1. says

    Thanks! I am. As I noted in the previous thread, I gave in and made a brew of my own, which worked great. I’ll be making more today.

  2. says

    I always have to be prepared, so I’ve been looking into turbans and the like. A bald me would be terrifying. I don’t think I can do a wig, and holy shit, they are expensive, to boot. Chemo wigs are quite interesting though -- you can get these sorta wigs called halos, they’re for wearing under a hat, and have an open top so you don’t over heat. Heh. I did find a number of turbans I like, so that’s good.

  3. kestrel says

    @Caine: had another friend that did that (check out turbans etc), and it worked quite well for her. She did tend to just keep it handy (hers was a sort of turban), according to who was coming by. Some people it was OK with her to see her with no hair but some not, so she just kept it by her side and only put it on when someone knocked. Otherwise she left it off because it was more comfortable for her.

    I hope of course that you don’t need it but it is amazing the choices available, and yes, it is wise to be prepared “just in case”.

    Think my noisy falcon is a Merlin. The call notes match, although it still has not gotten close enough for me to make good observations (like, a fork in the tail, or not etc. because OF COURSE I only see it when I do not have binoculars with me) but it seems the right size and they do inhabit this range.

  4. says

    Chigau, no, and it will be a while yet. So far, however, the assumption is that I’m dealing with some form of cancer. I’ll be quite surprised if it’s something else, but of course, I’d be quite happy about it. Right now, the most irksome thing is possibly having to lose my hair. And possibly dying, natch.

    Kestrel, a Merlin, ooooh. Exciting, I’ve never seen one.

  5. jazzlet says

    Sorry you’ve been feeling especially rough Caine. Do you get seasonal variation in your pain? A lot of people I know with various chronic pain problems seem to have more pain in winter, probably because ones muscles tense up somewhat in the colder weather and that affects a lot of kinds of pain. Me I end up wrapped in layers and layers which then get shed hurriedly if I have a flash.

    There are some really gorgeous turbans, head scarfs etc out there. I like hats and end up wearing them indoors as well as outside just because I like them.

  6. says

    Jazzlet, no seasonal variation with me. I detest being cold, so I avoid it as much as possible. Right now, whatever it is I’m dealing with on top of the chronic spinal pain, seems to come with some very serious referred pain. It’s very persistent, and much worse than the every day pain. Even my meds, which granted, aren’t all that, can’t get it under control. My electuary has gotten a handle on it though, and I’ll just keep making it and taking it until I can get somewhere definitive with all this mess.

    I love hats, and I have a host of them, but I’m afraid most of them wouldn’t cover up enough of the bald to make me happy, so turbans it will be (maybe). I did note that some of the most popular ones are the bamboo, I put a couple of them on the ‘to purchase’ list.

  7. says

    Thank you, Charly. I’m doing okay, hanging in there. I just wish I could get the final tests over with. Eh, they’ll be here soon enough.

  8. jazzlet says

    Caine if you love hats, hate being cold and want to cover everything up try the hat and scaf look. A triangular scarf or a square one folded into a triangle, large enough to cross under your chin and tie at the back of your neck, pop a hat on top and you’re good to go.

  9. says

    Jazzlet, yeah, I was looking at some of the oversize ‘hair band’ things, which are for going under hats. That I could live with. I’ll have to have something underneath, because even though all my hats are proper fitted ones, they won’t fit right if the hair is gone.

  10. says


    Though not all chemotherapy leads to hair loss. My aunt’s grew actually thicker.

    Gad. Not sure I need that either! :D I’ll happily accept any hat from you, your work is exquisite.

  11. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Sorry to hear about your medical suspicions Caine. My ElderCare rider this morning mentioned he might have cancer. I was frankly at loss to say something.
    My other errand today, was taking the Redhead’s wigs (18!) to the UPS Store to send to the Cancer Support Center, in a south Chicago suburb, for recycling into their cancer treatment donations of wigs of those women using chemotherapy agents that cause alopecia (hair loss). The nice woman who waited on me at the UPS Store wouldn’t let me pay the shipping. I had my wallet out ready to fork over some cash, and the cost of shipping wasn’t a problem (<$20). I probably had more money in my wallet than she did in hers. I had mentioned the Redhead had died earlier this year, to explain shipment. Turns out she had worked at building specializing in Sr. Citizens that I went past almost daily when I was working.
    While she may have felt I was hard up for money, not the case. But I did accept her "donation", and mentioned my Eldercare driving before leaving.

  12. says

    Well, there’s not a lot to say when it’s cancer, except “that sucks, best wishes”. 18 wigs! It’s great you’ve gotten them back to where they will help out chemo patients, I’m sure it’s appreciated, and I imagine there’s always more demand than supply.

  13. kestrel says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls, that is a lovely story -- not only were you trying to help others with the wigs, someone else recognized that and tried to help you. That is so great. I’m glad you let her help you, I’m sure it made her feel very good.

