1. chigau (違う) says

    For some, tooth-gritting, snarling forms of gratitude, sure, I guess.

  2. says

    Oh my. When I saw that video I laughed so hard that my mouth hurts. Not stomach-aching laugh yet, but close enough. What a beautifuly silly and disturbing idea.

    Giliell, congratulations on the pass. I am not sure about being gratefull, but I think having a part of the load off your shoulders does count for something. I am really glad you passed.

    A fun anecdote: We have four grades in university in CZ -- Excellent, Very Good, Good and Fail. I wanted to go through the university without Good grades, but I did not manage that and got twoo “Good” during the five years. After one exam in which I barely squeaked by with “Good” despite my best efforts one of my friends told to me “Do not be grumpy, every Good is excellent!”. When I got Excellent on two final exams but a barely “Good” on my second attempt in pedagogy & psychology (where I got roasted over the coals because the pedagogy examiner was an unmentionable and my ass got saved by psychology examiner who counterbalanced her), I reminded myself of that saying.

  3. Raucous Indignation says

    Giliell, sorry for the non-sequitur. I wasn’t giggling at you, rather at the spitting.

  4. says

    Giliell, hugs, tea and cookies.

    Emily blogged cormorants today. Pelagic cormorants are iridescent. Baby cormorants are little black dinosaurs.

    http ://

  5. Raucous Indignation says

    I see that Crys over at Thoughts of Crys has posted cute rat videos. Not that anyone here would be the least bit interested. I’m sure.

  6. chigau (違う) says

    Painte Youre Paine!

    I just awoke from a rum-for-pain induced pre-bed power-nap.
    That is what my sub and un wanted to say.
    It might be about the pictures on the poo-bags.
    Good night.

  7. says

    kestrel, I do not want to hijack Marcus’s topic, but I found this interesting:

    Third, I will point out that the agency thing I was talking about works in another way: if I do something well, men will typically call it “luck”. (I am a female.) Because they want to take away my agency. Usually in fact the good outcome has nothing to do with “luck” it has to do with skill and knowledge. But claiming it is “luck” takes away my agency; saying I am “lucky” is another way of saying that I am not skilled or knowledgeable. So you see it does not just go one way.

    That is extremely shitty thing to do to someone and is yet another thing that went completely under my radar. From now on I will be more aware of that happening and I will call it out when I see it and hopefully catch myself in time if I am ever tempted to do it to a woman.

    I am not aware of encoutering this attitude towards women or engaging in it, since my mother is very skilled at many things (much more than my father) so women being skilled at something is not an alien concept to me. But that I am not aware of it does not mean It did not happen, because as a man I do have a big blind spot. Thanks for pointing it out.

    On another note in the same tune, I do this to myself all the time. One of the downsides of having no innate self confidence is that whenever I manage to do something right, my fellings are “I got lucky” and when things go awry, I always blame myself. There is a disconect between the things I know to be true (like I know I am ingelligent and skilled and respected at work) and things I feel to be (stupid, ambisinister and laughed at behind my back).

  8. says


    since my mother is very skilled at many things (much more than my father) so women being skilled at something is not an alien concept to me.

    That’s a good attitude, but also rare.
    I read a study some time ago* that most husbands react negatively when their wife is praised for something, even if it’s something that is deep in the traditional territory of women, say cooking or baking or throwing parties. So if a guest complimented a woman on the delicious cake or wonderful dinner, he felt slighted and had negative emotions instead of being proud of her.

    *of course I cannot find it anymore, Try googling something with the keywords “men, women, compliment”

    Well, the positive effect of having spent much of last week in shock is that my winter coat is no longer that tight.
    I still don’t know why I’m still going on.
    Probably because I have a particular combination of being stubborn and stupid.

    Greetings from Nüsschen. I caught it trying to bury seeds in my flower pots (but the ground is frozen). Got some pics with dry ear tufts.

  9. says

    Also, I freely admit that if you write “unicorn” on something I will probably buy it, but I draw the line at condoms.
    I mean, the horn is nicely phallic, but definitely not what I consider fun.

    And to be honest, condoms are not an area where I’m willing to try some new fun brand that’s probably gone again in two months.

  10. kestrel says

    @Charly: yeah… that’s kind of common, actually. I remember a poem about that called “Old Vogal” by Peggy Godfrey:

    Told me I was lucky
    When I went to cut his hay
    A bloom or two means lots of leaves
    ‘Course it’s best that way.

