1. says

    @rq, throw whatever it needs to get things done properly and do not feel bad about any of this. Addicts cannot be talked out of their addiction by family members and their loving care, if it worked that way there would be far fewer addicts. Sharing a household with an alcoholic will not be good for the kids, period. Your husband is deluding himself if he thinks othervise.

    Ursula K. Le Guin :-( No words.

  2. chigau (違う) says

    Sharing a household with an alcoholic can be very instructive for children.
    They are fully capable of seeing who is the drunk in the pool of vomit
    and who is buying the booze
    (been there, done that)

  3. says

    I do not know about your experience, chigau, but my mothers first husband was an alcoholic. AFAIK he bought his own booze and he lay in his own pools of vomit. My sister and brother have seen it and whether it was instructive or not i cannot evaluate, but it was definitively very damaging, especially to my sister who was older and had to endure it for longer before my mom kicked him out.

    Children of alcoholics are still more likely to become alcoholics themselves than the general population, even with adverse childhood experiences with the alcoholic.

    Having acces to alcohol at an underage age increases the likelihood of becoming an alcoholic too , and having an alcoholic in the household might lead to that.

    I certainly would not presume that having an alcoholic in the house as a bad example for the kids is likely to work out well. What seems to work best as prevention of future substance abuse by kids is neither isolationism or denial, nor personal experiences with family members, but proper and comprehensive education about the issue.

    Humanity hating rant ahead.

    I need new jeans. I hate shopping for clothes, because I do not give one picofuck about what is fashionable at any given time. I accept that I need to dress in a way not to offend anyone’s eyes too much, but what I seek in clothes above all is comfort and function, not what other people think looks cool this week. And for me comfort means 100% cotton and very loose, and function means hard wearing and resistant. And I also prefer to have clothes that I can simply pull out o fthe closet and put on without looking if the “match” with each other, so it is simple jeans, black or blue.

    It seems I was always an oddity in this regard. At one time tweny years ago when I was glad to finaly find jeans that fittted my demands, I asked the shopkeeper lady whether they have more pieces so I can stock up for awhile. She looked at me puzzled and asked “Nobody would want multiple identical pants?” and I looked at her equaly puzzled (and more than slightly pissed at being just alluded to as “not somebody”), and I told her “Well, for example I would?”. I bought my jeans but I never came back. Today I had similar experience when being chided for wanting 100% cotton jeans, because jeans with elastan are “just better fitting”.

    It looks I cannot simply go and buy jeans anymore at all, because the fashion world has finaly decided that stretchy, body hugging pants are objectively better and 100% cotton jeans production allegedly stopped according to the stone shops around. They certainly are not at any shop in the neighborhood at all. And many internet shops do not have them either, sometimes it is even not possible to find out the material composition and size of what they sell (I mean, wtf? does anyone think that size “XL” tells you anything about jeans when there are actually multiple different combinations of lenght/waist?). But at least it might still be possible to find them on internet, even though not easy, thanks goodness for internet.

    But still -- fuck you smug shop lady, fuck all smug internet fashion reviewers and everyone else who agrees with them. That you personally think “nobody needs hard wear resistant jeans anymore” does not make it an universal truth. That you personally find body hugging stretchy jeans “better fitting and so much more comfortable” does not make it universal truth either. I feel extremely uncomfortable in any body hugging clothes, period. Fuck this world where personal preferences of some random population sample are considered as “objective truths” until the fashion changes and a few months/years later again and different “objective truths” are touted based on personal preferences of a different random population sample. Fuck the very concept of “fashion”.

    I might need to stock up on cloth and start to sew my own pants before the fashion changes into something completely useless to me.

  4. says

    I’ll wear the ‘stretch’ jeans, but they are a hassle because it’s not very long after wearing them that yeah, they stretch alright, and I end up going around trying to pull my damn pants up all day.

  5. chigau (違う) says

    I buy jeans from the menswear section of the workwear store.
    Pretty much the same ‘style’ for the last 40something years.
    The last time I bought ‘ladies’ jeans, they went to Goodwill after the first laundering.

  6. chigau (違う) says

    I don’t buy womens workshirts either.
    They button the wrong way and the sleeves are too short.

  7. kestrel says

    Sympathies, Charly. I’m with chigau: is there a ranch or farm supply store there at all? You might find what you need there and hopefully without the attitude. (And I love how you go in and ask for something, and rather than saying they don’t carry it, they tell you, “Oh, they don’t make that any more.” head/desk)

    I don’t think it has to do with fashion, I think it has to do with money. If you can make the jeans out of less fabric (because they are form-fitting) they don’t cost you as much. If you can make them out of cheap thin mixed fabric, rather than thick strong 100% cotton, you can really rake in the dough: sell the jeans for the same price or more, while all the time cutting down on your expenses. Maybe that’s why so many women’s jeans DON’T HAVE POCKETS. I mean, WTF is up with that??! I see no benefit other than saving the manufacturer money, while they charge me the same amount.

    And since I’m ranting along with Charly: Why is it that if you go look at a display of work gloves, you can find nice sturdy men’s gloves in all sizes. Women’s gloves? They’re all a ghastly pink or some other revolting color and made of flimsy material. That don’t, apparently, come in a size small enough for me to wear. Do they think women don’t work?! Same thing with boots. Nowadays I simply buy Ariats online. I *know* that those will stand up to being worn on a farm. If I go in a store the salesperson always tries to sell me some chi-chi pair of “fashionable” boots that are not worth a flip in a snowstorm. GAH. /rant

  8. says

    I do not think workwear stores around here sell jeans at all. They might, but I would have to first find one, which is no easy task. The closest is maybe somewhere in a town 40 km away, so I do not get there normally.

    This is one of the downsides of commercialism after the fall of the iron curtain. Certain shops and services got concentrated in bigger cities because there they are most profitable. So while there is generaly wider choice of goods than before, it is available over smaller geological areas. People in small towns and villages have either still small choice with vendors only having what is popular and sells best, or they have to travel a long distance to get anything.

    Specialized hobby goods or something like that? Forget it, only available in cities of 50.000 people or more. Another option might be to try and shop in germany, but last time I tried that I encountered the same problem with everything being stretchy. And of course the distance there is the same.