    My mother has just been diagnosed with cancer. Hers is stage one and at this point they are treating her with radiation therapy (she’s already had the surgery) and the outlook is very good. I’m really glad that there are treatments for cancer; it really is horrible, no question, but at least there are treatments many of which have great success and there are people out there who survive it. If my mother survives it, and the treatment is successful, I am damn sure not going to claim it’s because I made her eat a special diet or the feng shui in her house or something. (My cousin is cancer free for over a year now, and her mother, my aunt, is claiming it’s because she made her eat a special diet. GAAAH. Whereas I’m pretty sure it was the chemo and excellent medical care and treatment. Sorry for the vent. Just needed to get that off my chest.)

  14. says


    My mother has just been diagnosed with cancer. Hers is stage one and at this point they are treating her with radiation therapy (she’s already had the surgery) and the outlook is very good.

    Oh, I’m sorry about the cancer, but very happy to hear it was caught early, and the prognosis is so good! All the very best to her, and hers.

  15. kestrel says

    Thank you. You never know how these things will go but we feel we’ve been very lucky indeed, so far.

  16. Ogvorbis: Swimming without a parachute. says

    Well, there’s not a lot to say when it’s cancer, except “that sucks, best wishes”.

    Yeah, Caine, you are right.

    That sucks.

    Best wishes.

    And many higs to you.

  17. voyager says

    Why does life have to be so damned challenging all the time? As if chronic pain wasn’t enough to deal with. I wish I could think of something uplifting and inspiring to say, but all I can think of is ‘Oh, Shit!’
    Two other fine words I can pass along, though, are medical marijuana. Good for pain, nausea, sleep and the best friend of many chemo patients. It’s also pretty good for those ‘fuck off and leave me alone days.’

  18. says

    Voyager, oh yeah, I’ll be all over the weed if it turns out that chemo is needed. If I can’t get it legally, I’ll probably have to give up my hydrocodone scrip, as it’s Schedule II here, so if I continue to get it through the pain clinic, I have to be drug tested.

    Medical weed was passed into law here, but it was revised April this year, and it will probably be at least a year before people can start accessing the program. The one helpful feature was turned down -- it had been proposed that people 40 or more miles from a dispensary be allowed personal use home cultivation. I’m well over 40 miles from a dispensary or medical facility. And you have to go through a fair amount of red tape to apply in the first place.

    Of course, I’d prefer medical, because if you get caught with a joint here, it’s a year in prison or a $2,000 fine, or both.

  19. says

    All the hugs and higs to you.

    Men. Particularly stubborn older men.
    When Mr went to pick up the kid from school, he came back to a flat tyre. He phoned me to pick them up, he phoned his mum to tell her it would be later (#1 goes there after school and we pick her up).
    His dad, upon hearing of the mishap simply drove off, without waiting for any information and was then huffy and puffy that nobody was at the car.

    Also, my brother in law got married today, adding to my collection of brothers in law.

  20. says

    Your father-in-law got just what he deserved -- a wasted trip.

    Also, my brother in law got married today, adding to my collection of brothers in law.

    Awwww, that’s nice! Congrats to everyone.

  21. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    During my last internist visit, she discovered a lump on the left side of my neck. After a sonogram, and later a CAT scan, it was diagnosed as a lipoma, a benign fatty tumor. Just keeping an eye on it at the moment.

  22. Ogvorbis: Swimming without a parachute. says


    One of members of Boy’s fiance’s family (she’s the one that we had to call the police so she, at the age of 19, could move out of her house) has now posted rather graphic and explicit threats towards both Boy and Fiance on Facebork. He also emailed the threat to her phone. Not sure how he got the number as she got a new number . . . . Anyway, Boy and Fiance are now waiting for the police. I hope the hell they can do something. At the very least, a restraining order? PFA? We’ll see. I’ll update you with news as it comes in.

    The upshot of the threats is that her mom & dad want her to move back in with them. So they can go back to using her checking account for cigarettes. And because, according to them (and their “native American traditions”), a girl is not an adult until age 24 and must stay at home.

  23. Ice Swimmer says

    Ogvorbis @ 32

    Hopefully the cops will do something useful, at least there is evidence on writing of the threats in FB and as emails/text messages.

  24. Raucous Indignation says

    I just read through the prior comments on the thread. Of course they are cancer related. I think that means we are all of an age where either our own bodies are failing us or if not us then our parents.

  25. kestrel says

    Thanks to everyone. You all get some pretend internet roses. :-)

    Happy birthday, Ice Swimmer! May you have a wonderful birthday.

    Ogvorbis, that sounds really scary. I do hope the police do something… I so wish people would get over the idea of owning other people. Parents do not “own” their children. It’s one of the reasons I refer to the Partner as “the” partner -- I do not own the Partner! The Partner is a free agent. So is this young woman! It does not matter what her age is. (Yeah, yeah yeah -- young children need the guidance of parents yada yada. Still.)

  26. Raucous Indignation says

    kestrel, you are correct. Parents do not own their children. Children are not chattel. I heard RWNJ complaining about Hillary decades ago because she dared to write a paper in law school stating that fact.

  27. says

    Ice Swimmer, Happy Birthday! I didn’t know you’re a November baby too. :D That’s an easy one for me to remember, eight days after mine.