    He assured me I was lucky
    That my bales were done up tight
    Lucky that I caught the dew
    And chanced to bale it right.

    Oh yes, and I was lucky
    When storm clouds came around
    All my hay was in a stack
    Not layin’ on the ground.

    I clenched my jaw and held my tongue
    Red anger ’round me swirled
    If I was a man, he’d say I was good,
    But “lucky” ‘cuz I’m a girl.

    I guess it’s why I really object to the idea of “luck”. Whether something good or something bad happens, a lot of times, that person was working at it really hard. And in my life anyway, a lot of times when I’m “lucky” it’s because I’m good at doing something that is supposedly “men’s work”. Whereas I just see it as work, and work that has to be done. I live on a farm so when I heard that poem, years ago, it really stuck in my mind.

    I applaud anyone who is aware of this stuff. I acknowledge that it’s really hard, we are so steeped in these ideas it’s hard to separate them out and recognize them.

    @Giliell: I remember reading a story about a princess who was not quite satisfactory; the writer describes the princess and at the very end adds, “and wonderfully stubborn”. Maybe you are secretly a princess… :-) Hopefully this will be over soon… with you coming out on top with lots of insane stories to tell.

  11. says

    Well. starling presence confirmed with picture evidence. It si so weird for me to see starlings on snow. I have always considered them to be the first messengers of comming spring and I do not remember ever seeing them before march.

  12. says

    @kestrel, maybe. I was always assuming that birds coordinate their migrations according to daylight length, not temperature, but that assumption seems wrong. This winter was exceptionally, and I mean EXCEPTIONALLY mild.

    Lesson learned -- when making hide glue, do not skim the fat of off the hot liquid. Cool it first, scrape of the fat and then re-heat to continue the hydrolysis. Much easier that way. I hope I will remember it until next time.

    I have finished grinding and filing of the machete. Now I have to figure how to perform the quench. Since I want to do an experiment whilst doing so, I need to find a big enough pipe to heat it in, and a big enough receptacle to perform the quench in. The pipe should not be a problem, it can be any old rusty pipe for what its worth, as long as it is not so rusty that its full of holes. But for the quench I need something at least 40 cm in lenght (or depth) that can be filled with sunflower oil. I will have to think about it.

    If I go through all this work and the blade then warps or even worse, cracks, the ensuing scream of frustration might cause glass to crack in a thousand miles radius..

  13. kestrel says

    @Charly: I am hopelessly ignorant about this, so take this with perhaps a kilo of salt… but are there any farm or ranch supply stores near you, or a hardware store that carries farm supplies? They make tubs and troughs out of metal that might work. It *is* galvanized… I don’t know if that matters. They are for water or feed, and if you leave them level it would need a lot of oil. But if you tipped them on the side, braced up with blocks of wood or rocks or bricks or something, maybe it would work. If they raise pigs near by, pig equipment is usually really strong and sturdy. And here is hoping it does not warp, after all this work and effort!

  14. Ice Swimmer says

    Charly @ 26

    Could there be a problem with the oil boiling in the pipe so violently that it would spray or gush out when you put the blade in?

  15. Ice Swimmer says

    Ah, I think I misread. You’d quench the blade in a basin of sorts and just heat the oil in a pipe. Could a large pipe split in half work as a basin if you were to weld some plates in the ends?

  16. says

    Ideas out of the head of unknowleable person might be quite usefull sometimes, because knowledgeable people are sometimes set in their ways. There is a saying for thtat

    I want to heat the blade with a special mixture in a pipe to increase carbon content in parts of the blade. I have already done this with smaller blades, so I know it works, but the pipe can get burned through so it must be thick walled and it must not be galvanized to reduce the ammount of noxious gasses (zinc vapors are quite dangerous). Then for quench I need another pipe full of oil. The oil will flash to flame, but it willn not boil. Again I quenched in sunflower oil before. But not as big blade. For this the through/pipe can be galvanized, but it cannot be too spacious because I would need way too much oil.

    I was thinking about using a piece of old gutter for this, but I have no way to blind the ends since I am hopeless at soldering.

  17. says


    I was thinking about using a piece of old gutter for this, but I have no way to blind the ends since I am hopeless at soldering.

    Gutters are pretty easy to reform. Mark the gutter floor about the same distance in from the end as the height of the gutter. Use a block of wood clamped into the gutter and carefully hammer the floor up until the edge is level with the top of the walls. Use the hammer to make the walls follow around with the upturned floor. With a bit of luck you’ll have a fluid proof end that looks just a little bit messy.