    Without internet shops some goods would not be available to me at all. Like books. Or, it seems, working jeans.

    Our town already has no apothecary and the closest one is 10 km away. Which makes it difficult for elderly people. Soon we might not have a physician either. A self reinforcing cycle started -- people are leaving the country side because they cannot get work and when they do, they cannot get the services and goods they need. Subsequently there are less and less services and goods available in the countryside and more people leave. I wonder how long it takes before nobody is growing our food anymore.

  9. says

    *solidarity fistbump*
    Well, my father stopped short of buying the hard stuff once he finally agreed that yes, there is a problem. Which was a few years after his daughters found out that yes, there is a problem. In the time between those two events he would blame and shame us and be very offended at being sent a mail about co-dependency.


    Children of alcoholics are still more likely to become alcoholics themselves than the general population, even with adverse childhood experiences with the alcoholic.

    Someone in this house is watching her alcohol consumption very carefully.
    I also have some “rules” like no alcohol when sad or when I’m alone (with very rare exceptions to the latter).
    The thing is that growing up in a house with a bad example does not teach you about responsible consumption. It took me ages to realise that beer is not what grown ups drink in the evening.
    I mean, it’s OK to drink a beer. But at my home my aunt would come in the evening and then my cousin or I would be sent to the cellar to get drinks and they would always drink at least 0.5 l of beer, often a liter.
    You don’t have a word for “problematic alcohol consumption” the way fish have no word for water. I was seriously surprised to learn that my in-laws usually didn’t even have beer, but not because nobody drinks it, but because it was always a treat, not a beverage like water.

    They are fully capable of seeing who is the drunk in the pool of vomit

    The dangerous thing is that not all alcoholics are like that. My mother was never a typical alcoholic. She never fucked up her job or forgot to pick us up or anything like that. But occasionally, she would be “sick”. It took me ages to connect either drinking or lack thereof with her sickness. She could also go dry for weeks to months, this being the “confirmation” that she could jusr stop and could do it on her own and really, what were we talking about?
    It was only in the end that she lost total control. The day we got her to the hospital before she finally accepted that she couldn’t do it on her own was one of the worst days I ever saw. I saw my mother in a state I never ever want to see a person again.


    And since I’m ranting along with Charly: Why is it that if you go look at a display of work gloves, you can find nice sturdy men’s gloves in all sizes. Women’s gloves? They’re all a ghastly pink or some other revolting color and made of flimsy material.

    Protective glasses. When we started the renovation I bought some good dust mask. I also wanted to buy some good protective glasses, but they were all made for heads much thicker than mine. I ended up wearing my swimming goggles because they were the only ones that fit and kept the dust away.

  10. lumipuna says

    Sympathies, Charly.

    I don’t know if my everyday pants should be called jeans or what -- I never discuss clothing with anyone. I also feel very much entitled to easy shopping. At least my area has good access to stores, so I could spend my life comparing clothes if I wanted to…

    My favorite model of pants went out recently -- I really need to figure out what to start buying instead. Already accidentally bought one pair that looked familiar, with the right size number. Turned out to be a new model, poor fit and closure with several buttons instead of zipper. I mean WTF buttons?!? Who’s going to look closely at my crotch and admire the subtle novelty of a markedly less functional closure system?

  11. says

    @ Giliell, ad protective glasses, I learned a very neat trick from one youtuber michalecthullu. Unfortunately it is hidden in one of his longer videos and I do not remember which one.
    It is like this: buy cheapo welding goggles with replaceable circular glasses and rubber band. Buy a sheet of thin polycarbonate a few mm thick. Fix a circular drill without the center piece and use it in a drill press to cut circular pieces of appropriate size from the polycarbonate sheet (what he did not say and I had to find out for myself -- use as high rotations as the drill allows). Thus way you get close fitting work glasses that can be easily adjusted and fixed when scratched. It took me about half an hour to make three pairs of glasses out of the PC sheet and I am set up for much, much more.

    There is ad downside though -- they reduce peripheral vision a lot and you cannot use them with normal glasses if you have them. But for most works where eye protection is needed peripheral vision is not that important in my experience.

    I have bought the glasses and drill at local Toom Baumarkt and the PC sheet at Conrad. You live in a much bigger city, maybe you might get even the PC sheet without resorting to internet shopping.

    Oh and if you do not have a proper drill press, I do not have one either. I have a cheapo drill stand that I bought at Lidl, and it is also often available at Toom.

  12. says

    Was browsing Ursula K. LeGuin’s website, and discovered this poem:

    A thanksgiving

    Those who stood at Standing Rock
    show us how the rocks stand
    so that only earth itself can move them,
    so that they move with earth,
    dancing earth’s dance with sky
    so their shadows tell the years.

    They show us that to stand in place,
    standing in your rightful place,
    is to go the right way,
    going the way the earth goes.

    Those who stood at Standing Rock
    have shown us the way and blessed it.
    A dark way we have to go
    yet it is blessed in its beginning.
    May it end rightly,
    so that we stand with them there,
    so that we dance with them there
    where they stood for us at Standing Rock.
    —Ursula K. Le Guin
    4-5 December 2016

  13. rq says

    re: alcoholics and the next generation
    Husband’s siblings have gone both ways, with more mindful individuals and one who cannot find the wagon anymore. So, in the end, I just don’t want my kids to have the emotional hassle of dealing with Mum who is dealing with an alcoholic in the house.
    As it is, he spent the night in a hotel and came ‘home’ today and then kept drinking. I think Husband realized, though, that all his best intentions would be for nothing, so I’m going to reinforce the hard line.

    re: good work clothes
    All I can do is express solidarity, esp. with re: to work gloves. And what Charly said about capitalism, the countryside and the Iron Curtain.

    Thank you for that poem, cubist. Words to keep in mind.

  14. says

    A friend of mine shared this quote from LeGuin’s acceptance speech at the 2014 National Book Awards.

    I think hard times are coming when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now; see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being — and even imagine some real grounds for hope. We ill need writers who can remember freedom. Poets. Visionaries. The realists of a larger reality.

