Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Is yours this pretty? »« Good taste and the Tea Party

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  1. opposablethumbs says

    Definitely a mushroom. And one that belongs in the Thunderdome, at that – chigau is right, it looks bloody sinister to me!

  2. chigau (違う) says

    At my library, in August, when I put a hold on Zealot, I was 56 on 1 copy.
    Now I’m 4 on 28 copies.

  3. says

    The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.
    —Amendment XIV, Section 4. [July 9, 1868]

    Yep, 1868. As Hendrik Hertzberg, writing in The New Yorker, notes:

    Throughout the Civil War and afterward, Republicans in Congress had enacted some of the most forward-looking legislation in American history: a national currency, the Homestead Act, a transcontinental railroad, support for higher education, the definitive abolition of slavery—all thanks to the extended absence of delegations from the self-styled Confederate states.

    Ah, so that’s the answer. We just arrange an absence of our modern-day Confederates. Maybe we could invite them all to stay at Sarah Palin’s house for an extended period of time, say, throughout the Alaskan winter.

  4. says

    I’m having a bit of writer’s block, and I was hoping some of the Horde might be willing to help, since I know at least some of us like tabletop RP.

    I’m running a Pathfinder campaign (and no, I don’t want to debate the merits of different systems…I’ve already stretched and abused the system already to accommodate my plot…). I don’t create villians, per se. I like to create lots of different factions and NPCs with varying levels of power, self interest, and conflicting goals, and throw the PCs in the middle.

    Now, so far I’ve been doing a lot of straight storytelling and fairly plain dealing for my players, all of whom are used to more standard fantasy tropes and clear cut moralities in their RP, but I think they’ve gotten a handle on how I run my NPCs and how I construct my stories, and I think it’s time to give them an arc where they’re forced to puzzle out a mystery.

    Basically they’re about to visit a city-state with a higher level of technology and a much more egalitarian view of other races than the primary power in the world (which is completely human dominated). Now, certain aristocratic elements of this primary kingdom are seeing this city-state’s power grow as refugees continue to flee the racist politics of the kingdom, so they want to foment war.

    To accomplish this, they’ve sent two groups. The first is an an assassin and a bard. The assassin will target random middle- and lower-class families and murder them, dressing the scenes to make investigators think that the families were “royalists” or “anti-royalists”, while the bard spreads rumors about the two “factions”. The other group is a group of adventurers that the PCs have seen before, and are basically the cliche adventuring group: Serving the “True King” and doing “good”…generally without asking questions. All that they’ve been told is that there are “elements of ill will” in this city-state that are “a threat to the kingdom”, and need to be found out, exposed, and preferably eliminated. The expectation is that they’ll blunder around and eventually do something stupid enough to start a war.

    The intent for the arc is for the PCs to arrive at the city-state just as the first murders are starting. They know that the adventurer group is going to be there, and they know that the adventurer group has a tendency to come to the wrong conclusion about things. I have a basic idea of progression…once the adventuring group gets a whiff of the murders, they’ll start blundering around the crime scenes. The PCs should be motivated to get involved without anyone from the city asking them…they know that the adventurers are trouble if left to their own devices. As the murders escalate in violence and frequency, the adventurers start causing trouble in the refugee slums and if not prevented, wind up causing riots. What I’m not sure about is how to properly adapt the story to the PCs’ actions, and was kinda wondering if anyone had any insight, or if the whole arc needs to be reworked…

  5. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    gobi’s sockpuppet’s meatpuppet:

    It is useful, however, for producing a really good chipped paint effect on a model tank.

    Whaaa? How does that work?

    First, paint the area in which you want the paint chips either primer (red lead at the time (WWII)) or steel. Wait for it to fully cure. Artfully arrange the nutella or marmite in the pattern you want for the ‘paint chips’. Wait for it to get hard. Spray the outer colour(s) over the whole area and wait for that to cure fully. Use a stiff brush to chip off the chunks of marmite or nutella. Use detergent to remove all the oils. Viola, a large violin!

    Major safe ehugs to Tethys.

  6. cicely says

    Crêpes with Nutella do sound good—but a crepe is not a pancake. They do not contain pecans and soak up maple syrup.
     
    Gotta say that banananananas with Nutella had never once occurred to me. Must try it.

    Tasting cilantro
    Is like tasting Iv’ry Soap.
    I blame the Horses.
     
    *barfing with loud exuberance*

    Crip Dyke, Little #2 sounds awesome! “Something really, REALLY cool” indeed! Excellent taste in reading material!
    Water her regularly, that she may flourish, one day growing up to be a strong young scientist, with abundant, leafy foliage and a strong root system.
    :)

    carlie, you deserve some happy!
    :)

    Additional *hugs* for Giliell, Sounds like UMP needs to get its act together.
     

    It’s also not that “stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about” was a stockphrase at our house.

    Ah, yes—I remember it well. And my mother was always game to follow through on it, too.
     
    <singing>
    Mem’ries
    ignite the corners of my mind….

     
    [then Crip Dyke joins in]

    misty, water-colored memmreeeeeees

    </singing>

    Mellow Monkey:

    For me, those kinds of head games were the worst part. I can remember often making mental negotiations in which I hoped I’d just be hit and I wouldn’t be told how terrible I was. “Please, please just hit me and shut up.” Ugh.

    &nbsp
    <singing resumes>
    of the way we were….
    </singing>

    The only thing that remains to be done is to be a better parent.

    Yes.
    But we’re supposed to learn parenting behavior from…our malfunctioning parents….
     
    So we stumble along.
    Uphill.
    Both ways.
    In snow, rain, heat, and gloom of night.
    In hopes that our offspring will be less fucked up than we are.
    Incrementally shuffling towards a Better Day
    With Justice and Good Mental Health For All.

    Hi, thunk. Today is, indeed, nice. The office took us out to eat in honor of The Husband’s birthday, and sent us home thereafter.
    :)
    I took a nap.
    :) :)

    Or, as Tethys so neatly sums it up:

    Damn, abuse is just the shittiest gift that keeps on giving.

    -

  7. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Ogvorbis
    In all the years I have been making scale models I have never heard of using foodstuffs to mask paint.
    ! :)

  8. cicely says

    Oh yes, and for Columbus Day (Officially Celebrated)….

    I saw it as a mushroom, also.
     

    Did y’all know that if you click on the picture it embiggens?

    Okay…so…it’s a scaly mushroom.

    Nathaniel Frein, it is my Official Opinion as a Dungeonmaster In Chaotic Neutral Standing that you will, ultimately, have no choice but to wing it. Have a series of mini-scripts on hand so you can vamp, if necessary, when the PCs go off on a tangent that looks Plot Relevant; and maybe have a few ideas for Alternate Endings, in case they mangle the intended scenario all out of recognition. Large index cards have worked well for me in this respect; use as many as needed, and as the Plot Thickens, you can always add or revise The Plan on them.
     
    Always keep a spare Maguffin up your sleeve.
    -

  9. says

    On the road, heading home with Chester. He had his teeth trimmed, and Angie stocked me up with Baytril. Chester will be on meds for a while.

    Raining, people are driving stupid.

  10. chigau (違う) says

    Caine #14
    Good news for Chester!
    I do hope that Mister is driving…
    or that Chester is doing the texting.

  11. says

    Caine @ 14, I’m glad to hear (read, whatever) that Chester is doing better. Did you ever find out what turned him blue? Is he a Scots rattie?

    Yeah, parents. *eyeroll* All I can say is that I tried not to treat my kids the way the APs treated me. I think I did a bit better, anyway. I hope.

  12. Sili says

    5.
    chigau (違う)

    At my library, in August, when I put a hold on Zealot, I was 56 on 1 copy.
    Now I’m 4 on 28 copies.

    Why?

    I gather it’s a pretty craptacular book.

  13. chigau (違う) says

    Sili #17
    I haven’t read it yet.
    Most of the reviews I’ve seen are from Bible-thumping whack-jobs.

  14. says

    @Cicely

    I definitely get what you’re saying. Part of my problem is that I’m paranoid that the arc is too implausible to take off in the first place.

    Any thoughts for a viable electronic replacement for the notecards?

  15. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Caine, glad to hear Chester is still with you and you are heading home with meds. Do you know specifically what ails the wee beastie, or is it just idiopathic ick?

  16. cicely says

    Nathaniel Frein: Not really. I’ve never tried it with any kind of electronic accompaniment; and with the index cards, I can simply move the cards around as needed and make whatever notes I want, right there with the game in progress.
     
    Of course, I developed this system to compensate for the aggravating tendency of players to not delve a dungeon in the proper order, leading to much cursing and flipping of pages. With the cards I can easily tick off rooms/halls/encounters/deathtraps that have been Done, and make notes of anything…noteworthy…that the PCs do (or don’t), including incomplete pillagery. I combine the card deck with a map, with numbers to refer to the cards, and if I need to add something that has unexpectedly become Significant, I can just slide in an extra numbered card and mark it on the map.
     
    I also put the XP (by the monster and for a Total Monster Kill) and treasure (itemization, value-by-item, and Total Resale Value) on the cards, so that when the time comes, all I have to do is go through the cards and mark ‘em off as I tally ‘em up.
     
    Plus I keep a few appropriate random encounter cards on hand, in case some player gets a wild notion and goes off in search of individual action.

    WMDKitty, that is a Happy Little Mushroom/Tree, isn’t it?
    :D
    -

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

    @cicely:

    Water her regularly, that she may flourish, one day growing up to be a strong young scientist, with abundant, leafy foliage and a strong root system.

    Although I haven’t been as consistent about it lately, when the kids announce something that they’ve noticed (“Fire truck!”) my most common response is:

    “Good empirical observation!” It doesn’t mean a lot to them right now (except “Mom is weird”) but I hope that when they actually get to a point where they are discussing the scientific method in some future class, they can look at what scientists do and think, “Yeah, I’ve been doin’ that since I was 3. I could be a scientist.”

    Whether they actually grow up to be scientists or not is less important to me than that they grow up with good critical thinking skills and the belief that they could be scientists, if they wanted.

  18. chigau (違う) says

    Sili #27
    Understood.
    I will still read the book before I read the reviews.
    I almost watched a FoxNews review.

  19. says

    @Cicely

    I don’t do well with paper notes T.T (we’re playing on a virtual tabletop via Roll20)

    I’ve managed to avoid the “proper order” problem by basically not having an order…more like a vague spider-web of half developed story arcs. I generally get by via listening to my players spitball in skype after sessions and then fleshing out the specific arcs they’re planning to head for during downtime, but I ran into a wall here. I may very well be overthinking this.

  20. thunk, decus et tutamen says

    …the worst part of being a youngling is having your moral and emotional well-being completely prevented by people whose moral and ethical systems are based completely on “I think it’s icky based on gut feeling alone, therefore it’s objectively bad” and bigotry stemming from the former.

    Thanks everyone who thinks just because I haven’t crossed a magic age line means I’m incapable of making rational decisions.

  21. says

    Thank you for all the well wishes for Chester. Unfortunately, we haven’t figured out what’s wrong. He’s massively stressed right now and leaking porphyrin all over, and he’s hungry but still can’t seem to manage salad. So, it’s either teeth Angie can’t get at,* or possibly a jaw problem. He’ll be on a heavy dosage of Baytril and metacam for the next week and half, then we’ll see. I’m cooking more sweet potato for him.

    The rest of the gang got a special treat of hard candies, they were awaiting my arrival home, possibly with hidden knives on the off chance I had hurt their Chester. Out of all the mixed candies, it’s the root beer flavoured ones which proved to be a hit. Go figure.

    Oh, and Mister did the driving. Chester and I sat shotgun. Chester says this driving business is not for him. Nope.

    *A special medical implement is made, an internal cheek flap spreader…for Guinea Pigs. Not rats.

  22. moarscienceplz says

    The short version seems to be that Azlan really doesn’t know his stuff. He’s not much different from O’Reilly in his attitude to sources facts and current scholarship reality.

    FIFY

  23. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Tomorrow night is the Lyric Opera for the Redhead, Madam Butterfly. I have my sammich orders for tomorrow night, so they can eat on the train downtown (her friend will board at Highland Park). The only problem appears to be that the handicapped boards last, and she will need my assistance to get to the proper spot in the train. She’s afraid the conductor will hijack me to the next stop, and I will have to return.

  24. moarscienceplz says

    I’m gonna give Azlan a miss. I’m (im)patiently waiting for Richard Carrier’s book to come out.

  25. Pteryxx says

    Nathaniel Frein re DMing (which I’ve never done, so high molarity of salts): for out-of-order notes I’ve just kept a computer folder full of small Notepad docs with keywords in the titles. With some very rudimentary HTML formatting you can fold them all into a local HTML document and open it with your browser, then leave some remarked-out notes such as “USED THIS ON [DATE]” and activate them as the segments get called upon, move them into different subheadings on the page, edit them directly in Notepad in real time, that sort of thing.

    I hear that people with actual technology can use database or citation software for the purpose instead. but I’m broke and old-fashioned. <_<

  26. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Caine

    He’s massively stressed right now and leaking porphyrin all over, and he’s hungry but still can’t seem to manage salad. So, it’s either teeth Angie can’t get at,* or possibly a jaw problem.

    Poor guy. :( That sounds like one miserable ratty. I hope things improve for him quickly.

  27. carlie says

    Hugs to everyone. I feel guilty sometimes that I had such an easy and supportive childhood, and that I didn’t manage to make more of myself given the good start I had. My parents started with the shotgun wedding of teen pregnancy, and we were somewhere on the middle-lower end of the scale (I don’t remember specifically having food stamps, but we qualified to get me in Head Start), but they did the best they could and it was pretty damned decent. My biggest stresses growing up were self-inflicted, as once I realized the circumstances of them getting married I felt like it was all my fault and I had to be the best most perfect child possible. But they never, never telegraphed that – it was all me bringing that on myself. So I won’t pretend I can empathize, but I certainly love you all and am so impressed that you’ve risen above such a bad childhood.

  28. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Oh, dang. I’d missed this earlier.

    Nathaniel Frein – You may want a Wiki on a Stick.

    Really, really useful and like the name says you can put the whole thing on a memory stick. Excellent for keeping track of branching storylines.

  29. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Can someone please teleport near me and slap me upside the head?

    Two hours ago, I said to myself, “Self, you’re experiencing a queasy stomach and some loose stools. Obviously, what you need is a dinner consisting of beans and hot sauce.”

    WTF?

  30. mudpuddles says

    Hi there everyone. I have a query which I hope this community can help with. It concerns a friend of mine who has moved abroad to study, and who has a specific fear for her personal safety arising from the behaviour of a specific person she has encountered. She may in fact not be at risk, but she is worried and so am I.

    I’d be grateful for guidance as to where I might go to seek advice on her behalf – police etc are not appropriate avenues at this point since nothing has physically happened to her. I could post the details here and just ask for advice, but I’m not sure that’s appropriate for this space. I guess what I’m looking for is general advice on how someone in her position might best deal with unwanted borderline-harassing behaviour, and how to help her feel more secure in a strange location where she is on her own and feeling threatened.

    Any pointers would be very much appreciated. Thanks guys.

  31. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Continuing re: RP stuff.

    I also use Zim. It’s not as portable, but I’ve found it to be much easier to use. I found it wonderfully intuitive and it did everything I needed. YMMV.

    Hopefully one of those might be useful.

  32. Tethys says

    mudpuddles

    Is there a school associated with her study? They would be the first place to contact for assisstance with sexual harassment issues.

    Or google for resources for preventing domestic violence in whatever area your friend is in.

  33. says

    @Pteryxx/Mellow Monkey

    I liked the HTML idea…I know enough about HTML to make it work.

    I absolutely love the wiki idea tho…it looks like it would go nicely in my dropbox folder and be a much better way of organizing all my different character snapshots and plot hooks.

    Thanks everyone for the advice! It’s been seven years since I DMed (or even played tabletop) and I’d forgotten just how much work this can entail. I think I’ma ask our other DM guy to maybe do some sessions.

  34. mudpuddles says

    Thank you Tethys (#45)

    She is studying at a university in the UK. The person she is concerned about may or may not be studying there, but we are certain he is a student in one of the 3rd level schools in the same city. The behaviour she is concerned about has not happened on campus so I’m thinking that the university can’t get involved directly, but as you suggest I guess she should be able to seek advice from someone at the uni – perhaps from a student welfare office. Thank you for the suggestion ;)

  35. cicely says

    A. Noyd, when one of my kitties grooms the other, it means that There’s Gonna Be A Pouncin’ Tonight. Started by the one that starts the grooming.

    carlie, there’s no need for you to feel guilty. I can’t see anyone here begrudging an easy, supportive upbringing to anyone.

    Esteleth, it sounds as if your self may well be out to get you. Watch yourself!
    -

  36. carlie says

    cicely – oh, definitely. I just am aware that it’s a huge heaping portion of privilege and then some.

    thunk – sounds like you’re getting pushed around lately. I’m sorry. :(

  37. A. Noyd says

    cicley (#48)

    when one of my kitties grooms the other, it means that There’s Gonna Be A Pouncin’ Tonight. Started by the one that starts the grooming.

    It turns into play with those two sometimes, but mostly they just soothe one another. Playtime usually happens when they’re both already wound up because they want food or I’ve just come home or something. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them get genuinely pissed off at one another, either. The closest they come is when they’re vying over who gets to lay on top of me closest to my face. The loser acts all wounded and pathetic.

  38. says

    General *hugs* regarding various horrific childhood stories. The more I hear about other people’s families, the luckier I feel to have mine.

    Nathaniel Frein
    re: the plot, one thing that occurs to me is that if that band of adventurers blunders about enough, there might well start to be a genuine anti-royalist faction.

  39. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    Esteleth @ 42:

    “Self, you’re experiencing a queasy stomach and some loose stools. Obviously, what you need is a dinner consisting of beans and hot sauce.”

    And a Corona Beergarita ?!?!?!?!?

    Heading off to bed.

    No work tomorrow.

    Again.

  40. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Spider has now set up residence at the top of our front stairs. Every time I go out the front door I can see it staring at me with its accusing eyes – all eight of them.

  41. jack says

    Hi all, I’m a lurker who’s posted relatively infrequently but I was hoping for some advice. If this is the wrong place to go or if this question has been answered previously please let me know. A (not very close) friend recently disclosed to me that she was raped. She doesn’t see it as rape but she said “no” several times before giving into a guy who wouldn’t back off. I’m not sure what supportive thing to say to her other than to tell her that it’s not her fault and listen to her but she’s only texting me so “listening” is difficult to do in an active way without saying anything. Should I suggest that she seeks professional help? Should I even say that I think that it sounds like rape to try to get her to take the blame off of herself?

    Thanks in advance!

  42. jack says

    Shoot, I probably should’ve put a trigger warning in before that post. I’m sorry if I upset anybody.

  43. says

    Jack, the best thing you can do is to let her know you are there for her, you support her unconditionally, and you’re listening. It sounds like she might need time to process the whole thing, and that can take a while and go slowly, so do your best to be patient and keep reiterating that she has your support and your ears. And yes, if given the opportunity, reinforce that it was not her fault.

    And thanks for taking time out to ask, that already puts you leaps and bounds ahead of most people.

  44. jack says

    Thanks Caine, that’s very helpful and was my instinct too. It’s difficult to fight the urge to “do something” active or to try to give her advice but I’m sure that any of that would be detrimental.

  45. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Jack:
    I agree with Caine. Since I have become aware of Rape Culture, one of the biggest things I have learned is to simply offer to be of any assistance that any individual may need and to believe them unreservedly. Whatever help-if any-they need must be of their choosing. However much the desire to be of help, when a person has been sexually assaulted, their needs-on their own terms-are of prime importance.
    I probably just restated what Caine said, but I do not think it can be said enough.

    Thanks for being the type who supports victims of sexual assault. We need more like you.

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

    @jack, via Tony!

    Whatever help-if any-they need must be of their choosing.

    Sounds like you’re doing fine. But if you need a little something extra to think about if there comes a time when the urge to do something takes hold, think of this:

    Rape is, among other things, a theft of agency. Right when a person needs one’s own ability to choose respected the most, that ability to choose is disrespected, ignored. Letting a survivor make choices – even ones you consider bad, if that happens – **is** doing something. It’s doing the opposite of the rapist: respecting her right to choose. Beginning to feel like you can make choices and have them respected, in turn, is an important part of the healing process.

    So, yeah, what Caine & Tony! said, but I hope that the why of it makes it easier and can give you a glimpse of the good you can do when it feels like you aren’t doing enough.

  47. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    I think my cats are giving me the eye.
    I just got them wet and lathered with flea shampoo.
    15 lb tabby’s do not like being wet.

  48. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Jack:
    I forgot to mention that along with your compassion for your friend, I really respect your #55. That you are considerate enough of others to understand (even after the fact) that certain matters-such as rape-can be triggering says good things about you.

  49. bluentx says

    *waving at everyone in case I lose connection*

    I haven’t been a ‘Good Lounger’ lately.[Bad blue, Baaad blue...]

    Part of the reason is… new phone = “How the hell do I do NOW what used to be sooo easy…?” [Read: Have been getting I access through my [Blackberry] for the last 3-4 years…] Damn! Why does changing phones have to mean learning a whole new !!!#***!?? way of accessing things that should be easy? [Any suggestions on user-friendly info for Samsung S III Androids ?]

    Being in a rural area with limited internet access (and limited tech savy) means I’m at an extra disadvantage now that I’ve ‘upgraded’ my phone. [Does upgrade always mean ": 'You're screwed unless you are a tech-geek expert' ? *]

    Bottom line: As spotty as my commenting at FtB already is –it may be more so now. My one link with sanity (living in Ted Cruz territory) may now be even more limited! Pray for me… cross your fingers for me… wish me luck… until I figure a better way of remaining an FtBully :)

    *Not only having difficulty with [what used to be] basic internet access but not sure (until my next Verizon bill) which arm and which leg they will want because of changes in my ‘plan’ because of the “upgrade”.

    /close rant… for now

    Sorry to sound so… ‘It’s all about me !!!!’

  50. bluentx says

    re: Lynna @ 9:

    Note the “Impeach Obama” sign.

    I’ve been wondering (concerning this gov. shutdown)… Can we please ask for the following: ‘Any legislator who votes against a ‘clean’ * bill to increase the debt ceiling be impeached’ ?


    * No stings attached, no hostage tactics, Just Pay the Goddamn Already Owed Bills , let the poor eat…

  51. bluentx says

    Tony @ # 60:

    I think my cats are giving me the eye.

    Aw, Tony… you know we’re all giving you ‘the eye’. ;)

    That didn’t sound toooo creepy did it?

  52. bluentx says

    Thanks, rq. I feel so much better now. Creepy and weird all on the same day!

    My I-access sorta works, my email sorta works and now I’m not even sure I can defend myself if necessary! :(

  53. rq says

    bluentx
    Aww, I’m sorry… I don’t want you to need to defend yourself.
    I hope you figure out your new technology, though!

  54. says

    Hi folks
    Second day a UMP went better. And I looooove one of my lecturers. She’s so American, but in a good way.
    Uhm, no, that doesn’t sound good, so let me explain: Many Americans have this slightly overbearing way that puts people on ease, this being friendly thingy. And I didn’t know you could use the word “awesome” that often in 90 minutes…
    OTOH, I really need to scrub my spelling, because now I’m doing this weird mix of BE and AE (that’s all your fault) and I need to go for one.

    bluentx

    Why does changing phones have to mean learning a whole new !!!#***!?? way of accessing things that should be easy?

    You know, that’s the thing that always struck me as the most unrealistic things in all Star Trek: They find a spaceship that was built by a totally different species they never met before but they can fly it. As if there was only one possible way to build a spaceship which would then be the natural path for any space-faring species to go.

  55. bassmike says

    I feel a little like a gatecrasher at a party posting in the lounge, but I would appreciate any of your opinions on the following:

    I was recently with a few people and I had done something that one of them considered less than manly (I am a hetrosexual man). They told me that I was being a ‘poof’. I took them to task over this as I considered it to be demeaning to LGBT people. In response I was told in no uncertain terms that there was nothing wrong with using the term and besides they had gay friends who were happy to use it. Was I wrong to call them out? Am I over-reacting or do I have a point?

    I consider Phayryngula and its regulars to be far better at judging these things then me so I would definitely appreciate your feelings. If you feel that it is not appropriate for the lounge I can take it to Thunderdome.

    I may not get too much opportunity to respond quickly, but I will check in when I can. I would like to contribute more (I have posted a couple of times in the past), but time is not on my side!

  56. opposablethumbs says

    bassmike, fwiw I think you were right too. Firstly because it sounds like they were using it in a derogatory sense anyway (is that right?), which is demeaning to LGBT people right off the bat (there’s certainly nothing wrong with the word “girl,” but anyone can see that “ffs, you throw like a little girl” is misogyny). And if their defence is that “they have gay friends who were happy to use it” that sounds like we can assume they are not gay themselves. So it sounds to me like one white bloke telling another white bloke to stop acting like such a n***** – the fact that people who are themselves in the category in question may reclaim a term and use it of themselves or one another most certainly does not mean that privileged idiots stand in the same relationship to its use. My 2p’s worth.

  57. bassmike says

    opposablethumbs, you are correct; it was intended as a derogatory comment and they are not gay. I did think of the reclaiming sense which I fully understand. But given the context ths would not apply. To me the most shocking thing is that the person in question is a deputy-head teacher at a UK primary school. Being disappointed in them doesn’t cover it!

  58. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    “Having gay friends who wouldn’t object” isn’t a particularly strong argument, either, given the prevalence of internalized bigotry and the general pressure in Western culture not to be a “complainer.”

  59. opposablethumbs says

    the person in question is a deputy-head teacher at a UK primary school.

    Ugh. Makes it just that bit worse, doesn’t it. When someone with retrograde attitudes is in a position of influence and authority over the education of children at an impressionable age …

    Are any of this group friends of yours? You never know, some of them might have listened to you! A nudge to get people thinking about these things and questioning their own prejudices is never wasted, even if it’s just a shaved millimetre at a time in the right direction :-)

  60. bassmike says

    opposablethumbs:

    Some are friends, some are acquaintances. The person in question used to be a friend, but has drifted away to acquaintance. We all play in an orchestra. I think the other people around understood, but were silent. However, the reason the comment stood out to me was the fact that I haven’t heard anyone around me use such a term for many years. We do have some gay friends in common, but they weren’t in earshot at the time. Rest assured that if it happened again I’d react the same way.

  61. pHred says

    Argh! I am grading student papers and am already to the point I want to claw out my eyes. Grammar and structure is so bad I can’t grade on content because I can’t figure out that the content is !!! ACK!!!

    “What sort of person sits down and writes a maniacal laugh? And all those exclamation marks, you notice? Five? A sure sign of someone who wears his underpants on his head. (Terry Pratchett, Maskerade)

    I’m at three and not even halfway through grading – it is not looking good here.

  62. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Apropos of nothing, I found myself googling a half-remembered quotation, and found the full one.

    It remains a great bit of poetry:

    To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
    To the last syllable of recorded time;
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
    Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
    And then is heard no more. It is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.

  63. says

    Yes, the intractable, unreasonable, deluded wing of the Republican Party is still going strong in terms of being intractable, unreasonable and deluded:

    Sen. Ted Cruz met with roughly 15 to 20 House Republicans for around two hours late Monday night at the Capitol Hill watering hole Tortilla Coast.

    The group appeared to be talking strategy about how they should respond to a tentative Senate deal to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling without addressing Obamacare in a substantive way, according to sources who witnessed the gathering. The Texas Republican senator and many of the House Republicans in attendance had insisted on including amendments aimed at dismantling Obamacare in the continuing resolution that was intended to avert the current shutdown.

    Sources said the House Republicans meeting in the basement of Tortilla Coast with Cruz were some of the most conservative in the House: Reps. Louie Gohmert of Texas, Steve King of Iowa, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Raul R. Labrador of Idaho, Steve Southerland II of Florida, Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Justin Amash of Michigan.

    A junior Senator from Texas is running the rabid group of House Republicans. Yes, a junior, first-year Senator is calling the shots, not in the Senate, but in the House.

    http://blogs.rollcall.com/218/ted-cruz-house-republicans-meet-in-secret-at-tortilla-coast/

  64. says

    As expected, all reasonable deals are off. The shutdown will continue and the debt ceiling breach edges ever closer:

    There was palpable relief last night surrounding the debt ceiling. The House had withdrawn from the process; Senate leaders had crafted a bipartisan compromise; and the twin crises appeared to be nearing their end. All the House had to do was bring the Senate measure to the floor.

