Comments

  1. Crudely Wrott says

    Responding to birgerjohansson @ 457:
    .

    Spring is in the air
    Small creatures swarm finding mates
    Look out! Frigid nights

    From 60 F at night three nights ago to near freezing tonight. Poor small ones.

  2. Portia says

    so ‘rupt. So drained. So behind in responding to people’s kind words and happy thoughts and sickness sadness : (

    Here’s some *fluffy hugs* and soothing tea for all those suffering and their offspring.

    Needed to tell Nutmeg: I’ve been repeating your four words for the last few days: ‘be gentle to yourself’ Thank you, thank you. It has been helping me not panic or punish myself for this, that, and every other thing.

    I won every battle against that asshole that was threatening me and my client. It was like Christmas and the judge was Santa Claus. He gave us everything I asked for. I was so happy I actually cried.

    I’m so tired.

  3. David Marjanović says

    YAY PORTIA YAY *Jadehawk’s® Totally Biodegradable Confetti™*

    *restocks hug truck*

  4. Portia says

    Thanks David ^_^ Hugs gratefully accepted and reciprocated.

    I feel like I should clarify that the judge ruled in our favor after hearing the evidence…he wasn’t just in the mood to do us favors :)

  5. Nutmeg says

    Portia: I’m so glad that that helped. It’s funny which little things just stick with us. I’m not sure where I picked up the idea of being gentle to yourself (maybe Captain Awkward?), but it’s been a helpful concept for me during some rough patches. And yay! for a successful case.

  6. says

    Portia

    I won every battle against that asshole that was threatening me and my client. It was like Christmas and the judge was Santa Claus. He gave us everything I asked for.

    YAY! *happy dance*

  7. Portia says

    Nutmeg: It’s so true – sometimes those little things are like lifelines. I grabbed on in these rough waters :)

    Thanks WMDKitty :)

    At one point, I did direct exam and the other guy did cross, I was going to briefly rehab my witness on a couple points, and went to do redirect, and the judge said “Do you really want to redirect this witness?” There’s only one answer to that, and it rhymes with “Schmo, smudge.” I love when judges speak in code and tell you to move the fuck on because they’re already on your side on a particular point.

  8. A. Noyd says

    Portia (#505)

    I won every battle against that asshole that was threatening me and my client. It was like Christmas and the judge was Santa Claus.

    It was a Canadian Supreme Court case?

    (Seriously, though, super congrats!)

  9. says

    Checking in.

    Okay, it’s weird, and it’s needy and it’s stupid, but you guys help keep me sane, just knowing that I can always pop in here and bitch and whine about whatever’s bugging me and there will be at least one person “listening”.

    I love the Horde.

    **CUDDLE PUDDLE**

  10. says

    Yay Portia
    I remember when we got the verdict after we’d been sued by the idiot whose stepson had driven the car backwards into our baby stroller (with baby inside). Our friend and lawyer said she’d never read such a lengthy verdict for such a small civil case and it was basically 5 pages of the judge telling the other side that they were horrible assholes with a frivolous lawsuit who should be ashamed.

    +++
    *gna*
    I hate reports.
    I hate formulating aims and objectives.
    Everybody does.

  11. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    From the Recommended on the platypus video…having dealt recently with stage two of a Fucking Ant Problem, this. Was. Beautiful. :3

  12. birgerjohansson says

    Portia,
    Congratulations!

    Being a non-English speaker, I just realised that the Pharyngulate phrase “conga rats” is an anagram of “congrats”.

    For similar reasons , it has literally taken me up to five years to get puns at “Simpsons” and “Family Guy”.

    Medical stuff: Australian superhydrophobic brush-turkey eggs inspire ideas for germ-resistant coatings http://phys.org/news/2014-04-australian-brush-turkey-eggs-ideas-germ-resistant.html
    .
    Potent, puzzling and (now less) toxic: Team discovers how antifungal drug works http://phys.org/news/2014-04-potent-puzzling-toxic-team-antifungal.html

  13. rq says

    Yeah, someone has too much medical equipment on their hands.

    Thanks all for the advice and words re: this weekend and me, I’m sure we’ll resolve it somehow (the separate-ways option never showed up on my list because it’s not really an option, Easter being Family Together Time!! ’round here, and it leads to uncomfortable questions about why I didn’t go and stuff…).

    Anyway, today the kids are having a deep discussion about who has lived the longest. Because apparently age isn’t a factor, here. At all. :P

  14. opposablethumbs says

    Congratulations Portia! In my mind’s eye you’re a bit like a Pharyngulite Masked Crusader (or Caped Avenger … you know, something daredevilish like that) doing legal battle on behalf of those in need in your Sekret Identity of Mild-Mannered XXXX, Attorney-at-Law (is that right in USAnian-land?) before coming back to the Underground Volcano Island Lair to relax for a bit and have a drink at Tony’s Bar, revealing – when you put down your Lawyerly Briefcase Disguise – your true identity: Portia! Oh, and also firefighting … Go you!

  15. birgerjohansson says

    Those synapsids are cool. But the much earlier Tiktaalik still has the power to scare Ken Ham, after being ex tinct for 300 Myr. The ghosts on those faky TV shows are only a couple of centuries old.

    Victories for environmentalism may get more scarce if those corporate Democrats get more numerous
    (yes, this is the second time I post the link. It is the kind of link that deservs repetition)
    The Rise of Corporate Democrats in California http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/15/california-corporate-demo_n_5154200.html

  16. Kevin Anthoney says

    Spot the problem with this statement:

    Crucially, the Christian values of responsibility, hard work, charity, compassion, humility and love are shared by people of every faith and none

    From David Cameron’sarticle in the Guardian.

  17. rq says

    I believe Memoirs Found in a Bathtub worked on a similar premise (paperless world).

    +++

    Eldest, posing on the carousel in the playground: “I am a work of art!”
    Yes, dear, yes, you are.

  18. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Hello Lounge!
    The puppetmistress has treated me to a night out of sangria and paella.
    This, I followed up with the remnants of a bottle of red wide and Pringles…
    I am too happily pickled to be anything other than threadrupt…
    Happy safe hugs to anyone that needs them but keep me way from naked flames.

