TNET 4: Dungeons & Dragons.

Ryan Devoto.

You can see more of Ryan Devoto’s amazing Dragons & Dungeons models at The Creators ProjectOpen Thread. Don’t be an asshole, thanks.


  1. jimb says

    Been suffering from a cold & cough that Just. Won’t. Go. Away. Not feeling bad enough to stay home, but not well enough to sleep well or feel like doing anything once I get to work. Luckily it’s not been too busy this week. Ah well, I’ll just enjoy Caine’s paint pictures and wait for the end of the day.

  2. The Mellow Monkey says

    I’m drinking coffee and trying to motivate myself into functioning in some capacity.

  3. jimb says

    Damn I didn’t realize there’s theme.

    I think I’ll be nice and spare you all what I was considering adding that I’m “making”. :-)

  4. rq says

    It’s well past 5PM, I say have at it.
    Also, elections tomorrow. Municipal only, but still, it’s its own kind of hell -- my one comfort is that we don’t live in Riga. That’s a special kind of election hell.
    ALSO also the ring came. :) :) :)

  5. says

    I made it home!

    No, I had quite a nice afternoon. It’s my mother’s birthday, so we visited (actually, we always visit on Fridays, but we usually don’t stay for dinner) and I played a bit with my new toy. Though I got to say that the birds were not cooperative.

    It’s got an extra foot to adjust it on the tripod. Because weight isn’t the issue, but getting the centre right is.

  6. busterggi says

    This almost makes my dry-erase marker hand drawn maps on hex-paper almost look primitive in comparison.

  7. says

    Giliell, what size lenses did you get? Mine is small enough that I use it almost always hand held, but it does get heavy without support. (300mm).

  8. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Today I cleaned the cardboard and newspapers from the garage, after five years of neglect. Filled up both cars with cardboard (some didn’t fit in the Probe, but did in the Mazda). Took a load of cardboard to the nearest recycling center. Dumpsters fairly empty, easy to unload (second load first thing tomorrow morning). On the way back, the ’95 Probe developed a large need for the steering wheel to be cocked to the left to keep the car going straight. Got back to town, and had another incremental need for more left. Limped home. The front passenger wheel looks cocked outboard. Ugh. It also has an exhaust problem. I’ll call AAA to see if I can get it towed to the repair shop. Don’t feel safe driving something where the steering control may just break and go away. I want the Probe for another year, as there are things like quantities of mulch I don’t want in the Mazda.

  9. Kreator says

    Please excuse this little rant…
    I really, really hate my small-town cinema. With few exceptions, movies arrive weeks later than in the rest of the country. Wonder Woman is out while I’m still waiting for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2! And when the movies finally do arrive, they’re usually dubbed, when I prefer subs to excercise my English. If I get lucky, there might be a single subtitled showing… but always late at night.
    The only kind of movies that this cinema is good at showing are horror films, which I don’t like but for some reason seem to be quite popular around here. No matter how obscure, they never fail to show up (perhaps it’s cheap to get their rights?) I believe there hasn’t been a single week without a horror film on show for about two months… the one time they showed a horror movie I really wanted to watch, Get Out, something discouraged me from attending. You guessed it: no subtitles! To me they were essential in a movie about racism in America. Special effects will get me to watch GotG and WW regardless of the language, but of course I have no idea when that will be.
    I really want to go to the cinema, but for now my only choices are a horror film and a cheap cartoon. Ugh.

  10. says

    Winter has officially arrived at 35 Degrees South, and it looks like its going to be a dry one. Crystal clear skies, little wind, and frost in the valley bottoms. I have to make sure partner can get the fire going herself tonight, as I’m off to join in an outer country ride tomorrow early morning. Brother lives 1/2 an hour away from the start so I’ll stay with him instead of driving for three hours in the frosty morning. Should be a good day to ride bush tracks where I haven’t been before. There may be pictures following.

  11. says

    Incoming rant 3..2..1…

    Despite what I said, I have tried to help my uncle. A big mistake that I alas tend to do often. Saying “no” is something I have to actively work at.

    I went to his house regularly to pick his post for him and check everything is OK -- this has cost me about two hours every week. I dealt with police when someone kicked the door down, and subsequently repaired said door and secured the house. I wisited him regularly with my mother. My mother brought him home made croissants, a family recipe from his father, and we bought him some little things he needed. Not ONCE did we hear a “thank you” from him.

    Previous week the doctor has allowed him a visit to the bank so he can start getting his financial affairs in order, so I took him there. And he signed me full controll of his account so I can eventually pay his bills for him without using my own money (incidentally, when I thougth he has financial problems, I offered him help -- but after I found out a few weeks ago that he has more money than I do, I told him that I wont pay a single thing for him). The one condition I agreed upon on this was that he will close a contract with the care institution for elderly in which he resides, so the resident social worker can help him. I was to be sent the bills and to pay them from his account. I explicitly told him that this is essential because I do not simply have the time to run his errands for him, I have enought errands of my own. My mother is just as old as he is, and my father is just one year younger.

    He declined to sign the contract, because he deemed the monthly fee too expensive! He could pay the bill from his hoard for almost two years even if he had no pension -- which he has! He could pay it from his pension and sit on his hoard and the hoard would still grow -- and it included housing, food, cloth washing and a private room with TV AND help of professional social worker!

    I do not understand this. If he was hoarding money to have security in his old age, then this is the exact time he should stop hoarding it and start using it. The old miser simply wants to sit on his money living in his dumpster pile and not use it or what?

    So I have lost my patience with him for good. I went for his post one last time, I brougth it to him and I told him that this is my last visit, that I have enough of his lies. He really is on his own now, I am not going to sacrifice my sanity on his behalf.

    I hate the whole affair.

  12. says

    I think I’m trying to kill myself the last couple of days, can’t do anything without slicing a finger or other part open, stepping on sharp stuff, backing into stuff, whacking my head on whatthefuckever, falling over, yadda, yadda, yadda. I think I need a couple of days in bed, and if the fucking server doesn’t get fixed, might just do that.

