1. Ogvorbis wants to know: WTF!?!?!?! says

    Those damn kids! All of them are lazy, corrupt, over-sexualized, delinquent, listen to idiotic music, dance too much, and disrespect their elders (who deserve respect because they are, well, elders (not the tree, of course)). And it has been true for every generation. I am, by 11 days, a Gen-Xer (had I been born 12 days earlier, I would have been the last of the Baby Boom). And my generation, as were the baby boomers, and the war kids, and the depression generation, and the etc., were lazy, corrupt, over-sexed, and delinquent. We listened to crappy music, danced weird dances, and thought the old people to be fuddy-duddies (well, no, not that. we thought them old assholes who had no clue what it was like to be young.) Now, of course, I am an AARPer and I know that, unlike when I was young, the current generation really is lazy, corrupt, over-sexed, delinquent, and disrespect me. And their music is crap and their dancing makes no sense. But now it is for real. They were wrong about the Gen-Xers, but this current crop is the real thing.

  2. Ogvorbis wants to know: WTF!?!?!?! says


    Good morning.

    Wife is still in Florida with both kids and both fiances. And a stomach bug that is racing through all of them.

    Somehow, 5F up here in PA isn’t so bad compared to vomiting and diarrhea.

    Five degrees Fahrenheit. Arrrgh.

  3. says

    Yep, been that way since forever, I imagine. This particular film was mentioned in The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America, by David Hadju.

    Way back in my youth, I was a hippie, and holy shit, the constant whining from adults over hippies, it was endless. We were destroying everything.

  4. says

    -6 F here. Very, very cold. Tuesday night hit -24 F and knocked out both cars. Took a good long while to get them running again.

  5. Ogvorbis wants to know: WTF!?!?!?! says


    I ran across a letter from the 13th/14th century (don’t remember the book, unfortunately (I don’t think it was Tuchmann, but it may be from A Distant Mirror)) in which the writer complained about students who were disrespectful, lazy, interested in sex, sang rude songs, danced in the street, tried to bribe Church officials attempting to sanction the students, and refused to give proper respect to the Paris University hierarchy.

    Ut esset, quod sic, quia illud erit. Amen.

  6. says

    You can find these complaints in every generation since time immortal. There’s probably some cave paintings on the subject.
    I kept my mouth shut during christmas, but I love it when the generation whose shopping preferences killed the small milk and cheese shops, butcheries, small grocery stores etc. complain about young people today shopping on the internet.


    Rant #1
    Why do men insist on having an opinion when not having a clue?
    I was experimenting with the camera and the tripod and I mentioned that I needed to get myself a second clamp (no clue what they are called in English) because the big lens is so heavy. And Mr started to explain to me that there is a foot on the lens so I can attach it to the tripod.
    Yeah, hun. I know. It’s got a foot with a screw thread where I could either attach an old school tripod OR a clamp which matches my tripod, which I don’t have (I have now switched the clamp from the camera to the lens, but that is a temporary solution).

    Rant 2
    Women invested in patriarchal systems doing “I choose my choice” feminism.
    I’ve been arguing with somebody on German Twitter for the last days about a particular German tax feature, which is “spousal splitting”. Dunno how this works in other countries, but in Germany it’s somethings that makes working outside of the home unattractive especially for (lower) middle class women, thus reinforcing “traditional families”. In feminist circles it’s actually dubbed a “keeping men happy subsidy”. It works the following: The income of the couple is always taxed as if both couples earned the same and then they get their individual tax brackets, so if one partner earns 5 k and the other 1 k, it’s treated as if they both earned 3 k. But if now she stays at home, they’re taxed at 2.5 k, and she can stay on his health insurance free of charge and can save on childcare. Plus she can have a free of any social security contributions 450€ “minijob”.
    Of course, in the end women are suffering. The men can walk away from the relationship. The women have no income, very limited spousal support, no own old age pension. Even if the marriage lasts she’ll be poor as soon as he dies. All of this is massively financed by the rest of the working population and especially unfair on single parents who are taxed on their full income, have to d the chores and childcare and of course subsidy the healthcare. Without this shit there’d be billions that could be used for actual policies that would benefit families, especially families on welfare.
    But this lady was claiming that I need to show “solidarity” to her stay at home spouse choice. Now, I don’t have anything against her choice, but I have something against having to massively subsidising her choice while doing the tripple shift of work, chores and childcare. Where was her solidarity?
    She chose to insult my children.

  7. Raucous Indignation says

    @10 Giliell, regarding rant #1; I don’t really know. It just works out that way. Probably has to do with the way we were raised. But I feel your pain. I frequently have the same thing happen to me. The dumb ass-ness (dumb assery??) of men is incredible. They will talk shit of which they know less than nothing. It happens to me too. I hear something of which I have no knowledge (or only incorrect knowledge, ergo less than no knowledge) and then suddenly my freakin’ mouth gets this nigh uncontrollable urge to start flapping. Much therapy has helped with the self-control but has not extinguished the urge.

    Dumb assery.

  8. Raucous Indignation says

    6 degrees F here this morning. Puppy wanted to lay down in the snow and play after she had done her business.

  9. busterggi says

    Don’t worry about those found too mentally ill for the military -- there’s always politics and police work.

  10. Ice Swimmer says

    I wonder who corrupts the youth in every generation?

    Giliell @ 10

    As a habitual Mr Know-It-All (we borrowed the German word Besserwisser for Finnish), I think I’m not able to comment this in a way that would make sense.