  19. bassmike says

    rq :

    Yeah, someone has too much medical equipment on their hands.

    Interestingly (or not) one of the first things MIRed was a vegetable. It was invented where I work so someone had a photo of an MRIed carrot on their wall.

    Well done Portia

    Have a good break everyone.

  20. bassmike says

    I’m pretty down on things at the moment. It’s not been a great year so far and it seems to be catching up with me.

  21. rq says

    bassmike
    *hugs* I hope that, as the year progresses, it gets better – and that you get a break (emotional and/or physical) from all the things you’ve gone through so far.
    I also have some spring sunshine and bracing winds on offer, if that helps any.

  22. carlie says

    bassmike – I haven’t had nearly the kinds of problems you have, but it’s been a pretty awful year for me too (which, my apologies to everyone, is why I’ve been absent a lot during heavy emotional lifting threads). I say we huddle down in the back of a blanket fort with ice cream and boozy cocktails and a few down comforters to wrap up in and wait for it to feel a little better. Maybe with a few of those mesmerizing color-shifting light globes and some ambient music.

  23. bassmike says

    carlie that sounds like an excellent plan! I’ll bring some ice cream, a well stocked drinks cabinet (with access for Tony as everyone knows he makes the best cocktails) and some chocolate. Maybe I can face the world by summer. *hugs*

  24. opposablethumbs says

    Ice-cream and booze of choice via USB to carlie and bassmike and Beatrice. I’m sorry you’ve got a particularly harsh load to cope with just now, and I hope it gets lighter. I’ll pack them in for dispatch with a few of these {{{hugs}}} if you’d like some.

  25. says

    Oklahoma is very much against alternative forms of energy, so much so that conservatives in that state intend to pass a bill that will make you pay extra is you install solar panels.

    Utility customers who want to install rooftop solar panels or small wind turbines could face extra charges on their bills after legislation passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives on Monday.

    Senate Bill 1456 passed 83-5 after no debate in the House. It passed the Senate last month and now heads to Gov. Mary Fallin for her approval.

    The bill was supported by the state’s major electric utilities, but drew opposition from solar advocates, environmentalists and others. It sets up a process at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to establish a separate customer class and monthly surcharge for distributed generation such as rooftop solar or small wind turbines.

    http://newsok.com/article/3955378

  26. Rob Grigjanis says

    rq @537: Melnais balzams is the worst alcoholic drink I have ever tasted. Truly horrible. ‘Plan 9 from Outer Space’ horrible. Makes me proud.

  27. says

    Sodomy still illegal in Louisiana:

    The Louisiana House of Representatives rejected legislation, on Tuesday, that would remove the state’s symbolic ban on certain kinds of sodomy. The bill failed by a wide margin on a vote of 27-67, with 11 members not voting.

    Louisiana’s anti-sodomy law was overturned and declared unconstitutional in 2003, with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling such state statutes could not be enforced. Still, the Legislature has been unwilling to officially strike the measure from state law, even though it can’t be used as a cause for arrest.

    A House Committee passed the legislation onto the body’s floor by a vote of 9-6 last week. But one of the state’s most powerful lobbying groups, the conservative Christian Louisiana Family Forum, opposes striking the sodomy ban.

    Yeah, religion affecting politics. Not good. Reminds me of PZ’s trip to the morridor today since Utah is the state with the most obvious Theocracy. The Louisiana Family Forum should keep their religion separate from state legislative issues.
    http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/04/post_558.html

  28. says

    A follow up to comment #541:

    […] last July, the East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s office began arresting men for agreeing to have consensual sex with other men. When asked to defend the arrest, the sheriff’s office pointed to the statute that’s “still on the books of the Louisiana criminal code.”

    That the statute is dead-letter law didn’t seem to matter.

    None of those charged faced prosecution – lawyers couldn’t find any evidence that a crime had been committed – but the incident served as a reminder that it’s generally not a good idea to leave unconstitutional laws in place just for the heck of it.

    Excerpt from Steve Benen writing for the Maddow Blog.

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

    Adds chocolate to bassmike and carlie’s heap.

  30. says

    Charter schools and other education reform movements in the USA are “market based,” and that’s exactly what’s wrong with them. a discussion in Salon.

    Obama’s education secretary is “a market-based person,” his education policy manifests a “market-based philosophy,” and “we continue to starve public schools,” the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus charged in an interview Wednesday afternoon.

    The privatization of education “began as driven by ideology, but now [it’s] getting momentum because of the financial aspects,” Rep. Raul Grijalva argued to Salon. The Arizona Democrat called charter schools “a step towards” privatization, called the Chicago teachers’ strike a “necessary pushback” and warned of a “self-fulfilling conflict of interest.” […]

    What you see … is a real move toward the privatization of schools, based on what test results are. A school doesn’t do well, a school doesn’t do well again, then suddenly there is a movement to either let that school be run by private management [or] let the students then go somewhere else — usually to a private charter school.

    And so we see enrollment in our public education system dropping as a consequence of people leaving the schools, or the schools being converted into more private institutions as opposed to the public schools … Public schools are still held to the standards that they should be held to … whatever situation they come into school, that [children] always be treated and educated in the same manner. Yet other schools outside the public institution system can pick and choose who they want to educate … and leave to the public schools a less and less diverse grouping of students, a more difficult group of students, with shrinking resources. At the same time all of this is going on, the funding at a national level and at a state level continues to shrink for public education. […]

  31. says

    Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan, who authored the anti-Robin Hood spending plan, said the budget “comes down to a matter of trust.” Trust, Ryan believes, should be placed in the rich and Washington politicians like him, a Prince John man who devised a spending scam enriching the rich and depriving the rest. Ryan asked, “Who knows better: the people or Washington?” The GOP answer: Washington, of course. A place purchased by the very, very rich. That’s an excerpt from a Salon article that discusses Republican budgets that are set up to rob the poor and give to the rich.

  32. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Re Lynna at #541

    The Louisiana House of Representatives rejected legislation, on Tuesday, that would remove the state’s symbolic ban on certain kinds of sodomy.

    I freely admit to sometimes being an old naive thing, but I’m curious… How many kinds of sodomy are there? And why would you outlaw only some of them?

