Feb 20 2013

[Lounge #404]


This is the lounge. You can discuss anything you want, but you will do it kindly. That critter to the right is a baby river otter, recently born at the Portland Zoo.

Status: Heavily Moderated; Previous thread

(Oops, I almost portcullised a long personal comment by mildlymagnificent that is now left dangling all alone on the previous thread. You might want to take a look at it.)


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  1. 501

    Cute kid story: my little girl asked me as I got her out of the car, “Daddy, do princesses never give up?” I asked her if she will ever give up. She told me, “I will never give up because I’m a princess.”

    Yes, we did try to stop the whole princess thing. But at least she thinks that princesses hunt zombies with swords, so it isn’t quite so bad.

  2. 502

    But at least she thinks that princesses hunt zombies with swords, so it isn’t quite so bad.

    Princesses who hunt zombies with swords are a fine thing. Especially if they grow up to be competent ruling queens.

  3. 503

    Yet more cute kid stories: My daughter asked me for a scary, but unrealistic story last night, so I started telling her a story with a picture that people fell into and found themselves facing a monster. She then took up her avatar in the story role and told the monster, “You’re not a scary monster. You’re supposed to be a protecting monster.” and convinced the monster to turn his picture into a refuge for people in dangerous situations. It ended up on the wall in pre-tsunami Fukashima, IIRC. This was not the way I was expecting the story to go.

  4. 504

    I am slightly worried that she’s going to be quite a handful when she gets older.

    But really, I want her to contest ideas and never give up. I’ll take the headaches if I can have her growing up like this.

    Last night, she was Super-girl, and her mission was to go to bed. With help from me, as Batman, and her mother. Sadly, her mother tried to be Catwoman but got dubbed “Kitty-Cat Rescue.”

  5. 505


    Ahh, that was cute. Kids are great, right up until they throw their pajamas behind the dresser in a fit.

  6. 506
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Update: I dragged myself to work to tend to the things that are alive. That done, I prepared to go home. I went by the lab manager’s desk and the following conversation ensued:
    Me: “I’m heading home. Food poisoning.”
    Her: “Oh! No, you don’t. You have that stomach flu I had Wednesday.”
    Me: “Oh?”
    Her: “Go home. And stay near the toilet.”

    So I am home. *sigh*

  7. 507


    Here’s hoping she was wrong.

  8. 508
    Lynna, OM

    Here’s a Moment of Mormon Madness that is common. A mormon leader uses his position of authority to steer his sheeple toward right-wing politics. What is not common is that members of the news media noticed, though the writer in the Salt Lake Tribune also wrote that “President Matthew DeVisser did something few LDS leaders ever do over the pulpit.” Not true. LDS leaders pull this kind of crap all the time, but they are usually more careful to not get caught.

    Full story here: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/55876876-78/church-lds-political-devisser.html.csp
    Excerpts below:

    … He rattled off a number of Republican talking points, lamenting that voters last year chose “socialism over capitalism, entitlements over free enterprise, redistribution and regulation over self-reliance.”…

    He cited evidence of the nation’s declining values, … some states legalizing same-sex marriage, government-funded abortions and the frenzy leading up to the “fiscal cliff.”…

    In the speech, DeVisser — who did not return calls seeking comment for this story — said he did not intend to be controversial or political, but was directed in his thinking by the “Holy Ghost.”

    He later emailed a copy of the speech to a Mormon in his stake and, within days, it was being forwarded, posted and linked online. …

    Among the first to post the talk was LDS Freedom Forum, a website for mostly conservative, libertarian and politically independent Mormons, where it met with approval. Mormons for Obama, however, put it on their site, outraged that an LDS leader would use his church post in such a way….

    “It being a pro-freedom talk, with multiple statements in favor of free enterprise and self-reliance and against socialism, is something members of this forum are very interested in,” Brian Mecham, LDS Freedom Forum administrator, wrote in an email. “They like to see that leaders of the church, at various levels, continue to sound the warning voice against those things that are destructive to freedom.”…

    “He wasn’t promoting a political party or any partisan politics. President DeVisser was only promoting correct principles, the principles that make people free. Modern prophets from [Mormon founder] Joseph Smith until today have all been teaching us correct principles, even regarding the proper role of government,” Mecham said. “That is not politics; it is simply truth as it relates to government.”…

  9. 509

    I hope last night’s mission was a success!!
    And don’t worry, she’ll be a handful anyway. :)

    Cute kid story (inspired by dianne‘s):
    Eldest, upon asking where Berg (the land in How to Train Your Dragon) is, and discovering that it’s a story-land: “Maybe, late at night, the TV opens up, and we can access all kinds of story-lands!”
    “I don’t think so, I’m pretty sure the TV stays shut. It never opens by the time dad and I go to bed.”
    “That’s because it knows you’re watching. But when we’re asleep, it opens up.”
    “You think so?”
    “I’m going to wait until everyone is asleep, and then I will climb into the TV into Berg.”
    “But the TV won’t open up if you’re awake.”
    “I won’t turn any lights on, it won’t see me, it will think everyone is sleeping.”

    He also wondered whether mermaids were real the other day. Sadly, I had to tell him they were story-characters, too.

  10. 510

    Set: 18 s Still got it.

    Cat seems much better. Now the task is cleaning the cat and apartment.

  11. 511

    Last night, she was Super-girl, and her mission was to go to bed. With help from me, as Batman, and her mother. Sadly, her mother tried to be Catwoman but got dubbed “Kitty-Cat Rescue.”

    That’s beautiful! I like “Kitty-Cat Rescue” as a character too.

  12. 512

    Just wait until it’s not just the pyjamas behind the dresser, but all the bedclothes off the bed, too. :/ That’s a fun one.

  13. 513
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    *hot tea* for Esteleth

    I’m still a bit sad that Jim Hines’ Princess Novels are not for kids…

    Looks like your daughter knows how to turn a story

  14. 514
    Lynna, OM

    The Guardian and other news sources are linking the Pope’s resignation to a report that confirms a network of gay prelates in the Vatican.


    The paper said the pope had taken the decision on 17 December that he was going to resign – the day he received a dossier compiled by three cardinals delegated to look into the so-called “Vatileaks” affair….

    According to La Repubblica, the dossier comprising “two volumes of almost 300 pages – bound in red” had been consigned to a safe in the papal apartments and would be delivered to the pope’s successor upon his election….

    In an apparent quotation from the report, La Repubblica said some Vatican officials had been subject to “external influence” from laymen with whom they had links of a “worldly nature”. The paper said this was a clear reference to blackmail….

    Yeah, blame it all on those worldly influences.

  15. 515


    Oh, we’ve had sometimes. Earlier this morning was rough. She lost it for a bit. It can be so shocking because she’s normally a kind child and behaves well. I know that she’s still working out how to express her emotions and lacks the ability to completely control herself at times. I try to remember that in the middle of a breakdown.


    It was a success. She was ready for bed. Just in time too, because my voice was starting to hurt from talking in the Dark Knight style Batman voice. I think that “Kitty-Cat Rescue” was ready too because she was dying of laughter as I read a story in the Batman voice.

    It is wonderful to take the little one to her school. All these young kids, playing together. It is sad to know that some will learn some really nasty attitudes as they grow up. I guess that is why I’m glad I read stuff on this network and a few others. It is too easy to take for granted that I’m not above having nasty attitudes and can let various modes of thinking get in my way. At least by being aware of it, maybe I can help guide my little one through it so she won’t trip over the same ways of thinking that I have.

  16. 516


    I have not heard of those. I will have to check them out. I can’t wait for the little one to get slightly older. I am waiting to read some of Terry Pratchett’s young adult novels with her. She already loves her copy of “Where’s my Cow” so I think that will be fun.


    At least one Mormon isn’t completely insane. But then again, it is John Hunstman, so yea. Maybe if more people on the right thought like he did, we would have slightly fewer problems. Maybe.

  17. 517
    Lynna, OM

    We don’t really need more signs that the mormon church is a stumbling, failing institution … but here’s one anyway. They are looking for “volunteers” to work almost full time in the London Temple. No earthly pay is involved. And perfect obedience to LDS rules is required.

    The LDS Church used to pay for janitorial and laundry services, etc. Now they need members to perform these jobs as volunteers? I have no idea why they capitalize “Laundry.”

    Temple Volunteers Needed

    Service in the London Temple can provide a wonderful opportunity to members of the church. To serve in and around the House of the Lord is a sacred experience.

    In regard to the Temple Elder Packer has said…

    ‘Enter this door as if the floor within were gold: and every wall of jewels all of wealth untold;’

    We have vacancies in the kitchen/cafeteria and Laundry areas of the Temple. We anticipate the hours to be 8.00am to 3.30pm Tuesday to Saturday or any part thereof and the volunteers would need to commit to a regular schedule once days and hours are agreed. Volunteers need to be able bodied and hold a current recommend.

    Maybe LDS leaders blew their wad on the Jesus Mall in Salt Lake City?

  18. 518

    Re pyjamas behind the dresser, my small one has decided that throwing clothes at her parents while changing into pjs for the night is a fun thing to do. Not the most fortunate, but neither of us minds it as she’s careful to make sure there’s nothing heavy in her pockets before throwing and if you stand right next to the laundry basket, well…

  19. 519


    Ah, the whole fun thing. I get that from time to time form the little one. I’ll ask her why she did something, and I get one word back: “funny.”

    I am a bad parent because sometimes I laugh.

  20. 520

    Eldest has learned to fold his clothes (on his own, very nicely), except when he’s extremely tired, when he asks permission to leave them in a pile… Middle Child undresses piecemeal all over the room, and always misses a sock when picking up, which is usually a cause for great distress (agreed).

    How old is your daughter again? Around 3? I think our Middle Child is going through that phase of too-much-emotion right now. He’s such an affectionate child when he’s in a good mood, but boy, when it turns, it really turns. Lately I haven’t been the most patient of parents, so I’ve been apologizing to him a lot, but it’s hard figuring out how to speak to him, especially when he’s shut off everything except [key phrase] in a loud voice on repeat (usually, “I don’t want to get dressed!” or “I want Pooh!“). *sigh* Very different from Eldest, and Youngest will probably be his own little mystery.

  21. 521


    She just turned 3 in December. (Which is funny because we’ve joked about calling the Christmas Tree her birthday tree. We are a sarcastic family.)

    I can’t be sure, I am learning all this on the fly really, but I understand this to be normal. In that, the kids are still exploring how to communicate and even exploring boundaries. I know that little one here acts differently when it is her mom and dad with her. I understand that to be a case of comfort. She knows that she’s safe with us, and so she’ll test us further.

    I’m sure I’m grossly oversimplifying this. And I’m sure there’s other factors. Every time I think I got this parenting thing figured out, something happens that makes me realize that I have no idea what I am doing.

  22. 522

    Why is it that when someone digs a hole that they insist on digging it deeper rather than just acknowledge that they dug a hole in the first place?

    I swear, I see this time and time again. “Hey, you’ve dug a hole, would you like to get out of it?” “Fuck that noise, give me the shovel! I got some digging to do!”

  23. 523
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Sweet and funny kids stories. Not enough to ever make me want to have one of my very own… :)

    So my wife is home “sick” from work today. Just the sniffles, but she didn’t sleep well last night so she looks worse than she is. Her boss took one look at her and sent her home. Of course, she’d already been there 3-4 hours, but it is the thought that counts. And today is payday, so it is cool that my wife is home, and she’s already messing with the bills. Seems we’re STILL not clear of the water bill from The Place That Shall Not Be Named. What a headache…

  24. 524
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]


    Went to make some tea to soothe my stomach.

    My milk has turned. So if I want milk in my tea (and I find milky tea soothing), I have to go to the store. >:(

  25. 525
    Lynna, OM

    Yikes. Racist word problems for 4th graders.

    …The word problems included the questions, “In a slave ship, there can be 3,799 slaves. One day, the slaves took over the ship. 1,897 are dead. How many slaves are alive?” and, “One slave got whipped five times a day. How many times did he get whipped in a month (31 days)? Another slave got whipped nine times a day. How many times did he get whipped in a month? How many times did the two slaves get whipped together in one month?”…

    It turns out the students themselves had come up with the questions as part of their course work on slavery. Their East Side school, by the way, has a predominantly white student body – only 5 percent of the children are African-American.

    The fiasco has echoes of a similar case last year, when an Atlanta-area third-grade class was asked math questions like “If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in one week?” After the story made national headlines, the assigning teacher resigned.

    In both cases, the faulty logic behind the questions was the pursuit of integrated learning. Used wisely and sensitively, it’s an otherwise useful teaching tool – taking a history course as the starting point for a math lesson, using a reading assignment to explore science. I have two children in two different progressive New York City public schools, and can safely say that in practice, dancing about architecture is a whole lot more useful than it’s been cracked up to be.

    But without guidance, children are just going to wind up doing exactly what that horribly misguided group of fourth-graders did: reduce humans to abstractions, and the vivid and painful lessons of history to problems to be mindlessly filled in on a worksheet….

  26. 526
    Lynna, OM

    Ann Coulter says gay people can get married, “They have to marry a member of the opposite sex.”

    Some libertarians booed her. It takes a lot to get libertarians booing Coulter, but I guess it is possible. However, they may have been booing her for calling libertarians “pussies.”

  27. 527


    I thought your story in post 524 sounded familiar. And it was mentioned in the article that it was the same as last year’s incident.

    It is just… I don’t even know what to call this.

  28. 528
    Lynna, OM

    As a follow up to post 507, here are some comments from ex-mormons who have been discussing on another forum the tendency of LDS leaders to mix politics and church:

    Heck in the Stake I live in they put on an NCCS Constitution Fair with the campaign signs of the approved candidates on display. Sold Glenn Beck and Cleon Skousen books. And openly criticized Obama by name.

    Let’s set the wayback machine to late 1970s. My moridor ward had a few liberals (I was one) but I always reminded myself that the Church itself was non-political.

    Word came out that the stake RS was having a very special evening meeting in each ward and all ladies were strongly encouraged to attend. My quartet was asked to sing the opening and closing songs. I was curious and looking forward to the event.

    Stake RS leaders arrive dressed in their finery, quartet sings opening song, and meeting begins. Leaders warn us about the evils afoot in the world, and how much worse things will become if the ERA passes. We were told to fight against its passage, given details about how to go about it.

    I was very proERA and felt gobsmacked,…

    A friend caught up with me and asked it I was alright. She thought the tears were because I was so moved by the talks. I set her straight and told her how angry I was.

    …Word got around that I wasn’t worthy because of my reaction to the antiERA meeting. …

  29. 529
    Lynna, OM

    glodson @515

    At least one Mormon isn’t completely insane. But then again, it is John Hunstman, so yea. Maybe if more people on the right thought like he did, we would have slightly fewer problems. Maybe.

