry I can’t be here 24 hours, but I have to go to college during the day”). The concierge and the waiters speak French by default, it’s beautiful, and the place is marvellously peaceful and lavish, probably the best hotel I ever stayed in.

    I had drinks in the bar where Graham Greene wrote parts of “The Quiet American” last night, and I’m told the last foreign dignitary to stay here was the Russian president Medvedev.

    Time travel into colonial times, is what this is.

  55. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist, with anit to pick) says

    I have a real soft spot for elephants.

    Uhm, I’m pretty sure that to an elephant humans are entirely soft.

  56. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist, with a perchant for pachyderm punditry) says

    *twirls*

    ‘S okay bluentx, wandering y is part of the human condition.

  57. Owlmirror says

    really I just want to figure out how to keep my picture from showing up with my gmail

    Who linked the picture and the gmail? Was it a site that you have control over (ie, one belonging to you or a good friend)? I think google can be persuaded to unindex a site (I know they did it with Sb Pharyngula).

    http://www.google.com/policies/privacy/

    http://www.google.com/policies/privacy/faq/#toc-remove

    Did you know that you can create a throwaway gmail account and forward all e-mail from it to your main gmail account? Although you have to be careful not to reply from your main gmail to such forwarded e-mail.

  58. rowanvt says

    My coworkers are getting ready to wrap me in bubble wrap. While I’m mostly recovered from the cat bite on my right hand, and I can now move my left arm without wanting to cry… I went and sprained my right ankle today.

    I am she of the one uninjured limb at work. I’m normally pretty sturdy and this is getting ridiculous.

    In other completely random news, my foster-puppy that I’ve been trying to re-home for 6 months is going to the really awesome and really picky no-kill shelter tomorrow where one of my friends works. She’ll get adopted real quick, we’re sure. I’m happy for her.

  59. rq says

    Good morning.
    Counting down the hours, now.

    +++

    The Hunger Games epilogue: Well, as I mentioned, it struck a chord with me, because sometimes things do end up that way, especially if the environment around you has changed fairly drastically in some ways and maybe you figure you need to re-think some things and preconceptions you had. Not saying it’s the right decision, just saying it happens.
    I didn’t find it so much creepy as just plain sad, because I didn’t find it a particularly happy ending. She didn’t sound particularly happy with the final situation – hopeful, yes, but not happy. I guess I just saw it a bit differently, pasting my own personal experience and feelings on top of hers. *shrug*

    Portia
    Do not sell your car to that guy. Or if you do, bring it to him, and bring like 5 friends for company, because roadtrip!!! or something. *shudder*

  60. rq says

    birgerjohansson
    I think that is the worst news today!!! I hate it when people burn knowledge! I hate it! It’s like they fear it or something… :( Sad.

  61. bluentx says

    *eyes others around Lounge suspiciously*

    Which one of you did it?! Come on, come on. Confess!
    Which one you got me started watching Not The Nine O’Clock News videos!
    It’s your fault I can’t stop!
    No, no don’t try to blame it on the Overlord and his recent post including a link to the ‘Python Worshipers’ sketch. Someone else linked to NTNON before that! Admit it!
    Now I’m going to need a NTNON-A-Non as well as a Python Anonymous support group! How could you!

    *runs off crying*

  62. birgerjohansson says

    bluentx,
    If the BBC ever releases the satirical TV series “In The Red” to DVD you will be doomed! Doomed, I say!

  63. bluentx says

    WMDKitty:
    It’s not that I’m ashamedof my addiction. It’s just- so many videos so little time- ya know?

    birgerjohansson:
    Thanks a lot! “In The Red” another one to keep an eye out for in my BBC/America catalogs! You guys are not helping! : )

  64. bluentx says

    rq:
    On home ownership: “…knowing it’ll be yours eventually.” *
    Congrats on impending paperwork! If it’s the same ‘over there’, be prepared for writers cramp from signing your name a thousand times… here….here… here… here…and here… here… here…….
    And remember: “A homeowners job is never done. There’s always something to be repaired, remodeled or replaced.*

    Not intended to sound like “Debbie Downer”. It’s just that I paid my property taxes (yesterday). : ( : ( : (
    So much for holiday pay and doing something fun with it!

    On commune skills clarification:
    I’ll elaborate once I get home. Time to wrap up here (at work) and commute!

  65. birgerjohansson says

    Do not click on link if you don’t like gross photos.
    “Iran unveils finger amputating machine for use on thieves” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/9831727/Iran-unveils-finger-amputating-machine-for-use-on-thieves.html
    The guillotine or the electric chair are even worse, but amputation machines for thieves make the barbarian values of the “justice” very blatant.
    — — — — — — — — — —
    What was the phrase in The Hobbit again? “They make excellent weapons, and tools of torture”.

  66. opposablethumbs says

    Hey cicely! ::prepares for next instalment of “why I would be ideal for this placement” composition::
    .
    Ow, rowanvt. Maybe you could bubblewrap everything except you, instead. Can you bubblewrap cats? Somehow I’m inclined to doubt it …
    .
    Yay house day, rq - tentacles crossed it all goes smoothly!
    .
    Portia, that is … eeew skeevy. Blegh. Yeah, no way would I be giving that creep an address. In fact the inevitable address thing is one of the things that puts me off even seriously considering trying to buy and sell directly. It’s a security issue (which presumably disproportionately affects women – has that been looked at seriously, does anyone know, in these days of ebay/craigslist etct.?).

  67. says

    Soo, guess who didn’t get the alarm clock this morning again.

    BUT: I have my first piece of paper that credits me stuff in college since like forever. Things are happening! Feels goooood.

    Joe/Hunger Games.

    I didn’t “feel” the epilogue either, because it treated Katniss as mostly broken and lacking agency.

    I totally had no problem with leaving her broken on the floor, so to speak, I actually liked how she was portrayed as somebody traumatized and damaged and broken because, fuck, what would anybody expect after all that happened to the kid. I didn’t mind her being halfway happy with Peeta in the end, or having kids. It really only bothered me that it was not what she wanted, but what Peeta wanted.

  68. says

    Not sure what annoys me more, the dirty, noisy, ramshackle hectic mess that is Hanoi, or SO stopping off at every impromptu soup kitchen to sit on the floor and sample the local diarrhoea brew.

    I think I’m getting drunk.

  69. bluentx says

    Sooo…according to AP radio news.. Obama commented that (becuse of brain injury debate,etc.) if he had a son he (Obama) would have to think long and hard about letting him (hypothetical son) play football. Because of these comments Rush Limbaugh thinks Obama is TRYING TO BAN FOOTBALL!
    WHY does ANYONE, EVER take that clown (Limbaugh) seriously?

  70. bluentx says

    rq:
    As promised: commune skills clarification:
    Gardening exerience consists of:
    1) home vegetable/herb gardening. Always interested in learning more.
    2) Previous stint with Parks and Recreation Departmant- Horticulture Division. PARD was very big on Xeriscaping (native plants, low maintenance plants/designs= less need for ‘artificial’ irrigation).
    I could delve back into the memory banks/refresh knowledge on landscape maintenance. No problem.

    Machinery:
    1) Minor mechanicing skills. Could pass tools to those who know what they’re actually doing (I know tool names!)
    2) Operating a BobCat (or other mini-loader w/ attachments) is fun! Not so much fun slipping, slamming tailbone on solid iron frame.*

    * It hurt to sit for months!

  71. bluentx says

    exerience = experience don’t cha know?

    Another thought concerning the garden:
    Extra security will be necessary in order to protect some maligned vegetables and herbs from certain elements.

    Cecily(Pea Persecutor) and various cilantro-haters come to mind.

    *crosses arms and sticks out lower lip*

    I LOVE cilanto and like peas! So there!

  72. Parrowing buıʍoɹɹɐd says

    Hi, bluentx! Now I’m talking to you.

    *

    Portia, actually it looks exactly like that. The mascot of the high school in the town I grew up in is the hornet, and two unlucky cheerleaders were forced to wear full hornet suits minus the costume head every game. The suits had stingers, which of course had to be shaken :-/.

    *

    So sorry to hear about your keys, iJoe :(

    *

    rq, depending on the time, I might also be interested in watching a simu-movie. In fact, before the Princess Bride was mentioned, I was already imagining watching the Princess Bride because that is my go to movie to watch with other people. Of course, if the specific movie changes I am still interested.
    *
    Holding thumbs for you right now!

  73. Parrowing buıʍoɹɹɐd says

    The holding thumbs bit was meant for rq, but there are certainly enough thumbs to go around for everyone who needs them right now.

  74. bluentx says

    Parrowing buıʍoɹɹɐd:
    Ah! Thanks! Good to know I’m not the only one in the whole wide world awake right now! : )
    Pharyangula is the only place to be after all.

  75. says

    Why do people actually never read what you write them in emails?
    They are looking for children to participate in a small study and I thought it might be fun for #1 to do so. So, I wrote them, told them we’re intereted, but only if they can offer a date that’s not during the semester since I’m still in college.
    Reply: “Wonderful, how about next Mondy?”
    That’s exams week, actually…

  76. carlie says

    So right now we have “freezing fog”, which I have never heard of before but apparently is supercooled liquid droplets that have nothing to nucleate on, but will freeze instantly upon contact with a freezing-cold surface. Neat! And weird.

  77. Pteryxx says

    via BB: noooo, not DeepSeaNews!

    Awesome marine biology blogger says farewell to blogging —
    Miriam Goldstein, marine biologist and blogger, is abandoning her fantastic blog to “spend a year at the center of United States environmental policy.” She will serve as a policy fellow and work with the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources, Democratic staff, “particularly with the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular Affairs.” It’s great to see someone so progressive, intelligent, and digitally-savvy make this kind of move; may the oceans benefit.

    http://deepseanews.com/2013/01/to-take-arms-against-a-sea-of-troubles-my-life-in-blogging-and-farewell/

    quote from BB http://boingboing.net/2013/01/28/awesome-marine-biology-blogger.html

  78. says

    *doing the happy dance, doing the happy dance*

    So when my wife came home and gave me my keys back(!) I eventually wandered off to check the mail. I got my drivers licence, and my very first Surly-Ramic! Woo! Woke up this morning, got an email from the bank saying I should have my new ATM card by Friday.

  79. says

    To add to several comments made up-thread about the Boy Scouts and the possible easing of the ban on gay scouts and leaders, here’s a Moment of Mormon Madness. As you might expect, some mormons are organizing an anti-gay campaign … again.

    Mormons Building Bridges

    BSA has announced they may be close to announcing an end to their official ban on gay members and leaders. National headquarters is being inundated with calls opposing this announcement. MBB is inviting (encouraging) all 2,372 of our members to send an email and/or phone call to BSA headquarters expressing your support and thanks. Let’s overwhelm them with positive reinforcement! When I called to get contact info the man I spoke with said they had never been so busy and nearly all the callers were unhappy about lifting the ban. Let’s give BSA overwhelming support!
    1. Letters should be short and respectful and positive.
    2. Clearly state that you support them removing the official ban.
    3. Include your experience with scouting (former scout, eagle scout, parent of eagle scout, etc.)
    4. If you feel comfortable, sign Mormons Building Bridges after your name
    ************CONTACT INFO*********
    email: myscouting@scouting.org (Subject line: Opinion on Sexual Orientation Policy)
    phone: 972-580-2000 (Be prepared to wait a very long time. Say you are calling to have your opinion be recorded regarding the ban on their Sexual Orientation Policy)

    The excerpt above is from the Mormons Building Bridges Facebook page.

    This group claims to be fostering love and acceptance for LGBT people, but their belief system does not differ from the LDS Church’s official dogma. They have gone so far as to say that killing people who have gay sex is wrong. Bully for them. http://www.cityweekly.net/utah/article-445-16030-broken-bridge.html

    And now they are organizing to support anti-gay policies in the Boy Scouts.

  80. The Mellow Monkey says

    Yay, Joe! That’s great.

    carlie, that sounds weird…and neat. We’re just cold and dreary today, nothing intriguingly strange like that.

    You know, looking at the Commune spreadsheet, I note a glaring lack of abilities related to building things. I humbly offer my drafting and construction skills. They aren’t spectacular, but I’ve helped build a few houses, and done a minor bit of plumbing along with it.

  81. Beatrice says

    Joe,
    I haven’t addressed any of your good news lately, or bad news that resolved themselves as good (your wife’s job issue, the wallet), so just a giant “Yay! Glad things are going well!” for all that together.

  82. The Mellow Monkey says

    Ah ha. I take that back. Building construction is right under the water/wind-mill construction. Excellent.

    Well, the plumbing is still damn useful. I’ve even been able to rig up a system without running water. (Gravity, buckets and hand-pumps are always good to fall back on in an emergency.)

  83. rq says

    Dammit, cicely, put those magic carrots back!!! The Horse was not appeased; the Magic House Ritual was a failure, and we have once again returned more empty-handed than not.
    Actually, perhaps a small memory spell, mixed from dried peas and fresh cilantro, might do the trick – the current owner left his proper identification documents at home, so none of the official property-transfer stuff cold be finalized.
    This is painful. We are this close. THIS close.

    Perhaps FossilFishy was mentally supporting the bureaucracy.
    Dammit.

    bluentx and The Mellow Monkey
    Thanks for the clarifications and additions! Duly noted and supplemented!

    Dalillama, I have some email for you! :)

  84. nightshadequeen says

    Holy shit.

    So I dropped my laptop a few months back, which “broke” the hard drive badly enough that I couldn’t boot into Windows or Linux. I naturally bought a new HD and stuck the old one in my sock drawer.

    I…just pulled that broken drive out and reformatted it. It’s…fine. There’s nothing wrong with it, minus the fact that I lost about ~30GB.

    Currently shredding it; might turn it into my personal cloud service. o.O

  85. says

    Beatrice,

    Thanks. Things have been oddly up and down over the last couple of weeks, since I finished the whole moving thing. Mostly up, and I don’t live in that constant state of stress like I used to. :)

  86. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    And now they are organizing to support anti-gay policies in the Boy Scouts.

    Um, from your quoted text:

    2. Clearly state that you support them removing the official ban.

    Did I miss something?

  87. says

    Um, from your quoted text:

    2. Clearly state that you support them removing the official ban.

    Nope, You did not miss something. I missed something. I am so embarrassed right now. My mistake. I don’t trust the Mormons Building Bridges group, but they are not guilty of encouraging the Boy Scouts to retain their ban against gay. They are going with the LDS Church’s official doctrine of accept and love all gays, but don’t allow them to have sex. So, yes, the MBB group wants the Boy Scouts to remove the official ban against gay scouts and gay troop leaders, but they also want the Boy Scouts to teach everyone that gay sex is immoral and unholy.

    Switching to a different subject: Atlas Shrugged was recently discussed in depth by Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.). It’s an interview that will cause much face-palming and head-desking. Video at the link.
    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/01/29/16755241-the-other-high-profile-ayn-rand-acolyte

    Excerpt:

    “We really have developed this culture of entitlement and dependency. That is not what America is all about. I mean, America — and that’s of course what ‘Atlas Shrugged’ is all about — it is about individuals aspiring to build things to make their life — and, as a result, the world — a better place. If we shift to a culture where people are saying, ‘I’m happy to sit back and let the government provide me with things,’ that becomes a dangerous point and time for this country.”

  88. dontpanic says

    Torch and go: Islamists burn down rare manuscript library in Timbuktu

    This is why I’d really like to see more of a drive to digitally scan everything. Yes, you could burn the original (and that would be Bad™), but losing an only copy is worse.

    Football. Yeah, I understand what Obama is saying. 15yr old spawn is 6ft+ and built like a prototypical football linebacker, and I’m always having people say, “Oh, is he in football?”. And a simple “No” seems a weak response, but following through seems too argumentative. Besides the spawn is the most uncoordinated person I know — he’s been running into things since age 9 months and hasn’t stopped since. When he was 11 (and large) I had to intervene to prevent a fight when he clipped a short guy (~5’2″ or so) while walking the aisle of a Target store. The guy must have taken it as a slight about his size, but spawn literally didn’t notice that he’d run into someone.

    Improbable Joe:

    bank saying I should have my new ATM card by Friday

    Good luck with that. We lost a card on Dec 10th, and reported it the next day. We were told we’d get new cards in 5-7 business days. Well, 26 business days (even granting them xmas & new years eve as holidays) later we got new cards. [grump]. And even that was hosed, since the replacements were lost in the system (apparently no tracking ability) we at one point had them cancelled and a “rush” set sent. Of course, it turned out that both were scheduled to be sent the same day, so the didn’t send one set and the cards they “rushed” (overnight mail, but not sent the day of the request) were the ones they cancelled in the system (so they wouldn’t authenticate without intervention). [sigh]

    Glad to hear the wallet turned up. I lost my keys somewhere (must be in or around the house since I drove the car home). Lost my first car “clicker” (opens the locks, but thankfully doesn’t sound the damn horn when setting them) — how easy it was to get used to using that convenience. So $75 for the key (the local hardware store vs the $125 the dealer wanted) and $35 for the new clicker (again online, dealer wanted another $125 for that)… Pretty expensive.

  89. cicely (Mostly Harmless) says

    rowanvt: Commiserations for the (current) injury-prone-ness, and glad about your foster-puppy.

    Torch and go: Islamists burn down rare manuscript library in Timbuktu http://rt.com/news/rebels-mali-library-manuscript-912/
    FUCK THE BARBARIANS!!!!!

    :( :( :(
    Fuck them running.

    Giliell: Huzzah! for the Happening of Things!
    :)

    WHY does ANYONE, EVER take that clown (Limbaugh) seriously?

    Because he is happy to confirm their biases.

    Cilantro is for those who were so constantly made to wash out their potty-mouths that they learned to like the taste, and peas are an Abomination Unto Nuggan.
    *crosses arms and raises chin defiantly*

    carlie: The point of having freezing fog is that it coats everything, and evenly.

    rq, I did not touch your magic carrots! I would certainly not deprive you of anything that you felt would secure your house-buying prospects! I suggest that you instead check the teeth of your equine collaborators—perhaps They see some advantage to them in continuing you in your houseless state…or perhaps it’s just casual malice. They are like that.
    (Also, a *hug* for your disappointment. When will the next window come up?)
    -

  90. Gnumann+, Radfem shotgunner of inhuman concepts says

    peas are an Abomination Unto Nuggan

    Give peas a chance! And of course loads of butter and possibly some bacon.(But make sure you get the right kind, and no dried green peas under any circumstance except the worst possible famine)

  91. carlie says

    Drive-by – sorry if this is a repost of anyone else, but there are now a couple of specific travel grants for WIS available. If you wanted to go but couldn’t afford it, this might help. Jadehawk was asking about it in particular, I think?

  92. rq says

    Ech, its ok, Beatrice. It was a bit of a last-minute surprise (again).

    cicely – I think I just didn’t have enough carrots. Damn those gluttonous Overloards! Next window is Thursday. And we did get some things signed – mostly all the bank documents about getting the mortgage. :P Now all we need is that actual house. But. The current owner has been properly chastised (since they’re in a rush as well, technically speaking) and Thursday. Now Thursday. With all proper and appropriate documents. *sigh*
    One day, soon….

    It’s the kind of thing where if I still believed in a god, I would either (a) stop believing in it or (b) think we did too little praying since we’re getting so many obstacles. As it were, we are determined, and this is our fuck you to any deity out there sending us weird messages about home-owning. Screw you!

  93. rq says

    PS The Princess Bride: I suggest Saturday, 10 or 11PM my time (that is, GMT+2… ech, I’m two hours ahead of London, if that means anything to anyone). And I’m all for watching The Princess Bride and not some other movie (although I am a big fan of Gladiator, not entirely sure why…). So anyone else for suggestions/changes? Recommendations…?

  94. Beatrice says

    Fuuuck, did I mess up rq’s home country? Sorry!
    have I mentioned lately that I’m horribly forgettable and make people think I don’t care about them because I forget important things?

    (Totally forgot my friend is getting her diploma this Friday, and I was invited to the commencement (right word?))

    Sorry, rq!