    This apparently won’t happen. Hopes that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) might muster the courage to lead his members in a responsible direction were dashed this morning, as House Republicans decided to reject the Senate’s bipartisan compromise and move forward with their own plan.

    House Republicans will vote as early as Tuesday on its own legislation to avert a default on the national debt and end a two-week-old closure of the federal government, tailored in a way to win over conservatives who have expressed skepticism toward an emerging Senate deal.

    The new House GOP plan would open the government through mid-January and extend the debt through Feb. 7, which would be roughly in line with the Senate package. But House Republicans also intend to repeal the medical device tax in the Affordable Care Act for two years, and force members of Congress and White House staffers to pay more for health care. …

    If the House Republicans approve their new proposal today, the Senate and White House would have a decision to make — pay a modest ransom and encourage more hostage taking, or tell House Republicans to grow up and stop playing stupid games …

    … the optimism folks felt last night is gone and the prospect of Republicans causing a global catastrophe on purpose remains very real.

    Update: There are some unconfirmed rumors that House Republicans will simply leave Washington if they pass this bill. If so, if the Senate rejects the offer, there will be no one left in the House to respond and the debt-ceiling deadline will go unmet.

    Maddow Blog link.

  65. says

    International news related to the likely scenario of the USA defaulting on its debt:

    In Britain, Jon Cunliffe, who will become deputy governor of the Bank of England next month, told members of Parliament that banks should be developing contingency plans to deal with an American default if one happens.

    And Chinese leaders called on a “befuddled world to start considering building a de-Americanized world.” In a commentary on Sunday, the state-run Chinese news agency Xinhua blamed “cyclical stagnation in Washington” for leaving the dollar-based assets of many nations in jeopardy. It said the “international community is highly agonized.”

    NYT link.

  66. cicely says

    Hi, jack. Welcome in!
    Having just read the Maryville thread, I just want to tell you how pleasant it is to read, juxtaposed with reading that shit, that you are concerned for how to best support your friend.

    *extra-fast pouncehug* for bluentx in hopes of landing it before the connection is lost.

    Welcome in, bassmike!
    I endorse opposablethumbs’ comment.

    pHred, you have my sympathy.
    All those years in school, year after year covering Parts of Speech and spelling and vocabulary, the same thing repeated over and over again…and they still cant rite gud.
     
    lolspeak for effect is one thing, but if your communications don’t communicate what the hell good are they???
    -

  67. Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach says

    I just wanted to drop a thank you note to CaitieCat, for the Lowest of the Low mention in the last lounge thread. I tracked down a copy of the Shakespeare My Butt album and I am loving it!

  68. blf says

    I really need to scrub my spelling, because now I’m doing this weird mix of BE and AE (that’s all your fault) and I need to go for one.

    That is, of course, yer choice. May I offer an alternative viewpoint, please?

    With one exception, I neither “scrub” my spelling nor use a consistent variant. The one exception is customer-facing documentation at the Big Dummbie Co. where I work, where USAlienstan spelling is used for consistency.

    Why am I neither consistent nor constant? Partly for giggles, more with what feels and looks “right” in the circumstances, a bit to deal with spelling “correctors”, vision issues perhaps play a role, but mostly because I tend to go for the spelling with most closely matches the pronunciation (as I, at any rate, pronounce things). Perhaps the best example is my use of the “archaic” spelling clew for the word commonly-spelled-as clue. “Clew” is a close match to my pronunciation, is a recognized spelling in unabridged dictionaries, and has been used by writers such as Conan Doyle in some Sherlock Holmes stories. “Clue”, on the other hand, is opaque. Silly. Stupid, even.

    Another example is the use of the Irish feck for you-knows-what. And stooopid (with a variable number of o‘s). origin unknown(-to-me).

    Yet another example is the sometimes unusual pluralizations of words, such as softwares and informations. A habit picked up from Ingerlish-as-spoken-by-some-French.

    These “quirks” are part of my written voice (idiolect).

    Along with frequently defending myself from a certain penguin…

    (I’m also not a very good speller, which is undoubtedly also a factor.)

  69. says

    I hate Comcast so much. The modem they provided started randomly disconnecting and needing to be reset. I called last month and was told I’d get a new one shipped to me in 7-10 days. Nothing happened. Earlier, I contacted them by chat. The rep said they’d send me a new one, and then the modem died, cutting off the chat. The next rep said there’s no record of the previous chat, and if I want them to send me a new modem there’s a $15 shipping fee. The supervisor says that, yup, that’s so, and they can’t waive it either. After half an hour of arguing, I’ve finally got a promise that they’ll cut $15 from my next bill to make it come out right. So now when my next bill comes up, I get to spend another hour arguing with some new rep to actually get it done.

  70. says

    So, John Boehner had some plans to end the shutdown and debt ceiling crisis today, pretty bad plans of course, but at least they were doable … until the right wing of his House Republicans shut those plans down for NOT BEING RIGHT WING ENOUGH!

    Sorry for the shouting, but I needed a soundtrack for my head-desking here.

    … This morning, Boehner thought he had a plan: he’d sabotage the bipartisan package negotiated in the Senate, push his own alternative through the House today, score a modest ransom, and tell Democrats to pay up or else.

    Within a couple of hours, that plan collapsed. Democrats in the House, Senate, and White House immediately rejected the idea, which Boehner expected. But then many House Republicans balked, too — they said it wasn’t right-wing enough — which Boehner was unprepared for.

    So, with two days remaining until the Oct. 17 deadline, the House’s plan … doesn’t exist. …

    [Boehner] could throw up his arms, tell conservatives they had their shot, and accept the Senate deal immediately. Most House Republicans would be angry, but House Democrats are already on board, and if only one-tenth of the House GOP endorsed the policy, the crises would be over (at least until next year).

    Alternatively, the Speaker could push his plan further to the right to make the unhinged Tea Party wing more likely to support it, while guaranteeing that the bill would fail in the Senate.

    Boehner appears to prefer the latter, and there are multiple reports that contraception restrictions will be added to the House bill to help pick up far-right votes.

    Oh cheezits. Contraception again?

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/10/15/20976353-with-two-days-until-debt-ceiling-deadline-chaos-grips-capitol-hill

  71. says

    blf
    Well, you’re in a nice job that pays for dinner in French restaurants while I’m a student who gets marks deducted, so, there’s no compromise, I’m afraid.
    BTW, informations is a totally acceptable word in many native speaker varieties around the world.

  72. blf says

    ✓ “distinct dialect and style, a slow, noisy, rough…” Again, probably true.

    Isn’t it just generic southern French?

    My ear for Français isn’t very well tuned, so I myself cannot say. However, I’ve had native-French speakers, both from the area and from elsewhere, tell me the French dialect spoken in Marseille (or the general area) is distinct. I don’t think they mean “southern France” in general, but fairly specifically, Marseille.

    I have almost no idea of the history of the languages spoken in the region, so cannot meaningfully suggest / offer any insights from that perspective.

  73. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    Right now, Esquire magazine online has an interactive quiz about the mythical American center. I polled out as:

    IT’S OFFICIAL: YOU’RE ONE OF THE BLEEDING HEARTS.

    You’re part of the 10 percent of the electorate that believes in the full progressive agenda, and you probably think of yourself as a liberal. You are not part of the New American Center.

    You can take the quiz here: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/center-interactive-quiz

  74. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    So. You know that job interview I mentioned the other day? I got the job and I’m starting next month.

    It’s my first real job, with a paycheck and everything.

    YAY!

    I’m also terrified.

  75. rq says

    Ogvorbis
    I’m in that 10% with you.
    Although, considering I’m not a citizen of the US, I’m probably skewing the result. ;)

  76. blf says

    Argh! I am grading student papers and am already to the point I want to claw out my eyes. Grammar and structure is so bad I can’t grade on content because I can’t figure out that the content is !!! ACK!!!

    Treat it as bird-droppings-art — put some blank paper out where birdies gather, wait a few days, collect, “fix” the additions to the paper, and $ell to $ucker$ — and grade on artist merit. A pleasing appearance? An interesting insight, into, ah, something? Lots of women-lacking-clothes? A deranged penguin peeking out from behind the cactus -morphing-into-a-kraken (extra points if the eyes are clocks)?

    Provides a chance to make deep and meaningful marks, such as “A zeithergestic sample of parallel ancient ice creams. D-.”

  77. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    As I mentioned, they are working with the place I’m at now, so I already know (as in acquaintance I met a couple of times in official capacity) some of the future coworkers. My future boss too. Would it be terribly overbearing/annoying to send him an email asking if he has any “homework”, something I should study before starting so that I could start being productive sooner?

    I really really don’t want to fuck this up.

  78. says

    Stephen Fry exhibits some patience while interviewing an ex-gay therapist, but simultaneously nails the guy to the wall.

    English actor, comedian and activist Stephen Fry interviewed the founder of ex-gay organization the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) for an episode of his BBC2 program “Out There,” which explores, per the website, “what it means to be gay in different corners of the world.” …

    Nicolosi describes being gay as based on “trauma” and as something that can be “resolved” through the therapy he offers — for $140 a session. But perhaps the most devastating revelation in the segment is when Nicolosi tells Fry that more than 60 percent of his clients are teenagers. A growing number of states – including California, where Nicolosi practices — have banned “ex-gay” therapy for minors, citing its harmful impact and well-documented abuses among practitioners.

    Fry also speaks with one of Nicolosi’s former “patients,” who, surprise, is still gay and now campaigns against the dangers of “ex-gay” therapy.

    More text and, most importantly, video at the Salon link.

  79. David Marjanović says

    A colleague just posted on Fb:

    “As far as I know this is a first for me! [Name] just directed me to a creationist blog about the crouching theropod trace we described in PLOS ONE in 2009. This is freakin’ hilarious – how could I have overlooked so many imaginary details?! http://creation.com/dino-stumble-utah

    The flood waters rise and rise !!

  80. David Marjanović says

    Also, I’ve finally booked flights from Berlin to LA, from LA to Austin, and from Austin to the DC area. Now I just hope the seats hipmunk.com “requested” for me actually exist.

  81. David Marjanović says

    Would it be terribly overbearing/annoying to send him an email asking if he has any “homework”, something I should study before starting so that I could start being productive sooner?

    It would probably come across the opposite way: you love your job and want to be perfect at it :-)

  82. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Thanks, rq, Giliell, Ogvorbis.
    David, you gave just the answer I wanted to hear. :)

  83. rq says

    Beatrice
    What David said. That little extra bit of interest will also assure them (even more) in advance that they have made the right hire.

    +++

    I keep forgetting to mention: we are 99% sure that Choir Creep has left the choir. Not for any of the harassing stuff, mind you, but for being a total asshole in other choir-related areas. For being a self-righteous, sanctimonious asshole.
    Now I just have to deal with the recent hire at my work with a similar Entitled Asshole Attitude (but no evidence of harassment yet). Sometimes, I’m glad I work evenings and weekends.
    Also, I broke the furnace*. This is what Husband gets for leaving me alone-with-kids for three days while he gallivants around Poland (this time, though, it was a legitimate business trip).

    * Alright, alright, just the little handle on the inside door of the lower half of the furnace. So it can’t be barred shut now. :/

  84. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Query for the financially astute:

    I am starting nursing school in January. The program ends in December 2014. Because the traditional school calendar has students starting in September, I’ll be applying for financial aid twice – now, and for September.

    This round, I got some modest aid. Between tuition, fees, and my estimates of my living expenses, I’ll need to take out an additional $26,000 in loans. Okay. Hefty chunk of change, but doable (I have good credit). This will cover everything for nine months, bringing me to the start of September.

    Because FAFSA bases everything off of your tax return of the previous year, when I apply again in September, I’ll be giving them my 2013 tax numbers. Which will look much the same as last year’s did. Which will mean that (the fact that by September I’ll have been unemployed for nine months notwithstanding) my aid award is unlikely to be much different. If I assume it is the same, then I’d need another $12,000 to cover everything.

    Based on that, should I:
    (1) Borrow $26,000 now and $12,000 in September, knowing full well that when September comes my credit would have taken a major hit and I’m unlikely to get a favorable rate,
    or
    (2) Borrow $38,000 now, knowing full well that this will mean more interest that will be due when all is said and done?

  85. opposablethumbs says

    Beatrice that’s wonderful! Wonderful brilliant fantastic WONDERFUL news!!!! I’m so happy for you!
    *\o/* *\o/* *\o/* *\o/* *\o/* *\o/* *\o/* *\o/* ! Seriously, sitting here with a big smile on my face :-D

  86. blf says

    [J]ust the little handle on the inside door of the lower half of the furnace.

    Just? Just? No, no, no, you’ve opened a trans-dimensional wormhole to Teh Nasty Places. All of them. Various things will soon be leaking, then swarming, through. Celery. BIG saber-teethed spiders with twenty million legs (and a similar number of eyes — on each leg). Horse-mounted pea pods. Even Nutella.

    Nuking from orbit is not going to work this time…

    The only hope is probably to confuse them with the differences between crêpes and pancakes, and hope they all accidentally return Teh Nasty Places whilst bickering. Then we can use any left-over Nutella to glue it shut.

  87. David Marjanović says

    Hee. opposablethumbs, you’re really good with words. (And… other signs.) :-)

  88. rq says

    blf
    In that case, there’s a portal been open for a while now, since the Nutella’s been around for at least three weeks, the celery since Friday (but it’s stuck in the fridge), and today I made a hybrid pancake-crepe because I added too much milk to the batter but there was also baking soda within…
    Haven’t gotten around to counting the legs on that quasi-spider with the 20-some-million legs, but it doesn’t have sabre-teeth. Rather long tusks, though.
    Maybe, now that the handle is broken, they’ll all just leave?

  89. Parrowing says

    Congratulations so much to Beatrice! I’m so happy for you! :D

    And I agree with David Marjanović.

    *

    kittehserf:

    Sorry for the late reply. My husband is applying to grad schools in the US this year. That is where I’m from and we’re in the mood to be over there for a little (or a long) while. Not really sure why. Every day I thank my lucky stars more and more for the fact that my husband happened to be born in a country with nationalized health care and free education. I moved to live with him in Sweden almost 3 years ago now.

    *

    This is out of nowhere, but it’s something that I thought might interest people who like language related things.

    I think I’ve heard of many people who’ve learned second languages talk about defaulting to that language when around speakers of a different language. A personal example: last March, when I was on vacation in a Spanish speaking country, even though I’ve studied Spanish in the past and could possibly regain a large amount of knowledge with a not-too-large amount of study, I would default to speaking Swedish reflexively. I would know it was wrong as soon as I’d do it, but my brain wouldn’t stop me beforehand. I made a mental note that now, when my brain approaches a situation in which I have sub-consciously deemed my communication skills to be more limited than usual, I go to Swedish. Presumably because even though I can get by just fine with Swedish, I still feel unsure of myself and have a lot to learn.

    I understand that to be fairly common but it’s led to something kind of strange. Though I learned Swedish because I moved to Sweden to live with my Swedish husband whose first language is Swedish, we speak English at home because I only knew English when we met and we haven’t been able to consistently switch over. However, when I approach a situation at home in which I have sub-consciously deemed my communication skills to be more limited than usual, I go to Swedish. For example, when I do the dishes I listen to podcasts through my headphones. Because the sound of the water is loud, I keep the podcasts at full volume. I can’t hear anything my husband says to me. On several occasions he’s come home while I’m doing the dishes and I’ll need to let him know that I can’t hear him or that I’ll be done soon. I have to force myself to not speak Swedish when that happens. Not that there would be anything wrong with me saying those things in Swedish, but I only feel the urge to do so because my brain has switched to “limited communication” mode.

  90. says

    From David M.’s link to Talking Points Memo in comment #110, this is from the readers comments section below the article:

    … the Constitution does allow the President to call Congress back into session, so that would be interesting.

    So, if the Republicans turn tail and run away, maybe President Obama should call them back into session. With any luck, only a quorum of moderate Republicans and Democrats would return. All the whackos might refuse, leaving us with House members who would actually pass a reasonable CR, and who would cleanly raise the debt ceiling.

    Dream on, Lynna.

  91. rq says

    Hi, Parrowing!
    I had something similar when I was learning German.
    I never had problems confusing English and Latvian (well, maybe I did, but that was long ago…), but when I was learning German, it would get mixed up with my French (my least-well-known language) – vocabulary mostly, not so much the grammar. I think it has something to do with not knowing a language well enough for it to have a separate ‘track’ in your brain (that is, your brain is in ‘limited communication’ mode, with several budding language in that category, thus mistakenly substituting one less-known word for the one you’re actually looking for).
    I read about this a few years ago but I can’t for the life of me remember where. But it depends on how deeply a language is embedded in your brain? knowledge? memory?, that determines (a) whether you’re at ease using it and (b) whether you’ll confuse it with another language. Or so I understood the idea at the time.

    ** This is merely my personal observation on a similar matter.

  92. David Marjanović says

    English and French, and Russian and Chinese, inhibit each other to some extent because I learned (to varying extents…) those in each pair at about the same time.

    Later I had lots of practice switching back & forth between English & French, though.

  93. David Marjanović says

    Heh. The grammars of Russian and Chinese aren’t even possible to confuse. :-D

  94. says

    Ted effing Cruz is a stumbling block in yet another road to resolution of the debt ceiling crisis:

    Senate leaders hit the brakes Tuesday afternoon on an emerging agreement to avert a catastrophic debt default in anticipation of action from a chaotic House Republican majority. …

    There’s an arcane procedural reason the Senate is waiting. If it were to advance its own bill through the normal channels, stalling tactics expected to be used by arch-conservatives like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) could delay passage until the weekend. But if the House were to pass a debt limit hike first, the Senate could declare the measure “privileged” and advance it quickly, possibly by amending it and sending it back….

    Talking Points Memo link.

  95. says

    Who the fuck is Heritage Action, and why do they get to pressure House Republicans to vote one way or another?

    Heritage Action announced Tuesday that it will include the House GOP’s scheduled vote to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling Tuesday evening as a key vote in its scorecard, according to a statement.

    The conservative lobbying organization opposes the bill, which would fund the government through Dec. 15, raise the debt ceiling through Feb. 7 and eliminate health care subsidies for the White House, Congress and their staff.

    “Unfortunately, the proposed deal will do nothing to stop Obamacare’s massive new entitlements from taking root — radically changing the nature of American health care,” the group said in a statement….

    Okay, so nobody should be bowing to the radical wishes of Heritage Action, but, yes, they are bowing. It was after Heritage Action announced they would be scoring the vote that Boehner pulled his proposal and failed to even bring it to a vote.

  96. says

    There goes our credit rating … again:

    Credit rating agency Fitch placed U.S. holdings, which remain AAA, on negative watch Tuesday, as Congressional negotiations over the federal debt ceiling stalled just two days before a Thursday deadline.

    Downgrades in our credit rating may cost us as much a $100 billion per year — not exactly a good way for Republicans to reach their stated goal of reducing the deficit, (not that I think that was ever their real goal).

    Bloomberg News discussion from 2011.

  97. opposablethumbs says

    Hi Parrowing! Good to see you. And good luck to your SO for the grad school applications!

    I’ve done that language thing too, it’s bizarre – completely illogical (Captain), on the face of it, but the brain seems to do exactly as you and rq described. (I defaulted to my utterly pathetic mere shadow of a scrap of German one time when on a visit in Poland – even though as it happened there was at least one person present with whom I could have spoken French (I consider my spoken French rusty now, but it wasn’t then)).

    @ David M. :-D ::looks at toes. Twists toes in carpet. iz embarassed. Continues to be happy. Quickly sneaks in an extra *\o/* when no-one is looking::

  98. says

    This would not be news anywhere else, but in Utah …. front page news: A BLACK WOMAN NEWS ANCHOR. OMG and all that /sarcasm. Not only that, she is the forest African American ever on a Utah news desk. Sheesh.

    … In Utah, Crow is the first African-American to land a regular news anchoring gig at a Salt Lake television station.

    It’s rather remarkable that it took until the year 2013 for that to happen. And it’s one of the reasons Crow took the job in Utah despite offers from other stations. …

    Salt Lake Tribune link.

  99. says

    pHred@79 … Do the papers at least have the student’s name on them? My wife groaned upon grading a multi-page test last night to find no name written in either of the two places that said “Name:____________”.

    Beatrice@94 Yeah, job! I’m sure they’ll love the go-getter attitude; it will help seal the deal that they made the right choice.

    My prospects on the other hand … the furlough word keeps popping up more and more often. Organization’s management have sent around recent messages that such thing could happen almost any time starting next week. Though to tell you something about the local “corporate culture” there were at least 4 reiterations in the furlough FAQ saying “No, really, no, you can’t continue to work…even for free. No, we mean it. No, stop asking. Seriously, unless you live on site or are needed to guard things or ensure multi-million dollar objects don’t blow up/melt down, we’re not going to let you through the gates.” Lots of people here, myself included, really like what we do.

    Since we probably won’t get paid for any time we are furloughed, this is essentially a pay cut; and personally is a definite BadThing™ given a slew of recent home expenses (new water heater this last week + some extra plumbing work); we need to get someone to remove the 50ft ash tree that succumbed to the evil Emerald Ash Borer bugs ($300 treatment failed to save it); the deck still needs to be rebuilt; etc. Sigh.

  100. says

    Mormon (and Republican) Moment of Madness, sneaky politics category.

    GOP Congressman Jason Chaffetz [Utah congress critter and staunch mormon] was the acting speaker of the House during floor debate when it came to light that House Republicans quietly passed a resolution developed by the House Rules Committee that took away the right of any House member to call for a vote of a bill or resolution.

    When Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., attempted to present a motion to accept the Senate’s clean continuing resolution and reopen the government, Chaffetz informed him that the rule he was seeking to use had been “altered.”

    The resolution altering the rule, it turns out, was passed Sept. 30, just before the government shutdown.

    So the GOP majority in the House that keeps blaming Obama for the shutdown made sure no House member could get a vote to reopen it except for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., or his designee.

    That’s despite the fact that a vote to reopen the government surely would pass – enough Republicans have voiced support for such a move – if only such a vote were taken. …

    Who else is on the committee that changed the rule? Congressman Rob Bishop, R-Utah … and member of The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints. (The all caps for “JESUS CHRIST” is how the name appears on many mormon buildings. I kind of like that, it makes it look like they are all swearing loudly about their own church.)

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

    @Lynna:

    Downgrades in our credit rating may cost us as much a $100 billion per year — not exactly a good way for Republicans to reach their stated goal of reducing the deficit,

    And yet, at least they will accidentally give increased remuneration to their financier buddies.

    Wait….

    @Parrowing:

    :pouncehug:

  102. says

    In addition to finally allowing an African American to grace a spot on a news anchor desk, (see comment #125), Utah has taken another step into normalcy. Utah brewers brought home five medals from the recent Denver Beer Fest.

    Utah beer brewers earned five medals — one gold, two silver and two bronze — during the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) held in Denver this past weekend.

    Hoppers Grill and Brewing Co. in Midvale and its Helles Festbier beer earned the state’s only gold in the Munich-Style Helles category.

    Wasatch White Label, produced by the Utah Brewers Co-op, and Squatters Fifth Element, won silver medals in the Belgian-Style Witbier and the Belgian-Style Lambic or Sour Ale categories, respectively.

    Redrock Brewing’s Paardebloem, won a bronze in the Experimental Beer category; as did Uinta Brewing Co.’s Sum’r in the English-Style Summer Ale category….

  103. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    108
    Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001

    Query for the financially astute:

    I am starting nursing school in January. The program ends in December 2014. Because the traditional school calendar has students starting in September, I’ll be applying for financial aid twice – now, and for September.

    This round, I got some modest aid. Between tuition, fees, and my estimates of my living expenses, I’ll need to take out an additional $26,000 in loans. Okay. Hefty chunk of change, but doable (I have good credit). This will cover everything for nine months, bringing me to the start of September.

    Because FAFSA bases everything off of your tax return of the previous year, when I apply again in September, I’ll be giving them my 2013 tax numbers. Which will look much the same as last year’s did. Which will mean that (the fact that by September I’ll have been unemployed for nine months notwithstanding) my aid award is unlikely to be much different. If I assume it is the same, then I’d need another $12,000 to cover everything.

    Based on that, should I:
    (1) Borrow $26,000 now and $12,000 in September, knowing full well that when September comes my credit would have taken a major hit and I’m unlikely to get a favorable rate,
    or
    (2) Borrow $38,000 now, knowing full well that this will mean more interest that will be due when all is said and done?

    Note: It has been several years since I’ve officially worked in a financial aid office, though I’ve kept up the changes.

    If I understand correctly, you are applying now for next spring (Jan) and the summer term and next year you’ll be the full Fall/Spring/Summer. That’s how the nursing program worked at my school anyways. And these are unsubsidized loans you’re talking about taking?

    Have you filled out an income adjustment form? This is a form for a university I pulled from the web to give you an idea: here. Now, this form is for after you’ve applied already and is request to change due to the drastic changes in your income. You can submit it as the same time as your other forms, but it will be processed after everything else. So it’s not immediate, usually a supervisor or such does the determination on these forms because it’s a judgement call type thing. I forgot the correct term we call it in office. I’d talk to your Fin Aid office if possible about it, if you haven’t already.

    So, if you’re tight from the get go, it might be more prudent in your situation to take the loans and cross fingers for the adjustment to give you more. However, if you go the route with the form ask them what would happen if you take the full amount of Unsub loans and then qualify for Sub and/or Pell grant. Getting Pell grant should be fine but there’s a limit cap on loan amounts.

  104. says

    I seem to be alternating good new and bad news out of Utah. This is bad news.

    Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, [another mormon, if you didn't already guess] is working on a bill patterned after a new law in Mississippi that he says will better protect the religious rights of students in public schools.

    But the group Atheists of Utah says it looks like an end run around recent Supreme Court decisions by seeking to allow prayer in morning announcements, football games and graduation …

    The Mississippi law does such things as specifically protect the right of a student to express a religious viewpoint, use religious content in assignments, form religious clubs or activities at schools and wear clothing or jewelry with religious symbols or messages.

    Weiler said he is introducing it at the suggestion of constituents and not because of any major problems with such activities in Utah — although controversies about them have arisen nationally. “It’s more proactive than reactive” to protect religious rights, Weiler said. [In other words, Utah schools pretty much operate according to the Mississippi law already.] …

    Salt Lake Tribune link.

  105. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Early last night I noticed the giant spider was missing from its web on our front stairs. My first though was it had curled up for the night, but no, it was nowhere to be found. My second thought was maybe something got it. Maybe there was an even bigger spider out there somewhere…
    Well, this morning the mystery was solved. Spider has moved onto our veranda now, closer to the front door.
    This is just intimidation now! It is staring at me while I have my morning cup of tea and write this.

  106. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    bassmike @70:
    I am late to respond, but it really brings tears to my eyes when someone who is NOT part of a marginalized group speaks up on their behalf. Moreover, that you did so because a homophobic slur was used (rather than ‘a gay friend was around, so I had to say something’) is also really, really cool.
    Thank you for speaking up. It absolutely is necessary to help create a culture where people understand the harm done by using slurs. It is not enough for people to simply not use them, they have to understand and agree with why they should not be used.

  107. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Somewhere in the Gulf Coast of Florida, a mild mannered Shoop does a Happy Dance in honor of Beatrice getting hired.

  108. carlie says

    I’m so sorry, dontpanic. We had to replace a water heater last month too, and I also have furlough days that have hit my paycheck. The economy sucks.

  109. carlie says

    Speaking of which, could someone re-publish the link to the site Josh was collecting all the Pharyngurecipes on? (not his new one, the old one) I remember going a few rounds of “cheapest ways to feed one’s family” meals that would be good to access.

  110. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    JAL:
    Firstly, check your email. ;)

    Secondly, thanks for the info about the adjustment form. I couldn’t find one on my school’s website, but I did find some jargon about how if my award amount doesn’t make sense, I can talk to [person] and [email]. So I’ll pursue that.

    The program is only 3 semesters (i.e. 1 year) long – so the FAFSA I’ll be filing in September will be for just the fall semester.

    My aid award consisted of $2,750 in subsidized loans each for the spring and summer semesters. Which isn’t nothing, but then tuition is $15,000 a semester. I also need to keep myself fed and housed, and my car gassed. I have some savings, but not enough. Hence the realization that I’m going to need $13,000 a semester for both the spring and summer. I’m not seeing how to get more subsidized loans, so that $26,000 will need to be unsubsidized. :( :( :(

  111. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    i just listened to a radio spot about people getting their Tdap shots, which is very much a good thing.

    Problem is, the spot was wrapped up in some sexist BS. The hook was “Guys, do you know what women really like in a man? A man who gets their Tdap shot.”.