  15. StevoR says

    Good BBC world news tribute article to Ursula Le Guin here :

    with some more great quotes and details that folks may or may not have already known about her.

    I loved reading The Left Hand of Darkness, the Earthsea series, The Dispossessed and more of her works. She may be gone now but her works and her words will continue to inspire thought, pleasure and people for a very long time to come indeed.


    .. But, knowing only that I didn’t want to study war no more, I studied peace. I started by reading a whole mess of utopias and learning something about pacifism and Gandhi and nonviolent resistance. This led me to the nonviolent anarchist writers such as Peter Kropotkin and Paul Goodman. With them I felt a great, immediate affinity. They made sense to me in the way Lao Tzu did. They enabled me to think about war, peace, politics, how we govern one another and ourselves, the value of failure, and the strength of what is weak.

    So, when I realised that nobody had yet written an anarchist utopia, I finally began to see what my book might be. And I found that its principal character, whom I’d first glimpsed in the original misbegotten story, was alive and well—my guide to Anarres. – Ursula Le Guin

    “Introduction” from Ursula K. Le Guin: The Hainish Novels & Stories, Volume One, retrieved 9/8/2017.

    “I know people, I know towns, farms,hills and rivers and rocks, I know how the sun at sunset in autumn falls on the side of a certain ploughland in the hills; but what is the sense of giving a boundary to all that, of giving it a name and ceasing to love where the name ceases to apply? What is love of ones country; is it hate of one’s uncountry? Then its not a good thing. It is simply self-love? That’s a good thing, but one mustn’t make a virtue of it, or a profession . . . Insofar as I love life, I love the hills of the Domain of Estre, but that sort of love does not have a boundary-line of hate. And beyond that, I am ignorant, I hope.’ (Estraven – ed)
    Ignorant in the Handdara sense; to ignore the abstraction, to hold fast to the thing.
    – Ursula Le Guin

    (Any typos mine.)

    Page 181, (ellipsis original), Ursula Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness, Futura, 1983 (first published 1969.)

    It is above all by the imagination that we achieve perception and compassion and hope.
    – Ursula Le Guin

    Source :

    PS. Partly cross-posted (minus first link & slightly edited) from Marcus Ranum’s Stderr blog :

  16. kestrel says

    @Caine, #24: I used to shop at the “local” (well, it was “only” a half hour drive) thrift store all the time. But it shut down! Another opened and then that one shut down too. Sigh. The closest thrift store is now an hour and forty-five minute drive away.

    Have to agree with WMDKitty — Survivor, cargo pants are awesome. Also, thank you Anne, Cranky Cat Lady for that link!

  17. StevoR says

    @ ^ 24. Caine : No I shop at charity shops too for a range of reasons incl. economics, not giving a damn and needing stuff that’s a) cheap and b) preferably lasts.

    Just seen online & might be of interest :

    Today, some two plus centuries ago back in 1787 eleven ships laden with about 1,000 -1,200 convicts, marines and others sent from England* landed in part of what’s now Australia then the newly founded colony of New South Wales -- so named in what’s now Queensland and ignoring the previous Dutch name of New Holland becoz I guess it was too far west of what British maps showed? (Torres -- meh, ignore him! Ditto Van Dieman* tho’ we’ll give him a land at least until we call it Tasmania.) -- and for fs sake don’t even ask what the Makassans*** or Indigneous people called the country they traded with or lived upon!

    So “Australia Day” which is problematic in many ways -- & is being protested and argued against by a lot of folks here.

    * See :

    ** See :

    *** See (okay in this case we know at least that they were mainly (?) trading -mainly sea cucumber (trepang) ) with the Indigenous people they met with : 5

  18. says

    Thrift stores aren’t really a thing here. Sadly.

    My husband is the best, hands down.
    He has always been a “Frauenversteher*”, but he has also learned a lot in the last years.
    So yesterday he asked me about a thing that happened at work.
    He noticed that a female colleague whom he doesn’t know so well was very upset and at the brink of tears. He went and asked her if everything was ok and could he do something for her and she told him no thanks, it was private and would she leave him alone.
    He checked with me if “leaving her alone” had been the right move. It’s good that he did, but it’s amazing how much society has tatooed “solve women’s problems, whether they want you to or not, they don’t mean what they say” that a guy who is good and really trying his best to be a good guy (as opposed to a Good Guy) is unsure whether respecting a woman’s clear “please leave me alone” is the right thing to do.
    I told him that yes, he did right. Offered support but respected her boundaries. Yes, he got a cookie.

    *A man who understands women. You can guess the connotations

  19. says

    Ugh, I caught a clip of a politician saying that the indigenous protests around Australia Day are a deliberate ruse to cover up “real problems”…said problems unidentified, of course.

    In happier news, I just got some birch painting panels. I’m going to start on a belated birthday gift for my cousin.

  20. says

    Oh, I think I know what “problems” are meant. It’s usually about how “those people” really only have themselves to blame.

    In the annals of “the kids are alright”
    We’re currently doing the “American Dream” in the 12th grade English class, and after covering the Trail of Tears (thanks, Ogvorbis) we are doing the Dakota Access Pipeline to show the continuity. After reading and working on an article from Indian Country Today they are doing a role play where they’re in a talk show with different students representing different sides, like a member of the Standing Rock Sioux and a local farmer and a representative of Energy Access. The girl playing the moderator asked the oil company representative (poor kid, those are always the hardest roles) “You had an alternative route close to Bismarck, but you said it was too dangerous for the water of the residents, but now you endanger the water of the tribe. Don’t you think that’s a little bit racist?”

  21. says

    Yay for being able to breathe. And sleep. Praised be antibiotics.

    Still hate nose drops though, I get dizzy whenever I try to apply them, and I keep missing.

  22. says


    I’ll have to make a trip to the thrift/secondhand shops and have a look. Even if I don’t find cargo pants, it’s an adventure — you never know what you’re going to find! (And I love poking through the books, too.)

  23. kestrel says

    @#32, WMDKitty — Survivor: Oh dear, the books are a huge weakness for me… I guess I was lucky when the thrift store shut down since I was steadily moving their supply of books from their shelves to mine.