  13. says

    Thanks, Anne. Add dropping everything to the list. I had that chat with my neurodoc before he walked on: “I keep involuntarily dropping things.” “You have a disconnect in your brain.” “Gee, thanks, Doc, that clears it all up.” Doc laughed.

    It’s remarkable how pouring paint from a height is rejuvenation to spirit, if not body. Fun. Gonna go have more.

  14. says

    Christ, the fucking piece of shit server which still isn’t fucking fixed is being such a pain in the ass, things will get started on Sunday whenever. Sorry, folks.

  15. says

    Also, PZ posted this on his open thread, so I’m reposting, because if anyone has idears, please, say!

    All of our ads are under the control of a third party company (Patheos, if you must know) that doesn’t seem to care much about the quality of what comes through, and also advertisers are in an escalating war to become more and more intrusive.

    We’re going to shake this up this summer. I’ve got a few recommendations for better ad hosts, more suggestions are welcome!

    We’re also considering a fund raiser to just pay for our yearly server/maintenance costs, and then cutting way back on the ads, which will then be just generating profit to be shared with the bloggers. We also welcome other suggestions for revenue generation. The ad model is slowly decaying into corruption for everyone.

  16. chigau (違う) says

    A few hours ago, I put some laundry to dry on the line outside.
    Then, with cooking and reading and knitting … kinda forgot about it
    now it it very late and raining but
    I am certain that the laundries can handle the extra rinse

  17. says

    Sorry to hear. Unfortunately, many people cope with having to depend on aid by becoming petty*. I understand it’S a coping mechanism, after all it shows that you don’t really depend on those people. But remember that no, they’re not entitled to your personal time.

    *My BFF took in her mum, who since then keeps driving her up the tree by being passive aggressive about “nobody cares about me” like sitting at the table with an empty glass, sighing and moaning and complaining about how she could probably die of dehydration and nobody would notice instead of just asking somebody to pass her the water bottle, on the one hand and claiming that she really doesn’t cause them any work on the other hand.

    Grading, which sick bastard invented it?

  18. Kengi says

    Yay! I couldn’t take the slow loads only to be met with a gateway error when trying to post a reply. Probably even more aggravating for you.

    Now comes chasing down the small bugs from the move. Like “Preview” no longer working…

  19. says

    Yes, I’ve mentioned that preview isn’t working behind the scenes. The migration isn’t quite complete yet, so there are bound to be hiccups here and there.

  20. says

    I was not quite happy with my macro-photography. Particularly the lighting problem. Flash is of course not of much help because it casts sharp shaddows everywhere. So I tried to build myself a light diffuser out of a few sheets of paper.

    Either it works or I got lucky, but I made a few pretty pictures today.

    I always longed to see the tiny critters in my garden up close, and now I finally can. I only wish I had this opportunity when I was studying.

  21. Kengi says


    On the P900 I never got much use out of the flash on macro work. It seemed my subject was nearly always in the lens shadow and the pup-up flash just wasn’t high enough to get the light where I needed it. With the D200 I’ve been recently using, however, the pop-up flash seems to work pretty well. I really should diffuse the light, but haven’t so far. I turn the flash intensity down and compensate a little with exposure, or even a little gamma boost in post processing.

    When I’ve made my own diffusers in the past, I’ve used the plastic from backup tape cassette cases. It seems the right density and is also effective in the IR range. I’ve even used that material to diffuse IR spotlights for night-vision cameras.

    I’m thinking about better lighting solutions as well for macro. My friend lent me a flash unit for the hot shoe which I still haven’t tried, but hopefully will before I need to give it back. It has a slew of diffusers that came with it, and would also get the light a little higher than with the pop-up unit.

    I may also try making my own ring-light for around the lens. Just need several LED’s and a power-pack I can wire in a potentiometer to. Been thinking about mounting. Dad and I have been kicking around some drawings to use a cheap filter ring I could take the glass out of. To mount the battery pack I could buy anything cheap with a hot shoe mount and cannibalize it.

    Or, maybe just buy a little battery powered book light or desk lamp on a goose-neck with a brightness control and mount that from the hot shoe, then shine it where I want from above or the side.

  22. Kengi says

    I should also add that with the D200 I get more stand-off range with the camera than with the P900. They both were at 105mm (135 equivalent), but with the D200 I’m using an FX lens on a camera with a DX sensor, so I’m actually getting a 157mm focal length. The closest I can focus is 12″ from the focal plane, which is about 6″ from the front of the lens. On the P900 I was often less than an inch from the front of the lens because it was such a long lens. That made lens shadow a much larger problem on the P900.

  23. says

    @Kengi, thanks for your thoughts on the matter, some day I hope to understand all of what you are talking about, not only most of it :-)

    I remember once glimpsing somewhere on the internet how someone has made a custom light scattering shape out of transparent pattex hot glue sticks bent into diferent shapes, maybe that would help in conjunction with a strong pocket torch to make illuminating ring. And before I made my diffuseur I looked on the internet how others have done it and I glimpsed one design that used for fiber optics something like transparent fishing line, but that looked way too complicated and I would have to buy a few things not readily available in the household, so I did not look at it closer.

    Therefore I have made myself essentially a paper half-cone that is on the inside covered with aluminioum foil. It is very light, so I can slip it onto the pop-up flash and it holds there without risk of damaging it. For even more scattering I taped a paper-napkin over the outlet. Production time about 2 hours, costs a few cents.

    Of course I get what I pay for, but life cannot be all candy. I sure as hell am not going to buy anything new anytime soon, although I am itching greatly when I see the pictures that can be done with DSLR cameras. But I hope to be set (camera wise) for ten years, just like I was previously with my trusted coolpix 4300.