    Because promoting public health via sexist memes is totes the way to go.

  112. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    137
    Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001

    15 October 2013 at 6:22 pm (UTC -5)

    JAL:
    Firstly, check your email. ;)

    YAY! OMG My rent is paid! Sweeeet. I love you all. I’ve also talked with Shitty Landlord and she’s willing to work with us since the disability money should be coming shorty. People are moving out of here so fast (can’t blame them, can’t wait to join them) so now it’s all about getting whatever money she can.

    Secondly, thanks for the info about the adjustment form. I couldn’t find one on my school’s website, but I did find some jargon about how if my award amount doesn’t make sense, I can talk to [person] and [email]. So I’ll pursue that.

    Good. I hate Fin Aid Offices that don’t have shit online. My school was great about that. At the end, when I was leaving they were even doing online chat support. I’ve dealt with other Fin Aid Offices, which just made me love and miss my old job so. fucking. much.

    The program is only 3 semesters (i.e. 1 year) long – so the FAFSA I’ll be filing in September will be for just the fall semester.

    Ahhhh. Ours was a two year program. That being cut in half, straddling both years sucks. Makes it all complicated.

    My aid award consisted of $2,750 in subsidized loans each for the spring and summer semesters. Which isn’t nothing, but then tuition is $15,000 a semester. I also need to keep myself fed and housed, and my car gassed. I have some savings, but not enough. Hence the realization that I’m going to need $13,000 a semester for both the spring and summer. I’m not seeing how to get more subsidized loans, so that $26,000 will need to be unsubsidized. :( :( :(

    Hopefully, if they adjust you’re income, since it’s 0, your EFC would hopefully be under 4000 so you could get Pell. If the EFC goes lower, you may get more Sub loans, but I’m not sure what the limit is at your school. Even if it goes up, I doubt it’s going to cover the full amount. It sounds like you’re going to need Unsub loans anyways. That sucks so much.

    I’m sorry. :(

  113. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Thanks for the help anyway – I did realize that if I can talk my parents into co-signing (should work…) I can get a Parent PLUS loan, which is subsidized. Hopefully that will work and I won’t have to go the Sallie Mae route.

  114. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Aw, fuck. No I can’t. I’m not dependent, nor am I in graduate school. So no PLUS loans for me. *throws up hands*

  115. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang, attend an interminable meeting with the owner and a couple of members of the board of directors this afternoon (along with the rest of the research staff), then leave early, rushed home, got the Redhead out the door and drove down to the Lake Forest train station for her trip to the Lyric Opera to see Madam Butterfly. Then worried about my dinner on the way back home. So from 1:30 pm until 6:30 pm I was either bored out of my gourd, or rushing around as fast I getting her out the door and onto the train. I got lucky, and was able to get off the train before it hijacked me to parts south.

  116. Nutmeg says

    *confetti&sparklers&cake* for Beatrice! I’m so happy for you!

    ***

    Off and on for the past ~18 months, I’ve been thinking about trying my university’s counselling centre for some help with ongoing anxiety issues. Things aren’t any worse now than they’ve been, and I’m not at all in crisis. But I don’t think I can fix this very well on my own, and I’m concerned about how it’s affecting me now and how it will probably affect me in the future. Now that I’m done my master’s and things haven’t magically gotten better, I think I need to just get up the guts to do this.

    I’ve looked up the logistics of accessing the services, and it seems pretty do-able. But I don’t really know what to expect. I’m thinking that I’d probably be talking to a current grad student in psychology? Any stories of people’s experiences with university counselling, or advice on how to prepare, would be welcome.

  117. carlie says

    Nutmeg: I did a couple of sessions at a univ. counseling center when I was a grad student. Yes, it was another grad student, and yes, that was a little weird. But at the time it turned out what I really needed was just for someone to say “Yes, you are trying to do too much, and that is what is giving you anxiety, and you will survive and be ok if you turn down one or two of those things you are trying to do”. For that, they were entirely capable.

  118. Nutmeg says

    Thanks, carlie. I am a little worried about the weirdness of saying, “Hey, grad school broke my brain and I’m terrified to do more of it and that’s going to screw up my career prospects” to someone who’s currently a grad student. And it will probably be weird that they will be around my age or even a little younger. But I do need to talk to someone and it’s too much to just unload on a friend.

    I’m going to try to do some journaling and list-making beforehand, to have my thoughts properly organized. Hopefully that will help.

  119. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang, I think my short term is getting bad due to fatigue. Forgot to tell one of my co-workers he left his car lights on. Now forgetting Beatrice’s great news.

    Celebratory grog/swill and sammich of choice for your good news.

  120. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Durp, this is worse than I thought.

    Dang, I think my short term memory is getting bad due to fatigue.

    I’d go to bed, but I must wait until the Redhead is home and in bed first before I can get any restful sleep.

  121. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Within minutes of posting this on Facebook:

    To the victims of sexual assault, be they women or men (and yes, men can be and have been victims of sexual assault): You have my support. I believe you. It was not your fault. Of the people I know, I am aware of only 2 who have been the victims of sexual assault. Given the statistics, it is highly likely that there are more friends and/or family that have suffered. I wish I could be of assistance, but I know of no way other than to offer my ear. I will listen. I will believe you. I will not blame you.

    I had a response from a guy whom I know fairly well who is a victim of sexual assault.


    I just realized I worded part of that wrong.
    It does not matter whether I know someone in meatspace or victims online. I have come to know many people online and off- who have been the victims of sexual assault, and there are likely more that I am unaware of. I hoped this FB post would express my support for victims of sexual assault and let them know I will listen if they want to talk.
    My apologies.

  122. Crudely Wrott says

    I’ve been busy the last few days making moar sawdust and gluing and clamping on some inside projects; consulting with and helping (as much as my back allows me to) the contractor that we hired to put the second story apartment addition on top of the barn. Lots getting done which leaves precious little time for keeping up with the Horde.

    A fast perusal of the last thread and the beginnings of this one present me with the heartwarming scenario of sweet people being sweet to one another. It is a balm to me. I am transfixed over and over. One of my honest hopes is that this place, this Lounge never, ever, closes its doors. (The temporal and spatial repercussions alone would shake the entire local group of galaxies if that were to happen! Boy, howdy.)

    The welcomes that are always extended here give me valuable, if temporary, relief from the demands of my own life and from the needs of dealing with a healing yet still precariously teetering family. Honestly, it’s a circus of intransigence around here sometimes. Dear ones who know what to do and what not to do yet still discover novel ways to get the two cross ways. Still and all, the domestic situation shows overall improvement which is deeply relieving even though I sometimes feel as though I am perched atop a pyramid of loosely connected corn stalks and bean poles. “Take heart,” I tell myself daily. Small victories accumulate. Even while shit happens.

    Enough of that. I want to drop some more Moody Blues on y’all. For those who hurt or feel lost, for those who valiantly hold the fort against vexations, for those of you searching for yourselves and your place in the kaleidoscope, for those of you who have hope and opportunity tantalizingly close and for all of you anyhow. Here are some songs that are all about trying to grow and learning to live. Each one, in its own turn, became part of my life and influenced my life’s arc. May you enjoy them as much as I still do all these years later.

    Never Comes The Day
    I Never Thought I’d Live To Be A Hundred
    Watching And Waiting
    You Can Never Go Home
    It’s Up To You

    A coupla more in another post. Don’t want to overtask the overlords. ;^>

  123. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Crudely Wrott #150
    That was lovely :)
    Swapping between smiles and tears today – you have managed to combine the two.

  124. Crudely Wrott says

    OK, a coupla more starting with a musical interpretation of the history of music up until circa 1971. A must have for any serious musicological student. (Abrupt ending due to interrupted segue into The Story In Your Eyes.)

    Procession
    Are You Sitting Comfortably?
    Your Wildest Dreams

    If all that leaves you unmoved and if you are not deeply touched and moved then you should probably listen to The Bonzo Dog (Doo Dah) Band doing their best to cover all musical bases simultaneously:
    The Intro And The Outro

    The above all offered in the spirit of love, respect and admiration. To be part of the Horde, to be a small part of what I feel is a generous part of humanity that is more than worthy of emulation is beyond delight to me. It borders on the numinous. Must have something to do with intelligent mollusks or something like that.

    Oh, that reminds me. My tiny terrarium, mostly composed of decaying detritus and the organisms that thrive therein, now is home to a snail with a shell the size of a half dollar. Fully ten percent of the long dimension of the enclosure. What a radula it has! I’ll have to get real glass soon if I hope to keep it happily confined. The rascal threatens to eat its way through the polywhatchacall.

    Good listening, good fortune and good night to you all, dear ones. May tomorrow be a big day for each and every one.

    That’s it for me for now.

  125. Crudely Wrott says

    Hey, gobi, life is so sweet and so damned compelling sometimes, innit?

    Thanks for your thanks. ;^>

    *hope you like the tunes, too*

  126. OptimalCynic says

    Does anybody have any good quality information on acupuncture in cats? My gut feeling is that it’s a waste of time at best and verging on animal cruelty at worst, but I can’t find much to back that up.

  127. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    OptimalCynic
    Cat Acupuncturist sounds like the most dangerous job on earth…
     
    My gut feeling agrees with your gut feeling though.

  128. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Probably less effective for cats as I doubt they understand the placebo effect.

  129. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    ::blinks::
    ::blinks again::

    I had no idea acupuncture was used on animals.
    Oh wikipediaaaaaaaaa…

    Veterinary physicians in the United States have practiced acupuncture as early as the 1970s. The demand for veterinary acupuncture has steadily increased since the 1990s

    [...]
    A review on canine arthritis, published in Veterinary Record, found “weak or no evidence in support of” various treatments, including acupuncture. [4]

    A study published by the American Veterinary Medical Association on the use of electroacupuncture in dogs after back surgery found ambiguous evidence supporting its usefulness in reducing pain. The post-operation dogs were assigned a pain score eight times within a 72-hour time-frame. Though significantly lower pain scores were found in the treatment group after 36 hours, they did not differ from the control group at any other time. [5]

    The American Veterinary Medical Association also published a systematic review of veterinary acupuncture. The review found “no compelling evidence to recommend or reject acupuncture for any condition in domestic animals,” citing trials with, on average, low methodological quality or that are in need of independent replication.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veterinary_acupuncture

    Not just for cats I see.

  130. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    We recently had a family member’s vet prescribe acupuncture and Chinese herbs (or whatever) for a very ill dog. I personally saw it as a scam to extract even more money from a desperate, loving pet owner.
    The owner was convinced there was a result until we pointed out that ‘real’ medicine was also prescribed at the same time. After she thought it through properly – not so convinced. We are talking about a highly educated, highly intelligent person here. Confirmation bias is extremely powerful, especially when strong emotions are present.

  131. Nutmeg says

    I have a family member who’s a vet. He gets clients who want to try acupuncture for their pets. He generally tells them that it might not help, but at least it won’t do any lasting harm. Some more invasive options might do lasting damage without any benefit.

    But, yes, I’m not aware of any evidence that acupuncture is actually effective, and it’s probably a waste of money. I haven’t experienced it myself, so I can’t say if it would be uncomfortable for a pet or not. I’m sure it would be stressful, and it’s not something I would choose for a pet of mine.

    And in veterinary medicine, the placebo effect works on the owner. ;)

  132. Nutmeg says

    I should add that my family member doesn’t perform the acupuncture himself, and it’s not even offered at the same clinic. He’s an evidence-based medicine kind of guy, but sometimes it’s not worth arguing with the clients who want Fluffy to try harmless money-wasting alternative medicine. (He practices in a rich area of town, so his clients can afford to throw their money away if they want to.) He saves the arguments for the potentially harmful stuff.

  133. Crudely Wrott says

    Somehow I’m still awake and just had to refresh the page. That said, I think that the best way to see if acupuncture is an effective treatment for the ills of felids is to do the necessary preliminary experiment. Stick a needle in your cat; anywhere on the cat. Observe the results. Then stick a needle in yourself; anywhere. Observe the results. You are advised to take it from there on your own.

    *This message brought to you by your friendly How To Save Money Service service. A subsidiary of your Department of Redundancy Department. No monetary consideration considered and no embarrassing personal information is collected. Aren’t you glad (and relieved)?*

  134. cicely says

    I’m another of the 10%.

    *fireworks and champagne* for Beatrice.
    I have every confidence in you.
    :)
     

    Would it be terribly overbearing/annoying to send him an email asking if he has any “homework”, something I should study before starting so that I could start being productive sooner?

    I can’t see why.
    To me it suggests interest and a desire to do the job well, instead of the ol’, “It’s good enough for who it’s for”.

    rq:

    I keep forgetting to mention: we are 99% sure that Choir Creep has left the choir.

    Woo hoo!!!

    Now I just have to deal with the recent hire at my work with a similar Entitled Asshole Attitude (but no evidence of harassment yet).

    …for they are Legion.
    *hugs* and commiserations.

    *hugs* and sympathy for dontpanic.

    Nerd, may I offer you a *hugs*?

    A *pouncehug* for Crudely.
    -

  135. Crudely Wrott says

    In order to reflect upon the influence wrought upon the world by people you never heard about, this:
    The King of Gummy Bears is Dead.

    We hardly knew him yet he worked his way upon us for nearly seventy years.

    Gummy Bears. Sticky wrapped in cellophane. A kind of social glue. They glowered until 2007; the smile is a breaking of character, seemingly irresistible, perhaps smug admission.

    “I work because it makes me happy, and I have no reason to deny myself that happiness,” Riegel said in a interview in 2010.

    Work. Everywhere done. Often unnoticed. Frequently poorly compensated but not always. I shoulda gotten into confections. Screw plastics. Why do I worry the wood when sugar cutely disguised as a friendly playmate is the true key to stealth wealth?

    And so it goes, Billy Pilgrim. And so it goes . . .

  136. Crudely Wrott says

    Rebounded *pouncehug* for cicely!

    *lively little boogers, aren’t they? boing . . . boing . . . boing . . . smooosh gotcha!*

  137. thunk, decus et tutamen says

    ugh. I’m miserable. and the worst part is that it feels like there is absolutely No Escape for the things that ail me.

    I’d have loved to go to skepticon. but no. parents are fearful asshats who cannot be convinced through logic.

    I’d love to actually transition. also no, because I don’t know where to begin and have horrible anxiety about it. (worse because I KNOW the grass will be greener on the other side)

    I’d love to not eat like shit. but no, because picky eaterness, and school cafeterias not having many options.

    I’d love to do something instead of bawling my eyes out while I struggle to not get Bs or worse. but no because depression.

    just plain misery. I know logically that It Gets Better, but it sure doesn’t feel that way.

  138. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    I’m sorry, thunk. ♥ Depression is a monster, particularly when it’s piled on top of Actually Shitty Shit.

    All the supportive thoughts I can spare are being sent your way tonight.

  139. Crudely Wrott says

    Well into his cups he tarries
    Despite deep weariness.
    A day well spent behind him
    He sought surcease in sleep.
    Hearing friendly voices, he stirred,
    Now see him roused, straining to speak.
    Then, hearing erudition, pauses
    To contemplate those who
    Describe their woes and wonder
    Much better than he can do.
    Others prove that they have, too
    Have more life than he knew.
    So silence, intermittent,
    Imposes and instructs.
    Moments of reflection
    And comparisons of fate
    Reveals the bare conclusion
    That it’s really getting late.

    Upon unsober reflection
    Come reflections on lessons long learned
    Needfully revisited;
    Only through inattention and
    Unguided circumstance
    He’s not being similarly burned.

    _________
    Pretty rough around the edges, eh?
    _________
    Short musing on the edge of dreamtime. Tomorrow will be busy again. Full, made up of needful things. Chores, projects projected further into the future, love yet unexpressed, points needing proving, embraces waiting. Details that define life. I hope I am equal to the task. Failing that I hope I am forgiven. I am just a man. I can fail. Mostly I don’t but sometimes I do. Won’t you forgive me? I’ll forgive you. Then we will turn to face the future. Together.

    Now is Goodnight. I really must sleep.

    Love,
    Crudely

  140. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Caine:

    Chester is still alive. :phew:

    Very glad to hear it. ♥

    Ogvorbis, I’m one of the bleeding hearts too.

    Beatrice, congratulations! *celebratory chocolate*

    gobi’s sockpuppet’s meatpuppet:

    This is just intimidation now! It is staring at me while I have my morning cup of tea and write this.

    Maybe it will seem less intimidating if you give the spider a name. :D

    cicely and Crudely Wrott- *pouncehug*

    Nerd – Take care.

    thunk – I’m afraid all I can offer is virtual support and *hugs and chocolate*

  141. OptimalCynic says

    Thanks for the information, all. The context behind the acupuncture question:

    http://www.theittybittykittycommittee.com/2013/10/a-trip-to-vet.html

    The woman who runs that site is a very caring foster kitty mum and she’s a very sweet, very kind person. Is there any chance we can educate her a bit on this issue? Gently, that is – her heart is in the right place but she’s been misinformed, and in this case it’s affecting the cat.

    Background posts on little Wylla:

    http://www.theittybittykittycommittee.com/2013/03/whats-up-with-wylla.html

    http://www.theittybittykittycommittee.com/2013/04/wyllas-chi-is-flowing.html

  142. OptimalCynic says

    Stick a needle in your cat; anywhere on the cat. Observe the results. Then stick a needle in yourself; anywhere. Observe the results.

    Something tells me that the second step is a bit redundant. I know if I tried that on Cézanne I’d end up more punctured than an acupuncturists training dummy. I’ve got a scar from the last time we tried to get a worming pill in her with only two people holding her down (the second attempt, with three people, was more successful).

  143. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Thanks, y’all! It’s 7 in the morning and I’m drunk on all the champagne and grog :)

    dontpanic, I’m sorry about your job and financial problems

  144. says

    Something tells me that the second step is a bit redundant. I know if I tried that on Cézanne I’d end up more punctured than an acupuncturists training dummy. I’ve got a scar from the last time we tried to get a worming pill in her with only two people holding her down (the second attempt, with three people, was more successful).

    When I took my furbaby (a fluffy grey kitteh named Nezumi) for his first appointment, I was rather self-conscious about all the scratches on my hand that I’d gotten from him. So as I’m holding him while the vet is checking him out, he asks me what I did to my hand. I try to pass it off as “kittens being kittens”. He agrees with me, and clarifies that he was talking about the stitched up hole between my thumb and forefinger that was the result of me inadvertently trying to bury a heavy duty flat head screwdriver into my hand two days prior.

    My job had gotten me used to collecting scratches by the time I got Nezumi that I don’t really mind getting them from him. Sometimes it’s fun watching them heal and trying to guess which ones will scar and which ones won’t. If there’s a pattern, I’m not seeing it.

  145. chigau (違う) says

    NightShadeQueen #180
    heh
    When you regain consciousness … make the link again, please.

  146. says

    Good morning

    Crudely
    I love your writing, seriously

    Then stick a needle in yourself

    I advise taking up needlework, embroidery, sewing (knitting needles might be a bit big). You regularly get some accupunture and as a big bonus you get lovely crafted items.
    Which reminds me that I neeeed to make use of the unexpected free time I got today* and do some projects.

    *The instructor for the afternoon class is sick. She sent us an email. It’s a miracle.
    The actual miracle is that my email account didn’t bury it deep down in the spam-folder
    -She used her private mail addy which none of us had
    -She didn’t use the college mail server
    -She sent it CC to all of us
    -Her subject line was “tomorrow”
    *head->desk*

  147. says

    Girlfriend has fleas!!!

    Well, her poor kitty does at least. For the past few weeks she’s been complaining about bug bites, and I was confused cause I wasn’t getting any. I thought it was maybe my detergent having an effect on her, but today she told me that her kitty has fleas.

    It makes sense though, cause I was at the house at which she’s staying. It’s cluttered and kind of disgusting. I want to let her stay at my place, but unfortunately there’s the whole problem of my job needing to do a background check on her.

    *sigh* This bites.

  148. bassmike says

    113
    Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop!

    bassmike @70:
    I am late to respond, but it really brings tears to my eyes when someone who is NOT part of a marginalized group speaks up on their behalf. Moreover, that you did so because a homophobic slur was used (rather than ‘a gay friend was around, so I had to say something’) is also really, really cool.
    Thank you for speaking up. It absolutely is necessary to help create a culture where people understand the harm done by using slurs. It is not enough for people to simply not use them, they have to understand and agree with why they should not be used.

    *blushes*
    Thanks to you and all the others who responded. It’s good to know that I’m on the right track.

    Sorry for taking a while to respond but it’s a combination of different timezones, work and a rather sick daughter.
    You all encourgae me to join in here which I will do when RL permits. Dare I presumptionly send hugs despite the fact that I’m new here?

  149. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Bassmike:
    Hugs are always welcomed, no matter how long someone has been commenting.
    Welcome to the Lounge, btw.

  150. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    Good morning.

    Starting week three of layoff because the GOP house members are scared shitless of right wing lobbyists.

    Discovered that Pennsylvania caps the maximum unemployment compensation at a level half of my normal pay. It’ll work, just no extras at all. Already laid in some dried beans.

    Hugs to all who need them. Or want them. Mildly threadrupt.

  151. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    Keniv:

    Yeah. Same here. Got a little more than half a paycheck and was able to pay all my extant bills. Now I get my unemployment (probably before the end of this week) and I get to figure out how to pay my mortgage with a fucking pre-loaded credit card (because it takes four to six weeks to set up direct deposit?!).

  152. says

    ….I’m not sure how many of you guys will find this funny, but free vibes for furloughed federal employees?

    Are you a federal employee that has been deemed non-essential? Do you have a little too much time on your hands and nothing to do? Is the recent government shutdown to blame?

    Here at Vibrators.com we are committed to allowing our customers to find satisfaction. As vibrator enthusiasts, we want everyone to experience the pleasure that a nice vibrator can bring to partners and individuals. Besides, we know you have some free time, why not try something new?

    But more seriously, I’m sorry, and *hugs* offered all around.

    chigau

    Oh, oops. Let me try that again

  153. ledasmom says

    I know if I tried that on Cézanne I’d end up more punctured than an acupuncturists training dummy.

    Kittypuncture. Much more natural than using those nasty products from Big Needle, and the redness and swelling just mean it’s working. And, of course, there is the advantage of having all the points stimulated more or less at once.
    Our big cat’s too placid to be much use here, but I envision smaller cat and I making a bundle out of this.

  154. says

    Pteryxx at 172

    Cat Acupuncturist sounds like the most dangerous job on earth…

    …How so, it sort of makes sense?

    *pause*

    Oh… y’all meant ON the cats. Not BY them. <_<

    You can apparently hypnotise them first by putting a clip on their neck. Don’t try it with a pocket watch waved in front of them, they’ll play for hours.

  155. carlie says

    Hi, Cosmic Teapot! Glad to see you around.

    So sorry, Ogvorb and Kevin. Maybe now is a good time to share cheap but good eats recipes here in the Lounge.

  156. carlie says

    Furnace update: service guy came. Turns out the switch in the pump is broken. Odds of getting a new switch are slim, because it’s only a dollar or so part and why sell them separately when you can sell someone a whole new pump? But the pump can be turned off without any badness to the furnace, so we can just empty it by hand until we can afford to get a new pump.

  157. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    carlie @187:

    So sorry, Ogvorb and Kevin. Maybe now is a good time to share cheap but good eats recipes here in the Lounge.

    Why not?

  158. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    carlie @188:

    But the pump can be turned off without any badness to the furnace, so we can just empty it by hand until we can afford to get a new pump.

    You could ask the furnace servicer to ‘hot wire’ the pump so it is always in the on position and then run the power wire that feeds the pump through a regular light switch or other toggle switch so you could turn the pump on manually when it is needed.

  159. Crudely Wrott says

    A pretty moth does visit me
    When the sun is out of sight
    I wait for her arrival
    Though she comes not every night

    She has a little top knot
    Just behind her small round head
    Two spots of gold upon each wing
    And eyes that tend to red

    She flits about when first arrives
    Touching lamp and wall and desk and hand
    When she touches me I feel as though
    I’m in a strange new land

    She settles gladly finally
    Quivering slowly drawing in each wing
    Until she’s satisfied and looks
    Like a jeweler’s favorite thing

    Sometimes if I am careful
    Speaking mothish for all I’m worth
    She climbs onto my finger and
    She claims it as her perch

    A tiny life that trusts me
    Or likely cannot see
    How close to death she might have been
    Should she land on you not me

    Considering this I fail to see
    Why some folks squeal and thrash about
    If a moth should rest so lightly upon them
    Must be they never conquered doubt

    Or fear of tiny things
    That only ask a moment’s rest
    To get their bearings then pursue
    Their little tiny quest

    Were I a moth and should I land
    Upon a massive unknown paw
    And were not shooed or crushed to death
    I’d likely call the deal a draw

    So when I hear some folks declare
    That they’re secure in some greater hand
    I cannot help but to recall
    The little moth that deigns to land

    On my hand on my hand
    Oh my how grand she lands upon my hand
    Through eyes thus newly opened
    I gaze with wonder on my hand

    I consider how my hand compares
    To some larger grander one
    That’s said to judge and sow despair
    Till all our loving is undone

    Contrasted with immensities
    Of nebulae and galaxies and human hearts and resting moths and such
    A miserly miserable monstrous hand
    Doesn’t seem like fucking much

    Lesser than this hand of mine
    On which the gilded moth takes rest
    She knows nothing of my smiling gaze
    Knows nothing of my warming breast

    Fantastic mockery is made
    Great laughter such a foolish thing
    A crushing hand so common so helpless
    Humbled banished by a wispy gilded wing

    If my hand small inconsequent
    Can host a tiny fleeting flying life
    Without revulsion or dread fear
    What use I ask of one that levies strife

    My hand is but a small thing
    In this place where all things go
    But I’ll be damned if I will harm
    The moth that likes it so
    __________
    (From a one sided conversation with a nocturnal guest.)

  160. carlie says

    Og – that’s the hilarious part – it does have an on/off switch, but it seems to now be living in opposite world. The float was stuck, and also it wasn’t tripping on when it was supposed to, and now it is on when it should be off and off when it should be on. So we can turn it on if we catch it before it’s full, and then turn it off once it empties. It seems easier to put a dishpan under. :D

  161. says

    Hi Carlie, still hanging around, but lurking more since Pharyngula started making more posts on feminism and rape culture.

    I don’t object to this change of focus, I just don’t have anything to contribute. But I have learned a lot.

  162. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Today:
    (1) I hit another car in the parking lot.
    (2) Due to the conversations I had to have with the other driver and security and such, I was late for work.
    (3) My fucking cells are contaminated.

    ARGH.

  163. katybe says

    @ Carlie (#187) and Ogvorbis (#200)

    Well, I’ve been wanting to post more in here, so here’s a recipe for good soup that I recently found! http://www.hairybikers.com/recipes/a-big-soup/1694 – it tastes really good, and easily gets 6 bowls, and the only expensive ingredient in it is the chorizo, Given one ring gives you enough to cook it 2 or 3 times, and assuming you already have things like garlic and stock cubes in the cupboard, it works out at around £1 a portion, including a bread roll. If you’re veggie, I’d say add extra paprika and a bit of chilli to replace the heat in the chorizo, and maybe some pieces of quorn or similar for a bit of protein in there.. I’ve made it twice in the last month and it’s brilliant to microwave quickly for lunch up to 4 days afterwards – I haven’t had it last longer than that so far.

  164. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Esteleth,

    Sympathy for having a bad day, and all the longer-term problems resulting. Will there be issues with (1)?

    ——
    There are rumors about the director of the place I got a job at. Bad rumors. Rumors thanks to which one guy made jokes about not forgetting a chastity belt when I go there, and “You better watch your back” (har har).
    I don’t like that guy.
    But, I’ve heard about that director from other people too, although, I think it all stems from one person.

    Hopefully, those rumors are greatly exaggerated. We’ll see.

  165. carlie says

    I’m sorry, Esteleth. That sucks.

    Costas is good for calling it out, but he made the boneheaded move of contrasting it to the Braves, Chiefs, and Warriors, which he says are names that honor the groups and are equivalent to the Vikings and Patriots. Psst, no, because genocide.

  166. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Now that I’ve refreshed the main page, I see that my previous comment has just the right timing considering that Feminism in Tech post.

  167. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Beatrice, it is unlikely that there will be serious issues. The damage to the cars (both of them) is some paint scuffing. Nothing too bad. Could be solved with a skilled hand with a buffer. The other driver said that he’ll go by a shop this weekend and get an estimate. If it isn’t too much, I’ll just write him a check and save myself the hassle (and increased premium) of dealing with the insurance.

    It’s just that – of course – the car I hit is white and mine is red. So there are enormous, scary-looking streaks of bright color.