    @Charly: yay for antibiotics and being able to breathe! May it continue!

  24. says

    Apparently Twitter can be good for something at times. From (((DavidNaimon))):

    Ursula’s agent was asked if the Le Guin family wanted donations sent. Ursula’s son responded that the non-profit closest to Ursula’s heart is the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. If people are moved to donate in Ursula’s memory this would be the place…

    Yes, the same Malheur that got usurped by Y’all Qaeda a couple years back.

  25. says

    Raucous Indignation
    Artisan something something. The model with the big bowl (and a small one) in red metallic. It looks really robust, no flimsy plastic parts that break after a few years.
    No fancy extras, though, because those parts of the old machine are working fine. But it was the ruined buttercream (again) that broke the camel’s back.

  26. kestrel says

    @Giliell: is it this one? It does look very sturdy. They say it comes in all different colors too although the red is very striking!

    I will gush on about my new pressure cooker. This is it: I had a pressure cooker years ago but it was a pretty scary thing. That old one was kind of like having a small bomb in your kitchen. This new one is really nice: it’s super easy to use, it has a lot of different functions and it really saves on energy. It takes 8 minutes to cook rice, for example. You can even cook beans in it, without overnight soaking… most types take 20 to 25 minutes to cook. A great time saver.

  27. says

    Looks like mine.
    It weighs 11kg, so no dancing on work surfaces. Yesterday’s muffins come with the label “no added sugar”. Only a can of dulce de leche and a chocolate santa.
    I got a pressure cooker when we got married. Love it for making chicken soup.

  28. says

    On the issue of kitchen appliances, when refurbishing my kitchen corner, I bought an induction cooktop. As someone who is used to cook on gas, I can recommend it if you ever have to switch from gas to electricity. It reacts to adjustments in output even quicker than gass. The downside is of course that special pots are needed.

  29. says

    We did that when we moved. The old ceramic cooktop had a crack (for some very obvious reasons gas is not allowed for cooking in apartment blocks), so we needed a new one anyway. We could have gotten gas this time, but since we kicked out the gas heating it wouldn’t have made any sense to keep it for cooking.
    I love the induction so much. First we couldn’t find the water kettle and then we decided we don’t need it any more anyway.
    Thankfully we already had some good pots and only needed new pans. I found that Ikea has some good cookware. Not the cheap line. It’s not cheap, but good value compared to the good brands.

  30. says

    Czech Republic has voted for an autocratic, racist, homophobic, xenophobic and boorish president for second time in a row.

    USA, please, do learn from your mistakes. Your president has much more power than ours, and can do much more damage.

  31. says

    I’m sorry.
    When did everything go horribly wrong?

    Oh, btw, on the subject of induction cook tops: We’re using one of those small window wet vacuum cleaners to clean it and it’s amazing. Our guests at christmas were mighty impressed with how quickly everything was shiny again.

  32. says

    I forgot to ad misogynist (that is supported by more evidence than homophobic). I do not know what went wrong. I honestly do not understand how anyone could vote for him. But it seems that boorishnes is the new way to go if someone wants to get elected.

  33. says

    Aaaand the supporters of our newly re-minted president already physically attacked news reporers. No wonder our asshole in chief loves Trump, he would like to be just like him when he grows up and he draws on the same sentiments and sort of people.
    In my town 70% people voted for him. Luckily I do not need to deal with locals too much.

  34. says

    My sympathies. Mr has a colleague who is an AfD official. It takes a lot of self-control for him to not punch the fucker.

    And because fascism is fashionable, the minister for interior affairs of the most populous German state just accused a politician of the Left of “backstabbing” the police because she criticised them for violently ending a peaceful protest of Kurds because yeah, they waved flags with Öcalan on them.
    Because Erdogan can invade another country and kill people because he wants to (and his comments on “not stopping before all terrorists are killed” are nothing but declaring intent of genocide), but protests against the Turkish politics have always been criminalised here.

    And in nice things, I just had a very good photo session with hawfinch, woodpecker and probably 200 pics of Nüsschen the squirrel.

  35. rq says

    My sympathies. I read about his opponent recently, about how he has insufficient charisma to actually win, because he’s a chemist by education. I thought that was a very bad characterization of chemists in general.

    We have a general election in October, and it’s all the more fraught because November is Latvia’s 100th anniversary of being an independent country (with intermission). But it’s going to be a shitshow, everything will be in the tune of patriotism, and those speaking most grandly about our future and past accomplishments are those most intent on running e.vree.thing. into the ground, to the point where I suspect we (as a country) don’t deserve to celebrate 100 years of freedom yet. So much money thrown away, just so a bunch of fancy talkers can talk their fancy way back into the warm seats of the government.


    I’m waiting for the next round of Rescue Siblings, but for now, things have ended on a positive. The precipice, however, is never far.
    *higs* *hugs* and best of my wishes to everyone.

  36. Ice Swimmer says

    The first round of Presidential Elections here. I voted, not for the sitting President, though he isn’t too bad for a right-winger. The disaster candidates (a racist religious zealot Trump fan and a unscrupulous loose cannon aren’t likely to get to the second round).

    Next stop for me will be sauna and sea.

  37. says

    Ice Swimmer
    Interestingly, only in English. In German “Nuss” does not have any colloquial meaning related to crazy and as a body part it relates to the head.


    Found a new bird. Thankfully I’ve gotten a bird watching book for my birthday from BFF1. BFF2 gave me a USB stick in form of a camera. Do they know me?

    If you aren’t angry, this will make you:
    All the TW for female genital mutilation.
    The practise of giving women an “extra stich” after an episiotomy for the “benefit” of the husband

  38. jazzlet says

    Charly, sorry, I saw the results and it stinks. I hope you are properly better now?

    Rq so far so good, hope that continues.

    We have a couple of bullfinches pottering around the garden, first time I’ve seen them here.

    Boy dog is limping. Not sure why, maybe something in his paw, maybe that he’d managed to get a really hard accumulation of gritty mud between two pads (he has very furry paws and the mud can cling to the fur). Said paw has been de-mudded and thoroughly washed, now we wait a bit to see if that helps.