  33. ajb47 says

    Whoops, should have excerpted some:

    Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk where pro-Russian militants have taken over government buildings were told they have to “register” with the Ukrainians who are trying to make the city become part of Russia, according to Ukrainian and Israeli media.

    Jews emerging from a synagogue say they were handed leaflets that ordered the city’s Jews to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee “or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated,” reported Ynet News, Israel’s largest news website.

  34. rq says

    Rob @540
    Ain’t it great? Can’t even mix it decent with anything else, except hot black currant juice, and even then it’s a bit forced. :)

    ajb47
    Ayuh, but the Russians are just in it to save their own, so all these peripherals can be tossed. Fascists everywhere!

  35. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    Sorry for the ‘ruptness. I know that a bunch of folks were very encouraging of my recent toe-dip back into live performance. bassmike, crudelywrott, and rq I’m pretty sure about, I’m sorry if I missed any others. Anyway, thanks a bunch for the support, I really do appreciate it. Especially with how poor I’ve been of late keeping up.

    bassmike

    I too have been having a bad year, though each new event in my series of misfortunes seems to be of a diminishing scale. The last one was merely a cold.

    Hang in there, you know that things get better even if your battered emotions are telling you otherwise.

    A month or so ago I had to have a tooth pulled and the pain of it crashed my mood hard. “Not again, not again, not fucking again, I’ll never be comfortable again.” was the refrain throbbing in time with my jaw. Worries of infection, madness and even death crowed round me as I tried to sleep.

    After a couple of days of this I dragged a lawn chair to the back of our property and sat in it watching the sun set over the eucalyptus hills.

    It was beautiful.

    But I couldn’t feel it.

    I could however recognise that that beauty was there, that it was unchanged by my mood. That tiny shard of knowledge, that beauty exists regardless, got me through that evening. And though it’s hard to tell for sure, that sunset sits in my mind as the moment when things began to turn to the good.

    Sometimes it’s the little things. Sometimes even apparent failures turn out to be not so unsuccessful after all.

    Stay as well as you can, and know that you’re not alone.

  36. carlie says

    Thank you for the hugs and chocolate. :)

    I have a funny story today in the “sometimes it can get better with challenging kids” category. So today I had about a million errands to do in a very tight timeframe, and the initial step was “drop Child 2 off at taekwondo” (he’s the Aspie). Normally I go in and sit while he has the group lesson. Occasionally I’ll go in with him and get him settled but then leave to go run an errand. Rarely I’ll drop him off, watch him go in, and then go straight off to the errand. Today I was intent on the timing of the errands (and had Child 1 in the car, which is never the case on taekwondo day). I dropped him off, went to the other errands, dropped things off at home, rested for about 10 minutes, then went to pick him up.
    Got there, went to go in, the door was locked. Whaa? Pulled the handle again. Still locked. Peered in. Dark. As the enormity of the situation started to descend upon my brain, I heard a deep voice from above and behind me say: “Well, well, well.” I turned around to face my child, who I had, as it turned out, abandoned and left outside in the cold for an hour. Oops.
    For the first time ever, I hadn’t even waited and watched to make sure he got in ok, and this is the one day the whole place was closed down and I hadn’t gotten a notification email about it. Thankfully it was in the 40s and sunny, and when he got too chilly he had gone into the fitness center next door and stood in their lobby for awhile. He didn’t even have a watch to know how long he had to wait.

    Here’s the good part of the story: he wasn’t mad. He wasn’t upset. He wasn’t breaking down. And this was not only having had to wait an entire hour by himself with nothing to do, but after a rather difficult visit to the dermatologist earlier the same day in which he had a wart injected (which really hurt). And yet, he was in a good enough mood when I arrived to make a production out of it when I showed up and be fake-haughty about it. I mean…even a few years ago, just one of those things would put him inconsolable and out of sorts for up to a week, and here were these two major awful things in one day, and he’s standing there laughing about it. There was a time when I’d never have envisioned him being able to do that. He rather enjoyed how terrible I felt about it, even. I think he recognized the opportunity to get a lot of mileage out of this one. ;) I’m just so proud.

  37. rowanvt says

    I just had something really fucking creepy happen. I had gone out for a “we both had a bad day yesterday” steak with my sister-in-law and she dropped me off at my house afterwards. As she’s driving off, this young guy, probably mid-twenties, comes running up to me full tilt then stops about 15 feet away and says:

    “Hi! I need to meet 100 friendly, beautiful, non-violent women to vote for me!”

    I was so surprised, moving-towards-alarmed, that all I could do at that moment was kinda glare at him in consternation. After a moment of silence he added “You’re not going to beat me up, are you?”

    My response was a simple, firm, “I’m going upstairs now” and then I turned and walked away.

    In the guy’s defense, he did stay fairly far away, it was broad daylight, and there are other people out and about… but ye gods! You don’t just go running up to random women like that! D: (cue “sidewalkgate”)

  38. says

    Why do I sometimes feel like I “deserved” to be abused?

    Logically, intellectually, I know it wasn’t my fault and I didn’t deserve any of it.

    Scumbag Brain, however, is insisting that I’m just that awful of a person that I somehow “made” him do… those things.

    Why can’t I forgive myself? (And why do I feel like I need forgiveness — I didn’t do anything!)

  39. says

    Good morning
    Did you all have spinach yesterday? I did, because I love senseless traditions and rituals. I also love spinach.

    Hugs for bassmike, FossilFishy, WMD Kitty and Carlie Have some chocolate eggs while you’re at it.

    carlie
    Yay for no catastrophe. But it’s always like that: The one day you assume that everything is as usually and don’t check it’s going to be different.

  40. rq says

    Giliell
    I didn’t know spinach was a tradition… something something Green Thursday…?

  41. says

    Yep, on Green Thursday you need to eat something green. Kale would count, too, but it’s also when you often have the first young spinach in the gardens…
    Now you know you can adopt a totally stupid tradition from another country and continue with the mission of laughing catholics out of the building. Don’t forget the bacon!

    +++
    Apparently the best. construction. toy. ever is clothes-pegs….

  42. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Apparently the best. construction. toy. ever is clothes-pegs….