  168. rq says

    Crudely Wrott needs to publish a book. Of poetry. I’d buy. :)

    *hugs* all around, *[gestures]* for those who prefer, *drinks* on me but mixed by Tony by those who want…

    +++

    Got to lecture my all-white co-workers about racism today. *sigh* And they say it’s not a subject applicable to themselves and our country, and yet they want to use stupid, stupid stereotypes to play a potential joke on a hypothetical non-white visitor to our lab. *RAGE* It’s enough being a small European backwater without walking around like we’re proud of that, especially in this day and age of internet and knowledge. I can’t even…

    Longer story: Today’s Racist Assholery was brought to me by Long-Time (and formerly Only Male) Co-Worker, who thought it would be funny if, next time a black person visits us to present a seminar or something, we gifted them a basket full of stereotypical things blacks ‘like’, like watermelon and fried chicken and stuff like that… So it became a huge discussion about how racism there isn’t the same as racism here, and that Theoretical Guest wouldn’t know that we know better, so it would be funny to them. I explained that it wouldn’t be funny anywhere, because racism doesn’t just disappear, and they wouldn’t just drop all cultural baggage at the border, and this thing that we would see as funny would be hurtful to them, plus it would make us look like ignorant fucks – and ignorance just isn’t an excuse anymore. I may understand doing something like that out of total ignorant accident, but he was trying to present outright malice as a hilarious joke, writing off a negative reaction to Hypothetical Guest’s poor sense of humour.
    If he ever tries that, I would probalby (a) break down crying while apologizing and (b) applaud loudly as Long-Time Co-Worker gets the ‘gift’ basket thrown back in his face. And I sure as hell hope he wouldn’t try it at work, through a work event, or in any way remotely related to my employment, because that is just too embarrassingly stupid. *sigh*
    And here I thought Latvians were becoming educated in the ways of the world. Instead, they want to take pride in being known as a global backwater. *RAGE*

    So yeah. Got a bit wound up with the discussion, but other co-workers listening in actually had good questions and a couple of Aha! moments. That was nice. And major, major thanks to FtB and the Lounge for giving me the education and the guts to actually speak up and say something. *bows before you all*

  169. opposablethumbs says

    rq, it is my official opinion that you are seriously Good People.

    And wow but is Long-Time-Co-Worker ever an arsehole. That takes sheer arseholery to new heights, that does. Amazing.

  170. pHred says

    Ack !! Just had inter-tubes eat the comment I had written bah humbug.

    @85 cicely Thanks :) I does resemble beating ones head on a desk

    @126 dontpanic Thanks for the laugh – please extend my sympathies – actually one student did leave off their name, sigh. But I assigned the topics so I could figure it out by process of elimination. The student who turned in just the first page of their paper (cutting off in mid sentence) that is rather more worrisome. How do you turn in just one page of a term paper and not notice it ?

  171. blf says

    This is just intimidation now! [Spider] is staring at me while I have my morning cup of tea and write this.

    Stop looking like the biggest, juiciest, fly the spider has ever seen.

  172. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    bassmike – Welcome to the Lounge. (I know this is late, but I’ve been threadrupt.) Also, *hugs*

    Ogvorbis and Kevin – I’m so sorry about your job situations. *hugs*

    carlie – I’m sorry to hear that your furnance woes are ongoing. The plumber is currently at my house replacing the water pressure regulator, in addition to the issues he was here to address.

    Crudely Wrott @202 – Simply beautiful. ♥

    Esteleth – *hugs and chocolate* I hope the rest of your day is much better.

    Beatrice – *hugs*

    rq – I agree with opposablethumbs. You are definitely “seriously Good People.”

  173. says

    rq
    I’m thinking about a different scenario: Hypothetical guest is from a place that doesn’t know the US stereotypes and asks why they are getting such a strange gift basket.
    Not co-worker has to explain out aloud that he was trying the be a fuckheaded racist…

    beatrice
    Hope that rumors remain rumors

  174. blf says

    Just had inter-tubes eat the comment I had written bah humbug.

    That explains the BURP! that just came out of the USB…

  175. rq says

    Dated PSAs.

    Thanks, all (opposablethumbs and Hekuni Cat!), for the support. I know I did right, but the best part is knowing that I wouldn’t have done it a year, two ago – and I could do it now. With confidence and passion. Wow, that makes me feel good. And it’s all because of you folks here, seriously. More than anything, thank you for that.

  176. rq says

    Giliell
    That, too, crossed my mind, but Co-Worker was specifically planning for a black visitor from America. Sad, sad, sad…

  177. cicely says

    *hugs* for thunk. It’s a pity you can’t come to Skepticon. I’d’ve liked to Meatspace-meet you.

    Hekuni Cat: *returnpouncehug*

    This is just intimidation now! It is staring at me while I have my morning cup of tea and write this.

    Maybe it will seem less intimidating if you give the spider a name.

    Ooh, I like this idea.
    You could call it Leggy Webster, or Legs for short.
    :D

    chickpea brownies
    hmmmm
    intriguing
    tell us more

    Indeed, NightShadeQueen! They sound beguilingly glutenless; but how do they stack up the the flavor department? Inquiring tastebuds want to know!
     
    *reading recipe*
    Ummm. Cayenne. Painful Hot Object. Do Not Want!

    bassmike, I’m sorry your daughter is ill; and I hope she is soon un-ill.
    I will happily accept a *hug*, on spec; aye, and return one, too.
    :D

    For Crudely, a mangled, more-or-less blank verse rebuttal (if not as elegant as yours):
     
    A moth
    (Perhaps a squadron; how am I to know?)
    Did infiltrate my Mac&Cheese
    A-slumber in their boxes on my shelf
    And laid (or is it “lay”? I can’t recall…)
    Great numbers of their spawn
    (Or “its”—uncertainty as referenced before)
    Within the boxes aforesaid.
     
    Which hatched.
    And from my tainted Mac&Cheese did spin
    A metric butt-load of their silk
    ((A-top the pasta treat they’d left untouched)
    To shroud their larval forms, and So. Much. More.)
    The which I did not note
    (When emptying the boxes into pot
    And adding water “To Prepare”.)
     
     
    Long story short,
    A moth that flutters in my house
    Will find its life runs short, as well.

    Good on Bob Costas!

    *hugs* for Esteleth. Plus *chocolate*.

    rq: What opposablethumbs said.
    -

  178. carlie says

    The student who turned in just the first page of their paper (cutting off in mid sentence) that is rather more worrisome. How do you turn in just one page of a term paper and not notice it ?

    1. Was it electronic? Wrong file

    or

    2. Turn in something that plausibly looks like the wrong file, so you have all the extra time between the due date and when the professor contacts you about turning in the wrong file to get it done, then saying “oh my gosh! I’m so sorry I clicked on the wrong file! Here it is!”

  179. blf says

    I’ve got a scar from the last time we tried to get a worming pill in [cat] with only two people holding her down (the second attempt, with three people, was more successful).

    The mildly deranged penguin offers the Cat, Eat Pill™ service. There are several basic options:

      Basic: Place pill on target. Shoot cat at target with trebuchet. Cat lands at speed, ingesting target and pill. This is the simplest and cheapest option, but requires the cat to land head first, mouth open. Various sorts of targets are available, ranging from catnip, celery, or a mouse nailed to the ground to a minefield.

      Intermediate: Place cat on target. Shoot pill at target with trebuchet. Pill lands on cat at speed and is swallowed. This is the next option up the scale and works a bit better than the preceding. However, it does require the cat to hold still and open its mouth, which is basically an unsolved problem.

      Advanced: Pill on one trebuchet, cat on another. Fire simultaneously, each aiming at the other. Yowling cat in midair swallows flying pill. Highly reliable.

    Call, Eat Pill™, your experts in one ingesting the other, whether it likes it or not. Sometimes scratch free. May involve nuts.

  180. thunk, decus et tutamen says

    don’t worry all.

    Come next May, i’ll be able to come to most reasonably close things, once I don’t have to contend with Moral Panics.

  181. Jackie teh kitteh cuddler says

    Pilling a cat is definitely a two person job.
    Speaking of cats, whenn I sit down to read and comment today, my ancient cat keeps trying to climb in my lap and if I won’t scoop him into my lap and cuddle him, I get head-butted in the boob.
    Repeatedly.
    Kinda hard.

    Bless his heart, he is my favorite, but if he could talk I think he’d just say, “LOVE ME!!!!” to everyone, during his every waking moment.

    …and he’s back.

  182. Parrowing says

    Hiya rq and opposablethumbs! Glad to see I’m not the only one who sometimes goes into “limited communication” mode.

    *

    rq:

    Yay! Ding dong ChoirCreep will sing no more songs!… with your choir. That’s a relief, but it’s too bad about that new co-worker of yours. I take it that makes two assholes at work now, considering your conversation today? *Sigh* But great job explaining the racism to your colleagues and I’m glad to hear that some of them seemed receptive.

    *

    Pouncehugs back for Crip Dyke!

    *

    My shoulder hurts :-(

  183. rq says

    Parrowing
    *pain pills for shoulder*
    … And I may have to reconsider about New-Hire-Asshole, for reasons I’ll explain once I’m more certain about them, but no, it’s not like he was amazingwonderbunnyangel today at work.
    *hugs* and I’m out for the night!!

  184. pHred says

    :-} USBurp … excuse me! I will try again…

    Virtual hugs, chocolate, and general distribution of warm fuzzies to those in need of them.

    Also blunt application of fennec fox cuteness What’s Cuter than a Fennec Fox for good measure.

    Feel like a bit of a twerp complaining but Firefox hates me, Fieldscope hates me, USGS websites – well I suppose it isn’t personal but they are not particularly useful at the moment either. Trying desperately to develop an internet lab for my monster class and instead everything is crashing or moving like molasses. And I keep having attempted comments disappear into the ether. Perhaps it is a sign ? Like …
        _______
    /    STOP     \
    | GO HOME |
    \     NOW     /
       ————

  185. pHred says

    carlie

    That is a really good question …
    it is an electronic dropbox that is pretty foolproof but in a new classroom management system that we get to be one of the guinea pig classes for so it is possible, though unlikely, that something got borked when she was submitting it. It does not appear to deal well with intermittent drops in WiFi connections.

    But … students were supposed to turn in a paper copy along with electronic one (I can’t afford to print out all of them to comment and I can’t abide the on-line commenting system – urk.) That didn’t happen (I ran out of ink, library printing wasn’t working, etc. whatever). And of course xe wasn’t in class today to ask. Sigh.

  186. blf says

    my ancient cat keeps trying to climb in my lap and if I won’t scoop him into my lap and cuddle him, I get head-butted in the boob.
    Repeatedly.
    Kinda hard.

    You want Dr Follenpherbug’s 14-volume work Cat Head Butting. Appendices 73j²–284¾, as I recall.

  187. OptimalCynic says

    Well, Kerbal Space Program 0.22 is out. I’d better get some food in now because once it’s finished I ain’t leaving the house ever again.

  188. blf says

    my monster class

    Groovy! What sort of monsters? Reptilians? Kraken? The Elder Ones? Creationistas? Trolls (under-bridge or over-intertubes?)? Peas? Theethugs? …?

    Are there lab exercises? (Grow your own monster?)
    Live demonstrations? (Why horses are pure evil.)
    What textbook are you using? (Dr Frankenstein’s classic?)

    And most importantly, what is the Igor-to-student ratio?

  189. says

    OptimalCynic@235,

    “Waiter, check please!”

    “Interesting bouquet. What’s the vintage?”

    “What an incredible smell you’ve discovered.”

    “Not that again, we had that last week.”

    Those are very cute ratties.

  190. David Marjanović says

    Does anybody know more about this petition?

    That’s the only one for today. :-) I’ll dump a few articles:

    New Jersey senate campaign takes deeply bizarre turn. To paraphrase… My boss’s opponent isn’t misogynistic enough! He’s capable of talking with a woman! He must have teh ghey!!!1!

    Fear is the mind-killer. It makes you… Republican.
    Links to this paper; read the 2nd comment (PLoS ONE is a bit like a slow blog).

    If guns were treated like cars.

    How FOX News (Accidentally) Blew Up the GOP“.

  191. David Marjanović says

    Liberal media! Scroll down for the video. :-)

    “According to two Republicans familiar with the exchange, Ryan argued that the House would need those deadlines as ‘leverage’ for delaying the health-care law’s individual mandate and adding a ‘conscience clause’ — allowing employers and insurers to opt out of birth-control coverage if they find it objectionable on moral or religious grounds — and mentioned tax and entitlement goals Ryan had focused on in a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.” Quoted here.

    In German: Three people owning 46.7 % of BMW donated 690,000 € to Germany’s conservative party two weeks after the election, just before the government spoke out against stricter rules for CO2 emissions of cars in the EU. Transparency International, LobbyControl, the Social Democratic party, the Green party and the Left party (that’s its name) call for a cap on donations.

    Also in German, with autoplay video: Oarfish washed ashore in California. It’s 5 1/2 m long.

  192. says

    This is an awful thought: Senator Ted Cruz is not up for reelection until 2018.

    Here’s another: Ted Cruz raked in $1.9 million in donations from like-minded whackos thanks to his latest threat to cause the USA to default.

    He does nothing useful. He talks a lot. He rakes in moola. He cashes checks.

  193. says

    David M. @240, I liked the short article at your last link. Yes, Fox News is accidentally blowing up the Tea Party, or at the very least hitting the puck into the wrong net occasionally.

    That article was masterful in its use of understated sarcasm:

    But every now and then reality intruded, such as the re-election of the Barack Obama.

  194. David Marjanović says

    Because the donation is legal.

    The call for a cap is a call for a law that limits the height of donations to parties to 50,000 or 100,000 €/year. Additionally, the Greens want to abolish the right of corporations to donate (the article doesn’t say if the others have considered this), and the Social Democrats call on the conservatives not to accept the donation.

  195. Nick Gotts says

    Outrageous and deeply depressing story from France. A Roma girl was taken from her school trip bus to be deported with her family back to Kosovo, whence they fled five years ago. Perhaps the most depressing bit is that the supposedly socialist but vilely racist scumbag and Interior Minister Manuel Valls (last month he declared Roma people “incompatible with the French way of life”) is currently the most popular politician in France.

  196. says

    Uh-oh, trouble on the horizon. Because Republicans lost the battle to defund Obamacare, crash the economy, etc., they have decided they cannot proceed on immigration reform. Not rational, but what did you expect.

    As Congress works toward a final deal that reopens the government and narrowly averts the debt ceiling crisis, President Obama has made clear he intends to redouble efforts on immigration reform. Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-ID), once a key Republican in immigration talks, does not intend on making that easy. Declaring immigration reform is dead, Labrador [said] that the House cannot pass any bill, comprehensive or piecemeal, because that would let Obama win again after he came out on top over the debt ceiling….

    Think Progress link.

  197. thunk, decus et tutamen says

    Optimal Cynic:

    YOU HERETIC SCUM, ORBITER IS THE ONE TRUE SIMULATOR!

    (in all seriousness, have fun)

  198. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Spider has packed up its web and moved… somewhere else.
    Maybe its work here is done…
    Or maybe it is just playing mind games with me.

  199. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    Spider has packed up its web and moved… somewhere else.
    Maybe its work here is done…
    Or maybe it is just playing mind games with me.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Anywhere but Australia, spiders are shy, laid-back, and do not deliberately murder people.

  200. carlie says

    Amazeballs cheapo bean burritos:

    Ingredients
    dried pinto beans
    head of garlic
    bay leaves
    stock/bullion
    salt
    tortillas
    cheap salsa

    Note: this takes awhile, like 2 hours or so. Easiest to cook beans in an evening when it’s not for dinner, then construct and eat burritos the next day.

    It’s a common cheap food, but it’s the garlic that makes it magic. We use a head of garlic per bag of beans (12 ounce, I think? Maybe 16?), two if we’re feeling like really tasting it. The beans cook on the stove with a couple of bay leaves and chicken stock or, if you’re us, water with chicken bullion cubes. You could use veg. stock/cubes instead to keep it vegetarian. While it’s cooking on the stovetop (about 45 minutes), slice off the top of the garlic head(s) and roast them in the oven, wrapped in tinfoil, at 400 degrees F for a half hour or so. When the beans and garlic are both done, squeeze the garlic cloves into the beans and mush all together, and add salt. Use as burrito filling. It tastes good without cheese, even, but you could add cheese or rice or whatever is left over from other things. Wrap burritos, put in still-hot oven for 10 minutes or so to crisp the tortillas.
    Add cheap salsa, eat. If salsa is out of reach, it can be approximated by getting a can of petite diced tomatoes with green chiles added; that’s usually cheaper. It’s not too hot, so one can add a few drops of hot sauce, or, if no hot sauce is at home, buying the cheapest thing on the Taco Bell menu and grabbing a few handfuls of hot sauce packets.

  201. carlie says

    cicely – I have made chickpea brownies several times, and made them without the hot seasoning, and they are wonderful. There’s a slightly “odd” taste that you get if you look at them and expect box brownie taste, but if you approach them as “here is a new and interesting chocolate dessert”, it’s just fine. They’re really moist, too, and you wouldn’t have any idea chickpeas are in there.

    pHred – turned in the wrong copy AND didn’t show up to class with a paper version? That sounds like stalling for time to me.

  202. A. Noyd says

    I love having internet access everywhere I go. Without it, I wouldn’t have been able to pick up some packages of hawthorn candy today since the woman at the counter at the Chinese snack shop, despite having very good English, had no frigging clue what I meant when I asked for “hawthorn” candy. She knew just what I meant by “shānzhā” though, which I’d looked up just before on the suspicion she might not get many non-Chinese speakers asking for that kind of candy.

    ~*~*~*~*~

    Jackie (#227)

    Bless his heart, he is my favorite, but if he could talk I think he’d just say, “LOVE ME!!!!” to everyone, during his every waking moment.

    I think one of mine would be happiest if I grafted her to my face.

  203. says

    More or less on bed rest today as a couple of braxton-hicks contractions left me out of commision this morning, and I think there’s a foot wedged under my rib and pushing up against my diaphragm. Fun times! Kinda bored, but too mentally and physically drained to engage in any of the other threads today. Any recommendations for computer games I might buy? I like games such a Civilization, Sims, and story style RPG without too much hack and slash, and turn based combat. Not into clicking mouse just right to kill the baddie.

  204. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    I think there’s a foot wedged under my rib and pushing up against my diaphragm.

    But Dutchgirl, this is the one thing that GAWD designed you to do so you must glow and love every minute of it!

    [meant as humour]

  205. carlie says

    Holy shit.
    Child 2 just ate an entire raw jalapeno, because he saw someone on youtube do it. I didn’t know he had done it until right after.
    Gave him milk right away, but he finds milk disgusting, and the combination made him vomit. A lot.
    Thankfully, we had gogurts in the freezer.

    There are things you never get told about parenting.

  206. says

    Ogvorbis: made me laugh! We’ve been going to a birth class. At the first meeting, we were all invited to say either what was the best or the worst thing about pregnancy. Turns out, everyone (including the men) very much dislike pregnancy, and the list of worsts was way longer than the bests. While I never fantasized about being pregnant, I always had this vague notion of it being amazing and special. That may in part come from my mom who had two very easy pregnancies and did rather enjoy it.

    Happy with the political news this hour, although the country’s credit rating may still be affected, and the costs of starting everything back up are not insignificant. Ugh, what a mess these toddler-minded lawmakers (R) have made.

  207. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    carlie:

    FIRE STORY — YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

    One summer, I was assigned to a fire in California. And then transferred to a fire up on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in Oregon (Nice drive). I was working security — matter of fact, I was the only day time security. I spent a lot of time at the front gate. In the sun. In 100 degree plus temps.

    It was an easy gig. The reefer truck (bag lunches, water, Gatorade, fruit) was parked by the front gate. The reefer crew included two tribal elders. When someone came to the gate asking to see their husband/wife/father/mother/girlfriend/boyfriend who was working in the kitchen/supply/camp crew, I would ask them to park outside the gate and go talk to one of the gentlemen at the reefer.

    Sometimes they just turned around and left. Sometimes, they were directed in to the camp. Sometimes they were asked to wait at the gate and we would send the person up.

    A young woman arrived with her daughters — cute little girls aged ~6 and ~3. She was one of the ones asked to wait at the gate. Took about 1/2 hour to get her boyfriend out to the gate. While they were waiting, the little one began complaining she was hungry. Mom told the older girl to get her something to eat. Older girl comes out of the car with a jalapeno pepper. I could smell how hot it was even when it was whole. I tried to warn Mom. Too late. Little girl bit into it. And smiled. And kept right on eating.

    I have to confess that all I could of was, “I am so glad I am not changing that diaper.”

    There are things you never get told about parenting.

    These are the stories you need to remember for future use. If/when Girl gets married, I have The Firefly Incident and The Potato Salad Incident for the rehearsal dinner.

  208. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    Dutchgirl @260:

    I always had this vague notion of it being amazing and special.

    Keep in mind, ‘amazing’ and ‘special’ are not necessarily good things.

  209. says

    Ogvorbis wrote:

    Keep in mind, ‘amazing’ and ‘special’ are not necessarily good things.

    yeah, I was thinking that as I typed it. And in truth, it has been amazing, both good and bad. Just mostly bad. Its been awesome in the more traditional meaning of that word.

    carlie: maybe better to have vomited it up (with a milk buffer) than suffer the indigestion and results and the other end for the next two days. As a full time nanny I found that a large portion of my time was spent monitoring what went into the mouths of my charges one way or another. Luckily they did not have access to youtube, or I could have enjoyed such events as a spoonful of cinnamon or a whole jalapeno myself.

  210. cicely says

    cicely spotted! *pouncehug*

    David striped! (with chocolate!) *long-evaded pouncehugstorm*

    carlie: I’ll have to give the chickpea (chickbean?) brownies a trial…after we test drive the gluten-free-baking-mix chocolate chip cookies. I will try to approach them without pro-brownie bias.

    I have this theory…
     
    …that it’s not just that Obama is black, and therefore the racist (self-admitted or otherwise) end of the political spectrum is determined to Make Him Not Have Happened; it’s also that they’re worried that if they don’t completely destroy his legacy—even on those matters that Republicans previously supported—they can’t point to him as a reason why There Must Never Be Another N*ggerBlack President. For All Of Time To Come.
    -

  211. carlie says

    Finally cleaned up the kitchen, realized it wasn’t a jalapeno he pilfered, it was a serrano. No wonder.

    cicely, I think you’re right.

  212. says

    Ugh, need some advice. So my uncle offered to send me some help on rent because he knows that my partner is unemployed.

    The problem with this is every time in the past that I’ve accepted his help, it usually has come with a punch to the gut about how I need to get real jobs by automagically making full time jobs appear and be willing to hire me or some snide comment about not “wasting the money” on my estrogen pills or the like.

    The money could help a bunch. We’re okay this month, but I’m looking nervously at the winter break and what that will do to my teaching and tutoring schedule and breaking into hives. The help could paper that over, even give us some money to do some basic Xmas shopping and maybe have a nice anniversary.

    So basically the choice is between accepting the help humbly, accepting a possible right hook for it and being able to not have to worry about the winter break or have to ask for help later. Or turning it down for now and having a bit more of an anxious couple of months and possibly a beg later on if something pops up or when winter break hits.

    Both have advantages and both have pain, so I’m not sure which way to go.

  213. OptimalCynic says

    I have this theory…

    You’ve obviously never read any white nationalist forums. What you’ve got there is a theory in the science sense, not one of those hypothesis style theories. People really, really think that.

  214. Nutmeg says

    Fuck yeah, science and spreadsheets! (Warning: slight TMI about menstrual cycle patterns.)

    I just figured out that my night terrors might be related to hormonal changes. When I compare the timing of night terrors to my menstrual cycle, there’s a monthly pattern with two peaks: one in the few days around the start of menstruation, and one in the few days around the probable time of ovulation.

    This explains the creepy every-other-Saturday pattern that was bothering me over the summer. I was on a 28-day cycle for a couple of months. I’m normally mildly irregular, so the pattern wasn’t obvious at other times.

    My brain doesn’t do stats this late at night, but I can probably test to see if the relationship is significant. But even without that, my pretty graphs and intuition tell me that I’ve got something here. This could be useful for predicting when night terrors are more likely and taking extra precautions on those nights.

    Off to re-read the paper that I originally ignored, about the woman who only had night terrors when she had PMS.

  215. says

    Nutmeg at 269: well that makes a lot of sense to me. I hated being on hormonal birth control and cycling 28 days. When I mentioned that to my doc, she said there’s no reason for the 28 day cycle, its just convention. So I went back-to-back with my bc three months in a row which matched my natural cycle. I hope that having figured this out will give you some relief.

  216. rq says

    Dutchgirl
    I sympathize with the limbs in unlikely spaces that you didn’t know you had. I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes well and healthily for all involved, and that proto-person doesn’t give you much trouble during the exit!

    +++

    Woman have been shrinking for decades…

  217. billingtondev says

    Hi all,

    Just wanted to check in here with thanks for all the previous help and support re my daughter – and some good news!

    Daughter has been to see Dr (long story – but in the end I did speak to her Dr about her as there was talk from daughter of just wanting things to be “over” which scared me) and Dr told her she needed to find a professional to talk to.

    And today she went to see a counselor. Yay! And she liked him and is going back!!! (Happy happy ‘yuss yuss’ dances all over the place!) And – at this stage anyway – he is saying maybe PTSD as a result of sudden life threatening illness. Makes very good sense to me.

    Just so many thanks to great Dr’s, insightful counselors and internet horde people who are supportive and understanding to complete strangers. Keep doing your thing – it DOES make a difference.

    Much appreciation – for many things – to you all.

  218. rq says

    Hooray for the positive progress, billingtondev!! I’m so glad for you. May things be ever improving in your household!

  219. bassmike says

    Previosuly ill daughter is now far-too-lively-at-6.45-in-the-morning daughter. Her high temperature has reduced, her eye infection is on the way out. We still have to put eye drops in twice a day. Does anyone have any ideas how to do this to an 18 month old who knows what’s happening and hates it? We’ve tried diversionary tactics, stealth and bribery, but it’s still a trauma every time. Also, she’s currently waking a lot during the night and will only be calmed by mamma. Which leaves my plans, as her daddy, to share the nocturnal care, in ruins. Ah well, I’m sure it’s just a phase…..

  220. says

    Hooray! The government did its fucking job.

    Now of course the Tea Party are whining and crying about it all, it’s never their fault.

    The thing that made me by far the most angry is that someone (I didn’t catch who) honestly claimed that the 1 year delay in Obamacare for the 1 year CR was a compromise, and that’s how it’s supposed to work.

    @cicely:

    I wouldn’t be surprised. And I’m still waiting on the N-word trigger. It’s bound to happen sometime before the end of Obama’s presidency – some representative or senator is going to call the president the N-word.

  221. carlie says

    We still have to put eye drops in twice a day. Does anyone have any ideas how to do this to an 18 month old who knows what’s happening and hates it?

    Honestly? When they’re dead asleep. Just raise up the eyelid a tiny bit, use a big drop or two of the medicine, and hope enough gets in to work.
    When Child 2 was older but still couldn’t handle it, we compromised by having him lie down with his eyes closed, we’d put drops all along right in the crease, then he’d open his eyes and rub in what he could. Enough got in to make it workable.

  222. rq says

    bassmike
    Glad the daughter is back to her usual energetic self.
    As for the only-calmed-by-mamma phase, it probably is just a phase. I’ve been on the other side of it, where I’d gladly let Child be comforted by Husband, but there’s just too much refusal for it to be feasible. *shrug* It’ll pass, there will probably be an only-calmed-by-daddy phase eventually, happened to us, at least. For each of them. Good luck!
    (And when it comes to the nocturnal care, really, when you’re the one doing all the waking up and comforting in order to keep things as quiet as possible, just the idea that Other Party is willing to step up, were it possible, helps a lot. Just offering to be the one to go (genuinely), or at least attempting to be the first one on-scene, does wonders.)

  223. opposablethumbs says

    Argh, carlie, my sympathies to all parties involved in the Eating Peppers Affair. Hope #2 is OK now!

    cerberus, take the money and run? It’s shit being between a rock and a hard place like that. But it’s better to deal with that shit having accepted the help, than be without the help and still have to deal with people anyway?

    billingtondev
    , that is really wonderful news – thank you so much for coming back and sharing it with us! The fact that she likes the counsellor and is going back is great.

    yay for small nocturnal family members, bassmike … oh yeah, that’s a tiring time all right. When parents would give half their empire for an uninterrupted night’s sleep … Just as well that it does eventually get better. If smalldaughter is currently spurning your attention at night, I guess there’s nothing for it but to switch it around during the say so your co-parent gets to catch up on her kip. (we were relatively lucky in that respect, I suppose, in that infant DaughterSpawn would quite happily lie in one arm while her dad flew late night F1 fighter missions (oh, the creaky old graphics!) with the other, so we could more or less take it in shifts :-)

  224. carlie says

    Thanks, opposablethumbs – he says this morning that his throat is still swollen, but mostly ok.