    Oh and Mr Jazz has a chest infection.

    But on the other hand I have nearly finished the increases for the thumb on the fingerless mitts I’m knitting and am really pleased with both the pattern (cables, I love cables) and the wool which is colour changing purple to blue to purple to pink to purple to blue to green to blue to purple and so on

  39. Ice Swimmer says

    Charly, my sympathies. Hoping for the best, rq, that you will have the actual freedom, not the crap RWAs are pushing.

    Here, the result is clear, the incumbent President will continue, no second round of voting coming as he’s already got way more than half of the votes given. My candidate came a distant second and the disaster candidates both got a bit more than half of what he got. Linus Torvalds’s dad came last with 1.5 %.

  40. lumipuna says

    Childbirth medical professionals and former patients discussing the “extra stitch” story:

    Seems like there’s been a semi-common tradition of asshole male ob/gyns making a highly inappropriate joke in this vein while they finish fixing a patient’s episiotomy. Sometimes the patients presumably took it seriously. Possibly in some cases it may have been serious -- but that’s difficult to tell apart from random complications in episiotomy healing. In a few known cases, the partners have requested it, unsuccessfully. It wouldn’t really be any good for its intended purpose.

  41. lumipuna says

    (that last sentence is paraphrasing some comments from the thread I linked -- of course “intended purpose” doesn’t take the woman’s wellbeing into consideration so I now figure it’s actually kinda pointless and tasteless to discuss on whether it “works”)

  42. kestrel says

    @Anne, #57: wow, that’s pretty cool! I love those photos. Nice blog too, I saw she had a bunch about bluebirds, my favorite! Thank you for sharing.

  43. says

    Thank you, kestrel! Emily worked with the local bluebird club for a while, checking and maintaining bluebird nest boxes. Bluebirds are really making a comeback in southern California.

  44. says

    The answers in that thread range from “never heard of it” over “heard it as a joke” over “has a partner ask for it” to “I was trained to do this”.
    I don’t think that anybody who hasn’t had an episiotomy (why is that term so fucking complicated in English? In German it’s a dam cut) can fathom what such a joke or possibility means. The whole thing happens in a situation when you’re completely vulnerable. Informed consent has usually gone out of the window long before. I didn’t even realise that I’d had one before my doc came to stich me up. For all I know I might have consented and my husband assures me that it was very necessary because I was tearing badly*, but at that moment I was pleading with my baby to slow down because I couldn’t take it anymore.
    When my doc stitched me up it was almost worse than the birth because the topical anaesthetic didn’t kick in. In short, completely helpless. The very idea that at this moment the focus would be on making things nice for future sex is so horrible, so disgusting, I can’t even express it.

    *My kids came quick. I spent less than 90 minutes in the delivery ward for my first. Usual time is 10-12 hours

    Squeeee! Emily should submit her birdies for the Daily Bird

  45. lumipuna says


    Yeah, I lack perspective, and even then this thing is just horrible. Sorry for ‘splaining.

    Not a good idea of me to try and summarize that Twitter thread -- people can just read it themselves and get a better view in a few minutes.

  46. says

    Belated, and infinitesimally good, news: Apparently, the Cleveland Indians are going to stop using their Chief Wahoo logo, starting with the 2019 season. “The Indians will disassociate themselves with the logo and will no longer wear it on their uniforms or caps following the 2018 season. … The Indians will maintain the trademark and retail rights to Chief Wahoo.” Yay for getting rid of Bigotlogo! Except… um… “They will maintain a local presence for The Chief, meaning they’ll still sell merchandise bearing its image.” So no more Wahoo at games or on broadcast, but at least all the local Cleveland bigots can still get their Wahoo on. Fun times.

  47. jazzlet says

    I thought the business of givining episiotomies was known to be wrong years ago. That for most women tearing is far better, as brutal as that sounds, as they will only tear enough to let the babies head out, whereas an episiotomy can be too long or not long enough so they still tear, and that there is plenty of evidence showing women heal better from tears than from cuts. That evidence has been around for at least thirty-five years because it was covered in a course I did at university in the early 80s. Yes there are exceptions like Giliel (always exceptional of course ;) ), but for most women it is just not the right thing do do. And that is quite aside from the ludicrous idea of ‘an extra stitch’. But I haven’t looked at the issue recently so may be talking complete garbage.

  48. says

    From what I understand episiotomies heal better due to the fact that the cut is a clean line. After all, you wouldn’t want the doc to tear open the belly for a c-section either ;)
    Anyway, this horrible idea of stitching tight would apply to tears as well. While I didn’t need an episiotomy for kid 2, some assembly was still required afterwards.
    Oh, and those self-dissolving stitches itch like fuck.

  49. jazzlet says

    Giliel, the lack of a clean line was what I was told aided repair, like a zip meshing together, bit harder to match up of course. But as I said I was told this thirty plus years ago.

    Anyway I got a bit desperate last night, Mr Jazz was feeling bad too, so I decided we ought to bake a cake together, not something we had done before although we do often cook together. I don’t know what prompted the idea, but we had fun doing it and now have a comforting honey spice cake available for consumption, so I’m sending anyone that could do with the edible equivilent of a hug a cyber piece.

  50. Ice Swimmer says

    An eagle-owl on road conditions cam in Tampere, Finland, at the entrance of the Tampereen Rantatunneli (Tampere Lakeshore Tunnel). A video.

  51. StevoR says

    In case anyone cares, a better source for the Ursula Le Guin quote in #22 :

    For after all, as great scientists have said and as all children know, it is above all by the imagination that we achieve perception, and compassion, and hope.”

    – National Book Award Acceptance Speech, p.48

    Via this source :

    Which is well worth reading for itself.

  52. kestrel says

    @jazzlet: oh yes, a piece of cake… that would make the day go better! :-)

    @Ice Swimmer: wow, that’s really cool! It looks like the camera turns towards the bird. Was there someone manning it, that turned it, or does the camera simply turn towards a darker area? Also, looks like there is snow there! I am starting to forget what snow looks like. We’ve had none; it’s getting quite worrying. We need snow to build up in the mountains at least, otherwise we will have no spring runoff and it will be difficult to grow crops, not to mention the fire danger.