    In the morridor, Huntsman is rumored to be a “Jack Mormon.” He is a mormon, but doesn’t believe/buy all of the mormon dogma. This rumor is credited as being one of the reasons that God (and Utah) did not support his presidential candidacy.

  30. 530
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Lynna, that is not a new argument by *nn C**lt*r. If you remember, Piltdown Man made that same argument. And I doubt he came up with that.

    Also, if you remember, Rachel Maddow loved John Huntsman’s motorcycle commercial.

    And who could forget this?

  31. 531
    Hekuni Cat, MQG

    Tony: I hope all goes well with J.

    Beatice – *hugs and chocolate*

    Esteleth – Feel better soon. *virtual hugs*


    Cat seems much better.


  32. 532


    I figured he didn’t carry the Mormon vote more as a function of there being another, higher profile Mormon. But I imagine that many of the leaders of the Mormon Church are happy to play the Scotsman card with Huntsman and Mormons like him.

  33. 533
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    So, let’s call it a day
    It’s amazing how my mother can turn the story of a sick child to be about herself…

    He, so she can team up with the little one who turned three by the end of October.

  34. 534

    What Future for the Women’s Movement?
    *hugs* for Azkyroth.
    Tony: Glad to hear that you still have a chance for a relationship with J. Long-distance relationships are difficult to keep afloat.
    Hopefully J’s car wasn’t in any way damaged.
    Sorry about the sick kiddo.
    Hmmm…I could do something with a rain of pianos…on fire, maybe…and then they explode on impact.
    Which reminds me of the time we sank an invading fleet by dropping elephants on it, as a side-effect of taking out the dragon-borne air invasion. Good times! :D
    *hugs* for vaiyt. And *hugs* for Beatrice. And *hugs* for Esteleth (food poisoning? Eeeek!). Heck, *hugs* (or *scritches*, or other appropriate gestures of solidarity and sympathy and support (and other (good) things starting with ‘s’)) all ’round.

    Just had someone tell me that Oscar Pistorius’ crime was worse because his girlfriend was fit.

    Wait, what? Like, it would have been okay if she was disabled or infirm? (And there’s a really inappropriate joke that wants to be inserted here, involving shooting fish in a barrel. Sometimes I hate my brain.)
    glodson: Hunting zombies with a sword is perfectly acceptible behavior for the princesses of today. Helplessly waiting for the zombies to come to them, not so much!
    - -

  35. 535

    Esteleth: Stomach flu doesn’t strike me as being necessarily an improvement…. See if you can’t trade it for a cold, instead.
    Nepenthe: Good to hear that Cat is better.

  36. 536

    Hunting zombies with a sword is perfectly acceptible behavior for the princesses of today. Helplessly waiting for the zombies to come to them, not so much!

    A friend of mine’s little boy once declared “I am a princess!” She turned, expecting to see him in drag, but instead found him attacking zombies and vampires (also, the curtains). Apparently, even in small boys’ minds, princesses are becoming action heroes. I find this encouraging.

  37. 537

    dianne: Yes!

  38. 538

    I’m being told this book is evolutionary psychology done right. Has anybody read it?

  39. 539

    I hope the sickness (whatever it is) passes soon!

    If that is the evolution of princesses, I’m all for it.


    Fevers. Shakes.
    Looks like I’m down for Round 2.
    Fuck this shit.

  40. 540

    rq: I agree; fuck that shit.

  41. 541
    Hekuni Cat, MQG

    rq: Feel better soon. *hugs*


    And so, we will be doing the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, scored for 8 PCs and over 4000 magic-using tax collectors.

    My players would take those odds. It would give them an opportunity to test out the Vanquish Army spell they developed a while back. As far as I can tell, no matter how much treasure they have, they always want more and are endlessly creative about how they want to spend it. :D

  42. 542


    Ahhh, she would love that.


    And according to my little one, Kings(she labeled me that) serve tea.

  43. 543

    chigau: Yes, well, it’s all fun and games until someone realises that we don’t have a Vanquish Army spell.
    Fireballs are all well and good…so long as your enemy doesn’t have something bigger and better—and in greater quantity.

  44. 544

    Now, my solution to the Unwelcome Taxation problem is: 1) since we are temporally displaced (backwards), spend some of that stupidly-large amount of money on a series of the very best available maps, and 2) when we return “home”, use those to decide where to dig, and 3) pillage the hell out of the ruins of that civilisation (using, in part, carefully-selected magical goodies purchased with some more of that stupidly-large amount of money) . Ideally this would get us our tax-money-equivalent back, plus interest.
    10,000 years (approximately) of interest. Give or take.
    Granted it’s not a perfect plan, but I feel that it offers a substantial improvement in our survivability chances.

  45. 545
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    I shall send hot soup or warm tea over the USB with much haste. hope you feel better soon.

  46. 546
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought


    Oh, I hope you get well soon. *tea with honey*

    I just sent an angry email to the documentary film festival. I went to buy tickets and get the free ones. The ones for free have to be taken on the day of the movie. I guess they want long lines so that the place looks crowded all the time?
    Anyways, I was not happy. I like to get all the tickets beforehand so that I don’t have to worry before the movie (for some things, I’m a bit of a control freak).
    And there wasn’t even any info about the new thing about tickets on their page. Bastards.

    /snowing here, I had to walk because the tram(s) died when I was going both there and back
    brrrr… cold

  47. 547
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    rq, Esteleth
    *hugs* Hope you feel better soon.

  48. 548

    Thanks, Tony, Beatrice and Dalillama. I’m hoping it’s a short run this time.

    Sucks about the tickets, Beatrice. :( I also hate getting tickets day-of, I find it very stressful, especially for potentially-popular events. I don’t want to spend hours in a line just to find out that the couple in front of me got the last tickets. Sounds like it’s cold for you, too. *warmteawithoutgerms!*

  49. 549
    Hekuni Cat, MQG


    chigau: Yes, well, it’s all fun and games until someone realises that we don’t have a Vanquish Army spell.

    Did I miss a comment from chigau, or did you mean to direct this at me?

  50. 550
    Hekuni Cat, MQG


    Granted it’s not a perfect plan, but I feel that it offers a substantial improvement in our survivability chances.

    I like this plan. Let me know how it works out; actually, I’m interested in knowing what happens in any event.

  51. 551

    Hekuni Cat: You’re right; that should have been directed to you. Lame brain at the helm. Plus, I’m trying to argue with the other players (on FB) in favor of my proposal, so…distracted. Sorry!

  52. 552

    I just now summed it up as, “One stupidly-large amount of money in the hand is worth two in the bush—especially when we can come back later, and burn down the bush”.
    We shall see.

  53. 553
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    The Complete Works of H. P. Lovecraft. Free.

    Snaffled! Thanks, Crudely Wrott.

  54. 554
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Hey everybody.

    Azkyroth, that totally blows about the car accident. Glad your insurance company sounds reasonable.

    *hugs* and *comfortingcozyblankets* where needed

    I am stressed the fuck out about work. I am lonely. I am missing my stepniece’s role as Joanna in her high school’s production of Sweeney Todd. I am trying to work up the energy to remedy these various maladies by making the trip to Michigan this evening. 5.5 hours of driving…with a headache? I might just do it.

    Hope everyone is having a good afternoon/evening/whatever.

  55. 555
    broboxley OT

    when filling out my timecard found out that the contract ends monday, unfortunately no renewal. Sigh, one more day of work, then on the bench. Interview for the N Dakota job tuesday. I had better do well

  56. 556
    Crudely Wrott

    Every on here should love hard on Esteleth. I know I do.
    She has saved me from eviction and bought me some time to find a doctor willing to diagnose my back problem. A task that is proving to be more difficult than I expected. I keep being told that I need a doctor to get a doctor. Long, tired sigh. If nothing else I’ll camp out in the local ER.

    This Horde is extraordinary. I’ve never, ever been privileged to know a more contrary yet loveable group of people. Don’t strain your arms overmuch but you all are free to pat yourselves on your hopefully pain free backs. I only wish that I could do it in person. That would be an experience of delight.

    Any further assistance will be graciously accepted and put to wholesome and gainful use. If I can overcome this misery I could actually be productive and useful again, like I was not so long ago.

    Thanks, folks. To me you gleam like gold. I am still astounded. I am still shedding tears. I am deeply in love and I like it. You people rock.

  57. 557
    broboxley OT

    Crudely, find a local quackopracter, see if he looks in his/hers late 40′s or older. Ask how much an xray would cost and explain your economic situation. If the office looks a tad seedy even better. They should be able to do a spine and neck xray for about $150 give you a copy and tell you what they see as issue.

    With that in hand call these folks in Durham, or ride up there. Heck maybe they can do the xray cheap two but the chiro has less overhead

    they were great when I lived there without insurance, took me a while to pay it off but they were patient.

  58. 558
    Crudely Wrott

    I’ll make a note of your advice, Bro. I could use a road trip. Actually, the driver’s seat of my ’95 Vger is one of the most comfortable places in my now small world. I don’t hurt so much behind the wheel and that little sucker handles like a sports car. I got it for fifteen hundred. And yes, there is a funny story about why the price was so low. Remind me to tell you some time. You’ll get a kick out of it, guaranteed.

  59. 559
    John Morales

    cicely, that link @534 to Ruth Rosen’s piece is excellent.

    (It would make a good addition to the Wiki link collection)

  60. 560
    Crudely Wrott

    If you have three minutes that need filling I’d suggest going to Phil Plait’s blog at Slate and checking out the video “Movements in Red”. Infrared timelapse. Some of the scenes will probably remind you of familiar places. Here is linky:

  61. 561
    Cerberus is working overtime at the outrage factory

    Lynna @526

    Yeah, I’ve heard that one a lot actually by the right wing. It’s one of their favorite “I think I’m being a clever ass” go-tos on gay marriage. Ann Coulter must really be stuck in the bush leagues to recycle something that hackneyed. Sigh, what does it mean that I’m missing the days of novelty in our right-wing psychopath trolls?

    Crudely @556

    *Strong back sensitive hug*

    Impending Unemployment Update:

    Got an interview for a summer job and I think I did well in that (and I wore my skirt, so they can’t claim ignorance about me being trans*) so at least should have a job come June (assuming they aren’t bigots) if nothing else. Memorized the book for my current job and I know they will want to hold onto me come the busy season in May so if I’m very lucky I can hold on 2 months and make them hesitant about dropping me until after the summer where they can “simply not hire me for the new season”. It’s not much of a plan, but it might do in a pinch. In the meantime, it’s going to be a lot of applications out, especially to the community colleges as I’d love to start teaching there if they’ll have me.

    It’s also gotten rough on the job because my coworkers who were really bummed and upset when I told them what was going on have begun entering the denial phase of handling it. So a lot of people not wanting to believe the worst so just choosing not to. So lots of people telling me I’m just reading too much into it, that it’s probably all in my head, that it couldn’t happen there, and besides I should have been more careful about making a splash (about starting to be visibly out by wearing skirts regularly to work). A bit annoying as it’s not my job to soften reality for them so they can pretend that bigotry doesn’t exist and doesn’t occur in nice friendly “supportive” areas like the one I’m living in. And also annoying because there’s a strong part of me that wants to believe them that I’m just making a fuss over nothing and there was nothing to worry about. But at the same time, I’m really aware of how they swapped around reasons and have been setting me up to fail for awhile.

    Though it bugs me that if I manage to scramble and find something to bail to in time, they’ll just pin that on me being paranoid and if I don’t and I get cannon-tossed… well, they’ll still pin that on me for something or other simply because they don’t want to believe that bigotry can exist in the “good” part of the country for LGBT peoples.

  62. 562
    Cerberus is working overtime at the outrage factory

    Mix all that with my partner in the middle of trying to find an anti-anxiety medication that a) works and b) doesn’t fuck her up so I have to walk on eggshells at home so my fucked-upedness doesn’t set her off on a spiral of self-loathingness and you’ve got my post-Valentine’s roller coaster of fun.

  63. 563
    chigau (違う)

    I hafta renew my library card and the cat’s licence.
    Guess which one is more money.

  64. 564
    John Morales

    Crudely @560, that’s got to be one of the most boring videos I’ve ever seen.

    (I made it nearly two minutes before I gave up, though)

  65. 565
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Pteryxx, thanks – I’m just doing an Amazon order and I like to buy quite a few things to make it worth the shipping :) I thought that one have been by umm, whatever Bob Connell’s name is now. Perhaps I was mistaken. Anyway, I added Guyland to my list.

    Parrowing, I hope the gym went well. I have been learning interesting new vocab from my fitocracy addiction. One you may enjoy is the “curlbro”. As in, some bro who does lots of bicep curls because the muscle looks cool and is easy to hypertrophy (“get swole”). You may recognise them as the dudes who have a weird forward curve to their shoulders – they only work out what’s visible to them in the mirror so their backs are neglected.

    Opposablethumbs, this is the device: http://stresseraser.com/
    It’s a photoplethysmograph. Do please note that the science is somewhat sketchy. But this is not some woo “allergy-tester” device (biofeedback gets a bad rep from this, if nothing else), and there is quite good evidence for meditation and breath control for stress, depression & anxiety. I’m willing to try it because I can afford the cost, and if it helps me sleep better it will be worth it. (Unrefreshing sleep is one of the worst aspects of my fatigue syndrome.)

    If you hate being told when to breathe, it is not for you! You are trying to synch your breathing up with your nervous system activity (as reflected by heart rate variability), and there’s a cue to exhale. Ideally you fall into the right rhythm naturally after a while. I am not good at this, but I’ve only had it for 2 days.

  66. 566
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Get well soon, Esteleth!

  67. 567
    Crudely Wrott

    John Morales, I didn’t assume that the video would be an instant hit with everyone. Did you scroll down and look at the following one? I suspect that you didn’t.

  68. 568

    broboxley: *tentacles crossed* for your interview on Tuesday.
    Much love (and *applause*) for Esteleth, as per Crudely’s request.
    Also, *kittens&chocolate&beverages-of-choice*
    John: I thought it made a very nice summation&overview of so many of the points that have been raised in so many Threads here.
    Cerberus: Thanks for the update, and I’m sorry that your partner is having such difficulties.

  69. 569
    John Morales


    Did you scroll down and look at the following one? I suspect that you didn’t.

    Your suspicion is correct.

    (Also, I didn’t watch it from Phil’s blog, I went to the source, so there was no scrolling to be done)

  70. 570

    Janine: Hallucinating Liar wrote:

    Lynna, that is not a new argument by *nn C**lt*r. If you remember, Piltdown Man made that same argument. And I doubt he came up with that.