    As for the taxes , they are individual here. You do get a tax break for being a parent, however. Welfare is in some cases individual, in others dependent on the household income. The health care here isn’t based on insurances, it’s run by municipalities now and maybe provinces or districts later*. Pensions are individual and dependent on income/money paid to the system, but there’s a guaranteed minimum pension for old age and disability for all and a widow whose spouse dies in an accident can get widow’s pension.

    Some people do suggest introducing “family taxation” would be a good thing, but AFAIK, there’s no real political will for that here.
    * = basically, there’s also private sector health care and employer-funded health care

  11. Ice Swimmer says

    As for how stay-at-home parents are subsidised here, there are maternity, paternity and child care allowances which can be paid until the kid is 3 years old. The details and how much they incur costs to employers of either parent, I’m not sure nowadays how it goes, but AFAIK you can get them regardless of income and your income before parenthood may make them higher.

    Equal financial burden to both parents’ employers has been a sought after, but I’m not sure if it’s been implemented actually. In this issue, Sweden has been touted as a good role model.

  12. says

    Ice Swimmer
    I’m completely OK with child tax credits and I think part of the money wasted on this spousal model should be transferred to a child based model that helps all, especially via non tax based models (all tax deductions only ever benefit people with jobs).
    I’m also not against parental leave. Yet the continued subsidies are pushing women out of regular employment while hurting those who work.
    Pensions are individual, and women are already losing out due to long breaks and lower incomes.

  13. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 16

    So, I gather you’re in favour of moving towards a more Nordic type of system with maternity allowances and parental leave (one that has an equal cost for the employers of the both parents*)? I’m not in favour of the spousal model either, the allowances are more egalitarian and better from the gender equality standpoint, I think.

    I think women also have lower pensions here on average. Is there a minimum guaranteed pension in Germany?
    * = It’s been said that the system in Sweden is such a system in this respect.

  14. says

    Ice Swimmer
    Yes, something like that, only much less based on wages and employment, though I guess that stuff like free childcare and basic school supplies are an old hat in your neck of the woods.
    No, there is no guaranteed minimum pension. Ypu can apply for “basic safety” which is just the usual welfare, only called differently.
    I also don’t think that a guaranteed maternity leave is sexist, because holy fuck, birthing a child is damn hard. I’m much more in favour of giving a second person leave as well so they can take care of the baby while the person who gave birth can actually recover.

  15. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 18

    Municipal day care isn’t totally free unless the income falls under a certain level, in this municipality it seems it’s a percentage (some 10 % -- 11 %) of the family income over the limit/kid, up to 290 €/month/kid with discounts for multiple kids. School supplies (including textbooks) are free for the whole mandatory education. For secondary education and above (after the 9-year comprehensive school) they aren’t.

    Yeah, guaranteed maternity/parental leave makes a lot of sense.

  16. Ogvorbis wants to know: WTF!?!?!?! says

    The right wing rage machine is winning. From CNN:

    A Drexel University professor who received death threats after posting several controversial tweets said Thursday he is resigning because the year-long harassment has made his situation “unsustainable.”


    The situation involving Ciccariello-Maher prompted questions about free speech on college campuses and whether the First Amendment gives faculty the freedom to speak about public issues.

    Why are people on the right allowed to express any repugnant thought that pops into their pointy little heads, but progressives are hounded from office and job for pointing out inconsistencies, ironies, and stupidity?

  17. Ogvorbis wants to know: WTF!?!?!?! says

    SOrry, I appaer to have borkquoted that one (All Hail Borkquotia, child of Tpyos!)

    The right wing rage machine is winning. From CNN:

    A Drexel University professor who received death threats after posting several controversial tweets said Thursday he is resigning because the year-long harassment has made his situation “unsustainable.”


    The situation involving Ciccariello-Maher prompted questions about free speech on college campuses and whether the First Amendment gives faculty the freedom to speak about public issues.

    Why are people on the right allowed to express any repugnant thought that pops into their pointy little heads, but progressives are hounded from office and job for pointing out inconsistencies, ironies, and stupidity?

  18. Ogvorbis wants to know: WTF!?!?!?! says

    SOrry, I appaer to have borkquoted that one (All Hail Borkquotia, child of Tpyos!)

    The right wing rage machine is winning. From CNN:

    A Drexel University professor who received death threats after posting several controversial tweets said Thursday he is resigning because the year-long harassment has made his situation “unsustainable.”


    The situation involving Ciccariello-Maher prompted questions about free speech on college campuses and whether the First Amendment gives faculty the freedom to speak about public issues.

    Why are people on the right allowed to express any repugnant thought that pops into their pointy little heads, but progressives are hounded from office and job for pointing out inconsistencies, ironies, and stupidity?

    And why, even though there are significant differences between this comment and the screwed up one above, does WordPress insist that I am making exactly the same comment?

  19. Ogvorbis wants to know: WTF!?!?!?! says

    And I put that in the wrong thread on the wrong blog. Sorry (as usual) Caine. My bad.

  20. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    All year I’ve been turning from an old fat man into an old not so fat man. Finally lost enough weight (~45 lb/20 kg) that I needed to buy some new pants. A “fitting” reward.

  21. says

    Chigau, if you think Siggy should see something, you’ll have to bring it to their attention, and best to provide the link to Spoon & Tamago rather than here.