  28. Ice Swimmer says

    Thanks, kestrel and Caine.

    I went to the Sinebrychoff* Art Museum to check their portrait exhibition and then ate a dinner (poppers and a big halloumi burger with fries) in a restaurant and had a piece of bilberry pie for dessert.

    * = The Sinebrychoff (=Bluebelly) family came to Finland from Russia to brew beer in 1819 and went extinct in 1917 and their art collection was willed to the State in 1921, when the widow of Paul Sinebrychoff died. The brewing company still exists though they’re owned by Carlsberg and they still deliver a part of their beer to bars in downtown Helsinki with a horse carriage.

  29. Raucous Indignation says

    It was the best day, Caine. A young person who was plainly scared and depressed was in my waiting room, checking in. I popped in to the reception area to drop off something and this young person stared at me, obviously concerned. The chart had a man’s name but this young person’s presentation looked more gender fluid. She came for a very specific reason too. She was about to begin transitioning, and her physician (from Planned Parenthood too, I had no idea they treated gender dysphoria) needed n specific hematologic assessment regarding the risk of side effects. I got that from chart before I entered the room. I introduced myself and asked her how she wanted to be addressed. She was still using her birth name and didn’t really have an answer when I asked what pronoun she preferred. We agreed on a genderless “they”, but I’ve been referring to people as people and person(s) for awhile now. I even managed to not screw that up. The medical question was very easy for me to answer. I told her that I would clear her to being transition immediately. And then we talked a little bit about what she was studying in college while I filled out my paperwork. I started to walk her out when she threw her arms around me. Really clamped on around my chest. Skinny little thing and I’m starting to look like a grandfatherly linebacker. She cried on my shoulder a bit. I told her things get better, which I hope was not a lie. She released me and gave me a peace sign and went back to the dorms.

  30. Raucous Indignation says

    So yeah. I really good day. And I will add this, but promise not to tell anyone, okay. My time on FTB, on blogs like yours, has made me a more aware and compassionate person. At least I think it has. And today I think it made me a better physician. Thank you. But that’s just between you and I. Don’t share that with the hoi polloi around here, okay?

  31. says

    Raucous Indignation:

    I told her things get better, which I hope was not a lie.

    You already made things better, for this day. Every obstacle down when your life seems to be nothing but obstacle, well, that’s huge. For real.

  32. Raucous Indignation says

    Was it okay that I trolled the crap outta my medical assistant? She told me that that was the third trans individual she has ever cared for. And I know for certain that she is off my at least two, right off the top of my head. I told her, “Oh nooooo, it’s way more than that!” She was like all “No way!” I was like “Yes way, but I’m not telling you who!”

  33. says

    Ogvorbis, that’s scary.
    I hope Boy and Fiancé are all right.
    Unfortunately, our experience is that nothing will happen before somebody gets hurt.

    Raucous Indignation
    Yay for cheering this person up.
    I really hope that things do get better and that the backlash we’re seeing now is really the death throes of a dying system.
    Well, I hope at least.

    Little One should be in surgery now to get the metal removed from her arm.
    Her dad is with her and she’ll be back home in the afternoon.

  34. jazzlet says

    Sounds like you had a good birthday Ice swimmer, hope it is folloed by a good year.

    Giliell I hope the metal comes out cleanly and the wounds all heal up text book perfect.

    I have to go and have a discussion with my pharmacist about why I didn’t get the right amounts of drugs I ordered in my last repeat prescription. I do not like doing things like this, I always fear there will be unpleasantness, although they have previously been very nice.

  35. Ogvorbis: Swimming without a parachute. says

    Boy and Fiance are getting a 3d party PFA against her step-father. Luckily, Girl (our daughter) works for a domestic violence NGO, knows all the ins-and-outs, and already has a court advocate lined up.

  36. jazzlet says

    Good that Boy and Fiance have access to Girl’s knowledge, hope it puts the fear of legal retribution up step-father.

    Pharmacy were as nice as usual, I got the ones I was short on, already waiting for me. Not sure about the ones I got too much of, but can only conclude they have owed them to me for a long time

  37. says

    Glad things went well, Jazzlet. Rick had a pharmacy moment picking up my meds yesterday. They put the bag on the counter, he opens it and checks it, says “wait. supposed to be three.” They ask which is missing, he figures it out, they have a wander through the prepped bags, and there it is. They reunited it with the others.

  38. says

    Kid is home, all metal free and happy. Everything went well. They had to stay until the afternoon but now everything is back to normal. Tomorrow they need to go for a check up on the bandages and no sport until next year.

    I’m glad to hear. Hope they can kick those fuckers out of her life for good.

  39. rq says

    I didn’t know the entire thread would be about Giliell‘s sprog!! ;) Metal displacement, indeed -- hope it goes well!
    *hugs* Caine, my hopes for all the best apologies I can’t do much more right now.
    Happy birthday Ice Swimmer!