    I’m sure that it will not surprise you, but this argument is very, very old, although some of the nouns get changed from time to time. In 1883 in Pace v. Alabama, instead of man can marry a woman and vice versa, it was whites can marry whites and non-whites can marry non-whites, so no discrimination. It’s sad that so many anti-gay-marriage talking points come straight out of the defenses for “miscegenation” laws when they were being challenged. But, when you’ve got no good reasons, I guess you gotta recycle the tried and true bad ones.

  71. 571
    Crudely Wrott

    Alright, John. I find these sorts of things to be interesting as well as beautiful. It’s just the way I relate to the world around me. That you feel differently just goes to show that not everyone is like me. Point taken, No harm done.

  72. 572

    Get well soon, rq and Esteleth!

    Crudely and Cerberus, wish I could give you each a good stiff drink of your choice.

  73. 573
    Crudely Wrott

    Carlie, if you could just pour a shot of whiskey in your USB cable I have a glass poised under mine.

  74. 574

    Crudely – Done! :)

  75. 575
    Crudely Wrott

    Wonderful early forties movie starring Fred Astair and Rita Heyworth on TCM right now. Black and white, wicked nostalgic. I never appreciated these movies when I was a kid. I’m not a kid any more and their value is so much more accessible. I’m a gonna tell ya, that man can move. And make it look effortless.
    I am so jealous.
    Oh, the title? You Never Lovelier.

  76. 576
    Crudely Wrott

    Carlie, Was that Hiram Walker or Jack Daniels? It went down so quickly I didn’t have time to savor. But, gee whiz, thanks.
    *pours large, silly grin into my return USB. reflects briefly on the wonders of electronic transfer*
    ‘Scuse me . . . gotta get back to my Celtics game. Family tradition and all, you know.

  77. 577
    Crudely Wrott

    err . . . You Were Never Lovelier.

    I’ll not blame that on the shot that Carlie sent down the tubes to me. I was actually distracted by the Celtics game. They are thumping the Suns in Phoenix. I really love this game. May dad sort of comes back to life while I follow the game. That’s what I meant by family tradition. I feel like he’s watching with me.

  78. 578
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Okay, so is there actually a tendency in certain industries to use the phrase “Executive Summary” to refer to a section of a report that is supposed to contain only a description of the problem with no reference to means of solving it, or is my instructor just an asshole?

    (Well, I explicitly asked him whether the “executive summary” was “supposed to consist only of a problem statement” and he said no, it should be a summary of what you’re proposing, so I’m pretty sure the latter applies anyway, but…)

  79. 579
    chigau (違う)

    In my experience, an “Executive Summary” summarizes the whole shebang.
    The very last thing written in the report is the Executive Summary.
    and it had better include a bit of everything
    and fit on one page.

  80. 580

    Oy, off work after 13 hours, got off one hour early (they called a 14 hour shift today). Going to bed but wanted to catch up with you guys a little, and talk about books some more!

    I hadn’t come across David Brin. Thanks!

    I don’t have top whatever number lists running in my head. I started talking about books here because I got some in the mail and was excited about it, and the authors other than those I mentioned are some of my favorites, but I chose names out of those I have loved based on some criteria, specifically in this case women who write science fiction or fantasy and who happened to be on the bookshelf I could see from my computer desk. Women because somehow it’s easier sometimes to come up with men’s names of authors in scifi/fantasy (I’m not sure why, I was just fighting the impulse on general principle). And I have to stop myself every time I get talking about books because I keep thinking of just one more I want to mention. If you ask me for a top 5 or 10 of anything I will either not be able to fill the list (because I don’t care that much) or be unable to limit myself to that number (because it’s just too confining!).

    Crudely Wrott
    I have a tablet that I rarely use and a Kindle app on my phone that I use for some non fiction books I’m slowly working my way through – always having the phone with me helps with that. But for reading a book I haven’t made that jump to electronic. I’m still buying and reading paper books – used, which I plan to resell except for the ones I really love. I don’t have anything against it per se, and I don’t write in books – I just like real paper books.

    I did buy Beholder’s Eye, although I’m fairly certain I’ve read it or one of its sequels before. I just really like Julie E. Czerneda and I’m slowly collecting her books. Reap the Wild Wind was my favorite, and my first, of her books. I have Fortress in the Eye of Time, but I’ve not read the others in the series yet. I think I ordered the next one in this last batch of books but I can’t remember. There’s one odd thing about Cherryh; in one of the Morgaine novels, Morgaine goes through a gate to a world called by its inhabitants “Azeroth”. I tried but could find no source for the name which is in common with only a very few things; a made up deity in a C.S. Lewis novel, a mythical treasure in a cartoon series, and one of the worlds in the MMPORG World of Warcraft. I found it inexplicable.

    I have difficulty with short stories. The first little bit of the story when you are trying to get acquainted with the new characters and the plotline is often a bit of a struggle for me, often for the first chapter or so. Reading a series of short stories to me feels like I do nothing but get used to the new story and then it’s over. I like Pratchett as well, but in small doses. And his books are short and go fast – usually I can read one in an afternoon.

    I liked the Chalion and Sharing Knife stories as well, but I’ve only read one of the Miles Vorkosigan books. I can’t bring myself to bother with the rest of them, maybe someday. I thought the first Sharing Knife book was better than the other two, they got more like romance novels than fantasy after a while. I think my favorite I’ve read by her was the first I read, Paladin of Souls.

    I’ve read some Connie Willis – All Clear, and I just got Doomsday Book. I liked the idea behind All Clear, people observing the past and possibly getting stuck living there, really interacting with it, but with a future mindset.

    I just bought my first Joan Vinge. :)

    I just assumed you were expressing disgust for the patriarchy by the threat to lick it…I guess from the idea that licking someone is usually gross, more so to them than to you, so…yeah, it doesn’t really make sense. But I didn’t realize you meant kick. I thought you were making some statement I didn’t really quite get by saying “lick.” :)

    On prediction engines…Amazon is convinced I want to read YA post apocalyptic novels a la Hunger Games. I’m not sure where it got this idea; I did buy a couple things it suggested in that vein, but its prediction engine started the whole thing. There’s only so much Matched and Pretties and The Maze Runner and Divergence I want to click through.

  81. 581
    chigau (違う)

    There is a water glass in the sink, 2/3 full of water.
    The glass is under the dripping tap.
    Tap drips about every 16 seconds.
    It hits glass and the water simultaneously.
    I thinks it is A flat.

  82. 582
    Crudely Wrott

    The Celtics win over the Phoenix Suns by twenty five points. Even with Kevin Garnett resting on the bench. (He just played last Sunday in his fifteenth All-Star game.) Jason Crawford, newly acquired in a last minute trade, had a stand out game with the C’s. Jeff Green was a monster. Boston dominated from the opening horn.

    OK. I suspect that only a few of the Horde are basketball fans but I am a lifelong fan of the team that travels with the leprechaun. Like I may have mentioned, it’s a family tradition. Daddy-O is gone, brothers don’t live nearby anymore and I’m a long way from the Boston Garden. Even so, this team is something special to me and I’d suggest to anyone interested in how a team gains and holds on to a dedicated fanbase for decades to investigate the history of the Celtics. Get to know Bill Russel and Bob Cousy. The Jones boys and long time coach and later chief executive Red Auerbach, famous for his victory cigars. Look up recordings of Johnny Most calling some of the most exciting athletic contests ever. Really, it is an amazing story and full of drama even if you could not care less about the game. It is a story of dedication and success. It makes people look good. And fans like me feel good.

    Boston won by twenty five points tonight against a team that is struggling at the bottom of NBA ratings. They didn’t win because Phoenix isn’t a good team; after all, they are professionals at the top of the game too. Boston won because the team played cohesively and with intensity. As a unit. They showed why some people love to follow their favorite teams and why sports is a useful metaphor. I find that sort of thing useful and instructive as well as exciting and entertaining. Similar to when scientists design clever experiments and devices to tease out the secrets of the universe. Like the Michelson Morley experiment and the Curiosity rover. The best in us is displayed, comes to the fore, when we work together for common goals.

    Somewhere, Dad is smiling. He’s also scarfing up the last of the cheese and crackers. He won’t get the last gulp of the ginger ale, though. That’s mine. Go Celtics!

    *thus ends this totally off topic escapade–those who have been bored or put off their feed are forgiven*

  83. 583
    Crudely Wrott

    @ Deborahbell, #580,
    I prefer books printed on paper, too. Something about being able to see them on the shelf from across the room. Knowing, even if I am traveling that they are there, occupying real space.

    Being able to pull them from the shelf and feel the heft. To hold them. To gauge their weight with my muscles. To open them, especially older ones, and inhale their vapors, the perfume of ages. To marvel at the printer’s art. To read again the copyright and library numbers.

    A printed book, to me, is like a work of art. The writer’s art, the printer’s art, the book binder’s art. It is an object that should be cared for. Kept safe and clean. With such minimal care it will endure for centuries and there is no way to reckon how many pairs of eyes will pass over its pages.

    I once had a very handsome library. Many books on subjects that interested me. I had to walk away from that library some years ago. I mourn the loss to this day. Slowly, though, I’m building library two.

    A book on a screen is a convenience and is useful for quick reference. A book between two covers is a possession, an asset, an artifact. I’ll take the real thing whenever I can. Real books live. I can give them to whoever I please and they keep working just like new. They don’t suddenly vanish and they don’t need a license or batteries. In all, a helluva deal.

  84. 584
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Wow. This is cool. Solar flare/coronal mass ejection/coronal rain.

  85. 585
    throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble

    I saw that too on Phil Plait’s blog, Tony. It’s absolutely gorgeous.

  86. 586
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    And for *another* really cool video–Mt Etna’s eruption from last year (I’m probably the last person on Earth to see this, but if there’s one other person who hasn’t seen it…this is COOL!):http://www.latinospost.com/articles/12770/20130222/mount-etnas-volcanic-eruption-caught-film-video.htm

  87. 587
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    I love your nym…
    (came for the peach, got the pit; I just got flashbacks to 90210)

  88. 588
    Crudely Wrott

    Thanks for that link, Tony. Man, oh man. Wicked big. Wicked hot. Judging by the rate of fall that the hot pieces exhibit, assuming real time playback, this puppy was throwing shit way up into the air.

    Reminder: people live all around this volcano. Check it out on Google Earth. I guess one can get used to damned near anything but, sheesh.

    *Oh, yeah. Throwaway does have quite a nym, doesn’t he? I like the last part best.*

  89. 589
    throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble

    That’s pleasing to hear the nym is at least not frowned upon. :) The last I chose was ‘these are not the bullies you’re looking for’ during the whole kerfuffle last summer.

    I have never really made a ‘formal’ introduction to the lounge though I’ve lurked and such. So now is a good time to say how much I love and appreciate all the horde’s contributions over the long years I spent (mostly) lurking! Hi!

    I’m a bit socially shy, even to the point of being anti-social, due to myriad reasons some people can identify with (PTSD, borderline personality, depression, ADD, anxiety). And even though I know this is a great group of accepting people, all of that makes it sort of hard for me to get on a more personal basis without apprehensiveness. I’m even having second thoughts about hitting post after writing all that…

    Think I’ll watch some Jeeves & Wooster now. ;) Be back in a bit.

  90. 590
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    I am glad you chose to delurk. This bunch is an amazing group of accepting, diverse individuals. If you choose to continue posting just know that you are among a diverse group of people-some of whom share your social shyness.

    Crudely @588:
    Psst. I could be wrong, but I do not think throwaway mentioned what gender xe is, so you may want to avoid assigning one to hir.

  91. 591
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Headache. Slept most of the day. Not sure of source. Crawling back into bed.

  92. 592
    Crudely Wrott

    Force of habit, Tony. Something I’m working on. If any offense was taken I stand guilty as charged.

    I strive to be as harmless as possible. I can only trust that my errors are understood as ignorance rather than intent.

    Thank you for the reminder. I’ll take more care in the future.

    And so, good night.

  93. 593

    Thank you, Alethea, much appreciated.

  94. 594
    Vilém Saptar

    Hi lounge, I’m completely threadrupt.

    Beatrice – Thanks for the warm welcome back, I’m taking your advice. :)


    Just wanted to let you people know that i have made some progress on my mistake. I have been able to repair some of the damage i caused to my friend, though i don’t think i’ll ever be able to wholly undo it. They’re still cut-off from me and i don’t expect that will change either, and i’m actively keeping myself as far away in all possible ways from them.

    Thanks to you all here who gave support and advice. I can’t be thankful enough. Though i was never in any real danger of harming myself (i think), my experience has been rough and really scary a few times. And has opened my eyes to how people who deal with this sort of stuff on a regular basis must feel, especially those who suffer through no fault of their own. It’s just so so painful and i now have some inkling of what it must be to suffer from depression and related illnesses.

    Also, *hugs* to everyone who needs them. I’ll try to stick around.

  95. 595
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    *waves at Vilém Saptar*

    Ah, the sound of crickets on a Saturday here. From next Saturday on, I’ll have something to do with myself too, so there. :p

  96. 596

    Hi, Vilém Saptar, hope to see you more often!


    The gym was actually pretty good and I think I’ll be getting a membership. The friend I went with is a personal trainer, so she was incredibly helpful and has agreed to train me for free because she needs the practice.

    To those who remember me telling about how I dread Wednesdays because I have to spend time with a very woo-ish and self-centered person: as it turns out, my gym friend is just as fed up with it as I am and doesn’t buy the woo either. So now she and I can share a furtive look when these topics come up.


    I don’t think there were any curlbros around, Alethea, but I hear there’s a special weight room in the basement for those types. I’ve been thinking of joining fitocracy. If I do, should I let the Lounge know? (for the sake of finding those of you who are on the site)

  97. 597
    Hekuni Cat, MQG


    I just now summed it up as, “One stupidly-large amount of money in the hand is worth two in the bush—especially when we can come back later, and burn down the bush”.

    Crudely Wrott – *gentle hugs and chocolate*

    Esteleth – You definitely rock!

    Cerberus – *many hugs and much chocolate*

    Hi, throwaway, count me as another who loves your ‘nym.

    Vilém Saptar – Welcome back.

  98. 598
    The Mellow Monkey


    I thought of a fantastic* evopsych theory last night, as I was reading about primate reproduction. There is a well-documented attraction to pinks and reds in a number of primate species. This is the powerful, visual draw that sexually mature males of these species experience toward vulvas engorged in estrus. See? See?! It’s all so clear now! Women wear pink in order to attract the attention of males. And humans swaddle baby girls in pink so that adult males feel protective as they see them as giant…swollen…um…

    …soooooooo, berries. Humans want baby girls to look like ripe, tasty berries…

    *Tongue firmly in cheek throughout, in case it’s not obvious.