    …wait, they have more than one off-label use? O.o

  43. rq says

    Trying new egg colours this year, since red cabbage is out (none of the grocery stores seem to have it this year).
    Black currants for a nice deep purply red; beets were advertised as a raspberry pink, but are more brownish a la raspberries too old to eat; chamomile tea for a golden yellow tone. I might experiment more later.

    Alice
    I loved #17. Just love it!

  44. opposablethumbs says

    carlie, that is wonderful. I don’t even know any of you and I’m so proud of child#2, you must be bursting with pride! (I can imagine the guts-turned-to-ice moment when you found the door locked, too) That’s absolutely huge!
    Sometimes I think we still underestimate how much SonSpawn can cope with; we’ve been consciously trying to make ourselves let go a little more lately, but I know very well that we sometimes let go too much in some areas and hold on too tight in others. There are always more ways in which we can fuck up …
    But wow, that is one hell of an achievement on the part of child#2. And unsurprisingly it kind of resonates with all sorts of good and bad memories for me, of when things have worked and when they haven’t/don’t, you know? :-\ I’d like to send you a phial of happy tears for this one, though – my hat is off to child#2 for coping so brilliantly well – and for the meta: for grasping all the mileage potential that there is in this, too :-))) !

  45. opposablethumbs says

    re off-label uses for clothes-pegs: sex toys for those who like a bit of bdsm with their sex? I believe you have to use old, modified or part-broken ones, otherwise the hinge is too strong. Not my cup of tea personally, but so I’ve read …

    oh, and there’s someone on the Tube of You who did a guinness record for how many clothes-pegs you can peg on your face at once; it was some ridiculously high number too.

  46. says

    WMDKitty
    I’m sorry. I can’t even imagine. I glad you know that any sort of abuse is never your fault but I know that doesn’t erase the feelings. I wish I had some kitten pictures to send you too.

    carlie
    I glad everyone was okay and that your son wasn’t mad. I can well imagine how big of a deal that is and that’s awesome.

    My daughter is likely on the autism spectrum as well (we are currently jumping through hoops) and still hasn’t forgiven my wife and I for times we were five minutes late picking her up at school for example.

    In relation to that we had to take my daughter out of school because her anxiety was getting so high. Here in British Columbia there is actually a distance learning program for all grades that allow any child to take all of their classes from home with plenty of optional field trips and financial support for extra-curricular activities. Thankfully, once we kept her home her anxiety levels instantly dropped but now she just seems so bored. I don’t feel like there is any good solution. Once we have a diagnosis there are funding options that hopefully will give us more choices. It’s a long process with a huge waiting list though.

    But something so frustrating is with her being transgender we get to deal with people who blame us for letting her “dress as a girl” and who then get so outraged because they think going to school “like that” is the reason she has so much anxiety. The irony is that the school is super supportive and no kids give her a hard time at all. She is actually really popular with the other kids whatever their gender. They all miss her. The kids and the school all want her to come back. They make her special cards and things and we have lots of birthday party invites. Funny enough, she doesn’t really connect with other kids but even then they still love her. I actually feel bad sometimes watching the kids try so hard to be her friend and she barely acknowledges them.

    *sigh* Just like any decent parent I just want my child to feel loved and happy. We are doing everything we can. It’s just so frustrating that I can’t do more. I want to but I’m not even sure what that more is.

  47. ajb47 says

    Well, it looks like the flyers handed out in the Ukraine had no power behind them.

    But Denis Pushilin, the Russian separatist whose name is on the flyers, claims he has nothing to do with them, and that the documents were spread to make his side look bad.

    Doesn’t make them (the flyers and the people creating and distributing them) any less despicable.

  48. bluentx says

    Holy Thredruption , Batman! I remembered my FtB pass word!

    *waving to all*

    Driving by to ask:

    1) Who needs/wants hugs?

    2) Is this Backwards Day/Week or just a parallel universe I’ve found myself in?
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/04/13/jenny_mccarthy_responds_to_claims_she_s_not_antivax.html

    3) Seen this? : (chuckles at 0:45 & 1:35)
    http://youtu.be/vIJINiK9azc

    4) Will I regret accepting my cousins invitation for (Easter) Sunday dinner? [Hint: Cousin-in-laws parents — BOTH retired Methodist ministers will be in attendance.] The plan is to enjoy a visit with folks (cousin and cousin-in-law) whom I rarely get to see, label/caption old family photos (recently acquired) with the help of 2nd cousin who is older than me (neener, neener!), and get to eat food other than of my own cooking for a change.

    Bonus question: What to take to said dinner?

    :)

  49. bluentx says

    Addendum to # 575:

    5) Have pod-people take over the bodies/Facebook accounts of people I’ve know since kindergarten (or additionally) 5th grade? If not, why do these Friends, I thought I knew, keep posting stooped, inane, drivel like: facebook.com/JesusDaily crap (!) plus praises for the …ahem… conservative ‘moocher’/ anarchist/ anti-government /gun-toting /law-breaking, Cliven Bundy, who doesn’t want to pay range grazing fees (like every other rancher), whose ‘supporters’ float the idea of using women-folk as human shields against the ‘Jack-booted Gubmint agents’ out to get ‘em?

    *cranial-damaging facepalm to follow*

  50. bluentx says

    Fortunately, Kevin , I didn’t need that feature …this time. :)

    Okay, must toddle off to bed. Later I must rouse myself in order to run errands during ‘business hours’. Errands include asking (to be on the safe side) at the court house, why I have not received a new voters registration card (good through the 2014 election season). I usually receive a new one promptly after the previous one has expired (12/31/13). Not this time.

    I am not paranoid…. I just live in Texas ! I don’t trust nobody! :)

  51. blf says

    I came back from lunch this afternoon — at the local Mexican place (pretty good, albeit since they are the only Mexican place in about a zillion kilometres in any dimension, they could serve fried texan stuffed with cactus and it would still be pretty good, albeit lethal (texans are frequently poisonous)) — and found a huge chocolate easter bison outside the lair. On wheels. Like a Trojan Horse, except there was no visible ladder or hatch.

    It does seem to be, however, hollow. I tapped on it and it sounded hollow, plus there was some indistinct shouting from the inside. I couldn’t quite make it out, but it sounded like “Feck off, I’m trying to sleep!”. Or else “This wormhole is closed for maintenance. And next time, please don’t feed the penguin.” It was hard to tell.