  22. kestrel says

    Thank you, chigau.

    I’m passing out hugs too. Another friend is being affected by Alzheimer’s and this is all just so sad. First the neighbor on Christmas day then this other guy… ah well.

  23. StevoR says

    So there’s acertain song that’s going to be played alot tonight -if youdon’t want it spoiled you may not want tosee /hear this but OTOH, but its pretty spot on and relevant now and an aptsong sabotage for seeing out 2017 :

    Enjoy please & Happy New Year (by one arbitrary system anyhow) to y’all regardless.

  24. kestrel says

    It will be a while for us yet but happy new year to you all! May this next year be better. (Hope springs eternal etc.)

  25. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Happy New Years Day everybody, no matter what your time zone. I don’t plan on staying up later than normal for me. The last few years, even the Redhead acknowledged having a flute of champagne later than “normal” would be good enough to satisfy tradition, without having to stay up past midnight local time.

    Provided I had set up plans and recordings for 6 or more hours of Rose Parade viewing on New Years day from various sources. She wallowed in it, and I was happy to support her desires.

  26. says

    Happy New Year to all of you, my friends.
    We celebrated as usually with our friends (The Dinner of Death*, part II: The Cooking Dead):
    1. Pumpkin schnitzel on Bloody Mary sauce (and pickled peppers left over from Christmas)
    2. Lamb stew with bell pepper polenta a parmesan sticks
    3. Buttermilk poached salmon on crispy potatoes with mashed peas
    4. Warm chocolate cakes with a liquid centre, cream and vanilla ice cream
    If you ever want to make the best dessert ever, here’s the recipe:
    -Melt 300 g of dark chocolate with 200 g of butter
    -beat 4 eggs and 4 yolks with 110 g of sugar and a pinch of salt fluffy and creamy
    -add 75 g of flour, then the chocolate butter (I’m not kidding)
    -pour into well greased individual size tins (I used a muffin tin)
    -freeze This little trick does two things: One, you can prepare the thing well in advance, two it keeps the centre liquid.
    -Heat the oven to 200°C, put the tin into water, bake for about 20-22 minutes.
    *A spin off from a German comic series. Death has a pink poodle for whom he cooks dinner. We had part of it some years ago)

  27. jazzlet says

    We had some sun here today after days that were at best overcast, more often drizzling or pouring rain. We had a lovely walk with my SIL and BIL, and only it started to rain again as we left the car park. It was good to get our timing right for once and I think my BIL might be getting used to Jake the thugdog. BIL has been reluctant to even come round here as he is uncomfortable round Jake, understandable as Jake’s reaction to anyone new is to bark at them, but also frustrating as if you wait out that stage, and let us do our training, Jake will come round and be friends with you. Though that does assume you want to be friend with the thug in the first place …

  28. says

    Funny enough, using the short dry spells for walks was what we did as well, as our friends have got a gorgeous dog* and walking a dog is the one thing that gets my two to voluntarily go on walks. I hope your BIL and Jake become BFFs.

    *The most poor doggo is neither fed nor petted at home. According to the dog anyway.

  29. kestrel says

    @jazzlet: I can sympathize with the BIL. I’m allergic to dogs, and it’s kinda almost weird how _some_ dog owners are convinced that every single person out there wants to be jumped on by their dog. :-( When I try and get away, they always tell me “he won’t hurt you” when in fact, he can put me in the hospital. If I tell them I’m allergic, they immediately assume that I “hate dogs” and react as though that were the case. I do NOT hate dogs. I grew up with dogs and I think they are really cool. I also grew up with hives. Since realizing I needed to stay totally away from dogs for my own health ( :-( ) I’ve seen a side of dog ownership that I never thought about: this idea that some have, that everybody has to love their dog, or it hurts their self esteem or something. Some people get really upset about it; one lady told me I could not come to her house anymore, since I would not let her Rottweiler jump on, paw, and lick me. It was more important to her to let her dog do that to me, and possibly send me to the ER, than our friendship. That was a sad day for me, and alas, hardly unique.

    So yes, I feel bad for the guy. Being barked at is not pleasant. Although I certainly see your point, and applaud you for working with and training the dog. I hope the dog can learn not to bark and that the situation can be corrected, and that family harmony is once again restored. Not that I think you are one of those owners who’s very identity is tied up in their dog; I do not think that at all. Just trying to add a different perspective.

  30. jazzlet says

    @ Kestrel That is just plain inconsiderate, in fact it tips over into assault, doesn’t it?

    I have met dog owners like that and they can be just as bad about insisting that their dog should be allowed to say hello to your dog whatever reason you give. I did once stop one in their tracks when I said I’d let their dog play with mine if they signed a contract promising to pay for a repeat of the £3,500 cruciate ligament surgery my dog was recovering from.

    I actually take almost the opposite view, my dogs are mine, they are not public property and neither you nor your dog may play without my specific permission. I don’t have this problem with the two German Shepherds as much as I used to when I had the bitch and a springer spaniel, I can’t imagine why! When we first had the springer spaniel we had our previous GSD bitch who loved people and was very gentle, but they’d look at her in fear and make a beeline for the springer before being stopped by my (VOICE OF DOOM) NO! The springer assumed everyone had food in their hands and would bite to get at it. I’d then explain the two dogs characters and the brave were rewarded by having a GSD adoring them for giving her a tickle, the biggest danger being that she’d lean so hard that children could be knocked over. Though I’d warn the about that too so when it started to happen they could move away or let her knock them over which some found hysterically funny.