    Best of luck to all others.
    I have no tether left. I have absolutely no emotional credit available to spend time commiserating with Husband about how terrible it is that his older brother has taken a serious dive into uncontrollable alcoholism (like to the point where he’s this close to losing his job, his gf of 10+ years and a shitload of other things he has worked hard for). And I just cannot summon the sympathy, since he’s following the route of their father, who has been a fine, fine example lo these many years. So Husband is spending yet another late night over at their house (40+ minutes away) to try and convince him to go to treatment (previous attempts to discuss this have proven fruitless) and all I can think about is that I must be a bad person because I want Husband at home to cover some of the stress here, because I have an exam tomorrow and more exams next week and a sick child and that stupid college stuff in general and holy shit his brother’s a grown adult and he’s previously agreed to go to treatment then gone back the following day because ‘he can do this by himself’, until the next important meeting he misses at work, when he suddenly realizes again that he ‘can’t do this alone at all’. I feel bad for feeling this way because I know that addiction is a serious illness that requires treatment and patience and a desire to be treated and maybe this time Husband will be successful and it will all work and be magic sparkles and unicorns… but the main family characteristic is ‘stubborn arrogance’ (as in, ‘professional help is for weaklings and we are real men’). So I don’t know. I just feel bad in general, I guess.
    This rant brought to you by rq pre-exam emotions ™.

  40. says


    apologies I can’t do much more right now.

    Nonsense, I’m okay. If I start to fall apart, I’ll yell.

    You need to take care of yourself, and it’s not wrong to want the support you should have. All our shoulders are strong enough, rant all you want.

  41. says

    As an alcoholic’s kid I can only support you. Your brother in law is the only one who can make that choice. What he’s probably currently doing is to enlist your husband in a co-dependency, where your husband tries to take on the responsibility to help him. This will not help his brother, but it will hurt your husband. Your brother in law has to WANT help and treatment and he has to reach the point where he wants something so much that it’s worth the effort.
    I saw my mother at the lowest. I never want to see a person in that state again.
    Yes, alcoholism is a disease. It is also, on some level, a choice, at least when you live somewhere where you can get actual treatment.
    Good luck with the exam tomorrow.

  42. rq says

    It’s a bit of a double-bind, because it’s the gf who calls Husband for help when the brother is at a low point, and of course, how can he refuse, it’s his brother! She’s a great person, and she’s obviously dealing with a lot. One day she will actually kick him out, but I’m afraid that Husband will be the one to convince her to wait just a little longer because there’s so much good in his brother, he can feel it! Husband knows the gf wants to and is capable of throwing BiL out, and he fully supports her decision, but she should stick it out a biiiiit more, because his convincing skills are so awesome. I said “stubborn arrogance” already, didn’t I?

    Thanks, Caine. Still, I think I’ll try not to take up too much space.

    Back to studying. Ha, children’s rights law. Fun-neeeee.

  43. rq says

    I’m mentally preparing for that particular discussion. He has places to go and can afford it (at the moment), so I hope it won’t be an issue.

  44. kestrel says

    @rq: Huge sympathies for having to deal with an alcoholic. I’ve seen and experienced that they can be very clever at getting what they want; generally with no concern for anyone else. And yes, you have every right to expect some support from your life partner. All too often family members get sucked in to the morass. It’s no fun, and there are no easy answers.

    Today I am going to try and teach someone how to do my chores. They seem incredibly simple and easy to me. After all, how hard can it be? If it doesn’t have food give it food, if it doesn’t have water give it water, and milk the goats. There isn’t even any math involved. However, trying to teach someone else how to do this is making me feel like I must be some kind of genius, and a really strong one at that… instead of some wimpy little person as I know I am. Heavens. It’s not THAT hard to milk a goat. Honestly! But watching someone else attempt it makes me feel like I must be Popeye, right after a can of spinach.

  45. jazzlet says

    Kestrel it’s all too easy to dismiss our own skills and to think essentially if we can do something anyone can, it isn’t often true.

  46. says

    Raucous Indignation
    I think the hugs belong to rq
    My family alcoholic is currently sober and I’m keeping an emotional safety distance (being an alcoholic is only one of her issues).

    I’m not sure if I would put “milk the goats” and “easy” into close proximity.

  47. says

    You reminded me of a conversation with one of my coleagues. I ranted a bit about how fed up I am by so many people asking me about every tiny thing, I haven’t got some exceptionaly good memory or something. He looked at me with an amused expression and said “Charly, but you do have exceptionaly good memory”.

    You should see my mother making bobbin lace. Then you should try to do it without tying your hands in a knot.

    Everyone who has spent significant amount of time mastering some taks makes that task look easy. That does not mean that the task actually is easy.

    If I tried to milk a goat I would probably end up with empty bucked, sprained wrists and kicked blue.

  48. kestrel says

    LOL! Well you all cheered me up. :-)

    I agree that it is all too easy to overlook our own good qualities… in this case though we are mostly talking about putting feed in the right place and closing the gate. (That’s actually pretty key, around livestock.) As for milking? It seriously is not difficult (certainly not on a par with, say, braiding horsehair)… and to my intense relief the person I worked with today, who had never once milked a goat in her life, did a very creditable job and I was very proud of her. The thing was, she paid attention, she took notes, she even took photos, and she **followed directions**. I nearly wept with relief; this is not typical in my experience. Maybe some day I’ll actually be able to leave the farm for one or two nights!