    There was a delivery label on it, saying “To: Lair near screaming squid”. And “contains no peas”. Plus the usual, “may contain extreme nuts”.

    I tried poking it with my knife. A plain, ordinary knife, not the Plasma Pocket Irresistible Probe, Ice Pick, and Cocktail Stirrer. It’s power pack is still recharging, albeit since I don’t hear the hamster wheel squeaking, I assume the recharger is taking a rest.

    Anyways, the knife failed to accomplish anything other than make whoever or whatever is inside shout “See the violence inherent in the system!” Or maybe it was “Ahhh, that feels great. More! Harder! And with extra walrus this time!”

    I looked in the cupboard, but I’m all out of walrus. Which probably explains all the oysters recently.

    I’ll now sleep it off whilst trying to decide what to do with an unexpected large wheeled occupied hollow chocolate easter bison.

  52. says

    Doesn’t make them (the flyers and the people creating and distributing them) any less despicable.

    But makes you wonder who printed them.
    Could be over-zealous seperatists who went a bit too far ahead or the other side trying to discredit the pro-Russian side…

  53. rq says

    Let me tell you about the Awesome Power of Social Media:
    I went to several stores searching for Red Cabbage, and, not finding any, I complained on Facebook. Friend who lives the next town over left a comment saying that, a couple of hours ago, she saw two pieces at her local store… So I drove the few kilometers and have acquired Red Cabbage! Yay for blue eggs!

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

    rq,

    :)
    Hm, I wasn’t planning to color eggs. But maybe…. I have onions for coloring, parsley for pattern, I could buy some red cabbage.
    Incidentally, I love red cabbage salad.

  55. says

    Some general *hugs*. To move the Discworld discussion here from Benefits of Tenur:
    I usually don’t recommend an order so much as an anti-order to the Discworld books. I recommend not reading the Industrial cycle (The Truth, Going Postal, Making Money and Raising Steam) until they’ve read the Watch and Death books first, along with several of the standalones. Good entry points are Mort (a good one, but I think Hogfather is my favorite of those, followed by Reaper Man). Wyrd Sisters is a good start for the Witches. Small Gods is a standalone, and can be read alone. Eric or Sourcery are good entries into the Rincewind cycle for those who aren’t starting with the first one (which, as I said, I don’t recommend, I advise reading those later). Men At Arms is, of course, the beginning of the Watch, and you’ll probably want to have readGuards, Guards and Feet of Clay as well. I think I’m missing something here, but I need to make coffee now.

  56. alexanderz says

    Dalillama #586:
    When suggest Pratchett to people I say the best order is good-bad-good. They should read the earliest good book first (example: Guards! Guards! for the Watch series), then the mediocre ones (Man at Arms etc.) and finish with something good (Night Watch).
    It helps that the Watch series corresponds chronologically with that, but other series need to be read out of order. For example in Rincewind’s case a good order is Interesting Times first, then other books in any order, but finish with The Last Continent.
    Oh, and Pyramids is another good stand-alone book (though not nearly as good as Small Gods).

  57. says

    Voting restrictions are being increased in the state of Missouri. Republicans have goal, to insure they win elections by restricting the vote for populations likely to vote for Democratic Party candidates.

    Link.

    […] The Republican plan in Missouri does not actually ban early voting, so much as it creates an unusual time frame in which early voting would be allowed. Under the proposal, there would be nine days of early voting, but the nine days couldn’t come the week before the election and they couldn’t include a Sunday, which happens to be a very popular day for early voting in states that allow it.

    Saturday voting would be limited to four hours, and voting after 5 p.m. – after many workers leave their jobs for the day – would be prohibited.

    What’s more, all of this isn’t just a proposed bill; it’s actually a proposed amendment to the Missouri Constitution, which would make future reforms more difficult. What’s more, the amendment comes with a built-in loophole: “If lawmakers don’t appropriate money for early voting on any given year, it won’t happen.”

    All of this coincides with a new voter-ID plan, leading the Kansas City Star to note in an editorial, “Republicans in the Missouri General Assembly are mounting a two-pronged effort to make voting more difficult for certain citizens, who are most likely to be elderly, low-income, students or minorities. They’re not even subtle about it.” […]

  58. says

    @547 (in reference to 541):

    I freely admit to sometimes being an old naive thing, but I’m curious… How many kinds of sodomy are there? And why would you outlaw only some of them?

    Well, I’ll confess to ignorance here. I guess I need to learn about “certain kinds of sodomy.” Maybe Louisiana citizens practice more kinds of sodomy than previously thought possible?

  59. says

    Here’s a mormon polygamy update:

    The secluded Texas ranch where followers of imprisoned polygamist Warren Jeffs lived in near isolation was seized by state agents […] nearly six years after FBI agents raided the property and removed hundreds of children amid child sex abuse allegations.

    The Texas Department of Public Safety said its agents took possession of the Yearning For Zion Ranch near Eldorado. In a statement, DPS said only eight adults were still living on the West Texas property and agreed to leave after meeting with agents. DPS said authorities helped them vacate the ranch and take an inventory.

    Jeffs is serving life in prison after being convicted in 2011 of sexually assaulting two girls he took as child brides. The ranch was owned by his Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a radical offshoot of mainstream Mormonism whose roughly 10,000 followers believe polygamy brings exaltation in heaven. They see Jeffs as God’s spokesman on earth.

    The state asked a judge to allow the forfeiture, alleging that FLDS leaders financed a $1.1 million purchase of the land in 2003 through money laundering. It also cited sexual assaults committed on the property. Under Texas law, authorities can seize property that was used to commit or facilitate certain criminal conduct. A judge granted the state’s request in January.[…]

    Sexual assaults and money laundering. Sounds like religion.

    http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/nation/2014/04/17/texas-seizes-polygamist-groups-secluded-ranch/7848381/

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

    I have no idea what my first Discworld book that wasn’t Colour of Magic was. (I started with that one but didn’t like it, so I left Discworld alone, then tried with another book and got hooked, like so many others. Then I tried Colour again and still didn’t like it)

    I’ve read in no particular order (Unseen Academicals was one of the first I read), but then I decided to go over storylines from start to finish. Finished Death that way, started with The Watch, but then I got distracted with some french and history books (definitely not french history books, that would be a bit too much).