  95. Beatrice says

    rq,

    I do this kind of bad thoughtless thing but that’s just me being stupid and not not caring.

  96. rq says

    Beatrice
    Everyone has days like that, and honestly, I can’t always remember who’s from where here, either. (I mean, I know everyone else is from the US, right, but I just can’t get my states straight… ;) Florida’s on the west coast, right?)

  97. Esteleth, OH NO ZEBRAFISH ABORTION IS MURDER says

    So I officially have an appointment with a specialist who is going to deal with my cysts!

    Woohoo!

    I shall soon be cystless. But I shall, no doubt, continue to be shiftless.

  98. rq says

    Esteleth
    Good news! Yay!

    Beatrice
    And also, the fact that you mentioned Tallinn didn’t phase me, because quite often the closest show to here is in Tallinn (see, for example, Michael Buble, Metallica, etc.). So it was very touching, I thought you’d just found the show closest to me. ;)
    No, no, Florida is on the west coast, we had a discussion at work about it, because Washington is totally in Washington state… ;)

  99. Esteleth, OH NO ZEBRAFISH ABORTION IS MURDER says

    because Washington is totally in Washington state

    What? Geography fail…

  100. Beatrice says

    I wrote this in Thunderdome the other day:

    A long, long time ago…[well, 15 years or so] a girl in my elementary school class was asked to show Russia on the map:

    Girl: ?
    Class: *whispering* East, east
    Girl: ?
    Class *whispering* Right, on the right
    Girl: ?
    Class: *gesticulating wildly to the upper right side of the map*
    Teacher: *exasperated*

  101. rq says

    Beatrice
    I did. I put California back on the west coast, where it should have been in the first place. Funniest bit – we were having this huge US geography discussion in Latvian in front of the visitors from the US itself… Who looked at us funny when I explained to them what was going on. ;)

    And Eddie Izzard tickets are (mildly) expensive. This will require some thought. But I think I’d like to go.

  102. rq says

    Ha. Well, most people back home (that is, Canada) thought Latvia was either a part of Russia, or in the Balkans. While most people here believe that Canada = America.
    Ah, World Geography, how do you work?

  103. la tricoteuse says

    It looks like a lot of Izzard tickets were bought up by assholes selling them at inflated prices on websites like getmein. Scumbags.

  104. Parrowing buıʍoɹɹɐd says

    When I was getting ready to move to Sweden, I found out how often it is either confused with Switzerland. It was a bit eye opening…

  105. Parrowing buıʍoɹɹɐd says

    Woops, I meant to say that people either confuse it with Switzerland or don’t realize that they are different things altogether.

  106. Beatrice says

    re. Expensive tickets :(
    We’re not even officially listed yet, but I probably shouldn’t be getting too excited about going, now that I’ve seen prices for some other countries.

  107. rq says

    Sweden and Switzerland? Seriously? I hadn’t heard that one before.
    I used to misplace Finland all the time, for some reason. And Denmark.

  108. David Marjanović says

    Cilantro is for those who were so constantly made to wash out their potty-mouths that they learned to like the taste

    I was never made to wash mine out, I can taste the hot and slightly soapy component, and I like it to the degree that I can actually eat the stuff.

    *dumps pile of hugs on floor*
    *flees*

  109. David Marjanović says

    I forgot the most important part: Klingon-style! The pronunciation is pretty good. Turn the subtitles on or read the lyrics with translation here.

    And in less than a month, I’ll see the opera right here in Berlin. =) Consider yourselves invited.

    Poor puppet is totally sick and coughs so much her tummy hurts :(

    :-( :-( :-(
    *20 tonnes of calming manatees*

  110. birgerjohansson says

    bluentx
    I always talk to myself. That way I know I have an audience that values my opinions.
    — — — — — — — —
    “coughs so much her tummy hurts”
    bummer :(
    — — — — — — — —
    How to orient yourself on a map over Scandinavia (or Norden, as the natives call it):
    Denmark; furthest down. Home of Harald Bluetooth, viking conqueror of England. Tooth decay is a downer, remember that. So is the fate of Hamlet.
    Finland to the East, next to Russia. Finns are the only ones* who can out-drink Russians (they are the Irish of Scandinavia).
    *Stereotype alert.

    Norway has lot of mountains. Norway extends to *the very top* of Scandinavia (and to the west, but never mind).
    Sweden is right in the middle. Swedes are very medium, in a positive sense (see definition of the word “lagom”).
    Iceland is up in the arctic ocean, but not too far from Britain (which has a similarly rainy weather).

  111. says

    Some of us are taxpaying US citizens, and as such, we should object to Republicans spending our tax dollars to hire lawyers to defend DOMA the Defense of Marriage Act.

    … in 2011 President Obama instructed the Justice Department to relent — after Justice concluded that the law was not constitutional.

    Cue the budget-conscious Republicans on Capitol Hill, who authorized the spending of up to $2.75 million in public funds to hire lawyers to defend DOMA on their behalf. Apparently, that was not a big enough check, so on Jan. 4, the House Republicans raised the fee ceiling to $3 million….

    http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/15/g-o-p-wastes-taxpayer-dollars/?ref=opinion

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner protesting the spending, which the G.O.P. leadership somehow forgot to mention at any of the dozens of press conferences they’ve held to preach the gospel of fiscal responsibility.

    “This clandestine commitment of taxpayer funds is highly irregular and objectionable, and it must end now,” they wrote, pointing out that defending DOMA is futile since it violates Constitutional guarantees of equal protection.

  112. carlie says

    Giliell – oh, you can’t catch a break. When was the last time everyone at home was healthy at once?

  113. says

    carlie
    Well, in this flat that was only two weeks ago.
    But yeah, I’m like: Wait, we made it through the semester OK and you’re pulling that shit NOW???

    Now, off to bed
    Goodnight!
    *wraps in hugses and manatees*

  114. opposablethumbs says

    I know everyone else is from the US, right,

    oi, rq! Over ‘ere, mate! ::indignant:: – but commiserations on the house delay. Hope it’s not delayed for long.

    Yay for the imminently cystless Esteleth!

    Sympathies for ill Little One, Giliell :-( and I hope it doesn’t last! Conga rats on starting to get your academic ducks in a row, though! (if I’ve grasped the metaphor, which I may well not have done)

  115. opposablethumbs says

    Oh, and yay – all the current batch of helping-spawn-with-applications-paperwork are done except for one, which has a later deadline. There will be more to come later, but phew. So crossed tentacles the new laptop screen arrives on time tomorrow morning in time for to-be-repaired laptop to go home with its owner in the afternoon (yeah, they said 20 minutes to fit it). Aaaand …. then I can get back to work.
    .
    And I will miss DaughterSpawn. Again! While at the same time longing for more alone time so that I can get on with my own stuff without constant interruptions :-) ::glares at OH::
    .
    Thinking about the latest contretemps in the Dome (well, the latest assclamouring, that is) about women who aren’t sprog-mad (FSM but that little turd of trollitude comradebob is unbelievably slimy, ugh) – I like mine better and better as they get older. I don’t care for the company of babies, toddlers and young children generally, except in very small doses, and never have. One can care for and even love particular individual children and strongly, even passionately desire the wellbeing of children in general without ever feeling the remotest sense of identity with the broody-mother stereotype or wanting to hang out with bunches of kids. Well, obviously. ::rolleyes::
    .
    Being stuck on the sidelines as non-neurotypical SonSpawn goes through the intermittently intense misery of marginalised adolescence is fucking cutting my heart out, though.

  116. says

    IJoe, workability is all I care about at this point. Spending a month on my itsy bitsy netbook was getting tiring. Now I’m grumbling all over the place about Win8. Don’t like. I never like windoze, though.

  117. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    giliell – I’m sorry your little one is sick. *hugs* for you both.

    Esteleth – Progress and goods news.

    opposablethumbs – My heart goes out to you and SonSpawn. *hugs* for you both.

  118. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you, iJoe and Hekuni Cat, I really appreciate it. He’s a pretty sweet kid (well OK, I might be a little biased – but a lot of adults like him) and would give his eyeteeth to have some sort of social acceptance at school but realistically that’s unlikely to happen until he’s an adult himself, several years from now (and it won’t be easy then) and of course that seems like forever when you’re still at school. Thank FSM he’s a decent musician, it’s a lifesaver.
    .
    It’s not that the kids at school are horrible or anything – they’re just the normal range of teenagers, from nice to not so nice, and they have their own concerns, and they don’t have time for someone who’s a bit different and whose lack of social know-how makes him stand out and probably makes them feel it’s awkward to be around him. It’s just hard to know he’s sometimes desperately unhappy because of it, and not really be able to do anything about it. I cherish the hope that it will improve at least a bit when he’s an adult, that he will go on learning how to manage better and that his skills may turn out to be good enough to compensate at least in part for the awkwardness. Got to hope for that and try and help him work towards it.
    .
    I’m glad to be able to come to this place. It helps.
    .
    1 o’clock in the morning here, so goodnight Horde.

  119. says

    IJoe:

    I think there’s some programs out there that switch the user interface back to it.

    Eh, not worth the trouble. I didn’t much care for 7, either. I’d switch over to Fedora, but it has a major problem with connectivity right now, a bug I don’t want to deal with – it’s enough to listen to Mister complain about it all the time. ;)

  120. says

    I don’t understand people’s problems with Windows in general. I’m comfortable enough with it, it does what I tell it to do without too much fuss.

    Did the taxes today, getting an OK refund. Not enough to clear our debt, but enough to buy a kitchen table, which is sort of my wife’s dream right now. We’re having Thanksgiving dinner at our house, and pretty much the whole family is showing up. The in-laws have never met, so this should be… interesting?

  121. Nutmeg says

    *hugs* and *friendly dog snuffles* to opposablethumbs and your spawn. Adolescence sucks, but at least your son has a caring and insightful parent.

    ***

    L. is coming into town for the weekend. We’re going for a walk on Thursday night, I’m meeting her friends on Friday night, and we’re cooking dinner together at my place on Saturday. I am intimidated by all of this, but also looking forward to it.

    Any tips for meeting a new girlfriend’s friends? Or entertaining stories about times that any of you met your SO’s friends? I know that I should show interest in their lives and participate enthusiastically in any after-dinner activities. Is there anything that’s not obvious? I am strongly introverted and somewhat socially anxious, so I’m just hoping that I don’t run out of energy (and therefore people skills) before the evening’s over.

    I wanted to get her flowers, to say that I’m happy we’re officially dating. But she has a four-hour drive home, and I was worried they would freeze. So I decided to make her something instead. I took a bunch of photos that I’ve taken of wildflowers over the years, cut out the flowers, and made an 8×8 collage as a winter-proof bouquet. Once it’s dry, I’m going to frame it. I’m hoping that this will qualify as cute, thoughtful cheesy instead of tacky cheesy. At any rate, it’s colourful.

  122. John Morales says

    Too many people confuse the operating system with the interface.

    (The latter sits on top of the former)

  123. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Nutmeg:

    I took a bunch of photos that I’ve taken of wildflowers over the years, cut out the flowers, and made an 8×8 collage as a winter-proof bouquet. Once it’s dry, I’m going to frame it. I’m hoping that this will qualify as cute, thoughtful cheesy instead of tacky cheesy. At any rate, it’s colourful.

    I think this sounds very thoughtful and wonderful.

  124. carlie says

    oh, the hugs manatee!

    Nice. :)

    Congrats, Caine! Hope it’s fun once you get it all customized to your liking.

    We get the fun of an MRI on Thursday. Child 1 is, by his own reporting, worse off now than when he first got his concussion 3 weeks ago. Scan is mainly just to be on the safe side, because insurance will cover with a modest enough copay (um, I think…). Doctor now thinks it may be benign positional vertigo due to otoliths getting dislodged in the fall, that causing his dizziness, nausea, and headaches. Sounds plausible. Also, then I can make fun of my child for knocking his head so hard stuff fell out. ;) However, he’s describing the dizziness as wobbling and horizontal movement rather than spinning, so I just don’t know. I’m wondering how intrusive I can be with being nosy and wanting to see what they’re doing in the scan. More likely I’ll just be shut out and stuck in the waiting room altogether. :(

  125. says

    Carlie, good luck with the MRI. You know what you could do? You could hover over the tech and make random guesses as to what’s wrong like on that one TV show. “Is it amyloidosis? Pseudoneoplastic syndrome? Wegeners? Lupus?”

  126. says

    Carlie, my dad had something similar. There were a bunch of head movements/exercises to put the ‘liths back in place. It didn’t work for him, because that wasn’t the problem, but I hope there is a simple solution like that for #1.

  127. carlie says

    Thanks, MikeG. I’m hoping that’s it because that would be easy, but who knows. Could be that he just takes a long time to heal.

  128. Portia, wishing for spring says

    Got knocked down by a migraine today but wanted to drop in while I’m catching up on the thread.

    I had a nice evening at my aunt and uncle’s with my dad, except for Obnoxious Cousin and her Insufferable Spawn.

    Had an as-yet-uncreepy craigslist buyer fail to show up at the time he selected not five hours earlier. Sigh. It would have been great too, because my dad was there to alleviate my skeevey feelings leftover from The Skeeve.

    The only thing I can remember that I wanted to say was sympathies to rq for the house difficulties, again. : ( Hope it has worked out and I will find out as I read.

    *hugs* and love to everyone else.

    I hope the melatonin will knock me out soon.

  129. Portia, wishing for spring says

    Caine:

    Yay, new laptop!

    Esteleth:

    Yay cystlessness. Nope, couldn’t say that one more time if I tried. Still, hoooorray!

    opposablethumbs:

    *hugs* for you and *anklehugs* for SonSpawn. I can’t imagine how tough that is.

    rq: Princess Bride. Sadly I’ll probably have to wait til we do this again (we will, right? *puppy eyes*) My friend’s two year old’s birthday party is Saturday afternoon. It’s been two years since I helped bring him into the world, so I should go :)

    ====

    Now I’m gonna take my eye twitch and go to sleep. Night all.

  130. says

    Yes, Yay! for the new laptop. I’m getting used to it, but I don’t much care for having a separate start screen apart from the desktop. Oh well, minor stuff. At least I can get back to blogging. Now I have to work!

  131. chigau (違う) says

    Now I have to work!

    Yeah, yeah, whatever, Caine.
    What about rattie pictures?
    What about uuuusssss?????
    —-
    On a slight tangent, I actually remember functioning without computers.
    I think everything was in black-and-white.
    and there was paper everywhere.

  132. says

    ‘rupt and pretty tired, but I must at least try to participate in the conversation :)
    Caine
    Yay for new laptop, boo for Win 8

    John Morales

    Too many people confuse the operating system with the interface.

    (The latter sits on top of the former)

    In the case of newer (since about XP) versions of Windows, I hate them both.

    Nutmeg
    The collage sounds like a cool idea.

    Others:
    *hugs* for those having spawn or other troubles.

  133. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    So, I have a first “homework” assignment to write an email to my instructor from my actual email account, not the stupid ones the college rams down our throats with a jackhammer, after getting access to the online content to the course (step 1). The instructor requested that we “describe the process used to complete step 1.”

    Process for step 1 was completed as follows: I sat down at my computer and accessed the portal, accidentally clicked on the “ECS Portal” link rather than the login link, and opened a tab to start another page loading while waiting for it to refresh. I returned to the ECS page, clicked the “login” button, and reflexively attempted AGAIN to log in with my SacCT username and password. I then reflected that it’s really considerate that the ECS login page, unlike many on the net, tells you whether you entered a wrong username or just a wrong password. After logging in with the correct credentials, I clicked the “Zimbra” link to see if the mailbox listed the exact email address ECS assigns to me, found it didn’t, clicked on an email to see if it at least had my ECS address in the subject line, realized that all the email in my inbox seemed to be sent to distribution lists, and made a note to check a couple of the emails which referenced scholarships later. I reflexively logged out of Zimbra, but found that I was able to get back into the ECS portal without having to log in again. I then clicked on Moodle, clicked “All Courses” since only ME 190 was currently visible, and scrolled down to the ME 108 course link, on which I clicked. When the page loaded, I clicked on the “enrolment key” box, then clicked the appropriate button whose exact label I’ve already forgotten and confirmed that the course assignment list appeared as expected, then went back to Zimbra to attempt to send a message to this email account so I’d have a record of my ECS username format, but found that the content in the “compose message” window never loaded, at which point I went back to Moodle to download course files.

    ^.^

  134. Owlmirror says

    *insert Picard-Riker double-facepalm*

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1212.5608

    Science looks for the simplest hypotheses to explain observations. Starting with the simple assumption that {\em the actual world is the best possible world}, I sketch an {\it Optimal Argument for the Existence of God}, that the sufferings in our universe would not be consistent with its being alone the best possible world, but the total world could be the best possible if it includes an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God who experiences great value in creating and knowing a universe with great mathematical elegance, even though such a universe has suffering.
    God seems loathe to violate elegant laws of physics that He has chosen to use in His creation, such as Maxwell’s equations for electromagnetism or Einstein’s equations of general relativity for gravity within their classical domains of applicability, even if their violation could greatly reduce human suffering (e.g., from falls). If indeed God is similarly loathe to violate quantum unitarity (though such violations by judicious collapses of the wavefunction could greatly reduce human suffering by always choosing only favorable outcomes), the resulting unitary evolution would lead to an Everett multiverse of `many worlds’, meaning many different quasiclassical histories beyond the quasiclassical history that each of us can observe over his or her lifetime. This is a theological argument for one reason why God might prefer to create a multiverse much broader than what one normally thinks of for a history of the universe.

  135. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    …I wonder what sort of response the instructor actually had in mind? >.>

  136. John Morales says

    Owlmirror, indeed — only an ignoramus confuses ‘loath’ with ‘loathe’.

    But God definitely has a penis; that is Revealed Truth.

  137. says

    Ugh… I can’t tell if this is food poisoning or norovirus, and my wife doesn’t want to get close enough to check me out. And I don’t blame her either. I don’t expect I’ll be getting any sleep tonight. Ewww. ‘

    Now that I’m more or less finished with my wife’s not-a-hope chest, I’m moving on to putting a new covering on the amplifier. The official color is “British racing green.” My wife has decided, based on seeing an amp in that color at the guitar shop the other day. Green with brass corners and a wheat grille and a leather handle. AND CASTERS! I’m tired of having to pick the damned thing up to move it.

  138. chigau (違う) says

    John Morales #196
    But is God’s penis lacking a prepuce?
    Many people remove theirs in order to improve themselves; to be more ‘Godly”.

  139. says

    Yeah, yeah, whatever, Caine.
    What about rattie pictures?
    What about uuuusssss?????

    I have many rattie photos to go through and get blogged. I have a fair amount of leftover Ratmas pics I need to get processed. In the next day or so!

  140. John Morales says

    chigau:

    We expect pix.

    Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew!

    (Food poisoning ain’t pretty!)

  141. chigau (違う) says

    John Morales
    nonono
    I refer to God the Father, Who Was in the Beginning, Is Now and Ever Shall Be…
    that Guy, does He have a foreskin on His Penis?
    (I don’t care about His Brat)

  142. John Morales says

    chigau, ah, the ultimate ontological Dog?

    Of course — He has the Foreskinniest Foreskin and the Glandiest Glans!

    (And the Smeggiest Smegma, but that’s by-the-bye)

  143. chigau (違う) says

    John Morales
    So if GodTheFather has a foreskin, where does He get off telling his Follower to whack theirs?
    That ain’t fair.

  144. katenrala says

    @ Caine, poisoned chalice

    What’s your rig decked out with and what brand? Did you get it for photo-processing?

    I’ve a Sager laptop with a i7 2920 extreme edition processor; 16 gigs ram; a GeForce GTX 485M; 2 hard drives at 750 gigs each; a 1920 by 1080 pixel 15 inch 95% NTSC gamut monitor; a wacom cintiq tablet monitor for drawing, painting, and digital sculpting; and a mouse with 3 joysticks so I can still do games even with one hand. I can toss it all into a backpack when I go to the hospital too.

  145. yubal says

    I don’t understand people’s problems with Windows in general.