    @Charly: Your story is funny! Way back when I used to work for other people, I would get a little crabby about people asking me every little thing too. I think people do that because it’s easier than thinking: Just ask Charly, he knows everything! And then of course you do! I love thinking and consider it fun, so it’s hard for me to understand not wanting to think, but I believe that is what is behind that.

  49. kestrel says

    Yes, it certainly is. I think that’s something a lot of people can agree on.

    Not everyone, of course. ;-)

  50. says

    Today, shortly before I went home, I almost damaged company equipment worth of 5.000,-€ because I overlooked a trivial thing.
    A sure sign that I need a break and a rest.
    So tomorrow I will rest, otherwise I will break.

  51. chigau (違う) says

    I thought it was Wednesday.
    I have never grokked your calendar.
    How are you doing?

  52. jazzlet says

    Charly I hope you have a restful day tomorrow, even though you didn’t damage the equipment I should think it gave you quite a shock, almost doing something like that gets the heart pounding!

    It’s Friday evening here.

  53. Ogvorbis: Swimming without a parachute. says


    You Calendarist Oppressors are always the same! Oppressing those of us who a noncalendarnormative!

    Today is Thursday. I work calendarnormative Tuesday through calendarnormative Saturday. So calendarnormative Friday is Thursday on the Ogvorbicalendar. See? Simple.

    I am doing okay. Coming down from a bad cold. When I sneeze, my leg either goes numb or I feel like a blowtorch is flaming my hip. So a cold is contraindicated. Additionally, when I cough, my mostly healed ribs hurt so, again, a cold is contraindicated.

    I did get a shot in my back about two weeks ago which ameliorates ~80% of the pain in my hips from the pinched nerve from the two ruptured discs in my upper lumbar.

    And I am back on blood pressure meds because of the 4Xdoses of massive quantities of ibuprofen.

    (There. I think that uses up my entire minimum daily requirement of multlie mlutfil multip long words.)

  54. says

    Wishing you a restful evening and weekend

    Tomorrow we’re hopefully finally hanging up the hood. And I made 4.5 kg of batter for grandma’s cinnamon wafers.

    The little one was starring tonight in their music projects winter tale. It was amazing. They have two professional musicians, and they work with the kids, but the kids are the ones who are in charge, who create the story. And they script it and they make a professional recording. It is amazing.

  55. chigau (違う) says

    Ice Swimmer
    The thought of someone doing cataract surgery on those tiny eyes makes my hands shake.

  56. Ice Swimmer says

    chigau @ 83

    I wonder if it’s at all possible for even for a 25-year-old vet. I know my hands shook too much at the age of 35 to hand solder 0603 or 0402 (0.06 in × 0.03 in or 0.04 in × 0.02 in) size components on a circuit board and the board and the components weren’t living things or even valuable.

  57. John Morales says

    Today, shortly before I went home, I almost damaged company equipment worth of 5.000,-€ because I overlooked a trivial thing.

    It happens.

    Back in the day, I shut down South Australia’s then Justice Information System by backing my rear end into a power switch on a box. That system included police, correctional services, licensing, and attorney-general’s among others. Oops.

    Yeah, I was sleep-deprived at the time, but still. Don’t feel so bad.

  58. says


    Back in the day, I shut down South Australia’s then Justice Information System by backing my rear end into a power switch on a box. That system included police, correctional services, licensing, and attorney-general’s among others.

    That’s quite the ooops. Last year, Rick had an accident at work and almost destroyed a very expensive piece of equipment. It happens. To everyone.

  59. says

    Who theheck designs a critical system so it can be turned off by a simple accident?

    Ok, the hood is attached to the ceiling, but we still need to shorten the covers. But it’s nice to no longer have kitchen smells on the entire floor.

  60. Ice Swimmer says

    John Morales @ 85

    Did they install a molly-guard (a shield/cup) over the Big Red Switch afterwards?

    Giliell @ 87

    Very nice, especially if you’re into making cabbage dishes. And now you can make coq au vin or bœuf bourguignon without making the whole house smell of wine for days (I’ve found that using [non-alcoholic] wine in cooking, especially in sauces tends to leave a rather persistent smell of wine in my apartment).

  61. StevoR says

    Via SBS on Demand :

    1491 : The Untold Story of the Americas season 1 epsidoe 1 -- Origins

    Presented from an indigenous perspective this series will take its audience on an unforgettable journey along a timeline that dates back as far as 40,000 years through to 1491.

    There are several later episodes of that on there too -hopefully non-Aussies will be able to see them too?

    I think its based on this book :

    But could be wrong. I recall seeing a commenter (Pierce R. Butler) on a Pharyngula post mention this a week or three ago (checks) :

    So should be worth watching.(Only seen part of it myself so far but like what I’ve seen.)