  99. 599
    chigau (違う)

    What do you see?

  100. 600

    chigau – stockinette stitch. :)

  101. 601
    Lynna, OM

    Djesus uncrossed, director’s cut.


    From Saturday Night Live. Director’s cut posted on Seth Meyers’ twitter feed.

  102. 602
    Lynna, OM

    Remember when Republicans in the House of Representatives had a hard time approving aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy? They had no trouble recently approving federal aid for churches damaged by the storm.

    The House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved legislation that would allow the use of federal money to rebuild churches and synagogues damaged by Hurricane Sandy, despite concern that such aid could violate the doctrine of separation of church and state.

    The bill, approved last week by a vote of 354 to 72, had support from Roman Catholic and Jewish organizations. It was opposed by 66 Democrats and 6 Republicans….

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency has generally refused to provide grants to rebuild houses of worship. In some cases, federal aid can be used to reimburse houses of worship for social services they provide, and houses of worship can sometimes qualify for low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration.

    The House bill adds houses of worship to the list of private nonprofit organizations eligible for disaster relief. …
    The House bill would apply to property damaged by the storm and damage from future disasters.

    Under the bill, “a church, synagogue, mosque, temple or other house of worship, and a private nonprofit facility operated by a religious organization,” would be eligible for federal disaster assistance “without regard to the religious character of the facility or the primary religious use of the facility.”…
    FEMA lawyers raised numerous objections to the bill, saying in a memorandum that it represents “an enormous departure” from current law….
    But Representative Jerrold Nadler of Manhattan, the senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, said: “This bill would direct federal taxpayer dollars to the reconstruction of houses of worship. The idea that taxpayer money can be used to build a religious sanctuary or an altar has consistently been held unconstitutional.”….

    New York Times link.

    Link to January Daily News story about the fight over Hurricane Sandy aid.

  103. 603
    chigau (違う)

    I have decided to read all the Sinfest.
    How long will it take me to read 4550 comics?

  104. 604
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Wow. It is quiet here.

  105. 605
    The Mellow Monkey

    chigau, I think it took me three days. Of course, I did do other things during that span of time.

  106. 606
    chigau (違う)

    Mellow Monkey
    I think it took me three days for Order of the Stick and it was only in the 700s.
    oh well, no rush

  107. 607
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    So, watched the third X-Files episode (the one with the guy who eats livers and hibernates for thirty years). I clearly remember watching it when I was little. I’m kinda surprised my parents and grandma had let me watch this then.

  108. 608
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Curious, I asked about it. Parents claim they never forbid me from watching anything they watched.
    Ok then. I guess it was more my assumption I was ever forbidden watching things (drawn from other people’s experiences) than actual memories. But I’m sure the channel got changed once they saw what It was about. Or I just forgot the ending, just like I forget endings of movies/series/books these days.

  109. 609

    Mellow Monkey @598
    Recently I got to thinking about red berries, too. Trouble is, some poisonous berries are very red (so… do we test them out on the husbands/partners?), and other berries are black/blue when ripe, and bright red when unripe. I had a whole bunch of thoughts about this and the problems this causes with the usual evo-psych theories (honestly – do these people not know their berries?).
    But your theory is much better. ;) It makes a lot more sense, since I don’t know of any women who have black/blue… ummm… Yes, little red, ripe berries… *heh heh*

    That is one of the freakiest episodes ever. Plus the repeat one, where he comes back later in the season. The guy’s eyes still freak me out. A lot.

  110. 610
    Crudely Wrott

    Today is Ma’s birthday. I sent the memory of a moment to my siblings who are all younger than I am. This is what I wrote:

    Picture yourself as a small child. Your mother is cradling you in her arms and smiling down at you. She is all light, shining. There is no background, no walls, no ceiling. Just the two of you.
    You feel a lightness and joy that is nearly unbearable.
    You look up at her face and you say,
    “Mama, I’m . . . happy.”
    Her smile expands and her face glows brighter, surrounded by that wavy hair.
    She answers you with words that are nearly your own
    Her voice drawing you closer than even her arms.
    She says, in a voice that is mostly music, “I’m happy, too.”
    And there is nothing wrong in the whole world. Nothing at all. Everything is just right.

    In memory of Helen and in recognition of those here who helped me cope with her death. I have love enough for her and for all of you. That was her greatest gift.

  111. 611
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Crudely Wrott
    That’s a sweet tribute to your dad. : )

    You write beautifully. You’ve captured how I feel about books. I also have an easier time reading off a paper page, for some reason.


    To those who remember me telling about how I dread Wednesdays because I have to spend time with a very woo-ish and self-centered person: as it turns out, my gym friend is just as fed up with it as I am and doesn’t buy the woo either. So now she and I can share a furtive look when these topics come up.

    That’s awesome. I find it a lot easier to deal with crap like that when there’s at least one other person to commiserate with.

    I don’t think I ever mentioned I’m glad that there is still a chance with J. And that his car was returned safely. Take care of yourself, though.

    Crudely, again
    Happy birthday to your mother. It sounds like she was a wonderful person. *hugs* to you today.


    I’m watching Netflix while this migraine takes its last breaths. I can’t believe it’s already going away, I only woke up with it at 3am. I’m so so happy. The sun is out, so I may even go for a walk. It’s been several days since that happened.

    I didn’t go to Michigan because I had to deal with a stupid work thing. Missing a weekend of nieces and nephews at my mom’s house but I will be ok. There will be another visit.

    Rob Lowe marathon!

  112. 612
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]


    Shit piss fuck argh.

    So yesterday I spent most of the day getting acquainted with the texture of the rug in my bathroom.

    But, around 6 or 7 pm, I started feeling better. I drank a bunch of water in order to rehydrate myself and ate something light and went to bed. Periodically through the night I woke up to drink more water.

    Proof that I had been dehydrated came when I woke up this morning. Despite having drunk about 40 oz of water during the night, I did not have to pee. On the other hand, I was not thirsty.

    I also had a splitting headache. So I had some tea and drank some more water while I ate a bagel.

    And I continued to feel terrible and woozy.

    So I took my temperature.

    I’m running a fever of 101.2 Fahrenheit. Great.

    The worst part? I have to go to work. Because I have a time-course experiment running. And I’m the only one who knows what the readouts should be. And on top of that, I have living stuff that needs attention to stay alive.

    Fuck this shit. Fuck it all to hell. I have exactly no options.

  113. 613

    Hooray on the non-woo friend, too!

    You do, indeed, write extremely beautifully. Tear-inducingly so (in a good way).


    Yesterday (?) somebody posted kitty footprints on a medieval manuscript. Well, these kitty prints beat those kitty prints by a few hundred years or so. ;)

  114. 614
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Oh, Esteleth, you poor thing. So much sympathy.

  115. 615
    Crudely Wrott

    Portia, Thank you. I was very fortunate. I had three parents, a father, a step dad and, of course, Ma. They all loved me and stood fast with me through all kinds of joys and terrors. They are my foundation.

    Esteleth, YES! Do take a walk. Get all your parts moving in harmony. It’s good for what ails ya.

    rq I meant to bring a tear to your eye. Ain’t I a rascal?

  116. 616
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Thanks. You awesome :)

    Ugh that sucks. I am sure you dont enjoy being close friends with a rug.
    Hope you feel on top of the world again soon.

  117. 617
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Good evening
    Kid is still sick :(
    My mum:
    A) has a melanoma. But in a very, very early stage. It was discovered during all the check-ups necessary for the transplantation. The doc told her she was very lucky, it is very early and therefore very treatable and just needs to be removed via surgery.
    B) is driving me mad again. If the kids can’t visit on Monday again (’cause either of them has been sick last week) she’ll come and visit. Yes, she’ll come and visit. No “could I come and visit?” No “would you like me to visit?” “Would you mind if I came for a visit?” Noooo, I’ll come and visit…

    A birthday well remembered. That’s a wonderful memory. While writing I’m glancing over the laptop at the little one snuggling safely in her dad’s arm. How fitting.

    And somewhere between a laugh and a cry there’s gran’s Alzheimers. Since Mr., my husband of almost 6 and partner of 13 years doesn’t see her that often, he is slipping from her memory. Now, since the kids are visiting often, they don’t. Her way to make sense of this is to claim that I’m single and had the kids out of wedlock… (not that there’s anything wrong with that)

  118. 618
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    That’s such a blessing* At various times I’ve felt like I had one less parent because of a stepparent. But there are times when my step dad really comes through for me. I’m glad you had all that extra joy. :)

    You’re awesome, too. Never forget it :)

    *I hate this word for it’s religious connotations but sometimes it just fits. Alternatives welcomed.

  119. 619
    Crudely Wrott

    Oh, Portia, regarding books. Isaac Asimov has a wonderful essay concerning the superiority of the printed page vs. words on screens. Here’s a link to A Guide to Isaac Asimov’s Essays that I just stumbled across. In a better world I would still have the relevant essay at hand and could pluck it from the shelf in a thrice. But this is this world. You might be able to find it here. I don’t have time to explore the site right now but it has been bookmarked for future reference.

    I recommend to any and all his essays. You will learn something with each one. He was prolific, touching on nearly every imaginable subject. If you are researching anything, he should be among your sources. He also treats his readers as each a welcome guest; ever the Dear Reader. That quality made me always eager to sit at the knee of and listen to the Good Doctor. I miss him a lot.

  120. 620
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Sorry to hear about your mom’s new ailment. Glad it was caught early. Hope the visit isn’t too terribly exasperating.

    I’ll look into that, thank you : ) I can’t remember where I heard it (here?) but I heard that if you read one of Asimov’s writings once a week, it would take nine years to get through.

  121. 621
    Crudely Wrott

    Ooops! Forgot the link. (distracted by email from sibs) Here it is:


  122. 622
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought


    I forgot there is another episode with him later!

    Crudely Wrott, Esteleth and Giliell, *hugs*

  123. 623
    Crudely Wrott

    Yes, Portia. He was prolific. He didn’t travel much, wouldn’t board an airplane (!) and he just wanted to write. He did so at a breakneck pace for most all of his life.

    He did come to an event at the University of New Hampshire when I was about fifteen or sixteen. I actually shook his hand. His sideburns were in full glory about that time. When I got a little older, I grew some myself but they were not anywhere near in his league.

    I have not yet read his last books, two of which are autobiographical. I really ought to though, in a way, I don’t want the kind of closure that they might have in store. I seem to imagine that he is still there in that New York apartment, banging away on an old Smith-Corona typewriter, making the obscure clear, the mysterious understandable and churning out absorbing mystery stories cleverly disguised as science fiction.

    He was the only model of his series.

    And, just in case there is still any question, yes. I am a fan of Isaac Asimov. Have been since I was nine years old and bought a seventy-five cent paperback at the local drugstore. The Stars Like Dust. It’s been upward and onward ever since. ;^>

  124. 624
    Crudely Wrott

    Hugs most welcome, Beatrice. Return hugs should be downloading to you in three, two, one . . .

  125. 625
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Hey folks,

    Hot cocoa(with or without liqueur!) and hugs for everyone. My wife and I are both sort of sick, and were both up half the night coughing. Seems like we’re part of the club this weekend.

  126. 626
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Crudely, that was lovely to read. I’ll definitely move Dr. Asimov up my reading list now. :) You even did the impossible in this thread, you made me enjoy reading about sports. And that is quite the accomplishment!

    Feel better : ( *slurps delishuss hot cocoa*


    Welp, I guess I’ll shower today after all. A game night has been proposed. Yippee! …I am terrible at Settlers of Catan though, and that’s the newest fad in the game group. Ah well, I lose with good humor and enjoy the game either way.

  127. 627

    This just in: “‘Killing Jesus’ is Bill O’Reilly’s Next Book, Exploring Life, Death of Christ”

    I can’t wait for O’Reilly’s learned, balanced analysis of the complex situation in the Near East 2000 years ago. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!
    “Christ was killed by time-travelling liberals!” “King Herod slandered by marxist history professors, was actually setting up lots of orphanages and loved children”. “Judas actually an Iranian name, which is why we should invade”.

  128. 628
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Ever try hot apple cider when sick? I find it a great alternative to hot coco (which I like too).

  129. 629

    Re Connie Willis and “All Clear”
    (Kw*k alwert)
    I actually sent a copy of both Blackout and All Clear to Freeman Dyson who lived through the period as a young student.
    He mentioned that he and his friends really never doubted the outcome of the war. And although there were discomforts such as rationing, they also got to see perfect starry skies from inside central London, due to the blackout.
    When the V-2 raids began, Arthur C Clarke was impressed by their ability to achieve (brief) spaceflight, while Dyson was relieved that the Nazis were spending resources on a not cost effective weapon (by then he was doing work for the Department of War).

  130. 630
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Tony, I actually don’t try ANYTHING when I’m sick. I’m lucky if I bother with an aspirin. My self-preservation instinct is sort of broken.

    I have a couple of beers in the fridge I could set out and let get warm, is that close?

  131. 631

    Who says science can’t be a deeply moving experience?
    iJoe, feel better soon!
    Portia, I suck at Settles too, but I’m a bad loser, unless I prepare for the inevitability of not being the best player. :) Yeah, it takes special mental preparation for me to enjoy a game just for the sake of enjoying it. Have fun! I hope the effort of showering is worth it. ;)
    Giliell, *hugs* for the mother situation… Lots of them, should you want.

  132. 632
    Hekuni Cat, MQG

    Esteleth, iJoe, and Giliell – *hugs*

    Crudely Wrott – That was simply beautiful. ♥

  133. 633
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    “Judas actually an Iranian name, which is why we should invade”.

    I llol’d.

    I hope the effort of showering is worth it. ;)

    Funny you should say so because I just got out and find my headache increased a little with the effort. So it darn well better be worth it :)

    If I have gotten used to doing well at a game, then I don’t like to lose. But until I establish that I am a Winner, I’m okay with losing. I sort of have to be, though, because my cousin, the hostess, is the Game Master and she and her sister have always been super competitive and determined to win. :)

  134. 634
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    I think I neglected to thank Hekuni Cat and others for job well wishes. Thanks! I’m still conflicted on several levels about taking a different job, but I think the net outcome would be a benefit. I think.

  135. 635

    I’m so sorry, Esteleth!!!

    Settlers – I never win. But now I have a personal strategy, which is “see if I can get a port so at least I have the option for decent trade-in ratios”. It doesn’t do me any good, but at least it keeps my focus off of the winning that is not going to happen. ;)

  136. 636
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    I do that too, set personal goals and see how far I can get. Last game, I got a brick port and an ore port, with the settlements on each built on the reciprocal squares. Didn’t win but I had some fun.