    Well, it is a mess. Code wise. You do not see much on the surface but try to compile a pretty piece of code for windows and you see what i mean.

    I’m comfortable enough with it, it does what I tell it to do without too much fuss.

    It does for most people. It also offers a gateway to hell without telling you. Watch your ports.

    Free man run Linux !!

    (1.We actually use Linux, Windows and Apple at home)

    (2.just bored and extremely tired. waiting for my burping role and maybe a diaper change before i think about making breakfast in 5 hours.)

  146. says

    Good morning
    The little one is still coughing like grandpa used to, but is cheerful.
    Mum is expected to get her MRT results today. The word “transplantation” was mentioned again.

    carlie
    Fingers crossed for your kid

    Caine
    Yay for laptop

  147. says

    Wow, Thunderdome is active and nasty. But there’s a gem from the shitpile:

    Carlie; The better answer is to seek the advice of an establishment skeptic. Violence solves nothing.

    This has a wonderfully zen magic 8-ball character about it.

    And also, it has zero relevance to the conversation. Carlie was making a joke about ververt monkeys in that crap study. This reply is so off the wall as to possess pure surrealist comedy gold.

  148. rq says

    Good morning!

    ckitching
    What is the issue with fluoride in water, besides conspiracy? I thought it was a good thing…

    Improbable Joe
    Feel better soon!!! :/

    Portia
    Yes, we will do it again. I have half-a-mind to do another one Sunday night, since I’ll have all the way until next Wednesday night ‘to myself’ (as it were). So enjoy the birthday! ;)

    WMDkitty
    That is one beautiful kitty! I love that colouring. And the expression is priceless.

    +++

    Winter is playing tag-team with Spring, again… Today – ca. 0 degrees and freezing stuff outside. Icky.

  149. ednaz says

    Hello rq! Yay! I’m awake AND alert when you’re here. : )
    Hugs and soup in mugs coming your way to ward off the cold.

  150. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you Nutmeg. I think the winter-proof bouquet sounds really lovely (and is also kind of a gift of thought and time and effort too). I would love such a thing (ooh, what do you think of the idea of having a few flowers printed in black and white instead, scattered in among the others, to sort of underline that this is photographic artifice and not pretend-real? Will only be noticed if looking closely, too) (that is, if you’re printing from electronic; if you’re using existing prints this doesn’t apply, obviously) (Will there be a photographic vase, or the flowers on their own?).
    I really love your idea (I love the idea of using images in this way; the idea feels incredibly 3D to me precisely because photos are 2D (if that makes sense)).
    .
    Ugh migraine, Portia :-( hope it is vanquished soon. Thank you for the hugs and anklehugs, which I will pass on when he comes home from school today.
    .
    Yay for new laptop, Caine! Shiiiiiny :-)
    .
    Like the sound of that amp, iJoe (and yes, casters!)

  151. ednaz says

    Also rq, Sorry for the frustration in taking ownership of your house. Best wishes for your next appt.

  152. rq says

    ednaz
    Thanks! Appreciated!
    Wait… awake and alert at the same time? Can’t be…

    And also a huge thanks to opposablethumbs, whom I’ve been ignoring, though unintentionally! Apologies for not responding – thanks for all the well-wishes, and also best of luck with the (mostly done or now done?) applications! Slogging through paperwork is no fun, at all. Neither is teenage-hood. Good thoughts for your spawn!

  153. ednaz says

    opposablethumbs, @ 161
    * Hugs* for You and SonSpawn. You are clearly an awesome parent. I think that’s great.

  154. ednaz says

    Hi IJoe! That’s a sweet amp you’re gonna have.
    I’m sorry you’re sick. What should I send through the USB?

  155. Amblebury says

    What the hell is all this jiggery-pokery with the layout again? Can’t FTB leave well alone? And what’s on the wireless tonight?

    Rorschach I want to be at that hotel. The Quiet American – is – well, it’s Greene, it’s great. Greene is one of the chief reasons I don’t read biographies of authors any more. Great writer, fairly lamentable human being.

    As far as The Hunger Games go, that bloody Tolkein has a lot to answer for. Starting all this trilogy jiggery-pokery. There are two good books in that trilogy. What we have is one good one and two with good bits, and weaker bits. Actually I dimly recall the whole trilogy business has something to do with a decision by some publishing house way back when.

    I love the thought of the collage Nutmeg, I’d be touched if it were given to me.

    Esteleth, when in doubt, chop it out.

    Words to live by.

  156. opposablethumbs says

    Hey rq :-D. Finished with the present batch, thanks, with more to come later … yeah, teenage-hood can be a hard time, and when you are trying to negotiate it under the shadow of a severe language disorder it is harsh. When they’re little you can run interference, but in the teenage years an adult just can’t do that. Sigh.
    Hey you’re really close to the end of this stage of the house saga, aren’t you? I mean, if the only hitch the other day was missing paperwork … ? I’m expecting to see your confetti-and-sparkles announcement any time now! Tentacles remain xd.
    .
    Thank you ednaz, that’s a really nice thing to say. I think well-intentioned is more accurate, myself! But at least he knows he’s loved at home – sometimes there isn’t much more than that you can say.
    .
    The ingenuity of the Horde being limitless, I might as well just throw this out ’cause you never know, somebody somewhere might have dealt with something like this some time. Anyone have any idea what to do to celebrate the birthday of a teenager who doesn’t have anyone to invite? (I know I’m unloading a bit here, and I’ll try not to dump on you all too much. This is a genuine question, I’m really searching for ideas. There’s no family within travelling distance, and while there are some kids at school who’ll exchange a few words with him from time to time there aren’t any afaik who he could invite to do anything with him. So far my only idea has been to see if there are any really irresistible gigs coming up, get him an extra ticket or two and see if maybe a fellow musician might feel that it was worth it to hang out with him for a couple of hours if it meant they get in to hear the music. That sort-of-worked once with a Hugh Masakela concert, but it was nowhere near the birthday date).

  157. opposablethumbs says

    Oh, damn, errands to run. See you all later. ::leaves pile of hugs on the Lounge table::

  158. opposablethumbs says

    Oops, missed your comment Giliell, sorry. Spawn#1 is applying for sandwich year work placements (the course is biochemistry, so anything in that direction). Spawn#2 is just applying for a music Summer School bursary, which he’s got in the past so hopefully might get again.

    Hope you get to have an entire illness-free household for a bit! BBL

  159. Beatrice says

    opposablethumbs,

    A little family celebration, just the four(?) of you, wouldn’t do? I’m familiar with the concept of no friends, but not really with family doing a nice celebration together. Dinner out and a cake at home sound nice to me. Maybe a movie night or something?

    If you give him concert tickets and he doesn’t find company, is the idea that one of you goes with him?

  160. ednaz says

    I’ll be thinking about your question, opposablethumbs. : )

    Pleasant sleep, Everyone.

    Goodnight.

  161. carlie says

    Azkyroth – that’s odd, did they give a reason for wanting a different email address to use? We have it drummed into us all the reasons why using the college-based email is preferable, and I honestly much prefer it because I can a) find it no matter what, and b) don’t have the awkwardness of emailing a student at “sexylady69 at hotmail”.

    This is now making the rounds: Fake college syllabus

  162. rq says

    Good night, ednaz!

    opposablethumbs
    Rather than getting just someone to go with Spawn, is there perhaps an adult friend (not necessarily a relative) to whom he feels especially close? Or with whom he would be willing to go? Maybe, even though other kids don’t generally speak to him, he still has someone in mind he would like to invite himself (in such an event).
    Generally, I think it’s a wonderful idea (giving him the opportunity to go out and see a show). Maybe that, along with a family dinner either out or prepared as a special meal. Or instead of an in-house movie night, you could all go see a movie in the theatre (just for the change). I don’t know how much is too much, just throwing out general ideas…
    Or, maybe there’s a large-sized present or item of some kind that he would like/has his eye on. Maybe instead of the going out part, he could be gifted with something like that.

  163. John Morales says

    Pteryxx, wow. That is very silly.

    (It’s not like he pretended to be someone else!)

  164. rq says

    Now I know why the couch seems to be especially dust-spitty. It’s because the dust bunnies haven’t been coming out from underneath in a natural fashion; they’re being constantly forcibly pulled out! Ever since MiddleChild discovered the magic of taking a long, flattish instrument in retrieving all the Lost Toys!, he’s been striking out on his own – without the supporting function of the vaccuum cleaner. Eep! (I don’t mind them cleaning or doing things on their own; I mind them being mysterious about it, because I also don’t mind helping them do it properly, rather than leaving those poor dust bunnies out in the unlimited Wilds of Carpet. The poor dears.)

  165. Beatrice says

    rq,
    What exactly is your idea for simultaneously watching the movie? Commenting along or later, here or somewhere else (I don’t have Twitter or Facebook)?
    I don’t know how people usually do this kind of thing.

  166. rq says

    Beatrice
    Telepathy? ha.
    But I was thinking commentary/conversation here. More for the feeling of watching in-company rather than any sort of (non)serious critique. Does that work?
    I’ve only ever done it one-on-one, via gmail chat.

  167. Beatrice says

    rq,

    I don’t see why it wouldn’t.
    I’ve never done this, but I think it will be fun :)

  168. says

    Katenrala:

    What’s your rig decked out with and what brand? Did you get it for photo-processing?

    Oh, I wish I wish. I did adequate drooling over several setups, but went with cheap in the end, because we’re on the broke side, and the Blazer needs much work (some done, more to come) and a healthy 4 wheel drive in winter is a priority. I got a Toshiba Satellite for $429.00, 640 gig drive, 4 gigs memory (expandable to 16), 17.3 screen. I’m about bristling with external hard drives (2 for backup, one for photos, one for artwork), and I use a Wacom Intuos tablet. I’m still getting everything installed and customising as I go.

  169. rq says

    Beatrice
    I think so, too! :) Yay online party (date? :D)!

    +++

    Reading through the Thunderdome for kicks; read the last two words of Sophia’s #353 the French way – big-oh vinaigrette. Sounds delectable.

    +++

    Also, for the record, while I enjoy both thoroughly, I find this Eddie Izzard far more attractive than this Eddie Izzard. I think it’s the confidence. Or the heels. Hard to say, really. /random

  170. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    This is why I’d really like to see more of a drive to digitally scan everything. – dontpanic

    Apparently this was underway at Timbuktu before the Islamist takeover, and the discs were taken to Bamako (I can’t now find the story about this on BBC). It’s not yet clear how many manuscripts were destroyed or stolen, or which of those had been scanned.

  171. opposablethumbs says

    Beatrice, yes, that’s pretty much what we’ve done in the past – gone out for a meal together. There are only the three of us at home now, though, as Spawn#1 is off being a uni undergraduate in another town. But yes, that is definitely a nice thing to do. I think a movie night could be good, but his dad is so bloody fussy about what he will and won’t watch!
    .
    Thank you ednaz, I’d be glad to read anything that should come to mind (no worries if nothing pops up, obviously. I just think it’s always on the cards that someone else will simply look at it from a different angle and think of notions that haven’t occurred to me. Always appreciated!)
    .
    rq yes there is an adult friend he used to be quite close to – until my OH had a massive falling-out with him, dammit! So much so that all contact was completely broken off (and I don’t even know what it was about, although I do recognise that this bloke has a history of coming out with some very dodgy stuff. He’s older – almost a generation older than OH and I are – so he was like sort of an honorary grandparent; the thing is he’s the sort of bloke who would be utterly accepting of an individual like my OH and still unthinkingly say racist things about a community as a whole. I suspect it was likely something along those lines that my OH blew up at). As for special presents, well I know the Spawn would love a bass clarinet … Unfortunately they tend to be just a wee bit outside my price-range … by several orders of magnitude, eh! I really appreciate the thoughts and ideas, and I think we may well do some combination of these special-food-and-film ideas. It’s not for a couple of months yet, so we have time to think about it.
    .
    Dust bunnies should be left undisturbed in the wild until they evolve and grow into dust wildebeest or possibly dust behemoths. When they reach a size such that they can be seen from outer space, then they can be herded into the vacuum cleaner :-)

  172. Parrowing buıʍoɹɹɐd says

    Good [morning, evening, or whatever time of day it is for you here], everyone!

    rq, how does one make a bigot vinaigrette? My instinct is to say that there needs to be some prickly pear.

    *

    I’m also looking forward to the movie watching. Maybe we should include a hashtag like on Twitter when referring to the movie, so that anyone who wants to follow along can easily and those that want to skip know when to skip? Like #CMN (Commune Movie Night)? If that’s a bad idea, feel free to pretend I never came up with it.

  173. Camcaran says

    It seems the manuscripts were saved before the buildings were burned. I could give you a link, but it’s in Finnish.

  174. richardh says

    Gay scouts:

    No, I’m pretty sure “We’re losing all our financial backing over this and money is more important than our supposed morals” is a fairly simple issue, actually.

    Exactly.

  175. birgerjohansson says

    High-tech cargo airship being built in California (Update) http://phys.org/news/2013-01-high-tech-cargo-airship-built-california.html
    A Giant Floating Airship Could Be Future of Flight http://www.bloomberg.com/video/a-giant-floating-airship-could-be-future-of-flight-fwQl8D1ZSjWwx5lNNvHOvg.html?cmpid=taboola.video
    — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
    High schoolers help crippled cat walk again http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/01/26/high-schoolers-help-crippled-cat-walk-again/

  176. says

    Opposablethumbs:

    I think a movie night could be good, but his dad is so bloody fussy about what he will and won’t watch!

    :cough: How about his dad sucking it up for one movie, by way of a birthday present? :cough:

  177. rq says

    opposablethumbs
    What if they’re already coming out as dust wildebeest? :O Do I let them grow to alot-size (alot of dust)?
    Actually, I can’t allow them to grow too long, because the biological vaccuum cleaner (we have a crawler) will take care of them, and I get tired of pulling long strings of tangled, dusty hair and miscellaneous unidentifiable crud out of his little fingers and mouth. Especially since he takes such offence at my efforts to keep him (reasonably) pest-free.

    Good luck with the birthday ideas. If anything else pops into the head, I will let you know (family weekend trip? outing to a museum/gallery/different city (within financial means), if some members are to finicky with their movies?).

    Parrowing
    That’s actually not a bad idea. At all. What time zone are you (/curious)?

    Camcaran
    Sounds like good news, in Finnish… I’m not able to find an English reference yet, but I’ll keep an eye out! (Also, for the record, this bit of news has not appeared in local news at all, which doesn’t really surprise me, but is still disappointing.)

  178. Parrowing buıʍoɹɹɐd says

    Giliell (@5):

    I also enjoyed Order of the Phoenix for the same reason. I would get so irritated when people said they found his anger unreasonable. Somehow, I don’t think a 15 year old, who find’s out he’s responsible for essentially saving the world, is unreasonable for feeling angry. I wanted him to yell more, actually.

  179. says

    ’ve a Sager laptop with a i7 2920 extreme edition processor; 16 gigs ram; a GeForce GTX 485M; 2 hard drives at 750 gigs each; a 1920 by 1080 pixel 15 inch 95% NTSC gamut monitor; a wacom cintiq tablet monitor for drawing, painting, and digital sculpting; and a mouse with 3 joysticks

    Cool. Can it bake cookies too?

    Did the Ho Chi Minh stuff in Hanoi today, museum, maosoleum, memorial, also some 1000 year old pagoda and a temple by a lake which used to have tortoises in it, and where allegedly a sword has been buried for 1000 years. Other than that, it’s all motorcycles here, a rather practical solution to not having money to buy cars, not having roads to drive them on and lacking any kind of parking space. I’m somewhat glad I’m going back to Bangkok tomorrow.

  180. rq says

    rorschach
    Sounds like a good time!

    +++

    I think I’m going to take myself to see Eddie Izzard. Just because.

  181. Parrowing buıʍoɹɹɐd says

    Venting time, feel free to skip.

    Ugh… so I’ve been going to a language café every Wednesday for the past year. It’s pretty much the only place I go to on any regular basis so I feel that I owe it to myself to keep going for the sake of doing something. I’ve made “friends” through this group, but the problem is that I don’t actually really like any of these people most days. I’ve come to dread Wednesdays and have built up a lot of anxiety around this.

    I don’t really have any other options for getting out and doing things- I live in a small town with very few social options and without public transportation around the town. I can’t really afford the travel to other towns, am somewhat physically limited, and do not have a car or a bike. Also, I’ve been feeling so anxious lately that I’m too afraid to start anything new. But I often feel like shit around these people and some of them are so woo-obsessed and selfish that they spend the entire two hours going on about what silly new thing they tried/learned… like zen coaching, or how awesome Michael Cremo is. I don’t know that there is a way out of this other than just putting up with it until I move, but I really needed to get this out. Sorry.

  182. opposablethumbs says

    :cough: How about his dad sucking it up for one movie, by way of a birthday present? :cough:

    Too right. You’d bloody well think so, wouldn’t you.
    There are some we can all agree on – like Nueve Reinas/Nine Queens, for instance, which we saw a while back – but they are few and far between!

  183. opposablethumbs says

    the biological vaccuum cleaner

    lol. Oh yes, I remember that! Good luck …

    we have video footage of Spawn#1 at age about 1-and-a-half happily taking Former Monster Dog’s bone right out of his mouth, contemplating having a chew, and eventually giving it back to him. (we were right there, and the dog was looking at us for permission to take it back :-) That dog was exceptionally placid with humans, unlike the other one, but OF COURSE never left alone with them at that age of child because you cannot expect an animal not to react if a toddler accidentally causes it pain). We weren’t scornful of hygiene by any means, but they did eventually get exposed to pretty much everything …

  184. katenrala says

    @ Caine, poisoned chalice

    It’s amazing how much laptops have come down in price. With their portability and a home wi-fi network I see no reason to go back to a desktop unless I’m building a huge workstation/server rig and a small renderfarm.

    @ rorschach

    Cool. Can it bake cookies too?

    The heat output from the vents can if I turn off my custom home-built laptop cooler (3 120mm fans blowing 70cfm on a tilted aluminum grill). The thing is a beast.

  185. says

    Katenrala:

    With their portability and a home wi-fi network I see no reason to go back to a desktop

    Yeah, I agree. There’s little reason to go back to a desktop these days. I do have my moments when I miss my custom built alienware desktop, though.

  186. katenrala says

    Before my cancer came back I was going to hand build a multi-socket water-cooled workstation pc with at least 96 gigs of ram on one of those new monstrous hybrid server/workstation motherboards. I bought a $500 case for it and then discovered I was sick again, so I had to get a laptop for travelling.

  187. says

    Katenrala:

    Before my cancer came back I was going to hand build a multi-socket water-cooled workstation pc with at least 96 gigs of ram on one of those new monstrous hybrid server/workstation motherboards. I bought a $500 case for it and then discovered I was sick again, so I had to get a laptop for travelling.

    Holy rodent, that sounds amazing! I love monster mods.

  188. katenrala says

    @ Caine, poisoned chalice

    Holy rodent, that sounds amazing! I love monster mods.

    I’m a total computer junkie. :p Plus building them is easier done than imagined, I’ve built one of my desktops from scratch and was always modding my Mother’s desktops. If I had the money I’d make a media computer for my audiophile Uncle.

    Well I’m off to radiation now and then a nap. I’ll talk with you later. :)

  189. says

    opposablethumbs
    My kids, especially the little one enthusiastically share food with animals, especially animal food. I swear that half the rabbit treats end up in their bellies and it is kind of cute if she has a doggie-biscuit, nibbles it, lets our friends’ dog* have a bite and then eats the rest.

    *That dog, too, is very well trained in general and best pal with the little one especially. He is very careful when he takes a treat out of their fingers so he doesn’t accidentially bite them.


    Speaking of said friend, she’s in hospital due to being over-due. Seems like her body is very reluctant to go into labour, even with medication. I can only imagine how frustrated she must be now. But she’s in hospital and monitored, so everything should be fine in the end…

  190. says

    It is 1023pm in Hanoi. Picture this: The landmark 1901 colonial hotel, dark mahogany furniture in the bar, plush armchairs, French speaking Vietnamese waiters, a mainly middle-aged and well off tourist audience, and a local live act performing “I will survive” to the enthusiastic applause of the previously apathetic bar audience. Somewhat awesome, if awkward.