  24. Kengi says

    I thought I’d be set with my P900 as well, but it was macro that gave me the the DSLR bug. After a summer of trying to get better macro shots out of the camera I realized I was near the limit of what the camera could physically do and started yearning (and saving up for) an inexpensive DSLR. I was lucky when Cain recently offered her old D80 to me and was discussing having my friend help me clean it when he mentioned he was willing to give me his old D200 body, which was older than the D80, but used a very similar sensor, and was already clean and ready to go. (It has the same sensor from a visual perspective, but the D200 has four data channels instead of the two on the D80 so it gets 5 fps burst instead of 3 fps on the D80.)

    Yeah, it really made a difference. Better optics, smoother colors on the sensor (despite being 11 year old tech), much better control of focus (and better control of, well, everything), ability to close the lens down really tight for decent depth of field, and so on.

    I miss using the LCD screen for composition, especially with the incredible tilt-swivel, but that’s about it. I’ll keep the P900 for bird shots since the lens in incredible for that. I only have the single macro lens for the D200, but that’s all I’ll use it for. At least for now. Maybe in a few years I’ll save up enough for whatever a D500 will cost at that time, and get a zoom lens for bird photos. It would be awesome to have full-time AE/AF even in high-speed shooting.

  25. StevoR says

    Some impressive work by Aussie scientists here :

    The researchers created a comprehensive worldwide database that charts 43 greenhouse gases over 2,000 years.It shows how carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) are at higher levels than they have ever been at any time over the last 800,000 years, according to the ice core records going back that far.

    Plus what was the deal with Nicaragua not joining the Paris Accords? :

    Turns out the Nicaraguans don’t think the agreement went far enough and raise some good points there incl.

    Mr Oquist (Nicaraguan lead envoy – ed) said the world’s 10 biggest carbon polluters accounted for 72 per cent of historical emissions, while the 100 smallest were responsible for just 3 per cent.

    Un-fun fact but probably a good one to know.

    Likewise -- and with some marvellous images of wonderful creatures here :

    This does NOT reflect well on my country and is a big worry and sign that, again, our priorities are seriously fouled up.

    (Preview still not working btw for me anyhow. FWIW.)

  26. StevoR says

    ^ Mea culpa. Second paragraph after first link should be in blockquotes. Sorry.

  27. says

    Came home with a lovely Schwinn Frontier mountain bike, 45 dollars at a Mandan Pawn shop. Just back from a ride, she’s in lovely shape, very nice bike, and I’m pleased I didn’t have to fork over 350 dollars for it. Oh, and she’s an odd sort of purple. I like it.

  28. says

    I had a pretty nice day. I walked up to the bank, then I drove some errands. I found an interesting book at a friends of the library shop -- The Cruise of the Snark by Jack London. He and his wife decided to build their own boat and sail the South Seas. Wackiness ensues.

    Caine, sounds like a good find!

  29. says

    Me, I’m still trying to cope with massive anxiety and panic because of all the shitty people I have to deal with. Especially helpful when you’d actually need your full energy and capacities to deal with your workload.

  30. kestrel says

    We got hit with a big hail storm yesterday and it has wiped out my garden. :-( Will probably have to start over. But, a nice thing happened yesterday too. We were driving back in from town when we saw a magnificent gopher snake slowly crossing the highway. Knowing he was in danger, we stopped, I hopped out and caught him, and I brought him back to our house to live. We love snakes and would never knowingly drive over one, unlike a lot of our neighbors!

  31. Saad says

    Girls’ soccer team disqualified because 8 year old “looks like a boy”

    An eight-year-old girl’s soccer team was reportedly disqualified from a tournament on Sunday because organizers told her she “looks like a boy.”

    Per, Mili Hernandez plays for Omaha Azzuri Cachorros’ under-11 team, who were due to compete in the Springfield Soccer Club competition in Nebraska before being told four hours prior to kickoff they would not be allowed to compete, despite her parents showing identification proving she is a girl.

    Hernandez told Omaha TV station WOWT 6 (h/t “Just because I look like a boy doesn’t mean I am a boy. They don’t have a reason to kick the whole club out.”

    Her father, Gerardo Hernandez, said she “was in shock. She was crying after they told us. … They made her cry.”

    Further, Hernandez said the tournament organizers “didn’t even want to take” his daughter’s medical insurance card, which was offered as proof she is a girl.

  32. says


    The Cruise of the Snark by Jack London

    That sounds like fun!

    Giliell, sorry things are still being so hellish for you. Is there an end in sight?

    Lofty, yes. Yes it is.

  33. jimb says

    Lofty @ 48:

    A purple bike is a good bike.

    Indeed. I had a purple bike in middle school. Sounds like a great find, Caine.

    Saad @ 50:

    Girls’ soccer team disqualified because 8 year old “looks like a boy”

    What is wrong with people??!!?? Fucking hell…..

  34. says


    I had a purple bike in middle school.

    My stingray from long ago was purple. With a white banana saddle.

  35. says

    Summer next year. I think they’re subconsciously hoping for me to give up, because that would prove that the problem was me all along.
    It’s how subconscious bias (38 already? 2 kids? She’s got no time to really work for this! Fat? Fat people are lazy anyway) works anyway. They’d deny all of this and gaslight the fuck out of me if I mentioned it.

  36. kestrel says

    The soccer team thing is disgusting. Anybody picking on children has my disdain and contempt. And I can’t help but wonder how much that incident was driven by not only phobia over a person’s gender but racism.

    On a cheerier note hooray for the color purple! And a new bike!

  37. says


    Summer next year.

    Oh gods. All my sympathies. You will be a great teacher, you know that, so fuck ’em. What do they think you’re doing with your own sprogs? All parents have to teach.

    Got your comments out -- Akismet has run amok again with the server migration, so if comments don’t show, yell at me to check the spam trap. We don’t get a handy indicator when there are comments in it, so most of us don’t think about it.

  38. says

    Giliell I am sorry to hear you have to cope with such a shitty work environment. I hope things will get bearable soon, I cannot imagine enduring something like that for almost two years. In all probability I would have snapped and told someone off in no uncertain terms. Fingers crossed.