    The thing that got me through sleepless nights was something I read once – “You will eventually win. The child will eventually sleep. It may not be when you want, but it WILL happen”.

  225. bassmike says

    cerberus, I too would be inclined to take the money. If you’re prepared for the verbal onslaught, then maybe it wont have the impact that it might otherwise.

    billingtondev, yay, good news!

    Thanks everyone for your advice. When daughter was younger I was able to assist with nocturnal comfort: as long as someone was there she was happy! Now she’s older only mamma will do. I’m sure you’re right and it will all change as she gets older. Hopefully once the illness/eye infection/teething had completely gone it will be rainbows and unicorns.

  226. opposablethumbs says

    I had completely forgotten about the lie-on-your-back method of eyedrops administration, carlie! We did that too; drip the drops onto the closed eye, so they collect in the inner corner towards the nose, then child bravely summons up their courage and blinks so that they run into the eye.

    I suppose this helps in two ways: a) the eyedrops have a chance to warm up to body temp before reaching the cornea, and b) the child themself is in control of when they pick to do the final moment of blinking, so they can do that last little bit when they’re ready instead of having it done to them.

  227. birgerjohansson says

    Good news indeed, billingtondev!

    — — — — —
    New TV shows that already got cancelled http://www.gocomics.com/richards-poor-almanac/2013/10/17

    — — — — —
    A medicine for PMDD, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, summary in English) http://www.karolinskadevelopment.com/index.php?cID=93 btw my home town Umeå is involved in the research

    — — — — —
    (TRIGGER WARNING)
    Polish artist in hot water over Soviet rapist sculpture http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/10/16/polish-artist-in-hot-water-over-soviet-rapist-sculpture/
    The appalling behaviour of Soviet forces in Poland, Germany, Hungary and Yugoslavia in 1944-1945 is well-known, but is still taboo in Russia. In fact Tito’s number two man in the Yugoslaw communist party complained to Stalin about the rapes by s oviet troops but was rudely dimissed by Stalin.

  228. birgerjohansson says

    For Republicans, federal workers are nothing but ideological pawns and punching bags http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/10/16/for-republicans-federal-workers-are-nothing-but-ideological-pawns-and-punching-bags/

    — — — — — — —
    Simple Answers To Overwrought, Hysterical Questions http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/10/16/simple-answers-to-overwrought-hysterical-questions/

    — — — — — — —
    Wari, predecessors of the Inca, used restraint to reshape human landscape http://phys.org/news/2013-10-wari-predecessors-inca-restraint-reshape.html

    — — — — — — —
    To prevent rape on college campuses, focus on the rapists, not the victims http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/10/16/it_s_the_rapists_not_the_drinking_to_prevent_sexual_assault_on_college_campuses.html

  229. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    Well, work is reopened. May be a day or two before we open to the public.

    I’m not there.

    Girl’s financial aid package is screwed up to the tune of $2500 and, on Tuesday, when it looked like this was going to be dragged out for a couple more weeks, we made an appointment to talk with the adviser for today. So I am taking annual leave for the day to deal with Girl.

    Oh well.

  230. says

    Good luck dealing with DaughterSpawns school, Og. Financial aid is a pain in the ass.

    —-

    Government is open, so *our* new job starts Nov 4. I’m in our new city apartment hunting today and tomorrow. For the record, DC is infinitely more expensive for housing than Dallas. I really didn’t realize by how much until just now.

  231. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    Apparently, my incompetence knows no bounds.

    Trying again (thank you, NotePad and copypasta):

    Well, work is reopened. May be a day or two before we open to the public.

    I’m not there.

    Girl’s financial aid package is screwed up to the tune of $2500 and, on Tuesday, when it looked like this was going to be dragged out for a couple more weeks, we made an appointment to talk with the adviser for today. So I am taking annual leave for the day to deal with Girl.

    Oh well.

  232. says

    Winter started an hour ago. It started snowing, there’s lots more moisture coming our way from south west meeting cold air from the Arctic, and the ground is cold enough it won’t melt away.

  233. says

    To David M.’s nice collection of links @258 (especially the “Dumbest Congressman” link); to Kevin’s comments @275; and to birger’s links @283, I would like to add this lovely bit of news. Rep. Darrell Issa (same guy who kept holding Benghazi hearings long after the tragedy had been explained) is holding hearings to find out why the shutdown shut things down. Issa is the committee Chair, and he has totally bought into the conspiracy theory that Park Rangers shut down various federal lands and monuments just to make the Republicans look bad … or something.

    Ogvorbis, you can go back to work now and stop staying home just to do Obama’s bidding.

    Even as House Republicans were capitulating on the demands that had precipitated this standoff, they were convening a hearing to get to the bottom of why the National Park Service had shuttered the memorials on the National Mall, hauling NPS director Jonathan Jarvis before the committees on oversight and natural resources in an effort to portray the closures as a politically motivated effort to turn up the heat on the GOP.

    “I regret that [Jarvis] would not come voluntarily and had to be subpoenaed and served by a US Marshal,” said Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), sounding almost as if he meant it.

    For 15 days, Republicans have tried to turn Jarvis into the villain of the shutdown by highlighting the closure of popular sites like the WWII memorial. He was the lead player in this right-wing conspiracy theory, in which Obama had supposedly forced parks and memorials to close to make the GOP-cased shutdown appear worse than it really was. …

    Uh, yeah. Any political party dumb enough to have Issa as the cream of the crop, as the point man — that party is in deep shit intellectually speaking.

    And we the people are in deep shit because any group that would blame Park Rangers for closing stuff up after that same group shut the whole shebang down … well, there’s not hope. If you think far-right Republicans learned anything from the shutdown and the near default, you would be wrong. I expect more trouble in the future, more subpoenas from Issa, and more shutdown or debt-ceiling-breeching tactics.

    Mother Jones link.

  234. says

    In an excellent opening segment, Rachel Maddow runs through the crap that Republicans demanded before they would agree to end the shutdown and/or avoid defaulting on the USA’s debts. Brilliant. It’s an 18-minute segment, but worth the time. The segment starts out with a repeat of stuff you’ve probably already heard (Obama’s speech and previous Republican threats, for example), but the summary of what Republicans got starts at about 7:36.

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/watch/gop-comes-up-empty-after-shutdown-stunt-54619203958

  235. yazikus says

    Winter started an hour ago. It started snowing, there’s lots more moisture coming our way from south west meeting cold air from the Arctic, and the ground is cold enough it won’t melt away.

    Weed Monkey, do you live near the coast? It is a sunny cool day where I live now, lots of bright leaves still clinging to their trees. This time of year always reminds me of a book I read as a child, about a squirrel who tries to stick the leaves back on the trees to keep winter from coming.

  236. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Cerberus @266:
    I think you should take the money. That way looks to be less stressful on you.
    Either way it seems like that right hook will be there, but if you decline the offer, you may have the addition of financial stress.

  237. says

    HI folks

    Yay for billingtondev and daughter

    Boooh for nasty infection of bassmike-daughter.
    I hate eye infections, especially since they usually rub off on me.

    Yay for all you people finally being able to get back to work

    Hugs for Cerberus

    Also hugs for dutchgirl
    I always said that if there was any sport I’d forbid #1 to do it was kickboxing.

    +++
    And I’m just getting the news that my grandpa’s youngest sister has died. They didn’t take that long after grandpa started that whole dying business.
    And, well, I’m a bit sad, of course, but she was 87 and lived in her home to this day, so I think that this is OK.

    +++
    Other news: The psychologist hasn’t made his final call yet and evaluated all the data, but he tends to towards giving #1 a borderline atypical autism dignosis. First task will be to educate Mr. because his first question was something along the line of “what do we do against it”. I told him that you don’t do anything “against it” because she’s not broken. We’ll have to learn how to deal with her because obviously the things that work with neurotypical children don’t work.

  238. rq says

    Hi, Giliell! I’m glad you’re finally getting a diagnosis, at least something to work with… And I hope the Education of Mr goes smoothly.

    +++

    I look at these photos and I start itching to get my hands on all the books in them. Even if they’re something mundane, just because they’re books.
    But for some real book porn, I has it for you.

    Some of these, I understand the eating of. Others, not so much. People I know have a tendency to swoon at most of the list, though. People’s taste buds, why so different?
    On the subject of food, how not to make a burrito. As if it’s complicated.

    Some local architecture.

  239. says

    Holy Buckets ‘O Madness:

    … when House stenographer Dianne Reidy ran amok during Wednesday night’s vote to end the shutdown, her outburst was impressive even by Beltway standards.

    Just moments after the deal was struck, Reidy serenely walked into the middle of the room, stepped up to the podium and started yelling. “Do not be deceived,” she said. “God shall not be mocked. A House divided cannot stand.” As the Sergeant-at-Arms moved to eject her, she continued to shout, “He will not be mocked, He will not be mocked, (don’t touch me). He will not be mocked. The greatest deception here is that this is not one nation under God. It never was. Had it been, it would not have been… No. It would not have been. The Constitution would not have been written by Freemasons… and go against God. You cannot serve two masters. You cannot serve two masters. Praise be to God, Lord Jesus Christ.” …

    Salon link.

  240. says

    http://gawker.com/tea-party-republican-defends-being-on-medicaid-while-op-1446552792

    This counts as a Moment of Mormon Madness. A Tea Party Republican from Idaho, Greg Collett, opposes Medicaid. He wants to put an end to Medicaid. Meanwhile, all ten of his children are signed up for Medicaid.

    … Collett, a self-employed software developer by trade, went on to note that his ten children — two biological, eight adopted — are all recipients of health insurance through the government’s Medicaid program, and acknowledged that “there are a lot of people out there that’ll cry foul” over the dissonance.It’s worth mentioning that, when it comes to “government-funded public schools,” Collett is a man of his nonsensical word: All of his kids are homeschooled.

    That being said, Collett claims the homeschooling is not a product of his opposition to public education, but his unwillingness “to accept the social and moral consequences” of sending his children to a public school.

    The article doesn’t note Collett’s mormonism, but ex-mormons identified him immediately. Here’s proof in Collett’s own words:

    We homeschool our children and attend church in Marsing as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  241. Pteryxx says

    Leaving this here for The Vicar in the Slate tells women how not to get raped thread, who said:

    Is there a blog about good gender news somewhere? The pictures of fuzzy kittens and so on just aren’t cutting it to keep me from wanting to bang my head against the wall (and/or people’s heads together) any more.

    My go-to recently has been The Mary Sue. Sure, they also cover incidents like the NY Comic Con sexual harassment camera crew, but generally they have a really good mix of women kicking ass – so here’s a sampler to be going on with.

    Alice Munroe wins the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature

    Genderswapped Cosplay of NYCC 2013

    Sailor Moon stained-glass cookies (srsly, y’all have to see these)

    Madeleine Albright tweets about Star Trek (and it was glorious)

    Visual novel Solstice – fantasy with diverse characters

    Our first protagonist appears, having nearly completed his perilous trek across the icy desert. He’s a doctor, and he’s come a long way to practice the art his culture is famous for. His mentor visits him in a dream, teasing him with riddles, and reminding him to be careful and wise. It’s exactly the sort of introductory conversation you’d expect in a story that begins with the end of a journey. Except that both characters are of color. As is the second protagonist, who appears later.

    In a snowy fantasy setting.

  242. Pteryxx says

    Also via The Mary Sue:

    A few weeks ago we shared the story of Officer Wendy Yancey, the real Sleepy Hollow’s sole female police officer and a woman of color who said that people have been asking her if she was the direct inspiration for Sleepy Hollow‘s Abbie Mills ever since the show aired. She’s not, but since word about her got out, she’s come to the attention of the Sleepy Hollow crew, who brought her to their NYCC panel so that the cast could have the honor of meeting her. According to Orlando Jones, “she said that tourism to the village has increased over 30% since the show premiered.”

    http://www.themarysue.com/wendy-yancey-sleepy-hollow-nycc/

    Meet Sleepy Hollow’s Real-Life Black Female Cop

  243. cicely says

    Cerberus: I think you should take the money now, while it’s being offered, rather than have to beg for it, later. The “right hook” will be there regardless—there’s no reason why you should have to beg to be hit by it.

    OptimalCynic:

    You’ve obviously never read any white nationalist forums.

    That’s very true.
    I also have never gone swimming in a sewage pond.
     

    What you’ve got there is a theory in the science sense, not one of those hypothesis style theories. People really, really think that.

    So I fear.
     
    I started to go with “I’ve got a theory, it could be bunnies”, then breaking into “song” on the subject of racist self-panickers, but didn’t have the energy to carry it through.

    Nutmeg: To Science!
    *raising glass*

    Hi, billingtondev! Glad to hear that there’s good news wrt your daughter.
    :) :) :)
    -

  244. Howard Bannister says

    This counts as a Moment of Mormon Madness. A Tea Party Republican from Idaho, Greg Collett, opposes Medicaid. He wants to put an end to Medicaid. Meanwhile, all ten of his children are signed up for Medicaid.

    I had to talk a friend of mine into applying for unemployment benefits.

    He’s young, and just got laid off, and he’s grown up in the same hyper-Republican frame that I have. And he’s absolutely convinced that unemployment is like welfare and he doesn’t want to take it.

    He was going to skate by on his savings and try desperately to find a job within weeks. (it’s been two months–not a great economy to be job-hunting, amiright?)

    I had to convince him that it was an insurance system–it says so right in the name!–and that he was entitled to take out what he had put into the system.

    I’m baffled and angry and kind of sad about this.

  245. Pteryxx says

    David M!

    Also in German, with autoplay video: Oarfish washed ashore in California. It’s 5 1/2 m long.

    “I’d hate to see the sea cucumber.”

  246. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    I knew it!
    Scalzi is not super dupe awesome.
    He has a fault.
    He likes mayonnaise!! The horror!

    I wonder what condiment is PZs favorite. Probably something that tastes good with octopus, like cocktail sauce or horseradish…

  247. cicely says

    rq:
    Boooooookssss!
     

    On the subject of food, how not to make a burrito. As if it’s complicated.

    *snortleroflmao!*
    -

  248. cicely says

    I knew it!
    Scalzi is not super dupe awesome.
    He has a fault.
    He likes mayonnaise!! The horror!

    Yes, well, even super dupe awesome people have faults.
    After all, Caine and rq appear to like Horses.
    Horses.
     
    I, on the other hand am totally without faults or flaws of any kind.
    ;P
    -

  249. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    I have written two chapters on my WIP today. For a reward I’ve allowed myself to read ten pages of Witches Abroad. The urge to read more is spurring me to write faster. Yay!

    I’d like to get a third chapter in today, but we’ll see. Mornings are always my most productive time for writing.

  250. David Marjanović says

    In random order… actually, mostly stratigraphic:

    Wom[e]n have been shrinking for decades…

    It says: “Be sure to pay attention at 1:40 and 2:09 —” that’s bullshit. Pay attention all the way through. It’s a lightbulb moment that lasts three and a half minutes.

    I love having internet access everywhere I go. Without it, I wouldn’t have been able to pick up some packages of hawthorn candy today since the woman at the counter at the Chinese snack shop, despite having very good English, had no frigging clue what I meant when I asked for “hawthorn” candy. She knew just what I meant by “shānzhā” though, which I’d looked up just before on the suspicion she might not get many non-Chinese speakers asking for that kind of candy.

    it’s also that they’re worried that if they don’t completely destroy his legacy—even on those matters that Republicans previously supported—

    Like Romneycare.

  251. rq says

    cicely, you don’t like Horses. That alone is a fault.
    (And I laughed all through the burrito article, too – “HEY BEANS IT’S JUST GOING TO BE YOU AND I FOR A MINUTE UNTIL I CAN FUCKING EXCAVATE THE RICE FROM BENEATH YOU BUT BY THEN YOU WILL BE A FADING MEMORY OH HEY I WAS WRONG I’M IN THE FUCKING CHEESEOSPHERE NOW RICE MUST BE NEXT I HOPE IT’S NOT ANOTHER FUCKING SALSA POCKET.” etc.)

    And I also like mayonnaise, on certain things, like yummy sammiches with cheese and tomato and lettuce and smoked chicken and bacon and mustard and a bit of ketchup… Mayonnaise has a good side, but it doesn’t go with everything. Neither does ketchup.
    In my eyes, John Scalzi just elevates himself more and more. And to think I have yet to read one of his books.

  252. rq says

    David
    re: shrinking women
    The description is definitely wrong, I didn’t see a particular difference in that timeframe – that whole video was eye-opening. I think the ending was best. *shrug*

  253. David Marjanović says

    Pteryxx! :-)

    “I’d hate to see the sea cucumber.”

    Where’s that from? :-)

    ===============

    WTF. The title attribute is no longer allowed with the a tag. The software strips it out.

    I just tried to say that my automatic response has been triggered: posting the video of Homer Simpson voting for Romney because, “on the other hand, he did invent Obamacare…”

  254. says

    Think Progress posted a good summary of how much the shutdown cost we the people, and what we could have gotten for the same amount of money:

    Standard & Poor’s has estimated that the shutdown cost the economy $24 billion.

    That’s not a small amount of money. How does that stack up against other big expenditures? Here’s just a sampling of what else costs that much:

    The net cost of to the government from the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP): $24 billion

    The Department of Agriculture’s proposed budget: $22.6 billion

    NASA’s approved budget: $16.6 billion

    All air transportation programs, including the Federal Aviation Administration, security, research, and other costs: $21.9 billion

    The Child Tax Credit: $22.1 billion

    The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program (formally known as welfare): $17.7 billion

    The cost of Head Start, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Women Infants and Children (WIC) program combined: $25.2 billion

    The topline figure may not take many other costs into account, such as loans that didn’t go out from the Small Business Administration, permits that got held up, and the loss of billions in tax revenue. …

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/10/17/2796241/cost-shutdown-comparison/

  255. Pteryxx says

    David M: that was me crossing your giant oarfish reference with the source for this. (and imitating Groucho Marx’s voice. <_< )

  256. David Marjanović says

    the source for this

    Oh. I ignored that post to the extent I even managed not to read the caption. :-]

    and imitating Groucho Marx’s voice. <_<

    I grew up without the Marx brothers. Have hardly an idea of them. They’re not a thing this side of the Pond.

  257. says

    You know who else is apt to take your precious guns away? Doctors. That’s right, rabid right-wingers are now claiming that Obamacare will encourage doctors to take guns away from law-abiding citizens of the USA.

    After they take your gun away, they are going to submit your medical information to “big computers in the sky.” Oh, and Nazi concentration camps make an appearance in Pratt’s rant.

    … The Gun Owners of America head [Larry Prat] floated the false rumors that doctors are part of a government effort to confiscate veterans’ guns …

    … After Davis warned that “government-run health care” is encouraging gun confiscations, Pratt feared that doctors may soon be compelled to “submit medical information to the big computers in the sky” because of Obamacare….

    I thought Gun Owners of America was supposed to be an organization that dropped most of the Crazy associated with the NRA.

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/pratt-obamacare-could-lead-gun-confiscations-concentration-camps

  258. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Trigger Warning-Suicide:
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .

    – Court documents allege one of the girls arrested in the wake of the death of 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick began harassing Rebecca over a boy both girls had dated. Now, that boy is speaking out, telling CBS affiliate WTSP that he never expected one of his former girlfriends to commit suicide and the other to wind up behind bars.

    “It shocked me, it made me mad because she should have just told somebody,” said John Borgen, the former boyfriend of both Florida girls.

    According to WTSP, Borgen knew as many as 15 girls from his school were teaming up against Rebecca, but never expected her to be driven to commit suicide.
    [...]
    WTSP reportedly spoke to the father of the 12-year-old suspect who said “there’s two sides to every story.”

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57607988-504083/rebecca-sedwick-update-boy-reported-to-be-at-center-of-alleged-bullying-behind-fla-girls-suicide-speaks-out/

    That poor girl. Tormented by 15 girls…

    That last line was tiresome long ago.
    Please, someone tell me what equivalent actions the victim performed against 15 students.

  259. says

    Okay, by threatening to shoot the government in the head, Republicans did not get everything they wanted. They are plenty mad, but not really discouraged. You knew it was coming. Civil War is now on the table according to the rabid rightwing.

    Regular Fox News guest Erik Rush is convinced that a civil war is about to take place, and
    writes …today that Americans need to rise up like the Egyptians to overthrow the “ruthless tyrant in Barack Obama.”

    “This criminal administration has the darkest of designs on the nation and its people, and we have every right and the duty at this point to resist it,” according to Rush. “Those of us who see that the course we are on, if unaltered, will either necessitate civil war or end in the cruelest totalitarianism.”…

    Right Wing Watch link.

  260. says

    The Civil War bandwagon (see comment #319] will roll along more swiftly if there is an evil “King” to fight. Allen West provides one.

    … In an interview with NewsMax’s Steve Malzberg last week, West claimed that in refusing to cave Tea Party demands to defund Obamacare, President Obama was acting like a “spoiled brat child” because Americans gave him “everything he has wanted” by electing him president. Speaking with Malzberg again yesterday, West declared that actually “King Obama” has established a “monarchy” in the United States because the Affordable Care Act “is not the law of the land, it’s an edict.” …

    “Shame on us as an American people to fall into this, in letting this usurper and this petty charlatan take this great country away from us,” he lamented.

    Right Wing Watch link.

    This Allen West guy was once a serious contender in the Republican primary for presidential candidates?

  261. says

    You know what else King Obama is going to do? He’s going to sic the military on Christians. (This right wing conspiracy theory conveniently ignores the nearly overwhelming presence of christians in the military of the USA.)

    On a radio commentary this week, Fox News commentator Todd Starnes warned that the US military may come after Christians, pointing to a training session in Mississippi that included the American Family Association on a list of hate groups.

    Besides the patently absurd claim that the American Family Association is a “well-respected ministry” — you know, the one that thinks black people “rut like rabbits,” gays caused the Holocaust and God wanted the Native Americans slaughtered — Starnes falsely claimed that the military “labeled evangelical Christians and Catholics as extremists.”

    Starnes went on to suggest that President Obama may be training the military for a potential attack on Christians in America.

    “I am beginning to wonder if the Obama administration is trying to turn the military against the people,” Starnes said. “And what better way to do that than to train young soldiers that the folks down at the local First Baptist Church are members of a right-wing extremist hate group?”…

    Link.

  262. says

    Republicans in Virginia have committed so many crimes, been involved in so many ethical breaches, and are associated with so many criminals that they are worried that their man who is running for Governor won’t be elected.

    They decided to solve the problem by kicking 40,000 people off of Virginia’s voter rolls.

    Virginia elections officials say they have already purged nearly 40,000 names from the voter rolls, despite an ongoing lawsuit filed by Democrats seeking to keep those voters registered.

    The Democratic Party of Virginia filed suit in federal court earlier this month over plans to purge as many as 57,923 names ahead of November’s gubernatorial election between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli. State officials pushed for the purge based on evidence from a multistate database that the voters had subsequently registered in other states. Democrats say the list is riddled with errors. …

    http://www.newsleader.com/viewart/20131016/NEWS01/310160027/Va-kicks-40K-off-voter-rolls-over-Dems-objection

  263. David Marjanović says

    I thought Gun Owners of America was supposed to be an organization that dropped most of the Crazy associated with the NRA.

    You know what?

    I fear you were right.

    Allen West doesn’t know the meanings of words.

    And Cuccinelli has been in the denialism business for at least 15 years now.

  264. says

    Mormon politicians from Utah played a major role in extending the government shutdown. I mentioned this earlier, but now we have yet another mormon politician to add to our list. This definitely counts as Moments of Bipartisan Mormon Madness.

    I [Paul Rolly of the Salt Lake Tribune] wrote in Wednesday’s column about the resolution the House passed just before the government shutdown deadline that took away the ability of any House member to call for a vote of the Senate resolution to open up the government.

    The resolution was cited Tuesday by Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, while he was acting speaker, to deny Maryland Democrat Chris Van Hollen’s motion to call for such a vote.

    That prompted Van Hollen to declare that democracy has been suspended by the House.

    Well, guess who joined Chaffetz and Utah Republicans Rob Bishop and Chris Stewart in passing a motion making it impossible to get a vote in the House to open the government without the express blessing of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor?

    Yep, Utah’s lone Democratic congressman, Jim Matheson. He was one of just seven Democrats joining with Republicans to approve that resolution.

    Jason Chaffetz, Rob Bishop, Chris Stewart and Jim Matheson are all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Thank you, mormons, for sticking together when it comes to shutting down the government of the USA. Ignorant dunderheads.

  265. says

    In more disturbing news out of Utah, billboards in the Salt Lake City area are not rented to those nasty atheists. <blockquote
    The American Atheists say they had a tough time buying billboards for their Salt Lake City convention, and that goes to show what’s wrong with the Beehive State.

    "What this really communicates to us is the stranglehold that the Mormon church has on the community in Utah," said Dave Muscato, American Atheists public relations director. "It reminds me of the Mafia in Italy. They don’t even have to make threats. People just know that they’re supposed to be afraid."

    The outspoken group’s 40th annual convention will run April 17-20 at the downtown Hilton and is expected to draw about 1,000 people, including keynote speaker and NFL punter Chris Kluwe. AA officials say they called nine Utah companies looking for three to five billboards to promote September’s early-bird rates, but after repeated attempts, only two called them back.

    Muscato said Reagan Outdoor Advertising told him they’d pass, and YESCO, after first rejecting a play on the church’s "I’m a Mormon" ad campaign, then nixed three other submissions that made no mention of Mormons but instead depicted a family, students and an elderly couple with a red arrow pointing to them from the word "Atheists." …

    PZ will be speaking at the convention in SLC, IIRC. We need more billboards announcing his presence, not less.

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57007310-78/atheists-convention-mormon-billboard.html.csp

  266. says

    Apologies for borking the blockquote in #329, but I’m sure you can tell where Salt Lake Tribune text begins and ends.

    Chas @328, yikes. That billboard is offensive.

  267. rq says

    David
    Those history videos are great! I like how for most of them the Baltics are a blank… I wonder what they did in all that time?? Heh…

    Well, good night, all!

  268. says

    More on the billboard fiasco in Salt Lake City — billboard companies equate atheism with immorality.

    … In an email to Muscato, a YESCO employee wrote that his ad director signed off on AA’s resubmissions but that the company’s sales director and president declined the contract because “it was deemed to be too controversial for our Salt Lake market.”

    In a statement to The Salt Lake Tribune, YESCO wrote: “We believe that our medium is an effective outlet for free speech. However, we balance that with a strong commitment to adhere to community standards and to ensure that the messages we advertise are not offensive towards any business, group or individual. … In rare instances, we reject advertisements that we find to be misleading, deceptive or offensive to the moral standards of the community.”…

  269. says

    From the comments below the Salt Lake Tribune article about atheist organizations being refused space on billboards:

    Atheists: If you want to promote your “special” message, go buy and build your own billboards. If someone doesn’t agree with your message, quit forcing them to promote it. We do live in America, right?

    … the America we live in here in Utah is an LDS dominated environment, where freedom of speech (And free agency) is a time-honored tradition … that the LDS church and/or its members get to define.

    The AA convention is going to include a downtown pub crawl, so I don’t see it being AS boring as GC [General Conference, mormon get-together]

    http://www.sltrib.com/pages/comments?cid=57007310

  270. says

    rq
    I’m very hopeful about that. Because if he doesn’t have one fault it’s being averse to learning. He might not have a clue to start with now, and who could blame him because that’s totally not something anybody ever talks about, but he will be willing to learn and understand.

  271. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    …ooookay. I’ve written over ten thousand words today, so I’m going to lay off of the coffee before I go jittering right off my chair. But at least it’s been a productive day.

  272. David Marjanović says

    Review done! In just one hour (the manuscript had already been through a round of review)!

    Too bad the hour was from 11 pm to midnight. I’m still in the museum. At least the rain appears to have stopped in the meantime.

    Those history videos are great! I like how for most of them the Baltics are a blank… I wonder what they did in all that time?? Heh…

    Not found empires that strewed monuments all over the landscape.