  62. StevoR says

    There was also another doco on tonight on SBS (NITV) :

    China’s Forgotten Emperor
    Sunday, 3 Dec 7:30 PM -- 8:30 PM [60 mins] m

    For 1,300 years, Wu Zetian -- China’s only female Emperor -- has been remembered as a callous tyrant who brought calamity to China. New discoveries paint a very different picture of her reign. As archaeologists excavate the tombs, palaces, fortresses and workshops from the Tang era, all have begun to give up their secrets. Using the latest archaeological and scientific techniques, researchers are piecing together the new, true story of China’s ’empress of all evil’ and how Emperor Wu was in fact the woman who made the Dark Ages China a super power.China’s Forgotten Emperor.

    It clashed with the other doco and with the Ashes so again, I haven’t seen it all but sounds like it was interesting. Video expires in 30 days. 1491 one “expires” (i.e. can’t be seen there after) in 58 I think.

    On another TV related item -- the great Australian news program Lateline is finishing this week -- forever apparently but recently had this excellent segment on cartoonist Ann Telnaes;the first woman to win both a Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning as well as America’s premier award for all cartooning, the Reuben Award and includes soem great examples of her cartoons in the video :

    Oh and there’s a small but promising good news story about a bush wren :

    A survey of a remote, rocky habitat full of spinifex grass in South Australia has found a rare bird still lives in the area, despite fears it could have been wiped out in a fire six years ago. The short-tailed grasswren is only found in South Australia, with ..

    Tiny but tough little birds.

  63. rq says

    Reading the comments on Pharyngula really makes one despair.

    Sometimes I think I do it to be mean to myself.

  64. says

    Cup of tea, anyone? Today’s is Irish Breakfast.

    We await delivery of the new stove, hoping all goes smoothly with removal of the old one. Old one has a microwave on top, which could complicate things.

    I’m also sorting the jewelry supplies I raided from Aged Mum last weekend -- she won’t be using them, and I figured I might as well take them home before someone else does. The most interesting buttons will go to my artist cousin, and I’ll use the rest of the stuff sooner or later. AM is pretty cool about my having them, especially after I suggested she consider this my birthday present.

  65. says

    Good evening
    Took the girls to A Christmas Carol (our annual tradition) and afterwards to the Christmas market where we got ourselves our ST Nick’s Eve presents (French soap in my case).
    Best conversation of the evening:
    #1: I’m so cold!
    Me: I told you to dress adequately!
    #1: I AM dressed adequately. It’s the weather that isn’t adequate!

  66. John Morales says

    Giliell @87, it was a power supply box for the FEPs*, but the computer room was full and to get to one of the other boxes I had to lean down and forward. High voltage and high current, needed an easily-accessible power supply.

    Ice Swimmer @88, yes indeed. On all the other boxes, too.

    * Front end processor for an Amdahl IBM-compatible system aka Big Iron.

  67. says

    We have a new stove. It turns out that the fan we assumed was venting the stove was just a fan, with no stove vent in the ceiling. Something will have to be done about that someday. Until then, the kitchen has lots of windows.

    I found a coffeecake mix up in the cupboard; Paul will be testing the oven later tonight.

  68. lumipuna says

    I turned 35 over the weekend and went to see “Song of the Sea” by Tomm Moore. It was a nice movie, suitable for children of all ages.

    Then I noticed my internet service provider had sent me a congratulatory email with a special offer for something I don’t need. Of course they know my birth date but don’t have to be stalkery about it, please.

  69. lumipuna says

    Same to you, Ice Swimmer! Noticed your birthday too late last week.

    AFAIK, over the next year or two there are the 100th independence anniversaries of various European countries that broke off from Russian and Austro-Hungarian Empires as a result of WWI. Finland’s is tomorrow, December 6th.

    I don’t have anything planned, except work and procrastination. I might take a walk out, since it’s promising to be a nice weather.

  70. rq says

    I love Song of the Sea! Strangely enough, it’s one of several low-action movies the kids enjoy thoroughly, as well. The opening poem Stolen Child by W.B.Yeats is also one of my favourite Loreena McKennitt songs.

    Anyway. Happy belated, lumipuna.
    And congrats to Finland, Latvia celebrates next year (and oh boy what a year has been planned, but I have a lot of Thoughts about this).

  71. Ice Swimmer says

    Ok, I look out of my window and there’s snow. I didn’t notice any snow falling. It’s been a fickle start of a winter. Last time it snowed was on Friday. By Sunday, nothing left.

  72. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Cold enough to snow here, but the ground is brown (dormant grass), not white. Checked a YooPee website, and 6″ of the white stuff, which usually sticks after Turkey Day.

  73. Ice Swimmer says

    Had a nice Independence Day. I went to sauna and swam in the sea. The sauna was hot but the heat was soft and gentle and the sea was beautiful, cold and calm.

    If Finland wasn’t independent and history would have gone otherwise, many things would be very different and, I think, much worse if we still were a part of Russia. There would much more poverty, corruption, crime and violence. And the fuckers would probably have built an oil pipeline to Hanko, over large groundwater aquifers on the first Salpausselkä.

    Also, this isn’t a good or a bad thing, but there’s no way I would exist as half to none of my grandparents would have even met and even so they wouldn’t probably have moved to the same municipality (one set in 1940s and the other in 1970s) and so my parents wouldn’t have ever met in the early seventies on that dance pavilion.