  39. says

    Thanks for the sympathy.
    Thing is, as soon as I’m teaching, everything is fine. It’s just their shitty “evaluations”.
    Today was another “small” one, but with the one sane guy. I afterwards mentioned that I think that something’s going wrong with how they evaluate me.
    Well, for now I’m kind of done with this school year. Although it’s still two weeks we have hardly any teaching left.

  40. Saad says

    Manspreading banned on Madrid public transportation

    Along with signs for ‘no smoking’ or ‘no littering,’ commuters in Madrid will soon see a new unfamiliar one: No manspreading.

    The transit agency in the Spanish city said it will post the signs on all buses asking men to keep to one seat and one seat only.
    Manspreading, in case you didn’t know, is when men spread their legs with no regard to others’ personal space.

    The new sign shows a cartoon man with his legs spread sitting on a metro seat. A giant X signals it as unacceptable behavior.

    Bro tears incoming.

    They made the Rosa Parks comparison about the Wonder Woman screenings. This time it really is about buses. :D

  41. kestrel says

    Thank you, Saad -- that is some happy news that brings a smile to my face this morning. Looking forward to those bro tears… :-)

  42. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Achieved a minor goal today, in my efforts to clean up Casa la Peliroja. Trashed/recycled enough stuff in the garage, and rearranged what was left, and was able to get the Mazda into the garage (the ’95 Probe died a death by rust). Back-up cameras are wonderful!!!
    Good timing as Summer seems to have struck with vengeance. Black cars in the direct sun get very toasty….

  43. says

    I went yardsaleing this morning and encountered a Trump voter in the wild -- I bought a Weeping Angel plushie from her. Next thing I knew she was going on about how dangerous it’s gotten in England, what with all those Sharia churches, and then she started on our governor and his plot to drill two yuuuge tunnels under the Sacramento river to send all the water to LA.

    Um. Errr. I think most people are good, hadn’t heard about the tunnels, thanks and have a nice day, I said. I gave the Weeping Angel to Kitty; it’ll go nicely with her Dalek. I guess being an old white lady in the OC, people make assumptions about me. Just as well she didn’t see the bumper stickers.

  44. says

    Also, yesterday.
    A lot of it.

    First of all, the little one had her first soccer tournament. While that sounds rather stereotypical for US girls, it’s still seriously gender non-conforming for European girls (there’s probably two competing branches of evolutionary psychology explaining while US girls evolved to play soccer but European girls didn’t evolve to play what we call football).
    First of all was me and her friend’s mum wondering about a phrase in the letter announcing the tournament: “The tournament starts at 10 am, we go there together by bus”. Sounds odd, but since we had no further information, we took it to mean “the bus leaves at 10 am”.
    Next point: I thought it was an indoor competition. Kid forgot her indoor shoes at school, so we went to the sports shop at 9:30 (opening time) to get new shoes. When we came out her friend’s mum had left me a message that the bus had actually left at 8:45, which was in a letter our kids had forgotten to hand us, so we had to take ours there by car.
    It was an outdoor even, so she could have used her normal running shoes. She owes me ice cream.

    Next part: Men, even the good ones, simply cannot be trusted with spotting sexism. Yesterday we ordered the flooring for the house. While we were still browsing through the samples, as sales assistant asked if he could help us. Well, not yet, but later. Nevertheless, he felt it necessary to tell Mr that when we ordered he’d tell him how much their workmen usually get paid so he could then hold up his hand to me.
    I only asked why he thought it was my husband doing that work.
    Anyway, he left us again, and when we were finished choosing and went looking for assistance, Mr said “the guy who tried to help us was nice!” I gave him a side glance and was happy we found the other guy.
    When I told Mr later that no, the guy was NOT nice he was taken aback. Oh, right, he was nice to him.

  45. kestrel says

    @Giliell: Oh boy, the little one owes you big time! Good work on getting that to happen. The things parents go through!

    Isn’t it amazing how deep that sort of sexist behavior is. I think of it like a fish swimming in water. That water becomes a part of them; they never even notice it, even when that water is polluted.

  46. says

    When I was a teenager I hated the state high school I was at with an intensely corrosive despair. I would slope to and from school in a dull brown funk, handing my mum any notices unread and returned the signed slips to the school, unread. Guess who was the only student in a school of 1000 who didn’t know the sex ed classes were on that day. I paid a little more attention after that.

  47. says

    I would probably have used “missing a tournament” as a natural consequence if it weren’t for the fact that I’ve been mildly neglecting the kids recently, happy to be left alone in my despair whenever possible. It’s not fair to expect 1st graders to be perfect little organizers.

    Ohhh, sex ed! #1 started sex ed these weeks. Yes, nasty Germany thinks it’s a good idea to teach them what puberty is before they reach it.
    They talked about the fact that in puberty certain hormones make your body change, for example, the penis grows. The teacher asked if anybody knew what the hormone was called. #1 suggested “penis fertiliser”. I almost drove into a lamp post when she told me.

  48. says

    Giliell, you are a much more even-tempered mom than I ever was. “Penis fertilizer”? Makes sense to me, in a metaphorical sort of way.

    By the way, has anyone been able to subscribe to threads since the move? I keep trying, but the emails aren’t coming.

  49. says

    Aaaauuuuuuuggggghhh. I had to take a whitescreen outside to get some photographs, stepped on something kinda sharp, went to check, and there’s a fucking tick on my flips, another on my foot, one on my leg, and another above it, already half dug in. Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, I HATE ticks. Then I dumped my jeans in a hot bleach wash, which I had to stop after 3 minutes, to fish my fucking lens cap out of the back pocket. I hate ticks. Hate them.

  50. says

    Oh, I wish it was only three ever. Ticks are attracted to me like I am just a lovely, thin bag o’ blood. I’ve had Rick pull nine of them off me at one time. So far, that’s the record.

  51. says

    I feel for you. Ticks just love some people. As a kid my tick protection usually was being with my cousin. In the evening we’d be dumped into a joint bath and afterwards inspected for ticks. He’d have several, me none.