    Off to the war museum tomorrow before my flight back. Apparently the USA fought a war here not so very long ago.
    Noisy stupid American tourists currently ruining the mood by rudely ordering the waiters around and being generally arrogant and obnoxious. Funny how they still think they rule the planet and are superior wherever they go. Embarrassing. But I used to feel like this about Germans abroad too.

  191. says

    WMDKitty, your Gracie is so pretty! (I used my phone to look at the upside-down picture)

    Thanks for all the well-wishing… I seem to be “better” but I’m afraid to eat anything. I spent the whole night “emptying myself” and I don’t want to put anything else in until I’m sure I can keep it. I had a protein shake for breakfast, but that’s about the closest to solid food I’m willing to risk right now.

    opposablethumbs, birthday ideas I’m sort of at a loss for. I usually spent my teen birthdays with my family, so the ideas are all bowling and dinner and movie. As an adult, I like to pretend I have a whole lot of money and go window shopping with my wife. I try on $2000 watches and get them to pull down the $3500 guitars for me to noodle on. So not really much help either way I guess.

    Parrowing, sorry about your lack of social options. I’ve got no advice, I’m sort of in the same boat.

    Computery folks, my desktop is custom built, and I’m thinking about scooping the guts out and putting a nice system together. The components are all fairly high-end for 2007 when I built it, but now not so much. On the other hand, I don’t find anything that really taxes the system to any great degree, so why spend the money?

  192. says

    Rorschach:

    Funny how they still think they rule the planet and are superior wherever they go.

    Yeah, because every ‘merican is exactly like that. Guess one has to be a condescending git fond of sweeping generalizations to see it.

  193. says

    No luck so far in meeting Vietnamese people with a thick Saxonian accent?

    The only people here with Saxonian accents are backpacker tourists from Germany, and you can tell them from 10 miles away, at least I can. Sure looks as if there are quite a few tourists here who have fallen on hard times, or who are going for the whole broke peasant experience. It’s all so 1983…

  194. says

    Guess one has to be a condescending git fond of sweeping generalizations to see it.

    Nah, just travelling beyond North Dakota regularly makes that pretty clear. Try it some time.

  195. Beatrice says

    Parrowing,

    I feel for you. I tried to socialize with a couple of girls women my age at work, who also came there a month ago, but it’s just not going to work.

    Today, we would have passed Bechdel test only because I started talking about my job testing.

    Luckily, I have my mentor who I get along with great.

    Any chances of there being someone there who is just as bored/annoyed as you, but trying to hide it too?

  196. opposablethumbs says

    she has a doggie-biscuit, nibbles it, lets our friends’ dog* have a bite and then eats the rest.

    :-D :-D :-D love it.

  197. la tricoteuse says

    It’s confirmation bias. You don’t notice the ones not being obnoxious assholes because they’re not, well, being obnoxious assholes.* And every country has its own brand of typical obnoxious behaviour when overseas, because being away from home makes people sort of…magnify themselves in a way, to comfort themselves when out of their element.

    *I do this all the time with Italians and Americans (more citizenships means more people to be embarrassed by!) Americans in London, because I notice them a lot more than any other foreigners, and I did the same with just the Americans when I was in Italy. I only remember the ones who babbled about how they weren’t voting for Obama because he wanted to take their guns away, or who tried to order drinks from me in elementary Spanish (because hey, same language, right?), or the Italians who bitch nonstop about the food here in the UK (despite never actually eating any of it, since they only go to McDonald’s). Because that’s what I expect from them. (Though, to be fair, I also remember the Americans I overhear saying endearingly stupid things like “That’s where Maximus was imprisoned” like Gladiator really happened.) Confirmation bias.

  198. says

    I love monster mods…

    I must confess to a certain drooling affection for ridonkulously powerful server hardware.

    I get to play with it extremely regularly, actually, but rarely get the physical experience, since it’s generally in a lab somewhere else and there’s people I call when someone actually has to route the fibre optics or install cards or so on…

    But now and then, I get into the machine rooms in person. And ah, the sound of those things coming online… Like a jet’s turbines spinning up, all those fans. Vrroooooommmmm. The beast is now coming to life, and that crackle in the air you now feel is the presence of the immense, restless power within… Please secure any loose objects, and stay away from the inlets and the exhaust stream for your safety…

    The geek version of monster truck love, I suppose.

  199. rq says

    opposablethumbs
    Well, the two eldest got off the cat-kibble habit once they started staggering around on their own hind ones, so I’m expecting youngest to do the same. ;)
    As it is, we’re all about strengthening the immune system through exposure (although I do have my limits, don’t worry – I’m not feeding them raw, room-temperature chicken). Besides, [anecdote] my mum swears that my eldest brother survived eating chicken poo with no ill effects [/anecdote], so…

    Parrowing
    That sucks, that’s annoying, and I can understand (a little bit). I used to take Eldest to a Christian children’s group (with therapist for the mothers), and it was such a relief to find another scientifically-oriented mother there (quite by accident). While I wasn’t all atheist and stuff back them (not out loud, anyway), all the god-this and god-that* talk was putting me on edge… So, there just might be someone else in that group as fed up with the woo as you are. The trick is figuring out who. (Not easy.) Good luck, and *hugs* in anticipation of the session (if you’re going)!
    You can always vent here on your return; it helps.

    *I still have a book from those sessions, titled something along the lines of How a REAL Woman Acts (Treats Her Man), which I started reading, vaguely agreed for a while, until I tried putting the theories in practice. All about being happy on behalf of your man husband and never mind those pesky ideas of your own. Yeah, that didn’t work out too well for me.

  200. cicely (Mostly Harmless) says

    Nutmeg: I endorse the floral collage project. It’ll last longer without watering.

    Caine: New laptop leads to new Cute Rat Pics, yes?
    :)

    Portia: Sympathies for your migraine. Nonononono…not so much for the migraine, as for you, in your migraine-ful state.

    Owlmirror: That is, indeed, one huge manatee.
    :)

    On a slight tangent, I actually remember functioning without computers.
    I think everything was in black-and-white.
    and there was paper everywhere.

    Yes, indeed! And the paper came striped in green and white, each stripe about three lines of characters deep, and with multitudinous little holes at both (perforated) margins. I remember it well!
     
    Oh, you mean before that? I have dim memories of something called “narrow-ruled paper” that was way better than sliced bread—certainly better than the “college-ruled” stuff—because there were more lines per page, and I could therefore get more class notes to the page. (I write way small.) Yea, verily, and graph paper could be readily purchased in entire packets, ruled at eight teeny tiny squares to the inch—and even smaller—very useful when mapping dungeons (while not wanting to paper the entire damned tabletop)—and, if you were lucky, circular plot paper. Available in stores.
     
    *sigh*
     
    Oh, I know; these days you can print off all the microscopically-small-gauge graph paper you like, but it just doesn’t taste the same.

    Starting with the simple assumption that {\em the actual world is the best possible world}, […]

    A novice’s mistake. Whoever this is should tear up the paper and redo from start.

    iJoe: How did the not-a-hope chest turn out?
    -

  201. says

    Cicely, the not-a-hope chest turned out pretty well. It needs one more coat of tung oil, and I’m debating putting a thin polyurethane coat on the lid so that we can put it in the living room and use it as a coffee table. So it turned out well enough that I think it can be used as a coffee table?

  202. says

    Hi Lounge I’ve been cheating on you with the Thunderdome. I’m sorry :(

    Found out that about three pages of edits to my story never saved so I gotta redo them all. In a minor note, however, that does at least make it easier to add the fantasy twist I was missing. So now instead of chasing a single strangler, the Investigative Unit will be chasing a strangler and an unlicensed mage.

  203. says

    @rq:

    Literally. Took me so long of banging my head against the wall trying to break through it, and finally it dawned on me. It adds the “this definitely couldn’t happen in New York ” angle while also not breaking the rules of my story. It also lets me change around a bit of the motive for the strangler, create a connection between the first and second books, and create the general overarching theme of the series with awesome plot twists and story elements and a total “holy crap didn’t expect that” ending.

  204. rq says

    Katherine
    In other words, the perfect solution! That’s exciting news. And I hope all subsequent (re-)writing goes well!

  205. Beatrice says

    Katherine,

    Can we still expect your book this summer?
    I’m planning to buy it as a birthday gift for myself :)

  206. rq says

    If Janine happens to stop by:
    You mentioned the book 1491 in the previous Thunderdome thread. I have placed it on my reading list, but I’m curious – have you read Stolen Continents, by Ronald Wright? As far as I can tell, it’s on a similar topic, and if you have read it, I’m curious about your opinion on it. (I read it several years ago and was pleasantly surprised by its topic and the way it was handled, but I think it’s more of a surface-scratch rather than an in-depth study…)

  207. says

    So, today’s word is “transplantation list”.
    Yes, mum’s officially on the list, even though not on the “urgent” yet, but so they can start and do all necessary tests and preparations already. I guess it counts as good news since 4 weeks ago we thought that her body was already too damaged for a transplantation.

    +++

    It’s confirmation bias. You don’t notice the ones not being obnoxious assholes because they’re not, well, being obnoxious assholes.*

    Word.
    Although there is, generally speaking, a problem with first world tourists in third world countries being neo-colonial western supremacist culturally insensitive obnoxious assholes.
    To quote somebody whose name I’ve forgotten:
    “The “ruler of all I survey” scene gets repeated daily on the balconies of western hotels in third world countries.”

  208. cicely (Mostly Harmless) says

    Is she a Guard Kitty? She looks like a Protector.

    *looking at pic*
    I just don’t see it. Where is the beak? Where is the thick, wrinkled hide? Where are the enlarged joints?
     
    I don’t believe you could get something like that from a Pak. Possibly from a kzin.

    http://www.salon.com/2013/01/29/man_who_adopted_his_wifes_last_name_is_accused_of_fraud/

    I would surmise that this is really about the “hefty filing fee”. The Traditional Usage excuse is just a rationalisation.

    *wiping away a tear for the poor dust bunnehs*
    It’s a cold, cruel world away from the dark, warm confines of the under-couch.

    As for special presents, well I know the Spawn would love a bass clarinet … Unfortunately they tend to be just a wee bit outside my price-range …

    I would love a bass clarinet, too. Years back, when we had health insurance and more disposable income, I actually priced ‘em. They were out of range then, and I very much doubt that they’ve become cheaper now.
    *sigh*

    rq, how does one make a bigot vinaigrette? My instinct is to say that there needs to be some prickly pear.

    I chortled.

    It seems the manuscripts were saved before the buildings were burned.

    Yay!

    They are saying that the library staff has removed most of the manuscripts to a safe place somewhere else.

    I hope they’re right.
    -

  209. Parrowing buıʍoɹɹɐd says

    Thanks iJoe, Beatrice, and rq. Sorry to hear about your situations :(

    I went and today was one of those days that guilted me into thinking that maybe I’m making too big a deal of things because they aren’t that bad. There wasn’t any talk of woo today. I hadn’t thought about the Bechdel test, but we do regularly pass it. That would get to me too, Beatrice :-/.

    There is one woman there who I thought might secretly be just as annoyed as I was and then she went on about ear candling. I think she’s also into magical cures through healthy eating, though that’s only my impression based on passing comments. Otherwise she’s very easy to get along with and when I mentioned that I was interested in joining a gym around here, she said she’d take me along to her gym with her free guest pass. That might be nice.

  210. dontpanic says

    carlie:
    Sorry to hear about child 1’s concussion (missed that earlier). Re: dizziness, nausea, and headaches – my own spawn has had that for 9-10 months now (though no known concussion) to a debilitating degree; neither MRI nor CAT picked up anything. We’ve been spinning wheels for quite a while and its damn frustrating. It might be environmental ’cause I’ve had nausea and fatigue (but not the headaches and dizziness) for about 2+ years, with no resolution. And, no you won’t be able to hover; you’ll no doubt be shut out in the waiting room — the tech forcefully put down that idea when I suggested tagging along.

    WMDKitty:
    Gracie looks very, very much like a mirror of our “skitty”. Unfortunately, my wife is starting to suspect that her arrival might have something to do with what I was talking about in the previous paragraph.

    opposablethumbs:
    Birthday. Yeah, know how that goes. That coupled w/ having it right before Xmas such that even when he did have friends (all the other misfits in the special ed emotionally disturbed (gawd, I detest that terminology the school used — it infuriates me to no end; even typing it here in “jest” drives my blood to boil) classroom) getting it all together was a real hassle. Generally we’d let him float his birthday +/- 6 months to avoid that. But, this last one was quite subdued. Just he, and us, dinner out. Sorry, no good inpirational suggestions.

  211. opposablethumbs says

    I would love a bass clarinet, too. Years back, when we had health insurance and more disposable income, I actually priced ‘em. They were out of range then, and I very much doubt that they’ve become cheaper now.
    *sigh*

    Exactly, cicely. And the sound is soooooo beautiful …. so rich and full and woody and ooohhh it’s so cool for jazz ::big sigh::
    He’s actually got the use of one, temporarily, that belongs to the Borough Music Service. He plays it in the borough orchestra and borough jazz band to earn his keep, as it were, and they let him keep it at home so he can play it on other occasions too. But it won’t be long before it has to go back to them, of course, for other kids to use in their turn.
    We did go so far as to buy a mouthpiece and ligature, though, as the one that came with it was pretty battered.
    You’re mainly a Bb clarinettist? Do you klezmer or jazz or classical or ….??? SonSpawn is jazz mad, but he’s accompanied people in other genres sometimes. I think it works beautifully to support and play around a singer, something about the range and timbre matching well I suppose. I can’t play, but I do enjoy his enjoyment!

    Surprise discovery of the evening; I just an hour ago found out that the casual-for-fun adult band he’s gigged with a few times over the last few months contains a Pogue.

  212. opposablethumbs says

    dontpanic, it’s funny how much it means just knowing that other people know exactly what you mean. When he was younger we’d just take a cake in to school, the teacher would dish it out at breaktime and he didn’t even realise that this wasn’t a birthday party like other kids had. Those days are long gone, though.And we’ve quite often just gone out to eat at a restaurant to celebrate his birthday, it still feels special to him – but now he’s that much older, it just doesn’t stand up so well as it used to beside the fact that he knows perfectly well other kids in his year actually go out and do stuff on their own with friends. Right before xmas in your case must really put the icing on the cake! Are you at the teenage stage, or much younger …?

  213. opposablethumbs says

    It’s funny, though it makes perfect sense when you think about it, that a non-neurotypical child can interact quite successfully with adults when they can’t manage at all to interact successfully with other kids their own age.
    Well it won’t last forever. It will get better, or at least there’s every chance it could get at least a bit better.

  214. Parrowing buıʍoɹɹɐd says

    Katherine Lorraine:

    Back in my lurking dayz, I noticed when you said you had finished your book. You were so happy and excited and it inspired the hell out of me. After that I actually made a big push towards finishing my book because I decided I needed to know how you felt as soon as possible. Thanks so much for that and I wish you the best of luck with putting the finishing touches on yours. I can’t wait to read it!

  215. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Azkyroth – that’s odd, did they give a reason for wanting a different email address to use? We have it drummed into us all the reasons why using the college-based email is preferable, and I honestly much prefer it because I can a) find it no matter what, and b) don’t have the awkwardness of emailing a student at “sexylady69 at hotmail”.

    The college email system is buggy and awkwardly programmed, and it requires me to go and log in to a page instead of just clicking a button on the left side of my screen in order to check mail. Also, the college email assigns addresses with numbers in them. I have a bias against email addresses with numbers tacked on the end, and I assume I’m not alone. Also, the entire mailbox is, reportedly, abruptly deleted on graduation. As such, most students avoid using it when possible, so because for SOME FUCKING REASON they want it to be used, the college refuses to send official correspondence to any other address and forces the IT desk to lie to students about whether it’s possible to set up mail forwarding (I figured it out, though it wasn’t easy), and to pretend it’s because of “security reasons.” The (in my experience) better professors get students’ real email addresses and add them to a distribution list.

  216. Nutmeg says

    Opposablethumbs:

    I would love such a thing (ooh, what do you think of the idea of having a few flowers printed in black and white instead, scattered in among the others, to sort of underline that this is photographic artifice and not pretend-real? Will only be noticed if looking closely, too) (that is, if you’re printing from electronic; if you’re using existing prints this doesn’t apply, obviously) (Will there be a photographic vase, or the flowers on their own?)

    Thanks for the enthusiasm! I finished it last night, and for a first try at this kind of project, it turned out all right. I love the idea of black and white, and I might try that next time, with a few flowers or as a whole collage. I found that 8×8 was a little small to work with, so an 8×10 or 11×15 frame would give me more room to play.

    No vase this time, just a bunch of flowers in a frame. A vase might be fun to try but probably a little more difficult to arrange.

    *resists urge to run home and make crafts*

    If I ever have a chance to send gifts to Horde members, some of you might be getting cheerful flower collages.

    Giliell:

    So, today’s word is “transplantation list”.
    Yes, mum’s officially on the list, even though not on the “urgent” yet, but so they can start and do all necessary tests and preparations already.

    That’s great news!

  217. cicely (Mostly Harmless) says

    When Son was two, he bit our Runt-cat on the ear, perforating it. I felt that she exercised admirable restraint, only clawing him once, lightly, on the arm before making good her escape.
    She was not quite so forgiving a year later, in connection with the notorious closet incident.

    she has a doggie-biscuit, nibbles it, lets our friends’ dog* have a bite and then eats the rest.

    *nodding*
    Manners.

    opposiblethumbs: For a number of years (while I played with a local community band) I had the use of a bass clarinet belonging to the associated high school—which had four of them. I have no idea why none of them were being used by the hs band, unless they actually owned a fifth one that I never saw. Unfortunately I had to quit the band and give it back.
    :( :( :(
    I’d’ve given someone’s good right arm to keep it.
     
    I’ve got just a standard Bb of my own, but it’s been…hmmm…10-ish years? since I’ve played it. I’m actually pretty decent on it, when I, ya know, practice, but playing solo is just so sad and joyless.
    :( :( :(
    -

  218. dontpanic says

    it’s funny how much it means just knowing that other people know exactly what you mean. Yeah, I know :-)

    Are you at the teenage stage, or much younger …? Just turned 15. Now his shoe size has fallen one below his age. Or, maybe not — haven’t bought shoes lately.

  219. Beatrice says

    Azkyroth,

    The college email system is buggy and awkwardly programmed, and it requires me to go and log in to a page instead of just clicking a button on the left side of my screen in order to check mail. Also, the college email assigns addresses with numbers in them. I have a bias against email addresses with numbers tacked on the end, and I assume I’m not alone. Also, the entire mailbox is, reportedly, abruptly deleted on graduation. As such, most students avoid using it when possible, so because for SOME FUCKING REASON they want it to be used, the college refuses to send official correspondence to any other address and forces the IT desk to lie to students about whether it’s possible to set up mail forwarding (I figured it out, though it wasn’t easy), and to pretend it’s because of “security reasons.” The (in my experience) better professors get students’ real email addresses and add them to a distribution list.

    That sounds remarkably like my university, except that bit about email addresses with numbers on the end and forwarding. I forwarded all my emails to my gmail account without any problems.

  220. Beatrice says

    Missed this:

    [Giliell] So, today’s word is “transplantation list”.
    Yes, mum’s officially on the list, even though not on the “urgent” yet, but so they can start and do all necessary tests and preparations already.

    Good. Thumbs held/fingers crossed.

  221. opposablethumbs says

    Noooo, you should have a band to play with! A pianist, at least! A singer to wind your notes around!
    .
    I have had some wine, so rather than observe proper decorum I shall demand that the universe rearrange itself in order for you to have ready access to person-or-persons to play with.
    .
    I guess there’s no community band where you are now, or circumstances just make it impossibly difficult? That’s a shame. I hope that circumstance changes in the not-too-distant future. A guitarist neighbour, a keyboard-playing colleague …
    .
    It’s relatively easy to find stuff like this for kids to take part in; not so easy to find real music-making opportunities for adults. (Oh my FSM they had four!? and didn’t use them? Argh!)