    And we are taking matters very slowly with BIL, they didn’t have to come back here, we didn’t let Jake bother him and I’ve texted to check how he felt it went emphasising that we do not want him to be uncomfortable so will happily just go to their’s without the dogs if that is easier for him.

  31. Ice Swimmer says

    As someone who’s both allergic (though my allergic reactions are mostly a runny nose and coughing) and was lightly bitten by a dog as a kid and thus afraid of dogs, especially when they’re growling or barking, I’m happy if I can keep my distance and try to act calm. I can sort of deal with them if they’re friendly, but it’s still awkward.

    I don’t hate dogs, they are the way they are, even when they sniff your crotch/groin with their wet snout making you look like you peed yourself* while you hope that they won’t bite your dick off suddenly, the owners are the ones that are responsible for their dogs and sometimes disregard their responsibility.

    You seem to have taken a nice and responsible approach, jazzlet.

    * = There is this half-relative who had a mastiff with wet lips who found interesting odours at my groin.

  32. kestrel says

    @jazzlet: I agree with Ice Swimmer, you have a great and responsible approach! Hooray!

    Oh -- and wow, that is SO CRAZY how some people will just insist on approaching a dog, like it’s public property! I’ve often felt really bad for dog owners when I see people do that. Or people who think it’s just fine to approach someone else’s dog with their dog! Holy cow! Don’t they realize a fight could ensue?! Gah. It is sometimes amazing to me how clueless people can be about animals. I am sure you have seen someone approach a dog to pet it, when the dog is *quite* clearly telling the person to leave them alone.

    Because we’re talking about dogs I have to say one of my favorite things is to watch dogs who have been trained to herd sheep. I’ve had the opportunity to see that live a few times and it’s just so impressive to me. Nothing more amazing than watching a well-trained dog working with their human.

  33. says

    Ahhh, I see you have covered all my favourite dog owners and people interacting with dogs already. So much yes to everything. It always makes me angry when the owner’s failure to do right by their dog and the public then makes people dislike dogs.
    Though the same can be said about people raising kids. And yes, this makes sense because I’ve been thinking about this in context.
    Our friends who visited for New Year’s Eve are partly a family: My BFF, her husband, their adult daughter and their grandson (the dad had to work) and the dog. The dog is the best behaved dog in the world, the kid isn’t and half way through the whole thing (they stayed overnight) I found myself thinking about how I’d love to petsit the dog, but not babysit the kid.
    And then it struck me how unfair that is. The boy is so much the product of his environment in which he learned that endlessly repeating “I want X*” and throwing a tantrum will get him what he wants. Now the three members of the family who were here are the ones who do set him limits, and I am really immune to that kind of shit, which made for a very annoying and frustrated kid.
    I don’t think his other grandparents (and in part his dad) realise how much they are hurting their kid. Because we are his family. We have known him since birth. We love him with all our heart. And even we start thinking not very nice things about him. People who just met him will simply judge him and be done with him.

    *We had a discussion about bacon for breakfast:
    “I want bacon!”
    I don’t have any bacon.
    “But I WANT bacon!!!”
    Kid, I don’t have any bacon.
    “You can buy bacon at this store!!!!”
    Kid, today the stores are closed and if they weren’t I still wouldn’t go out and buy any now.
    “BUT I WANT BACON!!!!!”
    *firm but not angry voice* Kid, there is no bacon and this discussion is over.
    He looked at me like I had just fallen to earth. But he accepted that there was indeed, no bacon.

  34. says

    BTW, since some people have expressed interest in making their own birdseed rings, here’s some tips:
    1. Don’t pour too many seeds into the suet. You need to have enough to fill all the gaps.
    2. You need to have some sort of central structure for the whole thing to attach itself to. My mum didn’t have any and her rings crumbled quickly. Now the blackbirds were happy about this, the small birds that rely on a source of food safe from the bigger ones not so much. I had kept the plastic rings from the store bought rings and also made some from some reed I had lying around.
    Also, cheap no added sugar fruit and nuts muesli makes for wonderful birdseed.

  35. Ice Swimmer says

    big little lies
    beautiful tits
    red shoes occult

    A cocaine-fueled secret bunga-bunga party in Vatican?

  36. jazzlet says

    Thank you Ice Swimmer and Kestrel. I didn’t have a dog of my own until I was in my thirties (although we did have one when I was a small child) and I had plenty of opportunity to see how friends treated their dogs, good and bad, as well as the extraordinary way the ‘great’ British public treat other people’s dogs. I am still learning, but I do have some principles around which the learning happens, perhaps the most important of which are that dogs are not humans, but that they do each have their own personality so within the dogness you need to adjust your training to the dog in front of you. The bitch I have now, Thorn, was kept in a shed for the first five months of her life, fortunately with a sister so she wasn’t terrified of most dogs when we got her (just small white ones ?!?), just terrified of pretty much everything else including grass. The dog, Jake, I don’t know but I surmise a family with small children who let all and sundry cuddle him, he is wary of small children, doesn’t like being stroked by anyone he hasn’t given specific permission (which is one time for any except me and Mr Jazz), but most concerning he had been taught not to growl so his default ‘I don’t like that, please stop’ was to air snap. We have learnt a lot and between us all have managed to get to the point where Thorn and Jake both have a few friends who they allow to stoke them. Jake still has a tendency to bark at people, but it’s both to warn off and to say hello -- there is a difference in tone, Thorn only barks at people she likes. However we try very hard to make sure that Thorn doesn’t have anyone rush her to stroke her, I am quite happy to body block anyone that tries, and that Jake doesn’t bark at anyone unless they knock on our door, we are less successful at this, but it will be because you have the temerity to use the footpath either side of the road outside our house, otherwise he doesn’t bark at people, he barks at their dogs and he does that a lot less than he did.