  137. 637

    I haven’t played in ages, but I’d like to. And yeah, not being an expert at a game certainly improves the chances of enjoying myself – because, if I’m learning, I’m allowed to make mistakes!
    But when I become an expert, oooh boy… I can get horribly competitive.

  138. 638

    Does it make me a bad person that I have the urge to punch puppies whenever I read anything attributed to a man like Matt Barber?

  139. 639
    Crudely Wrott

    Portia wrote:

    You even did the impossible in this thread, you made me enjoy reading about sports.

    So now I should call myself “Possible Wrott”? [huge grin, really huge] Really, I bleed green.

    Hekuni Cat, thank you for your appreciation. It warms my heart on a cold, cloudy day.

  140. 640
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    West Wing is making me cry.
    “Are you an idiot? Now we’re both in the hole?”
    “Yeah, but I’ve been down here before, I know the way out.”

  141. 641

    Hey, today’s Set was easy! Less than 4 minutes. :)

  142. 642
    Crudely Wrott

    re: I bleed green.

    That would be Celtic Green. The team color. It’s a fan meme.

    Also the color of the shamrock and the leprechaun’s clothes.

    For anyone who might be interested, go to http://www.nba.com/celtics/

    Like I’ve said before, it’s a family tradition and while I’m not really a big sports fan, I’ll always be a Celtics fan. Just because.

    Also NASCAR.

    *oh shit, now I’ve done it–I’ll never get any respect again*

  143. 643
    throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble

    Does it make me a bad person that I have the urge to punch puppies whenever I read anything attributed to a man like Matt Barber?

    It doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you human.

    And I have no idea where I heard that before, but I have heard it elsewhere. Violent ideations aren’t a reflection of your violent character, just how harshly it feels you’ve been poked. Seen as a retaliation for harm, I’d argue it’s a defense mechanism against the subjugative nature of the stimulus. Completely natural.

  144. 644

    While I do not understand basketball at all, and to be honest, have no desire to, and NASCAR is just… I don’t know, I have to admit that, sports-wise, I’m a little bit in love with this man. Because. :)

  145. 645


    Thanks. It is good to know that bigots like him have that effect on others as well. It is like they try to find the most evil thing to say, and then look for ways to make it even worse.

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

    Almost at the end of The City & The City, I was convinced I would not like the ending. Yeah, I didn’t figure out what the catch was, so when it really finished… I was satisfied. It was a good wrap-up. Anything else would have been wrong, only this could explain everything (which probably means I should have figured it out earlier).

    (I don’t think that was spoily, if anyone decides to read the book)

  147. 647
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought


    Since you linked to the video, it was obvious that nothing bad would happen, but every turn made me twitchy.

  148. 648
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar


    Kind of hard to spoil The City & The City, isn’t it? Because the central conceit of the book is so far out there, I don’t think the ending makes any sense without reading the entire book first.

  149. 649
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought


    Yeah, but it could turn into a spoiler when you’re twenty pages before the end and suddenly remember that comment you read once.
    … ok, that is far fetched :)

    Did you like the book?

  150. 650
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Oh, and thanks to you people’s reading suggestions, I’m going to read Cat’s Cradle next.

  151. 651
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    sometimes the smallest things can brighten your day. I had forgotten it is Girl Scout cookie time!!! I bought 4 boxes of do si do’s…

  152. 652

    That wasn’t spoily. It was intriguing.
    Another book on my list. :)

  153. 653
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Also, I have a giant* roll of dark green marine vinyl and a quart of adhesive. Plus a sander and some sandpaper and a utility knife and a roller for the adhesive. I just ordered cabinet corners and I’m waiting on a quote on a custom-engraved control panel faceplate for my amplifier.

    Life is actually pretty awesome.

  154. 654
    Crudely Wrott

    Thanks for the link, rq. That dude had such a clean line all the way through the course. Sweet.

    Makes me recall attacking the hill in the pasture on my Flexible Flyer. When the snow had a frozen crust I could coast for over a quarter of a mile. ‘Course, I had to walk back up . . . which reminds me how able my body used to be.

    Anybody got a Wayback Machine that’s not being used?

  155. 655

    That sounds like it will be one amazing amplifier. One for displaying proudly to unsuspecting guests. ;)

    I twitch every time I watch him race, but that’s also because of his sliding technique. He pushes the boundaries just enough for it to be obvious. His last run in St Moritz starts at 43:47. This one made me cringe, because he’d fucked up the first three runs (a bit) and had absolutely nothing to lose in the last run. (In the end, he lost out by 3/100ths of a second – painful!)
    Also, after that fourth run, seeing as how Husband was part of that group yelling “Latvia!” in the background, he called me to tell me Husband was behaving. ;)

  156. 656

    Cat’s Cradle is a great book.

    Cute kid story for today: Little girl got up and we spent about 15 minutes watching her plants grow. She’s got a little starter greenhouse thing in her room. She loves the little plants, and I think it is a great chance for her to watch them grow. She’s so excited about it.

    Tomorrow, we plant some strawberries.

  157. 657

    He has the cleanest lines of anyone I’ve ever seen on the track (and yeah, that’s not too much, but still!). It’s the difference between watching someone good, and someone good. Between someone who knows the technique and can do it, and someone who feels it and the ice pretty much intuitively. The man is a work of art in motion.

  158. 658


    So yesterday I spent most of the day getting acquainted with the texture of the rug in my bathroom.

    Sorry, to hear that. Me, I prefer pressing my body into the cold hard surface of the vinyl in ours. I find the cooling a comfort when I’m in such a state — easier to scrub up the fever sweat, too. Wife and spawn are currently in bad shape (wife just about hacked up a lung this morning); luckily I’m symptom-free for now.

    Sympathy for all who are ill.

  159. 659
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Good night all!

  160. 660
    John Morales

    I found China Miéville tedious; couldn’t even finish the Perdido book.

  161. 661

    Good night, Beatrice!

  162. 662
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Night Beatrice!

  163. 663
    Crudely Wrott

    @glodson #656:

    Wonderful kid story.

    Something worth exploring with a child. When a seedling is just coming up, as it unfolds it first leaves, you can see the seedling jerk, spasm, actually grow in a sudden spurt. You have to be watching closely because it’s easy to miss if you get distracted. Happens in a fraction of a second. Also a good lesson for demonstrating the value of patience.

    Will you be making some homemade strawberry ice cream with her? Guaranteed joy. Go find a recipe and an ice cream maker. Life long memories come from ice cream making.

  164. 664

    Crudely Wrott

    Thanks. And she could learn some patience. I love my child so much, but she’s about as patient as I am. So not very, at all. But we are going to try by taking care of some plants this summer.

    And those are great ideas. I’ve not thought at far ahead. We might be getting ahead of ourselves by assuming we’ll get the plants to bear fruit. But we’ll try our best. We’ve got an ice cream maker, so we might try that as well.

    One of the best things about children, I’ve noticed, is that they can be so eager and ready to learn.

  165. 665
    Crudely Wrott

    Do you live in a place where wild strawberries grow, glodson? That’s what our family used, back in the day. If not or they are not conveniently at hand, store bought ones are just fine. And you already have the ice cream maker. Use it. It will be a shared adventure as well as a memory maker.

    One of the best things about children, I’ve noticed, is that they can be so eager and ready to learn.

    Yes, bless them. And fully equipped, I seem to recall. Most all of the useful stuff that I know today I learned while I was still a kid.

    Whenever I’m around my grandsons I try to stuff as much as I can into their young heads. I know most of it will stick. If I live long enough to know them as adults I’ll see it coming back out and know that I did well by them. What more could I wish for?

  166. 666

    We live in Texas. So, we can do alright if we have a decent spring. But I was more concerned about my own forgetful nature, as I can forget to water them.

    And we’re going to use it. The child will love it. We made brownies the other day, and she loved that.

  167. 667
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    rq, thanks for saying… I was going to do a racing stripe, but I’m not at all confident in my technique… since I currently have NO technique! On the other hand, now that I know that the local fabric shop carries the sort of material I’m looking for, in a bunch of colors, I will probably start looking for remnants and practice on pieces of scrap wood.

    And by giant roll, I mean I got 12 whole feet of material… but it is four and a half feet wide! The amp cabinet is like eight feet around and less than a foot deep, so even with overlap I’m going to wind up with enough material to cover three amplifiers. So I can screw up TWICE! :)

  168. 668
    Crudely Wrott

    Joe, by the time you get done you’re gonna have one helluva nice amp.
    If I’m ever fortunate enough I’ll get to hear you through it.
    Can you do something for us all through YouTube?

    glodson, you’ll never regret it. Go ahead and use the store bought berries; bigger chunks. Bigger smiles.

  169. 669

    Weight Watchers’ Carrot Creme Cake is no substitute for the Little Debby spice cakes I am desperately wanting…and which don’t seem to be commercially available, any more. There’s barely any flavor to ‘em, and a weird texture that I’m not sure I want to try to cultivate. And there are 5 more of the nasty little suckers in the box.
    :( :( :(
    Hi, throwaway; Welcome In!
    To Helen!
    *raising glass*
    *hugs* for Portia (for the migraine) and for Esteleth (flu? and the necessity to go to work in spite of it, and the over-familiarity with your bathroom rug).
    Giliell: Glad your mom’s melanoma, sorry she’s driving you mad, and sorry about your gran’s situation.
    *hugs* for iJoe and BossNurse. Sorry you guys have come down with the plague, too.
    I’ve never played Settlers. Is that the one about having wood for sheep?

  170. 670
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Wood for sheep….*snicker*
    Yep, and I’m about to go lose at it! But there will be homemade pizza as a consolation

  171. 671
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Sympathies to esteleth and others who are sick

    Wood for sheep indeed.

    That’s about all the post I have the energy for today; I have less now than when I was working… I hate depression.

  172. 672
    Crudely Wrott

    Thank you, cicely. Do drink deeply.

  173. 673
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Everyone STOP.

    Crudely, I’m a lazy asshole. Who is handling your donation fund again? I can’t remember as I’m currently high on Nyquil and Alka-Seltzer and Thera-Flu. I’ve got $100 with your name on it if you can fill me in…

  174. 674

    *hugs* for Dalillama.
    Not only does Depression Lie, it also does not give a shit for your lack of a positive perception of it.

  175. 675

    iJoe: Esteleth is doing the collection/dispersion for Crudely. The relevant comment is here.

  176. 676

    Cat became sick again. All that cleaning for naught. I need a shower, but there is a cat in it.

    Question: dating across the class, how to without epic fail? Since I’m currently in sponge-off-wealthy-parents mode, pretty much anyone who is a real adult human being is working harder for less than I have. The object of my interest is in a particularly difficult place though.

    No concrete question. Just… meh, thoughts?

    Fuck depression.

  177. 677
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar


    I see Esteleth accepts Paypal, but for the life of my sick and drugged up ass I can’t find her Paypay email address!

  178. 678


    I can’t decide if I’m getting better or not. Still low-grade fever most of the time, I’m coughing less often but harder when I do, and I’ll get bursts of energy and try to do something ridiculous like walk downstairs and check the laundry and walk back upstairs and then I’ll have to rest for a half-hour to make up for it. Bah.

  179. 679

    And now, off to engage in character suicide.
    tra la.

  180. 680
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar


    I’m right with you there. Fuck depression! Shit kicks me even when I should be feeling good, like a case of the runs during a gourmet dinner.

    Dating across whatever? I’m not the one who can help with that, but my best guess is to keep it in the open and try not to make the other person feel like it matters. If you’re in the upper position, I guess you could emphasize that you could choose richer but you couldn’t DO BETTER than the person you’re with?

  181. 681
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Does anyone have Esteleth’s PayPal email address?

  182. 682

    cicely – “I’ve never played Settlers. Is that the one about having wood for sheep?”


  183. 683
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Pharynguflu?? I’m feeling those sickness vibes all the way over in Oz. Exhaustion level is bad today and my stomach somewhat upset. Not too bad though, and I can afford to spend Sunday on the couch with stupid facebook games. I was planning to lift some weights, but I think not. Speaking of which, Parrowing, you can find me on fito at http://ftcy.me/YraNhw . I’m in the secret Hordlings group but it’s not very chatty. I’m not sure who the mod is, but if you let me know your nym I’ll track it down for you.

    I like China Mieville, though I have to be in the mood. The writing can be slow, complex, lush and macabre – and sometimes my brain is just too fuzzy for more than Agatha Christie. Today, for instance, is a John Varley Mars epic day (I’ve nearly finished Rolling Thunder) and maybe the Jim Hines Princess novels.

  184. 684
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Hey folks,

    My email is my nym at gee mail dot com. If someone can give me simple directions to send money towards Crudely Wrott, that would be awesome.

    I’m paying it forward here, but can we not make it too hard for me? I’m sort of a greedy shithead, and it took a big chunk of effort to set aside any money towards Crudely Wrott when I have a bunch of shallow unnecessary shit to buy for myself!

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

    iJoe, my PP email address is my nym at teh googles.

    Hope that helps. :D

  186. 686
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Thanks Esteleth, email sent.

  187. 687
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Crudely Wrott & Esteleth, money sent, and I hope it makes a difference.

  188. 688
    broboxley OT

    getting too dam old to be splitting 3ft across hickory logs, got it done but am ready to suck some air, have a beer and whine the rest of the night. 30 years ago I did that for 8 hrs at a stretch, now after an hour I’m gassed

  189. 689

    IJoe, You’re looking for Esteleth at the g-place. Which reminds me that forgot to post my own $100 today. So it will have to go out in the Monday post.

  190. 690
    Crudely Wrott

    D’oh. Just woke up from a late winter’s day nap that ate nearly three hours. And I find Improbable Joe, Restorer of Vintage Amplifiers, trying to help grease my path.

    Such good fortune is a sudden surprise amidst a world of hurt.

    Endless thanks, Joe. Esteleth is an angel (I’ve said so before) and you are too. The Horde is made of loving concern. I’m gobsmacked and not sure how to handle it. Folks I only know through their written words are literally providing for my survival. My astonishment continues unabated.

  191. 691
    Crudely Wrott

    . . . then comes dontpanic . . .

    Oh, my lands and stars.*

    *thank you, Lila Johnson.

  192. 692
    Crudely Wrott

    CNN just did a quick spot on the retirement of and the replacement process for Pope Ratzi. Take away phrase is “church is in emergency mode”. (I think I heard that correctly. Just woke up, you know.)