  222. opposablethumbs says

    I too missed saying ALL TENTACLES CROSSED for the transplant list situation, Giliell. That’s great that they consider her a possible candidate, considering what you mentioned earlier.
    .
    We’re on similar pages, then, dontpanic – SonSpawn is 16 going on 17. Teenage years are hard enough for the neurotypical, nobody needs that extra helping of impossibly-complicatedness dammit.

  223. la tricoteuse says

    Cicely:

    I don’t know where you live, or if something like this exists there, but there are websites like http://www.find-a-musician.com (which appears to cover a few different countries) for people who want to find people to play with. Another one that might help is meetup.com. It’s more general but you can find/start a group for people who like to play music together or something, I’m sure. Again, depending on where you live.

  224. cicely (Mostly Harmless) says

    opposiblethumbs: Son has decided, post-divorce, to take lessons in piano/keyboard. Maybe…just maybe….
     
    As far as I know, the community band is still there; but the time came when I had to make a choice between the band, and the SCA, which had meetings on the same night—and at that time I was playing recorder with 4 other SCAdians, and was incredibly pissed off with certain persons in the community band, so it was a relatively easy choice. Now, though, due to cash/travel constraints I’m not playing in the SCA, either…but then, the recorder-playing situation dried up and blew away a couple of years ago, leaving me bereft of music.
     
    At least four. I find it hard to believe that a high school band of that size doesn’t have a superfluity of clarinetists such that the director wouldn’t put somebody on at least one bass.
    -

  225. opposablethumbs says

    Son has decided, post-divorce, to take lessons in piano/keyboard

    Sounds like a good maybe! That would be a lovely thing to do; I hope it happens. Its a real shame the recorder group has dispersed, there’s some amazingly great music for recorder consorts (I had no idea there was such great contemporary stuff, as well as the early music you tend to hear more of)
    .
    I still live in hope that DaughterSpawn will at some point decide to fool around with the violin again (it’s taken a back seat for the moment) because I so want them to do something they can legitimately entitle “Mindless Sax and Gratuitous Violins”.

  226. opposablethumbs says

    la tricoteuse, Grrr. Well, it had to have been done – but it’s such a great name, there’s no harm in using it a bit more!

    I don’t know that album, but I certainly hope they actually had sax and violin on it :-)

  227. la tricoteuse says

    opposable thumbs:

    Synth ones, possibly? I think Sparks mostly had keyboards for instrumentation, though I’m not an expert on them.

  228. cicely (Mostly Harmless) says

    la tricoteuse : Thanks! I’ve registered, now we’ll see what, if anything develops.
    :)

    opposiblethumbs: Son is so very frustrating, when it comes to playing music. He has the most amazing talent for the recorder, picking up the fingerings and reading of treble clef (previously only being acquainted with bass clef, by way of learning trombone (which is another story only tangentially related to my current one)), very casually one evening. Because he was bored. He then proceded to very competently play the middle part to the most complicated piece of SCA dance music that our group had—and did I mention that he was 11 or 12 at the time?—with the rest of our group. Recorder doesn’t interest him, however, so he has only rarely been willing to play it with me. Exercising almost superhuman restraint, I have refrained from pressing him, because I didn’t figure that there was any point in coercing him into playing, and I’m hoping that one day he’ll discover an interest in it.
     
    Keyboard being something he’s interested in for himself, I think there’s actually a reasonable chance of playing duets, once he gets that far along. His instructor is apparently surprised at how quickly Son is picking it up….
     

    I so want them to do something they can legitimately entitle “Mindless Sax and Gratuitous Violins”.

    I have, drifting somewhere around my house, a piece I composed titled “Duet For Two Equally-Harrassed Recorders”. In 12/8.
    :)
    -

  229. says

    Dalillama,

    I don’t really have anything substantive to say, though.

    Me either. In the plus column, that means we don’t have much to complain about, right? Or at least nothing new on top of the normal problems, and sometimes that’s the best you can hope for.

    Like, I’m sort of worn out from pooping 20-25 times last night, but I’m done pooping now. That’s a check in the “win” column. All of my guitar gear dreams are probably going to come true because LAYAWAY!* I’m a little stressed and anxious today, but I’ll scrape through somehow and in the meanwhile I’m making bacon-wrapped meatloaf with a chili glaze, roasted red potatoes, and asparagus in vinegar and shaved Parmesan cheese. And even though I’m trying to refrain from drinking, I’m thinking maybe a glass of wine would help because I normally don’t get much caffeine and as I was typing this I realized that I’ve been drinking caffeinated iced tea all day. Normally not a big deal, except for me following chigau’s advice about staying hydrated and drinking a gallon and a half of tea in the last four hours. So I’m buzzing like a dildo in your luggage.

    *Which seems a little ridiculous but I’ve got all sorts of weird neuroses about not being worth having nice things that my parents drilled into me by making me do without and then giving away their money to deadbeat relatives instead of spending it on me… and then they spent money on my younger brother once I moved out, even bought him a truck. But I’m not bitter!

  230. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    WMDKitty – Gracie is beautiful.

    Giliell – Great news! And *more hugs*

    cicely:

    I don’t believe you could get something like that from a Pak. Possibly from a kzin.

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

    As for musical instruments, I’ve been enjoying the ukulele. I started to say “my” ukulele, but I have five of them now.

    It’s fairly cheap—$40 will get you a playable one, new—with room to move up. There are two main ways to play, picking and strumming, so it works solo or in a group. A uke is fairly portable—I have one bungeed to the roof liner in my truck—and fairly sturdy (I have a plastic one that I need to put better strings on).

  232. rq says

    I just got my violin back from the person borrowing it. It seems to be in good condition, but it will need a few test runs, soon, to be sure.

    +++

    Giliell
    Sorry for passing it by earlier – but yay on the good transplant news! I hope all goes as well as possible, I will definitely hold a bunch of thumbs for you!

    +++

    Want to bet something will come up tomorrow, and we’ll be another half-step closer, but not quite there yet? I feel like I’m in that Zeno’s riddle or whatever it is – if you’re always going half-way there, do you ever really get there?
    But yes. It’s the final few signatures and official papers, and it’s so damn annoying.
    Once again, I say tomorrow. And tomorrow we will see if it really is just another day, or if it is the day.
    Along with everything else, I’m not up for much conversation, never mind the cheerful kind. A good night to everyone, *hugs* to those who want/need and a pile of mixed drinks for everyone. Sort them out amongst yourselves. :)
    (Just one of those nights/days where I feel like I just can’t do it, even though I know I can. *sigh*)

  233. Amblebury says

    Just a tip, the College Syllabus link Carlie posted freezes my computer whenever I click on it, and I have to reboot.

    Rorschach, remember the bit about ‘kindly’?

  234. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    So, I’m in ME senior project this semester. Groups are already in place. There are two things my company needs that could be good projects. One of them the instructor probably won’t allow because it’s a steam compressor and there’s a “no pressure vessel” rule, but we MIGHT be able to find a way around that; the other is a refrigeration and cold-storage system for the specific needs of a particular application. The guys (it is all guys, sadly; the one woman I might have wanted to recruit already created her own group) seem unenthused about either project, even with the lure of getting our company to fund them. We have a chance to do something impressive and meaningful and maybe even make a profit from it down the line, AND not have to cover it out of pocket, and it’s like they don’t even care.

  235. says

    Thanks, everybody.
    It might actually be quite a while until transplantation will happen, depending on how her condition evolves.
    But it’s still kind of a punch in the stomach. Still, 10 years survival of 70% sound much better than a 2 year survival of 32%. I know, it’s not a guarantee and there’s a freak chance that she’d live longer without a transplant than with, but statistically speaking it’s the sound thing.

    Sorry to hear, Joe.
    *Brezeln and coke for you*

    David
    Did I mention that the kids are constantly asking when we’re going back to Berlin to see the dinosaurs again?

  236. opposablethumbs says

    cicely, that’s very impressive! Sounds like duets could be feasible relatively quickly then, especially since – as you say – it makes all the difference when it’s a person’s own initiative.
    I shall cross an extra tentacle just in case.

    rq tomorrow will be the day. Crossing the other extra tentacle!

  237. carlie says

    Amblebury – I’m sorry, it’s just a salon link, so I’m not sure what happened. The original url is http://www.salon.com/2013/01/26/my_fake_college_syllabus/ , not that it’s funny enough to go hunting after if it’s making anyone’s computer wonky.

    dontpanic – oh, how awful. I had mystery vertigo for about 3 months a couple of years ago and it was miserable. Although I think watching your kid go through it is worse than doing so oneself. Mine had a doozy of a spell this morning after coming upstairs and I was *this close* to calling 911 on him due to the rolling eyes and wobbly head. :( I hadn’t realized what it actually looks like from the outside before.

    AND THEN. He called from school to tell me that he had accidentally gotten hit his head in the hallway at school, which of course threw him off balance enough to send him to the floor, where he hit his head again, and then passed out in the nurse’s office. For fuck’s sake, kid. The nurse at the doctor’s office when I called was like HE DID WHUT. But he’s fine until the scan tomorrow, it seems, if another half day behind in schoolwork.

    Anyone have any idea what to do to celebrate the birthday of a teenager who doesn’t have anyone to invite? (/blockquote>

    Oi, somehow I had totally missed that conversation. I’m right there with you. Child 2 is in a similar situation. We did try to have a couple of birthdays where we’d invite one or two potential friends out for dinner or a movie, without telling them it was birthday-specific (so no pressure for gifts or anything), but those were honestly more painful than not doing anything. So now we try to make it a bigger experience kind of birthday – doing everything his way for a day. Now that he’s getting up into teenager territory, we might expand into an overnight half-weekend kind of trip somewhere he wants if money allows.

  238. Portia, wishing for spring says

    rq

    I think I’m going to take myself to see Eddie Izzard. Just because

    Good for you : ) Sounds like fun. I’d love to see him live. And maybe you’ll get a mini-vacation feeling out of it?

    Parrowing

    Ugh… so I’ve been going to a language café every Wednesday for the past year. It’s pretty much the only place I go to on any regular basis so I feel that I owe it to myself to keep going for the sake of doing something.

    That sounds like no-fun situation, I’m sorry. : / I hope that hanging out here helps a little. Have you explored starting a differently-themed group that meets near your home? Probably sounds pretty daunting, but it can be fun to start something new.

    opposablethumbs
    I don’t have much in the way of birthday ideas, but I wish you luck. And I’m glad your kid has such a great parent : )

    And thanks for the migraine well-wishes. I woke feeling refreshed and headache-free this morning. I had a rare bout of noxious nausea with my migraine yesterday. The vomiting subsided just in time for Taco Tuesday at my aunt’s thankfully. Her tacos are magical.

    It’s funny, though it makes perfect sense when you think about it, that a non-neurotypical child can interact quite successfully with adults when they can’t manage at all to interact successfully with other kids their own age.
    Well it won’t last forever. It will get better, or at least there’s every chance it could get at least a bit better.

    I’m largely neurotypical, but I was homeschooled. Which affected my ability to socialize with people my own age. I always had lots of good adult friends though. I enjoyed their company quite a bit more. It has served me pretty well into adulthood to be able to make sincere adult conversation. I’m sorry if I’m being insensitive or comparing apples to oranges here, I just thought it might be an encouraging tidbit given the way he is able to form social connections. : )

    Joe
    Glad you’re on the mend

    cicely

    Portia: Sympathies for your migraine. Nonononono…not so much for the migraine, as for you, in your migraine-ful state.

    Thank you much. Though, come to think of it, you might feel sorry for the migraine as I kicked its ass pretty soundly. Even met with a client in the throes of it. I probably looked like death warmed over, but all I needed was his signature so I powered through it.

    Giliell

    Yes, mum’s officially on the list, even though not on the “urgent” yet, but so they can start and do all necessary tests and preparations already. I guess it counts as good news since 4 weeks ago we thought that her body was already too damaged for a transplantation.

    I’m glad there seems to be good news.

    WMDKitty and dontpanic
    Your kitties are pretty .
    CRAIGSLIST CAR CREEP UPDATE
    I didn’t respond to the “ur Gorgeous” email, so two days later I get the following email:

    SORRY

    I laughed pretty hard.

    ===

    The snow is blowing around pretty well here, and coming down fast and fluffy. I’m glad all my running around is done. I wish I didn’t have any work to do any I could just curl up in bed. Alas…people want to give me money to do work for them. Oh, the problems I (don’t) have. : p

  239. says

    Ooohhhhh!!! Giliell!

    Brezeln would be AWESOME right about now. Seriously, I don’t know whether to thank you for the kind offer or rage that you can’t email me some! :)

  240. Parrowing buıʍoɹɹɐd says

    carlie:

    AND THEN. He called from school to tell me that he had accidentally gotten hit his head in the hallway at school, which of course threw him off balance enough to send him to the floor, where he hit his head again, and then passed out in the nurse’s office.

    Oh no! I hope he’s feeling okay and that the scan goes well tomorrow. Good luck with the waiting :-/.

    *

    Portia:

    Yeah, I have thought about starting something. A while ago I wondered whether there were any skeptic groups meeting around here and thought about starting one if there wasn’t, but I’m not too interested in that anymore. I should come up with something, but if I do, I have no idea where to advertise other than the grocery store noticeboard. Might be worth a shot, though.

    CRAIGSLIST CAR CREEP UPDATE
    I didn’t respond to the “ur Gorgeous” email, so two days later I get the following email:

    SORRY

    I laughed pretty hard.

    That. is. thebestthingI’vereadtoday.

  241. says

    carlie
    Oh nooo. Poor kid. Hope he recovers soon and complete

    +++
    For those who speak German
    It’s an old clip that starts by some typical sexual harassment of the woman and is then turned around by her telling him how they all discussed his dick-size and that he needed to be fucked again and so they all collected money for him.
    Brilliant.

  242. carlie says

    Parrowing – that’s pretty funny; he obviously knew what he did. :D

    Just got home, and child seems back to what normal has been for the last week or so. I was laughing, though – on the way home from school I told him that the whole school will probably know about “the kid who fell down in the hall” by tomorrow. He got a call just now from one of his friends, asking if he was ok because he heard he “passed out in the cafeteria”. Heh. Social networking at its finest.

  243. Portia, wishing for spring says

    Ohtheirgawds.

    S just pointed out that the job I am planning to apply for STOPS taking applications on Feb 1, not STARTS taking them. Good thing one of us has reading comprehension skills..

    carlie
    Yep, things travel quickly. I passed out from stress on the first day of law school. Guess what they called me for the next three years? Yep.

  244. dontpanic says

    Portia/carlie
    I passed out in freshman biology … during the sex education lecture. Yeah… I was already bullied (though I did have some friends that were supportive) so it didn’t change much of how many of the students interacted with me. But still, it didn’t improve my standing. Needles and semi-graphic descriptions of medical issues ===> take the direct train to vasovagal syncope. Gott’a watch sometimes when I’m driving and NPR is doing a medical story that I have to turn the radio off before I feel too lightheaded.

  245. Portia, wishing for spring says

    vasovagal syncope

    Exactly. Thankfully I haven’t had one in quite a while.

  246. dontpanic says

    That is high school biology. Lasted less then a day in high school senior year physiology class; yup, teacher pulling plastic parts out of a fully sized dummy verified that I wasn’t getting past that trigger. Pretty much put the kibosh on a medical career.

  247. says

    Can anyone here explain why exercise causes light-headedness and a woozy feeling? This started happening when I moved up to 8-lb weights (had been using 5-lb), and I’m starting to worry that maybe there’s something Really Really Wrong With Me because this is not normal.

  248. opposablethumbs says

    Bloody hell, carlie, your Child1 doesn’t do things by halves! I hope he’s OK, and that the scan is all fine. That must have been a bit of a shock when you got the call!

    I remember you said Child2 had some similar things going on – it’s so hard to know how best to help them deal with it sometimes. Oh, I so remember trying to do things like you described! And it being pretty painful all round … And then teenagerdom just adds a bit of extra complication, because they don’t want to be always doing things with you, they’d maybe like to be doing some stuff with their peers … ::sigh::
    .
    Not insensitive in the least, Portia. And yes, I do hope there may be some possibility that some things could work more easily when he’s an adult himself. Some adults at least are a bit less spooked by encountering someone who seems a bit odd or different than teenagers tend to be, just because the adults are more experienced and more sure of themselves.

    S just pointed out that the job I am planning to apply for STOPS taking applications on Feb 1, not STARTS taking them. Good thing one of us has reading comprehension skills..

    ArghFuck, I’m sorry you have the mad rush to do this now but I’m SO glad this was noticed now and not after Feb 1 !!!!
    .
    Good night Horde, see you tomorrow. It means a lot to be able to bring up this kind of thing sometimes, and you can’t always do it in vivo (as it were). Hmm, I seem to have another heap of hugs to leave on the table there.

  249. says

    WMDKitty,

    Are you breathing normally as you lift, inhale on the downstroke and exhale on the upstroke? Are you in a strange position and/or really bearing down with your whole body?

  250. Portia, wishing for spring says

    Good night, opposablethumbs, sleep well.

    I’ve snagged a hug from the table, thanks : )

    I’m glad he caught the deadline now, as well. Thankfully I’m on “call for a beer after work and hang out” terms with the HR person the application goes to, but still. Whew.

  251. Parrowing buıʍoɹɹɐd says

    dontpanic/carlie/Portia:

    I fainted in front of my whole religion class when I was 15. We were watching a recording of an anti-abortion lecture given by the grandmother of one of the students. There were no graphic pictures but she kept talking about the placenta, which apparently wasn’t doing good things to my brain. I got up to get some air and *bam*. Woke up to my friend laughing because she thought I was pulling a stunt… yeah, one of the quietest, shyest people in the school, pulling a falling down in front of the class stunt. Certain descriptions of pregnancy still make me feel light-headed as a result, as well as the idea of having blood drawn (but not needles in general). This event might have been the catalyst for the panic disorder that I developed a month or so later :(.

  252. morgan says

    Amusing (now) story about fainting when I was a kid. I’d do it all the time for no apparent reason. Unfortunately I wasn’t surrounded by observant concerned adults so it wasn’t discovered until after I was on my own that I had life long low blood sugar issues. Made for some interesting teasing from other kids. Oh well, I pretty much learned how to breathe so that I wouldn’t completely pass out, but geez I’d turn an attractive shade of blue.

  253. says

    iJoe

    I’m in a seated position, and yeah, exhale on the lift, inhale on the downstroke. So either I’m pushing too hard, or there’s Something Wrong… and I really really want this to be a case of Doing It Wrong, and not Yet Another Health Issue.

  254. says

    WMDKitty,

    My guess is that the specific angle you’re at, and the way you’re trying to maintain your seated position, is causing you to have a vasovagal reaction, especially if this is the ONLY situation that’s causing the symptoms… in which case you’re lucky you haven’t fainted outright. If that is the problem, the good news is that the solution can be as simple as very slight adjustments of your body angle. I’ve seen people who would pass out from standing at attention, and it went away by simply relaxing the angle of their legs at the knee very slightly.

  255. says

    You’re safe Janine… a shitty bar band doesn’t become awesome because they wear stupid costumes, so I’ve never been a fan of KISS. The fact that Gene Simmons is a horrible person just seals the deal for me.

  256. carlie says

    Oh goodness! All the stories. :) The most embarrassing i ever did in front of people at school was throwing up. On the teacher. Well, kind of. He was sitting in the desk behind me, because we had presentations. I realized I was going to lose my internal race of not throwing up before the bell rang and I could run to the bathroom unobserved, so I turned to tell him I had to leave, and… yeah. He jumped up and out more quickly than any of us realized he could move. As for passing out, the only times I’ve done it in public have been right after donating blood. The first time was right at the site, the first time I donated. The other time was in college when I skipped lunch to donate blood, then went to my work study and realized I wasn’t doing well. I laid down on the floor in lab and put my feet up on a chair, which was where my advisor found me a few minutes later and told me to go home.