    Now I lost my order. I guess I’ll just have to reread all The Watch books from the beginning. Woe is me.

  61. rq says

    Beatrice
    But it’s best to do the red cabbage separately – boil up lots of cabbage in some water and about two tablespoons of vinegar, like a thick soup, and then cool the liquid, strain, and place pre-boiled eggs (preferably white) for better colour in liquid for a couple of hours. I usually add the eggs right away and boil it all up until they’re hardboiled (to skip the preboiling), then take them out and do the whole cooling bit, then replace them. The result (last year) was a super-bright aqua-blue colour that looks surprisingly synthetic.
    Parsley + onion = pretty

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

    I’m still undecided on the eggs, but that sounds pretty.

    Long weekend ahead. Yay!
    I think I’ll just move from bed to the couch tomorrow morning and watch Midsomer Murders.

  63. blf says

    Apparently, whilst I was napping, the brakes or whatever was holding the unexpected large wheeled occupied hollow chocolate easter bison in place didn’t, and it plus its occupant(s?) rolled down the street into the harbour. Where it flipped over, legs and wheels in the air, and started floating out towards the Mediterranean Sea. Accompanied by now very distinct screams of “But I only had one orange with the seventy two dozen Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters!”

    It waterlogged quick quickly, and has now run aground near the entrance to the harbour. The local fishing fleet and harbour master are taking it all in stride, but since the megayachts can’t now enter / leave, there’s a lot of furious whining from people whose noses are so high in the air they presumably use them as snorkels.

    Ho hum. Another quiet day in a village on the coast.

  64. chigau (違う) says

    Sometimes, when blf tells us a story, I think, “I’ll have what xe’s having.”
    But I don’t think I could handle it.

  65. says

    How poverty relates to health and to longevity:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/income-inequality-and-death-charts

    The wealthier you are, the longer you’ll live. And if you’re a low-income woman, you’re less likely than an earlier generation to make it to your 55th birthday. That’s the conclusion of a harrowing study by economist Barry Bosworth of the Brookings Institution, analyzing data from the University of Michigan’s Health and Retirement Study which measured life expectancy at 55 across income ranges and gender, comparing a cohort born in 1920 with one born in 1940.

    Income level and life expectancy are correlated, and the correlation is getting stronger.

  66. Louis says

    I’ve just read some YouTube comments on a Stewart Lee video I am watching where two (supposedly) grown men offered each other out for a fight over a disagreement about liking Stewart Lee’s comedy.

    1) If this is true, I don’t even…

    …sure I’ve seen fuckwittery of this magnitude before, but I think there’s a part of my brain that block it ou…

    2) This can’t be real. It can’t be. It can’t be. Help me. It is dark in here and I may die.

    Louis

  67. Nutmeg says

    I’m fascinated by rq’s egg-dyeing adventures. I wouldn’t have the slightest idea how to use food to get a particular dye colour.

    Pysanky are a staple children’s Easter craft around here. (There’s a strong Ukrainian community in Manitoba, though I don’t have any Ukrainian ancestry that I know about.) I made them every year at Easter when I was a tween and teen, but we’d just buy the dye at a multicultural kind of market.

  68. Portia says

    Duuuuude – I’m a little drunk. You all are great. I’m threadrupt and hating that. Anybody around?

  69. Portia says

    brb Need to get the big bottle of wine.

    why did I think it was a good idea to leave it in the other room, so far from the couch?

  70. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    why did I think it was a good idea to leave it in the other room, so far from the couch?

    For 10 e-ducats, the Pullet Patrol™ will happily transporter the bottle closer to your position, refilling it in the process. So they say.

  71. Portia says

    I went out for a cigarette and did not trip at all on the steps on my deck – I can definitely make it to 666

  72. Portia says

    When I was a kid, I hated that. My stepdad made it all the time with hummus. I’d spread it all over my plate to make it look like less was remaining. Now, I love tabbouleh and hummus when he makes it. Sour and tart and delicious.

  73. Portia says

    On my way into the Courthouse-I-go-to-second-most-often, one deputy vouched for my attorney-ness and the other asked for identification. On my way out, I told him I needed verification that he was a deputy. He deadpanned: “Do something stupid and find out.”
    *snorfle*

  74. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Does the Pullet Patrol™ do that trick with beer?

    They’re still having some trouble with replication of the hops flavor. Comes out like dishwater. I don’t recommend it.

  75. chigau (違う) says

    Nerd
    dishwater
    hmm
    Does it have alcohol?
    —-
    Portia
    I dunno.
    Is it safe® to joke with people who have guns?

  76. Portia says

    Erm. I dunno. Maybe that’s why I tolerate all the sexual innuendos from the elderly bailiffs at the other courthouse. Though I’ve started telling them to step behind the security barriers and frisk themselves with a very charming smile.

  77. Portia says

    I wish blf were here to riff on my poor syntax and evoke a lively scene of a charming anthropomorphic smile giving someone a security screening.

  78. chigau (違う) says

    I have a charming smile when I “frisk” myself.
    I’ve never done it in public, though.

  79. Portia says

    ok I re-read those comments. It might not be as funny to people who have had fewer than five glasses of cheap merlot.

  80. chigau (違う) says

    I’m drinking something that the SO bought on sale.
    It’s pink.
    The comments are hilarious.

  81. Portia says

    I don’t think I’ve ever gotten drunk by myself before. Achievement unlocked.

    I think I want a new tattoo.

  82. Portia says

    No, not tonight. My first thought was “If i want it in 25 months* then I’ll get it”

    I do have a pen.

    *weirdly specific time period — my brain is what it is

  83. chigau (違う) says

    rohz-ay?
    I’ll go look.
    .
    .
    .
    yup
    ROSÉ
    “…harvested under the light of the moon…”
    *snort*

  84. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Portia – *pouncehug with chocolate* It’s been a crazy couple of weeks. I’ll write to you soon.

    rq – *patient pouncehug with kittens* You’ll hear from me soon.