    @StevoR: thanks, I will check out that link. Always worthwhile to read what U.K. Le Guin had to say.

  53. Ice Swimmer says

    kestrel @ 70

    The folks at the Liikennevirasto (Finnish Transport Agency) control roo in Tampere turned the cam manually when they noticed the eagle-owl a bit before midnight according to the story in the Yle (Finnish Broadcasting Company) website. The bird was checking its reflection on the lens for close to 20 minutes. The whole thing actually happened about two weeks ago.

    I think Tampere has been a bit more snowy than Helsinki, the air tends to be a bit colder inland than by the sea, so the snow will last a bit better. The lakes don’t have nearly as big an effect as the sea (the Tampere city centre in on an in isthmus between two lakes, Näsijärvi in the north and one of the many lakes called Pyhäjärvi* in the south), probably because the lakes will freeze more quickly.

    Hoping you’ll get some snow as well.
    * = Pyhä means holy or sacred, järvi is lake.

  54. says

    Grumpy Giliell is grumpy
    1. I want this cold to stop. It’S been two weeks now and I still feel like shit.

    2. As you may remember, (I told you, didn’t I?) I was supposed to prepare and carry out the oral exam for my grade 13 English class, a pretty important and time consuming job. Now with me being an official failure and at the brink of falling through, the powers that be have decided that I should not do them.
    Officially because they would distract me from my exams and then I could afterwards complain about this.
    Therefore another colleague has to do them. As a result I get to prepare the exams together with my colleague because she can’t do it without me because she doesn’t know what we did and what the students can be expected to do, but hey, both the seminar and the school have covered their asses with my students and me paying the price.
    I may laugh about it once I find my sense of humour again, probably around November.

  55. kestrel says

    @Giliell: I don’t blame you for being grumpy, that is very crappy of them to throw you and your students under the bus like that. Also, sorry you are still sick, that’s awful. And I hope you are able to laugh at this whole situation later on. In the meantime, yeah, that sucks.

    @Ice Swimmer: Interesting story, thank you for the link. These owls remind me of the Great Horned Owl that we have where I live and it seems they are in the same family, Bubo.

  56. jazzlet says

    Ice Swimmer, that video made me laugh, thank you.

    Giliel they really are messing you around, sorry, not surprising you are grumpy.
    Hope you are properly better soon, and that the little teeth are suffiiciently crooked for the insurance to cover the braces … though written down that sounds rather cruel.

    Dog was limping because of the big clod of mud, though he went on limping far longer than he needed to, both of us caught him walking normally, then starting to limp when he noticed us watching!
    Mr Jazz is a lot better, hardly coughing at all now.
    I have ordered new lenses for the varifocal glasses, the distance prescription has stayed the same so it was cheaper than it might have been.

  57. StevoR says

    @75. jazzlet : I walked a dog -- labrador -- (as “work”) for many years that I used to love chasing a ball or toy and I used to give her a great work out by throwing this ball / toy from the top of a nice steep hill and letting her run and fetch it back. She’d be quite slow on the last bit of the walk home and I used to think it was great that I’d really tired her out.

    Then I found out via her owners that she had arthritis -bad -- in her legs and I never would’ve guessed. Did I ever feel guilty. But she gave no apparent sign of it. Dogs are incredibly stoical.

    I don’t know if this helps or not but hope so. Got a 9 year old kelpie now who has slowed down heaps and keeps licking her front legs so worried for her. Do my best for them and hope they are happy. Nothing quite like a happy dog.

    @70. kestrel : No worries. Thanks.

  58. StevoR says

    PS. Not sure whether I’ve shared this here yet or not, apologies if so.

    WARNING : Milo Yiannopoulos.

    Also via Media Watch :

    WARNING : Ibid (Same as before)

    Oh and Australia’s biggest political donor and our Prime Minister turn out to be the same person :

    Which is something that, I think, should perhaps worry people but does not seem to do so.

    Plus there are also new laws that seem to be very anti-democratic being proposed here against whistle blowers and journalists and specifically the left-wing Get Up group so .. yeah, not great news really. (Understatement.)

  59. says

    And in the annals of my superiors all being shitty fuckheads
    We got out new timetable for the whole month of February (seems like they like new timetables)
    1. When I got the last new timetable in January, they had moved one solitary lesson to Wednesday, which means that I have to drive 100 km back and forth and spend roughly 3.5 hours for 45 minutes of class. When I complained they said “oh please, just for January, could you please, just for 3 weeks”.
    Guess who still got that solitary lesson.
    “It’s so complicated, could you please, just for February”. Other people get two days off with more classes to teach.

    2. We have these fucking exams and most of us do them in the classes of colleagues who can help. Mine is a 12th grade in English. The people making the timetable were informed about these lessons. Guess who got an own class at the same time? Oh right. I told them no way, so now my own class gets that lesson off during February.

    I can’t eat as much as I want to vomit.

  60. jazzlet says

    Giliel that really stinks although I can’t say I am surprised. If you go on having trouble eating because of feeling sick please do something about it, lack of proper nutrition, especially energy, is only gong to make the whole situation more difficult to handle. If I am feeling queasy -- not unusual because of the drugs I am on -- there are two things I do
    1 Get someone else to prepare the food or, at the very least, tell you what to make, then serve the food up.
    2 Have a dose of Gaviscon which will settle your stomach well, especially Gaviscon Advance.
    I hope you can find something that works for you, being under the amount of stress you are is bad enough without being unable to eat. If it tickles your appetite you can have some more honey and spice cake.

    StevoR dogs and other pets being stoic is only natural, but it does mean you have to watch out for signals they are having problems as they often won’t show any pain they are having in obvious ways. And they don’t have much concept of ‘if I do this now I will suffer later’ so will just go on taking as much execise as they can in that moment if they are enjoying themselves. Though as Charly said it’s good to keep arthritic joints mobile.