  52. says

    Ouch. I had the same thing going with mosquitoes as a child but now all the bloodsuckers seem to leave me mostly be.

  53. says


    As a kid my tick protection usually was being with my cousin. In the evening we’d be dumped into a joint bath and afterwards inspected for ticks. He’d have several, me none.

    That’s Rick with me. He does provide the tick removal service, though.


    I had the same thing going with mosquitoes as a child but now all the bloodsuckers seem to leave me mostly be.

    Mosquitoes and fleas, they go after Rick way more than me. I’d rather have mosquitoes than ticks.

  54. says

    From Opus to Kengi:

    I was going to try to post the picture of my macro setup in TNET for Kengi but can’t figure out how to get the set-up, the ‘before’ shot and the finished product in one post. Maybe you can help?

    I’m using four LED lights rather than flash: a lot cheaper and easier to set up, especially with live view. I sprung for Ott lights, for fabric work as well as photography, but any LED with the right Kelvin rating should work. Black fabric for a background, PVC pipe for adding a fabric flash diffuser (cheap fabric) if needed, and the latest in high-tech height adjustments. (Pro Tip: It’s a LOT easier to adjust the object in the lens rather than the camera when shooting multiple exposures in macro.)

    The final version is a stack of 53 photos, using Helicon software.

    The neatest part: the picture is entirely accidental. I pruned a butterfly weed (surgical scissors and really needed a loupe) trying to get one unopened bud for a photo. The ones I cut off dropped into the water and lined up around the edge of the jar. I abandoned the bud I had left and started working on the water photo immediately when I saw what they looked like. It took four tries (30-50 shots each and a little over an hour) to get the one I attached. It is straight out of the software; no post-editing at all.

    Set Up (click for full size):

    Before (click for full size):

    Everyone will have to wait for the finished product, sorry, it will be up in the morning, main page! It’s stunning.

  55. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The clean-up of the garage included getting a bundle of fluorescent tubes and sacks of CFLs to be recycled. The car is loaded. Tomorrow I will drop them off in Highland Park recycling center, along with some styrofoam packaging, as it is only open on Tuesdays from 7 am to 1 pm. I had a last minute addition to the CFL bags as a light had burned out. I replaced both CFLs in the fixture, as it is difficult to change the lights in that fixture. That leaves me with 3 spare CFLs, 2 60 watt equivalent for the bathroom, and a 100 watt equivalent for the Sun room.
    Looks like I need to purchase some LEDs for the CFLs that will be burning out over time. Or I might change out the outdoor CFLs (they start out dim in cold weather) for LEDs, and keep them as spares for the basement. I did trash all the remaining tungsten bulbs, as they hadn’t been used in years, and won’t be in the future. Now I have an empty shoe box for the spare LEDs.

  56. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Probably the last item in the to-do list, for electrical consumption/food disposal, is the 1980’s vintage freezer in the basement. An old Freon 12 unit from circa 1980. It’s about half full of stuff, but being a freezer, the expiration date can be extended. I don’t think so Tim. Any stuff from Prior to the Stroke is over its expiration date. A lot of coffee will be summarily discarded.
    I’m looking forward to the date when I call ComEd to pick it up, and get my $50….

  57. chigau (違う) says

    I ♥ The Internets:
    Meshiuma (メシウマ) is a Japanese slang word originating from 2channel, which is a shortened version of 他人の不幸でメシがうまい (tanin no fukou de meshi ga umai), whose meaning is “Other people’s misfortunes make the food tasty”, which is a metaphor for “getting aroused from the misfortunes of others”, thus it’s the Japanese word for “schadenfreude”.

  58. says

    My last curly CFL’s got removed over a year ago. The current crop of 4000K or 5000K color temp (=”natural”) LED globes are really good and bright and not at all headache inducing. Even the local supermarket had some 11W 4000K ones on special the other day, fitted a friend’s place out with them and she’s tickled.

  59. says

    Oh, wow, the university building where I had most of my classes almost burned down because of the old and faulty electricity.
    Oh, and the fire alarm system they used was to send students around to tell people.
    “Because the building will be renovated in a few years” they didn’t even install 5 for a tenner smoke detectors that are obligatory for private homes.
    I know, universities don’t give a fuck about the humanities, but burning people alive seems to be a tad over the top.

  60. kestrel says

    @Giliell, #85: Talk about stepping over a dollar to pick up a dime… That’s just crazy. People seem to want to be reactive rather than proactive.

    I’ve slowly been replacing bulbs and I love the light these new LED lights give out. I know people who swore they would never give up the old type of bulb; they are really missing out in my opinion.

    Last doe due today or tomorrow! Then I will be “kidded out”, one more week of staying up all night with kids and I’ll be able to have a chance at a full night’s sleep!

  61. says

    Holy shit, yesterday I write about the near catastrophe because of old wiring in my old university building and the abysmal state of fire safety, today a 27 storey building in London is on fire.

    This is what a residents’ group had to say about fire safety last November:

    It is a truly terrifying thought but the Grenfell Action Group firmly believe that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord, the KCTMO, and bring an end to the dangerous living conditions and neglect of health and safety legislation that they inflict upon their tenants and leaseholders.

    They fucking predicted this.
    How is this not terrorism and mass murder of poor people?

  62. says

    @Giliell not terrorism, because intent does matter for classification, but deffinitively mass murder by neglect. Those responsible should spent a lot of time in jail and their ill gained wealth should be confiscated.
    But that will not happen. At best some poor sod who obeyed orders down the line gets the blame, maybe even some middle management if the police and prosecurors are persistent and thorough. But the top wil remain unsullied.
    Just like Piech and Winterkorn are too still free and still millionaires, although they killed (albeit indirectly) thousands of people.
    I bought some optical fiber for 10,-€ I am going to try and make “flash-ring” for my camera. Hopefully a fun project for some rainy afternoon.