    Indeed, the entire West Baltic language family (Old Prussian and a few other extinct languages) is so poorly documented that it’s not clear if West Baltic is in fact the sister-group of East Baltic or whether one of the two is more closely related to the Slavic languages than the other is. That’s right, Balto-Slavic is much better supported than Baltic itself is. :-(

  273. David Marjanović says

    (It was really strong rain. With strong wind, which I can tell because the windows aren’t airtight. Didn’t want to walk through that. It’s cold, too…)

  274. Crudely Wrott says

    Thanks so much to Kevin, rq and Hekuni Cat for liking my poem about the moth and my hand. Such landings are not unusual around my place; really. In fact I’ve numerous pictures of small friends on my hand which, if I can find the time and motivation and skill, will be available for your viewing pleasure pretty soon.
    NB: pretty soon is an indeterminate measure of time and I’m often wastefully detail oriented about end products. The poem I dashed off in thirty minutes; I edited for over an hour and it is still a hobbled, halting thing. Photos take a ridiculous amount of time. But they will appear, oh, yes, they will appear. First notice of that will be here.

    Cicely, your mothish rejoinder was a pleasure to read. It reminded me of a time long ago when Ma asked me to help her bake some biscuits and there were weevils or small beetles in the flour. It went this way:
    She: Would you please open the bag of flour that’s over there?
    Me: Mama, there’s spots in the flour.
    She: (with great interest) Oh! Are they moving?
    Me: I dunno. Let me look a minute . . . yes, they’re moving.
    She: (with further delight) Well, they have to eat too!
    We then took the bag of flour out to the edge of the lawn and dumped it out, little thieves and all. Then to the store and a new bag of flour. The resultant biscuits were delicious and she and I shared a secret that no one else knew. Was so cool; so cool that I remember to this day, over a half century later.

    I would ask for one favor of you, though, given the last lines of your rhyme. Don’t hurt the little ones. Just shoo them out the door and point the way to North Carolina. Tell them there’s a great photo op there. =)

    Oh, rq — a book? A whole one? Geez, do I have it in me? I think I might and to tell the truth the notion has been lurking behind the needs of the days. I think I’ll see if I can prove to myself that there might be a book’s worth within me. If such a thing would actually come to pass I promise that you will be prominent in any dedication therein. Thank you for your encouragement. I likes it. (heart)

    For those who are struggling and questing, another (what! another?), make that two more Moody Blues links: this one which has a prescient intro and this other one which just seems to me to be so relevant to all our lives despite its obvious romantic focus. I hear this song as being focused much more democratically and inclusive of all of our lives. Please, enjoy.

  275. says

    yazikus

    Weed Monkey, do you live near the coast?

    Nope. The Gulf of Bothnia is a few hundred kilometres to the west, but it’s more of an inland sea than an ocean.

    The snowing and wind has stopped now, and there’s about 10 cms of the white stuff.

  276. Crudely Wrott says

    Oh. One that I had almost forgotten but just heard again for the proverbial first time in a long time. Here is encouragement.

    Take hold listen grow
    It’s really really hard I know
    But others have been there and so
    They give us of the best they know
    ______
    Courage. ;^>

  277. says

    Breaking black: The right-wing plot to split a school board

    … a group of white conservatives has used a series of audacious political and legal maneuvers to try to seize control of the board from its black majority.

    … Even well after the civil-rights era, Beaumont’s black and white schools remained separate and unequal. Janice Brassard, the board’s lone white liberal who often votes with her black colleagues, began teaching in Beaumont in 1973. She recalled asking the principal of the black Hebert High School why the school’s textbooks hadn’t yet arrived. He explained that the school had to wait until the district’s white high school, Forest Park, had handed out theirs. “We get the ones they don’t use,” she remembered the principal explaining. …

    In March, three candidates filed to challenge three of the black board members —Zenobia Bush, Terry Williams and board president Woodrow Reece—even though those members weren’t up for re-election until 2015. Mike Getz, a lawyer and city councilman and a leader of the conservative campaign, argued in court that under state law, all board members had to run after a redistricting. And, he claimed, because the black incumbents hadn’t filed for re-election—even though they weren’t supposed to be up for two more years—the challengers should be designated as running unopposed.

    A Texas judge essentially agreed with Getz, in effect unseating the incumbents by court order, without an election. …

    The article goes on to describe alleged wrong doing on both sides.

  278. Crudely Wrott says

    Incomplete verse. Should have an inverted rhyming scheme and line endings. Like this:

    Take hold listen grow
    It’s really really hard I know
    But others have been there and so
    Sharing hard won wisdom so
    We have the tools to start to know
    So armed we can not help but grow

    There is a name for this form but I don’t know it.
    Perhaps the gentle Cuttlefish can inform?

  279. says

    Elizabeth Warren speaks out about the shutdown.

    I’m glad that the government shutdown has ended, and I’m relieved that we didn’t default on our debt.

    But I want to be clear: I am NOT celebrating tonight.

    Yes, we prevented an economic catastrophe that would have put a huge hole in our fragile economic recovery. But the reason we were in this mess in the first place is that a reckless faction in Congress took the government and the economy hostage for no good purpose and to no productive end.

    According to the S&P index, the government shutdown had delivered a powerful blow to the U.S. economy. By their estimates, $24 billion has been flushed down the drain for a completely unnecessary political stunt.

    $24 billion dollars. How many children could have been back in Head Start classes? How many seniors could have had a hot lunch through Meals on Wheels? How many scientists could have gotten their research funded? How many bridges could have been repaired and trains upgraded?

    The Republicans keep saying, “Leave the sequester in place and cut all those budgets.” They keep trying to cut funding for the things that would help us build a future. But they are ready to flush away $24 billion on a political stunt.

    So I’m relieved, but I’m also pretty angry.

    We have serious problems that need to be fixed, and we have hard choices to make about taxes and spending. I hope we never see our country flush money away like this again. Not ever.

    It’s time for the hostage taking to end. It’s time for every one of us to say, “No more.”

  280. cicely says

    Crudely:

    I would ask for one favor of you, though, given the last lines of your rhyme. Don’t hurt the little ones. Just shoo them out the door and point the way to North Carolina. Tell them there’s a great photo op there. =)

    I’ve certainly no objection if they should choose to take their own lives…far, far away. Pratchettly speaking.
    :)
    North Carolina, Fourecks…makes no difference to me.
    -

  281. Crudely Wrott says

    Cicely, I’m so far from my limited readings of Pratchett that I can only nod dumbly and grin foolishly while assuming recklessly that Fourecks is a real place in Terryspace. Oh, I’ll never catch up. They write faster than I read!

    Still and all, my small friends and I are grateful for your kind consideration.
    ________
    *small fleeting *hugs* to you, like the ones a small moth might incidentally leave in pursuit of an important mothly quest*
    ________
    Please note that such hugs carry no less sincerity and healing fu than any other freely bestowed *hugs* They’re just little. They’re just rapid. Little buggers like moths experience time differently cause their lives are so short. They only have a moment to spare before they must be gone. Part of why I love them. =)

    Won’t you please write some more rhyming thoughts? Or experiences expressed in verse? You might could, I think.

  282. Crudely Wrott says

    Hoo boy. Here’s tonight’s scenario.
    Younger man cub (eleven whole years old) is on laundry duty this week. Faced with two regular loads, one load of whites requiring bleach and a fourth load consisting solely of two pairs of brightly dyed skinny jeans (tee-hee) that he and his older brother will wear to school tomorrow, the lot amounting to nearly five hours of washing machine time, he waits until eight o’clock to start the first load. This while knowing that there is a hard rule requiring boys to be in bed by nine thirty and lights (and fondle slabs) be out by ten.

    It’s now eleven thirty. Guess who’s doing laundry. Third load just started. Drying and folding incumbent.
    I see a remedial course in planing and estimating in their near futures. Very near.
    They owe me big time since I volunteered to cover they little asses.
    Not once in my childhood did a grandfather do laundry that was my responsibility. Perhaps a new benchmark?
    Like I said; they owe me big time. ;^>

    *any suggestions regarding getting even while teaching a worthy lesson are hereby solicited*

  283. Pteryxx says

    Crudely Wrott: sounds like they’re counting on those jeans. Depending on the circumstances, weather, etc, I might ‘just happen to’ leave them wet.

    They’ll mostly dry, while being worn, in three or four hours indoors. /experience >_>

  284. Crudely Wrott says

    ooooh hoooo hooo! Pteryxx! So enticing. I can just imagine them trying to force their lower selves into thin cut jeans that are still wet! Neigh on impossibibble.

    But I can’t. Their embarrassment (with focus on elder man cub — younger is encouragingly adaptable and graced with a sense of humor that will be something wonderful someday) would linger too long and they would blame me and thus the prank woulod not be fully harmless. Not grandfathernessly. After all, I have a role to play, an image to fulfill. Plus, I’m rather new at this having only lived with the young sprouts for six months plus a little.

    Still, it’s a good idea if only for its value as contemplation. We must be more subtle. “These things must be done delicately”. Too, eldest man cub is now wrestling with an easily bruised ego. He’s fourteen going on driving Dad’s turbo diesel look-a-me bright red pickumup truck. Vast chasms between his present incarnation, that which he thinks is the font of cool and that which he will ultimately own.

    This is the narrow road I tread as I strive to make value of my grandfatherlyness.

    Perhaps something that leaves ego intact while casting it in another light that his peers do not see? In order to instruct and guide in a clever but harmless way? Is possible?

  285. Crudely Wrott says

    I owe a comma to my #348.
    ___________

    Now this.
    Eldest daughter, Jesi, has fallen off the wagon. She used two nights ago, I knew but waited for her to come clean about it which she did today. To me, two sons and her mother (my ex who I still love but that’s another story). Jesi was that brave and honest.

    As a result she has missed three consecutive doses of methadone and is hurting hard. Family is alarmed but not in a panic. OK. Three steps forward and only one backwards; still some progress but, DAMMITTTTTTT! She was doing so well! She was . . . dammit.

    SIL, though he has shown good signs of learning to live without dominating and who has been most courteous to me and equitable in the business that I have observed directly, brings dope into the house. You know, the kind that has the chief effect of making one want more of the drug. No nicety about it; no useful high that might serve to connect partners, no enhancement of gleeful activity or conversation or going outside and taking delight in a fine autumn day. No. Just the reinforcement of the desire to have more of the drug.

    ‘Ware powders! ‘Ware opiates!!

    The good news is that I know my daughter can beat her addiction. She has demonstrated her ability to my satisfaction. The bad news is that she cannot resist hubby. He hasn’t the good sense or the good manners to keep his usage out of this house. I am near to confronting him. I fear him. One of us could be hurt. Or not. The scenario has not played out and I have yet to confront him with anything like forceful persuasion.

    This: There have been times when I did confront someone with forceful persuasion. Each time it worked out well for me and for them. (Wow. Howthefuck does that work?) But none of those times involved my first born and her children. Is now very dicey.

    I have been trying to let the major players come to rational conclusions; I have been . . . I have been derelict. I have let my fear hold me immobile. I should have pressed the issue earlier instead of waiting for Jesi to confide in me. That she did is good; that it took this long is bad.

    I wish I were a better man. A braver, stronger man. Now I am left trusting in some undefined natural process that may or may not be effective. And those two boys . . .

    Their Dad avoids them during times like this. They know. They know he’s doing dope. They miss him. I miss him

    The immediate future is uncertain. I am confident that Jesi has the strength to dash the monkey on her back to the ground and be done with it. I am very, very uncertain about SIL. He could dash us all.

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

    Hey, all.

    So I have a paper – short little thing, just under 2k words – and it is due electronically in 80 minutes.

    I’ve had a cold & I’m really tired. I need someone to look over it for obvious misspellings and confused sentences & the like. You don’t have to know anything about the law – I just need a pair of waking eyes.

    Anyone here wanna read 2k words about interpreting Canadian laws?

    I normally use my partner, but she fell asleep putting the kids to bed b/c they took so long to calm down tonight. :(

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

    e-mail me @ my nym @ the google.

    I’ll send it out to you right away & you can just highlight things.

    RTF work?

    If you use a mac and have pages, I can do that, but I don’t own Word (as I couldn’t get it for free).

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

    @dalillama –

    Lovely!

    If you two don’t mind, I’ll use you both: it’s just normal for persons dealing with unfamiliar topics to miss more of the basic commas & misspellings & such.

    No one else need volunteer, though. I’ll expect ann e-mail from you, Dalillama?

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

    Backatcha, Schmott Guy.

    …and hey, did you see this?

  290. Crudely Wrott says

    On you, Dalillama; for some reason I can’t get an email through to CD. Probably my lack of email fu. I’m so written letters yet still. (frustrating. siwoti or sumpin)

    Crip Dyke, you’re probably in good company, in good hands. Good luck to you.

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

    May I just say to everyone, that while it was Dalillama & Crudely this time, I just love that I can come here and get someone to eyeball a paper on short notice.

    Obviously not something to be overused, but the fact that I can do it when my partner falls asleep on me & I’m too tired to do it reliably myself just says oodles of wonderful things about all of you.

    Carry on with your wonderfulness.

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

    sorry, crudely.

    you had the dot com? You didn’t put an underscore in the num, did you? It’s all run together. You know that “the google” = “gmail” right?

    Doesn’t really matter now, but I do know that the short hand we use so as not to have our e-mail addresses on spam lists can be difficult to interpret (as difficult as the evidentiary provisions of the Coroners Act, maybe?)

    You’re a peach regardless. If you figger out how to get an e-mail through, I promise to send you some nice words, even if it’s too late for the paper (I sent it in before I saw that you were trying to e-mail me).

  293. says

    Good morning
    Crudely
    I’m sorry for those assholes still bringing drugs into a home where somebody tries to get clean.
    Hope it turns out well.
    *hugs*

    From the cool department
    Today #1 has a little Halloween party at school since it’s the last day before the autumn break. Her teacher came as a really great zombie-lady. I approve.

    From the WTF department
    This morning #1 told me that some of the boys at the after-school daycare tell her that she has to pick 3 boys and then sleep with them!?!?!?!
    She’s in godsdamn 1st grade! She’s a whole whomping 6 years old. What is it, were the long-sleeved shirts with unicorns too revealing? Or should she have known better than to be at a daycare-facility at 3 in the afternoon?
    I’ll inform the teachers this afternoon and if that doesn’t stop I’ll get the little perverts’ asses and I double-dare anybody to tell me they’re just boys, harmless fun. As I see it, I’m doing them a favour by not excusing their sexual harassment at the whomping age of 9. Because they better learn that now.
    I also told #1 that she did the right thing in telling me, that it’s not OK, that she should immediately tell me if they do it again and especially that should they ask her to touch them she should shout NO and run to the teachers and tell them.
    I’ll need to have a longer talk about what “sleeping with a man” actually means, but with the talk we needed to have urgently we were already late.

  294. Crudely Wrott says

    Crip Dyke, I tried three times each time taking extra care to make sure I spelled your nym correctlly (as it appears here) and the g.mail is easy peasy. This sort of thing happens often to me.
    Tell you what. I’ll try once more while I have my email page opened. Hold the lion, pleeze . . .

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

    Mrmph. Didn’t get it.

    I really do appreciate your efforts, Crudely.

    Poetic, e-mail, and otherwise.

  296. Crudely Wrott says

    Giliell, thanks for the props. The road is long, I am indefatigable. Sometimes not quick enough or creative enough or willful enough. Something else will likely break before I do.
    I only hope that it is not this little family hanging on by fingertips. It is so full of promise and it is so precious. If you only could see these two youngsters. They got right stuff. It teeters on a knife edge. What shall I do? What can I do? Probably take a risk.

    CD, failure number four. Sadly, count me out for proofreading. Dalillama will take care of that job, I’m sure.

  297. Crudely Wrott says

    Crip Dyke:

    Mrmph. Didn’t get it.

    I really do appreciate your efforts, Crudely.

    Poetic, e-mail, and otherwise.

    So. More poetry then?
    I’ll give it a go just because you and others like it. And soon is the pictures of little guys on my hand and otherwise close by.

    Laundry done, cryptic note left atop the pile of folded clothes, energy spent for the day. Another comes soon. May all the Horde find it a good day. A good day.

    G’night.
    Love,
    Crudely

  298. opposablethumbs says

    Giliell that’s appalling. You’re doing those three little budding MRAs – and everyone they ever encounter – a huge favour by getting this shit blown up in their faces as totally fucking unacceptable at an early age. Good for #1 for telling you right away.

  299. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Crudely:
    My best wishes to you and your family, especially eldest.
    ****

    Giliell:
    I second your WTF. 9 year olds engaged in sexual harassment…fuck.

  300. opposablethumbs says

    Crudely, sorry to hear about Eldest Daughter’s troubles :-( Hope she manages to get it back together quickly – glad that you are there to help.

  301. says

    Thanks y’all
    Minor clarification: It’s boys I know the name of. They tell her to pick three out of all the boys. My writing is suffering from acute rage right now.
    And yeah, although I currently want to make them write a million times “I must not be a misogynist sexual harasser and total shitstain” (that would make sure they wouldn’t harass anybody in a long time), I’m also sorry for them because they weren’t born as little misogynist assholes who think that gang-raping 6yo would be totally fun and who are already thinking that girls and women are just there for their personal amusement. And yeah, society let’s it go on, boys will be boys, they’re just kids until one day somebody looks and says “that’s no way for an adult to behave, here’s some consequences”.

  302. rq says

    David @336
    I once read a poem in Old Prussian. I could make out some of it, in the same way I can make out some of Spanish by knowing French…
    I’ve heard/read the argument that the Baltic languages are actually closely related to the Celtic/Gaelic languages. With some linguistic support, but nothing particularly solid.

    Giliell
    *[support gesture]* for dealing with #1, oh man, I dread such conversations, even though I know they should be had. We’re still working on reinforcing bodily autonomy and consent, but yeah, school next year – a whole new can of worms. For what it’s worth, I admire your ability and strength to deal with it all.

    Crudely
    Yes, a book… :) I believe you can do it.
    Also, I have great admiration for your compassion and fortitude in dealing with your family (all members), and I can only wish you the best (and them, by proxy) and all success in overcoming.

  303. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Giliell,

    And yeah, society let’s it go on, boys will be boys, they’re just kids until one day somebody looks and says “that’s no way for an adult to behave, here’s some consequences”.

    when I figured that out, it cleared up so many things about certain people I know.

    *hugs* and support. Your daughter it lucky to have you to treat the situation as it should be treated, and not brushing it off (or worse, blaming her).

  304. bassmike says

    Giliell It’s horrible that at such an early age boys can feel so entitled. I hope the school reacts properly and stops this behaviour straight away.

    Crudely Wrott Sounds like a lot going on in your life at the moment. I hope things improve for you and your daughter

    On the home front: daughter slept through the night (Hoorah!) which meant two very tired parents got a good night’s sleep too. Her eye infection is on its way out, but we still need to apply eye drops. The nighttime application is fine (thanks for all the advice), but the morning one is tricky. We are now making a bit of a game of it by using the dropper on her fluffy bunny comforter, then daddy and mamma.It isn’t a breeze, but she’s a lot more accepting. Hopefully only another day or so and we’re done.

  305. birgerjohansson says

    Glen Cook has written an excellent fantasy trilogy, starting with “The Tyranny of the Night: Book One of the Instrumentalities of the Night”
    Much here for enthusiasts of medieval history, especially inter-church schisms and war.

    Unfortunately the narrative universe is so rich in details and names that many readers get bogged down in the first book. Below is a (very long) post intended to make things easier forfuture readers.

    Glen Cook: The Tyranny of the Night: Book One of the Instrumentalities of the Night
    Here is the US edition: http://www.amazon.com/Tyranny-Night-Book-One-Instrumentalities/dp/076534596X/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1382086071&sr=1-2&keywords=instrumentalities+of+the+night

    Excerpt of review by R. Adams:
    ”In this fantasy world, there is a wall of ice in the north which is slowly crawling over humanity, reclaiming the land for the imps, demons, and dark gods who are (drum roll please) the instrumentalities of the night. The wise in the world theorize that this ice age is occurring because the great magical Wells of Ihrain, which the world’s two greatest religions both covet and which correlates to Jerusalem in our world, are gradually drying up. Indeed, the glacier’s growth is increasing, which suggests that the wells are accelerating toward their eventually demise. However, this lessening of their power has not kept the Patriarchs of the West and the Pramans, or the followers of the Written, from fighting several crusade-like wars for possession of them.”

    -here is a review by Paul Brazelton:
    ”I’ve been reading Glen Cook’s novels for about fifteen years now, and have been consistently impressed with his writing. What makes his novels – especially the Black Company series – so engrossing is the attention to the life of the characters. From darkly humorous to violent to poignant scenes, Cook manages to get you heavily invested in his characters, makes you care about them beyond reason.

    This is where Tyranny of the Night diverges from books of the past. In the Black Company novels there was always an idea of a larger world outside of the characters, but that larger world was never fully realized or explored. In this novel, the world Glen Cook has created becomes a major character; a complex, complicated and sometimes infuriating character.

    I found that getting into the novel was more difficult than in past books, primarily due to the deluge of information in the first 100 pages. Names, locations, history, cultures and divergent chronologies come pouring out for the first quarter of the book. Only dedicated readers will make their way through the morass, which is very unfortunate. To my surprise, Tyranny of the Night is probably the most accomplished book in Cook’s very long history.”

    -I took the liberty of copying the review by E. Allen, for clarity of geography and analogs between our wortld and the narrative universe (mostly resembling a 13th century Europe):

    ”Some folks were upset at the lack of a map. The map of Europe and the Mediterranean will do just fine. The parallels with real medieval history somewhat mixed in time but very close in a lot of ways. Pope vs Antipope looks like 12th C. You have Ottomans from the late 14th or 15 C (assuming the Sha-lug are Janissaries) with Western Europe at the beginning of the Albigensian Crusades in the early 13th C. Early gunpowder would say 14th C. Crusader Kingdoms 12th – 13th.

    Some of the places appear to be:

    Brothe = Rome

    Andoray = Norway

    Connec = Langeudoc (Southern France)

    Friesland = Denmark

    Arnhand = France

    Calzir = Moorish North Africa

    Holy Lands = Holy Land

    Dreangar = Ottoman Turks

    Antieux or Khaurene = Toulouse

    Firaldia = Italy

    Santerin = England

    Sonsa = Venice

    Plemenza = probably Florence or Milan

    Vieran Sea = Adriatic

    Creveldia = Greece

    Eastern Empire = Byzantine Empire

    Mother Sea = Mediterranean

    Navaya = Spain or one of the pre-unification Spanish Kingdoms

    People and Organizations

    Sha-lug = Janisssaries

    Grail Emperor = Holy Roman Emperor

    Patriarch of Brothe = Pope of Rome

    Principates of the Collegium = Papal Legates

    Chaldarean = Christians

    Brothen Patriarchy = Roman Catholic Church

    Deves = Jews

    Pramans = Muslims

    Maysalean Heresy = Albigensian Heresy = Cathars

    Duke Tormond = Raymond VI of Toulouse

    Braunsknechts = Landsknechts

    Brotherhood of War = Knights Templars and/or Hospitallers

    Johannes Blackboots = Frederick Barbarossa (Redbeard) with some changes

    Patriarch Sublime = mix of a couple Popes”

  306. birgerjohansson says

    Sorry for the length of the previous post, I hope the reading experience of the novels make up for it.

  307. rq says

    birgerjohansson
    Thanks for the book review, and once again, no Balts to be seen anywhere… Considering they got their own (Livonian) crusade at the end of the 12th century, I always find that at least a little bit surprising.
    Also, quite a while ago I believe you mentioned a book by an (ostensibly male) author, with, I believe, the word ‘Jupiter’ or ‘Jove’ in the title. Possible initials of author are R, T and/or P. This is as far as my memory goes. Back then, I forgot to write it down, but I want to put it on my reader. Help???

    bassmike
    HOORAY for a night of sleep! :D And hooray for passing eye infections, I hope it is only another day, and then good health for everyone!

  308. opposablethumbs says

    Here’s to a soon-completed eye-cure for SmallDaughter and plenty of shut-eye for all the family, bassmike

  309. carlie says

    Crudely, I feel for you. A friend of mine’s daughter was addicted to heroin, and there were several attempts at coming clean that didn’t last long. It’s a hard, hard thing. She thinks she’s finally beaten it this time – it’s been a couple of years now. But there are places she can’t ever go again, literally whole cities, because she knows the places she can get it there and just that is too much to handle. And she couldn’t do it at all until she managed to completely dump the guy who was her partner/main supplier, and that took so, so long to do. The heart is an asshole, sometimes, and one’s heart never has one’s best interests in mind. You are a good dad, you are.

    As for the jeans, they can be worn a few times before washing. Didn’t get it done in time? Sprinkle some baby powder on the insides and hope for the best. :) That’s great that you’ve got them doing the laundry, though. Mine are supposed to do the putting away part, and don’t do a great job on that, and doing the washing is coming soon. I want them to know how to live on their own before they go and do it.

  310. rq says

    Laundry and kids is a hit-or-miss activity in this household. They love pressing the buttons on the machine, and they love pouring the detergent into the right pocket. But gathering up dirty laundry? Sorting? Folding? Putting back…? Not so much (although the putting back bit is getting better).

    +++

    Neil Gaiman on reading
    , books and libraries. Most impactful (that is so a word!) statement in that whole article:

    How many prisoners are there going to be, 15 years from now? And they found they could predict it very easily, using a pretty simple algorithm, based on asking what percentage of 10 and 11-year-olds couldn’t read.

    Some ideas for Halloween costumes. I saw a few I liked…

    While I am definitely not one, some daily struggles of a tall girl.

    Haha, a close look at special effects, also known as The Tribute to How We’ve Always Done It.

  311. birgerjohansson says

    rq, Charlse Stross’ book “Saturn’s Children” has now been followed by the sequel “Neptune’s Brood” which I personally liked better. It is set millennia after the first one.
    As in many other Stross novels the machinery of money is crucial -how do you create a reliable financial system thta spans interstellar distances?

    Another book in the “Laundry” series is coming in November.

  312. rq says

    birgerjohansson
    I meant the Livonian Crusade, which targeted most of the Baltics as a whole (thank you, Teutonic Knights!), not the endangered language. Livonia was a decently large territory, and it rarely appears in any kind of medieval fiction version of history. At least, I have yet to read of one, even as a passing mention. It’s not so much that it bothers me, but that it seems to have been a rather important entity back in the day – so I’d expect it to appear in books about that or similar eras (fiction, science fiction, and fact-based…).

    And I forgot previously – abandoned library (anti-book-porn?). Makes me sad.

  313. birgerjohansson says

    Neil Gaiman incidentally featured a past king of Livonia in one of his “Sandman” graphic novels -the one where Lucifer quits Hell and evacuates the premises. A rather nasty former king insisted on staying.

    BTW the fashion among some goths of using top hats comes from another Sandman story; “Death; The high cost of living” where Death (a rather hot-looking sister of Dream) favors a top hat and goth outfit during the one day every century she is allowed to roam the streets as a mortal.

    “Laundry and kids is a hit-or-miss activity in this household”
    Better not, in case you are summoning nasty critters (another Stross reference)

  314. birgerjohansson says

    I see the islanders of Saarema gave both the teutonic knights and the Swedes a bloody nose. Strange that this war is not referred to in Swedish history books.
    If the principality of Novgorod had been ruled by smarter people they would have helped the baltic peoples keep the teutonic knights away from the neighbourhood.

  315. rq says

    birgerjohansson
    Maaaybe it was Saturn’s Children… The memory is saying that’s close, but not quite it. :( Ergh.

  316. rq says

    birgerjohansson
    The idea of sticking together back in the day wasn’t too popular, I suppose. :)

  317. birgerjohansson says

    rq, back then I might have misremembered it as “Jupiter’s Children”

    Damn the logistics of helping my 86-year-old mom move to her new assisted-living apartment is giving me a stomachache.

  318. rq says

    birgerjohansson
    Perhaps. Probably is the Charles Stross, and memory is being what memory always is. Thanks in any case, I’ll figure it out eventually!

    And good luck with the move and assisting your mother, that can’t possibly be easy!! *[moral support]*

  319. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    What the hell.

    Right now, I am getting bombarded by emails from FtB. Somehow I have subscribed to every single post on every blog on FtB. How do I stop this?

  320. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    Well, I have a temporary fix. FtB is now counted as spam and automatically diverted. How did I manage to subscribe to every active thread on FtB? How do I undo this? How could I be this stupid?

    (Okay, I know the answer to the last one)

  321. opposablethumbs says

    Kevin, that’s great – go you!

    Ogvorbis, argh. I hope some of the technically-competent folk around here can see you right.

  322. says

    Newly elected Democratic Senator Cory Booker is going to leave New Jersey for Washington DC with a flourish. He plans to marry some same-sex couples on Monday.