    Opposablethumbs – have you dealt with the romantic issues yet? Mine has been desperate for a girlfriend for years. That bothers him even more, I think.

  257. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    I was thirteen and walking into my next class when I had the seat of my pants split. It was quite loud. The teacher did not even bother giving me a hall pass, just told me to go to the office. I walked sidesways down the hall, turning my butt away from open classroom doors.

    I was lucking, the secretary had needles and thread with her. While I hid in the principal’s office, I had no pants on, (The principal was at an other room of the school.) she sewed up the rip. I made it through the rest of the day. But I moved very cautiously out of fear of ripping my pants again. And, yes, my classmates imitated that ripping sound for a long time afterwards.

    I was rather mortified.

  258. bluentx says

    Azkyroth @ #297/ anyone:

    I have a bias against email addresses with numbers tacked on the end..

    ?
    Something I should know?

  259. says

    Ooh, embarrassing story time? I’ve never passed out, nor barged on anyone, but you know that kid who called the teacher ” mommy”? Yeah. At least I went to a different, far away school starting in 6 th grade.

  260. la tricoteuse says

    MikeG, I did that once, in 2nd grade. :( I didn’t get to go to a different school til 11th grade though.

  261. carlie says

    MikeG, I did the opposite of that once – I used mommy voice on accident while I was teaching. A couple of students in the back were watching some videos on a laptop while I was lecturing, and they got to the point of laughing out loud and annoying those around them, and I lost it and yelled “You two! STOP IT. NOW.” The entire classroom startled and straightened up.

  262. ckitching says

    dontpanic wrote:

    I passed out in freshman biology … during the sex education lecture. Yeah… I was already bullied (though I did have some friends that were supportive) so it didn’t change much of how many of the students interacted with me.

    Glad to hear I’m not the only one who has ever had that reaction to graphic displays and descriptions of medical problems. Knowing how lightheaded I got during the required health education classes was enough for me to skip high school biology (I was only required to take two out of the three of chemistry, physics and biology). I had only once passed out, and I blamed it on being sick (although I don’t believe I actually was). I knew very well that I’d never make it through the frog dissection class if I actually did take the biology courses.

    Luckily this tendency to light-headedness and fainting has faded with age, although not completely.

  263. bluentx says

    Standing by…
    Waiting to to see the reaction (if any) to my ‘sharing’ the news item on Jim Nabors’ marriage on my FB wall. Usually, if I post anything ‘controversial’ it gets ignore. Such is life here in right-wing boonie-land.

    *All hail SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS and GAWD!*

  264. dontpanic says

    morgan:
    Amusing fainting stories? How about scary? A couple of years ago I had chest pains, and got myself driven to the ER. By the time they got around to me (which took surprisingly long) the pain had gone away. But they insisted I stay overnight as they wanted to follow through looking for markers
    whether it had been an actual heart attack. So they start drawing blood sample every hour or so. I did amazingly well, until about 2 am when the night nurse (tired, not very good, whatever) took 3 attempts to get a sample. Away she goes, and 10 minutes later just before going completely out, I managed to pull up the emergency button and ring for help — it was damn close. Don’t quite remember too much; I do remembering them taping (blue tape, surprising details one remembers) a second syringe (stimulant? adrenaline?) to the equipment in case I needed a second shot of whatever they gave me. I do tend to freak even doctors out by going completely pale and having literally no measurable blood pressure. I figure a hospital trip is going to be the death of me someday.

  265. mildlymagnificent says

    3 tries? Back in my low blood pressure days (before thyroxine) they used to get 3 tries – left, right, then another shot at left – but only if they were any good at it. The fools who tried to make things happen, despite me telling them the problem with my near inaccessible veins, with me sitting instead of lying down didn’t even get that far. The worst by far was actually a doctor, but she was trying to give me an intravenous shot. There I was lying there with tears running into my ears and she apologised profusely then admitted that she hadn’t achieved anything and was going to have to try another syringe/needle size entirely. And we got to do it all over again. Did I mention that untreated hypothyroidism also lowers the pain threshold? Happy memories!

  266. morgan says

    dontpanic:

    You have my sympathy. Going deathly pale makes everyone around you lose their minds. Interesting, I also have ridiculously low blood pressure. I also had a novice blood taker inflicted on me. I was a sickly kid and came down with mononucleosis at age 14. The fool taking my blood at the hospital tried four times in one arm and three times in the other before I passed out. Then they gave me two penicillin shots which do nothing for mono and I had an allergic reaction. I love our medical system. And this was nearly 50 years ago.

  267. bluentx says

    I don’t recall ever fainting or throwing up on anyone in school but… Third (or was it fourth) grade. It’s the end of day, waiting for my school bus (#153-why do I remember that to this day?). A kid shorter than I was ran by in front of me, banging my nose with the top of his head. *!!@%!!&!! Searing pain, seeing stars, almost blacked out… I get home (cupping/protecting my nose the whole way), run to my room crying, throw my self on the bed. Mom comes in “What is wrong with you?” “MY NOSE IS CROOKED!”
    +++
    No you can’t really break your nose but damn it can REALLY feel like it !

  268. Pteryxx says

    Return of the Homophobic Zombie Bills…

    http://www.salon.com/2013/01/30/tennessee_dont_say_gay_bill_now_requires_teachers_to_out_their_students/

    If you thought that you’d heard the last of Tennessee’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill after state lawmakers abandoned the legislation last year, think again.

    It’s back. And it’s awful.

    The measure still prohibits elementary and middle school teachers from discussing sexual activity that is not related to “natural human reproduction” or even acknowledging that homosexuality exists, but new language in the bill would require teachers to tell parents when students are — or might be — gay:

  269. bluentx says

    Went to the emergency room once due to an on the job chlorine gas inhalation. One of my best friends (R.N.) was on duty. It took her seven tries to get the IV started!
    Me: Okay, what did I do to you in High School that was so bad that you’re taking it out on me NOW ?
    Friend.: Well at least you’ve kept your sense of humor.

    I remind her of this from time to time.
    And also, every year I call her on her birthday to say: “And just remember- You’ll always be older than me!” Born one day apart, same year but it’s still true!

  270. bluentx says

    michaeld:
    *sigh* But I can’t take a sip of the tasty beverage I’d like- I’m at work. *sigh*

  271. Nutmeg says

    Fainting stories:

    I’ve fainted twice in my life. The first time, I was in third grade, and I was blowing up a balloon for an art project. I started to feel dizzy and tried to walk back to my seat, but I didn’t make it. I fell face-first onto the tile floor. I woke up with the teacher and vice-principal and most of the class gathered around me, and a decent-sized chunk of my front tooth broken off. The dentist got to try a new technique to re-attach it. He was pretty excited, and it worked beautifully. Good thing, because that was an adult tooth.

    The second time was just after I was baptized in the local Anglican church. I was thirteen. I had strep throat that day, and I was nervous, and it was hot in the church, and I was wearing my heavy choir robe. And that was the year that I decided that not eating was a brilliant solution to being unhappy at school, so I was skinnier than is healthy for me and probably a little hypoglycemic. In retrospect, I’m surprised I made it through the baptism before fainting. No injuries that time, at least, just a lot of embarrassment.

  272. says

    The only time I’ve ever lost consciousness was when I broke my ankle. It was make when I was in the Marines. The temp was barely above freezing, I’d slept outside the night before, so when I hit the ground and turned my foot backwards and then some, I really barely felt it. So I’m laying there, and then I tried to stand up. I don’t actually remember what happened as such… there was a bright light, and I was laying back down again, and the time in between simply vanished.

  273. Orange Utan says

    @bluentx

    How do you keep it from doing that all-the-way-across-the-page-thing?

    Get a browser addon that supports custom css and add the following rule for freethoughtblogs.com:

    .comment-entry { word-break: break-all; }

  274. Orange Utan says

    …and if you just want it for links only, then use:

    .comment-entry a { word-break: break-all; }

  275. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Can anyone here explain why exercise causes light-headedness and a woozy feeling? This started happening when I moved up to 8-lb weights (had been using 5-lb), and I’m starting to worry that maybe there’s something Really Really Wrong With Me because this is not normal.

    I think low blood sugar is one of the things that can cause that, as can low blood pressure. (I’ve inferred this because the most recent time I did a cardio workout on an empty stomach I wound up feeling like I do when giving blood- and like you’re describing – starting about 17 minutes in). It could be something serious, though, so if you have access to a doctor I would get it checked out.

  276. bluentx says

    Thanks Orange Utan:
    I’ll just run what you said through my computer-fu translator and get back to you. :)

  277. thunk, hull overheating says

    Strangely enough, I have never fainted, though I have come close several times.

    Drawing blood is always fun for anybody who tries to do that. I tend to start fainting when blood is being drawn, and it often takes several tries to find a vein to pull it out of. And I don’t think my blood pressure is too low…

  278. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Also, I have never to my knowledge fainted, though my brother did once, at my wedding, due to locking his knees.

    As for veins…meh, you can borrow mine. I have a really good donation vein in the crease of my left elbow. I seem to donate blood at least twice as fast as the average patient, which is convenient except when it leaves me feeling dizzy and lightheaded for 30 seconds and then forcibly babied for the next fifteen minutes. >.>

  279. John Morales says

    Well, I’ve just spent around 45 minutes preparing the main course for dinner, in my usual ad hoc fashion and based on what I had in the fridge and the larder.

    So, I chopped up a couple of onions and a couple of rashers of bacon (most of the fat removed*) medium fine and started frying them gently in some olive oil, then also chopped up a couple of cloves of garlic quite fine to be added at the last minute.

    Then I peeled and chopped up a couple of potatoes into roughly 1/4 inch cubes, put them into a ceramic pot and nuked them for 3 minutes and let them stand while I took a couple of steaks and chopped them into roughly 3/4 inch cubes (removing all the outer fat*).

    After standing, I added a knob of butter to the potatoes and floured the meat cubes in a plastic bag with a couple of heaped teaspoons of flour, by which time the onion, bacon and garlic mix was ready so I decanted that into the pot with the potatoes.

    Then turned the oven on to preheat to 160C, and I browned the floured meat in the same pan, a few pieces at a time and topping up the oil as required, then added them to the pot. I deglazed the pan with roughly 1/4 cup of dry red wine and added that to the pot.

    Then I chopped up a largish zucchini into rougly 1/4 inch pieces and added them to the pot.

    Then I added a tablespoon of tomato paste, a gurgle of soy sauce, a hearty bit of ground black pepper and the same of paprika to the pot, and wet it with around 1/4 cup of stock.

    Finally, I mixed the contents of the pot thoroughly, covered it with aluminium foil, put a couple of vent holes in it and placed it into the now-ready oven.

    (We’ll see how it turns out)

    * Not wasted; the chooks and the dog all get their share of that.

    (The cat is unimpressed)

    PS Our home-grown onions, garlic and zucchini! :)

  280. chigau (違う) says

    John Morales #382
    Sounds delicious.
    (I cook bacon and drain-and-save most of the fat for making buttermilk biscuits)
    —-
    I’m tired of winter and so are the stored potatoes.
    They are all sprouting.
    Some of the sprout-stems are more than 20cm.

  281. says

    @John, sounds delicious if perhaps a bit wintry! I’ve been making potato salad and bean salad and green salad to go with the meat (this week it’s been pan-fried chicken breasts with lavender herb mix, and lamb & rosemary sausages.)

    @Carlie, I’m sorry I neglected to send best wishes to the spawn when commenting on the thunderdome troll humour. I was a bit threadrupt at that point. I hope all is well with you & yours.

  282. says

    Oh. My. Ceiling Cat.

    I’m now a “bully” and “abusive” for pointing out that IVF is selfish and a direct slap in the face to foster children and adoptees. *rolleyes*

    Infertility sucks, yes, but you know what? There are thousands upon thousands of American children waiting for a forever family — how about adopting one of them instead of thinking your DNA is so precious that it MUST be replicated? How about choosing LOVE over genetics?

    As far as I’m concerned, every child is absolutely entitled to a loving, stable family.

    You, however, are not entitled to pregnancy and childbirth.

    If you want a child, fucking ADOPT! It’s a win-win! You get a kid, kid gets a forever family, one less kid in the system!

    What’s the fucking problem with pointing that out?!

  283. says

    Good morning

    Ooooh, fainting stories
    I have relatively low blood pressure and am really sensitive to low blood sugar. By now I mostly know the signs that tell me “get some sugar and sit down”, but I really fainted twice. Well, three times, but the second and third time were on the same occasion.
    First time I was lucky that my dad was standing right behind me, so he caught me and I didn’t knock my head on the floor, too. My brain was still able to think “better hold on to something”. Unfortunately, that something was my toothbrush which I held in both hands.
    Second time was in a bookshop with friends. It only took them a few years to stop talking about it and asking me if I’d eaten enough…

  284. says

    Well, yes, WMDKitty, you’re not in the clear here. I see that you mean well, but there are many people who have different opinions on the importance of genetics, and adoption, and fostering – and berating them for selfishness when they are in emotional pain over their infertility is not nice.

  285. rq says

    Good morning!!
    While I have never fainted (came close once, due to pain in near-dislocated shoulder from being moved suddenly from a sleep state to a wake state by flinging the blankets off due to alarm sounds…), I have puked publicly: all over the shoes of the head-jury member at my first piano (Kiwanis) competition in grade 2. Nerves, I suppose. It never happened again, but I still hate performing alone.

    +++

    Short [rant] re: Wedded Bliss to follow. Ignore if you wish.
    I refuse to feel guilty for wanting some one-on-one attention from the person I married, especially since we had an agreed-upon plan from a few months ago that was never followed through on (once a month? really? that’s too much? especially if you get an annual multi-day trip alone? I’m being petty?). I will not believe that I am unhappy simply because I do not appreciate all the things that I have, and I maintain that I am allowed to be pissed off for being kept out of a process important to me (buying house) simply because it is easier and more convenient (at least a notifying phone call would be nice). … Sometimes I hate myself. I don’t think I’m going to be doing too well (emotionally speaking) in the near future.

    In more positive house news, the most important pieces of paper to be signed today in the presence of an attorney cannot be signed without my presence. So at least I have that.
    [/rant]

    +++

    fluoride
    What’s this about fluoride being a nasty bit in our water now? I have a friend who’s all about Flouride is nasty! Thank God they banned it in Windsor!, but I’m a bit confused about the information I’m reading. She sent me an informative link about fluoride in toothpaste (and eating it), but all the information I get about fluoride in water seems to have positive reviews. All the people in the studies cited suffering from fluoride-related issues have ingested massive amounts of fluoride over the course of years. Does anyone know anything more about this? This is the link she sent me.

  286. strange gods before me ॐ says

    rq, there is much discussion of fluoride in this thread about Acharya S the anti-scholar.

    The whole thread is fun, but the discussion about fluoride gets interesting when glowball shows up. It’s a complicated topic and I’m not a public health expert; I would only note that those are reputable sources which glowball provides, however, they do not recommend dropping fluoride to zero.

  287. says

    rq
    Yes, you absolutely have a right to be pissed off about that. He is definitely the jerk here.
     
    Fluoride: Basically, the John Birch Society decided way back in the day when water fluoridation was first being implemented in the States (ca. 1950, IIRC) that is was a Communist plot to… something. Exactly what varied wildly according to who was telling it and when, but it was definitely an evil plot to pollute our precious bodily fluids. Over the intervening decades, it spread in the general conspiracy-theorysphere, with modifications based on the individual conspiracy theorist’s bugbears (e.g. its not the Commies, it’s The Government, or The Chemical Industry, or Space Lizards or whatever). Just recently there was a big fuss here in PDX about trying to fluoridate the damn water finally, and the assholes and wingnuts were crawling out of the woodwork.

  288. says

    Alethea

    Oh, so their fee-fees are more important than those of ALL THE PEOPLE THEY SLAP IN THE FACE BY CHOOSING IVF?

    Fuck. That.

    Their feelings don’t fucking excuse or justify their selfish actions, and their “thoughts” don’t make those forever families just magically appear for the kids who are waiting and COULD have a family IF selfish breeders would give half a thought to the actual, ALREADY-BORN children!

    Oh, they can feel upset all they want, but the reality is, IVF is selfish, narcissistic, and absolutely DAMAGING to all the children who are deemed “not good enough” and shuffled aside in favor of a Mini-Me.

    What, they think that all of us adoptees and foster kids (and former foster kids) are just going to sit back and go, “yeah, that’s okay, leave the kids to rot in the system, we don’t matter”? FUCK. NO. We have EVERY right to stand up and say, “That is not acceptable,” just like the blacks did, just like the LGBT community is doing.

    In short, IVF is discrimination against CHILDREN who, though not perfect healthy white infants, didn’t CHOOSE to be born, and want nothing more than a loving stable family. To refuse even one of these children a loving stable family, in favor of doing IVF, is an act of outright HATE against a category of people who had no choice in their circumstances. Funny how, in any other case, that would be prosecuted as a hate crime, but because it’s some selfish breeder wanting perfect healthy white baybeez, it’s somehow not discrimination, prejudice, or hate…

    FFS, THINK OF THE CHILDREN, FOR ONCE!

  289. says

    *deep breaths*

    Okay, I feel better now I’ve got that off my chest.

    I’m sorry, I just feel like any defence of IVF is, well, it’s like defending racism or sexism. It’s enforcing damaging societal norms and narratives, particularly the trope of “foster children are damaged goods”, which just serves to keep ‘em down, keep ‘em out of sight, the lucky few will be chosen, the rest of you just aren’t good enough, and when a child internalizes that narrative, it does so much more damage than simply being in the system ever could. It kills me, it fucking KILLS me, that society sees these kids as “throwaways”.

    I’m adopted, so… this is really personal for me.

  290. rq says

    re: fluoride
    Thanks for all the reading material!
    In the Windsor case particularly, I think some of the resistance was to the actual chemical used to fluoridate the water…
    But before I make any more comments, I will read and think.

    WMDkitty
    I can just offer *hugs* or *scritches*, as preferred…?

  291. John Morales says

    Well, the casserole turned out pretty good. Hearty!

    (Perhaps a touch salty, maybe I should have left out the soy given it had bacon)

  292. opposablethumbs says

    carlie

    have you dealt with the romantic issues yet? Mine has been desperate for a girlfriend for years. That bothers him even more, I think.

    Yes :-(((((((
    He mainly wants to have friends, but it also hurts him to know that romantic interest is not returned either.
    .
    Has anyone here seen La Historia Oficial (I think the title was translated as The Official Story)? (Argentina at the time of the Dirty War) No violence on screen … except for one moment, which is technically an accident. The only time I’ve ever fainted while already sitting down. (didn’t half give my partner a surprise)

  293. bluentx says

    Good morning,rq!
    fluoride:
    Yeah, the John Birch thing seems to be back in style with a modern interpretation … that still makes no sense.
    Locally, we’ve stopped (in the last few years) adding fluoride because the natural fluoride content is high enough currently not to need it. The source water and mineral content does change from time to time – uh.. naturally. Because we stopped, some think it’s because we evil bureaucrats (TM) know something and just don’t want to tell the masses.
    Uh… we did tell you in the annual report sent to all residents saying this is what we did, this is how many violations (if any) of EPA standards we had, here are the actions taken….
    Some people just have to be worried about something I guess.

  294. opposablethumbs says

    rq, yes. I think you are right and he is not being fair about this (to put it mildly).

  295. bluentx says

    WMDKitty:
    I agree that ideally adoption should be considered before IVF but pretty much anyone can get IVF ($ permitting), not everyone is approved as adoptive parents. That’s just one point to be made.
    And yes it’s maddening that pro-lifers don’t adopt more if their sooo worried about the baaabies.

  296. rq says

    Oh! Right! bluentx is a state-certified water-treatment expert… Well, if I have any questions abuot fluoridation, I’ll ask you! Currently reading. And the anti-fluoride crowd seems more and more woo-y. Which isn’t to say they’re necessarily wrong.

    +++

    Thanks for all the support.