    Also there is the method of silicone sealant and pop rivets, that’s what most coloured gutters are finished off with these days.

  18. says

    Starlings have only been part-migratory here for years. I remember seeing them meet on the power lines in autumn when I was a kid, over a few days as the swarm grew, but you hardly see that any more. The behavioural change is probably spreading.

    As for the birdies, I think the spotted woodpecker has “moved in”. I only discovered it a few weeks ago but now it’s here several times a day. I decided to call it Florence.

    Last night we went out for dinner with my parents (dad’s 70th), sister and brother in law and my uncle. I talked to my uncle about a new computer and he asked what I needed it for and I said well, internet, office and pics.
    He: How many pics? Do you have 10.000 on your laptop?
    Me: I’m thinking about whether 5 digits are enough…

  19. says

    Lofty, thanks for the idea. I was thinking along those lines, but I did not get the idea bout putting a piece of wood in the gutter as an anvil and form holder.

    Phew. Yesterday evening I told to myself that I will save the pics from camera to PC and perhaps send some to Caine before going to bed. Three hours later I was still sitting at the computer trying to figure out how to solve the mess that ensued. I had to go to sleep before solving the problem.

    During the transfer some file(s) got corrupted and the process froze completely. Explorer crashed. Whenever I tried to enter the new folder, Explorer crashed again. After many restarts (some forced) I managed to at least shift the new files to a completely separate folder based on the date of their creation. This took so long because sometimes even the date did not show up. I could not even conveniently delete the folder, because whenever I tried to get there the explorer froze. Checkdisk did not help. It froze too. Freecommander ditto.

    In the end I had to disable the generating of thumbs.db completely for the whole system, and then use command line to delete the whole offending order to get everything function again. Then I could transfer the remaining pictures from camera, this time without issues.

    Those were quite stressfull hours. For awhile the explorer was freezing in other folders too, so it looked like I might have to delete all pictures I have ever made. I have a backup, but not of last few months, so it would be a substantial loss. Luckily in the end it was only the yesterday’s transfer that went wrong that managed to mess up the viewing pictures on the whole disk. About 70 pictures were lost in the process.

    I am Going to make a full backup straightaway.

  20. Ice Swimmer says

    Charly, hoping that you’ll eventually get on top of the computer problems! A cranky computer sucks.

    I saw someone fishing on the sea ice for the first time this winter when I was coming to the sauna. A dark figure sitting on a stool and the ice auger (aqua in colour, just like the one my dad had) standing drilled into the ice next to them.

    I’ve enjoyed sitting in the sauna and swimming in the sea (in a hole in the ice). Now I’m waiting for my toes and hair to dry a bit before going back home.

  21. rq says

    This was a bit of a surprise.

    Final week. I hate writing self-evaluations.

    *higs* and *hugs* for all, I’ll keep away from the USBs because I think the ‘House of Plague’ sign isn’t quite ready to come down yet, but best wishes to all!

    Also, re: migratory birds, I was under the impression that most (wild) ducks also migrate, but several times now I have seen some confused looking flocks flying over the river. They seem to be doing well, just confused.

  22. Ice Swimmer says

    rq @ 36

    I’ve had to write self-evaluations a few times and it’s always felt awful, one is either self-incriminating or bragging. Not that evaluating other people’s performance has felt any better.

    May the plague be gone and your people heal!

  23. kestrel says

    @Giliell: there are NO good days for migraines… sorry to hear that. :-( Mine don’t just last one day, either. I can sometimes go a full week with the auras, weird feeling, strange vision etc. Really sorry about the migraine.

    We finally got some snow, YES. Funny, I’ve hardly worn my boots all winter. They are really worn out and I need a new pair but I keep forgetting that, because I’m not wearing them. Maybe I’ll remember now.

  24. says

    Do I have to understand supermarkets?
    I usually shop at Aldi, which means limited choice (I’m ok with that, I don’t need seven brands of washing powder), but also makes you wonder: They have burger patties and burger buns. The normal patties come in packs of four. The normal buns come in packs of six.
    The big patties com in packs of three. The big buns come in packs of four.
    This makes no sense.

  25. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 40

    I wonder if they employ mathematicians to design the packages so that you have buy either a lot or a bit too much of something.