  63. says

    I’m not sure.
    If terrorism is using violence to strike fear in the hearts of a population to reach a goal (further destruction of social housing and accelerated gentrification), then it fits pretty well.
    But you are right. There won’t be any far reaching consequences.
    Not for the council, not for Boris Johnson who closed down the fire stations and sold their fucking fleet.

    You know we’re refurbishing our house, so I know a thing or two about insulation and what they did there is incredibly bad.

  64. says

    Maybe I missed or misunderstood something, but from what I have read, I do not think that “further destruction of social housing and accelerated gentrification) was the intent of the owners. Their intent seems to be “cutting corners on safety measures in order to line the pockets”. Morally they are no better than terrorists of course.

    Maybe we need a word for people like that? People who intentionally balance on the very edge of the law in order to amass wealth they do not, in fact, need or use. We already have two -- entrepreneur and manager -- but those are not generally understood as insults and/or carrying strong negative connotations and social stigma as the word “terrorist” does (although I use both of these words in casual conversations as synonyms to “asshole” quite often and quite long).
    Sorry to nitpick on that. I feel cranky right now because I am seeing -- again -- the consequences mindless management focused exclusively on skimming the most money in the shortest term. Not “sufficient money” or “good money” but “the most possible money” just for the money itself. An awful lots of high ranking managers apparently think that laws of physics will change to their liking if they throw money on a problem and/or threaten employees into submission. In fact a few years back I coined at work just the phrase “Laws of physics will not change because of anybody, not even CEO.” when I was threatened that a certain problem has escalated to the top and I absolutely must do as they wish. I had to use that phrase quite often from that time onward.

    This is one of the things that bothers me about how Lord Vetinari deals with Moist von Lipwig in Raising Steam. To say “I give you the problem, you give me the solutions, do not bother me with technicalities and you are absolutely forbidden to say no” is to me a sure sign of an arrogant, self-centered idiot, and Vetinary is no idiot. At least on Discworld Moist has magic golems to fall back to, but in our world we are stuck with our reality and problems that defy the laws of physics do not get magically solved just because there is a deadline, a limited budget and “strong businessman” threatening to fire anyone who talks back.

  65. says

    Yesterday evening my uncle requested to talk with me again, he wanted to sign me control over his second bank account and agreed to perhaps sign the contract with the care facility provided I review it first so he does not get scammed. So I wanted to visit him today afternoon and try to explain to him that the conract is in fact completely fair and reasonable.

    It is moot now. I just learned that today morning he had a massive stroke. Whether he survives it is questionable. At his age, even if he survives, he surely will not recover.


  66. Saad says

    Pakistani man sentenced to death for Facebook post with derogatory remarks about Muhammad

    On Saturday, 30-year-old Taimoor Raza became the first person to receive a death sentence in a Pakistan anti-terrorism court for “using derogatory remarks … in respect of the Holy Prophet” on social media.

    [. . .]

    Pakistan Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said in March “nothing can be greater than our religion to us” in stopping blasphemy on the internet.
    “If social media platforms do not cooperate with us despite all our efforts, then we will take the strictest of measures against such platforms in the country,” he said.
    In May, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority sent millions of citizens a text message warning them against sharing blasphemy online.
    “The uploading and sharing of blasphemous content on the internet is a punishable action under the law. Such content should be reported for legal action,” the alert said.

    These horrific free speech violations need to be stopped. People shouldn’t be killed for making fun of religion and people who preach hatred for marginalized people shouldn’t be disinvited from…..*snickers*…. sorry, I can’t do it.

  67. says

    @Anne, Cranky Cat Lady
    Thank you. Situation changes every minute. At the hospital they found out he does not have a stroke, but really, realy bad hypoglycaemia. Cause unkown. I am baffled at how that could be mistaken for a stroke at first by an experienced physician.

  68. Ogvorbis: A bear of very little brains. says


    This will be short as I cannot sit for very long (or stand, or lay down, or whatever).

    On Monday the 5th I fell about 20 feet, landed on my back in a small river (on rocks), spent the night in a hospital and am now nursing four broken vertebrae (L2-L5, broken lateral processes (and definitely some nerve damage — fiery pain and occasional numbness down into my left hip)) and two broken ribs (11, 11 & 12). Plus a massive haematoma around my spleen. I see my doctor for a follow-up tomorrow. Luckily, this was a workplace injury so I’m still on full pay.

    Hugs to all. I’ll check in when I have the enegy.

  69. kestrel says

    Ogvorbis: A bear of very little brains, holy shit I am so sorry! Glad that at least you are on full pay, that is something you don’t have to worry about anyway. I hope the healing goes well, and I hope you are supplied with adequate pain killers. May you be able to rest without pain and get some sleep!

  70. says

    Jesus, Ogvorbis! You aren’t supposed to fall, you’re supposed to rescue those who do. I’m glad you’re alive, very glad, but those are very serious injuries. You take all the care in healing and recovering.

  71. Ogvorbis: A bear of very little brains. says


    Thanks. I’m off the heavy duty pain pills, taking muscle relaxers and lots of anti-inflammatory meds. But, on the bright side, I pooped for the first time a week-and-a-half. Opioids make pooping really tough.


    Thanks. The fire and rescue company got to use the Stokes litter, a backboard and the floaties for the Stokes.

    I’m damn lucky. If I had landed on my face, or my head, I’d be dead. Scary.

    And then, to top it off, as Wife headed up to the hospital, the hospital chaplain called her to ask where she was and told her “I’ll meet you at the door.” Nothing more. No, “He’s heading for surgery,” or, “He’s resting,” or, “We’re waiting on some tests.” No, just “I’ll meet you at the door.” Which put Wife into serious panic mode.

    When I first went in , they were cutting off my uniform, doing an ultrasound, and setting up for x-rays all at the same time. They did CAT scans of my head, neck, abdomen, hips, really fast (usually one waits weeks for a CAT scan (when I realized that, I got even more frightened)). And that was with 20mg of morphine and two shots of Fentenol. Still in pain, but really didn’t care. I talked to the trauma doctor later and he said that with the swelling showing up around my spleen and liver, they were concerned about lacerations on those organs. Luckily, just massive bruising (it looks like five ink pens drained themselves onto my side and lower back).