    Seems like the Italian press is publishing (probably on paper, Portia) some revelatory info. I expect that this is not going to be an easy time for the RCC. Somehow, that makes me glad.

  193. 693
    WMDKitty -- Survivor


  194. 694
    Crudely Wrott

    From WMDkitty’s link:

    “If your language separates the future and the present in its grammar that seems to lead you to slightly disassociate the future from the present every time you speak.

    “That effectively makes it harder for you to save.”

    I agree with WMDkitty’s summation.

    English is not only the most commonly spoken language on the planet (someone correct me if I’m wrong), it is the lingua franca of science, the official language of aerial transport and flight control and it has more words than any other language. It has, therefore, at least the potential of being more expressive and more precise than other languages. (I rather enjoy speaking it and am frequently awed by those who are much more fluent than I.)

    That a matter of temporal tense in spoken words has an influence on how people regard the future and on how they sock away those pennies for a rainy day does not seem to be a sound position. If it were, there would be more poor old folks in English speaking nations than in nations that are not predominately English speaking. A quick look at global statistics puts an end to such a notion.

    Forgot the necessary “thank you so much” to dontpanic just above.
    Thanks, friend. Thank you very much.

  195. 695
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    So I took my daughter to a model train expo today.

    At least two of the hobbyists running and explaining the model train layouts were women. >.>

  196. 696
    throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble


    At least two of the hobbyists running and explaining the model train layouts were women. >.>

    Is that a good or bad shifty eye? 2/2 or 2/100?


    Question: dating across the class, how to without epic fail? Since I’m currently in sponge-off-wealthy-parents mode, pretty much anyone who is a real adult human being is working harder for less than I have. The object of my interest is in a particularly difficult place though.

    No concrete question. Just… meh, thoughts?

    Are you hoping to not offend with direct assistance? Do you not want to pressure them via financial gifts? Are those issues even among your worries? Or just a general malaise about it?

  197. 697
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    So I took my daughter to a model train expo today.

    At least two of the hobbyists running and explaining the model train layouts were women. >.>

    All I can say is Applause and Meetup.

  198. 698
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Feeling somewhat better. Went to work, then spent 4 hours wearing a face mask (in courtesy to co-workers).

    Was awkward, because around the time I got to work and started moving around I had the realization that The Sickness, in addition to setting up residence in my head, has also occupied my breathing apparatus. And I was wearing a face mask.


    So I went home and took a bubble bath. Am now nice and pruney, and smell like whatever the fuck it is that Lush puts in their products (it is nice-smelling in an indeterminate way).

    I want to give a brief update on the Crudely Wrott situation: I have, to date, received donations of over nine hundred dollars. I have also received emails from people promising more funds. Y’all, you are amazing.

  199. 699
    Old Mr Bear

    Parrowing @ 271

    So sorry to hear about your brother’s difficult times.

    I would like to share a strategy I used many years ago. It helped me but I’m not sure how applicable it is to your brother (I was several years older and had a successful career started.) But it can’t hurt to share…

    After a particularly nasty breakdown, I found myself unable to work or function in public. Unable to focus or concentrate I was not able to read, watch television or even use my new fangled toy, a computer. Eventually I lost the ability to take care of myself properly. Thankfully I had lots of wonderful help. With numerous hospitalizations, medications, therapy and ECT I was able to start my recovery. (The threat of being a permanent resident of the Oregon State Hospital proved rather motivating for me. Ever see the 1975 movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”? That’s the place!)

    With a good friend’s help I created my very own personal sheltered workshop. She was just starting a new business out of her home. My job was to do anything I could to help out. I wasn’t paid; I was doing this solely for my own benefit. I needed a very safe, structured and quiet place with no people. My first tasks were simple things that I was already comfortable with – washing dishes, laundry, vacuuming etc. Eventually I worked my way up to filing and simple computer entry.

    Being hard of hearing and prone to panic, I avoided the telephone (at least in the beginning.) I would show up for work at 8 AM and work as long as I could. I made slow and steady progress. My tasks grew in complexity as my depression, anxiety and panic subsided.

    After a couple of years of this I was ready to face the real world. Fortunately for me, I never had to explain the missing years. I was lucky and privileged to step back into my career.

    Naturally since I had such a good experience with it, I am a big fan of the sheltered workshop concept. Had I tried to work in a retail setting, I would have failed and probably would have given up entirely.

  200. 700
    Crudely Wrott


    At least two of the hobbyists running and explaining the model train layouts were women.

    For which, for this fellow raised up in a male dominated world, I am grateful. It’s about damned time.

    Women can really get stuff done. I’ve known quite a few of them in my day and have been well instructed by some. Well entertained by a lesser number. I’ve been well instructed by a lesser percentage of the larger number or men I have known. While many of those guys rank as indispensable in my learning the ways of humans in this world (Thanks, Unk. And thanks, Gotcher and Dave Boedeker and old Ephram.), in my experience, girls win. Hands down. Less posturing and noise; more attention to detail and caring. Less disruptive. And, with but a few exceptions, much less combative. I reflect on how lucky it is that we are not a completely male species that reproduces asexually. That would have been a horror from the beginning and would probably not have lasted long enough to produce me. Or any of you, dear Horde. Consider our good fortune as opposed to this other possibility. We exist on a knife’s edge.

    Since I’ve already broached the topic of sports here, this article is topical:

    While no acolyte of GoDaddy and their advertising philosophy, Patrick’s success is emblematic of something I’d be glad to see become mainstream. That is, the acceptance of female prowess in a world that has errantly, historically, been assumed to be male dominated. As a representative male I in no way feel threatened.

    I’ll be watching tomorrow’s race and hoping she does well. I don’t think she’ll win, I just hope she can finish in the top ten. It’ll send out waves that will reverberate if she does. For a good and worthy cause, sez I.

    *Now I have to restart my browser, perhaps reboot. Page file memory used up. I’ve been logged on for over two days. I really need to throw a couple more RAM chips in the old box, if it has room for them. I forget if I’m maxed out or not. *

  201. 701
    Crudely Wrott

    Esteleth @698:

    Shit! I damn near fell over! I had no idea.

    It’s a good thing none of you can see me. I look really goofy when I’m crying.

    I just don’t know what to say.

    After a reboot I’ll try. But don’t expect much. It may take me a while to find the words.

    Oh, my.

  202. 702
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Woo! Good to know that Crudely Wrott got a good chunk of change. Next time, I’m only springing for a trip to the all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet, and you can make up the difference by shoplifting fruits and bread!

    … something I’ve done when I was poor! Grab me a half-dozen bagels and 3-4 apples!

  203. 703
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Esteleth, thanks for managing the money. If the need is still there when I can spare some cash, I will happily contribute to the fund.

    Fuck depression. : /
    As cicely always says: It lies.

    You are great. You deserve to have good people who care about you. I’m really glad that there’s some stop-gap cash for you.


    I have big news. For the first time EVAR, I won at Settlers of Catan!!! Woooo!

    In even better news, I got an apology for a sexist comment! For any who remember the cousin who gave me grief about fireman/firefighter distinctions, it was him. I said I experience discrimination both because I look young and because I am a woman. He said it’s got to be mostly the young thing, because he looks young, and he gets treated differently, and therefore, that’s the major factor. I told him he couldn’t know that, because he’s never experienced being a woman and being treated differently for that. He said he could know. Then ten minutes later, he quietly apologized and said, “I’m sorry for saying that, you’re right, I’ve never experienced being a woman, so I wouldn’t know. I’m sorry I said I knew. I’m trying to get better at apologizing, my pride gets in the way a lot.”* It erased so much of my long-standing frustration with him and his attitudes about gender. I almost wanted to cry.

    *I had mentioned earlier that I was trying to get better about being a know-it-all when someone accused me of it earlier in the evening. I think my sort of mea culpa helped him admit his fault. I feel like I’ve learned something for the fifth time here…

  204. 704
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Oh god make it stop. Little brother’s horrible rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody is leaving a LOT to be desired … Like earplugs.

  205. 705


    It’s… I dunno. What can a person who is completely coddled say to a person who’s struggling to get by? And on the other hand, am I completely coddled? I’m in the “slowly reconstructing life” phase, but… Ah fuck. I’ve barely slept this week; sentences aren’t working out. Screw it.

  206. 706
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    I’m not sure…I think it depends on the person you’re talking about. One of the things I’ve found important (I grew up poor, S did not) is his willingness to realize our different circumstances. Once, he posted and endorsed an article saying that getting through law school and the bar exam doesn’t make you special. The article said it’s not an accomplishment because thousands of people do it every year. I pointed out that that’s easy to say for someone whose parents could afford to send them to private school and bail them out when they failed out of their first two colleges, and help them along when had kids halfway through college. (Ok, maybe I didn’t get that detailed). He took the point really well. The point being that he had (male, class, white) privilege and that colored his perspective on the issue of how big of a deal it is to pass a bar exam.

    I guess this was all a long way of saying: be as aware as you can of the advantages you have, and make yourself open to having them pointed out when you miss them.

    YMMV, etc etc.

  207. 707


    One thing I’d suggest is making sure that any dates you suggest are at places this person could afford to go to alone. As tempting as it may be to treat this person to nice things repeatedly, make sure they feel like they’re an equal in the relationship, not a pity case. The exact dollar amounts spent by each party don’t necessarily need to line up, but each person should feel like they’re contributing something valuable.

    If the topic of money comes up, don’t assume that you have to fix things because you’re in a better position. Sometimes people just need someone to rant and complain to, and just listening and acknowledging is more valuable than anything else.

    Other than that, just keep in mind what Portia said, because that’s good advice.

  208. 708
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    I finished a set! 2 min 56 seconds.
    I finished it! :D

  209. 709
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness


    Hmm…Well, I’ve been the struggling person dating a coddled person before. Seriously, I meet Roomie and he totally had a great childhood, a good education including a bachelor’s degree, a career, a car, and his family was so supportive. He was still living with family at the time so he could pay less on living expenses and more towards his student loans. He was so normal.

    I was working full time, going to school full time for an associates degree, took the bus, living in a transitional shelter and still couldn’t get by so I was wearing donated clothes and all that. Daycare was SO expensive, I spent most of my money on that alone.

    Anyways, what I can say did and didn’t work for me. YMMV, take it will a grain of salt…all those warnings. It depends so much on the individual situation.

    Always being paid for to go out was frustrating because I couldn’t afford it and hating feeling so pathetic and not being able to pay my way. (Since I’m a woman, I was also worried about pressure to “put out”, that didn’t happen but still…) If there was a way for me to help, like a coupon, or a movie rental or eating in at my place, I hated being dismissed at first and then the “oh, yeah no that’s fine…” concession that felt so disingenuous. Also, I loved it when he suggested some cheaper ways to hang out so I didn’t always have to bring up my lack of funds and feel like a downer.

    Whenever I was just talking or venting about an issue I hated he’s response to always be throwing his money at the problem. Yeah, dude, sorry not living in your realm so my solutions are different and I’m not some three legged helpless puppy so stop looking at me like that. Oh, god do I hate those pitying looks. He meant well and the offer was real, but there was then a big block on accepting help. Like I’m not an adult and can’t take of myself. Y’all have heard me and my pride issues before. Him asking me questions like what I was planning to do about the problem, what I needed help with like a ride to some place or whatever, ended up as better conversations.

    When I did finally have to accept it his help, there’s two ways it went. The little I don’t have bus fare money or $20 for my phone, and he’s all “Don’t worry about paying me back” made me just want to scream. I can pay back that amount, jeez. I’ll buy dinner next time or something if you don’t want cash back, just stop making it a big deal and let me do it. It’s just tell I get paid.

    There was one time though that I needed far more than I could pay except for small payments for a long time, where he was all “Don’t worry about it.” and I was so thankful. I tried everything but it was either accept his money or be completely screwed. I was still all “Let me buy us dinner” or something and him just accepting that was a good thing.

    Not laughing at the money saving measures I had to do helped as well. There were things that Roomie actually liked and was impressed with, which helped me not feel like a self-conscious freak.

    Roomie being so laid back and understanding was the biggest thing. If I had to work extra hours, he understood and didn’t get upset about having to cancel. Ditto on Little One being sick. There were a lot of things that I didn’t have any experience with (like driving, different food, going on vacations, etc.) so him not doing the “OMG, how could not know?!? You need to!” shit was awesome.

  210. 710
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Aaaand I took so long to write all that up, ck basically beat me to it. Just ditto what they said.

  211. 711
    chigau (違う)

    We went to a performance of Fauré’s Requiem.
    I really liked it.
    I might have stayed Catholic a bit longer if They™ had kept the Latin.

  212. 712
    chigau (違う)


  213. 713
    Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD

    Added to CW fund.

    Settlers is quite fun, though I think my current favourite game to play is Ticket to Ride: Europe.

    Have recently got Heart of Africa expansion and want to play that.

    And now I need to get some lunch and do housework.

  214. 714

    *happiness hugs* for Crudely, and for everyone who’s able to help.
    So much concentrated Awesomeness, right here in this [Place].

    In even better news, I got an apology for a sexist comment!

    Portia, that’s wonderful!
    :) :) :)
    Hekuni Cat (and anyone else interested in my IWPs): No death by Flaming Piano Storm! We spent about 3 hours talking about the frustrations leading up to the tax situation being the Final Straw That Broke the Beer Bottles on the Camel’s Back, like rational (and for the most part, calm) adults, and in the end, the guys agreed that it was, indeed, a stupidly-large amount of money, and to just pay their damned 20% tax, and loot the place to the ground just before we leave. Positive Outcome!
    The rest of the game session was then dedicated to finding ways to spend the stupidly-large amounts of money.

  215. 715

    Looked up Ticket to Ride. It does look fun. Similar enough to other games to be easy to pick up, but trains!!

  216. 716
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    sexy-times and snuggles — aaah. ^_^

  217. 717
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Good morning
    So, the little one is still mightily sick.
    And that little birth-defect matter means that I have to find a balance between putting her at ease by giving the maximum dosis of ibuprofen and not stressing her kidnes too much by doing so.
    And my throat is sore, too :(
    *wraps herself in hugs*


    English is not only the most commonly spoken language on the planet (someone correct me if I’m wrong), it is the lingua franca of science, the official language of aerial transport and flight control and it has more words than any other language. It has, therefore, at least the potential of being more expressive and more precise than other languages. (I rather enjoy speaking it and am frequently awed by those who are much more fluent than I.)

    That a matter of temporal tense in spoken words has an influence on how people regard the future and on how they sock away those pennies for a rainy day does not seem to be a sound position. If it were, there would be more poor old folks in English speaking nations than in nations that are not predominately English speaking. A quick look at global statistics puts an end to such a notion.