    I’m very threadrupt, so I’ll leave this pile of *hugs* and *chocolate* and *kittens* for anyone who needs them. Feel free to take whatever you need.

  85. Portia says

    I’m so glad I asked. Dividends were paid.

    The felt pen has yielded satisfactory results. considering whether they’d be satisfactory in 40 years.

    Google tells me I would regret “omnis cedo domus’ based on the fact that it’s a poor translation of “everyone goes home”

    Firefighters, by and large, aren’t the most cerebral bunch.

  86. Portia says

    Hekuni Cat:
    So good to see you. I thought I owed you a letter.

    *pouncehugwithextrachocolate*

  87. chigau (違う) says

    Hekuni Cat
    *hugs*
    Have some rohz-ay and stick around.
    We’re going for 666.

  88. Portia says

    i enjoy this new spelling – my phonetic attempt was due to my laziness which prevented hunting down the actual accented e to make the right word. or whatever.

  89. chigau (違う) says

    Portia
    Hang in there!
    “omnis cedo domus” googletranslates to “all yield of”
    which kinda sucks as a slogan
    Were you trying for “Romans go home?”

  90. chigau (違う) says

    nonono
    look
    皆さんが家に帰られます。
    minnasan ga ie ni kaeraremasu.
    Everyone will return home.

  91. Portia says

    Google translate of English>Latin
    everyone goes home>domum suam ab omnibus

    heh heh omnibus

    that’s a funny word

  92. chigau (違う) says

    And to fill comments
    帰ら
    kaeru
    I like this word.
    It means to “return home”.
    You cannot kaeru to the office after lunch but you kaeru home after work.

  93. Portia says

    I like learning things about other languages like that – the very specific terms.

    I don’t know why I want another tattoo. The first one almost ended with the first dot of ink – it hurt. The only reason I don’t have one tiny dot of ink instead of a whole tattoo is because I refused to have to say “Oh yeah I have that one tiny dot because it hurt too much to finish the tattoo.” Pride cometh before the completed tattoo.

  94. chigau (違う) says

    I worked on an archaeology site that had public tours.
    One of the workers had a tattoo of a ‘geisha’ on her back. Her whole back.
    She wore a bikini top at work.
    We never had a school tour that didn’t involve a question about here tat’.

  95. Portia says

    On a scale of 1 to fake-native-headresses-on-hipsters, how offensive was this tattoo?

  96. Portia says

    What sorts of questions were there?

    (Was that a meta question?)

    ((Was that a meta meta question??))

  97. chigau (違う) says

    It was actually a very tasteful rendering of a Japanese print.
    The job-site attire regulations were rather lax. I worked bare-foot most of the time.
    After a nice talk about the people who used to live here and what they ate and how they etc. the question was:
    What’s that picture on her back?

  98. says

    Was a bikini top appropriate work attire?

    I’m assuming the archaeological site was in a hot area, in which case ‘work appropriate’ probably means ‘you can spend all day digging in these clothes and not die of heatstroke.

    Just came back from the second full session of game. There were evil prairie dogs, shadow demons, hilarity, assault on an officer of the law, kidnapping, further assault on a law officer, lies, plans to use their employer as bait for the aforementioned demons and the absolutely classic line “We aren ‘t horrible people; we’re just really bad at our jobs.”

  99. Nick Gotts says

    Discworld? Meh. I’ve read 6 I think (Colour of Magic, Equal Rites, Small Gods, Mort, whatever the first Rincewind one was called, one about the world being about to end), and while some of them were mildly amusing, I really don’t see what all the fuss is about. I realise that makes me downright weird around here, but there you go.

  100. alexanderz says

    I never understood sour humus. It’s like sour bread. Why would anyone do that? Best humus is neutral, thick and grainy. Put some ground meat on it (or fried mushrooms and onions if you’re vegetarian) and you have yourself one fine meal. Doesn’t even need lafah or khubz either, but those help.

    chigau:
    “I worked bare-foot most of the time.”
    Is that how you get hookworms, Alex? Yes it is, other Alex, yes it is.

    Nick Gotts, I’d say that because you haven’t read Guards! Guards! which is considered the best of his work (btw, the first Rincewind novel was the Colour of Magic, the second was The Light Fantastic, both pretty bad). So you could give that a try and see if you like.

  101. says

    Good morning
    We already did the long easter weekend shopping and we survived.
    We’re dying eggs today, but with boring (but sparkling) comercial colours.
    I’m also back in the spot of Worst. Daughter. In. The. Fucking. Universe.
    I told my parents that I would see them again in two weeks time because I have a freakin’ class in college every other Friday from 2-6. I could have slapped my mother, the reaction would have been the same. Because really, I enjoy weeks where I come home from college at 7 pm three days a week and work from 6-9pm at another.
    Selfish, selfish, selfish me.

  102. opposablethumbs says

    Nick Gotts, you didn’t care for Small Gods? I think that’s one of his better ones, though not my favourite – but some of the others you mention you’ve read are (imo, of course) probably the poorest. I think he got a hell of a lot better after Colour of Magic and Light Fantastic (I’ve just realised – USAnians, srsly, there’s an edition specially for the US market called “Color of Magic”??? argh. I suppose it had to happen …). I particularly like Night Watch (though I think it’s best to read the whole Watch arc in order) and Going Postal, The Truth and Making Money. I will confess to a feeling that the more recent titles aren’t quite as good … though I still enjoy them.
    Oh, I know! A schism!!! Let’s have a schism: Nick, any recs for enjoyable light reading? It doesn’t have to be a series, though the oeuvre of a single author would do nicely :-) (you’re not allowed to rec Ian Rankin, though, because I’ve already got them).

  103. alexanderz says

    chigau:
    “In Alberta?”
    I assumed you worked somewhere warmer. Never associated Alberta with bikini tops or bare feet. Must be a lovely place in the summer.
    “sourdough ≠ sour bread”
    No, I mean literally! Humus, like bread, is supposed to provide the neutral basis for the dish. If you make a sour humus dish you have nothing to contrast the sourness. Just like if you decided to, say, dip a piece of bread in lemon juice you wouldn’t have many options to eat that with. Also keep in mind that Middle Eastern breads don’t have as much body or taste as European breads and are used for nourishment, texture or form of the dish. Which is problematic in a cuisine that has sour soups, sour humus and sour kubbeh.