  74. Ice Swimmer says

    Me @ 112

    First, a correction:
    …grandparents wouldnt’t have..

    And then:

    I think we have it good here, but of course many things should be better and the future is uncertain, there are threats but also possibilities.

  75. StevoR says

    @ ^ Lofty. Yes. Yes it is.

    Finally. Love and equality have won at last. Australia joins the long list of nations where LGBTQIA people and their relationships are recognised as equal. We’re a bit fairer and better now as a nation than we were yesterday. Its taken a lot longer time and cost a lot more money than it should but in the final vote, there were only four votes against equal marriage rights. Oh & its an unamended bill too -- the final failure of the no “case” and their irrelevant mean-spirited bullshit diversions :

    Plus :

    Oh & Oh and hear this again (Am I the only one that thinks Abbott and the out of touch homophobe four should be hearing this song for quite awhile yet?) :

    Love is winning, globally, painfully, too slowly but it is winning.

  76. kestrel says

    Congratulations, Australia! When that passed here in my state, the celebrants were kept busy until nearly midnight that night, marrying new couples. The month afterwards was similar. It was pretty incredible. And it made me wonder: why the hell did it take so long? No one suffered in the aftermath; none of the dire predictions came true. No one had to marry their brother, or a goat etc.

    @chigau: that would be great, if everyone woke up with no chronic pain… I keep hoping we can learn enough about human physiology to make that possible.

    Gentle hugs for any who would like them.

  77. jazzlet says

    Chigau I hope you wake up pain free and stay pain free for at least a little while.

    Yay Australia!

  78. Onamission5 says

    @rq: You are not alone. Going on day five of a distinctly foul mood exacerbated by opinions from guys named Mike.

  79. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I think this might seem like a long holiday season. Got the first Xmas card addressed to the Redhead from another artist (a potter). Now to send one back, explaining what happened. Get the feeling there will be quite of of those this year, as she was friendly to the people she bought stuff from. Maybe I need to buy another box of cards and some holiday stamps.

    One advantage of being retired is that I don’t have have to deal with nasty people on a daily basis. It helps to keep my blood pressure down.

  80. Onamission5 says

    Snow! Initial forecast was 1-3 inches, have at least 4 already with as much as another 5 in the works. Kids get a snow day, whoot. This works out well for youngest who fell asleep without doing his homework last night, whoops. Second kid is chomping at the bit to go somewhere, anywhere, but chances of her being stranded at that somewhere, anywhere location are high and that’s more headache than either her dad or I want to deal with. She is displeased. (Friend’s house she wanted to go to is up a steep, winding residential hill with manymany cars parked on both sides of the road. Nah to driving in the snow on that, even if it is fluffy and wet rather than dry and blowing.)

    Got abnormal results from my mammogram. Waiting for the call for my u/s appointment since yesterday. Probably nothing, is what I keep telling myself, but my mom had breast cancer that came on all of a sudden, so there’s a background anxiety lightly percolating. Suppressable, but there.

    Dudes named mike continue to thoroughly piss me off.

  81. rq says

    Hope you pass the tests. *higs* if that helps!
    Also, for what it’s worth, I still hate people today. So all the Mikes get an extra ‘fuck you’.

  82. says

    Here’s hoping for a false positive. From what I’ve read they’re quite common.

    Are the Mikes at it again?

    Here’s a story about true love.
    I sent Mr to Ikea to get a small shelf for the entrance hall (you cannot reasonably yell at the kids for leaving hats and gloves on the floor if there’s actually no place to put them).
    I also told him that I’d very much want the small plushie husky I got for the kids some time ago but couldn’t find anymore in the Ikea near my workplace.
    He found one. One. In the entire store.
    It was tied to the ceiling as part of the decoration. He got somebody to take it down for him, was sent to another place to get a price tag and brought me the husky. Everybody can spend money on you, but few people would do that for you.

  83. says

    Onamission5, here’s hoping for the best, for what it is worth. Being a guy myself I do not opine too much on certain things, prefering to read what women say, but certain mike did not impress me with his reasoning very much either.

    I have finally something good to report. Today I passed the final inspection on my waste water cleaning facility, so there is one major headache gone. And I might have finally discovered why my computer behaved erratically and sometimes even downirght froze with disconnecting the boot disk -- I had a slightly loose SATA cable on my primary disk. I replaced the cheapo cable with a new, better one, and so far it seems to work. Also yesterday I spent driving my mom 150 km to/fro her yearly appointment with mammogram and her situation is so far stable, the growt they found a few years ago seems benign, stable and non-threatening.

    On the other hand today I got the note from notary that the proceedings regarding my uncle’s inheritance are due to start on tuesday and I am obliged to provide her with all documents that I have. So another major source of headaches is ensuing since the documentation is partly patchy and non-existent, because it was mixed with trash. And I am spending 11 hours a day at work, something I am not well suited for, so my mental exhaustion piles up even though the work is not that demanding in itself.