    Giliell, poor kid it really isn’t kind to bring a child up like that. I hope he can learn enough from you and the other relatives that don’t indulge him to realise that coming across as a spoilt brat won’t go down well with most people.

  37. says

    Ice Swimmer:

    A cocaine-fueled secret bunga-bunga party in Vatican?

    :snort: That works. And the joke was fine -- that would be less harmful that what they actually do.

  38. Ogvorbis wants to know: WTF!?!?!?! says


    Kid, there is no bacon. . . .

    That. . . That . . . That may be the saddest thing I read all year.


    Hoppy Gnu Year to one and all! I hope to hell it’s better than last year.


    I was all set to enjoy a very nice New Years Eve. Had a bottle of Bourbon — single barrel aged Jefferson bourbon — and some good cheese, some crackers, some sausage. And then I came down with the stomach flu. Luckily, I did not vomit. But it was bad.

    Anyway, I’ve so far lost 9 pounds.

  39. Ice Swimmer says

    To people including but not restricted to Ogvorbis:

    I also hope your 2018 will continue much better than it started!

  40. lumipuna says

    Today’s weather map for Europe reports a ridiculous amount of rain (line shading) with mild temperatures. Temperatures are in Centigrade (blue shades are below freezing), these are daytime measurements but in the North there’s hardly any day/night variation this time of the year.

    Apparently, the more cold arctic air spills into eastern North America, the more warm temperate air gets drawn to the Arctic via Europe. In Helsinki. it’s been rainy for the last three months and not getting colder during the last two.

  41. Ogvorbis wants to know: WTF!?!?!?! says


    Real pancakes? or those German abominations?

    Wife and I are back on the wagon. I figure I need to lose about 25 or 30 kilos (sounds so much easier than 50 to 70 pounds, right?) to get to where I want to be. I’ll still be overweight, but no longer obese (or (as I was a couple of years ago) morbidly obese).

    For Wife and I, pancakes are on The List. We will eat waffles (found Kodiak Cakes a few years back and they taste fantastic. Still high in carbs, but lots of protein (especially when made with milk and eggs rather than just water)), which is sort of cheating, but no pancakes.

    Too bad.

    Pancakes go wonderfully with bacon.

  42. Ogvorbis wants to know: WTF!?!?!?! says

    Just to make sure we are speaking (well, writing) of the same thing:

    One cup flour
    One egg
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    a dash of salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    enough milk to make the batter the consistency you want

    That, to me, is real pancakes.

  43. says

    Ogvorbis, here’s my grandma’s recipe:
    per eggg:
    2 tablespoons of flour
    2-3 tablespoons of milk
    for savoury ones add:
    more salt
    more salt (you need to oversalt the batter)
    It must be pretty runny.
    Fry in oil (thin, but not as thin as crêpes)

  44. Ogvorbis wants to know: WTF!?!?!?! says


    That sounds more like popover batter than pancake batter.


    1 cup flour
    1 cup milk (Vroom temperature)
    2-3 eggs (Vroom temperature)
    some salt
    a couple tablespoons of oil

    mix together thoroughly. Pour into six or eight muffin tins that have been oiled and floured. Bake at 375F until dark brown and crusty. Serve with butter and blueberry perverse.

  45. Ogvorbis wants to know: WTF!?!?!?! says

    And where did ‘vroom’ come from? Room temperature. ROOM temperature.

  46. Ogvorbis wants to know: WTF!?!?!?! says

    I know. I was just pointing out that, with a minor modification, that’s pretty close to my popover recipe. Never thought of doing it as pancakes.

    Though they do look more crepe-ish than pancakey.

  47. Ogvorbis wants to know: WTF!?!?!?! says


    No, no orange or lemon zest in the popovers. Just my own incompetance.

  48. kestrel says

    “Vroom temperature” is the temperature at which one says “OMG I have to make these NOW!!”

  49. Ogvorbis wants to know: WTF!?!?!?! says


    [looks upthread]

    Damn. I screwed that one up, too. Sorry.

    Normal, but sorry about that.

  50. StevoR says

    Dogs~wise, they (& cats, birds, pets generally) are family far as I’m concerned -- and all individuals and yeah, there’s pretty basic respect for others including dogs involved in :

    a) not letting them hurt / scare / affect other people negatively

    b) Not letting them be hurt /scared /negatively affected by other people &

    c) same both ways with other dogs and animals.

    Consideration both for your dog(s) and those who interact with them is the best rule generally.

    I’ve had dogs rescued from the pound or looked after by me but owned by others with various issues at times. You look out for them and others. You consider their issues -and others -- when you walk them or take them to visit or have them sit apart from other dogs when out, etc ..

    (I’m currently owned by a nine year old kelpie and a black and gold tortosishell cat.)

    You always ask when you want to say hello to other people’s dogs and when you do you approach their dog(s) slowly and let them sniff you first and so on. Not that hard really.