  26. says

    Some people are funny.
    We ordered some more construction material to finish the last room that needs insulation. Part of that order was some kind of puffer material made from sheep’s wool. We ordered 20m of the 20cm wide strips, but instead they delivered 20m of the 1m wide rolls.
    We asked them how to proceed. Their first offer was literally “You can keep the roll and we will bill you the difference.”
    Mr asked them politely if they were being serious. I mean “we made a mistake, could you please cough up the 130€ in price difference so it won’t inconvenience us further”?
    After some calls back and forth they told us we could keep the roll with no additional charge because it would be more expensive to send shit back and forth.
    So if anybody needs some Daemmwool, I have some spare.

  27. says

    What is Daemmwool good for?

    Google and Youtube are pissing me off. Every now and then I have to change the language settings to English, because they decide to change the settings to Czech based on my location and in spite of my prefference. This is a “feature” of multiple internet sites. It is annoying even the other way around -- there is czech online shop that I cannot visit during lunchbreak at work, because ther they automatically present me with english version without the option to switch to czech. And the english version is bugged and incomplete. I hate it when website and/or software developers write their stuff so it tries to read my mind.

  28. Ice Swimmer says

    My mom surprised me pleasantly. We went to a lunch and to the Finnish Museum of Photography. She said she’ll bring a new bathrobe for me. She did, of the kind that I’ve been longing for a long time, not expecting to ever get one.

    It is tuned up from a store-bought bathrobe, ankle length (extended with a towel sewn at the hem) and the ends of the sleeves, from elbow to the wrist are knitted and form fitting, so they won’t get wet and dirty in the kitchen sink. When I’m at home, it’s all the clothes I need in the winter.

  29. jazzlet says

    Ice Swimmer that sounds both practical and cosy.

    I put the dog towels on the clothes line because the forecasters said it would not rain. Hah!

  30. says

    Ice Swimmer
    What a thoughtful gift. I don’t get the appeal of bathrobes (I’m clumsy, I’d constantly trip myself), but since I live in a house where people can see inside from the street I’ve discovered the appeal of yoga pants.

    Speaking of clumsy, guess who didn’t raise her feet high enough (another feature of living in the house is slippers, because the tile floor is cold in winter and my body memory has not adjusted yet), tripped over a box with stuff, crashed on the floor (tiles are hard) and bruised her knee and shoulder…

  31. Ice Swimmer says

    Jazzlet @ 47

    We say when the weather isn’t as forecast that it was changed in the Court of Appeal.

    Giliell @ 48

    Ouch! Bruising the knee as an adult is much worse than it was as a kid, I’ve noticed, when you just got some road rash and hole on the knee of the jeans. When I fell with my bike and banged my knee to the street surface, I had to get sick leave from my job at the time, delivering newspapers, going up and down the stairs wasn’t feasible with the knee pain.

  32. kestrel says

    @Giliell and Ice Swimmer, my knees are hurting in sympathy with you… ouch! Giliell, our house used to have many different levels and we used to have the same problem, as you were constantly stepping up here, down there, up again, up again, now down etc. As we’ve done work we have gradually either filled in or torn down the floor as the circumstance demanded, and have a lot of the house level now. Much better, and safer too. Also, that is crazy they sent you so much extra insulation and then expected you to pay for it. I mean, WHAT?! Yeah, that would not fly with me either. Glad they came to their senses, and maybe you can sell the extra?

    This is the strangest winter I’ve ever experienced. So far, only about 5″ of snow (over 12 cm) and since this is way up in the mountains, that is really weird. I have bred the goats so I’d get kids in March, that may have been a mistake… I remember Februarys where the kids would have been frozen but not this year. It makes me really sad to see this.

  33. says

    @Ice Swimmer, you can go around the whole day in a bathrobe? Brrrr. I feel cold just thinking about it. Although I never had a bahtrobe on so I do not know how it actually feels like.

    @Giliell, my eyes water in sympathy. I fell on the stairs about once a year when I do not lift my foot enough and the slipper gets caught on the edge of a step. I know exactly what you are talking about.

    @ kestrel, too little snow in the mountains is bad news for wast areas for the whole year. Very bad news.

    I got myself yesterday into trouble through my clumsiness and stupidity. When woring on felling the huge cherry tree, the saw chain got caught up in the wood, the saw jumped forward and the safety switch worked as it should, but it also broke off. The weekend has begun and I already destroyed the tool that I needed to get the work done.

    Luckily I was able to disassemble the saw, glue the broken safety switch together and reinforce the broken part with wooden shaft, assemble it together and get to work again a few hours later. So I got myself out o fthe trouble through my intelligence and skill.

    I do not enjoy chopping down that cherry tree one bit. I am thinking what to put in its place. Maybe again cherry.