  61. says

    I’m sorry, it’s a misunderstanding. I don’t actually have any trouble eating though we’re eating a lot of crap* because no time and energy for cooking.
    It’s a German idiom that obviously doesn’t translate well. In German, if you’re really angry and fed up with something you find it vomit-inducing. And if you really hate it it’s so much vomit inducing that you can’t manage to puke as much as you’s like. Figuratively. Not literally.

    *When the jam in the donut counts as a serving of fruit…

  62. says

    Giliell, *hugs*

    I finally made an appointment with my doctor, because all the joint pains are getting worse, not better. I can’t crouch, I can kneel but it hurts, I can’t sit comfortably on the floor and I have to crawl over to some furniture to pull myself back up. This is ridiculous. If she tells me to just exercise more, there may be violence…

  63. says

    Scream your head off for *effective* pain meds, Anne. They won’t give you shit unless you do. Can’t have people going around pain free, y’know.

  64. says

    Caine, did you (the FtB team) make any changes in scripts? FtB behaves wonky these last few days for me. Whenever I click on the “Newest comments” in sidebar after loading the site for the fist time, or on comments under an article, or anything really, it tries automatically open that in a new tab and the actual tab gets redirected to some advertisement. I have to go back and click again for it to work properly. It is extremely anoying and all blogs I read do it.

  65. says

    Thanks, y’all. I wish that, too.
    First oral exam on Tuesday.
    Today was parents teacher night.
    Parents1, straight A kid. Want to hear that yes, their kid is a straight A kid.
    Parents 2, yeah, ok, how’s the kid doing in his new class.
    Father 3, dragging the teenage daughter along. The kid wanted to die. She’s very shy, but hardworking and smart. I think tonight she hates her dad.
    Father 4, legitimate. Hardworking but not easily learning student.
    Mother 5, wanting to hear things I couldn’t tell without lying.
    One day I want to have as much time as some parents.

  66. jazzlet says

    Giliel, that is a fantastic expression, we clearly need to import it! Glad it isn’t real nausea. Hope Tuesday goes well.

    Anne hope your doctor listens and responds helpfully.

  67. says

    Thanks, people.
    From what I’ve heard I got the reasonable examiner.

    Good luck with the doc.
    I recently read a Twitter thread on how fucked up the USA is with prescription painkillers*.
    Can somebody please explain why you still get your meds in bottles? One of the problems described was that people were in a permanent catch 22 between having to carry their entire bottle, thus being liable to loss and theft and being busted for carrying their meds in an unlabelled container.
    Why? I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever seen any serious medication in anything but a blister. You can cut off two sealed pills or so, the print still showing what it is and leave the rest at home. Also so much safer to protect your stuff from being tempered with.

    *Maybe a way to combat the opioid crisis would be to be to make sure there’s less pain, but what do I know?

    Also I swear that if this family does not learn how to turn off lights I may have to permanently relocated them to a lower place in the food chain. I swear when I came home last night there was light on in
    -the living room (OK, one kid present)
    -the kitchen part (2 different ones)
    -the dining part
    -the toilet
    -the bath
    -2 children’s bedrooms
    -MY bedroom (ok, one kid present)
    -the effing walk through room with the laundry rack
    -the cellar (one husband and one friend present)
    None of them gets to cry about polar bears ever again.
    I just don’t get it. Turning off the lights and closing the fucking doors is such an easy way to save energy and you don’t lose a thing.
    It’s not walking through the rain instead of driving.
    It’s not giving up your favourite fruit because it’s wrapped in three kinds of plastic and imported by plane.
    You don’t get any damn benefit from the light being on in a room you’re not in.

  68. says


    Can somebody please explain why you still get your meds in bottles? One of the problems described was that people were in a permanent catch 22 between having to carry their entire bottle, thus being liable to loss and theft and being busted for carrying their meds in an unlabelled container.

    Puritanism. My main pain med comes in big bottle, I refuse to carry the whole thing. I pull out x amount of my meds for traveling, knowing full well if I get stopped, and cop paws through my things, I’ll be arrested and hauled off.

    I’ve talked about the federal oversight when you’re a pain patient here; I can be busted for pretty much anything at any time if someone doesn’t like the numbers in my latest piss test. When I’m back at the hospital this coming Wed., I’m going to have to do some serious screaming about pain meds. The pain I’ve been in this week is indescribable, and my very weak spinal pain meds don’t come close to doing anything for it. Trying to get adequate meds for pain here is an unbelievable pain in the ass. Everyone is so damn sure you might have nefarious motives; everyone is paranoid you’ll become insta-addicted, and so on. It’s worse than pulling teeth after someone’s superglued their mouth shut.

    Just to stomp on the current pain for a few hours takes 4 to 5 hyrdrocodone/acetaminophen and 4 tramadol. I’ll have to spill that info, which will give them a heart attack, they’ll shake their head and tsk at me, but if I was given adequate meds, I wouldn’t have to do that. It’s a fucking mess.

  69. says

    I’m sorry to hear about the pain.
    BTW, one of the advice pieces shared on that thread was to ask your pharmacist to print you a label for a small bottle, maybe that helps.
    It’s one of those things where I can only shake my head in disbelieve.

  70. lumipuna says

    To prevent theft and such, maybe you could carry a nearly empty bottle and leave most of the contents at home? although apparently just losing the bottle could then be a problem…

  71. lumipuna says

    Also, what exactly does the bottle guarantee? I suppose you’d need to carry a copy of the prescription anyway.

  72. says

    Caine, that is fucked up. The whole health care system in US is seriously lacking in the “care” department. There is a lot to be desired in EU as well, but what you write about US reads like tales from a different planet. The GOP is screaming about excessive goverment sptending on healthcare and opioid crisis and whatever -- and when they get to the wheel they do nothing to solve either of problems, in fact, the exact opposite. I wish I could do more than to offer my sympathies.

    Since I do not have toys anymore I cannot relax by returning to my childhood. But my nose is not blocked anymore so I could go out and into my workshop and start working on a machete. It seems to be going reasonably well, I hope I will not screw it up. It is very relaxing work, but it is work nevertheless. After 3 hours spent with angle grinder and belt sander (and a few hours hauling felled trees in the garden) I am done for the day.