    I am cooking for the first time since the fall. Some boneless ribs are marinating in olive oil, lime juice, salt, chili powder, and cumin. That with some quick pico de gallo and some corn chips and Wife and i are set for dinner.

    Doing lots of reading.

    Charly: Thanks.

    chigau: Thanks. The pain from the nerve and the pain from the haematoma is bad enough that the back and ribs are a really minor ache.

    Heading for bed now. G’night.

  72. says


    I am cooking for the first time since the fall. Some boneless ribs are marinating in olive oil, lime juice, salt, chili powder, and cumin.

    I see your sense of humour remains intact. Sleep as well as possible!

  73. jimb says

    Charly: Sorry to hear about your uncle. Hopefully a better prognosis than if it had been a stroke?

    Ogvorbis: Holy shit! Wow, glad to hear you are (mostly) OK. Damn. Hope for a good and full recovery.

  74. says

    When I was looking for items for Cool Stuff Friday, I came across this artist.

    It strikes me as blatant stealing, and worse, arrogant stealing. This sort of thing really gets under my skin. It’s already damn near impossible to protect your work on the net, and I really loathe the idea and the work behind the thievery, which is looking at making her some money.

  75. StevoR says

    @100 & #95. Ogvorbis: Whoah! That sucks and glad you are still with us.Wishing you as speedy and smooth a recovery as possible. Huge respect from me.

    Excellent interview with Vanessa Redgrave :

    VANESSA REDGRAVE: Yes, but aware isn’t good enough. We’ve got to stop this terrible treatment of refugees.

    EMMA ALBERICI: What do you think you brought to the debate that hadn’t been ventilated before?

    VANESSA REDGRAVE: Historical perspective. I don’t think people can make judgements if all the judgements are limited to “How many do you want to bring in? You want to bring in too many? Bring in fewer. How many, how many is fewer?”

    That kind of discussion is hopeless. It’s got to be what’s at stake for all of us? For all of us, in a situation where wars are ravaging our planet. … (Snip) … But I do think is that people talk about preaching to the converted which is all total codswallop, rubbish. There’s no such thing as being converted forever. Absolutely no such thing.

    What one is talking about is keeping humanity alive.

  76. chigau (違う) says

    Caine #106
    The link quotes her thus:
    …she tells Creators. “I thought I had the internet memorized…”
    She’s 11 or 12 years old…
    and stupid

  77. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Got busy for a few days.
    Ogvorbis, glad to hear you are recovering. I concur that opioids can give one a bad case of constipation. I had one pill at the hospital after my scalp bumps were removed, and I was blocked up for four days. Sleep well.
    Charly, glad to hear you don’t have to deal with a stroke victim. Hopefully, your uncle will let you change his situation.
    I’m just about done with tossing the RT food in the basement, and should have the last in the trash late next week. Unless, of course, I find another stash.
    I think I’ll start in on the guest room, being both the easiest to clean, and once the bed is free, I can have overnight guests. Maybe my sister would like to visit and see if there is any of the Redhead’s stuff she might want.

  78. kestrel says

    @109, Nerd: that is a lovely idea, having a place so your sister can come visit. Mine is about to visit me. Visiting with sisters can be a very good thing. Here is hoping she stops by soon.

    Last two days of staying up all night with kids, yay. Soon I’ll have a chance at a good night’s sleep.

  79. says


    The link quotes her thus:
    “…she tells Creators. “I thought I had the internet memorized…””
    She’s 11 or 12 years old…
    and stupid

    She’s making money off the backs of other artists, and doesn’t give one tiny shit about it, either. What’s she’s doing isn’t stupid, but it’s damned fucking arrogant. She seems to think all the images on the net exist exclusively for her use.

  80. chigau (違う) says

    You’re right.
    I didn’t see any Disney or Pixar images in her stuff so, yeah, not that stupid.

  81. chigau (違う) says

    If picturing me picking through my poo for two days does that for you.
    (I didn’t find it.)
    I wish tetth were included in our socialized medicine.

  82. kestrel says

    AHA! There they are. :-) THANK YOU, Caine! I was drowning in spam there…

    I too wish Ogvorbis a swift recovery. Sound like progress has been made, and I feel really bad for your wife… I’ve had to go through things like that and it is not a fun thing at all…

  83. says

    [big pile of hugs]

    Aged Mum didn’t call this afternoon, and I haven’t been able to get through to her either. The old corded bedroom phone is probably off the hook again, but it’s still worrying. The caregivers both have cellphones and my number (although I don’t have theirs), so if anything is wrong, they’d call. But still I worry. Gah.

  84. rq says

    *hugs* and *higs* for everyone. Been wrapped up in my own head and probably will be for the next little while, but my best wishes all ’round!

  85. says

    rq, hugs right back atcha.

    The young, lost turkey was back again, hanging by the studio side feeding station. She looked so forlorn, standing in the wind. I wish to fuck her family would show back up. I did get to talk to her a little bit. She walked off, but slowly, not panicking at all.

  86. says

    Heads can be crowded places

    Not in the Schadenfreude sense, but in the “I’m relieved I’ve been spared that indignity” sense. Debtal care is only partly included in our social healthcare. Fillings or removing teeth is covered, anything more complicated is only partly covered.

    Got two rooms painted today (last half hour was running on emergency setting but I didn’t want to stop and clean up just to have to clean up after another half an hour). Floors will be delivered on Wednesday, we’re moving forward!
    And we got a pavilion at a bargain price today. Yay!
    Everything OK.

  87. says

    All is well. I was able to get through this time and leave a message on Aged Mum’s shiny new answering machine, and she called me back. She has a small-company phone service bundled with her cable, and they had an outage.

    I am so getting the caregivers’ numbers before the next time. I’ll still have to figure out who’s on duty, but it’ll still help. It also would have saved time and worry if the caregiver had called me yesterday when Mum couldn’t get through, but I gather Mum didn’t want to inconvenience her. I’m going to have a word with both of them about that, too.