    As for the weather here, 41 degrees Celsius (105 F) forecast today and catastrophic rating for fire danger here -- oh and over in the next Aussie state eastwards its been hot enough to melt highways :

    Belated Happy New Year and wishing everyone clear skies and fair sailing for 2018 from me here too.

  51. says

    @Giliell, get well soon. Allegedly the flu epidemics is looming on the horizon. I hope my vaccination holds and I won’t get eaten by some other bug.

    Today the weather is mild, no rain and no wind. If it were not overcast and dark through the day, it would be quite pleasant to go outside.

  52. Ice Swimmer says

    Get well soon Giliell, hoping you bug isn’t influenza. Concurring Charly except that the weather is getting colder here, but it isn’t that bad, yesterday it was 5 degrees Celcius and rainy (i.e. crappy midsummer weather*), now 2 degrees and not rainy (decent autumn weather).
    * =Not typical or common, not the absolutely worst possible (that would be frost or slight snowfall)

  53. says

    I managed not to get my flu vaccine this year*.
    On the other hand, I’ve hardly left the house since New Year.
    For something nice, I’m right now participating in the “Hour of Winterbirds”, which means I get to watch my birdies and count them for science. It’s an event different pro nature organisations carry out to get an idea of the number of birds.

    *Not for fishing for sympathy, but I’m currently really fucked up mental health wise and I’m not good with taking care of myself when I am, so I’ve been neglecting going to the doc and I’m running out of my medication. Going there Monday, promise.

  54. says

    Giliell, I am telepaticaly sending as many spoons your way as I can spare. I can imagine how you feel with your crappy tutors, heavy workload and a chronic ilness on top of it for I lived through that story the year before last too. My story had a sort of happy ending, because when I said that my supervising manager is an incompetent idiot with whom I refuse to work so I quit, my employer chose to fire the manager instead of letting me go. I hope you get a happy ending too. Fingers crossed.

    Watching birds on the feeder is quite a good therapy for winter blues, especially as one tries to get good pictures of new observations.

  55. says

    Thanks, Charly
    I need, need, need to make it through the examinations Feb to May and scrape at least a 4+ (D+) and then everything will be fine, which is the only reason that keeps me going, but unfortunately it’S hard to really work on something when you know that they are just looking for reasons to let you fail.

    Also, I just caught one of the neighbour’s cats eating my birdseed. I mean, it’s better than eating the birds, but WTF?
    As a result of my counting I can say that it’s impossible to give the correct amount of great tits and blue tits, because by the time you can distinguish which ne it is through the branches it’s gone.

  56. Ogvorbis wants to know: WTF!?!?!?! says

    Yesterday, Wife and I went to the bookstore. I got a 1453, about the fall of Constantinople. Wife got a red book and I really didn’t see what she had purchased.

    When we got home, I found out she had gotten a copy of The Story of Ferdinand. She knows this was my favourite book when I was young. She knows this is a book that really shaped who I am. And, when we went to bed, she read it to me. And I cried. Not sure why I cried. But it was a happy cry.

  57. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 78 & 80

    A bowlful of bilberry-raspberry (queen) kiisseli spiced with fresh mint leaves coming up as soon as you connect a bowl into your USB port.

    Maybe the cat thinks that the birds will follow the seeds and fly straight into its mouth.

  58. kestrel says

    @Ogvorbis: That is really sweet. Your wife is a wonderful person to do that for you.

    @Giliell: Perhaps the cat’s nefarious plan is to smell just like birdseed so that the birds are easier to stalk.

    @chigau: I made scones… *cherry* scones. So for now I will keep the butter here. :-)

    The Partner has injured a knee. Looks like there is going to be some time off… the Partner works in the ER and that is a pretty physically demanding job; alas, you can not limp through the halls on a cane. We went in today to start all the paperwork. Is there a shiny new joint in our future? Sigh. I don’t really want the Partner to have to go through the surgery, but on the other hand, it’s really great that there is even that option. Yay for modern medicine!

  59. rq says

    Ah, these days of deep dark, persistent rain and half-hour sunshine once a month…! Even the seashore is washing out and collapsing some places, several country roads, riverbanks… And it’s an election year.
    Spring is coming. Well, maybe not Spring, but something. Or other.

  60. says

    That’S so sweet.
    I love that story, though I’ve never read it, but I remember seeing the Disney version* as a kid and then hunting the TV program to find it again.

    *We are talking about the bull, right, or am I making an ass out of myself?

    chigau ang kestrel
    Yes, please, I got butter

    Good wishes for the Partner and a speedy recovery.

    I’m here with you. I’m back to taking vitamin D in hopes of combating the feeling of “I can’t make it through two more months of this.”
    If there was at least snow…

    Bird talk
    One of my favourite species is the long-tailed tits.
    The small group living here seems to have decided that my garden is the best (yay), so they come several times a day.
    They have a specific pattern. They will always fly from tree/bush to tree, one individual starting, the other ones following, until everybody is there, next tree. Since they’re foraging together, they play well together and you will se several of them sitting peacefully in the feeder or on the ground, next to each other or even on the suet rings.
    After a few minutes they’Re gone again, one bird leading, the others following, one tree to the next.

  61. says

    I am going too to try the vitamin D too. It has never worked, but maybe it kept things from getting even worse? We do not have proper winters or summers these last years. That is to say, we seem to have about six months fall, a few months of nice spring and maybe a week of proper summer each year. And the rest droughts interspersed with flash rain floods. There is high precipitation on average, but very little snow and that is a big problem, because when no snow accumulates in the mountains over the winter, it means there is little water in rivers and streams in the spring and early summer etc.