  34. Ice Swimmer says

    Charly @ 51

    My sympathies on the chainsaw mishap.

    Yes I can, terrycloth bathrobes are warm and the central heating systems here are quite powerful and houses are well-insulated (21 -- 22 °C indoors in the winter is quite normal, I could do with less, some people like 25 °C) also I’m not very sensitive to cold. Of course, I’ll put proper clothes when I go outside (unless I’m taking out trash in the middle of the night when nobody will see me).

  35. says


    A usual case of “I only wanted to do something I thought was step A, but it turned out to be step D”

    Actually, the knee is only bruised, but the shoulder hurts like fuck. Nothing broken (you notice when there is), but ouch.

  36. jazzlet says

    Me as well!

    Owww. And yes you do notice when something is broken. Hope you don’t stiffen up too much.


  37. says

    The pillow fort is open and waiting. We have tea and chocolate and cookies and whatever else you might want or need. Come on in!

    Me, I made myself go out for coffeeshop breakfast with a book before I did the grocery shopping. Oh, I needed that break. Bonus, I got Kitty out of bed to bring in the groceries by offering her my breakfast leftovers.

  38. says

    Pillow fort is a lovely idea. I will take the cookies with milk instead of tee and fall asleep almost instantaneously in its cosy safe space.

    Thanks to the invention called audiobook, I now know that I have spent this weekend 8 hours and 53 minutes cleaning up my workshop. The mess was impeding my ability to work. It was in part due to my messy nature (which I inherited from my father) and the workshops insufficient size which means that many things are very cramped and in order to get to material X I first have to move material Y aside. Luckily I inherited from my mother the occasional impulse to clean up, so hopefully I will not end up neck deep in mess like my uncle did (and like my father would have, had he not met my mother). So I have cleaned, ordered, reorganized and occasionally thrown away stuff more or less the whole evening for two days.

    I was listening to the fourth instance of “Science of Discworld”.

  39. chigau (違う) says

    My back hurts.
    sacroiliacsessesss, to be specific
    also my left shoulder and right hand
    and other bits
    my earlobes are just ticketyboo

  40. says

    I should have stayed in bed today, pull up the blankets up to my eyes and ignore the whole world.

    I managed to live for decades without hitting my thumb with a hammer. Today, shortly after comming to work, I did just that. Twice in a row.

    At least I will not be returning home after dark for long now.

  41. chigau (違う) says

    I’d like to stop being so angry.
    I just don’t know if it’s because They™ are soo stoopid or because I am so intolerant.

  42. StevoR says

    A few hopefully interesting items :

    The New Horizons spaceprobe becomes the most distant photographer ever -and we’ve also found some low level fasinating clouds in its “old” Pluto data.

    Far less happy news but worth knowing :

    Climate research and observation satellites and the NASA Office of Education get the axe under Trump’s rule. I am saddened but not surprised. There’s huge and significant long term damage being done here.”

    Oh and :

    a youtube clip on Therizinosaurs, odd dinosuars with hands Trump can only dream of but much nicer personalities (natch!) and some varying appearances over our years of our imagining and re-imagining them.

  43. Rob Grigjanis says

    I didn’t know -- one of my favourite physicist bloggers, Sabine Hossenfelder, makes music videos! Not bad. This one NSFW, I guess.

  44. Ice Swimmer says

    I’ll be quite busy for a week. Hopefully being busy will get me a job. So, fewer comments coming.

  45. jazzlet says

    Ice Swimmer
    I hope your busy-ness pays off.

    I hope you both get cold free soon.

    Oh yes BIH Billy, BIH

    I hope everyones bruises stiffness, aches etc are healing up and you are all feeling better.

    I have had my dose of anti-depressant increased. This is good.

  46. Ice Swimmer says

    jazzlet @ 74

    Thank you. So do I and also hope that people with pains and stiffness et al. are feeling better. Hope the added dosage will do it for you.

    I did take some time to go to sauna and swimming in the sea, to make my brain work smarter.

  47. says

    Ice Swimmer, fingers crossed for you getting a new job. And do not freeze in the sea.

    We had finally some winter this month, so much so that my father freaks out whether we will have enough wood to get by. At current rate we only have for four more weeks. I do not think it likely that current state of affairs will last that long and I personally suspect that it will be a problem, but I will buy twice the ammount for next year, just to be on the sure side.

    The cherry tree is putting up a mighty fight. My hands shake and I still did not get all the main boughs off so I can finally cut the trunk and start chopping it into small pieces. Maybe next week.