  88. chigau (違う) says

    I just did a couple of hours of darning socks.
    Whilst watching yutub British QuizComedy Shows.
    There were 14 pair socks in that basket!
    All done now.

  89. says

    Good to hear. The son of our soon to finally really be elderly neighbour made sure he has my phone number already

    Do you know the images where a huge dog is still trying to curl up in its human’s lap like when it was a puppy?
    I can do that with kids…

  90. StevoR says

    For any other Aussie readers here in case they don’t know :


    Couple of hours time. ABC 2 9.35 pm :

    (& they have an fb page too.) Yes, that Jane Goodall*; Great (great) Ape Expert and scientist and exemplar of the best in human beings.

    She’s one of a panel of 4 & Q&A can be variable in quality depending on the nights guests, audience and questions but hopefully Goodall will get some great questions and a lot of airtime to answer and explore them in. You can use that link to ask questions for her -- although they hardly ever take them from there almost all coming from the live audience.

    My apologies for the short notice.

    * See : &

  91. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    More milestones, both met and started: The first milestone (met) is that I got the guest room cleaned so that guests can use the bed, without tripping over debris.
    The second (started) was that the Redhead’s sweats (shirt and pants), and tees (long and short sleeved), which occupied the guest bed, are now being recycled into the community, the first time some of her clothing left the premises other than for her funeral. Progress.

  92. says

    Cis people and straight people, in various over and non overlapping constellations, why are they?
    (And yes, I’m aware that I’m mostly straight and pretty cis myself)
    Today we had a special class informing about a project that teaches about LGBTQ issues in school. The group that did our class was three cis gay dudes, which they say is not representative of the whole organisation, but a local coincidence.
    OK, your basic “decent” cis gay dude, very aware of the discrimination (male) gay people still experience in Germany. Also aware that there are trans people, informing my colleagues that yes, there are trans kids. He showed us a bit about what they teach and discuss and then he talked about a trans athlete and that she had to give up her career because when you take hormones the testosterone gets seen as doping and I was like “wait, what?” I mean, why would she need to take testosterone? So I asked “Uhm, we’re talking about a trans man, a he, right?”
    At which point he managed to get the pronouns right.
    And then there was the thing about gay adoption and the studies that show that kids in LGBTQ families are on average happier than their peers, because those families usually only consist of parents who really wanted children and not also of parents who are just biologically capable, at which point another colleague who has a kid as well needed to complain that this wasn’t representative for straight families and unfair to straight families. Yes, I opened my mouth again telling her it’s not about her but the fact that not everybody who manages to make a child is also automatically fit to be a parent.
    Really, why should I be offended by the fact that cis straight families are on average worse than rainbow families?

  93. lumipuna says

    Two unrelated but weirdly similar incidents occurred in Finland during last week:

    Two groups of dudebro tourists (first four German men, then four British men) made brief illegal border crossings to Russia and back just for shits and giggles. They probably only considered they wouldn’t get caught by *Russian* authorities. However, there is extensive video surveillance in the seemingly empty forest on Finnish side, and Finnish authorities can be very conscientious about illegal crossings (We want to be Russia’s favorite neighbors!). Both groups were briefly detained and apparently fined after release.

  94. says

    Two groups of dudebro tourists (first four German men, then four British men) made brief illegal border crossings to Russia and back just for shits and giggles.

    Wouldn’t it be fun if we got caught by an autocratic regime so that then our government would have to bargain for our freedom?
    Men, why are they?

  95. lumipuna says

    Indeed, why are we.

    Some westerners seem to think Russia is so exotic, it’s exciting to even be near to it. If it were really that exciting, I’d consider moving to at least Sweden.

  96. Saad says

    Some of the latest excrement from the fecal fountain that inhabits the White House, this time about the Fucking Wall™:

    “We’re thinking of something that’s unique, we’re talking about the southern border, lots of sun, lots of heat. We’re thinking about building the wall as a solar wall, so it creates energy and pays for itself. And this way, Mexico will have to pay much less money, and that’s good, right?”

    “Solar wall, panels, beautiful. I mean actually think of it, the higher it goes the more valuable it is. Pretty good imagination right? Good? My idea.”

  97. says

    Ahhh, the joys of parenting
    I already told you that the kid has sex ed at the moment.
    One important thing that I have learned so far is that it’s vital to have these conversations both in school and at home. Most days there will be something on her mind that she needs to tell me o talk about. While I’m of course always open for questions, the school sex ed provided us with an opportunity.
    Currently the topic is menstruation and different sanitary products.
    Kid: Do you have pads?
    Me: No, I use mens cups. I can show you.
    I showed her and explained what you do with them and how they work.
    Kid: Cool, can you pack them into a bag so I can take them to school?
    Me: No way, that’s private.
    Kid: But you say this is totally normal and nothing to be ashamed of.
    And now for the fun conversation about why things that spend a lot of time in my vagina should not be taken to school and shown around…

  98. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 141

    I’m sorry to hear that. One would think that the thorns should have at least slowed them down a bit.

  99. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Great way to start the day. Went downstairs to the kitchen to make breakfast (oatmeal), and scared a mouse on the kitchen counter when I flicked on the light and moved toward it, who then scared me (unexpected) when it scrambled off the counter. Traps and peanut butter in the offing.

  100. Ice Swimmer says

    CIA contractors and vending machines:

    Buzzfeed had done a FOIA in 2015 and this is a part of what they got: According to a Office of Inspector General report, a contractor found a simple way to hack the vending machines to accept unfunded payment cards and taught it to others.

    They managed to get about $3300 worth of snacks for free before being caught with surveillance cameras and subsequently turned in their CIA badges and were fired by the companies employing them. The DOJ didn’t press any charges against the contractors even though OIG referred the case to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

  101. chigau (違う) says

    Today we saw a coyote and one of those rainbow circle around the sun things.

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