  297. says

    @ bluentx (WMDKitty)

    I agree that ideally adoption should be considered before IVF

    Hey, I can top that! People should always adopt a child before even attempting any kind of getting pregnant.

    /perspective

  298. bluentx says

    Oh! Right! bluentx is a state-certified water-treatment expert…

    Ha! Like I said, it’s been a few years since we’ve used it so I’ll do my best to rack my brain or look it up in the training manuals. :)
    The main thing I remember is: when connecting to a 55-gallon drum of CONCENTRATED hydrofluoric acid try not to inhale. The vapors will seriously irritate your moist nostrily bits!

  299. rq says

    bluentx
    Ah, I’ll try to remember that next time I’m connecting to a 55-gallon drum of the stuff. I’m wondering how hazardous it is to health itself (the chemical used, more than the fluoride). Seeing as my friend wrote this: “You can get the necessary fluoride from 1 cup of regular tea. In this world health is a buissness… sick peoples means money for phamaceutical companies ect…. North America is probably the most corrupt area with this stuff… Europe bans so many more hassardous chemicals from everything, I would believe a European health expert, but not one from here unless I actually know them personally.” (I had a giggle about the NA health experts being less trustworthy than European ones…), I’m thinking that adding the fluoride has to induce some visible and statistically high health problems for the pharmaceutical companies to make millions and billions (and what about the dentists about to make millions and billions off all those new cavities appearing in children?).
    I looked up the info about fluoride in tea, and it’s true, you can get all your fluoride from tea… Except I don’t give (green, black) tea to the children because I just don’t.
    I’m getting the distinct idea that it’s actually difficult to overdose on fluoride (drink over-fluoridated water, eat toothpaste, drink several cups of strong tea a day, etc.). Am I wrong to think that, or am I using science wrong?

    (Plus, all those arguments are from a pretty privileged viewpoint, as I see it – if you have access to good dental health care, and you remember to (can afford to?) brush regularly with fluoride toothpaste, not fluoridating water isn’t going to have much of an impact on you… But if it’s your only source of fluoride…?)

  300. bluentx says

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard of “overdosing” on fluoride per se. You can get too much in the sense that too high a concentration will cause a mottling of the teeth . Too much, too little -the dentists win either way! That’s one reason there are strict regulations on the amount added to drinking water.
    As for getting enough through tea (especially 1 cup/day)- hadn’t heard that before. I would wonder if it might be like some vitamins and minerals– you can take it in but does the body utilize it all or is most of it get flushed away as waste? And personally I’m skeptical about all the ‘miracles’ attributed to green tea. (And don’t get me started on Dr. Oz and his new coffee cure!)
    Will have to read up on it more myself. Haven’t kept up with the ‘debate’ as I thought it was pretty much settled science years ago. Of course, new research may have made new discoveries.

    Okay, let me toddle on home and I’ll be back online in an hour or so…

  301. rq says

    The stuff I’m reading discusses the drawbacks of too much fluoride, which is what I mean by ‘overdosing’ (to clarify). Things like osteofluorosis annnnd this mysterious acute fluoride toxicity (if, say, children ingest half or more of a tube of toothpaste…). Which is the funny thing: all connection to fluoride poisoning, that I can see so far, has to do with eating large amounts of toothpaste. Which isn’t recommended anyway, and yes, can kill (or at least induce vomiting, diarrhea, etc.).
    But fluoridated water?

    Tea: wikipedia talks about potential fluoride in tea (really? that much?), and my friend linked to an article (lost the link now, will have to find later, bank appt approaching) where a woman drank multiple gallons of tea a day for years, thus having an excess of fluoride in the system (osteofluorosis! <- BTW, can you glow in the dark with osteofluorescent bones…?).
    Oh and the first link I had (this fluoridealert link) has some great side-links, such as, Water fluoridation disproportionately harms black children!

    Yes, I thought the debate was settled long ago, but you know, skepticism, conspiracy and Big Pharma/business… Somebody’s gotta be making millions off these things, so bad.

  302. says

    HI there
    MIldly interesting: I had a weird dream last night. Not so much about content which wasn’t very exciting or anything, but about optics. In my dream scenes were zooming in and out like in a movie. So I’d look at a hill/mountainside with a small clearing in the distance and then the focus would zoom to that clearing and what was going on there. Dream-me was still standing in the same place because dream-me then turned around and went inside to pack for a hiking-trip.

    flouride
    I was wondering about that hype some time ago before because it didn’t seem to be an issue here, until I found out that natural levels are higher here than in the States so you don’t need to add it to get the same level.
    The only sensible argument I can see is from efficiency because different people drink different amounts of tab water, so while I will have 3-4 l a day (yes, I drink lots) others might only drink half a pint and then drink bottled water or soft drinks.

    rq
    No, you’re not asking for too much.
    I find that being a couple once in a while as opposed to parents is fucking important. No, we don’t get once a month, but we do enjoy our time a lot.

    WMDKitty
    Could you please stop being fucking dismissive of other people’s lives for once? We can take it to the Thunderdome if you want, but this isn’t the first time I notice you making really arrogant statements about situations that are very private and individual and then complain when people criticise you.

    +++
    BTW, did you know that while “fuck” was banned on “Friends”, “bitch” wasn’t? No, I’m totally not surprised.

  303. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist, with a perchant for pachyderm punditry) says

    Fluoride applied topically and fluoride ingested have significantly different levels of effect. The stuff in toothpaste doesn’t really do much IIRC. A good video from Concordance. He might be something of an accommodationist but on this sort of science topic he seems to really know his shit.

    Never in my life have I lost consciousness outside of sleep, medical assistance or the vigorous application of the ground to my head. Not even repeated efforts in my youth with massive amounts of alcohol could do it. Hell, on most of those occasions I wished with all my sodden might that I could get to sleep, if only to stop the bed from spinning so. I’ve often wondered if that ability to function despite sloshing with booze is a factor in the history of alcoholism in my family.

    Anyway, my ‘best’ ground/skull nap happened when I was 14 or 15. I’d bought my first road bicycle, a used metallic green Apollo ten speed. I spent the winter trying to get it functioning again, and because I had no idea what I was doing it took a while. The first time I rode it I ran into a concrete drainage block at a rather severe rate of knots. I saw the ground coming up at me and turned my head, which might have saved my neck.

    White flash.

    The next thing I know I’m laying in the ditch no bike to be seen. This giant head hoaves zeppelin-like into view and says “Are you alright, are you alright? The bike did a complete flip, that was so cool! Are you alright?” I must have been out for a minute or two for him to get to me.

    I was really sad because bike was a write off, bent fork, staved in wheel and buckled frame. I still am, it was beautiful thing before I decided to use it to test inelastic collisions. But that might be the concussion damage talking. :)

  304. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist, with a perchant for pachyderm punditry) says

    Hey rq, despite my teasing I’m really sorry that your house purchase didn’t go through on the first attempt. Besides, I put a little side money on you getting there first….

  305. Parrowing buıʍoɹɹɐd says

    rq: No, you are not expecting too much nor should you feel guilty. I hope you are finally able to sign the papers today!

    *

    I had a very weird and kind of disturbing dream last night. A few days ago IRL I found out that a university friend of mine died in June. I felt sad, obviously, though we had not kept up since graduating almost six years ago and were never very close, so I wasn’t devastated. In my dream, she was haunting (though I think my dream brain called it trolling) anyone who had PTSD, including myself. I was stuck in a car in the middle of a comic book-esque city, it was night time and raining, and she was causing lights to flash and cars to crash.

  306. says

    Oh dear gods I am insane. I have to literally set the price of a loaf of bread.

    The Ministry of Finance in Tavsere, along with the other major capital cities, have recognized 5 values of currency, a Quarter-Sterling, a Half-Sterling, a Sterling, a Half-Gilder, and a Gilder. 1 Gilder is equal to 10 Sterling. (Different cities mint different styles of coin, with different images, but they all weigh the same in the end.)

    I’m thinking a 1/4 Sterling for a loaf of bread. If modern day bread costs about $5, that means 1 Sterling is $20, and 1 Gilder is $200.

  307. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist, with a perchant for pachyderm punditry) says

    Katherine, that seems a little high to me unless there are coins smaller than 1/4 Sterling. It would be like a country today using only paper notes $5 and up for everything.

  308. says

    Katherine
    Don’t base your numbers on modern prices, base them on prices of societies similar to the one you’re writing about.
    A good idea is to think how long somebody would haave to work to earn enough to buy bread. Nowadays this is rather short, say, from 30 minutes on minimal wage (is bread really tht fucking expensive in the States?) to a few minutes forsomebody in a middle-class job.
    Now, think about your grandparents, or great-grandparents. How long did they have to work?
    Income spending rates on various things have changed dramatically, goods have changed in value dramatically.

  309. says

    Oh, and the best tweet I read today from a German guy:
    “Those who say we need to discuss sexism against men now equally with sexism against women probably also first put out the fire in the trash bin before the one in the hospital”

  310. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist, with a perchant for pachyderm punditry) says

    Fair enough, I think I see your point. But are there things available for purchase that are cheaper than bread? It would seem likely to me, for bread needs a farmer, a miller and a baker all of whom need to get payed.

  311. says

    @FossilFishy:

    1/4 Sterling is the lowest size. I’m more trying to figure out the average income than anything else.

    @Giliell:

    Yup, bread is $5 on average (for good bread. Wonder Bread – which isn’t bread, it’s air – is about $3.)

    It’s hard to think about cause I don’t want to devalue my own currency XD Changing numbers willy-nilly has caused economic upheaval, in my brain at least.

    I usually use 1 Sterling per day on average, but then I start losing it when I come to things like houses and such. Sure, using small coinage (1-2 Sterling for an inn room for a day) is decent and easy. How much should a house cost? 1000 Gilder? That’s over 10,000 days of work for an average person. 100 Gilder? 3 years work? Is that acceptable? What about rich people? They probably make between 10-20 Gilder a day, doesn’t a 100 Gilder house then get devalued?

    Economics I hate you!

  312. birgerjohansson says

    Hooray for socialized dental care (Sweden style). I went for the first check-up for years Wednesday. No cavities, but lots of plaque removed. It cost me SKR 1100, about 140 US bucks, but it is still only a part of the full cost.
    I learned that the wife of a neighbour/retired former co-worker had died suddenly. I bought a bouqet of flowers and delivered them last evening. He seems to hold up well, but I am glad his sons live here in town and can provide support.
    Crap. This is the second time in 18 months a neighbour in the 65-66 year age bracket has died suddenly.

  313. says

    Katherine
    How big are social differences?
    If you look at the Jane Austen Novels and similar stuff, rich people easily made enough in a day to pay a poor person for a year.
    Also, something to think about: Do people actually regularly buy bread or is it something most people make at home so buying it has a “luxury factor”?

    birger
    Sorry to hear about the neighbour :(

  314. says

    @Giliell:

    It really depends on the city. In Tavsere, the noble class is probably more in line with the upper middle class rather than just the upper class, closer to the average. There’s no real systematic poverty, since society protects and assists with those who run into hard times.

    But yes, you’re right, most people would probably buy the flour and eggs rather than the bread, it’s a definite luxury item for those who cannot make their own bread (be it for time or space reasons.) The city has a huge farm industry directly outside the gates, but the majority of the people inside are craftsmen or artisans or such.

  315. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist, with a perchant for pachyderm punditry) says

    Oh for fuck’s sake, I thought the Giliell’s 416 was you Katherine. When my already dodgy reading comprehension fails that hard it really is time to go to bed.

    My point is that if you set the value of your smallest denomination such that it can buy a loaf of bread then what are your characters going to use to buy an apple should the need arise plot-wise.

    Anyway, I’m too tired figure out if I’m helping or making things worse, so I’ll leave it at that.

    I don’t envy you your task Katherine. World building at that scale does my head in. It’s why I’ll never be an author despite having a plot that I’ve been writing in my head for years as I fall asleep and despite occasionally being able to turn a phrase that some folks seem to like. But I do however look forward with great anticipation to the day that I’ll get to read your book.

    Annnd once again I’m worried about fire. The big one 40 or so K away has jumped it’s primary containment lines but the fall-back line is apparently holding. I think I’m getting a better handle on when to panic though. The CFA isn’t even warning the next town 10k down the valley from the fire let alone us so we should be good for the night. Sigh. Won’t stop me from getting up and checking in the wee hours with little likelihood of getting back to sleep afterwards. Come to sunny Australia they said…it’s beautiful here they said….grumble….grumble….

  316. says

    Giliell

    I’m “dismissing” their experiences by pointing out that there are children waiting for a forever family, and that adoption is good for ALL parties involved.

    Riiiiight.

    I am NOT “dismissing” their experiences or feelings, I’m pointing out that their choice to use IVF is incredibly narcissistic.

    It’s obvious to any rational person that for many — not all — of these idjits, it’s not really about having a kid, but about perpetuating their genetic material, and having the “right kind” of family, because adoption is still looked upon as inferior in this country. (Unless you’re adopting an infant from some backwater third-world country, then you’re the Great White Savior, swooping in and “rescuing” the poor thing, and that’s a trope for a different discussion.)

    I am UPSET because they are perpetuating some very harmful tropes and narratives, and they are directly harming foster children by rejecting them in favor of “natural” offspring. I know they don’t mean to do this, and may not even be aware of it, but as so many people here are fond of saying, INTENT IS NOT MAGIC. These people shouldn’t get a pass on it just because they can’t conceive and their feelings are hurt by the mere suggestion of adoption.

    How do you think it feels, knowing that you could have had a forever family, but got screwed out of it because some selfish asshole thought their genes were more important than a living, breathing already-born child? Here’s a hint: It HURTS. Yeah, I’m one of the lucky ones to get chosen, and I recognise that. That’s why I want people to adopt — so that ALL children are wanted and loved.

    So tell me, why should the feelings of the wanna-breeds take precedence over the rights and needs and emotional and mental health of the already-born children they’re explicitly rejecting?

    And what about the inherent racism, ableism, and ageism* in choosing IVF over one of those horribly imperfect non-white over-five foster children?

    * Check the foster care statistics, you’ll find the overwhelming majority of children still waiting to be adopted are brown or black, disabled in some manner (sometimes as a result of being in the system), and/or past the “cute little kid” stage. You can’t tell me that ain’t due to discrimination on the part of prospective parents, because the healthy white infants — even the not-so-healthy white infants — get snatched right up.

  317. katenrala says

    @ Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort

    Where does money come from in your story-verse? Guarded royal mines? Traders bringing gold and silver things that can be melted down? Another source? What prevents counterfeiting?

    I’ve been working on a story where money comes come a interesting source in some parts of the world.

  318. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Katherine and those who are talking about pricing,

    I understand there are some pen and paper RPGs which attempt to get serious about price ratios in a medieval or medieval-inspired setting? I wish I knew some off the top of my head, but if nobody recommends on here, it might be worth asking around on RPG forums.

  319. carlie says

    Just had the MRI – coolest thing ever, they gave us the cd to take to the doctor, I asked if the images were proprietary format, and nope, all jpegs we can copy ourselves too. I now have pictures of my child’s braaaainnnnzzz. :)

  320. katenrala says

    I have to get a blood transfusion today, I’m pumping water instead of the good stuff and my bone marrow is probably tuckered out again.

    There is no finer way for a regular person to help people with cancer, other ailments, and physical injuries than to donate blood. Keep your money, as money cannot make blood, but donate the life giving fluid that runs through your body. I’ve had 34 units so far, so my blood has been totally replaced 4 times, 3 times, or nearly 3 times depending on the source of the information.

    Blood transfusions and platelet transfusions have saved my life more than once but since I have cancer I am forever barred from donating, so I must beg you to donate in my stead. If you are healthy I urge you to donate blood, and regularly too, especially if you are O- as most people can accept that. But hospitals need all blood types and blood products so donate even if you’re not O-.

    Please give people life; it will cost you next to nothing to do but your blood will give others everything. Thank you, there are no better words to express my deepest gratitude if you donate than thank you.

  321. Beatrice says

    WMDKitty,

    I am NOT “dismissing” their experiences or feelings, I’m pointing out that their choice to
    use IVF get pregnant by way of fucking is incredibly narcissistic.

    No?

  322. Gnumann+, Radfem shotgunner of inhuman concepts says

    Blood transfusions and platelet transfusions have saved my life more than once but since I have cancer I am forever barred from donating, so I must beg you to donate in my stead. If you are healthy I urge you to donate blood, and regularly too, especially if you are O- as most people can accept that. But hospitals need all blood types and blood products so donate even if you’re not O-.

    I can’t unfortunately. By the regulations in my neck of the woods, you can have unprotected sex with prostitutes every day of the week for a full year, and be pardoned after six months.

    If you suck one cock in your teenage years, you have the choice between lying or being banned for life.
    (And of course, no pardon for the prostitute either).

    Yet an example of how patriarchy fucks up everything (and thinks fucking everything is ok as long as you do it as a patriarchal male).

  323. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I experimented with a same-age friend when I was 13-14. I note on the questionnaires that they don’t even fucking ASK about heterosexual promiscuity which is probably 3 orders of magnitude higher risk and guiltlessly neglect to mention it.

  324. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    WMDKitty,

    I am NOT “dismissing” their experiences or feelings, I’m pointing out that their choice to
    use IVF get pregnant by way of fucking is incredibly narcissistic.

    No?

    IVF is far more comparable to adoption in terms of the time, effort, and cost required to cause the “parent of a child” thing to happen. (It’s probably actually more expensive). Thus, IVF vs. adopting is a much fairer comparison – with IVF, you’re not just starting a family the easiest, most practical way, you’re going to a LOT of trouble, but still refusing to help an existing child because having a biological one is, for whatever reason, that important.

    Now…

    Check the foster care statistics, you’ll find the overwhelming majority of children still waiting to be adopted are brown or black, disabled in some manner (sometimes as a result of being in the system), and/or past the “cute little kid” stage. You can’t tell me that ain’t due to discrimination on the part of prospective parents, because the healthy white infants — even the not-so-healthy white infants — get snatched right up.

    My passing understanding was that there were organizational policy and even legal barriers to cross-race adoption. Does anyone have any better information on that to hand, or will I be instructed to take homework time to research it exhaustively?

  325. didgen says

    My daughter is currently halfway through the second surrogacy pregnancy. The first child was for an incredibly nice gay couple, this one a set of twins for a couple who have spent ten years and an astounding amount of effort and physical and emotional pain trying to have a baby. I agree that adoption should be utilised much more, and those children should all find good and loving homes, but I also see that IVF is a good thing that can help these people so much.

  326. didgen says

    I am absolutely not minimizing the pain children in the system go through, just saying these two things may not be so simple a fix as that.

  327. dontpanic says

    katenrala:
    I’m O- but given the stories above in this thread, I don’t donate; I feel bad about that to some degree but even now just the thought is making me a bit twitchy. I would if I could. Sorry.

    Beatrice:
    Yeah, I edited it in my head the same way. WMDKitty, I understand what you’re trying to say, but unless you come out and say exactly as FTFY you’re are attacking a group that already feels in an especially vulnerable position. And you can partly blame that on some of the themes we attack here in Pharyngula: the societal pressure that if a woman doesn’t have children (of her own) that she is a less valued member of society. So you’re pointing at these women who are already getting shit, and saying “you’re a bad person for this other reason”.

    My wife had a hard time getting pregnant (we waited a bit late) and though we in the end didn’t need to resort to extreme measures (not even the first steps like hormones) is was a bit worrisome whether it would ever happen. That was stressful. We did cursorily look into adoption, but frankly its damn expensive — even for those “unwanted” children there are upfront costs that look pretty insurmountable. We’ve thought about foster children as a sibling for sprog but well, he’s already a handful of “issues” and taking on another with similar or other issues is probably beyond us. I think rather than berating those that go the IVF route it would be better to advocate for the breaking down of barriers to adoption and foster care.