    The climate in central Europe is visibly different from how it was thirty years ago. And I live in an area that is relatively well off in this regard.

  62. StevoR says

    Thinking of old mythologies :

    “Luke wants no part in another gargantuan mistake that puts the galaxy at risk, but he does need someone to take ownership over what he’s learned in this ruin of a religion because knowledge is always of value. ”

    Via Dan Fincke’s Last Jedi discussion group :

    (WARNING : SPOILERS for most recent Star Wars movie -- plus I guess the other Star Wars movies too.)

    comes this excellent, insightful article at least I think so. The emphasis on compassion and what it means and doesn’t mean.


    Thinking of knowledge lost in historic ruins but real this time :

    Wonder what we’ve lost and what we could have learnt here.


    Then when it comes to what we’ve found about what we’re in the process of losing :

    Which has consequences and implies escalating feedbacks and consequence human miseries to come so, well, what can or do we do about it?


    On another topic entirely does anyone -- especially other Aussies -- reading this , have any experience with Australian native bee-hives and where to best put them? Got one as an Xamas present, have attached it to a rather ill Grey Box (Eucalyptus microcarpa) tree about head height (2 -- 2& a half metres ~ish?) at the far end of my backyard near a rosemary bush and wormwood (species uncertain, struggled to pin down, silver-greyish foliage, yellow flowers, meant to protect chooks from fleas back when I had chooks and grows beserkly in the old chook run) with alot of other exotic and native plants relatively nearby

  63. says

    Tonight, I went through #1’s backpack, which I admit I had first postponed and then forgotten over the holidays. I found 6(!) tests I never knew she had written.
    If you’re guessing that she’s hiding bad marks, I found one B+, one straight A and the rest A+.

  64. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 91

    She sounds like a very private person.

    I vaguely remember (but I’m not sure anymore) that we had to bring returned tests home and have a parent sign them so that the teachers could make sure that the parents know what’s up.

    Report cards definitely had to be signed by the parents.

  65. Ice Swimmer says

    Now, I’d like to make a very minor PSA:

    When inserting a disk into a laptop computer optical drive (CD/DVD/Blueray), it is advisable to make sure to seat the disk properly. Some drives have an open structure and others a suitable small gap between the case of the drive and the case of the computer.

    Either way it is possible to lose a disk inside the laptop. To recover said disk, removing the drive may be necessary. The procedure may be easy. Or it may not. Depends. (In the case which I encountered it was easy as soon as a suitable screwdriver was found. Just one screw out, remove the drive, recover the CD and replace the drive.)

  66. says

    Ice Swimmer
    In theory that is the same here. Only, from a teacher’s perspective, there is only so much time you can spend on such matters, especially for small tests. So most teachers will make sure they see signatures on all that is D and less, but generally assume that no kid would just stuff an A+ into the backpack, crumple it with their books and forget about it.
    In the end, parents will generally want to know how a certain grade on the report card happened, but only if they didn’t expect it.

  67. Ogvorbis wants to know: WTF!?!?!?! says

    kestrel @84:

    That is really sweet. Your wife is a wonderful person to do that for you.

    I know. I treasure her. And love her.

    Giliell @87:

    We are talking about the bull, right, or am I making an ass out of myself?

    Yeah. The bull.

  68. Ogvorbis wants to know: WTF!?!?!?! says


    Also, that book was banned by Franco in Spain, by Germany before and during WWII, and also in fascist Italy. That right there means it is a book that should be read. And I suspect that most Trump voters would also like to ban The Story of Ferdinand.

  69. says

    Interestingly, while the English Wiki page supports your claim that it was banned and burned in Nazi Germany, the German Wiki page says it was first published in Germany in 1942. I didn’t find any more on this.
    There’s currently a full length animated film in the cinemas. Did you know?

    Ha! I got the most gorgeous “jay taking a bath” pics today.

  70. Ogvorbis wants to know: WTF!?!?!?! says

    Okay, colour me corrected on Germany. A pacifist book in 1942? Surprised it was published.

    Yeah, I know about the movie. It is supposed to be very true to the original (with, of course, all of the extra characters and subplots added to stretch the movie out and increase marketing opportunities) but I still don’t think I’ll see it. I prefer the simplicity, and the contrast between the bloodthirsty humans (the bullfighters, pescadores and banderilleros) and the pacifist bull, that comes out so clearly in the book.

  71. jazzlet says

    Giliell as you sadly know it is very hard to motivate you for yourself when your mental state is off. You stick it to those slugs of supervisors!

    Washing dog beds. I use cut up quilts in pile for dog beds, theory being you can wash the top one and the dogs still have beds in the meantime. Of course that only works if the rate at which they get the top bed filthy is slower than the rate at which you can wash and dry the quilts (I don’t have a dryer so they get put over whatever is sturdy enough to support wet quilts). We were away at the weekend with friends, lots of muddy walks, so lots of muddy quilts. They all need to be done before next Monday when we go away for a week on our own to celebrate being together for thirty-two years. The dogs will bring quite enough mud into our rented cottage without us taking muddy quilts with us.

    Feeling guitly as I haven’t looked to see who has been switched where by May, but justifying not looking because they are all a bunch of malignant slugs, so it doesn’t really make much difference who is in what ministerial post.