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/chrisgeidner/cory-booker-plans-to-start-marrying-same-sex-couples-at-1201


    Multiple advocates in New Jersey confirmed that the Newark mayor who just won election to the Senate on Wednesday plans to conduct weddings in the first floor rotunda of Newark City Hall after the clock strikes midnight.

    The only remaining question is whether the New Jersey Supreme Court will issue an order before then putting marriage equality on hold while it considers an appeal of the trial-court decision that led to Booker’s plans.

  323. says

    Ogvorbis is going to suffer from raised eyebrows up to his hairline (if he has a hairline) after reading this. A few mormon guys of very little brain toppled one of the formations in Goblin Valley State Park in Utah.


    Geologists say the rock dates back about 165 million years though the toppled formation was formed no more than 20 million years ago …

    … Glenn Taylor said Thursday afternoon that he was the man who pushed over the formation, while Dave Hall filmed and Dylan Taylor looked on. According to Taylor, he and Hall are leaders for a local troop of the Boy Scouts of America. Hall added that the men also were acting as Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints youth leaders. …

    At the link, there’s video of the guy pushing the balanced rock off its base.

  324. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Feminism+Comics @NYC Comic-Con:

    Q: My friend, who happens to be female, and I, argue that I make too much of a big deal over female representation in comics…

    Kelly Sue DeConnick: She’s wrong! It is a big deal. I am willing to make people uncomfortable so that my daughter doesn’t have to! I was Smurfette on the Avengers panel yesterday and NO! That’s not good enough. I appreciate and I am proud of the progress that’s being made and I don’t want to sweep it under the table. But this job ain’t done. Nobody sit down! [applause interrupted and followed]

    Q: Talking about representation of women, women of color and everything—what’s the most important message you’d like people to get?

    Amanat: We’ve all felt like outsiders in our own way, and you can use that medium to address people who are outsiders and show that everyone actually is on the same playing field. I feel very lucky as a minority in a minority (medium), I try to use the books to be inclusive. I have some unannounced books coming out in a few weeks that I hope will do that.

    DeConnick: I think that the message is that no one is “other”. That white males are not the “default human being”. There is no such thing.

    http://www.bleedingcool.com/2013/10/13/we-need-you-to-be-ready-the-women-of-marvel-panel-at-new-york-comic-con/

    I have not read much by DeConnick, but what little I have was quite enjoyable. I love her quote above about the ‘default human being’

  325. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Co-worker found, and messaged me, on OkCupid.

    Uh.

  326. says

    This is a follow up to my post #329 about billboard companies refusing to rent billboard space in and around Salt Lake City to the American Atheists organization. Dave Muscato, PR Director for American Atheists, has made an appearance in the comments section below the the article. Muscato was also quoted in the article.

    We would have rather put up our billboards. It’s not about press. It’s about discrimination. We are a civil-rights advocacy group and this is exactly the sort of thing we fight every day. If we wanted to make the news we have more effective ways of doing that than simply not putting up a billboard. Frankly we would have gotten just as much or more news coverage by putting up the billboards as we are for being refused for the same.

    We did make our own ad campaign. We made several. They were all rejected. And it doesn’t cost any more—we do this in-house.

    The purpose of the ad is to help ex-Mormons—people who no longer believe in gods, thus the crossed-out “Mormon”—understand that instead of basing their identity in a community they no longer feel a part of, it’s okay to call themselves “atheists” and join OUR community (thus the crossed-out “ex-Mormon”). The coincidence with the Mormon church’s ads is secondary. The target market for this campaign is our fellow atheists, in this case people who call themselves ex-Mormons. We want to show them that there is this whole community of people here for them, called “atheists,” that they can join if they want to, rather than just feeling like they’re no longer Mormon.

    – Dave Muscato, PR Director, American Atheists

    Freedom of religion is impossible without freedom from religion. They go hand in hand. You are not free to practice your own religion if another religion is being forced upon you. We have separation of church & state for excellent reasons.

    And there are MANY atheists in Salt Lake City and that entire area of the country. Only about 40% of residents of Salt Lake are active members of the church. In fact about 1 in 7 people in SLC respond “no religion” when you survey them about what religion they are. This is lower than the 1 in 5 average for the rest of the country but the point stands: The LDS church does not represent that majority of people in SLC.

  327. says

    This is a follow up to my post #403. Dave Muscato also replied to mormons in the readers comments section who were saying that Muscato shouldn’t single out Utah, nor Utah billboard companies, because he would get the same treatment elsewhere.

    We’ve run MUCH harsher billboards in much more religious areas, for example ones that say “You know it’s a myth and you have a choice,” in Arabic, in a heavily-Muslim neighborhood, and another, in Hebrew, in a heavily-Jewish neighborhood. We have also run billboards in Dallas etc.

  328. says

    PZ, I don’t know if you are still searching for a topic for your talk at the American Atheists meeting in Salt Lake City, but there are a lot of people arguing about after-death experience (or lack thereof) in the readers comments. Some examples below.

    The answer to the question of life, space and time, lies outside space and time. Thoughts in your brain are no more fundamental than smells, sights and sounds. Like any experience, they arise in your awareness, they have a certain texture, and then they give way to something else.

    If you can observe your thoughts just like you can observe other objects, who’s doing the observing? Do you really believe that all you are is your brain?

    The brain ceases to function after death. So you really cannot experience anything after death. To say I will is to say I have a working brain after my brain has stopped working. can you see the absurdity?

    Atheists are really funny people. Two seconds after they die they’ll realize they’ve been living a lie.

    Two seconds after I die, I’ll have been dead for two seconds and unable to realize anything because my brain has ceased to function. Dead people don’t say much about the afterlife, or about anything at all, really so no way to confirm afterlife.

  329. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    Lynna @400:

    Ogvorbis is going to suffer from raised eyebrows up to his hairline (if he has a hairline) after reading this.

    Throw the fucking book at them. Not the Book of Mormom (not even the musical), but the book of law.

    As for the age of the formation, I would doubt, seriously, that the toppled formation was more than 20,000 years old. Hoodoos have a very short life once they have been etched out of the parent rock by wind and frost action.

  330. says

    Ogvorbis @406:

    As for the age of the formation, I would doubt, seriously, that the toppled formation was more than 20,000 years old. Hoodoos have a very short life once they have been etched out of the parent rock by wind and frost action.

    Yeah, I thought their estimate of the formations age was way off. Still no reason to go knocking down rock formations on public land. What a bunch of doofuses.

    The vandal said, “I’ll take my chances with the cops rather than my conscience after hearing a family was crushed to death by a rock I was prompted to move.” “Prompted” is mormon-speak for being urged by the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit or God to do something.

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

    @Esteleth:

    OKC story? Super creepy.

    @Giliell:

    #1’s story? Super creepy.

    OTOH, it doesn’t make me say, “WTF?” I remember some really F things from when I was in grade school. I am not at all surprised that it’s still happening.

    I think it’s great you’re acting to end it, but I’m not surprised that it’s still happening. Go you. Kick some butt and make me not merely appalled but actually surprised when this happens again in the next generation.

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

    @Lynna, 407:

    What does that even mean? It means that if ze killed some folks, hir conscience would be worse punishment than the cops could dish out? Forgive me if I don’t believe ze has an overdeveloped conscience.

  333. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    Sorry. Didn’t cite my source on the expected life of a hoodoo.

    From http://www.nps.gov/brca/naturescience/hoodoos.htm

    Unfortunately hoodoos don’t last very long. The same processes that create hoodoos are equally aggressive and intent on their destruction. The average rate of erosion is calculated at 2-4 feet (.6-1.3 m) every 100 years.

    The hoodoos at Goblin Valley are more similar in geology to Bryce Canyon than to nearby Arches National Park. The sandstone is softer, less compacted. Even at half the erosion rate calculated for Bryce Canyon hoodoos, that would mean a life of only a couple of hundred years for each hoodoo. Luckily, new ones are weathering out constantly.

    ====

    They are claiming to have vandalized a public resource for safety reasons? What, telling a park ranger was too much trouble? Or not enough fun?

  334. says

    Crip Dyke @409

    What does that even mean? It means that if ze killed some folks, hir conscience would be worse punishment than the cops could dish out? Forgive me if I don’t believe ze has an overdeveloped conscience.

    If ye do ignore the promptings of the Holy Mormon Ghost and his Holy Effing Burning in Your Bosoms, then all blessings may be stripped from you and you will be as a naked worm, not fit to enter the temple.

    But mostly, you will lose your penishood.

    I think that’s how it works.

  335. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    Lynna @411:

    If ye do ignore the promptings of the Holy Mormon Ghost and his Holy Effing Burning in Your Bosoms, then all blessings may be stripped from you and you will be as a naked worm, not fit to enter the temple.

    So if he believes it is an urging from the Holy Mormon Ghost, nothing is out of bounds?

    Thinks about scout leader.

    Ah.

  336. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    And, on another note, that mushroomy tree up there at the top also looks similar to the Goblin Valley hoodoos.

  337. says

    Business leaders are slowly seeing the light. Republican whackos like Ted Cruz, not so much. This should deepen the deep rifts in the Republican Party.

    “We are going to get engaged,” said Scott Reed, senior political strategist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “The need is now more than ever to elect people who understand the free market and not silliness.”

    “I don’t know of anybody in the business community who takes the side of the Taliban minority,” said Dirk Van Dongen, longtime chief lobbyist for the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors

  338. says

    Fact checking the Fox News Lie Machine. Eric Stern takes on Sean Hannity. Subject: Obamacare.

    Excerpts below, but the entire article is worth a read. Lots of ammo to debunk Crazy Uncle conspiracy theories:

    I tracked down Hannity’s guests, one by one, and did my own telephone interviews with them.

    First I spoke with Paul Cox of Leicester, N.C. He and his wife Michelle had lamented to Hannity that because of Obamacare, they can’t grow their construction business and they have kept their employees below a certain number of hours, so that they are part-timers.

    Obamacare has no effect on businesses with 49 employees or less. But in our brief conversation on the phone, Paul revealed that he has only four employees. Why the cutback on his workforce? “Well,” he said, “I haven’t been forced to do so, it’s just that I’ve chosen to do so. I have to deal with increased costs.” What costs? And how, I asked him, is any of it due to Obamacare? There was a long pause, after which he said he’d call me back. He never did.

    There is only one Obamacare requirement that applies to a company of this size: workers must be notified of the existence of the “healthcare.gov” website, the insurance exchange. That’s all. …

    Finally, I called Robbie and Tina Robison from Franklin, Tenn. Robbie is self-employed as a Christian youth motivational speaker. …. They told Hannity that the replacement plans Blue Cross was offering would come with a rate increase of 50 percent or even 75 percent, and that the new offerings would contain all sorts of benefits they don’t need, like maternity care, pediatric care, prenatal care and so forth. Their kids are grown and moved out, so why should they be forced to pay extra for a health plan with superfluous features?

    When I spoke to Robbie, he said he and Tina have been paying a little over $800 a month for their plan, about $10,000 a year. And the ACA-compliant policy will cost 50-75 percent more? They said this information was related to them by their insurance agent.

    Had they shopped on the exchange yet, I asked? No, Tina said, nor would they. They oppose Obamacare and want nothing to do with it. Fair enough, but they should know that I found a plan for them for, at most, $3,700 a year, a 63 percent less than their current bill. It might cover things that they don’t need, but so does every insurance policy. …

  339. says

    There’s a glacial erratic in Onkiniemi, Sysmä right next to the national road 4, that used to be famous for being balanced just right on top of bare rock, that a single person could make it rock a little despite the enormous weight. (picture) So, of course, some assholes wrapped a cable around it and tried to move it with a truck (I’m imagining they were quite drunk at the moment). They managed to give it just enough of a nudge the rock rocks no more.

  340. thunk, decus et tutamen says

    uh hi…

    still mopey… kind of. I feel better, but then brain goes to report “Nothing has actually changed, you should be just as depressed as before.”

    which is kind of true, but still not a good reason to be sad.

  341. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    I guess it is official then.

    I am listed in the university directory as a student at the school of nursing.

    And, as a post-doctoral research fellow.

    I daresay the later listing will disappear early next year. *shrug*

  342. says

    The Republican effort to defund the Food Stamp program (SNAP) is alive and well.

    Shutting down the government … isn’t the only thing House Republicans did over the past two weeks. They also continued their push to defund food stamps.

    … Democratic and Republican leaders in the House selected the lawmakers that will negotiate with the Senate to hammer out a final version of the farm bill … The main stumbling block for months has been how much money the bill should devote to food stamps; the House wants to strip $39 billion from the program, and the Senate wants to cut just $4 billion. … Republicans …named one of the most anti-food stamp members of Congress to the committee that will decide the future of food stamps …

    Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Florida) has been leading the GOP effort to slash the food stamp program …”For the past six months, Southerland… [has] delivered 45 speeches about food stamps… and presented his idea to 13 governors,” … food-stamp reform is “what I’m about.”…

    Passage of the full, complete farm bill is already a year overdue.

    In September, the House split food stamps from the rest of the agriculture bill and passed the harsh cuts separately, with zero Democratic votes. The House plan would cut 3.8 million people off the program next year.

    President Obama and a majority in the Senate are against the deep cuts proposed by House Republicans.
    http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/10/food-stamps-farm-bill-steve-southerland

  343. says

    Kind of ‘rupt, but
    Crudely
    *hugs* and best wishes to you and yours.
    thunk
    *hugs* if desired.
    Gilliel
    Whoah, damn that’s creepy.
    rq377

    Thanks for the book review, and once again, no Balts to be seen anywhere… Considering they got their own (Livonian) crusade at the end of the 12th century, I always find that at least a little bit surprising.

    They get a mention in the Conrad Stargard books, which (mostly) take place in 12th century Poland. There’s a lot of other issues with those books, though, starting with sexism and the deeply Marty Stu-ish nature of the main character. Both of these get worse with time, as he switched to self-publishing partway through the series and lacked any editor at all.

    Maaaybe it was Saturn’s Children… The memory is saying that’s close, but not quite it. :( Ergh.

    There appears to be one by Ben Bova called Jupiter, with a sequel called Leviathans of Jupiter
    blf 382

    rq, Charlse Stross’ book “Saturn’s Children” has now been followed by the sequel “Neptune’s Brood” which I personally liked better. It is set millennia after the first one.

    I just finished Neptune’s Brood, and quite enjoyed it, although I was disappointed and somewhat jarred by the sudden use of a misogynistic slur towards the end. I’m going to see if the library’s got a copy of Saturn’s Children in later today.
    There’s also a Niven and Barnes book with a very similar title called Saturn’s Race, which takes place in the much nearer future on an artificial island similar in technology though not culture to those proposed by Marshall Savage. I recall it being pretty good, but it’s been years since I’ve read it and I’ve forgotten most of the details.

    Ogvorbis #392
    I’ve had that happen before too.

  344. rq says

    Thanks, Dalillama, for the book information… I think I’ll just have to read Saturn’s Children and see if it jives with what I remember of the surrounding conversation (not likely, ha!). It wasn’t Ben Bova I was thinking of, either. It was an author I hadn’t heard of previous to the mention of this book – which means it very probably is Charles Stross.

    Please explain reference to Marty Stu?

    Also, I realize my previous link is old news…
    But here is some good new news: employer makes a point of hiring people with disabilities, to everyone’s benefit.

  345. blf says

    “I don’t know of anybody in the business community who takes the side of the Taliban minority,” said Dirk Van Dongen, longtime chief lobbyist for the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors

    This guy is as deluded as the theethugs. The kochroach brothers are “businessmen”, controlling Koch Industries (the second largest privately owned company in the United States). The kockroaches are closely associated with theethuggery and are still actively trying to sabatage healthcare:

    … The latest campaign to kill off Obamacare in its infancy is now playing out on college campuses where a conservative group known as Generation Opportunity (GO), who are funded in part by the billionaire Koch brothers, is using the lure of free beer and “opt out” beer koozies to persuade young students not to buy health insurance …

    Traditionally, one might expect God-fearing conservatives to be warning youth about the dangers of alcohol consumption, rather than plying them with free liquor, but these are desperate times. The determined Koch brothers have already spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to derail the president’s healthcare law. So far, though, despite their best efforts, Obamacare has proved as “invincible” as the young people it needs to enroll. While it’s unlikely that the beer exchanges, shall we call them, will be the game-changer, the Kochs may well end up driving many of us to drink with their relentless and futile vendetta to undo the law — not just the college students.

    Nearly every movement to “educate the public” about the “dangers” of Obamacare can be linked in some way to the Koch brothers, and this latest college campus effort is no different. Last month, Politico revealed that GO has received $5.04m from the Koch-funded entity known as Freedom Works. This “grassroots” movement is now about to embark on an “Opt Out” tour of 20 college towns across the country as part of its effort to steer young people away from the Obamacare exchanges. …

  346. Pteryxx says

    passing through because some folks in UK gov’t really are incredible shits:

    Britain continues its slide into official xenophobia: a government contractor sent nearly 40,000 texts reading “Message from the UK Border Agency. You are required to leave the UK as you no longer have right to remain.” At least 400 of these reportedly went to people who had the right to be in the country, including some UK citizens. But the contractor says it’s all OK, because people who received messages in error weren’t deported — all they had to do was convince a sloppy, faceless, mercenary corporation that they had the right to be in the country and the threats of deportation, deprivation of access to their homes, employment and families ceased.

    http://boingboing.net/2013/10/18/uk-government-sends-40000-tex.html

  347. blf says

    Dalillama, Schmott Guy@423: “blf@382″.

    Huh? What? Comment 382 was from birgerjohansson. I have no knowledge about, or any idea what is. being discussed in that and related comments.

  348. says

    rq 425
    Male form of Mary Sue, broadly a character who is absurdly omnicompetent, liked by all cast members who aren’t Card Carrying Villains, is an object of sexual desire by all members of the author’s preferred gender(s), etc. Often shares a physical appearance and sometimes name with the author.

  349. cicely says

    Crudely, Fourecks is Pratchettian Australia. More or less.
    :)
    Puchline: “Some of the sheep”.
     
    Despite the animus I bear to moths that inconsiderately choose to spawn in my Kraft Macaroni & Cheese (and my Pasta-roni!), I will gladly accept moth-y *hugs* from you—and send this moth to deliver return *hugs*.
    :) :)
     
    As far as my literary talents go, I reckon that I kill at Really Bad Haiku.
    Hmmmm….
     
    Literarily
    I think I really slay at
    Really Bad Haiku.

     
    :) :) :)
    It even and unnecessarily semi-rhymes!
     

    It’s now eleven thirty. Guess who’s doing laundry. Third load just started. Drying and folding incumbent.
    I see a remedial course in planing and estimating in their near futures. Very near.

    I perceive the presence of Tactical Incompetence.
    “Sometimes, if you do a thing badly enough, you don’t get asked to do it again.”
     
    Possibly warn said Man Cub that if this incident repeats, you will dry & fold his brother’s jeans…but he will have to wear his wet—and the not-yet-to-be-worn ones will be allowed to dry all wrinkly. Un-cool-looking.
     
    I’m sorry to hear about your daughter’s difficulty. She has my best wishes in her struggle.

    Giliell:

    This morning #1 told me that some of the boys at the after-school daycare tell her that she has to pick 3 boys and then sleep with them!?!?!?!

    What the ever-lovin’ fuck!!!
    I am in complete agreement with opposablethumbs.

    birgerjohannson:

    Another book in the “Laundry” series is coming in November.

    And his latest novella in that series, “Equoid”, can be read here.
    You’ll never look at unicorns the same way again.
     
    Best of luck on the mom-move.

    Kevin: *happy dancing & confetti throwing*

    Esteleth:

    Co-worker found, and messaged me, on OkCupid.

    :(

    Lynna, your brother’s work remains stunning.

    Today’s TeeFury Shirt is very cute.

    WANT.
     
    *sigh*
    And it’s so affordable, too. Even in 3X….
    -

  350. rq says

    “Equoid”

    The Horses in Sheri S Tepper’s Grass already changed my views of equines of all kinds and stripes. For the better. Non-herbivorous horses with vicious teeth, mind-powers and sharp blades already attached? Awesome.
    (Thanks for the read.)

  351. Crudely Wrott says

    Lynna, you continue to speak boldly and with welcomed transparency. Thank you for going it on your own here and parting the curtains. You are worth your weight in unobtainium. And your brother’s work is fantastic. Link saved.
    ________
    A few moments ago who should pop into my head? Boz Scaggs, that’s who. Thus, three linkies:

    My Time, because I thought by now my time would be only mine but life interrupts.
    Dinah Flo, because I just want Jesi to flow, you know?
    Breakdown Dead Ahead, cause Daddies worry. They always worry.
    ________
    Hey! Tony! I do deeply appreciate your concern and good wishes. Thank you. Thank you very much.
    ________
    Update: Jesi is contrite this morning. When I gave her a bowl of oatmeal a while ago and asked her how she was feeling she answered, “I feel like such a jerk”. Somehow that gladdened me. o_0
    She really is trying hard; she sees the damage done to our little family and knows that she is the knife edge on which we are all balanced.
    Hope with me, dear Horde.

  352. cicely says

    *stepping out of character*
     
    rq, if non-herbivorous, telepathic horses are an attractive proposition to you, have you given C.J. Cherryh’s books about nighthorses, Rider at the Gates and its sequel, Cloud’s Rider, a look? They might be right up your alley…
     
    *Normal Service resumes*
    …lurking in wait, poised to spring, with malice in Their every thought….
    -

  353. says

    This is a follow up to my post #415 about businessmen finding Tea Party radicals “silly” and perhaps backing off on donations to the whackos.

    blf provided some pushback on this idea in comment #426.

    Okay, blf has a point. Here is an excerpt from a Salon article that backs up blf:

    Politico reports that hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer is one of the upset donors – but Singer doesn’t have a problem with the Tea Party “per se.” In fact, Singer is a big supporter of the Club for Growth, which helped drive this train; the group just announced it will support a primary challenge to ultra-right Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran after he voted for the default-avoidance deal.

    So, yeah, still plenty of money and other forms of backing being sent to Tea Party-ish hardline whackos. But still, if some business leaders, like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are willing to say that the whole shutdown and temptation of default demons was counterproductive and silly we have made some progress, however slight.

    I back off my too-optimistic outlook for deep rifts in the Republican Party, and am enjoying instead shallow puddles of dissent.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2013/10/republican-donor-frustration-98513.html

    http://www.salon.com/2013/10/18/kick_the_shutdown_extortionists_out_of_office/

  354. Crudely Wrott says

    Dalillama @423:

    Kind of ‘rupt, but
    Crudely
    *hugs* and best wishes to you and yours.

    Superball rebounding *hugs* right back atcha. ;^>

    Cicely @433:

    Possibly warn said Man Cub that if this incident repeats, you will dry & fold his brother’s jeans…but he will have to wear his wet—and the not-yet-to-be-worn ones will be allowed to dry all wrinkly. Un-cool-looking.

    Ooooh! I like. Sufficiently evil and sufficiently harmless. In the long run, that is. Short term impact coupled with long term enlightenment. It works for me ’cause I’m in this for the long run. Really, I have no choice. Well, I do but that choice is behind me now. Forward! Into the breech!

  355. says

    More from Dave Muscato, PR Director, American Atheists, as he attempts to reply to mormons defending the refusal of billboard companies in Utah to rent space to atheist organizations. (See comments #329, 332, 403, and 404 for previous comments on the same issue.)

    [link is http://www.sltrib.com/pages/comments?cid=57007310 -- you have to sort comments to display "newest" first to see Muscato's comments.]

    There are (generalizing of course) two kinds of atheists: so-called accommodationists, and so-called confrontationists. Accommodationists believe science and religion can coexist peacefully. Confrontationists like me and the rest of us at American Atheists acknowledge that, while that would be great in theory, in the real world, it’s not possible. When one religion has a mandate to convert others, or if they won’t convert, kill them, well… it’s hard to argue reasonably that we can all get along.

    When religions see it as their place to control women’s access to certain types of healthcare, we have a conflict there. When religions see it as their place to control what is taught in science classrooms, we have another problem. When they see it as their place to decide who’s legally allowed to marry, when they see it as their place to police their own when it comes to sexually assaulting children, when they see it as their place to indoctrinate children, we have a problem.

    It’s not moral to lie to ignorant or uneducated people, to tell them that if they believe nonsense, they can be saved. It’s intellectually dishonest and it’s harmful to humanity, not just in terms of human happiness but also in terms of motivations and economic productivity and so on. If you believe the end of the world is coming imminently and you and everyone you care about is going to heaven, you have no incentive to protect the environment or conduct medical research, etc. It’s bad news for everyone, religious or not.

    We recognize and support everyone’s right to believe what they want to believe, and practice their religion. It’s a right guaranteed by the First Amendment and we support that. But when believing or practicing your religion harms others, or when you cause your religious values to be forced on people who don’t share them, that’s not okay. And that’s where we come in.

    Hope this helps.

    – Dave Muscato, PR Director, American Atheists

  356. rq says

    cicely
    I have, in fact, read both of those books at least twice, that I recall. :) And I wish there were more of them. (Trust me, back in the day, I was expert at ferreting out (nearly) any and every thing/book/novel/story that had even the suggestion of horses and/or unicorns.) Still, something about the Tepper version is more appealing. Maybe because they’re less fuzzy. *shrug*

  357. says

    Hmm, this may prove to be an interesting study:

    … The latest work, led by scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center, adds fresh evidence to a long-standing view: When we close our eyes, our brains go on a cleaning spree.

    The team previously found a plumbing network in mouse brains that flushes out cellular waste. For the new study, the scientists injected the brains of mice with beta-amyloid, a substance that builds up in Alzheimer’s disease, and followed its movement. They determined that it was removed faster from the brains of sleeping mice than awake mice.

    The team also noticed that brain cells tend to shrink during sleep, which widens the space between the cells. This allows waste to pass through that space more easily. …

    http://www.biosciencetechnology.com/news/2013/10/sleep-cleans-out-gunk-brain

    Crudely in #435:

    Lynna, you continue to speak boldly and with welcomed transparency. Thank you for going it on your own here and parting the curtains. You are worth your weight in unobtainium. And your brother’s work is fantastic. Link saved.

    Thanks, Crudely. I appreciate the appreciation.

  358. Crudely Wrott says

    Cicely, just above:

    Crudely:
    Damn the breeches! Full speed, some-direction-not-to-the-rear!
    :D

    I’ll see your :D and raise you:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D whoop whoop rimshot hatcha cha cha ;^>

  359. David Marjanović says

    What is it, were the long-sleeved shirts with unicorns too revealing? Or should she have known better than to be at a daycare-facility at 3 in the afternoon?

    No, somebody simply decided to be a misogynistic bully today. The goal is to embarrass, to troll.

    However, do make it blow up in their faces. The earlier they learn it’s not fucking funny, the better!

    I once read a poem in Old Prussian. I could make out some of it, in the same way I can make out some of Spanish by knowing French…

    The complication here is that the Slavic branch underwent a series of sound changes very late, in historical times. There are place names from before at least half of them in Greece and Austria, meaning they’re from the late 6th century CE at the very earliest! These changes have made it close to unrecognizable from a Baltic point of view.

    And… how was the poem written? Old Prussian was only ever written in inconsistent ways based on the inconsistent German spelling practices of the time. For modern consumption, the spelling may have been normalized and “updated”, as is pretty much always done with Old Norse and Middle High German (for example). In the process, the pronunciation may have been interpreted as closer to Lithuanian and Latvian than it perhaps was.

    I’ve heard/read the argument that the Baltic languages are actually closely related to the Celtic/Gaelic languages. With some linguistic support, but nothing particularly solid.

    I’d like to see that support, because Celtic (of which Gaelic is a branch) isn’t thought to be particularly close to Balto-Slavic; the evidence is pretty good that its closest relative is Italic (the only famous Italic language, and the only one to have left descendants, is Latin).

    Forward! Into the breech!

    Full of win.

    ░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░

    Now happening for the third time: American wins Nobel Prize, official Austria is proud for silly reasons. Interview in German with Martin Karplus, Nobel Prize in chemistry, born in Vienna in 1930.

    New early Pleistocene human skull from Dmanisi in Georgia (no, the other one) boosts lumpers; authors coin invalid name in the process that reviewers somehow miss. News & Analysis paper. Both in Science and therefore behind paywall, abstracts excepted.