    Oh sorry NO!
    This is nothing but an extension of British colonialism and western supremacism via language.
    English isn’t the lingua france because it’s the best language EVVA. It’s the lingua franca because it’s the laguage of the two big empires of the 19th and 20th century.
    Cognitive linguistics are a serious area of science and just because you don’t like the results because it doesn’t mean you have the objectively best language ever doesn’t mean they’re wrong.
    Doesn’t mean those findings are right, either, but to dismiss them with “English is best!” is highly problematic.

    As for economical differences, Mr.’s and my financial background wasn’t 3 classes no overlap different, but I notice sometimes how different it has shaped us in some respects. We weren’t rich, but money wasn’t exactly an issue. I never thought that my parents wouldn’t buy me X because they didn’t have money, but because they were just plain mean (OK, they were neither). Mr grew up knowing very well that they didn’t have money.* Hi little brother, OTOH, was totally spoiled. HIs parents would do anything for him and make everything possible for him, which meant that until he really grew up a few years ago he would expect everybody to go out of their way so he wouldn’t have to.
    *One reason why they never made it to middle class was actually because they wanted so desperately to appear middle class. So my MIL was a SAHM until it was the option between that and being homeless…

  218. 718
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Have some more *hugs* to wrap yourself in, Giliell.

  219. 719

    At last! Update time.

    Mr is not exactly magnificent but he is now sort-of-conscious partly-lucid part-of-the-time when he’s not swearing and telling the ICU staff to variously piss off and fuck off. Seeing as he’s been comatose/sedated for the 5 and a half days leading up to this they’re not overly upset. Though nursedaughter tried to tell him to be nice to people because he wouldn’t like it if patients spoke to her like that. She knows it’s totally out of character – it’s me that gets into trouble for bad language in this household, not him. And his short term memory is basically random. It’d be pure chance if he remembered her scolding anyway. ( Though that was partly reaction on her part – both daughters subsided into uncontrolled sobbing when I rang to let them know he was awake. One abandoned a dozen friends at her house helping prepare for her party a fortnight hence, the other threw caution to the winds and caught a taxi for the fairly long trip. She wasn’t willing to wait for anyone to pick her up.)

    It’ll be 24 hours or more before the last of the happy juice cocktail wears off and then we’ll know how he really is. Then it’s wait and see how well he recovers from the lung infection so they can work out when/ whether/ how to do the surgery to implant a defibrillator.

  220. 720
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Hi all.

    Monday fun. Twelve things that need to be done two days ago (one would imagine that my boss would know what my days off are, but . . .).

    Tired. Depressed. Worried about being laid off. Worrying about the ones who were not selected.


    That sound cautiously good. I hope things work out.

  221. 721
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought


    I’m glad your husband is awake and lucid, hopefully he’ll only show more improvement once he’s off the happy cocktail.

  222. 722

    Giliell, more hugs. It must be very hard, getting the ibuprofen balance right between the pain on the one hand and the kidneys on the other. Even more fun when you’re ill yourself, oy.
    Also, yes to the language observation. The lingua franca depends ultimately on economic power, with a bit of historical circumstance thrown in (like the qwerty keyboard, designed specifically to slow typing down in the days when that was a mechanical necessity and now near-impossible to change due to massive inertia). Also, English does that whole mugging-other-languages-in-dark-alleys-and-nicking-their-vocabulary thing.
    Thank you for the news, mildlymagnificent (and yes, you really will have to change your handle! Nothing mildly about it :) )
    Nice one re the apology about sexist language, Portia.

  223. 723
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought


    *hugs* for you and a sneer at your boss
    Good luck with finishing your tasks quickly and having some time left for enjoying the days off.

  224. 724

    mildlymagnificent, that’s fantastic! Best wishes for the next few days as he comes off of all the drugs.

    Yay for Portia’s win! :)

    Everyone here is wonderful. That is all.

  225. 725
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    *hugs* for you and a sneer at your boss

    Nothing to do with my boss. This is the whole ‘kill the economic recovery to preserve the tax breaks for the rich’ budget arguments down in DC.

    Good luck with finishing your tasks quickly and having some time left for enjoying the days off.

    If we do shut down (it would be for five weeks), it won’t be until the end of March, so we have plenty of time. Never mind that we have already devoted about 200 staff hours, just in this park, planning for the sequestration. Great use of resources.

  226. 726
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    More history lessons from my kids:

    Anna: “I’m scared that bandits from the Wild West will get me.”
    Read: “Oh, you don’t have to worry about that. That was back in the 1960s.”

  227. 727
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought


    Ouch, I didn’t realize situation was that bad. :(

  228. 728

    Layoffs, Ogvorbis? Oh no. I hope not. I’m a bit confused – you mean your whole park could just close down totally for 5 weeks (presumably unpaid) and then resume????

  229. 729
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Ouch, I didn’t realize situation was that bad. :(

    Depending on exactly how much we have to remove from our budget (we’re looking at ~5%), it may be bad or just not good. The problem is, 5% is about what we budget for things like paper, cleaning supplies, gasoline, paint, etc. Stuff that we can’t run without. Luckily, there will be 30 days from when the sequestration is official until layoffs can actually happen and I’ll bet that, after getting their propaganda victory, the GOP will be willing to budge a tiny bit.

    Layoffs, Ogvorbis? Oh no. I hope not. I’m a bit confused – you mean your whole park could just close down totally for 5 weeks (presumably unpaid) and then resume????

    Quite possibly. There isn’t that much wiggle room in the budgets for federal agencies — most of it is fixed costs — utilities, rent, etc. — and contracts with private companies. And the NPS has already seen its actual budget (in constant dollars) drop 15 to 20% in the last ten years while the maintenance backlog has grown from about $6 billion to about $10 billion (keep in mind, the entire NPS runs on $2.8 billion). So there is no fat to cut. It’s going to be muscle (which can grow back) or bone (which won’t). But, yeah, one option is to close the park for five weeks, put everyone on unemployment, and then resume. Which just shifts the cost DOI to unemployment. Which is bullshit as far as saving money.

  230. 730

    I’m right there with you, Ogvorbis. Our agency is facing this bs too. I’m sure we have a plan, but I’m too low on the hierarchy to have much info about it. Hopefully not so low that i’ll get fired, but a furlough is a real possibility. Just as we’re getting into cruise planning mode for the research cruise in may.

    It’s fun to plan when you’re being told not to plan too much. And by fun I mean that other thing, the not fun thing.

    Meh. I’ll just keep my head down and do my thing while hoping for the best.

  231. 731

    Hellllllo, everyone.


    Thank you, Old Mr Bear. I’m glad to hear you made your way back to where you wanted to be. I think the sheltered work concept might be a good idea for my brother, though I absolutely disagree with someone employing someone else without any pay, even for this kind of work. If I were living near him and ready to begin a business (as I hope to do one day), I’d certainly ask if he’d be interested to do this, with pay. My parents did everything for him for years though, so at this point he’d still have to learn how to vacuum, clean, do laundry, etc. Not that this wouldn’t be a good way for him to learn, but each new skill is a struggle for him.


    Thanks, Alethea. It would be nice to join the group. I just followed you.



    English is not only the most commonly spoken language on the planet (someone correct me if I’m wrong)…

    If by most commonly spoken you mean has the most speakers, then I think you are incorrect. That spot seems to be held by Mandarin by a large margin. Obviously it is not always clear to what degree someone must speak a language in order to be counted as a speaker of that language and how these totals are estimated. That said, my guess is that there are a number of casual speakers of all of the languages on the lists (including Mandarin) that are not counted.


    Congratulations on winning the game, Portia! And even more congratulations on the apology!

  232. 732
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.


    Our superintendent says that there is a plan. It has been submitted to Washington. But we don’t need to worry about what is in it because we probably won’t have to use it. He doesn’t seem to realize that people need to make contingency plans and not telling us doesn’t help.

  233. 733

    Sorry, I intended for the last link in my #731 to be a link to the main page.


    I’m sorry that you both have to deal with that, Ogvorbis and MikeG.


    I’ve never played Settlers of Catan and now I want to.

  234. 734

    Ogvorbis, yeah, that seems about like what we have going on. I don’t have enough epithets in my vocabulary to throw at congressional repubs right now. And the timing is just so bad! The lab is humming along at a pace we haven’t seen in a while, with firehoses of data coming down the pipe. Arrrghhhh!

  235. 735

    Borked tags, too. Arrghhh!

  236. 736

    On a happy note, while I wasn’t able to help Crudely out, I was able to donate 14″ of well cared for hair to Pantene’s cancer wig charity. S that was nice to be able to do.

  237. 737
    Hekuni Cat, MQG

    giliell – *hugs and chocolate* for you and little one.


    the guys agreed that it was, indeed, a stupidly-large amount of money, and to just pay their damned 20% tax, and loot the place to the ground just before we leave. Positive Outcome!

    A Very Positive Outcome indeed.

    mildlymagnificent – Good to hear that mr is improving. *hugs for everyone.

  238. 738
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Settlers is quite fun, though I think my current favourite game to play is Ticket to Ride: Europe.

    Ticket to Ride
    That’s the other one we play a lot! S found the iphone and ipad version, too, so we play a LOT while watching Netflix or waiting for our food at a restaurant or whenever :D I want to get the Europe version, mostly to improve my geography knowledge.

    So many *hugs* for mildlymagnificent and *anklehugs* for your daughters. I can’t imagine the stress. I hope he keeps progressing well.

    *hugs* for Giliell. Poor little sick thing : ( Hope your throat feels better, too.

    I want to slip in a thank you here for the ways you challenge the way I view the world. You so frequently add a perspective I hadn’t considered before and I appreciate the shift I usually make after you do. :)


    Tired. Depressed. Worried about being laid off. Worrying about the ones who were not selected.

    So many hugs : ( I have friends who are probably going to be furloughed (there’s a big federal employer around here) and it’s sort of wearing on everyone’s nerves.


    On a happy note, while I wasn’t able to help Crudely out, I was able to donate 14″ of well cared for hair to Pantene’s cancer wig charity. S that was nice to be able to do.

    Very cool : )


    I slept well and feel cheerful. Mostly because I am determined not to think about work at all for a while. Now I’ma make some eggs .

    Good morning everyone!

  239. 739
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)


    There were a lot of things that I didn’t have any experience with (like driving, different food, going on vacations, etc.) so him not doing the “OMG, how could not know?!? You need to!” shit was awesome.

    This in particular I can relate to. S and I weren’t stratospheres apart financially, but there were definitely thing he and his family did that I just had never done. He certainly didn’t see his family as wealthy, but his experience of life was just different than mine in a lot of ways. His understanding of that was key.

  240. 740
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    I am sorry my friend. Tentacles crossed at you not getting laid off.
    Thanks for the update. It is wonderful to hear the husband is recovering.

  241. 741
    Old Mr Bear


    I tend to agree with you on the payment issue. Perhaps I should have left that sentence out as it needlessly complicates things. Each individual’s circumstances are unique and for me payment was not an issue. My friend was in no position to pay me and providing me with opportunity was enough. I was receiving government disability payments so money was not a problem.

    Most important to me was a balance of power issue that’s difficult to describe. Without wages or payment I felt free from economic coercion (not that my friend would knowingly do such a thing.) The intense shame and feeling of powerlessness were overwhelming for me. By making this a completely voluntary endeavor I achieved a sense of personal control, power and usefulness. I know, I’m weird.

    I know most folks will feel much more empowered when they earn their own paycheck.

    Best wishes to you, your hubby and brother!

  242. 742
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    HI there
    So, I’m officially down with a fever, too. You know, when your body is shivering and your head is glowing…
    Fuck the mess around here, it can wait.

    Thanks for all the hugs *snuggles down with them*
    Brownies, anybody?

    Oh shit. That whole thing sounds like “now I cut something off three times and it’s still too short”

    IGlad that Mr. magnificent is awake. People in that situation tend to suffer from extreme confusion. In German it’s called “Durchgangssyndrom” and after we found out about it we were much calmer about the stories gran used to tell after her heart attacks.


    If by most commonly spoken you mean has the most speakers, then I think you are incorrect. That spot seems to be held by Mandarin by a large margin.

    Those numbers seem to be way off.
    Population of the USA alone is appr. 315 million (Spanish speakers are said to be about 40 million with most of them being bilingual), so, let’s take 300
    Add 63 in the UK
    35 for Canada (with 85% speaking English as first or second language, so, let’s say 30)
    23 for Australia
    4.5 for Ireland
    That’s already 420 millions for native or first language speakers
    Then add all the second language speakers*
    And then the foreign language speakers.
    Current estimation is that there are 2 billion people in this world speaking English with some competence and another billion learning it.
    Which also explains the “fights” between native speakers who want to keep in power over the language so they can immediately marginalize anybody who doesn’t have it as a first language, and second and foreign language speakers who claim as much ownership about a language they use everyday as native speakers.
    *which ain’t the same as foreign language speakers. I’m a foreign language speaker, people from India are second language speakers.
    Anyway, people aren’t picking English as their foreign language because it has moar wordz or is easier to learn**, people choose it because it’s the language they need to advance in the world because you can’t finish any degree by now without being able to read literature in English.
    **Funny enough, but people who argue for the superiority of English suddenly start to suffer from acute amnesia when it comes to spelling and pronounciation. Because I don’t know any other language that is that fucked up. I mean, Irish has a weird spelling system, but at least it’s regular.

  243. 743
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    On a scale of 1 to 10, my worries about being laid off are about a 2. I can survive a month on 80% income. So, while I appreciate the support, not a big deal. If it happens, I have to cancel a vacation and all is good.

  244. 744

    Thank you, Old Mr Bear



    Yeah, I have a hard time wrapping my head around these numbers. I tried looking for a lot of different sources and they were mostly around 500 million total English speakers, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if that wasn’t accurate. Thank you for giving me more information.

    The “English is superior” people frustrate me to no end because it’s difficult for me to understand why they can’t see that their bias towards English is (usually) a result of it being their first language. Also, it tends to be people who have never learned another language that make that argument, so what basis do they have for their assertion other than their own preference? (Don’t worry, that’s a rhetorical question.) I also have a hate on for people who assert that their English (British, US American, etc.) is correct English and other speakers are DOIN IT RONG! I saw someone write yesterday that US Americans had “learned English incorrectly from the British and should therefore never correct a British person’s spelling.” m-/

  245. 745
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Re-the English language
    Pronounciation and spelling of so many words in the English language is annoying as hell! Why can’t the words be spelled like they sound? Why do we need these damn silent letters? Why do we need multiple words for the same thing? Why do we use the same word to mean multiple things?
    Can we reboot?
    Complete overhaul?
    Retcon the English language?