  72. kestrel says

    @jazzlet: Congratulations on the upcoming anniversary! *champagne and roses* That’s very cool!

    On the dog beds, do you have public businesses for washing clothes? I worked at stables for many years and we would find one of those businesses to wash and dry our horse blankets and sheets all in a few hours. The ones here usually have an industrial size machine for it. The drying machines are huge. For here, you would have to dig up a lot of quarters to do this, but maybe where you are they are more advanced.

    @Giliell: Perhaps your #1 is indifferent to grades and such? Or simply has such and interesting life that a test passed is now old stuff and not worth thinking about?

    When I was a kid in school I had a hard time taking tests seriously. To me they just seemed like busy work that adults were coming up with to make the school day last longer. I felt the same way about homework; adults clearly didn’t like children playing too much so they had come up with homework as a solution. LOL. I realize now I was a young idiot but at the time, that was how I saw it.

  73. StevoR says

    Interesting item on the possibilities of pulsar planets here :

    Via the Bad Astronomer, Phil Plait. Intriguing although still so many uncertainties & I love the last paragraph there especially.

    Latest Aussie climate news here :

    Third hottest year on record for _*Australia*_ = 2017, hottest = 2013, 2nd =2005, 4th = 2014, 5th = 2016, 6th = 1998, 7th = 2015, 8th = 2009, 9th = 1998, 10th = ???? (Not on the table provided.) A certain pattern is pretty undeniable isn’t it?

    Oh and then there’s this unsurprising -- but they are trying to change it and maybe its starting to work I hope feminism & motorsport -- news item here :

    BTW. ABC TV (in Adelaide SA) is currently -- right now* -- screening ‘The Secret River’ historical drama based on Kate Grenville’s superb novel of first contact between the European invaders and convicts and the Hawkesbury river Dharug people. Something I’d highly recommend in book, TV show and theatre form. (One of the most powerful, moving, thought-provoking things I’ve ever seen -- esp for the last one there.)

    * But will probly be on iView online viewing service soon after I expect?

  74. says

    Happy anniversary!

    re: dog beds
    Just ignore me if I’m talking nonsense, but are cheap fleece blankets an alternative? They are almost dry as soon as they leave the machine…

    re: job
    Started today again and I feel shit (I do have a cold on top)
    I love my job. I love teaching. And despite what these idiots say, I’m not a bad teacher. My instructors in college always gave me positive feedback. The schools I worked at always gave me positive feedback. And as soon as I’m, you know, just teaching, everything is fine. It’s just this whole exam bullshit asshole business, but the way things are in Germany I cannot really continue without this fucken certificate.
    If I didn’t love teaching so much, I would be out like yesterday.
    If Mr had to decide, I would be out like the day before yesterday and he in trouble for yelling at people. He is Worried.
    I know that I have alternatives. I know my old employer would love to have me back. My BFF works for the child welfare office and they’re hiring like mad. But it’s not what I really want.

    you spot
    a new bird
    in your garden,
    is no card
    in your camera,
    it really

  75. jazzlet says

    Thank you for the congratulations.

    As far as the dog beds go, Kestrel daft as it may seem it hadn’t occurred to me to take them to the laudaurette, although that is what I do with the big bed quilts. The whole point of using cut up quilts is that I can fit them in my machine and in the normal course of events I just wash one when it gets dirty, I’m not trying to do all of them at once, so thanks for that push out of my mental ‘this is how I do things’ rut!
    Giliell we do have a couple of fleece blankets, but the idea with the duvet pieces is that a pile of them make a softer bed for an arthritic dog than the floor and the fleece blankets aren’t so good in that regard, they are better for protecting sofas -- if I remember to use them.

    Giliell sorry the job is so horrid, have you thought of a calender to cross off the days when you get home until you are done? It might help a bit, and it sounds as if any help would be good just to keep you plugging away until you have finished. You certainly deserve to be rewarded in some way, regularly, for keeping on plugging away in such a hostile atmosphere.

  76. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 102

    Seconding jazzlet @ 103. One way to count the days could be a morning comb: You have a comb with the same number of teeth as days (or mornings) left and you break off a tooth from the comb each day.

    The sea is starting to freeze for real, there’s frost here and it isn’t very windy. There’s already new ice thick enough to carry birds in many places by the shore and in narrow bays and around some islands.

    There’s little snow on the ground, so the ground is going to start freezing (the ground freezing is normal here in Finland, what isn’t normal is the lateness of the winter).

    There are still some Canada geese, silent swans and gulls here, but there’s a good chance they could start looking for open waters in lower latitudes now.

    I swam in the sea and there were sharp little shards of ice on the surface. Apart from a few scratches on my hands, no injuries from the ice. Now they’ll have to start installing water pumps in the winter swimming places to keep holes in the ice open.

  77. Rob Grigjanis says

    Pretty sure I just saw my first coyote in Scarborough, Ontario. Out in the carport around 2 am, saw a canid at the edge of the park, about 30 feet away. It startled when it saw me, but then looked back and saw that I wasn’t moving, and just stood there for a few seconds before loping off around the corner. Beautiful.

    We have on occasion seen foxes, usually during or just after a particularly cold spell, but this was a first for me.

  78. Ogvorbis wants to know: WTF!?!?!?! says

    Wife had a very frightening experience this morning. She woke up next to a naked 52-year-old man. First time it ever happened.