  73. jazzlet says

    Caine that is so messed up, I hope they listen to you and believe you.

    Meds don’t come in standard packs here, the various companies all have different sizes of foil. When I get a generic like duloxetine it can come in a nice compact foil of say 100 x 60 mm with fourteen pills or a ridiculous 150 x 10 mm with seven pills. The boxes tend to contain standard numbers and the pharmacist just gives you the number of pills prescribed, cutting up a foil to reach that if necessary.

    Charly I’m not surprised you are done for the day!

    I am boiling some Seville oranges for ginger marmalade. I should have started this a couple of weeks ago, but we were on holiday. I hope I’ll get another batch of ginger marmalade after this one, then at least one of plain Seville marmalade. Whether I manage that will partly depend on there being more Sevilles available, they have a short season.

  74. says

    Wow, I’m starting to appreciate our health system.
    Pills come in three package sizes: N1, N2, N3. The number of pills for each size varies depending on the medication. Simple example, for the pill N1 is 21, N2 is 63, N3 is 126, but for an antibiotic this could be 10, 15 and 20. All companies have to heed this, so the doc writes a prescription for the actual medical substance and the size, the pharmacy will fill your prescription often depending on some contracts your insurance has.
    The only time they’ll mess with packages is when they don’t have the size you need and can’t get it reasonably quick.

  75. Ice Swimmer says

    Anne & Caine,

    My warm thoughts for you!


    Good luck with the exam!


    Have a restful night!

  76. says

    Ice Swimmer, yes. Probably not for something like antibiotics, but if you have any pain med which falls in the opiate class, you betcha.

  77. StevoR says

    @ 79. Charly : “@StevoR the workout was probably good for the dog. Arthritis gets worse with lack of movement.”

    Thanks, that does make me feel better although I’d still have gone a lot easier on her if I’d suspected she wasn’t 100%. She certainly seemed really happy and other than being slow on the walk home there wasn’t a clue.

    Gave my 9 year old kelpie a great beach walk and swim earlier this morning.

  78. says

    I think I just saw starlings. Starlings. In January. My reaction was “WTF?” and unfortunately I did not manaage to get the camera fast enough.

  79. Ice Swimmer says

    I must say kelpie is a strange name for a dog breed. My first thought was: “You need a dog for kelp hunting?*” Or do they shapeshift in rivers?

    * = I’ll get me coat.

  80. says

    I recently got a solitary one on camera, though there have long been starling populations here that stay over winter. But I just checked the statistics for January: It was 5°C too warm and we had two and a half times as much rain as usually.
    Today we’ve got a bit of snow and the forecast promises lower temperatures.

    Also, how well do your neighbours know you?
    *Me, lying flat on my belly in the front yard*
    Neighbour 1: Are you OK? Did you hurt yourself?
    Neighbour 2: That’s going to be some pretty pictures!

  81. says

    Anne, those are beeeautiful.

    Giliell, last year I was making some pictures and my neighbour came out of her house all pissed and asked me “Charly, can you tell my why are you photographing my fence posts?!”. I had explained to her “Sorry Mrs. Neigbour, but I am not photographing the fence posts, but the snails that are crawling in the moss now after the rain.” I have shown her the pictures in my camera which indeed were full of snails, and she was mollified. After all she knows me from childhood and knows I am nature nerd, so photographing snails is perfectly normal for me.

    Lessons learned today:
    -- when a belt on belt sander snaps, it is not very dangerous because it has no momentum and therefore stops immediately. It gave me a nasty shock nevertheless.
    -- when it seems like the light is exceptionaly good, you probably have forgotten put on the protective goggles.
    -- grinding fuller free hand is extreme pain in the backside. I might have bitten of more than I can chew. I have to remind myself that I am not a master bladesmith and perfection is not reasonable standard to hold myself up to.

  82. jazzlet says

    Ice Swimmer
    Badaboom tish!

    We do get winter starlings, although fewer than we used to. When I was a student in Birmingham you could see huge murmurations wheeling over the city centre at dusk, really stunning. I was encouraged to see a small murmuration here last week, the first time I’ve seen one since we moved here eight years ago.

    That hummingbird is amazing, it doesn’t look real to my British eyes.

  83. says

    Giliell, the octopus display hummy is the Costa’s. They’re mostly desert birds so we don’t get them around here. Anna’s males do a high-speed dive and chirp with their tail feathers at the bottom of the loop. Nature is fun.

    jazzlet, sometimes I don’t believe the hummies myself. For something so small, they are amazingly fierce, too.

  84. Ice Swimmer says

    I’d like to have similar metal-shiny beard and hair and do a high speed-dive and chirp with my tail at the bottom of the loop…

    …and survive it with no allergic reactions or broken bones.

    Wonderful looking dudes, them.

  85. kestrel says

    Oh hooray for Emily’s post, gorgeous! We don’t have the Anna’s here. We have Broad-tails, Calliopes and Rufous. The first time I saw a Calliope, I thought it was a baby -- duh. :-) A baby with adult plumage? No. Then I realized what I was seeing.

  86. says

    Kestrel, how cool! We occasionally get a Calliope hummy here, but they’re a rare sight. Emily is also hoping for a Mexican magpie jay someday. She’s close enough to the border down in San Diego.

    Today I learned something new from her -- she saw a black phoebe down at the beach, throwing up something, so she did some research. Turns out that many insect eating birds produce the equivalent of owl pellets to expell the hard buggy carapaces they can’t digest. Life is wonderful and full of marvels.

  87. kestrel says

    Luck @Giliell: luck luck luck luck luck!!!!! (Actually I am sure it will have nothing to do with luck, but go ahead and take all you want anyway. :-) )

  88. jazzlet says

    Luckity luck luck luck Giliel! And wishing you a good nights rest to set you up for the exam too.

  89. chigau (違う) says

    We just made the perfect cucumber salad.
    3 mini-cukes, sliced thin, into a bowl
    glugglugglug rice vinegar
    glugglug shoyu
    glu. mirin
    couple tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
    water to *just* cover everything
    cover with a plate to keep everything submerged
    wait about an hour

  90. chigau (違う) says

    often translated as “good luck” but really “kick ass!”