  246. 746
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    One word I hate about English is “read.” There are times where I have to expend a lot of extra words clearing up whether I mean it in the present tense or the past tense. English is kind of annoying that way.

  247. 747
    Nick Gotts

    Just submitted my first research paper since my “retirement”. It’s based on work I was doing before leaving my job, when I’d really rather be doing new stuff, but I felt I should submit at least one paper on the old stuff first!

  248. 748
    Matt Penfold

    George Bernard Shaw one pointed that “ghoti” can be pronounced “fish” in English.

    “gh” pronounced as in tough, “o” pronounced as in women and “ti” pronounced as in nation. Subsequently is has also been pointed “ghoti” can also be pronounced totally silently.

    “Can we reboot?
    Complete overhaul?
    Retcon the English language

    People have seriously suggested reforming English spelling, but then you run the risk of making it harder to work out the meaning of words.

  249. 749
    Nick Gotts

    He certainly didn’t see his family as wealthy – Portia

    Hardly anyone does! I guess because for most people, their social contacts cover a range from people somewhat poorer than they are themselves, to people somewhat richer.

  250. 750
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    ‘Ghoti’ …wow. A testament to the fuckedupitness of English.

  251. 751
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Well one of my English lecturers used to say “You know how the is pronounced. The rest of it you have to learn by heart.”

    The “English is superior” people frustrate me to no end because it’s difficult for me to understand why they can’t see that their bias towards English is (usually) a result of it being their first language.

    Oh, there’s actual scholars engaging in this.
    The arguments are, well, amazing. If you’re interested in that I can only recommend English and the Post Colonial Discourse by Alastair Pennycook.
    BUt the texts he cites make your blood boil because you really, really, really can’t tell them apart from 19th century colonialism.

    Also, it tends to be people who have never learned another language that make that argument, so what basis do they have for their assertion other than their own preference? (Don’t worry, that’s a rhetorical question.)

    Yep, and it’s an area where non-native speakers “fight back”. I’m not going to be called “uneducated” by somebody who speaks exactly 1 language.

    I also have a hate on for people who assert that their English (British, US American, etc.) is correct English and other speakers are DOIN IT RONG! I saw someone write yesterday that US Americans had “learned English incorrectly from the British and should therefore never correct a British person’s spelling.”

    Well, at least the British-American dispute seems to have been settled some time ago. My favourite pet-peeve is Americans who know I’m not a native speaker correcting my British spelling…

  252. 752
    Nick Gotts

    Small donation to the Crudely Wrott fund dispatched. Hope the quacks can sort your problems, Crudely!

  253. 753
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)
    He certainly didn’t see his family as wealthy – Portia

    Hardly anyone does! I guess because for most people, their social contacts cover a range from people somewhat poorer than they are themselves, to people somewhat richer.

    Good point.

  254. 754
    Nick Gotts

    stomach flu – Esteleth

    Sorry to hear that. It’s surely norovirus, which has become well known by that name in the UK. Nothing to do with flu in the usual sense.

  255. 755
    Nick Gotts

    Interesting story about Scotland’s Cardinal O’Bigotrien. Three priests and an ex-priest have accused him of “inappropriate behaviour”. What’s most interesting is that other Catholic spokesbigots seem to be carefully avoiding any hint that they believe his denials.

  256. 756
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    How did your professor pronounce ‘the’?
    As ‘thee’ or ‘thuh’?

  257. 757
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    My favorite bit of English-is-weird is the letter cluster ough. Which can be pronounced six different ways, depending on context. And yes, enterprising people have come up with a sentence containing all six pronunciations:

    The doughty-faced ploughman from Scarbourough fell into a slough and coughed and hiccoughed.

  258. 758
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    And yes, totally just misspelled “Scarborough.” Whups.

  259. 759
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Ogvorbis, MikeG
    That’s incredibly annoying. Hopefully you’re both able to keep the funding needed to keep things going.

    Re: English
    I suspect that if there’s a correlation between English as a first language and poverty in old age, it has nothing to do with the language, and more to do with the fact that a large number (possibly an absolute majority) of native speakers are Americans, where the old-age safety net sucks. Though the actual study doesn’t appear to have involved English speakers at all, native or otherwise, so make of that what you will.

  260. 760
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Tony, I will point out that ðə and ði are both 100% valid pronunciations of “the.”

    I will stop grammar-spamming now.

  261. 761

    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness wrote:

    Aaaand I took so long to write all that up, ck basically beat me to it.

    Nah, I think your post is very useful. It provides useful concrete examples from your own experiences, that I didn’t provide.

  262. 762

    It depends if the next word starts with a vowel or a constonant. That’s how I get my choir to sound even remotely English speaking. Before vowels they say ‘thee’ and before constonants – ‘thuh’. If left to their own devices, they say it ‘theh’, with the ‘-eh’ kind of like the ‘ai-’ sound in ‘air’.


    *assorted hugs* for all those ill (Esteleth and Giliell spring immediately to mind – is the elf contingent down or something?), plus *warmteawithhoney(andmilk)*.

  263. 763
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Tony, I will point out that ðə and ði: are both 100% valid pronunciations of “the.”

    ðə before consonants
    ði: before vowels.
    Spoken, not written, of course

  264. 764
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Giliell, check your Twitter account. I think you have been hacked.

  265. 765
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Apparently my twitter has been hacked.
    Please ignore all shit and DMs

  266. 766
    The Mellow Monkey

    The forums for webcomics are always such curious places. I glanced at the topic for today’s Sinfest strip and saw a conversation about whether or not male circumcision is unfairly overshadowed by FGM, how white feminists are going to ruin the economy by not having enough babies to out-breed POC, and that some poster could never be a feminist because of all the female privilege.

    I’m reminded of why I normally just enjoy the day’s comic and move on.

  267. 767
    Crudely Wrott

    Ahh. My iron lung is working again!
    (necessary Firesign Theatre ripoff)

    The InnerTubes have been re-inflated here in my little cave! I haz a big happy now!

    The following was composed last night after the flat tire happened:

    This is composed offline using Notepad. Just as I had completed a thank you email to
    Esteleth, just as I clicked on “send”, my InnerTubes went away. It happens almost
    daily with my local server. My unsecrured server. Usually, I can call the motel
    manager,John,and ask him to presss the magic button which resets the server and brings
    back the web within three minutes. He must have gone to bed early tonight because the
    phone just rang and rang and no one picked it up. Ahh. So.

    I am still astounded at Esteleth’s announcement that nine hudred, nine hundred!
    dollars has been showered by the Horde upon my unworthy self. I really don’t know how
    to express my reaction. I don’t have the words with which to frame a response.
    I’m writing this at a little after midnight. I think I’ll just leave the file open and
    try again in the morning. There is no guarantee that I’ll be any more lucid or
    expressive. For now, I’m just a font of Thank Yous.

    I don’t often use the word “awesome” to describe things. Most things do not make me
    feel small and insignificant against a larger background tapestry. This moment is an
    exception; the response of you folks is awesome. You are in the most lovely way
    awesome. I fade to pale obscurity in your shadow.

    Thanking Lila Johnson yet again I simply say, “Oh, my lands and stars!”

    I’ll have more to say tomorrow after I get my coffee and John awakes and I can get him
    to hit the magic button. In the mean time, you generous and compassionate people,
    sleep well and dream wonderous dreams. You deserve them. Good night.

    Tomorrow has become today. Again. I actually got nearly eight hours of uninterrupted sleep (complete with the demons with the baseball bats) and John has pressed the magic button. I’ll finish this and rejoin the Horde in just a few moments.
    This is me back in real time:
    Folks, I don’t really know how to thank you. The kindness and generosity that you have extended to me is just out of this world. A week ago I was a nervous wreck. I had to swallow a lot of pride to put out a plea for help. (Trust me, pride taste like shit when you have to eat it!) You have responded beyond my expectations. There is only one thing to say. . .

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And you, yes, you right there. Thank you, too.

    Phew. I hope that’s enough to go around. If I’ve missed anyone, please speak up and I’ll get you one.

    For anyone who might be interested, Danica Patrick is running third at Daytona just over halfway through the 500 mile race. That girl can drive!

  268. 768
    Crudely Wrott

    Esteleth @ 757 wrote:

    My favorite bit of English-is-weird is the letter cluster ough.

    Isn’t that part of an off the wall spelling of “fish” using some of the quirks of English? I’d look it up if I wasn’t trying to catch up with other stuff right now.

  269. 769
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Good… afternoon? Been busy this weekend for being sick. Went to dinner and a movie Friday night, went shopping yesterday, went back out today for the last few things. Ugh, I’m fucking beat.

    Also, just for shits and giggles I bought the first collection of the most recent relaunch of Batgirl. On Kindle, for like $9. I can’t afford to spend $4 per issue.

  270. 770

    Can we reboot?
    Complete overhaul?
    Retcon the English language?

    Well, we could just go back to some archaic pronunciations of these words instead. Unfortunately, pronunciation has evolved while written language has been fairly static. Just look at the fact that Noah Webster’s revisions to English spellings (i.e. -or instead of -our, -ize instead of -ise, -er instead of -re, etc) is still controversial after 185 years.

  271. 771
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Would be nice if Danica Patrick did not do those fucking Go Daddy ads.

  272. 772
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Also, Crudely, she is too old to be a girl.

  273. 773
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Well, isn’t it fun when the man of the house informs you there is water on the floor of the kitchen.
    As in “someone should clean this up”.
    And then follows you to the kitchen to tell you not to miss that part over there.

  274. 774
    broboxley OT

    Janine, to us alte kackers, any female under forty will be looked at as girl, but you are correct, we shouldn’t use it that way

  275. 775
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Beatrice, my wife does that shit to me all the time. She’ll yell from the kitchen “the food needs to be put away!” and then sit back down in the living room rather than put the food away while she’s 3 feet from it.

  276. 776

    I don’t have it in me for yet another ‘but abortion’s just like killing a guest in your house’ fight. This is one of those days to just pull the lid over.

    Anyone interested in getting to practice Settlers or (many) other Eurogames, they’re all playable for free on Brettspielwelt.de and a lot of helpful people there speak English.

  277. 777
    Crudely Wrott

    Janine, I agree with you wrt the GoDaddy ads. Those stereotypes have worn awfully thin, haven’t they.

    I used the word “girl” in the same sense that her male competitors are “boys” and I am quite comfortable doing so. They are all younger than I am and I would take no offense if someone referred to me as a “boy” as long as they were not snarling and obviously intending to be demeaning.
    My mother was a sweet girl right up till the moment of her death. She was also a full grown woman for most of her life. Still, when I called her “my best girl” she always smiled.

    I suppose that some habits die hard. Even so, I observe that people usually have a lot of latitude regarding certain terminology. Tone of voice, facial expression and body language contribute to meaning, sometimes more than word choice. In written speech those factors are absent. Makes some communication less specific.

    Your point is taken. Your intent is understood. I am not arguing for privilege. Nevertheless, boy oh boy, that girl can drive. =)

    I hope she wins. That would be quite a thing. It would make me grin, that’s for sure. Another blow against the empire!

  278. 778
    Crudely Wrott

    Upon reflection, I will try to not use terminology that others might find offensive.
    My apologies to anyone who I may have caused stress.

  279. 779

    Upon reflection, I will try to not use terminology that others might find offensive.
    My apologies to anyone who I may have caused stress.

    It happens. It is easy to do, easy to slip up. There’s a difference between using a term without realizing the impact it could have and willfully ignoring the community standard.

    Hell, I know I will screw up.

  280. 780
    Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate)

    Upon reflection, I will try to not use terminology that others might find offensive.

    It’d be helpful it you would reflect upon the substance of the objection to the terminology.

  281. 781
    Jake Hamby


    Can we reboot?
    Complete overhaul?
    Retcon the English language?

    There have been at least two major attempts to create a worldwide language that are worth mentioning. The most well-known is Esperanto, which is probably not all that well known these days. It was created in the late 1800′s by an idealistically minded Russian ophthalmologist named L. L. Zamenhof, who once wrote:

    The place where I was born and spent my childhood gave direction to all my future struggles. In Bialystok the inhabitants were divided into four distinct elements: Russians, Poles, Germans and Jews; each of these spoke their own language and looked on all the others as enemies. In such a town a sensitive nature feels more acutely than elsewhere the misery caused by language division and sees at every step that the diversity of languages is the first, or at least the most influential, basis for the separation of the human family into groups of enemies. I was brought up as an idealist; I was taught that all people were brothers, while outside in the street at every step I felt that there were no people, only Russians, Poles, Germans, Jews and so on. This was always a great torment to my infant mind, although many people may smile at such an ‘anguish for the world’ in a child. Since at that time I thought that ‘grown-ups’ were omnipotent, so I often said to myself that when I grew up I would certainly destroy this evil.

    Esperanto is basically a cleaned-up and streamlined mixture of a set of representative European languages. The vocabulary mostly comes from Romance languages, so it looks to me a lot like Spanish or Italian. The gender rules are streamlined (I’m pretty sure inanimate objects aren’t arbitrarily assigned masculine or feminine) but the language itself retains a few Romance language sexist “male = default” rules like adding diminutives to the end of masculine nouns to designate the feminine version, or the rule that when referencing a group of mixed gender, the presence of at least one male requires you to use the masculine form of the verb, and only an exclusively-female group is addressed with the feminine form.

    Esperanto was never all that popular although there are pockets of enthusiasts, especially in Brazil. The more interesting invented language to me would be Lojban, which is a purely constructed language designed almost like a programming language. I’m not sure how popular it is these days, but it’s definitely interesting to read about.

    Personally, I think if the UN or some other group were to try to encourage a single language for everyone to standardize on, you could rule out English, French, German, Mandarin, Japanese, and a number of other major language due to various complexities that make them difficult to learn or use proficiently. My personal vote would be for either Spanish or Korean. I think both languages are easy to pronounce, spelled phonetically (the Korean alphabet is relatively simple to learn and the shapes were designed to match the shape of a person’s mouth making the various sounds), and relatively simple grammatically.

    Spanish has the verb gender problems I mentioned, and Korean has annoyances of its own (such as having a bunch of different levels of politeness you have to learn, and its own sexist inbuilt assumptions) but those two seem the most straightforward of the languages I know of, and they have the advantage that a lot of people speak them already. One of the problems people discovered when trying to speak Esperanto early on was the lack of swear words. How do you import obscenities into a brand-new language? These are the sorts of problems you don’t have to worry about if you were to pick a suitable existing language. Anyway, we’re stuck with English at least for the next couple of generations, but it’s interesting to imagine what language people would really be speaking on the Starship Enterprise in the 24th century, I think.

  282. 782
    PZ Myers


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