    “The conservation of sleep across all animal species suggests that sleep serves a vital function. We here report that sleep has a critical function in ensuring metabolic homeostasis. Using real-time assessments of tetramethylammonium diffusion and two-photon imaging in live mice, we show that natural sleep or anesthesia are associated with a 60% increase in the interstitial space, resulting in a striking increase in convective exchange of cerebrospinal fluid with interstitial fluid. In turn, convective fluxes of interstitial fluid increased the rate of β-amyloid clearance during sleep. Thus, the restorative function of sleep may be a consequence of the enhanced removal of potentially neurotoxic waste products that accumulate in the awake central nervous system.” Science, paywall. That was the abstract; further quote:

    “Despite decades of effort, one of the greatest mysteries in biology is why sleep is restorative and, conversely, why lack of sleep impairs brain function (1, 2). Sleep deprivation reduces learning, impairs performance in cognitive tests, prolongs reaction time, and is a common cause of seizures (3, 4). In the most extreme case, continuous sleep deprivation kills rodents and flies within a period of days to weeks (5, 6). In humans, fatal familial or sporadic insomnia is a progressively worsening state of sleeplessness that leads to dementia and death within months or years (7).

    Proteins linked to neurodegenerative diseases, including β-amyloid (Aβ) (8), α-synuclein (9), and tau (10), are present in the interstitial space surrounding cells of the brain. In peripheral tissue, lymph vessels return excess interstitial proteins to the general circulation for degradation in the liver (11). Yet despite its high metabolic rate and the fragility of neurons to toxic waste products, the brain lacks a conventional lymphatic system. Instead, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) recirculates through the brain, interchanging with interstitial fluid (ISF) and removing interstitial proteins, including Aβ (12, 13).”

    Saturn As You’ve Never Seen It Before – read, and click on the photo.

  360. David Marjanović says

    And now for the real link dump.

    Democracy Corps survey shows growing support for Obamacare
    (I love the “nbsp” in the URL.)

    Republicans never demanded Obamacare repeal, says Republican who demanded ‘getting rid of Obamacare’

    Tweets about Obamacare – I continue to be horrified by how much Americans used to pay for health insurance! I thought I had hit an expensive company!

    Best Redstate comment for today

    Life as John Boehner’s Constituent – short version: you can’t talk to him.

  361. Sili says

    Do any of you smart people know/recall the name for the (business) phenomenon that when one starts measuring some sorta metric or proxy to evaluate service or performance, that metric invariable improves, even if the service/performance doesn’t actually when viewed more ‘objectively’?

    I guess one could call it “a watched pot always *appears* to be boiling”.

    I’m almost sure there’s a name for it. And studies to go with it.

  362. rq says

    David
    I’ll have to dig up the poem (I have it in a book here) and perhaps transcribe some of it, and maybe you can tell me more about it. Because that’s an interesting point you raise (modernized spelling etc.). It was written in the Latin alphabet……. More than that, I could not say. As far as I know, the author did some extra-(intra-?)-polation, working from fragments of the language known to him.
    As for the Celtic-Baltic link, I’d have a harder time getting that info to you, as it’s in a rather obscure book by a very obscure Latvian linguist who was mostly working from a personal conviction that there’s a relation (hence, not very solid evidence) – working primarily with place names and very specific similar-sounding words – and the book is currently in storage in Canada. However, this same sort of comparison could probably be done with any two Indo-European languages and produce results that imply a closer link than actually exists. Like Baltic languages with Sanskrit and Urdu (or was it Farsi?). The links are extremely tenuous at best.

    And that is one.stunning.Saturn. As I have never seen it before. *swoon*

    +++

    Results of today’s windstorm: we have officially passed from Autumn of Raging Colours to Autumn of Skeleton Trees. Awaiting first snowfall…

  363. Crudely Wrott says

    Ooops. Forgot to thank you, Cicely, for the lovely Luna Moth. Such an elegant coinhabitant;

    graceful in form
    and graceful in flight
    to even base eyes
    a sheer delight
    softly silently through the night
    she keeps her appointed rounds
    while we sleep she purposely flies
    harmless unnoticed until she’s spied
    by freshly enlightened eyes
    all while the stars above wheel round

    One paid me a visit earlier this year and I think I have some pix which I’ll share when my mythical photoblog ceases being mythological. (eye roll)

  364. David Marjanović says

    Don’t Laugh. Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) Urges GOP To Declare War On Ted Cruz. Stop Laughing. Follow the first two links!

    Wow…Obama actually made Reid kill the Susan Collins deal

    Sign a card to congratulate Sen. Cory Booker.

    Petition to the prime minister of Pakistan: “Pardon Asia Bibi and rescind the blasphemy law that puts Pakistanis to death for believing in a religion other than Islam.” The law is so vaguely worded that openly not being a Muslim is enough for… the Sharia punishment for apostasy, which is death.

  365. David Marjanović says

    I’ll have to dig up the poem (I have it in a book here) and perhaps transcribe some of it, and maybe you can tell me more about it.

    :-)

  366. Sili says

    424.
    rq

    I love this house. Is there any way to save it?

    Perhaps reading the rules and bothering to get a planning permission when they rebuild.

  367. carlie says

    Damn. My son has a good friend (7 years now), who moved to a different district but is close enough that they still get together every couple of months or so. He just called to see if they could hang out soon, and it turns out he’s been hospitalized for a few weeks from being suicidal. Obviously his family is right on top of things, and he seems to be doing a lot better now, but still, damn. It makes me want to cry. He’s such a sweet kid, and even though they’re teens I think of them as babies, and they just shouldn’t have to go through depression like that. :(

  368. says

    From David M.’s second link in comment #446:

    And, as everybody knows, there’s an enormous difference between “repealing Obamacare” and “getting rid of Obamacare.” So if you’re one of the lying liars who is accusing Republicans of trying to use the government shutdown and threat of default as leverage to repeal Obamacare, you need to start telling the truth: They were simply trying to get rid of it.

    Clears the whole issue up for me!

  369. David Marjanović says

    Someone on Fb posted this and added: “Satire didn’t die; it just went to imgur.”

    Make sure to read the comments. All but 2 or 3 are right on!

  370. teejaykay says

    Caine, re: the discussion about the Sami and indigenous people in America, I had no idea you had that sort of heritage. I’m intrigued, being someone is interested in roots. I found out, for example that my last name comes from a Karelian town (now part of Russia thanks how the USSR rolled back in the 1940’s and that most people here derived their names from the towns or villages they were born in) and that my Ostrobothnian roots contained… uh… a criminal who married the same woman thrice, each time with a different identity. I admit it to being not only a language geek but many other sorts of geek.

  371. Crudely Wrott says

    Break Time!
    Guys been working all week to ensure the structural integrity of the upper room. SIL was impervious to my (intentionally constructive) suggestions and nudges. Now 5000 dollars over budget because of the short cuts he took. He can bang nails with the best of us but he ain’t no builder. Structurewise, that is.

    So, beers all around. Mostly because the shingles are on top and proper building to ground members are in place.

    Sheesh! If not for these guys the damned thing would fall over within five years. Kudos to ex wife for footing the bill.

    Now I go drink beer with guys who do what I do. Many lies are soon to be swapped.

  372. teejaykay says

    …I’m also typo-heavy apparently. I blame the unicorns. They come after me when I’m asleep.

    “I’m intrigued, being someone is interested in roots.” -> “I’m intrigued, being someone who is interested in familial roots.”

  373. opposablethumbs says

    Carlie, I’m so sorry. That’s so sad and awful – that poor kid, and it must be very hard for your son to get this dreadful news. Hope things get better for him, and for all the friends and family who care about him.

    The teenage years are sometimes the hardest of all, I think … because stress and school and exams and future-what-future, not to mention you haven’t got much of a track record to compare things to yet to get a sense of perspective, and hormones just make it all harder. Anyone who comes through all that a decent human being deserves a lot of respect – when I think of the hardships that some of the Horde have endured and still do endure, and still manage to be such good people, it makes me get something in my eyes.

    And it’s hard to watch them go through it, too. I think I might start to un-kink my neck and shoulder muscles when youngest hits the mid-twenties … :-\

  374. says

    Teejaykay:

    Caine, re: the discussion about the Sami and indigenous people in America, I had no idea you had that sort of heritage. I’m intrigued, being someone is interested in roots.

    I’m half Oglala Lakota, and half a bit of everything else on the planet. :D

  375. Rob Grigjanis says

    David M and rq: You may (or may not) be interested in the Indo-European phylogenetic tree produced by UPGMA (Unweighted Pair-Group Method with Arithmetic mean), on page 11 of

    http://eprints.biblio.unitn.it/1917/1/Phylogenetic_Inference_DISI.pdf

    Among other less surprising (to me) results, it seems to imply a closer relationship between Balto-Slavic and Indo-Aryan languages than between Balto-Slavic and other European groups. All a very grey area, of course, and the kind of branching shown is generally an oversimplification, not necessarily indicative of how languages actually develop.

  376. David Marjanović says

    a criminal who married the same woman thrice, each time with a different identity

    Intriguing. :-)

  377. carlie says

    Something good!!!

    Kansas Supreme court suspends Phil Kline’s attorney license

    Phil Kline was the asshole attorney general who harassed George Tiller and who tried to force all abortions in the state to be reported directly to his office (in violation of federal privacy regulations).

    opposablethumbs – yeah, and this kid has had it pretty hard, too. He’s lucky to have two parents who adore him, but they got divorced a few years ago, and they had to move to a housing project in the worst school district, and then his dad got diagnosed with MS. It reminds me so much of what some of my friends in high school went through, and I felt helpless not being able to help them, and I feel the same way now. All I can do is make sure he knows he can come over any time he wants to, and we’re always willing to give him a ride, and my kid seems to be a good friend to him.

  378. says

    Oh, and the Soweto Street Beat were the visiting peoples at the 40th UTTC powwow. They try to have visiting indigenous people from all over the world every year. The visitors always perform on youth cultural day of the powwow, to provide exposure to other indigenous peoples and cultures for the sprogs. Of course, plenty of adults hanging around, too.

  379. says

    Blast and hell. I seem to have purchased a batch of malfunctioning beer cans. The tab just breaks off and doesn’t leave a noticeable dent in the can. So far 3 out of 5 have failed.

  380. teejaykay says

    Caine:

    I’m half Oglala Lakota, and half a bit of everything else on the planet. :D

    Ah! I see! I can only claim to be a mongrel of people from certain areas of Finland, to the point where my dialect is a mish-mash of northern, southern and eastern Finnish. Big country (bigger than the UK) compared to a population of just under six million — jokes and dialects and even variants (compare Scots vs. British English). I can only attest that I come from a long line of farmers, criminals, peasants and workers.

    (As a side note, and I think I’ve pointed this out before, I sometimes find it confusing how people from the US proudly say they are of this-and-that European descent and then tilt the entire thing over and just say they’re proud Americans. I don’t get it — is it just a way of trying to be unique within a “we are all Americans!” clique, or is this just my Euro mind going bonkers?)

    @ David

    I think so too!

  381. opposablethumbs says

    All I can do is make sure he knows he can come over any time he wants to, and we’re always willing to give him a ride, and my kid seems to be a good friend to him.

    That’s the stuff that really is more precious than rubies, I reckon.

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

    Blast and hell. I seem to have purchased a batch of malfunctioning beer cans. The tab just breaks off and doesn’t leave a noticeable dent in the can. So far 3 out of 5 have failed.

    Don’t you see?

    This is what ANNOYS me about you sheeple. O[b/s]ama rules this Obamanation with a tyrannical, Iron Fist in a Velvet keffiyeh after being raised a Secret MUSSLIM and now, real Christians who DON”T worship the false god that bans alcohol can’t get their BEER?

    If only the RINOs had held Strong and Got Rid Of GOvernment, then we wouldn’t have Oscama’s secret “inspector” troops sabotaging beer production!!!

  383. thunk, decus et tutamen says

    hi all…

    The teenage years are sometimes the hardest of all, I think … because stress and school and exams and future-what-future, not to mention you haven’t got much of a track record to compare things to yet to get a sense of perspective, and hormones just make it all harder. Anyone who comes through all that a decent human being deserves a lot of respect – when I think of the hardships that some of the Horde have endured and still do endure, and still manage to be such good people, it makes me get something in my eyes.

    Quite possibly. It’d help if I didn’t feel depressed and hormonally trapped (yay transness?). Might I add it’s that age when one can really start making independent decisions, but is still legally and parentally barred from doing so.

    2 more things: The football people at the next school over are LOUD. (at least my school doesn’t have a team). Also I don’t know what really to do on weekends. Damn anhedonia, and having no one to talk to that is a decent human being.

  384. Crudely Wrott says

    Weed Monkey, get thee a church key! All your problems will just go . . . away. =)

    A can or bottle opener having a usually triangular head.
    –American Heritage Dictionary

  385. Crudely Wrott says

    Alternatively, any good pocket knife will liberate your favorite libation.
    I’ve never (well, except for toddlerhood) been without one.

    It’ll also work for paring finger nails, whittling small pegs to fit just so and cutting cord to length. Just ask Oggie. He knows the true value of a pocketed blade.

    Oh. make sure it is sharp. Very sharp. It’s still a truism that it’s a dull knife that cuts you.

  386. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    teejaykay @467:

    (As a side note, and I think I’ve pointed this out before, I sometimes find it confusing how people from the US proudly say they are of this-and-that European descent and then tilt the entire thing over and just say they’re proud Americans. I don’t get it — is it just a way of trying to be unique within a “we are all Americans!” clique, or is this just my Euro mind going bonkers?)

    What you’re running into is the confluence of assimilation, pride, memory, and patriotism.

    As of the 2010 census, 1.2% of the population identified themselves as being Native American, Native Alaskan, Native Hawai’ian, or Pacific Islander. Another 2.9% identified themselves as being multiracial (the racial groupings a respondent could pick from are: European descent, African descent, Asian descent, American (Native American, Native Alaskan, Native Hawai’ian, Pacific Islander) descent, or “other”). There’s also Hispanic/Latino, which cuts across all of the above orthogonally, making it a separate yes/no question (for the record, when I fill out the census I check the “white” and “non-Hispanic” boxes, as 100% of my ancestry comes from northwestern Europe).

    Even if we assume that all of those 2.9% are at least partially Native American by descent (unlikely), at least 95.9% of the population is entirely descended from immigrants who came after the fifteenth century. This includes, of course, immigrants who came unwillingly. People of European descent are currently the majority, at about 74% of the population (we’re also disproportionately old, meaning that the younger an American is, the more likely we are to not be of European descent, which is why demographers predict that the US will stop being majority-white before long).

    What does that mean?

    It means that, culturally, there was a concerted effort to define Americanness starting before the Revolution and intensifying afterwards. If we’re a nation, if “American” is a thing, then it must be defined, or else we’re just a collection of people who happen to be living in proximity. You’ve said you’re Finnish. That means more than you carrying a passport stamped “Suomen tasavalta” – you’re likely of a certain ethnic background, you likely speak a certain language, you are likely culturally religious in a certain way (whether or not you go to church or have any religious feeling), and someone who’s aware of the patterns could make a series of educated guesses as to your physical appearance that have a high probability of being correct.

    In the US, other than the “you probably speak English,” bit (and even then), none of those ethnic, religious, or physical-appearance guesses can be made. Indeed, there were attempts made at various points (and, in truth, they haven’t ended) to attempt to define “real” Americans along ethnic/religious lines, but in the face of our highly fractured demographics, they really aren’t workable, especially in the long term. The solution, then, to the question of how to take a collection of disparate people from all over and make us into a single nation was culture. That is, there was a sort of composite cultural identity that was constructed quite deliberately and this was made the standard. But, of course, said cultural identity couldn’t be things that were too firmly tied to the “old countries” (as they were, and are, termed). So you had three things happen simultaneously:
    (1) People being made (top-down by force and otherwise) to abandon the old ways and hew to the new standard,
    (2) Creation of pan-American holidays and customs that may resemble practices from outside, but are significantly altered to make them accessible to more people,
    (3) “Americanness” being defined not by concrete attributes like ethnicity and religion, but by adherence to a set of abstract principles.

    (I should note, of course, that these forces were hardly focused on immigrants and their descendants: Native Americans were likewise targeted.)

    The basic attitude, essentially, was “yes, you’re Finnish ethnically, religiously, and linguistically, but you believe in freedom and you set off fireworks on the 4th of July, so you’re an American.” And yes, that sounds supremely silly written out like that, but don’t assume that the sentiment isn’t extremely powerful.

    So that’s the answer to half your question (the “we’re all Americans!” bit). The “I’m of [descent]!” bit is like this:

    The forces of assimilation were frequently profoundly ungentle. They were frequently violent, coercive, and punitive. The “lower” a given background was (northwestern European Protestant Christianity was considered the pinnacle), the more brutal these forces were. So the maintenance of cultural/religious/linguistic identity and custom in the face of this brutality was a point of pride. Of course, this pride in maintenance was noted, leading to yet further brutality (google “Indian residential schools” for a particularly brutal example).

    There’s also the power of nostalgia and loyalty to family – yes, your family has left [place] and aren’t there any more, but that doesn’t mean that your ancestors who lived there were wrong or bad. It doesn’t mean that they aren’t worthy of remembrance or emulation.

    It isn’t an accident that – by and large – the Americans who are most likely to go on about their pride in their ethnic heritage are taking pride in a heritage that was demeaned and deliberately attacked. Alternatively, they’re racists.

  387. Crudely Wrott says

    This just in from our Comes As Only A Small Surprise But Sheesh desk, this.

    From the article:

    “Contact with outsiders, who treat it as an average stone, can violate the information contained in it. We already see the perturbation of the noosphere from constant attempts to lift the meteorite in fomenting international instability around Syria,” Breyvichko told the First Regional Channel.

    Well. How can you argue with that? Being so cut and dried and all and preserved in one hundred ten percent oil of true faith and stuff like that there noamsain?

    Some things just never change, do they?

  388. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Vaya Con Dios concert was great.
    We got handed booklets about Lennon, Janis, Hendrix, etc., drugs and God on the street when we were leaving.
    It’s a really wild crowd, on a Vaya Con Dios concert, so the distributors made some really good planning there, to target us with messages of getting back on the right track from the life of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll.

  389. Crudely Wrott says

    re: Esteleth @474, “Well you’re an American and so am I. I can tell by the mud in your eye”.
    –requisite Firesign Theatre cite

    I must be an American from the good old U S of A; I’m mongrel — pure bred mongrel and don’t you forget it!
    O_o

    So. Who’s with me? C’mon, true patriots. Doesn’t the blood of our special nation run hot in your veins? Are you with me?

    *if not obvious, /snark*

  390. Crudely Wrott says

    This moment’s Momentary Meme:

    It’s not how you swim, it’s how you hold your breath.

    From, I think, correct me if I’ve got it wrong, Nicki Bluhm & The Gamblers. Linky.

    From that page, this:

    “Now, to think of my life without music is almost as intense and shocking as it was when I first started doing this. I’m glad my life took this path. I’m on tour with my best friends and my husband. What’s not to like about that?” – Nicki

    From long ago, the genesis of Crudely Wrott:

    Life without music would be pretty hard to dance to. Know what I mean?

    Congruity. What would the Poopyhead call it? Convergent evolution? Like two paths finding solving similar solutions to a common problem independently? Chance and opportunity surviving, sez I. How ’bout that?

  391. cicely says

    Don’t Laugh. Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) Urges GOP To Declare War On Ted Cruz. Stop Laughing.

    Ah, Schadenfreude Pie—the tastiest of really-not-very-good-for-you-at-all treats!
    “Sure, it’s a pie freighted down by the petty weaknesses of men, but how does it taste?”

    Back just as soon as my computer restarts….
    -

  392. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    I once lived a musical life. There was a year or three where I was in more bands than was practical and a decade or two where Daddy might have rocked and rolled. And now I’m not. Life goes on, it’s different, I’ll grant you that, but is it better, worse? Hell If I know. Ah well, at least I’ll always have the tinnitus to keep me company.

    rg

    If your about, there’s a huge apology coming your way as soon as I get up the gumption to write it.

  393. cicely says

    carlie, I’m sorry about your son’s friend, and for your distress at his situation.
    *hugs* for you, enough that you can share, as needed.
     

    Kansas Supreme court suspends Phil Kline’s attorney license

    Hurrah!

    I remember in grade school that a lot was made of America being a Big Melting Pot.
    Hear a lot less of that, these days, what with the Relentless Incoming Tide of Brown People.
    Apparently, the current crop of Brown People has a much higher melting point.
    -

  394. thunk, decus et tutamen says

    Cicely:

    I remember in grade school that a lot was made of America being a Big Melting Pot.

    Me too, except we were starting to debate whether it actually was a Salad Bowl instead.

  395. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    ESTELETH @474:
    that was very interesting.
    How did you come about that info? Reading on your own time? College course(s)?
    Thanks for sharing.

  396. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Thunk:
    I remember thinking that America was more like a salad bowl back in my high school years (‘9’90-’94) and even discussimg the concept once or twice.
    Not sure what I think now.

  397. Crudely Wrott says

    Weed Monkey:

    I used a Leatherman Micra to stay hydrated… is the word beerated?

    Gently, no. The word is liquid. Beer is liquid and it is a word worthy of use, that is, usage. Liquid can be beer, Beer is better than liquid even as beer is liquid because beer has certain advantages or which, I trust, you are at least keenly aware of. All considered, liquid is the word. As is beer.

    Extra points for beer when it comes to common usage. It’s better than water. Even though it has water in it it is still more than water for the grace of grain an hops. Hoppitydoodah!
    We give water to one another when that’s all we have to give. We give beer to one another when we have more than water. So much for water. That’s why beer is better. Cause we like it more.
    >insert large grin here<

  398. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Major Trigger Warning: Suicide

    Comic Book writer Matt Fraction responds to commenter contemplating suicide

    As I started to cut, as the corner touched my skin and that jolt of pain fired into my head, I stopped and thought — y’know, last chance. Are you SURE?” he writes. “And I was tired. I sounded like you, that I knew there’d be ups again and downs but I was just so fucking TIRED I couldn’t stand the thought of having to get there. I felt this … this never-ending crush of days that were grey and tepid but for some reason i was supposed to greet each one with a smile. the constant pressure of having to keep my shit in all the time was just exhausting.

    “I wondered, then — well, is there anything you’re curious about,” he continues. “Anything you want to see play out. And I thought of a comic I was reading and I’d not figured out the end of the current storyline. And i realized I had curiosity. And that was the hook I’d hang my hat on. That by wanting to see how something played out I wasn’t really ready. That little sprout of a thing poking up through all that black earth kept me around a little longer. [...] A song, a comic, something dumb, something small. From that seed can come everything else, I swear to God.”

  399. rq says

    Tony
    Canada is, supposedly, a mosaic of multiculturality…

    carlie
    Sorry about SpawnFriend. :( *hugs* if so desired!!

    FossilFishy
    … Apology? Can’t for the life of me think what for. Perhaps it is unnecessary, considering the general way Life and Things have a habit of just plain intruding, and there being nothing to be done about it?

    Sili
    Ah, it’s alright. Sorry you’re having an unforgiving time. *[gesture of support]*

    Rob Grigjanis
    Interesting! The last few linguistic phylogenetic trees I looked at didn’t have the Celtic/Gaelic languages on it, for one reason or another. And the tree on page 12 is far more interesting than the one on 11, mostly because it’s circular. :)

  400. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    David M – *outstretching arms in preparation for a returnpouncehug before leaping to deliver it* =^_^=

    carlie – I’m glad #2 child is okay. *hugs*

    Dutchgirl – *hugs* I would love to be able to suggest a few computer games, but the ones I play generally involved killing things and taking their stuff.

    billingtondev – I’m so glad your daughter is doing better and seeing a therapist. *hugs and chocolate* for you both.

    bassmike – I have no suggestions for getting eye drops into a child’s eye. (Despite all my foreknowledge and previous experience, I still fight with the ones I need to put in my own eyes.)

    Ogvorbis – *hugs*

    Giliell – *hugs and chocolate* Good luck dealing with your daughter’s classmates.

    Kevin – Congratulations on nearing completion of your novel, and good luck in finishing your final review.

  401. chigau (違う) says

    So I can get the free internet if I go stand in the hallway.
    I love you all dearly but there are limits.
    nightynight
    xpost maybe

  402. thunk, decus et tutamen says

    WMDkitty:

    I am no sort of professional in any field whatsoever, but sounds like a UTI. You should probably get that checked out if possible.

    And the thing I forgot to say earlier:

    I was bothered with those “X for girls!” things for a long time. At first I thought it was due to “what about the menz” but lately I realise it’s because nobody ever considered me a member of the set of girls. I know the grass is way way greener on the other side of transitioning, but anxiety has severely slowed that process. I’m basically stuck in “That guy looks weird” phase of stuff and people treating me as such is vaguely annoying.

  403. David Marjanović says

    Boldface and repetitions of URL removed:

    Coca-Cola bosses are deciding if they should speak out against Russia’s anti-gay laws. As a major sponsor of the Olympics, Coca-Cola is under growing pressure.

    They’re expected to give their answer next week. Coca-Cola could claim Russia’s anti-gay laws have nothing to do with them. But if thousands of us send them emails, they could see this is a growing threat to Coca-Cola’s fun, friendly image and finally speak out.

    Coca-Cola’s spending millions on the games in Sochi, so President Putin won’t be able to ignore them if they come out against the anti-gay law. Can you send a quick email now to Coca-Cola boss, Muhtar Kent, asking Coca-Cola to speak out?

    https://www.allout.org/coca-cola

    Other Olympic sponsors, including McDonalds and Samsung, are waiting to hear what Coke says. If Coca-Cola does the right thing, other Olympic sponsors could follow in a domino effect.

    Beyond the Olympics, Coca-Cola is a huge investor in Russia so it has a lot of economic power in the country. And if Coca-Cola speaks out, it will massively up the pressure on the Olympics Committee to take a stronger position too. It could all add up to irresistible pressure on the Russian government to repeal the laws before the Olympics.

    Coca-Cola likes to shout about its reputation as a gay-friendly company. That means they’ll be sensitive to thousands of emails from us, raising the threat of a crisis for their reputation if they don’t speak out.

    All Out members are getting results. Most recently, 79,500 of us sent emails to the Olympic Committee. They replied – saying for the first time that lesbian, gay, bi and trans people are included in anti-discrimination Olympic Principle 6.

    Together, we got the UK Prime Minister to raise the anti-gay laws with President Putin face-to-face, after we protested in 34 cities across the world. And nearly 400,000 of us have signed the petition – wow.

    All Out members are busy elsewhere too – petitioning Cameroon’s President Biya to end violence and asking Australia to stop sending refugees to a country where it’s illegal to be gay.

    The suggested text isn’t bad, you can just add your e-mail address and click “send” – it really is quick.

  404. opposablethumbs says

    David, signed (thank you!)

    Thunk, I sympathise. I don’t know what your parents are like in general, of course, but you’ve indicated in the past that they’re not exactly very approachable about the issues you’ve mentioned here. What are communications like otherwise, do you get on well in other areas? I hope you have at least some good avenues of communication in meatspace, and I hope you go on talking to us here in any case. A {hug}, if you’d care for one, from a distant internet stranger-who-currently-happens-to-be-parental-unit-to-a-teenager-plus-a-universitySpawn.

  405. blf says

    I’m half Oglala Lakota, and half a bit of everything else on the planet.

    Right. That means we have a half Oglala Lakota, half Pea, half Penguin, half Horse, half Kraken, half Sniny Teethed Tooger, halt Celery, half Maniacal Laugh, half Ken Ham, half Cheese, half Richard Feynman, half MUSHROOMS!, half Tankard half-filled with Grog, half Magical half Sky Faerie, half sane theethug(nah, that’s not possible), half Unicorn, half Beer Volcano, half…, et al., in our mist. Sounds like something from Dr Who.

    Ok. I’m cool with that. Shame about there is some pea and horse in the mix.

  406. blf says

    America was more like a salad bowl back

    The sort where the caterpillars form a neighborbowel watch as protection against marauding lettuce, and only a few very brave jalapeños speak up.

    The peas claim that is the normal state of a thousand islands…

  407. blf says

    I seem to have purchased a batch of malfunctioning beer cans. The tab just breaks off and doesn’t leave a noticeable dent in the can.

    The mildly deranged penguin suggests wrapping the can in some cheesecloth or similar and going all teethug tamper tantrum medieval caveman on it. Bash it. Throw it. Shake it good. Shoot it out of a hypersonic cannon at a pea. Eventually, the can will crack, explode, or surrender. Squeeze the beer out of the cheesecloth and enjoy.

    She recommends cheesecloth for two reasons: One, it has cheese. And two, it separates the shrapnel from the beer.

    Alternatively, just install a few beer volcanoes. More beer without the hassle of cans, bottles, or other barriers between you and the beer…