  328. says

    Katherine
    The ban because of “living in Germany” is particularly stupid (well, so is the ban for gay people) since you can guess where Germans get their blood and I don’t remember any documented or even undocumented cases of this being a problem.

    katenrala
    Sorry, I can’t donate. Back in the days I donated plasma

    WMDKitty
    Thunderdome

  329. says

    dontpanic
    Yeah, after my miscarriage we looked into options as well, not knowing if we were just unlucky or in serious trouble. It became quite clear that adoption was impossible. Mr. was already too old (over 35!), usual waiting time around 7 years and I would have had to stay at home for like forever. What would have been easier is foster children and that’s still something I hope I’ll be able to do some day. In Germany parents hardly ever lose their parental rights completely, unless they reliquish those rights the goal is always to re-unite the bio family, so you never know how long those children will be with you, even if you say you want to foster them until adulthood (You can also decide to offer short time fostering, if there’s a conflict in the family, health problems or such).

  330. dianne says

    There have been cases of CJD being passed via blood (actually, IIRC, pooled plasma) donation, but it’s not very common. The ARC is quite paranoid that way. I’m also a lifetime ban because of time in Germany. Which is a shame, really, since I’m A- and CMV negative, so a really good candidate in general. Interestingly, I can’t donate in Germany because I take SSRIs. Oh, well.

  331. says

    blueintx

    Will have to read up on it more myself. Haven’t kept up with the ‘debate’ as I thought it was pretty much settled science years ago. Of course, new research may have made new discoveries.

    It was. When has that ever stopped conspiracy theorists?
    Katherine
    If it helps, in England in 1795, a lof of bread cost 1s, and the average worker made about 3s/week (although keep in mind that the loaf inquestion weighed about 9 lb/4 kg, so notreally a comparison to the 1-2 lb/ .5-1kg loaves you see in the stores nowadays. (From here Also, SGBM’s suggestion of RPG sites is a good one. These types discussions do take place regularly there, and ofent times people will cite their sources. If you’d like, I can look for links to some of the better discussions I’ve seen recently.

    Katenrala
    As others have said, they won’t take my blood.

    Azkyroth

    I note on the questionnaires that they don’t even fucking ASK about heterosexual promiscuity which is probably 3 orders of magnitude higher risk and guiltlessly neglect to mention it.

    It is my understanding that the Red Cross for the most doesn’t give a shit who you’ve had sex with in fact, There are Federal apparently regulations about the gay, though, dating back to the 80s when AIDS was “The Gay Cancer!” and no one knew how to screen for it anyway.

  332. Gnumann+, Radfem shotgunner of inhuman concepts says

    Might even haven sucked cock…

    Doesn’t count if you’re a woman. Unless the owner of said cock ever sucked a cock of course, then it’s a life ban too.

  333. cicely (Mostly Harmless) says

    So. Nephew-in-Law has been (tentatively) diagnosed as schizophrenic, though Sister1 is still hoping for a Medications Deathmatch as the cause, instead. This is particularly unwelcome, since Niece is unemployed, N-i-L was (temporarily) not working due to an injury (but since he works at WalMart, and not managerially, you can imagine what they have by way of health insurance)…and they have a less-than-year-old baby. And live in Oklahoma.
     
    If anybody knows of anything I can usefully refer them to (resources, advice, anything), please don’t be shy about speaking up.
    :(

    Ah. WMDKitty…it pains me to have to say this, but….
    While I agree with you that “every child is absolutely entitled to a loving, stable family”, and while it is true that no one is “entitled to pregnancy and childbirth”, it is also true that you aren’t entitled to mandate that someone is not allowed to feel the way they feel, though you are entitled to disagree with them about it—and they are equally entitled to tell you, should they so desire, to fuck off. This is a notoriously touchy area, bound to result in much vigorous jumping up and down on emotional sore spots—obviously yours, as much as theirs.
     
    Ideally, all adoptable children would be adopted…but I’ve seen want-to-be adoptive parents—good, loving people, with no particular sex or racial bias—get ground up in the process; there always seemed to be more fees….
     
    What I’m trying to say is, it’s not as cut-and-dried, black-and-white as you suggest, and you were using an awfully broad brush.

    rq: *hugs* and a ready shoulder.
     
    I have to admit that your situation as described makes me…uneasy for you. Maybe I’m just free-floating some extra anxiety today, but….
    -

  334. Gnumann+, Radfem shotgunner of inhuman concepts says

    Doesn’t count if you’re a woman. Unless the owner of said cock ever sucked a cock of course, then it’s a life ban too.

    And through this I go on a voyage of discovery to find out how sexist my cock-comment was. Bleh! I’m so sorry.
    It should have said “If you suck a cock while owning one yourself” of course (presumably, you get off if the cock you suck is your own, but most guys can’t do that).

  335. Eurasian magpie says

    Checked the blood donation guidelines here in Finland.

    – male-male sex: permanent ban
    – living in the UK during 1980-1996 for more than six months: permanent ban
    – recieving blood transfusion outside Nordic contries: permanent ban
    – SSRI medication: no problem
    – living in Germany: not even mentioned

    I’ve been most of my life too thin to donate which I was grateful for. Needles and blood-letting are a problem for me. Then the early middle-age filled me up a bit and now I do have a moral struggle about blood donation. Is phobia a justification not to give?

    Probably not.

  336. athyco says

    I’m on the call list for two local high schools when they do their annual blood drives. The sponsors there know that I’m now slow–always on the cusp of the time limit after needle insertion–and they’re good about getting me started quickly and keeping me warm. It’s so frustrating to have them pull the needle on an incomplete donation, especially since I had years of no problem with it.

  337. Beatrice says

    I’m joining Eurasian magpie on the “ashamed, but having to admit I’m scared of blood-letting” bench.

    I should do some blood tests because of my own health (I already have some suspicions about my thyroid gland), haven’t done them in years, but I’m too scared. If I manage to get over that, I promise to start donating blood.

  338. says

    Well, somebody must written the wrong date for that information evening into my calendar and that somebody has a handwriting that kind of resembles mine…

    +++
    But YAY! Friend’s child is born.
    Dunno much more than that it was a C-section after all and they’re both doing fine.

    +++
    And damn, my great-aunt has died :(
    I guess at 90 you can’t complain…

  339. carlie says

    Doesn’t count if you’re a woman. Unless the owner of said cock ever sucked a cock of course, then it’s a life ban too.

    And through this I go on a voyage of discovery to find out how sexist my cock-comment was. Bleh! I’m so sorry.
    It should have said “If you suck a cock while owning one yourself” of course (presumably, you get off if the cock you suck is your own, but most guys can’t do that).

    No, you were right the first time. If you are a woman who has ever had sex with a man who has ever had sex with another man, you are also banned. Unless you meant you were wrong for another reason that I’m too dense to parse at the moment.

    I donate blood all the times I can, but I have the most useless whole blood type.

  340. Beatrice says

    …and there’s also my weight being a bit under the threshold, but I’m quite short so I’m not really too thin. I just have to stop being such a coward about blood.

  341. Gnumann+, Radfem shotgunner of inhuman concepts says

    Carlie
    I’m sorry, I was a bit unclear. The comment at 448 is totally acceptable. The sexism is in my comment at 435. Which totally fails to recognize that women suck dick too occasionally. Which does not ban them unless the suckée also has sucked dick (or otherwise contacted said member).

  342. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    My recollection from the questionnaire is it’s a year deferral if you’re a woman who’s had sex with an MSM. Not that this makes it any better.

  343. Beatrice says

    Checking the rules over here. Those who are banned from donating blood forever and ever:
    -alcohol or drug addicts
    -men who had sex with men
    -women and men who had sex with prostitutes
    -promiscuous people
    -people who used to take drugs intravenously
    -people on the mend from STDs and HIV positive people
    -sexual partners of all of the above

    Also, add to that those who suffer of various illnesses, mental illnesses being on that list too.

    If people didn’t lie, I don’t think we’d be able to get enough blood in the hospitals, going by these rules.

  344. cicely (Mostly Harmless) says

    And now, Professional Temp Patch is gone.
    :(

    Giliell: Yay! for your friend’s child’s birth; and hugs* for your great-aunt’s death.
    -

  345. rq, homeowner says

    The only time I’ve ever given blood was all those 329484729837 times I had to give it for blood tests during pregnancy. And I’m terrified of the process, much like anything medically related. Especially people in lab coats.

    cicely
    There’s a lot of stress going around between us these days. I’m hoping for some saner, better conversation (with follow-through) in the next few months. But I have a plan (a rather selfish one, it’s true) just in case.
    I’ll be checking in here from time to time.

    +++

    fluoride
    Also, I forgot to ask – any actual basis to the fluoride-thyroid issues connection? (I’ll continue reading tomorrow.)

    +++

    And in better news – *confetti! sparkles! mental exhaustion! relief!*
    Yes. :) We haz house. (At least, all paperwork is submitted, and awaiting recognized and sealed return in a week or so.) Thank you for all the crossed tentacles on my behalf; they may now be crossed on someone else’s behalf! *tired little happy dance*
    Now to gather my strength for the next 6 days…

  346. says

    Adoption

    It’s apparent that my feelings and my pain are irrelevant because some stupid breeder is “more oppressed” than I am by their infertility. I don’t care what society is telling them, I don’t care if they’re in pain, I care that children are getting screwed over for the sake of some asshole’s DNA.

    If I could, I’d adopt a whole bunch of em, but I’m one of those people who really, really shouldn’t be a parent. (And recognizes that fact.)

    Blood Donation

    Hep C from a pre-1990 transfusion (we think — I know I’ve never engaged in any of the behaviors that usually result in this infection.)

    Can’t donate.

    Still a little pissed off that they informed me of my infection via a form letter.

  347. Beatrice says

    Giliell,

    *combination of happy and supportive *hugs**

    rq,

    Congrats on house-owning!

  348. says

    rq
    I see your nym change.
    Congratulations

    Fuoride and thyroid? I only know iodine and thyroid (Incidentially, having Hashimoto’s disease with my immune system slowly eating up my thyroid I’m supposed to abstain from iodine. Do you know how difficult it is nowadays to get iodine-free salt?)

    cicely
    No advice, only hugs.

    beatrice
    Thanks

  349. Portia, wishing for spring says

    rq
    CONGRATULATIONS!
    Hiphiphooooray!

    :D

    and I’m sorry for the “trouble in paradise” and sorry I wasn’t around to offer *hugs* earlier. Take this backed-up pile?

    cicely
    *hugs*

    Giliell
    Yay for baby!
    So sorry to hear about your great aunt.Glad she lived a long life.

  350. cicely (Mostly Harmless) says

    rq: *confetti&fireworks* for house-having.
     
    Now, take all of those carrots out of your pockets. You’ll draw Horses.
    ;)
    -

  351. rq, homeowner says

    Photos soon… Promise!
    And to be less selfish (thank you, all… it will sink in once we start the move – oh boy!), a giant pile of hugs of varying emotions – for discouraging diagnoses, encouraging diagnoses, babies being born, neighbours dying, and any other general issues! (Special *hugs* to cicely and carlie, on behalf of the progeny and other relations.)

  352. cicely (Mostly Harmless) says

    WMDKitty
    Your pain is not irrelevant.
     
    Their pain is not irrelevant.
     
    There is no perfect answer, which will be agreeable to everybody.
    -

  353. rq, homeowner says

    Giliell
    I’m just asking about the fluoride+thyroid, because it has showed up in a few of the (admittedly conspiracy oriented) articles I’ve been reading. I suppose you would know if fluoride is also supposed to be harmful to the thyroid… Yes, I knew of the iodine connection (and no, I have no idea how difficult it is to get non-iodized salt – I know they sell both varieties in grocery stores here). But fluoride? You may have cleared up that question for me. ;)

    WMDkitty
    I think I can sort of understand your point of view, but I can also sort of understand theirs… As cicely says, I just don’t think there’s any good (perfect? right?) answer to the issue. I was going to write a bit more about it, but I realize that I can’t help the situation, and in the end, I can’t even agree with myself on the ‘better’ answer. All I can do, once again, is offer *scritches* or *hugs*, as preferred.

    +++

    To all the congratulators – dkinrs, ridksn, ksdirn, iskndr, nikdrs for everyone! :) *happy dances some more*

  354. carlie says

    Yay rq!!!!!!!

    I care that children are getting screwed over for the sake of some asshole’s DNA.

    I don’t think it’s a zero-sum game like that. The people who are willing to adopt and would be good adoptive parents aren’t all the same people who are using IVF, and the people who use IVF aren’t all the same people who would make good adoptive parents.

  355. David Marjanović says

    Part 2 of 2, with cute overload!

    “Why do hairy mammals like being stroked? Scientists think that the answer lies in a particular group of neurons which respond to gentle stroking in mice. Nature Video learns more with a little help from some furry friends: LOL cats.

    Yes, that’s Nature as in… Nature. The paper is here.

    Another petition to ban semiautomatic guns

    Tammy Duckworth, worth her weight in ducks, wants to represent you: she wants to hear from you which of 13 issues and/or “other” are most important to you. You can choose more than one.

  356. Nutmeg says

    I can’t give blood either. I gave a few times in high school. But now, whenever I get even the tiniest bit nervous, my pulse gets fast and often irregular. Canadian Blood Services won’t let you give blood if your resting heart rate is over 100bpm, and I don’t think they like irregular heartbeats either. I tried to give blood a few times in undergrad, but just dealing with an unfamiliar medical person is enough to put my pulse over 100. Plus I’m pretty sure my current acne meds are teratogenic.

  357. Portia, wishing for spring says

    I’m late to the “embarrassing throwing up stories” party,but…

    When I was 15, I took driver’s ed at the local high school. I was homeschooled. There were a few kids at the high school that I knew, and one of them was assigned to the same car as me. He was dreamy. Cantlookhimintheeyeandbabble kind of dreamy. He got to practice his “pull over to the side of the road”skills when I blew chunks all over my lap in the back seat.

    Giving blood: I pass out from it too. So I try to help with logistics and cookies whenever there’s one nearby, hosted by either fire department or Rotary Club.

  358. nightshadequeen says

    Yeah, I’d totally give blood more often if my blood pressure wasn’t ridiculously low*.

    *I can, but it takes forever, and the Red Cross people around here are incompetent**. I’ve found that elevating my legs help. It’s annoying too since I’m a) O+ and b) have a hemoglobin concentration of >15.

    **Seriously, my veins bulge out of my arms. How hard can they be to hit? The people in my hometown regularly manage to get me without a tourniquet. But no, the three times I’ve tried giving blood, once it took like three tries for them to get my vein, and then they wouldn’t stop futzing with the needle and of course it penetrates the other side of my vein and they had to stop.

  359. thunk, hull overheating says

    Augh. I’m having the weirdest day today.

    First I had some sort of “not getting enough sleep” headache, which is usual when there are 7:30 classes (fuck them).

    Then, I just feel really empathetic today… as in “breaking into tears at David Marjanovic’s Starovery link when you’ve heard the story before and already know it.”

  360. Portia, wishing for spring says

    Ugh sorry bout the headache, thunk. I hate that kind, because it feels both totally preventable and totally unavoidable in the face of early obligations. (Seriously, fuck early classes).

  361. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist, with a perchant for pachyderm punditry) says

    rq!!!

    Hooray! Here’s to happy house-holding!

    And let me add a belated voice to the chorus: You are not being unreasonable. Your needs are important too and there’s no shame in recognising that. Hopefully once the stress of house buying and moving calms down things will be easier.

    I got married, had a child, quit a job of 20 years and moved to a different continent all in the space of three months. I’m not ashamed to admit that I spent some time huddled in a corner crying during that period. Nor am I ashamed to admit that relations between Ms. Fishy and I were strained pretty badly. Stress in one area of life can lead to difficulties in others and recognising that help me through.

    I’d offer you big hugs, but seeing as how you’re now landed gentry I will merely tug my forelock as is right and proper for a peasant such as myself.

    Vomiting stories? Heh.

    My brother-in-law turned 18 while he was visiting us in Canada. We set him up with the son of a co-worker to take him out to celebrate. As expected he came home very late and very, very drunk. Vomiting drunk in a rather uncontrollable way.

    The next morning I said “Welcome to adulthood.” as I handed him a bucket and mop.

  362. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist, with a perchant for pachyderm punditry) says

    Dammit, I can donate blood and I want to donate blood but the collection center is 40k away and is only open when I’m working.

  363. thunk, hull overheating says

    Ugh sorry bout the headache, thunk. I hate that kind, because it feels both totally preventable and totally unavoidable in the face of early obligations. (Seriously, fuck early classes).

    Hrmph. But *I* wake up at 5 am every day, so it must be possible for everyone, or they’re not trying hard enough.

    (fuck this presumptuous sarcastic shit).

  364. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Coming up on Ground Hog Day, and the Redhead must still celebrate all such holidays (toned down to my time/cooking skills). A meatloaf of ground pork (ground hog…ouch), baked potatoes and fresh squash this Saturday. We’re still working on the roast pork with dried fruit from last weekend…

    The only time I’ve had any problem with potential fainting was when I had a tooth worked on after I first went on blood pressure medication. The tooth was in the upper back and they were working with my head down for a while. Started getting a bit strange before the dentist noticed.

  365. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    So, now I’m in the awkward position of seeing someone who has really pissed me off in the past, treated to the same dismissive, marginalizing, exploitative “no, you don’t get to have your own feelings, or at least ever express without having them stamp-of-approvaled by people who group themselves with and identify with and sympathize with the categories of people who have casually and sneeringly stepped on you your entire life. You have to put the steppers first. Other people matter, you don’t. Other people are people, you’re a thing. You can choose to be a useful thing, but you’ll always be only a means to an end” crap I’ve put up with over the years, whenever the masks start slipping, complicated by the fact that they’re actually wrong on quite a few points unrelated to that.

    Fucking just what I needed tonight.

  366. morgan says

    *knock knock*

    Anybody here?

    *pushes open door, peeks in, looks around*

    Wow, there’s stuff all over the place. Guess everybody went home. Hope nobody got hurt.

    *grabs a broom*

    Guess I’ll just tidy up a bit. I hope I’ll see all the folks tomorrow.

  367. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I get off easy for the next two holidays, Mardi Gras and Chinese New Year. Both take-out (Popeye’s and a local Chinese restaurant).

  368. bluentx says

    *Walks in back door. Looks around *.
    Hey, some body cleaned up!
    *Gets to front door. Looks down the sidewalk*
    Hey, morgan! I just stepped out to check on the blog next door! Come back!

  369. morgan says

    bluentx? Hey, hey!

    *walks back*

    Good to see you. Looks like things got pretty active. Guess that happens when we all get really honest, which is not a bad thing.

    So what are doing the rest of the night?

  370. says

    I think I’m going to take a couple of days away from FTB.

    It’s obvious that I’ve got a lovely little ball of pain and anger buried deep inside.

    It’s equally obvious that the way I’ve been dealing with it — ignoring it — is not working, and is having a very negative effect on my already-questionable mental status.

    I need to find a healthy way to deal with what I’m feeling, and I can’t do it when Angry Bitch Me is all “RAWR! HULK SMASH!” So, I need to take some time away to, you know, deal with my shit, because I can’t do this anymore. I can’t take the stress and anxiety and sheer panic at being controlled by a part of me that I hate. I have a lot of issues, I have a lot of shit in my head that’s been festering for years, and it’s time to get off my ass and do something about it other than “lock it away until it bites me in the ass”.

    Go ahead and hate me.

    I hate me.

    I promise not to do anything stupid or life-threatening in the next 48-72 hours.

    See you all on Monday.

  371. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    It’s obvious that I’ve got a lovely little ball of pain and anger buried deep inside.

    It’s equally obvious that the way I’ve been dealing with it — ignoring it — is not working, and is having a very negative effect on my already-questionable mental status.

    I need to find a healthy way to deal with what I’m feeling, and I can’t do it when Angry Bitch Me is all “RAWR! HULK SMASH!” So, I need to take some time away to, you know, deal with my shit, because I can’t do this anymore. I can’t take the stress and anxiety and sheer panic at being controlled by a part of me that I hate. I have a lot of issues, I have a lot of shit in my head that’s been festering for years, and it’s time to get off my ass and do something about it other than “lock it away until it bites me in the ass”.

    I know exactly what you mean.

    Take as long as you need. *hugs*