    I have slightly botched the knife that I am making as christmass present for my mother, but I was able to rescue it and still make a good cutter, only with slightly different aesthetics than originally intended. I hope I will manage to finish it this weekend, I do not have too much time for that however.

  84. Onamission5 says

    Just went out and measured, 7 inches on the front porch! Snow dog #2, the giant malamute, is very happy. Showing off his puppy stuff running to and fro making tunnels in the snow with his nose chasing all the under-snow smells, leaping and bounding. Snow dog #1, the Pyrenees, spent part of the morning cooling her belly and is currently hiding in a kid room likely with the plan of sleeping the next couple days away. Snow on her skin she likes, cold arthritic joints not so much. Aw.

    @Giliell: Now that’s love.

  85. jazzlet says

    Onamission5 I hope it’s nothing.
    Our bitch is a snow dog when she gets the chance, not so often now as where we live rarely gets significant snow, even though we are only half an hour from the where we used to get plenty that hung around. She loved just lying on snow, these days she mostly gets muddy grass;I preferred the snow, it shook off unlike the mud which comes inside.

    Charly I hope you are managing some sleep in there.

  86. says

    So I spent a few hours in the workshop, a few hours playng Witcher Wild Hunt and drank two beers. So I am drunk as a skunk since two beers are double of my weekly quota. Now I need to persuade myself that I need in fact sleep.

  87. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I went to neighborhood soiree last, with mostly AARP members, but the youngest was barely bipedal, and not yet saying even “mama” (granddaughter of the host/hostess). Nice to be able to socialize without the Redhead.

  88. says


    I actually went and did some fun things today

    That’s nice! It’s important to remember fun and play time.


    Nice to be able to socialize without the Redhead.

    Good for you. Glad to hear you’re getting out and about.

  89. kestrel says

    Oh I love dragons. Always have. A good thing to dream about.

    Had a trying day. I was voted in to office in my tiny community six years ago, and it seems I’m going to have to fill this office until the day I drop dead; we had elections today, no one else ran. :-( I don’t mind doing community service but it keeps on taking up more and more of my time. No money, of course, all volunteer. Ah well. The fish would not get caught if he would keep his mouth shut.

    I’ll just dream about dragons, I guess.

  90. rq says

    My dragons are all asleep. They snore. Oh wait, that’s me and my headcold. On the plus side, I’ve managed to marginally extend my tether.

    *hugs* and *higs* and *pepper cookies* and *tea* and *mulled wine* for all.

  91. says

    More tit pics? This blog will be full of tits from all possible angles and all possible shapes and sizes.

    I got my first small pocket knife when I was 10 years old and my father taught me how to handle, care for and sharpen knives that very same year. I know how to handle knives safely, I have done it for over thirty years now and I also succesfully learned others about knife care.
    Yet nevertheless every knife I make seems to have to eat a piece of my skin and a drop of blood.
    I was cleaning the blade from the masking tape and ….
    I did not feel a thing and sudenly there is a slice in my thumb. Luckily I at least saw what is happening and I was able to stop the hand moement before it went deeper, otherwise it would probably slice the tip of the thumb off. Time for introspection I guess, I have too little respect for sharp things and became careless.

  92. rq says

    Yep, a lot of tits around, lately. Once we put the feeder up (we’ve been trying to figure out where to put it since its original location has been subsumed by the dog’s kennel area), there just might be even more of them around. Brace yerselvz!

  93. says

    I did not feel a thing and suddenly there is a slice in my thumb.

    It’s a good knife, then.
    I once cleaned broccoli with my good Finish knife and suddenly I was wondering where the red came from. The cut was so clean, I put a firm band aid on it and I swear the next day the cut was sealed.

  94. jazzlet says

    Yes a good knife will cut you and you won’t knoow until you see the red. Still much safer than a blunt knife.

    We actually have snow, and it has hung around for a couple of days too! Snow bitch is happy, though she hasn’t lain about in it that much, she too has arthritis, and though the Metacam does help it can’t control it completely.

  95. says

    I succumbed to the covert peer pressure and sent some tit pics. But this year birds do not visit the feeder as much as the previous year, I wonder why. Maybe because the winter is mild so far? There is very little snow and not too strong frost.

    I put a tight band aid on the cut too, and I expect it to heal quickly. It was very clean cut and it still does not hurt at all, I am more aware of the band aid than of the cut. Whether the knife is good remains to be seen however, it depends on how good it will hold the edge.

    Inspired by one of the youtubers I am subscribed to, I have built myself a knife stropping wheel and that makes it extremely easy and quick to make knives not only shaving sharp, but downright scary sharp. My mum requested sharpening of all knives yesterday so right now it would be unwise to handle any knife in our household in a haphazard way. I also immediately tested the notion that my mum’s fifty year old knives are better than cheapo knives from supermarket. When tested on newspaper, the old knives, although half eaten (the bread knife even banana-shaped just like Terry Pratchett describes in Witches Abroad) held edge excelently, while the cheapo-knife starts losing the edge and stutter after just two-three cuts. Still sharper than many people are used to though. I definitively can recommend the stropping wheel idea.