  104. yubal says

    I noticed a few unusual changes about my body in the last two weeks.

    Those could indicate, amongst many other minor issues, that either my HepC broke free, or metastasizing cancer, or something I don’t know about.

    Next week I have a doctors appointment to gain clarity. Having a family history for cancer and one positive HCV antibody test under my belt, I hope it will be just the hepatitis. Or even better, something I don’t know about.

    Scared like shit right now. I am too young to die and I have family that needs me to be there 100%.

  105. rq says

    Universe, you suck.
    So for the past week, I couldn’t find the camera card.
    Being a weekend and lovely weather etc., I really wanted a functional camera, so we put a lot of effort into finding the camera card. No luck.
    So I sent Husband off to the store for random stuff, plus a camera card.
    I think that right at the moment he finished paying for the new camera card, Eldest found the old camera card… under the couch, where Husband was vaccuuming yesterday.
    Thank you, Universe, for all the needless frustration. Thank you.

    On the other hand, I have blue eggs.

  106. opposablethumbs says

    Fuck, yubal. I hope it turns out to be something minor too. Crossing all my fingers for you.

  107. rq says

    yubal
    I’m sorry I didn’t refresh and went off with my silliness with camera cards. :(
    I hope it’s just a random benign fluctuation, and nothing serious – *hugs* to you and family, and lots of thumbs!!!

    alexanderz
    Alberta in summer can be surprisingly desert-like. :) Not that that’s where chigau was bikini-clad, but it’s not an impossibility in Canada. :)

  108. rq says

    Also, Hekuni Cat, *pouncehugs with cranberry chocolate*!!! No worries about the correspondence, I presume there’s no rush, and I’m always glad to hear from you whenever! *hugs*

  109. Nick Gotts says

    opposeablethumbs@681,

    Hmm, I think if I’m not sold on a series after reading 6 of them, it’s time to call it a day!

    Nick, any recs for enjoyable light reading?

    P.G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster series – I always have one of those by my bed. Christopher Brookmyre – although he now seems to have fallen in love with one of his characters, which is always a bad move. Steven Saylor’s “Gordianus the Finder” series. C.J. Sansom’s Tudor mysteries. Oh, and a singleton: Augustus Carp, Esq., By Himself: Being the Autobiography of a Really Good Man, by Henry Howarth Bashford.

  110. blf says

    I have had enough pinot noir to think I’m drinking merlot.

    The only way to be certain is to follow the Pinot Noir with a Merlot and see if you’re right. And if your not right, then after finishing the Merlot, open another Pinot Noir, drink, and repeat the test. Science rules!

  111. Bicarbonate is back says

    Hi yubal 683

    That is some really scary shit. Let us hope you are simply mistaken or that if you’re not, the changes you have noticed are due to some benign phenomenon.

  112. blf says

    The seawater-logged hollow chocolate easter bison exploded during the night — I have no idea why and, weirdly, didn’t hear a thing (I blame all the sirens, Mirage jets, general shouting (I think They import shouty people just for the occasion), and other goings-on which normally happen when either the mildly deranged penguin is spotted or a toddler falls off a tricycle) — and hence the village now looks like one of the postcard chocolaty Swiss hamlets. Literally. It’s covered in chocolate dust.

    Chocolate roads, chocolate walls and roofs, chocolate dogs and cats and people and kraken, chocolate chocolate shops, and the other shops are just chocolate shops, selling chocolate fruits and clothes and cheese and vin, chocolate espresso, chocolate seagulls and pigeons, and of course, that great French classic, chocolate dog poo in the street.

    The chocolate bartender told me the bison had been occupied by a cabal of red cabbage trying to escape being turned into eggs, but he’s always making stuff up like that.

  113. opposablethumbs says

    J&W, yes, absolutely (never get tired of them). Don’t know the others – thank you Nick!

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

    Okay, I was just coming out of sleep b/c kitten about 30 min ago (about 2-2.5 hours before I usually get up, and sleep has been bad this week so I had been planning on sleeping in).
    Apparently I was in a half-dreaming space, because I was trying to remember if the Thylacine came before or after the Pleistocene. Then I was wondering if you could date the Thylacine by the forams embedded in its stripes, if you could catch one. So I looked up where you could find Thylacine deposits and found that they were consistently, regularly interrupted by autochthonous rocks.

    It was all a jumble of bizarre, science-y crap. in the dream-state, the Thylacine really was a geologic period, but its subdivisions were literally stripes. It’s just too weird to even express. Wow. I’m not even on any weird medications right now.

    I blame Evilution, of course.

  115. Portia says

    blf:
    For science!

    I’m mildly hungover.
    Gonna go interview for the open lieutenant position at the fire department. It shares me shitless but I’ve decided to do it anyway.

    oooooh so that’s the fruit in this chocolate, cranberries. This is freaking amazing chocolate, rq :)

    yubal:
    wow, that’s a lot to deal with. I’m really sorry you have that happening and I hope you can manage the stress til your appointment. *hugs*

  116. Louis says

    Chigau, #603,

    Louis
    You read youtube comments?
    Who is Stewart Lee?

    1) No, normally I don’t. But I did this time. So, erm, yes. Oh FSM help me I did. I cannot unsee what has been seen. The horror! The horror!

    2) Stewart Lee is (IMO) a very funny British comedian. I was watching an old video clip of his on YT whilst waiting for my antique washing machine to decide it was finished.

    Louis

  117. birgerjohansson says

    Reading Ed Brayton’s blog. Nut priest on the subject of the lunar eclipse:
    “God is literally screaming “I am coming now!”
    .
    Comment 1: That sounds a bit, um, private.
    Comment 2: In case you don’t recall Alien from 1977, the poster slogan was “In space, no one can hear you scream”.

  118. chigau (違う) says

    yubal
    Here’s hoping for benign.

    Good morning, Portia and good luck in the interview.

    Louis
    Was there no porn?
    You should never have to read youtube comments?

  119. Louis says

    Portia,

    Best of luck for the interview. Knock ‘em bandy! I read part of your comment as “…scares me shirtless…” which is, you know, one way to go…

    Louis